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Happy Villaintines Day from Disney Parks Blog

Take 5: Adult Fun with Disney Parks and Resorts

posted on March 31st, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Ooh La La Lounge on the Disney Fantasy

Whether you’re on a family vacation or a romantic getaway for two, Disney Parks and Resorts always has something to offer the kids as well as the adults. If you’re looking for excitement, relaxation, or a romantic meal with your sweetie, check out these posts from the Disney Parks Blog for some adult-only options.

Take 5: Adult Fun with Disney Parks and Resorts

  1. Romantic Restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort – With more than 100 restaurants to choose from at Walt Disney World Resort, it can be tough deciding where to dine. Check out this list for some romantic ideas.

  2. Confirmed: The Pleasures of Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani – Are you in need of some serious relaxation? Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani, offers a serene and calming experience.

  3. Europa Adult Nighttime Fun on the Disney Fantasy – Check out these clubs, pubs and lounges for guests 18 and over aboard the Disney Fantasy.

  4. Vintage Walt Disney World: Hitting the Slopes at Blizzard Beach Water Park – Craving some excitement? Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is home to one of the tallest and fastest speed slides, Summit Plummet.

  5. A Mom’s Point of View: Adult Activities Aboard the Disney Dream – Check out this video for some exclusive adult activities aboard the Disney Dream!

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Filed: Aulani, Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World Resort

High Alert! Be on the Lookout for Menehune This Weekend

posted on March 30th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations

Be On the Lookout for Menehune on the Disney Parks Blog

We’ve blogged in the past about the Menehune, the mysterious and industrious island “little people” who seem to work mostly by night, leaving half-finished evidence of their labor at various locations around Hawai`i, including at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Visitors to Aulani may have caught sight of Menehune hiding in various corners of the resort.

Now rumor has it that this weekend the Menehune may be planning to take a hand in the Disney Parks Blog itself. Watch this space for possible Menehune mischief!

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Filed: Aulani, Disney Vacation Club, Hotels & Resorts

Sights & Sounds at Disney Parks: Do Visions of Muppets Dance in Your Head?

posted on March 30th, 2012 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group

They do in my head! When Walt Disney Pictures released “The Muppets” last Thanksgiving, there were lots of reasons for fans like us to celebrate. After all, most of us have watched “The Muppet Show” for decades, have seen the movies and experienced the marvelous madness of Muppet*Vision 3-D at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (which is as much a loving tribute to the original TV show as the recent movie).

Walt Disney Pictures' 'The Muppets'

Now that “The Muppets” is available on Blu-ray and DVD, we’ve gained one more reason to cheer: last month, the Academy Award for Best Song was awarded to “Man or Muppet” from Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Muppets.” And if you haven’t been keeping a list, this was the very first Oscar awarded to a Muppet project, ever!

It was also the first Oscar for New Zealand-born lyricist/composer Bret McKenzie, who found it an amazing thrill to be part of a distinguished Muppet music legacy, which has earned numerous Grammy and Gold Record awards over the decades. “I wanted to make sure the songs sounded like Muppet songs,” he told us. “So I took on the job of producing them, to make them feel cohesive and to help the film itself hold together sonically.”

You can hear “Man or Muppet” and the other great songs in the new multi-disc “Wocka Wocka” Edition that combines a Blu-ray, DVD, movie download and soundtrack album download in one package.

Muppet*Vision 3-D at Disney's Hollywood Studios

As a fan of both Muppets and music, I particularly enjoy those relaxing, reflective moments, sitting outside the Muppet*Vision 3-D theater—near the towering, porcine majesty of the Miss Piggy fountain—listening to instrumentals from “The Muppet Show” and various Muppet films. How many songs can you name?

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Hippity Hoppity Delicious Fun at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

posted on March 30th, 2012 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations

If you are on the hunt for an Easter Eggstravaganza, hop on over to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World Resort for a delectable Easter egg display. We know the pastry chefs there are known for their fabulous sugar shacks at Christmastime, but for 15 years, chocolatiers have also been crafting yummy chocolate egg masterpieces. Each over-sized, 9- to 12-pound hollow chocolate egg is completely edible – decorated with fondant, sugar, royal icing and themed sculpted sugar pieces. The chocolate bunnies are all hand-painted with a rainbow of cocoa butters and adorned with whimsical designs. The decorative display will be presented as a collection for the first time in the resort lobby until April 9.


Easter Eggs on Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Easter Eggs on Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Easter Eggs on Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Easter Eggs on Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Easter Eggs on Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Easter Eggs on Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Easter Eggs on Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Easter Eggs on Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Easter Eggs on Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
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Filed: Disney Dining, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Attraction Poster Merchandise Coming to Disney California Adventure Park This Weekend

posted on March 30th, 2012 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

Disney California Adventure Park Attraction Poster-Inspired Tees, Deluxe Prints and Metal Signs Coming This Weekend

Just last month I introduced the much-anticipated Disney California Adventure park attraction poster merchandise featuring the Red Car Trolley, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi’s Flying Tires and Radiator Springs Racers on the Disney Parks Blog.

The art for these posters will appear on a handful of items including T-shirts, deluxe prints, pins and more. So if you’re curious on how you can add these to your collection, they will be available to purchase beginning this weekend at Rushin’ River Outfitters and Tee’s, Hats & Tattoos at Disney California Adventure park.

So start your collection now, because new series of attraction poster-inspired merchandise will be released periodically.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’-Themed Monorail to Debut This Spring at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 30th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Hi everyone, we have exciting news to share today – our partners at Marvel Studios are bringing Marvel’s “The Avengers” to Walt Disney World Resort this spring!

In Marvel’s “The Avengers,” super heroes team up to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.

Similar to the “Tron”-themed wrap, one of our Magic Kingdom Park Monorails is currently undergoing a Marvel’s “The Avengers”-themed changeover to celebrate the May 4 opening of the film, which stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

Here’s a sneak peek, with more details to come.


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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Easter Merchandise Hops into Locations at Disney Parks

posted on March 30th, 2012 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Some of my earliest childhood memories are about receiving a basket of goodies from the Easter bunny. There was a good mix of chocolate (yes!) along with other small items like toy cars, clothes and a children’s record album which I still own. With the Easter holiday only a few weeks away, I donned a pair of bunny ears and hopped around Disney Parks Merchandise looking for items to fill this year’s baskets. I found two common themes – eggs and bunnies.


We have released two new Vinylmation figures for Easter – a 9-inch Vinylmation figure designed by Disney Design Group artist Monty Maldovan, and a 3-inch figure created by Disney artist Casey Jones. I love how the colors of the 9-inch figure pop against the green Florida grass, and my favorite detail on the 3-inch figure is his cotton-like tail. Casey told me that the Vinylmation team loved the rabbit-shaped form so much that we may see it used again for a future release.

Eggs and bunnies were also a theme for the consumables team, who introduced delicious cupcakes this year. Look for them, along with bunny- and egg-shaped sugar cookies, in locations such as the Main Street Confectionery in Magic Kingdom Park or Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort.


A small assortment of pins were released for the Easter holiday, including a new Mickey Mouse icon made to look like a painted egg. I also like the deluxe lanyard with sublimated printing which, not surprisingly, contains bunnies and eggs.


There are a few items that won’t arrive until later this year (I thought you’d enjoy a first look at them). Similar to the St. Patrick’s Day ornament I previously discussed, there will be an Easter ornament coming this summer. The ear hat ornament stars Thumper and was designed by Derrick Lirette, a professional intern with Disney Design Group. Thumper will also be found on a new shirt arriving this August at Disney Parks.

Finally, I learned the “Hop and Drop” program I discussed last year is returning to Walt Disney World Resort hotels in Florida starting April 1. (Special thanks to Summer Figueroa, a retail manager at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, for the tip!)

“Hoppy” Easter!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Q&A with Imagineer Joe Rohde, Recipient of the Buzz Price Thea Award Recognizing a Career of Distinguished Achievements

posted on March 29th, 2012 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney Imagineer Rohde, Recently Honored with the Buzz Price Thea Award Recognizing a Career of Distinguished Achievements

In November, we announced that Imagineer Joe Rohde would be honored by the Themed Entertainment Association with its Buzz Price Thea Award Recognizing a Career of Distinguished Achievements, and on March 17, 2012, Joe received his award during the Thea Awards ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Joe about the award and his career at Walt Disney Imagineering – which has included such enormous projects as Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park; Expedition Everest; Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa; and the upcoming AVATAR project at Walt Disney World Resort.

What does receiving the Buzz Price Thea Award Recognizing a Career of Distinguished Achievements mean to you, coming from your peers in the industry who make up the Themed Entertainment Association?

It’s a great honor to look at my list of achievements and to be counted among people who have done so much more than I have – it’s really an honor.

Looking back on your career, what has been the most exciting project you’ve worked on, and what has been your biggest challenge?

When I first saw the Disney’s Animal Kingdom site, I was truly terrified. Disney’s Animal Kingdom was unexplored country – we were doing lots of things that had never been done before. It’s hard not to see getting Disney’s Animal Kingdom built as a challenge. Attempting to do so many things all in one project – it was challenging and a growth experience. We were truly learning as we were doing.

With Aulani, I knew there was more to Hawai`i that many visitors don’t realize, and I knew Disney had a great opportunity to tell that story.

You’re known for your love of storytelling and attention to detail. You’ve visited many places all over the world for research – which have been your favorites? Are there places you’d still like to visit?

I love the Himalayas, and I’ve spent a lot of time there. When we were doing research for Expedition Everest, we visited places few people have been before.

Where I’d like to go…I have to go camel trekking in Mongolia and I want to go to Papua New Guinea.

What are you looking forward to next?

When I think about the AVATAR story and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I see the value systems that underlie both. We have the opportunity to tell that story in a way that will make the AVATAR experience feel like a natural part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

All of us who are designers have an opportunity to take the work we are given and make it something unexpected. That’s how we help the company to grow and expand into new areas.

Please join me in congratulating Joe on receiving the Buzz Price Thea Award Recognizing a Career of Distinguished Achievements!

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Filed: Cast Member Profiles, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Yummy New Tastes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 29th, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

While we’ll always have our favorites, oh, how we love delicious new food finds when we wander through Disney Parks. On a recent trek through Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, we were tempted to stop for our usual favorite – the rib and chicken combo at Flame Tree Barbecue, where the ribs are worth getting messy for while sitting at the outdoor picnic tables on a glorious spring day. (And where else can you find a basket of onion rings?)

But food lovers can be a fickle bunch, so we headed for Tamu Tamu, where they’ve replaced the burger with a slow-roasted pulled beef sandwich, spicy beef piled on a warm pita with mint-yogurt cucumber sauce. On the side are housemade potato chips (yes, housemade). You can opt for apple slices, but we just couldn’t.


Some days we prefer to sip our lunch, especially on hot days. We recently discovered three cooling cocktails at the outdoor Dawa Bar in Harambe Village: the Dawa Colada with Bacardi Razz Rum, pina colada mix and raspberry puree; the Harambe Cooler with African rum, Myer’s Original Dark Rum Pangani Punch (We’re not sure what Pangani Punch is, but we like it!); and the African Margarita with Sauza Gold Tequila, Van der Hum Tangerine Liquer, sweet-and-sour mix and lime juice.

Or check out the new Triple Yeti Blast, a frozen, layered margarita with lime, mango and strawberry at the Upcountry kiosk across from Kamal’s in Asia. Order your Triple Yeti Blast and head for the waterfront seating overlooking the Discovery River – an easy way to while away the afternoon.


Do you have any favorite new park dining finds to share?

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Kaba Modern Advances to April 12 Semi-Final Round of TRON CITY’S DANCE CREW CHALLENGE at Disney California Adventure Park!

posted on March 29th, 2012 by Robin Trowbridge, Entertainment Show Director, Disneyland Resort.

Last weekend, March 23-24, dance crews Team Millennia and Kaba Modern battled it out in week two of TRON CITY’S DANCE CREW CHALLENGE at Disney California Adventure park. After the Portal closed on Saturday night, all the texted votes were counted! Kaba Modern was declared the winner (after just edging out Team Millennia) and will be moving on to day one of the semi-finals on April 12, along with TM Juniors (winners of the first week’s challenge). You’ll want to be there when Kaba Modern and TM Juniors face off to determine who will advance to the finals on April 14.

The exciting challenge continues! Coming up this Friday & Saturday, Mar. 30-31, it’s Klaamation vs. Poreotics! These two dance crews will compete to see who grabs a prime spot in day two of the semi-finals on April 13.


Some of you ElecTRONica fans may remember that Poreotics was the first dance crew to perform on the Grid, bringing their unique fusion of popping choreography and robotics. And oh yes, they’ll be charging up the Grid in their trademark shades.


New to the Grid is Klaamation Dance Kru—a high-energy team that’s ready to bring it! Their dynamic style and creativity on stage cannot be contained. They’re focused on taking ElecTRONica by storm, all the way to the finals!

Which of these two teams will earn a spot in the semi-finals on April 13? Come check out the competition live — on the Power Surge Stage in Hollywood Pictures Backlot – and receive information on how to text in your vote for your favorite dance crew. Who will earn YOUR votes…Klaamation or Poreotics?

The surviving dance crew will be announced via Twitter on Sunday, April 1.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort