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Celebrating the Ultimate Girls Weekend at the Disney Princess Half Marathon

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


It was the ultimate runDisney girls weekend as more than 49,500 registered runners participated in the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Walt Disney World Resort.

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From our princesses-in-waiting competing in the runDisney Kids Races, to more experienced princesses participating in the Disney Princess 5K, the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K and the Disney Princess Half Marathon, the weekend was filled celebrating the attributes of a true princess – commitment, perseverance and determination.

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The crowning moment came on Sunday when more than 24,000 runners participated in the Half Marathon. The 13.1-mile journey took runners to Magic Kingdom Park, through Cinderella Castle and finished with a royal celebration just outside Epcot. Waiting for runners was one of the most coveted rewards, the Disney Princess Half Marathon Tiara Finisher Medal. And for those special princesses registered for the Glass Slipper Challenge, completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday (19.3 total miles), an additional medal was bestowed upon them, the Glass Slipper Challenge Medal.

Fun During the Disney Princess Half Marathon Fun During the Disney Princess Half Marathon

Although every runner had something to celebrate, one runner’s journey was just a little more magical.

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After falling on ice and breaking her hip one year ago, and fearing she would never run again, 30-year-old Lauren Passell from New York City was the winner of the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Dressed in a Tinker Bell-inspired outfit, Passell had a winning time of 1:22:59. She was followed by second-place finisher Heather Schulz of Orlando (1:23:28) and Mariela Ortiz of Argentina was third (1:23:45).

Congratulations to Lauren Passell and all who ran and celebrated like a princess. We hope the following video helps you relive your accomplishment. And for those who weren’t able to participate, we hope it inspires you to join us February 2016.

For more information about Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend and other runDisney events, visit runDisney.com.

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First Look at Anna & Elsa Topiaries for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Sneak peek alert!

We have two pieces of true, original Disney art to share with you, in the form of new topiaries for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Still at the nursery, here is a first look at Anna and Elsa. Aren’t they just gorgeous?

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The festival opens in eight days. To help plan your visit, check out EpcotinBloom.com

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WonderGround Gallery to Expand in Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace This March

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Last summer, we opened the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. This flexible space location serves as a testing ground for new retail shop concepts, products and guest experiences. Shortly after it opened in June 2014, we added a small fixture that featured products from the WonderGround Gallery at Downtown Disney District in California. Today, I’m excited to announce that the WonderGround Gallery will be expanding beginning in early March 2015.

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To celebrate this newest addition, I invite you to attend a grand opening event on March 6-7. We will have a few artists making appearances both days including Jasmine Beckett Griffith, Robert Jimenez and Jerrod Maruyama.

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Moving into WonderGround Gallery’s former space is The Sign Shop, which will carry an assortment of Disney Parks-inspired signs similar to ones offered at Disney Centerpiece and at select Art of Disney locations. We will release some new items including a Hollywood Tower Hotel sign by Disney Design Group Artist Richard Terpstra, a mermaid image by Tony Harris, and some unique photography pieces by Michael Lewis Glover (he will also be attending the grand opening weekend).

I hope to see you there!

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New Menu Items Coming to Downtown Disney Food Trucks

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


The fleet of Disney Food Trucks may have settled into their new home, Exposition Park at Downtown Disney West Side, but their menus continue to evolve.

Superstar Catering, the food truck inspired by Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is getting a brand-new menu. Look for a pork shank served with Gruyere macaroni and cheese and a sausage and caramelized onion flatbread. My favorite on the menu? ‘A Taste of Hollywood Studios,’ which features samplings of the BLT Soup from Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant and the Famous Cobb Salad and mini grapefruit cake from The Hollywood Brown Derby.

Game Day Chicken and Waffles

On the Fantasy Fare food truck, look for Game Day Chicken and Waffles — Buffalo-style chicken with Sriracha maple and blue cheese sauce, served with cornbread waffles. Also new to the lineup: sweet potato puffs topped with marshmallow cream and candied pecans; these tasty bites are not to be missed. In addition to these goodies, the classic hand-dipped corndog and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches are now served with waffle fries.

Have you visited the Disney Food Trucks at Exposition Park yet? Which is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

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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Finish that Disney Parks Sign: Doombuggies at The Haunted Mansion

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


One of my favorite ride vehicles is the Doombuggy at The Haunted Mansion. I simply love that the “Ghost Host” kindly lowers the bar for you as you begin your tour.

Have you noticed this new sign at the attraction’s entrance? It details how many individuals fit inside on Doombuggy. But what is the missing word here? You tell us. We’ll update the post with the correct answer later today!

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Read the rest of this entry »

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New Tastes on Menu at Raglan Road Just in Time for St. Paddy’s

posted on February 23rd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Hard to believe it’s been nearly 10 years since Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant opened its doors at Downtown Disney, and the food just keeps getting better. Under the creative eye of Irish Master Chef Kevin Dundon, the kitchen with Chef Heberto Segura continues to shine a spotlight on the very best of Irish food and drink with a focus on seasonal ingredients.

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The spring menu debuts just in time for the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival March 13-17 (for more info about live music, Irish dance, face painting and other activities, go to www.raglanroad.com).

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We got a taste of the new dishes and craft cocktails, starting with the Rollicking Raglan Weekend Brunch (10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays). Each brunch starts with a complimentary sip of Suave Smoothie, a new seasonal drink with fresh fruit and honey yogurt. Heartier is the Pork Hash Tagged, a generous plate of potato hash with bits of crispy braised pork belly topped with fried eggs and a dollop of shallot puree. Heartiest is Ellis Isle Steak ‘n Eggs, featuring a grilled New York strip steak, roast potatoes and poached eggs that are fried and battered for a whole new taste sensation. If you prefer light, go for the Smoked Salmon Potato Cakes with beautiful smoked salmon atop thin potato cakes (made with mashed potatoes) with crème fraiche and a drizzle of caper dill vinaigrette. A beautiful Irish farmhouse cheese platter rounds out the brunch additions.

Three new items join the lunch and dinner menus. Cod Cornucopia stars perfectly pan-roasted cod with crispy skin atop warm potato salad and a drizzle of chorizo vinaigrette. (Fish is flown in three times a week from Boston, according to Chef Heberto.) Proud Pork is a generous grilled chop with traditional colcannon potato mash with cabbage, buttermilk and onion. The cider port jus took the chops over the top. The table favorite was the Double Joint, a cowboy cut rib-eye steak served with duck fat fries, roast veggies and a lightly dressed salad. Add béarnaise or red wine jus, both served on the side.

New cocktails compete with popular Irish beers and whiskies, all made with cold-pressed organic juices for delightful sipping: grapefruit gin and tonic; Strawberry Fields with Prosecco and vodka (brunch only); Ginger Mojito; Smoking Margarita with tequila and Irish whiskey are just a few gems.

Raglan Road is a true slice of Ireland in a lovely setting with antique bars and Irish antiques, and live Irish music nightly. For reservations, call 407-938-0300.

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Disney Student Seminars Celebrate Black History Month

posted on February 23rd, 2015 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


Disney Youth Programs recently concluded another exciting Disney Student Seminars at Walt Disney World Resort. This event honored Black History Month with a special presentation from Khalil Kinsey, curator of The Kinsey Collection. Khalil shared his passion for the contributions and achievements of African Americans and inspired the audience to appreciate their own heritage and family history.

Over 500 students, parents and educators gathered inside The American Adventure pavilion at Epcot to engage in Khalil’s story. Among the audience were students of U.B. Kinsey Elementary School of the Arts from West Palm Beach, FL — a school named after Khalil’s grandfather. These students had the opportunity to experience a piece of history for themselves, by meeting Khalil and discovering the roots of their school.

The Kinsey Collection is a national touring museum exhibit of rare African American art and history. It is showcased around the country in a variety of museums. We are honored to have pieces of this incredible collection currently on display as part of “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” at Walt Disney World at The American Adventure pavilion, where guests can explore and appreciate all aspects of American history.

Disney Student Seminars Celebrate Black History Month

To learn more about the Kinsey Collection and traveling exhibits in your area please visit: www.thekinseycollection.com

Visit www.disneyyouth.com for more information on all of the Disney Youth Programs offerings.

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Carrousel Horses Ready for the Day at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 23rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Did you know that exactly 87 royal steeds make up Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at Magic Kingdom Park and each one of them is completely unique?

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The horses, which were originally crafted in 1917 for Detroit Palace Garden Park, each sport looks all their own, dressed up in a myriad of colorful saddles, bridles, breast plates, armor and other festive gear. Is it me, or does the early morning sunshine cast just a touch more of a “fantasy” look to this classic attraction?

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Caption This: Finding Nemos at Epcot

posted on February 23rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Finding Nemo – or at least a very close lookalike – is pretty easy at The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion at Epcot.

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What’s on the minds of these tiny clownfish? Tell us in the comments section below!

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