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Come Take the Waffle-inator Challenge This Weekend in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

posted on August 13th, 2013 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations

If you missed the opportunity to experience the Waffle-inator Challenge at the D23 Expo this past weekend, don’t despair. The epic interactive game will appear in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort this weekend, Friday through Sunday, August 16 through 18.
Come Take the Waffle-inator Challenge This Weekend in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

The Waffle-inator Challenge features characters from the Disney Channel series “Phineas and Ferb” in a game that takes place on a 40-foot-high LED screen. On the screen, we see Phineas and Ferb try to climb to the top to free a caged Agent P. Of course, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz is lurking around to interfere, so players are challenged to head him off by taking control of working Waffle-inators and firing waffles (yes, waffles!) at him.

The Waffle-inator Challenge will be operating free of charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday in the Valet Parking Loop at the Downtown Disney District. There is no age limit, but players must be 32 inches tall or taller.

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Walt Disney and the Disney Characters at Disneyland Park

posted on August 13th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Continuing our look at rare photos of Walt Disney with the Disney characters at Disneyland park, today’s picture appears to be a “behind the scenes” outtake of Walt taken during a 1965 photo shoot at Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Walt Disney at Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park in 1965

This picture is so fun and colorful, it’s hard to believe it was taken nearly a half century ago.

Check back soon for more photography of Walt and the Disney characters!

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D23 Expo 2013 Dream Store Artists and Silent Auction Recap

posted on August 13th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

The D23 Expo has come to a close and while it was certainly a lot of hours, it sure was a ton of fun! I can’t believe how many of you came over to check out the Dream Store. It was great to see so many familiar faces, meet some new and very excited Disney fans and spend time with all of you who are part of our Disney family.

It was amazing to have so many of our talented Imagineers, Disney-inspired artists and authors all in one place at the Dream Store. Fellow Disney Parks Blog authors Erin Glover and Paul Hiffmeyer stopped by to say hello, and I’m so thankful they did. Paul had his camera ready and was able to capture many of our artists in action. For those of you who missed this year’s D23 Expo, it’s okay … check out some of the great photos Paul took in the Dream Store:

Here are a few more of the highly sought-after Silent Auction lots on display, including one of his favorites, the Zebra Bar from The Adventurers Club at Walt Disney World Resort:

Matterhorn Bobsled, One of the Silent Auction Lots at the 2013 D23 Expo Zebra Bar, One of the Silent Auction Lots at the 2013 D23 Expo Alice in Wonderland Prop & Oversized Mickey and Minnie Chair, Two of the Silent Auction Lots at the 2013 D23 Expo Attraction Vehicle from Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, One of the Silent Auction Lots at the 2013 D23 Expo

I hope you had as much fun as I did! What was your favorite part of the D23 Expo? And did you take home any souvenirs?

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Villainous Tees and Pockets of Disney Character Coming to Disney Parks This Fall

posted on August 13th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager

Villainous Tees and Pockets of Disney Character Coming to Disney Parks This Fall, Including Maleficent and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

I recently gave you a look at a new Disney character-infused Cover Your Ears as part of “Limited Time Magic.” This reversible Mouse ear hat wrap features approximately 95 Disney heroes and villains, and is part of our Year of the Ear celebration (by the way, limited quantities of the wrap remain at Mad Hatter in Disneyland park at the Disneyland Resort, and Chapeau Hat Shoppe in Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort). This wrap inspired me to look for other new Disney character apparel. I fortunately didn’t have to go far as the softlines team is located by my office. I learned they have a few new shirts arriving for the fall season that I think you will love.

Villainous Tees and Pockets of Disney Character Coming to Disney Parks This Fall, Including Ursula, Cruella de Vil and the Wicked Queen from 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'

The women’s apparel team has four new Disney villain shirts which feature Maleficent, Ursula, Cruella de Vil and the wicked Queen from Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” The sketch-style artwork was created by Disney Design Group artist Casey Jones (of recent Haunted Mansion shirt fame).

In Florida, the shirts will be coming to Tren-D in Downtown Disney Marketplace and Beverly Sunset in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In California, look for the shirts at World of Disney in Downtown Disney District in California.

Pocket Tees for Men Coming to Disney Parks This Fall

For men, there are five new pocket tees that follow a popular trend currently in the marketplace. The tees were designed by Disney artists Doug Strayer and Colin Breaud, and feature decorated (and functional) pockets on solid color shirts.

I was excited to see that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (shown at top) made the cut. The two tees in the bottom row (shown above) were inspired by colorful and popular artwork originally created for 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. I love the simplicity of these designs and I think they will be perfect with a pair of jeans or shorts.

Look for the pocket tees in a variety of locations at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.

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runDisney at the Start Line of the D23 Expo with D2.3 Fun Run

posted on August 12th, 2013 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director

What do you get when you combine the magic of runDisney with some of the most passionate Disney fans in the world? A runDisney D2.3 Fun Run kicking off the D23 Expo in style.

D23 Members Run Through Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park; Photo Credit: Scott Brinegar

Last Friday, a select group of D23 members had the unique opportunity to sample the runDisney experience. Attendees enjoyed an early morning 2.3 mile fun run through Disney California Adventure park, and a meet and greet with Sorcerer Mickey and Ali Vincent, host of “Live Big With Ali Vincent” and season 5 winner of the “Biggest Loser.” Participants also received a runDisney Mickey Vinylmation with a limited edition D23 medal.

runDisney Vinylmation With Limited Edition D23 Medal; Photo Credit: Scott Brinegar

It’s always exciting to provide these runDisney experiences for runners and to share photos and video of this event with you.

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New Chef at Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel Spices Up Menu

posted on August 12th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

After a few years working with catering, Mark Buan is excited to be back in a restaurant kitchen at Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel at the Disneyland Resort.

“I love trying something different, and sharing discoveries with a team,” says Chef Mark. In his first two months at Disney’s PCH Grill he’s not reinventing the menu, but he’s added a new favorite: the PCH Mesa Burger – a 1/3-pound Angus burger topped with Pepper Jack cheese, roasted Anaheim chili, barbecue sauce and an onion ring, served on a hefty pretzel roll.

The California native says he’s also hoping to add more seasonal dishes to the menu, and describes his culinary style as “melting pot.” He loves the idea of taking a childhood favorite and serving it with a modern twist “to trigger great childhood memories.”

Watch for new dishes on the PCH menu as Chef Mark settles in. Meantime, we asked him five fun questions:

  1. What are some of your favorite dishes to prepare? Simple Filipino dishes such as chicken adobo. And tacos, with everything made from scratch, from the taco shells to the beef to the salsa. Also anything sautéed; I just love the action of using a sauté pan.
  2. Favorite spice? Toss-up between cumin and paprika.
  3. You run a restaurant, but what do you cook for your family? Meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes.
  4. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be and why? A doctor. My mom was a doctor; I would like to have followed in her footsteps.
  5. Your secret culinary indulgence? Bacon is good with anything!
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Filed: Cast Member Profiles, Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts

Q&A With Disney Parks Ambassadors at D23 Expo 2013

posted on August 11th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

This afternoon, Disney Parks Ambassadors from around the world spoke at the D23 Expo 2013, produced by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, at the Anaheim Convention Center. Before they took the stage, we had the chance to ask a few questions of current Disney Parks Ambassadors Sachiko White, Megan Navarette, Antonella Giallombardo, Jonathan Rabeute, and Tye Arnold about the history of the program and their own experiences as Ambassadors.

Disney Parks Ambassadors at D23 Expo 2013

What inspired you to become a Disney Ambassador?

Tye: After becoming a leader in the company and seeing the impact I could have in my local area, I thought being a Walt Disney World Ambassador would give me an even greater platform to recognize our cast members and to share the amazing stories from our guest experiences.

Sachiko: I saw it as an opportunity to serve, learn more about, and sing the praises of a company that has been extremely good to me, while learning new skills and applying existing ones in new and interesting ways.

What has been your favorite project so far in your term?

Jonathan: I’ll always cherish the magical moment that was to meet and interview Disney Legend Alan Menken when he came to Paris … he played and sang “Be Our Guest” for the two of us. Truly magical!

Megan: It’s really difficult to pick a favorite as each event is special for its own reasons, but the events that have stood out include hospital visits with Mickey Mouse, the Walt Disney Legacy Awards reception and building a playground with KaBOOM. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities this role presents, and constantly pinch myself as if I am dreaming.

Antonella: We’ve had the opportunity to spend shadowing days with our fellow cast members (I love these moments because we can meet people, know more about their passion and talent and of course their jobs!), to give classes about Walt Disney’s life and career, to perpetuate Disney values to our local communities along with the Disney VoluntEARS, and to interview people such as Dr. Jane Goodall.

With the 50th anniversary of the program approaching, what is the most interesting piece of Disney Ambassador history you’ve learned?

Tye: Having spent time with Debby Dane-Brown, our first Walt Disney World Ambassador, I’ve heard great stories about the expectations of her role back in 1971. She shared with our team about the time she had an appearance on the TV show “To Tell the Truth.” The show had a panel of celebrity judges that had to distinguish which person out of a group of three was telling the truth about the real Debby Dane (Brown). Debby walked out and said “Hello, I’m Debby Dane (Brown) and I am the 1971 Walt Disney World Ambassador.” Then a second young lady came out and said the same thing, and then a third. She shared fun memories of this appearance as it was a way that the country learned more about this new “Disneyland of the East.”

Megan: I love the story of the beginnings of the Ambassador program. There were so many exciting and significant things happening at the company with the release of “Mary Poppins,” the tenth anniversary of Disneyland and the New York World’s Fair – it would have been fun to be a part of it all.

What does it mean to you to be part of the legacy of the Disney Ambassador program?

Jonathan: It is a great honor being part of a legacy that Walt Disney initiated himself. It’s a dream come true that we are living every day of this experience.

Antonella: I feel extremely honored and lucky to be a Disney Ambassador. I grew up watching Disney cartoons on television. When I started working at Disneyland park 7 years ago, I was proud to be a cast member and to share the Disney values with our guests. Today, when I see our guests’ reactions when they ride an attraction or watch our nighttime show, “Disney Dreams!,” with tears in their eyes, I can’t stop thinking that all this started with a man and his dream of amusement park. Thanks to all the cast members, Walt Disney’s legacy is perpetuated all around the world.

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Filed: Cast Member Profiles, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on August 11th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

This week, Disney Parks Blog readers got an early look at dates and experiences for Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. The Happiest Place on Earth will get merrier from November 12, 2013, through January 6, 2014.
Cars Land Gets Gussied Up for the Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park

If you’re making holiday plans for the Disneyland Resort, be sure to check out Erin’s original story. You don’t want to miss the all-new “World of Color – Winter Dreams” and other great experiences this season.
Walt Disney Takes a Photo with Disney Characters in Front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park in 1965

And the Disney Parks Blog will be featuring some great photos of Disney characters standing with the man who brought them to life – Walt Disney. George shared the first photo this week, taken in the fall of 1965 at Sleeping Beauty Castle. Visit George’s original blog story and let him know which character is your favorite.

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

Guests Ages 6-13 Can Take Center Stage During ‘American Idol Experience Juniors Edition’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Mark your calendars for the next “Limited Time Magic” event happening August 12-18, 2013, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Vintage Walt Disney World: Dog Days of Summer, 1973 – Step back in time while looking at this Vintage Walt Disney World shot of Pluto and Goofy.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Mom of 22 Among Cotton-Top Tamarins Celebrated This Month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Disney’s Animal Kingdom welcomed its newest residents this week. These photos of Tamara the tamarin are too cute to miss!

Top 5: Fun for Teens at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Watch this video to see why teens are loving Aulani!

Disneyland Resort Canoe Races Celebrate 50 Years of Cast Camaraderie – Cast members, Imagineers and employees from The Walt Disney Company competed this summer in the Canoe Race tradition!

Florida Residents Get Great Rates on Walt Disney World Resort Stays in Late Summer, Early Fall – If you’re a Florida resident, you don’t want to miss this chance to get great rates at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Imagineer Tony Baxter Among 2013 Disney Legends Honored at D23 Expo

posted on August 10th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Imagineer Tony Baxter was one of eight new Disney Legends honored today at the D23 Expo 2013, produced by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, at the Anaheim Convention Center. A 26-year tradition, the Disney Legends Award is the highest honor one can receive from the Walt Disney Company, reserved for the visionaries and artists behind the Disney magic.

Tony Baxter and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Model Before Attraction’s 1979 Opening

Baxter was chosen to receive this award due to his years of developing now-classic Disney Parks attractions, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Journey Into Imagination, Splash Mountain and experiences like the 1983 New Fantasyland project at Disneyland park. In the course of his 43-year career with Walt Disney Imagineering, he also served as overall creative executive for the opening of Disneyland Paris, Indiana Jones Adventure and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.

The other 2013 Disney Legends recognized today were:

  • Collin Campbell – Collin’s work with Walt Disney Imagineering includes the development of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as concept illustrations of Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot.
  • Dick Clark – Legendary television personality best known for “American Bandstand” and ABC’s annual “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”
  • Billy Crystal – Award-winning actor known as the voice of Mike Wazowski from “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters University” and from roles in “When Harry Met Sally…,” “The Princess Bride” and “City Slickers.”
  • John Goodman – Actor of stage and screen, and the voice behind James P. Sullivan, better known as Sulley, from “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters University,” also known for notable film appearances in “The Big Lebowski,” “The Flintstones,” “Argo” and “Flight.”
  • Steve Jobs – Visionary who changed the world of consumer electronics as the founder of Apple. He was an early investor and chief executive of Pixar, and became the Walt Disney Company’s largest shareholder in 2006. That same year, he joined the Disney board of directors, and remained an advisor to the company until his passing in 2011.
  • Glen Keane – Since becoming a Disney animator in 1974, he has animated classic Disney characters such as Penny in “The Rescuers,” Elliott in “Pete’s Dragon,” Ratigan in “The Great Mouse Detective,” the Beast in “Beauty and the Beast,” and the titular characters in “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas,” and “Tarzan.” In 2010, Glen served as executive producer and animation supervisor for “Tangled,” a story he developed for more than 10 years.
  • Ed Wynn – Comedian whose career began on Broadway in the early 1900s, appeared in numerous Disney classics of the 1960s, including Mary Poppins, Babes in Toyland, That Darn Cat, The Absent-Minded Professor, and Son of Flubber. Fans of Disney animation know him as the voice of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.
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Take 5: Upcoming Disney Parks Merchandise

posted on August 10th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Disneyland Resort, Mickey Mouse Club and Walt Disney World iPhone 4/4S/5 D Tech On Demand Cases

Right now we’re in the midst of the D23 Expo 2013 in Anaheim, CA, where fans are decking out their D23 merchandise collections. Earlier this week, we showed you a variety of D23 Expo 2013 merchandise, such as D Tech on Demand iPhone 4S/5 cases, but we also wanted to give you a peek at other Disney Parks merchandise that will hit the shelves (or the Disney Parks online store) soon!

Take 5: Upcoming Disney Parks Merchandise

  1. Disney ‘Planes’ Merchandise Lands in Disney Parks Merchandise Locations– With “Planes” debuting in theaters last night, now’s the perfect time to snag your favorite gear.
  2. First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Cook in style with these “Ratatouille”-inspired Disney Parks pieces.
  3. New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks– Make your holiday gift list early this year and be sure to include some of these Disney Parks items.
  4. Guess What’s Fun in Four-Dimensions Coming to the D23 Expo Dream Store and Disney Parks in August 2013 – The toy team at Disney Theme Park Merchandise recently shared two new items that parents (and those who refuse to grow up) will love!
  5. Great Characters, Great Adventures – Disney Infinity Comes to Disney Parks – Keep your eyes peeled this month for the launch of the all-new Disney Infinity gaming experience.
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