Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

‘Frozen’ Pre-Parade Delights Guests at Disneyland Park

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


This summer, the beloved characters from Disney’s phenomenal hit movie, “Frozen,” have ventured beyond Arendelle on a whirlwind tour of neighboring kingdoms, including Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom of Disneyland park. When visiting Disneyland, Anna and “happy snowman” Olaf glide down the parade route on a magical snowdrift, conjured by Queen Elsa. Have a look:

You can catch your “Frozen” friends in this special pre-parade appearance, just ahead of each day’s first performance of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.

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Keeping the ‘Frozen Summer Fun’ Going at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on August 7th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Since last month’s debut of “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios,” Olaf the snowman has really been enjoying his very first summer vacation. Our guests have been having an icy blast, too, being part of Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome, singing along during “For the First Time in Forever: A ‘Frozen’ Sing-Along Celebration,” and ice-skating and playing in the snow at Wandering Oaken’s Frozen Funland!
"Frozen Summer Fun Live!" at Disney's Hollywood Studios

This popular special event was originally set to melt away September 1, but who says summer has to end on Labor Day? After all, it’s warm and sunny much of the year in Central Florida! Now Olaf – and many of you – will be pleased to hear that due to popular demand, “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!” is being extended through September 28!

You can enjoy “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!” for an additional four weeks. Most entertainment and other features will continue daily, while the “Frozen Fireworks” Spectacular will be presented each night through September 1 (with the exception of August 23), and then switch to Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, September 5-28.

Who else is excited for one more month of “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!”? Let us know in the Comments what you’re most looking forward to doing – or doing again – when you visit.

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‘Big Hero 6’ Coming to Disney Parks This Fall

posted on August 6th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


With all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who’s catapulted into the midst of a dangerous plot and must transform his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—and a diverse group of friends into a band of high-tech heroes.

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We’re excited to announce today that Hiro and his huggable buddy Baymax will be flying to Disney Parks this fall, visiting both the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort to greet fans. Look for more details in the coming weeks on where and when you’ll be able to meet these new Disney heroes! And look for “Big Hero 6” to hit theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014, here’s a look at the trailer:

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Be Prepared for ‘Villains Unleashed’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on July 23rd, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


We’re just one month out from August 23, the night a record number of Disney villains – more than 50 in all – will invade Disney’s Hollywood Studios as part of the park’s new, separately ticketed event, “Villains Unleashed.” While some of the surprises being planned for this one-night-only party remain hidden under a cloak of mystery, other tantalizing details are beginning to emerge, and it’s shaping up to be one fiendishly fun evening!
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  • Hades Hangout - The party kicks off at 8 p.m. at the main event stage, where hosts Hades, Megara, Pain and Panic are killing ‘em with comedy. They’re joined throughout the night by the Underworld Dancers, DJ Igg Nite, live music from Bernie Briquette and Brimstone, and a rogues gallery of roaming rottens, from the Queen of Hearts and Sheriff of Nottingham to the Big Bad Wolf and Captain Hook.
  • Villains Dominion – For this one special night, the Streets of America area of the park will be swarming with baddies. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to meet favorites like Cruella De Vil, Jafar, Dr. Facilier and Gaston, along with more rarely seen baddies such as Shan Yu from “Mulan,” Bowler Hat Guy from “Meet the Robinsons,” or Captain Gantu and Dr. Hämsterviel from “Lilo & Stitch: The Series.” In addition to these dedicated villain encounters, you may spot even more wandering evildoers in the area. Look for Judge Claude Frollo, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella, and more!
  • The Dark Side – During “Villains Unleashed,” the area around Star Tours – The Adventures Continue becomes a wretched hive of scum and villainy, the place to find nefarious bounty hunter Boba Fett, Sith apprentice Darth Maul, and the ultimate villain – Darth Vader! And that’s not all! Wandering the area, you’ll stumble upon more malcontents from that galaxy far, far away: Zam Wessel, Aurra Sing, Asajj Ventress, Jango Fett, Greedo, Jawas, and others.
  • Villainous Encounters – Visit Stage 4 (where The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction is seen during the day), and you can “Parlay” with the one and only Hector Barbossa. And just around the corner in the Animation Courtyard is where you’ll discover a bit of the Moors, where you can have an audience with the mistress of all evil, Maleficent!
  • Oogie Boogie’s Freaky Funhouse Show – Over on Sunset Boulevard, Theater of the Stars presents a production of extreme performances, hosted by the original master of scare-monies, Oogie Boogie. It’s an all-new show that’s sure to thrill!
  • Fantasmic! Strolling up Sunset Boulevard, a gang of villainous henchmen, known as the Night Crawlers, tempt you to join them for a special pre-show to the evening’s performance of Fantasmic!, itself a celebration of the power and intrigue of some of the greatest Disney villains.
  • “Villainy in the Sky” Fireworks – Ultimately, Hades summons Maleficent to the main event stage to close things out with a devilishly dazzling display of pyrotechnics!

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And there’s more! You can get a Villains ExScream Makeover with complimentary face painting at stations around Echo Lake, join in on one of the dance parties taking place in the park, and enjoy a wicked cabaret atmosphere – not to mention some delectable, small-plate menu items – at Club Evil in the Hollywood Brown Derby.

For fans of Disney’s darker characters, “Villains Unleashed” promises to be a nightmare come true! It’s all happening one night only, August 23, 2014, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You won’t want to miss it, so get your tickets now, before they all disappear!

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Don’t Let Time Run Out! Experience Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on July 10th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


We’re halfway through the 10-week run of Harambe Nights, our new special event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrating the 20th anniversary of “The Lion King.” Guests have been raving about the African-inspired cuisine, the street party entertainment, the celebrity narrators, and the live orchestra and choir for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.”

New Harambe Nights Evening Spectacular at Disney's Animal Kingdom Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of "The Lion King"

Held inside the newly built Harambe Theatre, “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” is a 55-minute theatrical experience created exclusively for Harambe Nights and completely different from the “Festival of the Lion King” show presented during the daytime. In fact, today we have for you a unique look at how the Harambe Theatre is transformed from day to night, as our Entertainment team sets the stage for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.”

From Viola Davis to David Alan Grier, each celebrity narrator who has participated in “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” has brought his or her own unique talent and passion to the performance. The lineup of narrators features stars from movies, TV, and Broadway. Scheduled to appear on upcoming nights are*:

  • July 12 – Harry Lennix: “The Blacklist,” “The Five Heartbeats”
  • July 19 – Joe Morton: “Scandal,” “American Gangster,” “The Good Wife”
  • July 26 – Alfre Woodard: “Desperate Housewives,” “Miss Evers Boys”
  • August 2 – Brian Stokes Mitchell: “Ragtime,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Glee”
  • August 9 – Patina Miller: “Pippin,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”

The first five weeks of Harambe Nights were all sold out, but great seats are still available for each of the remaining dates in July and August. You’ll need to act fast, though! Tickets are $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Your ticket includes parking, a welcome reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” show, two hours of additional live entertainment during the Harambe Nights Street Party, and an abundant dinner buffet. For tickets, visit Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights or call 407-939-1319.

For an even more in-depth look at “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild,” follow the links below to our previous stories here on Disney Parks Blog.

(*Entertainment subject to change)

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Exclusive ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Sneak Peek Debuts July 4 at Disney Parks

posted on July 3rd, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Beginning tomorrow, July 4, and continuing through mid-August, guests at Disney Parks on both coasts will be able to enjoy an exclusive sneak peek of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the latest exciting adventure from the studio that brought you “The Avengers.”

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This special, extended sneak peek of the film will play daily in spectacular RealD 3D at the ABC Sound Studio at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. You’ll also be able to catch it at Disneyland park in California, at the Magic Eye Theater in Tomorrowland, where it will be presented in 3D with special in-theater effects.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” stars Chris Pratt as space adventurer Peter Quill, who is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of ragtag misfits in order to evade a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe.

I’ve got a feeling “Guardians of the Galaxy” is going to be a special kind of awesome! Who else is excited and ready to join us for the sneak peek in the parks this month? Let us know in the “Comments” section below, and make plans now to catch “Guardians of the Galaxy,” when the movie releases in U.S. theaters on August 1, 2014.

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Celebrating Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 30th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


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Independence Day is coming up, and the parks at Walt Disney World Resort are planning to celebrate with some star-spangled salutes to America in honor of our nation’s 238th birthday!

If you’re visiting Walt Disney World Resort for the 4th of July, here is some of what you can look forward to:

  • 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 some favorite Disney characters in patriotic attire outside The American Adventure, and catch the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps at the pavilion at 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4 p.m., and 4:45 p.m. That evening, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” joins the celebration at 10 p.m., with a heart-pounding, pyrotechnic grand finale.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration” at the Sorcerer’s Hat Stage on July 4, features the “Rock Your Summer Side” Dance Party, with a DJ and live band. The Hollywood Rockers will take you on a rock ‘n roll road trip across America that culminates with the band playing live during that night’s fireworks spectacular. The celebration kicks off at 6 p.m. and continues through 11 p.m., with fireworks 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, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and Disneyland Resort is gearing up to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, concerts, and more! Here’s a look at some of the star-spangled highlights we’ve got planned for next week:

  • Disneyland park – “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” rockets into the air above Sleeping Beauty Castle. This special, fireworks spectacular will be presented on four different nights, July 1 – 4 at 9:25 p.m.

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  • 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band – This outstanding military band from Miramar, California, is returning to Disneyland park for another year! The band will be performing several times throughout the day on Friday, July 4.
    • Catch the band in a brief cavalcade along the parade route at 3:30 p.m., just ahead of the “Frozenpre-parade and the first performance of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.
    • The band will help retire the colors at the Disneyland park flag retreat ceremony in Town Square at 5:30 p.m.
    • Immediately following the flag retreat, at 5:45 p.m., the full band will perform along the parade route, all the way back to “it’s a small world.”
    • Finally, you can enjoy the full band in concert on the stage of the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, starting at 7:15 p.m.

  • Disney California Adventure park – On July 4, a special patriotic pre-show will be presented at the start of both the 9 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. performances of “World of Color.”
  • “Glow With the Show” – Don’t forget to bring along your “Glow with the Show” Ears (or pick up a pair)! Those interactive, light-up Ear Hats magically become part of the fireworks at Disneyland park and “World of Color” and its patriotic pre-show at Disney California Adventure park.

To help you get in the spirit, here’s a look at last year’s production of “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” Who’s ready for some red, white, and blue?!

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Get Ready to Experience ‘Frozen’ Summer Fun – Live at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on June 26th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Like Olaf, have you ever closed your eyes and imagined yourself in another place? In summer, maybe? At Walt Disney World Resort? Or perhaps in the snow-covered kingdom of Arendelle, from Disney’s instant classic, “Frozen.” Why not all three?! After all, the hot and the cold are both so intense, if you put them together it just makes sense! And that’s just what we’re doing as part of an incredible new experience.

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This summer, the world of “Frozen” takes center stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We’re opening up the gates July 5 for a summer-long happening, featuring a full day of all-new, immersive “Frozen” experiences you won’t want to miss, every day through September 1!

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Olaf on Summer Vacation – Olaf the snowman is having the time of his life on his very first summer vacation! He chimes in throughout the day to keep everyone updated on all his adventures. Plus, you can pick up your very own Take-Along Olaf from locations in the park, so he can join you on your summer vacation. And when you share your photos with Olaf on social media, be sure to tag them with #OlafSummerVacation. They may just get selected to appear in that day’s grand finale!
  • Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome – At 11:00 a.m. each day, Elsa and Anna arrive in Hollywood as part of their goodwill tour of neighboring kingdoms, making their way down Hollywood Boulevard in a horse-drawn sleigh. Kristoff is along for the fun, too, joined by a flurry of skaters, skiiers, ice cutters and more! The entire procession culminates in a special moment at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage to officially welcome the visiting royalty to this kingdom of Hollywoodland.
  • For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration – Cool down inside the Premiere Theater, where Anna and Elsa join the Royal Historians of Arendelle for a fun and comedic retelling of the unique history of their Kingdom, filled with delightful, sing-along moments from “Frozen.”
  • Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland – Inside Soundstage One, Oaken and his cousins have created a Frozen Funland filled with cold weather activities, unique photo opportunities, and more! There’s a frozen pond with ice skating demonstrations, wintertime fun for kids in the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” play area, a “big summer blowout” with plenty of “Frozen” merchandise, and special “Frozen”-inspired food and beverage offerings.
  • “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party – Starting at 5:30 p.m. each day, a dance party takes over the area around the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage, with a DJ, live band, and more! The band plays a variety of classic and contemporary summer rock & roll hits, as well as a cool, rocking medley of “Frozen” favorites. It’s going to be hot!
  • “Frozen” Fireworks Spectacular – Everything wraps up at 9:45 p.m. when Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf come together at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage for a grand finale to the day’s festivities, kicking off an awe-inspiring fireworks display set to the glorious music of “Frozen!”

I don’t know if I’m elated or … well, you know!

If you’re somewhere in that zone, like me, you’re already bursting with anticipation for “Frozen Summer Fun – Live at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.” Starting July 5, the sky will be blue, and you guys will be there, too! It’s going to be a great summer for snowmen, royalty, and anyone who’s a fan of “Frozen!”

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Seeing Stars During Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on June 23rd, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


“The Lion King – Concert in the Wild,” the incredible theatrical experience produced for Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, celebrates the 20th anniversary of “The Lion King.” This all-new show is a 55-minute retelling of Simba’s story as never seen before, combining music, dance, and spoken word, all performed in the spirit and style of African cultural traditions.

In “The Lion King,” Simba’s father, Mufasa, invites him to look to the stars. “The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars,” he says. “So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you, and so will I.”

This and other wonderful messages and moments from that classic film have resonated with people the world over, including the stars participating as celebrity narrators for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.” For the opening night performance earlier this month, we were honored to be joined by Viola Davis, Tony award winner and Oscar nominated star of “The Help,” “Doubt,” and the upcoming ABC drama “How to Get Away with Murder.” She shared with us her impressions of the performance, as well as her personal connection to one of the main messages of the film.

Harambe Nights continues every Saturday evening through August 9, 2014. The lineup of celebrity guest narrators features acclaimed and award-winning actors and actresses from film, TV, and Broadway, each bringing their own passion for “The Lion King” story. Scheduled to appear*:

  • June 28 David Alan Grier: “Porgy & Bess,” “In Living Color” – SOLD OUT
  • July 5Michael Beach: “ER,” “Third Watch,” “Sons of Anarchy” – SOLD OUT
  • July 12Harry Lennix: “The Blacklist,” “The Five Heartbeats”
  • July 19Joe Morton: “Scandal,” “American Gangster,” “The Good Wife”
  • July 26Alfre Woodard: “Desperate Housewives,” “Miss Evers Boys”
  • August 2Brian Stokes Mitchell: “Ragtime,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Glee”
  • August 9Patina Miller: “Pippin,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”

Every event night so far has sold out, but great seats are still available for each of the remaining dates in July and August. You’ll need to act fast, though! Tickets are $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax, and include parking, a Welcome Reception, “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild,” two hours of additional live entertainment during the Harambe Nights Street Party, and abundant food and drinks throughout the evening. For tickets, visit Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights or call 407-939-1319.

(*Entertainment subject to change)

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