Dateline Disney

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


September/October 2012

In this edition:

  • Downtown Disney: Celebrate Labor Day weekend with a "Great Irish Hooley"; Become a star alongside Phineas and Ferb in new virtual experience
  • Magic Kingdom: Night of Joy Celebrates 30th year with award-winning headliners; Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party brings 23 nights of happy haunts
  • Disney's Art of Animation Resort: The Little Mermaid wing debuts
  • Epcot: Eat to the beat at the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
  • runDisney: Get spooked during The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend
  • Disney Cruise Line: Disney Wonder offering special Pixar cruises this fall

Just Announced: "Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality" Debuts at Downtown Disney This Fall

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 14, 2012) – Starting this fall, Walt Disney World Resort guests will become the stars of "Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality." The virtual experience will allow guests to play with animated characters from Disney's Emmy Award-winning animated series "Phineas and Ferb." The fun happens at Downtown Disney West Side, next to Bongos Cuban Café Sept.1 – Dec. 1, from 2-9:30 p.m. daily.

How it works: As many as three guests are invited to stand inside the virtual experience set, and out of 20 randomly pre-determined animation segments, characters such as Phineas and Ferb, Agent P or even Dr. Doofenshmirtz will magically appear to play and dance alongside them. It all happens in a virtual on-screen 30-second experience. But the fun doesn't end there! Guests may visit a special website to download and share with family and friends a complimentary souvenir photo of their starring role. To complement this limited time engagement, special Phineas and Ferb merchandise will be available at a nearby merchandise stand.

For more Phineas and Ferb fun at the Walt Disney World Resort, guests may go undercover with Agent P—the alter ego of Perry the Platypus—on a fun-filled quest around World Showcase at Epcot or meet and greet Phineas and Ferb at Disney's Hollywood Studios.


'Great Irish Hooley' Festival Rocks Labor Day Weekend at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Never heard of a "Hooley?" Then it's time to step up and experience Central Florida's first Great Irish Hooley August 31-Sept. 3 at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney Pleasure Island.

The hooley – Irish slang for a party or celebration -will pack Labor Day weekend at Raglan Road with six top Irish bands playing traditional and rock tunes, Irish Dance Workshops for the whole family, structured set dancing called the Ceili (kay-lee) that's a precursor to today's country line dancing, Celtic face painting and authentic food and beverages.  Musicians will perform inside the pub and outside on the patio.

Celebrating their successful debut album, Full Set plays the festival Friday through Monday to begin a U.S. tour that includes the Milwaukee Irish Fest.  Elevation, the popular U2 Tribute band, plays sets on Saturday and Sunday.  Other great bands on tap are The Raglan Rogues, Danny Burns, Johnny "Snaggs" Norton and house band Creel.  The six-member, award-winning Raglan Road Irish Dancers perform throughout the weekend.  And renowned Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast will lead Irish Dance Workshops from Saturday through Monday.

Throughout the hooley, guests can belly up to one of Raglan Road's 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic fare by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon.

The Great Irish Hooley schedule of entertainment and events is at www.raglanroad.com.


Night of Joy Celebrates 30th Year with 2012 GMA Dove Award-Winning Headliners

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – 2012 GMA Dove Award Winners Chris Tomlin and NEEDTOBREATHE – along with Contemporary Christian megastars Casting Crowns, Third Day, MercyMe and Kutlesswill headline one of the most-decorated lineups in the 30-year history of Disney's Night of Joy Sept. 7-8, 2012. Filling the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort with the sound of contemporary Christian music will be 16 artists with a legacy of accolades, personal triumphs and thrilling testimonies.

Here's the night-by-night Night of Joy 2012 lineup (entertainment subject to change):

  • Friday, Sept. 7, 2012: Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, NEEDTOBREATHE, Red, Francesca Battistelli, Brandon Heath, Royal Tailor, Disciple.
  • Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012: MercyMe, Third Day, Kutless, Chris August, Lecrae, Yolanda Adams, Thousand Foot Krutch and Dara Maclean.

Night of Joy is an after-hours event that requires a special ticket. Event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each evening. While artists perform at several stages, many popular Magic Kingdom attractions also are available for guests.

Night of Joy tickets can be purchased in advance for $52.95 plus tax per ticket and on the days of the event (if available) for $62.95 plus tax. There are special benefits for groups of 10 or more. Guests can purchase tickets or learn more about the event by calling 407-W-DISNEY or at www.nightofjoy.com.


Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Offers Happy Haunts for 23 Nights at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – 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.

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. Additional information: www.disneyworld.com/halloween. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 407/W-DISNEY.


Final Phase of Disney's Art of Animation Resort "The Little Mermaid" Opens September 15

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Guests are invited to slumber in Ariel's colorful retreat at "The Little Mermaid" wing at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, opening Sept. 15 at Walt Disney World Resort.

Themed to one of the most celebrated animated films of all time "The Little Mermaid" will feature 864 standard hotel rooms that can sleep up to four guests. With a sea-inspired color palette and an aquatic motif, guests become part of her world as they plunge "under the sea" into Ariel's secret grotto.

Playful film-inspired décor and characters from the undersea kingdom including Ursula, King Triton and Sebastian come to life both inside guestrooms and in the courtyard.

Guests can lounge poolside at the Flippin' Fins pool, one of three pools at Disney's Art of Animation Resort.

The Little Mermaid opening completes the build-out of Disney's Art of Animation Resort that includes, "Finding Nemo," "Cars" and "The Lion King" family suites themed to beloved Disney Pixar animated features.

Rates start at $94 for "The Little Mermaid" rooms. For bookings, visit disneyworld.com.


The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Race Brings Scary Good Times Back to Walt Disney World

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – runDisney will debut The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend Sept. 29, 2012 at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

The new event is a reincarnation of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K last held in 2009. runDisney's first-ever 10-mile distance race will start at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and finish near The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Runners will receive a finisher medal inspired by the Tower of Terror and then celebrate their achievement with friends and family at Disney's Villain Hollywood Bash until 4:00 a.m.  The post-race party will feature food, entertainment, some of your favorite Disney villains and select attractions

The new The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler race is the sixth signature runDisney event and the second nighttime race at Walt Disney World along with the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, this year taking place Nov. 9-10 during the final weekend of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend includes the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash, runDisney Kids' Races and the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. For more information and to register for the race weekend visit runDisney.com.


Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Opens Sept. 28

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Epcot International Food & Wine festival returns Sept. 28-Nov. 12 for its 17th year, with beer and cocktails joining wine at the center of the festivities, along with more than 25 Marketplaces with eclectic small tastes.

Among dozens of new dishes this year is shrimp ceviche at the new Florida Local Marketplace, and a buttery filet mignon with wild mushrooms at the Canada Marketplace. For vegans, a new marketplace, Terra, features Colorado chili that even carnivores might enjoy.  At the Dessert & Champagne Marketplace, bubbly gets paired with the new dessert trio. There are more than 70 tastes, ranging from $3 to $8 each.

Beyond food and drink, the popular Ocean Spray "Discover the Cranberry Bog" returns, a brilliant red centerpiece that shows how cranberries grow (with farmers to explain).

New and also fun for kids is the Watermelon Patch, hosted by the National Watermelon Board, with watermelons growing and fun facts and tips from Mr. Food.

Eat to the Beat! is back with live entertainment every night at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. during the festival at American Gardens Theatre – new this year are Smash Mouth (Oct. 11-12), Javier Colon, winner of "The Voice" (Oct. 13-14), Blues Traveler (Nov. 5-6) and Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group STYX (Nov. 7-8).

Every day there are cooking demos and beverage classes in the festival center, with celebrity chefappearances starring top culinarians such as Jeff Henderson, Gale Gand, Jennifer Booker, Ron Duprat, Jamie Deen, Warren Brown, Rock Harper, Celina Tio, Robert Irvine, Andrew Zimmern, Buddy Valastro, Art Smith, Keegan Gerhard and more.

For details on all special events, including the popular Party for the Senses and signature dining experiences, go to www.epcotfoodfestival.com.


To the Horizon and Beyond! Disney Wonder Offering Special Pixar Cruises This Fall

CELEBRATION, Fla. — A new cast of characters will stroll the decks and visit with guests aboard the Disney Wonder as Mr. Incredible, Remy, Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear and other memorable characters from Pixar Animation Studios' award-winning films make their shipboard debut during four special Pixar-inspired seven-night California Coastal cruises Sept. 16 through Oct. 14, 2012.

During these voyages, guests will be able to interact with and explore the world of Pixar and their beloved films while the Disney Wonder sails to San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico. Special entertainment and offerings designed for both children and adults include:

  • Pixar Presentations and Sneak Peeks:Artists and filmmakers from Pixar Animation Studios will provide guests with an inside look at the creative process, the making of Pixar's newest release "Brave" and footage of future Pixar films.
  • The Art of Pixar:Storyboards, character sketches, environment paintings, maquettes and other inspiring concept art used to design Pixar films will be on display in a special art exhibition at sea.
  • Pixar Film Fest:Guests will be able to enjoy the entire Pixar library of films while onboard, including a selection of delightful animated shorts.
  • Pixar Character Encounters:More than a dozen Pixar characters will meet with and greet guests throughout the cruise.

Rates for the voyages start at $799 per person for a deluxe inside stateroom, based on double occupancy. To book, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.