Greetings from Skagway, Alaska, gateway to the Klondike!
Today marks Day 4 of our first Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise to Alaska, and things are starting to get really Goofy here on the Disney Wonder. I’m joined by Disney Legend Bill Farmer, the longtime voice of Goofy and one of the many special performers and presenters who are helping make this voyage unlike any other.
Bill recently earned a prestigious Annie Award from the International Animated Film Association for Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting for a Television Production – one of several Annie Awards garnered by the contemporary animated shorts that have returned Mickey Mouse, Goofy and other familiar characters to their squashing, stretching, comedic roots. We’re screening some of Bill’s favorite shorts during our voyage, including “Goofy’s Grandma,” the title that earned Bill his Annie.
I asked Bill to share a few insights with our friends here on the Disney Parks Blog, and he does just that in the video below. I’ve also included the “Goofy’s Grandma” short in its entirety so you can hear Bill’s award-winning performance for yourself.
I’ll be back in touch again before our voyage ends, but I need to run to get Bill back to the buffet. You wouldn’t like him when he’s hungry.
Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is an annual event that features activities for all ages, so even the youngest family members can join in on the fun. All three of my little girls are huge fans of the characters from both the original films and the new Star Wars Rebels series on Disney XD, so it is a huge treat for them to meet their favorites in person. Parents of Padawans won’t want to miss these incredibly themed hands-on experiences, taking place weekends May 15 – June 14, 2015.
- Jedi Training Academy – Kids from 4 to 12 can sign up to train to be a Jedi and battle an evil Sith from the dark side
- Lightsaber building – Little ones can build the lightsaber of their imaginations in Tatooine Traders
- Character Meet & Greets –Get up-close with icons from both Star Wars heroes and villains at meet & greet locations throughout the park. Don’t forget your autograph book!
- LEGO interactive build station – Little ones can spend endless amounts of time building their own Star Wars creations at this unique hands-on station
- Star Wars Droid Factory – Kids can build their own astromech droid action figure, just like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars
- Padawan Mind Challenge – Designed for kids ages 4 to 11, this interactive trivia event will test your little ones’ Star Wars knowledge
- “Symphony in the Stars” Fireworks – Kids may actually want to take a nap just so they can stay up for this finale celebration that features popular Star Wars characters
While World Oceans Day is recognized globally on June 8, you can join us at the perfect venue — The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot — on June 3 to get a head start on the festivities! After you enjoy the attraction with Nemo, Marlin, Dory and all your fishy friends, stick around to explore our huge 5.7 million-gallon aquarium to see and learn all about tropical fish, stingrays, sea turtles and even sharks!
You may already know it’s tough to be a bug, but do you know how tough it is to be a sea turtle? You can catch a glimpse into the lives of sea turtles from their very first day of life. Our replica sea turtle nest will be on display for you to get an up-close view into a sea turtle’s journey. You can also experience an interactive model of a turtle excluder device (TED) which is used on fishing boats to prevent sea turtles from getting caught in trawl nets. Sea turtles face seemingly insurmountable odds, but people all over the world are doing their part to protect these magnificent animals. Come visit The Seas with Nemo & Friends to learn what you can do to help, too.
Coral conservation activities will be another highlight of our celebration. Did you know coral reefs are known as the rainforests of the ocean? That’s because while they only make up about 0.2 percent of the area on the planet, coral reefs are home to nearly 25 percent of the world’s marine life! These reefs are in danger because of the many threats to coral including ocean pollution, climate change, poor fishing practices and more, but teams at The Seas with Nemo & Friends are committed to saving them. We have been working on coral restoration, community involvement and education in The Bahamas to restore local reefs through coral transplantation and sea urchin translocation. You will be able to speak with members of the team directly involved in these projects and more!
Even though not all of us may live by the ocean, everyone can play a part in protecting this essential ecosystem. Oceans play a major role in our everyday lives, and they are worth celebrating each and every day!
In January, we let you in on the dates for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
One of my favorite times of the year! And this year is the 20th anniversary of the festival!
We’re nearly halfway through Star Wars Weekends 2015, and the excitement continues to build. This year’s event spreads further across Disney’s Hollywood Studios than ever before, from the celebrity talk shows at Theater of the Stars on Sunset Boulevard to the new Darth’s Mall merchandise complex on Streets of America.
I’m delighted to share the Orange Bird is returning to the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park starting May 29.
Guests visiting Epcot yesterday got a special treat as several volunteer torchbearers carried the Special Olympics Flame of Hope through the theme park for the first-ever Unified Relay Across America. Hundreds of Disney cast members and guests cheered as the volunteers made their way from Epcot to Disney’s Boardwalk Inn where where there was a ceremonial lighting of the cauldron.
Let me tell you – I have the hardest job in the world. Okay, so really it’s pretty amazing, but the hardest part by far is being constantly bombarded with breathtaking images taken on Adventures by Disney vacations around the globe. How can I resist the urge to hop on a plane to each and every destination I see? They all look too amazing for words.
Our partners at Oriental Land Company shared last week that a new attraction themed to the world of the Disney•Pixar film “Finding Nemo” and its upcoming sequel “Finding Dory” (to be released in 2016) will open in Port Discovery at Tokyo DisneySea Park in spring 2017.
A couple of months ago, I shared the first piece from the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration “Decades” collection created by Jeff Granito. The first piece in the series of “Decades” art (1955–1964) will debut today. Here’s a look at some of the exciting merchandise featuring the art.