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Top Ten Disney Parks Moments that Will Go Down in History from 2014

posted on December 30th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


We sure had a lot to celebrate at Disney Parks in 2014, and some of the milestones we experienced this year were memorable ones, with “Frozen” fun debuting at our parks, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opening and much more.

That said, here are my top 10 picks for moments that will go down in Disney history for 2014.

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  1. Avengers Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort – Thousands of guests dressed as their favorite superhero joined the mad dash through the Disneyland Resort as a part of the very first Avengers Half Marathon. Did you #SmashTheHalf?

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  1. Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Announces First-Ever Disney Ambassador – For the first time in history, Aulani welcomed their first Disney Ambassador to represent the resort and engage our guests, cast and community. Janelle Sanqui, Aulani’s first Disney Ambassador, worked in Workforce Management at the resort and was born in Hawaii.

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  1. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Reopens at Disneyland ParkBig Thunder Mountain Railroad reopened at Disneyland park back in March. The enhanced attraction debuted with upgraded track, a restored Rainbow Ridge Mining Town and other surprises.

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  1. Themed Hotels Announced for Shanghai Disneyland – In November, we announced that two new themed hotels are planned as a part of Shanghai Disney Resort – the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and the Toy Story Hotel.

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  1. Downtown Disney Announcements – Several announcements were made for new restaurants coming to the shopping, dining and entertainment area at Walt Disney World Resort, including three new restaurants – Morimoto Asia, THE BOATHOUSE and STK Orlando.

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  1. “Frozen Summer Fun” Debuts At Disney’s Hollywood Studios – The first official “Frozen” entertainment offerings made their debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in July. The fun included “Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome” procession, For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration, Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland – and a whole lot of excited guests!

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  1. L’Aventure Totalement Toquee De Remy (Ratatouille) Attraction Opens At Disneyland Park (Paris) – This attraction, and its surrounding La Place de Rémy Courtyard, officially opened July 10, 2014.

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  1. Oswald Begins Greeting Guests At Disney California Adventure Park – This historic Disney character made his first ever appearance at a Disney Park this year. Oswald was one of Walt Disney’s first major animated characters ever developed. Learn more about him here.

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  1. “Disney Festival Of Fantasy Parade” Steps Off at Magic Kingdom Park – March 10 marked the arrival of a wonderful new daytime parade at Magic Kingdom Park. A fire-breathing Maleficent, anyone?

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

  1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Opens at Magic Kingdom Park – The final New Fantasyland attraction made its debut at the park on May 28. Have you seen these amazing Audio-Animatronics figures?

Which moment was your favorite? Would you add anything to our list? Let us know in the “Comments” section below!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Shanghai Disney Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Supports Toys for Tots

posted on December 26th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This holiday season, Disney VoluntEARS continued the 60-year tradition of supporting the Toys for Tots campaign by collecting gifts for children around the globe.

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Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort VoluntEARS supported the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots annual drive. These cast members donated more than 6,000 hours of service to help sort donations and distribute toys to families in need. Disney Cruise Line hosted toy drives onboard their ships, at their homeport in Port Canaveral, Florida and in their shore-side offices. VoluntEARS at Disneyland Paris hosted “Mission Noel.” At this event, they wrapped gifts for children from local communities who were invited to the park for Christmas Eve brunch. In total, our cast members donated more than 40,000 toys, books and games.

Toys for Tots is just one example of how we at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts enrich the lives of kids and families around the globe. Through contributions, collaborations with local organizations, in-kind gifts and volunteerism, we help make lasting and positive change in the world. To learn more about citizenship at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, visit http://aboutdisneyparks.com/citizenship.

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Filed: Community Outreach, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Christmas Trees at the Resorts of Walt Disney World

posted on December 25th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Christmas Trees at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

We thought Christmas Day would be the perfect day to continue our ongoing series featuring beautifully decorated trees from around Disney Parks.

Christmas Trees at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

This year, we’re focusing on the trees specifically found at the resorts during a visit to Walt Disney World. Each year, my family visits as many of our resorts as we can to see these trees and the amazing holiday decorations.

Christmas Trees at Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Do you have a favorite resort to visit during the holidays? Let’s us know in the comments.

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Look as Tri-Circle-D Ranch Preps for the Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration!

posted on December 24th, 2014 by Mark Beatty, Worldwide Ranch Animal Operations Manager


Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is one of the best-kept secrets at Walt Disney World Resort (until now!). At the Draft Horse Barn, one of four stable areas and just a short walk from Pioneer Hall, guests can see a variety of horse breeds and learn more about the many horses in Disney history. While the Draft Horse Barn houses up to 30 horses, ranch cast members care for 80-90 horses at any one time! These horses can be seen in various locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort and the local community. Did you know horses from Tri-Circle-D Ranch are featured in Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park? In addition, local parades like the Citrus Bowl and the Christmas parade in the city of Winter Park, Fla. also feature Tri-Circle-D Ranch horses.

Just like we would prepare for a special event or outing, a great deal of time is spent preparing the horses for these fun events. The horse below, Khan, is getting a morning bath and then had his mane hair braided to give it a nice fluffy look.

Khan from Tri-Circle-D Ranch Preps for the Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration Khan from Tri-Circle-D Ranch Preps for the Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration

Most recently, the horses from Tri-Circle-D co-starred in the Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration!

Don’t forget to visit Tri-Circle-D Ranch during your next visit to Walt Disney World Resort. All guests are welcome to enjoy the outdoor activities including pony rides for the younger travelers and trail rides for the older kids and “kids at heart”! Old-fashioned, horse-drawn wagon, carriage and sleigh rides also allow relaxing time spent in the great outdoors. Call 407-WDW-PLAY to schedule advanced reservations. If you’re feeling spontaneous, call 407-824-2832 for same day reservations.

Happy Holidays and we hope to see you soon!

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Disney Style Snapshots: Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration

posted on December 24th, 2014 by Michelle Stepney, PR Content Director


Festive fashions are as much a part of the Disney Parks Christmas special as the performances and parade floats. Some stars sported designer duds selected by personal stylists, while others chose items from their own closet. Our style squad was on hand at rehearsals for a sneak peek.

Disney Style Snapshots: Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration

The “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” airs December 25, 2014 on ABC-TV at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. In most other time zones. Be sure to check your local listings and join the conversation online using the hashtag #DisneyParade.

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Filed: Aulani, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Get Your ‘Princess’ On with New Perfectly Prepared Princess Package

posted on December 18th, 2014 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


We recently shared on the Disney Parks Blog an enchanting new dining offering fit for a princess at Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. So now modern day princesses can be prepped and ready for this regal celebration with a royal makeover – conveniently located at the Ivy Trellis Salon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Beginning January 8, 2015, there’s a new Perfectly Prepared Princess Package featuring shimmery make-up, glittery nails, and hair styling crowned with a fancy tiara. Sounds divine!

Get Your Princess On with New Perfectly Prepared Princess Package Get Your Princess On with New Perfectly Prepared Princess Package
Get Your Princess On with New Perfectly Prepared Princess Package Get Your Princess On with New Perfectly Prepared Princess Package Get Your Princess On with New Perfectly Prepared Princess Package

Prices start at $50 for princess hairdo, glitter and a tiara; add a little princess glow make-up for $25 more. Option three includes hair, make-up and a fancy manicure for $90. Kids ages 4-12 can get their princess on with The Perfectly Prepared Princess Package that’s also available at the Coronado Springs Casa de Belleza Beauty Salon and at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort Ship Shape Salon. Reservations will open on December 22, 407-WDW-SPAS.

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Behind the Scenes at Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration

posted on December 18th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Robin Roberts and Tim Tebow Tape the 2014 Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration TV Special

Christmas Day is still a week away, but today you’re going behind the scenes with some of the stars taking part in “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” as they share their holiday wishes and talk about what it means to be a part of this Disney holiday tradition. This year our star-studded annual Christmas Day telecast on ABC originates from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in Southern California and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii.

The “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” airs December 25, 2014 on ABC-TV at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. in most other time zones. Be sure to check your local listings and join the conversation online using the hashtag #DisneyParade.

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Wildlife Wednesday: 9 Intriguing Animals You Don’t Want to Miss at Walt Disney World Resort – No FastPass Required!

posted on December 17th, 2014 by Katie Leighty, Ph.D., Science Operations Manager


In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to rush through the day and miss the beauty all around you. In my role, I have the opportunity to work with hundreds of animals and I wanted to share just a few hidden gems. You might have to slow down a bit to find them, but I promise they will be worth a look on your next trip to Walt Disney World Resort. In no particular order:

1. & 2. Red kangaroos & Longnose Gar – Discovery Island Trails & Oasis, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Did you know animals could be found on your way into Disney’s Animal Kingdom? As you enter the park, adventure awaits around every corner, if you take the time to look for it. The longnose gar can be found on the path that crosses through the center of the Oasis just after you enter the park. The red kangaroos can be seen from vantage points at the front of the Tree of Life.

See the Red Kangaroos on Discovery Island Trails & Oasis at Disney’s Animal Kingdom See the Longnose Gar on Discovery Island Trails & Oasis at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

3. & 4. Ruppell’s griffon vulture & Nyala – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is more than a resort. It’s home to more than 200 animals including the Ruppell’s griffon vulture and mesmerizing Nyala. All guests are welcome to enjoy the animals at the resort and if you’re looking for lunch plans, up to 12 guests can Dine with Animal Specialists at Sanaa to learn more about all the animals on the savannah!

Visit Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Visit the Nyala at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

5. Argus Pheasant – Maharajah Jungle Trek, Asia, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The Maharajah Jungle Trek is home to more than tigers and bats. Don’t bypass the aviary on your next visit or you’ll miss the beautiful Argus pheasant.

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6. Eld’s deer – Maharajah Jungle Trek, Asia, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Eld’s deer are an endangered species that can also be found on the Maharajah Jungle Trek. On your next visit, take a look at their large floppy ears that can turn independently of one another. Those ears allow the Eld’s deer to hear predators from long distances.

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7. Shetland ponies – Tri-Circle-D Ranch, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is home to plenty of outdoor activities from horseback rides to carriage rides, and even pony rides! The Shetland ponies are located just a few feet from Pioneer Hall at the Tri-Circle-D Farm. While you’re in the area, don’t miss the Draft Horse Barn where you can see a variety of breeds and see a display on the many horses in Disney history.

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8. Pineywoods cow – Affection Section, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Affection Section is a hidden gem in itself. Guests have the opportunity to get up close and personal with a few different animals and learn from animal experts and keepers. Pineywoods cattle are a critically endangered breed of “heritage” livestock, so pay this gal a visit. If you’re feeling really inspired, you can contribute to conservation efforts around the world through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.

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9. Asian brown tortoise – Dinoland, U.S.A., Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Dinoland, U.S.A. is home to many animals (most are extinct). But it’s in a little island between The Boneyard and Restaurantosaurus that you can find the last animals on our list today. One side of the island is home to the American crocodile, but don’t forget to walk around and say hello to the Asian brown tortoises.

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Holiday Scenes from Our Parks

posted on December 13th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week on the Disney Parks Blog, we shared many great photos of the different holiday celebrations that are taking place now at our parks around the globe.

Disney Parks After Dark: ‘Holiday Wishes’ at Magic Kingdom Park

For example, “Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” is underway during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties at Magic Kingdom Park.

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Holiday Scenes from Our Parks This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Holiday Scenes from Our Parks

Disney Parks Blog author Jonathan Frontado gave us a look at the holiday fun guests are having aboard Disney Cruise Line this month during their Very Merrytime Cruises.

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Erin Glover also shared a look at the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! celebration that’s taking place at Disney California Adventure park, which features live music, appearances by the Three Caballeros, the “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party,” folk dancing, food and fun.

Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort

And who can take their eyes off of this gingerbread masterpiece at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa? Read all the details about this 7 ½ feet-tall sweet structure in Erin’s original post.

Which holiday celebration interests you the most? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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

Room with a View: ‘Safari View’ Suite at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

posted on December 12th, 2014 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Last month, Thomas Smith kicked off a new series on the Disney Parks Blog we’re calling “Room with A View.” It’s a fun way to take a peek inside some Disney resorts that offer amazing views of Walt Disney World Resort.

Today, I want to take you into another favorite view – the savannah room on the second floor of the Jambo House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

From the savannah room, you can see African animals and tropical birds on the nearby savannah. There’s actually 30 species of African wildlife including giraffe, zebra and greater kudu that roam right before your eyes.

It’s so serene and exotic – unlike any other resort in Orlando. And the view inside this room is pretty amazing too. It feels authentic and captures the artistry of African craftsmanship with hand-carved woodwork and rich colors woven in textured fabrics.

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You can book this room now at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. To find prices and availability, visit our Disneyworld.com page.

There are so many views to share with you so stay tuned to the next resort we showcase in our Disney Parks Blog Room with a View series.

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