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These Are the Gifts You’re Looking For At Disney Parks This Holiday Season

posted on December 19th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I know where I will be almost one year from now – sitting in a movie theater with my son as the opening credits roll for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Being a long-time fan of all things Star Wars, it will be the perfect holiday gift to myself next year. I remember receiving many Star Wars-themed gifts growing up in the late 1970s (the Death Star Space Station playset was one of my favorites!). If you are looking for Star Wars holiday gifts this season, I have a few suggestions of items created especially for Disney Parks.

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I love this fun holiday sweater T-shirt featuring Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and other icons (it’s perfect for winter in Florida).

The Disney Pin team released some new holiday pins including a 9-pin mystery set with Star Wars gingerbread characters.

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If you are looking for toys, there are a few different options including the Starspeeder 1000 vehicle playset inspired by Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; a giant Clone Trooper found only at Disney Parks; and Disney Racers die-cast cars which make for great stocking stuffers.

I also like the Star Wars Droid Factory where you can design and build your own Astromech droid action figure. This experience is offered at Tatooine Traders in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida, and The Star Trader in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park in California.

You can also find other Star Wars items online at DisneyStore.com/StarWars.

May the Holidays Be With You!

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

STK Orlando To Open in Disney Springs in 2015

posted on December 17th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


It was just announced that The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. will open STK Orlando at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in 2015.

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STK Orlando, a modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge, will open its doors in The Landing area of Disney Springs. It will be one of the largest STK locations in the world, occupying 14,000 square feet in a two-story building.

“We are thrilled to join the Disney Springs family with the launch of STK Orlando,” said Jonathan Segal, CEO of The ONE Group. “The combination of an innovative menu and high-energy atmosphere has driven the success of STK, and we believe it will be an ideal addition to Disney Springs, and will help further cement its status as a place for friends and family to gather for fine dining and entertainment.”

STK is the latest in a string of restaurants who have announced new locations planned for Disney Springs. Morimoto Asia and THE BOATHOUSE are two other dining options that will open their doors in 2015.

Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more information and news on Disney Springs.


For more on Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, visit the posts below:

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Filed: Disney Dining, Downtown Disney, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

New Retail MagicBands Arriving in December at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 16th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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You may recall that my top gift items this year from Disney Parks are retail MagicBands. We recently introduced the “link-it later” option for all retail MagicBands, making them great gifts for guests who may want to show off their Disney Side while visiting Walt Disney World Resort. This month, we are introducing some new open edition, graphic MagicBands on the dates listed below.

  • December 12 – Sorcerer Mickey
  • December 14 – Minnie Mouse’s iconic polka dots
  • December 17 – Stitch
  • December 22 – Disney Princesses

These graphic MagicBands will retail at $19.95 each.

Guests should look for these items in select locations at the four theme parks and Downtown Disney.

You can also find solid color MagicBands and select accessories on our Disney Parks online store by visiting http://www.DisneyStore.com/MagicBands

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

It’s a Holly Jolly Christmas throughout the Downtown Disney Area

posted on December 9th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


It’s a Holly Jolly Christmas throughout the Downtown Disney Area

Sure, Thanksgiving was just last week, but already, the Downtown Disney Area at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is bustling with holiday excitement. The Festival of the Seasons is now underway and new holiday décor is lighting up the Marketplace.

Read on for some of my favorite festive fun:

  • Meet Santa: Naughty or nice, you can share your wish list with Santa Claus through Christmas Eve (Santa Goofy Steps in December 25th – 29th)! New this year, guests can check in at the Santa Chalet podium to receive a pager that buzzes when their turn to meet Santa is near. It’s a great opportunity to snag a family photo, too, with Disney’s PhotoPass photographers on standby. (12pm – 9:30pm daily).
  • Enjoy Holiday Entertainment: Pick up a times guide to discover the sounds of the season. From carolers to stilt walkers, live musicians to DJ dance parties, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. My favorite new spot to catch a performance is Exposition Park on the West Side – and while you’re there, you can indulge in fresh fare from the Disney Food Trucks!
  • Shop the new Marketplace Co-Op: Of course, World of Disney will always be a ‘must-do’ for holiday shopping, but I’ve added this new venue to my shopping list as well. With six distinct boutiques, some featuring items that can’t be found anywhere else at Walt Disney World, this is the place to find unique gifts for loved ones. Want even more gift-giving inspiration? Follow us on Twitter at @WDWDowntown and look for hashtag “#25daysofDTD” to see some of our top picks.
  • Indulge in Holiday Treats: Peppermint Mocha from STARBUCKS? Decadent hot chocolate from Ghirardelli? A homemade treat from Goofy’s Candy Company or Candy Cauldron? Whatever you fancy, you’ll find something sweet to tempt your taste buds! (Me? I’m partial to the Olaf-inspired specialty apples.)

With a portion of the West Garage now open to guests and boat transportation available for travel between the West Side, Pleasure Island and Marketplace (weather permitting), it’s easy to explore all of Downtown Disney.

For tips on visiting the property, click here.

Happy Holidays, and I hope to see you out and about at Downtown Disney enjoying the season soon!

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Disney Parks Merchandise Offers Hanukkah-Inspired Gifts This Holiday Season

posted on December 8th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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During a recent visit to World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, I spotted a small assortment of Hanukkah-inspired merchandise. This year, the wondrous eight-day celebration begins in the evening on December 16 and ends in the evening on December 24. Here is a closer look at some gift items for welcoming the festival of lights during this holiday season.

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This isn’t the first time Disney Theme Park Merchandise has developed Hanukkah-inspired items. My former teammate turned Disney Pins merchandiser Erin Catalano shared an update on the Disney Parks Blog back in 2011 as seen in this article.

This year’s assortment includes a decorative banner with bells, a wine goblet, a mug, and a small serving plate that is perfect for traditional treats.

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The Disney pin team also created two different pins this year. The Chip and Dale pin is open edition (item number 400007900547), while the pin with Donald Duck’s nephews is limited edition (item number 400008890380). The latter pin features a dreidel that spins.

Finally, I’m delighted to share that the seasonal team is currently developing a new Hanukkah-inspired assortment that will debut next year.

I wish you a Happy Hanukkah filled with wonder and light!

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Fantastic New Home for Disney Food Trucks: Exposition Park at Downtown Disney West Side

posted on December 5th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Check out these photos of the new Exposition Park at Downtown Disney West Side, the permanent home of the four Disney-owned food trucks.

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“Guests can always find one or more of the Disney food trucks at this location, with visiting local food trucks joining the fun from time to time” says Darcy Clark, Downtown Disney marketing manager. “With nightly entertainment and extra seating, this West Side location is sure to become a favorite.”

The four Disney food trucks, along with the ESPN food truck, may be there – Namaste Café with flavors from Disney’s Animal Kingdom (think butter chicken and Tandoori spiced shrimp); Superstar Catering with favorites from Disney’s Hollywood Studios like a Margarita Flatbread; Fantasy Fare with Magic Kingdom Park goodies like the corn dog, and World Showcase of Flavors with Epcot tastes from grass-fed beef sliders to Pierogies.

You’ll find Exposition Park between Bongo’s Cuban Café and Starbucks – an expansive grassy area that take advantage of the pretty waterfront. Hours may vary during peak times and special events

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Filed: Disney Dining, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Santa Is Making the Rounds at Disney Parks

posted on December 4th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Festival Of The Seasons

Santa Claus is a busy guy this time of year, but we have good news! He’s carving time out of his schedule to pay a visit to Disney Parks, where you can meet him and fill him in on your fondest wish for this holiday season. Between now and Christmas Day, Santa will be making stops throughout Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Here are some of the places you’re bound to find him:

Be sure to consult the in-park Times Guide or ask a cast member to find out just when you can see Santa on the day of your visit, and have a wonderful ho-ho-holiday!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

VIDEO – Finding ‘Frozen’ Merchandise at Walt Disney World Resort This Holiday Season

posted on December 3rd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Some of the most popular holiday gifts this year are anything related to Disney’s “Frozen.” I recently visited Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Frozen Snowground at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to give a rundown of my favorite “Frozen” gifts and where to find them at Walt Disney World Resort during the holidays.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

New ALEX AND ANI Bangles Debut in Time for the Holidays at Disney Parks

posted on December 3rd, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


As you all know, I’m an avid fan of ALEX AND ANI! So, when I see new bangles on the horizon that are what I consider ‘must-haves’ for the holidays, I want to share them with all of you. Here’s your first look at some of the new styles headed to Disney Parks.

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Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you! It All Started With A Mouse and Hakuna Matata are the first pieces in a new collection, Words Are Powerful, inspired by Disney sayings. These bangles will be available in Shiny Silver and Yellow Gold finishes beginning December 15. Also debuting is the 2015 Dated bangle featuring Mickey Mouse, a perfect way to commemorate your visit to the parks next year! This bangle will be available beginning December 15 in Rafaelian Gold and Rafaelian Silver finishes.

Look for these new bangles at locations throughout the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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Charmed? I know I am! Which bangle will you add to your collection this holiday season?

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

Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – December 2014

posted on November 29th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


December is bustling with holiday events at Walt Disney World Resort, take a look!

December 1 – 4: Artist Greg McCullough will be on hand for special appearances and signings this month at Walt Disney World Resort. Find Greg, December 1 – 4 at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace; December 10 – 14 at Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; December 17 – 21 at Art of Disney, Epcot and again December 26 – 31 at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

December 5 – 6: Artist Larry Dotson will be on hand for special appearances and signings throughout the month at Walt Disney World Resort. Find Larry, December 5 – 6 at Puffins Roost in the Norway Pavilion, Epcot, featuring his “Frozen” and Norway-inspired art; December 8 – 13 at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace; and December 19 – 23 at Main Street Cinema at Magic Kingdom Park. Learn more.

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December 5 – 6: Disney artists Costa Alavezos, Brian Blackmore, Jason Grandt, and Tim McCloskey will be on hand for special appearances and signings, December 5 from 6 – 8 p.m. and December 6 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

December 6: Add the limited-edition 650 hand-painted Ink & Paint cel “Silver Screen Journey” featuring Mickey Mouse to your holiday list this year! Ink & Paint artists will be available for a special signing from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 – 5 p.m. at Animation Gallery in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Note: The cel will be available in a variety of formats: Unframed; Framed; Framed Cel with Postcard; and Framed Cel with Postcard and Pin. Learn More. Not able to make it? Take advantage of a special pre-purchase opportunity now through December 4. Applicable tax and shipping fees apply. Order Now!

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December 14 – 23: Beloved artist David E. Doss will be appearing this month at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, just in time for the holidays. Be sure to stop in and say hello! Learn more.

Now – December 30: Share in the sights and sounds of some of the world’s greatest holiday festivities during Holidays Around the World at Epcot. There are quite a few events taking place throughout the month including special appearances by Precious Moments Creator Linda Rick, Department 56 Artist – Scott Enter, Master Glass Artist Reinhard Herzog, Geir Ness, Kit Heath, Julia April and more. Details are available now on DisneyParksMerchandise.com. Learn more.

Now – January 5: Representatives from Precious Moments Dolls will be on hand at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace throughout the holiday season. Stop in and add to your collection today. Learn more.

Which event are you most excited about?

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Filed: Art of Disney, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort