Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

New Renderings Offer A Glimpse at the Future Access to Disney Springs

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


If you’ve visited Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort lately, you’ve most likely noticed the many changes underway as the area transforms into Disney Springs – it’s the largest expansion in Downtown Disney history and, when completed, will double the area’s number of dining and retail options. Through this expansion, guests can continue to enjoy more than 70 themed and immersive shopping, dining and entertainment venues day and night. One of my personal favorites is the new Marketplace Co-Op, which has unique Disney boutique shops and has been featured several times here on the Disney Parks Blog.

NBL545392

The surrounding roadways and parking areas at Downtown Disney are growing too and will eventually offer easier access to the area. Today we have two new renderings to share with you that showcase the work that is already underway, which includes widening Lake Buena Vista Drive from seven to 10 lanes and constructing two multilevel garages (the first of which, pictured above, is set to open by late 2014 to offer 4,000 parking spaces). Two pedestrian bridges are also planned that will help lead guests into Disney Springs near the current Marketplace side, while the other will offer access in through the West Side.

NBL6868642

As you can see above, the changes will also include a new I-4 interchange that will offer guests direct access to Disney Springs.

All of this work is part of the area’s transformation into Disney Springs, which will continue into 2016. The first phase of the expansion, an area called The Landing, will open in 2015 to offer lakefront shopping and dining. In the meantime, if you are planning to visit Downtown Disney for activities with set times, such as Cirque du Soleil performances, concerts or movies, early arrival is suggested.

Be sure to stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for future updates.

For more on Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, click the link below:

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Wildlife Wednesday: It’s Lovely Weather To Book A Sleigh Ride Together With You at Walt Disney World!

posted on July 23rd, 2014 by Mark Beatty, Worldwide Ranch Animal Operations Manager


Outside the snow isn’t falling, but friends are calling, “Yoo hoo… Now is the time to make your reservations!”

You may think it’s too early, but now is a great time to book your holiday sleigh ride at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground!

Wildlife Wednesday: It’s Lovely Weather To Book A Sleigh Ride Together With You at Walt Disney World! Wildlife Wednesday: It’s Lovely Weather To Book A Sleigh Ride Together With You at Walt Disney World!

Holiday sleigh rides begin on November 28th and run nightly through December 30th. Each sleigh holds up to 4 adults (or two adults and 3 children). The 25-minute sleigh ride is $70 per sleigh and includes 1 collector’s pin per reservation.

As we await the holiday season, the Tri-Circle-D Ranch offers plenty of year round activities to keep you busy. Guests over nine years old can enjoy a 45-minute horseback ride through Florida’s natural wilderness, and for the younger riders, pony rides are a great introduction to our 4-legged equine friends!

If you just can’t wait until the holiday season to relax, carriage rides are offered throughout the year at Disney’s Fort Wilderness and Campground and Port Orleans Resort!

Book your favorite equestrian activity by calling 407-WDW-Play!

For more from the “Wildlife Wednesday” series, check out the posts below:

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Download our Disney Parks Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Wallpaper

posted on July 22nd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Our celebration of the 20th anniversary of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror continues with a new mobile/desktop wallpaper. It’s probably my favorite of the year so far – created by Disney artist Mike Britton especially for Disney Parks Blog readers. Enjoy!

Tower20_1024x1024

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

Merchandise Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 22nd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


On July 22, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror celebrates 20 years at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This attraction has quickly become my son’s favorite thing to do in all of Walt Disney World. We’ve watched nearly every episode of the television show together, and love finding the little nods to the series hidden throughout the attraction every time we “drop in.” To commemorate this year’s anniversary, we are releasing a T-shirt on our Disney Parks online store from July 22-27, 2014.

tottot930221

The shirt will be printed on a Hanes Beefy tee and will be available for both adults and youth. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery (no express shipping is available). You can place an order for the shirt starting July 22 at http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

tottot930222

I have, however, some even more exciting news to share for this anniversary. David Soliman, Franchise and Brand assistant for Disney Theme Park Merchandise, gave me a first look at a new art program called “Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic.” David said that the recent Haunted Mansion art program served as its inspiration.

tottot930223

“In early 2015, new merchandise will be coming to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attractions in both Florida and California,” explained David. “We loved what was done with the ‘Haunted Mansion Authentic’ art program, and thought we could apply similar merchandise design philosophies to another classic Disney attraction. The Disney Design Group team did an amazing job creating the artwork which will be used on a variety of apparel items, souvenirs, home goods and more.”

tottot378224

Graphic designer Tyler Dumas from Disney Design Group was one of the lead artists on this program which was started about a year ago. When creating the art, the Disney artists imagined what kind of merchandise the Hollywood Tower Hotel would have produced during its heyday. The results left me speechless!

There were a few artists who contributed designs including Randy Noble, Richard Terpstra, Caley Hicks and Fabiola Garza Villalobos. My favorite design (shown above) is from Casey Jones and features a nod to the first episode I ever showed my son.

In the coming months, I will share some additional looks at the actual merchandise that Guests will find at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort beginning next year.

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and used with permission pursuant to a license with CBS, Inc.

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

20 Facts For The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’s 20th Anniversary

posted on July 22nd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today we’re celebrating a special milestone on the Disney Parks Blog – it’s the 20th anniversary of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror!

TOT112261
In honor of today’s milestone, here are 20 fun facts about the attraction.

  1. Our Walt Disney Imagineers viewed 156 episodes of “The Twilight Zone” for inspiration when creating The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
  2. The ride vehicle is an elevator car.
  3. The storyline of the attraction sets the date as Halloween night – October 31, 1939.

TOT112269

  1. The architecture of the tower was inspired by multiple Southern California landmarks, such as the Biltmore Hotel and the Mission Inn.
  2. The building features 27,000 roof tiles.
  3. The outdoor queue area features the songs “Inside” by Fats Waller and “Mood Indigo” by Duke Ellington.

TOT112263

  1. The grounds of the Hollywood Tower Hotel were inspired by the look of California’s Griffith Park and Elysian Park.

TMI796741

  1. The lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel was outfitted with antiques and furniture purchased at Los Angeles-area auction houses.

TOT112264

  1. Some of the sculptures featured in the lobby are the work of 19th century sculptor Auguste Moreau.
  2. A copy of “Four Pages of Hilarious Star Caricatures by Walt Disney” is featured in Photoplay Magazine on the lobby’s concierge desk.

TOM806742

  1. The Library room features a hidden nod to Mickey Mouse in this sheet music, which is for the song “What! No Mickey Mouse?”
  2. The clip of film in which Rod Serling introduces the attraction was taken from a “Twilight Zone” episode called “It’s a Good Life.”
  3. While actor Rod Serling appears in the film in the Library room, the voice you hear is actually voice actor Mark Silverman.
  4. The young girl who disappears in the elevator carries a Mickey Mouse doll.
  5. The attraction’s “Fifth Dimension” scene was inspired in part by the “Little Girl Lost” episode of “The Twilight Zone.”
  6. The attraction offers a 13-story drop.
  7. The drop sequence for each elevator car is selected at random by the attraction’s computer system.
  8. Measuring 199 feet tall, Tower of Terror is one of the tallest attractions at Walt Disney World Resort.

TOT112265

  1. There are now four Tower of Terror attractions at Disney Parks: Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Walt Disney World Resort), Disney California Adventure park (Disneyland Resort), Walt Disney Studios Park (Paris), and Tokyo DisneySea (Tokyo – pictured above) each have their own version.
  2. The attraction will take center stage during runDisney’s Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend this fall, which will feature a The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler, a 5K fun and kids races.

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and used with permission pursuant to a license with CBS, Inc.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

New Epcot Cookbook to Feature All Three Festivals

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


You can’t buy a copy until September, but we wanted to give blog readers a sneak peek at the new Epcot cookbook that debuts just in time for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (September 19-November 10). Instead of an annual cookbook just for that festival, the new book – even the title is still in the working stages – will feature, for the first time ever, recipes from Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, winter’s Holidays Around the World and the springtime Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Here’s a picture of Disney photographer Matt Stroshane and stylist Laurel Ainley as they shot the new food photos for the book. Long days and lots of prep create pretty dishes we hope will make you hungry.

picccc930221

Meanwhile, here’s a few photos from the book and one of our favorite recipes from this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to get you started.

Grilled Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri
Serves 6

Salmon
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
6 (5- to 6-ounce) Verlasso salmon fillets, skin removed

Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, including stems, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh arugula
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste

Quinoa Salad Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste

Quinoa Salad
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked per instructions (makes approximately 3 cups cooked), cooled
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/4 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste

For salmon:

  1. Combine garlic salt, lemon juice, and olive oil in small bowl. Place salmon in large zip-top bag and add liquid, turning fillets to evenly coat.
  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove salmon from refrigerator at least 10 minutes before cooking.
  3. Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Cover 15 x 10-inch baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place salmon on baking sheet in a single layer, evenly spaced.
  4. Bake 15 minutes or until the salmon easily can be flaked apart with a fork.

For chimichurri sauce:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend for about 10 seconds on medium speed or until ingredients are evenly blended. Season with salt and pepper. Store in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.

For quinoa salad dressing:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For quinoa salad:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl and toss with Quinoa Salad Dressing.

To serve:

  1. Equally divide Quinoa Salad between serving plates, top with salmon fillet and drizzle with Chimichurri Sauce.

Cook’s note: Verlasso salmon is sustainable and farm-raised; you can use any fresh, high-quality salmon in this recipe.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , , , ,

Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Scandal’ Actor Joe Morton Visits Walt Disney World Resort

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


Are you a fan of ABC’s “Scandal”?

Actor Joe Morton, who plays the mysterious “Papa Pope” on the show, recently stopped by the Walt Disney World Resort to narrate a performance of “The Lion King: Concert in the Wild” during Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

EMMY-NOMINATED ACTOR JOE MORTON AT DISNEY WORLD IN FLORIDA

During his visit, Joe, who is nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama for his role on the show, shared with us what he and his family love about Disney Parks. Be sure to check out the video below.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

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

Disney Parks Salutes U.S. Military with Special Ticket, Room Rates

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


JULY 4TH CELEBRATED AT WALT DISNEY WORLD IN FLORIDA

Today, we’re announcing new special pricing on theme park tickets and accommodations for active duty U.S. military personnel at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Here’s a look at the details:

At Walt Disney World Resort – from August 25, 2014, through September 30, 2015, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:

  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $177 each, plus tax
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Park Fun and More Option for $177 each, plus tax
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $207 each, plus tax.

Walt Disney World Resort tickets may be used September 28, 2014, through October 3, 2015, except that the tickets may not be used December 22, 2014 – January 2, 2015 and March 29 – April 9, 2015.

For information on Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to Walt Disney World Resort, or to make room reservations at Walt Disney World Resort, military personnel may call 407-939-7830 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.

At the Disneyland Resort – from August 25, 2014, through October 1, 2015, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:

  • Disney Military Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Tickets for $132 each

Disneyland tickets may be used September 28, 2014, through October 3, 2015, except that the tickets may not be used December 25, 2014 – January 4, 2015 and March 29 – April 9, 2015.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. No more than six Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (or spouse) pursuant to this offer. All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by October 3, 2015.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can also take advantage of specially priced rooms at select Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotels.* This offer is valid for stays most nights from September 28, 2014, through October 3, 2015, except for:

  • November 27 – November 29, 2014
  • December 24 – December 31, 2014
  • March 30 – April 4, 2015

For information regarding Disney 3-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort, or to make room reservations at the Disneyland Resort, military personnel may call 714-520-7088 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices. Information is also available at disneymilitaryoffers.com.

Here are some other details you should know about:

  • Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased at participating U.S. military sales outlets ONLY by Eligible Service Members (defined below) or their spouses (but not both), for use by themselves and other family members and friends, as provided herein. These Tickets may not be otherwise transferred, distributed or resold.
  • “Eligible Service Members” are active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • The actual prices charged at the individual U.S. military base ticket offices for Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be less than the prices set forth above.
  • Participating military sales outlets must require that Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) present valid military identification to purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets.
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Walt Disney World Resort are not valid until activated by the Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) at Walt Disney World theme park ticket windows. Tickets and options expire and may not be used after October 3, 2015. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.
  • Disney 3-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort expire and may not be used after October 3, 2015. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.
  • No more than six (6) Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased and (if applicable) activated by any Eligible Service Member or spouse (regardless of the place of purchase and whether purchased by that person or that person’s spouse). In addition, one of the six (6) Tickets purchased must be used by the Eligible Service Member or his/her spouse.
  • Each Disney Military Promotional Ticket must be used by the same person on any and all days.

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply. Valid Military ID will be required upon check-in, and military member (or spouse) must stay in the room. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Additional per-adult charges apply at the Walt Disney World Resort if there are more than two adults per room. Other restrictions apply.

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Top Stories, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Caption This: Mickey Takes Reservations

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


Check out this week’s “Caption This” photo, which was snapped in 1986 at the Central Reservations Office at Walt Disney World Resort. No doubt that this was fancy computer technology at the time!

mhfjje840001

What do you think is on the slip of paper that Mickey is examining? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This” image!

Tagged:

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on July 20th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we announced that the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration will begin in spring 2015, celebrating 60 magical years of the Disneyland Resort. As part of the celebration, you’re invited to enter a new contest.

Share Your Favorite Disneyland Resort Memories from the Past (Almost) 60 Years

You’re invited to share your favorite memories with photos taken throughout the Disneyland Decades – 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000 to the present – for a chance to win a special Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration prize or the grand prize: a trip to Disneyland Resort to kick off the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

Check out Erin’s original story to learn how it works.

No purchase necessary. Entries must be received by 8/27/14. 18/age of majority+, 50 US/DC only. Void where prohibited. See Rules for details.

DTECHO124555

And this week, we also shared a special D-Tech on Demand video showing how rapid printing technology has been combined with great artwork to create personalized electronic accessories for guests at Disney Parks. Steven talked with merchandiser Kevin-Michael Lezotte to learn how D-Tech on Demand works.

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

A Look Back at July 20, 1969: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Watched Live at Disneyland Park – See some images of the the moon landing being watched live, and two members of the remarkable Apollo 11 crew being welcomed to Disneyland park.

Splash Mountain Celebrates 25 Years of Splashdowns at Disneyland Park – Take a look back at the opening day of Splash Mountain with this special video.

First Look at the New Disney Cruise Line Halloween Pumpkin Trees – See some of the decorations on deck for inaugural Halloween on the High Seas cruises aboard the Disney Dream!

Show Your DIY Disney Side: Disney Parks Guide Map Photo Mat – Learn how to make quick and easy photo mats using Disneyland Resort tickets and guide maps.

A Peek Inside ‘Frozen Fireworks’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – See what guests – and even some of the creators of the show – think of this new nighttime spectacular!

Summer Nights to Savor: Epcot Presents a Nighttime Transformation – Read about some of the evening activities available at Epcot this summer.

VIDEO: Celebrating 59 Years of Magic at the Disneyland Resort – Watch as Fifty-nine Disney characters wished Disneyland a happy birthday at Main Street Train Station.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort