Disneyland Park, Haunted Mansion

The Rebel Alliance Adds Another Weekend to Star Wars Weekends 2014 in Response to a Decree Issued by the Evil Sith, Emperor Palpatine

posted on February 21st, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


As the Rebel Alliance continues its fight for freedom and democracy in the Star Wars galaxy, the phantom puppetmaster himself, Darth Sidious (aka Emperor Palpatine), has issued a new galactic decree about Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

While some of his blue-hued holographic transmission was garbled, the Emperor has ordered his Galactic Empire to create a demonstration of force and power that can be seen high above Disney’s Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends 2014. This has caused much talk in the galaxy that a gala fireworks show featuring Star Wars music will be presented each evening this year.

When consulted, several protocol droids further translated the Emperor’s message. These translations reinforced the conclusions that there will be a new evening experience for Star Wars Weekends guests on Hollywood Blvd. in the Walt Disney World Resort theme park.

However, that’s not the end of this story.

When the Rebel Alliance secretly learned of the Emperor’s plans from a hidden message decoded from an astromech droid, they decided to extend the galactic gala one more weekend in 2014.

In order to convince more guests to join the Rebellion, a 5th weekend is now being added to Star Wars Weekends 2014. The new event dates are every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 16-June 15, 2014. The theme for this year’s event is, appropriately, “Join the Rebellion.”

  • Weekend I: May 16 – 18, 2014
  • Weekend II: May 23 – 25, 2014
  • Weekend III: May 30 – June 1, 2014
  • Weekend IV: June 6 – 8, 2014
  • Weekend V: June 13 – 15, 2014

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In addition to offering a first-look at this year’s event logo above, we’re pleased to announce James Arnold Taylor will return to Star Wars Weekends 2014 as the event’s official celebrity host. Taylor, a Star Wars Weekends fan favorite, is the voice of hundreds of animated characters, including Obi-Wan Kenobi on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”

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Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith ‘Goes to Disney World’ Hours After Seahawks NFL Championship Win

posted on February 3rd, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Magic Kingdom Park was bathed in blue and bright green during a gala parade today to celebrate Super Bowl XLVIII MVP Malcolm Smith’s clutch game against the Denver Broncos last night.

Less than 24 hours before today’s parade, Smith stepped onto the field at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., with his Seattle Seahawks teammates to vie for the NFL championship. Immediately after the game, as confetti cascaded on the field, TV cameras captured Smith’s celebratory answer to the famous question: “You’ve just won the Super Bowl. What are you going to do next?”

The answer to that question? “I’m Going to Disney World!” and “I’m Going to Disneyland!” (depending on the region the commercial airs).

Smith, a Seahawks linebacker, is the first NFL defensive player to star in the iconic Disney Parks commercial.

Super Bowl XLVII MVP Malcolm Smith at Disney World

Monday’s parade featured a cavalcade of characters and colorful balloons. Smith rode with Mickey Mouse in a shiny convertible as thousands of fans along Main Street, U.S.A. chanted his name. As the convertible paused in front of Cinderella Castle, Smith once again was showered with confetti, ending his magical day in similar fashion to his Super Bowl victory only 16 hours earlier.

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Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith Stars in Latest Edition of Famous Disney Parks Commercial

posted on February 2nd, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


As confetti cascaded tonight at MetLife Stadium following Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, N.J., Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith looked into television cameras and shouted two of the most famous celebratory lines in ad history: “I’m Going to Disney World!” and “I’m Going to Disneyland!”
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Smith, voted the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLVIII, joins a who’s who of athletes and celebrities who have shouted those same words as “When You Wish Upon A Star” played in the background. (Depending on the region the commercial airs, the player either says “I’m Going to Disney World!” or “I’m Going to Disneyland!”). He is the NFL’s first defensive player to star in the commercial.

And Malcolm Smith’s next stop? Magic Kingdom Park, to make good on his post-game proclamation. Current plans (subject to change) call for a celebratory parade through the park on Monday afternoon (parade time TBD, pending final travel details from New York/New Jersey).

Also, there is another special twist to the iconic commercial this year. In a “Frozen first,” Idina Menzel, who voiced Elsa in Disney’s Academy Award®-nominated film “Frozen” and on the hit soundtrack, sings the classic song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” to accompany the iconic ad.

Take a look for this year’s advertisement in programming across multiple networks, including ABC’s “Good Morning America” and on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

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Magic Kingdom Park Says ‘Good Knight’ to the UCF Football Team with Gala Hometown Parade

posted on January 13th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


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Magic Kingdom Park was a sea of black and gold yesterday to honor the University of Central Florida’s Cinderella football season. The Knights’ record-setting season culminated with an upset victory over the Baylor Bears in the 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 1, 2014. The team ended the season ranked 10th nationally with a 12-1 record.

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The entire football team, coaching staff, cheerleading squad, spirit squad and UCF Marching Knights paraded through the park and down Main Street, U.S.A. in a hometown celebration for the Orlando-area university.

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‘Impressive, Most Impressive’ Star Wars Weekends Returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in May/June 2014

posted on December 20th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Gather your favorite droids, nerf herders, walking carpets and scoundrels and make plans to attend Star Wars Weekends 2014. We’re pleased today to announce the dates for next year’s Force-filled special event.

Star Wars Weekends will be held every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from May 16-June 8, 2014.

  • Weekend I: May 16 – 18, 2014
  • Weekend II: May 23 – 25, 2014
  • Weekend III: May 30 – June 1, 2014
  • Weekend IV: June 6 – 8, 2014

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Star Wars Weekends combines the power of the Force and the magic of Disney into a galactic special event that has become a fan favorite through the years. Star Wars Weekends features the largest collection of official Star Wars characters found at any theme park in the world, star conversations with Star Wars celebrities, a Death Star-sized motorcade through the park and plenty of entertainment fun for guests of all ages.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog and StarWars.com for the latest updates and details as they are released. And, check out disneytheforce.com for the latest in event information.

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‘Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade’ Celebrates 30 Years of Holiday Magic December 25 on ABC-TV

posted on December 11th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


As Disney Parks Blog author George Savvas recapped last month in this post, Disneyland Resort recently played holiday host to a star-studded taping for the “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade” special.

This past weekend, Walt Disney World Resort took center stage as some of Tinseltown’s brightest stars arrived on Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Park to tape segments for the 30th annual holiday TV special.

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Stage and screen star Neil Patrick Harris joined “Good Morning America” co-anchor Lara Spencer to lead the Walt Disney World Resort festivities. Harris showed his versatility as a performer by not only hosting the parade but also co-starring with hundreds of Disney characters, singers and dancers in one of the show’s musical numbers. Additional performances showcased a global collection of musical stars including English-Irish boy band The Wanted, “American Idol” winner Candice Glover, Italian vocal trio Il Volo and Grammy Award-winning R&B artist Ne-Yo.

Take a look at our photo gallery for a sneak peek, and be sure to tune in Christmas morning to see all of the holly jolly fun. Until then, check out disney.com/christmasparade for updates and join the conversation online with the hashtag #DisneyParade.

The Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade airs December 25, 2013 at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. CST, MST and PST on ABC-TV. The show also will air in Canada on CBC Network and across the globe on the American Forces Network.

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Singer Chris Daughtry Visits Minnie Mouse at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on November 13th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Singer/songwriter Chris Daughtry, lead singer of the band “Daughtry,” visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios this morning and stopped by the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith attraction. While there, he posed for this photo with Minnie Mouse. Ever fashionable, Minnie was decked out in her best rock and roll attire. Daughtry and the band are busy these days and are currently preparing for the November 19 release of the newest album.
Singer Chris Daughtry Visits Minnie Mouse at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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Guests Ages 6-13 Can Take Center Stage During ‘American Idol Experience Juniors Edition’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on August 9th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


For the first time, “The American Idol Experience” offers guests ages 6-13 the chance to audition and sing on-stage at the Walt Disney World Resort attraction.
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“The American Idol Experience Juniors Edition,” the next “Limited Time Magic” offering, hits the stage August 12-18, 2013, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Auditions for kids ages 6-13 will take place from park open to 4 p.m. each day, with the Juniors Show held at 6 p.m. each evening. No “Dream Tickets” will be provided, but young guests will have the opportunity to get a taste of showbiz beginning with an audition in front of a Disney producer. If selected for the Juniors Show, they will get a Hollywood-style showbiz treatment including cosmetology, a vocal training session and walk-through rehearsal before taking the stage in front of the live audience. A list of songs has been chosen specifically for the Juniors Show.

For more information and the song list for “The American Idol Experience Juniors Edition,” guests may go to LimitedTimeMagic.com.

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Former 70s Mouseketeer Lisa Whelchel Celebrates a Special Birthday at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 6th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


“Favorite job ever.”

That’s the way Lisa Whelchel describes her role on “The New Mickey Mouse Club” in the late 1970s.

Whelchel, who became a household name for her role as Blair Warner on the long-running series “The Facts of Life” in the ‘70s and ‘80s, also recorded a Grammy-nominated Contemporary Christian album, became a best-selling author and was most recently a contestant on “Survivor: Philippines,” where she tied for second place.

But before all of that, she was chosen in a nationwide search to star as a Mouseketeer on a new version of the famed Mickey Mouse Club TV series. As a teen, she was living her Disney dream, visiting Disneyland park almost every week. She was featured on a lunchbox (which she still has, thanks to her grandmother), recorded a cast album and starred in a made-for-TV movie, “The Mouseketeers at Walt Disney World,” which aired on “The Wonderful World of Disney.”

Earlier this summer, Whelchel brought her family back to Walt Disney World Resort to celebrate her birthday. Disney Parks Blog reporter John Graham met up with her in Magic Kingdom Park to chat about her career, family and “favorite job ever.”

And of course, what Mouseketeer visit would be complete without a visit from the leader of the club himself?

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Take Five: Gaither Quintuplets Celebrate 30th Birthday at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 5th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Disney’s “Fab Five” met with another notable “Fab Five” Monday, as the Gaither Quintuplets — the nation’s first surviving set of African-American quintuplets — reunited with Mickey and his pals at Magic Kingdom Park to celebrate their 30th birthdays.

On August 3, 1983, the quints were born to Suzanne and Sidney Gaither in Indianapolis, Ind., and instantly found themselves in the limelight. The five infants were featured on national news programs and daytime talk shows. Mayoral proclamations were penned in their honor and magazines and newspapers featured them in cover photos.
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As the years went by and the Gaither quints grew, attention waned. And not by accident. It was the parents’ goal to make life as “normal” as they could for the five siblings. Even though their childhood was a bit far from the norm (the family went through 100 jars of baby food a week) the Gaither quints began their young lives in Indiana. They went to school, played sports, played video games and yes, traveled to the Walt Disney World Resort on family vacations.
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Today, the quintuplets returned, now with children of their own, to celebrate their birthdays with Mickey Mouse and the gang at Magic Kingdom Park.

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