Friday, April 16, 2010

Dateline Disney - May / Jun

Still Twisting after 50 Years, Chubby Checker Brings down Curtain on Flower Power Concert Series at Epcot

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – “The Twist,” the song that defined Chubby Checker’s recording career, turns 50 in 2010, and Walt Disney World guests will have a chance to hear that classic performed live by the original artist May 14-16 at Epcot in the final Flower Power Concert Series shows of the year.

Chubby Checker’s recording of “The Twist” is the only song in rock and roll annals to enter the Billboard charts on two separate occasions and climb to No. 1 both times (in fall 1960 and early 1962).  Chubby Checker’s Web site ( also cites “The Twist” for introducing the concept of “dancing apart to the beat” – which later included the Monkey, Jerk, Frug, Fly, Pony, Hully Gully, Boogaloo, Swim, and Shake among others.

Chubby Checker’s shows will take place at America Gardens Theatre at 5:15, 6:30 & 7:45 p.m. each day and are included with Epcot admission.  Here’s the full Flower Power Concert Series schedule for May (subject to change without notice):

April 30-May 2: Fran Cosmo, former singer of Boston

May 7-9: Davy Jones

May 14-16: Chubby Checker & The Wildcats

It is held each Friday-Sunday in conjunction with the Flower & Garden Festival.  More information about the festival is available at

DIY Network’s Ahmed Hassan to ‘Crash’ Epcot Flower Festival as Season’s Final Great American Gardener

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Television viewers may recognize Ahmed Hassan as the host of the DIY Network show “Yard Crashers,” on which he hangs out at garden centers looking for unsuspecting weekend warriors who look like they could definitely use the help of his landscaping team to completely transform their yards.

But those kinds of yard-changing projects aren’t just the stuff of a reality TV show for Hassan; they are his life as a professional landscape designer and owner of a landscape design, installation and maintenance company.  And May 14-16, he is bringing his wit and expertise to Walt Disney World Resort as the final presenter of the Great American Gardeners seminar series held in conjunction with the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Hassan’s presentation, entitled “For the Love of Landscaping,” will take place at 12 noon and 3 p.m. on May 14-16 at the festival’s Garden Town, located adjacent to Mission Space at Epcot.  On the same days, the final Disney Gardening at Home seminar of the festival – “Stars of the Show: Must-Have Plants with Unique Characteristics” – will be presented at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Garden Town.
Here’s the weekend-by-weekend lineup of Great American Gardeners and Disney Gardening at Home presentations for May:

April 30-May 2 Disney Gardening at Home: Tough Plants for Extreme Gardeners
Great American Gardeners: Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden/Weedless Gardening (Lee Reich)   
May 7-9 Disney Gardening at Home: Growing It Yourself
Great American Gardeners: A Fragrant Love Story (Matt Henderson)   
April 30-May 2 Disney Gardening at Home: Stars of the Show – Must-Have Plants with Unique Characteristics
Great American Gardeners: For the Love of Landscaping (Ahmed Hassan)  

All sessions are at Garden Town (Disney Gardening at Home at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Great American Gardeners at 12 noon and 3 p.m.).  The opportunity to attend sessions is included with Epcot admission.  For more information about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, visit
Tickets Go on Sale May 1 for 28th Night of Joy

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Past Christian music “Artists of the Year” Third Day, mercyme and Chris Tomlin and 2010 “Artist of the Year” nominees Casting Crowns and Francesca Battistelli head a star-powered 15-act lineup set for Disney’s Night of Joy 2010 Sept. 10-11 when the long-running Christian music event makes its return to Magic Kingdom.

Also part of the two-night event (when specific acts play one evening each): David Crowder Band, Family Force 5, Red, BarlowGirl, Group 1 Crew, Day of Fire, Smokie Norful, Lecrae, 10th Avenue North and Sidewalk Prophets.

Tickets for Night of Joy 2010 will go on sale May 1.  For more information about the event, visit online at 

Wishes Dessert Party Returns to Magic Kingdom

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Wishes Dessert Party has returned to the Tomorrowland Terrace in Magic Kingdom, providing treats and sweets to eat along with a prime viewing location for the popular “Wishes” fireworks spectacular.

For $25.99 ages 10 and older, $13.99 ages 3 to 9, guests can settle in an hour before “Wishes” and enjoy a wide range of sweets with coffee, tea and other beverages. Magic Kingdom admission is required. Advance reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling 407/WDW-DINE.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park Marks
15 Spash-tastic Years of Cool Fun

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney’s Blizzard Beach – the slushy, slippery and splash-tastic water park that opened at Walt Disney World Resort in time for swimming season in 1995 – celebrates its 15th anniversary this year with new premium spaces aimed at letting guests luxuriate on their water parks day.

Six Polar Patios are available for rental and take relaxation to a new level. Each space includes upgraded furniture, towels, waiter service, private locker, all-day drink mugs, a cooler with ice and bottled water.  (Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park also offers six new Beachcomber Shacks for rental.)

Pricing depends on date and time of visit.  Callers to 407/WDW-PLAY can get pricing, reservations and more information.

Star Wars  Weekends Brings Sci-Fi Saga to Life at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Jedis, Wookiees and Ewoks, Oh My!

Once again, the power of the Force and the magic of Disney combine in May and June for Star Wars Weekends, a sci-fi fan-fest inspired by the popular film saga. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 21-June 13, 2010, Disney’s Hollywood Studios becomes the galaxy’s home for out-of-this-world characters including Sith, Bith, droids, bounty hunters, Twi’leks and Rodians.

Dates are May 21-23, May 28-30, June 4-6 and June 11-13. This year’s event will celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back,” which first appeared in theaters May 21, 1980.

More than 50 Star Wars characters will roam the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios for meet-and-greets and photo opportunities. Also featured: the chance to purchase special- and limited-edition Star Wars memorabilia, Star Wars trivia contests, Jedi Training Academy, Star Wars parades, rides aboard Star Tours and the popular “Hyperspace Hoopla” dance party.

Celebrities from the Star Wars films and creative geniuses who helped create the saga will be on hand each weekend for star conversations and autograph sessions.

The celebrity hosts for each weekend are Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett in “Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back” and “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi”)and Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano from “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”).

 Special guests making weekend appearances include:

·         May 21-23: Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett in “Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones”), Daniel Logan (Boba Fett in “Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones”), and Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Captain Rex in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”)

·         May 28-30: Matthew Wood (voice of General Grevious in “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”), Lorne Peterson (model-maker who worked on all six Star Wars live-action films) and Tom Kane (voice of Yoda in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”)

·         June 4-6: Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian in “Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back” and “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi”), Ray Park (Darth Maul in “Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace”) and Dave Filoni (director of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”)

·         June 11-13: Ray Park (Darth Maul in “Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace”), Peter Mayhew (who played everyone’s favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca, in four of the live-action films) and James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”).

Event activities are included in theme park admission. For more information, guests may go online to, or

Songs of Summers Gone By to Fill the Air at Epcot during ‘Sounds Like Summer Concert Series’ Beginning June 12

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Some of the world's best tribute bands will be recreating the chart-topping hits of legendary musical icons at Epcot each evening from June 12 through July 31, beginning with Stayin’ Alive - A Tribute to The Bee Gees.

The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series will treat Walt Disney World guests to performances of songs from summers gone by at America Gardens Theatre, lagoon-side adjacent to the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot World Showcase.  Shows are at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. daily and are included with Epcot admission.

Here’s the schedule for June (subject to change):

June 12-June 19: Stayin' Alive - A Tribute to The Bee Gees

June 20-June 26: Hotel California - A Salute to the Eagles

June 27-July 3: TBD

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