Tokyo DisneySea, Tower of Terror

Disney Parks After Dark: An Enchanted Fantasyland

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


I absolutely adore this image of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park. Photographer Tom Bricker did an amazing job capturing just how magical this part of the park is. And I’ve always loved the intricate detail that appears on this side of the castle.

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Is this one of your favorite “After Dark” images we’ve shared? Tell us in the “Comments” section below!

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Original Cast of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue Reunites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As Pam shared earlier, we’re celebrating the official 40th birthday of the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. And to mark the occasion, we have a special video – the first-ever reunion of the original cast. The Pioneer Hall Players were college students to begin the show’s 40-year run and tonight, they’re back to share their favorite memories.

The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue presents three shows nightly, seven days a week, at 4 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. If you’ve experienced Hoop-Dee-Doo, please let us know about your favorite memories in the comments.

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ESPN Prepares Football Fans With Inaugural Fantasy Football Convention at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Are you ready for some football? Are your lineups set?

Tonight, the 2014 NFL season kicks-off as the Green Bay Packers square off against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. While most of us are just now planning for an upcoming season of tailgating, chili and pumpkin-flavored beverages, hundreds of lucky fans kicked-off their “fantasy” season with some serious bragging rights. They had the opportunity to tailgate with ESPN’s Matthew Berry, Tim Hasselbeck and Sara Walsh, sit in on a live telecast of ESPN2′s “Fantasy Football Now”, and get some insider tips on choosing the right team. It was all capped off with a fantasy football draft coached by NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.

Here are some highlights of the event:

The ESPN Fantasy Football Convention is an example of the type of event you can only experience when Walt Disney World Resort and ESPN join forces. And it only happens at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. While this year’s Convention has come and gone, there’s still time to sign your family and friends up for some friendly competition with ESPN Fantasy Football.

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#DisneyKids: First runDisney Race

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Okay, I am just going to be honest with you, this Disney First is really cute and the photos and videos below are guaranteed to put a big Disney smile on your face. What do you get when you combine adorable kids in costumes, Disney characters and a runDisney event? You get unforgettable Disney memories that will last a lifetime.

This past weekend hundreds of kids participated in their first runDisney race at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort. From the 400 meter run to the diaper dash, our youngest competitors lined up to challenge themselves and each other.

If you or your child wants to experience a runDisney first at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort, visit runDisney.com for more information and to register.

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Happy Birthday! Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue Celebrates 40 Years of Food, Fun at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


September 5 marks the official 40th birthday of one of the longest-running dinner shows in American history – Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. We say “official” because the show got its start that summer (on June 30) as part of the Disney World Fine Arts College Workshop program, with six young actors playing the roles, says Forrest Bahruth, the original choreographer who still creates fantastic shows for Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Entertainment.

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“Hoop-Dee-Doo was upbeat, and guests came for the corny jokes, good food and lots of fun,” said Forrest Bahruth, show director, Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Entertainment and the original choreographer for the dinner show. “Forty years later, the heart is still in it, the energy is still there.”

Of course we think the endless buckets of fried chicken and ribs play a starring role, too. The menu has only had one major change since its debut – the apple pie for dessert was changed to strawberry shortcake way back in 1979. Today, servers (who are part of the high-energy show) dish up about 900 pounds of fried chicken every night, and cooks spend about six hours each day just breading the chicken. Add 400 pounds of pork ribs, slow cooked starting at 11 a.m. daily on a big outdoor smoker.

For sides, there are 120 pounds of corn, 400 pounds of potatoes to be mashed and 30 gallons of baked beans. It takes 15 gallons of strawberries and 12 gallons of whipped cream to make dessert.

Add beer, wine, sangria and soft drinks, and you got a formula for fun – a show that has presented about 37,000 performances before more than 10.5 million guests. And like the food, the show, while fine-tuned, hasn’t changed much, says show director Tom Vazzana.

“Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue exemplifies everything that Disney stands for,” says Vazzana. “It’s interactive fun for families and stellar entertainment – six performers put on a show that’s 90 minutes of pure enjoyment.”

Performers sing, dance and act their way through the timeless classic. “I love to go and hear kids squeal with delight at Six Bits, but also hear strong American ballads,” says Vazzana. “Families tell me it’s the first time they’ve seen a Broadway-style show – it’s obtainable and accessible, quintessential Disney.”

Hoop-Dee-Doo presents three shows nightly, seven days a week, at 4 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE or book online.

Looking Back

In true Disney fashion, Walt Disney Imagineers designed Pioneer Hall in authentic Wild West style with 1,283 hand-fitted pine logs from Montana and 70 tons of stones from North Carolina to recreate a look from the late 1800s. The building opened April 1, 1974.

Themed entertainment is always part of the Disney story. While Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was being written and cast, a group of country-Western musicians called The Star-Spangled Washboard Band opened in Pioneer Hall, according to an historical timeline by Larry Billman, author/writer and Disney entertainment consultant, who was the author and writer of the original show.

Bob Jani, the director of entertainment for both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, saw the potential for a “dinner theater show” and hired Billman. After multiple rewrites (the first version was called “We’re With You, Mother McCree!”), Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was born.

Students from the 11-week college workshop auditioned for the three female and three male character performers in Hoop-Dee-Doo: Six Bits Slocum and Dolly Drew (comic relief), Jim Handy and Flora Long (the singers), and Johnny Ringo and Claire de Lune (the dancers).

Fun Facts

  • Today, one member of the original cast from the college program still works for Disney – Marilyn Kay Magness, who played the part of Dolly Drew. She’s executive creative director, Disney Parks, Creative Entertainment.
  • An early draft of the show was titled The Whoop-Dee-Doo-Revue, which was revised to Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
  • Principal songwriter was Tom Adair, who also wrote words for the score for Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” and the “Mickey Mouse Club.”
  • In 1979 the song “Apple Pie Hoedown” was replaced with “Strawberry Short Cake Walk” when shortcake replaced apple pie on the menu.
  • The writers added a nod to Disney legacy with “The Legend of Davy Crockett” skit, complete with a coonskin cap and bear puns.
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was part of the opening entertainment at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, with Larry Billman and Forrest Bahruth directing and staging the new version. The show played there until 1995.

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Disney’s Night of Joy 2014 Update: Event ‘Sold Out’, To Be Webcast Live

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


This Just In!

We’re excited to let you know that Disney’s Night of Joy 2014 is officially “Sold Out” for both nights, Friday night (September 5) and Saturday (September 6). But if you didn’t get a ticket, you can still be a part of the action.

Blue Scout Media will be webcasting the event live from Magic Kingdom Park both nights.

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The link is http://stagehop.com/nightofjoy. Check out artist performances including acts like Hillsong United, Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, Casting Crowns, Skillet and Matthew West who are performing under the glow of Cinderella Castle.

To see the entire artists lineup and event schedule, check out my last post on the Disney Parks Blog.

Feel free to let your friends know, using #DisneyNOJ

Have a great weekend and enjoy the show – whether you’re here at Magic Kingdom Park with us or watching us online.

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Learn To Draw Minnie Mouse at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, our “Learn to Draw” series is focusing on a classic Disney character who needs no introduction. It’s Minnie Mouse!

This week, Heather Worley from Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is here to give you a quick tutorial on how to draw the perfect Minnie. Grab a pencil and paper and let’s go!

For more animation tutorials, visit the links below:

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Happy Anniversary Morocco (Pavilion!)

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


This weekend is the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Morocco pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot. Here’s a look at the pavilion under construction in March 1984. This pavilion was the first country to be added after the park’s opening. Happy Anniversary, Morocco!

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Exclusive Merchandise Revealed for Destination D: Attraction Rewind

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


A few months ago, D23, Disney’s Official Fan Club, unveiled some of the exclusive merchandise that will be available at Destination D: Attraction Rewind this fall at Walt Disney World Resort. The event, which takes place November 22 and 23, celebrates beloved attractions and entertainment of yesteryear while also looking at what’s to come with Disney Legends, luminaries and Imagineers.

Just for the occasion, Mickey’s of Glendale — the famous Walt Disney Imagineering store — is setting up a pop-up shop with exclusive merchandise just for event attendees. Earlier this summer, D23 previewed a few of the items that will be available, and now we are happy to share even more of the collection here on the Disney Parks Blog.

Exclusive Merchandise for Destination D: Attraction Rewind

In addition to all this, there will be a Mystery Box pin set featuring the Pleasure Island club marquee logos including Mannequins Dance Palace, Comedy Warehouse, 8TRAX, Pleasure Island Jazz Co., Rock ‘n’ Roll Beach Club, and Adventurer’s Club.

And just wait … there’s even more to come! So pick up your tickets today.

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Disney Parks Moms Panel Search Begins September 2

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Leanne O'Regan, Director, Social Media, Disney Parks


UPDATE: We are no longer accepting applications for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. I want to thank everyone who applied and shared their passion for Disney Parks. Be sure to check back right here on the Disney Parks Blog for future updates on the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

In my many years with Disney Parks, I’ve been fortunate to work on many amazing projects. One project near and dear to my heart will always be the creation and launch of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel in 2008.

The panel, made up of everyday moms and dads from around the globe, have answered hundreds of thousands of questions over the years – covering just about every Disney vacation topic imaginable. Their knowledge of Disney Parks and their passion to help our guests shines in their answers. In fact, you’ve met quite a few of them here on the Disney Parks Blog.

The panel became so popular that several years ago it was expanded to include other Disney Parks vacation experiences. The name was officially changed to the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

September has traditionally been a special month for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. It’s when we search for new panelists to join the team for the next calendar year. It’s a rigorous and thorough process, consisting of multiple rounds, that determines who will be selected to represent the panel and answer vacation questions from guests around the globe.

Thousands will apply for a small number of spots on the panel. But please, don’t let that be a deterrent. The most recent panelists to join the team include several who have applied every year, a few who applied for the very first time, and those in between. Dreams really can come true.

This year, applications will open at 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, September 2, 2014, and will remain open until noon ET on Friday, September 5, 2014.

If you know a mom, dad or grandparent who is your “go-to” person for advice about a Disney Parks vacation and loves to help others plan their trips, encourage them to apply for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. (Be sure to check the rules and regulations on the application to insure eligibility.)

More information about becoming a panelist can be found here.

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