During the premiere of “Mickey and the Magical Map” last week, we asked guests what they thought about the new production in the Fantasyland Theatre at Disneyland park. If you’ve had a chance to see it, what’s your favorite moment? Let us know in the comments!
posted on May 31st, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager
Inspired by the popular “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise, this interactive quest lets you turn into one of Captain Jack’s pirate recruits, arms you with magic talismans and treasure maps, and lets you embark on one of five different pirate raids throughout Adventureland. The task is to prove your pirate worth by collecting valuable treasures while fending off some of Captain Jack’s enemies, including the Royal Navy and Captain Barbossa.
The quest is included in theme park admission and guests can embark on more than one raid if they wish. Looks like it’s going to be an amazing experience! Let us know in the “Comments” section below if you’ll sign up on your next visit!
posted on May 31st, 2013 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort
“Mickey and the Magical Map” is now open at Disneyland park, and we’re celebrating the all-new live show with some “Limited Time Magic!” From June 3-9, everyone who goes on this musical journey to imagination with Mickey Mouse will be invited to extend the experience with Mickey’s Compass Quest. Guests will receive a map of their own after seeing the show at the Fantasyland Theatre, which will lead them to locations throughout Disneyland park in search of a series of hidden markers with the help of clues inspired by the show. And a special prize awaits those who complete the challenge!
posted on May 31st, 2013 by Matt Stroshane, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
When I was young, I spent countless hours playing with my Star Wars action figures, re-enacting my favorite scenes from the movies. Back then, I couldn’t have imagined what it would be like to come face to face with Darth Vader in a light saber battle or to meet C3PO and R2D2.
On the opening days of this year’s Star Wars Weekends, some of our guests took one step closer to putting themselves in the movies by visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios in elaborate costumes and meeting their favorite characters. From family-made pieces to professionally-finished gear and make-up, guests played a starring role in the festivities, too.
posted on May 31st, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which marks its first anniversary today, celebrates the making of some favorite Disney and Pixar films, including “Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid.”
As a part of the resort’s design, the lobby features a fun chandelier that’s made up of sketches from each of these films. Recently, actress Jodi Benson – who voiced Ariel in “The Little Mermaid” – stopped by to autograph one of the panels that makes up the chandelier.
Check out this behind-the-scenes video of this moment. And to view more of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, check out the gallery below.
posted on May 30th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks
One of my favorite memories during last year’s visit to Disneyland Paris was enjoying the nighttime spectacular, Disney Dreams! It’s one of the biggest hits of the past year at the park and tonight, we have a beautiful “After Dark” look at Sleeping Beauty Castle moments before the show begins.
If you haven’t seen it yet, Peter Pan’s shadow takes you on a journey into great moments from Disney animation during Disney Dreams! Since it’s debut, the Creative Entertainment team has introduced some enhancements to the show as well.
See the posts below for more from the “Disney Parks After Dark” series:
posted on May 30th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort
In this “Every Role a Starring Role,” we’ll zoom in on Disney PhotoPass Photographer Savina Hernandez, who is on the other side of the lens to talk about Disney PhotoPass Service and her experience capturing guest memories at the Disneyland Resort!
Check out these posts for more “Every Role a Starring Role”:
posted on May 30th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
Like the Academy Awards of the restaurant industry, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Operator Innovations Awards go to the crème de la crème of restaurant operators who drive advancement in the food service industry. And at the second annual ceremony last week in Chicago, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts took home one of five top honors for Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort.
Be Our Guest Restaurant is delighting both guests and cast with a personalized approach to “fast casual” lunchtime dining. Guests order at state-of-the-art kiosks and the food “magically” appears at their tables, thanks to amazing behind-the-scenes technology merged with fantastic cast service. While the system utilizes automation, radio frequency technology and some pretty sophisticated electronics, at the end of the day it’s about serving great food in an elegant environment in a timely and welcoming manner.
“It is a fantastic accomplishment for our leadership team to be recognized by our peers,” says Maribeth Bisienere, vice president Food & Beverage and Merchandise Line of Business for The Walt Disney Company. Selected by an independent panel of expert judges, the award winners were honored during the NRA’s Destination: Celebration gala at the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.
Recognized in the categories of food safety, health and nutrition, menu development, sustainability, and technology, the winners “have found solutions for their businesses with programs and initiatives that combine creativity and hard work,” says Jeffrey W. Davis, convention chair for NRA Show 2013. “The 2013 Operator Innovations Awards winners redefine how the industry views innovation and will serve as the benchmark for other operators to apply the same innovative spirit within their own operations.”
posted on May 30th, 2013 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG
If you enjoy Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as much as I do, then you’ll love what our creative team at Disney Floral & Gifts has created for young Jedi this year. It’s a new “interplanetary gift” called the Star Tours Adventure Pack.
The new gift prepares young Jedi for their interstellar trip, compliments of the Star Tours Travel Agency. And today, Disney Show Director Ken Malquist, who led the creative development of this new offering, is sharing a behind-the-scenes look at what went into designing the Star Tours Adventure Pack. Here’s my interview with Ken:
Ken: Well, as the galaxy’s foremost vacation and travel provider, Star Tours takes great care in enhancing their passenger’s in-flight experience, so Aly San San, Star Tours Spokesbot, has provided the essentials a Jedi should never travel without: A satchel, a motion activated nametag with flashing blue lights, travel credentials, a pillow/blanket, chocolate, and a Light Saber.
Jean: What special creative experiences did you go through to create this gift?
Ken: We worked closely with our Star Wars experts on staff, Star Wars Weekends, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering, [to share] our concepts and ideas. It truly was a collaborative process to create this gifting experience.
Jean: As a Star Wars/Star Tours enthusiast, what do you think fans will especially like about this gifting experience?
Ken: It’s the whole package and the detail. Having the light-up lanyard, boarding documentation and ticket really takes it to the next level. You’re now in the adventure and the Force is with you. Creating this gift was an amazing and unique experience. At the end of the day, I would share with my family that I had spent time researching Ewoks, how many fingers they had, and how tall they are! I never thought I would actually become an expert, which is literally what happened. I had to immerse myself in the Star Wars universe; it was definitely a personal journey.
If you want to learn more, visit DisneyFlorist.com or call a Disney Floral & Gifts Dream Maker at 407-WDW-GIFT. And of course, may the Force be with you!
posted on May 30th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort
Are you counting down to the D23 Expo? I am. Mainly because I have so much to tell you about before the spectacular event kicks off August 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center. For the record, today marks 69 days and counting. So let’s get started! Here’s your first look at the logos that will appear on a variety of D23 Expo official merchandise and will be available at the D23 Expo Dream Store.
I consider this first one … magical and filled with character. Why? Well take a look!
Where else can you find characters like Goofy, Donald Duck and Chip n’ Dale trying to make their mark as a ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’? As you can tell, Mickey Mouse is still the real deal. Look for this art to appear on a variety of merchandise including tees for kids and adults, fleece, a baseball cap, mug, souvenir tote and more.
This next piece is, simply, a classic! The silhouette of Sorcerer Mickey will appear on a sampling of items including a ladies tee, adult t-shirt and bowling shirt.
If you are looking to make a statement at this year’s expo, do I have a tip for you! Check out this sneak preview of one of the new Seatbeltbags from HARVEYS. The collection, featuring Sorcerer Mickey and classic D’s, was created especially for this year’s expo. I can’t show them all to you, but here’s a look at my favorite silhouette.
What else do we have up our sleeves? How about designer jewelry, accessories (and yes this line has the letters D&B in it), signature collections, artwork, collectibles, D-Tech, Duffy the Disney Bear, appearances by renowned artists Dave Avanzino, ACME Archives Ltd., Collectors Editions, Noah, Robert Olszewski, Precious Moments, Linda Rick, Jim Shore and more.
Finally, if you are wondering whether there will be an auction this year, you are in luck. As part of this year’s D23 Expo, a silent auction will be hosted by Disney Theme Park Merchandise giving you – our ultimate Disney fans – the chance to bid on unique Disney artifacts, artwork, experiences, props and more. The Silent Auction is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Aug. 10. Tickets for the Silent Auction will go on sale June 11, 2013, via ArtofDisneyParks.com. Keep in mind, separate D23 Expo admission is required.
Anyone want to see a sneak peek of the pin you receive when you register to participate in the silent auction? Take a look.
Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog, D23Expo.com and ArtofDisneyParks.com over the next few months, because I will be sharing all of the details and much, much more when it comes to Disney Theme Park Merchandise releases, artist appearances, the silent auction and the D23 Expo 2013. If you have yet to get tickets to this ultimate fan event, check out all the details here, and let the countdown begin!
See you there!