Splash Mountain at Disneyland Park

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 20th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This weekend, guests at Disney Parks on both coasts can enjoy an exclusive sneak peek at Walt Disney Studios’ “Maleficent,” which opens in theaters May 30. It’s playing daily in RealD 3D at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the ABC Sound Studio and at Disney California Adventure park.

And to kick off this special opportunity, we shared an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.

And did you see our new Disney Parks Blog series? In coming days, we’ll be sharing stories featuring some of the original attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in honor of the park’s 25th anniversary.

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We began the series with a look at The Great Movie Ride. Housed inside a full-scale reproduction of Hollywood’s iconic Chinese Theater, the attraction offers a trip through movie history, starting with early black-and-white “talkies” and musicals to all-time classics like “Casablanca.” Check out Jennifer’s original story to learn more.

Here are some of the other stories we shared this week.

Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Milt Albright – Read this tribute to Disney Legend Milt Albright and his incredible 45 year career with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Eggs-traordinary Art at the Springtime Roundup at Disneyland Park – Take a look at some of the special art created by Ray Brown and his team, who paint and sculpt ordinary eggs into extraordinary Disney characters.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Features Local Ingredients in Luscious New Desserts at ‘AMA ‘AMA – Chef Ron Viloria details some of the enticing desserts featured on his menu, and the native elements he brings to each dish.

Disneyland Resort Restaurants Win Big at Southern California Restaurant Writers Awards – Eight restaurants at Disneyland Resort won a dozen awards! Click through to learn more.

Rave Reviews for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park – The “wildest ride in the wilderness” reopened on March 17, after extensive refurbishment. Watch some of our guest reactions here!

The History of the Walt Disney World Monorail: Mark VI, 1989-Present – Take another look back at the history of the monorail in our regular series, this time with the Mark VI!

#DisneyKids: First Teacup Spin at Magic Kingdom Park – We’re continuing our regular series of firsts at Disney Parks, this time at the attraction inspired by Walt Disney’s animated classic “Alice in Wonderland.”

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Join Disney’s Digital Easter Egg Hunt on April 20

posted on April 19th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you a fan of the Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort on Facebook? If so, you can join in on a digital Easter egg hunt across a variety of Disney Parks Facebook pages this Sunday, April 20. Simply visit different pages to collect different Disney Parks-themed Easter graphics. Each “found” Easter egg will also offer you a hint as to where you can find another one.

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The “hunt” starts on the Disneyland Facebook page. Happy hunting!

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Earth Month Festivities at Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort

posted on April 18th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


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Guests coming to Disneyland Resort tomorrow, April 19, and on Earth Day, April 22, can celebrate Earth Month at the Downtown Disney District! Be sure to check out the Wyland Clean Water Mobile Learning Experience, where guests can participate in a Clean Water Challenge and solve disturbances to the nation’s water habitats via a 4D theater experience. DJ Wendy also will provide “atmosphere” music.

On April 19, learn about the environment with our friends from Inside the Outdoors Foundation, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, Orange County Water District, and more. On April 22, guests can interact with an exhibit hosted by the Disneyland Resort about reducing, reusing and recycling, clean commuting and connecting with nature, paint an environmental mural with the Wyland Foundation and participate in interactive demonstrations with the Southern California Edison Mobile Energy Unit. MUZEO also will display art made completely out of recycled materials.

All offerings take place near the main stage by ESPN Zone from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on April 19 and 2 – 6 p.m. on April 22.

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Time-Lapse Video: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Refurbishment at Disneyland Park

posted on April 18th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


It’s been one month since the “wildest ride in the wilderness” reopened after an extended refurbishment here at Disneyland park. Since then, our guests have been telling us how impressed they are with the improved track and new effects at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Today we’ve got a special look at these improvements as they took shape over the last year.

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Disney Parks After Dark: A ‘Frozen’ Royal Reception at Disneyland Park

posted on April 17th, 2014 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


The “Frozen” Royal Reception cottage in Fantasyland at Disneyland park takes on a different feeling in the early morning hours before sunrise. I love the light reflecting off the wet surface that makes the cottage enchanting.

In the “Disney Parks After Dark” series, one thing that stands out in the photos from the different parks is the beautiful lighting. The photo below is a good example of how Disney uses light to enhance the park after dark.
The Frozen Royal Reception Cottage in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park


See more of Disneyland park in out “Disney Parks After Dark” series:

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Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Milt Albright

posted on April 17th, 2014 by Jon Storbeck, Vice President, Disneyland Park


With the passing of Disney Legend Milt Albright last week, I thought it would be fitting to pay tribute to him and highlight a few of the many successes of his 45-year career with Disney.

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

Milt always said his luckiest day was June 19, 1947 – the day he achieved his goal to work for Walt Disney. It all started 10 years earlier, in December 1937, when he saw a Time magazine cover story featuring fellow Missourian, Walt Disney. He knew then and there that it was his destiny to work for The Walt Disney Company.

Milt was born in Kearney, Mo., on June 7, 1916. He was the oldest of three boys and grew up on the family farm north of Kansas City. When Milt was a young man, a friend of his father paid him to deliver a car to Los Angeles. He fell in love with the area and decided to make Southern California his home.

Milt joined the Walt Disney Studios in 1947 as a junior accountant. Working in the Payroll Department, he was entrusted with the job of preparing and delivering paychecks for top executives, which brought him into direct contact with both Walt and Roy Disney.

By 1953, the self-described “poor accountant” had another goal – he wanted to be involved with the development of Walt’s new “amusement” park in Anaheim. In an attempt to gain attention from Walt, Milt, an automobile buff, designed a miniature car using a 1954 Corvette as his model for what would eventually become the Autopia attraction. Walt was intrigued by the fiberglass auto and took it for a drive before Milt could explain that it was not finished – it had no brakes.

“Well, Walt crashed into a wall to stop it and the body of the car split in half like a walnut,” Milt recalled in a 1987 interview with the Anaheim Bulletin. While Walt was not impressed with the car, he did take note of Milt.

In the spring of 1954, Milt was hired as manager of accounting for Disneyland. “I got to come down here because they wanted somebody they could trust,” said Milt. “Didn’t have to be very smart – just honest.” Milt hung a framed organizational chart in his office that was the first such chart for the park. It was dated July 1, 1954, and had 17 “employees” on it including Milt, Walt and Ron Miller, who eventually became president of Walt Disney Productions.

In 1957, Milt became manager of Holidayland, a private party and picnic area (near the area that is now Critter Country) designed for group events. In 1958, he transferred to Group Sales where he founded one of the most innovative and successful in-house marketing programs ever conceived. It was called the Magic Kingdom Club, and it offered discounts and special admission tickets to card holders. At its peak, the Magic Kingdom Club boasted nearly 6 million members associated with more than 30,000 companies worldwide. Milt also extended the private party concept to Grad Nite. The first Grad Nite, held on June 15, 1961, was one night only with about 8,000 graduates from 30 local high schools in attendance. The Grad Nite program continues to be successful today and remains a popular tradition for many Southern California graduates.

In the late 1970s, Milt became manager of special projects for Marketing. He was later promoted to manager of Guest Communications, a position he held until his retirement in 1992.

Upon his retirement on July 17, 1992, Milt said, “I had the enormous good fortune to be hired by the finest entertainment company in the world. I believed it then, and I believe it still. Based on a lifetime with Disney, I would say with great conviction to any young person that you’ll never find a better place to start. Tough out the lean early years, learn Disney teamwork and don’t be afraid to innovate … to come up with new ideas. I’ve had 45 years of challenge and some success in Marketing because I took a chance and built an Autopia prototype car for Walt.”

Milt was honored with a window on Main Street, U.S.A., in 1992. The window, located above The Mad Hatter, highlights Milt’s innovative business sense and his ambition to take on any project: Milt Albright, Entrepreneur, “No Job Too Big – No Job Too Small.”

Milt was named a Disney Legend in 2005 for his significant contributions to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He passed away on April 7, at the age of 97.

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Show Your ‘Disney Side’: Minnie Mouse Nail Tutorial

posted on April 17th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s suggestion as to how you can show your “Disney Side” at our 24-hour “Rock Your Disney Side” all-night party – or anytime, really – is sure to please Minnie Mouse fans. It’s step-by-step directions on how you can give your nails a perfect Minnie makeover!

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Will you join us for our 24-hour event at Magic Kingdom Park, Disneyland park or Disney California Adventure park on May 23? If so, how will you show your “Disney Side”? Tell us in the “Comments” section below!

Join the conversation online with the hashtag #DisneySide.

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‘Maleficent’ Sneak Peek Debuts in Disney Parks April 18

posted on April 17th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Beginning tomorrow, April 18, guests at Disney Parks on both coasts will be able to enjoy an exclusive sneak peek at Walt Disney Studios’ “Maleficent,” which opens in theaters May 30.

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This special extended sneak peek will play daily in RealD 3D at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the ABC Sound Studio and at Disney California Adventure park.

The film stars Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning in the lead roles of Maleficent and Aurora, respectively, and tells the “untold” story of Maleficent and the betrayal that ultimately turned her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge, Maleficent places an irrevocable curse upon the king’s newborn infant, Aurora. As she grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the conflict between a place she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy.

To kick off this special opportunity, Walt Disney Studios just sent us this exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film to share with you. Enjoy!

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Disneyland Resort Pin Trading Challenge

posted on April 16th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


If you know, me, you know I’m always up for a challenge. So when my dear friend and fellow Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover challenged me to a Disney Parks Blog Pin Trading Challenge at Disneyland Resort, I said, “I’m in!”

What would the challenge entail? Erin and I headed into Disneyland Resort with rarely seen Disney Parks Blog pins in hopes that we could make some great trades with Disney fans and take part in some of the fun activities and trading opportunities available. You truly have to see this for yourself!

As you can tell, we had a lot of fun trading, and we only visited a handful of locations. There are so many more places you can go. Remember you can also trade with any cast member and other guests.

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Disney California Adventure park

  • Fly ‘n’ Buy
  • Julius Katz & Sons
  • Radiator Springs Curios
  • Seaside Souvenirs
  • Tower Hotel Gifts

Downtown Disney District

I always say, Pin Trading is as easy as 1-2-3. There are just a few things to remember. Here are some guidelines on Disney Trading to help get you started. Tip: Keep an eye out for Hidden Mickey pins, generally found on Disneyland Resort cast member lanyards.

My own personal tip on trading: I always say trade for pins that mean something to you, whether it’s a favorite character, attraction or icon. Trade for things you love. Pin trading can be fun by yourself or with the entire family. It’s a great way to meet new friends, visit with old ones and share stories. Remember, Disney pins and trading are popular at many of our Disney Parks & Resorts.

Now, back to business, the competition is still on and we need your help! Both Erin and I are convinced we each have the best pins on our lanyard, so share your comments with us and let us know who you think has the better pins.

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Rave Reviews for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park

posted on April 15th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


I recently asked Disneyland park guests to review the newly refurbished Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. While it was the return of a Frontierland favorite for some and a pioneer trip on the train for others, all passengers agreed it’s still the “wildest ride in the wilderness.”

Have you had a chance to take a tour on the runaway ghost train since it reopened? If so, what did you think?

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