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#DisneySide Sports Style: Disney Track & Field Showcase at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 4th, 2015 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


Disney Track & Field Showcase, an elite high school competition held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, is just around the corner. Here are a few ways to show your #DisneySide during the event!

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Girls will want to keep their hair pulled back while competing, so why not use a Mickey Mouse hair tie to show your #DisneySide? These would also be a perfect gift for your favorite athlete.

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There’s also a Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse hair tie that is stylish and functional.

Show Your Disney Side During the Disney Track & Field Showcase at Walt Disney World Resort Show Your Disney Side During the Disney Track & Field Showcase at Walt Disney World Resort

And lastly, keep your hair intact with this rhinestone Mickey Mouse headband, which is perfect for your competition and adds a subtle Disney touch to your uniform.

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All of these items can be found at World of Disney at Downtown Disney. How do you show your #DisneySide at sporting events?

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Disney and Orlando City Team Up to Make Soccer Magic at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 4th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


With Orlando City Soccer Club only days away from its Major League Soccer debut this weekend, Walt Disney World Resort is getting in on the fun.

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We are thrilled to announce today that Walt Disney World Resort is now a founding sponsor of Orlando City, further strengthening our ties to the area’s newest pro sports franchise which played its home games at our ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex last season.

This sponsorship deal means the soccer fever that has been sweeping Central Florida lately is going to be even more visible in and around Walt Disney World Resort. That’s because we are now the team’s official theme park and resort destination, and Disney Cruise Line and Disney Vacation Club are its official cruise line and vacation club, respectively.

When the season kicks off Sunday in front of a capacity crowd of 60,000 screaming fans at the Citrus Bowl, Walt Disney World Resort will have a significant presence at the game much like we will at all Orlando City home games this year and at the team’s new downtown stadium starting in 2016.

The soccer action will happen here, too. We’re planning to collaborate with Orlando City on a variety of soccer events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the coming months, further enhancing the soccer experience for athletes, coaches and fans who attend the many youth and pro soccer events at the sports complex.

Ultimately we hope to leverage our collective resources to further elevate Central Florida’s profile in key travel markets such as Brazil and other Latin American countries where soccer is king.

Hope to see you at some of the Orlando City games!

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New Tastes ‘Hit It Out of the Ballpark’ for Braves Spring Training at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


The Atlanta Braves return March 4 for spring training at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort – a fun outing in an old-fashioned stadium with throwback architecture to the golden era of baseball in the 1960s.

And what’s a baseball game without a hot dog (and a cold brew?). This season the ESPN chefs have their own triple play with three new tastes on the menu.

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If it’s not a baseball game without a hot dog, try the new Fiesta Dog, a foot-long, all-beef hot dog smothered in nacho cheese, chili, shredded cheddar, lettuce, tomato and garnished with nacho chips.

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If you have a hard time deciding, the Double Header kicks it up the hot dog idea with two takes: a mini-bratwurst and a mini-smoked sausage – sauerkraut on one, peppers and onions on the other, house-made kettle chips on the side.

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And the new Triple Play is a hefty 2 pounds – you might want to share this one, with shredded pork, ham and beef, topped with peppers and onions, shredded Cheddar and potato strings.

Here’s the challenge: these new menu items are only available during Braves Spring Training dates – but each one is worth the indulgence. And on the Disney Dining Plan.

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Braves Spring Training Kicks Off at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 20th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


Spring is in the air. Well, at least it is here at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and that means Atlanta Braves spring training must be right around the corner.

The first wave of Braves players begin training this weekend and the first full-squad workout is February 26 with the home opener set for March 4 against the New York Mets at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Braves’ 18th spring training season at Disney will involve an 18-game home schedule that provides fans with an up-close and personal experience when the Braves take on marquee teams such as the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and the Washington Nationals. And March 21 will be Military Appreciation Day when the Braves and Disney honors our veterans during the game against the Nationals.

Most games start at 1:05 p.m. ET, but there are four night games starting at 6:05 p.m. And in typical Disney fashion, there will again be loads of Disney entertainment, special fan experiences, unique food & beverage offerings and the opportunity for kids to run the bases after every game, which has become a popular tradition.

To get you excited about spring training, check out this cool time-lapse video:

Individual game tickets are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets and at the sports complex box office for as little as $14. Get more information at www.espnwwos.com/atlantabraves.

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First Look at New Items for Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 10th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m looking forward to the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort that will be held February 19-22. My fiancée will be participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge, so I’m excited to cheer for her and other runners throughout the weekend. She recently asked me about the merchandise that will be offered during the event, so I visited the merchandise events team to get a sneak preview.

A Variety of Apparel Items with the Princess Half Marathon Logo Will Debut During the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015 A Variety of Apparel Items with the Princess Half Marathon Logo Will Debut During the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015

Like previous year’s events, we will offer a variety of apparel items with the Princess Half Marathon logo including T-shirts, jackets, tank tops and headwear. There will also be drinkware, pins and a necklace. I like the colorful new ear hat with an attached veil. There will also be an ear hat with Olaf for the Kids’ Races.

You may recall that we released a blue, runDisney-themed retail MagicBand during the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend in January. I’m happy to share that item will return along with a new pink MagicBand. Both of these items are limited release and will have a retail of $24.95 each. They can be “linked later” which makes them perfect gifts for someone training for a future runDisney race at Walt Disney World Resort.

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For those participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge, you will also find apparel and home goods. I think the taglines on the backs of both running jackets are great!

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We will also release a variety of Sweaty Bands and Bondi Bands containing event logos.

The D-Tech on Demand boutique in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace will also offer unique artwork for guests. You can create and customize a case for the following mobile phones: iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5/5S/5C, iPhone 6/6+, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S5.

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Finally, we’ll have a few new Disney Princess-themed Dooney & Bourke handbags designed by Disney Design Group. Select bags will contain a specially designed Princess Half Marathon 2015 hangtag.

These items and more will be released at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Expo will be open during the following times:

  • Thursday, February 19 – 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, February 20 – 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 21 – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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Disney Sports Style: How To Show Your #DisneySide

posted on January 29th, 2015 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


Hello! My name is Aubrey Hang and I’m the Sports Marketing Community Manager for runDisney and ESPN Wide World of Sports. I am thrilled to be the newest author on the Disney Parks Blog, sharing updates on the amazing fashion seen during the eight runDisney race weekends and other events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

First of all, everyone has a different sports style. Guests love to show their Disney Side by incorporating a character’s style into their own fashion. We have athletes who might just add a touch of Disney, to those who are “DisneyBound” and finally those who wear full costume from head to toe. We see people of all ages dress up for the occasion with many wearing group and family coordinated outfits. The creativity put into these outfits is unbelievable and so much fun to watch cross the finish line.

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We’ve teamed up with Leslie Kay of DisneyBound to help put looks together for upcoming events and speak at our runDisney Health & Fitness Expos. My favorite outfit Leslie recommended so far was for the Dopey Challenge. Using pieces from Champion and New Balance, she put together a look to resemble Dopey!

In this blog series, I will focus on fashion recaps from our past events as well as ideas and inspiration for upcoming ones. I’m excited to give tips on how to create fun looks for runDisney races, as well as share with you the fashion seen at our ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex events! Here’s a sneak peek at some of my favorites from past runDisney events:

Have you shown your #DisneySide during a runDisney event? Which character inspired your look? Tell us in the comments section below.

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Running Around Our ‘World’

posted on January 17th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week on the Disney Parks Blog, we shared a bunch of exciting images from the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and the inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge.

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This year, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend “ran” for four full days and featured more than 26,700 registered runners competing in the full marathon. Individuals from more than 60 countries and all 50 states made the 26.2 mile trek through Disney Parks, the Walt Disney World Speedway and ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

The Castaway Cay Challenge was a 5K course that allowed runners to travel through a lovely island setting with themed photo stops along the way. More than 700 runners participated in this first-of-it’s-kind event.

Have you participated in a runDisney event? What did you like about it? Tell us in the “Comments” section below!

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Brazilian Runners Dominate Walt Disney World Marathon

posted on January 11th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


After four days of runDisney events, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna wrapped up this morning with more than 26,700 registered runners competing in the marathon. Runners from more than 60 countries and all 50 states made the 26.2 mile trek through all four Disney theme parks, Walt Disney World Speedway and ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. Waiting for them at the finish line was the commemorative Mickey Finisher Medal.

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For the second year in a row, Fredison Costa from Brazil, who recently moved to Orlando to train, finished with a time of 2:18:06 and ran away with the overall title. Brazilians dominated the event by taking the top four positions in the men’s division.

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Giovanna Martins continued the Brazilian domination as the top female winner, with a finishing time of 2:50:20.

The marathon capped off a four-day celebration of running that included a 5K, 10K, half marathon and kids races.

For the first time, friends and family of runners were able to watch a live video stream of the start and finish lines of the half and full marathon on the Disney Parks Blog. Runners are invited to go the Disney Parks Blog to replay and relive their accomplishment.

But before you do that, here is a chance for you to relive this morning’s race.

Next up, Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, January 15-18.

For more information on runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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Replay Our Live Stream of The Walt Disney World Marathon

posted on January 11th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


This is your chance to share in the excitement of a runDisney start and finish line. You can now watch a replay of your friends, family and thousands from around the world start and finish the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna. The 26.2-mile journey started just outside Epcot on Epcot Center Drive, and took runners through the Magic Kingdom, on the track of the Walt Disney World Speedway, through Animal Kingdom, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and finished in the shadow of Spaceship Earth outside Epcot.

Below is a choice of two live streams. The first includes the start line, multiple cameras and social media feeds. The second, an uninterrupted stream from the finish line.

You can join in the runDisney social media conversation by using #WDWMarathon.

For more information on the half marathon, marathon and other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

Walt Disney World Marathon:

To view the full size version of the Walt Disney World Marathon, click here.

Walt Disney World Marathon Finish Line:

To view the full size version of the Walt Disney World Marathon Finish Line, click here.

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Fifteen Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2015

posted on January 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


It’s a new year – do you have a Disney Parks vacation on your bucket list for 2015?

Whether it’s new dining experiences, sports milestones, holiday celebrations or the return of annual theme park festivals, there’s a lot to look forward to at Walt Disney World Resort in 2015. Here are 15 reasons you should consider planning a trip this year.

Trattoria al Forno Brings the Italian Countryside to Disney's BoardWalk

1. Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk – The newest Disney restaurant just opened its doors a few days ago. The menu features authentic Italian cuisine and wines – and is now an option on the Disney Dining Plan. Yum!

Exposition Park Opens for Disney Food Trucks at Downtown Disney

2. Exposition Park Food Trucks – While we’re on the topic of food, 2015 will give you time to check out the recently opened food trucks at Downtown Disney. This dedicated outdoor area also has live entertainment at night (subject to change, of course).

3. 2015 runDisney Races Are Off & Running - Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will take place January 7-11. (Check out a sneak peek at the merchandise that will be sold at this year’s event here). Space is still available in the Kids Races!

4. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – This nightspot is based on the popular themed lounge at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, and is set to open here in spring. Trader Sam’s will offer tiki cocktails served in souvenir mugs, as well as smaller food offerings. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more on this fun new location.

5. Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic – Soccer fans can get their kicks at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic February 1-March 1 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In it, eight pro teams, including six Major League Soccer squads, will compete in 16 games.

PRINCESS HALF MARATHON AT DISNEY WORLD

6. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Returns – This princess-themed weekend of running events returns to Walt Disney World February 19-22.

7. Starbucks to Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A new Starbucks location will open at the park in February, 2015. The new location, dubbed The Trolley Car Café, will be themed to a classic trolley car along Hollywood Boulevard and offer a unique experience for coffee lovers visiting the park.

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8. The Atlanta Braves Return For Spring Training – The Braves will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for their 18th consecutive year of spring training. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 or visiting ticketmaster.com, as well as at the sports complex box office.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

9. The 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: A Spring Tradition Returns March 4-May 17 – Character topiaries, home gardening seminars, floral displays and much more will return to the park’s festival in 2015.

10. Star Wars Weekends Returns – This annual event will return to delight fans of the Force and the Empire May 15 – June 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

11. “Tomorrowland” Debuts In Theaters May 22 – While it isn’t a theme park offering, how could any Disney Parks fan possibly miss out on seeing this one? AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Downtown Disney may be the perfect location. The trailer looks amazing!

12. Annual Events – 2015 means the return of our favorite annual events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and more. Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for news and dates on our 2015 special events.

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13. New Eats at Downtown Disney – The area continues to evolve into Disney Springs, and in 2015, The Landing, the first of four interconnected neighborhoods will open to guests. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more dates and details on the openings of Morimoto Asia, THE BOATHOUSE and STK Orlando, three restaurants planned for the area, as they come available.

14. Another Year of #DisneySide Fun - Guests loved showing their Disney Side – that side each one of us has that isn’t afraid to have fun and show our silly sides – at our parks in 2014. This year we’ll continue the fun by encouraging all of you to show your Disney Side at our parks (and at home) throughout 2015.

15. Your Family Vacation – If this is the year for your family’s vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, then there’s nothing to look forward to more than your family’s special time together. If you visit our parks in 2015, we hope you have a wonderful time.

Which event or new offering are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the “comments” section below.

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