Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

Five Things You Might Have Missed Aboard Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park

posted on September 1st, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


Tomorrow, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland park celebrates 35 years of taking guests on the wildest ride in the wilderness. My niece recently experienced this runaway train as her first roller coaster, and I was positively thrilled to see her beaming as we got off the attraction. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, like many of the thrill rides at the Disneyland Resort, is the perfect blend of fun and storytelling. In honor of the iconic attraction’s anniversary tomorrow, here are five things to point out to new pioneers braving Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, or maybe details you may have missed in the past 35 years.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park

1. Wilderness creatures – Most guests know to look for the famous dynamite-wielding goat, but the runaway train also passes coyotes, skunks, possums, turtles and rattlesnakes.

2. Real mining gear – In the attraction queue and all around Big Thunder Mountain, you will see a century-old stamp mill, a hand-driven drill, press gears, picks, shovels and other artifacts. These objects are actual mining gear, purchased from abandoned mines in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota and Wyoming.

3. Steam mules – When you’re boarding your train and while careening around the mountain, look for two steam mules. These Victorian-era portable engines were used as set pieces in the Disney film, “Hot Lead and Cold Feet.”

4. Grizzly Gulch sign – Just before passing Dinosaur Gap in the queue, look for a wooden post with signs to nearby locations. If you look closely, you may see a nod to Grizzly Gulch at Hong Kong Disneyland, located 11,743 km away.

5. Willard B. Bounds, U.S. Marshall (Retired), President, Big Thunder Mountain Mining Company – Willard B. Bounds, the President of Big Thunder Mountain Mining Company, has signed several notices and proclamations around Big Thunder Mountain, including a sign at the attraction entrance. This is a tribute to Lillian Disney’s father, who was once a blacksmith and U.S. Marshall on the Nez Perce Indian reservation in Idaho.

Bonus fact: Did you know the sound of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad trains was used in the mine chase sequence in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”?

Celebrate the 35th anniversary of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with a trip aboard the wildest ride in the wilderness! Tell us your favorite memory aboard this iconic attraction in the comments below.

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Returns Tonight at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 1st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Can you believe Halloween time has already returned to Magic Kingdom Park? The first of 26 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties is set to scare up fun at the park tonight from 7 p.m.-midnight!

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party features the popular “Villains Mix & Mingle – Live on Stage” show, “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade,” Disney characters dressed Halloween costumes, trick-or-treating for all ages, “HalloWishes” fireworks and more. This year’s event will also offer a new character dance party at the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland.

This year’s party dates are: September 1, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26 & 28 and October 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30 & 31. Advance purchase (prior to event day) savings are available for select dates. Visit Disneyworld.com/Halloween for more.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on August 31st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we announced reservations are open for a must-do last stop of the evening at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Villain’s Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle.
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Lady Tremaine takes over Cinderella’s Royal Table after everyone has gone to bed, and she’s invited some of the most evil friends and special guests for a decadent dessert party (maybe you’ll see the Evil Queen, Maleficent, Cruella de Vil or Dr. Facilier?).

Pam included more details about the experience in her original story as well as what your ticket includes:

  • Preferred Viewing for the 8:15 p.m. Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade
    • Watch the Headless Horseman lead off the parade on a hair-raising ride, followed by a collection of frightful floats and some of your favorite Disney Characters in Halloween costumes.

  • Preferred Viewing for HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular
    • The Ghost Host from the Haunted Mansion and some of the most notorious Disney Villains light up the sky to wicked remixes of their favorite songs.

  • Dessert Soiree at Cinderella’s Royal Table
    • Lady Tremaine shares her musical talents while you enjoy themed desserts, specialty non-alcoholic drinks, entertainment and visits from some of your favorite Disney villains. Each guest gets an autograph card and souvenir Maleficent dragon cup.

You can make a reservation this weekend by calling 407-939-5262 – no online reservations.

We also shared an update that applications for the Disney Parks Mom Panel will open at 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, September 2, 2014, and will remain open until 12 p.m. ET on Friday, September 5, 2014.

If you know a mom, dad or grandparent who is your “go-to” person for advice about a Disney Parks vacation and loves to help others plan their trips, encourage them to check out Leanne’s story and apply for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. (Be sure to check the rules and regulations on the application to insure eligibility.)

More information about becoming a panelist can be found here.

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

Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips: Atmosphere Entertainment at Disneyland Park – Take some top tips on how to enjoy the Dapper Dans, Royal Street Bachelors and the Pearly Band at Disneyland park!

‘Fjording’ Through Norway with Adventures by Disney – Disney Parks Blog author Amanda Adler shares more photos and stories from her “Frozen”-themed journey through Norway.

VIDEO: Disney’s Hollywood Studios Hosts Villains Unleashed – Watch the highlights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from this special event!

New Disneyland Resort Mobile Site Makes the Magic Easy with Disney eTicket and More – Check out the new mobile Disneyland.com to see how purchase tickets, make dining reservations, find attraction information and more.

‘Legends of Frontierland’ Extended at Disneyland Park Yeehaw! “Legends of Frontierland” is sticking around at Disneyland park. Mosey on down to see what all the commotion is about.

Sneak Peek at Much-Anticipated Gingerbread Creation for Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park – A year in the making, get an exclusive look at this unique creation before it debuts with Haunted Mansion Holiday on September 12.

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101 Dogs Walk the Green Carpet at First-Ever Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on August 30th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As the sun rose over the Walt Disney World Resort, 101 creatively costumed dogs and their owners walked the green carpet on Main Street U.S.A. during our first-ever Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom Park.

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

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: More Photos From Villains Unleashed

posted on August 30th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this week on the Disney Parks Blog, we shared some amazing images from the Villains Unleashed event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – so for this week’s photo recap, I just had to share a few more.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Brings HBCU Alumni and Advocates Together to School Local Students in Higher Ed Opportunity

posted on August 29th, 2014 by Belinda Frazier, Manager, Corporate Citizenship


As an alumna of Clark Atlanta University, one of our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), I was proud to take part in a unique college fair today at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The HBCU College Information Fair brought together 100 students from Orlando’s Edgewater High School, HBCU advocates and Disney cast members who attended HBCUs.

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Filed: Community Outreach, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Celebrates Three Years of Paradise with a Touch of Magic

posted on August 29th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


Today marks the third anniversary of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! Let’s celebrate with a look back at three major milestones this beautiful resort has seen through the past three years. With the help of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Hawaiian performers and Aulani cast members, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, led the Grand Opening Ceremony. One of our favorite moments during the ceremony was the joining of Hawaiian culture and the magic of Disney – symbolized by the mixing of sand from the beach with pixie dust in an ‘umeke, a ceremonial wooden bowl.

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Filed: Disney History, Disney Vacation Club, Hotels & Resorts

September’s Treats are Sweetly Spook-tacular at the Disneyland Resort

posted on August 29th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Gourmet apple fans take note, September is right around the corner and next month you will find the Disneyland Resort gourmet caramel apple enrobed in sweet milk chocolate and covered in a mixture of crunchy, buttery, toffee pieces and roasted almonds.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

A Taste of Grenada with Disney Cruise Line

posted on August 29th, 2014 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Next up in my series about Port Adventures on our Southern Caribbean cruises is what to do from the port of St. George’s, Grenada. Known as the “Spice Isle,” Grenada is filled with spice estates, tropical gardens, beautiful beaches, thrilling diving, snorkeling, fishing and exploration through mountain landscapes and waterfalls. There’s an adventure to be had by everyone, with more options than I can possibly tell you about today!

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365 (Consecutive) Days of Walt Disney World Resort Magic

posted on August 29th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


When one of my Downtown Disney partners told me about Brent Dodge, an Annual Passholder who visited the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks every day for 365 consecutive days, I couldn’t believe it. While I love the Parks, just the idea of visiting every day while working full time has me exhausted!

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort