Disney Parks Blog Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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.

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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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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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Eat-Shop-Play Guide to Holidays at the Disneyland Resort: Tips from a Disney Parks Moms Panelist

posted on December 18th, 2013 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


For the past two years, Amanda Ficili has been the Disneyland Resort panelist on the Disney Parks Moms Panel, answering all kinds of questions from people who are planning a visit. She offers a mom’s keen insights, tips on where to eat, fun ideas for all ages and lots more. I caught up with Amanda to get some holiday recommendations for Disney Parks Blog readers.

She loves the soundtrack in the new “World of Color – Winter Dreams” and the silly snowman Olaf. She also recommends the food and festivities at “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

From her long list of tips, I narrowed it down to an Eat-Shop-Play Holiday Guide, with “must-dos” to experience before the end of the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort on January 6.

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Eat: Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge is a beautiful place to sit down for a holiday meal, and there’s a special holiday menu the week before Christmas. You can you reserve a table online. If you’re looking for more of a pit stop, swing by Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land, where holiday tunes are rocking from the juke box and lights are twinkling from the record-clad Christmas trees. Flo’s V8 Cafe serves delicious comfort food and a holiday version of the “Ugly Crust Pie” – Pear and Cream Cheese. Meals for the little ones arrive in a winter-themed Lightning McQueen car lunchbox.

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Shop: From a holiday Duffy the Disney Bear to Disney-themed ornaments, there are plenty of gift ideas at the Disneyland Resort. Two favorites are the glass ornaments that can be personalized, and any item from Beautifully Disney, the new line of cosmetics that includes blush, eye shadow, nail polish and lip gloss. If you can’t decide, Disney Gift Cards are always a hit with the Disney fan on your list.
'it's a small world' Holiday at Disneyland Resort

Play: Along with the fun attractions, be sure to see the amazing shows, stunning Christmas trees and holiday décor, too.

    • Celebrate holidays around the world with a cruise through “it’s a small world” Holiday in Disneyland park. Plan your voyage in the evening and you’ll see the exterior shining with thousands of dazzling lights, plus a charming animated show that’s projected onto the façade of the attraction.

 

 

    • Take the little ones to Jingle Jangle Jamboree at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland. It’s a great place to relax and let them play in the middle of a busy day, with games, crafts, cookie decorating and holiday cheer.

 

    • Don’t miss “Believe … in Holiday Magic,” the fireworks spectacular that sets the skies ablaze over Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle and concludes with snow falling over the park! Amanda’s favorite viewing location is from Main Street, U.S.A., looking at the castle. The snowfall is beautiful in New Orleans Square, too.

 

    • As you’re speeding into Cars Land over at Disney California Adventure park, stop at the entrance and snap your holiday photo with the Snow Car. You can also take photos throughout the parks with characters in holiday attire.

 

    • Step back in time to 1920s Los Angeles on Buena Vista Street, where every lamp post and shop window is adorned with elegant, vintage decorations. Look for Santa at his post in the Elias & Co. department store, and the Red Car Trolley News Boys, who woo you with familiar Christmas tunes.

Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your tips about the Merriest Place on Earth and for all your tips that help families plan their vacations to the Disneyland Resort.

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Top 10 Magical Moments on Disney Cruise Line’s Very Merrytime Cruises

posted on December 18th, 2013 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


It’s hard to believe we’re just one week away from Christmas! Are you like me, wishing your family had taken that holiday cruise to get away from the busyness of it all?

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If you haven’t cruised with us during the holidays yet, there’s more to it than just leaving the cold weather behind and relaxing in the warm sun. Our Very Merrytime Cruises offer special ways of celebrating for your whole family, both on the ship and at Castaway Cay. Here’s a look at our top 10 favorite magical moments captured this holiday season …

If you’re sailing with us for the holidays, be sure to share your favorite magical moments on Twitter with @DisneyCruise and #DCLHolidays. We’ll be on the lookout for photos to retweet, especially of celebrations yet to come, like our Christmas Day feast and special New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2014!

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Behind the Scenes: Decorating New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on December 18th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This year, more than 15 miles of garland, 1,300 Christmas trees and 1,314 wreaths brightened up Walt Disney World Resort for the holidays – with one area, New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park, decorated for the season for the first time.

Check out our behind-the-scenes look with Holiday Services Decorator EJ DeYoung, who shares how new decorations were created just for this area.

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You’ve Got Mail … and Gifts from Disney Floral & Gifts

posted on December 17th, 2013 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG


Remember the days when the mainstream form of communication was writing letters? You’d wait all day for the mailman to stroll by your house in the hope that maybe you’d be lucky enough to receive one. But times have changed. Now we text, tweet, “Like” and instant message like crazy and the only letter I’ll be reading is if there is one posted to my wall. Even I’m speaking the lingo!

Although all of the techno-toys are impressive, I can’t help but miss the old days where I’d get to tear open a signed, sealed and delivered envelope full of stories, news and heartfelt chatter. It’s through these fond memories that Disney Floral & Gifts is bringing a piece of the good ol’ days back with our Friends & Family program … another magical addition to our new website.

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Here’s the scoop: The Friends & Family program creates an opportunity for everyone to take part in the celebration, regardless of their location. With each gift purchased you will have an opportunity to notify your loved ones to create messages through our website. Then, once loved ones are notified, they will be invited to write a note that will be inserted into the guest of honor’s gift for a surprise they will not soon forget!

How does this work? Let’s take, for example, sending one of our Stocking of Surprises to your loved one staying at the Walt Disney World Resort! Filled with stocking stuffers, treats of all kinds and surprises, including a special invitation from Minnie Mouse to create something special for Mickey Mouse for the little ones, you can create any kind of message you want! It’s a chance to dig deep and show your creative side. Then, once created, we’ll tuck your notes inside a card featuring an exclusive piece of artwork created by an original Disney artist and tenderly written by a Disney writer, both of which are sure to melt the heart.

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You could send a note that says, “Although we are apart this year for Christmas, I know our good friends at Disney will fill your celebration with magic and create a day you will remember for a lifetime.” Or, “Wishing you the happiest of holidays, may all your dreams come true!”

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Or for our friends staying at Disneyland Resort, nothing says family-friendly gift like our Very Merry Character Gathering Tree. Extend your own family tree on the branches of this 4-foot-tall treasure, with special frames left unfilled for portraits of you and your loved ones. This year, you’ll be able to have all your loved ones in the same place for the holidays, no matter where you might be!

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Imagine your loved one’s surprise when they receive a gift, let alone the added surprise of a special warmhearted note from a loved one far away. There are lots of unique celebrations you can create messages for too! Marathon runners, cheerleaders, dancers, and all other athletes could all use a little pep talk or a cheer-gram from their fans for a little pre-game inspiration. Or for guests celebrating great milestones like a wedding anniversary. You know your grandparents will keep every card they receive from you. All celebrations are special and deserving of recognition from your loved ones. But what truly makes the Friends & Family program special is the time your loved ones will take to let you know they wish they could be there celebrating with you. I mean, who gets mail while on their vacation?

So whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, engagement, triumph, holiday or any other celebration that comes to mind, loved ones are invited and encouraged to join the celebration and help create that magical moment. And just like Mr. Postman from back in the day, in rain or shine, we promise the mail you send will reach your loved one in time for their special day! And that my friends, is truly something worth tweeting about.

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Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips: ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ Parade

posted on December 17th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


“A Christmas Fantasy” Parade at Disneyland Park

Ever since its premiere in 1995 at Disneyland park, “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade has been a must-see for guests during Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. Whether it’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ice skating, Santa Claus and his reindeer, or the beloved toy soldiers, every member of the family has a favorite part of this classic parade. Here are some tips for making the most of this popular holiday time offering:

  • Watch the parade from an alternative viewing location – The most popular areas to watch “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade are either on Main Street, U.S.A., or near “it’s a small world” in Fantasyland. Consider other locations that may have available space, such as near the Matterhorn or in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. Also consider watching the parade from an elevated location, like the Main Street Train Station – you can get fantastic views of the parade from a unique vantage point. Plus, you’ll almost be at eye level with Santa Claus during his big finale!
  • Arrive early – If you know where you’d like to view the parade, make sure you arrive early! Once you arrive in your ideal spot, consider asking a member of your party to pick up some hot cocoa or churros for the group to enjoy while you wait for the parade.
  • Be patient – Remember, it may take several minutes from the listed parade time for the iconic toy soldiers, teddy bear and ballerina to reach your viewing location. But as soon as you hear the music start, know the parade is just minutes away!
  • And if you’re not viewing the parade – If you would prefer to experience one of your favorite attractions or enjoy a meal rather than watch the parade, don’t miss this tip! If you need to cross the parade route to get to another destination, just ask one of the cast members carrying an orange baton where to find the nearest crossing, and they will point you in the right direction.

I hope these tips help you have an even more magical experience during one of our favorite holiday traditions here at the Disneyland Resort. Do you have your own suggestions for enjoying “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade? Leave your comments below!

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Counting Down to New Year’s Eve Fun at DisneyQuest at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 17th, 2013 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Five, four, three, two … FUN!

When I think of the new year, I don’t typically start with visions of “I’m gonna wreck it!” in my head, but this year, that could change. Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope will usher in 2014 along with Buzz Lightyear, Chip ‘n’ Dale and … you! If you buy a ticket to the DisneyQuest New Year’s Eve Party, that is!

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For guests seeking a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party, this is a perfect option. The fun kicks off at 8 p.m. on December 31, 2013, and lasts until 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day. In addition to five floors of virtual fun, guests can also enjoy dinner (included with admission), dancing and the aforementioned Disney characters!

Michelle Homer, DisneyQuest Operations Manager, calls the event “a night of virtual awesomeness” and with unlimited video games, plus all the regular DisneyQuest attractions (except for Buzz Lightyear’s AstroBlaster, which will be converted into a dance floor), there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. I hear the New Year’s Eve countdown will be especially colorful.

This event typically sells out, so be sure to get your tickets early; they’re $55 in advance and $65 the day of the event (if available). You can get all the details here and tickets are now on sale here, or at the DisneyQuest Box Office or by calling 407-W-DISNEY.

In addition to the DisneyQuest New Year’s Eve Party, Downtown Disney will feature DJ dance parties and live entertainment in all three districts plus a variety of food and beverage offerings including unique menu items from the new Disney Food Trucks and cocktails, beer and wine throughout property. (Tip: Walt Disney World Resort guests should plan to take Disney bus transportation and drivers should allow extra time as heavy traffic is expected.)

No matter how you plan to celebrate, I wish you all the best as you kick off a brand-new year!

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