Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Rave Reviews for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park

posted on April 15th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


I recently asked Disneyland park guests to review the newly refurbished Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. While it was the return of a Frontierland favorite for some and a pioneer trip on the train for others, all passengers agreed it’s still the “wildest ride in the wilderness.”

Have you had a chance to take a tour on the runaway ghost train since it reopened? If so, what did you think?

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Eggs-traordinary Art at the Springtime Roundup at Disneyland Park

posted on April 14th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


There are dozens of reasons to visit the Springtime Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Disneyland park, but seeing egg artisan Ray Brown in action is definitely a fan favorite. Ray is part of an elite team who create ‘eggs’-tra special works of art each day by designing, painting and sculpting the oval shapes into one-of-a-kind Disney characters. Recently Ray shared some of his top tips for creating the perfect egg with us:

Come visit the Springtime Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree through April 20!

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Lama Pa`ipa`i Time at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel

posted on April 9th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


If you’re looking for a quiet, tranquil place to unwind, check out the torch-lit terrace at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel. However, if you want to party like the tiki gods, I dare you to go inside! Sam, head salesman of the jungle, has a space at the bar for even the most adventurous tourist. Exotic elixirs like the Uh Oa!, named after the tiki goddess of disaster, Shrunken Zombie Head and HippopotoMai-Tai are served up in style by bold and courageous bartenders. The video below gives a glimpse of how water, fire and ice (sometimes blended) all come together to make up one-of-a-kind cocktails behind the doors of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.

Have you been to see Sam? If so what’s your preferred potion?

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts

‘Egg’-citement Awaits at the Springtime Roundup at Disneyland Park

posted on April 4th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Mr. Easter Bunny has been spotted and he’s at the Springtime Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Disneyland park! Other rare hare sightings include Br’er Rabbit, White Rabbit, Thumper and more. So bunny hop your way down and check the furry fun now now through April 20.

Splash Mountain is my favorite attraction at the Disneyland Resort, so seeing Br’er Rabbit was the best for me! Who is your favorite Disney rabbit?

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A Look Back: Behind the Scenes of the Re-imagined “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Park

posted on March 31st, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


It’s hard to believe it has been five years since the new dolls were added to “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park. I had the privilege to sit down with Imagineer Kim Irvine and several of the attraction’s magic-makers before “the happiest cruise that ever sailed ‘round the world” re-opened to guests back in 2009. As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” I thought it would be fun to revisit this video and share it with you.

I have to say, the North America scene with the Woody, Jessie and Bullseye toys is still my favorite addition. What’s yours?

Join in the 50th anniversary celebration of “it’s a small world” at SmallWorld50.com.

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Behind the Sounds: Inside Audio Central at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on March 18th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


At Disney California Adventure park, behind The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, lies Audio Central, one of the most important areas in all of Disneyland Resort. I recently spoke with Stage Technician Brian White, who explained how audio engineers make the magic of music come to life each day.

Audio Central Fun Facts:

  • Engineers control 209 full-range parade speakers and 114 subwoofers along the parade route, while controlling more than 250 background music zones in restrooms, restaurants, stores, attraction queues and more.
  • Engineers monitor 43 different cameras: 21 along the parade route, 17 for “World of Color” and 5 at additional entertainment locations.
  • During the 2013 holiday season, Audio Central was responsible for 31 shows each day: one Pixar Play Parade, five performances of “Phineas and Ferb’s Rockin’ Rollin’ Dance Party: Holiday Edition,” six Disney ¡Viva Navidad! street parties, ten Five & Dime performances, six Red Car Trolley News Boys shows, one tree lighting ceremony and two performances of “World of Color.” These are shows that actively require a technician as an operator. The system simultaneously runs a number of smaller events on its own throughout the day.
  • Disneyland park has its own Audio Central, located on Main Street, U.S.A., just above the Main Street Opera House.
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13 Magical Moments at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on February 7th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


It’s hard to believe it has been 13 years since Disney California Adventure park officially opened for guests. From construction to Cars Land, here’s a look back at some of the most memorable moments.

In honor of the 13th anniversary tomorrow, what is your favorite memory at Disney California Adventure park? Leave you answer in the comments below!

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Welcome to the Plaza Inn at Disneyland Park

posted on February 4th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


When I think of the Plaza Inn on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park, I can virtually smell the fried chicken … yum! However, there’s so much more to this iconic restaurant if you take the time to look around when you stop in. The video below features Steve Valkenburg, who has had the pleasure of working there for more than 30 years, along with historical footage of Walt Disney describing what would eventually become one of his favorite restaurants in Disneyland.

What’s your favorite feature at the Plaza Inn?

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Filed: Cast Member Profiles, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Disney Legend Bob Gurr on Creating the Disneyland Monorail

posted on January 24th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


After reading Erin Glover’s interesting series on the history of the Disneyland Monorail, I was reminded of an interview I did with former Imagineer and Disney Legend Bob Gurr for the attraction’s 45th anniversary and rededication.

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 10 years since I had the pleasure of meeting Bob, but after watching the interview again I wanted to create this video to share his stories with you. Enjoy!

Next time you visit the Disneyland Monorail, be sure to look for the plaque from the June 14, 2004, rededication.
Monorail-Plaque

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The Making of ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday Clock Show at Disneyland Park

posted on December 11th, 2013 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new “it’s a small world” Holiday Clock Show in Disneyland park, now is the time. I spoke with co-designer and animator Lisa Bradley before the show debuted and she gave me a glimpse at just how intricate the details are for the virtual décor that can be seen every fifteen minutes after dark.

“it’s a small world” Holiday Clock Show Fun Facts:

  • There are 980 pieces of candy in the gingerbread scene.
  • The train in the toy section is placed in the same location the actual Disneyland Railroad trains cross as they pass by the attraction.
  • There are 232 gears in the clock section.
  • The blocks in the toy factory scene represent Disneyland Resort cast members who worked on the show.
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