There is a shop in Disneyland park that some say is a cut above the rest – and no doubt that’s crystal clear to glass cutter Manuel Arribas who has worked there for 47 years. Manuel is part of a family of artisan glass cutters at Crystal Arts on Main Street, U.S.A. His brothers Alfonso and Tomas met Walt Disney at the 1964 New York World’s Fair where Walt was introduced to the Spanish brothers’ business of glass cutting and eventually brought the family trade to Disneyland Resort. They specialize in personalized glassware, figurines and jewelry. The next time you’re window shopping down Main Street, U.S.A., stop by and watch these artists in action.
posted on September 3rd, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort
posted on September 2nd, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort
Disneyland park guests have been wowed by the updates to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ever since it re-opened this spring. I recently took a ride on the attraction with Imagineer Lisa Girolami, who oversaw its extensive refurbishment. The wildest ride in the wilderness might not be the best place for an in-depth interview, but it sure is the most fun!
What do you like best about Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland park? Tell us in the comments!
See the posts below for more on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:
- Five Things You Might Have Missed Aboard Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park
- The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park
- Disney Parks After Dark: Big Sky Over Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Rave Reviews for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park
posted on September 2nd, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
“This here is the wildest ride in the wilderness!” Guests first heard that warning on September 2, 1979, when Big Thunder Mountain Railroad debuted in Frontierland at Disneyland park. Since then, the popular runaway mine train as taken more than 225 million guests on a wild ride through 19th century gold-mining territory. The mountain was inspired by Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, and objects found inside are actual artifacts from abandoned mines in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota and Wyoming. The opening also marked the third peak in the Disneyland park mountain range. (Matterhorn Bobsleds and Space Mountain were the first two.)
Last March, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad re-opened after an extended refurbishment with new track and an enhanced audio system. Come check it out! For now, take a trip back to 1979 and watch as Mickey Mouse turns the key and boards the runaway mine train with some of his Disney friends.
posted on September 1st, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations
Tomorrow, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland park celebrates 35 years of taking guests on the wildest ride in the wilderness. My niece recently experienced this runaway train as her first roller coaster, and I was positively thrilled to see her beaming as we got off the attraction. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, like many of the thrill rides at the Disneyland Resort, is the perfect blend of fun and storytelling. In honor of the iconic attraction’s anniversary tomorrow, here are five things to point out to new pioneers braving Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, or maybe details you may have missed in the past 35 years.
1. Wilderness creatures – Most guests know to look for the famous dynamite-wielding goat, but the runaway train also passes coyotes, skunks, possums, turtles and rattlesnakes.
2. Real mining gear – In the attraction queue and all around Big Thunder Mountain, you will see a century-old stamp mill, a hand-driven drill, press gears, picks, shovels and other artifacts. These objects are actual mining gear, purchased from abandoned mines in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota and Wyoming.
3. Steam mules – When you’re boarding your train and while careening around the mountain, look for two steam mules. These Victorian-era portable engines were used as set pieces in the Disney film, “Hot Lead and Cold Feet.”
4. Grizzly Gulch sign – Just before passing Dinosaur Gap in the queue, look for a wooden post with signs to nearby locations. If you look closely, you may see a nod to Grizzly Gulch at Hong Kong Disneyland, located 11,743 km away.
5. Willard B. Bounds, U.S. Marshall (Retired), President, Big Thunder Mountain Mining Company – Willard B. Bounds, the President of Big Thunder Mountain Mining Company, has signed several notices and proclamations around Big Thunder Mountain, including a sign at the attraction entrance. This is a tribute to Lillian Disney’s father, who was once a blacksmith and U.S. Marshall on the Nez Perce Indian reservation in Idaho.
Bonus fact: Did you know the sound of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad trains was used in the mine chase sequence in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”?
Celebrate the 35th anniversary of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with a trip aboard the wildest ride in the wilderness! Tell us your favorite memory aboard this iconic attraction in the comments below.
posted on August 29th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort
Gourmet apple fans take note, September is right around the corner and next month you will find the Disneyland Resort gourmet caramel apple enrobed in sweet milk chocolate and covered in a mixture of crunchy, buttery, toffee pieces and roasted almonds. How do you top that? How about adorning it with milk chocolate drizzle? Mouthwatering and delicious, this apple will not disappoint.
I was able to “scare” up a few other details on our Halloween Time treats this year, so mark your calendars for September 12. Returning favorites include the Minnie Witch Apple, Pumpkin Seed Brittle, Pumpkin Fudge, and festive cake pops themed to creepy crawlers (spiders) and Mummy Mickey. If you’re wondering if there’s anything new, the answer is yes. Other delightfully ghoulish and tantalizing treats will make their debut during Halloween Time, so be sure to keep an eye out. Remember they are available for a limited time only, so don’t miss out!
Look for these items and more at Candy Palace on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland park; Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure park; and Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District.
posted on August 29th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort
When one of my Downtown Disney partners told me about Brent Dodge, an Annual Passholder who visited the four Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks every day for 365 consecutive days, I couldn’t believe it. While I love the parks, just the idea of visiting every day while working full time has me exhausted!
I wanted to find out more, so I spoke with Brent myself to find out why he did it. First things first, he confessed that he hadn’t really passed through the turnstiles (or, in our new era of MyMagic+, ventured through the main entrance touch points) for a full year, “there were actually three days that I didn’t visit a park. I was on a Disney Cruise” he shared. Well, 365 days of Disney attractions, then. Consider me impressed.
Brent has been a Passholder since 2009, and currently carries the “Premier” pass, which also grants him access to Disneyland park. (I’d say he’s getting his money’s worth!) This Peter Pan’s Flight lover has visited the place where dreams come true since he was an infant, and when pressed for the “why” behind his latest all-year-long endeavor, he simply states, “Cause I’m a Disney nerd! If I live this close to Walt Disney World Resort, why wouldn’t I go every day? Especially when others are saving up thousands of dollars to go once in a lifetime.” Okay, he had me there.
The “official” milestone was reached on August 13; of the estimated 2,200 days Brent has spent at the parks over his lifetime, that day ranks among his all-time-top Disney memories. “A friend surprised me with a custom t-shirt from Disney Design-a-Tee at Downtown Disney; it features my favorite character, Scrooge McDuck. A few other friends met me at Magic Kingdom Park with signs to celebrate, and we had a great view of the parade. We got to ride Peter Pan’s Flight, followed by another beloved attraction, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – three times!”
I’ll admit, it does sound pretty magical. While most of my days are spent at the Downtown Disney area, now that fall is fast-approaching, I plan to spend more time following in Brent’s footsteps and enjoying all that Walt Disney World Resort has to offer.
How about you … can you imagine a daily visit to the parks?
posted on August 28th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort
I’ve got great news for you residents of Frontierland and Rainbow Ridge … “Legends of Frontierland” has been extended at Disneyland park! Originally scheduled to ride off into the sunset on September 1, this guest favorite will be around a bit longer – so if you haven’t chosen sides in the struggle for Frontierland, now is the time!
New to the story? Gather ‘round the campfire and catch up with these past Disney Parks Blog posts:
- The Citizens Take Over ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush’ at Disneyland Park
- Get the Gear You Need to Complete Your Look for ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush’ at Disneyland Park
- Meet the Townsfolk of ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush’ at Disneyland Park
- Five Lessons Learned During ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush’ at Disneyland Park
- Delicious New Tastes for ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush’ at Disneyland Park
- Join the Story with ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush’ at Disneyland Park
- Disneyland Park Guests to Create the Story of ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush’
posted on August 28th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
Check out the sketch of this year’s gingerbread creation for Haunted Mansion Holiday, the masterful work of a year-long collaboration between Disneyland Resort chefs, the Entertainment team and Walt Disney Imagineering. The masterpiece debuts when Haunted Mansion Holiday opens at Disneyland park on September 12.
“The Ghost Host of Haunted Mansion Holiday always says, ‘even a gingerbread house can be scary,’ and we’ve definitely taken the design towards scary this year,” says Tim Wollweber, Graphic Designer/Sculptor.
Of course, the Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house adds a little whimsy with a hapless gingerbread zombie trapped inside – and those frightening spikes are very sharp, red-and-white candy canes. The gingerbread house also will feature opening and closing doors and lights.
The wood foundation is wired, then sent to the Disneyland Resort Central Bakery for a 3-week layover to apply 200 pounds of gingerbread, 200 pounds of royal icing, 150 pounds of fondant, and all sorts of other sticky treats. The gingerbread house stands at almost 7 feet tall.
There’s plenty of time to take it all in – Haunted Mansion Holiday goes through January 6, 2015.
posted on August 28th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort
Halloween Time is just around the corner here at the Disneyland Resort, and already our guests have been purchasing tickets for the popular Mickey’s Halloween Party. Don’t have yours yet? Get them now right here!
Not to be outdone, the Disney villains have plenty of bad-apple fun planned for “Villains Square.” Throughout the evening, Disney villains such as Cruella De Vil, the Queen of Hearts, Judge Frollo and Lady Tremaine will arrive in Town Square on a black horse-drawn carriage, inviting guests to party like a Villain!
Of course, there’s so much more to enjoy at Mickey’s Halloween Party, including:
- The opportunity to play in Disneyland park three hours before the party starts
- Trick or Treating for candy and healthy treats in the ultimate Disney neighborhood
- “Halloween Screams” fireworks spectacular (presented exclusively for guests of Mickey’s Halloween Party, weather permitting)
- “Monsters U Dance Party” at Tomorrowland Terrace
- Cadaver Dans, a ghoulish quartet performing Halloween-themed tunes aboard a drifting graveyard-themed raft on the Rivers of America
- Access to your favorite Disneyland park attractions, including Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy
So get your tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party here and join us for all the spooky fun!
posted on August 27th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort
Just wait until you see what merchandise events we have headed your way this September at the Disneyland Resort!
September 6 – 7: Meet artist Gabriela Ruiz (Serpenthes) who will be setting up shop inside WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District for the month of September. Meet Gabriela from 2 – 5 p.m. on September 6, 7, 13, 14, 27 and 28. Learn more.
September 12: Artist Jerrod Maruyama will appear at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District from 5 – 7 p.m. as we debut his latest piece titled Date Night. Learn more.
September 13: Join us as we welcome back Miniaturist and Sculptor Bob Olszewski who will be on hand to sign his newest Gallery of Light, featuring Madame Leota. Bob will appear from 9 – 11 a.m. at Disneyana in Disneyland park. Not able to make it to the event? A limited number of pieces will be available to purchase via DisneyParksMerchandise.com. Learn more.
September 13: Continuing the celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the Haunted Mansion comes this new piece, titled Evening Constitutional by artist Tony Harris. Available September 13 at Disneyana in Disneyland park.
September 13: Artists John Coulter, Liana Hee, Noah and Dave Quiggle will take part in an artist signing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District, as we celebrate the release of some of their latest works. Learn more.
September 20 – 21: If you have been waiting for just the right time to order one of artist Dave Avanzino’s Custom Letter Plaques, you’re in luck! Dave will be appearing from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., each day at Disneyana inside Disneyland park. Learn more.
September 27: Join us as we celebrate everything “Maleficent and Other Fairies.” Artists Dave Avanzino, Britni Brault, Bruce Boyer, Bob Elias, Brian Kesinger, Daniel Killen, Bridget McCarty, Miss Mindy, Larry Nikolai and Yakovetic will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 1 – 3 p.m. at Off the Page in Disney California Adventure park.
Artist in Residence: Appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month is artist David Lozeau. Look for artist showcases on the following dates: September 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 and 26 from 6-10 p.m. Learn more.
Which events have made your list of things to do?