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Latin Baseball Festival Coming to Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 1st, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World

When it comes to baseball, there’s professional baseball and then there’s Latin professional baseball, which comes with a cultural flare, and festival atmosphere that’s rarely found anywhere else.


That unique brand of baseball is coming to Walt Disney World Resort with the debut of the Latin Baseball Festival in November. And tickets are on sale now.

The inaugural event features two marquee Puerto Rican teams – the Cangrejeros de Santurce and the Indios de Mayaguez – playing a three-game regular-season weekend series inside Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, November 20-22.

Both are accomplished teams in the famed Roberto Clemente League in Puerto Rico which has produced many current and former Major League Baseball players, including Roberto Alomar, Bobby Bonilla, Edgar Martinez, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Bernie Williams, Ruben Sierra and Clemente.

More details about the games at Disney will be announced soon, but tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets. Single-game tickets range from $17.50 for lawn seats to $30 for lower level seating. Two-game packages (Saturday and Sunday) are $45 (upper level) and $55 (lower level). Group tickets are also available ($24-$27) as well as suites ($250-$2,000).

Play ball! Or should we say, a jugar pelota!

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Playing in the Sand With Disney Golf at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 10th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World

No golfer likes hitting their ball out of a sand bunker. But if you have to be in one, the bunkers at Walt Disney World Resort’s courses are some real beauties now.

That’s because we are redesigning key elements of Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course, including the bunkers. We have removed more than 40 trees from the back nine alone and are repaving several cart paths and the parking lot.

The most noticeable difference, though, is around the sand bunkers. In addition to getting an improved drainage system, various bunkers are being resculpted and/or repositioned with all of them being filled with soft, powdery white sand, which really makes them visually appealing. The work will include the popular Mickey-shaped bunker on Hole No. 6, which will be slightly elevated to make it even more visible.


More trees will be removed on the front nine and those bunkers will also get the same powdery, white sand. All work is expected to be complete by early October.

Many of these tweaks are being made to create a more playable experience for golfers, especially those high-handicappers like myself. After all, having to hit your ball out of a fairway bunker is tough enough without also having a huge tree blocking your shot. To follow the construction progress, check out Disney Golf’s Facebook page at and get more information at

In the meantime while the work continues, golfers can take advantage of a special promotion through October 9 when golfers can play nine holes after 10 a.m. for only $25, plus tax, or play the same nine holes all day, plus get a complimentary beverage, for only $39, plus tax.

With all of that golf, chances are your ball will find its way into a sand bunker at some point. But at least now it’ll seem more like a day at the beach.

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‘Beautiful Game’ Returning to Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 6th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World

On the heels of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, soccer continues to grow in popularity, particularly in the United States. And Walt Disney World Resort guests can see it played at its highest level January 9th-21st when the Florida Cup returns to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in January for the second straight year.


The first teams to commit to play were just announced today and once again they include German and Brazilian powerhouses. Two-time FIFA World Champion SC Corinthians and four-time Brazilian Champion Fluminese FC, led by superstar Ronaldinho, are playing along with Champions League club Bayer 04 Leverkusen and five-time German Cup Champion FC Schalke 04.

More teams could be announced in the next few weeks, but the field is already shaping up to be a clash of international soccer heavyweights. Some of the teams are even going to train in Central Florida leading up to the tournament.

Following the tournament’s debut earlier this year featuring four teams, the 2016 event will involve more teams, more games and a greater involvement by ESPN Wide World of Sports which will jointly host the event, along with 2SV Sports, at Walt Disney World Resort for the next five years.

By then, Central Florida could become an increasingly attractive location for marquee international soccer clubs to train and compete before their regular seasons with Disney smack in the middle of the action.

In the meantime, soccer fans can look forward to next year’s Florida Cup, which will put tickets on sale starting in September. Check out for more details and stay tuned to this blog for more tournament news.

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Prince Harry’s Invictus Games Coming to Walt Disney World Resort in 2016

posted on July 14th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World

We have a truly royal announcement to share today. Prince Harry is bringing his Invictus Games to Walt Disney World Resort next year. See video here.

The event celebrates our wounded servicemen and women from around the world competing in a variety of sports events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, May 8-12, 2016.


The Invictus Games drew more than 400 athletes from 13 countries – plus some 65,000 spectators – in its inaugural year in London in 2014, which was seen by more than 10 million more fans on TV.

The Invictus Games at Disney next year will be the first time the event takes place in the U.S. and is expected to involve a similar number of athletes from up to 14 nations competing in 10 sports – archery, cycling, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, triathlon, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.


The idea behind the Invictus Games is that the event uses the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for all those who serve their country as well as their families and caregivers.


In case you’re wondering, the word Invictus means “unconquered” and became famous after William Ernest Henley’s 1878 poem “Invictus” which is about strength during times of adversity. The word embodies the fighting spirit of the wounded service personnel who are on the journey to recovery.

We will have more details on this inspirational event in the coming months, so follow this blog for all of the latest developments.

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Actress ‘Pops In’ on Performing Arts Students at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 23rd, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


The Franklin School for the Performing Arts students knew they were going to have a magical trip to Walt Disney World Resort when they arrived for their Disney Performing Arts Program experiences, but it had no idea just how magical it would be.

The group of performers from Massachusetts was surprised during their weekend trip by actress Ashley Brown, star of the original Broadway production of “Mary Poppins”. Brown, who was also starred as Belle in Disney’s Broadway production of “Beauty and the Beast”, spent time interacting with the students, answering questions and imparting wisdom from her long career on the big stage.

The real treat came when Brown delivered a special performance of “Feed the Birds” from the hit musical “Mary Poppins.”

The unexpected appearance by Brown was just another example of the types of magical moments experienced by groups participating in Disney Performing Arts programs, which unlock student potential and help young people make their own dreams come true. Those dreams can involve performing in front of an international audience of thousands at Disney theme parks and resorts or honing their craft in enriching workshops taught by entertainment professionals.

The Disney Performing Arts programs are open to a variety of youth groups who can sign up for a workshop or a performance opportunity at

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Little League Baseball Star Mo’ne Davis Shows Walt Disney World Resort How To ‘Throw Like Mo’

posted on April 7th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


The whirlwind ride of Little League baseball star Mo’ne Davis made a stop at Walt Disney World Resort this week. The most recognizable 13-year-old pitcher on the planet visited Magic Kingdom Park with her family and got to be the honorary Grand Marshal of the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.”


Davis, who is from Philadelphia, showed her Disney Side by wearing Mickey ears and a Mickey Mouse shirt. After the parade, Davis spent some time with some little girls near Cinderella Castle, showing them how to hold and throw a baseball. She even played a little baseball with them before taking off to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in the parks with her family.


The visit to Walt Disney World Resort continues what has been quite a ride for Davis since last summer when the Little League slugger became the first girl to win a game as a pitcher during the Little League World Series. Afterwards, she met President Obama, appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and in a documentary directed by Spike Lee, published a book and has her jersey in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

More recently, Disney Channel announced it plans to make a made-for-TV movie about her life entitled “Throw Like Mo.’’ But Monday, Davis wasn’t focused on any of that. She was just thrilled about hanging out with Mickey Mouse.

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ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ Comes to Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 17th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World

Baseball spring training is already in full swing at Walt Disney World Resort and now it’s about to get even better. ESPN’s popular “Baseball Tonight” show, which airs nationally on ESPN and ESPN2, will broadcast live from ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex all week starting March 23.


Guests are welcome to join hosts Karl Ravech, Aaron Boone and Tim Kurkjian for six shows over five days and be a part of the live audience outside Champion Stadium at the ESPN sports complex. The shows, which will include a variety of interactive experiences with the audience, will take place through March 27 during which the Braves will play the Phillies (March 24) and the Boston Red Sox (March 27) at Champion Stadium which is the team’s spring training home.

Shows will take place Monday through Friday, 6 p.m.-6:30 p.m. And for you night owls: there’s a special broadcast on Thursday, 10 p.m.-11 p.m.

The “Baseball Tonight” show is just the latest in a growing lineup of ESPN events held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Last week, the “Mike and Mike” show celebrated its 15th anniversary here with live broadcasts at the ESPN sports complex and Downtown Disney Marketplace. ESPN also staged its “Fantasy Football Now” show at the ESPN sports complex as a part of the ESPN Fantasy Football Convention last summer.

The “Baseball Tonight” live broadcasts are free and open to the public. And if you want to make a full day of baseball out of it, you can also get tickets to the Phillies and Red Sox games at the ESPN sports complex box office or through Ticketmaster.

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Military Heroes to be Honored at Braves Spring Training Game at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 13th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World

Once again, Disney Sports is showing its admiration for our U.S. military veterans by hosting a Military Appreciation Day during Atlanta Braves spring training at Walt Disney World Resort.


Disney Sports is offering half-priced tickets on select seats for military personnel for the Braves game against the Washington Nationals on Saturday, March 21 at 1:05 p.m., at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. A military hero will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and fellow military personnel in attendance will be honored in variety of ways, including a sing-along Service Anthem Medley.


At Disney, we recognize the sacrifice, dedication and bravery needed to serve our country honorably, so showing support for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families is part of our nature at Disney Parks. For instance, our Heroes Work Here initiative has helped employ thousands of veterans and provided support for military families since it launched in 2012.

So come on out to the ballpark next Saturday and salute our veterans during America’s pastime. It’s one of the best ways to get your spring off to a great start. Tickets are on sale now at the sports complex box office. Select seats can be purchased by military veterans at the special
price with a valid Military ID.

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Disney and Orlando City Team Up to Make Soccer Magic at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 4th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World

With Orlando City Soccer Club only days away from its Major League Soccer debut this weekend, Walt Disney World Resort is getting in on the fun.


We are thrilled to announce today that Walt Disney World Resort is now a founding sponsor of Orlando City, further strengthening our ties to the area’s newest pro sports franchise which played its home games at our ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex last season.

This sponsorship deal means the soccer fever that has been sweeping Central Florida lately is going to be even more visible in and around Walt Disney World Resort. That’s because we are now the team’s official theme park and resort destination, and Disney Cruise Line and Disney Vacation Club are its official cruise line and vacation club, respectively.

When the season kicks off Sunday in front of a capacity crowd of 60,000 screaming fans at the Citrus Bowl, Walt Disney World Resort will have a significant presence at the game much like we will at all Orlando City home games this year and at the team’s new downtown stadium starting in 2016.

The soccer action will happen here, too. We’re planning to collaborate with Orlando City on a variety of soccer events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the coming months, further enhancing the soccer experience for athletes, coaches and fans who attend the many youth and pro soccer events at the sports complex.

Ultimately we hope to leverage our collective resources to further elevate Central Florida’s profile in key travel markets such as Brazil and other Latin American countries where soccer is king.

Hope to see you at some of the Orlando City games!

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Celebrate ‘Mike & Mike’ Turning 15 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World

Guess who is turning 15 years old? Well, ESPN personalities Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic are both a little older than that, but their widely popular radio show is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year at Walt Disney World Resort and guests can celebrate with them.

The Mike & Mike show which airs nationally on ESPN2, ESPN Radio and, will broadcast live from the Waterside Stage at Downtown Disney Marketplace on Friday, March 6 from 6 a.m.- 10 a.m. Guests are invited to join the festivities and be a part of the live audience.

Celebrate 'Mike & Mike' Turning 15 at Disney

There will be some special surprises in store and seating is limited, so it’s probably best to arrive by 5 a.m. There will be a check in location between World of Disney store and the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. Parking is available in the Hess Station parking lot across from the Marketplace. Starbucks at Downtown Disney will be open early for breakfast.

If you can’t make it out here that morning, you can always catch the Mike & Mike show on ESPN Radio,, the ESPN Radio mobile app and on ESPN2 from Monday through Friday at 6 am ET. Follow the 15th anniversary broadcast on Twitter at #MM15 and #ESPNatDisney.

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