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A Galaxy of ALEX AND ANI Bangles to Debut at Disney Parks

posted on February 11th, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Disney fans, you are not going to believe it! I just got the inside scoop on new additions to the Star Wars-inspired collection from ALEX AND ANI debuting at Disney Parks.

Launching February 15 are expandable wire bangles featuring classic Star Wars characters and phrases including Yoda, “Do Or Do Not… There Is No Try,” and Princess Leia and Han Solo, “I Love You. I Know.” Both of these pieces will come in RAFAELIAN GOLD and RAFAELIAN SILVER finishes.

A Galaxy of ALEX AND ANI Bangles to Debut at Disney Parks

It doesn’t stop there – releasing the same day is a buffed epoxy expandable wire bangle featuring one of the most famous lines of all, “May The Force Be With You,” in Shiny Silver and Shiny Gold finishes. Yes, you heard it right. Take a look!

A Galaxy of ALEX AND ANI Bangles to Debut at Disney Parks

I am curious how many of you chose an alliance when we debuted the Star Wars symbol bangles in December? I ended up joining the ranks of the Rebellion. Are you surprised? For those of you wondering what I’m talking about, check them out for yourselves.

A Galaxy of ALEX AND ANI Bangles to Debut at Disney Parks

Available in RAFAELIAN GOLD and RAFAELIAN SILVER finishes, these bangles feature the Rebellion symbol, the Imperial symbol and the Jedi symbol. Where do your loyalties lie?

Her highness, Princess Leia, also accompanied the symbols. Depicted with her signature hairstyle and robe, she’s ready to take on the dark side. Choose from RAFAELIAN GOLD or RAFAELIAN SILVER finishes.

A Galaxy of ALEX AND ANI Bangles to Debut at Disney Parks

Find them at the galactic outposts below:

Disneyland Resort

  • Disney California Adventure park – Elias & Co.
  • Disneyland park – New Century Jewelry
  • Downtown Disney DistrictDisney Vault 28 and World of Disney Store
  • Walt Disney World Resort

    Tip: Bangles will be available online on or around the same dates as they debut at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort merchandise locations.

    Are you excited for these new additions? Which one is your favorite?

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    Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Springs, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

    New Lion Guard Adventure Begins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    posted on February 10th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


    Starting this week, young guests can embark on a quest to become honorary members of the Lion Guard in a new Disney’s Animal Kingdom adventure inspired by Disney Junior’s animated series “The Lion Guard.”

    New Lion Guard Adventure Begins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    “The Lion Guard” follows Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala. Kion and his friends represent the Pride Lands’ as The Lion Guard, a group made up of the fiercest, bravest, fastest, strongest and keenest of sight.

    The new Lion Guard Adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom sends young explorers on a park-wide search for the five Lion Guard characters: Kion, the fierce leader of the Lion Guard; Bunga, a brave and fearless honey badger; Fuli, a confident cheetah; Beshte, a friendly and good-natured hippo; and Ono, an intellectual egret.

    The fun begins when guests pick up a “Lion Guard Adventure Map,” which are available in select merchandise locations. Kids search for character statues hidden in themed locations throughout the park that represent each animal. At each stop, there’s a Lion Guard banner and a sign with the character’s attribute, so you’re sure you’ve found the right place. Once all five character traits are discovered, cast members at Rafiki’s Planet Watch officially induct youngsters into the Lion Guard with a special pledge, fun activities, and a Lion Guard Button identifying them as honorary members. Rafiki also joins the newest inductees for a photo.

    What do you think? Will you try this out next time you’re at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

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    Valentine’s DIY: Make Disney Bride & Groom Candy Apples from Walt Disney World Resort

    posted on February 1st, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


    Walt Disney World Resort’s candy shops offer a wide range of treats that are as delightful for the eye as they are for the tummy. We’ve previously shared tutorials on how you can recreate some of their bestselling items right in your own home, including Minnie Witch Candy Apples, Olaf Marshmallow Treats and more.

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    This month we’re back with a look at candy apples that make perfect surprises for lovebirds – the Mickey Groom and Minnie Bride Apples. Here’s a fun fact: while you may not normally see these designs stocking the shelves at our candy shops, guests can ask to have a Mickey Groom or Minnie Bride Apple made for them right on the spot! What a way to celebrate an engagement, wedding or honeymoon.

    Check out the tutorial above, in which Candy Cauldron Confectioner Bryanna gives us step-by-step directions on bringing this sweet duo to life.

    See the posts below for more DIY projects:

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    #DisneyTweens: Disney Channel Star’s Perfect Disney Day

    posted on January 28th, 2016 by Raquel Giorgio, Public Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


    As a parent of an older child, perhaps you wonder if a vacation to Walt Disney World Resort is still as special and magical as when they were younger. I can honestly tell you that my tween daughter would LIVE at Walt Disney World Resort if there wasn’t school or gymnastics practice getting in the way. But don’t just take it from me!

    Tween favorite Peyton List, star of “Bunk’d” on the Disney Channel, adores Walt Disney World Resort! Just a few weeks ago, she came to visit with her mom, dad and brothers and she shared some of her favorite things to do while at Walt Disney World Resort. First on the list … go shopping at a Disney retail shop to find Minnie Mouse ears to match her outfit. A girl can’t be too coordinated!

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    Then, it’s time for an encounter at the new Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where she shares a smooch with Chewbacca on the Light Side. She also found some First Order Storm Troopers for a photo opp.

    Peyton claims she’s a “daredevil” and tries to ride all of the roller coasters and wild rides in all four theme parks. There’s certainly many to choose from … including Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Test Track at Epcot.

    When hunger strikes, it’s time to snack on a soft serve pineapple Dole Whip from Adventureland in Magic Kingdom Park. It hits the spot for her every time and she says she can’t visit Walt Disney World Resort without indulging in the creamy, sweet treat!

    After all the thrills and adventures, Peyton ends her Disney day with “Wishes” nighttime spectacular at Magic Kingdom Park. With all those dazzling and brilliant fireworks bursting above and around Cinderella Castle, it’s just the perfect kiss goodnight!

    I bet your older child would agree … Walt Disney World Resort is still the place to be!

    For more information on planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort with your tween, check out www.disneyworld.com/Tweens.

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    Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

    Wildlife Wednesday: Here’s an Update on Native Gopher Tortoise ‘Wheels’

    posted on January 27th, 2016 by Dr. Mark Penning, Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


    Wheels face

    Remember Wheels, the native gopher tortoise who found himself at our veterinary hospital? A car-strike injury to his shell made it difficult for him to move around, and our team attached LEGO blocks with wheels to the bottom of his shell to help him walk. Of course, his nickname “Wheels” soon followed.

    Wheels healed well, and I am proud to report that he is now back in the wild. We attached a telemetry device to his shell so we can track his whereabouts and make sure that he is coping out there. This kind of data is very valuable to our conservation team and helps us learn much more about this protected species.

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    Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

    posted on January 24th, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


    This week, our blog coverage of Disney Parks included an update on an unforgettable act of kindness that led to a dream come true and a special visit to the Walt Disney World Resort.

    You may remember the story of two college students who started an effort to raise money and surprise Kathryn Thompson, a beloved cafeteria worker at Acorn University in Elon, NC, with a trip to Walt Disney World. This past week, Kathryn traveled to Florida for her dream vacation and a surprise reunion with the two students who made it happen. Check out Bob’s original story for more details

    We also let you know that in Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll soon be able to explore a new exhibit that delves into some of the behind-the-scenes research that went into the production of Disney’s upcoming comedic adventure “Zootopia.”

    The ‘Zootopia’ exhibit opens January 29 inside Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Shawn has all of the details in his original story.

    Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

    #DisneyGrandAdventure: Magical Memories for Multi-Generation Families at Walt Disney World Resort – Keep checking the blog for #DisneyGrandAdventure posts in the months to come and learn more about the Grand Adventure for Grandparents & Grandkids here.

    When I See an Elephant Fly … from the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park – Disneyland Resort fans know that our attractions need a bit of scrubbing and polishing every now and then. But when the attraction in question is the world famous Jungle Cruise, and the scrubbing and polishing involves one rather hefty bull elephant … well then, you just call in a helicopter.

    Retired U.S. Coast Guard Engineer Andy Fitzgerald to be Saluted at Disneyland Resort Flag Retreat Ceremony January 24 – Today we will extend a special thank you during the daily flag retreat ceremony at Disneyland park to Andy Fitzgerald, one of four U.S. Coast Guardsmen who went out to sea to rescue the crew of the SS Pendleton in 1952.

    Disneyland Diamond Days Winner Enjoys Private Breakfast in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park – Recently, Disneyland Diamond Days winner Simon Dawson from Thousand Oaks, Calif., and his family enjoyed a private breakfast in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland park, along with a ride on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. The morning got even more magical when Roger Rabbit himself joined them for a visit!

    Space Mountain-Themed Products Are Clear for Launch at Disney Parks – One of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World Resort is Space Mountain because I’ve dreamed of being an astronaut. This classic Disney attraction in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park opened on January 15, 1975.

    Kids Remember Their Disney Cruise – What are the things you remember most from your first Disney cruise? In this video, we talked with some of our youngest cruisers to hear what they had to say. Check it out!

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    Discover the Real World Research Behind Walt Disney Animation Studios’ ‘Zootopia’ in a New Exhibit Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    posted on January 20th, 2016 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


    In Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll soon be able to explore a new exhibit that delves into some of the behind-the-scenes research that went into the production of Disney’s upcoming comedic adventure “Zootopia.”

    At Walt Disney Animation Studios, the journey in making every film begins with research. In order to create the rich and engaging modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia and its wide variety of animal inhabitants, the filmmakers spent 18 months studying animals and their habitats. Their very first stop was Disney’s Animal Kingdom in March 2014, where they worked closely with the park’s team of animal care professionals.

    “Research is such an important part of every animated film we make at Disney, and for ‘Zootopia’ our research began at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to meet with some of the best animal experts in the world,” said Clark Spencer, the Oscar®-nominated producer of “Zootopia.” “Everything that we learned about animal behaviors, personalities and movement our artists incorporated into the world of ‘Zootopia,’ and to now be able to share those discoveries and influences with the guests at the park is truly a full circle moment.”

    The ‘Zootopia’ exhibit opens January 29 inside Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Beginning this week, you can also catch our special sneak preview of scenes from “Zootopia,” giving you an advance look at several clips from the upcoming film. The sneak peek opens as part of the One Man’s Dream attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Thursday, January 21, and comes to the Bug’s Life Theater at Disney California Adventure park this Friday, January 22.

    Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia,” directed by Byron Howard (“Tangled,” “Bolt”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Simpsons”) and co-directed by Jared Bush (“Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero”), opens in theaters on March 4 in 3D.

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    Celebrating National Popcorn Day at Disney Parks and Resorts

    posted on January 19th, 2016 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


    January 19 is National Popcorn Day, and at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, we’re celebrating everything popcorn—from the sight of bright yellow kernels is an iconic Disney Parks popcorn sleeve or souvenir bucket to the smell of salt and butter filling the air as you walk by a popcorn cart. Is there anything better than strolling down Main Street U.S.A. with a snack of piping hot popcorn?

    To celebrate one of my favorite food holidays, I’m sharing a first look at a brand new souvenir popcorn bucket that will be coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests will be able to purchase the lotus popcorn bucket later this year. But that’s not all, this bucket also lights up, becoming a beautiful luminary.

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    On the West Coast, guests can look for a second edition of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 60th Anniversary bucket, available now. The bucket is available in red, blue and purple, but we’ve added that ‘Disneyland’ banner everyone knows and loves on Mickey Popcorn Balloons.

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    Did you know Walt Disney Parks and Resorts guests enjoy more than 540,000 pounds of popcorn annually? Recently, Pop Secret was named the official popcorn of Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, meaning our popcorn carts all sell hot, fresh Pop Secret-brand popcorn—YUM! Look for new Pop Secret co-branded popcorn scoops to arrive at Disney Parks later in 2016.

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    How are you celebrating National Popcorn Day? Let us know in the comments below!

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    Wildlife Wednesday: Meet Willie the Aardvark at Rafiki’s Planet Watch

    posted on January 13th, 2016 by Dr. Mark Penning, Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


    I’m delighted to introduce you to Willie, a new resident at Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Willie is an aardvark that frequents the outdoor stage next to Affection Section where I hope you get the chance to meet and learn more about him in person.

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    Animal keeper Julie has spent a lot of time with Willie as he acclimates to his new home and she already has lots of interesting and fun stories to share about Willie. One of Julie’s most memorable moments happened when Willie first walked into Affection Section and every goat and sheep turned their attention to the new arrival. As Julie explained to me, “They were all very interested and lined up at the fence to check him out. It was just as enriching for us [cast members] as it was for all of them.”

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    Although Willie generally focuses on learning new skills and exploring his world in the late afternoon, he sometimes decides to sleep through training time. (I’m usually ready for a nap around that time, too!) Willie’s behavior and preferred schedule is completely fine because all of the animals can choose whether they wish to participate in activities or not.

    As much as Willie loves to sleep, he seems to like to eat even more, especially bugs, bananas and avocados. On occasion, he’ll get honeycomb larvae as a special treat.

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    In the pictures above, you may notice Willie is wearing a harness. This common practice is for Willie’s safety during the early stages of training, and while he’s getting used to the environment at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

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    In the wild, aardvarks can most commonly be found roaming throughout Africa, south of the Sahara. Because of their nocturnal nature, you typically will see them only at night. Aardvark populations are declining because of human habitat infringement and illegal hunting in the wild. They are hunted mainly for their prized meat, but also for their skin, claws and teeth which are used to make jewelry and some traditional medicine.

    Learn more about some of the animals you can visit at the Walt Disney World Resort at DisneyAnimals.com.

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    Thrills Await at Expedition Everest

    posted on January 12th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


    This week’s “Good Morning” shot was snapped at Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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    In this attraction, Himalayan Escapes – Tours and Expeditions whisks guests on a tour through the icy and towering Mount Everest. But beware the Yeti, the legendary protector of the mountain!

    Is Everest a must-do for you?

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