Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

NFL Superstar Drew Brees Takes The Field At ESPN Wide World of Sports

posted on June 27th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


“Who Dat” at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort? Well “Dat” is Drew Brees, eight time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl MVP quarterback of the New Orleans Saints.

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This week Brees called the sports complex home as more than 300 high school athletes from across the country participated in the exclusive Drew Brees Passing Academy. These young athletes had the opportunity to learn from Brees and train with other NFL superstars such as Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), Darren Sproles (Philadelphia Eagles) and Darrelle Revis (New England Patriots). Participants were exposed to new training techniques for conditioning and performance, and then participated with team members in a two-day 7-on-7 Tournament. Proceeds from the Drew Brees Passing Academy and 7-on-7 Tournament benefit The Brees Dream Foundation, established in 2003 to help cancer patients with quality care and education for children and families.

Here is a look at the amazing experience these high school athletes enjoyed.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex allows athletes of all ages and skill levels to compete and celebrate like the pros do; whether they go on to collegiate/professional fame or not, every athlete takes with them lessons learned that shapes their character, personal and professional development. Brees joins a long list of elite athletes such as Kerri Walsh Jennings, Casey Powell and several English Premiere League soccer players, that come to the complex to create unforgettable experiences with young athletes.

If you are interested in more information on the Drew Brees Passing Academy or ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, visit espnwwos.com.

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John Rhys-Davies Returns to Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park

posted on June 26th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


You never know who you might encounter along the perilous pathways through the remote jungles of India’s lost delta while searching for the mysterious Temple of the Forbidden Eye. John Rhys-Davies, who of course portrayed Indy’s faithful friend, Sallah, in two Indiana Jones films, visited the Disneyland Resort recently, and together with his family and friends, we made our way to Indiana Jones Adventure.

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“Not to worry,” John said. “Sallah has the map!”

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During our expedition, John told me that despite his appearance inside the queue of our attraction for nearly 20 years, this would actually be the very first time he would ride it and that he was thrilled to be able to bring along his eight-year-old daughter, Maia (pictured here with a family friend) for her very first Disneyland visit. “The best way to see Disneyland, actually, is with children and through a child’s eyes,” John said. “It’s a joy to come here with my daughter, who’s come all the way from New Zealand.”

After riding the attraction – not once, but twice – John said, “It’s really wonderful, isn’t it? It’s a great rollicking adventure. It’s just the right side of scary.” Maia added, “It was absolutely petrifying! I quite liked the boulder where it drops down. Oh, and the snake!”

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As I mentioned, John appears as Sallah in the queue of Indiana Jones Adventure, so we set out on our own photo archive adventure. Our team of “top … men” was able to recover this rare artifact – a picture taken while filming the newsreel footage shown deep within the temple as guests prepare to board their transports.

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A 21st Birthday Celebration for Singing Superstar Ariana Grande at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 25th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


A pop princess met a Disney princess at Magic Kingdom Park, and it was all in celebration of Ariana Grande’s 21st birthday.

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The singer, who recently topped the charts with her megahit “Problem” (featuring Iggy Azalea), visited Magic Kingdom Park, where she was met by Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle. Then, Prince Charming and Cinderella helped celebrate with Grande as a giant Bibbidi Bobbidi Blue-hued birthday cake, created by the talented team of Disney Pastry Chefs, was unveiled. Dozens of Grande’s friends and family members joined in the fun to help the global music superstar celebrate at Magic Kingdom Park.

In this video, Grande — a Florida native — discusses the Magic Kingdom Park celebration, the dress she chose for the occasion and how the music video for her upcoming single, “Break Free,” reminds her of Space Mountain.

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Jessica Alba Celebrates Her Daughter’s Birthday at the Disneyland Resort

posted on June 18th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Jessica Alba and her family visited the Disneyland Resort recently to celebrate a special occasion: daughter Honor’s sixth birthday!

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Here, Jessica, her husband Cash Warren and younger daughter Haven join the birthday girl for a special photo with Walt and Mickey at Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park.

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Heidi Klum Meets Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Park

posted on June 4th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Heidi Klum and her family visited the Disneyland Resort last week, just a few days before her birthday, and we met up with her in Adventureland over at the Jungle Cruise.
Heidi Klum Meets Mickey Mouse Aboard Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park

Mickey Mouse stopped by to surprise her and we got this fun picture just before the expedition began. No shortage of fun skippers here!

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Disney 365 Live Video Shoot at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with Disney Channel Star Jake Short

posted on March 24th, 2014 by Faron Kelley, Director, Marketing & Communications, Disney Sports


We gave you an exclusive sneak peek of the filming of the Disney 365 video shoot at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with Jake Short (of Disney Channel‘s “A.N.T. Farm” and Disney XD‘s “Mighty Med“) a few months ago, and now it’s time to reveal the Disney 365 special. Take a look at the competition at the incredible ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex where Short tested his soccer skills during the Disney 3v3 Soccer Championships.

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Tina Fey and Katie Holmes Visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on March 19th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Stars of stage and screen were spotted at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this week, with Katie Holmes and Tina Fey each making visits to Walt Disney World Resort.

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While here, they both took time to pose with a few of our favorite furry friends. Holmes met Minnie Mouse on the Streets of America, and complimented Minnie on her special dress which was adorned with hearts. Fey visited Muppet*Vision 3D and posed with one of her “Muppets Most Wanted” co-stars, Sweetums. “Muppets Most Wanted” opens in theaters on Friday.

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A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Nat King Cole – 1963

posted on March 17th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


The great singer Nat King Cole was born on this day in 1919, and today we look back at a visit he made to Disneyland park more than 50 years ago.

Nat King Cole and His Son, Nat Kelly Cole, in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park in 1963.

Pictured with his son, Nat Kelly Cole, the legendary voice behind such timeless hits as “Mona Lisa,” “Stardust,” and “Unforgettable” was photographed in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle in June of 1963.

Do you have a favorite Nat King Cole song? My personal favorite also has the distinction of being featured in a Disney film. Can you guess which one?

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A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Jerry Lewis – 1955

posted on March 14th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Legendary entertainer and humanitarian Jerry Lewis celebrates his birthday this weekend, so today we’re looking back at a visit Jerry made to Disneyland park in August 1955, just a few weeks after we first opened our gates.

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This first photo is a triple treat for Disney fans. Television star Milton Berle, aka “Uncle Miltie,” joined Jerry outside the Main Entrance, along with future Disney Legend, Tom Nabbe, who was holding a custom edition of The Disneyland News with a headline that read, “Welcome Miltie & Jerry To Disneyland.”

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Then it was over to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, where Jerry was joined by his son (and future musician), Gary Lewis. When I see this photo, I think can actually hear that iconic voice going through Toad Hall!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lewis!

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Strike Up the Bands, Cue the Choirs: Music In Our Schools Tour Makes Surprise Appearance at Festival Disney’s 10th Anniversary

posted on March 11th, 2014 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


'The Voice' Winner Danielle Bradbery at Classen School for Advanced Studies During the 'Music In Our Schools" Tour
This past weekend, we kicked off the 10th anniversary of Festival Disney in a big way – with a surprise performance by Danielle Bradbery, the 17-year-old country music sensation and winner of The Voice. Her Saturday-night appearance was a highlight of the awards ceremony for the annual music festival that we host for school bands, orchestras, choirs and other ensembles.
Danielle Bradbery and Mickey at Festival Disney
It was also Danielle’s final stop on the Music In Our Schools national bus tour that kicked off at Disneyland Resort on March 2. Sponsored by Disney Performing Arts, the week-long tour was a collaboration with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and Big Machine Label Group.
Danielle Bradbery Performing at Festival Disney
Singing songs from her self-titled debut album, including the current “Top 15” single “The Heart of Dixie,” Bradbery gave an unforgettable Festival Disney performance that had our 3,000 participants on their feet, dancing and singing along.
Danielle Bradbery at Eldorado High School During the 'Music In Our Schools' Tour

Festival Disney was the perfect place to close out the Music In Our Schools tour. As we wrote about in last week’s post, Bradbery traveled across the country visiting high schools to inspire and encourage students and to create awareness about the importance of music education.
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Each of the five schools she visited received a grant from NAfME’s Give a Note Foundation and a Disney “Mousecar” Award. Another highlight of each stop was a performance by Danielle.

Check out this video of tour highlights:

Being involved in the Music In Our Schools tour was an honor for our Disney Performing Arts team because we believe there’s nothing more important than inspiring young people to follow their passions, fulfill their dreams and celebrate their accomplishments. Together with NAfME and Danielle, we hope we inspired students and encouraged them to recognize how music education can help them learn, achieve and succeed.
Walt Disney Ambassadors Rich Tamayo & Tye Arnold With Danielle Bradbery at Festival Disney
If you’d like to learn more about Disney Performing Arts, check out our Facebook page.

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