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Download Our Disney Parks ‘it’s a small world’ Wallpaper

posted on April 10th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today our celebration of the “it’s a small world” attraction continues with a new downloadable wallpaper from Disney artist Jason “Tiki” Tackett. The graphic was inspired by the original “it’s a small world” attraction at Disneyland park. The sign that’s featured in the middle was added during the attraction’s 25th anniversary celebration.

'it's a small world' Wallpaper

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

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Global Celebrations Mark 50th Anniversary of ‘it’s a small world’ at Disney Parks

posted on April 9th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We have an exciting day planned Thursday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disney’s “it’s a small world” attraction, including online and in-park sing-alongs, musical performances and even a special Google Hangout with Disney Legend Richard Sherman.
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We’re kicking off the global celebration early on Thursday with a live sing-along with ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” in Times Square in New York City. If you’re in the area, be sure to check it out. In addition to Times Square, GMA will feature choirs singing live at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, plus a choir at the Unisphere in New York at the original location of the 1964 World’s Fair, where “it’s a small world” debuted.

During the day, you’re also invited to join guests and cast members at Disney Parks around the globe for a historic “it’s a small world” sing-along at our global online hub, SmallWorld50.com. And as Erin shared last week, you can also join us for our Google Hangout event with Disney Legend Richard Sherman, live at 1 p.m. PDT from Disneyland park. The event can be seen live here and in the “Gallery” section of SmallWorld50.com.

Throughout the day, guests at Disney Parks will be participating in the celebration at all five resorts around the world. Here are the details for each park:

  • At the Walt Disney World Resort, hundreds of Magic Kingdom Park guests are joining in the song during a special “pre-parade” before the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.”

    Throughout the day, in-park performers – the Dapper Dans, Coke Corner Pianist, Notorious Banjo Brothers, Royal Majesty Maker Musicians and Main Street Philharmonic – are scheduled to include “it’s a small world” in their appearances.

  • At the Disneyland Resort, songwriter Richard Sherman is scheduled to appear in a sing-along cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A., conducting hundreds of Disneyland guests in their “it’s a small world” sing-along.
  • At Hong Kong Disneyland, cast members and students from Hong Kong Children’s Choir are singing “it’s a small world” in Cantonese.
  • At Tokyo Disneyland, cast members and guests are gathering to sing in Japanese at Tokyo Disneyland.
  • At Disneyland Paris, a “blue carpet” event featuring international cast members is planned for on Main Street, U.S.A., with students from the European International School, singing a multi-language version of the iconic anthem in front of “it’s a small world.”
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Meet the Horses of the Disneyland Resort: Danny and Lucky

posted on April 8th, 2014 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Hello horse fans! It’s time for another inside look at some of our four-legged cast members at Circle D Ranch at the Disneyland Resort.

This is Danny.

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Danny is a Clydesdale draft horse. He is 9 years old, weighs 1700 lbs and stands 17.3 hands or almost 5’8”. He came to the Disneyland Resort from Somewhere Farms in San Diego, Calif.

Fun fact: Danny is very affectionate with his Circle D pals when they are turned out in the corral. He uses his face to scratch and groom his friends and loves it when they reciprocate!

This is Lucky.

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Lucky is also a Clydesdale draft horse. He is 11 years old, weighs 1640 lbs, and is the same height as Danny at 17.3 hands. And like Danny, he came from Somewhere Farms. Lucky shares Danny’s enthusiasm for playtime in the corral and has been known to cause quite the commotion! Lucky works on Main Street, U.S.A., and at Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm, where he enjoys an occasional nap when not meeting our Disneyland park guests. Disney Parks Blog readers will also recognize Lucky from his recent gig as the Valentine’s Day carriage horse in the Downtown Disney District.

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Preparing ‘it’s a small world’ Dolls for Voyage from Disneyland Park to Good Morning America

posted on April 8th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


As we learned yesterday, “it’s a small world” has journeyed from California to New York and back again, and now some of its iconic dolls are making the voyage once again. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the attraction’s opening at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, these dolls will appear on ABC’s Good Morning America, where they will be featured as part of the show’s coverage of our global sing-along event. In the video below, we see how the dolls are cared for here at Disneyland park and how they were prepared for their trip.

And don’t forget – you’ve still got time to join the celebration at SmallWorld50.com!

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‘Egg’-citement Awaits at the Springtime Roundup at Disneyland Park

posted on April 4th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Mr. Easter Bunny has been spotted and he’s at the Springtime Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Disneyland park! Other rare hare sightings include Br’er Rabbit, White Rabbit, Thumper and more. So bunny hop your way down and check the furry fun now now through April 20.

Splash Mountain is my favorite attraction at the Disneyland Resort, so seeing Br’er Rabbit was the best for me! Who is your favorite Disney rabbit?

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Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Celebrates Five Magical Years at Disneyland Park

posted on April 4th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique opened in Fantasyland at Disneyland park. I can still remember standing outside the location on a chilly April day, before the doors opened, watching the ribbon cutting ceremony and I knew then, that we were about to create more magic for our Disney fans than we could have ever possibly imagined.

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Over the years, so many truly amazing and inspiring stories have been shared with us from our Fairy-Godmothers-In-Training regarding transformation experiences with you, our Disney fans. It’s some of those magical stories that I want to share with you today.

One of our United States Military Soldiers was homeward bound and wanted to surprise his three year-old daughter and wife. During his daughter’s transformation experience at Bibibidi Bobbidi Boutique, the ‘King’ as we called him, snuck into the photo studio in the location. After receiving the royal treatment, the ‘princess’ was escorted into the photo studio. Upon saying the magic words, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, the lights in the studio magically turned on and there stood her dad. The little girl instantly screamed Daddy, to which he replied ‘Hi Princess!’

A family with two ‘princesses’ visited Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique during the first year it was open, with each princess taking part in a Castle transformation experience. Upon making their royal debut, the family offered to pay it forward by adding an additional transformation experience on to their bill and allowing the Fairy-Godmothers-in-Training to work their magic. It didn’t take long before they found a little girl whose dream was to become Belle. As it turns out, the ‘princess’ had been living at an orphanage since she was just a couple months old, and her ‘family’ who had found her in the orphanage surprised her with her first trip to Disneyland park. Not only did the ‘princess’ receive the royal treatment, but unbeknownst to her when she and her family returned home, the ‘princess’ was going to be further surprised with the news that she would be adopted and joining her family for a ‘happily ever after.’

What amazes to this day, is that Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is something that can be experienced at almost all of our Disney Parks worldwide, aboard the Disney Fantasy in the Disney Cruise Line fleet and even at Harrods in London, England.

So I invite you to help us celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique opening at Disneyland park, as well as celebrating our locations around the world! How? Share your stories and photos with us on the Disney Parks Blog and across our other social channels. Tag your Instagram photos using #BibbidiBobbidi and we may just share them on our @Disneyland Instagram feed.

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Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Frank Wells

posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Jon Storbeck, Vice President, Disneyland Park


Frank Wells joined The Walt Disney Company as president and chief operating officer in September 1984. He was known throughout the company as a friendly, kind soul who was always approachable and open to ideas. He and Michael Eisner, chairman and chief executive at the time, were a great team. Their working relationship is often likened to that of Walt and Roy Disney; Frank handling the details and Michael in the public eye. It was a true partnership.

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During Frank’s 10-year tenure with Disney, the company experienced unprecedented growth and revitalization. Annual revenues rose from $1.5 billion to $8.5 billion. Disney stock prices increased by 1,500 percent, and the theme park and resort revenues tripled. Disney Consumer Products revenues rose 13-fold and Disney film entertainment revenues jumped 15-fold. Michael and Frank, along with studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg, helped make Disney one of the most successful film studios in the world and re-established its dominance in animated feature films with a series of hits that included “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.”

As a key supporter of Disneyland Paris, Frank expanded the company’s international presence. In 1994, Michael Eisner said, “Fortunately for all of us at Disney, Frank was a buccaneer in the office. He was smart, prudent, a dealmaker and a great closer. He was always supportive of a great idea, whether it was swans on the outside of a building or ‘ducks’ for the name of a hockey team.”

Frank was born on March 4, 1932, in Coronado, California. He was the son of a naval officer and spent his childhood on Navy bases in California and on the East Coast. He graduated from Pomona College and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in jurisprudence. He then served two years in the United States Army, attaining the rank of first lieutenant, before attending Stanford Law School.

Frank worked hard and played hard. He was an environmental enthusiast and an avid mountain climber. In 1983, he set out to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents within a single year. He scaled six, but weather forced him to turn back near the top of Mount Everest. His mountaineering exploits are chronicled in his book, “Seven Summits,” published in 1986. There is a tribute to Frank and his love of mountain climbing in the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction at Disneyland park, where mountain climbing equipment bearing the name “Wells Expedition” can be seen.

On April 3, 1994, Frank Wells died in a helicopter accident in Nevada; he was 62 years old. A building at The Walt Disney Studios was later dedicated in his memory. The Frank G. Wells building opened in 1998, with a ceremonial ribbon cutting by his wife Luanne and Michael Eisner. Beside the building’s entrance, a plaque contains a quote that Frank carried on a slip of paper inside his pocket for thirty years: “Humility is the final achievement.”

Frank was named a Disney Legend in 1994. He was also honored with a window on Main Street, U.S.A., above Disneyana. His window, dedicated in 1996, pays homage to his love of adventure: Seven Summits Expeditions, Frank G. Wells, President, “For Those Who Want To Do It All.”

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Taste of Disney: Herb Panko-Crusted Rack of Lamb from Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland Park

posted on April 2nd, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Next in our Taste of Disney series: a delectable lamb dish from Blue Bayou Restaurant at Disneyland park. Chef Jesse Tiscareno shows us the steps, starting with a rich rosemary jus made with red wine, then a hearty white-bean stove-top cassoulet, the perfect pairing with the rich lamb.

For springtime, the panko-crusted lamb goes with just about any seasonal vegetables, and you could even add some baby carrots or fresh peas to the cassoulet.

But this is the way they serve the classic at Blue Bayou Restaurant, an oasis in New Orleans Square where diners can relax and enjoy the French influences of Louisiana (with Cajun and Creole flavors too). Re-creating this dish takes time, so start early – or make the rosemary au jus and cassoulet a day head.

For Blue Bayou Restaurant reservations (or any Disneyland Resort restaurant), visit www.disneyland.com/dine or call 714-781-DINE (3463).


Herb Panko-Crusted Rack of Lamb

Serves 4

Rosemary Au Jus

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, stems removed, loosely packed
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup cabernet sauvignon
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bread Crumbs

  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

Cannellini Beans for Cassoulet

  • 3 cups dried cannellini or great northern beans
  • Ham hocks, about 1 pound
  • 1 leek, trimmed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves

Cannellini Bean Stove-Top Cassoulet

  • 1/4 cup olive oil or butter
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 1/2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 3 cups prepared cannellini beans (from above recipe)
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • Cooked ham hock meat (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 herb bouquet (3 stems fresh rosemary and 5 sprigs fresh thyme tied together with kitchen string)
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Lamb

  • 2 racks of lamb, (16 ribs total)
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 8 tablespoons prepared bread crumbs (recipe above)
  • 8 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup micro-greens rainbow mix, optional
  • Rosemary jus (recipe above), for serving

For rosemary au jus:

  1. Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, shallots, rosemary, peppercorns, bay leaf, and wine.
  2. Cook until reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add beef stock and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through fine sieve. Discard solids.
  3. Return liquid to pan. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time over low heat, whisking well. Season to taste.
  4. Allow to cool completely then place in an air-tight container and refrigerate several hours.
  5. About 30 minutes before serving, reheat over low heat.

For bread crumbs:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover baking sheet with foil.
  2. Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Transfer crumbs to sheet and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.
  3. Remove from oven and cool. Place in air-tight container until ready to serve.

For cannellini beans:

  1. Rinse beans, place in large bowl, cover with water and soak for several hours or overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400°F. Place ham hocks on sheet tray or pan. Roast until tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Slice meat off bone and finely chop for later use in cassoulet. Reserve bones.
  3. Wrap leek (white and green parts), bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns in cheesecloth.
  4. Place drained beans, water, onions, garlic, leek sachet, and ham hock bones in large pot. Add more water if necessary to cover all ingredients.
  5. Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until beans are tender, about 25 minutes.
  6. Strain beans through sieve and set aside, reserving broth. Discard bones and cheesecloth with ingredients.

For stove-top cassoulet:

  1. Heat oil in medium stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic, carrot, celery, onion, red and yellow peppers, and beans, stirring frequently. Cook until vegetables are lightly browned.
  2. Add bacon and ham hock meat and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add beef stock and herb bouquet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook about 45 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For lamb:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Cut each rack in half.
  2. Pour olive oil into large oven-proof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place lamb fat-side down in sauté pan and sear all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer lamb to oven and cook until desired temperature, 145°F for well done, about 115°F to 120°F for medium rare. (Notes: If lamb cooked to a medium rare preference, this item may contain raw or undercooked ingredients. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, seafood, shellfish or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.)
  4. Remove lamb from oven, cover immediately with foil, and allow to rest for 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. Slice each half rack into 2, 2-rib pieces. To serve, spoon 1/2 cup beans in bottom of each serving bowl. Drizzle rosemary au jus around beans. Brush mustard on fat side of lamb, press into bread crumbs and place 2 pieces of lamb on top of each serving of beans, one slightly crossing over the other. Repeat with remaining bowls.
  6. Sprinkle feta cheese on lamb and top with pinch of micro greens, if desired. Serve immediately.
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Five Things You Might Have Missed in ‘it’s a small world’ at Disneyland Park

posted on April 1st, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


If, like me and most Disney Parks guests, you’ve been on “it’s a small world” countless times, you may think you’ve seen every detail. I recently had the opportunity to tour the attraction here at Disneyland park on foot, giving me the time to stop and really take a look around. Since today is April Fool’s Day, it seemed like the perfect time to share some things that some guests might not have noticed while riding the happiest cruise that ever sailed.

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This one made me stop and laugh out loud. As the boat passes below the bridge in the Enchanted Isles scene, look up and see this schoolboy … um, playing? … with a frog.

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In the Western Europe scene, there is a little blonde doll holding a balloon halfway up the Eiffel Tower. She was created as a tribute to the attraction’s designer, Mary Blair. Notice the short blonde hair and groovy floral dress. Haven’t seen her before? It’s likely because riders’ backs are turned toward the side of the tower she sits on as the boat passes by. So next time you pass the Eiffel Tower, turn around and look up!

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The figures in “it’s a small world” were designed to look like a children’s art project. Look closely at Jaq and Gus next time you pass them … their whiskers and tails are made of pipe cleaners.

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You literature and/or Broadway fans are probably way ahead on this one, but two of my favorite figures in “it’s a small world” appear in the Western Europe scene. Look up and to the left to see Don Quixote fighting his unbeatable foe (windmills), with his loyal sidekick Sancho Panza (astride his donkey, of course), from the Spanish novel “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes. Or “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha” for those who aren’t really into brevity.

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I’m usually too charmed by the Pinocchio marionette to see Jiminy Cricket just over his shoulder. He’s so tiny!

What are your favorite hidden details in “it’s a small world”? Let us know in the comments, and join the 50th anniversary celebration at SmallWorld50.com!

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Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Claude Coats

posted on March 31st, 2014 by Jon Storbeck, Vice President, Disneyland Park


Grand Canyon Diorama at Disneyland Park

Today marks the 56th anniversary of the opening of the Grand Canyon Diorama on what was then called the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad. In 1955, Claude Coats was one of the elite artists and designers Walt Disney selected to help bring Disneyland to life, and he later worked on the development of the Grand Canyon and Primeval World Dioramas for the park.

Born January 17, 1913, in San Francisco, Calif., Claude graduated from the University of Southern California in 1934 with an architecture and fine arts degree. He went on to study at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles before joining the Walt Disney Studio as a background painter in June 1935.

During his time at the Studio, Claude created stunning watercolor background paintings for “Pinocchio” which continue to be heralded by Disney scholars, fans and art collectors for the rich and textured beauty they lend to the classic film. He also developed backgrounds and color stylings for many iconic animated features such as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Fantasia,” “Dumbo,” “The Three Caballeros,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Peter Pan,” and “Lady and the Tramp.”

Claude stood 6-feet, 6-inches tall and was known as a “gentle giant” with a warm wit and a wonderful disposition. He once recalled how Walt used to joke with him about his height. Claude said, “When the Disneyland Stagecoach was completed at the Studio, Walt and a driver were giving rides around the lot, but he wouldn’t let me get in. He said I spoiled the scale.”

While working at the Studio, Claude met his wife Evelyn Henry, an inker in the Ink and Paint Department. The couple married in July 1937 and had two sons, Alan and Lee.

“Claude

In 1955, Claude joined WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering) as a show designer for Disneyland. He referred to this as his “second career” at Disney. In addition to the Dioramas, Claude worked on Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Snow White’s Scary Adventures and Submarine Voyage, among others. Claude also contributed to the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair attractions, including Magic Skyway, Carousel of Progress, and “it’s a small world.”

After 54 years with Disney, Claude retired in November 1989. Marty Sklar, Disney Legend, former executive vice president and Walt Disney Imagineering ambassador, later recalled, “Claude paved the way in turning sketches and paintings into three-dimensional adventures. His energy, curiosity and drive to create new experiences for our Disney park guests made him a leader and a teacher for all of us. He was a genuine one-of-a-kind.”

Claude was named a Disney Legend in 1991. He passed away on January 9, 1992, in Los Angeles.

(April 11, 2013)  Main Street Windows (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

Claude’s window, located above the Emporium, is a tribute to his name and large stature: Coats & Co., Claude Coats, Proprietor, Big and Tall Sizes for Gentlemen.

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