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Yakitori House Restaurant at Epcot

Happy New Year from Disneyland Resort … 1972-Style!

posted on December 31st, 2011 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

We recently came across a photo taken exactly 40 years ago as Disneyland park celebrated the new year, and we thought we would take this opportunity to share it with you and wish you a very happy 1972 – I mean 2012!

Celebrating the New Year at Disneyland Park in 1972

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Take 5: Fireworks Throughout 2011 at Disney Parks and Resorts

posted on December 31st, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

We always find a reason to include a fireworks show at Disney Parks and Resorts. It’s doesn’t matter if it’s during Halloween time, the Fourth of July or celebrating the maiden voyage of a new cruise ship, fireworks always make an event more magical! This week’s Take 5 falls on New Year’s Eve, so we wanted to take a look back at some spectacular fireworks shots from around Disney Parks throughout the past year. Here’s to a sparkling start to the new year!

Take 5: Fireworks Throughout 2011 at Disney Parks and Resorts

  1. Forty Years of Fireworks at Walt Disney World Resort – Check out this awesome clip, in which Principal Fireworks & Special Effects Designer Brad Cicotti shares the history of Disney fireworks and offers a backstage look at how these shows are launched each night.

  2. A Spooktacular in the Sky at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts – Here are some images from Happy HalloWishes, a unique experience with lots of fireworks for Halloween guests.

  3. Fireworks Old and New at Disneyland Park – Disneyland Resort Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer shared some tips for getting that perfect shot during a fireworks show.

  4. Celebrating Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort – A spectacular fireworks show was just one way we celebrated the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort this year. Here’s a list of all the festivities!

  5. Maiden Voyage Guests Enjoy Innovation and Pixie Dust Aboard the Disney Dream – During the maiden voyage of the Disney Dream, guests enjoyed a brand-new fireworks spectacular called Buccaneer Blast!
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New Year’s Eve Adventures Await at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on December 30th, 2011 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Still looking for a place to ring in the new year? The party will be rocking at Disney California Adventure park until 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve! Guests will enjoy some of their favorite attractions like Toy Story Mania! and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and special New Year’s Eve entertainment:

  • Countdown to the New Year just before a special midnight showing of “World of Color
  • Midnight countdown during ElecTRONica, featuring DJ Michael Paul
  • Live band, champagne bars and midnight countdown in Paradise Garden area

Take a look at some of the fun we had last year!

The fun continues across the Esplanade, where Disneyland park will be celebrating with dance club locations, DJs and countdown moments throughout the park.

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‘A Christmas Fantasy’ Parade at Disneyland Park

posted on December 30th, 2011 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

We’re still celebrating the holiday season here at the Disneyland Resort, including daily performances of “A Christmas Fantasy” parade through January 8! This parade has become a holiday tradition at Disneyland park, but changes and additions from time to time keep the magic fresh for our guests. Can you name the elements that are new or different in the parade this year?

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Meet-Up and Warm Up for the Walt Disney World Marathon with Running Guru Jeff Galloway and Celebs

posted on December 30th, 2011 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort

UPDATE: Click here for a complete list of attendees. If you are on the list and did not receive a confirmation email, please contact us at

Please note that we will not be responding to questions via this email address. If you have questions, please ask them in the comments, and we will do our best to answer them.

UPDATE: We have reached capacity! Thanks for everyone’s interest in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up Event – we appreciate your quick responses. At approximately 2 p.m. ET, we will send the meet-up attendees a confirmation email. By 3 p.m. ET, we will post a link to the complete list of attendees. Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for additional unique opportunities in the future.

If you’re looking to gain tips and training advice from Galloway, he will also be available at the upcoming Expo on Thursday at Noon and 6 p.m. ET, Friday at 1 and 6 p.m., and Saturday at 3 and 4 p.m. ET. Also, there is additional Galloway training information at

Meet-Up and Warm Up for the Walt Disney World Marathon with Running Guru Jeff Galloway

There’s something special about runDisney events that draws runners to Disney Parks time and time again. The upcoming 19th Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is a great example of magical moments for runners at Walt Disney World Resort.

To kick off the weekend, we’re once again hosting a Meet-Up and Warm Up with training tips from official runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway. The former Olympian will be joined by a surprise celebrity fitness guru who will offer cross training tips for runners, as well as other reality television celebrities.
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
Members of our entertainment team will also share a sneak peak of behind-the-scenes magic of runDisney events. With the recent announcement of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, set to debut in 2012, there are plenty of entertaining tidbits to be shared.

For an opportunity to be selected to run-walk-run with Galloway at Walt Disney World Resort next Friday, RSVP right now to Remember, only 40 qualified runners will be selected to participate, so be one of the first to apply ASAP.

Not one of the 40 participants selected this time? Post your training questions for Galloway in the comments and I’ll get him to answer a few of them on a future Disney Parks Blog post. You can also see Galloway at the upcoming Expo, held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and at future runDisney events.

In the meantime, here are a few things you should know:

  • All participants must be available for a 7:30 a.m. start time on Friday, Jan. 6.
  • Qualified applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A valid ID is required. Participants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Valid RSVPs must include your name. RSVPs that include more than one person or are missing information (e.g. incomplete names) will not be accepted.
  • Admittance to the event is non-transferable and limited to the selected applicant; no additional guests please.
  • The event and individual appearances are subject to change or cancellation.
  • Because this is a running-oriented event, we ask that applicants be experienced runners, able to maintain a 12-minute per mile pace.
  • Selected applicants attending the meet-up are not required to purchase admission.
  • We will send an email to selected applicants who sent their valid RSVP via email before we reached capacity to confirm their attendance for Friday. We plan to send this email at approximately 2 p.m. ET today, and we will also post a link on the Disney Parks Blog that will include a list of names of all selected runners. If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation and your name does not appear on the list of selected applicants, your RSVP was not selected.
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Looking Ahead to a New Year for Disney Cruise Line

posted on December 30th, 2011 by Jason Lasecki, Public Relations Director, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures By Disney, Disney Vacation Club

As we get ready to kick off 2012, we’re getting more and more excited about the coming year here at Disney Cruise Line. The New Year will ring in new ports, new destinations and a new Disney ship!

With all the updates we’ve been sharing on the Disney Fantasy, I hope you’re as eager as I am to set foot on the newest addition to the Disney Cruise Line fleet setting sail March 31. Brand new offerings like “Wishes,” the Muppets Adventure Game, AquaLab, Europa, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Animation Magic are new additions our guests will love.

Here’s a sneak peek at the Disney Fantasy as Dumbo and his pal Timothy Q. Mouse (along with the hardworking team at the Meyer Werft shipyard) put the finishing touches on the stern:


The expansion of the Disney Cruise Line fleet isn’t the only exciting thing happening in the new year. For the first time ever, Disney Cruise Line will set sail from New York, Seattle and Galveston.

Disney Cruise Line to set Sail from New York Disney Cruise Line to set Sail from Seattle Disney Cruise Line to set Sail from Galveston

New ports equal new destinations, and new destinations mean more adventures for your family! How well do you know the new 2012 Disney Cruise Line itineraries? Let’s see if you can match the photos below to the corresponding cruise. Check back around 3pm today to see how many you got right!

Name That Disney Cruise Line Itinerary Name That Disney Cruise Line Itinerary Name That Disney Cruise Line Itinerary
Name That Disney Cruise Line Itinerary Name That Disney Cruise Line Itinerary Name That Disney Cruise Line Itinerary Name That Disney Cruise Line Itinerary
  1. Bahamas from New York
  2. Canada up the New England coast from New York
  3. Weekend at sea from New York
  4. Alaska from Seattle
  5. Western Caribbean from Galveston
  6. Hawaii from Los Angeles
  7. Pacific Coast from Los Angeles

In addition to these new itineraries, Disney Cruise Line will continue to visit the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles and the Caribbean and Bahamas from Port Canaveral in 2012. It’s going to be a busy year for Disney Cruise Line, and I hope you’ll enjoy the journey with us! Which Disney cruises are you planning for 2012?

UPDATE: Answers –

  1. D
    As the Disney Wonder sails from Seattle to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, guests are able to experience the rich history and customs of Alaska’s native culture and learn about local culture through hand-carved totem poles.
  2. E
    The Disney Magic will reposition in September to the grand state of Texas. Departing from the Port of Galveston, the ship will sail to the Western Caribbean, with stops in Grand Cayman and Mexico’s Costa Maya and Cozumel, home to exotic wildlife like the iguana.
  3. B
    Five-night cruises from New York up the New England coast to Canada call on Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick, where families can marvel at gorgeous natural wonders like the St. Martins Sea Caves.
  4. A
    Eight-night Bahamas cruises from New York stop at Port Canaveral, Florida, giving guests an opportunity to visit the nearby Walt Disney World Resort, including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom (pictured).
  5. F
    Two-week Hawaii cruises are an escape to tropical paradise as the ship sails through the breathtaking islands with stops in Hilo, Maui, Oahu and Kauai, where guests can go on exciting shore excursions like horseback riding.
  6. C
    Two-night cruises from New York are a great weekend escape, giving guests a sampling of the Disney Cruise Line experience and the opportunity to discover some of New York’s top attractions like The American Museum of Natural History.
  7. G
    Seven-night Pacific Coast cruises stop in San Francisco and San Diego with the opportunity for excursions to famous California landmarks and regions like Sonoma Wine Country.
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VIDEO: Rose Bowl Teams Visit Disneyland Park

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

On Tuesday, this year’s Rose Bowl teams – the Wisconsin Badgers and the Oregon Ducks – kicked off tournament week in a visit to Disneyland park, which has been a tradition since 1959. Today we’ve got a special treat for all you Badgers and Ducks out there – video from the teams’ visit. We’ve got highlights from the ceremony, interviews with the coaches and players, and even footage of the teams riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Mad Tea Party. Check it out!

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Caption This: Big Al Rings in the New Year at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on December 29th, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

With New Year’s Eve on the way, I had to share this hilarious photo with you.


It sure looks like Big Al, one of the bears from the former Country Bear Christmas Special at Magic Kingdom Park, sure had a blast at the New Year’s Party! What should his New Year’s resolutions be? And who is going to clean up this mess? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This!”

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VIDEO: Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Hotels

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

Sure, Christmas was a few days ago but we’re still celebrating here at the Disneyland Resort! If you haven’t yet seen some of the beautiful holiday decorations at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, check them out in this video or see for yourself – they’ll stay all decked out until January 8!

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Disney Parks Blog Highlights of 2011

posted on December 29th, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

If you ask me, this was by far the best year yet on the Disney Parks Blog. Just look back at the stories and conversations – it’s tough to narrow down the months of wonderful stuff to a few “highlights” but here’s our attempt. And before wrapping up 2011 and moving on to the New Year, we also wanted to stop and share a quick thank you to all of our readers for the inspiring comments and amazing support – it was the best year yet!

Disney Parks Blog Highlights of 2011

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