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‘Mickey Notes’ – Disney Parks Celebrates Volunteering

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

Mickey Notes

In past weeks, we’ve had some fun celebrating volunteerism but nothing like this. The team found 25,000 pieces of colored paper and a 10-foot wall to create “Mickey Notes” – our first stop-motion video.

Our “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” story unfolds through thousands of individual photos featuring Walt Disney World Cast Members moving sticky notes around by hand – no video cameras were used. Also, there were no post-production “tricks” used to create the giant sticky note Mickey Mouse, the background or to “animate” the pieces of paper. See for yourself.

We’ll share more about how we created “Mickey Notes” in an upcoming post but for now, know that you can still search and sign up to volunteer in the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program. Terms and conditions apply – visit for details.

By the way, the photographer who makes an appearance by sliding on screen (with camera in hand) is Kent Phillips, the Disney Parks photographer who took all of the still images seen in the production.

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Custom Tee Center Debuts this Month

posted on February 24th, 2010 by Dara Trujillo, Manager, Merchandise Synergy, Events, and Communication

The Custom Tee Center by Champion

For all of you Disney sport fans who are always interested in what’s new and what’s next, I am sure you will be happy to know that we will be bring customizable shirts to YOUR ESPN Wide World of Sports event!

The Custom Tee Center by Champion is a new experience where you can customize your own sports event tee! When competing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, take your event tee to the Custom Tee Center by Champion and choose from more than 50 designs that can be added to it in order to celebrate your accomplishment, like 1st Place, Champions, Team Captain, Team Mom, and many more! The custom designs can be added almost anywhere on your sports event tee. The custom designs come in a variety of sizes and range from $1.95 to $4.95 and your customized sports event tee will be complete in less than 15 minutes!

Look for the Custom Tee Center by Champion inside the Jostens Center, across from the entrance to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill.

Exciting state of the art, Mobile locations will also be available throughout the 220 acres of the sports complex during select sporting events and will serviced our Guests on the spot. No more waiting to buy that “Champion” T-shirt when you get back home. We will create it there for you on the spot.

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Video Features Reopening Day for ‘Captain EO’

posted on February 23rd, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

If you weren’t able to make it to Disneyland park today, you can still share in the excitement surrounding the reopening of “Captain EO.” Here’s a video with highlights from today’s reopening.

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First Guests See ‘Captain EO’

posted on February 23rd, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

First guests see Captain EO

Here they are! This photo shows some of the first guests to see “Captain EO” at Disneyland park. More than 500 guests lined up to try to snag seats to the first official showing at 10:00am Pacific this morning.

Check back on the Disney Parks Blog later today to see video of the reopening.

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ESPN The Weekend: Where Sports & Entertainment Collide

posted on February 23rd, 2010 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort

ESPN The Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios

This is the ultimate weekend where sports and entertainment come together to give you the unique opportunity to get inside the game and have fun with some of the biggest names in pro sports. Want to toss the football around with Chad Ochocinco? Shoot hoops with Scottie Pippen? Play catch with Curt Shilling? Or just talk football strategy with the ole’ ball coach Steve Spurrier or one of ESPN’s expert commentators?

This weekend, specifically ESPN The Weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is your chance to possibly do just that.

Starting Thursday, come out to see special live broadcasts of Baseball Tonight, First Take, NFL Live, Mike & Mike in the Morning and interview segments of SportsCenter. Test your athleticism in the ESPN Sports Zone interactive area. Wave to some of your favorite athletes and ESPN personalities as they motorcade up Hollywood Boulevard and ask them questions about their careers in fan-involved Q&A sessions. And finally, if you think you have what it takes to make it on ESPN, head over to Dream Job-The Experience, where you can audition for SportsCenter with the audience selecting the best sportscaster of the day.

But it doesn’t stop there. Professional and youth athletic events will be going on throughout the weekend at the newly renamed ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The Globetrotters will perform Thursday night along with two games showcasing four Major League soccer teams. Catch the final MLS games Saturday evening and some of today’s top high school athletes in the Nike Football Combine Tour Stop workouts Saturday and Sunday at the sports complex.

If you are a sports fanatic, this weekend is a must. For all your ticket information and a full list of events and athletes scheduled to attend, go to and follow us on Twitter @DisneySports.

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Behind the Scenes: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on February 23rd, 2010 by Debbie Mola Mickler, Disney Horticulture

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Hi everyone, I’m Debbie Mola Mickler from Disney Horticulture. In about a week, (March 3rd) the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be opening. And there’s no better way for us plant lovers to spend the day than at Epcot during the festival. Now in its 17th year, this festival will have more topiary, container gardens and flower beds filled with color than ever.
Behind the Scenes: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Backstage at the Walt Disney World Nursery things are moving, or should I say growing, quickly. Topiary, one of the main stars of the show, is getting their final touches in preparation of making their move to Epcot. With so many new plant varieties available to the horticulture industry our Disney topiary are really “coming to life.”
Behind the Scenes: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
So, how do we create signature Walt Disney World topiary? To produce one of our sphagnum topiary it takes a lot of imagination and a few good horticulturists to put it all together. It all starts with a Disney Imagineer who designs a maquette figure. From there, a skilled welder forms the frame, an irrigation specialist adds watering mechanisms and then our Gardeners will stuff and plant the frame. This whole process can take several weeks and depending on the plant material it may take a while to grow, filling out the frame. To make the topiary appear more life-like we create faces or embellishments from dried mosses, palm fibers and even seeds.

We are asked quite often, “How can I create topiary at home?” There are many great online resources available to purchase the pre-made topiary frames, just type in “sphagnum topiary” to any search engine. You even can buy them pre-stuffed with sphagnum moss; just water and add some plants. These online topiary frames are not as big as our 14 foot tall Goofy, but if you know a good welder anything is possible.

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Your Favorite Memory of ‘Captain EO’ is…

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

Captain EO Returns to Disneyland

There’s a lot of excitement around the return of “Captain EO” to Disneyland park tomorrow. To find out why guests are so eager to see it, we went into the Park and asked them, “What is your favorite memory of Captain EO?”

For those who may not be as familiar with the attraction, here’s the story: Captain EO, played by Michael Jackson, is on a quest to deliver a gift to the Supreme Leader, played by Anjelica Huston. Joining him is a ragtag group of aliens: Fuzzball; the two-headed Idee and Odee; the robotic security guard Major Domo (and Minor Domo); and a lovable, elephantine purple alien named Hooter.

Before they reach the Supreme Leader, Captain EO and his crew are taken hostage. Only by delivering his gift of song to the evil Supreme Leader can they win her over, save themselves and, quite literally, change the world.

For some, the music is what evokes so many positive memories, including two numbers written expressly for Captain EO that have become Michael Jackson classics: “We Are Here to Change the World” and “Another Part of Me.”

Now it’s your turn. What is your favorite memory of “Captain EO”?

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A Dooney & Bourke Special Event

posted on February 22nd, 2010 by Dara Trujillo, Manager, Merchandise Synergy, Events, and Communication

UPDATE MARCH 4: Dooney & Bourke Bags are now available at the Disneyland Resort.

Dooney & Bourke Products at Tren-D
Hi everyone…we’re celebrating the launch of our latest Dooney & Bourke co-branded products at Tren-D in the Downtown Disney Marketplace this week.

Tren-D will debut the new Dooney & Bourke co-branded products, which showcase Disney’s most iconic characters, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, on some of Dooney & Bourke’s most popular silhouettes. These fashionable products highlight the essence of Disney with colorful art and the creative Disney touch.

Dooney & Bourke Products at Tren-D

Ian Ray, of Dooney & Bourke, will be at Tren-D on Friday, February 26, 2010, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for this special event debuting these exciting new products. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet Ian Ray! Ian will be handing out a complimentary Dooney & Bourke gift to guests who purchase $150 or more of the Dooney & Bourke co-branded products.

There are some official details you should know about:
The promotion period is February 26, 2010, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The promotion applies only to the Dooney & Bourke co-branded products . Qualifying purchase based on pre-tax, post discount single transaction amount of the Dooney & Bourke co-branded products. After purchase, guests will be directed to a separate line to receive the complimentary gift from Ian Ray. Proof of qualifying purchase required to receive complimentary gift. Offer not valid on previous purchases. Limit one complimentary gift per person. The complimentary gift must be returned in the event any of the retail items from the qualifying purchase are returned. Complimentary gift available while supplies last. The event, offer and any items described in the copy above are subject to restrictions, change or cancellation without notice.

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Walt Disney World ‘Quick Bites’

posted on February 22nd, 2010 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom Now Includes the Princesses at Dinner
Princesses at Dinner! The Fairytale Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom now includes the princesses at dinner, who used to only make appearances at breakfast and lunch. The fixed-price menu is tweaked a bit, too, with a new salmon-crab cake appetizer, but the popular prime rib and roast lamb chops remain.

Congrats to Chef Scott Hunnel at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, a semifinalist for “Best Chef in the South” in the 2010 James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation’s most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industry. The final nominees will be announced March 22, with winners named on May 3 in New York City.

Check out the spiffed up Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom, recently reopened. Look for new menu items – and more changes over the next several months. At lunchtime, the flank steak and pork loin go away, replaced with pork loin with a sugar-cured bone-in ham served with stone-ground mustard or cranberry glaze. And at dinner, no more thai curry mussels – instead a savory clam and mussel dish with white wine, spicy andouille sausage and onions.

Fans of Pecos Bill in the Magic Kingdom, check out the new 1/3-pound Deluxe Angus Burger – a hefty meal on a bun topped with American cheese, bacon, onion rings and barbecue sauce (you won’t need the toppings bar with this one). Or order you Angus burger plain or with cheese. Comes on a multigrain roll with a side of fries.

Conch fritters are back! Beginning March 17, look for the return of those addictive fried fritters at Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. A new “Taste of the Keys” menu features the fritters as well as Florida favorites such as shrimp and grits. Olivia’s is the perfect get-away-from-it-all dining spot for casual eats – we love the messy Florida jerk chicken wings and the fennel-dusted grouper with black beans and rice.

New eats this fall at Downtown Disney Marketplace: Pollo Campero, an international Latin chicken restaurant will feature chef-prepared salads, sandwiches, wraps, fruits and healthy snacks, as well as vegetarian, gluten-free, sugar-free, low sodium, and organic offerings. The quick-service eatery takes over the space formerly occupied by McDonald’s.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Downtown Disney, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on February 20th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Of course, this week’s most popular post was the official reopening date for “Captain EO.” But another Disneyland Resort entry grabbed your attention — a haunting image of the Sailing Ship Columbia. Paul Hiffmeyer captured it during an early morning visit to the park. And it’s worth a look if you missed it.

Sailing Ship Columbia

We also shared “My Magical Disney Vacation” this week. It’s a unique video journey through the best of Walt Disney World featuring…you. Try it yourself. Visit and upload an image of your face and the faces of your favorite traveling companions. Here are a few more of the most popular posts of the week:

Tables in Wonderland at Walt Disney World — Tables in Wonderland hosts fabulous dinners, and the next one is Feb. 25 at The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It’ll celebrate the Sunshine State’s local bounty of fruits and veggies.

It’s the Muppet…Vinylmation! — We shared a behind-the-scenes look at the new Vinylmation Muppets Series #1.

Holographic Emperor Stitch Figure Coming to Disney Parks — We’re releasing this limited edition piece in honor of the 30th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back — it’ll be limited to 1,980 figures.

Photo Captures a Rare Sight: Four Steam Locomotives at Disneyland Park — We shared a rare sight: more than one Disneyland Railroad locomotive in front of the Main Street station at Disneyland Park.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Relaunch — ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will officially relaunch on the evening of February 25.

Video: Update on the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim — We launched video showing some of the new interactive experiences at the Downtown Disney District, including a new shop called Ride Makerz, where you can build your own remote control car.

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