Feb 13

Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco, MVP of Super Bowl XLVII, Honored at Walt Disney World

Joe Flacco Disney SuperbowlFresh from his team’s 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco made good on his “I’m Going to Disney World” proclamation by quarterbacking a gala celebration Monday at Walt Disney World Resort.

Smiling and waving from a red convertible alongside Mickey Mouse in the shadow of Cinderella Castle, Flacco – named the game’s Most Valuable Player — greeted cheering Magic Kingdom guests along a parade route lined with colorful red, white and blue balloons. Cheerleaders, Disney characters in football gear and a Florida blizzard – of confetti — completed the festive scene as Flacco quarterbacked another drive, this time down Main Street, U.S.A.

Flacco was one of the game’s standout players, firing three first-half touchdown strikes en route to 287 total passing yards. It capped a remarkable post-season in which Flacco connected on 11 TD passes, throwing no interceptions.

His “I’m Going to Disney World” – anchoring one of TV’s most enduring and iconic Super Bowl commercials – was captured seconds after the final whistle Sunday night. A produced commercial from that moment aired on networks just hours before Flacco’s appearance at the Magic Kingdom.

Flacco’s declaration became the 26th Super Bowl commercial aired in the Disney series that began in 1987 following Super Bowl XXI. The first “I’m Going to Disney World” commercial featuring New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms was considered a groundbreaking concept – a produced commercial involving a current event, airing on major networks within hours of its conclusion. Flacco joins an all-star lineup of heroes from sports and beyond who have celebrated milestone accomplishments in “I’m Going to Disney World” commercials.

Jan 13

Wheel of Fortune “Making Disney Memories” Week

Disney Memories wheel of fortuneIt’s “Disney Time” at Wheel of Fortune as the fun of America’s Favorite Game Show and the magic of Disney come together in the game show’s 30th season for a fully-integrated multiplatform collaboration including a week of shows and a sweepstakes for at-home viewers.

“Wheel of Fortune Making Disney Memories Week” airing January 28-Feb 1, 2013, will feature a custom set including three different scenes depicting “Sleeping Beauty Castle,” “Cinderella Castle” and the Disney Dream cruise ship. Additionally, Disney is providing iconic elements from the Disney Parks including a Disney teacup from the “Mad Tea Party” attractions, Lightning McQueen from the new Cars Land at Disney California Adventure theme park, a pirate ship from “Peter Pan’s Flight” and a Dumbo car from “Dumbo, the Flying Elephant.” And show hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White will be greeted on set by beloved Disney characters.

During the week of shows, Wheel of Fortune contestants can win “Magical Vacations” to Disney Parks or on Disney Cruise Line. The cars available through the “1⁄2 Car Tag” game element will alternate between Honda and Chevrolet models, sponsors of Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, respectively.

Vanna White Wheel of Fortune Disney EpcotIn preparation for the broadcast, Vanna White and the Wheel of Fortune crew went on location to shoot customized segments at Disneyland theme park, Disney California Adventure theme park, Magic Kingdom theme park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, Epcot and the Disney Dream cruise ship.  Here’s a shot I snapped back in October 2012 of Vanna filming in Italy in Epcot’s World Showcase.

The “Wheel of Fortune Making Memories Sweepstakes” encourages viewers to watch “Making Disney Memories Week” on Wheel of Fortune and enter each night’s bonus puzzle solution at www.wheeloffortune.com. Ten winners will each enjoy a vacation for four to the winner’s choice of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or the Disneyland Resort in California.

The sweepstakes will live on a co-branded mini-site, accessible via www.wheeloffortune.com that will feature links to various Disney websites as well as photo and video galleries from Vanna’s shoots.

Additionally, Wheel of Fortune will be able to offer its nearly 8 million members of their loyalty program, the Wheel Watchers Club, the chance to find their own “Happily Ever After” with Disney vacation offers.

Jan 13

Recap of the Disney Parks Blog 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet Up

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up GoofyMy Adidas running shoes are still smokin’ from all of the running I’ve done in the Disney Parks over the last two weeks. Just shy of 60 miles in total. Marathon season is in full swing and runDisney pulled out all the stops at the Disney Parks Blog 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Meet Up.

For those of you not familiar with these events, the Meet Up is an exclusive warm up run held inside one of the Disney parks usually before a large runDisney event. They’re completely free and have become rather popular.  In fact, all of the spots are usually filled up within minutes of the invitation being posted to the Disney Parks Blog.

The Meet Up for the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon was held inside of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Upon arrival for the run, each participant was presented with a special white runDisney “20 Years Running” T-Shirt to wear.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

As they have done in the past, the group was given two options for the run. You could run/walk/run with Jeff Galloway or you could break off into the second group and do a straight thru run without any walk breaks.  Runners are asked to keep up a 12-minute-mile pace and the run is normally just shy of three miles.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

We stopped for a few small group shots in front of Toy Story Midway Mania.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

The run ended at the Lights Motors Action! Extreme Stunt Show Arena. Complementary breakfast sandwiches and beverages were provided by a special food truck stationed at the Meet Up.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

Participants noshed on breakfast and gathered in the grandstands waiting for the special Meet Up presentation.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

First up was Joey Fatone of ‘N Sync and Dancing with the Stars fame. Joey had decided that he would run the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge for his wife after she was sidelined with an injury. He had never even run a half marathon before!

Joey Fatone disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

Also making an appearance was Price is Right Host and now svelte Drew Carey. He too was sidelined with an injury…Hmmm…what gives? That “Sounds Dangerous”!

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up drew carey

Check out Drew’s kicks! Those are the new runDisney New Balance Mens sneakers that were unveiled over the weekend. They sold out in minutes and New Balance was forced to overnight more stock to sell during the second day of the expo. New Balance was on hand to discuss proper running footwear and ways to avoid injury.

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

I was lucky enough to snag a pair of the ladies shoes for $125. How cute are they?

new balance runDisney sneakers ladies

runDisney brought in several running legends to give us tips and encouragement including Bart Yasso.

Bart yasso disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up

And Adriano Bastos was happy to hop up and show us all of his Disney tattoos. Bastos captured his eighth Walt Disney World Marathon title this year crossing the finish line in 2 hours, 21 minutes, 16 seconds!

disney parks blog rundisney 2013 marathon weekend meet up Adriano bastos

As the meet wrapped up all guests were invited to take photos with the celebrity guests and Disney characters in attendance and each runner was provided with a goody bag as well as a one day park ticket to come back and experience Disney’s Hollywood Studios at a slower pace.

disney parks blog 2013 marathon meet up

For more information on upcoming runDisney Disney Parks Blog Meet Ups keep your eyes on DisneyParksBlog.com and for more info on upcoming runDiosney races check out RunDisney.com

Jan 13

Details on Disney’s Limited Time Magic “True Love Week”

Valentine's Day Magic KingdomLove is in the air at Walt Disney World Resort as fairytale princesses find true love with their princes, and “happily ever after” becomes reality. It all happens during True Love Week February 11-17, 2013.

The week long love fest is all part of Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks, where each week in 2013 guests will be treated to a sprinkling of Disney magic where unexpected surprises and delights enhance vacation memories.

During True Love Week, a tapestry of romance is woven throughout the resort — from limited- time Valentine’s merchandise and special entertainment, to romantic dinners for two and new themed photo locations offering greetings with beloved Disney sweethearts – all for a limited-time only.

The week long event celebrates the love of friends and family, and invites couples to rekindle the flame. Here is the lineup:

  • Romantic Setting: Guests will feel the romance at every turn, as banners proclaiming True Love, heart-shaped signage and sweetheart-themed décor adorn the Magic Kingdom.
  • Blushing Castle: At dusk, hues of pink, red, lavender and blue bathe Cinderella Castle with themed lighting synced to a musical melodies adding to the ambiance.
  • Dinners for Two: Candlelit dinners for two with prix fixe menus at select restaurants  during the most romantic week of the year.  Specially-created menus at Artist Point (Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort);  The Wave…of American Flavors (Disney’s Contemporary Resort); Hollywood Brown Derby (Disney’s Hollywood Studios); Yachtsman Steakhouse (Disney’s Yacht Club Resort) make an ideal setting for a romantic evening. To book visit Disneyworld.com or call 407/WDW-DINE.
  • Valentine’s-themed Takeaways: Limited-edition pins, plushes, newly-designed apparel and Vinylmations available at select merchandise locations.
  • Royal Gathering:  The rare opportunity to get a photo with Disney Princes as they escort their Princesses to enchanting character greeting locations.

In Town Square Theater you may find Mickey and Minnie, Aurora with Phillip or Rapunzel and Flynn. Mary Poppins joins Bert in Fantasyland, while Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana meet guests in the Enchanted Glade in Liberty Square.

Romantic Photo Locations in Magic Kingdom with your Sweetie:

  • Carriage Awaits: New Fantasyland invites lovers to create memories alongside Cinderella’s Glass Coach situated by the new Castle wall for True Love Week.
  • Wishes Come True: Hearts and flowers enhance Cinderella’s Wishing Well creating the perfect backdrop for a cherished moment.
  • Rose Walk:  The Rose Garden in Central Plaza is all decked out with enchanting decor.

And more…

Disneyland Park in California will celebrate True Love week with similar in-park offerings.

For more information about “Limited Time Magic,” guests may search for Twitter hashtag #LimitedTimeMagic.

Jan 13

25,000 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Spots Go POOF!

sold_out_mickyA little more than 26 hours after opening on-line sales to the general public, the Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K and Dumbo Double Dare reached capacity and set a runDisney sell out record.  Coming off successful back-to-back capacity filled race weekends, in which more than  65,000 registered runners participated in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and more than 19,500 in the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, runDisney races have reached a new threshold with record fast sell out times, joining the ranks of other sell out races Marine Corps Marathon, ING New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon.

Of the more than 25,000 runners who registered for the race weekend, 17,500 runners will participate in the Disneyland Half Marathon and 8,000 in the Disneyland 10K – including 5,000 in the Dumbo Double Dare.  The new 10K race, the latest in the popular runDisney series, will be a timed event and will take runners through Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and the streets of Anaheim.  Each finisher will receive a specially designed commemorative finisher medal. Runners looking for an extra challenge registered for the Dumbo Double Dare, which involves running the10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday (19.3 miles total).  Participants who signed up for the Dumbo Double Dare will receive a Dumbo Double Dare tech shirt and a special finisher medal, in addition to the Disneyland Half Marathon and 10K finisher medals.

 “Runner response to the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is overwhelming,” says Disney Sports Marketing and Communication Director Faron Kelley.  “This points to the growing popularity of runDisney events and runner demand for two-day, back-to-back race challenges, along with the ever popular 10K distance.”

A very limited number of registrations are available for the half marathon and 10Kthrough charity and travel groups.  Runners can get more information on these opportunities by going to rundisney.com.

In addition, registration remains open for the Family Fun Run 5K and runDisney Kids Races. These races are filling quickly so runners are encouraged to register today