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Happy Villaintine's Day from Disney Parks Blog

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 27th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


Our holiday coverage continued this week at Disney Parks with daily stories and even a special edition of our email newsletter with an exclusive Christmas wallpaper. Along with our holiday content, we also shared some important information for those of you planning to welcome 2016 at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Shawn posted a rundown of some of the entertainment lined up for this year’s celebration at Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom Park. And if you can’t join us in person for New Year’s Eve, be sure to tune in here on the Disney Parks Blog where we’ll be hosting a live stream of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks, direct from Magic Kingdom Park on December 31. Watch for more details coming soon.

We also included an update that reservations opened for Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.

Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party happens January 8-March 20, 2016 from 6:30-8 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with special viewing for the “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks at 7:45 p.m. each night. You can enjoy a selection of sweets as the night sky erupts with an arsenal of impressive fireworks, set to the most dramatic and memorable Star Wars themes of all time. Check Pam’s story for more details.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Guest Talent Coordinator for Special Events Such as Disney ¡Viva Navidad! – Guest Talent Coordinator Danny Gaitan hosts guest performers at the Disneyland Resort during special events such as runDisney race weekends and holiday celebrations. Danny says he creates magic not only for our guests who experience the performances, but also for the performers who get the opportunity to entertain on a world-class stage.

Disneyland Resort Horses Featured in Horsetown Parade of Lights in Norco, California – For the second year in a row, Disneyland Resort horses participated in the annual Horsetown Parade of Lights in Norco, Calif. Pulling a vintage stagecoach used in Frontierland for many decades, Clydesdale team Lucky and Eddie glowed as festive decorations illuminated their harnesses.

By the Numbers: Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park – Last week, we put some numbers on the holiday cheer at Disneyland park, and now we’re back with some festive figures for Disney California Adventure park!

Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks Now Open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Nestled in the imposing shadow of Mt. Everest, Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks is the perfect place for tired and hungry travelers to stop in for a quick bite to eat or a refreshing beverage. For climbers who are returning from their ascent, a stop at the bar is considered tradition.

Set Sail for Wintertime Fun with Adventures by Disney Holiday River Cruises – Every family has their holiday traditions. In my family they all seem to center around baking, sweets and the regret that comes from so much baking and so many sweets.

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Walt Disney World Resort Holidays? – Have you visited Walt Disney World Resort this holiday season? Do you think you know everything there is to know about the amazing decorations and miles of lights that make our resort even prettier this time of year?

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Special New Year’s Eve Entertainment at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 26th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. Well, 2015 has certainly been fun, and now here we are on the cusp of another incredible new year! For those of you planning to welcome 2016 at Walt Disney World Resort, we have quite a party planned for you. Here’s a rundown of some of the entertainment lined up for this year’s celebration.

Walt Disney World Resort Sends 2012 out with a Bang

  • Epcot – It’s a night-long party throughout Epcot, with unique entertainment including a DJ and light show at the Future World Fountain Stage, dancing under flame effects and a smoke-billowing dragon in China, a British blast to the past in United Kingdom, Euro-pop and lasers in Italy, a Latin band and DJ on the America Gardens Stage and a “Silent DJ” party in Japan. Cap it all off with one of two showings of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.” The 6:00 p.m. show will include our holiday finale, while the 11:40 p.m. performance will be followed by a countdown and pyrotechnic salute to the New Year.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Ring in a most unforgettable New Year with a Disney character dance party at Center Stage, leading up to fantastic fireworks set to the soundtrack of favorite films and memorable moments from across Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (Note: ‘Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular’ will not be presented on Dec. 31)
  • Magic Kingdom Park – You can get a head start on the festivities, with a special New Year’s Eve eve presentation of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at 11:50 p.m. on Wednesday, December 30. The same show will be repeated on December 31. For families looking to wrap things up a little earlier, both nights will also feature the Holiday Wishes New Year’s Celebration at 6:30 p.m., complete with expanded fireworks and a New Year’s Eve countdown.

If you can’t join us in person for New Year’s Eve, be sure to tune in right here to Disney Parks Blog, where we’ll be hosting a live stream of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks, direct from Magic Kingdom Park on December 31. Watch for more details coming soon!

So tell me… What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

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Mariachi Cobre Plays ‘Fum, Fum, Fum’ at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 23rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


Earlier this month, we shared a holiday musical performance with you by Epcot’s Mariachi Cobre, one of the musical groups you can find playing seasonal tunes during the park’s Holidays Around the World.

This week we’re happy to share with you another performance by the group. The song “Fum, Fum, Fum.”

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‘Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival’ to Debut Today At Epcot

posted on December 23rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


We recently shared plans for a new “Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival” experience to open in Future World at Epcot, and we’re happy to announce that this new offering will officially open its doors today.

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This new experience will feature a look into the visionary minds behind some of the world’s most iconic animated films today. Once inside the theater, guests can put on their 3D glasses and enter the imaginative worlds of three animated shorts – “Get A Horse,” “For The Birds” and “La Luna” – which will burst to life on the big screen (and in the theater) like never before.

“Get a Horse” stars Mickey Mouse and features Walt Disney himself as the voice of the iconic character. This black-and-white, hand-drawn short follows Mickey, his favorite gal pal Minnie Mouse and their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow as they delight in a musical wagon ride — until Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road.

“For The Birds” opens to show one by one, a flock of small birds perch on a telephone wire. Sitting close together has problems enough, and then along comes a large dopey bird that tries to join them. The birds of a feather can’t help but make fun of him—and their clique mentality proves embarrassing in the end.

And lastly, “La Luna” is the timeless fable of a young boy coming of age in the most peculiar circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way amidst their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions?

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Hark! The Voices of Liberty Sing Holiday Classics at Epcot

posted on December 22nd, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Is it the costumes? The aroma of gingerbread and cocoa? It’s probably that the Voices of Liberty just know how to combine beautiful harmonies. And when they perform their holiday songbook, I can’t help but feel a little more merry.

Here is the eight-part harmony, a cappella group performing a combination of carols, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” with “Angels We Have Heard on High.”

You can enjoy the Voices of Liberty at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot. What songs would you like to hear them sing?

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Moms Panel Monday: Making Magic for All In the Family at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 21st, 2015 by Leanne O'Regan, Director, Social Media, Disney Parks


Today’s Moms Panel Monday shares different Moms’ Views on planning a large family vacation. Lauren from England asked the Disney Parks Moms Panel about traveling with 12 family members of all ages to Walt Disney World Resort in May. She wants to make sure everyone in the family has a magical vacation. Our Moms Panelists to the rescue! A dozen Panelists stepped up with some really unique and fun ideas for the entire family.

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Moms Panelist Brenda suggests experiencing the live entertainment offerings so the whole family can have fun together, like Turtle Talk with Crush at Epcot and Enchanted Tales with Belle at Magic Kingdom Park.

Susan suggests attractions that are top picks for her family including Festival of The Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Living with the Land at Epcot.

Panelist Andrea shares some “off the beaten path” ideas like exploring Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom Park or becoming a Wilderness Explorer at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

And Moms Panelist Whitney made me laugh with her advice based on her own large family gathering experience in the parks.

You can find this question with the all the panelist’s answers as well as other helpful questions and answers on the Moms’ Views section of the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

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Enjoy a Holiday Mash-up from Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season

posted on December 17th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Yesterday I shared a lovely performance from Voices of Liberty at the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot. Continuing my affinity for holiday music, Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season performs at Future World Fountain Stage four times daily.

In this performance you’re about to click on, you’ll watch a mash-up of “What Child Is This” and “Carol of the Bells.” It’s soulful and uptempo, and with the strong harmonies of both songs, difficult not to sway along with them.

Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season performs through December 29.

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A Holiday Musical Treat: ‘Deck the Halls’ Performed by Voices of Liberty

posted on December 16th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


I’m pretty strict about some of my own holiday traditions. Case in point: the month-or-so period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is the only time I will listen to – on loop, non-stop – songs of the season. I probably have more than a dozen versions of “Jingle Bells” on my personal play list.

That’s why I enjoy the Voices of Liberty during this festive time period. Their a capella versions of holiday tunes are even more beautiful with the acoustics of the rotunda at the American Adventure Pavilion.

Here’s their version of “Deck the Halls.”

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Hear Mariachi Cobre Play ‘Silent Night’ at Epcot

posted on December 16th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


During this time of year, our parks are filled with the sounds of the holiday season thanks to our many musical groups that appear around World Showcase at Epcot, at Disney Springs, and other locations.

Today, we’re happy to share with you a performance from one of our guests’ favorite groups, the Mariachi Cobre from the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. In it, they share their performance of “Silent Night.”

For more on Mariachi Cobre and their performances, click here.

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Are you ready to runDisney? Fast Facts about Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

posted on December 15th, 2015 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


Have you ever participated in a runDisney event? If so, you know that there is no other race like it! Whether it’s your first time participating in an event or you are a seasoned racer, here are a few “fast” facts you might not have known about Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna.

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Who exactly likes to runDisney?

Not only are all 50 states represented during marathon weekend, but athletes from 67 countries participate as well. In fact, there are over 56,000 unique runners registered in all of the events.

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The start line of the Walt Disney World 5K, Walt Disney World 10K, Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon will have approximately 113,500 pairs of shoes that will cross the combined start lines.

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Are you a fan of our theme parks? If you’ve visited Epcot and explored World Showcase, you might not be too far off from completing a 5K! Walking from Mexico to Canada clockwise is roughly 1.2 miles. If you walk around World Showcase three times, you’ve gone a little bit further than the distance of a 5K, which is 3.1 miles. When you think of distance in Disney terms, it’s completely achievable!

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What do you love most about runDisney?
Or, have you ever considered joining the fun?
For more information on upcoming races visit runDisney.com.

Participating in the upcoming races? Share your #WDWMarathon experience with us:

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