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New Character Experience, ‘it’s a small world’ Update at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 30th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Before we dive into the weekend, there are a few quick updates to share out of Magic Kingdom Park to end the week. First is a new character experience — a “play and greet” with characters Rapunzel and Flynn Rider at the park’s Fairytale Garden. Beginning Friday, October 15, you’ll be able to interact with both of the stars from the upcoming Disney film “Tangled.”

The Rapunzel and Flynn Rider experience will replace the current show, “Storytime with Belle” at Fairytale Garden. The final “Storytime with Belle” show will be September 12.

And some of you may have already heard about some downtime scheduled for “it’s a small world.” The attraction will be closed for refurbishment this Sunday, August 1 through Friday, October 22.

We’ll post more details on both of these updates in the future. And now, let’s start the weekend.

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High-Energy Glow Fest Gets Power Surge This Weekend

posted on July 30th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

Glow Fest
Glow Fest, a really popular experience at Disney California Adventure park this summer, will be even more lively July 30 through August 1. While I don’t want to spoil any surprises, we want to reward our loyal Disney Parks Blog readers with a little inside information.

Every night this weekend, Glow Fest is charging up the night with a live DJ, colored shirt nights, and even more fun activities.

Check out these highlights:


  • DJ CeeS spins live Friday night.
  • Around 8:30 p.m., meet on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood Picture Backlot to get the low down on a fresh dance move (it’s an “everybody-join-in dance lesson”)
  • About 8:45 p.m. DJ CeeS spins a track and everybody shows off the new Friday night dance move.
  • Wear a YELLOW shirt to get a shout-out from DJ CeeS. Who said yellow was mellow?

Saturday, July 31- BLUE SHIRT NIGHT

  • DJ Ups spins live Saturday night.
  • Around 8:30 p.m., meet meet up at Hollywood Boulevard to learn the Saturday night dance move.
  • About 8:45 p.m. show off your new moves to a hot track from DJ Ups.
  • Wear a BLUE shirt to earn a shout-out from DJ Ups, and you’ll never have so much fun bein’ blue.

Sunday, August 1 – PINK SHIRT NIGHT

  • DJ Chase spins live Sunday night.
  • Around 8:30 p.m., don’t miss the Sunday night dance move session on Hollywood Boulevard.
  • About 8:45 p.m., DJ Chase spins while everyone grooves with the new move.
  • Dare to wear a PINK shirt and get your shout-out from DJ Ups. It’s a hot color for some hot music.

So, who’s up for getting their glow on this weekend? Tell us what color shirt you’ll be wearing when the music starts spinnin’!

And if you’ve been in the dark and have no idea what Glow Fest is, here’s a taste of what the experience is like.

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Sneak Preview: Starspeeder 1000 Collectible Exclusively at Star Wars Celebration V

posted on July 30th, 2010 by Dara Trujillo, Manager, Merchandise Synergy, Events, and Communication

A few months back, it was announced that Star Wars Celebration V, the official Lucasfilm event that celebrates all things Star Wars, was going to be held at the Orange County Convention Center, August 12-15.

With Star Wars Celebration V taking place right down the road from Walt Disney World, Disney Theme Park Merchandise decided to join the Rebel Alliance and get in on the galactic fun! Not only will Disney Theme Park Merchandise have a booth at Celebration V to showcase new Star Wars merchandise coming to Disney Parks, but we’ve also created collectible merchandise that will only be available at Star Wars Celebration V.

Here’s a sneak peek at one of our Star Wars Celebration V exclusives – the Starspeeder 1000 “Sneak Preview” Vehicle.

Starspeeder 1000 Collectible

In 2011, a spectacular new Star Tours adventure will make its debut at Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Based on the iconic Lucasfilm Star Wars saga, this immersive, 3-D attraction will take you on all-new adventures that will bridge the “long time ago” between the two Star Wars trilogies.

In anticipation of the “reimagined” Star Tours attraction, Disney and Lucasfilm are proud to bring you this “Sneak Preview” of the Starspeeder 1000. This collectible will be available exclusively at Star Wars Celebration V locations and will not be re-produced when the attractions re-open in 2011. It features the new design and sounds found in the new attraction. This will be a limited edition of 10,000 pieces and will retail for $24.95.

And don’t forget! For one last chance to experience the original ride with fellow Star Wars fans, don’t miss the “Last Tour to Endor” after-hours party on August 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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First Look: Artwork for Mickey’s Soundsational Parade Coming to Disneyland Park in 2011

posted on July 30th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

A new parade, Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, will stomp, clang and drum its way to Disneyland park next year.
Soundsational Parade Artwork
Today, we’re sharing the first preview of the artwork for Mickey’s Soundsational Parade. It gives you a glimpse of the vibrant colors and exciting array of Disney characters that may appear on the streets of Disneyland park in 2011.

Plus, there are a whole lot of exciting elements for the new parade that can’t be captured in this artwork:

  • The parade is an explosive music festival with thrilling rhythms and bold percussion that will bring to life some of the most beloved melodies from Disney films.
  • Live musicians will amplify the fun. Mickey Mouse and some of your favorite Disney characters will play live and will encourage members of the crowd to join a giant jam session.
  • Lively dancers will stomp out rhythms as a syncopated drum line, twinkling cymbals, steel drums and more entertain guests with sensational sounds!

The parade promises to be the most foot-stomping, infectious festival of music you’ve ever seen — or heard! I’ve heard it’s “soundsational!”

What do you think of this new parade? Is there a particular parade float in the artwork that you’re most excited about?

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Starting the Disney Dream Engines

posted on July 30th, 2010 by Christi Erwin Donnan, Manager of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line

Starting the Engines on the Disney Dream
A major milestone was achieved for the Disney Dream this week when testing began on the ship’s five engines at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. Several months ago, the engines were installed on the ship, and this week the team at the yard started the engines for the first time!

Talk about powerful … The five engines combined have a total output of 103,000 horsepower, which will give the ship a top speed of 23.5 knots.
Starting the Engines on the Disney Dream
At 128,000-tons and 14-decks tall, the magnificent Disney Dream continues to take shape. This initial test begins several months of engine testing, which will continue through the ship’s sea trials. With just 180 days until the maiden voyage on January 26, 2011, the excitement of each milestone continues to build as we approach the Disney Dream becoming a reality.

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New Show Coming to Disney Parks This Fall

posted on July 29th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

UPDATE (10/21/10) Disney Channel Rocks! debuts tomorrow at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 10 a.m.

UPDATE (10/14/10): “Disney Channel Rocks!” is now scheduled to debut at Disney California Adventure park on November 26.

Earlier today we announced the extension of Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World, and if that’s not enough good news for a Thursday, there’s also a fresh, new show coming to the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort this Fall.

A live, rock-concert style show will blast popular music from a variety of Disney Channel hits, including the “High School Musical” series, “Camp Rock” and “StarStruck.” The show, which has yet to be officially named, will follow a format that is similar to “High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Right Here! Right Now!” The new show is scheduled to debut at Disney California Adventure park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on October 22.

In order to make way for this exciting addition, the Wildcats from High School Musical will cheer in their last performance of “High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Right Here! Right Now!” at Disney California Adventure park on October 17 and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on October 2. Don’t miss your last chance to sing, dance and cheer with the Wildcats before school’s back in session, but rest assured the Wildcats will be back in a new way on October 22.
the Wildcats from High School Musical
Stay tuned to the Blog for more updates on this new show coming to Disney Parks.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Vacation Club opens Doors with Presence in Tokyo Disneyland

posted on July 29th, 2010 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations

Hi everyone…some 7,000 miles away, our sister park Tokyo Disneyland celebrated the grand opening of its first Disney Vacation Club Model Showroom at the Ikspiari shopping and dining complex.
Disney Vacation Club Model Showroom
In the 15,000-square-foot showroom, visitors can walk through an actual model room of Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawai’i. Kids can revel in the fun with a play area and other interactive zones. Here is an image from the opening ceremony.
Opening Ceremony

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Disney Parks ‘Quick Hits’ – July 29, 2010

posted on July 29th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Do you remember our favorite Disney Parks thrill ride question? I do. It showed that there are plenty of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith fans who can’t get enough of it. For you, we thought you should know that on this day in history, July 29, 1999, the attraction opened. If you were there on opening day, please share in the comments.

Also, we haven’t published this on the Blog but you can now get a better idea of what to expect when the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival begins on October 1. An updated Festival Guide is posted on

Now, here are a few other items that didn’t make it to the Blog this week that we thought you’d find interesting:

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series — Epcot’s summer concert series wraps up this week with “Beginnings – A Tribute to CHICAGO.”

Which parks should you visit more than once? — Visiting Walt Disney World for multiple days with multiple kids? The Walt Disney World Moms Panel suggests which parks to visit more than once.

Walt Disney World Dinner Shows — If you’re looking for some extra magic with your dinner, check out these dinner shows at Walt Disney World.

Tee Up Good Times at Walt Disney World — The parks aren’t the only places to enjoy at Walt Disney World. Find out how to book tee times at the Resort’s world-famous golf courses.

Disney Vacation Club Pin — Disney Vacation Club members, this limited release pin, which features Goofy enjoying his Disney Vacation Club home, is just for you.

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Behind the Scenes: Disneyland Performers Prepare for Celebrate! A Street Party

posted on July 29th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

Celebrate! A Street Party

I’ve always wanted to be a dancer, but I’ve always thought I didn’t have what it takes. I’m not very coordinated and don’t have that natural rhythm that always seemed to be a requirement for a good dancer.

Now that I’ve seen the video I’m sharing with you today, I know without a doubt that I don’t have what it takes to be a dancer in a Disney parade like Celebrate! A Street Party.

Denny Newell, senior show director and creator of Celebrate! A Street Party, takes us behind the scenes and shows us what it takes to get ready for a Disney parade.

These wanna-be dancers must go through auditions, rehearsals, conditioning and more to appear in a parade. I guess it never occurred to me, but Denny points out that the crew in Celebrate! A Street Party must perform on-stage for a full hour on the parade route!

Today, I’m celebrating the dancers in Celebrate! A Street Party, and the next time I’m watching a parade, I will yell and cheer a little louder for those performers. Congrats, guys – you do great work every day.

And just for fun, here are some fun facts about Celebrate! A Street Party.

  • Nearly 100 people perform in Celebrate! A Street Party each performance.
  • At least 40 wigs are used for each performance.
  • Celebrate! A Street Party opened on March 27, 2009.
  • There have been more than 600 performances.
  • Approximately 140 character drums are handed out to guests during each Show Stop.
  • More than 250 lights are used on the parade floats alone.
  • The Disneyland Park Parade Route has 32 “sound zones” with speakers and lights that can fade in and out as needed.
  • In addition to birthdays, anniversaries, and first visits, each day a different occasion is celebrated, including holidays, promotions, and Statehood days!
  • About 60 bags of confetti are shot out of cannons each Parade.
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The People’s Choice – Your 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon Finisher’s Medal

posted on July 29th, 2010 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort

This year we tried something new – we let you, the fan, vote for the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon finisher’s medal.

We received over 50,000 votes – that’s almost as many registered participants we had for the entire Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events in 2010. Receiving an overwhelming majority of votes, here is your 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon finisher’s medal:

2011 Walt Disney World Marathon Finisher's Medal

The 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend continues to be one of the best marathon weekends in the country and this year we’ve added a special reward. All the athletes that complete the full marathon will get a complimentary day at a Walt Disney World theme park for a celebration we’re calling Marathon Monday. If you aren’t quite ready for the full marathon, don’t worry – there’s something for every family member, such as the Kids’ Races, Family 5K, half marathon, marathon and for the passionate runner, the Goofy Challenge which is running the half marathon AND marathon in back-to-back days. Register now to make sure you reserve your spot and start your training.

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