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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on March 2nd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


140 Characters Formed a Hashtag at Magic Kingdom Park and Invite You and Your Family to 'Rock Your Disney Side' During a 24-hour Party to Kick Off Summer

This week, we shared a tweet that truly featured 140 characters to officially announce our bicoastal, All-Night Disney Side Party to kick off summer. And we also gave Disney Parks Blog readers a look at how Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and 135 of their friends gathered at Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort to form the familiar shape of a hashtag for our “Ultimate Tweet.”

The “Rock Your Disney Side Party” will be a fun-filled 24-hour event at both Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on May 23 where you’re invited to dress as a favorite hero or villain.

The Disney Side celebration on both coasts will feature a cavalcade of events showcasing the good-vs.-evil of classic Disney stories including character meet-and-greets throughout the parks, special entertainment, event merchandise and special food and beverage offerings.

Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog and rockyourdisneyside.com for more details and information as we get closer to the All-Night Party on May 23.

We also hosted the Disney Parks Blog’s all-time most popular live chat this week with Imagineer Dave Minichiello. Dave talked about Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland for nearly 60 minutes and shared new video comparing onboard footage of the attraction side-by-side with an original CGI onboard that was created early on in the attraction’s development.

If you missed the live chat, it’s available for replay in Jennifer’s story.

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

Runners Assemble – Super News From runDisney – Check out all the details on The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend!

Make Your Reservation Beginning March 12 for Mother’s Day at the Disneyland Resort – Make Mother’s Day extra special for her this year. Unique dishes are being served this year at Disneyland Resort restaurants.

David Wise Celebrates Gold at the Disneyland Resort – See pictures of gold medal winning halfpipe skier David Wise from his visit to Disneyland.

A Mom’s Take: A Wild Ride in the Great Alaskan Frontier with Disney Cruise Line – Nancy from the Disney Parks Moms Panel shows you how you can enjoy the great outdoors of Alaska with the family.

Which Disney Hat Represents Your ‘Disney Side’? – Have a favorite pair of Mickey ears? Find out which suits you best!

New Disney Movies Anywhere Service Launches – Check out this new way to enjoy all your favorite Disney movies on an internet browser, Apple TV or through a free app for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

‘Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade’ Debuts March 9 at Magic Kingdom Park – Parade time is nearly here! Find out all the details of this new daytime spectacular.

‘Countdown to the Oscars’ Special Airs Feb. 27 Featuring Military Heroes at Disneyland Resort – Earlier this month, dozens of military heroes visited Disneyland Resort in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the film, “Forrest Gump.”

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Video: Making Of The 140-Disney-Character ‘Ultimate Tweet’

posted on February 28th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


You’ve probably seen our “Ultimate Tweet” of 140 Disney characters that officially announced an All-Night Disney Side Party in the parks to kick off summer. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and 135 of their friends gathered at Magic Kingdom Park and formed the familiar shape of a hashtag. How’d we do it? Here’s a behind-the-scenes look.

During the “Rock Your Disney Side Party,” you’re also being invited to show your Disney Side by dressing as a favorite Disney hero or villain. The Magic Kingdom Park in Florida and Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park in California will be filled with Disney heroes and villains from 6 a.m., May 23 to 6 a.m., May 24, 2014, local time.

140 Characters Formed a Hashtag at Magic Kingdom Park and Invite You and Your Family to “Rock Your Disney Side” During a 24-hour Party to Kick Off Summer.

Be sure to check our original Disney Parks Blog story and rockyourdisneyside.com for details on today’s Disney Side announcement.

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Tweet Your #DisneySide For a Chance to Win a Disney Parks Vacation

posted on February 28th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re sharing your “Disney Side” at this year’s Rock Your Disney Side: 24-Hour Party or in some other fun, creative way this summer, you have a chance to win a trip for four to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort by simply tweeting about it using the hashtag #DisneySideSweepsEntry.

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Beginning today, February 28, 2014 through March 31, 2014, if you tweet how you’ll be showing your “Disney Side” during the summer and include #DisneySideSweepsEntry you’ll have an opportunity to win a coast-to-coast 7-day / 6-night Disney Parks vacation for four and attend our Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour event during Memorial Day Weekend. If you win, you’ll enjoy a back-to-back stay at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida followed by Disneyland Resort in California. The Grand Prize includes a $800 Disney Gift Card, two days with a VIP Tour Guide and theme park tickets.

For your entry to be valid, you must follow either @WaltDisneyWorld or @Disneyland on Twitter. Also, please limit one entry per person, per account, each day.

We just launched our first tweets on @WaltDisneyWorld and @Disneyland. We’ll notify the potential winner on or about April 4, 2014. Here’s a link to the sweepstakes rules. Please read them before you enter. Good luck.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to persons, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C. or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who have reached the age of majority in their primary state or province of residence. Sweepstakes starts 12:00:01 AM (ET) on 2/28/14; ends 11:59:59 PM (ET) on 3/31/14. Click here for Official Rules.

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140-Disney-Character ‘Ultimate Tweet’ Announces All-Night Disney Side Party On Both Coasts

posted on February 28th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


On Friday, we shared a tweet that truly featured 140 characters to officially announce the latest Disney Parks bicoastal, All-Night Extravaganza on Memorial Day Weekend – the traditional start of the family travel season. Our “Rock Your Disney Side Party” will be a fun-filled 24-hour event at both Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
140 Characters Formed a Hashtag at Magic Kingdom Park and Invite You and Your Family to 'Rock Your Disney Side' During a 24-hour Party to Kick Off Summer

For the Ultimate Tweet, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and 135 of their friends gathered at Magic Kingdom Park and formed the familiar shape of a hashtag. The 140 characters then invited you and your family to “Rock Your Disney Side” during a 24-hour party to kick off summer.

At this year’s All-Night Extravaganza, everyone is being invited to show their “Disney Side” by dressing as a favorite Disney hero or villain. The Magic Kingdom Park in Florida and Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park in California will be filled with Disney heroes and villains from 6 a.m., May 23 to 6 a.m., May 24, 2014, local time.

The celebration on both coasts will feature a cavalcade of events showcasing the good-vs.-evil of classic Disney stories including character meet-and-greets throughout the parks, special entertainment, event merchandise and special food and beverage offerings.

Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog and rockyourdisneyside.com for more details and information as we get closer to the All-Night Extravaganza on May 23. And let us know who you’ll be dressing up as – hero or villain?

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

Disney Parks After Dark: The Partners Statue at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 27th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Sure, we’ve featured the Partners Statue on the blog, but tonight’s “Disney Parks After Dark” photo is one of my favorites – it’s spectacular. Walt Disney World Resort Photographer and blog author Kent Phillips snapped the image at just the right moment after the sunset at Magic Kingdom Park.

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Magic Kingdom Enhancements Include Special Viewing Area, New Pathways, Gardens

posted on February 27th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re a regular Disney Parks Blog reader, you’re certainly familiar with one of our guests’ favorite places at Magic Kingdom Park: the Central Plaza area between the end of Main Street and Cinderella Castle. Well, we’ve just begun a project that’ll make it even better. We’re adding several new elements to the area, including sculpted gardens, additional pathways, expanded restaurant seating and even a special viewing area for fireworks and other performances.

Look closely at our fly-through video and you’ll notice that the enhancements will include new trees and more landscaping in the Central Plaza area. The sculpted gardens planned for the location are inspired by the lush grounds seen around European castles and chateaus.

To make it easier to move around, two additional pathways will be built around the plaza.

Also, seating outside of Casey’s Corner and The Plaza restaurant will nearly double in size.

From Disney California Adventure to New Fantasyland, we have a long-standing track record of being able to make enhancements while maintaining the magic of the Disney experience, and we look forward to continuing that tradition with this work.

This multi-phase enhancement project has already begun and it’ll be completed in 2015.

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New Disney Movies Anywhere Service Launches

posted on February 25th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Regular readers know that movies inspire attractions at Disney Parks. And today, we’re thrilled to share that you’ll now be able to enjoy your favorite films with an all-new digital movie service and app called Disney Movies Anywhere. It’s free and ready to try.

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Debuting with iTunes as its exclusive launch provider, Disney Movies Anywhere is an easy to use, streamlined way to manage and enjoy your digital collection of Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies. When you download the app, you’ll be able to browse, buy and watch your favorite movies on an internet browser, Apple TV or through a free app for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

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Today’s official launch of Disney Movies Anywhere coincides with the release of the hit film “Frozen” as well as “Thor: The Dark World.” Disney Movies Anywhere is offering more than 400 Disney, Pixar and Marvel feature films, direct-to-video content and hard-to-find classics at launch. New movies will be added frequently.

Also, for a limited time, you’ll receive a free digital copy of Disney•Pixar’s “The Incredibles” when you sign up and connect your iTunes account.

Disney Movies Anywhere App is now available free at AppStore.com/Disney. You can also learn more about the service and sign up at the official Disney Movies Anywhere website.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


This week, we announced that the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will run a record 53 days, from September 19 – November 10. That’s a whole extra week to take in the marketplaces, cool concerts and some very special dinners.

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Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for Pam’s next Epcot International Food & Wine Festival update and the announcement of the lineup of celebrity and Disney chefs.

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And we’re continuing our popular series of New Fantasyland live chats here on the Disney Parks Blog. Tomorrow, February 24 at 2:30 p.m. EST, Walt Disney Imagineering Executive Creative Director Dave Minichiello will join us to talk about the attraction and answer your questions.

During the chat, we’ll be sharing an exclusive Walt Disney Imagineering video of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train where you’ll get a sneak peek of the experience inside the attraction.

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

Cast Members Submit Photos of Their ‘Happy Place’ at Disneyland Resort – Disneyland Resort Line asked cast members to send a photograph of their ‘happy place’ at Disneyland Resort. See the finalists after the jump!

Laying Down Tracks for the ‘Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade’ at Magic Kingdom Park – Watch the process of putting together the new “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” original theme song, with Composer Mark Hammond.

March Merchandise Events at Disneyland Resort – Get a preview of some of the great events happening in March, including artwork, food tastings, and a book signing by author of the Kingdom Keepers saga, Ridley Pearson.

Newlyweds Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting Spend ‘Mini-Honeymoon’ at the Disneyland Resort – See some fun photos from TV Kaley Cuoco and professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting’s visit to Disneyland Resort on Valentine’s Day weekend.

Sights and Sounds of Disney Parks: Kermit Talks about Disney and the Muppets – Disney Parks Blog author Greg Ehrbar and Kermit discuss Walt Disney Studios, Disney Parks and the new Muppets movie, “Muppets Most Wanted,” coming to theaters March 21st!

All in the Details: Imagineers Create The Dwarfs Cottage at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – See the some of the extra effort put into the Dwarfs’ cottage at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction in New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World Resort.

Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips: ‘Fantasmic!’ at Disneyland Park – Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover shares a few pointers for viewing the nighttime spectacular, “Fantasmic!”

A Mom’s Take: Making the Most of Your Time in European Ports – Watch as Disney Parks Moms Panelist Marcy shares some of the best ways to enjoy European Ports with Disney Cruise Line.

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Live Chat to Feature New Walt Disney Imagineering Video

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


To replay our live chat with Walt Disney Imagineer Dave Minichiello, click here.

We’re continuing our series of New Fantasyland live chats next week with perhaps our most popular topic – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. On February 24 at 2:30 p.m. EST, Walt Disney Imagineering Executive Creative Director Dave Minichiello will join us here on the Disney Parks Blog to talk about the attraction and answer your questions.

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During the chat, we’ll be sharing an exclusive Walt Disney Imagineering video of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train where you’ll get a sneak peek of the experience inside the attraction. We’ll also be answering questions you may have about the attraction and talking about the completion of New Fantasyland at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Be sure and join us here on Monday, February 24. The live chat featuring Imagineer Dave Minichiello will begin at 2:30 p.m. See you then.

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Momentum at Hong Kong Disneyland Continues with a Record-Breaking Year and New Experiences Planned for the Future

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


Earlier this week, Hong Kong Disneyland released their Annual Business Results for 2013, posting their best year ever, and setting new attendance and hotel occupancy records for the fourth straight year. Guests are loving the new attractions at Hong Kong Disneyland, and with the successful openings of Mystic Point (last May) Grizzly Gulch (2012) and Toy Story Land (2011), these new attractions give guests even more opportunities to connect with our characters and be part of our stories. The three themed areas have increased the park size by about one-fourth bringing the total number of attractions and entertainment offerings to over 100.

WELCOME TO HONG KONG DISNEYLAND

And there is even more to come. This week, Hong Kong Disneyland also announced a plan to build a new 750-room Disney-branded hotel dedicated to the spirit of exploration that celebrates exotic locations from around the world. Slated to open in early 2017, the hotel will increase the number of hotel rooms at the resort by 75 percent to 1,750.

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The hotel will cap a remarkable addition of new experiences, including a brand new nighttime spectacular called “Disney Paint the Night,” debuting this year and the previously announced Iron Man themed area scheduled to open in late 2016. The addition will feature the highly anticipated Iron Man Experience, in which guests join Tony Stark in a battle against alien invaders across the city of Hong Kong and will mark the first major attraction based on a Marvel character.

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Combined with Hong Kong Disneyland’s recent expansion, the successful business results and all that’s planned for the resort in the coming years, Hong Kong Disneyland is well positioned to continue its momentum as a premier vacation destination in Hong Kong. Stay tuned for more updates!

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