Mad Tea Party at Fantasyland

Spring Blooms Bright at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 22nd, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


When you think of spring at Walt Disney World, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is likely the first thing that comes to mind. I agree, but lately, as I’ve been walking around Downtown Disney, I can’t help but notice that we’ve got a lot of colorful blooms sprouting up here, too.

My favorite, a Mickey and Minnie topiary that makes me smile every time I see it, is located near the Marketplace Fun Fountains and Earl of Sandwich. It’s the perfect photo backdrop to mark the season.

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I recently had the chance to connect with Horticulture Manager Patrick Zusack to learn more about what it takes to keep the magic growing. Patrick’s dedicated team of seven cast members starts at early at 5 a.m. each morning – which makes sense, given their task of maintaining over 21 acres of irrigated landscaping. I’ve learned that there are over 25,000 bedding plants, more than 350 containers and 75 hanging baskets currently on display daily at Downtown Disney, all adding abundant seasonal color for our guests to enjoy while visiting the property. Patrick, a 25-year cast member, shares that the most rewarding part of his job is “wowing our guests and then seeing them take pictures of one another and utilizing our colorful garden as their backdrops.”

From flower beds in front of World of Disney to potted plants lining the new pedestrian walkway that connects Pleasure Island and West Side, floral fun abounds in all three Downtown Disney districts.

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Be sure to keep an eye out for pretty petals during your next visit. In the meantime, check out the gallery below for a few of my favorite buds, then let me know which floral display at Walt Disney World Resort tops your list!

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Beautifully Disney Gets ‘Curiouser & Curiouser’ at Disney Parks

posted on April 11th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Curiouser & Curiouser, the latest collection from Beautifully Disney takes a cue from the Caterpillar, Cheshire Cat, and Alice herself, with colors ranging from light, neutral tones to richly pigmented and shimmery shades. This new collection will debut May 3 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts!

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As soon as I found out about this collection, I immediately sought out the advice of Rachel Brent, whom I introduced to you with the Pop of Minnie collection, and whom I consider my go-to girl for all things beauty. Since I’m late for a very important date, I’m handing it over to Rachel for a quick overview of the new collection and some of her top picks:

I invite you to fall down the rabbit hole and escape with me to a Wonderland of whimsy, as you disappear into a daydream and discover pristine pastels with a peculiar twist — perfect for spring.

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A-E-I-O-You need to check out the eye shadow palette, which has quickly become a staple in my own beauty bag for spring and summer. The six ultra-flattering shades are perfect for a golden afternoon.

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Are you thinking of painting the roses red? Forget the roses, and paint your lips one of the gorgeous mini-lipstick hues. My pick is Dum De Dum, which is a cool coral shade. Another thing I positively lost my head over, are the two newest lip gloss shades – Miss Priss and Literally Nonsense! Always lightweight, these emollient rich formulas moisturize and condition your lips, never leaving them gummy. I guarantee these glosses will leave you smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

As you know, no tea party or un-birthday is complete without the new decadent macaroon sponges, shown above. Perfectly sized and luxuriously smooth, these make-up blending sponges will become your go-to treat.

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Did I find my cup of tea? I think so. As you can see, I went a little mad using all of the nail colors. What colors will you choose to create a look fit for the Queen of Hearts? Here are my recommendations: Tis’ Brillig is a nice twist on neutral with an iridescent textured finish. Or if you’re feeling ‘blue’, This Way, That Way is pedicure perfect.

Tip: Here is a recent nail design tutorial.

Before you leave Wonderland, one last thing: Purchase a mini lip gloss palette for $19.95, when you spend $50.00 (before tax and after discount) on Beautifully Disney products.

Those of you at the Disneyland Resort are in for a special treat. There will be a special signing on May 3 with Jeff Granito, the designer behind the Beautifully Disney artwork at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

As you can see we’re all a little ‘mad’ here. I know that both Rachel and I are ‘curious’ to see what all of you will do with the colors in this new collection, so share your stories with us here on the Disney Parks Blog or hashtag your images #DisneySide on our social channels.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

Spotlight on The Trophy Room Coming to Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in 2014

posted on April 7th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With the return of baseball season, I thought this was a good time to turn the spotlight on The Trophy Room, the second of six boutiques coming to the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World. I’ve been a Pittsburgh Pirates fan for years as my parents hail from western Pennsylvania. I recently caught up with another Pirates fan and Pittsburgh native, Dana Harchar. A member of the Global Retail Development team, Dana shared some details about what guests will see when visiting this location.

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“I’m designing the merchandise fixtures found in [The Trophy Room],” explained Dana. “With a backdrop of exposed brick, the wall fixtures will look like repurposed trophy cases that had their glass doors removed. They will be made of beautiful cherry wood with a rich, luxurious stain. Dark stone and metal accents will also be found throughout the shop. We plan to include some wonderful wool Trophy Room logo banners to differentiate this shop from the others in the Marketplace Co-Op like Disney Centerpiece .”

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Next, I spoke with Chicago Cubs fan and senior merchandiser John Sarni who explained what makes The Trophy Room a unique shopping destination.

“At first glance, The Trophy Room may seem like a traditional sports apparel store,” said John. “Once inside, guests will soon realize this space represents a lifestyle. The location aims to create sports fans, rather than just outfit existing enthusiasts, by offering high quality, vintage-inspired garments that instill a sense of nostalgia and old-school, collegiate spirit.”

John said that some of the shop will contain sports apparel by 47 Brand. He selected an eclectic mix of vintage styles featuring some of the most popular teams in baseball as well as professional and college football. In addition, there will be some great collectibles such as high-quality pennants and unique baseballs that feature printed images of famous stadiums. The assortment may change as different sports come into season throughout the year.

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The shop will also have a small collegiate-inspired assortment of graphic apparel and drinkware with a Walt Disney World flare. These items were designed especially for The Trophy Room. I’m in love with that orange Raglan!

Look for these items and more when The Trophy Room opens at the Marketplace Co-Op in a couple of months.

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Chalkboard Art-Inspired Items Coming to Disney Centerpiece at Downtown Disney Marketplace in 2014

posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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In February, I shared with you a first look at some merchandise coming to Disney Centerpiece, one of six boutiques coming to the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in a couple of months. I was delighted to read that many of you enjoyed that first preview as much as I enjoyed sharing it. In addition to those awesome items, Disney Centerpiece will also feature a line of chalkboard art-inspired home goods. I spoke with Natalie Kennedy, senior graphic designer with Disney Design Group, who was responsible for creating this amazing artwork.

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“Chalkboard artwork is a currently a popular market trend,” explained Natalie. “For our program, we selected iconic attractions at Disney Parks such as The Haunted Mansion or the Jungle Cruise. We also expanded the program to include items inspired by Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The latter artwork is a nice nod to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.”

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A variety of monochromatic items will be included in this program including plates, drinkware, drink coasters and even napkins. I’m delighted, of course, to see more artwork featuring my favorite attraction, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room!

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While these items will debut at Disney Centerpiece, guests will also find them at Disneyland Resort merchandise locations in a few months. The Disney Parks online store will also carry a few select items.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

The Newest Downtown Disney Marketplace Kiosk is for the Dogs at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 31st, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Recently, I let our @WDWDowntown Twitter followers know about Happy Hound, a brand-new kiosk at Downtown Disney Marketplace. The response was overwhelming, so today, I’m sharing even more info with all of you!

If you have a pooch, this is the place to score custom collars and tags, trendy outfits, squeaky toys – including a hilarious mustache fetch toy – and more for your favorite four-legged friends.

I don’t have any pets myself, but my sister has a loveable Boxer named Otis. He may not be the smartest dog, but he’s so sweet with my two young nieces that he probably deserves a special surprise from me!

Scroll through the photos below to see some of the offerings at Happy Hound. As a girl who loves to accessorize, I’m most excited about the personalized collars and engravable dog tags – though there’s plenty more to love.

The Newest Downtown Disney Marketplace Kiosk is for the Dogs at Walt Disney World Resort

Look for Happy Hound during your next visit to the Marketplace; it’s located near Marketplace Fun Finds and LittleMissMatched. (And remember, for the latest news and updates, be sure to follow the Downtown Disney Twitter handle at @WDWDowntown.)

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Walt Disney World Resort Event Snapshot – April 2014

posted on March 28th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


There’s a lot happening at Walt Disney World Resort, here’s a glimpse of what’s headed your way from the world of Disney Theme Park Merchandise events. Before we jump into April, here’s a quick peek at two events that you won’t want to miss!

March 28 – 30: How many of you have already checked out the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, as well as this year’s commemorative merchandise? I’m definitely jealous! Whether you have already been or are making plans to go, I hope you can join us for Art in the Garden Weekend with special appearances and signings by many of our beloved Disney artists, including Steve Barton, Annick Biaudet, Carlos Cuba, David E. Doss and Larry Dotson. Tip: Also keep an eye out for Greg McCullough who will be appearing the same weekend at Art of Disney in Epcot. Learn more.

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Secondly, I have to ask … have you signed up for the Rebel Rendezvous event? Check out the link for exciting info on this May 15 event, leading up to Star Wars Weekends 2014! Early shopping access to Darth’s Mall, specially designed merchandise available only to Rebel Rendezvous attendees, and exciting meet & greet opportunities are just a few reasons why you’ll want to be sure to reserve your spot!

Now, on to April!

Now – April 6: Be sure to check out the newest Fairy Houses being built by select artists on the promenade around World Showcase in Epcot. Learn more.

Now – May 18: Representatives from Rinse Bath and Body Co. will be on hand throughout the day to help you select the product that is right for your skin. My favorite? Definitely, the lip balms. You should check them out, they’re amazing! Learn more.

April 4 – 6: Look for a special appearance by Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot. Learn more.

April 7 – 20: Renowned artist David E. Doss will be appearing daily on the promenade around World Showcase in Epcot. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection! Learn more.

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April 9 – 13: Artist Greg McCullough returns April 9 – 13 to Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace and will appear later in the month from April 23 – 27 at Art of Disney in Epcot. Be sure to stop in and say hello! Learn more.

April 10 – 13: Look for special appearances by artist Larry Dotson, April 10 – 13 at Art of Disney in Epcot and April 21 – 25 at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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April 21 – May 4: Meet representatives from Kumquat Growers and Tropical Blossom Honey Co. who will be on hand from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., each day on the promenade around World Showcase in Epcot. Learn more.

Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for information on special Earth Day artist appearances at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Which events are you most excited to attend?

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Exercise your ‘Disney Side’ with New Women’s Apparel at Disney Parks

posted on March 25th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Breathe in. Breathe out. Now relax. One thing I’d like to try this year is yoga as I’ve heard it’s wonderfully relaxing. I’ve found several of my female friends are already enjoying the benefits of yoga. I have good news for them or for guests wanting to show their “Disney Side” during their next workout. The softlines team recently introduced some new workout attire that has a splash of Disney. I spoke with Donna Kozatek, senior graphic designer with Disney Design Group, about this new collection.

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“I designed by overall paisley pattern featuring Mickey Mouse,” explained Donna. “We wanted a fun collection with bright colors that guests could mix and match. If you look carefully, you will see Pluto included in some of the designs. He was suggested by my fellow artist Susan Foy as a nod to a famous yoga pose – downward facing dog [laughs].”

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There are a variety of new apparel items including shirts, pants and jackets. There is also a tote bag that contains a zipper along the bottom. When unzipped, it reveals straps to carry a rolled workout mat.

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I love the little details that Donna included on each of the items!

Look for these things and more in select merchandise locations at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. The photographs I included in this story are from World of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. The World of Disney in California also carries select items.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

Marvelous New Merchandise Debuts at Disney Parks

posted on March 24th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Some days do you feel like you are a superhero with the things you have accomplished? I know I do, or at least have some sort of special powers. I’m a pretty big fan of our Avengers films so you can only imagine my excitement for the upcoming release of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and especially the meet and greet opportunity taking place now at Disneyland park.

Are you looking for ways to update your super hero collection? Here are a few things you might want to consider checking out or picking up.

First and foremost, keep an eye out for the dated Opening Day Limited Edition 2000 ‘shield’-inspired pin, which opens to reveal the first Avenger. The pin will debut this April and will be available at pin purchasing locations. Also being released are specially created D-Tech iPhone 4 and 5 cases which are bound to make your phone ‘super’ cool. Look for the D-tech cases to appear in late-Spring.

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Also available are ‘shield’ inspired T-shirts for adults and kids, a woman’s tank, as well as a boys rashguard T-shirt and swim trunks.

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But wait, there’s more! You will also find an array of other themed merchandise including a mug, keychain, sticker, magnets, four button set, books and toys as well as matted prints and limited edition giclees.

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Over the next month, continue to watch as product hits the shelves in our merchandise locations. You’ll find it at:

Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA

Downtown Disney Area, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Special Note: A limited selection of merchandise will be available aboard Disney Cruise Line.

Will you assemble for this new merchandise?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

It’s National Corn Dog Day – Where to Get Your Fix at Disney Parks

posted on March 22nd, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Today is National Corn Dog Day, an absolutely good reason to indulge in one of the crunchy-on-the-outside-and sweet-on-the inside dogs on a stick.

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If you’re at Downtown Disney, look for the celebratory balloons at the bright red Fantasy Fare food truck to showcase the day. Fantasy Fare brings “Delightful Dishes from Disney’s Magic Kingdoms Around the World,” so, of course, the hand-dipped corn dog from Disneyland park is star of the show.

We still remember our first bite of a corn dog at the Little Red Wagon at the top of Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park, slathered with mustard. It’s still the top spot, but you also can find corn dogs at Stage Door Café in front of Frontierland, and at Corn Dog Castle at Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure park.

Back at Walt Disney World Resort, you also can find corn dogs at Herbie’s Drive-In near Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; the Beastly kiosk in Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and at Westward Ho Refreshments in Magic Kingdom Park.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Downtown Disney Turns Green for St. Patrick’s Day at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 17th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park, located in the heart of Downtown Disney, turns a fun shade of green as part of Tourism Ireland’s global “Greening” initiative during the ‘Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival’ throughout Downtown Disney and at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant.

Hundreds of revelers donned ‘Glow with the Show’ Ear hats, fun interactive version of the famous Mickey Ear hats, to celebrate the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day in whimsical style.

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Downtown Disney joins more than 100 recognizable buildings and historic sites in celebrating this iconic Irish holiday.

The ‘Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival’ runs through tonight, with the final “Electric Ceili” performance taking place at 11 p.m. on the Raglan Road Pub Stage. Want even more Irish culture? For your chance to win a trip for two from Tourism Ireland, visit their booth at the Festival, or click here for rules and entry.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort