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Enjoy ‘The Ultimate Day of Thrills’ at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 27th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Want to receive the full VIP treatment on your next visit to Walt Disney World Resort? You’re in luck, because two new tours, The Ultimate Day of Thrills – A VIP Tour Experience and The Ultimate Day for Young Families – A VIP Tour Experience, are now available at the Walt Disney World Resort.
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Both tours last six to seven hours and include experiencing a certain number of attractions at Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom – such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Toy Story Midway Mania! and Expedition Everest. (The Ultimate Day for Young Families – A VIP Tour Experience offers attractions that are specifically accessible to young children, as well). Both tours also include a meal at a Disney table-service restaurant. These tours will be offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and cost $299 per person. Disney Vacation Club Members, Disney VISA Cardholders and Annual Passholders receive a 15% discount.

Call 407-WDW-TOUR for more information.

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

Get Ready to Experience ‘Frozen’ Summer Fun – Live at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on June 26th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Like Olaf, have you ever closed your eyes and imagined yourself in another place? In summer, maybe? At Walt Disney World Resort? Or perhaps in the snow-covered kingdom of Arendelle, from Disney’s instant classic, “Frozen.” Why not all three?! After all, the hot and the cold are both so intense, if you put them together it just makes sense! And that’s just what we’re doing as part of an incredible new experience.

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This summer, the world of “Frozen” takes center stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We’re opening up the gates July 5 for a summer-long happening, featuring a full day of all-new, immersive “Frozen” experiences you won’t want to miss, every day through September 1!

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Olaf on Summer Vacation – Olaf the snowman is having the time of his life on his very first summer vacation! He chimes in throughout the day to keep everyone updated on all his adventures. Plus, you can pick up your very own Take-Along Olaf from locations in the park, so he can join you on your summer vacation. And when you share your photos with Olaf on social media, be sure to tag them with #OlafSummerVacation. They may just get selected to appear in that day’s grand finale!
  • Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome – At 11:00 a.m. each day, Elsa and Anna arrive in Hollywood as part of their goodwill tour of neighboring kingdoms, making their way down Hollywood Boulevard in a horse-drawn sleigh. Kristoff is along for the fun, too, joined by a flurry of skaters, skiiers, ice cutters and more! The entire procession culminates in a special moment at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage to officially welcome the visiting royalty to this kingdom of Hollywoodland.
  • For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration – Cool down inside the Premiere Theater, where Anna and Elsa join the Royal Historians of Arendelle for a fun and comedic retelling of the unique history of their Kingdom, filled with delightful, sing-along moments from “Frozen.”
  • Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland – Inside Soundstage One, Oaken and his cousins have created a Frozen Funland filled with cold weather activities, unique photo opportunities, and more! There’s a frozen pond with ice skating demonstrations, wintertime fun for kids in the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” play area, a “big summer blowout” with plenty of “Frozen” merchandise, and special “Frozen”-inspired food and beverage offerings.
  • “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party – Starting at 5:30 p.m. each day, a dance party takes over the area around the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage, with a DJ, live band, and more! The band plays a variety of classic and contemporary summer rock & roll hits, as well as a cool, rocking medley of “Frozen” favorites. It’s going to be hot!
  • “Frozen” Fireworks Spectacular – Everything wraps up at 9:45 p.m. when Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf come together at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage for a grand finale to the day’s festivities, kicking off an awe-inspiring fireworks display set to the glorious music of “Frozen!”

I don’t know if I’m elated or … well, you know!

If you’re somewhere in that zone, like me, you’re already bursting with anticipation for “Frozen Summer Fun – Live at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.” Starting July 5, the sky will be blue, and you guys will be there, too! It’s going to be a great summer for snowmen, royalty, and anyone who’s a fan of “Frozen!”

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Olaf Celebrates ‘First Day of Summer’ on the Disney Parks Blog

posted on June 21st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


It’s summer! – or at least that’s how I imagine Olaf, the lovable snowman from Disney’s “Frozen”, would shout it.

Since today is officially the first day of summer, what better way to celebrate than with a Disney Parks Blog takeover by one of our favorite pals from “Frozen”. If you remember in the film’s song, “In Summer,” Olaf dreams of all the things that his first summertime could bring – to him, that means “bees that buzz, kids that blow dandelion fuzz” and a host of other fun things.

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At Disney Parks, summertime means that guests who are traveling here for their summer vacations will have the opportunity to experience a whole lot of new offerings. Check out some of what’s new this summer below.

At Walt Disney World Resort

At Disneyland Resort

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Come ‘Rock Your Summer Side’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on June 20th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


This summer, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is inviting everyone to “Rock Your Summer Side” with a special dance party event each evening from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

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Live band The Hollywood Rockers takes to the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage, engaging in rowdy antics and playing some of the greatest songs of summer. Between sets with the band, our DJ spins hot summertime hits, and you can get up and dance with some of your favorite Disney characters. Mickey and the gang will be dressed for fun in the sun, ready to rock their summer side, too!

Nearby, you’ll even find a giant postcard set up to mark the occasion. It’ll be a great spot to snap a selfie and share the fun with all your friends and family.

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Take a Sneak Peek at the ‘Villains Unleashed’ Guest List at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on June 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


As we shared earlier this month, “Villains Unleashed,” a new, separately ticketed event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, will feature more than 50 Disney villains. Villains will appear at the event in several different ways, participating in character greetings, stage shows, and more.

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We just got a sneak peek at a portion of the invite list. Many more villains will be on hand at the the event, but here’s a few names you may recognize. (Entertainment is subject to change!).

  • Hades
  • Meg
  • Pain
  • Panic
  • Anastasia
  • Drizella
  • Lady Tremaine
  • J. Worthington Foulfellow
  • Gideon
  • Big Bad Wolf
  • Cruella De Vil
  • Captain Hook
  • Mr. Smee
  • Bowler Hat Guy
  • Queen of Hearts
  • Gaston
  • Jafar
  • Darth Vader
  • Darth Maul
  • Boba Fett
  • Asajj Ventress
  • Emperor Palpatine
  • Stormtrooper
  • Zam Wessell
  • Jango Fett
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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ Marks 20 Years

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


It’s a big weekend for Simba – it’s the 20th anniversary of Disney’s “The Lion King.

The film, which debuted in theaters in 1994, tells a coming-of-age tale of the young lion cub and his friends, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon.

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There are many places you can enjoy Disney’s “The Lion King” at the Walt Disney World Resort, including watching film-inspired segments in “Fantasmic!” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and at Mickey’s PhilharMagic at Magic Kingdom Park and “Festival of the Lion King,” the newly reopened stage show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There’s also the Lion King wing of resort rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

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Over at the Disneyland Resort, guests can spot Simba and friends in Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.

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

Actor John Ratzenberger talks Star Wars, his Disney•Pixar Roles & How He Once Parked Next To Kermit The Frog

posted on June 13th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Versatile actor John Ratzenberger has worn many hats in his career. Whether it’s the cold weather military hat of Major Bren Derlin, Mack’s “Rust-eze” trucker cap or a mailman’s cap on the longtime hit series “Cheers,” he’s portrayed many favorite characters in his acting career.

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Although he had only a brief role in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, it was a memorable one. His character, Major Bren Derlin, made the recommendation to Princess Leia to close the Echo Base doors for the night, just as the Rebels were losing hope for the safe return of Luke and Han on the frigid planet of Hoth.

The quick-witted actor sat down with us during his very first Star Wars Weekends appearance to talk about his memories of Star Wars, his favorite Disney•Pixar role, and how he once had an assigned parking space next to Kermit the Frog.

The curtain will close on Star Wars Weekends 2014 this weekend, giving you one more chance to feel the Force before the Wookiees, Twi’leks and Ewoks (oh my!) depart our galaxy until their 2015 return.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Sunset Boulevard, Under Construction

posted on June 12th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Sunset Boulevard, home to some favorite Disney’s Hollywood Studios attractions and shows, officially opened on this date back in 1994. Here’s an aerial view of the Boulevard still under construction from December 1993.

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Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage also began performances at the new Theater of the Stars, on the same day. This ‘tale as old as time’ has been performed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios since November 1991.

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A little over a month later, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened for business at the park. Here’s a February 1994 look at the exterior of the hotel guests like to drop … into.

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Whenever I go to the Studios, I often find myself making a right turn onto Sunset Boulevard to start my day. What’s your favorite part of Sunset Boulevard? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Filed: Disney History, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

New Merchandise Coming to Fifth Weekend at Star Wars Weekends From June 13-15, 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on June 12th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


New Merchandise Coming to Fifth Weekend at Star Wars Weekends From June 13-15, 2014 at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Being a long-time Star Wars fan, I’m delighted there is a fifth weekend for Star Wars Weekends this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This extra weekend takes place during Father’s Day on June 15, which is perfect since I regularly recreate a famous scene from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back with my son. Here is a brief look at some new items that you will find at Darth’s Mall, our merchandise location found between Toy Story Midway Mania and Studio Backlot Tour.

New Merchandise Coming to Fifth Weekend at Star Wars Weekends From June 13-15, 2014 at Disney's Hollywood Studios

New items will include fun Darth Vader shirts, and some character T-shirts, a glass mug, and a spinner pin with characters from the upcoming Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

Other new items include a 3-inch Vinylmation set that was originally designed for Vinylmation – Star Wars series 2 (it contains a Jawa and R5-D4), and a limited edition, D-Tech on Demand case for iPhone 5/5S featuring Goofy and Max. You can also find a new Disney Theme Park Tagalong, featuring Jedi Master Yoda.

New Merchandise Coming to Fifth Weekend at Star Wars Weekends From June 13-15, 2014 at Disney's Hollywood Studios

For the first time, we will release two limited edition, retail MagicBands with pre-printed images (edition size 2,500 each). There will be a green retail MagicBand with Yoda’s image and a red retail MagicBand with Darth Vader’s image (colors were selected to match their light saber colors). Each retail MagicBand will be packaged in a decorative Star Wars Weekends box (you can use the free Aurasma app on your mobile device to make the box image come to life).

New Merchandise Coming to Fifth Weekend at Star Wars Weekends From June 13-15, 2014 at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Finally to celebrate this fifth weekend, I would love your help in selecting the next Star Wars-themed Disney Racer that will be released in spring 2015. You may recall that we recently re-launched Disney Racers at Disney Parks. This is the first time we’ve asked our readers to select the next design to be made. When it’s released, the packaging for this die-cast metal car will have a “fan choice” call-out.

Please take a moment to vote for your favorite design from the list below. Voting will only be available for three days, June 12-15, 2014. We will reveal the winning entry on Monday, June 16, on the Disney Parks Blog.


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National Lobster Day June 15 – So Many Tastes at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 11th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Delectable lobster is at the top of our list of seafood favorites, and with National Lobster Day coming up on Sunday, it’s the perfect excuse to order anything from a lobster omelet (our favorite) at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort at Walt Disney World Resort to an indulgent lobster tail at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel at the Disneyland Resort. And there’s everything in between.

Nothing better than the sublime lobster bisque topped with a lobster fritter and jalepeño oil at The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios … well, maybe the lobster Pad Thai roll at Carthay Circle Lounge at Disney California Adventure park. Here’s a pretty comprehensive list, do you have a favorite?

Walt Disney World Resort:

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1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • Lobster Benedict at breakfast

Ale and Compass Lounge at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

  • Lobster sliders on Parker House Rolls

The Artist’s Palette at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

  • Lobster club sandwich with lobster salad, smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and lemon mayo

BoardWalk Bakery at Disney’s BoardWalk

  • Maine lobster with buttered chive mayo on a split-top roll

Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

  • Lobster omelet with butter-poached lobster, asparagus, chive cream at breakfast; for lunch, New England-style lobster roll on a butter-toasted Parker House Roll

Chefs de France at France Pavilion, Epcot

  • Lobster bisque

Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom Park

  • Warm lobster and crab crêpes with cheese, spinach, sautéed lobster and blue crab – a poached egg on top, drizzled with hollandaise sauce

Columbia Harbor House at Magic Kingdom Park

  • Classic lobster roll

Contempo Café at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Classic lobster roll

Coral Reef Restaurant at The Seas With Nemo & Friends Pavilion, Epcot

  • Creamy lobster soup tarragon and brandy, or lobster and shrimp orecchiette pasta with white cheddar and asparagus

Crew’s Cup Lounge at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

  • New England-style lobster sliders on butter-toasted rolls

Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney

  • Lobster corn dogs with salsa verde and sweet chili aioli
  • Lobster bisque with blue crab garnish
  • Lobster ravioli with asparagus, cherry tomato and garlic
  • Maine lobster and Florida rock shrimp roll with celery, red onion and mayo on a toasted roll
  • Lobster Boil

Grand Floridian Café at the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • For breakfast, lobster Eggs Benedict with two poached eggs, lobster hash, asparagus and hollandaise sauce

Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Lobster and shrimp mac n’ cheese

The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Portsmouth lobster bisque with lobster fritter and jalepeño oil

Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar & Grill at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

  • Lobster, shrimp and scallop roll on Parker House bread with citrus mayo

Le Cellier Steakhouse at Canada Pavilion at Epcot

  • Le Cellier Lobster Chopped Salad with mixed greens, haricot verts, avocado, tomatoes and Lake Meadow Naturals egg
  • New Brunswick lobster “poutine” with butter-poached lobster and Meyer Lemon crème fraîche

Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom Park

  • For lunch, crab and lobster dip

Monsieur Paul at France Pavilion at Epcot

  • Maine lobster with sautéed mushrooms, mollet quail egg, creamy black truffle bouillon

Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • Maine lobster bisque with butter-poached lobster, coral, sherry cream and chervil
  • Two-pound steamed Main lobster with fallen corn soufflé

Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

  • Lobster bisque with Maine lobster, crème fraîche, preserved lemon, fines herbes

Disneyland Resort:

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Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure park

  • For lunch, grilled lobster tail salad with greens, hickory-smoked bacon, avocado, tomato and quail egg with Point Reyes Blue Cheese dressing or vinaigrette

Carthay Circle Lounge at Disney California Adventure park

  • Lobster Pad Thai Imperial Roll with cashew tamarind sauce

Cove Bar at Disney California Adventure park

  • Lobster nachos with lobster, black beans, pico de gallo, serrano peppers, cilantro, chipotle crema and jack and cheddar cheeses on tortilla chips

Harbour Galley at Disneyland park

  • Lobster roll on buttered brioche with Old Bay-seasoned home-style chips

Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland Hotel

  • cold water lobster tail

Storytellers Café at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

  • For dinner, Lobster Cobb Salad with chilled lobster, avocado, bacon, tomato, blue cheese and egg with a low-fat citrus-chive vinaigrette
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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort