New York World's Fair 50th Anniversary

Vintage Disney Parks Video: Take a Trip Back to the Beginning of ‘it’s a small world’

posted on March 21st, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations


As Thomas Smith just announced, we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the debut of “it’s a small world” at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. This, of course, means a trip to the archives! We found historical footage from both the 1964 New York World’s Fair and the attraction’s opening day here at the Disneyland Resort, two years later on May 28, 1966. Imagineer Kim Irvine takes us down memory lane, along with co-composer of the attraction’s unforgettable theme song, Richard Sherman. You’ll even hear from Walt Disney himself, as he shows off the plans for “it’s a small world” in a clip from the “Wonderful World of Color” television show. I hope you enjoy this trip back in time, and make sure to join the celebration at SmallWorld50.com!

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Global Sing-Along Celebrates 50th Anniversary of ‘it’s a small world’

posted on March 21st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As you may have just heard on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, you’re invited to join a first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along at SmallWorld50.com to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” – the classic Disney Parks attraction that opened as a tribute to UNICEF’s work for children around the world at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

We’ll be celebrating the anniversary on April 10 but we’ve already kicked off the worldwide celebration. People from more than 25 countries, including bagpipers in Scotland, Bollywood movie actors in India, a firefighter in New York City, and members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, came together to create a first worldwide “it’s a small world” video.

You can participate in this historic celebration by recording and sharing an online video of yourself singing “it’s a small world” on our new global online hub SmallWorld50.com. At the site, you can also create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to share with your friends. The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” plus $1 for every sing-along video recorded on SmallWorld50.com and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to $100,000.

On April 10, hundreds of voices from Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will come together to sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas.”

Go share your online video at SmallWorld50.com and keep checking the Disney Parks Blog as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world.”

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

Disney Parks After Dark: Big Moon Over Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park

posted on March 20th, 2014 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


This photo was taken a few months ago – in the middle of January – on a night with an almost full moon and one of the clearest night skies that I’ve seen in a long time here at Disneyland park. The moon was so bright that, instead of trying to get detail in the moon, I thought I would use a setting called the F-22 star. By setting the aperture somewhere between F-11 and F-22, any bright light source will result in a large “starburst.” I ended up using F-18 at 15 seconds with an ISO of 800. The camera was a Canon1DX with the 24-105mm lens set at 40mm and mounted on a tripod. While I was taking the photo along Big Thunder Trail, many guests stopped to comment to me about how beautiful the moon looked, take photos of the moon themselves and tell me how much they loved Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

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Can you count the stars in this photo? I counted more than thirty, plus one light trail from an airplane in the top left corner.

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The History of the Disneyland Monorail: Mark V, 1986-2008

posted on March 20th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


I love when we can have a Disney Parks Blog series that spans both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, so many thanks to my fellow author, Nate Rasmussen, for the excellent story on the Mark IV Monorail. Today, we return to the Disneyland Resort to continue our look at the history of the Disneyland Monorail with the Mark V.

Disneyland Monorail - Submarine Voyage

The most recognizable difference with the Mark V, compared to its predecessor, the Mark III, was its look. Designed to resemble the Mark IV monorail at Walt Disney World Resort, this new model was white with an accent color stripe running along the side. The four different colored stripes along the Mark V Monorails were red, blue, orange and purple.

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Another major difference was the new path the Disneyland Monorail would travel. In 1994, the path was diverted to run above the Eeyore section of the original Disneyland parking lot (remember that?) to accommodate the construction of Indiana Jones Adventure. Then in 1999, when construction began on Disney California Adventure park, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and the Downtown Disney District, portions of the track were re-routed to accommodate these additions.

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The opening of the Downtown Disney District also provided an opportunity for a brand-new station to be constructed for the Disneyland Monorail. When the station opened in 2001, it provided a convenient second entrance to Disneyland park, which is still available for guests today.

Check back next month, when I hand the controls back to Nate Rasmussen, who will tell us about the Mark VI Monorail, which currently travels the “highway in the sky” at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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April 2014 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

posted on March 19th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Looking to have some fun during your spring break? Here’s a glimpse of the merchandise events happening this April at the Disneyland Resort!

April 5: Artists Jason Bahret, Sean D’Anconia and Christopher Uminga 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.

April - Chris Uminga

April 5 – 6: Katie Kelly returns to Disneyana on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland park from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day, as part of a special artist showcase. Be sure to stop by and check out some of her latest works, including Into the Forest. Learn more.

April 5 – 6: Meet artist Ben Burch from 1 – 4 p.m., each day at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Not able to make it? No problem! Ben will be on hand later in the month as well, look for him again April 26 – 27. Learn more.

April 11 – 13: Have you ever wondered what it would be like if one of our artists took over our store? We did! So for this weekend only, local So. Cal artist Noah will take over WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District and fill the store with Disney inspired and non-Disney artwork. Learn more.

April - Tangled

April 18 – 20: Hop in and meet Precious Moments doll maker Linda Rick who will be appearing throughout the weekend from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. at World of Disney Store in the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort as we celebrate the release of her Spring collection. In case you miss her the first weekend, Linda will return April 25 – 27. Learn more.

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Artist in Residence: Appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month of April is artist Matt Spangler. Look for special artist showcases on the following dates: April 4, 18, 19, 20 and 25, 26, 27 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Learn more.

A quick reminder before I go! Tickets for the Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas in Disneyland Trading Event taking place June 13 – 14, 2014, will be available beginning Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 11 a.m. PDT. Learn more.

Which event are you most excited to check out?

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Dark Chocolate Raspberry Gourmet Apple is a Definite Delight at Disneyland Park

posted on March 17th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


I am always eager to find out the new type of gourmet apple the Disneyland Resort has in store each month. Why? Because the Disneyland Resort Candy Making team continues to amaze me with their magnificent concoctions. This month, prepare to be surprised and delighted as well!

April Raspberry Apple

So what is it? Wait no more … this month’s caramel apple has been covered in dark chocolate and has been encased with semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate chips and almonds. At this point, I’m sure you’re saying… stop! You’re making me hungry! I have to have this now! Well, I’m not finished yet. They have actually taken one more step, and infused raspberry into white chocolate and drizzled it over the entire apple.

Where will you find it? Candy Palace in Disneyland park; Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District; and Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure park.

For the record I call first dibs! Who’s joining me in line to try this apple?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Nat King Cole – 1963

posted on March 17th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


The great singer Nat King Cole was born on this day in 1919, and today we look back at a visit he made to Disneyland park more than 50 years ago.

Nat King Cole and His Son, Nat Kelly Cole, in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park in 1963.

Pictured with his son, Nat Kelly Cole, the legendary voice behind such timeless hits as “Mona Lisa,” “Stardust,” and “Unforgettable” was photographed in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle in June of 1963.

Do you have a favorite Nat King Cole song? My personal favorite also has the distinction of being featured in a Disney film. Can you guess which one?

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Charming Treats for St. Patrick’s Day 2014 at Disney Parks

posted on March 15th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With St. Patrick’s Day celebrations planned for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, I visited one of our consumables locations to survey some of the yummy, holiday-themed treats they have made this year. You may recall that several of our merchandise locations contain a show kitchen, which is an on-stage kitchen where cast members make delicious goodies for all to see. This year, the cast members in the show kitchens have added a splash of green to some of their most popular items including Mickey Mouse-shaped cake pops and crispy treats.

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They also have created my favorite treat – pretzel rods covered in green sugar or sprinkles. The pretzel rods join sprinkle-covered or chocolate-dipped marshmallow wands.

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Finally, I spotted a Leprechaun-like candy apply complete with chocolate, green sugar and a marshmallow. Nearby, I found a character apple that resembles Kermit the Frog from The Muppets. I figured I’d include him in this story because he’s green (plus, I can’t wait for “Muppets Most Wanted” to be in theatres on March 21!)

If you are visiting Disney Parks during St Patrick’s Day, please stop by these locations:

Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney World Resort

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Jerry Lewis – 1955

posted on March 14th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Legendary entertainer and humanitarian Jerry Lewis celebrates his birthday this weekend, so today we’re looking back at a visit Jerry made to Disneyland park in August 1955, just a few weeks after we first opened our gates.

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This first photo is a triple treat for Disney fans. Television star Milton Berle, aka “Uncle Miltie,” joined Jerry outside the Main Entrance, along with future Disney Legend, Tom Nabbe, who was holding a custom edition of The Disneyland News with a headline that read, “Welcome Miltie & Jerry To Disneyland.”

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Then it was over to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, where Jerry was joined by his son (and future musician), Gary Lewis. When I see this photo, I think can actually hear that iconic voice going through Toad Hall!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lewis!

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Fun Times Are Blooming at the Springtime Roundup at Disneyland Park

posted on March 14th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit Disneyland park. From Main Street, U.S.A. to Tomorrowland, the park is in full bloom, and this year, that spring color is spreading even further with the debut season of the Springtime Roundup.

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Starting March 28, Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland will be decked out in flowers and other springtime décor. Some of your favorite Disney characters will be stopping by to meet you, along with Mr. Easter Bunny and a carrot patch of famous Disney rabbits. Also several times each day, an energetic country band takes the stage, as a group of dancing cowboys and cowgirls come together for a lively hoedown and “bunny hop” that will get you off your feet and joining right in!

Springtime Roundup is going to bring all that excitement, plus egg art demonstrations, fun crafts, yummy treats and more. It all kicks off March 28 at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and keeps going all the way to April 20, so hop on down the Big Thunder Trail and join the fun!

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