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Star Wars Enhancements, New Experiences Coming Soon to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

posted on August 15th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


From a new Star Tours adventure to Star Wars Launch Bay and Season of the Force, guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts will soon be able to step into the Star Wars galaxy like never before!

Star Wars Launch Bay Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park

Star Wars Launch Bay will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with favorite Star Wars characters and special merchandise. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Also at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with Super Heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.

Hyperspace Mountain Coming for Season of the Force at Disneyland Park

Season of the Force, a new seasonal event beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will also climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

Later this year, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.

Finally, Jedi Training Academy – a favorite of younger fans – will be reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series, “Star Wars Rebels.”

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Live Updates from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Presentation at 2015 D23 EXPO

posted on August 15th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


UPDATE: 4:30 PDT
The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at the 2015 D23 EXPO has concluded! Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog over the next few days for more details on these new and exciting experiences.

The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at the D23 EXPO 2015 is underway! We’re excited to share the news as Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announces new attractions and entertainment, part of the unprecedented growth at Disney Parks around the world. While the guests inside Hall D23 will be the first to hear the news, we will provide live updates here. Keep an eye on this space!

UPDATE: 4:15 PDT

Guests at Epcot in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California will journey to far-flung lands, fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and soar over man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its debut next year.

UPDATE: 4:00 PDT

Iron Man Experience Coming to Hong Kong Disneyland

Iron Man just landed for a special appearance at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation! Soon Hong Kong Disneyland guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the Super Hero himself when Iron Man Experience opens in 2016.

UPDATE: 3:45 PDT

As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will invite guests into the world of AVATAR, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.

Pandora – The World of AVATAR Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

  • Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land.
  • AVATAR Flight of Passage – The centerpiece of Pandora – The World of AVATAR, brings guests into one of the most thrilling scenes from the film, in which they will soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world.
  • “Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live performers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.
  • Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.

UPDATE: 3:30 PDT

The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with the all-new 11-acre Toy Story Land. Guests will become part of the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard, including two new Disney Parks attractions and one expanded favorite.

Toy Story Land Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

  • Family-friendly roller coaster – This coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a thrilling, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land on the back of Slinky Dog.
  • Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers.
  • Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds an additional track to this popular attraction.

UPDATE: 3:20 PDT

Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek just reminded fans in Hall D23 of the all-new Star Wars-themed lands that are coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, announced by Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger earlier today. Chapek also shared more information about new Star Wars experiences coming to both resorts, some starting late this year.

The worlds, stories and characters of the Star Wars galaxy will come to life through new and enhanced experiences at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.

Star Wars Launch Bay Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park

Star Wars Launch Bay – Opening later this year, this interactive experience will take guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland park in California into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as the first six films in the Star Wars saga.

Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment, themed food locations and Hyperspace Mountain – a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. Disney’s Hollywood Studios will feature a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies on weekend nights.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland park in California will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

posted on August 15th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger Announces Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

Today at the D23 EXPO 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced to an audience of more than 7,500 fans that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., allowing Star Wars fans to step into the stories from a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

Ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life in the two parks include creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each, transporting guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

Artist Concept Shows Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

Artist Concept Shows Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more news coming out of D23 EXPO 2015 this afternoon from the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation.

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Disneyland Nights: Suggestions for Nighttime Fun During D23 EXPO 2015

posted on August 12th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m looking forward to attending the D23 EXPO 2015 this week at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Expo will be held August 14-16 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. After spending the daytime immersed in all things Disney, I can’t wait to visit Disneyland Resort at night. Here are some of my favorite places, in case you are looking for something to do as the sun sets in the California sky.

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Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
My number one nighttime destination is Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel. While I love finding hidden treasures inside the bar area (look for a hidden Orange Bird figure), I also enjoy sitting outside on the torch-lit lanai listening to live music. If you are hungry, try the Ahi Poke or the Slow-roasted Kālua-style Pork Sandwich. For beverages, I highly recommend the HippopotoMai-Tai or, if you are sharing, the Uh Oa!, named after the tiki goddess of disaster.

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Beignets and Live Music at Downtown Disney District
I like strolling through Downtown Disney District after picking up some beignets and coffee from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express. From 6-10 p.m. this month at Downtown Disney District, each night of the week will be devoted to a different musical style . During the D23 EXPO 2015 weekend, look for these performances:

  • Friday, August 14 – Tupua Polynesian variety show
  • Saturday, August 15 – Phat Cat Swinger (I love that swing dancing is still a tradition!)
  • Sunday, August 16 – Top 40 Music Jam features Dead Ringer

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Carthay Circle Lounge on Buena Vista Street
The little details on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park are fantastic (see my fellow author Tyler Slater’s article for a sampling). I also like Carthay Circle Lounge, which offers handcrafted cocktails by mixologists who use unique glassware, gourmet garnishes and drink-specific ice (try the Manhattan as seen in this video).

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Dole Whips in the Enchanted Tiki Garden at Disneyland Park
There is nothing greater than enjoying a Dole Whip while sitting in the Enchanted Tiki Garden at Disneyland park. I love watching the Tiki gods of the garden come to life as seen in this video.

Do you have a favorite hangout in Disneyland after dark? Please share in the comments below.

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

Popular Disney Theme Park Attractions Inspire New ‘Disney Attractionistas’ Dolls

posted on August 11th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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In January 2015, I shared a first look at some new dolls created especially for Disney Parks called “Disney Attractionistas.” I’m happy to report that the first four dolls in this collection were recently released at Disney Parks. I spoke with Victoria Hamilton, merchandiser for dolls and plush, to learn more about these Disney Parks-inspired items.

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“Disney Attractionistas are special friends that love to be together at Disney Parks every chance they get,” explained Victoria. “As the story goes, each Attractionista wished to be part of their favorite attraction, and that it could be a part of them. Once their wishes came true, they were magically transformed with attire inspired by those various attractions. These 12-inch fashion dolls come with detailed clothing, a special animal sidekick and a fun story on the back of the packaging about things each doll enjoys. I think these dolls make great companions for any guest who loves Disney Parks.”

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The first four Attractionistas were inspired by classic Disney attractions such as Mad Tea Party (Maddie), Space Mountain (Celeste), The Haunted Mansion (Gracey) and Pirates of the Caribbean (Pearl).

Two additional dolls will arrive this fall including Carrie, who was inspired by King Arthur Carrousel at Disneyland Resort and Prince Charming Regal Carousel at Walt Disney World Resort; and Nellie whose looks were inspired by the world famous Jungle Cruise.

Disney Design Group artist Mike Sullivan created the designs for the dolls while Dave Keefer designed the packaging.

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The Attractionistas will be carried in select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, and they will be found on our Disney Parks online store.

We will be holding a special Attractionistas party on Friday, August 21 in Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. From 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., Mike and Dave from Disney Design Group will be meeting with guests and signing dolls.

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New ‘Disney Vacation’ Magazine Launches on Flipboard

posted on August 8th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re a reader who loves our daily stories and updates here on the Disney Parks Blog, then you’ll want to subscribe to our newly launched “Disney Vacations” magazine on Flipboard.

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The latest edition of the “Disney Vacations” magazine features an amazing robot that creates art in the sand at the Walt Disney World Resort, an update on reservations for Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine and much more. Each day, the “Disney Vacations” magazine will feature the latest news from Disneyland, the Walt Disney World Resort and other Disney destinations.

Go subscribe now and let us know what you think.

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Official Disneyland App Now Available for Download

posted on August 7th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


The official Disneyland App is available for download now from the App Store and on Google Play. This new app provides useful info, special features and more right at your fingertips.

Official Disneyland App Now Available for Download Official Disneyland App Now Available for Download Official Disneyland App Now Available for Download

Find the fun faster with maps of attractions, restaurants and shops. Check attraction wait times, Character appearance schedules and entertainment show times. You can even purchase park tickets instantly from your phone or mobile device!* Simply show the barcode at the gate for admission when you first arrive — no ticket booth lines to stand in or e-tickets to print out.

Annual Passholders can also link their Annual Passports to the Disneyland App to check Blockout Dates and use the app’s virtual Pass feature to enter the parks (actual Annual Passport must be presented to obtain Disney FASTPASS tickets or to receive Passholder discounts).

Download the official Disneyland App now at disneyland.com/magic and make every Disneyland Resort visit even more magical!

*Mobile app ticket sales are available for U.S. and Japan Residents only.

Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play is a trademark of Google, Inc. Message, data and roaming rates may apply. Availability subject to handset limitations and features may vary by handset or service provider. Coverage and app stores not available everywhere. If you’re under 18, get your parents’ permission first.

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Disney Parks Online Store Releasing New Shirts in August 2015

posted on August 7th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


This month, the Disney Parks online store will continue its series of specially designed limited release shirts. Guests can order these items during the timeframes listed below by visiting http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of shirts.

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August 7-13
Being a long time fan of all things related to Epcot, I adore these 1980s-inspired, pixelated Mickey and Minnie Mouse T-shirts designed by Disney Design Group artist Maria Clapsis. These Hanes Nano-T shirts are part of our monthly series of companion shirts that was first introduced last month. The shirts will also have a small pixelated Epcot logo on the back.

For the companion tees coming in September, you may want to make room for one more (or should I say two?) shirts.

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August 10-16
Speaking of Haunted Mansion, Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra created these Hanes Nano-T shirts that contain a nod to the Hatbox Ghost at Disneyland park.

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We will also offer a long sleeve option in black. Each of these shirts will contain glow-in-the-dark ink and a small graveyard graphic on the back.

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August 17-23
The third shirt in our series of original Disneyland park attraction T-shirt features the Tomorrowland attraction, Autopia. In addition to a shirt, we will also release a print and a canvas wrap based on this design. Please note that artwork will ship in 12-14 days.

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August 28-September 3
Finally, we will have a special online store release of Twenty Eight & Main items from August 28 to September 3. If you are going to the D23 EXPO 2015, August 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, make plans to attend the Disney Parks Merchandise presentation on Friday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Stage 28. During the presentation, we will share some additional details about this upcoming men’s apparel and accessories collection along with a host of other sneak previews. I hope to see you there!

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A Unique Point of View: Monstro Looms Over Fantasyland at Disneyland Park

posted on August 5th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


One of my favorite features of Fantasyland at Disneyland park is Monstro the whale. Looming over Storybook Land Canal Boats, Monstro can also appear to be chomping down on other parts of Fantasyland, depending on your point of view.

Here he is, huge teeth reflected in the canal as you begin your voyage into Storybook Land.

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Seen from Mad Tea Party, Monstro looks like he is munching on some of the oversized foliage surrounding his neighboring attraction.

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Back at Storybook Land Canal Boats, he appears to be taking a bite out of the manicured hedges at the beginning of the attraction.

What is your favorite feature in Fantasyland?

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Every Role a Starring Role: Disneyland Resort Show Operations Host

posted on August 3rd, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Disneyland Resort cast member Adam Rieders helps create a smooth experience for guests watching the “Paint the Night” parade and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular. You may have met Adam already if you have been to Disneyland park recently to watch these new nighttime shows for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, especially if you showed up early to choose your spot.

Adam says while his role can be challenging, he is lucky enough to experience these shows nearly every night, and one of his favorite parts is watching the reactions of guests. Now it’s your turn to watch Adam in this “Every Role a Starring Role!”

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