From the lighting of the first grill at the “Great Tailgate” until the last seconds ticked off the clock during Sunday’s game – it was the perfect ending to a weekend of fun, football and fans as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney.
As 20,000 fans cheered, the North Carolina A&T Aggies defeated their rivals, the Alabama A&M Bulldogs in Sunday’s match up between the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). But the game was just part of the reason these thousands of visitors came to Central Florida. They came for the annual celebration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), diversity and football.
As a proud member of the HBCU alumni community, I was honored to take part in events such as a college fair, an ESPN career panel for local students, the annual band showcase and the Legends reception recognizing outstanding HBCU alumni for their athletic and academic contributions.
But that wasn’t the only reason I felt proud this weekend. As Sunday’s game was broadcast on ESPN network from Bright House Networks Stadium at the University of Central Florida, it highlighted our region to a national audience. It was thrilling to see my community and fellow cast members coming together for such a fantastic event.
Today, we were all big winners!
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, one of Walt Disney’s earliest cartoon stars, has had a presence at Disney California Adventure park for the past couple of years, from those delightful rabbit ear hats to the Oswald ice cream sundaes at Clarabelle’s. Now, Oswald himself is set to come home to Disneyland Resort!
Oswald made his film debut September 5, 1927, in the cartoon short “Trolley Troubles.” Walt Disney went on to produce 26 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts, before losing the rights to the character in 1928. It was that experience that inspired the creation of Mickey Mouse, and the rest as they say, is history. Oswald finally returned to the Disney family in 2006 and made his first Disney Parks appearance earlier this year at Tokyo DisneySea.
Later this month, you’ll finally be able to meet Oswald on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure park. Just look for the lucky little rabbit strolling along the sunny side of the street, starting September 14!
“This here is the wildest ride in the wilderness!” Guests first heard that warning on September 2, 1979, when Big Thunder Mountain Railroad debuted in Frontierland at Disneyland park. Since then, the popular runaway mine train as taken more than 225 million guests on a wild ride through 19th century gold-mining territory. The mountain was inspired by Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, and objects found inside are actual artifacts from abandoned mines in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota and Wyoming. The opening also marked the third peak in the Disneyland park mountain range. (Matterhorn Bobsleds and Space Mountain were the first two.)
Last March, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad re-opened after an extended refurbishment with new track and an enhanced audio system. Come check it out! For now, take a trip back to 1979 and watch as Mickey Mouse turns the key and boards the runaway mine train with some of his Disney friends.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returned to Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on September 1, 2014. This fun Halloween-themed event runs select nights from 7:00 p.m. to midnight through October 31. I’ve attended the event a few times during my time with Disney. It’s fantastic! I love that so many guests dress in costume and the entertainment is outstanding (okay, I’m also a big fan of the candy). This year, guests should look for some commemorative items created especially for this event, including apparel, pins, and, for the first time, a limited-edition graphic MagicBand.
Tomorrow, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland park celebrates 35 years of taking guests on the wildest ride in the wilderness. My niece recently experienced this runaway train as her first roller coaster, and I was positively thrilled to see her beaming as we got off the attraction. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, like many of the thrill rides at the Disneyland Resort, is the perfect blend of fun and storytelling. In honor of the iconic attraction’s anniversary tomorrow, here are five things to point out to new pioneers braving Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, or maybe details you may have missed in the past 35 years.
Can you believe Halloween time has already returned to Magic Kingdom Park? The first of 26 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties is set to scare up fun at the park tonight from 7 p.m.-midnight!
This week, we announced reservations are open for a must-do last stop of the evening at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Villain’s Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle.
As the sun rose over the Walt Disney World Resort, 101 creatively costumed dogs and their owners walked the green carpet on Main Street U.S.A. during our first-ever Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom Park.
Earlier this week on the Disney Parks Blog, we shared some amazing images from the Villains Unleashed event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – so for this week’s photo recap, I just had to share a few more.
As an alumna of Clark Atlanta University, one of our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), I was proud to take part in a unique college fair today at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The HBCU College Information Fair brought together 100 students from Orlando’s Edgewater High School, HBCU advocates and Disney cast members who attended HBCUs.