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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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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on February 1st, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week at Disneyland park, Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced that the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration marking the resort’s 60th anniversary, will begin Friday, May 22.

Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Park Will Receive a Diamond Medallion Featuring the Letter 'D' for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Carthay Circle Theatre in Disneyland California Adventure Park Will Receive a Diamond Medallion Featuring the Letter 'D' for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

Erin shared that the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland park and Carthay Circle Theatre in Disney California Adventure park will glisten and gleam, each with its own diamond medallion featuring the letter “D” for the celebration. Disney California Adventure park will present a special edition of the popular “World of Color” show and a new “Paint the Night” parade and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular will be featured at Disneyland park.

Check out Erin’s original story for more details and images, as well as a special video.

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Also this week at the Walt Disney World Resort, we celebrated a significant milestone for MagicBands – 10 million distributed. Since our original announcement, MagicBands have become a favorite way for guests to make their visit easier, more personal and magical.

Recently, MagicBand was named one of Fortune Magazine’s “26 Coolest Gadgets of 2014.” MyMagic+ was also honored with an “Innovation by Design” award by the popular magazine and website, Fast Company. Visit our original story to read more.

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

Exciting Ways to Explore Italy with Adventures by Disney – Planning a visit to Italy? Here’s a snippet about what each Adventures by Disney Italy vacation offers to get you started.

Wildlife Wednesday: 11 Facts That Show There’s Something for Everyone on the ‘Treks & Trails’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! – Check out some of the sights from Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia, Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Africa and last, but certainly not least, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, all at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic Merchandise Drops Into Disney Parks on February 13, 2015 – Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller reveals new Hollywood Tower Hotel apparel, glassware, pins and other souvenirs coming to Disney Parks on Friday, February 13.

Governor Awards Disneyland Resort California’s Highest Environmental Honor – The Disneyland Resort was recently honored with a Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) for waste reduction efforts. Click through to learn more!

Get a Sneak Preview of ‘Cinderella’ at Disney California Adventure Park – Find out how you can get an extended preview at Disney California Adventure Park of Disney’s all-new live-action feature, “Cinderella,” arriving in theaters March 13.

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Topiary Engineer – Watch Topiary Engineer Sarah Day at work and learn where you can spot all the animal topiaries at Disneyland Resort.

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10 Million & Counting: MagicBands a Hit with Walt Disney World Resort Guests

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


If you enjoy MagicBands and all they can do as much as my family does at Walt Disney World Resort then you’re probably not surprised that we’re already celebrating a significant milestone – 10 million MagicBands distributed.

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Since our original announcement, MagicBands have become a favorite way for guests to make their visit easier, more personal and magical. The colorful MagicBands link your entire MyMagic+ experience together and can serve as a theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass card as well as a room key for Disney Resort hotel guests. You travel lighter with MagicBands at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Recently, MagicBand was named one of Fortune Magazine’s “26 Coolest Gadgets of 2014.” MyMagic+ was also honored with an “Innovation by Design” award by the popular magazine and website, Fast Company. It received the top spot in the “Experience Design” category when Fast Company revealed the 10 best designs of the year at their annual “Innovation by Design” Awards and Conference in New York City.

As regular Disney Parks Blog readers know, you receive a MagicBand if you stay at a Disney Resort hotel or you are a Walt Disney World Passholder. If you are not staying at a Disney Resort hotel and are not a Passholder, you receive a card when you purchase park admission—and you have the option to purchase a MagicBand online or at select retail locations at Walt Disney World Resort.

Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog in future weeks for some new ways you can personalize and show your Disney Side with MagicBands.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 25th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we featured several popular “Frozen” stories on the Disney Parks Blog, including a special announcement that Olaf is coming to all four Disney Cruise Line ships along with information about brand-new Disney Cruise experiences being planned for the entire family beginning this summer.

Land of “Frozen” Coming to Disney Cruise Line in Summer 2015

Jonathan included highlights of some of the new experiences in his original story. And he’ll be sharing more right here on the Disney Parks Blog over the next several weeks.

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We also continued our “Learn to Draw” series with a special guest this week – actor Josh Gad. Josh, who voiced Olaf in the “Frozen.” film, stopped by The Magic of Disney Animation to test his own skills at drawing his animated friend.

Check out Jenn’s original post to see more tutorials on drawing your favorite Disney characters.

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

Disneyland Resort Circle D Corral Now Zero Waste Certified – Thanks to efforts begun four years ago by cast member Andrea Raney, Circle D Corral is now gold-level Zero Waste certified by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, with 99 percent of its waste repurposed, composted or recycled!

Splitsville Hits a High Note with New Saturday Night Bands at Downtown Disney West Side – Have you heard the live music on Saturday Nights at Splitsville? Disney Parks Blog author Darcy Clark shares her impression, and details a number of improvements coming to Splitsville in 2015.

Vote to Name Our New Baby Goats at the Disneyland Resort – See some pictures of the new kids at Circle D Corral, and don’t forget to vote for their names!

Video Rewind: Caring for Classic Disneyland Park Attractions – Take a look back at some behind-the-scenes videos we showed you in years past here on the Disney Parks Blog to see how we care for our classic Disneyland park attractions.

Tweens Make New Friends at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Learn all about the ways tweens can hang loose during a vacation at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

Nick Arciniaga Wins First-Ever Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort – Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon, and to the more than 23,000 runners who participated!

A Unique Point of View: Mad Tea Party at Disneyland Park – Get a look at these unique images from Disneyland Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 18th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we celebrated the anniversaries of two favorite attractions here on the Disney Parks Blog with some exclusive stories, photos and yes, wallpapers. To download the wallpapers, simply click on the images below.

Space Mountain Anniversary Wallpaper Carousel of Progress Anniversary Wallpaper

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

Our “There’s a Great Big, Beautiful Tomorrow” art was created by artist Brittany Ungvarsky and the Space Mountain attraction wallpaper was created by artist Jeff Maurer.

Don’t miss our “Space Mountain Marks Milestone” post and video of Walt Disney talking about creating the Carousel of Progress.

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And we also shared a special sneak peek of the new interactive queue that’ll debut at Peter Pan’s Flight at the Walt Disney World Resort. You’ll be able to see your own shadow come alive on the wall in the children’s nursery and get a sprinkle of pixie dust before heading off into Never Land with Peter Pan.

You can see a few more images of the new queue in Jennifer’s original story.

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

Top Five Tips for Visiting the Disneyland Resort – Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover offers some pointers on what to do and how to make the most of your next trip.

More Than 700 Compete in Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge – See some special images of runners making their way across a special 5K course throughout Castaway Cay!

First Look at runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation Merchandise – Take a look at some of the T-shirts, jackets, magnets, runner’s hats and more arriving at Disneyland Resort this weekend.

Building The Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – A Unique View of Town Square – George Savvas shares a photo taken from an unfinished clock tower on Main Street Station at Disneyland park!

Discover With Me: Breakfast at Ulu Cafe at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Discover delicious ways to start your day and fuel up at Ulu Cafe at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

#DisneyKids: Big Surprises for Little Kids – Have you ever surprised your family with a Walt Disney World Resort vacation? We thought we’d share a few ideas.

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Celebrate Space Mountain’s Anniversary with a Disney Parks Blog Wallpaper

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


We’re continuing our celebration of Space Mountain’s 40th anniversary here at Magic Kingdom Park today with a special wallpaper created especially for your mobile device or desktop. As Jennifer shared earlier, Space Mountain attractions can be found in all of our parks and remains a favorite here at Walt Disney World Resort.

Our newest Space Mountain attraction art was created by artist Jeff Maurer. To download the wallpaper, simply click on the image below.

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

Earlier this week, we shared our new complete gallery of wallpapers on our special page.

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