We sure had a lot to celebrate at Disney Parks in 2014, and some of the milestones we experienced this year were memorable ones, with “Frozen” fun debuting at our parks, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opening and much more.
That said, here are my top 10 picks for moments that will go down in Disney history for 2014.
- Avengers Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort – Thousands of guests dressed as their favorite superhero joined the mad dash through the Disneyland Resort as a part of the very first Avengers Half Marathon. Did you #SmashTheHalf?
- Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Announces First-Ever Disney Ambassador – For the first time in history, Aulani welcomed their first Disney Ambassador to represent the resort and engage our guests, cast and community. Janelle Sanqui, Aulani’s first Disney Ambassador, worked in Workforce Management at the resort and was born in Hawaii.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Reopens at Disneyland Park – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopened at Disneyland park back in March. The enhanced attraction debuted with upgraded track, a restored Rainbow Ridge Mining Town and other surprises.
- Themed Hotels Announced for Shanghai Disneyland – In November, we announced that two new themed hotels are planned as a part of Shanghai Disney Resort – the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and the Toy Story Hotel.
- Downtown Disney Announcements – Several announcements were made for new restaurants coming to the shopping, dining and entertainment area at Walt Disney World Resort, including three new restaurants – Morimoto Asia, THE BOATHOUSE and STK Orlando.
- “Frozen Summer Fun” Debuts At Disney’s Hollywood Studios – The first official “Frozen” entertainment offerings made their debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in July. The fun included “Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome” procession, For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration, Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland – and a whole lot of excited guests!
- L’Aventure Totalement Toquee De Remy (Ratatouille) Attraction Opens At Disneyland Park (Paris) – This attraction, and its surrounding La Place de Rémy Courtyard, officially opened July 10, 2014.
- Oswald Begins Greeting Guests At Disney California Adventure Park – This historic Disney character made his first ever appearance at a Disney Park this year. Oswald was one of Walt Disney’s first major animated characters ever developed. Learn more about him here.
- “Disney Festival Of Fantasy Parade” Steps Off at Magic Kingdom Park – March 10 marked the arrival of a wonderful new daytime parade at Magic Kingdom Park. A fire-breathing Maleficent, anyone?
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Opens at Magic Kingdom Park – The final New Fantasyland attraction made its debut at the park on May 28. Have you seen these amazing Audio-Animatronics figures?
Which moment was your favorite? Would you add anything to our list? Let us know in the “Comments” section below!
If you haven’t experienced The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios yet, you still have one more week to enjoy this illuminated holiday extravaganza.
The offering covers the Backlot area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios in millions of glittering lights. Periodically the display “dances” to special songs of the season. Be on the lookout for twirling carousels of angels, toy soldiers, a spinning Earth, and Santa and his trusty reindeer.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is included in theme park admission and will run through January 4, 2015.
One Walt Disney World Resort holiday offering that lasts through January 4, 2015, is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. And it looks like two of Santa’s elves just arrived via subway for one last look.
Where will they head first? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This!”
This week, our Learn to Draw animation series continues with a lesson on how to draw a character from a classic Disney holiday film, Scrooge McDuck from “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” Get ready for step-by-step instructions from Heather Worley of the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
For previous animation tutorials on some of your favorite Disney friends, check out the list below:
It’s a special time of the year at the Walt Disney World Resort – and our ongoing #DisneyKids series has showed us, holidays are often the best times for a “first memory.” Whether it’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights or another park experience, there are so many opportunities to make a first memory.
Today, we have a #DisneyKids treat – a first holiday greeting with Mickey.
If you’re visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, we’re sharing more fun ideas for the little ones as well as some offers designed with your family in mind on our special preschool page.
I know where I will be almost one year from now – sitting in a movie theater with my son as the opening credits roll for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Being a long-time fan of all things Star Wars, it will be the perfect holiday gift to myself next year. I remember receiving many Star Wars-themed gifts growing up in the late 1970s (the Death Star Space Station playset was one of my favorites!). If you are looking for Star Wars holiday gifts this season, I have a few suggestions of items created especially for Disney Parks.
I love this fun holiday sweater T-shirt featuring Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and other icons (it’s perfect for winter in Florida).
The Disney Pin team released some new holiday pins including a 9-pin mystery set with Star Wars gingerbread characters.
If you are looking for toys, there are a few different options including the Starspeeder 1000 vehicle playset inspired by Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; a giant Clone Trooper found only at Disney Parks; and Disney Racers die-cast cars which make for great stocking stuffers.
I also like the Star Wars Droid Factory where you can design and build your own Astromech droid action figure. This experience is offered at Tatooine Traders in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida, and The Star Trader in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park in California.
You can also find other Star Wars items online at DisneyStore.com/StarWars.
May the Holidays Be With You!
If “Fantasmic!,” the popular nighttime spectacular from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park, were a video game, it might just look like this.
Check out this fun video our digital team created and shared earlier today.
You may recall that my top gift items this year from Disney Parks are retail MagicBands. We recently introduced the “link-it later” option for all retail MagicBands, making them great gifts for guests who may want to show off their Disney Side while visiting Walt Disney World Resort. This month, we are introducing some new open edition, graphic MagicBands on the dates listed below.
- December 12 – Sorcerer Mickey
- December 14 – Minnie Mouse’s iconic polka dots
- December 17 – Stitch
- December 22 – Disney Princesses
These graphic MagicBands will retail at $19.95 each.
Guests should look for these items in select locations at the four theme parks and Downtown Disney.
You can also find solid color MagicBands and select accessories on our Disney Parks online store by visiting http://www.DisneyStore.com/MagicBands
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays approaching, check a delicious meal-to-go and a reserved seat for Fantasmic! off your list with Taste of Hollywood to Go at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. From December 24 to 31, the popular Taste of Hollywood To Go option will be returning with a few new entrees, all of which include a reserved seat for Fantasmic!.
Adults can choose from a vegetable sandwich served with ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers, quinoa salad and chocolate cake; shrimp salad served with pita, ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers and mandarin orange cheesecake; golden fried chicken served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sweet corn and carrots and warm apple crisp; cold-cut roast beef sandwich with creamy horseradish served with classic potato salad, grilled asparagus and chocolate cake; California sushi tuna roll served with avocado, orange and tomato salad, ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers and spicy pecan-chocolate cluster.
Kids’ choices include a power pack with strawberry yogurt, apple wedges, carrot sticks with ranch dip, fish crackers, an organic apple cinnamon and oatmeal snack-size sandwich bar or a turkey and American cheese wrap with strawberry yogurt, apple wedges, carrots with ranch dip and a seven-layer cookie bar.
Reservations are now open, and can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE up to 24 hours in advance. If you do not have a reservation, you can always check the day you are in the park for availability. Meals can be picked up from Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Choice of Fantasmic! showtime is based on availability, with the number of seats based on the number of meals purchased.