Family That Turned Tragedy into Triumph Joins Thousands of Central Florida Runners at Fifth Anniversary Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Wine & Dine Half Marathon Medal

More than 18,000 runners from across the world, including more than 3,500 participants from Central Florida, are ready to toast the fifth anniversary of the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend on Nov. 8 at Walt Disney World Resort. Among the 18,000-plus runners on site for the event is the family of the late Stephanie Miller, who was registered to run the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in 2011 and earn her first runDisney medal before passing away at the age of 24. Instead, Stephanie’s family crossed the finish line for her and claimed the medal in her honor. Since then, in an effort to keep her memory alive, Stephanie’s family continues to run as many runDisney races as possible and collect medals in her name. In the process, and as an additional benefit, the family has become healthier and grown closer.

Representing all 50 states and 29 different countries around the world, participants in Saturday night’s half marathon will run through Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios before finishing at Epcot. Immediately following, runners can celebrate their success at the Finish Line Party during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, featuring more than 25 kiosks offering fine cuisine and wine.

Weekend Events Schedule:

Disney’s Health and Fitness ExpoNov. 7 – 8ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Disney Wine & DinePre-Race TasteNov. 7, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pmDisney’s Hollywood Studios
Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5KNov. 8, 7 amDisney’s Animal Kingdom
runDisney Kids RacesNov. 8, 10 amESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Disney Wine & Dine Half MarathonNov. 8, 10 pmESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Finish Line PartyNov. 8, 10 pm – 4 amEpcot

– See more at:

BREAKING NEWS: Playtime Hits the Big Time: Toy Story 4 to Debut in 2017

Toy Story 4

Nearly two decades after Pixar Animation Studios created the world’s first computer-animated feature film with Toy Story, today it has revealed plans for Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 4, an adventure that returns audiences to the world of the studio’s signature characters.

John Lasseter, director of the original Toy Story and Toy Story 2, will direct the film, which opens a new chapter in the lives of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the Toy Story gang. The story was dreamt up by Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Lee Unkrich, the storytellers who have been the driving force behind all three Toy Story films.

“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” said Lasseter. “We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before. Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie—and I wanted to direct it myself.”

Writing team Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (Celeste and Jesse Forever) joined the project, and Pixar veteran Galyn Susman (ABC’s Toy Story OF TERROR! and Toy Story that Time Forgot) is producing.

Toy Story 4 is slated for release on June 16, 2017.

Disneyland Resort Holiday Season Begins Nov. 13 with Christmas Parade, ‘Holiday Magic’ Fireworks, ‘World of Color – Winter Dreams’ and ‘Disney ¡Viva Navidad!’

Snow White Castle - Holidays

The Happiest Place on Earth gets merrier beginning Thursday, Nov. 13, when the traditional warm and festive Disneyland Resort holiday celebration begins, bringing themed entertainment, sparkling decorations, delicious treats and holiday shopping to locations throughout the Resort.

The season, Nov. 13 through Jan. 6, 2015 (ending with Three Kings Day) will welcome the return of the breathtaking “World of Color – Winter Dreams” holiday spectacular and “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” holiday celebration in Disney California Adventure Park along with beloved Disneyland Park holiday traditions.

At Disneyland, the popular “A Christmas Fantasy” parade will be presented daily, with Disney characters celebrating the holidays and a special appearance by Santa Claus who, through Dec. 24, will also be greeting guests and listening to holiday wishes at Big Thunder Ranch. Over in Disney California Adventure, guests may find Santa in a familiar department store setting, greeting guests at Elias & Co. on Buena Vista Street.

Guests won’t want to miss the special seasonal transformations of “it’s a small world” into “it’s a small world” Holiday or Haunted Mansion into Haunted Mansion Holiday. And nighttime in Disneyland during the holiday season is highlighted by the lights of Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle and the “Believe…in Holiday Magic” fireworks show followed by a holiday snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A., New Orleans Square and “it’s a small world” mall.

Returning to Disney California Adventure after its successful 2013 debut, “World of Color − Winter Dreams” is hosted by Olaf the snowman from Walt Disney Pictures’ hit animated feature “Frozen.” The holiday version of the popular nighttime “World of Color” show features classic winter scenes from such beloved Disney films as “Bambi,” “Fantasia,” “Toy Story” and, of course, “Frozen.”

Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks get spectacular seasonal makeovers with towering Christmas trees, wreaths and, in Disney California Adventure, festive – and often whimsical – holiday décor in Cars Land, “a bug’s land,” Paradise Pier and Buena Vista Street. “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure is a daily celebration inspired by the warmth and joyous spirit of Latino culture and holiday traditions, with festive music and dancing, vibrant colors, delicious food, Disney character appearances and the lively “Disney Viva Navidad! Street Party.” “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” will conclude with a five-day celebration of the traditional Three Kings Day, Sunday through Tuesday, Jan. 4 through 6.

In the Downtown Disney District, guests may take a break from their holiday shopping and dining to go skating on “Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink,” part of the seasonal Downtown Disney Winter Village where shoppers will find additional holiday gift items on sale from the windows of the charming village houses. Disneyland Resort hotels join in the holiday festivities with twinkling lights and ornaments, special entertainment and holiday dining with themed menus.  Expanded hours at both Disneyland Resort theme parks extend the family fun and offer more time for guests to enjoy all there is to see and do at the Disneyland Resort. .

For more information about the Disneyland Resort, visit  For ticket and hotel offers, visit

Star Wars: Episode VII Wraps Production and Gets Title — The Force Awakens

Star Wars - The-Force-Awakens

From the Los Angeles Times – 

“Star Wars: Episode VII” has completed principal photography and gained an official title, Disney and Lucasfilm announced Thursday.

The highly anticipated film shall henceforth be known as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Scheduled to hit theaters Dec. 18, 2015, “The Force Awakens” is the first installment of a planned trilogy set 30 years after 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.”

J.J. Abrams is directing the space opera from a screenplay by him and Lawrence Kasdan. The cast features a combination of familiar faces, including Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, and “Star Wars” newcomers, such as John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac.

“Looper” filmmaker Rian Johnson will pick up the franchise baton from Abrams to write and direct “Episode VIII” and pen a treatment for “Episode IX.”

A Feast of Disney Tastes Featured on Thanksgiving Day


Walt Disney World Resort guests can indulge in a fresh take on an American tradition by enjoying their Thanksgiving feast Nov. 27, 2014 with a bounty of Disney tastes. With more than 30 different dining choices at Disney theme parks and resorts, families and friends can come together for a variety of Thanksgiving lunch and dinner offerings.

Special holiday menus include roasted turkey breast with all the trimmings plus traditional Norwegian meatballs and pan-seared salmon at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, poppy seed lavash, house-made naan, and apple-cranberry achar at Sanaa, roasted heirloom beets with candied walnuts and mulled apple cider at Artist Point, and other unique dishes to enjoy with the holiday classics.

At Epcot, guests can dine on Thanksgiving menus during lunch and dinner seatings at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Biergarten Restaurant, Coral Reef Restaurant, Le Cellier Steakhouse, and Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room, as well as quick service at Sunshine Seasons.

Holiday menus also are offered at Be Our Guest Restaurant and Tony’s Town Square Restaurant in Magic Kingdom, Hollywood & Vine and The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Within the Walt Disney World Resort hotels, special Thanksgiving dining options are available at:

  • Artist Point and Whispering Canyon Café at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • California Grill and The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Captain’s Grille and Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • End Zone Food Court at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Flying Fish Café at Disney’s BoardWalk
  • Mickey’s Backyard Thanksgiving Feast and Trail’s End Restaurant at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Grand Floridian Café, Narcoossee’s and Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Kona Café at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Olivia’s Café at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Sanaa at Disney’s Kidani Village Resort
  • Shutters at Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • The Turf Club Bar and Grill at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Availability is limited and dining events are subject to change. For information and reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE.

The Art of Shaving & BabyCakes NYC Coming to Disney Springs


The Art of Shaving and BabyCakes NYC are the two newest stores that have filed paperwork to build locations in the upcoming Disney Springs at Walt Disney World.

BabyCakes NYC is well known to Downtown Disney guests. The company operated a bakery inside Pollo Campero before the location was closed as part of the Disney Springs redevelopment of that area of Downtown Disney.

Guests can still buy BabyCakes NYC Gluten-free baked goods at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, but expect to see a new stand-alone retail location in The Landing district of Disney Springs. It is thought that the bakery will be built near the Waterside Park area, beside Raglan Road and The Hangar.

The Art of Shaving has filed construction permits to build in one of the new retail units in the former Pleasure Island area, that will become The Landing. The upscale shaving supply store begin in New York City in 1996 and has since rapidly expanded.

The Procter and Gamble owned chain operates stores throughout the United States, including two at the nearby Florida Mall and Mall at Millenia. Select stores offer a full-service barber shop shave.

Neither BabyCakes NYC or The Art of Shaving has yet made any announcement or confirmation of their presence at Disney Springs.

Blast into a Day of Space!


In collaboration with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in conjunction with the Bay Area Science Festival, scientists and Disney historians discuss and demonstrate Walt’s influence on the Space Age with the “Man in Space” series from the Disneyland TV show.

Although all space-related activities on this day are free with museum admission, an additional paid ticket is required for the talk with Jim Korkis and Eric Toldi.

TALK | How Walt Put a Man on the Moon
3–4:30pm | Theater | $10 members, $12 non-members
Get ready to blast off on an outer space adventure with Disney historian Jim Korkis and space historian Eric Toldi as they reveal how Walt Disney teamed up with scientists to encourage America to aim for the stars.

LITTLE OPEN STUDIO | Make a Shooting Star
10am–noon | Learning Center, Art Studio | FREE for members or with museum admission
Let’s celebrate the sky! Make your very own shooting star or flaming comet using a variety of colorful materials.

OPEN STUDIO | Orbiting Planets and Multiplane Animation
10am–5pm | Learning Center, Digital Media Studio | FREE for members or with museum admission
Join us for a hands-on experience animating the solar system using our Multiplane Camera stations. Create your own planets, and then dabble with timing and spacing to imitate how they orbit at different speeds around the sun.

In our art workshop, help us build a Martian colony, with fun, hands-on ways to think like NASA engineers. This unique colony, inspired by the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, lets kids apply science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to solve design challenges and answer the important social questions that must be tackled before our big trip to the Red Planet!

11am, 1pm & 3pm | Gallery 9 | FREE for members or with museum admission
Explore Walt’s influence on space exploration in the 1960s with a guided experience with museum educators.

FILM | “Man in Space”
11am | Theater | FREE for members or with museum admission
Ever wondered about rockets, satellites, or space travel? Join us for a special screening of “Man in Space,” an inside look at all things zero gravity.

To print out the schedule for your fridge or for a flyer to hand out to your friends and neighbors, please click here.

Wells Fargo customers get in free to The Walt Disney Family Museum as part of Wells Fargo Customer Appreciation Weekends. All Wells Fargo cardholders will receive one free ticket per household on Saturday and Sunday, November 8 and 9, 2014. Present your Wells Fargo debit or credit card, along with your photo ID, at the admission desk on the day of your visit to take advantage of this promotion. Additional charges may apply for special exhibitions, events, and programs.

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Aulani

Characters - Aulani

Family and food are two of the best things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season, and what better way to celebrate than on a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? In fact, Sunset Magazine recently voted Aulani as one of the “top ten warm-weather Thanksgiving getaways.” So envision your ‘ohana spending November 27 floating down the Waikolohe Stream or exploring the Menehune Adventure Trail and then enjoying a delicious array of food and fun at the Aulani Thanksgiving Feast.

The Kaiona Ballroom will be transformed into a celebratory feast full of Hawaiian holiday traditions sprinkled with Disney magic. You’ll enjoy familiar Thanksgiving favorites … but with an island twist. For example, start with the heirloom tomato salad with Maui onion and micro basil and then follow that scrumptious starter with the longboard-braised boneless beef short ribs. Of course, no Thanksgiving meal is complete without turkey or ham – so be sure not to miss the guava- and pineapple-glazed ham and roasted turkey with sage stuffing, giblet gravy, and fresh cranberry-orange chutney. Also, live music from local entertainers will be featured, as well as a special Disney character greeting experiences exclusively for Aulani Thanksgiving Feast guests!

This “pumpkin pie” perfect feast will have two seatings: the first seating is from 4-6 p.m. and the second seating is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Aulani Thanksgiving Feast costs $84.99 for guests ages 10 and up; $42.99 for keiki ages 3 to 9. Please keep in mind that this event has limited seating, so be sure to call (808) 674-6200 to book your reservation today. Find more information and more menu details here.

Extra Doses of Magic Coming to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

The Magic Kingdom’s annual tradition kicks off Friday, November 7, and this year the annual event gets an extra dose of holiday magic with “A Frozen Holiday Wish,” additions to “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” new character dance parties, and opportunities to visit with not only Santa Claus, but Santa Goofy and “Sandy Claws” too!

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” includes lots of Disney characters, along with a holly jolly cast of snowmen, reindeer, elves, and of course, Santa Claus. Ralph and Vanellope from “Wreck-It Ralph” are new to the parade this year, as is a procession of visitors from the Kingdom of Arendelle with Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaffrom “Frozen.”

The “Holiday Hootenanny!” boot-scoots into the Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland, where you can kick up your heels for some down-home holiday fun with the Country Bears, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, and Clara Cluck. And over at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Tomorrowland, Club Tinsel becomes the top spot to get down when Phineas and Ferb show up. What are they going to do today? The brothers are going to rock their Christmas vacation with the holiday cheeriest dance party this side of Danville!

Christmas has come to Storybook Circus, too, and some of your favorite Disney pals are all dressed up for the occasion, including Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Scrooge McDuck, and of course, Santa Goofy. And what’s this? Pumpkin king Jack Skellington has been so inspired by everything in Christmastown, he wants to be part of the holiday celebration, too. You’ll find Jack in Storybook Circus – dressed in his finest “Sandy Claws” suit and ready to meet the boys and girls of every age!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held on select nights, November 7 – December 19, and is separate from regular Magic Kingdom Park admission. Tickets are available now. Get yours before dates start selling out.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train catches Fire from Firework Embers


Last night a small portion of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction caught fire on when embers from fireworks at Magic Kingdom landed on the exterior of the attraction.

The nightly fireworks had just ended when embers landed on the building outside the attraction about 10:30 p.m., igniting the fire, a Disney spokeswoman said.

The fire was first reported on social media around 10:20 p.m.

Reedy Creek Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire within minutes, according to eyewitnesses. An aerial ladder was used to put out the fire.

The fire was quickly put out, and no one was hurt, a Disney spokeswoman said. As of 11 p.m., multiple eyewitnesses said the fire was out.

Reedy Creek fire officials said fire likely started when fallout fireworks landed on top of the attraction and ignited decorative materials on the outside of the structure.

“We believe fireworks fell from the Magic Kingdom fireworks show and the ash landed at the top of the attraction, catching the fake grass on fire,” Bo Jones, spokesman for the Reedy Creek Fire Department, said in a statement. “The fire was contained to just the grass and did not get into the building or structure.”

The fire occurred during regular park hours and was difficult to access due to its location.

Video of Fire

Passengers on the ride were able to get off safely. No injuries or major structure damage was reported.

The family-friendly roller coaster was closed for two hours before reopening around midnight. The ride is expected to be open to guests on Sunday.

%d bloggers like this: