University of Texas Runner Wins Emotional Disney Princess Half Marathon

After her cousin Gabrielle Arcangeli of Harmony, Fla., was tragically killed in a car crash last summer, Kaitlyn Johnson was determined to honor her cousin’s memory by running Sunday in the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Suffice to say, she did that and a lot more, outpacing the field of more than 24,000 runners to win her first-ever half marathon.

(Feb. 26, 2017): Disney Princess Half Marathon winner, Kaitlyn Johnson crosses the finish line first with a time of 1:22:16. Kaitlyn  joined more than 52,000 runners who traded their ball gowns for running gear to participate in the 9th annual Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort. The Disney Princess Half Marathon race was the storybook ending to the four-day race weekend which also included the Disney Princess 5K, the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, runDisney Kids Races, the Glass Slipper Challenge and the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo.

Johnson, a biomechanical engineering PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin, ran along with more than 35 of Arcangeli’s family and friends who also participated in the race weekend in honor of Arcanegli, who ran the race last year.

“Our whole family is here, so it’s great fun because we are all here in honor of my cousin,’’ Johnson said. “And I think that’s helpful in the healing process.’’

Johnson, originally from Westfield, New Jersey, had little trouble getting to the finish line ahead of everyone else, flying around the 13.1-mile course at Walt Disney World Resort in 1:22:16 – nearly three minutes ahead of second-place finisher Heather Schulz of Orlando (1:24:53). Jennifer Berry of Denver was third (1:25:49).

“I felt good from the beginning,’’ Johnson said. “It was so fun running by the Grand Floridian (Resort), where I used to stay (when we visited Walt Disney World Resort) when I was growing up, and Splash Mountain, which is my favorite ride. It was a fun time.’’

The half marathon was the finishing touch on the multi-race weekend which included Kids Races, the Disney Princess 5K and the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, plus a Health & Fitness Expo. In all, more than 52,000 runners participated in the race weekend, making it the largest women-focused race weekend in the nation.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is the third race in runDisney’s nine-race series that encompasses Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris. Next up is the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side (April 20-23) at Walt Disney World Resort and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry (May 11-14) at Disneyland Resort. For more information about runDisney, visit

Disney gets the Hamilton treatment for the Oscars as the cast cover Moana track ‘How Far I’ll Go’

Lin-Manuel Miranda may have left Hamilton, but the cast still have him in their thoughts.

He was up for Best Original Song at the Oscars last night for ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from Disney’s Moanaand the current cast of the hit Broadway musical have wished him good luck with an adorable cover of the track.

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Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Celebrates the Freshness of Spring With Tantalizing Food, Beverages and Culinary Events

With celebrity chefs, winemaker dinners, beer tasting seminars and irresistible cuisine, the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival jump-starts spring with hundreds of culinary experiences and delicious flavors from across the Golden State. Guests will be tempted to visit multiple days as the tantalizing Festival runs March 10-April 16, 2017, at Disney California Adventure Park.

“This year’s Food & Wine Festival is going to be better than ever, with experiences for guests of all ages,” said Gary Maggetti, general manager, Disney California Adventure Park West. “We’ll have more than a dozen marketplaces open every day, and you can enjoy an entire menu of daily culinary demonstrations and tastings, plus beer, wine and spirits seminars. There will be music everywhere, delicious food, and fun crafts created especially for our younger guests. We have something for the entire family.”

More than a dozen Festival Marketplaces will offer delectable fare, an ideal complement to the Festival-inspired menus at the theme park’s restaurants and eateries.

Dozens of food and beverage professionals will share their expertise during the Festival. Each day, guests will be invited to learn cooking techniques from master chefs, participate in wine, beer and spirit seminars, and discover some of the best California cuisine in dishes served throughout Disney California Adventure.

Celebrity chefs scheduled to appear during the Festival include Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine, Cat Cora, Duff Goldman, Emily Ellyn and Keegan Gerhard.

In addition to culinary demonstrations and seminars, guests will enjoy an exciting musical program with eclectic bands that add an authentic “California vibe” to the Festival. Children ages 3 to 11 may join in the fun with the popular complimentary Junior Chef experience (led by Chef Goofy, and available on a first-come, first-seated basis), and the Jammin’ Chefs, who serve up tasty rhythms with pots and pans that really get cooking with the help of sous chefs Chip ‘n Dale.

Signature Events, which require a separate ticket, include “In the Kitchen with …” on Saturdays from 6 to 7 p.m., Sweet Sundays on select Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and Winemaker or Brewmaster Dinners Thursdays from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Many of the Festival events are included with admission to Disney California Adventure. Guests who want to add the Signature Events may purchase separate tickets at an additional fee for:

  • “In the Kitchen with …” – Each Celebrity Chef will lead a 60-minute culinary demonstration and Q&A followed by an autograph session. The experience includes a tasting of some of the prepared dishes.
  • Sweet Sundays – A 90-minute culinary demonstration focuses on the sweet side of the culinary arts. Following a light breakfast and a sparkling toast, the Guest Chef for that day will demonstrate up to three recipes. Guests will enjoy samples from the chefs.
  • Winemaker Dinners and Brewmaster Dinners – A four-course dinner features wines and winemakers or beers and brewmasters. Wine or beer selections will be paired with courses created by the Disney Executive Chef Team and each winemaker or brewmaster will speak on the libation and the pairing.

Additional ticketed programs include:

  • Culinary Demonstrations (presented daily throughout the Festival) – Guests will enjoy 30-minute culinary demonstrations presented by local, visiting and Disney chefs. Each demo will focus on a single recipe, ingredient or cooking style. Guests will receive a tasting sample of the dish prepared.
  • Wine, Beer or Spirits Education and Tasting Seminars (presented daily throughout the Festival) – Beverage seminars presented by industry experts will enlighten guests who want to learn more about their favorite spirits. Each 30- to 45-minute seminar will focus on a specific beverage type, region or label, and guests will enjoy tasting samples of some of the beverages discussed.

From March 10 to April 1, guests may make reservations for Signature and other ticketed events at Reservations for events later in the month of April can be made beginning 60 days prior to the date of the individual event.

Food is always part of the fun at Disney California Adventure. The park offers guests a range of dining options, from fast-casual fare to haute cuisine, with innovative dishes from award-winning chefs. Guests will find Italian specialties at Wine Country Trattoria, handmade treats at Candy Palace, fine dining and craft cocktails at Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge, plus vegetarian and gluten-free options at many locations.

Separate admission to Disney California Adventure Park is required and is not included with the cost of signature events. Space is limited for all ticketed events; advance reservations are recommended.  Full payment may be due at time of booking, and cancellation fees may apply.  No refunds, credit or date or time changes.  Guests must be 21 years of age or over to consume alcohol; valid photo ID required.  Events and demonstrations are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Gruden’s QB Camp at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Returns for Eighth Season

Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series, a signature element of ESPN’s annual pre-NFL Draft coverage, returns for its eighth year this spring. In all, 50 quarterbacks – including 15 current NFL starters – have participated in the series. Notable players include Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson, former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck, 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton, two-time Pro Bowler Derek Carr and 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott, who was mentored by Gruden at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex just a year ago.
In the coming weeks, Gruden will welcome seven quarterbacks to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort where he’ll spend time with each prospect in the film room and on the field. Excerpts of the visits will be featured the same day on SportsCenterNFL Live and other shows.
Two-time Heisman Trophy finalist Deshaun Watson, who led Clemson to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, headlines this year’s QB Camp class. Watson is the most decorated college player the past two seasons, winning both the Dave O’Brien Award and Manning Award twice (2015 and 2016), as well as the 2016 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
Watson and fellow QB Camp participant Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina are both projected as first-round picks by ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay in their latest NFL Mock 2.0 projections.
In all, the 2017 Gruden’s QB Camp class includes:


  • Joshua Dobbs (Tennessee)
  • Brad Kaaya (Miami, Fla.)
  • DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame)
  • Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech)
  • Nathan Peterman (Pittsburgh)
  • Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina)
  • Deshaun Watson (Clemson)

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Video – Behind the Scenes: “Bringing Beauty To Life” – Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Go behind the scenes with the Emma Watson, director Bill Condon, and the rest of the cast of Beauty and the Beast and see how they brought the tale as old as time to life in a whole new way.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Talks Writing Disney’s Most Unusual Ballad

In musical theater, it’s called the “I Want” song. Typically a ballad found within a musical’s first few scenes, the tune is an opportunity for composers to put into words the leading character’s desires and motivations so that the audience can have a clear sense of where the story is going.

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Disneyland Refurbishment Update

Disneyland® Park
Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
Disneyland Railroad
Disneyland Railroad – Mickey’s Toontown
Disneyland Railroad – New Orleans Square
Disneyland Railroad – Tomorrowland
Mark Twain Riverboat
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Sailing Ship Columbia
Pirates of the Caribbean
Matterhorn Bobsleds
Jan. 11, 2016 – Summer 2017
Jan. 11, 2016 – Summer 2017
Jan. 11, 2016 – Summer 2017
Jan. 11, 2016 – Summer 2017
Jan. 11, 2016 – Summer 2017
Jan. 11, 2016 – Summer 2017
Jan. 11, 2016 – Summer 2017
Jan. 11, 2016 – Summer 2017
Jan. 11, 2016 – Summer 2017
Feb. 3 – Mar. 15, 2017
Feb. 6, 2017 – TBD
Mar. 20 – 22, 2017
Disney California Adventure® Park
Grizzly River Run
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
Mickey’s Fun Wheel
World of Color
Jan. 9 – Mar. 22, 2017
Jan. 17 – Feb. 23, 2017
Feb. 6 – Mar. 5, 2017
Feb. 21 – Mar. 5, 2017
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel® & Spa
General Resort Refurbishments
Guests may see and hear construction as we make improvements to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. To minimize any disruptions, activities that may create noise will not start earlier than 9:00 AM.

  • Room refurbishments will occur from January 2017 through fall 2017.
  • The pools and poolside cabanas will be closed for refurbishment from January 2017 to spring 2017. The pools and waterslides at the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will be available, and poolside cabanas at Disneyland Hotel will be available for reservations.
  • The Great Hall lobby will be refurbished and access will be limited beginning June 2017 through early August 2017. Some Guest rooms will not be available during this time.
  • The Craftsman’s Club concierge lounge will be temporarily relocated from early August 2017 through early October 2017.
January 2017 – Fall 2017

Information and dates subject to change without notice.

Seize the Day! Disney’s NEWSIES Breaks Records, Will Encore in Cinemas Next Month

“Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical!” three-day cinema event broke ticketing records to become the highest-grossing Broadway event to date from Fathom Events.

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Walt Disney’s ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Has One Huge Advantage Over Its Blockbuster Competition

The first pre-release tracking for Walt Disney’s next likely mega-hit is out, and the news is pretty darn good.

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Walt Disney World Refurbishments

Magic Kingdom® Park
The Walt Disney World® Resort Monorail System is undergoing refurbishment and may be on modified service and/or routes. If Guests plan to use this form or transportation during their visit they should check to be sure of the best option available on their day of travel, as alternatve transportation options will be available.
Through February 28, 2017
The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour
Walt Disney World Railroad
Hall of Presidents
Jan. 1 – Feb. 28, 2017
Jan. 9 – Mar. 2, 2017
Jan. 17 – Jun. 29, 2017
Disney’s Hollywood Studios®
Cover Story Jan. 9 – Mar. 23, 2017
Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park


Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Annual Refurbishment Dec. 25, 2016 – Mar. 11, 2017
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park


Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Tidal Pool Feb. 20 – 22, 2017
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas
Exterior Maintenance and Painting
All work with the highest potential for noise will be limited between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Through April 2017
Luna Park Slide Feb. 6 – Mar. 3, 2017
Community Hall Pool Feb. 27 – Mar. 1, 2017
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Trinidad South Village Pool Jan. 6 – Mar. 16, 2017
General Resort Refurbishments – Trinidad South Region
Due to several refurbishment projects, Guests may see and hear construction in progress specifically around the pirate-themed rooms in the Trinidad South region of the Resort. Any work most likely to cause a noise impact will not begin until 9:00 a.m.
Jan. 9 – Mar. 16, 2017
Old Port Royale Food Court, Shutters at Old Port Royale, Cabana Pool Bar and Calypso Trading Post
There will be a variety of dining options available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Centertown will serve breakfast and dinner and a selection of grab-and-go meals will be conveniently available for purchase in three island markets located in the Aruba, Jamaica and Martinique regions of the Resort.
Beginning May 2017 through 2018
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Hard Goods Refurbishment
Guests may see or hear construction taking place, or encounter alternative paths of travel throughout the Resort hotel. To minimize disruptions, we will attempt to limit all work until after 9:00 a.m. daily.
Beginning Fall 2016
Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort
Broad Creek Merchantile
Merchantile will remain open, but noise and visual impacts are expected.
Jan. 2 – Feb. 28, 2017
Disney’s Beach House
The Beach House Pool, Signals (the quick service restaurant), Surfmen’s Station, and the restrooms will be unavailable.
Jan. 2 – Feb. 28, 2017
Live Oak Lodge Elevator Jan. 30 – Feb. 26, 2017
Room Refurbishment
This will not impact any of the Resort activities or amenities available to Guests.
Feb. 19 – Apr. 9, 2017
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Sandcastle Pool
The leisure pools located at Old Turtle Pond, South Point and Miller’s Road will remain available
Jan. 2 – Mar. 3, 2017
Exterior Maintenance and Painting
To minimize disruptions, we will attempt to limit all work until after 9:00 a.m. daily.
Jan. 3 – Jul. 27, 2017
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Room Refurbishments
During this time, Guests may see or hear work in progress and certain pathways may be unavailable. To minimize disruptions, we will attempt to limit all work until after 9:00 a.m. daily.
Feb. 4, 2017 – May 7, 2018
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
Alligator Bayou North Pool Feb. 13 – Apr. 7, 2017
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
Paddock Pool Water Play Area Jan. 16 – Feb. 24, 2017
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
General Resort Refurbishments
Due to several refurbishment projects, Guests will very likely see and hear construction work throughout the villas, spa and dining areas. We will attempt to limit any work most likely to cause a noise impact to the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Through March 2017
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge & Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
General Resort Refurbishments
Due to extensive refurbishment projects, Guests will very likely see and hear construction work in various areas throughout their stay. To minimize disruptions, we will attempt to limit work until after 9:00 a.m.
At this time, many popular areas will remained closed – including the Hidden Springs Pool (the leisure pool at Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge), marina, playground and more. In addition, certain pathways, like our nature trail, will be unavailable, and surrounding views may be altered. However, the recently renovated Silver Creek Springs Pool will remain open and boat transportation to Magic Kingdom park will continue to be offered.
Through 2017
Cub’s Den (Children’s Activity Center) – unavailable Through 2017
Roaring Fork and Trout Pass Pool Bar
During this time our latest addition, Geyser Point Pool Bar & Grill will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Territory Lounge will also offer a continental-style breakfast featuring gourmet coffees, pastries and a yogurt parfait.
Feb. 13 – Summer 2017
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Room Refurbishments
During this time, Guests may see or hear work in progress and certain pathways may be unavailable. To minimize any disruptions, we will attempt to limit work to 9:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m.
Beginning in January 2017
Admiral Pool Feb. 22 – 24, 2017
Captain’s Grille
During refurbishments, the Captain’s Grille is relocating to the oceanic-themed Ariel’s.
May 15 – Sep. 30, 2017
Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Convention Center
Expansion Work
During this time, Guests may see or hear work in progress and certain pathways may be unavailable. To minimize any disruptions, we will attempt to limit work to 9:00 a.m – 9:00 p.m.
Aug. 4, 2016 – Feb. 1, 2018

Disney Springs
DisneyQuest – Closing Permanently Jul. 3, 2017

Golf Courses/Miniature Golf

Information and dates subject to change without notice.