Cinderella Castle Fireworks Show

First Look at the New Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland Resort

posted on November 21st, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Happy National Gingerbread Day! To celebrate, I’m giving you a sneak peek at the brand-new gingerbread house coming to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland Resort.

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Opening on November 27, this gingerbread house was created by a talented team of 25 artists, engineers and bakers, and it will take a total of 1,400 hours to bake and create the edible portion alone! The house measures in at a whopping 7 ½ feet tall and 12 feet wide. Which might leave you wondering: what goes into a gingerbread house of this scope?

  • More than 500 pounds of gingerbread
  • 60 gallons of frosting and icing
  • 100 pounds of isomalt sugar
  • 50 pounds of granulated sugar
  • 50 pounds of powdered sugar
  • 2 gallons of egg whites
  • 1 quart of lemon juice

Want to bring home a piece of the holiday magic? Seasonal offerings for sale include:

  • Gingerbread shingles and other assorted holiday cookies
  • Holiday cookie-decorating kits
  • Gingerbread house kits
  • Specialty hot chocolate and cider

Run, run, run as fast as you can to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa on November 27 to check out this sweet masterpiece!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts

Disney Parks After Dark: Things That Spin in the Night at Disneyland Resort … Revisited

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


Back in 2011, I started a Disney Parks Blog series called “Things That Spin In the Night.” It featured motion-blurred images of attractions at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. I thought it would be fun to revisit that series today.

The photos from “Things That Spin In the Night” included after-dark images of Astro Orbitor, Mad T Party, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Silly Symphony Swings, and the Golden Zephyr. I realized that there was a particular photo of the Golden Zephyr that I didn’t take the first time around. The first time, I focused more on getting three attractions in one photo. This time, I focused on getting the name of the attraction in the photo. As you can see, the Golden Zephyr sign in the front of the attraction is quite attractive, especially at night when it has a blue glow.

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Click on the links below to see more of the “Things That Spin in the Night” series:

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A Celebration of Disney Trains at the Walt Disney Family Museum

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


As The Walt Disney Family Museum unveils its new exhibit, All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt’s Trains, we look back at some rarely seen photos and a very special moment in Disney train history.

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On May 10, 2005, at 7 a.m., a ceremony took place before Disneyland opened for the day. On the occasion of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, about 100 people gathered at the New Orleans Square Station of the Disneyland Railroad to honor animator and Disney Legend Ollie Johnston, one of Walt’s Nine Old Men, for how he inspired Walt Disney with his love of trains. Ollie inspired Walt to build his backyard railroad, the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Walt’s love of giving people rides on this little steam train in his backyard eventually led to the building of Disneyland.

After the speeches that early May morning, Ollie was presented with a plaque from the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society. Then everyone heard a toot of a steam whistle and up pulled a gleaming steam train. Ollie at first thought it was a Disneyland engine, then his son Ken leaned down and said, “Dad, that is your engine.” Ollie then realized it was his beloved Marie E. and he started to cry. And then so did everyone else.

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I then told Ollie that the Marie E. needed a real engineer to drive it around Disneyland and asked if he would like to do it. “Boy, would I!!” was his answer. He climbed up into the cab of the Marie E. with the help of the amazing Disneyland Railroad crew and they strapped him in with seatbelts borrowed from one of the old Matterhorn bobsleds.

At 94 years old, Ollie expertly engineered his Marie E. — the only outside train ever run on the rails of Disneyland — three times around Disneyland to the cheers of everyone there.

It was said that of all of the year-long events celebrating Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, the morning of May 10 was by far the most special.

- John Lasseter

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This memory told by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, recalls a very special moment in Disney train history. It’s one of many train tales being celebrated in All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt’s Trains, a new exhibit at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, Calif. On view through February 9, 2015, this comprehensive exhibition explores the influence that railroading had on Walt Disney’s life and work. It also tells the story of how his railroading legacy lives on to this day in Disney films and theme parks around the world.

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The arc of this exhibition doesn’t start and end with just Walt, though. All Aboard explores the interest and passion for railroading of Walt’s friends and staff, including Ollie Johnston. The Disney Legend was able to make his Disney railroad dreams come true at Disneyland before he passed away in 2008.

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Disney Parks Honored with Several Industry Awards

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


I’m happy to report that earlier this week, two prestigious organizations honored Disney Parks projects with multiple industry awards.

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On Tuesday, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced their annual Thea Award winners. Among the honorees, TEA announced that “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, is the recipient of the Thea Classic award, honoring attractions that have withstood the test of time and have endured for 20 or more years. TEA said in their announcement that the attraction “continues to captivate audiences around the world with pure charm, melded with a profound message deceptively hiding in a simple and astonishingly catchy song … This timeless classic continues to engage generation after generation. Surely “it’s a small world” is the very definition of a Classic.”

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Also, Bistrot Chez Remy, the new French restaurant at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris that is inspired by the Disney∙Pixar film “Ratatouille,” is the winner of the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Themed Restaurant. “It is a truly charming and thematically thorough dining experience, where oversized objects are reused in every possible way to create tables, chairs, architectural elements, and props … [E]verything is very well-conceived and delivered to create an illusion that is both convincing and coyly self-aware. The exterior of the attraction looks like a typical Parisian café, but on closer inspection, one realizes that this is the world of Paris from the film, where there are no straight lines – a perfect blend of fiction and reality. This venue exhibits thoroughness, conceptual clarity, dedication to narrative detail, and exceptional finish.”

Wilderness Explorers Opens at  Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Finally, Wilderness Explorers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, an interactive experience that combines badge collecting, guest interaction and learning about the natural world, is the winner of the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Interactive Park Attraction on a Limited Budget.

“Disney has incorporated storytelling and gaming to create an experience that is intimate and personal in its connection to the guests, yet wisely recognizes that technology would be a distraction and remove guests from nature. Guests are given a role in the story – becoming a Wilderness Explorer – that was a poignant, aspirational story of a core identifiable character from the Pixar film. This intersection point between film story world, live animals and the beautiful habitats within Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a huge part of why this attraction is effective … This unique attraction is worthy of honors as much for its craft as for the authenticity and cleverness of implementation within a unique park environment.”

TEA is an international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences. Thea Awards will be given out at an awards ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel on March 21, 2015.

On Wednesday night, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) awarded their Brass Rings Awards for Live Entertainment Excellence and “Once Upon a Time” at Tokyo Disney Resort won for Best Multimedia Spectacular.

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IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards mark achievements of excellence throughout the global attractions industry.

Congratulations to all who worked to create and bring these wonderful projects to life!

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

New ‘Frozen’ Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


Be on the lookout for this year’s Disney Gift Card Holiday Pin Series throughout Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort. These cards come in four different designs featuring your favorite characters from Disney Animation’s hit movie “Frozen”.

New Elsa Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New Olaf Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New Kristoff Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New Anna Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card

Each of these Disney Gift Card designs are available with a starting balance of $75 and also comes with a Disney Trading Pin. Complete your Disney Trading Pin collection with these four new pins, which feature “Frozen” characters Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf. These pins can only be found with this year’s Disney Gift Card Holiday Pin Series.

New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card

Giving a Disney Gift Card is simple for you, and perfect for friends and family! The Disney Gift Card can be used for practically all things Disney at Walt Disney World Resort, the Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Club Penguin, Disney PhotoPass, DisneyMusicOnline.com, Disney Store locations in the U.S. and online and at DisneyStore.com. For more information or to shop for more holiday designs, please visit DisneyGiftCard.com.

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Filed: Adventures by Disney, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Resort, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

Runners Show Off Their ‘Super Hero Side’ at Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


If you participate in a runDisney event, or simply come out to support a runner, one of the first the first things you notice is the variety of costumes runners wear during the race. From beloved Disney character-inspired outfits to dressing for the theme of the race, the creativity is amazing and unique to a runDisney event. And this weekend’s inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort set the bar a little higher.

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For several years now, I have had the privilege to stand at the start and finish lines for several runDisney events, and in my humble opinion, costumes this past weekend rank #1. Runners went above and beyond expectations in creating and designing their super hero alter ego. It was my observation that the most popular costume for men and women was Captain America, closely followed by Thor and Hulk. Thanks to our runners, I was introduced to super hero characters I didn’t know existed.

It really was amazing and now I can’t wait to see what Star Wars runners do in January!!

On Sunday, Disney photographer Matt Stroshane went in search of ‘super’ creative costumes. We hope you will enjoy the photo gallery featuring a few super heroes who took on and defeated 13.1 miles at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon.

For more information and to register for an upcoming runDisney event, visit runDisney.com.

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December 2014 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Just wait until you see what merchandise events we have headed your way this December at the Disneyland Resort!

December 5–7: Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick will be on hand from noon to 10 p.m. each day at World of Disney Store in the Downtown Disney District as we celebrate the release of her holiday collection among other fan favorites! Linda will return for additional appearances December 19–21. Learn more here.

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December 6: Walt Disney Imagineering Art Director Bo Bolanos and Executive Pastry Chefs Jorge Sotelo and Jean Marc Viallet will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of the new limited edition pins inspired by the magnificent gingerbread house creations that are on display at our Disneyland Resort hotels. Meet the creators from 9-11 a.m. at Acorns Gifts and Goods at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Learn more here.

December 6: Join us for a special artist showcase as we celebrate the release of some of the newest pieces by artists El Gato Gomez, Robert Jimenez and Whitney Pollett. Meet the artists from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

December 6–7: Disney Traditions artist Jim Shore returns to the Disneyland Resort! Jim will be on hand for special appearances and signings as we celebrate the release of his Disney Theme Park exclusive piece, inspired by the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction, among other fan favorites. Meet Jim Shore December 6 from 1–3 p.m. at World of Disney Store in the Downtown Disney District and December 7 from 9–11 a.m. at China Closet in Disneyland park. Learn more here.

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December 6–7: Meet ACME Archives artist Steve Barton who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his latest releases including Mermaid’s Lagoon. Steve will appear from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day at Off the Page in Disney California Adventure park. Learn more here.

December 6–7: Join us as we welcome back Temecula Olive Oil Company for a special olive oil tasting on December 6–7 and 20–21 from 2-5 p.m. each day at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

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December 13: Join us in welcoming Dooney & Bourke Creative Director Ian Ray as we release two new collections (Disneyana and Body Parts) from the iconic line of handbags and accessories. Ian will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Disney Vault 28 in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

Dec. 13–14: If you have been waiting for just the right time to order one of artist Dave Avanzino’s Custom Letter Plaques, you’re in luck! Dave will be appearing from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. each day at Disneyana inside Disneyland park. Learn more here.

Artist in Residence: Appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month is artist Noah. Look for artist showcases on the following dates: December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 and 27 from 6-10 p.m. Learn more here.

Which events have made your list of things to do?

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Top Stories

Register Now to Race into the Holiday Season at the Disney Parks Blog Christmas in Cars Land Meet-Up

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


UPDATE: The Disney Parks Blog Christmas in Cars Land Meet-Up has reached capacity and confirmation emails are being sent. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for future events!

It’s time to celebrate the holidays, Radiator Springs style! Registration is now open for the Disney Parks Blog Christmas in Cars Land Meet-Up on Wednesday, December 3, 2014.

Celebrating the Holidays in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

Lightning McQueen and his neighbors have decked out Route 66 for the holidays, and they’ve invited us for a special, after-hours party! The evening will begin with reserved viewing for “World of Color – Winter Dreams,” then we will celebrate the holiday season by racing through Ornament Valley, sipping cocoa, enjoying special holiday treats and more.

So join us the evening of Wednesday, December 3! Space for the event is limited and you must sign up here. Please remember the following:

  • All participants who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests of the participants may be younger than 18.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person plus one guest.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Disney California Adventure park admission will be provided beginning at 7 p.m. for the event, but participants will be responsible for any parking fees.

I will give an update at the top of this post when capacity has been reached. Please note the event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

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Runners Assemble For Victory at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Back In February, runDisney invited runners to assemble for the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort. When registration opened in March, the response was overwhelming and the race sold out in 110 minutes.

Well, this past weekend more than 18,000 runners representing all 50 states and 12 countries reported for duty and participated in the runDisney Kids Races, the Avengers Super Heroes 5K and the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon. The excitement was electric.

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Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye were on hand to join forces and cheer on our youngest athletes participating in the Diaper Dash and Kids Races, and our more experienced athletes running through Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and Angel Stadium.

William Prom from Irvine, Calif., Overall Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Winner Alex de la Huerta from Mexico City, Mexico - Who Won the Woman's Title at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

Congratulations goes out to all our finishers, but I would like to extend special recognition to William Prom from Irvine, Calif., the overall half marathon winner, and to Alex de la Huerta from Mexico City, Mexico, who won the women’s title.

Now that the race weekend is over, it’s time for everyone to celebrate victory and look back on the sights and sounds from the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon.

If you would like more information on the 2015 Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend or other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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Decking the Halls with Holiday Novelty Items at Disney Parks

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and festive food and beverage offerings and holiday souvenirs are popping up at Disney Parks! Our teams are decking everything from souvenir popcorn buckets to sippers and more.

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Santa’s elves have been hard at work creating these Mickey sipper steins, perfect for sipping hot cocoa or carrying a snack on the go. Twice as nice is the matching souvenir popcorn bucket. Look for these in Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and Magic Kingdom Park.

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As part of the Merriest Place on Earth celebration at Disneyland park, look for souvenir soup cups featuring Mickey, Minnie and Goofy ice skating in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle. The cups are available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café and the turkey leg cart near Sleeping Beauty Castle. While you’re in Disney California Adventure park, look for special cone-shaped snowy sippers at the Cozy Cone Motel. Since this is a world where two holidays collide, “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” novelties will also be available through the holiday season.

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Since the holiday season is all about sharing the joy of the season with your friends and family, here’s a peek at the artwork you’ll find on popcorn buckets and souvenirs throughout Disney Parks!

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Which souvenir would you love in your stocking?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort