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First Look at runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation Merchandise

posted on January 14th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


From January 15–18, a Galactic Empire of runDisney enthusiasts will descend on the Disneyland Resort. Join the ranks of the Rebel Alliance, Wookiees or Imperial Fleet! Plan to look out of this world as you cross the runDisney finish line of the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation.

Find iconic Star Wars characters, symbols and phrases such as “May The Course Be With You” and “Let the Wookiee Win,” on performance tees, hoodies, jackets and other novelty items, including headwear, jewelry, magnets and window clings. Have you signed up for the Star Wars Rebel Challenge? A selection of ladies’ and men’s T-shirts (cotton and performance), jackets, magnets, runner’s hat, Bondi Bands and Sweaty Bands themed to the Rebel Challenge will be available, as well as ‘all race’ event logo inspired merchandise.

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Do … or Do Not. I say ‘do.’ Because these Star Wars themed Dooney & Bourke bags are bound to go faster than the speed of light.

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What about pins? In addition to the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon logo pin, Rebel Challenge, 5K and 10K pins, there will also be two medal spinner pins. Check them out!

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Finally, keep an eye out for additional runDisney apparel, along with 2015 runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge offerings.

I wish you all the best of luck and May the Course Be With You!

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First Look at the New Chalkboard-Inspired Collection at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on January 6th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


I have always loved chalkboard-inspired art, and lucky for me, the trend has continued. So of course, the minute I saw the new collection for Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, I went crazy for it and absolutely had to share.

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Similar to the chalkboard-inspired merchandise you have seen at Disney Parks, the artists have selected phrases and iconic symbols reminiscent of Hawai`i.

The new line of apparel, accessories and home décor items can be found at Kalepa’s Store at Aulani. Take it home on your next trip or add it to your list of gifts for the holidays. Please note: The mug (featured above) will debut in late January 2015.

Are you a fan of chalkboard-inspired art?

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Sweet Spots to Enjoy Sweet Treats at Disneyland Resort

posted on January 5th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Whether I’m waiting for the parade, people watching or just taking a break, one thing I love to do when I visit the Disneyland Resort is to find the perfect spot to try one of the tasty treats from our nearby candy kitchens. As you can see, some of my favorite treats include our hand-crafted English Toffee, Pecan and Peanut Brittle, Peanut Clusters, Dark Chocolate Pineapple skewers and amazing apples. These of course, are just a few of the classic choices amidst the many others that will delight your taste buds on your next visit. So where are some of the ‘sweetest’ places to enjoy them? A few of my top picks are across from King Arthur Carrousel, near the Haunted Mansion, Mickey’s Toontown and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, to name a few.

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Be sure to make Candy Palace on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park, Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure park and Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District your top places to go on your next visit. There’s bound to be something for every member of your family to enjoy.

Where’s your favorite place at the Disneyland Resort to sit back, relax and enjoy the show while enjoying a special snack?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

The Snow Queens – Art of Ice Exhibit Adds More ‘Frozen’ to Disneyland Park

posted on January 2nd, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


What ‘cool’ exhibit will soon be taking over the walls of The Disney Gallery on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park? How about Snow Queens – Art of Ice!

Snow is magical. Overnight it transforms backyards into wonderlands, ponds into skating rinks, and even has the power to cancel school. Snow is nature’s pixie dust, and for so many artists, a very blank, very enchanted canvas.

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First published in 1844, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen tells the tale of a beautiful yet terrifying snow sorceress. Her image has inspired generations of artists and taletellers, including Walt Disney. For years, the Disney Studio toyed with their version of Andersen’s The Snow Queen. When they transformed the young characters of Gerda and Kay into two older sisters, Anna and Elsa, “Frozen” finally began to take form. The resulting stunning artwork conceptualized snow and ice as a visual metaphor for both isolation and empowerment. By challenging fairy tale norms and creating astonishing icy imagery, Disney artists made a frozen phenomenon.

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In 1977, Imagineers, led by Disney Legend Marc Davis, created their own interpretation of Andersen’s icy tale with concepts for an attraction titled, The Enchanted Snow Palace. In his paintings, Davis transports viewers to a realm where a tall, slim, glittering lady made of frost and ice is queen. He depicted the attraction as a whimsical, dreamy snow kingdom where winter fairies, snowball men, and icicle princesses live and play.

Now, for the first time in forever, The Enchanted Snow Palace and “Frozen” come together in The Disney Gallery.

So bundle up for “Frozen” magic on your next visit.

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January’s Gourmet Apple Makes a Sweet Return at the Disneyland Resort

posted on December 26th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


I have been waiting all year for the return of the delicious and oh-so-sweet gourmet apple for January. Now with less than a week to go, the countdown is officially on. Disneyland Resort candy kitchens, I’m ready for you … are you ready for me?

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The January gourmet apple has been covered in creamy caramel, enrobed in sweet milk chocolate and rolled in crushed chocolate and cream sandwich cookies. How do you top that? Well, if you’re our candy makers, you drizzle a little peanut butter and a little dark chocolate, and you add a small garnish of roasted, chopped peanuts on top. It’s almost too good to eat. But rest assured, I’ll make the sacrifice.

Look for it beginning January 1 at Candy Palace on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park; Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park; and Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District.

What’s on your list of things to try in the New Year?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney World Event Snapshot: January 2015

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Are you visiting Walt Disney World Resort this January and are looking for a few other things to check out? Here are a couple of artist showcases that made my list.

January 1 – 4: Artist Larry Dotson will be on hand to kick off the New Year with special appearances and signings at Walt Disney World Resort, January 1 – 4 at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park and January 8 – 11 at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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Now – January 5: Get dolled up! Stop by Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace and meet representatives from Precious Moments Dolls who will be wrapping up this season’s showcase. Learn more.

January 6 – 8: Fall in love with the latest fragrance, The Essence of Norway, from Laila Inc. Fragrance Designer Geir Ness will be available for a special appearance and signing from Noon to 6 p.m., each day, at The Puffin’s Roost in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. Learn more.

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January 19 – 25: Have you been waiting to meet artist Greg McCullough? Find him this month at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace. It’s never too late to add a new piece by Greg McCullough to your collection. Learn more.

We have many more events in store for you this year, so keep watching the Disney Parks Blog.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

January 2015 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

posted on December 15th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It’s a new year and we have new events waiting for you. Here’s a look at what merchandise events we have headed your way this January at the Disneyland Resort!

January 10-11: Join us as we welcome Hero Design Studio from 1–4 p.m., each day, at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

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January 16-17: Join us for a special artist showcase as we celebrate the release of some of the newest pieces by artists Jerrod Maruyama and Noah that are clearly out of this world. Meet the artists from 6-8 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

January 17-18: Meet ACME Archives artist Raymond Swanland who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his latest Star Wars-inspired pieces. Raymond will appear from 1–4 p.m., each day, at D Street in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

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January 17-18: Join us as we welcome The Little Red House from 1–4 p.m., each day, at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

January 24-25: Meet artist Drake Brodahl from 1–4 p.m., each day, at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

January 31 – Feb 1: Robinina will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 1–4 p.m., each day, at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

Which events have made your list of things to do?

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New Attraction-Themed Merchandise Debuts at Disney Parks

posted on December 11th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


There are several new collections debuting this month at Disney Parks, featuring many classic and new attractions. Let’s take a look!

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Sailing into your hearts this month is a vibrant collection themed to “it’s a small world” as it celebrates children and countries around the world. Look for the new logo to appear on youth and adult tees, a mug, tote, pin trading starter set and more. Select items from the “it’s a small world” collection can be found at “it’s a small world” toys in Disneyland park and World of Disney in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort. If you are planning a visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, we’ve got you covered. Look for the collection at Emporium in Magic Kingdom Park and Celebrity 5 & 10 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Before we jump into anything else, let’s take a trip back in time with the Time Traveling Mater collection which harkens back to when Radiator Springs came to be and how Stanley and Lizzie first met. Of course, when it comes to Mater telling one of his stories, it “all started last week.” You’ll find classic “Cars” characters like Lizzie, Lightning McQueen, Mater and Stanley captured in key moments in time on youth and adult tees, fleece, a tankard, pin and keychain. The rest, as you know, is history. Select items from this collection can be found at Radiator Springs Curios, Ramone’s House of Body Art as well as Sarge’s Surplus Hut.

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Adventurers get ready, because you’ll want to trek over to Rushin’ River Outfitters. Inspired by the Grizzly River Run attraction in Disney California Adventure park comes a line of tees, fleece, a beach towel (to dry off after your rafting expedition), a woven throw (to keep you warm at night), a tumbler, magnet and pins. Keep an eye out for Mickey and his friends on the new items and find the one that best suits your style.

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Finally, I consider this next collection a scream, or California Screamin’, to be exact. My favorite part about it is obviously the tagline which reads “If You’ve Got The Nerve, We’ve Got The Speed” and of course, the priceless expressions from our trio of heroes, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. The new collection features a photo frame to capture your own screamin’ moment from the attraction, a t-shirt, tumbler and pin. Tip: These items can be found at a kiosk located adjacent to the attraction.

Which collection is your favorite?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

A Shopper’s Guide to Holiday Gifts at the Disneyland Resort

posted on December 10th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Are you puzzled about what to get your friends and family this holiday season? I stopped by some of our Disneyland Resort locations to see what’s in-store and to find out what’s made the top of the list from some of our resident experts.

What’s on your holiday list?

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New ALEX AND ANI Bangles Debut in Time for the Holidays at Disney Parks

posted on December 3rd, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


As you all know, I’m an avid fan of ALEX AND ANI! So, when I see new bangles on the horizon that are what I consider ‘must-haves’ for the holidays, I want to share them with all of you. Here’s your first look at some of the new styles headed to Disney Parks.

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Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you! It All Started With A Mouse and Hakuna Matata are the first pieces in a new collection, Words Are Powerful, inspired by Disney sayings. These bangles will be available in Shiny Silver and Yellow Gold finishes beginning December 15. Also debuting is the 2015 Dated bangle featuring Mickey Mouse, a perfect way to commemorate your visit to the parks next year! This bangle will be available beginning December 15 in Rafaelian Gold and Rafaelian Silver finishes.

Look for these new bangles at locations throughout the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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Charmed? I know I am! Which bangle will you add to your collection this holiday season?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort