Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe it’s already 2015. (I think that’s a sign I’m getting old.) And with every New Year, I always seem to talk about New Year Resolutions. Maybe I’ll eat better or start a workout regiment in 2015? If only I had a workout buddy like Goofy. Working out with him would be much more fun. Just look at him shooting hoops aboard Disney Cruise Line in February 2000.
Here’s to year of great fun (and working out, I suppose).
We sure had a lot to celebrate at Disney Parks in 2014, and some of the milestones we experienced this year were memorable ones, with “Frozen” fun debuting at our parks, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opening and much more.
That said, here are my top 10 picks for moments that will go down in Disney history for 2014.
- Avengers Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort – Thousands of guests dressed as their favorite superhero joined the mad dash through the Disneyland Resort as a part of the very first Avengers Half Marathon. Did you #SmashTheHalf?
- Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Announces First-Ever Disney Ambassador – For the first time in history, Aulani welcomed their first Disney Ambassador to represent the resort and engage our guests, cast and community. Janelle Sanqui, Aulani’s first Disney Ambassador, worked in Workforce Management at the resort and was born in Hawaii.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Reopens at Disneyland Park – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopened at Disneyland park back in March. The enhanced attraction debuted with upgraded track, a restored Rainbow Ridge Mining Town and other surprises.
- Themed Hotels Announced for Shanghai Disneyland – In November, we announced that two new themed hotels are planned as a part of Shanghai Disney Resort – the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and the Toy Story Hotel.
- Downtown Disney Announcements – Several announcements were made for new restaurants coming to the shopping, dining and entertainment area at Walt Disney World Resort, including three new restaurants – Morimoto Asia, THE BOATHOUSE and STK Orlando.
- “Frozen Summer Fun” Debuts At Disney’s Hollywood Studios – The first official “Frozen” entertainment offerings made their debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in July. The fun included “Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome” procession, For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration, Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland – and a whole lot of excited guests!
- L’Aventure Totalement Toquee De Remy (Ratatouille) Attraction Opens At Disneyland Park (Paris) – This attraction, and its surrounding La Place de Rémy Courtyard, officially opened July 10, 2014.
- Oswald Begins Greeting Guests At Disney California Adventure Park – This historic Disney character made his first ever appearance at a Disney Park this year. Oswald was one of Walt Disney’s first major animated characters ever developed. Learn more about him here.
- “Disney Festival Of Fantasy Parade” Steps Off at Magic Kingdom Park – March 10 marked the arrival of a wonderful new daytime parade at Magic Kingdom Park. A fire-breathing Maleficent, anyone?
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Opens at Magic Kingdom Park – The final New Fantasyland attraction made its debut at the park on May 28. Have you seen these amazing Audio-Animatronics figures?
Which moment was your favorite? Would you add anything to our list? Let us know in the “Comments” section below!
Merry Christmas from vintage Walt Disney World! Here’s a glimpse at Mickey and Minnie trimming their tree back in 1989. Happy Holidays!
See below for more posts about Vintage Walt Disney World:
Fans growing up watching the Disney Afternoon would have been in for a real treat had this foursome shown up at their doorstep caroling in 1990. Below Chip, Dale, Scrooge McDuck, and Zummi Gummi are captured warming up their vocal chords. I wonder if they’re any good at four-part harmony?
Mrs. Claus must have needed some Florida sunshine back in 1994 when she stopped by Magic Kingdom Park. Looks like everyone was having the happiest of holidays. I wonder if this trip was Santa approved?
There’s a lot of shouting for joy over at the America Gardens Theater at Epcot now that the Candlelight Processional has started for the holiday season. The Candlelight Processional has been a holiday tradition at Disney Parks dating back to 1958 at Disneyland park.
Before moving to Epcot in 1994, the Candlelight Processional was performed at Magic Kingdom Park. Below is a look at the Processional being performed in front of Cinderella Castle in 1980 and in front of the Main Street Train Station in 1983.
Candlelight Processional is presented at Epcot three times nightly through December 30th.
Symbolizing the interconnected nature of all living things, the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom rises up from the center of Discovery Island at the park. Soaring over 140 feet into the air, the Tree of Life hadn’t “grown” any of its 100,000+ leaves yet in January 1997.
The 14-story tree is 50 feet wide at its base with roots that spread 170 feet in diameter. More than 8,000 branches make up the foliage that spreads 160 feet over the park below.
Soaring 130 feet into the air with a 32,000 lb. set of Mouse Ears, the Earffel Tower has been home to Disney’s Hollywood Studios since its opening. In November 1987, the park’s logo still hadn’t been painted on the side while construction carried on around it.
While the Earffel Tower is not used to hold water, it was inspired by the working water tower in Burbank, Calif. landmark at the Disney Studios since 1939.
For more about the icons at Walt Disney World Resort, visit the posts below:
There is no mistaking you’re at Epcot when there’s a 16 million pound, 180 feet high geodesic sphere greeting you. Spaceship Earth has been the icon of Epcot since the park opened. In August of 1981, Spaceship Earth was beginning to take shape.
Did you know Spaceship Earth stands on legs 15 feet above ground level? It took over 40,000 hours of labor to build this unique icon covered with over 11,000 aluminum facets.
Read on for more posts about Epcot in the “Vintage Walt Disney World” series:
Every Thursday throughout the month of November, I’ll be sharing photographs of our theme park icons “in the making” at Walt Disney World Resort. This week, we’re taking a look at Cinderella Castle. Soaring 189 feet into the sky, this world-famous castle fit for a princess was still under construction in February 1971.
Boasting 18 towers, this centerpiece of Walt Disney World Resort and the icon of Magic Kingdom Park had its color palate carefully selected as to complement and not compete with the blue skies of Central Florida.