Disneyland Paris, Phantom Manor

Disney VoluntEARS Around the Globe Bring Happiness to Kids During the Holidays

posted on December 20th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As part of our commitment to be a good corporate citizen, and to give back to the communities we serve, Disney supports efforts around the world that make a positive impact on children and their families. Every year, tens of thousands of cast members make volunteering a priority, building on a tradition Walt Disney himself started when he – along with Disney animators – would visit local hospitals to draw characters for children.

This holiday season, as we continue to celebrate 30 years of the Disney VoluntEARS program, our cast members are donating their time in communities around the world.

As I shared in a previous blog post, Shanghai Disney Resort cast members and Imagineers recently visited a local children’s hospital. Halfway around the world in Hawaii, Disney VoluntEARS from Aulani, Disney Resort and Spa paid a special visit to two local hospitals, bringing Mickey, Minnie and Goofy along to help spread some holiday cheer.

Disneyland Resort held its annual holiday party for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s), a tradition since 2001 for the Disneyland Food & Beverage team. Disney VoluntEARS hosted nearly 400 children and their families at an event that included Orange County’s longest “CHOC-olate” Yule Log, at more than 35 feet long, and a more than 7-foot-tall gingerbread creation based on “it’s a small world” attraction at Disneyland park .

DLR_Yule-Log

Likewise, cast and crew members from Disney Cruise Line and Disney characters are visiting with more than 900 kids at schools, hospitals and children’s homes throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean this month.

Hong Kong Disneyland VoluntEARS handmade nearly 300 holiday wreaths entirely out of paper. Each one is different and created specifically for children in need. VoluntEARS also turned their monthly storytelling activities at a local public library into a holiday party featuring singers and dancers from the resort performing carols for about 100 children and their families.

Images_HKDL_Wreaths

At Disneyland Paris, Disney VoluntEARS are welcoming hundreds of underprivileged kids and families to the resort to celebrate the holidays. British Airways flew a group of 100 kids from the U.K. to Disneyland Paris earlier this week. And on Christmas Eve, local kids and families are invited to a themed brunch at Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon, followed by a day of face-painting, balloon workshops and fun in the parks.

VoluntEARS from Walt Disney World Resort have been collecting and donating more than 32,000 new toys, games and books to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots to benefit Orange and Seminole counties. They’ve also spent more than 6,000 hours helping to register families, and sort and pack the toys.

WDW_Toys-for-Tots

And in Burbank, Walt Disney Park & Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs and his leadership team spent an afternoon at the local Boys & Girls Club, painting buildings, assembling furniture and helping out with other improvement projects. Tom and the other VoluntEARS also spent quality time with club members, decorating cookies, Yule logs and a 300-pound gingerbread house baked by Disneyland Resort Central Bakery chef Christina Orejel and her team.

WDPR_EC-Burbank-VoluntEARS-

As part of the Walt Disney Imagineering 60th Anniversary in 2013, Imagineers pledged to take part in at least 60 outreach efforts in communities where Imagineering operates. This month, they completed their work on projects all over the world during the “60 for 60” initiative where they lent their unique talents to local communities by painting murals and designing a community garden.

On behalf of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Disney VoluntEARS everywhere, happy holidays! And check back throughout the month for more details on what Disney VoluntEARS are doing for the holidays.

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Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World: Celebrate the Holidays

posted on December 4th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Are your bags packed? Because this latest window shopping post is all about discovering the magic of the holidays around the world.

Season’s Greetings! Mele Kalikimaka Shirts From Aulani Season’s Greetings! Mele Kalikimaka Shirts From Aulani

Are you celebrating your holidays with us at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? To get in the spirit of the season while you’re there, I’d recommend our Season’s Greetings! Mele Kalikimaka tees featuring Mickey Mouse. They come in both adult and kids sizes and make a great gift for the whole family.

If you’re like me, I’m partial to holiday ornaments. I won’t even begin to tell you how many I have. Not only do they make great decorations, but they become keepsakes that can often signify a special trip, experience or moment to treasure forever. For the best selection of ornaments, stop by Kālepa’s Store and Hale Manu to pick up one to commemorate your trip. I’m excited to see what you’ll choose, so let me know!

HKDL444000

While I can take a Hawaiian holiday just about any day, it’s time for us to take flight and head over to Hong Kong Disneyland to visit my good friend Fion Lai and see what she has in store for us. “Christmas is a largely celebrated and festive season in Hong Kong,” said Fion. “There are over 110 Christmas collectibles available at Hong Kong Disneyland. You’ll find a range of specially themed merchandise, including warm winter wear featuring some of our beloved Disney friends, an assortment of exciting toys, including this year’s Mickey and Minnie plush in their Christmas attire, limited edition pins as well as sweets and treats, like delicious cookies, which are sure to delight!”

Hong Kong Disneyland Holiday Personalized Ornaments Hong Kong Disneyland Holiday Phone Cases

I asked Fion what one of her favorite holiday gifts would be and here’s what she shared. This year, you can add a name or personal message to an enchanting range of unique Disney Christmas ornaments or choose from new festive Disney designs for the holiday season at “D-Tech Yourself.” It’s so fun for our guests to customize a smart phone or tablet case with names or phrases that truly make it a unique gift.”

Disneyland Paris Minnie Holiday Ornament Disneyland Paris Mickey Holiday Ornament

Time to keep moving! Our last window shopping stop for the day, Disneyland Paris! I had a chance to chat briefly with Product Developer, Regis Alart who gave me all of the inside scoop on what we could expect to find as we celebrate Joyeux Noel. “This year our Entertainment and Merchandise departments have teamed up to tell a new holiday story,” said Regis. “Guests can now decorate their trees with ornaments inspired by the ones featured on the new 78 foot tall Christmas tree that stands proudly in Town Square.”

DLP-Holiday-Logo

“This same tree is the center piece of this year’s artwork which you will find on a variety of holiday items,” Regis shared. “Indeed, the scene is set in the very heart of Main Street, U.S.A. with a view that faithfully depicts the various decorations it dons during this cheerful season.”

“New this year and a top holiday pick for me”, said Regis, “is the Disneyland Paris Poster Series. There are over 25 different attraction and restaurant themed posters to choose from on our Art on Demand Kiosk at The Disney Gallery in Disney Village.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. This virtual jet lag is really getting to me! No matter where you celebrate around the world, happy holidays!

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: ‘Frozen’ Fun Debuts at Disney Parks

posted on November 23rd, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


While Disney’s “Frozen” doesn’t arrive in theaters until November 27, character greetings and other offerings inspired by this film have already made their way into Disneyland park, Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot and even Disneyland Park (Paris).

Guests can now greet two characters from the film, Anna and Elsa, in Fantasyland at Disneyland park and (when the sisters travel east to Walt Disney World Resort) they appear at the Norway Pavilion at Epcot.

Anna and Elsa, from Disney's 'Frozen'

At Magic Kingdom Park, guests can enjoy a new “Frozen” segment in the nightly “Celebrate the Magic” castle projection show.

World of Color – Winter Dreams” opened November 15 at Disney California Adventure park and runs through January 6. This all-new nighttime spectacular is hosted by lovable snowman Olaf, and features songs from Disney’s “Frozen,” including the show-stopping “Let it Go.”

WOC

At Disneyland Paris, “Frozen” has inspired a slew of new holiday offerings, including snowman Olaf leading the park’s nightly “Disney Dreams! of Christmas” show, and more.

Disneyland Paris Christmas

Steven Miller also shared a sneak peek at some of the film-inspired merchandise you can now find at both the Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort. Check out the new items below!

New Merchandise at Disney Parks for Disney's "Frozen"

Be sure to check the Disney Parks Blog next week for more on new “Frozen”-inspired guest offerings.

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Disneyland Paris Offers Up a ‘Frozen’ Holiday Celebration

posted on November 21st, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you looking forward to the release of Disney’s “Frozen”? If so, you just may add a last-minute trip to Disneyland Paris on your list for Santa Claus after reading this post, because this year the resort is focusing their holiday celebration around the new characters from the film.

Disneyland Paris Christmas

The holiday celebration, which runs through January 6, 2014, will feature “Frozen” heroines Elsa and Anna in the park’s “Disney Magic on Parade!” holiday procession. The film’s Olaf the snowman will also serve as the master of ceremonies for the park’s new nighttime “Disney Dreams! of Christmas” show, a new spectacular created for the holiday season. As a part of his role, Olaf will conduct the show’s orchestra, as well as its projections, fountains, special effects and fireworks. Other Disney characters will come to life in the form of projections on the castle, including the cast of “Toy Story,” which will perform their own take of “The Nutcracker” ballet.

Throughout the celebration, guests can also have their photos taken with Santa Claus, who will have his very own village at Disneyland Paris and will appear in a special musical parade called “Christmas Cavalcade.”

Also new for this year is the park’s new Christmas tree, which measures 78 feet tall and will be adorned with nearly a thousand decorations from around the world. The tree will be lit each night during a special ceremony called “Magical Christmas Wishes,” which is led by Pinocchio and his pal, Jiminy Cricket.

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Disney Parks After Dark: Disney Dreams! Lights Up Disneyland Park – Paris

posted on November 7th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “Disney Parks After Dark” image comes to us from Disneyland Park (in Paris). Isn’t this shot of the park’s nighttime spectacular, Disney Dreams!, simply amazing?

The show is hosted by Peter Pan’s shadow, which takes guests on a journey into great moments in Disney animation.

Disney Show

Have you seen Disney Dreams!? If so, tell us what you enjoyed about it in the “Comments” section below.

To see more of Disney Parks After Dark, check out these posts below:

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Disney Parks Attractions Around the World: Haunted Mansion

posted on October 31st, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Haunted Mansion is a favorite attraction for many Disney Parks guests. Here at Disneyland park, the 999 happy haunts have been frightening guests since 1969 in New Orleans Square. But did you know the Haunted Mansion is the only Disney Parks attraction to be located within different lands at other Disney Parks around the world? At Walt Disney World Resort, you can find the Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square; look for the grim, grinning ghosts in Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland. At Disneyland Paris, the Haunted Mansion is known as Phantom Manor, and it is located in Frontierland.

The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park

Not only are these manors and mansions located in different lands, but each has a different theme and design. At Disneyland park, many people believe that the Haunted Mansion bears a striking resemblance to a Baltimore mansion. However, the truth is that a variety of designers and architects worked on its design, resulting in a mansion that embodies an architectural style and interior that was popular in the South in the mid-1850s.

The Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom Park The Haunted Mansion at Tokyo Disneyland

Over at Walt Disney World Resort, the design required a little something different since the Haunted Mansion would be located in Liberty Square rather than New Orleans Square. Therefore, instead of looking like a Southern estate, the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom Park was designed to look like a gothic manor from the Eastern seaboard. At Tokyo Disneyland, a similar gothic style – with dark bricks, stone finishes and ominous turrets – creates the same ominous effect, even though it is located in Fantasyland.

“Phantom

The most recent version of this beloved attraction opened in 1992 in Frontierland at Disneyland Paris. Set in an aged, rundown wooden home from the Old West, this attraction took on a new name: Phantom Manor. Phantom Manor features some of the classic Haunted Mansion scenes with an Old West twist.

Yesterday on the Disney Parks Blog Facebook page, we asked which all of the different versions of this classic Disney Parks attraction is the spookiest. Fans voted Magic Kingdom number 1 with Disneyland park second. Which is your favorite?

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Photo Gallery: Mickey’s Halloween Celebration Debuts at Disneyland Paris

posted on October 11th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Mickey’s Halloween Celebration has arrived at Disneyland Paris, with the resort’s Disneyland Park offering a month of fall fun, including seasonal decor, special character meet and greets, and must-see Halloween entertainment like the “Villains Mix & Mingle” show.

Mickey’s Halloween Celebration Debuts at Disneyland Paris

As part of the celebration, Mickey Mouse and friends are holding a special parade that’s inspired by harvest time. The procession features Clarabelle, Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Donald and Daisy – and other friends – in Halloween costumes and seasonal attire. The parade will step off three times daily, throughout the month of October.

Special Halloween character greeting opportunities also exist with Goofy in a candy shop background, Jack Skellington and Sally in a cemetery setting, and plenty of Disney villains.

The celebration will culminate October 31, with a special Disney’s Halloween Party. From 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Disneyland Park will offer guests the chance to enjoy additional offerings with Disney villains, ghosts, and mysterious atmosphere.

Read these posts to learn how Halloween is celebrated at other Disney Parks

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Disney Parks After Dark: Phantom Manor in Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris

posted on October 10th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Tonight’s “Disney Parks After Dark” photos were snapped in Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris of one of the park’s spookiest attractions – Phantom Manor, the park’s version of what we know here at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts as The Haunted Mansion.
“Phantom

Phantom Manor opened at Disneyland Paris April 12, 1992, in the Frontierland area of the park. This attraction features a slightly different backstory than The Haunted Mansion. It specifically focuses on the Ravenswood family, Western settlers who struck it rich during the gold rush and were later affected by a series of mysterious demises.
“Phantom

Thanks to photographer Tom Bricker for these great shots.

Which Disney Parks attraction do you think is scarier to experience at night? Tell us in the “Comments” section below. Be sure to check out our list of “Related Stories” to see how Halloween is celebrated at Disney Parks around the world.

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Q&A With Disney Parks Ambassadors at D23 Expo 2013

posted on August 11th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


This afternoon, Disney Parks Ambassadors from around the world spoke at the D23 Expo 2013, produced by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, at the Anaheim Convention Center. Before they took the stage, we had the chance to ask a few questions of current Disney Parks Ambassadors Sachiko White, Megan Navarette, Antonella Giallombardo, Jonathan Rabeute, and Tye Arnold about the history of the program and their own experiences as Ambassadors.

Disney Parks Ambassadors at D23 Expo 2013

What inspired you to become a Disney Ambassador?

Tye: After becoming a leader in the company and seeing the impact I could have in my local area, I thought being a Walt Disney World Ambassador would give me an even greater platform to recognize our cast members and to share the amazing stories from our guest experiences.

Sachiko: I saw it as an opportunity to serve, learn more about, and sing the praises of a company that has been extremely good to me, while learning new skills and applying existing ones in new and interesting ways.

What has been your favorite project so far in your term?

Jonathan: I’ll always cherish the magical moment that was to meet and interview Disney Legend Alan Menken when he came to Paris … he played and sang “Be Our Guest” for the two of us. Truly magical!

Megan: It’s really difficult to pick a favorite as each event is special for its own reasons, but the events that have stood out include hospital visits with Mickey Mouse, the Walt Disney Legacy Awards reception and building a playground with KaBOOM. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities this role presents, and constantly pinch myself as if I am dreaming.

Antonella: We’ve had the opportunity to spend shadowing days with our fellow cast members (I love these moments because we can meet people, know more about their passion and talent and of course their jobs!), to give classes about Walt Disney’s life and career, to perpetuate Disney values to our local communities along with the Disney VoluntEARS, and to interview people such as Dr. Jane Goodall.

With the 50th anniversary of the program approaching, what is the most interesting piece of Disney Ambassador history you’ve learned?

Tye: Having spent time with Debby Dane-Brown, our first Walt Disney World Ambassador, I’ve heard great stories about the expectations of her role back in 1971. She shared with our team about the time she had an appearance on the TV show “To Tell the Truth.” The show had a panel of celebrity judges that had to distinguish which person out of a group of three was telling the truth about the real Debby Dane (Brown). Debby walked out and said “Hello, I’m Debby Dane (Brown) and I am the 1971 Walt Disney World Ambassador.” Then a second young lady came out and said the same thing, and then a third. She shared fun memories of this appearance as it was a way that the country learned more about this new “Disneyland of the East.”

Megan: I love the story of the beginnings of the Ambassador program. There were so many exciting and significant things happening at the company with the release of “Mary Poppins,” the tenth anniversary of Disneyland and the New York World’s Fair – it would have been fun to be a part of it all.

What does it mean to you to be part of the legacy of the Disney Ambassador program?

Jonathan: It is a great honor being part of a legacy that Walt Disney initiated himself. It’s a dream come true that we are living every day of this experience.

Antonella: I feel extremely honored and lucky to be a Disney Ambassador. I grew up watching Disney cartoons on television. When I started working at Disneyland park 7 years ago, I was proud to be a cast member and to share the Disney values with our guests. Today, when I see our guests’ reactions when they ride an attraction or watch our nighttime show, “Disney Dreams!,” with tears in their eyes, I can’t stop thinking that all this started with a man and his dream of amusement park. Thanks to all the cast members, Walt Disney’s legacy is perpetuated all around the world.

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Celebrating Bastille Day at Disneyland Paris

posted on July 14th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Here in the United States, Independence Day may have passed, but the patriotic festivities are still going strong at Disneyland Paris for Bastille Day. Known as La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) or Le quatorze juillet (the 14th of July), the holiday celebrates the forming of the French Republic.

Beyond these celebrations of great moments in history, France and the U.S. have long shared a special connection – one that’s reflected and honored at Disneyland Paris.

Celebrating Bastille Day at Disneyland Paris Celebrating Bastille Day at Disneyland Paris

On Main Street, U.S.A., for example, you’ll find the Discovery Arcade and Liberty Arcade – beautiful structures that highlight imagination and innovation across the decades, including one of the most iconic monuments of the United States, the Statue of Liberty. Created by sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French to celebrate the centennial of American independence and the friendship between the two countries. Gustave Eiffel – who later designed and built the famous Eiffel Tower – was even involved in constructing the statue’s steel structure.

Celebrating Bastille Day at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris guests can also visit the Statue of Liberty Tableau, recreating the historic experience and excitement of shipboard passengers arriving in New York Harbor seeing the statue for the first time as a symbol of freedom, hope, and opportunity.

To celebrate Bastille Day, Disneyland Paris will light up the night sky with a fireworks show set to classic Parisian songs. It’s sure to be an amazing tribute and festive holiday salute! And check out the limited-edition pin we brought you earlier this month, as well as this French-inspired ensemble.

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