Jeepers, Leapers! Fantasy on Land and at Sea adds to the Fun for Disney Guests in Leap Year 2012

Family Suites Resort, Royal Guest Rooms Also Bow

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – What leap year brings with it in 2012, besides an extra day, is nonstop fun for Disney guests.  At Walt Disney World Resort, they can spin with Dumbo as a new Fantasyland begins stirring to life, luxuriate in new royal guest rooms or family suites, chase down villains in a new interactive game in Magic Kingdom, or get behind the wheel of a Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche on a new supercar racing circuit. At sea, the all-new Disney Fantasy of Disney Cruise Line enters service with exciting new shipboard fun.

And to all of the above add the exciting mid-year debut of Cars Land at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.

Here’s a quick leap around what’s in store in 2012:

The Exotics Course featuring “supercars” (January 2012) — Have the need for speed? Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Resort now features a brand-new adrenaline rush, the “Exotic Driving Experience.” The “Exotics Course” at Walt Disney World Speedway, a new one-mile circuit custom-built for the attraction, is home to a riding experience for guests in “supercars” by Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, and Porsche. Thrill-seekers can get behind the wheel of these epic vehicles and navigate a circuit offering rapid-acceleration straight-aways with a skill-testing course of turn-on-a-dime maneuvers. The drive-yourself option (alongside a professional driver) starts at $199 for six laps around the circuit. Thrill rides with a professional driver behind the wheel are available for $99. Reservations can be made at www.exoticdriving.com.

Sorcerers invade the Magic Kingdom (Feb. 22, 2012) – In an all-new interactive experience, “Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom,” Merlin the magician recruits guests as apprentice sorcerers to undertake missions to subdue villains and ne’er do wells.  Armed with magic spells in the form of special cards, guests must search for the magic symbols that lead them to animated villains’ hiding places. By casting different magical spell cards, players can do battle with Yzma, Kronk and other “baddies” hiding throughout the land. From fireballs to frantic frogs and cyclones, there are spells to bring down each and every villain, with a simple flick of the wrist. This immersive role-playing adventure is included with park admission. Guests may sign up to play at Fire Station, located  in the Town Square area of the park.

One More Disney Day (Feb. 29) - Disney Parks guests were able to get the most out of February 29 when Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California celebrated Leap Year by keeping a theme park on each coast open for 24 hours of nonstop memory-making fun. For the first time ever, both the Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park stayed open for 24 hours straight as part of a bi-coastal salute called “One More Disney Day.” From 6 a.m., February 29 to 6 a.m., March 1, 2012, local time, guests were able to fill the extra day of leap year with a marathon of Disney magic and fun.

New Fantasyland (March 2012) – The largest expansion project in Magic Kingdom history began opening in mid-March 2012 at Walt Disney World Resort, featuring attractions and experiences in an area that will nearly double the size of Fantasyland. Among some of the early highlights, guests will be able to fly high with The Great Goofini or with Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and even board the Walt Disney World Railroad train from the Fantasyland Station.

Royal Guest Rooms (Spring 2012) – Imagine waking up in a place where Disney Princes and Princesses have stayed. Walt Disney World guests staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside are discovering special treasures left behind by the stars of favorite animated films such as “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Princess and the Frog.” In quarters befitting the young Princes and Princesses of the family (their parents, too!), guests can unwind amid remarkable décor. They are able to watch “fireworks” swirl as they recline in ornate beds, curl up in custom linens and more. It is majesty and fun, rolled into one. Each of the 512 Royal Guest Rooms sleeps up to four guests in two queen beds.

Launch of Disney Fantasy (March 2012) – The Muppets leading guests in an interactive detective adventure game around the ship. Guests’ own drawings springing to life and dancing with animated Disney characters. Two new Broadway-caliber, spectacular musical stage shows. A Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for magical princess and pirate makeovers. A fanciful water play area called AquaLab. Disney Fantasy, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, brings to life these innovations and more, offering a cruise experience from stem to stern that caters to every member of the family. The 4,000-passenger Disney Fantasy will sail week-long Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Fla., with its maiden voyage scheduled for March 31, 2012. For a “boatload” of information about the new ship, go to www.disneycruise.com, click on the Ships & Activities tab and choose Disney Fantasy.

Disney Cruise Line Visits New Ports, Offers New Itineraries (beginning May 2012) – For the first time ever, Disney Cruise Line will set sail from three new ports in 2012 – New York, Seattle and Galveston, Texas – with several new itineraries planned. Beginning in May, the Disney Magic will sail 20 cruises from New York – including eight-night cruises to the Bahamas, five-night cruises up the New England coast to Canada and two-night weekend cruises. Also beginning in May, the Disney Wonder will sail 14 seven-night cruises from the Port of Seattle to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia. Beginning in September, the Disney Magic will sail 12 seven-night cruises from the Port of Galveston to the Western Caribbean. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (May 2012) – A new resort hotel inspired by Disney animation will feature 1,120 family suites themed after “The Lion King,” “Cars” and “Finding Nemo,” and 864 themed rooms in “The Little Mermaid” wings. Animated scenes will carry throughout building exteriors and room interiors and feature larger-than-life icons from the animated films in courtyard areas.Nemo will be the first wing to open, on May 31, 2012, at the resort hotel — Disney World’s 25th. The “Cars” wing is scheduled to open June 18 and “The Lion King” wing on August 10. The final wing, themed after “The Little Mermaid,” will debut on September 15. Crowned by a 35-foot-tall model of King Triton, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will be located next to Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Splitsville (Fall 2012) - Located in Downtown Disney West Side, Splitsville will reinvent bowling for America with 45,000 square feet of fun and 30 lanes on two floors. Guests will come for the bowling but stay for the food. Between strikes and spares, guests can feast on menu items including hand-tossed pizza, fresh-rolled sushi and hand-cut filet sliders served right at the lane. A great hangout for friends and families, the all-new day-and-nightime venue also will be available for birthday parties and corporate events.

Hit the Road with Mater and Lightning McQueen (summer 2012)Some of the biggest thrills in the Disney California Adventure expansion are just down the road. Crowning the multi-year expansion project in 2012 will be the opening of Cars Land, inspired by the Disney•Pixar blockbuster “Cars.”  Cars Land will feature three immersive family attractions showcasing characters and settings from the movie, including one of the largest and most elaborate attractions ever created for a Disney park: Radiator Springs Racers, a twisting turning, high-speed adventure through the town and desert valleys of Radiator Springs. Other Cars Land attractions will include Luigi’s Flying Tires (striking a chord with anyone who remembers the Flying Saucers in Tomorrowland) and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, a spinning attraction with a musical, hoedown theme. Guests also will enjoy “Cars”-themed dining and shopping locations.

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2012 Preview 03-26-12