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Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: Sunset at Epcot’s Canada Pavilion

posted on June 11th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Tonight’s Disney Parks After Dark image was snapped at the Canada Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase.

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The colorful Florida sky sure makes the pavilion even more beautiful, doesn’t it? Which pavilion is your favorite to visit after the sun goes down?

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Norway Cruise Director Voyage Report: Fjord Exploration In Geiranger with Disney Cruise Line

posted on June 10th, 2015 by Brent Davies, Cruise Director, Disney Cruise Line


From Jonathan’s post this morning, you’re already aware of how beautiful it is where we anchored today. Tucked away at the end of a fjord, it truly felt like we were in a fairytale world. It’s no wonder the “Frozen” filmmakers chose Geiranger as the inspiration for Arendelle.

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Disney cruisers didn’t have to go far for a taste of local culture. The tiny village’s cafes and shops are the perfect place to take in the views while enjoying a traditional Norwegian meal. Nearby, Geiranger’s Fjord Center and octagonal wooden church were also popular spots for more gorgeous views and cultural immersion.

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Those wanting adventure joined us for kayaking, hiking and biking tours for an up close view of the area’s stunning landscape. On one awesome Port Adventure, guests paddled through the fjord, gliding along the mountain walls in front of thundering waterfalls.

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To see more of the breathtaking scenery and amazing adventures Disney cruisers experienced in Geiranger, take a look at this gallery …

It’s been an incredible voyage so far, and we still have two days left. Not only is tomorrow one last chance to explore the land of Norway during our call on Bergen, it’s also the night “Frozen” fans have been anticipating. Check back to see sights from our newest deck party, “Freezing the Night Away with Anna, Elsa and Friends!

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Norway Cruise Director Voyage Report: Fun with Anna, Elsa and Kristoff in Ålesund

posted on June 9th, 2015 by Brent Davies, Cruise Director, Disney Cruise Line


Our destination today was Ålesund, a charming seaport situated at the entrance of Geirangerfjord, stretching across multiple islands. The backdrop of mountains and smooth waterways are a picturesque complement to the town’s Art Nouveau architecture.

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The Sunnmøre Museum is one of the must-visit spots in Ålesund, and many Disney cruisers did just that today. Several of our Port Adventures visit this open-air folk museum, but only one incredibly special group was greeted by friends from the neighboring Kingdom of Arendelle. Anna, Elsa and Kristoff did not want to miss this unique countryside village on their first visit to Norway! They eagerly joined Disney cruisers in the festivities, complete with live music, old-fashioned games and Norwegian sweets.

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Another popular Port Adventure gave our guests a look at life in the Middle Ages with the families of Vikings. From the port, they drove through one of the world’s longest undersea tunnels to the Saga island of Giske where they were greeted by a Viking chieftain. Their time in the medieval village was spent learning about traditions, playing games and tasting Viking meals, a fun way for families to connect while being immersed in Scandinavian history.

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To see more of the fun Disney cruisers had today in Ålesund, check out this gallery.

Our next stop is Geiranger, said to be one of the most enchanting places in all of Norway. Check back tomorrow to see if Disney cruisers agree this destination lives up to the hype. (Spoiler alert: Frozen’s Arendelle is inspired by Geirangerfjord, so it seems we all know what the answer will be!)

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New Cars Land Merchandise Cruises into Disney California Adventure Park

posted on June 8th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


The checkered flag is waving because this new collection of Radiator Springs Racers merchandise in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park is definitely a winner!

New Cars Land Merchandise Cruises into Disney California Adventure Park

The collection features something for everyone in your family, and friends too! You’ll find youth and adult hats, tees, fleece, a water bottle, pins and even an engine-revving tailgate party tote and duffle bag. There’s also a rather sporty-looking Lightning McQueen headband! Take a look!

So race over to Cars Land today and be prepared to cruise this summer!

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Disney Parks After Dark: Jungle Cruise at Tokyo Disneyland

posted on June 4th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Looks like the perfect night for a voyage on the Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions at Tokyo Disneyland.

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At this attraction, Jungle Cruise Skippers tour guests through the natural habitats of elephants, crocodiles, lions, and other wildlife. The attraction also offers even more thrilling nighttime voyages.

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Luck O’ Irish for These Five Cooks, With a Little Help From Raglan Road Chef Kevin Dundon

posted on June 4th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


We got a sneak peek of Raglan Road’s 10th birthday celebration, thanks to a clever contest that the Downtown Disney restaurant sponsored asking amateur cooks to come up with their perfect three-course Irish meal, via a two-minute video, to celebrate 10 years.

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Chef Kevin Dundon (of American Public Television’s “Kevin Dundon’s Back to Basics” series) selected the top five and invited them to travel, all expenses paid, to his own Dunbrody Country House Hotel and Cookery School in beautiful Wexford County, Ireland. (We got to join the winners for this spectacular trip of a lifetime.) Take a look at these photos by Raglan Road photographer Ivan Cummins that give a taste of the incredible experience.

From a pint of Guinness in Dublin to gorgeous Dunbrody House on Ireland’s dramatic Hook Peninsula, the winners got an inside look at Raglan Road’s roots, from the farms where Dundon sources his food for his restaurant at Dunbrody House (and perhaps Downtown Disney in the near future) to the rollicking deck of a fishing boat on the Atlantic Ocean. Everyone got a chance to improve culinary skills under Dundon’s oft-humorous tutelage in the estate’s Cookery School.

All five winners – Janice Epaillard of Mount Dora, Fla.; Aaron Van Swearingen of Winter Park, Fla.; Colleen Kerney of Orlando; Heather McBroom Walker of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Linda Rohr of Darien, Conn. – will be back in the kitchen at Raglan Road in October to work with the culinary team to create a dish for a special 10th birthday dinner.

Seeing the real deal on the Emerald Isle makes Raglan Road all the more special, with its dining rooms of aged walnut and mahogany wood furnishings from old Irish bars and churches that were shipped to Orlando to build the restaurant almost a decade ago. And Dundon’s Irish cuisine translates beautifully in his Walt Disney World Resort restaurant, where he spends several weeks each year working with the chefs to perfect classic dishes such as Irish Mist-glazed loin of bacon, fish and chips, Guinness and bangers and Granny Dundon’s Famous Steamed Orange Pudding.

After the whirlwind visit, we appreciate even more the live Irish bands and The Raglan Road Dancers every night of the week (and during weekend brunch) that bring the spirit of the Emerald Isle across the ocean.

Stay tuned for more details for the 10th birthday celebration!

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Vivoli Gelateria to Open Soon at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 2nd, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


If you’ve ever had the good fortune to travel to Florence, Italy, chances are you’re familiar with Vivoli Gelateria. I’ve never been myself, but when I searched “Florence Must-Dos” online, Vivoli appeared on every list; wedged between art galleries and chapels, it was the only food venue mentioned in National Geographic’s City Guide to Florence, so you know it must be pretty spectacular!

No immediate plans to visit Italy? No worries. The family-run gelato shop will open its second storefront – and the first outside of Italy – later this month at The Landing, the newest neighborhood to debut as part of the future Disney Springs.

I recently had the chance to connect with Silvana Vivoli, the granddaughter of Raphael Vivoli, one of the company’s founders, to learn more about the gelateria. Founded in 1932 by Raphael and his two brothers, Vivoli Gelateria started out as a dairy – at that time, it was not easy to find raw materials such as milk, eggs and sugar and there were no gelato machines and freezers. After World War II, technology enabled the brothers to follow their passion and produce gelato every day – a far cry from the early recipes that relied on barrels filled with ice and snow from the nearby mountains to keep their concoctions frozen.

Silvana’s father, Piero, learned to make gelato from his father. Silvana learned the craft from him, “keeping the same old tradition,” she shared.

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When I asked Silvana why they decided to open a location at Downtown Disney, the answer flowed freely, “Good gelato. In a fantastic place. With fun and family and a sunny destination? It’s a nice combination. Like vanilla and chocolate!”

According to Silvana, the gelato at Vivoli is made with fresh, top-quality ingredients using the exact same recipes from the original shop. The artisans plan to use local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy. “There are ingredients not easy to buy,” muses Silvana, “these are love and passion … when you fall in love with your job, you have these for free – they’re the final ingredients that make everything so special.”

For a special gelato experience that will give you the “feeling of being in Italy for ten minutes,” make plans to try Vivoli Gelateria during your next visit to Downtown Disney. Not sure which flavor to order? I asked Silvana one final question: which is her favorite? “It depends on how I get up in the morning! But really, I cannot do without rice pudding gelato.”

In addition to their signature gelato, Vivioli Gelateria will also serve traditional Italian panini, biscotti, espresso and tarts. For a mouth-watering look at what you can expect, check out the gallery below.

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Disney Parks After Dark: Geyser Steam on an Adventures by Disney Wyoming Vacation

posted on May 28th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


I have to say, I have the most tempting job in the world, being constantly bombarded with breathtaking images taken on Adventures by Disney vacations around the globe. How can I resist the urge to hop on a plane to each and every destination I see? They all look too amazing for words.

Case in point, this incredible “after dark” shot from the Adventures by Disney Wyoming trip. Geyser steam rises, meeting the chill in the April air. And this photo beckons me to come explore this beautiful landscape more.

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But tomorrow I’ll see another photo. Perhaps of Greece or Laos and I’ll be drawn to those images as well. It’s a sweet torture to imagine all the places I could be right now.

Time to scroll through the Adventures by Disney website and pick out my next adventure!

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Disney Parks Blog Readers Enjoy #Disney24, ‘Tomorrowland’ Screening

posted on May 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Disney Parks Blog team kicked off the Coolest Summer Ever here at Walt Disney World Resort last Friday by holding a special event for 500 of our readers, which included breakfast at Magic Kingdom Park and a special opening-day screening of the new film, “Tomorrowland.”

PHOTOS: Step Inside Our Disney Parks Blog ‘Tomorrowland’ Breakfast & Screening

During the event, our guests had a private breakfast at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe and participated in a exclusive photo op featuring a jet pack and suit used in production of the film. They were then shuttled to AMC Downtown Disney 24 for a private screening of the film. Afterwards, our guests were made honorary Tomorrowland recruiters and were sent back to Magic Kingdom Park with special Tomorrowland pins to give away.

Check out the video above for a look inside the event.

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24-Hour Events Kick Off Summer at Disney Parks

posted on May 23rd, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


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This weekend, we kicked off summer with 24 straight hours of fun at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. And during our live blog coverage from both coasts, we shared nearly 50 stories beginning with the official start to the “Coolest Summer Ever” in Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World and then continuing with coverage from the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Here’s a look at some of our favorite highlights.

During the 24 hours, many of you watched the experiences on our live video feeds and showed off your Disney Side with some amazing costumes.

Now, it’s time to look forward to all of the summer experiences at Disney Parks.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Has Officially Begun – It’s here! A celebration 60 years in the making is now underway. Thousands of guests helped us kick off the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration and our 24-hour event.

‘Paint the Night’ Parade and ‘Disneyland Forever’ Fireworks Premiere at Disneyland Park – The all-new “Paint the Night” parade and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks open for Disneyland park guests as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

PHOTOS: Step Inside Our Disney Parks Blog ‘Tomorrowland’ Breakfast & Screening – The Disney Parks Blog team kicked off our 24-hours of fun here at Walt Disney World Resort by hosting a special “Tomorrowland” – themed event for 500 of our readers.

Behind the Scenes: Building Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how the team worked together to bring Harambe Market to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

New Construction Milestone as Golden Spire Tops Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort – Shanghai Disney Resort celebrated a major construction milestone this week with the topping out of the Enchanted Storybook Castle.

Enter the Coolest Summer Disney Side Contest for a Chance to Win a Sleepover in the Cinderella Castle Suite! – Enter for a chance to win a Walt Disney World Resort package including a night’s stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite – the ultimate Summer sleepover!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort