Going Home: Manatee Returns to Natural Habitat After WDW Rehab (UPDATE: Video)

Bock, a client of the Manatee Rehabilitation Project, was released back into the wild yesterday (c) Gene Duncan/Disney

Bock, a client of the Manatee Rehabilitation Project, was released back into the wild yesterday (c) Gene Duncan/Disney

As part of the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), Disney’s Animal Programs team helps to take final measurements and readings Feb. 24, 2009 as they prepare to release a manatee into his natural habitat at Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, Fla. The manatee, named “Bock,” was released Tuesday into the warm waters of the St. John’s River. The manatee, rescued as an orphan from the St. John’s River in 2001, arrived at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. in 2003 weighing about 500 pounds. At Epcot, marine mammal experts weaned him from a bottle and began feeding him a diet of romaine lettuce, fruits and other vegetables. “Bock” now weighs more than 1,000 pounds and is approximately eight years old. Prior to his release, he was fitted with a satellite tracking belt to follow his movements and allow for behavioral observation. His progress will be monitored by the MRP in which Disney’s Animal Programs has been involved since 2001 when the partnership was established. The MRP is a cooperative group of nonprofit, private, state and federal entities that monitors the health and survival of rehabilitated and released manatees.

Video after the jump (more…)

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Disney U.S. Parks to Consolidate Some Operations

LOS ANGELES, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co said on Wednesday it will streamline some behind-the-scenes operations, including menu planning and ride design, at its two U.S. theme parks to try to offset the effects of the global economic downturn. (more…)

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American Idol Experience February 12 Media Event Videos

The American Idol Family Reunion for Disneys American Idol Experience Event (c) Copyright Disney

The American Idol Family Reunion for Disney's American Idol Experience Event (c) Copyright Disney

If you missed the simulcast of the blue carpet event here on Stitch Kingdom, please do not fret. (Okay, you can fret just a little bit). Coming soon is most of the raw footage from the event so you can catch all of your favorite American Idol (and Disney) stars as they graced the blue carpet prior to the main event.

Videos after the jump. (more…)

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Largest-Ever Gathering of ‘American Idol’ Winners Joins in Premiere of Attraction at Walt Disney World

American Idol Host Ryan Seacrest Appears with Goofy, Mickey and Minnie

American Idol Host Ryan Seacrest Appears with Goofy, Mickey and Minnie (c) Copyright Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2009) – With the largest-ever gathering of “American Idol” winners joining in the celebration, Walt Disney World Resort Thursday night raised the curtain on “The American Idol Experience,” a new attraction capturing the energy and excitement of the hit TV show.

Thursday’s grand premiere, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, was attended by all seven winners of the series, from season-one winner Kelly Clarkson to season-seven champion David Cook. Joining Cook and Clarkson were Jordin Sparks (season six), Taylor Hicks (five), Carrie Underwood (four), Fantasia Barrino (three) and Ruben Studdard (two). (more…)

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Deacon Follows Suit (and Files Suit) on Tower of Terror

It’s just not a good week for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that UK residents Leanne Deacon and her mother have filed a lawsuit against Walt Disney World following a 2005 incident in which Deacon suffered from eventual cardiac arrest and a brain hemorrhage which required emergency surgery. The suit, which is claiming unspecified damages exceeding $15,000, claims that Walt Disney World was behaving as a ‘common carrier’ and thus was subjected to specific regulations guaranteeing guests’ safety. The suit also cites that Disney failed to present ample warnings and safety restraints. For it’s part, Walt Disney World conducted a full inspection of the attraction that same evening, even inviting oversight from the Florida Department of Agriculture Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection and found the attraction to be operating successfully. In Florida, amusement parks of a certain size (which includes Walt Disney World) are not regulated by the state. (more…)

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David Cook’s GMA Performance … Almost

A scheduled live performance by David Cook to air on Good Morning America this morning didn’t go quite as planned when problems causing the audio to intermittently cut out forced the aired performance to end prematurely.

With any luck, I will soon have video from GMA available featuring what little of the performance there was as well as an additional tour of the new American Idol Experience through the eyes of ABC weatherman Sam Champion and Cook’s colleague, David Archuletta.

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Mooty Sues Disney For Breach of Contract Over Tower of Terror

As an update to a widely reported incident several months ago, Denise Mooty of Florida has gone ahead and petitioned the circuit court of Osceola County to bring forth a trial against Walt Disney World and several of its cast members for breach of contract, false arrest and emotional distress. According to the complaint, she is seeking undefined damages in excess of $15,000.

In the complaint, which you can read (more…)

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Raytheon Opens Family Technology Center at SOG

WALTHAM, Mass., Feb. 11, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Company (NYSE:  RTN) today announced the grand opening of The Family Technology Center at the Shades of Green(R) on Walt Disney World(R) Resort. Shades of Green is a U.S. Armed Forces Recreation Center used exclusively by active and retired military personnel and their families and Department of Defense civilians. (more…)

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Disney World Extends Buy 4, Get 3 Offer Thru August 15

Beginning February 9, packages will become available through August 15, 2009 for the promotion where guests can purchase 4 nights and get an additional 3 nights free. To qualify for the offer, packages must be booked by March 29.

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