New “Happily Ever After” Fireworks and Projection Spectacular to Debut May 12 at Magic Kingdom Park

It’s no secret that every ‘once upon a time’ story ends with ‘happily ever after.’ Beginning May 12, Walt Disney World Resort guests will discover just how magical and emotional that fairy tale ending can be with the newest, most breathtaking fireworks show in the history of Magic Kingdom Park – “Happily Ever After.”

"Happily Ever AfterÓ Fireworks and Projection Spectacular Debuts May 12 at Magic Kingdom Park

Beginning May 12, 2017, Walt Disney World guests can discover the newest, most spectacular fireworks show in the history of Magic Kingdom Park with “Happily Ever After.” The stunning new nighttime extravaganza will feature more lasers, lights, and projections than any Magic Kingdom Park show before it. (Disney)

In addition to fireworks, the stunning new nighttime extravaganza will feature more lasers, lights, and projections than any Disney show before it. “Happily Ever After” is also an entirely new kind of Disney storytelling, one that will take guests on an inspiring journey filled with heart, humor, and emotion. Guests become part of the journey themselves as they follow favorite Disney characters on an adventure to seek out their destiny, face adversity and ultimately fulfill their dreams on the road to their happily ever after.

The 18-minute spectacle will feature scenes from classic Disney films such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” to modern blockbusters “Moana” and “Zootopia.” Cinderella Castle will become part of the story itself, with dazzling projections bringing heartfelt Disney stories to life on and around the iconic 18-story-tall castle. Quasimodo from “Hunchback of Notre Dame” swings from the turrets. Woody and his pals from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story” recreate the castle entirely out of toys. And Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” envelops the castle in her signature green flames.

The story begins with scenes of fantastic dreams full of hope, wonder, magic and light. Disney villains soon become part of the story, attempting to quash those beautiful dreams and forcing the heroes to fight for what they believe in. Overcoming their fears, the heroes triumph and are celebrated with spectacular fireworks.

Because no Magic Kingdom Park fireworks display is complete without this little bit of magic, Tinker Bell will fly across the night sky, reminding guests that with a little faith, trust and pixie dust, everyone can find their own happily ever after.

Characters and scenes from more than 25 Disney films will be featured through state-of-the-art projections, enhanced by more than 50 choreographed spotlights, brilliant lasers and plenty of awe-inspiring fireworks. Paired with an emotional score, the new spectacular will drive the message home that anyone can grab hold of their dreams and make them come true as long as they are brave enough to listen to what guides them and bold enough to pursue their destiny.

The score for “Happily Ever After” was recorded by a 75-piece orchestra in London and includes tunes from a multitude of Disney movies, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Jungle Book” and many more.

Happily Ever After” will be presented nightly. Show times vary based on park hours.

Final Stop of “Native Fashion Now” Exhibition Arrives at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York

Acclaimed Show Features 67 Native Designers From Across North America

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s George Gustav Heye Center in New York will host the final showing of the first large-scale traveling exhibition of contemporary Native American fashion, celebrating indigenous designers from across the United States and Canada, from the 1950s to today. “Native Fashion Now,” originally organized by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., explores the exciting and complex realms where fashion meets art, cultural identity, politics, and commerce.

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Orlando Dugi (Diné [Navajo]), cape, dress, and headdress from “Desert Heat” collection, 2012. Silk, organza, feathers, beads, and 24k gold; feathers, beads, and silver; porcupine quills and feathers. Model: Julia Foster. Hair and makeup: Dina DeVore. Photo by Nate Francis/Unék Photography. On view in the “Native Fashion Now” exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center in New York from Feb. 17, 2017, to Sept. 4, 2017

As lead organizer of the exhibition, the Peabody Essex Museum hosted “Native Fashion Now” from Nov. 21, 2015, through March 6, 2016. The exhibition then traveled to the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Ore., and the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Okla., before its final destination at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York City.

The exhibition opens Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, in the museum’s East Gallery and runs through September 4, 2017. “Native Fashion Now” is the first show to emphasize the long-standing, evolving and the increasingly prominent relationship between fashion and creativity in Native culture.

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Jamie Okuma (Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock), boots, 2013–14. Glass beads on boots designed by Christian Louboutin. Museum commission with support from Katrina Carye, John Curuby, Karen Keane and Dan Elias, Cynthia Gardner, Merry Glosband, and Steve and Ellen Hoffman. Peabody Essex Museum, 2014.44.1AB. Copyright 2015 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Walter Silver. On view in the “Native Fashion Now” exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center in New York from Feb. 17, 2017, to Sept. 4, 2017.

Through nearly 70 works, “Native Fashion Now” explores the vitality of Native fashion designers and artists—from pioneering Native style-makers of the mid-20th century like Charles Loloma (Hopi Pueblo) to maverick designers of today such as Wendy Red Star (Apsálooke [Crow]). The exhibition immerses visitors in all aspects of contemporary Native fashion—its concerns, modes of expression and efforts to create meaning through fashion.

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Jared Yazzie (Diné [Navajo]) for OxDx, Native Americans Discovered Columbus t-shirt, 2012. Cotton. Gift of Karen Kramer. Peabody Essex Museum, 2015.11.4. Photo by Thosh Collins. On view in the “Native Fashion Now” exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center in New York from Feb. 17, 2017, to Sept. 4, 2017.

New York City is a fashion capital of the world and the works shown in this exhibition belong on this stage,” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the National Museum of the American Indian. “Native voice is powerful and Native couture is a megaphone. These designers’ works demonstrate to visitors the contemporary strength of Native iconographies and sensibilities.

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Margaret Roach Wheeler (Chickasaw) for Mahota Handwovens, The Messenger (The Owl) cape and headpiece, from the Mahotan Collection, 2014. Silk-wool yarn; silk-wool yarn, metal, silver, glass beads, and peacock feathers. Courtesy of the designer. Photo by Greg Hall. On view in the “Native Fashion Now” exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center in New York from Feb. 17, 2017, to Sept. 4, 2017.

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The National WWII Museum Presents Exclusive New Orleans Tour Highlighting the City’s Top Attractions

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today – so that future generations will know the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front.logo

The National WWII Museum‘s latest travel experience will shine a spotlight on the institution’s home: the city of New Orleans. The exclusive Operation Home Front tour will showcase the best the Crescent City has to offer, including TripAdvisor‘s top attraction in the city and No. 4 in the nation: The National WWII Museum. Guests traveling on this one-time-only tour will take in VIP experiences of every kind – including a black-tie awards gala, an insider’s tour of the Museum, a ride on a restored patrol-torpedo boat and tickets to grand opening events for the Museum’s newest permanent exhibit.

The National WWII Museum 2016 American Spirit Awards held on June 10, 2016

The National WWII Museum’s US Freedom Pavilion – The Boeing Center where the American Spirit Awards gala will take place.

Tour participants will receive tickets to the Museum’s American Spirit Awards gala, an annual event that celebrates the American spirit by recognizing individuals whose work reflects the values of those who served America during World War II. A-list honorees will mingle with patrons and guests at the glittering gala, which will feature The Midtown Men – four stars from the original cast of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” – along with special guest Tom Brokaw and world-renowned honorees receiving the Museum’s highest honor.

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Participants of the Operation Home Front tour will enjoy luxurious accommodations at the Windsor Court Hotel.

Guests will also be invited to participate in grand opening events for the institution’s newest permanent exhibit, The Arsenal of Democracy: The Herman and George Brown Salute to the Home Front – nine immersive galleries that explore the WWII Home Front like never before. The remarkable tour program also includes a thrilling ride aboard PT-305, the Museum’s newly restored combat patrol-torpedo boat. Operation Home Front guests will be among the first to embark on this piece of WWII history on Lake Pontchartrain, where PT-305 began her maritime life more than 70 years ago.

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Tom Brokaw will be among the special guests at the National WWII Museum’s American Spirit Awards gala.

Additional features include a VIP screening of the 4D film “Beyond All Boundaries,” a special performance by the Victory Belles and a private, historian-led tour of the Museum’s Road to Berlin and Road to Tokyo exhibits, as well as an optional cultural excursion to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

Pricing for Operation Home Front is $2,599 per person based on double occupancy, which reflects a $600 per couple early booking savings discount when reserved by March 7, 2017. The program features luxurious accommodations at the Windsor Court Hotel, private motorcoach transportation from the airport and throughout the city. Most meals, beverages and all gratuities are included. For more information and registration, visit http://www.ww2museumtours.org or call 877-813-3329 Ext 257.

Coach Announces Opening of ‘Coach House’ Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City

Stuart Weitzman Opens Separate Flagship at Same Location

Coach, Inc. announced the opening of its newest flagship in one of the world’s most prestigious shopping districts at 685 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Timed to coincide with the brand’s 75th Anniversary Year, this unique retail concept marks a defining moment in both the company’s history and brand transformation.coach-logo

Coach, Inc. is a leading New York design house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands. The Coach brand was established in New York City in 1941, and has a rich heritage of pairing exceptional leathers and materials with innovative design.

The 20,000 square foot retail space dedicated to the Coach brand, designed by Executive Creative Director Stuart Vevers in partnership with William Sofield, Designer and President of Studio Sofield, showcases the brand’s distinctive modern luxury positioning. Specifically, the interior features an impressive blackened steel and concrete staircase, which creates a sense of discovery while shopping, as well as a glass enclosed, vintage inspired elevator. Throughout the three-level flagship is a mix of eclectic and bespoke furniture and objects, accented by custom-designed cabinetry, warm lighting, proprietary carpets and fine millwork. Additional architectural elements include a glass-block facade, expansive windows and a captivating mechanized conveyor belt installed with a rotation of Coach products.

The center atrium houses a 12-foot sculpture of Coach’s dinosaur, Rexy, designed by renowned artist Billie Achilleos, and constructed entirely from Coach bags and proprietary hardware. In addition, a monumental contemporary sculpture, Scribing the Void, created by Brooklyn artist Kurt Steger traces the surface of iconic rock formations in Central Park, and is a nod to Coach’s New York City roots.

Victor Luis, Chief Executive Officer of Coach, Inc. said, “With Coach House, we are celebrating our New York heritage and 75-year history of craftsmanship. The flagship features the full expression of our women’s and men’s collections including bags, small leather goods, footwear, and ready-to-wear, in addition to offering a full range of customization and leather services. Together with the opening of the adjacent Stuart Weitzman flagship store, we are bringing two global brands born in New York City to one iconic location.”

The company is also launching two concepts unique to Coach House flagships that speak to the brand’s heritage of leather craftsmanship and innovative design. First, the Made to Order Rogue, which allows customers to create a bespoke Rogue bag, selecting from nine points of customization and over one million possible combinations. Second, the Coach House Workshop – which is the first of its kind – offering expanded leather and craftsmanship services, including special monogramming and exclusive vintage product, featuring a resident master craftsman with nearly 30 years of experience in the New York Workshop at Coach’s headquarters.

Andre Cohen, President North America and Global Marketing, added, “We are thrilled to open a true home for the Coach brand on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 54th Street, an address globally recognized for fashion. We’re confident that our modern luxury store environment will be warmly embraced by discerning New York shoppers and international visitors alike.

Coach is sold worldwide through Coach stores, select department stores and specialty stores, and through Coach’s website at www.coach.com. In 2015, Coach acquired Stuart Weitzman, a global leader in designer footwear, sold in more than 70 countries and through its website at www.stuartweitzman.com.

Johnnie Walker Announces Keep Walking America Campaign, Celebrating Cultural Progress And Diversity In America

This Land Is Your Land, This Land Was Made For You And Me”

This Land Is Your Land,” the iconic song and rallying cry for American unification penned by Woodie Guthrie, is at the heart of Johnnie Walker’s new Keep Walking America campaign. After what was undeniably the most racially divisive presidential election in recent history, it’s safe to say that we all need to remember and get back to celebrating what America should stand for, not what this election represented to the eyes of the world—and our fellow Americans.

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Johnnie Walker celebrates cultural progress and diversity in America with new campaign Keep Walking America (Photo: Merie Weismiller Wallace).

For more than 200 years, Johnnie Walker has inspired the world with stories of personal progress and Keep Walking America is another powerful collection of stories reflecting the countless achievements, unwavering optimism and tireless progression of the great people who call America home.

The new 360 marketing campaign, which premiered nationally on November 7th with a 60-second TV spot created by Anomaly and directed by Chris Sargent of Anonymous Content, celebrates the cultural progress and diversity that represents the fabric of America today. The lyrics of “This Land Is Your Land,” read in both English and Spanish, serve as the campaign’s anthem. The meaning behind the lyrics powerfully communicate the core message that America has always been and should always remain an inclusive nation, built on values that celebrate and reward people from all colors and creeds. The film was shot over two weeks and features real storylines of progress from Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Montana, New Orleans, Baltimore, New York and Washington DC.

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Johnnie Walker celebrates cultural progress and diversity in America with new campaign Keep Walking America (Photo: Merie Weismiller Wallace).

The message of Keep Walking America is supported by a variety of initiatives on a national and global level, each calling for a united, more open-minded society that can be a catalyst for progress and positive change. The brand recently traveled to Brownsville, Texas, a U.S.-Mexico border town, with celebrated actor, director and activist Wilmer Valderrama, to spotlight the rich community of cross-cultural Americans living in proximity to the border and to hear their personal stories of progress. This initiative mirrors recent global work from Colombia, which shared a message of unification during the ongoing peace treaty negotiations, and the brand’s Ode to Lesvos storyline, a deeply moving film series that sheds light on a community in Greece that has shown heroism and humanity during the Syrian refugee crisis.

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The ‘Scottish Affair’ cocktail crafted using Johnnie Walker Black Label developed by Gabe Orta, National Ambassador of new mixology-focused program Flavors of America (Photo: Shannon Sturg

Stephanie Jacoby, Vice President of Johnnie Walker North America stated, “We are extremely honored to continue taking a pioneering role in culture by championing and celebrating progress. Keep Walking America brings to life stories of cultural progress and diversity, and we hope this campaign inspires people to come together for a better future. Continue reading

Celebrate The Warmth Of Hearth And Home This Christmas At The Biltmore Estate

When George Vanderbilt opened The Biltmore Estate to family and friends on Christmas Eve 1895, it began a tradition at Biltmore that is carried on to this day. Christmas at Biltmore this year reflects the theme of “Hearth and Home,” getting right to the heart of what Vanderbilt intended for his North Carolina home.

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Christmas at Biltmore: Christmas Candlelight House (exterior)

Running through to Jan. 8, 2017, The Biltmore’s holiday celebration will provide guests with a completely immersive experience. The wonders of Biltmore House—masterpieces of art, architecture, and Vanderbilt family treasures—are enhanced with more than 70 intricately decorated trees along with hundreds of poinsettias and garlands. The towering 34-foot-tall Fraser Fir in the home’s immense Banquet Hall is the star attraction.

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The Banquet hall at the Biltmore House

While the sheer volume of Christmas décor is staggering, the resulting beauty is a testament to the expertise of Biltmore’s floral staff. This year, the team has interpreted the theme of “Hearth and Home” throughout the house, emphasizing fireplaces and mantels in the grand spaces with warm colors, soft textures, and vintage-inspired ornaments.

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Fireplace at The Biltmore

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Poinsettas in the Winter Garden

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Entry Hall

Guests may also enjoy the entire estate as part of their admission. The glass-roofed Conservatory anchoring the Walled Garden is filled with blooms, and daily seminars at A Gardener’s Place shop provide tips for guests’ own holiday décor. At Antler Hill Village & Winery, the Winery offers free tastings of Biltmore wines—including the new Christmas commemorative wine—and additional in-depth tours and programs to further wine appreciation. Weekends in the Village bring carolers sharing traditional Christmas favorites, and Santa making guest appearances at the bandstand to hear wish lists from guests of all ages.

Candlelight Christmas Evenings

From fireplace mantels draped with evergreens to towering trees festooned with lights, Candlelight Christmas Evenings provide a warm welcome on a frosty night. By reservation only, these evenings in Biltmore House have become a cherished holiday tradition for many who enjoy a uniquely different view of holiday lights and live music.

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Christmas Shop

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Celebrate The Holiday Season At The New-York Historical Society With the Annual Classic Toys And Trains Extravaganza

Holiday Express: Trains and Toys from the Jerni Collection On View Through February 26, 2017

Holiday Express: Trains and Toys from the Jerni Collection returns to the New-York Historical Society this holiday season to delight and inspire children of all ages. On view now through February 26, 2017, this vibrant and sweeping display of spectacular antique toy trains, toys, and scenic elements celebrates the beauty and allure of toys from a bygone era. Holiday Express: Trains and Toys from the Jerni Collection is sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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A 360‐degree mountainous landscape showcases toy trains, miniature figures, and model buildings evoking the 1890s. The Jerni Collection, New‐York Historical Society

Holiday Express: Trains and Toys from the Jerni Collection is curated by Mike Thornton, associate curator of material culture at the New-York Historical Society. The display was designed by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership (LHSA+DP), an integrated architecture and exhibit design firm that also designed New-York Historical’s DiMenna Children’s History Museum. Other consultants for Holiday Express include T W TrainWorx, a nationally recognized model train specialist and designer of custom toy train layouts; and exhibition media producers Batwin + Robin, renowned “media storytellers” with more than 20 years of experience in the theater, museums, and other venues.

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A crawl‐through space leading to a popup semisphere allows children to get an up‐close‐and‐personal view of the display, suggesting an early 20th century toy department. The Jerni Collection, New‐York Historical Society

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R. Bliss Co. U.S. Cruiser, 1906. The Jerni Collection, New‐York Historical Society

Holiday Express unfolds over a broad swath of New-York Historical’s first floor, featuring 300 pieces from the Jerni Collection that transform the space into a magical wonderland. Theatrical lighting, an ambient audio “soundscape,” and other visual effects immerse visitors in an enchanting holiday experience. The exhibition begins at the West 77th Street entrance, where trains appear to roar through the Museum with the help of four large-scale multimedia screens. A 360-degree mountainous landscape, on view in the Judith and Howard Berkowitz Sculpture Court, showcases toy trains, miniature figures, and model buildings evoking the 1890s. Continue reading