So many incredible things happened at Disney Parks around the world this year, from major anniversary celebrations to attraction openings, 2015 is truly a year to remember.
Here are our top 10 highlights:
- Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Begins – The Disneyland Resort celebrated 60 years of magic in 2015 by debuting three new nighttime spectaculars: “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, “Paint the Night” parade, and “World of Color – Celebrate!“
- Star Wars-Themed Lands Announced – Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced plans for two Star Wars-themed lands to be added to Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Read the official announcement for more.
- Toy Story Land Plans Announced for Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Crowds at the 2015 D23 Expo were surprised and delighted to hear that plans for a Toy Story Land for Disney’s Hollywood Studios are in the works.
- New Star Wars Offerings Debuted – Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios both welcomed new Star Wars-inspired offerings in late 2015, including Star Wars Launch Bay, enhancements to the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction and more.
- Hatbox Ghost Reappeared in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park – After decades in hiding, the Hatbox Ghost reappeared inThe Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park. Take a behind-the-scenes look at his appearance here.
- Jungle Skipper Canteen opens at Magic Kingdom Park – For Disney Parks fans who can’t get enough of The Jungle Cruise, now there’s the Jungle Skipper Canteen restaurant, which just opened its doors in December at Magic Kingdom Park. Check out Pam’s review of the menu items here.
- Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto & Tiki Bar Opened at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Disney fans rejoiced when Walt Disney World Resort finally got a Trader Sam’s! Offering quirky atmosphere and views of Seven Seas Lagoon, Sam’s dishes out drinks and snacks that are unique to only this location.
- Downtown Disney Renamed Disney Springs – This shopping/dining area has been transformed over the past year to feature some amazing new dining spots, like Morimoto and The Boathouse, terrific bars like Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar, and cool shops like The Ganachery and many more. Although more expansions are planned, the area was officially renamed Disney Springs in 2015.
- Magical Enhancements At Matterhorn Bobsleds and Peter Pan’s Flight – Two classic Disneyland park attractions were plussed up this year with new enhancements, including additional special effects at Matterhorn Bobsleds and new figures of the Darling children and a moving Thames River at Peter Pan’s Flight.
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Opened – Disney Vacation Club celebrated the debut of its latest property this past spring with the opening of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
Our holiday series of Disney Doodles concludes this week with a look at Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, wishing on a star.
Best wishes to all our readers for a happy, healthy new year.
This New Year’s Eve, Magic Kingdom Park will welcome in the year 2016 with a special presentation of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at 11:50 p.m. EST. And the Disney Parks Blog team will celebrate by bringing this amazing show to you live, right here on the blog.
To join us for the live stream, simply visit the Disney Parks Blog main page on Thursday night around 11:45 p.m. EST. The live stream will appear in a fresh blog post at the top of our site.
The “Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration” will debut on ABC in just a few minutes, and we hope you’ll join us for a merry look inside our parks during this time of year.
This year, “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts and Jesse Palmer will host a two-hour parade of floats and celebrity performances, including:
- Jason Derulo, singing “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”
- Ariana Grande, singing “Zero to Hero” and “Focus”
- Seal, singing “This Christmas” and “Every Time I’m With You”
- Tori Kelly, singing “Colors of the Wind” and “Winter Wonderland”
- Andy Grammer, singing “Good to be Alive” and “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas”
- Plus appearances by the cast of “Descendants” and more
As for parade floats, keep your eye on the horizon for a Pirates of the Caribbean float, as well as moving tributes to “Inside Out,” “Toy Story,” “Frozen” and even “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
We’ll be tweeting about the parade live on our @DisneyParks account, so follow along or join the conversation with the hashtag #DisneyHolidays.
Tonight’s “Disney Parks After Dark” image was snapped at Magic Kingdom Park during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
In it, Mickey and friends join together in front of a glittering Cinderella Castle to wish a park full of guests a happy holiday season.
Have a happy holiday and a merry Christmas Eve.
The Anandapur area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom has come alive with the “Festival of All Seasons” for the holidays. And one group you can find providing live entertainment is Chakranadi, the land’s virtuoso sitar and tabla duo.
Listen as Chakranadi plays “Carol of the Bells.”
Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is one of my all-time favorite holiday stories, which is why I’m excited about this week’s Disney Doodle.
In it, artist Ashley Taylor imagines how Scrooge McDuck and his nephews will spend the holiday – by reading the Disney adaptation of the tale as “Mickey’s A Christmas Carol.”
See the posts below for more Disney Doodles:
Earlier this month, we shared a holiday musical performance with you by Epcot’s Mariachi Cobre, one of the musical groups you can find playing seasonal tunes during the park’s Holidays Around the World.
This week we’re happy to share with you another performance by the group. The song “Fum, Fum, Fum.”
We recently shared plans for a new “Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival” experience to open in Future World at Epcot, and we’re happy to announce that this new offering will officially open its doors today.
This new experience will feature a look into the visionary minds behind some of the world’s most iconic animated films today. Once inside the theater, guests can put on their 3D glasses and enter the imaginative worlds of three animated shorts – “Get A Horse,” “For The Birds” and “La Luna” – which will burst to life on the big screen (and in the theater) like never before.
“Get a Horse” stars Mickey Mouse and features Walt Disney himself as the voice of the iconic character. This black-and-white, hand-drawn short follows Mickey, his favorite gal pal Minnie Mouse and their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow as they delight in a musical wagon ride — until Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road.
“For The Birds” opens to show one by one, a flock of small birds perch on a telephone wire. Sitting close together has problems enough, and then along comes a large dopey bird that tries to join them. The birds of a feather can’t help but make fun of him—and their clique mentality proves embarrassing in the end.
And lastly, “La Luna” is the timeless fable of a young boy coming of age in the most peculiar circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way amidst their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions?
Since we first released it in 2011, more than 1 million Disney Parks fans have enjoyed our special recording of “Twas The Night Before Christmas.” In it, cast members from all over Walt Disney World Resort – and a few Disney characters – recite this famous holiday poem.
In the spirit of the holiday week, we’d like to share it with you again this year.