'World of Color' at Disney California Adventure Park

Disney Parks After Dark: Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland Paris

posted on January 31st, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s Disney Parks After Dark takes a look at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris.
“Big

Did you know that at Disneyland Paris, this attraction actually sits on an island in the middle of the Rivers of the Far West in the park’s Frontierland? And the attraction also features a cool storyline that ties it to the nearby Phantom Manor, the park’s version of the Haunted Mansion. According to the legend, Henry Ravenswood, proprietor of Thunder Mesa Mining Company, made a fortune in gold mining on Big Thunder Mountain – only the mountain held a curse that Ravenswood ignored. He used part of his wealth to build a Manor nearby and later met his demise in an earthquake. The Manor would later be a site for another tragedy, when the groom of Ravenswood’s daughter, Melanie, met his death on their wedding day.

I don’t know about you, but I think Big Thunder Mountain Railroad sure looks spooky at night!


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Storytelling at the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire, Opening March 12 at Disneyland Park

posted on January 31st, 2013 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


We’ve been giving you peeks into the new Fantasy Faire coming to Disneyland park here on the Disney Parks Blog, and today, I’m pleased to let you know that this area will officially open for guests on March 12.

Storytelling at the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire, Opening March 12 at Disneyland Park

One of the highlights of Fantasy Faire will be the Royal Theatre, where you’ll be treated to two unique shows relating the tales of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Tangled,” as told by a pair of Renaissance Storytellers, Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones.

Messieurs Smythe and Jones are men of the theatre and lovers of legend and lore. The storytellers present the tale as old as time and the hair-raising tale of Rapunzel, with the assistance of some fellow villagers, all to the musical accompaniment of Sir Samuel of Morocco. Even Belle, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider appear onstage to help tell their own stories.

“We’re using our imaginations to create these stories,” said Show Director Chris Utley. “The storytellers will play a variety of roles, filling in as the other characters. They may put on a costume accessory to pretend to be Beast, or Gaston or Mother Gothel. ”

Storytelling at the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire, Opening March 12 at Disneyland Park

“The stories are told in a fast-paced, whimsical kind of way – very fun and theatrical,” said Chris. “It’s kind of a Renaissance vaudeville style, and the two guys are reminiscent of the old comedy duos of Gallagher & Shean, Abbott & Costello and Laurel & Hardy. They tell their stories with a lot of humor and heart.”

The storytellers will take to the stage of the Royal Theatre when Fantasy Faire opens on March 12.


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Rainbow Ridge Mining Town to be Refurbished During Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Update at Disneyland Park

posted on January 31st, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


“Rainbow

Earlier this month, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland park closed for a major refurbishment that includes all-new track and updates to the mountain itself as well as other visual elements. One area receiving an update will be the Rainbow Ridge Mining Town. Dating back to 1956 and the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train attraction, Rainbow Ridge Mining Town is a classic feature of Frontierland.

When the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment is complete this fall, Rainbow Ridge Mining Town will look very much the same as it always has. It is being refurbished with new materials, but many items from the original area will be reused such as props, signs and select doors, windows and shutters. Several other items are being turned over to the Disney Archives.

“The wildest ride in the wilderness” reopens fall 2013, so hold onto your hats and glasses until then!

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Here’s a Look at the New California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 31st, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Just to whet your appetite, here are renderings of the new California Grill dining room and onstage kitchen, set to open in late summer. Designed by the Puccini Group in San Francisco, the spacious restaurant atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort will feature a wall of wines at the entrance and, of course, spectacular views from every table.
“Artist


The grill closes February 1, but Chef Brian Piasecki will continue creating new dishes for the menu. We’ll share more as the renovation moves along.

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Download Our Disney Parks ‘Limited Time Magic’ Wallpaper

posted on January 31st, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’ve been following along, you know we share “Limited Time Magic” surprises here at Disney Parks on Fridays. But today, we have an early sprinkle of Pixie Dust, especially for your desktop or mobile device.

Download Our Disney Parks ‘Limited Time Magic’ Wallpaper

Click and download our latest Disney Parks Blog wallpaper now. As you can probably guess, this one will only be available for a limited time.

Please read the terms of use prior to download.

Check back on Friday for our next “Limited Time Magic” update. You can also find more information on Twitter using hashtag #LimitedTimeMagic and on our LimitedTimeMagic.com web page.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: A Touchdown! at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

posted on January 31st, 2013 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


With the big game this coming weekend, football is on a lot of minds, including mine. And while the field in New Orleans will provide plenty of action, there’s another larger-than-life field at Walt Disney World Resort where guests can have some football fun of their own.
The Touchdown! Section of Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort Under Construction in March 1994

Above is a look at the Touchdown! section of Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort still under construction back in March 1994, with the Grand Slam Pool in the foreground.
The Touchdown! Section of Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

You would need a football player who stood 200 feet tall in order for those football helmets to fit proportionally. Now that’s a tall order.


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Good Afternoon from Disney California Adventure Park

posted on January 30th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Cars at Radiator Springs Racers Line up to Take a Spin Through the Ornament Valley Range

It’s a beautiful, sunny afternoon here at Disney California Adventure park, and the cars at Radiator Springs Racers are lining up to take a spin through the Ornament Valley range. Whatever you’re doing this afternoon, stop and take a moment to think of your favorite part of Radiator Springs Racers and let us know in the comments.

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Disney Style Snapshots: A Love-ly Disney Outfit

posted on January 30th, 2013 by Michelle Stepney, PR Content Director


As Valentine’s Day approaches, we may turn our thoughts to some of the classic romances throughout history. Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, and of course Mickey and Minnie! Their whimsical take on expressing their affection for one another is the inspiration for this week’s outfit.
Disney Style Snapshots: A Love-ly Disney Outfit

Denim in bright hues has been a great alternative to navy or black the past few seasons, so we start with a pair of red jeans. (Apparently Mickey is quite the trendsetter with his red pants.) We’ve topped them off with a black tee that touts “I love you to the moon and back.” If you look closely, you’ll catch a silhouette of the couple kissing. Finally, we accessorized the look with a Mickey and Minnie tote, white zip wallet and sparkly Minnie necklace. Pop on your own ballet flats or tennies and you’re ready for whatever Disney Parks fun ensues on Valentine’s Day.


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Wildlife Wednesdays: Local Girl Scouts Join Cast Members for Third Annual Walt Disney World Holiday Bird Count – Over 16,000 Birds Counted

posted on January 30th, 2013 by Anne Savage, Ph.D., Conservation Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


Local Girl Scouts Join Cast Members for Third Annual Walt Disney World Holiday Bird Count Local Girl Scouts Join Cast Members for Third Annual Walt Disney World Holiday Bird Count

Guests tell us they love connecting with nature in our beautiful green spaces during their visits to the Walt Disney World Resort, so I’m especially excited to share some news and a fun video from our third annual Walt Disney World Holiday Bird Count, organized by our Disney’s Animal Programs team for cast members and their families. This year, thanks to Walt Disney World Community Relations, members of four Central Florida Girl Scout troops joined cast members to count 107 different bird species and over 16,000 individual birds! Holiday Bird Count participants spotted some new species this year: Virginia Rail, Sora and a Merlin, as well as 20 Bald Eagles! Highlights included spotting several Great Blue Herons high up in the trees keeping a watchful eye over their nests — two nests in one tree — and a Blue Jay that was mimicking a hawk vocalizing as he chased a squirrel!

Local Girl Scouts Join Cast Members for Third Annual Walt Disney World Holiday Bird Count Local Girl Scouts Join Cast Members for Third Annual Walt Disney World Holiday Bird Count Local Girl Scouts Join Cast Members for Third Annual Walt Disney World Holiday Bird Count

 
The day-long event enabled birders of all skill levels to discover which birds are found in Central Florida in the winter. In addition to inviting local Girl Scouts, another new element this year was a Family Birding Festival, where the Girl Scouts and cast members’ kids participated in a variety of fun activities that helped them learn to recognize bird calls and discover the amazing adaptations of various bird species that enable birds to thrive in the wild. Children and adults also participated in a nature walk to identify birds in the area, and they got to meet some of the amazing birds that make their home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Enjoy the video — and let us know if you see any birds that also live in your hometown.

 
Did you know?

  • Since 1995, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has provided more than $6 million to support bird conservation around the world. In Florida, the DWCF has helped protect birds, including the Whooping Crane, Bald Eagle, Scrub Jay, Red-Cockaded Woodpecker and Mangrove Cuckoo.
  • Our Holiday Bird Count is modeled after the Audubon Christmas bird count, which began in 1900.
  • Data collected in bird counts from year to year allows scientists to follow trends in bird populations and abundance over time. These trends help scientists focus their conservation efforts in key bird areas.
  • Nearly one third of the Walt Disney World Resort has been set aside as a dedicated wildlife conservation area.
  • An abundance of birds make their home in Florida year-round, and even more birds are here during the winter as they migrate from the north to Florida and beyond. You can find out more at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 8 as we celebrate International Migratory Bird Day.
  • We can help birds and other wildlife by disposing of waste properly, including recycling, to keep trash out of natural areas, and by observing birds and other wildlife from a safe distance and not feeding them “human” food, which is not healthy for them.

 
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‘IllumiNations’ Marks 25 Years at Epcot

posted on January 30th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today is a special milestone in Epcot history: the 25th anniversary of “IllumiNations.”
‘IllumiNations’ Marks 25 Years at Epcot

The 12-minute, three-part show takes place on World Showcase Lagoon and tells the history of our planet through music, fireworks, lighted torches, and more.
'Laserphonic Fantasy' at Epcot

The nighttime show originally debuted at the park January 30, 1988, as a replacement for “Laserphonic Fantasy.” (Check out this blast from the past in the photo above). Over the years, two special versions of the show have been created. “IllumiNations 25” debuted for the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 1996, while “IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth” launched in 1999 in honor of the upcoming millenium celebration. The most current version of the show, which can be seen at the park nightly, is “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.”

What are your favorite memories of the show? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.


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