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Water Tower History Stands Tall at House of Blues at Downtown Disney

posted on October 14th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Like many of you, I’ve walked by the signature House of Blues Water Tower countless times. It’s a landmark, an icon and a work of art, all rolled into one. But have you ever thought about where it came from? Or how it ended up at Downtown Disney West Side? I did. So recently, I set out to find answers.

A few friends from House of Blues who all share a passion for their company’s history – Jennifer Hinckle, Maggie Sumner and Charles Spellman – were happy to enlighten me. The story was too good not to share …

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It all started with Issac Tigrett, one of the eccentric co-founders of House of Blues. An avid fan of rail travel, Tigrett would tour the country in his lavish, expertly curated train car. He was known for his keen eye and unique style; his journeys often led to the purchase of one-of-a kind art and unique memorabilia. During one trip out west in the late 90’s, he spotted the water tower and realized he had to have it for his next-to-open House of Blues venue. At the very next town, he disembarked the train, hired a car, and went back to seek out the owner of the water tower. Tigrett knew it would make the perfect welcome statement for the Downtown Disney West Side location, set to open in 1997. And he was right. Originally three sections tall, only two were approved for the property. Blade signs, light cans and artistic flames were added, giving the structure its current-day look.

Though Tigrett is no longer with the company, his influence is everywhere; perhaps most prominently in the House of Blues courtyard where recent enhancements include the quick-service Smokehouse, expanded seating, and evolving live entertainment. Though the patio has changed, the Water Tower is constant – an appropriate reminder that (at House of Blues, at least) good art, no matter the form, can withstand the test of time.

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Filed: Disney History, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Snapping Rare Moon Photos at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 11th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, some of the most unusual photos snapped at Walt Disney World Resort were taken by David Roark and Matt Stroshane at Magic Kingdom Park, where they were perfectly positioned to catch a Blood Moon move over our park.

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Be sure to check out the full gallery above. And for full details on this rare event, click here.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: Gondolas at the Italy Pavilion

posted on October 9th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


How fun is this post-“Illuminations” shot of World Showcase Lagoon from the Italy pavilion? Photographer Tom Bricker snapped it just as the show was ending.

Anyone up for a late-night gondola ride?

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Guests Have a Blast at ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ Meet-Up at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 9th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Our latest Disney Parks Blog meet-up, an advanced screening of Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” took place over the weekend, and boy did our fans enjoy this one.

Guests Have a Blast at ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ Meet-Up at Walt Disney World Resort

The film tells the tale of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible, horrible day of his young life. He soon learns that he’s not alone, when his family members all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

In addition to a screening of the film, guests at this Disney Parks Blog meet-up were the first to test out our very special Disney Parks Blog photo opp. Learn more about it and see the behind-the-scenes video here.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Fans Show Their Spooky Disney Side Aboard the Disney Parks Blog Creepy Cruise Meet-Up

posted on October 8th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Fans Show Their Spooky Disney Side Aboard the Disney Parks Blog Creepy Cruise Meet-Up

Last night, 200 Disney Parks Blog readers showed their Halloween Time inspired Disney Side at the Disney Parks Blog Creepy Cruise Meet-Up. The evening began with a cruise around the Rivers of America in Disneyland park, aboard the Sailing Ship Columbia. But something spooky was happening on deck …

Halloween Meet-up (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

The ship was haunted by the ghosts of Disneyland past! Our ghost host for the evening, Father from Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, introduced special guests throughout the cruise – each representing special moments of dearly departed Disneyland history.

Halloween Meet-up (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

Guests were visited by Miss Pumpkin Festival from the Main Street Pumpkin Festival, a dancer from the Tahitian Terrace, one of Miss Lily’s can can dancers from the Golden Horseshoe Revue, the Deputy Mayor of Toontown who once appeared in Mickey’s Toontown Morning Madness, Becky Thatcher from Tom Sawyer’s Island and even one of the Kids of the Kingdom!

Halloween Meet-up (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

The Creepy Cruise concluded with a special serenade from the Cadaver Dans.

Halloween Meet-up   (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

As guests disembarked from the Sailing Ship Columbia, they found Frontierland filled with surprises, like their favorite Disney characters dressed in their Halloween costumes, a trio of Disney Villains, a bounty of special Halloween Time treats and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, continuing its runaway train trips just for them.

And of course, guests turned out to show their Disney Side! Many of our meet-up guests arrived in costume, and you can see some of our favorites in the gallery above.

Did you attend the Disney Parks Blog Creepy Cruise Meet-Up? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Blood Moon Sets Over Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 8th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


If you were up early this morning, you may have spotted an unusual sight in the sky – the brilliance of a rare lunar eclipse called a “blood moon.”

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Here at Walt Disney World Resort, the moon added the perfect spooky atmosphere to our parks, especially Magic Kingdom Park, which is already decorated for Halloween. Our photographers David Roark and Matt Stroshane were on hand to document the moon’s path over our parks.

Here’s how a blood moon works and why it’s significant: Full lunar eclipses happen maybe once each year, but blood moons that light up with color are extremely rare. Their bright red “blood” color happens when planet Earth is perfectly positioned between the moon and the sun – and the sun is able to shine only a small ring of red light past the earth and onto the moon (sort of like a worldwide sunset is reflecting on the moon). This morning’s blood moon is the second blood moon in a rare tetrad (a series of four) that will appear in 2014-2015. The next two blood moons are set to appear on April 4 and September 28, 2015.

Be sure to click through the gallery above to see the blood moon make its way over Walt Disney World Resort.

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Runners Show Their Disney Side at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

posted on October 6th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Race after runDisney race I am constantly amazed by the creativity our runners show when selecting their costumes for event weekends. However, when it comes to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, everyone seems to kick it up a notch. From the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run and runDisney Kids Races on Saturday morning, to the featured 10-Miler Saturday night, runners of all ages came prepared to show their Halloween inspired Disney Side.

Runners Show Their Disney Side at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

Congratulations to the more than 15,500 registered runners who participated in all the runDisney events this past weekend. A special acknowledgement goes out to Marc Burget from Jacksonville, FL, and Lynn Baione from Jensen Beach, FL, our male and female champions.

Runners Show Their Disney Side at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend Runners Show Their Disney Side at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

It was an exciting weekend for everyone and I hope you will take a moment to enjoy the following recap video. And if after watching the video you feel inspired to join in on the fun at a future runDisney event weekend, visit runDisney.com for details on upcoming races.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

Anna & Elsa’s Boutique Opens in Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

posted on October 6th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Looking for a new place to chill out? Check out the newly transformed Anna & Elsa’s Boutique, now open in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort.

There has been a slight change to the age limit; I’m excited to announce that guests ages 3–15 can show their Disney Side with transformations inspired by some of your favorite “Frozen” characters. Our Crystalizers (stylists) will help you look your Arendelle best, from hair and makeup to wardrobe options that will generate plenty of warm hugs! Click here for a few details on what each package has to offer as well as a few things to know before you go.

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Are you already cool enough? Anna & Elsa’s Boutique will also offer an array of “Frozen”-inspired merchandise worth melting for, including apparel, toys, dolls and more.

So remain icy calm, “Frozen” fans, and visit today!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Fun at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on October 4th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is well underway and our guests are loving every minute. Earlier this week, the band Hanson stopped by to perform at the Eat to the Beat concert series and show off their Mmmhops Pale Ale.

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Aside from checking out Eat to the Beat artists, our guests are tasting and sipping their way around the park. Check out the other fun that’s to be had at this year’s event in the gallery above.

Will you visit the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this year? Tell us in the comments section below!

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: Sunsets in Morocco

posted on October 2nd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Tonight’s “After Dark” image is a lovely shot snapped in our Moroccan pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot. What a beautiful sunset!

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort