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Our Peruvian Vacation with Adventures by Disney

posted on July 26th, 2011 by Marty Muller, Senior Vice President, Global Creative, Disney Destinations

Marty Muller and Craig H. Richlin on their Peruvian Vacation

We just returned from a trip to Peru with Adventures by Disney and wanted to share our amazing experience. Until recently we had never been a part of a tour. Our only experience with tours was last December when our family took a private tour in Southeast Asia, so we were somewhat apprehensive as to what to expect in a group experience. However, we were pleasantly surprised and, although we traveled with approximately 30 people, we felt as if we were being catered to. From the time we landed, we did not have to touch our bags. They arrived in the hotels before we did, which did not happen on our private tour.

The group experience was a delight. We traveled with families with children and families without children. Everybody was made to feel welcome and part of the group. This was in part due to our two wonderful Adventure Guides and the manner in which the tour was set up. Except for breakfast, we ate together around common tables, which provided a great opportunity for getting to know the other adventurers. By the end of the tour, we were just as likely to sit, either at meals or during our travels, with a member of another family as we were with our own family. We have only been back a few days and already have photos and invitations to visit from our fellow adventurers. We definitely feel that we’ve made lifelong friends!

Prior to our trip, we did quite a lot of research about Peru and the sites we were scheduled to see. The experience was true to what was promised. We visited the important sights and were provided with valuable explanations and insights as to what we were seeing. To an even greater extent, we felt the experience was truly authentic because one of our Guides was from area that we were visiting.

Without a doubt, we would give the overall experience a grade of “A+”.

We are already looking into our next possible Adventures by Disney vacation, possibly Ireland. Hope to see you there!

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Filed: Vacation Planning

Hop on Board! Changes Are Underway at Disney California Adventure Park

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

I’m sure most of you know by now either from reading the Disney Parks Blog or visiting the Disneyland Resort, that the new entrance to Disney California Adventure park debuted just a few weeks ago. And I have to say it looks spectacular! A new entrance also means new stores… so I want to make sure that you have the latest and greatest information as we prepare for changes in the world of Disney Theme Park Merchandise.

Engine-Ears Toys at Disney California Adventure Park

Hop on board at Engine-Ears Toys before July 31. That’s right, in a little less than a week this “Engine-Ear” will leave its station and hit the tracks as we pave the way for an entire new set of stores set to debut in 2012. So for those of you who love to create your own Mr. Potato Head, you better keep an “eye” out and a “nose” to the ground so you don’t miss out. But I’ll be around to lend you a “hand” and tell you where you can find them.

That’s not all… on August 28, we will also bid a fond farewell to our friendly store location, Greetings From California. While we are sad to see it go, I assure you that the stores taking its place, set to debut next year, will be the hit of the street and the talk of the town. But you’ll have to wait a few more months to find out more.

While I know it seems like there are a lot of changes underway, I promise you that we have many great things “in store” in the coming year. I look forward to sharing these great offerings with all of you in the coming months.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

Mickey’s ‘Spooktacular’ In-Room Celebration Returns to the Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 26th, 2011 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG

Last fall, guests at the Walt Disney World Resort chose Mickey’s “Spooktacular” In-Room Celebration as one of their favorite offerings from Disney Floral & Gifts. This experience begins when guests return to their resort room to find that Mickey Mouse has surprised them by placing a sash with Halloween accents and cobwebs on their room’s door. Once inside, they find a not-so-scary personalized Halloween celebration waiting for them.

Mickeys’ ‘Spooktacular’ In-Room Celebration Returns to the Walt Disney World Resort

This over-the-top celebration was so popular last year that it sold out before Halloween. Many guests said they enjoyed it because there was something in the experience that appealed to family members of all ages. They also felt like Mickey and Minnie had come to their room for a personalized “spooktacular” surprise just for them.

Mickeys’ ‘Spooktacular’ In-Room Celebration Returns to the Walt Disney World Resort

If you’re coming to Walt Disney World this fall, now’s the time to book this exclusive experience. It costs $375 and can be set up in any Walt Disney World resort room. You can book your Mickey’s Spooktacular Celebration here or call a Dream Maker at 407-WDW-GIFT.

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Filed: Celebrations, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

A Mom’s Point of View: Dining Aboard the Disney Dream

posted on July 26th, 2011 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Dining on the Disney Dream is a one-of-a-kind experience. Where else can you eat in a whimsical garden inspired by Versailles, a magical animator’s studio or a lavish banquet hall fit for royalty? Each of the dining rooms serves a magical dining experience filled with unique themes, tantalizing cuisine and legendary Disney service.

Check out this video and take a peek at the many dining options on the Disney Dream.

For more from information about the Disney Dream, see these posts:

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dining

Disneyland Half Marathon Featured in Extreme Makeover Tonight

posted on July 25th, 2011 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort

There are always inspiring stories of perseverance that come out of our runDisney marathons and half marathons. We have seen everything from a blind Army hero who ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and then the Marathon the next day to a girl who ran the Disney Half Marathon six months after donating a kidney to her dad.

Tonight, though, America will get to see one of the best runDisney stories.

The season finale of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition’’ will feature a segment on Krista, a 445-pound contestant from Texas who struggled to complete her weight-loss odyssey by tackling last year’s Disneyland Half Marathon. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s at Disneyland, so you know it has to have a happy ending, right?

The truth is, it’s a moving story about this 34-year-old woman’s quest to reach the finish line and thereby create some inspirational memories for her family, particularly her young daughter, who cheer her on. The show airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET, but here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll see.

If you have your own inspirational runDisney story, let us know. If you’d like to create your own story, sign up for any runDisney event at

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Meet Characters from Disney•Pixar Films ‘Up’ and ‘Cars’ at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on July 25th, 2011 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Are you an aspiring Wilderness Explorer? Did watching the new Disney•Pixar film “Cars 2” get your engine revving? If so, you should know that you can visit with characters from “Up” and “Cars” at Disney California Adventure park! As we told you last month, the Wilderness Explorer Camp is now open at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, and young guests are already earning their Wilderness Explorer Badges. Also, near the future entrance to the upcoming Cars Land, guests can take a photo with hotshot race car Lightning McQueen and his best friend, Mater.

Who are you most excited to have your photo taken with?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

New 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks

posted on July 25th, 2011 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Vinylmation Coming Soon to Disney Parks

I can vividly recall sitting inside the Nautilus during my first visit to Walt Disney World in July 1983. I remember hearing the echoes of Captain Nemo’s voice yelling, “Dive, dive!” as I embarked upon my journey through liquid space. The attraction quickly became one of my favorites; I even drew a picture for a book my mom and I made after that first trip. I’m happy to share that new Vinylmation and Disney pins celebrating this classic attraction are coming soon to Disney Parks. I spoke with Disney Design Group artist Caley Hicks about her work on the new Vinylmation figure set pictured above. During our conversation, I discovered she also had fond childhood memories of the attraction.

“When I was younger, I visited the Magic Kingdom each month with my dad,” explained Caley. “I loved the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction, particularly the mermaids. I was eager to design something for Vinylmation to pay tribute to the attraction.”

Caley, whom you may recall from Vinylmation – Flags fame, chose the iconic squid attack for the nine-inch figure. She explained the difficulty in capturing the details of the squid on the Vinylmation form.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Merchandise Coming Soon to Disney Parks

“I learned that getting the squid to wrap around the Mickey Mouse shaped form was more difficult than I first thought,” continued Caley. “I used countless sheets of tracing paper to get the image correct. The finished figure looks wonderful, so it was worth the effort.”

Caley shared the artwork for the deconstructed nine-inch figure. Wow! I wouldn’t even know where to begin as I can’t draw a straight line. This limited edition 1,000 set also has a 3-inch figure designed by Disney Artist Jason Zucker that resembles a diver. Look for it to be released via the Disney Parks Online Store only on Aug. 12, 2011 August 19, 2011.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Merchandise Coming Soon to Disney Parks

Since the introduction of Disney Pin Trading in 1999, the Disney Pin Team has featured 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on a variety of pins. One of my favorites was released in January 2005, and featured a piece of an actual porthole from the attraction ride vehicle. It was the first in a long line of the “Piece of Disney History” pins, and is still one of the most sought-after pins today.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Pins Coming Soon to Disney Parks

There are new pins on the horizon including two pins that will be released at The Florida Project in September. I think my favorite from the upcoming event is the cast member costume replica pin designed by Chris Chapman. It will be part of a boxed set of icon pins inspired by Fantasyland. The Classic “D” pin featuring the squid attack scene will be released on Oct. 27, at the Walt Disney World Resort.

By the way, I took the photograph above of the submarines as seen from the Skyway in 1983! I never imagined back then I’d be sharing it with you today. I would love to hear your memories from that great undersea voyage.

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Disneyland Resort at Dawn: Grizzly River Run

posted on July 25th, 2011 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort

I have posted several videos for this series featuring Disneyland park so I thought it was time to move over to Disney California Adventure park. Grizzly River Run was a natural choice and Grizzly Peak created a beautiful backdrop to the morning sunrise. It’s a calm contrast to the excitement the attraction hosts during the day. Enjoy!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

Another Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground Memory

posted on July 25th, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

I recently wrote a blog post about the old Fort Wilderness Railroad at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, which ran briefly from 1973-1977. Many of you shared lovely reflections of what it was like to stay at the campground during the 1970s, mentioning a few other offerings that are now just happy memories of the past.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground Old Food Delivery Truck

One reader, “Mark from FL,” shared his memory of the fort’s old food delivery truck – and I promised to see if we had any photos or details on it. Well, here you go.

Here’s how Mark described the truck in our “comments” section:

“They used to have an old-fashioned … pickup truck that used to go through the loops each morning selling various breakfast sundries: milk, juice, bacon, etc. [They] used to have a recording of it chugging and backfiring. They would stop, ring the triangle-shaped dinner bell and wait for the customers.”

In addition to breakfast food, the truck also sold necessities like loaves of bread and cereal, treats like potato chips and Coca-Cola, and camping basics like charcoal (and marshmallows!).

The truck was even equipped with a scale to weigh the fresh strawberries, bananas and melons onsite.

After seeing a photo of it, one thing’s for sure – this is not a truck I’d want to chance a pothole in.

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Filed: Disney History, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

A Disney Wedding: They Go Together Like Peanut Butter & Jelly

posted on July 25th, 2011 by Korri McFann, Worldwide Marketing & Business Development Director, Weddings & Honeymoons

When I first came across photos from Peter and Jen’s Disneyland Resort wedding, my heart melted. When I found out the couple affectionately calls themselves PB&J, my heart was forever their’s. Peter and Jen are one of the warmest, most genuine couples you will ever meet – their love is simply intoxicating. With a reception at the Disney Animation building and special ride experience on Soarin’ Over California for their guests, PB&J’s Disneyland nuptials were truly one-of-a-kind.

We invited PB&J back to Disneyland to capture a very special ad as part of Bringing the Fairy Tale to Life, which features real brides with real Disney memories. I hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes peek at the making of this exceptional ad as well as the finished piece. Let the memories begin!

Do you have your own love story to share? Upload it here.

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Filed: Celebrations, Disneyland Resort, Weddings & Honeymoons