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Disney Parks Encourage Family Time with America’s Most Playful Family Contest

posted on March 10th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


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Walt Disney Parks and Resorts have always been a place where kids and adults create family experiences together – it’s how Walt Disney himself envisioned the park and it’s an integral part of our heritage. So we’re excited to support an opportunity for families to share how they like to spend time together through a contest by KaBOOM! called America’s Most Playful Family Contest

Research shows there are many benefits to children spending time with their families and other positive adult role models, which is why we hosted the Discover Together symposium to provide resources to nonprofit organizations that work with children and families.

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It’s also why we’re supporting the America’s Most Playful Family Contest’s invitation to kids, parents, grandparents, and families of all kinds to submit photos and stories that showcase how they spend time together. The contest is a great way to get people talking about family time and exchange ideas for fun activities for people of all ages. The grand prize winner will get to extend that family fun with a trip for four to one of the most playful places on earth – Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort!

Entries will be accepted through March 16, so get yours in today!

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Balloon Vendor

posted on February 28th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


In the early years, Disneyland park had costumed balloon vendors who sold 25¢ balloons in three areas of the park: Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and near the main entrance. Of course, guests can still purchase the time-honored souvenir from balloon vendors like Nick Lanham in Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park. In this “Every Role a Starring Role,” Nick talks about his tricks of the trade and memories as a balloon vendor at the Disneyland Resort!

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‘Countdown to the Oscars’ Special Airs Feb. 27 Featuring Military Heroes at Disneyland Resort

posted on February 24th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Earlier this month, Disneyland Resort cast members cheered the arrival of dozens of military heroes — accompanied by film star Gary Sinise — to the Disneyland Resort as part of a week of surprises arranged by the actor’s foundation in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the film, “Forrest Gump.”

The servicemen and women, who arrived from Walter Reed Military Medical Center, Fort Belvoir and Naval Medical Center San Diego, visited several Southern California landmarks. They were honored at the Disneyland Resort during a special flag retreat ceremony, which you can see footage of in this video.

Parts of their trip will be aired on ABC during a “Countdown to the Oscars” special Feb. 27. The special will offer viewers a backstage pass to this year’s 86th annual Academy Awards celebrating movie heroes and include interviews with this year’s nominees. Tune in to see what other surprises were in store for this group of heroic Americans!

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disneyland Resort

Cast Members Submit Photos of Their ‘Happy Place’ at Disneyland Resort

posted on February 21st, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


A few months ago, I shared with you original artwork by our cast members that was featured in the Disneyland Resort Line, our publication for cast. This time, the Disneyland Resort Line asked cast members to send in a photograph of their ‘happy place’ — an image telling the story about their favorite spot at the Disneyland Resort. Nearly 50 photos were received and eight were selected for a resort wide cast vote to determine which photo would be featured as the cover of the Disneyland Resort Line.

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The results are in! Cast member Andy Neitzert’s striking photo of his 4-year-old daughter, Lilly Belle, in Frontierland (yes, she’s named for the Disneyland Railroad train car Lilly Belle, which Walt Disney named after his wife) is the cover of the current issue. When asked about the image, Andy said, “Originally, my ‘happy place’ described a location that made me happy every time I was there. For many years, Disneyland itself was one enormous happy place for me. On Jan. 15, 2010, that all changed. My daughter Lilly was born and she changed everything. Lilly Belle is now my happy place.” See the below collage of the other featured entries!

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Southern California Choirs to Raise Voices and Spirits During Fifth Annual Celebrate Gospel at Disneyland Resort

posted on February 5th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


In recognition of Black History Month, 15 Southern California choirs will perform during the fifth Celebrate Gospel, a festival honoring gospel music at Disneyland Resort.

New this year is the Gospel History Walk, a walk-through exhibit highlighting the history and rich traditions of gospel music. The Disneyland Resort has long celebrated the spirit of gospel music. In 1962, the Clara Ward Singers performed at the third annual “Dixieland in Disneyland.” Since then, Disneyland park has hosted several other gospel events.

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All performances and the exhibit take place inside Stage 17 at Disney California Adventure park and are included with theme park admission. Come by and enjoy the show!

Details below:

Date: Saturday, February 15
Location: Stage 17, Hollywood Land, Disney California Adventure Park

Times:
11:00 am – 12:45 pm

  • Greater Los Angeles Cathedral Choir (Los Angeles)
  • Rock Boy Fresh (Ontario)
  • Divine Deliverance Ministries Choir (Los Angeles)
  • Pastor Thom Washington & The Cathedral Voices (Los Angeles)

1:45 pm – 4:00 pm

  • Amazing Grace Conservatory (Los Angeles)
  • Diamondz & Pearlz (Yorba Linda)
  • Lorenzo Johnson & Praizum (Los Angeles)
  • New Generation Choir (Santa Ana)
  • J. Kingdom & Voices of Destiny (Compton)

4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

  • The Prime Minister of Joyful Jazz (Bellflower)
  • KJLH Radio Free Performance Choir (Inglewood)
  • Moreno Valley College Gospel Singers (Moreno Valley)
  • Project Purpose (Los Angeles)
  • Xtreme Purpose Choir (Pasadena)
  • Friendship Baptist Church – The Wrecking Crew (Yorba Linda)

Schedule subject to change.

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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Now Available at Disneyland Resort

posted on January 31st, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Twenty ChargePoint charging ports have been installed on the first floor of the Mickey & Friends parking structure for guests with electric vehicles! Guests can begin using them today by scanning their ChargePoint card or by easily registering for a free ChargePoint account at the charging station, or online at http://www.chargepoint.com.

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According to ChargePoint, the Disneyland Resort is now home to one of the largest collections of public EV charging stations in Southern California. Guests arriving at the Mickey & Friends parking structure can ask a cast member for directions to the charging stations. Separate charging stations are also available to cast members for a total of 30 charging ports at the resort. To learn more about our environmental efforts at the Disneyland Resort, click here!

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‘Discover Together’ Symposium at Disneyland Resort Offers Nonprofits Nationwide the Building Blocks to Strengthen Relationships that Help Kids Thrive

posted on January 28th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Through work with our valued community partners, we at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are constantly looking for meaningful ways to extend our impact beyond our theme parks.
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Part of that effort, and happening right now at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, is the two-day “Discover Together” symposium – which brings together nearly 60 nonprofit organizations from across the country to explore ways to help strengthen bonds between kids and adults in their own communities. Participants also receive a full day of Disney Institute’s Leadership Excellence training.
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The group heard from several speakers, including Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, who talked about Disney’s commitment to nurturing, inspiring and empowering children and families, and creating opportunities to help children succeed and thrive.

They also heard from researchers with the Center for Childhood Creativity and the Search Institute, who shared findings about the crucial impact a parent, grandparent, mentor or other influential adult can have on a child’s life – including the fact that kids with positive relationships with adults are almost twice as likely to do better in school and three times more likely to volunteer in their community.

At the symposium, KaBOOM! announced the search for America’s Most Playful Family contest, which kicks off today and is supported by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The winner will receive the most playful vacation of them all – a trip for four to Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort – and the opportunity to work with KaBOOM! in granting an Imagination Playground to a nonprofit organization in the family’s home state. Learn more about the contest at kaboom.org/playfulfamily.

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Chef de Cuisine Bill Orton

posted on January 23rd, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Chef de Cuisine Bill Orton oversees culinary training, chef recruiting and special dietary programs at the Disneyland Resort, including a new Culinary Apprentice Program he helped develop!

As the first three cast members selected for the program, Chefs Albert Esparza, Joanna Aguayo and Sean Harper are about two months into their six-month journey to become certified culinarians with the American Culinary Federation, learning culinary skills at a different Disneyland Resort dining location every two weeks.

The three chefs will learn how to create everything from pasta with clams at Wine Country Trattoria to fried pickles at Carnation Café, and also will spend a week at an outdoor vending location. Chef Bill explains more about the program and his role in this “Every Role a Starring Role!

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Holiday Carol: It’s Giving Time from the Disneyland Resort

posted on December 24th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


In the spirit of the holidays, and the annual tradition of the Disneyland Resort, we hope you’ll enjoy caroling about some of the ways the Disneyland Resort supported the local community in 2013 to the tune of “Silver Bells.” Happy holidays!

Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers at Disney California Adventure Park

$17 million, in donations,
Includes tickets and cash,
Disneyland
Has a feeling
Of giving.
Playground building,
Toy bins filling,
Granting wish after wish,
And from the community you’ll hear:

Disneyland, Disneyland,
It’s giving time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, care packaging,
Soon reaching troops far away.

Funding youth grants
‘Round our city
With the Angels and Ducks,
As ACT Anaheim meets
Needs of the children.

A classroom made
With concrete laid
By 30 VoluntEARS,
And from Ecuador’s students you’ll hear:

Disneyland, Disneyland
It’s giving time in the city
Ring-a-ling, arts granting,
Soon putting on student plays.

Thirty years, helping others,
Dressed in VoluntEARS shirts,
Disneyland
Has a feeling
Of giving.
Patients listening,
Mickey’s visiting,
Bringing smile after smile,
And from the community you’ll hear:

Disneyland, Disneyland,
It’s giving time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, scholarships in spring,
Soon funding their college way.

Strings of floodways
To the ocean
Collect trash and debris,
Disneyland helped launch
Adopt-A-Channel.

Watch the teams flock
To the CHOC Walk
Raising millions each year,
And from the participants you’ll hear:

Disneyland, Disneyland,
It’s giving time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, contributing,
Soon to more causes next year!

Click here to learn more about philanthropic giving at the Disneyland Resort in 2013.

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Silhouette Artist

posted on December 23rd, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


In 1974, Harry Brice, a former artist at the Silhouette Studio in Disneyland park, said, “Anyone can cut a silhouette, but it takes practice to capture a good likeness of a particular subject – that’s what makes producing silhouettes an art.” At the time, it was estimated that Harry was “the fastest snip in the West.”

Today, cast member Bonnie Elliott, who worked with Harry, and a select few silhouette artists in Disneyland park carry on the rare trade and create one-of-a-kind keepsakes for our guests. In fact, Bonnie can cut up to nine profiles in a single portrait! Watch Bonnie in action in this “Every Role a Starring Role!

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