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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


This week, we officially welcomed some new members to the family at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with first looks at five new sable antelope calves and an adorable white rhino calf.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes 5 Sable Antelope Calves to the Herd! Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes White Rhino Calf to the Herd!

Our team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been busy caring for the new sable antelopes, closely monitoring the multiple births of three males and two females. You can welcome the new sables in early April when the whole herd will make their public debut on the spacious Kilimanjaro Safaris savannah.

Author Steve Castillo has more details and photos of the sable antelope calves in his original story.

The newest baby at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a white rhino calf, is in “good health” this weekend. Earlier this month, a first-time white rhino mom born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2005, gave birth to the healthy baby boy. You can look for both mom and baby to join the rest of the herd on the savannahs of Kilimanjaro Safaris over the next few months.

Author Robyn Johnson has more details and photos of the white rhino calf in her original story.

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And this week, we shared a little magic and helped some winter warriors discover their Disney Side – that part of you that comes out to play the moment you see those mouse ears. Mickey and his pals brought some fun to a simple everyday event – like walking through a mall.

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

Building The Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – City Hall – Located in the heart of Town Square, City Hall – home to Guest Relations – is one of the first things guests see upon entering Disneyland park. Take a look back at the building of this iconic location.

Training the Horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland Park: Duke Prepares for His Debut – Part Two – In part two of our series on Duke’s training for Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park, Lead Equine Trainer Jennifer Gable describes the next steps in Duke’s preparations to become a Main Street horse!

Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: February 2010 – Join Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover on a journey back to February 2010 to see the stories we were working on.

Chinese Zodiac and Disney Characters Combine in ‘The Garden of the Twelve Friends’ at Shanghai Disney Resort – Just in time for Chinese New Year, Shanghai Disney Resort shared more details on its “Garden of the Twelve Friends.”

Learn to Draw Tinker Bell at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Heather Worley of the Animation Academy shows us how to draw Tinker Bell!

‘Frozen’ Friends Join Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures in Norway – For the first time in forever, Anna, Elsa and Kristoff are joining us ashore for a one-of-a-kind family Port Adventure!

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Chinese Zodiac and Disney Characters Combine in ‘The Garden of the Twelve Friends’ at Shanghai Disney Resort

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


Just in time for Chinese New Year, Shanghai Disney Resort shared more details on its “Garden of the Twelve Friends.” A highlight of the theme park’s plans, the garden will recast 12 beloved Disney and Disney•Pixar characters as members of the Chinese zodiac.

The Garden of the Twelve Friends blends Disney storytelling with traditional Chinese culture, while honoring the role the Chinese zodiac plays in local daily life and offering some terrific photo opportunities.

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Twelve Disney characters have been chosen to embody different symbols of the Chinese zodiac, while still showcasing their own distinctive Disney personalities. For example, Remy, who displays cleverness and determination in the Disney•Pixar film “Ratatouille,” will represent the Year of Rat. In honor of this new year, 2015 will be the Year of the Sheep, which will be represented by the “Jolly Holiday” lambs from “Mary Poppins.” As the ancient Chinese saying goes, “San Yang Kai Tai” (or “Three Sheep Bring Good Luck”) these lambs represent elegance, charm and a gentle spirit.

The full list includes:

  1. The Rat: Rémy from Disney•Pixar’s “Ratatouille”
  2. The Ox: Babe The Blue Ox from the short film “Paul Bunyan.”
  3. The Tiger: Tigger from “Winnie The Pooh.”
  4. The Rabbit: Thumper from “Bambie.”
  5. The Dragon: Mushu from “Mulan.”
  6. The Snake: Kaa from “The Jungle Book.”
  7. The Horse: Maximus from “Tangled.”
  8. The Sheep: Jolly Holiday Lambs from “Mary Poppins.”
  9. The Monkey: Abu from “Aladdin.”
  10. The Rooster: Allan-A-Dale from “Robin Hood.”
  11. The Dog: Pluto from various Disney shorts.
  12. The Pig: Hamm from the Disney•Pixar “Toy Story” films.

Be sure and check back here on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates.

For more about Shanghai Disney Resort, visit the stories below:

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on February 15th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


It’s Valentine’s Day weekend and we’ve been celebrating all week on the Disney Parks Blog with new stories, headers, logos, and a fresh group of wallpapers for all of your screens. We highlighted several of your favorite Disney couples, including one of the more unusual couples – robots WALL-E and Eve.

Celebrate Valentine's Day with WALL-E Celebrate Valentine's Day with Simba
Celebrate Valentine's Day with Pluto Celebrate Valentine's Day with Donald

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

And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special page.

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Also this week, we announced a new, day-long celebration aboard eight special sailings on the Disney Fantasy: Star Wars Day at Sea. It’ll be the first official appearance of the heroes and villains of Star Wars aboard our ships.

Star Wars Day at Sea will transport guests to a galaxy far, far away — in the Western Caribbean. The event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations, including a deck party, meet-and-greets with favorite characters, Star Wars-themed youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise.

Check out Jonathan’s original story for more details.

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

Haunt Your Disney Side Winners Celebrate with Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience at Magic Kingdom Park – The Krummers kicked off their dream Disney Side celebration with an unforgettable after-hours party inside the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom Park.

New ‘Cooking Safari With Mickey’ Cookbook Debuts This Spring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – It was so much fun to work with the chefs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to put together “A Cooking Safari With Mickey,” a collection of recipes showcasing the flavorful cuisine of South Africa and India.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With WALL-E & Eve – We celebrated Valentine’s Day with one of the more unusual Disney couples – robots WALL-E and Eve.

Discover With Me: Kula Wai at the Laniwai Spa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – The “Discover with Me” series continues with a tour of the Kula Wai – the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on O‘ahu!

The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park – The next time you’re getting a great deal on a square meal at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café, take a look around and discover the story of these talented ladies for yourself.

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Haunt Your Disney Side Winners Celebrate with Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience at Magic Kingdom Park

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


If you remember our “Haunt Your Disney Side” contest, the grand prize was an experience only Disney Parks could deliver – a private party inside the Haunted Mansion followed by an overnight stay in Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park. Our winners, The Kummer family from Florida, recently joined us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we wanted to share with readers.

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The Krummers kicked off their dream Disney Side celebration with an unforgettable after-hours party inside the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom Park. Their visit included a special performance by the Cadaver Dans, visits from spirits and late-night snacks inside the attraction.

Cinderella Castle Suite  Ready for the Winners of the 'Haunt Your Disney Side' Contest Haunt Your Disney Side Winners Celebrate with Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience at Magic Kingdom Park

After the spooky Haunted Mansion visit, the family headed to Cinderella Castle where Major Domo welcomed the family with a special proclamation. The Krummers spent the night in the Castle Suite – decorated especially for the occasion.

Thank you to everyone who entered the “Haunt Your Disney Side” contest. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for one-of-a-kind opportunities like this in the future.

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Ratatouille Attraction at Disneyland Paris Awarded for Outstanding Visual Effects

posted on February 11th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’ve shared several updates on our first-of-its-kind attraction at Disneyland Paris called Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy. It’s an amazing attraction that is now “award-winning.”

Disneyland Paris opens new attraction, La Place de Rémy dedicated to the Disney•Pixar movie “Ratatouille.”

The Visual Effects Society recently presented its 13th annual VES Awards and Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy received the award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project.

The attraction, which debuted last summer as part of an expansion at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, uses forced perspective and other techniques to “shrink” guests to the size of a rat as they join Rémy on a whirlwind adventure through Chef Gusteau’s restaurant. We shared a special behind the scenes look last year.

Congratulations to the Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney•Pixar teams who worked years on making this spectacular attraction. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for future Disneyland Paris stories.

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Hong Kong Disneyland Delivers Another Record Breaking Year

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


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Today, Hong Kong Disneyland announced their fifth consecutive record-breaking year as the resort reported its Annual Business Review. Their financial performance was paired with another record achievement: during the year, the resort welcomed its 50-millionth guest. Coming off of a series of expansions – Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point – and new entertainment like Disney Paint the Night that have turned out to be guest favorites, Hong Kong Disneyland has even more exciting projects in the pipeline. Here’s a look at some of the new experiences guests have to look forward to.

In January, Hong Kong Disneyland broke ground on the resort’s third hotel, Disney Explorers Lodge, marking another exciting milestone in the resort’s development as a world-class travel destination. The 750-room hotel is slated to open in early 2017, and will embody stories from the grand era of exploration and adventure in the 1920s. Inspired by explorer’s travels to an African savannah, a South American rainforest and a Polynesian island paradise, the resort will allow guest to discover the exotic cultures and the natural beauty of Asia.

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Debuting at Hong Kong Disneyland in 2016, guests can experience the very first Disney attraction based on a character in the Iron Man Experience. Located in Tomorrowland, the Iron Man experience will allow guests to see firsthand the progression of Tony’s Iron Man suits and many other Stark innovations in Expo format. The super-charged attraction will take guests on an epic adventure against the forces of evil over the streets and in the skies of Hong Kong. In addition, guest will have the opportunity to meet the man, the myth, the legend himself: Iron Man.

And coming up this year, Hong Kong Disneyland will celebrate its 10th Anniversary! There are lots of surprises in store and, along with all these expansions and enhancements, Hong Kong Disneyland is sure to continue to strengthen its positioning as the premier vacation destination in Hong Kong.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


This week, we went behind the scenes at Magic Kingdom Park and shared an exclusive view of the new interactive queue at Peter Pan’s Flight.

The queue, which just opened at the park, puts you right in the storyline of “Peter Pan” by allowing you to enter the English home of the Darling family. You then head into the children’s nursery, passing the beds of Wendy, John and Michael, which are surrounded by their belongings and personal treasures. Visit Jenn’s original story for more details and photos from the attraction.

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And to kick off the week, New England Patriots fans lined Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park to celebrate Julian Edelman and Malcolm Butler, stars of the Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Erin shared a special behind-the-scenes look at their visit in her original story.

Here are some of the other stories we shared this week.

Luigi’s Flying Tires to Become All-New Experience at Disney California Adventure Park – Luigi’s Casa della Tires will reopen as a completely new attraction in early 2016. We are excited to tell you more about this ride technology, so stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for updates as work progresses!

Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Pu‘u Kilo – Learn about Pu‘u Kilo, the large volcanic remnant that serves as the Waikolohe Valley’s visual centerpiece.

Learn to Draw Buzz Lightyear from ‘Toy Story’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Heather Worley from Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios shows us how to draw the perfect Buzz Lightyear.

Golden Carriage from ‘Cinderella’ Arrives at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – The exquisite golden carriage used in the production of Disney’s all-new, live-action “Cinderella” is on display at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Returns March 4 – Learn about the theme of this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, “Fresh Epcot”!

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YouTube Stars Show Disney Side at Walt Disney World Resort

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


Recently, some of the most popular creators on YouTube, including Stampylongnose, ShayCarl, Charisma Star TV, Alphacat (Iman Crosson) and Bratayley joined us at Walt Disney World Resort to show their Disney Side in the parks. Take a look at what they created.

We’ll be sharing more Disney Side videos from some of your favorite YouTube stars throughout the year on the Disney Parks YouTube channel.

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Trolley Car Café Opens, Now Serving Starbucks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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


As an update on our previously announced plans to bring Starbucks locations to our theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort, we officially opened the newest location this week – The Trolley Car Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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As we shared earlier, the Trolley Car Café is themed to a classic trolley car station and gives guests a sense of atmosphere from early 20th century Hollywood. We have some of the first photos to share from this week’s opening.

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The Trolley Car Café is located on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is now serving Disney baked goods and Starbucks La Boulange™ pastry items along with Starbucks coffee and espresso beverages.

The store is the third in-park location serving Starbucks products at Walt Disney World Resort, along with other locations at Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, as well as at Downtown Disney. In addition to these locations at Walt Disney World Resort, there’s also another along the way.

Starbucks Rendering

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog this summer for an update on the location at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Creature Comforts is being re-imagined and will also be serving Starbucks coffee and espresso beverages, as well as Frappuccino blended beverages and signature breakfast sandwiches and pastries.

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UPDATE: First Look: Shanghai Disney Resort Images Revealed

posted on February 3rd, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We have an update to the story we shared with you earlier today about Shanghai Disney Resort. Just now, on today’s earnings call, Bob Iger, Disney chairman and CEO, shared updates on the project. We wanted to share them with you.

“This is also a dynamic and exciting time for our Parks & Resorts – with another very strong performance in Q1 and plenty to look forward to, including the spectacular Shanghai Disney Resort. I was in China the week before last and saw amazing progress — we just topped off our signature Shanghai Disneyland Hotel… and we’re nearing completion on iconic features throughout the park, including the largest castle we’ve ever built… and we’re getting ready to start casting the hundreds of performers we’ll need to entertain our guests. It’s thrilling to see Shanghai Disney Resort rapidly coming to life. The artistry, complexity….the magnitude…and the detail….it’s all quite astonishing. As you’ll recall, after we broke ground on this incredible resort, we announced an $800 million expansion, significantly increasing both the size of the park and the number of attractions available to our guests on opening day. Even with that expansion, we will complete major construction by the end of this calendar year, and we’re planning a spectacular grand opening in Spring of 2016, which we believe is the optimal time to showcase the full grandeur of this world class destination.” – Bob Iger.

As you know, Shanghai Disney Resort is one of the most ambitious projects we’ve ever undertaken at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and I know that all of you are as excited as I am to see what’s planned for our first-ever theme park resort in mainland China. Just this week, we unveiled a first look at new creative images of both the reimagined attraction based on the world of Pirates and the new hotels under development.

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As we shared on the blog previously, Shanghai Disneyland will be home to the first-ever Pirates-themed land-Treasure Cove-and an E-ticket attraction called Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure. The attraction will feature a combination of new technology and innovation and will take guests on a pirate adventure with Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Davy Jones, providing an experience unlike anything else in the world.

The resort also released new aerial images of the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel. The topping out of Shanghai Disneyland Hotel took place just 12 months after its vertical construction started. With 420-rooms, it will be the signature hotel of Shanghai Disney Resort, featuring an elegant Art Nouveau style with a touch of Disney magic and imagination, and stunning views of Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown and the resort’s central lake.

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Shanghai Disney Resort Unveils Construction Images for the Toy Story Hotel Shanghai Disney Resort Unveils and Artist Rendering for the Toy Story Hotel

The topping out of Shanghai Disneyland Hotel adds to the list of milestones since vertical construction of the resort started 15 months ago, including: the topping out of the resort’s first building in Disneytown in December 2013, the 800-room Toy Story Hotel in January 2014 and most recently Disneyland’s “mountain” feature in December 2014. All of these milestones showcase the progress we are making to share wonderful Disney stories with the people of mainland China.

Stay tuned for more updates on Shanghai Disney Resort!

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