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Disney Vacation Account Helps You Plan, Save for Future Disney Vacations

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


If you’re one of our many readers who can’t wait for their next Disney trip, you’ll want to check out our newest program – Disney Vacation Account. It simplifies saving for your next dream vacation – a little at a time – and includes some great online tools to help you do it.

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Disney Vacation Account was created after hearing your feedback. You let us know that you wanted more tools to help plan a Disney experience and we’ve created a program that’ll let you save for magical vacations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, or Adventures by Disney.

Disney Vacation Account helps you manage your vacation savings at your own pace, in a way that fits your budget. And it’s easy to get started.

First, our Account Budget Estimator will help you estimate the cost of your vacation based on current prices. Please remember prices change from time to time.

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Next, calculate your savings contribution on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Then sit back and track your savings with a personalized account page and fun emails that help you plan your vacation along the way.

Accounts can be updated at any time—like changing your savings contribution amounts and frequency or stopping your contributions—at no cost.

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When you’re ready to book your dream vacation, you can use your Disney Vacation Account to pay for your vacation. To use your Disney Vacation Account funds toward paying for your vacation, you must book it either directly with Disney or through a participating travel agency booking directly with Disney. Please ask your travel agent whether your booking will be eligible to be paid for with your Disney Vacation Account.

There are no fees to create or maintain a Disney Vacation Account. And all of your contributions are fully refundable.

Also, if you use your Disney Vacation Account to pay for your vacation before December 31, 2017, (date subject to extension) you’ll be eligible for a $20 Disney Gift Card for every $1,000 spent on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account. Certain limitations apply.*

To sign up and get started, visit our Disney Vacation Account site. And let us know how it helped you with your next Disney vacation.

*Maximum of a total of $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household. Your Disney Vacation Account must be active for a minimum of 120 days at the time of spending in order to receive this bonus. Request your Disney Gift Card(s) 4-6 weeks in advance of your vacation date to allow time for delivery to your mailing address. Visit DisneyVacationAccount.com\FAQ\Bonus for complete details.

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Sign Up for Our First-Ever Disney Cruise Line Meet-Up at Disney’s Boardwalk Area

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


Update: Click here for a list of confirmed RSVPs.

We’ve hosted a variety of meet-ups since launching the Disney Parks Blog but our next one will be a first – our first-ever Disney Cruise Line meet-up. On Thursday, April 9, 2015, a select group of readers will have the opportunity to join us in Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk area for a special sneak peek preview of the exciting new entertainment coming to Disney Cruise Line.

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The event begins at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday April 9, 2015 at Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk area at the Walt Disney World Resort. Attendees will be among the first learn about new entertainment coming to Disney Cruise Line and have the chance to talk with the creative team that develops the onboard entertainment. There will also be special photo opportunities with some of your favorite Disney characters and you’ll be able to taste a few special Disney-themed desserts.

RSVP for the meet-up now by sending us an email with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDWMeetUps@gmail.com.

Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of attendees will be able to attend the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All participants who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests of the participants may be younger than 18.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • We will send a confirmation 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.
  • Event confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person plus one guest.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in at Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk area at the Walt Disney World Resort for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

This post will be updated after capacity has been reached.

Hope to see you at our first Disney Cruise Line meet-up.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 5th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we continued our series of exciting updates from Disney Cruise Line with the announcement that a new stage show, “Tangled: The Musical,” will be premiering onboard the Disney Magic in November.

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Jonathan told us that “Tangled: The Musical” will stay true to the storyline from the hit feature film—with a few special twists to create a live staged production—featuring favorite characters like Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, the villainous Mother Gothel and Maximus the police horse. Check out his original story for more details and information on when you’ll be able to see exclusive behind the scenes videos of the stage show.

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We also shared a story many of you have been waiting for – a look at this year’s Star Wars Weekends. Details are still coming together for the event, but Shawn shared some highlights of what’s new for Star Wars Weekends 2015:

  • Star Wars: Rebels” – Relive the adventurous twists and turns of the first exciting season of the Disney XD series “Star Wars: Rebels,” in an all-new show with Star Wars Weekends host James Arnold Taylor and a special guest from the show’s voice cast … along with a few surprises!
  • Autograph Opportunities – For the first time, autograph sessions with Star Wars celebrities will be held in an indoor location, just off Commissary Lane near Star Tours – The Adventure Continues. For complete details about autograph opportunities, be sure to visit StarWarsWeekends.com prior to your visit.
  • Darth’s Mall – Can’t find the droids you’re looking for? Head over to this new complex of shops near Streets of America for the best selection of Star Wars merchandise in this galaxy or any other!

The event is shaping up to be among the best, with a new show, new locations for merchandise and autograph opportunities and a galaxy of stars. Go check out our original story for a list of the celebrities scheduled to appear for Star Wars Weekends 2015.

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

First Look: New Olaf Premium Sipper Coming to Disneyland Resort – What’s better than warm hugs from a snowman? A cool drink in an Olaf Premium Sipper! For the first time in forever, guests will be able to purchase the new Olaf Premium Sipper from Food & Beverage locations throughout Disneyland Resort.

Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Main Street, U.S.A. – See historic pictures from the construction of Main Street, U.S.A. in this special series from Disney Parks Blog author George Savvas.

Live Music Expanding at Disneyland Park Beginning July 17 – During the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, music will become an even bigger part of the storytelling within Disneyland park. Click through to learn more!

Learn to Draw Dopey from ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Artist Mike Chovanec of the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers step-by-step instructions on how to draw one of the most lovable characters from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

From Stem to Stern Wine Tasting on a Disney Cruise – Learn about Disney Cruise Line’s “From Stem to Stern” wine event, where a knowledgeable sommelier teaches you to sip like a pro.

New ‘Frozen Fever’ Treats Coming to Disney Parks and Resorts – It’s official: we’ve caught Frozen Fever! The Disney Parks Food and Beverage team has created new treats inspired by the “Frozen Fever” short.

And this week, the name of the newest female baby rhino at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – determined by Disney Parks Blog readers – was revealed. You voted the Kiama as the winning name. It was the overwhelming majority with more than half of the votes.

Kiama will continue to bond and grow with her mom backstage for a few more months, but stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for updates and more information as we near her on-stage debut. Check out Karen’s story for more.

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Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: April 2010

posted on April 3rd, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


We’ve been sharing moments big and small from Disney Parks for more than five years, and I love to look back at some of those moments and share them with you. When I dug back to five years ago this month, I was happy to find two photos that have become unforgettable for me … Space Shuttle Discovery flying over Cinderella Castle and two of our baby goats born here at Disneyland park. (Those tiny little legs!) Take a look …

Space Shuttle Discovery Soars Over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World

Space Shuttle Discovery Soars Over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World
On the morning of April 5, 2010, photographer Kent Phillips captured Space Shuttle Discovery as it soared over Cinderella Castle on its mission to the space station.

The Fleet at Rest by Paul Hiffmeyer

The Fleet at Rest
Disneyland chief photographer Paul Hiffmeyer shared this lovely photo of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in the morning light.

A Model Vacation on Disney Cruise Line – Exclusive Tilt-Shift Video
We took readers on a “miniature scale” journey on the Disney Wonder cruise ship created through the magic of tilt-shift photography.

Adventure on the High Seas

Adventure on the High Seas
Photographer Garth Vaughan got this shot of the Flying Dutchman and the Disney Wonder while both were docked at Castaway Cay in 2010.

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Baby Goats Born at Circle D Corral This Week
They’re not babies anymore, but back in April 2010 we gave readers their first look at Stitch and Lilo – baby goats recently born at Disneyland park.

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From Stem to Stern Wine Tasting on a Disney Cruise

posted on April 3rd, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


If you’ve sailed with us before, you know that entertaining our adult guests is just as important to us as keeping the little ones happy. One of the ways we do that is through our adult enrichment series, including behind-the-scenes experiences and various seminars, like our beverage tastings.

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Over the next several weeks, I’ll give you a closer look at some of the sophisticated tastings you can join on your next Disney cruise, starting today with our “From Stem to Stern” wine event where a knowledgeable sommelier teaches you to sip like a pro. During this experience, you’ll sample wines from around the world. Our sommelier will tell you about the history of winemaking and discuss the production method and classification of five different types of wines.

If you’re new to wine tasting, this experience is a great introduction to the art of identifying the taste, aroma and character of wine. For the connoisseur, it’s the perfect way to indulge your senses and expand your knowledge. You’ll have the opportunity to savor the flavors of both Old World wines, such as those from France, Italy or Spain, and New World wines from the United States, Argentina, Australia or other regions around the globe. What’s more, you’ll get the chance to speak one-on-one with the Head Sommelier from Palo, our fine dining Italian restaurant, whose knowledge of wine will impress even the most distinguished guests.

We offer different beverage tastings on each ship and itinerary, and I look forward to telling you about more of them in the coming weeks. What’s been your favorite beverage tasting with us so far?

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‘Tangled: The Musical’ Coming to Disney Cruise Line

posted on April 2nd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Exciting news from Disney Cruise Line just keeps on coming! Today we announced a brand-new stage show, “Tangled: The Musical,” premiering onboard the Disney Magic this November. It is the very first time this beloved Disney tale has been adapted for the stage, and what’s more, the production includes brand-new songs by Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken!

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“Tangled: The Musical” will immerse you in Rapunzel’s fairytale world through lavish production numbers and spellbinding music. The show will stay true to the storyline from the hit feature film—with a few special twists to create a live staged production—featuring favorite characters like Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, the villainous Mother Gothel and Maximus the police horse. Three new songs created exclusively for this show by Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken and Grammy Award-winning lyricist Glenn Slater will bring the story to life onstage.

Our highly talented entertainment team has been hard at work on this production, and they’ve given us an all-access pass to take you behind the scenes. Over the next several months, I’ll be sharing with you exclusive videos of this stage show coming together. Stay tuned!

Those of you on our November 11 four-night Bahamian sailing aboard the Disney Magic will be the first to see this new stage show spectacular! Which of you can I expect to see in the front row?

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Fairytale Experiences in St. Petersburg, Russia and Stockholm, Sweden with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 30th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


We’re just two months away from our first Baltic cruise of the summer season! In my last post, I told you about adventures in Helsinki and Estonia, so today I’ll give you a glimpse into the family fun we offer in St. Petersburg and Stockholm. We’ve developed special fairytale experiences to immerse your family in the royal and storybook settings you’ll find throughout these culturally rich cities.

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St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great, who was inspired to build a metropolis like the cultural centers of Western Europe. The city has retained much of its opulence and historic architecture and is renowned for its storied history and cultural heritage.

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To experience the majesty of the area firsthand, you won’t want to miss our Royal Ball at Catherine’s Palace, one of the world’s most amazing royal palaces. You’ll be greeted by Royal Guards before entering the lavish palace, where you’re invited to relive the luxury of the 18th-century Imperial Russian court. After a welcome reception and time to explore the immense collection of fabulous art work and furnishings, the highlight of your evening will include mingling with “Catherine the Great” and dancing along with the “Royal Court” in the Grand Hall, set to the sounds of classical music with a live orchestra!

Another spectacular experience that will make you feel like royalty is our evening at the Hermitage Museum with a private concert. This tour of the world-famous Hermitage Museum, founded by Catherine the Great with her personal art collection, is privately reserved for Disney cruisers, giving you the chance to view the museum’s beautiful collections without the crowds. It concludes with an exclusive performance by the incredibly talented State Hermitage Orchestra.

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Stockholm is a picturesque city with fascinating medieval sites, lush parks and a charming waterfront area. The city is built on several islands at the mouth of Lake Mälaren and boasts more than 100 museums devoted to the preservation and display of European paintings, sculptures and handicrafts. In the city’s Old Town (“Gamla Stan”), you’ll discover ancient streets, centuries-old churches and cathedrals and breathtaking palaces and mansions.

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On our Ice Bar and Old Town excursion, not only will you have the chance to experience the grandeur of Gamla Stan’s baroque, medieval and renaissance-style construction, you’ll also visit the unique Ice Bar in the heart of Stockholm. Kept to a cool 23 degrees Fahrenheit, the interior, drinking glasses and chairs are made of pure ice. But don’t worry about turning into ice yourself since you’ll don a warm fur poncho and mittens before entering!

Those of you traveling with little ones will love visiting the Junibacken Children’s Museum, a fairy-tale museum dedicated to Sweden’s much-loved author Astrid Lindgren, who has written around 100 children’s books. Both our Knights and Fairytales and Skansen Museum and Swedish Fairytales Port Adventures take you to this whimsical museum where your family can play in Pippi Longstocking’s funny house and take a trip on the Story Train to meet more of the author’s beloved characters.

Of course these are only some of the many exciting excursions we offer in St. Petersburg and Stockholm. Those of you joining us this summer, which Port Adventures are on deck for your family?

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on March 29th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’ve been looking back at key moments in Disneyland history as we prepare to celebrate 60 years of memories and magic during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. And this week, Erin searched the archives and put together a fascinating time-lapse video of Disneyland construction.

Check out Erin’s original story and let us know about your favorite part of the video.

Disney Cruise Line Charts New Course for British Isles

This week, we also revealed our 2016 Disney Cruise Line summer sailings, announcing our first-ever British Isles cruise, plus ports of call in more than 15 European countries.

Along with the British Isles, our tour of Europe includes cruises in the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, Greek Isles and the Mediterranean. Jonathan has more details and a special video in his original story.

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

Irene Jewell Celebrates 90th Birthday with First Visit to Disneyland Park – Last month, on her 90th birthday, Irene Jewell, legendary dancer and wife of Disney cinematographer Stuart Jewell, visited Disneyland park for the first time.

Enjoy ‘Frozen Fun’ Before it Melts Away and Stay Close to the Magic with Disneyland Resort Hotel Offer – If you haven’t experienced all of the frozen fractals during “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park, there’s still time!

First Look at Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Merchandise – Go behind the scenes, into our Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration showroom, where you can see for yourselves some of the amazing items headed your way this May at the Disneyland Resort.

Wildlife Wednesday: Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Set ‘Gold Standard’ for Animal Care – Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge were granted official accreditation once again by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums!

New Pedestrian Bridge Will Soon Open at the Downtown Disney Area at Walt Disney World Resort – Towering above Buena Vista Drive, a new pedestrian bridge was installed in the early morning hours of March 19.

Behind the Scenes: Food Network Hosts Cruising on the Disney Dream – Check out the highlights from the Disney Dream Cruise with Food Network!

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Behind the Scenes: Food Network Hosts Cruising on the Disney Dream

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Stephen Walker, Fleet Culinary Standards and Consistency Chef, Disney Cruise Line


Back in January, I had the unique experience of cooking with the hosts of Food Network’s “The Kitchen.” If you saw the episode, you may remember their excitement when I invited them to sail with me on a Disney cruise. Not only did Jeff Mauro and Katie Lee take me up on that offer, they brought two other Food Network stars – Amanda Freitag (“Chopped”) and Melissa d’Arabian (“Guy’s Grocery Games”) – along with their families and friends for three nights of fun, sun, and delicious food.

Host Jeff Mauro and His Family on the Disney Dream Host Melissa d'Arabian and Her Family on the Disney Dream

Tonight, Food Network is showing a one-hour special featuring this crew’s Disney Dream cruise. Onboard we took them behind the scenes to see the inner workings of the ship’s galleys, slightly larger than the kitchens where they are used to cooking! Now, you can get a glimpse at their backstage experience and learn more about the culinary masterpieces our talented chefs prepare every day.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect:

Check it out tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Be on the lookout for some familiar faces, including Cruise Director Christiaan, Remy Executive Chef Patrick and a few Disney pals!

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Disney Cruise Line to Sail First-Ever British Isles Cruise in 2016

posted on March 24th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Today we revealed our 2016 summer sailings, announcing our first-ever British Isles cruise, plus ports of call in more than 15 European countries! In addition to the British Isles, our tour of Europe includes cruises in the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, Greek Isles and the Mediterranean. Pretty incredible, right?!

Disney Cruise Line Charts New Course for British Isles

Our 12-night British Isles voyage on the Disney Magic departs from Dover, England, visiting destinations in Scotland, Ireland, France and England. I can’t possibly highlight all of the cool things you’ll experience on this cruise, but here’s a sampling:

  1. The majestic beauty, iconic castles and Highland culture of Scotland
  2. The merry, cosmopolitan city of Dublin, Ireland
  3. The culturally rich and romantic Paris, France
  4. The birthplace of the Beatles and the British Invasion in Liverpool, England
  5. The charming countryside of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands

Of course Europe isn’t the only awesome locale we’re taking you to in the summer of 2016. We’re also revisiting favorite destinations elsewhere around the globe including Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas. In this video, Cruise Director Brent gives us a sneak peek at where you can sail with us next year …

For more details, check out the Itineraries and Ports for 2016 page of disneycruise.com, and get ready to book this Thursday!

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