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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on August 17th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we introduced the newest member of the gorilla family troop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and shared the first images of the little one with Disney Parks Blog readers.

Yet-To-Be-Named Baby Male Gorilla at Disney's Animal Kingdom Yet-To-Be-Named Baby Male Gorilla at Disney's Animal Kingdom

The new baby, which is yet to be named, is the fourth gorilla born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan, which manages genetic diversity among species through detailed records of individual animals.

Check our original story for more details about our newest baby gorilla.

Light Painting Once Again Takes Art into Mid-Air Inside Magic Kingdom Park Light Painting Once Again Takes Art into Mid-Air Inside Magic Kingdom Park
Light Painting Once Again Takes Art into Mid-Air Inside Magic Kingdom Park Light Painting Once Again Takes Art into Mid-Air Inside Magic Kingdom Park

And Gary shared a new group of fun Disney Park “light painting” images that included the galaxy’s most famous villain, Darth Vader. Just like our July post, the designs were made in midair (without a guide or template) and the art was captured using long camera exposures that captured every move of the penlights. There were no chances to “erase” a mistake.

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more “light painting” later this year.

(*Note: cast members were in a very controlled environment with proper personnel on-site. If you attempt an artful creation like this, please insure proper safety measures are taken.)

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

D23 Expo 2015 — Tickets Now Available! – Read more about the Ultimate Disney Fan Event and find out where you can buy your tickets.

Share Your Favorite Disneyland Resort Memories from the 1990s – Show us your 1990s memories on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #Disneyland60Contest for a chance to win a trip to the start of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration in spring 2015!

Meet the Townsfolk of ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!’ at Disneyland Park – Get familiar with some of the Townsfolk that are part of this special experience, and don’t forget to mosey on down to Frontierland at Disneyland park for ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!’

New Alex and Ani Disney Bracelets Make Two Seasons Collide at Disney Parks – See some of the new Alex and Ani designs celebrating Halloweeen and Winter this year at Disney Parks!

Remembering Lauren Bacall at Disney Parks – Take a look back at legendary actress Lauren Bacall’s visits to Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Visiting Walt Disney World Resort? Check Out These Free Vacation-Planning Tools – Click through for the best resources on Walt Disney World Resort, including maps, dining reservations, theme park tickets and more.

MyMagic+: Video Captures Your Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Drop at Walt Disney World Resort – Read up on how MyMagic+ can save your drop into another dimension at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

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Remembering Lauren Bacall at Disney Parks

posted on August 15th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


This week we learned of the passing of legendary actress Lauren Bacall. The award-winning star of stage and screen who rose to fame in the film noir dramas of the 1940s was reportedly one of the femme fatales from Hollywood’s golden age who inspired the creative team behind “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” in their design of Jessica Rabbit.

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Ms. Bacall visited Disneyland park in the summer of 1963 with her husband, actor Jason Robards, pictured here at Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

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Twenty-six years later, Ms. Bacall was on-hand for the opening festivities of Disney’s Hollywood Studios (known then as Disney-MGM Studios), where she placed her handprints in cement in the courtyard outside The Great Movie Ride – an attraction inspired by the kind of movie magic she, herself, created.

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Share Your Favorite Disneyland Resort Memories from the 1990s

posted on August 14th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


We’re getting close to the end of the submission period in our search for your memories from the past 60 years of the Disneyland Resort; there are just two weeks left! This week, we’re looking for your memories from the 1990s. Share now for a chance to win a trip to the kick-off of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration in spring 2015!

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You don’t have to go too far back for this one … just about two decades ago, Disneyland park guests dancing in the streets with the Party Gras parade, meeting their favorite stars at Disney Afternoon Avenue and celebrating the opening of “Fantasmic!” Show us your 1990s memories with the hashtag #Disneyland60Contest, and be sure to include the decade in your entry description!

How to enter:

  • Each week, we’ll be asking for your special photo memories from a specific decade. (Regardless of the weekly decade inspiration, you can share a favorite photo from any of the decade periods between now and August 27, 2014.)
  • Post your photos on Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #Disneyland60Contest by August 27, 2014, and make sure to let us know the decade in which the photo was taken in the description or tweet.

Tip: Make sure your entry is official! To be considered an official entry, your photo must be shared as a new Instagram post with the contest hashtag and the decade in which the photo was taken in the description. Hashtagging an old Instagram photo post will not be considered an official entry. Feel free to screen grab it and re-upload it to Instagram to enter if you have a photo already posted on the channel.

When the submission period is complete, we’ll select the top five photos from each decade, and Disney Parks Blog readers will vote for the top photo from each of the Disneyland Decades. Each decade winner will receive a special Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration prize. Then, we’ll give you the chance to vote for one Grand Prize winner from among the winners of each decade. This lucky fan will win a trip to the start of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration in spring 2015!

For complete rules, click here.

No purchase necessary. Entries must be received by 8/27/14. 18/age of majority+, 50 US/DC only. Void where prohibited. See Rules for details.

For more on the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, visit the links below:

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D23 Expo 2015 — Tickets Now Available!

posted on August 14th, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


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What happens when all the wonderful worlds of Disney come together under one roof for three magical days? Find out at D23 Expo 2015! Tickets are now available for the Ultimate Disney Fan Event. From August 14-16, 2015, at the Anaheim Convention Center (just across the street from Disneyland Resort!), D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is putting on the biggest Disney event in the world uniting Disney, ABC, LucasFilm, Pixar and more for a spectacular weekend.

Once again, guests will enjoy a look at what’s new and what’s next from the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as well as the Walt Disney Studios, Disney Interactive and much more! Returning to the event will be the Disney Legends ceremony, honoring those who have made a significant contribution to the Disney legacy, as well as a brand new Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit.

Special Early Bird tickets are available now through December 31, 2014, and D23 Members enjoy extra savings. See you at the Expo!

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Get the Gear You Need to Complete Your Look for ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!’ at Disneyland Park

posted on August 13th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Howdy pardners, High Roller Harker here! As you probably saw from the recent “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!” video, featuring Eagle Eye Erin and Two Bit Tyler, there is a feud happening out here in the wild west, between the citizens of Frontierland and Rainbow Ridge. The Frontierland folk don’t take kindly to those Rainbow Ridgers trying to take their land. If you’re going to join the story before “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!” ends its test run on September 1, here are a few essentials you can pick up to help you fit in and stand out from the rest.

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  • Cowboy Hats – This handy wear will not only keep you cool, but it will make you look cool, too. It’s a must for any town folk ‘round these parts.
  • Mustaches & Bandanas – These doo-dads work well as a disguise or to show off your town colors with pride.
  • Money Pouches – These simple pouches are great for holding and collecting bits, gold and bonds.

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Now ladies, just because you are on the wild frontier doesn’t mean you can’t still look good. Glam it up with feathers and choose a boa, headband or fan, and if that’s not enough, add a velvet necklace for a little somethin’ extra. As you can see from the picture above, I couldn’t resist.

Mosey on in to Pioneer Mercantile or Bonanza Outfitters today!

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Matterhorn Bobsleds and Monorail Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store Starting August 18

posted on August 13th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m excited to announce that two Disney Parks attraction poster shirts will be released online from August 18-24. These new shirts feature nods to some classic Disney Park icons – the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland park and the Walt Disney World Monorail System in Florida. Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra created the artwork for these shirts that will be printed on Hanes Beefy tees.

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The original Matterhorn Bobsleds poster that Richard referenced when designing the shirt was created by Paul Hartley in 1959, the year the attraction opened in California.

According to the “Poster Art of the Disney Parks” book by Walt Disney Imagineers Vanessa Hunt and Danny Handke, the artist who created the original monorail artwork is unknown. During a trip to California last year, Vanessa showed me that original monorail artwork in its various stages of completion (I even saw the pencil lines, which was a total Disney geek moment!).

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Like many guests, I have fond memories of both the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction and the Walt Disney World Monorail. My son’s first ride at Disneyland park a few years ago was the Matterhorn Bobsleds. We visited Disneyland park again last September where he posed next to the attraction poster while wearing some dapper attire.

As for the Walt Disney World Monorail, I love watching it zip through Disney’s Contemporary Resort. I took the image shown above of monorails passing in the night while that gorgeous mural by Mary Blair looms in the background.

You can order these shirts starting August 18 by visiting http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

I also heard a practically perfect T-shirt will be offered on that same website from August 27-31 (it’s a must-have!).

Do you have a favorite memory of the Matterhorn Bobsleds or the monorail? Please share in the comments below.

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KaBOOM! Play Together Tour Powered by Disney Parks Kicks Off in Anaheim This Weekend – Coming to Cities Across the U.S.

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


From coast to coast and points in between, the KaBOOM! Play Together Tour Powered by Disney Parks will travel to six cities across America to inspire fun-filled family play! This free event kicks off in Anaheim, California this weekend and is the perfect opportunity for families to connect and spend meaningful time together.

Just last week, I had the chance to watch a few of my fellow cast members and their families test this unique experience. It was great to see them take on the playful obstacle course – from creating team flags that represented their families’ personalities and then raising them when they completed the course in the spirit of family pride, to building a tunnel they could all climb through to the next obstacle and solving a tricky puzzle – they worked together and had fun.

Check out the video below to see some of the families in action!

I hope you have a chance to join in and play with your family at one of the stops below. To reserve your time slot visit kaboom.org/playtogether or register on-site the day of the event. The dates and locations of each tour stop are:

  • Anaheim - Center Street Promenade, Saturday & Sunday, August 16-17
  • Sacramento - Adjacent to State Capitol Bldg., Wednesday, August 20
  • San Francisco – Marina Middle School, Saturday & Sunday, August 23-24
  • Chicago - Lincoln Park, Grove 2, Saturday & Sunday, August 30-31
  • Atlanta - Old 4th Ward Skate Park, Saturday & Sunday, September 6-7
  • Kissimmee, FL – Mill Run Park, Saturday & Sunday, September 13-14
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‘Frozen’ Pre-Parade Delights Guests at Disneyland Park

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


This summer, the beloved characters from Disney’s phenomenal hit movie, “Frozen,” have ventured beyond Arendelle on a whirlwind tour of neighboring kingdoms, including Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom of Disneyland park. When visiting Disneyland, Anna and “happy snowman” Olaf glide down the parade route on a magical snowdrift, conjured by Queen Elsa. Have a look:

You can catch your “Frozen” friends in this special pre-parade appearance, just ahead of each day’s first performance of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.

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PANDORA Jewelry Coming to Disney Parks This Fall

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m excited to announce that PANDORA Jewelry is coming to Disney Parks! Guests will soon find an original collection of beautifully designed Disney-themed jewelry launching in select retail locations at Disney Parks and around the world.

The new collection of hand finished sterling silver and 14K gold charms was created in collaboration with Disney Consumer Products and Disney Theme Park Merchandise, and will feature inspirations from some of Disney’s most beloved characters. The collection will include 25 different styles, with an additional 16 styles found only at Disney Parks.

Later this fall, select merchandise locations at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Vacation Club properties and Disney Cruise Line ships will begin selling the collections. The Disney Parks online store will also carry select items from PANDORA Jewelry.

Additionally two existing Disney merchandise locations at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will unveil unique retail installations, combining PANDORA’s sleek aesthetic and Disney’s creativity.

PANDORA will also be the sponsor of the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom Park and beginning in 2015, PANDORA Jewelry will become a presenting sponsor of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend held annually at the Disneyland Resort.

I’ll share additional details in the coming months about the exciting new merchandise offerings at Disney Parks.

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Meet the Townsfolk of ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!’ at Disneyland Park

posted on August 11th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


If you’ve moseyed down to Frontierland at Disneyland park this summer, you’ve probably met some of the colorful townsfolk of Frontierland and Rainbow Ridge during “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!” You’ve probably even joined in and claimed one of the towns as your own. If you haven’t yet, I wanted to introduce you to some of the folks you might meet if you join this experience before it ends its test run on September 1.

Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge – where does your loyalty lie? Tell us in the comments!

For more about “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!” fun at Disneyland park, visit the links below:

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