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Mickey & Minnie Sleeping in front of Diamond Sleeping Beauty Castle (Day)

Destination: 124th Rose Parade

posted on December 31st, 2012 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations

Tomorrow is the big day! Our amazing float, “Destination: Cars Land,” is almost ready for the 124th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. The floral replica of Cars Land, our new land at Disney California Adventure park, is 125 feet long and 35 feet high! More than 2,000 volunteers helped decorate the float with more than a hundred different kinds of flowers, seeds, foliage and cactus. Lightning McQueen alone is made of more than 2,000 red carnations!

The “Destination: Cars Land” float is truly a work of art that began two and half months ago. The decorating took two weeks, and in this video you can see the final touches being added at the warehouse in Azusa, Calif. Make sure to tune in to your local ABC station in the morning and see it roll down Colorado Boulevard. And as we like to say around here, get ready to be floored!

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

Couple Visits Disneyland Resort Every Day in 2012

posted on December 31st, 2012 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Jeff Reitz and Tonya Mickesh Receive a Night in the Disneyland Dream Suite from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs in Celebration of Visiting Disneyland Resort Every Day in 2012

Congratulations to Jeff Reitz and Tonya Mickesh, who today reached the milestone of visiting the Disneyland Resort every day in 2012! Having made at least 366 memories this year (including One More Disney Day, of course), Tonya and Jeff received a special welcome this morning from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

As the couple entered Disneyland park, Tom was waiting to greet them at the other end of Main Street, U.S.A. Moments later, he marked the occasion by making Tonya and Jeff honorary citizens of Disneyland. And Tom presented one more added surprise – a gift that would ensure at least one more memory in 2013: a stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite.

“Jeff and Tonya have an affinity for Disney Parks that is shared by many of our guests, and I wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate them on reaching this milestone,” Tom said. “During this momentous year, their dedication to the Disneyland Resort is a testament to why we continue to expand, grow and share the Disney Parks experience with guests around the world.”

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Filed: Disney Differences, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

A Great 2012 Draws to a Close at Aulani, More Fun and Excitement Coming in 2013

posted on December 31st, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations

There's More Fun and Excitement Coming in 2013 to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Happy New Year from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i! The first full year at Aulani has been an eventful one, with awards for the resort, a great visit from “Live! with Kelly” and, around the time of the resort’s first anniversary in August, the announcement of significant expansion with new water features and food service locations coming to the resort.

We’re all looking forward to seeing those new additions in 2013. It’ll be an exciting new year for us and, I hope, for all of you as well. Here’s a look back at some of our top stories here on the Disney Parks Blog this year.

Celebrating One Year at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Aulani marked its one-year anniversary on August 29 with new details on its expansion and the launch of its official Twitter handle, @DisneyAulani.

Details Announced for Expanded Water Fun and Dining Options at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
This summer, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, announced plans for expansion at the resort, including new water play areas and quick-service dining locations.

Aulani and Laniwai Make the Conde Nast Traveler ‘Hot List’ for 2012
In the May issue of Conde Nast Traveler, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, and Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani, were included on the magazine’s “Hot List” for 2012.

As ‘LIVE!’ Spends the Week at Aulani, Kelly Ripa and Her Family Enjoy the Resort
Early this year, “LIVE! with Kelly” broadcast from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, culminating in the wedding of the winning couple of “LIVE’s Hawaiian Dream Wedding Giveaway.”

Mischievous Menehune Take Over Disney Parks Blog Publishing
Just before April Fool’s Day, we suspected the mischievous Menehune had tricky plans in store for the Disney Parks Blog. We were right – they took over the site for the day on April 1.

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Filed: Aulani, Disney Vacation Club, Hotels & Resorts

Moms Panel Monday: Splish, Splash! at Disney Parks

posted on December 31st, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney water parks and pools are a popular destination for our guests looking to cool off during the summer months. Although in many parts of the world it is cold in the fall and winter, you can find swim-worthy temperatures at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts! Between them, members of our inaugural Walt Disney World Moms Panel Darcie Maranich and Erin Foster have seven children. These ladies know how to make being soggy spectacular!

Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World Resort

Darcie says that she thinks about safety first. “Life vests are provided for use free-of-charge at Disney’s water parks based on availability. But I know from experience that when it comes to water safety, nothing beats a pair of vigilant eyes.”

Even during the summer months, the sun keeps shining. Darcie makes sure not to forget that, although it might not be hot, you must still use sunblock. “We always make sure to lather on waterproof sunscreen, but for extra protection against the sun’s harsh rays, I try to keep my kids in wide-brimmed hats and swim shirts when we plan to spend a whole day at the water park or pools.”

Erin loves the food at the water parks. “The mini donuts with dipping sauces are one of my top favorite Disney foods. Yum, yum yum!” she says. Erin likes to keep sunscreen, water shoes, swimsuits, cover-ups, hats and other gear in zip lock bags for easy access and keeping them dry.

But Erin’s best advice is to use modern technology. She says, invest in an inexpensive, waterproof camera for underwater shots. “They often sell disposable waterproof cameras right there at the parks. It’s a great way to get awesome action shots of your family.”

What are some of the watery ways you have fun at Disney Parks?

See more from the “Moms Panel Monday” series in the posts below:

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Our Top 5 Favorite Disney Parks Recipes of 2012

posted on December 31st, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

A year of good eats, sharing recipes and news about the latest Disney Parks dining has come and gone. Looking back, here are our five favorite recipes we shared on the Disney Parks Blog in 2012:

Definitely the most complicated, but also the most delicious is the Pappardelle with White Shrimp, Fresh Grape Tomatoes, Basil, Saffron and Capers from Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort. Sure, you can use store-bought pasta, but take an afternoon and create this special dish – you won’t be disappointed.

On the flip side, probably the quickest recipe is another top favorite. Chef Dee Foundoukis at Kouzzina by Cat Cora cooked us a pan of Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter Vinaigrette – plenty of butter and balsamic vinegar make everything tasty. They’re a regular on the menu at the restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk at Walt Disney World Resort.


A dark horse winner is the Vegetable Burger with Fried Green Tomatoes and Creole Remoulade served at Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World Resort. Of course, rich remoulade and anything fried makes for a good sandwich, but the veggie burger made with white beans, shredded carrots and potatoes and a dash of Sriracha sauce was mighty fine.

Cheesy Enchilada Soup from the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café at Disney California Adventure Park

And we headed back out to the Disneyland Resort for number four – the Cheesy Enchilada Soup at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café at Disney California Adventure park. Slightly spicy, slightly rich, perfect for sipping when the weather turns even slightly cool.


And we’ll end with a sweet. The S’Mores Bake from Big Thunder Ranch BBQ at Disneyland park, pretty new on the menu and already a winner. Memories of childhood are baked into this one-dish wonder that starts with a boxed brownie mix and ends with melted marshmallows, hot fudge sauce and a sprinkle of graham crackers. Worth the calories to re-live kid campfires.

Lots of new recipes on the way for 2013! Is there are favorite dish that you’d like a recipe for making at home?

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Believe in Magic with the 2013 Disney Parks Merchandise Collection

posted on December 31st, 2012 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I generally believe I’m a lucky guy. I have two wonderful children, loving parents, an amazing girlfriend, and I work at the happiest place on Earth. While the New Year arrives with a number that some may consider unlucky, I believe that 2013 will be a lucky and magical year. Believing in magic is the theme that Disney Theme Park Merchandise selected for the 2013 dated art programs. The foundation for this new program is the style guide that Disney Design Group completed in November 2011. I recently took a closer look at the style guide to see what artwork is coming to merchandise in the New Year.


The 2013 style guide contains a variety of logos, graphics and patterns that give one consistent look for the merchandise. Artists and merchandisers can use elements from the style guide on all sorts of items from drinkware to plush to coffee mugs. Sorcerer Mickey and his hat are both prominently featured in the 2013 artwork. I particularly like how his silhouette was incorporated in the logos for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts (something I’ve not seen before). I also liked the creative use of “13” in the word “believe.”


At many merchandise locations in Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, you will see visually impressive statements containing all kinds of 2013 merchandise. These statements make shopping easier for guests, as dated merchandise is some of the most popular souvenirs from Disney Parks.


Guests can also find an assortment of 2013 merchandise on the Disney Parks online store. One of the more unique items currently in the shop is a tie-dyed shirt for Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort that has Sorcerer Mickey and friends facing off against several Disney Villains.

Disney Design Group created alternate art program for 2013 that you may recall seeing in a recent Disney Parks Blog video. Stay tuned as I will be giving a closer look at the amazing oversized posters from the 2013 calendar that will also make their way to pins, Vinylmation, iPhone covers and apparel next year.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 30th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

The week after Christmas Day is historically a slow one on the Disney Parks Blog. But this year, we shared a big announcement – a first look at what’s to come with “Limited Time Magic.”

'Bling in the New Year' Dance Party at Walt Disney World Resort Celebrate 'Limited Time Magic' with 'Year of the Ear' Ear Hats at Disney Parks
The Golden Horseshoe as it appeared in 1959 Mickey and Minnie Join In The Celebration of Three Kings Day at Disneyland Park

A year of unexpected surprises with an extra sprinkle of Pixie Dust at Disney Parks begins the first week in January at the Disneyland Resort with a special Three King’s Day celebration followed by a salute to the Golden Horseshoe Revue. Erin has more details in her story.

And at the Walt Disney World Resort, our celebration of the New Year continues with Tomorrowland’s first ever “Bling in the New Year” dance party. We also announced that 2013 will be the “Year of the Ear” at Disney Parks with new limited-edition ear hat designs coming monthly. Check our earlier post for more information.

Be sure to continue checking the Disney Parks Blog for Limited Time Magic updates on Fridays through 2013. You can also find updates on Twitter using hashtag #LimitedTimeMagic and on our web page.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this holiday week.

Moms Panel Monday: At Walt Disney World Resort, a Beautiful, Bucolic Treasure and…Bulldogs? – Walt Disney World Moms Panelist Kay Belin shares her favorite campfire memories at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.

Lights, Parades and Other Holiday Fun Continue at Walt Disney World Resort Through January 8, 2013 – Christmas Day may have come and gone, but the holiday fun is still going strong at the Walt Disney World Resort.

2013 Rose Bowl Teams Wisconsin Badgers and Stanford Cardinal Visit Disneyland Park – Prior to their January 1 face-off, the 2013 Rose Bowl rivals took a break to celebrate their achievement here at Disneyland park.

Vintage Walt Disney World: Nate’s Favorite Disney Milestones – Disney Parks Blog author Nate shares his favorite Disney milestones from this year – can you guess which blog post made it to the top of the list?

‘Star Wars’ Weekends 2013 Dates Announced – The Force is strong at Walt Disney World Resort as we shared details around 2013 ‘Star Wars’ Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Roastie-Toasties at Disneyland Park: A Year in Review – Enjoy a unique look at the Popcorn Animation Dolls at Disneyland park in this exclusive year-in-review video.

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Take 5: Holiday Décor at Disney Parks

posted on December 29th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Cars Land Gets Gussied Up for the Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park

In light of “the most wonderful time of the year,” Disney Parks are decked out in holiday décor. Even the new Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park has taken on a festive touch. While the holiday season is coming to an end, you can check out the posts below to take a peek at the fantastic decorations we’ve had this year across Disney Parks.

Take 5: Holiday Décor at Disney Parks

  1. An Up-Close Look at the Disney Fantasy’s Holiday Décor – The Disney Fantasy cruise ship is celebrating its first Christmas! Have you seen the 20-foot Christmas tree in the lobby?
  2. Photo Gallery: It’s a Joyeux Noel at Disneyland Paris – Disneyland Paris has dressed up for the holidays and is also celebrating its 20th anniversary. Be sure to check out this photo gallery!
  3. Cars Land Gets Gussied Up for the Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park – Radiator Springs has gone all-out for the holidays. Take a peek at the décor in this post!
  4. Photo Tour: Visiting Epcot for the Holidays – Want to see holiday décor across the world? Take a photo tour of Epcot and see how this park celebrates the season.
  5. Time-Lapse Video: Magic Kingdom Park Decorated for the Holidays – Did you know that decorating for the holidays begins during the summer at Magic Kingdom Park? Check out this post to see a time-lapse video of the process!
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The Cars Land Rose Parade Float is Lookin’ Good!

posted on December 28th, 2012 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations

I am floored by our Cars Land float for the 124th Rose Parade! It even has a cool name, “Destination: Cars Land.” In this video, we take you behind the scenes one more time to the warehouse in Azusa, Calif., in a follow-up to the first video we showed you a few weeks back, when the float was only a metal frame. But wait until you see it now! Click play, check it out and make sure to check the Disney Parks Blog next week, as we take you behind the scenes again as hundreds of flowers are added to the float.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

Top 10 Disney Parks YouTube Videos of 2012

posted on December 28th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

The year 2012 has been a very entertaining year in YouTube videos, with fun looks at Star Wars characters visiting Disneyland park, kids racing to be the first into Cars Land and a creative tilt-shift day at Magic Kingdom Park.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the list of the Top 10 Most Popular Disney Parks YouTube Videos in 2012.

  1. Darth Vader: What Are You Going to Do Next?
  2. Aulani “Imagine” TV spot
  3. Star Tours: Darth Vader goes to Disneyland
  4. Disneyland Musical Marriage Proposal
  5. Mickey Mouse Brings Disney Magic to New York City
  6. Goofy Visits Disneyland in The Art of Vacationing
  7. My Disney Cruise
  8. A Model Day at Magic Kingdom – Exclusive Disney Parks Tilt-Shift Video
  9. Kids Race Power Wheels to Cars Land
  10. Ursula Moves Into Her Lair at Disney California Adventure Park
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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort