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Top 10 Entertainment Experiences at Disney Parks in 2015

posted on December 29th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment

It’s been another unforgettable year at Disney Parks, and our Creative Entertainment team has had a blast producing amazing new entertainment experiences for you to enjoy. In fact, the team has been so busy, this year’s Top 5 had to be expanded to a Top 10!

  1. Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the original Disneyland park was far and away the biggest event of the year, bringing with it the debut of three new nighttime spectaculars: “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, “World of Color – Celebrate!” and the award-winning “Paint the Night” parade.
  1. Tangled: The Musical – This terrific stage adaptation of the tale of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, a Disney Cruise Line exclusive complete with three new songs from Composer Alan Menken, premiered on the Disney Magic in November.


  1. Inside Out – Riley’s Emotions from the Disney•Pixar hit “Inside Out” made their Disney Parks debut last summer at Disney California Adventure park, arriving on a pre-parade float designed to look like Headquarters from the film. Later in the year, Joy and Sadness made their way to Hong Kong Disneyland, where they appeared in a limited-time character greeting experience.


  1. More “Frozen” FunAnna, Elsa and Olaf were as popular as ever in 2015, traveling the world to bring a bit of Arendelle to Disney’s kingdoms on three continents. Unique “Frozen” entertainment experiences included sing-along celebrations, playgrounds with real snow, processionals through the parks and deck parties on Disney Cruise Line.

Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade ‘Dreamlights’

  1. Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade “Dreamlights – This popular nighttime parade at Tokyo Disney Resort received an upgrade last summer, with an all-new “Tangled” float and seven other floats that were enhanced with dazzling new technological features.
  1. King Triton’s Concert – In the spring, Mermaid Lagoon Theater at Tokyo DisneySea saw the debut of this award-winning musical show that combines dynamic performances with puppetry, projections, Audio-Animatronics and special effects.


  1. Halloween – The Halloween season was bigger than ever at Disney Parks in 2015, with new shows opening around the world. The headliner was “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” at Magic Kingdom Park, starring the inimitable Sanderson Sisters. Other shows included “It’s Good to be Bad” with the Disney Villains at Disneyland Paris, “The Villains’ World” on Mediterranean Harbor at Tokyo DisneySea and several “Lost in Ghost Town” experiences as part of Haunted Halloween at Hong Kong Disneyland.

  1. Hong Kong Disneyland 10th Anniversary – Hong Kong Disneyland also marked their 10th anniversary this year, kicking off a year-long “Happily Ever After” celebration with the newly enhanced “Disney in the Stars” fireworks spectacular and the delightful new stage show, “Mickey and the Wondrous Book.”


  1. Sunset Showcase – An all-new entertainment venue opened this fall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, designed to host a variety of different experiences over time. The premier engagement at Sunset Showcase is Club Disney, a super fun hangout filled with music, dancing, Disney characters and more. A special evening event, Club Villain, comes to the Sunset Showcase starting January 16, and more plans are in the works for the future.


  1. Star Wars – The Force has awakened at Disney Parks with the openings of Star Wars Launch Bay and “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple” at both Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are now also thrilling to nightly performances of “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular,” an epic fireworks show featuring some of the most iconic music and audio clips from the entire “Star Wars” saga.

There’s been quite a lot happening in the world of Creative Entertainment this year, and 2016 promises to be greater still with additions like “Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, an incredible new stage production of “Frozen” at Disney California Adventure park, the opening of Shanghai Disneyland and so much more.

Keep reading Disney Parks Blog all year long, and we’ll keep you up to speed on all the excitement to come. Happy new year!

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Disneyland Resort Welcomes Rose Bowl Game-Bound No. 5 Iowa and No. 6 Stanford Football Teams

posted on December 28th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

This past Saturday, Dec. 26, in a ceremony at Disney California Adventure park, No. 5 Iowa and No. 6 Stanford met to celebrate their upcoming match-up in the 2016 Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual on Friday, January 1, 2016, in Pasadena, Calif., during a visit to the Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland Resort Welcomes Rose Bowl Game-Bound No. 5 Iowa and No. 6 Stanford Football Teams

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, Stanford head coach David Shaw and members of both teams appeared in a ceremony with Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier and Mickey Mouse and friends at Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure park. Among the Iowa players in attendance were offensive lineman Austin Blythe, running back Jordan Canzeri, defensive back Jordan Lomax, defensive back Greg Mabin and wide receiver Tevaun Smith. Featured Stanford players at the ceremony were quarterback Kevin Hogan, cornerback Ronnie Harris, inside linebacker Blake Martinez, offensive guard Joshua Garnett and running back Christian McCaffrey.

Disneyland Resort Welcomes Rose Bowl Game-Bound No. 5 Iowa and No. 6 Stanford Football Teams Disneyland Resort Welcomes Rose Bowl Game-Bound No. 5 Iowa and No. 6 Stanford Football Teams

Following the ceremony, each team enjoyed opportunities to experience popular Disney California Adventure park attractions, including Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land and California Screamin’ at Paradise Pier.

For Stanford, this will be the third time in four years and the 15th appearance all-time in the Rose Bowl Game. The Cardinal also makes history for being the Pac-12 champion during the 100-year anniversary of the conference. Iowa will make its sixth appearance overall in the Rose Bowl Game, and the first since 1991. The two teams have never met in a football game in the schools’ histories.

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Holidays at Disney Parks

posted on December 27th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations

The sunny skies of Florida and California might not feel holiday season-ish. But with the way our experts beautify the parks, how could you not be festive?

This week in Disney Parks photos we go coast-to-coast: Erin Glover showed us some highlights through the numbers in her neck of the woods, and Jenn Fickley-Baker shared gorgeous after-dark photos from Magic Kingdom Park.


We hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

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A Special Holiday Treat from Our Disneyland Resort Candy Makers

posted on December 24th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

Each month, I love giving you an inside look at delicious treats prepared in our Disneyland Resort candy kitchens! We recently had a chance to meet up with Master Candy Maker Rob Mc Hargue, who shared some magical tricks and tips on how you can create some of this year’s favorite holiday treats at home, including the peppermint-infused candy-coated apple and winter crispy. Take a look!

Special Fun Fact: Did you know that Rob has been a Candy Maker at the Disneyland Resort for more than 41 years? The next time you visit any of our candy kitchens at the Disneyland Resort including Candy Palace on Main Street, U.S.A., or Hunny Spot in Critter Country at Disneyland park; Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure park or Marceline’s Confectionery in Downtown Disney District, see what kind of magic our Candy Makers are creating.

What is your favorite treat to make for the holidays?

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Expanded Cove Bar Now Open at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on December 23rd, 2015 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


Here at Disney Parks, we’re always looking for ways to make a great experience even better. Now the popular Cove Bar at Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure park has been expanded to offer more seating for our guests.


From this expanded alfresco patio, you can sit back and enjoy those famous Lobster Nachos while you watch guests take off from the launch zone on nearby California Screamin’. The Cove Bar will continue to serve the delicious bites and cocktails you love, so stop by on your next visit to Disney California Adventure park!

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Guest Talent Coordinator for Special Events Such as Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

posted on December 22nd, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

Guest Talent Coordinator Danny Gaitan hosts guest performers at the Disneyland Resort during special events such as runDisney race weekends and holiday celebrations. Danny says he creates magic not only for our guests who experience the performances, but also for the performers who get the opportunity to entertain on a world-class stage.

Danny currently supports Disney ¡Viva Navidad! in Disney California Adventure park. The celebration of Latino culture and holiday traditions is one of my favorite holiday offerings at the Disneyland Resort, and I especially enjoy watching the dancers that Danny brings in for the event. I hope you will enjoy meeting Danny and learning about his role in this “Every Role a Starring Role!

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By the Numbers: Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on December 21st, 2015 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Last week, we put some numbers on the holiday cheer at Disneyland park, and today I’m back with some festive figures for Disney California Adventure park!

Sally's Tree in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

9 – Height in feet of Sally’s traffic-cone Christmas tree in Cars Land


50 – Performers in “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party” at Paradise Garden


2,000 – Square feet of snow play area at Olaf’s Snow Fest in Hollywood Land


3,000 – Multi-colored LED lights on the Buena Vista Street Christmas tree

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Tips from a Disneyland Resort Photographer

posted on December 21st, 2015 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Whether you are a social media shutterbug, crafty scrapbooker or the photog of the family, no Disney vacation is complete without plenty of pictures documenting your adventures! To help make the most of your theme park snapping, we’ve asked our talented Disneyland Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer to dish out his best tips for capturing magical moments at the Disneyland Resort. Consider these helpful hints next time you are making memories in the parks:


New View of Sleeping Beauty Castle

  • When you’re photographing people, bring them closer to the camera. For instance, positioning them on the walkway of Sleeping Beauty Castle automatically brings them closer to you.
  • Try shooting Sleeping Beauty Castle from a different angle, such as to the right or left of the forecourt walkway.
  • Since Sleeping Beauty Castle is centrally located, come back at different times of the day to test different lighting conditions.

Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

Capturing the Beauty of Cars Land

  • The best place to capture the scenery of the mountain range at Radiator Springs Racers is on the pathway next to Flo’s V8 Café, heading toward the arch by Pacific Wharf.
  • For a new perspective of Route 66, try shooting from the steps of the Blue Sky Cellar.


Ideal Lighting in the Parks

  • Try to avoid taking photos of people when the sun is straight above you, as it casts shadows on their faces. This is a better time to take photos of the attractions and icons.
  • If it is very bright outside, use the HDR setting on your phone’s camera to enhance the exposure.

Mickey’s Fun Wheel in Disney California Adventure. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disney)

Some of Paul’s Favorite Shots

  • Paul’s favorite group photo location is at the steps of Paradise Park (“World of Color” viewing area) with Mickey’s Fun Wheel in the background.
  • He says that Cars Land makes a great photo subject any time of the day – especially at night because of how many interesting things there are to photograph, such as the vibrant neon lights and orange glow of the mountains.

Memorable Disney Character Interactions

  • Be sure to capture the interactions between a child and the Disney Character before taking the posed photo. That is where you will find the most genuine smiles and reactions.
  • Get the entire family in the photo! Disney’s PhotoPass Photographers are more than happy to help take pictures so mom and dad can meet the characters too.

You can look to the Disney Parks Blog photography tag to inspire your next great shot. Our official Disneyland Resort Instagram account features fantastic photos that guests have taken all around the resort. Be sure to tag your photos with #disneyland when you share them.

Happy snapping!

What tips do you have for taking photos at Disney Parks?

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Six Reasons to Celebrate in 2016 at Disneyland Resort

posted on December 18th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

The new year is almost here, and we’re already looking forward to all 2016 is bringing to the Disneyland Resort! Here is our top six:

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park

1. Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Continues Through September 5, 2016
That means even more time to enjoy all the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration has to offer, including “Paint the Night” parade, “Disneyland Forever” fireworks and “World of Color – Celebrate!” as well as special food and merchandise.
Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland Park
2. Season of the Force in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park
Travel to a galaxy far, far away with special new Star Wars experiences!

3. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters at Disney California Adventure Park
To help celebrate Race Day in Radiator Springs, Luigi and his cousins will demonstrate the dances of their Italian hometown with Cars Land guests when the all-new Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters opens early next year.

4. New “Frozen”-Inspired Stage Musical Coming to Disney California Adventure Park
The story of “Frozen” will come to spectacular life in an all-new theatrical production in summer 2016 at the Hyperion Theater.

5. Soarin’ Around the World at Disney California Adventure Park
Beginning next year, guests at Disney California Adventure park will undertake a whole new Soarin’ journey when Soarin’ Around the World opens in Grizzly Peak Airfield.

6. New Dining Experiences at River Belle Terrace and Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante in Disneyland park
Beginning in February, exciting changes are coming to these Disneyland park favorites.
What are you looking forward to the most in 2016 at the Disneyland Resort?

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Plan Your Disney California Adventure Park Holiday Visit

posted on December 16th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Last week, we showed you a handy guide to visiting Disneyland park during the holidays with the help of our Pinterest board, and today we’re back with The Perfect Holiday Itinerary for Ultimate Disney California Adventure park!

What is on your Disney California Adventure park holiday itinerary?

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