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Tour the Towers with Adventures by Disney: London and Paris

posted on February 27th, 2014 by Danielle Berman, Marketing Manager, Adventures by Disney

The Adventures by Disney England and France vacation allows Old World charm-seekers to experience world-famous sights in both London and Paris within a single trip. A really unique part of this exciting vacation package is that adventurers will be able to take in the magnificent sights of two prominent “towers” from each country.

In England, families are taken on a privately-guided tour of the Tower of London. As the Guardian of the Crown Jewels, this tower acted as a fortress over many years. It is one of the key symbols of royalty, once housing the likes of William the Conqueror, Queen Elizabeth I and many others. Its rich history gives way to a vast array of stories waiting to be discovered.


After a speedy Chunnel train ride, the Eiffel Tower awaits the group in Paris for an awe-inspiring sight that will last a lifetime. Adventurers can take a closer look at this highly recognizable structure through a tour that takes them straight to the top of this 1,063-foot-tall (324 meters) monument.


If you can’t decide between wanting to visit London or Paris, there’s always the option of visiting both with Adventures by Disney. For more information on how you can get involved in this majestic and history-filled trip, please visit

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Which Disney Hat Represents Your ‘Disney Side’?

posted on February 27th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Do you have a favorite pair of Mickey ears that you wear to show your “Disney Side” each time you visit the Disney Parks? Or do you grab a new pair for your collection during each trip? Check out the graphic below that can help you find the ideal pair for your next visit.


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runDisney Firsts – Memorable Moments for Kids

posted on February 26th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director

Life is full of “firsts.” First steps, first words, first trip to Walt Disney World. And when it comes to runDisney events, “firsts” are just as memorable. In fact nearly 57% of runners registering for our half marathons and marathon are running for their first time.

One of my favorite events during all our race weekends are the runDisney Kids races. From infants crawling to the finish of the diaper dash to 13 year olds participating in the Mile Run, there are distances allowing kids of all ages to get the experience of standing at their first start line and finishing their first race. And what can be more exciting than kids and their parents competing in their first race weekend together – memorable, life changing moments.

For more information on how you and your family can have your first runDisney experience, visit

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Looking for a ‘Cool’ Gift at the Disneyland Resort?

posted on February 26th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

Our Sketch Artists at the Disneyland Resort have been hard at work recreating iconic moments by some of the beloved characters from the Disney animated film “Frozen.”
'Frozen'-Inspired Artwork by Sketch Artists at the Disneyland Resort

It was impossible for me to pick just one, as you can tell, so here are a few others I thought you might enjoy.

Curious about the price? A one-character sketch is $39.95, while a two-character sketch is $64.95, plus tax. Prices will vary based on the number of characters in the sketch.

So if you are looking for a “cool” gift for yourself or someone else, be sure to check out our “Frozen” inspired sketches and more, available now at Disneyana in Disneyland park and Off the Page in Disney California Adventure park.

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Walt Disney World Resort Event Snapshot – March 2014

posted on February 26th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

March 5 – May 18: Looking to ‘grow’ your collection or ‘pick’ the perfect item from this year’s assortment of 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival merchandise? Now you can! Fellow author Steven Miller recently shared details about some of this year’s new merchandise, among other items. See what’s in bloom and be sure to keep an eye out because several of our beloved Disney artists will be on hand for special appearances and signings throughout the festival as well as during the Art in the Garden Weekend taking place Mar. 28 – 30. Tip: Passholders be sure to keep an eye out for special merchandise created just for you!


March 5 – 9: Meet renowned artist Larry Dotson who will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Epcot. Be sure to stop by and say hello as you check out some of his latest releases. Learn more.

March 12 – 16: Artist Greg McCullough will be appearing at Art of Disney in Epcot, Mar. 12 – 16 and Mar. 26 – 30, as we celebrate the release of some of his latest pieces. Learn more.

GMC Main Street Trolley

March 15: Stop by Animation Gallery inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the limited edition release of “Off the Page – 25 Years,” which features Sorcerer Mickey as he conjures various images from “Fantasia,” and meet the artists from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Learn more. Can’t make it to the event? Order yours now!

March 18: Mark your calendars for the DVD and Blu-Ray release of “Frozen” and “Saving Mr. Banks,” two of my personal favorites. More details on these releases will be available shortly, so keep watching the Disney Parks Blog.

March 21 – 26: David E. Doss will be appearing daily at The Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection! Learn more.


March 26 – 27: Are you a fan of Ridley Pearson? Are you ready for the release of “Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider”? If your answer was yes, then be sure to check out all of the details on Ridley Pearson’s appearances and details on the last book in the beloved Kingdom Keepers series. Learn more.

Which artist showcase and event are you most excited to attend?

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Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures in Sicily, Italy

posted on February 26th, 2014 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

With so many new destinations for Disney Cruise Line in Europe this summer, the past several months have been very busy for me as I’ve worked with my team and tour operators in each port to design shore excursions like only Disney can do. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing some of the new Port Adventures with you, starting today with a few in Sicily.


An autonomous region of Italy, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. Looking at a map, it’s the island that looks like it’s being kicked by the “boot” of Italy. One of the distinctive geographical features of the island is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe.

For the first time ever in 2014, Disney Cruise Line will call on Sicily’s port in Catania, the gateway to exploring the island’s ancient churches, beautiful palazzos, lush gardens, magnificent beaches and of course, Mount Etna. I know Disney cruisers will be thrilled with their Port Adventure options on this unique island!


Mount Etna Summit – Families who enjoy active adventures will love summiting the top of Mount Etna. The journey begins with a drive through the beautiful countryside and villages built along the slopes, followed by a cable car ride further up the volcano. From there you’ll be driven by alpine guides in special motor vehicles equipped to navigate the “lunar“ landscape of black dunes to the highest point available for visitation, which is just under the summit. At approximately 8,859 feet above sea level, you’ll have the chance to walk around, observing possible steam/gases and learning about the volcanic system apparatus and lava flows.


Cooking Lesson at a Sicilian Home – There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the culture than to go into the home of a local! There you’ll get a hands-on cooking demonstration on how to prepare delicious Sicilian dishes before indulging in your creations. This adventure, which takes place in one of the picturesque villages on the slopes of Mount Etna, is a must-do for adults and older teens who love cooking (and eating!) We also have another adventure called “Sicilian Cooking for Families” for those of you with younger children.


Sicilian Puppets for Families – Many of our excursions in Sicily are family-friendly, but I am most excited about this one designed especially for those traveling with kids. After a visit to a Puppet Lab to see how the famous Sicilian puppets are built, your family will learn the history of this folkloric art and enjoy a portion of a show at the Puppet Museum. Adding to the cultural experience, you’ll hear the beautifully articulated, theater-style presentation in Italian while your English-speaking guide gives a synopsis of the intricate moves of the onstage scene.

I hope you enjoyed this sampling of the many unique experiences your family can have together in Sicily. As I always say, when the ship’s in port, be sure to venture ashore!

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and Disney Cruise Line Facebook page, and follow @DisneyCruise on Twitter for more about Disney Cruise Line’s voyages in Europe. While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtag #DCLEurope.

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A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Johnny Cash – 1961

posted on February 26th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Music legend Johnny Cash was born on this day in 1932, and today we’re sharing a rarely seen photo of “The Man in Black” during a visit to Disneyland park..


This picture of Mr. Cash in the wheelhouse of the Mark Twain Riverboat was taken in the summer of 1961.

He really seems to fit the part, don’t you think?

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Disney Ships Receive Top Recognition from Cruisers

posted on February 26th, 2014 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs

Are we blushing? The Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice awards were announced today, and Disney ships received 29 awards, including 13 number one awards such as Best Overall, Best for Families, Best Service, Best Dining and Entertainment, Best Cabins and Public Rooms for the Disney Fantasy in the Large Ship category. These are the most awards we have ever received at a single time.


In addition, all four Disney ships were recently ranked among the top cruise ships in the world on the Condé Nast Traveler 2014 Readers’ Choice list, claiming four of the top five spots in the Best Large Cruise Ships category. The recently re-imagined Disney Magic was also awarded Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 2014 Editor-in-Chief Award for Best Makeover.

Everyone here at Disney Cruise Line is thrilled that families enjoy our crew, our ships and overall cruise experience so much. What’s your favorite “best thing” about a Disney cruise?

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Wildlife Wednesdays: It’s Time to Spring Forward To Help Frogs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on February 26th, 2014 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

It’s that time of year again—spring is just around the corner and, even before that, we’ll be adjusting our clocks forward for Daylight Saving time. It’s also the time of year that we “spring forward” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to celebrate frogs, toads and other amphibians.


When guests visit Rafiki’s Planet Watch on March 4, during a special connecting families with nature event, meet cool amphibians and the animal experts who care for them. They also will be able to make toad abodes (special homes for frogs and toads) for their backyards, try leaping like a frog, listen to frog calls, and examine amphibian adaptations.

Guests can find out about Florida’s native frogs, which are one of the many animals that are part of the Disney’s Animal Programs native wildlife program. Our team monitors animals as varied as amphibians, gopher tortoises and butterflies, as well as dozens of bird species at the Walt Disney World Resort, where nearly one-third of the property has been set aside as a dedicated wildlife conservation area.

Guests also can learn about the critically endangered Puerto Rican crested toad, which we are raising at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and releasing in their native habitat to re-populate the species in an area where these toads once thrived but are now considered extinct.

Frogs are Being Celebrated at the Connecting Families with Nature Events at Walt Disney World Resort Frogs are Being Celebrated at the Connecting Families with Nature Events at Walt Disney World Resort

Did you know that, according to some estimates, as many as one-third of the known amphibian species are threatened by extinction because of loss of habitat, climate change, pollution and disease? To find out more about Disney conservation efforts, visit

Here’s how to help frogs:

  • Invite a bug-zapping amphibian into your backyard by placing an overturned pot (toad abode) as a home–frogs provide a free pest-control service (they eat billions of harmful insects annually, including mosquitoes and their larvae)
  • Use fewer chemical pesticides on your lawn to keep amphibians healthy
  • Build a pond, plant native shrubs, and leave leaf litter and logs in your yard to create a habitat for frogs
  • Find natural alternatives to household chemicals so these toxins don’t end up in amphibian habitats
  • Plan a family outing to a local pond to hear different species of frogs sing their love songs to one another
  • Take part in a local pond or stream clean-up to ensure that native amphibians will have a clean home

Upcoming 2014 events for connecting families with nature (as always, dates subject to change):

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

  • April 22: Party for the Planet for Earth Day
  • May 6: International Migratory Bird Day
  • May 20: World Turtle Day
  • June 10: Pollinator Day
  • July 29: Big Cat Day
  • August 5: Primate Day
  • September 23: Elephant and Rhino Day

At The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot:

  • April 22: Earth Day
  • May 20: World Turtle Day
  • June 4: World Ocean Day
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A Special Military Surprise at the Disney Princess Half Marathon

posted on February 25th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director

It’s no secret that Disney and runDisney like to celebrate, and there is nothing better than when we can do it while surprising a guest at the same time. On Sunday, at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, we were able to do just that.

Like thousands of runners, Kim Myers from Washington State was here to run the Half Marathon, and like 72 of those runners, she was celebrating her birthday weekend at Walt Disney World Resort. However, what was different is that with the help of her husband and a little runDisney magic, she received the best birthday wish of all.

Myers was part of a larger group running on behalf of Wear Blue: Run to Remember, a running organization that participates in races around the world to celebrate the sacrifice of US military and their families. You see, her husband CW2 Travis Myers is currently deployed in Afghanistan with the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, and for the second time because of deployment he was unable to spend his wife’s birthday with her. To take her mind off the fact her husband is not here, and to cheer up, she came to run the Princess Half Marathon. This is where a thoughtful husband, technology, and pixie dust produced a special moment at the start of the race. See for yourself.

If all goes according to plan Travis will be home in time to run the Disneyland Half Marathon with Kim on Labor Day Weekend. By the way, they will be celebrating his birthday at that event.

runDisney salutes and thanks all of our service men and women and their families around the world for keeping our country safe.

Happy birthday Kim, and Travis we wish you a safe return home. Thank you both for your service.

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