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‘Festival of the Lion King’ Cast Get a First Look at the New Harambe Theatre

posted on May 8th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


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The Harambe Theatre is nearing completion in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When it opens in June, the theater will be the new home for the immensely popular show, “Festival of the Lion King.” We tagged along recently, as the cast of “Festival of the Lion King” got a first look at their new theater, both onstage and backstage.

The cast is busy rehearsing in the Harambe Theatre now, getting everything ready for the triumphant return of this thrilling, musical extravaganza in just a few weeks!

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“Rivers of Light” Nighttime Spectacular Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on May 2nd, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


As we’ve shared here on Disney Parks Blog, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is about to undergo the largest expansion in the park’s history. Among other exciting projects, the years ahead will see the addition of all-new entertainment experiences, including a new nighttime spectacular.

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“Rivers of Light” promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting our guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

We look forward to sharing more details on the Disney Parks Blog in the future – about “Rivers of Light” and other new entertainment experiences coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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Celebrate the Grandest Tales and Tastes of Africa During Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on May 2nd, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


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Where were you when “The Lion King” came out in 1994? I was a tour guide at The Magic of Disney Animation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where several sequences featuring young Simba had been animated. It’s hard to believe, but this summer marks the 20th anniversary of that now-classic film. In honor of the epic tale of “The Lion King,” Disney’s Animal Kingdom is prepared to stage a special celebration event like no other.

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It all begins with a Welcome Reception in the park’s Harambe Village, including mouth-watering appetizers and African-inspired wine and beer. Then it’s time for the ‘mane’ event! Take your seat inside the newly built Harambe Theatre for an unforgettable performance of “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.” This all-new, never-before-seen theatrical experience features a live orchestra and choir, dancers, digitally projected movie moments, and dramatic lighting and scenic elements – all hosted by a celebrity guest narrator. The show brings to life the humor, heart, and stirring emotional power of Simba’s journey to find his place as the Lion King.

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The lineup of celebrity narrators for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” features stars from movies, TV, and Broadway. Those scheduled to appear each night of the event include*:

  • June 7 – Viola Davis: “The Help,” “Ender’s Game”
  • June 14 – TBD
  • June 21 – Montego Glover: “The Following,” “Memphis”
  • June 28 – David Alan Grier: “Porgy & Bess,” “In Living Color”
  • July 5 – Michael Beach: “ER,” “Third Watch,” “Sons of Anarchy”
  • 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”

After the show, the celebration continues with the Harambe Nights Street Party, filled with music, characters, and live performers, encouraging everyone to join in and “Go wild!” You can enjoy an all-inclusive buffet of sophisticated and flavorful African cuisine and gourmet desserts. Exclusive Lion King merchandise and collectibles will be available for purchase during the event, and you’ll want to stick around for a special finale to bid “kwaherini” to a magical evening that could only happen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Harambe Nights takes place every Saturday from June 7 – August 9, 2014, with the Welcome Reception starting at 7 p.m. and a 7:30 p.m. show time. Tickets are $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Tickets with premium floor seating are $134 for adults, $94 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Capacity is limited, so you’ll want to go ahead and get your tickets by visiting Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights or calling 407-939-1319.

(*Entertainment subject to change)

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The Doc is In! Doc McStuffins Visits Disney California Adventure Park Starting May 5

posted on April 28th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


“It’s time for your check up!”

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Disney Junior fans are in for a real treat this summer! Dottie “Doc” McStuffins will be making special appearances at Disney California Adventure park, for a limited time beginning May 5 and continuing through the end of July. You’ll be able to meet her in Hollywood Land near “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!”

Since debuting in 2012, “Doc McStuffins” has become one of the most popular shows on Disney Junior. Doc is a nurturing, six-year-old girl who can talk to the stuffed animals and toys she cares for in her playhouse clinic, diagnosing their “ouchies” with help from her mom (a real doctor) and her Big Book of Boo Boos. The acclaimed, Emmy-nominated series airs daily on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

If you have a little one in your family who would love to meet Doc McStuffins, you’ll want to head out to Disney California Adventure park this summer. Soon, you’ll all be singing, “I feel better, so much better!”

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Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Makes His Debut at Tokyo DisneySea

posted on April 1st, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was Walt Disney’s first animated star, appearing on screen before even Mickey Mouse. After a long absence, Oswald is back home with his Disney family and has made his official debut at Disney Parks! Arriving just in time for the spring celebrations at Tokyo Disney Resort, Oswald has found a special place to meet his fans and make new friends.
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Over the years, Oswald’s adventures have taken him around the world and through a variety of occupations, from trolley conductor to lifeguard. In the Cape Cod section of American Waterfront at Tokyo DisneySea, he’s playing the role of a farmer greeting friends at his charming little produce stand, stocked with fresh eggs and flowers for the season.
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Oswald considers himself one lucky rabbit to have finally made it to Disney Parks, and he’s just silly with excitement to meet everyone coming to Tokyo Disney Resort this spring!

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May the Fourth Be With You! Two New Star Wars-Themed Character Dining Experiences May 4-June 15 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on March 28th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


The Force is strong this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

As Gary Buchanan has been sharing with everyone here on Disney Parks Blog, there’s a galaxy full of fun and excitement planned for this year’s Star Wars Weekends. Now there’s even more Star Wars fun coming your way with two new, out-of-this-world character dining experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Guests will be able to start their day with the “Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast” at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. Inside, it’s a long time ago in a drive-in far, far away, where out-of-this-world breakfast delicacies are accompanied by thrilling movie moments from the Star Wars saga. Guests may encounter Darth Vader and other Star Wars film characters as they appear to step right off the screen to join the fun.

At dinner, famous Disney pals get dressed up as their favorite Star Wars characters for “Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood & Vine.” Wearing his very own Jedi robe, Mickey joins a host of characters at guests’ tables for an intergalactic celebration of the saga, complete with Star Wars music, interactive moments and a delectable dinner buffet.

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Best of all, these exciting new character dining experiences won’t just be offered during Star Wars Weekends event days. Both experiences start May the 4th (known informally by many fans around the globe each year as “Star Wars Day”) and will continue to be offered daily through June 15, 2014.

Price of the breakfast experience is $47.99 for adults and $29.99 for children. The dinner experience is $55.99 for adults and $33.99 for children, or as part of the “Fantasmic!” Dinner Package at a price of adults $59.99 and $36.99 for children. Both experiences include a digital photograph. (Taxes and gratuity are not included in these prices.)

To book these experiences, guests can call 407-WDW-DINE or online at disneyworld.com/spring.

I can’t wait to take my boys to this. Who else is making reservations?

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Fun Times Are Blooming at the Springtime Roundup at Disneyland Park

posted on March 14th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit Disneyland park. From Main Street, U.S.A. to Tomorrowland, the park is in full bloom, and this year, that spring color is spreading even further with the debut season of the Springtime Roundup.

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Starting March 28, Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland will be decked out in flowers and other springtime décor. Some of your favorite Disney characters will be stopping by to meet you, along with Mr. Easter Bunny and a carrot patch of famous Disney rabbits. Also several times each day, an energetic country band takes the stage, as a group of dancing cowboys and cowgirls come together for a lively hoedown and “bunny hop” that will get you off your feet and joining right in!

Springtime Roundup is going to bring all that excitement, plus egg art demonstrations, fun crafts, yummy treats and more. It all kicks off March 28 at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and keeps going all the way to April 20, so hop on down the Big Thunder Trail and join the fun!

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Captain America Arrives at Disneyland Park in Anaheim March 7

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


The excitement continues to build as Captain America makes his way to Disneyland park in Anaheim this spring, just in time for the April 4 theatrical release of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”!

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While Captain America may still be struggling to find his place in the modern world, you’ll soon be able to find him in Captain America: The Living Legend and Symbol of Courage, part of Innoventions at Disneyland park in Anaheim. Here, Captain America will stand proud in a patriotic setting befitting the First Avenger, ready to greet friends and fans alike. And when visiting Innoventions, you can also experience Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries and Thor: Treasures of Asgard.

Captain America is set to arrive at Disneyland park in Anaheim, starting March 7. Are you looking forward to meeting him this spring? Let us know in the “Comments” section.

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‘Frozen’ Fun at Disney Parks

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


How many times have you seen “Frozen?”

Audiences around the world have fallen in love with the movie and its music, making “Frozen” one of Disney’s biggest hits of all time! And today I have an update for you on Anna and Elsa, the royal sisters from the film, who have been spotted at Disney Parks since November.

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With things in Arendelle well in hand, Anna and Elsa plan to continue visiting guests at the parks for the foreseeable future. When at Disneyland Resort, they can be found in Fantasyland in Disneyland park, and you can meet them in Norway at Epcot when they make their way to Walt Disney World Resort. While you’re in Norway, be sure to check out the new “Norsk Kultur” gallery, with an exhibit exploring how the culture and beauty of Norway inspired the filmmakers in the creation of “Frozen.”

Over at Magic Kingdom Park, Anna and Elsa will be joining the new daytime spectacular, “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade,” next month as part of the Princess Garden, along with fellow Disney Royals Belle, Cinderella, and Tiana. And in the evening, you can take in a performance of “Celebrate the Magic,” the nighttime projection show that transforms Cinderella Castle with eye-popping visuals from Disney animated classics, including “Frozen.”

So you may not be able to build any snowmen on your next Disney Parks vacation, but you can definitely count on warm hugs and lots of “Frozen” fun!

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First Make Their Debut at Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on January 27th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Two of the biggest stars from Disney Junior, Doc McStuffins and Sofia from “Sofia the First,” have joined the cast of Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine.

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As part of this character dining experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, kids have the chance to meet Doc, Sofia, Handy Manny and Jake from “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.” And during special musical moments throughout breakfast and lunch, they’re invited to get up and join in the fun with the characters and our Disney Junior Play Pals.

In fact, an all-new musical moment has been added, with favorite songs from the TV shows, “Doc McStuffins” and “Sofia the First.” Doc and the Play Pals get everyone to stretch and flex, so they’re “Ready for Action,” while Princess Sofia helps the Play Pals remind their friends that they can do “Anything.”

Of course, the “Hot Dog Song” from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Talk Like a Pirate,” and other popular tunes are still part of the fun, so Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine offers something for every Disney Junior fan!

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