Florida’s First Lady, Education Chancellor Help Open ‘Journey Into Narnia’ Attraction at Disney-MGM Studios

Winners of Statewide Literacy Contest Are Among the First to Tour the New Attraction

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ — Florida First Lady Columba Bush and Florida Department of Education Chancellor Cheri Pierson Yecke today helped open “Journey Into Narnia: Creating The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” a spectacular new Walt Disney World attraction at the Disney-MGM Studios theme park.

In the great tradition of Disney attractions which immerse guests in their favorite movies and stories, Disney-MGM Studios hosts an exciting walk-through experience based on the Disney Pictures and Walden Media motion picture release, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” which premieres today around the world.

For fans of C.S. Lewis’ timeless adventure, and for the worldwide audience who will be entranced by the new movie, Disney-MGM Studios transforms a soundstage into the frozen world of Narnia, taking guests behind the scenes of the movie-making magic of the epic film.

Guests enter the frozen world of Narnia through a giant wardrobe and are surrounded by a wintry landscape, enormous trees, and a replica of the lamppost as seen in the movie. In the distance, they see the house of Mr. Tumnus, one of the central characters, beneath a rock bluff outcropping and the White Witch’s Castle. All in all, guests will feel as though they have entered the magical world of C.S. Lewis’ story. Guests pass through a gallery that showcases elaborate creatures, costumes, armor, maquettes, storyboards, props and set pieces used in the making of the film.

Mrs. Bush and Chancellor Yecke were on hand Friday to award the winners of the reading in the arts contest “Florida’s Journey into the Land of Narnia.” As a part of Just Read, Florida!’s statewide reading initiative, Florida Governor and First Lady Jeb and Columba Bush created the contest, which was open to all students in grades 3-12 in public, private and home schools.

Contest winners were:

* Gregory James Grumbar from Del Prado Elementary School in Boca Raton
* Alexa Jo Udermann from Rochelle School of the Arts in Lakeland
* Stephanie Marie Hurst, Ariel Faith Peck and Charity Grace Peck from
Allendale Academy High School in Clearwater

About Just Read Florida!

Just Read, Florida! is Governor Jeb Bush’s statewide reading initiative to achieve the goal of every child reading at or above grade level by the year 2012. The initiative is designed to guide changes at every level of education that have an impact on reading outcomes in Florida schools. Florida continues to experience improvements in achievement levels in reading. In 2005, 71 percent of all fourth graders are reading at or above grade level, up from 51 percent in 1999. Twice as many African-American and Hispanic fourth graders are reading at or above grade level. According to the results of the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress, Florida’s fourth grade students continue to improve in reading and exceed national performance levels.

About Disney-MGM Studios

“Journey Into Narnia: Creating The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” which opened today, is included with regular admission to Disney-MGM Studios. Disney-MGM Studios immerses guests in the glamour of show business 365 days a year with thrilling attractions, incredible Broadway-style shows, world-class atmosphere entertainment and interactive film, television and radio production facilities. The theme park is part of the 30,500-acre Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.

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