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New Wearable Disney Gift Card Designed for Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 9th, 2015 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


Complete your visit to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival with an exclusive wearable Disney Gift Card created especially for this year’s event.

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With a new Festival-themed design, the mini Disney Gift Card has all the functionalities of a regular Disney Gift Card, with the added convenience of wearing it around your wrist. Enjoy the sights and scents of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival while discovering foods that highlight the taste of spring. Simply use your Disney Gift Card at any festival kiosk, and enjoy!

This year’s design will be available exclusively at Epcot and Epcot Resort locations for a limited time during the Festival. Activate your Disney Gift Card with as little as $15, then just swipe or scan to pay for food and more.

The fun doesn’t have to end after the Festival! Reload your Disney Gift Card on property as often as you like, and use it for practically all things Disney throughout Walt Disney World Resort and at other Disney destinations nationwide.

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Caption This: Scuba Mickey Mischief at Epcot

posted on March 9th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s image was shot at The Seas With Nemo & Friends years ago, back when it was known as The Living Seas.

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Looks like Mickey has caused a surprise in the pavilion’s Sea Base Alpha. What’s their reaction? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This” photo!

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on March 8th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Blooms Again

This week, we kicked off the 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival by highlighting some of the featured experiences and sharing what you can expect to see this year, including a closer look at our spectacular Anna and Elsa topiaries.

You can find the Anna and Elsa topiaries at World Showcase Plaza and other Disney-themed topiaries in other locations at this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Check out Victoria’s original story to learn more about the new specialty gardens, our Outdoor Kitchens, the Garden Rock concert series and more.

Fly Over California with Soarin' at Epcot Toy Story Mania! at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Also, Disney Parks Blog readers were among the first to learn that we’re expanding Soarin’ in Epcot and Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We are adding another theater at Soarin’ and more midway track at Toy Story Mania. We’ll also be updating the screens and projection system at Soarin,’ bringing a visually enhanced experience.

The expansions are expected to be complete by late 2016.

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

Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort – Hundreds of Disney Parks Blog readers gathered at the Disneyland Resort for our Disney’s “Cinderella” Royal Celebration. Click through for photos, video and more details!

Sneak Peek: New Novelty Items to Celebrate Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – The countdown to the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is on! Take a look at the new artwork coming to special 60th anniversary popcorn buckets and hot mugs for Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park.

‘Decades’ Art Debuts for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – Beginning this May, and over the course of the entire Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, we will take a look back at milestones during each of the last six decades that have made the Disneyland Resort what it is today, with this special ‘Decades’ collection.

Today in Disney History: Indiana Jones Adventure Opens at Disneyland Park, 1995 – On March 3, 1995, Disneyland park guests began exploring the Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Indiana Jones Adventure. To celebrate this anniversary, let’s do a little Disney Parks Blog archeology and look back at some of the stories we’ve shared from this favorite attraction.

New Disney Side App Transforms You Into Disney Parks Characters – Our newest app, Show Your Disney Side, is now available for download and we think it’s going to be one of your favorites!

PHOTOS – Merchandise Blooms at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2015 – Here’s an update on some additional products created especially for this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

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Experience Fresh Entertainment This Spring at Epcot

posted on March 6th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Planning a visit to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this spring? If so, you’re in for a treat! We’ve recently introduced several new atmosphere entertainment experiences throughout the international pavilions of World Showcase, and there’s even more on the way.

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  • Italy – Join in the music, energy and flair of the spectacularly choreographed flag-throwing team of Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro. Featuring hand-painted flags, magnificent period costumes and live music, the Sbandieratori bring to dynamic life a rich, 500-year Italian tradition that’s not to be missed.
  • United Kingdom – Strolling the quaint streets of the United Kingdom pavilion, you can enjoy a delightful, acoustic performance by Paul McKenna Band, a traditional four-piece group from Glasgow, Scotland, whose contemporary approach to songs never strays too far from their Scottish, folk music roots.
  • Canada – On the Mill Stage, the Canadian Lumberjacks demonstrate their professional skills in a safe and friendly competition, a time-honored tradition from Canada’s great timber and logging areas, featuring axe throwing, chopping, log rolling and more.
  • Morocco – B’net Al Houwariyate, a multi-generational Berber music and dance troupe from Marrakesh, takes to the Medina stage of the Morocco pavilion for a lively and interactive performance, illuminating the stories and experiences of women in Morocco.

Starting this week, Voices of Liberty has a fresh new look and sound for their appearances on the outdoor stage at America Gardens Theatre. Two days each week, this remarkable 8-part a cappella group is bringing their talents to even more guests, performing fresh arrangements of popular American songs, both classic and contemporary. Voices of Liberty will continue their traditional performances in the rotunda of The American Adventure pavilion Wednesday through Sunday each week.

These new, authentic experiences – along with long-time favorites like Mariachi Cobre in Mexico, Jeweled Dragon Acrobats in China, the Taiko drummers of Matsuriza in Japan and others – are all part of our continuing efforts to keep Epcot entertainment fresh and contribute to the rich cultural landscape of World Showcase.

Which of these groups are you looking forward to catching during your day at Epcot? Let us know in the comments section.

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Disney Days of Past: Pirate Ships at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 5th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Yesterday, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival opened. One of my favorite times of the year, I love to see all the amazing topiaries created by the horticulture team at Walt Disney World Resort. Below is a look at Peter Pan aboard Captain Hook’s pirate ship from the 2007 festival.

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You have plenty of time to see this year’s topiaries. The festival runs through May 17th.

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More Opportunities to Soar, Enjoy Toy Story Mania Coming to Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 5th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Here at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, we’re always making investments to exceed your expectations – whether it’s creating new attractions and entertainment or making existing experiences even better.

One of the things we’ve heard from our guests is that a visit to Walt Disney World Resort just isn’t complete without enjoying the spectacular views at Soarin’ in Epcot or a spin through Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Well, I’m excited to share that we are expanding both attractions by adding another theater at Soarin’ and more midway track at Toy Story Mania! We’ll also be updating the screens and projection system at Soarin,’ bringing a visually enhanced experience.

Fly Over California with Soarin' at Epcot Toy Story Mania! at Disney's Hollywood Studios

These expansions are expected to be complete by late 2016, offering even more opportunities for you to enjoy these beloved attractions during your Walt Disney World Resort vacation.

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The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Returns Today

posted on March 4th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


The 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival starts today, and we’ve got plenty of fresh experiences, food and music for you to enjoy.

Our 11 Outdoor Kitchens are bursting with flavors from the garden, the barbecue and the globe. The new Botanas Botanico features Cachapas with Farmer’s Cheese, a Seafood Ceviche and a fruity La Tizana punch that can become an adult beverage with a splash of Santa Teresa RHUM Liqueur.

Ten new specialty gardens including a pepper garden, health garden of healing herbs, Shakespeare garden and dinosaur plant gardens may inspire your green thumb.

Kids will love the Living Desert Road Rally with Mater and Lightning McQueen topiaries and the Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden. (Truth be told … I was tempted to do some climbing myself on the rope web – check it out!).

Ease into the evening with Garden Rocks concert series. The Gin Blossoms – perfect for a festival featuring flowers and gardens, right? – kick off our festival music offering.

Linger as the sun goes down to roam our illuminated gardens. It’s really a wondrous way to see Epcot at night.

We’ve already seen two of the newest stars make some young guests leap out of their strollers and dash for a closer look. The Anna and Elsa topiaries are pretty spectacular. Horticulture Manager of the festival, Eric Darden, gives us a closer look at the royal sisters before they made their debut at Epcot.

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PHOTOS – Merchandise Blooms at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2015

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2015 runs from March 4 to May 17 at Walt Disney World Resort. With beautiful flowers to see and delicious food to taste, I love strolling around Epcot a few times throughout spring. Here’s an update on some additional products created especially for this event. I also have a first look inside the Festival Center that will be open Fridays through Sundays in Future World between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions.

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In a previous article, I promised details about the retail MagicBand created for this event. This new item has an edition size of 5,000 and features Anna and Elsa in their “Frozen Fever” attire from the upcoming animated short debuting in theaters before Disney’s “Cinderella” on March 13. Like all other retail MagicBands, this item can be linked later. Look for it in select retail locations at Epcot (it will not be available via the Disney Parks online store).

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I also found a few apparel items for adults and kids including Olaf shirts in blue and green, a Sorcerer Mickey topiary shirt, a yellow Minnie Mouse shirt for women, and a specially designed shirt for Annual Passholders.

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Back by popular demand, we are releasing a new 12-month calendar featuring character topiaries from previous year’s festivals.

Guests will also find an iPhone 6 case with Anna and Elsa, magnets, headware, garden accessories, a new Disney Gift Card and much more.

While the Festival Center will only be open during the weekends, these items will be offered at several locations throughout Future World and World Showcase at Epcot (there are some great merchandise kiosks found along the World Showcase promenade).

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Finally, the Festival Center will host Disney artist Jerrod Maruyama on March 8 from 11a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 2p.m. He will be signing his Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival-inspired piece titled “Spring Has Sprung.” I love his artwork so much!

Here are a few additional images from my visit to Epcot. I hope to see you this spring!

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Filed: Epcot, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – March 2015

posted on February 28th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Spring is in the air! See what’s happening this March at the Walt Disney World Resort!

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March 2 – 8: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, March 2 – 8 and 18 – 22. Stop by and find a new piece of art to add to your collection! Learn more.

March 4 – 8: Renowned international artist Larry Dotson is set to appear this month at Epcot. Find him, March 4 – 8 at Art of Disney and March 27 – 29 at Puffins Roost in the Norway Pavilion. Learn more.

March 4 – May 17: Commemorative Epcot International Flower & Garden Merchandise will be in full bloom, beginning March 4! Visit the Festival Center, open Friday through Sunday, or the bridge kiosk at the entrance of World Showcase and find special treasures to help grow your collection. Tip: Check out special artist appearances and chef demonstrations as well as festival showcases. Learn more.

March 6: Meet author and Major League Baseball Legend, Cal Ripken, Jr. Cal will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his newest book Out at Home at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports during the 2nd inning of the Atlanta Braves Spring Training game. Please note, a game ticket is required to attend this signing. Learn more.

March 6 – 7: Join us as we celebrate the opening of WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Take part in a special artist showcase and signing from 1 – 3:30 p.m. with Michael Lewis Glover and Jerrod Maruyama and 5 – 7:30 p.m. with Jasmine Becket-Griffith and Robert Jimenez. Learn more.

March 8: Disney artist Jerrod Maruyama will be on hand for a signing of his Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival inspired piece Spring Has Sprung at the Festival Center from 11a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 2p.m. Learn more.

March 12: Something ‘charm’ing awaits you from the Disney Parks Collection │PANDORA. What you ask? Keep watching, fellow author Steven Miller will have all the details.

March 13: Pick up a copy of Lee Cockerell’s newest book, Time Management Magic at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Watch DisneyParksMerchandise.com for more information regarding this event, including signing times.

March 13 – 15: Precious moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick will be on hand for special appearances and signings throughout the day at Heritage Manor at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot, as we celebrate the release of her Spring collection. Linda will also appear March 20 – 22. Not able to make it? No problem! Representatives from Precious Moments Dolls will be on hand March 12 – April 12 at Heritage Manor at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot and March 12 – April 27 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

March 25 – 26: Are you a fan of Ridley Pearson? Be among the first to pick up two of his newest releases, Kingdom Keepers: The Return: Book 1: Disney Lands and The Syndrome: A Kingdom Keepers Adventure. Meet Ridley, March 25 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Once Upon A Toy at Downtown Disney Marketplace or March 26 from 9 – 11a.m. at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Learn more. Tip: Wristbands will be distributed to Guests at store open on the day of the signing with each purchase of a book by Ridley Pearson. A wristband from the appearance location is required to meet Ridley Pearson and allows the guest to get two books signed. A limited number of wristbands will be available the day of the signing. Once the wristbands have been distributed, the line to meet Ridley Pearson will close.

March 27 – 29: Celebrate Art in the Garden with us and take part in special artist appearances and signings with David E. Doss and Greg McCullough from 11a.m. – 7p.m. throughout the weekend at the entrance to World Showcase. Watch DisneyParksMerchandise.com to learn more.

March 27 – April 5: We have ‘egg’-citing news. Check out this post on the Disney Parks Blog.

March 28: Add the limited edition hand-painted Ink & Paint cel ‘A Dapper Day in the Parks’ featuring Mickey Mouse looking his best aboard the Main Street Trolley! Ink & Paint artists will be on hand for a special signing from 10 a.m. – 1p.m. and 2p.m. – 5p.m. at Animation Gallery in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Note: The cel will be available in a variety of formats including 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 March 26 at 5p.m. Eastern. Of course, applicable tax and shipping fees apply. Order now!

Which artists are you most excited to see?

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Disney Egg-stravaganza Returns to Disney Parks

posted on February 27th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


I obviously didn’t need an egg-scuse this year to tell you about the return of the ever-popular Disney Egg-stravaganza at Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and Epcot! Here’s what you can egg-spect! From March 27 – April 5, 2015, you’ll be able to search for special hidden eggs themed to Disney characters at some of your favorite theme parks.

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How it works, for eggs-ample!
Have fun eggs-ploring the parks hunting for eggs that portray Disney characters! I can tell you from personal egg-sperience, fans were egg-cited to participate, even taking it to the egg-streme. Just 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.

There’s no reason to walk on eggshells – 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 Port of Entry in Epcot – by April 30 and participate in an ‘egg-scramble’ to pick up your surprise.

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I think you’ll be egg-static about the new surprises this year! They’ll bear a striking resemblance to what you are already searching for and will be an eggs-cellent addition to your collection. I’ll take it one step further if you pardon the egg-spression, and tell you this time, you’ll want to make sure you put all of your eggs in one basket, because all new characters have been gathered to delight you, no yolk.

Purchasing limits will apply, while supplies last. Keep in mind that no discounts apply and separate admission is required to enter Disney Theme Parks. The experience of course, is subject to restrictions and change without notice.

Have I egged you on enough?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort