Thursday, November 26, 2009

Video: Dallas - Give a Day. Get a Disney Day. Tour Highlights!

Highlights from the Disney Parks "Give a Day. Get a Disney Day." tour stop in Dallas. For rules and information about the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program,

Video: Disneyland Resort VoluntEARS at OC Food Bank

More than 150 Disney VoluntEARS, from the Disneyland Resort, came together at the Orange County Food Bank on National Family Volunteer Day, packing more than 23,000 food boxes. The boxes were distributed to senior citizens in need during Thanksgiving week. Many of the volunteers from the event, some from the Disneyland Resort and others from the surrounding community, went on to participate in a celebration at Disneyland Park on Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Victoria & Albert’s World-Class Experience Serves Up a Decade of Diamonds

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 24, 2009 - For the 10th year in a row, Victoria & Albert's restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award. As one of only 52 restaurants to receive this symbol of excellence in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean, Victoria & Albert’s delivers “haute cuisine” with seven-course prix-fixed menus, wine pairings and the finest ingredients from the world market.

At the helm of this critically-acclaimed restaurant is 15-year Victoria & Albert’s veteran, Chef de Cuisine Scott Hunnel.

“It takes every individual on the team to achieve such a great honor consistently, from the reservationists to the wait staff and culinary team,” remarked Hunnel about reaching this prestigious milestone. “The secret to our success is realizing that it’s a continuous journey of reinvention in the restaurant and what we’re doing today has to be better tomorrow.”

Only 0.27 percent of AAA's 60,000 Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants in North America received this honor for 2010. According to AAA's ratings guidelines, to achieve Five Diamond status, restaurants must "consistently provide a world-class experience.”

The culinary team’s impeccable artistry and unique recipes, combined with an expert service staff and maĆ®tre d’, is what exceeds guest expectations daily in an effortless and unobtrusive manner.

“Our guests expect more and that’s why we travel extensively to keep our minds open to develop new and exciting delicacies,” said Chef Scott. “Over the years, we’ve visited other highly ranked restaurants in Paris, New York and Barcelona to get a perspective on what the competition is doing and to keep bringing the freshest and most original ideas home to our guests only the way Disney can.”

To keep up the world-class culinary standards, the team at Victoria & Albert’s inspect every detail of the presentation and are totally immersed in the delivery of the operation. Under Chef Scott’s direction, the focus for 2010 is on taking the restaurant to the next level and in pleasing guests with new and exciting gastronomic surprises.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Sparkles This Year At Disneyland Paris

London, Winter 2009: Where better to kick off the Christmas season than at magical Disneyland Paris? The spirit of Christmas comes alive this year from 8 November 2009 to 6 January 2010. Celebrate the most joyous time of year with your family and create some magical memories in the company of the Disney Characters in their Christmas costumes.

For the first time this Christmas, a stunning show is to be held every evening around the majestic Christmas tree in Town Square. With enchanted illuminations orchestrated by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, the spectacle promises to dazzle young and old alike with lots of magical Christmas surprises, culminating in the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Also new for Christmas, Walt Disney’s first masterpiece, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will magically come to life on the Castle Stage in the Disneyland Park. And for a guaranteed white Christmas, snowflakes will fall from the sky on Main Street, U.S.A.® giving everyone the special Christmas memory they have always dreamed of. What’s more, in the heart of Santa Claus Village children can find the Santa Claus Post Office where they can post their Christmas wish-lists in time for a Christmas Eve delivery. And with the help of a little Disney magic, the children will receive Santa’s response directly to their homes!

Christmas season festivities include:

• Meet Santa Claus in his village at the Disneyland Park – Children are invited to enter Santa’s winter wonderland to meet the man himself and pose for a memorable photo

Disney’s Once Upon a Christmas Dream Parade – Santa Claus appears at the end of this magical procession to wish everyone Merry Christmas

Belle’s Christmas Village – With picturesque taverns and snow-covered stalls, Fantasyland transforms into an authentic medieval village at Christmas time

Sleeping Beauty Castle Lighting Spectacular – Over 400,000 lights transform the Castle into a shimmering Crystal Palace before guests’ very eyes every night

Disney’s Fantillusion Parade – Princes, Princesses and other Disney characters emerge on Main Street, U.S.A at nightfall to host a magnificent parade where Disney’s best-loved fairytales are retold

It’s a small world Celebration - With specially made costumes, music and decorations, the celebration pays tribute to the different traditions of countries around the world

Mickey’s Winter Wonderland – Mickey and his pals put on their ice skates for a winter spectacular the whole family will love

• Meet Goofy Santa – Lovable Goofy dressed as Santa Claus in his sleigh will welcome children for a souvenir photo

It’s Party Time… with Mickey & Friends – To celebrate Mickey’s Magical Party, the Disney heroes take the new Central Plaza stage by storm and perform their show in 360°

Happy New Year! – On 31 December, the Disneyland Park welcomes guests until 1:00 a.m. for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve party with a dazzling fireworks display

Mickey’s Christmas Dinner* – A unique dining experience where guests can join the Disney Characters for a huge Christmas buffet feast, complete with sparking lights and sing-along music that will make hearts warm and spirits soar! (Ticket event only)

And last but not least, the celebration continues with lots of additional new interactive fun for Mickey’s Magical Party. Guests can learn the “Mickey Dance” with Mickey and friends on the new stage in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Whilst Minnie Mouse hosts Minnie’s Party Train which will enchant guests several times a day in Main Street, U.S.A.®.

Meanwhile in the Walt Disney Studios Park, the new attraction Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! will thrill little ones and their parents. The Playhouse Disney Characters jump right out of a giant storybook to throw Minnie Mouse the most beautiful birthday party ever. And to top off a perfect day your favourite Disney characters will salute the crowd from aboard their handsome custom cars for Disney’s Stars ’n’ Cars: an ultra colourful Hollywood-style parade.

For families booking by 15 November**, prices are from only £175 per adult with children under seven staying free. And everyone’s meals are free!

For further information about a family Christmas holiday to Disneyland Paris call 08448 008 111 or visit

Snowflakes Light Up A Sparkling Christmas – A Winter Wonderland A Season of Giving and Whimsical Fun Starts at Hong Kong Disneyland

(Hong Kong,) A whimsical Christmas journey has begun as Hong Kong Disneyland presented the Preview Day of “A Sparkling Christmas – A Winter Wonderland”. Andrew Kam, Managing Director, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, hosted the lighting ceremony of it’s a small world christmas and kicked off the premier show of Lights of Winter as Guests joined in to sing a joyful Christmas carol.
From November 20 to January 3, the Park will transform into A Sparkling Christmas – A Winter Wonderland to bring Guests closer to their loved ones in a whimsical holiday experience. “I’m sure Guests will be delighted by our new Christmas offerings and the immersive setting that will make this holiday season truly magical,” said Andrew Kam. “There are plenty of Christmas merchandise items and a wonderful festival of culinary delights prepared, and our two Disney-themed hotels are ready to receive Guests from Hong Kong and the region. This year, we also want to spread the Christmas cheer throughout the community with the “Disney Children’s Fund’ Christmas Charity Program.”
To share the fun and joy of Christmas with the needy, Hong Kong Disneyland will launch the Disney Children’s Fund Christmas Charity Program. 1,000 admission tickets will be donated to two local non-profit organizations, namely Hong Chi Association and Society for Community Organization (SoCO). Harbour City will also join hands with Hong Kong Disneyland to donate an extra 1,000 park tickets to spread goodwill to the community!
A lighting ceremony in front of the it’s a small world christmas attraction was hosted to launch the “Disney Children’s Fund’ Christmas Charity Program”. Joining Kam on stage for this special occasion were Ms. Canis Lee Lai-yi, Assistant General Manager (Leasing) of Harbour City; Stephen Miller, Chairman of Communications and Fund Raising Committee of Hong Chi Association; Ms. Sze Lai Shan, Community Organizer of Society for Community Organization; and the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort management team.
In addition to the 2,000 park tickets donated, Hong Kong Disneyland is inviting shoppers in Harbour City to participate in this Christmas initiative. From now to December 6, for every A Sparkling Christmas – A Winter Wonderland ticket sold at Hong Kong Disneyland’s ticket booth in Harbour City, the Park will further donate one ticket to the beneficiary organizations, sharing the Christmas fun with more of those in need!
Later in the evening, Hong Kong pop singer Hacken Lee joined Kam for the kick off ceremony of the sensational Lights of Winter. As heartwarming yuletide music filled the air, beautiful Christmas lights came alive on Main Street U.S.A. and giant snowflakes carried by performers in alluring winter spirit costumes sparkled all the way to the Sleeping Beauty Castle, culminating in the splendor of Sparkling Castle Lights which set every heart aglow.

Guests will find a whole new world of festive fun at it’s a small world christmas! From the moment guests enter the courtyard of it’s a small world, they can capture unique holiday memories at the Giant Winter Scene Pop-up Cards; or enjoy the glittering festive decorations. They set sail together into the new whimsical christmas small world and say ‘hi’ to Santa Claus in the North Pole, and see how the 38 Disney Characters are each celebrating Christmas in their own way!
From the glistening 60-foot tall Christmas tree in Town Square to the frozen garlands and icicles, the true spirit of Christmas lingers on snowy Main Street U.S.A. Whether it’s strolling down the picturesque street or listening to beautiful Christmas carols, every moment at Main Street Christmas is magical for Guests and their loved ones.
Guests can discover even more Christmas fun when they see A Sparkling Christmas through the special Hologram Viewer. Countless enchanting new patterns will adorn the Park’s Christmas lighting, fireworks and Sparkling Castle Lights.
The spectacular “Let It Snow” Christmas Parade will take the festive atmosphere on Main Street U.S.A. to a new level with hundreds of performers in grand costumes dancing to inspiring yuletide music in the snow.
Guests looking for Christmas gifts to delight their loved ones will surely find something special among Hong Kong Disneyland’s 140 exclusive selections of Christmas merchandise. The Park and the two Disney-themed hotels have also prepared a wonderful festival of foods for Guests to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. Hong Kong residents can enjoy Disney’s Christmas Vacation Package starting at HK$699 per Guest for a joyful holiday with their loved ones!
There will be non-stop New Year party fun at the two hotels. Be ready to sing and dance along to party music from our live band and DJ in the lobby of Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel or the garden at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel. Entertaining interactive games and appearances of our Disney friends are sure to bring you and your loved ones lots of Christmas joy.
Tickets for A Sparkling Christmas – A Winter Wonderland are now availablethrough the following channels: Ticket Booths at the Main Entrance of the Hong Kong Disneyland Park, front desks of the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, The Magic of Hong Kong Disneyland at Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong Disneyland Ticket Express at MTR Hong Kong Station, New World Center, selected Circle K outlets, online at and in MCL cinemas. From now to December 6, a Hong Kong Disneyland ticketing booth will be available at Kid X Lobby, Harbour City for the “Disney Children’s Fund” Christmas Charity Program.

Sailor Mickey Says, “Ahoy!” Disney Cruise Line to Be Featured for the First Time in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

CELEBRATION, Fla. – The Sailor Mickey balloon will make his maiden voyage high above the streets of New York City as he represents Disney Cruise Line in the 83rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Millions of Parade goers and television viewers will see the Sailor Mickey helium balloon make its Parade debut, which also marks the first time Disney Cruise Line has been represented in the Parade.

It takes about 14,000 cubic feet of helium to inflate Sailor Mickey – dressed in his signature red shorts and yellow shoes, nautical blazer, sailor’s cap and perched atop a larger-than-life ship’s anchor. When inflated, the balloon stands approximately six stories tall. The Sailor Mickey balloon will be a part of the Macy’s Parade through 2011.

Sailor Mickey will also be Macy’s official holiday ambassador this year. Available exclusively as a collectible talking plush at all Macy’s stores across the U.S. and online at, Sailor Mickey will be on sale beginning Nov. 8 and through the holiday season.

The Sailor Mickey balloon and plush are being introduced as Disney Cruise Line prepares for the highly-anticipated launch of its Disney Dream cruise ship.

The Disney Dream is the first of two newly designed Disney Cruise Line ships that will join the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, providing families with more options to sail with Disney Cruise Line and explore more places around the world. Guests can book sailings aboard the Disney Dream beginning Nov. 9, 2009.

The Disney Dream captures the spirit of innovation, magical family entertainment and incredible experiences already found on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, but with several new and exciting enhancements sure to delight guests – including the first-ever shipboard water coaster.

“Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with family and friends is an American tradition,” said Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. “We are thrilled to have the Sailor Mickey character join this iconic event and share our excitement about Disney Cruise Line and the new Disney Dream cruise ship joining our fleet in 2011.”

“Mickey Mouse has always been a cherished character in Macy’s Parade history,” said Robin Hall, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “From the very first Mickey Balloon that Walt Disney himself helped design to our brand new giant Sailor Mickey setting sail this Thanksgiving, Mickey Mouse is truly a Macy’s Parade star. To top it all off, Sailor Mickey will be Macy’s official holiday ambassador this year, with an exclusive special-edition plush of the navigator on sale at Macy’s that is sure to be a hit with our customers from coast-to-coast.”

The 83rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off on Thursday, Nov. 26. Sailor Mickey Balloon

Fun Facts
• Mickey Mouse was last seen in the Macy's Parade in 2000 as Bandleader Mickey.
• The Sailor Mickey balloon is approximately 61 feet high, 33 feet wide and 48 feet long. That’s more than six stories tall!
• It takes about 14,000 cubic feet of helium to fill the Sailor Mickey balloon.
• It will take about two hours to fully inflate and secure him under a Macy's balloon net.
• The Sailor Mickey balloon has 52 handling lines and will be guided by a team of 70 volunteers.
• The parade route is approximately two-and-a-half miles long.

Disney Imagineers Lead College Students to Victory

LONG BEACH, Calif., A team of college students led by Disney Imagineers swept a College Bowl-style competition beating more than 500 students from around the United States with a perfect score to showcase their skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

This perfect score was the first in the history of an annual conference hosted by Great Minds in STEM (formerly HENAAC), a multicultural organization that encourages minority and female students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

The Disney-led team impressed the judges with creative problem-solving, scoring a perfect five out of five in the case studies/challenges. All agreed that the final skit sealed the deal

“The students crash landed their spaceship on our planet because they ran out of fuel,” said WDI principal technical staff Alfredo Ayala, one of the Disney coaches. “There was an inability to communicate because we “aliens” communicated telepathically and the “invaders” communicated verbally. So the students developed software that translated the telepathic communication to verbal speech to resolve the misunderstanding, and we worked together to produce a new energy source to fuel their trip back home.”

“It was that kind of creativity that set us apart,” said Walt Disney World Minority Business manager Betty Martinez Lowery. “While the other teams designed weapons, bombs and lasers to defend themselves and destroy the aliens, our team designed communication software to solve the problem and make friends with them.”

At the awards ceremony the next evening, the rookie team arrived with their hopes still high and their expectations still in check, but the lid came off of both when they swept their king-sized competition 5-0 – a first in the ten-year history of the College Bowl.

“I think this event demonstrated the business case for diversity in a very succinct way,” said Lowery. “You are at your best when you have a lot of different minds and skill sets around the table because everyone brings something. So I think our coaches looked for that kind of diversity of discipline, thought and talent when they selected their team, and when they put it together, they had a complete—and winning—picture.”

When the Disney team coaches arrive next year as defending champs of the HENAAC College Bowl, they’ll be ready to defend their title with the highest of hopes, elevated expectations—and the home field advantage—when they defend their title during the annual conference which will be held at Walt Disney World in 2010.

Walt Disney Imagineering Earns Top Award from Themed Entertainment Industry

GLENDALE, Calif., Nov. 17, 2009 – Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was honored today with the top award within the themed entertainment industry.

TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) announced that Toy Story Mania! received the Award for Outstanding Achievement for an Attraction. oy Story Mania! is a high-energy, immersive, ride-through adventure that invites guests to test their skills at a variety of carnival midway games hosted by the characters from the Disney·Pixar Toy Story films. The attraction is located at both Disney’s California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

TEA announced the 16th Annual Thea Award recipients during the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attraction's (IAAPA) annual conference. The Thea Awards recognize achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. Recognized internationally as a symbol of excellence, the Thea Awards consider project submissions from all over the world. TEA praised Toy Story Midway Mania! as follows in their press release:

“The attraction was found by the Thea Awards Committee to be consistently innovative, excellently executed and reflects next-generation guest care on every detail…. [The] game is intuitively easy to learn yet with plenty of hidden discoveries to hold the interest of advanced players.… Tactile special effects – bursts of air, squirts of water, etc. – are triggered when guests hit specific targets. In terms of accessibility, the adjustable lap bar/shooter mount is easily able to accommodate guests whether they weigh 40 or 400 lbs and every vehicle has closed captioning…. It is a suite of many technical and creative innovations.”

Including this latest award, Walt Disney Imagineering has received a total of 34 awards throughout the Thea Awards’ 16-year history, including nine previous wins in the Attraction category. Some of Disney’s past recipients of Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Attraction category have included Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Soarin’ Over California at Disney’s California Adventure, Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park, Space Mountain, From the Earth to the Moon at Disneyland Paris and CineMagique at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris.

Disney Extends Helping Hand at Coalition for the Homeless

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., The spirit of giving shines 365 days a year at Walt Disney World Resort, which provides cash and in-kind support to more than 100 local non-profit organizations. One such organization, Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, provides food and shelter to approximately 600 people each night, including many families with children.

Coalition for the Homeless is more than a shelter; it is a comprehensive program designed to empower homeless men, women and children to become self-sufficient. In addition to food and shelter, the Coalition provides programs and services including education, job skills training, case management, licensed day care, child development programs and housing placement.

“When you see homelessness in the media, you are moved to humility and compassion but when you see homelessness in person, you are moved to action,” says Trevor Larsen, vice president of Engineering Services & Manufacturing for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, who is making a difference at the Coalition by providing leadership through his board service and support in the maintenance and improvement of Coalition facilities. “There are plenty of ways people can help,” says Larsen, who invites others to “come meet these adults and children in need and get involved.”

Additionally, Disney VoluntEARS serve nearly 750 meals monthly at the Coalition and chefs from Disney Resorts will prepare and serve dinner for residents on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Disney Chef Tony Marotta is overseeing Thanksgiving meal preparations, which begin two days prior to the holiday. “What surprises me most is when we ask our team for volunteers to help at the Coalition, we always get two-to-three times more than we expect,” says Marotta, who will be making a traditional feast to feed approximately 700 people.

“Disney’s generosity, both financial and in-kind, has been invaluable to us in meeting the needs of the homeless individuals and families seeking our help,” says Coalition for the Homeless President/CEO Brent Trotter. “And the volunteer involvement of Disney Cast Members really extends our reach in helping those in desperate need.”

For the past two years, Walt Disney World Resort has recognized Coalition for the Homeless with its top Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grant – the Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award – for its outstanding outreach efforts to the homeless children of Central Florida. Disney provides funding to the non-profit’s children services program, which aims to instill values such as trust, honesty, integrity, responsibility, personal power and self-esteem.

“It’s humbling and a great honor to be recognized for our work with families,” says Trotter. “Families with children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in Central Florida today. We’ve created a wide variety of services to meet the unique needs of the growing number of children who the Coalition serves and are happy to have the support of Disney in our mission.”

To learn more about how you can help, visit

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Video: Giant gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian From MagicCityMayhem

A great Video from Magic City Mayhem Check you all of Mikey's great video at Magic City Mayhem

Video: Anika Noni Rose And Her Princess Tiana Doll

Anika Noni Rose, voice of Princess Tiana from the Disney animated film, The Princess and the Frog, receives a great surprise: a custom Princess Tiana doll especially designed for her. See Anika's reaction and emotional response to being the voice of the first African American Disney Princess.

Video: Mickey's Christmas Carol Emporium windows at Magic Kingdom

For the 2009 Christmas season, Disney has reinstalled into the Magic Kingdom's Emporium windows the long out of view animated window displays based on the holiday favorite, "Mickey's Christmas Carol."

Six scenes tell the classic story of Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit and Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge.

These scenes were originally on display at the old Disney Village, now Downtown Disney.

Music in this video is by Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.

Video: Disneyland's New Audio-Animatronic Lincoln

DIsney Imagineers reveal their most sophisticated audio animatronic to date, the new Abraham Lincoln for Disneyland's revised "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" attraction. The old Lincoln figure had 6 functions in the face, but this new one includes 10. Lincoln's mouth is now able to form vowels such as "O". This new attraction will reopen mid-December only at the Disneyland Resort.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Houston - Give a Day. Get a Disney Day. Tour Highlights!

Highlights from the Disney Parks "Give a Day. Get a Disney Day." tour stop in Houston. For rules and information about the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program

Friday, November 13, 2009

Time Laps of Changing Mickey in Front of Train Station at The Magic Kingdom

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Washington DC - Give a Day. Get a Disney Day. Tour Highlights!

Highlights from the Disney Parks "Give a Day. Get a Disney Day." tour stop in Washington DC. For rules and information about the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program, visit

Monday, November 9, 2009

Video: Small World Holiday Disney Parks Commercial


Friday, November 6, 2009

A look at the music of The Princess And The Frog Soundtrack

Anika Noni Rose takes us through the music from The Princess and the Frog Soundtrack in stores Nov 24th!
Category: Music

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Walt Disney Company Makes Significant Commitment to Protect Threatened Forests in the Amazon, Congo and United States

Burbank, Calif., Nov. 3, 2009 - The Walt Disney Company announced today a $7 million investment in forest projects that will build on its long history of conservation and environmental stewardship. The projects will protect forests in the Amazon, the Congo and the United States safeguarding ecosystems that benefit climate and quality of life on the planet.

The investment is being made in partnership with leading non-governmental organizations Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund that, like Disney, put great emphasis on science and technical excellence.

Forest protection is one of the most effective ways to combat climate change, improve the livelihood of local communities and protect threatened wildlife. Healthy forests provide food, shelter and income to millions of people around the world. The projects supported by Disney will also benefit species ranging from gorillas in Africa to North American songbirds.

Support for these projects, using a variety of conservation strategies including avoided deforestation, reforestation, and improved forest management, supplement Disney’s companywide efforts to combat climate change by reducing fossil fuel use and switching to cleaner forms of energy.

“Disney has always been a conservation leader,” said Disney President and CEO Robert A. Iger. “Now, more than ever, it’s essential to take swift action to preserve our most vulnerable natural environments for future generations and to be innovative in achieving that goal.”

Forests are disappearing at an alarming rate. Each year, 50,000 square miles of forest disappear around the world, equal to the size of Pennsylvania. The burning and clearing of tropical forests is responsible for nearly 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas pollution – or more than all the world’s cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships combined.

In partnership with Conservation International, Disney is providing $4 million to the Tayna and Kisimba-Ikobo Community Reserves in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and the Alto Mayo conservation project in Peru. The project areas are located respectively in the Congo Basin and the Amazon, two of the world’s most important tropical forest regions.

The protection of these forests will not only reduce carbon emissions, but secure vital watersheds and habitat for a wide-variety of plants and animals, many of them threatened or endangered. These include the gorilla and okapi in the Congo and the Andean spectacled bear and yellow-tailed woolly monkey in Peru.

The majority of Disney’s funds will go towards financing community management of the forests within the project areas and expanding sustainable livelihood practices among local villages. They will also be used to complete project design, conduct forest carbon analysis and finance verification of emissions avoided through successful implementation of the projects.

These projects will decrease carbon emissions by improving forest protection through reducing logging and the impact of slash and burn agriculture. Area communities, which are working with Conservation International and its local partners to design and implement the projects, will benefit economically by preserving the environment.

“This commitment by Disney represents the largest single corporate contribution ever made to reduce emissions from deforestation and will help build confidence in these activities that generate such compelling climate, local community and biodiversity benefits,” said Peter Seligmann, CEO and Chairman of Conservation International. “In addition, as climate talks gain momentum in the US and abroad, Disney’s leadership points the way to the key role tropical forest conservation must play in emerging climate change policies.”

In partnership with The Nature Conservancy, Disney is providing more than $2 million to support the development of an innovative reforestation project in the Lower Mississippi Valley. The Nature Conservancy will work with private landowners in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas to plant trees and restore up to 2,000 acres of former forest land. Restoring these native hardwood forests not only provide carbon benefits but will expand the local habitat of migrating songbirds and the black bear. In addition to planting trees, conservation easements will be purchased on the lands to ensure the forests are permanently protected.

This forest restoration program is considered a pilot project that could be significantly expanded in scale in future years.

“Protecting forests is one of our most powerful tools in the fight against climate change,” said Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “This innovative project will give private landowners the support they need to join the global fight against climate change and restore local habitats for the betterment of both people and nature. We are proud to partner with Disney to protect critical habitat and ensure these incredible forests will be around for generations to come.”

Disney also will invest $1 million in The Conservation Fund’s sustainable forestry work along California’s North Coast. The Conservation Fund owns and sustainably manages two redwood forests in Mendocino County in an effort to demonstrate that improved forest management, supported by selective harvests and verified carbon offset sales, can benefit both the economy and the environment. Over the past five years, the Fund’s work has bolstered the local economy and begun to revive watersheds that are home to Coho salmon, steelhead trout, spotted owl and other wildlife.

“Across America, forests are shrinking; 35 acres here, 500 there,” said Lawrence Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund. “The decline is so incremental, it masks a crisis. In partnership with leading companies such as Disney, we are pioneering new approaches to forest conservation and climate change. We’re proud to collaborate with Disney on this critical effort.”

Disney’s forest preservation investment is part of the company’s plan, announced last March, to meet aggressive 3 to 5 year goals to reduce emissions, waste, electricity and water use, and to limit its impact on ecosystems. Building on 20 years of work by Disney’s environmental affairs department, the targets were formulated by an Environmental Council of senior executives from across the company. Charged with developing and implementing sustainable strategies for Disney’s impact on the environment, as well as ways to use the company’s media reach to encourage positive action, the Council has taken a measured, scientific approach in analyzing the company’s operations and crafting strategic objectives.

In addition to the investment announced today, Disney has over the last year committed to planting close to 3 million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest and in the fire-ravaged areas in the mountains surrounding greater Los Angeles through contributions from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and local donations.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Video: Prince of Persia - Official Trailer

Official trailer for the upcoming blockbuster movie Prince of Persia! In cinemas 2010

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Video: Baltimore - Give a Day. Get a Disney Day. Tour Highlights!

Highlights from the Disney Parks "Give a Day. Get a Disney Day." tour stop in Baltimore. For rules and information about the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program,

Monday, November 2, 2009

Video: Ride the AquaDuck aboard the Disney Dream

Disney Cruise Line debuts the cruise industrys first-ever shipboard water coaster AquaDuck aboard the new Disney Dream, premiering in January 2011. Guests will have the opportunity to get swept away on an exhilarating high-speed flume ride above the upper decks of the ship and even out over the ocean.

Chinese Goverment Ok's Building of Shanghai Disneyland Anouncement This Week

The Chinese government could give the green light this week for a multi-billion dollar Disney theme park in Shanghai, a report said Monday.

Quoting an unnamed government official with direct knowledge of the project, the South China Morning Post said the 3.6 billion dollar amusement park had been approved.

Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng told media Sunday that there would be an announcement later this week, but he declined to confirm whether the plan had received final approval, the report said.

"What I can say at this moment is that we will hold a press conference to announce the details of the project in the near future," Han was quoted as saying.

In a statement, Disney said the park had yet to be confirmed although the company and Shanghai officials submitted a proposal to China's central government.

"No deal has been agreed to, no project has been approved," Leslie Goodman, Disney's executive vice president for worldwide public affairs, said in the statement Monday.

Shanghai has been working for almost a decade to land a world-class amusement park, partly to shore up its lagging economic growth compared with other Chinese cities, the report said.

There had been speculation that the announcement would be made during US President Barack Obama's visit to China later this month, the report said.

Hong Kong opened a Disney theme park in 2005.