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Giant Sand Castle in the Snow Announces 24-Hour Party, ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 11th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As you may have seen on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” we shared some true Disney magic in winter-weary Boston by creating a warm summer scene, inspired by Olaf’s “In Summer” dream, to officially announce that the “Coolest Summer Ever” is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort. And it all begins with a Disney Parks Blog reader favorite – a 24-hour event at Magic Kingdom Park – during Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff to summer.

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Olaf, who is the official host of our “Coolest Summer Ever,” surprised Bostonians near historic Faneuil Hall with a 20-foot wide beach that included a Cinderella Castle made of sand, beach chairs, beach balls and other reminders of summer fun at Walt Disney World Resort. Check out how it all came together in the video below.

We’re kicking off the summer with an all-night party at the Walt Disney World Resort. Magic Kingdom Park will be open to guests for 24 hours of nonstop fun from 6 a.m.-6 a.m. May 22-23. Guests are invited to dress to show their Disney Side while a selection of favorite attractions, entertainment, merchandise, food and beverages will be on tap all night long to celebrate the start of the “Coolest Summer Ever” at Walt Disney World Resort.

For the “Coolest Summer Ever,” we’re already planning experiences you won’t want to miss. Here’s an early look at some of the highlights:

There’s more to come, so keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog or visit Disneyworld.com/CoolestSummerEver for future details and information.

Also, later this morning, Erin will be sharing a special announcement from Disneyland Resort right here on the blog.

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Filed: Disney Vacation Club, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Fans ‘Meet-Up’ for ‘Cinderella’ Sneak Peek

posted on March 10th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Over the weekend, more than 500 of our readers gathered at AMC Downtown Disney 24 for our Disney Parks BlogCinderella” Royal Celebration Meet-Up.

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Many of our guests, including some of our very youngest fans, came dressed to the nines in Cinderella gowns. Other guests got creative and designed their own princess-inspired outfits for the day. Some of the most creative outfits were rewarded with autographed “Cinderella” posters. Be sure to click through the gallery above for a look at some of our spirited guests captured by Disney photographer Mariah Wild.

In addition to costumed fun, the event also featured Cinderella photo opportunities, including one with a glass slipper. For more on the event, check out the video below!

“Cinderella” and the new animated short, “Frozen Fever”, debut in theaters on March 13.

Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for future event opportunities!

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St. Patrick’s Day Dining and Entertainment in Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

posted on March 6th, 2015 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


St. Patrick’s Day is Tuesday, March 17, and guests at the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim can celebrate Irish heritage with their pick of locales for variations on the traditional corned beef meal, along with some special St. Patrick’s Day entertainment.

At ESPN Zone, a corned beef, cabbage and potatoes special will be available throughout the day on Tuesday. Sports fans also will be able to accompany the onscreen entertainment with a glass of green beer.

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Catal Restaurant & Uva Bar is offering a St. Paddy’s Feast throughout the month of March with a sandwich featuring shaved corned beef brisket, house sauerkraut, secret sauce and Swiss cheese served on a marbled rye rustic roll and served (in a nod to neighbors across the Channel) with the popular Uva garlic shoestring french fries. The special is paired with Red Trolley Irish Red Ale by Karl Strauss.

For St. Patrick’s Day lunch and dinner at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, there will be corned beef and cabbage along with a variety of special drink offerings: green beer, baby Guinness shots and, for the more adventurous, Jorge’s Bayou Leprechaun cocktail.

Beginning Friday, March 13, and continuing through St. Patrick’s Day, Crossroads Restaurant at House of Blues offers corned beef sliders, Guinness beer cheese soup, fish & chips and a classic corned beef Reuben sandwich. On St. Patrick’s Day, the dining and entertainment experience will be plussed with green beer, Guinness and Jameson specials all night, live karaoke with The Reel Band, starting at 8 p.m., and free glow sticks and beads for guests. In the House of Blues Music Hall, a St. Paddy’s Day Bash with Street Dogs begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Additional Downtown Disney St. Patrick’s Day entertainment will be provided by traditional Celtic dancers performing in front of WonderGround Gallery from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday. In fact, if you’re looking for a tasty, lively place to celebrate St. Paddy’s with friends and family, look no further than the Downtown Disney District.

Erin go Bragh!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Special Events

‘Food Truck Takeover’ by Shutters at Old Port Royale This Weekend at Downtown Disney

posted on March 6th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Recently, I shared my dining experience at Shutters at Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort with you. This weekend, guests will be able to sample menu favorites from Shutters at Old Port Royale on the Fantasy Fare Truck at Exposition Park in Downtown Disney West Side.

March 6-8, you’ll be able to experience the sweet and spicy flavors of the Caribbean: Island Chicken Wings ($9.75); Jerk-seasoned Mahi with Ancho BBQ, pineapple salsa, and yellow rice ($9.50); and Warm White Chocolate-Cinnamon Bread Pudding ($4.00).

Try the Island Chicken Wings During the ‘Food Truck Takeover’ by Shutters at Old Port Royale This Weekend at Downtown Disney Try the Jerk-seasoned Mahi During the ‘Food Truck Takeover’ by Shutters at Old Port Royale This Weekend at Downtown Disney Try the Warm White Chocolate-Cinnamon Bread Pudding During the ‘Food Truck Takeover’ by Shutters at Old Port Royale This Weekend at Downtown Disney

Exposition Park, located at Downtown Disney West Side, is open 12:30-11 p.m., weather permitting. Tip: Park in the newly opened Orange Garage for nearby access.

If you’re hungry for more, Shutters is open for dinner daily, and accepts the Disney Dining Plan. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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

Sign Up for Our Disney Parks Blog ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration Meet up at the Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 4th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


UPDATE #1: This event has reached capacity. Please stay tuned for a list of confirmed RSVPs.

UPDATE #2: Click here for a list of confirmed RSVPs. If you do not receive a confirmation email by noon on March 5, please email WDW.BlogMeetups@Disney.com.

As promised, we’re inviting Disney Parks Blog readers to a royal celebration of Disney’s new live-action film, “Cinderella” at the Walt Disney World Resort. On March 7, 2015, you have the opportunity to be part of a special preview screening of “Cinderella” and participate in a special reception at AMC Downtown Disney 24.

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The event begins at 11 a.m. EST (doors open at 10 a.m.) at AMC Downtown Disney 24 on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Attendees will be among the first to see the film inspired by Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece. You’re also encouraged to dress as your favorite prince or princess, subject to the costume guidelines below.

Directed by Academy Award®-nominee Kenneth Branagh and Screenplay by Chris Weitz, “Cinderella” stars Oscar®-winner Cate Blanchett as the infamous wicked stepmother, Lily James in the title role, Richard Madden as the Prince, and Academy Award-nominee Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother.

RSVP for the meet-up now by sending us an email with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com.

Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of attendees will be able to attend the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All participants who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests of the participants may be younger than 18.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • Disney “Cinderella” is rated PG.
  • We will send a confirmation email to individuals whose valid RSVPs are received by us via email before we reach the planned capacity to confirm their attendance for the event.
  • Event confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person plus one guest.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in at the AMC Downtown Disney 24 West Side for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Costumes should adhere to any guidelines determined by Disney including:

  • Costumes should not be obstructive, offensive or violent; drag on the ground; contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another guest; contain any weapons or objects which resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon. Masks will not be permitted.
  • Costumes are also subject to any rules posted or otherwise provided by AMC Downtown Disney 24 including without limitation the following AMC notice: “We will not allow any guests into our theatres in costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable and we will not permit face-covering masks or fake weapons inside our buildings.”

This post will be updated after capacity has been reached.

This is an advance screening of the film. Closed Captioning and Descriptive Video services may not be available. Please arrive early. Seating is first come, first seated. No one will be admitted late. The screening may be overbooked and seating is not guaranteed. Disney Destinations, LLC, its affiliates and the theatre are not responsible for overbooking. We may refuse, revoke or limit admission in our sole discretion at any time. NO RECORDING. The screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any video or audio recording devices (including, without limitation, cameras and phones) into the venue and you consent to a physical search of your belongings and person for recording devices. If you attempt to enter with a recording device, you will be denied admission. If you attempt to use a recording device during this screening, you consent to your immediate removal from the venue and forfeiture of your recording device and its contents. Any attempted unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability. We reserve the right to pursue any and all available remedies at law and in equity for any unauthorized recording and/or copyright infringement, including without limitation statutory damages of up to $150,000 per violation, and nothing contained in this notice shall be construed to limit our available remedies and/or legal recourse. You assume all risks of personal injury arising from or incidental to attending the screening, whether occurring prior to, during, or after the event. Further, by attending you grant permission to Disney Destinations, LLC, its licensees, licensors, affiliates and agents, to record and utilize your name, voice and likeness to publicize the screening and promote the movie.

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot: March 2015

posted on February 28th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Spring is in the air! See what’s happening this March at the Walt Disney World Resort!

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March 2 – 8: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, March 2 – 8 and 18 – 22. Stop by and find a new piece of art to add to your collection! Learn more.

March 4 – 8: Renowned international artist Larry Dotson is set to appear this month at Epcot. Find him, March 4 – 8 at Art of Disney and March 27 – 29 at Puffins Roost in the Norway Pavilion. Learn more.

March 4 – May 17: Commemorative Epcot International Flower & Garden Merchandise will be in full bloom, beginning March 4! Visit the Festival Center, open Friday through Sunday, or the bridge kiosk at the entrance of World Showcase and find special treasures to help grow your collection. Tip: Check out special artist appearances and chef demonstrations as well as festival showcases. Learn more.

March 6: Meet author and Major League Baseball Legend, Cal Ripken, Jr. Cal will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his newest book Out at Home at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports during the 2nd inning of the Atlanta Braves Spring Training game. Please note, a game ticket is required to attend this signing. Learn more.

March 6 – 7: Join us as we celebrate the opening of WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Take part in a special artist showcase and signing from 1 – 3:30 p.m. with Michael Lewis Glover and Jerrod Maruyama and 5 – 7:30 p.m. with Jasmine Becket-Griffith and Robert Jimenez. Learn more.

March 8: Disney artist Jerrod Maruyama will be on hand for a signing of his Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival inspired piece Spring Has Sprung at the Festival Center from 11a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 2p.m. Learn more.

March 12: Something ‘charm’ing awaits you from the Disney Parks Collection │PANDORA. What you ask? Keep watching, fellow author Steven Miller will have all the details.

March 13: Pick up a copy of Lee Cockerell’s newest book, Time Management Magic at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Watch DisneyParksMerchandise.com for more information regarding this event, including signing times.

March 13 – 15: Precious moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick will be on hand for special appearances and signings throughout the day at Heritage Manor at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot, as we celebrate the release of her Spring collection. Linda will also appear March 20 – 22. Not able to make it? No problem! Representatives from Precious Moments Dolls will be on hand March 12 – April 12 at Heritage Manor at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot and March 12 – April 27 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

March 25 – 26: Are you a fan of Ridley Pearson? Be among the first to pick up two of his newest releases, Kingdom Keepers: The Return: Book 1: Disney Lands and The Syndrome: A Kingdom Keepers Adventure. Meet Ridley, March 25 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Once Upon A Toy at Downtown Disney Marketplace or March 26 from 9 – 11a.m. at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Learn more. Tip: Wristbands will be distributed to Guests at store open on the day of the signing with each purchase of a book by Ridley Pearson. A wristband from the appearance location is required to meet Ridley Pearson and allows the guest to get two books signed. A limited number of wristbands will be available the day of the signing. Once the wristbands have been distributed, the line to meet Ridley Pearson will close.

March 27 – 29: Celebrate Art in the Garden with us and take part in special artist appearances and signings with David E. Doss and Greg McCullough from 11a.m. – 7p.m. throughout the weekend at the entrance to World Showcase. Watch DisneyParksMerchandise.com to learn more.

March 27 – April 5: We have ‘egg’-citing news. Check out this post on the Disney Parks Blog.

March 28: Add the limited edition hand-painted Ink & Paint cel ‘A Dapper Day in the Parks’ featuring Mickey Mouse looking his best aboard the Main Street Trolley! Ink & Paint artists will be on hand for a special signing from 10 a.m. – 1p.m. and 2p.m. – 5p.m. at Animation Gallery in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Note: The cel will be available in a variety of formats including Unframed; Framed, Framed Cel with Postcard and Framed Cel with Postcard and Pin. Learn more.

Not able to make it? Take advantage of a special pre-purchase opportunity now through March 26 at 5p.m. Eastern. Of course, applicable tax and shipping fees apply. Order now!

Which artists are you most excited to see?

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

New Locations Join The Landing at Disney Springs in February 2015

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Signs of the future are springing up across Downtown Disney this month at Walt Disney World Resort as the area transforms into Disney Springs. Several new retail locations have opened in area to be known as The Landing. Once complete, The Landing will be home to memorable dining such as STK, Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE and unique boutique shopping. Here is a brief look at these newest additions.

The Art of Shaving at The Landing at Downtown Disney Apex by Sunglass Hut at The Landing at Downtown Disney Chapel Hats at The Landing at Downtown Disney

The Art of Shaving – offers premium grooming essentials for the modern man. The location also has a team of shaving specialists who offer advice to guests on proper grooming techniques. Appointments for a haircut or shave are suggested.

Apex by Sunglass Hut – designed with the athlete, sports and outdoor enthusiast in mind, this shop utilizes innovative technology, such as the Apex Smart Mirror, to help guests find the best choice in sport sunglasses.

Chapel Hats – specializes in fashionable hats and headwear for guests of all ages. The location carries just about any style of hat including fedoras, sun hats, floppy hats, outdoors hats, kid’s hats and more.

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Sanuk – creatively inspired footwear designed with non-traditional materials like yoga-mats.

Havaianas – offering “Make Your Own Havaianas” and “Embellish Your Own Havaianas,” this store features a large assortment of Havaianas sandals for women, men and children, plus kids’ rain boots.

Sound Lion – the latest technology in headphones, earbuds, speakers, and other digital sound and music products can be found in this shop. They also provide education in digital music applications that improve the listening lifestyle.

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Erin Mckenna’s Bakery NYC – this location will offer the same unsurpassed core vegan, gluten-free menu as its flagship bakery in New York City, and its sister bakery in Los Angeles. Look for a full selection of award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels (with vegan butter!), and other savory items daily.

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

March 2015 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


If you are planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort this March, here are a few quick tips on some of the merchandise events you don’t want to miss!

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March 7: Add the limited edition hand-painted Ink & Paint cel ‘Jungle High Jinks’ featuring Skipper Goofy to your collection! Ink & Paint artists will be on hand for a special signing from 9–11a.m. at Disneyana, as part of the artist showcase. Note: The cel will be available in a variety of formats including Unframed, Framed, Framed Cel with Postcard and Framed Cel with Postcard and Pin. Learn more here. Not able to make it? Take advantage of a special purchase opportunity now through March 31, 2015. Applicable tax and shipping fees apply. Order now here!

March 7: Join us for a special artist showcase as we celebrate the release of some of the newest pieces by artists Steve Adams, Dave Avanzino, Jeremy Fulton, Daniel Killen, Paul Lopez, Bridget McCarty, Miss Mindy and Larry Nikolai. Meet the artists from 9–11 a.m. at Disneyana on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park. Learn more here.

March 12: Something ‘charm’ing awaits you from the Disney Parks Collection│PANDORA. What, you ask? Keep watching, fellow author Steven Miller will have all the details.

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March 14: Take part in a special artist showcase as we release new pieces by artists Michelle Bickford, Ben Burch, Jeff Granito and Jeremiah Ketner from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

March 14–15: If you have been waiting for just the right time to order one of artist Dave Avanzino’s Custom Letter Plaques, you’re in luck! Dave will be appearing from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., each day, at Disneyana inside Disneyland park. Learn more here.

March 14–15: Join us as we welcome Ben Burch from 2-5 p.m., each day, at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

March 27–29: Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick will be on hand from noon to 10 p.m., each day, at World of Disney Store in the Downtown Disney District, as we celebrate the release of her Spring collection, among other fan favorites! Learn more here.

March 27 – April 5: We have ‘egg’-citing news. But you’ll have to wait and see. Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog.

March 28: Are you a fan of Ridley Pearson? Be among the first to pick up two of his newest releases from the Kingdom Keepers series The Return: Disney Lands and The Syndrome. Meet Ridley from 10 a.m. – noon at Disneyana on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park or from 2–4 p.m. at World of Disney Store in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

March 28–29: Meet ACME Archives artist Steve Barton, who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his latest pieces from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., each day, at Off the Page in Disney California Adventure park. Learn more here.

Which events have made your list of things to do?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Hotels & Resorts

New Items from Disney Parks Collection by Vera Bradley Arriving This Spring at Disney Parks

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m excited to share with you a first look at new items from the Disney Parks Collection by Vera Bradley arriving this spring at Disney Parks.

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The first of these new items include fuchsia-colored, Microfiber handbags that have a nod to Mickey Mouse. The styles being released include a mini-Hipster, tote, all-in-one Crossbody, and a triple-zip Hipster.

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These Mickey Mouse-themed, Microfiber handbags will also be offered in black, and will have the same styles as their fuchsia counterparts.

Look for these items starting February 27 at Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida, and in multiple locations at Disneyland Resort in California. Please note that the black tote will be arriving at a future date.

These items will also be carried online starting in March at http://www.DisneyStore.com/VeraBradley.

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Finally, the items I’m most excited about are the Laser-Cut bags with Mickey Mouse icons. I recall the day I first saw them at Disney Theme Park Merchandise headquarters. I rushed over to the category planner’s office to get a first look as she told me that I’d love them. She was correct; I loved the hidden Mickeys cut into the bags designs as it was something I had not seen before. While I don’t have a confirmed release date, I couldn’t resist giving you a sneak preview because they look really sharp!

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

‘Newsies’ Cast Steps into the Disneyland Resort to Teach Guests Dance Moves and Benefits of Healthy Living

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


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Cast members from the North American Tour of “Newsies” taught guests dance sequences inspired by the musical’s production number “Seize the Day” at the Downtown Disney District yesterday – all part of the “Get Up and Go” wellness program.

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The program is part of the national tour of “Newsies,” in which cast members visit select schools and after-school programs to promote healthy lifestyles through dance, exercise and a well-balanced diet. The cast also share personal stories about how staying active helped them achieve their goals.

The Disneyland Resort invited community groups including the Anaheim Ballet, the Wooden Floor and several local high schools to participate. The national tour of “Newsies” will run at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles from March 24 – April 19.

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