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First Look: ‘Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade’ Floats From ‘Little Mermaid’ & ‘Brave’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on September 26th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Today we have an exciting sneak peek at “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade,” the new daytime parade that’s set to debut at Magic Kingdom Park in spring 2014.

As we previously announced, this procession will specifically highlight the stories of “Sleeping Beauty,” “Dumbo,” “Pinocchio,” “Peter Pan,” and “Tangled” among others. Today, we’re happy to share two new renderings of floats that will appear in “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” that are inspired by “The Little Mermaid” and the Disney●Pixar film “Brave.”

Ariel's 'Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade' Float

Here, Ariel and her friends grace a larger-than-life music box that will showcase a colorful musical party “Under the Sea.”

Merida's 'Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade' Float

And in this rendering, a troupe of Scottish dancers and an enormous bagpipe travel down Main Street, U.S.A., to announce the arrival of Merida, who is accompanied by her triplet brothers in their bear forms.

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

Other floats on tap for the parade will celebrate Disney Princesses in a Royal Court Garden float. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider will appear on a longship off on a search for another “Best. Day. Ever.” And Peter Pan and Wendy will soar high above on a pirate galleon ship, joined by Captain Hook, Mr. Smee and Tinker Bell.

To make room for “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade,” the park’s current daytime parade, “Celebrate a Dream Come True,” will end it’s daily run on December 20, 2013, with finale performances scheduled for January 1-4, 2014. During the holiday season, “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime” Parade will be presented each day, and guests will still be able to enjoy performances of “Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It” and “Main Street Electrical Parade” at the park throughout the changeover, leading up to the spring debut of “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.”

Which parade float are you most excited to see in the new parade? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Mmmmm! Lobster Roll a Big Hit at Harbour Galley at Disneyland Park

posted on September 26th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

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. If you can’t get to the park, Chef Scott Mancino shows us how he makes the delectable stuffed roll – easy enough, but it’s the abundance of fresh herbs (chives, parsley, tarragon, chervil) in the lobster salad and a generous slather of seasoned butter on the bun that takes this one over the top.

You can go with lobster or a mixture of seafood – crab, shrimp are also delicious with this recipe.

Happy eating!

Serves 4

Garlic Butter

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon seafood seasoning

Lobster Salad

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 celery stalk, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated or minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh chervil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • 1 pound cooked lobster tail and claw meat, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 4 hot dog buns, preferably split at the top

For garlic butter:

  • Combine butter, garlic, parsley, salt, and seafood seasoning in a medium bowl; mash with a fork until well combined. Set aside.

For lobster salad:

  1. Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, seafood seasoning, hot sauce, and Dijon in a large bowl until very well combined. Stir in celery, garlic, shallot, chervil, chives, parsley, and tarragon. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Fold lobster meat into mayonnaise mixture, gently mixing until lobster is well coated. Set aside.

For lobster rolls:

  1. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Spread garlic butter on both cut sides of hot dog buns; lay buns butter side down on griddle. Toast 1 minute, or until golden and lightly crisp.
  3. Divide lobster salad evenly among buns and serve immediately.
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Enchantment is Afoot (Ahoof?) in Horse-Drawn Carriages at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

posted on September 26th, 2013 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group

Sure, Walt Disney World Resort offers memorable moments beyond the fabulous attractions, dining, shopping and resort hotels. From the elegant, Victorian-themed Disney’s Wedding Pavilion to a luxurious cruise aboard the 52-foot Grand 1 yacht, the options abound. But did you know that you can take a private horse-drawn carriage ride through the verdant back trails of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground?

I recently took one of these treks, and it was definitely memorable.

Parked under a sprawling moss-covered cypress tree outside Crockett’s Tavern, where the rides originate, my carriage was maroon with caramel-colored leather seats, two old-fashioned brass hanging lamps and spoked wooden wheels. Totally vintage looking. It was also covered (not all are, though), which comes in handy during light drizzles and when our familiar Florida sun graces us in all its glory. Ivan, my horse, was a 7-year-old dark brown Percheron draft horse, a breed originally hailing from France. Huge and muscular, Ivan was off with a command from Chris, my driver.

“I assume the horses are treated well,” was my first question for Chris. “Oh yeah,” he chuckled. “They are spoiled.”

We went past Fort Wilderness Pavilion and Tri-Circle-D Ranch and its stables. Numerous white ponies and other Percheron draft horses were out munching on hay in the pens. Then we headed down a paved trail at the back end of the property.

Along the way, I was surrounded by the lush nature that is Fort Wilderness with the clippity-clop of Ivan’s hooves filling the air. Pine and cypress trees. Thick, green foliage. Hawks screeching above. Chris was friendly and affable, answering my questions and offering tidbits on the area’s history. I was lucky enough to see three deer and some wild turkeys behind a stand of pine trees. Wildlife usually comes out around dusk; you might catch a glimpse of rabbits, ducks or even a bobcat.

After a while, we turned around (“a horse U-turn,” Chris called it), and headed back to Crockett’s Tavern, where Ivan’s trough of refreshing water was waiting. The ride lasted about 25 minutes.

Romantic and enticing, a private horse-drawn carriage ride is perfect to share with your significant other. “We have couples who get engaged on our carriages, then return year after year to celebrate their anniversary,” Jay K. Sanderson, Assistant Animal Operations Manager, Tri-Circle-D Ranch, told me.

But, with carriages holding four adults or two adults and three children, they’re also suitable for everyone. “Kids love hearing all about the horses: what their names are, where they live, how much they eat, everything,” Jay said.

You could consider these jaunts (also available at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — Riverside) one of the unsung treasures of Walt Disney World Resort. A true ride to remember. Maybe not as well-known as other experiences on property, these charming outings are worth seeking out.

Rides commence at 5:30 p.m. and are open to all (in other words, you don’t have to be a registered guest of a Disney Resort hotel). Walkups are welcome, but it’s best not to leave availability to chance. Book early and inquire about rates by calling 407-WDW-PLAY (939-7529). Holiday update: From November 29 to December 30, holiday sleigh rides replace carriage rides at Fort Wilderness.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Tapestry of Nations Steps Off

posted on September 26th, 2013 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center

Beating drums, igniting torches and dancing puppets – in September 1999, World Showcase at Epcot ushered in the Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration when Tapestry of Nations began its soft opening.
Tapestry of Nations at Epcot in 1999

Led by The Sage of Time, this parade showcased drummers riding aboard rolling percussion units and performers bringing puppets, designed by artist Michael Curry, to life from the Mexico pavilion to the Canada pavilion.
Tapestry of Nations at Epcot in 1999

Tapestry of Nations was performed twice nightly and showcased eight different puppets – Angel, Aztec, Birdman, Discman, Hammerman, Reverse Marionette, Sprite and Wiggle Girl.
Tapestry of Nations at Epcot in 1999

Take a close look at the puppeteer above. Sure, it’s from thirteen years ago, but that smile is still recognizable.

Read on for more posts about Epcot in the “Vintage Walt Disney World” series:

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Market House, Serving Starbucks, Opens Today at Disneyland Park

posted on September 25th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Great news, Starbucks fans – Market House is now open on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park, serving Starbucks drinks along with house-made Disney treats.

Market House, Serving Starbucks, Opens Today at Disneyland Park Market House, Serving Starbucks, Opens Today at Disneyland Park
Market House, Serving Starbucks, Opens Today at Disneyland Park Market House, Serving Starbucks, Opens Today at Disneyland Park Market House, Serving Starbucks, Opens Today at Disneyland Park

Market House joins other Disney Parks locations serving Starbucks products – Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe at Disney California Adventure park, Fountain View at Epcot and Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom Park. And new locations are coming to the Downtown Disney District here at the Disneyland Resort, as well as Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Vote, Help Choose Disney Character Art Celebrating Festival of the Masters

posted on September 25th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Beginning today, Disney Parks Blog readers have a chance to choose which Disney character will be featured in an original piece of art at this year’s Festival of the Masters event at Downtown Disney. The artwork will be created by Yellow Shoes Creative Director and blog author Will Gay in the weeks leading up to the November 8-11 event.

Here are your 10 choices – vote now and let us know your favorite.

Voting will be available through Monday, September 30, 2013. Be sure to check back to see which character will be featured in an original painting at this year’s Festival of the Masters.

Read these posts for more about the Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney:

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Chef’s Name Revealed with a Second Look at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

posted on September 25th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


My favorite event of the year, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, returns to the Walt Disney World Resort starting September 27. I’m counting down the hours until I can try the orange-flavored Dole Whip that my fellow author Pam Brandon mentioned in a previous article. I will be visiting the Festival Center at Epcot next week to give you a first look inside the merchandise location. Until that time, I thought you may enjoy a second helping … I mean look … at some additional items created for the event. One of the most exciting things I learned is that the chef featured in this year’s artwork now has a name.

“We named him Chauncy,” explained Randy Noble, the Disney Design Group artist responsible for this year’s merchandise artwork. “His ‘C-shaped’ wisp of hair under his hat inspired his name. I made him a French chef as it was a nice reminder of a trip my wife and I took to France. I turned to a boys’ name book and found Chauncy which seemed perfect!”

I showed you a few Chef Chauncy items in a previous article. He will also be included on new things like a banner and my usual favorite item, a coffee mug.

Randy also designed the front and back cover of the popular cookbook that contains a host of recipes inspired by things you can enjoy at the Festival (hello, Aulani Sunrise on page 3 and Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup on page 7!).

Speaking of things to enjoy, the development team is also introducing two different sized Woozies this year that contain the Festival logo. The larger Woozie paired with a bottle of wine from event seems like it make a perfect gift.

I hope to see you at the festival!

Read more about the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in the posts below:

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Assemble for This New Vinylmation Collection at Disney Parks October 11

posted on September 25th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

It’s time to assemble, Disney fans!

There seem to be great forces directing the debut of this Vinylmation collection that has been shrouded in mystery over the past few months and is set to hit shelves October 11 at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. What is it? I can’t tell you! No seriously, I can’t. So I suggest you use your secret superhero powers and give your best guess as to what is coming your way. Some would say it takes a village, others would say that their protection often shields us from what may actually be.
Mystery New Vinylmation Collection

Here are a few questions to see how ready you are, to become part of this elaborate team:

  • Will you get suited up?
  • Will you bring the hammer down?
  • Will you find that you are the captain of your own ship?
  • Will you be green with envy?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then you are ready to join forces with us.

Look for the 12 blind-boxed figures to debut October 11 at D Street at Downtown Disney West Side at the Walt Disney World Resort as well as D Street in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort. Not able to make it? Look for the set to be available online later this fall via

Curious if any signings by Disney Design Group Artist, Thomas Scott, will take place? Plan to re-assemble at D Street in Downtown Disney West Side on October 18 from 5 – 7 p.m. and again on November 8 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Never fear Disneyland Resort fans, Thomas will be on hand for a special appearance and signing on November 9 from 1 – 3 p.m. at D Street in the Downtown Disney District, as well.

Are you ready? Will you be dressed for the occasion?

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A Day In the Life of Disney Ducks at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on September 25th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Have you ever noticed the ducks that reside within our parks at the Walt Disney World Resort? I’ve often watched them while dining outside at Casey’s Corner at Magic Kingdom Park and wondered what a wonderful life they must have living within a Disney theme park.

A Day In The Life of Disney Ducks

One of our video producers, Joan Peabody, had the same thought, and recently took a camera out to capture a journey one duck family makes each day. Just as the park is about to open, the mother and her offspring take a walk down Main Street, U.S.A. – a natural behavior that this duo has been practicing for a few months now. Check it out.

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Wildlife Wednesdays: Elephants Eat Their Fruits and Veggies, and a Whole Lot More! Find out on Elephant Appreciation Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on September 25th, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

We know that lots of fruits and veggies are part of a healthy diet. Apparently, elephants know that too. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, an adult male elephant will eat 28 pounds of produce in one day–and that’s not all! He’ll also eat 7 bales of hay, 5 bundles of grass, 2-to-3 bundles of browse, and 15 pounds of grain. And as we try to drink 8 or more glasses of water each day, elephants will guzzle 25-50 gallons of water. It all adds up to about 400-600 pounds of food in a day, which is as much as an average person eats in an entire year.
Elephants Eat Their Fruits and Veggies, and a Whole Lot More!

Guests who visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom tomorrow (September 26) will learn lots of fun and informative facts about elephants during our Elephant Appreciation Day celebration, taking place at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

In addition to learning what—and how much—an elephant eats, guests who stop by Rafiki’s Planet Watch can:

  • Test their skills at “eating like an elephant” using a replica of an elephant trunk.
  • Color an elephant mask that they can take home.
  • Learn about the elephants that make their home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and talk with members of our elephant care team.
  • Discover how bee sounds are being used to help keep elephants away from crops.
  • Find out about elephant conservation efforts supported through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund

Elephants Eat Their Fruits and Veggies, and a Whole Lot More!

Did you know?

  • Every day, guests experiencing the Kilimanjaro Safaris and Wild Africa Trek can see members of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom elephant herd.
  • Jabali, who is two years old, is the youngest member of the herd. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is part of a breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that is focused on sustaining the elephant population in North America.
  • Disney scientists study elephant communication—using audio-recording collars. Elephants make powerful, low-frequency “rumbles” that humans often cannot hear and can communicate over distances of several miles using these rumbles. Learn more at the Wildlife Tracking Center at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

Disney scientists conduct hormone analyses, using specialized tests called immunoassays, to monitor the reproductive status of the female elephants before and during pregnancy. Guests can watch scientists perform these and other analyses in the Wildlife Tracking Center.

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