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Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park During the Holidays

Celebrating 57 Years at Disneyland

posted on July 17th, 2012 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort

Celebrating 57 Years of Magic at Disneyland Park

Today we celebrated 57 years of magic at the Disneyland Resort! This afternoon, Disney characters filled Town Square, balloons in hand, to sing “Happy Birthday To You” with Disneyland park guests.

Celebrating 57 Years of Magic at Disneyland Park

All of us at the Disneyland Resort are proud to celebrate 57 years of creating happiness. I wanted to share with you some thoughts from my fellow cast members, who were asked to share one reason why they love Disneyland park:

“I grew up coming to Disneyland and now I refuse to grow up at Disneyland.” – Jeremy P., “Fantasmic!” and Haunted Mansion

“I’ve spent more than half my life in a place designed and built to make people happy, alongside cast members wired to make others happy and filled with guests who come wanting to be happy. How could anyone not love that?” – Matt G., general manager, Disneyland Park Food and Beverage

“Because one feels proud to be part of the magic that Disneyland creates, and from the time we are children, we wish to visit this wonderful place full of joy and dreams.” – Ricardo H., Central Bakery

“I love Disneyland because it was part of my childhood as a guest, teenager and college years as a cast member. I literally grew up here!” – Colleen N., CMR Program Manager

“Working with such an awesome and remarkable man [Oscar Martinez].” – Robin P., Carnation Café

“Because it is a place where families can pass on or make traditions for generations to come.” – Andrew S., Global Rooms Assignor

“Disneyland represents everything that has made America great: optimism, imagination, nostalgia, pioneering spirit and innovation.” – Nathan E., Disneyland Resort Creative Entertainment

“I’ve been watching Tinker Bell fly over Sleeping Beauty Castle for 50 years and it’s always just as magical for me as the first time!” – Sandy R., Pre-Arrival Sales

“The magic Disneyland creates leaves you with a big smile and a full heart.” – Jenny P., Disneyland Resort Casting

“How many places are there that you can be taking a break and have Goofy walk by and wave at you? You can’t help but smile.” – Cindy D., Public Affairs

“I love seeing one man’s dream being not only lived out, but still growing and evolving long after the dreamer has passed.” – Carrie H., Hollywood Land Attractions

“I love Disneyland park because when other people sigh and say, ‘I’m going to work,’ I say, ‘I’m going to the Magic Kingdom.’” – Wade H., Guest Service Manager

“It is the only place where I enjoy a Dole Whip for breakfast, five churros for lunch and a Mickey Pretzel. Plus another churro for dinner.” – Christian C., Disney University

“I grew up coming here with my family and friends, I met my true love here, made some of my best friends here, and it’s here that I get to spend my time with an amazing group of people at an opening-day attraction, cruising around the Jungle Rivers of the World… Move it up skip!” – Ryan W., Jungle Cruise

Take a look back at past Disneyland anniversary posts:

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New Disney PhotoPass+ at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort Available for Pre-Order

posted on July 17th, 2012 by Kelly Glassburn, Manager of Marketing & Communications, Disney’s PhotoPass Service

New Disney PhotoPass+ Available for Pre-Order

If you haven’t heard, we’ve launched our Disney PhotoPass+ for Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort! And today, I wanted to share a new way to save on PhotoPass+ packages at both resorts this summer – it’s by pre-ordering online before your next visit.

It’s easy to pre-order. Just visit our special Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney Resort PhotoPass+ pages and look for the “order” button. We’ve also included more details on the benefits, but here’s a quick look at what’s included:

  • A voucher to exchange for your Disney PhotoPass+ card
  • Disney’s Photo Gallery CD with hundreds of stock photos
  • A unique code to create and order a Photo CD
  • Print packages at select dining locations
  • Digital photos from select attractions

Read more about Disney’s PhotoPass service in the posts below:

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Imagineer Q&A: Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on July 17th, 2012 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort

Last week, we shared a Q&A with Cars Land Imagineers Kathy Mangum and Kevin Rafferty. This week, we’ll hear about the new Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure park from three of the Imagineers who led the effort to bring this new area to life.
Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Park

Lisa Girolami – Director, Senior Show Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering

How have you created an emotional connection for guests on Buena Vista Street?

Every piece has to be there when you walk into a story, to know where you are, what time it is, what’s happening and to really be able to take in the music, the colors and the ornamentation on the architecture. The whole street coming alive is meant to put you right there in the steps of Walt when he first stepped off the train in California and all the optimism and opportunity he felt was there for him at the time.

The sense of optimism will be very obvious on Buena Vista Street, and that story is told at the highest level of detail. Then there are many more levels of details, which our Disney fans will recognize and discover. I think we accommodate everybody as deep as they want to go, and the more you want to know, the more you’ll get out of it. I think we’ve covered it, too, for people who may be visiting a Disney park for the first time.

What are some of your favorite aspects of Buena Vista Street?

I love Los Angeles and there are so many details I could say are my favorites…I think it’s going to be the feel of that street and how different it’s going to appear to everyone as they just enjoy being in the moment.

Ray Spencer – Creative Director, Buena Vista Street, Walt Disney Imagineering

What’s the Disney history behind the shop names and other items along Buena Vista Street?

At the front of the park, we have the gas station, which is called Oswald’s, and Oswald was an early Disney character… Then we have Los Feliz Five & Dime, a merchandise store that features everyday consumer products. The names of the shops, and the names of the restaurants, are all based on Disney history — and especially the history that surrounded Walt Disney and the Disney brothers’ arrival in the 1920s. We have Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, which is named after the Three Little Pigs from the Academy Award-winning animated short. We also have a merchandise location called Atwater Ink & Paint. It refers to the Atwater Village district of Los Angeles where Disney and the animators from Disney Studios spent a lot of time.

We have a new Walt and Mickey statue, called ‘Storytellers.’ We made a conscious decision to put the statue down on street level with the rest of our guests, rather than up on a monumental planter, like at Disneyland park. Set in this time period, Walt Disney could have been you or I, or anybody at that time, out on the street. It’s part of the story of the street, a story of humble beginnings. It’s a story of a wonderful, inspirational time period with a wonderful, inspirational, gifted man who created what we can now enjoy as The Walt Disney Company.

Coulter Winn – Principal Concept Architect, Director, Walt Disney Imagineering

Will this be just like a street in Los Angeles?

You can’t go to Los Angeles and see a building that exists like you’re going to see on Buena Vista Street. The buildings that we referenced have been torn down, so we found them through historical photographs and began to design from there. Transporting our guests to another place and time like this, in the traditional Disney storytelling way, gives Disney California Adventure park a much more enriched environment to start the day for our guests.

Read more about Buena Vista Street in the posts below:

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Walt Disney World Resort Moms Panel: 2013 Search

posted on July 16th, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

The 2012 Walt Disney World Moms Panel

The search for the 2013 Walt Disney World Resort Moms Panel begins in September. Stay tuned. That is all.

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Caption This: Lucky the Dinosaur at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on July 16th, 2012 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

It was nine years ago next month that I first met Lucky the Dinosaur. We were at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles to introduce Lucky, and the innovative technology from Walt Disney Imagineering that makes him possible, to the world. If you’re not familiar with Lucky, he’s a free-roaming, people-loving, 12-foot-long, 450-pound dinosaur who has occasionally appeared at Disney Parks. I last saw him at the D23 Expo in 2009.

We snapped this picture of Lucky roaming Disney California Adventure park during his very first visit in September 2003.

So, put on your pre-historic thinking caps and … “Caption This!”

Caption This: Lucky the Dinosaur at Disney California Adventure Park

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‘My Yard Goes Disney’: A Blizzard Beach-Meets-Brooklyn Backyard

posted on July 15th, 2012 by Tony Shepherd, Producer, Broadcast Marketing

With summer in full swing, who doesn’t love a visit to a Disney Water Park? My idea of a perfect July day is to spend the morning riding thrilling attractions at one of the parks and then heading off to Blizzard Beach for a splash of excitement!

You love the Disney Water Parks, too? Imagine if you had one in your backyard!
The Thompson Family’s Backyard Gets a Blizzard Beach Makeover on HGTV’s ‘My Yard Goes Disney’

Tonight, on HGTV’s “My Yard Goes Disney,” you’re going to meet the Thompson Family. Maria and Rodney, along with their sons Issac (7) and Alex (4), fell in love with Walt Disney World Resort when the boys were younger. Alex visited Magic Kingdom Park when he was six months old. His parents bought him a plush Mickey Mouse doll that has followed him everywhere they’ve lived, from Puerto Rico to New York City.

Their absolute favorite place is Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park. They love the snow theme throughout the park. As a family, they love the wave pool and Teamboat Springs. Rodney’s favorite is the Ski Patrol Training Camp and, no surprise here, Maria loves Melt-Away Bay.

Dad grew up in Brooklyn and doesn’t get to see snow now – except when he’s at Blizzard Beach. When the HGTV Designers discovered that, they knew that this would be the perfect makeover for their backyard. Just look at this snowy landscape they created!

The level of detail is truly extraordinary – right down to my favorite Water Park snack, the Blizzard Beach mini-donuts!

Chill with us on tonight’s episode of “My Yard Goes Disney” at 5:30 p.m. Eastern on HGTV.

Read on for more posts about “My Yard Goes Disney”:

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on July 15th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks

Prince Eric's Castle in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

This week, Disney Parks Blog readers were the first to see the amazing Prince Eric’s Castle at New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom Park. Our exclusive series, “All in the Details,” shared the complete view of the castle, which will top off the new Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction.

Check out Jenn’s original post and let us know which New Fantasyland castle you’re most looking forward to seeing – Beast’s Castle or Prince Eric’s?
Desktop Wallpaper Featuring the Great Goofini, Star of the Barnstormer in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

And did you see our latest exclusive desktop/smartphone wallpaper? It was inspired by old circus posters of the 1940s and the enhanced Storybook Circus attraction The Barnstormer – Starring the Great Goofini. Be sure to check out our terms of service prior to downloading.

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

Imagineer Q&A: Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park – Some of the Imagineers who worked on Cars Land answer questions about the area’s attractions and the guest experience they strove to create.

Downtown Disney’s Planet Hollywood Hosts Bon Voyage Party for U.S. Olympic Team Member – Last weekend, U.S. Olympic Diving Team member Brittany Viola got a patriotic send-off to the 2012 Summer Olympics from family, friends, and hundreds of Planet Hollywood guests at Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney Alaska Cruise: A Ship Off the Old Glacier – Jimmy Lynett, cruise director on the Disney Wonder, shares tips for making the most of a Disney cruise to Alaska.

Cool Ear Hat Ornament Collection Expands as Summer Heats Up at Disney Parks – Disney’s product developers have put an amazing level of creativity and detail into these new ornaments, inspired by everything from Disney villains to WALL-E and Eve.

Spend Some Time with Five & Dime at Disney California Adventure Park – Read about the origins of Five & Dime, the innovative sextet of maverick musicologists performing every day down on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure park.

Exploring Disney Parks After Dark – Our new “Disney Parks After Dark” series will showcase nighttime photography of various attractions at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. This first post in the series offers a colorful shot of the newly “doubled” Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction in the Storybook Circus area of New Fantasyland.

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Take 5: Character Dining at Disney Parks

posted on July 14th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks

Ariel’s Grotto in Disney California Adventure Park

Character dining experiences are beloved traditions for many guests at Disney Parks. Whether you already have some favorite character dining spots or you’re looking to make your first-ever reservation, here’s an introduction to some of the experiences available:

Take 5: Character Dining at Disney Parks

  1. Insider Tips for Dining with Disney Characters at Walt Disney WorldPam Brandon offers some great advice on choosing a reservation time, finding the experience that perfectly suits your group, and more.
  2. Fun Tips for Character Dining at the Disneyland Resort – In this post, Pam describes the character dining opportunities available at the Disneyland Resort and the experiences you can expect to have at each.
  3. Reservations Open This Week for Expanded Donald’s Dining Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Donald’s Dining Safari is available at Tusker House Restaurant, which also features the “wall of flames,” an 18-foot-tall rotisserie that roasts chicken throughout the day.
  4. Dinner with Ariel and Her Princess Friends Coming Soon to Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park – This new opportunity allows guests to join Ariel and her princess friends for breakfast, lunch or dinner for an enchanting experience filled with music, laughter, and delicious food.
  5. Have Breakfast with Some Wild Disney Friends at Storytellers Cafe in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa – This video shows that when you have breakfast at Storytellers Cafe, you’re likely to be joined by some “wild” friends.
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Olympians at Disneyland Park Through the Years

posted on July 13th, 2012 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

As we prepare to celebrate the USA Volleyball Team at Disneyland park on Tuesday, we look back at some other great Olympians who have visited us over the years.

As you might imagine, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics were a pretty big deal for us here at the Disneyland Resort. In addition to a big fundraiser event for the U.S. Olympic Team that May (which included pyrotechnic Olympic rings suspended from a helicopter!), we hosted thousands of athletes, officials and dignitaries from more than 140 nations during the games themselves.

In 1988, we hosted a send-off for Team USA as they prepared to leave for the Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Following the games, we saluted our returning Olympians with an event featuring then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.

This video, produced before the most recent games, features archival photography from these events as well as individual visits from some of our Olympic heroes over the last four decades.

Read more about the history of Disneyland park in these posts:

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Finish That Disney Parks Sign: The Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland Park

posted on July 13th, 2012 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort

We know Disney Parks Blog readers love trivia. We’ve challenged you with our “Where at Disney Parks Can You Find…” series, we’ve asked you to “Name that Disneyland Resort Costume,” and we’ve tested your Disney Parks attraction knowledge with “What’s My Line?”

Now it’s time for another challenge. All over Disney Parks, there are signs. Some tell you where to find what you’re looking for, and others are there to help keep you safe. But there are some signs that are just there to make you smile and entertain you a bit. Your challenge – should you choose to accept it – isn’t to tell me where to find this sign. That’s too easy.
A Sign at the Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland Park

As you can see in the lower-left corner of this sign from the Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland park, there are five things that aren’t allowed “when the gentle sex is present.” Think hard and tell me in the comments exactly what’s not allowed at the Golden Horseshoe, according to this sign. I’ll update this post later today with the answer.

UPDATE: Did you get all five correct?

A Sign at the Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland Park

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