Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

Become a Conservation Hero with New Stamps from Disney and Gowalla

posted on April 22nd, 2011 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Beginning today, on Earth Day, there’s a new way to show your support for a healthy planet and Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund’s (DWCF) efforts to protect wildlife and their habitats.

Gowalla Conservation Hero Stamp Gowalla Conservation Hero Gold Stamp

We’re excited to show you two new stamps on Gowalla, the location-based web service that we teamed up with last year.

You can now show you’re a Conservation Hero by earning a green stamp on Gowalla when you check in with your smartphone at one of seven locations at the Walt Disney World Resort. And the fun doesn’t have to stop there. If you go to a merchandise or food and beverage location near your check-in, you can make a contribution to the DWCF and get an actual button to proudly wear.

The DWCF was established on Earth Day in 1995 and has contributed more than $15.6 million to conservation efforts worldwide to date. The Fund helps scientists all over the world study animals and their habitats – from elephants and bees to manatees and trees! DWCF works with nonprofit organizations on community conservation, education, science and environmental policies.

To snag these new stamps, you’ll need to join Gowalla via the web or download the free application onto your smartphone.

The Gowalla stamps are available at the following locations: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, and at Epcot in The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion and The Land Pavilion.

Here’s one more tip: If you check into three of the seven locations on Gowalla, you’ll earn the special gold pin shown here.

Have fun and Happy Earth Day!

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Second and Third Graders From Louisiana Win Disney’s Planet Challenge and Trip to Disneyland

posted on April 4th, 2011 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Second and Third Graders From Louisiana Win Disney’s Planet Challenge and Trip to Disneyland

Those second and third graders can’t contain their excitement because they just won the national elementary grand prize in Disney’s Planet Challenge environmental and science competition. They also just found out they’re going to Disneyland and will be the stars of a parade down Main Street, U.S.A. on May 6.

The students from Zachary Elementary School in Louisiana beat out thousands of kids across the United States for their work towards saving the Louisiana coastline and wetlands ecosystem.

With the help of their teachers, Ms. Breigh Rainey and Ms. Kristy Gilpin, the second and third graders built a school nursery, grew hundreds of grass plants and replanted them along the coastal beach area of Grand Isle. The winning students wrote and published books about the Louisiana Wetlands in an effort to educate the community and are donating the money raised from the sale of the books to wetland preservation. The Zachary students also secured a deal with local radio stations to broadcast their Coastal Roots podcast to help spread the word about their conservation efforts.

Here’s a look at how excited the kids were when they learned they won at their school assembly on Friday, April 1.

Disney’s Planet Challenge is the in-school program for Disney’s Friends for Change, an initiative that focuses on inspiring kids and families around the world to take simple steps to help the planet and their communities.

Disney’s Planet Challenge winners were chosen by a judging committee comprised of scientists, environmental experts and educators including representatives from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and WestEd K-12 Alliance

If you’re a teacher or parent and want to get your kids involved, Disney’s Planet Challenge enrollment for the 2011-2012 school year is open now at http://disney.go.com/planetchallenge.

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Video: Fifty Kids Celebrate Healthy Living at Walt Disney World

posted on March 21st, 2011 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Fifty Kids Celebrate Healthy Living at Walt Disney World

Looks like fun, right? Those kids won a national essay contest held by Disney Magic of Healthy Living and won a trip to Walt Disney World and a truly unique experience. The weekend included a special ceremony to honor 50 kids and their efforts to make healthy choices, opportunities to try new foods and experiences, and a one-of-a-kind TRYathlon that features special activities around the world in Epcot with Disney Channel stars and Disney characters.

What did these kids do to deserve such royal treatment? They won a national essay contest and wrote about how their ideas to make healthy choices in their everyday lives.

Brandon, age 13, from Fountain Valley, CA inspired us with this family fun way to exercise: “On Friday, we have Family Dance Night. Dad breaks out one of the old moldy records, and then we move the furniture out of the way, turn up the music and go wild.”

Tyler, age 13, from Tomball, TX submitted this interesting idea to make eating healthy more fun: “My grandma got me to enjoy eating fruits and veggies by using cookie cutters to make cool shapes. Since then, I get inspired by the season and try new shapes with fruits and veggies and even nuts sometimes.”

Take a peek at some of the highlights from the kids’ weekend at Walt Disney World and what they thought of their grand prize.

If that looks like something you and your family might enjoy, you can get a chance to participate in our next family contest (slated for early 2012). Families will be able to submit their ideas to create a healthier world in a variety of ways. Stay tuned to the Magic of Healthy Living website for details.

Magic of Healthy Living is an initiative that Disney launched in September 2010 that encourages healthy lifestyles by making smart eating and physical activity simple and fun. The first year included a year-long series of inspiring public service announcements featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and Disney Channel stars, two new websites (one for kids, one for moms), a national contest, and a big event at WDW.

Through Disney Magic of Healthy Living, Disney also contributed $1 million to KaBOOM in order to build play spaces and gardens in 12 local communities nationwide. To read more about one of these projects, check out Kathleen Prihoda’s post about Disney’s work with KaBOOM! in Orlando last week.

How do you and your family celebrate healthy living? (Don’t give it all away, though. You might want to save some of it for our upcoming contest).

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You Decide: Vote to Determine Which Disney Characters Appear at Disneyland Park

posted on January 7th, 2011 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Louis Baloo Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar

Do you have a favorite Disney character you have never met?

For the first time ever, we’re giving you a chance to decide which rarely seen Disney characters you want to see in Disneyland park. Starting today, you can cast your vote in polls that can be found only on the Disneyland Facebook page, and those votes will determine which characters appear during our new Character Fan Days Jan. 28 through 30. The Characters Fan Days weekend is one of five, family-fun events coming to Disneyland park Jan. 14 through March 6 as part of “Family Fun Weekends.”

To vote, look for three polls on Facebook spanning three days, Jan. 7 through Jan. 9. Each poll will appear at 2 p.m. PT and will feature different characters – some you see often and some you don’t. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the characters included in the poll: the Seven Dwarfs, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Clarabelle Cow and the Country Bears.

The top two vote-getters from each day’s poll will appear in the Festival Arena in Disneyland park Jan. 28 through 30 during the all-new Character Fan Days (sorry – no write-ins accepted).

On a personal note, there’s a “character” you won’t be seeing around the Disneyland Resort as often – me. Today marks my last day leading social media at the Disneyland Resort and my last post as the primary Disneyland author on the Disney Parks Blog. On Monday, I begin a new role. I’m not going too far, and I’ll still be in touch with you. I’ll be joining the social media team at the main offices of The Walt Disney Company, in Burbank, Ca., and I hope to share all kinds of interesting stories with you from there!

I’ve really enjoyed the five years I’ve spent on the Disneyland Resort Public Relations team, and I’ve had a lot of fun with all of you since we launched the Blog in September, 2009. I know I’ve said this at just about every Disneyland meet-up we’ve held, but my favorite part of the job is reading your comments and meeting you in person. Thank you for your comments, questions, interest and enthusiasm. I even appreciate the corrections when they’re warranted. :)

On Jan. 14, Michele Himmelberg will join the Disney Parks Blog to write about Disneyland Resort. She will share the poll results and details about how to see the winning characters during Character Fan Days.

What are you waiting for? Go cast your vote in our Disney character poll on the Disneyland Facebook page.

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So Cal Residents: Enter the ’2-Day Ticket for $99 Contest’

posted on January 5th, 2011 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


UPDATE 1/14/11: Congratulations again to the winners of our “2-Day Ticket for $99” Contest. Your tickets have been sent via UPS. Enjoy your visit to the Disneyland Resort.

UPDATE: Congratulations to the winners of our ’2-Day Ticket for $99′ Contest! For the complete list of winners, click here.

So Cal Residents: Want to have a little fun with us today? Play along in our game and think about all the fun things you like to do at the Parks (we highlight 99 of them in today’s video). You could have a chance to win a pair of the newest tickets at Disneyland Resort – the 2-Day-for-$99 Tickets. These tickets are valid for 1 park per day through May 14, 2011.

As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, we’ll be adding some family entertainment on weekends between January 14 and March 6. We’re officially announcing the five, fun new experiences for “Family Fun Weekends” in today’s video that shows 99 exciting moments at the Parks (Hint: Look for Mickey!). Be one of the first 99 to correctly identify, in order, the five new experiences in the video, and follow the rules – listed at this link and summarized below – and you and your guest could enjoy all the fun the Disneyland Resort has to offer.

Here’s how you can enter if you’re 18 or older:

  • Watch the video and e-mail the following information to contests@disney.go.com.
    • Your first and last name in the body of the email.
    • Your mailing address (no P.O. Boxes).
    • The official names of the new entertainment, listed in order, as they appear in the video.

Please follow the instructions carefully. Entries that do not follow these directions will be disqualified.

We’ll send notifications to the winners via e-mail by 5 p.m. on Thursday, and we’ll post a link to the list of winners at the top of the post. To read all the contest rules and eligibility requirements, click here.

If you win, we will mail the tickets to the mailing address provided.

While you have to be a So Cal resident to win a pair of “2-Day-for-$99 Tickets,” you can still join in the fun if you don’t live in Southern California. If you’re not a So Cal resident, you are eligible to participate and win a 1-Day Park Hopper ticket.

Good luck!

P.S. Please don’t spoil it for others by posting guesses or answers in the comments.

Contest open to US residents 18 and over. Void where prohibited by law. Ends 1/5/11.

UPDATED VIDEO: 1/14/11

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New Ticket for Southern California Residents: 2 Days for $99

posted on January 4th, 2011 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Disneyland Park 'World of Color' at Disney California Adventure

Southern Californians, here’s a great reason to make a visit to Disneyland Resort one of your New Year’s resolutions in 2011.

There’s a new ticket for Southern Californian residents that offers two days at the Disneyland Resort for just $99, and you can choose to visit either Disneyland park or Disney California Adventure park each day you visit (1 park per day). You can choose two days at Disney California Adventure park, or two days at Disneyland Park, or one day to go wild at each park. The new ticket gives you the flexibility to visit any two days between now and May 14, 2011, and other restrictions apply.

As an added bonus, you can choose to add the park-hopper option for just $10 more, giving you the freedom to “hop” from park to park on both days.

The offer is limited to residents of Southern California (zip codes 90000-93599) and North Baja California (21000-22999). The 2-Day ticket can be purchased now through April 14, 2011, at Disneyland.com/2days, The Disney Stores, Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs, Stater Bros, Dearden’s, Irvine Spectrum, Fashion Island and Korea Daily, as well as any Disneyland Resort ticket booth. Guests who purchase online can print their tickets at home and skip the ticket lines.

You can also turn the 2-day ticket into a mini-vacation with special offers at the Disneyland Resort hotels. You can save up to 35 percent off your room rate at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, up to 30 percent off at Disneyland Hotel, or up to 25 percent off at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. The resort “hotel room only” offer requires a two-night minimum stay and is not valid with previously booked rooms. The offer is available for arrivals most nights, now through April 13, 2011, and must be booked by February 19, 2011. Subject to blockout dates, availability and other restrictions.

If you don’t live in Southern California, we recently shared news of a special ticket for you. You can purchase the 3-day park-hopper ticket for $169. The 3-day ticket is available online at Disneyland.com/3days, or by calling 866-59-DISNEY. You can purchase the 3-day tickets from now through April 14, 2011, and you must purchase them before leaving home as this offer is not available at the ticket booths. Tickets must be used within 13 days of the first day of use and the first day of use must be no later than April 14, 2011.

Be sure to check out the Disney Parks Blog tomorrow to find out how you can enter for a chance to win the So Cal Resident 2-day tickets, and see a fun video that gives you a glimpse of some new family entertainment coming to the Resort on weekends from January 14 to March 6.

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Happy New Year from the Disneyland Resort!

posted on January 1st, 2011 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Fireworks at Disneyland Resort

We saved the best for last!

We may be the last Disney park around the world to ring in 2011, but we’re still the first Disney park to open our gates.

On behalf of all the cast members at the Disneyland Resort, I wish you a very happy and safe new year.

Here’s to another great year!

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Top Videos from the Disneyland Resort in 2010

posted on December 30th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Did you know that we shared approximately 130 Disneyland Resort videos with you here on the Disney Parks Blog in 2010? That’s a lot of content, so thanks for watching!

I was curious to see which videos received the most views, and I wanted to share the results with you. Here they are, in order of popularity, with the number one post receiving the most views:

  1. Hidden Mickeys – This video shows various Mickey Mouse shapes that Walt Disney Imagineers have strategically placed throughout the Disneyland Resort. We call these “hidden” shapes “Hidden Mickeys.”
  2. Sneak Peek at the New Star Tours – At the Star Wars Celebration V fan event, fans caught a first glimpse of a new video that will appear in the queue area of the re-imagined Star Tours attraction in 2011.
  3. Mickey Talks! – Some guests at Disneyland park were treated to a unique experience with Mickey Mouse during “playtesting” at Mickey’s house in Toontown. Mickey, who usually saves his voice for shows and parades, talked with guests and interacted with them in never-before-seen ways.
  4. “World of Color” Aerial – This rare footage was shot from a fixed-wing aircraft at approximately 1,800 feet above Disney California Adventure park. This is my favorite video of the year, so I’m sharing the video with you again today.
  5. Radiator Springs Racers – This behind-the-scenes video showed the first early ride system tests for Radiator Springs Racers, the E-ticket attraction coming to Cars Land in 2012.

Which of these five videos is your personal favorite?

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51 Year Rose Bowl Tradition Continues

posted on December 26th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


The 2011 Rose Bowl Teams are Hosted at Disneyland Resort

It’s a longstanding tradition at the Disneyland Resort to host the Rose Bowl teams before the big game. The Disneyland Resort has been associated with the Tournament of Roses since 1959 and has had the honor of playing host to many teams during that time.

Earlier today, the Wisconsin Badgers and the TCU Horned Frogs visited the Happiest Place on Earth in advance of the 2011 Rose Bowl game. The teams met in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle and were honored in a brief ceremony. Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema and TCU Coach Gary Patterson were awarded crystal replicas of Sleeping Beauty Castle in recognition of their achievement. Following the ceremony, players from both teams enjoyed attractions at the Parks, including the Matterhorn Bobsleds and the Mad Tea Party.

Here’s a look at the players enjoying the attraction:

The Wisconsin Badgers Football Team Visits Disneyland Resort The TCU Horned Frogs Football Team Visits Disneyland Resort
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Happy Holidays from the Dapper Dans

posted on December 24th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


If you’re still not feeling the holiday spirit, or you need a little lift amidst all the cooking and wrapping and preparing, take a second to watch this video of the Dapper Dans performing with Deagan Organ Chimes on Main Street, U.S.A. Listening to some magical music from Disneyland park is sure to do the trick.

Happy Holidays!

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