Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 6th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared the first post of a special MyMagic+ series coming to the Disney Parks Blog with a story from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs.

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Tom shared an update that we’ve reached an exciting milestone – we’re now providing guests who might only be visiting for the day with the ability to fully engage in MyMagic+ before their visit. Guests can register on My Disney Experience online, reserve access to some of their favorite experiences with FastPass+ and also purchase MagicBands on-site, if they choose.

Check Tom’s original story for more details and keep an eye open right here on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates as we continue to roll-out MyMagic+.

CAPTION All in the Details: Jewel Sorting & More Inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Queue at Magic Kingdom Park

And this week, Disney Parks Blog readers were treated to two new “All in the Details” stories featuring Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland. Author Jennifer Fickley-Baker started the week with a close look at the Dwarfs’ cottage. And she ended the week with a peek into an area we haven’t shared much about yet – the attraction’s queue, which features a few interactive opportunities for guests.

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

ACT Anaheim Announces $1.5M in Inaugural Grants – Accelerate Change Together for Anaheim (ACT Anaheim) is awarding $1.5M in grants to 10 local nonprofit organizations. Click through to learn more!

Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Claude Coats – Read about this elite artist and his contributions to many classic Disney animated features, including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Fantasia,” “Dumbo,” and more.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Now on Instagram – Share your Aulani vacation photos using #Aulani and we may feature them on the newly launched @DisneyAulani!

A Look Back: Behind the Scenes of the Re-imagined “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Park – Disney Imagineer Kim Irvine gives an inside look at the new additions made to “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park.

Hear a Gospel Rendition of Disney’s “it’s a small world (after all)” – Watch this special performance “it’s a small world” to continue our celebration of its 50th anniversary!

Five Things You Might Have Missed in ‘it’s a small world’ at Disneyland Park – Catch some of the smaller details of this famous attraction you might have overlooked.

Lots of Fun Horsing Around at Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Walt Disney World Resort – Learn more about Tri-Circle-D Ranch, wagon rides, pony rides and its 90-plus residents.

Exploring Northern Europe with Disney Cruise Line – Click through to see some spectacular photos of Northern Europe and learn how you could be part of a voyage from Disney Cruise Line.

Chalkboard Art-Inspired Items Coming to Disney Centerpiece at Downtown Disney Marketplace in 2014 – Check out these striking chalkboard-inspired home goods, including dishes, glassware, pillows, picture frames and more!

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Head Inside Creative Costuming To See How ‘it’s a small world’ Doll Costumes Are Created for Disney Parks

posted on April 5th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Did you ever wonder how those charming little outfits are created for the dolls in our “it’s a small world” attraction? Here at Walt Disney World Resort, costumes are produced in our Creative Costuming department at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Would you believe that the costumes that appear in the attraction today are careful recreations of the designs worn nearly 50 years ago in the original attraction?

Check out the video below for more behind-the-scenes facts.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Egg’-citement Awaits at the Springtime Roundup at Disneyland Park

posted on April 4th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Mr. Easter Bunny has been spotted and he’s at the Springtime Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Disneyland park! Other rare hare sightings include Br’er Rabbit, White Rabbit, Thumper and more. So bunny hop your way down and check the furry fun now now through April 20.

Splash Mountain is my favorite attraction at the Disneyland Resort, so seeing Br’er Rabbit was the best for me! Who is your favorite Disney rabbit?

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Rare Photos: Walt Disney and the Debut of ‘it’s a small world’

posted on April 4th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


We have some really great, rare color photos of Walt Disney as he revealed some of his plans for “it’s a small world” at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.

Rare Photos: Walt Disney and the Debut of 'it's a small world

The first image was taken while Walt filmed the “Wonderful World of Color” episode, entitled, “Disneyland Goes to the World’s Fair.” Here he is sharing the model of the attraction as it appeared in New York. I really like looking at all the activity going on behind Walt in this image. I certainly recognize some familiar ‘small world’ faces in the background.

Rare Photos: Walt Disney and the Debut of 'it's a small world

This next photo was taken outside a soundstage at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, presumably during production of another television segment for “it’s a small world.”

Rare Photos: Walt Disney and the Debut of 'it's a small world

This last photo is a personal favorite of mine. It shows Walt with Disney Legends Marc Davis and Mary Blair. Walt is admiring a figure from the attraction that seems to bear a remarkable resemblance to Mary! Have you noticed this one inside the attraction at Disneyland park? My colleague, Erin Glover has included her exact whereabouts in a great post from earlier this week.

Remember to visit SmallWorld50.com to join in the fun of our celebration!

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Hear a Mariachi Version of ‘it’s a small world’

posted on April 4th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Our celebration of the 50th anniversary of the “it’s a small world” attraction continues this week with another special performance of the attraction’s famous song “it’s a small world” – this time with a mariachi band! Check it out below.

You can join the attraction’s celebration by creating your own sing-along video. Learn more at SmallWorld50.com.

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Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Celebrates Five Magical Years at Disneyland Park

posted on April 4th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique opened in Fantasyland at Disneyland park. I can still remember standing outside the location on a chilly April day, before the doors opened, watching the ribbon cutting ceremony and I knew then, that we were about to create more magic for our Disney fans than we could have ever possibly imagined.

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Over the years, so many truly amazing and inspiring stories have been shared with us from our Fairy-Godmothers-In-Training regarding transformation experiences with you, our Disney fans. It’s some of those magical stories that I want to share with you today.

One of our United States Military Soldiers was homeward bound and wanted to surprise his three year-old daughter and wife. During his daughter’s transformation experience at Bibibidi Bobbidi Boutique, the ‘King’ as we called him, snuck into the photo studio in the location. After receiving the royal treatment, the ‘princess’ was escorted into the photo studio. Upon saying the magic words, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, the lights in the studio magically turned on and there stood her dad. The little girl instantly screamed Daddy, to which he replied ‘Hi Princess!’

A family with two ‘princesses’ visited Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique during the first year it was open, with each princess taking part in a Castle transformation experience. Upon making their royal debut, the family offered to pay it forward by adding an additional transformation experience on to their bill and allowing the Fairy-Godmothers-in-Training to work their magic. It didn’t take long before they found a little girl whose dream was to become Belle. As it turns out, the ‘princess’ had been living at an orphanage since she was just a couple months old, and her ‘family’ who had found her in the orphanage surprised her with her first trip to Disneyland park. Not only did the ‘princess’ receive the royal treatment, but unbeknownst to her when she and her family returned home, the ‘princess’ was going to be further surprised with the news that she would be adopted and joining her family for a ‘happily ever after.’

What amazes to this day, is that Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is something that can be experienced at almost all of our Disney Parks worldwide, aboard the Disney Fantasy in the Disney Cruise Line fleet and even at Harrods in London, England.

So I invite you to help us celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique opening at Disneyland park, as well as celebrating our locations around the world! How? Share your stories and photos with us on the Disney Parks Blog and across our other social channels. Tag your Instagram photos using #BibbidiBobbidi and we may just share them on our @Disneyland Instagram feed.

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#DisneyKids: First Ear Hat at Disney Parks

posted on April 4th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’re continuing our series of different firsts to experience at Disney Parks with one of those “must-haves” – a first Disney ear hat. Our ear hats are such identifiable icons that many families use them to mark their visit.

Parents share their ear hats with their children and also pass down the tradition of selecting one. It’s another one of those “firsts” at Disney Parks that I’m sure many readers have in common.

We’re just getting going with this new series so let us know about a special, memorable or even life changing first trip to Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort in the comments below and then check back for our new #DisneyKids series.

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ACT Anaheim Announces $1.5M in Inaugural Grants

posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Accelerate Change Together for Anaheim (ACT Anaheim) announced today that it is awarding $1.5 million in inaugural grants to 10 local nonprofit organizations. Disneyland Resort led an effort to develop ACT Anaheim by funding the 2012 Anaheim Youth Services Assessment that highlighted challenges facing youth in California’s 10th largest city.

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Over the next three years, three of Anaheim’s largest businesses – Disneyland Resort, Angels Baseball and the Anaheim Ducks – committed $3 million to benefit underserved Anaheim youth, marking a more collaborative approach to help improve their lives in the community. The Orange County Community Foundation joined as managing partner of the program, helping increase the inaugural granting pool from $1 million to $1.5 million by bringing in additional funders.

The inaugural grants range from $100,000 to $200,000, and are expected to address gaps in services for more than 1,000 Anaheim youth, including mentoring and after-school programs. The inaugural grantees and grant amounts are:

  • GOALS, $200,000
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Anaheim, $175,000
  • Community Service Programs, $175,000
  • Girls Incorporated of Orange County, $175,000
  • Western Youth Services, $175,000
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, $150,000
  • Tiger Woods Foundation, $125,000
  • Anaheim Family YMCA, $125,000
  • Orange County Congregation Community Organization, $100,000
  • Taller San Jose, $100,000
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Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Frank Wells

posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Jon Storbeck, Vice President, Disneyland Park


Frank Wells joined The Walt Disney Company as president and chief operating officer in September 1984. He was known throughout the company as a friendly, kind soul who was always approachable and open to ideas. He and Michael Eisner, chairman and chief executive at the time, were a great team. Their working relationship is often likened to that of Walt and Roy Disney; Frank handling the details and Michael in the public eye. It was a true partnership.

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During Frank’s 10-year tenure with Disney, the company experienced unprecedented growth and revitalization. Annual revenues rose from $1.5 billion to $8.5 billion. Disney stock prices increased by 1,500 percent, and the theme park and resort revenues tripled. Disney Consumer Products revenues rose 13-fold and Disney film entertainment revenues jumped 15-fold. Michael and Frank, along with studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg, helped make Disney one of the most successful film studios in the world and re-established its dominance in animated feature films with a series of hits that included “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.”

As a key supporter of Disneyland Paris, Frank expanded the company’s international presence. In 1994, Michael Eisner said, “Fortunately for all of us at Disney, Frank was a buccaneer in the office. He was smart, prudent, a dealmaker and a great closer. He was always supportive of a great idea, whether it was swans on the outside of a building or ‘ducks’ for the name of a hockey team.”

Frank was born on March 4, 1932, in Coronado, California. He was the son of a naval officer and spent his childhood on Navy bases in California and on the East Coast. He graduated from Pomona College and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in jurisprudence. He then served two years in the United States Army, attaining the rank of first lieutenant, before attending Stanford Law School.

Frank worked hard and played hard. He was an environmental enthusiast and an avid mountain climber. In 1983, he set out to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents within a single year. He scaled six, but weather forced him to turn back near the top of Mount Everest. His mountaineering exploits are chronicled in his book, “Seven Summits,” published in 1986. There is a tribute to Frank and his love of mountain climbing in the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction at Disneyland park, where mountain climbing equipment bearing the name “Wells Expedition” can be seen.

On April 3, 1994, Frank Wells died in a helicopter accident in Nevada; he was 62 years old. A building at The Walt Disney Studios was later dedicated in his memory. The Frank G. Wells building opened in 1998, with a ceremonial ribbon cutting by his wife Luanne and Michael Eisner. Beside the building’s entrance, a plaque contains a quote that Frank carried on a slip of paper inside his pocket for thirty years: “Humility is the final achievement.”

Frank was named a Disney Legend in 1994. He was also honored with a window on Main Street, U.S.A., above Disneyana. His window, dedicated in 1996, pays homage to his love of adventure: Seven Summits Expeditions, Frank G. Wells, President, “For Those Who Want To Do It All.”

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Join ‘it’s a small world’ Google+ Hangout On Air Event with Richard Sherman April 10

posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


As you know, we’ve been celebrating the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world” here on the Disney Parks Blog and at SmallWorld50.com. Today I’ve got exciting news to share about another way you can be a part of this global celebration.

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On April 10 at 1 p.m. PDT, Disney Parks will present a Google+ Hangout On Air event with Disney Legend Richard Sherman, live from Disneyland park! To join in, be sure to RSVP for the event, submit your question and watch the event live here. You can also watch the event at the Gallery section of SmallWorld50.com.

And we’ve got a special opportunity for our biggest “it’s a small world” fans – we’ve got a few seats in the ‘it’s a small world’ Google+ Hangout On Air event open for you! Later today, we’ll tweet details from @Disneyland on how you can be part of the event and ask your question directly to Richard Sherman!

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