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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on August 22nd, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Fall will be here before you know it and we’re already sharing some great experiences to look forward to during this season’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort and Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort.

Enjoy Ghost Meringues During the New Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom Park Enjoy Halloween-Inspired Treats During the New Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom Park
Enjoy Mummy Cupcakes During the New Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom Park Enjoy Candy Corn Cupcakes During the New Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom Park

When Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in Magic Kingdom Park debuts September 15, a new Happy HalloWishes Premium Dessert Package will be part of the fun. The premium offering will include viewing a Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade from the reserved location followed by sweet treats at festively decorated Tomorrowland Terrace where you have a cool view of Cinderella Castle during the Happy HalloWishes Nighttime Spectacular.

Check Pam’s original story for more details. You can call make reservations by visit DisneyWorld.com/DINE or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland Park

Also this week, Erin shared some things to know for this year’s Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort as it dazzles during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Here are a few nighttime spectaculars you can see:

Guests visiting with regular admission during Mickey’s Halloween Party dates will not be able to view “Paint the Night” parade or either fireworks spectaculars. If you plan to watch “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, please check the calendar at Disneyland.com to be sure you are attending on a non-party night. All show schedules are subject to change.

You can read more about Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort by checking Erin’s original story.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

Tour The ‘Walt Disney Archives Presents-Disneyland: The Exhibit’ At The D23 EXPO – The Disney Archives Exhibit at the D23 EXPO showcased artifacts important to the history of The Walt Disney Company and even Walt Disney himself.

Top Must-Do’s During Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend – Check out our top must-do’s for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna at Disneyland Resort.

A Peek Inside the AVATAR Exhibit at D23 Expo – Take a photo tour inside the AVATAR exhibit from the D23 Expo last weekend.

Disney Parks Attraction Poster Deluxe Calendar Returns for 2016 – The popular Disney Parks Attraction poster deluxe calendar is returning in 2016 to select merchandise locations.

PHOTO GALLERY: Best Images from the 2015 D23 Expo – Explore all the excitement from the D23 EXPO in Anaheim, Calif.

Enter ‘The Chew’s’ Sweepstakes for a Chance to Win a Trip to 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – We’re thrilled the Emmy award-winning ABC hit show “The Chew” is joining us for the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – and they are giving you (and three of your guests) a chance to win a visit, too.

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Disney Parks After Dark: Sleeping Beauty Castle Dazzles at Night

posted on August 20th, 2015 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


The iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle, covered in diamonds commemorating the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, is spectacular during the day. And at night, it is simply dazzling. Here are a few photos of the sparkling Disneyland park icon.

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A DAZZLING NIGHT (ANAHEIM, Calif.) - A special medallion and diamond accents honoring the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration illuminate the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

A DAZZLING NIGHT (ANAHEIM, Calif.) - A special medallion and diamond accents honoring the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration illuminate the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

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Tour The ‘Walt Disney Archives Presents-Disneyland: The Exhibit’ At The D23 EXPO

posted on August 20th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


A highlight of this year’s D23 EXPO for Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller and I was visiting our old blog friend, Nate Rasmussen, at the Disney Archives Exhibit at the EXPO. In case you aren’t familiar, the Disney Archives was officially established in 1970 to collect and preserve artifacts important to the history of The Walt Disney Company and even Walt Disney himself. We were excited to see what the Disney Archives exhibit would feature this time.

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Abominable Snowman and Matterhorn Bobsleds vehicle Seen in the The ‘Walt Disney Archives Presents-Disneyland: The Exhibit’ At The D23 EXPO The ‘Walt Disney Archives Presents-Disneyland: The Exhibit’ At The D23 EXPO

In honor of the the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration , this year’s theme for the exhibit was “Walt Disney Archives Presents—Disneyland: The Exhibit.” The display, measuring 12,000 square feet and offering up more than 300 historical items, was the largest exhibit the Archives has ever hosted. It was chock full of amazing pieces of Disney Parks history, such as the Abominable Snowman and Matterhorn Bobsleds vehicle.

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Fantasyland ride vehicles were also a popular sight. One display included a prototype of a ride vehicle from the Alice in Wonderland dark attraction, while another featured a pirate ship from Peter Pan’s Flight.

Maleficent Dragon Head from 'Fantasmic!' Seen in the The ‘Walt Disney Archives Presents-Disneyland: The Exhibit’ At The D23 EXPO Props From The Country Bear Jamboree Vacation Hoedown Seen in the The ‘Walt Disney Archives Presents-Disneyland: The Exhibit’ At The D23 EXPO

Aside from vintage ride vehicles, the original Maleficent dragon head from “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland park was available for up-close viewing, as was an illuminated bug from “Main Street Electrical Parade.” Props from The Country Bear Jamboree Vacation Hoedown included a tire swing, summer-themed guitars and other instruments.

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Tour The ‘Walt Disney Archives Presents-Disneyland: The Exhibit’ At The D23 EXPO Tour The ‘Walt Disney Archives Presents-Disneyland: The Exhibit’ At The D23 EXPO

Some artifacts gave guests a behind-the-scenes look at the making of what are now considered to be classic Disney Parks attractions, such as models, maquettes, sketches, artist renderings, prototypes and more.

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Tour The ‘Walt Disney Archives Presents-Disneyland: The Exhibit’ At The D23 EXPO Mini-Tombstones Seen in the The ‘Walt Disney Archives Presents-Disneyland: The Exhibit’ At The D23 EXPO

We were also excited to see some of the vintage Disneyland park merchandise included in the display, including mini-tombstones that could be personalized with guest names, Adventureland boardgames, tin Matterhorn coin banks, and much more.

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Three Things to Know About Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort

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


Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is just around the corner! As you plan for the spookiest time of year, which runs September 11 through November 1, I’ve got some things you should keep in mind.

‘Paint the Night’ Parade at Disneyland Park

1. Halloween Time Dazzles During Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – We’ve added three new nighttime spectaculars during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, and you can see them all during Halloween Time!

Please note: Guests visiting with regular admission during Mickey’s Halloween Party dates will not be able to view “Paint the Night” parade or either fireworks spectaculars. If you plan to watch “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, please check the calendar at Disneyland.com to be sure you are attending on a non-party night. All show schedules are subject to change.

Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland Park

2. Get Your Mickey’s Halloween Party Tickets Early – Even with 17 available nights, Mickey’s Halloween Party is sure to fill up fast! Purchase your tickets in advance here.

And as you’re getting your Halloween costume ready to show off at Mickey’s Halloween Party, don’t forget to check the costume guidelines here.

Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park

3. Daytime Fun During Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort – If you do not plan to attend Mickey’s Halloween Party, we’ve got fun in store for you during the day:

  • Haunted Mansion Holiday
  • Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy
  • Dia de los Muertos Celebration

Read more about Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort here!

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Top Must-Do’s During Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

posted on August 19th, 2015 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


In a few weeks, runDisney will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna at Disneyland Resort. This year’s race event will truly be a celebration with special parties, medals, photo ops and more. Check out our top must-do’s for this commemorative weekend!

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1. Show your “Diamond” Disney Side
One of the many things that make runDisney races unique is the creative outfits that runners wear. From classic Disney characters to princesses to villains, we have seen it all on our courses. With this year not only being the 10th anniversary of our race, but also the 60th anniversary of the Disneyland Resort, we challenge runners to show their “Diamond” Disney Side!

See the 'Paint the Night' Parade at Disneyland Park During the 10th Anniversary Party for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Commemorative 10th Anniversary Sling Bag Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

2. Kick off the weekend at the 10th Anniversary Party
You don’t have to be a runner to join in on the excitement! A special 10th Anniversary Party will kick off the weekend at Disneyland park, where guests will enjoy entertainment and attractions as well as an exclusive viewing of the “Paint the Night” parade. Guests who attend will even be given a commemorative 10th anniversary sling bag.

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3. Snap a photo with your favorite Disney characters
You never know who you will run into on a runDisney course! Runners can’t forget to snap a photo with their favorite Disney characters along their journey to the finish line.

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4. Enjoy a delicious pre-race meal at the Pasta in the Park Party
Runners can fuel up for their half marathon race by enjoying a buffet pasta dinner Saturday night inside Disneyland park! At the Pasta in the Park Party, not only is the food delicious, but there will also be entertainment and special appearances by some of your favorite Disney Villains throughout the evening.

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5. Capture a photo in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle
Rounding out our top must-do’s during Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is to capture a photo in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Whether it’s a group shot or a selfie, don’t miss the opportunity to get this iconic shot during your race.

With just weeks left in our countdown, we can’t wait for you to experience all that’s in-store as we celebrate 10 years of runDisney magic!

For more information on our race events visit runDisney.com.

*Disneyland® Half Marathon Anniversary Party and Pasta in the Park Party elements, including but not limited to participating locations, menus, attractions and entertainment are subject to availability, and may change or be canceled without notice. Standard theme park admission tickets will not allow Guests to attend the Disneyland® Half Marathon Anniversary Party or the Pasta in the Park Party. The number of tickets available is limited. Tickets are valid only during specific event dates and hours for ticket purchased and are not interchangeable. Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable. Children under the age of 3 are free. Restrictions apply.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Best Images from the 2015 D23 Expo

posted on August 17th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This year’s D23 Expo was chock full of fun for Disney Parks fans, and highlights of the weekend were three special sessions dedicated to honoring Disney’s history and heritage, sharing news on what’s next for Disney Parks around the world, and offering sneak peeks at upcoming Disney films.

PHOTO GALLERY: Best Images from the 2015 D23 Expo PHOTO GALLERY: Best Images from the 2015 D23 Expo PHOTO GALLERY: Best Images from the 2015 D23 Expo

“The Disney Legends Awards Ceremony” was held Friday, August, 14, and honored eight individuals for their unique contributions to the success of The Walt Disney Company. Among them were a few people who have specifically shaped or inspired Disney Parks experiences – or even were a part of our park’s history, including Disneyland’s first ambassador Julie Reihm Casaletto, filmmaker George Lucas, and star of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise Johnny Depp.

ALAN HORN (Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios)

On Saturday, August 15, D23 Expo guests were treated to a “Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at the Walt Disney Studios” presentation, which gave an overview of upcoming Disney films. Some of these films already have connections to existing Disney Parks attractions – and who knows what future park experiences may be inspired by some of these new films.

JOHNNY DEPP

During this session, several celebrities made surprise appearances in which they talked about their love of Disney Parks and share their enthusiasm for their new films, including Johnny Depp who dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”); Mia Wasikowska (“Alice Through The Looking Glass”); Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie (“Captain America: Civil War”); and Bryce Dallas Howard (“Pete’s Dragon”).

PHOTO GALLERY: Best Images from the 2015 D23 Expo PHOTO GALLERY: Best Images from the 2015 D23 Expo

“The Jungle Book” director Jon Favreau also appeared with the upcoming film’s castmates, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o and Neel Sethi, and surprised them (and the audience) with a first look at footage from the film. Seeing their reactions was priceless – especially young Neel Sethi, who plays Mowgli in the film.

OSCAR ISAAC, JOHN BOYEGA, LUPITA NYONG'O, DAISY RIDLEY, J.J. ABRAMS, HARRISON FORD, ALAN HORN (Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios), ROBERT A. IGER (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company)

The new cast of “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” also made an appearance with writer/director J.J. Abrams and special guest Harrison Ford. Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger closed the session by announcing plans for Star Wars-themed lands for Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (Read more on that here).

BOB CHAPEK (Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts)

Another highlight of this year’s D23 Expo for Disney Parks fans was the “Parks & Resorts Presentation,” at which Disney leaders unveiled plans for Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, details on the Star Wars-themed lands planned for Disney Parks, Soarin’ Around the World, and updates on Shanghai Disneyland.

JON LANDAU, JAMES CAMERON, JOE ROHDE

Filmmakers James Cameron and Jon Landau joined Imagineer Joe Rohde to announce the official name of the land Pandora – The World of AVATAR, which is currently under construction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. They also shared the name of the land’s major attraction, AVATAR Flight of Passage, which will allow guests to soar on a banshee.

PHOTO GALLERY: Best Images from the 2015 D23 Expo PHOTO GALLERY: Best Images from the 2015 D23 Expo

During the event, superhero mastermind Stan Lee also made a surprise appearance to help Imagineer Ted Robledo announce plans for The Iron Man Experience for Hong Kong Disneyland.

Be sure to click through all of the photo galleries above for a look inside each presentation.

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VIDEO: Disney Parks Announces Expansions and Enhancements at D23 EXPO 2015

posted on August 17th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


It was a big weekend for Disney fans! The D23 EXPO 2015 was packed with news from across The Walt Disney Company, including major announcements from Disney Parks. New 14-acre Star Wars-themed lands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park, Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Soarin’ Around the World at Epcot and Disney California Adventure park and many more exciting announcements have kept fans buzzing for days. Take a look back!

Check out all the Disney Parks news from D23 EXPO 2015:

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Julie Reihm Casaletto Honored as a 2015 Disney Legend at D23 EXPO

posted on August 17th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


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Julie Reihm Casaletto, who was selected to be Disney’s first Ambassador in 1965, was honored as a 2015 Disney Legend at the D23 EXPO, along with eight other beloved contributors to the Disney Legacy. Julie was one of five finalists in the fall of 1964 competing to become Miss Disneyland Tencennial for the park’s 10th anniversary, when the Disney Ambassador program was introduced to help Walt Disney represent Disneyland park throughout the world.

During her tenure, Julie was featured in a special 1965 TV episode of “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,” in which she appeared alongside Walt Disney as he showed viewers upcoming concepts for Disneyland attractions. “Working with Walt was a super learning experience,” Julie shared. “His creative genius often came with a boy-like excitement of discovery.”

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When it came time to decide whether the Disney Ambassador program would continue, Julie shared her thoughts with Walt. Both agreed the program was a special opportunity for future emissaries of goodwill to share the joy and magic of Disneyland with the world. Today, the Disney Ambassador program has been introduced across Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and Julie has become the model upon which decades of Disney Ambassadors have patterned themselves.

“My purpose was to share the joy, hope and happiness of Disneyland to communities around the world,” Julie said. “Those unforgettable experiences have continued to influence my life and career. For decades, Disneyland has been the pixie dust of my life. I consider Disneyland and all of its wonder to be home.”

Learn more about the 2015 Disney Legends here.

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Star Wars Enhancements, New Experiences Coming Soon to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

posted on August 15th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


From a new Star Tours adventure to Star Wars Launch Bay and Season of the Force, guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts will soon be able to step into the Star Wars galaxy like never before!

Star Wars Launch Bay Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park

Star Wars Launch Bay will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Also at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with Super Heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.

Hyperspace Mountain Coming for Season of the Force at Disneyland Park

Season of the Force, a new seasonal event beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will also climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

Later this year, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.

Finally, Jedi Training Academy – a favorite of younger fans – will be reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series, “Star Wars Rebels.”

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Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

posted on August 15th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger Announces Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

Today at the D23 EXPO 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced to an audience of more than 7,500 fans that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., allowing Star Wars fans to step into the stories from a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

Ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life in the two parks include creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each, transporting guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

Artist Concept Shows Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

Artist Concept Shows Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more news coming out of D23 EXPO 2015 this afternoon from the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation.

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