Openings Grand at Sea and on Land: Disney Unwraps Magical, Memory-Making Attractions, Cruises, Resorts, Tours

NEW YORK – Nothing like a little Disney magic to make memories that last a lifetime. Just in time for “Let the Memories Begin,” Disney is embarking on exciting, all-new experiences for guests that will take them over the horizon, under the sea, beyond the solar system and on bushwalks with adventure at every turn.

Before the curtain comes down on 2010, new offerings bow at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Then during 2011, premieres will include an Adventures by Disney itinerary to the land of the pyramids, a Disney Parks virtual itinerary in stunning 3-D to the galaxy of “Star Wars” and an experience at Disney California Adventure that plunges guests into the realm of “The Little Mermaid.” Meanwhile, Disney will celebrate the opening of a resort hotel in romantic Hawaii, and Disney Cruise Line will launch the Disney Dream and expand the horizons for its existing ships.

Here are some of the details of what’s new and next:

At Walt Disney World Resort

New Safari Experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom(Early 2011)- Imagine crossing a rickety footbridge above a riverbed paved in menacing crocodiles. Or trekking through a forest for an up-close encounter with a pool of hippos. Guests wanting to venture off the beaten path at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will have an exciting opportunity beginning in early 2011. A new add-on experience, Wild Africa Trek, will take small groups of adventurers on personalized, guided excursions that include a bushwalk through unexplored areas of the forest, home to many species of wildlife, along with over-landing in customized vehicles across an animal-filled savanna. On these expert-led treks, extended time will be spent observing and learning about the wildlife. To complete the journey, guests will experience a taste of Africa while viewing wildlife from a specially designed observation station.

New Epcot Dining Experiences(August, September 2010)- Culinary expansions at the Italy and Mexico pavilions treat guests to delectable discoveries. In Italy, an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria called Via Napoli opened in August. Operated by Patina Restaurant Group, the same restaurateurs who run the pavilion’s Tutto Italia restaurant, the 300-seat pizzeria features wood-burning ovens named for volcanoes in Italy – and uses water from a source that most resembles the water in Naples, Italy, home of some of the world’s best pizza dough. The 14,000-square-foot space includes indoor and outdoor dining. Open this month (September), the Mexico pavilion welcomes guests to La Hacienda and La Cantina de San Angel – two restaurants under one roof. La Hacienda is a 250-seat restaurant serving romantic dinners beside World Showcase Lagoon while La Cantina is a 150-seat quick-service restaurant serving both lunch and dinner. South-of-the-border creations from the culinary team at San Angel Inn have been an Epcot mainstay for more than 25 years.

“Disney Channel Rocks!” (Fall 2010) – A live, rock-concert-style showthat celebrates great music and great friends through hit songs from popular Disney Channel Original Movies and Series. “Disney Channel Rocks!” will blast popular music from a variety of Disney Channel hits, including the “High School Musical” series, “Camp Rock” and “StarStruck.” The show – at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – will follow a format that is similar to “High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Right Here! Right Now!”

New Star Tours Adventures Are Out of This World (2011) – Bridging that “long time ago” between the two “Star Wars” trilogies, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will take voyagers at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland Park in California to Coruscant, Tatooine and other destinations in the “Star Wars” galaxy. The power of the Force and the magic of Disney will combine with the breathtaking immersion of 3-D – for the first time.

Rapunzel Debuts in Magic Kingdom (October 2010) – Rapunzel, along with Flynn Ryder from the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated feature “Tangled,” will begin greeting guests of all ages in a new interactive “play and greet” offering in Fairytale Garden this October. The movie opens Nov. 24 in theaters nationwide.

Taking it to the Next Level (2011) – The newly relaunched ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort continues to add more athlete enhancements in 2011 with the addition of the new Hewlett-Packard Photo Creation Center inside the renamed HP Field House at the complex. The creation center will allow athletes, coaches and fans to create and design an assortment of uniquely customized posters, photo albums, and materials to commemorate their sports experience.
At Sea: Disney Dream Makes Splashy 2011 Debut

Launch of Disney Dream (January 2011) – A first-of-its kind water coaster that sends guests racing above the upper decks of the ship. An animated turtle that engages children in conversation about life in the ocean. A sophisticated lounge where the sun sets over the skyline of a different world-famous city each night. Interior staterooms with Virtual Portholes that bring the outside in using real-time views. The Disney Dream, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, will bring to life these innovations and more, offering a cruise experience from stem to stern that caters to the whole family. The Disney Dream, slated to set sail on
Jan. 26, 2011, from Port Canaveral, Fla., will follow three-, four- and five-night Bahamian itineraries. The ship has a capacity of 4,000 passengers.

New Horizons for Disney Cruise Line (beginning January 2011) – The Disney Wonder cruise ship will “go west” in early 2011. New West Coast itineraries for Disney Cruise Line will include, for the first time, Alaska cruises sailing from Vancouver. The Alaska cruises will combine the natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled guest experience provided by Disney Cruise Line. The Disney Wonder also is scheduled for cruises out of the Port of Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera, before and after the summer Alaska cruises. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500 or contact their local travel agent.

At Disneyland Resort

“World of Color”(June 2010) – The new nighttime water spectacular presented in Disney California Adventure park brings classic Disney and Disney•Pixar animation to life with nearly 1,200 powerful fountains, larger-than-life projections, lasers, fire, music and special effects.  The show, which debuted in June, employs stunning technical wizardry to create a breathtaking emotional experience. This one-of-a-kind spectacular will continue entertaining guests year-round at Paradise Bay. Check www.disneyland.com for show schedules and dining packages that include reserved viewing.

More Fun at Disney California Adventure (June 2010) – In addition to “World of Color,” guests at Disney California Adventure enjoy the attraction Silly Symphony Swings, a Disney-flavored version of the traditional swing ride themed to the tornado finale of the classic Mickey Mouse cartoon “The Band Concert.”

Rapunzel Debuts in Disneyland Park (October 2010) – Rapunzel, along with Flynn Ryder from the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated feature “Tangled,” will begin greeting guests of all ages in Fantasyland this October.  The movie opens Nov. 24 in theaters nationwide.

“Disney Channel Rocks!” (Fall 2010) – A live, rock-concert-style showthat celebrates great music and great friends through hit songs from popular Disney Channel Original Movies and Series. “Disney Channel Rocks!” will blast popular music from a variety of Disney Channel hits, including the “High School Musical” series, “Camp Rock” and “StarStruck.” The show – at Disney California Adventure – will follow a format that is similar to “High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Right Here! Right Now!”

New Enhancements to Disneyland Hotel (ongoing) -Renovation will continue at Disneyland Hotel, including a new pool and water play area, enhancements to the existing pool, a new restaurant and bar, and re-theming of the hotel’s three guestroom towers. Two themed suites opened in 2010, the Fairy Tale and Big Thunder suites, and a third new suite is under development. They join the existing Mickey Mouse and Pirates suites.

Disney Premieres Little Mermaid attraction (2011) – Guests will be magically transported “under the sea” with the debut of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. Guests will experience a musical retelling of the classic motion picture as the best-loved songs come alive in magnificent scenes all around them. They will sing along with Sebastian and Flounder, keep an eye out for the evil Ursula, and watch the Little Mermaid fall in love. The attraction represents the next big milestone in the ongoing expansion of Disney California Adventure.

New Star Tours Adventures Are Out of This World (2011) – Bridging that “long time ago” between the two “Star Wars” trilogies, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will take voyagers at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland Park in California to Coruscant, Tatooine and other destinations in the “Star Wars” galaxy. The power of the Force and the magic of Disney will combine with the breathtaking immersion of 3-D – for the first time.

“Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” (2011) – Disney characters will stomp down Main Street, U.S.A. in a new parade at Disneyland Park. “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” brings to life some of the most beloved melodies from Disney films with an explosion of thrilling rhythms and bold percussion. Live musicians will amplify the fun and colorful dancers will entertain guests to the tune of a syncopated drum line, twinkling cymbals, steel drums and more.  Mickey Mouse and some favorite Disney characters will encourage members of the crowd to join the giant jam session.

Goofy’s Sky School (2011) – Goofy’s Sky School will join the fun along Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure.  The coaster attraction is inspired by the 1940 cartoon short, “Goofy’s Glider,” and the theme is a flying academy with Goofy as the instructor. Guests will enjoy all the dips, twists and thrills as Goofy tries to teach a group of novice pilots how to soar through the sky.

Adventures by Disney Adds Egypt

Egyptian Wonders Ahead for Adventures by Disney (beginning in April 2011) – Once upon a time, there were “seven wonders of the ancient world.” Today, one remains: the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Adventures by Disney guests will step off of planes, cruise ships and camels into living chapters of history during seven- and nine-night Egypt itineraries. The pyramids and the sphinx in Giza, a Nile River cruise, and days and nights in Cairo are all part of the experience. In 2011, Adventures by Disney will offer 25 itineraries, six to 13 days in duration, on six continents – experiences unique in the luxury tour market for their attention to the family in every aspect of the adventure. Guests can learn more at www.adventuresbydisney.com.
Disney Resort Sets Hawaii Opening

Disney Says ‘Aloha’ (fall 2011) – Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i that includes traditional hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas, is being built on 21 acres of oceanfront property in Ko Olina, 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and approximately 30 minutes from Waikiki. Aulani draws its inspiration from the traditions and heritage of the people of Hawaii. Walt Disney Imagineers, with the help of local architects, artisans and historians, are weaving Hawaiian stories into the buildings, interiors, art and gardens of the resort. Upon completion, Aulani will include 359 traditional hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas with views of the ocean, mountains and the lush grounds. More information about Aulani is available by visiting www.disneyaulani.com.

And Beyond…

  • Cars Land, a 12-acre expansion themed to the Disney•Pixar blockbuster “Cars,” and scheduled to open in 2012 at Disney California Adventure.
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, at Walt Disney World Resort, scheduled to open in late 2012 with family suites themed to Disney and Disney•Pixar animated films.
  • Disney Fantasy, the sister ship to the Disney Dream, scheduled to set sail in 2012.
  • Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom, where work is underway on a multi-year expansion that is the largest in history of the flagship park at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort.

# # #