Dateline Disney Florida/National Edition - June 2006

In This Edition:

  • Disney-MGM Studios: Daily parade features Grand CARshals; stars of "Jo Jo's Circus" and "The Little Einsteins" creating mealtime fun at Disney-MGM Studios; the power of the Force continues to fill the park with fun during Star Wars Weekends.
  • Epcot: Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone bring down the curtain on Flower Power 2006; Flower & Garden Festival weekends are abloom with special activities.
  • Disney Sports & Recreation: ESPNU to showcase live action from NBA Pre-Draft Camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.
  • Applause! Applause!: Christmas Day Parade telecast earns Emmy; Jiko-The Cooking Place honored for menu innovation.

"Cars" Stars Hit the Road this Summer at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The daily parade at Disney-MGM Studios is called "Disney Stars and Motor Cars," but there are a couple of new stars leading the parade who are cars. They are "Lightning McQueen" and "Mater" from Disney/Pixar's new computer-animated feature "Cars," which debuts in theaters nationwide June 9.

They have hit the road -- Hollywood Boulevard in the Disney-MGM Studios theme park -- to serve as "Grand CARshals" of the parade. "Lightning McQueen," the hotshot rookie racecar, and "Mater," the good ol' boy tow truck, also star in scheduled meet-and-greet appearances in the theme park.

Flower Power Concerts Pump Up the Music at Epcot through June 11

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Flower Power concert series at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will feature Tony Orlando, Arlo Guthrie, The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie, and Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone during the festival's final days in June.

Among them, the four acts were part of 44 "top 40" hits during the 1960s and 1970s -- including such memorable spins as "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree," "The City of New Orleans," "Happy Together" and "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter."

Flower Power concerts will be presented daily through June 11 at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre in conjunction with the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Performances are included with Epcot admission. Here's the lineup (biggest hits in parentheses):

" May 30-June 1 -- Tony Orlando in Concert ("Knock Three Times," "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree," "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)")

" June 2-5 -- Arlo Guthrie ("The City of New Orleans")

" June 6-7 -- The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie ("Happy Together")

" June 8-11 -- Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone ("Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" and "I'm Henry VIII, I Am")

Guest information is available at Or call 407/824-4321.

Epcot in Full Bloom through June 11 for Flower Fest Finale

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Colorful patchwork floral beds, flower towers and floating gardens brighten the Future World landscape while bonsai masterpieces and fragrance gardens add festive touches to World Showcase. And the 30 million blooms of the 13th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival flourish through the Festival Farewell Weekend, which wraps the seven-week gardening extravaganza June 11.

Every day, guests can enjoy a wide variety of activities, from learning how to grow an herb-and-veggie pizza garden at the Growing Future Gardeners exhibit to discovering how to throw the perfect luau at the Ultimate Backyard Garden Party. The final festival weekends in June promise extra activities and fun for everyone.

I Dig Bugs Weekend (June 2-4):

   Guests discover that bugs are fun and keep gardens healthy; the fun includes ladybug releases.

   Disney's Animal Kingdom bug specialists provide a close-up look at caterpillars, spiders and other creatures in Future World East.

   Robert Bowden, director of Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, discusses great Florida plants in the Great American Gardeners series at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

   Jiminy Cricket and friends make special appearances in Future World.

Festival Farewell Weekend (June 9-11):

   Central Florida gardening celebrity Tom MacCubbin caps the Great American Gardeners series with advice on creating imaginative container gardens at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

   Festival poster artist Michael Sullivan signs his artwork.

   Surprise craft activities help kids wrap up their festival fun.

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is included with regular Epcot admission. For more information, guests can call 407/W-DISNEY or visit

Star Wars Weekends 2006 Continues in June at Disney-MGM Studios

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The power of the Force continues to add extra fun to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through June 11 during Star Wars Weekends at Disney-MGM Studios. With the Star Tours thrill attraction serving as the centerpiece of the celebration, the annual event fills the theme park with the largest gathering anywhere of heroes, heroines, droids and villains from the famous Star Wars films. Star Wars celebrities also take part in meet-and-greet sessions, star conversations and Hollywood-style motorcades each day of the event.

New this year: actor Warwick Davis -- familiar to Star Wars fans as the Ewok scout "Wicket" -- is playing the new role of celebrity host each weekend of the festival. Davis portrayed Wicket in "Return of the Jedi" and two "Ewok" movies on the ABC Television Network in the mid-1980s. In addition to Davis, Star Wars celebrities scheduled to appear in June include:

June 2-4

   Jay Laga'aia (Captain Typho, Senator Amidala's head of security in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones)

   Orli Shoshan (Jedi Master Shaak Ti in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

June 9-11

   Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett in the original Star Wars trilogy)

   Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett, the dangerous bounty hunter in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones)

For the latest Star Wars Weekends updates, guests may visit starwars.comor

ESPNU to Showcase NBA Pre-Draft Camp at Disney Sports Complex

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla -- The 2006 NBA Pre-Draft Camp moves to a new home -- Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex -- this June, and while the workouts will be closed to the general public, the cameras of ESPNU will take fans inside The Milk House via an unprecedented amount of live coverage.

ESPNU, ESPN's 24-hour college sports network, will televise six hours over two days, June 7 and 8, as top NBA Draft prospects work out and are evaluated by league coaches, general managers, scouts and front office executives. The action on ESPNU begins each day at 4 p.m. ET and will include game action and interviews with players, scouts and NBA general managers. NBA TV, the league's 24-hour TV network, will also provide in-depth coverage of the NBA Pre-Draft Camp.

The NBA Pre-Draft Camp, which previously was held in Chicago, leads up to the NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 28. ESPN coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on June 28.

Hollywood & Vine Offering New Play 'N Dine at Disney-MGM Studios

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Fans of Jo Jo and Goliath from "Jo Jo's Circus" and June and Leo from "The Little Einsteins" will be able to join the Playhouse Disney TV stars during breakfast and lunch beginning June 25 at Disney-MGM Studios. Playhouse Disney's Play 'N Dine at Hollywood & Vine restaurant will feature characters singing and dancing to favorite "Playhouse Disney" songs.

Service is buffet style. Hours are 8-11:20 a.m. for breakfast and 11:40 a.m.-2:25 p.m. for lunch. Breakfast features favorites including Mickey waffles, frittatas and fresh fruits and pastries. For lunch, baked salmon with citrus butter, multigrain pasta and salads are among dozens of buffet selections, including a dessert and sundae station.

Cost for breakfast is $22.99 ages 10/up, $12.99 for ages 3 to 9. Lunch is $24.99 ages 10/up, $13.99 ages 3 to 9. For reservations, guests may call 407/WDW-DINE.

Jiko-The Cooking Place Wins National Award

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jiko-The Cooking Place at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge was honored for "Best Independent Operator Menu" in the 2006 Nation's Restaurant News MenuMasters Awards showcasing industry innovators who have wowed customers with sizzling menu promotions and bold culinary initiatives. Chef Anette Grecchi Gray accepted the award at ceremonies in Chicago.

'2005 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade' Receives Daytime Emmy

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The "2005 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade" television special was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Special Class Special." This is the first time the parade telecast has received an Emmy Award in this category.

The 2005 parade telecast on ABC Television Network was co-hosted by Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. The two-hour show, produced by Harborlight Entertainment in conjunction with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, featured a variety of celebrity appearances and musical performances.

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