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Spring Blooms Bright at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 22nd, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


When you think of spring at Walt Disney World, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is likely the first thing that comes to mind. I agree, but lately, as I’ve been walking around Downtown Disney, I can’t help but notice that we’ve got a lot of colorful blooms sprouting up here, too.

My favorite, a Mickey and Minnie topiary that makes me smile every time I see it, is located near the Marketplace Fun Fountains and Earl of Sandwich. It’s the perfect photo backdrop to mark the season.

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I recently had the chance to connect with Horticulture Manager Patrick Zusack to learn more about what it takes to keep the magic growing. Patrick’s dedicated team of seven cast members starts at early at 5 a.m. each morning – which makes sense, given their task of maintaining over 21 acres of irrigated landscaping. I’ve learned that there are over 25,000 bedding plants, more than 350 containers and 75 hanging baskets currently on display daily at Downtown Disney, all adding abundant seasonal color for our guests to enjoy while visiting the property. Patrick, a 25-year cast member, shares that the most rewarding part of his job is “wowing our guests and then seeing them take pictures of one another and utilizing our colorful garden as their backdrops.”

From flower beds in front of World of Disney to potted plants lining the new pedestrian walkway that connects Pleasure Island and West Side, floral fun abounds in all three Downtown Disney districts.

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Be sure to keep an eye out for pretty petals during your next visit. In the meantime, check out the gallery below for a few of my favorite buds, then let me know which floral display at Walt Disney World Resort tops your list!

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort Event Snapshot – May 2014

posted on April 21st, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Here are the merchandise events headed your way this May at Walt Disney World Resort!

Before we jump in, here’s one last event taking place at the end of April that you should definitely check out!

Stop by Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace April 26 -27 for a special Disney Design Group Artist Showcase! Not only do you get the opportunity to add beautiful masterpieces to your own Disney collection, but you also get the chance to meet Disney artists Costa Alavezos, Brian Blackmore, Alex Maher, Randy Noble and Darren Wilson. Check the website for artist appearance times. Learn more.

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Now on to May!

May 1 – 4: Look for special appearances by artist Larry Dotson throughout the day at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Not able to make it? Look for Larry later in the month from May 21 – 24 at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park. Learn more.

May 2: Ahoy there! Meet Disney Design Group artist Casey Jones, who will be on hand to sign the new “Pirates of the CaribbeanVinylmation Series 2 from 5 – 7 p.m. at D Street in Downtown Disney West Side.

May 2 – 3: Find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day during the Chamilia Trunk Show taking place throughout the day at Tren-D in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

May 4: Put some spring in your step with A Perfect Petals Brunch, featuring the Disney Collection by Vera Bradley coming to World ShowPlace at Epcot on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Register now! Learn more.

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May 7 – 11: Artist Greg McCullough returns May 7 – 11 to Art of Disney in Epcot and will appear later in the month from May 21 – 25 at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace and May 28 – June 1 at Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Be sure to stop in and say hello! Learn more.

May 8 – 12: Meet Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace, May 8 – 11, as we debut her collection inspired by Cinderella. Learn more.

May 10 – 20: Artist David E. Doss will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection! Learn more.

May 17 – 18: Dana and Melanie Harvey from HARVEYS seatbeltbags are headed to Walt Disney World Resort! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to pick up some of the newest silhouettes inspired by their Pop Art Mickey collection and meet Dana and Melanie, May 17 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Tren-D in the Downtown Disney Marketplace; May 18 from 12:00 to 2 p.m. at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park; and May 18 from 5 -7 p.m. at Summer Lace at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Learn more.

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Here are a few other things you don’t want to miss!

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Earth Month Festivities at Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort

posted on April 18th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


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Guests coming to Disneyland Resort tomorrow, April 19, and on Earth Day, April 22, can celebrate Earth Month at the Downtown Disney District! Be sure to check out the Wyland Clean Water Mobile Learning Experience, where guests can participate in a Clean Water Challenge and solve disturbances to the nation’s water habitats via a 4D theater experience. DJ Wendy also will provide “atmosphere” music.

On April 19, learn about the environment with our friends from Inside the Outdoors Foundation, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, Orange County Water District, and more. On April 22, guests can interact with an exhibit hosted by the Disneyland Resort about reducing, reusing and recycling, clean commuting and connecting with nature, paint an environmental mural with the Wyland Foundation and participate in interactive demonstrations with the Southern California Edison Mobile Energy Unit. MUZEO also will display art made completely out of recycled materials.

All offerings take place near the main stage by ESPN Zone from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on April 19 and 2 – 6 p.m. on April 22.

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Disneyland Resort Pin Trading Challenge

posted on April 16th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


If you know, me, you know I’m always up for a challenge. So when my dear friend and fellow Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover challenged me to a Disney Parks Blog Pin Trading Challenge at Disneyland Resort, I said, “I’m in!”

What would the challenge entail? Erin and I headed into Disneyland Resort with rarely seen Disney Parks Blog pins in hopes that we could make some great trades with Disney fans and take part in some of the fun activities and trading opportunities available. You truly have to see this for yourself!

As you can tell, we had a lot of fun trading, and we only visited a handful of locations. There are so many more places you can go. Remember you can also trade with any cast member and other guests.

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  • Julius Katz & Sons
  • Radiator Springs Curios
  • Seaside Souvenirs
  • Tower Hotel Gifts

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I always say, Pin Trading is as easy as 1-2-3. There are just a few things to remember. Here are some guidelines on Disney Trading to help get you started. Tip: Keep an eye out for Hidden Mickey pins, generally found on Disneyland Resort cast member lanyards.

My own personal tip on trading: I always say trade for pins that mean something to you, whether it’s a favorite character, attraction or icon. Trade for things you love. Pin trading can be fun by yourself or with the entire family. It’s a great way to meet new friends, visit with old ones and share stories. Remember, Disney pins and trading are popular at many of our Disney Parks & Resorts.

Now, back to business, the competition is still on and we need your help! Both Erin and I are convinced we each have the best pins on our lanyard, so share your comments with us and let us know who you think has the better pins.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Top Stories

Do You Have Disney’s Million Dollar Arm?

posted on April 11th, 2014 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


Anyone want $1 million?

Well, Walt Disney Studios is prepared to give that much money away as part of the world premiere of its new movie “Million Dollar Arm,” in which a sports agent (played by Jon Hamm) concocts a scheme to find a young cricket pitcher he can turn into a Major League Baseball star.

Walt Disney Studios is staging a contest on April 25th and 26th to find a real-life “million dollar arm” by offering guests (you have to be age 18 and over with no prior professional baseball experience) the chance to throw the fastest strike. Here’s how it works: Participants at three locations;­ Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and New York City, get three chances to throw a baseball as fast as possible. Participants who throw the three fastest strikes at each location will be flown to the finals in Hollywood, Calif., where they will attend the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” on May 6 and get a chance to compete for the grand prize. Any of the nine finalists who throws a 100-mph strike during their three attempts could potentially win the $1 million.

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Click here for official rules.

Even if no one wins the $1 million, everyone who steps up to the mound will be a winner in some way. All contestants will receive complimentary tickets for themselves and a guest to an advance screening of the movie at a nearby AMC Theatre location. In addition, the nine finalists and their guests will be flown to Hollywood for the movie premiere and the final competition, plus treated like VIPs along with other movie stars, Major League players and Hollywood celebrities.

If you want your shot at the million-dollar prize, just show up at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla., or the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day at the Tribeca Family Festival in New York City on April 25 or 26 (New York location available only on April 25) between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time. You’ll need a valid U.S. identification card to complete and sign a registration form and release. Oh, and don’t forget your baseball glove and anything else you need to warm up.

You only have a couple of weeks to go, so start getting your arm ready. It could be worth $1 million!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

Beautifully Disney Gets ‘Curiouser & Curiouser’ at Disney Parks

posted on April 11th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Curiouser & Curiouser, the latest collection from Beautifully Disney takes a cue from the Caterpillar, Cheshire Cat, and Alice herself, with colors ranging from light, neutral tones to richly pigmented and shimmery shades. This new collection will debut May 3 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts!

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As soon as I found out about this collection, I immediately sought out the advice of Rachel Brent, whom I introduced to you with the Pop of Minnie collection, and whom I consider my go-to girl for all things beauty. Since I’m late for a very important date, I’m handing it over to Rachel for a quick overview of the new collection and some of her top picks:

I invite you to fall down the rabbit hole and escape with me to a Wonderland of whimsy, as you disappear into a daydream and discover pristine pastels with a peculiar twist — perfect for spring.

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A-E-I-O-You need to check out the eye shadow palette, which has quickly become a staple in my own beauty bag for spring and summer. The six ultra-flattering shades are perfect for a golden afternoon.

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Are you thinking of painting the roses red? Forget the roses, and paint your lips one of the gorgeous mini-lipstick hues. My pick is Dum De Dum, which is a cool coral shade. Another thing I positively lost my head over, are the two newest lip gloss shades – Miss Priss and Literally Nonsense! Always lightweight, these emollient rich formulas moisturize and condition your lips, never leaving them gummy. I guarantee these glosses will leave you smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

As you know, no tea party or un-birthday is complete without the new decadent macaroon sponges, shown above. Perfectly sized and luxuriously smooth, these make-up blending sponges will become your go-to treat.

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Did I find my cup of tea? I think so. As you can see, I went a little mad using all of the nail colors. What colors will you choose to create a look fit for the Queen of Hearts? Here are my recommendations: Tis’ Brillig is a nice twist on neutral with an iridescent textured finish. Or if you’re feeling ‘blue’, This Way, That Way is pedicure perfect.

Tip: Here is a recent nail design tutorial.

Before you leave Wonderland, one last thing: Purchase a mini lip gloss palette for $19.95, when you spend $50.00 (before tax and after discount) on Beautifully Disney products.

Those of you at the Disneyland Resort are in for a special treat. There will be a special signing on May 3 with Jeff Granito, the designer behind the Beautifully Disney artwork at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

As you can see we’re all a little ‘mad’ here. I know that both Rachel and I are ‘curious’ to see what all of you will do with the colors in this new collection, so share your stories with us here on the Disney Parks Blog or hashtag your images #DisneySide on our social channels.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

Spotlight on The Trophy Room Coming to Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in 2014

posted on April 7th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With the return of baseball season, I thought this was a good time to turn the spotlight on The Trophy Room, the second of six boutiques coming to the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World. I’ve been a Pittsburgh Pirates fan for years as my parents hail from western Pennsylvania. I recently caught up with another Pirates fan and Pittsburgh native, Dana Harchar. A member of the Global Retail Development team, Dana shared some details about what guests will see when visiting this location.

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“I’m designing the merchandise fixtures found in [The Trophy Room],” explained Dana. “With a backdrop of exposed brick, the wall fixtures will look like repurposed trophy cases that had their glass doors removed. They will be made of beautiful cherry wood with a rich, luxurious stain. Dark stone and metal accents will also be found throughout the shop. We plan to include some wonderful wool Trophy Room logo banners to differentiate this shop from the others in the Marketplace Co-Op like Disney Centerpiece .”

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Next, I spoke with Chicago Cubs fan and senior merchandiser John Sarni who explained what makes The Trophy Room a unique shopping destination.

“At first glance, The Trophy Room may seem like a traditional sports apparel store,” said John. “Once inside, guests will soon realize this space represents a lifestyle. The location aims to create sports fans, rather than just outfit existing enthusiasts, by offering high quality, vintage-inspired garments that instill a sense of nostalgia and old-school, collegiate spirit.”

John said that some of the shop will contain sports apparel by 47 Brand. He selected an eclectic mix of vintage styles featuring some of the most popular teams in baseball as well as professional and college football. In addition, there will be some great collectibles such as high-quality pennants and unique baseballs that feature printed images of famous stadiums. The assortment may change as different sports come into season throughout the year.

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The shop will also have a small collegiate-inspired assortment of graphic apparel and drinkware with a Walt Disney World flare. These items were designed especially for The Trophy Room. I’m in love with that orange Raglan!

Look for these items and more when The Trophy Room opens at the Marketplace Co-Op in a couple of months.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Chalkboard Art-Inspired Items Coming to Disney Centerpiece at Downtown Disney Marketplace in 2014

posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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In February, I shared with you a first look at some merchandise coming to Disney Centerpiece, one of six boutiques coming to the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in a couple of months. I was delighted to read that many of you enjoyed that first preview as much as I enjoyed sharing it. In addition to those awesome items, Disney Centerpiece will also feature a line of chalkboard art-inspired home goods. I spoke with Natalie Kennedy, senior graphic designer with Disney Design Group, who was responsible for creating this amazing artwork.

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“Chalkboard artwork is a currently a popular market trend,” explained Natalie. “For our program, we selected iconic attractions at Disney Parks such as The Haunted Mansion or the Jungle Cruise. We also expanded the program to include items inspired by Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The latter artwork is a nice nod to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.”

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A variety of monochromatic items will be included in this program including plates, drinkware, drink coasters and even napkins. I’m delighted, of course, to see more artwork featuring my favorite attraction, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room!

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While these items will debut at Disney Centerpiece, guests will also find them at Disneyland Resort merchandise locations in a few months. The Disney Parks online store will also carry a few select items.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

The Newest Downtown Disney Marketplace Kiosk is for the Dogs at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 31st, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Recently, I let our @WDWDowntown Twitter followers know about Happy Hound, a brand-new kiosk at Downtown Disney Marketplace. The response was overwhelming, so today, I’m sharing even more info with all of you!

If you have a pooch, this is the place to score custom collars and tags, trendy outfits, squeaky toys – including a hilarious mustache fetch toy – and more for your favorite four-legged friends.

I don’t have any pets myself, but my sister has a loveable Boxer named Otis. He may not be the smartest dog, but he’s so sweet with my two young nieces that he probably deserves a special surprise from me!

Scroll through the photos below to see some of the offerings at Happy Hound. As a girl who loves to accessorize, I’m most excited about the personalized collars and engravable dog tags – though there’s plenty more to love.

The Newest Downtown Disney Marketplace Kiosk is for the Dogs at Walt Disney World Resort

Look for Happy Hound during your next visit to the Marketplace; it’s located near Marketplace Fun Finds and LittleMissMatched. (And remember, for the latest news and updates, be sure to follow the Downtown Disney Twitter handle at @WDWDowntown.)

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‘Downtown Disney District Celebrates Musica Latina’ with Grammy-Winning Mariachi Divas, April 5-6 at Disneyland Resort

posted on March 28th, 2014 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


Many Disney California Adventure park guests are fans of the Mariachi Divas, who appear regularly in Pacific Wharf, and if you’re a fan, you probably know that in January they won their second Grammy Award, this one for their album “A Mi Manera.”

Mariachi Divas Celebrate With a Pre-GRAMMY Performance in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

In recognition of the Mariachi Divas’ success, the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort will present a two-day festival, “Downtown Disney District Celebrates Musica Latina,” Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6, on the main stage between AMC Theatres and the ESPN Zone.

The Mariachi Divas will appear, of course. In addition to their regular Saturday night appearance at Tortilla Jo’s, they’ll be on the main stage Sunday, April 6, from 6 – 10 p.m.

Additional performers may be familiar to guests who enjoyed Disney ¡Viva Navidad! in Disney California Adventure park this holiday season. Mariachi Espectacular will appear from 1 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, followed by the Yari Moré’ Latin Band from 6 – 10 p.m.

Prior to the Mariachi Divas’ evening performance on Sunday, April 6, the jarocho group Ay Mi Mexico will be on the main stage from 1-5 p.m.

Rounding out the Latin flavor of the special weekend entertainment, Downtown Disney District regulars Alturas and flamenco guitarist Robert Simon will be performing in their usual locations.

It’ll be a great, high-energy musical weekend for everyone who loves mariachi, salsa and the other Latin favorites. Bring your dancing shoes!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District