New York World's Fair 50th Anniversary

Where at Disney Parks Can You Find…

posted on August 1st, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Where at Disney Parks Can You Find…

If you’ve been a regular reader of the Disney Parks Blog then this week’s mystery puzzler will be a cinch. It’s a lot of rope right there out in the open for you to spot in the parks but only if you’re observant. Have you seen it? Please put your answers in the comments and we’ll update the post with the answer later today.

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Today in Disney History: Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

posted on July 29th, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this month, the Disney Parks Blog celebrated the anniversary of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – but that wasn’t the only major attraction that debuted in the month of July. Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith was dedicated July 29, 1999, and officially opened July 30.

Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

The attraction allows guests to step into the shoes of a rock band VIP, and travel from Aerosmith’s recording studio to the backstage area of their concert courtesy of a “super-stretch” limo. These vehicles are equipped with 120-125 speakers and 24 sub-woofers that provide an unforgettable soundtrack for the journey. Oh, and don’t worry about being late for the show – these “super-stretches” speed from 0-57 mph in 2.8 seconds.

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Today in Disney History: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Scares Up A Crowd

posted on July 22nd, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today I get to celebrate the anniversary of one of my favorite attractions – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which opened July 22, 1994.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The attraction’s storyline is this: On Halloween night in 1939, a thundering storm descended on Hollywood hills, trapping several guests in the lobby of the star-studded Hollywood Tower Hotel. A party of five entered the elevator – a couple, a bellman, a child actress and her governess – and with one crack of lightning, each of them vanished. Now, on a night “much like this,” guests are welcome to follow in their footsteps and take a ride in a service elevator that leads “directly to … The Twilight Zone.”

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios

In honor of the attraction’s anniversary, Photographer Gene Duncan explored some of the details in the lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel up close – many of which were acquired by Walt Disney Imagineering at Hollywood auction houses.

Here’s a look at what he found.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Oh, the stories these chairs have to tell! They’re actually authentic antiques that date back to the Renaissance. (Similar sets can be found at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London).

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Several French bronze statues can be seen throughout the lobby, including a few fashioned by the famous 19th-century artist Moreau. His work ornamented many luxury hotels during the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios

If you look closely, the sheet music under this trumpet is actually a copy of “What! No Mickey Mouse? (What Kind of Party Is This?),” which was composed by Irving Caesar in 1932.

Got goose bumps yet? Here are some additional shots.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios
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Ka-Chow! McQueen Joins Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show Today

posted on July 19th, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Lightning McQueen Joins Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Earlier this summer, we broke the news that “Cars 2” star Lightning McQueen was set to join Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in July.

We just received word that Disney’s famous racecar is revved up and ready to make his debut performance in the show beginning today. Read the original story for all the details.

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‘Idol’ Lee DeWyze Visits Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 18th, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


’American Idol’ Season Nine Champion Lee DeWyze (right), and his Girlfriend, Actress Jonna Walsh (left), with Minnie Mouse

Guess who popped up at Magic Kingdom Park today? It was “American Idol” season nine champion Lee DeWyze (right), and his girlfriend, actress Jonna Walsh (left), pictured here with Minnie Mouse.

Of course, guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios can see DeWyze anytime at The American Idol Experience, as he’s featured in video elements within the attraction.

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Where at Disney Parks Can You Find…

posted on July 12th, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Where at Disney Parks Can You Find This Clock?

It’s 8:42 a.m. here at the Walt Disney World Resort and that means it’s time for this week’s mystery image puzzler. This beautiful clock is easy to miss if time is not on your side. Have you seen it? Please put your answers in the comments and we’ll update the post with the answer later today.

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Where at Disney Parks Can You Find…

posted on July 8th, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Where at Disney Parks Can You Find This?

It’s hard to miss the letter “D” during a visit to Disney Parks but today’s blue “D” is special – it’s our mystery image. And if you expect to see and solve this latest puzzler, you’ll need to look up at the right location, but where? Please put your answers in the comments and we’ll update the post with the answer later today.

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Celebrating Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 27th, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Fireworks Over Magic Kingdom

Last week, Erin shared a few special ways we’re celebrating July 4th at the Disneyland Resort. And of course, it’s the same at Walt Disney World. Along with our pyrotechnic shows, there will be a patriotic display at Magic Kingdom, a rock’n’roll spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and a classic sky show at Epcot infused with an Independence Day finale. Here’s a closer look.

  • Magic Kingdom will present “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” This patriotic fireworks spectacular, paying homage to the hopes and dreams of America’s forefathers, will light the skies at 9 p.m. July 4 – and for guests who would like to begin the Independence Day celebration early, the show also will be presented July 3 at 9 p.m.

  • At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, traditional Fourth of July fireworks take on a different spin when Mulch, Sweat, and Shears perform for the all-new “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration!” These resident landscapers – with serious rock and roll ambitions – take Disney guests on a musical road trip across America that will highlight each region’s contribution to rock and roll. Fireworks, lighting and special effects – backed by the driving live rock and roll of Mulch, Sweat, and Shears – combine to bring a new twist to celebrating Independence Day. Showtime July 4 is 9:45 p.m. Before or after the show, Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests can thrill to Disney’s Fantasmic!, performing July 4 at 9 and 10:30 p.m.

  • At Epcot, sky-watchers can check out “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” bursting high above World Showcase Lagoon. IllumiNations is a 14-minute spectacular during which pyrotechnics, lasers, water and music are all used to tell a story about the past, present and future of our planet. On the Fourth of July, the show will be enhanced with “The Heartbeat of Freedom,” an overture of traditional Americana themes displayed in a pyrotechnic and laser light event. The show is at 10 p.m.

Also at Epcot, you can hear a “Voices of Liberty 4th of July Concert” and participate in meet-and-greets with Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross and Disney characters wearing their patriotic dress at American Adventure.

Are you celebrating with us?

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‘Fantasmic!’ Expands to Seven Nights a Week

posted on June 24th, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


What’s better than “Fantasmic!” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? How about “Fantasmic!” seven nights a week?

‘Fantasmic!’ Expands to Seven Nights a Week

The show, which creatively combines moments from popular Disney films with water, lights, special effects and music, will be offered nightly July 3-Sept. 30. Because showtimes will vary, guests are encouraged to visit www.disneyworld.com for updated performance times, or pick up a Times Guide once inside the park. Entertainment is subject to change without notice.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: A Festival of Fools

posted on June 23rd, 2011 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


'The Hunchback of Notre Dame – A Musical Adventure' at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Fifteen years ago at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios), the city of Paris came to life at the Backlot Theater as Quasimodo and friends took the stage for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame – A Musical Adventure.” This 32-minute show opened June 21, 1996 – the same day as the film did in theaters – and entertained guests until it closed on Sept. 28, 2002.

'The Hunchback of Notre Dame – A Musical Adventure' at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The show told the story of Quasimodo’s struggle against the villain Frollo and his feelings for gypsy Esmeralda, accompanied by a musical score recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra. Traveling from the Bell Tower of Notre Dame Cathedral to the streets of Paris for the Festival of Fools, the show featured all of the characters made famous by the movie throughout its seven scenes. During the show’s climax, pyrotechnic special effects were used onstage when Frollo set the city afire.

'The Hunchback of Notre Dame – A Musical Adventure at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Even though I can’t experience this spectacular show any more, I can always join Clopin via DVD as he brings Quasimodo’s story to life.

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