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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on February 22nd, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we officially welcomed some new members to the family at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with first looks at five new sable antelope calves and an adorable white rhino calf.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes 5 Sable Antelope Calves to the Herd! Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes White Rhino Calf to the Herd!

Our team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been busy caring for the new sable antelopes, closely monitoring the multiple births of three males and two females. You can welcome the new sables in early April when the whole herd will make their public debut on the spacious Kilimanjaro Safaris savannah.

Author Steve Castillo has more details and photos of the sable antelope calves in his original story.

The newest baby at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a white rhino calf, is in “good health” this weekend. Earlier this month, a first-time white rhino mom born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2005, gave birth to the healthy baby boy. You can look for both mom and baby to join the rest of the herd on the savannahs of Kilimanjaro Safaris over the next few months.

Author Robyn Johnson has more details and photos of the white rhino calf in her original story.

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And this week, we shared a little magic and helped some winter warriors discover their Disney Side – that part of you that comes out to play the moment you see those mouse ears. Mickey and his pals brought some fun to a simple everyday event – like walking through a mall.

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

Building The Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – City Hall – Located in the heart of Town Square, City Hall – home to Guest Relations – is one of the first things guests see upon entering Disneyland park. Take a look back at the building of this iconic location.

Training the Horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland Park: Duke Prepares for His Debut – Part Two – In part two of our series on Duke’s training for Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park, Lead Equine Trainer Jennifer Gable describes the next steps in Duke’s preparations to become a Main Street horse!

Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: February 2010 – Join Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover on a journey back to February 2010 to see the stories we were working on.

Chinese Zodiac and Disney Characters Combine in ‘The Garden of the Twelve Friends’ at Shanghai Disney Resort – Just in time for Chinese New Year, Shanghai Disney Resort shared more details on its “Garden of the Twelve Friends.”

Learn to Draw Tinker Bell at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Heather Worley of the Animation Academy shows us how to draw Tinker Bell!

‘Frozen’ Friends Join Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures in Norway – For the first time in forever, Anna, Elsa and Kristoff are joining us ashore for a one-of-a-kind family Port Adventure!

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Training the Horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland Park: Duke Prepares for His Debut – Part Two

posted on February 20th, 2015 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


In part two of our series on Duke’s training for Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park, Lead Equine Trainer Jennifer Gable describes the next steps in Duke’s preparations to become a Main Street horse. You’ll see Jennifer and Equine Trainer Cindy Moser helping Duke gain the confidence and calm demeanor instrumental to onstage success. Don’t miss this next step of Duke’s journey!

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Disney Parks After Dark: Fire Trucks and Tow Trucks in Cars Land

posted on February 19th, 2015 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


When Red the fire truck isn’t busy watering the flowers at Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park, as seen in the photo below …

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… you can find him meeting guests at various locations throughout Cars Land. He’s easy to find – just listen for his ringing bells and blaring sirens. I was fortunate to catch up with Red at the Cozy Cone Motel one evening and he was happy to pose for photos.

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Later that same evening Mater stopped by to say hello, too. It’s always fun photographing Mater.

(Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

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Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – City Hall

posted on February 19th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Located in the heart of Town Square, City Hall – home to Guest Relations – is one of the first things guests see upon entering Disneyland park. Today, we’re looking back at the building of this iconic location.

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This first photo was taken from the approximate location of the stairs of Main Street Train Station and shows several construction workers hard at work building the City Hall complex. On the right, you’ll notice the Fire Department – and above it, Walt’s apartment – taking shape.

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Here you can see a crane lifting the large metal cresting that rests atop City Hall to this day.

One of the things I like most about these photos is how clearly you can see the eucalyptus trees behind the building. These tall trees are original occupants of the acreage that became Disneyland park and they served as a much-needed natural barrier between the Jungle Cruise and Main Street, U.S.A., in our early years.


Previously in the “Building the Dream” series:

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You Will Fly for These Tinker Bell Half Marathon Finisher Medals

posted on February 19th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


You set a goal, you started your training and now you get to see what waits for you in May at the finish line of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry at the Disneyland Resort.

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Today I am excited to show you all the finisher medals for Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, including the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge medal for those running the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday.

Disney is all about storytelling and these runDisney medals are no exception. To help get the story behind the “bling”, I went straight to the man behind the medals, Disney Art Director Scott Auerbach. He designed this year’s finisher medals.

The Never Land 5K medallion features the Lost Boys. These boys have always been popular with our guests, and Auerbach feels their playful and adventurous attitude is a perfect fit for the family fun run.

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Auerbach says his goal for the Tinker Bell 10K was to create a medal that included Tinker Bell’s friends from Pixie Hollow. He decided to go with five fairies, and when combined you get a total of 10 wings, one for each kilometer of your journey. The medal is enhanced with a pearlescent texture on the wings. This gives a light shifting reflection and depth that really makes the wings come to life.

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The Tinker Bell Half Marathon finisher medal again features Tink herself. Surrounded by wings, Tink spins in the center of the medal, and it is sprinkled with a little pixie dust color to help you fly.

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In designing the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge finisher medal, Auerbach drew inspiration from the movie “The Pirate Fairy.” In the film, Tinker Bell and her friends set out to find Zarina who took the Blue Pixie Dust. On their journey each of the fairies’ “talents” are switched and this puts them in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar situation. However, in order to find Zarina and the Blue Pixie Dust, they must accept these new talents and work together. Through persistence and teamwork they were able to find the Pixie Dust and recover their friend Zarina. Aurbach says this medal represents the challenges that Tinker Bell and her friends faced and the various talents used to accomplish their goals. Each icon represents the talents of Tinker Bell (tinker talent), Silvermist (water talent), Vidia (fast-flying talent), Rosetta (garden talent), Iridessa (light talent), and Fawn (animal talent).

Auberach says, “Like the fairies, we can accept new challenges and with a little persistence, learning new talents, and working together, we can all achieve incredible goals.”

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We hope you like these medals and that they provide the motivation you need to complete your training. For those not registered for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, I hope these inspire you to join us for a future runDisney event weekend and get your “bling”.

See you at the finish line in May.

For more information about Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend and other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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Download Our ‘Almost Midnight’ Cinderella-Inspired Wallpaper

posted on February 18th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this week we shared a desktop/mobile wallpaper from Disney artist Mike Britton, which depicts Cinderella on her way to the ball. Now we have another one to share with you, from Disney artist Ty Amato, that shows Cinderella in the moments just before midnight.

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Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it. And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers here.

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PHOTOS – Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic Merchandise Checks Into Disney Parks

posted on February 18th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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One morning not so long ago, I checked out the new Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic merchandise that arrived at Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You may recall a previous story a few weeks ago discussing this new program that was inspired by the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney Parks. Here’s a quick look at what I discovered beyond the fifth dimension.

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Upon entering Tower Hotel Gifts, I immediately noticed the new products displayed throughout the shop. The merchandise presentation team reworked many of the wall fixtures and added some new elements to the location. The shop now features a Tower Hotel Gallery with collectible artwork such as the art deco-inspired bellhop sign created by Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra. It was great seeing some of my other favorite items in the shop like the bellhop hat and the bell.

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The team also added a few nods to the original television series above the merchandise displays (look above the register area to find Talky Tina). I enjoyed seeing a luggage cart being used as a fixture for apparel, and the display for the Disney Theme Park Edition of Jenga is quite creative!

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Additional items will be arriving throughout this spring at both Disneyland California Adventure park in Disneyland Resort and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Resort. There will more apparel items for men and women (the women’s T-shirts will arrive toward May). There will also be a new black-colored bathrobe that is due to arrive around April. Finally, new drinkware and stationary will be added to the shops in the coming weeks.

Here is a gallery of other items I found. I hope you “drop in” sometime soon to check them out.

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and used with permission pursuant to a license with CBS, Inc.

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Happy Lunar New Year! Celebrate With Good Eats at Disney California Adventure Park, February 19-22

posted on February 17th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Thursday, February 19, is officially Lunar New Year, the turn of the Chinese calendar. At Disney California Adventure park, celebrate with these little tastes of Asian goodies during the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration!

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At Bayside Brews, you can sip a cold Tsing Tao Beer and bite into a soft, pillowy steamed bao filled with pork, served with sweet chili sauce. These steamed buns, considered grab ‘n go street food in China, are a perfect snack for strolling the park. If you prefer dessert, try a ginger milk tea with almond cookies.

The pork bao and almond cookies also will be available on the Lunar New Year food cart, along with the popular Boudin Bakery sourdough bread (this one baked with a wood ram insignia – it’s the “Year of the Sheep”), so take home a loaf for your own celebration.

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Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: February 2010

posted on February 16th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


It’s been a while since we took a look back at some of our favorite stories from years past, so I thought I’d go to the way-back file for this “Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule.” Come with me to February 2010 to see the stories we were working on.

Magic: A 24 Hour Operation
Valarie Sukovaty shared this amazing behind-the-scenes look at what happens after Disneyland park closes for the night, in a video she first produced back in 2006.

Walt and Lillian Disney's Anniversary Party

A Unique Anniversary Party
Heather Hust Rivera took us back to 1955 with a special look at Walt and Lillian Disney’s 30th anniversary party here at Disneyland.

Four Steam Locomotives at Disneyland Park

Photo Captures a Rare Sight: Four Steam Locomotives at Disneyland Park
Here’s something you don’t see every day … all four Disneyland Railroad locomotives in front of the Main Street Train Station at Disneyland park.

Sailing Ship Columbia

A Foggy Morning on the Rivers of America
Disneyland Resort Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer shared this beautiful, rarely seen moment from Disneyland park.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on February 15th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


It’s Valentine’s Day weekend and we’ve been celebrating all week on the Disney Parks Blog with new stories, headers, logos, and a fresh group of wallpapers for all of your screens. We highlighted several of your favorite Disney couples, including one of the more unusual couples – robots WALL-E and Eve.

Celebrate Valentine's Day with WALL-E Celebrate Valentine's Day with Simba
Celebrate Valentine's Day with Pluto Celebrate Valentine's Day with Donald

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special page.

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Also this week, we announced a new, day-long celebration aboard eight special sailings on the Disney Fantasy: Star Wars Day at Sea. It’ll be the first official appearance of the heroes and villains of Star Wars aboard our ships.

Star Wars Day at Sea will transport guests to a galaxy far, far away — in the Western Caribbean. The event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations, including a deck party, meet-and-greets with favorite characters, Star Wars-themed youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise.

Check out Jonathan’s original story for more details.

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

Haunt Your Disney Side Winners Celebrate with Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience at Magic Kingdom Park – The Krummers kicked off their dream Disney Side celebration with an unforgettable after-hours party inside the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom Park.

New ‘Cooking Safari With Mickey’ Cookbook Debuts This Spring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – It was so much fun to work with the chefs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to put together “A Cooking Safari With Mickey,” a collection of recipes showcasing the flavorful cuisine of South Africa and India.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With WALL-E & Eve – We celebrated Valentine’s Day with one of the more unusual Disney couples – robots WALL-E and Eve.

Discover With Me: Kula Wai at the Laniwai Spa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – The “Discover with Me” series continues with a tour of the Kula Wai – the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on O‘ahu!

The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park – The next time you’re getting a great deal on a square meal at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café, take a look around and discover the story of these talented ladies for yourself.

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