Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park

Ahoy Sailor Mickey!

posted on November 25th, 2009 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Sailor Mickey
I have great news! On November 26 our very own Sailor Mickey balloon will make his maiden voyage high above the streets of New York in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Take a look at this exclusive video showcasing the balloon’s journey, from concept to reality.

Here are some fun facts about Sailor Mickey:

  • Mickey Mouse was last seen in the Macy’s Parade in 2000 as Bandleader Mickey.
  • The Sailor Mickey balloon is approximately 61 feet high, 33 feet wide and 48 feet long. That’s more than six stories tall!
  • It takes about 14,000 cubic feet of helium to fill the Sailor Mickey balloon.
  • The Sailor Mickey balloon will be guided by a team of 70 volunteers.
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Thanksgiving Tepees at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

posted on November 25th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Thanksgiving Tepees at Disney's Fort Wilderness

For many of us, it’s turkey and football on Thanksgiving. But have you seen what happens this time of year at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort? It’s an experience – they celebrate in tepees.

Every November, a few hundred people travel to Walt Disney World Resort to build tepees and then spend the holiday weekend living inside. Many say they’ve never done Thanksgiving any other way.

Walt Disney World Guest Linda Hawley of Jacksonville is part of the group. She says building a tepee is tough work but certainly worth it because “the history just pours in on you.” Others describe spending Thanksgiving in a tepee as “romantic.” Take a look and judge for yourself:

A big part of the gathering called the Lodge Owners Rendezvous is Thanksgiving dinner — and it’s remarkable. To pull it off, about 24 turkeys are put into a large pit lined with aluminum foil. The food is surrounded by charcoal and then covered with giant lids. When it’s ready, the group sits down to what’s believed to be one of the largest sit down, family-style meals in the southeast. And then it’s back to the tepees.

By the way, the tepee experience at Creekside Meadow is invite-only. You need to either own a tepee at the Lodge Owners Rendezvous or be a family member or friend. How about you? Do you have any unique Thanksgiving traditions?

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How to Find the Best Tasting Part of your Holiday Turkey

posted on November 24th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’ve carved a few hundred turkeys, chances are you know a secret or two. Walt Disney World executive chef Lenny DeGeorge certainly does and he’s sharing. He’s showing how to find his favorite part of any turkey — the oyster:

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Now and Then: Photos Taken Outside Walt’s Apartment

posted on November 24th, 2009 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Walt's Apartment Now

In this photo taken October 2, 2009, Disneyland Resort cast members from across the property pose in front of Walt’s apartment, where the light in the window is always shining in honor of our founder. The photo was presented as a congratulatory gift from the Disneyland Cast to the Executive Director of the Walt Disney Family Museum to celebrate the recent opening of the museum.

Walt's Apartment Then

Taking a look back to December 1956, the second photo shows Walt just outside his apartment during a media event at the park.

Do you like seeing these historical photos on the Blog? Do you want to hear more about Walt’s apartment? Let us know in the comments.

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Your Favorite Part About Celebrating The Holidays At Disney Parks Is…

posted on November 24th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re like me, it’s unique experiences and amazing decorations that make holidays at Disney Parks special. But what grabs you? We’re in the parks to find out — this time asking, “What’s special about celebrating the holidays at Disney Parks?”

Now, it’s your turn. Is there something that makes visits to Disney Parks special for you this time of the year? Please let us know in the comments.

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Be Thankful: Premier College Basketball Tournament Tips Off Thanksgiving Weekend at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex

posted on November 24th, 2009 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


If you like your Thanksgiving dinner with a side of big-time sports, check out the Old Spice Classic which tips off Thanksgiving Day at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.

Michigan (ranked No. 15), Florida State, Marquette and Xavier – all of whom reached the NCAA Tournament last year – headline the 8-team tournament, which is widely considered one of the top preseason college basketball tournaments in the nation. The other challengers are Alabama, Creighton, Baylor and Iona. In all, six of the eight teams in the field won 20 or more games last season.

The tournament, which runs through Sunday, will be played this year on a new court, one with some pretty good pedigree. The hardwood floor was last used for the NCAA Women’s Final Four last year. This time though the court will be emblazoned with the new ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex logo that is part of the re-imagining of the Disney sports complex with the ESPN brand that takes effect in late Feb. 2010.

In fact, check out this time-lapsed video of the new court being installed and then get your tickets now because good seats are going fast. Hey, don’t say you weren’t warned.

By the way, all the action will be televised live on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.

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Unique Centerpieces Created by Disney Parks Florist

posted on November 23rd, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Wait, wait…before you dust off that giant Thanksgiving table centerpiece, the Disney Parks Blog has something different this year. We’re switching it up with not one but four holiday centerpieces you can create at home.

Walt Disney World Florist Cindy Braak will walk you through the process starting with how “Oasis” in the bottom of a pot will keep the flowers hydrated. Here is the backstage video:

When creating the centerpieces, Braak says use one color of flower per arrangement — that’s for more impact. Also, make the centerpieces a day prior to your event. We’ll be trying it…how about you?

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Disneyland Resort Remembers

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


President John F. Kennedy and the President of Guinea, Ahmed Sékou Touré

Forty six years ago this week, America lost its 35th president, John F. Kennedy. Kennedy is known to have visited Disneyland park only once, as Senator, in October 1959. He is shown here during that visit at the Main Street Station of the Disneyland Railroad with the President of Guinea, Ahmed Sékou Touré.

Searching through our archives, we also found this photo showing that Disneyland park closed its gates on November 23, 1963, in honor of the president.

Disneyland park closes its gates in honor of President John F. Kennedy

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How to Carve a Holiday Turkey Like a Disney Parks Chef

posted on November 23rd, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Sure, carving a turkey can be intimidating — most of us only do it once or twice a year. But for chefs at Disney Parks, it’s routine. They’ll carve thousands of turkeys this holiday season and they’ll make it look easy.

To make sure you can pull it off, Walt Disney World executive chef Lenny DeGeorge is offering a quick how-to. He says start with the drumstick:

To safely carve your holiday turkey, it’s important to give yourself some room to operate and make sure you’re using a sharp knife, according to Chef Lenny. And he says if you get intimidated by carving the turkey in front of the family, there’s nothing to be ashamed about preparing it in the kitchen before bringing it to the table. Good luck.

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Tyra Banks, Princess Tiana at Walt Disney World

posted on November 21st, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We love surprises at Disney Parks and our latest involves Emmy Award-winning talk show host and supermodel Tyra Banks.

Earlier this week, Tyra surprised three young girls by announcing on “The Tyra Show” that she was sending them and their moms to Walt Disney World. Then, Tyra made a surprise appearance during their park visit on Friday night and joined the group for a Royal Tea Party with Disney’s newest princess, Tiana.
Tyra Banks and Princess Tiana

Tyra’s visit to Walt Disney World will be featured Wednesday, Nov. 25 on “The Tyra Show.” It’ll air nationwide at 4 p.m. on the CW Network and then be repeated on Dec. 11.

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