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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


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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 www.disneyyouth.com.

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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


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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

Play 9

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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