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Happy Holidays from Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park at the Walt Disney World Resort

Think Outside the Box for New Year’s Eve Celebrating at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 4th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Early birds are already making their New Year’s Eve plans, and reservations go fast for many Walt Disney World Resort restaurants. But we’ve got some offbeat ideas for ringing in 2015 that don’t require a reservation (except for one).

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If you’re at Epcot, you can still make a reservation for early dining at lovely Monsieur Paul upstairs in the France Pavilion (one of our top spots for fine dining). It’s a treat to lunch at Monsieur Paul, as it’s usually just open for dinner: there are still seats available at 11:45 a.m., noon, 2:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. This gracious experience ($85 per person plus tax and gratuity), starts with Cassolette d ’escargots Cauderanaise (escargot cassolette with white wine, bacon, shallots); a salad with Roquefort cheese, pear and caramelized pecans, or mussels soup with saffron and light fennel cream. Entrées include chicken with morels mushrooms and white sauce; broiled Maine lobster casserole, or beef short ribs braised in red wine with Parisian gnocchi with herbs. The sweet ending is a delectable French dessert.

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If you can’t snag a reservation, another favorite is Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar in the Italy Pavilion, a cozy spot to sip Bellinis or martinis, or choose from a solid wine list. Small plates include pastas, Tuscan-style pork ribs, paninis, charcuterie and imported cheeses. La Cava Del Tequila in the Mexico Pavilion doesn’t take reservations either – try a flight of tequilas (more than 100 to choose from) and pair with chips and guacamole or a shrimp cocktail for a light bite.

If you prefer to watch Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from afar, grab a seat in the lounge at Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The expansive wine and cocktail list pairs nicely with small bites from the kitchen like arancini (crispy risotto with sweet Italian sausage and mozzarella), Prince Edward Island mussels or slow-roasted Berkshire pork belly.

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You can also see Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from Disney’s Contemporary Resort where The Wave . . . of American Flavors lounge (ages 21 and older) offers signature cocktails, beer and wine along with seasonal tastes such as steamed Florida Cedar Key clams, lump crab, Florida rock shrimp cakes and a sustainable fish taco.

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At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge offers prime outdoor seating with wine, beer and cocktails and a substantial menu – yes, you can get the famous Cobb Salad as well as Wagyu beef sliders, artisinal cheeses and charcuterie and Maine mussels (we love the desserts too, like the warm blueberry cobbler with crème fraîche and orange blossom honey).

Another tucked-away spot that’s got a view of Epcot fireworks from along the BoardWalk at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is casual Crew’s Cup Lounge – beer fans highly recommend the Sam Adams beer flight, but there’s a bounteous selection of other brews, cocktails and wine. The menu runs the gamut from a New England-style lobster roll to pappardelle pasta with braised short ribs.

And if fireworks aren’t an important part of your year-end celebration, for a lovely spot head to Victoria Falls Lounge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, where you can sip a Coconut Elixir (non-alcoholic), a truffle olive martini or a fabulous South African wine while listening to live music. The menu is one of our lounge favorites: tandoori-spiced chicken wings, peri peri scallops, pork wings, crispy chick pea bites and artisanal cheeses. For guests looking for a heartier meal, Boma Flavors of Africa still has reservations available on New Year’s Eve.

Wishing you a happy, healthy 2015!

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

Santa Is Making the Rounds at Disney Parks

posted on December 4th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Festival Of The Seasons

Santa Claus is a busy guy this time of year, but we have good news! He’s carving time out of his schedule to pay a visit to Disney Parks, where you can meet him and fill him in on your fondest wish for this holiday season. Between now and Christmas Day, Santa will be making stops throughout Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Here are some of the places you’re bound to find him:

Be sure to consult the in-park Times Guide or ask a cast member to find out just when you can see Santa on the day of your visit, and have a wonderful ho-ho-holiday!

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

Vintage Walt Disney World: Candlelight Shines At Epcot

posted on December 4th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


There’s a lot of shouting for joy over at the America Gardens Theater at Epcot now that the Candlelight Processional has started for the holiday season. The Candlelight Processional has been a holiday tradition at Disney Parks dating back to 1958 at Disneyland park.

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Before moving to Epcot in 1994, the Candlelight Processional was performed at Magic Kingdom Park. Below is a look at the Processional being performed in front of Cinderella Castle in 1980 and in front of the Main Street Train Station in 1983.

Candlelight Processional Performed in Front of Cinderella Castle in 1980 Candlelight Processional Performed in Front of Main Street Train Station in 1983

Candlelight Processional is presented at Epcot three times nightly through December 30th.

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

VIDEO – Finding ‘Frozen’ Merchandise at Walt Disney World Resort This Holiday Season

posted on December 3rd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Some of the most popular holiday gifts this year are anything related to Disney’s “Frozen.” I recently visited Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Frozen Snowground at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to give a rundown of my favorite “Frozen” gifts and where to find them at Walt Disney World Resort during the holidays.

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

New ALEX AND ANI Bangles Debut in Time for the Holidays at Disney Parks

posted on December 3rd, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


As you all know, I’m an avid fan of ALEX AND ANI! So, when I see new bangles on the horizon that are what I consider ‘must-haves’ for the holidays, I want to share them with all of you. Here’s your first look at some of the new styles headed to Disney Parks.

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Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you! It All Started With A Mouse and Hakuna Matata are the first pieces in a new collection, Words Are Powerful, inspired by Disney sayings. These bangles will be available in Shiny Silver and Yellow Gold finishes beginning December 15. Also debuting is the 2015 Dated bangle featuring Mickey Mouse, a perfect way to commemorate your visit to the parks next year! This bangle will be available beginning December 15 in Rafaelian Gold and Rafaelian Silver finishes.

Look for these new bangles at locations throughout the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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Charmed? I know I am! Which bangle will you add to your collection this holiday season?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

VIDEO: ‘Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on November 30th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Earlier tonight, we continued our Disney Side live video for the holidays series. Tonight, we’re live streaming “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” as it happens on Main Street, U.S.A. at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Click here to see the full-screen version.

Thank you for checking out our second in a series of live stream events this holiday season. Of course, “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” is best experienced in person at Magic Kingdom Park. You can see the parade during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights on November 14, 16, 20, 21 and 30; and December 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 19, 2014.

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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

Watch ‘Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade’ Live from Walt Disney World

posted on November 28th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Our exclusive series of Disney Side holiday live events at Walt Disney World Resort continues this weekend with another special surprise from Magic Kingdom Park.

We’re live streaming “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” on November 30, 2014 right here on the Disney Parks Blog.

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At 8:30 p.m. EST, we’re hosting coverage of “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” as it happens on Main Street, U.S.A. To see it, just visit the front page of the Disney Parks Blog beginning at 8:20 p.m. on November 30.

During the live stream, “Frozen” favorites Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf will join Disney Characters, gingerbread men, elves and others for a procession down Main Street, U.S.A. You can also see a special appearance from Santa, wishing guests a “Merry Christmas!” from his sleigh.

“Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” is best experienced in person at Magic Kingdom Park. You can see the parade during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights on December 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 19, 2014.

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Made With Magic Items Now Available at Disney Parks

posted on November 25th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m happy to announce that Made With Magic items are now available at Disney Parks. You may recall my recent Disney Parks Blog article about Made With Magic, the new name for products that light up and interact with select Disney experiences at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. I recently visited Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to get a first hand look at these new products.

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As the sun set on another beautiful Florida day, I saw these items in action at the top of the Hollywood Hills Theater just before seating opened for the first Fantasmic! show. We currently offer a Disney ear hat, a Minnie Mouse headband and a Sorcerer Mickey wand. A light-up Mickey Mouse glove will be coming to Disney Parks in spring 2015. Each Made With Magic item has a retail of $25.00 (that retail includes tax).

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My favorite item is the Sorcerer Mickey wand as it has the ability to change other Made With Magic items. It’s pretty easy to use. To change the color patterns on the wand, press the artist pallet button. Once you find a color pattern you like, you can press the wand button to change other Made With Magic items. I changed an entire display of Disney ear hats with just one wand (I wonder if I can use this wand to clean up my apartment as that would be amazing).

Look for these items in select merchandise locations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. Guests in California can find these items in various merchandise locations in Disneyland park and in Disney’s California Adventure park.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Before/After: Magic Kingdom Park Transforms for the Holidays

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


If you enjoyed this month’s behind-the-scenes look at the overnight installation of holiday decorations at Magic Kingdom Park, then you’ll love today’s special look at the transformation from Disney photographer Charlie Champagne. Scroll back and forth to see the transition from Halloween to Christmas at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park

Entrance to Magic Kingdom Park

Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort