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Giant Sand Castle in the Snow Announces 24-Hour Party, ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 11th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As you may have seen on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” we shared some true Disney magic in winter-weary Boston by creating a warm summer scene, inspired by Olaf’s “In Summer” dream, to officially announce that the “Coolest Summer Ever” is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort. And it all begins with a Disney Parks Blog reader favorite – a 24-hour event at Magic Kingdom Park – during Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff to summer.

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Olaf, who is the official host of our “Coolest Summer Ever,” surprised Bostonians near historic Faneuil Hall with a 20-foot wide beach that included a Cinderella Castle made of sand, beach chairs, beach balls and other reminders of summer fun at Walt Disney World Resort. Check out how it all came together in the video below.

We’re kicking off the summer with an all-night party at the Walt Disney World Resort. Magic Kingdom Park will be open to guests for 24 hours of nonstop fun from 6 a.m.-6 a.m. May 22-23. Guests are invited to dress to show their Disney Side while a selection of favorite attractions, entertainment, merchandise, food and beverages will be on tap all night long to celebrate the start of the “Coolest Summer Ever” at Walt Disney World Resort.

For the “Coolest Summer Ever,” we’re already planning experiences you won’t want to miss. Here’s an early look at some of the highlights:

There’s more to come, so keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog or visit Disneyworld.com/CoolestSummerEver for future details and information.

Also, later this morning, Erin will be sharing a special announcement from Disneyland Resort right here on the blog.

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Filed: Disney Vacation Club, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Unique Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store for a Limited Time in March 2015

posted on March 9th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m delighted to share that several unique Disney Parks-inspired shirts will be coming to the Disney Parks online store in March 2015.

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Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra designed the two shirts that will be released from March 9-15, 2015. For the “Date Night at Disneyland Resort” shirt, Richard was inspired by vintage advertising from Disneyland park. This design will be offered for both women and men. I’m thinking this would be a perfect T-shirt for my fiancée and me to wear during one of our many dates to Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel.

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Richard’s other vintage shirt design, The Dapper Dans at Main Street, U.S.A., will be offered for men, women and youth.

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From March 30 to April 5, we will release two shirts that were inspired by classic Disney attractions from Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

The Adventure Thru Inner Space was designed by artist Ian Giles. This Tomorrowland attraction was found at Disneyland park from August 5, 1967 to September 2, 1985. It’s the one Disney attraction I wish I could have experienced as it looked amazing (as seen in this article).

Richard designed the If You Had Wings shirt that combines visual elements from the attraction that operated in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida from June 5, 1972 until June 1, 1987. When attraction sponsors changed, it was replaced by If You Could Fly, which was open from June 6, 1987 to January 3, 1989. It’s the one attraction I vividly remember from my first visit to Walt Disney World in 1983. I still can’t believe I will soon own this shirt!

These limited release shirts will be found at http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents during their respective release dates. Please allow 3-5 weeks for delivery (express shipping is not available).

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

Disney Parks After Dark: Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

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


Tonight’s “After Dark” images are a duo of shots taken of a Tomorrowland favorite – Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin.

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin at Walt Disney World Resort Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin at Walt Disney World Resort

Here, you can travel through Star Command headquarters to join Buzz Lightyear on his battle to defeat the evil Emperor Zurg. Have you tried it?

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Caption This: Green Aliens Invade Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on March 2nd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “Caption This” image was snapped inside Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin here at Walt Disney World Resort.

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They sure look excited about something – but what? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This” in the comments section below.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

This Week In Disney Parks Photos: Magic Kingdom Park Unveils A Charming New Landscape

posted on February 28th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Yesterday we shared some of the first images of the newly reshaped Central Plaza area (the space between the end of Main Street, U.S.A. and Cinderella Castle) at Magic Kingdom Park.

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The unveiling is the first milestone in a multi-phase project that will include sculpted gardens, new pathways, and more in this area. Be sure to check out the gallery of images above. How lovely is this area turning out to be? I can’t wait to visit again and take photos of the charming new fountains!

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyKids: Kids Remember The Barnstormer

posted on February 27th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


When is the right time to take kids on a Walt Disney World Resort vacation? Parents sometimes ask if their little one is too young to make the trip and if they should wait a few years. Is there enough for them to do, and will they even remember? Yes and yes! There are more than 80 attractions and experiences throughout the four theme parks that are great for younger kids, creating lasting memories for them and their parents.

But don’t take our word for it – hear it from kids themselves. We spoke to preschool-aged guests in our theme parks about their experiences at Walt Disney World Resort and they had a lot to share.

They really loved exciting attractions, like our kid-friendly roller coaster in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park, The Barnstormer.

Check out this video to see for yourself!

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

New Viewing Areas for Parades & Fireworks Debut at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Last year, we showed you a preview of the work that we’re doing to make one of our guests’ favorite areas at Magic Kingdom Park even better. Today we’re happy to share that several new sections of the Central Plaza area between Main Street U.S.A. and Cinderella Castle are now open.

New  Viewing Areas for Parades & Fireworks Debut at Magic Kingdom Park New  Viewing Areas for Parades & Fireworks Debut at Magic Kingdom Park

This marks the first milestone in our multi-phase project that will add in sculpted gardens, new pathways, and expanded restaurant seating. And beginning February 27, the FastPass+ viewing location will relocate from the the Rose Garden Fireworks Viewing Area to the Main Street Plaza Gardens (an area adjacent to The Crystal Palace).

New Viewing Areas for Parades & Fireworks Debut at Magic Kingdom Park New  Viewing Areas for Parades & Fireworks Debut at Magic Kingdom Park

Interested in using Disney FastPass+ service for this new area? Check out your My Disney Experience account.

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Filed: FastPass+, Magic Kingdom, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Days of Past: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


I thought it would be fun to take a look at one of my favorite attractions from a vantage point rarely seen – above. Take a gander at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad photographed in 1991 from the sky.

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No matter the vantage point, it will always be the wildest ride in the wilderness!

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

#DisneyKids: Experience the Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Carpe diem. Seize the day.

That’s exactly what you can do on an Ultimate VIP Tour. Imagine experiencing cherished attractions at three theme parks with fast-tracked access, private transportation and a Table-Service lunch in one of the parks, all in one day — accompanied by a cast member with detailed knowledge of Disney lore.

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I recently got the opportunity to go on The Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour, one of two new offerings from VIP Tour Services (The Ultimate Day of Thrills being the other), so I of course jumped at the chance.

Tomorrowland Terrace at Magic Kingdom Park is the starting point for the tour. Tracy, our Tour Guide, handed out bottles of water to keep everyone hydrated and took lunch orders. From there, we headed to Magic Carpets of Aladdin to begin our journey. We hit some classics, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan’s Flight, and newer highpoints like Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid. Then it was off to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (yay Toy Story Midway Mania!), via private van, that included a yummy sit-down lunch at a reserved table. The tour ended on a high note at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with front row seats at Festival of the Lion King, about as close as you can get to this beloved Broadway-style show without being in it.

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Entering via the FastPass+ lines made for minimal waiting. Tracy was also in constant contact with Brian, our coordinator, who stayed ahead to ensure everything went smoothly. Patient, personable and well versed in all things Disney, Tracy shared trivia, helpful hints and background information along the way, like giving Toy Story Midway Mania! point-scoring tips and pointing out a hidden Mickey in the flamingo pool on Kilimanjaro Safaris. What a fascinating window into the magic.

In all, we enjoyed 11 attractions in three parks — with plenty of sunshine left at the end to go exploring on our own — accomplishing a lot but never feeling rushed. A steady pace kept us on schedule. It’s a unique, specialized way to splurge on yourself and loved ones, especially if you’re pressed for time.

And though designed with mild thrills for families with children under 10 years old, don’t let the name fool you. The Ultimate Day for Young Families is not just for the little ones. In fact, Tracy said adults frequently enjoy the tour sans kids. In other words, everyone’s the right age. Because fun never goes out of style.

This unforgettable guided adventure (that feels intimate since there is one Tour Guide per every 10 people) through some of your kids’ (and your) favorites while spending less time in line is worth the memories. Heck, maybe you’ll discover something new in the process. I did. Okay, I admit it: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin was a first for me. What a blast (pun intended)! No wonder it’s so popular.

The tour is offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays and lasts six to seven hours. Attractions and entertainment offerings subject to change. The cost is $299 per person, plus tax (theme park admission not included). Call 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687) for reservations. You can also access the online VIP Tour Services brochure here for more info

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, FastPass+, Magic Kingdom, MyMagic+, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Preview of New Disney Parks Collection | PANDORA Jewelry Coming in March 2015

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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A few weeks ago, I promised a look at some new charms items from the Disney Parks Collection | PANDORA, which will launch in multiple merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts on March 12. The new charms will join the previously released jewelry collection that features hand-finished .925 sterling silver and 14K gold charms inspired by some of Disney’s most beloved characters and icons. Here’s a preview of some new items created especially for Disney Parks.

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We will release two charms inspired by Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park and Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park. These sterling silver dangle charms, which make great keepsakes, feature the resort destination name on the bottom of each castle.

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This spring collection will also include a sterling silver and teal enamel charm featuring Mickey’s Fun Wheel from Disney California Adventure park. My favorite charm, however, is a sleek sterling silver geometric sphere that resembles Spaceship Earth with a monorail from Epcot.

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Guests should also look for a Minnie Mouse charm that is similar to the “Mickey Mania” charm released last fall. The sterling silver openwork “Minnie Mania” charm has colorful red, light yellow, black and white enamel details.

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Black and red enamel Mickey and Minnie Mouse icons are also pictured on a sterling silver safety chain with enamel hearts. For those who may not be familiar with a safety chain, it’s a stylish and practical way to keep your charms secure on your PANDORA bracelet. To use, simply thread one end on the bracelet first, add your charms and then thread the other side of the safety chain on the end of the bracelet to secure.

The best places at Disney Parks to find PANDORA jewelry are at La Mascarade d’Orleans in New Orleans Square in Disneyland park at Disneyland Resort, and at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort.

Guests will also find an additional jewelry charm designs from the spring 2015 Disney | PANDORA Jewelry Collection at select Disney Parks merchandise locations and at PANDORA stores throughout North America.
We will also offer select charms on our Disney Parks online store at http://www.DisneyStore.com/PANDORA.

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