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'it's a small world' at Disneyland Park

The Gracey Manor Ghouls Win the Title of 2015 Fan-Favorite Disney Parks Attraction

posted on April 8th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Over the past few weeks, 32 teams inspired by favorite Disney attractions competed for the title of the ultimate Disney attraction. Yesterday, the competition came down to its final round with The Gracey Manor Ghouls at Magic Kingdom Park going head-to-head with Space Mountain Blast at Disneyland park. You voted, and the winning 2015 fan-favorite Disney Parks attraction is The Gracey Manor Ghouls.

Thanks for showing your #DisneySide and helping choose this year’s March Magic winner. Check out the highlights of their high “spirited” celebration below!

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

Little League Baseball Star Mo’ne Davis Shows Walt Disney World Resort How To ‘Throw Like Mo’

posted on April 7th, 2015 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


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The whirlwind ride of Little League baseball star Mo’ne Davis made a stop at Walt Disney World Resort this week. The most recognizable 13-year-old pitcher on the planet visited Magic Kingdom Park with her family and got to be the honorary Grand Marshal of the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.”

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Davis, who is from Philadelphia, showed her Disney Side by wearing Mickey ears and a Mickey Mouse shirt. After the parade, Davis spent some time with some little girls near Cinderella Castle, showing them how to hold and throw a baseball. She even played a little baseball with them before taking off to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in the parks with her family.

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The visit to Walt Disney World Resort continues what has been quite a ride for Davis since last summer when the Little League slugger became the first girl to win a game as a pitcher during the Little League World Series. Afterwards, she met President Obama, appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and in a documentary directed by Spike Lee, published a book and has her jersey in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

More recently, Disney Channel announced it plans to make a made-for-TV movie about her life entitled “Throw Like Mo.’’ But Monday, Davis wasn’t focused on any of that. She was just thrilled about hanging out with Mickey Mouse.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

California Grill Salad Celebrates Florida Tomato Month at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 7th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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April is Florida Tomato Month, a fact that makes our neighbors to the North just a little covetous – as they are getting ready to plant for summer, we’re already harvesting beautiful, juicy Florida tomatoes. So if it’s early for you, stash this recipe ‘til summertime and re-create a divine taste of this California Grill salad that showcases heirloom tomatoes with a snappy vinaigrette and a rich dollop of ricotta cheese.

Chef Brian Piasecki says his restaurant high atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World Resort will just have the Florida tomato salad on the menu for a few more weeks. “Later in the season, we get our heirlooms from Ohio,” says Chef Brian. In peak tomato season California Grill serves up to 200 pounds of tomatoes a week – on everything from tomato flatbreads to risotto, salads and other seasonal dishes.
For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Shisito Pepper Vinaigrette
Serves 4

Shisito Pepper Vinaigrette

  • 1 cup shisito peppers, stems removed and seeded
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heirloom Tomato Salad

  • 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, each cut into 4 slices
  • 1 pint small heirloom tomatoes cut in half
  • 8 slices sourdough bread, toasted and cut into circles with a round cutter
  • 1/4 cup shaved red onion (about a 1/4 of a small red onion)
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 3/4 cup shisito pepper vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, divided
  • 12 small basil leaves
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For shisito pepper vinaigrette:

  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add peppers and stir until skins are blistered.
  2. Combine blistered peppers, garlic, vinegar, and lemon juice in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  3. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until dressing is thick. Add Tabasco, pulsing to combine.
  4. Transfer to medium bowl and stir in herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For heirloom tomato salad:

  1. Layer 4 tomato slices and 2 bread rounds on each of 4 plates.
  2. Combine halved tomatoes, red onion, arugula, and shisito vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper; toss well to coat.
  3. Divide mixture evenly among plates.
  4. Dollop 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese on top of each salad; top with basil leaves.

Cook’s Note: Shisito peppers are small Japanese peppers that are slightly sweet and mildly spicy. You may substitute poblano peppers for a similar flavor.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Good Morning from Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station

posted on April 6th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


One of my favorite additions to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park has been the charming Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station where kids of all ages can cool down during the day. Looks like the train cars are just waking up for another day of fun.

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For more morning photography, check out the posts below:

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Caption This: A Wild Monorail Ride at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 6th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Back in the 1970s, the Monorail route to Magic Kingdom Park was highlighted with a series of animal topiaries.

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While this entertained guests, no doubt, I wonder what’s on the minds of the animals? Have an idea? Caption this photo in our comments section now!

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Happy Easter from the Disney Parks Blog Team

posted on April 5th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


In honor of today’s holiday, we thought we’d share a look back at one of Magic Kingdom Park’s Easter parades. This procession, which took place multiple years in the 1980s, featured Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny and friends strolling right down the middle of Main Street, U.S.A.

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Check out Donald riding high in the giant Easter basket behind them. Is that an enormous chocolate bunny he’s standing next to? My favorite!

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, 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

Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: April 2010

posted on April 3rd, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


We’ve been sharing moments big and small from Disney Parks for more than five years, and I love to look back at some of those moments and share them with you. When I dug back to five years ago this month, I was happy to find two photos that have become unforgettable for me … Space Shuttle Discovery flying over Cinderella Castle and two of our baby goats born here at Disneyland park. (Those tiny little legs!) Take a look …

Space Shuttle Discovery Soars Over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World

Space Shuttle Discovery Soars Over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World
On the morning of April 5, 2010, photographer Kent Phillips captured Space Shuttle Discovery as it soared over Cinderella Castle on its mission to the space station.

The Fleet at Rest by Paul Hiffmeyer

The Fleet at Rest
Disneyland chief photographer Paul Hiffmeyer shared this lovely photo of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in the morning light.

A Model Vacation on Disney Cruise Line – Exclusive Tilt-Shift Video
We took readers on a “miniature scale” journey on the Disney Wonder cruise ship created through the magic of tilt-shift photography.

Adventure on the High Seas

Adventure on the High Seas
Photographer Garth Vaughan got this shot of the Flying Dutchman and the Disney Wonder while both were docked at Castaway Cay in 2010.

Mulan, Stitch and Lilo

Baby Goats Born at Circle D Corral This Week
They’re not babies anymore, but back in April 2010 we gave readers their first look at Stitch and Lilo – baby goats recently born at Disneyland park.

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

First Look: New Olaf Premium Sipper Coming to Disneyland Resort

posted on April 2nd, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


What’s better than warm hugs from a snowman? A cool drink in an Olaf Premium Sipper! For the first time in forever, guests will be able to purchase the new Olaf Premium Sipper from Food & Beverage locations throughout Disneyland Resort.

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Don’t worry, east-coast “Frozen” fans—this “cool” sipper will launch during the 24-Hour Party at the Magic Kingdom, May 22-23 — where you can celebrate the Coolest Summer Ever!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

New Hidden Mickey Pins Coming to Disney Parks in April 2015

posted on April 1st, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


One of the most popular questions I’ve received since the start of this year involves the availability of new Hidden Mickey pins. These 1.25-inch pins are a fun thing to collect or trade with Disney cast members when visiting Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. I’m happy to report that a new series of pins will be released at Disney Parks in April 2015.

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Similar to previous collections, there will be unique pins released for trading at each Disney destination. One collection – Disney Villain neckties – will be found in both California and Florida. I was happy to see Hades, my favorite villain, made the cut.

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For Disneyland Resort, there will be a few different collections featuring Disney characters and iconic things from Disney Parks. I’m in love with the Mickey Mouse food icons, and the Disney ducks collection is perfect (there is a Darkwing Duck pin!).

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Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort will find pins inspired by Disney character apples from our consumable locations like Main Street Confectionary. Other pins will resemble cast member costumes from popular Disney attractions. My favorite pins, however, are the EPCOT Center logos, which include logos for Horizons, The Living Seas, The Land, Journey Into Imagination and CommuniCore.

There are a few different ways to identify a Hidden Mickey pin. Guests can look for a small Mickey Mouse icon in the artwork. The back of the pin also contains the words “Hidden Mickey Pin” along with the number of pins in a particular collection (such as 1 of 5, etc.).

These pins are distributed at random to cast members to use for trading. As a reminder, guests may trade a maximum of two pins, per cast member, per day.

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