Spaceship Earth at Epcot

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: The Building Of Park Icons

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


This week, some of the most compelling images we shared on the Disney Parks Blog were of some iconic buildings guests have enjoyed at our parks for years, specifically the train station and entrance to Disneyland park and Spaceship Earth at Epcot.

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George Savvas shared these amazing construction images of the Main Entrance turnstiles and Main Street Station earlier this week.

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Nate Rasmussen also gave a look at the early construction of Epcot’s theme park icon – Spaceship Earth.

Which other attractions or areas of our parks are you interested in seeing early construction photos of? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

New Experiences Coming to Holidays Around the World at Epcot

posted on November 14th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


One of my family’s favorite traditions each year is to visit Epcot during Holidays Around the World, where time-honored traditions come alive through the sights and sounds of the countries of World Showcase. We enjoy learning about the customs of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and listening to the tales of characters like the kind-hearted witch La Befana, whom I recall from the years I spent living in Italy as a child.

For the 2014 holiday season, new Holidays Around the World experiences in Mexico, Morocco, and China join returning favorites such as “Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season,” the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

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In Mexico, guests will enjoy the songs and traditions of “Fiesta de Navidad,” featuring colorful dancers and mariachis, who celebrate the holiday customs of Mexico in an interactive, musical performance. A Moroccan storyteller invites guests to join her on a journey to experience the gaiety of festivals, holiday traditions, and celebrations that are like the “spice of life” across Morocco. And the China pavilion bursts to life with the vibrant Chinese Lion Dance, bringing good fortune and happiness to all in honor of major holidays such as the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival.

I can’t wait to see it all! Holidays Around the World at Epcot starts November 28 and continues through December 29, 2014. Who else is going?

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Spaceship Earth

posted on November 13th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


There is no mistaking you’re at Epcot when there’s a 16 million pound, 180 feet high geodesic sphere greeting you. Spaceship Earth has been the icon of Epcot since the park opened. In August of 1981, Spaceship Earth was beginning to take shape.

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Did you know Spaceship Earth stands on legs 15 feet above ground level? It took over 40,000 hours of labor to build this unique icon covered with over 11,000 aluminum facets.

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Read on for more posts about Epcot in the “Vintage Walt Disney World” series:

Tastes From Around the Globe at Epcot Holidays Around the World November 28 – December 30

posted on November 10th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Holidays Around the World at Epcot where the World Showcase countries reflect the seasonal traditions – including tastes of homelands far, far away.

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Starting our stroll at Promenade Refreshments, try the Turkey Waffle – a filling sweet potato waffle with roast turkey and green bean casserole (all-in-one holiday dinner). Then head to Canada for pecan-maple bark, a nod to our Northern neighbor’s bounteous maple sugar production. Next door in the United Kingdom, it’s hot applejack cider with whiskey and a blend of seasonal spices – sip while you listen to stories of Father Christmas.

France sweetly celebrates with the classic bûche de noël au chocolate (chocolate cake shaped like a log) at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie, and glace au apin d’epices (gingerbread ice cream) at L’Artisan des Glaces.

Japan adds teriyaki chicken karaage, a Japanese version of crispy fried chicken bites with teriyaki sauce, at Kabuki Cafe, and you can hear the story of the hollow-round Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year.

Up next, American Adventure, with freshly baked gingerbread men, chocolate chunk cookies and sugar cookies, hot chocolate, hot apple cider and peppermint bark at the Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery (perfect snacks for the Candlelight Processional). Look for Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations throughout the holidays, plus our favorite Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers.

At Italy you can meet La Befana, the kind-hearted witch who arrives on the eve of the Epiphany to grant gifts to good children – like panettone, the sweet bread loaf served at the Gelato kiosk, along with sweet moscato wine and ciocolata calda (hot chocolate).

In Germany, listen as Helga tells the story of the first Christmas tree as you nibble on stollen fruit cake and sip glühwein (hot spiced wine).

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Learn about the Christmas gnome in Norway and indulge in the traditional rice cream at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (so popular they leave it on the menu year-round).

Then take another lap around the World Showcase Lagoon to burn all those calories – ‘tis the season!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

New Animated Magic Shots Add Extra Disney Magic to Your Photos

posted on November 7th, 2014 by Marie Quintero, Marketing & Communications Manager, Disney PhotoPass Service


Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort can now have some Disney animation added to their memories and it is all part of Memory Maker!

When visiting one of the locations listed below, simply ask a Disney PhotoPass Photographer for an Animated Magic Shot.

When you visit MyDisneyPhotoPass.com you’ll be surprised to find that we have applied animation to your photo featuring a Disney character.

As part of your Memory Maker entitlement you’ll be able to download the video file of your Animated Magic Shot to post online and share with friends.

Also, be on the lookout for special Animated Magic Shots coming this holiday season to Magic Kingdom Park and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights. I’ll share a sneak peek of those with you soon.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – November 2014

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


November is bustling with events at Walt Disney World Resort, take a look!

Have you taken part in this year’s 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? There’s still time. Here are a few special guest appearances you won’t want to miss. Learn more.

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November 1 – 2: Be among the first to get Disney Infinity 2.0 during our special launch event at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

November 3 – 6: Meet artist Larry Dotson who will be on hand for special appearances each day at Art of Disney in Epcot. Learn more.

November 6 – 9: Beloved artist David E. Doss returns to Walt Disney World Resort this month. Look for appearances by David at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

November 7: “Drop” in to Tower Gift Shop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a special Game Night with Disney Design Group Artist, Quynh Kimball. From 4 – 6 p.m. you can challenge Quynh to a game of Jenga or Clue, both inspired by The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction, as he tells you about how he designs these Disney Theme Park Exclusive games. Learn more.

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November 7 – 8: Excited for PANDORA? Be sure to watch for a special post from Steven Miller on a special jewelry showcase scheduled to take place at Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

November 7 – 8: Join us as we welcome artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith who will appear for the very first time at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Meet Jasmine from from 5 – 7 p.m. each day. Learn more.

November 7 – 9: Representatives from Precious Moments Dolls will be on hand at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace for the release of the Villains Collection inspired by Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and the Evil Queen. Not able to make it? No problem. Representatives will be on hand throughout the holiday season, beginning November 20. Learn more.

November 10 – 13: Artist Greg McCullough will be on hand for special appearances and signings this month at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Meet Greg (November 10 – 13, 16 – 20, 26 – 28 and November 30 – December 4). Learn more.

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November 14 – 15: Meet Disney artists David Buckley, Will Gay, Joe Kaminski, Mark Seppala and Don “Ducky” Williams, November 14 from 6 – 8 p.m. and November 15 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

November 14 – 16: ACME Archives artist William Silvers will be on hand for a special showcase as we debut some of his newest pieces inspired by Star Wars. William will appear November 14 – 15 from 5 – 9 p.m. each day and November 16 from Noon – 4 p.m. Learn more.

November 21 – 22: Take part in a Disney artist showcase with Joe Kaminski, Alex Maher, Tim McCloskey and Darren Wilson, November 21 from 6 – 8 p.m. and November 22 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

November 21 – 23: Precious Moments doll designer Linda Rick will be on hand for the debut of her Holiday Princess Collection. Look for special appearances by Linda, November 21 – 23 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace and November 27 – 30 at Santa’s Village at American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot. Learn more.

November 29 – 30: Meet Disney Traditions artist Jim Shore and see some of his latest releases November 29 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace and November 30 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Heritage Manor in Epcot. Not able to make it? Take advantage of a special pre-purchase opportunity. Learn more.

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There’s just one last thing to note before I go. Holidays Around the World kicks off November 24, I know Steven Miller is planning to share all the details with you but here are a couple of events worth noting on your holiday calendar.

  • Precious Moments Dolls (Nov. 24 – Dec. 30)
  • Reinhard Herzog (Nov. 25 – Dec. 23)

Which event are you most excited about?

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney PhotoPass Service Simplifies Access to Walt Disney World Photos, Videos

posted on October 28th, 2014 by Sandi Wallace, Walt Disney World Communications


With attraction photos, you can capture some amazing Disney moments. And now, Disney PhotoPass Service is making it even easier for you to collect those memories.

Beginning today, if you’re wearing an active MagicBand on select Walt Disney World Resort attractions, your photos will be automatically associated to your My Disney Experience account. You don’t have to do anything. In fact, if you’ve worn your MagicBand on one of the participating attractions in the last 45 days, you should be able to find that photo in your account now.

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Don’t have a MagicBand? Don’t worry. We’re making it easier for you, too. Today we turned on new touch points at Magic Kingdom Park (Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain). So after you ride, simply find your photo on the preview wall and touch your park ticket or Memory Maker card to the touch point to associate your photo. We expect to have photo touch points installed at Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks by mid-November.

Beginning soon, guests wearing active MagicBands will have attraction videos automatically associated to their accounts. Videos are currently available for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Just like attraction photos, if you’ve worn your MagicBand on one of the participating attractions in the last 45 days, you should be able to find that attraction video in your account soon. Guests will be able to view these videos in their accounts, but a Memory Maker entitlement is required to download and share them.

Just remember that all Disney PhotoPass photos and videos expire 45 days after they are taken. So be sure to log in to your account to secure your memories before they expire.

And watch for more exciting news coming from Disney PhotoPass Service soon!

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, MagicBands, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: A Parisian Sunset at Epcot

posted on October 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


I love Paris … at World Showcase. And tonight’s Disney Parks After Dark photo only makes me want to visit it again. What a lovely sunset (captured by Photographer Tom Bricker).

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What’s your favorite pavilion to visit in World Showcase after the sun goes down? Tell us in the “Comments” section below!

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Only Two More Party for the Senses for This Year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on October 20th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Party for the Senses is a blowout way to end the day at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – an evening of discovery with a roomful of fantastic chefs, good wines, magical entertainment from Cirque du Soleil. All in all, there are nearly two dozen tasting stations with wine, beer and cocktails to pair. You won’t know until you arrive what you’ll be having, but the discovery is part of the fun.

And there are just two parties left in 2014: October 25 and November 1.

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October 25 is an extra-special Party for the Senses, featuring cuisine and chefs from the Disney Parks around the globe – Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani – A Disney Resort & Spa and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.

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You can start the evening at the Eat to the Beat concert at America Gardens Theatre and end with a stroll around World Showcase and the IllumiNations fireworks and laser show – it’s a special evening you won’t want to miss. Just come hungry (and leave satisfied).

Price is $149 per person, plus tax. Epcot admission is required. Call 407-WDW-FEST for reservations.

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Another fun way to end the evening at the festival – Thursdays only – is Late Nights LIVE! This after-hours street party. between the United Kingdom and World Showcase Plaza starts at 9:45 p.m. and ends at 1 a.m. Food and beverages from select marketplaces, live music, a DJ and entertainment keep the party going strong. Cost is $79 per person plus tax. Epcot admission required.

This year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival ends on November. 10.

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

VIDEO: The Muppets Make ‘Swedish’ Shrimp Tacos at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Hellu iferybudy, tudey zee Swedish Chef veell shoo yuoo—let’s try that again—Hello everybody, today the Swedish Chef will show you how to re-create Shrimp Tacos from Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at home. Don’t worry, we provide subtitles. Bork Bork Bork!

In case you couldn’t understand Swedish Chef, here is the recipe so you can make Shrimp Tacos at home:

Tacos de Camarones (Shrimp Tacos)
Makes 10 (6-inch) tacos

Chipotle Sauce

  • 2/3 cups mayonnaise
  • 7.5 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, puréed

Shrimp Tempura

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, about 30 to 35 shrimp

Shrimp Tacos

  • 10 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup favorite salsa verde

For chipotle sauce:

  1. Mix mayonnaise and puréed chipotle peppers in a medium bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

For tempura shrimp:

  1. Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 375˚F in a deep fryer.
  2. Beat egg white in a small bowl until frothy and light. Do not overbeat. Set aside.
  3. Mix together flour, cornstarch, salt, parsley, paprika, baking powder, garlic powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add water and egg white; mix until smooth.
  4. Add shrimp and toss until fully covered with batter.
  5. Drop 6 to 8 at a time in hot oil. Do not overcrowd. Fry 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove fried shrimp and drain on paper towels.

To serve:

  1. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of chipotle mayonnaise on flour tortilla and place 3 shrimp down middle. Top with small handful of cabbage and drizzle with salsa verde.
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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort