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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Bringing Home the Magic

posted on May 9th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


This week, we shared a number of unique ways for guests to bring home a piece of the magic from their visits to Disney Parks.

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Steven gave us a first look at Disney Tails, a new line of pet products for dogs coming to Disney Parks this spring. I can’t wait to see my dog in one of these adorable collars!

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Darcy brought us inside Chapel Hats, one of the new retails locations in Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort, for a look at some of the fabulous fascinators available there.

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And Rachel showed us a sneak peek at the new oil can sippers inspired by the Dinoco oil company from Disney•PixarCars” – available at Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park beginning May 22.

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New Garage Walkways Now Open at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Everywhere you look at Downtown Disney, signs of the future are popping up as the area transforms into Disney Springs. The latest can be seen in the parking garage.

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As the first of two planned parking garages for Downtown Disney, the Orange Garage at West Side opened late last year and continues to introduce enhancements to surprise and delight guests.

My favorite addition thus far? The smart technology that clearly shows how many spaces are available at each level and even identifies open spaces with an easily recognizable green light above the spots. If you’ve parked in the garage recently, you know how awesome those little lights are.

This week, we’re celebrating another milestone – the opening of two new walkways that give guests a direct connection to the West Side promenade in two locations: adjacent to Splitsville Luxury Lanes and near Planet Hollywood. These new bridges to the property are accessible via the second level of the garage and give guests the option to use stairs, elevators or escalators (my go-to mode of arrival). With lush landscaping and new hardscape finishing out the space, the walkways are a beautiful new addition to what will eventually be Disney Springs.

To experience these enhancements for yourself, park in the Orange Garage during your next outing to the Downtown Disney Area and make your way to level two – with so much new to explore, hopefully your next visit is just around the corner.

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A Focus on Fascinators from Chapel Hats at Downtown Disney in Florida

posted on May 4th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced the name of their baby daughter today – Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. With all eyes on England, it’s the perfect time to celebrate one of Great Britain’s most time-honored fashion statements – the fascinator.

A Focus on Fascinators from Chapel Hats at Downtown Disney in Florida

A Focus on Fascinators from Chapel Hats at Downtown Disney in Florida A Focus on Fascinators from Chapel Hats at Downtown Disney in Florida A Focus on Fascinators from Chapel Hats at Downtown Disney in Florida

Sometimes referred to as a “cocktail hat,” the modern-day fascinator can be worn in place of a traditional hat at formal occasions such as weddings. They are also popular at horse-racing events, like the recent Kentucky Derby. (I love any excuse to wear a fascinator – it always makes me feel fancy and frilly in the best possible way!)

Interested in finding a favorite fascinator for yourself? Look no further than Chapel Hats, one of the new retails locations in the heart of Downtown Disney. If you’re not sure which headpiece fits you best, their friendly staff will help you decide. Trying on is encouraged, and with plenty of mirrors in the store, you’re sure to find something that suits you!

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Walt Disney World Resort Event Snapshot: May 2015

posted on April 29th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


See what’s happening in the world of Merchandise Special Events this May at Walt Disney World Resort!

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April 29 – May 3: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings April 29 – May 3 from 1 – 9 p.m. at Art of Disney in Epcot and May 18 – 23 and 27 – 31, from 1 – 9 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

April 30 – May 3: Meet artist Larry Dotson, April 30 – May 3 (throughout the day) at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Not able to make it? Look for additional appearances by Larry, May 14 – 17 at Art of Disney, Epcot. Learn more.

May 1-2: Need a gift for Mother’s Day? Stop by Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace where you can find some of the latest releases from PANDORA and just the gift you’ve been looking for. Learn more.

May 1 – 11: Representatives from Precious Moments dolls will be on hand for the debut of the Precious Moments Mother’s Day Collection. Meet the representatives and see the dolls throughout the day, each day, at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Artist Appearance Tip: Look for a special appearance by designer and artist Linda Rick, May 8 – 10. Learn more.

May 8 – 9: Disney Fine Art artist, Michelle St. Laurent, will be on hand for a special appearance from 3 – 9 p.m., each day at Art of Disney in Epcot. Be sure to stop in and say hello! Learn more.

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May 8 – 9: Join us as we welcome artist Liana Hee to WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Take part in a special artist showcase and signing from 4 -7 p.m. each day. Learn more.

May 8 – 16: Stop in and find some of the latest releases by artist David E. Doss from 1 – 9 p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

May 14: We are summoning the most loyal in the galaxy to gather at the Galactic Gathering Event on May 14, 2015 between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A limited number of tickets to this special merchandise event are still available. Learn more.

May 15 – June 14: Visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Fridays – Sundays for Star Wars Weekends. Darth’s Mall is expanding to a three-location complex and is your one-stop galactic destination for commemorative merchandise. Tip: Take part in special artist appearances and signings each weekend. Learn more.

Are you curious what else we have up our sleeve? Here are a few other events to keep in mind.

June 20: A new hand-painted limited edition Ink & Paint cel, titled Ariel and Friends, will make a splash at the Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Look for appearances by the artists from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 – 5 p.m. on the day of release. Not able to make it? A special pre-purchase opportunity will be available May 4 through June 18, 2015. Learn more.

September 11 – 12: Wanna trade? Tickets to this year’s GenEARation D event are available now and are in limited supply. Don’t miss out! Find out all the details and get a sneak peek inside the merchandise catalog for the event. Learn more.

Which event are you most excited for?

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PHOTOS: Dockside Margaritas Opens Today at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 23rd, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Last week, we shared that Dockside Margaritas would be opening soon at Downtown Disney. Today is opening day, and we’re sharing the first photos of the cool, laid-back new location. Sit back and enjoy the relaxing things in life — Florida style — while you take a look through the gallery below.

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Princess Perfection at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 21st, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Two years ago when I was new to the Downtown Disney team, my family visited with my then 2-year old niece. One of my first Disney Parks Blog stories was “Big Fun For Little Ones at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort.” Twenty-four months and two more kids later (my sister now has a 6 month old and an 18 month old, too!), I’ve seen hundreds of little princesses come out of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, but recently, it was finally MY little princess — my now four-year-old niece, Harper.

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As excited as Harper was about picking out her dress (she went with Princess Anna), she was equally as nervous about having someone brush her curly hair. For a minute, I thought we might have to cancel our appointment, and then we met her Fairy Godmother-in-training, Lydia. She was amazing! Before Harper got into the makeover chair, Lydia did a practice run to show Harper how gently she would brush her curly locks. To Harper’s surprise, it didn’t tug at all.

During her princess transformation, Harper got to pick out her hairstyle (I was thrilled that she went with the ever-classy “Fairytale Princess” option), choose her nail polish color, and select her make-up shades. The finishing touches were a shimmering princess jewel for her face, a rhinestone crown for her head, and a pink Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique sash to complete the look. When it was all over, she was invited to sign the “Princess Autograph Book” – she left her signature “H,” taking up a full page.

Later that afternoon, when I asked Harper what her favorite part of the day was, she said “being with my Fairy Godmother. I hope she will always be my Fairy Godmother.” I also caught Harper looking at herself in the full length-mirror, doing a twirl, and whispering to herself “today is my princess day” when she thought no one was looking. (This is a true story. And it was as adorable as it sounds.) Finally, on our car ride home, after a full day in the parks, she told me that when she grows up she wants to be a Fairy Godmother, too.

Harper left Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique with a princess backback filled with her remaining make-up and polish, which came in handy, because she wore her Princess Anna dress three days in a row! More importantly, she left with memories that will last for years to come and pictures that will always make me smile.

Have you taken your princess to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique? What was your experience like? Please share in the comments below – I hope it was just as magical as ours was!

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: The BOATHOUSE Docks at Downtown Disney

posted on April 18th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The BOATHOUSE, the newest eatery to open at Downtown Disney here at the Walt Disney World Resort, officially opened its doors on Monday.

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The restaurant offers a one-of-a-kind waterfront dining experience that includes a menu of steaks, chops, fresh seafood and much more. The BOATHOUSE also showcases a must-see display of rare watercrafts from the 1930s – 1950s, plus a special fleet of 1960s Amphicars. (Check out Darcy’s original blog post to learn how you can take a ride in one of these beauties).

The BOATHOUSE is so unique and visually compelling that we had to share more images with you. Be sure to check out the gallery below.

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Dockside Margaritas Opening Soon at Downtown Disney Marketplace

posted on April 16th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Dockside Margaritas is set to open later this month at Downtown Disney Marketplace. This waterfront margarita bar is the perfect place for enjoying the relaxing things in life – Florida style. Everything about Dockside Margaritas projects a fun, laid-back vibe—from the theming which is reminiscent of a Florida fruit stand from the 1960s with cool, tropical colors and eclectic, modern furniture to the handcrafted margaritas and authentic Floridian brews.

Waterfront entertainment will return, with live performers from 2:30-10:30 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 12:30-10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. With live entertainment daily, beautiful views of the waterfront at Buena Vista cove and ample seating, Dockside Margaritas is sure to be a popular destination to relax with friends and family.

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Refreshing, handcrafted margaritas and cocktails include:

  • Patrón Añejo Margarita – Patrón Barrel Select Añejo Tequila, Grand Marnier, Sweet-and-Sour and fresh Lime Juice
  • Habanero Lime Margarita – Patrón Silver Tequila, Habanero Lime, fresh Lime Juice and Florida Sugar Cane Simple Syrup
  • Sunset Margarita – Casamigos Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, fresh Lime Juice, Sweet-and-Sour and Orange Juice
  • Orange Grove Rum Runner – Siesta Key Spiced Rum, Blackberry Brandy, Crème de Banana, and Florida Citrus Juices with a float of Gosling’s 151 Rum
  • Sugar Cane Mojito – Siesta Key Silver Rum, Florida Sugar Cane Simple Syrup, fresh Lime Juice and Mint
  • Strawberry Margarita – Herradura Reposado Tequila and fresh Lime Juice blended with Strawberry Purée
  • Florida Citrus Freeze – Florida Cane ‘Orlando Orange’ Vodka and Peach Schnapps blended with Orange Purée

Look for craft beers from Florida breweries, like Orange Blossom Pilsner, Bold City Duke’s Brown Ale and Cigar City Jai Alai IPA. Tropical Florida wine in refreshing flavors like Mango Mamma and Key Limen will also be available.

Dockside Margaritas is set to open April 23 at Downtown Disney Marketplace–just in time to kick back and enjoy Florida summer.

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Last Chance to Enter the ‘My Magical First Sweepstakes’ from Disney Junior

posted on April 15th, 2015 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


We’re all about celebrating a childhood “firsts” here at the Walt Disney World Resort – the first time you meet Mickey Mouse, your first haircut at the barber shop on Main Street, U.S.A., the first time you’re tall enough to ride the Tomorrowland Speedway by yourself.

My most memorable “first” was my first character breakfast. It was on the Empress Lily, now Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney.

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Our colleagues at Disney Junior want to celebrate those firsts with you in the My Magical First Sweepstakes. You can now enter for a chance to win a 5-day, 4-night vacation for four to Walt Disney World Resort from Disney Junior at Disney.com/MyMagicalFirst.

Imagine your little one’s first Walt Disney World vacation including:

It will be a magical time that you will remember forever. Trust me.

Check out Disney.com/MyMagicalFirst for all the information including how to enter and keep watching the Disney Parks Blog and the #DisneyKids for more fun for ideas for your little ones.

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New Allergy-Friendly Menus at Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resorts

posted on April 14th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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On April 14, Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will begin to introduce new allergy-friendly menus at approximately 120 quick-service and table-service locations. The menus provide more convenience and readily available options for guests with special dietary requests.

“Over the years, the number of guests with food allergies and intolerances has continued to grow. In 2013 alone, our cast members assisted with more than 650,000 special dietary requests. These new allergy menus are another way in which we can provide high-quality, safe and more accessible alternatives, and the best possible dining experience for guests with specific dietary needs,” says Gary Jones, chef and culinary dietary specialist for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

The new allergy-friendly menus provide allergen content for each menu item, making informed choices easier. Menu selection includes appetizers (where applicable), entrées, side items, desserts and kids’ meals, and focuses on the most common allergens: gluten/wheat, milk, peanut, tree nut and fish.

Guests are still able to consult directly with a restaurant chef or special diets trained cast member. We also encourage guests to continue to communicate special dietary needs to our restaurant cast members, as this allows our culinary team to take extra measures during preparation to prevent the introduction of the allergen.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the recipient of a FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) Award for dedication to providing a safe and enjoyable dining experience for vacationing families and our chefs have been recognized for their commitment to food allergy awareness, education and management.

The new menus will be introduced in signature restaurants on April 14, then debut at other table-service and quick-service restaurants (including Walt Disney World water parks, Downtown Disney and resort hotels) through September 2015. For more information on special dietary requests, click here for Walt Disney World Resort and click here for Disneyland Resort.

Click here to check out a sample menu.

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