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Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: September 2010

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


One year into its run, the Disney Parks Blog was off and running with some fantastic stories. From the first look at ElecTRONica to a sneak peek at new droids on their way to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, September 2010 gave a look at some amazing things on the horizon at Disney Parks.

ElecTRONica Concept Art

First Look at ElecTRONica
On September 1, 2010, Disney Parks Blog readers got a first look at ElecTRONica, which was then just a month away from opening at Disney California Adventure park.

Hong Kong Disneyland 5th Year Anniversary

Hong Kong Disneyland 5th Year Anniversary
In September 2010, guests and cast members celebrated the fifth anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland.

Update: Video of First Taste of La Hacienda
In mid-September, Pam Brandon shared a first look inside the new La Hacienda restaurant in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.

AC-38 - 'Ace' for short - is one of the latest AC series Tour Droids piloting the Starspeeder 1000

These ARE the Droids You’re Looking For!
Tom Fitzgerald, Executive VP & Senior Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, gave Disney Parks Blog readers a sneak peek at two new droids created for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.

Pirates of the Caribbean Suite at Disneyland Hotel

A Peek Inside the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite at Disneyland Hotel
We gave you a look inside some of the Signature Suites at the Disneyland Hotel, including the popular Pirates of the Caribbean Suite.

Disney Parks Blog Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary
We celebrated a big milestone on September 28, 2010, when the Disney Parks Blog marked its one-year anniversary!

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‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’ Art Chosen to Celebrate Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

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


The votes are in from last week’s voting and Disney Parks Blog readers have chosen to feature Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in an original piece of art at this year’s Festival of the Masters event at Downtown Disney.

‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’ Art Chosen to Celebrate Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort
*Graphic for reference only.

Yellow Shoes Creative Director and Disney Parks Blog author Will Gay will be creating the piece of art in the weeks leading up to the Festival of the Masters from November 8-11. Thank you to everyone who participated in the voting. Be sure to check back in November for more on this artwork.

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Disney Villains Wallpaper Series: Ursula from ‘The Little Mermaid’

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


This fall, we’re celebrating the return of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party with a new Disney villains desktop wallpaper series here on the Disney Parks Blog.

Today, we’re happy to share the first in this series, which features Ursula from “The Little Mermaid” and was created by Disney artist Tom May. To download for your computer or mobile device, simply click on the image below.

Disney Villains Wallpaper Series: Ursula from ‘The Little Mermaid’

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

Is Ursula your favorite Disney villain? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Behind the Walls: Update on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Refurbishment at Disneyland Park

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


I’ve got an exciting photo to share with you today from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland park. Paul Hiffmeyer, our chief photographer, was recently able to witness a major milestone in the attraction’s refurbishment – the first new train testing the brand-new track that was just installed at the attraction! Check out this photo he brought back for me to share here on the Disney Parks Blog:

The First New Train on the Brand-New Track at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

And there’s another Big Thunder Mountain Railroad update to share with you today: the wildest ride in the wilderness is now scheduled to reopen in Winter 2014. So hold onto your hats and glasses until then, and keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more sneak peeks and refurbishment details.

For more about the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment, click the links below:

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New Novelty Toys Coming to Disney Parks for Fall 2013

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


As a child, I loved visiting toy stores. I would spend countless hours roaming aisles in search of the perfect toy (which was typically some kind of Star Wars action figure). As a parent today, I see that same kind of thrill in my son’s eyes when we visit a store. I also still feel that thrill when I visit with Cody Hampton, merchandiser for toys and games at Disney Theme Park Merchandise. Cody recently took me on a tour of his toy showroom to highlight a few new novelty toys coming to Disney Parks this fall.

Pluto Bank Coming to Disney Parks for Fall 2013

I think my favorite new item is a Pluto bank. When a coin is dropped into Pluto’s dish, he licks his plate clean. I recall having a metal bank with baseball players similar to this when I was younger (the pitcher would throw a coin into the catcher’s glove). I’m going to need more coins when my son sees this one.

Disney Mouse-Staches Coming to Disney Parks for Fall 2013

Two of the more unique items Cody shared with me were Disney Mouse-Staches. Cody said these play mustaches were inspired by a popular trend in the marketplace. I once tried growing a mustache, but became impatient with how long the process took (and my fiancée Jennifer said “No”). I think I’ll stick with these peel and stick ‘staches from now on.

Disneyvision Coming to Disney Parks for Fall 2013

Another fun item that Cody shared was Disneyvision. This small retro television measures about 7-inches tall by 5-inches wide and was designed by Disney Design Group Artist Lin Shih (whom you may recall from Radio Disney Music Award fame a few months ago). The set comes with six different characters that can be placed into the television. Once Disneyvision is turned on, you can control the speed of six built-in LED strobe lights and motion of the characters by turning the dials. This lighting effect makes it appear like the characters are animated.

Disney Princess Toys Coming to Disney Parks for Fall 2013

Finally, there are a few new Disney Princess items arriving this fall including a small rubber ball inspired by a scene from “The Little Mermaid,” a 500-piece puzzle featuring the works of Thomas Kinkade, and a small castle turret bank that contains sculpted images of Cinderella, Belle, Ariel and Rapunzel.

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Step in Time: The First ‘Character Parades’ at Magic Kingdom Park

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


What do you love about parades?

For me, parades are like a moving celebration of some of the happiest and grandest things in life. And no one does them better than Disney Parks!

The tradition of having parades at Magic Kingdom Park goes back to when the turnstiles opened October 1, 1971. And as we shared earlier this year, a new procession, Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade, will debut in spring 2014 at the park. In the meantime, we’re going to celebrate the parades that have marched so much joy into Magic Kingdom Park over the years: The parades we grew up with, the ones we wish we would’ve been around to see, and the ones with music that just made us smile.

Step in Time: The First ‘Character Parades’ at Magic Kingdom Park

SStep in Time: The First ‘Character Parades’ at Magic Kingdom Park

This week, we’re taking a look at the very first parade to ever step off at Magic Kingdom Park. It was called the “Character Parade” and ran from October 1 – December 9, 1971, at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., daily. The park’s first parade didn’t feature the huge floats we’re familiar with today, but instead started as a mix of Disney characters, musicians and antique cars. Mickey Mouse kicked off the parade, leading in a red uniformed marching band. The dwarfs from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” followed, carrying balloons. Minnie appeared next, riding in one of the park’s yellow antique cars with the Dapper Dans. Other characters who made an appearance included: Dumbo from “Dumbo”; Walrus from “Alice In Wonderland”; Thumper and Flower from “Bambi”; Baloo and King Louie from “The Jungle Book”; and Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs.

In 1972, the park celebrated “Pooh for President” by adding a patriotic-themed float for Winnie the Pooh, who was followed by his friends Tigger and Eeyore, and a fife and drum corp. The parade was also plussed up for Mother’s Day that year, with characters marching the parade route with special Mother’s Day cards.

Which Magic Kingdom Park parade would you love to see featured here? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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First Look: Show Your Disney Side

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


Beginning today, you’ll be hearing a lot more about the idea of showing your Disney side – the side of you that says “yes” more often, laughs louder and lives life to the fullest. It’s the side of you that embraces fun and comes out to play the moment you step through the gates at Disney Parks.

First Look: Show Your Disney Side

Everyone has a Disney side. And this morning, Disney Parks Blog readers are among the first to see our premiere television spot featuring one family’s galactic Disney side.

Along with the video, we also just launched a new destination – DisneySide.com. At the site, you’ll be able to share your own Disney side with the world and see what’s being posted and talked about online. You can also share with the hashtag #DisneySide across our social channels, including Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Google+ and Facebook.

So, what’s your Disney side? Let us know in the comments below and then share some magic at DisneySide.com

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on September 29th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase opened with more than 300 national and international wines and more than 220 tastes and sips around World Showcase Lagoon.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Launches Today

To kick things off, we shared some tips on where to begin when you visit this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival as well as an update that one of our favorites – Party for the Sensesgrand tasting events are back this year on October 5, 12, 19, 26 and November 2. The festival runs through November 11.

Check Pam’s post for more details or call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations this weekend.

‘Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade’ Floats ‘Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade’ Floats

And we also shared a sneak peek of “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade,” the new daytime parade that’s set to debut at Magic Kingdom Park in spring 2014. There will be several different floats featured in the parade, including one celebrating Disney Princesses in a Royal Court Garden and another featuring Peter Pan and Wendy soaring high above on a pirate galleon ship, joined by Captain Hook, Mr. Smee and Tinker Bell.

You can find more details about the parade and renderings in Jennifer’s original parade story.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park – Tips For Beginners – Will you be visiting Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for the first time this year? Check out our tips for having an extra-magical experience.

Make Your Disneyland Resort Dining Reservations Online Beginning October 3 – Beginning October 3, you can make dining reservations online! This new service will make it easier than ever to book a meal at your favorite restaurants throughout the Disneyland Resort.

Behind the Scenes: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Car Completes Drop Test at Magic Kingdom Park – See photos from Monday, when Imagineers and Design & Engineering marked a milestone in the construction of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland.

Lend Your Voice to ‘World of Color – Winter Dreams’ at Disney California Adventure Park – Find out how you can virtually lend your voice to an original composition that will be part of the new holiday spectacular coming to Disney California Adventure park.

A Day In the Life of Disney Ducks at Magic Kingdom Park – Have you ever noticed the ducks that reside within our parks at the Walt Disney World Resort? Watch this video to follow one lucky duck family through an average day.

Market House, Serving Starbucks, Opens Today at Disneyland Park – Market House is now open on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park, serving Starbucks drinks along with house-made Disney treats.

A Taste of South America at Carioca’s on the Re-imagined Disney Magic – Peek inside Carioca’s, a fun and festive dining room named after Donald Duck’s parrot pal in “The Three Caballeros.”

Mmmmm! Lobster Roll a Big Hit at Harbour Galley at Disneyland Park – One of the most popular new tastes at Disneyland park is a warm, buttery lobster roll now on the menu at Harbour Galley in Critter Country. Now, with this recipe, you can make it at home!

Chris Colfer Book Signing in Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort – On October 12, #1 New York Times bestselling author, Golden Globe winner, and huge Disney fan Chris Colfer will join us as the World of Disney as we celebrate the release of his second book, The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns.

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This Week In Disney Parks Photos: Fall, Food & Wine Returns to Walt Disney World

posted on September 28th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, we shared a ton of cool images on the Disney Parks Blog, including new shots of fall fun.

“Seasonal

Fall has returned to Magic Kingdom Park. Be sure to check out our gallery of images of the creative jack-o-lanterns and other fall decor that lines Main Street, U.S.A. during the day, and brings the Halloween spirit to life at night during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties.

On Friday, Epcot celebrated the return of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Now through Nov. 11, guests can enjoy the fall weather while sampling dishes inspired by cultures from around the world, attend Eat to the Beat concerts (including in park admission), and more. Check out the gallery above for a look.

This week we also shared a look ahead at something coming this spring by releasing two new renderings from “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade”, the daytime parade that will debut at Magic Kingdom Park in 2014. (Read more details here).

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Take 5: Shared Attractions at Disney Parks

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


Take 5: Shared Attractions at Disney Parks

Last week, we showed you this spooky Disney Parks After Dark image of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in honor of Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort. But did you know there is a Tower of Terror attraction at Walt Disney World Resort as well? This classic attraction can be found on both coasts, one in Disney California Adventure park, and the other in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Let’s take a look at what other Disney attractions you can enjoy from both Florida and California!

Take 5: Shared Attractions at Disney Parks

  1. Highlighting Disneyland Park Horticulture: Jungle Cruise – This classic Disney ride can be found in Magic Kingdom Park as well as in Disneyland park! Wonder which location the alligators prefer?
  2. ‘Tiki-rific’ Time at 50th Anniversary Event for Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland Resort - This summer we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland Resort. Check out these photos in case you missed them! And of course, don’t forget you can see the Tiki Room birds at Magic Kingdom Park as well!
  3. Vintage Walt Disney World: Celebrating Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Magic Kingdom Park - Dumbo the Flying Elephant has transformed over the years not only at Magic Kingdom Park, but at Disneyland park too!
  4. Creating the Magic of Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park – Jack Skellington may have taken over the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park, but the attraction is just as spooky at Walt Disney World Resort!
  5. Today in Disney History: Splash Mountain Marks 20 Years - Twenty years of splashing at Walt Disney World Resort was something to celebrate! We hope guests at Disneyland park will enjoy splashing to songs of the south for just as long!
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