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Happy Fourth of July from Disney Parks

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Walt Disney World Resort Fireworks?

posted on June 30th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Fireworks are truly a highlight of a day at a Disney Park. How well do you know our nighttime spectaculars at Walt Disney World Resort? Test your knowledge below – some of the answers may surprise you!


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Walt Disney World Resort Fireworks

Which Disney character narrates “Wishes” fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park?
Glow with the Show Ear hats, fun interactive versions of the famous Mickey Ear hats, now burst with color during the Wishes fireworks extravaganza at Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The new illuminating hats magically change colors in sync with fireworks, shows and each other at Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Glow with the Show Ear hats debuted at Walt Disney World Resort Oct. 15, 2013 during the 15th anniversary of Fantasmic!, the nighttime spectacular at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  (Gene Duncan, photographer)
TInker Bell began making her “fireworks flight” during the show in what year?
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The first fireworks show ever performed at Walt Disney World Resort was in honor of the opening of what resort hotel?
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What was the first fireworks performance at Magic Kingdom Park called?
Wishes
Holiday fireworks shows, like the Fourth of July performance, are how much larger than the nightly show?
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Celebrating the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 29th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Independence Day is coming up, and the parks at Walt Disney World Resort are planning to celebrate our nation’s 239th birthday with some star-spangled salutes to America!

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If you’re visiting Walt Disney World Resort for the 4th of July, here are some highlights of the special entertainment planned for that day:

  • Magic Kingdom Park “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” rockets into the air above Cinderella Castle. This special, fireworks spectacular will be presented two nights in a row, at 9 p.m. on both July 3 and 4.
  • Epcot On July 4, enjoy a special concert of great American songs by Voices of Liberty at America Gardens Theater, where they’ll be performing at 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 3 p.m. You can also meet Chip ‘n’ Dale in patriotic attire outside The American Adventure, and at 10 p.m. that evening “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” joins the celebration with the addition of a heart-pounding, all-American grand finale.
  • Disney’s Hollywood StudiosThe “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party leads up to a “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration,” as the sky above Disney’s Hollywood Studios ignites in a shower of shimmering light for a pyrotechnic, rock ‘n roll road trip across America. The DJ kicks things off at 5:45 p.m. and keeps the party going until fireworks time at 10:15 p.m.

Looks like the 4th of July is going to be a blast all across Walt Disney World Resort!

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – July 2015

posted on June 28th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort this July? Be sure to check out these special artist appearances and signings!

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Now through July 20: Representatives from Precious Moments dolls will be on hand for the release of the new Patriotic Collection, among other fan favorites. Meet the representatives and see the dolls throughout the day, each day, at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

July 1 – 5: Take part in a special Givenchy fragrance event at Le Plume et Palette in the France Pavilion at Epcot. Learn more.

July 2 – 3: Find the latest releases from artist David E. Doss, who will be appearing daily, July 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 from 1 – 9 p.m. at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

July 2 – 5: Appearing at Art of Disney in Epcot throughout the month is artist Larry Dotson. Look for artist showcases on the following dates: July 2, 3, 4, 5, 16, 17, 18, 19, 30 as well as August 1 and 2. Learn more.

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July 11 – 14: Meet Fragrance Designer Geir Ness throughout the day at Puffin’s Roost in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot.

July 13 – 18: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings July 13 – 18 and July 27 – August 1 from 1 – 8p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

July 17 – 18: Meet artist Jeremiah Ketner who will be on hand for a special artist showcase and signing at WonderGround Gallery in Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace from 5 – 8p.m., each day. Learn more.

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July 23 – 26: Meet artist William Silvers who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his newest releases from 1 – 9p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Not able to make it? William will return for additional signing opportunities July 30 – August 1 from 12 Noon – 8 p.m., each day, at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park. Learn more.

Throughout the month look for other special appearances and signings at select World Showcase pavilion locations in Epcot, including Le Plume et Palette and La Signature in France, The Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom and Puffins Roost in Norway. Learn more.

Reminder: Tickets to this year’s GenEARation D Pin Trading event taking place Sept. 11 – 12 are still available but are in limited supply. It’s not too late to register! Learn more.

Which events will you check out?

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#CoolestSummer Ever: Magic Kingdom Park Cool

posted on June 26th, 2015 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Magic Kingdom Park is a wonderland of pleasant places and experiences waiting to be discovered, and then made into regular visit traditions. When the summer sun is beaming it brightest, every seasoned guest has favorite attractions that are refreshingly air-conditioned and/or cooled nicely with fans and are relatively moderate as to queues (of course, “subject to change without notice” and all that stuff).

Anyway, here are a few super summer “ahhh-tractions”:

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Mickey’s PhilharMagic – What a great attraction for fans of classic Disney and great music! Again, the queue is primarily inside, amid funny “concert posters”, and the show is breezy and thoroughly delightful. (Here’s a bit of trivia: Hollywood studio singer Gene Merlino sings in the chorus of “You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly”, just as he did in the original 1953 film!)

When Elephants Fly

Dumbo The Flying Elephant – Whoever came up with the idea of a circus tent waiting area, complete with benches and plenty of fun for kids, deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, or at least a smoked turkey leg. You’re given a handy device that glows when you can enter the queue, after waiting in air-conditioned bliss. And when it’s time to fly with Dumbo, he tries really hard to catch the breeze as you whirl through the air.

Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor – By midday, who couldn’t use a chuckle or two in a stylish night club setting where Mike Wazowski presents the all-time best of the wincingly worst in super silly jokes and riddles. (My favorite riddle: “How do you know when an elephant has been in your refrigerator?” “He leaves his footprints in the butter!”)

Country Bear Jamboree

Country Bear Jamboree – This is a cherished Audio-Animatronics classic, as laid back as an contented ol’ dog taking a break in some cool, shaded grass. Highly recommended if members of your group are starting to get as revved up as long-tailed cats in a room full of rockers. (In my family, moodiness can sometimes also be cured with a quick snack and cool beverage. Not that anyone is ever moody on a Walt Disney World Resort dream vacation. It’s probably just my relatives.)

What are your favorite Magic Kingdom Park attractions for midday cool-downs?

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Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance Visit Walt Disney World

posted on June 25th, 2015 by Anne Macklin, Talent Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Hollywood couple Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance, along with their twin 10-year-old children, Bronwyn and Slater, recently took time at Magic Kingdom Park to pose for a photo with Goofy – Angela’s favorite Disney character.

Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance visit Disney World in Florida

When asked why Goofy is her favorite character, Angela says she likes his swagger and besides that “Goofy is tall, dark and handsome – what’s not to like!” Ears to you Bassett/Vance family!

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Today in Disney History: ‘Lady and the Tramp’ Hit Theaters

posted on June 22nd, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


He’s a tramp, but we love him. Of course, Lady grew to love him as well. Today in 1955, Walt Disney Pictures released “Lady and the Tramp“. This Disney classic love story between two dogs from different sides of town continues to warm the hearts of Disney fans.

Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, a favorite of mine, at Magic Kingdom Park pays homage to this Disney classic film. Here you can enjoy Italian cuisine while surrounded by sketches, lithographs and animation cells from the movie. There’s even a fountain in the center with a statue of Lady & the Tramp.

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It’s the perfect place to recreate the spaghetti scene where Lady and Tramp romantically slurp up the same noodle. You can also spot Lady and Tramp at Disney’s Pop Century Resort in the 1950s section and at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Fun fact, “Lady and the Tramp” was the first Disney animated feature filmed in CinemaScope.

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

A Peek Inside a Room with A View at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

posted on June 19th, 2015 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


As part of the Disney Parks Blog ongoing “Room with A View” series, I want to take you to an island paradise where swaying palms and gentle breezes lead to new accommodations at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. As part of the re-imagination of the iconic resort, 360 new Disney Vacation Club Studios reveal a tropical motif with spacious accommodations – and wow, what a view! Let’s go to the third floor of the Moorea longhouse inside room 3020 and take a peek.

When I opened the door to this Deluxe Studio, I was drawn to an outdoor patio that extends the entire width of the room. The third floor lookout offered a panoramic view with so much to take in. To the right you see the monorail whizzing by and ferry boats sailing across the Seven Seas Lagoon. Look left and there’s the flagship Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in all its splendor. And straight ahead, beyond the luxurious Bora Bora Bungalows Magic Kingdom Park with Space Mountain and Cinderella Castle beckoning you to their magical lands. It’s a great view any time of day but especially as night falls and “Wishes” fireworks light up the sky.

A Peek Inside Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

But if you sharpen your lens there are “close-up” shots you might miss such as torch-lit paths, lush landscapes, gentle waves. I watched as a family of ducks waddled to the sandy beach and waterway they call home. It’s more than just a pretty picture – it stirs something within. Memories of my very first Disney resort stay come flooding back each time I visit. And despite its recent reimagining, there’s a familiarity here that makes you feel like you’re home. It’s no wonder families are drawn back to this beloved resort time and time again.

A Peek Inside Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

The new Studios have a ton of space (actually the largest Studios in the Disney Vacation Club portfolio) plus ample storage with under-the-bed drawers and a table that doubles as a storage chest. Rooms have a crisp yet playful décor with vibrant colors, ornate carvings and rich textures. I loved the tiki man lamp perched on a bed of rock lava and the colorful artwork. Studios sleep five with one queen bed, a queen-size pull-out bed and a pull-down bed. A kitchenette with coffee-maker, mini-fridge, a small sink, toaster and microwave all come in handy. The bathroom layout is practical for families, too. There’s a private sink and shower space, plus a separate area with tub, toilet and sink. It’s great if you have teenagers who need their space. And this resort is the first to have connecting Deluxe Studios.

So journey with me to this carefree oasis in the heart of Walt Disney World Resort. Enjoy a photo tour of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.

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Disney Days of Past: Mickey’s Birthdayland at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 18th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


In May 1988, Mickey was moving into his house at Magic Kingdom Park prepping for upcoming visitors to Mickey’s Birthdayland. This seventh land of Magic Kingdom Park opened on June 18th, 1988 to guests at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Chip and Dale even joined in the fun by baking Mickey a giant birthday cake to celebrate.

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Opening in honor of Mickey’s 60th Birthday, Mickey’s Birthdayland welcomed guests until 1990 when it became Mickey’s Starland.

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Get This Animated Magic Shot at Magic Kingdom Park Before Andy Gets Back!

posted on June 17th, 2015 by Marie Ramirez, Marketing & Communications Manager, Disney PhotoPass Service


“Yodel-ay-hee-ho!”

Next time you’re in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park, ask a Disney PhotoPass Photographer to round up this rootin’ tootin’ Animated Magic Shot featuring Woody and Jessie!

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When you visit MyDisneyPhotoPass.com after taking an Animated Magic Shot, you’ll be surprised to find that we have applied animation to your photo.

All guests can view Animated Magic Shots in their accounts before they expire, but a Memory Maker purchase is required to download and share them online.

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Spotlight on Tees Coming to the Disney Parks Online Store in June 2015

posted on June 16th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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To kick off the summer season at Disney Parks, we are releasing a few tee-shirts on our Disney Parks online store that I think fans will love. These limited release tees will only be offered online at DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents. All shirts will be offered for adults, women and youth. Please allow 3-5 weeks for delivery.

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June 17-23
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Disneyland Resort, we are launching a series of online tees that salute original Disneyland park attractions. The first tee celebrates the world famous Jungle Cruise attraction. In addition to the shirt, poster artwork will also be available during this sale.

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June 22-28
I’m particularly excited for the Triple R Ranch tee shirt, which was inspired by “The Adventures of Spin and Marty” from the 1955-56 season of the “Mickey Mouse Club.” Disney Design Group artist Casey Jones worked with the Walt Disney Archives to get photo reference of the summer camp shirts used in the show. You may also recognize the shirt as something Andy wore in Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 2” (I tried recreating a shot from that animated feature above).

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June 29-July 5
The final shirt for June features the Harmony Barber Shop from Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park. This location opened in 1975 and is a great place to get a first haircut as seen in this video article. This shirt will be online from June 29 through July 5.

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