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Happy Holidays from Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at the 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

Celebrate the Candlelight Processional With Our Latest Desktop/Mobile Wallpaper

posted on November 28th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Candlelight Processional, one of Walt Disney World’s most cherished holiday traditions, will return to Epcot tonight.

In honor of the show’s return, we have a brand-new Disney Parks Blog wallpaper to share with you today. Artist Jason “Tiki” Tackett drew inspiration from the show’s stained-glass windows for this one.

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Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special page.

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Candlelight Processional Returns to Epcot Tonight at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 28th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The “Candlelight Processional,” a highlight of the holiday offerings at Epcot, will return to the park tonight.

In case you haven’t seen the processional, the show is a retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator with seasonal songs performed by a live choir and orchestra. Shows take place each day at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. (except on December 7, when shows will take place only at 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.).

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First up in this year’s schedule of narrators is actress Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” Joining the lineup for the first time this year are Jonathan Groff, who voiced Kristoff in “Frozen” and comedian Ana Gasteyer. Check out the full schedule below (entertainment is subject to change).

  • Jodi Benson – November 28 – 29, 2014
  • Neil Patrick Harris – November 30 – December 2, 2014
  • Jonathan Groff (NEW!) – December 3 – 4, 2014
  • Whoopi Goldberg – December 5 – 6, 2014
  • Levar Burton – December 7 – 9, 2014
  • Edward James Olmos – December 10 – 14, 2014
  • Chita Rivera – December 15 – 17, 2014
  • Ana Gasteyer (NEW!) – December 18 – 20, 2014
  • Marlee Matlin – December 21 – 23, 2014
  • Isabella Rossellini – December 24 – 25, 2014
  • Blair Underwood – December 26 – 27, 2014
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – December 28 – 30, 2014

One of the easiest ways to experience the Candlelight Processional is by purchasing a dining package – find more info on that here. It’s a family tradition my family adopted years ago and we can’t wait to attend again this season.

Will you see the Candlelight Processional at Epcot this year? Which narrator are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Making Plans for New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 24th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


It may still be November, but I bet many of you are already thinking ahead and starting to make plans for New Year’s Eve. Well, if you’re going to be ringing in 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort, here’s a rundown of some of the entertainment we have planned for this year’s celebration.

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  • Epcot – It’s a night-long party throughout Epcot, with unique entertainment including a DJ and light show at the Future World Fountain Stage, dancing under flame effects and a smoke-billowing dragon in China, a British blast to the past in United Kingdom, Euro-pop and lasers in Italy, and a Latin band and DJ on the America Gardens Stage. Cap it all off with one of two showings of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” fireworks, at 6:00 p.m. or 11:40 p.m., followed by a countdown and pyrotechnic salute to the new year.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Exclusive specialty drinks and food items are available throughout the night, as the Event Stage comes alive with an energetic DJ and performances by Mulch, Sweat & Shears. As midnight approaches, the band takes the stage to count down to 2015 and plays live during a jaw-dropping fireworks spectacular.
  • Magic Kingdom Park – You can get a head start on the festivities, with a special New Year’s Eve eve presentation of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at 11:50 p.m. on Tuesday, December 30. The same show will be repeated on December 31.

So tell me … what are you doing New Year’s Eve?

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

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: The Building Of Park Icons

posted on November 15th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, some of the most compelling images we shared on the Disney Parks Blog were of some iconic buildings guests have enjoyed at our parks for years, specifically the train station and entrance to Disneyland park and Spaceship Earth at Epcot.

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George Savvas shared these amazing construction images of the Main Entrance turnstiles and Main Street Station earlier this week.

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Nate Rasmussen also gave a look at the early construction of Epcot’s theme park icon – Spaceship Earth.

Which other attractions or areas of our parks are you interested in seeing early construction photos of? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

New Experiences Coming to Holidays Around the World at Epcot

posted on November 14th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


One of my family’s favorite traditions each year is to visit Epcot during Holidays Around the World, where time-honored traditions come alive through the sights and sounds of the countries of World Showcase. We enjoy learning about the customs of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and listening to the tales of characters like the kind-hearted witch La Befana, whom I recall from the years I spent living in Italy as a child.

For the 2014 holiday season, new Holidays Around the World experiences in Mexico, Morocco, and China join returning favorites such as “Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season,” the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

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In Mexico, guests will enjoy the songs and traditions of “Fiesta de Navidad,” featuring colorful dancers and mariachis, who celebrate the holiday customs of Mexico in an interactive, musical performance. A Moroccan storyteller invites guests to join her on a journey to experience the gaiety of festivals, holiday traditions, and celebrations that are like the “spice of life” across Morocco. And the China pavilion bursts to life with the vibrant Chinese Lion Dance, bringing good fortune and happiness to all in honor of major holidays such as the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival.

I can’t wait to see it all! Holidays Around the World at Epcot starts November 28 and continues through December 29, 2014. Who else is going?

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Spaceship Earth

posted on November 13th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


There is no mistaking you’re at Epcot when there’s a 16 million pound, 180 feet high geodesic sphere greeting you. Spaceship Earth has been the icon of Epcot since the park opened. In August of 1981, Spaceship Earth was beginning to take shape.

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Did you know Spaceship Earth stands on legs 15 feet above ground level? It took over 40,000 hours of labor to build this unique icon covered with over 11,000 aluminum facets.

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Read on for more posts about Epcot in the “Vintage Walt Disney World” series:

Tastes From Around the Globe at Epcot Holidays Around the World November 28 – December 30

posted on November 10th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Holidays Around the World at Epcot where the World Showcase countries reflect the seasonal traditions – including tastes of homelands far, far away.

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Starting our stroll at Promenade Refreshments, try the Turkey Waffle – a filling sweet potato waffle with roast turkey and green bean casserole (all-in-one holiday dinner). Then head to Canada for pecan-maple bark, a nod to our Northern neighbor’s bounteous maple sugar production. Next door in the United Kingdom, it’s hot applejack cider with whiskey and a blend of seasonal spices – sip while you listen to stories of Father Christmas.

France sweetly celebrates with the classic bûche de noël au chocolate (chocolate cake shaped like a log) at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie, and glace au apin d’epices (gingerbread ice cream) at L’Artisan des Glaces.

Japan adds teriyaki chicken karaage, a Japanese version of crispy fried chicken bites with teriyaki sauce, at Kabuki Cafe, and you can hear the story of the hollow-round Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year.

Up next, American Adventure, with freshly baked gingerbread men, chocolate chunk cookies and sugar cookies, hot chocolate, hot apple cider and peppermint bark at the Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery (perfect snacks for the Candlelight Processional). Look for Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations throughout the holidays, plus our favorite Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers.

At Italy you can meet La Befana, the kind-hearted witch who arrives on the eve of the Epiphany to grant gifts to good children – like panettone, the sweet bread loaf served at the Gelato kiosk, along with sweet moscato wine and ciocolata calda (hot chocolate).

In Germany, listen as Helga tells the story of the first Christmas tree as you nibble on stollen fruit cake and sip glühwein (hot spiced wine).

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Learn about the Christmas gnome in Norway and indulge in the traditional rice cream at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (so popular they leave it on the menu year-round).

Then take another lap around the World Showcase Lagoon to burn all those calories – ‘tis the season!

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New Animated Magic Shots Add Extra Disney Magic to Your Photos

posted on November 7th, 2014 by Marie Quintero, Marketing & Communications Manager, Disney PhotoPass Service


Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort can now have some Disney animation added to their memories and it is all part of Memory Maker!

When visiting one of the locations listed below, simply ask a Disney PhotoPass Photographer for an Animated Magic Shot.

When you visit MyDisneyPhotoPass.com you’ll be surprised to find that we have applied animation to your photo featuring a Disney character.

As part of your Memory Maker entitlement you’ll be able to download the video file of your Animated Magic Shot to post online and share with friends.

Also, be on the lookout for special Animated Magic Shots coming this holiday season to Magic Kingdom Park and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights. I’ll share a sneak peek of those with you soon.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – November 2014

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


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

Have you taken part in this year’s 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? There’s still time. Here are a few special guest appearances you won’t want to miss. Learn more.

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November 1 – 2: Be among the first to get Disney Infinity 2.0 during our special launch event at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

November 3 – 6: Meet artist Larry Dotson who will be on hand for special appearances each day at Art of Disney in Epcot. Learn more.

November 6 – 9: Beloved artist David E. Doss returns to Walt Disney World Resort this month. Look for appearances by David at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

November 7: “Drop” in to Tower Gift Shop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a special Game Night with Disney Design Group Artist, Quynh Kimball. From 4 – 6 p.m. you can challenge Quynh to a game of Jenga or Clue, both inspired by The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction, as he tells you about how he designs these Disney Theme Park Exclusive games. Learn more.

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November 7 – 8: Excited for PANDORA? Be sure to watch for a special post from Steven Miller on a special jewelry showcase scheduled to take place at Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

November 7 – 8: Join us as we welcome artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith who will appear for the very first time at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Meet Jasmine from from 5 – 7 p.m. each day. Learn more.

November 7 – 9: Representatives from Precious Moments Dolls will be on hand at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace for the release of the Villains Collection inspired by Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and the Evil Queen. Not able to make it? No problem. Representatives will be on hand throughout the holiday season, beginning November 20. Learn more.

November 10 – 13: Artist Greg McCullough will be on hand for special appearances and signings this month at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Meet Greg (November 10 – 13, 16 – 20, 26 – 28 and November 30 – December 4). Learn more.

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November 14 – 15: Meet Disney artists David Buckley, Will Gay, Joe Kaminski, Mark Seppala and Don “Ducky” Williams, November 14 from 6 – 8 p.m. and November 15 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

November 14 – 16: ACME Archives artist William Silvers will be on hand for a special showcase as we debut some of his newest pieces inspired by Star Wars. William will appear November 14 – 15 from 5 – 9 p.m. each day and November 16 from Noon – 4 p.m. Learn more.

November 21 – 22: Take part in a Disney artist showcase with Joe Kaminski, Alex Maher, Tim McCloskey and Darren Wilson, November 21 from 6 – 8 p.m. and November 22 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

November 21 – 23: Precious Moments doll designer Linda Rick will be on hand for the debut of her Holiday Princess Collection. Look for special appearances by Linda, November 21 – 23 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace and November 27 – 30 at Santa’s Village at American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot. Learn more.

November 29 – 30: Meet Disney Traditions artist Jim Shore and see some of his latest releases November 29 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace and November 30 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Heritage Manor in Epcot. Not able to make it? Take advantage of a special pre-purchase opportunity. Learn more.

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There’s just one last thing to note before I go. Holidays Around the World kicks off November 24, I know Steven Miller is planning to share all the details with you but here are a couple of events worth noting on your holiday calendar.

  • Precious Moments Dolls (Nov. 24 – Dec. 30)
  • Reinhard Herzog (Nov. 25 – Dec. 23)

Which event are you most excited about?

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort