Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort

New Art ‘Roars’ to Life in Disney California Adventure Park

posted on June 5th, 2012 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Here’s a look at some of the newest releases from Imagineers, artists and car culture enthusiasts making their mark at Disney California Adventure park on June 16. Up first and heading down the track is “Red Car Trolley” from Imagineer and Creative Director of Buena Vista Street, Ray Spencer. I had a minute to catch up with Ray, who admitted to me he was indeed a self-confessed train nut.

'Red Car Trolley' from Imagineer and Creative Director of Buena Vista Street, Ray Spencer

“Having lived with this project for several years,” says Ray, “my goal was to combine the beauty and classic romance of the Red Car Trolley on Buena Vista Street with a nostalgic feel of yesteryear.“

Event Tip: Ray will join artist Noah, June 16 from 9-11 a.m., at Off the Page for a special signing.

Get ready, get set and go for this next group of artists who are no strangers to crossing the finish line. Crazy Al Evans, Max Grundy and Keith Weesner are set to drive these next set of collectible images into your home. These new classics feature Doc Hudson and Lightning McQueen, ready to Dirt Track Rumble, and Ramone, who has clearly shifted gears and set his speed to cruise.

Event Tip: Al, Keith and Max will be at Off the Page at Disney California Adventure park, June 16 from 2–4 p.m.

New Cars Land Art 'Roars' to Life in Disney California Adventure Park New Cars Land Art 'Roars' to Life in Disney California Adventure Park New Cars Land Art 'Roars' to Life in Disney California Adventure Park

I guess you could consider this last piece the finishing touch! Dennis O’Brien from O’Brien Truckers shared the following with me just the other day, giving us a glimpse from start to finish on how the Low n Slow car plaque was created. “The plaque is made of pure aluminum ingot material from a chemically engraved pattern. Each plaque is made using the time-honored sand-casting process, just like plaques made back in the 1950s,” said Dennis. “First we start by pressing sand against the pattern. Next, we pour molten aluminum into the sand model. Once it solidifies, the mold is broken apart, the casting is cut off and the piece is finished off in ‘Ramone’ purple.”

Low n Slow Car Plaque from Dennis O'Brien of O'Brien Truckers

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I just completed my shopping for my dad for the rest of the year.

Will you be stopping by to see these new pieces June 16?

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Ten Days to Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park – Submit Your Cars Land Questions Now!

posted on June 5th, 2012 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


UPDATE: Thanks for all your great questions! We’re working on the answers now, so check back here at the Disney Parks Blog on the evening of Wednesday, June 13, for the live webcast of the Cars Land Grand Opening. We’ll let you know the exact time to tune in that afternoon.

Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

The countdown is on! In ten days, Disney California Adventure park guests will be racing through Ornament Valley and cruising down Route 66 when Cars Land opens. The photo above shows the sign that will welcome guests to Cars Land at the north end of Route 66. Ahead of them will lie Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi’s Flying Tires, Flo’s V8 Cafe, Radiator Springs Racers and so much more!

We’ll have a live webcast of the Grand Opening of Cars Land right here on the Disney Parks Blog! And during the webcast, we’ll be answering your questions about Cars Land. So let us know in the comments – what do you want to know about Cars Land? We’ll do our best to have them answered as part of the show.

You can also follow along on Twitter at @Disneyland next week for all the events at Disney California Adventure park! And you can join in the conversation by using the hashtags #CarsLand, #BuenaVistaStreet, #MadTParty and #JustGotHappier.

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Disney Magic of Healthy Living Update

posted on June 5th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’re thrilled to announce that Disney has become the first major media company to set new standards for food advertising to kids, which builds on our 2006 landmark nutrition guidelines. It’s the latest update from our ongoing initiative called Disney Magic of Healthy Living.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger in Washington, D.C. for Disney Magic of Healthy Living

First Lady Michelle Obama joined Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger in Washington, D.C. today to officially announce the new standards and share a first look at the new “Mickey Check” tool.

'Mickey Check,' Part of Disney Magic of Healthy Living

The “Mickey Check” tool was created to make it easier to identify nutritious foods in stores, online and even on vacation in our parks and resorts.

It’ll be used as an icon to call out nutritious food and menu items sold in stores, online and at restaurants and food venues in our parks and resorts in the U.S. You’ll start to see the icon by the end of 2012 on licensed foods products, on qualified recipes on Disney.com and Family.com and on menus and select products in Disney Parks and Resorts.

Nutritious Food Items and Menu Choices Available at Disney Parks and Resorts as Part of Disney Magic of Healthy Living

Today’s announcement is the next step in Disney’s partnership with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles, and builds on the landmark nutrition guidelines the company established in 2006.

Under the new standards, all food and beverage products advertised, sponsored, or promoted on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney, and Disney-owned online destinations oriented to families with younger children will be required to meet Disney’s nutrition guidelines by 2015.

You can learn more about Disney Magic of Healthy Living by visiting the company’s special site.

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June 15 Special Merchandise Offerings at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on June 4th, 2012 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Can you feel the excitement in the air? I know I can! Buena Vista Street, Cars Land, Mad T Party and of course, our all new merchandise locations … The big day is almost here! For those of you amazing Disney Parks fans out there wondering if there will be any limited-edition commemorative merchandise available as part of this historic Disney milestone … well, you can bank on it! Here’s your first look at some of the key collections and special merchandise offerings debuting June 15 at the Disney Animation Building in Disney California Adventure park.

Special Merchandise Offerings Debuting June 15 at Disney California Adventure Park

Created specifically for the Grand Reopening, this retro-inspired graphic, with its tonal color, captures the magnificent additions and classic icons of Disney California Adventure park. You’ll find this art on a selection of items including tees, a hat, tote, watch, tumbler and coins.

Tip: Keep an eye out for a special Greetings From Radiator Springs postal cancellation postcard. A quick pick to commemorate the day.

If pins and Vinylmation are what you are after, then this is the place to go. There are approximately 17 different pin items available, most limited editions, including a jumbo pin, sculpture, framed set and a limited-release mystery set. Three Vinylmation will also debut including the limited-edition 9-inch Buena Vista Street and 9-inch Radiator Springs Racers and the limited-release 3-inch Red Car Trolley Grand Opening.

Special Merchandise Offerings Debuting June 15 at Disney California Adventure Park Special Merchandise Offerings Debuting June 15 at Disney California Adventure Park

Special Merchandise Offerings Debuting June 15 at Disney California Adventure Park

Passholders, take note, there’s special merchandise just for you, too. Themed to Buena Vista Street and Cars Land, you’ll find tees, a fleece, pins and commemorative coins, along with a specially created Storytellers tile.

For a complete look at all of these items, check out this special Merchandise Catalog.

So how does it work?

  • Items featured in the Merchandise Catalog will be available at the Animation Building (a special one-day shopping venue) on June 15. Operating hours will vary.
  • The catalog, along with the location, is broken up into “Zones” including Commemorative Dated Collection, Annual Passholder Collection, Pins and Vinylmation. So once you’re inside the venue, pick and choose which area you want to go to first!

For more details be sure to visit www.ArtofDisneyParks.com.

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and follow @Disneyland on Twitter for the latest on the expansion of Disney California Adventure park! While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtags #CarsLand, #BuenaVistaStreet, #MadTParty and #JustGotHappier.

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Meet Chef Gloria Tae at Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure Park

posted on June 4th, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Fans of Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa already know Chef Gloria Tae, who has worked side-by-side with Chef Andrew Sutton at Napa Rose for four years (you also may remember her from The Vineyard Room at Disney California Adventure park). With Andrew as executive chef of both Napa Rose and Carthay Circle Restaurant, he’s confident as she takes the helm in the new Carthay Circle Restaurant kitchen.

Meet Chef Gloria Tae at Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure Park

Gloria was born in Seoul, South Korea, and worked in Los Angeles restaurants before joining the Disneyland Resort, where she has been working in culinary for nine years. “With no formal culinary education, I was fortunate to have on-the-job training with some very patient chefs,” says Gloria with a smile. Her biggest inspiration is the diverse cultures of Southern California, making her a perfect fit for Carthay Circle Restaurant, where the light, fresh flavors of Southern California are celebrated.

The menu, for example, offers five varieties of sustainable fish, both wild and farmed, such as sushi-grade yellowtail grilled with jerk spice and topped with a tropical salsa of pineapple, mango, black beans and lime, and Sierra Golden trout roasted with couscous, lemon and oil. The lunch menu includes tastes like an udon noodle bowl with red Thai curry broth, and an Angus burger with Tillamook cheddar.

Vegetables are hand-selected, with visits to the Santa Monica market and to local farms seeking the best-of-the-best local produce. Desserts, too, honor the seasons, with summer desserts including “Peaches In All Their Glory” and seasonal county pie with whipped brown sugar sour cream.

Gloria describes her style as “California rustic with Asian accents,” and she loves making anything with handmade pasta, so we can’t wait to try her creations when the restaurant opens on June 15. For reservations, call 714-781-DINE or email dining reservation requests to dine@disneyland.com. Hours are 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily.

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Moms Panel Monday: It’s a Jolly Holiday with 2012 Panelist Sue Farrell

posted on June 4th, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Disney Parks are an international vacation destination with magical locations in the United States, to France and soon Shanghai. I plan to take my pink high heels (umm and my family) to visit the parks all over the world. So it makes total sense that our Walt Disney World Moms Panelists live all over the world too! I am visiting the United Kingdom this summer and hope to have a spot of tea with our own Mrs. Potts, Sue Farrell!

“Sue

Sue Farrell, a wife and mom from Cheshire, United Kingdom, is putting the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious into the vacation plans of guests with their flying umbrellas headed toward Walt Disney World Resort. Since Sue and her family usually spend at least two weeks at a time visiting Disney Parks and Resorts on holiday, she is the expert planner for families visiting from abroad and loves to share her advice.

What is your advice for families living outside of the U.S. who are planning a trip to Disney Parks?

“I would recommend having a look at MyDisneyWorldPlanner website, which has lots of useful videos for visitors from the U.K. From this website, you can also order a free planning book, ‘The Little Big Book of Magic’. First, it is worth taking things at a slower pace while you adjust to the time difference after long-distance travel. So, we like to schedule relaxation days in addition to the more busy days. We love to enjoy the resort pool, spend some time at Downtown Disney – a little shopping and a table by the waterfront enjoying coffee from Ghirardelli’s is one of my favorite ways to relax.”

What are your tips for planning a Disney vacation that is longer than one week?

“When planning a longer vacation, it is important to remember that you cannot do everything, and I ask all family members for their top three or four “must-do’s” so everyone gets to enjoy their favorite attractions or activities.

There are two things that I believe to be true: firstly, there is something for everyone at Walt Disney World Resort; and secondly you will need comfortable footwear! Do your research and make a plan, but be relaxed about changing your day and take a break if you need to. For just a moment or two, slow down and soak up the magical atmosphere.”

How does your family divide up your vacation time when you plan an extended stay?

“Over the whole holiday, we plan two non-consecutive days at each theme park, two mornings at the water parks, then pool days, shopping, miniature golf, and then return to any parks we wish to revisit. It’s nice to be able to take our time! We tend to visit the Parks early in the day until lunchtime, and utilize Extra Magic Hours (available to Disney Resort hotel guests when the parks are open outside usual hours for those guests only), to make the most of our time.”

What are some things you’ve learned and can share with families to make it more affordable?

If you stay on property there are more than 20 resort hotels to suit everyone’s taste and budget and you will receive use of Disney transportation around the Resort, and complementary shuttle from the airport on Disney’s Magical Express. Downtown Disney is always on our to-do list because it has no admission fee, great entertainment and there is lots to see and do.

I also recommend looking into purchasing one of the Disney Dining Plans and looking for promotions when it is offered at no extra charge as part of a package. We usually bring snacks for breakfast, which saves cash or dining credits for lunch and dinner later.

Want to know how you can make your vacation practically perfect in every way? Get yourself a spoon full of sugar with the panelists at DisneyWorldMoms.com.

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Blue Sky Cellar Welcomes the Radiator Springs Historical Society’s Museum of the History of Radiator Springs

posted on June 4th, 2012 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


“The

On June 8, the Blue Sky Cellar at Disney California Adventure park will host a brand-new exhibit: The Radiator Springs Historical Society’s Museum of the History of Radiator Springs. This is your chance to learn all about the history of Radiator Springs as we get ready for the arrival of its famous residents in Cars Land on June 15!

According to Sally Carerra, president of the Radiator Springs Historical Society, “The items in this museum have been kindly donated by dear friends and neighbors, the residents of Radiator Springs.” So be sure to stop by Blue Sky Cellar for your Radiator Springs history lesson before you motor around the corner to Cars Land!

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and follow @Disneyland on Twitter for the latest on the expansion of Disney California Adventure park! While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtags #CarsLand, #BuenaVistaStreet, #MadTParty and #JustGotHappier.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on June 3rd, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


“Meg

This week, Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. & France, officially dedicated Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. And as you can see, Meg was surrounded by a cast of characters from the films that inspired the resort’s animation theme.

If you missed it, here’s a quick video tour of the resort and highlights from opening day.

And did you see? We set a date for our next live chat with an Imagineer – June 7 at 1:15 p.m. Orlando time. During the chat, you’ll be able to talk with senior project producer and creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering Jonathan Ackley.

This weekend, get to know Jonathan and take a look at what he shared earlier this year.

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

Disney Wonder Calls on Seattle for the First Time – The Disney Wonder starts off Disney Cruise Line’s summer Alaska season by sailing out of Seattle for the first time.

Vanessa Williams Meets Merida at Disneyland Park – Recently, actress Vanessa Williams met up with our newest heroine, Merida from the upcoming Disney•Pixar film, “Brave.”

Crashing the Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure Park – Take a sneak peek through the looking-glass at the new Mad T Party. The fun begins when Mad T Party officially opens June 15 at Disney California Adventure park.

Cars Land Concept Team Gets Its Kicks on Route 66 Research Trip – Check out how the Walt Disney Imagineering concept team for Cars Land traveled fabled Route 66 during the early design stages.

New Disney•Pixar Stamps Celebrated at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The newest “Mail a Smile” stamps from the U.S. Postal Service feature familiar faces of popular Disney•Pixar characters.

Moms Panel: Meet Military Mom Ashley Forster – Are you a military family? Check out these special tips on planning a Disney vacation for your family.

Disneyland Resort Donates Iconic ‘CALIFORNIA’ Letters – The “CALIFORNIA” letters previously located in the esplanade of the Disney California Adventure park entrance have found a new home! Check out where they’re headed.

Sixty-Six Readers Take a Spin at the Disney Parks Blog Cars Land Meet-Up – Take a look at the Disney Parks Blog Cars Land Meet-up and the 66 lucky readers who got to look “behind the wall.”

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La Brea Bakery Café and Express Café Now Open in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

posted on June 2nd, 2012 by Janet Knox, General Manager, Downtown Disney District, Disneyland Resort


Hi everyone! In my first Disney Parks Blog post in February 2012, I had the opportunity to share with you the pending remodel of La Brea Bakery Café and Express Café in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort; I am happy to tell you the location is now fully renovated and officially reopened on Friday, June 1!

La Brea Bakery Café and Express Café Now Open in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

The enhancements to the building have been significant and beautiful, such as expanding the Express Café, creating a stunning new exhibition bakery and adding a new kitchen. The addition of trees and shade to the outdoor Express Café has created an inviting patio setting for express dining. The full-service La Brea Bakery Café dining area has been enclosed with a beautiful awning for shade and heat lamps for warmth.

The La Brea Bakery Café offers a new menu with many classics such as the Grilled Smoked Ham and Gruyere Panini, Nancy’s Greek Salad, Caprese Mozzarella Sandwich and Seared Salmon. La Brea Bakery Café will also offer a new flatbread section with selections such as the Red Pepper Artichoke, Italian Sausage and Sunny Side Up Flatbreads.

Additionally the menu will feature several new fresh salads, such as the California Salad with sun dried tomatoes, apricots, candied walnuts and goat cheese as well as a new, exciting wine list with wines by the glass or by the bottle, sure to please any palate.

The La Brea Bakery Express Café, in its new location adjacent to the full-service café, is offering a larger selection of freshly made panini, sandwiches, salads, breakfasts and a large variety of pastries and sweets all made fresh daily at La Brea Bakery. Be sure to try the new deep-dish focaccia, meat or cheese lasagna, turkey chili or a variety of handmade panini and sandwiches. If you are interested in a freshly baked loaf of bread, La Brea Bakery now offers a variety of its artisan-style breads to enjoy at home.

I invite you to share a meal with us at La Brea Bakery Café and Express Café, the perfect al fresco dining spot in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort!

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Take 5: Celebrating the Debut of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

posted on June 2nd, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


“CAPTION"

After much anticipation, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort officially opened at Walt Disney World Resort on May 31. To celebrate its debut we’re giving you a look at what the resort has to offer.

Take 5: Celebrating the Debut of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

  1. A Colorful Debut for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is open for business! Take a video/photo tour of this colorful new resort.

  2. Earning My Wings, Earning My Ears with Southwest Airlines and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Watch how Disney Parks Blog Author Gary Buchanan takes a very unique tour of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – including trying out a few resort occupations!

  3. First Look: ‘Cars’ Wing Takes Shape at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Take a look at the “Cars” wing which is themed after Radiator Springs and features nods to places in the film, such as Tow Mater Towing & Salvage.

  4. Time-Lapse Video: Will You ‘Find Nemo’ At Disney’s Art of Animation Resort? – Check out a time-lapse of the “Finding Nemo” wing coming together!

  5. New Disney•Pixar Stamps Celebrated at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Among all the Disney’s Art of Animation Resort celebrations, we also celebrated the newest “Mail a Smile” stamps from the U.S. Postal Service feature some familiar faces – all popular Disney•Pixar characters.
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