‘Moana’ star to reprise role in Hawaiian-language version of Disney hit

The University of Hawaii’s Academy for Creative Media System (ACMS) is spearheading a project to produce a Hawaiian-language version of “Moana,” where star Auli’i Cravalho will return as Disney’s first Polynesian princess.

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Disney Parks and Superstars to Light Up ABC’s Primetime Special ‘The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration’ Nov. 30

Merry holiday moments from Disney theme parks around the world and a star-studded cast of entertainers will launch a “25 Days of Christmas” countdown when “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” airs Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, from 9:00–11:00 p.m. EST on The ABC Television Network.

The magical two-hour event will be hosted by Emmy® Award-winner Julianne Hough, multiplatinum recording artist and television personality Nick Lachey, and sports star, broadcast correspondent and commentator Jesse Palmer.  The show will give viewers a front-row seat to a Disney Christmas party like no other – a family holiday tradition brimming with colorful lights, snow flurries, memorable music and more.  From the Cinderella Castle stage at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Hough and Lachey will perform a spectacular opening number named for the primetime special.

Tony Award-winning actress Idina Menzel will join fellow “Frozen” star Kristen Bell to perform together for the first time on primetime television.  The pair, who voiced the characters of Elsa and Anna in the animated blockbuster, will perform in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at  Disneyland Park in California accompanied by a 30-voice choir.  The two stars of stage and screen will sing “When We’re Together” from the brand-new Walt Disney Animation Studios featurette, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.”

The holiday special’s other unforgettable, wish-come-true moments will include an extraordinary castle lighting extravaganza from Disney theme parks around the world – traveling the globe from California and Florida to Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

A Sneak Peek at New Star Wars– and Toy Story-Themed Lands

The force will be with all who tune in for a sneak peek at Disney’s new Star Wars-themed lands, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opening at both Disneyland Park in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in 2019. The new lands promise adventure on a galactic scale when guests steer the Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission in one attraction and engage in a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance in another.

From the edge of the galaxy “to infinity and beyond,” viewers will discover Andy’s world in the new Toy Story Land to open next year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.  The new family-friendly Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster and the Alien Swirling Saucers attraction will join the original Toy Story Midway Mania! attraction to give Woody, Buzz and Andy’s entire toy collection a backyard play land scaled to render park guests seemingly toy-sized.

Musical performances in the primetime special will include:

  • Ciara will perform a joyful Christmas medley, including “Jingle Bells” and “Jingle Bell Rock” from a sparkling Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Grammy Award-winning country artist Darius Rucker will sing “Winter Wonderland.”
  • Emmy-nominated actress and singer Lea Michele will be joined by special guest Joey McIntyre to sing the classic holiday duet, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”
  • Multiplatinum-selling group Fifth Harmony will sing “Can You See,” from The Star soundtrack, plus “The Christmas Song.”
  • Fitz and the Tantrums will perform their platinum-certified hit, “HandClap,” and their original Christmas song, “Santa Stole My Lady.”
  • Multi-Grammy-nominated trio Hanson will light up the night singing “Finally It’s Christmas,” from their recently released Christmas album.
  • Boy band In Real Life will sing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
  • Multiplatinum powerhouse Jason Derulo will perform “This Christmas.”

Viewers at Home Will Be Able to “Glow with the Show”

For the first time, viewers will be able to “Glow at Home” during select performances in the holiday special, thanks to the brand new “Made with Magic® 3.0: Connected Ear Hat” and the Shop Disney Parks app. Leveraging Bluetooth® technology, the Shop Disney Parks app enables viewers wearing the new 3.0 edition ear hats at home to sync with the ABC holiday special playing on the viewers’ TVs or other devices.  Viewers will feel like they are part of the show.

The app also has a remote-control feature to adjust the ear colors and speed of the strobe – a brand-new feature for the Made with Magic® Ear Hats. If viewers at home don’t have the special edition ear hats, not to worry. The Shop Disney Parks app will allow them to enjoy a second screen experience as their mobile phone comes alive, mirroring the spectacle on-screen during select performances. The Made with Magic® 3.0: Connected Ear Hat and the interactive ear hat remote control feature on the Shop Disney Parks app will both be available Nov. 17.

Holiday magic is endless as Disney theme parks transform into winter wonderlands filled with seasonal attractions, joyful entertainment, festive décor and special treats that make every day feel like a holiday. The spirit of the season shines even brighter in these magical places where families share traditions and make memories together.

For more details about Disney Parks holiday magic, visit Disney Parks Blog and follow Disney Parks news @DisneyParks#DisneyHolidayCelebration and #DisneyChristmasCelebration.

Cast of Disney’s Hollywood Studios Autographs Structural Beam for New Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

They’ve lent their spirit. Now Disney’s Hollywood StudiosCast Members and Walt Disney Imagineers are lending their signatures – and making their mark on theme-park history. All were invited to sign the steel beam that will be the highest point in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a new land coming in 2019 to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The beam-signing took place Nov. 12-14 in a backstage location of the park just outside the site of the new land. The signed beam will become part of the landscape in the tallest spire of rock rising behind the iconic Millennium Falcon spaceship. The beam will form the highest point in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Disney cast members are taking photos of themselves signing the beam.  They’re also autographing a “time capsule” banner that will be presented to the new land’s opening-day team in 2019.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will transport guests to a remote trading port on the edge of space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life – and where guests find themselves in the middle of the action. Two major attractions anchoring the new land – and even the land itself – will offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe like never before.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is part of the multi-year transformation of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which also includes Toy Story Land, set to open in summer 2018.

This Is the Hottest Souvenir at Disney Parks This Christmas

Disney Parks are known for their over-the-top Christmas celebrations, but this year it’s not the sky-high trees or snow on Sunset Boulevard that has everyone talking.

It’s the reusable plastic popcorn bucket.

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Disney Cruise Line Sails Away with Two Gold Badges from U.S. News & World Report

The goal at Disney Cruise Line is to make dreams come true for every person who steps aboard their ships. And, they’re always honored when the cruise experiences that they deliver are recognized as the best of the best.

We’re excited to share that for the fifth consecutive year Disney Cruise Line was named the top cruise line in two key categories in U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Cruise Lines rankings– Best Cruise Lines for Families and Best Cruise Lines in the Caribbean.

These rankings are based on cruise ship quality, reputation among travelers and many other factors. According to U.S. News & World Report, our ships “receive kudos from families and critics alike for their kid-friendly atmosphere, whimsical amenities and spacious staterooms. The cruise line’s Disney theme is understated enough that sentimental adults looking to reconnect with their childhood fantasies will enjoy sailing just as much as the kids.”

Since first setting sail in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has delivered incredible family vacation experiences that combine the magic of Disney with the wonder of exploring different parts of the world. From Broadway-style productions inspired by classic Disney tales, like the all-new Beauty and the Beast, and dedicated spaces for kids and adults to signature dining and spa experiences,Disney Cruise Line offers something for every member in your family.

We look forward to many more years of making magical memories for your Clients!

Reservations Now Open for Ale & Compass Restaurant at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Reservations are now available for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the new Ale & Compass Restaurant at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort for dining on Nov. 26, 2017, and beyond.

Ale & Compass Restaurant (formerly Captain’s Grille) has been completely transformed into a New England gastropub – Disney-style. The on-stage “hearth” oven area, where a select few diners can grab a seat, is the focal point of this warm and inviting space that is reminiscent of an off-shore lighthouse with rich, salvaged materials that are the decorative finishes.

The New England-inspired menus are creative and straight-up delicious — developed by the chefs of Disney’s Flavor Lab, a collaborative team responsible for all new food and beverage concepts across Disney.

Menu items incldue Blueberry-Bacon Pancakes for breakfast and the Mushroom, Caramelized Onion, and Gruyere Cheeseburger for lunch. And for dinner, guests can enjoy Fried Chicken and Waffles with House-made Pickles and Orange-Chili Honey or the Coastal Clambake (1/2 Maine Lobster, Clams, Corn, and Potatoes).

Desserts include a delicious Lemon “Curd” Meringue Pie. And chocolate lovers will love the Twelve-Layer Chocolate Cake (Flourless Chocolate Cake and Ganache served with Milk-Coffee Chantilly.

The expanded and beautifully re-imagined Ale & Compass Lounge is adjacent to the restaurant and will be open to Guests beginning Nov. 26. 2017. A variety of original and classic cocktails are the stars, but extensive lists of New England and local beers and wine are also available for your sipping pleasure. The lounge menu offers lighter bites such as Caramelized Leek and Chorizo White Clam Hearth “Pie,” Oven Roasted Oysters, and Parker House Rolls with spreads of Bacon Jam, Pub Cheese, and Smoked Trout.

For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407 WDW-DINE (407 939-3463).

How to do Walt Disney World like a rock star

If you’re a Disney fan, you’ve done your share of spinning teacup rides, Dumbo flights and Haunted Mansion tours at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Perhaps it’s time to kick things up a notch.
Here are seven personalized packages that will make you feel like you own the place. Think: going behind the scenes, viewing fireworks from a yacht (while chowing down on a five-course meal) and snoozing in an overwater bungalow.

Exclusive First Look – Starspeeder Flight Through Crait on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disney Parks

We’re just a few days away from experiencing a new adventure in Star Tours – The Adventures Continue inspired by the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and yesterday we’ve got an exclusive first look at a Starspeeder caught in the middle of an epic battle in the updated attraction opening at Disneyland® Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios® on Nov. 17, 2017. I think you’ll agree, we’ve never seen anything like this before!

We’ve shared all we can for now about the thrilling adventures waiting for you on Crait, but if you’re thinking that’s the only new Star Tours destination coming this week, all we can say is, “No. There is another.”

Disney Cruise Line Introducing Even More Fun for All Ages with New Spaces and New Experiences Debuting on the Disney Magic in 2018

Exciting new spaces and new experiences designed for guests of all ages are coming to the Disney Magic in March 2018. From family dining in an enchanted kingdom, to a transformed teen club, to a sophisticated café exclusively for adults, the ship’s newest highlights include:

An Enchanting Dining Experience for Families

At Rapunzel’s Royal Table, families will delight in an all-new dining experience inspired by the beloved story of Disney’s “Tangled.” The first table service restaurant themed to “Tangled” that features characters and live entertainment will transport Disney Magic guests to the kingdom of Corona for an evening of music and interactive fun featuring Rapunzel and the mischievous Snuggly Duckling Thugs.

Guests will step inside a regal ballroom in the royal castle, lit by glowing wish lanterns and adorned with colorful drawings that reflect Rapunzel’s artistic talents. Here, the King and Queen of Corona invite everyone to take part in a festive celebration of Rapunzel’s birthday and the anniversary of her return to the kingdom.

Throughout dinner, guests of all ages will be treated to live entertainment, including spirited singing and dancing led by the maître d’, a merry band of musicians, the mischievous Snuggly Duckling Thugs and of course, Princess Rapunzel herself.

The family fun is complete with themed menus, special activities and a lively parade to cap off the evening in Corona. The charm and enchantment of “Tangled” in Rapunzel’s Royal Table is the perfect pairing to “Tangled: The Musical” – the spellbinding original production that delights guests during each Disney Magic sailing.

Redesigned Retreat Just for Teens

Vibe, the space on the ship reserved for teens ages 14-17, is being transformed into a trendy urban loft environment. At Vibe, teens can enjoy a new coffee and smoothie bar, play video and virtual reality games, and check out other cool activities like a DJ spin-off and movie making. Activities at Vibe are organized and hosted by trained Disney counselors who facilitate the fun and interaction among teen guests.

Refined Escape Exclusively for Adults

Adults can relax at Cove Café, an adult-exclusive retreat that will be redesigned in a sophisticated tropical style. It’s the perfect place to sip a specialty coffee or tea throughout the day, or indulge in wine or a cocktail and light bites during the evening hours.

In this serene setting by the Quiet Cove Pool, adult beverage tastings are also available at select times for an additional fee. Just steps away, the adjacent Signals Bar will also be transformed with a similar look.

Elsewhere around the Disney Magic, other enhancement highlights include the addition of Club Disney Junior in Disney’s Oceaneer Club for children and a redesigned Rainforest Room with steam and hydrotherapy in Senses Spa for adults.

The new enhancements debut on Disney Magic starting March 9, 2018, on sailings from Miami, Fla. The four- and five-night Disney Magic sailings from Miami visit Key West, Fla.; Nassau, Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Beginning on May 14, 2018, the Disney Magic repositions to Europe for the summer season.

These additions are part of an overall commitment by Disney Cruise Line to invest in their ships, helping to deliver incredible family vacation experiences for years to come. While making these enhancements to the Disney Magic, crews perform regularly scheduled and wide-ranging maintenance to keep the fleet in tip-top shape, further demonstrating the unwavering commitment by Disney Cruise Line to continually elevate the guest experience.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.

4 Great Ways to Celebrate the New Year at Walt Disney World Resort

If you are celebrating New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World® Resort this year, there’s plenty of options for them to ring in 2018 in style! With special events happening around the resort, you’re sure to have a ball counting down to midnight wherever you are.

Down in New Orleans: A Disney New Year’s Eve Experience – Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Guests can ring in the new year in style with Down in New Orleans: A Disney New Year’s Dining Experience inspired by the New Orleans French Quarter and Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.”

When they arrive at the Sorcerer’s Apprentice Ballroom of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, they’ll be surrounded by beautiful French Quarter-inspired décor and an array of stations that will immerse their senses in unique and extraordinary flavors, such as smoked salmon mousse cones and oyster beignets fried right before their eyes. Then, when dinner time finally approaches, guests will be guided to a premier dining destination for the main course of the night where they’ll be welcomed by art-adorned walls with visions of New Orleans. They can take in the rich scents and vibrant flavors as they enjoy herb-crusted Louisiana redfish, crayfish étouffé, Black Angus beef, braised short ribs and roast filet of beef with truffled celery root silk, all while enjoying the authentic sounds of a live jazz band. At the evening’s end, a spirited vocalist will join the band and bring the classic sounds of Disney’s “Princess and the Frog” by legendary composer Randy Newman to life. Soon after, guests will be ushered to a private viewing area near the Porte Cochére, for champagne and the unforgettable sights of the world-famous Magic Kingdom®Park fireworks to ring in the new year!

From beginning to end, this event is a beautiful way to welcome 2018 and it’s sure to be a night guests will remember. Reserve seats today for this once-in-a-lifetime event! Down in New Orleans – A Disney New Year’s Eve Experience will take place on Dec. 31, 2017, from 7 p.m.-12:15 a.m. at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and will feature restaurant-style reserved seating.

This event starts at 7:30 p.m., and is a premier event you won’t want to miss! For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE.

New Year’s Eve Bash at Atlantic Dance Hall – Disney’s BoardWalk

Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk invites guests to ring in the new year with rockin’ music, tasty treats, high spirits and an enchanting dash of Disney magic. Guests can dance the night away while they enjoy tasty treats such as soft pretzels, churros, and other sweet and salty snacks. In addition, guests can celebrate the new year with complimentary party hats and horns, a view of the sensational Epcot fireworks, and a champagne toast at midnight.

Doors open at 9 p.m. and Guests must be 21 years or older with valid ID to enter. For reservations, call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.

Dinner and Dancing Under the Sea – Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk

Guests can kick off the new year at Flying Fish with Dinner and Dancing Under the Sea. Starting at 7 p.m., Guests can enjoy a cocktail hour with scrumptious hors d’oeurves and a gorgeous and delectable seafood display, followed by a spectacular family-style dinner spread with sustainable seafood offerings and accompaniments. Guests will also enjoy a complimentary character artist drawing throughout the night and the opportunity to dance all night long to the tunes of a live 3-piece jazz band. Then they’ll toast to the new year with champagne and a midnight celebration! Guests of this exclusive event will also have the opportunity to hop on over to the Atlantic Dance Hall to enjoy the Epcot® fireworks and midnight festivities.

Guests must be 21 years or older with valid ID to enter. For reservations, call (407) 939-2398.

Mickey’s New Year’s Eve BBQ – Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Guests can join Mickey, Minnie and friends for a family-friendly barbecue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort as they celebrate the new year at Mickey’s New Year’s Eve BBQ. During this special finger-licking, foot-stomping barbeque event, guests will feast on mouth-watering items such as Bacon Jam Burger Sliders grilled on site, Wagon Wheel Mac’n’Cheese for the kiddos, and Mini S’mores served in Mason Jars!

In addition to this all-you-care-to-enjoy BBQ spread, Guests will enjoy the sounds of a live bluegrass band and a DJ. After dinner, cowpokes can mosey on over to the dance floor for line dancing led by Disney Friends! Then get ready to count down to midnight and watch the Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from a special viewing area.