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Happy Villaintines Day from Disney Parks Blog

New Star Tours Intergalactic Destination Blasts Off on

posted on June 30th, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

To celebrate the reopening of the Star Tours attraction at Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort, has launched a new online destination that takes intergalactic travelers on an exciting adventure through hyperspace to a galaxy far, far, away! The site features exclusive videos starring Bree Starlighter, Chief Holo-Communications Officer and galactic travel liaison for Star Tours, who gives an inside look at some of the 54 destinations Star Tours guests might experience and the likely characters they’ll encounter on their excursion.

In addition to the videos, some of which are hidden for fans to find, the site features character bios, descriptions of the Star Tours planet destinations and behind-the-scenes footage from the attraction. For intergalactic fun the whole family will enjoy, fans can download exclusive Star Tours crafts, printables, recipes and more, from

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

LASERMAN: R3CONF1GUR3D, Activating Nightly at ElecTRONica!

posted on June 30th, 2011 by Robin Trowbridge, Entertainment Show Director, Disneyland Resort.

On June 17, guests of ElecTRONica were the first to experience LASERMAN: R3CONF1GUR3D — an all-new laser show featuring hot new music, cool choreography and … incredible new lasers! Take a look at what is happening every night on the Grid.

You won’t want to miss LASERMAN: R3CONF1GUR3D as he brings electrifying performances nightly — now through Labor Day! It’s all part of our Disney Soundsational Summer! Immerse your senses in the world of ElecTRONica, only at Disney California Adventure park.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

Adventures by Disney Offers Adult-Exclusive Options

posted on June 30th, 2011 by Josh D'Amaro, Vice President, Adventures By Disney

Hello everyone. I hope your summer is off to a great start. After a busy year, there’s nothing better than taking the perfect summer vacation. I know that my family and I are looking forward to ours. While Adventures by Disney is created with families in mind, did you know that we also offer adult-exclusive departures?

Adventures by Disney Offers Adult-Exclusive Options

No matter what the occasion – a special birthday, anniversary, or the desire to just get away – these trips offer all of the benefits of an Adventures by Disney vacation, with an added sense of sophistication. Here is a snapshot of special moments that you can look forward to sharing with your loved one:

Bella Italy: Journey to central Italy and take a romantic cruise down the Amalfi Coast, take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea, and relax on the shores of Capri.

South Africa: You can sample wine in the heart of Cape Dutch wine country, dine in a forest setting as you observe a herd of elephants caring for their young, and ride off on a sunset safari!

Ireland: Embark on a horse-drawn carriage ride to Muckross House before biking through Killarne National Park. Enjoy the incredible views as you walk along the Cliff of Moher.

And if that wasn’t enough to spark your curiosity, you could also explore the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or saddle-up for a horseback ride through the stunning Canadian Rockies.

With so much fun to be had, take the time now to decide which Adventures by Disney destination can be the perfect summer vacation for you!

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Filed: Vacation Planning

Primeval World at Disneyland Park: Seems Like Just Yesterday, Give or Take 250 Million Years

posted on June 30th, 2011 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort

They may be turning 45 tomorrow, but the residents of the Primeval World diorama at Disneyland park don’t look a day over 250 million.

Having appeared at the New York World’s Fair two years earlier, the prehistoric creatures, brought to life through Audio-Animatronics technology, debuted at Disneyland park on July 1, 1966, and they’ve been fascinating and entertaining our guests ever since.

After seeing a video of Walt Disney talking about New York World’s Fair, I realized that we don’t have a lot of photography of this classic attraction in our archives, perhaps because it is only visible to guests as they make their way from Tomorrowland to Main Street, U.S.A., aboard the Disneyland Railroad, so I decided to “travel back in time [on foot] back to the fantastic Primeval World – land of the dinosaurs.”

Primeval World Diorama at Disneyland Park

I remembered that in the video Walt talked about three baby Brontosaurus that were affectionately named Huey, Dewey and Louie, so I included them in my first photo. Not sure who’s who – any guesses?

Primeval World Diorama at Disneyland Park

This photo from 1964 shows Walt Disney interacting with one of the baby Brontosaurus.

Primeval World Diorama at Disneyland Park

You can’t go wrong taking baby pictures when they’re as cute as these Triceratops. I’ve always been impressed by the way this attraction looks riding by on the railroad, but seeing it up close you realize that the detail is truly amazing.

Primeval World Diorama at Disneyland Park

Taking this next photo was one of my highlights as a Disney photographer. I confess that I was actually relieved to see that the Tyrannosaurus rex and Stegosaurus were motionless and quiet when I showed up, because that was about all the realism I could handle up close!

If you like these photos from my trip back in time, I will share more next month.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Moms Panel: If I Had Two Hours at Walt Disney World to Make a Lifelong Memory I Would…

posted on June 30th, 2011 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Another fun addition to our series of Disney Parks Blog posts featuring the Walt Disney World Moms Panel comes from one of our Florida-based panelists, Suzannah DiMarzio. As a panelist who lives fairly close to the magic, she can visit the parks after dinner on a whim!

Wishes Nighttime Spectacular Fireworks Show at Magic Kingdom Park

“If I had two hours at Walt Disney World Resort to make a lifelong memory, I would arrive at Magic Kingdom Park after dinner so that the heat of the day will have already passed. In my dream situation, I will have enjoyed the day at the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa while my children are being entertained by their dad, so that I’m rested and rejuvenated for the night!

Since we are locals, we usually don’t stop and enjoy the fun snacks the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer. My 2 year old is in love with the popcorn, my 10-year-old daughter and I both love the Dole Whips at Aloha Isle in Adventureland, and my 12-year-old son loves the classic Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars. My husband prefers the Mickey Ice Cream Sandwich.

We would purchase our snacks and then we’d settle in for some nighttime magic that only Disney Parks can provide: the Main Street Electrical Parade and the all-new “The Magic, The Memories, and You!” castle projection show. And not to be forgotten, the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!

By the end of the evening, I will be sobbing. I cry at pretty much all Disney shows and my family will embarrassingly walk me out of Magic Kingdom Park. Good stuff!”

What’s your favorite Disney memory? Please share it below in the comments.

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Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Head Back to 1975 Aboard the PeopleMover

posted on June 30th, 2011 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center

There is an attraction I must ride every single time I’m at Magic Kingdom Park, and tomorrow it will celebrate its 36th anniversary of moving people around Tomorrowland. I am speaking of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.

Vintage Walt Disney World: Head Back to 1975 Aboard the PeopleMover

Since July 1, 1975, guests have taken the 10-minute trip around Tomorrowland to catch glimpses of everything from an early model of Epcot, to the interior of Space Mountain. A great start to any Magic Kingdom Park morning, perfect mid-day break from the Florida heat, or a great ending to a day at the park, the PeopleMover is always a welcome suggestion in my book.

Vintage Walt Disney World: Head Back to 1975 Aboard the PeopleMover

There are so many fun facts about the PeopleMover that I don’t even know where to begin. Here are just a few: the weight of the trains is 4,100 lbs. empty; 850 speakers are installed along the .86-mile track; and the maximum speed of the PeopleMover is 6.84 mph. Below you can see an original sign from the PeopleMover back in 1975. Today, Alamo helps keep the PeopleMover moving as the attraction’s sponsor.

Vintage Walt Disney World: Head Back to 1975 Aboard the PeopleMover

No matter how many times I journey though “the land of tomorrow” aboard the PeopleMover, I always wonder whether “Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow” has contacted “Mr. Johnson in the control tower to confirm his flight to the moon.”

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Night of Joy Artist Profile: Disciple

posted on June 30th, 2011 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager

One of the hallmarks of Disney’s Night of Joy is that there are artists representing every sliver of the Christian-music spectrum.

Night of Joy Artists Disciple at Magic Kindgom Park

Leading the charge for this year’s lovers of harder-edged Christian music is the GMA-Dove-Award-winning quintet, Disciple.

Originating from Knoxville, TN, in 1992, the band has gone through a number of transitions throughout the years, with them blasting out hits for INO/Columbia Records since 2005. In their own words, their fourth hit album for INO/Columbia, Horseshoes and Handgrenades, “honed in on their heavy rock n’ roll roots for several of their most explosive offerings to date, while also exploring the more melodic side of the dial.” Their music is loaded with spiritual sentiments, spanning subjects as diverse as hope, redemption, perseverance and self-esteem. Horseshoes and Handgrenades won the 2011 GMA Dove Award for Rock Album of the Year.

Lead singer Kevin Young, guitarists Micah Sannan and Andrew Welch, bassist Israel Beechy and drummer Trent Reiff took a break from touring a little while back to stop by Magic Kingdom Park. Always up for some He-ARR-ty fun, the guys took a turn at the Pirates League – getting official pirate names and makeovers and taking the “Pirate Oath.”

Disciple will be performing at Disney’s Night of Joy on Friday, Sept. 9. Night of Joy is an after-hours event, held Sept. 9 and 10, 2011, at the Magic Kingdom that requires a special ticket. Event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each evening. While artists are performing at several stages, many popular Magic Kingdom attractions also are available for Night of Joy guests. Tickets are on sale now. One-night tickets are $51.95 plus tax in advance, $59.95 plus tax day of. Two-night tickets are $92.95. Groups of 10 or more can purchase one-night tickets in advance for $46.95 plus tax each and two-night tickets for $87.95. Additional information is available at

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Cars Land Virtual Drive-Through at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on June 29th, 2011 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Can’t wait to take a stroll through Radiator Springs? If the opening of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park next year has you ready to cruise past Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Flying Tires, then you don’t want to miss this video. It takes you on a virtual drive-through of Cars Land, giving you an idea of what it will look like when it opens in 2012.

What will be the first thing you do when you visit Cars Land next year?

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Disney’s Dreamers Celebrities Share Their Favorite Disney Moments

posted on June 29th, 2011 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

This spring, Walt Disney World Resort welcomed the 2011 Disney’s Dreamers to what has become an annual event called Disney’s Dreamers Academy. For the past four years, 100 students are picked out of thousands of applicants to attend a four-day program that has a simple mission; to encourage the students to dream.

Educators, singers, actors, and executives from a myriad of industries spend time with each student to help them harness their full potential. The four days are chock full of interactive workshops and experiences that are designed to focus, inspire and jump start each child’s passion. Yes, there is a lot of work, but the weekend is also filled with lots of Disney magic.

You can follow the past and current Dreamers on their Facebook page and their Twitter page.

While we had them here, we asked these three well-known celebrities what their favorite Disney memory is. They surprised us with their answers! What are your favorite Disney Parks moments?

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Walt Disney World Resort

Every Role a Starring Role – Maintaining Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Resort

posted on June 29th, 2011 by Betsy Sanchez, Manager of Media Relations, Disneyland Resort

Ahoy! Every good pirate needs a sturdy ship and at the Disneyland Resort, a team of talented, highly-trained maintenance professionals helps ensure that Pirates of the Caribbean, a world-renowned attraction, is ready to welcome guests aboard each day at Disneyland park.

These cast members are part of a team whose work begins when the lights go down and all is quiet along the bayou. They are dedicated to inspecting and maintaining all elements of the attraction, down to the smallest detail.

Watch the video below to meet Dave and the attraction’s third-shift maintenance crew from Pirates of the Caribbean!

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