Show Disney.com Hide Disney.com
Via Napoli Restaurant, Italy Pavilion at Epcot

Wildlife Wednesday: Disney Making a Difference – Rehabilitation and Release Success with Guam Rails

posted on March 4th, 2015 by Deidre Fontenot, DVM, Animal Health Operations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


For over fifteen years, I, along with other members of Disney’s Animal Care team have been lending a helping hand on the beautiful pacific islands of the Marianas to save multiple species including the Guam rail. Native to this small island in the South Pacific, the Guam rail is a flightless, cocoa-colored bird with a striped underbelly that is extinct in the wild due to the accidental introduction of the brown tree snake onto the island. Since the Guam rail makes its nest on the ground, the snake can easily get to the birds’ eggs and chicks, causing the decline of the population in the wild.

Dr. Deidre with a Guam Rail A Guam Rail in the Wild

Thanks to efforts of institutions across the country that are accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), conservation work to increase Guam rail populations so that they can be released into the wild has been very successful. For years, Disney’s Animal Care team has sent veterinarians and animal care specialists to Guam to assist with the health care of this endangered species. We perform medical evaluations on the birds currently in Guam to make sure they are healthy prior to their introduction into the wild. We have had the honor of participating in the release of these birds on the neighboring island of Rota, where the brown tree snake has no presence. If any birds require serious medical care, they are flown to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for evaluation and surgery if needed. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we provide health evaluations to birds that are hatched at any AZA institution before these birds are flow to Guam for their participation in the re-introduction program, as part of a breeding population at a snake protected facility or as a part of the release populations on Rota. Disney’s Animal Care team typically spends two to three months with each bird while completing extensive health evaluations to make sure the birds are not only fit to travel back to Guam, but are ready to be released into the wild.

A Guam Rail Being Examined Before Release Into the Wild A Guam Rail Posing with Safari Mickey

Our efforts don’t stop there! The Disney team also provides continuous education and training to the island biologists regarding medical care of the birds and we donate veterinary supplies every visit. In hopes of extending the conservation of this species into the next generation, we also share information with local community children to help them learn about these unique birds and better understand why Disney cares about protecting them.

Thanks to the efforts of many in Guam, U.S. zoos and our teams here at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guam rails have been brought back from the brink of extinction!

While we hope Guam rails are most often found on their native island home, guests have the chance to learn about this and other rehabilitation successes of Disney’s Animal Care teams in Backstage Tales, the newest premium experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Call 407-WDW-TOUR for additional details.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

New Cinderella Cupcake at Contempo Café in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

posted on March 4th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


ashdjkl654321

The pastry team at Disney’s Contemporary Resort has created a brand-new specialty cupcake inspired by Disney’s live-action “Cinderella” movie, in theaters on March 13. Beautifully adorned with a sparkly white chocolate slipper and sugary pumpkin, this vanilla cupcake is filled with vanilla icing and buttercream and is topped with a sprinkle of “fairy dust.”

Be sure to pick up this creative confection from Contempo Café before it disappears at the stroke of midnight on March 31!

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disney Dining, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Exploring ‘The Land of Fire and Ice’ in Reykjavik, Iceland with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 4th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


One of our brand-new destinations this summer is Iceland, the awe-inspiring “Land of Fire and Ice,” known for its geothermal waters, majestic waterfalls, volcanic areas and breathtaking canyons. Today I want to give you a look at some of what you can experience in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital.

PIPA563951

Rich in culture, eclectic architecture and natural beauty, Reykjavik is also home to the famed saltwater Blue Lagoon, located in the middle of a lava field and known worldwide for its healing properties. We offer two Port Adventures for you to bathe in these warm waters: a half-day experience focused on rest and relaxation and a full-day adventure with an adrenaline-packed volcanic journey.

PIPA563952

On our Let’s Go Volcano And Bathing at the Blue Lagoon, the day begins with an invigorating trek up the steep flanks of a volcano crater in a specially modified super truck, followed by lava-tube caving experience to explore the mysterious depths of the Icelandic underworld. Then, after a visit to bubbling hot springs and the fishing village of Grindavik for a lobster soup lunch, you’ll finish your day with a relaxing afternoon in the therapeutic mineral-filled waters of the Blue Lagoon!

PIPA563954

Here are some of the other super cool tours in Reykjavik you’ll want to check out:

The Golden Circle With Family Barbeque – Classic “can’t miss” Icelandic landmarks take center stage on this tour, where you’ll explore a national park, a glittering waterfall, popping hot springs and a high-tech geothermal energy exhibition. Plus, in true Disney fashion, folk stories come to life during a barbeque lunch in the woods hosted by Iceland’s most famous troll wife, Gryla, and her helpers, who tell the legend of troll giant Bergthor of Bláfell.

Lava Family Workshop – An exclusive for Disney cruisers, get your family “fired up” during an exhilarating trip to the edge of a hardened lava field for an up-close look at volcanic craters. Parents and children alike will take part in an art workshop, using real lava to create your very own framed lava art.

Glacier Safari 4×4 & Ice Cave – On this adventure, you’ll jump into an Icelandic super truck and journey over ice and snow to the “Ice Cave” on the flanks of Europe’s second largest glacier, Langjökull. The man-made “Ice Cave” stretches deep inside the glacier with an impressive series of tunnels and caves carved through solid glacier ice. The ice chapel and ice bar are two of the featured attractions!

PIPA563953

Check back later this week for my suggestions on adventures in Akureyri, Iceland. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

PHOTOS – Merchandise Blooms at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2015

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2015 runs from March 4 to May 17 at Walt Disney World Resort. With beautiful flowers to see and delicious food to taste, I love strolling around Epcot a few times throughout spring. Here’s an update on some additional products created especially for this event. I also have a first look inside the Festival Center that will be open Fridays through Sundays in Future World between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions.

Tagged: , , , , ,

Filed: Epcot, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Today in Disney History: Indiana Jones Adventure Opens at Disneyland Park, 1995

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


On March 3, 1995, Disneyland park guests began exploring the Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Indiana Jones Adventure. Now a classic, this thrill ride takes intrepid explorers on a journey to discover the mysteries of the temple alongside world-famous archeologist, Indiana Jones. To celebrate this anniversary, let’s do a little Disney Parks Blog archeology and look back at some of the stories we’ve shared from this favorite attraction.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Join ‘Galactic Gathering’ for Star Wars Weekends 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 14

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Star Wars Weekends 2015 returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort on Friday, May 15. To kick off this event, Disney Theme Park Merchandise is holding a special ticketed event called “Galactic Gathering” on Thursday, May 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Similar to the “Rebel Rendezvous” event held last year, this year’s event will give guests the first opportunity to purchase new products created especially for Star Wars Weekends.

Tagged: , , , , ,

Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Country Singer Luke Bryan Visits Walt Disney World

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Joan Peabody, Content Producer


Luke Bryan is one of the most recognized singer-songwriters in the country music industry today. He recently took a break from recording in the studio and preparing for his upcoming tour to take a family trip to the Walt Disney World Resort.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Celebrity Visits, Walt Disney World Resort

Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Main Street Trolley Tracks

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Construction is coming along nicely in Town Square as we make our way to Main Street, U.S.A., and the installation of the tracks that horse-drawn streetcars will travel for decades to come.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Enter for a Chance to Win an Adventures by Disney Trip to San Francisco, the City that Inspired San Fransokyo in Disney’s ‘Big Hero 6′

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Andrae Gill, Adventures by Disney


With the recent release of Big Hero 6 on Blu-ray, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere, I have exciting news that will make you want to fly as high as Baymax. Our Adventures by Disney team wants you to know about a current sweepstakes opportunity that could send you and three guests on a quest to the captivating city of San Francisco, the inspiration for the film’s fictional city, “San Fransokyo”.

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Adventures by Disney

New Tastes ‘Hit It Out of the Ballpark’ for Braves Spring Training

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


The Atlanta Braves return March 4 for spring training at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort – a fun outing in an old-fashioned stadium with throwback architecture to the golden era of baseball in the 1960s.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney Dining, Walt Disney World Resort