The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Do You Want ‘S’more’ Gourmet Apples at the Disneyland Resort?

posted on June 19th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It’s been almost an entire year since we have been treated to that ooey-gooey fan-favorite that I like to call the s’more gourmet apple. But guess what, Disney fans? It’s back!

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If you need a reminder as to why it was so good, maybe this will help. The apple has been dipped in chocolate and topped with graham crackers and marshmallows that have been toasted to perfection. Just like last year, you can enjoy this tasty treat fireside or just camping out with family and friends.

The s’more gourmet apple can only be found during the month of July at the following Disneyland Resort locations:

  • Disneyland park – Candy Palace
  • Disney California Adventure park – Trolley Treats
  • Downtown Disney DistrictMarceline’s Confectionary
  • Was this your favorite gourmet apple, too?

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

    New Soccer Merchandise Scores a Goal at Walt Disney World Resort

    posted on June 18th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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    My fellow author Darcy Clark recently shared a look at the United World Soccer store at Downtown Disney West Side. This new location is a must-stop destination for fans of fútbol (and it would appear there are many as the world watches the events unfold in Brazil). Elsewhere at Walt Disney World Resort, we have recently introduced new soccer-themed goods that have a splash of Disney.

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    Decorated in hues of blue, green, yellow and white, this small new assortment was created specifically for World Showcase at Epcot. The main logo features a silhouette of Mickey Mouse kicking a soccer ball, which was used on several apparel items, a glass mug and two open edition pins.

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    These items can be found in select locations at Epcot and at the World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. The two open edition pins will also be released in select locations at Disneyland Resort.

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    One of my favorite items is a limited release pin featuring José Carioca, a character not often seen on Disney merchandise. He was originally created for Walt Disney’s “Saludos Amigos” in 1942, and now stars in the Mexico Pavilion attraction at Epcot, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros. This pin was released at Disney Traders and Village Traders in World Showcase at Epcot, World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace and Sport Goofy at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.

    Speaking of Epcot, you can watch many of the World Cup games in the Odyssey Center. That’s just one of many viewing locations at Walt Disney World Resort. See the complete list here.

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

    Disney Parks Blog Readers ‘Meet-Up’ For ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’

    posted on June 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


    Over the weekend, hundreds of Disney Parks Blog readers gathered for a sneak preview of “Planes: Fire & Rescue” at AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Walt Disney World Resort.
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    In addition to seeing the film, which tells the story of a crew of elite firefighting aircrafts who protect the historic Piston Peak National Park from wildfires, our guests also heard some “making-of” details from Producer Ferrell Barron and Director/Co-Writer Roberts “Bobs” Gannaway.
    Disney Parks Blog Readers ‘Meet-Up’ For ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’

    “Planes: Fire & Rescue” will open in theaters on July 18, 2014.

    Be sure to check out our recap of the event in the video below.

    Did you attend our meet-up? Let us know in the “Comments” section below!

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    Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

    First Look: New Disney•Pixar Custom Character Cars at Walt Disney World Speedway

    posted on June 14th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


    Last month, we let you know that new Piston Cup Racers Aiken Axler & Sage VanDerSpin would be unveiled during this year’s Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort. And today, we have a first look at both custom character cars, as they enter the line-up for the first time at the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

    First Look: New Disney•Pixar Custom Character Cars at Walt Disney World Speedway

    The #28 Aiken Axler and #80 Sage VanDerSpin cars were created by Disney•Pixar “Cars” creative director Jay Ward. Both will be used in the new Piston Cup Junior Ride-Along program for the Richard Petty Driving Experience beginning this weekend. Here’s a taste of what it’ll be like.

    If you look closely, you’ll notice the character eyes on the car’s windshields help bring the vehicles to life – but the window wraps do not interfere with the view of the track.

    Junior Ride-Alongs do not require reservations and are given on a first-come, first-served basis. Find out more information about program offerings, dates and times by visiting Drivepetty.com or call 800-237-3889.

    You can see Aiken Axler and Sage VanDerSpin during Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney. Disney•Pixar “Cars” and “Cars 2″ characters Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissle will also be stopping by the event for meet and greets.

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    Car Masters Weekend is back at Downtown Disney West Side

    posted on June 13th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


    Earlier today, Pixar Cars Guardian, Jay Ward, and Car Designer and Customizer, Chip Foose, stopped by to share what they’re looking forward to the most at this year’s Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney. Take a look, then join us Saturday and Sunday to experience the fast-paced excitement for yourself.

    Visit disneycarevent.com for more details and we’ll see you there!

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    ESPN Zone Cast Member Plays Dad and Colleague to Three Daughters

    posted on June 12th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


    Creating guest memories is a family affair for many Disneyland Resort cast members, and among these are inspirational dads who lead their families at home and work. With Father’s Day around the corner, now is a great time to introduce you to the Hernandez family!

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    When Shaleena Hernandez, a server at ESPN Zone, needs someone to talk to, she turns to her father, and doesn’t have to go far. Richard Hernandez also works at the Downtown Disney District restaurant — as do his other two children, Jessica and Briana. And would you believe Shaleena’s and Jessica’s fiancées also both work at ESPN Zone? They do!

    Richard values the time he spends with his daughters and future sons-in-law on and off the clock. “Being together is great,” said Richard. “I have always enjoyed working at the Disneyland Resort because of my supportive co-workers, and now it’s extra special because I get to also work with my daughters.”

    Shaleena, Jessica and Briana attribute their work ethic to their dad. “Working with my dad allows me to spend time with him and see his hard work,” Jessica said. “I love my dad, and we hope he enjoys his day off on Father’s Day.”

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    Filed: Cast Member Profiles, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

    ‘Trucks on the Town at Downtown Disney West Side’ June 21 at Walt Disney World Resort

    posted on June 12th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


    Get ready to tweet, here’s a brand-new event to share with all your foodie friends: the first-ever food truck festival at Downtown Disney, a mini-theme park for food lovers from 5-10 p.m. June 21. Your biggest challenge will be what to order when you get to the window, as we’ll have 14 trucks dishing out sandwiches, empanadas, pupusas, barbecue, gator bites, seafood, tacos, cupcakes and more.

    Presenting the First-Ever Food Truck Bazaar at Downtown Disney

    Collaborating with The Daily City.com Food Truck Bazaar, local trucks sharing their delicious tastes at Disney for the first time include:

    • TJ’s Seafood Shack
    • Magic 4 Ur Palate
    • Yum Yum Cupcake Truck
    • Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ
    • La Empanada
    • Philly’s Best Cheesesteaks
    • El Cactus Azul
    • Mayan Grill
    • Med Fresh Taverna

    Of course the four Downtown Disney food trucks, along with the ESPN food truck, will be there – Namaste Café with favorites plus some new flavors from Disney’s Animal Kingdom – think butter chicken and tandoor shrimp; Superstar Catering with favorites from Disney’s Hollywood Studios like Margherita flat bread; Fantasy Fare with Magic Kingdom Park goodies like the corn dog and sticky chicken n’ waffles; and World Showcase of Flavors with Epcot tastes from pierogies to grass-fed beef sliders.

    A live DJ will create a convivial atmosphere that’s fun for all ages at the event that will be at Downtown Disney West Side on the event lawn near House of Blues and Cirque du Soleil. Best parking is lots O, P and Q behind Cirque due Soleil, via entrance 5. And, sorry, no pets allowed.

    Downtown Disney plans to open a permanent food truck park later this summer between Bongos Cuban Café and the new Starbucks at Downtown Disney West Side. Details soon!

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    New Merchandise Rides Into Downtown Disney West Side for Car Masters Weekend on June 14-15, 2014

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


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    My fellow author Darcy Clark recently shared some details about Car Masters Weekend returning to Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort on June 14-15. This fun event dedicated to all things auto will take place from 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day. Darcy mentioned we will have a few new items being released that weekend, so I raced over to the merchandise events team to survey the goods.

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    This year, we have a new event logo that will be used on a variety of items including a print, a shirt, a car magnet, a car flag and a D-Tech on Demand case for the iPhone 5/5S. These items will be released at D-Street and at the Disney Truck Shop located in the event expo area at Downtown Disney West Side.

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    I’m also happy to report that custom car builder and designer Chip Foose will be returning to the event. He will be meeting with guests each day at D-Street from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Chip will be signing prints of his take on this year’s Car Masters Weekend artwork shown above (you’ll notice it’s slightly different than the top image). Guests will receive a wristband upon purchasing the artwork which will allow them to meet Chip and have their artwork signed. The queue for guests with wristbands will start at 10:00 am in front of D-Street.

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    Guests will also have two opportunities each day to meet the filmmakers of “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” the upcoming film from Disneytoon Studios in theaters July 18. Director/co-writer Robert “Bobs” Gannaway and producer Ferrell Barron, will be giving a special conversation each day, and they will meet with guests to sign the new “Planes: Fire & Rescue” books coming to the event. Please visit the event stage in Downtown Disney West Side at the following times:

    • Saturday, June 14 – Conversation will be held at 1:00 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. with the meet and greet starting at 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m.
    • Sunday, June 15 – Conversation will be held at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. with the meet and greet starting at 1:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

    To learn more about Car Masters Weekend, please click here.

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    Soccer Scores the Spotlight at United World Soccer at Downtown Disney West Side

    posted on June 12th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


    All eyes are on Brazil as the FIFA World Cup kicks off today (pun totally intended). With 32 teams competing in the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world, soccer will take center stage over the next month.

    Here at Downtown Disney West Side, one of the newest venues, United World Soccer, can help you score all your fútbol must-haves. With jerseys representing the most popular teams, a variety of cleats and gear, and even the official FIFA World Cup soccer ball available for purchase, this new retail location has what you need to make the most of this worldwide phenomenon.

    Here’s a look at what you can expect inside the shop:

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    I’ve got a few friends who are soccer-obsessed, so there’s a good chance you’ll find me hunkered down at one of the many Walt Disney World Resort venues showing the games. You can see the full list of confirmed viewing locations here. Additionally, look for the biggest match-ups at select Downtown Disney locations – Splitsville will be a sure bet, with its many large-screen TVs and full-service bars.

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    No matter how you plan to celebrate the World Cup, my advice is to pick up a jersey at United World Soccer before you cheer on your favorite team.

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    So? Any early predictions on who will win the whole thing? Share your thoughts in the comments below. (I’m already chanting U-S-A, U-S-A …)

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    Sign Up for our ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’ Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up at the Walt Disney World Resort

    posted on June 12th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


    UPDATE: Our Disney “Planes: Fire & Rescue” Meet-Up has been has been filled to capacity.

    Our ongoing series of Disney Parks Blog meet-ups continues this weekend with a special viewing of Disney “Planes: Fire & Rescue” weeks before it hits theaters. This Saturday, on June 14, we’re giving readers the opportunity to be among the first to see the new animated comedy-adventure about second chances at Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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    The meet-up begins at 10:00 a.m. EDT (doors open at 9 a.m.) on Saturday, June 14, 2014 and there will be three different showings at AMC Downtown Disney 24 – each 15 minutes apart. At the event, you’ll be able to watch “Planes: Fire & Rescue” featuring a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire before the film is officially released on July 18, 2014. And like all Disney Parks Blog meet-ups, there will be a few surprises.

    RSVP now by sending us an email titled “‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’ Meet-Up” 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.
    • Limit one guest per registrant.
    • We will send a confirmation 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 West Side 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.

    This post will be updated after the planned capacity has been reached. Please note the event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

    Hope to see you there.

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    Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort