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Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Resort

posted on October 28th, 2009 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

Disneyland Haunted Mansion

My favorite attraction available from late September through early January is Haunted Mansion Holiday, which incorporates the story from Tim Burton’s “A Nightmare Before Christmas.” The colors are brighter, the songs are punchier, and there’s something special about an attraction that I can only see during a certain time of year.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out “Haunted Mansion Holiday” for yourself, the end of the video below will give you a sense of just how cool the experience is. We produced this video for the 40th anniversary of the attraction this past August. Check out really fun historical video of Walt Disney talking with early concept designers.

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Bats Are Special, Not Spooky

posted on October 28th, 2009 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

The Disney’s Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives team really gets into the Halloween spirit each year, hosting a variety of activities throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. Of course, there’s lots going on at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. For example, our bats, which Guests can see every day on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia, get their annual physical exams each year in the days surrounding Halloween. The exams take place in the mornings in view of our Guests at our veterinary hospital at Conservation Station.
Bat at Disney's Animal Kingdom

To us (and we hope you’ll agree!), bats are “special not spooky.” The bats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom primarily eat fruit, but the smaller bats you might see in your backyard are insectivores—they just love eating all those pesky mosquitoes. A great way to help out the bats in your neighborhood is by building them a bat box. Another way is to support the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) when you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom and many other locations at the Walt Disney World Resort. DWCF supports wildlife conservation around the world and here in the U.S. and is helping to protect bats by providing funding for the great work of Bat Conservation International. To learn how to build a bat house and much more, visit the Bat Conservation International Web site here.

Getting back to our Halloween happenings, Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives Cast Members at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort join the fun by hosting haunted hayrides and carriage rides—and help the Headless Horseman with his ride through the Magic Kingdom Park during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

And what would Halloween be without pumpkins? Our Cast, which includes the Agricultural Sciences team at Living with the Land in Epcot, ensure that there are pumpkins galore for Guests to see—even Mickey-shaped ones—as well as a host of edible gourds.

Bat fact: The Malayan Flying Fox, which Guests can see when they visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is one of the largest bats in the world with a wingspan of close to 6 feet. Being an Old World fruit bat, they can’t echolocate and instead use their excellent eyesight to fly at night and sense of smell to locate food.

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Get Ready for a Big Disney Cruise Line Announcement!

posted on October 27th, 2009 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Hey Disney Parks Blog readers! I’m writing this post as I pack my bags and get ready for a trip to the Big Apple. The reason, in a just a couple of days we are hosting a big event in New York City to unveil details of our new ship, the Disney Dream.
Disney Dream Ship Rendering

While I can’t take all of you to New York with me, I want to give you a “virtual invitation” to be part of the happening through a live webcast.

Join us at on October 29 at 4:15pm Eastern as we reveal many surprises awaiting passengers aboard the Disney Dream.

You’ll even get the chance to interact with us by sending your questions about the Disney Dream so make sure to tune in.

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180-Day Booking Window Begins at Walt Disney World

posted on October 27th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Attention, Disney Parks vacation planners: Beginning today, we’re adjusting to a 180-day booking window for dining, recreation and tour offerings at Walt Disney World. Our theme park operating hours calendar will be published 180 days out as well. The changes will help you coordinate and plan upcoming vacations to Disney Parks.
Celebrate Today!

You should know that reservations for Walt Disney World Resort hotels may still be secured up to 500 days in advance. And yes, Resort Guests will have the 180-day window plus 10-days benefit. Guests who have booked future reservations for arrivals after January 25, 2010 are being notified via phone or e-mail of the policy change.

Also, all existing dining, recreation and tour reservations will be honored as booked. Let us know what you think.

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‘Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee!’ Video

posted on October 27th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Yesterday, we celebrated the debut of our newest princess at Walt Disney World with the first “Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee!” at Magic Kingdom Park. If you missed it, we’re sharing video of Tiana’s arrival and the party:

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Mobile Magic – First Disney Parks Mobile App Details, Screen Shots Unveiled

posted on October 27th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Earlier this year, we announced our first official Disney Parks mobile application – Mobile Magic. Now, we’re sharing details and screen shots.

You’ll recall that Mobile Magic is bringing attraction wait times, FASTPASS return times, extensive information on character locations and more for Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks to your Verizon Wireless phone. Development work has been ongoing but the team recently offered a walkthrough of the app and it’s looking great.
Disney Parks Mobile Magic

Attraction wait times on your Verizon Wireless device will be unique. There’s been an investment in the backend infrastructure to support Mobile Magic and offer actual wait times based directly on Disney Parks information.

As for FASTPASS, you’ll be able to check if it’s still available for specific attractions. And if FASTPASS is available, the app will deliver information about the next return time. So, if you can still get a FASTPASS, the application will show, for example: FP: 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Also, mobile maps are GPS-enabled. While wandering the parks, your location will be indicated by a white circle. Then it’s simple to scroll through content and find it on the map via a “getting there” option. The map zooms out and allows you to see your location and exactly where the character greeting or restaurant can be located.
Disney Parks Mobile Magic

It’s important to note that actual wait times, FASTPASS return times and detailed character appearances are only available in the park you are in. When you’re out of the park or on the soon-to-be-launched mobile Web site, you’ll see scaled-down wait time descriptions (now – moderate – high demand) FASTPASS availability (yes – limited availability – not available) and the list of character appearances will be limited.

If you are not a Verizon Wireless subscriber, you can still use your mobile phone to access select information via text and on the Disney Parks Mobile Web site. It’s just better from our friends at Verizon Wireless.

There’s more to this offering but we wanted to share these screen grabs and let you know that the app is coming soon. So, how’s it looking?

Of course, there are some official details you should know about: The downloadable Mobile Magic application for Verizon Wireless subscribers is available for purchase. Message and data rates also may apply. Coverage not available everywhere. Availability subject to handset limitations. If you’re under 18, get your parent’s permission first.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

A Disney Family Thanksgiving Feast

posted on October 26th, 2009 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

Love to eat but feel you could do without the cooking and cleaning? I’m right there with you. Read more if you’d like to join the Disney family (including some of our favorite characters) this Thanksgiving, November 26, 2009.

“A Disney Family Thanksgiving Feast” at the Grand Ballroom in the Disneyland Hotel offers a delectable meal with a hearty helping of Disney fantasy mixed in. Chip and Dale and other world famous Disney Characters will spread the holiday cheer as you eat your way through an all-you-can-eat buffet.

The fall harvest and Thanksgiving favorites will include carved roasted breast of turkey and prime rib of beef, homemade stuffing, sweet potato soufflé, fresh cranberry orange relish and smashed potato and gravy. Chilled poached shrimp, king crab legs, fresh salads, artisan cheeses, smoked salmon and cured meats will also be included in the display. It may be difficult, but you’ll want to save to room for dessert, which includes a variety of traditional pies, tarts, cookies, crepes and even a chocolate fountain with sweets for dipping.

Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee!’ Launches at Walt Disney World

posted on October 26th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

“Laissez les bon temps rouler” or “let the good times roll” became part of my vocabulary during time spent in Louisiana. And it may just become part of yours during trips to Disney Parks.

We’ve launched a new celebration — “Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee!” at the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort. Now, the riverside comes alive New Orleans style.

The party features characters from Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Princess and the Frog” movie, including Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen. It starts in the Liberty Square area before moving to the water’s edge. Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen then board a showboat with a live jazz band and join other characters, including Louis, Dr. Facilier and his friends.

Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee! not only celebrates our newest princess, it also marks her Disney Parks debut. You can meet Tiana and her Prince at a special location in Liberty Square during the 10-week jubilee.

This first-of-it’s-kind celebration debuts in Florida at Magic Kingdom Park on October 26 and in California at Disneyland Park on November 6. It’s scheduled to run through January 3, 2010.

Also, don’t forget about the special movie offer for “The Princess and the Frog” going on at Disney Parks through November 22, 2009. Visit for more details.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on October 24th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

This week, we featured some unique images from Disneyland Park and the Walt Disney World Resort. First, we showed how heat, gravity and human breath created works of art during glassblowing shows at the Crystal Art Shop on Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom Park. If you missed it, here it is:

Also, we asked several questions on the blog, including what Disney Parks attraction do you enjoy most? And Heather updated last week’s Disney’s California Adventure Park post with video of Mickey helping fill Paradise Bay Lagoon. Here’s the rundown:

Your Favorite Disney Parks Attraction Is… — Guests shared their favorite attractions at Disney Parks.

Mickey Helps Fill Paradise Bay Lagoon for “World of Color” — Heather gave an update from Disney’s California Adventure Park.

Back to Film at Disney’s Animal Kingdom — Gene Duncan was asked to shoot some film for a joint promotion with Kodak on the unveiling of their newest color neg film.

Disney Weddings in NYC: Bridal Market Trends — Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings team left the parks this week for Bridal Market, the premier showcase of designer bridal gowns.

What is the Most Popular Disney Pin?” — Steven Miller answered the question, “What is the most popular Disney pin?”

Oktoberfest 2009 at the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim. — The Downtown Disney District will be filled with the German spirit as it hosts Oktoberfest for the first time later this month.

Did you miss it? The Disneyland Attraction that’s Millions of Years Old. — A petrified tree at Disneyland Park is believed to be between 55 million and 70 million years old.

Disney Tips for Designing Your Jack-O-Lantern — It’s not the usual squares and rectangles for pumpkins at Walt Disney World Resort this season.

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“it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort

posted on October 23rd, 2009 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

Better hurry – “it’s a small world” will close October 25 in order to get ready for its annual seasonal overlay. Don’t fret though – the attraction is scheduled to reopen November 13, and you can experience “it’s a small world” holiday through January 3.

For your viewing pleasure, take a look at the video below. It’s a historical look at the attraction, and includes video of Walt Disney explaining his original concept for “it’s a small world.” There’s also video from the opening ceremony in 1966. You’ll hear how Walt Disney Imagineers refreshed the classic attraction in February 2009 by adding some familiar faces and a new America scene. Peek behind the magic and see how Imagineers seamlessly weaved in references to Disney and Disney-Pixar characters with new costumes and enhancements to the beloved “it’s a small world” song.

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