Show Disney.com Hide Disney.com
The Orbitron in Tomorrowland at Hong Kong Disneyland

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!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , ,

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

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.

2_15_DL_003011

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!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

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.”

eopeop379921

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.”

eopeop979922

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

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Found Photo: Orange Bird Visits Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park, 1971

posted on March 25th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


As a part of my job I occasionally get to spend some time sorting through our photo archives here at Walt Disney World Resort, and every time I do, I seem to stumble upon something I just have to share with you Disney history fans. Such was the case when I came upon this rare photo of Orange Bird at Magic Kingdom Park. Over the years, we’ve released several pictures of Orange Bird in his native environment of Adventureland (and during his brief stint at Downtown Disney), but what’s unique about this photo is that it was snapped on June 11, 1971 – several months before the park’s October 1 opening. You can see that construction on Tropical Serenade (now Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room) was still underway in the background. Maybe he was looking for the perfect place to build his own birdhouse?

oraora736991

After the park opened, Orange Bird greeted families near Sunshine Tree Terrace for several years, where guests could also buy citrus drinks and Orange Bird merchandise. Orange Bird also once had his own record, which was released in 1971 to feature a tune called “The Orange Bird Song” that was composed by the Sherman Brothers (of “Mary Poppins” fame).

Orange Bird returned to Magic Kingdom Park in April 2012, when an Orange Bird statue was retrieved from the WDI Sculpture Studio in California and returned to the land’s Sunshine Tree Terrace. Today, guests can still find Orange Bird cups and merchandise at Magic Kingdom Park.

For more Orange Bird, check out the posts below:

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

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

Rare Time-Lapse Video Shows Disneyland Park Construction

posted on March 24th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


As we prepare to celebrate 60 years of memories and magic during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, we’ve been looking back at key moments in our history – times when Disneyland pushed the limits of what was possible and created new, innovative experiences for our guests. Searching our archives, we came across this amazing time lapse footage of Disneyland construction. Blink and you might miss some amazing moments!

My favorite parts are the clock tower on the Main Street Train Station being lifted into place and the first guests flowing through the turnstiles. What are yours?


See more about the construction of Disneyland park in George’s “Building the Dream” series:

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Disney Days of Past: Downtown Disney Marks a Milestone

posted on March 22nd, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Downtown Disney turns 40 today. Guests visiting today have quite a different experience than the shopping experience back in 1975 when the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village opened.

LBVSV597068

Home to shops like the Pottery Chalet, Posh Pets Etc., Toys Fantastique, and Gourmet Pantry (yep, it’s 40 years old too!), the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village was made up of shops in what we know today as the Marketplace. Pleasure Island didn’t welcome guests until 1989 and the West Side didn’t open until 1997.

LBVSV597069

Even at 40, Downtown Disney continues to transform and grow at Walt Disney World Resort. Through 2016, the property will welcome over 75 new venues as it undergoes its largest ever expansion, transforming into Disney Springs.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

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

A Look Back: Launching Mission to Mars at Disneyland Park

posted on March 20th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


On March 21, 1975, six years after man first set foot on the moon, the Flight to the Moon attraction at Disneyland park was relaunched with a new destination.

mismis836891

The new Mission to Mars attraction still featured a visit to Mission Control. I can still remember thinking what a cool job Mr. Johnson had.

mismis937992

According to NASA, robotic missions to Mars currently take approximately eight months to travel to the red planet. So, when Mission to Mars completed its final journey on November 2, 1992, it would only have had time for 13 roundtrips from Earth were it not for a little Disney magic powered by imagination.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: March 2013

posted on March 19th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Two years ago this month, we were looking forward to exciting things at Disney Parks, but we were also looking back at some memorable milestones. Take a look at these three trips back in time that we took our readers on in March 2013.

“Today

Today in Disney History: Journey Into Imagination Opens at Epcot
Jennifer took us back to March 5, 1983, for the opening of Journey Into Imagination at Epcot.

The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom Under Construction in January 1997

Vintage Walt Disney World: Building an Animal Kingdom
Nate took us back in time for a look at the construction of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

“Opening

A Look Back: 1958 Opening of the Grand Canyon Diorama at Disneyland Park
George shared these rare photos of Walt Disney at the 1958 opening of the Grand Canyon Diorama.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , ,

Filed: Disney History, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Days of Past: National Goof Off Day

posted on March 19th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Public service announcement: this Sunday is National Goof Off Day. Do not let the opportunity to act silly pass you by! In its honor, I offer this photograph of Goofy from 1984 at the Tomorrowland Speedway.

googoo837991

But just like Goofy, no matter how silly you may be, safety first! He’s even buckling up for his race around the speedway. He’s one smart guy.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

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

A Look Back: Sneak Peek Celebration of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland Resort

posted on March 17th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


On March 17, 2005, students from Green Elementary School joined Green Army Men and Buzz Lightyear for a special sneak peek of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Did I mention it was St. Patrick’s Day?

dbldbl446711

Following a cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A., Buzz led the kids to the Tomorrowland entrance of his new attraction where they were among the first to enter the Gamma Quadrant to battle Evil Emperor Zurg.

dbldbl765002

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters would not officially open for another few weeks, on the eve of our 50th Anniversary Celebration, with Tim Allen on hand for the opening ceremony.

dbldbl765883

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort