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Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

#DisneySide Doodles: Ludwig Von Drake Goes ‘Behind the Seeds’

posted on July 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s #DisneySide Doodle imagines what would happen if expert-in-all-subjects Ludwig Von Drake visited the Living With The Land attraction at The Land pavilion at Epcot.

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As you can see, he has shown his Disney Side by adding a few aquatic-animal inspired plants to the pavilion’s garden.

Thanks to artist Jason “Tiki” Tackett for the awesome work.


For more from our #DisneySide Doodles series visit the posts below:

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It’s a Beautiful Morning at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

posted on July 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


One of my absolute favorite weekend activities at the Walt Disney World Resort is hitting the slopes – I mean slides – at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.

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This morning’s sunrise shot was snapped at the top of the Snow Stormers slides – one that my son recently braved with me for the very first time.

Do you have a favorite slide at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park? Tell us in the comments section below!

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Caption This: Mind the Alligators at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort!

posted on July 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “Caption This” image was shot at Port Holes Miniature Golf at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and it sure looks like these gators have “a taste” for golf.

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Will this guest make it through? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This” in the comments section below.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on July 26th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we celebrated the anniversary of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror on the Disney Parks Blog with images, stories, a tough quiz and a special wallpaper created just for readers.

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In honor of the anniversary, Disney designer, Leo Cardoso took that love of old black & white spooky films and translated it into a cool new wallpaper featuring the attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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

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We also continued our popular “Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park” series with an attraction that debuted less than a week after Disneyland opened – Rocket to the Moon. The attraction allowed Disneyland park guests the chance to travel around the far side of moon and back in just 10 minutes – all without leaving Disneyland.

Flight to the Moon eventually became Mission to Mars, and today, Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port occupies the same “space” in Tomorrowland – complete with a tribute to the original Moonliner right out in front.

Check George’s original story for a group of great images and more details

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

#CoolestSummer Ever: Ep-Cool – As it’s written in the sage words of many a colorful Walt Disney World Resort brochure, “Epcot is the only place where you can travel the world, voyage to the bottom of the sea and zoom into space — all in one unique park.”

Celebrate Mahalo Season with Uncle at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – During this special time of year, your ‘ohana can enjoy the magic of our resort even longer and enjoy some great savings, too!

Behind the Scenes: Creating Main Street Enchanted Windows at Disneyland Park – In this special video, we take you behind the scenes to see how these new animated windows were created and introduce you to the talented team of artists and designers who are bringing them to life.

Special Olympics World Games ‘Flame of Hope’ Journeys Through Disneyland Resort – Disneyland Resort hosted the “Flame of Hope,” currently making its way through 127 cities and communities in California en route to the Special Olympics World Games opening ceremonies in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 25.

VIDEO: Antique Disneyland Souvenirs from the Walt Disney Archives – Justin from the Walt Disney Archives shares a look at some rare antique Disneyland souvenirs from their collection, including items from July 17, 1955.

Create Your Own Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Video – For the past few months, we’ve been inviting guests to celebrate 60 years of magic and memories with us during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Now we have a way for you to celebrate at home – with some of your own favorite memories!

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

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

posted on July 25th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week we celebrated the anniversary of what I’d consider to be one of the most visually interesting attractions at Disney’s Hollywood StudiosThe Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

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In honor of the anniversary, we shared this new wallpaper with you – but I also didn’t want you to miss the amazing “Tower” images we’ve shared previously on the Disney Parks Blog.

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These photos were shot in 2011 of some of the eerie details inside the lobby of the Tower Hotel. Amazing to see these items up close, isn’t it? Some of the props here are actual antiques that date back to the Golden Age of Hollywood. To learn more, check out the original post here.

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#DisneyKids: First Train Ride at Disney Parks

posted on July 24th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Walt Disney was a huge train enthusiast, which is why you can find unique railroads for all ages at every Disney Park around the world. There’s something about riding a train that seems to fascinate young children and as the parent of little ones, I appreciate the relaxing downtime a train around the park provides.

It all starts with the Monorail! When staying at some Walt Disney World Resort hotels, you can just pop outside to the Monorail to get to Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot. It’s just a convenient form of transportation, it feels like an attraction in itself.

The iconic Walt Disney World Railroad is a favorite of my family because the 20-minute, 1.5-mile trip aboard an authentic steam-powered train allows you to take in the scenery throughout Magic Kingdom Park. Trains arrive every few minutes so kids won’t need to wait long, and there are convenient nearby stroller parking areas at each stop. Check out this video with one of our preschool-aged guests as he takes his first train ride – his enthusiasm is contagious!

Also at Magic Kingdom Park, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is a breezy, 10-minute tour through Tomorrowland. My kids love the birds-eye view they get from the elevated track.

Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, the Wildlife Express Train combines two things kids love – trains and animals. Board the rustic locomotive for a 1.2-mile trip to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, where kids can learn more about wild animals, conservation efforts and even meet a few furry friends.

All Aboard!

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#CoolestSummer Ever: Ep-Cool

posted on July 24th, 2015 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


As it’s written in the sage words of many a colorful Walt Disney World Resort brochure, “Epcot is the only place where you can travel the world, voyage to the bottom of the sea and zoom into space — all in one unique park.” It’s also a great place to seek out über-cool fun at it’s über-coolest.

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Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros! This is one of Epcot’s most charming and cheerful attractions – and what a totally Disney way to cool off! As your boat floats amid festive festoonery, Donald Duck, Panchito and José Carioca host a south-of-the-border celebration that seems to have come directly from the Disney animated classics, “The Three Caballeros” and “Saludos Amigos.” Master Disney animator Eric Goldberg directed the flawless animation of our pals, while master Disney art director Susan Goldberg painstakingly crafted the film segments to look like they were created in the glorious Technicolor days of Walt himself.

Impression de France! If this magnificent film had been entered in the Cannes film festival, it might have won the Palme d’Or — at least, that’s what we fans would give it. Arguably the most poetic and evocative five-screen motion picture to appear in a Disney Park, it’s highlighted with Buddy Baker’s stunningly beautiful musical arrangements of such cool composers as Saint-Saëns, Debussy and Ravel — as well as Buddy’s original compositions. C’est si bon!

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Chill out in the primeval past. Ellen’s Energy Adventure is perfect for midday time travel. The attraction tucks you in for a cool and cozy journey. The Audio-Animatronics dinosaurs are always impressive, suggesting the dioramas of Disneyland park and the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and also the skirmish in “Fantasia” between the Stegosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus Rex (not to mention a verbal skirmish between Ellen and Judy!). You’ll emerge from it all refreshed and ready to challenge earth, space and everything else at Epcot.

Who needs wings to fly? Get there first thing or just before park closing, or set up a Disney’s FastPass+ reservation as far ahead as you can for the Soarin’ attraction, because it’s mighty popular. But even if you use the standby queue, it’s aaahhh-conditioned. As soon as you start soaring on Soarin’, it’s coolness turned all the way up to eleven.

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Have your dessert and watch it, too. It’s majorly cool to savor gourmet desserts with an excellent view in the glow of moonlight, lasers and fireworks. Our Epcot World Showcase chefs have outdone themselves with their delectable spread of international treats: tiramisu, tarts, cupcakes, baklava and more to munch as, from a special viewing location, you see “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” dazzles the pavilions and paints the heavens with a kaleidoscope of color. This IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party requires an additional cost, and you can make reservations here.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, FastPass+, Walt Disney World Resort

Martha’s Vineyard Wine Pairings Return to Disney’s Beach Club Resort

posted on July 23rd, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Last year, Pam Brandon introduced the Martha’s Vineyard Wine Pairings on the Disney Parks Blog. Today, I’m excited to let you know these popular pairings are returning on select dates this summer and fall.

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The intimate event is a foodie’s dream – a wine expert from the winery and a Disney chef guide guests through the tasting, detailing the notes of each pairing. The following dates currently scheduled to take place from 2-3 p.m.

  • August 22 – San Sebastian Winery
    *This event includes a takeaway bottle of Castillo Red wine in a lighthouse-shaped bottle. Cost per person is $60 to attend.
  • September 26 – Ironstone Vineyard
  • October 17 – Napa Smith (The only brewery in Napa Valley, CA)
  • November 7 – To Be Determined

Cost varies between $25-40 per person (before tax and gratuity) for three wines — or beers, if you are attending the October 17 event — perfectly paired with three small plates.

Beginning August 3, you can reserve your spot by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

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Celebrating National Zoo Keeper Appreciation Week at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on July 23rd, 2015 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


This week is National Zoo Keeper Appreciation Week, and we are celebrating our keepers and aquarists with special activities to recognize their hard work and dedication. If you are visiting this week, be sure to tell them hello and thank you!

I could not be prouder of our tremendously talented team of cast members, who continue to impress with their expertise and compassion. They have dedicated their lives to caring for animals, and everything they do and learn here helps contribute to saving animals in the wild. The difference they are making is immeasurable.

Below are just a few of our dedicated cast members. We asked them to tell us about their favorite moments and why they enjoy their roles.

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‘In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.’ (by Baba Dioum) This quote is the definition of why I’m an animal keeper. My job is awesome because of the animals I get to work with, but my job also makes it possible for guests to learn about these animals and love them as much as I do.”
– Katie Lusnia

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“I am very lucky that my favorite moment as an animal keeper happens every day. I love when my animals are excited to see me, even though they are more likely excited to see the food in my hands. I also love their quiet munching once they have all been fed and are happily in the barn.”
– Chelsea Lynn

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“My favorite moments usually involve us being able to help out an animal that, in the wild, would not have survived. Most recently, we had a sand gazelle calf born with multiple issues. After a pretty rough few days and 24-hour care, this calf started to gain strength. After a couple weeks, she was basically fully recovered. Seeing your hard work result in the survival of animal, especially a young animal, is pretty awesome.“
– Matthew McHarness

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“We are involved in daily training, enrichment programs, assisting the veterinarians during procedures, sharing our knowledge with the guests as well as making memories for them during their visit.”
– Kelly Savage

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“I enjoy the interaction and observation of the many different species … I also find it very interesting working with the veterinary staff performing health assessments on many different species of animals.”
– Chad Spicer

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“I feel like we make a difference in the lives of the animals that we take care of. We form a relationship with every single animal that we take care of and that is very rewarding. Also, baby animals are super cute.”
– Danielle Boggs

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“After having helped with the endocrine research and care of the mother for more than two years, witnessing the birth of a giraffe calf was incredibly rewarding to me.”
– Gretchen Mueller

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“[I have] access to the best and most-advanced facilities for the care and development of the animals who roam our savannas. The animals … are truly the driving inspiration in what makes Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge a premiere resort… Being able to work with the Disney Conservation Fund is also a reward that may go unnoticed by some, but the keepers at Disney know that we are both igniting a passion in future generations and doing our best to preserve the natural wonders and animals better than anyone else.”
– Ashley Roth

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I enjoy being an aquarist because I have always been captivated by the ocean and everything that can be found in it … I also strive to provide educational moments for our guests so that they can learn about and respect our oceans, and hopefully help make changes that can benefit all of our planet’s ecosystems.
– Eric Grunthaner

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“When I first started, it was so cool to see the amazing relationships keepers have with their animals … The animals recognize me now and come over to say ‘Hi.’ That’s a favorite moment every day.”
– Erin O’Neill

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Disney Days of Past: Hot Dogs From Casey’s Corner at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 23rd, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Today is National Hot Dog Day. Which can only mean one thing – a trip is in order to Casey’s Corner at Magic Kingdom Park! Here’s a photograph of the Casey’s Corner sign back in 1996.

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Did you know that Casey’s Corner was named Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner when the parked opened in 1971? The name was later changed to Casey’s Corner in 1995. Here’s the Refreshment Corner as seen in 1977.

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Are you a fan of hot dogs? What are you toppings of choice? Tell us in the comments section below!

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