Pirate-princess parties return to Disney

Back by popular demand, "Pirate and Princess Parties" return to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom late this summer.

After running the dual-themed, after-hours events for 13 nights this past winter, Disney is bringing them back for eight nights starting Aug. 11. Tickets, $32.95 in advance for children ages 3-9 and $38.95 for older children and adults, went on sale last week.

The events, to run from 7 p.m. to midnight on select nights in August and September, feature a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed parade, complete with a pirate ship, princess courts, a pirate action cove, live entertainment and dance parties.

Day-of-event tickets will cost $39.95 and $45.95.

Passports now required

A new study from a Central Florida travel-marketing company found that a majority of Americans don't know that a passport is now required when they return by air from Western Hemisphere countries.

Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, the travel advertising and public relations company, surveyed 2,000 travelers for the study, which was prepared for the Travel Industry Association.

The survey found that 56 percent of travelers couldn't correctly answer a question about the countries from which a passport is required for U.S. citizens returning home by air. Twenty-two percent weren't sure about the requirements, and 7 percent said they thought no passport was required for any resident to return to the U.S.

Migratory Bird Day

Migrating birds and visitors to Disney's Animal Kingdom will flock together Saturday as that park offers educational sessions and children's activities to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day.

Following a theme based on how far people have traveled, stations will be set up throughout Animal Kingdom where children can be "banded," then move around the park to participate in various activities. There also will be discussions and demonstrations focusing on migratory birds, and how to identify them.

An ultralight aircraft used by Operation Migration also will be on display, and visitors will have a chance to talk with representatives of that conservation organization.

Musicfest at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will feature Kool & the Gang on Saturday and Three Dog Night on Sunday as its Michelob Musicfest continues.

The festival opens both days at 3:30 p.m. in Busch Gardens' Gwazi Park. Specialty food and Michelob products will be available all afternoon, and Florida bands will play warm-up sets on the Festival Stage in Gwazi Plaza.

Tune in to Disney music

The history of Disney music, from early movie soundtracks to contemporary songs promoted on the Disney Channel and Radio Disney, will be explored Saturday at the Orange County Library in downtown Orlando by Grammy-nominated writer/producer and author Greg Ehrbar.

At a 3 p.m. presentation, Ehrbar, co-author with Tim Hollis of the book Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records, will spin tunes, seldom-told tales and behind-the-scenes lore.

Ehrbar will explore rare and forgotten offerings such as Annette Funicello music videos, and music ranging from Fess Parker's "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" to Rob Thomas' "Little Wonders."

Christopher Boyd can be reached at cboyd@orlandosentinel.com. Beth Kassab can be reached at bkassab@orlandosentinel.com. Scott Powers can be reached at spowers@orlandosentinel.com.

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