'World of Color' at Disney California Adventure Park

Disneyland Resort Helps Build Sixth Playground in Orange County, California

posted on March 25th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


On Saturday, more than 200 volunteers from Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Family YMCA, KaBOOM! and Anaheim came together to build a new playground at John Marshall Park, less than five miles from the Disneyland Resort.

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This is the sixth KaBOOM! playground that the Disneyland Resort has helped sponsor and build in Orange County since 2011. The playgrounds provide more than 8,500 children a safe place to play! By the end of 2014, Disney’s support will bring the magic of play to more than 75,000 kids and families nationwide as part of Magic of Healthy Living, encouraging kids and families to stay active and healthy.

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Sights and Sounds of Disney Parks: It’s a Classic Attraction. It’s Turning 50. ‘it’s a small world!’

posted on March 25th, 2014 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


To some of us, it seems like only yesterday that Walt Disney first opened one of his best-loved ride-through attractions on April 22, 1964. There are others who have never lived in a world without “it’s a small world.” Either way, our lives are all the richer for it. But like many creative miracles, it almost never came to be.

WED Enterprises, as Walt Disney Imagineering was then known (the letters stood for “Walter Elias Disney”), was feverishly working toward a one-year deadline for three World’s Fair attractions: Progressland, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and Magic Skyway. When the Pepsi Cola Company asked for a fourth pavilion — encouraged by Hollywood star and Pepsi board member Joan Crawford — Walt agreed, once again, that he and his artists would do the impossible and take on this tremendous challenge.

“Walt enlisted Imagineers Marc Davis for figure design and animation, Alice Davis for the intricate international costuming and Claude Coats for the attraction’s overall layout,” wrote Disney Historian Stacia Martin for the book and compact disc album, “Walt Disney and the 1964 World’s Fair.” All are bonafide Disney Legends in their own right, but many fans agree that it is Mary Blair whose visual style is so dynamically showcased in “it’s a small world.”

If you watch the Los Posadas sequence of Walt Disney’s “The Three Caballeros,” you’ll see what some call the “Mary kids.” Take a look at “Cinderella,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan,” as well as the “Johnny Appleseed” portion of “Melody Time,” and delight in her unmistakable use of color, whimsy and humor. Cherished Little Golden Books with Mary Blair’s illustrations are still in print. Her magical handiwork also towers (literally) in the famous mosaic at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It’s an endlessly fresh look that has inspired generations of admiring artists.

Walt and Mary Blair

Next time you enjoy this attraction, take note of a couple of cool things. In the finale, the young lady doll wearing glasses is a nod to Mary Blair herself. The entire finale scene is done in white because, according to John Canemaker in “The Art and Flair of Mary Blair,” she considered it the most “festive” of colors.

The artists whose musical style most infuses “it’s a small world” are Disney Legends Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, most recently portrayed in the acclaimed film “Saving Mr. Banks.” Before they were involved, the attraction was called “Children of the World,” featuring a series of national songs sung by children. The problem was that the sounds overlapped each other in a confused cacophony.

Walt and Shermans

Stacia Martin continues: “Richard Sherman remembers that the answer ‘came all of a sudden when we said … all these people grow up to be people and start having big differences and defiances and wars … but in the small world of children, everybody loves each other.’” Pretty heavy stuff, but when you focus on the lyrics, which mention tears, fears and division between the people of the world, this seemingly simple song has profound meaning indeed. The attraction’s name became the name of the song, “it’s a small world.”

Another fun fact: if you didn’t know that the yodeler’s voice was done by singer/actress Roberta Shore (“Mickey Mouse Club,” “The Shaggy Dog“) well, neither did she at first. She told me that, years ago, several Imagineers had hired her to yodel (one of her specialties) for a project they were working on. Then she moved on and forgot about it. Some time later, when she bought the “it’s a small world” record album for her kids, she recognized herself. “I was the yodeler!” she recalled. “I thought, so that’s why they asked me to yodel!” Roberta couldn’t be more pleased and proud to be part of such a classic Disney experience, one that has brightened the lives of countless millions.

Roberta Shore and Annette

“Currently, the sun never sets on the performance of this song playing in “it’s a small world” rides in California, Florida, Paris and Tokyo,” wrote Robert B. Sherman in his book, “Moose: Chapters from My Life.” “In fact, it’s the most translated, most performed song in the world.”

Robert’s book reveals a third verse, written at the request of Disney Legend and Imagineer Tony Baxter for the attraction’s 45th anniversary: “It’s a world of wonder / A world of worth / And in years to come / We’ll know peace on earth / We will open our eyes / And we’ll all realize / It’s a small world after all.”

Cheers to the next 50 years, “it’s a small world!” But why stop there? Cheers to the next 350 years—or more.

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Marvelous New Merchandise Debuts at Disney Parks

posted on March 24th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Some days do you feel like you are a superhero with the things you have accomplished? I know I do, or at least have some sort of special powers. I’m a pretty big fan of our Avengers films so you can only imagine my excitement for the upcoming release of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and especially the meet and greet opportunity taking place now at Disneyland park.

Are you looking for ways to update your super hero collection? Here are a few things you might want to consider checking out or picking up.

First and foremost, keep an eye out for the dated Opening Day Limited Edition 2000 ‘shield’-inspired pin, which opens to reveal the first Avenger. The pin will debut this April and will be available at pin purchasing locations. Also being released are specially created D-Tech iPhone 4 and 5 cases which are bound to make your phone ‘super’ cool. Look for the D-tech cases to appear in late-Spring.

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Also available are ‘shield’ inspired T-shirts for adults and kids, a woman’s tank, as well as a boys rashguard T-shirt and swim trunks.

Marvelous New Merchandise Debuts at Disney Parks

But wait, there’s more! You will also find an array of other themed merchandise including a mug, keychain, sticker, magnets, four button set, books and toys as well as matted prints and limited edition giclees.

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Over the next month, continue to watch as product hits the shelves in our merchandise locations. You’ll find it at:

Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA

Downtown Disney Area, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Special Note: A limited selection of merchandise will be available aboard Disney Cruise Line.

Will you assemble for this new merchandise?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

This Week in Disney History: ‘Love Bug’ Day at Disneyland Park, 1969

posted on March 24th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Forty-five years ago this week, 101 decorated Volkswagen Beetles made their way down Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park to celebrate the release of the film, “The Love Bug,” the story of the 1963 racing Beetle (and one of my favorite movies). On March 23, 1969, Beetle owners gathered at Disneyland to show off their decorated bugs and parade them through the park.

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The cars were judged in the categories of most psychedelic, toylike, comical and best personality. Morton and Barbara Allen of Studio City, Calif., won the grand prize – a brand-new 1969 Volkswagen Beetle, presented by “The Love Bug” stars Dean Jones and Michele Lee. Other prizes represented the pinnacles of 1969 technology: portable color televisions, Kodak Super-8 movie cameras and projectors, and new Polaroid cameras.

I was so inspired by this nugget of Disneyland history that I even created a costume for my own 1968 Volkswagen Beetle. Check her out!

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Which category do you think she would have won? And can anyone guess what name I call her by?

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Best Guest Memories Of “it’s a small world” at Disney Parks

posted on March 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


it’s a small world” is such a classic Disney attraction, and since it can be experienced at Disney Parks around the world, it’s no wonder that our guests have such great memories of it.

Check out the video below to see what some of our park guests – including some who experienced the original attraction at the World’s Fair – had to say about their most memorable experiences aboard “it’s a small world.”

You can join the celebration by singing along and creating your own “it’s a small world” doll at SmallWorld50.com.

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

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on March 23rd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we invited the world to join a first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along at SmallWorld50.com to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” – the classic Disney Parks attraction that opened as a tribute to UNICEF’s work for children around the world at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

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We’ll be celebrating the anniversary on April 10 but we’ve already kicked things off at Disney Parks. Visit our original post to learn how you can participate in the celebration and create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to share with your friends. The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” plus $1 for every sing-along video recorded on SmallWorld50.com and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to $100,000.

Disney Parks Blog readers were also among the first to see a new trailer for Walt Disney Studios’ latest cinematic vision, “Maleficent.” And starting April 18, a special extended sneak peek will be playing daily at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the ABC Sound Studio and at Disney California Adventure park in the naturalistic “underground” setting of the Bug’s Life Theater.

“Maleficent” stars Angelina Jolie in the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty” and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. “Maleficent” opens in theaters on May 30, 2014.

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

Vintage Disney Parks Video: Take a Trip Back to the Beginning of ‘it’s a small world’ – See some excellent historical footage from the debut of “it’s a small world” at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and the attraction’s opening at Disneyland park in 1966.

The History of the Disneyland Monorail: Mark V, 1986-2008 – Our regular series on the Disneyland Monorail continues with the Mark V!

Disneyland Resort Hotels Earn California’s Top Environmental Certification – This certification represents the state’s top rating for traveler’s seeking green lodging. Fewer than 1% of Orange County hotels share this level of certification!

Shanghai Disneyland’s Treasure Cove Unveiled – Get a first look at Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates-themed land and a new Pirates of the Caribbean attraction!

Behind the Sounds: Inside Audio Central at Disney California Adventure Park – Stage Technician Brian White gives an inside look on how the audio engineers at Disney California Adventure bring magic to the park every day.

Exciting News from Aulani for Fans of our Hawaiian Mele: Music of the Makaʻala Available for Download March 18 – Take the Aulani Hawaiian experience with you anywhere by downloading five special songs, written by Kealiʻi Reichel and Mark Mancina

‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Available On Blu-ray Today – Get a sneak peek of one of the special features available on the new Blu-ray release!

A Mom’s Take: Magical Port Adventures in Venice – Marcy from the Disney Parks Moms Panel shows us a few of the adventures your family can embark on in “The Floating City.”

Learn to Draw Disney Characters at Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Hone your illustration skills with instruction from one of our character artists. Take a look at the video after the jump!

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It’s National Corn Dog Day – Where to Get Your Fix at Disney Parks

posted on March 22nd, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Today is National Corn Dog Day, an absolutely good reason to indulge in one of the crunchy-on-the-outside-and sweet-on-the inside dogs on a stick.

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If you’re at Downtown Disney, look for the celebratory balloons at the bright red Fantasy Fare food truck to showcase the day. Fantasy Fare brings “Delightful Dishes from Disney’s Magic Kingdoms Around the World,” so, of course, the hand-dipped corn dog from Disneyland park is star of the show.

We still remember our first bite of a corn dog at the Little Red Wagon at the top of Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park, slathered with mustard. It’s still the top spot, but you also can find corn dogs at Stage Door Café in front of Frontierland, and at Corn Dog Castle at Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure park.

Back at Walt Disney World Resort, you also can find corn dogs at Herbie’s Drive-In near Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; the Beastly kiosk in Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and at Westward Ho Refreshments in Magic Kingdom Park.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Eggs-istencial Event Returns to Disney Parks

posted on March 21st, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


UPDATE 4/18: The Egg-stravaganza 2014 maps are sold out at Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park.

UPDATE 4/16: The Egg-stravaganza 2014 maps for Disneyland park have sold out. Egg-stravaganza 2014 maps are currently available to purchase for Disney California Adventure park and Epcot. Please note, quantities are limited and are going fast. Hop to it!

I know that many of you took part in last year’s egg-sperience at Disney California Adventure park and Epcot and loved it! Well I have egg-citing news, because it’s back by popular demand!

What can you egg-spect? From April 10 – 20, you’ll be able to search for special hidden “eggs” themed to Disney characters at Epcot, Disney California Adventure park and for the first time, Disneyland park!

Disneyland Park Egg-Stravaganza Egg Hunt

Epcot Egg-Stravaganza Egg Hunt Disney California Adventure Park Egg-Stravaganza Egg Hunt

How it works!
Have fun exploring the parks hunting for ‘eggs’ that portray Disney characters! Record your discoveries by placing the corresponding sticker on the specially themed Egg-stravaganza map to represent that location. Maps and stickers can be purchased for $4.95, plus tax at the following parks and locations:

  • Disney California Adventure park – Elias & Co., Oswald’s, Radiator Springs Curios, Rushin’ River Outfitters, Studio Store and Treasures in Paradise.
  • Disneyland park – Disney Showcase, Fairy Tale Treasures, Gag Factory, Pieces of Eight and Pooh Corner
  • Epcot – Heritage Manor (American Adventure Pavilion), Disney Traders, International Gateway, Pin Central and Port of Entry

There are a dozen reasons for you to love the event this year! I know what new characters have been added, but it’s up to you to find them.

Don’t crack under the pressure! Whether you choose to hunt for eggs or not, return your map to a redemption location: Elias & Co. at Disney California Adventure park; Disney Showcase in Disneyland park or Disney Traders in Epcot and participate in an ‘egg-scramble’ to pick up your surprise.

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What is the surprise, eggs-actly? Let’s just say it bears a striking resemblance to what you are already searching for!

Purchase as many maps as you’d like—while supplies last—and play again and again! No discounts apply. You should also know that separate admission is required to enter Disney Theme Parks and the experience is subject to restrictions and change without notice.

Are you as egg-cited as I am?

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Vintage Disney Parks Video: Take a Trip Back to the Beginning of ‘it’s a small world’

posted on March 21st, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations


As Thomas Smith just announced, we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the debut of “it’s a small world” at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. This, of course, means a trip to the archives! We found historical footage from both the 1964 New York World’s Fair and the attraction’s opening day here at the Disneyland Resort, two years later on May 28, 1966. Imagineer Kim Irvine takes us down memory lane, along with co-composer of the attraction’s unforgettable theme song, Richard Sherman. You’ll even hear from Walt Disney himself, as he shows off the plans for “it’s a small world” in a clip from the “Wonderful World of Color” television show. I hope you enjoy this trip back in time, and make sure to join the celebration at SmallWorld50.com!

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Global Sing-Along Celebrates 50th Anniversary of ‘it’s a small world’

posted on March 21st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As you may have just heard on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, you’re invited to join a first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along at SmallWorld50.com to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” – the classic Disney Parks attraction that opened as a tribute to UNICEF’s work for children around the world at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

We’ll be celebrating the anniversary on April 10 but we’ve already kicked off the worldwide celebration. People from more than 25 countries, including bagpipers in Scotland, Bollywood movie actors in India, a firefighter in New York City, and members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, came together to create a first worldwide “it’s a small world” video.

You can participate in this historic celebration by recording and sharing an online video of yourself singing “it’s a small world” on our new global online hub SmallWorld50.com. At the site, you can also create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to share with your friends. The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” plus $1 for every sing-along video recorded on SmallWorld50.com and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to $100,000.

On April 10, hundreds of voices from Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will come together to sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas.”

Go share your online video at SmallWorld50.com and keep checking the Disney Parks Blog as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world.”

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