Construction Begins on State-of-the-Art Laundry Facility at Walt Disney World Resort

FLO Ground Breaking

As a reflection of recent growth, Walt Disney World Resort has begun construction of a new, state-of-the-art laundry facility that will create new jobs and be a model for the textile industry.

Scheduled to open in spring, 2015, this new facility will support the expansion of resort hotel rooms and accommodate adjustments in the type of linens used at the resort hotels.

Located near Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, the new laundry facility is expected to create 400 new jobs, including 200 construction-related jobs and 200 additional Cast Member jobs with roles ranging from linen handlers and maintenance personnel to managers. Upon completion, this fourth laundry at Walt Disney World Resort will be one of the most technologically advanced facilities of its kind in the United States.

“The new facility will showcase some of the textile industry’s most cutting-edge features including conveyors and air suction tubes that quickly move linens and machines that automatically sort, separate and fold,” said J.R. Garcia, director of textile services at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Night of Joy Tickets to Go On Sale Tomorrow

Night of Joy 2014

Tickets for this year’s Night of Joy event will go on sale tomorrow March 31, 2014.

If single day tickets are bought ahead of time they will cost $59 plus tax.  At the door they will cost $69 plus tax.  There will also be available a two night ticket option that will cost $108 per night, plus tax.  This option will also include a one day admission to Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon or Disney Quest.  The two day ticket will need to be purchased by August 5th.

Night of Joy is a hard ticketed event that features some of the top contemporary Christian music artists.  This year’s event is scheduled to take place on September 5-6, 2014 from 7:30 AM to 1:00 AM.

The lineup for the event is:

September 5, 2014

  • Hillsong United
  • Chris Tomlin
  • Matthew West
  • for King & Country
  • Mandisa
  • Building 429
  • Matt Maher
  • The Neverclaim

September 6, 2014

  • Casting Crowns
  • Mercy Me
  • Britt Nicole
  • Israel Houghton & New Breed
  • Colton Dixon
  • Rhett Walker
  • We As Human
  • 1 Girl Nation

 

Walt Disney World Increases Parking and Valet Fees

Parking-Marker-Disney-World-Lot

As of March 30, 2014 the following new parking fees have been instituted:

  • Automobile, taxi, limo or motorcycle: $17
  • Camper, trailer or RV: $18
  • Bus or tractor trailer: $21

The last parking fee increase was in June of 2013, which saw a $1 increase for a car to $15. Offsite guests with single or multi-day tickets will mostly be impacted by the increase since guests staying at Walt Disney World resorts get complimentary parking and Annual Passholders also receive free parking as part of their pass benefits. Valet parking at Walt Disney World Resort hotels has increased from $15 to $20.  Self parking at resort hotels remains free.

Celebrate Theme Park Favorites of Yesteryear at D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind

destination-d-attraction-rewind-announcement-iris

Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward—opening up new doors and doing new things—because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” It’s in that spirit that guests this fall will have the opportunity to visit—or revisit—some of the most beloved Disney attractions of yesteryear. D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O Plus will take place November 22 and 23 at Walt Disney World Resort.

View Ticketing Options for D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O Plus 

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will bring Disney archivists, Imagineers, Legends, and luminaries together to celebrate fan favorites such as Adventure Thru Inner Space, If You Had Wings, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with rarely seen concept art and images; vintage video clips; and hours of revealing stories. In addition, there will be a full day of presentations dedicated to the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair, which debuted beloved attractions like it’s a small world and Carousel of Progress.

There will be a full day of presentations dedicated to the Fair, including:

Disney Goes to the World’s Fair: A look at how Disney became a part of the landmark event
Lost on the Way to the Fair: Pavilion concepts for the World’s Fair that never came to be
Other Highlights of D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O Plus will include:

Retro Rewind References: Nods to favorites of the past in current Disney Parks attractions
That Was Entertainment: Revisiting beloved theme park parades, shows, and spectacles

See Disney Legends and Luminaries

Presenters and panelists include Disney Legends Marty Sklar, Bob Gurr, and Alice Davis; Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline; Disney and World’s Fair historians Bill Cotter, Stacia Martin, and Michael Kelley—and more to be announced.

Bob Gurr      Alice Davis

View an Destination D-Exclusive Walt Disney Archives Display

During the weekend, guests will be able to explore a special exhibit designed by the Walt Disney Archives in honor of the event.

Party the Night Away With Pleasure Island: Rewind

The weekend will end with an exciting evening event—Pleasure Island: Rewind. This celebration of the Downtown Disney nightlife district will include areas dedicated to the Adventurers Club, Comedy Warehouse, Mannequins, and 8 Trax. And of course there will be a “New Year’s Eve” celebration to cap the night.

Shop at WDI’s Mickey’s of Glendale Pop-Up Shop

Plus, for the first time, Mickey’s of Glendale, the famed Walt Disney Imagineering store, will set up a pop-up shop at the event for attendees, featuring a selection of exclusive Imagineering merchandise as well as limited-edition pins, T-shirts, and collectibles themed to the event. The shop will also carry a special line from H2O Plus, whose products are featured at Disney Resort Hotels.

The weekend event will take place in the convention center at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Tickets, available Wednesday, April 16, are $190 each and available exclusively to D23 Gold and Silver Members for a limited time. Any remaining tickets will be made available to D23 Free Members on May 28 for $250 per ticket. All guests will receive a special gift in honor of Disney’s contributions to the 50th anniversary of the 1964–65 World’s Fair in New York City. A limited number of “Top of the World” tickets will be available featuring reserved seating, early shopping on November 21, an exclusive dinner reception, special collectibles, gifts from H2O Plus and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, and more. Additional schedule announcements will be made in the coming months.

Disney Cruise Line Charts a New Course for Norway in 2015

DCL - Norway 2015

In summer 2015, Disney Cruise Line is charting a magical new course for northern Europe – exploring for the first time the Norwegian fjords, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Plus, Disney Cruise Line is returning to the Baltic for all-new itineraries, including sailings from Copenhagen, Denmark to St. Petersburg, Russia. Cruises to the Mediterranean, Alaska, Caribbean and Bahamas also are included in the summer lineup.

Bookings open to the public on March 27, 2014. More details on 2015 itineraries can be found on the Itineraries and Ports for 2015 section of disneycruise.com.

Norwegian Fjords

On seven and nine-night sailings departing from Copenhagen, Disney Cruise Line guests are immersed in the splendor and charm of Norway with exciting new ports, steeped in Viking history. An 11-night sailing on the Disney Magic takes guests to Iceland and the Faroe Islands for the very first time.

The Norwegian fjords served as the inspiration and backdrop for Disney’s blockbuster animated film, “Frozen.” Here, guests will discover breathtaking natural wonders such as magnificent mountain ranges, massive glaciers, steaming geysers and majestic fjords. The enchanting Scandinavian culture of the region comes to life through local attractions, stunning architecture, storybook villages and historic city centers.

NEW Seven-night Norwegian Fjords

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger and Bergen, Norway

Departure date: June 6

NEW Nine-night Norwegian Fjords

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger, Molde, Olden and Bergen, Norway

Departure date: June 20

NEW 11-night Norwegian Fjords and Iceland

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger Norway; Akureyri and Reykjavik (overnight), Iceland; Torshavn, Faroe Islands; Dover, England

Departure date: June 29

Rates start at $1,561 per person for seven-night cruises, $2,133 per person for nine-night cruises and $2,453 per person for 11-night Norwegian fjords cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Northern Europe

On northern European cruises, the Disney Magic will sail the Baltic waters where guests will explore richly diverse cultures and national capitals including Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark and St. Petersburg – Russia’s second largest city known as the country’s cultural capital. These itineraries depart from Copenhagen, Denmark and Dover, England – just a quick jaunt from London.

NEW Seven-night Northern European

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden

Departure dates: May 30, June 13

12-night Northern European

Ports: Dover, England; Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde, Germany (July 10 cruise only); Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia

Departure dates: July 10 and 22

Rates start at $1,463 per person for seven-night cruises and $2,844 per person for 12-night Northern European cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Mediterranean

The Disney Magic returns to the Mediterranean, treating guests to popular European destinations. Departing from Barcelona, Spain, these sailings take guests on an exciting journey of cultures and locales, with romantic boulevards, iconic locations, mild climates and the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea.

Five-night Mediterranean

Ports: Barcelona, Spain; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia) and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

Departure date: Aug. 10

Seven-night Mediterranean

Ports: Barcelona, Spain; Naples, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Nice (Villefranche), France

Departure dates: Aug. 15, 22 and 29

Rates start at $1,255 per person for five-night cruises and $1,302 per person for seven-night Mediterranean cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Alaska

In 2015, the Disney Wonder will sail seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska.

These cruises combine the grandeur, natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled, family-friendly experience found on a Disney ship. Disney Cruise Line works closely with Alaskan tour operators to create exclusive-to-Disney family-friendly Port Adventures that allow guests to experience Alaska’s natural beauty and rich history.

Seven-night Alaska:

Ports: Vancouver, Tracy Arm (scenic cruising through fjord), Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan

Departure dates: June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; July 6, 13, 20, 27; Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Rates start at $1,155 per person for seven-night Alaska cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Caribbean and Bahamas

In 2015, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Port Canaveral and Miami to the Caribbean and Bahamas on a variety of itineraries. These cruises include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

From Port Canaveral, rates start at $495 per person for three-night cruises, $662 per person for four-night cruises, $1,465 per person for five-night cruises and $1,145 per person for seven-night cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

From Miami, rates start at $400 per person for four-night cruises and $500 per person for five-night cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

All pricing reflects a category 11C standard inside stateroom. Government taxes and fees, gratuities and Port Adventures are not included.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit http://www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.

Walt Disney Records’ Frozen Soundtrack Maintains Top Position On The Billboard Charts For Seven Non-Consecutive Weeks

Elsa-Frozen

The Platinum-certified Frozen soundtrack maintains the No. 1 slot on the Billboard Top 200 album chart spending seven non-consecutive weeks in the top position according to Nielsen SoundScan. Selling 202,000 copies in the week ending March 23, the soundtrack has sold over 1.6 million copies and over 5 million combined digital tracks in its 17th week of release. Frozen is the first album to sell a million units in 2014.

The Oscar-winning song “Let It Go,” performed by Idina Menzel, has sold over 2 million copies and is expected to be certified double Platinum by the end of the week. The track is in the Top 15 (*13) at Mainstream AC radio and is #33* and climbing at Adult Top 40 radio. “Let It Go” is currently the #2 song on the iTunes singles chart and #2 on the overall Billboard’s Digital Song chart. The film video version of Idina’s “Let It Go” has been viewed more than 150M times on YouTube and Demi Lovato’s “Let It Go” music video has been Vevo-certified for surpassing 100M views.

The album maintains its No. 1 position on Billboard’s Soundtrack Chart, peaked at No. 1 on the iTunes Overall Chart (and in 31 countries), plus Amazon’s Overall Music Category, Pop, and Overall MP3 charts. The Frozen album has held the #1 position for 5 non-consecutive weeks at Spotify and worldwide, is approaching 110M album streams.

The soundtrack features eight original songs from Oscar-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and songwriter Robert Lopez plus score by the composer of last year’s Oscar-winning short “Paperman,” Christophe Beck.

The Frozen soundtrack, the Frozen two-disc deluxe edition and the digital deluxe edition soundtrack (featuring 23 and 27 additional tracks respectively, including demos, outtakes and a “Let It Go” instrumental karaoke track) are available at physical and online retail.

ABC Cancels “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”

Once-Upon-a-Time-in-Wonderland

ABC has confirmed through various sources that Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will not return after this season ends.

The fantasy-drama series, written by Once Upon a Time creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis, based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The spinoff of Once Upon a Time will come to an end on April 3.  This episode is being promoted as a “series finale”.

The show – starring Sophie Lowe, Michael Socha, Iggy Pop and Whoopi Goldberg – was originally developed as a 13-episode miniseries that was designed to fill downtime between seasons of the flagship series.  Instead, it began airing on Thursdays in October of last year, and failed to draw viewers in its tricky 8pm slot.

“I really had hoped that Once Upon a Time in Wonderland would work,” added ABC Studios chief Patrick Moran in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter yesterday (March 27), before the cancellation plans were announced.

“It was designed to be what they call ‘gap programming’… and it probably would have fared better as that,” he said.

Disney to Buy YouTube Video Maker

disney.acquires.maker_.studios.youtube

Emphasizing online video’s growing value to the media industry, The Walt Disney Company on Monday said it would acquire Maker Studios for an initial sum of $500 million

Maker Studios which is one of the leading producer and distributor of short, entertaining videos on YouTube, many of which are geared toward millennials. Its many channels receive a total 5.5 billion YouTube views per month, which makes it one of the most successful online video companies of its kind.

Essentially, Maker has helped create a whole new universe of shows, made for the Web rather than television, and now Disney will be able to learn from them. This is could be very important since one of Disney’s key demographics, teenagers, are flocking to online video services like YouTube.

“By acquiring Maker Studios, Disney will gain advanced technology and business intelligence capability regarding consumers’ discovery and interaction with short-form online videos, including Disney content,” the press release about the acquisition said.

Reportedly, Maker will not be folded into one of Disney’s television or film divisions.  Instead, Maker’s executives will report directly to Disney’s chief financial officer, with the presumption that this will ease collaboration with multiple divisions.

The acquisition to close sometime in the spring, according to Disney. In addition to the $500 million, Maker’s shareholders may receive up to $450 million more over time, depending on whether Maker achieves its performance targets.

Approximately $70 million had been invested into Maker, including $25 million from the investment arm of Time Warner, the parent company of Maker.

The $500 million, though it could up to possibly $950 million, will set a new bar for startup online video networks. Earlier this month when the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Disney and Maker were talking, it was said that it “would mark the biggest acquisition by a major media company in the fast-growing but challenging business of producing and promoting video programming on Google’s YouTube.”

“Maker’s YouTube-centric DNA would give Disney valuable insight into how to extend its star-making machine to the still quite opaque online realm,” industry analyst Will Richmond, the publisher of Videonuze, wrote at the time. “But star-making is just half of the equation. The other, equally important half is mastering (and quite possible shaping) how online video distribution works, and what role YouTube will play.”

Bob Iger, the chief executive of Disney, said in a statement on Monday that “short-form online video is growing at an astonishing pace and with Maker Studios, Disney will now be at the center of this dynamic industry with an unmatched combination of advanced technology and programming expertise and capabilities.”

Welcome to Disney News Today

WhistlingMickeyWelcome

Welcome to Disney News Today….The Place to Go for Disney News.  My plan for this site is for it to be a central location for Disney fans to go to for the Disney news that they desire….news from the parks, D23, Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel and other areas of the Walt Disney Company.

As a bit of background…I have been a Disney fan for as long as I remember.  As a child I watched all of the Disney movies that came out then and as a family we always managed to catch Walt Disney on Sunday night.  My first trip to a Disney park was in 1970 to Disneyland.  Though continuing to be a fan of Disney I managed to not get back to a Disney park again until 1990 when I, my wife and our first child went to Walt Disney World.  Every year since we’ve managed to make at least one trip to one of the domestic Disney Parks.  We have been Disney Vacation Club members since 1995.  We are also are Charter D23 members and have made it to each of the first three D23 Expos.

For the past six years I’ve been proud to be the person in charge of posting the Disney news stories on The Travelears website.  When the decision was made that the site would no longer be active I decided that produce my own website as an outlet for my passion for Disney news and my love of all things Disney.

I hope that you enjoy what will be posted here and if you like it, please spread the word, tell your friends.