He sure is up high. What caption would you give this photo? Leave yours in the comments section below!
posted on August 10th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
posted on July 22nd, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator
Tomorrow is National Hot Dog Day, but at Disney Parks we celebrate year-round! Did you know Walt Disney Parks and Resorts guests enjoy more than 6.4 million hot dogs annually? In honor of National Hot Dog Day, I’m sharing my Top 5 hot dogs from coast to coast:
- Macaroni & Cheese Hot Dog (Restaurantosaurus, Disney’s Animal Kingdom): This dog is topped with creamy macaroni and cheese and bacon bits, sure to satisfy your prehistoric hunger.
- Vegetarian Portobello-Mushroom Philly (Award Wieners, Disney California Adventure park): Even carnivores will love this dish with grilled Portobello, onions and bell peppers sautéed in Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale and topped with pepper jack cheese.
- Frankfurter in a Pretzel Roll (Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner, Disney’s Hollywood Studios): This dog is perfect when you’re on the go, the Dijon mustard inside the roll will help keep you mess-free for your silver screen debut.
- Chili-Cheese Dog (Refreshment Corner, Disneyland park): Combining Walt Disney’s love for chili with an all-American hot dog, this classic might be the perfect Disneyland tribute.
- Barbecued Pork and Coleslaw Gourmet Hot Dog (Casey’s Corner, Magic Kingdom Park): Topped with barbecued pulled pork and refreshing coleslaw, this hearty dog begs to be enjoyed picnic-style in the new Hub grass area.
How will you celebrate National Hot Dog Day?
posted on July 22nd, 2015 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks
In the past, I have shared with you many examples of the excellent care our team of professionals gives the animals you see at Walt Disney World Resort. We also help rehabilitate native wildlife, which includes birds, snakes, armadillos, manatees and more.
Recently, we began caring for a native gopher tortoise. While we don’t know how he was injured, we believe he might have been hit by an automobile. Our veterinarians, veterinary technicians, hospital keepers, and wildlife interns have been working closely with this gopher tortoise during the past month.
The tortoise sustained an injury to the back of his shell that also affected his back legs. After brainstorming different ideas to help him maneuver better, a suggestion was made about giving him wheels. But how?
One of our veterinarians attached LEGO blocks with an animal-friendly epoxy resin reinforced with tape to the bottom of his shell. Within minutes, the tortoise we are now calling Wheels began walking across the hospital floor. It was a success!
Hospital keepers Jennifer Holmes and Jen Hershey act as mentors to our Wildlife Hospital professional interns, Tori D’Amico and Brandon Waldron. They all continue to monitor Wheels to make sure he is comfortable and able to move around. The team expects Wheels to stay with them for a while as his health improves. Wheels’ wheels will be modified throughout his healing process to ensure the best fit. When the team feels confident that he is fully healed and able to be released into the wild, they will remove his wheels.
The gopher tortoise is a protected species, native to the southeastern United States. These tortoises dig deep burrows that are sometimes filled in by land developments and construction. The gopher tortoise is also a keystone species because other animals, such as snakes and eastern indigos, also live in their burrows.
The next time you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you might be able to catch a glimpse of Wheels at Rafiki’s Planet Watch in the on-stage procedure room!
posted on July 20th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator
Exploring Disney’s Animal Kingdom can really work up an appetite, especially after conquering Expedition Everest and traveling on Kilimanjaro Safaris. Luckily, there are some new snacks and a few favorites to tide you over until dinner.
The newly revamped Gardens Kiosk, located on Discovery Island, features a Trek Power Salad with quinoa, beets, edamame and citrus as well as a Farmer’s Salad with blueberries, goat cheese and candied pecans. Both salads are eligible as a snack entitlement on the Disney Dining Plan. Also new to the menu is a chilled green tea infused with orange blossom honey, cucumber-mint-pomegranate lemonade, and raspberry lemonade sweetened with stevia.
For a hearty snack, check out the baked lobster mac and cheese and baked pasta marinara with mozzarella at Beastly Kiosk. Both pasta dishes are packed with cheesy goodness and count as snack entitlements on the Disney Dining Plan.
You’ll find Mr. Kamal’s while trekking between Africa and Asia, the vegan menu reflecting both cultures. Here, you’ll find samosas served with mango salsa, hummus served with vegetables and pita, and delicious falafel. Across the path at Bradley Falls, look for a new Asian beef slider, edamame, and Asian noodles.
What is your favorite snack at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?
posted on July 19th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator
- The Warm Glazed Doughnut from Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is stacked with cinnamon apples and topped with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce. This treat is really out-of-this-world!
- L’Artisans des Glace in the France Pavilion at Epcot has 16 delicious flavors of hand-crafted frozen treats including ice cream and sorbet that change seasonally—like Caramel fleur de sel and Coconut White Chocolate. If you’re looking to try something new, the chocolate macaron ice cream sandwich is magnifique!
- The new Double Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream Sandwich from Tamu Tamu Refreshments at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is perfectly portable, so you can snack on your way to your next Disney’s Animal Kingdom adventure.
- Dad’s Brownie Sundae from 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is my current favorite sundae. A chocolate brownie is piled high with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, caramel sauce, whipped cream, and is topped with chocolate candies, caramel corn and a cherry. What’s not to love?
- No list is complete without the Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, available throughout Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. (Though in my opinion this treat is best enjoyed in front of Cinderella Castle, while waiting for “Wishes!” Nighttime Spectacular to begin!)
How are you celebrating National Ice Cream Day?