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Celebrating 15 Years of Magical Moments at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on February 8th, 2016 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


On this day 15 years ago, Disney California Adventure park opened its gates for the first time. To celebrate, I’ve highlighted some the most magical moments we captured on video. I have been fortunate enough to participate in of most of these moments, from the Grand Opening in 2001 to the opening of Cars Land in 2012, and more. If I had to pick a favorite, I really enjoyed the opening ceremony for Toy Story Midway Mania! Seeing the Green Army Men parachuting through the sky was really spectacular!

What is your favorite Disney California Adventure park memory?

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

Disney Days of Past: Carnivale at Epcot

posted on February 4th, 2016 by Rose Monahan, Librarian, Walt Disney World Resort


Countries all around the world are getting ready to celebrate Carnivale. In these Epcot flashback photos from 1998, we see the elaborate costumes worn to represent different counties celebrating Carnivale. Beads were handed out to guests while floats, stilt walkers and dancers paraded down the promenade.

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Carnivale at Epcot in 1998 Carnivale at Epcot in 1998 Carnivale at Epcot in 1998
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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Video Rewind: Audio-Animatronics Magic at Disney Parks

posted on January 26th, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


One of the most iconic innovations to come out of Disney Parks is audio-animatronics technology. Walt Disney was driven to bring what he saw as three-dimensional animation to Disneyland, and on June 23, 1963, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room opened. The first attraction to feature audio-animatronics figures was home to more than 200 singing birds, flowers and tikis. Let’s take a look back on some of the audio-animatronics advancements we’ve shown you here on the Disney Parks Blog.

All the way back in 2009, we took you behind the scenes as Walt Disney Imagineering programmed the most advanced audio-animatronics figure at the time, Abraham Lincoln, at Disneyland park.

Jump ahead five years, and imagineers continued to develop amazing audio-animatronics innovations, this time working with Walt Disney Animation Studios on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park.

And of course, the story of audio-animatronics technology begins with Walt Disney himself. Take a look back at this video, which we shared last year for the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at Magic Kingdom Park.

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

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration ‘Decades’ Collection 1985–1994 Debuts January 14

posted on January 7th, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues! On January 14, bring home the next piece in the “Decades” collection, depicting 1985 to 1994.

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I’m probably not the only one having flashbacks right now, mostly of the late 80s, early 90s style, but here are a few other things you may remember that happened during that time frame at the Disneyland Resort.

I know some of you spent time at the high-tech (for its time) Videopolis! Don’t deny it. During this time, it was also the 30th and 35th anniversary of Disneyland park; a certain intergalactic musical adventure debuted in the Magic Eye theater in Tomorrowland; Star Tours launched us into a galaxy far, far away; we found our laughing place inside Splash Mountain, changes were underway at the Disneyland Hotel; nighttime spectacular “Fantasmic!” gave us our first look into Mickey Mouse’s imagination; Mickey’s Toontown came to life. That, my fellow Disney fans, is just the tip of the iceberg, as I’m sure you know.

To commemorate this special time in Disney Parks history, the art designed by local southern California artist Jeff Granito will appear on a t-shirt, mug, plate, pin and print. Look for the new “Decades” collection at select locations throughout the Disneyland Resort including:

Disneyland Park

Downtown Disney District

Disney California Adventure Park

Disneyland Hotel

Tip: Have you already pressed a penny with this art at World of Disney Store? If not, put it on your list of things to do on your next visit.

What are some of your favorite Disney memories from 1985 to 1994?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Hotels & Resorts

Disney Days of Past: New Year’s Resolutions

posted on January 7th, 2016 by Rose Monahan, Librarian, Walt Disney World Resort


Happy 2016! Did you make a New Year’s resolution? If so, this photo of Jiminy Cricket from 1980 is here to inspire you to stick to your resolution. Any time you feel you may be sliding off track, or need a little inspiration just imagine Jiminy singing in your ear “always let your conscience be your guide!”

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Today in Disney History: Walt Disney is Grand Marshall of Rose Parade, 1966

posted on January 1st, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


This morning, the “Disneyland Diamond Celebration – Awaken Your Adventure” float appeared in the 2016 Rose Parade, the latest in a tradition that spans nearly eight decades. Disney’s relationship with the Tournament of Roses began in 1938 when characters from the newly premiered “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” were prominently featured in the parade. Also, the Rose Queen and her Court, along with the competing Rose Bowl football teams, have visited Disneyland Resort each year since 1960.

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse at the Tournament of Roses Parade

It was 50 years ago today that Walt Disney himself took part in the Rose Parade as Grand Marshall. On January 1, 1966, Walt rode the parade route with Mickey Mouse by his side. Decades later, Roy E. Disney, Walt’s nephew and the head of Disney Animation, would serve as Grand Marshall in 2000.

This year, in 2016, we are excited to continue this tradition as part of our Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, commemorating 60 years of magic here at the Disneyland Resort.

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Disney Days of Past: Snowmen in Florida!

posted on December 24th, 2015 by Rose Monahan, Librarian, Walt Disney World Resort


A mild Florida winter cannot stop these Snow Men and Women from parading down Main Street U.S.A. in this snapshot from 1982. It is all part of the Disney magic! Wishing you and your family a magical Holiday Season!

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

PHOTO GALLERY: Special Portraits of Snow White

posted on December 21st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


This week in Disney history, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the first full-length animated feature film debuted in theaters, introducing us to the very first Disney Princess, Snow White.

Innocent and curious, Snow White flees from the clutches of her Wicked Stepmother to find shelter in the woods with the Seven Dwarfs. Entranced by her charm and good nature, the Dwarfs and surrounding forest creatures immediately grow fond of Snow White. When she mistakenly accepts an apple from a stranger (her Stepmother in disguise), thank goodness it’s Snow White’s love, Prince Charming, who comes to the rescue.

Snow White from Disney's 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'

Thanks to Mariah Wild for the images. To check out more in our series, see the list below.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: December 2014

posted on December 11th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


One year ago this month, we were … of course … celebrating the holiday season at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts! We also explored our history as we marked momentous milestones. Take a look back at some of the stories we shared with you in December 2014.

Today in Disney History: Walt Disney Was Born in 1901
In honor of Walt Disney’s birthday, Jennifer shared this look back at the official announcement of Walt Disney World Resort.

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Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Main Street Station
Part of his “Building the Dream” series, commemorating the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, George showed us these images from the construction of the Main Street Station at Disneyland park.

Watch Holiday Services Install & Unveil The Magic Kingdom Park Christmas Tree
Jennifer showed us this amazing video, in which the Holiday Services department installs the massive Magic Kingdom Park Christmas tree overnight.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Disney Carolers
Nate shared this fun image of Disney Afternoon characters celebrating the holidays way back in 1990.

Kermit Gets into the Holiday Spirit at Disneyland Park
Even the Muppets were getting into the holiday spirit! Check out this video of Kermit the Frog at Disneyland park.

Christmas Trees at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Christmas Trees at the Resorts of Walt Disney World
Thomas commemorated Christmas day with this beautiful look at the Christmas trees of the Walt Disney World Resort.

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

The Walt Disney Archives Brings Walt’s Office Back to the Disney Studios Lot

posted on December 7th, 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


Today Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger presided over a special ceremony to dedicate the newly restored office of Walt Disney in the Animation Building at the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank. Disney Parks guests have been able to see selections from Walt’s office suite over the years at One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and inside the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland park, but the Walt Disney Archives painstakingly restored the suite—down to the smallest details—including original furnishings, his piano (frequently played back in the day by Disney Legend Richard Sherman), awards, and some items from his collection of miniatures.

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Park fans will love the large map, hanging over the couch in his working office, of Disneyland as it existed in 1966, including recent additions to the park as well as those yet-to-be-constructed including Haunted Mansion and New Orleans Square. There’s one of the first master plans for what would become Walt Disney World Resort—including his vision for EPCOT. The office also features a golden cage containing a brightly colored tiny, singing robotic bird, which served as inspiration for the Audio-Animatronics we know today.

The Walt Disney Archives Brings Walt’s Office Back to the Disney Studios Lot The Walt Disney Archives Brings Walt’s Office Back to the Disney Studios Lot

In 2016, the office will be featured on select D23 Member tours. Keep your eyes here for more opportunities to see this incredible permanent exhibit.

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Filed: Disney History, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort