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Celebrities Help Announce Disney Junior’s Give a Book, Get a Book and a Donation of up to 1 Million Books

posted on April 15th, 2014 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Disney Junior announced its new Give a Book, Get a Book program in a big way this past weekend, as Disney Junior stars Ariel Winter and Tim Gunn (of “Sofia the First“) and David Arquette (of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates“) performed a storybook reading at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Anaheim, Calif.

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Through Give a Book, Get a Book, Disney will partner with First Book to provide for the donation of up to 1 million books to U.S. communities in need, and also present families with free digital books from Disney Publishing Worldwide. The program includes a redemption code offering a free Disney Digital book and a way for families to experience giving back by donating books to the community of their choice after purchasing a specially-marked Disney Junior book or product.

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Families and children gathered around at the Disneyland Hotel to listen to the celebrity readers. They also enjoyed hearing a story read by LeVar Burton, children’s literacy advocate and Cofounder and Curator-in-Chief of the award-winning Reading Rainbow app. Burton spoke about the importance of building literacy and of storytelling in the digital age.

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Storytelling is the foundation of Give a Book, Get a Book, designed to inspire parents and caregivers to spend time each day sharing stories that help develop the critical thinking, vocabulary and language skills a preschooler needs. The initiative includes public service announcements, interactive Radio Disney events, and free story time events at Boys & Girls Clubs of America Disney Store locations, starting April 21.

Details are available at the new website, www.giveabookgetabook.com. Families can find online activities there and also access resources that promote the value of storytelling.

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Eat-Shop-Play Guide to Holidays at the Disneyland Resort: Tips from a Disney Parks Moms Panelist

posted on December 18th, 2013 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


For the past two years, Amanda Ficili has been the Disneyland Resort panelist on the Disney Parks Moms Panel, answering all kinds of questions from people who are planning a visit. She offers a mom’s keen insights, tips on where to eat, fun ideas for all ages and lots more. I caught up with Amanda to get some holiday recommendations for Disney Parks Blog readers.

She loves the soundtrack in the new “World of Color – Winter Dreams” and the silly snowman Olaf. She also recommends the food and festivities at “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

From her long list of tips, I narrowed it down to an Eat-Shop-Play Holiday Guide, with “must-dos” to experience before the end of the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort on January 6.

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Eat: Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge is a beautiful place to sit down for a holiday meal, and there’s a special holiday menu the week before Christmas. You can you reserve a table online. If you’re looking for more of a pit stop, swing by Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land, where holiday tunes are rocking from the juke box and lights are twinkling from the record-clad Christmas trees. Flo’s V8 Cafe serves delicious comfort food and a holiday version of the “Ugly Crust Pie” – Pear and Cream Cheese. Meals for the little ones arrive in a winter-themed Lightning McQueen car lunchbox.

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Shop: From a holiday Duffy the Disney Bear to Disney-themed ornaments, there are plenty of gift ideas at the Disneyland Resort. Two favorites are the glass ornaments that can be personalized, and any item from Beautifully Disney, the new line of cosmetics that includes blush, eye shadow, nail polish and lip gloss. If you can’t decide, Disney Gift Cards are always a hit with the Disney fan on your list.
'it's a small world' Holiday at Disneyland Resort

Play: Along with the fun attractions, be sure to see the amazing shows, stunning Christmas trees and holiday décor, too.

    • Celebrate holidays around the world with a cruise through “it’s a small world” Holiday in Disneyland park. Plan your voyage in the evening and you’ll see the exterior shining with thousands of dazzling lights, plus a charming animated show that’s projected onto the façade of the attraction.

 

 

    • Take the little ones to Jingle Jangle Jamboree at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland. It’s a great place to relax and let them play in the middle of a busy day, with games, crafts, cookie decorating and holiday cheer.

 

    • Don’t miss “Believe … in Holiday Magic,” the fireworks spectacular that sets the skies ablaze over Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle and concludes with snow falling over the park! Amanda’s favorite viewing location is from Main Street, U.S.A., looking at the castle. The snowfall is beautiful in New Orleans Square, too.

 

    • As you’re speeding into Cars Land over at Disney California Adventure park, stop at the entrance and snap your holiday photo with the Snow Car. You can also take photos throughout the parks with characters in holiday attire.

 

    • Step back in time to 1920s Los Angeles on Buena Vista Street, where every lamp post and shop window is adorned with elegant, vintage decorations. Look for Santa at his post in the Elias & Co. department store, and the Red Car Trolley News Boys, who woo you with familiar Christmas tunes.

Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your tips about the Merriest Place on Earth and for all your tips that help families plan their vacations to the Disneyland Resort.

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The Frightful Tale of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at the Disneyland Resort

posted on October 29th, 2013 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


We have shared lots of Halloween Time fun with you this season, from ghoulish goodies to the making of Haunted Mansion Holiday and the 13 surprises hidden in the rooms of the mansion. Now it’s time for for the spooky side of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, with a story worth a scream or two.

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Step back in time, to 1939 and a stormy Halloween Eve. A fateful bolt of lightning strikes the Hollywood Tower Hotel. An elevator plunges to the basement and its five passengers vanish. Guests hastily flee the hotel, leaving an “Out of Order” elevator with bent and damaged doors and a creepy library where the old-fashioned television suddenly comes alive — with the voice and image of “The Twilight Zone” host Rod Serling.

Today, the mysterious building remains locked in time in Disney California Adventure park. Crossing over into the The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, you’re invited to ride the hotel’s remaining service elevators and experience your own terrifying plunge.

If you’re bold enough to flirt with the fifth dimension, it’s a thrilling drop from the 13th floor in a high-speed, 21-passenger elevator. Before you step foot in the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, you may want to know more about its eerie details:

  • The ominous Hollywood Tower Hotel stands 183 feet tall, the tallest building in Anaheim.
  • The landscaping is designed to reflect what was typical of an upscale hotel in 1930s Southern California. Chinese flame trees, magnolias, and various palms accent the building. Look for the dead palm fronds, intentionally left on the trees for that “unkempt-by-design” look.
  • Music heard in the area includes popular tunes from the 1930s, such as “I Can’t Get Started With You” by Bunny Berigan, “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn, and “Mood Indigo” by Duke Ellington, all chosen for their timeless, haunting quality.
  • Artifacts fill the hotel lobby, all items “left behind” by guests who suddenly disappeared on that frightful Halloween in 1939. Scattered on tables and chairs are a pair of dusty wine glasses, a book, an unfinished postcard, a child’s doll and more.
  • Many of the props in the hotel are replicas that recall specific episodes of “The Twilight Zone” television series. The series originally ran on CBS, from 1959 to 1964. Rod Serling, its creator and host, wrote 92 of the original 156 episodes.
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Romantic Places at the Disneyland Resort

posted on February 13th, 2013 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


In a tribute to True Love Week, we’re showcasing 13 romantic places at the Disneyland Resort, hoping you’ll discover them this week for a special date, and enjoy them all year long. Some are classics and some may surprise you.

Carthay Circle Restaurant, One of Many Romantic Places at the Disneyland Resort

At Disney California Adventure park:

  1. Two seats in the balcony of Hyperion Theatre: Great for holding hands and watching “Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular,” starring Jasmine and Prince Ali.
  2. A booth at Flo’s V8 Café: Arrive just before dusk and watch the fun on Radiator Springs Racers as you sip a soda, with two straws.
  3. Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge: A terrace table overlooking Buena Vista Street at dusk captures the romance of a bygone era, a perfect match for a delicious meal with wine pairings.
  4. “World of Color”: Many a kiss has occurred during the “Love” sequence of this nighttime water show on Paradise Bay. The sequence features some of Disney’s romantic film couples.

Sleeping Beauty Castle, A Romantic Place at the Disneyland Resort

At Disneyland park:

  1. Sleeping Beauty Castle: Day in and day out, this one of the most popular places for a future groom to drop to one knee and ask for the hand of his fair princess.
  2. Hungry Bear Restaurant: A table by the water offers a quiet spot for an important question or a sweetheart photo.
  3. Blue Bayou: Be sure to reserve your table early at this popular restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean, and speak with a manager to assist in coordinating a special moment or table-service dinner proposal. (Cast members are a great resource at any of the Disneyland Resort table service restaurants.)
  4. Snow White Grotto (next to Sleeping Beauty Castle): Making a wish is a romantic notion, and it’s even dreamier at this special wishing well.
  5. Mark Twain Riverboat: How could your true love resist a nighttime ride on a riverboat, with twinkling lights, the splash of a paddle wheel, and a view that stretches across Frontierland and New Orleans Square?
  6. Court des Anges, New Orleans Square: One of the most beautiful places at the Disneyland Resort, the “Court of Angels” is a secluded courtyard with a winding staircase – an ideal spot for photos.

Fairy Tale Suite at the Disneyland Hotel

At Disneyland Resort hotels:

  1. Napa Rose patio: Dinner at Napa Rose can be romantic from any seat. Grab two spots around the firepit, on the patio just outside the lobby, and enjoy appetizers with a glass of wine on a starry evening.
  2. Fairy Tale Suite at the Disneyland Hotel: The décor and magical touches, fit for royalty, are a dream come true for your special occasion.
  3. Disneyland Hotel Rose Court Garden: Often the site of weddings, the garden is also alluring for a romantic stroll, with more than 800 lovely rose bushes.

What’s your favorite romantic place at Disneyland Resort?

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Eight Ways to Enjoy Disney California Adventure Park: The Flavors

posted on February 12th, 2013 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


If you’re a foodie, you know how delicious the Disneyland Resort can be. And if you’re not a foodie, there are so many flavors at the new Disney California Adventure park that the food itself becomes an experience to savor. Whether it’s the sauces at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, the grilled meat and pita bread at Paradise Garden Grill or the handcrafted cocktails at Carthay Circle Lounge, there’s so much to please your palate.
The Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café at Disney California Adventure Park

This is the last in our series about fun ways to enjoy the newly reopened Disney California Adventure park. With the park’s grand reopening last June, Cars Land and Buena Vista Street brought even more tempting food and beverages to the menu.

Today’s list of places to visit at Disney California Adventure park is for guests who appreciate small bites and fine dining, gourmet meals and comfort food, specialty chocolate and fresh fruit.

 
Check out more posts from the “Eight Ways to Enjoy Disney California Adventure Park” series:

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Eight Ways to Enjoy Disney California Adventure Park: A Shopper’s Paradise

posted on January 7th, 2013 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


With all the new shops along Buena Vista Street and in Cars Land, you need to reserve time in your day for shopping at Disney California Adventure park. It’s always fun to browse for souvenirs, knowing you’ll find something special to take home as a memory from that day. Will it be a Piston Cup trophy, an autograph book, a collectible pin or a new Vinylmation?
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As part of our series on the many ways to visit Disney California Adventure park, here’s a list of new shops to visit and some of the items you’ll find there.

  • Oswald’s (autograph books, hats, bags and souvenirs)
  • Los Feliz Five & Dime (T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, figurines, souvenirs and character merchandise)
  • Big Top Toys (interactive toys, games and plush)
  • Elias & Co. (posters, clothing, souvenirs and collectible items)
  • Trolley Treats (candy, handmade treats and the Rock Candy Mountain in the window)
  • Radiator Springs Curios (Cars Land souvenirs)
  • Ramone’s House of Body Art (clothing and souvenirs)
  • Sarge’s Surplus Hut (clothing, hats, toys and plush)


For more from the “Eight Ways to Enjoy Disney California Adventure Park” series, see the posts below:

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Happy Haven: Mandara Spa at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

posted on January 3rd, 2013 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


We all know Disneyland Resort is the Happiest Place on Earth. But did you know that many people call the Mandara Spa the happiest spot inside the Happiest Place on Earth?

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After a long day walking the parks and riding attractions, you might also want to check out Mandara Spa at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Like most of the magic at Disneyland Resort, it’s the little things at Mandara Spa that make all the difference. The greeters at the front desk are all smiles, and they’re happy to answer questions. The aromatherapy is soft and pleasant, adding to the relaxing atmosphere. Therapists utilize Balinese practices, massaging the left side of the body and then moving to the right to achieve optimal results.

Be sure to ask an attendant which treatment might be best for your sore spots. Attalia Alverdes, the new manager at Mandara, said the hot stone massage is very popular. The smoothly rounded stones are heated to just the right temperature to make knotted-up muscles give a big sigh of relief.

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Facials also are very popular at Mandara and it offers a wonderful selection. To test it out, I chose the “Visibly Brilliant Facial.” The therapist suggested this one after we had chatted about how I wanted to feel when I went home: relaxed and hydrated. I also recommend the scalp treatment and the seaweed wrap massage. Next time, I want to try the “Thai Poultice Massage.”

One surprise was also one of my favorite things: The therapists are trained to wash a guest’s feet at the beginning of each treatment. It’s not just to soothe feet that may have taken 10,000 steps that day; it’s the theory that clean feet are necessary for the body to fully relax.

I thanked the staff profusely for their service, but I never got to give them the best compliment possible: When I got home that evening, I still felt like I was floating on a cloud and I enjoyed one of the most restful night’s sleep in a long while.

If you go: Mandara Spa is open seven days a week and you can make reservations by phone, 714-300-7350, or online at www.mandaraspa.com.

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Holidays at Disneyland Resort: The Magic Looks and Feels Different

posted on December 14th, 2012 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Lots of people visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks in the spring or summer, and they never see Disneyland Resort all decked out for the holidays. A new kind of magic happens this time of year that can take your breath away! Take it from our Disneyland rep on the Disney Moms Panel, Ari Krell: the parks feel like a different place during this special season.

Ari has been playing at Disneyland Resort since childhood, but this year was the first time he brought his family to visit for the holidays. He has a few tips to share if you’re visiting in the next few weeks.


Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates on the holiday season at Disney Parks, and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #DisneyHolidays.

For more news on the holiday at the Disneyland Resort, check out the posts below:

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Eight Ways to Enjoy Disney California Adventure Park: Find a Favorite Character

posted on December 5th, 2012 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Getting up close and personal with favorite characters is one of the best ways to enjoy a day at Disney California Adventure park. Something magical happens when you know a story in your head, and then that story leaps to life with classic Disney characters and Pixar pals. That princess from a storybook begins speaking to you in her enchanting voice. Or that wild guy Goofy is teaching you how to fly. Or maybe it’s Mater yukkin’ it up with you in Cars Land.

Mater in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

Have you been to visit Mater for the Holidays? He’s full of fun lines:

  • I asked Santy Claus fer a new headlight! (Honk, Honk)
  • I’m gonna be on yer holiday card … I just knowd it!
  • Hey – do ya like my hat? I’m all dressed up for the holiday!!
  • I met Santy Claus once. He needed a tow.

Today’s suggested itinerary is one in a series that invites you to explore Disney California Adventure park. With eight lands and more fun than ever, it’s a great place to play both day and night. Look for these characters the next time you visit.

Is one of these your favorite character? Or, do you have one to add to this list?

Read these past posts from Michele for more fun ways to enjoy Disney California Adventure park:

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Eight Ways to Enjoy Disney California Adventure Park: Nature Lovers

posted on November 7th, 2012 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Since the grand reopening of Disney California Adventure park, guests have discovered so many ways to enjoy all eight lands. To help you find the magic, we’ve shared a few specialized itineraries – for the thrill seeker, the fan of after-dark fun, show lovers and those seeking child’s play.
Horticulture at Disney California Adventure Park

This is the fifth in our series about fun ways to explore Disney California Adventure park. Today’s list of “must-sees” is for guests who appreciate the beauty of nature and the careful planning that goes into the horticulture that spreads across the park.

This itinerary invites nature lovers to “branch out” and observe the tall pines around Grizzly Peak, the small cacti in Radiator Springs and many of the 450 new trees planted in Cars Land. The addition of trees throughout the park adds shade for more guest comfort, too.

Have fun finding these species at Disney California Adventure park:

  • Golden State Winery Cork Oak at the Golden Vine Winery (Pacific Wharf)
  • Grizzly Peak Pine Trees
  • Ficus Auriculate – Roxburgh Fig (“a bug’s land”)
  • Cars Land “Ironwood” Tree – Olneya Tesota
  • Cars Land Claret Cup Cactus

Which are your favorite trees, plants or flowers?


Get more updates from Disney California Adventure park in the posts below:

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