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Country Bear Christmas Special at Magic Kingdom Park

Vintage Walt Disney World: Disney Carolers

posted on December 18th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Fans growing up watching the Disney Afternoon would have been in for a real treat had this foursome shown up at their doorstep caroling in 1990. Below Chip, Dale, Scrooge McDuck, and Zummi Gummi are captured warming up their vocal chords. I wonder if they’re any good at four-part harmony?

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The ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ Connection to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park

posted on December 17th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Haunted Mansion Holiday

The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park holds many hidden secrets, but it turns out that one of these secrets is hiding in plain sight …

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Walt Disney’s landmark live-action film adaptation of Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” debuted sixty years ago this month. The film, which went on to win two Academy Awards®, was also the first Disney feature filmed in CinemaScope. The success of the movie gave Walt the idea to put some of its sets on display in an exhibit using available space at Disneyland in the summer of 1955.

20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea Exhibit

The Nautilus Salon set created for the film was set up in Tomorrowland as a temporary exhibit, but it became so popular that it remained on display for 11 years.

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Having heard rumors for years about what happened to those original set pieces, I reached out to our friends at the Walt Disney Archives who confirmed that when the sets were disassembled in 1966, the pipe organ (without its fanned piping) was set aside for use inside the Haunted Mansion, which would open three years later.

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Yes, the pipe organ in the ballroom scene of the Haunted Mansion is the very same one that James Mason, as Captain Nemo, played in the film. I was pleased to also learn that the Walt Disney Archives still has many of the original furniture pieces from the Nautilus Salon, including the recently discovered organ bench shown in this production photo.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Holiday Greetings from Magic Kingdom Park

posted on December 11th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Mrs. Claus must have needed some Florida sunshine back in 1994 when she stopped by Magic Kingdom Park. Looks like everyone was having the happiest of holidays. I wonder if this trip was Santa approved?

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Building The Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Main Street Station

posted on December 9th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Continuing our look at Disneyland park during its construction, today I’m sharing two very rare photos of Main Street Station, the popular starting point of your “grand circle tour” aboard the vintage trains of the Disneyland Railroad.

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This image was taken as the framing of the building was far enough along to recognize the train station we know today.

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Just over one month later, the progress is stunning. I can practically hear the bell ringing and the whistle blowing as the train approaches.

You’ll notice that the clock tower doesn’t have a clock yet. In our next “construction update” you’ll see why that’s a very good thing.


Previously in the “Building the Dream” series:

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Unique Holiday Celebrations

posted on December 6th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


To many of our guests, holidays are a favorite time of year at Disney Parks. Not only are the halls decked like nowhere else, we’ve also got unique holiday experiences that you’ll find only at Disney Parks and Resorts. This week, we featured three of these celebrations.

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Here at the Disneyland Resort, we cruised into the holiday season at the Disney Parks Blog Christmas in Cars Land Meet-Up.

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At Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawai`i, musical segments were produced for Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration with stars Gavin DeGraw, Sarah Hyland and Laura Marano.

Candlelight Processional Performed in Front of Cinderella Castle in 1980 Candlelight Processional Performed in Front of Main Street Train Station in 1983

And Nate Rasmussen took us back to the 1980s for a look back at the Candlelight Processional, a holiday tradition at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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Filed: Aulani, Celebrity Visits, Disney California Adventure Park, Disney History, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Today in Disney History: Walt Disney Was Born in 1901

posted on December 5th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today we’re celebrating one of the most important dates in Disney history here on the Disney Parks Blog – Walt Disney’s birthdate!

Walt, who was born December 5, 1901, made so many amazing contributions in the fields of art, animation, film and theme parks that it would be impossible to list them all here. Instead we’re celebrating by sharing a look back at one of our most exciting Walt memories caught on film – the day that he and his brother Roy officially announced plans to build a theme park in Central Florida. Listen to the official announcement below.

Do you share a birthday with Walt? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Candlelight Shines At Epcot

posted on December 4th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


There’s a lot of shouting for joy over at the America Gardens Theater at Epcot now that the Candlelight Processional has started for the holiday season. The Candlelight Processional has been a holiday tradition at Disney Parks dating back to 1958 at Disneyland park.

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Before moving to Epcot in 1994, the Candlelight Processional was performed at Magic Kingdom Park. Below is a look at the Processional being performed in front of Cinderella Castle in 1980 and in front of the Main Street Train Station in 1983.

Candlelight Processional Performed in Front of Cinderella Castle in 1980 Candlelight Processional Performed in Front of Main Street Train Station in 1983

Candlelight Processional is presented at Epcot three times nightly through December 30th.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Floral Mickey

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


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Main Street Station and its iconic floral depiction of Mickey Mouse have become one of the most photographed locations in the world, as millions of guests over six decades have captured their first Disney Parks memory entering Walt Disney’s original magic kingdom.

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But less than a week before opening day, the floral in “floral Mickey” had yet to materialize. Horticulturalist Jack Evans received a memo dated July 11, 1955, from Joe Fowler which read, “When are you going to plant Mickey Mouse in the entrance? Looks to me like the time is getting pretty late.”

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As you probably know, “Mickey” was planted in time for the big day and he’s been in full bloom every day since.

Check back for more “construction updates” soon.


Previously in the “Building the Dream” series:

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Tree of Life

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Symbolizing the interconnected nature of all living things, the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom rises up from the center of Discovery Island at the park. Soaring over 140 feet into the air, the Tree of Life hadn’t “grown” any of its 100,000+ leaves yet in January 1997.

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The 14-story tree is 50 feet wide at its base with roots that spread 170 feet in diameter. More than 8,000 branches make up the foliage that spreads 160 feet over the park below.

Walt Disney World Photo Gallery Disc

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: A Happy Birthday to Mickey Mouse

posted on November 22nd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this week, we celebrated Mickey Mouse’s birthday with a “Mickey takeover” of the Disney Parks Blog.

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Our favorite pal was brought into existence by creator Walt Disney on November 18, 1928. Be sure to click through the gallery above to see photos of Mickey Mouse throughout the history of our parks.

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