Disney's Hollywood Studios, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Interior

Best of 2009 – Disney Pins Edition

posted on December 31st, 2009 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


As 2009 draws to a close, I asked my fellow Cast Members in product development, Disney Design Group, planning, merchandise marketing and operations to select their favorite Disney Pin released this past calendar year. For some, this request was like me asking them to pick their favorite child (okay maybe that was only a challenge for me).

The pins they selected were about as varied as their corresponding reasons. I’ve chosen several pins to spotlight here. For the complete “Best of 2009” recap, please visit the What’s HapPINing? Blog on DisneyPins.com on December 31.

Without further ado, let the trip down memory lane begin!
Have a Disney Day Pin

Julie Young – Product Developer for Open Edition pins and Accessories
“I selected the ‘Have a Disney Day’ pin. It features a simple design and wonderful message. I think everyone should have a Disney day! What’s more fun than that?”
Read the rest of this entry »

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disney Differences, Walt Disney World Resort

Ringing in the New Year at Disney’s California Adventure Park

posted on December 30th, 2009 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


New Year’s Eve is a popular time to visit the Disneyland Resort, and I can see why, now that I know all the fun things going on.

If you’re still looking for plans on December 31, or if you’re already planning a visit to the Resort that day, it sounds to me like Disney’s California Adventure park is really the place to be.
Hollywood Pictures
There is a high-energy pyrotechnic display in Sunshine Plaza at midnight and if you’re looking for great music and want to dance the night away, there are three different dance parties to celebrate the countdown to midnight:

  • Power 106 at the Hollywood Backlot Stage is hosting a dance club from 9:30p.m. to 1:00a.m. and promises to blow the roof off.
  • You can break out your salsa, samba and popular Latin dance moves at a waterfront club at the Pacific Wharf hosted by DJs from 107.1 KSEE-FM Super Estrella from 9:30p.m. to 1:00a.m.
  • If the hottest dance hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s are more your style, then check out the DJs from 104.3 MYfm at Stage 17 near Sunshine Plaza from 9:00p.m. to 1:00a.m.

Can’t decide on just one dance party at Disney’s California Adventure park? I’m told you can bounce from one to another.

In case you’re interested, here’s a look at what’s happening at Disneyland park:

  • “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks kicks off the new year at 12:00a.m. in the skies above Disneyland park.
  • There’s a Mardi-Gras-style party with live music at the Rivers of America at 8:00p.m., 9:45p.m., 11:00p.m. and 11:45p.m.
  • Doc Anello and the Swing Machine perform at Plaza Gardens Stage at 7:30p.m., 8:45p.m., 9:50pm, 11:00pm and 12:15a.m.
  • Mickey, Minnie and a DJ will be hosting a party at Sleeping Beauty’s Winder Castle from 9:00p.m. to 12:00a.m.
  • The band Surburban Legends rocks Tomorrowland in Tomorrowland Terrace at 8:30p.m., 10:00p.m., 11:00p.m., 11:45p.m. and 1:00a.m.

I’ve never been at the parks for New Year’s Eve, so I’d love to hear from someone who has. What do you like best at the Resort during the New Years celebration?

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

One Step Closer to Opening Captain EO

posted on December 30th, 2009 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Two weeks ago on the blog we announced that Captain EO will be returning to the Disneyland Resort in February 2010.
Honey, I Shrunk The Audience

Today we have an update. “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience,” the show currently in Tomorrowland, will close January 4 so work can begin in the theater to prepare for the Captain’s return.

Check back on the Disney Parks Blog for additional updates.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort

Top 5 Disney Parks Blog Videos Of 2009

posted on December 30th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


From day one, video on the Disney Parks Blog has been popular. In fact, since our first Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy post, you’ve watched many years worth of video here, 3+ actually. And yes, there have been favorites. Here are the top five Disney Parks Blog videos of 2009:

In celebration of the Magic Kingdom’s birthday, we gave new meaning to “it’s a small world” with our first tilt-shift video — “A Model Day at the Magic Kingdom Park.” It’s been our most popular video to date.
Read the rest of this entry »

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , , ,

Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Behind-The-Scenes: Disney’s Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

posted on December 29th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re as impressed as I am with the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights — wait until you see this. We’re sharing a look at some of the behind-the-scenes work behind the millions of lights and displays at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

In 1995, Disney World adopted the spinning carousels, angels and figures from Arkansas businessman Jennings Osborne. And over the years, Disney has built on what Osborne created.

But what’s kept the spirit of the display going for all of these years has been the crew that puts up the display each year, according to Walt Disney Entertainment’s John Phelan said. Cast members in the warehouse in March and April working on figurines. By summer, a crew of technicians are working to prepare the lights and structures.

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

One of the secrets is that somewhere in the lights, there’s a purple cat figure. It was mistakenly taken from Jenny Osbourne’s Halloween display. Each year, technicians hide the cat among the lights. Can you find it this year?

By the way, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights can be seen through January 4, 2010.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , ,

Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

Year in Review: The Headlines from the Disneyland Resort in 2009

posted on December 29th, 2009 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


2009 was a busy and exciting year at the Disneyland Resort. For a refresher of all that happened in the past year, take a look at the video below.

It all started in February when we reopened “it’s a small world” with some of the famous dolls dressed as Disney characters.

In the spring, we debuted “Celebrate! A Street Party,” the new parade in Disneyland park; unveiled Mickey’s Fun Wheel; introduced new Games of the Boardwalk in Paradise Pier and opened Blue Sky Cellar to give guests a peek at the exciting changes coming to Disney’s California Adventure park. We also unveiled Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Fantasyland for young guests to be transformed into princesses and knights, and we also celebrated the fourth annual Food and Wine Festival.

The summer saw the premiere of Summer Nightastic!, featuring a line-up of new and special nighttime experiences, including “Magical,” a fireworks spectacular featuring a flying Tinker Bell and Dumbo; Pixie Hollow Enchantment, Tomorrowland Terrace Dance Club, exciting changes to “Disney’s Electrical Parade,” including a new float and the return of Snow White and Pinocchio floats, and a bolder Fantasmic! with a new 40-foot fire breathing dragon.

If that wasn’t enough, we celebrated the Lakers championship win with a parade featuring Kobe Bryant, expanded Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and added Disney Vacation Club suites and hosted the fourth annual Disneyland Half Marathon.

In the fall, we announced “Give a Day. Get a Disney Day.” Nationwide, and, in Los Angeles, Teri Hatcher and James Denton helped get us started. We celebrated Halloween with a new fireworks show, “Halloween Screams,” and a new spooky overlay for a classic attraction, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. We also reopened the treasured Disney Gallery in a new location on Main Street, U.S.A., brought the National Thanksgiving Turkey to Disneyland park, debuted an all-new show, “Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee!” and celebrated the holidays in style. In addition to the annual holiday fanfare, we reopened a refreshed Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in December.

Whew! What a year! Tell us what you liked best.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Best Places to Ring in the New Year at Walt Disney World

posted on December 28th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Ringing in the New Year at Walt Disney World

I know several people who make it a habit of starting the New Year at Disney Parks. And there’s a lot to choose from this year — nine parade performances and five fireworks shows. If that lineup has your attention, here are the New Year’s Eve details broken down by park:

Magic Kingdom

  • “Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!” parade and street party (11 a.m., 2 and 5:15 p.m.)
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” (12 noon and 3:30 p.m.)
  • SpectroMagic” parade of lights and music (7 and 10:30 p.m.)
  • “Holiday Wishes” fireworks (8:30 p.m.)
  • “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks (11:50 p.m.)
  • Park hours on New Year’s Eve: 8 a.m.-2 a.m.

Epcot

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Fantasmic!” nighttime musical special effects extravaganza (6:30, 8 and 10 p.m.)
  • Live performances by in-park band “Mulch, Sweat and Shears,” back-to-back with a DJ at Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat. (Mulch, Sweat and Shears sets are 8, 9, 10 and 11 p.m.; DJ starts at 6:30 p.m.)
  • A special “Lights, Camera, Happy New Year” fireworks show starring Mulch, Sweat and Shears (11:55 p.m.)
  • Park hours on New Year’s Eve: 8 a.m.-midnight

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Bay Lake And Seven Seas Lagoon

  • The Electrical Water Pageant (9 p.m.; plays to Magic Kingdom entrance area at 10:25 p.m.)

Note: Show times and entertainment are subject to change without notice.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , ,

Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 26th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week we continued our series of holiday-related posts with the Grammy Award-winning band Los Lobos. They stopped by Epcot and jammed with the Seven Dwarfs. If you missed it, here it is:

We also had several announcements, including a new vacation package offer at Walt Disney World Resort — get up to a $750 Disney Gift Card free when you buy a 5-night/6-day non-discounted Walt Disney Travel Company package at a select Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Here is the list of our most popular posts:

Star Wars Weekends 2010 Dates Announced — We confirmed dates for the annual event held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

Disney Characters Decorate Disneyland Park Through the Years — Video showed holiday decorations at Disneyland park from the ‘60s through the ‘80s.

Caroling at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village — New author Michelle Baumann featured some managers, gift shop clerks and housekeepers who unite daily for caroling throughout the resort.

Philharmonic Fun — Gene Duncan’s latest image could be his most obscure self-portrait to date.

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade: Tilt-Shift Video — We posted an early peek at the award-winning musical talent and stars appearing at this year’s Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade.

Celebrating 12 Days of Christmas – and Conservation — The Wildlife Tracking Center, located in Conservation Station at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, celebrated the 12 Days of Christmas and, of course, conservation in a unique way this holiday season.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

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

Holiday Memories from Epcot 2009 Candlelight Processional Narrators

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


An amazing group of celebrity narrators have helped make Epcot’s Candlelight Processional special this holiday season. And today, some of them are sharing their best holiday memories on The Disney Parks Blog. Brian Dennehy, Steven Curtis Chapman, Abigail Breslin, Andy Garcia, Chita Rivera and John O’Hurley are included in the video:

Any special holiday memories come to mind after watching the video?

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade’ Airs December 25

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


Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade
Yes, it’s almost parade time. And when the 26th annual “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade” begins tomorrow, you’ll see some of the world’s best performers. We’ve shared some of the talent appearing during the nationally televised event. Now, here’s the list:

  • Celine Dion – The ten-time Grammy winner will be featured singing her heartwarming ballad, “Don’t Save It All for Christmas Day,” and shares her own rendition of “O’ Come All Ye Faithful.”
  • Stevie Wonder – The legendary singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder will have viewers singing along with his very own holiday classic, “What Christmas Means to Me.”
  • Jonas Brothers – The Worldwide pop stars put a tropical spin on the holidays when they perform their brand-new song, “Summertime Anthem.” The high-energy tune is featured on “All Wrapped Up: Vol. 2,” the new holiday CD from Hollywood Records.
  • Selena Gomez – The star of the Disney Channel series “Wizards of Waverly Place,” makes a special appearance amidst the festive magic at Disneyland park.
  • Anika Noni Rose – The Tony Award-winner voice of Princess Tiana from the new Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film “The Princess and the Frog,” performs a musical production inspired by “Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee.” During the number, she will be accompanied by Tony Dovolani and Cheryl Burke, two of the dancers from ABC’s hit show “Dancing with the Stars.” The musical, Mardi Gras-style celebration takes place in New Orleans Square at Disneyland.
  • Yanni – The performer will bring his Yanni Voices to perform a reverent arrangement of “O Holy Night” featuring Nathan Pacheco.
  • Kris Allen – “American Idol” winner entertains the crowd with his rendition of a holiday favorite, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
  • USC March Band – Straight from Southern California, the world-famous USC band beats to their own seasonal drums at Disneyland Resort.
  • Demi Lovato – The star of the Disney Channel’s “Camp Rock” and “Sonny With A Chance,” performs the Paul McCartney classic, “Wonderful Christmas Time.”
  • Steve Rushton – The performer known for his hit songs on the “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” “The Suite Life on Deck” and “G-Force” movie soundtracks, rings in the holidays with “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” – a tune he performs on the “Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws” Blu-Ray & DVD – as he is joined by the famed Florida A&M University Strikers.
  • Samantha Brown – The Travel Channel star checks in with holiday greetings from Disney Cruise Line, aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship.
  • The puppies from Disney’s popular series of “Buddies” movies will make a special appearance to celebrate their all-new and heartwarming holiday adventure on Disney Blu-Ray & DVD, “Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws.”

The two-hour special will be televised in high-definition on December 25 on ABC-TV at 10 a.m. Eastern and 9 a.m. Central, Mountain and Pacific times. Of course, all talent and floats are subject to change.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort