Disney's Electrical Parade

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Comes to Life in Family’s Yard

posted on June 13th, 2011 by Tony Shepherd, Producer, Broadcast Marketing


If you enjoyed watching Disney Parks dreams come true in the Bradburn family’s backyard on HGTV’s “My Yard Goes Disney” – then great news, that was just the beginning!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Comes to Life in the Parker Family’s Yard

Tonight’s episode features the Parker family, and we think you’ll love how the show’s creators worked to bring the magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom roaring to life behind their home. The centerpiece of their yard is a very large, very old tree – and it brought our own Tree of Life at the park to mind immediately. But it isn’t the only connection to this special place.

HGTV Designers and the Parker Family

You see, this extraordinary family has adopted six – yes, you read that right – six children from different regions of Africa. The HGTV Designers, taking inspiration from our own Imagineers, bring Disney magic from the park into their yard and at the same time, work in fantastic touches that pay tribute to the children’s home country!

The day we filmed with the family at the park was so much fun. Our team loved hanging out with this energetic bunch. You’ll see footage of them playing in Dino Land – and that was the hardest part of the entire shoot: trying to wrap it up. The kids didn’t want to stop playing!! But as you’ll soon see, they now have a pretty cool Animal Kingdom of their own to jump around in.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Comes to Life in the Parker Family’s Yard Parkers Seeing<br />
Their Backyard Plan Revealed for the First Time

I love getting to share some “backstage magic” with you, so here are a couple of “behind-the-scenes” photos from filming. I especially love the shot from one of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s best-kept-secret locations – Lower Bradley Falls – where the Parkers saw their backyard plan revealed for the first time.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Comes to Life in the Parker Family’s Yard

Finally… your response to the first episode of HGTV’s “My Yard Goes Disney” has truly been overwhelming. We LOVE your ideas for Disney-inspired backyards. Who knows? Maybe yours will be next, so we want to hear more.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Sneak Peek: ‘My Yard Goes Disney’

posted on June 6th, 2011 by Tony Shepherd, Producer, Broadcast Marketing


I’ve always said that I have THE best job at the Disney Parks. As a producer, I get to make television dreams come true at the Walt Disney World Resort, the Disneyland Resort and Disney Cruise Line. Every day, I work with television networks, production companies, and incredibly talented filmmakers as they tell stories that feature the Disney Destinations.

Sneak Peek: ‘My Yard Goes Disney’

I’ve been at Disney for nearly seven years, and “My Yard Goes Disney” quickly became one of my favorite projects. As the series was being developed, working with the show’s creators has been such an exciting time. How about this for a fun gig: Planning magical days of filming in the Parks (and on the Disney Dream) that featured our families enjoying the very attractions and elements that inspired their future back yards.

Sneak Peek: ‘My Yard Goes Disney’ - Before Sneak Peek: ‘My Yard Goes Disney’ - After

The first episode, featuring the Bradburn family, took us to both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. To watch the thrill in Tommy and Angie’s eyes as they got to meet one of the Walt Disney World Railroad’s train engineers up close and personal… or the extraordinary moment when daughter Maddie got to dance with Tinkerbell in the Fairy Garden at this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival…. These aren’t just memories that will last a lifetime for them, but for me as well.

Sneak Peek: ‘My Yard Goes Disney’

See how those memories went home with them in “My Yard Goes Disney,” on HGTV tonight at 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central. Here’s a sneak peek at tonight’s magical backyard transformation.

Check back here for a behind-the-scenes look at a backyard inspired by Disney’s Animal Kingdom. So, which Disney theme park would you want to see in your backyard? Please let us know in the comments.

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort