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Wildlife Wednesday: Reports from the Field: GRACE

posted on May 27th, 2015 by Rachel Daneault, Primate-Carnivore Zoological Manager


Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment team takes outstanding care of the animals at Walt Disney World Resort. You may have seen some of them in action at the Vet Hospital at Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or explaining some of the studies they are conducting at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot. But did you know that these same cast members often travel the world to help animals and support conservation projects in the wild?

Dr. Natalie Mylniczenko and vet tech Matt Runnells recently traveled to Africa to complete health exams on some of the gorillas at the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa.

At GRACE, Grauer’s gorillas who are orphaned (typically because poachers killed their parents for the exotic animal trade or bushmeat) receive the care they need and learn the skills needed for reintroduction back into the wild. Our cast members have played many roles with GRACE including designing the facility, engaging in hands-on construction, helping move gorillas and training Congolese staff to care for gorillas. In addition to gorilla care, Disney staff also help promote conservation education among the local residents.

During the most recent trip, Dr. Natalie and Matt worked with the GRACE staff to immobilize two gorillas by hand-injecting the gorillas to anesthetize them. This is a huge accomplishment for the staff, as it is a very complex behavior to train and shows their dedication to the work they do.

Both gorillas were given complete physicals, and both needed tooth extractions. The exams went very well, and GRACE staff members learned a great deal from Dr. Natalie and Matt. Sharing resources, knowledge and expertise is one way our team supports animals in the wild. Click through the gallery below for images from their latest trip.

Wildlife Wednesday: Reports from the Field: GRACE

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Uncover Hidden Gems on Adventures by Disney Long Weekend Vacations

posted on May 27th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


Hello from The Big Apple! New York, New York. The City that Never Sleeps.

New York City is an iconic destination, and it’s a place I have visited many times (and it’s the locale I’m writing you from right now). It’s also filled with seemingly endless entertainment, which is why, despite my many visits, I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of seeing everything that this most famous of U.S. cities has to offer. That’s why I’m excited to say that the next time I visit the Empire State will be on an Adventures by Disney New York City Long Weekend vacation.

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While this trip visits some of the legendary sites you would expect to see on any vacation to New York City, such as Central Park and Broadway, it also visits places you probably haven’t discovered yet, such as the Prop Room at the New Amsterdam Theatre, as well as hidden gems, such as the Tenement Museum. These are places that I’ve certainly never seen before, and through Adventures by Disney I’ll get to experience them in unique ways that I simply couldn’t do on my own, such as learning a Broadway dance number from a professional choreographer.

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I’ve also visited our other Long Weekend destinations, San Francisco and Nashville, several times before. And yes, I’ve been to Napa and the Grand Old Opry. These are places you’d expect to visit during a vacation to these cities, and Adventures by Disney will take you to see these sights as well. However, with Adventures by Disney you don’t just visit a winery in Napa, you also take part in wine blending (for the adults) and olive oil activities (for the Junior Adventurers). In Nashville, not only will you get to see a show the Grand Ole Opry, you’ll also go backstage for a tour, as well as a private dinner experience and line-dancing lessons. On all of our trips you get to experience the very best of what these cities have to offer, while also discovering places and experiences you probably wouldn’t uncover on your own. And that’s what makes them so special.

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I can’t wait to share my Adventures by Disney New York City Long Weekend vacation with you later this summer. Until then I’ll share this little sneak peek I recently got of the New Amsterdam Theatre, where the Broadway production ALADDIN is currently playing. And yes, that is me standing on the stage! These are the types of exclusive experiences you get with Adventures by Disney.

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Filed: Adventures by Disney

Memorial Day Flag Retreat Ceremony at Disneyland Park Honors Fallen Soldiers

posted on May 27th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


On Memorial Day, Disneyland park guests lined Main Street, U.S.A. during the daily flag retreat ceremony to pay respect to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Dozens of veterans, reservists and active duty members of the armed forces came to participate in the ceremony.

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During his official dedication of Disneyland park, Walt Disney said Disneyland is dedicated to “the hard facts that have created America” – a sentiment evidenced by this photo.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Casey’s Corner – Hitting Lunch Out of the Park for 20 Years at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on May 27th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Imagine sitting at the end of Main Street U.S.A., looking at Cinderella Castle, the ragtime pianist serenading you as you bite into a juicy all-American hotdog. Is there anything better? Twenty years ago today, Casey’s Corner opened, pleasing hungry guests and baseball fans alike.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Readers Enjoy #Disney24, ‘Tomorrowland’ Screening

posted on May 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Disney Parks Blog team kicked off the Coolest Summer Ever here at Walt Disney World Resort last Friday, by holding a special event for 500 of our readers, which included breakfast at Magic Kingdom Park and a special screening of the new film, “Tomorrowland.”

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

New Show at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Will Cast a Spell on You

posted on May 27th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Summer may just be getting started, but I’m already looking forward to fall and the return of my favorite event at Magic Kingdom Park, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. And this year’s party will be extra fun with the introduction of an all-new show on the Castle Forecourt Stage.

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

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Truffles Debut at Signature Restaurants

posted on May 26th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Looking for a dazzling way to complete your meal? Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Truffles will be offered at select signature restaurants throughout Disneyland Resort — at Blue Bayou Restaurant, Carthay Circle Restaurant and Steakhouse 55.

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

Disney Vacation Club Sails Onward to Alaska

posted on May 26th, 2015 by Ryan March, Editor, Disney Vacation Club’s Disney Files Magazine


My workplace looks a little different today. There are pine trees on the horizon instead of palms, I’m surrounded by water that appears oddly void of reptiles, and a curious number of people have cloaked themselves in some kind of woven, long-sleeved alternative to shirts called “sweaters.” Weird, but fun.

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club

D23 Celebrates Disneyland Resort

posted on May 26th, 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


The new issue of Disney twenty-three is a love letter to Walt Disney’s original theme park with more than 40 pages of photographs, artwork and stories that span from the inception of Disneyland to the excitement of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

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A Taste of O’ahu and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 26th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


I hope you’ve been enjoying my suggestions for excursions to take during your Disney cruise in Hawaii. Last but not least, let’s check out what you can experience on the lush island of O’ahu. Not only is O‘ahu abounding in natural beauty like the rest of the Hawaiian islands, it is steeped in rich history and home to Honolulu’s thriving modern metropolis, providing Port Adventure options for every interest.

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Filed: Aulani, Disney Cruise Line