Walt Disney World Celebrates 40th Anniversary!


Walt Disney World, the happiest place on earth, will turn 40 years old tomorrow, October 1, with the Magic Kingdom marking the occasion in consciously lower-key events than previous anniversaries. But even low-key events are sure to bring some extra magic to the park that opened on October 1, 1971.

The park will open at 9 AM, but Mickey and Minnie will lead a character procession down Main Street USA to the front of Cinderella Castle just before 10 AM followed by a special presentation including a few remarks from the park’s higher-ups and sing-a-long performance to “When You Wish Upon a Star.” The day will also close with an equally magically moment thanks to a special presentation of the “Wishes” fireworks display.

Throughout the day, Magic Kingdom guests will also be treated to extra surprises and treats like limited edition merchandise, special park maps, buttons, pins (we’re sure!), cupcakes and a chance to meet with some of Disney’s artists. And, the day may even include a few meet-and-greet opportunities with some hard-to-come-by characters!

And while this is still sure to make the day feel extra-special, it is certainly more understated than one would expect from the most popular recreational resort on the planet. So, why?

According to Rick Sylvain, Walt Disney World’s Print and Online Publicity Director says, “While 40 is an important milestone, our focus continues to be on our guests and the memories they have made, are making and will be making in Disney parks.” Their attention is focused on the future.

And one thing that may strike you as different already if you’re attending the celebrations tomorrow is the Walt Disney World Transportation and Ticket Center. No longer will guests find the parking lot named after classic characters (Minnie, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto and the Seven Dwarves). Instead, guests will park in one of six Heroes sections (Aladdin, Mulan, Peter Pan, Rapunzel, Simba, Woody) or one of six Villains sections (Cruella, Hook, Jafar, Scar, Ursula, Zurg). Say hello to the future of Disney already!

But just for fun, let’s take a quick look at the past. On October 1, 1971, the official attendance is listed as 10,000 guests with approximately 5,000 Disney cast members working that day. Since then, the Magic Kingdom has only been closed five times, for hurricanes Charley (1986), Floyd (1999), Frances (2004) and Wilma (2005) as well as for the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

And in a fact that continues to amaze me – and perhaps anyone who has been to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland – Magic Kingdom swung open its gates 16 years after the much smaller Disneyland in Anaheim, California had opened.

So be sure to celebrate a little magic tomorrow, whether you watch your favorite Disney movie at home, go see The Lion King 3D in theaters or you’re lucky enough to be in Magic Kingdom for the magical day to remember.

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Tony Bennett Named Oldest Living Artist to Top Albums Chart

Tony Bennett, at the age of 85, has finally gotten a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with the release of “Duets II.” This makes the legendary musician the oldest living act to reach the top spot on the chart and marks Bennett’s first time reaching No. 1 with an album in his incredible 14-Grammy Award winning and 60-year career.

“Duets II,” which sold 179,000 copies in its first week, features 17 all-star collaborations with artists like Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Mariah Carey and the late Amy Winehouse. It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for Bennett, though, who also earned the title of oldest living artist to have a single on the Billboard Hot 100 when “Body and Soul,” his duet with Winehouse, debuted at No. 87.

Bennett first made the Billboard 200 album charts in 1957, but his previous album chart high was in 2006 when his first “Duets” compilation debuted at No. 3, selling 202,000 copies its first week.

In taking the title of oldest living act to reach the top position on the album chart, he dethroned Bob Dylan who had earned the name in 2009, then 67-years old, when his album “Together Through Life” debuted at No. 1.

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CelebrityMagnet Tom Murro’s New York Fashion Week Experience

That’s a wrap! CelebrityMagnet Tom Murro and Food Network Chef Chris Nirschel are done with their New York Fashion Week outings, but have one more night of models and margaritas to dish about. Tuesday of last week, The Real Housewives of New Jersey Kim Granatell went with the dynamic duos to the Sachika Twins Style 360 Fashion Show at Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan.

While mingling, the crew bumped into former Jersey Shore member Angelina Pivarnick. Pivarnick was part of the original cast for this MTV reality show until she was kicked off the first season by her boss, and then she was kicked off the second season by her housemates. Either way, it seemed Nirschel had an easy time getting along with the feisty brunette as they sent flirty texts to each other throughout the show.

Murro and the gang enjoyed the view from the front row of all the exquisite dresses worn by the beautiful models. “We then all hit the red carpet where we met up with DMX’s wife Tashera Simmons who posed for the cameras with myself, the Sachikas, Angelina Pivarnick, Kim G and Nirschel,” said Murro. “Tashera is very cool, tough on the outside and sweet on the inside.”

After the flashing lights became less frequent, they all headed to Indashio’s Spring/Summer 2012 Men’s Ready2Wear Collection at the Audi Forum location on Park Avenue around 9 PM. “We were driven by a Mandingo Tribe member name Maleek,” said Murro. “We actually snuck Maleek into the show with us since he was such a big fan. Boy was he thrilled!”

It was quite the Italian affair on Tuesday as the crew also ran into Jerseylicious star Tracy DiMarco and Mob Wives’ Renee Graziano. “I quickly showed Renee the way to the VIP where she gracefully grabbed five cocktails at one time to bring out to her friends,” commented Murro. “I was pretty impressed by her cup holding skills.” She attributes that to her profession as a cocktail waitress in her previous life. Renee offered to have everyone over to her house for dinner where her and NIrschel will have a meatball making contest. “I’m really looking forward to that,” exclaimed Murro. Ready, set, Mangia!
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Happy 13th Birthday, Google!

If you haven’t been on Google yet today, you should get over there if for no other reason than it will give you a reason to have some cake. Today, September 27, Google is celebrating its 13th birthday.

Known for their daily doodles in celebration of random events and individuals, it is no surprise that over the years – beginning in 2002 – Google has been making a doodle to celebrate their own special day.

While the google.com domain name was registered on September 15, 1998, the company has celebrated its birthday on September 27 for the best few years, although the site has admitted to celebrating their birthday “depending on when people feel like having cake.”

So to launch into its teenage years, the doodle shows the company’s logo as it was in its early years complete with party hats, balloons, streamers, cakes and presents. It’s an all out party that we’re hoping you’ll be celebrating with them!

The search engine, which was founded by Stanford University graduates Larry Page and Sergey Brin, was named after a googol, which is the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes, to represent the incredible quantity of information it would be able to handle.

For the past thirteen years, Google has lived up to its name, not just helping us research anything that comes to mind but expanding itself into a bit of everything – from maps to email to social networking. So really, have a piece of cake today and look up something you’ve been dying to know. Google is wiser today than ever before; it’ll have the answer for you.

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Hearse Parade Sets New World Record

Hearse enthusiasts have set a new world record in Hell. Hell, Michigan, that is. This past Saturday, the car club “Just Hearse’N Around” managed to gather together 51 hearses together in the annual Last Rides Reunion Hearse Show to earn the record for “Largest Parade of Hearses.”

While Guinness will still need to verify the record, the club needed at least 50 hearses to qualify for the category and, in truth, it was a close call.

The parade, which was set to start at 4:30 pm, only had 49 hearses, so they waited and at 4:45 pm the 50th hearse arrived to applause. By the time the parade took off around 5 pm, a 51st hearse, the only working professional one in the group, had joined as well.

The organizers of the annual parade, Just Hearse’N Around and Screams Ice Cream and Halloween, had tried to set the record last year but only 43 hearses showed up.

According to Steve Frey, head of Just Hearse’N Around, people came from as far away as Connecticut, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to partake in the record-setting parade. Overall, it mixed both costumed and normally dressed hearse drivers, all of which shared in the happy-go-lucky attitude that Just Hearse’N Around aims to embody.

Frey also said that the hearse club will continue to host this car show each September in Hell, about 45 miles west of Detroit, in hopes of potentially breaking their own record. It’s amazing the records that are just waiting to be set!

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