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All in the Details: Exploring Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 2nd, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


Ask a server at Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen where the best seat in the house is, and in true Jungle Cruise fashion, he or she may respond with, “Inside!”

All in the Details: Exploring Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park All in the Details: Exploring Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park

That’s just proof that the witty and adventurous spirit of the guest-favorite Jungle Cruise attraction has spread to the nearby Skipper Canteen restaurant, which just opened its doors in December. The table service eatery features three unique dining rooms, including the crew’s Mess Hall; The S.E.A. Room, a secret meeting room for the Society of Explorers and Adventurers that was once hidden behind a bookcase; and the Falls Family Parlor, formerly occupied by the infamous jungle explorer Dr. Albert Falls. Remember him as the namesake of The Jungle Cruise’s Schweitzer Falls?

All in the Details: Exploring Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park All in the Details: Exploring Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park

The theming and storyline of the restaurant is really brought to life in the tiny details you can find in each room, which are stocked with treasure troves of mementos that Falls and the other adventurers collected over years of exploration. Disney Parks history buffs will have a blast picking out references to The Jungle Cruise attraction in the restaurant’s wood carvings, and few artifacts have even made their way over from the former Adventurer’s Club at Pleasure Island (now Disney Springs). Can you spot any in these photos?

Another fun element that brings the location to life is the background music. On my latest visit, a friend remarked that she felt she was a million miles away, in a different time, as tunes from the 1930s played lazily in the background. So fun.

Want to learn more about the Skipper Canteen and its menu? Check out Pam Brandon’s previous post.

For more All in the Details posts, visit the posts below:

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 31st, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


This week, we continued our popular “All in the Details” series with an exclusive story on how Walt Disney Imagineering is putting the “springs” into Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort.

At the heart of Disney Springs is a bubbling spring located in Town Center that represents not only the power and beauty of nature, but optimism and possibilities. To recreate an authentic Florida spring, Imagineers used various shades of bright glass pieces as accent colors to make the springs glitter and nearby live oak and cypress trees were incorporated into the design. Check out Jennifer’s original story for more details.

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We also announced our next Disney Parks Blog hosted live stream will be Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on February 2.

The live stream will start promptly at 6:50 p.m. EST, but join us early at 6:45 p.m. for a behind-the-scenes look at the show. To watch, simply visit the Disney Parks Blog around 6:45 p.m. on February 2. You can also engage with us by using the hashtag #DisneyParksLIVE on Twitter.

Here are some other stories we worked on this week.

Experience Disney PhotoPass Service in New Ways at Disneyland Resort – Disneyland Resort guests will soon get to experience Disney PhotoPass Service in a whole new way! With a new website, access to your memories on the Disneyland mobile app and new photo opportunities – we are gearing up for an exciting year.

Look Back at the Making of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Rose Parade Float – Weeks before the finishing touches were added, we went to the warehouse and captured the 166-foot-long Rose Parade float just as it was taking shape.

Behind the Scenes: ‘The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular’ Carries on a 35-Year Legacy of Adventure – It’s been 35 years since audiences first became enthralled with Indiana Jones, the archaeologist turned adventurous hero in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” – and more than 25 years since audiences fell in love with “The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular” show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Elton John to Perform in ‘The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60’ February 21 on ABC and Fans Can Join the Fun with the Disney Applause App – The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is the inspiration for a glamorous, star-studded two-hour television event, “The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60,” on Sunday, Feb. 21 on the ABC Television Network.

runDisney Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Presented by PANDORA Jewelry Medals – Runners are gearing up to put their fairy wings on and fly to the finish line to earn this year’s runDisney Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend bling. The Disney fairies, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys will be there to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the event weekend. Check out these medals inspired by our friends from Pixie Hollow. – See more at: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/01/rundisney-tinker-bell-half-marathon-weekend-presented-by-pandora-jewelry-medals/#sthash.BspsmqHi.dpuf

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress? – Is Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress one of your favorite classic Disney attractions? How well do you know it and its history? Put your knowledge to the test below! – See more at: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/01/quiz-how-well-do-you-know-walt-disneys-carousel-of-progress/#sthash.B5mdplOy.dpuf

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All in the Details: Putting the ‘Springs’ Into Disney Springs

posted on January 26th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


Since the re-imagining of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort began back in 2013, we’ve shared the amazing transformation this area has gone through, including insights into the many new restaurants and shops that have debuted.

Today we wanted to share the story Walt Disney Imagineering created that immerses guests into the rich heritage and natural beauty of Florida through unique architecture, color schemes, horticulture and more. At the heart of Disney Springs is a bubbling spring located in Town Center that represents not only the power and beauty of nature, but optimism and possibilities. More than a century ago, this spring attracted the first settlers and over time, the town of “Disney Springs” grew around the spring, eventually creating three additional neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace and West Side – each with its own distinct charm.

But how do you build a representation of an authentic Florida spring? The answer: research, technology and artistry. In this video, you can see the level of detail the project team went to in recreating a natural Florida spring like the ones they visited on their many research trips. In it, you’ll see how Imagineers used various shades of bright glass pieces as accent colors to make the springs glitter; how nearby live oak and cypress trees were incorporated into the design of the spring’s bank; and how sculpting added even more depth to the area. Simply amazing.

For the latest Disney Springs Food & Beverage or Merchandise news, see the list of stories below.

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Look Back at the Making of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Rose Parade Float

posted on January 25th, 2016 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


I hope you all got the chance to see the spectacular float “Disneyland Diamond Celebration – Awaken Your Adventure” on New Year’s Day in the 127th Rose Parade from Pasadena, California. Weeks before the finishing touches were added, we went to the warehouse and captured the 166-foot-long float just as it was taking shape. We included some of the video we taped on New Year’s Day to illustrate the amazing work the float team did. It’s fun to see the before and after side-by-side, don’t you think?

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When I See an Elephant Fly … from the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park

posted on January 22nd, 2016 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Disneyland Resort fans know that our attractions need a bit of scrubbing and polishing every now and then. But when the attraction in question is the world famous Jungle Cruise, and the scrubbing and polishing involves one rather hefty bull elephant … well then, you just call in a helicopter. (Of course!) I hope you’ll enjoy the video below, which proves once again that elephants really can fly.

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Behind the Scenes: Take a Look Back at ‘Paint the Night’ Parade Float Production

posted on October 8th, 2015 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Around this time last year, I had the opportunity to chat with and follow Imagineers as they checked out various “Paint the Night” parade floats in progress. The warehouse was full of float frames, familiar figures and of course, lights! From the frame of Mack Truck to light testing on Slinky Dog’s tail, I felt like I had an exclusive sneak peek into the minds of this creative team. Now to see these “Paint the Night” parade floats completed and glowing down Main Street, U.S.A., it’s fun to look back and see how far they have come! Of course this stuff is too good not to share – take a look behind the scenes of “Paint the Night” parade.

“Paint the Night” parade performs nightly as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

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Imagineers Team Up with CAL FIRE to Create Story of Grizzly Peak Airfield at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on October 7th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


Grizzly Peak Airfield takes Disney California Adventure park guests into California’s High Sierras and tells the story of the brave men and women who fight wildfires in our California forests. To create the story of Grizzly Peak Airfield, Walt Disney Imagineering turned to the experts at CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection), even visiting Hemet-Ryan Airfield in California for research. Since this is Fire Prevention Week, I thought this would be the perfect time to share this story with you here on the Disney Parks Blog.

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Soon after Grizzly Peak Airfield opened, two of the CAL FIRE officers who worked closely with Imagineers on the project – Captain Richard Cordova and Captain Lucas Spelman – visited the land with the Walt Disney Imagineering team they had inspired. They are pictured in the photo above with Ray Spencer, Brian Scholz and Carolyn Gardner – part of the creative team responsible for bringing the area to life.

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I recently had the chance to ask Captain Cordova and Captain Spelman about the experience of helping create a land at Disney California Adventure park.

What role did you play in helping Walt Disney Imagineering create the story of Grizzly Peak Airfield?

Captain Cordova: I shared my knowledge of the fire service from the 1950s-1960s – both ground attack and air attack. We gave them period-specific articles to display throughout the area, donated by our CAL FIRE museum, including old pictures and manuals from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Our biggest contribution has been the continued knowledge of CAL FIRE, United States Forest Service and other fire departments.

Captain Spelman: My role was to bring to life our knowledge and love for our career, bring forth our rich history and to evaluate Grizzly Peak Airfield as it related to our profession. Let me just say that this was an experience that truly was incredible.

What did you show the Imagineers on their research visit to Hemet-Ryan Airfield that made its way into the new land?

Captain Cordova: We gave them a tour of the airbase, sharing with them the history and showing them our aircraft: Airtankers S2-T, Airattack OV-10 Bronco and the Super Huey Helicopter. During the tour we got a fire dispatch, so they got to see the aircraft in action. We also had lunch at Bambi’s Café down the street, which is where the Imagineers got a lot of their ideas for Smokejumpers Grill.

Captain Spelman: I enjoy the Mt. Muir Lookout at Grizzly Peak Airfield. This was based on our traffic control tower, which was also a lookout tower before it was placed into service at CAL FIRE Ryan Air Attack Base. I also loved the gear lockers that were placed between Humphrey’s and the restrooms. This is where some of the items from our CAL FIRE museum were placed. I was just taken aback by the time put into every last item placed throughout the this beautiful area.

What is your favorite detail in Grizzly Peak Airfield?

Captain Cordova: Wow, that’s a hard question – it’s all amazing. It’s great how the Imagineers can take some information from a tour and from us and turn it into a land.

Captain Spelman: My favorite detail of this area has to be the flow from Grizzly River Run to Grizzly Peak Airfield, with Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel in the background. It brings me back to my childhood, when my family would travel to parks throughout the state. The trees, the park signs, the lighting all come together to really bring the experience back to me.

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Which of your own personal items are inside the lockers at Grizzly Peak Airfield? How were they chosen?

Captain Cordova: The old fire equipment, axes, nozzles and Nomex. The best part is having my name in the locker.

Captain Spelman: The lockers will always have a special place in my heart. There are two brass firefighting nozzles that I had picked up from a local garage sale. One was what we call a “combination nozzle” and the other a “straight stream nozzle.” I was never sure what I was going to use them for, but I could tell they had done some firefighting and needed a good home. Well, when the Imagineers said they would like additional items from the fire department, I knew just the pieces to be considered for Grizzly Peak Airfield. Although there are many items from our CAL FIRE museum in these lockers, the two nozzles will always be personal for me.

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As Annual Passholders, what does the park mean to you and what does this land in particular mean to you with its new theming?

Captain Cordova: I can’t tell how much I love going to the parks with my family. It’s my getaway from everyday life. Now having a little part in Grizzly Peak makes it even more special for me. It’s nice that Disney has showcased our State Parks and the men and women of the fire service. It was an honor for me to work with the Imagineers.

Captain Spelman: My family and I have been Annual Passholders since 2003 and just love the Disney experience. Being involved with this project is a Disney fan’s dream come true. Grizzly Peak Airfield will always be a special place for me.

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Behind the Scenes: Backstage at Rehearsals for ‘Tangled: The Musical’

posted on September 3rd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


As development is in full swing to produce brand-new music, stunning costumes, storybook sets and more for “Tangled: The Musical,” the incredible Disney Magic cast is putting the finishing touches on the show to get it ready for audiences this November.

We asked two of the key creative players to “take 5” during rehearsals and tell us more about the production. Show director, Gordon Greenberg, and choreographer, Connor Gallagher, told us all about the immersive and interactive environment they’re creating for the stage. Check out the video below for more details and never-before-seen footage from cast rehearsals!

For more inside looks at the development of this production, see the rest of this series:

Can’t get enough “Tangled”? Check out the recently released “Tangled as told by Emoji” video for another cool new way to experience this hair-raising adventure story. Best. Emojis. Ever!

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Behind the Scenes: ‘Operation Disneyland’ Shows How ABC Made TV History

posted on July 17th, 2015 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


I am constantly in awe of the documentation I come across in the Walt Disney Company‘s archival footage. If you have seen the live telecast of opening day at Disneyland park, which originally aired on ABC on July, 17 1955, you may have thought – like me – “How did they do that?” This video shows highlights from “Operation Disneyland,” a 14-minute documentary produced for ABC closed-circuit television, which looks at the technical challenges behind broadcasting the opening ceremonies of Disneyland park.

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Behind the Scenes: This Year’s Star Wars Weekends Creative Campaign

posted on June 11th, 2015 by Will Gay, Creative Director, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


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Ready are you? We sure were. All of a sudden I look around and I am in the middle of the TV commercial shoot for the upcoming launch of this year’s Star Wars Weekends. This is one of those moments that I just think, “Are you kidding me? How did I get here in the middle of all this awesomeness and where did all these troopers come from?” It is a little surreal to say the least. Maybe it really did all start “A long time ago in a galaxy” … well you know. You see, my Jedi Master creative teammates and myself are huge Star Wars fans ourselves. We grew up watching the original trilogy and playing with everything Star Wars. So working on the creative for the latest campaign here at Yellow Shoes really was a dream come true for us.

After editing this great footage we shot right here at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, then adding in all the cool special effects, it was finally complete. And we are very excited to share with you today the finished spot we call, “Lit”.

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Oh, and did you notice some very familiar footage in the beginning of the spot? How cool is that? Not to mention that iconic soundtrack that comes up at the end that can make a grown man get a little misty-eyed.

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The idea behind this year’s campaign is simple: it’s as close to the Force as you can get. Everything plays out around the notion of going to Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and you are literally surrounded by the Force and all things Star Wars.

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