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Wildlife Wednesday: Welcome our Baby Giraffe to the Savanna!

posted on August 26th, 2015 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Big news for the Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – our newest giraffe calves have ventured out onto the savanna for the first time. Mara, Milo and Lincoln are 3-, 4- and 5-months old, respectively, and are doing very well in their new home.

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Although on our savanna, the giraffe don’t have to be concerned with predators, we want to make sure they are old enough to follow their mothers and family, so our animal keepers keep them backstage until they are old enough to feel secure. In the wild, giraffe calves have to learn how to follow their mothers in case there is danger.

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Of the nine subspecies of giraffe, Masai giraffe are the amongst most populous in the wild at about 35,000, but sadly reports of increased poaching for their meat, hide and tails are leading to significant reductions. Two of the other subspecies are already critically endangered. When you see them on the savanna, note their spots – Masai giraffe have leafy, uneven spots. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you will find reticulated giraffe that have smooth-edged spots.

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Giraffe are very curious, observant animals that like to survey their land very carefully. This makes “every day a new day” for giraffe. They will notice if there are any new additions to the savannah, including other animals or changes to the landscape. This is true in the wild as well; because giraffe are so tall and pay such close attention to their surroundings, other animals use them as safety indicators.

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The next time you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we hope you see Lincoln, Milo and Mara on the savanna at Kilimanjaro Safaris. They will probably be close to their moms, learning all they need to know to grow to adulthood.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Find ‘Fancy Footwork’ with Customized TOMS at Curl by Sammy Duvall at Downtown Disney West Side

posted on August 25th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Whether you have one pair or a hundred, shoes are some of our most important accessories. Every good stroll requires a good pair, and more and more, shoes have become a reflection of our own personal, unique styles. Walk the West Side at Downtown Disney and you can find a one-of-a-kind, custom-painted-just-for-you pair of TOMS at Curl by Sammy Duvall. A team of talented artists creates inspired art, using the shoes as their canvas. And the best part? When you purchase any pair of TOMS shoes, the company will donate a second pair to someone in need.

Check out the video below to get some ideas for your next pair, or feel free to come up with your own suggestions for the TOMS customization team at Curl!

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Some Favorite Ways to Experience Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 25-Nov. 16

posted on August 25th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


We’re counting down the days and deciding the best ways to take advantage of all the food, wine, celebrity chefs, live music and more at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

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Looking ahead, here are three ideas to maximize your fun. We love the idea of the new 20th Festival Tasting Sampler that gives you a credential (and a cool collectible pin) to taste your way around the fest. For $59 you get your choice of eight tastes of food or beverages at all of the 30 marketplaces plus priority seating at the nightly Eat to the Beat concert.

Your credential will include ideas for pairing a dish and a drink at the marketplaces – we’re excited to try some of the new dishes such as the pepper bacon mac ‘n’ cheese paired with a hard cider at Farm Fresh Marketplace (both new); lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney and a pinot noir at New Zealand (both new), and the butter chicken with naan bread with a chenin blanc in Africa. There are 29 new dishes this year, and 72 new cocktails, beers, wines and ciders!

We’ve always had fun at Eat to the Beat, and this year’s dining package includes lunch or dinner at 13 different restaurants from Coral Reef Restaurant and The Garden Grill in Future World to France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Japan, Morocco and United Kingdom. This is a nice “plan ahead” experience.

Price varies by restaurant, starting at $34.99 for lunch and includes appetizer, entrée, dessert and drink or buffets. And then you get guaranteed seating at the 5:30 p.m. Eat to the Beat concert for lunch reservations, and the 6:45 or 8 p.m. show for lunch or dinner.

Fan favorites are back on the America Gardens Theatre stage, including Wilson Phillips, Smash Mouth, The Pointer Sisters, Jo Dee Messina, Boyz II Men and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. And there are four new acts in the concert series lineup — Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest and Chaka Khan.

For a really special treat, set aside a week for the Food & Wine Premium Package that gives you VIP treatment from noon- 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the festival. Eleven shaded “Premium Package” areas are reserved for a spot to eat, drink and relax, and you get to choose an IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party to attend, as well as a Festival Center culinary demo or beverage seminar.

Cost is $199, and you also get a gift bag with your own wine glass, a bottle of 20th celebration festival wine, a Food & Wine Fest-themed MagicBand and four food tickets for food or beverage from festival marketplaces.

For reservations, call 407-939-3378. Admission to Epcot is required.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Follow Disney Parks on Tumblr

posted on August 25th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Have you discovered the new official home for Disney Parks on Tumblr? Check it out at disneyparks.tumblr.com! You’ll find fun and shareable posts from Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Adventures by Disney and Disney Vacation Club – each with its own dedicated space, making it easy to find posts from the places you love!

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Filed: Adventures by Disney, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort Feels the Dark Side of the Force in All New Star Wars Half Marathon Event

posted on August 25th, 2015 by Faron Kelley, Director of Non-Leisure Marketing and Sales Strategy


The Force has awakened at Walt Disney World Resort through runDisney’s newest addition to its portfolio – Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side.

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Shop For Authentic Walt Disney World Resort Merchandise with New Shop Disney Parks Mobile App

posted on August 25th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


One of the most popular questions I’ve received during my time with Disney Theme Park Merchandise is, “Can I buy this item online?” I’m delighted to answer that question with the launch of the Shop Disney Parks mobile app.

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Filed: Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

Favorite After-School Snack from Tony’s Town Square in Magic Kingdom Park

posted on August 24th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


It’s a blast from the past with an updated twist – most grown-ups still consider tomato soup and grilled cheese a favorite comfort food. The Disney chefs took this classic and made it a healthful finger food that’s perfect as an after-school snack (or supper for everyone).

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

Celebrate National Waffle Day

posted on August 24th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


Happy National Waffle Day!

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

Disneyland Resort Event Snapshot – September 2015

posted on August 24th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It’s hard to believe that it’s almost September. If you’re in need of back-to-school fun, then be sure to take part in special Disney Theme Park Merchandise events taking place throughout the month at the Disneyland Resort!

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

Happy National Waffle Day from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

posted on August 24th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Happy National Waffle Day from Disney Parks Food and Beverage! What better way to indulge on this delicious holiday than with one of our top 8 waffles from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts:

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort