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Live Updates from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Presentation at 2015 D23 EXPO

posted on August 15th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort

The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at the 2015 D23 EXPO has concluded! Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog over the next few days for more details on these new and exciting experiences.

The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at the D23 EXPO 2015 is underway! We’re excited to share the news as Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announces new attractions and entertainment, part of the unprecedented growth at Disney Parks around the world. While the guests inside Hall D23 will be the first to hear the news, we will provide live updates here. Keep an eye on this space!


Guests at Epcot in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California will journey to far-flung lands, fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and soar over man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its debut next year.


Iron Man Experience Coming to Hong Kong Disneyland

Iron Man just landed for a special appearance at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation! Soon Hong Kong Disneyland guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the Super Hero himself when Iron Man Experience opens in 2016.


As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will invite guests into the world of AVATAR, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.

Pandora – The World of AVATAR Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

  • Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land.
  • AVATAR Flight of Passage – The centerpiece of Pandora – The World of AVATAR, brings guests into one of the most thrilling scenes from the film, in which they will soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world.
  • “Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live performers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.
  • Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.


The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with the all-new 11-acre Toy Story Land. Guests will become part of the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard, including two new Disney Parks attractions and one expanded favorite.

Toy Story Land Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

  • Family-friendly roller coaster – This coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a thrilling, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land on the back of Slinky Dog.
  • Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers.
  • Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds an additional track to this popular attraction.


Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek just reminded fans in Hall D23 of the all-new Star Wars-themed lands that are coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, announced by Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger earlier today. Chapek also shared more information about new Star Wars experiences coming to both resorts, some starting late this year.

The worlds, stories and characters of the Star Wars galaxy will come to life through new and enhanced experiences at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.

Star Wars Launch Bay Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park

Star Wars Launch Bay – Opening later this year, this interactive experience will take guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland park in California into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as the first six films in the Star Wars saga.

Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment, themed food locations and Hyperspace Mountain – a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. Disney’s Hollywood Studios will feature a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies on weekend nights.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland park in California will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Inside the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion at the D23 EXPO 2015

posted on August 14th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort

The D23 EXPO 2015 is underway! In the video below, we take you inside the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion for a look at some of the new and exciting things coming at Disney Parks around the world. See what makes Shanghai Disney Resort “authentically Disney, distinctly Chinese” and get a peek at the world of AVATAR, coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort!

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more coverage from D23 EXPO 2015 and join the conversation with the hashtag #D23EXPO.

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Plan Your Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Vacation Now

posted on August 12th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

Are you considering taking a trip to Walt Disney World Resort during the holiday season? Today we’re excited to share our list of holiday happenings with you. Read on.


Magic Kingdom Park
The holidays will return to Magic Kingdom Park on November 8, with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This year the park will host 20 party nights: November 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 29; and December 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 18. Parties begin at 7 p.m. and include Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas! Dance Party, Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks and much more. Buy tickets now at

Epcot’s Holidays Around the World and Candlelight Processional will return to the park November 27-December 30. Holidays Around the World brings the international pavilions alive with holiday cheer, including a Christkindlmarkt in the Germany pavilion and performances by Joyful! gospel. The Candlelight Processional, a show that combines the reading of traditional scripture with live music, is performed three times nightly at 5, 6:45 and 8 p.m.


Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will return to the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from November 6, 2015 through January 3, 2016. This holiday offering transforms this part of the park with millions of glittering lights, mobile displays and holiday music. It’s also included in theme park admission.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
During the holiday season, guests will be able to take holiday photos with Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost at the park. Mickey and Minnie will be dressed in their holiday best, which makes for the perfect Christmas card image.

If you’re planning a visit during the holiday season, don’t forget to check out our latest offers. The Magic Together Fall Vacation Package is a 4-day/4-night room and theme park ticket package in a standard room at Disney’s All-Star Resorts for a family of four starting at $1,701. For more information, visit

Families can also save up to 25 percent on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels most nights October 4 through November 24, 2015 and November 28 through December 23, 2015. For more information, visit

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Our Top 5 Walt Disney World Resort Favorites for National S’Mores Day Aug. 10

posted on August 10th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Ah, summertime, the perfect excuse to celebrate the ultimate campfire dessert: delectable layers of crunchy graham crackers, warm chocolate and roasted marshmallows. In honor of National S’Mores Day on Aug. 10, we’ve chosen our Top 5 creative takes on this ooey, gooey treat.


  1. Gibson’s S’mores Baked Alaska at The Boathouse, Disney Springs. This newcomer features a ginormous dessert – chocolate ice cream studded with marshmallows in a graham cracker crust, frosted with marshmallow cream. This hybrid sweet feeds a family of four. Or more.
  2. This one has a lot of fans – the Wagon Wheel Chocolate S’mores from Whispering Canyon Café with warm dark chocolate sauce and marshmallow gelato. If you prefer to sip your s’more, step next door for a S’mores Latte from Territory Lounge at Wilderness Lodge – a marshmallow-chocolate drink you can order hot or over ice.
  3. Campers are only steps from the Trail’s S’mores at Trail’s End at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, a creation with warm chocolate cake, graham cracker crumbs and marshmallow gelato – but you can only get it at lunch. (Or make your own s’mores with supplies from Chuckwagon near the Meadow Swimming Hole around the campfire when the sun goes down.)
  4. The S’mores Chocolate Tarte from Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort takes a simple approach with a chocolate tart, graham cracker crust, a dab of marshmallow and chocolate sauce.
  5. Just for little ones, Savanna S’mores are a favorite on the kids’ menu at Sanaa at Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: layers of chocolate pudding, marshmallow fluff and toasted graham crackers. Oh to be young again.

Share your favorite Disney s’more!

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Caption This: It’s Dino Time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

posted on August 10th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

This tiny dinosaur may look familiar to you if you’ve been through DinoLand, U.S.A., at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He tops off the TriceraTop Spin attraction.


He sure is up high. What caption would you give this photo? Leave yours in the comments section below!

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#CoolestSummer Ever: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Cool

posted on August 7th, 2015 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group

There are more ways to enjoy the coolness of Disney’s Animal Kingdom than simply standing in the shadow of an elephant (and we can’t promise you can do that). Here are a few more refreshing options:


Finding Nemo—The Musical. This is my personal favorite thing in the whole Park. Before they wrote the Oscar and Grammy-winning music for Disney’s “Frozen“, Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez were already treating Walt Disney World Resort guests to their catchy, clever, melody-rich songs in this marvelous show, featuring a multi-talented cast of performers and delightful puppetry. Best of all, there’s an original cast album you can purchase in select Park and Resort shops or download on iTunes.

It’s Tough to Be a Bug! This 3-D comedy romp isn’t as flashy as some other attractions—mostly because it’s tucked beneath the Tree of Life—so like Alice, you have to wander down curious passageways to get to this buggy wonderland. It’s based on Disney•Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life“, so you’ll see good ol’ Flik along with as bad ol’ Hopper. The posters in the queue area are a hoot—spoofs of Broadway shows with insect twists If you listen carefully, you can name the tunes sung by the little tiny creature chorale.

DINOSAUR. This is my kids’ favorite Disney’s Animal Kingdom attraction. To them, no visit is complete without their taking a wild ride through time, dodging more dinos than Captain Caveman. We’re a Doctor Who fan family and appreciate being able to go back in time without a Tardis (though it’s fun to pretend that the phone booths at the Epcot U.K. pavilion are, like the Tardis, bigger on the inside than on the outside).


Festival of the Lion King. If you haven’t seen this magnificent show since it moved into a nice “new house” in Harambe Village, it’s cooler than ever in more ways than one. The exuberant performers, high-flying acrobatics and the Lion King characters make this an experience that is not only cool, but downright spirit-lifting.

Kali River Rapids. Getting splashed and spritzed with water is nature’s way to refresh and renew in the warm summer months. On Kali River Rapids, as you go bobbing along through the rapids where you get along swimmingly, your fellow park guests, perched upon strategically located bridge areas along the way, often add to the liquid sunshine by spraying you with water. It’s people helping people helping people. Isn’t that nice?

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Summertime Update About Retail MagicBands and Accessories at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 7th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


As the “Coolest Summer Ever” continues at Walt Disney World Resort, I wanted to give you an update about several new retail MagicBands and accessories. These items are a great way to show your Disney Side during your vacation. Here is a look at some of my favorites.


The open edition retail MagicBands featuring Steamboat Willie and characters from Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” are currently available in select merchandise locations.

On August 14, we will release two additional open edition retail MagicBands. One will have Winnie the Pooh while the other will feature Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Open edition retail MagicBands have a retail of $19.95 each. Like all other retail MagicBands, these open edition items can be linked later making them great gifts.


At the beginning of the year, we released a retail MagicBand with an image of Cinderella Castle from Magic Kingdom Park. Later this month, we will have three additional open edition retail MagicBands for Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I’m thrilled to see Figment on the Epcot-themed MagicBand!


Some of the coolest MagicBand accessories I’ve seen are the attraction-themed MagicSliders. These small rectangular images easily slide onto the side of a MagicBand. They are a great way to either showcase your favorite Disney attractions or to keep track of which ones you’ve experienced.

Attraction-Themed MagicSliders Available at Walt Disney World Resort Attraction-Themed MagicSliders Available at Walt Disney World Resort

There are three attraction sliders per MagicSlider pack. Look for three different packs of Magic Kingdom Park attractions, and two packs each for attractions at Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Each pack has a retail of $6.95.

Finally, we are now offering some of the Disney character MagicBands including Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck on our Disney Parks online store. You can find them along with select MagicBand accessories by visiting this page.

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#DisneyFamilia: Celebridades Enjoy Magical Vacations at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 5th, 2015 by Sarah Domenech, International Public Relations Manager

What do a soccer player, a rock star and an actress have in common? They know where to vacation with their families: Walt Disney World Resort!

Recently, we spotted the following celebrities enjoying time with their familias and taking a break from their busy schedules to visit our theme parks, where they took photos with their favorite Disney characters, rode iconic attractions and had lots of diversión (fun).


Fher, lead singer of the rock band Maná, visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom, su parque favorito en Disney (his favorite Disney theme park) and posed with Rafiki. Fher, director of the nature conservation organization Selva Negra, is the Spanish narrator of the Disneynature film “Planet Earth.”


Colombian soccer star Radamel Falcao García met Minnie Mouse at Magic Kingdom Park with his princesas (princesses): wife Lorelai and daughters Dominique and Desirée. The girls were crazy about meeting Minnie and they even wore the famous pink Minnie ears during the encuentro (encounter)!


Many won’t recognize the name of Carmen Sarahí, but they may have heard her voice plenty of times in the Latin-American version of “Frozen.” The singer and actress recently visited Walt Disney World Resort to enjoy all that Frozen Summer Fun offers to our guest. She even got to sing to Olaf, her favorite snowman!

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#DisneyKids: First Train Ride at Disney Parks

posted on July 24th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager

Walt Disney was a huge train enthusiast, which is why you can find unique railroads for all ages at every Disney Park around the world. There’s something about riding a train that seems to fascinate young children and as the parent of little ones, I appreciate the relaxing downtime a train around the park provides.

It all starts with the Monorail! When staying at some Walt Disney World Resort hotels, you can just pop outside to the Monorail to get to Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot. It’s just a convenient form of transportation, it feels like an attraction in itself.

The iconic Walt Disney World Railroad is a favorite of my family because the 20-minute, 1.5-mile trip aboard an authentic steam-powered train allows you to take in the scenery throughout Magic Kingdom Park. Trains arrive every few minutes so kids won’t need to wait long, and there are convenient nearby stroller parking areas at each stop. Check out this video with one of our preschool-aged guests as he takes his first train ride – his enthusiasm is contagious!

Also at Magic Kingdom Park, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is a breezy, 10-minute tour through Tomorrowland. My kids love the birds-eye view they get from the elevated track.

Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, the Wildlife Express Train combines two things kids love – trains and animals. Board the rustic locomotive for a 1.2-mile trip to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, where kids can learn more about wild animals, conservation efforts and even meet a few furry friends.

All Aboard!

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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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