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Happy Holidays from the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

Seasonal Craft Beers at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 19th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


I’m a huge fan of craft beers, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out several seasonal craft brews are offered at Walt Disney World Resort.

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“When the weather turns cold, it’s time to seek out some of the most popular seasonal beers, including winter ales and Indian Pale Ales (IPAs),” says Jason Cha-Kim, Beverage Manager at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “These beers are brewed stronger, richer and more full-bodied with wonderful holiday flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel.”

A few of the craft beers you can enjoy at Walt Disney World Resort include Widmer Brothers Brrr Seasonal Ale, Bell’s Winter White Ale, Harpoon Winter Warmer Spiced Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop IPA and Shock Top Shockolate Wheat.

Another brew perfect for this time of the year is the Einstok White Ale available at the beer cart in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot—the only place you’ll find this ale on tap outside of Iceland!

Keep an eye out for these limited-time brews throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

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Ana Gasteyer Narrates the Candlelight Processional December 18-20

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


Comedian Ana Gasteyer will take the stage at Epcot tonight in her debut appearance as the narrator for the Candlelight Processional.

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In case you haven’t seen the show, the processional is a retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator plus seasonal songs performed by a live orchestra and choir. Shows take place daily at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.

Remaining narrators this season are:

  • Marlee Matlin – December 21 – 23, 2014
  • Isabella Rossellini – December 24 – 25, 2014
  • Blair Underwood – December 26 – 27, 2014
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – December 28 – 30, 2014

As a reminder, all entertainment is subject to change without notice.

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Your Chance To Vote And Cheer On Your Disney Side With Top Four Colleges

posted on December 16th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


As our favorite college football teams kicked off the season this fall ESPN gave college cheer and dance teams something really big to cheer about – their Disney Side.

Dozens of squads from across the country choreographed routines to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs and submitted their videos as part of the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, working in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit.

Last week the four finalists were announced; Auburn University, Louisiana State University, Rutgers University and Santa Monica College.

Well now it’s your turn to get into the game and vote for your favorite video at Espn.com/CheerMagic. The school with the most votes wins. And fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found at Espn.com/CheerMagic.

Online voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on Jan. 12 in Dallas. The winning cheer or dance squad will earn a $100,000 grant from ESPN for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

To help you make your decision we will profile each school over the next two weeks right here on the Disney Parks Blog. You will see and hear how each team incorporated their Disney Side with their school spirit in the making of their video.

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We kick off our behind the scenes series with the Auburn Tigers. They selected “it’s a small world” and featured several of their favorite Disney attractions. Take a look at their submission video and then a behind the scenes feature.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their Disney Side’– their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.
No purchase necessary. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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New Retail MagicBands Arriving in December at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 16th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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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

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

Listen As Epcot’s Mariachi Cobre Play ‘Fum, Fum, Fum’

posted on December 15th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this month, we shared a musical performance by Mariachi Cobre, the band you can find at Mexico Pavilion in Epcot that plays the folk music of Jalisco, Mexico, for guests. This week we’re happy to share another holiday carol the band is currently sharing with the audience as a part of the park’s Holidays Around the World celebration. Enjoy!


For more holiday performances from around our “World” check out the videos below.

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Special Edition Wildlife Friday: Cold Sea Turtles Cared for By Disney Animal Programs Cast Members

posted on December 12th, 2014 by Blair Witherington, Senior Sea Turtle Biologist


Eight cold-stressed Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were treated in recent weeks by Disney Animal Programs cast members. These were among hundreds of cold-stunned turtles that washed ashore at Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts, following a sudden cold spell. The turtles were collected by volunteers from Massachusetts Audubon, and then taken to the New England Aquarium’s Rehabilitation Center in Quincy, Massachusetts, to be stabilized and warmed. When the turtles were ready for travel, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, with support from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF), transported and loaded 193 critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles into a US Coast Guard plane for the trip south!

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Kemp’s ridleys are the rarest sea turtles in the world. The turtles being treated and warmed at Disney each weigh about five pounds and are two to three years old. This is an age at which little Kemp’s ridleys have just moved into coastal waters from the open sea. Most Kemp’s ridleys grow up in the Gulf of Mexico, but some are carried out of the Gulf and up the Atlantic coast by strong currents. These little turtles move into bays and estuaries from Massachusetts to Florida. During warmer months, there are lots of blue crabs and other crustaceans for ridleys to eat in these waters. When winter arrives, the turtles typically swim south to avoid cold water. However, if there is a sudden cold snap, the turtles can become trapped in the bays.

Special Edition Wildlife Friday: Cold Sea Turtles Cared for by Disney Animal Programs Cast Members! Special Edition Wildlife Friday: Cold Sea Turtles Cared for by Disney Animal Programs Cast Members!

Sea turtles enjoy warm water and have a body temperature about the same as the water that surrounds them. When the water temperature dips below 45 degrees, turtles get chilled, lose their ability to swim, and immobile turtles begin to wash ashore.

Normally, ridleys and other sea turtles anticipate cold weather and move south in the fall. But the sandy spit of Cape Cod makes this seasonal migration a special challenge. The cape hooks out into the Atlantic and catches southbound turtles, which collect within Cape Cod Bay. Turtles caught in the bay can find their way back out, except when the onset of frigid weather is rapid, like it was in recent weeks. Under these conditions, turtles in the bay are literally caught out in the cold, and a sea turtle cold-stunning event occurs.

Special Edition Wildlife Friday: Cold Sea Turtles Cared for by Disney Animal Programs Cast Members! Special Edition Wildlife Friday: Cold Sea Turtles Cared for by Disney Animal Programs Cast Members!

Emergencies such as this cold-stunning event often require a fast response. Through the DWCF Rapid Response Fund, we are able to provide emergency support to help animals when they need it most, like we did for these young endangered turtles.

The young Kemp’s ridleys taken in by Disney are now swimming in a backstage location at The Seas with Nemo & Friends to regain their strength. Plans are to release these rare turtles into warm Florida waters as soon as they are well.

Here at Disney, we hope to make an impact that will ensure that future generations will continue to be inspired and delighted by sea turtles. To that end, we have worked to protect endangered sea turtles by providing grants to conservation nonprofits through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. Disney has helped support 115 projects protecting sea turtles and their habitat, with more than $1.8 million in funds since 1998.

Check out this video for behind-the-scenes footage of this rescue effort!

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Spread Holiday Cheer with Tasty Treats at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 11th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


There’s no place like Walt Disney World Resort for the holidays. From Holidays Around the World at Epcot to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park, there is so much to do and so many treats to try. Today, I’m spreading some holiday cheer by sharing some of my favorite holiday treats.

Guests Can Decorate Gingerbread Cookies in the Lobby of Jambo House Guests Can Decorate Gingerbread Cookies in the Lobby of Jambo House

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, guests can decorate gingerbread cookies in the lobby of Jambo House. The suggested $5.00 donation goes to Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. While you’re there, stop by their holiday treat table, where you’ll find all kinds of scrumptious goodies including peppermint bark, chocolate and pistachio crackle cookies, gingerbread cookie animals, butternut crunch bark, coconut cream cupcakes and house-made chocolate hazelnut spread. The African hot chocolate is made from scratch using Ghanaian milk and Tanzanian dark chocolates, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles—perfect to sip by the resort’s fire pit on a cool evening.

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The gorgeous gingerbread house in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is a Walt Disney World Resort holiday season staple, but just outside the main entrance of the resort’s lobby, you’ll find “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” from noon – 6 p.m. At the Garden View Tea Room, look for festive indulgences like holiday-inspired tea blends, gingerbread scones, apple butter and cranberry trifles. Gasparilla Island Grill is serving up a seasonal holiday turkey sandwich, piled high with traditional fixings like stuffing and cranberry.

BoardWalk Cupcake

Still craving the sweet stuff? BoardWalk Bakery has a specialty chocolate-peppermint cheesecake cupcake decorated to look like a Christmas Tree.

DHS Cupcake

If you are looking for some festive in-park treats, be sure to stop by Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a specialty gingerbread cupcake. Adults can take in the beauty of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights with Yuletide cheer in the form of one of several specialty Christmas cocktails available throughout the park, such as the Gumdrop with Stoli Razberi vodka, Chambord, Sprite, pineapple and cranberry juices garnished with candy gumdrops. There’s also a Winter Berry and Torched Holiday Cider and my favorite, the Very Merry Cherry. At Pizza Planet Arcade, you’ll find The Claw—Sauza Gold Tequila, Disaronno, triple sec, and sweet-and-sour served with a souvenir glow cube. Catalina Eddie’s on Sunset Boulevard is the home of Very Berry Lemonade, and at ABC Commissary, you’ll find Holiday Delight—Bacardi Razz rum, blue curacao, orange juice and a splash of Sprite with a souvenir glow cube.

These holiday offerings are only around for a limited time, so be sure to check them out while you can!

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Listen As Epcot’s Mariachi Cobre Plays An Amazing ‘Silent Night’

posted on December 10th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Holidays Around the World has brought Epcot’s World Showcase alive with holiday cheer and fun seasonal entertainment.

We recently stopped by the Mexico Pavilion to catch a performance by Mariachi Cobre, the band who plays folk music of Jalisco, Mexico, for guests. This time of year, they’ve added several Christmas carols into their repertoire. Check out the video below for their performance of “Silent Night.”

Holidays Around the World at Epcot will run through December 30.

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Explore Holiday Topiaries at the Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 9th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


While towering Christmas trees and glittering holiday wreaths often catch a lot of attention from Disney Parks guests, there are many other (smaller-yet-charming) holiday touches that we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss.

For example, topiaries are putting on their Santa hats at Epcot.

Christmas Topiaries at Spaceship Earth in Epcot

In the park’s U.K. pavilion, instead of a Christmas Tree, you can spot this “Christmas Tea” among the gardens.

Christmas Tea at the U.K. Pavilion in Epcot

At the France pavilion, the area’s fountains are now overflowing with poinsettias and Christmas bulbs.

Christmas Decorations in France at Epcot Christmas Decorations in France at Epcot

What clever holiday touches have you spotted at Epcot or at our other Disney Parks? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Gift Ideas From Around the World in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 8th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I recently shared details about unique shopping destinations at Epcot for Holidays Around the World. On the same day I took images for that story, I visited all 11 World Showcase pavilions to find some unique holiday gifts. This is one of my favorite articles to write each year because it helps me complete my holiday shopping (plus who doesn’t want to get paid to walk around Epcot for a few hours?). Here are some highlights from my shopping trip around the world.

Gift Ideas From Canada Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort Gift Ideas From United Kingdom Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort Gift Ideas From France Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

Canada Pavilion – Look for Hatley pajamas for adults and kids; silver jewelry that’s made in Canada; or “Giggling Goat Soap,” which is the best name for authentic Canadian farm soap.

United Kingdom Pavilion – This pavilion is home to Twinings teas; jewelry and apparel inspired by “Downton Abbey;” and an amazing assortment of new Rose & Crown Pub products.

France Pavilion – This pavilion contains a variety of fragrances, home décor items featuring “La vache qui rit” (the Laughing Cow), chocolate truffles, and wine.

Gift Ideas From Morocco Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort Gift Ideas From Japan Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort Gift Ideas From American Adventure in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

Morocco Pavilion – You can find versatile cloth handbags, shoes, decorative vases and more.

Japan Pavilion– The Japan Pavilion has a nice assortment of Bento box accessories, items for wrapping gifts in reusable cloth, wallets, and an awesome food tray for kids.

American Adventure – Find goods from American companies in Heritage Manor Gifts including penny jewelry, wines and sauces. The location also carries patriotic Tervis tumblers.

Gift Ideas From Italy Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort Gift Ideas From Germany Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

Italy Pavilion – Look for fragrance gift sets in Il Bel Cristallo, beautiful Venetian cat masks, scarves and home goods.

Germany Pavilion – You can find a variety of German-themed ornaments, decorative steins, apparel and Black Forest cuckoo clocks.

Gift Ideas From China Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort Gift Ideas From Norway Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort Gift Ideas From Mexico Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

China Pavilion – The House of Good Fortune offers Panda-themed handbags, inspirational word stones, lamps and fun three-dimensional puzzles.

Norway Pavilion – Stay warm with apparel by Dale of Norway and Helly Hansen. The location also offers trolls in a variety of sizes and food items.

Mexico Pavilion – Inside the pavilion, you will find items celebrating “Day of the Dead,” beautiful jewelry, handbags, scarves and drinkware.

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