Sunset Over the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Wildlife Wednesday: On Your Mark, Get Set… Let Them Go! – Sea Turtles Set Off On Migratory Journey

posted on July 30th, 2014 by Anne Savage, Ph.D., Conservation Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


This past weekend, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort hosted the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s annual “Tour de Turtles” event which allows sea turtle fans to follow the marathon migration of 12 sea turtles from their nesting beaches to their foraging grounds.

This year, Olaf’s summer dream in the Academy Award winning Disney Animation Studios film “Frozen” inspired us to feature him in our event and name the turtles after his friends Anna and Elsa. The morning began as each loggerhead sea turtle was outfitted with a satellite transmitter. Now that the females have finished nesting for the season, it is time for them to head to their foraging grounds so that they can begin feasting on those tasty crustaceans. The transmitters allow us to track the path to Anna and Elsa’s favorite foraging grounds.

Wildlife Wednesday: On Your Mark, Get Set… Let Them Go! – Sea Turtles Set Off On Migratory Journey Wildlife Wednesday: On Your Mark, Get Set… Let Them Go! – Sea Turtles Set Off On Migratory Journey

As the “turtle safe” adhesive dried, guests had the opportunity to participate in various activities as they learned more about sea turtles and earned stamps for completed activities in their nature journal. Guests watched as Disney’s Animal Programs cast members conducted a nest inventory and counted the number of eggs in a recently hatched sea turtle nest; discovered ways they can help hatchlings including knocking down sand castles after they leave the beach, and realized how difficult it could be for a sea turtle to free itself if tangled in plastic debris.

Wildlife Wednesday: On Your Mark, Get Set… Let Them Go! – Sea Turtles Set Off On Migratory Journey Wildlife Wednesday: On Your Mark, Get Set… Let Them Go! – Sea Turtles Set Off On Migratory Journey

Each sea turtle involved in “Tour de Turtles” acts as an ambassador to raise awareness about a specific threat to sea turtles. Sea turtle ‘Anna’ (sponsored by Disney’s Animal Programs and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort) is swimming to raise awareness about light pollution. Many don’t realize that bright beachfront lighting from buildings and flashlights from people walking on the beach can deter nesting turtles, draw hatchlings inland and prevent them from safely reaching the ocean. It’s important to close your curtains to prevent light from shining on the beach or using sea turtle-friendly fixtures that shield the light from the beach and never use a flashlight during sea turtle nesting season at night! Sea turtle ‘Elsa’ (sponsored by the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund) is focused on the troubling amount of plastic debris in oceans around the world. The debris breaks into small pieces that are eaten by sea turtles and other marine wildlife, which causes the animals severe digestive troubles. Over the years, the consumption of this plastic debris has caused the deaths of over 100 million marine animals and floating marine debris can also lead to turtles becoming entangled in plastic, fishing line, nets and more. You can help by picking up litter, purchasing reusable grocery bags, recycling, and not releasing balloons.

Youth from the local Boys & Girls Club learned all about how scientists develop tracking devices to monitor sea turtle migration pattern in the ocean and had a front row seat to watch Anna and Elsa’s return to the ocean. Everyone wished Anna and Elsa well on their ocean journey and we look forward
to their return when they are ready to lay more eggs in two years. Check out the gallery below for more photos from the event!

You can cheer on Anna, Elsa and other turtles that are part of Tour de Turtles by logging on to http://www.tourdeturtles.org/. You can track the migration paths of 4 species of sea turtles and learn more about sea turtle conservation.

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For more from the “Wildlife Wednesday” series, check out the posts below:

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Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Show Your Pet’s Disney Side on Animal Planet’s ‘America’s Cutest’

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


A national search is under way for the cutest video celebrating the Disney Side of pets – and I know Disney Parks Blog readers are up for the challenge. The popular Animal Planet America’s Cutest TV show is producing a special Disney Side edition for a Howl-O-Ween Pet-acular that’ll air later this year and they want to hear from you.
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Show Your Pet’s Disney Side on Animal Planet’s ‘America’s Cutest’ Show Your Pet’s Disney Side on Animal Planet’s ‘America’s Cutest’ Show Your Pet’s Disney Side on Animal Planet’s ‘America’s Cutest’ Show Your Pet’s Disney Side on Animal Planet’s ‘America’s Cutest’

Whether you dress your dog as a jungle cruise skipper or build a hamster-sized Splash Mountain, your pet could become bigger than the Astro Orbiter by appearing in Animal Planet’s Howl-O-Ween Pet-acular.

It’s easy to share your pet’s Disney Side video. Just visit the Animal Planet entry page and add your clip. Here are a few tips:

  • Hold your camera or phone horizontally instead of vertically.
  • Film in the highest resolution possible and please don’t compress.
  • No music, radio or TV in the background.
  • Please include the pets face in the clip.

After you’ve shared your video, watch America’s Cutest: The Disney Side Edition in October to find out if your pet’s Disney Side is one of America’s cutest. Also, let us know about your pet’s Disney Side in the comments.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Meet the Horses of the Disneyland Resort: Finn and Bug

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Greetings from Circle D Ranch at the Disneyland Resort. Let’s meet two more of the lucky horses that live here.

This is Finn.
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Finn is a Brabant draft horse. He’s 11 years old, weighs 1,590 lbs and stands 17.2 hands tall. Finn came to the Disneyland Resort from Oakley, Calif., and took to his new life here, as they say, “like a duck to water.” In the relatively short time Finn has been a part of the Circle D team, he has pulled the Horse Drawn Streetcar on Main Street, U.S.A., pulled the carriage for the Disney Villains at Mickey’s Halloween Party, and was the star of the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration this January for The Year of the Horse. Finn is a very calm horse, and he loves attention.

This is Bug.

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Bug is also a Brabant draft horse. He’s 10 years old, weighs 1,555 lbs and stands 17 hands. Bug also came to Circle D from Oakley, Calif. In fact, Bug and Finn were a show team before they came to the Disneyland Resort. Although they look as if they could be brothers, Bug is shorter and bulkier than Finn. And despite being one of Circle D’s smallest horses, Bug easily outweighs many of the horses that are taller than him, because he is so muscular. You can find Bug at the Big Thunder Ranch petting farm. Look to see if he’s there the next time you’re at Disneyland park!

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

A Perfect Recipe for National Lasagna Day July 29

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Yes, it’s a little warm to crank up the oven, but in honor of National Lasagna Day, we’re proposing that you do just that and make a generous pan of this lasagna Bolognese from the chefs at the new Trattoria al forno opening this fall at Disney’s BoardWalk. The leftovers are delish.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Walt Disney World Resort

A VIP ‘La Nouba’ Experience Debuts with ‘L’Experience’ at Walt Disney World Resort

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


Last month, I told you about the new clown duo that recently joined the cast of “La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil.” I hinted that something “behind-the-scenes and amazing” was coming. Today, I have more to share and I’m certain that the experience of “L’Experience” will not disappoint!

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Treat Yourself to the Pretzels and Peanut Butter Gourmet Apple at the Disneyland Resort

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


I’m a pretty big peanut butter and pretzel fan. So what happens when you combine those two ingredients with an apple at the Disneyland Resort? We wanted to find out, so we challenged our Disneyland Resort Candy Makers to come up with the perfect recipe and here’s what they have to share with us.

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

Anna and Elsa’s Royal Tour with Disney Cruise Line

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


“Frozen” fun has gone nautical! If you sailed with us recently, you may have seen these two royal sisters for the first time in forever together on a Disney ship. Princess Anna and Queen Elsa kicked off their Royal Tour of our ships and are surprising Disney cruisers with special appearances on select seven-night or […]

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Download a Special Disney Parks Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Wallpaper

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We thought Disney Parks Blog readers would enjoy a little something special for the 15th anniversary of the popular Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. So today, we asked Disney artist Mike Britton to create a special new mobile/desktop wallpaper especially for the occasion.

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

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith Turns 15 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today we’re celebrating the anniversary of one of my favorite attractions – Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. The attraction originally opened its doors at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 29, 1999.

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

Haunted Mansion-Themed Merchandise Shop Opening This Fall in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 28th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’ve enjoyed hearing from guests who are just as excited as me for the new Haunted Mansion products coming this fall to Disney Parks. As it turns out, Madame Leota and the 999 happy haunts from The Haunted Mansion attraction have also received your sympathetic vibrations. This fall, they are gathering to open a new merchandise destination in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort