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

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(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.

With a total time of 02:28:08, Brazil’s Adriano Bastos, 31,  captured his seventh win at the 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon today. Lisa Mizutani, age 24 from Tsukuba, Japan, was the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 02:51:18 and an overall finish of 18th place.

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Richard Petty Driving Experience Offers Free Experience to WDW Annual Passholders

From now through March 31, annual passholders can enjoy a three-lap ride along experience free at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Retailing for over $100, this experience is limited to one time per passholder, aged 14 and above (under 18 requires a parental guardian).

Shuttle service to the Richard Petty Speedway is available at the Transportation and Ticket Center.

To make reservations, call 1-800-BE-PETTY or visit the official Richard Petty Driving Experience website.

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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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Walt Disney World Marathon Breaks Records Before Races Even Start

More than 55,500 expected runners – Disney’s largest marathon weekend field ever – are registered for the 17th annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA Jan. 7-10, 2010.  This year’s capacity field tops last year’s record by 10,500 registered participants and aims to place the marathon weekend as the top combination race weekend in the country.

A record 55,500 athletes have registered for the variety of events that make up the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  In 2009 the Walt Disney World Marathon was the eighth largest in the nation and the second largest combination race weekend.  The main event – Sunday’s 26.2-mile journey through Disney’s four major theme parks – starts at 5:40 a.m. near Epcot.

Runners can look forward to VIP treatment as new “More Magic” options have been added.  A pre-race pasta party and a post-race private celebration are new ticketed events available to those in attendance.  On Thursday, Jan. 7, the Pasta in the Park Party at Epcot will give runners and their friends and family a chance to “carb load” before the race and see a special viewing of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” a nighttime fireworks display.  After the marathon on Sunday, the chance to ride select attractions and unwind with a live DJ and Disney characters is available when Disney’s Hollywood Studios hosts a private Victory Lap Celebration.

The VIP Race Retreat package is available again this year offering special race-day upgrades for participants and their friends and family, such as exclusive meet and greets with Disney characters and pre-registration for next year’s marathon.

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First Look: Walt Disney World 2010 Marathon Vinylmations to be Released Jan 8

On its official blog, Disney Vinylmation has introduced three new Vinylmation special edition figures that will be released at the Walt Disney World resort on January 8 in honor of upcoming 2010 marathon events, each designed by Disney Design Group artist Maria Clapsis.

Pictured from top to bottom are the 3″ Walt Disney World 2010 Marathon figure, the 3″ Walt Disney World 2010 Half Marathon Figure and the 9″ Walt Disney World Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge 2010 figure.

Guests do not need to be marathon participants in order to purchase the special edition Vinylmation figures which will be available at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.

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UPDATE: Disney-branded Rose Bowl and BCS Championship Limited Edition Tees Available December 30

The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), a division of IMG Worldwide, and Disney Consumer Products (DCP) are teaming up to bring Rose Bowl and BCS fans a unique line of souvenir T-shirts.

The collection will feature the logos of the participating teams – Oregon and Ohio State in the Rose Bowl and Alabama and Texas Universities in the BCS National Championship Game – featuring some of Disney’s most beloved characters including Mickey Mouse. Available beginning December 30, the T-shirts will be sold at www.DisneyStore.com, Disney Store locations in the markets of the participating universities, and at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

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Photo: Boston Celtics Fill the Magic Kingdom with Hoop Dreams

Boston Celtics players (L-R): J.R. Giddens, Ray Allen, Eddie House and Tony Allen huddle Dec. 24, 2009 with Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  The NBA players visited the theme park on the eve of their Christmas Day game against the Orlando Magic.  The Celtics and Magic tip-off in a nationally televised game Dec. 25 at 2:30 p.m. ET at Amway Arena in Orlando, Fla. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

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Vinylmation Sets Release Timeline for New Park, Sports and ‘Oh Mickey!’ Series

With the latest round of Urban and the debut of Cutesters still managing to find their way into the stream of collectibility, Vinylmation today updated its official site, setting expectations for Park Series #4, Sports Series #1 and the ‘Oh Mickey!’ Series to debut in spring 2010 along with Muppet Series #1.

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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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Stephen Ames Claims Second Win in Children’s Miracle Network Classic in Sudden-Death Playoff with Justin Leonard, George McNeill

2009 Children's Miracle Network Classic champion Stephen Ames celebrates Nov. 15, 2009 with his son Ryan, age 10, and Mickey Mouse following his victory in the 39th annual PGA TOUR event at Walt Disney World Resort. (Garth Vaughan, photographer)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The legacy of nail-biter finishes at Walt Disney World Resort added another chapter Sunday (Nov. 15) when Canada’s Stephen Ames parred the second hole of a playoff with George McNeill and Justin Leonard to win the 2009 Children’s Miracle Network Classic, the final event of the PGA TOUR season. It marked the 21st time in the last 28 years that the Classic was decided either by a playoff or a single stroke in regulation.

For Ames, it also marked a second nail-biter win at Disney in the last three years. In 2007, he hit out of a greenside bunker on No. 18 and one-putted for par to protect a one-stroke victory. This time, he needed five birdies on his final seven holes, capped by a birdie on the difficult No. 18, to catch McNeill and Leonard at 18-under-par 270 and become part of the playoff.

After Leonard’s potential tournament-winning birdie putt lipped out on the final hole, he three-putted the same hole for bogey at the start of the playoff and was eliminated. McNeill, who scrambled for a par on the first playoff hole, had his putt for par on the second playoff hole, the par 3 Magnolia No. 15, lip out. That sealed the victory for Ames, who had tapped in for par.

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