Disney Parks Blog Celebrates the 15th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios

First Look: New Characters, Disney Parks Experiences coming to Disney Infinity

posted on July 16th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’ve shared a few blog updates on Disney Infinity, but today’s may be our favorite. Disney Interactive is adding Disney characters Stitch and Tinker Bell to the next edition of the game when it launches this fall. Disney Infinity will also feature new Disney Parks-inspired content you’ll instantly recognize, like the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Here’s a first look at the new trailer where Stitch and Tink create their own Magic Kingdom.

Stitch and Tinker Bell were two of the most requested characters by the Disney Infinity fan community. Their Toy Box figures will be available in retail stores this fall.

Our friends at Disney Interactive also say additional play sets and characters will be announced in the coming months so keep an eye on infinity.disney.com and the Disney Parks Blog for more updates.

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Sneak Peek: Voices of Liberty at Epcot Add ‘Let It Go’ To Their Repertoire

posted on July 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you heard? Voices of Liberty, the longtime acapella group at Epcot, recently added some new songs to their repertoire. New songs guests may hear during their daily shows include “You Raise Me Up,” “True Colors,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Here’s a sneak peek at one of those new tunes, “Let It Go” from “Frozen.

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Wildlife Wednesday: The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Is Helping Preserve Hisssss-tory

posted on July 16th, 2014 by Kim Sams, Director, Corporate Citizenship, Conservation Programs, The Walt Disney Company


“Happy World Snake Day!” is not something I ever imagined I would wish anyone, but after seeing first-hand the incredible work to bring one snake species back from near extinction, I am now a fan.

For 14 years, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) has supported the Antiguan Racer Project. This multi-faceted conservation program is a partnership between the Environmental Awareness Group in Antigua (in the lower Caribbean) and Fauna & Flora International.

The Antiguan Racer is a very docile reptile which had been almost completed wiped out by the mongoose, a predator actually introduced to the island to manage the rat population. Since mongooses (or mongeese) are active during the day and rats are active at night, the mongoose didn’t actually complete the work for which it was introduced to the island. As the mongoose population grew (and the Antiguan Racer population decreased), overpopulation began to upset the delicate island ecosystem, and in this case, bird populations were affected as well. The dedicated people who run the program with support from Dr. Jenny Daltry explain this much better than I, so I hope you will take a few minutes to hear their story. Afterward, I think you, too, might celebrate snakes in a whole new light.

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is supported by guest contributions at various merchandise locations throughout Disney Parks and Resorts, as well as aboard Disney Cruise Line. One hundred percent of donations are matched by The Walt Disney Company and directed to nonprofit organizations through the conservation awards process.

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Meet ESPN Talent During the Inaugural ESPN Fantasy Football Convention at Walt Disney World

posted on July 15th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Nothing says “fall” like tailgate parties, chili cook-offs and, of course, football season. On August 22-23, you can officially kick-off sport’s greatest season of the year with ESPN‘s inaugural Fantasy Football Convention, taking place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The first-of-its-kind event features unprecedented access to ESPN talent including Matthew Berry, Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, Sara Walsh, Mark Schlereth, Stephania Bell, Tim Hasselbeck and more!

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Start things off with an epic Tailgate Party, where you can mix and mingle with ESPN talent and be a judge in the first-ever ESPN Chili Bowl. Decorated Disney Chefs from around the world will serve up their best creations for a chance at this prestigious award. The next morning, you’ll have breakfast with some of your favorite characters decked out for the gridiron.

Ever wonder what it’s like behind-the-scenes of an ESPN studio show? You’ll get the chance to find out, as the Convention includes a live broadcast of Fantasy Football Now. The event finale features the opportunity to take part in a live fantasy football draft. Whether you’re new to fantasy football or a long-time veteran, you’ll get the chance to pick your teams with the help of ESPN Fantasy

Experts roaming the floor. And best yet, season winners of leagues created during the Convention will receive a customized trophy. Talk about bragging rights!

For more information on the inaugural Fantasy Football Convention at Walt Disney World Resort and to register, click here.

Who’s ready for some football?

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First Peek at Trattoria al Forno, New Restaurant for Disney’s BoardWalk

posted on July 15th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


With opening planned for December, we’re sharing the first details for Trattoria al Forno, the new restaurant for Disney’s BoardWalk.
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A “trattoria” is an Italian restaurant serving simple food, and “al forno” is Italian for “food baked in an oven,” and this new spot will showcase Old World techniques, including handcrafted mozzarella made daily, cavatelli (small dumpling-shaped pasta) and a variety of Neopolitan-style pizzas baked in wood-burning ovens. Neopolitan pizzas, by the way, are pizzas in the classic style of Naples, Italy, with simple tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella.

A beautiful Italian flywheel slicer slices paper-thin Italian meats, served with a variety of olives and caponata. Satisfying pastas, velvety seasonal risottos and fresh seafood and vegetables will celebrate the delectable diversity of Italian cuisine with authentic ingredients and recipes from Italy’s various regions.

Italy is just half the size of Texas but has wonderfully diverse cuisine, and Trattoria al Forno will showcase dishes from Italy’s various regions – for instance, braised beef Bolognese with house-made cavatelli from Bologna, semolina tagliatelli carbonara from Latium (more specifically Rome), pork chop alla Milanese named after the city of Milano. And you’ll find classic Italian favorites: chicken breast alla Parmagiana with tagliatelle pasta; shrimp with garlic, capers and anchovy butter with polenta; whole roasted fish with roasted vegetables; baked lasagna; grilled steak; slow-cooked lamb shank with polenta; and eggplant rollatini.

A seasonal risotto will always be on the menu, and vegetarians will appreciate the ruffled campanelle pasta with green beans, roasted potatoes and Genovese pesto.

Add a classic Italian dessert with an after-dinner cappuccino for a perfect ending. Look for tiramisù, lemon panna cotta with almond crunch and berries, gelatos, and the signature bomboloni (Italian donut holes) with dark chocolate and vanilla gelato.

Wines will be 100 percent Italian from historic wine regions including Tuscany, Veneto and Piedmont, with over 60 offerings by the bottle and more than 25 wines by the glass – Chiantis, Super Tuscans and fine Italian white wines such as Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and Moscato. Signature cocktails and Italian beers and sodas round out the drink menu, with a signature-blend Italian coffee roasted just for Trattoria al forno.

We can’t wait to share more information and photos, stay tuned. Reservations will be accepted in several weeks – we’ll be sure to let you know the date.

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

Show Your DIY Disney Side: Disney Parks Guide Map Photo Mat

posted on July 15th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


If a picture says a thousand words, I say a picture frame can say a thousand more. In this new “Show Your DIY Disney Side,” I’m making quick and easy photo mats using Disneyland Resort tickets and guide maps.

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As much as I love sharing pictures with friends on social media, there’s something special about good ol’ unfiltered, un-hashtagged photo prints. What better way to put these beauties on display than with a unique photo mat? I used Disney Parks tickets and maps because they’re bright and colorful (Plus, it’s a great way to show your Disney Side).

If you have the materials, it’s fun to theme your mat to your photo – admission tickets for a concert photo, a street map for a road-trip snapshot, leftover gift wrap for a birthday photo — the options are endless!

Supplies:

  • Any decorative paper (I used my old park tickets and a guide map, but any other decorative paper will work)
  • Picture frames (I used 8” x 10” and 4” x 6” frames)
  • Craft knife
  • Your favorite photos (I used a 4” x 6” photo for the bigger frame and wallet-sized photo for the smaller, but you can use whatever sizes you’d like)

Step 1: Take the picture frame apart, separating the frame, cardboard backing and glass.

Step 2: Lay the guide map or decorative paper out flat over a tabletop.

Tip: Since we’ll be using our craft knife on this surface, make sure to protect your tabletop! A thick paper bag or some cardboard will do.

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Step 3: Cut your desired paper to fill the frame (you can use the glass as a guide). This will form your photo map.

Tip: If using park tickets instead of a guide map or large decorative paper, you might not need to cut anything at all! Skip to Step 5.

Step 4: Place the photo over the center of the photo mat. Using the craft knife, cut out the center of the mat using the photo as a size guide.

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Step 5: Place the photo face-up in the center of the picture frame and place the photo mat (or neatly arranged park tickets) on top of (or around) the photo.

UPDATE 7/16/14: I wanted to share this great tip from my fellow cast member, Gray, who works at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – “As a photo preservationist myself, I would like to suggest that you only use copies of photos and never the originals, as the tickets and maps are acidic and will degrade photos over time.” Thanks, Gray!

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Step 6: Carefully place the glass on top to lock everything into place.

How do you “Show your DIY Disney Side”? Tell us in the comments!

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Where at Disney Parks Can You Find…

posted on July 15th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


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How ‘bout them apples? They’re red and delicious and perhaps our most difficult mystery puzzler of the summer. These apples can be seen somewhere at Disney Parks but you’ve got to have an eagle-eye to spot them. Any guesses? Please put your answers in the comments and we’ll update the post with the answer later today.

Read the rest of this entry »

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A Peek Inside ‘Frozen Fireworks’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on July 14th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


One of my favorite new offerings that just launched as a part of Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios have to be the “Frozen Fireworks,” which light up the sky at 9:45 p.m., nightly.

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What I enjoy about this fireworks show is that it combines elements of a stage show, complete with moments of narration with Anna, Kristoff and Elsa, with fireworks and songs from the soundtrack to “Frozen.”

Disney Parks Blog author Bob Hitchcock recently headed out to the park to take a look and find out what guests – and even some of the creators of the show – think of the new nighttime spectacular. Check it out below.

“Frozen Fireworks” will run nightly through September 1, as a part of the park’s Frozen Summer Fun celebration and viewing is available throughout the park.

See the posts below for more ‘Frozen’ Summer Fun:

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Add Character To Your Table at Disney Parks

posted on July 14th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Want to add some character to your dinner table? I have a couple of ideas and easy ways for you to do just that.

Here are a few key items I couldn’t resist from one of the most recent vintage-inspired collections to hit store shelves. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that everything old is new again. Our merchandisers and artists took that thought one step further and added a Disney twist, creating artwork based on our consumable programs as they would have appeared during the 1970s.

The character plates are the perfect size for any appetizer, snack, small meal or dessert.

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Whether your glass appears half empty or half full, you will no doubt be the toast of the town with this collection.

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If those glasses aren’t quite your cup of tea, try one of these!

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Find this collection and more at select locations, including the Emporium in Disneyland park and Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure park, as well as Centerpiece in Downtown Disney Marketplace at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Will you bring this set home with you?

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Caption This: Crockett’s Tavern at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

posted on July 14th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Check out this week’s “Caption This” image, which was shot inside Crockett’s Tavern at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

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Sure looks like the bear has something on his mind. But what? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This”!

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