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‘Goofy Sport’ Hand-Painted Ink & Paint Cel Debuting at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 26th, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Those of you who have been following the releases of our hand-painted limited edition Ink & Paint Cels at Disney Parks over the year are in store for more great pieces this year! Debuting March 12 at Stage 1 Company Store located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a new piece titled “Goofy Sport.” It’s such a “kick,” see for yourself!

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This new piece, available now, is limited to an edition size of 300. The cel will be available in a variety of formats including Unframed ($125), Black Framed Cel ($215), Black Framed Cel with mounted Pin ($245) and Black Framed Cel with mounted Postcard and Pin ($255), Gold Frame ($285).

Tip: A specially designed limited-edition pin is available with the purchase of each cel, while supplies last. Here’s a peek at what it will look like!

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Finally, for those of you who will make your way to the event on March 12, 2016, look for special appearances by the artists from 10 a.m. – 1p.m. on the day of release. If you’re not able to make it, a special pre-purchase opportunity is taking place now through March 10, 2016 at 5 p.m. Eastern. Order yours today!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 17th, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


This week, Disney Parks Blog readers were among the first to learn that one of the most intriguing new characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Kylo Ren – will be coming to Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Every day at Disney Parks, you can step into the exciting experiences like Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple” and Star Wars Launch Bay. Next month, a visit to Star Wars Launch Bay at either Disneyland park of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will transport you to the Star Wars galaxy for an encounter with Kylo Ren. Check out Shawn’s original story for more details.

And we also shared that ‘Tangled’ has returned to the Royal Theatre at Disneyland park. Beginning this weekend (Friday, January 15), the tale of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider is once again coming to life through the inimitable storytelling talents of resident Renaissance men, Messieurs Smythe and Jones. Take a look at our original story.

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

First Look at New Rivers of America Waterfront and Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland Park in California – The Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland park in Southern California have closed temporarily as we prepare to bring an all-new Star Wars-themed land to the park. When these areas reopen, the north bank of the Rivers of America will have a beautiful new waterfront, which we’re excited to give you a sneak peek at.

Happy Lunar New Year Celebration Returns to Disney California Adventure Park – This year, the Year of the Monkey, brings the return of the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure park, February 5-8!

Pixar Wizards Leave Their Signatures on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – If you’ve had the chance to stop through Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, you may have noticed the impressive Storyboard Chandelier that serves the lobby’s centerpiece. Since the resort opened in 2012, it has become tradition for film contributors – both voice actors and those working behind the scenes – to add their autograph to a sketch appearing on the chandelier.

New Year – New Disney Parks Moms Panel – The beginning of 2016 not only brings new hopes and dreams for many of us, it also brings new members to the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

Decorate Your Home with New Disney Parks-Inspired Figurines – During a recent Disney Parks Blog Unboxed video, I gave you a first look at three new decorative figurines coming to Disney Parks this year. These figurines were inspired by characters and icons from attractions found at Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resorts.

Wildlife Wednesday: Meet Willie the Aardvark at Rafiki’s Planet Watch – I’m delighted to introduce you to Willie, a new resident at Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Willie is an aardvark that frequents the outdoor stage next to Affection Section where I hope you get the chance to meet and learn more about him in person.

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Prepare to Encounter Star Wars Villain Kylo Ren at Disney Parks

posted on January 15th, 2016 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become a global phenomenon, and soon guests at Disney Parks will be able to interact with one of the film’s most intriguing new characters, Kylo Ren.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens..Ph: Film Frame..©Lucasfilm 2015

Every day at Disney Parks, you can step into exciting Star Wars experiences such as Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple” and Star Wars Launch Bay, where you can come face to face with some of the greatest heroes and villains of the saga. Soon, a visit to Star Wars Launch Bay at either Disneyland park or Disney’s Hollywood Studios will transport you to the Star Wars galaxy for an encounter with Kylo Ren on the bridge of his First Order Star Destroyer.

As seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is a dark warrior with a mysterious past. Ren is strong with the Force and serves as a leader of the First Order, seeking to destroy the New Republic, the Resistance and the legacy of the Jedi.

Star Wars Launch Bay was designed to showcase a variety of Star Wars characters over time. In addition to Kylo Ren, you may also come across a garrison of First Order Stormtroopers or the heroic Wookiee, Chewbacca, holed up in a secret Resistance base.

The portal from Star Wars Launch Bay to Kylo Ren’s Star Destroyer opens at Disneyland park and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios next month.

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Experience Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show One More Time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on January 15th, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


As many of you know, our historic expansion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will bring new, spectacular experiences to the park, including entire lands inspired by the blockbuster Star Wars and Toy Story films.

Recently, we shared that the park’s Star Wars-themed land will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet with new experiences that’ll include a customized secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts everyone in the middle of a climactic battle.

And in Toy Story Land, Andy’s backyard will come to life and the famous little green aliens from the movie will take you for a spin in their very own flying saucers. A family-friendly roller coaster will also have you riding on the back of Slinky Dog.

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In order to bring our new lands to life, the first steps of the expansion will be happening soon. We wanted to let you know that Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and nearby locations around Streets of America will be closing on April 2, 2016. The Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show attraction will continue its daily shows until the closing date.

While the new areas of the park come to life, we’ll continue bringing new things to Disney’s Hollywood Studios such as the recent opening of Star Wars Launch Bay, the nighttime spectacular “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” and Sunset Showcase.

Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more updates on our largest-ever expansion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – we’ll have more information to share with you soon.

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Awaken the Force in 2016 with Unique Star Wars Products from Disney Parks

posted on January 14th, 2016 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Being a long time Star Wars fan, I loved watching “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with my son in an IMAX 3D theatre. While I had already seen the film twice, I will always remember seeing the pure joy in his eyes as the action unfolded on screen. Now, he wants everything Star Wars (which seems vaguely similar to my childhood). Luckily, I work at Disney Parks which has some incredibly cool products for Star Wars fans of all ages. Here are a few of my favorites.

Force Push Role Play Action Set from Disney Parks BB-8 Spinning Top from Disney Parks

Force Push Role Play Action SetThis is my favorite item created especially for Disney Parks. This set gives you the power to move a First Order Stormtrooper or TIE Fighter with a wave of your Force Glove.

BB-8 Spinning Top – This BB-8 top spins, lights up and makes sounds when activated.

Star Wars Apparel from Disney Parks Star Wars Apparel from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Available at Disney Parks

Be the Best Dressed in the Galaxy – Disney Parks has apparel items for women, men and children. The women’s shirts with Rey are gorgeous, and the BB-8-inspired dress from Her Universe is fun. I also liked the ringer t-shirt with Han Solo and Chewbacca.

Apparel From Preen by Thornton Bregazzi – We are now offering two luxurious items from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. Look for them at Keystone Clothiers in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort or The Star Trader in Disneyland park at the Disneyland Resort.

Star Wars Accessories at Disney Parks Star Wars Accessories at Disney Parks

These Are the Accessories You’re Looking For – From Dooney & Bourke handbags to shoes that resemble Darth Vader, there are many accessories available to complete any out-of-this-world outfit. I particularly like the scarf with vintage Star Wars artwork as it reminds me of bed sheets I had as a child.

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Star Wars Name Tags – Guests can create personalized name tags with their names written in Aurebesh, one of the alphabets used in the Star Wars galaxy. There is also a name tag designed especially for Annual Passholders. Look for these name tags at Watto’s Grotto in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida or Tomorrowlanding in Disneyland park in California.

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Disney Pins and Vinylmation Figures
– Guests will find new Disney pins to collect or trade including a mystery pin set. We also released a limited release Vinylmation mystery set with eight figures. You won’t know which one you’ve got until you open the box.

Star Wars Items Available at Launch Bay Cargo CAPTION

Launch Bay Cargo – One of the coolest destinations for collectible merchandise is Launch Bay Cargo. This location is found at both Disneyland park in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. Guests can find replica costumes, light up Lightsaber umbrellas, toys, collectibles and more. Fans can also create D-Tech on Demand phone cases with Star Wars artwork. In Florida, we also offer an option to create and personalize retail MagicBands.

Shop Disney Parks Mobile App – This free mobile app gives you access to select Star Wars products from Disney Parks which you can have shipped directly to your home. We also introduced some fun hidden search terms that reveal some video clips. To download the free app, please visit DisneyWorld.com/Shop.

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Filed: Disney Springs, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on January 12th, 2016 by Rose Monahan, Librarian, Walt Disney World Resort


Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is a favorite for thrill-seeking guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. How well do you know the attraction? Test your knowledge below.



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Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

What is the name of the famed music studio you catch Aerosmith wrapping up a recording session?
ROCK ON!:  A 40-foot-tall electric guitar, giant keyboard and a larger-than-life painting of the legendary rock group Aerosmith adorn the exterior of the "Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith."  The thrill attraction is an indoor roller coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  Inside, riders board a limousine-themed roller coaster car and are launched from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds -- all while listening to a custom-recorded soundtrack by the legendary rock group Aerosmith. (Gene Duncan, photographer)
What speed does your super-stretch limo top off at during the beginning of your ride?
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What city do you travel through to get to Aerosmith's concert?
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How many inversions will you experience on Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith?
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How many total speakers are in each super-stretch limo?
ROCK ON!:  A 40-foot-tall electric guitar and giant keyboard adorn the exterior of the "Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith."  The thrill attraction is an indoor roller coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  Inside, riders board a limousine-themed roller coaster car and are launched from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds -- all while listening to a custom-recorded soundtrack by the legendary rock group Aerosmith. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

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Costa Does It Again at the Walt Disney World Marathon

posted on January 10th, 2016 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


Fredison Costa is only about 140 pounds soaking wet, but he said he felt very heavy on Sunday. Maybe it was from the weight of five – count them, five – Walt Disney World Marathon medals he now has in his possession.

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Costa, the Brazilian runner who trains at Walt Disney World Resort, continued to pile on the victories Sunday morning, winning his third straight Walt Disney World Marathon and his fifth in the last six years.

Costa’s win, along with Natasha Yaremczuk’s victory in the women’s division (2:52:23), capped the 23rd Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. The signature runDisney event drew more than 100,000 runners and fans for races of all levels, a Health & Fitness Expo and the first-ever runDisney Race Director Series for race executives from around the world.

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Costa, 38, provided the perfect punctuation to the weekend and is quickly gaining on Adriano Bastos for the title of winningest runner in Walt Disney World Marathon history. With his fifth victory, Costa is only three behind Bastos, who is an eight-time winner.

It’s been anything but easy, especially Sunday. His win – he crossed the finish line in 2:33:24 – was the slowest of his five victories, roughly 15 minutes slower, in fact, than his winning time last year (2:18:06). That’s because he was coming off a recent calf injury that forced him to suspend his training for 10 days. And it didn’t help that it was a warm and wet morning, which also zapped some of his speed as he navigated the 26.2-mile course through all four Disney theme parks.

Nevertheless, Costa said he achieved the one thing he wanted more than anything. He won.

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“I was not happy with my time,’’ said Costa, who trains with former Olympic track & field coach Brooks Johnson at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. “But I’m the happiest man on earth.’’

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyTweens: Thrills and Adventures Await Your Tweens at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 8th, 2016 by Raquel Giorgio, Public Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Hi! I’m Raquel Giorgio, Public Relations Manager at Walt Disney World Resort, and the mother of one very adorable and enthusiastic Tween. My nine-year-old daughter is just starting to yearn for independence … but still wants to know her family is within arm’s reach. Sound familiar to you?

I want to welcome you to the latest series on the Disney Parks Blog. It’s all about … you guessed it … Tweens! While we know that Walt Disney World Resort is a favorite vacation destination for families with younger children, I’m here to tell you that Walt Disney World Resort is also the perfect place to bring your older kids! Thrilling and adventurous experiences in all FOUR of our Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, TWO water parks and Disney Springs await them! Now that they are older, Tweens can do and experience so much more! They’re taller and height restrictions may no longer apply to them. And they may be up for more adventure now!

Just check out brothers Graeme and Corbin as they try to one-up each other with a challenge to go on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.

Whenever I bring my daughter to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it’s mandatory that the family ride Expedition Everest three times … in a row! She just loves it! And then she’ll exit the ride to search out a chance to meet Mickey and Minnie in their trendy safari outfits!

What are some of your favorite thrill rides here at Walt Disney World Resort that you’d like to share with your older kids? Is it Space Mountain, Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom Park? Perhaps Test Track at Epcot or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments below.

For more information on planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort with your Tween, check out www.disneyworld.com/Tweens.

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What’s New in Walt Disney World Resort Dining: 16 for 2016

posted on January 7th, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


2015 was full of culinary news for Walt Disney World Resort, and 2016 promises to be equally exciting, especially at Disney Springs. From new restaurants to more fun with Disney characters, here’s a look ahead at 2016.

  1. Sunday brunches are the hot weekend ticket. Narcoossee’s Waterfront Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a new one, and Brunch at the Top debuts February 7 at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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  1. Get over to the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen in the Magic Kingdom Park and try a rice noodle bowl, sustainable local farm-raised shrimp in chili-garlic sauce, or the Kungaloosh!, an African-inspired chocolate cake with caramelized bananas with cashew-caramel ice cream. This is an all-new menu for the Disney chefs.
  2. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival expands to 90 days, March 2 to May 30 (from 75 days last year). Fresh garden produce, savory bites and sweet treats will be abundant at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, returning for a fourth year with guest favorites and new food and beverage offerings.

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  1. Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate the art of traveling, featuring foods from places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Open for both lunch and dinner. (“Tiffin” is an Indian English word for a midday meal or a type of container used to carry food while traveling).
  2. Adjacent to Tiffins, Nomad Lounge will feature hand-crafted cocktails using the art of mixology with African, Asian and South American flavors, beers and wines from those regions, and a selection of specialty non-alcoholic beverages in addition to small bites.
  3. Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s BoardWalk will temporarily close the end of January, then reopen in the fall with a whole new look – and while the kitchen is working on new menu items, Chef Tim Keating promises that potato-wrapped snapper and the popular New York strip steak will be back. Stay tuned for details.

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  1. Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’’s Hollywood Studios debuted in 2015, but guests can look forward to new themes coming in 2016, including Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine, Minnie’s Springtime Dine, Minnie’s Summertime Dine and Minnie’s Halloween Dine.

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  1. Let’s start 2016 with a taste of the chocolate at The Ganachery at Disney Springs – the proprietary blend of chocolate and cream made right in the shop is not to be missed. The lovely little space elevates sweets to an experience akin to a wine tasting.
  2. Coming to Disney Springs in early 2016 is STK, a modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge and emphasizing a social and fun environment. It will be one of the largest STK locations in the world, occupying 14,000 square feet in a two-story building, including a main level and a rooftop-dining area with incredible views of Disney Springs.
  3. Sprinkles, the world’s first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, will serve up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies at Disney Springs in 2016. Their innovative Cupcake ATM will satisfy sweet-toothed epicureans 24/7.
  4. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza also comes to Disney Springs in 2016, a modern day “pizza joint” known for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. The fast-casual restaurant will feature an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize their pizza, choosing from over 40 fresh toppings.

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  1. Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine will showcase the cuisine of Chef Art Smith at Disney Springs when it opens in Summer 2016. Smith, who was born and reared in the town of Jasper, Fla., on the Florida-Georgia border, will feature farm-to-fork cuisine that showcases the bounty of Florida, and design inspired by turn-of-the century Florida architecture of the late 1800s.

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  1. Also opening in Summer 2016 at Disney Springs, Frontera Fresco by Chef Rick Bayless will showcase the gourmet Mexican cuisine that has made Chef Bayless a culinary legend. The restaurant will feature authentic Mexican specialties such as hand-crafted tortas, tacos, salads, fresh-made guacamole and classic Mexican braised meat entrees, all prepared from time-honored recipes with natural, locally sourced ingredients. Frontera Fresco also will serve an extensive selection of margaritas, cocktails and craft beers and wine.
  2. Look for a re-imagined Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs as the flagship venue is transformed into a star-themed Planet Hollywood Observatory to match the look and feel of Disney Springs. As part of the makeover, the venue will add a new outdoor terrace and bar space called Stargazers and feature live entertainment.
  3. Also at Disney Springs, new Disney quick-service locations and kiosks will be blooming this spring. Perfect for a quick bite. Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more information on these locations.
  4. Two new Disney cookbooks for 2016: a new Delicious Disney: Sweet Treats book due out in the fall, and one celebrating both the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (dates still TBD for the food & wine fest when the book will debut).
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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney Springs, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

ALEX AND ANI to Retire Mickey, Minnie and Pluto Character Bangles at Disney Parks

posted on January 5th, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


The new year is here, and new styles and designs from ALEX AND ANI are on their way. In order to make room, for the very first time, the following character silhouette ALEX AND ANI bangles will retire beginning January 11, 2016.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ALEX and ANI Bangles Will Retire Beginning January 11, 2016 Mickey Mouse and Pluto ALEX and ANI Bangle Will Retire Beginning January 11, 2016

If you’re looking to add one of these bangles to your collection or someone else’s, be sure to get them before they’re gone! Look for these ALEX AND ANI pieces and more online and in stores at:

Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney World Resort

Which character silhouette is your favorite?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Springs, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort