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Disney Parks Blog Celebrates the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park: Then and Now…

posted on May 20th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’re continuing our special image series “Then and Now” with a look at how Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort has changed over the years. Scroll back and forth to see both views.

When Magic Kingdom Park opened in 1971, Tomorrowland featured Grand Prix Raceway, Flight to the Moon, the Skyway to Fantasyland and the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. Over the next few years, other attractions were added, including Star Jets, Space Mountain and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.

Tomorrowland underwent a major redesign in 1995, when Walt Disney Imagineers changed the land’s theming to be inspired by science fiction instead of scientific fact. This change brought attractions like The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, The Timekeeper, etc., as well as a new Tomorrowland entrance marker.

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

Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrate and Learn More About Turtles at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 20th, 2015 by Blair Witherington, Senior Sea Turtle Biologist


Tomorrow is World Turtle Day®! To celebrate, we’ll have activities to satisfy your curiosity and inspire conservation of these magnificent animals.

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At Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can try on a turtle shell, see how biologists find gopher tortoises in their underground burrows, learn how to best keep turtles as pets, attempt to untangle a plush sea turtle from fishing line using only your “flippers” and much more! At the Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot, you’ll be able to step through a turtle-excluder device. TEDs are special devices fishermen use in a trawl net to allow turtles an escape route if they are accidentally caught. You can also play interactive games to learn about the threats turtles face, while our sea turtles swim behind you in our 5.7 million-gallon tank. At both locations, you will have opportunities to ask specialists about our turtles and what they need to survive.

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In honor of the holiday, we have an exclusive Disney Parks Blog update from our Conservation Team. Many of you may remember last year’s Tour de Turtles at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort during which we attached satellite transmitters to two female loggerhead sea turtles that came ashore at the resort to lay their eggs. Affectionately named Anna and Elsa after our favorite “Frozen” Arendelle royals, the two ladies have been travelling hundreds of miles since we watched them return to the sea last summer.

Anna, the smaller of the two, had healed scars on her shell from an old boat-propeller injury. Ever resilient, Anna was able to swim in the Tour de Turtles. Because each turtle in Tour de Turtles is connected to an issue that threatens sea turtles, Anna swam to raise awareness about the threat of light pollution. Bright beachfront lighting from buildings and streetlights can deter nesting females and draw hatchling turtles away from the ocean, which is very dangerous for them.

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With a crowd of well-wishers cheering her on, Anna crawled down the beach at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and back into the Atlantic Ocean. For about a week, Anna swam and drifted within Florida’s coastal waters and then headed south along the coast of eastern Florida. This means that the nest she made in late July was her last of the season. If Anna was like most loggerheads, this would have been her fifth nest!

Anna’s travels south took her to Key West, where she looped around the island and settled into a beautiful shallow seagrass pasture just north of the popular tourist destination. (Perhaps it reminded her of Arendelle?) Anna’s journey has totaled 661 miles!

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Elsa, the larger of the two female loggerheads, has a 40-inch long shell—that’s the height of an average 4-year old human! Elsa is swimming to raise awareness about the troubling amount of plastic debris in our oceans that many turtles mistake for food.

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After Elsa left Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, she drifted for a few weeks within Florida’s offshore waters and eventually headed south. Like Anna, Elsa also swam toward Key West, but soon found her own path. She turned south to cross the Florida current toward Cuba. The strong, Gulf Stream current must have diverted her to the east, which put her on course for the Cay Sal Bank, a rich area of shallow seagrass between the United States and Cuba. This is where Elsa stayed for several months, until just recently when she looped closer to Cuba and back toward Cay Sal. Elsa’s journey has totaled 1,929 miles! That’s the distance from Orlando to Nova Scotia!

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Want to learn more about turtles and our work to help conserve them? If you’re staying at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort this summer during nesting season, you can participate in a turtle night walk, during which you may see a female sea turtle lay her eggs on the beach! You can also check out our next Tour de Turtles event August 1 at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and don’t forget to celebrate turtles for World Turtle Day and every day at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and The Seas with Nemo & Friends!

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

Watch Premiere Performances of ‘Paint the Night’ Parade and ‘Disneyland Forever’ Fireworks and Disneyland Resort 24-Hour Event LIVE on Disney Parks Blog

posted on May 19th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


New 'Paint the Night' Parade Coming to Disneyland Park New 'Paint the Night' Parade Coming to Disneyland Park New 'Paint the Night' Parade Coming to Disneyland Park

If you’re not one of the lucky Disney Parks Blog readers to join us for the premiere performances of “Paint the Night” parade and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks at Disneyland park on May 21, don’t worry! We will webcast both performances LIVE here on the Disney Parks Blog that evening.

You will be able to choose between four different views – two overlooking Sleeping Beauty Castle and two on Main Street, U.S.A. – all complete with sound! Check back here at approximately 8:30 p.m. PDT to watch “Paint the Night” parade and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks live from Disneyland park.

And come back bright and early the next morning for our live webcasts from the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-hour event! In addition to the four views from inside Disneyland park, we will be adding two more inside Disney California Adventure park: from Cars Land and Paradise Pier. Follow along with all the fun from at home!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Honoring Disney’s Electrical Parade Heritage in the All-New ‘Paint the Night’ Parade at Disneyland Park

posted on May 19th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


When the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration kicks off May 22, one of the brightest gems promises to be the new, state-of-the-art “Paint the Night” parade. This dazzling nighttime procession is led by Tinker Bell flying in a magical, musical overture, spreading pixie dust along the Disneyland parade route. Right on her tail (but never growing up!) is Peter Pan, perched high atop an enormous drum inspired by a float from the classic “Main Street Electrical Parade.”

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Richard M. Sherman’s Tribute to Walt Disney in ‘Disneyland Forever’ Fireworks at Disneyland Park

posted on May 19th, 2015 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations


I had the pleasure of interviewing Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman again recently, this time for his work on the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, new for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. It’s such an honor every time I get a chance to chat with him. He’s as nice as you would imagine!

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Favorite Musical Groups Sing New Tunes for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

posted on May 19th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Beginning May 22, three of our most popular musical groups will be joining in the excitement of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, with the addition of some delightful, celebration-inspired enhancements in their performances.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Join Us for Breakfast, ‘Tomorrowland’ & 24-Hours at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 19th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’re kicking off this year’s 24-hour celebration in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort with a special sweepstakes – a chance to win a prize that’ll include admission to 24 hours of fun at Magic Kingdom Park, a special breakfast and a screening of Disney’s “Tomorrowland” film on the same day it’s released in theaters, May 22, 2015.

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

Favorite Recipe from New Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on May 19th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Harambe Market opens May 23 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and if you can’t be here for the debut, we’re sharing one of our favorite recipes from the new location.

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

Experiencing the Incredible Sights and Tastes of Maui on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 19th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Now that I’ve given you suggestions for adventures on both the Big Island and Kaua‘i, let’s look at what you can do in Maui during your Disney Hawaiian cruise. Our call on Kahului gives you access to explore the many famous parts of the island, including pristine rainforests and beaches, Haleakalā National Park and the twisting road to Hana.

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Fuel Your 24-Hour Party Fun at Magic Kingdom Park on May 22

posted on May 18th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


We’re gearing up to have the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort, and what better way to kick it off than with a 24-Hour party at Magic Kingdom Park?

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