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February 2015 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 23rd, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


If you are planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort this February, here are a few quick tips on some of the merchandise events you don’t want to miss!

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February 6–8: Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick will be on hand from noon to 10 p.m. each day, at China Closet in Disneyland park, as we celebrate the release of her Valentine’s collection, among other fan favorites! Learn more here.

February 7–8: Join us as we welcome Nidhi Chanani from 1–4 p.m. each day at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Look for additional appearances by Nidhi, February 28 and March 1. Learn more here.

February 14: Join us for a special artist showcase as we celebrate the release of some of the newest pieces by artists Nidhi Chanani, Liana Hee, Jerrod Maruyama and Miss Mindy. Meet the artists from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

February 14-15: Meet ACME Archives artist Guy Vasilovich who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his latest pieces from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., each day, at Off the Page in Disney California Adventure park. Learn more here.

February 28: World renowned Mouseketeer, entertainer and author, Bobby Burgess, will be on hand for a special appearance from 9-11 a.m. at Disneyana in Disneyland park, as we celebrate the recent release of Ears & Bubbles: Dancing My Way from The Mickey Mouse Club to The Lawrence Welk Show. Learn more here.

Artist in Residence: Appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month is artist Liana Hee. Look for artist showcases on the following dates: February 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28 from 6-10 p.m. Learn more here.

Which events have made your list of things to do?

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Best Places to Find Disney Tsum Tsum at Disney Parks

posted on January 23rd, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Last summer, my son (and the rest of the world) discovered Disney Tsum Tsum. I recall we were on vacation in Ohio when he asked to download the fun puzzle matching and stacking game. Upon returning to Florida, he found the adorable stacking plush offered both at Disney Stores and in select locations at Disney Parks. Our friends at Oh My Disney even celebrated their arrival with a visit to Disneyland park (as seen in this article). I recently asked Victoria Hamilton, merchandiser for dolls and plush at Disney Theme Park Merchandise, about the best places to find Tsum Tsum when visiting Disney Parks.

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“There are currently two different locations that offer Tsum Tsum,” explained Victoria. “Guests in California should stop by the plush room inside World of Disney at Downtown Disney District. For guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort, they should visit Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney Marketplace. These two locations carry an assortment of four-inch plush and a handful of the larger sized plush.”

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She also told me that they will continue carrying select Tsum Tsum after they are released at Disney Stores. For example, guests will find the “101 Dalmatians” mini Tsum Tsum plush collection in early February at Disney Parks. This collection was first released at Disney Stores and online in early January.

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In related news, the Disney Pin Team will release a collectible pin pack featuring Tsum Tsum later this year. Each pack will contain five randomly selected pins. I grabbed a handful of pins to photograph for this story including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit!

In addition to the two different locations at Disney Parks, you can find select Tsum Tsum products online at http://www.DisneyStore.com/TsumTsum.

Happy stacking!

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Splitsville Hits a High Note with New Saturday Night Bands at Downtown Disney West Side

posted on January 20th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


In early November, Splitsville Luxury Lanes quietly introduced a new offering inside their venue – live bands on Saturday nights. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I only recently had the chance to experience it for myself. Three months after the first band took the stage, I can attest that “quiet” isn’t an adjective I’d use to describe it—it’s loud, bright and totally fun!

On the night I visited, The Jimmy James Band covered everything from The Beatles to Taylor Swift. Taking requests and encouraging guests to sing along and get out on the dance floor, the high-energy enthusiasm in the air was contagious. My party of four was perfectly positioned to catch every shake of the tambourine, and when the bass guitarist came on the floor to rock with the crowd, I was just inches away!

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Of course, we bowled, too. And had dinner. And drinks. With three sushi lovers and a full-throttle carnivore, our table was covered with edamame, a variety of rolls, and the Bacon Cheeseburger. Oh, and let us not forget a few Frozen Schooners – I really do think Splitsville serves the coldest beer in town! The only downside? The food was so good that everyone missed my strike.

With a new year here, Splitsville is rolling into 2015 with even more enhancements. Their menu now includes Crispy Wings, a Sushi Tuna Rice Bowl, a Foghorn Burger, Steak Alfredo and a California Crunch Roll. New drinks include a Cinnamon Toast Colada (I’m so regretting not trying that one during my last visit!) and Sangrita (Margarita meets Red Sangria). They recently expanded their first floor Bullet Bar, too, so there’s more space than ever to catch your game, people watch, or – my new favorite – enjoy live music on Saturday nights!

Want to check out the bands during your next West Side visit? The Jimmy James Band, Blonde Ambition or another guest group will perform 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. every Saturday night. There’s no cover charge and there are plenty of tables, bar seats and lanes on the first floor with great views of the stage and dance floor. To guarantee a spot and reserve a lane, contact kingpin@splitsvillelanes.com or call 407-938-PINS; for dinner only, you can book online here.

Now, more than ever, Splitsville really is my favorite Downtown Disney West Side spot to “Roll In & Rock Out!” Would you agree?

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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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‘Food Truck Takeover’ Jan. 16-18 by New Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk

posted on January 13th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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What a fun way to get a taste of the new Trattoria al Forno menu – the first-ever “food truck takeover” January 16-18 at Exposition Park at Downtown Disney.

Beef and Spinach Meatball in a Sourdough Bread Bowl from Trattoria al Forno at Disney's BoardWalk Lasagna from Trattoria al Forno at Disney's BoardWalk Tiramisu from Trattoria al Forno at Disney's BoardWalk

Superstar Catering food truck, which usually features tastes of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, will be the makeshift kitchen for the Trattoria chefs to serve three of the restaurant’s most popular dishes: an oversized beef and spinach meatball in a sourdough bread bowl (inspired by the restaurant’s Polpetta Gigante) with housemade “Sunday gravy” ($12.25); lasagna ($10.75), and tiramisu ($6).

They’ll also be pouring a bright, well-rounded Sogno d’Italia Chianti from Tuscany, representing the restaurant’s all-Italian wine list and a perfect pairing for the lasagna and meatball.

Exposition Park hours are noon-11 p.m., weather permitting. And look for more Disney restaurants to showcase menu favorites with upcoming takeovers!

If a taste at Exposition Park leaves you wanting more, Trattoria al Forno on Disney’s BoardWalk is open 7:30-11 a.m. for breakfast, 5-10 p.m. for dinner, and accepts the Disney Dining Plan. For reservations, visit www.disneyworld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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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

Sign Up for the runDisney ‘McFarland, USA’ Blog Meet-Up

posted on January 7th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


UPDATE: This event has been filled to capacity. Please CLICK HERE to view a list of the accepted event attendees. If you are on the list and do not receive a confirmation email by 7 p.m. EST today, please contact us at WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com.

We’ve just finalized exciting plans for a runDisney Blog Meet-Up and it’s one you’ll not want to miss. On Sunday January 11, 2015, we’re offering the opportunity to be part of a special preview screening of Disney’s “McFarland, USA” at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort before it opens in U.S. theaters on February 20.

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Our runDisney Blog Meet-Up begins at 4:00 p.m. EST (doors open at 3:00 p.m.) at Downtown Disney on Sunday, January 11, 2015.

At the event, you’ll see “McFarland, USA,” which is based on the 1987 true story that follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) — a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Soon something beyond their physical gifts become apparent — the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic.

RSVP for the meet-up now by sending us an email with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com. Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of attendees will be selected for the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All attendees who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests do not need to be 18 or older.
  • Disney “McFarland, USA” is rated PG.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • We will send an email to individuals whose valid RSVPs are received by us via email before we reach the planned capacity to confirm their attendance for the event.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in at Downtown Disney for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person and guest.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.
  • This post will be updated after capacity has been reached.

Also, here are some other things to know:

  • This is an advance screening of the film. Closed Captioning and Descriptive Video services may not be available.
  • Please arrive early. No one will be admitted late. We may refuse, revoke or limit admission in our sole discretion at any time.
  • NO RECORDING

The screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any video or audio recording devices (including, without limitation, cameras) into the venue and you consent to a physical search of your belongings and person for recording devices. If you attempt to enter with a recording device, you will be denied admission. If you attempt to use a recording device during this screening, you consent to your immediate removal from the venue and forfeiture of your recording device and its contents. Any attempted unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability. We reserve the right to pursue any and all available remedies at law and in equity for any unauthorized recording and/or copyright infringement, including without limitation statutory damages of up to $150,000 per violation, and nothing contained in this notice shall be construed to limit our available remedies and/or legal recourse. You assume all risks of personal injury arising from or incidental to attending the screening, whether occurring prior to, during, or after the event. Further, by attending you grant permission to Disney Destinations, LLC, its licensees, licensors, affiliates and agents, to record and utilize your name, voice and likeness to publicize the screening and promote the movie.

Hope to see you there.

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Winter Fitness Fun with Fit2Run at Downtown Disney West Side

posted on January 6th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


This weekend, I’ll be participating in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Like thousands of other runners taking part in runDisney races this Marathon Weekend, I started my training months ago. Not a runner? I wasn’t either. But now is a perfect time to start!

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With temperatures dipping around the country, I decided to talk with Fit2Run store manager, Gary Robinson, to get his take on winter fitness. Gary thinks that winter is a great time to start a running program, as long as you have the right gear. For runners who live in colder climates, long sleeve shirts or jackets with thumb holes can help keep you warm (there are some seriously cute options); running hats that cover your ears are a great addition, along with running gloves (some even have LEDs built into them for extra visibility!). I’m lucky to live in Florida where shorts and tank tops are the norm most of the year, but the bright selection of winter apparel makes me want to sign up for a race up north.

Now that 2015 is here, I’m guessing many of you have New Year’s resolutions? If running is on your list, here are some tips from Gary especially for beginners:

  • Limit yourself when you first start out. Start slowly and build from there.
  • Once you have a base weekly mileage, only increase it by 10% each week. This will always save you from injury.
  • Get the correct shoes. Shoes can make a world of difference.
  • Talk to people who are successful in running. You may want to ask them how they stay motivated.
  • Consider running with a group – they’ll keep you coming out each week.
Winter Fitness Fun with Fit2Run at Downtown Disney West Side Winter Fitness Fun with Fit2Run at Downtown Disney West Side

If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of running, stop into Fit2Run during your next West Side visit and talk to the staff … from 6 hour marathoners to state champs in track and field, they represent a variety of fitness levels who all embrace the culture of fitness. (My tip? Ask about their weekly Fun Runs … they’re free, untimed events open to anyone!)

Whatever your goals for the year ahead, I hope you reach them. And for anyone participating in the runDisney events this weekend, I’ll see you at the finish line! (Oh, and runDisney athletes, don’t forget to join us for the Downtown Disney Cool Down Party on Sunday, January 11th from 2 – 8 p.m., where your race medal will score you goodies and discounts including a free drawstring bag from Fit2Run.)

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Sweet Spots to Enjoy Sweet Treats at Disneyland Resort

posted on January 5th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Whether I’m waiting for the parade, people watching or just taking a break, one thing I love to do when I visit the Disneyland Resort is to find the perfect spot to try one of the tasty treats from our nearby candy kitchens. As you can see, some of my favorite treats include our hand-crafted English Toffee, Pecan and Peanut Brittle, Peanut Clusters, Dark Chocolate Pineapple skewers and amazing apples. These of course, are just a few of the classic choices amidst the many others that will delight your taste buds on your next visit. So where are some of the ‘sweetest’ places to enjoy them? A few of my top picks are across from King Arthur Carrousel, near the Haunted Mansion, Mickey’s Toontown and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, to name a few.

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Be sure to make Candy Palace on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park, Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure park and Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District your top places to go on your next visit. There’s bound to be something for every member of your family to enjoy.

Where’s your favorite place at the Disneyland Resort to sit back, relax and enjoy the show while enjoying a special snack?

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

Fifteen Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2015

posted on January 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


It’s a new year – do you have a Disney Parks vacation on your bucket list for 2015?

Whether it’s new dining experiences, sports milestones, holiday celebrations or the return of annual theme park festivals, there’s a lot to look forward to at Walt Disney World Resort in 2015. Here are 15 reasons you should consider planning a trip this year.

Trattoria al Forno Brings the Italian Countryside to Disney's BoardWalk

1. Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk – The newest Disney restaurant just opened its doors a few days ago. The menu features authentic Italian cuisine and wines – and is now an option on the Disney Dining Plan. Yum!

Exposition Park Opens for Disney Food Trucks at Downtown Disney

2. Exposition Park Food Trucks – While we’re on the topic of food, 2015 will give you time to check out the recently opened food trucks at Downtown Disney. This dedicated outdoor area also has live entertainment at night (subject to change, of course).

3. 2015 runDisney Races Are Off & Running - Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will take place January 7-11. (Check out a sneak peek at the merchandise that will be sold at this year’s event here). Space is still available in the Kids Races!

4. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – This nightspot is based on the popular themed lounge at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, and is set to open here in spring. Trader Sam’s will offer tiki cocktails served in souvenir mugs, as well as smaller food offerings. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more on this fun new location.

5. Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic – Soccer fans can get their kicks at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic February 1-March 1 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In it, eight pro teams, including six Major League Soccer squads, will compete in 16 games.

PRINCESS HALF MARATHON AT DISNEY WORLD

6. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Returns – This princess-themed weekend of running events returns to Walt Disney World February 19-22.

7. Starbucks to Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A new Starbucks location will open at the park in February, 2015. The new location, dubbed The Trolley Car Café, will be themed to a classic trolley car along Hollywood Boulevard and offer a unique experience for coffee lovers visiting the park.

Sunset closer

8. The Atlanta Braves Return For Spring Training – The Braves will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for their 18th consecutive year of spring training. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 or visiting ticketmaster.com, as well as at the sports complex box office.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

9. The 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: A Spring Tradition Returns March 4-May 17 – Character topiaries, home gardening seminars, floral displays and much more will return to the park’s festival in 2015.

10. Star Wars Weekends Returns – This annual event will return to delight fans of the Force and the Empire May 15 – June 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

11. “Tomorrowland” Debuts In Theaters May 22 – While it isn’t a theme park offering, how could any Disney Parks fan possibly miss out on seeing this one? AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Downtown Disney may be the perfect location. The trailer looks amazing!

12. Annual Events – 2015 means the return of our favorite annual events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and more. Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for news and dates on our 2015 special events.

Morimoto Exterior (1)

13. New Eats at Downtown Disney – The area continues to evolve into Disney Springs, and in 2015, The Landing, the first of four interconnected neighborhoods will open to guests. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more dates and details on the openings of Morimoto Asia, THE BOATHOUSE and STK Orlando, three restaurants planned for the area, as they come available.

14. Another Year of #DisneySide Fun - Guests loved showing their Disney Side – that side each one of us has that isn’t afraid to have fun and show our silly sides – at our parks in 2014. This year we’ll continue the fun by encouraging all of you to show your Disney Side at our parks (and at home) throughout 2015.

15. Your Family Vacation – If this is the year for your family’s vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, then there’s nothing to look forward to more than your family’s special time together. If you visit our parks in 2015, we hope you have a wonderful time.

Which event or new offering are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the “comments” section below.

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