The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Packages for 2014 Candlelight Processional at Epcot On Sale Today

posted on July 8th, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


I know. I know … talking about the holidays in July is a little early, but I love the holidays at Walt Disney World Resort.

And one of my favorite events of the entire year is the Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

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Today, guests can start booking their Candlelight Processional Dining Packages. This is great for you early planners since the event starts the night after Thanksgiving (November 28) and runs through December 30.

We also have a partial list of celebrity narrators including Candlelight veterans Whoopi Goldberg and Jodi Benson, and two fabulous new narrators – Academy-Award-winning actress Sharon Stone and Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer.

For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it’s a gorgeous re-telling of the Christmas story with a celebrity narrator each night and seasonal music from a massed choir and huge orchestra. The event started at Disneyland park in the 1958 with Walt Disney himself. At Walt Disney World Resort, it’s presented at the America Gardens Theater at Epcot, a beautiful venue, especially when all decked out for the holidays.

I’ve had the honor of being in the cast choir – you know the folks in the green Christmas tree robes – for six years. I thought it was a magical experience watching this program. Little did I know that being on stage, a part of it, would be even more. I’ve had a chance to sing along side actors like Neil Patrick Harris and Gary Sinise, and gospel legends like Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman, who is back again this year.

Here is a partial list of celebrity narrators:

  • Jodi Benson – 11/28 – 11/29
  • TBD – 11/30 – 12/2
  • TBD – 12/3 – 12/4
  • Whoopi Goldberg – 12/5 – 12/6
  • TBD – 12/7* – 12/8
  • TBD – 12/9 – 12/11
  • TBD – 12/12 – 12/14
  • Sharon Stone (New) – 12/15 – 12/17
  • Ana Gasteyer (New) – 12/18 – 12/20
  • Marlee Matlin – 12/21 – 12/23
  • TBD – 12/24 – 12/25
  • TBD – 12/26 – 12/27
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – 12/28 – 12/30

Narrators are subject to change without notice. – Show Times are at 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. & 8:15 p.m. each night. *Show Times on December 7 are 6:45 p.m. & 8:15 p.m. only

Candlelight Processional Dining Packages, available on select days, start at $35 for lunch and $50 for dinner for adults, include a delicious meal at an Epcot restaurant and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances. Note: Availability is limited. Guests can call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) or book online at www.disneyworld.com/holidays.

Keep checking back to the Disney Parks Blog for updates on the Celebrity Narrator list and other fun holidays stuff.

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Grab Tickets Now For Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on May 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


It’s party time! Well, almost – tickets have just gone on sale for the special holiday parties at Walt Disney World Resort.

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In case you’ve never attended before, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a hard-ticket event that allows you to enjoy Magic Kingdom Park attractions, special Halloween-themed entertainment (parade and fireworks), the Disney Villains Mix & Mingle stage show, special character meet and greets, trick-or-treating throughout the park and much more.

This year, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties will be held from 7 p.m.-midnight on September 1, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26 and 28, and October 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 31. Click here for more information on ticket prices.

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties offer up holiday cheer in November and December, including lights on Cinderella Castle and other amazing holiday decor, a special holiday parade and fireworks, exclusive entertainment, Santa Claus sightings and more. Dates for this year’s parties are November 7, 10, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21 and 30, and December 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 19. For information on ticket prices, click here.

Entrance to either party requires a separate ticket (in addition to your park ticket or pass). For more information click here.

Also, if you’re planning a fall/winter vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort, be sure to check out our Free Dine offer here.

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Happy Lunar New Year Celebration Marks the Year of the Horse at Disney California Adventure Park this Weekend

posted on January 31st, 2014 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Today marks the start of the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration, now through Sunday, February 2, at Disney California Adventure park. Since 2014 is the Year of the Horse, it’s only fitting that one of Circle D Ranch’s own steeds, Finn, is featured in the procession of performers through Paradise Gardens.

Happy Lunar New Year Celebration Marks the Year of the Horse at Disney California Adventure Park this Weekend Happy Lunar New Year Celebration Marks the Year of the Horse at Disney California Adventure Park this Weekend

For this occasion, Finn is wearing a special saddle blanket adorned with the Chinese symbol of good fortune. Finn is relatively new to the Disneyland Resort, but he’s very friendly and loves to have his picture taken; guests can even have their photo taken with Finn throughout the celebration.

In addition, guests who visit the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration can see a variety of performers as well as some favorite Disney characters. And for snacking, there’s a special Year of the Horse sourdough bread!

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Disney Parks After Dark: Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Steam Away

posted on January 23rd, 2014 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


Before the holiday season ended here at the Disneyland Resort earlier this month, I had the opportunity to photograph the Disneyland Railroad Engine No. 3 – the Fred G. Gurley – in Mickey’s Toontown Station, lit by the thousands of ‘it’s a small world” Holiday lights, all around the train. I thought the photos turned out so nice, I wanted to share them with you now. Until next season – Happy Holidays!

(Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

(Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

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Wildlife Wednesdays: Animals Enjoy Holiday Fun Too at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 8th, 2014 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Our guests and cast members are not the only ones who experienced special delights during the holidays at Walt Disney World Resort. Our animals did too! This holiday season, the Disney’s Animal Programs Science Operations Team hosted a competition for the animal care teams at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The goal: craft creative holiday experiences for the animals in their care.

The competition encouraged teams to design holiday “gifts” for their animals to highlight the animals’ natural behaviors, introduce the holiday spirit and provide unique viewing opportunities for our guests. We thought it would be fun to share a few of the many great ideas the animal care staff came up with — so here it goes!

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Bat holiday wreath — One of our Malayan flying foxes enjoys a holiday wreath made of natural grasses and nutritious vegetables on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

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Springbok holiday tree — A pair of springbok investigate a tree ornamented with fresh produce on the savanna of the Kilimanjaro Safaris.

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Holiday-themed snack for giraffe — One of our Masai giraffe explores this festive feeding device filled with nutritious treats in view of guests.

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Tiger meets snowman — A tiger makes “friends” with a holiday snowman crafted by the animal care team of holiday-scented paper mache.

Did you know?

A progressive and integrated enrichment program plays a key role in delivering uncompromising excellence in animal care and welfare. Enrichment encourages animals to exhibit their natural behaviors, which is mentally and physically healthy for them, and also enables guests to see the cool adaptations that help the animals survive. You can enrich the lives of wildlife and encourage natural behaviors in your own backyard by adding a bird bath, native plants, log piles and bird houses. Then, sit back and enjoy the fun of watching the wildlife up close! To learn more about Disney conservation efforts, please visit www.disney.com/conservation.

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VIDEO: Celebrating Three Kings Day at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on January 6th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


As Holidays at the Disneyland Resort comes to an end, we’re also wrapping up our four-day celebration of Three Kings Day – the culmination of Disney ¡Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure park. A returning holiday-time favorite, Three Kings Day moved from Disneyland park to Paradise Garden this year. Take a look at the video below to see some of the fun we had a this year’s celebration.

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Exciting New Merchandise on the Horizon for Disney Parks in 2014

posted on January 3rd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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As the New Year begins, I wanted to share a first look at some amazing new merchandise coming to Disney Parks. I don’t think words can capture how excited I am for these new things. Let’s start with another look at the “Disney Holiday for your Home Collection” arriving later in 2014.

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Before the recently concluded holidays, you may recall a Disney Parks Blog story about D-Tech on Demand that included this holiday artwork. I spoke with seasonal merchandiser Roger Dressen who explained the inspiration behind the new program.

“The holidays are a swell time of the year to remember favorite memories and traditions,” said Roger. “We wanted a retro-inspired art program that captured with the warmth and magic of the season while adding a splash of Disney. The artwork will used on a host of new items including ornaments, decorations and more.”

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Last November, we announced the Marketplace Co Op location coming to Downtown Disney Marketplace in 2014. I’m delighted to share two things created especially for Centerpiece, the home goods mini-shop in that location. There will be salt and pepper shakers shaped like Disney Parks’ trash cans! I also can’t wait to enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice poured from the Orange Bird-themed glass pitcher.

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Speaking of Orange Bird, he will make another appearance on a new T-shirt inspired by the attraction poster from Magic Kingdom Park. The overwhelmingly positive responses to the recently released 2014 calendars and the fantastic “Poster Art of the Disney Parks” hardcover book paved the way for several new shirts. Look for them on the Disney Parks online store in the coming months. They will be released similar to how we released the Horizons 30th Anniversary T-shirt last November.

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In May, we will celebrate five years of Dooney & Bourke handbags and accessories at Disney Parks. We are planning a small celebration and will be releasing several new designs this year. I love the above artwork with Mickey and Minnie Mouse!

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Finally, fans of the Haunted Mansion attraction should beware of incredible merchandise in 2014. An entirely new style guide containing some hauntingly beautiful artwork was recently created for this classic Disney attraction. Look for new items to follow you home in late 2014.

I’d love to hear which items are your favorites in the comments below.

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Happy New Year from the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 1st, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


'it's a small world' Fireworks at Disneyland Park
Happy New Year! We here at the Disneyland Resort wish you a wonderful 2014. How are you celebrating on this New Year’s Day?

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Happy New Year from Disney Cruise Line

posted on January 1st, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


I have a special message to share from your Disney Cruise Line friends!

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To celebrate the new year, we hosted a special New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2014 on all four ships. The night was complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes, a midnight countdown with balloon drops and even some kissing.

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I hope you enjoyed ringing in 2014 as much as these sweethearts! From all of the cast and crew at Disney Cruise Line, we’re wishing you a safe and happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you onboard this year!

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Happy New Year From the Walt Disney World Resort

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


Happy New Year from the Walt Disney World Resort team. We hope your 2014 is happy, healthy and full of fun!

Be sure to keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog later this week for looks ahead at what to expect at our parks in 2014.

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