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#DisneyKids: Experience the Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Carpe diem. Seize the day.

That’s exactly what you can do on an Ultimate VIP Tour. Imagine experiencing cherished attractions at three theme parks with fast-tracked access, private transportation and a Table-Service lunch in one of the parks, all in one day — accompanied by a cast member with detailed knowledge of Disney lore.

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I recently got the opportunity to go on The Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour, one of two new offerings from VIP Tour Services (The Ultimate Day of Thrills being the other), so I of course jumped at the chance.

Tomorrowland Terrace at Magic Kingdom Park is the starting point for the tour. Tracy, our Tour Guide, handed out bottles of water to keep everyone hydrated and took lunch orders. From there, we headed to Magic Carpets of Aladdin to begin our journey. We hit some classics, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan’s Flight, and newer highpoints like Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid. Then it was off to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (yay Toy Story Midway Mania!), via private van, that included a yummy sit-down lunch at a reserved table. The tour ended on a high note at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with front row seats at Festival of the Lion King, about as close as you can get to this beloved Broadway-style show without being in it.

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Entering via the FastPass+ lines made for minimal waiting. Tracy was also in constant contact with Brian, our coordinator, who stayed ahead to ensure everything went smoothly. Patient, personable and well versed in all things Disney, Tracy shared trivia, helpful hints and background information along the way, like giving Toy Story Midway Mania! point-scoring tips and pointing out a hidden Mickey in the flamingo pool on Kilimanjaro Safaris. What a fascinating window into the magic.

In all, we enjoyed 11 attractions in three parks — with plenty of sunshine left at the end to go exploring on our own — accomplishing a lot but never feeling rushed. A steady pace kept us on schedule. It’s a unique, specialized way to splurge on yourself and loved ones, especially if you’re pressed for time.

And though designed with mild thrills for families with children under 10 years old, don’t let the name fool you. The Ultimate Day for Young Families is not just for the little ones. In fact, Tracy said adults frequently enjoy the tour sans kids. In other words, everyone’s the right age. Because fun never goes out of style.

This unforgettable guided adventure (that feels intimate since there is one Tour Guide per every 10 people) through some of your kids’ (and your) favorites while spending less time in line is worth the memories. Heck, maybe you’ll discover something new in the process. I did. Okay, I admit it: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin was a first for me. What a blast (pun intended)! No wonder it’s so popular.

The tour is offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays and lasts six to seven hours. Attractions and entertainment offerings subject to change. The cost is $299 per person, plus tax (theme park admission not included). Call 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687) for reservations. You can also access the online VIP Tour Services brochure here for more info

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, FastPass+, Magic Kingdom, MyMagic+, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Preview of New Disney Parks Collection | PANDORA Jewelry Coming in March 2015

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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A few weeks ago, I promised a look at some new charms items from the Disney Parks Collection | PANDORA, which will launch in multiple merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts on March 12. The new charms will join the previously released jewelry collection that features hand-finished .925 sterling silver and 14K gold charms inspired by some of Disney’s most beloved characters and icons. Here’s a preview of some new items created especially for Disney Parks.

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We will release two charms inspired by Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park and Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park. These sterling silver dangle charms, which make great keepsakes, feature the resort destination name on the bottom of each castle.

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This spring collection will also include a sterling silver and teal enamel charm featuring Mickey’s Fun Wheel from Disney California Adventure park. My favorite charm, however, is a sleek sterling silver geometric sphere that resembles Spaceship Earth with a monorail from Epcot.

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Guests should also look for a Minnie Mouse charm that is similar to the “Mickey Mania” charm released last fall. The sterling silver openwork “Minnie Mania” charm has colorful red, light yellow, black and white enamel details.

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Black and red enamel Mickey and Minnie Mouse icons are also pictured on a sterling silver safety chain with enamel hearts. For those who may not be familiar with a safety chain, it’s a stylish and practical way to keep your charms secure on your PANDORA bracelet. To use, simply thread one end on the bracelet first, add your charms and then thread the other side of the safety chain on the end of the bracelet to secure.

The best places at Disney Parks to find PANDORA jewelry are at La Mascarade d’Orleans in New Orleans Square in Disneyland park at Disneyland Resort, and at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort.

Guests will also find an additional jewelry charm designs from the spring 2015 Disney | PANDORA Jewelry Collection at select Disney Parks merchandise locations and at PANDORA stores throughout North America.
We will also offer select charms on our Disney Parks online store at http://www.DisneyStore.com/PANDORA.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Dates for Magic Kingdom Park Special Events, Tickets on Sale in April

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Planners take note!

Two of the biggest questions we get on the Disney Parks Blog around this time of year is “WHEN are the dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?”

Well, wait no longer!

This year, our Magic Kingdom Park Halloween event will be held 25 nights throughout the months of September, October and November; and our signature Holidays event at the Magic Kingdom Park will be 20 nights in November and December.

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Dates for 2015 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party are:

  • September 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27
  • October 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31
  • November 1

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Dates for 2015 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are:

  • November 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 29
  • December 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are specially-ticketed events where the Magic Kingdom comes alive with decorations, special entertainment and tons of fun!

Tickets for both events will go on sale in April.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more information about the events including on sale dates and ticket prices.

For more information or to book your resort stay, check out Disneyworld.com.

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Celebrating the Ultimate Girls Weekend at the Disney Princess Half Marathon

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


It was the ultimate runDisney girls weekend as more than 49,500 registered runners participated in the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Walt Disney World Resort.

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From our princesses-in-waiting competing in the runDisney Kids Races, to more experienced princesses participating in the Disney Princess 5K, the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K and the Disney Princess Half Marathon, the weekend was filled celebrating the attributes of a true princess – commitment, perseverance and determination.

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The crowning moment came on Sunday when more than 24,000 runners participated in the Half Marathon. The 13.1-mile journey took runners to Magic Kingdom Park, through Cinderella Castle and finished with a royal celebration just outside Epcot. Waiting for runners was one of the most coveted rewards, the Disney Princess Half Marathon Tiara Finisher Medal. And for those special princesses registered for the Glass Slipper Challenge, completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday (19.3 total miles), an additional medal was bestowed upon them, the Glass Slipper Challenge Medal.

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Although every runner had something to celebrate, one runner’s journey was just a little more magical.

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After falling on ice and breaking her hip one year ago, and fearing she would never run again, 30-year-old Lauren Passell from New York City was the winner of the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Dressed in a Tinker Bell-inspired outfit, Passell had a winning time of 1:22:59. She was followed by second-place finisher Heather Schulz of Orlando (1:23:28) and Mariela Ortiz of Argentina was third (1:23:45).

Congratulations to Lauren Passell and all who ran and celebrated like a princess. We hope the following video helps you relive your accomplishment. And for those who weren’t able to participate, we hope it inspires you to join us February 2016.

For more information about Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend and other runDisney events, visit runDisney.com.

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Filed: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Finish that Disney Parks Sign: Doombuggies at The Haunted Mansion

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


One of my favorite ride vehicles is the Doombuggy at The Haunted Mansion. I simply love that the “Ghost Host” kindly lowers the bar for you as you begin your tour.

Have you noticed this new sign at the attraction’s entrance? It details how many individuals fit inside on Doombuggy. But what is the missing word here? You tell us. We’ll update the post with the correct answer later today!

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Carrousel Horses Ready for the Day at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 23rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Did you know that exactly 87 royal steeds make up Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at Magic Kingdom Park and each one of them is completely unique?

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The horses, which were originally crafted in 1917 for Detroit Palace Garden Park, each sport looks all their own, dressed up in a myriad of colorful saddles, bridles, breast plates, armor and other festive gear. Is it me, or does the early morning sunshine cast just a touch more of a “fantasy” look to this classic attraction?

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#DisneyKids: Height Requirements for Attractions at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 20th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


There are so many attractions at Walt Disney World Resort, and sometimes as a parent it can be tough to determine which ones are a good fit for younger children. Once I had kids, I was pleasantly surprised at just how many rides and experiences are available for everyone, including the littlest members of the family. There are 25 attractions without any height requirements at Magic Kingdom Park alone! Once your baby grows into a preschooler, there is even more fun to be had on rides for slightly taller kiddos.

We rounded up height requirements from the most popular attractions in all four theme parks and put them into handy charts to help you plan ahead.

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For Disney’s Hollywood Studios, click here. For Epcot, click here. For Disney’s Animal Kingdom, click here.

Once in the parks, be sure to check out the My Disney Experience mobile app for height requirements, thrill levels, wait times and more, all while on the go. If you are dying to check out a thrill ride and your youngest isn’t quite there yet, your family may be able to utilize Rider Switch, which allows adults to take turns riding the attraction without waiting in line all over again. What are your favorite attractions to experience with your little ones?

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Share in The Magic With ‘Live’ Stream of the Disney Princess Half Marathon

posted on February 18th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


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On Sunday more than 24,000 women will create magical memories when they participate in the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and you can share in the excitement “live” from your computer, tablet or cell phone.

runDisney is excited to offer this opportunity for friends and family, and those just wanting to checkout a runDisney event, to “click-in” and watch dreams come true. Followers will be able to track runners as they run 13.1-miles through the Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, and then join in “live” for a royal celebration at the finish line.

Guests that go to the Disney Parks Blog will have two live streams to choose from. One stream begins at 5:00 a.m. and includes the start line, multiple cameras and social media feeds. The other begins at 6:30 a.m. and features an uninterrupted stream from the finish line.

You can join in the social media conversation on Twitter and Instagram by using #PrincessHalf.

After the race come back to the Disney Parks Blog for your chance to replay both feeds.

For more information on Disney Princess Half Marathon and other runDisney race weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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Filed: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Finish that Disney Parks Sign: Country Bear Jamboree

posted on February 17th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Country Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom Park stars a cast of more than 20 forest friends, including a moose, a racoon, a stag and a bevy of bears. Immortalized just above the main stage is a plaque of Ursus H. Bear (who isn’t a character in the current cast of the show).

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The word underneath his image seems to indicate the role he played in the Country Bear Jamboree – but it’s blurred out here. What is it? Tell us in the comments section below. We’ll update the post later today with the answer.

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Top ‘Cinderella’-Inspired Items from Disney Parks

posted on February 15th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With the 65th Anniversary of Walt Disney’s “Cinderella,” I’m reminded of my younger sister who loved Cinderella. I remember her listening to a 33 ½ long playing record that had scenes from the animated film printed on both sides of the album. Today, her childhood bedroom in Ohio still has reminders of Cinderella with small figurines and framed prints. She found many of those items during visits to Walt Disney World Resort in the 1980s and 1990s. I thought today was a good day to share some of my favorite Cinderella-themed items currently found Disney Parks.

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To celebrate this anniversary, the Disney pin team released a limited edition pin that has an edition size of 2,000. Look for it in select pin locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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Costume dresses and accessories are some of the most popular Cinderella items at Disney Parks. Little ones ages 3-12 can also be magically transformed into Cinderella at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations at Disneyland park, Magic Kingdom Park, and Downtown Disney Marketplace. I bet my sister wishes she had these options when she was a child!

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Speaking of Downtown Disney Marketplace, I stopped by Arribas Brothers to view an amazing Cinderella Castle Sculpture. The limited sculpture is detailed in hand-enameled metal and is set with 28,255 Swarovski crystals. The retail for this item is $37,500 and it can be found online.

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Finally, I have a sneak preview of a graphic MagicBand that is coming this spring. This Cinderella-themed retail MagicBand is similar to the Belle and Ariel MagicBands we released in January. While I don’t have a confirmed release date for this open edition item, the MagicBand development team thought it was the perfect thing for this Cinderella story.

Here is a gallery of other things I found including custom phone cases at D-Tech on Demand in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace, dolls, mugs and the Cinderella Castle playset.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort