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Aviator Minnie Mouse at Disney California Adventure Park

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 11th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared several exciting Disney Parks updates, including the announcement of the return of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at Disneyland park.

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For a limited time, Disneyland park guests have the chance to stroll down memory lane and enjoy this classic Disney Parks nighttime spectacular with its familiar soundtrack, featuring classic Disney tunes, and an all-new fireworks program. Check out Erin’s story for more.

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Also at the Walt Disney World Resort, for a limited time starting January 17, you can head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for an exclusive preview of “Cinderella” at the park’s ABC Sound Studio.

The original golden coach from the film is also on its way to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where it will soon be on display outside the movie theater façade on Streets of America.

Shawn’s original story has video of what happened when guests visiting Magic Kingdom Park were treated to a glimpse of the magical coach and other “Cinderella” surprises. “Cinderella” arrives in theaters March 13.

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

Enjoy ‘Frozen Fun’ and More at the Disneyland Resort with Return of Special Ticket Offer for Southern California Residents – Get the details on a special Disneyland Resort ticket offer exclusively for Southern California residents and “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park.

What are Your Disneyland Park Must-Do’s? – Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover shares her own personal list of Disneyland park must-do’s. Do you know what’s on your own list?

Learn to Draw Mickey’s Pal, Pluto, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Brian James Fichtner from Animation Academy offers a video tutorial on how to draw Pluto!

Sights & Sounds at Disney Parks: Lucie Arnaz and the Space Mountain Launch – Space Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort celebrates its birthday this month —it’s 40 years young! See pictures from the grand opening festivities, with Emmy-winning entertainer/producer Lucie Arnaz and Tony-winning Broadway legend Tommy Tune.

Training the Horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland Park: Building Strength and Coordination – Watch this special video of Duke working on his ground driving skills with Circle D Equine Trainer Cindy Moser.

Sweet Spots to Enjoy Sweet Treats at Disneyland Resort – Find out about some of the ‘sweetest’ places to enjoy the treats of Disneyland Resort’s candy kitchens!

Behind-the-Scenes: Disney Cruise Line on ‘The Kitchen’ – Read all about Disney Cruise Line Chef Stephen Walker’s visit with the hosts of “The Kitchen,” an entertaining cooking show on the Food Network.

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Good Morning from Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on January 9th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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Good morning from Cars Land! You have to be here pretty early in the morning to see a sight like this – the sun rising over Ornament Valley and the businesses along Route 66. But sometimes our guests do get to see the sunrise here … especially those who have braved 24 hours here at the Disneyland Resort during our special events the past few years. So, those of you who have seen it, tell me … where is your favorite spot to watch the sunrise here at the Disneyland Resort?

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What are Your Disneyland Park Must-Do’s?

posted on January 8th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Those of us who visit Disneyland park a lot are often asked, “What is something you [or I] must do at the park?” I’ve given this some thought, so I wanted to share my own personal list of Disneyland park must-do’s. Now, I know this is a very personal list – it will vary for each person. So, let me know in the comments … what is your own must-do list for Disneyland park? Hold on, Disney California Adventure park fans – that’s for another time!

Stop #1 – Disneyland Railroad

Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland Park

Sometimes my visit begins with the classic grand circle tour, and sometimes that’s how it ends. Sometimes it’s in the middle, whatever – the point is that no visit is complete for me without a ride on the Disneyland Railroad.

Stop #2 – Market House, Main Street, U.S.A.

Hear me out … I’m a coffee fan with a theme park problem. Starbucks plus Disneyland equals a happy me. So yes, this is a recent addition to the must-do list.

Stop #3 – Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, Main Street, U.S.A.

Ice cream is only behind coffee on my list of obsessions, and there’s something extra-delicious about ice cream from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor … am I right?

Stop #4 – Indiana Jones Adventure, Adventureland

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Yes, I chose to go to Adventureland first and yes, I walked right past Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise – both of which I’ve loved ever since I wore acid wash denim and permed my hair. But if a choice has to be made, I’ve got to ride Indiana Jones Adventure. Feel free to discuss.

Stops #5 and #6 – Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion, New Orleans Square

Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Park

Obviously.

Stop #7 – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park

Confession: I’m a thrill ride person, so you’ll see another mountain on this list later. And the recent refurbishment of this classic attraction has only made it more awesome.

Stop #8 – Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm, Frontierland

Goats! Come on, they have goats!

Stop #9 – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Fantasyland

A classic, and it’s only at Disneyland park. Must. Do.

Stop #10 – “it’s a small world,” Fantasyland

The music, the history, all the Mary Blair art and design … this attraction, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, makes me happy every time.

Stop #11 – Space Mountain, Tomorrowland

Another confession: this is my favorite attraction in all of the Disneyland Resort. And when it’s taken over by a ghost during Halloween Time, I love it even more.

Stop #12 – Little Red Wagon, Main Street, U.S.A.

You’ve got to eat, and when you’re at Disneyland park, you’ve got to eat a corn dog. No excuses.

Okay, so that’s my list. I know you all have your own, so fire away!

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‘Fantasy in the Sky’ Fireworks Returns to Disneyland Park for Limited Time

posted on January 8th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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Beginning tomorrow, Disneyland park guests will have the chance to stroll down memory lane when “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks returns. This classic Disney Parks nighttime spectacular began lighting up the sky above Sleeping Beauty Castle in 1958, and was last seen in regular performances 2004 – later to be seen in special showings on New Year’s Eve. It has also been featured at Disneyland Paris and Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort.

“Fantasy in the Sky” returns tomorrow night with its familiar soundtrack, featuring classic Disney tunes, and an all-new fireworks program. Come see this Disney Parks favorite soon, because it will only be presented for a limited time. We’re very excited about everything to come in 2015 … stay tuned for more updates!

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Enjoy ‘Frozen Fun’ and More at the Disneyland Resort with Return of Special Ticket Offer for Southern California Residents

posted on January 7th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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We’re kicking off 2015 at the Disneyland Resort with a special ticket offer exclusively for Southern California residents! For a limited time – beginning today – So Cal residents may purchase the special park tickets with options for two or three days of magic and adventure at special prices. It’s the best way to experience the new “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park – officially open today – and also to enjoy the classic attractions and entertainment throughout the Disneyland Resort.

Southern California residents may use the special tickets to visit one park per day (either park) or purchase Park Hopper tickets for a two- or three-day period. The offer has four purchase options: a 2-day ticket with choice of one park per day for $139; a 2-day Park Hopper ticket for $178; a 3-day ticket with choice of one park per day for $169, or a 3-day Park Hopper for $208. With these limited-time tickets, Southern California residents have the flexibility to make memories with family and friends over two or three days, from January 7 through May 21, 2015.* (Dates blocked are March 20 – April 4, 2015.) The sooner you purchase your tickets, the more time you will have to return for a second or third visit!

Also beginning today, “Frozen Fun” will be offered for a limited time at Disney California Adventure park, and includes “Anna & Elsa’s Royal Welcome,” an elegant location inside the Disney Animation building for Anna and Elsa to receive visitors. Guests may reserve a time to meet them with a Return Time Ticket, available just outside the Animation building. Elsewhere in the Disney Animation building, guests at the Animation Academy will be asked “Do You Want to Draw a Snowman?” – with an Olaf drawing experience.
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Another element of “Frozen Fun” is “For the First Time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration,” which transforms the Muppet*Vision 3D Theatre into the Crown Jewel Theatre of Arendelle. Next door, in Stage 17, “Olaf’s Snow Fest” creates a winter scene where guests may meet and share warm hugs with Olaf. A giant play area with real snow encourages guests of all ages to build snow creations and zip down a snow slide. (Note: “Olaf’s Snow Fest” concludes April 30, 2015.) After dark, just outside the entrance to “Olaf’s Show Fest,” the area transforms into “Freeze the Night! A Family Dance Party.” Guests can join an interactive party that celebrates all things “Frozen” with music, games, photo opportunities, drinks and snacks and ice sculptors.

In addition to “Frozen Fun” at Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure park, guests can also experience the magic of the Disney animated blockbuster “Frozen” with an all-new stage show beginning today at Fantasy Faire in Disneyland park. Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones have put their unique spin on the “Frozen” story, adapting it for the Royal Theatre and featuring Anna, Elsa and the Faire Maidens. Also beginning today, guests may use Disney FASTPASS to reserve a showtime at the Royal Theatre. Anna and Elsa also will also again make daily pre-parade appearances on their own float immediately preceding “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” in Disneyland park.

Special Southern California Resident tickets can be purchased at Disneyland.com/tickets, Disney Stores, Vons and other retail locations, as well as any Disneyland Resort ticket booth. Guests who purchase tickets online may print their tickets at home. When purchased in advance, 3-day tickets include one Magic Morning** early entry to Disneyland park, which provides an extra hour of play on select days before the park opens to the general public. This benefit is not available to tickets purchased at Disneyland Resort ticket booths. For restrictions, visit http://Disneyland.com/2days.

*So Cal Resident Ticket:
Valid only for Southern California residents within ZIP codes 90000-93599 and Northern Baja California residents within ZIP codes 21000-22999; proof of residency is required for purchase and admission. 2-Day, 1-Park Per Day ticket is valid for admission for two (2) days to either Disneyland® or Disney California Adventure® park, but not to both parks on the same day. 2-Day Disneyland® Resort Park Hopper® ticket is valid for admission for two (2) days to both Disneyland® and Disney California Adventure® park on the same day. 3-Day, 1-Park Per Day ticket is valid for admission for three (3) days to either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure park, but not to both parks on the same day. 3-Day Disneyland Resort Pak Hopper ticket is valid for admission for three (3) days to both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park on the same day. Each day of use constitutes one full day of use. Tickets expire May 21, 2015. Blockout days of 3/20/15-4/4/15 apply. May purchase up to 5 tickets per person per day with valid ID. Tickets may not be sold or transferred for commercial use. Offer may not be combined with other ticket discounts or promotions. Tickets not valid before 1/7/15. Subject to capacity, restrictions and change without notice.

**Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour:
Magic Morning admission allows admission into selected attractions at Disneyland® Park before the park opens to the general public on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. Each Guest must have valid, eligible theme park admission. Disneyland Resort Hotel guest Extra Magic Hour currently allows registered Disneyland Resort hotel guess admission into select attractions at Disneyland Park on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and Disney California Adventure Park on Sunday, Monday Wednesday and Friday before the applicable park opens to the general public. Upon hotel check-in, guests will receive a schedule or be informed of when each park offers Extra Magic Hour. Each registered hotel guest (ages3 and older) must have a valid theme park ticket and active hotel room key card. To enhance the Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hour experience, it is strongly recommended that Guests arrive at least one hour and 15 minutes prior to regular park opening. Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour admissions are based on availability and capacity. Applicable theme park, days and times of operation and all other elements including, but not limited to, operation of attractions, entertainment, stores and restaurants and appearances of characters may vary and are subject to change without notice. Subject to restrictions and cancellation.

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Space Mountain: Laughing, Cheering, Screaming … and Learning

posted on January 7th, 2015 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Sure, Space Mountain has been a Magic Kingdom must-do since it opened 40 years ago—January 15, 1975—but did you know that it also teaches kids about physics in fun, interactive ways? Well, that’s exactly what happens with Disney Youth Education Series programs that offer incomparable opportunities for student groups and individual children like yours.

Properties of Motion Physics Lab allows kids to use the scientific method to gain understanding about inertia, centripetal force, speed, velocity and acceleration.

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“We give a quick overview of the scientific method and why each process in that method is so critical to Theme Park attraction design,” explains Barbara Blake, Manager, Walt Disney World Youth Education. “Then the students begin experimenting (and developing their critical thinking) as they discover the energy needed to give a roller coaster attraction its effect.” In other words, they learn the difference between potential and kinetic energy.

The kids experience Space Mountain once they’ve made hypotheses about the top speed of the vehicles, the elapsed time of the attraction, the height of the track and the height of the longest drop. And they get to experience it with the lights on. The students review and record their observations then it’s back on the attraction for the same experience, but now in the dark. Who knew Space Mountain was such a great place to learn Newton’s first law of motion?

After a second Space Mountain flight through the galaxy, the students are asked what’s changed? Did the drops get higher? Was the ride faster? They discover how environmental differences—lights on or off—affect scientific observations.

But Space Mountain isn’t the only attraction to serve as a classroom. Because from there, it’s off to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad where Properties of Motion Physics Lab looks into centripetal force, inertia, vertical and lateral g-forces. And at either Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin or Pirates of the Caribbean, the kids learn about the use of pneumatic and hydraulic systems in creating “life’ in the Audio-Animatronics figures.

All the Disney Youth Education Series programs are designed to enhance the classroom experience to show real-world application of principles learned in school. These programs take place in the information-rich setting of Disney Parks in Florida, California and Hong Kong, China. They help students practice teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving skills even as they participate in unique moments that use the magic of Disney to make learning even more impactful.

“These programs are meticulously conceived under the highest educational guidelines, accredited by AdvancEd, a national organization that also accredits brick-and-mortar schools. The studies are standards-based and designed to reinforce classroom lessons. But what a fantastic way to give students and their teachers a hands-on, educational adventure,” Barbara says.

The Energy & Waves Physics Lab looks at the physical properties of light and sound waves and how Disney uses those properties to create special effects in Magic Kingdom Park.

For instance, the properties of light waves are explored at Haunted Mansion to see how black light (ultraviolet wavelengths), refraction of light and reflection of light work. The students get to go under the working attraction to see the “Pepper’s Ghost” effect that allows the “ghosts” to dance through solid tables in the ballroom scene. What a cool ghoul school!

Any youth group of 10 participants can book a group physics program most days of the year. But for individuals and smaller groups, open enrollment is also offered. Open enrollment dates for individuals at the Properties of Motion Physics Lab at Magic Kingdom Park are July 22, August 19 and October 14, 2015; dates for individuals at the Energy & Waves Physics Lab at Magic Kingdom Park are January 14 and February 4, 2015.

For more information, visit disneyyouth.com.

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Training the Horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland Park: Building Strength and Coordination

posted on January 6th, 2015 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


In the latest in our series of Disneyland Resort horse training videos, we’ll see Duke working on his ground driving skills with Circle D Equine Trainer Cindy Moser. To a casual observer, ground driving looks like the trainer is simply driving a horse without a cart, but these exercises are an ideal way to develop a horse’s strength, fitness and coordination. And for a new Disneyland Resort horse, these skills are another achievement on the path to pulling the trolley on Main Street, U.S.A.



See the posts below for more on training the horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland park:

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Go Retro With The 2015 New Balance runDisney Shoes

posted on January 6th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


What better way to kick-off the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna then to unveil the new 2015 New Balance runDisney shoes.

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Inspired by the Disney classic Steamboat Willie, the limited edition Retro Mickey and Retro Minnie 990v3 shoes will be available for the first time at this weekend’s runDisney Health and Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The retro black and white shoes feature musical notes around the front sole, classic images of Mickey and Minnie, character signatures and other hidden Disney surprises.

Now, if you are a fan of the 2014 New Balance runDisney shoes I have additional good news. Due to popular demand, a limited number of the 860v4 Sorcerer Mickey and Pink Minnie, as well as the 890v4 Goofy and Cinderella shoes will be available at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and at the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at Disneyland Resort, January 15 – 18.

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The new Retro Mickey and Minnie 990v3 shoes will only be available at Health and Fitness Expos during runDisney event weekends. To minimize waiting in line for shoes, New Balance has created a virtual queue to let you know when it’s your turn to be fitted and make your purchase. Starting on Wednesday, January 7, starting at 6 a.m. runners can sign up at NBvirtualqueue.com using their bib number, and all other guests can sign up Thursday, Jan. 8, starting at 6 am. Be sure to visit NBvirtualqueue.com to get all the details on ordering and pick-up. For more information on runDisney event weekends, including Health and Fitness Expo dates and hours, visit runDisney.com.

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Sweet Spots to Enjoy Sweet Treats at Disneyland Resort

posted on January 5th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Whether I’m waiting for the parade, people watching or just taking a break, one thing I love to do when I visit the Disneyland Resort is to find the perfect spot to try one of the tasty treats from our nearby candy kitchens. As you can see, some of my favorite treats include our hand-crafted English Toffee, Pecan and Peanut Brittle, Peanut Clusters, Dark Chocolate Pineapple skewers and amazing apples. These of course, are just a few of the classic choices amidst the many others that will delight your taste buds on your next visit. So where are some of the ‘sweetest’ places to enjoy them? A few of my top picks are across from King Arthur Carrousel, near the Haunted Mansion, Mickey’s Toontown and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, to name a few.

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Be sure to make Candy Palace on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park, Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure park and Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District your top places to go on your next visit. There’s bound to be something for every member of your family to enjoy.

Where’s your favorite place at the Disneyland Resort to sit back, relax and enjoy the show while enjoying a special snack?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 4th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


It’s our first weekly recap of the year and there’s already much to look forward to in 2015. In fact, we kicked off the year with 15 things you’ll want to experience this year at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Trattoria al Forno Brings the Italian Countryside to Disney's BoardWalk

The return of annual theme park events and the opening of new restaurants are just a few things to anticipate in 2015. Visit Jennifer’s original story to see the entire list.

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And we were just seconds into 2015 when we announced daily opportunities in January to win a chance to explore your Disney Side with some of your favorite characters on a dream vacation that includes a night in the Cinderella Castle Suite at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Disney “Flip” Side sweepstakes will award 31 winners in January who will experience a 5-day/4-night vacation at Walt Disney World for four that includes:

  • 1-Night stay at the Cinderella Castle Suite in the Magic Kingdom Park
  • 3 Nights at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel
  • 5-Day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun & More Options
  • $500 Disney Gift Card
  • Personalized “Disney Side” Welcome Basket
  • Glass Slipper Gift inspired by the new live-action film “Cinderella,” in theaters March 13
  • Round-trip coach airfare (If the winner resides more than 250 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort)

Go visit DisneyFlipsSide.com now and enter for a chance to win.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to individuals, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not minors. Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (PT) on 1/1/15 and ends 11:59 PM (PT) on 1/31/15. The Sweepstakes is made up of 31 daily sweepstakes each beginning at 12:01 AM (PT) and ending at 11:59 PM (PT) each day. Limit one (1) Entry per daily sweepstakes. Click here for full Official Rules.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on to begin the year.

Disney Parks Most-Geotagged Locations on Both Facebook and Instagram in 2014 – As much as we love sharing our photos with you, the most fun part of what we do on Instagram is sharing photos from our guests. Click through to find out the most-geotagged locations in 2014 and where you can connect with us in 2015!

Year in Review: 2014 at the Disneyland Resort – With the year nearly over, take a look back and some of the sights and sounds from Disneyland Resort in 2014.


Top 10 Disney Parks YouTube Videos of 2014
– In 2014, there were some great Disney Parks YouTube videos shared around by readers, including our “Ultimate Tweet” at the Walt Disney World Resort – our top video of the year.

Year in Review: Greatest Hits from Disney Theme Park Merchandise in 2014 – Take a look at some of the most popular merchandise from the past year, including Disney Character Mugs, Haunted Mansion Authentic and more!

Top 5 Entertainment Milestones at Disney Parks in 2014 – Here are just a few of the new experiences that debuted in Disney Parks around the world in 2014.

Fifteen Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2015 Need a reason to visit Walt Disney World Resort this year? How about fifteen reasons? Click through to learn about Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk, Exposition Park Food Trucks, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and more!

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