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COMING SOON: New Details Emerge About ‘The Edison’ and ‘STK Orlando’ at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 10th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


A few weeks ago, several new retail and dining experiences were announced for Disney Springs. Among them: The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination that will feature exceptional classic American food, artisanal craft cocktails and unparalleled live entertainment.

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Similar to its sister location on the west coast, The Edison at Disney Springs will be dedicated to a resurgence of old-world style, sophistication and romance. Themed to a 1920s-period electric company, the space will recall an exuberant era of invention and imagination. With 35-foot ceilings and a range of themed areas to explore, The Edison will feature nightly entertainment including contortionists, palm readers, DJs and more.

Today, I’ve also got more details on STK Orlando – a new rendering and another fun bit of info: this location will be the only spot that offers rooftop dining, in a gorgeous lounge setting, at Disney Springs.

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Progress also continues on Morimoto Asia, the first pan-Asian restaurant from celebrity Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

STK Orlando and Morimoto Asia will debut later this year. The Edison will open in 2016.

Which new restaurant are you most excited for? Tell me in the comments below – I’d love to know!

For more about Disney Springs, visit the stories below:

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Sign Up for a Disney Parks Blog ‘Inside Out’ Meet-Up at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 9th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


UPDATE: The Disney Parks Blog “Inside Out” Meet-Up has reached capacity and confirmation emails are being sent. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for future events!

If you’re as excited as we are to see Disney•Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out,” then you won’t want to miss our latest Disney Parks Blog-hosted meet-up. We’re offering the opportunity to be part of a special preview screening of “Inside Out” on June 13, 2015, before the film opens in U.S. theaters on June 19.

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The event begins at 10 a.m. EST (doors open at 9 a.m.) at AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Walt Disney World Resort on Saturday, June 13, 2015. And at the event, you’ll see Disney•Pixar’s new film “Inside Out”.

What’s the movie about? Well, have you ever looked at someone and wondered what is going on inside that person’s head? “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind to find out and introduces you to the little voices inside your head. Here’s more information about the story.

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 may attend 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•Pixar’s “Inside Out” 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 across from AMC Downtown Disney 24 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 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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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on June 7th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, Mickey Mouse and the “Happiest Balloon on Earth” were in Sacramento to celebrate as the California State Senate and Assembly proclaimed June 1, 2015 as “Disneyland Day!”

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During the day, the “Happiest Balloon on Earth” floated over the Capitol lawn before Mickey Mouse and Disney Ambassador Allie Kawamoto visited young patients at UC Davis Medical Center. Disneyland Resort’s visit included a stop in West Sacramento, where 500 volunteers from Disney, KaBOOM! and the city of West Sacramento built Disney’s largest KaBOOM! playground ever.

Check out Kevin’s original post for more images and details of the day.

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We also unveiled a new, extraordinary entertainment experience for guests of all ages coming to Disney Springs called The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort.

The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort is going to be a one-of-a-kind destination featuring hands-on activities that put families and guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. You’ll be able to explore inside the world of professional basketball with numerous interactive experiences and enjoy a restaurant and retail store.

Check out our original story for more details about The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort.

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

Behind the Scenes of Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland Park with Walt Disney Imagineering – Matterhorn Bobsleds recently reopened at Disneyland park, following a refurbishment that brought many new creative elements to this classic attraction – including a whole new look for its most famous resident, the Abominable Snowman.

See an Exclusive Sneak Peek of ‘Ant-Man’ at Disney California Adventure Park Starting June 19 – Soon, you’ll be able to get a glimpse of the next evolution of Super Hero when the Bug’s Life Theater at Disney California Adventure park hosts a sneak peek of the high-stakes, tension-filled adventure, “Ant-Man”!

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park? – This week was the anniversary of the opening of Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park here at Walt Disney World Resort. How well do you know this park? Give your knowledge a test!

Rhino Kiama Makes Her Big Debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Earlier this year, thousands of you voted to name our female baby rhino Kiama. She has been growing rapidly – gaining about three or four pounds a day – and now you can see her during your next adventure on Kilimanjaro Safaris!

Team Disney VoluntEARS Raises More than $30,000 for Cancer Research and Runs Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort – While training together for the 2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon, Team Disney VoluntEARS raised more than $30,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through the organization’s Team in Training program.

Six Scrumptious Desserts Debut for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – It’s a party, so you’re allowed to eat dessert first. For the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, here are six new sweets for 60 years, and they’ll stay on the menu throughout the celebration.

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Filed: Community Outreach, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Super Hero Headquarters Assembles at Downtown Disney West Side in Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 5th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


A new retail location, Super Hero Headquarters, recently opened in Downtown Disney West Side at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Enthusiasts and emerging super hero fans alike will find merchandise featuring their favorite super hero characters, including action figures, collectibles, apparel, costumes, accessories and Vinylmation.

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When I recently visited the shop, I was excited to see several items from my favorite film from last summer, “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

The location also carries a selection Disney Infinity figures and playsets.

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In addition to the numerous super hero offerings, I loved the little details found throughout the shop. The clocks above the main entrance were a nice touch, especially the one showing the time in Tahiti.

Super Hero Headquarters is located adjacent to D Street in Downtown Disney West Side.

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Artist at Work! Come see Dallas Clayton Create a Mural Inspired by ‘Inside Out’ Today in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort

posted on June 5th, 2015 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


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Like many fans of Disney●Pixar animation, I’m looking forward to “Inside Out,” which opens in theaters Friday, June 19.

Adults and children visiting Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort can get a little taste of what’s to come today, Friday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as renowned artist, author and illustrator Dallas Clayton (“Lily the Unicorn,” “An Awesome Book!”) creates a mural, six feet tall and 12 feet long, inspired by “Inside Out” next to the AMC Theatres.

Clayton has teamed up with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls to celebrate “Inside Out” and its depiction of emotions: Joy (voiced by Poehler), Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. Producer Meredith Walker, Amy Poehler’s partner in Smart Girls, is featured in an online video inviting fans to submit their representations of these emotions. The submissions may inspire portions of the mural created by Clayton.

The completed mural will remain in Downtown Disney District as a photo location throughout the month, and photos by families and other guests can be curated on social media with #SpreadJoy and #BeEmotionalInsideOut.

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Luck O’ Irish for These Five Cooks, With a Little Help From Raglan Road Chef Kevin Dundon

posted on June 4th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


We got a sneak peek of Raglan Road’s 10th birthday celebration, thanks to a clever contest that the Downtown Disney restaurant sponsored asking amateur cooks to come up with their perfect three-course Irish meal, via a two-minute video, to celebrate 10 years.

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Chef Kevin Dundon (of American Public Television’s “Kevin Dundon’s Back to Basics” series) selected the top five and invited them to travel, all expenses paid, to his own Dunbrody Country House Hotel and Cookery School in beautiful Wexford County, Ireland. (We got to join the winners for this spectacular trip of a lifetime.) Take a look at these photos by Raglan Road photographer Ivan Cummins that give a taste of the incredible experience.

From a pint of Guinness in Dublin to gorgeous Dunbrody House on Ireland’s dramatic Hook Peninsula, the winners got an inside look at Raglan Road’s roots, from the farms where Dundon sources his food for his restaurant at Dunbrody House (and perhaps Downtown Disney in the near future) to the rollicking deck of a fishing boat on the Atlantic Ocean. Everyone got a chance to improve culinary skills under Dundon’s oft-humorous tutelage in the estate’s Cookery School.

All five winners – Janice Epaillard of Mount Dora, Fla.; Aaron Van Swearingen of Winter Park, Fla.; Colleen Kerney of Orlando; Heather McBroom Walker of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Linda Rohr of Darien, Conn. – will be back in the kitchen at Raglan Road in October to work with the culinary team to create a dish for a special 10th birthday dinner.

Seeing the real deal on the Emerald Isle makes Raglan Road all the more special, with its dining rooms of aged walnut and mahogany wood furnishings from old Irish bars and churches that were shipped to Orlando to build the restaurant almost a decade ago. And Dundon’s Irish cuisine translates beautifully in his Walt Disney World Resort restaurant, where he spends several weeks each year working with the chefs to perfect classic dishes such as Irish Mist-glazed loin of bacon, fish and chips, Guinness and bangers and Granny Dundon’s Famous Steamed Orange Pudding.

After the whirlwind visit, we appreciate even more the live Irish bands and The Raglan Road Dancers every night of the week (and during weekend brunch) that bring the spirit of the Emerald Isle across the ocean.

Stay tuned for more details for the 10th birthday celebration!

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‘NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort’ Coming to Disney Springs

posted on June 3rd, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As we approach tip off for the 2015 NBA Finals, we wanted to share some exciting details on a new, extraordinary entertainment experience for guests of all ages coming to Disney Springs called The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort.

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The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort is going to be a one-of-a-kind destination featuring hands-on activities that put families and guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. You’ll be able to explore inside the world of professional basketball with numerous interactive experiences and enjoy a restaurant and retail store.

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The Walt Disney Company and the NBA just made the joint announcement and also shared that initial development work has just begun. “We’re excited to join the NBA in offering this unique form of family entertainment,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “It will be a terrific addition to the world-class lineup of shops and restaurants coming to Disney Springs.”

The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort will be one of more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment venues at Disney Springs.

Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more details about The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort as Downtown Disney continues its expansion into Disney Springs.

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Vivoli Gelateria to Open Soon at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 2nd, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


If you’ve ever had the good fortune to travel to Florence, Italy, chances are you’re familiar with Vivoli Gelateria. I’ve never been myself, but when I searched “Florence Must-Dos” online, Vivoli appeared on every list; wedged between art galleries and chapels, it was the only food venue mentioned in National Geographic’s City Guide to Florence, so you know it must be pretty spectacular!

No immediate plans to visit Italy? No worries. The family-run gelato shop will open its second storefront – and the first outside of Italy – later this month at The Landing, the newest neighborhood to debut as part of the future Disney Springs.

I recently had the chance to connect with Silvana Vivoli, the granddaughter of Raphael Vivoli, one of the company’s founders, to learn more about the gelateria. Founded in 1932 by Raphael and his two brothers, Vivoli Gelateria started out as a dairy – at that time, it was not easy to find raw materials such as milk, eggs and sugar and there were no gelato machines and freezers. After World War II, technology enabled the brothers to follow their passion and produce gelato every day – a far cry from the early recipes that relied on barrels filled with ice and snow from the nearby mountains to keep their concoctions frozen.

Silvana’s father, Piero, learned to make gelato from his father. Silvana learned the craft from him, “keeping the same old tradition,” she shared.

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When I asked Silvana why they decided to open a location at Downtown Disney, the answer flowed freely, “Good gelato. In a fantastic place. With fun and family and a sunny destination? It’s a nice combination. Like vanilla and chocolate!”

According to Silvana, the gelato at Vivoli is made with fresh, top-quality ingredients using the exact same recipes from the original shop. The artisans plan to use local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy. “There are ingredients not easy to buy,” muses Silvana, “these are love and passion … when you fall in love with your job, you have these for free – they’re the final ingredients that make everything so special.”

For a special gelato experience that will give you the “feeling of being in Italy for ten minutes,” make plans to try Vivoli Gelateria during your next visit to Downtown Disney. Not sure which flavor to order? I asked Silvana one final question: which is her favorite? “It depends on how I get up in the morning! But really, I cannot do without rice pudding gelato.”

In addition to their signature gelato, Vivioli Gelateria will also serve traditional Italian panini, biscotti, espresso and tarts. For a mouth-watering look at what you can expect, check out the gallery below.

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot: June 2015

posted on June 2nd, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


See what’s happening in the world of Merchandise Special Events this June at Walt Disney World Resort!

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June 5 – 6: Join us as we welcome artist Joey Chou to WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Take part in a special artist showcase and signing from June 5 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and June 6 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Special Tip: Joey will also be appearing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends. Learn more.

June 10 – 14: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings June 10 – 14 from Noon – 8 p.m. at Art of Disney in Epcot and June 26 – July 1 from 1 – 9 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

June 11 – 22: Representatives from Precious Moments dolls will be on hand for the debut of the Patriotic Collection. Meet the representatives and see the dolls throughout the day, each day, June 11 – 22 and June 26 – July 20 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Artist Appearance Tip: Look for a special appearance by designer and artist Linda Rick, June 13-14. Learn more.

June 13: Join us as we welcome back artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith to WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Take part in a special artist showcase and signing from 4 – 7 p.m. Learn more.

June 18 – 21: Meet artist Larry Dotson throughout the day from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. at Main Street Cinema at Magic Kingdom Park. Learn more.

June 18 – 23: Stop in and find some of the latest releases by artist David E. Doss from 1 – 9 p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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June 19: Take part in Trading Night from 6 – 9 p.m. in Veracruz A at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Register online now. Learn more.

June 20 – 21: Humor columnist and author, Dave Barry will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his newest book, “The Worst Class Trip Ever.” Meet Dave, June 20 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Writer’s Stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and June 21 from 4 – 5 p.m. at Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

June 20: A new hand-painted limited edition Ink & Paint cel, titled Ariel and Friends, will make a splash at the Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Look for appearances by the artists from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 – 5 p.m. on the day of release. Not able to make it? A special pre-purchase opportunity will be available now through June 18, 2015. Learn more.

June 24 – 27: Meet Fragrance Designer Geir Ness throughout the day at Puffin’s Roost in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot.

June 26 – 27: Meet artist Kristin Tercek from 5 – 8 p.m., each day at WonderGround Gallery in Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

Quick Reminder: Tickets to this year’s GenEARation D Pin Trading event taking place Sept. 11 – 12 are going quickly and are in limited supply. Don’t miss out! Find out all the details and get a peek inside the merchandise catalog for the event. Learn more.

Which event are you most excited for?

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

June 2015 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

posted on May 29th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is underway, here are a few other events taking place in June that are sure to dazzle you!

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June 6: Let your imagination soar! Join us as we welcome authors Jonathan Case and Jeff Jensen who will be on the hand for a special signing of their book, Before Tomorrowland. Meet Jonathan and Jeff from 10–noon at Little Green Men Store Command in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Learn more here.

June 6-7: Leilani Joy is back! Stop by June 6–7 and again June 20-21, from 2-5 p.m., each day, at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District to see some of Leilani’s newest releases and more. Learn more here.

June 13: Your collection will dazzle with this vibrant and iconic Hipster Mickey piece by artist Jerrod Maruyama, created in commemoration of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Jerrod will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

June 13–14: If you have been waiting for just the right time to order one of artist Dave Avanzino’s Custom Letter Plaques or the new 60th Edition Series Plaques, you’re in luck! Dave will be appearing from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., each day, at Disneyana inside Disneyland park. Learn more here.

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June 20: Join us for a special artist showcase at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District as we celebrate the release of new works of art by Sean Chao, Joey Chou, Max Grundy, Danny Handke and Leilani Joy from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Learn more here.

June 27-28: Take part in a Disney Fine Art showcase with Collectors Editions artist Jimmy Mulligan from 9–11 a.m. at Disneyana on Main Street, U.S.A., inside Disneyland park 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Off the Page inside Disney California Adventure park. Learn more here.

Artist in Residence: Appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month is artist Max Grundy. Look for artist showcases on the following dates: June 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 – 27 from 6-10 p.m. Learn more here.

Which artist are you most excited to meet?

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