Show Hide
Abominable Snowman Matterhorn

Pull into the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on May 30th, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

We love all the neon signs and the retro restaurants in Cars Land. And wait ‘til you taste the fun and unique meals, snacks and drinks at each of five roadside “wig-wams” in Cars Land. Welcome to Cozy Cone Motel!

Cone #1: Churro bites with cinnamon-chocolate sauce, regular or cinnamon-spiced hot cocoa, and Ramone’s Pear of Dice Soda (desert pear and mojito flavorings topped with Sprite).

Cone #2: Soft-serve ice cream and “route” beer floats.

Chicken Verde Cone at the Cozy Cone Motel at Cars Land

Cone #3: Breakfast features the bacon scrambled egg cone and scrambled egg verde cone. Lunch and dinner is chili “cone” queso and a chicken verde cone. Sip one of Fillmore’s Fuelin’ Groovy Ades (all-natural lemonade with wild berry foam, or pomegranate limeade with lemon-lime foam).

Cone #4: Pretzel bites with cheesy sauce. To drink, Red’s Apple Freeze (100% frozen apple juice with Red’s special flavoring topped with a hint of toasted marshmallow flavor, and passion fruit-mango foam)

Cone #5: With two flavored popcorns daily, you might find salt and vinegar, pickle, bacon and cheddar, sweet and spicy or nacho cheese. Also serving Doc’s Wild Grape Tonic (Sprite with wild grape syrup and wild berry foam).

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and follow @Disneyland on Twitter for the latest on the expansion of Disney California Adventure park. While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtags #CarsLand, #BuenaVistaStreet, #MadTParty and #JustGotHappier.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort

Earning My Wings, Earning My Ears with Southwest Airlines and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

posted on May 30th, 2012 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor

As we get ready to officially lift the curtain and unveil our newest hotel at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, I had the chance to take a tour of the wonderfully imaginative and themed resort. But not just any tour… The great cast at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort asked me to try out a few occupations in celebration of this amazing destination. I jumped at the chance.

To help show you the new resort, we’ve joined with the fine folks at Southwest Airlines for this video preview. The airline has more than 100 flights daily to Orlando, which means there are plenty of opportunities to climb aboard one of their famous Canyon Blue-hued airplanes and visit Walt Disney World Resort.

When completely open, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will bring four new worlds to the wonderful world of Disney — 1,120 suites designed after the animated hit films Finding Nemo, Cars and The Lion King, and 864 rooms inspired by The Little Mermaid. Each section of the resort will open in phases, with dates listed below (*subject to change):

  • Finding Nemo Family Suites: May 31, 2012
  • Cars Family Suites: Opening June 18, 2012
  • The Lion King Family Suites: Opening August 10, 2012
  • The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms: Opening September 15, 2012


Walt Disney Imagineers designed Disney’s Art of Animation Resort with custom furniture and amenities, playful (and immersive, as you’ll see) courtyards and innovations including a family table that transforms into a bed. The spacious suites offer guests plenty of room to stretch out with all of the theming, whimsy, attention to detail and quality service you’ve come to expect at a Disney Resort.

In this video, I had a chance to try out a few roles at the resort and experience some Southwest Airlines “LUV” at one of the airports they serve.

Where I grew up I might say I had to “sing for my supper,” but I had to earn my ears and my wings while testing out various roles. Needless to say, I had a lot of fun and learned even more while test-driving some of the services Disney Parks and Southwest Airlines provides guests and passengers.

To find out more about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Southwest Airlines and ways to plan your Disney vacation, fly on over to this special website:

  • Share: 


Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Disneyland Resort Donates Iconic ‘CALIFORNIA’ Letters

posted on May 30th, 2012 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

The “CALIFORNIA” letters previously located in the esplanade of the Disney California Adventure park entrance have found a new home! The Disneyland Resort will donate the set of letters, which were removed to make way for the Disney California Adventure park expansion project, to the Friends of the California State Fair, a nonprofit organization that benefits California Exposition & State Fair (Cal Expo) in Sacramento. Cal Expo is the site of the California State Fair and hundreds of other events annually.


Plans are underway to make the letters an integral part of a new Cal Expo entrance. The “CALIFORNIA” letters will make their way to their new home sometime in late September and will be placed high enough at the entrance to be seen from Exposition Boulevard. They’ll continue to create memories at a fitting location as Disney California Adventure park welcomes Cars Land and Buena Vista Street!

The donation is the latest among several other Disney California Adventure park artifacts over the last five years, including:

  • The cab of the California Zephyr train that was formerly the home of Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream and Bakers Field Bakery was donated to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, Calif.
  • The sun icon that welcomed visitors to Sunshine Plaza was donated to the City of Anaheim for future use.
  • The giant toy train from EnginEARS Toys will be donated to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s) for future use.
  • Postcards and displays from the Greetings From California store at the main entrance of Disney California Adventure park were donated to many Southern California nonprofit organizations and educational facilities, including the Boys & Girls Club of Tustin, the Anaheim Family YMCA, the Child Abuse Services Team office in Orange, the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach, and Betsy Ross and Orange Grove elementary schools in Anaheim.
  • Signs and character displays from Greetings From California were donated to Pretend City in Irvine.
  • The Reboundo Beach surfboard basketball game was donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Garden Grove.
  • Benches from throughout Disney California Adventure park were donated to the City of Anaheim for use in public spaces.
  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

Today in Disney History: Disney Broke Ground On Walt Disney World Resort 45 Years Ago

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

I love writing posts about Disney history and the milestone I get to celebrate today is no exception. Exactly 45 years ago, on May 30, 1967, the first ground was broken for the construction of the Walt Disney World Resort.


I really wanted to share a photo of this milestone, so I partnered with fellow Disney Parks Blog Author Nate Rasmussen and the Disney Archives to try to track some down. I’ve always been told this part of Central Florida was pretty sparse before Disney moved in, and the photos we found proved just that – miles of nothing but trees and lakes.

During our search, Nate and I found that some of the first compelling photos that exist of Walt Disney World Resort’s pre-opening were actually produced two years later, in April 1969, during a press event that gave locals their first look at what Walt Disney World Resort would be.


This “first look” took place at the Ramada Inn Tower in Ocoee, Fla. Here, invited guests could explore a tent full of scale models of Walt Disney World Resort, as well as artwork and Audio-Animatronics figures. (Oh, if us bloggers had a time machine!).


Disney leaders who spoke – and even signed autographs – at the event were what we’d consider today to be a real “who’s who” of Disney history, including Roy O. Disney, John Hench, Charlie Ridgway, Donn Tatum and Card Walker, many of whom later achieved Disney Legend status. During the event, they announced Oct. 1, 1971 as Walt Disney World Resort’s opening date, and declared that construction was officially beginning on Magic Kingdom Park and the first hotels (1967 construction included necessary roadwork and utilities).

At the event, Roy O. Disney also expressed joy in overseeing Walt’s dream of bringing a second Disney theme park to life:

“You should know that the dedication of our staff to Walt’s goals is tremendous. And I know Walt would like what his creative team is doing because these are the ideas and plans he began. Everything you will see here today is something Walt worked on and began in some way. And today, the Walt Disney organization is dedicated to carrying out these wonderful plans in Walt Disney World.”


“Media “The “Mickey “(Out

The event’s attendees also watched a 17-minute film called “Walt Disney World – Phase 1” at the nearby Parkwood Cinema Theater. Later on, they loaded onto buses for a trip to the Walt Disney World site. At the time, Seven Seas Lagoon was still only a dry lakebed.

  • Share: 


Filed: Disney History, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Cruise Line Announces Pixar-inspired California Coastal Cruises

posted on May 30th, 2012 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

If you‘re a fan of Pixar Animation Studios’ award-winning films, you are going to love the new offerings announced today for Disney Cruise Line’s seven-night California Coastal voyages this fall.

Disney Cruise Line Announces Pixar-inspired California Coastal Cruises

During these voyages, Disney Cruise Line guests will be able to interact with and explore the world of Pixar and their beloved characters while the Disney Wonder sails to popular port cities along the coast of California. Special entertainment and offerings designed for both children and adults include:

  • Artists and filmmakers from Pixar Animation Studios will provide an inside look at the creative process used to develop an animated feature which includes a look at the making of Pixar’s newest release “Brave” and a sneak peek at footage of future Pixar films.
  • Storyboards, character sketches, environment paintings, maquettes and other inspiring concept art used to design Pixar films will be on display in a special art exhibition at sea. This collection of art has only been seen outside of Pixar Animation Studios when displayed at leading art museums around the world.
  • Guests will be able to enjoy the entire Pixar library of films while onboard, including a selection of delightful animated shorts. The voyages coincide with the theatrical premiere of “Finding Nemo 3D,” which guests can enjoy at either of the two theatres equipped with state-of-the-art Dolby 3D projection systems.
  • For the first time, more than a dozen Pixar characters will meet with and greet guests throughout the cruise including Mr. Incredible, Remy, Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear. There will be a special Pixar-themed dance parties in the Atrium Lobby and a host of other opportunities for guests to reconnect with their favorite Pixar pals.

Guests sailing on the Pixar-themed voyages will also receive a commemorative lithograph created by Pixar artist and “Brave” co-director/screenwriter, Steve Purcell. These Pixar-inspired California Coastal cruises set sail Sept. 16, Sept. 23, Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 from the Port of Los Angeles.

Which Pixar offerings on Disney’s California Coastal cruises are the most enticing to you – character encounters…artist and filmmaker presentations and sneak peeks…the onboard film fest or the Pixar art gallery?

  • Share: 


Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Wildlife Wednesdays: Get a Closer Look at the Worlds of Pollinators and our Oceans on Special Days at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends

posted on May 30th, 2012 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

Next week, guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot can get a closer look at two amazing worlds—the world of pollinators and the world beneath the sea—during special celebrations.

The World of Pollinators on Special Days at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Butterflies, bees and other pollinators are the focus during the Pollinator Day celebration on June 6 at Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Do you like chocolate? Well, chocolate and about 1,000 other plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices and medicines depend on pollinators to grow. Activities on Pollinator Day include the opportunity to see two different types of bees and to learn how to create a pollinator garden.

The World of our Oceans on Special Days at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot

Every day guests marvel at the wonders of the oceans when they visit The Seas with Nemo & Friends. During the World Oceans Day celebration on June 8, there will be even more to see and do – discover the adaptations sharks use to survive; learn the important role marine mammals, like manatees and dolphins; play in the ocean ecosystem; find out what Disney researchers are doing to protect coral reefs; and travel along with a sea turtle hatchling on its journey from its nest to the ocean.

On land and in the sea, nature’s magic abounds.

Upcoming 2012 wildlife conservation events at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (as always, dates subject to change):

  • August 1: Celebrating Primates
  • August 1-31: Cotton-Top Tamarin Month
  • September 5: International Vulture Awareness Day
  • September 26: Elephant Awareness Day
  • October 31: Bat Day

And at The Seas with Nemo & Friends, celebrate International Manatee Day on September 7.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

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

WonderGround Gallery Grand Opening in Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort on June 9

posted on May 29th, 2012 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

I can’t believe how time flies. It seems like just yesterday I announced the concept of WonderGround Gallery right here on the Disney Parks Blog. Now, June 9 is around the corner and the grand opening is something you won’t want to miss.

One of the things I’m most excited to share with you is the debut of the new Vinylmation 95 platform! Guaranteed to get your motor racing, this new 9” form is shaped like the one and only Lightning McQueen and pays tribute to his signature number, 95. What makes it even better is that six of our WonderGround Gallery artists have been commissioned to create one-of-a-kind pieces utilizing the new platform. In addition, Artist in Residence for June, Noah, will debut a limited edition version of his Lightning McQueen Vinylmation 95 platform the same day. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look as Noah puts the finishing touches on this classic new piece.

As I mentioned above, WonderGround Gallery will feature an Artist in Residence program. Each month, a new artist will call WonderGround Gallery their home as they work on upcoming projects, live paintings, art demonstrations and more. Local Southern California artist Noah is scheduled to be our very first Artist in Residence and will be on hand every Friday and Saturday night throughout the month of June, from 5–9 p.m. In addition to our Artist in Residence, other local artisans will appear to showcase some of their new releases and collections.

There are so many great events planned for the opening and throughout the month. Here are a few things you should keep on your radar. For a complete list of artists that will be appearing on June 9, be sure to visit

Events/Artist Signings

  • June 9 – Vinylmation Signing, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • June 9 – 2D Artist Signings, 3 – 5 p.m.

Artist in Residence

  • June 15 – 16 – Noah, 5 – 9 p.m.

Artisan Showcase

  • June 16 – 17 – Mamas Little Babies, 1 – 4 p.m.
  • June 23 – 24 – Artisan, 1 – 4 p.m.
  • June 30 – July 1 – Artisan, 1 – 4 p.m.

What else can you expect to find in WonderGround Gallery? Well, let me paint you a picture. Not only will you find original artwork on the walls, but you can actually find some of this featured art on an array of items, including limited-edition giclées, deluxe prints, t-shirts, mugs, magnets and more. In addition, look for art-inspired home and lifestyle products, including books, journals, note cards, picture frames, novelty pens, stencils, vases, paperweights and art figures, among other items.

Now, I couldn’t let you go without a sneak peek at a few more pieces of art. Hope you like them!

“Hipster “Nemo “The

Are you excited for the opening of WonderGround Gallery at the Downtown Disney District?

Read more about the latest happenings in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort:

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , ,

Filed: Art of Disney, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders and D23 Members: Register Now for Disney California Adventure Park Experience Opportunities

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

Willy’s Butte in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park, By Paul Hiffmeyer

Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders and D23 members – you have a special opportunity to experience Cars Land and Buena Vista Street before they open on June 15 at Disney California Adventure park! This is your chance to be among the very first to experience Cars Land and the new Buena Vista Street, ride attractions, purchase merchandise, check out new food and beverages, experience attractions and see entertainment in these new areas. Go here or to right now for event times and to purchase tickets for the following opportunities on June 9-10:

Cars Land and Buena Vista Street Experience
Ticket Cost: $50 per person (includes a 1-Day 1-Park Ticket to Disney California Adventure park for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders; valid admission ticket required for D23 members). Choose your preview times of 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. OR 1–5 p.m.

Cars Land and Buena Vista Street Experience Followed by a Private “World of Color” Show
Ticket Cost: $75 per person (includes a 1-Day 1-Park Ticket to Disney California Adventure park for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders; valid admission ticket required for D23 members). Choose your preview times of 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. OR 1–5 p.m. Preview time is 6-11 p.m., with a private viewing of “World of Color” at 11:15 p.m.

Dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant, including Cars Land and Buena Vista Street Experience Followed by Private “World of Color” Show. Dinner on June 9 will feature the Disney Family, and dinner on June 10 will feature John Lasseter.
Dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant includes a 3-course meal and a special wine presentation. Ticket Cost: $500 per person (includes tax and gratuity)

Dinner experience includes:

  • Experience Cars Land and Buena Vista Street from 6-11 p.m.
  • Preferred boarding on Radiator Springs Racers
  • Private “World of Color” show
  • Complimentary valet parking at Downtown Disney District (full validation will be provided)
  • Commemorative “Storytellers” statuette
  • June 9 dinners will feature a member of the Disney Family and representatives from The Walt Disney Family Museum
  • June 10 dinners will feature John Lasseter
  • 1-Day 1-Park ticket to Disney California Adventure park valid for participant’s use on day of event purchased for D23 members and Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders

Go here or to for event times and more information, and to reserve your special opportunity to experience Disney California Adventure park!

Event tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable. No ticket upgrades. Ticket purchaser must present credit card used for purchase to pick up tickets. Limited reservations available and scheduled time periods will be strictly enforced. The preview event may include long wait periods, and the attractions, entertainment and services are subject to temporary closures and cancellation at any time. Information subject to restrictions and change without notice.

Read on for more news about Disney California Adventure park:

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

What’s New for the 17th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

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

This just in: the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival was named by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s top food and wine festivals. Chefs are cooking up fantastic new experiences for this year’s fest, which open September 28 and runs for a record 46 days through November 12.

There’s no better setting for noshing, sipping and wandering than Epcot’s World Showcase, with a one-of-a-kind backdrop of architectural icons from around the globe.

Fresh for 2012:

“Florida “Chili
  • Two new festival marketplaces: TERRA Marketplace offers vegan menu items, including Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice and Chili Colorado with House-Made Chips and Cashew Cheese. The FLORIDA Marketplace introduces fresh twists on regional flavors. There are more than 25 ethnic and regional marketplaces in all.
  • Feel like a VIP with Marketplace Chef Tours. Each Wednesday, festival chefs host a walking-and-tasting tour around World Showcase with stops at several international marketplaces. You get to taste five marketplace dishes and five beverage items, like beer, wine and cocktails – and learn a few culinary secrets.
  • “Cheese

  • More kid-friendly tastes. Kids of all ages can try inventive new sips during the family’s marketplace dine-around. Pair with yummy bites like beef empanadas and cheese fondue (new this year).
  • Don’t miss (free) Eat to the Beat! Check out pop acts like Smash Mouth (October 11-12) and Javier Colon, winner of “The Voice” (October 13-14). With 18 different bands, look for Blues Traveler (November 5-6) and Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX (November 7-8). Night Ranger kicks off the concert series September 28-30, and other returning fan favorites include Boyz II Men, The Pointer Sisters, Sister Hazel and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
  • Back for an encore: look for HGTV designers, celeb chefs, culinary demos and wine seminars, and special culinary programs – more than 270 chefs are showing off for the festival. And, yes, the fab Party for the Senses returns October 6, 13, 20, 27 and November 3.

The Party for the Senses grand tasting events and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) for information; August 14 is the date you can start booking. Festival details are available at

Read more of the latest news from Epcot in the posts below:

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Moms Panel: Meet Military Mom Ashley Forster

posted on May 29th, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Many of us celebrated this Memorial Weekend with backyard barbecues or a quick getaway with family and friends. I also took a moment to reflect on brave men and women like the Tuskegee Airmen, Crispus Attucks and my ancestors past and present, who put their lives on the line for me.

If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort and are looking for ways to have some patriotic fun, Walt Disney World Moms Panelist Ashley Forster has a few special tips to share. As our “Military Mom” on the panel, Ashley assists guests with lots of questions, including information about military discounts and the best way to travel with little ones in tow.

“My husband serves in the U.S. Coast Guard, so Memorial Day is very important to our family,” Ashley says. “We live in a big military area, so we and most of our neighbors will have a cookout this year and watch the local parade.”

In the past, Ashley and her family have come to Disney Parks on Memorial Day weekend and spent their time going to shows and attractions that highlight America’s history.

“We decided to make it a patriotic day, starting with a stop at the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot, where we watched the Voices of Liberty perform,” Ashley says. “We ended the day with something really special at Magic Kingdom: the flag retreat ceremony. When it’s time to take down the flag on Main Street, U.S.A., each day, Disney cast members will invite active duty or retired military members to help with the ceremony, and being able to watch that with my family was truly memorable.”

Ashley says that her best advice to military families planning their Walt Disney World vacation is to take advantage of the discounts offered to Members of the U.S. Military, which include special Walt Disney World Resort hotel and Disney Park ticket rates.

Ask Ashley a question about your next vacation at

Read on for more news from the Walt Disney World Moms Panel:

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort