Wall-E in 'World of Color' at Disney California Adventure Park

Disney Parks Honored with Several Industry Awards

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


I’m happy to report that earlier this week, two prestigious organizations honored Disney Parks projects with multiple industry awards.

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On Tuesday, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced their annual Thea Award winners. Among the honorees, TEA announced that “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, is the recipient of the Thea Classic award, honoring attractions that have withstood the test of time and have endured for 20 or more years. TEA said in their announcement that the attraction “continues to captivate audiences around the world with pure charm, melded with a profound message deceptively hiding in a simple and astonishingly catchy song … This timeless classic continues to engage generation after generation. Surely “it’s a small world” is the very definition of a Classic.”

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Also, Bistrot Chez Remy, the new French restaurant at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris that is inspired by the Disney∙Pixar film “Ratatouille,” is the winner of the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Themed Restaurant. “It is a truly charming and thematically thorough dining experience, where oversized objects are reused in every possible way to create tables, chairs, architectural elements, and props … [E]verything is very well-conceived and delivered to create an illusion that is both convincing and coyly self-aware. The exterior of the attraction looks like a typical Parisian café, but on closer inspection, one realizes that this is the world of Paris from the film, where there are no straight lines – a perfect blend of fiction and reality. This venue exhibits thoroughness, conceptual clarity, dedication to narrative detail, and exceptional finish.”

Wilderness Explorers Opens at  Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Finally, Wilderness Explorers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, an interactive experience that combines badge collecting, guest interaction and learning about the natural world, is the winner of the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Interactive Park Attraction on a Limited Budget.

“Disney has incorporated storytelling and gaming to create an experience that is intimate and personal in its connection to the guests, yet wisely recognizes that technology would be a distraction and remove guests from nature. Guests are given a role in the story – becoming a Wilderness Explorer – that was a poignant, aspirational story of a core identifiable character from the Pixar film. This intersection point between film story world, live animals and the beautiful habitats within Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a huge part of why this attraction is effective … This unique attraction is worthy of honors as much for its craft as for the authenticity and cleverness of implementation within a unique park environment.”

TEA is an international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences. Thea Awards will be given out at an awards ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel on March 21, 2015.

On Wednesday night, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) awarded their Brass Rings Awards for Live Entertainment Excellence and “Once Upon a Time” at Tokyo Disney Resort won for Best Multimedia Spectacular.

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IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards mark achievements of excellence throughout the global attractions industry.

Congratulations to all who worked to create and bring these wonderful projects to life!

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

New ‘Frozen’ Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


Be on the lookout for this year’s Disney Gift Card Holiday Pin Series throughout Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort. These cards come in four different designs featuring your favorite characters from Disney Animation’s hit movie “Frozen”.

New Elsa Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New Olaf Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New Kristoff Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New Anna Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card

Each of these Disney Gift Card designs are available with a starting balance of $75 and also comes with a Disney Trading Pin. Complete your Disney Trading Pin collection with these four new pins, which feature “Frozen” characters Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf. These pins can only be found with this year’s Disney Gift Card Holiday Pin Series.

New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card

Giving a Disney Gift Card is simple for you, and perfect for friends and family! The Disney Gift Card can be used for practically all things Disney at Walt Disney World Resort, the Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Club Penguin, Disney PhotoPass, DisneyMusicOnline.com, Disney Store locations in the U.S. and online and at DisneyStore.com. For more information or to shop for more holiday designs, please visit DisneyGiftCard.com.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Earffel Tower

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Soaring 130 feet into the air with a 32,000 lb. set of Mouse Ears, the Earffel Tower has been home to Disney’s Hollywood Studios since its opening. In November 1987, the park’s logo still hadn’t been painted on the side while construction carried on around it.

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While the Earffel Tower is not used to hold water, it was inspired by the working water tower in Burbank, Calif. landmark at the Disney Studios since 1939.

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For more about the icons at Walt Disney World Resort, visit the posts below:

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Retail MagicBands and Other Popular Holiday Gift Ideas from Disney Parks

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I recently shared with you some of my favorite holiday-themed gifts from Disney Parks. This time, I’m highlighting other popular gift ideas that caught my attention.

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Retail MagicBands and Accessories – We now offer select retail MagicBands and accessories on our Disney Parks online store at DisneyStore.com/MagicBand. I’m also delighted to share that the “link-it later” option is now available for graphic MagicBands at Walt Disney World Resort. This means that any retail MagicBand, whether purchased online or at Disney Parks, can now be given as gifts since they can be linked to a valid theme park admission at a future date. See this Disney Parks Blog article for more details about how Link-It Later works.

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Made With Magic – Guests can find an ear hat, a Minnie Mouse headband and, my favorite, a Sorcerer Mickey wand (arriving November 21) that light up and interact with select Disney nighttime experiences at Disney Parks. Please note the aforementioned Mickey Mouse glove will arrive in spring 2015.

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Merchandise from Disney’s “Frozen – From dresses inspired by Anna and Elsa to fun toys and dolls, you can find all sorts of merchandise from Disney’s “Frozen” in Disney Parks’ locations such as Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I particularly like the decorative shoe ornaments or the Olaf hat.

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Disney Parks Collection By Vera Bradley – Known for their stylish quilted cotton luggage, handbags and accessories, Vera Bradley has been infusing color into all aspects of women’s lives for more than 30 years. We carry several colors in a variety of styles created especially for Disney Parks. Look for them on our online store or in locations such as Cherry Tree Lane at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida.

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Disney Tagalongs – I first discussed Disney Tagalongs during the 24-hour Rock Your Disney Side Party in May. These small character toys, such as Jiminy Cricket or Yoda, are easily added to your shoulder using a magical, magnetic power disc.

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Disney Infinity 2.0 – Guests have endless opportunities to create stories and fun-filled adventures with all-new characters and powers in Disney Infinity 2.0. The best place to find all things related to this game at Walt Disney World Resort is Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. You can also find items on line at DisneyStore.com/DisneyInfinity.

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D-Tech Electronic Accessories – Add a splash of Disney to you electronic accessories with D-Tech. Guests can create customized and personalized phone cases including cases for iPhone 6 at D-Tech on Demand in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. Cases for iPhone 6+ and Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available in late November. I also love the battery power bars which give extra boosts for your mobile devices.

Retail MagicBands and Other Popular Holiday Gift Ideas from Disney Parks Retail MagicBands and Other Popular Holiday Gift Ideas from Disney Parks

Puzzles and Games – As a child, my parents always gave me some kind of game for Christmas. I like the new 1000-piece Disney Signature Puzzles or the Disney Theme Park Edition of Jenga featuring the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

Look for these items in select merchandise locations at Disney Parks. You can also find additional items for the holidays by visiting the Disney Parks online store – DisneyParks.com/Store.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

Wildlife Wednesday: ‘Science rules!’ in the Newly Renovated and Renamed Science Center at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Katie Leighty, Ph.D., Science Operations Manager


Science fans might recognize the quote in the title from the theme song of television show Bill Nye, the Science Guy. The popular educational show showcased science topics through interactive, applied science projects. Bill Nye, the Science Guy was for TV what the newly renovated Science Center is for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Like the show, applied science is exactly what Guests will have the opportunity to see and learn about as one of the many subjects showcased in the area.

You might be thinking, isn’t this WILDLIFE Wednesday? What does applied science have to do with wildlife?… Much more than you think!

Wildlife Wednesday: ‘Science rules!’ in the Newly Renovated and Renamed Science Center at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Wildlife Wednesday: ‘Science rules!’ in the Newly Renovated and Renamed Science Center at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The Science Center, previously known as the Wildlife Tracking Center, is home to the Science Operations team – a team of scientists and animal care professionals who partner with various teams within Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment, to provide outstanding care for the animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The new name reflects this as a location that is fun, interactive and inspiring, highlighting science using applied means, which is precisely what the Science Operations team is all about. Guests have the opportunity to view behavioral husbandry cast members coordinating animal training and enrichment programs, animal behavior scientists analyzing behavioral data, endocrinologists monitoring pregnancies and hormone cycles of animals within the park, and/or the population biologist working on animal management plans that help us determine which animals should be put together for breeding.

Wildlife Wednesday: ‘Science rules!’ in the Newly Renovated and Renamed Science Center at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Wildlife Wednesday: ‘Science rules!’ in the Newly Renovated and Renamed Science Center at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

You might be able to find Bill Nye, the Science Guy in a science classroom near you, but the science experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be found working in their lab at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. We hope to see you soon!

Did you know that…?

  • Members of the Science Operations team have published dozens of scientific articles advancing the field of zoo animal care.
  • Since Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened in 1998, endocrinologists in the Science Center have conducted over 100,000 hormone tests!
  • The behavioral husbandry cast members on the Science Operations team coordinate the training of animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as tiny as a mouse to as tall as a giraffe.
  • Not only are members of the Science Operations team working to take care of the animals here at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but they also are working to promote the conservation of species in their natural habitats, including gorillas, Micronesian kingfishers, and coral reefs.
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Time-Lapse Video: Imagineers Install Springs Bottling Co. Marquee at Downtown Disney

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier today, we shared updates on several new offerings that are on the horizon for Downtown Disney as it transitions into Disney Springs.

One of those updates was that Walt Disney Imagineering recently installed a Springs Bottling Co. Marquee atop the building that will eventually house the Morimoto Asia restaurant. The marquee, which is now part of Downtown Disney’s illuminated nighttime skyline, helps weave the turn-of-the-century theme of Disney Springs through the area, as this building formerly served as Springs Bottling Co., the town’s bottling company.

Check out this time-lapse video of how our Imagineers installed the new marquee literally over night.

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ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Serves Up College Basketball Feast For Thanksgiving Weekend

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


If you or someone in your family likes Division 1 college basketball, then you might want to consider spending a portion of your Thanksgiving holiday weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Once again Disney welcomes the Orlando Classic, a premiere pre-season basketball tournament hosted by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, from November 27-30.

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This year, National Championship contenders Kansas and Michigan State headline the event and are joined by teams with the ability to make a run in the tournament including Tennessee, Marquette, Georgia Tech, and Rhode Island. No other preseason tournament can say that the teams have combined for 28 Final Four appearances.

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Click here for additional tournament information and to purchase tickets.

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Room With A View: ‘Theme Park View’ Suite at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Today, we’re kicking off a new series on the Disney Parks Blog, featuring suites at Walt Disney World Resort that have something special in common – a spectacular view.

Our first room with a view is a Club Level 1 Bedroom Theme Park View Suite on the 14th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and one of its most impressive features is the amazing sight of Magic Kingdom Park during the day and the spectacular fireworks at the park when the sun sets.

Of course, the view inside this 1,428 square foot suite is just as impressive. There’s unique artwork throughout the suite, and the open living room is set up with Bose surround sound as well as a DVD and stereo systems.

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The living room and bedroom have an oversize balcony with lounge chairs to enjoy the view of Magic Kingdom Park. The suite also features two full bathrooms and a separate living area.

You can book this suite now at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. To find prices and availability for this suite, visit our Disneyworld.com page.

We’re just getting going with this series, so let us know if this is your favorite resort view or if you have another at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Visions of the Future Spring Up at Downtown Disney

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this fall, we shared the news that two new dining experiences, Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE, are coming to Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort. Today we have a few more updates to share about glimpses of the future that are starting to appear as Downtown Disney continues to undergo its transformation.

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The “Springs Bottling Co.” marquee was recently installed above the future location for Morimoto Asia. The sign is an architectural detail that draws from the Disney Springs design story, which harkens back to Florida’s waterfront towns at the turn-of-the-century. The interior of Morimoto Asia will also showcase the theme and pay tribute to the history of Disney Springs.

Located adjacent to the recently announced site for The BOATHOUSE, the Waterview Stage is now offering nightly entertainment, along with great views of Village Lake. Be sure to pick up a Times Guide for specific showtimes.

Disney Springs

Opening later this month, the Food Trucks at Exposition Park on the West Side will be a permanent home for the owned-and-operated Downtown Disney food trucks. Located along the water, the Food Trucks will serve mouthwatering culinary creations daily, such as chicken & waffles and tandoori spiced shrimp. The area will also offer additional seating for diners as well as shaded areas during the day.

Significant progress is being made on the first phase of Disney Springs known as The Landing. Guests can see for themselves as they stroll along a section of the new pedestrian walkway now open between Portobello and Paradiso 37. Later this month, the walkway will fully open and provide direct access to the West Side.

Speaking of progress, the West Garage (the first of two planned garages coming to Disney Springs) is opening in phases and will be available for guest parking starting on November 20.

It certainly is exciting to watch Disney Springs come to life and I’m eager to see what’s in store in the months ahead.


For more about Disney Springs, visit the posts below:

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Decking the Halls with Holiday Novelty Items at Disney Parks

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and festive food and beverage offerings and holiday souvenirs are popping up at Disney Parks! Our teams are decking everything from souvenir popcorn buckets to sippers and more.

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Santa’s elves have been hard at work creating these Mickey sipper steins, perfect for sipping hot cocoa or carrying a snack on the go. Twice as nice is the matching souvenir popcorn bucket. Look for these in Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and Magic Kingdom Park.

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As part of the Merriest Place on Earth celebration at Disneyland park, look for souvenir soup cups featuring Mickey, Minnie and Goofy ice skating in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle. The cups are available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café and the turkey leg cart near Sleeping Beauty Castle. While you’re in Disney California Adventure park, look for special cone-shaped snowy sippers at the Cozy Cone Motel. Since this is a world where two holidays collide, “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” novelties will also be available through the holiday season.

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Since the holiday season is all about sharing the joy of the season with your friends and family, here’s a peek at the artwork you’ll find on popcorn buckets and souvenirs throughout Disney Parks!

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Which souvenir would you love in your stocking?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort