Just in case your missed these Disney News Headlines for January & February of 2011. Here they are all together.
Innovation and Technology Set Sail Jan. 26, 2011, Aboard Disney Dream on Its Maiden Voyage
When the Disney Dream sets sail on its maiden voyage on Jan. 26, 2011, guests will be able to experience cruise industry firsts in true Disney style. Here’s a sampling of the innovative fun in store:
• Disney Cruise Line debuts the first-ever shipboard water coaster, AquaDuck, a thrilling water flume with twists and turns along a 765-foot course and swing-out loop beyond the side of the ship.
• Around the atrium lobby and throughout the Disney Dream, nearly two dozen pieces of Enchanted Art immerse guests in Disney storytelling in an all-new way. What looks like traditional hanging art is actually a framed LCD screen with technology that recognizes when a guest is present and activates several different sequences of animation – as though it comes to life.
• Each inside stateroom features a Magical Porthole – a wall-mounted monitor that displays real-time video views from high-definition cameras outside of the ship. Of course, Disney sprinkles some magic with animated Disney characters that “fly by” including Peach the starfish from the Disney•Pixar film, “Finding Nemo.”
• Young cruisers will enjoy an interactive Magic PlayFloor featuring the latest in gaming technology and storytelling activities in both the Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab.
Whimsical Pixar Parade Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Favorite pals from the Disney•Pixar films will take to the streets with an all-new, high-energy parade scheduled to premier Jan. 16, 2011, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. “Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun” is an upbeat and fun-filled procession down Hollywood Boulevard with a whimsical musical track featuring the stars from “The Incredibles,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Ratatouille,” “Monsters, Inc,” “Up” and “Toy Story.”
Four Pixar characters not currently seen – Remy and Emile from “Ratatouille” and Carl and Russell from Disney•Pixar’s “Up” – will be part of the lineup.
To celebrate the last dance with favorites from the “Block Party Bash” parade, plan to be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Jan. 1, 2011: It’s the day of the final performance.
Crocs, Hippos and Rickety Footbridges Add Up To Wild Adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Navigating a rickety footbridge suspended over a river chasm can be a white-knuckle experience. For explorers on an all-new Disney adventure launching Jan. 16, 2011, what lurks below their bridge may quicken their step to get to the other side: crocodiles!
A ravine of menacing-looking crocs, pools of hippos, bushwalks along untracked terrain and other thrills await guests on Wild Africa Trek, a unique wildlife experience into the deepest, most-remote reaches of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The three-hour, expert-led adventure will immerse guests in the realms and wildlife thrills of far-off Africa – without leaving Walt Disney World Resort. In small groups, guests on Wild Africa Trek will enjoy an “up-close-and-personal” experience with African wildlife species that make their home in Pangani Forest as well as other areas of the park’s Harambe Wildlife Reserve. As part of the adventure, guests will clip onto a lifeline as they step to the very edge of a cliff to get amazingly close to the hippos and crocs waiting just below. Talk about cliff-hangers!
Wild Africa Trek will be offered several times daily for groups consisting of no more than 12 trekkers per safari. Reservations (ages 9 and up) can be arranged by calling 407/WDW-TOUR (939-8687). Pricing for this unique adventure will vary seasonally. Guests who wish to experience Wild Africa Trek between Jan. 16-Feb. 26, 2011, may take advantage of an introductory offer starting at $129 per person. Park admission is required for tour participants.
Defending Marathon Winner Adriano Bastos Returns to Disney in Quest for Seventh Straight Title
The ever-popular Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend returns Jan. 6-9, 2011, with opportunities for runners of all ages and abilities. Coming off a record-breaking event in January 2010 that drew 55,000 registered runners from all 50 states and 50 countries, the weekend includes kids’ races, a Family Fun Run 5K, the Goofy Race & a Half Challenge, the Disney Half Marathon and the Disney Marathon, plus the Health & Fitness Expo.
In addition to a tremendous sense of accomplishment, a magical reward will await everyone who completes the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna in 2011: a new Mickey Mouse race medal chosen through online voting.
Also, as part of Disney’s ongoing efforts to encourage guests to celebrate the milestones in their lives at a Disney park, finishers at the Disney Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011, will receive complimentary admission to a Walt Disney World theme park the Monday after the race.
Last year’s Disney Marathon Weekend was highlighted by Adriano Bastos’ sixth consecutive Disney Marathon victory and Lisa Mizutani’s second straight women’s title.
The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is a part of the new runDisney series. To learn more about endurance events at Disney, or to sign up for any of the runDisney events, go to www.runDisney.com.
A new era of Atlanta Braves baseball dawns in February 2011 when the National League East team begins spring training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. For the first time since June 1990, a person not named Bobby Cox will be calling the shots as Braves manager.
Fredi Gonzalez, no stranger to the Braves organization, begins his first season as Atlanta Braves manager in 2011 following Cox’s retirement. At Champion Stadium, the Braves’ Grapefruit League home since 1997, he will greet the Braves in mid-February for the start of workouts.
Gonzalez, who was Sporting News’ Manager of the Year in 2008 when he was leading the Florida Marlins, was the Braves’ third-base coach from 2003 through 2006. He inherits from Cox a team that returned to prominence in 2010, making the National League playoffs as the Wild Card.
Fans’ first chance to see the team in action at Walt Disney World Resort will be on Feb. 27, 2011, vs. the New York Mets – the first of 18 Grapefruit League games at Champion Stadium during February and March. The Braves will host the Houston Astros on Feb. 28.
Season tickets for Braves home spring training games are available now while single-game tickets go on sale Jan. 8, 2011. Visit www.espnwwos.com/atlantabraves for the details.
Record Field Expected for 3rd Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, Signature Event of Women’s Fitness-Focused Weekend Feb. 25-27
A record field of runners is expected for the third Disney’s Princess Half Marathon presented by Lady Foot Locker on Feb. 27, 2011. The 13.1-mile event charts a course through Magic Kingdom and Epcot as the signature moment of a full weekend of women’s fitness-focused fun.
· Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Feb. 25-26 (no admission charge)
· Disney’s Royal Family 5K and Disney’s Royal Family Kids’ Races Feb. 26
· Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Feb. 27
More than 13,000 half marathoners were involved in 2010 when 33-year-old Gina Aalgaard Kelly, a housewife, mother of three and college professor from Lisbon, N.D., crossed the finish line in 1:23:58 to win by 23 seconds. The field was a record while Aalgaard Kelly’s time was more than five-and-a-half minutes off the record time (1:18:18) set by Olympian Liza Hunter-Galvan in 2009.
Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend is part of the new runDisney series. To learn more about endurance events at Disney, or to sign up for any of the runDisney events, go to www.runDisney.com.
Disney Calling Lovebirds to Enjoy New Memories Collection
To mark the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings, Disney has announced a new Memories Collection which includes specialty pricing to commemorate the milestone.
Throughout the 20-month celebration, couples are invited to create new memories through intimate ceremonies. The Memories Celebration includes up to six guests, including the couple, a floral bouquet for the bride, solo violinist musician, transportation (three-hour limousine charter) and a professional photographer for one hour.
Ceremony locations include: Conch Key Marina at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Narcoossee’s Landing at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Luau Beach at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
Memories Celebrations are priced at $1,991 in honor of the 1991 opening of Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings and will take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 and 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. More information: www.disneyweddings.com or 321/939-4610.
New and Updated Disney Dining Offerings on the Menu
The New Year brings plenty of restaurant news from Walt Disney World Resort, including new menus, a new restaurant and “refreshes” of popular restaurants. Here’s what’s in store:
• Kouzzina by Cat Cora at Disney’s BoardWalk gets a facelift and new offerings. There’s new exterior signage and a new Cat Cora presence in the lobby with three video monitors with images and text that flow from one to the next, showcasing the celebrity chef’s views on food, family and her culinary journey. Chef Cat’s branded product line also is for sale in the lobby, including Greek olive oil, olives, tapenades and spreads.
In the main dining room, a new iconic olive oil display sets the stage for a new “olive oil tasting experience” for all diners – with the bread, servers will offer two varieties of Greek olive oils to taste and compare, as well as kalamata olives.
New artwork, marble finishes and soft drapes warm up the room, with a new “Coranation Room” at the back of the restaurant. The room has a more upscale décor and will offer a Chef’s Table prix fixe dining experience on weekends (still under development).
• Another facelift is at Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney. Not only is everything on Fulton’s menu fresh, but the restaurant itself has just completed a “refresh” compliments of Matt Lorenz, 2007 winner of Bravo’s “Top Design” show. The refresh included a complete makeover of the lobby area, a one-of-a-kind crab map so guests can identify where their dish originated, a new and improved seafood display case, and renovations to each of the individual dining rooms on board. There’s more at www.fultonscrabhouse.com; reservations can be made at 407/WDW-DINE.
• While Pollo Campero has 300 restaurants in 12 countries, diners at Pollo Campero at Downtown Disney Marketplace get the first look at the restaurant’s new Fresh A-Peel concept, inspired by Disney’s commitment to offer guests great-tasting, healthful options. Fresh A-Peel offers all-natural burgers, salads and wraps, and delicious cupcakes, cookies and other sweets (the goodies are all gluten-free). The restaurant still serves the legendary grilled and fried chicken, thick yuca fries or french fries and their signature dip (a mayo-ketchup concoction), corn tortillas and sweet caramelized plantains. Dessert features goodies from Erin McKenna’s BabyCakes NYC – cookies, cupcakes, and vegan desserts with no gluten, dairy and eggs are her signature.
• Disney’s new cocktail menu (found in most bars and lounges) has a twist: all mixes are made from scratch, taking the art of cocktail “mixology” to a whole new level. Many of the new cocktails are made with “better for you” ingredients such as organic spirits, fresh fruits and herbs that have been procured locally when seasonally available, and lower calorie no-sugar-added fruit purees. The Raspberry Rain Cocktail, for instance, is made with Rain Organics Red Grape Hibiscus Vodka, Chambord, freshly muddled raspberries, lychee and fresh lemon juice. The Superfruit Martini features Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry Vodka, pomegranate liqueur, cranberry juice, organic agave nectar and fresh lemon juice. And plenty of cocktails come sans alcohol.
Chip C is the owner of Chip and Co - Disney and Other Theme Park & Movie News, Disney World & Disneyland Planning Tips, Disney Food and More! When he is not writing about Disney News, or Planning Tips, you will find him counting down the days to his next Disney Vacation.