The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure Park

Style Snapshots: ‘Disney Festival of Fantasy’ Parade Costumes

posted on February 10th, 2014 by Michelle Stepney, PR Content Director

Fashion insiders from around the globe have been flocking to the Big Apple since last Thursday for New York Fashion Week. It’s a bi-annual tradition where America’s top designers unveil their new collections for the upcoming season and set trends for months and years to come.

At least one Disney designer is taking her turn in the fashion spotlight this week as Disney Parks unveils a new collection of costume creations for “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade,” which debuts at Magic Kingdom this March. And we all get a seat on the coveted “front row.”

Costume designer Mirena Rada is expanding her portfolio of design projects for Disney Parks with this latest endeavor for a Walt Disney World Resort theme park. Previous creations include work for Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. These costumes, some of the most extravagant and elaborate in Disney Parks history, took almost a year to complete. The creations transpired in 10 different costume houses across eight cities and two countries, with the Creative Costuming facilities in both Florida and California among the mix.

The production process mirrors current fashion trends, utilizing new technology to design and print custom fabrics in house. Rada partnered with Walt Disney World costumers to select fabrics that would work well in the Central Florida climate while also accommodating the needs of each performer.

Our style squad got a sneak peek of some early sketches and behind-the-scenes video of some completed works.

We can’t wait to see these whimsical designs come to life when “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” finally steps onto the streets of the Magic Kingdom Park. Let us know what you think.


A modern interpretation of classic elements is a hallmark of Rada’s designs as seen in the sculpted conch shell headpiece and shimmering pastel dress that comprise “The Little Mermaid” unit’s “Seashell Girl.”


After gathering the materials, Rada and a Creative Costuming graphic artist worked together to create almost 40 custom fabrics including the furry plaids and tweed stripes worn by the “Newsies-inspired” Lost Boys of the “Peter Pan” unit.


An innovative 3D printing technology was used to create the elegant beaks of the “Ravens” in the “Sleeping Beauty” unit. Each piece was base coated, bronzed, lacquered and gilded with fiery Swarovski stones to complete the finished look.


The Finale unit’s “Cha Cha Girl” is the queen of head-to-toe ensemble with her big top inspired fit and flare dress, bolero jacket embellished with sequins, star spangled tights and hair reminiscent of pulled taffy exuding the essence of Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland.

Which costume is your favorite? Tell us in the “Comments” section below!

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Step In Time: Marking 15 Years At Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 10th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

Magic Kingdom Park ushered in its 15th Anniversary celebration on October 1, 1986, with a new “15 Years of Magic” parade, which featured 40 Disney characters, new floats and a special “We’re Having A Party” theme song.


Leading off the daily parade was the guest of the day, who was randomly selected to win a new red Chevrolet Cavalier convertible (a giveaway that was done daily throughout the park’s 15-year celebration). Chip and Dale followed as the lead singers on a rock-and-roll themed float, while Pluto, Big Bad Wolf, Tigger and Brer Bear served as the backup band. Eight rollerskaters circled the parade float as it rocked down the parade route. Next up was Donald Duck, who was the center of attention on a party themed float decorated with streamers and full of gift boxes. One float that was not-to-be-missed was the birthday cake float. On it, Country Bears Wendell, Shaker and Liver Lips are having quite a time trying to get the cake baked. The finale parade float was a crystal version of Cinderella Castle, with Goofy waving from the top.

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

Disney Parks After Dark: Dumbo Flies at Dusk at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 6th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

This week, we’re taking a nighttime look at one of the brightest attractions in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom ParkDumbo the Flying Elephant.


This image, shot by Tom Bricker, shows the attraction, its queue and courtyard, just after dusk.

Which is your favorite attraction to experience at night? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

All In The Details: Imagineers Add Film-Inspired Details To Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

posted on February 6th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

This week we’re taking a look at some of the props you’ll find inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train when the attraction opens in New Fantasyland later this year.

The props, including lanterns, ropes, pulleys and buckets of shiny jewels were inspired by items found in the mine scenes of the film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” And about those gems? According to our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering, jewels appear throughout the mine in four different sizes and in six different colors: red, green, amber, purple, blue and clear.

What do you think? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

Click on the links below for more on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train from Walt Disney Imagineering:

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort Merchandise Event Snapshot – February 2014

posted on February 3rd, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

February is here! Whether you are heading to Walt Disney World Resort for vacation or for the day, here are some great merchandise events you won’t want to miss.

February 7 – 9: Looking for the perfect gift to pamper your Valentine? Heather Swanepoel from Rinse Bath and Body Co. can help you find just what you’re looking for. Heather will be at Port of Entry in Epcot each day throughout the weekend as she showcases the latest skin moisturizers, facial masks and scented soaps, among other items. My personal favorite: The flavored lip balm. Learn more here.


February 8: Join us for the launch of the Pop of Minnie collection from Beautifully Disney and take part in Mini-Makeovers, or should I say “Minnie”-Makeovers from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Tren-D in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more here.

February 8: Take a walk on the “wild side” with Rosemary Begley who will be on hand to showcase some of her latest pieces of art inspired by Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Meet Rosemary from 1 – 3 p.m. at Disney Outfitters located on Discovery Island. Learn more here.


February 12 – 16: Artist Greg McCullough will be on hand for a special artist showcase at Art of Disney in Epcot. Greg will also be available February 26 – March 2 at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more here.

February 13 – 14: Precious Moments Doll Maker Linda Rick is back! Be sure to stop in and say hello at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace as we celebrate the release of her Valentine’s inspired collection. Look for Linda to make an additional appearance later in the month from February 21 – 23. Learn more here.

February 13 – 17: Internationally known artist Larry Dotson will be appearing daily at the Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park. Be sure to stop by and say hello as you check out some of Larry’s newest releases. Learn more here.

February 14 – 15: Join us as we welcome Designer, Petra Azar to Tren-D in Downtown Disney Marketplace for a special Valentine’s Weekend trunk show! Find necklaces, earrings and more, for yourself or for the one you love. Meet Petra from 1 – 9 p.m. each day. Learn more here.

February 14 – 21: Are you a fan of David E. Doss? Mark your calendars, David will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection. Learn more here.

February 22: Make sure to mark your calendar for a special Steampunk artist signing at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace as we celebrate the release of artwork and collectibles inspired by turn of the century inventors and writers, as well as artwork inspired by Disney attractions, icons and innovations that have been cultivated from this view of the future from the past. Disney Design Group artists Costa Alavezos, Alex Maher and Mike Sullivan will be on hand from 2 – 5 p.m. to sign their masterpieces.

More things are coming your way, so stay tuned!

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: On The Construction Site

posted on February 1st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

This week on the Disney Parks Blog we shared several images of attractions that are underway at Disney theme parks at Magic Kingdom Park and at Shanghai Disney Resort.


First up, we shared a new look inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, with a batch of new images that showcase just how detailed the attraction will be when it opens this year. Click through to the original story to learn just how the interior of the Mine was carved by hand.

Tom Smith also shared some new photos from Shanghai Disney Resort, which just celebrated the topping out of the resort’s first hotel and the start of construction of a “mountain” in the resort’s park.


Click here to read more.

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Disney Parks After Dark: ‘Celebrate the Magic’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on January 30th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

This week’s “After Dark” image was snapped at Magic Kingdom Park during the evening “Celebrate the Magic” castle projection show. If you haven’t seen this spectacular nighttime entertainment offering, Cinderella Castle serves as a canvas of Disney storytelling, with favorite characters and scenes from Disney films projected onto it. In this shot, Ursula from “The Little Mermaid” appears wrapped about the castle’s turrets.

Is this one of your favorite nighttime sights at Magic Kingdom Park?


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Mechanical Kingdoms ~ Steam-Driven Visions of a Victorian Future Art to Debut at Disney Parks

posted on January 29th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

Steampunk and Disney fans alike, this one’s for you! On February 22, The Disney Gallery at Disneyland park will unveil a new exhibit titled Mechanical Kingdoms ~ Steam-Driven Visions of a Victorian Future.

Steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction loosely built around retro-futuristic visions of a steam-powered society, has been gaining (pardon the pun) steam over the past several years. The movement, which is expressed culturally and stylistically in everything from technology and design to music and fashion, was dubbed steampunk in the late 1980s. Though certainly not part of the steampunk “wave” (at least not consciously), Walt Disney Imagineers have been creating their own visions and versions of retro-futuristic technologies since well before that time, incorporating them into Disney Parks and attractions around the world.


Mechanical Kingdoms ~ Steam-Driven Visions of a Victorian Future features conceptual designs and ideas for an array of inventive vehicles, machines and gadgets. The collection also shares some of the same inspirations as steampunk – most prominently a fascination with the extravagantly inventive visions of tomorrow expressed by such Victorian futurists as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. So don your petticoats and bustles or your suits and old military storm coats, pull on your brass goggles and get ready for an adventure that takes us forward into the past, as seen through the eyes of Disney artists and designers.

Here’s one piece that was actually done in collaboration with several of the artists, and for me, kind of tells the story of Steampunk and what you can expect to see.


Of course, it was hard to pick one piece of art to show you, so I convinced the team to let me show you at least one piece from each artist. Take a look!

If you are a fan of Steampunk then mark your calendar now, because as part of the Steampunk launch, we will host artist signings at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.

Disneyland Resort:
Meet artists Dave Avanzino, Jim Crouch, Jeremy Fulton, Brian Kesinger, Noah, Mark Page, Michael Peraza and Javier Soto from 9 – 11 a.m. at Disneyana.

Walt Disney World Resort:
Disney Design Group artists, Costa Alavezos, Alex Maher and Mike Sullivan will appear from 2-5p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

For event information and to see more images being released as part of the events, visit the event section of

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

All In The Details: Sculpting A Seven Dwarfs Mine in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on January 28th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

In the months leading up to the unveiling of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park, we regularly shared bits and pieces of this new land and its amazing detail in our “All in the Details” series here on the Disney Parks Blog. Today, we’re thrilled to share more of these images with you of the final attraction that’s set to debut in this area – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.


In case you aren’t familiar, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a family coaster that will open in 2014 to tell the story of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” from the perspective of the dwarfs. Guests will enter through an interactive queue, take a seat in a mine train car and coast through the mine “where a million diamonds shine” – where plenty of surprises await.


Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering just shared these new images with us, which showcase some of the smaller elements inside the attraction’s interactive queue area and mine scene. According to them, a lot of the detail you see here was hand-carved by Imagineers – sturdy logs, crumbling bark, rough wood planks, thick beams, smooth rocks and rusty hinges – that all appear to serve as “support structures” for the mine. After each item was carved, they were then painted to look aged and weathered through application of various colors of paint. Some parts have been aged to look older than others. Look closely and you may also notice how the composure of the walls change as the photos push you through the mine – from crumbly rocks on the exterior to more sturdily packed walls inside.

What do you think? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

Click on the links below for more on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train from Walt Disney Imagineering:

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 26th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks

This week, we shared a special behind-the-scenes look at the work being done on the amazing floats of the upcoming “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.”

Each float in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will bring a classic Fantasyland story to the streets of Magic Kingdom Park. Check Jennifer’s original story and let us know which float you’re most excited to see when the parade debuts this spring.

Spice Road Table Soft Opens – Official Opening Date Coming Soon

And did you hear that Spice Road Table officially opened at the Morocco Pavilion in Epcot this week? Along with the new eatery, there’s live entertainment from Mo Rockin’ Band, henna tattoos, a “juice” bar and a shop stocked with great Mediterranean flavors to carry home (from olives to spicy harissa and mint tea). Check Pam’s original post for more details and photos.

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

Southern California Runner Earns Her Tinker Bell Wings at the Disneyland Resort – Read about this year’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon winner Melissa Hernandez!

Sneak Peek of Disney 365 Live Video Shoot at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with Disney Channel Star Jake Short – The star of the Disney Channel Original Series “A.N.T. Farm” plays at the Disney 3v3 Soccer Championships, with former pro and guest coach Eddie Rodriguez.

A Mom’s Take: Experiencing the Magic of Venice with Disney Cruise Line – Marcy from the Disney Parks Moms Panel gives a tour of “The Floating City.”

Enjoy a Spring Vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa with a Special New Offer – Bring your family to enjoy the home-like amenities of Aulani’s villas and the sunnier climes of Hawaiʻi.

February Merchandise Events at Disneyland Resort – Meet artists Yakovetic, Linda Rick, Katie Kelly and more at these upcoming events!

Ride a Train into Disney History at Walt Disney World Resort – Learn about the role of steam trains at Magic Kingdom park, which still runs four – the Walter E. Disney, Lilly Belle, Roy O. Disney and Roger E. Broggie.

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Chef de Cuisine Bill Orton – Chef de Cuisine Bill Orton explains his Culinary Apprentice Program in the newest entry of this recurring series.

The Mauro’s Magical Disney Vacations Airs on Food Network – Jeff Mauro, the Food Network’s Sandwich King, visits Walt Disney World Resort with his family.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort