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‘Main Street Electrical Parade’ Extended at Walt Disney World

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

Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World
Just as scores of you had hoped – we’re leaving the lights on and extending Disney’s “Main Street Electrical Parade” at Walt Disney World. By popular demand, the parade at Magic Kingdom Park will continue an open-ended run when “Summer Nightastic!” ends on August 14.

It’s probably no surprise to hear that the parade has been one of our highest rated entertainment experiences at Magic Kingdom Park since returning in early June. It’s been an “overwhelming success,” according to Park Vice President Phil Holmes. And now, you’ll be able to continue cheering and humming “Baroque Hoedown.”
Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World
Of course, new elements of Disney’s “Main Street Electrical Parade” will continue during the encore phase of the run. Those include:

  • Tinker Bell leads the eye-filling procession, waving from the basket of a balloon floating gracefully above a magical garden shimmering in fairy light.
  • Pinocchio and the boys from the classic film’s Pleasure Island sequence join the parade, and Snow White joins the Seven Dwarfs on a diamond mine float.
  • There are new lighting effects, and the parade’s highly recognizable musical theme is brightened by new technology.

Will you take advantage of the extended run? Let us know in the comments.

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Moms Panel: Shop ‘Til You Drop

posted on July 28th, 2010 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Dooney & Bourke purse
A very unscientific survey of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel will show that one of the favorite pastimes of the panelists (Disney Dads not withstanding) is shopping while at Walt Disney World! When the panelists are together, there is always a shopping trip or two (or three) to some of the best gift shops on property.

Panelist Cathy S of Ohio feels that nothing says “I had a great trip to Disney” like bringing home lots of magical souvenirs! Here are Cathy’s “Top 5 Favorite Disney Shopping Finds!”

  1. Pook-a-Looz plush toys- How cute are these little guys? They are reasonably priced and fit great into your suitcase for the ride home.
  2. Re-usable shopping totes – You can pick up Disneyfied versions at almost every gift shop. They are inexpensive and so durable! Buy them for yourself, your kids’ teachers or for your neighbor who faithfully watched your pets while you were enjoying Walt Disney World!
  3. Disney Photo Frames – When you get that perfect Main Street USA photo developed, boy will you be happy to have a cute frame for it when you get home!
  4. Disney Vinylmation Figurines – This is the hottest collectible craze to hit Disney Parks since pin trading! Hard to explain, but once you see these super cute collectibles, you will want to have them all!
  5. Splurge on a Disney Dooney & Bourke purse – Really, does it get any better than these adorable purses? True Disney fashionistas have at least one in their closets! OK, maybe you will need to buy two or three of these, because there are too many cute designs to pick from!
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Disney Quick Bites: July 28

posted on July 28th, 2010 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Disney Quick Bites

Ovens are hot at Via Napoli! Three beautiful wood-burning ovens at the new restaurant in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot are ready to go. Doors open Monday for walk-ins (you can start making reservation Aug. 6 for Sept. 10 grand opening and onward).

Crazy candy apples. When you’re on vacation, a gourmet candy apple seems like the ultimate indulgence, especially when it’s covered in white-chocolate caramel apple pie or M&Ms with peanuts, walnuts or pecans. Almost too cute to eat are the “Mickey and Minnie Specialty Apples” dipped in caramel, then chocolate, then decorated with little marshmallow ears to resemble Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

Disney Chef Dee Foundoukis on “Iron Chef.” Fans of the Food Network’s “Iron Chef” competition can keep an eye out for Walt Disney World Chef Dee Foundoukis – she’s off to New York to assist Chef Cat Cora in an upcoming episode that tapes Friday. Cat is the only female Iron Chef, and Dee runs the kitchen at her Kouzzina by Cat Cora restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk. The two chefs have worked together in the Kouzzina kitchen, and Cat obviously thinks Dee is up to the task as she battles the legendary Iron Chefs of America.

New on the menu. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, try the veggie options at Hollywood & Vine, the twist on tiramisu at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano (it’s in a shake glass!), shrimp cocktail at 50’s Prime Time Cafe and the new pork chop creation at Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant.

Seasonal is in. Disney chefs sure have a lot of fun in the kitchen. Starting Sunday, Chef Phillip Ponticelli’s menu at Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will feature a dazzling combo of smoked pork belly and poached duck eggs on potato and summer truffle gratin with orange blossom honey and mustard glaze. (The duck eggs are from Ocoee, Fla.) Less challenging is the yellow tomato gazpacho with orange-scented lump blue crab, made with local tomatoes.

More tastes of summer. At California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Chef Brian Piasecki’s menu for sultry summer days features heirloom tomatoes from Huron, Ohio; corn from Brentwood, Calif.; squash blossoms and baby summer squash; Black Mission figs with Pacific salmon; and Masumoto Suncrest peaches from California. Reservation, please.

Narcoossee’s summer seafood. On the menu through August at the restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are Alaskan King Crab Legs, split and chilled. Sip a nice Chardonnay and indulge. Or try the grilled shrimp with Brentwood corn cakes – Brentwood corn is considered among the best in the world, says Chef Joe Wilson.

What’s a SlimCado? It’s a Florida avocado (trademarked from Brooks Tropical) with a lighter taste (and fewer calories). It’s delicious tossed with oranges, hydroponic greens and a tangy vinaigrette at The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We paired it with Chef Frank Brough’s wonderful smoked tomato bisque – made without cream and butter, but brilliantly thickened with red lentils. And for a slim ending, The Wave’s no-sugar-added mini-desserts are bliss: chocolate mint mousse, fresh berries with panna cotta and vanilla bean crème brûlée. Your waistline is (mostly) intact.

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Disneyland Resort Notes

posted on July 28th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

Walt’s Car Replica

You’ve probably seen Tom Smith’sQuick Hits” series that covers a variety of items that didn’t make the Disney Parks Blog. Today, I’m starting a new series of updates and highlights from the Disneyland Resort that might interest you. We’re calling it “Disneyland Resort Notes.”

Replicas of Original 1955 Attraction VehiclesKevin Kidney and Jody Daily released several pieces of vintage 55th merchandise on July 17, and they’re creating several replicas of attraction vehicles for attractions that debuted when Disneyland park opened in 1955. Last week we shared a photo of their new “Rocket to the Moon” replica on Twitter, and today you can take a peek at one of their upcoming replicas of Walt’s Car (shown above). You can see more of their work at

“World of Color” Creator – Have you played around with the “World of Color” Creator yet? It’s a way of bringing home some of the fun of this popular, new show. Visit to create a video that combines Disney characters, music, and spectacular fountain effects with your favorite Disney memories. You can even upload your own photos and videos to make a one-of-a-kind video to share with your family and friends. See a sample on the Disney Parks YouTube Channel.

Summer Nightastic! Customized Video – For more video fun at home, we’ve created a personalized Summer Nightastic! video experience for our devoted Facebook fans. Visit and follow the prompts to enter your Facebook login information and allow access (don’t worry, we won’t post anything to your Facebook account or use your information for anything other than a bit of fun). Then, sit back and watch a surprising Summer Nightastic! video – starring you! Here’s a tip for Disney Parks Blog readers: select “Replay” at the end of your video. You’ll see a slightly different video each time!

Taste of Downtown Disney – Tickets are now available for a Taste of Downtown Disney, which features a champagne reception and wine/spirits/beer pairings at several restaurants in the the Downtown Disney District. The event will be held August 12 and it benefits the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

Which of these Disneyland Resort notes strikes your fancy?

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Jedi Mickey Mouse

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

Hey Star Wars Fans. Star Wars Weekends may have come and gone at light speed, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until next year to add new Star Wars collectibles to your out of this world collections.
Jedi Knight Mickey Mouse

Coming this August, the creative teams at Disney Theme Park Merchandise, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Classics Collection are pleased to release the newest sculpture created especially for Disney Parks, Jedi Mickey Mouse. This striking piece was created with precise detail that is synonymous with Disney, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Classics Collection.

Jedi Mickey Mouse stands 6 ¼” tall and is hand-crafted of kiln-fired porcelain with accents of metallic paint on Mickey’s lightsaber hilt.

While Jedi Mickey Mouse won’t be available until the end of August, we’re giving you a chance to pre-order before it hits the shelves at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts! If you’d like to add Jedi Mickey Mouse to your collection, call Walt Disney Event Services at 407.827.7600.

For more information on Jedi Mickey Mouse by Walt Disney Classics Collection, check out

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Landscaping Tips from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Sportscape Team

posted on July 28th, 2010 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort

Sportscape Landscaping Tips

At ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, there’s a lot of attention paid to keeping the playing fields in tip top shape partly because the pro athletes demand it but more importantly because America’s youth athletes compete there virtually every day. Even though you don’t have big-league ballplayers playing on your lawn, you can still try to keep it in immaculate condition with the help of our sports complex experts.

The staff that grooms all 220 acres of the Complex, known as the Sportscape team, will be passing along their tips and tricks to help you treat your lawn like the pros. To start off our series of tips here are some on general lawn care:

  1. Remember, a thick and healthy turf is the best weed control. It can be beneficial to apply a weed preventer called a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn twice a year. The first application should be applied in February for summer weeds and another in September for winter weeds.
  2. Fertilize your lawn using a slow release fertilizer during the growing season (March – November) every 6-8 weeks. Use a complete fertilizer with nitrogen, phosphorous, potash and if possible some micro-nutrients such as iron and sulfur. This will feed your turf and keep it green and lush.
  3. It is better that your lawn receives one good soaking either through rainfall or watering once per week, versus several small applications. Also, it is best to water your lawn during the early morning hours if possible to help prevent disease.
  4. Most lawns need to be mowed at a height of 3.5 – 4 inches tall. This height will keep it greener longer, with less water and less stress on the turf. Keep the cutting blade(s) sharp so you are cutting the turf and not ripping it.

If you have some questions about your lawn and garden, be sure to reply below and we will try to have our Sportscape crew pass along their insight.

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Beverly Taste Tests at Epcot

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

Beverly Taste Tests at Epcot

I agree with Dave, Club Cool at Epcot is a perfect stop on a hot summer day – like today. And once inside, you’ll likely hear chatter ( maybe even a few stories) about an Italian beverage called Beverly. It’s made by The Coca-Cola Company and it has a distinct taste. I certainly remember the first time I tasted it and here are a few others who probably will too. Check it out:

Yes, some Guests crave the stuff – I’ve met a few. Of course, you can sample other Coca-Cola products from countries around the world at Club Cool. Here’s the list:

  • Krest Ginger Ale from Mozambique
  • Fanta Kolita from Costa Rica
  • Vegeta Beta from Japan
  • Kinley Lemon from Israel
  • Lift Apple from Mexico
  • Smart Watermelon from China
  • Mezzo Mix from Germany

Have you tried Beverly? Share your favorite beverage in the comments.

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Must See: A Breathtaking Look at ‘World of Color’ from 1,800 Feet Up

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

Today’s video gives a unique look at the new, nighttime spectacular at Disney California Adventure park, “World of Color.” This is a VIP view that most of us will never have the chance to see. While you can get FASTPASS tickets for a ground view of “World of Color,” there’s no FASTPASS ticket that will get you access this high up.

The footage was shot from a fixed-wing aircraft recently at approximately 1,800 feet above Disney California Adventure park. I particularly like the wide shot where you can see Glow Fest, “World of Color,” and the whole city of Anaheim around Disney California Adventure park.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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From Frogs to Elephants: Biodiversity Celebrated at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on July 27th, 2010 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

Our Guests tell us they love that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to animals of enormous diversity – everything from 2-gram poison dart frogs to 13,000-pound African elephants. What they are sometimes surprised to learn is the critical role biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, plays in these animals’ survival – and our survival too.

On July 28, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity at Rafiki’s Planet Watch from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Turtle Meet and Greet at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Guests can learn why biodiversity is so important by participating in fun, informative activities and presentations, including animal meet-and-greets featuring diverse animal species; “biodiversity bingo,” using the Conservation Station wall of animal faces; a “match the species to the habitat” game hosted by the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund team; presentations on seed diversity by the agricultural sciences team from The Land pavilion at Epcot; a display on sea life diversity; and animal medical examinations and procedures taking place at our veterinary hospital.

Biodiversity is essential to sustaining the living networks and systems that provide us with food, water, fuel and the other things necessary for our survival. For example, most of the oxygen we breathe comes from plankton in the oceans of the world and lush forests around the globe. To enhance public awareness of the importance of conserving biodiversity – and the threats to biodiversity we face today – the United Nations General Assembly declared 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity with the goal of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss globally.

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Canoe Races of the World Crowns Champion

posted on July 26th, 2010 by Kathleen Prihoda, Manager of Media Relations, Walt Disney World Resort

A quick update to our recent post on Canoe Races of the World, also known as C.R.O.W.; a new champ reigns supreme for 2010.
Team Shut Up and Let Me Row... HEY! from Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Of 79 participating teams, Shut Up and Let Me Row… HEY! from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, was crowned the 2010 C.R.O.W. grand champion on July 23. The title is a first for the co-ed recreational team, who competed against five other finalists in the grand championship round, held pre-dawn on the Rivers of America in the Magic Kingdom.

Team captain Kari Harlow says strong communication and unity among the team members to keeping them in sync on the river and ultimately cinching the victory. A sense of humor helped too. Harlow says the team loves to laugh, which kept them feeling positive throughout the competition.

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