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Share in The Magic With ‘Live’ Stream of the Disney Princess Half Marathon

posted on February 18th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


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On Sunday more than 24,000 women will create magical memories when they participate in the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and you can share in the excitement “live” from your computer, tablet or cell phone.

runDisney is excited to offer this opportunity for friends and family, and those just wanting to checkout a runDisney event, to “click-in” and watch dreams come true. Followers will be able to track runners as they run 13.1-miles through the Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, and then join in “live” for a royal celebration at the finish line.

Guests that go to the Disney Parks Blog will have two live streams to choose from. One stream begins at 5:00 a.m. and includes the start line, multiple cameras and social media feeds. The other begins at 6:30 a.m. and features an uninterrupted stream from the finish line.

You can join in the social media conversation on Twitter and Instagram by using #PrincessHalf.

After the race come back to the Disney Parks Blog for your chance to replay both feeds.

For more information on Disney Princess Half Marathon and other runDisney race weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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Filed: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Food Vies with Flowers at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on February 17th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


For some of us, the Outdoor Kitchens are our first destination at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, 75 days to munch and learn from March 4-May 17.

American Barbecue Adventure at Epcot Garden Fest

It’s the third year for the Outdoor Kitchens around World Showcase Lagoon, and the garden- and spring-inspired tapas-sized food and beverages just get more and more interesting. The new Botanas Botánico Outdoor Kitchen between France and Morocco pavilions will showcase treats like Cachapas with Farmer’s Cheese, a sweet yellow corn pancake, and Seafood Ceviche with shrimp, scallops and grouper with mango and avocado.

Shrimp and Stone-Ground Grits at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Frushi at Hanami at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

“It’s so much fun coming up with creative new flavors to wow our guests,” says Chef Gregg Hannon, Epcot executive chef. He mentions Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños at The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews Outdoor Kitchen, and the Quinoa Vegetable Naanwich with arugula pesto and oven-dried tomatoes at Urban Farm Eats.

Berry Tea Cocktail at Pineapple Promenade at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Beijing Candied Strawberries at Lotus House at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Especially appealing are flavors inspired by fruits and veggies, like the Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade, Sparkling Pineapple Wine and Berry Tea Cocktail at Pineapple Promenade; the Macaron Guimauve à la Fraise (strawberry marshmallow macaron) at the Fleur De Lys; the vegetarian Falafel with Cucumber Tomato Salad and Tahini at Taste of Marrakesh; Frushi (fresh pineapple, strawberry and melon rolled with raspberry coconut rice, sprinkled with toasted coconut and whipped cream) at Hanami; Limoncello Panna Cotta (gluten free and vegetarian) at Primavera Kitchen; Watermelon Salad with Pickled Onions, Baby Arugula and Feta Cheese and the Florida Blueberry and Lemon Curd Tart (vegetarian) at Florida Fresh; Beijing Candied Strawberries at Lotus House; and Kale Salad with Dried Cherries, Almonds and Goat Cheese (gluten free and vegetarian) at Urban Farm Eats.

Hungry yet? Protein fans will love everything from Confit de Canard (pulled duck confit) at Fleur De Lys to a spicy hot dog with pineapple chutney and sriracha mayo at Pineapple Promenade. There’s Harissa Chicken at Taste of Marrakesh and a Pulled Pig Slider at The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews. Florida Fresh will serve up hearty Shrimp and Stone-Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage and Jardin de Fiestas has tacos with achiote marinated pork.

Look for our next post on all the fun beverages!

For more information, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or go to epcotinspring.com. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Mark Presidents Day With This Disney Parks Blog Wallpaper

posted on February 16th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today is Presidents’ Day, and to mark the occasion we’ll be paying tribute to our own presidential-inspired attraction, Hall of Presidents, here on the Disney Parks Blog.

If you read any Walt Disney biography, you’ll get a sense of Walt’s patriotism and how that eventually inspired him to create attractions like Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln and Hall of Presidents. Other attractions that carry a patriotic theme, like American Adventure at Epcot, have continued this tradition.

In honor of today’s holiday, please enjoy our latest Disney Parks Blog wallpaper. Click on the image below to download.

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Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special page.

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Disney Days of Past: Donald & Daisy Celebrate Valentine’s Day

posted on February 12th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Ah, love is in the air this week with Valentine’s Day on Saturday. I don’t know two ducks who fancy each other more than Daisy and Donald. Below is a look at them in topiary form traveling through a floral tunnel of love at the 2006 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

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Sure hope Donald remembers to buy Daisy some flowers for Saturday!

For more posts celebrating Valentine’s Day, click the links below:

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Grab Gal Pals for Valentine’s Day Celebrations at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 11th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


They’re with you through tears and laughter, when you’ve kissed more frogs than princes … so grab your sisters from another mister and celebrate Galentine’s Day at Walt Disney World Resort.

Nature Meets Nurture at Senses Ð A Disney Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort

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Indulge in some group pampering – mani/pedis anyone? – at one of our signature spas: Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Spring Resort.

Dine rockin’ your prettiest tiara
You’re all princesses at our Character dining featuring fairytale friends you’d want to be buds with. Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner, Cinderella’s Dining at Citricos and Princess Storybook Dining grant your wishes to dine with royalty.

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Retail Therapy
Alex & Ani, Dooney and Bourke, Pandora, Vera Bradley, apparel (Downtown Disney), perfume (Bonjour, Epcot France!), jewelry (ahlan Morocco!) and more are available all over Walt Disney World resorts and theme parks.

The Great Outdoors
Consider glamping at Fort Wilderness in one of our cabins, and hit the links as your favorite foursome, ride horses, rent bicycles, kayak, parasail, even hook a fish – all with some Disney flair.

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Dinner and Dancing
Grab your grass skirt for the Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Or enjoy Mississippi-delta cuisine and live music at House of Blues in Downtown Disney West Side.

We have so many other ideas for your girlfriend getaway – even if it’s just for the afternoon. But I’d love to hear from you: what are your favorite ways to celebrate with your best buds at Walt Disney World Resort?

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First Look at New Products Coming to 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot

posted on February 10th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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We are about a month away from the start of the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot. Since winter weather blankets most of North America, I figured a look ahead to spring was a perfect idea. I recently dug up details about new items guests will see starting March 4 when this annual festival returns to Walt Disney World Resort.

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The merchandise events team has created a variety of items especially for this event including apparel, drinkware, accessories and more. This year, the Sorcerer Mickey topiary takes center stage as the main logo on several items including a coffee mug, magnet, and tote bag (the mug features a hidden broom topiary image inside). I love the new topiary-inspired headband with a Sorcerer’s hat and a gardening hat with mouse ears.

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The Disney pin team created several limited edition pins featuring the topiaries that will be found throughout the theme park including the new Anna and Elsa topiaries inspired by Disney’s “Frozen”.

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Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen” will join Mickey and Minnie Mouse as new garden decorations (the thought of Olaf next to the rain gauge makes me laugh!).

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Finally, we will release a new Dooney & Bourke collection designed by Disney Design Group artist Paola Gutierrez. This black-and-white pattern shows silhouettes of Disney characters riding vintage bicycles (you may recall seeing the artwork in this story from early January. Select bags released during the Festival will include a specially designed hangtag. There are no immediate plans to carry these bags at Disneyland Resort or on our Disney Parks online store; they will only be found at Epcot during this initial release.

These items will be released at the Festival Center, a themed shopping and demonstration area located between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions at Epcot. This year, the Festival Center will be open Friday-Sunday during the Festival Weekends. Items will also be found in other merchandise locations in Future World and World Showcase.

Stay tuned as I’ll provide a first look inside the Festival Center around the start of the event in March. I’ll also have details about a new retail MagicBand created for this event that you won’t want to let go.

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Neil Patrick Harris Shares Disney Park Memories, Excitement for Academy Awards

posted on February 9th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Actor Neil Patrick Harris has been a fan of Disney Parks since he was a child. Over the years, he has lent his voice to the California Screamin’ attraction at Disney California Adventure, and has served as narrator for “The Candlelight Processional” at Epcot for several years.

Check out this video, in which Neil shares some of his favorite Disney memories and his excitement over his fulfilling his latest “Disney dream” – the chance to host “The 2015 Oscars,” which will air LIVE on Sunday, February 22nd at 7e|4p on ABC!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Sweet Valentine’s Day Offerings at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 9th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Princess Tiana said it best: “My mom always said that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” If that’s the case, love is all around at Walt Disney World Resort! This week, you’ll find specialty sweets throughout the resort; here are some of our favorites:

Red Velvet Waffle Sundae with Cream Cheese Icing and Sprinkles at Sleepy Hollow Chocolate-Raspberry Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

Magic Kingdom Park

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Epcot

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Valentine’s Day heart-shaped cheesecakes, fondue for two, and chocolate covered strawberries at The Mara
  • Heart-shaped puff pastry filled with a Champagne mousse and wild strawberry sauce at Jiko – The Cooking Place

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Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort

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Disney’s BoardWalk

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Valentine Trinity Dessert featuring petite double-ganache chocolate cake, Champagne sabayon and raspberry turnover at Artist Point
  • Strawberry-dipped chocolate cupcake at Roaring Fork

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Sweetheart pancakes and Valentine’s-themed dessert buffet at Chef Mickey’s
  • Red velvet pancakes, red velvet cupcake, strawberry-chocolate crème brûlée, and flourless chocolate cake at The Wave … of American Flavors
  • Double-chocolate specialty cupcake at Contempo Café

Which treats will you share with your sweetie with on Valentine’s Day?

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

#DisneyKids: Little Imaginations Spring to Life at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on February 6th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Spring is always a wonderful time to visit Walt Disney World Resort with little ones, especially with the fun of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. The annual event now has more activities than ever to delight, entertain and educate even our youngest guests.

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The festival’s whimsical topiaries featuring favorite characters are a great way for children to learn about different types of flowers and plants, while marveling at the elaborate detail in each piece. Fans of “Frozen” will be transported to Arendelle with a new scene straight from the film’s finale featuring Anna and Elsa. This year, families can turn checking out the topiaries into a kid-friendly game with an interactive Pinterest Pin scavenger hunt. Parents print the Pin at home and, once at Epcot, little ones can follow the map to discover topiaries of their favorite characters throughout the park.

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One of things my kids love the most about the festival is the presence of the creatively themed play gardens with state-of-the-art climbing equipment and hands-on activities. This year, there are two play areas: Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden and Cactus Road Rally Garden with Mater and Lightning McQueen topiaries. When the sun sets, the fun doesn’t stop thanks to illuminated topiaries and play gardens that glow brightly for an after-dark festival experience.

The butterfly garden returns this year, and Butterflies on the Go! offers kids the chance to see up to 10 species of butterflies up close, and maybe even watch them emerge from their chrysalises!

In addition to the daily fun, there are special events such as an Earth Day Weekend April 17-22 with nature activities for kids and families, Disney’s Animal Kingdom specialists on select dates, and a sand-sculpture creation to showcase Disneynature’s soon-to-be released “Monkey Kingdom” film. And don’t forget to pick up your Garden Passport, a festival favorite that’s fun for the whole family!

What do your children love about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival?

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Trolley Car Café Opens, Now Serving Starbucks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on February 6th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As an update on our previously announced plans to bring Starbucks locations to our theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort, we officially opened the newest location this week – The Trolley Car Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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As we shared earlier, the Trolley Car Café is themed to a classic trolley car station and gives guests a sense of atmosphere from early 20th century Hollywood. We have some of the first photos to share from this week’s opening.

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The Trolley Car Café is located on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is now serving Disney baked goods and Starbucks La Boulange™ pastry items along with Starbucks coffee and espresso beverages.

The store is the third in-park location serving Starbucks products at Walt Disney World Resort, along with other locations at Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, as well as at Downtown Disney. In addition to these locations at Walt Disney World Resort, there’s also another along the way.

Starbucks Rendering

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog this summer for an update on the location at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Creature Comforts is being re-imagined and will also be serving Starbucks coffee and espresso beverages, as well as Frappuccino blended beverages and signature breakfast sandwiches and pastries.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort