Walt Disney

Disney Parks Honored with Several Industry Awards

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


I’m happy to report that earlier this week, two prestigious organizations honored Disney Parks projects with multiple industry awards.

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On Tuesday, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced their annual Thea Award winners. Among the honorees, TEA announced that “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, is the recipient of the Thea Classic award, honoring attractions that have withstood the test of time and have endured for 20 or more years. TEA said in their announcement that the attraction “continues to captivate audiences around the world with pure charm, melded with a profound message deceptively hiding in a simple and astonishingly catchy song … This timeless classic continues to engage generation after generation. Surely “it’s a small world” is the very definition of a Classic.”

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Also, Bistrot Chez Remy, the new French restaurant at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris that is inspired by the Disney∙Pixar film “Ratatouille,” is the winner of the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Themed Restaurant. “It is a truly charming and thematically thorough dining experience, where oversized objects are reused in every possible way to create tables, chairs, architectural elements, and props … [E]verything is very well-conceived and delivered to create an illusion that is both convincing and coyly self-aware. The exterior of the attraction looks like a typical Parisian café, but on closer inspection, one realizes that this is the world of Paris from the film, where there are no straight lines – a perfect blend of fiction and reality. This venue exhibits thoroughness, conceptual clarity, dedication to narrative detail, and exceptional finish.”

Wilderness Explorers Opens at  Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Finally, Wilderness Explorers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, an interactive experience that combines badge collecting, guest interaction and learning about the natural world, is the winner of the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Interactive Park Attraction on a Limited Budget.

“Disney has incorporated storytelling and gaming to create an experience that is intimate and personal in its connection to the guests, yet wisely recognizes that technology would be a distraction and remove guests from nature. Guests are given a role in the story – becoming a Wilderness Explorer – that was a poignant, aspirational story of a core identifiable character from the Pixar film. This intersection point between film story world, live animals and the beautiful habitats within Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a huge part of why this attraction is effective … This unique attraction is worthy of honors as much for its craft as for the authenticity and cleverness of implementation within a unique park environment.”

TEA is an international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences. Thea Awards will be given out at an awards ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel on March 21, 2015.

On Wednesday night, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) awarded their Brass Rings Awards for Live Entertainment Excellence and “Once Upon a Time” at Tokyo Disney Resort won for Best Multimedia Spectacular.

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IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards mark achievements of excellence throughout the global attractions industry.

Congratulations to all who worked to create and bring these wonderful projects to life!

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

Holiday Festivities Begin at Disneyland Resort Paris

posted on November 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Holiday fun returned to Disneyland Resort Paris earlier this week, with the season bringing new princess experiences, “Frozen” entertainment, and much more.

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This year, multiple members of Disney royalty are visiting Disneyland Park (Paris) for the first time, including Merida from “Brave.” Anna and Elsa from “Frozen,” who appeared in the parade last year, will be available for photos this year for the first time. Santa Claus, of course, will also make an appearance.

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After the sun goes down, guests can view the nightly “Magical Christmas Wishes” Christmas tree lighting celebration and enjoy the nighttime show “Disney Dreams! of Christmas,” in which Olaf steps out of “Frozen” to conduct a production of projections, fountains, special effects and fireworks at the castle.

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Photo Gallery: Disney Castles That Have Been Covered in Real Snow

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


Earlier we mentioned that tonight guests will gather at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort to watch Elsa (from “Frozen”) magically transform Cinderella Castle into a glittering ice palace during the “Castle Dream Lights” and “A Frozen Holiday Wish” stage show.

But did you know that there are actually a few Disney Parks castles that occasionally find themselves dusted with real snow?

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Disneyland Park (Paris) is located in Marne-la-Vallée, France, and sees regular snowfall. These shots were snapped in December 2010, after a sizeable flurry added extra holiday charm to the park’s Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant castle. (Click through the gallery to see additional park attractions covered in snow).

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Every so often, Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland will also see some snowfall. Our friends at the park shared these amazing shots of their temporary “ice” castle – and other attractions – back in January 2013.

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Years ago at Tokyo Disneyland, some Disney characters took advantage of the snowfall for a playful snowball fight with their park’s snowy castle as a backdrop. Check out that photo above.

Snow-Capped Mountains Behind Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle

While it doesn’t snow in Anaheim, California (home to the Disneyland Resort), it has in higher elevations around the city. In 2009, we shared this image, which shows Sleeping Beauty Castle with snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains as the backdrop.

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

First Disney Ambassador Julie Reihm Casaletto Welcomes New Ambassadors

posted on October 11th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Walt Disney Parks and Resorts celebrates 50 years of the Disney Ambassador program, which was first introduced as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of Disneyland. Walt Disney needed someone to act as a representative of Disneyland to audiences in the community and around the world, as well as host VIP guests and foreign dignitaries. Julie Reihm Casaletto, a tour guide for the park at the time, was selected by Walt to be the first Disney Ambassador.

A half-century later, in a ceremony in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park, Julie joined more than 50 former Disney Ambassadors yesterday morning to welcome the 2015-2016 Disneyland Resort Ambassador team, Jessica Bernard and Allie Kawamoto.

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The 50-year tradition continued at Walt Disney World Resort yesterday, as Caitlin Busscher and Nathaniel Palma were announced as the 2015-2016 Disney Ambassador team, receiving the golden opportunity of sharing the magic of “our world” – and representing nearly 70,000 fellow Cast Members – with the Central Florida community.

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Rounding out the global anniversary celebration, Disney Ambassadors also were announced recently at other Disney Parks around the world. At Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Sara Hui was selected as the next Ambassador to represent the Asia-based theme park, and Tokyo Disney Resort chose Riina Imaeda as the first ambassador to serve a two-year term in Japan. Sonia Demay and Romina Grochow were welcomed as new Ambassadors at Disneyland Paris earlier this month.

The Disney Ambassador family will grow this year, as Shanghai Disney Resort, scheduled to open in 2015, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, will for the first time name Disney Ambassadors.

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Filed: Aulani, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disney Resort, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

Halloween Celebration Begins at Disneyland Park Paris October 1

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Halloween is on its way to Disneyland Park (Paris), with the return of the park’s Disney’s Halloween Festival on October 1.

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During the event, which runs through November 2, guests can watch The Maleficent Disney Villains Promenade or Mickey’s Halloween Celebration (which features Disney characters dressed in Halloween costumes), visit their favorite villains in Maleficent’s Court, or take photos in one of the park’s many seasonally decorated photo locations.

Here’s a sneak peek at the fun.

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Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World: Meet Gelatoni and More!

posted on July 30th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Have you ever wanted to take a trip around the world to visit our Disney Parks & Resorts? Join me on a whirlwind shopping trip as we take a look at what is happening in the world of Disney Theme Park Merchandise as we continue the “Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World” series!

The mystery of who has been painting the art in the Mediterranean Harbor area of Tokyo Disney Sea has finally been solved. Tokyo Disneyland Resort recently introduced Gelatoni, a Disney friend of Duffy. This cool cat has an artistic flair for creating new masterpieces for all to enjoy. Our Disney fans were very eager to scoop up anything with Gelatoni on it including a tote, shopping bag, memo pad, writing pen and more. Those of you visiting the Tokyo Disneyland Resort will even find a special Gelatoni plush to add to your collection.

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As you may know, Hong Kong Disneyland celebrates its 9th anniversary this year. Here’s a look at some of the commemorative merchandise that has been created in honor of this special celebration including souvenirs, apparel, memorabilia, accessories, dolls, limited edition pins and more.

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This month Disneyland Paris introduces PhotoPass+ containing everything you need to access high resolution digital image files of your vacation memories. All of the photos taken by our Disney PhotoPass photographers, or on attractions equipped with Image Capture, may be linked to your PhotoPass+.

Disney PhotoPass+ App Available at Disneyland Paris

In addition, for the first time at Disney Parks, Disneyland Paris has debuted a new Disney PhotoPass App that allows you to download all of the pictures taken by our photographers and attractions photos directly to your mobile device.

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Where will our next shopping trip take us? Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog to find out.

For more from the “Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World” series, visit the posts below:

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland

Bienvenue to our Guests at La Place de Rémy

posted on July 10th, 2014 by Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts


La Place de Rémy, our first themed area based on the Academy Award-winning film “Ratatouille,” opened to guests at Disneyland Paris today — and the response has been fantastic.

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Its anchor is L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, an attraction that shrinks you down to the size of a rat and whisks you away on an adventure over the rooftops of Paris and through Gusteau’s. The ride vehicles seem to have a mind of their own as they scurry through Gusteau’s kitchen and dining room, and ultimately deliver you in time for dinner at Bistrot Chez Rémy.

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La Place de Rémy also celebrates one of the film’s biggest stars – Paris … the culture, the architecture, and the food. In addition to the innovative attraction, the area includes Bistrot Chez Rémy, a table-service restaurant where you can enjoy (of course) a bowl of ratatouille, among other menu options. Later this year, we’ll open Chez Marianne, a new boutique, named as an homage to the iconic symbol of the French Republic. We think you’ll agree that La Place de Rémy – which truly celebrates Paris and the great Disney/Pixar film – is a charming and fitting addition to Disneyland Paris.

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Ratatouille Comes to Life at Disneyland Paris

posted on June 23rd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Over the weekend, Disneyland Paris previewed La Place de Rémy – a new area dedicated to the Disney•Pixar movie “Ratatouille.” The special themed-area will bring the storybook world of Ratatouille to life when it officially opens in just weeks – on July 10, 2014.

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The dedication of La Place de Rémy happened in Walt Disney Studios Park at a ceremony that included Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger, as well as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs, Chief Executive Officer of Euro Disney SAS Philippe Gas, and stars from the film.

“When we turn amazing worlds that may only exist in our imaginations or on film into multi-dimensional theme park experiences, we give our guests the opportunity to step into a story that they love. And Ratatouille is a fantastic example of that,” Tom said.

La Place de Rémy will feature the new Ratatouille, l’Aventure Totalement Toquee de Remy attraction that we told you about here on the Disney Parks Blog. The new attraction whisks guests into a crazy, culinary adventure in one of the capital’s most chic dining establishments, Chez Gusteau, offering a comical rat’s eye view into the world of Remy. Guests begin their adventure on the rooftops of Paris before boarding ratmobiles to scurry though the restaurant’s cold store and dining room overseen by the intimidating Chef Skinner.

And with a design inspired by the French capital represented in the movie, the area will also include Bistrot Chez Rémy, a table-service restaurant, and a special boutique, Chez Marianne (Souvenirs de Paris) – which opens at the end of the 2014.

Let us know in the comments what you’re looking forward to experiencing at La Place de Rémy.

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Sneak Peek: ‘Ratatouille the Adventure’ at Disneyland Paris

posted on April 23rd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


After nearly five years of work, Walt Disney Imagineering is putting the final touches on a first-of-its kind attraction at Disneyland Paris called Ratatouille the Adventure. When the attraction opens in July, it’ll celebrate the culture and architecture of France and feature new animation created especially to bring the characters to life.

Today, we’re sharing a first look at the Ratatouille the Adventure, where you’ll shrink down to experience a wonderful new world.

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Disney Parks Celebrates ‘it’s a small world’ Live On ‘Good Morning America’

posted on April 10th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier today, Disney theme parks around the world joined in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the “it’s a small world” attraction, part of which was featured live on “Good Morning America.”

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The broadcast began with a chorus of kids singing live in Times Square, cast members and children singing in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, a children’s chorus and dancing dragons at Hong Kong Disneyland, cast members at Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Park (Paris), and ended with Disney cast members singing in front of the first “it’s a small world” attraction at Disneyland Park, punctuated with a finale of fireworks.

Check out the video below to see the celebration for yourself.

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort