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Dole Whip Swirls Up Excitement at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on July 25th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


Great news, Dole Whip fans! I am very pleased to announce that the iconic Disney Parks treat is now available at the Lava Shack at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa!

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You and your ‘ohana can visit the Lava Shack in the Waikolohe Valley from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and order a pineapple, vanilla or swirl Dole Whip. My favorite part – it’s self-serve!

The Lava Shack also offers pool and beach gear, in case you need to pick up any before your daily adventures.

What is your favorite treat to enjoy at Aulani? Leave your answer in the comments below!

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Filed: Aulani, Disney Dining, Disney Vacation Club, Hotels & Resorts

Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips: Top 5 Locations to Watch ‘Magical’ Fireworks Spectacular

posted on July 23rd, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


Last summer, my friend and fellow Disney Parks Blog author, Erin Glover, shared some of the best places to enjoy “Magical” fireworks spectacular at Disneyland park. Today, we continue the “Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips” series with a video of the top 5 locations to catch the show this summer.

Where is your favorite place to enjoy “Magical”? I prefer the center of Main Street, U.S.A., between Refreshment Corner and Main Street Photo Supply Co. Leave your answer in the comments below!


For more from the “Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips” series, check out the posts below:

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The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Splash Mountain at Disneyland Park

posted on July 18th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


In my opinion, Splash Mountain at Disneyland park is the quintessential E-ticket attraction. There is something about plunging down Chick-A-Pin Hill that has made it my “laughing place” for as long as I can remember. Yesterday was not only the 59th anniversary of Disneyland park, it also marked the 25th anniversary of this beloved attraction. Today, I’m positively thrilled to continue “The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling” series with an article from Critter Tales, a newspaper created by the animals of Critter Country, about the story of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear. In honor of the anniversary, enjoy this excerpt by Jasper P. Woodchuck about the story behind my favorite attraction, Splash Mountain.

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Towering up and above everything hereabouts is Splash Mountain. Used to be that once upon a time, Splash Mountain was called Chick-A-Pin Hill …

Nowadays, Brer Rabbit’s been living in a briar patch, deep in the heart of Splash Mountain. And not so long ago, old Brer Rabbit took it into his head that if he’d just up and leave his prickly home in the briar patch, then he’d be able to leave all his troubles behind, as well.

As soon as Brer Fox and Brer Bear got wind that Brer Rabbit was leaving his briar patch and setting out for an adventure, they decided to trap and catch him. Luckily for Brer Rabbit, he was able to trick Brer Bear into springing Brer Fox’s hastily devised rabbit trap. This made Brer Fox so furious that Brer Rabbit decided to play another trick on the two, and he began to tell them about a secret “laughing place” that only he knew about.

Sure enough, Brer Bear and Brer Fox followed that rabbit right to the foot of a twin oak tree … But instead of finding a laughing place, all Brer Bear found was honeybees. Suddenly, the rotted old tree gave way with a snap and pitched Brer Fox and Brer Bear into a darkened, water-filled cavern, buzzing with hundreds of angry bees.

Brer Rabbit laughed and laughed at the prank he’d played on the two scoundrels. Unfortunately for Brer Rabbit, however, he tended to laugh just a little too long at his own joke and before he knew what was happening, Brer Fox captured that hapless hare.

Brer Rabbit was dragged by the ears up to the top of Chick-A-Pin Hill, where Brer Fox’s lair was hidden in a hollowed log that jutted out over the mighty Splash Mountain waterfall. Brer Fox threatened to skin Brer Rabbit, and then to roast and eat him. But thinking quickly, Brer Rabbit told Brer Fox to go ahead and do anything with him he wanted, so long as he didn’t throw him over the waterfall into the Briar Patch.

Jacqueline Bracamontes

Slow-wittted Brer Bear liked the idea and decided that flinging Brer Rabbit into the briar patch was the best thing to be done. Brer Fox tried to prevent him, and in the struggle, all three went over the falls and into the briar patch.

The briar patch is, of course, Brer Rabbit’s home sweet home. All the critters hereabout turned out to congratulate clever Brer Rabbit on having gotten away once again. And while Brer Fox and Brer Bear tried unsuccessfully to untangle themselves from the sharp, prickly briars, Brer Rabbit promised his friends that once and for all he had learned his lesson about leaving home, and that he is going to stay here forever and ever – at least until the urge to go adventuring strikes him once again.

Your obedient reporter,

Jasper P. Woodchuck

What is your favorite memory on Splash Mountain? Leave your response in the comments below!

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Five Places to Explore on O’ahu During Your Vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on July 16th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


One of the greatest opportunities during a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is the chance to explore the beautiful island of O’ahu. From the beaches to tropical rainforests and a bustling metropolitan city, this island of Hawai’i has something for everyone. A highlight of my visit to Aulani was driving along the coast with a stop for Hawaiian shave ice, a hike to Waimea Falls and a beachside lunch. Today, I wanted share five fantastic destinations on O’ahu that are not to be missed during your Aulani vacation!

1. North Shore - Stretching for more than seven miles along the O’ahu coast, the North Shore attracts surfers from around the world. If you are hoping to see some big waves, I recommend visiting the North Shore between November – February. However, if you have any new surfers in your ‘ohana, the waves in May – September are more tranquil and perfect for beginners. After a day along the shore, stop by the town of Haleiwa to pick up a delicious meal from a shrimp truck and save room for Hawaiian shave ice for dessert!

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2. Waimea Falls - Waimea Valley is a living example of a traditional Hawaiian ahupua’a (land division that extends from the mountain to the shore.) If you want to visit this legendary location, I strongly recommend the excursion available through the Aulani tour desk. This exclusive adventure includes transportation from the resort and a guided tour of Waimea Valley by a local expert. Learn more here.

3. Waikiki - Known in Hawaiian as “spouting waters,” Waikiki is O’ahu’s main hotel and resort area, featuring world-class shopping, dining and entertainment! Your keiki will have a blast exploring the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium. You can also learn how to surf along the shores that legendary waterman Duke Kahanamoku grew up surfing. At night, Waikiki turns into a bustling and energetic hot spot, ready for anyone looking to dance the night away.

4. Pearl Harbor – Exploring Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial is at the top of my must-do list for anyone visiting O’ahu, and Aulani offers a fantastic excursion to explore this historic harbor. Transportation to Pearl Harbor, as well as access to the Navy vessel that transports you to the USS Arizona Memorial is included. Learn more here.

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5. Diamond Head – One of most iconic monuments on the Hawaiian islands is Diamond Head, located just a few miles from Waikiki. This crater was named by 19th century British sailors who thought they discovered diamonds along the slopes. Unfortunately, these rocks turned out to be calcite crystals with very little (if any) value! While a little strenuous, the hike to the top of Diamond Head offers one of the most breathtaking views of the island.

Where is your favorite place to explore on the island of O’ahu? Leave your answer in the comments below!

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Five Things You Might Have Missed in Critter Country at Disneyland Park

posted on July 16th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of Splash Mountain at Disneyland park. When the attraction opened on July 17, 1989, the surrounding area transformed into Critter Country, the woodland home of many favorite critters. Today, we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of this land with five fun details you may have missed while exploring this shaded corner of Disneyland park.

1. Fowler’s Harbor -

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Near the entrance of Critter Country, you’ll find Fowler’s Harbor – named for Admiral Joe Fowler, who oversaw the construction of Disneyland park in the 1950s. This small harbor is home to the Sailing Ship Columbia or the Mark Twain Riverboat when they are not cruising the Rivers of America.

2. Max, Buff & Melvin from Country Bear Jamboree - Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, you can find a tribute to former Disneyland park attraction, Country Bear Jamboree. I don’t want to give it away completely, but Max, Buff & Melvin, the three talking trophy heads from the show, have taken up residence inside The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Look for these beloved characters in the scene where Winnie the Pooh enjoys his favorite treat, honey.

3. Pooh Corner – As you exit The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, follow the pathway straight into Pooh Corner. Here you’ll see the story of the attraction continues into the shops of Critter Country! Banners celebrating Pooh’s birthday are hung from the ceiling, and other elements from his fantasy decorate the location. Don’t forget a Tigger Tail on your way out!

4. Rufus the bear in Bear Country - Before Critter Country opened, this area of Disneyland park was known as Bear Country (and before that, it was part of Frontierland). Near the entrance, you could hear Rufus the bear snoring inside a cliffside cave just past the Haunted Mansion. When Splash Mountain opened in 1989, there was a small nod to this sleeping bear inside the attraction, right before the first waterfall. Today, listen for Brer Bear snoring in the same spot and it might sound vaguely familiar …

5. America Sings cast at Splash Mountain -

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Some of the characters from the former America Sings attraction have been re-cast to play supporting roles in Splash Mountain! Look for some of the characters welcoming Brer Rabbit home and singing about a “zip-a-dee-do-dah” day.

What is your favorite detail in Critter Country? Leave you answer in the comments below!

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Enjoy a Fourth Night Free at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, with Special New Offer

posted on July 9th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


I recently shared some useful expressions for your visit to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Today, I’m pleased to pass along a fantastic offer, to give your `ohana the chance to try out these useful phrases during a vacation to the recently voted Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2014 Top Hotel for Families in the United States!

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Purchase a consecutive four-night stay in any room at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, now through October 30, 2014, and receive the fourth night free! This amazing offer is available for stays most nights from August 15, 2014, through December 22, 2014. In addition, upgrade to a one- or two-bedroom villa and receive a $100 per night resort credit, in addition to your free night. These villas are truly homes away from home, featuring accommodations like a full kitchen, laundry amenities and plenty of room for your keiki to spread out and relax.

A resort credit can be applied to spending the day relaxing in the 18,000-square-foot Laniwai Spa or enjoying a savory meal at `AMA`AMA, overlooking the ocean. Your keiki might want to even snorkel in Rainbow Reef – O`ahu’s only private snorkeling lagoon!

Ready to book right now? Visit www.disneyaulani.com for booking and more information!

*Reservation must be booked between July 9, 2014 and October 30, 2014 for stays between August 15, 2014 and December 22th, 2014. Block-out dates of 11/26/14 through 11/29/14 apply. 4th Night Free Offer applies only to stays of four or more consecutive nights all between August 15 and December 22, 2014, excluding any nights from 11/26/14 through 11/29/14. The free night savings is distributed across total room nights and is reflected in a reduced nightly rate, based on the non-discounted rate. Offer excludes suites and 3-bedroom Grand Villas. Resort Credit Offer of $100 is applied per room per consecutive night of your package stay for reservations booked in 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom villas only. The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited and room availability may vary by dates of stay. Resort credit may not be redeemed for cash in whole or in part, transferred, refunded or applied towards room rate. All resort credits will expire at midnight on package departure date. 4th Night Free Offer excludes Resort Fees and taxes. Not valid in combination with any other discounts or offers.. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room. Limit two rooms per reservation and subject to room occupancy limitations. Advance reservations required. Subject to additional restrictions and change without notice.

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Disneyland Resort Summer Tips: Staying Cool at the Disneyland Resort

posted on July 7th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


Last week, I kicked off the “Disneyland Resort Summer Tips” series with the best ways to soak up some fun at the Disneyland Resort hotel pools. Today I’m going to pass along some tips for staying cool while playing at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. From cooling off indoors to getting soaked on world-class water attractions and enjoying delicious frozen and cool treats, summer is meant to be spent at the Disneyland Resort!

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  • Take a break from the heat – Indoor attractions can sometimes be the best-kept secrets for staying cool at the Disneyland Resort. At Disneyland park, stop by Innoventions to meet Captain America at Captain America: The Living Legend and Symbol of Courage and Thor at Thor: Treasures of Asgard and then take some time to explore The Innoventions Dream Home. Also, classic indoor attractions like “it’s a small world” and Pirates of the Caribbean are perfect for a rejuvenating break. If you are visiting Disney California Adventure park, attractions like “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” and Muppet*Vision 3D are fantastic indoor shows. One of my favorite ways to escape the heat is The Disney Animation Building. Here, you can learn how to draw a classic Disney character at the Animation Academy or even find out what Disney character you are most like at the Beast’s Library!
  • Get set to get wet – There is nothing like cooling off on Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Run at the Disneyland Resort. One of my favorite things about both of these attractions is that your entire family can experience the attraction together! Ask any of my siblings and they’ll tell you, I often volunteer for the front row of Splash Mountain because I enjoy getting soaked during the summer. However, you never can tell who will get the most wet on Grizzly River Run so be advised – you will get wet, and you may get soaked! My fellow Disney Parks Blog author, Shannon Swanson, previously produced this fantastic video highlighting these two attractions that I wanted to include today. Enjoy!

  • Enjoy frozen sweets and drinks – A frozen sweet or drink can also be the perfect remedy for a warm day at the Disneyland Resort. I mean, who doesn’t love a delicious Dole Whip Float (that is vegan, gluten-free and kosher, I must add)? Other favorite frozen treats include: Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar, soft serve ice cream from Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company and Mickey’s Kitchen Sink Sundae. You can also pick up a healthy Mango Madness smoothie from Schmoozies at Disney California Adventure park or a Fanta Orange Float from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor at Disneyland park if you’re looking for a refreshing drink!

What is your favorite way to cool off during the summer at the Disneyland Resort? Leave your answer in the comments below!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Historic American Flags in Frontierland at Disneyland Park

posted on July 4th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


The Fourth of July is the perfect time to celebrate those who have explored new frontiers in the United States. In fact, Walt Disney dedicated Frontierland in Disneyland park by saying: “Frontierland is a tribute to the faith, courage and ingenuity of the pioneers who blazed the trails across America.”

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If you are looking for ways to celebrate our nation, take a moment to appreciate the flags on top of the Frontierland Landing the next time you board the Mark Twain Riverboat or the Sailing Ship Columbia. Each of these eight flags represent significant moments in American history.

In honor of our Independence Day, let’s take a closer look at plaques mounted to each flagpole.

  • The John Cabot Flag: The first flag flown over the mainland of America. Under this flag, the Constant brought the settlers to Jamestown in 1607 and the Mayflower, the Pilgrim fathers, in 1620.
  • The Kings’ Colors Flag: The banner under which the English colonization of America was effected, it remained the flag of the colonists for more than 100 years.
  • The Continental Flag: This flag entirely eliminated the British emblems from the colonial banner and was carried by American troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
  • The Pine Tree Flag: The first flag carried by the then infant American Navy, which consisted of only one fleet of six ships.
  • The Grand Union Flag: This flag marks the beginning of our national existence and was raised at Cambridge by General Washington in 1776.
  • The Betsy Ross Flag (13 Stars and 13 Stripes): The first American flag formally adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777. The stars symbolize the new constellation of states rising in the west. The stripes represent the number of United Colonies.
  • The Star Spangled Banner (15 Stars and 15 Stripes): This flag inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words of our national anthem during the British attack on Fort McHenry in 1814.
  • The First “Old Glory” (14 Stars and 13 Stripes): In 1831 a sea captain named William Driver, in command of the brig Charles Doggett, was preparing to sail from Salem, Mass. The flag was hoisted and when it unfurled, Capt. Driver was moved to call it “Old Glory.”

Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July from all of us at the Disneyland Resort!

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Tips for Viewing the Starlit Hui at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on July 2nd, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


Today, I’m taking inspiration from one of my favorite Disney Parks Blog series, “Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips,” and sharing tips for enjoying the Starlit Hui at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. During the Starlit Hui, Uncle takes you on a magical journey of Hawaiian traditions and culture, filled with music, dance and most importantly … fun! Here are some tips I found most useful, from my own experience and from Aulani cast members:

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  • Arriving for the show -To reach the Halawai Lawn, enter via the pathway between Aunty’s Beach House and ‘AMA ‘AMA. Once you arrive, pick up a lauhala mat and find a spot on the grass underneath the island stars. Beverages are more than welcome on the Halawai Lawn, so make sure to fill up your Resort-refillable mug before the show!
  • Discovering island-inspired activities before the show - Once you’ve found your place on the Halawai Lawn, your keiki won’t want to miss the variety of island-inspired activities available before the show starts. Local artisans demonstrate traditional Hawaiian arts, like weaving and lei-making. You can also learn how to do the modern hula – which you’ll see later in the show!
  • Dancing with your favorite Disney characters – Following the Starlit Hui, be sure to stick around for a high-energy dance party! Some of your favorite friends like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy may even make a special appearance as your ‘ohana dances the Hawaiian night away.

One last tip I wanted to share with you if you’re heading to Aulani this summer: Now through August, the Starlit Hui will be offered on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays (weather permitting)!

Have you seen the Starlit Hui? If so, what are some of your tips? Leave your answers in the comments below.

For more on Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, visit the posts below:

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Disneyland Resort Summer Tips: Fun in the Sun at Disneyland Resort Hotel Pools

posted on July 1st, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


School is out, and that means it’s the best time of year to spend the day at the pool – especially at the Disneyland Resort! We have amazing pools available for Disneyland Resort hotel guests, where your family can soak up some fun in the sun. Today, I wanted to pass along some tips to help you plan your time relaxing poolside, taking a break from the fun at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks.

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  • Splash-tacular Pool Parties – Every day this summer at the hotels of the Disneyland Resort, a DJ spins music and cast members lead games like Hula-Hoop Toss and “Sand”-castle building (with cups)! Hotel guests can join the daily pool parties at these times:
  • Poolside Cabanas - If you’re looking for a luxurious way to spend the day by the pool, then look no further than a Poolside Cabana! Available at both Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disneyland Hotel, reserve your own oasis for up to six people. Inside your cabana, you’ll find a 32-inch LCD television with cable access, mini refrigerator with six complimentary water bottles and more! You can book a cabana up to 60 days in advance (just a friendly reminder – they fill up quickly). For booking and more information, click here.
  • Services near the pool – Trust me, I know it can be difficult to move from your lounge chair, even when you’re ready for a meal. Well, all of the Disneyland Resort hotel pools have nearby restaurants where you can quickly grab a bite to eat. So fortunately, your break from lounging will be minimal. At the Disneyland Hotel, head to Tangaroa Terrace, which features a newly re-imagined menu. White Water Snacks is a fantastic place at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (I personally prefer the Char-Broiled Chicken Sandwich) and don’t miss Slurpin’ USA at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. If you need sunblock and other sundries, stop by Acorns Gifts and Goods (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa), Small World Gifts and Sundries (Disneyland Hotel) and Mickey in Paradise (Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel).
  • Pool & Slide Hours – The last and probably most important tip … the pool hours! Now through the end of summer, all pools will be open from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., with the featured slides operating from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Stay safe and cool this summer! Have any tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!

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