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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – March 2014

posted on February 26th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


March 5 – May 18: Looking to ‘grow’ your collection or ‘pick’ the perfect item from this year’s assortment of 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival merchandise? Now you can! Fellow author Steven Miller recently shared details about some of this year’s new merchandise, among other items. See what’s in bloom and be sure to keep an eye out because several of our beloved Disney artists will be on hand for special appearances and signings throughout the festival as well as during the Art in the Garden Weekend taking place Mar. 28 – 30. Tip: Passholders be sure to keep an eye out for special merchandise created just for you!

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March 5 – 9: Meet renowned artist Larry Dotson who will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Epcot. Be sure to stop by and say hello as you check out some of his latest releases. Learn more.

March 12 – 16: Artist Greg McCullough will be appearing at Art of Disney in Epcot, Mar. 12 – 16 and Mar. 26 – 30, as we celebrate the release of some of his latest pieces. Learn more.

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March 15: Stop by Animation Gallery inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the limited edition release of “Off the Page – 25 Years,” which features Sorcerer Mickey as he conjures various images from “Fantasia,” and meet the artists from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Learn more. Can’t make it to the event? Order yours now!

March 18: Mark your calendars for the DVD and Blu-Ray release of “Frozen” and “Saving Mr. Banks,” two of my personal favorites. More details on these releases will be available shortly, so keep watching the Disney Parks Blog.

March 21 – 26: David E. Doss will be appearing daily at The Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection! Learn more.

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March 26 – 27: Are you a fan of Ridley Pearson? Are you ready for the release of “Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider”? If your answer was yes, then be sure to check out all of the details on Ridley Pearson’s appearances and details on the last book in the beloved Kingdom Keepers series. Learn more.

Which artist showcase and event are you most excited to attend?

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The Rebel Alliance Adds Another Weekend to Star Wars Weekends 2014 in Response to a Decree Issued by the Evil Sith, Emperor Palpatine

posted on February 21st, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


As the Rebel Alliance continues its fight for freedom and democracy in the Star Wars galaxy, the phantom puppetmaster himself, Darth Sidious (aka Emperor Palpatine), has issued a new galactic decree about Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

While some of his blue-hued holographic transmission was garbled, the Emperor has ordered his Galactic Empire to create a demonstration of force and power that can be seen high above Disney’s Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends 2014. This has caused much talk in the galaxy that a gala fireworks show featuring Star Wars music will be presented each evening this year.

When consulted, several protocol droids further translated the Emperor’s message. These translations reinforced the conclusions that there will be a new evening experience for Star Wars Weekends guests on Hollywood Blvd. in the Walt Disney World Resort theme park.

However, that’s not the end of this story.

When the Rebel Alliance secretly learned of the Emperor’s plans from a hidden message decoded from an astromech droid, they decided to extend the galactic gala one more weekend in 2014.

In order to convince more guests to join the Rebellion, a 5th weekend is now being added to Star Wars Weekends 2014. The new event dates are every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 16-June 15, 2014. The theme for this year’s event is, appropriately, “Join the Rebellion.”

  • Weekend I: May 16 – 18, 2014
  • Weekend II: May 23 – 25, 2014
  • Weekend III: May 30 – June 1, 2014
  • Weekend IV: June 6 – 8, 2014
  • Weekend V: June 13 – 15, 2014

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In addition to offering a first-look at this year’s event logo above, we’re pleased to announce James Arnold Taylor will return to Star Wars Weekends 2014 as the event’s official celebrity host. Taylor, a Star Wars Weekends fan favorite, is the voice of hundreds of animated characters, including Obi-Wan Kenobi on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”

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This Week in Disney History: The Muppets Join the Disney Family

posted on February 20th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today on the Disney Parks Blog, we’re celebrating one of the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational moments in Disney history – the 10th anniversary of the day when The Muppets officially joined the Disney family!

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Although Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang were officially welcomed into Disney in 2004, the partnership between Disney Parks and The Muppets started years earlier, with a Muppet*Vision 3D attraction debuting at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in 1991. The attraction was later added to Disney California Adventure park at Disneyland Resort in 2001.

Stay tuned for more Muppets coverage today!

Thanks to Jason “Tiki” Tackett for the special Disney Parks Blog logo.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney History, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider Set To Debut at Disney Parks

posted on February 18th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Don’t miss your chance to meet acclaimed author Ridley Pearson, as we celebrate the release of his newest book, “Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider,” the much-anticipated, final addition to the Kingdom Keepers saga. Ridley will be making special appearances on the following dates:

Walt Disney World Resort*:

Disneyland Resort:

  • March 29 – Disneyana, Disneyland park (10 a.m. – Noon)

Here’s a look at the cover as well as what you can expect from this new book:

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The Kingdom Keepers’ senior year in high school is almost over. For more than three years, things have been quiet. Their battles are long behind them, they agree, the threat to the Disney realm silenced albeit at great cost. But inside the catacombs of the Aztec temple where Finn Whitman faced down his nemesis, the monstrous Chernabog, a new threat brews.

Deception and betrayal rock the Kingdom Keepers as the merciless group of Disney villains known as the Overtakers stage an unexpected comeback. But a discovery by the Keepers provides them with one hope of victory-a lost icon. It was believed to be gone forever. The Keepers have one last chance to preserve the heart of the Kingdom-Disneyland-from a terrifying destruction decades in the making.

Be sure to visit DisneyParksMerchandise.com for event information, details on wristband distribution (where applicable) and more.

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

Disney Parks Blog Readers Enjoy ‘BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story’

posted on February 14th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Last night, 200 Disney Parks Blog readers got an early start on celebrating Valentine’s Day by joining the Disney Parks Blog Team for our “BLANK: A Vinylmation Love StoryMeet-Up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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This short film tells the story of an unpainted Vinylmation on a quest to find a lost soul mate. The story is told in miniature scale and was filmed entirely in practical stop motion – amazing!

In addition to the film, our readers heard behind-the-scenes details on the creation of the film from Producer Matt Wyatt. Kevin-Michael Lezotte and Thomas Scott from Disney Theme Park Merchandise also spoke about what it’s like to design Vinylmations and shared sneak peeks at a few new figures that will hit shelves later this year. Check them out below.

Disney Parks Blog Readers Enjoy ‘BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story’ Disney Parks Blog Readers Enjoy ‘BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story’
Disney Parks Blog Readers Enjoy ‘BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story’ Disney Parks Blog Readers Enjoy ‘BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story’

To cap off the night, each attendee received a pair of 3-inch, create-your-own Blank and Bow figures.

Learn more about “Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story” at http://www.BlankAndBow.com or on social media channels by using the hashtag #BlankAndBow.

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See ‘Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story’ at Premiere Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios from February 14-17, 2014

posted on February 11th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With Valentine’s Day weekend just around the corner, I’m delighted to share that “Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story” will be coming to Premiere Theatre in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort from February 14-17, 2014. This 39-minute, stop-motion, animated short tells the story of an unpainted Vinylmation figure on a quest that alters the destiny of his entire world. You may recall that I first discussed this short last August on the Disney Parks Blog (read the story here).

We will have several showings of the film throughout the four day engagement at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Show times are 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Separate theme park admission is required to attend, and seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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We will also have special screenings for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members on select days.

On February 14 and February 16, a showing for Passholders only will be held at 10:00 a.m. Please present a valid annual pass at the entrance to the Premiere Theatre.

On February 15 and February 17, a Disney Vacation Club Members only screening will be held at 10:00 a.m. Please present a valid Disney Vacation Club Member ID card at the entrance to the Premiere Theatre.

Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members are welcome to attend the other screening times throughout the four days.

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We have created a few items to celebrate the debut of this Vinylmation-themed short. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, look for 3-inch, create-your-own Blank and Bow figures, T-shirts and D-Tech on Demand cases for the iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5S.

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From February 14-23, we will be offering select “Blank” items and more via our Disney Parks online store. You will find the two shirts and D-Tech on Demand iPhone cases shown above as well as some unique custom figures.

There will be 50 blank, 3-inch Vinylmation figures with custom artwork by Disney Design Group artist Thomas Scott. Each figure will be individually numbered.

We will also offer a handful of sets featuring 3-foot Vinylmation figures that resemble Blank and Bow (pictured above). One of these 3-foot figure sets will be signed by the Disney Interactive team who worked on the short.

Please allow 8-10 weeks for delivery of all items ordered online at http://www.DisneyStore.com/Blank.

You can see more about “Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story” at http://www.BlankAndBow.com. If you are active on social networks, join the conversation using the hashtag #BlankAndBow.

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Sign Up for Our ‘BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story’ Meet-Up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on February 10th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


UPDATE: This event has been filled to capacity. Please CLICK HERE to view a list of the accepted event attendees. If you are on the list and do not receive a confirmation email by 7 p.m. EST today, please contact us at WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’re providing an opportunity for you to be among the first to see the new film “BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story” during a special meet-up inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Our Disney Parks Blog meet-up begins at 7:30 p.m. EST on February 13, 2014, at the Premiere Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At the event, you’ll be able to see “BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story” – a heartwarming tale of an unpainted Vinylmation on a quest to find a lost soul mate. It’s an epic adventure in miniature scale, filmed entirely in practical stop motion. Also during the night, there will be entertainment, the opportunity to learn more about the film and some other fun experiences.

RSVP now by sending us an email with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com. Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of attendees will be selected for the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All attendees who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests do not need to be 18 or older.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • We will send an 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.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in at the entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person and guest.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation.

This post will be updated after the planned capacity has been reached. Please note the event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Hope to see you there.

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New Ink & Paint Cels Set to Debut at Disney Parks

posted on February 6th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It’s an Ink & Paint Cel extravaganza! Join us as we celebrate the release of two very special Ink & Paint Cels at Disney Parks.

If you let your conscience be your guide, you will probably find yourself visiting Disneyana in Disneyland park on March 5. Why? Because a brand new hand-painted Ink & Paint Cel featuring Jiminy Cricket will make its official debut, along with a special appearance and signing with some of the artists.

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This limited edition 1000 “Jiminy Cricket” cel will be available in a variety of formats including Unframed, Framed, Framed Cel with Postcard and Framed Cel with Postcard and Pin. All framed pieces available with your choice of black or gold frames. If you are unable to make it to the Disneyland Resort, a limited number of cels will be available to pre-purchase online. So if you can’t wait, be sure to visit ArtofDisneyParks.com to place your order today through March 4!

Sorcerer Mickey fans mark your calendars too! On March 15, stop by Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort as we celebrate the limited edition release of “Off the Page – 25 Years,” featuring none other than Sorcerer Mickey as he conjures various images from “Fantasia.”

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The limited edition 1000 “Off the Page – 25 Years” cel will also be available in several formats including: Unframed, Black Framed Cel, Black Frame with Pin and Cel, Black Frame with Pin, Postcard and Cel as well as a Gold Frame. Disney Event Services is currently taking pre-orders for this piece, so place your order today! But keep in mind, all orders must be placed no later than Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 5 p.m. (Eastern).

If you’re curious about the limited edition pins that are only available if you choose the framed postcard and pin option, wonder no more. Here’s a sneak peek of what they’ll look like!

Jiminy Cricket Pin Sorcerer Mickey Pin

Will you add these to your collection?

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First Make Their Debut at Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on January 27th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Two of the biggest stars from Disney Junior, Doc McStuffins and Sofia from “Sofia the First,” have joined the cast of Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine.

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As part of this character dining experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, kids have the chance to meet Doc, Sofia, Handy Manny and Jake from “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.” And during special musical moments throughout breakfast and lunch, they’re invited to get up and join in the fun with the characters and our Disney Junior Play Pals.

In fact, an all-new musical moment has been added, with favorite songs from the TV shows, “Doc McStuffins” and “Sofia the First.” Doc and the Play Pals get everyone to stretch and flex, so they’re “Ready for Action,” while Princess Sofia helps the Play Pals remind their friends that they can do “Anything.”

Of course, the “Hot Dog Song” from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Talk Like a Pirate,” and other popular tunes are still part of the fun, so Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine offers something for every Disney Junior fan!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

A Year in Dining: The Top Five Milestones at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 30th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


With culinary triumphs big (another AAA Five-Diamond award for Victoria & Albert’s) and small (the recent croissant-donut debut at Epcot), there’s been plenty to blog about the wonderful world of food at Walt Disney World Resort. Here are five standouts:

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  1. California Grill: Nothing quite surpasses the re-imagination of the sleek California Grill high atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort. New menu, expanded sushi bar, 80 wines by the glass – and the spectacular view is still part of the show.

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  1. Major makeover at France Pavilion at Epcot: On the heels of the opening of Monsieur Paul restaurant in December 2012, the makeover continued with the opening of Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles, a bakery 10 times the size of the old one at the pavilion. Best of all, the bakery opens at 9 a.m., so you can sip a latte with a warm croissant before the rest of World Showcase opens. Next door to the bakery, the new L’Artisan des Glaces Artisan Ice Cream & Sorbet is making ice cream all day long in the true French tradition (simply milk, sugar, cream, eggs and fruit).
  2. Food marketplaces at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: The farm-to-table trend made its way to the festival with “festival farms” around each of the dozen Garden Marketplaces to show how the plants grow that are part of the food and beverages served at the festival. And they’ll be back in 2014.
  3. Disney Food Trucks: Four fun new trucks are now parked at Downtown Disney West Side serving everything from pierogies and kielbasa and tandoori spiced shrimp. Superstar Catering (“favorite of the stars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios), Namaste Café (“tasty exploration from Disney’s Animal Kingdom”), Fantasy Fare Truck (“delightful dishes from Disney’s Magic Kingdoms around the world”), and World Showcase of Flavors (“the best of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival”) offer something for every taste Wednesday through Sunday.

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  1. Starbucks: The iconic American coffee company debuted in the Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom and at Fountain View at Epcot.

There were plenty of little gems, too: more “better for you” goodies in all four theme parks, the al fresco lounge at Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant, all those designer cupcakes, wine in kegs at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival . . . the list goes on.

And 2014 promises lots of big stories that we can’t wait to share.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort