Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park

Celebrate Spring on Your Desktop with Our Newest Epcot-Inspired Wallpaper

posted on March 28th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


It’s springtime, and Humphrey the Bear and Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore have left Brownstone National Park to enjoy the season at the Canada Pavilion at Epcot in our newest desktop/smartphone wallpaper. Look closely – there’s a hidden Mickey to be found.
“Humphrey

The wallpaper, created by Disney artist Jason “Tiki” Tackett, shows the pavilion’s Victoria Gardens, modeled after the famous Butchart Gardens near Victoria, British Columbia. Ranger Woodlore is doing some bird watching while Humphrey “dives” right into fishing season with his unique method for catching a big fish.

If you enjoy this wallpaper, there are more to discover on our page of Disney Parks Blog wallpapers.

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

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Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries Coming to Innoventions at Disneyland Park

posted on March 28th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Attention Iron Man fans! To celebrate the upcoming release of “Iron Man 3,” opening in theaters May 3, an exciting new exhibit is coming to Innoventions at Disneyland park in California – featuring actual set pieces from the film!

Beginning April 13, Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries will give Disneyland park guests the chance to see Tony Stark’s Hall of Armor, featuring Iron Man suits Mark I-VII – the same suits featured in “Iron Man 3.” And you will even be able to virtually “suit up,” yourself! Through simulation technology, guests will be able to see what it’s like to operate the latest pieces of the Mark 42 Iron Man armor, even getting the chance to test out its infamous repulsor blasts.
Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries Coming to Innoventions at Disneyland Park

Come experience Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries when it opens at Innoventions in Disneyland park April 13 – and then check out “Iron Man 3” in theaters May 3.

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Discover Alaska’s Annette Island with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 28th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


It is no secret by now that our voyages to Alaska offer some of the most amazing Port Adventures available in our entire portfolio, worldwide. Every year we search for new ways to excite our guests and help them discover the rich culture and diversity of our ports of call.
Discover Alaska’s Annette Island with Disney Cruise Line
For our 2013 summer season, we’ve added two new Port Adventures from Ketchikan to Annette Island, home to the only native reservation in Alaska. These excursions, which offer a rare glimpse of a working village, will immerse guests in the culture of the Tsimshian people, whose ancestors followed Anglican missionary William Duncan in ocean-going canoes to settle on this rugged uninhabited island in 1887.
Discover Alaska’s Annette Island with Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line guests on the Exclusive Annette Island Native Discovery will tour Father Duncan’s Church and Cottage (a museum), hear interesting stories of the village’s totem poles, explore local arts and crafts, and see a local native dance group perform traditional and contemporary dance ceremonies in their clan house.

The Annette Island Cultural Celebration with Family Activity excursion offers guests even more immersion with a unique hands-on experience. Families will construct their very own drum and learn how Tsimshian people teach youngsters about their ancestors using drum beats, song and dance.
Discover Alaska’s Annette Island with Disney Cruise Line
What’s more, on the catamaran cruise to Annette Island, guests have yet another opportunity to view some of Alaska’s wildlife, like seals, eagles and dolphins, just to name a few. Hidden gems such as Annette Island are yet another reason why when the ship is in port, you must venture ashore!

Check out these posts to learn more about voyages to Alaska with Disney Cruise Line:

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Building an Animal Kingdom

posted on March 28th, 2013 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


In April, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate its 15th anniversary. We’re celebrating here at “Vintage Walt Disney World” by taking a look back at this one-of-a-kind theme park over the next four weeks.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Opened on April 22, 1998

Sprawling across approximately 500 acres, Disney’s Animal Kingdom brought the world of animals (both alive and pre-historic) to life for guests at Walt Disney World Resort when it opened in 1998. Below is a look at an aerial view from the park’s entrance in September 1997. (Look closely in the distance; you’ll even see Magic Kingdom Park.)
An Aerial View of Disney's Animal Kingdom Seven Months Before It Opened

Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened with over 40,000 mature trees – 16,000 of them grown right at the Walt Disney World Tree Farm. There were roughly 2,000 species of shrubs and 260 different types of grasses throughout the park, too. Below is a look at the icon of the park, The Tree of Life, still under construction in January 1997.
The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom Under Construction in January 1997

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the first Walt Disney World Resort theme park where the show literally eats the landscape. And by the look of those numbers above, it’s quite the buffet for our animal friends to enjoy.

Excited about the park’s anniversary? Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #DAK15.


Check out more posts about Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

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Easter Celebrations are Hopping at the Disneyland Resort

posted on March 27th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


As Thomas Smith told us last week, “Limited Time Magic” has put a little spring in our step this week with special Easter celebrations at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, through March 31. Today, I’m hopping to share some of the fun we’ve been having here at the Disneyland Resort with you. Take a look at the video below to see the adorable Bunny Hop (taking place daily on Main Street, U.S.A.) and the Wilderness Explorer Egg Hunt (all week at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail). Be sure to keep an eye out for some rarely seen long-eared friends!

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Disney Awards $1.5 Million to Support Central Florida Kids

posted on March 27th, 2013 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


At Walt Disney World Resort, we make magic happen everyday for kids. Today Mickey Mouse, Goofy and some of our cast members got to spread even more magic to dozens of non-profit organizations that serve children in Central Florida.
Disney Awards $1.5 Million to Support Central Florida Kids
As part of Disney Helping Kids Shine Grants program, we awarded more than $1.5 million to 59 local organizations and school districts that have a positive impact on approximately 70,000 thousand children in our community. They do that through programs that inspire creativity, encourage compassion and promote the health and well-being of families.
Disney Awards $1.5 Million to Support Central Florida Kids
During the event, Walt Disney World Resort President George Kalogridis also presented the Orange County Public Library System with the Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award. The grant is given each year to recognize a local social service, environmental or humanitarian organization for outstanding work in Central Florida. The library system plans to use the grant for its Summer Reading program.

Disney Awards $1.5 Million to Support Central Florida Kids Disney Awards $1.5 Million to Support Central Florida Kids

Hats off to all 59 organizations for their dedication to Central Florida’s youth.

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Explore Alaska’s Wildlife with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 27th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Wildlife exploration is one of the top activities in Alaska, so for this summer Disney Cruise Line has added brand new tours in Juneau that allow guests to witness the very best of the Inside Passage’s marine and coastal wildlife.
Explore Alaska’s Wildlife with Disney Cruise Line

The new Wilderness Safari & Beach Exploration excursion starts out on a high-speed, water-jet powered vessel that can venture to areas unreachable by conventional boat. Whales, sea lions and brown bears are just a few of the species guests may spot that thrive in this pristine environment. The tour also includes a visit to the remote coast of Admiralty Island, where guests can relax or explore while enjoying the area’s stunning beauty.
Explore Alaska’s Wildlife with Disney Cruise Line

Also in Juneau, like most Disney Cruise Line destinations, guests have the option to explore the port of call privately through our Signature Port Adventure Collection. Our private arrangements are a great option for large parties traveling together, families who want to create their own itineraries, or those would like a more in-depth experience with a private guide.
Explore Alaska’s Wildlife with Disney Cruise Line

New this year in Juneau is the Private Whales, Fishing and Wildlife Adventure, where guests can enjoy Alaska’s coast up close and personal, customizing their experience with iconic activities such as whale watching and fishing. Groups have their very own captain and private vessel with several amenities like snacks and beverages, binoculars and fishing gear, plus other VIP options that can be added upon request!

Whether you do it with a group or on a private port adventure, when the ship’s in port, venture shore!


Thinking about sailing to Alaska with Disney Cruise Line? Learn more in these posts:

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“Twitterpated” About Rabbit Merchandise at Disney Parks

posted on March 27th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Thumper Rabbit Merchandise at Disney Parks

With Easter only a few days away, I donned my Oswald the Lucky Rabbit ear hat and hopped around Walt Disney World Resort in search of bunny rabbit merchandise. According to the Chinese Zodiac, I was born in a rabbit year so I must have a special connection to them (owls and cats, however, still top my “favorite animals” list).

abbit Themed Merchandise at Disney Parks

My fellow author Jennifer Fickley-Baker previously shared a roundup of Disney rabbits. Those same bunnies have found their way onto merchandise from Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.

abbit Themed Merchandise at Disney Parks

I think my favorite bunny item this year is the Vinylmation figure that resembles a chocolate bunny wrapped in gold foil (I’m an “ears first” kind of guy).

Here is an image gallery of a few other bunny-themed goods from Disney Parks.

“Hoppy” Easter!

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Wildlife Wednesdays: Central Florida Kids Experience Natural ‘Magic’ During Special Spring Camp at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 27th, 2013 by Allyson Atkins, Education Manager, Disney's Animals, Science and Environment


It’s a beautiful spring break week here in Central Florida, providing the perfect setting to get outdoors and explore the natural “magic” found right here in our own backyard at the Walt Disney World Resort. In addition to millions of guests, a few special neighbors from the Rosemont Community Center in Orlando, Florida, are enjoying every minute of it. Walt Disney World Community Relations has teamed up with Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment cast members for the second year in a row to offer a special spring conservation day camp to 40 Central Florida children as a way to inspire them to apply their creative talents to make positive contributions within their community that benefit nature and the environment.
Central Florida Kids Experience Natural 'Magic' During Special Spring Camp at Walt Disney World Resort

The children, ages 6 to 12 years old, arrived Monday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on day one of camp. They were ready to explore and connect with nature, including all of the amazing animals soon to be experienced throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as those featured during treks to The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot and to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. By traveling “around the world” right here at the Walt Disney World Resort, campers are exploring many unique habitats while coming face to face with some of the diverse animals that live there. From the pride lands of the African savanna, to the treetops in the jungles of Asia, and finally back to the leaf-covered forests of their own backyards, campers are learning about conservation efforts through animal encounters, interactive games and activities, and field trips.
Central Florida Kids Experience Natural 'Magic' During Special Spring Camp at Walt Disney World Resort

And on top of it all, the children are having fun, as that is a key component of all of our learning experiences! In fact, we even had some honorary “campers” join us on the first day when they heard what a great time we were having exploring Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Rich Tamayo and Tye Arnold, the 2013-2014 Walt Disney World Ambassadors, joined the 6-to-8-year-old campers to explore Africa via the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and also by riding the Kilimanjaro Safaris.

“In bringing Disney conservation magic to local children, we know that those who participate will leave empowered to become champions for wildlife and nature and affect change to make the world a better place for all of us,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations for Walt Disney World Resort.

Pretty fun way to spend spring break and make a difference for nature!
Central Florida Kids Experience Natural 'Magic' During Special Spring Camp at Walt Disney World Resort

Want to help people, communities and the planet? Spread the word by sharing this blog post with your friends and family. Learn more about Disney’s community and conservation efforts both locally and around the world at WDWnews.com/about/environment/ and Disney.com/conservation. Experience more of our conservation work by participating in our guest offerings, such as Backstage Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


Read on for more “Wildlife Wednesdays”:

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First Look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 Merchandise at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on March 27th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


First Look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 Merchandise

I was delighted to see the logo for Star Wars Weekends 2013 as shared by my fellow author Gary Buchanan. He said the artwork gives a nod to the 30th anniversary of “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.” I vividly recall seeing the film in theaters with my parents in May 1983. I was completely obsessed with Star Wars at the time, so I love this poster as it reminds me of my childhood. Disney Design Group artist Tyler Dumas said they had some different poster concepts, like Mickey Mouse in the Rancor pit, before selecting an iconic scene from the Battle of Endor.

Here is a look at some new items with this year’s logo coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 17, 2013.

First Look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 Merchandise at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Including a Disney Pin, a Coffee Mug, a Photo Frame and More

The logo is featured on numerous items including a Disney pin, a coffee mug, a photo frame and more. Disney Design Group also created a unique Star Wars Weekends “title crawl” image for merchandise, which reminds me of the opening title sequences from the Star Wars motion pictures.

First Look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 Merchandise at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Including an Oversized Calendar With 13 Previous Star Wars Weekends Posters

We are trying a few new things this year, like an oversized calendar with 13 previous Star Wars Weekends posters. Each poster measures 12-inches by 18-inches, and can be removed from the calendar for framing. We are also introducing a deluxe autograph and photograph book (I’m adding that to the “long overdue” column). The popular Star Tours nametags using Aurebesh will be returning. This year, we will have a new black name tag for Annual Passholders only!

First Look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 Merchandise Including The Jedi Mickey’s Starfighter

I’m particularly excited about some new toys this year. Jedi Mickey’s Starfighter is amazing (insta-buy)! We will also have new Muppets action figures and new die-cast cars of Disney•Pixar “Cars” characters portraying Star Wars characters. I think the oversized Salacious B. Crumb latex character and the thermal detonator “hot potato” game are perfect for this year’s theme.

Finally, we will have new Vinylmation at this year’s event including a limited release mystery series; a Vinylmation, Jr. series with droids; and two limited edition figures – a removable, 3-inch figure of Han Solo in Carbonite, and a 9-inch Jabba the Hutt figure with a 1.5-inch Salacious B. Crumb figure.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog, StarWars.com and DisneyWorld.com/StarWarsWeekends for future updates. I can’t wait for May!

Join the conversation online by using the hash tag #StarWarsWeekends on Twitter.

Star Wars: © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.

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