The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios

New Medals Unveiled for Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathons at Disney Parks

posted on October 30th, 2013 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


Today, I’m excited to reveal some of our new runDisney medals for two of our race weekends in 2014.

The Princess Half Marathon medal is completely new compared to last year’s medal and is inspired by our classic and most enduring princess, Cinderella. We’ve added a 10K and a Glass Slipper Challenge event (running the half marathon and the 10K) to the Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort, so check out the shiny new medals that go with them.

The Tinker Bell Half Marathon medal has a few new enhancements from last year. There’s also a new 10K race there too and the medal, of course, is very much themed around Tinker Bell.

So, if you’re signed up to run any of these races, get ready to rock these shiny new medals, so everyone can see your bling.

New Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon Medals

New Medals for Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathons New Medals for Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathons New Medals for Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathons New Medals for Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathons
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Minnie Mouse and Disneyland Resort Horses Participate in Anaheim Halloween Parade

posted on October 30th, 2013 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


A tradition since 1924, the Anaheim Halloween Parade delights viewers with spooky surprises, festive floats and energetic musicians. This year, parade-goers had a special treat: Minnie Mouse!

Seated in a regal carriage, with Disneyland Resort Ambassador Megan Navarette at her side, the seasonally attired duo were pulled by Circle D horses, Reggie and Brother. We were there as Circle D cast members prepped the handsome steeds for their strut down the streets of Anaheim. Look closely to see Reggie’s ears perk up at the mention of a certain mouse!

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Epcot’s Flavors of Club Cool Debuts Guarana Kuat, Inca Kola & Five Other Sodas Today

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


Have you sampled the international soda selection at Flavors of Club Cool at Epcot?
Epcot’s Flavors of Club Cool Debuts Guarana Kuat, Inca Kola & Five Other Sodas Today

Starting today, the club will offer seven new flavors of soda samples. Only one option from the previous selection will remain – Beverly, a common aperitif found in Italy.

New flavors added to the sample station are:

  • Fanta – Fanta debuted in Europe in the 1940s and was introduced in the U.S.A. in 1960s. It’s now available in more than 90 flavors.
  • VegitaBeta – This Japanese beverage combines apricot and passion fruit flavors.
  • Fanta (Melon Frosty) – This melon-flavored soda is number one in Thailand.
  • Bibo – This fruit-flavored juice drink originates from South Africa.
  • Sparberry – This raspberry cream-flavored soda has been a favorite in Africa since 1955.
  • Guarana Kuat – This drink, flavored after the guarana berry, is popular in Brazil.
  • Inca Kola – This Peruvian favorite offers a sweet, almost bubblegum-like taste.

Flavors of Club Cool at Epcot is only one of three locations in the entire country that serves these sodas. The others are Coca-Cola attractions in Atlanta and Las Vegas.

Which sounds most interesting to you? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Seafaring Fun Grows for Little Cruisers on the Re-imagined Disney Magic

posted on October 30th, 2013 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Earlier this week I gave you inside looks at one of the transformed spaces for little cruisers on the Disney Magic, Disney’s Oceaneer Club including Marvel’s Avengers Academy. But one part I didn’t tell you about is the secret passageway that connects Oceaneer Club to another magical realm – Disney’s Oceaneer Lab!

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Adorned with giant, nautical ropes belayed around columns, ancient navigation maps on the walls and compasses emblazoned throughout the décor, Oceaneer Lab takes pint-sized pirates on a journey of discovery, exploration and adventure.

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This seafaring fun spot has video walls and digital stations for games, an animator’s studio for budding artists and a pirate workshop for experiments and art projects. Plus, Navigator Simulators let young buccaneers take the wheel and captain a ship through the mysterious waters of the Caribbean.

Just down the hall for the youngest cruisers — ages three months to three years — is the new It’s a Small World Nursery. Inspired by the style of Disney Legend Mary Blair, this whimsical world has cheerful artwork and murals resembling the namesake Disney Parks attraction.

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The space is filled with hands-on features, including horns to honk, wheels to spin and buttons to press, along with colorful, kid-sized tables and chairs for toddlers to enjoy crafts, books and games with caring, trained counselors.

At the back of the nursery, a serene motif and a calm, quiet atmosphere is reserved for naptime. Parents wishing to check on their children without disturbing them can glimpse into the nursery’s main play area through a one-way window.

Now that I’ve given you a virtual tour of the kids spaces, which re-imagined areas on the Disney Magic do you want to see more of next?

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and Disney Cruise Line Facebook page, and follow @DisneyCruise on Twitter for all of the exciting updates about the Disney Magic’s transformation! While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtag #DisneyMagic.

For more about the Disney Magic, click the links below:

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Finish that Tombstone at Disneyland Park: Old Flybait

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


With Halloween just hours away, it’s time for another “Finish that Tombstone”! This time, we’re remembering one of our amphibious friends in the Haunted Mansion pet cemetery at Disneyland park.

Finish that Tombstone at Disneyland Park: Old Flybait

Can you remember what happened to Old Flybait?

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Spin Doctors Take The Eat To The Beat Stage October 31-November 1 at Epcot

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


Next up in this year’s Eat to the Beat concert series is an act that’s new to the festival lineup this year – the Spin Doctors.

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Shows are included in theme park admission and are performed on the America Gardens Theatre stage at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m., daily.

The schedule of remaining 2013 Eat to the Beat acts are:

  • November 2-3 NEW! Christopher Cross – “Sailing”
  • November 4-5 Hanson – “Give a Little”
  • November 6-8 Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group STYX – “Come Sail Away”
  • November 9-11 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – “Go Daddy-O”

(Songs listed are for artist recognition only and may not be included in the concert play list.)

For more on the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, click the links below:

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New Lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby Debuts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on October 30

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


Just like starlets of yesteryear at the original Hollywood Brown Derby, guests can enjoy a beautiful afternoon or evening relaxing on the new patio lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Shaded by big umbrellas, guests can sip wine, beer and cocktails such as a classic Mint Gimlet (Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, simply syrup, lime juice and fresh mint) or a Bloody Mary with Absolut Peppar Vodka. There are flights of martinis, Champagne, wines, Scotch and Grand Marnier. And wine by the glass or half bottle.

New Lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby Debuts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Small bites are on the menu and include artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, duck confit tacos, steamed Prince Edward Island mussels, Derby Cocktail with jumbo lump blue crab, black tiger shrimp, avocado and a horseradish-tomato juice, and two Derby Sliders—a Wagyu beef slider with cognac mustard aïoli, smoked gouda cheese, bacon and avocado; and a house-made chorizo slider with chipotle mayo, manchego cheese, pickles and crispy onions.

Duck Confit Tacos Available at The Hollywood Brown Derby Artisanal Cheeses Available at The Hollywood Brown Derby

You can also just stop for dessert, with Chocolate Three Ways (praline milk chocolate cream, crunchy ganache and orange-chocolate mousse), a banana-white chocolate toffee tower on a cocoa-almond cookie and bananas Foster, or strawberry Champagne cheesecake.

New Lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby Debuts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios New Lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby Debuts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Seating is first-come, first-served, with no reservations. Tables in Wonderland discount is applicable, but Disney Dining Plan is not accepted.

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Wildlife Wednesdays: Rare Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 30th, 2013 by Matt Hohne, Animal Operations Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the arrival of a baby animal is always cause for celebration, but when the baby is a Hartmann’s mountain zebra, it’s even more rewarding for the animal care team. The population of this rare species of zebra is teetering at just under 50 animals in the U.S., and the Hartmann’s mountain zebra is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list of threatened species.
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The filly was born earlier this month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Guests are able to see her with her mom roaming the resort’s savanna.

Disney’s Animal Programs team is actively involved in the Hartmann’s mountain zebra Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP).

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Did you know?

  • There are three species of zebra, two of which live on the savannas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can see plains zebras as well as Hartmann’s mountain zebras during your stay.
  • If you look carefully, you can tell which zebra species is which by their stripes: plains zebras have wider stripes that wrap around their bellies. The Hartmann’s mountain zebras have thinner stripes that do not extend around the belly.
  • There are many theories concerning the major function of the stripes on a zebra. Most scientists believe that the zebra’s stripes may serve to break up the outline of the zebra’s body in the herd and provide some camouflage when the zebra is standing in tall grass. And no two individual zebras look exactly alike.
  • Like zebras, many local species of wildlife are threatened by loss of habitat. Creating natural habitats for the wildlife in your own backyard is a great way to help. You can do this by planting native trees, shrubs and flowers, which serve as food sources and nesting sites for the wildlife near you. To learn more about Disney’s conservation efforts, please visit www.disney.com/conservation
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Where at Disney Parks Can You Find…

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


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We’re kicking off Wednesday with a special Halloween week mystery puzzler. This menacing yellow-eyed gaze can be seen somewhere at Disney Parks but chances are you’ve never noticed it. Or have you? Remember where? Please put your answers in the comments and we’ll update the post with the answer later today.

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The Frightful Tale of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at the Disneyland Resort

posted on October 29th, 2013 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


We have shared lots of Halloween Time fun with you this season, from ghoulish goodies to the making of Haunted Mansion Holiday and the 13 surprises hidden in the rooms of the mansion. Now it’s time for for the spooky side of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, with a story worth a scream or two.

Intocable El Gato Radio

Step back in time, to 1939 and a stormy Halloween Eve. A fateful bolt of lightning strikes the Hollywood Tower Hotel. An elevator plunges to the basement and its five passengers vanish. Guests hastily flee the hotel, leaving an “Out of Order” elevator with bent and damaged doors and a creepy library where the old-fashioned television suddenly comes alive — with the voice and image of “The Twilight Zone” host Rod Serling.

Today, the mysterious building remains locked in time in Disney California Adventure park. Crossing over into the The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, you’re invited to ride the hotel’s remaining service elevators and experience your own terrifying plunge.

If you’re bold enough to flirt with the fifth dimension, it’s a thrilling drop from the 13th floor in a high-speed, 21-passenger elevator. Before you step foot in the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, you may want to know more about its eerie details:

  • The ominous Hollywood Tower Hotel stands 183 feet tall, the tallest building in Anaheim.
  • The landscaping is designed to reflect what was typical of an upscale hotel in 1930s Southern California. Chinese flame trees, magnolias, and various palms accent the building. Look for the dead palm fronds, intentionally left on the trees for that “unkempt-by-design” look.
  • Music heard in the area includes popular tunes from the 1930s, such as “I Can’t Get Started With You” by Bunny Berigan, “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn, and “Mood Indigo” by Duke Ellington, all chosen for their timeless, haunting quality.
  • Artifacts fill the hotel lobby, all items “left behind” by guests who suddenly disappeared on that frightful Halloween in 1939. Scattered on tables and chairs are a pair of dusty wine glasses, a book, an unfinished postcard, a child’s doll and more.
  • Many of the props in the hotel are replicas that recall specific episodes of “The Twilight Zone” television series. The series originally ran on CBS, from 1959 to 1964. Rod Serling, its creator and host, wrote 92 of the original 156 episodes.
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