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Irene Jewell Celebrates 90th Birthday with First Visit to Disneyland Park

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Last month, on her 90th birthday, Irene Jewell, legendary dancer and wife of Disney cinematographer Stuart Jewell, visited Disneyland park for the first time. Known for her impressive height, Irene performed under the name Ricki Covette in the course of her 30-year career. She later met Disney cinematographer Stuart Jewell, known for his camera work on Disney’s “True-Life Adventures,” including “The Living Desert” and “The Vanishing Prairie.” He also produced much of the now-iconic time-lapse footage from the construction of Disneyland.

But despite her own legendary status and connection to Disneyland history, Irene had never visited the park! So she thought her 90th birthday would be the perfect occasion.

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Irene arrived with her “Special Complimentary Main Gate Admission” ticket in hand, which she held onto for years. (She got to keep it, by the way.) She went on to enjoy a day of fun, including Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and “it’s a small world” – three attractions she had specifically been looking forward to.

When I asked whether Stuart has shared any of his Disneyland memories with her, Irene said, “He told me about opening day – they didn’t expect so many people! It was getting crowded, so he grabbed a camera and took a picture of Ronald Reagan, Bob Cummings and Art Linkletter that appeared in the paper.”

If you’d like to see some of Stuart Jewell’s work, take a look at this time-lapse video, which we shared earlier this week. In the first few seconds, you can even see Stuart and his team prepping and installing the cameras!

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Hop into Spring with Specialty Food Offerings at Disneyland Resort

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


I’m hoppy to let you know our Disneyland Resort culinary team has been working on some Easter offerings that are sure to put a “spring” in your step!

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Special menu items will be available throughout Disneyland park. At Plaza Inn, look for a pan-seared salmon served with a Chardonnay dill cream sauce, rice pilaf and seasonal vegetables on April 5. Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante will feature three street-style tacos with beef, chicken and carnitas on soft corn tortillas garnished with cilantro and onion, topped with salsa verde. At Bengal BBQ, look for a Linguica (smoke-cured pork sausage) and pineapple skewer.

To me, Easter isn’t complete without dessert! Look for a cupcake at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café in Disneyland park, and Pacific Wharf Café and Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café in Disney California Adventure park. This sweet treat featuring lemon cake with Mandarin orange frosting, chocolate flowers, carrot and a white chocolate bunny and chocolate curls. Stage Door Café will also be featuring a new specialty funnel cake, Cookies and Cream.

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One of my favorite Easter traditions is decorating eggs, and at the Springtime Roundup you can decorate your own Easter-themed cookies with our cookie decorating kit. If you get hungry while you’re at the Springtime Roundup, you can pick up one of these tasty snacks: juicy strawberries with chocolate dip, Mickey-shaped pretzels, strawberry twists, cotton candy and hot dogs.

A traditional Easter brunch buffet — with characters — will also be offered at Storytellers Café, Disney’s PCH Grill, and Goofy’s Kitchen on April 5. Be sure to check out chef demonstrations decorating Easter-themed sugar cookie and cupcakes, taking place in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

For reservations, visit Disneyland.com/dine or call 714-781-DINE.

These specialty food offerings will only be available for a limited time, so hop to it!

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Exclusive Sneak Peek of Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Coming to Disney Parks in April

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


What if there was a place … a secret place where nothing is impossible?

You wanna go? Well, soon you can, when Disney’s riveting mystery adventure “Tomorrowland” makes its debut in theaters. In the meantime, visitors to Tomorrowland at the Disneyland Resort and Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort can catch an exclusive preview of scenes from the movie.

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For a limited time, a sneak peek of “Tomorrowland” will be presented with special in-theater effects at the Imagination Pavilion theater at Epcot and the Tomorrowland Theater at Disneyland park.

Directed by Oscar® winner Brad Bird and starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney, “Tomorrowland” tells the story of a jaded scientist and an optimistic teen who embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space. “Tomorrowland” features a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen.

The Disney Parks-exclusive “Tomorrowland” sneak peek begins in mid-April at Epcot and Disneyland park. With every second that ticks by, the future is running out, so be sure to take advantage of this special opportunity before “Tomorrowland” opens in theaters on May 22, 2015.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Enjoy ‘Frozen Fun’ Before it Melts Away and Stay Close to the Magic with Disneyland Resort Hotel Offer

posted on March 25th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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If you haven’t experienced all of the frozen fractals during “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park, there’s still time! Whether you’re planning a spring or early summer visit to the Disneyland Resort, or you want to see “Frozen Fun” before its limited-time engagement ends May 15, this new Disneyland Resort Hotel offer puts you closer to the magic.

Make reservations at any Disneyland Resort hotel from March 25 through May 7, 2015, to save 20 percent on premium rooms and 15 percent on standard rooms on Sunday through Thursday nights from April 5 to June 16, 2015.

Don’t let the “Frozen” fun and this great offer melt away! Click here for more details.

Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room at the same hotel. Travel must be completed by 06/17/15. Ask about savings in other room types. Not valid on previously booked rooms. Advance reservations required. Subject to availability as the number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Excludes applicable fees and taxes. Limit two (2) rooms per reservation and five (5) people maximum per room. Not valid in combination with any other hotel discounts or offers. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Separate Theme Park admission required to enjoy “Frozen Fun” and the Parks.

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Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Merchandise Event Details Revealed

posted on March 25th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


UPDATE 3/27/15: The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Merchandise Event has sold out and the wait list is now full.

Great news, Disney fans! The merchandise event team just revealed details about their special Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration kick-off event taking place May 20-21, 2015. What will it entail? Shopping, seminars and entertainment are in the mix, but here’s the breakdown on everything else.

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Diamond Package – $100

Event admission includes panel discussion, signings and other entertainment and activities as follows:

  • Merchandise Pick-up & Event Store Shopping
  • Merchandise Artists & Authors Signings
  • Silent Auction
  • Trading Area
  • Entertainment/Panel Discussion – “Disneyland Dreamers & Doers” with Mouseketeers Bobby Burgess and Sherry Van Meter, among others

Other event offerings include:

  • ONE (1) Commemorative Disney PhotoPass Digital Download
  • TWO (2) Commemorative Gifts
  • First opportunity to pre-purchase select Diamond Celebration-themed merchandise via the Random Selection Process. View Merchandise Catalog here.

Tickets for the Diamond Package are $100 per person and are limited to availability. No discounts apply.

Reservations for the Diamond Celebration Merchandise Event will be accepted only via www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com beginning Thursday, March 26, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. (Pacific Time). Tip: Only one (1) Guest per reservation is allowed. It will be necessary for each Guest to register individually.

So join us as we reminisce amongst friends, share cherished memories of the first 60 years and look forward to the next dazzling decades of our beloved Resort.

Will you plan to go?

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Disneyland Resort Funds Hundreds of Student Arts Projects in Orange County, California

posted on March 24th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


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Julie Ernst, a teacher at John Marshall Elementary School in Anaheim, Calif., purchased two piano keyboards seven years ago with a grant from the Disneyland Resort to start a music education program. Today, the elementary school has a complete lab of 34 keyboards and a full-time music teacher, and this year received a visit from members of the National Association of Music Merchants.

Disneyland Resort CREATE (Creative Resources Enabling Arts through Education) grants have provided Orange County teachers with classroom materials that support visual and performing arts projects for more than 20 years. In the 2014-15 school year, CREATE grants funded 131 schools with 249 arts and music projects, benefiting more than 42,000 kindergarten through 12th grade students in Orange County.

“Music can make a difference in the lives of our students in Anaheim,” said Ernst. “Attendance rates are up, student success is increasing in all curricular areas, staff is proud, discipline issues have dropped, and I am one happy teacher!”

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Rare Time-Lapse Video Shows Disneyland Park Construction

posted on March 24th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


As we prepare to celebrate 60 years of memories and magic during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, we’ve been looking back at key moments in our history – times when Disneyland pushed the limits of what was possible and created new, innovative experiences for our guests. Searching our archives, we came across this amazing time lapse footage of Disneyland construction. Blink and you might miss some amazing moments!

My favorite parts are the clock tower on the Main Street Train Station being lifted into place and the first guests flowing through the turnstiles. What are yours?


See more about the construction of Disneyland park in George’s “Building the Dream” series:

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First Look at Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Merchandise

posted on March 23rd, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


We only have a few months to go before the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration begins. Is everyone as excited as I am? It was so tough to decide what to show you for a first look. So, I thought I would take you behind the scenes, into our Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration showroom, where you can see for yourselves some of the amazing items headed your way this May at the Disneyland Resort.

There’s so much more to see, so keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration merchandise updates. And join the conversation with the hashtag #Disneyland60.

What items made your list for the big celebration?

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on March 22nd, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we kicked off our second annual “March Magic” tournament, sharing this year’s roster as well as a printable bracket to keep track of your choices.

Disneyland Resort Roster for the 2015 March Magic Tournament Walt Disney World Resort Roster for the 2015 March Magic Tournament

The 32 teams inspired by favorite Disney attractions are competing for the title of ultimate Disney attraction. Daily attraction matchups are being posted on our official Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort Facebook pages and the final matchup between the top two attractions will take place on April 6. Let us know your favorite!

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And thousands of guests at the Walt Disney World Resort looked to the sky at once this week to see the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform two spectacular flyovers of Magic Kingdom Park. Our Disney PhotoPass photographers snapped our newest image (above) of the jets over Cinderella Castle.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Soar Above Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort

The six F/A-18 Hornet jets were traveling from their home base in Pensacola, FL, to an air show in the state and used the opportunity to entertain and inspire guests. Check out Bob’s original story to see some amazing video from the day.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

Smokejumpers Grill Opens Today at Disney California Adventure Park – Get a look at this new quick-service location which honors the brave men and women who fight wildfires in California forests.

Disney Park After Dark: A Photo to Crow About from Disneyland Park – Disneyland Resort Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer shares a unique image of a flock of noisy crows flying by Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Cinderella Coach is a Magical Treat at Disney Parks – Debuting this month at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort is a Cinderella Coach inspired apple. It’s safe to say that candy makers got a little ‘carried away’ with this concoction.

Baby Goats Make Their Debut at Disneyland Park – Watch video of our new baby goats at Disneyland park. Bernard and Bianca have been visiting with the guests at Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm for a few weeks now, but we were able to capture this footage on their very first day out!

A Look Back: Sneak Peek Celebration of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland Resort – On March 17, 2005, students from Green Elementary School joined Green Army Men and Buzz Lightyear for a special sneak peek of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

‘Frozen’ Summer Fun LIVE Returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios June 17 – September 7 – One of the biggest highlights of the summer season is sure to be the return of “Frozen” Summer Fun LIVE at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with favorite characters, unforgettable music, delightful enhancements and immersive experiences. Click through for more details!

Petites Assiettes de Remy on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream – Watch Disney Parks Blog author Salah Chetbi explain some of the newest premium culinary offerings at Remy, our fine dining French restaurant on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream cruise ships.

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A Look Back: Launching Mission to Mars at Disneyland Park

posted on March 20th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


On March 21, 1975, six years after man first set foot on the moon, the Flight to the Moon attraction at Disneyland park was relaunched with a new destination.

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The new Mission to Mars attraction still featured a visit to Mission Control. I can still remember thinking what a cool job Mr. Johnson had.

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According to NASA, robotic missions to Mars currently take approximately eight months to travel to the red planet. So, when Mission to Mars completed its final journey on November 2, 1992, it would only have had time for 13 roundtrips from Earth were it not for a little Disney magic powered by imagination.

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