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Happy Holidays from Disney's Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

Neil Patrick Harris Narrates the Candlelight Processional November 30-December 2

posted on November 30th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Actor Neil Patrick Harris will take the stage tonight at Epcot as narrator of the Candlelight Processional.

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Neil, who has participated in the show for several years, is a fan-favorite narrator among many Disney guests. The show – which is a retelling of the Christmas story, accompanied by a live orchestra and choir – will take place nightly at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. “The Candlelight Processional” is included in theme park admission.

Is @ActuallyNPH one of your favorites in the lineup? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

Click here for a full list of 2014 Candlelight Processional narrators. As usual, entertainment is subject to change.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – December 2014

posted on November 29th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


December is bustling with holiday events at Walt Disney World Resort, take a look!

December 1 – 4: Artist Greg McCullough will be on hand for special appearances and signings this month at Walt Disney World Resort. Find Greg, December 1 – 4 at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace; December 10 – 14 at Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; December 17 – 21 at Art of Disney, Epcot and again December 26 – 31 at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

December 5 – 6: Artist Larry Dotson will be on hand for special appearances and signings throughout the month at Walt Disney World Resort. Find Larry, December 5 – 6 at Puffins Roost in the Norway Pavilion, Epcot, featuring his “Frozen” and Norway-inspired art; December 8 – 13 at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace; and December 19 – 23 at Main Street Cinema at Magic Kingdom Park. Learn more.

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December 5 – 6: Disney artists Costa Alavezos, Brian Blackmore, Jason Grandt, and Tim McCloskey will be on hand for special appearances and signings, December 5 from 6 – 8 p.m. and December 6 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

December 6: Add the limited-edition 650 hand-painted Ink & Paint cel “Silver Screen Journey” featuring Mickey Mouse to your holiday list this year! Ink & Paint artists will be available for a special signing from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 – 5 p.m. at Animation Gallery in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Note: The cel will be available in a variety of formats: Unframed; Framed; Framed Cel with Postcard; and Framed Cel with Postcard and Pin. Learn More. Not able to make it? Take advantage of a special pre-purchase opportunity now through December 4. Applicable tax and shipping fees apply. Order Now!

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December 14 – 23: Beloved artist David E. Doss will be appearing this month at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, just in time for the holidays. Be sure to stop in and say hello! Learn more.

Now – December 30: Share in the sights and sounds of some of the world’s greatest holiday festivities during Holidays Around the World at Epcot. There are quite a few events taking place throughout the month including special appearances by Precious Moments Creator Linda Rick, Department 56 Artist – Scott Enter, Master Glass Artist Reinhard Herzog, Geir Ness, Kit Heath, Julia April and more. Details are available now on DisneyParksMerchandise.com. Learn more.

Now – January 5: Representatives from Precious Moments Dolls will be on hand at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace throughout the holiday season. Stop in and add to your collection today. Learn more.

Which event are you most excited about?

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Filed: Art of Disney, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Celebrate the Candlelight Processional With Our Latest Desktop/Mobile Wallpaper

posted on November 28th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Candlelight Processional, one of Walt Disney World’s most cherished holiday traditions, will return to Epcot tonight.

In honor of the show’s return, we have a brand-new Disney Parks Blog wallpaper to share with you today. Artist Jason “Tiki” Tackett drew inspiration from the show’s stained-glass windows for this one.

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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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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Candlelight Processional Returns to Epcot Tonight at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 28th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The “Candlelight Processional,” a highlight of the holiday offerings at Epcot, will return to the park tonight.

In case you haven’t seen the processional, the show is a retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator with seasonal songs performed by a live choir and orchestra. Shows take place each day at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. (except on December 7, when shows will take place only at 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.).

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First up in this year’s schedule of narrators is actress Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” Joining the lineup for the first time this year are Jonathan Groff, who voiced Kristoff in “Frozen” and comedian Ana Gasteyer. Check out the full schedule below (entertainment is subject to change).

  • Jodi Benson – November 28 – 29, 2014
  • Neil Patrick Harris – November 30 – December 2, 2014
  • Jonathan Groff (NEW!) – December 3 – 4, 2014
  • Whoopi Goldberg – December 5 – 6, 2014
  • Levar Burton – December 7 – 9, 2014
  • Edward James Olmos – December 10 – 14, 2014
  • Chita Rivera – December 15 – 17, 2014
  • Ana Gasteyer (NEW!) – December 18 – 20, 2014
  • Marlee Matlin – December 21 – 23, 2014
  • Isabella Rossellini – December 24 – 25, 2014
  • Blair Underwood – December 26 – 27, 2014
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – December 28 – 30, 2014

One of the easiest ways to experience the Candlelight Processional is by purchasing a dining package – find more info on that here. It’s a family tradition my family adopted years ago and we can’t wait to attend again this season.

Will you see the Candlelight Processional at Epcot this year? Which narrator are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Making Plans for New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 24th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


It may still be November, but I bet many of you are already thinking ahead and starting to make plans for New Year’s Eve. Well, if you’re going to be ringing in 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort, here’s a rundown of some of the entertainment we have planned for this year’s celebration.

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  • Epcot – It’s a night-long party throughout Epcot, with unique entertainment including a DJ and light show at the Future World Fountain Stage, dancing under flame effects and a smoke-billowing dragon in China, a British blast to the past in United Kingdom, Euro-pop and lasers in Italy, and a Latin band and DJ on the America Gardens Stage. Cap it all off with one of two showings of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” fireworks, at 6:00 p.m. or 11:40 p.m., followed by a countdown and pyrotechnic salute to the new year.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Exclusive specialty drinks and food items are available throughout the night, as the Event Stage comes alive with an energetic DJ and performances by Mulch, Sweat & Shears. As midnight approaches, the band takes the stage to count down to 2015 and plays live during a jaw-dropping fireworks spectacular.
  • Magic Kingdom Park – You can get a head start on the festivities, with a special New Year’s Eve eve presentation of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at 11:50 p.m. on Tuesday, December 30. The same show will be repeated on December 31.

So tell me … what are you doing New Year’s Eve?

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

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: The Building Of Park Icons

posted on November 15th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, some of the most compelling images we shared on the Disney Parks Blog were of some iconic buildings guests have enjoyed at our parks for years, specifically the train station and entrance to Disneyland park and Spaceship Earth at Epcot.

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George Savvas shared these amazing construction images of the Main Entrance turnstiles and Main Street Station earlier this week.

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Nate Rasmussen also gave a look at the early construction of Epcot’s theme park icon – Spaceship Earth.

Which other attractions or areas of our parks are you interested in seeing early construction photos of? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

New Experiences Coming to Holidays Around the World at Epcot

posted on November 14th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


One of my family’s favorite traditions each year is to visit Epcot during Holidays Around the World, where time-honored traditions come alive through the sights and sounds of the countries of World Showcase. We enjoy learning about the customs of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and listening to the tales of characters like the kind-hearted witch La Befana, whom I recall from the years I spent living in Italy as a child.

For the 2014 holiday season, new Holidays Around the World experiences in Mexico, Morocco, and China join returning favorites such as “Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season,” the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

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In Mexico, guests will enjoy the songs and traditions of “Fiesta de Navidad,” featuring colorful dancers and mariachis, who celebrate the holiday customs of Mexico in an interactive, musical performance. A Moroccan storyteller invites guests to join her on a journey to experience the gaiety of festivals, holiday traditions, and celebrations that are like the “spice of life” across Morocco. And the China pavilion bursts to life with the vibrant Chinese Lion Dance, bringing good fortune and happiness to all in honor of major holidays such as the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival.

I can’t wait to see it all! Holidays Around the World at Epcot starts November 28 and continues through December 29, 2014. Who else is going?

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Spaceship Earth

posted on November 13th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


There is no mistaking you’re at Epcot when there’s a 16 million pound, 180 feet high geodesic sphere greeting you. Spaceship Earth has been the icon of Epcot since the park opened. In August of 1981, Spaceship Earth was beginning to take shape.

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Did you know Spaceship Earth stands on legs 15 feet above ground level? It took over 40,000 hours of labor to build this unique icon covered with over 11,000 aluminum facets.

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Read on for more posts about Epcot in the “Vintage Walt Disney World” series:

Tastes From Around the Globe at Epcot Holidays Around the World November 28 – December 30

posted on November 10th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Holidays Around the World at Epcot where the World Showcase countries reflect the seasonal traditions – including tastes of homelands far, far away.

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Starting our stroll at Promenade Refreshments, try the Turkey Waffle – a filling sweet potato waffle with roast turkey and green bean casserole (all-in-one holiday dinner). Then head to Canada for pecan-maple bark, a nod to our Northern neighbor’s bounteous maple sugar production. Next door in the United Kingdom, it’s hot applejack cider with whiskey and a blend of seasonal spices – sip while you listen to stories of Father Christmas.

France sweetly celebrates with the classic bûche de noël au chocolate (chocolate cake shaped like a log) at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie, and glace au apin d’epices (gingerbread ice cream) at L’Artisan des Glaces.

Japan adds teriyaki chicken karaage, a Japanese version of crispy fried chicken bites with teriyaki sauce, at Kabuki Cafe, and you can hear the story of the hollow-round Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year.

Up next, American Adventure, with freshly baked gingerbread men, chocolate chunk cookies and sugar cookies, hot chocolate, hot apple cider and peppermint bark at the Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery (perfect snacks for the Candlelight Processional). Look for Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations throughout the holidays, plus our favorite Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers.

At Italy you can meet La Befana, the kind-hearted witch who arrives on the eve of the Epiphany to grant gifts to good children – like panettone, the sweet bread loaf served at the Gelato kiosk, along with sweet moscato wine and ciocolata calda (hot chocolate).

In Germany, listen as Helga tells the story of the first Christmas tree as you nibble on stollen fruit cake and sip glühwein (hot spiced wine).

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Learn about the Christmas gnome in Norway and indulge in the traditional rice cream at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (so popular they leave it on the menu year-round).

Then take another lap around the World Showcase Lagoon to burn all those calories – ‘tis the season!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Twelve Favorite Holiday-Themed Gifts From Disney Parks

posted on November 10th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Now that the holidays have returned to Disney Parks, I wanted to share my 12 favorite holiday-themed gifts from Disney Theme Park Merchandise.

  1. Disney Character Nutcrackers – We’ve carried Disney character nutcrackers for a few years at Disney Parks. This year, we introduced some new sizes for figures, ranging from 5-inches to 36-inches.
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  1. Holiday Sweater T-Shirts – Building on the success from last year’s sweater T-shirts, the softlines team has four new designs including one inspired by characters and icons from “Star Wars.”
  2. Retail MagicBands and Accessories – If you are visiting Walt Disney World Resort this holiday season, look for holiday retail MagicBands and accessories such as MagicBandits. The Olaf MagicBand has an edition size of 4,000 while the Mickey and Minnie Mouse MagicBand is a limited release item. Guests must present one of the following for the MagicBand to be linked to at the time of purchase: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or an active MagicBand.

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  1. Disney Pins For the Holidays – Disney pins make a great stocking stuffers. This year, I love the Disney Resort snowflake pins which will be released at each Disney Resort Hotel at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts starting November 13.
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  1. Disney Ear Hat – Celebrate the season with this Disney ear hat complete with festive, fuzzy plush ears and glittering polka dots.
  2. Disney Gift Card HoldersDisney Gift Cards make great gifts and wrapping them is even easier with these two gift card holders.
  3. Spaceship Earth-Inspired Mickey Ornament – The seasonal team released several Mickey Mouse icon ornaments this year including one that looks like Spaceship Earth in Epcot. Hooray for Christmas Future!
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  1. Disney Parks Christmas Train Set – I’ve loved trains since I was a little boy. This Disney Parks Christmas train set is pretty amazing as it includes a locomotive, four train cars with animated character surprises, plus over 20 feet of track!
  2. Wayne and Lanny Plush Set – In recent years, I’ve enjoyed watching the adventures of Wayne and Lanny in Disney’s “Prep and Landing” during the holiday season. Now, they are plush set.

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  1. D-Tech on Demand Holiday CasesD-Tech on Demand, my favorite boutique inside the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace, will have new holiday designs. Guests can create custom and personalized cases for iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5/5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy SIII and Samsung Galaxy S4. Look for cases for iPhone 6+ and Samsung Galaxy S5 later in November.
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  1. Holiday Apparel – I already mentioned the awesome holiday sweater T-shirts but I also liked these two items. The pajamas were inspired by the retro-looking Holidays For Your Home collection.
  2. Countdown to Christmas Calendar – Milk chocolate every day until December 25. Sold!

Find these items and more in select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. You can also find select items on online at http://www.DisneyStore.com/Holiday.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort