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Take 5: Vintage Walt Disney World

posted on August 31st, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Disney’s Grand Floridian Is Topped Off

Last week, we traveled back in time to the construction of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. As you can see, a lot has happened at Walt Disney World Resort over the years to make it what it is today. Let’s take a look at some more Vintage Walt Disney World memories. You might even remember some from growing up with Disney!

Take 5: Vintage Walt Disney World

  1. Vintage Walt Disney World: America Goes on Parade – Back in 1975, America on Parade took place at Magic Kingdom Park. This parade featured larger-than-life sized characters representing American achievements that took place in our first 200 years as a nation.
  2. Vintage Walt Disney World: An ‘A’ Attraction or an ‘E’? – Take a look at how attractions at Magic Kingdom Park used to be categorized and how different tickets were used for each one.
  3. Vintage Walt Disney World: Growing Character at Epcot – See how the infamous topiaries at Walt Disney World Resort have changed over the years!
  4. Vintage Walt Disney World: Building an Animal Kingdom – See how far Disney’s Animal Kingdom has come since opening its doors in 1989.
  5. Vintage Walt Disney World: Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort Opens Its Doors – See the construction process of Disney’s Coronado Spring Resort and how the iconic Dig Site was created!
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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Disney Cruise Line Cruises Through Alaska

posted on August 31st, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

This week, some of our most compelling vacation images came from Disney Cruise Line, which took our readers along for the ride on one of the ship’s final Alaskan voyages for 2013.

Disney Cruise Line in Alaska

First off, how amazing does the ship look surrounded by icy seas and glaciers? This shot alone makes me want to head up north for a cruise (just imagine all of the cool photo possibilities!).

Check out the gallery of images above for more shots of previous Disney Cruise Line voyages to Alaska.

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Disneyland Annual Passholders: Your Seasons’ Greetings Card Could Be Part of ‘World of Color – Winter Dreams’ at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on August 30th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

UPDATE 9/19/13: Submission deadline has been extended to October 4, and this opportunity is open to everyone!

'World of Color - Winter Dreams' at Disney California Adventure Park

Last month, Steve Davison, vice president of Parades and Spectaculars, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, announced a new seasonal show coming to Disney California Adventure park this holiday season – “World of Color – Winter Dreams.” And today I’m excited to tell you that Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can have their own seasons’ greeting cards become part of the show!

One segment in the new seasonal show will feature reproductions of seasons’ greetings cards created by guests – like you! Find out how to design and submit a winter-themed card that could be considered and, if selected, included in this special segment of “World of Color – Winter Dreams.” Just visit this page for important information such as eligibility requirements, card size requirements, artwork restrictions and submission guidelines. Then create an original card with what you think the winter holidays bring … What is your favorite part of the winter season? How does your family celebrate? Use your imagination, draw from your own inspiration – and have the chance to show everyone as part of “World of Color – Winter Dreams”! The submission deadline is September 20, 2013.

Information and program elements are subject to restrictions, change and cancellation without notice.

Read more about “World of Color” in the posts below:

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This Week in Disney History: Document Outlining Early Concept for Disneyland is Shared, 1948

posted on August 30th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Sixty-five years ago tomorrow, on August 31, 1948, an important document was shared with Disney Studio artist Dick Kelsey, outlining Walt Disney’s vision for a new kind of amusement park. One of the earliest detailed descriptions of the concept, it gives wonderful insight into what he envisioned for what one day would become Disneyland. I’ve received some excerpts of the actual memo from my friends at the Walt Disney Archives, which I’m excited to share with you on this anniversary.


In this excerpt, we can see that the park was intended to be a welcoming place where guests of all ages could have fun together. And of course, we know that from the beginning, Walt intended for there to be a railroad surrounding the park.


Notice the detail in the document. Three hundred seats in the Opera House – years away from construction, and already there was a vision for how many people should fit in there. And a repair shop in the toy store? How convenient!


Perhaps most fascinating are the ideas that came to life in Disneyland when it opened years later in 1955. The magic shop, the Town Hall, the horse-drawn cars … Pastoral elements from rural experiences were envisioned from the beginning.


Here you can see a vision for Frontierland starting to develop. It’s called “The Western Village” here, but the Stage Coach and Donkey Pack Train (which would later materialize as the Rainbow Mountain Stage Coaches and Rainbow Ridge Pack Mules) are there. And the pack train would “take ten kids.” Again, amazingly detailed thinking.

The project went through many working titles, the most well-known of which was “Mickey Mouse Park,” and at one time it was even referred to as “Kiddieland.” I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that Disneyland was the best choice.

See the posts below to learn more about Disneyland history:

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Disney’s Night of Joy 2013 Artist Profile: Moriah Peters and For King & Country

posted on August 30th, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager

Today’s Night of Joy blog post profiles two newcomers to Night of Joy stages: Moriah Peters and for King & Country.

At first, it might not seem like California-born beauty Peters and Aussie duo Joel and Luke from for King & Country wouldn’t have much in common. But, interestingly enough, even while we were with them for the KLOVE Fan Awards in Nashville this past June, Moriah and Joel were already planning an early July wedding! A huge congratulations to them; and we’re really looking forward to hosting the newlyweds at Night of Joy next month!

Moriah, one of the newest artists from the Provident Music Group, began writing songs at age 13 in a small town outside of Los Angeles and recently came to the wilds of Nashville to pursue her heart for Christian music. Her debut record, I Choose Jesus, showcases a breezy music style with very powerful lyrics. When we caught up with Moriah in June, she told us about coming to Night of Joy as a guest last year and some thoughts on her first Night of Joy performance, including a favorite Walt Disney World Resort treat that she’s already anticipating.

For King & Country brothers Joel and Luke are no strangers to the Christian music industry. Forming their own group in 2008, the two went through various artistic states and had some moderate success. That all changed last year with their latest record Crave and the single “Proof of Your Love,” whose haunting melodies and simple but profound lyrics struck a chord with Christian music audiences around the world. At the KLOVE Awards, we sat down with Joel – Luke was feeling under the weather that morning – and he told us about the origin of their band’s name and offered some great advice for our Night of Joy youth groups.

2013 marks the 31st year for Disney’s Night of Joy, two nights where the best in Contemporary Christian music meets the fun and fantasy of the Magic Kingdom Park. In addition to their favorite Christian artists, guests can enjoy beloved Magic Kingdom Park attractions like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain – along with New Fantasyland, the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom Park history.

The complete line-up includes:

One-day tickets to Disney’s Night of Joy are $55 plus tax in advance and $65 plus tax the night of the show (if available). Two-night tickets are $99 plus tax (advance purchase only) and group discounts are also available.

To purchase tickets or for more information about the event, visit

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‘Limited Time Magic’ Brings Celebration of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Disney California Adventure Park

posted on August 30th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

More than 85 years ago, on September 5, 1927, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit made his debut in the short film, “Trolley Troubles.” To celebrate, “Limited Time Magic” is bringing all things Oswald to Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort.
Oswald Ice Cream Sundae in a Souvenir Red Car Trolley Cup from Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream at Disney California Adventure Park

For one week only, you can hop on over to Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream for a delicious Oswald Ice Cream Sundae in a souvenir Red Car Trolley cup.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit T-Shirts, Part of a ‘Limited Time Magic’ Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Sketch, Part of a ‘Limited Time Magic’ Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Ear Hat, Part of a ‘Limited Time Magic’ Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park

Also be sure to stop by Oswald’s and Elias & Co. on Buena Vista Street to pick up your Oswald the Lucky Rabbit-inspired merchandise, including apparel, artwork, vintage signs, the ever-popular Oswald ear hats and more.

Come join the celebration of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from September 2–8 at Disney California Adventure park!

Check out more posts about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit at Disney Parks:

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‘Limited Time Magic’ Fall Trolley Show Begins at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 30th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

‘Limited Time Magic’ Fall Trolley Show Begins at Walt Disney World Resort

For more than 10 years, the Trolley Show has been a favorite at Magic Kingdom Park. And next week, as part of “Limited Time Magic” at the Walt Disney World Resort, we’re launching a new Fall Trolley Show. You’ll be able to join the young citizens of Main Street, U.S.A., as they celebrate the magic that can happen when it’s autumn.

Our new show begins on Monday, September 1. Let us know what you think.

You can find updates on our latest extra sprinkle of pixie dust on Twitter using hashtag #LimitedTimeMagic and on our web page.

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‘Drawn’ to Each Other – A Magical Proposal at Downtown Disney Marketplace

posted on August 30th, 2013 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager

I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for a good love story. Every time I hear about a proposal in the Magic Kingdom Park Rose Garden, or see a photo of a bride stepping from Cinderella’s Royal Coach at the Disney Wedding Pavilion, I’m reminded that even in real life, fairytales can come true.

That’s probably why I was so smitten when I heard about a proposal that recently took place at Airbrush Caricatures here at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Guest Ben Landaal orchestrated everything to perfection to surprise his girlfriend of a year and a half, Paige Lawton. A few days before the big night, Ben made arrangements with Airbrush Caricatures, sharing his “perfect proposal” vision. Fast-forward to engagement night: Paige thought they were simply having a regular caricature created, but instead they were capturing one of the biggest moments of their lives.

As Ben tells the story, “I sat down by the artist right away, so that he could draw my head first. He then had Paige sit down and proceeded to draw her face and both of our bodies while she was still sitting. As you can see in the picture, the artist had me on one knee holding the ring out, and he wrote on the picture, “Will you marry me?” When the caricature was complete, he told Paige that she could get up. She immediately turned around and looked at it. At this point, I went down on one knee and pulled out the ring.”

Based on the smiles, I think you can guess what she said?

Ben Landaal and His Now-Fiancée Paige Lawton ‘Drawn’ to Each Other – A Magical Proposal at Downtown Disney Marketplace

Sure, magical Disney moments will always happen under castle archways or beneath glowing fireworks, but it makes me happy to know they can happen in sometimes-unexpected places, like Downtown Disney, too!

I love a happy ending and couldn’t be more thrilled for Ben and Paige. (Did I mention that I love love?)

Have you been lucky enough to witness a “dream come true” moment during a previous Disney vacation? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Learning to ‘Hang 10’ at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

posted on August 30th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Have you ever tried surf lessons at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park?

The park offers group surf lessons at the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool, which take place in the morning just before the park opens to regular guests. Each Learn to Surf session includes some training on land first, and then it’s off to the waves.

Check out the video below for a look inside the experience. Looks like fun!

For more information, book online here or call (407) 939-7529.

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New Disney Gift Cards Fly in This Summer: Planes, Star Wars, Princess Designs Have Arrived Online

posted on August 30th, 2013 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services

This summer Disney Gift Cards has released 14 new designs.

Disney Gift Card 'Planes' Design

From above the world of “Cars” comes Disney’s “Planes,” an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty, a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. The new “Dusty in Flight” Disney Gift Card has now landed on and is available for purchase.

Disney Gift Card New Star Wars Design

Originally only available in park, new Disney Gift Cards from Star Wars Weekends featuring Skywalker Mickey, Darth Goofy, Stitch Yoda, and Darth Donald are now available for purchase online.

Disney Gift Card New Princess Design

Treat your princess to this new Disney Gift Card that includes Aurora, Jasmine, Cinderella, Belle, and Rapunzel.

Disney Gift Card Royal Debut Series

Choose your favorite Disney Princess design from the new Royal Debut Series. In this new series each princess is showcased with an identifiable icon and color scheme that reflects her character.

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