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Meet the Disneyland Resort Sign Shop Cast

posted on August 31st, 2010 by Betsy Sanchez, Manager of Media Relations, Disneyland Resort

If you’ve ever been to Disneyland Park, you’ve undoubtedly used a sign or two to get you from land to land! As I continue to show you the Disneyland Resort through the work and eyes of our cast, I’d like you to meet some of the handiest folks this side of Main Street, U.S.A., our cast members at the Disneyland Resort Sign Shop. These talented individuals use various techniques – from sketching to painting to carving – in creating the unique signs you see all over the Resort. Check out the video below to hear more about the detail that goes into creating each and every sign!

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Cast Member Profiles, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Celebrates its Fifth Anniversary

posted on August 31st, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

Fifth Annual Disneyland Half Marathon

The Disneyland Half Marathon is celebrating its fifth anniversary on Sunday with a record field of more than 14,000 registered participants. The fifth annual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, held September 3-5, also includes Kids’ Races and the Disneyland Fabulous 5K, which has 5,000 registered athletes. This is the biggest Disneyland Half Marathon to date, and includes runners from 16 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

To commemorate the fifth anniversary, athletes who complete the half marathon will receive a special-edition finisher medal featuring Sleeping Beauty Castle circled by the number “5” and running Mickey Mouse.

Fifth Anniversary Disneyland Half Marathon Finishers Medal

Nearly 570 “Legacy Runners” – those who have competed in the race all five years – will also receive special recognition throughout the race weekend. Nearly 2,350 runners are going for the Coast to Coast medal, which requires a runner to complete one of three qualifying races at Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Half Marathon in the same year.

Throughout the race, runners will pass Disneyland icons such as Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Matterhorn, Anaheim landmarks such as the Anaheim Convention Center and Honda Center, and they will see themselves on the jumbo screen running on the field inside Angel Stadium of Anaheim, before finally crossing the finish line next to the Disneyland Hotel.

If you missed your chance to participate in the races this year, you can register for next year’s Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend on Sept. 2-4, 2011, beginning Jan. 3, 2011.

If you’d like to watch the race, you can view the runners from several locations, including the following:

  • The Start – Disneyland Drive to Katella Avenue 6:00 a.m. to 6:40 a.m. (Accessible only by foot)
  • The Esplanade between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park 6:12 a.m. to 7:02 a.m. (Accessible only by foot)
  • Disneyland Drive to Ball Road 6:20 a.m. to 7:26 a.m. (Accessible only by foot)
  • Angel Stadium 6:45 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. (Accessible via Orangewood Ave. entrance)
  • Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and ESPN Zone 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Spectators who purchased a ChEAR Zone package will have reserved seating in the Finish Line area.

You can also see a detailed map of the course that helps illustrate where these viewing areas are in the race here.

The Disneyland Health and Fitness Expo is also open to the general public on September 3 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and September 4 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This event, located in the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall, features the opportunity to experience the latest in running and fitness equipment as well as the opportunity to get running tips during the speaker series.

Good luck to all athletes participating in the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!

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Where at Disney Parks Can You Find…

posted on August 31st, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Where can you find this face?

Regular readers of the Disney Parks Blog know we like to get the week going with a puzzler. And this week, it’s an image that requires a keen eye to identify. Look closely — this face watches over guests as they begin a journey into the past at one of our parks. But do you know where? (answer after the jump)
Read the rest of this entry »

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Behind the Scenes with Disney Hollywood Studios Ink & Paint Team

posted on August 31st, 2010 by Dara Trujillo, Manager, Merchandise Synergy, Events, and Communication

The Walt Disney Company is rich with so many wonderful traditions, one of my favorites being hand-drawn animation. While there have been many changes and advancements in technology that have changed the way we create our animated classics, the beautiful tradition of hand-inked and hand-painted cels is still very much alive at Walt Disney World. In 1997, the Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios began creating the beloved Ink & Paint collection, which is available exclusively at the Animation Gallery. Each cel in the collection is inked and painted by hand, by our talented design team whose passion for the craft helps to keep one of our most treasured Disney traditions alive.

Just last week, I had a the fortunate opportunity to sit down with Ink & Paint Artist, Sharon Vincent, who has been with the Ink & Paint team at Disney’s Hollywood Studios since the beginning. Sharon gave me a whole new look into the delicate world of hand drawn art, which I am so excited to share with you today.

Dara: I’ve heard that you’re an expert when it comes to Ink & Paint Animation cels. How long have you been Inking & Painting? How did you get involved with such a delicate and intricate craft?

Sharon: My father was a very talented artist, and began teaching me when I was about 5 years old. He loved many different forms of art, and encouraged me to be versatile, and to always try and “learn something new.” In 1985, while reading the newspaper, my Dad spotted an article about a new art studio that would be relocating to Central Florida. He said, “Hey, this is right up your alley.” So, as soon as this company arrived, I went and applied for a job, which was at the independent Ink & Paint Studio. I was very excited and honored when in 1989, I was invited to join the Walt Disney Feature Animation opening crew, here at the Florida Studios.

Ink & Paint

Dara: A lot of people don’t know what it takes to create a Hand-inked and Hand-painted Animation cel. Can you walk us through the delicate process of creating an Ink & Paint cel?

Sharon: The term cel is short for Celluloid Acetate, a transparent material which is used for hand-painted animation frames. Here’s a quick synopsis of what it takes to create a Hand-inked and painted cel. Once we finalize the rough concept art it is sent through a final clean-up stage. During this process the line work for the characters is refined, insuring that each individual line is fluid and tapered allowing us to breathe life into the characters. The character’s line work is typically applied by traditional hand-inking (using an old fashioned quill pen nib), or by a silk screening process on the topside of the cel. Once the line’s are complete, the cel is flipped over, and the paint is applied by hand on the reverse side, allowing us to achieve clean lines when flipped back over and viewed from the front.

The most common technique used for animation painting is known as “floating”. This is where paint brushes are in contact with the paint only, never touching the surface of the cel. Our last step is to ensure that each cel is complete, has been beautifully painted and has dried thoroughly, so it’s ready to hang in your home.

'Dreams Come True'

Dara: The new “Dreams Come True” cel is particularly special. It’s the first time that we see
Walt Disney in a cel, from the Studios’ Ink & Paint Collection. What can you tell me about the creative process you and the team went through, to dream up the cel? Is there anything about the new cel that you want share with our Disney Parks Blog fans?

Sharon: We start with a brainstorming session and then build a story around it, add a little character and viola! We all felt it was time to create another vintage cel, highlighting everyone’s favorite, Mickey Mouse, but this time taking it all the way back to 1928, as my teammate Jim Bonserio, suggested. This particular cel tells a heartwarming story, of how “Dreams Come True” and recounts the legend of when Walt dreamt up the idea of Mickey, on his train ride from New York City to Los Angeles.

Do you have your own questions for Sharon and the rest of the talented Ink & Paint Team? Or would you like to look at the hand painted cel collection in person? Then be our Guest at the Animation Galley at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Saturday, September 11 from 10:00am – 1:00pm & 2:00pm – 5:00pm to meet the artists and to join the premiere celebration of the newest cel, “Dreams Come True!”

Can’t make it to the Studios but would love to add the “Dreams Come True” Cel to your collection? Call Walt Disney Event Services at 407.827.7600 to order your cel, or visit for more information.

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The Ego Has Landed! Stephen Colbert Visits Disneyland Resort

posted on August 30th, 2010 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Stephen Colbert was in town last weekend to attend the 62nd Primetime Emmy® Awards, and he made time to bring his family back to the Disneyland Resort.
Stephen Colbert with Goofy at Disney California Adventure park
I can “repor” that Stephen’s alter ego was nowhere to be found during our time together, but he did get a little “goofy” outside Soarin’ Over California at Disney California Adventure park, which Stephen described as “fantastic!”
Stephen Colbert with Goofy at the Soarin’ Over California attraction
Congratulations, Stephen on your team’s Emmy® for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program!

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One Year to Aulani Resort Opening! Mickey Hits the Beach in Hawai`i

posted on August 30th, 2010 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations

Mickey made a summer vacation stop in Ko Olina, Hawai`i, yesterday to admire his likeness, sculpted out of beach sand, and to mark an important milestone for Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

In exactly one year, August 29, 2011, the Resort will open to hotel guests and Disney Vacation Club members.

Just for fun, click on the video to see how this wild sand sculpture of surfer Mickey was created. While the artists were at work, there were real dophins and honus (turtles) swimming just outside the lagoon.

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New Music Added to Space Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort

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

Listen up Space Mountain fans, there’s a new addition to the Walt Disney World Resort attraction that just may be music to your ears. It’s an enhanced audio experience with sounds you’ve never heard before. Walt Disney Imagineering has added a new composition that’s exclusive to the attraction at Magic Kingdom Park that will play with varying sound effects throughout all “flights” on 60 newly installed speakers. “Starry-O-Phonic Sound” compliments a slew of enhancements that debuted on Space Mountain last year, including new lighting, storyline elements and updated decor. Here’s a special message from The Space Mountain Project Team.

Starry-O-Phonic Sound from Space Mountain

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Big Tastes at ‘First Bites’

posted on August 30th, 2010 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Food & Wine

Did you ever wish you could sample the cuisine at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – without walking all the way around World Showcase? Or get a little closer to celebs like singer Taylor Dayne or Chef Keegan Gerhard from TV’s Food Network? All the while sipping wine, beer and spirits? Anyone for a Singapore-Singapore Sling or a strawberry-balsamic martini? Sign me up.

If this is your idea of a good time, make a reservation for the First Bites Opening Reception 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Festival Welcome Center. They’re limiting attendance to 400 to ensure a good time – and you can get a jump start on all the festival fun. And it only happens this one night.

Think of it as a mini Food & Wine Fest, with culinary demos, wine seminars, cookbook authors and more… your opportunity to take it all in. Marketplace tastes include lots of the new dishes for 2010: USA’s bison chili with wild mushrooms, Belgium’s steamed mussels with roasted garlic, South Korea’s lettuce wraps with roast pork and kimchi slaw . . . you’ll navigate 10 savory stations just steps from each other. And then there are the sweets, with four new desserts, from pecan bread pudding to Belgium waffles with berries, and loads of chocolate.

Cost is $195, tax and gratuity included. Theme park admission is required.

It’s an evening of delicious tastes and live music – and the perfect excuse to indulge. With a goodie bag to go!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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

Big Thunder Suite Bedroom

Nice, huh? You’re looking at new images Heather shared this week of our amazing signature suite at the Disneyland Hotel – the Big Thunder Suite. It’s inspired by the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction at Disneyland park and it has some pretty unique features. There’s a button on the wall that triggers sound effects from the attraction and just look at that free-standing copper tub.

Big Thunder Suite Bathroom

More details can be found in our original post. Also, keep an eye on the Blog for information about other signature suites, including the new Fairy Tale Suite, Mickey Mouse Penthouse and Pirates of the Caribbean Suite. Now, here’s the list of other stories we worked on this week:

Big Day with Big Dreams – Garth Vaughan shares an image of a young guest embarking on a big day at Magic Kingdom park.

As Temperatures Soar, Here’s How We Keep Cool – Soaring temperatures are the perfect excuse for cold treats. Here are some of our favorites.

You Look Like Mickey Mouse? – We recently asked, “Name a character you look like” on Facebook. Take a look at the top 10 answers.

Koi Pond at Japan Pavilion in Epcot – A view of the koi fish at the Japan Pavilion that few get to see.

Moms Panel: Top Coffee Spots – Walt Disney World Moms Panelist Suzannah D shared her favorite places for coffee at the Resort. What’s yours?

What’s Your Favorite Hidden Mickey? – Can you find these “Hidden Mickeys” at the Disneyland Resort?

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One-Stop Searching: Walt Disney World Moms Panel

posted on August 28th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

The 2010 Moms Panel Photo Composite

Summer is winding down and kids are heading back to school. It’s a busy time for mothers, so the Disney Parks Blog is giving Mom her day with this look back at some posts from the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. Always ready with tips and advice, the panel is a go-to resource for Walt Disney World vacation planning. What piece of valuable information have you gotten from the Moms Panel? Let us know in the comments.

The Moms Panel shows us the best of the best at Walt Disney World.

Moms Panel: Top 5 Unique Experiences at Walt Disney World Resort – Panelist Diane L from Connecticut shares her top five unique ways to have fun on property.

Moms Panel: Shop ‘Til You Drop – The top 5 favorite Disney shopping finds from Panelist Cathy S of Ohio.

Moms Panel: Top 5 Tips for Romance at Walt Disney World Resort – Dannée N. of Indiana shows where to find romance at Walt Disney World.

Moms Panel: Top 5 Restaurants Where You Get The Most For Your Money – Dad Doug I. thinks he’s found the best deals at the Resort and shares them here.

The Panelists know the best tips and tricks for making the most of a Walt Disney World vacation.

Moms Panel: Tips for Traveling with Children – Panelist Amanda P. shares her tips for traveling with little ones.

Moms Panel: Tips for Staying Cool this Summer at Walt Disney World – Disney Mom Tanya M. has some great ideas to keep your family cool during summer visits.

Disney Moms Panel Offers Top Valuable Tips – Here are some of the best tips from the Walt Disney World Moms Panel.

Who are these super moms and dads? Get to know the Walt Disney World Moms Panel through their stories.

Moms Panel: It Takes a Village – This year, the Panel made a donation to Give Kids The World, where families with critically and terminally ill children can stay at a 70-acre resort designed for children with special healthcare needs for free.

Moms Panelist Travels The World with The Mouse – Meet Kay B from Valparaiso, Indiana – the Adventures By Disney Mom.

Asking the Moms 101 – The Walt Disney World Moms Panel is made up of men and women just like you. They’ve fallen in love with Walt Disney World Resort and want to share their knowledge, passion and experience with everyone they meet!

One Fine Day – Panelist Allison shares a very special moment for her family at Magic Kingdom park.

Mickey’s Magical Macho Moms? – To be considered for the Panel you don’t need to be a parent or even female. You only need to have a vast knowledge of Walt Disney World and a passion to share that knowledge.

Walt Disney World Moms Panel Welcomes New Members – Due to the increasing popularity of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel web site, we welcomed back 22 panelists from 2008 and 2009 and added 21 more new panelists for the largest ever group of Disney-savvy vacation gurus.

Moms Panel: Smiling Through the Tears – Walt Disney World Moms panelist and mother of five Heather Murry of Georgia knows a lot about life’s challenges. She knows not just how to face those challenges but to conquer them. But raising a large family is just one of things that make Heather a champion.

A Dad is a Mom – Most people are surprised to learn that you don’t have to actually be a mom to be on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. You just have to have an incredible vast knowledge about Walt Disney World Resort, a passion for all things Disney and an incurable drive to pass on your knowledge to other people.

Disney Adding New Moms Panelists – The Walt Disney World Moms Panel is a forum where Moms (and dads) answer your online questions and offer advice about vacations to the Walt Disney World Resort. The site is a forum led by real, park-savvy parents who assist with the vacation planning process based on their own experiences.

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