Mad Tea Party at Disney Parks

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 13th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, Disney theme parks around the world joined in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the “it’s a small world” attraction.

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As you know, we’ve been sharing wonderful renditions of the attraction’s unforgettable song from around the world during the last few weeks. Part of this week’s celebration was featured live on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America.”

The broadcast began with a chorus of kids singing live in Times Square, cast members and children singing in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, a children’s chorus and dancing dragons at Hong Kong Disneyland, cast members at Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Park (Paris), and ended with Disney cast members singing in front of the first “it’s a small world” attraction at Disneyland park, punctuated with a finale of fireworks.

And this week, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, unveiled a video that offered the first look at some of the amazing new characters who will be part of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. The attraction will feature some of the most advanced Audio-Animatronics figures Walt Disney Imagineering has ever created.

In our “All in the Details” series, we also released a full version of a CGI video that takes you on a colorful ride through part of the attraction, too. Check it out in Jennifer’s series.

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

Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Traditional Leis – Learn about the warm Hawaiian greeting guests receive upon arriving at Aulani.

Disneyland Resort Cast Members Celebrate ‘it’s a small world’ – Watch this wonderful rendition of “it’s a small world,” sung in a variety of languages.

Remembering Mickey Rooney at the Disneyland Resort – Remember legendary entertainer Mickey Rooney, whose career spanned 10 decades and included work for Disney in “Pete’s Dragon,” “The Fox and the Hound,” and most recently, “The Muppets.”

Disneyland Wins First-Ever March Magic Challenge – Thanks to all your votes on Facebook, the Caribbean Pirates claimed the first-ever March Magic victory!

Moving ‘it’s a small world’ Across the Country and Back Again – Get a little bit of Disney Parks history … and mystery in this behind-the-scenes post on the famous attraction at Disneyland park.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Party for the Planet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; More Earth Day Fun at The Seas with Nemo & Friends – Disney’s Animal Kingdom is hosting a party this Earth Day, Aprill 22! Find out more after the jump.

Favorite ‘it’s a small world’ Sing-Along Videos on SmallWorld50.com – Thousands have participated in celebrating 50 years of this classic Disney Parks attraction by posting their own sing-along videos. Click through to see some of our favorites!

A New Way to End Your Walt Disney World Resort Day: ‘Epcot After-Hours Wind Down’ – Check out this excellent way to unwind in the after-hours at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Global Celebrations Mark 50th Anniversary of ‘it’s a small world’ at Disney Parks

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


We have an exciting day planned Thursday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disney’s “it’s a small world” attraction, including online and in-park sing-alongs, musical performances and even a special Google Hangout with Disney Legend Richard Sherman.
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We’re kicking off the global celebration early on Thursday with a live sing-along with ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” in Times Square in New York City. If you’re in the area, be sure to check it out. In addition to Times Square, GMA will feature choirs singing live at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, plus a choir at the Unisphere in New York at the original location of the 1964 World’s Fair, where “it’s a small world” debuted.

During the day, you’re also invited to join guests and cast members at Disney Parks around the globe for a historic “it’s a small world” sing-along at our global online hub, SmallWorld50.com. And as Erin shared last week, you can also join us for our Google Hangout event with Disney Legend Richard Sherman, live at 1 p.m. PDT from Disneyland park. The event can be seen live here and in the “Gallery” section of SmallWorld50.com.

Throughout the day, guests at Disney Parks will be participating in the celebration at all five resorts around the world. Here are the details for each park:

  • At the Walt Disney World Resort, hundreds of Magic Kingdom Park guests are joining in the song during a special “pre-parade” before the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.”

    Throughout the day, in-park performers – the Dapper Dans, Coke Corner Pianist, Notorious Banjo Brothers, Royal Majesty Maker Musicians and Main Street Philharmonic – are scheduled to include “it’s a small world” in their appearances.

  • At the Disneyland Resort, songwriter Richard Sherman is scheduled to appear in a sing-along cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A., conducting hundreds of Disneyland guests in their “it’s a small world” sing-along.
  • At Hong Kong Disneyland, cast members and students from Hong Kong Children’s Choir are singing “it’s a small world” in Cantonese.
  • At Tokyo Disneyland, cast members and guests are gathering to sing in Japanese at Tokyo Disneyland.
  • At Disneyland Paris, a “blue carpet” event featuring international cast members is planned for on Main Street, U.S.A., with students from the European International School, singing a multi-language version of the iconic anthem in front of “it’s a small world.”
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Favorite ‘it’s a small world’ Sing-Along Videos on SmallWorld50.com

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


Since launching our global online hub SmallWorld50.com, thousands of you have participated in the historic celebration of the classic Disney Parks attraction and recorded and shared online video of yourself singing “it’s a small world.”

We’ve enjoyed watching (and hearing) each submitted sing-along on SmallWorld50.com but a few of your renditions of “it’s a small world” have stood out to us. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.

Now, it’s your turn. Go share your online video at SmallWorld50.com and be sure to check the Disney Parks Blog early on April 10 to learn more about our celebration of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world.”

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 6th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared the first post of a special MyMagic+ series coming to the Disney Parks Blog with a story from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs.

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Tom shared an update that we’ve reached an exciting milestone – we’re now providing guests who might only be visiting for the day with the ability to fully engage in MyMagic+ before their visit. Guests can register on My Disney Experience online, reserve access to some of their favorite experiences with FastPass+ and also purchase MagicBands on-site, if they choose.

Check Tom’s original story for more details and keep an eye open right here on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates as we continue to roll-out MyMagic+.

CAPTION All in the Details: Jewel Sorting & More Inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Queue at Magic Kingdom Park

And this week, Disney Parks Blog readers were treated to two new “All in the Details” stories featuring Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland. Author Jennifer Fickley-Baker started the week with a close look at the Dwarfs’ cottage. And she ended the week with a peek into an area we haven’t shared much about yet – the attraction’s queue, which features a few interactive opportunities for guests.

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

ACT Anaheim Announces $1.5M in Inaugural Grants – Accelerate Change Together for Anaheim (ACT Anaheim) is awarding $1.5M in grants to 10 local nonprofit organizations. Click through to learn more!

Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Claude Coats – Read about this elite artist and his contributions to many classic Disney animated features, including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Fantasia,” “Dumbo,” and more.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Now on Instagram – Share your Aulani vacation photos using #Aulani and we may feature them on the newly launched @DisneyAulani!

A Look Back: Behind the Scenes of the Re-imagined “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Park – Disney Imagineer Kim Irvine gives an inside look at the new additions made to “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park.

Hear a Gospel Rendition of Disney’s “it’s a small world (after all)” – Watch this special performance “it’s a small world” to continue our celebration of its 50th anniversary!

Five Things You Might Have Missed in ‘it’s a small world’ at Disneyland Park – Catch some of the smaller details of this famous attraction you might have overlooked.

Lots of Fun Horsing Around at Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Walt Disney World Resort – Learn more about Tri-Circle-D Ranch, wagon rides, pony rides and its 90-plus residents.

Exploring Northern Europe with Disney Cruise Line – Click through to see some spectacular photos of Northern Europe and learn how you could be part of a voyage from Disney Cruise Line.

Chalkboard Art-Inspired Items Coming to Disney Centerpiece at Downtown Disney Marketplace in 2014 – Check out these striking chalkboard-inspired home goods, including dishes, glassware, pillows, picture frames and more!

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#DisneyKids: First Ear Hat at Disney Parks

posted on April 4th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’re continuing our series of different firsts to experience at Disney Parks with one of those “must-haves” – a first Disney ear hat. Our ear hats are such identifiable icons that many families use them to mark their visit.

Parents share their ear hats with their children and also pass down the tradition of selecting one. It’s another one of those “firsts” at Disney Parks that I’m sure many readers have in common.

We’re just getting going with this new series so let us know about a special, memorable or even life changing first trip to Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort in the comments below and then check back for our new #DisneyKids series.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on March 30th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week on the Disney Parks Blog, our readers were treated to a bevvy of “it’s a small world” content in honor of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the attraction. Many Disney Parks Blog authors shared stories, historic images and videos created especially for this celebration – be sure to check out Erin’s post for some fun trivia and history that surrounds this attraction.

IT'S A SMALL WORLD AT THE 1964 WORLD'S FAIR 50TH ANNIVERSARY

Here at the Walt Disney World Resort, our coverage of the construction of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train kicked into high gear with two updates in our “All in the Details” series. Jennifer shared a look at changing terrain of the attraction, which features rocky cliffs, lush trees, and fields of flowers. Another update focused solely on the “big drop” in the attraction.

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

This Week in Disney History: ‘Love Bug’ Day at Disneyland Park, 1969 – 45 years ago, 101 decorated Volkswagen Beetles made their way down Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park to celebrate the release of the film “The Love Bug.”

Chef Marcel St. Pierre New at Helm of Steakhouse 55 in Disneyland Hotel – Meet Chef Marcel St. Pierre and some of the delectable dishes available at Steakhouse 55 in Disneyland Hotel.

Xin Yin Children’s Choir Celebrates Disney’s ‘it’s a small world’ – Watch this special performance of “it’s a small world” by the Shanghai-based Xin Yin Children’s choir.

Caryl Stern, President & CEO of U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Visits ‘it’s a small world’ at Disneyland Park – Caryl Stern shares her memories of riding “it’s a small world” at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and describes the long-standing relationship between UNICEF and Disney.

Video: ‘Let it Go’ Sing-Along from Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Performed at Walt Disney World Resort – Did you catch “Good Morning America’s” “Frozen”-themed sing-along event? Watch a group of talented children perform a portion of the song “Let it Go!” at Walt Disney World Resort.

Marvelous New Merchandise Debuts at Disney Parks – If you like the Avengers, then you’ll love this new merchandise, including apparel, iPhone cases and more!

Bringing Maleficent to Life for ‘Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade’ at Magic Kingdom Park – Parade Designer Richard Improta and Tony Award-winning Production Designer Michael Curry discuss the origins of the fire-breathing Maleficent Dragon.

Date Night on the High Seas with Disney Cruise Line – Ever consider a date night on the open ocean? Click through to learn more about how Disney Cruise Line can give you that quality time.

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir Sings Disney’s ‘it’s a small world’

posted on March 26th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you joined us when we announced our celebration of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” you saw the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing a portion of the song in our worldwide video. It was so good, we’ve decided to kick off our new video series of “it’s a small world” sing-along videos with more of their performance. Enjoy.

Check back tomorrow for another special sing-along video celebrating “it’s a small world.” You can join the celebration by singing along and creating your own “it’s a small world” doll at SmallWorld50.com.

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Video: ‘Let it Go’ Sing-Along from Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Performed at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 24th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you watched “Good Morning America’s” “Frozen”-themed sing-along event ON ABC-TV, then you saw (and heard) a group of talented children performing a portion of the song “Let it Go!” at Walt Disney World Resort. Today, to celebrate the recent release of Disney’s Academy Award-winning film “Frozen” on Blu-ray Combo Pack, we’re sharing their complete – and adorable – performance with Anna and Elsa.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on March 23rd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we invited the world to join a first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along at SmallWorld50.com to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” – the classic Disney Parks attraction that opened as a tribute to UNICEF’s work for children around the world at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

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We’ll be celebrating the anniversary on April 10 but we’ve already kicked things off at Disney Parks. Visit our original post to learn how you can participate in the celebration and create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to share with your friends. The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” plus $1 for every sing-along video recorded on SmallWorld50.com and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to $100,000.

Disney Parks Blog readers were also among the first to see a new trailer for Walt Disney Studios’ latest cinematic vision, “Maleficent.” And starting April 18, a special extended sneak peek will be playing daily at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the ABC Sound Studio and at Disney California Adventure park in the naturalistic “underground” setting of the Bug’s Life Theater.

“Maleficent” stars Angelina Jolie in the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty” and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. “Maleficent” opens in theaters on May 30, 2014.

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

Vintage Disney Parks Video: Take a Trip Back to the Beginning of ‘it’s a small world’ – See some excellent historical footage from the debut of “it’s a small world” at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and the attraction’s opening at Disneyland park in 1966.

The History of the Disneyland Monorail: Mark V, 1986-2008 – Our regular series on the Disneyland Monorail continues with the Mark V!

Disneyland Resort Hotels Earn California’s Top Environmental Certification – This certification represents the state’s top rating for traveler’s seeking green lodging. Fewer than 1% of Orange County hotels share this level of certification!

Shanghai Disneyland’s Treasure Cove Unveiled – Get a first look at Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates-themed land and a new Pirates of the Caribbean attraction!

Behind the Sounds: Inside Audio Central at Disney California Adventure Park – Stage Technician Brian White gives an inside look on how the audio engineers at Disney California Adventure bring magic to the park every day.

Exciting News from Aulani for Fans of our Hawaiian Mele: Music of the Makaʻala Available for Download March 18 – Take the Aulani Hawaiian experience with you anywhere by downloading five special songs, written by Kealiʻi Reichel and Mark Mancina

‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Available On Blu-ray Today – Get a sneak peek of one of the special features available on the new Blu-ray release!

A Mom’s Take: Magical Port Adventures in Venice – Marcy from the Disney Parks Moms Panel shows us a few of the adventures your family can embark on in “The Floating City.”

Learn to Draw Disney Characters at Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Hone your illustration skills with instruction from one of our character artists. Take a look at the video after the jump!

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#DisneyKids: First Haircut at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on March 21st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Some of our favorite stories on the blog involve firsts – whether it’s meeting a character, riding a special attraction or just experiencing the magic of Disney Parks for the first time in a unique way.

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In fact, there are so many different firsts to experience at Disney Parks that we’re launching a new series featuring your favorites. And we’re kicking things off today with one that many readers have in common – a first haircut.

Our Harmony Barber Shop at Magic Kingdom Park caters to first haircuts and perform about 10 – 15 a day. Some guests feel it’s a rite of passage to have a first haircut inside the Main Street U.S.A. barbershop, according to the barbers.

The first hair cut experience at the Harmony Barber Shop also includes a sample of your child’s trimmed hair to keep as a memento, a certificate and embroidered Mickey Ears that read “first hair cut.”

Now, it’s your turn. Let us know about what was special, memorable or even life changing about your first trip to the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort in the comments below and then check back for our new #DisneyKids series.

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