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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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Filed: FastPass+, Hotels & Resorts, MagicBands, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

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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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Celebrate 40 Years of Carousel of Progress with a Disney Parks Blog Wallpaper

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


To celebrate the anniversary of the Carousel of Progress at Walt Disney World Resort this week, we’re sharing another special surprise – a new wallpaper for all of your screens. This classic Walt Disney original remains a “must do” for many Disney Parks Blog readers and authors when visiting Magic Kingdom Park.

“There’s a Great Big, Beautiful Tomorrow” art was created by artist Brittany Ungvarsky. Enjoy.

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

Check out our complete gallery of wallpapers here.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


This week, we shared several exciting Disney Parks updates, including the announcement of the return of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at Disneyland park.

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For a limited time, Disneyland park guests have the chance to stroll down memory lane and enjoy this classic Disney Parks nighttime spectacular with its familiar soundtrack, featuring classic Disney tunes, and an all-new fireworks program. Check out Erin’s story for more.

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Also at the Walt Disney World Resort, for a limited time starting January 17, you can head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for an exclusive preview of “Cinderella” at the park’s ABC Sound Studio.

The original golden coach from the film is also on its way to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where it will soon be on display outside the movie theater façade on Streets of America.

Shawn’s original story has video of what happened when guests visiting Magic Kingdom Park were treated to a glimpse of the magical coach and other “Cinderella” surprises. “Cinderella” arrives in theaters March 13.

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

Enjoy ‘Frozen Fun’ and More at the Disneyland Resort with Return of Special Ticket Offer for Southern California Residents – Get the details on a special Disneyland Resort ticket offer exclusively for Southern California residents and “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park.

What are Your Disneyland Park Must-Do’s? – Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover shares her own personal list of Disneyland park must-do’s. Do you know what’s on your own list?

Learn to Draw Mickey’s Pal, Pluto, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Brian James Fichtner from Animation Academy offers a video tutorial on how to draw Pluto!

Sights & Sounds at Disney Parks: Lucie Arnaz and the Space Mountain Launch – Space Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort celebrates its birthday this month —it’s 40 years young! See pictures from the grand opening festivities, with Emmy-winning entertainer/producer Lucie Arnaz and Tony-winning Broadway legend Tommy Tune.

Training the Horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland Park: Building Strength and Coordination – Watch this special video of Duke working on his ground driving skills with Circle D Equine Trainer Cindy Moser.

Sweet Spots to Enjoy Sweet Treats at Disneyland Resort – Find out about some of the ‘sweetest’ places to enjoy the treats of Disneyland Resort’s candy kitchens!

Behind-the-Scenes: Disney Cruise Line on ‘The Kitchen’ – Read all about Disney Cruise Line Chef Stephen Walker’s visit with the hosts of “The Kitchen,” an entertaining cooking show on the Food Network.

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Cinderella Castle Wallpaper Series Now Available on the Disney Parks Blog

posted on January 7th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


During the holidays, we wrapped our popular Cinderella Castle unique perspective wallpaper series with a special image from Magic Kingdom Park. Whether it was sunset, night or just a bird’s-eye view of the Castle, each image captured by Walt Disney World photographer Kent Phillips was spectacular.

Today, for Disney Parks Blog readers who may have missed any of the wallpapers, we’re offering the entire series right here. To download the art, simply click on the images below.

Cinderella Castle Wallpaper Series Now Available on the Disney Parks Blog Cinderella Castle Wallpaper Series Now Available on the Disney Parks Blog

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

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Hong Kong Disneyland Breaks Ground on Disney Explorers Lodge

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


On Monday, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort broke ground on its third hotel named Disney Explorers Lodge, marking another exciting milestone in the continued development of the resort as a world-class travel and entertainment destination. The 750-room hotel is slated to open in early 2017.

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New design concepts, key features of the hotel and a story explaining the hotel’s exploration theme were revealed. The story takes place in the grand era of exploration in the 1920s and tells of four explorers who built a lodge based on their adventures around the world, adding their own artifacts and specimens gathered during their lifetime of travels. The hotel is inspired by the explorers’ travels to an African savannah, a South American rainforest, a Polynesian island paradise and an area inspired by the natural beauty of Asia.

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Guests at Disney Explorers Lodge will enter a new world full of discovery, nature and exotic cultures. They will enjoy the hotel’s exploration theme throughout the hotel’s guest rooms, four distinct gardens, three restaurants, a shop and a large outdoor swimming pool. The four gardens include: the South American Garden, the Polynesian Garden, the Asian Garden and the African Garden.

Disney Explorers Lodge will be different from the two existing hotels at the resort in terms of its theme and design. Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel has lavish Victorian elegance and the Disney’s Hollywood Hotel is marked by its Art Deco architecture. Disney Explorers Lodge will embrace the spirit of exploration and adventure.

Disney Explorers Lodge joins the list of other expansion projects and upcoming offerings at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort such as the themed area based on “Iron Man.”

We are excited for guests to come explore the hotel and experience the Disney magic at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort!

For more on the expansion projects at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, visit the posts below:

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 4th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


It’s our first weekly recap of the year and there’s already much to look forward to in 2015. In fact, we kicked off the year with 15 things you’ll want to experience this year at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Trattoria al Forno Brings the Italian Countryside to Disney's BoardWalk

The return of annual theme park events and the opening of new restaurants are just a few things to anticipate in 2015. Visit Jennifer’s original story to see the entire list.

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And we were just seconds into 2015 when we announced daily opportunities in January to win a chance to explore your Disney Side with some of your favorite characters on a dream vacation that includes a night in the Cinderella Castle Suite at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Disney “Flip” Side sweepstakes will award 31 winners in January who will experience a 5-day/4-night vacation at Walt Disney World for four that includes:

  • 1-Night stay at the Cinderella Castle Suite in the Magic Kingdom Park
  • 3 Nights at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel
  • 5-Day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun & More Options
  • $500 Disney Gift Card
  • Personalized “Disney Side” Welcome Basket
  • Glass Slipper Gift inspired by the new live-action film “Cinderella,” in theaters March 13
  • Round-trip coach airfare (If the winner resides more than 250 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort)

Go visit DisneyFlipsSide.com now and enter for a chance to win.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to individuals, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not minors. Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (PT) on 1/1/15 and ends 11:59 PM (PT) on 1/31/15. The Sweepstakes is made up of 31 daily sweepstakes each beginning at 12:01 AM (PT) and ending at 11:59 PM (PT) each day. Limit one (1) Entry per daily sweepstakes. Click here for full Official Rules.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on to begin the year.

Disney Parks Most-Geotagged Locations on Both Facebook and Instagram in 2014 – As much as we love sharing our photos with you, the most fun part of what we do on Instagram is sharing photos from our guests. Click through to find out the most-geotagged locations in 2014 and where you can connect with us in 2015!

Year in Review: 2014 at the Disneyland Resort – With the year nearly over, take a look back and some of the sights and sounds from Disneyland Resort in 2014.


Top 10 Disney Parks YouTube Videos of 2014
– In 2014, there were some great Disney Parks YouTube videos shared around by readers, including our “Ultimate Tweet” at the Walt Disney World Resort – our top video of the year.

Year in Review: Greatest Hits from Disney Theme Park Merchandise in 2014 – Take a look at some of the most popular merchandise from the past year, including Disney Character Mugs, Haunted Mansion Authentic and more!

Top 5 Entertainment Milestones at Disney Parks in 2014 – Here are just a few of the new experiences that debuted in Disney Parks around the world in 2014.

Fifteen Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2015 Need a reason to visit Walt Disney World Resort this year? How about fifteen reasons? Click through to learn about Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk, Exposition Park Food Trucks, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and more!

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New Disney Parks TV Spot Features Ohio State University, University of Oregon Mascots

posted on January 2nd, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Now that all is set for the big game in the inaugural College Football Playoff, we’ve launched our next TV spot created in the same vein as our iconic “I’m going to Disney World” commercials.

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In the new spot, mascots from The Ohio State University and the University of Oregon are still passing the time at the airport waiting to see who gets to go to Walt Disney World. Now, we’re down to two.

With the new version of the TV spot, we’re also launching our next online poll. We’d love to hear what Disney Parks Blog readers think. Who wins and gets to go to Walt Disney World?


Watch the College Football Playoff National Championship on ESPN, Monday, January 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Join the conversation on Twitter @CFBPlayoff using the official hashtag #CFBPlayoff.

Be sure to check the Disney Parks Blog later this month for a special behind-the-scenes look at how we created these TV spots.

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