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Cars Land - 24 Hour Event - 2015

#DisneyKids: 24-hours of Fun for Little Ones at Walt Disney World

posted on May 17th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


If you have young kids, a 24-hour event might not seem like a natural fit for you, but there are actually a lot of activities during the 24-hour kickoff to the Coolest Summer Ever at Magic Kingdom Park that are perfect for little ones. If your kids are anything like mine, they are often awake at dawn and ready to go. Next Friday, May 22, when they’re up before the sun, you can bring them to our party – which starts at 6 a.m. at the Magic Kingdom Train Station with Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf. Throughout the day, there are all kinds of special events that kids will love:

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In between all of the one-day-only fun, be sure to use the My Disney Experience app to select FastPasses for favorite attractions and character meet & greets. You can also use the app in the park to find things like attraction height requirements and even the nearest restrooms – a must for potty training parents!

If you’re going to stay for the amazing Wishes fireworks show in the evening, be sure to pack snacks and pjs to keep little ones comfortable. But don’t worry if you forget something, our Baby Care Centers are fully stocked with everything from diapers and training pants to toddler food and sunscreen.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 19th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re as excited as we are about the upcoming 24-hour celebrations to kick off summer at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, then this was another great week to be checking the Disney Parks Blog.

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This week, we offered 24 suggestions on how you can make the most of this year’s 24-hour celebration at the Walt Disney World Resort. It begins on May 22, and here are some of our favorites:

  • Challenge yourself to get as many photos with Disney characters as possible. The My Disney Experience App will have the latest on appearance times.
  • Join the late night dance parties in your pajamas. That’s what Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Chip, Dale and Goofy will be wearing!
  • Show your #DisneySide by wearing a costume. (Check out the guidelines here).

Check Jennifer’s original story for the complete list and let us know what you’re planning during the 24-hour celebration.

Also, opening on May 22 as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, the new “Paint the Night” parade will feature some of the most innovative floats, vibrant costumes, dazzling special effects, unforgettable music and energetic performances ever presented at Disneyland Resort. Shawn shared a behind-the-scenes look at performer rehearsals with the Fiber Fairies from the opening unit and the Cars Crew, who join Mack Truck and Lightning McQueen.

Check Shawn’s original story for more details about the “Paint the Night” parade.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

Closer Look at Nighttime Entertainment and More Coming for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – Hear thoughts from Steve Davison, vice president of Parades and Spectaculars, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, on the new nighttime spectaculars currently in development … and watch to the end for your first look at the “Cars” story from the new “Paint the Night” parade!

A Taste of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – The kickoff of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is right around the corner, and we have more details to share about some of the new food and beverage offerings sure to dazzle your taste buds.

Mickey Mouse and Friends to Wear Sparkling New Ensembles for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – We’ve already shared some of the sparkling new decor, entertainment and merchandise coming for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration beginning May 22. Some of our biggest stars will also sparkle for the celebration!

Disney Parks After Dark: Astro Orbitor Revisited at Disneyland Park – Disneyland Resort Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer shares some special photos of this classic attraction, both in motion and at rest.

Learn to Draw: Sorcerer Mickey from ‘Fantasia’ – This week’s Learn to Draw animation tutorial series continues with a lesson on how to create your own Sorcerer Mickey.

Disney Days of Past: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Constructed – Surrounded by over 45 acres of savanna, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge continues to be one of the most spectacular hotels at Walt Disney World. In September 2000, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was beginning to take shape as construction continued on what is now known as Jambo House.

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24 Ways to Kick Off Our Coolest Summer Ever Event on May 22 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 12th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


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We’ll officially kick off the beginning of summer here at the Walt Disney World Resort on May 22, with a 24-hour celebration at Magic Kingdom Park.

If you’re heading to our park to join in on the fun, here are 24 suggestions on how you can make the most of this year’s event.

  1. Show your #DisneySide by wearing a costume. (Check out the guidelines here).
  2. Join your favorite heroes from “The Incredibles” in the #IncrediblesSuperDanceParty in Tomorrowland, starting at 9:30 a.m.
  3. Join the “Move It, Shake It, Dance & Play It!” Street party to celebrate the start of summer. The first celebration begins at 9:30 a.m.!
  4. Find the paw prints of “Lady and the Tramp” hidden somewhere on Main Street, U.S.A.
  5. Have breakfast in the park. Mickey Waffles, anyone?
  6. Challenge yourself to get as many photos with Disney characters as possible. The My Disney Experience App will have the latest on appearance times.
  7. Catch the fun of the Royal Majesty Makers, who appear throughout New Fantasyland during the day.
  8. Attend the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade,” which features floats from “Tangled,” “Brave” and many more.
  9. Get your picture with Cinderella’s Pumpkin Coach.
  10. May 22 is also the opening date for the film “Tomorrowland.” Celebrate with a ride through Space Mountain or the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover.
  11. Check out the latest Disney merchandise. Memento Mori, a new spot devoted to Haunted Mansion-inspired gifts, is a great place to start.
  12. Catch the patriotic flag retreat on Main Street, U.S.A., promptly at 5 p.m.
  13. Check out the latest additions to the park, including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the interactive queue at Peter Pan’s Flight.
  14. Join the late night dance parties in your pajamas. That’s what Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Chip, Dale and Goofy will be wearing!
  15. Enjoy the “Celebrate the Magic” castle projection show.
  16. Gather together for “Wishes” fireworks at Cinderella Castle.
  17. Change costumes at the 12-hour mark. Maybe a “hero” look for the day and a “villain” look at night?
  18. 24 hours means a lot of time for character autographs. How many can you get?
  19. Enjoy a late-night snack at the park. Popcorn or Dole Whip?
  20. Take pictures wearing as many different Mickey Ear hats as you can.
  21. See how many Hidden Mickeys you can find in 24 hours.
  22. Catch two showings of the “Main Street Electrical Parade.”
  23. Enjoy your favorite Disney attractions all day (and night) long.
  24. Take an early morning family photo – if you can make it the full 24 hours!

How will you kick off our 24-hour event? Tell us in the “Comments” section below!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Why Guests Can’t Get Enough of ‘Festival of the Lion King’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on April 10th, 2015 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


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There’s something about “Festival of the Lion King“—the music, the performers, the staging and the overall celebratory feeling—that excites guests with every performance.

This magnificent musical tribute to a young lion’s journey of discovery is created in such a way as to keep you engaged in every aspect of the story. As Tara Anderson, show director for “Festival of the Lion King,” stated: “With our production, we don’t tell the story of “‘The Lion King’.” We celebrate the music and the characters of the story. We hit all the beats of the story, but we do it in a very artistic way.”

While some audience members are welcomed to participate, guests can feel like longtime friends in this lush, exotic world. And once Timon takes the stage to lead everyone in “Hakuna Matata”, it’s impossible not to feel drawn into all the magic.

Among the show’s highlights are the very agile and sprightly Tumble Monkeys, a troupe put together by their pal, Timon. The highly-trained acrobats perform Olympic-style feats in sync to a lively jazz medley.

Of course, that cunning, two-faced Scar is also at hand, spreading villainy with his snarky hyena henchmen in “Be Prepared” which features an electrifying fire dance. But love literally soars above it all when the Flying Bird performers, clad in radiant color and plumage, bring “Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ to the highest heights in sheer balletic splendor.

“The show has wonderful individual elements,” Tara said. “What makes it work is all those elements coming together and being that circle of life.” And that is the feeling that is evoked when you hear the “Circle of Life” being sung and see all the entertainers dressed as the animals take the stage for the finale. Timon then leads everyone in singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” with the Tumble Monkeys performing for all.

There are performances throughout the day, so check your Time Guide. You can use your Fastpass+ to pre-arrange times for viewing.

What is your favorite part of the show? Tell us in the comments section below!

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New Breakfast Starts March 20 at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 16th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Starting on March 20, Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort will begin testing a prix fixe breakfast from 8-10 a.m. daily through June 18.

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The fast casual breakfast menu has a decidedly French touch; each meal begins with a pastry basket for sharing. Your entrée options include assorted cured meat and cheese served with marmalade, fresh fruit and a toasted baguette. You can also enjoy eggs Florentine served in a puff pastry shell with country ham and roasted plum tomatoes. Even the open-face bacon-and-poached-egg sandwich has Brie.

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If you’re looking for something a little lighter, choose the scrambled egg whites with roasted tomatoes, multigrain croissant and fresh fruit. Or go with a vegetable quiche with mushroom, zucchini, bell pepper, onion and chive, served with seasonal fruit. The prix fixe menu will also include a selection of self-service beverages.

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But the decadent start to the day is the Croissant Doughnut: a fried doughnut topped with banana caramel sauce, chocolate ganache and whipped cream. (True vacation indulgence!)

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The kids’ menu includes brioche French toast with fresh fruit, scrambled eggs with Applewood bacon and fresh fruit, fruit crepes with yogurt and fresh fruit with a berry foam, cereal and oatmeal.

Guests can make reservations beginning March 17 for dates March 20 through June 18, 2015 via DisneyWorld.com/dine, the My Disney Experience app, or by calling 407-WDW-DINE. Advance reservations are encouraged. Disney Dining Plan will be accepted.

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PHOTOS – Merchandise Blooms at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2015

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2015 runs from March 4 to May 17 at Walt Disney World Resort. With beautiful flowers to see and delicious food to taste, I love strolling around Epcot a few times throughout spring. Here’s an update on some additional products created especially for this event. I also have a first look inside the Festival Center that will be open Fridays through Sundays in Future World between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions.

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In a previous article, I promised details about the retail MagicBand created for this event. This new item has an edition size of 5,000 and features Anna and Elsa in their “Frozen Fever” attire from the upcoming animated short debuting in theaters before Disney’s “Cinderella” on March 13. Like all other retail MagicBands, this item can be linked later. Look for it in select retail locations at Epcot (it will not be available via the Disney Parks online store).

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I also found a few apparel items for adults and kids including Olaf shirts in blue and green, a Sorcerer Mickey topiary shirt, a yellow Minnie Mouse shirt for women, and a specially designed shirt for Annual Passholders.

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Back by popular demand, we are releasing a new 12-month calendar featuring character topiaries from previous year’s festivals.

Guests will also find an iPhone 6 case with Anna and Elsa, magnets, headware, garden accessories, a new Disney Gift Card and much more.

While the Festival Center will only be open during the weekends, these items will be offered at several locations throughout Future World and World Showcase at Epcot (there are some great merchandise kiosks found along the World Showcase promenade).

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Finally, the Festival Center will host Disney artist Jerrod Maruyama on March 8 from 11a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 2p.m. He will be signing his Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival-inspired piece titled “Spring Has Sprung.” I love his artwork so much!

Here are a few additional images from my visit to Epcot. I hope to see you this spring!

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Filed: Epcot, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

New Viewing Areas for Parades & Fireworks Debut at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Last year, we showed you a preview of the work that we’re doing to make one of our guests’ favorite areas at Magic Kingdom Park even better. Today we’re happy to share that several new sections of the Central Plaza area between Main Street U.S.A. and Cinderella Castle are now open.

New  Viewing Areas for Parades & Fireworks Debut at Magic Kingdom Park New  Viewing Areas for Parades & Fireworks Debut at Magic Kingdom Park

This marks the first milestone in our multi-phase project that will add in sculpted gardens, new pathways, and expanded restaurant seating. And beginning February 27, the FastPass+ viewing location will relocate from the the Rose Garden Fireworks Viewing Area to the Main Street Plaza Gardens (an area adjacent to The Crystal Palace).

New Viewing Areas for Parades & Fireworks Debut at Magic Kingdom Park New  Viewing Areas for Parades & Fireworks Debut at Magic Kingdom Park

Interested in using Disney FastPass+ service for this new area? Check out your My Disney Experience account.

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Coming Soon: Lunch Reservations at Be Our Guest Restaurant

posted on February 6th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park has been a guest favorite since it opened with the New Fantasyland expansion. Beginning February 25, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you to make reservations for the fast-casual lunch experience at Be Our Guest Restaurant.

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Guests will also have the option to pre-order their meal 30 days prior up to 5 minutes before their reservation.

Lunch is served daily from 10:30a.m. – 2:30p.m. Reservations can be made beginning February 25 via My Disney Experience, by visiting disneyworld.com/dine, or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

Don’t forget to try “The Grey Stuff” on the Master’s Cupcake while you’re there … it’s delicious!

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10 Million & Counting: MagicBands a Hit with Walt Disney World Resort Guests

posted on January 30th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you enjoy MagicBands and all they can do as much as my family does at Walt Disney World Resort then you’re probably not surprised that we’re already celebrating a significant milestone – 10 million MagicBands distributed.

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Since our original announcement, MagicBands have become a favorite way for guests to make their visit easier, more personal and magical. The colorful MagicBands link your entire MyMagic+ experience together and can serve as a theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass card as well as a room key for Disney Resort hotel guests. You travel lighter with MagicBands at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Recently, MagicBand was named one of Fortune Magazine’s “26 Coolest Gadgets of 2014.” MyMagic+ was also honored with an “Innovation by Design” award by the popular magazine and website, Fast Company. It received the top spot in the “Experience Design” category when Fast Company revealed the 10 best designs of the year at their annual “Innovation by Design” Awards and Conference in New York City.

As regular Disney Parks Blog readers know, you receive a MagicBand if you stay at a Disney Resort hotel or you are a Walt Disney World Passholder. If you are not staying at a Disney Resort hotel and are not a Passholder, you receive a card when you purchase park admission—and you have the option to purchase a MagicBand online or at select retail locations at Walt Disney World Resort.

Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog in future weeks for some new ways you can personalize and show your Disney Side with MagicBands.

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New Merchandise Coming to Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January 2015

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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A few weeks ago a shared a look at the new Minnie Run Collection By Champion Athleticwear coming to the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. In that article, I promised a look at other items created by Disney Theme Park Merchandise for this annual event. As you will see in this story, we’ve created commemorative merchandise for every race taking place January 7-11, 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort.

New Merchandise for the Half Marathon During the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend New Merchandise for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

For the majority of the races, we will introduce apparel for both women and men including short and long sleeved shirts, jackets, Sweaty Bands, Bondi Bands, pins and vehicle magnets. The Kids Races, Family Fun Run 5K and 10K will also have vehicle magnets this year.

One thing I’m most excited to see is the new limited release retail MagicBand with the runDisney logo (retail $24.95). Like all other retail MagicBands, this graphic MagicBand can be linked later making it a great gift for someone in training for a future runDisney race at Walt Disney World Resort.

New Merchandise for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge During the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend New Merchandise for the Dopey Challenge During the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. All of the merchandise for this particular race this year includes an anniversary logo.

New 'I Did It' Merchandise for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend New 'I Did It' Merchandise for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

We also will be offering “I Did It” shirts for both women and men (I included a handful of options in the image above).

Finally, the event team is introducing a new “In Training” line for those who want a jump start on preparing for next year’s runDisney races.

These items and more will be released at Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Expo will be open during the following times:

  • Wednesday, January 7, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 8, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday, January 9, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
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