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Country Bear Christmas Special at Magic Kingdom Park

Retail MagicBands and Other Popular Holiday Gift Ideas from Disney Parks

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I recently shared with you some of my favorite holiday-themed gifts from Disney Parks. This time, I’m highlighting other popular gift ideas that caught my attention.

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Retail MagicBands and Accessories – We now offer select retail MagicBands and accessories on our Disney Parks online store at DisneyStore.com/MagicBand. I’m also delighted to share that the “link-it later” option is now available for graphic MagicBands at Walt Disney World Resort. This means that any retail MagicBand, whether purchased online or at Disney Parks, can now be given as gifts since they can be linked to a valid theme park admission at a future date. See this Disney Parks Blog article for more details about how Link-It Later works.

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Made With Magic – Guests can find an ear hat, a Minnie Mouse headband and, my favorite, a Sorcerer Mickey wand (arriving November 21) that light up and interact with select Disney nighttime experiences at Disney Parks. Please note the aforementioned Mickey Mouse glove will arrive in spring 2015.

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Merchandise from Disney’s “Frozen – From dresses inspired by Anna and Elsa to fun toys and dolls, you can find all sorts of merchandise from Disney’s “Frozen” in Disney Parks’ locations such as Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I particularly like the decorative shoe ornaments or the Olaf hat.

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Disney Parks Collection By Vera Bradley – Known for their stylish quilted cotton luggage, handbags and accessories, Vera Bradley has been infusing color into all aspects of women’s lives for more than 30 years. We carry several colors in a variety of styles created especially for Disney Parks. Look for them on our online store or in locations such as Cherry Tree Lane at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida.

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Disney Tagalongs – I first discussed Disney Tagalongs during the 24-hour Rock Your Disney Side Party in May. These small character toys, such as Jiminy Cricket or Yoda, are easily added to your shoulder using a magical, magnetic power disc.

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Disney Infinity 2.0 – Guests have endless opportunities to create stories and fun-filled adventures with all-new characters and powers in Disney Infinity 2.0. The best place to find all things related to this game at Walt Disney World Resort is Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. You can also find items on line at DisneyStore.com/DisneyInfinity.

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D-Tech Electronic Accessories – Add a splash of Disney to you electronic accessories with D-Tech. Guests can create customized and personalized phone cases including cases for iPhone 6 at D-Tech on Demand in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. Cases for iPhone 6+ and Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available in late November. I also love the battery power bars which give extra boosts for your mobile devices.

Retail MagicBands and Other Popular Holiday Gift Ideas from Disney Parks Retail MagicBands and Other Popular Holiday Gift Ideas from Disney Parks

Puzzles and Games – As a child, my parents always gave me some kind of game for Christmas. I like the new 1000-piece Disney Signature Puzzles or the Disney Theme Park Edition of Jenga featuring the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

Look for these items in select merchandise locations at Disney Parks. You can also find additional items for the holidays by visiting the Disney Parks online store – DisneyParks.com/Store.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Time-Lapse Video: Imagineers Install Springs Bottling Co. Marquee at Downtown Disney

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


Earlier today, we shared updates on several new offerings that are on the horizon for Downtown Disney as it transitions into Disney Springs.

One of those updates was that Walt Disney Imagineering recently installed a Springs Bottling Co. Marquee atop the building that will eventually house the Morimoto Asia restaurant. The marquee, which is now part of Downtown Disney’s illuminated nighttime skyline, helps weave the turn-of-the-century theme of Disney Springs through the area, as this building formerly served as Springs Bottling Co., the town’s bottling company.

Check out this time-lapse video of how our Imagineers installed the new marquee literally over night.

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Visions of the Future Spring Up at Downtown Disney

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


Earlier this fall, we shared the news that two new dining experiences, Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE, are coming to Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort. Today we have a few more updates to share about glimpses of the future that are starting to appear as Downtown Disney continues to undergo its transformation.

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The “Springs Bottling Co.” marquee was recently installed above the future location for Morimoto Asia. The sign is an architectural detail that draws from the Disney Springs design story, which harkens back to Florida’s waterfront towns at the turn-of-the-century. The interior of Morimoto Asia will also showcase the theme and pay tribute to the history of Disney Springs.

Located adjacent to the recently announced site for The BOATHOUSE, the Waterview Stage is now offering nightly entertainment, along with great views of Village Lake. Be sure to pick up a Times Guide for specific showtimes.

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Opening later this month, the Food Trucks at Exposition Park on the West Side will be a permanent home for the owned-and-operated Downtown Disney food trucks. Located along the water, the Food Trucks will serve mouthwatering culinary creations daily, such as chicken & waffles and tandoori spiced shrimp. The area will also offer additional seating for diners as well as shaded areas during the day.

Significant progress is being made on the first phase of Disney Springs known as The Landing. Guests can see for themselves as they stroll along a section of the new pedestrian walkway now open between Portobello and Paradiso 37. Later this month, the walkway will fully open and provide direct access to the West Side.

Speaking of progress, the West Garage (the first of two planned garages coming to Disney Springs) is opening in phases and will be available for guest parking starting on November 20.

It certainly is exciting to watch Disney Springs come to life and I’m eager to see what’s in store in the months ahead.


For more about Disney Springs, visit the posts below:

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Disney Infinity 2.0 Ready To Roll Across Walt Disney World Resort This Month

posted on November 17th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I have some exciting news for fans of Disney Infinity. To celebrate the release of Disney Infinity 2.0, guests will soon find five Walt Disney World Resort busses with specially designed wraps. Our partners with Walt Disney Imagineering created these new wraps featuring characters from the game. They are the same team that designed the previous Walt Disney World monorail wraps like my favorite one created for Disney’s “TRON: Legacy“.

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We recently took a photo of one of the busses near Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. That location is the headquarters for all things related to Disney Infinity 2.0. I attended the early release party with my son a few weeks ago where we picked up the new starter set. We also added a few figures to his ever growing collection such as Baymax from Disney’s “Big Hero 6” now in theatres. He spent the rest of that weekend playing the game and creating new worlds to explore. I’m sure he will love taking a ride on these Disney Infinity-themed busses!

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Self-Taught Disney Artist Inspires With Paint at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 11th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you don’t know Joe Kaminski, chances are you know his work. Joe’s amazing Disney character art has been featured on the Disney Parks Blog since launch and over the years, he’s continued to make magic while most of us sleep – he usually paints from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

As Joe prepares for appearances at this week’s Disney Artist Showcase at the Art of Disney, we wanted to share a special behind-the-scenes look at how this self-taught artist inspires others to follow their passion.

Joe’s motivation to create art comes from his children’s love of Disney characters but he was originally inspired to begin after seeing another Disney Parks Blog favorite, Don “Ducky” Williams, sketching Disney characters.

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Art created by Joe, Don “Ducky” Williams, blog author Will Gay and others will be featured in the upcoming Disney Artist Showcase at the Art of Disney location in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort.

We’ve included a schedule of which artists will make appearances at the events. Please note that all appearances are subject to change without notice.

  • November 14-15 – David Buckley, Joe Kaminski, Will Gay, Don “Ducky” Williams, Mark Seppala
  • November 21-22 – Darren Wilson, Tim McCloskey, Joe Kaminski, Alex Maher
  • December 5-6 – Brian Blackmore, Tim McCloskey, Jason Grandt, Costa Alavezos
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Fans Cheer ‘Big Hero 6′ at Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up

posted on November 8th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Last Sunday, we kicked off the month with our latest Disney Parks Blog meet-up featuring a special preview screening of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Big Hero 6” before it opened on November 7.

Fans Cheer 'Big Hero 6' at Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up

Hundreds of readers (some in costume) joined us at AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Walt Disney World Resort to see “Big Hero 6” – an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius—thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred.

Fans Cheer 'Big Hero 6' at Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up

Attendees of the Meet-Up also enjoyed a meet-and-greet with “Big Hero 6” characters Hiro and Baymax during the event. Both characters are coming to Disney Parks.

Fans Cheer 'Big Hero 6' at Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up

When the movie ended, fans applauded and cheered before heading out to see the giant 40-foot Baymax at Downtown Disney.

Thank you to everyone who attended our latest Walt Disney World Resort meet-up – it was a fantastic time. If you weren’t able to join us to see the movie, remember, “Big Hero 6” opens in theaters, in 3D on November 7. For more information, visit Disney.com/bighero6.

Be sure to keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for information about our next meet-up opportunity.

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Forty-Foot-Tall Baymax Promotes ‘Big Hero 6’ at Downtown Disney

posted on November 6th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you excited to see “Big Hero 6” when it opens in theaters this weekend?

This week, we began celebrating the film’s upcoming release with a fun addition to Downtown Disney West Side – a 40-foot-tall Baymax! Our cameras were there to see just how this larger-than life, lovable robot was brought to life. Be sure to check out the video below to see for yourself.



For more on the film, be sure to check out these blog posts:

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Additional Details About PANDORA Jewelry Showcase in Marketplace Co-Op at Walt Disney World on November 7-8, 2014

posted on November 5th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I wanted to share a few more details about the upcoming PANDORA Jewelry Showcase that will be held at Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida on November 7-8, 2014. The showcase events will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. each day. We will be featuring the PANDORA Jewelry created specifically for Disney Parks, which includes items inspired by some of Disney’s most beloved characters.

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You may recall reading about the new Disney jewelry collection in a previous Disney Parks Blog story. At this event, we will be offering the 16 items found only at Disney Parks, including a Parks-exclusive bracelet engraved with the castle logo. We will also have the additional 25 charm designs from the Disney jewelry collection, which can found at PANDORA stores throughout North America and online at http://www.DisneyStore.com/Pandora. There will be a purchase limit of three of each style of charm.

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Guests will also have an opportunity to meet Brenda Green, the stylist for PANDORA Americas. Since joining PANDORA in 2009, Brenda has helped shape the identity of PANDORA Americas through her innovative approach to jewelry styling. Her unique interpretation of each of the products has made the PANDORA story relatable and accessible to all guests. Brenda and her fellow PANDORA representatives will be helping guests create unforgettable Disney charm bracelets from 10:00 a.m.to 10:00 p.m. each day.

I hope to see you there!

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New Holiday Decor Coming to Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 4th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially at Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort. With new decor coming to the Marketplace this holiday season, there’s even more to celebrate!

Recently, I had the opportunity to tour the Holiday Services Warehouse to get a sneak peek at what’s coming. Can you imagine a giant treasure trove of holiday magic, filled from top-to-bottom with sky-high trees, larger-than-life snowmen and thousands of ornaments in every size and shape imaginable? I couldn’t, until I saw it for myself!

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I was able to get permission to share some early photos of the new enhancements coming to Downtown Disney. The new look and feel is tied to the idea of a ‘uniquely handcrafted’ Christmas. Many of the elements use found objects such as yarn, spools, buttons, burlap and the like. Remember making felt stocking ornaments as a kid? Or creating reindeer keepsakes out of clothespins? These ornaments are similar, but on a much grander scale.

Keep in mind that many of these images showcase works in progress, so what you see in the gallery below is just the start of what’s to come.

New Holiday Decor Coming to Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort

As you visit Downtown Disney this holiday shopping season, be sure to keep an eye out for all that’s new. With over 70 venues open for your enjoyment, plus the opportunity to meet Santa during Festival of the Seasons (November 14 – December 30, 2014), Downtown Disney is a ‘must-do’ during this festive time of year!

Tips for visiting during the holidays:

  • Arrive earlier in the day for a more leisurely shopping experience.
  • If you’re staying at a Disney Resort hotel, take complimentary transportation, as parking may be limited.
  • Follow the signs to available parking, which may be located in adjacent lots across the street.
  • Allow extra travel time for reservations or showtimes; we suggest 60 minutes in advance.
  • When driving via I-4, take exit 67 for the most efficient route to property.

I love the holidays … the shopping, the music, the and yes, the peppermint lattes from Starbucks! Luckily, I can enjoy all that (and much more) right here at Downtown Disney, which makes me a happy little elf.

What’s your favorite part of the holiday season at Downtown Disney? Please share in the comments below – I’d love to know!

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Disney Artist Showcase Coming to Art of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace in November and December

posted on November 4th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I have great news for guests who love wonderful Disney art. On select weekends in November and December, we will be hosting a Disney Artist Showcase at the Art of Disney location in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort. Events will be held on Fridays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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These events will feature works from several talented Disney artists from Disney Design Group, Yellow Shoes Creative Group, Walt Disney Imagineering and others. Guests attending the showcase events will also have the opportunity meet these talented individuals and purchase original works of art.

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Below is a schedule of which artists will make appearances at the events. Please note that all appearances are subject to change without notice.

  • November 14-15 – David Buckley, Joe Kaminski, Will Gay, Don “Ducky” Williams, Mark Seppala
  • November 21-22 – Darren Wilson, Tim McCloskey, Joe Kaminski, Alex Maher
  • December 5-6 – Brian Blackmore, Tim McCloskey, Jason Grandt, Costa Alavezos
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    During the December events, we will also have available “The Magic Kingdom Storybook” written and illustrated by Walt Disney Imagineer Jason Grandt.

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    You may recall from this Disney Parks Blog story that I’m in love with this 128-page hardcover book. It was on the top of my gift list last holiday season. Jason will be signing his books during the events.

    I hope to see you at Art of Disney!

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    Filed: Art of Disney, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort