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‘Will You be My Happily Ever After?’: A runDisney Proposal at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 6th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


If you follow my runDisney posts on the Disney Parks Blog, you know I love being at the finish lines of our events. Watching runners celebrate one of the most memorable moments in their lives is exciting, inspirational and emotional. You see it all – screams of joy, tears of happiness, hugs and high fives. And once in awhile you witness life-changing events. You see, as one journey ends for some runners, another journey begins for others. That is exactly what happened for one couple I caught up with at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

As Thatiany Leal-Oliveira from Boca Raton, FL, ran her first half marathon and first runDisney event, she traveled the 13.1-mile course through Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, as her prince, Sal Lisboa of Deerfield Beach, FL, was in a race of his own, a race into the future. Both taking different courses, but both focused on the finish time. A finish that couldn’t come fast enough. Not only was the coveted Disney Princess Half Marathon Tiara finisher medal waiting for Thatiany to put around her neck, but so was a life changing proposal and “bling” to put on her finger.

So what did she say? Well, runDisney is all about “happily ever after” stories, so see what happens for yourself.

Congratulations Sal and Thatiany, and we wish you a “happily ever after” as you race into the future.

If you want to know more about runDisney and future event weekends, visit runDisney.com. You can also follow us on runDisney Facebook, and on Twitter and Instagram @runDisney.

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Experience Fresh Entertainment This Spring at Epcot

posted on March 6th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Planning a visit to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this spring? If so, you’re in for a treat! We’ve recently introduced several new atmosphere entertainment experiences throughout the international pavilions of World Showcase, and there’s even more on the way.

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  • Italy – Join in the music, energy and flair of the spectacularly choreographed flag-throwing team of Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro. Featuring hand-painted flags, magnificent period costumes and live music, the Sbandieratori bring to dynamic life a rich, 500-year Italian tradition that’s not to be missed.
  • United Kingdom – Strolling the quaint streets of the United Kingdom pavilion, you can enjoy a delightful, acoustic performance by Paul McKenna Band, a traditional four-piece group from Glasgow, Scotland, whose contemporary approach to songs never strays too far from their Scottish, folk music roots.
  • Canada – On the Mill Stage, the Canadian Lumberjacks demonstrate their professional skills in a safe and friendly competition, a time-honored tradition from Canada’s great timber and logging areas, featuring axe throwing, chopping, log rolling and more.
  • Morocco – B’net Al Houwariyate, a multi-generational Berber music and dance troupe from Marrakesh, takes to the Medina stage of the Morocco pavilion for a lively and interactive performance, illuminating the stories and experiences of women in Morocco.

Starting this week, Voices of Liberty has a fresh new look and sound for their appearances on the outdoor stage at America Gardens Theatre. Two days each week, this remarkable 8-part a cappella group is bringing their talents to even more guests, performing fresh arrangements of popular American songs, both classic and contemporary. Voices of Liberty will continue their traditional performances in the rotunda of The American Adventure pavilion Wednesday through Sunday each week.

These new, authentic experiences – along with long-time favorites like Mariachi Cobre in Mexico, Jeweled Dragon Acrobats in China, the Taiko drummers of Matsuriza in Japan and others – are all part of our continuing efforts to keep Epcot entertainment fresh and contribute to the rich cultural landscape of World Showcase.

Which of these groups are you looking forward to catching during your day at Epcot? Let us know in the comments section.

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Sneak Peek: New Novelty Items to Celebrate Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

posted on March 6th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


The countdown to the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is on! After getting a peek at the new artwork coming to special 60th anniversary popcorn buckets and hot mugs for Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park, I couldn’t wait to share it with Disney Parks Blog readers.

Sneak Peek: New Novelty Items to Celebrate Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Sneak Peek: New Novelty Items to Celebrate Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

On the popcorn buckets at Disneyland park, look for the Fab 5 playing the old piano in front of the Refreshment Corner on Main Street, U.S.A. On the souvenir mug, Mickey and pals invite you to join them in watching a dazzling fireworks display in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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No one knows more about shining diamonds than Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – look for them on the Disney California Adventure park souvenir popcorn bucket. Marcus Gonzalez, Product Development Manager, Novelty Synergy Integration for Disney Parks Food and Beverage, shared his inspiration for the bucket: “Snow White standing in front of Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge is an homage to the original Carthay Theater, which premiered ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ on December 21, 1937.”

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On the souvenir mug, look for Mickey and Minnie dressed in their Diamond Celebration best with iconic Disney California Adventure park landmarks behind them.

These novelty items will only be available at food & beverage kiosks throughout Disneyland Resort when the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration kicks off on May 22. Which souvenir item will you add to your collection?

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#DisneyKids: Top 5 Restaurants for Little Ones at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 6th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


One of the most fun, and frankly easiest, ways to meet favorite Disney characters at Walt Disney World Resort is through themed character dining. Each park, and many resorts, offer a unique experience where families are immersed in the story of their beloved characters as they dine on delicious meals.

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‘Food Truck Takeover’ by Shutters at Old Port Royale This Weekend at Downtown Disney

posted on March 6th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Recently, I shared my dining experience at Shutters at Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort with you. This weekend, guests will be able to sample menu favorites from Shutters at Old Port Royale on the Fantasy Fare Truck at Exposition Park in Downtown Disney West Side.

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Disney Parks After Dark: Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

posted on March 5th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Tonight’s “After Dark” images are a duo of shots taken of a Tomorrowland favorite – Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin.

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Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort

posted on March 5th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Last night, hundreds of Disney Parks Blog readers gathered at the Disneyland Resort for our Disney’s “Cinderella” Royal Celebration.

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Disney Days of Past: Pirate Ships at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 5th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Yesterday, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival opened. One of my favorite times of the year, I love to see all the amazing topiaries created by the horticulture team at Walt Disney World Resort. Below is a look at Peter Pan aboard Captain Hook’s pirate ship from the 2007 festival.

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More Opportunities to Soar, Enjoy Toy Story Mania Coming to Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 5th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Here at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, we’re always making investments to exceed your expectations – whether it’s creating new attractions and entertainment or making existing experiences even better.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Learn to Draw Aladdin’s Pal, Genie, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on March 5th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, our Learn to Draw animation series offers up a lesson on how to draw Genie, Aladdin’s hilarious BFF. Check out the video below for step-by-step instructions from Heather Worley of the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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