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Holiday Shopping Scoop at Disneyland Park

posted on November 25th, 2011 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

So I have to ask… How many of you started your shopping at local stores at midnight? How many of you are reading this on your phones, right now, as you stand in line because you’re still shopping? And how come you forgot to tell me where the good deals are? Hello… I always give you shopping tips.

I guess you can say I’m freaking out just a little bit that the holidays are here. Time seems to have gone by so fast and as you know, today officially kicks off the madness that is holiday shopping, and while some would say “stop the madness”… I say, “bring it on!” I’d love to tell you that I’m completely organized and have a list made out for everyone I’m buying for this year… But, who am I kidding!

So I thought I’d offer you a few quick tips for shops to visit at the Disneyland Resort if you’re getting started on your holiday shopping, and a list of a few of the items that are sure to fly off the shelves.

At Disneyland park, there’s your one-stop shop, the Emporium, of course! Not only will you enjoy the newly renovated atmosphere in this location, but you can pretty much lay out your plan of attack in just one glance. Here’s the route I took.

Toys, plush, dolls and games are towards the far back, corner of the store. Here’s what to look for: Disney Theme Park Edition Trivial Pursuit and Memory Challenge; and for young Disney fans look for the Disney Racers and Disney Princess dolls.

Disney Gingerbread Ear Hat

In the center of the store, you have some seasonal favorites including holiday fleece, plush, tees, stockings and ear hats. The gingerbread one is my favorite! It’s literally “looks” delicious.

Disney Character-Themed Stockings

In the surrounding areas beyond the holiday goodies, you’ll find souvenirs and home décor items, fleece blankets, hauntingly fun “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” offerings, apparel and more. Here are a few of the things I would recommend. Definitely check out the vast selection of tees and fleece hoodies for adults and kids, featuring many of your favorite Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, Grumpy, Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and more. As well as the newly released vintage style mascot program hailing very “old school” versions of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck.

Alright everybody, I’m off to the next store. I’ll be back with more tips on what to look for while holiday shopping this season at the Disneyland Resort, so keep watching. I’m thinking I need a shopping spree… Anyone in?

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Disney Cast Members Pen Postcards of Thanks to U.S. Troops

posted on November 25th, 2011 by Kathleen Prihoda, Manager of Media Relations, Walt Disney World Resort

As I think about what I’m thankful for this holiday season, I’m grateful to those who protect our nation so we have the freedom enjoy this special time with our friends and families.

Recognizing the efforts of the armed forces has become a year-round mission for some Disney VoluntEARS, who send notes of encouragement to U.S. troops just to let them know how much they are appreciated.

Disney Cast Members Pen Postcards of Thanks to U.S. Troops

Founded by a Disneyland Resort cast member in 1995, Operation Uplift was inspired by a letter from a soldier serving in Operation Desert Storm. That note said the troops didn’t receive much mail, but when they did, it meant the world to them because they knew people back home cared.

Since that time, Disney VoluntEARS around the country have sent more than 90,000 postcards of support and thanks to servicemen and servicewomen serving domestically and overseas.

Disney Cast Members Pen Postcards of Thanks to U.S. Troops

Those who participate in Operation Uplift say they find great reward in sharing the magic of Disney with military men and women who are serving far from friends and family.

While it might seem like a small gesture, it’s nice to know that these patriotic postcards offer a salute with a smile and brighten many a day.

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Filed: Community Outreach, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Tis the Season to Save at Disney Parks

posted on November 25th, 2011 by Erin Catalano, Merchandise Communication Specialist, Walt Disney World Resort

If there is one thing you should know about me, it’s that I love to shop. I’m not just a casual window shopper, I’m a bargain hunting, shop ‘til you drop, licensed professional shopper. While shopping is one of my first loves, I don’t love everything about it. One thing I can do without when it comes to holiday shopping is the massive crowds that start to form on Thanksgiving night. Luckily, this holiday season claustrophobic shoppers like me can rejoice thanks to killer Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals being offered online!

Tis the Season to Be Saving at Disney Parks

Joining in on the outrageous online offers this year is the official shopping site for Disney Theme Park Authentic Merchandise, The online store is starting savings off early this year with special Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday deals. What kind of savings can you expect to find online Nov. 24 and 25? Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in-store for you:

Thanksgiving Day and Magical Black Friday “Door Busters”:

  • $5 Vinylmation Sea Creatures
  • $5 Vinylmation Flags
  • $10 Vinylmation Celebrations
  • $10 Select Disney Theme Park Authentic Ornaments
  • $15 Select Disney Parks Authentic Stockings
  • $15 Select Disney Theme Park Authentic Plush

On top of the door busters, will be offering 20% off Disney Theme Park gifts throughout the entire site! In addition to $20 off, we’re taking an additional $5 off select items such as the Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain Play Sets, select Disney Theme Park Edition Board Games and Chamilia Jewelry and accessories!

The holiday savings don’t stop on Friday. When you visit on Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) you’ll be treated to even more savings on Disney Parks favorites!

Cyber Monday Specials include:

  • 10% off $50
  • 15% off $75
  • 20% off $100
  • 25% off $125 plus free shipping on your order
  • Plus, special surprise savings throughout the site

In keeping with the theme of giving that is synonymous with the holiday season, will be offering special discounts and promotions all season long. Want to stay up to date on all the holiday offers coming this year from the Disney Parks online store? Sign up for our mobile text messaging program which will send all of the holiday offers from directly to your mobile device! To sign up, all you need to do is text SHOP to 37275. Happy Shopping and Saving!

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Download the Disney Theme Park Merchandise Holiday Guide

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

Disney Theme Park Merchandise 2011 Holiday Guide

As a child, I spent hours poring over catalogs while making my holiday wish lists for Santa Claus. That childhood memory sparked a new digital guide that we created for the holidays. Our goal was to present the “must have” gifts found at Disney Parks in both California and Florida using mostly photographs. There is also a section featuring gift ideas from World Showcase at Epcot. Next week on the Disney Parks Blog, I’ll share a story about my afternoon shopping adventure turned photo safari at World Showcase.

You can download the 56-page guide in .PDF format on the site.

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Take Advantage of Disney’s PhotoPass’ Black Friday Deal

posted on November 24th, 2011 by Kelly Glassburn, Manager of Marketing & Communications, Disney’s PhotoPass Service

If you haven’t visited the Disney Parks lately, you are missing out on some of the most spectacular holiday decorations in the world! From twinkling holiday lights to festive new shows, the opportunities to create and capture your holiday memories are endless. The parks offer a great backdrop for your “official holiday family photo,” but don’t forget the power of the candid moments. Some of our favorite family photos (much to my mother’s chagrin) are not the ones perfectly posed but rather those that really capture the essence of the season.

Here are just a few of our recent favorites, taken by our Disney’s PhotoPass photographers:

Holiday Photos From Disney's PhotoPass at Disney Parks Holiday Photos From Disney's PhotoPass at Disney Parks
Holiday Photos From Disney's PhotoPass at Disney Parks Holiday Photos From Disney's PhotoPass at Disney Parks

So while you’re busy decking the halls, mark your list for a holiday visit to your favorite Disney park and smile for our photographers! You may find that your “Goofiest” shot is the most memorable one of all!

P.S. – Because we know you’ll have a favorite holiday moment captured by our photographers, visit our Facebook page tomorrow (Nov. 25) for a special holiday discount treat!

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Happy Thanksgiving from Disneyland Park!

posted on November 24th, 2011 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park

It’s Thanksgiving Day, so I wanted to share one of my favorite shots from Paul Hiffmeyer. Waiting just steps from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Paul was able to catch the “wildest ride in the wilderness” as it passed beautiful fall foliage here at Disneyland park. The colors are just amazing – I wonder if the passengers on the train had time to notice …

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Vintage Walt Disney World: A Muppetational Television Special

posted on November 24th, 2011 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center

As we all prepare for Muppet domination this weekend when Disney’s The Muppets draws crowds to theaters, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at another Muppet production that happened right here at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Muppets at Walt Disney World

In May 1990, “The Muppets at Walt Disney World,” a one-hour television special, had the entire Muppet crew visiting a Florida swamp to meet Kermit’s family. Of course, when the gang figures out that Walt Disney World is just across the swamp, they insist on visiting the vacation kingdom.

The Muppets at Walt Disney World

The special takes the Muppets all over the Resort including Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa where Miss Piggy checks in for a stay (above), and Fozzie and his Mom take a break for some tea (below).

The Muppets at Walt Disney World

And while I haven’t seen “The Muppets at Walt Disney World” (though I wish I had, it looks fantastic), I have seen the new Muppet movie. It’s silly, fun, and an overall great time at the movies. So check it out after you’re stuffed yourself silly with turkey – you’ll be glad you did.

The Muppets at Walt Disney World

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Filed: Disney History, Walt Disney World Resort

Happy Thanksgiving from Sailor Mickey and Disney Cruise Line!

posted on November 24th, 2011 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

From high in the sky above the streets of New York City, Disney Cruise Line‘s Sailor Mickey Mouse is saluting you with warm wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Sailor Mickey!

Today marks the third annual appearance of Sailor Mickey in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Mickey Mouse is always a crowd pleaser in this popular parade, and at more than six stories tall, the Sailor Mickey balloon surely can’t be missed!

Did you know that it takes about two hours and 14,000 cubic feet of helium to inflate Sailor Mickey? The end result is a 600-pound balloon approximately 61 feet high, 33 feet wide and 48 feet long.

Let’s hope I don’t weigh that much after all of the turkey and stuffing I eat today. Happy Turkey Day!

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Happy Thanksgiving From the Disney Parks Blog

posted on November 24th, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Happy Thanksgiving From the Disney Parks Blog

Before you begin your day, we at Disney Parks wanted to wish you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving. Our blog team and authors have a few holiday surprises to share in the upcoming days, including a cool Disneyland park post later today from Erin and Paul Hiffmeyer and a special salute from Disney Cruise Line’s Sailor Mickey Mouse.

And you better believe we’ll be posting some Disney Parks Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping tips and deals here on the Disney Parks blog beginning early tomorrow morning. Be sure and check back and see how you can save at Disney Parks.

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

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This Week in Disney History: Mickey Debuts in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

posted on November 23rd, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

The ad read, “See gigantic balloons designed by none other than Walt Disney, creator of Mickey Mouse himself!”

It was New York City, 1934, and Mickey Mouse was about to make his grand debut in the Macy’s Santa Claus Parade (now Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade).

Mickey Mouse Makes His Debut at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, 1934 (Courtesy of Getty Images)

The first Mickey Mouse balloon was a collaborative effort between Walt Disney and Macy’s Tony Sarg, who years earlier applied the principles of marionette puppetry to invent the type of parade balloons we know today. This Mickey was easily one of the biggest that Disney had produced yet, hand-painted and measuring in at 40 feet tall (the star on his chest is a nod to the Macy’s logo).

Mickey was led in the parade by a team of 25 handlers who were festively dressed in Mickey/Minnie costumes. A smaller Pluto balloon, a 34-foot-tall Big Bad Wolf, a 31-foot-tall Little Pig, and a 12 ½-foot-tall Horace Horsecollar followed along in the 1934 procession.

In the years since, Mickey and other Disney characters have marked company milestones – many of them related to our theme parks – by appearing in the parade.

Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Appear Together in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1972 (Courtesy of Getty Images)

Mickey and Donald Duck (who debuted in 1935) appeared together in 1972 to celebrate the first anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. Mickey returned again in 1973 to mark 50 years of Disney cartoons.

Donald Duck Marks His 50th Birthday in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1984 (Courtesy of Getty Images)

In 1984, Donald Duck marked his 50th birthday in the parade, following along right behind the procession’s classic Tom Turkey float.

Santa Goofy at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1992 (Courtesy of Getty Images)

Santa Goofy took the spotlight in 1992, appearing as the “new” balloon in the year’s parade. The procession also featured 6,000 amateur tap dancers donning Mickey Ears, tapping to set the Guinness World Record for Largest Assembly of Tap Dancers.

Bandleader Mickey Mouse Balloon in the 2000 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (Courtesy of Getty Images)

In 2000, a new Bandleader Mickey balloon had the honor of leading the first parade in the new millennium.

Sailor Mickey Debuts in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2009 and 2010 (Courtesy of Getty Images)

Most recently, Sailor Mickey debuted in the parade in 2009 and 2010 to mark the announcement of Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships.

Be sure to look for Sailor Mickey again in this year’s parade, who will celebrate the upcoming debut of the Disney Fantasy ship!

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Filed: Disney History, Walt Disney World Resort