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Spotlight on New Pins Arriving in July 2014 at Disney Parks

posted on July 24th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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This summer, the Disney pin team is releasing about 250 new items for guests to collect or trade at Disney Parks. It’s time to turn the spotlight once again on some new pins coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts this month. I spoke with Erin Catalano, the merchandiser behind many of these pins, about some of her favorite selections.

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“There are so many favorite pins we are releasing this month,” exclaimed Erin. “I love the new four-pin chalkboard art set featuring characters from Walt Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ The set reminds me of the chalkboard art-inspired home goods found in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. I also like the vintage Mouseketeer logo as it recall watching the Mickey Mouse Club when I was younger. Finally, Disney’s ‘Hercules’ is one of my favorite animated films, so I included a pin with Hercules and Meg.”

I was happy to see that Blank and Bow, the adorable Vinylmation figures from Valentine’s Day this year, will come to life in pin form.

I also recently spotted the Anna and Elsa pins at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the Frozen Summer Celebration. Those pins are also available in a handful of other locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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Speaking of Anna and Elsa, their shoe-inspired ornaments are included in a multi-pin set that contains other character-inspired shoes.

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Finally, I pulled together an image of Chip ‘n’ Dale pins as I thought my fiancée would enjoy seeing them (she’s a super fan of those chipmunks). I also know there are a few fans that will be delighted to see a new “Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers” pin (sing along with me … Ch-ch-ch-ch-Chip…).

Look for these pins in a variety of Disney pin locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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

Vintage Walt Disney World: Summertime for Disney Characters

posted on July 24th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


This time of the year always makes me think of summer vacation. In fact, I miss those dedicated three months of freedom watching TV, swimming, and traveling to see my grandparents. Here at Walt Disney World Resort, our world-class characters spend the summer seeing our guests while they’re on vacation, but they do find time to have some fun too! Here’s Pinocchio taking a break from autographs, hugs and handshakes in 1983 water skiing at the former Disney’s Village Resort while Geppetto waves from ashore. Let’s just hope Monstro isn’t in that water!
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For more from the “Vintage Walt Disney World” series, check out the posts below:

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Filed: Disney History, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Soccer is the Game, Developing Leaders is the Game Plan – Celebrating at Disney Cup International

posted on July 23rd, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


“At the end of the day they don’t remember the scores….. I want them to remember the experience, I want them to remember the feeling.” With that belief at the center of his coaching, Steven Horwood of the Ajax Football Club from Ontario, Canada, has led his team to victory both on and off the pitch. The majority of his team has played together since they were 8-years-old, and now playing in their final season together, Horwood thought the Disney Cup International, Presented by AS Roma was the right thing to do for all they have accomplished.

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Ajax Football Club was one of 239 teams, more than 3,500 players, representing 18 countries, to play in the tournament. Teams from Canada, South America, Aruba and as far away as Australia came to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort to test their skill against international competition.

But before stepping on the plane to come to Disney, before the kick-off whistle blew for their first game, Ajax FC was already a winner when it came to international sportsmanship.

For more than seven years these young women have volunteered more than 3,000 hours in their community helping others. The most notable program has them literally giving away the jerseys off their backs. Through the SOS Children’s Village program the team donates jerseys and soccer equipment to kids in Ghana, Africa. To date they have donated more than 300 uniforms, and expect to send another 200 after the tournament at Disney, as well as some other Disney keepsakes.

“Soccer is the sport but we really wanted to make them community leaders,” said coach Horwood. Helping fellow teammates in Africa is rewarding and raises their awareness of the world around them. Recently the girls received photographs of kids in Africa wearing their jerseys and playing with their equipment. “Growing up soccer has been kind of a lifestyle for me, something I really enjoy, giving the chance to give other kids in Africa the chance to play is fulfilling,” said Ajax FC defensive back Lauren Pugh.

On behalf of everyone at Disney Soccer and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, I want to congratulate Ajax FC for their hard work on and off the pitch. Win or lose, we celebrate the fact you have all scored one of the most important goals of your lives.

For more information on Disney Cup International and other Disney Soccer events, visit espnwwos.com.

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Be Prepared for ‘Villains Unleashed’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on July 23rd, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


We’re just one month out from August 23, the night a record number of Disney villains – more than 50 in all – will invade Disney’s Hollywood Studios as part of the park’s new, separately ticketed event, “Villains Unleashed.” While some of the surprises being planned for this one-night-only party remain hidden under a cloak of mystery, other tantalizing details are beginning to emerge, and it’s shaping up to be one fiendishly fun evening!
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  • Hades Hangout - The party kicks off at 8 p.m. at the main event stage, where hosts Hades, Megara, Pain and Panic are killing ‘em with comedy. They’re joined throughout the night by the Underworld Dancers, DJ Igg Nite, live music from Bernie Briquette and Brimstone, and a rogues gallery of roaming rottens, from the Queen of Hearts and Sheriff of Nottingham to the Big Bad Wolf and Captain Hook.
  • Villains Dominion – For this one special night, the Streets of America area of the park will be swarming with baddies. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to meet favorites like Cruella De Vil, Jafar, Dr. Facilier and Gaston, along with more rarely seen baddies such as Shan Yu from “Mulan,” Bowler Hat Guy from “Meet the Robinsons,” or Captain Gantu and Dr. Hämsterviel from “Lilo & Stitch: The Series.” In addition to these dedicated villain encounters, you may spot even more wandering evildoers in the area. Look for Judge Claude Frollo, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella, and more!
  • The Dark Side – During “Villains Unleashed,” the area around Star Tours – The Adventures Continue becomes a wretched hive of scum and villainy, the place to find nefarious bounty hunter Boba Fett, Sith apprentice Darth Maul, and the ultimate villain – Darth Vader! And that’s not all! Wandering the area, you’ll stumble upon more malcontents from that galaxy far, far away: Zam Wessel, Aurra Sing, Asajj Ventress, Jango Fett, Greedo, Jawas, and others.
  • Villainous Encounters – Visit Stage 4 (where The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction is seen during the day), and you can “Parlay” with the one and only Hector Barbossa. And just around the corner in the Animation Courtyard is where you’ll discover a bit of the Moors, where you can have an audience with the mistress of all evil, Maleficent!
  • Oogie Boogie’s Freaky Funhouse Show – Over on Sunset Boulevard, Theater of the Stars presents a production of extreme performances, hosted by the original master of scare-monies, Oogie Boogie. It’s an all-new show that’s sure to thrill!
  • Fantasmic! Strolling up Sunset Boulevard, a gang of villainous henchmen, known as the Night Crawlers, tempt you to join them for a special pre-show to the evening’s performance of Fantasmic!, itself a celebration of the power and intrigue of some of the greatest Disney villains.
  • “Villainy in the Sky” Fireworks – Ultimately, Hades summons Maleficent to the main event stage to close things out with a devilishly dazzling display of pyrotechnics!

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And there’s more! You can get a Villains ExScream Makeover with complimentary face painting at stations around Echo Lake, join in on one of the dance parties taking place in the park, and enjoy a wicked cabaret atmosphere – not to mention some delectable, small-plate menu items – at Club Evil in the Hollywood Brown Derby.

For fans of Disney’s darker characters, “Villains Unleashed” promises to be a nightmare come true! It’s all happening one night only, August 23, 2014, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You won’t want to miss it, so get your tickets now, before they all disappear!

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

Join Us for a Special ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up

posted on July 23rd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


UPDATE: Our “Guardians of the Galaxy” Disney Parks Blog meet-up has been has been filled to capacity. Click here for a list of official attendees.

Sure, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie hits theaters in August but the Disney Parks Blog is providing a special opportunity to see it early. On Sunday, July 27, 2014, we’re hosting a “Guardians of the Galaxy” Disney Parks Blog meet-up at the AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Walt Disney World Resort.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is an action-packed, epic space adventure where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunter after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits for a last, desperate stand — with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

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Our event begins at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 27, in AMC Downtown Disney 24. At the meet-up, you’ll be able to watch the “Guardians of the Galaxy” in RealD 3D. Some of the meet-up attendees may be wearing Super Hero costumes (no masks) and it’d be great if you did too, subject to the costume guidelines below.

RSVP now by sending us an email titled “Guardians of the Galaxy’ Meet-Up” with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com. Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of people will be able to attend the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All attendees who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests do not need to be 18 or older.
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” is rated PG-13.
  • Costumes should adhere to any guidelines determined by Disney including:
    • Costumes should not be obstructive, offensive or violent; drag on the ground; contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another guest; contain any weapons or objects which resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon. Masks will not be permitted.

  • Costumes are also subject to any rules posted or otherwise provided by AMC Downtown Disney 24 including without limitation the following AMC notice: “We will not allow any guests into our theatres in costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable and we will not permit face-covering masks or fake weapons inside our buildings.”
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • We will send a confirmation email to individuals whose valid RSVPs are received by us via email before we reach the planned capacity to confirm their attendance for the event.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in at the AMC Downtown Disney 24 West Side for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person and guest.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

This post will be updated after the planned capacity has been reached.

Also, here are some other things to know:

  • This is an advance screening of the film. Closed Captioning and Descriptive Video services may not be available.
  • Please arrive early. Seating is first come, first seated. No one will be admitted late. We may refuse, revoke or limit admission in our sole discretion at any time.
  • NO RECORDING

The screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any video or audio recording devices (including, without limitation, cameras) into the venue and you consent to a physical search of your belongings and person for recording devices. If you attempt to enter with a recording device, you will be denied admission. If you attempt to use a recording device during this screening, you consent to your immediate removal from the venue and forfeiture of your recording device and its contents. Any attempted unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability. We reserve the right to pursue any and all available remedies at law and in equity for any unauthorized recording and/or copyright infringement, including without limitation statutory damages of up to $150,000 per violation, and nothing contained in this notice shall be construed to limit our available remedies and/or legal recourse. You assume all risks of personal injury arising from or incidental to attending the screening, whether occurring prior to, during, or after the event. Further, by attending you grant permission to Disney Destinations, LLC, its licensees, licensors, affiliates and agents, to record and utilize your name, voice and likeness to publicize the screening and promote the movie.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, 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!

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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.

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  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.

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

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

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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