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I've been collecting lots of news from the World of Disney but been too bogged down to edit and post it for you. So I know I tend to overload you with but check out these stories if you want to see how your company is spending its money and growing your investment. And remember, nothing lasts forever so I hope you enjoy this while you can.

Who was happy to finally see new plans for Downtown Disney at WDW but disappointed to see the Adventurer's Club is still not coming back...

iTouching Disney
Visitors to the Magic Kingdom in Central Florida will notice that Disney has done away with turnstiles completely at the park's entrance. Instead, visitors are greeted by the company's "cast members," holding iPod touches in their white-gloved hands. The change is part of a larger initiative by Disney known as "MyMagic+," which has the ultimate goal of making the company's theme parks even more convenient and inviting for those who attend.

A Disney representative who spoke with AppleInsider noted that because the program is in a trial stage, there's no guarantee that the company will ultimately adopt the iPod touch as a long-term solution. But for now, cast members are utilizing Apple's iOS device with a special accessory case and accompanying software that allow passes to be scanned.

Disney Springs A New Plan For Pleasure Island
On 3/15/13, Disney Parks & Resorts unveiled plans for Disney Springs, the exciting, multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort. From Tom Staggs, Chairman, Disney Parks & Resorts:

Walt Disney World Resort guests and local Florida residents have been enjoying Downtown Disney for more than 30 years, but we knew we had an opportunity to reimagine and reinvent this corner of the resort. We’ve spent a good deal of time thinking through just what we want this area to be, and how to bring it to life to make it a place unlike any other. And we have even scrapped a few preliminary plans (Hyperion Warf) that we felt didn’t measure up to our aspirations for this place.

Our fundamental goal is to create a welcoming, comfortable space where families can enjoy time together and instantaneously feel right at home. We want to give them opportunities to relax, to be entertained, to wander in and out of unique and distinctive shops or enjoy a world-class dining experience. And because we are Disney, we’ve anchored the entire experience around a story that gives us the ability to deliver on the legendary place-making and creativity for which we are known. The result is Disney Springs, a timeless and vibrant place that celebrates the turn-of-the century lakeside towns that dotted the Florida landscape.

Disneyland Resort Honored by the Clean The World Foundation
We’ve shared before on the Disney Parks Blog that partially used soaps and shampoos from Disney Hotels and Resorts in Florida and California are voluntarily collected by housekeeping cast members, and then sanitized, repackaged and distributed to people in need around the world by Clean the World Foundation, Inc.

Last week, Clean the World’s CEO and co-founder Shawn Seipler was in Anaheim to recognize the Disneyland Resort for collectively donating nearly 20,000 pounds of soaps and bottled bath amenities from its three Resort hotels in 2012 – more than any other participating property in California!

Mickey Makes Comeback In Shorts
One of the world’s most popular cartoon characters, Mickey Mouse, is coming back to the small screen in a revival attempt.

Creator of the popular character, The Walt Disney Company, is bringing back the cartoons in two-dimensional short films that will debut on the Disney channel on June 28, as well as online at

It will also be available on the Walt Disney Channel app.

A preview of the animated shorts showed Mickey and Minnie working at a Paris cafe, faced with a shortage in croissants.

The movie is about Mickey going on an adventure trip as he goes on an adventure trip around the city trying to meet the customers’ orders.

No Kids Allowed
Not sure what Walt would say to this, but kids aren’t the only ones that will be having fun in Europe this summer with Disney Cruise Line! Like I mentioned in my last post about Port Adventures in Europe, we developed excursions that appeal to all types of families, including those of you not traveling with children.

One of the ways we cater to this group is by providing adult-only departures for some of our most popular tours, including Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica and Gondola Ride in Venice, Best of Ephesus from Kusadasi, Turkey and Highlights of Monaco and Monte Carlo from Villefranche, France. For the 2013 season, at least one adult-only tour is offered in each port of call.

What’s more, we’ve also created some brand-new experiences just for adults that I want to tell you about today…

Mickey & The Magical Map
With Fantasy Faire now delighting guests daily at Disneyland park, I’m pleased to be able to announce the opening date of our next fantastic entertainment experience. The all-new live show “Mickey and the Magical Map” will open at the Fantasyland Theatre on May 25.

Through theatrical wizardry, wonderful songs and inspired visuals, audiences will take part in Mickey Mouse’s surprising adventure as an enormous sorcerer’s map takes us on a journey to imagination. Each new direction of the compass reveals fantastic worlds of music, color, excitement and beloved characters.

American Idol Goes Bilingual
On the current season of “American Idol” on television, Idol hopeful Devin Velez has propelled himself into the Top 10, singing in both English and Spanish. Now, guests auditioning at The American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios have the opportunity to perform songs in Spanish, too!

The Force Is With Star Wars Weekends
One of Mickey Mouse’s favorite things about Star Wars Weekends is that he gets to dress in his Jedi best and join the galactic fun. Each year, Mickey seems to take on a different role in the official “Star Wars” Weekends logo. This year, his imagination takes him to the Forest Moon of Endor, where he is seen zipping away from scout troopers with Chip and Dale. Mickey’s wild speeder bike ride on this year’s artwork has historical significance, as 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi” — the film that featured the Battle of Endor.

This will also be the first Star Wars Weekends since LucasFilm became part of the House of Mouse.

Mickey Goes Greek
Join the Disneyland Resort from May 25-27 for Opa! A Celebration of Greece, featuring music, dance, art, food, history and more! Festivities will take place in both “it’s a small world” Mall in Disneyland park and Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure park. Mickey Mouse will even be there in his Fustanella attire!

To Disney or not to Disney?

For many travelers, especially those with children, it's not even a question they ask. They already know the answer.

To these visitors, Disney is Mickey Mouse, princesses, magic and fun. It's happy memories of childhood brought back to life in your children, a clean place where the rides are safe and the Disney characters are always happy to pose for pictures with your kids.

Disney & Imax Go Out Of This World
Walt Disney Co. and Imax Corp. agreed to co-produce their first movie together--an as-yet untitled 3D movie from filmmaker Toni Myers--expanding the relationship between the entertainment giant and the operator of theaters known for large floor-to-ceiling curved screens. The companies have previously collaborated together on the distribution of numerous films such as "Fantasia 2000" and the recently released "Oz The Great and Powerful."

Ms. Myers's coming film, expected to be released during 2015, will be made in cooperation with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and use Imax's 3D technology. The planned film, made by the veteran maker of films for Imax, aims to increase the understanding of the solar system as well as travel "light-years to other star systems to ponder the possibilities of 'Goldilocks,' an Earth-like planet."

Explore Alaska’s Wildlife with Disney Cruise Line
Wildlife exploration is one of the top activities in Alaska, so for this summer Disney Cruise Line has added brand new tours in Juneau that allow guests to witness the very best of the Inside Passage’s marine and coastal wildlife.

The new Wilderness Safari & Beach Exploration excursion starts out on a high-speed, water-jet powered vessel that can venture to areas unreachable by conventional boat. Whales, sea lions and brown bears are just a few of the species guests may spot that thrive in this pristine environment. The tour also includes a visit to the remote coast of Admiralty Island, where guests can relax or explore while enjoying the area’s stunning beauty.
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