This week on the Disney Parks Blog, some of my favorite photos came from the Norway Pavilion at Epcot, which just had its 25th anniversary. If you haven’t seen them, don’t miss the gallery below, which was snapped by Disney photographer Gene Duncan.
Depending on where you live in Norway, you can go for months with the sun never setting, or rising. Hence, “The Land of the Midnight Sun” loosely defines much of this ancient country. As I recently visited the Norway Pavilion in Epcot, the weather happened to be dark and blustery-something Norwegians, no doubt, see a lot more than we do in Florida. I decided to exploit the weather a little, reaching into a little photographer’s bag of “tricks” to help heighten a sense of drama that faced Vikings as well as gnomes.
HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is a photographic process by which one can alter the appearance of reality-in small and large ways. Today, I thought it provided a different look to a pavilion that has been seen by countless guests over its 25-year existence. It is my hope to travel somewhere between history and mythology.
We filled our 16-foot by 16-foot square booth with new merchandise debuting this summer to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. We gave an expanded look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 merchandise, along with a first look at new Disney Parks logo merchandise arriving this June. Rounding out our assortment, we displayed new Disney-inspired sunglasses by Ray-Ban, handbags by Dooney & Bourke, beautifully ornate shoe ornaments inspired by Disney characters, D-Tech electronic accessories and much more.
As you can imagine, I had a difficult time selecting only 10 images for this article. I’d love to hear which item is your favorite, so please share in the comments below.
Get ready for some super new taste sensations when the BoardWalk Bakery reopens bright and early Friday morning – 6:30 a.m. to be exact.
“The new location is twice the size of the original bakery, themed to the 1920s Jersey shore,” says John Berko, manager of food & beverage at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas. Dark wood and colorful tiles and mosaics add a new brightness to the space.
Beyond sweets, the new menu includes hot breakfast items, salads and sandwiches – like a Maine lobster roll and a pork loin sandwich with creamy apple slaw.
But it’s the sweets that get the most attention, and plenty of favorites are back, including chocolate croissants, cupcakes and cinnamon. Newcomers include eclairs, cannoli, salted caramel ganache and an amazing peanut butter-banana-candied Nueske’s bacon pie. We begged for the recipe, and already made this one at home. There’s not a morsel left.
Peanut Butter-Banana-Applewood Smoked Candied Bacon Pie Makes 9-inch pie
3 thick slices applewood smoked bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar
9-inch store-bought chocolate graham cracker pie crust
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup whipping cream
2 bananas, sliced
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper, and place a wire rack over the baking
Coat bacon on both sides with brown sugar. Place on rack and bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until crispy, depending on thickness of bacon.
Remove from oven. Once cooled, dice and set aside.
Cream together peanut butter, cream cheese, and sugar until smooth.
Whip cream to soft peaks in a separate bowl; gently fold into peanut butter mixture.
Fill pie shell halfway with mixture, then evenly top with banana slices. Top slices with remaining mixture.
Sprinkle with chopped bacon. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Today’s celebration featured a special opening ceremony led by Josh D’Amaro, Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Dr. Jackie Ogden, Vice President of Animals, Science and Environment, and was highlighted with a fun performance of “Circle of Life” from the park’s “Festival of The Lion King.” Other fun planned for the day includes special Earth Day “Party for the Planet” festivities, and unique merchandise and food & beverage offerings.
The park originally opened in 1998 to feature several lands dedicated to exploring wildlife and wild places – Africa, Discovery Island, Oasis, Camp Minnie-Mickey, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and DinoLand, U.S.A. An additional land, Asia, was added in 1999. The park has seen many exciting additions since its debut, including TriceraTop Spin in 2001, Primeval Whirl in 2002, Expedition Everest (one of my favorites!) in 2006, “Finding Nemo – The Musical,” which grand-opened in 2007, and Wild Africa Trek in 2011.
Which Disney’s Animal Kingdom offering has been your favorite over the years? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.
To join the celebration online, use the hashtag #DAK15 on Twitter.
I’m looking forward to the 15th anniversary celebration for Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Earth Day this year. I recall visiting the park on April 22, 1998, for the grand opening celebration. (I still have the opening day T-shirt from it tucked away in my Disney collection.) As part of Limited Time Magic next week, we are releasing a few commemorative items at the Creature Comforts location in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, starting April 22, 2013. Some of these items will have the specially designed 15th anniversary logo that was created by Disney Design Group artists Michael Posluszny and Maria Clapsis.
The 15th anniversary logo will also be included on one of three new D-Tech on Demand cases for the iPhone 4/4s and the iPhone 5. (Note: the iPhone 5 cases are pictured above.)
For Disney pin collectors, we will have two limited edition pins celebrating the 15th anniversary. They join a limited release mystery pin set that was designed by Disney Design Group Artist Mike Sullivan. I like how the set incorporates various characters and experiences from the park (like the Wildlife Express Train!). I also included this year’s limited edition Earth Day pin, which will also be released that day at Walt Disney World Resort (it was released on April 11 at the Disneyland Resort).
We asked a few artists to create one-of-a-kind, 9-inch Vinylmation figures. I was blown away by the level of detail on figures from artists like Brian Blackmore (his figure is shown above). I also loved Javier Soto’s extremely detailed yeti. Other Vinylmation artists include Maria Clapsis, who made the adorable zebra and baby dinosaur; John Henselmeier, who designed the classic safari Mickey Mouse figure; and Adrianne Draude, who created a colorful figure showing Mickey Mouse in the jungle.
You can also find updates on our latest extra sprinkle of pixie dust on Twitter using hashtag #LimitedTimeMagic and on our LimitedTimeMagic.com web page.
It’s easy to feel small in “a bug’s land” at Disney California Adventure park – especially after dark. The huge clovers rise up around you, illuminated from below. The Hollywood Tower Hotel looms in the distance, giving you the feeling that you’re just a little bug crawling through its front lawn. The lightning bugs lend a hand – or rather, a tail – lighting your path. Nighttime is an enchanting time in “a bug’s land,” but be careful. It’s a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess.
Get there by 8:30 a.m.! While the park and its attractions don’t open until 9 a.m., the turnstiles will open at 8:30 a.m., and I am proud to be joining Disney’s Animal Kingdom Vice President Josh D’Amaro who is hosting a special 15th anniversary ceremony that will take place in front of the Tree of Life at 8:40 a.m.
Commemorative guide map: Be sure to pick one up when you enter the park. And while in the Main Entrance area, also pick up a keepsake postcard that serves as a Party for the Planet guide.
Special conservation button: Starting April 22 and for a limited time (until quantities run out), those who give to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will receive a commemorative 15th anniversary DWCF button.
Party for the Planet activities: In Africa, children will learn how to identify animals by observing tracks and other clues. In Asia, families will find out how choosing “green” products can make a big difference for wildlife and nature. At Rafiki’s Planet Watch, families will discover fun ways to spend time in nature and participate in activities inspired by the Disneynature films “African Cats,” “Chimpanzee,” and “Wings of Life.” Guests also can talk with cast members who work on conservation projects around the world.
Guest artists and special merchandise: Speak with specialists from Elemental Nursery and Just Plumerias, who will be on hand to feature their beautiful plants and topiaries, along with special guest appearances. There will be face painting with a variety of animal images and the opportunity to pose for a fun portrait, plus special 15th anniversary merchandise (quantities limited). Find out more here:
Speciality snacks: A party wouldn’t be a party without snacks–enjoy an Earth Day cupcake.