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A 21st Birthday Celebration for Singing Superstar Ariana Grande at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 25th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


A pop princess met a Disney princess at Magic Kingdom Park, and it was all in celebration of Ariana Grande’s 21st birthday.

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The singer, who recently topped the charts with her megahit “Problem” (featuring Iggy Azalea), visited Magic Kingdom Park, where she was met by Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle. Then, Prince Charming and Cinderella helped celebrate with Grande as a giant Bibbidi Bobbidi Blue-hued birthday cake, created by the talented team of Disney Pastry Chefs, was unveiled. Dozens of Grande’s friends and family members joined in the fun to help the global music superstar celebrate at Magic Kingdom Park.

In this video, Grande — a Florida native — discusses the Magic Kingdom Park celebration, the dress she chose for the occasion and how the music video for her upcoming single, “Break Free,” reminds her of Space Mountain.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Finish that Disney Parks Sign: Finding Thrills in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on June 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s sign can be spotted in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park. It sure looks like there’s lots of fun to be had – but what words are missing? What will they perform?

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If you remember, tell us in the “Comments” section below!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Caption This: Tiki Fun in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park

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


This week’s “Caption This!” photo was snapped in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park back in 1971. It sure looks like this Tiki has something interesting to say.

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What’s on his mind? You tell us – go ahead and “Caption This” image in the “Comments” section.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Oscar-Winning ‘Frozen’ Songwriters Enjoy a Heart-Warming Visit to Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 21st, 2014 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


They’ve been called “Cutest Couple Ever.” They’ve won the Academy Award for “Let it Go,” part of a musical score that has already become the stuff of legend. The New York home of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez is laden with awards — including the Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy (making Bobby an “EGOT,” a person who has won all four awards).

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So, what did they want to do next? Go to Disney Parks!

Kristen and Bobby are firm on a very important point. No amount of fame and acclaim can compare with the love of friends and family (they just welcomed a little nephew into the fold last month). Clearly they’re having as much fun seeing their daughters react to Disney magic as they’re enjoying it themselves (I feel the same way about my kids, just like my father did about me).

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As Kristen says in the video, “We’re Disney people!” They’ve got an especially warm attachment to the first stage musical they worked on together, Finding Nemo—The Musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom — as well as The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot, which features their song, “In the Big Blue World.” They told me about their Disney fandom in this interview.

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By the way, have you checked out the Limited-Edition color 12” vinyl LP album version of the “Frozen” soundtrack?. It’s available here. I love to shine the two blue discs and the crystal engraved disc up to the light — that is, when I’m not listening to them!

You can find the compact disc soundtrack of “Frozen,” as well as the Finding Nemo — The Musical cast album at select Walt Disney World Resort shops (or by calling Merchandise Guest Services at 1-877-560-6477).

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Olaf Celebrates ‘First Day of Summer’ on the Disney Parks Blog

posted on June 21st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


It’s summer! – or at least that’s how I imagine Olaf, the lovable snowman from Disney’s “Frozen”, would shout it.

Since today is officially the first day of summer, what better way to celebrate than with a Disney Parks Blog takeover by one of our favorite pals from “Frozen”. If you remember in the film’s song, “In Summer,” Olaf dreams of all the things that his first summertime could bring – to him, that means “bees that buzz, kids that blow dandelion fuzz” and a host of other fun things.

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At Disney Parks, summertime means that guests who are traveling here for their summer vacations will have the opportunity to experience a whole lot of new offerings. Check out some of what’s new this summer below.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Guests React to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on June 17th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Seven Dwarfs Mine Train officially debuted in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park just about three weeks ago. We recently headed out to the park to ask some guests their thoughts on the new attraction just after their first ride through it. Check out the video below to hear their reviews for yourself!

Have you experienced Seven Dwarfs Mine Train yet? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

See the posts below for more on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train:

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

10 Healthful Choices at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 16th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Even though vacation is a time for indulgence, one of the most-asked questions is “where can I find healthful choices”? Walt Disney World Resort chefs love the challenge of creating healthful bites that taste as good (or better) than we might imagine.

In no specific order, here are 10 of our favorite spots for eating healthfully at Magic Kingdom Park:

  • The fresh roasted corn at Liberty Square Market. And it’s a bargain at $3.79, grilled before your eyes all day long. (We’re told they sell more than 700 ears on a busy day.) And when local Zellwood sweet corn is in season, that’s what they grill in the husk. You can add all sorts of seasonings, but it’s best with just a little salt and pepper.

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  • Columbia Harbor House is a favorite for quick service – a little off the beaten path, and we often find a quiet corner upstairs. Best bets are the Lighthouse Sandwich with hummus, tomato and broccoli slaw on toasted multigrain bread; the broccoli peppercorn salad with greens, veggies, chicken and Parmesan cheese, and, on cool days, the vegetarian chili.
  • In Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe has lots of healthful choices, like the veggie burger, veggie sandwich and a hearty Greek salad. For something sweet the no-sugar-added mango gelato hits the spot.
  • Southwest chicken salad at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe is a filling lunch. Or the veggie burger.
  • In Fantasyland, Pinocchio Village Haus is a quick stop for the Mediterranean Salad with greens, red onion, black olives, roasted red peppers, mozzarella and chicken. (They also serve the delish no-sugar-added mango gelato.)
  • For lunch, Liberty Tree Tavern is a table-service favorite. We usually order the Colony Salad with greens, Ocean Spray Craisins, apples, sweet pecans, applewood-smoked Cheddar cheese and grilled chicken with a honey-shallot vinaigrette. And the tavern’s vegan burger is pretty good, made with potatoes and quinoa and topped with a vegan tofu-tzatziki sauce. (Seriously, try it.)
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  • The ever-popular Cinderella’s Royal Table serves a healthful fish of the day, or go with the veggie pick: rice with roasted eggplants, mushrooms, onions and squash tossed with arugula pesto and a splash of aged balsamic vinegar.
  • Plaza Restaurant still serves the Chicken Strawberry Salad, which has been on the menu as long as we can remember, is still just as delicious with greens, cucumbers, strawberries and grilled chicken tossed with a white zinfandel vinaigrette.
  • Last, but not least, Be Our Guest Restaurant has some light bites for lunch, like the tuna Niçoise salad with warm seared tuna, or quinoa salad. For dinner, go vegan with the layered ratatouille: baked zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes and caramelized onions layered on quinoa with a bell pepper sauce. Again, splurge with a happy ending: the no-sugar-added option for dessert, a lemon-raspberry cream puff.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ Marks 20 Years

posted on June 13th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


It’s a big weekend for Simba – it’s the 20th anniversary of Disney’s “The Lion King.

The film, which debuted in theaters in 1994, tells a coming-of-age tale of the young lion cub and his friends, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon.

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There are many places you can enjoy Disney’s “The Lion King” at the Walt Disney World Resort, including watching film-inspired segments in “Fantasmic!” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and at Mickey’s PhilharMagic at Magic Kingdom Park and “Festival of the Lion King,” the newly reopened stage show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There’s also the Lion King wing of resort rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

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Over at the Disneyland Resort, guests can spot Simba and friends in Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: A Quiet Cinderella Castle

posted on June 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “Disney Parks After Dark” image was shot by photographer Tom Bricker at Magic Kingdom Park, after hours. I never get tired of looking at beautiful images of this lovely icon. Doesn’t Cinderella Castle look so calm and serene?

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Seven Dwarfs Continue Down Mine Train with the Launch of New App, TV Show

posted on June 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you experienced Seven Dwarfs Mine Train yet?

If not, there are new Mine Train-inspired opportunities heading your way.

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This week, Disney Publishing Worldwide will release The 7D Mine Train app, which introduces the re-imagined Seven Dwarfs and allows players to choose one of the characters to pilot a mine car through a variety of locales and collect gems along the way.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction is also inspiring a new television show on Disney XD – Disney’s “The 7D,” a contemporary, comedic take on the world of the Seven Dwarfs, which will premiere on July 7 at 10 a.m. In the premiere episode, “Long, Long Winter/Itsy Bitsy Spider Fighters,” the 7D rescue the villagers of Jollywood from an eternal winter spell that the Glooms have cast on the kingdom and help Queen Delightful rid the castle of a pesky spider. The show will feature celebrities Kelly Osbourne, Jay Leno and Whoopi Goldberg in voice roles.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort