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Today in Disney History: ‘Hocus Pocus’ Casts a Spell in Theaters

posted on July 16th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


On July 16, 1993, Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” opened in theaters, and the world was introduced to those wacky and wicked Sanderson sisters: Mary (Kathy Najimy), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Winifred (Bette Midler). After wreaking havoc on Salem, Massachusetts, the sisters returned to the great beyond, only to be heard from during annual Halloween showings of the movie on Disney Channel.

Now, 22 years later, the Sanderson sisters are set to return during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, in the all-new show “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.” Winifred, Mary and Sarah will have only a few hours to run amuck, using their magic and the power of some fiendish Disney villains to throw the best, evil Halloween party this side of the graveyard!

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The show will feature memorable songs from the film, like “Come Little Children” and “I Put a Spell on You,” along with appearances by Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent and more.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be held on select nights at Magic Kingdom Park, beginning September 15. Tickets are still available, but will go quickly, so be sure to get yours soon.

My family likes to go the party early in the run and stretch out the Halloween fun as long as possible. Plus, this year I just don’t think I can wait until October to see “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular!” In fact, I might even have to fire up my Disney Movies Anywhere app and watch “Hocus Pocus” tonight! Who’s with me?

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Celebrating the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 29th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Independence Day is coming up, and the parks at Walt Disney World Resort are planning to celebrate our nation’s 239th birthday with some star-spangled salutes to America!

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If you’re visiting Walt Disney World Resort for the 4th of July, here are some highlights of the special entertainment planned for that day:

  • Magic Kingdom Park “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” rockets into the air above Cinderella Castle. This special, fireworks spectacular will be presented two nights in a row, at 9 p.m. on both July 3 and 4.
  • Epcot On July 4, enjoy a special concert of great American songs by Voices of Liberty at America Gardens Theater, where they’ll be performing at 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 3 p.m. You can also meet Chip ‘n’ Dale in patriotic attire outside The American Adventure, and at 10 p.m. that evening “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” joins the celebration with the addition of a heart-pounding, all-American grand finale.
  • Disney’s Hollywood StudiosThe “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party leads up to a “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration,” as the sky above Disney’s Hollywood Studios ignites in a shower of shimmering light for a pyrotechnic, rock ‘n roll road trip across America. The DJ kicks things off at 5:45 p.m. and keeps the party going until fireworks time at 10:15 p.m.

Looks like the 4th of July is going to be a blast all across Walt Disney World Resort!

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Celebrating the Fourth of July at Disneyland Resort

posted on June 26th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues all summer long, honoring 60 years of the Happiest Place on Earth, and on July 4th we’ll also be saluting 239 years of the United States of America with some special Independence Day entertainment.

'DISNEYLAND FOREVER' SPARKLES IN THE NIGHT SKY -- 'Disneyland Forever,' a new fireworks spectacular at the Disneyland Resort, illuminates the sky above Sleeping Beauty Castle. 'Disneyland Forever' transports guests into the worlds of beloved Disney and Disney•Pixar films through traditional pyrotechnics, innovative projection mapping technology and surprising special effects. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

  • Disneyland park – “Disneyland Forever,” the all-new street-to-sky fireworks spectacular, will be presented July 4 at 9:30 p.m. Following the show on that night only will be a patriotic, pyrotechnic grand finale to celebrate America’s birthday.
  • Disney California Adventure park – On July 4, a special pyrotechnic water display will be presented at the start of all three performances of the new “World of Color – Celebrate!” at 9 p.m., 10:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.
  • Military Bands – Several outstanding Air Force and Marine bands will be performing at locations throughout the Disneyland Resort, from July 2–6. Be sure to check out Kevin’s original post for all the details!

Who’s ready for some red, white and blue?!

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Say ‘Wingapo!’ to Pocahontas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on June 23rd, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


As we mark the 20th anniversary of Disney’s “Pocahontas” today, fans of the Powhatan princess now have a lovely new spot to meet her, just around the riverbend.

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Pocahontas has made the journey down river to the Discovery Island Character Landing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where she has stepped ashore to meet friends old and new. You can find her there throughout the day, in a setting filled with details inspired by her adventures.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the only place to meet Pocahontas at Walt Disney World Resort, and the park is also the exclusive home to several other popular characters who can’t be found anywhere else. During your next visit, look for Tarzan, Rafiki from “The Lion King,” Dug and Russell from Disney•Pixar’sUp” and Baloo and Louie from “The Jungle Book.”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments!

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Special Look at ‘Ant-Man’ Begins Today at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on June 19th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Are you ready for “Ant-Man“?

Our sneak peek of the next evolution of Super Hero movies begins this weekend at Disney California Adventure park. Starting today, head over to the Bug’s Life Theater for an advance look at scenes from the upcoming adventure film, “Ant-Man,” presented in 3D with special in-theater effects and a display of the original Ant-Man suit from the film.

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“Ant-Man,” directed by Peyton Reed and starring Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym, introduces us to a hero armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength. Master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

“Ant-Man” opens in theaters on July 17, 2015.

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Disney•Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ Pre-Parade Starts Today at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on June 19th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Our celebration of Disney•Pixar’s original film “Inside Out” starts today at Disney California Adventure park with special, pre-parade appearances by the movie’s main characters, the five Emotions: Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness.

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Arriving just ahead of daily performances of Pixar Play Parade, the “Inside Out” pre-parade brings these five new characters and their colorful, curious world right through the heart of Disney California Adventure park, allowing them to experience for the first time all the sights, sounds, smells and excitement of a day in a Disney park.

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Bringing an innovative storytelling approach to audiences, the film “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind of Riley and introduces us to the Emotions that guide her. Based in Headquarters, the five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy, whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. “Inside Out” is directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Up”) and produced by Jonas Rivera (“Up”) with an original score by Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”).

The “Inside Out” pre-parade continues daily all summer long, and you can also catch Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” in theaters everywhere this weekend!

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Frozen Summer Fun Is Set to Cool Down Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on June 15th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


There’s a chill in the air. Have you felt it? A little snow cloud is descending upon Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and soon there will be frozen fractals all around as we open up the gates to the 2015 edition of Frozen Summer Fun!

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This summer-long special event starts Wednesday, bringing with it a full day of “Frozen” fun from park open to park close. Here are the highlights of what’s new this year:

Frozen Royal Welcome – This procession of Arendelle’s finest happens twice each day, and this year Olaf is joining the fun. You’ll get to see Anna and Kristoff, of course, and Elsa makes an appearance on an all-new ice palace float!

Olaf’s Summer Cool Down – This new show on the event stage at the center of the park brings Olaf and some of his friends to have a little fun with everyone “In Summer.” And as temperatures heat up, Olaf happily shares a burst from his personal snow cloud to cool things off.

Frozen Fever – Head into the ABC Sound Studio to enjoy special screenings of the new animated short “Frozen Fever,” along with a peek behind the scenes at the making of the film.

For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration – This popular show moves into the beautiful Hyperion Theater at the heart of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where you’ll discover all-new in-theater effects and special appearances by Anna, Elsa and Kristoff.

“Frozen” Fireworks – Following the “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party, Olaf returns to the event stage with Anna, Elsa and Kristoff for a grand finale to the day’s festivities, kicking off an awe-inspiring fireworks display set to the glorious music of “Frozen” and, of course, a flurry of snow!

Frozen Summer Fun begins June 17 and continues through September 7, 2015. Maybe it’s the party talking or the chocolate fondue, but I’m really looking forward to checking out all the new features of this year’s event! What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.

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A Guest of Star Wars Weekends, Frank Oz Will Be

posted on June 12th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Are you looking for one of the greatest stars of the Star Wars saga? Well, fear not. After all, fear is the path to the Dark Side. You seek Yoda. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Yoda you shall find!

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Our very special guest this weekend is none other than Frank Oz, the man who brought to life the most powerful Jedi Master of all time. Beyond his portrayal of Yoda in Star Wars, Frank Oz is also a noted director and the award-winning performer behind lovable Muppets Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal and more. This weekend, you’ll be able to see Frank Oz in the “Legends of the Force” celebrity motorcade on Hollywood Blvd. and at Theater of the Stars, where he’ll share stories of his illustrious career during “A Conversation with Frank Oz.”

For this year’s final weekend, you will find yourself among a galaxy of Star Wars stars. Here’s the full list of those scheduled to appear:

  • Event Host James Arnold Taylor: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Frank Oz: Yoda (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: A New Hope; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
  • Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)

Adventure! Excitement! A Jedi craves not these things, but Star Wars Weekends fans sure do! And this weekend promises to be the most adventurous and exciting yet.

Who is planning to join us as we “iris out” and bid farewell to Star Wars Weekends 2015? Let us know in the comments, and may the Force be with you. Always.

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‘Frozen Fever’ Added to the Lineup of Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on June 5th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


There’s little more than a week left until the start of Frozen Summer Fun, starting June 17 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This event already promises a day filled with all things “Frozen,” from the “Frozen Royal Welcome” in the morning to “Frozen” Fireworks at night. Now, “Frozen” fans, we’re really making the day a perfect day for you with the addition of special screenings of the new animated short, “Frozen Fever.”

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Created by the same filmmaking team who brought us the original animated hit, “Frozen Fever” takes us back to Arendelle where Elsa has been planning the best birthday ever for her sister Anna. On the big day, though, Elsa comes down with a cold, producing some surprising and hilarious consequences.

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“Frozen Fever” debuted in theaters with Disney’s live-action “Cinderella” and will be available for the first time to own as part of the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection, coming to Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on August 11 and to Blu-ray August 18.

During Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll be able to enjoy the new animated short “Frozen Fever,” along with a peek behind the scenes at the making of the film. “Frozen Fever” will be showing at the ABC Sound Studio, twice each hour beginning at 10 a.m. daily from June 17 – September 7.

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See an Exclusive Sneak Peek of ‘Ant-Man’ at Disney California Adventure Park Starting June 19

posted on June 5th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Imagine a Super Hero the size of an insect – the ultimate secret weapon. That’s Ant-Man, and heroes don’t get any bigger.

Soon, you’ll be able to get a glimpse of the next evolution of Super Hero when the Bug’s Life Theater at Disney California Adventure park hosts a sneak peek of the high-stakes, tension-filled adventure “Ant-Man,” starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Peña and Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym.

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For a limited time starting June 19, this special preview will give you an advance look at scenes from the film, presented in 3D with in-theater effects that can only be experienced at Disney Parks. And don’t miss the opportunity to check out the Ant-Man suit from the film, also on display at Bug’s Life Theater.

“Ant-Man” brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time. Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

The “Ant-Man” sneak peek begins June 19 at Disney California Adventure park, and you can catch the complete film when it opens in theaters on July 17, 2015.

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