Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

How’d They Do That? ‘World of Color’ Honor Choir at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on December 23rd, 2013 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations


The new “World of Color – Winter Dreams” at Disney California Adventure park is a holiday version of the popular “World of Color” nighttime spectacular. It has new special effects and new music, and is making new holiday memories for our guests. It opens with the “World of Color” Honor Choir, a collection of beautiful voices submitted by Disney Parks fans from all 50 states. So, what’s the story behind how this choir was created online? The “World of Color” Honor Choir is directed by Grammy®-winning composer Eric Whitacre. He’s created many virtual choirs and we’re glad he helped create this one with us. A few months ago, participants submitted their voices through a special “World of Color” Honor Choir website, singing “Glow,” a song composed by Whitacre himself. Actually, I’ll let him explain how it all came together. Disney Parks Blog interviewed him online via live link from London. Enjoy!

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 22nd, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we continued our holiday celebration on the Disney Parks Blog with a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at how we decorate at the Disneyland Resort.

Our Resort Enhancement team at the Disneyland Resort is responsible for the seasonal transformation and as we shared, they’ve been busy creating decorations since February.

Christmas Trees at Disney Parks Christmas Trees at Disney Parks

And this season, we gathered a group of our favorite Christmas trees from around Disney Parks and created a special holiday slideshow. There are trees from all of the parks, including Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland.

Check out the trees and let us know how many you recognize. Do you have any favorites?

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

Adventures by Disney Invites You to “Step in Time” to the ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Set – Walk through and experience some of the locations where “Saving Mr. Bank”’ was filmed!

Counting Down to New Year’s Eve Fun at DisneyQuest at Walt Disney World Resort – Experience “a night of virtual awesomeness,” this New Year’s Eve at DisneyQuest.

“Saving Mr. Banks” Practically Perfect Preview Wraps Up Year of Disney Parks Blog Meet-Ups – Photos and video of this sneak peek preview of ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ at Walt Disney World Resort.

Holiday Goodies and Menu Changes in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort – Read about the special menu offerings available for the holidays at Disneyland Resort.

Windows at Disneyland Park: Fess Parker – Learn about Fess Parker, Disney Legend and the man who played Davy Crockett.

Step In Time: A Tencennial Parade Marches at Magic Kingdom Park – See the sights of the Tencennial Parade, all the way from 1981.

Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips: ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ Parade – See these helpful tips to getting the best out of ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ Parade.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

Christmas Trees at Disney Parks

posted on December 20th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Chances are you haven’t seen a majority of our beautiful Christmas trees at Disney Parks – they’re in every park this time of year. So, as we begin the weekend and head into Christmas week, we’re sharing some favorites.

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At Hong Kong Disneyland, Main Street, U.S.A., is Christmas Town this time of the year and the celebration includes a wonderfully decorated tree in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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At Tokyo DisneySea, tree lights shimmer off the water and sparkle this time of year.

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And at our other parks, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney Resort, there are hundreds of thousands of ribbons and bows draped over Christmas trees. Take a look at our newest slideshow and see how many trees you recognize.

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney VoluntEARS Around the Globe Bring Happiness to Kids During the Holidays

posted on December 20th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As part of our commitment to be a good corporate citizen, and to give back to the communities we serve, Disney supports efforts around the world that make a positive impact on children and their families. Every year, tens of thousands of cast members make volunteering a priority, building on a tradition Walt Disney himself started when he – along with Disney animators – would visit local hospitals to draw characters for children.

This holiday season, as we continue to celebrate 30 years of the Disney VoluntEARS program, our cast members are donating their time in communities around the world.

As I shared in a previous blog post, Shanghai Disney Resort cast members and Imagineers recently visited a local children’s hospital. Halfway around the world in Hawaii, Disney VoluntEARS from Aulani, Disney Resort and Spa paid a special visit to two local hospitals, bringing Mickey, Minnie and Goofy along to help spread some holiday cheer.

Disneyland Resort held its annual holiday party for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s), a tradition since 2001 for the Disneyland Food & Beverage team. Disney VoluntEARS hosted nearly 400 children and their families at an event that included Orange County’s longest “CHOC-olate” Yule Log, at more than 35 feet long, and a more than 7-foot-tall gingerbread creation based on “it’s a small world” attraction at Disneyland park .

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Likewise, cast and crew members from Disney Cruise Line and Disney characters are visiting with more than 900 kids at schools, hospitals and children’s homes throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean this month.

Hong Kong Disneyland VoluntEARS handmade nearly 300 holiday wreaths entirely out of paper. Each one is different and created specifically for children in need. VoluntEARS also turned their monthly storytelling activities at a local public library into a holiday party featuring singers and dancers from the resort performing carols for about 100 children and their families.

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At Disneyland Paris, Disney VoluntEARS are welcoming hundreds of underprivileged kids and families to the resort to celebrate the holidays. British Airways flew a group of 100 kids from the U.K. to Disneyland Paris earlier this week. And on Christmas Eve, local kids and families are invited to a themed brunch at Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon, followed by a day of face-painting, balloon workshops and fun in the parks.

VoluntEARS from Walt Disney World Resort have been collecting and donating more than 32,000 new toys, games and books to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots to benefit Orange and Seminole counties. They’ve also spent more than 6,000 hours helping to register families, and sort and pack the toys.

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And in Burbank, Walt Disney Park & Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs and his leadership team spent an afternoon at the local Boys & Girls Club, painting buildings, assembling furniture and helping out with other improvement projects. Tom and the other VoluntEARS also spent quality time with club members, decorating cookies, Yule logs and a 300-pound gingerbread house baked by Disneyland Resort Central Bakery chef Christina Orejel and her team.

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As part of the Walt Disney Imagineering 60th Anniversary in 2013, Imagineers pledged to take part in at least 60 outreach efforts in communities where Imagineering operates. This month, they completed their work on projects all over the world during the “60 for 60” initiative where they lent their unique talents to local communities by painting murals and designing a community garden.

On behalf of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Disney VoluntEARS everywhere, happy holidays! And check back throughout the month for more details on what Disney VoluntEARS are doing for the holidays.

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Filed: Community Outreach, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

Today in Disney History: First Candlelight Ceremony and Processional Held at Disneyland Park, 1958

posted on December 20th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Fifty-five years ago today, on December 20, 1958, a tradition began at Disneyland park that continues to this day, both here at the Disneyland Resort and at Epcot in the Walt Disney World Resort. The Candlelight Ceremony and Processional is a Disney Parks holiday mainstay, in which celebrity narrators join choirs comprised of local choral groups and Disney cast members to celebrate the Christmas story. Over the years, celebrity narrators have included stars like Cary Grant, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and James Earl Jones.

To mark this special anniversary, I’d like to again share a photo that was first posted here on the Disney Parks Blog by Heather Hust Rivera way back on December 7, 2009.
Disneyland Candlelight Ceremony and Processional, 1959

To describe it in Heather’s words:

Candlelight started in 1958 at Disneyland park, but the first photo we have of the ceremony is from 1959. The colors are so vivid, and Main Street, U.S.A., looks much like it does today. It seems as if the photo was just taken yesterday. However, if you look a little more closely, you’ll notice that the members of the choir are sporting various looks from the ’50s. Look at the people in the crowd along Main Street and see how well-dressed they are.

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Clean Up This Holiday Season with Gifts from Basin At Downtown Disney

posted on December 20th, 2013 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


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Christmas is just a few days away. Still have no idea what to give this holiday season? For most of my friends and me, a little something from Basin is always appreciated. I love the scent of practically everything in the store and whenever I stop in, I have to try out their latest sugar scrub. (I mean it. Every time.) I often buy Basin products as gifts for others, but I rarely treat myself. Want to put a smile on my face? I’ll take a few bath bombs or a custom soap, please!

Recently, I got to chat with store manager, Justin Heninger, to learn more about what they’re offering for the holidays. Not only do they have some products that would make even the most ‘bah-humbug’ guest grin, but some items are exclusively available at the Downtown Disney location. Read on to learn more.

Clean Up This Holiday Season With Gifts From Basin At Downtown Disney Clean Up This Holiday Season With Gifts From Basin At Downtown Disney Clean Up This Holiday Season With Gifts From Basin At Downtown Disney
  • The Fresh Facial: This Downtown Disney exclusive claims to tighten skin and moisturize skin (perfect for these colder winter temps!).
  • Glycerine Soap: These soaps look great, smell great and are extra-gentle on skin. The Mickey soaps are a Disney exclusive that can be found year-round, but the Snowy and Gingerbread scents are available especially for the holidays.
  • Dr. Spot: I’ve been told this is great for getting stains out of clothes. Hopefully I won’t need to test it out, but I have been known to drip egg nog on my Christmas sweaters!
  • Bath Bombs: These gems make bath time magical, changing the color of the water, adding healing moisturizers and, with the Pirate and Princess treasure bath bombs, ultimately revealing toys in the center. Confession: they’re not just for kids!
  • Shave Cream: This product is great for both men and women. Because it doesn’t contain alcohol, it prevents irritation and helps keep skin moisturized, too!
  • Shampoo Bar: Though it looks like a regular bar of soap, this ‘hair food’ offers extra conditioning to help dry, frizzy hair. (I think I need to try this myself!)
  • Of course, this is just a small sampling of Basin’s best-loved products! Other popular delights include Fluffy Pet Soap for your furry friends, Body Butter, Shea Scrub, Spa Wax which helps heal dry, cracked skin, and their Lip Scrub. If you simply can’t decide, a Basin gift card always works too!

    What products from Basin do you hope to find under your tree next week?

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    Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle at Disneyland Park

posted on December 19th, 2013 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


There are so many wonderful places to photograph during the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. One of my favorites is Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, which is commonly photographed from the front. In some of my past Disney Parks Blog posts, I have talked about walking around a subject, looking at all the sides to see whether there may be angles that are more interesting. The photo below is one example; I took it from the left side of the castle, next to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

Holiday remotes 12-3-2010

I think what makes this photo unique is the composition you can capture from a different perspective. The settings were ISO 1600, aperture 4.0 and shutter 100, so I was able to hold the camera by hand.

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Download Our ‘Happy Holidays’ Wallpaper – Starring Mickey, Goofy & Pluto

posted on December 19th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Our latest Disney Parks Blog downloadable wallpaper celebrates a fun tradition of the holiday season – decorating a Christmas tree. In this one, Mickey Mouse and Goofy struggle to get the job done when Pluto has some fun with the lights.

To download it to your desktop, click on the image below. Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

Happy Holidays Wallpaper Starring Mickey, Goofy and Pluto

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Watch Rusty Cutlass Pirate Band Play ‘Ahoy! To The World’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on December 19th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


There are dozens of holiday entertainment options here at the Walt Disney World Resort – from choirs to characters in costume, we have more choices than you could ever imagine!

One of the more creative holiday acts that can only be seen this time of year is Rusty Cutlass, the pirate band that entertains guests during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Here they are, bringing you a special performance of “Ahoy! To The World.”

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Mickey at the Reins

posted on December 19th, 2013 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


No pouting. No crying. Only pure holiday magic was allowed back in 1972 when Mickey Mouse borrowed Santa’s sleigh to bring Season’s Greetings to guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort.

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Six days until the big man arrives. Which list should Mickey be checking your name off of – naughty or nice?

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Filed: Disney History, Walt Disney World Resort