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Celebrate National Hugging Day with Warm Hugs from Olaf During ‘Frozen Fun’ at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on January 21st, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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Today is National Hugging Day, and what better way to celebrate than with Arendelle’s most huggable snowman, Olaf? As you may know, warm hugs are one of Olaf’s favorite things, and now during “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park, guests can get a warm hug from our favorite snowman himself at “Olaf’s Snow Fest.” While you’re there, make sure to explore more of Olaf’s favorite things:

  • Visiting Friends: Make sure to grab a Return Time ticket for “Anna & Elsa’s Royal Welcome” to give warm hugs to Anna and Elsa, two of Olaf’s best friends, on National Hugging Day.
  • Eating: From a build-your-own snowman cookie kit to Warm Hugs Hot White Chocolate (with delicious mint marshmallows!), there are lots of tasty new treats to try at “Olaf’s Snow Fest.”
  • Singing: Head on over to the Crown Jewel Theatre to sing along with Arendelle Historians, who tell the tale of “Frozen,” and sing some of the film’s most popular tunes at “For the First Time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.”
  • Drawing: Do you want to draw a snowman? Spend some time in the Animation Academy, located inside the Animation Building, where aspiring artists will learn how to draw either Marshmallow or Olaf.
  • Dancing:Freeze the Night! A Family Dance Party” is the perfect place to dance the night away, but don’t forget to check out all this ‘cool’ party has to offer! Ice sculptors, dancers and the not-so-huggable snowman Marshmallow are all invited to this nighttime celebration.

Want to take some warm hugs home with you? Stop by Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post to grab your very own Olaf plush and take a peek at the rest of the “Frozen Fun” merchandise available.

Happy National Hugging Day!

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A Unique Point of View: Mad Tea Party at Disneyland Park

posted on January 20th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


A true Disneyland park original, Mad Tea Party has taken millions of our guests for a spin over the past nearly-sixty years. Climbing inside a giant tea cup makes you feel like you’ve stepped into Wonderland and shrunk down a bit with the help of a mysterious cake or potion. But seen from a different perspective – through the lens of Disneyland Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer – these could be just regular-size tea cups … take a look!

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Disneyland Resort Circle D Corral Now Zero Waste Certified

posted on January 20th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


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What do you do with your laundry lint? You may remember that Circle D Corral, a working ranch that is home to the animals of the Disneyland Resort, makes it into compost. Thanks to efforts begun four years ago by cast member Andrea Raney, Circle D Corral is now gold-level Zero Waste certified by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, with 99 percent of its waste repurposed, composted or recycled.

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In addition to recycling paper, cardboard, plastics and metal, Circle D Corral composts all animal waste and hay scraps, hand towels and laundry lint from the Disneyland Hotel and coffee grounds from Disneyland Resort restaurants. Congratulations to Circle D Corral for becoming the first Walt Disney Company location, and the first location in a theme park, to achieve this certification!

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Video Rewind: Caring for Classic Disneyland Park Attractions

posted on January 19th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Here at Disney Parks, we’re always looking for new, innovative ways to immerse our guests in Disney stories. That’s something we’ve been doing from the very beginning, which is why it is just as important to care for our classic attractions, each of which were innovations in their own time – and continue to inspire us today. Let’s take a look back at some behind-the-scenes videos we showed you in years past here on the Disney Parks Blog to see how we care for our classic Disneyland park attractions.

In 2009, Heather Hust Rivera showed us how the (at that time) soon-to-reopen “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” was using new advancements in Audio-Animatronics technology.

Then in 2010, Heather took us behind the scenes to see how the antique horses on King Arthur Carrousel are meticulously maintained.

And in 2011, I shared one of my favorite videos ever – showing how elephants are transported from the Jungle Cruise to be given a seven-week “check-up” approximately every ten years.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Nick Arciniaga Wins First-Ever Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 18th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Nick Arciniaga wins inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon

The Force was strong with Nick Arciniaga this morning at the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at the Disneyland Resort. The Fountain Valley, Calif. native made the jump to hyperspace to win with a time of 1:08:13. Jennifer Berry, 34, of Denver, blasted across the finish line as the female winner with a personal record of 1:22:34. Both athletes won the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon, and Berry was also the top female finisher at the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon this year at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Jennifer Berry wins third runDisney race in five months

Arciniaga and Berry outran a galaxy of more than 12,200 runners in the new 13.1-mile intergalactic journey through Disneyland Resort and Anaheim area streets where a variety of Disney entertainment, including Star Wars characters, cheered on runners at every mile.

2015 Star Wars Half Marathon
More than 23,000 runners started races during the four-day event weekend, which included a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters – the runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon. And for an ultimate test for Star Wars rebels, there was the Star Wars Rebel Challenge – a two-race challenge that combined the Star Wars 10K on Saturday with the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday. Jedi runners who finished the 19.3-mile challenge earned a special Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher medal in addition to medals for the 10K and half marathon.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 18th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we celebrated the anniversaries of two favorite attractions here on the Disney Parks Blog with some exclusive stories, photos and yes, wallpapers. To download the wallpapers, simply click on the images below.

Space Mountain Anniversary Wallpaper Carousel of Progress Anniversary Wallpaper

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpapers before you download it.

Our “There’s a Great Big, Beautiful Tomorrow” art was created by artist Brittany Ungvarsky and the Space Mountain attraction wallpaper was created by artist Jeff Maurer.

Don’t miss our “Space Mountain Marks Milestone” post and video of Walt Disney talking about creating the Carousel of Progress.

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And we also shared a special sneak peek of the new interactive queue that’ll debut at Peter Pan’s Flight at the Walt Disney World Resort. You’ll be able to see your own shadow come alive on the wall in the children’s nursery and get a sprinkle of pixie dust before heading off into Never Land with Peter Pan.

You can see a few more images of the new queue in Jennifer’s original story.

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

Top Five Tips for Visiting the Disneyland Resort – Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover offers some pointers on what to do and how to make the most of your next trip.

More Than 700 Compete in Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge – See some special images of runners making their way across a special 5K course throughout Castaway Cay!

First Look at runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation Merchandise – Take a look at some of the T-shirts, jackets, magnets, runner’s hats and more arriving at Disneyland Resort this weekend.

Building The Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – A Unique View of Town Square – George Savvas shares a photo taken from an unfinished clock tower on Main Street Station at Disneyland park!

Discover With Me: Breakfast at Ulu Cafe at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Discover delicious ways to start your day and fuel up at Ulu Cafe at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

#DisneyKids: Big Surprises for Little Kids – Have you ever surprised your family with a Walt Disney World Resort vacation? We thought we’d share a few ideas.

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What are Your Disney California Adventure Park Must-Do’s?

posted on January 16th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Last week, we shared our Disneyland park must-do’s … and I’ve got to say, you all had some pretty good things to share. This week, let’s head over to Disney California Adventure park. These are my must-do’s – share yours in the comments!

Stop #1 – Red Car Trolley, Buena Vista Street

I love a nice stroll down Buena Vista Street, but the Red Car Trolley is the best way to see it in style. Read about the real-life inspiration behind this attraction in this post.

Stop #2 – Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream, Buena Vista Street

Clarabelle's Hand-Scooped Ice Cream at Disney California Adventure Park

Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream is the only place at the Disneyland Resort where you can get a customized, hand-dipped ice cream bar!

Stop #3 – Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge, Buena Vista Street

Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure Park

Carthay Circle Restaurant is an amazing place to eat – the beautiful restaurant, the delicious food. But if you only have time for a quick stop, I recommend the downstairs lounge. I love the vintage-inspired cocktails.

Stop #4- Frozen Fun, Hollywood Land

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This is a brand-new addition to my list. “Frozen Fun” includes so much to do – and my favorite is “Olaf’s Snow Fest.” I grew up in Florida and now I live in Southern California, so playing in the snow is a genuine novelty for me.

Stop #5 – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Hollywood Land

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure Park

This is one of my favorite Disney Parks attractions of all time, so yeah – must-do.

Stop #6 – Cozy Cone Motel, Cars Land

Some time ago, my friend Kelly and I demonstrated our love for all things at the Cozy Cone. Top of my list: Red’s Apple Freeze.

Stop #7 – Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Cars Land

Did you think I was going to say Radiator Springs Racers? Well yeah, that’s an obvious one, but my absolute favorite attraction in Cars Land is Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. It’s surprisingly intense but still great for kids … a perfect Disney Parks attraction.

Stop #8 – Alfresco Tasting Terrace, Pacific Wharf

I love this quiet spot, where you can almost forget you’re in a theme park. And the wonderful wines and delicious food just makes it even better!

Stop #9 – California Screamin’, Paradise Pier

The only roller coaster at the Disneyland Resort with an inverted loop is definitely a must-do!

Stop #10 – “World of Color

Even though it’s closed for refurbishment right now, this nighttime spectacular remains on the list. It’s continued to evolve throughout its nearly five-year run, and I’m amazed by it every time I see it.

That’s my list. Share yours!

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and used with permission pursuant to a license with CBS, Inc.

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Orange County Restaurant Week, March 1-7, Features Disneyland Resort Favorites

posted on January 16th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Back for the seventh year is Orange County’s annual OC Restaurant week, March 1-7. With more than 100 restaurants participating, it’s is a fun way to try new dining experiences with discounted prix fixe menus.

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Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel is back for its third year, now under the helm of Chef Marcel St. Pierre. Take a look at the delectable menu – three courses for $50, and an optional wine pairing.

Along with Steakhouse 55, Downtown Disney District participants include Naples Ristorante, Tortilla Jo’s, Catal Restaurant and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. For reservations, call (714) 781-3463.

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ORANGE COUNTY RESTAURANT WEEK 2015

Starter Course
Choose One
HEARTS OF ROMAINE
Castelvetrano Olive /Bacon Lardons / Caesar Dressing
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CHILLED TIGER PRAWNS
Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce / Shallot Mignonette / Lemon Gelée
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CREAMY ONION SOUP
Grilled Onions / California Muenster Cheese Focaccia

Entrée Course
Choose One
GRILLED PETITE FILET MIGNON
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PAN-ROASTED DOUBLE BREAST OF CHICKEN
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SLOW-ROASTED PRIME RIB
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FAVA BEAN & RYE CRUSTED KING SALMON

All Entrées Served with Sautéed French Green Beans and Delmonico Potatoes

Dessert Course
Choose One
VANILLA BEAN CRÈME BRULEE
Pear Marmalade / Candied Bacon Madeline / Cranberry Compote
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CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE
Chocolate Sponge Cake / Milk & Dark Chocolate / Nutella

Vegetarian options are available upon request

Menu Price $50.00
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Additional Wine Pairing $35.00

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Disney Parks After Dark: The Mystery of the Chandelier Clock at Disneyland Park

posted on January 15th, 2015 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


Have you ever walked through Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park and looked up to see the stunning chandelier clock? If not, you are missing a real treat. Installed in 1996, the chandelier clock has never actually worked. Despite the theories and rumors, the numerous times that have been set on the clock have had no significance. Over the years, I have photographed the clock many times during the day. This time, I wanted to see how the clock would photograph at night. I think the beauty of the clock is more evident at night than during the day.

Disney Parks After Dark: The Mystery of the Chandelier Clock at Disneyland Park Disney Parks After Dark: The Mystery of the Chandelier Clock at Disneyland Park

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Register Now: Disney Parks Blog Readers Invited to Unveiling of Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

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


UPDATE: This event has reached capacity and confirmation emails are being sent. If you were not able to register – don’t worry! We’ll have details to share soon on how you can follow along with the event here on the Disney Parks Blog.

I’ve got a special opportunity to tell you about today! A limited number of Disney Parks Blog readers have been invited to join a special event on Wednesday, January 28, at the Disneyland Resort. At this event, guests will get a look at what we have in store for this year’s Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, marking the 60th anniversary of Disneyland.

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration
The event will begin with special access to “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park, where guests will experience “For the First Time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration,” “Olaf’s Snow Fest” and more.

Space for the event is very 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.
  • Event 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.
  • Disney California Adventure park admission will be provided beginning at 5:45 p.m. 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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