Archive for Disney News

Walt Disney World Marathon, Pro Bowl Among Exciting 2018 Sports Events at Disney

A new year signals a new sports season at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, where thousands of athletes of all ages and abilities will train and compete in 2018. The action gets underway Jan. 4, when the complex hosts the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo during the 25thannual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. This premier runDisney race weekend – featuring kids’ races, 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon races – brings more than 100,000 runners and spectators to the Orlando area, making it the largest sporting event in Central Florida.

A week later on Jan. 12, collegiate cheerleading and dance squads will yell, tumble and stunt their way to glory in the National College Cheerleading & Dance Championship, the most prestigious college cheer event in the country.

And to close out a busy January, the top stars representing the AFC and NFC conferences will return to the sports complex for NFL Pro Bowl Week festivities. In addition to team practices, the 2018 Pro Bowl Skills Showdown will take place at the sports complex, pitting AFC and NFC athletes against each other in unique competitions, such as:

  • Kick Tac Toe:  A new challenge this year which will test the accuracy of kickers with a version of the classic game.
  • Gridiron Gauntlet: A selected number of players from each team will participate in a relay race which showcases strength, speed and agility.
  • Drone Drop: A bonus event where one player from each team will attempt to catch footballs dropped from drones from increasing heights above the field.  The player who records the highest catch total wins a monetary prize that will be donated to the charity of his choice.

Pro Bowl Week culminates with the 2018 Pro Bowl, held Jan. 28 at Camping World Stadium.

In February, the Atlanta Braves return for their 21st spring training season at Disney, with games getting underway at Champion Stadium on Feb. 26. The Braves will host the World Series Champion Houston Astros (Mar. 8), as well as Washington Nationals (Feb. 26, March 1), St. Louis Cardinals (March 3), Miami Marlins (March 4) and New York Yankees (March 9, 24), among others.

For fans in attendance, Disney character appearances and special moments such as kids running the bases after every game are some of the in-game entertainment opportunities that make Braves spring training at Disney a unique experience. Individual spring training game tickets are on sale at, through Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000) and at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Box Office. Tickets range from $15 (general admission berm seating in left field) to $59 (lower level reserved seats).

Information on Braves spring training season tickets, suite/hospitality, group tickets and mini-plans is available by calling the premium sales team at (407) 939-GAME (4263) and online at The popular mini-plans will be available again this season, featuring three three-game options.

Below is a look at all events held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex through March 2018:

  • 25th annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (Jan. 4-7)
  • Diamond 9 Sun Classic Winter Showcase (Jan. 11-14): The top travel softball teams in the country will play in front of college coaches in this premier showcase event.
  • National College Cheerleading & Dance Championship (Jan. 12-14)
  • Disney 3v3 Soccer Championship (Jan. 13-15): One of eight youth soccer events at the sports complex, this tournament offers and Open Division to all 3v3 teams, and an Invitational Division for teams that have qualified by participating in other 3v3 events.
  • Disney Field Hockey Showcase (Jan. 19-21): Returning to the sports complex in 2018, this USA Field Hockey-sanctioned event is the ultimate place for top field hockey clubs to be seen by college coaches.
  • Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitationals (Jan. 19-21): The Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitational is a first-class women’s and men’s competitive gymnastics competition
  • NFL Pro Bowl Week (Jan. 24-27)
  • National Dance Team Championship (Feb. 2-4)
  • National High School Cheerleading Championship (Feb. 10-11)
  • Diamond 9 President’s Day Sun Classic (Feb. 15-19)
  • Twirl Mania International Championship (Feb. 16-19): A baton twirling championship designed for soloists, pairs and twirl teams.
  • Braves Spring Training (Mid Feb.-Mar.24)
  • Disney President’s Day Soccer Festival (Feb. 17-19)
  • Diamond 9 College Citrus Classic Week I (Feb. 22-25)
  • Disney High School/College Spring Training (Feb. 25-April 29): high school and college baseball, golf, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, softball, tennis and track and field teams spend spring break training where the pros train at Disney
  • Diamond 9 College Citrus Classic Week II (Mar. 1-4)
  • Contest of Champions National Dance Competition (Mar. 2-4)
  • UCA International All-Star Championship (Mar. 10-11): An annual gymnastics competition held at the sports complex
  • Disney Volleyball Showcase (Mar. 16-18): This USA Volleyball-sanctioned event is a qualifying tournament for the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.
  • AmeriCheer & AmeriDance International Championship (Mar. 24-25)
  • AAU Boys’ Basketball (Mar. 30-July 29): AAU spring hoops events get underway in March, culminating in the AAU National Championships in July.

Disney to charge ‘substantially’ less than Netflix for streaming, plans new ‘Star Wars’ content

Walt Disney Co. plans to charge “substantially” less for its yet-to-launch streaming service than Netflix Inc. at the beginning, and will develop a new “Star Wars” live-action TV show along with other properties for subscribers.

Full Story

Chicago Prepares To Light One Million Lights At The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival®

The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival® invites visitors to two days of free, family fun to celebrate the start of the holiday season—November 17 & 18—culminating in an unforgettable tree-lighting parade.

On Saturday evening, November 18, grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World® Resorthelp illuminate more than one million lights along The Magnificent Mile, from Oak Street to the Chicago River!

Beginning on Friday, November 17 from 4:00 to 8:00PMLights Festival Lane (401 N. Michigan Avenue) offers a range of holiday-themed activities. BMO Harris Bank invites visitors to an expanded BMO Harris Kid’s Zone tent, featuring face painting with holiday designs and a special fast lane for BMO customers. Family and friends can get their photo taken with fun props which will be printed and available to share via social media. Kids can enjoy a decoration station for their photos.

“BMO Harris Bank is once again thrilled to share the holiday season in partnership with various organizations dedicated to gathering families and friends as we celebrate this special time of the year,” said Justine Fedak, SVP, Marketing, BMO Harris Bank. “What truly makes this celebration unforgettable for me and everyone at BMO Harris Bank is seeing people from all of our incredibly diverse neighborhoods across Chicago enjoying this festival – that’s the real magic of this event!”
Read more

Garmin® and Disney bring motivation and imagination to the playground

The Garmin vívofit jr. 2 activity tracker for kids features Disney, Star Wars and Marvel-themed bands and mobile app adventures. (Photo: Business Wire)

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the vívofit jr. 2 activity tracker1 for kids with Disney, Star Wars and Marvel-themed bands and mobile app adventures. Featuring designs of kids’ favorite characters including Minnie Mouse, BB-8TM and Marvel’s Captain America, each band theme offers a corresponding mobile app adventure where children can complete missions to advance in the journey and unlock new character step icons, with the help of their parents, by achieving 60 minutes of activity every day. This exciting collaboration leverages kids’ favorite characters, encouraging children to be active, and ultimately shaping habits for lifelong health and fitness.

Read more


Last week, Disney Parks Blog held a Galactic Meet-Up for their fans, who were treated to a meeting-of-the-minds between NASA representatives, Imagineers and superhero storytellers. It was a unique panel discussion that explored how the science of space exploration influences storytelling. Turns out that if you love Disney, you may be a budding scientist.

Full Story

Disney and Chase Renew Co-Brand Card Relationship

Today, Chase Card Services, the leading co-brand credit card issuer in the United States, and The Walt Disney Company announced a multi-year extension of the Disney Visa Card, Disney Premier Visa Card and Disney Visa Debit Card programs.


“Our relationship with Disney for a co-branded card program spans nearly 15 years, and this extension reinforces our shared commitment to bring exceptional rewards and experiences to our Disney Cardmembers,” said Leslie Gillin, President of Co-Brand Credit Cards at Chase. “It’s an honor to work with such a distinguished brand known throughout the world for creating happiness.”

Disney Visa Credit and Debit Cardmembers have access to amazing perks 365 days a year, including special savings at Disney’s U.S. Theme Parks and Resorts, Disney Store and,1,2 exclusive photo opportunities with Disney Characters at Walt Disney World® Resort and the Disneyland® Resort, and the opportunity to choose from a variety of unique Disney card designs.3 Disney Visa Credit Cardmembers earn Disney Rewards Dollars on all card purchases which can be redeemed toward almost anything Disney.4

“We are very pleased to extend our longstanding relationship with Chase,” said Priya Girishankar, Senior Vice President and general manager of the co-branded cards business for The Walt Disney Company. “Disney is beloved for its storytelling and for creating memories that last a lifetime, and Disney Visa lets Cardmembers access the best of Disney and share those magical experiences with their family and friends.”

Read more

Can You Pass This Really Hard A To Z Disney Quiz?

This is an A to Z quiz - the answer to the question corresponds to the relevant letter of the alphabet.

This is an A to Z quiz – the answer to the question corresponds to the relevant letter of the alphabet.

Full Quiz

Walt Disney Co.’s New Streaming Services: Everything You Need to Know

In a surprise twist earlier this month, alongside its third-quarter earnings report Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) announced plans for new streaming services.

Full Story

Can Disney Create a Netflix of Sports?

Bob Iger’s plan to launch two streamers — one for family fare, another for ESPN — carries huge stakes for the media giant and the future of the cable bundle itself.

Full Story

Disney Parks Announces Moms Panel Search

Are you the person your friends and colleagues always seek out for heartfelt advice on planning a Disney vacation? Have you put together more amazing Disney trips than you can count, and do you want to help others do the same? If so, then you may want to apply for a spot on the 2018 Disney Parks Moms Panel, the go-to online resource for guests seeking honest and relatable Disney vacation tips from likeminded parents. From Sept. 6-13, 2017, the search is on for everyday moms, dads and trusted family members to serve on the wildly popular forum. Applications can be submitted online at

Read more