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Happy Birthday, Walt Disney!

posted on December 5th, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Walt Disney once said, “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

The Disney Parks Blog Celebrates Walt Disney's Birthday

But I like to think that it was really started by a man who had one of the best imaginations on the planet, Walt Disney. To me, he was a person who loved experimentation, storytelling and new technology – qualities that you can still see in Disney Parks today.

In honor of his birthday, we’re featuring some rare Walt images in the header space above that showcase Walt at work, at home and at play (courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering and Disneyland Public Relations). Each time you “refresh” or click on a new story, a different image should display.

There are some here I’ve never seen before. Which is your favorite?

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 4th, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


'The Muppets,' Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and Animal are Coming to the Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship

This week, we introduced some new stars on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship. That’s right, the Muppets will be featured in a new adventure game, “The Case of the Stolen Show,” which takes you on an interactive quest around the ship via more than a dozen pieces of Enchanted Art and physical clues. Be sure and check our original post for some behind-the-scenes shots from filming for the game.

Ghirardelli is Coming to Disney California Adventure Park

And for all of you with a sweet-tooth, we shared the exciting news that a new Ghirardelli location will open at the Pacific Wharf area inside Disney California Adventure park in late spring 2012. It’ll be similar to our soda fountain and chocolate shop at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort featuring Ghirardelli’s world-famous hot fudge sundaes and chocolate products. We can’t wait!

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

A Showcase of Gifts from Around the World at Epcot – From Mexico to China and everywhere in between, we share unique gift ideas from around World Showcase at Epcot.

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Sommelier – Dondi Balisalisa, an advanced sommelier at the award-winning Napa Rose restaurant, tells us how his extensive wine knowledge helps create a magical experience for Disneyland Resort guests.

‘Dancing Lights’ Shine Bright at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – We share a closer look at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights with show director John Phelan.

Vintage Walt Disney World: The Trees of Christmas Past – These aren’t your every day Christmas trees. Take a look at how Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort have celebrated the holidays in years past.

Peek Inside a Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park – Take a peek inside Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, one of the highlights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park.

Mele Kaliki Tiki at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland Resort – Here’s a look at some of Sam’s new holiday surprises, including décor, music and some seasonal new drinks.

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Take 5: Holiday Shopping Guide from Disney Parks and Resorts

posted on December 3rd, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Disney Theme Park Merchandise 2011 Holiday Guide

If you missed some of the recent holiday shopping specials, Disney Parks and Resorts still has plenty of great deals and gift ideas for you to enjoy this season. Check out a few of our favorites below.

Take 5: Holiday Shopping Guide from Disney Parks and Resorts

  1. Shop One, Shop All at the Disneyland Resort – We shared some tips on what you’ll find in the Downtown Disney District including some special limited-time-only offers, events and promotions.

  2. Holiday Shopping at the Disneyland Resort – Hear from blog authors Erin Glover and Michelle Harker as they gave readers the inside scoop on where to find new and unique merchandise throughout the Disneyland Resort.

  3. A Showcase of Gifts from Around the World at Epcot – The World Showcase in Epcot is a perfect place when buying for the world traveler in your life! Check out the fun ideas in this post!

  4. Holiday Shopping Scoop at Disneyland Park – Our shopping enthusiast Michelle Harker shared a few quick tips for shops to visit at the Disneyland Resort this holiday season.

  5. Download the Disney Theme Park Merchandise Holiday Guide – We gave readers an inside look at this year’s merchandise holiday guide, which highlights the “must have” gifts found at Disney Parks in both California and Florida.
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Take A Look At How We Put Up Our Christmas Tree at Disneyland Park

posted on December 2nd, 2011 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” I can hear the classic holiday tune in my head as I watch the video below. The Christmas tree at Disneyland park is now up at Christmas Tree point. An amazing team of people made it happen and we were there with our Disney Parks Blog camera. It’s not an easy task. The artificial evergreen is 60 feet tall and decked out with more than 1,800 ornaments and glistens with 70,000 lights. Now that it’s up, we invite our guests to help “light” the tree every evening (one year, the legendary Bob Hope was invited to swing a golf club to “tee off” the lights). It’s another magical Disneyland park moment that you want to make sure to see when you visit during the holiday season.

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The Starspeeder 1000 Vehicle Playset – Arriving Soon to This Galaxy at Disney Parks

posted on December 2nd, 2011 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


“The

I recall the day in early February 2011 when I first saw an unpainted sample of the new Starspeeder 1000 vehicle playset. I felt like I was six years old wishing for the newest Star Wars toy from Santa Claus. Now with the holidays around the corner, my wish is coming true. I recently visited Star Tours – The Adventures Continue with product developers Cody Hampton and Brad Schoeneberg, and artists Quynh Kimball and John Henselmeier to discuss the creation of this toy arriving in mid-December.

“The

“The Starspeeder has been one of the most requested toys,” explained Cody. “With the launch of Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, we knew it was a perfect time for [the toy]. We worked closely with Tom Fitzgerald and many wonderful partners at Walt Disney Imagineering to make this vehicle as authentic as possible.”

The vehicle measures approximately 19 inches long, 7 inches wide and 7 inches tall. The details are most impressive; it is like the Starspeeder 1000 has been miniaturized!

“We made a few modifications to the seating,” continued Cody. “Unlike the attraction vehicle which can hold 40 passengers, this toy holds nine action figures and a pilot. It also comes with R2-D2 and the IC-360 camera droid. The R2 unit is removable and can be replaced with a different Astromech droid.”

“The

The action figures introduced earlier this year complement the vehicle nicely (not that I have played with them of course). One cool feature is the interchangeable destination disks which picture four different scenes. When placed in the front screen of the vehicle, you can hear dialogue from the attraction.

“We used dialogue and sound effects directly from the attraction,” explained Brad. “Sounds are activated by inserting the destination disks, pressing R2-D2 or pushing buttons on the back of the vehicle. One sound we love is the boarding chimes that play when the doors are opened or closed.”

“The

The vehicle also lights up and the Starspeeder’s laser cannons pop out of the front.

The Starspeeder 1000 vehicle playset will have a retail of $54.95 and will only be sold at Disney Parks including The Star Trader at Disneyland Resort, Tatooine Traders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney Marketplace. Unfortunately, this playset will not be available via the Disney Parks online store.
I think I know what I am, I mean, my son is getting this holiday.

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Make Your Own Mickey Mouse Snowman Cards

posted on December 2nd, 2011 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Make Your Own Mickey Mouse Snowman Cards

I’m always looking for unique holiday card ideas, so when a fellow cast member here at the Disneyland Resort told me about these make-your-own Mickey Mouse snowman cards, I couldn’t wait to make a pile of them. As you can see, I’ve already started giving them out here at the office – starting with Disney Parks Blog author Jim.

If you’d like to make some of these beauties yourself, just jump over to DisneyFamily.com for the template and instructions!

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Mele Kaliki Tiki at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland Resort

posted on December 1st, 2011 by Tom Fitzgerald, Executive VP & Senior Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering


Mele Kaliki Tiki at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland Resort

In my role as creative executive for the Disneyland Resort, I get to work with our Disney Imagineering teams on so many cool things! In addition to the re-launch of Star Tours this year, it’s been really fun working on the renovation of the Disneyland Hotel – especially my favorite, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar!

Mele Kaliki Tiki at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland Resort

Starting today, you’ll find some new holiday surprises from Sam, including décor, music, and some special new drinks that will be unique to the season.

Mele Kaliki Tiki at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland Resort

So, as Sam would say, “Head on in for the holidays!”

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts

Ghirardelli is Coming to Disney California Adventure Park

posted on December 1st, 2011 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Ghirardelli is Coming to Disney California Adventure Park

I’m so excited to let you know that there will soon be a new place to satisfy your sweet tooth at the Disneyland Resort. In late spring 2012, a new Ghirardelli location will open at the Pacific Wharf area, inside Disney California Adventure park!

The soda fountain and chocolate shop, similar to the location at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort – which has been a must-do for me (and many of you, I’m sure) for 13 years – will feature Ghirardelli’s world-famous hot fudge sundaes and chocolate products. And each guest will be able to receive complimentary samples of their signature Ghirardelli Squares chocolate!

You can find out more about Ghirardelli – their chocolate treats, products and gifts – by checking out their Facebook page.

I know I’ll be counting down the days until I can get my Ghirardelli hot fudge sundae! Who’s with me?

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Shop One, Shop All at the Disneyland Resort

posted on November 30th, 2011 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Welcome back shoppers! How many of you took advantage of those Black Friday sales? You all know I did. Say it with me… Shop-a-holic! Now, how many of you are done holiday shopping? I still have a handful of friends and family to shop for, but I’m close. So here are some tips on what you’ll find this weekend in the Downtown Disney District including some special limited-time-only offers, events and promotions.

“Tarina

Disney Vault 28 is where it’s at on December 3! As I mentioned a few weeks ago, designer TARINA TARANTINO will be on hand for a special appearance for the launch of her new Princess Tarina Collection. If you’re looking for classic Tarina pieces, look no further – I’m told many of the infamous designs from her Iconic collection will be available, too.

Special Holiday Shopping Tip: Did you know that with every purchase of $150 or more in Tarina Tarantino merchandise on December 3, you will receive a special-edition holiday ring from Tarina’s elusive Hey Santa! collection? What girl doesn’t love jewelry? This is a must have!

“Superdry

Also launching on December 3 at Disney Vault 28, is Superdry. This casual wear infused with design influences from Japanese graphics and vintage Americana, all with the values of British tailoring, is in my opinion a don’t-miss!

Special Holiday Shopping Tip: With the purchase of any Superdry merchandise at Disney Vault 28 on December 3, you’ll receive a pair of Superdry flip flops.

“Trendy

A few other items to pick up along the way … definitely some of the trendy tees for men and women, Goorin hats, or accessories, if that’s more your style.

Special Holiday Shopping Tip: Spend $50 or more at Disney Vault 28 and receive a Disney Vault 28 tote bag.

No trip to Downtown Disney District is complete without a stop at some of the other popular locations including Marceline’s Confectionery (Yum!), D Street (Cool), World of Disney (Everything!), LEGO (Limitless), RIDEMAKERZ (Vroom!) and more. Consider it your one-stop shop, especially if you are short on time, in need of the perfect gift and in the neighborhood.

It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it. I’ll make sure to give you more scoop on places around Disneyland Resort where you can find gifts – at the right price, that is.

Until next time, when my holiday shopping adventure continues…

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Have You Seen Toy Soldiers Drumming Up Cheer at Disneyland Park?

posted on November 30th, 2011 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


“Toy

Reports are coming in from across Disneyland park that a band of toy soldiers have been spotted showing off some impressive drumming skills! Keep an eye out for these talented toys throughout the holiday season.

The soldiers drum up an impromptu, mini street party with classic holiday tunes and infectious, high-energy spirit. I recently spotted them just outside “it’s a small world” but keep your eyes peeled because you never know when they will be appearing. Catch them quick, before they’re called back to Santa’s Toy Shoppe!

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