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Whiskey and Cognac Tastings on a Disney Cruise

posted on April 17th, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


Now that I’ve told you about the wine, martini and champagne tastings you can join on your next Disney cruise, it’s time to talk about our whiskey and Cognac seminars. These tastings give you a chance to sample spirits aged to perfection, learning to appreciate their unique characteristics and tastes.

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Whiskey Tasting

Our Whiskey Tasting is for both those of you with experience drinking this spirit and those of you who are interested in making it your drink of choice. You’ll explore different types, including Scotch, Irish, Canadian and American whiskeys, learning what they are made from and the process of making them. The bartender will teach you how to properly drink whiskey and how to recognize its aromas and flavors.

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Cognac Tasting

What is Cognac, and how do you actually pronounce it? This seminar dives into these commonly asked questions and so much more, including the history and production method of this smooth drink. Like all fine beverages, there’s an art to tasting Cognac, which our bartender will thoroughly explain during this interesting experience. Some of the Cognacs you’ll sample could include Courvoisier, Hennessy and Remy Martin.

Now that I’ve shared seminars for all tastes, next week I’ll tell you about one that is perfect for couples…chocolate and liquor tasting!

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Behind the Scenes of Disney Cruise Line’s ‘Tangled: The Musical’

posted on April 14th, 2015 by Ray Smale, Cruise Director, Disney Cruise Line


Many of you joined us last week at Disney Cruise Line’s first-ever meet-up as our Creative Entertainment team gave a sneak peek at some of the new fun coming soon to our ships. What a great show! I was honored to be a part of it and have the chance to talk with our talented show directors about our new entertainment experiences inspired by “Frozen,” Star Wars and “Tangled.”

One of the highlights was getting a behind-the-scenes look at “Tangled: The Musical” in production. For those of you who weren’t able to join us in person, we don’t want you to miss the exciting video we shared. You’ll see scenes from rehearsal and hear from part of the team adapting this beloved Disney tale to the stage for the very first time. Check it out!

Which “Tangled” star are you most excited to see on stage?

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Storybook Adventures in Copenhagen, Denmark with Disney Cruise Line

posted on April 13th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Copenhagen, Denmark is an enchanting seaside city with storybook townhouses, lush parks, ancient cobbled plazas and distinguished culture. It’s no wonder Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen drew much inspiration for his fairytale world from the city of Copenhagen, where he penned “The Little Mermaid.”

Not only is Copenhagen the homeport for several of our European voyages this summer, it’s also a stop on our 12-night Northern European sailings. A day in port at this vibrant city gives Disney cruisers the chance for so many adventures!

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Copenhagen by Canal

A popular way to explore Copenhagen is on the water. Our Fairytales Canal Cruise In Copenhagen is a one-of-a-kind boat tour, hosted by a character from one of the famous works of Hans Christian Andersen, where you’ll see sites connected with some of his stories that served as inspiration for Disney films like “The Little Mermaid” and “Frozen.” During this story-filled voyage, you’ll pass by landmarks such as Amalienborg Palace, the statue of The Little Mermaid and the historic canals, all while looking for visual clues and listening to the memorable fairytales.

Another fun way to explore the city by canal is our Kayaking in Copenhagen excursion, which takes you on a journey through Frederiksholms and Christianshavn canals and by Nyhavn Canal. You’ll see the oldest part of the city and get up-close views of the Christiansborg Palace, National Museum, Thorvaldsen Museum, the Old Stock Exchange and many other historic landmarks and cityscapes.

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Exclusive Experiences at Tivoli Gardens

The famous Tivoli Gardens is the original park that inspired Walt Disney to build Disneyland park, so its only fitting that we offer experiences here exclusive for Disney cruisers. Set in the heart of Copenhagen, Tivoli features a serene garden and an amusement park with the world’s tallest carousel and thrilling carnival rides. On our signature tour Tivoli Gardens All Inclusive – Behind The Scenes And Taste Of Denmark, you’ll visit behind-the-scenes areas, be the first ones to enter the park, enjoy an exquisite Danish lunch and have all rides included during your day of fun.

The Footsteps Of Walt Disney At Tivoli Gardens includes these same perks, plus it gives you the unique opportunity to chat with one of the few employees of Tivoli Gardens that met Walt Disney during a visit in the 1950s. You’ll hear stories about the visit, see areas in the park where Walt visited and delight with many of the original structures that inspired Walt Disney in the design of Disneyland park.

We offer several other ways for you to explore the renowned Tivoli Gardens, even a tour just for teens! The Teen Experience at Tivoli Gardens is a great way for cruisers ages 14 to 17 to hang out with their new friends they met onboard while enjoying a thrill-themed tour with Disney Cruise Line youth counselors.

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Renaissance Castles Of Denmark

Those of you looking for a royal experience won’t want to miss our Renaissance Castles Of Denmark tour. It begins with a scenic drive through the countryside to Frederiksborg Castle, considered by many to be the finest example of Danish renaissance architecture and the most magnificent castle in Denmark. Originally built in the early 17th century by King Christian IV, this Renaissance castle now serves as the Danish National Museum of History.

Your next stop is at the charming village of Fredensborg where you’ll have the opportunity to photograph the outside of the elegant Fredensborg Palace, the Danish royal family’s summer residence. The royal tour concludes at the seaside town of Elsinore, where you’ll visit the renowned Kronborg Castle, made famous as the Castle of Hamlet in Shakespeare’s play.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my series on Port Adventures for our Northern European sailings this summer. Take a look back at my recent posts for more suggestions. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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First-Ever Disney Cruise Line Meet-Up Showcases Exciting New Entertainment

posted on April 10th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Yesterday we hosted our first-ever Disney Cruise Line meet-up! This special event was a sneak peek at exciting new entertainment coming to our ships, and meet-up guests got to go behind the scenes with the creative team who develops our onboard entertainment.

We heard from three show directors about our new series of “Frozen”-inspired experiences, Star Wars Day at Sea and “Tangled: The Musical.” The event was packed full of fun with special appearances by Disney friends like Anna, Elsa and Olaf. We also got a first look at our “Tangled: The Musical” in production, including this never-before-seen artwork of one of the show’s spectacular scenes . . .

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I loved the opportunity to meet hundreds of Disney Parks Blog readers. There were some familiar faces there, too, including friends from “Frozen,” Star Wars and “Tangled.” To be expected, Olaf gave out plenty of warm hugs!

Check out the video and photo gallery below to see highlights from this incredibly fun event. Thanks to all of you who made Disney Cruise Line’s first meet-up a great one!

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Martini and Champagne Tastings on a Disney Cruise

posted on April 7th, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


Last week I kicked off a new series to tell you about some of the beverage seminars we offer onboard as another way for adults to indulge on a Disney cruise. Today I want to tell you about our sophisticated Martini and Champagne Tastings.

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Martini Tasting

In our Martini Tasting, you’ll sample a variety of gin- or vodka-based cocktails, each one with a unique taste and method of creation. In addition to the Classic Martini, we’ll introduce you to specialty cocktails with a modern twist, like the Cosmopolitan or Apple Martini, and dessert drinks, like the Toblerone Martini or Chocolate Martini.

After an introduction to the history of the Martini, the bartender will explain the secrets and curiosities that evolve around the world of Martinis. How did the martini become so famous? Gin or Vodka? Shaken or Stirred? Olive or Lemon?

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Champagne Tasting

During our Champagne Tasting, our knowledgeable wine team will take you on a journey from France to Italy and all around the world with some of our best Champagnes and sparkling wines, like Moët & Chandon Imperial and Taittinger Prestige Rosé. We’ll also introduce you to the art of mixing traditional Champagnes and sparkling wines with liquor to make delicious Champagne cocktails.

Check back next week to learn about our whiskey and cognac tastings.

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Disney Vacation Account Helps You Plan, Save for Future Disney Vacations

posted on April 6th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re one of our many readers who can’t wait for their next Disney trip, you’ll want to check out our newest program – Disney Vacation Account. It simplifies saving for your next dream vacation – a little at a time – and includes some great online tools to help you do it.

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Disney Vacation Account was created after hearing your feedback. You let us know that you wanted more tools to help plan a Disney experience and we’ve created a program that’ll let you save for magical vacations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, or Adventures by Disney.

Disney Vacation Account helps you manage your vacation savings at your own pace, in a way that fits your budget. And it’s easy to get started.

First, our Account Budget Estimator will help you estimate the cost of your vacation based on current prices. Please remember prices change from time to time.

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Next, calculate your savings contribution on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Then sit back and track your savings with a personalized account page and fun emails that help you plan your vacation along the way.

Accounts can be updated at any time—like changing your savings contribution amounts and frequency or stopping your contributions—at no cost.

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When you’re ready to book your dream vacation, you can use your Disney Vacation Account to pay for your vacation. To use your Disney Vacation Account funds toward paying for your vacation, you must book it either directly with Disney or through a participating travel agency booking directly with Disney. Please ask your travel agent whether your booking will be eligible to be paid for with your Disney Vacation Account.

There are no fees to create or maintain a Disney Vacation Account. And all of your contributions are fully refundable.

Also, if you use your Disney Vacation Account to pay for your vacation before December 31, 2017, (date subject to extension) you’ll be eligible for a $20 Disney Gift Card for every $1,000 spent on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account. Certain limitations apply.*

To sign up and get started, visit our Disney Vacation Account site. And let us know how it helped you with your next Disney vacation.

*Maximum of a total of $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household. Your Disney Vacation Account must be active for a minimum of 120 days at the time of spending in order to receive this bonus. Request your Disney Gift Card(s) 4-6 weeks in advance of your vacation date to allow time for delivery to your mailing address. Visit DisneyVacationAccount.com\FAQ\Bonus for complete details.

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Sign Up for Our First-Ever Disney Cruise Line Meet-Up at Disney’s Boardwalk Area

posted on April 6th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Update: Click here for a list of confirmed RSVPs.

We’ve hosted a variety of meet-ups since launching the Disney Parks Blog but our next one will be a first – our first-ever Disney Cruise Line meet-up. On Thursday, April 9, 2015, a select group of readers will have the opportunity to join us in Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk area for a special sneak peek preview of the exciting new entertainment coming to Disney Cruise Line.

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The event begins at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday April 9, 2015 at Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk area at the Walt Disney World Resort. Attendees will be among the first learn about new entertainment coming to Disney Cruise Line and have the chance to talk with the creative team that develops the onboard entertainment. There will also be special photo opportunities with some of your favorite Disney characters and you’ll be able to taste a few special Disney-themed desserts.

RSVP for the meet-up now by sending us an email with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDWMeetUps@gmail.com.

Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of attendees will be able to attend the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All participants who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests of the participants may be younger than 18.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • We will send a confirmation email to individuals whose valid RSVPs are received by us via email before we reach the planned capacity to confirm their attendance for the event.
  • Event confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person plus one guest.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in at Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk area at the Walt Disney World Resort for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

This post will be updated after capacity has been reached.

Hope to see you at our first Disney Cruise Line meet-up.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 5th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we continued our series of exciting updates from Disney Cruise Line with the announcement that a new stage show, “Tangled: The Musical,” will be premiering onboard the Disney Magic in November.

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Jonathan told us that “Tangled: The Musical” will stay true to the storyline from the hit feature film—with a few special twists to create a live staged production—featuring favorite characters like Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, the villainous Mother Gothel and Maximus the police horse. Check out his original story for more details and information on when you’ll be able to see exclusive behind the scenes videos of the stage show.

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We also shared a story many of you have been waiting for – a look at this year’s Star Wars Weekends. Details are still coming together for the event, but Shawn shared some highlights of what’s new for Star Wars Weekends 2015:

  • Star Wars: Rebels” – Relive the adventurous twists and turns of the first exciting season of the Disney XD series “Star Wars: Rebels,” in an all-new show with Star Wars Weekends host James Arnold Taylor and a special guest from the show’s voice cast … along with a few surprises!
  • Autograph Opportunities – For the first time, autograph sessions with Star Wars celebrities will be held in an indoor location, just off Commissary Lane near Star Tours – The Adventure Continues. For complete details about autograph opportunities, be sure to visit StarWarsWeekends.com prior to your visit.
  • Darth’s Mall – Can’t find the droids you’re looking for? Head over to this new complex of shops near Streets of America for the best selection of Star Wars merchandise in this galaxy or any other!

The event is shaping up to be among the best, with a new show, new locations for merchandise and autograph opportunities and a galaxy of stars. Go check out our original story for a list of the celebrities scheduled to appear for Star Wars Weekends 2015.

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

First Look: New Olaf Premium Sipper Coming to Disneyland Resort – What’s better than warm hugs from a snowman? A cool drink in an Olaf Premium Sipper! For the first time in forever, guests will be able to purchase the new Olaf Premium Sipper from Food & Beverage locations throughout Disneyland Resort.

Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Main Street, U.S.A. – See historic pictures from the construction of Main Street, U.S.A. in this special series from Disney Parks Blog author George Savvas.

Live Music Expanding at Disneyland Park Beginning July 17 – During the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, music will become an even bigger part of the storytelling within Disneyland park. Click through to learn more!

Learn to Draw Dopey from ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Artist Mike Chovanec of the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers step-by-step instructions on how to draw one of the most lovable characters from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

From Stem to Stern Wine Tasting on a Disney Cruise – Learn about Disney Cruise Line’s “From Stem to Stern” wine event, where a knowledgeable sommelier teaches you to sip like a pro.

New ‘Frozen Fever’ Treats Coming to Disney Parks and Resorts – It’s official: we’ve caught Frozen Fever! The Disney Parks Food and Beverage team has created new treats inspired by the “Frozen Fever” short.

And this week, the name of the newest female baby rhino at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – determined by Disney Parks Blog readers – was revealed. You voted the Kiama as the winning name. It was the overwhelming majority with more than half of the votes.

Kiama will continue to bond and grow with her mom backstage for a few more months, but stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for updates and more information as we near her on-stage debut. Check out Karen’s story for more.

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Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: April 2010

posted on April 3rd, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


We’ve been sharing moments big and small from Disney Parks for more than five years, and I love to look back at some of those moments and share them with you. When I dug back to five years ago this month, I was happy to find two photos that have become unforgettable for me … Space Shuttle Discovery flying over Cinderella Castle and two of our baby goats born here at Disneyland park. (Those tiny little legs!) Take a look …

Space Shuttle Discovery Soars Over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World

Space Shuttle Discovery Soars Over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World
On the morning of April 5, 2010, photographer Kent Phillips captured Space Shuttle Discovery as it soared over Cinderella Castle on its mission to the space station.

The Fleet at Rest by Paul Hiffmeyer

The Fleet at Rest
Disneyland chief photographer Paul Hiffmeyer shared this lovely photo of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in the morning light.

A Model Vacation on Disney Cruise Line – Exclusive Tilt-Shift Video
We took readers on a “miniature scale” journey on the Disney Wonder cruise ship created through the magic of tilt-shift photography.

Adventure on the High Seas

Adventure on the High Seas
Photographer Garth Vaughan got this shot of the Flying Dutchman and the Disney Wonder while both were docked at Castaway Cay in 2010.

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Baby Goats Born at Circle D Corral This Week
They’re not babies anymore, but back in April 2010 we gave readers their first look at Stitch and Lilo – baby goats recently born at Disneyland park.

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From Stem to Stern Wine Tasting on a Disney Cruise

posted on April 3rd, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


If you’ve sailed with us before, you know that entertaining our adult guests is just as important to us as keeping the little ones happy. One of the ways we do that is through our adult enrichment series, including behind-the-scenes experiences and various seminars, like our beverage tastings.

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Over the next several weeks, I’ll give you a closer look at some of the sophisticated tastings you can join on your next Disney cruise, starting today with our “From Stem to Stern” wine event where a knowledgeable sommelier teaches you to sip like a pro. During this experience, you’ll sample wines from around the world. Our sommelier will tell you about the history of winemaking and discuss the production method and classification of five different types of wines.

If you’re new to wine tasting, this experience is a great introduction to the art of identifying the taste, aroma and character of wine. For the connoisseur, it’s the perfect way to indulge your senses and expand your knowledge. You’ll have the opportunity to savor the flavors of both Old World wines, such as those from France, Italy or Spain, and New World wines from the United States, Argentina, Australia or other regions around the globe. What’s more, you’ll get the chance to speak one-on-one with the Head Sommelier from Palo, our fine dining Italian restaurant, whose knowledge of wine will impress even the most distinguished guests.

We offer different beverage tastings on each ship and itinerary, and I look forward to telling you about more of them in the coming weeks. What’s been your favorite beverage tasting with us so far?

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