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The Royal Theatre at Disneyland Park Set to Revisit the Tale As Old As Time

posted on January 29th, 2016 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


We recently told you about the return of “Tangled” to Fantasy Faire at Disneyland park. Today, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we announce the illustrious storytelling troupe of the Royal Theatre will also once again weave the romantic, comedic tale of “Beauty and the Beast.”

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You’re invited to be our guest later this spring, when Messieurs Smythe and Jones take us on an adventure in the great wide somewhere for a whimsical retelling of how Belle and the Beast met and fell in love – all with a happily ever after at the end, naturally!

With “Beauty and the Beast” returning to the program at the Royal Theatre, it’s time for Mr. Jones to finally hang up his snowman outfit. After delighting audiences for more than a year, the troupe’s “Frozen” fun retelling of Anna and Elsa’s story will soon melt away, but not until they’ve had a few more encores of “Let It Go.”

We’ll share dates for this transition as soon as they’re available. In the meantime, the players will be dusting off their Beast and Gaston impressions and getting ready to warble a “song as old as rhyme.”

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TradNation Brings a French Canadian Musical Tradition to Epcot

posted on January 20th, 2016 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


The rich, cultural heritage of French Québec has come alive at the Canada Pavilion in World Showcase, with the introduction of musical performances by TradNation.

In Québécois tradition, music is often a community experience that brings families, friends and neighbors together to play at every opportunity, from front porches to festival stages. TradNation features a broad repertoire, including traditional songs as well as original family compositions passed down through generations.

Come on by the Mill Stage, and immerse yourself in this interactive, musical celebration of life! You can catch this limited engangement of TradNation five days a week in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot.

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Discover the Real World Research Behind Walt Disney Animation Studios’ ‘Zootopia’ in a New Exhibit Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on January 20th, 2016 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


In Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll soon be able to explore a new exhibit that delves into some of the behind-the-scenes research that went into the production of Disney’s upcoming comedic adventure “Zootopia.”

At Walt Disney Animation Studios, the journey in making every film begins with research. In order to create the rich and engaging modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia and its wide variety of animal inhabitants, the filmmakers spent 18 months studying animals and their habitats. Their very first stop was Disney’s Animal Kingdom in March 2014, where they worked closely with the park’s team of animal care professionals.

“Research is such an important part of every animated film we make at Disney, and for ‘Zootopia’ our research began at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to meet with some of the best animal experts in the world,” said Clark Spencer, the Oscar®-nominated producer of “Zootopia.” “Everything that we learned about animal behaviors, personalities and movement our artists incorporated into the world of ‘Zootopia,’ and to now be able to share those discoveries and influences with the guests at the park is truly a full circle moment.”

The ‘Zootopia’ exhibit opens January 29 inside Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Beginning this week, you can also catch our special sneak preview of scenes from “Zootopia,” giving you an advance look at several clips from the upcoming film. The sneak peek opens as part of the One Man’s Dream attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Thursday, January 21, and comes to the Bug’s Life Theater at Disney California Adventure park this Friday, January 22.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia,” directed by Byron Howard (“Tangled,” “Bolt”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Simpsons”) and co-directed by Jared Bush (“Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero”), opens in theaters on March 4 in 3D.

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Prepare to Encounter Star Wars Villain Kylo Ren at Disney Parks

posted on January 15th, 2016 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become a global phenomenon, and soon guests at Disney Parks will be able to interact with one of the film’s most intriguing new characters, Kylo Ren.

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Every day at Disney Parks, you can step into exciting Star Wars experiences such as Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple” and Star Wars Launch Bay, where you can come face to face with some of the greatest heroes and villains of the saga. Soon, a visit to Star Wars Launch Bay at either Disneyland park or Disney’s Hollywood Studios will transport you to the Star Wars galaxy for an encounter with Kylo Ren on the bridge of his First Order Star Destroyer.

As seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is a dark warrior with a mysterious past. Ren is strong with the Force and serves as a leader of the First Order, seeking to destroy the New Republic, the Resistance and the legacy of the Jedi.

Star Wars Launch Bay was designed to showcase a variety of Star Wars characters over time. In addition to Kylo Ren, you may also come across a garrison of First Order Stormtroopers or the heroic Wookiee, Chewbacca, holed up in a secret Resistance base.

The portal from Star Wars Launch Bay to Kylo Ren’s Star Destroyer opens at Disneyland park and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios next month.

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‘Tangled’ Returns to the Royal Theatre at Disneyland Park

posted on January 13th, 2016 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Here comes the smolder.

If you’ve had a dream that the “Tangled” show would return to the Royal Theatre at Disneyland park, then this Friday will be your Best. Day. Ever.

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On the stage of the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire, the hair-raising tale of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider will once again come to life through the inimitable storytelling talents of resident Renaissance men, Messieurs Smythe and Jones. With the assistance of some fellow villagers and a little help from the audience, these lovers of legend and lore weave their version of “Tangled” with equal doses of music, whimsy, humor and heart.

Winner of an IAAPA Brass Ring Award in 2013, “The Royal Theatre Presents ‘Tangled’” will play in repertory with Smythe and Jones’s adaptation of “Frozen,” each performed several times daily starting January 15.

Huzzah!

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Happy Zoo Year! Sneak Preview of Scenes from Disney’s ‘Zootopia’ Coming Soon to Disney Parks

posted on December 31st, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


UPDATE 1/20/16: “Zootopia” preview comes to the Bug’s Life Theater at Disney California Adventure park Friday, Jan. 22.

It’s Zoo Year’s Eve! To celebrate, we’re thrilled to announce that beginning January 21, Guests visiting Disney Parks will be able to catch a preview of scenes from Disney’s hysterical comedy-adventure “Zootopia” in sneak peeks planned for Disney California Adventure park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

At Disney California Adventure park, the “Zootopia” preview will be presented at the Bug’s Life Theater with special in-theater effects. Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get to see this advance look at clips from the film as part of the One Man’s Dream attraction on Mickey Avenue.

Imagine an entire world populated by animals, living together in habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown. This modern mammal metropolis is the setting of “Zootopia,” opening in theaters in 3D March 4.

Zootopia is a melting pot, where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when rookie Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, con-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery.

Here’s your first look at the new trailer for “Zootopia” featuring the all-new original song, “Try Everything,” which is written by singer-songwriter Sia and songwriting duo Stargate, and performed by Grammy® winner Shakira.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia,” directed by Byron Howard (“Tangled,” “Bolt”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Simpsons”), and produced by Clark Spencer (“Wreck-It Ralph”), opens in theaters on March 4 in 3D.

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Top 10 Entertainment Experiences at Disney Parks in 2015

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


It’s been another unforgettable year at Disney Parks, and our Creative Entertainment team has had a blast producing amazing new entertainment experiences for you to enjoy. In fact, the team has been so busy, this year’s Top 5 had to be expanded to a Top 10!

  1. Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the original Disneyland park was far and away the biggest event of the year, bringing with it the debut of three new nighttime spectaculars: “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, “World of Color – Celebrate!” and the award-winning “Paint the Night” parade.
  1. Tangled: The Musical – This terrific stage adaptation of the tale of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, a Disney Cruise Line exclusive complete with three new songs from Composer Alan Menken, premiered on the Disney Magic in November.

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  1. Inside Out – Riley’s Emotions from the Disney•Pixar hit “Inside Out” made their Disney Parks debut last summer at Disney California Adventure park, arriving on a pre-parade float designed to look like Headquarters from the film. Later in the year, Joy and Sadness made their way to Hong Kong Disneyland, where they appeared in a limited-time character greeting experience.

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  1. More “Frozen” FunAnna, Elsa and Olaf were as popular as ever in 2015, traveling the world to bring a bit of Arendelle to Disney’s kingdoms on three continents. Unique “Frozen” entertainment experiences included sing-along celebrations, playgrounds with real snow, processionals through the parks and deck parties on Disney Cruise Line.

Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade ‘Dreamlights’

  1. Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade “Dreamlights – This popular nighttime parade at Tokyo Disney Resort received an upgrade last summer, with an all-new “Tangled” float and seven other floats that were enhanced with dazzling new technological features.
  1. King Triton’s Concert – In the spring, Mermaid Lagoon Theater at Tokyo DisneySea saw the debut of this award-winning musical show that combines dynamic performances with puppetry, projections, Audio-Animatronics and special effects.

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  1. Halloween – The Halloween season was bigger than ever at Disney Parks in 2015, with new shows opening around the world. The headliner was “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” at Magic Kingdom Park, starring the inimitable Sanderson Sisters. Other shows included “It’s Good to be Bad” with the Disney Villains at Disneyland Paris, “The Villains’ World” on Mediterranean Harbor at Tokyo DisneySea and several “Lost in Ghost Town” experiences as part of Haunted Halloween at Hong Kong Disneyland.

  1. Hong Kong Disneyland 10th Anniversary – Hong Kong Disneyland also marked their 10th anniversary this year, kicking off a year-long “Happily Ever After” celebration with the newly enhanced “Disney in the Stars” fireworks spectacular and the delightful new stage show, “Mickey and the Wondrous Book.”

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  1. Sunset Showcase – An all-new entertainment venue opened this fall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, designed to host a variety of different experiences over time. The premier engagement at Sunset Showcase is Club Disney, a super fun hangout filled with music, dancing, Disney characters and more. A special evening event, Club Villain, comes to the Sunset Showcase starting January 16, and more plans are in the works for the future.

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  1. Star Wars – The Force has awakened at Disney Parks with the openings of Star Wars Launch Bay and “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple” at both Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are now also thrilling to nightly performances of “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular,” an epic fireworks show featuring some of the most iconic music and audio clips from the entire “Star Wars” saga.

There’s been quite a lot happening in the world of Creative Entertainment this year, and 2016 promises to be greater still with additions like “Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, an incredible new stage production of “Frozen” at Disney California Adventure park, the opening of Shanghai Disneyland and so much more.

Keep reading Disney Parks Blog all year long, and we’ll keep you up to speed on all the excitement to come. Happy new year!

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Special New Year’s Eve Entertainment at Walt Disney World Resort

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


As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. Well, 2015 has certainly been fun, and now here we are on the cusp of another incredible new year! For those of you planning to welcome 2016 at Walt Disney World Resort, we have quite a party planned for you. Here’s a rundown of some of the entertainment lined up for this year’s celebration.

Walt Disney World Resort Sends 2012 out with a Bang

  • Epcot – It’s a night-long party throughout Epcot, with unique entertainment including a DJ and light show at the Future World Fountain Stage, dancing under flame effects and a smoke-billowing dragon in China, a British blast to the past in United Kingdom, Euro-pop and lasers in Italy, a Latin band and DJ on the America Gardens Stage and a “Silent DJ” party in Japan. Cap it all off with one of two showings of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.” The 6:00 p.m. show will include our holiday finale, while the 11:40 p.m. performance will be followed by a countdown and pyrotechnic salute to the New Year.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Ring in a most unforgettable New Year with a Disney character dance party at Center Stage, leading up to fantastic fireworks set to the soundtrack of favorite films and memorable moments from across Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (Note: ‘Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular’ will not be presented on Dec. 31)
  • Magic Kingdom Park – You can get a head start on the festivities, with a special New Year’s Eve eve presentation of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at 11:50 p.m. on Wednesday, December 30. The same show will be repeated on December 31. For families looking to wrap things up a little earlier, both nights will also feature the Holiday Wishes New Year’s Celebration at 6:30 p.m., complete with expanded fireworks and a New Year’s Eve countdown.

If you can’t join us in person for New Year’s Eve, be sure to tune in right here to Disney Parks Blog, where we’ll be hosting a live stream of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks, direct from Magic Kingdom Park on December 31. Watch for more details coming soon!

So tell me… What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

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Enjoy a Gift of Laughter at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the Return of ‘The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special’ December 19

posted on December 18th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special” is coming back to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for its fifth year, performing December 19, 2015, through January 3, 2016, at the park’s Premiere Theater.

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This uproariously funny show, back by popular demand, will have you laughing all the way this holiday season. “The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special” is a family-friendly improvisational comedy show, where our cast of seasoned performers takes suggestions from guests to invent festive poems, scenarios, songs and stories. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving, since every performance is different thanks to input and interaction from the audience.

“’The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special’ is like a family reunion of the cast of the former Comedy Warehouse on Pleasure Island,” said Show Director Chris Oyen. “We’re so happy to be able to bring everyone together again for the holiday season and to put on this show. It’s a gift from our family to yours!”

Look for “The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special” on Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, near The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Starting this Saturday, you can catch the show six times daily, with performances scheduled between 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. – just before the lights go on for the night!

(Please note that the show schedule will be modified for New Year’s Eve, with eight showings between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m.)

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Acoustic Group Quickstep Debuts in the United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot

posted on November 25th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


There’s a new sound on the streets of the United Kingdom pavilion, as the band Quickstep has made their Epcot debut. Quickstep is a four-member group whose authentic songs draw from Scottish, English and Irish traditions. They bring lively, acoustic performances, featuring fiddle, flute, highland bagpipes, a traditional Irish frame drum and more.

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Acoustic Group Quickstep Debuts in the United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot Acoustic Group Quickstep Debuts in the United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot

You can catch Quickstep every Wednesday to Sunday, just off the High Street along Tudor Lane at the United Kingdom pavilion at Epcot.

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