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Caption This: Meeting Robots at Epcot

posted on July 13th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Check out this photo that was snapped at Epcot in 1985. In it, robot Gyro appears to be dancing with a young guest.

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How did their dance go? And were you lucky enough to meet Gyro back then? You tell us in the comments section below. Go ahead and Caption This!

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on July 12th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we looked ahead to the holidays with a sneak peek at a few of the narrators for this year’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot as you begin to book dinner packages for the event.

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The Candlelight Processional is presented three times per night at the American Gardens Theater at Epcot. Show times are 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. from November 27 to December 30. This year’s narrator list includes Neil Patrick Harris and Whoopi Goldberg. Our updated list and more details on the dining packages can be found in our original story.

You can also reserve your Candlelight Dining Packages this weekend by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.

Loggerhead Turtle With Only 3 Fins on Coral Reef in Caribbean

We continued our popular Wildlife Wednesday series with a story from Disney’s Vero Beach Resort featuring turtles Tinker Bell and Marina. Both are part of The Sea Turtle Conservancy’s Tour de Turtles, the great turtle race that helps identify their migratory routes.

Disney Vacation Club members chose the names Tinker Bell and Marina for this year’s turtles, and guests at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort will meet them at Tour de Turtles on August 1. Starting at 7 a.m., guests can watch as we attach a satellite transmitter to the shells of the turtles so we can track their movements.

Check Anne’s original story for more details.

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

A Look Back at ElecTRONica at Disney California Adventure Park – It’s been more than 30 years since Walt Disney Pictures released “TRON,” but it wasn’t that long ago that Disney California Adventure park guests stepped into the Grid themselves during the nighttime dance party, ElecTRONica. Let’s take a look back at this guest favorite.

Greetings Programs – Celebrating My Love of All Things ‘TRON’ – Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller shares some of his prized possessions inspired by Disney’s “TRON”, and previews some Disney Infinity 3.0 figures coming later this year.

Every Role a Starring Role – Aviator at Soarin’ Over California at Disney California Adventure Park – As an Aviator at Soarin’ Over California, Ryan Adams has the unique role of preparing guests for an exhilarating flight through some of these iconic sights, sounds and smells of California — all within a few minutes!

Your Chance to Sip a Rare Wine at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa – A state-of-the-art WineStation by Napa Technology is the newest “toy” for the sommeliers at the award-winning Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Birthday Collection Coming Soon – On July 16, look for a special commemorative birthday collection to debut at select locations as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

Celebrate Tanabata With New Beverages From Tokyo Dining in Epcot – See how Tanabata was honored at Japan Pavilion in Epcot this week, and plan a celebration with a loved one for your next visit!

#DisneySide Doodles: Rapunzel Takes a Carousel Spin – This week’s #DisneySide Doodle was created by artist Ty Amato and showcases Rapunzel and her good pal, Pascal, taking a ride on the carousel.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney Vacation Club, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

#CoolestSummer Ever: Liquid Cool at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 10th, 2015 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


When temperatures creep up, there’s nothing like a bit of H2O. Here are some watery ways folks ward off summer’s generous warmth:

Spritzes of circumstance. For a quick refresh, you need only catch a Magic Kingdom Park camel at the right time at The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. And even though you can get plenty of moisture at Kali River Rapids, you can also get a sprinkle or two from other Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests aiming squirt guns from the bridge over the attraction. Think of it a kind of public service for this time of year.

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Kid’s mini-water frolic areas. Some parks have mini-water fun areas, where festive sprays pop up at random and kids let off steam. Similar fun is flowing at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

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Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station. The newest wonderful world of wet was suggested by reader Thomas in an earlier post, and it’s a big hit for the little ones, as well as a Magic Kingdom Park joy for fans of the Disney animated classic, “Dumbo.”

Club Cool. Beware of the Beverly! If you’ve been to this ethereal Epcot oasis before, you’ll probably get the reference. At Club Cool, you can sample international Coca-Cola products to your heart’s content. Everybody has a favorite, and more than one have stood poker-faced as newbies take sips of a brew called “Beverly” and watched them make the same face as Lucy did when she joined the thousands of happy peppy people who spooned their way to health with her first taste of Vitameatavegamin (“It’s so tasty, too. Tastes just like candy!”).

Disney Water Parks, of course. You can pretend you’re splashing around “snow-capped peaks” at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park–where little ones can step across ice blocks and giggle on Lilliputan miniatures of the park attractions. This summer, we’ve even introduced a fantastic selection of delicious foods at both Water Parks. And whether you’re Disney Channel fans or those of us whose hearts belong to Annette (or both), you can groove to music, entertainment and games during the Teen Beach 2: Beach Party at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Twistin’ rockin’ eatin’ and laughin’ at beach parties is the height of summer coolness.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Google ‘Code the Road’ Ends With Celebration at Epcot

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


Recently, Google embarked on a nationwide bus tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Google Maps API that ended Friday, June 26, with a special celebration at Epcot.

Here, they hosted an event that allowed park guests to check out a digital display of Google Maps-related apps and also taught a group of students (grades 6-12) from Collegiate Pathways’ Tech Sassy Girlz about coding and technology. Disney cast members also took part in the celebration, giving the students a technology tour of Epcot that explored the park’s interactive queue experiences, and mapping and navigation technology, among other projects.

Check out the video below for a look inside the celebration.

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Filed: Epcot, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

2015 Candlelight Processional Packages on Sale

posted on July 8th, 2015 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Happy Holidays! (Deck the halls with boughs of …)

Wait! It’s not holiday time yet, is it?

While it may not be time to unwrap presents quite yet, it’s time to let you, our guests, start booking dinner packages for the 2015 Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

Right now, in fact!

Regular readers of the Disney Parks Blog know that I am a huge fan of the Candlelight Processional, part of Holidays Around the World at Epcot.

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The dramatic re-telling of the Christmas story with celebrity narrators like Neil Patrick Harris and Whoopi Goldberg; the spectacular mass choir singing traditional and contemporary Christmas songs; the swelling sounds of the Walt Disney World orchestra — I love it all.

This year’s event runs nightly at The America Gardens Theater at Epcot from November 27 to December 30.

We also have a sneak peek at some of our narrators from this year. Here’s the list so far: (Entertainment and times subject to change)

  • 11/27 – 11/29 — TBA
  • 11/30 – 12/3 — Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/4 – 12/5 — Whoopi Goldberg
  • 12/6 – 12/8 — Joe Morton
  • 12/9 – 12/11 — TBA
  • 12/12 – 12/14 — Meredith Vieira
  • 12/15 – 12/16 — TBA
  • 12/17 – 12/18 — TBA
  • 12/19 – 12/20 — TBA
  • 12/21 – 12/23 — TBA
  • 12/24 – 12/26 — Edward James Olmos
  • 12/27 – 12/28 — TBA
  • 12/29 – 12/30 — Amy Grant

The Candlelight Processional is presented three times per night at the American Gardens Theater at Epcot. Show times are 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. *

Dining packages include appetizer, entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage at select Epcot full-service restaurants (or one full buffet where applicable), and guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional. Dining packages do not include park admission.

For Dining Reservations that include preferred Candlelight Processional Seating, please call Disney Dining at 407-WDW-DINE.

For more information on Holidays Around the World at Epcot and the Candlelight Processional or to make reservations for a Candlelight Processional dinner package, check out http://www.disneyworld.com/holidays. And check back to the Disney Parks Blog for updates on who fills those last coveted slots in our narrator lineup.

*Dining packages are not available on Sunday, December 6, at 5:00 pm.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Celebrate Tanabata With New Beverages From Tokyo Dining in Epcot

posted on July 7th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Today is Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival in Japanese culture. This holiday celebrates the one day of the year that two loves, Altair the Cowherd and Vega the Weaver, were allowed by the king to be together. The rest of the year they are separated by the Milky Way. In Japan, many festivals take place to celebrate Tanabata—in fact, Tokyo Disneyland celebrates the festival with a parade lead by Mickey and Minnie.

Today at Walt Disney World Resort, Tanabata is being celebrated in the Japan pavilion at Epcot. Cast members wear traditional Kimono, and in the afternoon guests are invited to write their wishes on slips of colorful paper and place them on a bamboo tree in the Mitsukoshi department store. Continue the celebration at Tokyo Dining, where you can share a meal—and some drinks from the new beverage menu—with a loved one.

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Recently, I had the chance to catch up with Garin Williamson, beverage manager for Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo, who walked me through the new beverage menu. With a focus on natural, fresh ingredients, these drinks have a distinct Japanese flair.

Shochu Squeeze from Tokyo Dining at Epcot Shochu Squeeze from Tokyo Dining at Epcot

For a “hands-on” experience, try the Shochu Squeeze: choose grapefruit, lemon or orange to hand-squeeze into a glass of clean, crisp shochu for the ultimate refreshment.

Junmai Sake Flight from Tokyo Dining at Epcot Sake from Tokyo Dining at Epcot

There are many ways to sample sake—choose from a new carafe or masu box—purposely overflowed to show generosity—or try the Junmai Sake Flight, a sampling of three premium sake: Junmai, Junmai Ginjyo, and Junmai Daiginjyo.

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On a hot day, cool down with the Sake Mojito with sake, shochu, Japanese shiso herb and fresh mint, or go for something tropical like the Okinawa Beach with gold tequila, blue curacao, pineapple juice, sour mix and calpico. Tea lovers will enjoy the Green Tea Martini with honey-infused matcha tea and vodka.

Celebrate Tanabata today with your loved ones or next time you visit the Japan pavilion at Epcot. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries This Month with New Shirts on the Disney Parks Online Store

posted on July 6th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


With the start of a new month, I’m excited to highlight a few new shirts coming to the Disney Parks online store. Guests can order these limited release shirts by visiting http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParksEvents during the following dates in July. Please allow 3-5 weeks for delivery.

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July 7-13
This month marks the start of a new series of companion T-shirts featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. For July, Mickey and Minnie are covered in sparkling lights for a salute to the Main Street Electrical Parade. Look for new companion tees each month with nods to other classic Disney attractions, shows and experiences (the EPCOT Center ones are spectacular!).

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July 17-23
Celebrate 60 years of Disneyland Resort with this commemorative “Day Of” T-shirt for this milestone anniversary on July 17. We will also release the second shirt – Dumbo the Flying Elephant – in our original Disneyland park attraction series that day. Please note that the images above contain concept artwork for these two shirts.

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

#DisneyKids: Creating Independence Day Memories at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 3rd, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Independence Day is a wonderful holiday for families to spend time together and celebrate our nation’s birthday. Fireworks are almost synonymous with July 4, and if you’re planning to bring your kids to the parks for the holiday, you can see some amazing fireworks displays in addition to lots of other patriotic entertainment that will have your little ones saying, “oooh ahhh!”

Magic Kingdom Celebrates a Star-Spangled July Fourth

Magic Kingdom Park: Young and old will marvel at the specially-themed fireworks spectacular over Cinderella Castle “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky,” which will be presented two nights in a row at 9 p.m. on July 3 and 4.

Epcot: Snap a family photo with Chip and Dale in their patriotic attire outside of The American Adventure. Then be sure to check out the Voices of Liberty performing a special set list of great American songs at the America Gardens Theater at 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 3 p.m. Schedule nap time during the day so that the littles ones can end the day with “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” at 10 p.m., which features an addition of a heart-pounding, all-American grand finale.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: It’s a family-friendly party over at the “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party, which leads up to a “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration.” The DJ kicks the soiree off at 5:45 p.m., followed by an exciting pyrotechnic, rock ‘n’ roll road trip across America in the sky over Hollywood Studios at 10:15 p.m.

Tip: For long days in the parks, be sure to pack snacks and sunscreen to keep little ones happy and comfy during the day, and pj’s for the evening so they can fall asleep when the fireworks end. Don’t worry if you forget something — the Baby Care Centers at every park are fully stocked. Have fun!

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#CoolestSummer Ever: AmeriCool!

posted on July 3rd, 2015 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


To lots of folks, the Fourth of July is one of the coolest times of the year. There are fireworks, icy cold drinks, fun foods and, of course the spirit of America – a spirit that can take on many forms, from ingenuity and tradition to good old-fashioned belly laughs.

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Here are a few AmericFaves, in no particular order of preference:

The Hall of Presidents. Many thanks to those readers who commented on last week’s post (and on all of our posts)! Several of you—including Jason, Eric, Sidney and James’s wife-named The Hall of Presidents as a great place to cool off and enjoy a spectacular presentation in which every U.S. President appears on stage. Thanks for the nice comments about what a great attraction it is!

The American Adventure. This is one of my personal favorites because the voice of Ben Franklin is done the late actor Dal McKennon, who worked on dozens of Disney films, park attractions, TV shows and records. Dal was also the voice of TV’s Archie, Gumby, and on camera played lots of character roles, including Cincinnatus on TV’s “Daniel Boone” starring Fess Parker, and Sam the cook in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Living on the West Coast, it was over 20 years before Dal actually saw The American Adventure. He wept for joy, and the guests who happened to be there that day had the pleasure of briefly meeting him in person.

Muppet*Vision 3-D. And now, for something completely silly. Who else but the madcap Muppets would present a crazy extravaganza like Sam Eagle’s “A Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America”, in which what appear to be “it’s a small world” characters and “Babes in Toyland” figures cavort in utter chaos, as Lady Liberty Piggy beams majestically … until … well, you know what went down if you saw it. If not, check out Muppet*Vision 3-D soon!

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. Corn-on-the-cob, chicken, burgers, mac and cheese are national treasures. Whether it’s the Fourth of July or not, this is a great way to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Chip ’n Dale, hear live country music and watch rope tricks (kind of like “Talent Roundup Day” on the Mickey Mouse Club!). This is an open-air experience with lots of circulating fans to supply the coolness. Reservations for dinner are required, but you don’t have to be staying at Fort Wilderness Campground and Resort to book it. Allow yourself some time to explore the lovely surrounding area, too (don’t forget to look for the Lawnmower Tree).

Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. Walt was called an “American original”; the very personification of hard work, goals and dreams realized (and some setbacks as well). But Walt and his creations are not bound by lines on a map or stars in the sky. His magic really belongs to the entire world. This magnificent journey through his amazing life, career and myriad of creations is sheer joy for everyone to share … makes no difference who you are.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

POLL: Which Patriotic Parks Experience Is Your Favorite?

posted on July 3rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Happy Fourth of July! At Walt Disney World Resort, we have plenty of ways to get a good ol’ fix of Americana.

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Which patriotic parks experience is among your favorite? Vote for your favorite below.


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