If you or someone in your family likes Division 1 college basketball, then you might want to consider spending a portion of your Thanksgiving holiday weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Once again Disney welcomes the Orlando Classic, a premiere pre-season basketball tournament hosted by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, from November 27-30.
This year, National Championship contenders Kansas and Michigan State headline the event and are joined by teams with the ability to make a run in the tournament including Tennessee, Marquette, Georgia Tech, and Rhode Island. No other preseason tournament can say that the teams have combined for 28 Final Four appearances.
Click here for additional tournament information and to purchase tickets.
Today, we’re kicking off a new series on the Disney Parks Blog, featuring suites at Walt Disney World Resort that have something special in common – a spectacular view.
Our first room with a view is a Club Level 1 Bedroom Theme Park View Suite on the 14th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and one of its most impressive features is the amazing sight of Magic Kingdom Park during the day and the spectacular fireworks at the park when the sun sets.
Of course, the view inside this 1,428 square foot suite is just as impressive. There’s unique artwork throughout the suite, and the open living room is set up with Bose surround sound as well as a DVD and stereo systems.
The living room and bedroom have an oversize balcony with lounge chairs to enjoy the view of Magic Kingdom Park. The suite also features two full bathrooms and a separate living area.
You can book this suite now at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. To find prices and availability for this suite, visit our Disneyworld.com page.
We’re just getting going with this series, so let us know if this is your favorite resort view or if you have another at Walt Disney World Resort.
Earlier this fall, we shared the news that two new dining experiences, Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE, are coming to Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort. Today we have a few more updates to share about glimpses of the future that are starting to appear as Downtown Disney continues to undergo its transformation.
The “Springs Bottling Co.” marquee was recently installed above the future location for Morimoto Asia. The sign is an architectural detail that draws from the Disney Springs design story, which harkens back to Florida’s waterfront towns at the turn-of-the-century. The interior of Morimoto Asia will also showcase the theme and pay tribute to the history of Disney Springs.
Located adjacent to the recently announced site for The BOATHOUSE, the Waterview Stage is now offering nightly entertainment, along with great views of Village Lake. Be sure to pick up a Times Guide for specific showtimes.
Opening later this month, the Food Trucks at Exposition Park on the West Side will be a permanent home for the owned-and-operated Downtown Disney food trucks. Located along the water, the Food Trucks will serve mouthwatering culinary creations daily, such as chicken & waffles and tandoori spiced shrimp. The area will also offer additional seating for diners as well as shaded areas during the day.
Significant progress is being made on the first phase of Disney Springs known as The Landing. Guests can see for themselves as they stroll along a section of the new pedestrian walkway now open between Portobello and Paradiso 37. Later this month, the walkway will fully open and provide direct access to the West Side.
Speaking of progress, the West Garage (the first of two planned garages coming to Disney Springs) is opening in phases and will be available for guest parking starting on November 20.
It certainly is exciting to watch Disney Springs come to life and I’m eager to see what’s in store in the months ahead.
For more about Disney Springs, visit the posts below:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and festive food and beverage offerings and holiday souvenirs are popping up at Disney Parks! Our teams are decking everything from souvenir popcorn buckets to sippers and more.
Santa’s elves have been hard at work creating these Mickey sipper steins, perfect for sipping hot cocoa or carrying a snack on the go. Twice as nice is the matching souvenir popcorn bucket. Look for these in Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and Magic Kingdom Park.
As part of the Merriest Place on Earth celebration at Disneyland park, look for souvenir soup cups featuring Mickey, Minnie and Goofy ice skating in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle. The cups are available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café and the turkey leg cart near Sleeping Beauty Castle. While you’re in Disney California Adventure park, look for special cone-shaped snowy sippers at the Cozy Cone Motel. Since this is a world where two holidays collide, “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” novelties will also be available through the holiday season.
Since the holiday season is all about sharing the joy of the season with your friends and family, here’s a peek at the artwork you’ll find on popcorn buckets and souvenirs throughout Disney Parks!
Which souvenir would you love in your stocking?
As the famous Walt Disney quote says, “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse.” – and today we’re celebrating that Mouse on the Disney Parks Blog.
Mickey Mouse made his official film debut on November 18, 1928, in the film “Steamboat Willie,” and has since become a famous face at Disney Parks around the world.
In honor of today’s milestone, here are 15 fun facts about Mickey Mouse you may not know:
- Walt Disney wrote the first script for “Plane Crazy,” the first short created to star Mickey Mouse, while traveling on a train from Chicago to Los Angeles.
- Walt initially named Mickey Mouse “Mortimer,” until Walt’s wife, Lily, suggested “Mickey” was a better choice.
- Disney Legend Ub Iwerks was the sole animator for Mickey Mouse in “Plane Crazy,” and produced an estimated 700 drawings per day for the film, some during the day (as a part of a secret project for Walt) and others after hours in Walt’s garage.
- The short film “Steamboat Willie” was the first short starring Mickey Mouse released, but was actually the third created. The first two, “Plane Crazy” and “The Gallopin’ Gaucho,” initially failed to find distributors, but were picked up and released later.
- When penning Mickey’s movements, early animators drew inspiration from popular comedic film stars of the day – like Charlie Chaplin.
- The first Mickey Mouse Club was formed by theater owner Harry Woodin in Ocean Park, California. On his own accord, Woodin devoted Saturday afternoons in his theater to showing only Mickey Mouse shorts and led children in a Mickey Mouse pledge. Walt later partnered with Woodin and spread the idea of Mickey Mouse Clubs to movie theaters across the nation.
- The first Mickey short in which Mickey spoke was “The Karnival Kid,” the ninth Mickey short, which was released in July 1929. His first words: “Hot dog!”
- Walt Disney wasn’t satisfied with the first few actors chosen to provide a voice for Mickey Mouse, so he did it, and continued to do so through about 1947.
- A Mickey Mouse comic strip, penned by Ub Iwerks, launched in January 1930, and at its height was printed in 40 newspapers in 22 countries.
- The first piece of Mickey Mouse merchandise was a tablet of paper that featured the mouse, designed for children. The first Mickey Mouse doll was designed in 1930.
- Mickey Mouse made his debut appearance in the “Macy’s Santa Claus Parade” (now “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade”) in 1934. Measuring 40-feet-tall, the balloon was handpainted and guided by men and women dressed in Mickey/Minnie Mouse costumes.
- When Walt was contemplating a name for his first theme park (Disneyland park), he once considered calling it “Mickey Mouse Village.”
- Mickey Mouse was the first animated character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which was given on his birthday (November 18) in 1978.
- Mickey Mouse has been a prominent feature at Disney Parks since Disneyland park opened its doors in 1955, with guests interacting with him in character meet and greets, viewing him in parades or snapping up Mickey Mouse merchandise.
- The Partners Statue, a sculpture of Walt and Mickey holding hands, debuted at Disneyland park on Mickey’s birthday in 1993. A second Partners Statue debuted at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in 1995.
I have some exciting news for fans of Disney Infinity. To celebrate the release of Disney Infinity 2.0, guests will soon find five Walt Disney World Resort busses with specially designed wraps. Our partners with Walt Disney Imagineering created these new wraps featuring characters from the game. They are the same team that designed the previous Walt Disney World monorail wraps like my favorite one created for Disney’s “TRON: Legacy“.
We recently took a photo of one of the busses near Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. That location is the headquarters for all things related to Disney Infinity 2.0. I attended the early release party with my son a few weeks ago where we picked up the new starter set. We also added a few figures to his ever growing collection such as Baymax from Disney’s “Big Hero 6” now in theatres. He spent the rest of that weekend playing the game and creating new worlds to explore. I’m sure he will love taking a ride on these Disney Infinity-themed busses!
Earlier this month, we began our Disney Side holiday video series with a live stream of the all-new “A Frozen Holiday Wish” from the Castle Forecourt Stage at Magic Kingdom Park. It was such a hit that this week we’re sharing a closer look at the show. Disney Show director James Silson has a special look for Disney Parks Blog readers.
“A Frozen Holiday Wish” is now being presented nightly through December 31, 2014 at Magic Kingdom Park. Here’s how you can see it this holiday season.
If you’re a theater lover like I am, nothing beats that feeling of anticipation and excitement as you wait for the curtain to rise. That’s how many of us felt as the stage came to life for the very first time Saturday night, at the Walt Disney Theater at Orlando’s new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (DPAC).
George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort joined local business and community leaders in celebrating the center’s historic Grand Premiere with a glittering gala and the hall’s inaugural performance. A 2,700-seat hall with tiered seating, the Walt Disney Theater is Central Florida’s new home to Broadway-style shows and musical performances. As one of the earliest and largest investors in DPAC, Disney pledged $12.5 million to the development of the center.
Audiences got their first glimpse of the theater in action during the gala performance, “Broadway and Beyond,” which was developed with the assistance of the Disney Creative Entertainment team. The team also produced the evening’s grand finale – a spectacular fireworks show.
Over the past seven years, cast members from areas such as Walt Disney Imagineering and Creative Entertainment have also contributed in-kind services such as developing marketing materials, producing community events and hosting fundraisers.
So, as we anticipate exciting, inspiring and entertaining performances for years to come, we have one word for our cast members and the Central Florida community partners who made the DPAC dream a reality … Bravo!
Take a look at this amazing time-lapse video of the all-new Gingerbread Holiday Ice Castle at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, inspired by Disney’s blockbuster film, “Frozen.”
Soaring in the resort’s Grand Canyon Concourse, the 17-foot-tall masterpiece is visible from the monorail as guests head to and from Magic Kingdom Park. While it took months to bake all the sweet components, pastry chefs spent five days building the Holiday Ice Castle that’s also inspired by Mary Blair’s “it’s a small world.”
Adorned with sugar snowflakes, gingerbread shingles and chocolate-coated trees, look for Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and his sidekick Sven created with sugar, chocolate and an assortment of candy. All in all, the pastry chefs whipped up 311 pounds of honey, 514 pounds of flour, 212 eggs, 67 pounds of spices, 222 pounds of icing and 423 pounds of chocolate. The Ice Castle has more than 1,500 gingerbread shingles!
Can you find Olaf? He’s hidden 14 places in the display.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the film “The Little Mermaid,” which opened in theaters November 17, 1989.
This film, which is one of my all-time favorites, has inspired many Disney attractions, character meet and greets, parade floats, merchandise and more at Disney Parks throughout the world.
We’re celebrating today’s milestone by sharing this Disney Parks Blog wallpaper, which was designed by artist Brittany Ungvarsky and focuses on one of Ariel’s most treasured possessions – a Dinglehopper.