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Celebrate ‘The Candlelight Processional’ With Our Latest Desktop/Mobile Wallpaper

posted on November 28th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Candlelight Processional,” one of Walt Disney World’s most cherished holiday traditions, will return to Epcot tonight.

In honor of the show’s return, we have a brand-new Disney Parks Blog wallpaper to share with you today. Artist Jason “Tiki” Tackett drew inspiration from the show’s stained-glass windows for this one.

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Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special page.

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Candlelight Processional Returns to Epcot Tonight at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 28th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The “Candlelight Processional,” a highlight of the holiday offerings at Epcot, will return to the park tonight.

In case you haven’t seen the processional, the show is a retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator with seasonal songs performed by a live choir and orchestra. Shows take place each day at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. (except on December 7, when shows will take place only at 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.).

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First up in this year’s schedule of narrators is actress Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” Joining the lineup for the first time this year are Jonathan Groff, who voiced Kristoff in “Frozen” and comedian Ana Gasteyer. Check out the full schedule below (entertainment is subject to change).

  • Jodi Benson – November 28 – 29, 2014
  • Neil Patrick Harris – November 30 – December 2, 2014
  • Jonathan Groff (NEW!) – December 3 – 4, 2014
  • Whoopi Goldberg – December 5 – 6, 2014
  • Levar Burton – December 7 – 9, 2014
  • Edward James Olmos – December 10 – 14, 2014
  • Chita Rivera – December 15 – 17, 2014
  • Ana Gasteyer (NEW!) – December 18 – 20, 2014
  • Marlee Matlin – December 21 – 23, 2014
  • Isabella Rossellini – December 24 – 25, 2014
  • Blair Underwood – December 26 – 27, 2014
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – December 28 – 30, 2014

One of the easiest ways to experience the Candlelight Processional is by purchasing a dining package – find more info on that here. It’s a family tradition my family adopted years ago and we can’t wait to attend again this season.

Will you see the Candlelight Processional at Epcot this year? Which narrator are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Disney Parks After Dark: A Canopy of Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on November 27th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is in full swing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with more than 5 million lights on display.

Here’s a shot of my absolute favorite part of the display – the canopy of lights that you get to walk under as you exit the Streets of America area of the park.

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Come out to the park to see it for yourself through January 4, 2015.

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Disney Parks Blog Team

posted on November 27th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


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Happy Thanksgiving! It may be a holiday weekend, but our authors have a few fun surprises to share with you right here over the next few days, including a new Disney Parks Blog wallpaper, another live stream announcement, and more. And those of you who can’t wait to indulge in Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping over the next few days can find everything you need to know about Disney Parks deals in this post by Steven from earlier in the week.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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Celebrate Thanksgiving Week With Our Latest Disney Parks Blog Wallpaper

posted on November 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Turkey Day is almost here and in honor of the big day we have a new Disney Parks Blog wallpaper to share with you.

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Disney Artist Jeff Maurer pulled this one together, it’s a graphic of one of our famous theme park turkey legs – with a Disney twist.

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it. And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special wallpaper page.

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: A Happy Birthday to Mickey Mouse

posted on November 22nd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this week, we celebrated Mickey Mouse’s birthday with a “Mickey takeover” of the Disney Parks Blog.

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Our favorite pal was brought into existence by creator Walt Disney on November 18, 1928. Be sure to click through the gallery above to see photos of Mickey Mouse throughout the history of our parks.

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Listen As Rusty Cutlass Pirate Band Plays Holiday Tunes at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on November 21st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Even pirates tend to catch the holiday spirit during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and there’s no better example than this – a holiday musical performance by Rusty Cutlass band.

In the video below, the pirates gather to play “one of the prettiest Christmas songs they know.” What do you think?

Look for the pirates to perform in Adventureland during party nights at 7:45, 8:45, 9:45 and 10:45 p.m.

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Time-Lapse Video: Imagineers Install Springs Bottling Co. Marquee at Downtown Disney

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier today, we shared updates on several new offerings that are on the horizon for Downtown Disney as it transitions into Disney Springs.

One of those updates was that Walt Disney Imagineering recently installed a Springs Bottling Co. Marquee atop the building that will eventually house the Morimoto Asia restaurant. The marquee, which is now part of Downtown Disney’s illuminated nighttime skyline, helps weave the turn-of-the-century theme of Disney Springs through the area, as this building formerly served as Springs Bottling Co., the town’s bottling company.

Check out this time-lapse video of how our Imagineers installed the new marquee literally over night.

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Visions of the Future Spring Up at Downtown Disney

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this fall, we shared the news that two new dining experiences, Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE, are coming to Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort. Today we have a few more updates to share about glimpses of the future that are starting to appear as Downtown Disney continues to undergo its transformation.

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The “Springs Bottling Co.” marquee was recently installed above the future location for Morimoto Asia. The sign is an architectural detail that draws from the Disney Springs design story, which harkens back to Florida’s waterfront towns at the turn-of-the-century. The interior of Morimoto Asia will also showcase the theme and pay tribute to the history of Disney Springs.

Located adjacent to the recently announced site for The BOATHOUSE, the Waterview Stage is now offering nightly entertainment, along with great views of Village Lake. Be sure to pick up a Times Guide for specific showtimes.

Disney Springs

Opening later this month, the Food Trucks at Exposition Park on the West Side will be a permanent home for the owned-and-operated Downtown Disney food trucks. Located along the water, the Food Trucks will serve mouthwatering culinary creations daily, such as chicken & waffles and tandoori spiced shrimp. The area will also offer additional seating for diners as well as shaded areas during the day.

Significant progress is being made on the first phase of Disney Springs known as The Landing. Guests can see for themselves as they stroll along a section of the new pedestrian walkway now open between Portobello and Paradiso 37. Later this month, the walkway will fully open and provide direct access to the West Side.

Speaking of progress, the West Garage (the first of two planned garages coming to Disney Springs) is opening in phases and will be available for guest parking starting on November 20.

It certainly is exciting to watch Disney Springs come to life and I’m eager to see what’s in store in the months ahead.


For more about Disney Springs, visit the posts below:

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Fifteen Fun Facts For Mickey Mouse’s Birthday

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


As the famous Walt Disney quote says, “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse.” – and today we’re celebrating that Mouse on the Disney Parks Blog.

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Mickey Mouse made his official film debut on November 18, 1928, in the film “Steamboat Willie,” and has since become a famous face at Disney Parks around the world.

In honor of today’s milestone, here are 15 fun facts about Mickey Mouse you may not know:

  1. Walt Disney wrote the first script for “Plane Crazy,” the first short created to star Mickey Mouse, while traveling on a train from Chicago to Los Angeles.
  2. Walt initially named Mickey Mouse “Mortimer,” until Walt’s wife, Lily, suggested “Mickey” was a better choice.

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  1. Disney Legend Ub Iwerks was the sole animator for Mickey Mouse in “Plane Crazy,” and produced an estimated 700 drawings per day for the film, some during the day (as a part of a secret project for Walt) and others after hours in Walt’s garage.
  2. The short film “Steamboat Willie” was the first short starring Mickey Mouse released, but was actually the third created. The first two, “Plane Crazy” and “The Gallopin’ Gaucho,” initially failed to find distributors, but were picked up and released later.
  3. When penning Mickey’s movements, early animators drew inspiration from popular comedic film stars of the day – like Charlie Chaplin.
  4. The first Mickey Mouse Club was formed by theater owner Harry Woodin in Ocean Park, California. On his own accord, Woodin devoted Saturday afternoons in his theater to showing only Mickey Mouse shorts and led children in a Mickey Mouse pledge. Walt later partnered with Woodin and spread the idea of Mickey Mouse Clubs to movie theaters across the nation.
  5. The first Mickey short in which Mickey spoke was “The Karnival Kid,” the ninth Mickey short, which was released in July 1929. His first words: “Hot dog!”
  6. Walt Disney wasn’t satisfied with the first few actors chosen to provide a voice for Mickey Mouse, so he did it, and continued to do so through about 1947.
  7. A Mickey Mouse comic strip, penned by Ub Iwerks, launched in January 1930, and at its height was printed in 40 newspapers in 22 countries.
  8. The first piece of Mickey Mouse merchandise was a tablet of paper that featured the mouse, designed for children. The first Mickey Mouse doll was designed in 1930.

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  1. Mickey Mouse made his debut appearance in the “Macy’s Santa Claus Parade” (now “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade”) in 1934. Measuring 40-feet-tall, the balloon was handpainted and guided by men and women dressed in Mickey/Minnie Mouse costumes.
  2. When Walt was contemplating a name for his first theme park (Disneyland park), he once considered calling it “Mickey Mouse Village.”
  3. Mickey Mouse was the first animated character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which was given on his birthday (November 18) in 1978.
  4. Mickey Mouse has been a prominent feature at Disney Parks since Disneyland park opened its doors in 1955, with guests interacting with him in character meet and greets, viewing him in parades or snapping up Mickey Mouse merchandise.

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  1. The Partners Statue, a sculpture of Walt and Mickey holding hands, debuted at Disneyland park on Mickey’s birthday in 1993. A second Partners Statue debuted at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in 1995.

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