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Expedition Everest: Mission Himalayas-The Collection auction

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Disney, joined by Conservation International (CI) and Discovery Networks, recently embarked on an extraordinary scientific and cultural journey to explore some of the planet's richest and most biologically diverse regions in the shadow of the Himalayas. Together, they formed Expedition Everest: Mission Himalayas -- a search for new species and exploration of ancient legends.

To commemorate this expedition, a unique collection of experiences and artifacts is up for auction online on www.DisneyAuctions.com from Nov. 28 to Dec. 8, with proceeds going to the work of Conservation International to study the world's biodiversity hotspots.

"Expedition Everest: Mission Himalayas-The Collection" auction items include a one-of-a-kind trip deep into the jungles of Peru led by Conservation International staff, behind-the-scenes tours and dinner experiences at Walt Disney World Resort, and seats to CI's 10th Los Angeles Fundraising Gala and a photograph with actor and CI board member Harrison Ford, and behind-the-scenes tours and dinner experiences.

Expedition Everest: Mission Himalayas focused on regions that harbor a wealth of biological, cultural and spiritual treasures. Findings and results of the expedition -- including any new species discoveries -- will be shared with the scientific and conservation community as well as be incorporated into Expedition Everest, an exciting new adventure attraction coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

One of the auction items will be the opportunity to be among the first to experience Expedition Everest.

The exploration into the Himalayas furthers the commitment to wildlife conservation that is a hallmark of Disney's Animal Kingdom and its long-time relationship with Conservation International. Several significant projects led by the respected group have been supported through the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund (DWCF). Since Disney's Animal Kingdom opened in 1998, the DWCF has awarded more than $8 million to CI and other non-profit conservation organizations working around the world to protect areas rich in plant and animal life at risk of imminent destruction.

Expedition Everest, the attraction, is a high-speed runaway train adventure that combines coaster-like thrills with the folklore of the yeti. Guests will depart from a Himalayan village and venture to the snowy heights of the vast Asian peaks. Yet a run-in with the yeti -- the guardian of the mountain -- will send travelers on a forward and backward hair-raising escape. With a peak nearly 200 feet high, Expedition Everest will open officially in April 2006 in the Asia section of Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Conservation International (CI) applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity in the biodiversity hotspots, high-biodiversity wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents. For more information about CI, visit www.conservation.org. To learn more about Conservation International's work in the Himalayan region visit www.conservation.org/himalaya.

For more information on items up for auction, or to place a bid, log on to www.DisneyAuctions.com and click on the "Theme-Park Artifacts" button at the top of the page or type in "Theme-Park Artifacts" in the search box.
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