Spaceship Earth at Epcot

Disneyland Park Guests to Create the Story of ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!’

posted on June 25th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


What if you could bring the Wild West to life in Frontierland? What if you could be anyone you want to be – a peacekeeper, an outlaw, a merchant, a miner, an heiress – the possibilities are endless! If you’ve ever imagined what life in Frontierland at Disneyland park would be like, you’re about to have the chance to write the first chapter of the story when “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!” opens July 9.

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Here’s the setting:

Frontierland and its neighbor, Rainbow Ridge, are in the midst of a good, ol’ fashioned land feud. Rainbow Ridge – a once-booming mining town – has dried up, and they have their eyes set on Frontierland. The steady, hardworking folk in Frontierland want to keep the town safe and free of rougharound-the-edges, opportunistic types. Rumors are spreading that gold has been discovered in mines belonging to Frontierland, and there is even a rumor that Frontierland itself sits on the motherlode! Whether or not the rumors are true, the folk in Rainbow Ridge have one thing on their minds: take over Frontierland! Thus, the struggle begins …

“Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!” will be a whole new way to experience a land in a Disney theme park. Instead of watching the story unfold, guests will be part of the story themselves – naming, creating and developing their own characters and influencing the direction and action of the story’s first chapter. The story will involve entertainment, merchandise, food and more – throughout Frontierland.

Show your Disney Side and choose your alliance when the fight for Frontierland begins July 9! Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more details and updates as the story unfolds, and choose your side with the hashtags #MyFrontierland and #MyRainbowRidge.

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July 2014 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

posted on June 23rd, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Here’s a look at some of the merchandise events headed your way in July at the Disneyland Resort!

July 12: Take part in a special artist showcase with Walt Disney Imagineers, Stephen Cargile, Larry Nikolai and Mark Page as well as former Walt Disney Imagineers, Maggie Parr and George Scribner from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Disneyana in Disneyland park. Learn more.

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July 12: Artists Jasmine Becket-Griffith and Noah are set to appear from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more.

July 12: Meet the filmmakers behind “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” 3 – 5 p.m. at Fly n’ Buy in Disney California Adventure park. Keep an eye out for more information on this event shortly on www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com.

July 12 – 13: Jasmine Becket-Griffith will also take part in a special artist showcase from 2 – 5 p.m at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more.

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July 19: Artists J. Scott Campbell, Sean Chao, Martin Hsu and Sarah “Nei” Ruffino will take part in an artist signing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District, as we celebrate the release of some of their latest works. Learn more.

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Artist in Residence: Appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month of July is Amy Mebberson. Look for artist showcases on the following dates: July 4 – 6, 11 – 13 and 18 – 20 from 6 – 10 p.m. Learn more.

Which events are on the top of your list?

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Summertime at the Disneyland Resort Keeps Getting Happier

posted on June 20th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Summer is almost officially here! There’s so much to do at the Disneyland Resort this summer – from experiencing the newly reopened Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to meeting Captain America at Innoventions … it’s hard to name it all. That’s why we put it all together in a video for you!

What are you looking forward to this summer at the Disneyland Resort?

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Do You Want ‘S’more’ Gourmet Apples at the Disneyland Resort?

posted on June 19th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It’s been almost an entire year since we have been treated to that ooey-gooey fan-favorite that I like to call the s’more gourmet apple. But guess what, Disney fans? It’s back!

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If you need a reminder as to why it was so good, maybe this will help. The apple has been dipped in chocolate and topped with graham crackers and marshmallows that have been toasted to perfection. Just like last year, you can enjoy this tasty treat fireside or just camping out with family and friends.

The s’more gourmet apple can only be found during the month of July at the following Disneyland Resort locations:

  • Disneyland park – Candy Palace
  • Disney California Adventure park – Trolley Treats
  • Downtown Disney DistrictMarceline’s Confectionary
  • Was this your favorite gourmet apple, too?

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    Show Your Disney Sidewalk Continues on Disneyland and Walt Disney World Instagram

    posted on June 16th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


    Have you showed your Disney Sidewalk on Instagram yet? Hundreds of Disney Parks fans have shared photos of their Disney Side-inspired sidewalk art for a chance to be featured on the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Instagram accounts. It’s easy! Take a photo of your chalk art creation, upload it to your Instagram account and tag it with #DisneySidewalk.

    We asked featured artist Noah to show us his Disney Sidewalk … take a look at one of his creations, inspired by “Mickey and the Magical Map” at Disneyland park!

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    Meet the Horses of the Disneyland Resort: Ducky and Eddie

    posted on June 16th, 2014 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


    It’s time again to meet two more of our equine residents at Circle D Ranch here at the Disneyland Resort.

    This is Ducky.

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    Ducky is a Belgian draft horse. He’s 8 years old, weighs 1,965 lbs and stands 18.1 hands tall. Ducky (like Lee, featured last month) came to the Disneyland Resort from an Amish farm in Shipshewana, Ind. Ducky is a very sweet horse, who is extra gentle when meeting anyone new. Trained in multiple disciplines, Ducky is always willing to do anything he’s asked.

    This is Eddie.

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    Eddie (whose registered name is Prince Edward) is a Clydesdale. He’s 10 years old, weighs 1,590 lbs and stands 17.3 hands tall. Originally from Canada, Eddie came to the Disneyland Resort from Somewhere Farms in San Diego, Calif. During his time in San Diego, Eddie competed in many horse shows, and was a champion in the Halter class. Now working on Main Street, U.S.A., he is one of the easiest four-legged cast members to spot, due to his unique roan color.

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    Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Randy Bright

    posted on June 13th, 2014 by Jon Storbeck, Vice President, Disneyland Park


    As the Sailing Ship Columbia marks another anniversary this weekend, I am reminded of Randy Bright – former attractions cast member who started on the Columbia and rose through the ranks to become Executive Producer, Disneyland and Walt Disney World Theme Parks.

    Randy was hired the summer of 1959 and later recalled, “As a college undergraduate, I had enlisted in the Navy – the Disneyland Navy – and was scheduled for active duty aboard the Sailing Ship Columbia, the newest vessel to ply Frontierland’s Rivers of America.” Randy subsequently worked on nearly every attraction in the park, even roaming Tomorrowland as a costumed spaceman.

    Born in Long Beach, Calif., in 1938, Randy attended California State University, Fullerton, earning a B.A. in political science. It was at this time that Randy met his wife, Pat, then a Disneyland tour guide, while both were working in the park.

    In 1965, Randy moved into a full-time position with the Disney University, where he specialized in publications and audio-visual presentations. In 1968, Disney Legend Marty Sklar, former Executive Vice President and Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) ambassador, brought Randy to WDI as a staff writer, working on shows for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. From 1973 to 1976, he was manager of Employee Communications at the Florida Disney University, after which he returned to California to lead the WDI Communications department.

    Beginning in 1979, Randy served as director of scripts and show development, where he functioned as Executive Producer of film projects for Epcot Center, Tokyo Disneyland and other Disney Theme Park projects. In 1983, he was promoted to Vice President, Concept Development, responsible for overseeing the development of all major shows and attractions for Disney Parks. In 1987, he was named Executive Producer, Disneyland and Walt Disney World Theme Parks.

    “I don’t think even Walt could have created a more quintessential believer in the Disney traditions than Randy Bright,” said Marty Sklar. “His growth from a Jungle Cruise guide and costumed spaceman at Disneyland to the top creative position at Walt Disney Imagineering is the stuff of storybook legends. He was a true dreamer and doer.”

    For nearly two years, Randy researched, developed, and wrote the 1987 book, “Disneyland: The Inside Story,” an Imagineer’s-eye view of the first Disney park. He also served as Coordinating Producer on “The Disneyland Story,” an hour-long special for the Disney Channel.

    On June 14, 1988, exactly 30 years after the original opening/christening of the Sailing Ship Columbia, the ship was re-christened by Randy and Ron Dominguez (then Vice President of Disneyland and chairman of the park operating committee). According to an article in the Disneyland Line (a Cast Member publication), “attempts to break the customary bottle of champagne over her bow were futile. The solution was to remove the cork, and let the well-agitated wine shoot over the bow. It was a little messy, but the deed was done and the Columbia was wished well on her future Magic Kingdom voyages.”

    Tragically, on May 29, 1990, Randy was struck while bicycling near his home in Yorba Linda, Calif., and passed away.

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    In 1991, Randy was honored with a set of windows above Disney Clothiers. The windows state: (left) Photographic Studio, C. “Randy” Bright, Proprietor and (right) Photographic Studio, “Bright Views to Order.”

    Randy was named a Disney Legend in 2005.

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    A Look Back at June 14, 1959: Grand Opening of the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Submarine Voyage at Disneyland Park

    posted on June 13th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


    The first major expansion of Disneyland park included three brand-new attractions so special they helped usher in a brand-new era of something called an “E-Ticket.” As he had four years earlier, Walt Disney planned to share the celebration of this expansion with a national television audience during a television special hosted by Art Linkletter on ABC. Walt invited more than 2,000 members of the press, celebrities and dignitaries to attend, including Vice President Richard Nixon, his wife, Pat, and their daughters, Tricia and Julie, who sent us a special message you’ll read later in this post.

    Walt Disney sent the following letters to the vice president in May of 1959 as he was finalizing his plans for the biggest event since he opened the park.

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    With assistance from the Walt Disney Archives and the Nixon Presidential Library I was able to piece together details from this event as well as solve some lingering “mini-mysteries” from the festivities of Sunday, June 14, 1959, that might surprise you.

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    Using the text of the actual itineraries, finalized just two days before this event, here’s how the day unfolded:

    Itinerary for Sunday, June 14, 1959

    • 07:30am – ABC–TV personnel arrives to set up equipment and rehearse
    • 09:15am (approximate) – Vice President and family to meet with Walt Disney at the Monorail Station for press photographs on the dedication of the Monorail

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    With this morning publicity photo shoot we have the answer to one of those “mini-mysteries” I mentioned. Fans may have noticed that the Nixon family is wearing different clothing in some of the Monorail dedication photos from this day. As it turns out, these early-morning pictures, which include Art Linkletter as the Monorail pilot, were taken to enable wire services and newspapers east of the Rockies to include the photography in their Monday morning editions. Press photographers and television cameras would capture the official dedication later in the afternoon.

    • 12:00pm – Parade starts forming. Lunch at Red Wagon Inn for celebrities
    • 12:15pm – On return from Church, the Vice President and family will be guests of Walt Disney at an informal luncheon at his apartment.
    • 01:15pm – Pre–parade steps off from gate by Fire Station. Vice President and party to parade in “horseless carriages” from City Hall to the official reviewing stand.

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    The reviewing stand for this special parade was built at the central hub of the park with a clear view down Main Street, U.S.A. In this photo, Walt is seen talking with the vice president as Mrs. Nixon looks on. Seated behind the Nixon family you’ll also see Roy O. Disney, his wife, Edna, and Walt’s son-in-law, Ron Miller with two of Walt’s grandchildren on his lap.

    • 01:30pm – Parade steps-off from gate by Opera House

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    This fun photo captures one of my favorite moments from this day. Look closely at this rare color picture and you’ll see Hayley Mills, Roy O. Disney and Diane Disney Miller in the background. The man pictured between Walt Disney and Vice President Nixon is Meredith Willson, composer of the smash hit musical, “The Music Man,” which was still in its first theatrical run on Broadway at the time. Mr. Willson was an invited guest of Walt’s who was seated behind the vice president. During the television taping of this special parade, host Art Linkletter says, “What do I see down there? Meredith Willson, would you come up here for a minute?” Mr. Willson then came to the front of the reviewing stand. Art continued, “I want to hear from an expert. You’re ‘Mr. Music Man,’ what do you see coming up the street?”

    To Mr. Wilson’s apparent amazement, what he saw was an all-brass band including 76 trombones, marching down Main Street, U.S.A., playing his signature song from “The Music Man,” “Seventy Six Trombones!” Mr. Willson could be overheard saying, “I’ve been saying it all afternoon, but Walt Disney, when he does anything, he does it right, doesn’t he? Listen to that!”

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    As this incredible band approached the reviewing stand, Art led Mr. Willson to a small platform in the middle of the street, telling him, “Come on up here Meredith!” The drum major handed his hat and baton to Mr. Willson who then conducted the band to the finale of the song as the crowd roared from one end of Main Street to the other.

    • 02:10pm (approximate) – Matterhorn Show
    • 02:15pm (approximate) – Vice President and family will be escorted from the reviewing stand to the rear of the Carnation Ice Cream store on Main Street for special photographs. Following these photos, the family will return to Walt Disney’s apartment.
    • 03:00pm – Matterhorn Bobsleds, Autopia, and Motor Boats open to the press
    • 03:15pm – The Vice President and his family will be taken to Monorail Station in Tomorrowland for press photography of the Monorail dedication
    • 03:30pm (approximate) – Submarine Dedication ceremony

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    Following an introduction by Admiral Charles C. Kirkpatrick, Mrs. Mildred Nelson, wife of the chief machinist on the the first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus, christens sub D-301, appropriately also named “Nautilus.”

    • 04:00pm (approximate) – Monorail Dedication ceremony. The Vice President and family will participate in the actual television dedication of the Monorail. Following the dedication, they will be returned to the apartment and the Vice President will be free to conduct any meetings that will be necessary, utilizing the office located adjacent to the patio of Walt Disney’s apartment.

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    In these photos taken during the afternoon press photocall and official dedication of the Monorail, you can see the large scissors that Tricia and Julie Nixon used during the ceremony. What isn’t clear from these photos is that the scissors weren’t exactly cooperating. The stubborn dedication ribbon required Walt Disney, himself, to step in and help the Nixon daughters — just a little.

    • 04:15pm – Submarine and Monorail open to press guests
    • 05:00pm – 08:00pm – Press party at Holidayland with buffet and special entertainment

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    • 06:15pm (approximate) – Fireworks display
    • 06:30pm (approximate) – Walt Disney will meet Vice President Nixon and family and escort them to the informal press buffet and party in Holidayland

    Walt invited the Nixon family back two years later when the Monorail track was expanded to include the Disneyland Hotel. In this letter, Walt also mentions those pesky scissors from the 1959 event.

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    As you can see from the handwritten assistant’s note at the bottom of this letter, the Nixon family was unable to attend due to the former vice president’s travel schedule, but they did visit Disneyland again later that summer and at least one more time, in the late 1960s.

    On the occasion of the 55th anniversary of this landmark day in Disneyland Resort history, Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower sent the following message exclusively for Disney Parks Blog readers:

    “We are pleased and excited to join Disney fans around the world in celebrating the 55th anniversary of the iconic Disneyland Monorail. When we cut the ribbon and took the very first Monorail ride on June 14, 1959, we could not have imagined what a popular icon it would become. For over five decades, it has provided countless families that special Disney experience – just as it did ours.

    “Our family visited Disneyland as often as we could. It was then – as it is now – truly the ‘happiest place on earth,’ thanks to the visionary Walt Disney. Our parents cherished Walt’s years of friendship, not to mention his warmth, creativity and contagious sense of humor. He was, on that warm June day, charming as ever. His excitement for life has inspired millions across the globe.

    “We send our best wishes on this special day of celebration. Congratulations to Disneyland, and may it continue to inspire joy and hope, as it has done for us for nearly 60 years.”

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    Registration Now Open: Celebrate Summer at the Disney Parks Blog Summer BBQ Meet-Up at Disneyland Park

    posted on June 12th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


    UPDATE: The Disney Parks Blog Summer BBQ Meet-Up has reached capacity and confirmation emails have been sent. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for future events!

    The sun is shining, the weather is getting warmer … it sure feels like summer! It’s time to party! Come celebrate with us at a BBQ in the happiest backyard on Earth … Disneyland park! Registration is now open for the Disney Parks Blog Summer BBQ Meet-Up on Friday, June 27, 2014.
    Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park

    There’s so much to do at the Disneyland Resort this summer, so we’re giving Disney Parks Blog readers a peek at all the fun. We’ll start with a BBQ lunch inside Disneyland park – with some special friends, of course – then guests will have the opportunity to “play in the backyard” afterward. The best backyard in the world, that is!

    So join us on Friday, June 27! Space for the event is limited and you must sign up here. Please remember the following:

    • All participants who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests of the participants may be younger than 18.
    • Limit one guest per registrant.
    • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
    • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person plus one guest.
    • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
    • Disneyland park admission will be provided beginning at noon for the event, but participants will be responsible for any parking fees.

    I will give an update at the top of this post when capacity has been reached. Please note the event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

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    Alice in Wonderland, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and ‘Frozen’ Updates from Disneyland Park

    posted on June 11th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


    Alice in Wonderland and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland park are currently closed for refurbishment, and today I’ve got some updates to share on those attractions and more.

    First, I’m pleased to report that Alice in Wonderland will reopen July 4. In February, we shared that updates would be made to the exterior of the attraction, but I heard recently from Walt Disney Imagineering that some work is happening on the inside as well.

    Frozen” fans will have a new way to see their favorite snowed-in sisters when Anna, Elsa and lovable snowman Olaf appear in a special pre-parade prior to Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, beginning this Friday, June 13.

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    Lastly, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is scheduled to reopen September 27 – so get ready to go explore once again in the big blue world with Nemo and his friends!

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