The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios

‘Scandal’ Actor Joe Morton Visits Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you a fan of ABC’s “Scandal”?

Actor Joe Morton, who plays the mysterious “Papa Pope” on the show, recently stopped by the Walt Disney World Resort to narrate a performance of “The Lion King: Concert in the Wild” during Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

EMMY-NOMINATED ACTOR JOE MORTON AT DISNEY WORLD IN FLORIDA

During his visit, Joe, who is nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama for his role on the show, shared with us what he and his family love about Disney Parks. Be sure to check out the video below.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Eight Delectable Disney Parks Treats for National Ice Cream Day

posted on July 18th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Why do we love ice cream so much? Sunday, July 20, is National Ice Cream Day, declared by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and we’re happy for the pure joy of a dripping ice cream cone on a hot summer day.

Disney Parks fans know the gooey Kitchen Sink Sundae, the irresistible Dole Whip and ice-cold Mickey Mouse bar. And we’ve all picked a favorite flavor for a double scoop from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor at Disneyland park or Plaza Ice Cream Parlor at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort. But for National Ice Cream Day, we’re stepping out with some ice cream creations you may not have tried.

Here are eight favorites that are a little more creative than a double dip of vanilla or chocolate:

  1. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself dining at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on National Ice Cream Day, order the Sundae Sampler, a mini-trio with Frangelico toffee mousse, a float with root-beer flavored ice cream and homemade vanilla soda and a “banana split” (mousse, fresh roasted pineapple, fresh strawberries, whipped cream, candied peanuts, chocolate sauce and a cherry). You won’t want to share.

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  1. Run, don’t walk, to try the chocolate macaron sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces at the France pavilion at Epcot. A crunchy chocolate cookie sandwich with dark chocolate ice cream made right there, it’s simply divine. There are 16 flavors, but, seriously, that chocolate-chocolate sensation is a must. Another favorite? The hand-pressed brioche ice cream sandwich.
  2. Try something different at the new Morocco Juice Bar at Epcot World Showcase, where the chef is making bold ice cream flavors like chocolate and cinnamon, green tea, pistachio with orange blossom water (our favorite), strawberry and red bean, and toasted almond with rosewater.
  3. For a Magic Kingdom pick-me-up, grab the latte iced coffee float at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies in Tomorrowland. (The kids can get a caramel or hot fudge sundae.)

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  1. At Disneyland Resort, we always make a stop at Clarabelle’s at Disney California Adventure park for the hand-dipped ice-cream bar. Choose vanilla, chocolate or mixed berry sorbet, ask for it dipped in milk or dark chocolate, then add a flourish of toppings like chocolate chips or rainbow sprinkles. Made on the spot while you watch.
  2. Get fancy at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa with a single, double or triple scoop of artisanal ice creams: Scharffen Berger chocolate chunk, Tahitian vanilla bean or creamy California strawberry. The Napa Rose pastry chefs churn it out fresh.

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  1. If you’re strolling Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort, stop at Uva Bar for a homemade ice-cream milkshake. We recommend the s’mores flavor. Or if a root beer float is more to your liking, they make theirs with Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream and craft root beer.

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  1. We’ve got a soft spot for cobbler a la mode, and some of the best is at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue – fresh fruit (whatever’s in season) baked in a skillet with a crunchy topping and vanilla ice cream. Grab at least two spoons and share.
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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Merchandise ‘Rockets’ Into Disney Parks

posted on July 16th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


My friend and Disney Parks Blog author Shawn Slater was the first to give you the inside scoop on the “Guardians of the Galaxysneak peek taking place now at Disney Parks. How many of you have already seen it? If you haven’t, I’m not going to spoil it for you, but I would definitely recommend checking out this intergalactic 3D cosmic adventure the next time you visit the Magic Eye Theater in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park or ABC Sound Studio at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you are planning to set your course for space adventure and join the quartet of ragtag rivals along with Peter Quill to help save the universe, then we better make sure you are prepared for battle. Here’s your first look at some of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” merchandise you can expect to find at Disney Parks.

Fans of the entire “Guardians of the Galaxy” crew or Rocket, in particular, will be happy to find these film-inspired T-shrits.

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As for toys, we have those too! You’ll find the Rapid Fire Rocket, Star-Lord Blaster, a Hero Ship and Pursuit Spacecraft play sets, as well as Galactic Battler, Titan Hero figures and more.

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A few other things to keep an eye out for in the coming weeks is the “Guardians of the Galaxy” book and CD, as well as a specially designed D-Tech iPhone case and more. One final pick for me, is the “Guardians of the Galaxy” limited edition pin. Take a look!

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Here’s quick list of where you can find all of the merchandise I’ve shown you for your very own super heroes:

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Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: Roy & Minnie at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 10th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Tonight’s “Disney Parks After Dark” image is by far one of the best I’ve seen of the statue of Roy O. Disney and Minnie Mouse. This statue, which is of Walt Disney’s older brother and longtime business partner, sits near the flagpole on Main Street, U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom Park.

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Two Challenges Remain in the ‘Be The Eighth Miner’ Contest

posted on July 10th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Only two weeks (and two challenges) remain in the “Be The Eighth Miner” contest, which lets you share your excitement for the opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction in creative ways via social media.

You can enter the “Be The Eighth Miner” contest for a chance to win a seven-day, seven-night vacation to Walt Disney World Resort to meet the Dwarfs and experience the attraction for yourself. Each week, a new challenge will be posted on BeThe8thMiner.com that asks you to show specific “Seven Dwarf”-inspired skills in a photo or Vine video. Once your entry is done, you follow @WaltDisneyWorld on Twitter, and tweet out your entry along with the hashtag #8thMinerContest.

Throughout the contest, social media superstars have been contributing example videos or photos to illustrate what the week’s challenge is all about. This week, Mindy McKnight of YouTube’s Cute Girl Hairstyles, shares looks for “Miner Hair” and “Beards.”

For more on this contest and official rules, click here.

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The Disney Side of Alex and Ani ‘Charmed Arms’ at Disney Parks

posted on July 8th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It’s time to show us your Disney Side with your “charmed arms” from Alex and Ani! Not only do we want to see which Alex and Ani bangles from our Disney collection have made it onto your arms, but we also want to see them in front of some of your favorite characters, attractions and icons at Disney Parks.

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I know that many of you were eager to know if Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” would be making a splash at Disney Parks, and I’m here to tell you, she is, along with Rapunzel from “Tangled.” Here’s your first look!

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Joining them will be a few of everyone’s favorite Disney pals, Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Goofy and Donald Duck.

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Look for these bangles to debut July 14 at the following Disney Parks & Resorts locations and Online.

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Online – Shop Now!

What’s next? I can tell you this much, you will either find it a nightmare or you will consider it really cool.

Now I invite you to share your Disney ‘charmed arms’ with us! Use #DisneySide and #charmedarms across our social channels, including Twitter, Vine, Google+, Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest. If you tag your Instagram photos using #DisneySide #charmedarms we may just feature it on the @Disneyland, @WaltDisneyWorld or @AlexandAni Instagram feeds.

Will you add any of these new Alex and Ani Disney Collection bangles to your wrist?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Series Inspired by Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, ‘The 7D,’ Airs Today

posted on July 7th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Did you know that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction is inspiring a new television show that premieres on Disney XD today? Disney’s “The 7D,” a comedic take on the Seven Dwarfs, premieres today (be sure to check local listings for times).

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In the premiere episode, “Long, Long Winter/Itsy Bitsy Spider Fighters,” the 7D rescue the villagers of Jollywood from an eternal winter spell that the Glooms have cast on the kingdom and help Queen Delightful rid the castle of a pesky spider. The show will feature the voice talents of actors Kelly Osbourne, Jay Leno and Whoopi Goldberg.

Get a sneak peek at what to expect by visiting the show’s official site here.

And don’t forget about the 7D Mine Train app, which was released earlier this year. The game introduces the re-imagined Seven Dwarfs and allows players to choose one of the characters to pilot a mine car through a variety of locales and collect gems along the way.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Performing Arts Makes a Very ‘Happy’ Dream Come True

posted on July 7th, 2014 by Tim Hill, Director of Disney Youth Programs


Every vocal and instrumental group that participates in the Disney Performing Arts program is experiencing a dream come true when they perform on a Disney stage. But there was a little extra Disney magic for the Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences choir by arranging for them to perform on the stage of Cinderella Castle.

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The talented kids – ranging in age from 8 to 13 – had long dreamed of participating in Disney Performing Arts. Their fortunes went off the charts when their performance of Pharrell’s hit single, Happy, went viral, amassing more than 1.5 million views. The video also captured the attention of national media and led to an appearance on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

Check out the photos from this exciting moment. The morning capped a magical weekend for the young dreamers who saw their performance dream come true, learned about the business of show business and did what kids do best – play in the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks.

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It’s A Happy Fourth of July At Disney Parks

posted on July 4th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Fourth of July celebrations are already well underway at Disney Parks, and the party kicked off last night at Magic Kingdom Park with an early performance of “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.”

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Our photographers were out to catch some of the lovely sights for us.

“Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” will again blast off tonight at 9 p.m. Elsewhere at the Walt Disney World Resort, Epcot will host “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” at 10 p.m., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will launch their fireworks at 10:15 p.m.

Over at the Disneyland Resort, the festivities started even earlier this week, with “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” lighting up the night beginning July 1. Look for it tonight at 9:25 p.m. Disney California Adventure park will also host a special patriotic pre-show at the start of the 9:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. performances of “World of Color.”

For more on the Fourth of July celebrations at Disney Parks, visit the posts below:

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Fourth of July Inspires Light Painting at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 3rd, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Walt Disney famously said, “…curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” At Disney Parks, we are fortunate to work with some very curious — and creative — minds. Two of these creative cast members, Paul Chase and Matt Stewart, recently took a vacation trip with their families. On the trip, they were inspired after watching their children playing and dancing around the campsite with flashlights.

Light Painting in Magic Kingdom Park for the Fourth of July Holiday

After seeing their kids creating circles and shapes with the flashlights, they wondered if they could sketch Disney characters, in midair, using handheld light sources and long camera exposures. So, Paul and Matt tried drawing the iconic profile of Mickey Mouse using this technique (often called “light painting”). The pair posted the image on their Twitter and Facebook pages, and followers and friends asked for more.

We asked Paul, a Disney Parks Content Producer, and Matt, a Yellow Shoes Creative Group Art Director, what other illuminated creations they could produce. The following is the result of a late evening this week in Magic Kingdom Park, using a variety of lighting sources. Paul was behind the camera as Matt was “drawing” in midair.

Light Painting in Magic Kingdom Park for the Fourth of July Holiday

“As a Disney art director, I doodle Mickey, Pluto and Goofy everywhere. So when Paul suggested we do some long exposure photography, it was a natural for me to try and do a Mickey Mouse in the air,” Matt said.

Once they started doodling, their ideas grew. “A lot of this was trial and error,” Paul said. “Should we draw Mickey head-on or profile? Profile, it is! Should we use only our flashlights or something else? What about color?”

We hope you enjoy their July 4th edition of Disney Side light painting. They created several other sparkling surprises, so look for a second edition of their work in an upcoming post on the Disney Parks Blog.

(*Note: while the pair utilized sparklers, they were used in a very controlled environment and with proper personnel on-site. We do not recommend doing this without supervision and safety measures. If you attempt we suggest using LED penlights of different colors, as Paul and Matt did in several of these artful creations.)

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort