Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman again, this time for his work on the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, new for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. It’s such an honor every time I get a chance to chat with him. He’s as nice as you would imagine! This time I joined him and Broadway star Ashely Brown in a recording studio in Hollywood, Calif. Ashley had just flown in from New York to record Mr. Sherman’s latest masterpiece, “A Kiss Goodnight.” He wrote it for the new fireworks show, set to debut to guests on Friday, May 22, at Disneyland park. It’s a beautiful song, and Ashley has such a beautiful voice. I also learned that there’s a special reason why Richard chose the words, “A Kiss Goodnight,” and he explains in the video. Enjoy!
posted on May 19th, 2015 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
posted on January 13th, 2015 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
You may have seen our new commercial highlighting “Frozen Fun” here at the Disneyland Resort. If you haven’t, take a look below. It’s a magical melding of classic Disneyland Resort attractions and the newest member of our Disney family, “Frozen,” in which some of your favorite attraction residents are singing “First Time in Forever” and inviting you to “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park.
The Disney Parks Blog had a crew on the set, as the commercial was being shot after hours here at the Disneyland Resort. This video takes you behind the scenes of the shoot and introduces you to some of the creative team behind it. Enjoy!
posted on January 12th, 2015 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
Tonight is the big game! The first ever College Football Playoff National Championship has come down to two teams: Ohio State and the University of Oregon. Here at Disney Parks we love a good football game and we really love it when the winner celebrates at our parks. You’ve seen what happens when a team wins a major game – the camera closes in on a famous football player and he says, “I’m going to Disney World!” or “I’m going to Disneyland!”
For the college playoffs, Disney Parks released a fun commercial with the mascots from the top four teams – Ohio State, Florida State University, Alabama and Oregon-waiting in the airport. Whichever team wins, the mascot gets to go to Walt Disney World in Florida and represent their school. I was lucky enough to be on the set for this commercial shoot, staged at the San Bernardino International Airport in California. What a fun day! The mascots are hilarious on and off camera. See for yourself. Enjoy!
posted on October 17th, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
When Julie Reihm Casaletto was approached by a fellow cast member to apply for the Disney Ambassador program, she initially said no. She was busy making straight A’s in college, and taking a year off from her studies wasn’t part of the plan. But that cast member didn’t give up and once Julie started the interviewing process, she began to realize that a year of world travel would be an exciting gig. Those interviews obviously went very well, because Julie was chosen as Disney’s first ambassador in 1965 … and the rest is Disney history.
The Disney Parks Blog had a chance to talk one-on-one with Julie, while she was at the Disneyland Resort for the 50th anniversary of the Disney Ambassador program. She talked about her incredible year as ambassador and her special bond with Walt Disney.
posted on September 12th, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
Today is the first day of Halloween Time here at the Disneyland Resort. Pumpkins are everywhere and guest favorite, Haunted Mansion Holiday, is opening. Did you know that the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park was one of Walt Disney’s ideas for the park even before it was built? Here we are, 45 years after its August 9, 1969, opening and it is still haunting guests each day. In celebration of the attraction’s anniversary and the opening of Haunted Mansion Holiday today, we thought this was the perfect time to dig up historical footage of the Haunted Mansion from our archives. You’ll see Walt Disney showing off a model of the Haunted Mansion and interviews with the Imagineers who turned his idea into a reality. You’ll also find out why the mansion is so pristine on the outside, while dilapidated and creepy on the inside. It’s a fun video – a scream, really. Enjoy!
posted on September 2nd, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
“This here is the wildest ride in the wilderness!” Guests first heard that warning on September 2, 1979, when Big Thunder Mountain Railroad debuted in Frontierland at Disneyland park. Since then, the popular runaway mine train as taken more than 225 million guests on a wild ride through 19th century gold-mining territory. The mountain was inspired by Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, and objects found inside are actual artifacts from abandoned mines in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota and Wyoming. The opening also marked the third peak in the Disneyland park mountain range. (Matterhorn Bobsleds and Space Mountain were the first two.)
Last March, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad re-opened after an extended refurbishment with new track and an enhanced audio system. Come check it out! For now, take a trip back to 1979 and watch as Mickey Mouse turns the key and boards the runaway mine train with some of his Disney friends.
posted on July 18th, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
On July 17, 1989, a new attraction opened to guests in Critter Country at Disneyland park — one that made a big splash. That attraction was Splash Mountain, a log ride that remains a guest favorite today. It stands 87 feet tall and drops guests five stories at a 45-degree angle. The attraction is a journey through scenes, featuring the story of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear, and ends with a thrilling splashdown. That’s the best part! No worries if you shut your eyes. A photo snaps a shot of guests reacting the moment they drop. If you don’t have a photo from splashdown with your face frozen in sheer elation, then it’s time to visit the Disneyland Resort. Trust me, it’s an experience you’ll always remember. Here’s a look back at opening day. Enjoy!
posted on June 6th, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
It was 55 years ago today that guests were treated to one of the very first E-ticket attractions at Disneyland park – one that would take them through “liquid space” and under the North Pole. That underwater attraction was called Submarine Voyage and the experience included an encounter with a giant squid and even mermaids!
In 2007, the attraction reopened as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and eight submarines, painted bright yellow, were recommissioned to take guests on a new underwater adventure. This time, new animation technology brought to life the popular characters from the Disney•Pixar film, “Finding Nemo.” I hope you enjoy a journey back in time to the opening days for this guest favorite.
posted on April 9th, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
I can now say I have the #1 highlight of my Disney career: interviewing Disney Legend Richard Sherman. What an amazing day! I met him at the Walt Disney Archives in Burbank, Calif., where he sat at Walt Disney’s piano and played “it’s a small world,” the iconic song he wrote and composed with his late brother, Robert. He’s very proud of the song’s meaning and very serious about its impact on the world. He talks more about it in the video below. As you would imagine, he was a pure delight. He was kind and funny, and after the interview he played more of his classics for the room. I hope this video captures that unforgettable day. Enjoy!
posted on March 26th, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
Disney Legend Rolly Crump has very fond memories of being one of the Imagineers who helped create “it’s a small world.” In fact, he was there from day one, when Walt Disney came up with the idea. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane and vintage footage from our archives. Be sure to join in the 50th anniversary celebration of “it’s a small world” by going to smallworld50.com and uploading your own video of the unforgettable song.