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Disney Fantasy Pastry and Bakery Team Wins First Annual Fleetwide Gingerbread House Competition

posted on December 23rd, 2014 by Stephen Walker, Fleet Culinary Standards and Consistency Chef, Disney Cruise Line


One of the first things you see (and smell) when you walk onboard a Disney ship is a fantastically decorated, oversized gingerbread house. Countless hours (well, 320 hours to be exact) went into developing and creating the gingerbread house on each ship.

Gingerbread Winners

This year, we kicked off what will now be an annual competition to honor the best gingerbread house on all four ships. Congratulations to the Disney Fantasy pastry and bakery team who won the 2014 trophy for their intricate icing work and theming. The house looked like it came right out of a frozen fairytale forest!

Our gingerbread houses are baked, built and decorated onboard each year. In addition to the candies, cookies and other fun decorations, each team uses approximately 650 pounds of gingerbread dough, 220 pounds of icing sugar and 5,250 gingerbread bricks. No wonder they smell so good! When you see members of our pastry and bakery team onboard, be sure to congratulate them on a job well done!

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dining

Disneyland Resort Horses Awarded in Holiday Parade

posted on December 23rd, 2014 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Here in Southern California, many of our beach communities celebrate the holidays with boat parades through local harbors. But just a bit inland in Norco, Calif., also known as “Horsetown USA,” the festivities involve a different kind of transportation.

For 10 years now, Norco’s Horsetown Parade of Lights has featured equine units aglow with colorful lights and seasonal decorations. Disneyland Resort participated for the first time this year and was awarded First Place in the Horse Drawn Equestrian unit! Take a look at the festive fun as Circle D’s own “jingle horses” parade down Norco’s main thoroughfare.

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Where at Disney Parks Can You Find …

posted on December 23rd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Our final mystery image of 2014 may be our most difficult. It’s a colorful frog resting on a lily pad that’s only visible this time of year – in a Christmas tree. To spot it, you must have an eagle eye while walking around at Disney Parks. Any guesses? Please put your answers in the comments and we’ll update the post with the answer later today.

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Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Final Week to Experience the Candlelight Processional at Epcot

posted on December 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Attention music lovers: The 2014 season of the Candlelight Processional is now in its final week at Epcot.

Christmas by Candlelight

In case you haven’t seen the show, it’s a joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, plus music supplied by an orchestra and choir. Performances take place at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre at Epcot.

Remaining narrators this season are:

  • 12/21 – 12/23: Marlee Matlin
  • 12/24 – 12/25: Isabella Rossellini
  • 12/26 – 12/27: Blair Underwood
  • 12/28 – 12/30: Steven Curtis Chapman

Narrators are subject to change without notice.

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyKids: First Holiday Visits at the Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 23rd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


It’s a special time of the year at the Walt Disney World Resort – and our ongoing #DisneyKids series has showed us, holidays are often the best times for a “first memory.” Whether it’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights or another park experience, there are so many opportunities to make a first memory.

Today, we have a #DisneyKids treat – a first holiday greeting with Mickey.

If you’re visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, we’re sharing more fun ideas for the little ones as well as some offers designed with your family in mind on our special preschool page.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Tips On Visiting Walt Disney World During The Holiday Week

posted on December 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Will you visit the Walt Disney World Resort this week? A lot of families will head to our parks to ring in the new year, so we thought we’d share some tips on how to make the most of your trip during this busy time.

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Traveling Around The Walt Disney World Resort

  • Using on-property resort buses, boats or Monorails can help you avoid traffic and arrive at parks sooner. Busses begin departing from Disney resort hotels 45 minutes prior to the park opening and run two hours after park closing.
  • If driving a personal car, please plan for additional travel time.
  • If staying at an on-property Disney resort, don’t forget about Extra Magic Hours.
  • Different theme parks offer Extra Magic Hours on different days, so check the calendar here for more.

Theme Park Tips

  • Grab a Times Guide on your way into the park for the day’s showtimes, character greeting locations and more.
  • Download the My Disney Experience app for your smartphone to access the latest attraction wait times, schedule FastPass+ options, check dining offerings and more.
  • Magic Kingdom Park will offer an Extra Magic Hour from 7-8 a.m., daily, from Dec. 28-Jan. 1, 2015. Visiting the park early will help you get a headstart on your day.
  • New Year’s fireworks spectaculars will be displayed at Magic Kingdom Park on both December 30 and 31. (Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will join the celebration with displays on December 31 only).

Walt Disney World Dining

  • Use the My Disney Experience app, visit Guest Relations or call 407-WDW-CNCL to modify dining reservations.
  • Consider choosing a dining time prior to 6 p.m. or after 8 p.m. to avoid the dinner rush.
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Disney VoluntEARS Around the Globe Spread Holiday Cheer

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


At Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, citizenship is important to our culture. We are committed to giving back to our communities and do this in many different ways. This holiday season, VoluntEARS from our sites around the world brought holiday joy to young patients and orphans.

Image_HKDL_Dancing at Siu Lam

Along with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, VoluntEARS from Hong Kong Disneyland visited Siu Lam Hospital and sang and danced with the patients. They also celebrated the holidays with 300 cancer patients and their families at Maggie’s Cancer Caring Center in Tuen Mun Hospital. They enjoyed holiday treats and played musical games to brighten spirits.

Image_TDR_Holiday Event at Orphanage

Tokyo Disney Resort’s VoluntEARS hosted a fundraiser and bake sale to raise money for a holiday gift for the Aiji-no-ie Orphanage.

Image_DLR_Yule Log

Mickey Mouse and his friends joined sixty VoluntEARS from Disneyland Resort and brought holiday cheer to nearly 400 children and their families at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). They enjoyed holiday cookie decorating, a 38-foot long CHOC-olate Yule Log, Olaf-shaped balloons, reindeer games and a giant gingerbread house.

Image_SHDR_Hospital Visit 1

Before they even welcome their first guest, the Shanghai Disney Resort’s VoluntEARS are supporting their community by hosting weekly holiday activities at local children’s hospitals. They visited Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and decorated activity rooms and made Santa Claus hats with children.

Aulani VoluntEARS joined in the festivities and brought the holiday spirit to children in local hospitals in Hawaii.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts VoluntEARS are committed to bringing positive change around the globe and they donate hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours each year to the communities where they work, live and play. To learn more about citizenship at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, visit http://aboutdisneyparks.com/citizenship.

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Filed: Aulani, Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disney Resort, Tokyo Disneyland

#DisneyKids: ‘Grandkids are a Reward’

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


It’s the time of year when young faces light up like Christmas trees at Disney Parks. And as we’ve learned in our #DisneyKids video series, memories made at the Walt Disney World Resort can last a lifetime. As Christmas Day approaches, take a look at a special adventure through our parks showing why “grandkids are a reward.”



For more from our #DisneyKids series, visit the posts below:

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Video Rewind: Holidays at Disneyland Park, 2009

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


The holidays always make me sentimental – it’s a time to look back, not just over the past year but further back to holidays of the past. In that spirit, I wanted to take you on a look back at some of the holiday videos we shared here on the Disney Parks Blog way back in December 2009.

Valarie Sukovaty showed us how our candy makers create the hand-made candy canes that have become a holiday tradition at the Disneyland Resort.

Heather Hust Rivera took us for a look back at Disneyland park holiday decorations through the years.

In another look back that year, Valarie showed us how Disneyland park holiday parades have evolved over the years.

I hope you enjoyed this look back, and be sure to visit Holidays at the Disneyland Resort this year before it ends on January 6!

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Caption This: A Toy Soldier Enjoys Holidays at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


One of my favorite parts of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is the marching toy soldiers who appear in “Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade” – but it looks like this guy lost his way.

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What’s he looking at? Is Cinderella Castle just too enchanting this time of year? Has a holiday treat caught his attention? You tell us – go ahead and “Caption This” image.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort