Jennifer Hudson as Tiana in Latest Disney Dream Portrait by Annie Leibovitz

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Jennifer Hudson as Tiana in Disney Dream Portrait by Annie LeibovitzVia its official blog, Disney Parks and Resorts today unveiled the first few of a new series of portraits by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz portraying celebrities in iconic classic Disney roles.

The new image features Jennifer Hudson as Tiana from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ feature film, The Princess and the Frog.

The image has been added to the beginning of our gallery of Disney Dream portraits below:

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Anna and Elsa from ‘Frozen’ WDW Casting Notice; Appearances to Start September

Elsa and Anna from Disney's FrozenWalt Disney World has placed its first casting call to find Cast Members looking to portray both Elsa and Anna from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen, for meet and greets.

The audition will take place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Rehearsal Facility at the Walt Disney World Resort on Sunday, August 18, 2013 beginning at 9:00 AM with a second session beginning at 7:00 PM. Cautioning that performers should be available to begin work within the next four weeks, giving the impression that formal meet and greets may start as early as September, the advertisement suggests only those local to central Florida should consider applying.

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Polynesian Resort Vaction Club Plans All But Confirmed

As Disney Vacation Club launches its latest venture, the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and begins transitioning Disney’s ‘best kept secret’ to ‘vacations you never outgrow,’ a recent permit application to the South Florida Water Management District appears to outline some pretty large plans for one of Walt Disney World’s original resorts, the Polynesian. In short, permit application ‘130729-2′ seeks to include ‘new parking, vehicular circulation, pedestrian pathways, utilities, and fire access. It also includes the installation of pilings along the neighboring lagoon that will support future structures, redesigned landscaping, and new amenity areas to serve the building expansions for this resort hotel,’ with the final portion of the request pretty much saying it all.

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AT&T Named Official Wireless Provider for Disney Parks North America

AT&T* and Disney Parks today announced an agreement that makes AT&T the official wireless provider for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

Through the agreement, AT&T will have various marketing and branding opportunities, including sponsoring Disney-created soccer and runDisney events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In addition, Disney will join AT&T to educate Cast Members and guests about “It Can Wait®,” AT&T’s groundbreaking initiative to educate consumers about the dangers of texting while driving. AT&T and Disney will also collaborate to enhance the experience for the growing number of Disney guests using smartphones and tablets during their visit. Furthermore, Cast Members will use new mobile devices on AT&T’s network to help deliver Disney’s legendary guest service.

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Disney Resorts Pulling Refrigerators from Hotels; Replacements Months Away

Disney Parks and Resorts today advised it has begun pulling the complimentary mini-fridges from all of its hotels at Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Aulani Resorts due to a possible manufacturer’s defect. The only locations unaffected by this move are DVC rooms, the cabins at Fort Wilderness and family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation and All-Star Music resorts. The replacement of said refrigerators is expected to take upwards of four months or more by rough estimation.

In response to the maneuver, Walt Disney World will make available a limited number of refrigerators that may be requested in advance, but cannot be guaranteed.

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WDW Update: Tiki Room Extended Closure, All Star Sports Food Court Closure Lengthened and More

As a follow up to tweets and Facebook statuses we posted last night regarding some recent changes to the Walt Disney World Resort refurbishment schedule, we would like to formally share these changes here on the site. So without further ado:

  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Magic Kingdom is currently expected to close on July 31 and is expected to re-open on August 29, 2013.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight at Magic Kingdom is currently expected to close on September 30 and is expected to re-open on November 14, 2013.

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‘Independence Week’ Limited Time Magic, Fourth of July Events Announced for Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World today announced its celebration plans for July 4, 2013, as well as what it calls ‘Independence Week’ (July 1-7), part of its year-long ‘Limited Time Magic’ campaign.

All week long, Walt Disney World will present its special fireworks program, ‘Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky’ at the Magic Kingdom, described as a ’15-minute 360-degree fireworks spectacular.’ Prior to the daily afternoon parade, ‘Celebrate a Dream Come True,’ Goofy, Donald and Pluto will lead a spirited procession down Main Street, U.S.A. The rousing pre-parade also features the Main Street Philharmonic, Citizens of Main Street and Walt Disney’s historic horse-drawn calliope. Patriotic-themed merchandise and tasty treats inspired by Americana will also be on the menu all week long.

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‘Car Masters Weekend’ at Walt Disney World Details; Sock Hop Tix on Sale June 5

Car Masters WeekendCar Masters Weekend, now in its third year, is the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day as Downtown Disney West Side hosts a classic car show with a modern twist June 15-16, 2013. Featuring all things Cars, the event also showcases meet and greets with Disney/Pixar Cars and Cars 2 characters, a sock hop at Splitsville, select discounts on food and shopping, and more exciting entertainment for the whole family.

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Disney Increases Ticket Prices at Theme Parks; Charges More for Magic Kingdom

Effective tomorrow, June 2, 2013, your Disney Parks vacation is likely to get a bit more expensive, particularly if you haven’t yet purchased tickets. That’s because — as it should come as little surprise — the theme parks are once again raising the price of its admission.

Different this year, however, is that for a single day ticket, admission to the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort is now more expensive than at its other three parks, at $95 per adult as opposed to $90 for the latter.

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Walt Disney World Beta Testing Review and Community Website

Walt Disney World Ratings & Reviews BetaAfter formally shutting down its Insidears website earlier this year, Walt Disney World has been quietly testing a new open community/ratings website, we have learned. The website, which can be found quiet easily at http://disneyworld.com/reviews (or http://reviews.disneyworld.disney.go.com) uses the Bazaarvoice platform to allow anyone with a Disney.com account to connect and share their own personal reviews of Walt Disney World attractions, dining and lodging as well as ask and respond to questions in the community.

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