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Join Us for Breakfast, ‘Tomorrowland’ & 24-Hours at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 19th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’re kicking off this year’s 24-hour celebration in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort with a special sweepstakes – a chance to win a prize that’ll include admission to 24 hours of fun at Magic Kingdom Park, a special breakfast and a screening of Disney’s “Tomorrowland” film on the same day it’s released in theaters, May 22, 2015.

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The Disney Parks Blog-hosted event begins at 6 a.m. on May 22 at Walt Disney World Resort. We’ll start with an early breakfast at Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park that’ll include photo opportunities.

After breakfast, attendees will have the opportunity to see Disney’s mystery adventure movie “Tomorrowland” at AMC Downtown Disney 24 (transportation from Magic Kingdom Park to Downtown Disney will be provided). In Disney’s riveting mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” a jaded scientist and an optimistic teen embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space. Directed by two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird, “Tomorrowland” stars Academy Award® winner George Clooney as scientist and former boy-genius Frank Walker and Britt Robertson as Casey Newton. Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

Please read the official rules before you enter the sweepstakes. Now, to enter, send us an email titled “24 Hours in the Park,” your complete name and if you will be bringing a guest to WDWMeetUps@gmail.com, and we’ll select 250 winners. Only one guest is permitted.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All winners must be US residents and 18 years or older, but guests do not need to be 18 or older as long as the winner is the parent or legal guardian of the guest who is under 18.
  • Disney’s “Tomorrowland” is rated PG.
  • Park admission to Magic Kingdom Park for May 22, 2015 will be provided as part of the prize.
  • Limit one guest per winner.
  • We will send an email to individuals who are selected as winners to confirm their attendance for the event.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the winner and guest to check in at the Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC), adjacent to Magic Kingdom Park parking, at 5 a.m. for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Prizes are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Prize will be for the winner and guest.
  • If you do not receive an email from us notifying you that you are a winner, then you have not won the prize.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation.

Also, here are some other things you should know:

  • Please arrive early. No one will be admitted late.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C who are 18 years of age or older (or age of majority), as of entry. Sweepstakes starts 1:00 PM (ET) on 5/19/15 and ends 3:00 PM (ET) on 5/19/15. Limit one entry per person/email address. See Official Rules for details. Prize must be redeemed on 5/22/15. Prize does not include travel to or accommodations at Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, FL.

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Fuel Your 24-Hour Party Fun at Magic Kingdom Park on May 22

posted on May 18th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


We’re gearing up to have the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort, and what better way to kick it off than with a 24-Hour party at Magic Kingdom Park?

I have a few tips for finding great bites during the 24-Hour Party at Magic Kingdom Park:

For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with a cup of coffee and a pastry (or a cupcake; I don’t judge) from Main Street Bakery. A favorite for me are the waffles from Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square, delicious served topped with strawberries and whipped cream or as a ham and cheese omelet sandwich—either way, you can’t go wrong.

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Cupcakes celebrating the 24-Hour Party will be available at Main Street Bakery and Gaston’s Tavern. Since we’re kicking off the Coolest Summer Ever, everything from cotton candy to our lemonade is turning blue!

For lunch, I love the Pot Roast Macaroni and Cheese or Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese from The Friar’s Nook. Or, still in Fantasyland, I enjoy watching the ‘it’s a small world’ boats drift by in Pinocchio Village Haus while enjoying one of their delicious flatbreads (the Caprese is my favorite—I love the juicy tomatoes and balsamic drizzle).

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Hang loose during the Tomorrowland beach party, starting at 4 p.m., and grab a snack at The Lunching Pad, featuring a tropical watermelon lemonade, a special gourmet hot dog topped with pulled pork and cole slaw and a crisped rice treat shaped like a flip-flop available only during the beach party.

For dinner, ample seating and air conditioning can’t be beat—it’s the best way to recharge. Try the new Deluxe Chicken Sandwich with pepper jack cheese, bacon and chipotle mayo at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café, or try one of the new Rice Bowls (choose from beef or veggie) at Tortuga Tavern. In Liberty Square, the Seafood Mac and Cheese—cheesy goodness made with lobster and shrimp—and Chicken Pot Pie from Columbia Harbor House hit the mark for comfort food (both entrees are only available after 4 p.m.).

Looking for dessert? There’s nothing like watching Wishes from Main Street with a sundae from Plaza Ice Cream Parlor in hand—be sure to try Olaf’s take on this sweet treat! If dessert isn’t your thing, and you’re looking for a late-night snack instead, give the gourmet waffle fries from Golden Oak Outpost a try.

Fuel Your 24-Hour Party Fun at Magic Kingdom Park on May 22 Fuel Your 24-Hour Party Fun at Magic Kingdom Park on May 22

For the night owls who make it to the wee hours of the morning, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café will offer a breakfast plate loaded up with crispy bacon, fluffy scrambled eggs and herb-crusted roasted red skin potatoes.

My fellow Disney Parks Blog author, Pam Brandon, will be giving you east-coast food updates on May 22, and I’ll be live-blogging the Disneyland Diamond Celebration Kickoff in California!

What are you planning to eat and drink during the 24-hour Party? Let us know in the comments below.

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

Moms Panel Monday: Need Recommendations on Dining at Walt Disney World Resort?

posted on May 18th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Food can be a big and very fun part of the Walt Disney World Resort experience, and for this issue of Moms Panel Monday our panelists offer dining suggestions to a guest who is visiting this summer.

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Each panelist provides personal insight — such as favorites of their kids’ like 50s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to signature dining establishments like California Grill and Flying Fish Cafe, and even not-to-be-missed indulgences like waffle-based sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom Park or the addictive Zebra Domes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Does your family have any favorite places to grab a bite at Walt Disney World Resort?

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Keep ‘Cool’ and Show Your #DisneySide at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration at Disney Parks

posted on May 18th, 2015 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


The 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration is the exciting start to the “Coolest Summer Ever” at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort and launches the Diamond Celebration at Disneyland Resort. This event is a 24-hour party within the theme parks – from coast to coast!

There will be guests showing their #DisneySide in their favorite costumes and Disney-inspired outfits. I wanted to share a few ways to show your sporty #DisneySide at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration, as well as some tips from our friends at New Balance to keep comfortable if you plan on staying on your feet the majority of the day.

Here are some outfits I pieced together that will be comfortable, stylish and show your #DisneySide from the Disney Store, New Balance and Champion.

Adult:

Keep 'Cool' and Show Your Disney Side at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration at Disney Parks Keep 'Cool' and Show Your Disney Side at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration at Disney Parks

Children:

Keep 'Cool' and Show Your Disney Side at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration at Disney Parks Keep 'Cool' and Show Your Disney Side at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration at Disney Parks

New Balance Tips for the 24-Hour Event

Possible Rain or Sweat?
Don’t worry! Stuff your kicks with some newspaper heel to toe, let them sit overnight to absorb moisture. Don’t put your shoes in the dryer; it’ll hurt the materials!

Wiggle Room
You’re used to a size 8 in those heels? Bump it up about a half size from your street shoe to your running shoes. It’s a good thing to have some wiggle room in the front of your shoes for your toes to splay. Minor foot swelling is also common when we spend long days walking or running on our feet, so make sure to have at least a thumbs nail length of toe room for those little piggies.

Lace with Attention
Be careful how you lace up your shoes. It’s great to lock in the heel, but don’t put too much pressure on that instep. Your feet will thank us come dinnertime.

Legs Up the Wall
Long day on your legs? Lie flat on the ground with your legs at a 90-degree angle up the wall or on the back of a couch. This very common yoga position is thought to increase blood flow to the heart. Give circulation a refresh in those stems and get back out there.

Type of Ride
Just like attractions can differ, so too do the rides of a shoe! Make sure you’re happy with the ride you select for the entire day – sandals may be too thin. If you have a few pairs of sneakers to choose from, try out the level of cushioning to ensure it’s plush enough or light enough to carry you through this adventure!

What are you planning on wearing to show your #DisneySide at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration?

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

#DisneyKids: 24-hours of Fun for Little Ones at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 17th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


If you have young kids, a 24-hour event might not seem like a natural fit for you, but there are actually a lot of activities during the 24-hour kickoff to the Coolest Summer Ever at Magic Kingdom Park that are perfect for little ones. If your kids are anything like mine, they are often awake at dawn and ready to go. Next Friday, May 22, when they’re up before the sun, you can bring them to our party – which starts at 6 a.m. at the Magic Kingdom Train Station with Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf. Throughout the day, there are all kinds of special events that kids will love:

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In between all of the one-day-only fun, be sure to use the My Disney Experience app to select FastPasses for favorite attractions and character meet & greets. You can also use the app in the park to find things like attraction height requirements and even the nearest restrooms – a must for potty training parents!

If you’re going to stay for the amazing Wishes fireworks show in the evening, be sure to pack snacks and pjs to keep little ones comfortable. But don’t worry if you forget something, our Baby Care Centers are fully stocked with everything from diapers and training pants to toddler food and sunscreen.

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Filed: FastPass+, Magic Kingdom, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Coolest Summer Ever’ Commemorative Shirt Coming to Magic Kingdom Park for 24-Hour Party

posted on May 16th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I can’t wait to kick-off the “Coolest Summer Ever” in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort! This 24-hour party starts 6 a.m. Friday, May 22, and runs until 6 a.m. Saturday, May 23. I already have a “hip” costume to “Snow My Disney Side” during the event. For guests who want to stay cool during the party, we are releasing a commemorative T-shirt featuring the host of the party, Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen.”

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This year’s shirt will contain ink that changes color when exposed to sunlight.

The shirt will be found in Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Park. We will also offer it online from May 22-31 at DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

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In addition to the shirt, guests will find a festive cupcake found in the following locations:

Please share your photos and join the conversation on Instagram and Twitter by using #Disney24 and #CoolestSummer.

I hope to see you at the party!

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

California Grill Celebrates 20 Years at the Top at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

posted on May 15th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Has it really been 20 years since California Grill put Walt Disney World Resort dining on the culinary map? May 15, 1995, the date that the beautiful space was unveiled on the top floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort with stellar cuisine and an equally spectacular bird’s-eye view of Magic Kingdom Park and Walt Disney World Resort. Reimagined in 2013 with new interiors and a new onstage kitchen and menu, the restaurant has not rested on its laurels.

View of Magic Kingdom Park from California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

While there’s no big ta-dah planned for the turning 20, Chef Brian Piasecki focuses on beautiful produce, so spring is one of his favorite times of the year. “Soft shell crabs, local heirloom tomatoes, Delta asparagus, spring onions, West Coast halibut, morel mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, baby artichokes, Zellwood corn, fava beans, English peas,” says Chef Brian, ticking off the list of amazing ingredients he’s working with in the kitchen for the 20th anniversary.

Copper River Salmon at California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort Chocolate Pudding Cake at California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

“And don’t forget Copper River salmon season opens May 12,” he says. “We’re serving the salmon ‘a la plancha’ [grilled on a metal plate] with Zellwood sweet corn yeast cakes, baby shiitake mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns and pickled ramps, topped with spiked milk-stout maple syrup.”

Then there’s more fresh seafood, the BLT heirloom tomato flatbread with house-smoked bacon, and more local sweet corn, says Chef Brian, who has been at the helm at California Grill since 2009.

“To create the wow experience is the greatest feeling,” he says. “I have the opportunity to create amazing food with an incredible team.”

The most-ordered dish on the menu is the fork tender, oak-grilled filet of beef, right now paired with heirloom tomato risotto, a rich tomato-butter sauce, micro basil and a dash of aged balsamic vinegar. But if you ask Chef Brian for his favorite dish has says he’s partial to the tempura-fried soft shell crab with an espelette (red pepper) aioli and local red watercress salad.

And the beverages are as finely tuned as the food, thanks to area manager Michael Scheifler, who keeps a close eye on trends. “For spring and summer was are rolling out a seasonal beer menu, including the new Napa Smith Cool Brew from the only brewery in Napa Valley” says Michael. “We’re also adding a ‘Super Premium Spirit Page’ with offerings such as Bunnahabhain Single Malt Scotch, Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon and Hennessy Richard.”

So raise a glass. Happy 20th, California Grill, cheers to 20 more!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Kicking Off the ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ with 24-Hours of Entertainment at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on May 14th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Next week, Magic Kingdom Park is going to stay open from 6 a.m. Friday, May 22, to 6 a.m. Saturday, May 23, to celebrate the beginning of the “Coolest Summer Ever!” And everyone’s favorite snowman Olaf is inviting you to “Snow Your Disney Side” with a whole day (and night) full of magic.

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In addition to all your usual favorite characters and shows at the park, our Creative Entertainment team is also pulling together a full roster of amazing, unique entertainment experiences that will definitely make this day one of the coolest ever!

  • The extravaganza kicks off with some very special appearances in the Welcome Show as Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf join the rest of the gang welcoming everyone into the park.
  • A Flag Raising ceremony will be held at dawn in Town Square, featuring the Reedy Creek Honor Guard.
  • Some of your favorite stars from Disney Channel will be joining us as Grand Marshals for the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” at 3 p.m.
  • Over in Tomorrowland, Disney Channel Club Chill takes over Rockettower Plaza Stage from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., with DJ Frost leading a dance party with music videos from Disney Channel stars and sneak peeks of upcoming Disney Channel Original Movies “Teen Beach 2” and “Descendants.”
  • Once things cool down in Tomorrowland, Rockettower Plaza switches gears for sing-along screenings of Disney’s “Frozen” from midnight – 4 a.m.
  • There’s even more “Frozen” fun in store, when Olaf, Kristoff, Anna and Elsa put Magic Kingdom Park “on ice” with pre-parade appearances just ahead of the 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. performances of the Main Street Electrical Parade.
  • Looking to dance the night away? You can join some of your Disney pals – all dressed in their PJs – at one of two late-night dance parties. Kick up your heels at the Frontierland Dance Party, near Country Bear Jamboree, from 2 a.m. – 6 a.m. At Cinderella Castle, Disney’s “Up All Night” Dance Party keeps things hopping from 2:00 a.m. – 5:45 a.m. with awesome DJ, stiltwalkers and lots of fun party people!
  • As that 24th hour comes to a close, make your way to Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A., for a special finale moment with Mickey and the gang that you won’t want to miss.

Be sure to check back here throughout the day on Friday, May 22, as Disney Parks Blog brings you all the action, live from the “Coolest Summer Ever!” Will you be joining us? What part of the event sounds the coolest to you? Let us know in the comments.

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Sixty Years of Innovation: New Fantasyland at Disneyland Park

posted on May 13th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Disney Parks are more than exciting attractions and dazzling spectaculars. Walking into a place like Fantasyland, for example, is like walking into another world. As each of our guests are reminded, “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.” Let’s go back to the year 1983 to discover how the fantasy of Fantasyland was enriched here at Disneyland park.

Walt Disney’s favorite land, Fantasyland was envisioned as a fairy tale village beyond the walls of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Unfortunately, as the opening of Disneyland drew near, unforeseen budget overages caused the team to scale back on the design of Fantasyland. So the land became a medieval fair, with banners and flags decorating the entrances to Snow White’s Adventures, Peter Pan’s Flight and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

 

Nearly thirty years later, the time had finally come to transform Fantasyland into that timeless land of enchantment that Walt had dreamed of. “The New Fantasyland” opened at Disneyland on May 25, 1983. The architecture and facade of each attraction became an extension of the stories that lie within. Guests now enter Peter Pan’s Flight through a medieval English clock tower or visit a country manor called Toad Hall, home to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. On the west side of Fantasyland, you have the feeling of being immersed in a Bavarian or Alpine village, bringing you into the worlds of Snow White and Pinocchio. Next door at Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, the attraction’s facade features half-timbered architecture and carved wood balconies, resembling the house in which Pinocchio, the wooden puppet made of pine, became a real boy.

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“The New Fantasyland” elevated the storytelling of the entire area, combining architecture, horticulture and other details to create an immersive, fairy tale environment and became an example of what Walt Disney Imagineering often refers to as “place making” – the design and creation of a land that transports the guest to a different place and time, truly immersing them in the story and fantasy of the land.

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And nearly 30 years after “The New Fantasyland” at Disneyland park, this immersive storytelling was brought to another level with New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park. The largest expansion in the park’s history, New Fantasyland welcomes guests to step into the stories of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Dumbo.” It is a shining example of how Disney Parks continue the legacy of innovative, immersive storytelling that was established with the opening of Disneyland park in 1955 and carried on with “The New Fantasyland” in 1983 and beyond.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park?

posted on May 13th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Splash Mountain, the third Disney “mountain” to open at Magic Kingdom Park, did so in 1992. Is it a must-do attraction for you? Test your knowledge below!

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Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

What movie is the Splash Mountain attraction based on?
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How many Audio-Animatronics figures will you encounter on Splash Mountain?
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How tall is the final drop of Splash Mountain?
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What is Br’er Rabbit in search of?
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How many gallons of water are used on Splash Mountain?
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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort