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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on July 13th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, La Place de Rémy, our first themed area based on the Academy Award-winning film “Ratatouille,” opened to guests at Disneyland Paris.

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Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, authored a story on opening day and showed the area’s anchor, L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, an attraction that shrinks you down to the size of a rat and whisks you away on an adventure over the rooftops of Paris and through Gusteau’s.

Check Tom’s original story for more details about La Place de Rémy.

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And did you see our larger-than-life Olaf made out of sand? The first week of “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios” featured expert sand sculptors building the summer-loving snowman in front of the theme park. Here’s how they did it.

If you’d like more “Frozen” fun this weekend, also check out our video of how to draw Anna at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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

Disneyland and Walt Disney World Fans Show Their Disney Sidewalks on Instagram – Check out just a few of the amazing pieces of sidewalk art posted to Instagram as part of the Show Your Disney Sidewalk campaign.

Disney’s ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’ Lands at Disney Parks – Take a look at some of this new merchandise soaring into Disney Parks and don’t forget to see Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue” on July 18!

Enjoy a Fourth Night Free at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, with Special New Offer – Book a relaxing Hawaiian getaway for your `ohana today with this exciting offer, at the award-winning Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!’ Begins Today at Disneyland Park – Choose your side in the fight for Frontierland! Click through for more details on this new experience coming to Disneyland park.

Vintage Walt Disney World: Early Days of Disney Water Parks – If you love Disney Water Parks, you’ll love this look back at the construction of Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach.

Downtown Disney Entertainers Record a Special Rendition of ‘Let It Go’ – Have a listen to this unique take on “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen”, performed by some talented Downtown Disney Entertainers.

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Harambe Nights Heats Up Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on July 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this week, Disney Parks Blog author Shawn Slater reminded us that there are only a few more weeks to enjoy Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Harambe Nights Heats Up Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Harambe Nights includes “The Lion King Concert in the Wild,” a retelling of “The Lion King” that features a celebrity narrator, live orchestra, choir and more. The evening event also features a welcome reception and the post-show street party that features Afro-pop music, performers, a buffet and more. Check out the gallery above for some additional photos we’ve never shared from the event.

Have you enjoyed Harambe Nights this year? If so, tell us what you liked about it in the “Comments” section below!

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Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort SALUTE Military Cast Members With New Diversity Resource Group

posted on July 11th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Hello, I’m Melanie! My colleague Kevin Rafferty, Jr., who has brought you “Every Role a Starring Role” for the last few years, is on a special assignment and has temporarily passed me the baton to bring you Disneyland Resort cast and community news. One of my favorite experiences as a Disneyland Resort cast member is watching Main Street, U.S.A. don its iconic red, white and blue décor each summer, offering a month-long celebration of our nation and those who defend our freedom.

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This July is especially momentous for cast members with connections to the military as SALUTE, a new diversity resource group, officially launched yesterday at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts with patriotic ceremonies on both coasts. Cast members participating in SALUTE will help provide a military perspective that will enhance the cast and guest experience.

SALUTE is an extension of Disney’s longstanding support of the armed forces, which dates back to Walt Disney’s service in the Ambulance Corps during World War I and his brother Roy’s service as a petty officer in the Navy.

SALUTE is the sixth diversity resource group at Disneyland Resort and the seventh for Walt Disney World Resort. These groups serve as resources to the company and our cast by sharing the unique perspectives and contributions that diverse communities can offer.

Additional diversity resource groups on both coasts include:

  • CastABLE: Promoting respect, equality and an appreciation of people with disabilities.
  • COMPASS (Community of Pacific Islanders, Asians and Allies): Enhancing cast, guest and community relations through Asian and Pacific Islander cultural awareness and business practices.
  • FAMILIES: Focusing on family-related interests. (Walt Disney World Resort only.)
  • HOLA (Hispanic Organization for Leadership Advancement): Promoting Hispanic/Latino heritage and cultural exchange.
  • PRIDE (People Respecting Individual Diversities in Everyone): Serving gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender cast members by providing resources, learning opportunities and a supportive network.
  • PULSE (People United to Lead, Serve and Excel): Developing cultural, educational and professional opportunities for cast members of African heritage.
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New Merchandise on the Horizon for Fall 2014 at Disney Parks

posted on July 11th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


One of my favorite articles to write for the Disney Parks Blog gives readers a glimpse into future merchandise development (who wouldn’t want to travel through time?). Introduced in early 2012, these semi-regular stories are filled with things that make me beyond happy. Here is a look at some of my favorites coming to Disney Parks later this year.

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I still remember the day that Aaron Babcock, merchandiser for home and decorative goods, showed me the two metal trays pictured above. I did a double take as I thought they were vintage finds from some antique shop. Aaron is the developer behind those amazing items found in Disney Centerpiece at the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. He stepped up his game with these trays that will be placed next to my vintage EPCOT Center trays from the early 1980s. Look for them this fall at the respective Resort destinations in California and Florida.

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I think I found the next two shirts that I will be getting for my fiancée and me. They were inspired by the popular “I’ll Be Your” Mickey and Minnie companion T-shirts released in 2012. The shirts are coming this October to Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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I fell out of my chair when I saw the new Vinylmation – Eachz set coming this fall featuring Mabel from the hit Disney XD show “Gravity Falls.” I wasn’t surprised to learn that Thomas Scott was the Disney Design Group artist behind these limited edition figures. Thomas, who once dressed up as the character Grunkle Stan for Halloween, recommended I watch the show. I’m now hooked and can’t wait for season two, which debuts on Disney Channel on August 1 at 9:00 p.m. Presented in a mystery box (how fitting), the figure on the left will be more common to find (edition size 1,350), while the figure on the right is more rare (edition size 150).

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Finally, I spotted these adorable new Disney Villains baby plush. Maleficent will be joined by baby Cruella de Vil this November, while Ursula will be released early next year.

Which things are you most excited to see? Please share in the comments below.

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#DisneyKids: Remembering Favorite Attractions at Disney Parks

posted on July 11th, 2014 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Recently, we shared our first #DisneyKids roundtable interview featuring preschoolers showing just how passionate they are about their favorite characters. Today, we’re asking them about rides at Walt Disney World Resort.

Many children visiting Disney Parks not only have their favorite attractions but they also remember every little detail about the experience. It’s fun to see that even at a young age, they’ve created great memories about being immersed in their beloved stories.

Do your little ones have a favorite Disney Parks attraction? Let us know in the comments.

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New Hidden Mickey Pins Arriving at Disney Parks in July 2014

posted on July 11th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Now that summer has arrived at Disney Parks, guests will soon find new Hidden Mickey pins at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. These unique pins will be distributed to cast members to use for trading with guests by late July 2014. You may recall that we typically release two different waves of pins a year (the first wave this year was introduced back in February). Here is a closer look at what guests can expect to trade in the coming months.

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Cast members at Disneyland Resort will soon receive an assortment of 30 different pins to use for trading with guests. The image above is a checklist to help you identify the new pins coming to California. As a reminder, Hidden Mickey pins typically measure about 1.25-inches and contain the phrase ”Hidden Mickey Pin” on the back of the pin.

I think my favorite series features Disney Birds (I’m partial to birds, especially ones that are orange). The special thing about this series is that there will be five different Disney bird pins found at Walt Disney World Resort that complement the pins at Disneyland Resort. The “Villainous Sidekicks” collection will also feature complementary pins.

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The image above shows the 30 pins that will be distributed to cast members at Walt Disney World Resort. The series that caught my eye in this collection is the character themed MagicBands.

Chaser pins will also be included in this new wave for 2014. These silver-colored pins are rarer to find compared to their full color counterparts.

Which pins do you want to trade? Please share in the comments below.

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Disney Parks After Dark: Roy & Minnie at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 10th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Tonight’s “Disney Parks After Dark” image is by far one of the best I’ve seen of the statue of Roy O. Disney and Minnie Mouse. This statue, which is of Walt Disney’s older brother and longtime business partner, sits near the flagpole on Main Street, U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom Park.

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Disneyland and Walt Disney World Fans Show Their Disney Sidewalks on Instagram

posted on July 10th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


In late May, we kicked off summer at Disney Parks with Rock Your Disney Side 24-hour event. As part of the event here at the Disneyland Resort, we featured Disney California Adventure park-inspired sidewalk art by featured artist Noah to launch our Show Your Disney Sidewalk campaign on Instagram. For the past six weeks, followers of the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Instagram accounts were encouraged to show their Disney Side through sidewalk art, and some of the results were breathtaking. Show Your Disney Sidewalk has wrapped up, but I wanted to share some of the amazing pieces we saw.

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@egreen2003 posted this lovely scene of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse enjoying fireworks.

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In this wonderfully detailed piece, @mantia and @grafera pay tribute to a favorite summertime Disney Parks treat.

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The “Partners” statue is depicted in silhouette against fireworks – and @victoria_rangel_ even included a hidden Mickey!

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I love the simplicity of this piece by @eelaineee, showing that less is sometimes more when depicting a Disney Parks icon.

Did you Show Your Disney Sidewalk on Instagram this summer?

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Early Days of Disney Water Parks

posted on July 10th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


It’s summertime. It’s warm. I need to cool off. Should I hang ten at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park or hit the slopes at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park? Decisions, decisions. While I deliberate, here’s a look at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park under construction from March 1989 and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park in December 1994.

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I still can’t decide. If I go to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon I can take a ride on Crush ‘n’ Gusher, while over at Disney’s Blizzard Beach I can slide down the Toboggan Racers.

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This is the toughest decision of the summer for me at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Don’t Let Time Run Out! Experience Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on July 10th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


We’re halfway through the 10-week run of Harambe Nights, our new special event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrating the 20th anniversary of “The Lion King.” Guests have been raving about the African-inspired cuisine, the street party entertainment, the celebrity narrators, and the live orchestra and choir for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.”

New Harambe Nights Evening Spectacular at Disney's Animal Kingdom Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of "The Lion King"

Held inside the newly built Harambe Theatre, “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” is a 55-minute theatrical experience created exclusively for Harambe Nights and completely different from the “Festival of the Lion King” show presented during the daytime. In fact, today we have for you a unique look at how the Harambe Theatre is transformed from day to night, as our Entertainment team sets the stage for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.”

From Viola Davis to David Alan Grier, each celebrity narrator who has participated in “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” has brought his or her own unique talent and passion to the performance. The lineup of narrators features stars from movies, TV, and Broadway. Scheduled to appear on upcoming nights are*:

  • July 12 – Harry Lennix: “The Blacklist,” “The Five Heartbeats”
  • July 19 – Joe Morton: “Scandal,” “American Gangster,” “The Good Wife”
  • July 26 – Alfre Woodard: “Desperate Housewives,” “Miss Evers Boys”
  • August 2 – Brian Stokes Mitchell: “Ragtime,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Glee”
  • August 9 – Patina Miller: “Pippin,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”

The first five weeks of Harambe Nights were all sold out, but great seats are still available for each of the remaining dates in July and August. You’ll need to act fast, though! Tickets are $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Your ticket includes parking, a welcome reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” show, two hours of additional live entertainment during the Harambe Nights Street Party, and an abundant dinner buffet. For tickets, visit Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights or call 407-939-1319.

For an even more in-depth look at “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild,” follow the links below to our previous stories here on Disney Parks Blog.

(*Entertainment subject to change)

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