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Latest Disney World News 12-14-11

Season of Sharing Shines During the Holidays and Beyond

Throughout the holiday season and all year long, Walt Disney World Resort shares its magic across Central Florida as part of its commitment toward improving the lives of children and families. The “Season of Sharing” is an effort to make the holiday season a little brighter for those who need it most. From Disney chefs preparing holiday meals at Coalition for the Homeless to Cast Members outfitting 1,500 teddy bears for the Salvation Army, Disney’s charitable outreach is making a difference during a time of need. Read more.

Disney Cast Members Donate 30,000 New Toys

One of the highlights of “Season of Sharing” is the Toys for Tots campaign, organized by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Hoping to spread holiday cheer to families throughout Central Florida, Walt Disney World Cast Members collected more than 30,000 toys for this year’s drive to benefit children in Orange and Seminole counties.   “Without Disney, we wouldn’t be able to help as many families as we do each year,” said U.S. Marine Cpl. Anthony Ruggiero. Watch a video here.

Second Harvest Receives Early Holiday Gift

During a special performance of the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, Disney announced a $30,000 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s Kids Cafe. Kids Cafe provides daily meals to 900 children across 13 different after-school sites. “This donation will help our Kids Cafe program give parents and caregivers an additional way to ensure that their children receive hot and nutritious meals,” said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Read more.

Groundbreaking Kicks Off Construction of Four Seasons Resort

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts began construction of its luxury resort at Walt Disney World Resort during a groundbreaking ceremony with joint venture partners Silverstein Properties and Dune Real Estate. The 444-room resort will create approximately 2,000 construction jobs and hundreds of resort positions when open. “It is truly a one-of-a-kind project, and Central Florida will be a valuable addition to our family of resorts, particularly since this is a destination our guests already enjoy,” said Kathleen Taylor, president and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Read more.

Disney VoluntEARS Help Clean Up Coastline

“It might seem small to pick up a few bottle caps here and plastic bags there, but when hundreds of people are focused on this, it means a world of difference,” said Pat Brown, executive director of Keep Brevard Beautiful. More than 300 Disney VoluntEARS learned that first-hand when they joined Ocean Conservancy, Keep Brevard Beautiful and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida to pick up nearly 2,000 pounds of trash and debris last month along four miles of Brevard County coastline. The event was part of the world’s largest volunteer effort to improve the health of the ocean and waterways. Read more.

Disney Conservation Biologist Earns Prestigious Nomination

Protecting endangered species is a passion for Anne Savage, Ph.D., a senior conservation biologist at Walt Disney World Resort. Savage was nominated recently for the Indianapolis Prize, the most prestigious award for animal conservation. Traveling around the globe, Savage has made significant advances with endangered species, ranging from 1-pound monkeys to 7-ton elephants. “I’m just so thankful that I get to spend each and every day working to protect endangered species and helping others to realize that everyone and anyone can truly make a difference for wildlife,” she said. Read more.

Disney Leader Honored As Hispanic Community Champion

Eugene Campbell, vice president of domestic minority business development for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was honored as the 2011 Hispanic Community Champion during the 14th annual Don Quijote Awards. Campbell was one of five honorees announced during the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event, which recognizes business excellence, dedication to service and outstanding professionalism in Central Florida’s Hispanic community. Humbled by the award, Campbell (pictured top row, fourth from left) gave credit to his team members for their efforts to support the growth of Hispanic business in Central Florida.  Read more.

Disney Executive Joins National Travel Marketing Group

Randy Garfield, president of Walt Disney Travel Company and executive vice president of Worldwide Sales & Travel Operations of Disney Destinations has joined the Brand USA board of directors, representing the attractions sector of the travel and tourism industry. Seeking to draw more international visitors to the United States, Brand USA is drawing on top travel and tourism industry experts as it gears up to launch the nation’s first tourism marketing campaign.


Latest Disney World News 10-24-11

Festival of the Masters welcomes artist Graham Knuttel

The works of Irish artist Graham Knuttel have found homes among Hollywood royalty like Sylvester Stallone, Whoopie Goldberg and Robert DeNiro. On Nov. 11, 2011, one of the renowned artist’s works will find a home at Walt Disney World Resort.

Read the full story at


Top celebs headline Candlelight Processional at Epcot

Academy award-winning actress Mira Sorvino returns to Walt Disney World Resort Nov. 25-27, 2011, to kick off Candlelight Processional, the enormously popular Disney holiday celebration that will continue nightly through Dec. 30, 2011, at Epcot. Sorvino is among a dozen celebrities, ranging from contemporary Christian and country music artists to a soap opera legend and award-winning actor, who will take the stage for the joyous retelling of the Christmas story.

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Walt Disney World Resort sends 2011 out with a bang

New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest fireworks evenings of the year at Walt Disney World Resort, a place where fireworks are both spectacular and an every-night occurrence. Fireworks and nighttime shows will light up the skies and create a mood of celebration at three theme parks on Dec. 31, 2011, while revelry of other sorts takes place elsewhere throughout the Vacation Kingdom.

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Magic Kingdom parking lot goes to Disney heroes and villains

It may seem “goofy” or “dopey” and make you feel “grumpy” or “happy,” but: The parking lot at Magic Kingdom has gone to the Disney Heroes and Villains. Say “hello” to Woody, Aladdin, Simba, Hook, Scar, Zurg and a half dozen other goodies and baddies. They have replaced sections named for “classic” Disney characters and Dwarfs.

Read the full story at


Latest Walt Disney World News 10-6-11

Walt Disney World Celebrates 40 Years in Central Florida

Four decades after the first Guests walked down Main  Street, U.S.A. toward Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom marked the 40th  anniversary milestone with a celebration that included a parade, Disney  characters and fireworks. Meg Crofton, president of operations U.S. and France  for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, told thousands of Guests, “We’ve grown by  leaps and bounds, but the fact remains that this place, as it appeared on Oct. 1,  1971, was the last great vision of one of the world’s greatest dreamers.”

‘World’ Wisdom

In the mid-1960s, Walt Disney’s dream was to build  a family resort destination like no other. The dream  became a reality  when Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. Today, Walt Disney World Resort draws  millions of Guests  from around the world  and generates substantial economic activity for the entire state of Florida. Did you know…

  • Ground  was first cleared to make way for Walt Disney World Resort on May 30, 1967,  taking 1,584 days, $400 million and 8,000 construction workers to ready the  area for opening day.
  • On Oct. 1, 1971,  there were approximately 5,500 Cast Members. Today, there are more than 62,000 Cast Members in more than 3,000 different job classifications.
  • Walt Disney World  Resort has become a contiguous 40-square-mile   world -class entertainment and  recreation center featuring four theme parks, two water adventure parks, 34 resort hotels (24  owned and operated by Walt Disney World, including seven Disney Vacation Club  resort properties), 81 holes of  golf on five courses, two full-service spas, Disney’s Wedding Pavilion, ESPN  Wide World of Sports Complex and Downtown Disney, an  entertainment-shopping-dining complex.
  • Of the 7.2 million Floridians in the  workforce in 2009, more than one out of every 50 had a job that can be directly  or indirectly tied to the operations of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
  • The $18.2 billion in annual economic activity  generated locally by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts last year accounts for 2.5  percent of the gross domestic product for the entire state.

Walt Disney World Earns Top Honors for Supporting the Arts

Tonight  in New York City, Americans for the Arts will recognize Walt Disney World Resort as one the nation’s 10  best companies for its exceptional commitment to the local arts community. For nearly four  decades, Disney has helped foster creativity in Central Florida through  millions in cash, in-kind donations and the knowledge and expertise of its Cast  Members. Last year, Walt Disney World Resort gave more than $565,000 to support  the arts, including grants to programs such as A Gift For Music, which provides  free classical music instruction to economically disadvantaged students. Other  contributions included a $12.5 million capital investment in the Dr. Phillips Center  for the Performing Arts. Read more.

Cast Members Raise Funds, Heart Rate for Great Cause

“My  goal is to get healthier and complete a marathon this year,” said Kendall  Bercaw, a Cast Member at Walt Disney World Resort. Getting a jump-start on  her objective, Bercaw was one of more than 1,100 Disney VoluntEARS  participating in the Orlando Start! Heart Walk. Proceeds from the walk  benefited the American Heart Association’s research and education to help fight  heart disease and stroke. Cast Members from Walt Disney World Resort raised  nearly $49,000 for the organization. Read more.

DWCF Awards Record $2 Million in Grants

Nineteen Florida-based efforts received grants this year from the Disney Worldwide  Conservation Fund (DWCF), which recently awarded $2 million to conservation projects  around the globe. Thousands of dollars went toward  projects aiming to protect mangrove cuckoos, sea turtles, native bears and eagles. “EagleWatch has aided in the recovery of the bald  eagle from near-extinction, and DWCF’s funding has provided the means to reach  out to concerned citizens statewide, training them to become citizen scientists  as we continue to ensure the successful recovery of the iconic bald eagle,”  said Lynda White, EagleWatch Coordinator/Educator for the Audubon  Center for Birds of Prey.  Learn more.

Walt Disney World Recognized for Support of Education

The  Orange County School Board recognized the efforts of Walt Disney World Resort  and its Cast Members for their commitment to supporting Orange County Public  Schools. Within the last year, Cast Members donated 2.1 million school supplies  for the annual back-to-school drive, awarded the school district a $50,000  Disney Helping Kids Shine grant and donated nearly 17,000 VoluntEARS hours to the school system.  Learn more.

Imagineer Earns Junior Achievement Top Volunteer Award

Junior Achievement of Central Florida honored Jack  Blitch, vice president and general manager of Walt Disney Imagineering, with  the organization’s highest award for volunteerism. The Gold Leadership Award is  given to those who inspire local students to succeed in the new global economy.  “Jack’s  spirit of generosity helps Central Florida Junior Achievement students  develop financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work-readiness skills,”  said Craig Polejes, president of Junior Achievement of Central Florida. Learn  more.

Benefit Sale Returns to Raise Funds for United Way

If you’re an early-bird shopper, mark your  calendars for Nov. 5. Shoppers will have a fabulous  opportunity to support Heart of Florida United Way and find special bargains on  merchandise at Downtown Disney stores. Vouchers are required for  admittance to the event and can be purchased for $5 in advance from HFUW. All   proceeds from voucher sales go directly to HFUW-supported health and  human service programs in Central Florida. For more details, go to


Latest Walt Disney World News

July 29, 2011

New Disney Resort Reaches Construction Milestone

The hundreds of people building Disney’s Art of Animation Resort gathered to mark the project’s “topping out,” a special moment in the construction industry when the highest piece of steel or concrete is placed on a new building’s frame. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has created approximately 800 construction jobs  and, once open in 2012, will create an additional 750 permanent jobs. “The hundreds of skilled men and women from local companies across Central Florida have done an amazing job helping us build a resort hotel that will really delight our Guests,” said Gary Hoffmann, senior project manager for Walt Disney Imagineering. Learn more.

Cast Members Give Local Students Back-to-School Support 

As students enjoy their last days of summer vacation, Walt Disney World Cast Members are gearing up for the upcoming school year by shopping for classroom essentials. Stocking up on crayons, rulers, pencils and notebooks, Disney Cast Members are buying and donating school supplies through the resort’s annual Back-to-School Supply Drive. By August 19, the items will be sorted and distributed to local students and teachers through partnerships with A Gift for Teaching and S.T.A.R.S. of West Orange (Supplies to Assist Our Students). In 2010, Disney Cast collected more than 2 million new school supplies.

Executive Joins University of Central Florida Board of Trustees

Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France, has been named to the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees. Crofton was appointed to UCF’s 13-member board, which sets policy and guides the use of the university’s resources, by the Board of Governors of the State University System and will serve a five-year term. “It’s great for us as Cast Members to have one of America’s top universities practically at our doorstep,” Crofton said. “As an advocate of economic development and diversity in Central Florida, I see UCF as crucial to our region’s goals. From the new medical college to leadership in simulation technology, UCF is key to continuously broadening and strengthening our economy.”

ENCORE! Concerts to Benefit Performing Arts Center

The Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra – a volunteer ensemble of nearly 300 talented Disney Cast Members – is currently in rehearsals for concerts to benefit the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are now available for “An American Revival – A Concert Celebrating the Voice of America!” on July 29-31 and August 4-6 at 7:30 p.m. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The concerts will feature classic pop, gospel and patriotic songs that celebrate the grand musical history of America. Since its inception in 2002, Encore! has given its concert proceeds to local charities, raising more than $150,000 to date. Learn more.

Cast Members Nominated for Prestigious National Awards

Five Walt Disney World Cast Members are nominees for honors at this fall’s Great Minds in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) conference. Each year, the awards honor individuals for outstanding leadership and technical achievement in their STEM career. Disney has sponsored the conference, which aims to promote STEM careers in underserved communities,  since 2004 and will host the event for a second consecutive year. Learn more.

Disney Brings Main Street Magic to National Federation of the Blind

More than 3,500 attendees of the National Federation of the Blind Convention in Orlando learned how Guests with visual disabilities can explore Disney Parks in a whole new way by using Disney’s enhanced handheld device that provides detailed audio description of outdoor areas. During his keynote address, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Manager  Bob Minnick was joined by the mayor of Main Street, U.S.A., while the Magic Kingdom’s marching band provided sounds from the park.

Canoe Races Foster Competition and Camaraderie

For two weeks each July, Disney Cast Members paddle off into the Rivers of America at the Magic Kingdom Park to train and compete in predawn canoe races. A longtime favorite event among Cast, the 82 teams averaged five to six minutes to complete the course, which stretched from Splash Mountain to the Haunted Mansion. The tradition that dates back to 1973 fosters some fierce competition, but Cast Members say they return annually to get a work-out and boost camaraderie among co-workers. “It’s my fourth year competing and our first victory, so I’m really proud of all the hard work that went into getting us here today,” said Scott Hall, captain of the grand champion team.

Chiquita and Disney Announce Multi-year Alliance

Chiquita Brands International and Walt Disney World Resort announced an agreement this week that will bring premium, healthy Chiquita and Fresh Express products to a number of retail points at Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line. This new strategic alliance represents the commitment of both companies to provide consumers with healthy food options. “We are pleased to work with Disney to offer healthy, nutritious Chiquita and Fresh Express products to the millions of Guests who visit Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line,” said Fernando Aguirre, Chiquita chairman and chief executive officer. “This alliance joins two companies with the shared commitment of providing quality experiences to consumers.”

Executive to Join Clean the World Board

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Vice President of Lodging Mark Rucker has joined the board of directors of Clean the World Foundation, an Orlando-based organization that recycles soap and shampoo and distributes the items to those living in poverty in Central Florida and all over the world. So far this year, hotels at Walt Disney World Resort have donated more than 19,000 pounds of soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Read more.


EXCLUSIVE Photo from “The Change-Up” starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman








Quadriplegic Physician Dr. House Hosts New Radio Show for Injured & Disabled on

July 5, 2011

Contact: Shannon Rose, Eclectic Media Productions (347) 92-STARS or (347) 927-8277, Email:

Quadriplegic Physician Hosts New Radio Show for Injured & Disabled

(Naples, FL.) – is pleased to announce its newest online radio show Dr. House: Living with and Beyond Disability, hosted by the uniquely qualified Dr. Glen House.

This online radio program was created to assist the estimated 54 million Americans with disabilities or “functional limitations”, from spinal-cord injuries to arthritis. This exciting new talk show provides people with important information, support, and resources to enhance quality of life whether the listener is living with disability or caring for a loved one that is “differently-abled.

A C7 quadriplegic since the age of 20, Dr. House is the Medical Director of the Center for Neuro & Trauma Rehabilitation at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, CO. Dr. House, who was a bodybuilder and extreme skier before breaking his neck and injuring his spinal cord in a skiing accident 21 years ago, is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Adapta Medical, Inc.

Recent topics on Dr. House’s ground-breaking new program include: Multiple Sclerosis Treatments & Clinical Trials, Specialized Driving Training, Breakthrough Spinal Cord Injury Research, and Rehab for the Newly Injured.

During his live shows, Dr. House not only interviews top experts about the most recent developments in disability-wellness technology, he also creates a fully-interactive experience for listeners by answering call-in questions, and addressing questions and comments submitted via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

All his shows are recorded and cataloged into the extensive library of searchable health information programming.

“We are thrilled to be producing this exciting show with Dr. House to add to our already outstanding listing of medical, wellness, fitness and health programs.” said Founder, Tim Disa, Sr.

Now in its 5th year of operation, offers internet listeners daily insights and information from top medical luminaries in their respective fields. Dr. House: Living with and Beyond Disability joins a patient-oriented line-up of programming that includes: You: The Owner’s Manuel hosted by Dr. Michael Roizen, 911 – Emergency Talk Radio brought to you by the American College of Emergency Physicians, Healthy Children sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Sports Medicine & Fitness Show sponsored by the American College of Sports Medicine and hosted by exercise physiologist Melanie Cole, MS.


Listeners may ask questions for broadcast on Dr. House: Living with and Beyond Disability at:




Dr. Glen House Biography

J. Glen House, MD, MBA, currently serves as the Medical Director of Penrose Hospital’s Center for Neuro & Trauma Rehabilitation. He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Adapta Medical, Inc. Since November 2003 he has served as President of Colorado Rehabilitation Physicians, P.C., a private medical rehabilitation company. Additionally he has served as the President of Flexlife, a medical device company he founded in 1993. Dr. House holds four U.S. patents and has 18 pending patents in the medical device field. Dr. House completed a Spinal Cord Medicine Fellowship at The Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in July 2001. He attended medical school at the University of Washington, performed an internship in Internal Medicine at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City and completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine where he served as Chief Resident. He also completed the Executive MBA program at the University of Colorado in May 2010. and Dr. Glen House are available for interviews.  Please contact Eclectic Media Productions (347) 92-STARS or (347) 927-8277, Email: is represented by Eclectic Media Productions National PR Firm. Website:

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