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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort

posted on January 16th, 2016 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


We were all abuzz when we found out we could finally share the opening date of the newest member of the Disney Parks family – Shanghai Disney Resort. Authentically Disney, distinctly Chinese, the resort’s grand opening will June 16, 2016. Did you catch the number sequence? (6/16/16 – pretty cool, huh?)

Thomas Smith shared a photo of what the centerpiece of Shanghai Disneyland looks like right now. Enchanted Storybook Castle is the largest of all the castles in our Disney parks.

This Week in Disney Parks Photos, here’s a look at the progress of the beautiful castle, from rendering, to milestones like the finial topping, to this week.

Will you be joining us at our newest resort?

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Opening Date Set for Shanghai Disney Resort, Disney’s Newest World-Class Destination

posted on January 12th, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


We have some big news to share about one of the most exciting projects ever undertaken here at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Just about five months from now on June 16, Shanghai Disney Resort will host a grand opening celebration and welcome its first official guests.

“When it opens in June, Shanghai Disney resort will be a one-of-a-kind, world-class destination that is authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company. “The resort reflects Disney’s legendary storytelling along with China’s rich culture, and showcases some of the most creative and innovative experiences we’ve ever created. We’re looking forward to showing it to the world and sharing it with the people of China for generations to come.”

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You might remember that previously we announced an accelerated expansion plan, which will allow Shanghai Disney Resort to offer even more magic, more attractions and more entertainment. The resort will include two richly themed hotels; an expansive recreation area; a unique retail, dining and entertainment district; and an incredible new Disney theme park with six themed lands and never-before-seen attractions designed specifically for the people of China.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to experience the park. From Treasure Cove, the first pirate-themed land in a Disney park, to Tomorrowland, with its massive, color-shifting canopy at the TRON Lightcycle Power Run, not to mention the largest Disney castle ever, there’s so much to look forward to.

We’ll keep you updated as we get closer to opening day!

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‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ Features an Unforgettable Disney Parks Grand Prize

posted on October 11th, 2015 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


“America’s Funniest Home Videos,” the longest running primetime entertainment show in ABC history, will feature an extra “Unforgettable” prize this season – straight from Disney Parks.

This season, the show’s $100,000 winners will compete for the chance to win the Grand Prize: An unforgettable vacation for six people to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the new Shanghai Disney Resort in China – opening next year.

Premiering Sunday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. on ABC with a new look, new videos and a brand new host – Dancing with the Stars champion, Alfonso Ribeiro – the hit show continues to be a Sunday night tradition for millions of families.

We at the Disney Parks Blog caught up with Alfonso on a recent visit to Walt Disney World to attend a taping of the ABC’s Emmy-Award-winning show “The Chew.” Alfonso gave us a quick shout out for Disney Parks Blog and social media fans.

For information on submitting your video to AFV, go to AFV.com.

And be sure to check back here at the Disney Parks blog for more unforgettable moments.

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Looking Back at D23 EXPO 2015 Disney Theme Park Merchandise

posted on August 21st, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


I know that many of you, our Disney fans, were with us all weekend long at D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim, Calif. I mean what an experience, am I right? New film releases, new attraction and lands announced and of course, merchandise!

Those of you who attended the 60 Years of Disney Theme Park Merchandise panel discussion were in for quite a surprise as we took a look at the evolution of ear hats, new artwork set to appear on Twenty-Eight & Main, Disney Boutique, Disney Couture, Princess, Haunted Mansion – Revisited and Pirates of the Caribbean. Of course, it was the What Lies Ahead segment that caught the attention of some folks, with merchandise art reveals for the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, and of course, Shanghai Disney Resort. Here’s a quick glimpse at some of the art that was shown and be sure to keep watching the Disney Parks Blog, as I will have posts about all of these and more in the near future.

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With the panel also came the world debut of the artists taking part in the We Love Disney compilation album by Verve Records and Walt Disney Records, due in stores October 30. Produced by multi-platinum, 16-time Grammy award winning producer and Verve Music Group Chairman, David Foster, the album will feature some of today’s hottest artists across pop, rock, R&B and country as they deliver their own interpretations of classic Disney songs. I could go on and on about who is featured on this album but why don’t you check it out for yourself including the We Love Disney Box Set here.

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The spectrum was broad when it came to finding favorite souvenirs, as there was literally something for everyone. D23 EXPO merchandise, from t-shirts to mugs, handbags to drinkware, flew off the shelves, and of course the R4-D23 was definitely the droid everyone was looking for, and Force For Change t-shirts, fleece and pins weren’t far behind. Tip: Look for Force For Change apparel shortly at select locations at the Disneyland Resort through Labor Day and help us make a difference! If you have the D23 EXPO App, go to Aurasma and watch as the shirt activates before your very eyes.

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What did I find? With ALEX AND ANI on hand, it’s no surprise that I spotted my souvenir at their table. While I almost picked up the new Snow White-inspired bangle, available at Disney Parks now, I chose to go a bit simpler with the Mickey Filigree Wrap in the Rafaelian Silver finish. I know you’re shocked! This is one of three pieces ALEX AND ANI pre-launched at D23 that won’t be available in the parks until the fall.

Finally, throughout the weekend, Disney fans were lined up to meet some of their favorite Disney Legends, artists, authors and special guests and the Disney Dream Store did not disappoint. More than 45 special guests and 80 signings took place over the course of the weekend, including a special appearance and signing with the Mouseketeers!

Who were you most excited to meet? What was your favorite part of D23 EXPO 2015?

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Inside the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion at the D23 EXPO 2015

posted on August 14th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


The D23 EXPO 2015 is underway! In the video below, we take you inside the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion for a look at some of the new and exciting things coming at Disney Parks around the world. See what makes Shanghai Disney Resort “authentically Disney, distinctly Chinese” and get a peek at the world of AVATAR, coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort!

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more coverage from D23 EXPO 2015 and join the conversation with the hashtag #D23EXPO.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on July 19th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


This week, Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier was joined by Mickey Mouse and special guests at Sleeping Beauty Castle to commemorate the Resort’s official 60th anniversary.

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As part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, it was announced that we will honor 60 years of Walt’s dream with the “Million Dollar Dazzle” program. Each month during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, the Million Dollar Dazzle Crew will surprise one or more Southern California nonprofits with a $60,000 gift, totaling more than $1 million.

Check out Erin’s story for more information. And check back on Monday for new video from the celebration.

Roaring Rapids Coming to Shanghai Disneyland

Disney chairman and CEO, Bob Iger also unveiled new, exciting details on Shanghai Disney Resort, the area’s first Disney destination, and the six themed lands planned for the Shanghai Disneyland theme park.

During a special event that included Disney COO Tom Staggs and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek, Bob Iger shared a peek at what the Resort will look like with the unveiling of a spectacular scale model showcasing its two hotels, Disneytown – its international shopping, dining and entertainment district, Wishing Star Park’s beautiful gardens and six themed lands of mainland China’s first Disney theme park – Shanghai Disneyland. Check out video from the event.

Our original story has more details on each of the themed lands, including Tomorrowland, where guests will be able to experience the TRON Lightcycle Power Run and more.

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

Icing on the Cake: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Disneyland Park in 1965 – Fifty years ago these dancing candles were delighted in the fact they were taking part in history during the 10th anniversary celebration of Disneyland park. Enjoy this calorie-free video!

Mickey’s Halloween Party Expands to 17 Nights with Return of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, September 11 – November 1 – The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues into Halloween Time when the season begins again September 11, with the addition of the new “Paint the Night” parade during the expanded 17 nights of Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland park!

D23 EXPO 2015 Brings New Collections from ALEX AND ANI – If you’re a fan of ALEX AND ANI and you’re attending D23 EXPO 2015, August 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, the Disney Dream Store is the place to be.

The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Rivers of America at Disneyland Park – Sixty years ago, Walt Disney and his wife, Lillian, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a special party aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat at the soon-to-open Disneyland park.

Today in Disney History: ‘Hocus Pocus’ Casts a Spell in Theaters – On July 16, 1993, Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” opened in theaters, and the world was introduced to those wacky and wicked Sanderson sisters: Mary (Kathy Najimy), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Winifred (Bette Midler).

Bookings Begin July 30 for Premium Events for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – There are more ways than ever to celebrate at the 20th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival September 25-November 16 – and while plenty of events are included with park admission, we look forward each fall to the over-the-top “premium events.”

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Video: Shanghai Disneyland Details Unveiled

posted on July 16th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


If you joined us for this week’s Shanghai Disney Resort update, you know about some of the amazing experiences coming to our first theme park in mainland China – Shanghai Disneyland. Disney Chairman and CEO, Bob Iger shared a first look at what’s planned for Shanghai Disneyland during a special presentation that included details on its six themed lands with live stage productions, world premieres and thrilling attractions as well as a spectacular scale model of the world-class park. Check out new video from the presentation.

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Shanghai Disneyland Themed Lands to Include New Attractions, Live Shows

posted on July 14th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


Just a few minutes ago in China, Disney chairman and CEO, Bob Iger unveiled new, exciting details on Shanghai Disney Resort, the area’s first Disney destination, and the six themed lands planned for the Shanghai Disneyland theme park.

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Shanghai Disney Resort will be a world-class family entertainment destination that blends the magic of Disney and the cultural spirit and beauty of China. And during a special event that included Disney COO Tom Staggs and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek, Bob Iger shared a peek at what the Resort will look like with the unveiling of a spectacular scale model showcasing its two hotels, Disneytown – its international shopping, dining and entertainment district, Wishing Star Park’s beautiful gardens and six themed lands of mainland China’s first Disney theme park – Shanghai Disneyland.

“We are building something truly special here in Shanghai that not only showcases the best of Disney’s storytelling but also celebrates and incorporates China’s incredibly rich heritage to create a one-of-a-kind destination that will delight and entertain the people of China for generations to come,” said Iger speaking to media during today’s presentation at the Shanghai Expo Centre. “We are taking everything we’ve learned from our six decades of exceeding expectations – along with our relentless innovation and famous creativity to create a truly magical place that is both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”

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At Shanghai Disneyland, Disney stories will come to life at the tallest, largest and most interactive castle at any Disney theme park. The themed lands will offer something for everyone with live stage productions, world premieres and thrilling attractions ­­– many never seen before – that will appeal to guests of all generations. Guests also will be able to experience Disney characters in each land, including Mickey and his pals on Mickey Avenue and in Gardens of Imagination.

In Tomorrowland, one of the six themed lands, guests will be able to experience the TRON Lightcycle Power Run, a new coaster-style attraction where riders board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles for one of the most thrilling adventures at any Disney park.

Along with Tomorrowland, we have a more detailed look at the lands coming to Shanghai Disneyland:

Fantasyland will be the largest land and home to the majestic Enchanted Storybook Castle that we’ve already featured here on the Blog. In this fairy-tale paradise, guests will float through familiar Disney stories on Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, hitch a rollicking ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and take flight over the skies of London on Peter Pan’s Flight. They may also explore the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh or follow Alice through a dazzling Wonderland maze.

Treasure Cove – will be the first pirate-themed land in a Disney park. As guests explore this pirate world, they will enter Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, an attraction that transforms a boat ride into a thrilling journey with cutting-edge innovations in robotics, animation, set design and multimedia. Adventurous spirits will be tempted to board a pirate ship, paddle through the scenic cove on Explorer Canoes and dine at Barbossa’s Bounty.

Adventure Isle will immerse guests in a newly discovered lost world, filled with hidden treasures and a chance to explore its mysteries. The mighty Roaring Mountain will tower over guests and beckon them on their journey. Guests can blaze their own trails at Camp Discovery, travel around the world on Soaring over the Horizon, or embark on the thrilling rafting adventure Roaring Rapids, straight through the heart of Adventure Isle. There they discover the underworld realm of a mysterious, fearsome creature.

Tomorrowland will not only include the TRON Lightcycle Power Run but also offer the chance for guests to go to infinity and beyond on Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, a new space ranger adventure, or break the bonds of gravity on Jet Packs. The land will feature a massive, color-shifting canopy near the TRON Lightcycle Power Run.

Mickey Avenue will be the first main entry at a Disney park inspired by the colorful personalities of Mickey Mouse and his pals. In the neighborhoods of this welcoming, whimsical avenue, guests will share a hug and get a photo with some all-time favorite Disney characters. Avenue M Arcade, one of the many shops along the avenue, will feature the largest selection of gifts and collectibles inside the theme park.

Gardens of Imagination will celebrate the wonders of nature and the joy of imagination, as guests leave everyday life behind to enjoy the seven whimsical gardens. Guests will take a spin on the Fantasia Carousel, soar on the back of Dumbo the Flying Elephant and enjoy the area’s iconic Disney entertainment, including Castle stage shows and “Ignite the Dream, a Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light.” From several places in this land, guests will enjoy “Mickey’s Storybook Express,” an exciting parade with its own musical soundtrack and colorful performers on the longest parade route in a Disney park.

Since breaking ground in 2011, Disney and Shanghai Shendi Group announced that they were expanding the park by adding additional attractions and entertainment to allow more guests to have a spectacular Disney experience at Grand Opening in spring of 2016. Stay tuned for more updates on Shanghai Disney Resort.

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New Construction Milestone as Golden Spire Tops Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort

posted on May 20th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


We are excited to announce that Shanghai Disney Resort celebrated a major construction milestone this week with the topping out of the Enchanted Storybook Castle. Our leaders – Bob Iger, chairman and CEO, and Tom Staggs, chief operating officer – were at the resort to witness the installation of the extraordinary gold finial atop the tallest of the eight towers of the castle.

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New Construction Milestone as Golden Spire Tops Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort New Construction Milestone as Golden Spire Tops Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort

Shanghai Disney Resort is one of the most ambitious projects we’ve ever undertaken at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and the magnificent Enchanted Storybook Castle will serve as its fitting icon. The castle will be the tallest structure at the resort and the most complex and largest Disney castle ever built. It will feature a beautiful winding staircase leading guests on a “Once Upon a Time Adventure” and exciting retail, dining and entertainment. Walt Disney Imagineering was recently recognized by the American Institute for Architects for its successful application of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the design of the castle, showcasing the technology and innovation used in the castle’s development.

A Golden Peony on the Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort A Golden Peony on the Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort

This castle was designed specifically for the people of China, with input from many collaborative partnerships with international and local experts. The golden finial installed this week was made locally in Shanghai and is topped with a peony – the flower of China – which is placed atop a cascade of Disney stars. Another one of the golden finials has traditional Chinese “lucky” cloud patterns, peonies and lotus and features Magnolia flowers — which represent Shanghai — and a Disney crown to symbolize Disney princesses.

We look forward to bringing timeless Disney stories to the people of China with the opening of the resort next spring. We’ll continue to have more updates here on the Disney Parks Blog!

For more about Shanghai Disney Resort, visit the posts below:

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Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Celebrate Earth Day Around the Globe

posted on April 22nd, 2015 by Molly McGranahan, Communications Specialist, WDPR


Happy Earth Day!

Here at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, we celebrate Earth Day every day. Across the globe, our cast members work together toward one unified goal: protecting our planet to promise a better tomorrow.

We invite you to take a unique look at what some of our environmental friends across Parks and Resorts are up to in support of planet earth:

Disneyland Resort
The Disneyland Resort took home three top prestigious environmental honors:

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Disneyland Paris
Protection of domestic bees is key at Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch at Disneyland Paris. The bees are essential in continuing the quality of the resort’s flowers, trees and meadows, and the park’s landscaping provides what the bees need to produce top-quality honey. The mixed-flower honey that is produced finds its way to the breakfast table of guests at the Disneyland Hotel. How’s that for some Earth Day buzz?

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Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
At Hong Kong Disneyland, all plastic shopping bags from merchandise locations are made from post-consumer recycled plastics. Since launching in 2012, more than three million plastic bags generated from the resort’s daily operation have been diverted from landfill and reused for the production of merchandise bags.

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Shanghai Disney
As development for Shanghai Disney Resort progresses, a common thread throughout the resort’s growth is its commitment to sustainable building design. Various administrative buildings are being built with gearless elevators, automatic heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) and exterior stairwells to help minimize the impact of the resort operations on the environment.

Tokyo Disney Resort
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea utilize multi-waste waste containers. Unlike the standard waste bin, these multi-functional containers are made of several different deposit stations that separate solid from liquid waste and encourage recycling. A single container features combustible trash, plastic silverware, paper cups, beverage carriers and liquid waste stations. The bussing carts for Quick Service Food & Beverage cast members are set up in the same manner, further aligning the cast and guest environmental experience.

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Walt Disney World Resort
Each of the 25 Disney-owned and operated Walt Disney World Resort hotels participate in the Florida Green Lodging program. From distributing in-room materials printed on recycled paper to maintaining the HVAC in unoccupied guest rooms, our resort teams ensure their commitment to the environment comes through in their day-to-day actions.

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Stay tuned for more great environmental stories from Disney Parks and Resorts as we continue to celebrate our planet throughout the year.

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