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The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure Park

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on August 30th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As we continue to count the days until the start of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, we shared a few experiences you may want to try at this year’s event.

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One of the ideas for maximizing your fun is experiencing the new 20th Festival Tasting Sampler that gives you a credential (and a cool collectible pin) to taste your way around the fest. For $59 you get your choice of eight tastes of food or beverages at all of the 30 marketplaces plus priority seating at the nightly Eat to the Beat concert.

Be sure to check Pam’s story for other ideas on how to best enjoy this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

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Also, The Force awakened at Walt Disney World Resort this week through runDisney’s newest addition to its portfolio – Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side.

Faron shared that the intergalactic quest through Walt Disney World theme parks blasts off April 14-17, 2016 and channels the Dark Side of the Force. The events will include a 5K, 10K, kids races and half marathon plus a special challenge for completing the 10K and half marathon called the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge.

Registration for the East Coast event opens September 22, 2015 at noon ET. Check out Faron’s original story for more details.

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

Follow Disney Parks on Tumblr – Have you discovered the new official home for Disney Parks on Tumblr? Check it out at disneyparks.tumblr.com!

Happy National Waffle Day from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts – National Waffle Day may be over, but it’s never too late to indulge in one of our top 8 waffles from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Disneyland Resort Million Dollar Dazzle Crew Hits the Road, Surprises Next $60,000 Recipient – Once a month during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, our Million Dollar Dazzle Crew is surprising local nonprofits with $60,000, amounting to more than $1 million.

Video: Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega Announced as ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Contestants at Disneyland Park – Disneyland park was the setting for the latest “cast reveal” for “Dancing with the Stars” as Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega were announced as the first-ever married couple to compete for the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy!

It’s Almost Time for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park – Summer’s winding down. The kids are back in school. What are we going to do next? Plan for Halloween, of course!

FastPass+ Reservations Now Available For Eat to the Beat Concerts During 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – If you enjoy toe-tapping tunes as much as tasty treats, you will love this: now you can make FastPass+ reservations for the Eat to the Beat concert series.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on August 22nd, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Fall will be here before you know it and we’re already sharing some great experiences to look forward to during this season’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort and Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort.

Enjoy Ghost Meringues During the New Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom Park Enjoy Halloween-Inspired Treats During the New Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom Park
Enjoy Mummy Cupcakes During the New Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom Park Enjoy Candy Corn Cupcakes During the New Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom Park

When Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in Magic Kingdom Park debuts September 15, a new Happy HalloWishes Premium Dessert Package will be part of the fun. The premium offering will include viewing a Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade from the reserved location followed by sweet treats at festively decorated Tomorrowland Terrace where you have a cool view of Cinderella Castle during the Happy HalloWishes Nighttime Spectacular.

Check Pam’s original story for more details. You can call make reservations by visit DisneyWorld.com/DINE or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland Park

Also this week, Erin shared some things to know for this year’s Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort as it dazzles during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Here are a few nighttime spectaculars you can see:

Guests visiting with regular admission during Mickey’s Halloween Party dates will not be able to view “Paint the Night” parade or either fireworks spectaculars. If you plan to watch “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, please check the calendar at Disneyland.com to be sure you are attending on a non-party night. All show schedules are subject to change.

You can read more about Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort by checking Erin’s original story.

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

Tour The ‘Walt Disney Archives Presents-Disneyland: The Exhibit’ At The D23 EXPO – The Disney Archives Exhibit at the D23 EXPO showcased artifacts important to the history of The Walt Disney Company and even Walt Disney himself.

Top Must-Do’s During Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend – Check out our top must-do’s for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna at Disneyland Resort.

A Peek Inside the AVATAR Exhibit at D23 Expo – Take a photo tour inside the AVATAR exhibit from the D23 Expo last weekend.

Disney Parks Attraction Poster Deluxe Calendar Returns for 2016 – The popular Disney Parks Attraction poster deluxe calendar is returning in 2016 to select merchandise locations.

PHOTO GALLERY: Best Images from the 2015 D23 Expo – Explore all the excitement from the D23 EXPO in Anaheim, Calif.

Enter ‘The Chew’s’ Sweepstakes for a Chance to Win a Trip to 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – We’re thrilled the Emmy award-winning ABC hit show “The Chew” is joining us for the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – and they are giving you (and three of your guests) a chance to win a visit, too.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Pandora – The World of AVATAR will be New Land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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


The new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that’ll immerse guests in the mystical world of Pandora from the blockbuster film AVATAR just received a name – Pandora – The World of AVATAR.

Pandora – The World of AVATAR Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

Pandora – The World of AVATAR is a key part of the expansion of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and will feature awe-inspiring floating mountains, a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants as well as an amazing new attraction called AVATAR Flight of Passage. This e-ticket attraction will allow guests to experience what it’s like to fly with banshees.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek shared the update on Pandora – The World of AVATAR at the D23 EXPO 2015. During the session, Imagineer Joe Rohde said one of the things that has made work on this project so special has been the collaboration with the Oscar-winning team behind the film – James Cameron, Jon Landau and the rest of the Lightstorm team.

“We’ve been working side-by-side with Jim and Jon to make sure that what we do is true to the story, characters and vision for the beautiful, mythical, epic land of Pandora,” Joe said. “We’re creating a transformational experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.”

Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for updates on Pandora – The World of AVATAR.

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7 Disney Parks Thrill Rides for National Roller Coaster Day

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


It’s National Roller Coaster Day and we thought our thrill-seeking readers would enjoy a special look at some favorite rides at the Walt Disney World Resort. Check out this new video created to celebrate the day and then let us know which thrill attraction you can’t wait to experience next.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


Regular readers of the Disney Parks Blog know we’ve been testing a breakfast experience at the popular Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park. This week, we shared the update that what was originally a test, is now a permanent offering.

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Reservations for breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant began this week for dates October 4 and beyond. We also got a sneak peek of the artwork that will be on new kid’s souvenir cups, debuting in October. Check out Rachel’s original story to see the artwork and to make reservations.

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We also shared a story this week about a special robot that visited Walt Disney World Resort and amazed guests at Disney’s Contemporary Resort by drawing a giant portrait of Walt Disney.

Disney Research Zurich teamed up with a group of undergraduate students from a Swiss engineering school to build the Beachbot robot from scratch. The team wanted to do something nobody has ever done before and create a machine that could make spectacular art alongside beachgoers.

Our original story has a behind-the-scenes video and more details.

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

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know ‘World of Color – Celebrate!’ at Disney California Adventure Park? – How well do you know the new nighttime spectacular in Disney California Adventure park? Take our quiz and find out!

Video Rewind: Point-of-View Videos from Disneyland Resort Attractions – Need to fill that time between your last ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the next? Miss that view from the front of the Disneyland Resort Monorail? Good news – Shannon, one of our fabulous video pros, has you covered!

A Unique Point of View: Monstro Looms Over Fantasyland at Disneyland Park – Looming over Storybook Land Canal Boats, Monstro the whale can also appear to be chomping down on other parts of Fantasyland, depending on your point of view.

Official Disneyland App Now Available for Download – The official Disneyland App is available for download now from the App Store and on Google Play. This new app provides useful info, special features and more right at your fingertips.

#CoolestSummer Ever: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Cool – There are more ways to enjoy the coolness of Disney’s Animal Kingdom than simply standing in the shadow of an elephant (and we can’t promise you can do that). Click through for a few more refreshing options!

Reservations Now Open for Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine – Even though we’re in the middle of summer, some of us have started to have visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads. If you’re wondering about holiday dining plans at Walt Disney World Resort, we’ve just added one more option.

Disney Parks Online Store Releasing New Shirts in August 2015 – This month, the Disney Parks online store will continue its series of specially designed limited release shirts!

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New ‘Disney Vacation’ Magazine Launches on Flipboard

posted on August 8th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re a reader who loves our daily stories and updates here on the Disney Parks Blog, then you’ll want to subscribe to our newly launched “Disney Vacations” magazine on Flipboard.

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The latest edition of the “Disney Vacations” magazine features an amazing robot that creates art in the sand at the Walt Disney World Resort, an update on reservations for Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine and much more. Each day, the “Disney Vacations” magazine will feature the latest news from Disneyland, the Walt Disney World Resort and other Disney destinations.

Go subscribe now and let us know what you think.

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Robot Creates Giant Sand Portrait of Walt Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 6th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


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An autonomous “entertainment” robot that can create large scale sand art called Beachbot recently visited Walt Disney World Resort and amazed guests at Disney’s Contemporary Resort by drawing a giant portrait of Walt Disney.

Disney Research Zurich teamed up with a group of undergraduate students from a Swiss engineering school to build the Beachbot robot from scratch. The team wanted to do something nobody has ever done before and create a machine that could make spectacular art alongside beachgoers.

“This is a new kind of area really, which is entertainment robots – that’s what Beachbot is,” Paul Beardsley, principal research scientist at Disney Research Zurich said. “It could be that you go to your local beach and look over and you see – presto, there’s a drawing being made by a robot.”

The students considered different designs when creating Beachbot and ultimately decided to make it in the shape of a turtle and then added a rake mechanism to carve the designs into the sand. Smart software is used to transform images into the art and control Beachbot’s movement, according to the project’s site.

Beardsley said Beachbot can make many different types of drawings but one of the things it’s really good at is drawing face images. The robot created earlier images on the beaches of the North Sea before visiting the Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney Research Zurich is part of a network of labs that make new technologies for the company.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on August 2nd, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared a popular update that Luigi – the most famous tire salesman in Cars Land – is returning to Disney California Adventure park with some special guests.

Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters Rolling into Disney California Adventure Park, Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering

Erin shared that Luigi has invited all of his cugini (cousins) from his hometown of Carsoli, Italy, to visit his Casa della Tires. To help celebrate Race Day in Radiator Springs, they will demonstrate the dances of their village with Cars Land guests when the all-new Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters opens early next year.

Keep checking back for more updates in the future right here on the Disney Parks Blog.

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And to celebrate the release of “Alice In Wonderland” in theaters this week in 1951, we continued our special photo gallery series with some spectacular images of Alice. You can often meet Alice at Magic Kingdom Park at the Mad Tea Party. Be sure to check the MyDisneyExperience App for her latest schedule.

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

A Unique Point of View: ‘Storytellers’ Statue at Disney California Adventure Park – Take a look at this special shot of Walt Disney and his pal, Mickey Mouse, on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure park.

Download Our Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – Starring Aerosmith Wallpaper – How the years have zoomed by. We are celebrating the 16th anniversary of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster this week!

Disney Days of Past: Disney Magic’s Maiden Voyage – The Disney Magic is the first ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet to sail the seas. Take a look at the ship still under construction in Italy.

Fuel Your Emotions with Recipes Inspired by Disney•Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ – Whatever you’re in the mood for, we have a feeling you’ll want to try these recipes inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” and created by Disney Parks Food and Beverage.

New ‘Decades’ (1965-1974) Merchandise Debuts at the Disneyland Resort – It’s time for the next release in the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration “Decades” collection! Take your first look at some of the merchandise featuring the 1965–1974 artwork.

Musical Performances – All Kinds! – Take the Stage Throughout August in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort – As the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues, adults and children visiting the Downtown Disney District will be entertained nightly, beginning this Saturday, by a special lineup of guest music groups, including some Downtown Disney District favorites, on the Westside Stage near ESPN Zone and Earl of Sandwich.

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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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