On Saturday, November 22, Disney Friends for Change sponsored Family Volunteer Day, a nation-wide effort that demonstrates the magic created when families volunteer together to support their neighborhoods and communities around the world. The annual event, now in its 22nd year, celebrates the power that families have to make a real difference in their community, while strengthening their relationships and spending quality time together. Here’s a look at how Walt Disney Parks and Resorts teams participated in Family Volunteering Day and other holiday giving projects:
- At Disneyland Resort, Disney VoluntEARS helped pack food boxes at the Orange County Food Bank in support of Family Volunteer Day. VoluntEARS hosted another event at the Downtown Disney District to make healthy snack-packs that were also donated to the Orange County Food Bank. Additionally, Disneyland cast members participated in a Military Care Package drive and a canned food collection.
- To support Family Volunteer Day, Disney VoluntEARS and families from Hong Kong Disneyland took part in a coastal cleanup activity at Silvermine Bay. The event gave families the opportunity to spend time together while contributing to the cleanliness of their surrounding shoreline. In December, Hong Kong Disneyland cast members and their families will also visit two local hospitals for festive celebrations to help spread the joy of the holidays amongst patients and their loved ones.
- Every year, VoluntEARS from Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa partner with their neighbors at Ko Olina Resort for Thanksgiving Outreach, an event that serves meals to 4,000 people across Oahu’s Leeward Coast.
- In the spirit of Family Volunteer Day, Shanghai Disney Resort partnered with the non-profit organization Right to Play China through “Imagination Playground,” a play outreach program that aims to strengthen family bonds through various creative play activities. More than 100 children of migrant workers and low-income families have participated in family play activities with Shanghai Disney Resort VoluntEARS this holiday season.
- At Walt Disney World Resort, cast members and their families partnered with the 2013-2014 Walt Disney World Resort Ambassadors to support Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation’s (ONIC) Family Fun & Fall Festival. VoluntEARS helped set-up and break down the event, staff the activity and game stations and serve refreshments. Additionally, VoluntEARS from Disney’s Pop Century Resort will serve meals on Thanksgiving at the Coalition for Homeless Center for Women & Children and Men’s Pavilion.
Real magic comes from the efforts of families working together to make lasting and positive change in the world. Thanks to our teams from around the world and to the families who are part of that magic every year.
Since 1955, Disney Parks and Resorts have been places where guests can create memorable experiences with their friends and families. Immersive dining experiences have become an integral part of the storytelling and guest experience. Disney chefs across the world create meals for guests with careful attention to detail. The talented chefs at Hong Kong Disneyland have recently proven themselves to be international culinary leaders.
The wide range of dishes prepared by Hong Kong Disneyland chefs showcase their diverse culinary talents. They are able to cook delicious American meals, South Asian cuisine and even Halal-certified and vegetarian options. The chefs at the award-winning Crystal Lotus restaurant in the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel can even create dishes from four major culinary regions of China: Sichuan, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong.
The chefs at Hong Kong Disneyland have boosted the resort’s reputation for its culinary excellence. A team of chefs led by Hong Kong Disneyland won the world-renowned Salon Culinaire Mondial last year. This western cuisine competition is held every six years in Basel, Switzerland and measures culinary art at the topmost level. Also, two young chefs from Hong Kong Disneyland won the 2013 International Young Chef Challenge in Korea.
Not only do these chefs cook excellent meals at the park, they use their time and culinary talent to serve people in the community. Through a partnership with Hong Kong’s leading hunger relief charity, Foodlink, the Hong Kong Disneyland chefs donate surplus food to those in need. Since the program began in December 2013, Hong Kong Disneyland has collected more than 11 tons of safe-to-eat excess food from its hotel and restaurants. Chefs volunteer their personal time and use surplus ingredients to make delicious meals which are then delivered to underserved children and families in nearby communities in Hong Kong each week.
We are thrilled to have such talented chefs at Hong Kong Disneyland!
It sure looks like a Happy Halloween at Hong Kong Disneyland, where guests are enjoying “Disney’s Haunted Halloween” celebration.
All month long, guests have been meeting Disney characters dressed in Halloween costumes, attending spooky stage shows, enjoying special menu items and snapping up special Halloween merchandise. For a look inside the celebration, be sure to click through the gallery above.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts celebrates 50 years of the Disney Ambassador program, which was first introduced as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of Disneyland. Walt Disney needed someone to act as a representative of Disneyland to audiences in the community and around the world, as well as host VIP guests and foreign dignitaries. Julie Reihm Casaletto, a tour guide for the park at the time, was selected by Walt to be the first Disney Ambassador.
A half-century later, in a ceremony in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park, Julie joined more than 50 former Disney Ambassadors yesterday morning to welcome the 2015-2016 Disneyland Resort Ambassador team, Jessica Bernard and Allie Kawamoto.
The 50-year tradition continued at Walt Disney World Resort yesterday, as Caitlin Busscher and Nathaniel Palma were announced as the 2015-2016 Disney Ambassador team, receiving the golden opportunity of sharing the magic of “our world” – and representing nearly 70,000 fellow Cast Members – with the Central Florida community.
Rounding out the global anniversary celebration, Disney Ambassadors also were announced recently at other Disney Parks around the world. At Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Sara Hui was selected as the next Ambassador to represent the Asia-based theme park, and Tokyo Disney Resort chose Riina Imaeda as the first ambassador to serve a two-year term in Japan. Sonia Demay and Romina Grochow were welcomed as new Ambassadors at Disneyland Paris earlier this month.
The Disney Ambassador family will grow this year, as Shanghai Disney Resort, scheduled to open in 2015, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, will for the first time name Disney Ambassadors.
Have you ever wanted to take a trip around the world to visit our Disney Parks & Resorts? Join me on a whirlwind shopping trip as we take a look at what is happening in the world of Disney Theme Park Merchandise as we continue the “Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World” series!
The mystery of who has been painting the art in the Mediterranean Harbor area of Tokyo Disney Sea has finally been solved. Tokyo Disneyland Resort recently introduced Gelatoni, a Disney friend of Duffy. This cool cat has an artistic flair for creating new masterpieces for all to enjoy. Our Disney fans were very eager to scoop up anything with Gelatoni on it including a tote, shopping bag, memo pad, writing pen and more. Those of you visiting the Tokyo Disneyland Resort will even find a special Gelatoni plush to add to your collection.
As you may know, Hong Kong Disneyland celebrates its 9th anniversary this year. Here’s a look at some of the commemorative merchandise that has been created in honor of this special celebration including souvenirs, apparel, memorabilia, accessories, dolls, limited edition pins and more.
This month Disneyland Paris introduces PhotoPass+ containing everything you need to access high resolution digital image files of your vacation memories. All of the photos taken by our Disney PhotoPass photographers, or on attractions equipped with Image Capture, may be linked to your PhotoPass+.
In addition, for the first time at Disney Parks, Disneyland Paris has debuted a new Disney PhotoPass App that allows you to download all of the pictures taken by our photographers and attractions photos directly to your mobile device.
Where will our next shopping trip take us? Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog to find out.
For more from the “Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World” series, visit the posts below:
Earlier today, Disney theme parks around the world joined in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the “it’s a small world” attraction, part of which was featured live on “Good Morning America.”
The broadcast began with a chorus of kids singing live in Times Square, cast members and children singing in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, a children’s chorus and dancing dragons at Hong Kong Disneyland, cast members at Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Park (Paris), and ended with Disney cast members singing in front of the first “it’s a small world” attraction at Disneyland Park, punctuated with a finale of fireworks.
Check out the video below to see the celebration for yourself.
We have an exciting day planned Thursday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disney’s “it’s a small world” attraction, including online and in-park sing-alongs, musical performances and even a special Google Hangout with Disney Legend Richard Sherman.
We’re kicking off the global celebration early on Thursday with a live sing-along with ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” in Times Square in New York City. If you’re in the area, be sure to check it out. In addition to Times Square, GMA will feature choirs singing live at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, plus a choir at the Unisphere in New York at the original location of the 1964 World’s Fair, where “it’s a small world” debuted.
During the day, you’re also invited to join guests and cast members at Disney Parks around the globe for a historic “it’s a small world” sing-along at our global online hub, SmallWorld50.com. And as Erin shared last week, you can also join us for our Google Hangout event with Disney Legend Richard Sherman, live at 1 p.m. PDT from Disneyland park. The event can be seen live here and in the “Gallery” section of SmallWorld50.com.
Throughout the day, guests at Disney Parks will be participating in the celebration at all five resorts around the world. Here are the details for each park:
- At the Walt Disney World Resort, hundreds of Magic Kingdom Park guests are joining in the song during a special “pre-parade” before the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.”
Throughout the day, in-park performers – the Dapper Dans, Coke Corner Pianist, Notorious Banjo Brothers, Royal Majesty Maker Musicians and Main Street Philharmonic – are scheduled to include “it’s a small world” in their appearances.
- At the Disneyland Resort, songwriter Richard Sherman is scheduled to appear in a sing-along cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A., conducting hundreds of Disneyland guests in their “it’s a small world” sing-along.
- At Hong Kong Disneyland, cast members and students from Hong Kong Children’s Choir are singing “it’s a small world” in Cantonese.
- At Tokyo Disneyland, cast members and guests are gathering to sing in Japanese at Tokyo Disneyland.
- At Disneyland Paris, a “blue carpet” event featuring international cast members is planned for on Main Street, U.S.A., with students from the European International School, singing a multi-language version of the iconic anthem in front of “it’s a small world.”
We’re almost one week away from the big celebration of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world” here at the Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. You can join the celebration, too, at SmallWorld50.com. Today, we’re sharing a special “happy 50th” greeting from some of your favorite ABC stars!
Around the world, Disney Parks are celebrating the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” which debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. You can join the celebration at SmallWorld50.com by creating your own “it’s a small world” doll and lending your voice to our global sing-along! Today, let’s dive into some little-known details about this iconic attraction.
“it’s a small world” was designed to look like handmade, paper-mache children’s creations. Intended to look like a child’s art project, the attraction is a look at the world through a child’s eyes.
Husband-and-wife team Marc and Alice Davis – (that’s Marc pictured above with Walt Disney and “it’s a small world” designer Mary Blair) were also instrumental in the creation of “it’s a small world” – Marc created many of the character vignettes, while Alice helped create many of the dolls’ costumes. They are the only married couple to have been honored with windows on Main Street, U.S.A.
The original concept featured the dolls singing the national anthems of their various countries. The result was, in Disney Legend Richard Sherman’s words, “a cacophony.” He and his brother, Robert, composed a simple song that could be translated into many languages and sung consistently throughout the attraction.
Since “it’s a small world” can be found at five Disney parks on three continents (Disneyland park in California, Magic Kingdom Park in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland) the iconic theme song is always playing somewhere around the world.
Over the course of a 16-hour operating day at Disneyland park, the “it’s a small world” theme song is played 1,200 times.
As you may have just heard on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, you’re invited to join a first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along at SmallWorld50.com to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” – the classic Disney Parks attraction that opened as a tribute to UNICEF’s work for children around the world at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
We’ll be celebrating the anniversary on April 10 but we’ve already kicked off the worldwide celebration. People from more than 25 countries, including bagpipers in Scotland, Bollywood movie actors in India, a firefighter in New York City, and members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, came together to create a first worldwide “it’s a small world” video.
You can participate in this historic celebration by recording and sharing an online video of yourself singing “it’s a small world” on our new global online hub SmallWorld50.com. At the site, you can also create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to share with your friends. The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” plus $1 for every sing-along video recorded on SmallWorld50.com and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to $100,000.
On April 10, hundreds of voices from Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will come together to sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas.”
Go share your online video at SmallWorld50.com and keep checking the Disney Parks Blog as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world.”