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#CoolestSummer Ever: AmeriCool!

posted on July 3rd, 2015 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


To lots of folks, the Fourth of July is one of the coolest times of the year. There are fireworks, icy cold drinks, fun foods and, of course the spirit of America – a spirit that can take on many forms, from ingenuity and tradition to good old-fashioned belly laughs.

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Here are a few AmericFaves, in no particular order of preference:

The Hall of Presidents. Many thanks to those readers who commented on last week’s post (and on all of our posts)! Several of you—including Jason, Eric, Sidney and James’s wife-named The Hall of Presidents as a great place to cool off and enjoy a spectacular presentation in which every U.S. President appears on stage. Thanks for the nice comments about what a great attraction it is!

The American Adventure. This is one of my personal favorites because the voice of Ben Franklin is done the late actor Dal McKennon, who worked on dozens of Disney films, park attractions, TV shows and records. Dal was also the voice of TV’s Archie, Gumby, and on camera played lots of character roles, including Cincinnatus on TV’s “Daniel Boone” starring Fess Parker, and Sam the cook in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Living on the West Coast, it was over 20 years before Dal actually saw The American Adventure. He wept for joy, and the guests who happened to be there that day had the pleasure of briefly meeting him in person.

Muppet*Vision 3-D. And now, for something completely silly. Who else but the madcap Muppets would present a crazy extravaganza like Sam Eagle’s “A Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America”, in which what appear to be “it’s a small world” characters and “Babes in Toyland” figures cavort in utter chaos, as Lady Liberty Piggy beams majestically … until … well, you know what went down if you saw it. If not, check out Muppet*Vision 3-D soon!

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. Corn-on-the-cob, chicken, burgers, mac and cheese are national treasures. Whether it’s the Fourth of July or not, this is a great way to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Chip ’n Dale, hear live country music and watch rope tricks (kind of like “Talent Roundup Day” on the Mickey Mouse Club!). This is an open-air experience with lots of circulating fans to supply the coolness. Reservations for dinner are required, but you don’t have to be staying at Fort Wilderness Campground and Resort to book it. Allow yourself some time to explore the lovely surrounding area, too (don’t forget to look for the Lawnmower Tree).

Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. Walt was called an “American original”; the very personification of hard work, goals and dreams realized (and some setbacks as well). But Walt and his creations are not bound by lines on a map or stars in the sky. His magic really belongs to the entire world. This magnificent journey through his amazing life, career and myriad of creations is sheer joy for everyone to share … makes no difference who you are.

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POLL: Which Patriotic Parks Experience Is Your Favorite?

posted on July 3rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Happy Fourth of July! At Walt Disney World Resort, we have plenty of ways to get a good ol’ fix of Americana.

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Which patriotic parks experience is among your favorite? Vote for your favorite below.


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Disney Parks After Dark: Seeing ‘Wishes’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 2nd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


In just a few days, Walt Disney World will be alight with fireworks in celebration of the Fourth of July.

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Tonight’s “After Dark” image celebrates one of the grandest nighttime spectaculars we have on our property – “Wishes” fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park.

Do you plan on spending the holiday with us? Which nighttime show are you planning to see? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Tinker Bell Flies for 30 Years at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 2nd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


If you head out to Magic Kingdom Park to celebrate this Fourth of July week, you’ll have the chance to witness a milestone event in the park’s entertainment history – the 30th anniversary of Tinker Bell’s pre-fireworks flight.

Tinker Bell first began flying over Disneyland park in California in the summer of 1961, but didn’t make her first appearance at Walt Disney World Resort until decades later in 1985. When it was announced that Tinker Bell would perform her first flight at Magic Kingdom Park over the Fourth of July weekend, the guest response was overwhelming and a crowd of more than 60,000 showed up to watch her inaugural flight on July 3, 1985.

Originally planned as a seasonal and holiday spectacle at Magic Kingdom Park, the guest reaction was so positive that Tink’s flight turned into a nightly event.

Tinker Bell currently makes her nightly appearance before “Wishes” fireworks. Tip: For the best view, watch the nighttime spectacular from the Cinderella Castle forecourt area.

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‘Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky’ Fireworks Live Stream Set For July 4

posted on July 2nd, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


So you’re not able to be at Walt Disney World Resort for the Fourth of July but you want to celebrate the holiday in Disney style? Well, the Disney Parks Blog has you covered. We are excited to announce that the Magic Kingdom Park July 4th fireworks show will stream ‘live’ at 9 p.m. EDT right here on the Disney Parks Blog.

JULY 4TH CELEBRATED AT WALT DISNEY WORLD IN FLORIDA

Join us as “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert In The Sky” paints the sky red, white and blue and fills the air with patriotic music. This special show features perimeter fireworks launched from around Magic Kingdom Park and an island in Seven Seas Lagoon.

To make sure you have the best view in the house we are providing two live cameras for you to choose from. One camera in front of Cinderella Castle and the other near Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to take in the entire perimeter spectacular. Guests viewing from their desktop will be able to switch between the two cameras during the show. Those ‘on the go’ and joining us on mobile devices, will be able to take in the live view from the castle location.

The live feed starts at 8:50 p.m. on the Disney Parks Blog, with the fireworks show beginning at 9 p.m.

We are excited to offer this unique opportunity and hope you join us as we celebrate this great nation Disney style.

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Top U.S. Military Surprise Reunions at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Families make memories at Disney Parks every day – but for a handful of our guests, Walt Disney World Resort is a place where they’ve experienced magical surprise reunions with loved ones returning from tours of duty abroad.

In honor of the Fourth of July, we’d like to share our favorite U.S. Military surprise reunions that have taken place within our “world” over the past few years. Get ready to get the tissues out!

  1. Young guest Adisen Kallas is reunited with her father, Navy SEABEE UT1 Scott Kallas, at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex after his 11-month tour of duty.

  1. Watch as SPC Scott Halquist of St. Cloud, Florida, surprises his three young children at Epcot’s American Adventure attraction.

  1. Mickey Mouse helps one military family reunion come true for the Liddell brothers – Jacob, Joshua and Jackson.

  1. Check out the magic that CW2 Travis Myers created for his wife, Kim, during the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon – all the way from Afghanistan.
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Final Phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Opens Today

posted on July 1st, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


The final phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at the Walt Disney World Resort opened today, marking the completion of all 360 Deluxe Studios at the resort.

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I recently had the opportunity to stay in one of the resort’s Deluxe Studios and it was truly a fantastic experience. During my stay, I zipped over to Epcot via the monorail and made it back in time to watch the Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from the resort. I strolled along the resort’s beach area and tested out room service (late-night pizza was fantastic, but not as yummy as eating Tonga Toast in bed the next morning). At Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort I took my son on his first pontoon boat ride on Seven Seas Lagoon, spoiled his lunch by getting him a Dole Whip from Pineapple Lanai and sampled drinks on the outdoor patio of the new Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

In addition to the resort’s unbeatable location and fun amenities, the features within our villa make this my favorite Disney Vacation Club Deluxe Studio to date. We especially enjoyed the spacious split bath design, the hidden pull-down bunk-size bed and the kitchenette (the fridge would have been perfect for our leftover take-out pizza, had we not polished the whole thing off right away).

Want to see more? Take a tour of this unique accommodation in this video.

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Walt Disney World Resort Fireworks?

posted on June 30th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Fireworks are truly a highlight of a day at a Disney Park. How well do you know our nighttime spectaculars at Walt Disney World Resort? Test your knowledge below – some of the answers may surprise you!


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Walt Disney World Resort Fireworks

Which Disney character narrates “Wishes” fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park?
Glow with the Show Ear hats, fun interactive versions of the famous Mickey Ear hats, now burst with color during the Wishes fireworks extravaganza at Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The new illuminating hats magically change colors in sync with fireworks, shows and each other at Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Glow with the Show Ear hats debuted at Walt Disney World Resort Oct. 15, 2013 during the 15th anniversary of Fantasmic!, the nighttime spectacular at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  (Gene Duncan, photographer)
TInker Bell began making her “fireworks flight” during the show in what year?
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The first fireworks show ever performed at Walt Disney World Resort was in honor of the opening of what resort hotel?
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What was the first fireworks performance at Magic Kingdom Park called?
Wishes
Holiday fireworks shows, like the Fourth of July performance, are how much larger than the nightly show?
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Celebrating the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 29th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Independence Day is coming up, and the parks at Walt Disney World Resort are planning to celebrate our nation’s 239th birthday with some star-spangled salutes to America!

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If you’re visiting Walt Disney World Resort for the 4th of July, here are some highlights of the special entertainment planned for that day:

  • Magic Kingdom Park “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” rockets into the air above Cinderella Castle. This special, fireworks spectacular will be presented two nights in a row, at 9 p.m. on both July 3 and 4.
  • Epcot On July 4, enjoy a special concert of great American songs by Voices of Liberty at America Gardens Theater, where they’ll be performing at 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 3 p.m. You can also meet Chip ‘n’ Dale in patriotic attire outside The American Adventure, and at 10 p.m. that evening “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” joins the celebration with the addition of a heart-pounding, all-American grand finale.
  • Disney’s Hollywood StudiosThe “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party leads up to a “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration,” as the sky above Disney’s Hollywood Studios ignites in a shower of shimmering light for a pyrotechnic, rock ‘n roll road trip across America. The DJ kicks things off at 5:45 p.m. and keeps the party going until fireworks time at 10:15 p.m.

Looks like the 4th of July is going to be a blast all across Walt Disney World Resort!

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – July 2015

posted on June 28th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort this July? Be sure to check out these special artist appearances and signings!

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Now through July 20: Representatives from Precious Moments dolls will be on hand for the release of the new Patriotic Collection, among other fan favorites. Meet the representatives and see the dolls throughout the day, each day, at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

July 1 – 5: Take part in a special Givenchy fragrance event at Le Plume et Palette in the France Pavilion at Epcot. Learn more.

July 2 – 3: Find the latest releases from artist David E. Doss, who will be appearing daily, July 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 from 1 – 9 p.m. at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

July 2 – 5: Appearing at Art of Disney in Epcot throughout the month is artist Larry Dotson. Look for artist showcases on the following dates: July 2, 3, 4, 5, 16, 17, 18, 19, 30 as well as August 1 and 2. Learn more.

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July 11 – 14: Meet Fragrance Designer Geir Ness throughout the day at Puffin’s Roost in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot.

July 13 – 18: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings July 13 – 18 and July 27 – August 1 from 1 – 8p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

July 17 – 18: Meet artist Jeremiah Ketner who will be on hand for a special artist showcase and signing at WonderGround Gallery in Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace from 5 – 8p.m., each day. Learn more.

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July 23 – 26: Meet artist William Silvers who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his newest releases from 1 – 9p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Not able to make it? William will return for additional signing opportunities July 30 – August 1 from 12 Noon – 8 p.m., each day, at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park. Learn more.

Throughout the month look for other special appearances and signings at select World Showcase pavilion locations in Epcot, including Le Plume et Palette and La Signature in France, The Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom and Puffins Roost in Norway. Learn more.

Reminder: Tickets to this year’s GenEARation D Pin Trading event taking place Sept. 11 – 12 are still available but are in limited supply. It’s not too late to register! Learn more.

Which events will you check out?

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