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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ESPNRadio.com, 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, ESPNRadio.com, 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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Braves Spring Training Kicks Off at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 20th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


Spring is in the air. Well, at least it is here at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and that means Atlanta Braves spring training must be right around the corner.

The first wave of Braves players begin training this weekend and the first full-squad workout is February 26 with the home opener set for March 4 against the New York Mets at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Braves’ 18th spring training season at Disney will involve an 18-game home schedule that provides fans with an up-close and personal experience when the Braves take on marquee teams such as the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and the Washington Nationals. And March 21 will be Military Appreciation Day when the Braves and Disney honors our veterans during the game against the Nationals.

Most games start at 1:05 p.m. ET, but there are four night games starting at 6:05 p.m. And in typical Disney fashion, there will again be loads of Disney entertainment, special fan experiences, unique food & beverage offerings and the opportunity for kids to run the bases after every game, which has become a popular tradition.

To get you excited about spring training, check out this cool time-lapse video:

Individual game tickets are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets and at the sports complex box office for as little as $14. Get more information at www.espnwwos.com/atlantabraves.

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Super Bowl Stars Julian Edelman and Malcolm Butler Coming to Disneyland Resort

posted on February 2nd, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


After months of speculation and prognostication, we finally know this season’s Super Bowl XLIX champion: the New England Patriots. Well, I’m happy to reveal one other exciting piece of juicy information: star players of the big game – wide receiver Julian Edelman and cornerback Malcolm Butler – are going to Disneyland!

Super Bowl Stars Julian Edelman and Malcolm Butler Coming to Disneyland Resort

Immediately after the 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Phoenix, Edelman and Butler stood on the field amid a sea of confetti and screaming fans and shouted those classic words: “We’re Going to Disneyland!” The scene is the centerpiece of Disney Parks‘ annual Super Bowl commercial that is airing for the next several days.

The TV spot is the 48th edition in the beloved series that began in 1987 when New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms first blurted out those words in front of a TV camera after Super Bowl XXI.

This year it was Edelman and Butler’s turn after remarkable performances Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium. Edelman had nine catches for a team-high 109 yards, including the game-winning touchdown reception in the final minutes of the game. Butler sealed the victory with a game-saving interception in the final seconds.

They are scheduled to celebrate their performances and their team’s victory with a hero’s welcome parade Monday down Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park, which just last week was the site of the unveiling for the upcoming Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, marking the resort’s 60th anniversary. If you can’t make it out to Disneyland park to celebrate with them, then check back here Monday afternoon to see photos and video from the festivities and get a look at the TV commercial here.

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Brutus Buckeye Celebrates Ohio State’s Win at Walt Disney World Resort

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


On the heels of Ohio State’s College Football Playoff National Championship win, the school’s mascot, Brutus Buckeye, celebrated the team’s historic victory at Walt Disney World Resort on Wednesday. Brutus Buckeye spent the morning at Magic Kingdom Park showing his Disney Side, posing for photos with Disney cheerleaders in front of Cinderella Castle and experiencing Storybook Circus where he rode Dumbo The Flying Elephant and strolled through the park holding balloons.

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The trip to Walt Disney World Resort was the magical ending to a fun series of Disney Parks TV spots featuring mascots from the four College Football Playoff semifinal teams vying for the chance to come to Walt Disney World Resort if their team won the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship, which aired on ESPN. Brutus Buckeye had his ticket punched when Ohio State defeated the University of Oregon 42-20 on Monday night in Dallas.

As for all of the teams that didn’t get to send their mascot to celebrate at Disney, our friends at ESPN have a comforting message for you.

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Get into the Holiday ‘Swing’ with Disney Golf

posted on November 21st, 2014 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


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If you’re looking for something different at Disney to do with the kids while they are out of school for the holidays, Disney Golf has some ideas for you.

How about putting the kids in a golf camp? Starting December 22, Disney Golf is offering a series of special one-day holiday golf camps for juniors. The camps are December 22, 23, 29 and 30 at Disney’s Lake Buena Vista golf course at Walt Disney World Resort.

The camps offer PGA instruction on all facets of the game, from putting to on-course play. Naturally, the camps are designed to appeal to kids through games, prizes and an overall fun atmosphere. Kids ages 7-17 can participate in one camp or all four.

Each one-day camp runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and costs $115 per kid (includes lunch and beverages). To sign up your kid, call (407) WDW-Golf or go to www.golfwdw.com.

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There’s also something new for adults this holiday season. Guests looking to get in a few holes early before hitting the theme parks can take advantage of Disney Golf’s new Sunrise 9 promotion which allows golfers to play nine holes starting anytime between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. any day based on availability. The rate is $29 and includes a breakfast sandwich, plus a beverage before and after your round at Disney’s Palm, Magnolia or Oak Trail golf courses.

To book a tee time, call (407) WDW-Golf or go to www.golfwdw.com/sunrise-9/.

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Live Out Your Racing Fantasy at the Disney Speedway

posted on May 20th, 2014 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


Our friends over at the Walt Disney World Speedway have been providing guests with plenty of thrills with their Richard Petty Driving Experience and Exotic Driving Experience. But now they have come up with a special event that sprinkles a little competition into the mix.

They are calling it the Fittipaldi Cup, a fun racing event on June 13 hosted by professional racer Christian Fittipaldi but designed for any driver (must have a valid driver’s license) with an itch to test their driving skills against the competition. Drivers will compete in various racing sessions involving supercars – Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, etc. – used in the track’s Exotic Driving Experience, as well as great American muscle cars, such as a Chevrolet Camaro, and high-performance go-karts.

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Fittipaldi, the reigning Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race winner, will provide drivers with tips, one-on-one coaching and instruction, as well as the opportunity to ride along with him on a few “hold-onto-your-seat’’ hot laps around the Exotics Course at the speedway. The driver who masters all three segments will take home the inaugural Fittipaldi Cup trophy.

If you want to see how you stack up against the competition, drivers can sign up at http://www.exoticdriving.com/offers/vip/ or by calling (855) 822-0149. Entry is $999 and includes several souvenirs such as an in-car video of your performance and a photo plaque. And, for one talented driver anyway, a pretty cool trophy and a ton of bragging rights.

But if you ask me, my money is on Lighting McQueen to win it all.

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WNBA Stars Take To the Court at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 8th, 2014 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


Some of the best women’s basketball players on the planet are coming to Walt Disney World Resort this weekend. The WNBA is hosting its first-ever WNBA Preseason Tournament 2014, Friday through Sunday at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

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As it just so happens, the four teams competing – the Minnesota Lynx, the Chicago Sky, the Phoenix Mercury and the Indiana Fever – feature some of the biggest names in the sport. Among the top players on display will be Diana Taurasi (2009 WNBA MVP), Tamika Catchings (2011 WNBA MVP and 2012 WNBA Finals MVP) and Maya Moore (2013 WNBA Finals MVP).

And the teams are pretty good, too. The Lynx are the reigning WNBA champions. The Fever won the league title the year before. The Mercury has been league champs in 2007 and 2009. And the Sky posted the league’s best regular-season record last year (24-10).

The four-game tournament is open to the public. There will be two games on Friday starting at 6 p.m., a clinic and autograph session on Saturday for AAU girls’ basketball players and the WNBA players, and two games on Sunday starting at 10:30 a.m. A two-game package on Friday and Sunday is $20 each day and a four-game package is $35. Tickets can be purchased at the sports complex box office or through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.

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