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Fireworks at Cinderella Castle

Top 5 Entertainment Milestones at Disney Parks in 2014

posted on December 31st, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


There’s nothing our Creative Entertainment team enjoys more than producing amazing live entertainment for our guests. Here are just a few of the new experiences that debuted in Disney Parks around the world in 2014:

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade: Maleficent from "Sleeping Beauty"

  1. Disney Festival of Fantasy” Parade – This stunning daytime spectacular took to the streets of Magic Kingdom Park in March with amazingly detailed floats, vibrantly colored costumes, energetic performances, and a fire-breathing dragon – all created on an enormous scale never before seen at Walt Disney World Resort!

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  1. Seasonal Celebrations at Disneyland Paris – Already known for their festivals at Halloween and Christmas, Disneyland Paris took it up two notches this year with lively celebrations of spring and summer. “Swing Into Spring” and “Summertime” brought fresh, new promenades and shows to Main Street and the Castle Stage, along with character appearances and live music throughout both parks at the resort.

“For The First Time in Forever: A ‘Frozen’ Sing-Along Celebration”  at Disney's Hollywood Studios

  1. Summer Events at Walt Disney World Resort – It was a summer of hot and cool special events at Walt Disney World Resort. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Harambe Nights honored the 20th anniversary of “The Lion King” with the hottest party this side of Africa, featuring live concerts, celebrity narrators, and an unforgettable nighttime celebration. Meanwhile, “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios cooled things down with ice-skating, real snow, and a procession, sing-along, and fireworks featuring appearances by Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf.

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  1. New Disney Character Friends – A highlight of any visit to a Disney Park is getting to meet Mickey Mouse and his pals. In 2014, some other characters stopped in to say “Hello!” for the first time. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, one of Walt Disney’s first cartoon creations, visited Tokyo DisneySea and Disney California Adventure park, where our guests also got to meet Doc McStuffins from Disney Junior. And Hiro and Baymax flew in hot on the heels of the release of their new movie, “Big Hero 6.”

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  1. Nighttime Spectaculars – Disney Parks dazzled after dark in 2014 with the introduction of several new nighttime spectaculars. The award-winning “Once Upon a Time” came to Tokyo Disneyland in summer, and the new “Disney Paint the Night” Parade lit up Hong Kong Disneyland in October. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, nightly “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks debuted during Star Wars Weekends, and even more “Frozen” fun was added to “World of Color – Winter Dreams” at Disney California Adventure park and “Disney Dreams… of Christmas” in Disneyland Paris.

All this, plus the Rock Your Disney Side 24-hour event over Memorial Day weekend, expansion of Halloween on the High Seas to all four ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, and more!

There’s been quite a lot happening in the world of Creative Entertainment this year, and 2015 promises to be even bigger, especially with “Frozen Fun” and the Diamond Celebration coming to Disneyland Resort. Keep reading Disney Parks Blog all year long, and we’ll have the scoop for you. Happy new year!

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Five Most Memorable Moments for Disney Cruise Line in 2014

posted on December 30th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


As most of us are reflecting on our year and thinking about our most memorable moments, I did the same for Disney Cruise Line. It was a pretty exciting year for us, and there are five things that stood out to me the most …

DISNEY DREAM AT SEA

  1. Awards include Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line and No. 1 Large Ship Line. For the sixth year in a row, we were recognized as a top cruise line for families in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. As if that honor isn’t wonderful enough, we also received the publication’s Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line award for the first time. What’s more, readers of Condé Nast Traveler voted us #1 Large Ship Line in the 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards, based on more than 1 million votes.

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  1. Holiday celebrations are more magical than ever. Not only did our Halloween on the High Seas voyages expand to all four ships, we also premiered brand-new events on our Very Merrytime Cruises. On almost every sailing from early September through the end of the year, cruisers enjoyed a ship decked out with decor and filled with extra special fun themed to the holidays.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

  1. Inaugural season from Puerto Rico kicks off with Southern Caribbean voyages. Our cruises sailing from Puerto Rico brought three more firsts for us this year: San Juan as a homeport, the Southern Caribbean as an itinerary option and Grenada as a new port of call. These four special cruises were just the beginning of our time in San Juan, as we recently announced we’ll be home porting from there again in 2016.

Castaway Cay 5K

  1. The Castaway Cay Challenge is announced as an add-on to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. We teamed up with runDisney to offer this exclusive experience just for runners competing in the 5K, 10K, half marathon and/or full marathon during the Disney Marathon Weekend in January 2015. The Castaway Cay Challenge takes place during the 4-night Disney Dream cruise that sets sail January 12, 2015.

Norwegian Fjords

  1. The land of “Frozen” is revealed as a new destination in 2015. In summer, we’ll explore Norway for the first time, cruising through the breathtaking Norwegian fjords, in addition to other spectacular northern Europe destinations including Iceland, Denmark, Russia, Sweden, Finland and more. We’re also returning to the Mediterranean, Alaska, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera and of course, the Caribbean and Bahamas.
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Disney Parks Most-Geotagged Locations on Both Facebook and Instagram in 2014

posted on December 30th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


As 2014 is coming to a close, we here at Disney Parks are proud and excited to learn that our fans have made us the most-geotagged locations on both Facebook and Instagram this year! Specifically, Disneyland Resort claimed the top spot on Instagram, with Disney Parks pulling in the most tags on Facebook.

Photo of Main Street U.S.A. from @Disneyland on Instagram Photo of Disney California Adventure from @Disneyland on Instagram
Photo of Fireworks from @Disneyland on Instagram Photo of Sleeping Beauty Castle from @Disneyland on Instagram

Above are a few of the photos we’ve shared from @Disneyland on Instagram this year. As much as we love sharing our photos with you, the most fun part of what we do on Instagram is sharing photos from our guests. The same goes for our @WaltDisneyWorld and @DisneyAulani Instagram feeds – many of the photos shared across all three come directly from fans like you. To share your photo with us, just add #Disneyland, #WaltDisneyWorld or #Aulani to your photo description or tag @Disneyland, @WaltDisneyWorld or @DisneyAulani to your photos during your visit!

Looking for more ways to connect with Disney Parks? I’ve got your handy guide to all things Disney Parks social here:

On Facebook:

On Twitter:

On Instagram:

On Pinterest:

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Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Supports Toys for Tots

posted on December 26th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This holiday season, Disney VoluntEARS continued the 60-year tradition of supporting the Toys for Tots campaign by collecting gifts for children around the globe.

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Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort VoluntEARS supported the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots annual drive. These cast members donated more than 6,000 hours of service to help sort donations and distribute toys to families in need. Disney Cruise Line hosted toy drives onboard their ships, at their homeport in Port Canaveral, Florida and in their shore-side offices. VoluntEARS at Disneyland Paris hosted “Mission Noel.” At this event, they wrapped gifts for children from local communities who were invited to the park for Christmas Eve brunch. In total, our cast members donated more than 40,000 toys, books and games.

Toys for Tots is just one example of how we at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts enrich the lives of kids and families around the globe. Through contributions, collaborations with local organizations, in-kind gifts and volunteerism, we help make lasting and positive change in the world. To learn more about citizenship at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, visit http://aboutdisneyparks.com/citizenship.

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Disney Cruise Line Recipe: New Year’s Eve Cocktails

posted on December 26th, 2014 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


The countdown to the New Year has begun! Today, I’m sharing two of our adult beverages created especially for New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Countdown and Fireworks cocktails. I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts this month about the new drinks we’re serving during our Very Merrytime Cruises. Cheers to 2015!

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‘Countdown’ Cocktail

  • 2 OZ Midori
  • 1 OZ Absolut Citron
  • 1/2 OZ Elderflower St.Germaine
  • 1/2 OZ fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 OZ agave nectar
  • Sugar
  1. Mix Midori, Absolut Citron, Elderflower St.Germaine, fresh lemon juice and agave nectar.
  2. Moisten the rim of a martini glass and dip it in sugar.
  3. Pour drink into martini glass.

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‘Fireworks’ Cocktail

  • 4 OZ Prosecco
  • 1/2 OZ pomegranate syrup
  • 2 raspberries
  1. Mix Prosecco and pomegranate syrup.
  2. Pour into Champagne flute and top with raspberries.



See the posts below for more recipes from Disney Cruise Line:

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Disney Fantasy Pastry and Bakery Team Wins First Annual Fleetwide Gingerbread House Competition

posted on December 23rd, 2014 by Stephen Walker, Fleet Culinary Standards and Consistency Chef, Disney Cruise Line


One of the first things you see (and smell) when you walk onboard a Disney ship is a fantastically decorated, oversized gingerbread house. Countless hours (well, 320 hours to be exact) went into developing and creating the gingerbread house on each ship.

Gingerbread Winners

This year, we kicked off what will now be an annual competition to honor the best gingerbread house on all four ships. Congratulations to the Disney Fantasy pastry and bakery team who won the 2014 trophy for their intricate icing work and theming. The house looked like it came right out of a frozen fairytale forest!

Our gingerbread houses are baked, built and decorated onboard each year. In addition to the candies, cookies and other fun decorations, each team uses approximately 650 pounds of gingerbread dough, 220 pounds of icing sugar and 5,250 gingerbread bricks. No wonder they smell so good! When you see members of our pastry and bakery team onboard, be sure to congratulate them on a job well done!

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Disney Cruise Line Recipe: Holiday Coffees

posted on December 19th, 2014 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


Now that I’ve shared recipes for two of our guest-favorite holiday cocktails, our Poinse-tini and Christmas Cookie, I want to give you a taste of the specialty coffees we are serving during our Very Merrytime Cruises. Whether you’re hosting breakfast, dinner or a gathering anytime in between, these coffees are sure to be a hit at your holiday party. Once you’ve tasted them all, let me know your favorite in the comments.

Caramel Pecan Chai
Caramel Pecan Chai
Oregon Chai, caramel pecan syrup and steamed milk.
Paddy Mint Mocha
Paddy Mint Mocha
Espresso, peppermint, chocolate sauce and steamed milk.
Egg Nog Mocha
Egg Nog Mocha
Espresso, egg nog syrup, chocolate sauce and steamed milk.

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Get Disney Cruise Line Tips, DIY Crafts and More on Pinterest

posted on December 16th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Hey Pinners, have you heard the news? Disney Cruise Line is now on Pinterest!

So far we have nine boards and counting, dedicated to some of your favorite things like holidays, merchandise, food, Port Adventures and insider cruising tips. One of my favorite boards is the Disney Cruise DIY, which includes “how to” instructions for crafts, recipes and more. The gift box tutorial is a great one for the holiday season…

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Check out our page at www.pinterest.com/disneycruiseline, click to follow us and starting pinning away! We’re also looking for our favorite Disney Cruise Line content to repin, so keep sharing your photos and articles for other Disney cruisers to see.

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Holiday Scenes from Our Parks

posted on December 13th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week on the Disney Parks Blog, we shared many great photos of the different holiday celebrations that are taking place now at our parks around the globe.

Disney Parks After Dark: ‘Holiday Wishes’ at Magic Kingdom Park

For example, “Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” is underway during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties at Magic Kingdom Park.

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Holiday Scenes from Our Parks This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Holiday Scenes from Our Parks

Disney Parks Blog author Jonathan Frontado gave us a look at the holiday fun guests are having aboard Disney Cruise Line this month during their Very Merrytime Cruises.

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Erin Glover also shared a look at the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! celebration that’s taking place at Disney California Adventure park, which features live music, appearances by the Three Caballeros, the “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party,” folk dancing, food and fun.

Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort

And who can take their eyes off of this gingerbread masterpiece at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa? Read all the details about this 7 ½ feet-tall sweet structure in Erin’s original post.

Which holiday celebration interests you the most? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Disney Cruise Line Recipe: Poinse-tini

posted on December 12th, 2014 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


If you’re looking for a festive signature cocktail to serve at your holiday party, our Poinse-tini is the perfect choice! Offered during our Very Merrytime Cruises, along with the Christmas Cookie cocktail I shared last week, the sweetness of this easy-to-make concoction makes it a favorite among many. Give it a taste this weekend, and let me know in the comments what you think!

Poinse-tini

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz Chambord
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz cinnamon syrup
  • Black cherry syrup
  • Bitters
  • Sugar
  1. Shake and strain gin, Chambord, fresh lemon juice and cinnamon syrup.
  2. Moisten the rim of a martini glass and dip it in sugar.
  3. Layer bottom of martini glass with black cherry syrup.
  4. Pour drink into martini glass and top with a dash of bitters.
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