Walt Disney World Offers Ticket Discounts to U.S Military Through 2017

Walt Disney World is saluting U.S. military personnel with a special ticket discount through 2017.

Active and retired U.S. military and their spouses can purchase discounted  park-hopper passes starting Wednesday.

Four-day park-hopper passes start at $209; five-day park-hopper passes start at $224. A typical four-day park-hopper pass starts at $394.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase the promotional tickets for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends.

The tickets may be used from Jan. 1 – Dec. 19, 2017, except between April 9 – 23. All tickets are nontransferable and must be used by Dec. 19, 2017.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can also purchase specially priced rooms at select Walt Disney World hotels. This offer is valid for stays most nights from Jan. 1 – Dec. 19, 2017, except for April 9 –23, 2017.

For information on Disney military promotional tickets for admission to Walt Disney World Resort, or to make room reservations at Walt Disney World Resort, military personnel may call 407-939-5684 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.

Eligible service members include members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Reservists, the National Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use of the tickets.

Each military promotional ticket must be used by the same person on any and all days.

Magic Kingdom to Mark 45th Anniversary with Castle Presentation and Merchandise

The Magic Kingdom will be 45 years old on Saturday October 1st. Disney will be marking the occasion with limited edition merchandise and a special presentation on the castle stage.

The special castle presentation will begin at 9:30 AM on October 1st with guest speakers, characters, and musical performances.  Disney has not disclosed who will speak nor which characters will appear.

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As for merchandise, there will be a limited edition T-Shirt and Pin, available at the Emporium. Specially themed treats will be available at the Main Street Bakery and Gaston’s Tavern.

Disney and Jon Favreau Joining Forces on “The Lion King”

We can officially confirm that The Walt Disney Studios and director Jon Favreau are putting a new reimagining of The Lion King on the fast track to production. The project follows the technologically groundbreaking smash hit The Jungle Book, directed by Favreau, which debuted in April and has earned $965.8 million worldwide. 

The Lion King builds on Disney’s success of reimagining its classics for a contemporary audience with films like MaleficentCinderella, and The Jungle Book. The upcoming Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle, is already one of the most anticipated movies of 2017. Like Beauty and the BeastThe Lion King will include songs from the animated film. Disney and Favreau are also in development on a sequel to The Jungle Book. No release date has been announced for either film. 

The Lion King (1994) is one of the biggest animated films of all time with a lifetime global box office gross of $968.8 million, including $422.8 million domestically. It won Academy Awards for the original song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (Elton John, Tim Rice) and original score (Hans Zimmer), plus two Grammy Awards, with the soundtrack selling over 14 million copies. In 1997, the stage production The Lion King made its Broadway debut, winning six Tony Awards; 19 years later, it remains one of Broadway’s biggest hits alongside several other productions running around the world, including London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, Mexico City, Shanghai, and North America. Translated into eight different languages, its 23 global productions have been seen by more than 85 million people across every continent except Antarctica. The Lion King’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.  

On This Day in Disney: Fun and Fancy Free Premieres

In the early ’40s, Disney was working on two full-length animated feature films, Bongo and Mickey and the Beanstalk. When war broke out at the height of their development, it was decided to create a “package feature,” combining the two stories in a single film, Fun and Fancy Free, which was released on this day in 1947.

The package feature format helped Disney to provide entertaining films throughout the war, allowing audiences an escape from the realities of the world’s problems if only for a short while. Jiminy Cricket returned to the screen, with Cliff Edwards reprising his role as the cricket’s voice, and served as the guide between segments of the lighthearted film. His opening number, “I’m a Happy Go Lucky Fellow” was actually written for him to sing in Pinocchio.

The story of Bongo was told through song by Dinah Shore, a very popular singer at the time. At one time during the early stages of Bongo, thought was given to developing the film into a follow up to Dumbo using some of the same settings and supporting cast. The animation segments were tied together with live-actions ones, featuring popular ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his puppet characters Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. The trio was joined by Disney starlet, young Luana Patten, all of whom are worked into the story of Mickey and the Beanstalk. At one point, Foulfellow and Gideon were considered for the villains who swindle Mickey out of his cow, but the animated due did not make it to the final film. Billy Gilbert was an actor and comedian known for his comedic sneezes, but his voice work for Disney spanned epic proportions. Not only was he the voice of the Willie the Giant in Mickey and the Beanstalk, but he also was Sneezy the Dwarf in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Sprinkles Cupcakes Coming to Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort

The queen of cupcakes is headed to the Disneyland Resort.

Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes and a Food Network celebrity, is bringing her bakery to Downtown Disney. The cupcake shop is replacing the Something Silver retail shop in November.

This is the second Sprinkles Cupcakes on Disney property. In May, a Sprinkles opened at Disney World’s downtown equivalent, Disney Springs, in Orlando.

“We are thrilled to partner with Disney on both coasts. Launching Sprinkles in Downtown Disney was a natural fit for us when deciding where to expand our California presence,” Nelson said in a statement released Monday morning. “With its widespread appeal to vacationers and locals, Downtown Disney is an ideal spot for everyone with a sweet tooth to converge.”

The shop will serve the same menu of scratch-made gourmet cupcakes and cookies found in the chain’s Corona del Mar store, which opened in 2006. Though its ice cream will not be sold at Downtown Disney, a Sprinkles representative said the brand hopes to take advantage of its location by serving some Disneyland-inspired treats.

“At the time of opening, we will not have Disney-themed cupcakes, but we hope to bring this option to our customers in the future,” a Sprinkles representative told the Register in an email.

Sprinkles Cupcakes is considered a pioneer in specialty desserts – responsible for an explosion of haute cupcake shops that opened across Southern California before the Great Recession hit.

Nelson, an investment banker turned baker, opened the first Sprinkles in 2005 in Beverly Hills. She sold 200 cupcakes in two hours on opening day. That number eventually jumped to 1,000 a day once word spread that celebrities such as Tyra Banks and Barbra Streisand were devotees.

Sprinkles has 20 locations nationwide and a mobile cupcake truck. It sells its cupcake mixes at more than 250 Williams-Sonoma stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 2012, it made more headlines when it debuted a string of “ATM” cupcake dispensers and premium ice cream shops. One of its ATMs recently opened on the USC campus.

Sprinkles’ second shop at Corona del Mar Plaza offers ice cream and is slated to get an ATM dispenser, a company representative said.

The Anaheim store hours will be Sunday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to midnight, and Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

In recent years, the mix of stores and dining options have changed at Downtown Disney. In 2014, Starbucks opened a cafe. Earlier this month, Disney announced plans to raze the 17,000-square-foot-plus House of Blues building. The concert venue, which closed earlier this year, is reopening at the nearby GardenWalk mall.

From Mark Eades and the Orange County Register

Disney Is Working With an Adviser on Potential Twitter Bid

The Walt Disney Co. is working with a financial adviser to evaluate a possible bid for Twitter Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

After receiving some inbound interest, Twitter started a process to evaluate a potential sale. Salesforce.com Inc. is also considering a bid, working with Bank of America on the process, according to other people, who declined to be named because the matter is private.

Representatives for Twitter and Disney didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Speculation that Twitter will be sold has been gathering steam in recent months, including last week’s news about Salesforce’s interest. Twitter’s share price soared 21 percent Friday following reports of the talks. Disney, if it decides to make a bid, would be able to help the company further its video-streaming media strategy. Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer of Twitter, is also on the board of Disney.

From Bloomberg

runDisney Gives a Sneak A Peek at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Medals

Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Goofy and Dopey – oh my! All of your favorite characters are gearing up to host the most magical race weekend on Earth! The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna celebrates the Fab 5 and Dopey with entertainment, character meet & greets and, of course, medals! There’s still a chance to earn the whole collection! As part of The Dopey Challenge, participants run the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon in four days for a total of 48.6 magical miles. Runners who complete all of the races within pacing requirements will earn the Goofy Race and Half Challenge medal plus the Dopey Challenge finisher medal (in addition to the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon medal) for a total of six pieces of “bling.”

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There’s no race quite like the Walt Disney World Marathon. It’s our only runDisney race that takes you through all four Walt Disney World theme parks and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Check out our website to see how you can earn the Walt Disney World Marathon or Castaway Challenge (combining one 5K event or longer during the 2017 Marathon Weekend with a Castaway Cay 5K on Disney Cruise Line’s private tropical island in the Bahamas the following week) medal as well!

New iPhone 7 Options Added to D-Tech on Demand Stations

New artwork for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus was recently added to the D-Tech on Demand stationsat Disney Parks. At these stations, guests can create and personalize phone cases for select phone models.

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Some of the new artwork includes the two Halloween-inspired designs shown above.

These new D-Tech on Demand phone case designs can accommodate both iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 Plus models.

Disney will release pre-packaged cases for iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 Plus in select merchandise locations starting in early October.

Guests visiting Disneyland Resort can find D-Tech on Demand at D-Street in Downtown Disney District. You can also create Star Wars-inspired cases at Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park.

At Walt Disney World Resort, D-Tech on Demand is found at the Marketplace Co-Op in Disney Springs Marketplace, Tomorrowland Light & Power Company in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park, and Star Wars Launch Bay Cargo at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (the latter location only offers Star Wars-inspired designs).

‘The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History’ Debuts October 2 in Magic Kingdom

Great news for all you Muppets fans out there! Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and The Great Gonzo arrive at the Magic Kingdom on October 2nd for the opening of their all-new, live show “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History.” Hosted by James “J.J.” Jefferson, town crier of Liberty Square, and Sam Eagle, the fiercely patriotic American eagle who is forever trying to set a high moral standard for the Muppets, this wacky new show is set to take place several times daily, just outside The Hall of Presidents.

Throughout the day, J.J. and the Muppets share their own unique take on the founding fathers as they recount the tale of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, complete with an original song and plenty of humor. At other times, you may catch the Muppets’ version of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, presented in hysterical fashion as only they can.

If you like some hijinks with your history, be sure to check out “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History” this fall at Walt Disney World Resort!

Sanaa Now Has Quick Service and Grab ‘n’ Go Breakfast

Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village is now offering breakfast.

Breakfast is served from 7 AM until 10 AM  daily. Guests can choose between Grab ‘n’ Go or Quick Service dining.

The available items on each menu are as follows:

Grab ‘n’ Go Menu

  • Choice of Freshly Baked Muffins, Pastries and Croissants
  • Warm Ceylon Cinnamon Rolls
  • Banana Bread with House-made African Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
  • Seasonal Inspired Fruit Salad
  • African Breakfast Cereal with Brown Sugar and Raisins
  • Boerewors Sausage and Egg Bobotie Pie
  • Yogurt Parfaits
  • Whole Fruit
  • Coffee and Hot Tea
  • Juice and Milk

Quick Service Menu

  • Savanna Platter
    Two Farm Fresh Eggs served any style, Tomato Chutney, Tanzanian Hash Browns and Bacon
  • Boere Breakfast
    Two Farm Fresh Eggs any style, Tomato Chutney, Tanzanian Hash Browns, Boerewors Sausage and Bacon
  • Safari Waffle
    Waffle topped with Seasonal Berries and Chai Whipped Cream
  • Sunrise Sandwich
    Egg, Ham and Cheddar Cheese Served on a Croissant
  • Fruit Sosatie
    With Quinoa and Dried Fruit Salad
  • Kids Explorer Platter
    One Farm Fresh Egg served any style, Hash Browns and Bacon
  • Kids Mickey Waffle
    Two Mickey Waffles and Bacon