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Enjoy the nighttime extravaganza Fantasmic! at Disney Parks

Wildlife Wednesday: Adopt a Retired Horse Through the Disney Equine Adoption Program

posted on January 14th, 2015 by Mark Beatty, Worldwide Ranch Animal Operations Manager


Did you know The Walt Disney Company maintains 200 horses worldwide at the Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in Paris? These horses provide opportunities for guests to ride in horse-drawn street cars, arrive at their wedding in Cinderella’s Carriage, delight in a child’s first pony ride, watch the Wild West come to life or enjoy a quiet wagon, carriage or trail ride.

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On average, our horses live with us at Disney for about 7-10 years. Their time as a member of the Disney team is based on many factors including their age when they arrive, their ability to acclimate to their surroundings and their overall health. Just like other animals at the Disney Parks, horses receive top-notch care while they are a member of our family, but did you ever wonder what life for a horse is like after Disney?

It gives me great pride to share that life after Disney is just as green on the other side of the fence. For decades, the Disney Equine Adoption Program has paired our retired horses with new adoptive families. This program has proven that our horses and ponies have plenty of magic to share even after their Disney career.

In order to identify the best potential adoptive families, the Disney Equine Adoption Program has various guidelines and policies in place. These guidelines help ensure we find people who are committed to a lifetime of care and enjoyment with our animals.

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For more information and to receive a brochure or application for the Disney Equine Adoption Program, please e-mail twdc.equine.adoptions@disney.com.

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First Look at runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation Merchandise

posted on January 14th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


From January 15–18, a Galactic Empire of runDisney enthusiasts will descend on the Disneyland Resort. Join the ranks of the Rebel Alliance, Wookiees or Imperial Fleet! Plan to look out of this world as you cross the runDisney finish line of the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation.

Find iconic Star Wars characters, symbols and phrases such as “May The Course Be With You” and “Let the Wookiee Win,” on performance tees, hoodies, jackets and other novelty items, including headwear, jewelry, magnets and window clings. Have you signed up for the Star Wars Rebel Challenge? A selection of ladies’ and men’s T-shirts (cotton and performance), jackets, magnets, runner’s hat, Bondi Bands and Sweaty Bands themed to the Rebel Challenge will be available, as well as ‘all race’ event logo inspired merchandise.

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Do … or Do Not. I say ‘do.’ Because these Star Wars themed Dooney & Bourke bags are bound to go faster than the speed of light.

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What about pins? In addition to the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon logo pin, Rebel Challenge, 5K and 10K pins, there will also be two medal spinner pins. Check them out!

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Finally, keep an eye out for additional runDisney apparel, along with 2015 runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge offerings.

I wish you all the best of luck and May the Course Be With You!

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Building The Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – A Unique View of Town Square

posted on January 14th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


In my last “construction update” I pointed out that the clock tower on Main Street Station at Disneyland park was still without a clock. Now I can show you why that was a good thing.

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As you can see in this rare image, a camera was placed inside the clock tower to create one of the most unique photos of the construction of Disneyland park you will ever see.

Previously in the “Building the Dream” series:

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Today in Disney History: Mickey’s Comic Debut

posted on January 13th, 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


Because Mickey Mouse is such a huge presence in Disney Parks around the world, we just had to share this special “mouse” moment in Disney history with you. We’re sure many of you are well aware that Mickey Mouse made his big screen debut in 1928 in the short “Steamboat Willie.” But just over a year later marked another milestone for our favorite mouse — he began a longtime run in newspapers across the country in his very own comic strip.

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After his auspicious debut, the country—and the world—fell in love with Mickey, so it didn’t take long for the little mouse to become a big cheese. There were more Mickey shorts, character merchandise, local Mickey Mouse Clubs and—on January 13, 1930—a comic strip, which celebrates its 85th anniversary today. Written by Walt Disney himself and drawn by Ub Iwerks, the earliest comics would follow Mickey’s adventures far and wide, starting with his attempt to build his own airplane. What could go wrong with that?

By the summer of 1930, the comic strip appeared in up to 40 newspapers across nearly two-dozen countries, helping to usher in Mickey’s golden age and establish the mouse as the foundation and universally recognized symbol of the Disney organization.

Here on the Disney Parks Blog we have the very first Mickey comic strip for you to see. And if you’d like to see more, head over to D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, where Steven Vagnini has pulled together the entire first week of Mickey comics! Trust us, you’ll want to see how this turns out!

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Behind the Scenes of New Disneyland Resort ‘Frozen Fun’ Commercial

posted on January 13th, 2015 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations


You may have seen our new commercial highlighting “Frozen Fun” here at the Disneyland Resort. If you haven’t, take a look below. It’s a magical melding of classic Disneyland Resort attractions and the newest member of our Disney family, “Frozen,” in which some of your favorite attraction residents are singing “First Time in Forever” and inviting you to “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park.

The Disney Parks Blog had a crew on the set, as the commercial was being shot after hours here at the Disneyland Resort. This video takes you behind the scenes of the shoot and introduces you to some of the creative team behind it. Enjoy!

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Spotlight on New Pins Coming to Disney Parks in 2015

posted on January 13th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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From new retail MagicBands to upcoming Orange Bird products, I’ve recently been sharing previews of items coming to Disney Parks in 2015. This time, I turn the spotlight on Disney pins, which are a fun way to show off your Disney Side when visiting Theme Parks and Resorts.

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For years, we’ve offered various “pin-of-the-month” collections, which have new pins released monthly (or sometimes quarterly) for guests to collect. This year, the “Best Friends” collection will contains two individual pins that are great for sharing with your best friend. The “Wonderfully Wicked” collection showcases some of the most famous Disney villains. Both of these monthly collections will be found in select locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

Guests in Florida will find the “Shields of Fantasy” collection. These hinged pins open to reveal Disney
characters who reside in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.

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The “Piece of Disney History” collection returns this year. First introduced in 2005, these limited edition pins contain actual pieces of attractions, shows, or parades from Disney Parks. This year, we continue our “Piece of Disneyland Resort History” collection for guests in California, while guests in Florida will find a continuation of the “Piece of SpectroMagic history.”

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With the “Generation D” collection, we are counting down to the annual Disney Trading Event that will be held in September at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort. Each of these 13 limited edition pins will have an edition size of 500 and will be released monthly.

We also have a few surprise pins planned including a collection featuring Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” for Disneyland Resort. When placed next to each other, the pins will form a complete picture. Guests in Florida will find pins celebrating the themed lands of the Magic Kingdom Park. Both of these pin collections will be released at random times throughout the year.

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Finally, if you are headed to Disney’s Hollywood Studios I invite you to stop by our newest Disney pin destination at Sunset Market Ranch on Sunset Boulevard. This location is now the main headquarters for all things pins inside the theme park.

As a reminder, new pins are typically released on Thursdays at Disney Parks. Look for one-sheets highlighting key pin releases toward the beginning of each month on the official Disney Pin Trading website – http://www.DisneyPins.com.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Top Five Tips for Visiting the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 12th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


I’m often asked for tips from family and friends who are planning Disneyland Resort visits. They want to know what to see, what to do and how to make the most of their trips. There are so many ways that my creative and thoughtful fellow cast members have developed to help make your visit easier and even more enjoyable, so today I’d like to highlight a few of them.

1. Disney eTicket

New Disneyland Resort Mobile Site Makes the Magic Easy New Disneyland Resort Mobile Site Makes the Magic Easy

When you purchase park tickets through the Disneyland Resort mobile site, you can simply scan your Disney eTicket directly from your mobile device right at the park turnstile. No need to print anything or visit the ticket booth! Learn more about the Disneyland Resort mobile site here.

2. Online dining reservations

This is one that I use all the time. Making dining reservations at the Disneyland Resort is super easy – especially when you book online at Disneyland.com. Bookmark this page and use it whenever you need to reserve a table!

3. “Fantasmic!” and “World of Color” FASTPASS and dining packages

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This is one that will save you a lot of time. “World of Color” at Disney California Adventure park and “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland park now both feature reserved and stand-by viewing as well as several dining packages. These reserved viewing options give guests more time to enjoy other entertainment and attractions across the Disneyland Resort. Learn more about the new “Fantasmic!” viewing options here.

4. Disneyland Today

Got a question? Need more tips? Disneyland Today is a social media program that answers questions and provides real-time tips and updates for both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, the Downtown Disney District and the three hotels of the Disneyland Resort.

5. Disneyland.com

The official website of the Disneyland Resort is an incredible resource for information when you’re planning your visit. In addition to being your go-to for dining reservations (see #2), Disneyland.com has park hours, Entertainment schedules, attraction height requirements and so much more.

What are your tips for visiting the Disneyland Resort? Share them in the comments!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 11th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared several exciting Disney Parks updates, including the announcement of the return of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at Disneyland park.

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For a limited time, Disneyland park guests have the chance to stroll down memory lane and enjoy this classic Disney Parks nighttime spectacular with its familiar soundtrack, featuring classic Disney tunes, and an all-new fireworks program. Check out Erin’s story for more.

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Also at the Walt Disney World Resort, for a limited time starting January 17, you can head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for an exclusive preview of “Cinderella” at the park’s ABC Sound Studio.

The original golden coach from the film is also on its way to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where it will soon be on display outside the movie theater façade on Streets of America.

Shawn’s original story has video of what happened when guests visiting Magic Kingdom Park were treated to a glimpse of the magical coach and other “Cinderella” surprises. “Cinderella” arrives in theaters March 13.

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

Enjoy ‘Frozen Fun’ and More at the Disneyland Resort with Return of Special Ticket Offer for Southern California Residents – Get the details on a special Disneyland Resort ticket offer exclusively for Southern California residents and “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park.

What are Your Disneyland Park Must-Do’s? – Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover shares her own personal list of Disneyland park must-do’s. Do you know what’s on your own list?

Learn to Draw Mickey’s Pal, Pluto, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Brian James Fichtner from Animation Academy offers a video tutorial on how to draw Pluto!

Sights & Sounds at Disney Parks: Lucie Arnaz and the Space Mountain Launch – Space Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort celebrates its birthday this month —it’s 40 years young! See pictures from the grand opening festivities, with Emmy-winning entertainer/producer Lucie Arnaz and Tony-winning Broadway legend Tommy Tune.

Training the Horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland Park: Building Strength and Coordination – Watch this special video of Duke working on his ground driving skills with Circle D Equine Trainer Cindy Moser.

Sweet Spots to Enjoy Sweet Treats at Disneyland Resort – Find out about some of the ‘sweetest’ places to enjoy the treats of Disneyland Resort’s candy kitchens!

Behind-the-Scenes: Disney Cruise Line on ‘The Kitchen’ – Read all about Disney Cruise Line Chef Stephen Walker’s visit with the hosts of “The Kitchen,” an entertaining cooking show on the Food Network.

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Good Morning from Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on January 9th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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Good morning from Cars Land! You have to be here pretty early in the morning to see a sight like this – the sun rising over Ornament Valley and the businesses along Route 66. But sometimes our guests do get to see the sunrise here … especially those who have braved 24 hours here at the Disneyland Resort during our special events the past few years. So, those of you who have seen it, tell me … where is your favorite spot to watch the sunrise here at the Disneyland Resort?

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What are Your Disneyland Park Must-Do’s?

posted on January 8th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Those of us who visit Disneyland park a lot are often asked, “What is something you [or I] must do at the park?” I’ve given this some thought, so I wanted to share my own personal list of Disneyland park must-do’s. Now, I know this is a very personal list – it will vary for each person. So, let me know in the comments … what is your own must-do list for Disneyland park? Hold on, Disney California Adventure park fans – that’s for another time!

Stop #1 – Disneyland Railroad

Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland Park

Sometimes my visit begins with the classic grand circle tour, and sometimes that’s how it ends. Sometimes it’s in the middle, whatever – the point is that no visit is complete for me without a ride on the Disneyland Railroad.

Stop #2 – Market House, Main Street, U.S.A.

Hear me out … I’m a coffee fan with a theme park problem. Starbucks plus Disneyland equals a happy me. So yes, this is a recent addition to the must-do list.

Stop #3 – Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, Main Street, U.S.A.

Ice cream is only behind coffee on my list of obsessions, and there’s something extra-delicious about ice cream from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor … am I right?

Stop #4 – Indiana Jones Adventure, Adventureland

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Yes, I chose to go to Adventureland first and yes, I walked right past Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise – both of which I’ve loved ever since I wore acid wash denim and permed my hair. But if a choice has to be made, I’ve got to ride Indiana Jones Adventure. Feel free to discuss.

Stops #5 and #6 – Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion, New Orleans Square

Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Park

Obviously.

Stop #7 – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park

Confession: I’m a thrill ride person, so you’ll see another mountain on this list later. And the recent refurbishment of this classic attraction has only made it more awesome.

Stop #8 – Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm, Frontierland

Goats! Come on, they have goats!

Stop #9 – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Fantasyland

A classic, and it’s only at Disneyland park. Must. Do.

Stop #10 – “it’s a small world,” Fantasyland

The music, the history, all the Mary Blair art and design … this attraction, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, makes me happy every time.

Stop #11 – Space Mountain, Tomorrowland

Another confession: this is my favorite attraction in all of the Disneyland Resort. And when it’s taken over by a ghost during Halloween Time, I love it even more.

Stop #12 – Little Red Wagon, Main Street, U.S.A.

You’ve got to eat, and when you’re at Disneyland park, you’ve got to eat a corn dog. No excuses.

Okay, so that’s my list. I know you all have your own, so fire away!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort