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Disney Doodle: Pocahontas Visits Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on January 11th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


When it comes to boat rides, perhaps none is wilder at Magic Kingdom Park than Splash Mountain. In this week’s Disney Doodle, artist Ashley Taylor imagines what would happen if Pochontas and pal Meeko took a canoe ride through the Frontierland attraction.

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See the posts below for more Disney Doodles:

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Costa Does It Again at the Walt Disney World Marathon

posted on January 10th, 2016 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


Fredison Costa is only about 140 pounds soaking wet, but he said he felt very heavy on Sunday. Maybe it was from the weight of five – count them, five – Walt Disney World Marathon medals he now has in his possession.

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Costa, the Brazilian runner who trains at Walt Disney World Resort, continued to pile on the victories Sunday morning, winning his third straight Walt Disney World Marathon and his fifth in the last six years.

Costa’s win, along with Natasha Yaremczuk’s victory in the women’s division (2:52:23), capped the 23rd Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. The signature runDisney event drew more than 100,000 runners and fans for races of all levels, a Health & Fitness Expo and the first-ever runDisney Race Director Series for race executives from around the world.

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Costa, 38, provided the perfect punctuation to the weekend and is quickly gaining on Adriano Bastos for the title of winningest runner in Walt Disney World Marathon history. With his fifth victory, Costa is only three behind Bastos, who is an eight-time winner.

It’s been anything but easy, especially Sunday. His win – he crossed the finish line in 2:33:24 – was the slowest of his five victories, roughly 15 minutes slower, in fact, than his winning time last year (2:18:06). That’s because he was coming off a recent calf injury that forced him to suspend his training for 10 days. And it didn’t help that it was a warm and wet morning, which also zapped some of his speed as he navigated the 26.2-mile course through all four Disney theme parks.

Nevertheless, Costa said he achieved the one thing he wanted more than anything. He won.

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“I was not happy with my time,’’ said Costa, who trains with former Olympic track & field coach Brooks Johnson at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. “But I’m the happiest man on earth.’’

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyTweens: Thrills and Adventures Await Your Tweens at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 8th, 2016 by Raquel Giorgio, Public Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Hi! I’m Raquel Giorgio, Public Relations Manager at Walt Disney World Resort, and the mother of one very adorable and enthusiastic Tween. My nine-year-old daughter is just starting to yearn for independence … but still wants to know her family is within arm’s reach. Sound familiar to you?

I want to welcome you to the latest series on the Disney Parks Blog. It’s all about … you guessed it … Tweens! While we know that Walt Disney World Resort is a favorite vacation destination for families with younger children, I’m here to tell you that Walt Disney World Resort is also the perfect place to bring your older kids! Thrilling and adventurous experiences in all FOUR of our Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, TWO water parks and Disney Springs await them! Now that they are older, Tweens can do and experience so much more! They’re taller and height restrictions may no longer apply to them. And they may be up for more adventure now!

Just check out brothers Graeme and Corbin as they try to one-up each other with a challenge to go on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.

Whenever I bring my daughter to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it’s mandatory that the family ride Expedition Everest three times … in a row! She just loves it! And then she’ll exit the ride to search out a chance to meet Mickey and Minnie in their trendy safari outfits!

What are some of your favorite thrill rides here at Walt Disney World Resort that you’d like to share with your older kids? Is it Space Mountain, Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom Park? Perhaps Test Track at Epcot or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments below.

For more information on planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort with your Tween, check out www.disneyworld.com/Tweens.

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Filed: Disney Springs, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: Main Street Electrical Parade Lights Up Magic Kingdom Park

posted on January 7th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


With the holidays behind us, the “Main Street Electrical Parade” is again the centerpiece of nighttime entertainment at Magic Kingdom Park, shown here in a photo snapped of the Partners Statue.

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In case you aren’t familiar, Main Street Electrical Parade is a nighttime procession that is filled with glowing, spinning floats that honor favorite Disney characters. Animated Disney films that are represented include “Alice In Wonderland,” “Pinocchio,” “Cinderella” and more.

Is this parade one of your favorites? Tell us which float you like best in the “Comments” section below.

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What’s New in Walt Disney World Resort Dining: 16 for 2016

posted on January 7th, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


2015 was full of culinary news for Walt Disney World Resort, and 2016 promises to be equally exciting, especially at Disney Springs. From new restaurants to more fun with Disney characters, here’s a look ahead at 2016.

  1. Sunday brunches are the hot weekend ticket. Narcoossee’s Waterfront Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a new one, and Brunch at the Top debuts February 7 at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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  1. Get over to the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen in the Magic Kingdom Park and try a rice noodle bowl, sustainable local farm-raised shrimp in chili-garlic sauce, or the Kungaloosh!, an African-inspired chocolate cake with caramelized bananas with cashew-caramel ice cream. This is an all-new menu for the Disney chefs.
  2. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival expands to 90 days, March 2 to May 30 (from 75 days last year). Fresh garden produce, savory bites and sweet treats will be abundant at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, returning for a fourth year with guest favorites and new food and beverage offerings.

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  1. Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate the art of traveling, featuring foods from places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Open for both lunch and dinner. (“Tiffin” is an Indian English word for a midday meal or a type of container used to carry food while traveling).
  2. Adjacent to Tiffins, Nomad Lounge will feature hand-crafted cocktails using the art of mixology with African, Asian and South American flavors, beers and wines from those regions, and a selection of specialty non-alcoholic beverages in addition to small bites.
  3. Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s BoardWalk will temporarily close the end of January, then reopen in the fall with a whole new look – and while the kitchen is working on new menu items, Chef Tim Keating promises that potato-wrapped snapper and the popular New York strip steak will be back. Stay tuned for details.

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  1. Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’’s Hollywood Studios debuted in 2015, but guests can look forward to new themes coming in 2016, including Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine, Minnie’s Springtime Dine, Minnie’s Summertime Dine and Minnie’s Halloween Dine.

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  1. Let’s start 2016 with a taste of the chocolate at The Ganachery at Disney Springs – the proprietary blend of chocolate and cream made right in the shop is not to be missed. The lovely little space elevates sweets to an experience akin to a wine tasting.
  2. Coming to Disney Springs in early 2016 is STK, a modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge and emphasizing a social and fun environment. It will be one of the largest STK locations in the world, occupying 14,000 square feet in a two-story building, including a main level and a rooftop-dining area with incredible views of Disney Springs.
  3. Sprinkles, the world’s first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, will serve up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies at Disney Springs in 2016. Their innovative Cupcake ATM will satisfy sweet-toothed epicureans 24/7.
  4. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza also comes to Disney Springs in 2016, a modern day “pizza joint” known for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. The fast-casual restaurant will feature an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize their pizza, choosing from over 40 fresh toppings.

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  1. Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine will showcase the cuisine of Chef Art Smith at Disney Springs when it opens in Summer 2016. Smith, who was born and reared in the town of Jasper, Fla., on the Florida-Georgia border, will feature farm-to-fork cuisine that showcases the bounty of Florida, and design inspired by turn-of-the century Florida architecture of the late 1800s.

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  1. Also opening in Summer 2016 at Disney Springs, Frontera Fresco by Chef Rick Bayless will showcase the gourmet Mexican cuisine that has made Chef Bayless a culinary legend. The restaurant will feature authentic Mexican specialties such as hand-crafted tortas, tacos, salads, fresh-made guacamole and classic Mexican braised meat entrees, all prepared from time-honored recipes with natural, locally sourced ingredients. Frontera Fresco also will serve an extensive selection of margaritas, cocktails and craft beers and wine.
  2. Look for a re-imagined Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs as the flagship venue is transformed into a star-themed Planet Hollywood Observatory to match the look and feel of Disney Springs. As part of the makeover, the venue will add a new outdoor terrace and bar space called Stargazers and feature live entertainment.
  3. Also at Disney Springs, new Disney quick-service locations and kiosks will be blooming this spring. Perfect for a quick bite. Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more information on these locations.
  4. Two new Disney cookbooks for 2016: a new Delicious Disney: Sweet Treats book due out in the fall, and one celebrating both the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (dates still TBD for the food & wine fest when the book will debut).
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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney Springs, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

ALEX AND ANI to Retire Mickey, Minnie and Pluto Character Bangles at Disney Parks

posted on January 5th, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


The new year is here, and new styles and designs from ALEX AND ANI are on their way. In order to make room, for the very first time, the following character silhouette ALEX AND ANI bangles will retire beginning January 11, 2016.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ALEX and ANI Bangles Will Retire Beginning January 11, 2016 Mickey Mouse and Pluto ALEX and ANI Bangle Will Retire Beginning January 11, 2016

If you’re looking to add one of these bangles to your collection or someone else’s, be sure to get them before they’re gone! Look for these ALEX AND ANI pieces and more online and in stores at:

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Which character silhouette is your favorite?

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

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Mad Tea Party at Magic Kingdom Park?

posted on January 5th, 2016 by Rose Monahan, Librarian, Walt Disney World Resort


This charming Fantasyland attraction has been spinning guests at Magic Kingdom Park since opening day in 1971. How well do you know its details? Test your knowledge below.

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Mad Tea Party at Magic Kingdom Park

Who peridocially pops out of the oversized tea pot in the middle of the attraction?
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What special occasion do you celebrate on Mad Tea Party?
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Which color tea cup is NOT an option on Mad Tea Party?
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Which Disney park does not have an incarnation of the Mad Tea Party attraction?
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Skies Are Sunny At Magic Kingdom Park

posted on January 5th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


This week’s morning photo was snapped at Magic Kingdom Park, where a sunny sky and a day of fun awaits guests from all over the world.

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Will you visit Magic Kingdom Park in 2016?

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LIVE STREAM: Watch Walt Disney World Resort’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Live at 11:50 p.m. EST

posted on December 31st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


UPDATE: This live event has concluded. Please keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for future live stream events.

Tonight we’re happy to host our final “Unforgettable” live stream of 2015 by welcoming in the New Year with a special presentation of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks.

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The fun will begin at 11:40 p.m., when we’ll start our broadcast with a behind-the-scenes look at how Disney Parks fireworks shows are made, plus hear more about what there is to look forward to at Walt Disney World Resort in 2016. Then at 11:50 p.m., our fireworks countdown will begin and will continue on through midnight.

In the meantime, tell us in the comments section where you’re watching from tonight! And don’t forget to follow our @DisneyParks Twitter account tonight for some amazing still photos of the show.

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Year In Review: 10 Moments That Made Disney History in 2015

posted on December 30th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


So many incredible things happened at Disney Parks around the world this year, from major anniversary celebrations to attraction openings, 2015 is truly a year to remember.

Here are our top 10 highlights:

  1. Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Begins – The Disneyland Resort celebrated 60 years of magic in 2015 by debuting three new nighttime spectaculars: “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, “Paint the Night” parade, and “World of Color – Celebrate!

Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

  1. Star Wars-Themed Lands Announced – Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced plans for two Star Wars-themed lands to be added to Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Read the official announcement for more.

Toy Story Land Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

  1. Toy Story Land Plans Announced for Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Crowds at the 2015 D23 Expo were surprised and delighted to hear that plans for a Toy Story Land for Disney’s Hollywood Studios are in the works.

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  1. New Star Wars Offerings Debuted – Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios both welcomed new Star Wars-inspired offerings in late 2015, including Star Wars Launch Bay, enhancements to the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction and more.

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  1. Hatbox Ghost Reappeared in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park – After decades in hiding, the Hatbox Ghost reappeared inThe Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park. Take a behind-the-scenes look at his appearance here.

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  1. Jungle Skipper Canteen opens at Magic Kingdom Park – For Disney Parks fans who can’t get enough of The Jungle Cruise, now there’s the Jungle Skipper Canteen restaurant, which just opened its doors in December at Magic Kingdom Park. Check out Pam’s review of the menu items here.

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  1. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto & Tiki Bar Opened at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Disney fans rejoiced when Walt Disney World Resort finally got a Trader Sam’s! Offering quirky atmosphere and views of Seven Seas Lagoon, Sam’s dishes out drinks and snacks that are unique to only this location.

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  1. Downtown Disney Renamed Disney Springs – This shopping/dining area has been transformed over the past year to feature some amazing new dining spots, like Morimoto and The Boathouse, terrific bars like Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar, and cool shops like The Ganachery and many more. Although more expansions are planned, the area was officially renamed Disney Springs in 2015.

Bringing New Magic to Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland Park, Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering

  1. Magical Enhancements At Matterhorn Bobsleds and Peter Pan’s Flight – Two classic Disneyland park attractions were plussed up this year with new enhancements, including additional special effects at Matterhorn Bobsleds and new figures of the Darling children and a moving Thames River at Peter Pan’s Flight.

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  1. Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Opened – Disney Vacation Club celebrated the debut of its latest property this past spring with the opening of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney Springs, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort