Adriano Bastos of Sao Paulo, Brazil Takes Win Number Seven at Walt Disney World Marathon

(L-R) KY First Lady Jane Beshear, Penny Chenery, Diane Lane, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear Tens of thousands of runners braved the low-30s temperatures this morning as they began their 26.2-mile trek through all four Walt Disney World theme parks this morning.

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Universal Orlando Celebrates 15th Annual Mardi Gras Event; Special Offers for Florida Residents

On February 6, Universal Orlando Resort will kick off its 15th year of Mardi Gras – the biggest and most authentic Mardi Gras celebration outside of New Orleans.  Guests will experience the spirit of Bourbon St. in the heart of Universal Studios, with festivities including live concerts by artists like Flo Rida, Sheryl Crow and Chicago, authentic Cajun cuisine, a spectacular parade and tons of beads.

With a combined total of more than half a billion records sold worldwide, this year’s Mardi Gras lineup features an eclectic mix of 13 of the biggest names in music.  From hip-hop to pop, country to rock, and R&B to disco, there will be something for everyone.  Along with Flo Rida, Sheryl Crow and Chicago, Mardi Gras guests will enjoy live performances by headliners like “The Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, country sensation Dierks Bentley, hip-hop artist Akon, multi-platinum selling rock band 3 Doors Down and the No. 1 selling American band of all time, Beach Boys.

In addition to seeing top-name talent perform on the main stage, guests can also visit Universal’s very own “French Quarter” – a replica of the New Orleans’ famed district – and groove to the authentic bayou sounds of bands directly from New Orleans.

To commemorate this special year, guests will enjoy a heritage-themed Mardi Gras parade featuring new colorful renditions of floats from past year’s events.  Universal worked with New Orleans-based Blaine Kern Artists, Inc. to incorporate new elements into some of the most memorable floats in the event’s history. The twelve vibrant floats will cruise the streets of Universal Studios during the festivities, filled with riders tossing beads by the handful to excited park guests.

Guests will also enjoy the aroma and taste of authentic Cajun cuisine – such as jambalaya, gumbo, beignets and king cake – along with hundreds of costumed characters and stilt walkers dancing and mingling in the streets.  Party-goers will also enjoy Universal Studios’ most popular attractions, including the all-new Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit – a radically-innovative roller coaster that combines hit music, first-ever maneuvers and highly-sophisticated audio and video for a one-of-a-kind ride experience.

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Photo Gallery: BCS Teams Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas Longhorns at Disneyland

On January 2, players and coaches from 2010 BCS National Championship teams the Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas Longhorns spent the day at the Disneyland Resort. Disneyland has furnished us with some photos from the day’s festivities featuring Texas Longhorns’ Jordan Shipley, Sergio Kindle, Roddrick Muckelroy, Lamarr Houston and Colt McCoy and Heisman Trophy Winner Mark Ingram of the Alabama Crimson Tide as well as the team’s coach, Nick Saban. And, of course, everyone’s favorite mouse was in attendance too.

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D23 Announces Special Mary Poppins Event in Los Angeles with Special Guest

On January 22, Disney Theatrical Productions invites D23 Members to attend a special performance of Mary Poppins at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Members will receive a 20% discount on select seats in various seating locations throughout the theatre as well as a voucher good for 20% off all merchandise at the show.

Members will also get an exclusive post-show experience with the Mary Poppins cast and a top-secret surprise guest. D23 won’t say who it is, but only that he appeared in the original film. Could it be Dick Van Dyke? Maybe, but our money is on the man with a wooden leg named Smith.

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Dates for 2010 Epcot International Food And Wine Festival Quietly Announced by Disney

Without any kind of formal announcement or confirmation, it appears as through the Walt Disney World official site may have announced the dates for the 2010 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival as October 1 through November 14, 2010.

source

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Win a Trip to ESPN The Weekend from ESPN and Dick’s Sporting Goods

ESPN and Dick’s Sporting Goods are offering the chance for four lucky winners and up to three guests each to enjoy a sports-filled weekend at Walt Disney World’s 2010 ESPN The Weekend event, taking place between February 25 – 28, 2010.

The winners’ trips will take place between February 25 and March 1 and includes round-trip air and one standard room at a Disney owned resort (resort transportation offered via Disney’s Magical Express). Each guest will also receive 5 day MYW tickets with park hopping plus $1500 in Dick’s Sporting Goods gift cards for each of the winners.

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Rose Bowl-bound Buckeyes and Ducks to Appear at Disneyland, December 26

Selected players and coaches from the Ohio State University Buckeyes and the University of Oregon Ducks will participate in a ceremony taking place at Disneyland on December 26. The ceremony, which will take place in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, is scheduled to happen at around 2 pm PT.

Expecting to appear on  behalf of Ohio State are Head Coach Jim Tressel, defensive back Kurt Coleman, linebacker Austin Spitler, defensive lineman Doug Worthington and center Jimmy Cordle.

Expecting to appear on behalf of the University of Oregon are Head Coach Chip Kelly, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, offensive lineman Jordan Holmes, defensive end Will Tukuafu and cornerback Walter Thurmond III.

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Dates for Walt Disney World’s 2010 Star Wars Weekends Announced

On its official blog, Disney Parks has announced the dates for the 2010 Star Wars Weekends event to take place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The dates are as follows: May 21 – 23, May 28 – 30, June 4 – 6 and June 11 – 13

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Photo: Celine Dion Performs at Disney’s Grand Floridian for Christmas Day Parade

Celine Dion Performs at the Grand Floridian (Matt Stroshane/Disney)When inclimate weather threatened — and even canceled — some performances for the disney Parks Christmas Day parade last week, the performance of Grammy Award winner Celine Dion moved into the nearby Grand Floridian Resort and Spa where Dion filled the main lobby with her voice as well as admirers as shown in this photo from Disney photographer Matt Stroshane.

For full details on the 2009 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, click here.

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The Princess and the Frog’s Anika Noni Rose to Greet Guests at Epcot December 8

Anika Noni Rose Meet & GreetAnika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana in The Princess and the Frog, will be available to meet and greet guests tomorrow afternoon from 1:30 – 2:30 PM at Heritage Manor at the American Adventure in Epcot’s World Showcase in Walt Disney World. She is currently acting as official celebrity narrator for the Candlelight Processional with tomorrow being her last evening.

She will be signing merchandise purchased at the event only, limit two per guest.

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