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Gardens, Mozart and Puppets: A Trip Through Austria with Adventures by Disney

posted on July 23rd, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager

If you’re looking to visit a place with a ton of charm, may I suggest Austria? As excited as I was to visit the Bavarian Alps on my recent 9-day, 8-night Austria, Germany & the Czech Republic Adventures by Disney vacation, my eyes were woefully unprepared for the sheer amount of natural beauty they would behold during the Austrian portion of this trip.


First up was Salzburg, where we took a privately guided tour that included enchanting gardens, lush landscapes and striking fountains that will beg for you to burst into song; and I might have done just that on several occasions. Here we dined at a 1,200-year-old restaurant while being serenaded by a duo of Mozart violinists! I felt very fancy indeed.


On our way to Vienna we made a stop in the adorable town of Mondsee, where we enjoyed lunch al fresco alongside the gorgeous lake. The beauty of this place has earned it a spot on my personal “most charming places I’ve visited” list.


In Vienna the one-of-a-kind experiences just kept on coming. We enjoyed a private marionette performance and got to try our hand at operating them (with guidance from the masters). We learned how to make strudel (and sampled it aplenty), toured the famous Schonbrunn Palace, got an exclusive backstage look at Royal Spanish Riding School and even tested our gracefulness during private Waltz lessons! As a very special treat we also visited the Vienna Zoo after hours, where our group enjoyed a private look at the animals and a unique dinner feast at the former breakfast pavilion of the Emperor, located in the middle of the zoo.


But I haven’t even told you about my favorite part yet. Ask anyone who’s been on an Adventures by Disney trip about their experience and they’re sure to tell you about their amazing Adventure Guides. For this trip our group was educated, entertained and delighted by Adventure Guides Stephanie and Dean, and they truly made every moment unforgettable. The number of exceptional experiences they created for us is too numerous to list, but it was in Austria that they really brought experiences to life the very most. Here they donned a lot of hats, literally and figuratively. Seriously, these two love to dress up. And they know their audience; we all loved it!

And so ends my Adventures by Disney Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic trip. Retelling it has made me want to do it all over again!

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Celebrating National Zoo Keeper Appreciation Week at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on July 23rd, 2015 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

This week is National Zoo Keeper Appreciation Week, and we are celebrating our keepers and aquarists with special activities to recognize their hard work and dedication. If you are visiting this week, be sure to tell them hello and thank you!

I could not be prouder of our tremendously talented team of cast members, who continue to impress with their expertise and compassion. They have dedicated their lives to caring for animals, and everything they do and learn here helps contribute to saving animals in the wild. The difference they are making is immeasurable.

Below are just a few of our dedicated cast members. We asked them to tell us about their favorite moments and why they enjoy their roles.

‘In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.’ (by Baba Dioum) This quote is the definition of why I’m an animal keeper. My job is awesome because of the animals I get to work with, but my job also makes it possible for guests to learn about these animals and love them as much as I do.”
– Katie Lusnia


“I am very lucky that my favorite moment as an animal keeper happens every day. I love when my animals are excited to see me, even though they are more likely excited to see the food in my hands. I also love their quiet munching once they have all been fed and are happily in the barn.”
– Chelsea Lynn


“My favorite moments usually involve us being able to help out an animal that, in the wild, would not have survived. Most recently, we had a sand gazelle calf born with multiple issues. After a pretty rough few days and 24-hour care, this calf started to gain strength. After a couple weeks, she was basically fully recovered. Seeing your hard work result in the survival of animal, especially a young animal, is pretty awesome.“
– Matthew McHarness


“We are involved in daily training, enrichment programs, assisting the veterinarians during procedures, sharing our knowledge with the guests as well as making memories for them during their visit.”
– Kelly Savage


“I enjoy the interaction and observation of the many different species … I also find it very interesting working with the veterinary staff performing health assessments on many different species of animals.”
– Chad Spicer


“I feel like we make a difference in the lives of the animals that we take care of. We form a relationship with every single animal that we take care of and that is very rewarding. Also, baby animals are super cute.”
– Danielle Boggs


“After having helped with the endocrine research and care of the mother for more than two years, witnessing the birth of a giraffe calf was incredibly rewarding to me.”
– Gretchen Mueller


“[I have] access to the best and most-advanced facilities for the care and development of the animals who roam our savannas. The animals … are truly the driving inspiration in what makes Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge a premiere resort… Being able to work with the Disney Conservation Fund is also a reward that may go unnoticed by some, but the keepers at Disney know that we are both igniting a passion in future generations and doing our best to preserve the natural wonders and animals better than anyone else.”
– Ashley Roth


I enjoy being an aquarist because I have always been captivated by the ocean and everything that can be found in it … I also strive to provide educational moments for our guests so that they can learn about and respect our oceans, and hopefully help make changes that can benefit all of our planet’s ecosystems.
– Eric Grunthaner


“When I first started, it was so cool to see the amazing relationships keepers have with their animals … The animals recognize me now and come over to say ‘Hi.’ That’s a favorite moment every day.”
– Erin O’Neill

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Days of Past: Hot Dogs From Casey’s Corner at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 23rd, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center

Today is National Hot Dog Day. Which can only mean one thing – a trip is in order to Casey’s Corner at Magic Kingdom Park! Here’s a photograph of the Casey’s Corner sign back in 1996.


Did you know that Casey’s Corner was named Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner when the parked opened in 1971? The name was later changed to Casey’s Corner in 1995. Here’s the Refreshment Corner as seen in 1977.


Are you a fan of hot dogs? What are you toppings of choice? Tell us in the comments section below!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

VIDEO: Antique Disneyland Souvenirs from the Walt Disney Archives

posted on July 22nd, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort

Last week, we marked the 60th anniversary of Disneyland opening day, and the festivities continue with the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. In the video below, Justin from the Walt Disney Archives shares a look at some rare antique Disneyland souvenirs from their collection, including items from July 17, 1955. Take a look!

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Creating Magical Memories With Your Little One Aboard a Disney Cruise

posted on July 22nd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Are you ready to take your little ones on their very first Disney cruise? I’ve given you a look at some of our spaces and activities created especially for them, and I’ve shared ways we cater to families traveling with young children. Now, let’s take a look at some of the very special ways for you to create magical memories with your little one …

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Show Your ‘Inside Out’ #DisneySide For a runDisney Race! Part V: SADNESS

posted on July 22nd, 2015 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney

It’s common for runners to experience the “Post-Race Blues” during the weeks after a race. You’ve had so many emotions the past few months and your race is now over. You’ve experienced FEAR, DISGUST, ANGER and JOY, but now another emotion pops up that you probably weren’t expecting.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

posted on July 22nd, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on this very day back in 1994, and there’s no doubt that it’s a park favorite. How well do you know the attraction? Test your knowledge below!

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

Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Rocket to the Moon and the Moonliner

posted on July 22nd, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Less than a week after Disneyland opened, a first-of-its-kind attraction, Rocket to the Moon, made its debut on July 22, 1955.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

#DisneyFamilia: Shop, Eat and Have Fun Todo El Día (All Day) at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 22nd, 2015 by Sarah Domenech, International Public Relations Manager

When mi familia comes to visit, we always set one day aside to spend at Downtown Disney. Why? Because it’s a great way to have fun juntos outside of the theme parks.

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Checking Out Latest Arrivals to Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic Collection at Disney Parks

posted on July 22nd, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager

On July 22, 2015, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios celebrates another anniversary. To mark the occasion, I recently stopped by Tower Hotel Gifts to check out the latest arrivals from the Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic collection. You may recall that in February we released several new products inspired by this thrilling Disney Parks attraction. Here is a quick recap of some items I found.

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