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Sights and Sounds of Disney Parks: Frozen is Now the Coolest Soundtrack on Record!

posted on February 22nd, 2014 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Guests have sure been enjoying meeting the sisters from “Frozen” at our parks over the past few months. (Be sure to check out Shawn Slater’s latest blog post for details on when and where you can see them). And something else our guests love about this film is the terrific soundtrack – and if that applies to you, you’ve got to hear about a special version of the soundtrack that’s available for a very limited time.

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Next Monday through Friday only (February 24-28, 2014), if you pre-order either version of the “Frozen” vinyl album listed below, you’ll have a chance to receive one of just 50 copies that includes a signed poster!

Each day’s set of 50 albums will have different autographs:

  • Monday 2/24/14 – Oscar-nominated songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • Tuesday 2/25/14 – Oscar-nominated directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
  • Wednesday 2/26/14 – John Lasseter
  • Thursday 2/27/14 – Composer Christophe Beck
  • Friday 2/28/14 – Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

Choose from two versions of Disney’s “Frozen” limited edition vinyl collectible:

Deluxe Vinyl + Deluxe Digital Album Download
http://www.myplaydirect.com/frozen/deluxe-vinyl-deluxe-digital-album-download/details/29035521
$89.98
Includes an instant download of the deluxe digital album and three 12-inch COLOR vinyl LPs packaged in a stunning double-gatefold, embossed foil jacket with a full-color booklet containing the lyrics and gallery quality images from the film.

Deluxe Vinyl Album
http://www.myplaydirect.com/frozen/deluxe-vinyl/details/29035448
$74.98
Includes three 12-inch color vinyl LPs packaged in a stunning double-gatefold, embossed foil jacket with a full-color booklet containing the lyrics and gallery quality images from the film.

Orders will be fulfilled in April 2014.

“Wait a second, Greg. What are these “vinyl records” upon which you speak so fondly?”

I’ve met young people who have no idea what a “record” is. It’s a round, flat disc with the sound carefully carved into a spiral of grooves. You put a record on a turntable and set it spinning while a tiny needle, attached to a “tone arm,” picks up the groove vibrations and sends them through a sound system to entertain you. Know why we call them “albums?” It’s because early 78-rpm records could only hold about three minutes on each side. An album was literally a book filled with envelopes to store the discs.

12-inch long-playing records or “LP’s” — which could hold about 60 minutes on one 33 1/3-rpm disc — were introduced in 1948. The next year brought vinyl “singles,” 7-inch 45-rpm records that spun upon many an Elvis and Beatles fan’s turntable. Today’s compact discs can hold about 80 minutes of audio. Of course, downloads have a wide range of lengths.

You can still buy brand-new vinyl records — and there are lots of ways to play them. Many of your favorite neighborhood stores and online retailers sell vinyl records. Turntable sales are actually very strong.

Records are remarkable to behold as they spin out their magic. You can look at a record’s surface and SEE the music nestled in the grooves. The grooves pulsate as the needle zooms within them, like a Star Wars X-wing starfighter, careening through narrow canyons to save the galaxy.

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Take a Trip to Mediterranean at Paradise Garden Grill at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on February 21st, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


On a recent sunny Southern California afternoon, we had the pleasure of noshing our way through Disney California Adventure park – and marveling at the diversity of quick bites, from Mexican to Asian to all-American. Among our favorite picnic-style meals was the hearty beef gyro at Paradise Garden Grill, found at a walk-up window with a surprising repertoire of robust Mediterranean tastes.

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That gyro had thick slabs of spiced beef wrapped in a warm pita, slathered with cool, creamy tzatziki and a side of taboulleh, the Middle Eastern version of a green salad with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh parsley in a lemony dressing. Enough for two. But we also shared the generous Greek salad, a plate full of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, spicy pepperoncini, feta cheese and lots of olives with a lemon-oregano dressing and warm pita to scoop it all up.

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If you’re looking for a simpler taste, the skewers are another good bet – pick from grilled steak, chicken, meatball or veggies and tofu, each with a side of rice, cucumber salad and warm pita. Kick it up with one of three sauces: spicy chili with harissa (hot chili pepper paste), chimichurri with a base of fresh citrus and herbs, or mild cucumber yogurt.

The skewers go from savory to sweet with a strawberry-brownie skewer with caramel, chocolate sauce and mini-marshmallows. But we prefer their classic baklava, the sweet Mediterranean desserts with layers of flaky phyllo, honey and nuts. Sit, back, enjoy the sunshine and imagine you’re in Greece, or Turkey – but California Screamin’ awaits!

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Cast Members Submit Photos of Their ‘Happy Place’ at Disneyland Resort

posted on February 21st, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


A few months ago, I shared with you original artwork by our cast members that was featured in the Disneyland Resort Line, our publication for cast. This time, the Disneyland Resort Line asked cast members to send in a photograph of their ‘happy place’ — an image telling the story about their favorite spot at the Disneyland Resort. Nearly 50 photos were received and eight were selected for a resort wide cast vote to determine which photo would be featured as the cover of the Disneyland Resort Line.

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The results are in! Cast member Andy Neitzert’s striking photo of his 4-year-old daughter, Lilly Belle, in Frontierland (yes, she’s named for the Disneyland Railroad train car Lilly Belle, which Walt Disney named after his wife) is the cover of the current issue. When asked about the image, Andy said, “Originally, my ‘happy place’ described a location that made me happy every time I was there. For many years, Disneyland itself was one enormous happy place for me. On Jan. 15, 2010, that all changed. My daughter Lilly was born and she changed everything. Lilly Belle is now my happy place.” See the below collage of the other featured entries!

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Disney Parks After Dark: Fireworks in Fantasyland From King Arthur Carrousel at Disneyland Park

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


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When I say it’s really cool to see fireworks bursting above King Arthur Carrousel in Fantasyland at Disneyland park, I’m not horsing around. Photographing the show brings to mind a few historical facts about the carrousel and why it’s so special:

  • King Arthur Carrousel was one of the original opening-day attractions at Disneyland Resort in 1955.
  • At Walt Disney’s request, all of the horses are in a galloping pose and painted white.
  • Each horse on the carrousel has a name, and Jingles is the lead horse. You may remember that Jingles was painted gold for a short time in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Disneyland Resort in 2005. It was later repainted white, except for its gold bells and trim, and dedicated to Disney Legend Julie Andrews in 2008.

Here are a few more of my favorite images from this explosive shoot.

King Arthur Carrousel in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park King Arthur Carrousel in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park
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A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Ansel Adams – 1981

posted on February 20th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


On this date in 1902, photographer and conservationist Ansel Adams was born in California. His photography of the American West, particularly of Yosemite National Park, is among the most iconic imagery of the 20th century.

In 1980, Mr. Adams received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor. His citation reads: “At one with the power of the American landscape, and renowned for the patient skill and timeless beauty of his work, photographer Ansel Adams has been visionary in his efforts to preserve this country’s wild and scenic areas, both in film and on Earth. Drawn to the beauty of nature’s monuments, he is regarded by environmentalists as a monument himself, and by photographers as a national institution. It is through his foresight and fortitude that so much of America has been saved for future Americans.”

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This rarely seen photo from our archives, taken around the time of his 79th birthday in February 1981, shows Mr. Adams being greeted outside City Hall at Disneyland park by Mickey Mouse.

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Sights and Sounds of Disney Parks: Kermit Talks about Disney and the Muppets

posted on February 20th, 2014 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Kermit is one busy frog right now, with Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” premiering on March 21 and a whirlwind of interviews and personal appearances in the next few weeks. But when he heard that we wanted to talk to him about two of his favorite subjects, he dropped everything to talk with us. What a pro!

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GREG: Thanks for seeing us on short notice.

KERMIT: I’m already short, it’s the only kind of notice I do. Seriously, it’s a pleasure to be here! I’ve been a big fan of Sights and Sounds of Disney Parks, since we first opened Muppet*Vision 3-D.

GREG: Today marks a landmark point in history: when the Muppets and Walt Disney Studios joined as a family.

KERMIT: Yeah, that was a great day. Mickey and I have known each other for years. (We’re both members of Fictional Talking Animals of Hollywood.) I was so glad when we finally got together!

GREG: Have you and the gang done anything to mark the date?

KERMIT: Well, Miss Piggy went shopping, Fozzie told jokes, Gonzo got shot out of a cannon and, last I looked, Swedish Chef was being chased down Main Street by an angry lobster. Of course, that’s pretty much what the Muppets do everyday. But it’s still a big occasion for us.

GREG: I was so excited when it happened. I think the Walt Disney Studios and the Muppets are a match made in entertainment heaven.

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KERMIT: We agree, and we’re so excited to be doing another new movie for Walt Disney Studios. It’s coming to theaters March 21st, it’s called “Muppets Most Wanted,” and it features Miss Piggy, me, Animal and the whole gang – plus Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, and more cameo guest stars than you can shake a stick at. (Please refrain from shaking sticks at the guest stars. It makes them nervous.)

GREG: Kermit, I’m a fan of both Disney and Muppets music. I have all your records and of course, I’m as excited about the “Muppets Most Wanted” soundtrack as I am about the movie.

KERMIT: I’m a huge fan of Disney music, too. It’s such a part of the magic – just like it is with us Muppets. And I’m really thrilled about the music in “Muppets Most Wanted” – all new songs written by Bret McKenzie, who won an Academy Award for best song for “Man or Muppet” from our last movie. (By the way, if you’re reading this Bret, Miss Piggy says she’ll return your Oscar to you, and I quote, “soon.” Good luck with that.)

GREG: Any chance you could get your pals into a recording studio to do an album of Disney songs?

KERMIT: We’d love to! Of course, Miss Piggy wants to do all the Disney Princess songs. And Fozzie is a major fan of “I Love to Laugh” from “Mary Poppins” and “The Bear Necessities” from “The Jungle Book.” And me? Well, I’d be honored to sing just about any song in the Disney songbook. Just show us the recording studio and we’ll be there!

GREG: Are there any movies or TV shows from the Walt Disney Studios that inspired you in your youth?

KERMIT: Well, on TV, I always loved “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,” especially when the color was green. And at the movies, I grew up loving “Dumbo,” “Bambi,” “Pinocchio,” and more recently “Frozen.” And, naturally, “The Princess and the Frog.

GREG: How about Disney Parks attractions? Of course, we all love Muppet*Vision 3-D, but what are some of your friends’ experiences with attractions?

KERMIT: I guess it’s not fair to say we love them all. But it’s true. Let me see. Well, Miss Piggy loves Sleeping Beauty Castle so much, she tried to sublet it. And Sam Eagle can’t get enough of the Enchanted Tiki Room. (It’s a bird thing.) Fozzie, of course, loves the Jungle Cruise – he always brings a notebook so he can write down those jokes told by the guides. (Funn-ee!)
Gonzo is a big fan of Space Mountain. There’s nothing he likes better than flying through the air in total darkness. And as for me, I’ve loved It’s a Small World ever since I first saw it at the New York World’s Fair. Very catchy tune, too.

GREG: Do you think Walt Disney himself was fond of frogs? What would you say to him if you met him?

KERMIT: Ulp….I’d, uh, probably be speechless. In so many ways, Mr. Disney reminds me of another creative genius who created worlds and imagined wonderful possibilities – Jim Henson. I think I’d tell him Jim was my close friend, and then I know we’d have lots to talk about.

GREG: I can’t wait to see the topiaries of you and the Muppets at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. How did you get Miss Piggy to agree to be depicted in the form of a shrubbery?

KERMIT: She loves it. She loves to be depicted in all media –film, shrubbery, videotape, marble, gold, even chopped liver. If it means being the center of attention, she’s there!

GREG: Speaking of Miss Piggy, are you still dating her, or have you both decided to see other pigs and frogs?

KERMIT: Miss Piggy and I have a complicated relationship – which you can find out more about in “Muppets Most Wanted.” Y’see there’s this frog named Constantine, who looks just like me, but he’s actually the world’s number one criminal and … you should see the movie; it’ll all make sense.

GREG: All of us in the Disney Parks family are thrilled with all of us being part of the same family. What do you see ahead for us in the future?

KERMIT: Well, of course, I’m hoping that we’ll keep doing movies, but I also dream of doing more Muppets attractions, events and appearances in the parks. Topiary is a good start. I hope we can keep going!

GREG: Thanks again for meeting with us, Kermit. My whole family will be in our theater seats when “Muppets Most Wanted” opens next month.

KERMIT: See you there!

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This Week in Disney History: The Muppets Join the Disney Family

posted on February 20th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today on the Disney Parks Blog, we’re celebrating one of the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational moments in Disney history – the 10th anniversary of the day when The Muppets officially joined the Disney family!

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Although Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang were officially welcomed into Disney in 2004, the partnership between Disney Parks and The Muppets started years earlier, with a Muppet*Vision 3D attraction debuting at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in 1991. The attraction was later added to Disney California Adventure park at Disneyland Resort in 2001.

Stay tuned for more Muppets coverage today!

Thanks to Jason “Tiki” Tackett for the special Disney Parks Blog logo.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney History, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

March Merchandise Events at Disneyland Resort

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


You’re in luck! Take a look at all of the events happening in March at the Disneyland Resort.

March 1: Stop by WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District where artists Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Noah, Kristin Tercek and Gregg Visintainer will be appearing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Learn more.

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March 1 – 2: Look for Urban Octopus at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District, from 1 – 4 p.m., and again the following weekend, March 8 – 9. Learn more.

March 5: Don’t miss your chance to pick up the new Ink & Paint Cel featuring Jiminy Cricket. Learn more.

March 8 – 9: Meet artist Bob Elias from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Off the Page in Disney California Adventure park and see some of his latest works inspired by some of Disney’s most beloved characters. Learn more.

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March 15 – 16: Looking to add one of Dave Avanzino’s Custom Letter Plaques to your collection? Select some of your favorite Disneyland Resort attractions and icons to spell your name. Dave will be appearing from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., each day at Disneyana in Disneyland park. Learn more.

March 15 – 16: Take part in a special Olive Oil tasting at WonderGround Gallery from 1 – 4 p.m. Details will be available in the coming weeks on www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com.

March 22: Meet artists Jeff Granito and Michelle Romo who will be appearing at WonderGround Gallery from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. as we celebrate some of their newest releases. Learn more. Learn more.

Meet El Gato Gomez at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District on March 22 From 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

March 22: Local Southern California artist Noah will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District as we release his newest piece titled “Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust” featuring Tinker Bell. Learn more.

March 28: Calling all Traders! Disney Trading Night will take place from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Pacific Ballroom at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. So if you are looking to meet avid and novice traders, make friends, or share stories about your collections, then this is the place for you. Learn more.

March 29: Are you a fan of Ridley Pearson? Are you ready for the release of “Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider?” If your answer is yes, make sure to check out all the details on Ridley Pearson’s appearance and details on the last book in the beloved Kingdom Keepers series. Learn more.

Appearing as the Artist in Residence at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month of March is local artist Jeff Granito. Look for special artist showcases on the following dates: February 28 and March 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29 from 5 – 9 p.m. Learn more.

Hope you can join us!

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Newlyweds Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting Spend ‘Mini-Honeymoon’ at the Disneyland Resort

posted on February 19th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Television star Kaley Cuoco and professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting were married on New Year’s Eve, so Valentine’s Day weekend was the perfect time for Kaley to bring her husband to the Disneyland Resort for his very first visit.
Newlyweds Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting Spend ‘Mini-Honeymoon’ at the Disneyland Resort

What better place for Ryan to start than on Mad Tea Party?
Newlyweds Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting Spend ‘Mini-Honeymoon’ at the Disneyland Resort

Congratulations and best wishes to this fun-loving couple!

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Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider Set To Debut at Disney Parks

posted on February 18th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Don’t miss your chance to meet acclaimed author Ridley Pearson, as we celebrate the release of his newest book, “Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider,” the much-anticipated, final addition to the Kingdom Keepers saga. Ridley will be making special appearances on the following dates:

Walt Disney World Resort*:

Disneyland Resort:

  • March 29 – Disneyana, Disneyland park (10 a.m. – Noon)

Here’s a look at the cover as well as what you can expect from this new book:

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The Kingdom Keepers’ senior year in high school is almost over. For more than three years, things have been quiet. Their battles are long behind them, they agree, the threat to the Disney realm silenced albeit at great cost. But inside the catacombs of the Aztec temple where Finn Whitman faced down his nemesis, the monstrous Chernabog, a new threat brews.

Deception and betrayal rock the Kingdom Keepers as the merciless group of Disney villains known as the Overtakers stage an unexpected comeback. But a discovery by the Keepers provides them with one hope of victory-a lost icon. It was believed to be gone forever. The Keepers have one last chance to preserve the heart of the Kingdom-Disneyland-from a terrifying destruction decades in the making.

Be sure to visit DisneyParksMerchandise.com for event information, details on wristband distribution (where applicable) and more.

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