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Sunset Over the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom

‘Disneyland’ Television Show Sets the Stage for Walt Disney’s Dream

posted on April 17th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Sixty years ago this month, work was underway to create the Happiest Place on Earth. But before Disneyland would welcome its first guests on July 17, 1955, Walt Disney found a way to not just tell the public about this new entertainment enterprise … he showed it to them, using the cutting-edge technology of television to set the stage for his dream of Disneyland.

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In April 1954, Walt signed an agreement with the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) to produce the “Disneyland” television series. In exchange, ABC helped him out by investing in Disneyland – making the network a one-third owner of the park (Disney later bought out this investment and ABC is now part of the Walt Disney Company).

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The series ran on Wednesday nights from October 27, 1954, to September 3, 1958, and brought Walt’s vision straight into the living rooms of the very families he hoped would visit. In its first season, it won the Emmy for Best Variety Series and another the following year for Walt Disney as Best Producer of a Filmed Series.

On opening day, ABC produced the largest live television broadcast to date with its coverage of the grand opening of Disneyland. The partnership between Disney and ABC would lead to other television classics, including “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” and “The Wonderful World of Disney,” bringing the magic and storytelling of Disney into American homes for decades.

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Disney Days of Past: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Constructed

posted on April 16th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Surrounded by over 45 acres of savanna, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge continues to be one of the most spectacular hotels at Walt Disney World. Opening 14 years ago today, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby soars six stories high under an incredible thatched roof. In September 2000, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was beginning to take shape as construction continued on what is now known as Jambo House.

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While seeing a giraffe outside the balcony of a guest room is quite unique, the Jambo House is also home to two distinctive restaurants celebrating the flavors of Africa – Jiko and Boma (not to mention they’re absolutely delicious).

Jiko - The Cooking Place at Walt Disney World Resort Boma - Flavors of Africa at Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great place to relax and enjoy the ambience of the Resort when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the Parks.

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Disney Days of Past: Let’s Play Ball!

posted on April 9th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


This week kicked off the baseball season. In honor of America’s pastime starting a new season, here’s Mickey in his pinstripes ready for action back in 1978. Play ball!

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Happy Easter from the Disney Parks Blog Team

posted on April 5th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


In honor of today’s holiday, we thought we’d share a look back at one of Magic Kingdom Park’s Easter parades. This procession, which took place multiple years in the 1980s, featured Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny and friends strolling right down the middle of Main Street, U.S.A.

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Check out Donald riding high in the giant Easter basket behind them. Is that an enormous chocolate bunny he’s standing next to? My favorite!

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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.

Mulan, Stitch and Lilo

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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Disney Days of Past: Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World Resort Marks 20 Years

posted on April 1st, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Blizzard Beach celebrates a refreshing 20 years this week at Walt Disney World Resort. This watery wonderland has been a favorite way for guests to cool down when it gets warm in Central Florida. This aerial view of the park from December 1994 shows the ski resort beginning to take shape.

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The only place to ‘hit the slopes’ in Florida, Blizzard Beach is home to unique snow runs like Teamboat Springs, Downhill Double Dipper and of course Summit Plummet.

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Twenty years after its debut, I still have a little trepidation as I walk the stairs to the top of Summit Plummet. How many of you have conquered Summit Plummet?

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Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Main Street, U.S.A.

posted on March 31st, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Today we’re looking down Main Street, U.S.A., as work continues on bringing Walt’s dream of Disneyland to life.

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I’ve always had such admiration for the people who literally put hammer to nail to build the park. Looking at these photos, I can’t help but wonder what their stories were and what pride they must have had in their unique place in Disney history.

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Previously in the “Building the Dream” series:

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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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Irene Jewell Celebrates 90th Birthday with First Visit to Disneyland Park

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Last month, on her 90th birthday, Irene Jewell, legendary dancer and wife of Disney cinematographer Stuart Jewell, visited Disneyland park for the first time. Known for her impressive height, Irene performed under the name Ricki Covette in the course of her 30-year career. She later met Disney cinematographer Stuart Jewell, known for his camera work on Disney’s “True-Life Adventures,” including “The Living Desert” and “The Vanishing Prairie.” He also produced much of the now-iconic time-lapse footage from the construction of Disneyland.

But despite her own legendary status and connection to Disneyland history, Irene had never visited the park! So she thought her 90th birthday would be the perfect occasion.

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Irene arrived with her “Special Complimentary Main Gate Admission” ticket in hand, which she held onto for years. (She got to keep it, by the way.) She went on to enjoy a day of fun, including Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and “it’s a small world” – three attractions she had specifically been looking forward to.

When I asked whether Stuart has shared any of his Disneyland memories with her, Irene said, “He told me about opening day – they didn’t expect so many people! It was getting crowded, so he grabbed a camera and took a picture of Ronald Reagan, Bob Cummings and Art Linkletter that appeared in the paper.”

If you’d like to see some of Stuart Jewell’s work, take a look at this time-lapse video, which we shared earlier this week. In the first few seconds, you can even see Stuart and his team prepping and installing the cameras!

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Disney Days of Past: Food Rocks at Epcot

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Today, back in 1994, Food Rocks opened at The Land Pavilion at Epcot. Hosted by Fūd Wrapper, food items sang the virtues of eating healthy. Trying to crash the healthy party were the hard rockers, The Excess, who liked to shout about the best parts of an unhealthy lifestyle in their song “Give Us Junk.”

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Following The Excess performance, Fūd Wrapper reminded everyone that sugary snacks are OK to eat in moderation. The Get-The-Point Sisters sang about this during their hit “Respect.”

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Although Food Rocks no longer jams at The Land, that’s no excuse for poor eating habits!

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