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Remembering James Garner at the Disneyland Resort

posted on July 21st, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Over the weekend we learned of the passing of Oscar-nominated actor James Garner. In an award-winning career that spanned six decades, his work with Disney included The Castaway Cowboy and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Today we’re looking back at a special memory Mr. Garner made at the Disneyland Resort.

I had the honor and pleasure of meeting James Garner a few times during his run on the ABC comedy “8 Simple Rules.” He was friendly, funny and obviously very much a grandfather figure to his younger co-stars.

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In September 2004 he appeared with the cast of the show at an event at Disney California Adventure park called ABC Primetime Preview Weekend.

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During this event, I gave Mr. Garner a copy of a photo we have in our archives of him with his wife, Lois, celebrating their daughter Gigi’s birthday at Disneyland in 1965. We believe the photo was taken at the Tahitian Terrace.

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When I handed him this photo backstage before a media appearance, Mr. Garner said, “Oh my, it’s my Gigi! Oh, I can’t wait to show this to Lois!” He had never seen the photo before, and he thanked me warmly before excitedly gathering the cast around him to see the picture.

What he surely couldn’t have known that afternoon was that while he was recalling a fond Disney memory from long ago, he had just made a brand new one for me.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney California Adventure Park, Disney History, Disneyland Resort

‘Scandal’ Actor Joe Morton Visits Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you a fan of ABC’s “Scandal”?

Actor Joe Morton, who plays the mysterious “Papa Pope” on the show, recently stopped by the Walt Disney World Resort to narrate a performance of “The Lion King: Concert in the Wild” during Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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During his visit, Joe, who is nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama for his role on the show, shared with us what he and his family love about Disney Parks. Be sure to check out the video below.

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Katy Perry Visits Walt Disney World Resort During Fourth of July Holiday Weekend

posted on July 5th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Chart-topping singer Katy Perry took a break from her global concert tour to join friends at Walt Disney World Resort for a little R & R (rest and relaxation) and M & M (Mickey and Minnie) during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Perry is currently on the U.S. leg of her Prismatic World Tour.

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Take a look at this video and hear Perry’s thoughts on Walt Disney, and how — with a little creative ingenuity — a Mickey Mouse-shaped piece of confetti can turn into an instant fashion accessory.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Stars Laura and Vanessa Marano Show Off Their Disney Side Style at Disney Parks

posted on June 30th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


My fellow author Jennifer Fickley-Baker recently shared a video featuring Disney Stars Laura Marano from Disney Channel’s “Austin and Ally” and Vanessa Marano from ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth” during their recent visit to Disney Parks. During their trip to Disneyland Resort, they showed off their Disney Side style in another video recently published on the Disney Style YouTube channel.

The image below contains a few things that Laura and Vanessa selected from Disney Parks. The sequin Minnie Mouse headband is one of the most popular items we carry. The red Mickey Mouse crop top that Vanessa wears isn’t currently offered at Disney Parks, but I found a classic Mickey Mouse tee that works just as well. Finally, Laura is sporting a gray Mickey Mouse shirt that is part of a new art program called “Whimsy.”

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Many of these items can be found at select locations in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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In California, the best places to visit first include Disney Vault 28 and World of Disney at Downtown Disney District.

In Florida, I suggest trying TrenD or Zoey & Pickles inside the newly opened Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. You can see an image from Zoey & Pickles in the bottom right corner of the image above.

You may also find a few select items, such as Beautifully Disney cosmetics, on our Disney Parks online store – DisneyParks.com/Store.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

NFL Superstar Drew Brees Takes The Field At ESPN Wide World of Sports

posted on June 27th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


“Who Dat” at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort? Well “Dat” is Drew Brees, eight time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl MVP quarterback of the New Orleans Saints.

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This week Brees called the sports complex home as more than 300 high school athletes from across the country participated in the exclusive Drew Brees Passing Academy. These young athletes had the opportunity to learn from Brees and train with other NFL superstars such as Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), Darren Sproles (Philadelphia Eagles) and Darrelle Revis (New England Patriots). Participants were exposed to new training techniques for conditioning and performance, and then participated with team members in a two-day 7-on-7 Tournament. Proceeds from the Drew Brees Passing Academy and 7-on-7 Tournament benefit The Brees Dream Foundation, established in 2003 to help cancer patients with quality care and education for children and families.

Here is a look at the amazing experience these high school athletes enjoyed.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex allows athletes of all ages and skill levels to compete and celebrate like the pros do; whether they go on to collegiate/professional fame or not, every athlete takes with them lessons learned that shapes their character, personal and professional development. Brees joins a long list of elite athletes such as Kerri Walsh Jennings, Casey Powell and several English Premiere League soccer players, that come to the complex to create unforgettable experiences with young athletes.

If you are interested in more information on the Drew Brees Passing Academy or ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, visit espnwwos.com.

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John Rhys-Davies Returns to Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park

posted on June 26th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


You never know who you might encounter along the perilous pathways through the remote jungles of India’s lost delta while searching for the mysterious Temple of the Forbidden Eye. John Rhys-Davies, who of course portrayed Indy’s faithful friend, Sallah, in two Indiana Jones films, visited the Disneyland Resort recently, and together with his family and friends, we made our way to Indiana Jones Adventure.

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“Not to worry,” John said. “Sallah has the map!”

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During our expedition, John told me that despite his appearance inside the queue of our attraction for nearly 20 years, this would actually be the very first time he would ride it and that he was thrilled to be able to bring along his eight-year-old daughter, Maia (pictured here with a family friend) for her very first Disneyland visit. “The best way to see Disneyland, actually, is with children and through a child’s eyes,” John said. “It’s a joy to come here with my daughter, who’s come all the way from New Zealand.”

After riding the attraction – not once, but twice – John said, “It’s really wonderful, isn’t it? It’s a great rollicking adventure. It’s just the right side of scary.” Maia added, “It was absolutely petrifying! I quite liked the boulder where it drops down. Oh, and the snake!”

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As I mentioned, John appears as Sallah in the queue of Indiana Jones Adventure, so we set out on our own photo archive adventure. Our team of “top … men” was able to recover this rare artifact – a picture taken while filming the newsreel footage shown deep within the temple as guests prepare to board their transports.

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A 21st Birthday Celebration for Singing Superstar Ariana Grande at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 25th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


A pop princess met a Disney princess at Magic Kingdom Park, and it was all in celebration of Ariana Grande’s 21st birthday.

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The singer, who recently topped the charts with her megahit “Problem” (featuring Iggy Azalea), visited Magic Kingdom Park, where she was met by Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle. Then, Prince Charming and Cinderella helped celebrate with Grande as a giant Bibbidi Bobbidi Blue-hued birthday cake, created by the talented team of Disney Pastry Chefs, was unveiled. Dozens of Grande’s friends and family members joined in the fun to help the global music superstar celebrate at Magic Kingdom Park.

In this video, Grande — a Florida native — discusses the Magic Kingdom Park celebration, the dress she chose for the occasion and how the music video for her upcoming single, “Break Free,” reminds her of Space Mountain.

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Jessica Alba Celebrates Her Daughter’s Birthday at the Disneyland Resort

posted on June 18th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Jessica Alba and her family visited the Disneyland Resort recently to celebrate a special occasion: daughter Honor’s sixth birthday!

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Here, Jessica, her husband Cash Warren and younger daughter Haven join the birthday girl for a special photo with Walt and Mickey at Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park.

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Heidi Klum Meets Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Park

posted on June 4th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Heidi Klum and her family visited the Disneyland Resort last week, just a few days before her birthday, and we met up with her in Adventureland over at the Jungle Cruise.
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Mickey Mouse stopped by to surprise her and we got this fun picture just before the expedition began. No shortage of fun skippers here!

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Disney 365 Live Video Shoot at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with Disney Channel Star Jake Short

posted on March 24th, 2014 by Faron Kelley, Director, Marketing & Communications, Disney Sports


We gave you an exclusive sneak peek of the filming of the Disney 365 video shoot at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with Jake Short (of Disney Channel‘s “A.N.T. Farm” and Disney XD‘s “Mighty Med“) a few months ago, and now it’s time to reveal the Disney 365 special. Take a look at the competition at the incredible ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex where Short tested his soccer skills during the Disney 3v3 Soccer Championships.

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