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Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse Voicemails at Walt Disney World

posted on January 27th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Just a quick note to let you know about a new service at Walt Disney World Resort hotels – special voicemail greetings from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

There are three different messages…and it’s hard not to smile when you get one. The specific message you’ll receive depends on your celebration. Hear for yourself:

Scheduling a voicemail during a visit is easy. Simply share what you’re celebrating during the reservation process or when you arrive and a complimentary Disney character voicemail will be delivered to your room. Let us know if you try it.

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

Walt Disney World Photography: Cinderella

posted on January 27th, 2010 by Garth Vaughan, Photographer, Walt Disney World

Warm, wonderful and winsome. That’s how I see this image. It’s unique because it is a sequence shot on a Holga camera (a $10 device). It’s a “toy” if you will, but in the right situation, the camera gives a nice effect. And with Cinderella — someone with great presence — every frame is good. I love this sequence:


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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Special Valentine’s Day Menus Available at Disneyland Resort Restaurants

posted on January 26th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

Valentine's Day at Disneyland Resort Restaurants

I know it may seem early to some of you to start making Valentine’s reservations, but my husband and I made dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day on January 14. Call me crazy, but I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I didn’t want to have to settle for a-less-than-ideal time.

For those of you who might be looking to eat at a restaurant at the Disneyland Resort, here are two restaurants that have Valentine’s Day menus available: Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel and Carnation Cafe, located on Main Street, U.S.A in Disneyland park.

The sweetheart dinner menu at Steakhouse 55 starts with a celebratory champagne toast with etched champagne flutes filled with “Magicale” Sparkling Sweet Brachetto Rose or Iron Horse Fairytale Cuvee. For the first course, you can choose from Steakhouse 55’s signature onion soup or wedge salad. There are four heartwarming main entrees on the menu, including Certified Angus Filet Mignon, Broiled Halibut Steak with Lemon Caper Sauce, Shelton Free-Range Double Breast of Chicken and Portobello Mushroom Stack with Roasted Peppers, and they are served with your choice of steamed asparagus spears or potatoes au gratin. It’s the dessert that really caught my eye though. It’s a heart-shaped Chocolate & Kahlua Mousse with a Crispy Praline Center. Mmmmm, sounds good.

Carnation Cafe, a more laid back and casual experience, is featuring an angel hair pasta with pesto marinated shrimp and roasted red bell pepper cream sauce. For dessert, they’re serving a strawberry and passion fruit shortcake with whipped heavy cream.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 714-781-DINE.

Let us know if you go and tell us what you think.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Just a Walk in the Park

posted on January 26th, 2010 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort

Just a Walk in the Park by Gene Duncan

A gentle breeze across a reflecting pool at Epcot creates a surreal, yet serene image of guests strolling through the park. The stark, leafless form of a tree stands in perfect contrast to the passersby who are dressed as if for summer.

This photograph has not been enhanced in any way, other than to turn it upside down.

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Filed: Disney Differences, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Update: New @Disneyland, @WaltDisneyWorld Twitter Accounts

posted on January 25th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

I know many Disney Parks Blog readers also enjoy checking out some of our official Twitter feeds besides the main @DisneyParks account. Well, if you haven’t noticed, two of our accounts now have new handles – @WDWNews is now @WaltDisneyWorld and @DisneylandNews is now simply @Disneyland.

@WaltDisneyWorld will continue to provide official updates on all Walt Disney World Resort news.

@DisneylandNews will continue to be the official Twitter feed for the Disneyland Resort, covering Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels.

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments. Also, if you’re looking for other official Disney accounts to follow, try our Twitter accounts list.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Weddings Groom’s Cakes

posted on January 25th, 2010 by Korri McFann, Worldwide Marketing & Business Development Director, Weddings & Honeymoons

Groom’s cakes are becoming a very popular way to incorporate the groom into what is, so often, a bride-focused event. Typically, a groom’s cake is a whimsical take on the groom’s favorite pastimes or interests, like music, sports, his favorite food or even occupation.

Recently one of my planner’s brides, Sharon, decided to surprise her husband John with a Georgia Bulldogs groom’s cake. During their planning session John left the room to take a phone call, and the team sprung into action! Earlier that day, at the cake testing session, John was very vocal about the flavor of cake and frosting that he preferred and explained that he LOVES his Georgia Bulldogs. We can’t wait to see his reaction when he sees a football field shaped cake waiting for him at the reception!

We work closely with the Disney pastry chefs to create and decorate any type of cake imaginable! Here are just a few really special cakes we’ve created for our grooms!

Disney Weddings Wii Cake
Disney Weddings Fireman Cake
Disney Weddings Guitar Cake
Disney Weddings Burger Cake
Disney Weddings Miami Heat Cake

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Filed: Celebrations, Walt Disney World Resort, Weddings & Honeymoons

Authentic Pizzeria to Open at Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

posted on January 25th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Great news – especially if you share my passion for amazing pizza. An authentic pizzeria will be opening at Italy Pavilion at Epcot later this year and it’s an attention-grabber.

The new 300-seat restaurant will have traditional Florentine architecture, vaulted-ceilings and outside dining. And the food will be authentic — Italian dishes (complimenting the offerings at Tutto Italia ) and pizza from wood-burning ovens.

The pizzeria will be the newest flagship restaurant in the Patina Restaurant Group’s portfolio. And one of the special touches at the Epcot location will be the water. It’ll be imported from a source where the composition most resembles water used in Naples, Italy, to make the authentic Italian dough.

A name for the family-style pizzeria has not been finalized but we wanted to share this information with you first on the Disney Parks Blog. Construction is currently underway and the restaurant is scheduled to open in fall 2010. Check back for more updates.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Endangered White Rhino to Herd

posted on January 25th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Baby White Rhino at Disney's Animal Kingdom

We’re beginning the week with a celebration. There’s a new member of the family at Disney’s Animal Kingdom — an adorable baby white rhino. And today, we’re sharing a first image.

Rhino births are considered special around here because at one time, the species was nearly extinct and is currently endangered. The new female baby, which has not yet been named, is the eighth white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Her mother, Kendi, 11, was the first. During her first weigh-in on Jan. 22, the newborn weighed 178 pounds. The calf and mother are currently off the savannah bonding at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but will return to the herd in the coming months.

The success of the white rhino breeding program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has allowed the team to make a direct contribution to the conservation of white rhinos in the wild. In 2006, Nande and Hasani, two rhinos born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, traveled to Africa to join four others at Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda, reestablishing a population that had been extinct since the 1980s. Last year, Nande gave birth to first white rhino born in Uganda in 27 years. Blog author Jackie Ogden will share more in a future post on the Disney Parks Blog.

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

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 24th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

This week, we introduced our newest blog author, Djuan Rivers, in a big way. Djuan announced the official name of Disney’s new family destination resort – Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai‘i

He also shared some artist renderings of the resort. If you haven’t seen them, there are more images at Here are a few more of the week’s most popular posts.

How Walt Saw It — We showed Walt Disney’s apartment just as he enjoyed it — with all of its original furnishings and décor.

Full Circle — Paul Hiffmeyer of Disneyland shared a unique image of the Partners statue.

How Everything is Coming Together for ‘World of Color’ — New video told the story of how all the different pieces of “World of Color” are coming together.

Too Cute-sters! — Steven Miller gave a behind-the-scenes look at the newest 3-inch Vinylmation figures – the Cutesters.

Buzz Lightyear in Space Design wins Patch Challenge — Adam Carr, 11, of Tampa, Florida, created a patch showing Buzz soaring past the International Space Station that’s pretty unique.

Friends — Some interesting service award sculptures were featured in Gene Duncan’s most recent post.

Did you know that you can see exclusive video of Disney and Disney•Pixar movies at Animation Academy at Disney’s California Adventure?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

New Featurette for Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 3″ Can be Seen at Animation Academy

posted on January 22nd, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

Most people go to Animation Academy at Disney’s California Adventure park to learn how to draw Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters. Did you know that you can also see exclusive video of Disney and Disney•Pixar movies at Animation Academy?

Videos created exclusively for the Animation Academy usually feature one of the filmmakers giving a brief overview of the film and introducing the film’s main characters. In this featurette, “Toy Story 3″ Director Lee Unkrich explains the premise for the long-awaited third installment of the beloved “Toy Story” films. In this comical new 3D adventure, Buzz, Woody and the gang face an uncertain future as Andy gears up for college. When the toys unexpectedly land in a room full of untamed tots who can’t wait to get their sticky little fingers on them, it’s pandemonium as they try to stay together, ensuring “no toy gets left behind.”

Watch the video below or check it out on the big screen at the Animation Academy in the Hollywood Backlot at Disney’s California Adventure park. Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 3″ releases in theatres on June 18, 2010.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort