Disney Parks has updated its official Limited Time Magic schedule to include two upcoming events at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
At Walt Disney World’s Epcot, the Canadian pavilion will play host to a ‘magical Winter Wonderland’ where guests are invited to play in ‘snow.’ The Limited Time Magic experience will also provide an opportunity to mix and mingle with some unspecified Disney Characters, though Canada has famously played host to Koda and Kenai from Disney’s Brother Bear in the past. The special event runs from January 14, 2013 through January 20.
Meanwhile at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, the Bayou Bash and Mardi Gras returns to New Orleans Square. Princess Tiana is joined by Louis the Alligator in this tribute to the Big Easy’s infamous annual celebration. For 4 weekends (January 18 – 21, January 25 – 27, February 1 – February 3 and February 8 – 12), the streets of New Orleans Square will be filled with jazz music, street performances and Cajun cuisine.
Effective February 1, 2013, George A. Kalogridis will become the president of the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, it was announced today. Kalogridis, a 41-year veteran of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was named president of the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. George will oversee a workforce of more than 66,000 Cast Members at the world’s premier vacation destination.
Since 2009, George has served as president of the Disneyland Resort, where he leads more than 25,000 Cast Members at the over 500-acre resort, which comprises the world-famous Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the Paradise Pier Hotel and Downtown Disney.
George began his career at Walt Disney World in 1971 as a busboy at the Contemporary Resort. During his tenure, George has held numerous executive positions, gaining a breadth of experience from all aspects of the operation.
From 2006 until his appointment to Disneyland Resort, George served as chief operating officer for Disneyland Resort Paris and was responsible for leading the daily operations of the Resort’s two theme parks, seven hotels and the Disney Village. During his tenure in Paris, George oversaw the highly successful 15th anniversary celebration of the resort. He also played an instrumental role in reorganizing the Resort’s operations structure to help improve both Guest and Cast satisfaction.
Prior to his role in Paris, George served as senior vice president of Resort Operations for the Disneyland Resort, where he played a significant role in the first expansion of the resort – the opening of Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney. In addition, he was responsible for the daily operations of both theme parks and three hotels, as well as Downtown Disney.
In addition to his leadership roles in both Paris and Anaheim, George served as vice president of Travel Operations at Walt Disney World in Orlando, where he implemented a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that continues to serve as the foundation for how millions of Guests book their travel to Walt Disney World. George also served as vice president of EPCOT, where, in addition to overseeing park operations, he led the Millennium Celebration for The Walt Disney Company.
Also effective February 1, Meg Crofton will fully assume her global role as president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France – a position she has held since July 2011 – while concurrently serving as president of Walt Disney World. With Meg’s transition complete, George A. Kalogridis is named president of the Walt Disney World Resort, and Michael Colglazier is named president of the Disneyland Resort. Both Kalogridis and Colglazier’s roles are also effective Feb. 1.
“With all that we currently have in flight across our resort destinations in the U.S. and France, the time is right to move forward with this leadership transition,” said Staggs. “This group of Disney veterans has the knowledge and expertise needed to continue delivering on our legacy of creating unforgettable experiences that our guests have come to know and expect. I would like to thank Meg for her tireless devotion and the extraordinary contributions serving in both positions, and wish George and Michael the best of luck in their new roles. They both bring a wealth of operational expertise, leadership and passion to these roles, which will contribute to the success of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.”
With the appointment of a Walt Disney World president, Crofton will focus all of her attention to providing strategic oversight of the broader initiatives that impact Disney destinations in the U.S. and France.
Kalogridis brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise to his new role at Walt Disney World, including more than 40 years of experience at Disney parks in a number of positions around the world. Most recently as president of the Disneyland Resort, he oversaw one of the most extensive expansion projects in the Resort’s history — including the immensely successful transformation of Disney California Adventure. Throughout his career, Kalogridis also has proven himself to be a leader in the travel and leisure industry, as well as a respected partner in the community.
For the last several years, Colglazier has served as head of Disney’s Animal Kingdom where he has been instrumental in the planning and development of an Avatar-themed land. He brings more than two decades of wide-ranging experience to his new role at the Disneyland Resort, including leadership positions in Operations, Global Development, Operations Strategy and Technology and Strategic Planning.
The company also announced several other corresponding changes. As part of the organization’s approach to providing new opportunities and challenges to leaders, each of these transitions is designed to give seasoned executives the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the segment’s diverse businesses and operations around the world.
Claire Bilby will relocate to Paris as senior vice president, Sales and Marketing Disneyland Paris and Europe, reporting to Leslie Ferraro, executive vice president of Global Marketing and Sales and Philippe Gas, CEO of Euro Disney S.A.S. Bilby has held a variety of executive positions around the world, including several in sales and marketing, and most recently she has been instrumental in leading the Disney Vacation Club business, making it a priority to deliver an exceptional experience to the more than 175,000 Member families.
As a result of Bilby’s new position, Ken Potrock has been named senior vice president and general manager, Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney, reporting to Karl Holz, president of New Vacation Operations and Disney Cruise Line. Throughout his Disney career, Potrock has been a leader in a wide array of Parks and Resorts businesses, and has become known as a creative catalyst with deep experience in marketing and operations. Most recently leading both the sports and Downtown Disney organizations, his leadership abilities have been apparent with the sports business and the unprecedented growth of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
While Walt Disney World’s billion-dollar NextGen project has been no secret for quite some time, along with many of its aspects such as extensive use of RFID, the company itself has remained famously mum about the extent of the project, something we have been discussing for well over a year.
A new article from the New York Times, goes into the technology, now officially known as MyMagic+ and My Disney Experience (terms we have been applying for nearly a year), and some of the experiences it will offer. Some of the recently confirmed technology will allow characters to be able to deliver personalized experiences, a topic we have spoken about quite a bit, including in this article on just what Disney will learn about its guests, from which the NYT quotes some of our commenters. Back in October, we also looked at additional NextGen technology which describes just how the MyMagic+ will function inside the parks and negotiate multiple guests with multiple ‘entitlements,’ including characters who will greet guests by name (as the NYT article also suggests).
As extensive at the NYT article appears to be, it’s our contention that it still just a drop in the bucket with what the full MyMagic+ experience will entail, such as ‘Achievements’ (discussed in Big Brother article), a mobile app that will let family members at home virtually join the trip and interact including purchasing real in-park gifts, personalized and interactive elements at attractions like ‘it’s a small world’ and much, much more.
Watching the ball drop in New York’s Times Square won’t be the only reason to stay up late this New Year’s Eve. As promised in the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade special, Maria Menounos will be announcing a brand new sweepstakes called ‘Disney Time’ kicking off January 1, 2013. For the entire month of January, Disney Parks will be giving away one dream vacation a day.
The sweepstakes is open to those living in the United State and Canada (excluding Quebec). Entrants may enter daily by choosing one of their choice of the following vacations, at either the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resorts:
Character Cuddles and Happy Happenings
If you believe in the magic of Disney, this is the vacation for you! You’ll be greeted with a welcoming in-room décor package, enjoy up-close cuddly encounters at a Disney Character dining experience and get special VIP viewing at a Disney Theme Park parade or show. This is a magical 5-day/4-night vacation for 4 that includes air transportation, hotel accommodations, Theme Park tickets, Disney’s PhotoPass® Service, $500 Disney Gift Card, a welcome basket, with extra special magical surprises and delights.
New Discoveries and Magic Makeovers
Get ready to be immersed in Disney magic from being a character to conquering evil villains! This vacation includes two Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Princess makeovers or two Pirates League experiences*, or one of each. Disney’s Family Magic Tour, a fun guided interactive quest to save the Magic Kingdom® Theme Park from a dastardly Disney Villain scheme, is also included. Plus you’ll share extra hugs and giggles at a Character Dining experience. This is a magical 5-day/4-night vacation for 4 that includes air transportation, hotel accommodations, Theme Park tickets, Disney’s PhotoPass® Service, $500 Disney Gift Card, a welcome basket, along with special surprises and delights for big and little believers who wish be part of the magic.
Wild Fun and Amazement
If you like your entertainment big, wild and colorful, this vacation is for you! At Walt Disney World® Resort, this vacation has you diving into some cool water park thrills, taking a Wild Africa Trek through the Pangani Forest for some close creature encounters at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Park and enjoying amazing dinner extravaganzas like Fantasmic! Dining at Walt Disney World® Resort. At Disneyland® Resort, it’s special World of Color dining and viewing*, a one-day Adventures By Disney® Lights! Camera! Magic! Tour of Hollywood and Fantasmic! V.I.P. seating with desserts included. This vacation is action packed with eye-popping shows and entertainment! It’s a delightful 5-day/4-night vacation for 4 that includes air transportation, hotel accommodations, Theme Park tickets, Disney’s PhotoPass® Service, $500 Disney Gift Card, a welcome basket, along with special adventures you’ll never forget!
Big Thrills Beyond the Theme Parks
Looking for fun and adventure beyond the Disney Theme Parks? This is your kind of vacation! At Walt Disney World® Resort, dive into some Water Parks thrills, enjoy a shopping spree, and choose from a world of recreational options from kayaking to miniature golf. At Disneyland® Resort, enjoy an Adventures By Disney® Lights! Camera! Magic! experience, plus a shopping spree and a special World of Color Dining and viewing* experience. It’s an all-out fun 5-day/4-night vacation for 4 that includes air transportation, hotel accommodations, Theme Park tickets, Disney’s PhotoPass® Service, $500 Disney Gift Card, a welcome basket, along with special thrills and options that are sure to keep you smiling.
Grownup Fun and Romance
Who says a Disney Parks vacation is just for kids? There’s nothing more magical that adult time in and around the Disney Parks, with unlimited kidlike playtime too if you wish. At Walt Disney World® Resort, enjoy some Water Park thrills, a fine dining experience for four, plus a round of golf or spa treatment. You have great choices. At Disneyland® Resort, take in some fine dining and a night on the town at Downtown Disney. The entertainment is plentiful, and you’ll get to do it up right! This vacation is a fun-filled 5-day/4-night vacation for 4 that includes air transportation, hotel accommodations, Theme Park tickets, Disney’s PhotoPass® Service, $500 Disney Gift Card, a welcome basket aet and special surprises and delights for grownups without kids.
And of course, 2013 is the year the Limited Time Magic campaign, with the initial schedule recently being announced.
For more information about the Disney Time Sweepstakes, full rules and to enter, visit the official site at DISNEYTIMESWEEPS.COM.
WE HAVE THE ANNOUNCEMENT. FOR FULL DETAILS ABOUT THE DISNEY TIME SWEEPSTAKES, PLEASE VISIT
(not affiliated with The Walt Disney Company)
It’s time to let the memories end — or at least subside for a while. While Disney Parks has made no secret that 2013 will be the year of ‘Limited Time Magic,’ a series of celebrations throughout the year, such as those announced this morning, they’re mostly being mum about just plain ol’ ‘Disney Time’ — mostly.
As we reported earlier today, Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade co-host Maria Menounous teased that she would be making a bit announcement this New Year’s Eve during ABC’s broadcast of the Dick Clark New Year’s Eve programming, just as she had done for the ‘One More Disney Day’ special event held at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts during Leap Year. We claim that part of the announcement will be a new sweepstakes, due to the registration of websites such as DISNEYTIMESWEEPS.COM and DISNEYTIMESWEEPSTAKES.COM and even DISNEYTIME.CA, but we believe ‘Disney Time’ to be the foundation of a new year-long (or longer) campaign, just as ‘Let the Memories Begin,’ and ‘Year of a Million Dreams’ served.
Below is a video released by Disney Parks earlier today which features Menounos as she talks about what ‘Disney Time’ means to her, recorded at some point during the parade taping at Walt Disney World in early December. ‘Whether it was getting pictures with the characters or getting splashed on Splash Mountain, that’s what “Disney Time’ is all about,’ she says in the video. She adds: ‘It’s when parents push the pause button on day-to-day grown-up stresses and become kids, playing with their kids — it’s like every body’s the same age.’
We will continue to report on the ‘Disney Time’ campaign as information becomes available to us. A formal announcement is expected shortly before midnight on December 31, 2012.
UPDATE #1: 12/28/12 We now have a second video promoting ‘Disney Time’ at Disney Parks, this one featuring a graffiti artist whose seemingly abstract work ends up creating the perfect re-creation of Main Street USA. Featuring the tag line ‘Disney Moments: Everyday Everywhere,’ it also ends with the #DisneyTime Twitter hashtag.
As promised, Disney Parks made its first official schedule announcement for the upcoming ‘Limited Time Magic’ campaign in 2013 via the special LIMITEDTIMEMAGIC.COM website.
Walt Disney World will feature a nightly New Year’s Eve celebration dance party in Tomorrowland beginning December 30 and running through January 5 at the Magic Kingdom theme park. The parties will feature interaction with Disney characters as well as an hourly countdown for those little (and not-so-little) ones who struggle to make it to midnight.
Over at Disneyland Resort, two events have been announced: the Three Kings Celebration and the Salute to Golden Horseshoe Revue. From January 4 through January 6 at the Disneyland theme park, guests are invited to celebrate the end of the holiday season at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree with music, activities and cuisine that pays tribute to Southern California’s Mexican Culture.
Finally, from Thursday through Monday, January 10 through February 4, Miss Lilly and her Saloon Girls make a triumphant return to Frontierland as Disneyland will proudly present its salute to the classic theme park entertainment which opened with the park in 1955 and ran through 1986.
As we reported earlier today, we also anticipate Disney Parks announcing another campaign of sorts, titled ‘Disney Time,’ during the ABC broadcast of ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.’
Viewers of the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, which recently aired on ABC, may have caught notice that co-host Maria Menounos mentioned she would be making a special Disney Parks announcement during ABC’s broadcast of ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest’ this upcoming Monday evening.
A similar announcement was made last year regarding the ‘One More Disney Day’ campaign in which the Disney Parks on both coasts honored the leap year by remaining open all night long for the parks fans that managed to brave it. That announcement, however, was a poorly guarded secret and the campaign had been known about in some form or another for months prior to the actual announcement (we reported on it as early as August of 2012).
Since then Disney Parks has announced a new campaign for 2013, ‘Limited Time Magic.’ Perhaps taking a cue from its previous self-leaks, the campaign was kept well under wraps. So much so that we admit that while we knew there would be a Times Square event a couple of weeks prior, we didn’t learn about the ice sculpture until the evening before and of the ‘Limited Time Magic’ moniker just a few hours before the event began.
So while the Disney fanbase impatiently awaits the first new details of ‘Limited Time Magic’ (via the Disney Parks blog and LIMITEDTIMEMAGIC.COM) and how Disney Parks plans on celebrating the beginning of the new year, albeit temporarily, we are preparing to tell you about another campaign brewing: ‘Disney Time.’
Curb your excitement however because what we do know of ‘Disney Time’ is fairly limited at this time. We do know that it will consist of some large sweepstakes which will be part of the announcement (if not the announcement itself) and that Disney Parks has already registered and is preparing websites such as DISNEYTIMESWEEPS.COM (which seems to have seen the most work done, but is not currently available for public viewing), DISNEYTIMESWEEPSTAKES.COM and DISNEYTIME.CA.
We hope to have more information shortly and invite anyone who may have additional details they’d be willing to share to use the contact form on the site. Tips can be made anonymously.
UPDATE #1: 12/28/12 – We now have the following teaser video which confirms ‘Disney Time’
Paperwork was filed earlier today with the comptroller’s office in Orange County, Florida earlier today, which announces that a lawsuit against Walt Disney World by Leanne Deacon, on behalf of her daughter, was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice. This likely indicates that an out-of-court settlement between the parties has been reached.
The lawsuit, which was filed in early 2009, alleges that Deacon’s then-teenage daughter suffered permanent brain damage after collapsing as a result of riding Disney’s Tower of Terror attraction in 2005. Deacon claimed Disney Parks and Resorts was negligent in providing ample warnings about the potential dangers of the attraction and was reportedly seeking in excess of $15 million, an amount Deacon claimed would be necessary to support her daughter for the remainder of her life.
If the case were in fact settled out of court — which is the likely outcome given that the case was voluntarily dismissed — terms generally prohibit either party from disclosing the final results.
Via its official Facebook page, Disney PhotoPass has announced the debut of Attractions+, a service that complements its recently introduced PhotoPass+ service. With the new Attractions+ card, available at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, guests can receive unlimited downloads of attraction photos for a two week period for just $44.95.
Guests have up to 24 hours after riding a photo-enabled attraction to attach it to their Attractions+ card, at which point it can be used online at the DisneyPhotoPass.com website as if it were any other PhotoPass card.
Participating attractions — where Attractions+ can also be purchased — at this time include:
Walt Disney World: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Test Track
Disneyland Resort: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, California Screamin, Radiator Springs Racers, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Pictured here left-to-right are “Once Upon a Time” star Ginnifer Goodwin, Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs, singer Jordin Sparks and Mickey Mouse pose December 6, 2012 at the grand opening of New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
New Fantasyland is a new area in the Magic Kingdom and is the largest expansion in the 41-year history of the theme park.
Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort