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A Holiday Musical Treat: ‘Deck the Halls’ Performed by Voices of Liberty

posted on December 16th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


I’m pretty strict about some of my own holiday traditions. Case in point: the month-or-so period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is the only time I will listen to – on loop, non-stop – songs of the season. I probably have more than a dozen versions of “Jingle Bells” on my personal play list.

That’s why I enjoy the Voices of Liberty during this festive time period. Their a capella versions of holiday tunes are even more beautiful with the acoustics of the rotunda at the American Adventure Pavilion.

Here’s their version of “Deck the Halls.”

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Hear Mariachi Cobre Play ‘Silent Night’ at Epcot

posted on December 16th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


During this time of year, our parks are filled with the sounds of the holiday season thanks to our many musical groups that appear around World Showcase at Epcot, at Disney Springs, and other locations.

Today, we’re happy to share with you a performance from one of our guests’ favorite groups, the Mariachi Cobre from the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. In it, they share their performance of “Silent Night.”

For more on Mariachi Cobre and their performances, click here.

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Are you ready to runDisney? Fast Facts about Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

posted on December 15th, 2015 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


Have you ever participated in a runDisney event? If so, you know that there is no other race like it! Whether it’s your first time participating in an event or you are a seasoned racer, here are a few “fast” facts you might not have known about Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna.

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Who exactly likes to runDisney?

Not only are all 50 states represented during marathon weekend, but athletes from 67 countries participate as well. In fact, there are over 56,000 unique runners registered in all of the events.

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The start line of the Walt Disney World 5K, Walt Disney World 10K, Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon will have approximately 113,500 pairs of shoes that will cross the combined start lines.

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Are you a fan of our theme parks? If you’ve visited Epcot and explored World Showcase, you might not be too far off from completing a 5K! Walking from Mexico to Canada clockwise is roughly 1.2 miles. If you walk around World Showcase three times, you’ve gone a little bit further than the distance of a 5K, which is 3.1 miles. When you think of distance in Disney terms, it’s completely achievable!

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What do you love most about runDisney?
Or, have you ever considered joining the fun?
For more information on upcoming races visit runDisney.com.

Participating in the upcoming races? Share your #WDWMarathon experience with us:

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‘Brunch at the Top’ Debuts February 7th, 2016 at California Grill

posted on December 14th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


We love the nighttime views from California Grill high atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, but the daytime skyline is equally spectacular, with a bird’s-eye view of Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot and Disney’s resort hotels. And now a new Sunday brunch opens the beautiful restaurant for daytime dining for the first time ever.

‘Brunch at the Top’ at California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

The new Brunch at the Top is the perfect way to indulge on a leisurely Sunday – not quite breakfast, not quite lunch. Chef Brian Piasecki’s team is excited to launch a whole new menu to showcase their fresh, market-driven cuisine. Of course a glass of bubbly or wine (the restaurant has more than 1,600 bottles on display) pairs nicely. And there’s an over-the-top Bloody Mary Bar as well as cocktails and craft brews, as well as a signature brunch cocktail and faux “mimosas” for kids (though you can also stick with the custom-roast French press coffee).

And here’s the fun part – you get the chance to interact with the culinary team in the open show kitchen while savoring charcuterie, sushi and market-inspired salads. Start the experience with an assortment of house-made breakfast pastries delivered to your table (think caramel apple Monkey bread, Tillamook Cheddar biscuit and cranberry scones pecan) with house-made jam and orange blossom honey butter. Then head to the show kitchen for small tastes such as house smoked orange honey ham, deviled Lake Meadow Naturals eggs, Greek yogurt with vanilla-scented granola and fresh berries, kale and apple salad, baby iceberg wedge with Cherrywood bacon and avocado-buttermilk Ranch dressing, hardwood smoked salmon, California rolls with jumbo lump crabmeat, spicy tuna rolls and shrimp tempura with orange drizzle and mango. (That’s just a sampling.)

Then choose your next course, delivered tableside:

  • Pan-Fried Buttermilk Organic Chicken Cutlet with Haricots Verts, Toasted Almonds, Frisée, Beurre Noisette;
  • Sweet Potato Pancakes with Caramelized Heirloom Apples, Dried Cranberry and Raisin Compote, Vanilla
  • Custard, Warm Canadian Maple Syrup;
  • Shrimp and Grits, Gulf White Shrimp with Tillamook Cheddar Grits, Spicy Tomato Broth,
    Espellette-Spiced Tomato Ragout;
  • Poached Lobster Benedict with Butter-Poached Tail, Two Soft-Poached Eggs, Honey Ham,
    Yuzu Hollandaise, Marble Potato Hash;
  • Chef’s Frittata with Three Lake Meadow Farms Eggs, Florida Heirloom Tomatoes, Roasted Poblanos, Chorizo, Creamy Goat Cheese, Marble Potato Hash;
  • Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Soft Poached Eggs, Chimichurri, Marble Potato Hash and Charred Red Onion.

If there’s room, share sweet mini-desserts, macarons and chocolate truffles while enjoying the beautiful skyline out the floor-to-ceiling windows. The restaurant’s Mid-Century Modern design has a different vibe in the daytime – Disney fans will want to check out the carpet, inspired by artist and Disney Legend Mary Blair’s sketches. Mary created the character designs for iconic Disney attractions such as “it’s a small world” and inspired the colorful mosaic tile art stretching 10 floors high on the fourth floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Fun little detail.

Cost is $80, $48 ages 3 to 11. Reservations open December 16, and can be made by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Style

posted on December 10th, 2015 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


What do you get when you mix running with Disney? Running through our incredible theme parks, world-class entertainment and, of course, characters! In fact, many participants transform into the themes of our weekends and channel their favorite Disney characters while creating their costumes. With the runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna right around the corner, I’ve collected pictures from last year’s event that really showcase the spirit of the weekend.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is the only race weekend that has a 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. Within these four races there are also two challenges: the Goofy Challenge and the Dopey Challenge. Wondering what that means? Keep reading!

The Walt Disney World 5K is perfect for the whole family. The 5K theme is Pluto, and last year, runners really embraced their Pluto style!

Minnie Mouse is the star of the Walt Disney World 10K, which is a great distance for runners of all skill levels.

The Walt Disney World Half Marathon’s amazing 13.1 mile course is a runner’s delight, taking you through the magic, wonder, and sheer charm of Magic Kingdom Park, then on to Epcot, home of international World Showcase and Future World. The race concludes with a spectacular finish in the shadow of Spaceship Earth.

The Walt Disney World Marathon is an adventure! Being the only course that takes you through the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, the only true owner of this race has to be Mickey Mouse!

There are two challenges within Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. First, if you are “Goofy” enough to run the half marathon and marathon back-to-back, you will have successfully completed Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. That’s 39.3 miles in two days!

The ultimate (and Dopiest!) challenge of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is the Dopey Challenge! The Dopey Challenge is 48.6 miles in four days. That is participating in all four races: the 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. In addition to the finisher medals, participants also receive the Goofy Challenge and Dopey Challenge medals upon completion of all four races within the pacing requirements.

Whichever distance you chose, Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend has something for everyone. For more information on upcoming races visit runDisney.com.

Participating in the upcoming races? Share your #WDWMarathon experience with us:
Twitter: @runDisney
Instagram: @runDisney

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Filed: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyFamilia: Get Festive at Walt Disney World Resort With Gifts, Events and More!

posted on December 9th, 2015 by Sarah Domenech, International Public Relations Manager


The holiday season is in full swing at Walt Disney World Resort! Here are a few ideas on things to do and gifts for your familia!

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While shopping at Disney Springs, don’t pass up a chance to pose for a photo in front of the Three Kings display and get a Feliz Navidad pin at World of Disney.

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And when at Epcot, don’t forget to enjoy one of the many performances of the wonderful Candlelight Processional, with celebrity narrators that includes actress America Ferrera (December 15 – 17) and actor Edward James Olmos (December 24 – 26). Also, be sure to stop by the Mexico pavilion to take part of their Feliz Navidad event.

If you are still looking for the perfect gift for your loved ones, how does giving a vacation sound? You can experience what a Walt Disney World Resort family vacation has to offer with the Magic Together package, which includes tickets and a standard room at Disney’s All Star Music Resort for a 4-night/4-day stay for a family of 4 for just $1,822*. You can book through December 23, 2015 for stays on select Sunday through Thursday nights January 3 to January 6, January 10 to January 14 and January 18 to February 4, 2016.

Click here for more details and to book today!

*Sample package price based on 2 adults, 1 junior (ages 10-17) and 1 child (ages 3-9). The number of packages allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets are valid for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Everyone in the same room must be on the same package.

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VIDEO – Welcoming Made with Magic to World Showcase in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 8th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m happy to share that Made with Magic has officially arrived to World Showcase in Epcot. You may recall that these accessories allow guests to become a part of a show by lighting up in time with or in the same color scheme at select nighttime spectaculars. This time, Made with Magic items will light up at key moments as you travel from country to country in World Showcase.

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I recently visited Epcot where the friendly cast members of World Showcase helped me welcome Made with Magic to our worldwide family.

Look for Made with Magic items in select merchandise locations around World Showcase or Mouse Gear at Epcot. You may also order items and have them shipped directly to your home using the free Shop Disney Parks Mobile app.

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The Walt Disney Archives Brings Walt’s Office Back to the Disney Studios Lot

posted on December 7th, 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


Today Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger presided over a special ceremony to dedicate the newly restored office of Walt Disney in the Animation Building at the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank. Disney Parks guests have been able to see selections from Walt’s office suite over the years at One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and inside the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland park, but the Walt Disney Archives painstakingly restored the suite—down to the smallest details—including original furnishings, his piano (frequently played back in the day by Disney Legend Richard Sherman), awards, and some items from his collection of miniatures.

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Park fans will love the large map, hanging over the couch in his working office, of Disneyland as it existed in 1966, including recent additions to the park as well as those yet-to-be-constructed including Haunted Mansion and New Orleans Square. There’s one of the first master plans for what would become Walt Disney World Resort—including his vision for EPCOT. The office also features a golden cage containing a brightly colored tiny, singing robotic bird, which served as inspiration for the Audio-Animatronics we know today.

The Walt Disney Archives Brings Walt’s Office Back to the Disney Studios Lot The Walt Disney Archives Brings Walt’s Office Back to the Disney Studios Lot

In 2016, the office will be featured on select D23 Member tours. Keep your eyes here for more opportunities to see this incredible permanent exhibit.

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Filed: Disney History, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Beauty & The Beast’ Actor Josh Gad Meets Gaston at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on December 7th, 2015 by Anne Macklin, Talent Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Actor and Comedian Josh Gad met up with us outside Gaston’s Tavern at Magic Kingdom Park for a quick chat to share with us his excitement and anticipation for the new Frozen Ever After attraction, which is currently under construction at Epcot.

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Josh, who voiced Olaf in “Disney’s Frozen,” just wrapped filming Disney’s newest live action movie, “Beauty and the Beast,” where he plays Gaston’s silly sidekick LeFou. Josh’s trip to Walt Disney World Resort wouldn’t be complete without a visit with his onscreen hero.

To hear his thoughts on Disney Parks, “Frozen,” “Beauty & The Beast” and more, check out the video above.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Recalls Bygone Era

posted on December 4th, 2015 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


The next resort in our Disney Parks Blog series, “Room with a View,” takes you out to the boardwalk — Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, that is. This turn-of-the-century-style resort is reminiscent of boardwalks from coastal cities like Atlantic City and Coney Island in their heyday. I can remember when Disney opened the doors to this deluxe property in 1996, completing the lakeside resort and entertainment district with the neighboring Yacht and Beach Club Resorts — all designed by Robert A.M. Stern. The entire boardwalk has the charm and nostalgia of an old-time boardwalk with modern day restaurants, shops and entertainment.

Today, let’s step inside room 3229 at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, an Innkeepers Club room that includes access to the concierge lounge. There’s vintage-like furnishings, brass lights, rich woodwork, and striped coverlets on two queen-size beds. Guests will enjoy the whimsical shower curtain decorated with Ferris wheels, drapes adorned with boardwalk scenes, plus period artwork and framed postcards from Asbury Park. The room has two flat screen TVs, a mini refrigerator, coffeemaker, double vanity, and a nice size sitting area with a pull-out couch.


The roomy balcony beckons to views of a bustling promenade where guests are strolling over to Epcot, sipping cocktails at BoardWalk Joes, dining at Trattoria al Forno, or taking in Stormalong Bay just across the lake. The boardwalk magically transitions from day to night with a lively spirit — street performers, midway games and twinkling lights. So come take a look for yourself at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.

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