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Disney Days of Past: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


I thought it would be fun to take a look at one of my favorite attractions from a vantage point rarely seen – above. Take a gander at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad photographed in 1991 from the sky.

I5-48 Big Thunder Mountain Aerial 2000

No matter the vantage point, it will always be the wildest ride in the wilderness!

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

New Locations Join The Landing at Disney Springs in February 2015

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Signs of the future are springing up across Downtown Disney this month at Walt Disney World Resort as the area transforms into Disney Springs. Several new retail locations have opened in area to be known as The Landing. Once complete, The Landing will be home to memorable dining such as STK, Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE and unique boutique shopping. Here is a brief look at these newest additions.

The Art of Shaving at The Landing at Downtown Disney Apex by Sunglass Hut at The Landing at Downtown Disney Chapel Hats at The Landing at Downtown Disney

The Art of Shaving – offers premium grooming essentials for the modern man. The location also has a team of shaving specialists who offer advice to guests on proper grooming techniques. Appointments for a haircut or shave are suggested.

Apex by Sunglass Hut – designed with the athlete, sports and outdoor enthusiast in mind, this shop utilizes innovative technology, such as the Apex Smart Mirror, to help guests find the best choice in sport sunglasses.

Chapel Hats – specializes in fashionable hats and headwear for guests of all ages. The location carries just about any style of hat including fedoras, sun hats, floppy hats, outdoors hats, kid’s hats and more.

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Sanuk – creatively inspired footwear designed with non-traditional materials like yoga-mats.

Havaianas – offering “Make Your Own Havaianas” and “Embellish Your Own Havaianas,” this store features a large assortment of Havaianas sandals for women, men and children, plus kids’ rain boots.

Sound Lion – the latest technology in headphones, earbuds, speakers, and other digital sound and music products can be found in this shop. They also provide education in digital music applications that improve the listening lifestyle.

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Erin Mckenna’s Bakery NYC – this location will offer the same unsurpassed core vegan, gluten-free menu as its flagship bakery in New York City, and its sister bakery in Los Angeles. Look for a full selection of award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels (with vegan butter!), and other savory items daily.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyKids: Experience the Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Carpe diem. Seize the day.

That’s exactly what you can do on an Ultimate VIP Tour. Imagine experiencing cherished attractions at three theme parks with fast-tracked access, private transportation and a Table-Service lunch in one of the parks, all in one day — accompanied by a cast member with detailed knowledge of Disney lore.

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I recently got the opportunity to go on The Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour, one of two new offerings from VIP Tour Services (The Ultimate Day of Thrills being the other), so I of course jumped at the chance.

Tomorrowland Terrace at Magic Kingdom Park is the starting point for the tour. Tracy, our Tour Guide, handed out bottles of water to keep everyone hydrated and took lunch orders. From there, we headed to Magic Carpets of Aladdin to begin our journey. We hit some classics, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan’s Flight, and newer highpoints like Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid. Then it was off to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (yay Toy Story Midway Mania!), via private van, that included a yummy sit-down lunch at a reserved table. The tour ended on a high note at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with front row seats at Festival of the Lion King, about as close as you can get to this beloved Broadway-style show without being in it.

WDW Attractions Lifestyle Shoot

Entering via the FastPass+ lines made for minimal waiting. Tracy was also in constant contact with Brian, our coordinator, who stayed ahead to ensure everything went smoothly. Patient, personable and well versed in all things Disney, Tracy shared trivia, helpful hints and background information along the way, like giving Toy Story Midway Mania! point-scoring tips and pointing out a hidden Mickey in the flamingo pool on Kilimanjaro Safaris. What a fascinating window into the magic.

In all, we enjoyed 11 attractions in three parks — with plenty of sunshine left at the end to go exploring on our own — accomplishing a lot but never feeling rushed. A steady pace kept us on schedule. It’s a unique, specialized way to splurge on yourself and loved ones, especially if you’re pressed for time.

And though designed with mild thrills for families with children under 10 years old, don’t let the name fool you. The Ultimate Day for Young Families is not just for the little ones. In fact, Tracy said adults frequently enjoy the tour sans kids. In other words, everyone’s the right age. Because fun never goes out of style.

This unforgettable guided adventure (that feels intimate since there is one Tour Guide per every 10 people) through some of your kids’ (and your) favorites while spending less time in line is worth the memories. Heck, maybe you’ll discover something new in the process. I did. Okay, I admit it: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin was a first for me. What a blast (pun intended)! No wonder it’s so popular.

The tour is offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays and lasts six to seven hours. Attractions and entertainment offerings subject to change. The cost is $299 per person, plus tax (theme park admission not included). Call 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687) for reservations. You can also access the online VIP Tour Services brochure here for more info

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, FastPass+, Magic Kingdom, MyMagic+, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Preview of New Disney Parks Collection | PANDORA Jewelry Coming in March 2015

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


A few weeks ago, I promised a look at some new charms items from the Disney Parks Collection | PANDORA, which will launch in multiple merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts on March 12. The new charms will join the previously released jewelry collection that features hand-finished .925 sterling silver and 14K gold charms inspired by some of Disney’s most beloved characters and icons. Here’s a preview of some new items created especially for Disney Parks.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Takes Over Popular YouTube Channel What’s Up Moms for Vacation Week

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Not too long ago, YouTube sensations What’s Up Moms visited Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, for a family vacation. While at the Travel + Leisure Number 1 Top Family Hotel in the United States, the moms decided to have a little fun by shooting a parody video, featuring a new spin on a familiar hit song. This one takes a humorous look at some of the funny challenges parents can face when trying to capture a “perfect family photo” to share with friends and family. Enjoy the video below, and if you find yourself laughing at some of same familiar themes, then leave us a comment below about the time you might have tried “Livin’ for the Share.”

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Filed: Aulani

Disney Parks Blog Readers Invited to Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort

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


Hear ye, lords and ladies! By royal decree, Disney Parks Blog readers are invited to attend a grand celebration of Disney’s new live-action film, “Cinderella”! Your presence is requested the evening of Wednesday, March 4, for Disney’s “Cinderella” Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

New Cinderella Premium Popcorn Bucket Coming to Disney Parks

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


It looks like Fairy Godmother has turned a popcorn scoop into Cinderella’s carriage!

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

Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrate Animals and Nature throughout the Year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Allyson Atkins, Education Manager, Disney's Animals, Science and Environment


In addition to celebrating with us as at our Spring Forward event, don’t forget to mark your calendars for more fun wildlife and nature inspired events heading your way!

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

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows are Designed with Your Needs in Mind

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


So far I’ve offered you a look at the pull-down bed feature, as well as the spacious interior, of the Deluxe Studio villas at the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, which is currently under construction. Now I’ll show you some ways in which these accommodations will go beyond simply sleeping your family comfortably, but also make getting ready a relative breeze (depending on just how much time your loved ones spend in front of the mirror) thanks to their ingenious split bath design.

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Filed: Disney Vacation Club, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

March 2015 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


If you are planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort this March, here are a few quick tips on some of the merchandise events you don’t want to miss!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Hotels & Resorts