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Fifteen Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2015

posted on January 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


It’s a new year – do you have a Disney Parks vacation on your bucket list for 2015?

Whether it’s new dining experiences, sports milestones, holiday celebrations or the return of annual theme park festivals, there’s a lot to look forward to at Walt Disney World Resort in 2015. Here are 15 reasons you should consider planning a trip this year.

Trattoria al Forno Brings the Italian Countryside to Disney's BoardWalk

1. Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk – The newest Disney restaurant just opened its doors a few days ago. The menu features authentic Italian cuisine and wines – and is now an option on the Disney Dining Plan. Yum!

Exposition Park Opens for Disney Food Trucks at Downtown Disney

2. Exposition Park Food Trucks – While we’re on the topic of food, 2015 will give you time to check out the recently opened food trucks at Downtown Disney. This dedicated outdoor area also has live entertainment at night (subject to change, of course).

3. 2015 runDisney Races Are Off & Running - Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will take place January 7-11. (Check out a sneak peek at the merchandise that will be sold at this year’s event here). Space is still available in the Kids Races!

4. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – This nightspot is based on the popular themed lounge at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, and is set to open here in spring. Trader Sam’s will offer tiki cocktails served in souvenir mugs, as well as smaller food offerings. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more on this fun new location.

5. Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic – Soccer fans can get their kicks at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic February 1-March 1 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In it, eight pro teams, including six Major League Soccer squads, will compete in 16 games.

PRINCESS HALF MARATHON AT DISNEY WORLD

6. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Returns – This princess-themed weekend of running events returns to Walt Disney World February 19-22.

7. Starbucks to Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A new Starbucks location will open at the park in February, 2015. The new location, dubbed The Trolley Car Café, will be themed to a classic trolley car along Hollywood Boulevard and offer a unique experience for coffee lovers visiting the park.

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8. The Atlanta Braves Return For Spring Training – The Braves will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for their 18th consecutive year of spring training. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 or visiting ticketmaster.com, as well as at the sports complex box office.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

9. The 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: A Spring Tradition Returns March 4-May 17 – Character topiaries, home gardening seminars, floral displays and much more will return to the park’s festival in 2015.

10. Star Wars Weekends Returns – This annual event will return to delight fans of the Force and the Empire May 15 – June 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

11. “Tomorrowland” Debuts In Theaters May 22 – While it isn’t a theme park offering, how could any Disney Parks fan possibly miss out on seeing this one? AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Downtown Disney may be the perfect location. The trailer looks amazing!

12. Annual Events – 2015 means the return of our favorite annual events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and more. Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for news and dates on our 2015 special events.

Morimoto Exterior (1)

13. New Eats at Downtown Disney – The area continues to evolve into Disney Springs, and in 2015, The Landing, the first of four interconnected neighborhoods will open to guests. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more dates and details on the openings of Morimoto Asia, THE BOATHOUSE and STK Orlando, three restaurants planned for the area, as they come available.

14. Another Year of #DisneySide Fun - Guests loved showing their Disney Side – that side each one of us has that isn’t afraid to have fun and show our silly sides – at our parks in 2014. This year we’ll continue the fun by encouraging all of you to show your Disney Side at our parks (and at home) throughout 2015.

15. Your Family Vacation – If this is the year for your family’s vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, then there’s nothing to look forward to more than your family’s special time together. If you visit our parks in 2015, we hope you have a wonderful time.

Which event or new offering are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the “comments” section below.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Happy New Year from the Disney Parks Blog Team

posted on January 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Happy 2015!

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From our team to yours, we hope your year is simply magical!

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Ring in the New Year With Our 2015 Disney Parks Wallpaper

posted on December 31st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


We’re about to ring in the year 2015, and what better way to celebrate than with another great desktop/mobile wallpaper from Disney artist Jeff Maurer.

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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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Year In Review: 2014 Disney Parks Blog Meet-Ups

posted on December 30th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Disney Parks Blog meet-ups are one of my favorite parts of working on our team. Not only do we get to allow some of the biggest Disney fans out there the chance to experience something new at our parks, but we get to meet our readers face to face, as well!

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In 2014, we were able to offer some one-of-a-kind experiences to our fans – from testing out the new Food Trucks at Downtown Disney, to dressing up like favorite superheros for an early screening of “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Here’s a look back at the fun we had with our readers in 2014.

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One Week Left to Experience ‘The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights’

posted on December 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


If you haven’t experienced The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios yet, you still have one more week to enjoy this illuminated holiday extravaganza.

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The offering covers the Backlot area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios in millions of glittering lights. Periodically the display “dances” to special songs of the season. Be on the lookout for twirling carousels of angels, toy soldiers, a spinning Earth, and Santa and his trusty reindeer.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is included in theme park admission and will run through January 4, 2015.

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Why 2014 Was A Full Year of Disney Side Fun

posted on December 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


In 2014, we started encouraging you to show your Disney Side – that silly, carefree side of you that lets go when you’re at a Disney Park and allows you to just have fun, whether that means wearing Mickey ears or running to get a perfect photo with Pluto.

Today, we’re taking a look back at the many ways our guests showed their Disney Side at our parks throughout the year.

Why 2014 Was A Full Year of Disney Side Fun Why 2014 Was A Full Year of Disney Side Fun Why 2014 Was A Full Year of Disney Side Fun Why 2014 Was A Full Year of Disney Side Fun

In January, we invited you to show us how your family shows their Disney Side on this website, which enabled you to build your own stick figure family – Disney style.

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We kicked off the summer season Memorial Day weekend with 24-hour Rock Your Disney Side all-night parties at Magic Kingdom Park, Disneyland park, and Disney California Adventure park. During the events, thousands of guests dressed to show their Disney Sides, whether pirate or princess, hero or villain.

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In August, 101 four-legged friends got a chance to show their Disney Sides when they were selected to participate in the first-ever A Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom Park, in which the pack of pooches dressed in their Disney best for a walk through the park.

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In September, more than 100 Disney Parks Blog readers showed their Disney Side during our “Disney Side Not-So-Scary Soiree” meet-up at Magic Kingdom Park, with guests dressing in Disney costumes for our annual Halloween event.

Also in fall, a handful of tween filmmakers got to partner with our Yellow Shoes department to share what their Disney Side would look like on film, in the “Direct Your Disney Side” series of short films. Learn more about those (and view two of the shorts in the series) here.

How will you show your Disney Side in 2015? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Caption This: Elves at Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

posted on December 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


One Walt Disney World Resort holiday offering that lasts through January 4, 2015, is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. And it looks like two of Santa’s elves just arrived via subway for one last look.

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Where will they head first? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This!”

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Fireworks Around Our World

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


Are fireworks a must-see for you on New Year’s Eve? Here at Walt Disney World Resort, our holiday spectaculars have been lighting up the night for weeks in anticipation of Christmas. Check out the gallery of images below for a look at the latest fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot.

Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season

For details on what our parks have planned for New Year’s Eve, click here.

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Blair Underwood ‘Thrilled’ To Narrate The Candlelight Processional Dec. 26-27

posted on December 26th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Actor Blair Underwood is set to narrate The Candlelight Processional at Epcot December 26 – 27, and he just can’t wait to hit the stage.

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“Being a narrator for The Candlelight Processional really is the highlight of my Christmas and my family’s Christmas,” he says, speaking of wife Desiree, and their kids Paris, Brielle and Blake, who eagerly accompany him on his holiday trip. “If you want to get into the holiday spirit – the Christmas spirit – there’s nothing like coming into The Candlelight Processional to feel and be transported into the greatest story ever told.”

Blair, who has appeared in the show as a narrator for several years, says for him The Candlelight Processional is not only a chance to participate in a beautiful musical performance, but it also enables him to take part in something very meaningful for him during the holiday season.

Blair Underwood ‘Thrilled’ To Narrate The Candlelight Processional Dec. 26-27 Blair Underwood ‘Thrilled’ To Narrate The Candlelight Processional Dec. 26-27

“What I notice more than anything during the show is a sense of peace, a sense of traditional holiday spirit, and a sense of love,” he says. “[The show] is always magical and that’s what Disney World was created to be. [Instead] it’s people coming into that moment and celebrating the birth of Christ, which is very important to me, as I am a Christian.”

In addition to celebrating the season at the show, Blair and his family are also looking forward to spending some fun family time together in the theme parks during their visit as well. This year, they’re also looking forward to trying out the latest things Walt Disney World Resort has to offer, such as “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” and seeing the technology of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

“Our tradition is to try to cram in as much as possible,” he laughs. “When our kids were younger, we spent a lot of time at Magic Kingdom. Last year we spent more time at Epcot, which has been an eye-opener. We as a family love to travel and it’s fun to go to those different countries in Epcot and see the similarities between the pavilions and the actual countries. The food is always a big part of that, too.”

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Disney Parks After Dark: Holiday Wishes at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

posted on December 25th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Tonight’s Disney Parks After Dark image was shot from the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort of “Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” during a recent Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

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We hope you have a very, merry holiday week!

Thanks to Mark Willard for the great shot.

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