Spaceship Earth at Epcot

Disney Jazz Celebration to Move to Disneyland Resort

posted on July 19th, 2011 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


Each year Disney Youth Programs has the privilege of hosting the Disney Jazz Celebration, a festival for middle and high school instrumental and vocal ensembles focusing on jazz education, artist interaction and featuring spectacular evening performances. For the past three years, this magical showcase of talent has been held at the Walt Disney World Resort. I am excited to announce that next year the event will be held at the Disneyland Resort from Feb. 24-26, 2012. We are enthusiastic about the change in location and can’t wait to see what excitement next year’s festival holds. Here is a look at this amazing event:

To stay up-to-date with Disney Jazz Celebration and other Disney Youth Programs music festivals, please visit our Facebook page.

If you have ever participated in Disney Jazz Celebration, please tell us your story in the comments below.



Here’s a look at more upcoming Disney Youth Program events at Disney Parks:

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Disney Youth Programs Announces New Kingdom Keepers Quest

posted on July 13th, 2011 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


I am excited to announce the addition of a new Disney Youth Programs self-guided learning opportunity for youth groups of 10 or more – the Kingdom Keepers Quest! The program, which was developed around the Kingdom Keepers book series and was written by author Ridley Pearson himself, involves problem solving, visualization, observation, creativity, math skills, language arts and critical thinking. Students will have the opportunity to work together to solve puzzles throughout Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort — just as the Keepers do in the first book, Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark. Do you have what it takes to be a Keeper?

Here is a look at the program:

To stay up-to-date with Kingdom Keepers Quest and other Disney Youth Programs opportunities, please visit our Facebook page.

Have you read any of the Kingdom Keepers series? Let us know in the comments below!

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Sing Your Heart Out at Our One-of-a-Kind Gospel Event at Epcot

posted on June 23rd, 2011 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


I am pleased to announce that Disney Youth Programs has the privilege of hosting Disney’s Gospel Choir Fest for the second year on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort. Participating choirs receive valuable feedback from EMI Gospel record-label representatives and the winning ensemble will have the opportunity to take center stage and perform during Saturday evening’s Night of Joy at the Magic Kingdom Park. Night of Joy is a contemporary Christian music festival featuring live performances by today’s top bands in contemporary Christian rock, pop and gospel. The video below highlights the University of Oregon’s Gospel Singers, last year’s winners of the event. Here’s what they had to say about this special festival.

To stay up-to-date with Disney’s Gospel Choir Fest and other Disney Youth Programs music festivals, please visit our Facebook page.

If you have participated in Disney’s Gospel Choir Fest, please tell us your story in the comments below.

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Disneyland Grad Nite – New Twists on a 50-Year Tradition Coming in 2012 and 2013

posted on June 22nd, 2011 by Betsy Sanchez, Manager of Media Relations, Disneyland Resort


As our 50th Grad Nite season comes to an end, we are excited to announce new twists and enhancements coming in 2012 and 2013 to this traditional rite of passage so many of us experienced as high school graduates.

In 2012, Grads will have more time, more flexibility and more room for their celebration at the Disneyland Resort including the opportunity to enter Disneyland park or Disney California Adventure park at any time during their Grad Nite visit. Students will receive a park hopper ticket allowing them a full day to experience both parks!

In addition, 2012 Grads will now receive a special FASTPASS option to use during their visit and a private showing of “Fantasmic!” to kick off the exclusive private party that begins when Disneyland park closes.

Beginning in 2013, the private party will move to Disney California Adventure park where Grads will enjoy all the newest offerings including an exclusive “World of Color” viewing and the new Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Grad Nite, 1966 Disneyland Resort Grad Nite

As these pictures show, our Grad Nites have become an important milestone for millions of graduating seniors in the last five decades, and we are excited to share new experiences as Grad Nites evolve just like the Disneyland Resort continues to evolve each year. We look forward to celebrating many future classes to come!

For more details, please visit www.disneylandgradnite.com.

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Festival Disney Dates Announced for 2012

posted on June 6th, 2011 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


Festival Disney is truly a music festival with character. Next year will mark the 8th year of Festival Disney, Disney Youth Programs’ annual competitive music festival held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. We had a wonderful time this year watching all the extremely talented instrumental, vocal and auxiliary ensembles take part in this magical competition.

Today I am excited to announce that next year’s Festival Disney competition will take place on select weekends from March 9 – May 5, 2012, as well as June 1 – 2, 2012, at the Walt Disney World Resort. We are truly excited to see what next year has in store for us. Here is a look at the event:

To stay up-to-date with Festival Disney and other Disney Youth Programs music festivals, please visit our Facebook page.

If you have ever participated in Festival Disney, please tell us your story in the comments below.

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Disney STEP Classic 2012 Dates Announced

posted on May 24th, 2011 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


A high-energy and highly memorable experience awaits your step team at the 2012 Disney STEP Classic, hosted by Disney Youth Programs! I am excited to announce that next year’s competition dates are February 18-19, 2012. I am also thrilled to announce that we have decided to add a new age group to the competition: 14 & Under. There will still be the traditional 18 & Up and 19 & Under age groups.

Participating teams will have the magical opportunity to perform on stage in the Premier Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as well as attend Master STEP Workshops provided by the National Step Show Alliance (N.S.S.A.). These workshops will help improve technical proficiency and teach the fundamentals of stepping. Participants will also, of course, have the chance to enjoy the magic of all four Walt Disney World Resort parks! Here is a look at the event:

To stay up-to-date with Disney STEP Classic, please visit our Facebook page.

If you have ever participated in Disney STEP Classic, please tell us your story in the comments below.

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The Disney Honors – Inspiring a Passion for Excellence

posted on March 22nd, 2011 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


The Disney Honors Showcases the Skills of High School Band, Orchestra and Choral Ensembles from Across the Country

Every two years, Disney has the privilege of hosting a celebration of musical talent featured at The Disney Honors, a festival that showcases the skills of high school band, orchestra and choral ensembles from across the country.

March 24 – 27, 2011, marks the 6th year of The Disney Honors, Disney Youth Programs’ biennial non-competitive music festival held at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Each of the selected ensembles will receive the opportunity to perform on stage, interact with world renowned musical educators and mingle with fellow musicians.

The Disney Honors Showcases the Skills of High School Band, Orchestra and Choral Ensembles from Across the Country

The goal of this festival is to inspire young musicians to achieve excellence by challenging them to broaden their musical abilities and experience an unprecedented educational opportunity. The festival also gives these students the opportunity to discover and enjoy some of our world-class theme park and entertainment options. I know from experience that events like The Disney Honors will create inspiring lifetime memories for each of these students.

The Disney Honors Showcases the Skills of High School Band, Orchestra and Choral Ensembles from Across the Country

To stay up-to-date with The Disney Honors and other Disney Youth Programs music festivals, please visit our Facebook page.

If you have ever participated in The Disney Honors, please tell us you story in the comments below.

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A Festival with Character at Walt Disney World

posted on March 3rd, 2011 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


It’s a proud weekend for Disney Youth Programs as it marks the 7th year of Festival Disney, our annual competitive music festival.

Held on select weekends each year from March to May at the Walt Disney World Resort, Festival Disney is a weekend-long competition for middle and high school instrumental, vocal and auxiliary ensembles from across the country. Participating groups will have the unique opportunity to perform at the Walt Disney World Resort, spruce up their performance skills and, of course, explore the magic of the parks.

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Disney Performing Arts Announces New Ears for the Arts Campaign

posted on February 23rd, 2011 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


Anyone who takes part in a Disney Performing Arts program shares a common bond and rite of passage. It takes confidence, character and camaraderie for an ensemble to be able to come together and perform in front of an international Disney audience. As a former participant with Disney Performing Arts, I know first-hand that performing at the Disneyland Resort in California or the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is something that will surely never be forgotten.

Disney Performing Arts 'Ears for the Arts' Pin

I am proud to announce that Disney Performing Arts will now be celebrating and commemorating this momentous experience and shining achievement with the Ears for the Arts badge of honor. Participants in Disney Performing Arts programs, which include performance opportunities, workshops, festivals and competitions, will receive an exclusive Ears for the Arts pin and become a part of an elite group of students.

The first Ears for the Arts recipients at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort were given their pins on Friday, February 11th in a special once-in-a-lifetime ceremony.

Dance Students from the Academy of Ballet in Orem, Utah

Dance students from the Academy of Ballet in Orem, Utah, were honored by Minnie Mouse herself when they became the first West Coast recipients of Disney’s new Ears for the Arts badge of honor. The Academy of Ballet is led by director Tyne Crockett.

Band and Choir Students from Pittsford Mendon High School in Pittsford, NY

Band and choir students from Pittsford Mendon High School in Pittsford, NY, were honored by Mickey Mouse himself when they became the first East Coast recipients of Disney’s new Ears for the Arts badge of honor. The Pittsford Mendon High School groups are led by choir director Edith Rice and ensemble director Mark Puma.

Emily Lockard and Michael Kist of Pittsford Mendon High School show off their new Ears for the Arts pin.

For the latest updates on Disney Performing Arts please visit our Facebook page!

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Hundreds of Top Cheerleading Teams to Compete at Walt Disney World

posted on February 11th, 2011 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


Hundreds of Top Cheerleading Teams Compete at Walt Disney World

Hi everyone. Disney Youth Programs is proud to announce this weekend, over 420 teams from 33 different states will descend upon the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the 31st annual National High School Cheerleading Championship, administered by the Universal Cheerleaders Association, a Varsity brand. The parks will be filled with spectators cheering on their favorite teams. This is Varsity’s 17th year holding this championship at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Teams qualified for the event by receiving bids at UCA Regional Competitions across the country. Winners will receive medals, a trophy and the ultimate prize: 2011 UCA National Championship satin jackets. Each routine will be on Varsity TV on Varsity.com, and there will be special features and interviews with selected teams. For more information, visit www.varsity.com.

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