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Elton John to Perform in ‘The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60’ February 21 on ABC and Fans Can Join the Fun with the Disney Applause App

posted on January 27th, 2016 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is the inspiration for a glamorous, star-studded two-hour television event, “The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60,” on Sunday, Feb. 21 on the ABC Television Network.

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Hosted by two-time Emmy Award winner, Derek Hough, the special broadcast will originate from both the heart of Hollywood at the Dolby Theater and at some of the most iconic locations throughout the Disneyland Resort including Sleeping Beauty Castle, Main Street, U.S.A., and Cars Land.

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Among the special appearances during the show, one of the most successful solo artists of all time, Sir Elton John, will captivate audiences as he performs in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park by singing the Oscar®-nominated song “Circle of Life,” from Disney’s “The Lion King,” and his new song “Wonderful Crazy Night,” from his upcoming album.

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Fans watching the show at home can participate in Sir Elton’s performance and much more with the Disney Applause app, available for iOS and Android. Applause delivers a second-screen, interactive experience that will sync directly to the broadcast’s major musical segments, displaying colorful light shows and original content on viewers’ phones. Their display will be in harmony with the illuminated accessories worn by guests and elaborate lighting design during the performances.

Check back for more details on this once-in-a-lifetime television event!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Special Events

Video Rewind: Audio-Animatronics Magic at Disney Parks

posted on January 26th, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


One of the most iconic innovations to come out of Disney Parks is audio-animatronics technology. Walt Disney was driven to bring what he saw as three-dimensional animation to Disneyland, and on June 23, 1963, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room opened. The first attraction to feature audio-animatronics figures was home to more than 200 singing birds, flowers and tikis. Let’s take a look back on some of the audio-animatronics advancements we’ve shown you here on the Disney Parks Blog.

All the way back in 2009, we took you behind the scenes as Walt Disney Imagineering programmed the most advanced audio-animatronics figure at the time, Abraham Lincoln, at Disneyland park.

Jump ahead five years, and imagineers continued to develop amazing audio-animatronics innovations, this time working with Walt Disney Animation Studios on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park.

And of course, the story of audio-animatronics technology begins with Walt Disney himself. Take a look back at this video, which we shared last year for the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at Magic Kingdom Park.

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

SMS Audio Hits the Perfect Note with Super Hero Sound at Disney Parks

posted on January 22nd, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It sounds like the new year will continue to surprise and delight us with new offerings from SMS Audio! Debuting this month is a collection of super hero-themed SMS Audio headphones (the official headphones of Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort) that will only be found at Disneyland Resort, Disney Springs and other select locations at the Walt Disney World Resort, before hitting national retailers this spring.

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Look for designs that resemble the high-tech armor of a certain billionaire industrialist, complete with a red headband, 3D Arc Reactor gold ear cups and black leather ear cushions.

If it’s a more covert mission, perhaps consider the black headphones that resemble a certain master of disguise, complete with red perforated ear cushions and headband. There’s no doubt it will be the “mane” attraction when you first catch a glimpse, before getting caught in its web, of course.

Finally, look for headphones designed with a royal blue finish, ear cups that are both patriotic and symbolic of an indestructible domed shield and premium perforated ear cushions styled in classic grey.

The retail price on these sleek and stylish super hero-themed SMS Audio headphones at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort is currently $99.95, plus tax. Look for them in the coming weeks at the following locations:

Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney World Resort

Which super hero-themed headphone sounds the best to you?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Springs, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

When I See an Elephant Fly … from the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park

posted on January 22nd, 2016 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Disneyland Resort fans know that our attractions need a bit of scrubbing and polishing every now and then. But when the attraction in question is the world famous Jungle Cruise, and the scrubbing and polishing involves one rather hefty bull elephant … well then, you just call in a helicopter. (Of course!) I hope you’ll enjoy the video below, which proves once again that elephants really can fly.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Engineer Andy Fitzgerald to be Saluted at Disneyland Resort Flag Retreat Ceremony January 24

posted on January 21st, 2016 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


This Sunday, January 24, we will extend a special thank you during the daily flag retreat ceremony at Disneyland park to Andy Fitzgerald, one of four U.S. Coast Guardsmen who went out to sea to rescue the crew of the SS Pendleton in 1952. The historic rescue, the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard, is the focus of the Walt Disney Studios upcoming heroic action-thriller “The Finest Hours.”

Join us at 3:45 p.m. as we celebrate Andy and all our servicemen and women in Town Square. “The Finest Hours” debuts in U.S. theaters on January 29. Check out the film’s latest featurette with Andy and the cast.

Disney’s “The Finest Hours” is the unforgettable story of the Coast Guard’s courageous mission, which is directed by Craig Gillespie and stars: Chris Pine; Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominee Casey Affleck; Ben Foster; Holliday Grainger; John Ortiz; and Eric Bana. Produced by Jim Whitaker and Dorothy Aufiero, the screenplay is by Oscar® nominee Scott Silver and Oscar nominees Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson based on the acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman. Doug Merrifield serves as executive producer. “The Finest Hours” storms into U.S. theaters on January 29, 2016 in Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D.

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Disneyland Diamond Days Winner Enjoys Private Breakfast in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park

posted on January 21st, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


Recently, Disneyland Diamond Days winner Simon Dawson from Thousand Oaks, Calif., and his family enjoyed a private breakfast in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland park, along with a ride on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. The morning got even more magical when Roger Rabbit himself joined them for a visit!

In addition to their private breakfast, Simon and his family also enjoyed a three day, two night Disneyland Resort vacation package.

This week, don’t miss out on your chance to win your own private breakfast in Mickey’s Toontown during Disneyland Diamond Days! For details, Official Rules and to learn more about Disneyland Diamond Days, visit Disneyland.com/DiamondDays.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S., D.C., Mexico and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are age of majority as of date of entry. Sweepstakes ends 6:59 AM PT on 2/5/16. Each weekly drawing starts Friday at 7:00AM PT and ends at 6:59 AM PT the following Friday. Each eligible weekly entry automatically entered into final drawing but not into any daily drawings. Limit one (1) entry per person per day, regardless of method of entry. Disney Memories, 500 S. Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521, U.S.A.

©Disney/Amblin Entertainment, Inc.

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runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Outfits

posted on January 20th, 2016 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


Runners embraced the light side at the runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort. We saw runners choose styles from the original Star Wars films such as Luke and Leia, and many runners who felt the Force as BB-8, Rey and Finn.

Our Star Wars friends Matt Martin and Cole Horton joined us this past weekend. Matt manages digital content and community relations at Lucasfilm and Cole is a Star Wars contributor as well as the author of Star Wars related books. Congratulations to Matt Martin for completing his first Star Wars 5K and Cole Horton who accomplished his mission in the Star Wars Rebel Challenge! We celebrated at Star Wars Launch Bay in Disneyland park afterward, in our outfits from New Balance and Champion.

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Here are a few of our favorite looks from the weekend. Congrats to all participants on fulfilling your destiny!

Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side is coming to Walt Disney World Resort. We can’t wait for you to join us.

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Did you participate this past weekend? Show us your Force-inspired style with the hashtag #StarWarsHalf! Follow @runDisney on Twitter and Instagram for more galactic fun.

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Space Mountain-Themed Products Are Clear for Launch at Disney Parks

posted on January 19th, 2016 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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One of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World Resort is Space Mountain because I’ve dreamed of being an astronaut. This classic Disney attraction in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park opened on January 15, 1975. During many family trips, you would typically find me hanging out in the attraction queue listening to the out-of-this-world music loop. To commemorate this year’s anniversary, I visited the Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. shop to survey some Space Mountain themed merchandise we offer at Disney Parks.

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In the first image, I’m wearing a new shirt coming to the Disney Parks online store from January 25-31, 2016. Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra created the artwork for this retro-looking, ringer tee based on Space Mountain promotional artwork from the 1970s. To order this shirt starting January 25, please visit DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents. Please allow 3-5 weeks for delivery.

While at the shop, I discovered a variety of other shirts for adults and kids along with space-themed hats.

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One of my favorite shirts features two astronauts riding Space Mountain. It reminded me of the astronauts once found outside the Florida attraction’s entrance.

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Other items at the location include a frame, a space-themed Attractionista doll named Celeste, and artwork by Dave Perillo titled “Trip of Tomorrow Today.” The latter is being offered as a framed print, matted print and postcard.

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At the shop, guests can create and personalize a D-Tech on Demand phone case or a retail MagicBand with Space Mountain artwork.

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Finally, there is a new Vinylmation mystery set called “Mickey and Friends in Space” coming to Disney Parks on January 29. This limited release set was designed by Disney Design Group artist Costa Alavezos. Once released, look for it in select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

You may find and order select Space Mountain items using the free Shop Disney Parks mobile app. To download this app, please visit DisneyWorld.com/Shop.

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How to Plan an Unforgettable Girlfriends’ Getaway at the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 18th, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


As the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues to dazzle, 2016 is a great time for you and your girls to channel your inner princesses at the Disneyland Resort. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or simply spending quality girl time at the Happiest Place on Earth, try out these fun activities for a magical girlfriends’ getaway!

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Show off matching Mickey Ears, hats or t-shirts
Stepping out in matching Disney style is the perfect way to celebrate your friendship! Minnie ears from The Mad Hatter at Disneyland park, Disney t-shirts from Gone Hollywood at Disney California Adventure park or cute accessories from the World of Disney store in the Downtown Disney District make great photo props.

Capture your memories with Disney’s PhotoPass Service
Disney’s PhotoPass Service ensures that all the girls can get in the group photo. Friendly PhotoPass photographers will pose you in front of iconic locations in the parks, capture Disney Character greetings and even snap a photo with your personal cameras.

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Rejuvenate at Mandara Spa at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
A getaway is not complete without pampering fit for a princess! The Balinese-themed Mandara Spa inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa provides an escape to paradise with relaxing massages, manicures, facials and more. Reservations are recommended.

Enjoy dinner in the park at Carthay Circle Restaurant
With an exquisite menu and décor inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, you and your best friends will dine like stars at Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure park.

End a spectacular night with the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular
The recipe for a memorable night includes grabbing a cup of hot cocoa, cozying up near “it’s a small world” and spending quality time together as the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks sparkle in the skies above Disneyland park. This spot has a great view of the beautiful animated projections on the exterior of “it’s a small world,” too.

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Grab drinks at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
Located at the Disneyland Hotel, the torch-lit terrace of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar is a relaxing spot to unwind and continue the fun after a day in the parks. This tropical-themed lounge evokes the feeling of a mystical oasis, and some colorful cocktails may conjure up magical surprises!

How do you have fun with your best friends at the Disneyland Resort?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Hotels & Resorts, Vacation Planning

The Force is with Nick Arciniaga Again in Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort

posted on January 17th, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


Nick Arciniaga Wins Star Wars Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

Fountain Valley, Calif., native Nick Arciniaga just won his second consecutive Star Wars Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort today! After winning the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon in 2015, he followed up with second straight victory in a record-setting time of 1:05:49.

Arciniaga, 32, who now lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., blasted past First Order stormtroopers to break the tape at the finish line. Adam Roach of Pebble Beach, Calif., was second (1:12:29) and Hunter Sapienza of Seattle, Wash., was third (1:12:38).

“This is a race that means a lot to me,” Arciniaga said of the victory. “I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since I can remember.” Arciniaga goes on to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon in the upcoming weeks.

Annie Bersagel is First Female Finisher in Star Wars Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

Annie Bersagel, 32, of Colorado, also flew at lightspeed across the finish line Sunday as the female winner with a time of 1:15:09. Bersagel is also set to compete in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon. Second-place female finisher was 2015 Star Wars Half Marathon female winner, Jennifer Berry, of Denver, Colo. (1:21:11) and third-place finisher was Kendal Sager of Los Altos, Calif. (1:25:05).

“I was the fastest stormtrooper out here today,’’ Bersagel joked after her win, clad in Star Wars-inspired running gear. “So that’s all you can really ask for, right?”

Star Wars Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

Arciniaga and Bersagel jumped to hyperspace to outrun more than 13,000 athletes in the 13.1-mile intergalactic journey through Disneyland Resort and Anaheim area streets, where a variety of Disney entertainment, including Star Wars characters, cheered on runners at every mile.

The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend included several family-friendly events, including a three-day Health and Fitness Expo with the latest in fitness apparel, running gear and high tech gadgets. It was the second runDisney race weekend of 2016 and the first this year at Disneyland Resort. The event offered athletes a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters – the runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon. The ultimate test for Star Wars rebels was the Star Wars Rebel Challenge – a two-race challenge that combined the Star Wars 10K on Saturday with the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday. Jedi runners who finished the 19.3-mile challenge earned a special Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher medal in addition to medals for the 10K and half marathon.

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