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Christian Music Legends Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith Co-star at 31st Night of Joy

posted on December 11th, 2012 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Two legends of Contemporary Christian music – Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith – will team up for one spectacular set for the 31st Night of Joy at Walt Disney World Resort, September 6-7, 2013.

The pair, who have played stages individually at Magic Kingdom Park in past events will play together at the 2013 event for the first time. They have played Night of Joy a combined 18 times, amassed more than 90 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, and garnered eight Grammy Awards and countless other accolades.

Night of Joy Stalwarts MercyMe Return for Their Sixth Consecutive Event

Night of Joy stalwarts MercyMe also are back for their sixth consecutive Night of Joy (eight Night of Joy performances total); and 2012 Grammy Nominee TobyMac, Central Florida’s own Francesca Battistelli and rockers Skillet and Newsboys return this year to fill out headliners.

The line-up features five new artists to the event: Moriah Peters, We As Human, City Harbor, For King and Country and Jamie Grace.

The complete line-up includes:

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

Night of Joy tickets go on sale in the Spring. For more information about the event, visit www.nightofjoy.com.

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HGTV Stars Return to Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 30th, 2012 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


We love our festivals here at Walt Disney World Resort!

Having finished the 2012 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, we now turn to the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year’s food and wine extravaganza runs from September 28 to November 12, and we’re excited to announce the return of some your favorite HGTV stars.

As regular watchers of HGTV (and I’m one of them) know, HGTV programs go beyond just home renovation and gardening. They feature ideas and helpful hints for party planning, catering and tons of other food and beverage topics, which makes them a perfect fit for our festival.

“HGTV Design Star” winner Danielle Colding will kick off this year’s HGTV presentations. Here’s a look at what to expect.

Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more information on the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

For more 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival news, check out the posts below:

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Night of Joy 2012 Hits High Notes; Magic Kingdom Park Prepares for 2013

posted on September 14th, 2012 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Well, another Night of Joy has come and gone. It was a whirlwind weekend at Magic Kingdom Park, but the rain held off (mostly).

On three stages throughout the park, 16 top Contemporary Christian artists played to huge crowds of Christian music fans. Lots of great concerts, fun and fellowship.
“MercyMe

We are already looking toward 2013, confirming dates for September 6-7, 2013 and MercyMe to be a part of next year’s event.

And, in case you couldn’t be there, our friends at Trinity Broadcasting Network were out in full force, taping some of the shows for future broadcast.
“Francesca

One of the most special moments of this year’s event came early Friday, when Word Records executives surprised Orlando native Francesca Battistelli with a gold record for her first album “My Paper Heart” – the first Contemporary Christian debut record to “go gold” since Night of Joy artist Casting Crowns’ debut in 2003. Francesca also stopped by Magic Kingdom Park on Saturday to have some fun with her family and grab a quick photo.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the event and we’ll see you next year!

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Disney’s Night of Joy 2012 Artist Profile: Royal Tailor

posted on September 5th, 2012 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Just a few days until Night of Joy 2012 at Magic Kingdom Park – very exciting. FYI: I hear tickets are going pretty quickly; so you might want to get yours soon if you want to go. It’s a great time.

Today’s artist profile presents a great new group called Royal Tailor.

See Royal Tailor at Night of Joy 2012 at Magic Kingdom Park

The four-member band – made up of Tauren (lead singer), DJ (guitar), Blake (bass) and Jarrod (drums) – met while in school in Indianapolis and began to hone its sound while playing for churches and youth groups around the country. The guys call their sound a mixture of pop, rock, R&B, hip hop and worship, with hits like “Make a Move” and “Hold Me Together.” Though just one studio album into their career, they were nominated for a Grammy this year for Best Contemporary Christian Album for their debut record, Black or White.

The guys stopped by Magic Kingdom Park recently and even had time to challenge one of their favorite characters to a “dougie” dance-off.

In addition to Royal Tailor, Disney’s Night of Joy features 16 of Contemporary Christian and Contemporary Gospel’s top artists. Here is the stellar lineup.

  • Friday, September 7, 2012: Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, NEEDTOBREATHE, Red, Francesca Battistelli, Brandon Heath, Royal Tailor, Disciple
  • Saturday, September 8, 2012: MercyMe, Third Day, Kutless, Chris August, Lecrae, Yolanda Adams, Thousand Foot Krutch and Dara Maclean

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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Disney’s Night of Joy 2012 Artist Profile: Casting Crowns

posted on August 29th, 2012 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Disney’s Night of Joy 2012 is just around the corner – less than two weeks away – and we are working fast and furious to make this year’s event the best ever. 2012 marks the event’s 30th year, and I’m thrilled to profile some of our fantastic talent.

Today’s post showcases Billboard Magazine’s top-selling Christian music act, Casting Crowns.
Casting Crowns, One of the Bands Performing at Night of Joy 2012 at Magic Kingdom Park

Casting Crowns’ roots are grounded in youth ministry, not the music industry. The band was started in 1999 by Mark Hall, as a part of his youth ministry in Daytona Beach, Florida. The members of the band are all still involved in youth ministry in various churches around McDonough, Georgia, molding their tour schedule to fit their ministry commitments.

The last year has been an explosive year for Casting Crowns, starting with the stunning launch of their latest record “Come to the Well,” which sold almost 100,000 copies its first week of release and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200. The record went on to win two Billboard Music Awards in 2012.

The band stopped by Magic Kingdom Park earlier this year to challenge label-mates and Night of Joy artists Royal Tailor to a ride on the Tomorrowland Speedway. More on Royal Tailor in our next Artist Profile.

In addition to Casting Crowns and Royal Tailor, Disney’s Night of Joy features 16 of Contemporary Christian and Contemporary Gospel’s top artists. Here is the stellar lineup:

  • Friday, Sept. 7, 2012: Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, NEEDTOBREATHE, Red, Francesca Battistelli, Brandon Heath, Royal Tailor, Disciple.
  • Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012: Lecrae, MercyMe, Third Day, Kutless, Chris August, Yolanda Adams, Thousand Foot Krutch and Dara Maclean.

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 NightofJoy.com.

Read more updates from Magic Kingdom Park in the posts below:

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Night of Joy Musical Line-Up Announced for Magic Kingdom Park

posted on August 17th, 2012 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


I can’t believe Night of Joy 2012 is less than a month away. This is our 30th year of hosting the top Contemporary Christian and Gospel artists at Walt Disney World Resort, and this year’s lineup is one of the most exciting in our history. Magic Kingdom Park is getting ready, and so are our artists. Throughout the month, I’ll be showcasing some artists on the Disney Parks Blog. Today, we have a few shout-outs we’d like to share with you.

Also, 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.

Francesca Battistelli, One of the Artists Performing at Night of Joy 2012 at Magic Kingdom Park Red, One of the Bands Performing at Night of Joy 2012 at Magic Kingdom Park

Friday, September 7

Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage

  • 7:45 p.m. – NEEDTOBREATHE
  • 9:50 p.m. – Chris Tomlin
  • 11:55 p.m. – Casting Crowns

Galaxy Stage

  • 7:30 p.m. – Francesca Battistelli
  • 8:50 p.m. – Francesca Battistelli
  • 10:25 p.m. – Red
  • 12:10 a.m. – Brandon Heath

Rockettower Plaza Stage

  • 8:15 p.m. – Disciple
  • 9:40 p.m. – Disciple
  • 11:20 p.m. – Royal Tailor

Saturday, September 8

Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage

  • 7:35 p.m. – Gospel Music Association Winner Theresa Bailey
  • 7:55 p.m. – Lecrae
  • 9:55 p.m. – Third Day
  • 11:55 p.m. – MercyMe

Galaxy Stage

  • 7:30 p.m. – Kutless
  • 8:50 p.m. – Kutless
  • 10:25 p.m. – Thousand Foot Krutch
  • 12:10 a.m. – Yolanda Adams

Rockettower Plaza Stage

  • 8:15 p.m. – Chris August
  • 9:40 p.m. – Chris August
  • 11:20 p.m. – Dara Maclean

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.

Check out these posts for more updates from Magic Kingdom Park:

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VIDEO: An Adventures by Disney Trip to Canada Recap

posted on August 6th, 2012 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Well, as they say, all good things must come to an end. Our exciting trip to Canada with Adventures by Disney is over.

It was a spectacular trip, not only because of the destination but also because Adventures by Disney makes everything seamless and fun.

And don’t just take my word for it. We brought back some great video of the trip to share with you.

My colleague John Graham, known to Disney Parks Blog fans as your guide to all things Star Wars Weekends, accompanied me to lend his talents for the video portion of this post. Take a look:

If you haven’t tried Adventures by Disney, it’s a great way to travel both domestically and throughout the world, especially with your family. As I said earlier, this was my second Adventures by Disney trip. The first was to Ireland on the Emerald Isle excursion. That was a home run too.

In addition to our super star Adventure Guides – Lisa, Tiffany and Courtney – we had a lot of assistance with the trip including the Canadian Parks Department; employees of the hotels where we stayed – The Emerald Lake Lodge in British Columbia and the Fairmont Springs Hotel in Banff; and the Brewster Travel Company in Canada.

Thanks all. Looking forward to my next destination.

Check out these posts for more news about Adventures by Disney:

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Adventures by Disney: Junior Adventures in the Rockies

posted on August 4th, 2012 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a little about the Junior Adventurers program – one of the hallmarks of every Adventures by Disney vacation.

Adventures by Disney: Junior Adventures in the Rockies

Each excursion is specifically designed for families traveling together, with activities for every member of the family. Kids (affectionately known as Junior Adventurers or JAs) have events created specially for them.

For example, on the “Cities of Knights and Lights” trip to England and France, JAs take their own Art Detective tour of The Lovure in Paris while the adults take the official museum tour; and in Cape Town on the “Safari in South Africa” vacation, JAs learn the about the ancient art of falconry at the Eagle Encounter of the Spier Winery while the adults are enjoying an afternoon wine tasting.

Each Adventures by Disney excursion also includes a Junior Adventurer Movie Night, where adults are on their own for dinner, and the Adventure Guides and JAs find their own private space for dinner and a movie. Specifics on what actually happens during Junior Adventurer Movie Night are hard to come by as, technically, no adults are allowed and the JAs are sworn to secrecy.

I did, however, sneak a peek into ours – for research purposes only, of course. On “Roaming the Rockies,” the Junior Adventurers Movie Night ends with a sticky smores session around the campfire.

Here’s an Inside Look at Some of Our Junior Adventurers on Adventures by Disney’s “Roaming in the Rockies”

You’ll be able to see some of the JAs and their activities in my final post – a wrap-up of our trip including video of all the festivities. The video will feature highlights of the fabulous “Roaming the Rockies” accommodations in Canada (The Emerald Lake Lodge and Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel), our excursions through three of Canada’s most beautiful parks and a report directly from atop a glacier!

For more information on Adventures by Disney, “Roaming the Rockies,” or the Junior Adventurers program, check out AdventuresByDisney.com.

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Adventures by Disney: Roaming the Rockies

posted on August 1st, 2012 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Whoever coined the phrase “every view a post card” must have been talking about Montana and Western Canada. This Adventures by Disney trip has been one spectacular vista after another.

As I write this post, my view is the most idyllic mountain/lake setting you could possibly imagine. It’s straight out of a painting. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the pictures for yourself.
'Roaming the Rockies' with Adventures by Disney

Not only do you get to see the natural beauty of the North, you also get to experience it. This morning’s group activity was a rafting trip. Normally, the experience would include Class II-IV rapids, but since we had some smaller Junior Adventurers (Disney-speak for kids), we opted for a less-intense float-along experience. Adventures by Disney trips are specifically designed for families traveling together. We’ll chat more about the Junior Adventurer activities in my next post.

In addition to regularly scheduled group excursions, “Roaming the Rockies” also includes opportunities for hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, and lots of other outdoor activities.
'Roaming the Rockies' with Adventures by Disney Adventure Guides

I do have to say a word or two about the Adventure Guides. One thing that makes Adventures by Disney trips extra special is the Adventure Guides. Each trip has at least two Disney Adventure guides. You’ve probably seen some of their earlier posts on the Disney Parks Blog. We have three guides on this trip. Lisa and Tiffany are the pros and Whitney is shadowing them so she can learn all the tricks of the trade before guiding her own trips this year.

They take care of everything! From the normal travel stuff like luggage, tips and transport to the above and beyond like, on another Adventures by Disney trip, having clothes you forgot at one hotel forwarded to the next one. Yes – I was that guy.

Well, enough chitchat. I’m off to the next Adventure. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll explore some of the Junior Adventure programs in my next post.

Check out these posts for more news about Adventures by Disney:

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Follow Along on an Adventures by Disney Vacation

posted on July 30th, 2012 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Question: Where is this and how does it involve Disney Parks?
'Roaming the Rockies' with Adventures by Disney

I think the “where” might be a little more difficult to guess than the connection to Disney. If you said “Glacier National Park” in Montana and “Adventures by Disney,” you are correct.

For those of you not as familiar, Adventures by Disney provides immersive, hassle-free and unforgettable group guided-family vacation experiences to destinations in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Families traveling with Adventures by Disney receive exceptional service while taking part in extraordinary experiences, assistance from Disney-trained Adventure Guides, engaging activities, VIP experiences and personal touches that only a Disney vacation can provide.

In 2013, Adventures by Disney will take guests to two new exotic locales: Southeast Asia (including Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) and Scotland (visiting some of the sites which inspired the new Disney●Pixar hit film “Brave.”)

In my role as public relations manager for Disney Parks, I also have the great pleasure to assist with Adventures by Disney. This week I am on a spectacular trip called “Roaming the Rockies.” This trip explores breathtaking vistas in Montana (including Glacier National Park) and Alberta and British Columbia in Canada (including Yoho, Jasper and Banff National Parks).

I’ll let you know how the trip goes along the way, including the awesome excursions, world-class accommodations and delicious cuisine – with some special Disney surprises thrown in along the way. So check back to the Disney Parks Blog for updates. And check out AdventuresbyDisney.com for information on all the exciting excursions from Adventures by Disney.

Read more news about Adventures by Disney in the posts below:

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