Dateline Disney

Walt Disney World's Media Office publishes a bimonthly Press Release called Dateline Disney, which highlights WDW activities for that particular month.


January/February 2012

In this edition:

    Magic Kingdom: Calling all sorcerers for new interactive experience

    Disney Sports and More:  Runners ready for marathon weekend; Speed seekers delight with new speedway offering

    Disney Resorts: Stay with Disney Royal Friends at new Story Book Rooms

    Disney Cruise Line: New Shows Debut on the Disney Fantasy


Sorcerers Invade the Magic Kingdom in Early 2012


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – In an all-new interactive experience, "Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom," Merlin the magician will recruit guests as apprentice sorcerers to undertake missions to subdue villains and ne'er do wells.  Armed with magic spells in the form of special cards, guests must search for the magic symbols that lead them to animated villains' hiding places. By casting different magical spell cards, players can do battle with Yzma, Kronk and other "baddies" hiding throughout the land. From fireballs to frantic frogs and cyclones, there are spells to bring down each and every villain, with a simple flick of the wrist. This immersive role-playing adventure will be included with park admission.


Runners Set Their Sights New Features for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -The ever popular Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA returns Jan. 5-8, 2012 with two new features – a relay option and a new medal.

Runners in the 26.2 mile Disney Marathon can now join a buddy for the Disney Marathon Relay.  Unlike other marathon relays, runners at Disney will each run 13.1 miles through Walt Disney World's four theme parks.  The first runner will travel through Epcot and Magic Kingdom, while the second runner goes through Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios before finishing at Epcot.  Both runners receive official half-marathon times as well as a combined team time, plus the new Chip and Dale medal – the first new character medal for Disney Marathon Weekend since the Goofy medal was introduced in 2006.  The Disney Marathon Relay will be run simultaneously with the Disney Marathon and share the same course.

The Walt Disney World Half Marathon also will offer a new feature – a special edition Donald Duck medal to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the race.

The Disney Marathon Weekend will include a variety of events, including the Disney Family 5k Fun Run (Jan. 6), Disney Kid's Races (Jan. 6-7), and Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge (Jan. 7-8).  There's also Disney's Health & Fitness Expo (Jan. 5-8) at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which will feature the latest in running merchandise, equipment and products, plus health and fitness seminars by leading authorities such as renowned marathon trainer Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney. For more information, go to www.rundisney.com.


New Exotics Course to Feature High-Performance "Supercars"

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Ever imagine getting behind the wheel of your favorite dream car? Beginning around mid-January, Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Resort will feature a brand-new adrenaline rush, the "Exotic Driving Experience." The Exotics Course at Walt Disney World Speedway, a new one-mile circuit custom-built for the attraction, will be home to a riding experience for guests in "supercars" by Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, and Porsche. Thrill-seekers can get behind the wheel of these epic vehicles or navigate the circuit with a professional driver.  Reservations for 2012 can be made at www.exoticdriving.com.


HGTV Seeks One Disney-Loving Family for Fantasy-Filled, Over-the-Top Makeover for the My Yard Goes Disney Series Finale

New York, N.Y.– If your family dreams of a backyard makeover that is worthy of Disney inspired fun and fantasy and even bigger and better than last year's My Yard Goes Disney creations, HGTV is looking for you. Between now and January 30, 2012 HGTV wants you to submit your compelling story, photos and video in a nationwide search for the perfect family to help create a fantasy-filled backyard inspired by Disney Parks.  One family will be selected to transform their outdoor living space into their own year-round recreational resort. If you think you have a compelling story and want to be the family bringing the magic of Disney Parks to your backyard, visit www.hgtv.com/MyYardGoesDisney before January 30, 2012 to find out how to submit your story, photos and/or a video to apply for your chance to receive one of this year's amazing outdoor spaces based upon favorite Disney Parks inspirations.The family selected for the makeover will be featured in the season finale of My Yard Goes Disney as one of the 11 Disney Parks-inspired makeovers in 2012. In addition, HGTV will take the magical inspiration inside as well in their special, My House Goes Disney, airing in March 2012. 


 Royal Rooms Make Debut at Port Orleans Riverside

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – An enchanting new hotel offering fit for a prince or princess opens its regal doors at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside in spring 2012.

Behind a special door is a hidden jewel, The Royal Guest Room, with 512 themed rooms where beds are trimmed with dazzling crystals and gold accents and "magical fireworks" swirl about.  The new Royal Rooms immerse families in favorite Disney fairytales with fun and engaging features, playful artwork, plus richly appointed drapery and custom linens. Rooms sleep four with rates starting at $198. Call 407-W/DISNEY for reservations.


Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend Celebrates Women's Health, Active Lifestyle

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend brings women of all ages together to participate in a magical event designed just for them. The Disney Princesses are the inspiration for the weekend's events and focuses on the attributes every princess possesses: commitment, courage, determination, fantasy, perseverance, and strength.

The event will take place at Walt Disney World Resort on Feb. 24-26, 2012 and is set to celebrate the women who prove that anything is possible in life's fairytale.

The race starts just outside Epcot and runners make their way toward Cinderella Castle inside Magic Kingdom Park. After a run through the Magic Kingdom, they head back to Epcot along World Drive. After a trip past Spaceship Earth and out to World Showcase, runners will complete the course with a finish line crowd cheering them down the home stretch.

Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend also will include the Disney's Princess Half Marathon (Feb. 26, Epcot), Disney Royal Family 5k (Feb. 25, Epcot) and Disney Royal Family Kids' Races (Feb. 25, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex). The Disney's Fit for a Princess Expo runs Feb. 24-25 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. For more information, go to www.rundisney.com


And coming soon…

Disney Fantasy Takes Family Entertainment to New Heights

New Main Stage Musical "Wishes" Debuts

On the Disney Fantasy, entertainment is designed to charm and bedazzle the entire family. Guests delight to some of the most elaborate original musicals presented at sea, over-the-top deck parties and, bursting above it all, the largest fireworks spectacular aboard a cruise ship.

A new ship means new main stage entertainment at the Walt Disney Theatre, and "Wishes" is a spectacular production debuting on the Disney Fantasy. This signature show is a 45-minute musical journey about three best friends who discover the secret to being a grown-up is staying connected to their inner child.

An enchanting world with a cavalcade of Disney characters, full-scale production numbers and special effects bring excitement to the stage as the cast of "Wishes" performs original songs and classic Disney tunes with a contemporary twist. Notable moments include:

  • In an over-the-top musical comedy number, the song "I've Got a Dream" from "Tangled" sets the scene with Rapunzel, Flynn Rider and a tavern full of hilarious thugs.
  • In "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride," the stage fills with giant windsurfing sails, kites and surf boards, as performers ride a surfboards, flying atop a giant blue wave silk.
  • King Louie and the Monkeys perform a high-energy swing band version of "I Wanna Be Like You" from the Jungle Book.

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 travel agent.


The Muppets Debut on the Disney Fantasy

The Muppets make their debut on Disney Cruise Line in a new adventure game aboard the Disney Fantasy, the new Disney ship setting sail in March 2012.

Throughout the Disney Fantasy, guests will discover creative and whimsical technical innovations – whether it's mealtime, playtime or bedtime. Among the highlights: the Muppets are coming! While playing "The Case of the Stolen Show," guests take an interactive adventure quest around the ship, uncovering clues via more than a dozen pieces of Enchanted Art and physical "evidence."

The adventure begins with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal and a cast of Muppets preparing to stage a big performance. But there's a problem: Kermit's banjo is missing, Fozzie's squirting flower has vanished, Gonzo's crash helmet has gone astray, Animal's drum sticks have disappeared and the Swedish Chef can't find his cleaver! All of the props for the big show have been stolen by a cunning thief (or more likely, another Muppet).

Guided by a map and holding a unique game card in front of select pieces of Enchanted Art, guests unveil clues and find missing props. Elsewhere on the ship, guests may check a Muppets message board and find a Muppet-sized stateroom door to discover clues. Their mission is to solve the crime before it's time to raise the curtain and light the lights on the Muppets' big show.

"The Case of the Stolen Show" is a self-paced adventure game designed for guests ages nine and older. It features several possible endings and multiple randomized events – so each time a guest plays, they have a different gaming experience.

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 travel agent.