Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

1963 Photo: Walt Disney Celebrates Mexico at Disneyland Park

posted on April 27th, 2011 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


My favorite photos of Walt Disney at Disneyland park show a man thoroughly enjoying the place he created. The photo I’m sharing today is certainly in that category.

In the summer of 1963, a section of Main Street, U.S.A., known as Center Street was home to a “Salute to Mexico,” a celebration of Mexican culture, and Walt Disney was on hand for the opening of this first-of-its kind Disneyland exhibition.

Walt Disney Celebrates Mexico at Disneyland Park in 1963

As you can see, Walt seemed to be having a great time joining in the celebration.

¡Viva Disneyland!

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Boys & Girls Clubs Celebrate Earth Month at Disneyland Resort

posted on April 27th, 2011 by Betsy Sanchez, Manager of Media Relations, Disneyland Resort


The Disneyland Resort became an educational playground for more than 140 Boys & Girls Club children this past weekend as they learned about the environment in celebration of Earth Month.

During the adventure, the students participated in special, environmentally-focused Disney Youth Education Series programs led by local “Rangers” on the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at Disney California Adventure park. They learned about California’s great outdoors as well as the importance of protecting nature and conserving water.

Boys & Girls Clubs Celebrate Earth Month

The children then got an up-close-and-personal look at animals and the significance of ecosystems. They got the opportunity to interact with and learn about local species of wildlife, including gopher snakes, tarantulas, sea stars and hermit crabs, shared by local nonprofits Inside the Outdoors and the Ocean Institute.

Boys & Girls Clubs Celebrate Earth Month

Throughout the day, the students were reminded about simple changes they could make that have a lasting impact on the environment - such as turning off lights when they leave a room and taking shorter showers.

Preserving the environment starts with each one of us and we are happy to have the opportunity to teach our local children about how they can be a part of the bigger picture.

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A Jewel As Rare As You from Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings

posted on April 27th, 2011 by Korri McFann, Worldwide Marketing & Business Development Director, Weddings & Honeymoons


Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings jewels create a look that connects to every woman’s inner princess. Perfect for adding a little sparkle to your big day, our newly-released jewels are priced from $35-$250. With jewels from Ariel to Jasmine, you’re sure to find a princess-inspired collection to fall in love with.

Want to join in on the Royal Wedding festivities? Be sure to keep an eye on #DisneyRoyal as we countdown to our Royal Sleepover.

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Wildlife Wednesdays: Tadpole Reintroduction Represents Hope for Critically Endangered Puerto Rican Toads

posted on April 27th, 2011 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Saving endangered species means protecting animals as big as elephants and as tiny as tadpoles. Last week, the smaller creatures were the focus when more than 2,700 critically endangered Puerto Rican crested toad tadpoles, carefully nurtured by our animal care team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, were released in a protected pond in the northwestern region of Puerto Rico. The release was part of an effort to repopulate the species to an area where these native tadpoles once thrived but are now considered extinct. The tiny tadpoles joined more than 3,000 others that are the result of Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA) Species Survival Plan breeding programs at the Fort Worth Zoo and the Jacksonville Zoo. The crested toad, which is threatened by habitat loss and non-native species, is the only toad native to Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rican Toads at Disney's Animal Kingdom

This is the first group of Puerto Rican crested toad tadpoles raised at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to be released to the wild. Andy Daneault, our Assistant Curator of Ectotherms*, tells us the team hopes to raise tadpoles for future releases once or twice a year, depending on the needs of the recovery program.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with the help of Eduardo Valdes, Ph.D., who heads our Animal Nutrition Center, has been involved with the Puerto Rican crested toad recovery program since 2001. In addition to breeding the toads, we’ve also been educating community members about the threats to this endangered species and evaluating the nutritional needs of the tadpoles and adult toads.

The Puerto Rican crested toad is one of many amphibian species facing serious population decline. According to some estimates, as many as one-third of the known amphibian species may be threatened by extinction because of loss of habitat, climate change, pollution and disease. Frogs and other amphibians play an essential role in the ecosystems of the world and are keenly attuned to changes in the environment. They are considered an “indicator” species, meaning they can provide an early warning for endangered ecosystems. In addition, frogs provide valuable scientific and medical benefits to humans. The skin of amphibians contains substances that can protect them from some microbes and viruses, which can offer possible medical cures for a variety of human diseases, including AIDS.

The AZA-accredited facilities, which includes Disney’s Animal Kingdom, that are participating in the crested toad Species Survival Plan are working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Puerto Rican Department of Natural and Ecological Resources.

The Puerto Rican crested toad reintroduction and conservation education program is one of the many ways that Disney’s Animal Programs cast members take their passion and commitment for conservation beyond Disney Parks. Disney supports cast members in developing Cast Conservation Programs, participating in local, national and international field conservation programs to study wildlife and ecosystems around the globe – making a difference for the planet.

Guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom can learn about the toad recovery program when they visit Conservation Station in Rafiki’s Planet Watch. To learn more about Disney conservation efforts, visit www.disney.com/conservation.

*Wondering what an “ectotherm” is? It’s an animal whose body temperature regulation depends on external sources, such as sunlight or a heated rock surface

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Love ‘Cars’? Don’t Miss Downtown Disney Car Masters Weekend

posted on April 26th, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Attention all “Cars” fans – I’ve got a great announcement for you tonight. The Disney Parks Blog just got word that the gang from Radiator Springs will head this way next month for a brand new event – Downtown Disney Car Masters Weekend – which will take place May 13-15, from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Love ‘Cars’? Don’t Miss Downtown Disney Car Masters Weekend

Four-time Piston Cup Champion, Lightning McQueen, Mater and British super-spy, Finn McMissile will hit the road to celebrate the release of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 2.” At Downtown Disney Car Masters Weekend, families can hang out with Lightning, Mater and Finn McMissile, plus take part in all sorts of fun “Cars” activities, including a video kiosk, e-photo opportunities and games.

Along with meeting some their favorite characters from “Cars,” families can “test drive” and purchase new “Cars 2” RIDEMAKERZ models. Always wanted to see what Mater would look like as a 4×4? Mix, match and design your very own unique “Cars 2” vehicle.

Families can also throw their love for cars in “reverse” and go back in time to check out dozens of classic cars on display Saturday and Sunday, that helped shape the vehicles we drive today. Or check out the original “Cars” film, which will play on the big screen all weekend at the AMC Downtown Disney 24.

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Did You Know? Fast Facts from the Disneyland Resort, Part Seven

posted on April 26th, 2011 by Betsy Sanchez, Manager of Media Relations, Disneyland Resort


In celebration of Earth Month, we’ve been featuring environmental facts about the Disneyland Resort through our “Did You Know?” video series. In this series, cast members share information about various aspects of the Disneyland Resort. Today, you will learn about some of the changes we’ve made to reduce energy consumption. Check it out.

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Tides Turn on New Pirate Merchandise at Disney Parks

posted on April 26th, 2011 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Just like you, I’m anxiously awaiting the release of ”Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides.” With only a few weeks to go before the premiere, I decided it was time to add a few ‘treasures’ to my own wardrobe, so I apologize now guys, this post is definitely for the ladies.

First up on my ‘must have’ list is the Disney Couture pirate-inspired jewelry. Here are a couple of sneak peeks of what’s on the horizon at stores like Disney Vault 28 and TrenD in May.

Disney Couture Pirate-Inspired Jewelry

Up next, is the new Pirate Princess collection. You’ll find these logos on a variety of fashion and souvenir items, including tees, a hoodie, a tank, scarf and hat as well as other items such as a tumbler, journal and even a window cling. Many of these items are available now at Pirates Bazaar in Magic Kingdom Park and at Pieces of Eight at Disneyland park.

New Disney Pirate Princess Collection

If you have an ‘ear’ for fashion… than be sure to pick up one of the new Pirate Princess ear hats, available now.

Disney Pirate Princess Ear Hat

So are you ready to ride the wave of new pirate bounty with me?

I’ll be updating www.ArtofDisneyParks.com with more info on these new collections, so be sure to check them out when you have time.

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A Party in a Bowl at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

posted on April 26th, 2011 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Looking for the ultimate Walt Disney World sweet indulgence? The legendary Kitchen Sink dessert at Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort is a gargantuan bowl, er, kitchen sink, overflowing with sugary treats.

It may look like a mess, but there’s a method to the madness – eight scoops of ice cream is only the beginning. Take a look.

Have you tried this famous concoction? We say, eat dessert first!

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Where at Disney Parks Can You Find….

posted on April 26th, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Have You Seen This Anchor at Disney Parks?

We follow last week’s golden fish puzzler with an equally difficult to spot and identify golden mystery image. The funny thing is, you may have only found this at Disney Parks if you were lost somewhere on property. Do you know where to spot it? Please put your answers in the comments and we’ll update the post with the answer later today.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Specialty Rooms Will Give Guests The Royal Treatment

posted on April 25th, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Hi everyone. I’m thrilled to start off the day by breaking another exciting announcement here on the Disney Parks Blog about two new Specialty Room offerings coming to the Walt Disney World Resort – health and wellness suites and Royal Guest Rooms.

New Health and Wellness Suite at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Beginning this fall, guests looking for some rest and relaxation can indulge in new health and wellness suites, which will debut at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. These suites will feature bamboo flooring, 100-percent cotton linens, non-allergenic wrapped mattresses – as well as great views of Magic Kingdom Park and Bay Lake. Bathrooms on this floor also will be equipped with rainwater showers and tea tree oils.

New Health and Wellness Suite at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Guests staying in these suites also can enjoy the benefit of having cardio equipment right in their room. And they’ll have daily access to seasonal and organic fresh foods at the concierge lounge, and can enjoy yoga sessions and spa treatments at the resort’s renovated wellness studio.

Royal Guest Room at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort

Exciting enhancements also are taking place over at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, with 512 Royal Guest Rooms planned to debut by March 2012. The story behind these lush rooms is that Princess Tiana (“The Princess and The Frog”) invited some of her royal pals – Belle (“Beauty and the Beast”), Jasmine (“Aladdin”) and more – for a vacation getaway. Princes and princesses of all ages can enjoy their luxurious lodging quarters, which will include ornate beds that feature headboards with fiber-optic special effects, and gold and crystal accents. Guests also can enjoy artwork and special mementos left by Tiana’s royal friends.

Pirate-Themed Guest Room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

These rooms are the latest in Disney’s Specialty Room line, which already includes pirate-themed guest rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Donald Duck-themed rooms at Tokyo Disney Resort, and more. More Specialty Rooms will be added to the collection when Disney’s Art of Animation Resort debuts in May 2012.

Guests can begin booking the new Specialty Rooms mid-summer. The existing pirate-themed rooms can be booked now by visiting www.waltdisneyworld.com or calling 407-939-7429.

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