Disney Parks Blog Celebrates the 15th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Ready, Set, Dial! Reservations for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Premium Events Begin August 13

posted on July 30th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Fans of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival know that it’s best to set their alarms and dial promptly at 7 a.m. August 13 if there is a premium event they want to attend. And this year there are even more new experiences, including a Parisian breakfast, a Scottish party and a Hibachi dinner in Japan.

Ready, Set, Dial!  Reservations for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Premium Events Begin August 13

The number to call? 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378). Dates for this year’s fest are September 27- November 11, and you can see the full list of options at www.epcotfoodfestival.com.

We had a sneak peek at a few more of the dishes for this year’s Marketplace kiosks at this past weekend’s Tables in Wonderland dinner, including our favorite from Brazil: crispy pork belly with a dollop of pureed black beans and a fresh topping of sweet onions, avocado and cilantro micro-greens. The crowd went crazy for the South Korea marketplace’s kimchi hot dog with spicy mustard sauce and Florida Local’s grass-fed beef slider with Monterey Jack and sweet and hot pickles. Scotland’s seared Scottish salmon with cauliflower puree, watercress and malt vinaigrette, is served alongside a returning favorite, Canada’s Le Cellier wild mushroom beef filet mignon with truffle butter sauce. Oh my!

We tried a fantastic Brazilian black beer, sangria made with Florida citrus, and a bubbly Moscato from Brazil, all fun, unusual pairings – just a handful of the amazing finds that will be poured at the fest.

But the news that got the biggest applause is the return of the Dole Whip, a winner at this past spring’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. They’ll give it a different twist for all – it will be orange (not pineapple), and you can indulge with a splash of crème de cacao white.

Click here to view a list of delicious creations you’ll find at the Marketplaces, all wonderfully paired with wine, beer and cocktails – subject to slight changes as chefs and sommeliers perfect the festival.

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Where at Disney Parks Can You Find…

posted on July 30th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


“Where
I’ve gotten wind that the last mystery puzzler was way too easy. So, how about this for a summer stumper? It’s a windmill found somewhere at Disney Parks and it’s ready to be identified. Have you seen it before? Remember where? Please put your answers in the comments and we’ll update the post with the answer later today.

Read the rest of this entry »

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D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – From Dooney & Bourke to Vinylmation

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


The countdown continues to the D23 Expo 2013, taking place August 9–11 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Here’s a quick look at some of the other merchandise set to debut in the Dream Store, including: Dooney & Bourke, Vinylmation, Duffy the Disney Bear, a special artist sketch and more. So if you haven’t made your shopping list out yet, it’s time to get out that pen and paper.

Dooney & Bourke is at the top of my list. Here’s your first look at the new design that will be available on select silhouettes including the tassel tote, cross body and pouch.

PD23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including Dooney & Bourke

Vinylmation traders and collectors … try to maintain control, because you will no doubt be on the hunt for these new collections and more.

D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including New Vinylmation Collections D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including New Vinylmation Collections D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including New Vinylmation Collections

Where’s Duffy the Disney Bear? Where else! He’s ready to go in his D23 Expo gear and no doubt would be happy to go home with you.

D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including Duffy the Disney Bear

For those of you who are fans of the Artist Sketch Program and are planning to attend this year’s expo, you may want to consider picking up this next piece. The D23 Expo sketch ($35) will only be available August 9-11 at the Dream Store.

D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including the D23 Sketch, Available August 9-11

Okay, I’m pretty sure that’s enough for now. Many of the items I’ve shown you over the last few weeks are extremely limited and will no doubt fly off the shelves, so if you see something you just have to have, but haven’t picked up a ticket to the D23 Expo 2013 yet, now’s the time to do so!

Could it be that I’ve saved the best content for last or will you “call” me crazy? I have one final D23 Expo 2013 post scheduled for next week … guess there’s only one way to find out. Keep watching!

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Caption This: Goofy Goes to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

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


This week’s “Caption This” photo was snapped at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. It sure looks like Goofy is having a blast on this beach vacation.

Can You 'Caption This' Image at Disney's Vero Beach Resort?

Now that he’s done building this amazing sandcastle, what’s next on his agenda? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This”!

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Experience Cars Land on the Go with Cars Land Racers Mobile Game

posted on July 29th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


If you’re a fan of Cars Land or our popular Cars Land Racers desktop game, I’ve got exciting news for you. You can now take the fun on the go with the new Cars Land Racers Mobile.

The new mobile edition also comes with its own rewards. If you play the game while you are inside Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park, you will be able to earn three special achievements! And, if you are logged in through Facebook, you can unlock upgrades and achievements that will be reflected on the desktop version of the game, allowing you to fast-track racing upgrades.

Experience Cars Land on the Go with Cars Land Racers Mobile Game Experience Cars Land on the Go with Cars Land Racers Mobile Game

Cars Land Racers Mobile will feature:

  • Lightning’s Endurance Race: Drive for as long as possible without running out of gas, while trying to steer clear of obstacles and collecting as many gas cans as possible along the drive.
  • Luigi’s Order Line: Help find objects in Luigi’s shop to fill his tire orders in this scrolling hidden object game.
  • Mater’s Tow Fishin’: Inspired by the final scene in “Cars,” this game has you fishing for auto parts to earn as many points as possible.

Go to CarsLandRacers.com from your mobile device to play now, and don’t forget to check out the upgrades you have unlocked by visiting CarsLandRacers.com from your desktop computer!

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A New Home for ‘Festival of the Lion King’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on July 29th, 2013 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


I fell in love with “Festival of the Lion King” the first time I saw it, in a sneak preview ahead of the 1998 opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. From the acrobatic antics of the Tumble Monkeys to Zawadi’s soaring vocals during the signature “Circle of Life,” the exuberant spirit of the show’s cast has kept me coming back time and time again and made “Festival of the Lion King” a guest favorite at Walt Disney World Resort for 15 years.

A New Home for 'Festival of the Lion King' at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Today, I’m excited to tell you “Festival of the Lion King” will soon be moving to an all-new theater, bringing the “tribal celebration” home fittingly to the Africa section of the park, where Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will be able to continue enjoying the show for years to come.

The new “Festival of the Lion King” theater is set to open in 2014.

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It’s the 30th Anniversary of ‘Vacation’: Real-life Griswolds Travel to Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 29th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Today in 1983, the motion picture “Vacation” was released in theaters. In the film, Clark Griswold tried to create the perfect family trip. Traveling cross-country to the fictional Walley World, he and his family hit the road to see the nation in a Wagon Queen Family Truckster car. The motion picture went on to become a classic and the car became an iconic part of the film.

Fast-forward to 2013, and a real-life family of Griswolds — Steve and Lisa Griswold, and their two daughters, Amber and Brooke — hopped into a custom-made Wagon Queen Family Truckster and drove from their home in Canton, Georgia, to Walt Disney World Resort.

Visiting Walt Disney World Resort on the 30th anniversary of the famous film? That’s definitely something that would even make Marty Moose proud.

The Real-Life Griswolds and their Family Truckster in Front of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

The custom car is only about 2 weeks old and this is the first vacation the family has taken in it. What was formerly a brown station wagon was transformed by a car shop in Georgia with new wood-panel siding and a new “metallic pea” color (the exact hue described in the film) paint job. Steve then added special touches like custom-made gold crown symbols on the side of the car, the signature, silver crown hood ornament and even a (faux) fuel tank door on the hood. (Be sure to take a look at the photo gallery to see more.) He also added a few modern conveniences, including DVD players (which were loaded with the “Vacation” film when we visited) and Bluetooth wireless technology. After putting some vintage luggage that he purchased online atop the luggage rack, the Griswolds were ready to hit the “holiday road” to Walt Disney World Resort.

One of their stops? Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a natural fit since much of the new resort is dedicated to an entire town of famous “Cars.”

Steve and Lisa, who own and operate a travel agency in Georgia, are no strangers to Walt Disney World Resort. They are both former Walt Disney World College Program participants and former cast members. They visit quite often with their daughters and have sailed on all four Disney Cruise Line ships.

The Family Truckster, Lisa says, is another fun way to experience Walt Disney World Resort. “For years people have commented about our name being ‘Griswold’ and our love of Disney,” she said. “We wanted to have fun with it and experience it on a wonderful family vacation.”

As Disney Parks Blog author and Yellow Shoes Creative Group photographer Gene Duncan took these photos and our Global Content Development broadcast crew shot the video, a crowd began gathering in front of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort to admire and take photos of the car. “We’ve had such a wonderful time.” Lisa says. “We valeted the car at the Grand Floridian the other night before we ate dinner there, and the cast member couldn’t believe it. He told us he’s parked about every type of car there is, but never a family truckster.”

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


This week’s celebration of “Christmas in July” on the Disney Parks Blog included a special announcement – a new show coming to “World of Color” for the holiday season. The show will feature new animation and effects. Steve Davison, vice president of Parades and Spectaculars, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, shared more details in Erin’s original story.

“World of Color – Winter Dreams” will begin November 15, 2013, at Disney California Adventure park.

Vote To Name the First Masai Giraffe Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

And we asked for your help this week to pick a name for our first Masai giraffe calf born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We’re still taking votes today so check the list below and make your choice.

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog to find out what name gets the most votes. Jackie will post the results on Wednesday (July 31).

Here are some of the other stories we worked on.

Behind the Scenes: Stunt Driving at Lights, Motors, Action! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Hop into the driver’s seat of the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at the Walt Disney World Resort in this behind-the-scenes video.

Top 5: Fun for Kids at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – It’s already been a fantastic summer at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa; Disney Parks Blog author Todd Apo shares a closer look at some of the top activities for kids around the resort.

More Than 30 Years of Handmade Memories at Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort – From belts to buckles, necklaces and more – have you seen Dave Biebel’s unique, personalized and in many cases, one-of-a-kind goods at Downtown Disney Marketplace?

Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Opens Today – Relax, kick back and enjoy a look inside the newly remodeled Senses – A Disney Spa, now open at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa.

Exclusive Debut: ‘Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks’ Official Poster – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures gave the Disney Parks Blog the chance to show you the exclusive debut of their “Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks” official poster; take a look!

‘Limited Time Magic’ Features Monstrous ‘Eye Scream’ Sundaes at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts – Here’s a preview of some of the “Monstrous” sweets available at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts for a limited time as part of “Limited Time Magic.”

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Take 5: Baby Animals Born at Disney Parks

posted on July 27th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Vote To Name the First Masai Giraffe Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Last week, the Disney Parks Blog gave readers a chance to name the first Masai giraffe calf, a male, born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Baby animals born at Disney Parks are welcomed into their respective families often within weeks of their arrival. Read the posts below to check out some of the baby animals that have been born at the Walt Disney World Resort. What name did you choose for the Masai giraffe? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

Take 5: Baby Animals Born at Disney Parks

  1. Wildlife Wednesdays: Vote To Name the First Masai Giraffe Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Cast your vote and help name the first Masai giraffe calf born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  2. Wildlife Wednesdays: Saddle-Billed Stork Has First Chick; White-Cheeked Gibbon Expands Family with New Addition at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – March was an exciting month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with a first chick for a pair of Saddle-Billed storks, and a new addition to our White-Cheeked Gibbon family.
  3. Baby Elephant Receives Warm Welcome at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Two years ago, a new elephant named Jabali was born and joined the herd as the sixth elephant born to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  4. Wildlife Wednesdays: Real-Life Pumbaas (Baby Warthogs) Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – In February of last year, we welcomed five baby warthogs to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
  5. Wildlife Wednesdays: Is It a Zebra? Is It a Giraffe? No, It’s an Okapi – New Baby Welcomed to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Family – Meet Nafuna, the rare and fascinating okapi at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: ‘Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks’, Baby Giraffes & More

posted on July 27th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, one of my favorite visuals was shared by Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover, who gave us the first look at the official movie poster for “Saving Mr. Banks.” I can’t wait to see this film. What do you think?

The Official ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Poster

Here at Walt Disney World Resort, we shared a photo of the first Masai giraffe born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In case you missed this blog post, the park is celebrating this by allowing Disney Parks Blog readers to vote on a name for the giraffe through Tuesday, July 30. Be sure to cast your vote here.

Vote To Name the First Masai Giraffe Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Check out more of this week’s photos below.

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