Main Street, U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom Park

Disney Parks Honored with Several Industry Awards

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


I’m happy to report that earlier this week, two prestigious organizations honored Disney Parks projects with multiple industry awards.

Park it's a small world

On Tuesday, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced their annual Thea Award winners. Among the honorees, TEA announced that “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, is the recipient of the Thea Classic award, honoring attractions that have withstood the test of time and have endured for 20 or more years. TEA said in their announcement that the attraction “continues to captivate audiences around the world with pure charm, melded with a profound message deceptively hiding in a simple and astonishingly catchy song … This timeless classic continues to engage generation after generation. Surely “it’s a small world” is the very definition of a Classic.”

DPH700824

Also, Bistrot Chez Remy, the new French restaurant at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris that is inspired by the Disney∙Pixar film “Ratatouille,” is the winner of the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Themed Restaurant. “It is a truly charming and thematically thorough dining experience, where oversized objects are reused in every possible way to create tables, chairs, architectural elements, and props … [E]verything is very well-conceived and delivered to create an illusion that is both convincing and coyly self-aware. The exterior of the attraction looks like a typical Parisian café, but on closer inspection, one realizes that this is the world of Paris from the film, where there are no straight lines – a perfect blend of fiction and reality. This venue exhibits thoroughness, conceptual clarity, dedication to narrative detail, and exceptional finish.”

Wilderness Explorers Opens at  Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Finally, Wilderness Explorers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, an interactive experience that combines badge collecting, guest interaction and learning about the natural world, is the winner of the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Interactive Park Attraction on a Limited Budget.

“Disney has incorporated storytelling and gaming to create an experience that is intimate and personal in its connection to the guests, yet wisely recognizes that technology would be a distraction and remove guests from nature. Guests are given a role in the story – becoming a Wilderness Explorer – that was a poignant, aspirational story of a core identifiable character from the Pixar film. This intersection point between film story world, live animals and the beautiful habitats within Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a huge part of why this attraction is effective … This unique attraction is worthy of honors as much for its craft as for the authenticity and cleverness of implementation within a unique park environment.”

TEA is an international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences. Thea Awards will be given out at an awards ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel on March 21, 2015.

On Wednesday night, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) awarded their Brass Rings Awards for Live Entertainment Excellence and “Once Upon a Time” at Tokyo Disney Resort won for Best Multimedia Spectacular.

DPH700841LARGE

IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards mark achievements of excellence throughout the global attractions industry.

Congratulations to all who worked to create and bring these wonderful projects to life!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , , , ,

Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

Room With A View: ‘Theme Park View’ Suite at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Today, we’re kicking off a new series on the Disney Parks Blog, featuring suites at Walt Disney World Resort that have something special in common – a spectacular view.

Our first room with a view is a Club Level 1 Bedroom Theme Park View Suite on the 14th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and one of its most impressive features is the amazing sight of Magic Kingdom Park during the day and the spectacular fireworks at the park when the sun sets.

Of course, the view inside this 1,428 square foot suite is just as impressive. There’s unique artwork throughout the suite, and the open living room is set up with Bose surround sound as well as a DVD and stereo systems.

RWV590691

The living room and bedroom have an oversize balcony with lounge chairs to enjoy the view of Magic Kingdom Park. The suite also features two full bathrooms and a separate living area.

You can book this suite now at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. To find prices and availability for this suite, visit our Disneyworld.com page.

We’re just getting going with this series, so let us know if this is your favorite resort view or if you have another at Walt Disney World Resort.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Closer Look: ‘A Frozen Holiday Wish’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on November 17th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Earlier this month, we began our Disney Side holiday video series with a live stream of the all-new “A Frozen Holiday Wish” from the Castle Forecourt Stage at Magic Kingdom Park. It was such a hit that this week we’re sharing a closer look at the show. Disney Show director James Silson has a special look for Disney Parks Blog readers.

“A Frozen Holiday Wish” is now being presented nightly through December 31, 2014 at Magic Kingdom Park. Here’s how you can see it this holiday season.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on November 16th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared even more holiday experiences happening this season at Disney Parks as well as a special behind-the-scenes peek at how we transform Magic Kingdom Park for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you missed it, take a look at what happens while you sleep.

Our Holiday Services department works year round to make sure everything is ready to be installed at each park and resort at Walt Disney World Resort.

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

Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Main Entrance – We continued our “Building the Dream” series on the Disney Parks Blog with a special look at the making of the Main Entrance of Disneyland Park.

First Look: Black Widow and Hawkeye on a Mission This Weekend at Disneyland Resort – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Black Widow and Hawkeye, are descending upon the Disneyland Resort for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon!

First Look: Themed Hotels, Disneytown Announced for Shanghai Disney Resort – Get a peek at some exciting updates for Shanghai Disney Resort, including two themed hotels and an area called Disneytown – a spectacular shopping, dining and entertainment district.

Cinderella’s Dining at Cítricos–Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Starting January 8, 2015, the Disney princesses will welcome guests to Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa!

Dateline Adventureland: Lost Holiday Shipment Found Aboard the Jingle Cruise at Disneyland Park – See how these lost yule tide trappings are now being appropriated by the animals of Jingle Cruise at Disneyland Park.

Trust Your Training – The Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation Finisher Medals Revealed – These ARE the medals you’re looking for … see the finisher medals to be be presented at the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!

First Look at runDisney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Merchandise – Create your own hero identity with merchandise debuting this weekend as part of the runDisney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon.

Disney Parks After Dark: Very Merry Fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park – See this spectacular image, captured by photographer Mark Willard during the fireworks show, Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season.

First Look: Train, Trisha Yearwood, Lucy Hale, Trey Songz and More at the Disneyland Resort for Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration on ABC – Earlier this week we gave our readers the first look at what’s in store Christmas morning from the Disneyland Resort on ABC.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

MagicBands Bring More Pixie Dust to Disney Infinity

posted on November 14th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Disney Interactive’s gaming platform Disney Infinity joined with Disney Parks to offer Walt Disney World Resort guests with a MagicBand a special surprise. In the recently released edition of the game, Disney Infinity (2.0 Edition), only guests with a MagicBand can unlock the enchanting charm of the “it’s a small world” attraction into their very own Toy Box creation.

SMW606831

Guests unlock the download of “it’s a small world” for their Toy Box by placing a MagicBand over the Disney Infinity Base. The Base will detect the presence of a MagicBand, and then will instantly unlock the “it’s a small world” download with no online connectivity required. Additionally, you’ll be able to enchant other players with the iconic music from the “it’s a small world” attraction in the background. Once you’ve created a saved game, you will always have access to the new content.

SMW606833THUMB SMW606832THUMB

MagicBands are part of MyMagic+, an exciting new way to experience even more of the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation.

Disney Infinity is an interactive gaming platform that brings favorite Disney, Pixar and Marvel toys to life in a world without limits. With Disney Infinity players have endless opportunities to create stories and fun-filled adventures!

MagicBands are intended for use in the United States only.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: MagicBands, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

First Look: Themed Hotels, Disneytown Announced for Shanghai Disney Resort

posted on November 14th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


SHD790801

Earlier this week in China, we shared some exciting updates for Shanghai Disney Resort, including a new birdseye view of the Resort, a first look at two themed hotels and what’s planned for an area called Disneytown – a spectacular shopping, dining and entertainment district.

SHD790802THUMB SHD790803THUMB

The signature hotel of Shanghai Disney Resort will be the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, an elegant Art Nouveau-inspired hotel with a touch of Disney magic and imagination. Also, our Toy Story Hotel will transport guests to a world inspired by the toys from the Disney•Pixar series of “Toy Story” animated films.

“We are excited to provide guests with a glimpse of the unique hotels and the vibrant retail, dining and entertainment district we are creating as a part of the new Shanghai Disney Resort,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “These elements, like the entire park and resort area, are designed to deliver the quality, guest service and great storytelling of Disney, and created specifically with our Chinese guests in mind.”

SHD790804

Disneytown will be located near the two resorts and Shanghai Disneyland and feature world-class entertainment in China at the Walt Disney Grand Theatre – along with distinctive dining and unique shops. This Art Deco theatre in Broadway Plaza will host the global premiere of the Mandarin version of “THE LION KING,” the highest-grossing Broadway show ever.

SHD790805

At the heart of Disneytown will be the Marketplace – a location filled with specialty shops with Disney merchandise, musicians and entertainers.

Next to the Marketplace will be an area called Spice Alley, offering a variety of popular Asian cuisines in a casual, yet romantic environment. The al fresco dining spots are perfect for lunch with friends or a more formal date. And the intimate streets and festive lights encourage leisurely after dinner strolling.

Broadway Boulevard at Disneytown will have stylish boutiques that create an upscale atmosphere. Guests will discover an exciting array of popular labels and trendsetting products.

Also near Disneytown will be the resort’s central lake area, offering guests from Shanghai and around the world an opportunity to commune with nature, surrounded by peaceful greenery and a beautiful lake. The area includes a walking path and various beautiful gardens, which present guests with awe-inspiring natural views and beautiful sunsets.

Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for updates on Shanghai Disney Resort.


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

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Shanghai Disney Resort

Self-Taught Disney Artist Inspires With Paint at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 11th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you don’t know Joe Kaminski, chances are you know his work. Joe’s amazing Disney character art has been featured on the Disney Parks Blog since launch and over the years, he’s continued to make magic while most of us sleep – he usually paints from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

As Joe prepares for appearances at this week’s Disney Artist Showcase at the Art of Disney, we wanted to share a special behind-the-scenes look at how this self-taught artist inspires others to follow their passion.

Joe’s motivation to create art comes from his children’s love of Disney characters but he was originally inspired to begin after seeing another Disney Parks Blog favorite, Don “Ducky” Williams, sketching Disney characters.

JoeKaminski_Home_Studio (1)

Art created by Joe, Don “Ducky” Williams, blog author Will Gay and others will be featured in the upcoming Disney Artist Showcase at the Art of Disney location in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort.

We’ve included a schedule of which artists will make appearances at the events. Please note that all appearances are subject to change without notice.

  • November 14-15 – David Buckley, Joe Kaminski, Will Gay, Don “Ducky” Williams, Mark Seppala
  • November 21-22 – Darren Wilson, Tim McCloskey, Joe Kaminski, Alex Maher
  • December 5-6 – Brian Blackmore, Tim McCloskey, Jason Grandt, Costa Alavezos
  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Art of Disney, Downtown Disney, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on November 9th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared several holiday surprises on the Disney Parks Blog, including the first of a new series of Disney Side live video events – a look at “A Frozen Holiday Wish” as it happens at Magic Kingdom Park. If you missed our live stream, you can watch a replay this weekend and through the holiday season.

Of course, “A Frozen Holiday Wish” is best experienced in person at Magic Kingdom Park – shows are now being presented nightly through December 31, 2014.

Keep an eye out this month for our next Disney Side live stream event here on the blog.

DFD589042

Also, Erin shared an update that you will be able to experience the popular nighttime spectacular “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland park with new viewing options beginning December 12. “Fantasmic!” will feature reserved and stand-by viewing as well as several all-new dining packages. Check Erin’s story for more details and to make reservations beginning November 12.

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

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Begins November 13 with ‘Frozen’ Additions and Returning Favorites – Fans of Disney’s “Frozen” will especially love this holiday season at the Disneyland Resort.

Ten Reasons to Stay in a Disneyland Resort Hotel – A stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel is as much a part of the experience as much as a visit to the theme parks.

Dateline Adventureland: Holiday Shipment Lost in the Jungle at Disneyland Park – Attention adventurers! Jungle Navigation Company misplaced another important shipment somewhere in the jungles of Adventureland at Disneyland park. Click through to learn more.

The Running of the Goats at Disneyland Park – Watch a unique video to learn more about this adorable tradition at Disneyland park.

The Stars of ‘Big Hero 6′ Are Ready for Their Disney Parks Debut – You’ll find Hiro Hamada and his buddy, a huggable robot named Baymax, stars of ‘Big Hero 6′, at Disney Parks starting this weekend!

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Returns Tonight at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – It’s back! The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, a favorite holiday offering among many of our park guests, returned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this weekend.

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Still making Thanksgiving plans? Consider celebrating family and food at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Enjoy familiar Thanksgiving favorites … but with an island twist.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Fans Cheer ‘Big Hero 6′ at Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up

posted on November 8th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Last Sunday, we kicked off the month with our latest Disney Parks Blog meet-up featuring a special preview screening of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Big Hero 6” before it opened on November 7.

Fans Cheer 'Big Hero 6' at Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up

Hundreds of readers (some in costume) joined us at AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Walt Disney World Resort to see “Big Hero 6” – an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius—thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred.

Fans Cheer 'Big Hero 6' at Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up

Attendees of the Meet-Up also enjoyed a meet-and-greet with “Big Hero 6” characters Hiro and Baymax during the event. Both characters are coming to Disney Parks.

Fans Cheer 'Big Hero 6' at Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up

When the movie ended, fans applauded and cheered before heading out to see the giant 40-foot Baymax at Downtown Disney.

Thank you to everyone who attended our latest Walt Disney World Resort meet-up – it was a fantastic time. If you weren’t able to join us to see the movie, remember, “Big Hero 6” opens in theaters, in 3D on November 7. For more information, visit Disney.com/bighero6.

Be sure to keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for information about our next meet-up opportunity.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Video: ‘A Frozen Holiday Wish’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on November 7th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


On Friday night, we kicked off our special Disney Side live video series for the holidays with a “must-see” from the Walt Disney World Resort – “A Frozen Holiday Wish.” If you missed it live, we’re sharing a chance to see it again this weekend.

Thank you for checking out our first in a series of live stream events this holiday season. Of course, “A Frozen Holiday Wish” is best experienced in person at Magic Kingdom Park – shows are now being presented nightly through December 31, 2014.

Check back next week for our next live stream from the Walt Disney World Resort.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort