Disneyland Park, Haunted Mansion Ghost at Piano Scene

#DisneyKids: First Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on September 19th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Holidays are always special at Disney Parks – and as we’ve learned with our #DisneyKids series, they’re also a perfect time for a “first” memory. Right now, our Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is in full swing at the Walt Disney World Resort, so this week we’re at Magic Kingdom Park featuring first Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party experiences.

This year’s celebration features a lot of must-see Halloween-themed entertainment for children, like the “Boo To You Parade,” “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks, Disney characters in costumes, and much more. You can purchase tickets right now on our Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party page.

And if you’re visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, we’re sharing more fun ideas for the little ones as well as offers designed with your family in mind on our special preschool page.

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Details About ‘Link-It Later’ and Accessories for Retail MagicBands at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 19th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I recently shared a look at how guests can use retail MagicBands and accessories to show their Disney Side when visiting Walt Disney World Resort. Today, I have additional details about a new option for retail MagicBands called “Link-It Later,” and a look at some of the newest MagicBandits coming soon to select merchandise locations in Florida.

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We offer retail MagicBands for purchase as an option for guests who may not be staying at a Walt Disney World Resort owned and operated hotel but want to take advantage of some cool technology during their visit. Typically, guests must present one of the following for retail MagicBands to be linked at the time of purchase: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or an active MagicBand.

With the “Link-It Later” option, guests will be able to purchase solid-colored MagicBands (available in seven colors) and link them to a valid theme park admission at a future date. This new option lets guests purchase MagicBands as gifts.

The graphic MagicBands, like the Haunted Mansion-themed one or the MagicBands featuring characters from Disney’s “Frozen,” can’t be linked later at this time.

“Link-It Later” is currently available in select retail locations at Walt Disney World Resort. It was recently expanded to participating off-site locations including Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels in the Downtown Disney area, Disney liquidation stores in Florida, and the Disney merchandise shops at the Orlando International Airport.

Guests may visit their My Disney Experience account to associate MagicBands, using the “Link a MagicBand or Card” link.

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I also convinced the retail MagicBand development team to give you a sneak preview of new MagicBandits coming soon. These small characters or icons can be attached to the side of any MagicBand. I particularly like the retro “world” logo seen in the first image above. I also heard they are working on some MagicBandits featuring famous ghosts that like to follow guests home.

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Filed: MagicBands, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+

Disney Side ‘Not-So-Scary’ Soiree at Magic Kingdom Park Recap

posted on September 15th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Last night, more than 180 Disney Parks Blog readers attended our Disney Side “Not-So-Scary” Soiree at Magic Kingdom Park, celebrating the return of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and the debut of the Villain’s Sinister Soiree.

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The evening kicked off with our guests enjoying the spirited fun of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, including the event’s special character meet and greets, and entertainment. We later met up for the 8:30 p.m. showing of the “Boo To You” parade and enjoyed VIP viewing of “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks.

Later on in the night, our guests were among the first to experience the new Villain’s Sinister Soiree inside Cinderella’s Royal Table, which is a delicious dessert party hosted by Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother and Stepsisters. During the party, our guests also enjoyed photo opportunities with Captain Hook, Dr. Facilier and Frollo.

Be sure to check out our photo galleries and this video for more.

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Showing Their Disney Side – Miss America Contestants Get Adventurous, Goofy and Live Happily Ever After

posted on September 11th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


They are known for their intelligence, talent and beauty, but after spending a day at Magic Kingdom Park they may be better known for their Disney Side.

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Recently, all 53 of the 2015 Miss America contestants visited Walt Disney World Resort and celebrated their adventure side, their goofy side, their happily ever after side – their Disney Side. It was a chance to let their hair down (as much as a pageant contestant can), relax and spend time with fellow contestants. The day was capped off by a special walk down Main Street U.S.A., where they were greeted by thousands of park guests cheering for their home state.

Whether it was adventurous twist and turns on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, pirates play with Goofy or a dance with Prince Charming in front of Cinderella Castle, these girls all had the chance to celebrate their Disney Side.

This week, the girls got down to business in Atlantic City, NJ, where they are competing for the title of Miss America. You can watch the competition live on ABC, Sunday, September 14 (8:00 – 11:00 p.m., ET). The evening kicks off with The Countdown to the Crown, an unprecedented look behind the scenes of the Miss America Competition, followed by the 2015 Miss America Competition.

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Family Creates Giant Olaf at the Beach to Celebrate Disney Side

posted on September 8th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re a regular Disney Parks Blog reader, you know it’s been a summer of Frozen Fun for us. So, before the season officially comes to an end, we wanted to share a spectacular Frozen-inspired sand creation a family made to show their Disney Side at New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

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Each summer vacation, the Dorf family chooses a Disney character to design and build in the sand and everyone pitches in to make it happen. This year, Olaf from the film “Frozen” was the obvious choice since he wanted to experience summer, according to the family.

The Dorf family used a grid to trace the Olaf character in the sand and then filled it in with collected seaweed and a some food coloring. The final product is a fantastic beach Olaf in the sun we just had to share.

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Cheer On Your Disney Side “Kicks-Off” With Nationwide Competition

posted on September 5th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


With college football season underway and teams fighting for the four spots in the new College Football Playoff system, college cheer and dance squads from across the country are jumping into action and competing for national recognition of their own by cheering on their Disney Side.

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This week, college cheer and dance squads began competing in a nationwide competition by creating 30-second videos of a cheer or dance routine using remixed Disney Park attraction music to show off their “Disney Side.’’ Video submissions are being accepted at Espn.com/CheerMagic through Nov. 10 with four finalists announced Dec. 11 on ESPN around the telecast of the Home Depot College Football Awards show at Walt Disney World Resort. The winning squad will be announced January 12 on ESPN before the college football National Championship. The winning team of Cheer On Your Disney Side sponsored by ESPN working in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit, wins a $100,000 grant for their college spirit program and a group trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The excitement is not limited to just cheer and dance squads. Fans can get into the action by voting for their favorite Disney Side cheer and dance routine from the final four finalists.

How do you get involved, take a look.

For more information, rules and to submit a video, visit Espn.com/CheerMagic.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their “Disney Side’’– their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.

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NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of 50 US States and DC, at least 18+ who are a School Administrator, Teacher, Coach or Administrative Director, representing a public or private, 2 or 4 year college/university located in the 50 US States or DC. Starts 9/3/14 12:00 PM EST. Ends 11/10/14 11:59 PM EST. To enter visit www.espn.com/CheerMagic and follow the directions provided to complete the Online entry form, and upload your Spirit Squad’s 30 sec videos. For prize details odds of winning and complete Official Rules go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic.

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Show Off Your Disney Side at Walt Disney World Resort with Retail MagicBands and Accessories

posted on September 5th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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My fellow author Tom Smith recently shared some details about My Disney Experience – a key component of MyMagic+ at Walt Disney World Resort. Today, I wanted to highlight a fun way to show your Disney Side using another element of MyMagic+ – retail MagicBands and accessories.

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Guests staying at a Disney Resort hotel already receive a MagicBand in their choice of select colors. We also offer retail MagicBands which are great for guests who may not be staying at a Disney Resort hotel but want to take advantage of some cool technology during their visit.

There are currently seven different colors offered. You may also recall seeing some special graphic MagicBands at events like Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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I spoke with merchandiser Kevin-Michael Lezotte about how guests can show their Disney Side using MagicBands.

“There are a few ways guests can personalize their MagicBands before or during their visit,” explained Kevin-Michael. “We have ‘MagicBandits,’ which are small characters or icons that attach to the side of a MagicBand. We also have ‘MagicSliders’ and ‘CoverBands,’ both of which can slide over the tops of MagicBands. The latter is offered in large and small sizes depending on the size of a guest’s wrist. These accessories are a fun way for guests to show off their Disney Side while visiting Walt Disney World Resort.”

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The seven solid-color retail MagicBands are $12.95 each plus tax. Retails for other MagicBand accessories vary.

At the time of purchase, guests must present one of the following for retail MagicBands to be linked: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or an active MagicBand. If the item linked to is already connected with the guest’s My Disney Experience account, all existing plans – such as tickets, dining reservations, Disney PhotoPass Service, and FastPass+ selections – will seamlessly link and automatically be accessible via the new MagicBand. Guests who don’t have an established My Disney Experience account prior to purchasing a retail MagicBand can easily create one by visiting www.MyDisneyExperience.com.

It is important to note that the touch to pay option will only work for guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort owned and operated hotels who have establish charging privileges on their resort accounts.
You can find retail MagicBands and accessories in several merchandise locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort. The Disney Parks online store also carries select MagicBand accessories.

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Filed: MagicBands, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

101 Dogs Walk the Green Carpet at First-Ever Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on August 30th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As the sun rose over the Walt Disney World Resort, 101 creatively costumed dogs and their owners walked the green carpet on Main Street, U.S.A., during our first-ever Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom Park.

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Pet dogs dressed as Disney princesses, pirates and even Cruella de Vil were featured at the tail-wagging event, which included a special doggie dance party in front of Cinderella Castle with your favorite Disney dogs like Pluto and Bolt.

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There was a special “Show Your Disney Side” costume contest before Disney character Goofy kicked off a first-of-it’s-kind dog walk around a portion of Magic Kingdom Park and through Cinderella Castle. The walk was led by Lily, a Labrador-Catahoula pup with a perfect Mickey Mouse-shaped spot on her lower back originally featured on the Disney Parks Blog, as well as members of the Disney Parks Blog team.

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Portions of the Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom will be included in an Animal Planet Disney Side edition of “America’s Cutest Pet” scheduled to premiere in October. The TV special will be hosted by actor and pet lover John O’Hurley who also showed up for our event.

Be sure to check out our special gallery from the Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom Park – we had a great time and the costumes were spectacular.

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Disney Tails Pet Products Coming to Disney Parks in Spring 2015

posted on August 29th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Dogs have been on my mind lately. I recently met my daughter’s new dog, Gracie, whom she found at a local shelter upon returning to college. I also read Tom Smith’s story about the Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom Park on August 30. Both things sparked a flood of memories about the two dogs I had growing up. I know pets are important members of many families, so I’m delighted to announce the return of pet products to Disney Parks. Coming in spring 2015, guests will find a small assortment of dog items as part of a new program called “Disney Tails.” I spoke with Nicole Brann, merchandiser for souvenirs, about this new line.

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“We know our guests love their pets,” said Nicole. “Guests may remember the pet products that we carried at Disney Parks in the mid-2000s. I’m excited to reintroduce some of those popular items under this new product line called ‘Disney Tails.’ For the initial small assortment, we will only focus on dog products, including bowls, squeak toys and apparel. I hope these new items will be another fun way that guests and their pets can show their Disney Side at home.”

Nicole shared with me concept artwork for some new items. I, of course, love the Haunted Mansion-
themed bow tie for dogs. All of the products in this line will feature packaging with the Disney Tails logo.

Look for these items in select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts next year. I’ll share additional updates as final samples arrive at our Disney Theme Park Merchandise headquarters.

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While my traveling lifestyle makes me more of a cat person today, I miss my first dog Charlie, as seen here in 1978.

I’d love to hear a “tail” about your favorite pet, so please share in the comments below.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Merchandise to Show Off Your Back-To-School Disney Side

posted on August 25th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Both of my children returned to school in mid-August. Like many parents during this time of the year, I recently went shopping for their school supplies. Granted, the supplies needed for my college-age daughter are much different than the ones for my grade-school-age son. The idea of supply shopping, however, got me thinking about how to kids could show their Disney Side when returning to classes this fall. Luckily, I spotted a nice display in the Emporium at Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World Resort that offered a few ideas.

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Located just inside the location, the small back-to-school display contained a handful of items including pencils, pens, supply boxes, and more. There were also a few backpacks that we offer at Disney Parks. I wish I had that Buzz Lightyear backpack growing up!

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After seeing the display, I spoke with the souvenirs team at Disney Theme Park Merchandise headquarters. They gave me a closer look at the newest erasers to arrive at Disney Parks.

The mystery collector packs were inspired by other collectible merchandise such as Disney pins and Vinylmation. Each pack contains one eraser from a series of themed erasers with characters like Mickey Mouse and friends; Disney princesses; and characters from Disney Channel’s “Phineas and Ferb.” Some of the designs are shown on the packaging with one eraser design remaining a mystery in each series.

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The team also created new, foot-long erasers that have a colorful hidden Mickey Mouse icon in the designs.

Finally, I love the new character erasers which stand about 4-inches tall. These incredibly detailed erasers are probably more decorative in nature; I wanted to display them on my Disney shelf in my office.
Look for these items in select locations at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.

I want to wish all teachers, faculty and students an exciting and productive school year!

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