Fireworks at Cinderella Castle

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


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This week, Disney Parks unveiled a new collection of amazing costume creations for “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade,” which debuts at Magic Kingdom Park in March.

'Seashell Girl' from 'The Little Mermaid' Unit in 'Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade' 'Cha Cha Girl' from Storybook Circus Unit in 'Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade'

The costumes are some of the most extravagant and elaborate in Disney Parks history and took almost a year to complete. The creations transpired in 10 different costume houses across eight cities and two countries, with the Creative Costuming facilities in both Florida and California among the mix.

Check out Michelle’s original story from her Style Snapshots series to see a behind-the-scenes video featuring costume designer Mirena Rada.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

And did you hear? Captain America is set to arrive at Disneyland park next month. Captain America: The Living Legend and Symbol of Courage, will be part of Innoventions at Disneyland park in Anaheim and he’ll be greeting friends and fans alike beginning on March 7. Let us know what you think in Shawn’s original story.

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

Cast Member Romance at the Disneyland Resort – In recognition of Valentine’s Day romance, meet cast members Danny and Sachiko.

The History of the Walt Disney World Monorail: Mark IV, 1971-1989 – A look back at the iconic Walt Disney World Monorail system, built for guests visiting Magic Kingdom Park.

Interactive Fun Awaits in the ESPN Zone Sports Arena at the Downtown Disney District – Watch as Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover takes you inside the ESPN Zone Sports Arena at the Disneyland Resort.

A Life Changing Experience – Why I runDisney – Watch the inspirational story of Laura Hall and learn about her reason to runDisney.

Disneyland Paris Resort Unveils Details Of Its New ‘Ratatouille’-Inspired Area – A sneak-peek at Disneyland Paris Resort’s most anticipated attraction, opening this summer.

D Street in Downtown Disney District Welcomes ‘Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story’ Filmmakers to the Disneyland Resort – See photos from the premiere of “Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story,” at The Walt Disney Studios lot at Disneyland Resort!

Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World: Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day with Special Merchandise – Check out the latest goodies from Hong Kong Disneyland with resident expert Fion Lai!

Remembering Shirley Temple at Disneyland Resort – In 1957 Shirley Temple oversaw the opening of the Sleeping Beauty Castle Diorama alongside Walt Disney.

See ‘Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story’ at Premiere Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios from February 14-17, 2014 – This 39-minute, stop-motion, animated short tells the story of an unpainted Vinylmation figure on a journey which will change his world, and is showing this weekend at Walt Disney World Resort!

A Mom’s Take: Sailing the Mediterranean Without Kids on Disney Cruise Line – Marcy, from our Disney Parks Moms Panel give you the best tips for that romantic European getaway.

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Sign Up for Our ‘BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story’ Meet-Up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on February 10th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


UPDATE: This event has been filled to capacity. Please CLICK HERE to view a list of the accepted event attendees. If you are on the list and do not receive a confirmation email by 7 p.m. EST today, please contact us at WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’re providing an opportunity for you to be among the first to see the new film “BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story” during a special meet-up inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Our Disney Parks Blog meet-up begins at 7:30 p.m. EST on February 13, 2014, at the Premiere Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At the event, you’ll be able to see “BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story” – a heartwarming tale of an unpainted Vinylmation on a quest to find a lost soul mate. It’s an epic adventure in miniature scale, filmed entirely in practical stop motion. Also during the night, there will be entertainment, the opportunity to learn more about the film and some other fun experiences.

RSVP now by sending us an email with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com. Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of attendees will be selected for the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All attendees who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests do not need to be 18 or older.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • We will send an email to individuals whose valid RSVPs are received by us via email before we reach the planned capacity to confirm their attendance for the event.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in at the entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person and guest.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation.

This post will be updated after the planned capacity has been reached. Please note the event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Hope to see you there.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


We continued our popular “All in the Details” series this week with a look at some of the props you’ll see inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train when the attraction opens in New Fantasyland later this year.

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The props, including lanterns, ropes, pulleys and buckets of shiny jewels were inspired by items found in the mine scenes of the film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Be sure to check Jennifer’s original story for more images and details on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Also, we shared some great video from our gala parade celebrating Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith after the big game. During the parade, Smith rode with Mickey Mouse in a shiny convertible as thousands of fans along Main Street, U.S.A., chanted his name. And as the convertible paused in front of Cinderella Castle, Smith once again was showered with confetti, ending his day in similar fashion to his victory only 16 hours earlier.

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

Showing Our ‘Disney Side’ at Disney California Adventure Park – To mark the 13th anniversary of Disney California Adventure Park, some of our California-based Disney Parks Blog authors share how they like to show their “Disney Side.”

A Mom’s Take: Immersing Your Family in the Culture and Cuisine of Alaska – Nancy from the Disney Parks Moms Panel offers the best tips for celebrating Alaskan culture … and of course, fresh seafood cuisine!

Count Down to Valentine’s Day With Our Cinderella Wallpaper – Looking for some new wallpaper for your desktop or mobile device? Check out this special Valentine’s Day-inspired Cinderella wallpaper and many more.

Celebrate 14 Days of Love at Disney Parks: Love is Creating Cherished Memories – Share some magic this Valentine’s Day by giving something special to a loved one. Disney Floral & Gifts has you covered.

Southern California Choirs to Raise Voices and Spirits During Fifth Annual Celebrate Gospel at Disneyland Resort – To recognize Black History Month, 15 Southern California choirs will perform during this annual festival. Details after the jump!

Find Sweets for Your Sweet at Ghirardelli this Valentine’s Season – See what delectable desserts and candy are being offered by Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop at Walt Disney World Resort.

Valentine’s Day Merchandise Gift Guide for Disneyland Resort – See what’s available for your Valentine at Disneyland park. If you’re still looking for the perfect gift, look no further!

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Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Hotels Receive ‘Best Hotels’ Awards

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


If you haven’t heard, eight Walt Disney Parks and Resorts hotels were recently named Silver Badge Winners by U.S. News & World Report. All of the winning Disney Parks hotels ranked as one of the best in their market.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa Disney's Grand Californian Hotel Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

We’re especially thrilled about the awards because they recognize the creativity and heart of our cast members who create Disney magic and deliver the great guest service that the company is known for. Here’s the breakdown of winners:

In California, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel was named one of the Best Hotels in Anaheim and in Hawaii, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa ranked as one of the Best Hotels in Honolulu – Oahu.

Six hotels at Walt Disney World Resort were also named Best Hotels in Orlando, including:

The hotels were ranked by travel experts and guests through online reviews and ratings and a complete list is posted online.

Congratulations to all of our “Best Hotels” winners.

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Walt Disney Imagineering Announces Winners of Annual Student Design Contest

posted on February 3rd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering concluded their 2014 Imaginations Design Competition on January 31. Started in 1991, Imaginations challenges teams of college students from around the United States to propose a concept for a Disney theme park, attraction, restaurant, hotel or entirely new experience or product. Out of 231 initial applications received this year, six teams of four students each were selected as finalists and spent a week at Imagineering headquarters in Glendale, Calif., meeting Imagineers, touring WDI facilities, and presenting their project proposals to a panel of executives for judging. Not only does the program give students a behind-the-curtain view of Imagineering, but WDI has the opportunity to discover and recruit the next generation of talented and diverse Imagineers.

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This year, contestants were asked to dream up an idea that transforms a city for the enjoyment of its residents and visitors. The team from Carnegie Mellon University took first prize for their concept that would link people from opposite ends of the world in a multicultural festival. Second place went to the team representing California Institute of the Arts, who came up with a unique way to explore Rome’s centuries of history. And the team from University of California, Los Angeles, took third place for its proposal to bring the citizens of Rio de Janiero together in a weekly Illumination Extravaganza that leads visitors and locals on a chase through the city.

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Additionally, the winning team from the recently-concluded Imaginations Hong Kong, representing Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) – Hong Kong, visited Walt Disney Imagineering at the same time and participated in many of the same activities, though they were not in competition with the American teams.

Congratulations to WDI and all the contestants for another successful Imaginations competition! To learn more, please visit DisneyImaginations.com.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


This week we shared updates on a few new interactive offerings that are now available at Disney Parks.

“Frozen – A Sing Along” arrived at AMC Theatre locations at both the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort on Friday. This version of the film encourages guests to sing along to the film’s tunes, including the Academy Award-nominated song, “Let It Go.” Be sure to check out Greg’s original post for more details, as well as his interview with the film’s composers.

'Frozen - A Sing Along'

Over at the Disneyland Resort, Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover tested out Fun Wheel Challenge, a new game that guests can play at Disney California Adventure using their personal mobile device. For more on how to play, see the video below.

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

runDisney Launches “I Run Disney” – Everyone Has a Story – Everyone has a reason to runDisney. Watch as Peter Chuchro tells his story. What’s yours?

A Unique Point of View: Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park – This week was the 55th anniversary of the Disney animated classic, “Sleeping Beauty.” See these special pictures to honor the occasion!

‘Discover Together’ Symposium at Disneyland Resort Offers Nonprofits Nationwide the Building Blocks to Strengthen Relationships that Help Kids Thrive – This event brought together nearly 60 nonprofits to explore new ways to strengthen communities through research and volunteer work.

‘Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade’ Floats Arrive at Magic Kingdom Park – Watch as the floats for this Spring parade arrive under cover of darkness.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Guests Join 4th Annual Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Bird Count—Record Number of Birds Counted – New species counted this year included the black-bellied whistling duck, common goldeneye, ruddy duck, American pipit, field sparrow, grasshopper sparrow and the beautiful painted bunting.

Disney Infinity Players Recreate Favorite Disney Parks Experiences for Toy Box Thursday – Check out these downloadable Disney Infinity Toy Boxes, inspired by Disney Parks attractions!

VIDEO: Toe-Tapping Fun at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree Character Roundup – Visit with some of your favorite Disney characters, learn rope tricks and dance to live piano music at this Disneyland park event.

A Mom’s Take: Choosing the Right European Itinerary for Your Family with Disney Cruise Line – View the newest video of our “Mom’s Take” series, and learn about or Mediterranean cruises.

Pro Bowl Players Get in the Aloha Spirit at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Last week, Aulani welcomed NFL players who competed in the Pro Bowl game!

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Construction on Shanghai Disney Resort Reaches New Heights

posted on January 29th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’re thrilled to let Disney Parks Blog readers know that Shanghai Disney Resort recently celebrated two new construction milestones, including the topping out of the resort’s first Disney-themed hotel and the start of construction of a “mountain” in the resort’s theme park.

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Shanghai Disney Resort and partner leadership teams poured the last concrete onto the roof section of the first of two Disney-themed hotels, marking the milestone. The hotel will feature 800 rooms over seven floors and will offer guests stunning views of Shanghai Disneyland, the retail, dining and entertainment district and the resort’s central lake.

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Additionally, the first vertical steel for Shanghai Disneyland’s “mountain”, marked the official start of vertical construction for another remarkable attraction at the resort’s Magic Kingdom-style theme park. The mountain will be located in a key area of the theme park and will be the second highest structure at Shanghai Disney Resort after the Enchanted Storybook Castle.

Disney has a long-standing tradition of creating immersive and unforgettable experiences for guests around the world, and it will be no different with Shanghai Disney Resort. Classic Disney characters and storytelling blend with uniquely-designed and finely-crafted attractions, from rockwork to jungles, lakes and trees, to create exciting and extraordinary immersive places for guests of all ages to enjoy.

Shanghai Disney Resort continues on track to open at the end 2015. On opening day the resort will include Shanghai Disneyland, two themed hotels, a 46,000 square meter retail, dining and entertainment venue, recreational facilities, a lake and associated parking and transportation hubs.

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Celebrating 1 Million @WaltDisneyWorld Twitter Followers

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


UPDATE: Thank you for the wonderful messages. We’ve reached our limit and are no longer taking emails for a chance to receive @WaltDisneyWorld pins.

As you may know, our @WaltDisneyWorld Twitter account recently reached 1 million followers. Today, to celebrate this major milestone, we’re unveiling and sharing our newest pin.

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To enter for a chance to win one @WaltDisneyWorld pin, be one of the first 400 people to email us a “Celebrating @WaltDisneyWorld” message of no more than 50 characters in length to WDW.Sweepstakes@Disney.com and include your full name and mailing address in the email. Once the potential winners are determined, we’ll send notifications via email. See the sweepstakes rules and eligibility requirements here.

Sweepstakes open only to persons who, upon entering, are not deemed minors in their jurisdiction of primary residence and are legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 United States or D.C. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Subject to complete Official Rules. Ends 1/28 /14.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


This week, we shared a special behind-the-scenes look at the work being done on the amazing floats of the upcoming “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.”

Each float in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will bring a classic Fantasyland story to the streets of Magic Kingdom Park. Check Jennifer’s original story and let us know which float you’re most excited to see when the parade debuts this spring.

Spice Road Table Soft Opens – Official Opening Date Coming Soon

And did you hear that Spice Road Table officially opened at the Morocco Pavilion in Epcot this week? Along with the new eatery, there’s live entertainment from Mo Rockin’ Band, henna tattoos, a “juice” bar and a shop stocked with great Mediterranean flavors to carry home (from olives to spicy harissa and mint tea). Check Pam’s original post for more details and photos.

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

Southern California Runner Earns Her Tinker Bell Wings at the Disneyland Resort – Read about this year’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon winner Melissa Hernandez!

Sneak Peek of Disney 365 Live Video Shoot at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with Disney Channel Star Jake Short – The star of the Disney Channel Original Series “A.N.T. Farm” plays at the Disney 3v3 Soccer Championships, with former pro and guest coach Eddie Rodriguez.

A Mom’s Take: Experiencing the Magic of Venice with Disney Cruise Line – Marcy from the Disney Parks Moms Panel gives a tour of “The Floating City.”

Enjoy a Spring Vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa with a Special New Offer – Bring your family to enjoy the home-like amenities of Aulani’s villas and the sunnier climes of Hawaiʻi.

February Merchandise Events at Disneyland Resort – Meet artists Yakovetic, Linda Rick, Katie Kelly and more at these upcoming events!

Ride a Train into Disney History at Walt Disney World Resort – Learn about the role of steam trains at Magic Kingdom park, which still runs four – the Walter E. Disney, Lilly Belle, Roy O. Disney and Roger E. Broggie.

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Chef de Cuisine Bill Orton – Chef de Cuisine Bill Orton explains his Culinary Apprentice Program in the newest entry of this recurring series.

The Mauro’s Magical Disney Vacations Airs on Food Network – Jeff Mauro, the Food Network’s Sandwich King, visits Walt Disney World Resort with his family.

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Disney Cast Members Create An ‘Extreme Village Makeover’ for Give Kids the World

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


Earlier today, a group of our Walt Disney World Resort cast members were featured on “Good Morning America” helping to create an amazing magical moment for Give Kids the World, a local nonprofit that has provided vacation experiences for thousands of children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Disney Cast Members Create An ‘Extreme Village Makeover’ for Give Kids the World

Shouting “Move that bus!” dozens of cast members helped unveil a Give Kids the World “Extreme Village Makeover” on live TV. For this one-of-a-kind project, Disney cast members dedicated countless hours to redesign and renovate the building. This beautifully re-imagined space features a registration area and lounge, as well as a floor-to-ceiling inspirational mural created with hundreds of photos of personal moments between volunteers and families.

The Walt Disney World Resort and its cast members have been involved with Give Kids the World for more than 25 years, with the resort donating theme park tickets or providing Disney character entertainment, and cast members volunteering their time through the Disney VoluntEARS program.

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