Walt Disney World Eliminates 10 Citizens of Hollywood Positions

Ten “Citizens of Hollywood,” the actors who portray old-time Tinseltown characters at Walt Disney World, will lose their jobs in April.

The cuts mean the group that performs at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will shrink by a third.

A spokeswoman for the Actors’ Equity Association, which represents the performers, confirmed Monday 10 of the 29 will not have their contracts renewed.

Nine of the performers who will lose their jobs currently work at Disney full-time, union spokeswoman Maria Somma said. One works part-time.

Disney gave the actors notice last week. They will stop working at the end of their contract in mid-April.

A Disney spokeswoman did not immediately have a comment Monday.

Other cuts have gone into effect as well at Disney World.

Earlier this month, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co. laid off about 100 painters working at the resort.

Some character experiences have been slightly shortened, according to a union representative. Disney will run the Main Street Electrical Parade only once a night during March, typically one of the resort’s busiest times.

From the Orlando Sentinel

Disney Springs Doubles Dining and Shopping Experiences

Today Walt Disney World announced that 30 more high-profile tenants will be setting up shop at Disney Springs just in time for this summer, including Anthropologie, LACOSTE, Under Armour, kate spade new york, Sephora and Lucky Brand, among others.

Here’s a complete list of the new shops and dining venues that’ll be opening in phases at Disney Springs beginning May 15, 2016:

  • Anthropologie – Clothing
  • kate spade new york – Designer handbags and clothing
  • LACOSTE – Clothing
  • Under Armour – Sports wear
  • M·A·C Cosmetics – Cosmetics
  • Vince Camuto – Shoes, handbags.
  • Vera Bradley – Handbags
  • Lucky Brand – Clothing and accessories
  • Oakley – Sports wear
  • Coca-Cola Store
  • ALEX AND ANI® – Bracelets
  • Na Hoku – Hawaii’s Finest Jewelers Since 1924
  • Shore – Clothing
  • American Threads – Vintage clothing
  • Volcom – Surf and Skateboard Apparel and accessories
  • Kipling – Handbags and backpacks
  • francesca’s – Dresses
  • Melissa Shoes
  • UNOde50 – Jewelry
  • Johnston & Murphy – Shoes
  • Everything But Water – Swimwear
  • Free People –  Clothing
  • JOHNNY WAS – Clothing
  • Columbia – Outdoor wear
  • Sperry – Footwear
  • Luxury of Time by Diamonds International
  • Sephora – Cosmetics
  • D-Luxe Burger – Burger restaurant
  • Amoretti’s Patisserie – Bakery
  • Tablas Frontera – Restaurant
  • Homecoming – Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar – Restaurant

You can learn more about each new addition to Disney Springs here.

Disney Springs, which was inspired by Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, is nearing completion on its largest expansion in history. It is exciting to see the area emerge as a new waterfront district with world-class shopping, unique dining and high-quality entertainment. Disney Springs has four distinct neighborhoods to explore: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center and will eventually have more than 150 retail, dining and entertainment offerings.


Same-Day Reservations Test for Jungle Cruise Skipper Canteen Extended

The same-day reservations test continues at the Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise Skipper Canteen following the original test period which ended on February 27th.

Reservations can be made at jungleskippercanteen.com or via 407-993-1933.

No word yet on when full reservations will be available. The restaurant is currently open daily for lunch and dinner.

Jack Lindquist, First President of Disneyland, Dies

Jack Lindquist, the first president of Disneyland, has died. He was 88.

A Villa Park resident, Lindquist began his nearly four decade career at Disneyland when he was hired by Walt Disney as its advertising manager, just a few months after the theme park opened in July 1955.

“My dad was truly the center of our family. The memories that we share will always be at the center of our fun times,” said Troy Lindquist, one of his sons, on Sunday.

Lindquist had been in declining health and was to be moved to hospice care last week, according to posts on social media outlets.

“Over the past several weeks, from the letters and emails I’ve received from people that knew him, and even people that didn’t know him – he touched so many people, not just in his own family and his Disney family, but many, many others,” he said.

A trailblazer in marketing Disneyland, Lindquist served as its president for three years before retiring in 1993. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1994.

A window above City Hall on Main Street U.S.A. reads: “J.B. Lindquist, Honorary mayor of Disneyland, Jack of all trades. Master of fun.”

“He made sure Disneyland was the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ for each guest who walked through the gates, setting the standard for every leader that followed,” Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer at The Walt Disney Co., said in a statement.

“Those of us who had the good fortune to know Jack will always remember the kindness, humility and dedication that made him such an important part of this company and a true Disney Legend,” Iger said.

“Everybody liked Jack,” said Brian Alters, a professor at Chapman University who teaches a course on Disney, and a friend for 10 years. “Jack had the amazing, innate and educated talent to go around the world and sell Disneyland… that this is an amazing place and they should go.”

Born in Chicago on March 15, 1927, Lindquist’s family moved to Los Angeles when he was four years old. Lindquist spent most of his early years as a child actor, appearing in “Our Gang,” and a Lucille Ball film, “Best Foot Forward.”

He spent two years in the U.S. Air Force before enrolling at the University of Southern California.

His nickname “Goofy of Sports,” came about from Lindquist‘s attempt to make the USC football team as a freshman but in the process broke both his ankles trying to field a punt.

Lindquist joined Disneyland at the age of 28 and embarked on a 38-year career, moving up as a director and vice president of marketing for the Anaheim park and Walt Disney World, and also helped set up the marketing division for Tokyo Disneyland.

Throughout his career, he was an influential part of a team that created many programs that are still in place at Disneyland and other Disney theme parks today: Advance ticket sales, Grad Nite, the Disneyland Ambassador program, and Disney Dollars.

“In those days, nobody sold advanced tickets,” Lindquist once told the Register. “If you wanted a ticket, you went to the venue the day of the event.”

Disneyland’s Grad Nite, a rite of passage for many high school graduating seniors in Southern California, came about in 1961 after a group of PTA moms reached out to Lindquist. They were “looking for a place where young people could celebrate their graduation from high school and do so in the safety of a controlled environment,” he said in his memoirs, “In Service to the Mouse.”

Lindquist added stipulations to host the event: everyone had to arrive by bus, there had to be a chaperone for every 20 students, and students had to abide by a strict dress code.

He also helped the Disney Co. purchase the now Angels major league baseball franchise in 1995. Disney sold the franchise to Arte Moreno in 2003

Lindquist said Autry, the former owner of the Angels, had approached Walt Disney to purchase the baseball team with him in 1960. The $125,000 investment at that time was too much for Disney but over the years Autry would confide in Lindquist, “If I ever decide to sell this ballclub, I would be happiest if Disney bought it.”

“Gene [Autry] had always preferred Disney to be the owners,” Lindquist said in his book.

After retiring, Lindquist maintained a close relationship with Chapman University, where he was a trustee.

“If you survive long enough in this job you get a reputation as a guru,” he once said in an interview. But you, alone, are not really that fantastic, he added.

“Of all of the people you run into in your life, you never know which one is the most important. Don’t look down on anyone. They’re all important,” he said.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait remembered Lindquist as a good neighbor.

“Jack was not just a Disney Legend, he was a tremendous friend,” Tait said. “His family was next door neighbors with my family, so as a young boy I grew to know him personally. As a kid I would play basketball and often times the ball would wind up in his backyard.I would have to knock on his door to retrieve it, and he always did so with good cheer and kindness.”

At Disneyland, Lindquist knew early on he was working at a special place. On Christmas Eve night in 1955, he remembers walking down Main Street and observing a family enjoying the park. The little girl turned to her parents and said, “Mom, this really was better than having Santa Claus.”

“The parents must have told their children that if they went to Disneyland, Santa couldn’t bring presents,” he said, lamenting he did not have the authority to provide special gifts or access at that time.

“To me, this one brief moment proved to be my most meaningful memory at the park because it symbolized what we mean to people: We are not a cure for cancer, we are not going to save the world, but if we can make people happy for a few hours or for a day, then we are doing something worthwhile.”

Lindquist is survived by wife Isabelle and his 5 children, David, Garry, Troy, Jim, and Kimberly, 16 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren.

From the Orange County Register

Here’s When a Disney Park Ticket Will Cost You Less

Disney unveiled new single-day ticket prices on Saturday for the company’s U.S. theme parks, switching to a three-tiered system that charges visitors more on the year’s busiest days and less during typically slower periods.

The shift to demand-based pricing is designed to help spread out crowds at Walt Disney World in Florida and at Disneyland Resort in California, Disney said in a blog post.

Starting Sunday, a one-day ticket to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom will cost $105 on “value” days during slower periods, such as September. The cost for “regular” days will be $110. For “peak” days over major holiday periods, spring break and parts of the summer, the price will be $124.

At Disneyland, the cost of admission to one park will be $95, $105, and $119 for value, regular and peak days, respectively. Value days will be most weekdays during the school year, while peak times are around holidays and weekends in July and December.

The previous one-day ticket prices were $105 at the Magic Kingdom and $99 at Disneyland.

The number of visitors to Disney’s U.S. parks set records in the October through December quarter, rising 10% from a year earlier, the company said in its quarterly earnings report.

The busiest days create frustrations for visitors such as long lines and temporary gate closures when parks get too full. The company is expanding the parks with new attractions based on popular franchises such as Star Wars and Frozen.

Disney said it will post eight- to 11-month calendars online that list which days fall in each pricing period.

Flexible pricing applies to one-day tickets only, it said, while charges for multiday tickets will not change based on attendance levels.

Ticket Price Increases Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Along with Tiered Pricing

Disney will be increasing ticket prices at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort  on Sunday February 28th.

Disney will also introduce a new three tier system for 1 day tickets. Sources say that the calendar year will be split into periods of value, regular and peak periods, and will be priced accordingly.

It has not been confirmed, but it appears that the tiered pricing will only be applied to single day tickets at this time.  Also…what the new prices for tickets will be is not known at this time.

Diamond Horseshoe Opening for Table Service Lunch and Dinner in March

The Diamond Horseshoe in the Magic Kingdom will be opening daily for table service lunch and dinner beginning March 13th.

The new fixed price offering will cost $33 plus tax for adults, and $19 plus tax for ages 3-9.

Lunch or dinner will begin with a Frontier Salad topped with roasted corn, corn bread croutons and housemade chipotle-ranch dressing.

For entrees, each diner will have a choice of one of:

  • Barbeque pulled turkey, served over corn bread with seasonal vegetables
  • Spit-roasted ham, served with country beans and seasonal vegetables
  • Stewed beef, served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables

Finally, for dessert, there is a choice of a campfire brownie or apple tart.

Lunch will begin daily at 11:30 AM with dinner running through to 9 PM or later. Reservations will soon be available via 407-WDW-DINE.

Disney Springs Water Taxi Hours to be Reduced

Beginning on Sunday February 28th, the water taxi service at Disney Springs will be operating on a reduced schedule.

The new hours will be from 10 AM to 11:30 PM, which instead of the currently operating hours of 10 AM to 1:30 AM.

The Disney Springs Water Taxi service transports guests between the Marketplace, The Landing and West Side, and is the only means of transport available other than walking.

The resort boats serving Disney Springs are currently not affected by the cuts.

Disney Cruise Line Debuts New Menu Items at Palo Specialty Restaurant

The enticing flavors and rich culinary traditions of Italy take center-stage once again at Palo, the signature adult-exclusive restaurant aboard every Disney Cruise Line ship. New menu items revisit the restaurant’s Italian roots with the addition of regional recipes, authentic ingredients and time-honored techniques.

Paired with sweeping ocean views and an intimate, romantic atmosphere—and perhaps a glass of wine from the restaurant’s extensive reserve wine list—the new offerings expand upon the superlative dining experience and delectable cuisine at Palo.

New Wine Pairing Menu

Culinary connoisseurs seeking an epicurean journey at sea will delight in the Esperienza del Vino wine pairing menu. Featuring six courses, each expertly paired with a glass of wine or spirit, the pairing menu boasts all-new dishes for a fresh take on a guest-favorite experience.

The evening begins with savory coppa (thinly sliced cured pork neck) on dressed fava beans, garnished with sharp pecorino cheese and micro celery. A refreshing Venetian Bellini made with sparkling Prosecco, ripe white peaches and a hint of raspberry is a fitting aperitif.

With appetites whet and palates prepped, four courses follow: gnocchi with nutty cep mushroom sauce; poached white asparagus with smoked anchovies, quail egg and truffle oil; sea bass with spinach and buckwheat. The finale of the savory dishes is beef striploin—aged for 25 days, seared and roasted with rosemary—thinly sliced and served with dressed arugula.

Samples from Italy’s renowned vineyards highlight each course, aptly selected to amplify the senses. In order: Bellavista Franciacorta Cuvee Brut, a rich blend of 30 distinctive wines; dry, flowery Elena Walch Gewurztraminer from the northern province of South Tyrol; La Scolca Gavi dei Gavi Black Label, crisp and acidic with undertones of almond and lime; and full-bodied Antinori Tignanello Marchesi, a potent Tuscan red with notes of spice, fruit, oak, licorice and rosemary.

A decadent denouement comes in the form of creamy mascarpone mousse, enclosed in a delicate white chocolate dome and served atop fluffy rhubarb and grappa sponge cake in a bed of sweet consommé jelly. The dish is elegantly garnished with a floral and fruity flourish, and a soft Alexander Platinum Grappa leaves only satisfied sighs in its wake.

New Dinner Selections

The newest iteration of the Palo menu celebrates the world-renowned cuisine of Italy, the birthplace of international necessities like Parmesan cheese.

A stand-out addition to the dinner selection is a whole roasted chicken, marinated for 24 hours in lemon, sea salt and rosemary. Beautifully presented in a copper serving dish with roasted baby vegetables, asparagus and potatoes, the entree is topped with a Barolo wine reduction typical to the mountainous region of Piedmont in the northwest. Intended for sharing, this dish serves two.

From the seafood selection, a piquant Dover sole is fileted tableside and served with regional staples like capers, anchovies, sundried tomatoes and thyme potatoes. An exquisite Prosecco and black truffle reduction gives new life to classic sea scallops. And, returning to the menu with a new twist, seared ahi tuna steak is prepared with blanched green beans, roasted new potatoes and peppered quail eggs.

Sweet endings are a Palo specialty, and the enhanced dessert menu includes a variety of warm, cold, sweet and tangy offerings. These include light, creamy tiramisu—a coffee-infused classic—and a limoncello tart for a refreshing pop of citrus. One thing that hasn’t changed is the signature Palo chocolate soufflé, prepared fresh to-order and served piping hot with luscious vanilla bean and chocolate sauces, plus a scoop of ice cream for good measure.

Reservations are required for all Palo dining experiences and can be booked online or onboard. There is a $30 per person charge for dinner, plus the cost of alcoholic beverages, and the Esperienza del Vino wine pairing experience is an additional $59 per person.

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.

– See more at: http://dclnews.com/2016/02/25/disney-cruise-line-debuts-new-menu-items-at-palo-specialty-restaurant/#sthash.pn7sOZQ4.dpuf

Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters to Open March 7 at Disney California Adventure

Luigi has invited his cousins from Carsoli, Italy, to Radiator Springs for a special celebration! Today, I’m very eccitata to tell you that the celebration will begin when Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, presented by Alamo, opens March 7 at Disney California Adventure park.

In this all-new attraction, Luigi will turn the tire storage yard behind his Casa Della Tires into a dance floor! Cars Land guests will be able to ride along with Luigi’s cousins as they move and spin to upbeat Italian music, performing the traditional dances of their hometown village.

Each dancing car will have its own high-spirited personality and signature dance moves – making every ride unpredictable, as you won’t know which way they will turn and spin next!

Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters Video

Join the dance yourself when Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters opens March 7.

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