As Disney Parks Blog author George Savvas recapped last month in this post, Disneyland Resort recently played holiday host to a star-studded taping for the “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade” special.
This past weekend, Walt Disney World Resort took center stage as some of Tinseltown’s brightest stars arrived on Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Park to tape segments for the 30th annual holiday TV special.
Stage and screen star Neil Patrick Harris joined “Good Morning America” co-anchor Lara Spencer to lead the Walt Disney World Resort festivities. Harris showed his versatility as a performer by not only hosting the parade but also co-starring with hundreds of Disney characters, singers and dancers in one of the show’s musical numbers. Additional performances showcased a global collection of musical stars including English-Irish boy band The Wanted, “American Idol” winner Candice Glover, Italian vocal trio Il Volo and Grammy Award-winning R&B artist Ne-Yo.
Take a look at our photo gallery for a sneak peek, and be sure to tune in Christmas morning to see all of the holly jolly fun. Until then, check out disney.com/christmasparade for updates and join the conversation online with the hashtag #DisneyParade.
The Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade airs December 25, 2013 at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. CST, MST and PST on ABC-TV. The show also will air in Canada on CBC Network and across the globe on the American Forces Network.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new “it’s a small world” Holiday Clock Show in Disneyland park, now is the time. I spoke with co-designer and animator Lisa Bradley before the show debuted and she gave me a glimpse at just how intricate the details are for the virtual décor that can be seen every fifteen minutes after dark.
“it’s a small world” Holiday Clock Show Fun Facts:
- There are 980 pieces of candy in the gingerbread scene.
- The train in the toy section is placed in the same location the actual Disneyland Railroad trains cross as they pass by the attraction.
- There are 232 gears in the clock section.
- The blocks in the toy factory scene represent Disneyland Resort cast members who worked on the show.
Disney’s involvement in the community, no matter where we are in the world, is one of the most special things we do. You can find Disney VoluntEARS, giving their time and talent, and doing their part to improve and enrich the lives of kids and families in the communities where they live and work. And we continue this legacy, in the Shanghai community where our new resort destination, Shanghai Disney Resort, is under construction.
Just last week, Disney VoluntEARS from the resort celebrated International Volunteers Day with a special visit to the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs joined cast members and Imagineers in making holiday decorations with the children in a Disney-themed activity center. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse even made a surprise appearance, delivering gifts and bringing smiles and happiness to the children.
“I am very proud of what our Shanghai Cast and Imagineers have done here to continue the Disney commitment to giving back to the community,” said Staggs. “Over the past three decades, Disney VoluntEARS have worked on many meaningful projects, and now we are bringing this legacy to our new resort destination in Shanghai. Events like this provide us with opportunities to bring Disney happiness and magic to children around the world.”
Last summer, more than 100 Disney VoluntEARS from Shanghai Disney Resort and their families painted and furnished the colorful activity room at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. The room was inspired by the “it’s a small world” attraction at Disney’s theme parks, and Disney VoluntEARS installed 30 different paintings of “it’s a small world” dolls.
The volunteer efforts at the Children’s Medical Center are just one of the many ways that Disney VoluntEARS are giving back in the Shanghai community this holiday season.
Happy Holidays from aboard the re-imagined Disney Magic! I’m Cruise Director Brent, writing to you from Disney Cruise Line’s flagship vessel as she experiences her first holiday at sea after her extensive transformation.
Anyone who knows me knows I have my dream job, with my love of the ocean, travel and entertainment. I’ve been with Disney Cruise Line since 1999, the year the Disney Wonder entered service, so I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the company’s significant growth and success the past 14 years. The launch of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy are two of my career highlights, and now I have another milestone to add to my list: the relaunch of the Disney Magic.
I embarked as Cruise Director during our last Mediterranean voyage and was lucky enough to be a part of the amazing team in Cadiz for the Disney Magic’s massive makeover. Then, last month, I witnessed a second makeover for our Very Merrytime Cruises. Of all the holiday decor, the extra sparkle in the atrium lobby is definitely my favorite. Take a look at some of what guests are enjoying in this elegantly redesigned space:
A beautifully lit tree spanning two decks…
A cheerful tree lighting ceremony with Disney friends…
The perfect background for princess gatherings…
And a larger-than-life (and delicious smelling) gingerbread house!
If you’re sailing on the Disney Magic this holiday season, be sure to share your photos on Twitter with @DisneyCruise and #DCLHolidays. Hope to see you onboard soon!
As John McClintock recently reported, the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort has transformed into a winter wonderland with Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink. Although it was a warm, sunny day in November when we shot the video below, it felt like we were in a snowy village as guests of all ages made their way, some faster than others, around the Christmas tree in the center of the ice.
Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink is open 3 – 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 3 – 11:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, through January 11, 2014.
Have you taken a trip aboard the Jingle Cruise at Magic Kingdom Park yet? The Jungle Cruise attraction is currently enjoying its first ever holiday transformation, in which the skippers spread holiday cheer throughout the cruise with handmade decorations and holiday jokes – even the boats received new holiday names.
Disney photographer Kent Phillips recently stopped by the temporarily transformed attraction for a look at the fun. Check out his gallery of images below.
For more on Jingle Cruise, be sure to check out this video which Shannon Swanson posted earlier, in which former Jungle Cruise skipper Kevin Lively (a consultant on the project) and Imagineer and former Jungle Cruise skipper Wyatt Winter share what they loved about transforming the attraction for the holidays.
What do you think of Jingle Cruise? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.
To read more about the Jingle Cruise check out these stories below:
OK, so we stumped a few of you with the first of our holiday mystery puzzlers. This week’s image is just as tough – but easy to spot if you know where to look. This Christmas tree can be found somewhere at Disney Parks. Any guesses? Please put your answers in the comments and we’ll update the post with the answer later today.
Read the rest of this entry »
Like elves from the North Pole, Walt Disney World Resort cast members were busy this past month supporting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots annual drive.
After days of shopping for bicycles, games, books and plush dolls, they donated more than 32,0000 items and spent more than 6,000 hours helping to register families, and sort and pack the toys so that thousands of Central Florida children have at least one gift to open this season.
They even found time to craft small presents such as fuzzy scarves, reindeer candy canes and colorful gift bags made during a special Family Day. The VoluntEAR event was meant to inspire others to give back during this season of sharing.
In addition to the toy drive, Walt Disney World Resort shared some holiday cheer with a local nonprofit that provides services to help homeless families. Prior to a special community performance of the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort announced a surprise gift of $30,000 for the Community Hope Center.
It made me so proud to see the different ways we are making a difference in the community.
From a New Year’s Cupcake at Jolly Holiday Bakery in Disneyland park to the Napa Rose New Year’s Eve Bash, the Disneyland Resort will ring in 2014 with something fun for everyone.
We’ll start with the Napa Rose celebration. Actually, there are two: an early seating from 5:30 – 7 p.m. with a four-course dinner (think grilled hand-harvested sea scallops and 28-day-aged prime New York beef … Chef Andrew Sutton’s fabulous Wine Country Feast of seasonal classics) and festive decorations. Cost is $125 plus tax and gratuity. The perfect way to start the party early when you have plans later in the evening.
The late seating commences with bubbly at 8:15 p.m. and a dinner dance party with live music – they’re adding a dance floor in the lounge area with hundreds of silver, gold, red and black balloons to create a magical party. Plus hats and party favors, of course.
Start with honeyed profiteroles with goat cheese and cranberry jam, followed by imported Osetra caviar parfait layered with Skuna Bay salmon tartare, cucumber pearls and crème fraîche. You’ll move on to three more courses before a 30-minute “intermission” for dancing, followed by two more courses (including dessert). It’s all perfectly timed to take you to midnight. Dancing goes ‘til 1 a.m.
The five-course tasting menu is $220 plus tax and gratuity (no children’s pricing), plus $65 for a flight of world-class wines for pairing. Chef Sutton also has a delicious vegetarian menu.
For reservations, call 714-300-7170. Valet is complimentary.
Other celebrations, special tastes for New Year’s Eve:
- Look for menu specials in Disneyland park at Carnation Café on Main Street U.S.A. (surf and turf with shrimp and sirloin steak); at French Market (roasted pork chop with Calvados applesauce, braised greens and sweet potato soufflé); at Blue Bayou (a seafood pot pie); and Cafe Orleans (flat iron steak with bone marrow demi-glace, garlic mashed potatoes and acorn squash).
- Flo’s V8 Café at Disney California Adventure park will offer meat loaf with Coca-Cola barbecue sauce and two sides.
- Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel has a prixe fixe, three-course menu for $65 that includes spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette, filet and lobster and chocolate paté.
- Storyteller’s Café at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has a prixe fixe two-course dinner with with porcini-rubbed rib-eye with scampi-style prawns, mashed potatoes and Cabernet demi-glace, and a duo of dark chocolate and Bailey’s crème brûlée with espresso cookies for $29.99.
- And who can resist a New Year’s Eve cupcake? Especially the New Year’s Cupcake with dark chocolate cake, Nutella filling, Belgian white chocolate frosting with black and silver decorations, silver disco dust, a chocolate Mickey, chocolate truffle and bow tie? That’s a party on a plate! Look for it at Jolly Holiday Bakery, Fidler, Fifer & Practical Cafe and Pacific Wharf Café at Disney California Adventure park, and White Water Snacks at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
Today’s “Caption This” photo was snapped at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during the afternoon Jingle Jungle Parade.
This little gal sure looks excited! What’s on her mind? You tell us – go ahead and “Caption This!” in the “Comments” section below!