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Santa Monica College Cheers On Their Disney Side

posted on December 24th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


It may be a small world but the Santa Monica College cheer squad is big when showing their Disney Side and love for one of the most beloved attractions at Disney. Celebrating team and campus diversity, the cheer squad used their memories of “it’s a small world” to choreograph a routine for the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit.

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The video follows four young park guests through the attraction as they experience everything from the famous boat ride, to beautiful costumes and a cultural celebration.

Santa Monica College is one of four finalists in the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition, alongside Auburn, Louisiana State University and Rutgers University. Dozens of universities from across the country submitted videos choreographed to one of four Disney Parks-inspired songs. The winning squad will earn a $100,000 grant for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

How will the best cheer be selected? By your vote!

Guests are asked to go to Espn.com/CheerMagic to view and vote for their favorite video from the final four. The school with the most votes wins. Fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found at Espn.com/CheerMagic. On-line voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on January 12 in Dallas.

Before casting your vote take a look at the inspiration and Santa Monica College spirit that went into the making of the cheer.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their “Disney Side”– their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.
No purchase necessary. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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Rutgers’ Scarlet Knight Saves the Day in Cheer On Your Disney Side Video

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


It sounds like the basis of a good fairytale, young women in despair when a knight rides in and saves the day. That’s exactly what happens in the video submitted by the University of Rutgers dance team for the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, in collaboration with Disney Destination and Varsity Spirit.

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Set to “it’s a small world” inspired music, Scarlet Knight, with the help of some of our beloved Disney Princesses, restores school spirit to a tired and dejected dance team. A story and production helping, the Rutgers dance team emerge as a finalist in the competition along with Auburn University, Louisiana State University and Santa Monica College.

University cheer and dance squads from across the country were invited to choreograph routines to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs. The winning squad will earn a $100,000 grant for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

Now it is your turn to vote!

Guests are asked to go to Espn.com/CheerMagic and vote for their favorite video from the final four. The school with the most votes wins. Fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found at Espn.com/CheerMagic. Online voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on January 12 in Dallas.

So what’s the ‘spirit’ behind the Rutgers video? Check out this behind the scenes look inside their world.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their Disney Side – their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.
No purchase necessary. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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LSU Tigers Show Their ‘Spirit’ In Cheer On Your Disney Side Contest

posted on December 18th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


Inspired by the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World Resort and the folk lore that Tiger Stadium, Death Valley, is haunted, the Louisiana State University cheer and dance teams showed their ‘spirit” for both in a routine for the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit.

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LSU joins Auburn University, Rutgers University and Santa Monica College as the four finalists in the competition. These schools were among dozens of squads from across the country who choreographed routines to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs.

Incorporating several elements from the popular Magic Kingdom Park attraction with additional Disney characters and some LSU flavor, the following video was created.

The LSU Tigers cheer and dance teams did their part, now it’s your turn to get into the game. Guests are asked to go to Espn.com/CheerMagic and vote for their favorite video from the final four. The school with the most votes wins. Fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found Espn.com/CheerMagic.

On-line voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on Jan. 12 in Dallas. The winning cheer or dance squad will earn a $100,000 grant for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

Now before you cast your vote, you may want to go behind the scenes and see what went into the “making of” their video. Profiles of all four schools will be featured this week and next on the Disney Parks Blog.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their “Disney Side’’– their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.

No purchase necessary. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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Your Chance To Vote And Cheer On Your Disney Side With Top Four Colleges

posted on December 16th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


As our favorite college football teams kicked off the season this fall ESPN gave college cheer and dance teams something really big to cheer about – their Disney Side.

Dozens of squads from across the country choreographed routines to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs and submitted their videos as part of the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, working in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit.

Last week the four finalists were announced; Auburn University, Louisiana State University, Rutgers University and Santa Monica College.

Well now it’s your turn to get into the game and vote for your favorite video at Espn.com/CheerMagic. The school with the most votes wins. And fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found at Espn.com/CheerMagic.

Online voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on Jan. 12 in Dallas. The winning cheer or dance squad will earn a $100,000 grant from ESPN for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

To help you make your decision we will profile each school over the next two weeks right here on the Disney Parks Blog. You will see and hear how each team incorporated their Disney Side with their school spirit in the making of their video.

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We kick off our behind the scenes series with the Auburn Tigers. They selected “it’s a small world” and featured several of their favorite Disney attractions. Take a look at their submission video and then a behind the scenes feature.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their Disney Side’– their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.
No purchase necessary. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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Young Super Hero Celebrates Life At runDisney Diaper Dash

posted on December 14th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


Even before taking the start line during Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, 11-month-old Nolan Wyatt from Rochester, WA, had already taken on a race and won.

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That’s right, the runDisney Diaper Dash was not Nolan’s first race, his first race was one for survival. Having difficulties breathing at birth, it was quickly diagnosed that Nolan was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), a hole in the diaphragm that allowed internal organs to enter the chest cavity and prevent normal lung development. Within hours, Nolan was flown by medical helicopter to Seattle Children’s Hospital where he underwent life saving surgery.

After months of recovery it was time for this little super hero who fought through so much in his young life to celebrate with his parents, and what better way than to runDisney, or should we say crawlDisney.

“Nolan’s crawling the Diaper Dash to show how much he has overcome in his first year of life,” said Julie Wyatt, Nolan’s mother. “Just to show what he is capable of and to celebrate his life.”

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After hours of training, dressed in his Captain America outfit, and cheered on by family and Captain America himself, Nolan was ready to ‘start’ a new chapter in life.

#WhyIrunDisney is dedicated to sharing compelling and motivational human-interest stories. To view submissions and to learn how to upload your story, visit irundisney.com.

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Soldier Fulfills Daughter’s Wish At ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

posted on December 8th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


One year ago 9-year-old Adisen Kallas made a wish with her family in front of Cinderella Castle. She wished that her dad, Navy SEABEE UT1 Scott Kallas, would return from deployment in Afghanistan in time to watch her dance at the 2014 Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. At that time Scott was preparing for his fifth military deployment.

Well Adisen, wishes do come true.

Soldier Fulfills Daughter’s Wish At ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Soldier Fulfills Daughter’s Wish At ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

What happened on Saturday after Adisen and the Mighty Might Tri Town Raiderettes dance team from Schererville, IN, performed was nothing short of magical. It is a moment you will want to watch for yourself.

Welcome home Scott Kallas. Thank you for serving our country and showing all of us that wishes do come true.

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‘Cool’ Bling Highlights Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Medals

posted on November 29th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


If you are registered and training for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, then this blog post is for you. Today, runDisney is happy to reveal the “Frozen“-inspired medals waiting for you at the finish line.

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For our youngest runners in the runDisney Kids Races and those of you taking on the Disney Frozen 5K, you will notice the very ‘cool’ medallions inspired by “Frozen.”

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The Princess Enchanted 10K acknowledges your accomplishment and features a “Frozen” inspired snowflake.

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The Disney Princess Half Marathon features the traditional tiara that our runners have come to love and want. Does anyone else notice that the jewels on the medal look a lot like Queen Elsa’s favorite color?

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And of course for those taking on the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge by running the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday, the third medal featuring Cinderella’s glass slipper compliments your weekend collection. Take note of Queen Elsa’s favorite color circling the medal.

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Three beautiful medals fit for a princess.

Now, if you are not yet registered and wondering how you can get your bling, I can tell you there are a few spots still open through groups and charities. Details on those opportunities can be found at runDisney.com.

Good luck with your training and we look forward to seeing you in February.

For additional information on the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend and to register for upcoming runDisney events, visit runDisney.com.

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Real Super Heroes at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


I love runDisney finish lines. Short of running and crossing myself, there is no place I would rather be during an event weekend. The shouts of joy, tears of happiness and the pure emotion of runners achieving their goals is amazing.

Although it is exciting to see the winners and top finishers cross, it’s the runners in the middle of the pack and at the end of the race where I find the most inspiration. For many of these athletes, and yes they are athletes, it is their first race. They set a goal, trained hard and are now experiencing one of the greatest accomplishments in their lives. Others are running for a cause dear to their heart. And for some of these runners they battled hardship on the course and are digging deep to make it to the finish.

If you follow my posts you know one of my favorite stories to produce are profiles on last-place finishers. Partly because I like to point out that runDisney treats the last place finisher just like race winners with fanfare, music and confetti, but also because I like to share what motivated and gave those runners the will to finish. My hope is their stories inspire others to get off the couch, try running, adopt a healthy active lifestyle and join us for a runDisney event.

Recently at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort, I set out to do that story again. Fortunately for all of us I ended up getting a story with a little more meaning – an inspirational story that focuses on selfless sportsmanship.

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Now, I’m not going to give you all the details in this blog post because I am hoping you will watch and see the story unfold as it did for me. But what I will tell you is that on race day Cambrey Fuller from South Jordan, UT, met an angel, a true super hero, Ashley White from Phoenix, AZ.

On behalf of all of us at runDisney, congratulations Cambrey for crossing the finish line, and thank you Ashley for being a super hero. This is what running and runDisney are all about.

For more information on runDisney and to register for an upcoming event, visit runDisney.com.

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Runners Show Off Their ‘Super Hero Side’ at Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


If you participate in a runDisney event, or simply come out to support a runner, one of the first the first things you notice is the variety of costumes runners wear during the race. From beloved Disney character-inspired outfits to dressing for the theme of the race, the creativity is amazing and unique to a runDisney event. And this weekend’s inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort set the bar a little higher.

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For several years now, I have had the privilege to stand at the start and finish lines for several runDisney events, and in my humble opinion, costumes this past weekend rank #1. Runners went above and beyond expectations in creating and designing their super hero alter ego. It was my observation that the most popular costume for men and women was Captain America, closely followed by Thor and Hulk. Thanks to our runners, I was introduced to super hero characters I didn’t know existed.

It really was amazing and now I can’t wait to see what Star Wars runners do in January!!

On Sunday, Disney photographer Matt Stroshane went in search of ‘super’ creative costumes. We hope you will enjoy the photo gallery featuring a few super heroes who took on and defeated 13.1 miles at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon.

For more information and to register for an upcoming runDisney event, visit runDisney.com.

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Runners Assemble For Victory at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


Back In February, runDisney invited runners to assemble for the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort. When registration opened in March, the response was overwhelming and the race sold out in 110 minutes.

Well, this past weekend more than 18,000 runners representing all 50 states and 12 countries reported for duty and participated in the runDisney Kids Races, the Avengers Super Heroes 5K and the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon. The excitement was electric.

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Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye were on hand to join forces and cheer on our youngest athletes participating in the Diaper Dash and Kids Races, and our more experienced athletes running through Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and Angel Stadium.

William Prom from Irvine, Calif., Overall Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Winner Alex de la Huerta from Mexico City, Mexico - Who Won the Woman's Title at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

Congratulations goes out to all our finishers, but I would like to extend special recognition to William Prom from Irvine, Calif., the overall half marathon winner, and to Alex de la Huerta from Mexico City, Mexico, who won the women’s title.

Now that the race weekend is over, it’s time for everyone to celebrate victory and look back on the sights and sounds from the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon.

If you would like more information on the 2015 Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend or other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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