In the spirit of the season, I am proud to share with you the top 10 ways the Disneyland Resort and its cast have given back to the community this year. This list speaks to how we continue Walt Disney’s legacy of giving. Of a total $17 million donated in 2014, these 10 efforts top the charts! As we approach 2015 and the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, we will continue to nurture, inspire and empower families in making lasting and positive change in the world. Happy Holidays!
- The Disneyland Resort, Angels Baseball and the Anaheim Ducks committed $3 million (to be allocated over three years) to Accelerate Change Together (ACT) for Anaheim.
- The 24th annual CHOC Walk in the Park at the Disneyland Resort raised more than $2 million to support CHOC Children’s.
- Eighty-five Southern California nonprofit organizations benefited from the Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund – to the tune of $415,000 in grants.
- 120,000 pounds of gently used costumes, shoes, mattresses and box springs were donated to Goodwill in an effort to reduce waste to landfills.
- 13,000 military care packages were sent to U.S. servicemen and women overseas.
- Two KaBOOM! playgrounds were built in 2014, bringing the total number of playgrounds built in Orange County to seven and giving nearly 11,000 children a place to play.
- 709 Disney Wishes were granted at the Disneyland Resort through Make-A-Wish.
- 249 Orange County arts and music projects received Disneyland Resort CREATE grants.
- A total of $75,000 in scholarships were given to ten Orange County high school seniors.
- Nearly 8,000 toys collected at the Disneyland Resort were donated to Toys for Tots.
You may remember that just a few weeks ago, Shawn Slater shared the details for the all-new “Frozen Fun” opening at Disney California Adventure park on January 7. Beginning tomorrow, guests will begin to see a sneak peek of many of these exciting new experiences, including “Freeze the Night! A Family Dance Party,” with more to follow over the next week.
Also beginning tomorrow, Anna and Elsa will move across the Esplanade to greet guests daily inside the Animation Building at Disney California Adventure park. So if you’re looking for these famous sisters, you will find them there.
If you can’t make it to the sneak peek, don’t worry! “Frozen Fun” officially kicks off January 7, 2015.
Guests visiting Disneyland park will now be able to visit a miniature version of Arendelle from the hit Disney animated feature, “Frozen,” when Storybook Land Canal Boats reopens this weekend. Our chief photographer, Paul Hiffmeyer, got a special preview of this new featurette this morning, and brought back these photos for Disney Parks Blog readers!
I know where I will be almost one year from now – sitting in a movie theater with my son as the opening credits roll for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Being a long-time fan of all things Star Wars, it will be the perfect holiday gift to myself next year. I remember receiving many Star Wars-themed gifts growing up in the late 1970s (the Death Star Space Station playset was one of my favorites!). If you are looking for Star Wars holiday gifts this season, I have a few suggestions of items created especially for Disney Parks.
I love this fun holiday sweater T-shirt featuring Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and other icons (it’s perfect for winter in Florida).
The Disney Pin team released some new holiday pins including a 9-pin mystery set with Star Wars gingerbread characters.
If you are looking for toys, there are a few different options including the Starspeeder 1000 vehicle playset inspired by Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; a giant Clone Trooper found only at Disney Parks; and Disney Racers die-cast cars which make for great stocking stuffers.
I also like the Star Wars Droid Factory where you can design and build your own Astromech droid action figure. This experience is offered at Tatooine Traders in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida, and The Star Trader in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park in California.
You can also find other Star Wars items online at DisneyStore.com/StarWars.
May the Holidays Be With You!
It doesn’t snow here in Anaheim, Calif., but we do get the occasional rain storm during the holidays. I wanted to share some colorful reflection photos taken in Cars Land during a recent downpour at Disney California Adventure park. As you can see below, Cars Land in the rain provides abundant photo opportunities.
Christmas Day is still a week away, but today you’re going behind the scenes with some of the stars taking part in “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” as they share their holiday wishes and talk about what it means to be a part of this Disney holiday tradition. This year our star-studded annual Christmas Day telecast on ABC originates from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in Southern California and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii.
The “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” airs December 25, 2014 on ABC-TV at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. in most other time zones. Be sure to check your local listings and join the conversation online using the hashtag #DisneyParade.
I know sometimes it’s tough to get up in the morning—even if you’re spending the day at Disneyland park. Luckily, River Belle Terrace in New Orleans Square cooks up a delicious home-style breakfast daily from park open until 2 p.m.
You’ll feel the Southern charm and hospitality from the moment you walk through the Antebellum-style entrance.
This location may be known for its Mickey Mouse pancake, adorably adorned with fruit—but my favorite offering? The decadent cinnamon roll French toast—drizzled with cream cheese frosting and served with scrambled eggs and your choice of bacon or sausage.
If you’re looking for comfort food, you’ve come to the right spot. Country-style biscuits and gravy is served with buttermilk biscuits with creamy country sausage gravy. Or start your morning with a dish named after one of my favorite authors, Mark Twain—scrambled eggs, country-style potatoes, choice of bacon or sausage and a biscuit. Guests looking for a lighter breakfast can enjoy the “build-your-own” yogurt parfait or a refreshing assortment of seasonal fruit
Younger guests can have a healthy start with a Mickey Check meal – Kids’ River Raft Fruit Plate served with lowfat yogurt, an oat bran muffin and choice of small low fat milk or small Dasani water.
Stop to fuel up for your day in the park, stay for the scenery—there’s no better view than the majestic Rivers of America.
What is your favorite place to grab breakfast in Disneyland park?
Today we’re celebrating another December holiday on the Disney Parks Blog – Hanukkah!
Our latest holiday wallpaper was designed by Disney Artist Jason Ratner.
The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park holds many hidden secrets, but it turns out that one of these secrets is hiding in plain sight …
Walt Disney’s landmark live-action film adaptation of Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” debuted sixty years ago this month. The film, which went on to win two Academy Awards®, was also the first Disney feature filmed in CinemaScope. The success of the movie gave Walt the idea to put some of its sets on display in an exhibit using available space at Disneyland in the summer of 1955.
The Nautilus Salon set created for the film was set up in Tomorrowland as a temporary exhibit, but it became so popular that it remained on display for 11 years.
Having heard rumors for years about what happened to those original set pieces, I reached out to our friends at the Walt Disney Archives who confirmed that when the sets were disassembled in 1966, the pipe organ (without its fanned piping) was set aside for use inside the Haunted Mansion, which would open three years later.
Yes, the pipe organ in the ballroom scene of the Haunted Mansion is the very same one that James Mason, as Captain Nemo, played in the film. I was pleased to also learn that the Walt Disney Archives still has many of the original furniture pieces from the Nautilus Salon, including the recently discovered organ bench shown in this production photo.
With Hanukkah underway and Christmas on the way, ’tis the season for holiday gatherings, family togetherness and gift giving. Today we’re happy to share another artist’s interpretation of the holiday season in this desktop/mobile wallpaper by Disney artist Jeff Maurer.
For more holiday-inspired wallpapers, visit the links below: