Tag Archives: Disney

Celebrate Disney’s “The Lion King” at Walt Disney World

New post by Kelly of karma&kismet – Disney aficionado and honorary Central Florida resident!

Disney released the newest live-action retelling in a long line of nostalgia films that are taking the box office by storm on July 19th, “The Lion King.” With a star-studded cast that included everyone from Beyonce to Seth Rogen, the film has out performed even Disney’s expectations, earning $191.7 million in its opening weekend.

But is it really a surprise that it did so well? Being a 90’s Disney-kid myself, I remember growing up surrounded by “The Lion King.” From backpacks, to clothing, to fully-Lion-King-themed Birthday parties, anyone who grew up in the 90’s lived the “Hakuna Matata” lifestyle. It seems though, that love for “The Lion King” isn’t specific to one generation, with people of all ages rushing to see the live-action retelling and showing their support for the Pride Lands. To this day, the original animated film, released in 1994, remains the highest grossing G-rated movie of all time, bringing in $422.7 million domestically. Plus, it is in the top 10 highest-grossing animated feature films, alongside others like “Toy Story 2,” “Finding Nemo,” and the top-spot holder, “Frozen.”

If you can’t get enough of Simba and his friends, it is time to plan a trip to Walt Disney World. To celebrate the release of “The Lion King,” Walt Disney World guests have the opportunity to take part in several Limited Time Magic experiences and new entertainment across property that are sure to delight!

Lion King Dining Experience at Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jiko transports guests to the heart of Africa through an exclusive three-course menu crafted as a one-of-a-kind culinary celebration of Simba’s journey. Live music will accompany the dining experience, paying tribute to the award-winning “The Lion King” soundtrack. The limited-time prix fixe menu is available during the dinner period at Jiko – The Cooking Place and is $65 per person, tax and gratuity not included, with the option to add your choice of two levels of wine pairing for an additional cost.

Rivers of Light: We Are One

Rivers of Light: We Are One is the nighttime entertainment at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The enhanced show highlights the milestones we all share in out journey through the great circle of life and includes footage from animal-inspired Disney animated films, including “The Lion King. Rivers of Light: We Are One can be viewed in multiple locations across Asia. FastPass+ and dining packages are available and will help to ensure you have the best viewing location.

Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party

Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party takes place daily at the Discovery Island Stage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and offers guests of all ages the chance to sing, dance, and play games with their favorite “Lion King” characters such as Timon and Rafiki.

Festival of the Lion King VIP Dining Package

Festival of the Lion King, a broadway-style performance, is a fan favorite at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. To elevate the experience and ensure you get the best seats in the house, take advantage of the Festival of the Lion King Signature Dining Package. The experience includes 3 distinct experiences – a three-course lunch or dinner at Tiffin’s, VIP seating for Festival of the Lion King, and a safari tour escorted by a special guide. Package price for adults and children 10 and older is $99, plus tax and gratuities; for children age 3 to 9, the price is $49, plus tax and gratuities.

Grub Burger at D-Luxe Burger

If you are brave enough to try it, D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs has created a slimy yet satisfying “Lion King” burger. The signature patty is topped with tomato worms, a basil grasshopper, balsamic vinegar spiders, fresh tomato salad, fried mozzarella, and lettuce on a parker house.

Limited Time Magic “The Lion King” Snacks

Several snacks are available across Walt Disney World property celebrating
“The Lion King” for a limited time. Snacks include the “No Worries Panna Cotta” from Refreshment Outpost in Epcot, Simba cupcake at Pizzafari in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Peanut Butter Paws cupcake from Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Simba ice cream sandwich at Tamu Tamu in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


If you’d rather show off your love of “The Lion King,” Walt Disney World also has new merchandise celebrating the beloved film.

The Lion King Tote Bag by Dooney & Bourke

The Lion King Collection by Pandora


Kelly is a twenty-something creative entrepreneur who works to create a life filled with Mickey Bars and Pixie Dust. With a lifelong love of Disney and a background in Graphic Design and communications, Kelly began a small business, called karma&kismet, in the hopes of bringing a little bit of magic into others day through her art. Kelly grew up going to Walt Disney World and other Disney Resorts multiple times a year and has continued visiting as an adult. She enjoys sharing tips from her latest Disney adventures, ways to bring the magic home, and the best Gluten-Free Disney treats! Connect with her on Instagram @karmankismet

Love Letter To a Galaxy Far far Away…

Yesterday, a day unlike any other, we waited on baited breath for the fulfillment of an unspoken promise made in our hearts thirty two years ago. A promise burned into our collective souls the moment the iconic theme played versus an iris wipe, the Star Wars trilogy’s signature transition to its ending credits. Enter, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

TheForceAwakens_dls_wpw_title

There was a definite sense of finality to Return of the Jedi even for us younger viewers. The Empire was defeated, The Emperor was thrown into a conveniently placed bottomless shaft in his throne room, Darth Vader redeemed himself protecting Luke from The Emperor, all celebrated by dancing warrior bears known as Ewoks. All the signs were there.

This was the end and we had accepted that. That was until we heard the first rumblings in science fiction magazines such as Starlog and eventually Star Wars Insider.

Boba Fett Battle

Boba Fett in battle, an original image by Jay De Los Santos

The word was that the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, made mention of six more Star Wars movies. Three prequels explaining the relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Followed by three sequels to the original trilogy.

It would take over a decade for George Lucas to deliver the prequel trilogy to us. For the duration of that lull we were treated to plethora of novels, comics, and video games shedding light on the Star Wars universe and telling stories beyond the original trilogy, although many people prefer to play and learn about other kind of games as Overwatch, that is really popular now a days, and you can read about at http://overwatchsrpros.com/news. The Expanded Universe was created. Satisfying our hunger for more Star Wars until the prequel trilogy arrives.

Boba Fett Medium

Boba Fett by Jay De Los Santos

As promised the prequel trilogy arrived, unfortunately it was to mixed reviews. For some older fans, Episode One, Two, and Three were a tonal departure. For many of us, it felt as if it were made for different generation. So while many of us may have enjoyed the prequels; on some level a lot of us felt left out. They didn’t feel like our Star Wars.

The shoe dropped. After fan outrage and heavy criticism George Lucas announced that he will not be making episodes Seven, Eight, and Nine. He later cited fan outrage as the primary reason. With the mind behind Star Wars uninterested in pursuing more films, it seemed all hope was lost.

Fall 2012, the other shoe dropped. And we had no idea we were even waiting for it. Disney had purchased Star Wars from George Lucas and were intent upon producing a new Star Wars Trilogy. The prospect of new Star Wars movies was somewhat exciting but it hadn’t truly sank in yet. And it wouldn’t for a while.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Directors George Lucas (L) and J.J. Abrams attend the World Premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** J.J. Abrams;George Lucas

HOLLYWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 14: Directors George Lucas (L) and J.J. Abrams attend the World Premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** J.J. Abrams;George Lucas

With tons of announcements including a title (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), J.J. Abrams as the director, the original cast returning, and cast photos from the table read; for some of us including myself it hadn’t resonated yet.

The first trailer eventually dropped. It was very exciting. Great special effects, very cool shots of Stormtroopers on a transport. It had all the components of a Star Wars we hadn’t seen before. It looked beyond cool. But it didn’t hit me until the second trailer.

The moment I saw Han and Chewie on the Millennium Falcon set and heard Harrison Ford’s graveled voice deliver the line that would pull my heart into this new Star Wars “Chewie, we’re home.” The continuation of our Star Wars and the fulfillment of the promise that the Star Wars universe would continue onward. Forging ahead with new stories, characters, and hopefully shhow us things that we never imagined possible. A tall order indeed, but with a visionary director like J.J. Abrams at the helm; this reinvigorated Star Wars franchise is already off to an amazing start.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Fans attend the World Premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

HOLLYWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 14: Fans attend the World Premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

May the Force be with you, always.

 

Everyone’s Irish at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

There’s just something extra cheerful about an Irish Pub and Raglan Road in Downtown Disney (aka Disney Springs ) is no exception! But Raglan Road isn’t just your average Irish Pub, it’s authentic Ireland.  Built entirely in Ireland, then shipped, lock, stock and beer barrel to Downtown Disney.

While the food is sure to please ,my advice is to start with a taste of the local beverage while you’re looking over the menu. In my case I started with a flight of Irish beers – Guinness Irish Stout, Smithwicks Irish Ale, Harp Irish Lager and Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale gave me a real taste of Ireland without breaking the bank.

Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

If you don’t fancy a flight of beers, just ask for a pint of your favorite liquid refreshment. In Ireland, pouring the Perfect Pint is considered an art form, and they’re darn serious about art at Raglan Road. In fact along with the building they brought their own unique Irish beer dispensing system with them, which enhances quality, freshness, and structure of the beers.

Of course if you’d like something a wee bit stronger or non alcoholic your server will be happy to oblige your request.

Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

One of my favorite dishes at Raglan Road is their very popular Scallop Forest, consisting of Georges Bank scallops in a golden batter served with citrus lime dipping sauce & sweet chili jam. They have an eclectic Irish menu with delicious tastes of their homeland, so don’t go expecting Corn Beef and Cabbage. Be adventurous and try some of re-invented Classic Irish dishes they serve as well as what I like to call Irish Fusion Dishes. If you still have room for dessert try Chef Dundon’s gift to America the Dunbrody Kiss.  Chef Dundon uses chocolate, chocolate and then more chocolate to make this dessert……sigh

Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

And what would an Irish Pub be without entertainment. Every night whether you dine inside or out you’ll be treated to a variety of Irish entertainers including dancers, troubadours and bands playing jigs, reels, pub favorites and traditional Irish songs.  According to management at Raglan Road since the pub is so authentic, the entertainers have no idea they’re not still in Ireland and they ask for your help keeping the secret.

So you need to act really Irish to keep them from catching on – that means drink, howl, dance on the tables, drink some more and sing as you’ve never sung before”

Raglan Road is located at The Landing, Disney Springs, 1640 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando FL 32830.  They are open from 11 am until 11 pm. serving lunch and dinner followed with a bar menu from 11 pm until 1 am .  The Rollicking Raglan Brunch Menu is served from 10 am to 3 pm Saturday & Sunday.   (gluten free menu items are available)

Live Music starts at 4 pm till late, with an Irish band and Irish dancers performing 5 pm  – 10 pm 7 nights a week. Open till 2 am every night.

Top 5 Interactives I Want at The NBA Experience

It’ll be the end of an era when DisneyQuest closes in 2016 to usher in The NBA Experience. Personally, I will be saddened by the void it will leave in my nostalgic heart. I’ve been attending DisneyQuest since it opened, and visiting nearly once a year since 2009.

Sure, the technology in the place is outdated, but the fun isn’t. But I get it. Until it closes next year, we can enjoy the virtual reality and the fully immersive and interactive activities as much as we want.

That being said, I’m a big NBA fan and excited for what’s to come which, as the Orlando Sentinel reports, will include “high-tech experiences, a restaurant and a store.”

As we await more details, in the true spirit of Disney, I imagined what we could see when The NBA Experience opens in the not-so-distant future.

Virtual Game of 5-on-5

Likelihood of *potentially* happening: 80%

By offering interactive basketball experiences, your first thought would be to actually play some basketball. Since injury liability from a san diego personal injury attorney, among other factors, prevents the facility from holding pickup games, I suggest a virtual alternative.

To visualize, I point to the Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam, a long-time fixture at DisneyQuest. In this game, 11 players take the controls of a pinball in digital form, which is projected before them on a giant screen.

In my version, you’ll take the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller and, well, assume control of an NBA player in the latest game of either 2K Sports’ NBA 2K or EA SPORTS NBA Live series and play it on a giant screen. It’s not likely that you’ve played against nine other competitors in the same room. Call picks, shout “I’m open” and even talk trash a la Michael Jordan and it’s the next best thing to playing at the playground — and as NBA superstars to boot.

VR Pop-a-Shot

Likelihood of *potentially* happening: 25%

We’ve all played the pop-a-shot games at the arcade and they’re always a ton of fun. There’s nothing but you, a ball and a basket as you attempt to knock down as many shots as possible.

But we’re talking about The NBA Experience, a building that will assume the spot of the virtual-reality laden DisneyQuest, so we need some VR up in here!

So imagine donning a HMD (head-mounted display) and some motion capture gloves and doing the same thing but here’s the twist — now you’re trying to shoot over NBA players. Think of it as a reimagining of Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride.

Immersing yourself in a video game environment (like the aforementioned NBA 2K or NBA Live games) and having a LeBron James dare you to score on him could be the closest thing to a one-on-one contest with The King.

Of course, if you win, LeBron gives you props and suggests he might tell NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about you.

Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest

Likelihood of *potentially* happening: 50%

The night before the annual NBA All Star Game features a plethora of activities including the Skills Challenge. How cool would it be to perform the same drills course as the select group of NBA players every year? And what’s more, comparing your times to that of your favorite player, of course.

You could also do the same with the 3-Point Contest. Run the rack as you race the clock to drill as many treys as possible. Don’t forget the money ball!

Can you make it rain more than this past year’s winner, Steph Curry?

Do You Have the Inside Stuff?

Likelihood of *potentially* happening: 90%

NBA players are among the most elite athletes in the world, but nothing puts that quite into perspective like directly comparing yourself to one.

Test your vertical leap and reflexes as well as measure your height to see how you rank among the globe’s best basketball players.

Protect the Rim

Likehood of *potentially happening: 60%

Much like number two on this list, you’ll virtually go one-on-one with a NBA player except this time you’re on defense. Utilizing technology like that in the Kinect, you’d assume a defensive stance and swat away shots fired by players like Kevin Durant and James Harden.

It’s easy to score, but putting the clamps on your competitor is just as, if not more, satisfying.

I’m no attraction engineer, but I tried to create experiences that could theoretically be achieved by today’s technology. Whether any of these come to bear or not, I’m sure The NBA Experience will have a lot of game.

A Gift For Teaching’s Back-to-School Blast to be hosted by Mario Lopez

A playdate anytime with A Gift for Teaching?!

We’re THERE.

A nighttime playdate with delicious food, libations, entertainment and special guests including Mario Lopez, Chris Kirkpatrick, former Orlando Magic players Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw, and Matt Austin from WKMG?

We’re TOTALLY in!

A Gift for Teaching Back to School Blast

With support from Wells Fargo and the Westgate Resorts Foundation, A Gift for Teaching’s Back to School Blast will be held on Saturday, April 18, from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. at the Rosen Shingle Creek, and will help 180,000 kids in need. A Gift for Teaching distributes $55,000 of free product daily, and you could imagine with so many in need, this goes really fast.

A Gift for Teaching’s Back to School Blast will have an old school (ha!) ‘playroom’ with oversized games for the kid in you, and a signature martini bar and a bunch of silent auction opportunities for your inner adult! “It’s the best party in town and an opportunity to share and celebrate everything AGFT has accomplished this year, as we look forward to goals we have for the next school year,”  said Marisa Worley, AGFT’s Director of Development.

I was never good at math but I have a healthy respect for its place in our world. (Yes, as I’ve learned, even Algebra serves a purpose!) Here’s a really easy equation that even I can remember:  (T+t) / (S + s) x (f) = AGFT.

Teachers + tools / Students + supplies x future = A Gift for Teaching!

(T)eachers need (t)ools to teach.

(S)tudents need (s)upplies to learn, especially in our fast growing, digital world.

Today’s kids will one day take the reigns and lead the way to our (f)uture…

Think of (A Gift for Teaching) as their catalyst.

…so I’m no John Nash, but you get the point.

 

Details: 

Where: Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32821

When: Saturday, April 18th from 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Attire: Your Cocktail Best!

Tickets: Click HERE to purchase. Individual tickets are $100 with open seating, Tables (reserved, seats up to 10) are $900. (Interested in becoming a sponsor? Information is HERE.)

Parking: Complimentary Self Parking. Valet available.

For more information, please visit www.agiftforteaching.org/events/blast.

 

On Facebook: facebook.com/AGiftForTeaching

On Twitter: @agift4teaching

On Instagram: @agiftforteaching/

Official Event Hashtag: #back2schoolbash

 

About A Gift For Teaching

A Gift For Teaching (AGFT) is Central Florida’s primary provider of free school supplies to teachers for their students in need, enabling them to succeed in school and life.  A nonprofit organization that serves 336 public schools in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, AGFT has distributed more than $87 million worth of school supplies – including essential classroom tools such as pencils, notebooks, glue, backpacks, art supplies and books –to local students in need since 1998.  http://www.agiftforteaching.org.

 

Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival: Concert Series 2015

The musical line up for this year’s International Flower & Garden Festival has been announced.

The 22nd Annual Festival will be featuring some favorite Epcot alums and a few new faces.

EPCOT F&G Logo

The line-up is as follows:

March 6th – 8th: Gin Blossoms EPCOT DEBUT

March 13th – 15th: Pablo Cruise EPCOT DEBUT

March 20th – 22nd: En Vogue EPCOT DEBUT

March 27th – 29th: STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas

April 3rd – 5th: The Orchestra

April 10th – 12th: The Village People

April 17th – 22nd: John Seceda EPCOT DEBUT

April 24th – 26th: The Guess Who

May 1st – 3rd: Taylor Dayne EPCOT DEBUT

May 8th – 10th: Little River Band EPCOT DEBUT

May 15th – 17th: Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone

So, take a little time from perusing topiary to stop by the America Gardens Theater at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM or 8:00 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays throughout the 11-week festival.

Additional details here.

*Times and artist are subject to change

Top 5| Fancy Pants Events In Central Florida

By Lisa Wilk

Living in Central Florida gives residents plenty of opportunity to keep outings casual…but we also like to get dressed up for a night on the town and enjoy the finer things. A bonus: fancier events usually benefit worthwhile local charities and local arts- and not always with a hefty price tag. Here are five great ways to delve deeper and explore great Central Florida events in the next month.

CowsnCabsLogo_red
Cows n Cabs 10.25.2014
Don your best Cowboy and Cowgirl attire and celebrate the creations of local chefs enjoyed with wine, craft beer & spirits, live music and more in the heart of Winter Park. Proceeds benefit the Community Food & Outreach Center and Elevate Orlando. Tickets are available for purchase online.

 

Park avenue fashion week 2014

Park Ave Fashion Week 10.25-11.1.2014
Put your most fashionable foot forward as you support the Foundation for Foster Children. Runway Show tickets are available for purchase online for both VIP and general admission tickets.

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Food and Wine Weekends at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Now thru 11.9.2014
Explore your inner foodie with a full Wine Pairing dinner at La Luce by Donna Scala, at Bull & Bear or dive into customizeable Sushi and Sake pairings at Zeta Bar & Sushi Lounge. Be sure to plan a return trip, to indulge in delectable chocolate and Champagne pairings at the Bar du Chocolat and Champagne Tasting at Peacock Alley. (Prices vary)

 

Festival of Trees 2014

Orlando Museum of Arts: Festival of Trees
The 28th Annual Festival of Trees runs from November 15-23rd and kicks off with the black tie gala, on Friday, November 14th. Whether you are dressed to the nines at the gala or prefer strolling the displays at your leisure through the week, this festive Orlando tradition is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

Orlando_Margarita_Society_Full_Color_Logo
32nd annual Margarita Ball 11.22.2014
Get ready for the holiday season, admission to this black tie affair is one or more unwrapped toys or gift cards, (the amount of $35 and up is suggested) per couple, along with an invitation from a 2014 director. Guests donations will help spread cheer throughout the holiday season, to those less fortunate in the Central Florida area.

Disney Accelerator Initiative Will Mentor 11 Technology-based Companies

The Walt Disney Company Announces Participants Startup Accelerator Program

(This is One more than than they promised to accept!)

Disney Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is a fifteen-week immersive program which gives companies access to mentorship from top Disney executives, up to $120,000 in investment capital to develop their companies as well as special access to resources from across The Walt Disney Company.  DisneyAccelerator

To kick off the program, participating companies will meet with various mentors including Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger, and leaders from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering, as well as other entertainment industry leaders, investors, and Techstars’ extensive network of technology mentors.  Selected companies will develop mentorship relationships based on expertise, interest and background.  Participating companies will meet with mentors regularly and work together to build and expand business plans, product launches, marketing campaigns, and formulate long-term strategies.  The program culminates with a Demo Day in October, where each team will present their company to industry leaders, Disney executives, and the entrepreneurial community.

The selected companies represent a diverse cross-section of technology-driven media and entertainment from many different geographies.  The 11 companies selected to participate in the Disney Accelerator program are:

  • Buzzstarter – Buzzstarter is the world’s first scalable programmatic content marketing platform.
  • ChoreMonster – ChoreMonster is a web and mobile platform that makes chores fun for kids and turns parents into superheroes.
  • Codarica – Codarica serves as children’s first interaction into the world of code with help from characters Cody Coder and Holly Hacker.
  • Cogo – Cogo provides video monetization solutions for content creators.
  • Jogg – Jogg simplifies the act of acquiring video from anyone. Users can gather, edit and share much more than just video from their own device.
  • Sphero – Sphero is the connected play company, which fuses digital and physical play by creating robots that you control with a smart device.
  • Sidelines – Sidelines fixes the problem of substandard online discussions and comments by sourcing smart, high-quality discussions from its curated team of over 400 experts, and distributing these discussions to publishers based on relevance.
  • SnowShoe – SnowShoe makes simple, magical pieces of plastic that interact with touch screens to create the perfect bridge between physical items and digital content.
  • Twigtale – Twigtale provides parents with personalized, high-quality, accessible expert advice for every major transition a child undergoes.
  • TYFFON – TYFFON is an entertainment app development company and creator of the ZombieBooth series with more than 25 million total downloads.
  • Ubooly – Ubooly is a learning toy that talks and listens to kids. Ubooly can be customized to know your child’s name, teach lessons, and much more.

“With Disney Accelerator we are now bringing the creativity and imagination of Disney to early stage startups in a way we have never done before,” said Kevin A. Mayer, executive vice president, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, The Walt Disney Company. “We are thrilled by the response we’ve received and the high caliber of applicants to the program and we look forward to sharing our knowledge with this excellent group of creative entrepreneurs and really making a difference with these start-up companies.”

About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $45 billion in its Fiscal Year 2013.

About Techstars
Techstars is the #1 startup accelerator and mentorship-driven seed stage investment program in the world. Techstars delivers programs annually in top startup markets all over the world. Additionally, Techstars powers programs in collaboration with some of the best brands in the world. Companies have gone on to average more than $1.6M raised in outside capital after the completion of the program. To date, Techstars has funded more than 350 companies that are collectively valued in the billions of dollars.

Details from thewaltdisneycompany.com

Jr Ride Along at Disney Speedway Features CARS

The Speedway at Walt Disney World welcomes two characters from the Academy Award-nominated Disney Pixar movie “CARS” as they race to life for the Junior Ride-Along program. Almost like being in the “Piston Cup,” children ages 6 to 13 (and at least 48 inches tall) have the chance to ride shotgun with a professional driver in specially equipped race cars. Aiken Axler and Sage VanDerSpin ride right off the big screen and onto the track for a truly magical element to the Junior Ride-Along program already in place.

MyJrRideAlong

Daniel, age 7, is ready to race!

Advanced reservations are not required or accepted. To participate, show up at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Speedway during regular operating hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Gates open at 7:30 a.m.). After filling out requisite paperwork, your child will be queued up for a ride he or she will never forget! Racing suits (including a kid-sized Hans device!) will be provided to wear over clothing. Don’t forget closed-toed shoes, which are required. Cost is $59.

Piston Cup riders will enjoy three exciting laps around the track with a professional driving instructor in either the Number 28 Nitroade Aiken Axler car (Vitoline Rookie of the Year for his first full season of Cup competition), or Number 80, Sage VanDerSpin the “youngest winner of the Junior Piston Cup Pro Series.”

Gift cards are available that can be redeemed day-of, or tickets can be purchased on-site. On related post about cars, please checkout this review of the best foam cannon.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2012 Haunts for 23 Nights at Walt Disney World

(More soon on this … )

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2012 Select nights Sept. 11 through Nov. 2

Ghouls and goblins gather at Disney for a bewitching Halloween spooktacular during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party beginning Sept. 11 at Magic Kingdom.

A pumpkin-orange glow and light fog along with ghostly silhouettes dancing atop the roofs of Main Street, U.S.A create lots of delight and not so much fright during this family-friendly, after-hours party.  Guests are invited to dress up in favorite Halloween costumes for trick or treating and more from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. for 23 select nights.

In addition to trick-or-treating, meet and greets with Disney characters donning Halloween costumes, and entertainment unique to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, many popular Magic Kingdom attractions – including, of course, The Haunted Mansion – are available to experience (but beware of hitchhiking ghosts).

Nightly entertainment features the twice nightly “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade” led by the infamous Headless Horseman, followed by  “HalloWishes,” a green and orange fireworks display complete with Disney villains.

New this year: Main Street, U.S.A will be the place to be for some monstrous pre-parade entertainment, “The Not-So-Scary Street Jam!” The new activity will take place after the Headless Horseman races down Main Street, U.S.A. and before “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade” begins. Guests may learn the dance moves performed to the song “Calling All the Monsters” by China Anne McClain before the party starts, by watching the video on the Disney Parks Blog.

Party dates in 2012 are:

  • Sept. 11, 14, 18 21, 25, 28, 30;
  • Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 25, 28, 30 and 31;
  • Nov. 2.

Advance savings of $6 per ticket are available for select dates. Special after-hours tickets are required. For additional information, guests may visit www.disneyworld.com/halloween. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 407/W-DISNEY.

 

Frankenweenie 3D Black-And-White Stop Motion-Animated Fantasy Film

This is all the rage and just in time for Halloween! Disney’s Frankenweenie! http://disney.go.com/frankenweenie/

Here in Central Florida:

In celebration of Disney’s new stop-motion animated movie “Frankenweenie,” directed by acclaimed filmmaker Tim Burton and opening October 5 in 3D, Walt Disney World Resort is hosting a variety of engaging experiences inspired by the new movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Alice in Wonderland.” The fun takes place at Downtown Disney West Side Sept. 28 – 30, 2012.

Here’s a look at what’s in store for guests:

Special 3D screenings of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Alice in Wonderland,” featuring a 3D extended preview of “Frankenweenie,” which debuts Oct. 5. Tickets may be purchased for $6. The fun takes place at AMC Downtown Disney 24. Show times:

    • “The Nightmare Before Christmas” 4:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.
    • “Alice in Wonderland” 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

New Holland Pet Cemetery picture spot presented by HGTV will place guests in one of the key locations of “Frankenweenie” among tombstones of beloved turtles, rabbits, cats and of course, dogs. Located between AMC Downtown Disney 24 and Something Silver boutique, available 6-11 p.m.

Special merchandise inspired by “Frankenweenie” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” will be available for purchase at D-Street boutique and mobile carts throughout Downtown Disney West Side. Special treats, such as Franken Fusion Lemonade and Frankenweenie hotdogs will be available near the New Holland Pet Cemetery picture spot.

About “Frankenweenie”: From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes “Frankenweenie,” a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

A stop-motion animated film, “Frankenweenie” was filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D, which will elevate the classic style to a whole new experience.

Frankenweenie Tale #3 – Nassor, Weird Girl and Mr. Whiskers

WRECK-IT RALPH to be played right after PAPERMAN – THE NEW GROUNDBREAKING ANIMATED SHORT

We love Disney and loved being invited to  Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green – See it now if you haven’t already!

Had to share this with you…

Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) announced that “Paperman,” a groundbreaking short film combining the best of the computer-generated and hand-drawn animation worlds, will make its theatrical debut in front of “Wreck-It Ralph,” a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping adventure that hits theaters nationwide on Nov. 2, 2012. The short will play in front of “Wreck-It Ralph” for most international markets (release dates vary by market). Taking the art of animation in a bold new direction, “Paperman” is directed by John Kahrs and produced by Kristina Reed.

Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what fate has in store for him.

Kahrs, a veteran animator who joined WDAS in 2007, led an innovative team of 2D and CG artists who used a proprietary program called Meander to create the short. Employing a technique called final line advection, artists were able to add a level of grace and expressiveness never before seen in an animated film.

The world premiere of the short took place on the opening night of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, June 4, 2012.

Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green