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Disney Days of Past: Happy Thanksgiving!

posted on November 26th, 2015 by Rose Monahan, Librarian, Walt Disney World Resort

It is a favorite Thanksgiving Day tradition of mine to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Here we take a look at the Mickey Mouse balloon that paraded its way down the streets of New York City in the early 1970’s. I hope this photo brings many happy memories of your Thanksgiving traditions.


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Filed: Disney History

Disney Days of Past: America on Parade

posted on November 12th, 2015 by Rose Monahan, Librarian, Walt Disney World Resort

In 1975 Walt Disney World Resort presented “America on Parade.” The parade celebrated the history of the United States of America. This charming gentleman was one of the larger-than-life characters representing different time periods of American history. The parade was in anticipation of the Bicentennial celebration of the United States of America in 1976.


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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Explore the Disneyland Dream Suite

posted on October 29th, 2015 by Ryan March, Editor, Disney Vacation Club’s Disney Files Magazine

Part of the magic of a Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise (a charter voyage that enhances the already extraordinary Disney Cruise Line experience with custom décor, in-room gifts, and a diverse lineup of special shows and experiences created just for members and their guests) is its unique ability to take some of Disney’s biggest fans to places beyond those on the ship’s itinerary. Whether we’re “traveling” behind the scenes with filmmakers or into the minds of artists, back in time with historians or into the future with Imagineers, some of these voyages’ most memorable moments don’t involve a port of call.

While these unique experiences typically play out on the ship’s numerous stages, the revelations periodically extend to stateroom televisions, where exclusive content allows families to further explore a topic or place featured in an onstage presentation.

Our August 2015 voyage, for example, featured a rare look inside Walt Disney’s private apartment above the Disneyland firehouse as part of a special celebration of Walt in the ship’s Buena Vista Theatre. Upon returning to their staterooms, Members and their Guests explored another planned Walt Disney residence through an on-camera tour of the Disneyland Dream Suite, a stunning New Orleans Square hideaway once envisioned as a more spacious apartment for Walt and his family.

The 9-minute video features the perspectives of renowned Imagineer Kim Irvine, explores the suite’s uniquely themed rooms and demonstrates the charming effects that come to life in surprising fashion.

To help more Disney fans enjoy this imaginative space during the ongoing Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, Disney Vacation Club is pleased to now share that video with all of you here on the Disney Parks Blog.

We leave you to enjoy the tour while we continue planning our next Member Cruise, sailing September 28 – October 2, 2016, out of a new port for the event – New York City! The Big Apple is inspiring some big ideas for this voyage, which our Members will begin booking on November 15.

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Disney History, Disney Vacation Club, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

The Little Man of Disneyland and His Adventureland Home

posted on October 27th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Have you ever noticed the tiny house built into the trunk of a tree in Adventureland at Disneyland park? Many guests have wondered who its diminutive resident could be.


Well, our friends at D23—Disney’s official fan club—have the answer! The story of the Little Man of Disneyland, Patrick Begorra, was first told in one of the Disney Little Golden Books. Published in 1955 – the same year Disneyland opened – “The Little Man of Disneyland” introduced the leprechaun, who lives in a tiny house at the roots of a Disneyland tree.


Click here to read D23’s story about Patrick Begorra, and stop by to say hello next time you find yourself in Adventureland at Disneyland park!

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8 Photos That Make Us Fall In Love With World of Motion All Over Again

posted on October 15th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Although it’s now just a part of Epcot’s history, World of Motion was one of the park’s original attractions that guests flocked to on opening day. The attraction, then sponsored by General Motors, took guests on a time travel journey through the history of transportation – man’s foibles and triumphs in designing new vehicles, the age of flight, and the development of the horseless carriage, as well as the transportation trends our culture latched on to like the bicycle, the family Sunday drive, and the summer road trip.

Perhaps best of all, this attraction also gave us the awesome theme park original song, “It’s Fun to Be Free!” The song was penned by Disney Legends X. Atencio and Buddy Baker (who previously collaborated on “Grim Grinning Ghosts” for the Haunted Mansion).


1.World of Motion took us back through the history of transportation – and best of all, offered a look at the vehicles of the future.


2. The Omnimovers offered an awesome view of the park’s iconic Spaceship Earth attraction on their way up.


3. The attraction’s scenes traced the progress of transportation from good ol’fashioned walking, to water, to animal-led transportation to “a revolutionary ‘turn’ of events” – the invention of the wheel!


4. While ocean expeditions put to bed “age old myths and silly superstitions” about what really lie in the sea, it did give us this iconic World of Motion scene. (I was always waiting for the captain to draw back his spyglass and react in hilarity).


5. And who can forget this iconic scene from the attraction, which depicts the development – and popular recreation fad – of the bicycle.


6. Who wished their Omnivehicle wouldn’t slow down just a little bit in this scene, which showed how future transportation could affect the shape of modern cities.


7. Then, best of all, we got a walk-through look at the cars of the future.


8. And how many of us saw this little beauty and vowed that we’d own something this cool someday – in the future, when anything was possible!

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on October 11th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Sixty years ago this week, the landmark Disneyland Hotel opened its doors to families visiting the Disneyland Resort. And to mark the anniversary of this Disney Parks Blog reader favorite, we dug out some amazing photos from the archives.


During its first year of operation, Disneyland Hotel had only 104 guest rooms. Now, it has 975 beautifully appointed guest rooms, including a unique collection of themed suites—from the Big Thunder Suite to the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite. Check out Michael’s original story for more images and facts.

Ganachery Concepts_v5

We also shared a bit more of what’s coming to Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort in the future, including a new Disney chocolate shop and new restaurant for Celebrity Chef Art Smith.

The Ganachery, a new chocolate shop set to open in The Landing in late 2015 at Disney Springs, will feature a custom blend chocolate with the finest beans for the all-new concept that will feature freshly made ganache (gəˈnaSH). Pam has more details in her original story.


And Chef Art Smith’s new restaurant concept opens in Summer 2016 at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. The restaurant’s menu will feature Southern favorites like homemade pimento cheese, Church Lady deviled eggs, low country shrimp and grits, kale salad with Sweet Grass Dairy cheese and spiced pecans and a grilled Blackstrap pork chop with sawmill gravy. There are more details about Chef Smith and the restaurant in our earlier story.

Here are some of the other stories we featured this week.

Behind the Scenes: Take a Look Back at ‘Paint the Night’ Parade Float Production – Hear from Imagineers as they checked out the various “Paint the Night” parade floats in progress!

New ‘Paint the Night’ Parade Ornament Set Debuts at the Disneyland Resort – These new ornaments capture a variety of key moments from the nighttime spectacular as well as beloved Disney characters such as Sorcerer Mickey, Mike and Sulley, Tinker Bell, “The Little Mermaid” (Ariel and King Triton) and Belle.

PANDORA Jewelry and Other Popular Products Coming to Disney Parks This October – Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller selects a handful of his favorite new things that guests will soon find either at Disney Parks or on our Disney Parks online store.

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

Ultimate History Quiz: 17 Burning Questions About Epcot’s Horizons – Think you remember just about everything there is to know about the former Horizons attraction at Epcot? Put your knowledge to the test!

12 Disney Parks Halloween Wallpapers to Haunt Your Desktop – To help add some Halloween spirit to your desktop or mobile device, we’re happy to share with you 12 Disney Parks Blog exclusive wallpapers – all inspired by Halloween or our spookiest attractions, the Haunted Mansion and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney History, Disney Springs, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

7 Amazing Photos of Epcot’s Kitchen Kabaret

posted on October 8th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Kitchen Kabaret was one of Epcot’s opening-day attractions at The Land Pavilion, which promoted nutrition through songs and spirited characters. The show was hosted by Bonnie Appetite who had flat out adorable costumes and a kitchen that came to life with song.

In honor of Epcot’s anniversary month, here are five photos that make us fall in love with this “attraction of the past” all over again.


1. The Kitchen Krackpots launch into a ragtime number called “Chase Those (Meal Time) Blues Away.”


2. Cool crooner Milk and his back-up trio, Cheese, Yogurt and Ice Cream were next up, singing “The Stars of the Milky Way” from inside their chilly refrigerator. (I loved their cute little outfits!).


3. But not to be outdone, we also heard from the grains section. When Toast piped “Boogie Woogie Bakery Boy” on his toast-sized trumpet, he was simply the coolest …


4. …and his swooning backup singers, The Cereal Sisters, totally agreed.


5. Stealing the spotlight from their surrounding musicians were the comic duo Hamm & Eggz. Eggz’s corny jokes eventually anger Hamm so much that he threatens to leave and join another protein group.


6. But perhaps the best song of all was “Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit,” a Latin-inspired number played by the Colander Combo and Fiesta Fruit. Cha cha cha!


7. Because who doesn’t have a fireworks finale in their kitchen?

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Ultimate History Quiz: 17 Burning Questions About Epcot’s Horizons

posted on October 6th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Think you remember just about everything there is to know about the former Horizons attraction at Epcot? Put your knowledge to the test below!



Ultimate History Quiz: 17 Burning Questions About Epcot’s Horizons

In Horizon’s queue, which parties were asked to report to the Brava Centauri Departure Console?
The Transcon Starflash departed for Mesa Verde from which concourse?
Which is mentioned as the newest Centauri Space Station?
In the hologram phone conversation between mother and daughter, what kind of fruit do they discuss?
The narrator and his wife have what kind of pet?
Personal robots perform which of the following tasks?
What’s the name of the robot in the desert farming scene?
In the birthday cake baking scene, the words “candles” and “icing” are mistaken for?
Where is the “beach boy boyfriend” studying biology?
What transportation is the “beach boy boyfriend” is planning on taking to the birthday party?
What’s the name of the seal in the kids’ Discovery Dive class?
What underwater plant is mentioned as a new fuel source?
What sport is played in the health scene?
What are the names of boy and the dog that escape gravity?
In the birthday party scene, the boy’s mom announces they made ___ in honor of the occasion.
When Horizons guests chose their own destination to explore, their three choices were:

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Today in Disney History: Disneyland Hotel Opens, 1955

posted on October 5th, 2015 by Michael Ramirez, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations

Sixty years ago today, the landmark Disneyland Hotel opened its doors just three months after Disneyland park opened to the public. Designed as a hotel with families in mind, the Orange County hotel was the first major resort to be built in Southern California since the early 1940s.

After 60 dazzling years, the Disneyland Hotel continues to create magical memories for families visiting the Disneyland Resort. Here are some photos and fun facts!


During its first year of operation, the hotel had only 104 guest rooms. Pictured above are the original owners, Jack and Bonita Wrather. The Disneyland Hotel was built and owned by Walt Disney’s friend, Jack Wrather, until The Walt Disney Company purchased the Wrather Corporation in 1988.


Today the Disneyland Hotel has 975 beautifully appointed guest rooms, including a unique collection of themed suites—from the Big Thunder Suite to the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite.


The Coral Swim Club at the hotel was added in 1956, which included a year-round heated swimming pool. As an added amenity, food and refreshments were served poolside as guests lounged in the sunshine.


Today the hotel boasts three pools, two waterslides, spas and poolside cabanas. If you’re wondering what it’s like travel down the two Monorail-themed slides, which were added in 2011, check out the video here.


The 3.5-acre World of Water marina opened in 1970, showcasing the latest designs in powerboats, cruisers, sailboats and even a fully furnished houseboat! And yes, those are helicopters sitting where today’s Goofy’s Kitchen and Steakhouse 55 are located.


Today, the Disneyland Hotel sparkles with décor as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Located just steps from the Downtown Disney District and both theme parks, the hotel offers a variety of experiences for guests of all ages.

Happy 60 years to the Happiest Hotel on Earth!

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts

Celebrate Magic Kingdom Park’s Anniversary With Our Latest Wallpaper

posted on October 3rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

To wrap up our week of celebrating Magic Kingdom Park’s anniversary, we have one more treat to share with you – a brand-new desktop/digital wallpaper that was inspired by the best of the park’s elements.

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

Want to check out other designs? Visit our complete gallery of wallpapers here.

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort