Disney Parks Blog Celebrates the 15th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios

New Toy Story Mania! Game, ‘Toy Story 3′ Character Coming To Disney Parks In May

posted on April 28th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts
More big news to share today…a new game with new faces is being added to Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s California Adventure and Disney’s Hollywood Studios as part of the celebration of the soon-to-be-released Disney*Pixar film, “Toy Story 3.” We’re also introducing a new character that you’ll have a chance to see and greet at both locations –- and it’s all happening in May.

The new Toy Story Mania! game, called “Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts,” will involve shooting virtual darts at all new balloon targets in a primeval world filled with volcanoes and lava balloons. You’ll be cheered on by Rex (the nervous Tyrannosaurus rex) and his new friend Trixie (a blue Triceratops, one of the toy characters from the new film) beginning in late May. Walt Disney Imagineering has also added some hidden surprises to the game that will be replacing “Bo Peep’s Baaa-loon Pop.”
Lotso
And starting May 9, you’ll get a chance to see “Lotso” (short for Lots-O’-Huggin Bear) at both parks. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, he’ll be greeting Guests in the meet-and-greet area inside The Magic of Disney Animation and be part of the “Block Party Bash.” The bear who loves to hug will also join “Disney’s Pixar Play Parade” at Disney’s California Adventure and guests will be able to pose alongside the “Toy Story” gang inside a life-sized “blister pack” as if they themselves are toys.

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Epcot Welcomes foreverlily to China Pavilion

posted on April 28th, 2010 by Dara Trujillo, Manager, Merchandise Synergy, Events, and Communication


On May 1 & 2, Epcot Guests will be introduced to a popular new fragrance, called foreverlily, at the merchandise shop in the China Pavilion, Yong Feng Shangdian.

Foreverlily was created by best-selling author and philanthropist Beth Nonte Russell, who was inspired by her memoir, “Forever Lily,” an award-winning book that chronicles intimate details about the unexpected adoption of her daughter, Lily, from a China orphanage. The fragrance is an enveloping Oriental blend of clove, and sweet accents of lemon and fresh lychee.

Epcot Welcomes foreverlily to China Pavilion
Gaining in popularity since its launch in May 2009, foreverlily is the first product line by Russell’s GoodTrueBeautiful, Inc. brand. This brand inspires, encourages and celebrates all that is good, true and beautiful in life. With each purchase, Russell will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the fragrance to benefit Golden Phoenix Foundation, whose mission is to end child abandonment worldwide.

Beth Nonte Russell, along with celebrity perfumer Sarah Horowitz-Thran, will appear at Yong Feng Shangdian in the China Pavilion to assist Guests with their fragrance purchase at on May 1 & 2 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

During this special event at Epcot, Russell will launch her new roll-on fragrance products, foreverlily pure oil and foreverlily eau de parfum.

As an added bonus, the Yong Feng Shangdian in the China Pavilion provide a complimentary foreverlily signature reusable tote bag with the purchase of a foreverlily (3.4 oz) Eau de parfum signature package and Russell’s book, which will be available for a special event price of $88 plus tax.

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Captain EO Returning to Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 28th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Captain EO Returning to Walt Disney World

Yes, you read right…the classic 3-D film experience “Captain EO” is coming back to Walt Disney World Resort this summer just months after it reopened to rave reviews at Disneyland park. The 17-minute musical space-fantasy adventure film is now scheduled to begin at Epcot on July 2.

I remember enjoying “Captain EO” during its original run at Epcot from 1986 -1994. But for some of you, it’ll be a new experience. The film features Michael Jackson as “Captain EO” and a crew of Disney-created space characters. During their journey, the group uses the power of dance, light and music to turn a colorless planet into a world of color and happiness.

And there’s more. “Captain EO” will be returning to other Disney Parks locations. It’s scheduled to open at Tokyo Disneyland on June 30 July 1 and Disneyland Paris on June 12. We’ll have more details on the film’s return to Walt Disney World in upcoming weeks but we wanted Disney Parks Blog readers to be among the first to know. Please check back for updates.

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Home Base

posted on April 27th, 2010 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Hideki Matsui of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim made his very first visit to Disneyland park today. He was kind enough to give Mickey a few baseball pointers before heading over to experience “it’s a small world.”
Hideki Matsui of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with Mickey at Disneyland Park

This is a good year for the 2009 World Series MVP to visit. Number 55 arrived during the 55th anniversary year for Disneyland park.

Hideki Matsui of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with Mickey at Disneyland Park

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Night of Joy Artists Come Up ‘Huge’ at Dove Awards

posted on April 27th, 2010 by Dave Herbst, Print Managing Editor, Disney Destinations


Night of Joy

In other areas of the Disney company, people hope for “a big night at the Oscars.” At Walt Disney World, the wish is for “a big night at the Doves.”

The Dove Awards, presented by the Gospel Music Association, honor the best music, performances and performers in Christian music. Inasmuch as Disney World hosts Night of Joy, one of the country’s best-known contemporary Christian music events, there’s a hope each spring that the artists coming to Night of Joy do well at the Doves.

Well, Night of Joy 2010 artists had a HUGE night at the Doves! Nine of the 15 artists who’ll be performing at the Magic Kingdom Sept. 10-11 figured in 10 Dove Awards –- including four of the biggest honors:

  • Casting Crowns won Artist of the Year
  • Francesca Battistelli won Female Vocalist of the Year
  • Sidewalk Prophets won New Artist of the Year
  • 10th Avenue North’s “By Your Side” won Song of the Year

Other Night of Joy 2010 artists who figured in Dove Awards are Group 1 Crew, Smokie Norful, Red, David Crowder*Band and Third Day’s Mac Powell.

Tickets for Night of Joy go on sale May 1. There’s more information about the event at www.nightofjoy.com.

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UPDATED: Vinylmation Live Chat

posted on April 27th, 2010 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Update – May 14: I just posted the “After the Chat” transcript on Vinylmation.com. This transcript is a “Director’s Cut” of the Live Chat that was held on April 29, 2010. Thank you to the many fans who submitted questions – I was overwhelmed with the positive response and hope to hold another live chat in the future. For now, click on the following link to see if your question was answered: After the Chat.

Vinylmation.com Live Chat

I love the Internet! I probably spend way too much time surfing the net (according to my wife). Yet, computers have been in my life since the early 1980s when I received one as a Christmas gift. As a child, I seriously believed I could write computer programs like Kevin Flynn from one of my favorite movies, “Tron” (okay, I still believe that).

Today, as part of my role as Disney Trading Manager, I manage both Vinylmation.com and DisneyPins.com. See — all that time on the World Wide Web was worth something. So imagine my excitement when Stacy Krugman, my account manager with Disney Interactive Media Group who hosts those two websites, asked if I’d like to participate in a live chat on the Internet. How long do you think it took me to say, “Yes?”

Stacy thought the live chat would be a great opportunity to connect with Disney Fans who love both Vinylmation and Disney Pins (she too just happens to be a fan of both). I couldn’t agree more. Additionally, we just launched a new 3.0 version of Vinylmation.com, so this live chat is in honor of that slightly re-designed website (pictured above).

The live chat will take place on Thursday, April 29 starting at 7:30 p.m. EST / 4:30 p.m. PST on Vinylmation.com. All of the details can be found on this page.

The cool part is there will be a transcript available after the conclusion of the chat. So bring on the questions about Disney Pins or Vinylmation, and I’ll see you on the interwebs!

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Baby Goats Born at Circle D Corral This Week

posted on April 27th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


We’re proud to announce some new arrivals at Disneyland park. We recently shared a photo of an expectant Gadget at Circle D Corral, and this past weekend, Gadget gave birth to three kids: Squishy, Dory and Pearl. Gadget is pictured below with Squishy, who is now two days old.

Gadget and Squishy

Just yesterday at 5 a.m. another goat at Circle D Corral named Mulan gave birth to Stitch and Lilo. In the photo below, Stitch is shown on the left, and Lilo (with the white patch on her head) can be seen laying down on the right.

Mulan, Stitch and Lilo

You can see several animals, including two more expectant goats in Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland park, and you’ll be able to see the baby goats at Big Thunder Ranch in a couple of weeks.

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Add Sparkle to Your Wedding!

posted on April 27th, 2010 by Korri McFann, Worldwide Marketing & Business Development Director, Weddings & Honeymoons


Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings Private Fireworks
Hi everyone…today, we’re sharing a way to take your wedding experience straight into the stratosphere with your own private fireworks display. At Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings we sprinkle pixie dust over every wedding to make it a true one of a kind event. A private fireworks display is one of the unique touches that a bride and groom can add to their wedding that is sure to amaze guests and create a memory to last a lifetime. Private fireworks can enhance a ceremony at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion and will add real sparkle to your wedding. As the bride and groom walk across the Wedding Pavilion Bridge to greet their guests, a multicolored fireworks display will paint a backdrop over the Seven Seas Lagoon.

After one of our own planners’ wedding ceremony in November 2006, the sky over the Wedding Pavilion twinkled bright with colorful fireworks. The display was a huge hit for everybody, and it came as a total surprise for all the wedding guests! Adding this magical touch is a way to keep guests talking about your wedding for years to come.

To learn more about Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings or Honeymoons please visit www.disneyweddings.com or call 321-939-4610 to speak to a Wedding Consultant.

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Elephants Have Word for ‘Bee-Ware’

posted on April 26th, 2010 by Anne Savage, Ph.D., Conservation Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


Elephants at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Do elephants tell members of their elephant family to beware when bees are nearby? That’s just one of the exciting questions scientists at Disney’s Animal Kingdom get a chance to ponder. As Senior Conservation Biologist for Disney’s Animal Programs, I have the opportunity to lead a team of scientists whose research helps answer this and many other questions on what wildlife do and why.

A member of the team, Research Scientist Joseph Soltis, Ph.D., has been studying elephants and bees as part of ongoing work to help elephants in Kenya in partnership with scientists from Oxford University and Save the Elephants and with funding from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund ($45,000 to Save the Elephants since 2007). For the first time, elephants have been found to produce an alarm call associated with the threat of bees, and have been shown to retreat when a recording of the call is played even when there are no bees around. Results are being reported in PLoS One.

In experiments that were part of the study, the team played the sound of angry bees to elephant families and studied their reaction. Not only did the elephants flee from the buzzing sound but make a unique “rumbling” call, as well as shaking their heads.

The researchers believe such calls may be an emotional response to a threat, a way to coordinate group movements and warn nearby elephants –- or even a way of teaching inexperienced and vulnerable young elephants to beware. Further work is needed to confirm whether the rumble call is used for other kinds of threats, not just bees.

Joseph tells us that the calls also give tantalizing clues that elephants may produce different sounds in the same way that humans produce different vowels, by altering the position of their tongues and lips. It’s even possible that, rather like with human language, this enables them to give superficially similar-sounding calls different meanings.
Strategically Placed Beehives
Earlier research found that elephants avoid beehives in the wild and also will flee from the recorded sound of angry bees. Despite their thick hides adult elephants can be stung around their eyes or up their trunks, while calves could potentially be killed by a swarm of stinging bees as they have yet to develop this thick protective skin.

Why study elephants’ reactions to bees? Strategically placed beehives help to keep elephants from raiding crops. Preventing crop-raiding minimizes human-elephant conflict and elephant deaths, while providing local communities with a new source of income through honey production.

The next time you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, be sure to visit the Wildlife Tracking Center at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, where you can learn more about what elephants say to each other — and other wildlife research.

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A Look at Wine Walks at Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival

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


Disney's California Food & Wine Festival
Disney's California Food & Wine Festival

Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival, themed “The Art of Flavor” in 2010, is now in full swing.

I attended the Festival on Opening Day and one of my favorite experiences was the “Taste of California” Marketplace. At the Marketplace, located in the Festival Showplace at the end of Hollywood Pictures Backlot, you can find tapas-size tastings of unique foods created specially for the Festival. My pick? You won’t want to miss the Beer Battered Halibut. I’m not a huge fan of fish and chips, but I love this dish.

Disney's California Food & Wine Festival

On the weekends (when I’m not working), I love the Festival Wine Walks. By purchasing a tasting passport, you can select up to four tastes from around the world, or from a single region. This year, the Wine Walks are Viva Italia, which features wines from Tuscany, Puglia and the Veneto, and California Classics, which features the best of California wine country.

Check out this video of the Festival Wine Walk from last year’s Festival, themed “World Celebration.”

** Guests must be at least 21 years of age to attend wine events; valid photo ID required. Separate admission to Disney’s California Adventure park is required and is not included in the event price. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

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