NEW ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCES HEAT UP THE SUMMER AT DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM

Beginning this weekend, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park at Walt Disney World® Resort comes alive with an incredible array of evening entertainment, from live performers in the African village of Harambe to the all-new show “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic,” allowing your Clients to experience the park in a magical new light.

Here’s a closer look at a few of the new offerings available as day transitions into night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

During Discovery Island Carnivale, a vivacious group of musicians and performers host a festive celebration of nature, spreading from one end of the island to the other with lively music and dance, vibrant costumes, delectable food and drinks, and more. This exuberant gathering begins as a procession leading to the Discovery Island stage and continues well after dark with a joyous party featuring the Viba Gaia band and a spirited group of islanders.

Throughout the evening, the Discovery Island Sunset Serenatas, another of the island’s musicians, electrifies Guests with a virtuoso performance on the Paraguayan harp.

And, like a beacon, the Tree of Life draws Guests to the heart of Discovery Island. Guests can watch in wonder as animal spirits within the tree come alive in mesmerizing color and light.

The village of Harambe in Africa is a popular destination throughout the day. At night it becomes a true hot spot with sunset on Kilimanjaro Safaris and the evening Harambe Wildlife Parti, a time for wild animals to roam the open savanna and for party animals to take to the streets!

This safari after-party fills Harambe with the sights and sounds of outstanding local street musicians and entertainers, inviting guests to join them in dance and song, partake in exotic foods and libations and explore the diverse wares of village artisans and merchants.

Beginning in late afternoon, the popular Burudika Band takes the stage in Harambe’s Old Square as hosts of the Wildlife Parti, performing original songs and Afro pop hits from across Africa. As guests explore the town, street musicians and performers seem to be around every corner!

With music, dance and an ever-changing landscape of things to see and do, the Harambe Wildlife Parti offers the excitement of an African village filled with non-stop, wildly fun surprises and delights!

CAPTURING MEMORIES AT JEDI TRAINING: TRIALS OF THE TEMPLE

At Disneyland® Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, guests can watch as younglings test their skills against the dark side during Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. In this theme park offering, which takes place multiple times each day, Jedi Knights identify Force-sensitive children from throughout the galaxy and bring them to an ancient Jedi Temple to train in the ways of the Force. Under the guidance of a Jedi, these eager younglings learn how to use the Force and wield lightsabers, and are soon put to the test, coming face-to-face with Darth Vader or the Seventh Sister Inquisitor from the Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels!

If guests have a youngling of their own participating, this is an experience they’ll want to remember for a long time. That’s why a Disney PhotoPass Photographer is present at every show to capture the experience. Photos from the experience can be included in the purchase of a Memory Maker package at Walt Disney World® Resort or a Disney PhotoPass+ One Day package at the Disneyland® Resort.

Disney PhotoPass Service and Disney PhotoPass+ are subject to the Disney PhotoPass and Disney PhotoPass+ terms.Memory Maker is subject to the Memory Maker Terms and Conditions. Memory Maker includes photos taken during the applicable Memory Maker window. A MagicBand is required to receive certain attraction photos and other digital content at Walt Disney World. If Memory Maker purchased at the advance purchase price, any photos taken within 3 days from the date Memory Maker is purchased will not be included and must be purchased separately. Online registration required. Disney PhotoPass Photos in your account will expire pursuant to the Disneyland PhotoPass expiration policy and the Walt Disney World PhotoPass expiration policy, as applicable. Downloads are restricted to personal use only. Not responsible for missing, lost or damaged photos. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Valid theme park admission and sign-up process required to experience Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.

A SNEEZY FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL BY SAM ALLEN

4_IMG_6223_Large

With the busy summer season just around the corner, it’s time to say a fond farewell to spring at Walt Disney World. For some, that will mean paying a visit to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival this weekend to experience this springtime tradition before it comes to a close for another year on May 30th. While many Epcot fan will no doubt miss the festival’s beautiful blooms, I can imagine one dwarf who might be relieved to have a few less pollen-producing flowers around for a change.

Full Story

Disney Mulling Live-Action Version Of ‘The Little Mermaid’

Execs at Disney are in the early stages of reviving Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid as a live-action feature. Disney chiefs recently heard a new take and are currently evaluating whether to proceed with the idea.

Full Story

Olympics Hopefuls Around the World Prepare for Rio Olympics at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Talk about keeping your friends close and your enemies even closer. Several world-class sprinters from the United States, Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland and South Korea are doing just that, training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort alongside the very competitors they might face at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

A contingent of American track and field athletes regularly train at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex under world-renowned former Team USA head coach and 2010 USA Coach of the Year, Brooks Johnson. That group includes 2008 two-time gold medalist LaShawn Merritt, 2012 silver medalist Jason Richardson, plus a handful of first-time Olympic hopefuls.

But this summer, several sprinters from various competing nations are expected to spend time at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex training alongside the Americans. Christine Ohurogu (400m gold medal in Beijing 2008 and the 400M silver medal in London 2012) is among the British athletes expected to be here along with their coach, Linford Christie, the former British Olympic gold medal sprinter.

For Belgium, the 4x400m relay team, which won gold at the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships, is stacked with medal contenders coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Belgian sprinters tout four of the Borlée siblings in their company: twins Kevin and Jonathan, their brother Dylan, and their sister Olivia. Among them they have 17 medals across the World Indoor Championships, the World Relay Championships, the European Championships and the European Indoor Championships.

Quick Hits on USA and International Athletes Training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex:

LaShawn Merritt (200 and 400 meters) –  Merritt took home gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics when he won the 400-meter dash and was on the team that won the 4×400-meter relay. Merritt also has 11 World Championships medals, 8 of which are gold.

Jason Richardson (110m hurdles, 400m hurdles) – Richardson took home silver in the 2012 London Olympics when he finished second in the 110-meter hurdles. Prior to that, he took home the gold in the 2011 World Championships (110m hurdles), as well as in the 2003 World Youth Championships (110m hurdles, 400m hurdles).

April Holmes (100, 200 and 400 meters) – Holmes is the reigning Paralympics world record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 meter sprints. She is also the Paralympic 100-meter gold medalist (2008) and the first female athlete to be signed by the Michael Jordan apparel brand.

Andrew Riley (100m, 110m hurdles) – Riley is a Jamaican sprinter who attended the University of Illinois. He made NCAA history in 2012 when he became the first male athlete to win national titles in the 100m and 110m hurdles in the same year. A four-time NCAA champion and 12-time Big 10 champion, Riley also qualified for the 2012 London Olympics in the 110m hurdles for Team Jamaica.

Ebony Eutsey (400m): Eutsey is a four-time NCAA All-American who attended the University of Florida and was a member of the 2013 4x400m relay team that set a new school record time of 3:27/43, eclipsing the previous record that stood for 21 years.

Mike Berry (400m): Berry is a 10-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion in the 400m who attended the University of Oregon. He also holds four school records at Oregon, including his winning 400m time of 44.91 in the 2011 Pac-10 Championship, which broke the previous record (45.07) set by two-time Olympic gold medalist Otis Davis in 1960.

Coach Brooks Johnson – Arguably the foremost track coach in the world, former U.S. Olympic track head coach Brooks Johnson has trained an athlete at every Olympic Games since 1968, including Evelyn Ashford, Chandra Cheeseborough, David Oliver, and Justin Gatlin. The 2010 Nike Coach of the Year once coached vice president Al Gore and senator Ted Kennedy in high school. Johnson also holds a law degree (Univ. of Chicago Law School) and once taught cultural anthropology.

– See more at: http://disneysportsnews.com/releases/2016/05/25/olympics-hopefuls-around-the-world-prepare-for-rio-olympics-at-espn-wide-world-of-sports-complex-at-walt-disney-world-resort/#sthash.GiUsE3HS.dpuf

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK TO BE RELEASED ON NEW DOUBLE GATEFOLD VINYL JUNE 17

Walt Disney Records is set to release a new hologram vinyl version of the original motion picture soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With score conducted and composed by five-time Academy Award®-winning composer John Williams and liner notes by the film’s director, J.J. Abrams, the double LP features a 16-page booklet on 180 gram vinyl.   This one-of-a-kind vinyl set, hand etched by Tristan Duke (Jack White’s Lazaretto) of Infinity Light Science, offers a 3D hologram experience featuring the Millennium Falcon on Disc 1/Side B and a TIE Fighter on Disc 2/Side B.  For optimal viewing, use a direct light source or simply hold a mobile phone flashlight above the vinyl to view the holograms.

Tristan Duke founded Infinity Light Science in 2008, a research laboratory with an emphasis on laser holography, interferometry, light-field imaging, hand-drawn holography, and relativistic imaging.

The must-have vinyl album also features Direct Metal Mastering (DMM) for an optimal listening experience.  Disney Music Group has joined forces with Pro-Ject Audio Systems to showcase this unique, next-level advancement in holographic vinyl technology with the Elemental turntable, a combination of minimalist design and maximum performance from the world leader in high fidelity turntables. The two brands will collaborate on co-promotions at retail, online, and radio.

Pre-order the @StarWars #TFAhologramVinyl from @DisneyMusicEmp now!

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2-LP hologram soundtrack will be available on June 17, 2016 at Disney Music Emporium, the destination for collectible Disney music products.  The vinyl set is available for pre-order beginning today, at www.disneymusicemporium.com and also at Amazonhttp://smarturl.it/swamhv1.

For more information on Walt Disney Records’ releases, like us on Facebook.com/disneymusic or follow us at Twitter.com/disneymusic. For more information on Disney Music Emporium, please visit DisneyMusicEmporium.com, become a fan atFacebook.com/disneymusicemporium or follow us at Twitter.com/DisneyMusicEmp.

STK Orlando Opens in Disney Springs

The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. (“The ONE Group”) (Nasdaq:STKS) is pleased to announce that STK Orlando officially opened its doors to welcome its first guests today at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World Resort at Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The new location is the 11th STK worldwide, and at more than 14,000 square feet, it is one of the largest to date. Featuring rooftop dining with scenic views, the restaurant boasts both indoor and outdoor seating on two levels, a bistro, bar, private dining room and a fire pit. With a sleek and contemporary design, STK is known for its high-energy fine dining experience.

“We are thrilled to enter the Orlando market, especially at a premier destination like Walt Disney World,” said Jonathan Segal, CEO of The ONE Group. “Strategic relationships, as well as great real estate, will remain integral to our growth plans as we expand our company footprint, and with an additional nine STK restaurants currently in development, we are excited to bring the STK experience to new cities across the globe.”

Previously announced locations for new STK restaurants include Boston, Edinburgh, San Diego, Denver, Miami, Austin, Ibiza and Toronto.

 

Walt Disney Co Sets Its Sights on Lightning-Fast 3D Printing

A Walt Disney patent application for 3D printing technology that’s reportedly up to 100 times or more faster than leading commercialized technologies was published in late April. This doesn’t mean the entertainment titan will develop and commercialize a 3D printer to compete with industry leaders 3D Systems and Stratasys.

Full Story

DISNEY CRUISE LINE RETURNING TO NEW YORK, CALIFORNIA AND TEXAS IN FALL 2017

In the fall of 2017, Disney Cruise Line will return to New York with sailings to the Bahamas and the Canadian coast – including a seven-night Canada cruise. San Diego will serve as a homeport with a variety of cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera, and Galveston will again be a homeport with sailings to the Caribbean and Bahamas.

Contact Travel Agents, Scott and Becky Donahue, of Wish Upon a Star With Us to plan and book your vacation.

Bookings open for Platinum and Gold Castaway Club members on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 and to all other Guests on Thursday, May 26, 2016.

Shanghai issues etiquette guide for Disneyland visitors

As the opening date for the highly anticipated Shanghai Disneyland nears, fans of Mickey and the gang are being reminded to behave.

Shanghai’s municipal government has issued an etiquette guide aimed at locals planning to visit the new park, due to open on June 16 in the city’s Pudong district.