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Happy Villaintines Day from Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland Resort Cast Member Finds True Love, Her Calling Through Make-A-Wish

posted on February 12th, 2016 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


I recently shared some of our cast members’ favorite memories with Make-A-Wish recipients and their families, which represented a few of the 100,000 wishes The Walt Disney Company has fulfilled with Make-A-Wish. One Disneyland Resort cast member who has a particularly special connection with Make-A-Wish is Chelsey McConnell.

Before joining the Disneyland Resort Corporate Citizenship team to help fulfill Disney wishes, Chelsey served as an intern with Make-A-Wish, coordinating volunteer work. At one event for wish recipients, Chelsey instantly connected with volunteer Matthew McConnell. A friendship began, and four years later the couple married.

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“It was encouraging to know there was someone out there who cared as much about Make-A-Wish as I did,” Chelsey said. Matthew’s younger brother was a recipient of a wish about 20 years ago that sent their family to Walt Disney World Resort. The trip gave their family a reprieve from the hardships of medical treatment. “Because of that, Matthew wanted to give back to the organization that did so much for his family.”

Instead of gifts to their wedding attendees, the McConnells decided to give back to Make-A-Wish in honor of their guests and used the Disney Employee Matching Gift program to match their donation. Not only does Chelsey work on wish visits to the Disneyland Resort, she and Matthew continue to volunteer with Make-A-Wish. They also participate in the annual Walk for Wishes event and attend the foundation’s annual gala.

“Disney and Make-A-Wish are two big passions for me,” Chelsey said. “One of the reasons I really wanted to work for Disney is because of our commitment to making wishes come true for Make-A-Wish recipients and their families.”

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Filed: Cast Member Profiles, Community Outreach, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Dream Big, Princess’ Inspires Girls and Kids of All Ages to Realize Their Ambitions

posted on February 12th, 2016 by Jeffrey Epstein, Senior Manager, Communications


Some of our favorite things about Disney Princesses are their incredible stories and qualities that help them achieve their dreams, like Tiana’s entrepreneurial spirit to build a business, or Merida’s courage to break tradition. Guests can experience this first-hand when they meet and share a special moment with their favorite princess at our Disney Parks and Resorts around the world.

Disney’s new “Dream Big, Princess” campaign, which launched this week, will bring these great stories front and center to inspire girls and kids around the world to realize their full potential and dream big.

For Academy Award®-winning director/writer of “Frozen” and writer of “Wreck-It Ralph,” Jennifer Lee, it was Disney’s “Cinderella” that helped her dream big. To read Lee’s inspirational letter, click here.

Over the next year, “Dream Big, Princess” will be celebrated with new themes each month tied to the Disney Princesses, such as kindness, friendship and adventure. If you’re staying in one of our resorts or ships, tune your in-room TV to the Company Clips channel to experience the stories of real-life young girls who have dreamed big, including a 16-year-old pilot from Canadian, Texas, and a 14-year-old world champion rock climber from New York City.

Also keep an eye out for “Dream Big, Princess” on Disney Channel during its “Night of Big Dreams” on February 19 (7:30–9 p.m. ET), and during Disney Junior’s “Day of Big Dreams,” February 
26 (8 a.m.–2 p.m. ET) on Disney Channel. And for a fun look at the Disney Princesses, follow the new @TheDisneyPrincesses account on Instagram.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Sea & Shore Week on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

posted on February 12th, 2016 by Tony Shepherd, Producer, Broadcast Marketing


There are many partners that we work with at Disney – but it’s no secret that “Wheel of Fortune” is one of our favorites … and we’re always thinking about new ways that we can work together.

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Last year, we brought three of our vacation experiences together to create an exciting week on “Wheel”: Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii. It was so much fun, we decided to do it again! So, once again, it’s Disney Sea & Shore Week on “Wheel”!

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I always tell you that I have the best job at Disney … and working on this production may have been the most fun of all. Along with some other very talented (and lucky) cast members, we played host to our friends Pat Sajak and Vanna White as they sailed aboard the Disney Cruise Line … got a taste of Hollywood on one of our spectacular Adventures by Disney trips … and experienced the true magic of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii.

Pat and Vanna, along with the entire crew from “Wheel of Fortune,” made memories that will last a lifetime as we all traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific. From an extraordinary dinner at Palo aboard the beautiful Disney Dream, to storytelling by the fire at Aulani … to a stroll along world famous Hollywood Boulevard on a unique Adventures by Disney excursion, I don’t think any of us will soon forget these special moments.

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Good news is, you’ll get to see many of these experiences throughout the week of shows – along with some clever Disney-themed puzzles, a dazzling set, special contestants who love these destinations just as much as we all do … and there’s plenty of inspiration, too, for your next Disney vacation as you venture outside the theme parks. (And, another exciting treat – five lucky viewers will win their very own dream vacation to Aulani, just for watching!)

So, don’t miss Disney Sea & Shore Week, beginning Monday, February 15 through Friday, February 19! Check your local listings or visit wheeloffortune.com for time and channel.

Buy a vowel!

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Filed: Adventures by Disney, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line

Patti LaBelle Epcot Appearance Set For Feb. 20

posted on February 12th, 2016 by Annette Gibbs, Public Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Happy Friday everyone! I have an exciting update to share about the weekly author’s series celebrating Black History Month at Epcot. Legendary Grammy-award winning singer, actress and NY Times best-selling author Patti LaBelle will be at the American Adventure Pavilion on February 20th from 12:30 to 1:30 pm for book signings and meet and greets with fans.

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Unforgettable Valentine’s Day Memories for Kids from Disney Floral & Gifts

posted on February 12th, 2016 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG


Remember as a kid when we swapped Valentine’s cards with classmates? Some of those memories made back then created fond memories – like the ones created from meeting your favorite Disney characters. At Disney Floral & Gifts at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, we have suggestions to help you create a once-in-a-lifetime Valentine’s Day memory for your little loved ones.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

The Egg-stravaganza Continues in 2016 at Disney Parks

posted on February 12th, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Egg-citing news, Disney fans! Those of you who have enjoyed the Egg-stravaganza each spring at Disney Parks will be glad to know that it will be returning to the Disneyland Resort, at Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park, as well as the Downtown Disney District. This egg-ceptional event will, of course, also take place in Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Celebrate ‘Villaintine’s Day’ By Downloading Our Latest Wallpaper

posted on February 12th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


A happy (early) Villaintine’s Day to you! Each February 13, the Disney Parks Blog celebrates Disney villains in all their glory. This year we’re happy to share with all of you a brand new digital/desktop wallpaper that features three of Disney’s biggest baddies: Cruella, Maleficent and the Evil Queen.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Time Is Running Out to Enter the Star Wars Awakens Sweepstakes

posted on February 12th, 2016 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Jump to lightspeed for a chance to win a Disney Parks vacation and discover the all-new Star Wars attractions and offerings at Disneyland Park in California or Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. You only have one week left to enter the Star Wars Awakens Sweepstakes.

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

Disney Parks After Dark: It’s Dusk In Fantasyland

posted on February 11th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


How amazing are the sunsets here in Central Florida? In this week’s “After Dark” pic, our photographer snapped the beautiful sun setting over Fantasyland. Here, you can see Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel and Cinderella Castle. Did you know that Cinderella has her own special horse on the carousel? (Hint: Look for a horse with a gold ribbon wrapped around it’s tail on your next visit).

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Maintain a Healthy Active Lifestyle at Walt Disney World Resorts

posted on February 11th, 2016 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


Are you one of the millions of people who made a New Year’s resolution to get healthy and active in 2016? Well if you are, we hope you’re keeping that commitment and want you to know you don’t have to leave your healthy active lifestyle at home when you book your vacation at a Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

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Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort