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Smokejumpers Grill Opens Today at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on March 20th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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We recently told you about the new expansion of Grizzly Peak at Disney California Adventure park, and today we’re excited to open the all-new Smokejumpers Grill. This new quick-service location is the first phase of the Grizzly Peak Airfield addition to this land, in the space formerly known as Condor Flats. As you can see in these photos, Smokejumpers Grill honors the brave men and women who fight wildfires in our California forests. Take a closer look in the gallery below.

The location will also feature an updated menu with tasty items like a Bacon Cheddar Burger, Grilled Chicken & Jack Sandwich and Chili Cheeseburger, so stop in during your next visit!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort

Special Edition Wildlife Friday: Vote to Name a New Baby Rhino Girl at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

posted on March 20th, 2015 by Karen Jasmin, Zoological Manager, Disney's Animal Kingdom


Just a few weeks ago, as the sun started to rise on a cool day in late February, Disney’s Animal Kingdom welcomed its second white rhino calf of 2015 into the herd! This one’s a girl and it’s the tenth white rhino baby to be born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Special Edition Wildlife Friday: Vote to Name a New Baby Rhino Girl at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Special Edition Wildlife Friday: Vote to Name a New Baby Rhino Girl at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

As we welcome this newest baby and work to deliver uncompromising excellence in animal care for the animals here at the park and across The Walt Disney Company, we haven’t forgotten about their relatives in the wild. Last year, rhinos faced the worst poaching in history, so we continue to support conservation efforts for this and many other vulnerable species around the world. Much long term work to save this species is needed in the wild, but it’s important to celebrate small victories and our animal care team definitely has much to celebrate with seemingly back-to-back white rhino calves born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this year.

While our newest mom and calf won’t make their debut out on the savannas of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve for a couple of months, our newest calf needs a name and this time the choice is yours! The animal care team narrowed it down to four options, so please help us choose which name you like best for her.

Take a look at the heart-warming pictures in the photo gallery and choose your favorite name below. Be sure to rally your friends to make sure your favorite name wins!


Voting will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 26. We’ll reveal the winning name soon after that!

Tell us which name you voted for and why in the comments below.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Park After Dark: A Photo to Crow About from Disneyland Park

posted on March 19th, 2015 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


Just before sunrise, I was looking for silhouettes of Sleeping Beauty Castle to photograph for a Disney Parks After Dark blog post. I was pretty happy with the photos I had taken thus far, but I was still trying to find something more interesting. Then suddenly, without being cued, a flock of noisy crows flew by on the other side of the castle. I was glad I didn’t stop shooting when they flew by, because I like how the photograph turned out – especially their silhouettes in the sky.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Reservations Open March 20 for the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on March 19th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Imagine enjoying an exclusive, unforgettable view of the fireworks over Cinderella Castle while you indulge in a decadent dessert experience. The newly enhanced Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom Park allows you to do just that.

Beginning July 5, 2015, Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom Park will be enhanced and transformed into the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party. Relax in a reserved seating area with family and friends over delicious desserts and beverages.

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Delight in a selection of themed desserts prepared daily by our pastry chef including chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate mousse, and ice cream. Delectable new additions to the menu include a variety of seasonal fruit and cheese, Disney character-themed cupcakes, and more!

As the fireworks begin, celebrate with a sparkling cider toast and create a special memory with family and friends. Throughout the evening, you can now enjoy hot drinking chocolate and signature lemonades as well as coffee and tea.

Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party is $53.24 for adults, $31.94 for children, tax included. Reservations can be made beginning on March 20 by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine, or calling 407-WDW-DINE. Remember, you can also make your next visit to Epcot extra sweet by making a reservation to enjoy the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party during the Epcot nighttime fireworks spectacular.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Take a 3-D Spin Around This Amazing ‘Show Your #DisneySide’ Paper Sculpture

posted on March 18th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


We’ve all felt that rush of excitement or burst of childlike enthusiasm that is your Disney Side — that part of your personality that only comes out when you’re in a Disney Park. Artist Britni Brault had that feeling in mind when she created a dazzling paper sculpture – it depicts the “real world” on one side and the #DisneySide on the other (as revealed by a 180-degree spin).

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It took Britni more than a year of planning and about three months of work to construct the 3D sculpture you see below, called “Show Your Disney Side.” As you move around it, you see how a little Disney Magic turns a hair salon into Rapunzel’s tower. A travel agency becomes it’s a small world. Snow White and Jungle Cruise make appearances, too.

“I actually was raised in Anaheim and could see the Disneyland [park] fireworks from my house my whole life,” Britni says. “It was something that was a part of my life growing up.” Britni has previously done work for Disney Theme Park Merchandise and created sculptures of Mary Poppins and Bert, the Queen of Hearts from “Alice in Wonderland,” and Maleficent, among others.

Take a 3-D Spin Around This Amazing ‘Show Your #DisneySide’ Paper Sculpture Take a 3-D Spin Around This Amazing ‘Show Your #DisneySide’ Paper Sculpture

Britni says her work is inspired by many artists who have worked on Disney films and Disney Parks – including Disney Legends Ken Anderson, Mary Blair, Alice Davis, Marc Davis and Blaine Gibson.

Below, you can take a a 3D spin around Britni’s “Show Your Disney Side” paper sculpture.

For a behind-the-scenes look at how Britni created this amazing paper sculpture, check out this time-lapse video.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Behind the Scenes: Decorating Easter Eggs at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

posted on March 17th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Recently, I was invited to take a behind-the-scenes look at the hard work and artistry that goes into creating the beautiful chocolate Easter eggs displayed at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. I am so egg-cited to be able to give Disney Parks Blog readers a peek at the magic behind the scenes at the Grand Floridian Bakery.

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The level of detail that goes into these hand-painted, hand-carved creations is truly amazing. Erich Herbitschek, the Executive Pastry Chef of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, shared that his team begins working on the egg-stravagant pieces in January. The finished eggs will be on display starting March 20.

Be sure to keeping checking the Disney Parks Blog for more springtime food fun!

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

2015 Disney Dreamers Academy Commences Eighth Class of Dreamers at Walt Disney World Resort

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


Selected from 10,000 applicants, 100 high-school students, or Disney Dreamers, from across the country traveled to Walt Disney World Resort to participate in the once-in-a-lifetime educational and mentoring event known as Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. This four-day experience is designed to fuel the dreams of teens and help them prepare for the future.

Recently, the eighth graduating class of Disney Dreamers participated in “hands-on workshops” and inspirational seminars from celebrities, executives and industry experts were presented encouraging the students to dream big and get a jumpstart on achieving their dreams.

“LIVE! with Kelly and Michael” Co-Host Michael Strahan Visits Walt Disney World for Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine

Special guests and speakers included Walt Disney World Resort President George Kalogridis, Bishop T.D. Jakes, E! News Host Terrence J, HLN Reporter Rocsi Diaz, Actor Lamman Rucker, Film Producer Will Packer, Celebrity Chef Jeff Henderson and many others.

This year’s commencement featured a performance by Grammy-Winning Gospel Artist Yolanda Adams, as well as final words of advice from Steve Harvey, ESSENCE Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor, Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks, Super Bowl Champion and Television host Michael Strahan and Vice President of Deluxe Resorts/Executive Disney Dreamers Academy Champion Tracey D. Powell: View Commencement Video Here

Applications for the 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy will open this spring. Visit www.disneydreamersacademy.com for more information.

And always remember to dream big!

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Filed: Community Outreach, Walt Disney World Resort

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Disneyland Resort in the Community

posted on March 14th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


This week, Kevin Rafferty, Jr., showed us some fun ways that the Disneyland Resort is helping its local community in Southern California.

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In his recap of the recent 17th annual “Flashback,” Kevin told us how a record 500 Disneyland Resort cast members volunteered more than 39,000 hours of rehearsal time to produce the popular show, which raised $25,000 for ACT Anaheim (Accelerate Change Together).

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And in his post about the new Teaching Garden at Walt Disney Elementary School in Anaheim, Calif., Kevin gave us an update on this project in which Disney VoluntEARS joined students to enjoy the garden’s first harvest.

Want to learn more about how the Disneyland Resort impacts its local community? Check out the Disneyland Resort in the Community Facebook page!

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Disney Parks After Dark: Sleeping Beauty Castle at Hong Kong Disneyland

posted on March 12th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


We’ve shared many shots of Disney castles from Disney Parks around the world here in this series over the past few years, but I have to say that this one, snapped at Hong Kong Disneyland, may just be my new favorite. I just love the lighting and the illuminated stained glass windows at the top.

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The castle at Hong Kong Disneyland is inspired by the Sleeping Beauty Castle at the original Disneyland park in California. (Fun fact: For the park’s 5th anniversary in 2010, Sleeping Beauty Castle temporarily transformed into Tinker Bell’s Pixie Dusted Castle, with effects added to it that made it shimmer day and night).

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Students Harvest First Crop from Walt Disney Elementary School Teaching Garden Funded by Disneyland Resort

posted on March 12th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


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As my colleague Melanie shared last year, Disney VoluntEARS joined representatives from American Heart Association (AHA) and Walt Disney Elementary School teachers, students and parents to build the first AHA Teaching Garden in Anaheim, Calif., funded by the Disneyland Resort. Since the build and initial planting in November, the garden has continued to serve as a learning laboratory where students nurture growing plants, harvest produce and, in the process, learn the value of healthy eating. Today, I am excited to share that Disney VoluntEARS and more than 700 Walt Disney Elementary School students recently participated in the Teaching Garden’s first Heart Healthy Harvest Day!

Along with harvesting the garden boxes during the event, students tasted new fruits and vegetables and even learned about a unique form of composting that uses worms to recycle organic materials into soil. Each class also planted new vegetables for harvest later this spring.

“The Walt Disney Teaching Garden is a unique and natural learning environment that has given our students a first-hand experience of the seed-to-table process, while providing them with invaluable insight into the importance and appreciation of nutritious and healthy eating,” said Walt Disney Elementary School Principal Teali Fielder.

Looks like the students are really looking forward to their next crop!

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