Inaugural Event Features a “TRY-athlon,” Inspiring Kids to “TRY” New Ways of Leading a Healthier Lifestyle

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Fifty young essay contest winners, their families, Disney Channel Stars and Disney characters celebrate and explore a world of flavor and fun at Disney Magic of Healthy Living — The Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort March 18-20, 2011.

The setting for the event is World Showcase at Epcot, where the “Healthy Living Champions” will participate in a one-of-a-kind “TRYathlon,” an imaginative, colorful and inspiring course around the “world” to discover new ways that “healthy” can be fun and easy. The weekend, the first in an annual series of Disney Magic of Healthy Living special events, will also include magical, surprise-filled opening and closing ceremonies.

The guests of honor for the weekend are children ages 8-14 who are winners of a national Disney Magic of Healthy Living essay contest. The youngsters shared their own fun ideas for leading healthier lifestyles at home, in school and in their communities. The essay contest is a key component of Disney Magic of Healthy Living, a multimedia initiative designed to partner with parents in their quest to raise happy and healthy kids.

Disney Channel stars and Disney character coaches will lead The Weekend TRY-athlon, which features activities from all parts of the planet:

* TRY-athlon activity #1: “Play-Your-Way” — Fun and creative games from different countries, including Chinese jump rope, South African “keep away” and Spanish “dodge ball.”
* TRY-athlon activity #2: “Pass the Plate” — A lunchtime challenge with Disney World chefs guiding families in preparing quick, balanced and healthy meals.
* TRY-athlon activity #3: “Bouncing Around the World” — A hunt for playmates in the countries of Epcot World Showcase led by, among others, the Mad Hatter and Captain Jack Sparrow.
* TRY-athlon activity #4: “Garden of Possibilities” — Walt Disney World flower and garden experts guide the kids in planting a variety of vegetable gardens, including a special Italian pizza garden.

Disney Channel Stars, who will act as coaches for The Weekend event, include:

* Kenton Duty: Shake It Up
* Daniel Curtis Lee: Zeke and Luther
* Jennifer Stone: Wizards of Waverly Place
* Alyson Stoner: Phineas and Ferb, Camp Rock 2
* Caroline Sunshine: Shake It Up

Disney Magic of Healthy Living launched in September 2010 with a year-long series of healthy living public service announcements on Disney television and radio networks featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and Disney Channel stars. It also features two websites, one geared for kids (, the other offering healthy living advice and resources, including delicious recipes (

The Disney Channel is the #1 cable network with tweens (#2 cable network overall) available in 37 million households in 105 countries. Radio Disney is the #1 radio network for kids with 29.2 million listeners a week. The websites have had plenty of traffic as well: 175-thousand unique visitors with 500-million impressions.

In a special taped message, to be delivered during The Weekend event, First Lady Michelle Obama congratulates the essay contest winners for setting a healthy example: “I love hearing your ideas about eating better and staying active. You are showing that eating right and exercising aren’t just good for you, they’re also a lot of fun.”

The Disney Magic of Healthy Living initiative builds on The Walt Disney Company’s landmark 2006 nutritional guidelines associating Disney brands and characters with a more nutritionally balanced range of foods. Disney Magic of Healthy Living takes that commitment to the next level, enlisting many of the Company’s assets and multi-media platforms to inspire kids and help reinforce the work of parents.

“Disney has always been a champion for the happiness and the well being of kids, parents, and families,” said Kevin Callahan, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship. “We want to inspire kids and parents and show them how to weave fun and simple healthy living practices into the fabric of their everyday lives.”

Disney Magic of Healthy Living will share the magic of The Weekend with the Social Media Moms Celebration at Walt Disney World. Four hundred and fifty Mom Bloggers and their children will have the opportunity to experience first-hand what Disney is doing to champion fitness and nutrition for the entire family. Also during the fun-filled weekend, kids and families can sample a nutritious array of fresh produce from a variety of vegetable gardens and fruit trees as part of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

Healthy living goes hand in hand with staying active, and that’s why Disney Magic of Healthy Living is partnering with KaBOOM! to build 12 play spaces and learning gardens in under-served neighborhoods around the country. As a prelude to The Weekend festivities, one of those playgrounds will be built in Orlando on March 16 with the help of community partners and Disney VoluntEARS.

The Walt Disney Company has donated more than $1 million to KaBoom!, the non-profit organization whose mission it is to have a play space within walking distance of every child in America.

Disney Magic of Healthy Living: The Magic of Healthy Living initiative is a comprehensive and positive approach to inspire a balance of nutritious eating and physical activity. With entertaining content, useful tools, and engaging experiences, the program reinforces the work of parents and connects with kids by making healthy lifestyles simple and fun. For more information, please visit:

Disney Corporate Citizenship: Disney Corporate Citizenship focuses on three key principles: act and create in an ethical manner; champion the happiness and well-being of kids and families; and inspire those around us to make a lasting, positive change in the world. Being a good corporate citizen is a time-honored Disney tradition. We strive to support that goal through quality entertainment, strategic philanthropy, environmental conservation, respectful workplaces, and community engagement.