Walt Disney World Resort today announced the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm.
Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.
“Disney Springs will be a timeless, vibrant place where Walt Disney World guests and local residents can relax, shop, dine and be entertained in an imaginative setting where they’ll instantly feel at home,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Featuring distinctive brands, world-class restaurants and unforgettable entertainment, Disney Springs will be brought to life with the same focus on storytelling and attention to detail that goes into our theme parks, resorts and cruise ships, resulting in a welcoming space that only Disney could create.”
Disney Springs will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments. In addition, Staggs noted, Central Florida stands to benefit from the expansion with more jobs, tax revenues and business opportunities.
Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs will include four outdoor neighborhoods interconnected by a flowing spring and vibrant lakefront. In addition to a new gateway with a signature water tower and grand entry, the destination will feature:
The Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.
A colorful and thriving commercial district called The Landing with inspired dining and beautiful waterfront views.
The family-friendly Marketplace that will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.
A West Side that provides an exuberant atmosphere with lively entertainment, along with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.
Collectively, these efforts will not only have an impact within Walt Disney World, but will also have an economic ripple effect on Central Florida. The project will create an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and nearly 4,000 operational roles.
Disney will share more details on specific experiences coming to Disney Springs in the future. Construction is slated to begin next month with new areas opening in phases. Disney Springs is expected to be complete in 2016.
Leonard Maltin to Moderate ‘Peter Pan’ Panel for Disney D23 Members; Limited National Screenings Announced
In honor of Peter Pan: Diamond Edition taking flight on February 5, 2013, Disney D23 — the official club for Disney fans — has announced some very special events including a panel to take place ahead of the screening at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on January 11th.
Moderated by noted film critic/historian Leonard Maltin, the panel is set to include Kathryn Beaumont (voice of Wendy), Ted Thomas (son of legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas and director/writer of the acclaimed documentaries Frank and Ollie and Walt & El Grupo) and Margaret Kerry (live-action reference model for Tinker Bell).
In addition, D23 members and their guests will also enjoy discounted VIP Orchestra Reserved Seating, a souvenir bucket of popcorn, and a 20-oz. bottled drink, a never-before-seen episode of ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ and even an appearance by Jake himself, live on stage.
Tickets to the screening/panel are $19 (D23 members may purchase a total of 4 tickets each) and will be available beginning December 27 at 10 am PST. For more information and to purchase tickets when available, see the official event page.
In addition, Disney D23 will be offering free screenings (only) to Peter Pan in the following cities on January 24: Chicago, Orlando, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Tickets are free and will be available to reserve beginning January 7 at 1 pm ET/10 am PT. As a reminder, tickets to screenings are offered through SeeItFirst.net, so it is advisable to create an account and ensure you can access it prior to the tickets becoming available. For more information, see the official event page.
One Grand Prize winner will receive round-trip airfare to Orlando for a 5 day/4 night stay with hotel accommodations, a special Family Reunion VIP Party, a special behind-the-scenes experience at a major theme park, two one day passes to the winner’s choice of Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando or Sea World and one day admission to two other area attractions.
Five runner-ups will receive a 4 day/3 night vacation for four in Orlando with hotel accommodations and car rental along with two one day passes to the winner’s choice of Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando or Sea World.
There will also be a third prize winner in each state who will receive a $100 gift card from Pizza Hut
Sweepstakes ends November 28. For additional information and to enter, visit Pizza Hut Reunion
The Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau has introduced a fun new online game titled Find My Smile in which the goal is to find your own photo (either uploaded or chosen from stock photos) amongst a giant mosaic of your photo composed of hundreds of other Orlando area vacation photos. Zoom in to find hints and bonuses along the way as you compete against the clock and your friends and family for the best score.
And don’t forget to follow the 67 Days of Smile winners Kyle Post and Stacey Doornbos as they explore much of what Orlando has to offer on their official blog.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Times may be tough, but a national effort has been launched to remind Americans with at least one grandparent in their families how rich they truly are.
“For the past several years grandparents have been playing an increasingly important role in helping America’s children and families, providing full-time care to millions of children,” says Christine Crosby, founder and publisher of GRAND magazine. “Now, with a major recession upon us, grandparents are bringing critical help and wisdom from hard times in the past to hold families together and keep them healthy. Recognizing grandparents’ value is more important than ever.”
Few Americans are aware that grandparents are the primary caregivers for nearly six million U.S. children. In fact, 75 percent of all non-parental care of children in America is now provided by grandparents. Millions more help their children and children’s children on a daily basis.
To focus the nation’s attention on this growing phenomenon and provide grandparents with the recognition they deserve, GRAND Magazine, Humana (NYSE: HUM), Orlando/Orange County Visitors & Convention Bureau, and the national children’s crisis charity KidsPeace are launching the fourth annual national search for an example of extraordinary care worthy of the title of GRANDparent of the Year. Any member of the American public can nominate a GRANDparent of the Year. Nominating forms are available online at www.grandmagazine.com. All nominations include a 150-word description of why the nominee deserves this honor. The GRANDparent of the Year will be honored with a five-day, four-night vacation for four to family-friendly Orlando, including air, hotel, rental car and tickets to Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando or Universal Orlando plus admission to two of Orlando’s popular water parks and dinner at Arabian Nights. The top 10 finalists will receive a $100 gift certificate and their photos and essays of nomination will be published in the September issue of GRAND, The Online Magazine for GRANDparents, in time for National Grandparents Day on Sept. 13 and on www.grandmagazine.com. In addition, every grandparent nominated will receive a free subscription to GRAND Magazine.
New Deal Posted Every Friday through June 30 at VisitOrlando.com/smile
ORLANDO, Fla., April 3 — Beginning today, the “Bundles of Free Smiles” campaign developed by the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. (Orlando CVB) will get a new boost through June 30 with a weekly featured deal and a vacation giveaway contest in addition to the more than 130 free offers at VisitOrlando.com/Smile. The new “Deal of the Week” component begins today and offers enhanced savings at select Orlando resorts. With more than 130 accommodations, attractions and other venues already offering “free” components such as stay three nights get two free, the “Deal of Week” will provide a bonus savings of up to $100 in added value.
Visitors to VisitOrlando.com/smile will find a new “Deal of the Week” posted every Friday through June 30. However, to celebrate the inauguration of the program, this first deal offering more than $300 in savings will be featured for two weeks, ending April 17: