Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: Things That Spin in the Night at Disneyland Resort … Revisited

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


Back in 2011, I started a Disney Parks Blog series called “Things That Spin In the Night.” It featured motion-blurred images of attractions at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. I thought it would be fun to revisit that series today.

The photos from “Things That Spin In the Night” included after-dark images of Astro Orbitor, Mad T Party, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Silly Symphony Swings, and the Golden Zephyr. I realized that there was a particular photo of the Golden Zephyr that I didn’t take the first time around. The first time, I focused more on getting three attractions in one photo. This time, I focused on getting the name of the attraction in the photo. As you can see, the Golden Zephyr sign in the front of the attraction is quite attractive, especially at night when it has a blue glow.

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Click on the links below to see more of the “Things That Spin in the Night” series:

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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: What’s in the Name?

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


In Hawaiian culture, names are very important. So today, our “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series continues with a look at the meaning of the name ‘Aulani,’ and how Hawaiian culture and Disney storytelling came together to create a Hawaiian experience like no other at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

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Aulani has a full time Cultural Advisor on staff, Kahulu De Santos. She explained to me that when Disney started this Hawai’i project, Walt Disney Imagineering established a Hawaiian Cultural Committee which worked side by side with Imagineers to create the experiences at Aulani. Their discussions surrounded the art work, architecture and themes that would be built into the resort.

“As the story is told, one morning, while the committee was working on coming up with a name for the resort, one of the members shared that he had a dream about the name ‘Aulani,’” explained Kahulu. “Aulani means ‘messenger of a chief’ or ‘messenger of a greater authority.’ So the committee quickly determined that this would be the name it would present to Disney as the name for this new resort.”

The important significance of Aulani is that the resort serves as a location that shares the messages and stories of the Hawaiian culture, its chiefs and its people, while recognizing and honoring traditional and contemporary Hawaiian practices, she explained.

Aulani celebrates Hawai‘i’s rich legacy of storytelling combined with the magic of Disney. The name Aulani invites guests to ponder and listen to the many-layered stories or “messages” found at this beautiful resort on O’ahu.

One of my favorite examples of these unique stories at Aulani involves the significance of the kapa design in the cast member nametags. Have you seen these? What’s your favorite story found at Aulani? Tell us in the comments below.


For more from the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series, visit the posts below:

A Celebration of Disney Trains at the Walt Disney Family Museum

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


As The Walt Disney Family Museum unveils its new exhibit, All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt’s Trains, we look back at some rarely seen photos and a very special moment in Disney train history.

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On May 10, 2005, at 7 a.m., a ceremony took place before Disneyland opened for the day. On the occasion of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, about 100 people gathered at the New Orleans Square Station of the Disneyland Railroad to honor animator and Disney Legend Ollie Johnston, one of Walt’s Nine Old Men, for how he inspired Walt Disney with his love of trains. Ollie inspired Walt to build his backyard railroad, the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Walt’s love of giving people rides on this little steam train in his backyard eventually led to the building of Disneyland.

After the speeches that early May morning, Ollie was presented with a plaque from the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society. Then everyone heard a toot of a steam whistle and up pulled a gleaming steam train. Ollie at first thought it was a Disneyland engine, then his son Ken leaned down and said, “Dad, that is your engine.” Ollie then realized it was his beloved Marie E. and he started to cry. And then so did everyone else.

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I then told Ollie that the Marie E. needed a real engineer to drive it around Disneyland and asked if he would like to do it. “Boy, would I!!” was his answer. He climbed up into the cab of the Marie E. with the help of the amazing Disneyland Railroad crew and they strapped him in with seatbelts borrowed from one of the old Matterhorn bobsleds.

At 94 years old, Ollie expertly engineered his Marie E. — the only outside train ever run on the rails of Disneyland — three times around Disneyland to the cheers of everyone there.

It was said that of all of the year-long events celebrating Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, the morning of May 10 was by far the most special.

- John Lasseter

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This memory told by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, recalls a very special moment in Disney train history. It’s one of many train tales being celebrated in All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt’s Trains, a new exhibit at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, Calif. On view through February 9, 2015, this comprehensive exhibition explores the influence that railroading had on Walt Disney’s life and work. It also tells the story of how his railroading legacy lives on to this day in Disney films and theme parks around the world.

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The arc of this exhibition doesn’t start and end with just Walt, though. All Aboard explores the interest and passion for railroading of Walt’s friends and staff, including Ollie Johnston. The Disney Legend was able to make his Disney railroad dreams come true at Disneyland before he passed away in 2008.

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Disney Parks Honored with Several Industry Awards

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


I’m happy to report that earlier this week, two prestigious organizations honored Disney Parks projects with multiple industry awards.

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

New ‘Frozen’ Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


Be on the lookout for this year’s Disney Gift Card Holiday Pin Series throughout Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort. These cards come in four different designs featuring your favorite characters from Disney Animation’s hit movie “Frozen”.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Earffel Tower

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Soaring 130 feet into the air with a 32,000 lb. set of Mouse Ears, the Earrfel Tower has been home to Disney’s Hollywood Studios since its opening.

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Runners Show Off Their ‘Super Hero Side’ at Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


If you participate in a runDisney event, or simply come out to support a runner, one of the first the first things you notice is the variety of costumes runners wear during the race.

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December 2014 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Just wait until you see what merchandise events we have headed your way this December at the Disneyland Resort!

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

Register Now to Race into the Holiday Season at the Disney Parks Blog Christmas in Cars Land Meet-Up

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


It’s time to celebrate the holidays, Radiator Springs style! Registration is now open for the Disney Parks Blog Christmas in Cars Land Meet-Up on Wednesday, December 3, 2014.

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See How Music City Got its Name on an Adventures by Disney Nashville Vacation

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


Earlier this month, the city of Nashville was buzzing with celebrities, red carpets and the glitz and glamour of the annual Country Music Awards. But I’ll let you in on a little secret – Nashville is a place that’s always alive, electric and brimming with restaurants, concert venues, honky-tonks and, yes, even street corners filled with music. Nashville is called “Music City” year round, not just during awards season, and with an Adventures by Disney Long Weekend trip to Nashville you can truly see how, and why, this town got its nickname.

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