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What’s Included on Your Vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on April 20th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Whenever anyone asks about favorite part of visiting Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, my first response is always the incredible amount of activities included with your stay. What kind of activities, you might ask? Well, today I’m happy to share with you some of the complementary experiences – along with some helpful tips – designed for the entire ‘ohana during your Hawaiian vacation.

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  • Aunty’s Beach House - This magical, interactive kids club is designed for keiki ages 3 to 12 and offers a variety of complimentary activities that explore Hawaiian culture, art and music. I always recommend parents and their toddlers visit Aunty’s Beach House during the Open House hours between 8 – 9:30 a.m. daily to explore this amazing activity center together. Be sure to save time and pre-register your little ones online here.

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  • Starlit Hui - Uncle hosts this evening celebration on the Halawai Lawn and leads guests on a journey into Hawaiian culture and traditions — you’ll watch the stories unfold through spirited song and dance. Your entire ‘ohana will not want to miss this Disney-exclusive entertainment experience, so be sure to check The Daily ‘Iwa for the weekly performance schedule, and for even more fun, arrive about 30 minutes prior to show time! There’s all sorts of pre-show fun and activities for everyone.

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  • Pau Hana Room - For families and friends looking to connect over board games, arts and crafts, books or movies, the Pau Hana Room is the place to be! Most of your favorite Disney classic films are available to rent here. Or, embark on the Menehune Adventure Trail, a high-tech scavenger hunt, from the Pau Hana Room! Some of the activities that take place in the Pau Hana Room can be quite popular, so be sure to check in early!

These are just three of the activities that make a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, an unforgettable experience for everyone. Plus, they are included in the price of your room! To explore more, click here.

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Five Reasons to Visit the Disneyland Resort this Spring

posted on April 20th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Spring is in full swing at the Disneyland Resort, and it’s brought unique experiences you will only find this time of year! Here are our top five reasons to visit right now:

  1. “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park — There’s still a lot of “Frozen Fun” to be had at Disney California Adventure park! Anna and Elsa are receiving visitors in their elegant greeting location, “Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome.” Guests can sing along with Anna, Elsa and Kristoff at “For the First Time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.” Everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf, is ready to give a warm hug to guests of all ages at “Olaf’s Snow Fest,” which includes a giant play area with real snow.
  2. Limited-time offer for Southern California residents — Now through May 14, 2015, Southern California residents may purchase two or three days of magic and adventure at special prices, to experience attractions and entertainment throughout the Disneyland Resort. The special tickets are exclusive to Southern California residents and expire on May 21, 2015. *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.

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel at a Disneyland Resort

  1. Special savings at Disneyland Resort hotels — Experience the luxurious Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa or the magical Disneyland Hotel, or have a “day at the beach” at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with special limited-time savings at Disneyland Resort hotels. Make reservations at any Disneyland Resort hotel from now until May 7, 2015, to save 20 percent on premium rooms and 15 percent on standard rooms Sunday through Thursday nights from April 5 to June 16, 2015. **
  2. Special “Frozen Fever”-inspired treats — Inspired by the new “Frozen Fever” short, Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake, Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day and an individual ice cream cake inspired by Princess Anna’s birthday cake are available for a limited time at select locations throughout the Disneyland Resort.

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  1. Springtime Roundup at Disneyland park — Celebrate spring with some favorite Disney bunnies, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their springtime attire, fun crafts, tasty treats and more at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Disneyland park. Springtime Roundup is available on the weekends through June 7, 2015.

*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 Park 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.

**Disneyland Resort Hotel Offer: Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room at the same hotel. Travel must be completed by 06/17/15. Ask about savings in other room types. Not valid on previously booked rooms. Advance reservations required. Subject to availability as the number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Excludes applicable fees and taxes. Limit two (2) rooms per reservation and five (5) people maximum per room. Not valid in combination with any other hotel discounts or offers. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Separate Theme Park admission required to enjoy “Frozen Fun” and the Parks.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Hotels & Resorts, Vacation Planning

Good Morning From Pirates’ Beach & Skull Rock at Disneyland Park Paris

posted on April 20th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Looks like it’s a lovely morning in Adventureland at Disneyland Park (Paris). Photographer Tom Bricker recently stopped through the park and got us this great shot just as the Disney Pirate Galleon, Pirates’ Beach and Skull Rock were just opening for the day. Here young guests can explore the caverns of Davy Jones’ Locker and two pirate playgrounds where they can even walk a plank. Gorgeous skies make for great treasure hunting – isn’t that what they say?

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For more from the “Good Morning” series, visit the posts below:

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Disney Days of Past: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Constructed

posted on April 16th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Surrounded by over 45 acres of savanna, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge continues to be one of the most spectacular hotels at Walt Disney World. Opening 14 years ago today, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby soars six stories high under an incredible thatched roof. In September 2000, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was beginning to take shape as construction continued on what is now known as Jambo House.

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While seeing a giraffe outside the balcony of a guest room is quite unique, the Jambo House is also home to two distinctive restaurants celebrating the flavors of Africa – Jiko and Boma (not to mention they’re absolutely delicious).

Jiko - The Cooking Place at Walt Disney World Resort Boma - Flavors of Africa at Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great place to relax and enjoy the ambience of the Resort when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the Parks.

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Filed: Disney History, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Last Chance to Enter the ‘My Magical First Sweepstakes’ from Disney Junior

posted on April 15th, 2015 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


We’re all about celebrating a childhood “firsts” here at the Walt Disney World Resort – the first time you meet Mickey Mouse, your first haircut at the barber shop on Main Street, U.S.A., the first time you’re tall enough to ride the Tomorrowland Speedway by yourself.

My most memorable “first” was my first character breakfast. It was on the Empress Lily, now Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney.

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Our colleagues at Disney Junior want to celebrate those firsts with you in the My Magical First Sweepstakes. You can now enter for a chance to win a 5-day, 4-night vacation for four to Walt Disney World Resort from Disney Junior at Disney.com/MyMagicalFirst.

Imagine your little one’s first Walt Disney World vacation including:

It will be a magical time that you will remember forever. Trust me.

Check out Disney.com/MyMagicalFirst for all the information including how to enter and keep watching the Disney Parks Blog and the #DisneyKids for more fun for ideas for your little ones.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Downtown Disney, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

New Allergy-Friendly Menus at Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resorts

posted on April 14th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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On April 14, Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will begin to introduce new allergy-friendly menus at approximately 120 quick-service and table-service locations. The menus provide more convenience and readily available options for guests with special dietary requests.

“Over the years, the number of guests with food allergies and intolerances has continued to grow. In 2013 alone, our cast members assisted with more than 650,000 special dietary requests. These new allergy menus are another way in which we can provide high-quality, safe and more accessible alternatives, and the best possible dining experience for guests with specific dietary needs,” says Gary Jones, chef and culinary dietary specialist for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

The new allergy-friendly menus provide allergen content for each menu item, making informed choices easier. Menu selection includes appetizers (where applicable), entrées, side items, desserts and kids’ meals, and focuses on the most common allergens: gluten/wheat, milk, peanut, tree nut and fish.

Guests are still able to consult directly with a restaurant chef or special diets trained cast member. We also encourage guests to continue to communicate special dietary needs to our restaurant cast members, as this allows our culinary team to take extra measures during preparation to prevent the introduction of the allergen.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the recipient of a FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) Award for dedication to providing a safe and enjoyable dining experience for vacationing families and our chefs have been recognized for their commitment to food allergy awareness, education and management.

The new menus will be introduced in signature restaurants on April 14, then debut at other table-service and quick-service restaurants (including Walt Disney World water parks, Downtown Disney and resort hotels) through September 2015. For more information on special dietary requests, click here for Walt Disney World Resort and click here for Disneyland Resort.

Click here to check out a sample menu.

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‘Mahalo Mama Month’ Celebrates Moms at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on April 6th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawai`i, will celebrate moms for the whole month of May with an all-new breakfast-in-bed option and a blissful menu of spa treatments at the award-winning Laniwai Spa. The offerings are the Hawaiian resort’s way to say mahalo to moms staying at Aulani.

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Moms can wake up in paradise with a scrumptious breakfast brought right to their bedside. Aulani’s chefs have created a special treat just for them: Strawberries and Cream Stuffed French Toast, topped with warm chocolate syrup. Don’t worry, all guests are welcome to enjoy this delectable treat!

After breakfast, moms can spend the day relaxing at the Laniwai Spa and experiencing one of the many rejuvenating treatments. For example, during the Kapa’i Massage, warmed poultices of muslin-wrapped herbs are steamed and kneaded onto the body, perfect for those seeking muscle tension relief.

For the rest of the ‘ohana, there are also many ways to create one-of-a-kind keepsakes for moms. During arts and crafts at Aunty’s Beach House and the Pau Hana Room, kids can make mementos moms will keep forever. With Disney PhotoPass opportunities located throughout the resort, families can capture their special memories from Aulani on camera. As a special offer, guests will receive 20 percent off family portrait sessions throughout the month of May—perfect for mom’s desktop at home or at the office.

Adding to the great reasons to celebrate moms at Aulani is this special offer: guests can save up to 30 percent on stays during the month of May! For more details about “Mahalo Mama Month,” please visit here.

How will you celebrate Mother’s Day at Aulani? Tell us in the comments below!

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Disney Vacation Account Helps You Plan, Save for Future Disney Vacations

posted on April 6th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re one of our many readers who can’t wait for their next Disney trip, you’ll want to check out our newest program – Disney Vacation Account. It simplifies saving for your next dream vacation – a little at a time – and includes some great online tools to help you do it.

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Disney Vacation Account was created after hearing your feedback. You let us know that you wanted more tools to help plan a Disney experience and we’ve created a program that’ll let you save for magical vacations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, or Adventures by Disney.

Disney Vacation Account helps you manage your vacation savings at your own pace, in a way that fits your budget. And it’s easy to get started.

First, our Account Budget Estimator will help you estimate the cost of your vacation based on current prices. Please remember prices change from time to time.

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Next, calculate your savings contribution on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Then sit back and track your savings with a personalized account page and fun emails that help you plan your vacation along the way.

Accounts can be updated at any time—like changing your savings contribution amounts and frequency or stopping your contributions—at no cost.

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When you’re ready to book your dream vacation, you can use your Disney Vacation Account to pay for your vacation. To use your Disney Vacation Account funds toward paying for your vacation, you must book it either directly with Disney or through a participating travel agency booking directly with Disney. Please ask your travel agent whether your booking will be eligible to be paid for with your Disney Vacation Account.

There are no fees to create or maintain a Disney Vacation Account. And all of your contributions are fully refundable.

Also, if you use your Disney Vacation Account to pay for your vacation before December 31, 2017, (date subject to extension) you’ll be eligible for a $20 Disney Gift Card for every $1,000 spent on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account. Certain limitations apply.*

To sign up and get started, visit our Disney Vacation Account site. And let us know how it helped you with your next Disney vacation.

*Maximum of a total of $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household. Your Disney Vacation Account must be active for a minimum of 120 days at the time of spending in order to receive this bonus. Request your Disney Gift Card(s) 4-6 weeks in advance of your vacation date to allow time for delivery to your mailing address. Visit DisneyVacationAccount.com\FAQ\Bonus for complete details.

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Filed: Adventures by Disney, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Behind the Scenes: Photographing a Blood Moon at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 4th, 2015 by David Roark, Manager of Photography, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


It has been a lot of fun working on these “Moon over Walt Disney World” images over the years. Photographing a Super Moon or Blood Moon event presents a unique set of challenges. Here are some behind-the-scenes tips on how we shoot an event like this.

  1. Time of the eclipse – If the eclipse is happening well after moonrise or well before moonset, it is usually too overhead to include any Disney subject matter. The best photos come when the moon is close to the horizon within an hour of sunrise or sunset so the sky is not too dark.
  2. Unique Disney subject matter – You may have seen Super Moon with the Holiday Cinderella Castle and Spaceship Earth, as well as Blood Moon behind Crossroads Mickey from Hollywood Studios. These are all locations that can be photographed from a variety of angles and with a telephoto lens (300-600mm).
  3. Camera location – It is rare that the moon and a perfect camera location all line up. The preference is to have a steady camera location on the ground or on a rooftop. Most times, I need to have a bucket truck to get into the perfect spot or just get around an obstruction.
  4. Weather conditions – Clouds and fog always add another element of uncertainty. I like to think Walt helps me manage this!

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The first step I use to plan one of these photos is to use specific photo apps that tell me precisely where the moon will be at a specific time. One of my favorite apps works with Google Maps, so I get a very specific map of possible locations.

For today’s blood moon, everything lined up perfectly at the new Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, other than a very tall stand of trees near the Ticket & Transportation Center. A quick call over to the Disney Arborists and my bucket truck operator, Carlos Lopez, and I was set for a 5 a.m. start this morning. Having the bucket truck allows me to get an elevated view (and work around trees, light poles, etc), but it also creates challenges because the bucket can cause a lot of camera movement when you are shooting at long exposure times. We usually have to move the truck a few times to get into the perfect spot. I prefer to shoot moonset because the Florida weather is a bit more predictable in the morning. The moon began to enter Earth’s shadow at 6:15 a.m. Moonset was at 7:13 a.m. The moon wasn’t in total eclipse until 7:58 a.m., well after the moon had dropped below the horizon. That is why you only see it partially shadowed in this photo. It was a very clear morning, but the moon became obscured by ground fog moments after this photo was taken.

See the posts below for more about moon photography at Walt Disney World Resort:

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

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Celebrate A Grand Opening

posted on April 4th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week at Walt Disney World Resort some of the coolest photos came from the opening of the Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. The grand opening ceremony included performances by fireknife dancers, drummers, and the lighting of special torches that each represented different Polynesian islands.

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Makes its Grand Opening Debut at Walt Disney World Resort

For more on this lovely resort – and the nearby Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – check out the posts below.

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