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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on July 26th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we celebrated the anniversary of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror on the Disney Parks Blog with images, stories, a tough quiz and a special wallpaper created just for readers.

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In honor of the anniversary, Disney designer, Leo Cardoso took that love of old black & white spooky films and translated it into a cool new wallpaper featuring the attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

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We also continued our popular “Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park” series with an attraction that debuted less than a week after Disneyland opened – Rocket to the Moon. The attraction allowed Disneyland park guests the chance to travel around the far side of moon and back in just 10 minutes – all without leaving Disneyland.

Flight to the Moon eventually became Mission to Mars, and today, Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port occupies the same “space” in Tomorrowland – complete with a tribute to the original Moonliner right out in front.

Check George’s original story for a group of great images and more details

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

#CoolestSummer Ever: Ep-Cool – As it’s written in the sage words of many a colorful Walt Disney World Resort brochure, “Epcot is the only place where you can travel the world, voyage to the bottom of the sea and zoom into space — all in one unique park.”

Celebrate Mahalo Season with Uncle at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – During this special time of year, your ‘ohana can enjoy the magic of our resort even longer and enjoy some great savings, too!

Behind the Scenes: Creating Main Street Enchanted Windows at Disneyland Park – In this special video, we take you behind the scenes to see how these new animated windows were created and introduce you to the talented team of artists and designers who are bringing them to life.

Special Olympics World Games ‘Flame of Hope’ Journeys Through Disneyland Resort – Disneyland Resort hosted the “Flame of Hope,” currently making its way through 127 cities and communities in California en route to the Special Olympics World Games opening ceremonies in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 25.

VIDEO: Antique Disneyland Souvenirs from the Walt Disney Archives – Justin from the Walt Disney Archives shares a look at some rare antique Disneyland souvenirs from their collection, including items from July 17, 1955.

Create Your Own Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Video – For the past few months, we’ve been inviting guests to celebrate 60 years of magic and memories with us during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Now we have a way for you to celebrate at home – with some of your own favorite memories!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on July 19th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier was joined by Mickey Mouse and special guests at Sleeping Beauty Castle to commemorate the Resort’s official 60th anniversary.

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As part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, it was announced that we will honor 60 years of Walt’s dream with the “Million Dollar Dazzle” program. Each month during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, the Million Dollar Dazzle Crew will surprise one or more Southern California nonprofits with a $60,000 gift, totaling more than $1 million.

Check out Erin’s story for more information. And check back on Monday for new video from the celebration.

Roaring Rapids Coming to Shanghai Disneyland

Disney chairman and CEO, Bob Iger also unveiled new, exciting details on Shanghai Disney Resort, the area’s first Disney destination, and the six themed lands planned for the Shanghai Disneyland theme park.

During a special event that included Disney COO Tom Staggs and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek, Bob Iger shared a peek at what the Resort will look like with the unveiling of a spectacular scale model showcasing its two hotels, Disneytown – its international shopping, dining and entertainment district, Wishing Star Park’s beautiful gardens and six themed lands of mainland China’s first Disney theme park – Shanghai Disneyland. Check out video from the event.

Our original story has more details on each of the themed lands, including Tomorrowland, where guests will be able to experience the TRON Lightcycle Power Run and more.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

Icing on the Cake: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Disneyland Park in 1965 – Fifty years ago these dancing candles were delighted in the fact they were taking part in history during the 10th anniversary celebration of Disneyland park. Enjoy this calorie-free video!

Mickey’s Halloween Party Expands to 17 Nights with Return of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, September 11 – November 1 – The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues into Halloween Time when the season begins again September 11, with the addition of the new “Paint the Night” parade during the expanded 17 nights of Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland park!

D23 EXPO 2015 Brings New Collections from ALEX AND ANI – If you’re a fan of ALEX AND ANI and you’re attending D23 EXPO 2015, August 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, the Disney Dream Store is the place to be.

The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Rivers of America at Disneyland Park – Sixty years ago, Walt Disney and his wife, Lillian, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a special party aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat at the soon-to-open Disneyland park.

Today in Disney History: ‘Hocus Pocus’ Casts a Spell in Theaters – On July 16, 1993, Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” opened in theaters, and the world was introduced to those wacky and wicked Sanderson sisters: Mary (Kathy Najimy), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Winifred (Bette Midler).

Bookings Begin July 30 for Premium Events for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – There are more ways than ever to celebrate at the 20th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival September 25-November 16 – and while plenty of events are included with park admission, we look forward each fall to the over-the-top “premium events.”

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Video: Shanghai Disneyland Details Unveiled

posted on July 16th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you joined us for this week’s Shanghai Disney Resort update, you know about some of the amazing experiences coming to our first theme park in mainland China – Shanghai Disneyland. Disney Chairman and CEO, Bob Iger shared a first look at what’s planned for Shanghai Disneyland during a special presentation that included details on its six themed lands with live stage productions, world premieres and thrilling attractions as well as a spectacular scale model of the world-class park. Check out new video from the presentation.

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Shanghai Disneyland Themed Lands to Include New Attractions, Live Shows

posted on July 14th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Just a few minutes ago in China, Disney chairman and CEO, Bob Iger unveiled new, exciting details on Shanghai Disney Resort, the area’s first Disney destination, and the six themed lands planned for the Shanghai Disneyland theme park.

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Shanghai Disney Resort will be a world-class family entertainment destination that blends the magic of Disney and the cultural spirit and beauty of China. And during a special event that included Disney COO Tom Staggs and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek, Bob Iger shared a peek at what the Resort will look like with the unveiling of a spectacular scale model showcasing its two hotels, Disneytown – its international shopping, dining and entertainment district, Wishing Star Park’s beautiful gardens and six themed lands of mainland China’s first Disney theme park – Shanghai Disneyland.

“We are building something truly special here in Shanghai that not only showcases the best of Disney’s storytelling but also celebrates and incorporates China’s incredibly rich heritage to create a one-of-a-kind destination that will delight and entertain the people of China for generations to come,” said Iger speaking to media during today’s presentation at the Shanghai Expo Centre. “We are taking everything we’ve learned from our six decades of exceeding expectations – along with our relentless innovation and famous creativity to create a truly magical place that is both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”

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At Shanghai Disneyland, Disney stories will come to life at the tallest, largest and most interactive castle at any Disney theme park. The themed lands will offer something for everyone with live stage productions, world premieres and thrilling attractions ­­– many never seen before – that will appeal to guests of all generations. Guests also will be able to experience Disney characters in each land, including Mickey and his pals on Mickey Avenue and in Gardens of Imagination.

In Tomorrowland, one of the six themed lands, guests will be able to experience the TRON Lightcycle Power Run, a new coaster-style attraction where riders board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles for one of the most thrilling adventures at any Disney park.

Along with Tomorrowland, we have a more detailed look at the lands coming to Shanghai Disneyland:

Fantasyland will be the largest land and home to the majestic Enchanted Storybook Castle that we’ve already featured here on the Blog. In this fairy-tale paradise, guests will float through familiar Disney stories on Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, hitch a rollicking ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and take flight over the skies of London on Peter Pan’s Flight. They may also explore the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh or follow Alice through a dazzling Wonderland maze.

Treasure Cove – will be the first pirate-themed land in a Disney park. As guests explore this pirate world, they will enter Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, an attraction that transforms a boat ride into a thrilling journey with cutting-edge innovations in robotics, animation, set design and multimedia. Adventurous spirits will be tempted to board a pirate ship, paddle through the scenic cove on Explorer Canoes and dine at Barbossa’s Bounty.

Adventure Isle will immerse guests in a newly discovered lost world, filled with hidden treasures and a chance to explore its mysteries. The mighty Roaring Mountain will tower over guests and beckon them on their journey. Guests can blaze their own trails at Camp Discovery, travel around the world on Soaring over the Horizon, or embark on the thrilling rafting adventure Roaring Rapids, straight through the heart of Adventure Isle. There they discover the underworld realm of a mysterious, fearsome creature.

Tomorrowland will not only include the TRON Lightcycle Power Run but also offer the chance for guests to go to infinity and beyond on Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, a new space ranger adventure, or break the bonds of gravity on Jet Packs. The land will feature a massive, color-shifting canopy near the TRON Lightcycle Power Run.

Mickey Avenue will be the first main entry at a Disney park inspired by the colorful personalities of Mickey Mouse and his pals. In the neighborhoods of this welcoming, whimsical avenue, guests will share a hug and get a photo with some all-time favorite Disney characters. Avenue M Arcade, one of the many shops along the avenue, will feature the largest selection of gifts and collectibles inside the theme park.

Gardens of Imagination will celebrate the wonders of nature and the joy of imagination, as guests leave everyday life behind to enjoy the seven whimsical gardens. Guests will take a spin on the Fantasia Carousel, soar on the back of Dumbo the Flying Elephant and enjoy the area’s iconic Disney entertainment, including Castle stage shows and “Ignite the Dream, a Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light.” From several places in this land, guests will enjoy “Mickey’s Storybook Express,” an exciting parade with its own musical soundtrack and colorful performers on the longest parade route in a Disney park.

Since breaking ground in 2011, Disney and Shanghai Shendi Group announced that they were expanding the park by adding additional attractions and entertainment to allow more guests to have a spectacular Disney experience at Grand Opening in spring of 2016. Stay tuned for more updates on Shanghai Disney Resort.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on July 12th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we looked ahead to the holidays with a sneak peek at a few of the narrators for this year’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot as you begin to book dinner packages for the event.

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The Candlelight Processional is presented three times per night at the American Gardens Theater at Epcot. Show times are 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. from November 27 to December 30. This year’s narrator list includes Neil Patrick Harris and Whoopi Goldberg. Our updated list and more details on the dining packages can be found in our original story.

You can also reserve your Candlelight Dining Packages this weekend by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.

Loggerhead Turtle With Only 3 Fins on Coral Reef in Caribbean

We continued our popular Wildlife Wednesday series with a story from Disney’s Vero Beach Resort featuring turtles Tinker Bell and Marina. Both are part of The Sea Turtle Conservancy’s Tour de Turtles, the great turtle race that helps identify their migratory routes.

Disney Vacation Club members chose the names Tinker Bell and Marina for this year’s turtles, and guests at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort will meet them at Tour de Turtles on August 1. Starting at 7 a.m., guests can watch as we attach a satellite transmitter to the shells of the turtles so we can track their movements.

Check Anne’s original story for more details.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

A Look Back at ElecTRONica at Disney California Adventure Park – It’s been more than 30 years since Walt Disney Pictures released “TRON,” but it wasn’t that long ago that Disney California Adventure park guests stepped into the Grid themselves during the nighttime dance party, ElecTRONica. Let’s take a look back at this guest favorite.

Greetings Programs – Celebrating My Love of All Things ‘TRON’ – Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller shares some of his prized possessions inspired by Disney’s “TRON”, and previews some Disney Infinity 3.0 figures coming later this year.

Every Role a Starring Role – Aviator at Soarin’ Over California at Disney California Adventure Park – As an Aviator at Soarin’ Over California, Ryan Adams has the unique role of preparing guests for an exhilarating flight through some of these iconic sights, sounds and smells of California — all within a few minutes!

Your Chance to Sip a Rare Wine at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa – A state-of-the-art WineStation by Napa Technology is the newest “toy” for the sommeliers at the award-winning Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Birthday Collection Coming Soon – On July 16, look for a special commemorative birthday collection to debut at select locations as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

Celebrate Tanabata With New Beverages From Tokyo Dining in Epcot – See how Tanabata was honored at Japan Pavilion in Epcot this week, and plan a celebration with a loved one for your next visit!

#DisneySide Doodles: Rapunzel Takes a Carousel Spin – This week’s #DisneySide Doodle was created by artist Ty Amato and showcases Rapunzel and her good pal, Pascal, taking a ride on the carousel.

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Disney Parks Salutes U.S. Military by Continuing Special Ticket, Room Rates

posted on June 26th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We have great news to share – the special pricing we announced last July on theme park tickets and accommodations for active duty and retired U.S. military personnel at our domestic sites will be extended now through mid-December.

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Click HERE to learn more about our special military pricing to Walt Disney World Resort and HERE to see details to Disneyland Resort.

Now’s the perfect time to start planning your next trip to a Disney park for later this year.

Tickets must be purchased by Dec. 17 for Walt Disney World Resort, Dec. 18 for Disneyland Resort and used by Dec. 20.

As Disney fans know, support for the U.S. Armed Forces is a long-standing Disney tradition – so keep following us here on the Disney Parks Blog for the latest news on special military pricing.

We’ll have an update on 2016 soon!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on June 21st, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


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Happy Father’s Day from the Disney Park Blog. This week, we shared a slew of updates and stories, including a first look at the royal return of Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The summer-long special event is bringing a full day of “Frozen” fun from park open to park close through September 7, 2015. Check our original story for more details.

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And our celebration of Disney•Pixar’s original film “Inside Out” began this week at Disney California Adventure park with special, pre-parade appearances by the movie’s main characters, the five Emotions: Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness.

The “Inside Out” pre-parade continues daily all summer long. Check out another image and more information in Shawn’s original story.

A Closer Look at New Main Street Enchanted Windows at Disneyland Park – Two of the six new Main Street Enchanted Windows set to debut during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration have opened!

Adventure is Out There at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! – One of the many joys of a family vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Hawai’i is that there is something for every type of adventure seeker. Click through to learn more about our island excursions.

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Merchandise Continues to Dazzle – You may want to put on your sunglasses, because if you are looking for some serious sparkle, check out the black and white embedded ear hat!

QUIZ: Are You a Jungle Cruise Expert? – The Jungle Cruise is a fan-favorite attraction at Disney Parks around the world. How well do you know the attraction at Walt Disney World Resort?

Summer Sounds Inspired by the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Now on Pandora – Experience the excitement of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration at home this summer with the new Disneyland 60th Anniversary Summer Sounds station on Pandora!

Look Ahead to New Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks Later in 2015 – As summer begins at Disney Parks, take a sneak peek of items coming later this year!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on June 14th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared a first look at our plans for a “Frozen” attraction in Epcot and more of what you can expect to experience when it opens in 2016.

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Frozen Ever After,” will be an adventure fit for the entire family that’ll take guests through the kingdom of Arendelle. The fantastic Disney storytelling combined with new technology and favorite moments and music from the film will make guests feel like they stepped into the magical world of “Frozen.”

You can find more information about the attraction in our original story.

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And we shared new details about “The Edison and “STK Orlando” coming to Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort. Similar to its sister location on the west coast, The Edison at Disney Springs will be dedicated to a resurgence of old-world style, sophistication and romance.

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We also shared a new rendering of STK Orlando – a location that’ll be the only spot that offers rooftop dining, in a gorgeous lounge setting, at Disney Springs.

Darcy has more details on both in her “coming soon” story.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

New Cars Land Merchandise Cruises into Disney California Adventure Park – The collection features something for everyone in your family, and friends too! You’ll find youth and adult hats, tees, fleece, a water bottle, pins and even an engine-revving tailgate party tote and duffle bag.

Top Five: Donald Duck at Disney Parks – Over the years, Donald’s been a guest favorite at Disney Parks around the globe, whether it’s meeting him during a character greeting, spotting him in “Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade” or shopping for Donald gifts.

Celebrating 1 Million @DisneyParks Twitter Followers – One of the popular Twitter accounts for many Disney Parks Blog readers – @DisneyParks – just reached a big milestone – 1 million followers. And to help celebrate the occasion and thank all of our fans, we’ve gathered some of your favorite Disney characters for a special stop-motion surprise.

A Mom’s Take on the Deluxe Studios at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – Disney Vacation Club accommodations offer special features perfect for families of all sizes. The Deluxe Studios at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort, are the largest at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Behind the Scenes: This Year’s Star Wars Weekends Creative Campaign – The idea behind this year’s campaign is simple: it’s as close to the Force as you can get. Everything plays out around the notion of going to Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and you are literally surrounded by the Force and all things Star Wars.

Behind the Scenes: Creating Our @DisneyParks Stop-Motion Film – What do you get when you take 1,000 photos, 60 lbs of confetti, seven Disney characters and one photographer with a big imagination? Something magical, of course!

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Celebrating 1 Million @DisneyParks Twitter Followers

posted on June 10th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


One of the popular Twitter accounts for many Disney Parks Blog readers – @DisneyParks – just reached a big milestone – 1 million followers. And to help celebrate the occasion and thank all of our fans, we’ve gathered some of your favorite Disney characters for a special stop-motion surprise.

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First Look: ‘Frozen Ever After’ at Epcot

posted on June 9th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


The story of “Frozen” has swept the hearts of people around the world, and we have been busy bringing it to life in our parks — from royal greetings with Anna and Elsa to sing-alongs to special screenings of the animated short “Frozen Fever.”

We first told you about our plans for a “Frozen” attraction in Epcot last fall and today, we’re thrilled to share a first look at what’s coming when it opens in 2016.

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“Frozen Ever After,” is an adventure fit for the entire family that will take guests through the kingdom of Arendelle. The fantastic Disney storytelling combined with new technology and favorite moments and music from the film will make guests feel like they stepped into the magical world of “Frozen.”

Guests will be transported to the Winter in Summer Celebration where Queen Elsa embraces her magical powers and creates a winter-in-summer day for the entire kingdom. They will also visit Elsa’s Ice Palace and the ice-blue world of the North Mountain along with other locations before returning to the Bay of Arendelle. Of course, favorite “Frozen” characters, including the Snowgies from the animated short “Frozen Fever,” will be part of this new attraction, along with the spectacular sights inspired by the film.

The Norway Pavilion’s exterior will be expanded with many unique Norwegian architectural features and the interior design of the “Royal Sommerhus” will reflect the cultural arts and crafts of Norway, providing a charming setting for guests to meet Elsa and Anna.

We’ll have more updates to share in the future, so keep checking for details right here on the Disney Parks Blog.

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