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Another Dream Year in Store for Disney World in 2008

When the clock “strikes twelve” on Dec. 31, neither Cinderella nor Walt Disney World guests will need to worry about the party being over. The fun is not turning into a “pumpkin.” Another “Year of a Million Dreams” is on the other side of midnight…

In 2008, the Vacation Kingdom will unwrap a technologically cutting-edge theme park attraction, the most engaging parade the resort has ever showcased, taste-tempting new restaurant adventures, and the opportunity for lucky guests to win some over-the-top money-can’t-buy experiences in the Disney Dreams Giveaway. And that’s just for starters. Here’s a sneak preview of what’s in store to make 2008 great at Walt Disney World Resort:

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – It’s “Happy New Year and hello Disney’s Hollywood Studios.” Renamed from Disney-MGM Studios, Disney’s Hollywood Studios better reflects not only the Golden Age of Tinseltown but all that today’s Hollywood has to offer – in movies, music, theater and television. The name change launches with the new year.

“Playhouse Disney–Live on Stage!” – A whole new cast of friends from Playhouse Disney fills the popular Playhouse Disney stage. Children will be on their feet singing, clapping and dancing to performing stars from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Little Einsteins,” “Handy Manny” and more. The new “Playhouse Disney–Live on Stage!” show debuts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in February.

“Block Party Bash” – Guests will play, party and dance as the most interactive parade in Disney history arrives at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in spring 2008. Guests will be invited to rock to retro tunes, be dazzled by high-flying acrobatics and join in the fun as more than 20 partying DisneyPixar Film Pals fill the theme park streets. This immersive rolling spectacle will feature favorite characters from “The Incredibles,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “A Bug’s Life.” “Block Party Bash” will replace the “Disney Stars and Motor Cars” parade.

Toy Story Mania! – An innovative ride-game experience coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios summer 2008, Toy Story Mania! combines memorable film characters from DisneyPixar classics “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” with games that match their motion picture personas. Donning 3-D glasses, guests seemingly shrink to the size of a toy and hop fanciful ride vehicles that follow a midway-themed route. At each game booth, they aim for animated targets using a special spring-action shooter. The challenges are designed to be fun for everyone from beginners to serious gamers – and, for Disney theme park guests on both coasts, as Toy Story Mania! also is coming to Disneyland Resort in 2008.

Jostens Center – represents the latest expansion project for Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex (220 acres), which is widely regarded as the leading sports venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation. The new multi-sport facility will include 45,000 square feet of competition space that will accommodate six basketball courts or 12 volleyball courts or two roller hockey rinks, as well as locker rooms and meeting rooms. The new facility, set to open in summer 2008, will allow Disney the ability to double the number of indoor sports events that it can accommodate.

Themed Restaurants – The introduction of innovative dining experiences continues with four restaurants opening during 2008. Landry’s Restaurants, which just introduced a taste of Asia to Disney’s Animal Kingdom with the opening of Yak & Yeti Restaurant, will treat Downtown Disney guests to a face-to-face encounter with a dinosaur at T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure, A Place to Eat, Shop, Explore and Discover, which combines table-service dining and retail in an interactive prehistoric environment built around water, fire and ice. At Epcot, China’s Nine Dragons table-service restaurant will close in early 2008 to make way for an innovative dining room, scheduled to open in the fall, featuring five cooking stations where guests can interact with chefs from China. At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, The Wave, opening in the spring, will serve up American cooking blended with world flavors. In the Italy pavilion at Epcot, Tutto Italia Ristorante (“Everything Italy”) is the newest restaurant for California-based Patina Group, which has a portfolio of nearly 30 restaurants. The location will be expanded for a grand opening late in 2008.

Disney Dreams Giveaway – When it was time to decide what to do for an encore to the 2007 “Year of a Million Dreams,” Disney Parks heard resoundingly from guests. They asked for more dreams. Even bigger dreams. More dreams money can’t buy. More dreams that only Disney can make come true. So Disney’s magic-makers went back to their dream drawing board and created over-the-top experiences for the 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway that will be awarded to eligible lucky guests in the right place at the right time and mail-in participants, including: a chance for guests to stay inside Disneyland Park; a private day at Disney’s tropical island paradise, Castaway Cay; a New Year’s Eve night stay inside Cinderella Castle Suite at Walt Disney World Resort; a star-studded trip to the “High School Musical 3” film premiere; and a flight of fancy in a hot air balloon above a Disney theme park. But that’s not all. In 2008, Disney also will award hundreds of thousands of dreams in all shapes and sizes, including Dream FASTPASS badges, gourmet dining packages, special viewing for parades, Disney shopping sprees, an additional hour – known as Dream Time – for chosen guests to enjoy a Disney park, or special Dream Mouse Ears or Pin and Lanyard sets. It all adds up to over one million more dreams that will be awarded in 2008.

Information courtesy of Walt Disney World Public Affairs

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