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Night of Joy 2013 at Magic Kingdom Park Artist Profile: Francesca Battistelli

posted on August 13th, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Today’s blog post profiles a Central Florida original – Francesca Battistelli.

Night of Joy 2013 Artist Profile: Francesca Battistelli

Francesca grew up in the area and we gladly claim her as our own, even though she and her family live in Nashville now.

2013 will be Francesca’s fourth time playing Night of Joy – and her first time playing on the Cinderella Castle stage. Last year, Francesca’s record label (Word Records) and management team (Proper Management) surprised her with a gold record for her first album “My Paper Heart” – the first Contemporary Christian debut record to reach that honor since “Casting Crowns” debuted in 2003.

Like any working mother, Francesca juggles a rigorous work schedule – touring and recording – with a husband and two children. While working on her new album – due out later this year – Francesca released a deluxe version of the last record, “A Hundred More Years,” with a new single “Strangely Dim” – paying homage to the early American hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” We talked with Francesca in Nashville during a busy day of fan events at the KLOVE Fan Awards. She told about bringing her family to the park for Night of Joy and offered some advice for fans.

2013 marks the 31st year for Disney’s Night of Joy, two nights where the best in Contemporary Christian music meets the fun and fantasy of Magic Kingdom Park. In addition to their favorite Christian artists, guests can enjoy beloved Magic Kingdom Park attractions like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – along with New Fantasyland, the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom Park history.

The complete line-up includes:

One-day tickets to Disney’s Night of Joy are $55 plus tax in advance and $65 plus tax the night of the show (if available). Two-night tickets are $99 plus tax (advance purchase only) and group discounts are also available.

To purchase tickets or for more information about the event, visit www.nightofjoy.com.

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Check Out Disney’s Night of Joy Concert Schedule

posted on August 12th, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


In between our artist profiles, I wanted to give you a quick update on Disney’s Night of Joy 2013, the event. Hot off the press are the concert schedules for each night. Here’s how they shake out. Of course, times, stages and performers are always subject to change.

TobyMac, Performing at This Year's Night of Joy at Magic Kingdom Park

Friday, September 6

Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage

Galaxy Stage

  • 7:30 p.m. – Audio Adrenaline
  • 8:50 p.m. – Audio Adrenaline
  • 10:25 p.m. – Mandisa
  • 12:10 a.m. – For King and Country

Rockettower Plaza Stage

  • 8:15 p.m. – City
  • 9:40 p.m. – We As
  • 11:20 p.m. – Moriah Peters

Saturday, September 7

Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage

  • 7:40 p.m. – Francesca Battistelli
  • 9:30 p.m. – Gospel Music Association Winner Steven Musso
  • 9:50 p.m. – TobyMac
  • 11:55 p.m. – Newsboys

Galaxy Stage

  • 7:30 p.m. – Matthew West
  • 8:50 p.m. – Matthew West
  • 10:25 p.m. – Group 1 Crew
  • 12:10 a.m. – Building 429

Rockettower Plaza Stage

  • 8:15 p.m. – City Harbor
  • 9:40 p.m. – We As Human
  • 11:20 p.m. – Plumb

Night of Joy is an after-hours event that requires a special ticket. Event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each evening. While artists perform at several stages, many popular Magic Kingdom Park attractions also are available for guests. In addition, there are special benefits for groups of 10 or more. Additional information about individual and group tickets is available at www.nightofjoy.com.

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Night of Joy 2013 Artist Profile at Magic Kingdom Park: Steven Curtis Chapman & Michael W. Smith

posted on August 1st, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Well, it’s shaping up to be another stellar year for Disney’s Night of Joy.

Today’s blog post profiles two of the most decorated artists in Christian music: Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith.

After more than 60 combined years in the industry and more than 25 million records sold worldwide, the two are still going strong.

Steven’s new record – his first all-new studio record in seven years – “The Glorious Unfolding,” releases on September 30, 2013. And Michael has just written a new inspirational book called “The Power of an Ordinary Prayer.” Both also continue to provide rigorous support for charitable efforts including: Steven’s foundation, ShowHOPE, established to care for orphans by engaging the church and helping Christian families reduce the financial barriers to adoption; and Michael’s support for The Samaritan’s Purse, famous for their international holiday “shoebox” charity called Operation Christmas Child. Michael also is one of the founders of Rocketown, a nonprofit outreach for teens, providing opportunities in arts, music, action sports and mentoring programs.

They even toured together in 2008 and 2009.

Very familiar to guests of Disney’s Night of Joy, 2013 will mark the pair’s 20th combined performance. I can think of countless memories watching both performers as a guest of Nights of Joy past. The two titans of Christian music will be playing one integrated set at this year’s event – with the guys performing both together and separately.

We caught up with Steven and Michael on the red carpet at the K-LOVE Fan Awards at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. While they were keeping exact details close to the vest, they gave us a hint as to what fans can expect from their time at this year’s event.

2013 marks the 31st year for Disney’s Night of Joy, two nights where the best in Contemporary Christian music meets the fun and fantasy of Magic Kingdom Park. In addition to their favorite Christian artists, guests can enjoy beloved Magic Kingdom Park attractions like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain – along with New Fantasyland, the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom Park history.

The complete line-up includes:

  • Friday, September 6: MercyMe, Steven Curtis Chapman & Michael W. Smith, Skillet, Mandisa, Audio Adrenaline, For King and Country, Moriah Peters, We As Human and City Harbor
  • Saturday, September 7: TobyMac, Francesca Batistelli, Newsboys, Matthew West, Group 1 Crew, Building 429, Plumb and Jamie Grace

One-day tickets to Disney’s Night of Joy are $55 plus tax in advance and $65 plus tax the night of the show (if available). Two-night tickets are $99 plus tax (advance purchase only) and group discounts are also available.

To purchase tickets or for more information about the event, visit www.nightofjoy.com.

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Night of Joy 2013 Artist Profile at Magic Kingdom Park: Newsboys

posted on July 10th, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same for the Newsboys.

To put it another way, even though the band has faced numerous member changes throughout their 20+-year-history in the Christian music industry, they still keep cranking out hits – as evidenced by their latest single, “Live With Abandon,” which has just bounded strong out of the gate with Christian radio and on the Christian music charts.

2013 will be the seventh appearance at Night of Joy for Newsboys – in various incarnations. This latest slate of high-energy artists includes former dc Talk member Michael Tait, who took over for long-time lead vocalist Peter Furler in 2009. Tait’s powerful voice melded quickly with the Newsboys’ sound, but also evolved it by bringing his own signature style to the music.

We caught up with Tait and his steadfast band mates Jeff Frankenstein (keys), Duncan Phillips (drums), and Jody Davis (guitars) on the red carpet of the KLOVE Fan Awards at the Historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and they told us a little about what they’re looking forward to about playing Night of Joy and reflected on the success of their smash hit “God’s Not Dead.”

 
2013 marks the 31st year for Disney’s Night of Joy, two nights where the best in Contemporary Christian music meets the fun and fantasy of Magic Kingdom Park. In addition to their favorite Christian artists, guests can enjoy beloved Magic Kingdom Park attractions like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – along with New Fantasyland, the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom Park history.

The complete line-up includes:

  • Friday, September 6: MercyMe, Steven Curtis Chapman & Michael W. Smith, Skillet, Mandisa, Audio Adrenaline, For King and Country, Moriah Peters, We As Human and City Harbor
  • Saturday, September 7: TobyMac, Francesca Batistelli, Newsboys, Matthew West, Group 1 Crew, Building 429, Plumb and Jamie Grace

One-day tickets to Disney’s Night of Joy are $55 plus tax in advance and $65 plus tax the night of the show (if available). Two-night tickets are $99 plus tax (advance purchase only) and group discounts are also available.

To purchase tickets or for more information about the event, visit www.nightofjoy.com.

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Happy Holidays! Booking for Candlelight Processional Packages at Epcot Starts Today

posted on July 9th, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


I know, I know, I know. Independence Day was just last week, but we get into the holiday spirit VERY early here at the Disney Parks Blog.

Today is a very exciting day because guests can now start booking dinner packages for our Candlelight Processional at Epcot. And, this year, you can actually book them online at www.disneyworld.com.

The Candlelight Processional, part of Holidays Around the World at Epcot, is one of my all-time favorite events at Disney Parks. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a glorious mass choir. Dinner packages (available on select nights) include a delicious meal at an Epcot restaurant, a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances and pre-arranged fireworks viewing. Availability is limited.
The Candlelight Processional at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

Not only have I seen the Candlelight Processional every year since I was a kid, I have also been privileged to be part of the cast choir for the last six years. Last year, Amy Grant was the celebrity narrator on the night I sang. It was amazing!

Here are the celebrity narrators we’ve confirmed so far (including three new narrators, actors Ashley Judd, Sigourney Weaver and Dennis Haysbert):

  • 11/29-12/1:Gary Sinise
  • 12/2-12/3: Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/4-12/5: Ashley Judd
  • 12/6-12/7: Whoopi Goldberg
  • 12/8-12/10: Sigourney Weaver
  • 12/11-12/13: Dennis Haysbert
  • 12/14-12/16: James Denton
  • 12/17-12/19: Edward James Olmos
  • 12/20-12/22: Trace Adkins
  • 12/23-12/25: Steven Curtis Chapman
  • 12/26-12/28: Blair Underwood
  • 12/29-12/30: Amy Grant

As usual, entertainment is always subject to change.

The Candlelight Processional is performed three times per night throughout the holiday season, November 29–December 30, 2013. For more information about Holidays Around the World at Epcot, the Candlelight Processional, or to book the Candlelight Dinner packages, you can call 407.WDW DINE (407.939.3463) or check-out www.disneyworld.com.

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Kowabunga Dudes! Disney Channel Stars Check Out the New ‘Teen Beach Movie’ Dance Party

posted on July 3rd, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


We are having the grooviest time this summer here at the Disney Parks Blog!

Last month, we told you about how things are cooking at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park this summer with the new “Teen Beach Movie” Beach Party.

Well, as if it couldn’t get any more rad, three stars of the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie “Teen Beach Movie” dropped by last Friday to meet fans and check out the new dance party scene. (“Teen Beach Movie,” a modern take on classic beach party movies, premieres July 19 on Disney Channel.)

Actors Garrett Clayton (“Tanner”), Chrissie Fit (“Chee Chee”), and Kent Boyd (“Rascal”), surprised Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon guests with a special “Limited Time Magic-al” moment – getting out on the sand and dancing with the crowd, even teaching some kids a few steps they learned for the movie.

“Teen Beach Movie” Dance Party features a DJ spinning remixes of retro tunes, beach-y-themed games and “biker” and “surfer” hosts to lead guests as they dance, hula hoop, and play other summer games. The trio of actors joined in on the fun during the first show of the morning and wowed guests with their awesome moves.

Garrett, Chrissie, and Kent also caught some waves before Typhoon Lagoon opened for the morning. The water park’s 2.75-million-gallon wave pool provides consistent waves every ninety seconds that can rise up to six feet high. Several mornings each week, Craig Carroll’s Cocoa Beach Surf School teaches guests how to “cut,” “carve” and “hang ten.”

“Teen Beach Movie” Beach Party continues daily at Typhoon Lagoon through September 2, 2013, as part of “Limited Time Magic”. For information on “Teen Beach Movie,” check out disneychannel.com; and for more information about Typhoon Lagoon, head to www.disneyworld.com.

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‘Teen Beach Movie’: Beach Party Shakes Up Summer Fun at Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 21st, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


‘Teen Beach Movie: Beach Party’ Shakes Up Summer Fun at Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort
As if Disney water parks weren’t fun ENOUGH this summer, starting Monday, June 24, guests of Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park can enjoy a taste of the new Disney Channel Original Movie “Teen Beach Movie” as part of Limited Time Magic.

Running at various times throughout each day through Sept. 1, “Teen Beach Movie”: Dance Party will feature a hip DJ spinning remixes of retro tunes, beach-y-themed games and some really rad “bikers” and “surfers” to party with guests as they dance away the dog days. Taking over part of Typhoon Lagoon’s main beach and wave pool area, guests can participate in relays on the sand, hula hoop spinning, water balloon and beach ball tossing, and the grooviest dance moves this side of Mt. Mayday.

One of two Disney spectacular water parks (Disney’s Blizzard Beach being the other), Typhoon Lagoon ushers (and gushers) in a new generation of water adventures for Walt Disney World Resort guests with the first-ever water coaster thrill ride attraction in Central Florida, Crush ‘n’ Gusher; a 362,000-gallon salt-water coral reef diving environment in which guests can snorkel amidst colorful fish, coral and plant life; and a two-and-one-half-acre wave-making lagoon with surfing-size waves.

“Teen Beach Movie,” a modern take on classic beach party movies, premieres Friday, July 19, on Disney Channel. Starring are Ross Lynch (of Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally” and Hollywood Records’ R5) and Maia Mitchell (ABC Family’s “The Fosters”) as Brady and McKenzie, surfers who take the last wave of summer, one that mysteriously takes them into a classic beach party movie, Wet Side Story. Brady and McKenzie must try to return to present day, but their lives may be changed forever when they inadvertently change the movie’s romantic storyline.

For more information “Teen Beach Movie,” check out DisneyChannel.com/TeenBeachMovie. For more information about Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach water parks, check out disneyworld.com.

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Disney Parks Featured in National Awards

posted on March 29th, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


We at the Disney Parks Blog believe in tooting our own horn, but from time to time we also let others toot our horn for us.

FamilyFun magazine, a trusted, go-to source for travel recommendations and family activities for more than 20 years, has recognized Disney Parks and Resorts on both sides of the United States as the very best in family travel for 2013.
“The

Here at the Walt Disney World Resort, Magic Kingdom Park has been recognized as one of the “Top 10 Overall Favorite Family Destinations” in the U.S. Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park were also recognized as part of “Top 10 Amusement Parks” is the country. And, in the same survey, Walt Disney World Resort hotels were named “Number One” in the category of “Top Family Resorts” in the country.

FamilyFun magazine’s 2013 survey recognized vacation destinations, attractions and resorts in six unique categories: Tourist Attractions; Tourist Towns; Nature Escapes; Museums, Zoos & Aquariums; Amusement Parks; and Family Resorts.

In California, the Disneyland Resort was also recognized. Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks were also named among the “Top 10 Amusement Parks” in the U.S. FamilyFun conducted an extensive nationwide survey of 2,000 parents with children ages 3 to 12, asking them to rate 360 popular destinations on a scale of 1-100. For voting purposes, the country was divided into four geographic regions – West, Midwest, South and Northeast – and respondents provided feedback solely on their regions. High marks were awarded for affordability, accessibility and fun factor.

In addition to the FamilyFun magazine awards, Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge created the first ever tie in the About.com 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards for Favorite Disney Resort Hotel.

Congratulations to all the winners!

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HGTV’s Chris Lambton Goes ‘Yard’ – Family-Style – at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 8th, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Well, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, presented by HGTV, is in full swing and, although it’s a tad chillier than normal here in Florida, we are already having some great times.

Chris Lambton, star of HGTV’s “Going Yard,” is here this weekend, giving tips to Epcot guests on how to turn their yards into spectacular, outdoor venues.

We caught up with Chris during rehearsals and he gave us a sneak peek into his presentation, ”Going Yard for Your Lifestyle.” He encourages families to treat their outdoor spaces with the same care and planning that they would any other room in their homes, tailoring the design to their family’s interests.

Guests of the Festival can see Lambton and other favorite HGTV and DIY stars on “The Designers’ Stage Presented by HGTV” at the Festival Center each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Festival at noon and 3 p.m.

    The complete lineup includes:

  • March 15-17 – Chris Grundy, DIY Network’s Cool Tools: “Keepin’ It Green with Grundy”
  • March 22-24 – Egypt Sherrod, host of Property Virgins: “Getting the Inside Scoop on HGTV’s Top Home Features for 2013″
  • March 29-31 – Brandon Johnson, My Yard Goes Disney: “Bringing More Disney Inspiration and HGTV Design to Your Backyard”
  • April 5-7 – Meg Caswell, Meg’s Great Rooms: “Discovering Design Tips to Personalize Your Space & Make a Good Room Great”
  • April 12-14 – Jason Cameron, DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves: “Desperate Landscapes . . . Where Do We Grow from Here?”
  • April 19-21 – Sara Peterson, Editor-in-Chief, HGTV Magazine: “Boosting Your Curb Appeal! 25 Easy Ideas from Front Doors to Flower Pots”
  • April 26-28 – Carter Oosterhouse, Million Dollar Rooms: “Million Dollar Trends”
  • May 3-5 – Casey Noble, Design on a Dime: “Creating Luxury Hotel Floral Arrangements in Your Home”
  • May 10-12 – Dan Faires, HGTV.com, DanMade: “Easy Ideas for Creating a Designer Garden”
  • May 17-19 – David Bromstad, HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, Design Star All-Stars: “The Power of Color”

Presentations by HGTV and DIY Network stars are included with admission to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

The 20th annual festival runs from now through May 19, 2013 at Epcot.

For more information on the Festival, click over to EpcotInSpring.com and check back to the Disney Parks Blog for updates and posts throughout the Festival.

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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Brings Perennial Favorites, New Faces From HGTV

posted on January 25th, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


We are less than a month and a half away from the start of the 20th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival; and boy are we excited!

For the third year in a row, the Festival is being presented by HGTV which, of course, means the stars of your favorite HGTV and DIY Network shows will once again be on hand to meet festivalgoers and give expert tips and tricks.

David Bromstad, HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, and Design Star All-Stars, Will be at This Year's Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

New to this year’s festival are HGTV and DIY superstars like Florida’s own David Bromstad (HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, Design Star All-Stars); Egypt Sherrod, new host of HGTV’s Property Virgins; Sara Peterson, editor-in-chief of HGTV Magazine; Design on a Dime’s Casey Noble; Chris Lambton from Going Yard; and Chris Grundy from DIY Network’s Cool Tools.

And we also have returning favorites like Carter Oosterhouse (Million Dollar Rooms); Meg Caswell (Meg’s Great Rooms); and Jason Cameron (DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves).

Guests of the Festival can see their favorite HGTV and DIY stars on “The Designers’ Stage Presented by HGTV” at the Festival Center each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Festival at noon and 3 p.m.

The complete lineup includes:

  • March 8-10 – Chris Lambton, Going Yard
  • March 15-17 – Chris Grundy, DIY Network’s Cool Tools
  • March 22-24 – Egypt Sherrod, host of Property Virgins
  • March 29-31 – Brandon Johnson, My Yard Goes Disney
  • April 5-7 – Meg Caswell, Meg’s Great Rooms
  • April 12-14 – Jason Cameron, DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves
  • April 19-21 – Sara Peterson, Editor-in-Chief, HGTV Magazine
  • April 26-28 – Carter Oosterhouse, Million Dollar Rooms
  • May 3-5 – Casey Noble, Design on a Dime
  • May 10-12 – Dan Faires, HGTV.com, DanMade
  • May 17-19 – David Bromstad, HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, Design Star All-Stars

Presentations by HGTV and DIY Network stars are included with admission to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. The 20th annual festival runs from March 6 – May 19, 2013 at Epcot. Check back to the Disney Parks Blog for any updates and posts throughout the Festival.

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