Disneyland Park, Haunted Mansion Stretch Painting

Remembering Diane Disney Miller

posted on November 19th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Today we learned of the passing of Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller. Upon learning the sad news, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Diane Disney Miller. She is remembered by Disney fans around the world as the beloved daughter of Walt Disney, and one who graciously shared her family history and personal memories of her father.”

“Diane was a fierce guardian of her father’s legacy who never hesitated to set the record straight, opening The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco to bring her father’s fascinating story to life. In our many conversations over the years, Diane’s unique and special perspective about her father only deepened my considerable appreciation for him. Diane was incredibly generous in that regard, freely sharing her personal insights and providing details that deepened our knowledge, and we remain grateful for her many valuable contributions to our efforts to preserve Disney history. She and her sister, Sharon, have long been recognized as Walt’s inspiration for Disneyland, a place he created for families to have fun together. For that reason and many others, Diane will always have a special place in our company’s legacy and in the hearts of fans.”

“She was also known for her philanthropic efforts, including playing an integral role in the development of the renowned Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to ensure the creation of a unique venue bearing her father’s name that she believed would be “a wonderful thing for the city, for the spirit, for the soul.”

“Diane was the wife of former Disney CEO Ron Miller, as well as mother to their seven children, Christopher, Joanna, Tamara, Jennifer, Walter, Ronald and Patrick. She also had 13 grandchildren and had the great joy of recently welcoming her first great-grandchild into the world. We send our sincere condolences to the entire family and our thoughts remain with them during this difficult time.”

Last year, at the Disneyland Resort, we had an opportunity to meet Diane and take some photographs of her and her family as they visited Disney California Adventure park for the first time since its expansion. Spending a little time with her was a thrill for all of us.

Diane Disney Miller Story Teller Statue

Upon seeing the Storytellers statue, Diane remarked with a sparkle in her eye that she didn’t remember him being this young, saying, “He was older when I met him!”

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Diane also joined us at Disneyland park for our 50th anniversary celebration on July 17, 2005, pictured here with Disney Legend Art Linkletter.

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Among our favorite photos of Diane and the Disney family is this special moment captured during Walt and Lillian’s wedding anniversary celebration in The Golden Horseshoe, just four days before the grand opening of Disneyland park — her father’s dream that she and her sister Sharon inspired years earlier on that day when their dad watched them play from a nearby park bench.

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‘The View’ Co-Hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy Tape Segments to air During Broadcasts from the Disneyland Resort November 18-22

posted on November 14th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


The ladies of ABC’s hit daytime show, ‘The View,’ like to remind viewers to ‘take a little time to enjoy the view,’ and recently, co-hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy took a little more time to enjoy the Disneyland Resort while producing some segments to air exclusively on ABC during their broadcasts next week!

JENNY MCCARTHY

In a charming and heartwarming segment scheduled to air Monday, November 18, Jenny McCarthy searches Disneyland park to uncover her ‘Disney Side’ during her magical visit to “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

LAMAR "SAL" SALLY, SHERRI SHEPHERD

Meanwhile, Sherri Shepherd got “all revved up” as she and her husband Lamar ‘Sal’ Sally spent some time in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park. Her hilarious segment also finds the duo meeting memorable characters and riding attractions including ‘The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’ and will air Tuesday, November 19.

‘The View’ from the Disneyland Resort will feature guest stars including Jimmy Kimmel, Tim Allen, Kobe Bryant and Demi Lovato. ‘The View’ airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am – 12:00 pm, ET), check your local listings.

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First Look: Nick Cannon, Mary J. Blige, Demi Lovato, ‘Teen Beach Movie’ Cast and More at the Disneyland Resort for the 2013 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade on ABC

posted on November 12th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Last weekend, we taped some segments for the 2013 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, and we’ve got an exciting first look at all the merriment you can look forward to when the broadcast airs Christmas Day on ABC.
Nick Cannon at the Disneyland Resort for the 2013 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade on ABC

Nick Cannon returns to the Disneyland Resort this year, and we caught up with him and Pluto during a break in taping.
Mary J. Blige at the Disneyland Resort for the 2013 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade on ABC

Mary J. Blige makes her first appearance on the show this year, accompanied by music legend, David Foster.
Demi Lovato at the Disneyland Resort for the 2013 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade on ABC

Demi Lovato performs a song from our upcoming animated feature, “Frozen,” that you won’t want to miss! Minnie even stopped by after Demi’s performance to say hello.
Dove Cameron at the Disneyland Resort for the 2013 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade on ABC

Dove Cameron, star of Disney Channel’s hit show, “Liv and Maddie,” makes a little Christmas Day Parade history by performing a song for the very first time in front of the Matterhorn.
Jordin Sparks and Jason Derulo at the Disneyland Resort for the 2013 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade on ABC

Jordin Sparks and Jason Derulo take to the stage to perform a classic holiday duet.
Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell and the cast of the hit Disney Channel Original Movie, 'Teen Beach Movie' at the Disneyland Resort for the 2013 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade on ABC

The cast of the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Teen Beach Movie,” reunite for a special medley that fans are going to love!

Check back for updates on the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, and remember to tune in to ABC on Wednesday, December 25 at 10 a.m. ET, 9 a.m. CT/PT (check local listings) for all the music and magic!

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A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Vivien Leigh and John Gielgud – 1964

posted on November 4th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


One hundred years ago tomorrow, legendary actress Vivien Leigh was born. Today we look back at her visit to Disneyland park with longtime friend, and fellow Academy Award-winning actor, John Gielgud.

We located two rarely seen photographs of this visit from the summer of 1964.

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The first is aboard the Jungle Cruise and I can’t help but wonder about the reaction of these two masters of the stage to the, shall we say, “unique” humor, of this beloved attraction.

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The second photo shows the two famous Brits exploring the wilderness of North America aboard the Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland. They really seem to be having a great time, don’t they?

For more in the “Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests” series, click the links below:

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A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Elsa Lanchester and Charles Laughton – 1956

posted on October 28th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


On this date in 1902, actress Elsa Lanchester was born in London. Disney aficionados will recognize her as the comically exasperated, and accidental, “Sister Suffragette,” Katie Nanna from “Mary Poppins,” as well as for her appearances in Disney’s “That Darn Cat!” and “Blackbeard’s Ghost.” But it is her iconic 1935 film role as “The Bride of Frankenstein” opposite Boris Karloff that makes this seem like the perfect time to look back at her 1956 visit to Disneyland park with husband, Academy Award-winning actor, Charles Laughton.
Elsa Lanchester and Charles Laughton Visit Disneyland Park - 1956

I don’t think there’s a more perfect place to photograph this silver-screen couple than the Main Street Cinema. “I’ve said my say and that’s all I’ll say!”

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Steve Carell Celebrates Halloween Time with Donald Duck at Disneyland Park

posted on October 7th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Recently, actor Steve Carell visited Disneyland park and Donald Duck stopped by to show off his Halloween Time costume.

It was Steve’s first visit to the park during this special seasonal celebration and based on this photo, I think it’s fair to say he got into the spirit of things!

Steve Carell Celebrates Halloween Time at Disneyland Park

Is it just me, or are these two quacking you up, too?

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A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Groucho Marx – 1955

posted on October 2nd, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


On this day in 1890, a legendary Hollywood icon, Groucho Marx, was born. In a show business career that spanned vaudeville, motion pictures and television, Groucho is widely recognized as one of the most influential entertainers of the 20th century. To this day, novelty “Groucho glasses,” including iconic eyebrows, nose and mustache, remain an instantly recognizable tribute to this entertainment giant.

Pictured here with his daughter, Melinda, on the dock of the Mark Twain Riverboat in the fall of 1955, we believe it is the only time Groucho visited Disneyland park.

I reached out to Melinda about her memories of that day, and she was very happy to see this photo after all these years. She was nine years old when it was taken and she remembers being “obsessed” with Peter Pan at the time – even pretending to be Wendy!
A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Groucho Marx - 1955

 
Read on for more posts in the “Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests” series:

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International Pop Star Olly Murs Thrills Fans with Special Performance at the Disneyland Resort

posted on September 23rd, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Olly Murs was in the “Right Place Right Time” for hundreds of excited fans who won the opportunity to see the pop sensation in an exclusive performance at the Disneyland Resort yesterday.

International Pop Star Olly Murs and Goofy at Sleeping Beauty Castle

Before he took the stage, Olly met up with Goofy over at Sleeping Beauty Castle to celebrate his visit to the Disneyland Resort.

International Pop Star Olly Murs Thrills Fans with Special Performance at the Disneyland Resort International Pop Star Olly Murs Thrills Fans with Special Performance at the Disneyland Resort

Then it was over to Disney California Adventure park where Olly’s fans were treated to a special acoustic performance featuring many songs from his debut North American album, “Right Place Right Time.” The lucky audience for this exclusive event was limited to contest winners from all over the country, but now you can watch this amazing show yourself:

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A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Sophia Loren – 1963

posted on September 20th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Today we continue our look back at some of the world’s most famous Disneyland Resort guests, and for me, one documented celebrity visit in our photo archive stands out.

The photographs taken on one spring day in 1963 beautifully capture the timeless style and elegance of film icon Sophia Loren enjoying her day at the equally timeless Happiest Place on Earth in a way that inspires us to this day. Speaking of “this day,” today happens to be the screen legend’s birthday!

Sophia Loren on the Disneyland Railroad Aboard the C.K. Holliday

Pictured on the Disneyland Railroad aboard the C.K. Holliday and on the Jungle Cruise, I hope you agree that the photos are simply stunning.

Sophia Loren Enjoying the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Resort

Recently, I asked Ms. Loren about this visit. “It was my first visit to Disneyland,” she said. “It was such a great joy to be with my family, all together and having an unforgettable time.” As for what she thought of Walt’s Magic Kingdom all those years ago, she said, “It’s a dream world.”

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A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Bob Newhart – 1974

posted on September 5th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


From the worlds of sports, entertainment, government and politics, the Disneyland Resort has welcomed some of the world’s most famous guests since the day Walt first opened our gates.

Today we’re beginning a new photo series, looking back at some of these most celebrated guests and their Disneyland Resort visits, on the occasion of their birthday.

Today is television legend Bob Newhart’s birthday, and this 1974 photo of Bob and Mickey Mouse in Tomorrowland is our first classic photo in this series.

Bob Newhart and Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Resort in 1974

Like millions of his fans, I still enjoy Bob’s many award-winning comedy albums and his two long-running television series, but I have a special place in my heart for his performances as Bernard in “The Rescuers” films.

I recently had an opportunity to share this photo with Bob and ask what he’d like Disney Parks Blog readers to know about it. In classic Newhart style, Bob replied simply, “I have been looking for this hat for 20 years and still haven’t found it.”

Happy Birthday, Bob, and we hope you find that spiffy hat someday!

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