Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

Shirts Salute Showcase of the World for 30th Anniversary of Epcot

posted on September 26th, 2012 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


“Epcot

I’m now counting down the hours until the 30th Anniversary of Epcot on October 1. I’ve mentioned numerous times before how Epcot has played an important role in my life; World Showcase, in particular, has quickly become one of my favorite spots in any Disney Park (right next to the Enchanted Tiki Garden at Disneyland park). Interestingly, World Showcase was originally planned to be a separate area that would have been located near the current Transportation and Ticket Center in Florida. After several revisions to the “EPCOT Center Master Plan” in the 1970s, the area joined Future World, and has become the place where guests can play, dine and shop the world in a day. I spoke with Roger Dressen, product developer for World Showcase, about the 11 new T-shirts being released for this anniversary.

“Epcot

“For this milestone, we wanted something that would be a tribute to the heritage of World Showcase,” explained Roger. “We worked with artist Richard Terpstra to create these 11 designs that were based on original artwork from Walt Disney Imagineering created in the early 1980s.”

You may recall that Richard also created the artwork on the Dole Whip and churros T-shirts that were introduced earlier this year. I cannot find the words to express how much I love these World Showcase designs. The shirts have an outstanding, retro look and feel which Roger explained was intentional.

“Epcot

“The shirts are made from a tri-blend fabric which has a soft, lightweight feel that is popular in the marketplace,” continued Roger. “The images were distressed to give the shirts a worn, vintage look, almost like they came from a 1980s closet.”

“Epcot

These shirts will be released at select locations throughout Epcot starting on September 28. We will also carry them via the Disney Parks online store starting the same day through October 4. Each shirt will have a retail price of $24.95.

For those interested in purchasing all of the shirts (I think I’m first on that list), we are offering a special, for online orders only, of all 11 shirts for $225.00 (plus tax and applicable shipping fees). Please note: the online orders will ship in 6-8 weeks and unfortunately express shipping will not be available.

Find out how we’re preparing for the 30th anniversary of Epcot in the posts below:

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Thanksgiving Galore at the Disneyland Resort

posted on September 26th, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


It’s just one day, but it’s one of the most special meals of the year in America – Thanksgiving. And at the Disneyland Resort, there are more than a dozen turkey day specials. Here’s where to find everything from slow-roasted turkey to pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving Galore at the Disneyland Resort

The extravaganza is the buffet at the Disneyland Hotel, a classic harvest of roast turkey, prime rib, homemade stuffing, sweet potato soufflé, fresh cranberry-orange relish and smashed potatoes and gravy. Add to that fresh salads, artisan cheeses, smoked salmon, chilled shrimp, king crab legs and charcuterie. And that’s all before desserts such as pumpkin and pecan pies, tarts, desserts flights, cookies, cakes, macaroon pops, gourmet cupcakes, crêpes flambées and a chocolate fountain with sweets for dipping.

Thanksgiving Galore at the Disneyland Resort

Cost is $71.99, $20.99 for the child’s buffet with kid-friendly tastes from homemade pizza, mac & cheese, chicken tenders, fresh corn, mini hotdogs and other favorites.

Also at the Disneyland Hotel, Steakhouse 55 is offering three courses for $46: roasted butternut squash soup with crème fraîche; slow-roasted turkey with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon, dressing and Grand Marnier cranberry sauce; and pumpkin crème brûlée for dessert.

Goofy’s Kitchen will offer brunch ($33.99) and dinner ($38.99) with an abundance of goodies, from made-to-order omelets, eggs Benedict, roasted ham, huevos rancheros in the morning, and classic Thanksgiving for dinner – turkey, roasted New York strip, salmon with caper-butter sauce, mashed potatoes, brown sugar yams with marshmallows, sourdough stuffing, butternut squash soup and more. The special kids’ buffet is $17.99.

Skipping over to Disney’s PCH Grill buffet at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, there’s oven-roasted turkey breast with cranberry-orange relish, New York strip steak with horseradish cream, grilled chicken, pan-seared salmon, apple-walnut stuffing, mashed potatoes and turkey giblet gravy, and bounteous salads and desserts. Cost is $31.99, $16.99 for the kids’ buffet.

Heading to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Napa Rose kicks it up with a four-course Wine Country Feast for Thanksgiving – $90, and a wine flight for an additional $45. Kids get a turkey dinner for $20.

Next door at Storytellers Café, you can choose a classic turkey dinner with brioche bread stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy and cranberry sauce for $22.99 ($11.99 for kids), or go for it at the buffet with turkey, New York strip loin, pan-seared salmon, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, grilled chicken, pork loin, candied yams, stuffing with sweet Italian sausage, mashed potatoes, golden beets and more. Plus, those pies and other desserts! The buffet is $30.99, $14.99 for the child’s buffet.

At Disney California Adventure park, you can get turkey and all the fixins’ at Ariel’s Grotto, Flo’s V8 Café, Wine Country Trattoria and Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, or a three-course dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant.

At Disneyland park, slow-roasted turkey accompanied by chefs’ favorite side dishes are on the menu at Café Orleans, French Market, Carnation Café, Plaza Inn, River Belle Terrace and Blue Bayou. And Jolly Holiday Bakery Café already has us thinking of delicious leftovers with a carved turkey sandwich with cranberry mayo.

To make reservations for table service dining, call the Disney Dine Line (714-781-DINE) or email dining reservation requests to dine@disneyland.com.

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Five Classic Epcot Attractions That Were Almost Named Something Else

posted on September 26th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you ever embarked on a daring ocean journey on SeaVenture in World Showcase? Snagged a Transportation Pavilion postcard? Or glimpsed the future in Century 3?

Probably not, considering that these original names for Epcot attractions were all changed prior to their respective openings. Whether a name was amended in order to more accurately describe an attraction’s storyline or simply changed to something catchier, these decisions eventually shaped the reality that became the Epcot that we know and love.

World of Motion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

Here are five Epcot attractions that were originally named something else before they opened.

  1. World of Motion – According to the Disney Archives, this attraction, which celebrated transportation milestones and the possibility of where vehicles could take us in the future was one of the final opening-day attractions to be named. It was first referred to as the “Transportation Pavilion,” then tentatively named “Transcenter” and “Transcenter 2000” before finally becoming “World of Motion.”
  2. Horizons – Can you imagine that this beloved attraction of the past originally wasn’t planned to show a vision of the future at all, but a retrospective on how Thomas Edison harnessed electricity? When the direction of the attraction changed to focus on inventions that could impact our lives in the future, it was renamed “Century 3” and later “Futureprobe.” “Horizons” was the final pick.
  3. Journey Into Imagination – The attraction that introduced us to Dreamfinder and Figment was originally planned to be a part of the “Images & Imagination” Pavilion.
  4. The Living Seas – All the fun we had venturing to Seabase Alpha in the ’80s almost took place at “The Seas” attraction.
  5. Maelstrom – As late as March 1988 (two months before opening), Maelstrom in the Norway Pavilion was named “SeaVenture” – even on attraction signage. The name “Maelstrom,” a Nordic name for a very powerful whirlpool, was the final choice.

Excited for Epcot’s 30th anniversary? Follow @WaltDisneyWorld on Twitter, and join the conversation with the hash tag #Epcot30.

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Wildlife Wednesdays: Animal Care Team Creates Hog Heaven at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

posted on September 26th, 2012 by Dr. Mark Penning, Director of Animal Operations, Disney Parks


For my first Disney Parks Blog post, I am very pleased to share with you an example of how our animal care team is always striving to enhance both the guest and the animal experience at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Animal Care Team Creates Hog Heaven at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge animal care team noticed that the red river hogs were using some natural mud wallows to stay cool in areas where the guests could not see them. They recognized that this is a natural behavior the guests would love to see, and went about filling in those natural wallows while creating a “deluxe version” where guests could get a good view. Then the animal care team figured out how to encourage the hogs to go to the new wallow, and reinforced that behavior. It wasn’t long before being in the new wallow became a highly desirable activity for the hogs. Now we have very happy hogs, happy animal keepers, happy savanna guides interpreting the behavior—and a wonderful natural behavior for guests to enjoy.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Animal Care Team Creates Hog Heaven at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Did you know?

  • The savannas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge present an exceptional opportunity for guests to see African wildlife in a large, mixed-species habitat right outside the guests’ hotel rooms throughout the day and into the evening.
  • Although the selection of animals on the savanna often changes, in addition to the red river hogs, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge may see giraffe, Ankole cattle, zebra, okapi, several species of antelope, Abyssinian ground hornbills and ostriches, among many others.
  • The red river hog is a wild member of the pig family that lives in western and central Africa. In the wild, red river hogs eat grasses, berries, roots, insects, small animals and carrion.
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Haunting New Pins Debut This October at the Disneyland Resort

posted on September 25th, 2012 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Here’s a little something that I’m pretty sure is going to have you asking “What’s This?” every time you turn around. Why, you ask? Because this new collection of pins is titled just that. Inspired by the lyrics from one of the popular songs in “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” and Haunted Mansion Holiday, this collection has been designed to let you discover something whenever you open the hinge, slide the pin or make it spin.

What will you find? Take a look:

New Pins Inspired by 'Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas' and Haunted Mansion Holiday Coming to the Disneyland Resort New Pins Inspired by 'Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas' and Haunted Mansion Holiday Coming to the Disneyland Resort

These limited edition pins are bound to be popular, so make “final” arrangements to add them to your collection when they debut October 12 at Disney’s Pin Traders in the Downtown Disney District.

New Pins Inspired by 'Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas' and Haunted Mansion Holiday Coming to the Disneyland Resort New Pins Inspired by 'Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas' and Haunted Mansion Holiday Coming to the Disneyland Resort

Special Tip: Be on the lookout for a lanyard medal and pin set as well as this special “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” mystery pin set.

Now, as you know, every year anticipation builds as everyone clamors to see what the next gingerbread house will be in the ballroom scene of the Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction. I had the opportunity to chat briefly with Senior Designer for Disney Entertainment Creative Development Brian D. Sandahl, who gave me the ingredients on how he came up with this particular concept.

“There were a variety of things floating around in my brain,” said Brian, “but it was seeing a version of Jack Skellington’s house in Halloweentown that really got things underway, combined with a fellow colleague suggesting we include a train, which culminated in one of our best ideas yet: a ghost train.” It seems so fitting, doesn’t it? Well, the magic doesn’t end there, because our talented team of artists and product developers wanted you to be able to take a piece of this unimaginable gingerbread sculpture home with you, too. What came of it? See for yourselves:
New Pins Inspired by 'Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas' and Haunted Mansion Holiday Coming to the Disneyland Resort

This new design is a perfect addition to last year’s mystery collection, which was a huge hit amongst you Disney fans.

Tip: Brian D. Sandahl will be on hand for a special appearance at Little Green Store Command on October 13 from 9-11 a.m. as we celebrate this new release.

Will you be adding these to your collection?

Read more news about Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort in these posts:

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NASA Photo Shows Space Shuttle Endeavour Soaring Over the Disneyland Resort

posted on September 25th, 2012 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


On Friday, Sept. 21, thousands gathered at the Disneyland Resort to witness the historic flyover of the Space Shuttle Endeavour as it made its final flight toward its new home here in Southern California. You’ve seen what it looked like from the ground in Valarie’s incredible video, but below you can see what it looked like from the sky – specifically, from the point of view of a NASA photographer who was aboard one of the F-18 chase planes that escorted Endeavour.

NASA Photo Shows Space Shuttle Endeavour Soaring Over the Disneyland Resort

Incredible, right? Were you at the Disneyland Resort on Friday to see Endeavour fly over? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Fans Receive an Extra ‘Treat’ at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

posted on September 25th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party yet this year?

If not, and you happen to be a fan of the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom interactive game, you won’t want to miss this year’s event. In addition to the simple fact that the party is an absolute blast of Halloween fun (with special entertainment, fireworks, trick-or-treating and more), this year’s guests can pick up a special Halloween-themed Sorcerers card that’s been designed exclusively for this event.
The 'Chip ‘N’ Dale’s Bag of Tricks' Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card, Available Only at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

This card, the “Chip ‘N’ Dale’s Bag of Tricks” card, will be handed out separately from the regular Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card packs (and yes, you can pick up both while at the party). This card is available only at the Magic Kingdom Firehouse Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom location during the party, and guests must show their party ticket and wristband in order to get one.

For more information on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, don’t miss these previous posts:

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Celebrate Epcot with Exclusive Disney Parks Blog Retro Wallpaper

posted on September 25th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As regular readers know, we officially celebrate the 30th anniversary of Epcot on October 1. But today, we’ve got an early treat. It’s our latest desktop wallpaper designed especially for the Disney Parks Blog.

Celebrate Epcot with Exclusive Disney Parks Blog Retro Wallpaper

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

On October 1, there will be park presentations, an anniversary moment and more, including a special “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” that’ll feature a special 30th anniversary tag. Check our earlier post for more details.

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Disneyland Resort Donates Matterhorn Bobsled to National Roller Coaster Museum

posted on September 25th, 2012 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Matterhorn Bobsleds Attraction in Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort

This past summer, the world’s first tubular steel roller coaster – the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland park – received an extensive refurbishment that included a fantastic new paint job and all-new bobsleds. Now considered a piece of roller coaster history, a former bobsled from the iconic attraction recently was donated by the Disneyland Resort to the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives, along with signage from California Screamin’.

Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis said, “We’re delighted to provide these pieces of Disneyland Resort history to the National Roller Coaster Museum, an organization that celebrates our industry. The Matterhorn bobsled and California Screamin’ signage represent two of our most beloved attractions, from the first tubular steel-tracked roller coaster in the world to one of the longest and most thrilling.”

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‘Delicious Disney Holidays’ Newest in Cookbook Series

posted on September 25th, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Joining “Delicious Disney Desserts” and “Delicious Disney Just for Kids,” the new “Delicious Disney Holidays” is the latest on the shelves in Disney stores. We had the pleasure of working with the Disney chefs to come up with 20 perfect recipes for this treasure of Disney holiday favorites, starting with New Year’s Eve flatbreads and ending with a Christmas yule log.

'Delicious Disney Holidays' Newest in Cookbook Series

In between, we’ve got chocolate truffle cake for Valentine’s Day, hot cross buns for Easter, coconut-crusted tofu in miso broth for Earth Day and roasted garlic-orange pork ribs for Fourth of July. There are Jack Skellington sugar cookies for Halloween and smoked salmon and herb muffins for Hanukkah.

One of my favorites is the sweet potato pancakes with honey-pecan butter from The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The book suggests them for Mother’s Day, but we mix a batch on a lazy weekend morning and everyone feels special.

Sweet Potato Pancakes With Honey-Pecan Butter
Serves 4 to 6

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (from about 1 small sweet potato)
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 225°F.
  2. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and whisk until
    combined.
  3. Combine milk, brown sugar, sweet potato, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract in a large bowl; whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir until just blended.
  4. Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium-low heat until a few drops of water sizzle on the surface. If using an electric skillet, preheat to 350°F.
  5. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto skillet. Cook on first side until tops bubble and sides look dry; flip and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more.
  6. Place cooked pancakes on a baking sheet and place into preheated oven to keep warm. Repeat
    process with remaining batter.
  7. Stir together butter, honey and pecans in a medium bowl.
  8. Top pancakes with honey-pecan butter, and serve immediately.
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