The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Pirates of the Caribbean

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


One of the characteristics that distinguishes a Disney Parks attraction is storytelling. When developing a new land or attraction, Walt Disney always challenged his Imagineers to create a unique story that guests could only experience at Disneyland, and to transport them into that story – an idea that has lived on at Disney parks around the world. This new Disney Parks Blog series will take us inside these stories – giving you the story behind each attraction and maybe even some details you haven’t noticed before.
Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Park

Pirates of the Caribbean marked its 46th anniversary last month, and so, as one of the classic examples of original Disney Parks storytelling, it’s the perfect place to begin this series. And as the pirate skull warns: “Ye come seeking adventure and salty old pirates, aye? Sure ye’ve come to the proper place.”

The story begins …

After boarding a small boat at Lafitte’s Landing on the outskirts of New Orleans, you pass an old shack with an elderly man playing a banjo on his porch. The strums of the banjo are intended to give a feeling of isolation in this remote backwater area. Soon, your boat plunges down two waterfalls – the second taking you back in time.
Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Park

You enter Dead Man’s Cove, where you meet pirates who died long ago and seem to be frozen in time. Your boat then journeys into the Ghostly Grotto, where you are transported further back in time to the days when the very pirates you met in Dead Man’s Cove are invading a small Caribbean seaport village in search of the town’s treasure and the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. As you wind through the town, you find Captain Jack lurking around in search of the treasure himself. The boat passes an auction, where the pirates bid for a bride (go ahead – you know the line), as more pirates ransack every nook and cranny of the village just around the corner.
“Pirates

To escape the burning village, you float past the town jail and into the arsenal where pirates take target practice all around your boat, completely oblivious to the dangers all around them (including the barrels of gunpowder). When you find Captain Jack Sparrow at the town’s treasure vault, he offers you – his shipmates – a share of the booty (after he takes his cut … of course).

As you venture up the waterfall at the end of your voyage, you return to the time and place where your journey began, but with some words of warning in case you decide to visit again …

If you love the story of Pirates of the Caribbean as much as I do, let me know your favorite detail in the comments. Ye get bonus doubloons if ye leave yer comment in pirate speak, me hearties!


Read more about Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland park in the post below:

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How Disney Friends Play at Castaway Cay

posted on April 30th, 2013 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Have you ever wondered what happens at Castaway Cay when you’re not there? I got a little glimpse during my visit to the island earlier this month.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Play at Castaway Cay

Disney Cruise Line guests aren’t the only ones who love to kick back, relax and have fun here! See what Mickey and the gang do on their fun-filled days at Disney’s island paradise in this video:

What’s your favorite thing to do at Castaway Cay?



For more posts highlighting Castaway Cay, see below:

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Horticulture Planner

posted on April 30th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Earth Month may be wrapping up, but keeping the Disneyland Resort landscape fresh and maintained is a year-round operation! In this installment of “Every Role a Starring Role,” cast member Greg Vierkant explains how he helps every inch of Disneyland Resort horticulture look “show ready” through careful planning!

Check out these posts for more “Every Role a Starring Role”:

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Rock’n Gear from Rock Around the Shop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on April 30th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Rock’n Gear from Rock Around the Shop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

I’ve often dreamt of being in a rock band, performing shows in sold out arenas around the world. I once had a great name for my band, but it’s sadly no longer available. The closest I get to being a rock star these days is singing karaoke on the weekends or visiting Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I love this attraction, especially the thrill of taking a super-stretch limousine through the darkened freeways of Los Angeles (if only driving in Los Angeles was really like that!). I recently visited Rock Around the Shop, the merchandise location at the attraction’s exit, to see what “rock’n” gear they offer for my imagined world tour.

According to Matt Hahn, location planning manager for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this shop contains unique merchandise not found anywhere else at Walt Disney World Resort.

“[Rock Around the Shop] has a good mixture of merchandise inspired by the attraction,” explained Matt. “Guests will find apparel, accessories, headwear, plush and more. We recently added some signage to the location to inform guests that many of these items are only found in this shop.”
Rock’n Gear from Rock Around the Shop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The attraction’s logo is found on a few items, including shirts and a popular Mickey Mouse rock star plush. I liked the miniature guitar photo holder that was inspired by the giant guitar found outside the attraction.
Rock’n Gear from Rock Around the Shop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

I also found a variety of shirts inspired by Aerosmith’s classic songs or their iconic logo. I particularly liked the “If It’s Too Loud” shirt (the only way to listen to rock!). Matt told me that one of the more popular items recently introduced was the guitar shaped bag (hello, air guitar solo!).
Disney Parks Blog Author Steven Miller at Rock Around the Shop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Finally, I couldn’t resist recreating a photo that many guests take when exiting the shop. Thank you to my fellow author Erin Catalano for taking this image. I guess it makes up for the recent Cozy Cone hat photo I took of her.

Rock on!


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Finish That Disney Parks Sign: A Muppetational! Shop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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


The Stage 1 Company Store near Muppet*Vision 3D at Disney’s Hollywood Studios sells everything a Muppet fan could ever ask for.
Can You Finish This Sign from Stage 1 Company Store at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Check out the sign above. There sure seems to be a lot of rules around this place. Which prohibited action is missing from this sign? Tell us in the “Comments” section below and we’ll update the post later today with the answer.
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Hale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on April 29th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Who’s up for a trip to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? I know I am! While I’m sure you could use some rest and relaxation like me, how about I take you on a virtual tour of our newest location, opening today?

Hale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

For those of you familiar with Aulani, you’ve probably visited our current store location, Kalepa’s. Just steps away on the ‘Ewa side of the Maka’ala lobby is Hale Manu, which means House of Birds. This contemporary merchandise boutique offers a variety of high-end products that are as exquisite and unique as the birds the store celebrates. Since I wasn’t able to get there myself, I reached out to Bo Bolanos, Walt Disney Imagineering Principal Concept Designer & Art Director, along with Roger Nakamine, Show Writer and Aulani’s Cultural Advisor, Kahulu De Santos who gave me a ‘bird’s-eye’ view of what you can expect to see.

Hale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Kahulu shared that, in the Hawaiian culture, birds are considered to be beautiful and majestic animals that often possess great wisdom. In many myths and legends of the islands, they are keepers of divine knowledge. “Native Hawaiian bird forms and wooden sculptures gently cascade down from the fifteen-foot ceiling, slowly enveloping the space,” says Bo. “Guests will simply marvel at this magnificent centerpiece.” Bird sculptures can also be found perched around the shop, where their bright and bold colors stand out against Hale Manu’s rich, dark interior.

CHale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa CHale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa CHale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Some of the birds on display in Hale Manu include:

  • The ‘iwa, or frigate bird, whom guests may recognize from the compass rose in the Maka‘ala lobby.
  • The pueo, or short-eared brown owl; viewed as a protector and guardian in Hawaiian culture. Eagle-eyed guests can spot the protector pueo figures located in the Waikolohe Valley and ‘AMA’AMA restaurant.
  • The ‘i’iwi, or scarlet honey creeper, whose striking red and black plumage was much prized by the bird hunters and feather workers of traditional Hawai‘i.
  • The ‘alae ‘ula, or Hawaiian Moorhen; the namesake of Aulani’s nightly storytelling area and a bird well known in Hawaiian legend as the keeper of fire.

These beautiful birds of Hale Manu will feel right at home amidst the hand-painted murals that stretch along the store’s walls, depicting a diverse array of foliage from the plants of the upland forest to seaside vegetation.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see it in person. Who’s with me?

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VIDEO: ‘Cultivating the Magic’ Guided Tour at Disneyland Park

posted on April 29th, 2013 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Although I don’t have a green thumb, there is a guided tour at Disneyland park that really grew on me. It’s called “Cultivating the Magic.” During the two-hour tour, guests learn how the Disneyland Resort horticulture team uses flowers, plants and trees to help create the stories of each land. Tour guides also tell tidbits about Imagineer Bill Evans, the original creator of Disneyland’s landscape.

I brought the camera crew on the tour with me and spoke with one of the tour’s developers, cast member Tyler Slater, to give you a glimpse.

 
To experience the tour for yourself, call 714-781-TOUR(8687) or visit Disneyland Guest Relations. Tickets are available up to one month in advance and the tour begins Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. and Mondays at 10 a.m.

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Win a Walt Disney World Resort Vacation with ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’

posted on April 29th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Watch “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” April 29-May 3, and join the celebration of New Fantasyland. One lucky “Millionaire” viewer will win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation for four and experience the magic of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. During Millionaire’s “Magical Family Getaway Week,” contestants will be winning vacations in addition to cash! And you don’t want to miss that magical moment when one lucky contestant surprises his family with the news “We’re going to Walt Disney World!”
Win a Walt Disney World Resort Vacation with ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’

Viewers can enter the “Magical Family Getaway” Sweepstakes once a day by visiting http://www.millionairetv.com/, beginning Monday, April 29, 2013, at 12:00 a.m. ET through Friday, May 10 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winner will receive a four-night, five-day Walt Disney World Resort vacation for four (including hotel, airfare, 5-day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper Option and a $500 Disney Gift Card). Visit this site for official rules.

 
Check local listings or go to http://bit.ly/zWiPv4 for time and channel to watch “Millionaire.”

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Lady Antebellum Celebrates Upcoming Album Release with ‘Golden’ Performance at the Disneyland Resort

posted on April 29th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Lady Antebellum Celebrates Upcoming Album Release with ‘Golden’ Performance at the Disneyland Resort

Yesterday, seven-time Grammy-winning trio Lady Antebellum gave a special performance at Disneyland park to celebrate the May 7 release of their upcoming album, “Golden.” Appropriately enough, this special performance occurred on the stage of the legendary Golden Horseshoe Saloon.
Lady Antebellum Celebrates Upcoming Album Release with ‘Golden’ Performance at the Disneyland Resort

From the stage of the Golden Horseshoe, the band mentioned how exciting it was to be here at Disneyland, and then, Hillary Scott, who is expecting her first baby in July, joked that she and her husband, drummer Chris Tyrrell, have just taken their daughter to Disneyland for the first time! “We’ll be back, of course,” she said.

The lucky audience for this exclusive event was limited to contest winners from all over the country, but now you can watch this amazing show yourself, here.
Lady Antebellum Celebrates Upcoming Album Release with ‘Golden’ Performance at the Disneyland Resort

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Interchangeable Chamilia Jewelry Featured at Tren-D Trunk Show in Downtown Disney Marketplace on May 3-4, 2013

posted on April 29th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


“Chamilia

With Mother’s Day only a few weeks away, I’ve been thinking about what to get my mother (sorry Mom – this is when you should stop reading). One thing she likes is interchangeable jewelry by Chamilia. Disney Parks have carried a variety of their interchangeable beads and bracelets for a few years now. We even offer some Disney Parks-exclusive beads inspired by Disney Princesses like Cinderella, Snow White and Ariel. I spoke with Denise Edelmaier, merchandiser for jewelry at Disney Theme Park Merchandise, about the appeal of Chamilia jewelry at Disney Parks.

“I think guests enjoy Chamilia jewelry because they can mix and match bracelets and Disney-inspired beads to match their moods,” said Denise. “We offer a lot of beads, so the combinations are many. It’s also easy to add beads, which become a great way to celebrate a special occasion or remember a Disney vacation.”

If you are unfamiliar with Chamilia, we are holding a trunk show at Tren-D in the Downtown Disney Marketplace at the Walt Disney World Resort on May 3-4, 2013. Representatives from Chamilia will be at this show each day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“Chamilia

One cool thing that the jewelry team is introducing at the show is a unique Disney Parks starter bracelet. The bracelet will contain a few beads, which can jump start a bead collection.

I’m excited to see they are introducing a red Minnie Mouse-inspired bow along with a cupcake bead that has a Minnie Mouse-inspired bow (she is my mother’s favorite character, and, with that, Mother’s Day shopping is done!).

Finally, Denise shared that she is working on a few additional Disney Parks-exclusive beads for later this year (fans of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” will be happy).

If you can’t attend this event, you can find a small selection of Chamilia jewelry on our Disney Parks online store.

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