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runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Outfit Inspiration

posted on January 11th, 2016 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


Runners are ready to feel the Force during the runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, January 14–17 at Disneyland Resort in California. Through physical training and by watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, now playing in theaters, runners are prepared to choose their destiny!

We are excited our Star Wars friends, Matt Martin and Cole Horton, will be joining us for this galactic weekend. Matt manages digital content and community relations at Lucasfilm and Cole is a Star Wars contributor as well as author to Star Wars-related books. Not only will Matt be participating in his first 5K ever, the Star Wars 5K, and Cole running the Star Wars Rebel Challenge, they will also join the Speaker Series during the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo located at Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall. To follow the path to the light side, we created Star Wars-inspired looks for them to wear during their journey.

Matt will be sporting the popular new droid in the galaxy, skittish astromech BB-8, in an outfit inspired by New Balance and Champion.

Cole will channel his inner R2-D2, who may be a skilled starship mechanic and fighter pilot’s assistant, but he is also known for his great bravery.

My favorite new character in the Star Wars universe is Rey. I plan to channel the mysterious power of the force for the Rebel Challenge during Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!

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Check out Matt and Cole’s Speaker Series session to hear their speaker series about “Running Through The Galaxy.” runDisney will be live tweeting “Running Through The Galaxy” on Thursday, January 14 at 12:00 PM!

Good luck to all participants during Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. Follow @runDisney on Twitter and Instagram to join the galactic fun. Show us your Force-inspired style using the hashtag #StarWarsHalf throughout the weekend!

For an updated version of our outfit policy at runDisney events please visit here!

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First Look at New Rivers of America Waterfront and Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland Park in California

posted on January 11th, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


The Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland park in Southern California have closed temporarily as we prepare to bring an all-new Star Wars-themed land to the park. When these areas reopen, the north bank of the Rivers of America will have a beautiful new waterfront, which I’m excited to give you a sneak peek at today.

Rivers of America and Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland Park

As you can see from this artist’s rendering, courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering, this gorgeous new riverbank will also feature an elevated trestle over which the iconic Disneyland Railroad will travel.

Keep an eye on Disney Parks Blog, as we continue to bring you updates from the ongoing expansion of Disneyland park in California.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Is #1 Film of All-Time in US

posted on January 7th, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


We know Disney Parks Blog readers are some of the biggest Star Wars fans out there. And we’ve been thrilled to share new Star Wars experiences with our guests at Disney Parks around the world. Now, we’re pleased to celebrate an incredible new record for the film. Take a look at this post from our friends at Starwars.com.

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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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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 27th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


Our holiday coverage continued this week at Disney Parks with daily stories and even a special edition of our email newsletter with an exclusive Christmas wallpaper. Along with our holiday content, we also shared some important information for those of you planning to welcome 2016 at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Shawn posted a rundown of some of the entertainment lined up for this year’s celebration at Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom Park. And if you can’t join us in person for New Year’s Eve, be sure to tune in here on the Disney Parks Blog where we’ll be hosting a live stream of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks, direct from Magic Kingdom Park on December 31. Watch for more details coming soon.

We also included an update that reservations opened for Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.

Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party happens January 8-March 20, 2016 from 6:30-8 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with special viewing for the “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks at 7:45 p.m. each night. You can enjoy a selection of sweets as the night sky erupts with an arsenal of impressive fireworks, set to the most dramatic and memorable Star Wars themes of all time. Check Pam’s story for more details.

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

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Guest Talent Coordinator for Special Events Such as Disney ¡Viva Navidad! – Guest Talent Coordinator Danny Gaitan hosts guest performers at the Disneyland Resort during special events such as runDisney race weekends and holiday celebrations. Danny says he creates magic not only for our guests who experience the performances, but also for the performers who get the opportunity to entertain on a world-class stage.

Disneyland Resort Horses Featured in Horsetown Parade of Lights in Norco, California – For the second year in a row, Disneyland Resort horses participated in the annual Horsetown Parade of Lights in Norco, Calif. Pulling a vintage stagecoach used in Frontierland for many decades, Clydesdale team Lucky and Eddie glowed as festive decorations illuminated their harnesses.

By the Numbers: Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park – Last week, we put some numbers on the holiday cheer at Disneyland park, and now we’re back with some festive figures for Disney California Adventure park!

Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks Now Open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Nestled in the imposing shadow of Mt. Everest, Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks is the perfect place for tired and hungry travelers to stop in for a quick bite to eat or a refreshing beverage. For climbers who are returning from their ascent, a stop at the bar is considered tradition.

Set Sail for Wintertime Fun with Adventures by Disney Holiday River Cruises – Every family has their holiday traditions. In my family they all seem to center around baking, sweets and the regret that comes from so much baking and so many sweets.

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Walt Disney World Resort Holidays? – Have you visited Walt Disney World Resort this holiday season? Do you think you know everything there is to know about the amazing decorations and miles of lights that make our resort even prettier this time of year?

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Feel The Force with New ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Disney Gift Card Designs

posted on December 25th, 2015 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


To celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, two Star Wars-themed Disney Gift Card designs have landed in a galaxy near you.

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Which side will you choose? The light or the dark? The first card features both sides including new characters such as BB-8, Rey, Finn and Poe from the Resistance and Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, and Stormtroopers from the First Order. The latter features Kylo Ren and First Order Stormtroopers preparing to destroy the Resistance.

Both of these cards are now available in select locations at both Walt Disney World Resort & Disneyland Resort. Not going to be able to visit the Disney Parks anytime soon? The force is with you; both of these new Disney Gift Card designs are available at DisneyGiftCard.com.

The Disney Gift Card can be used for practically all things Disney at Walt Disney World Resort, the Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Club Penguin, Disney PhotoPass, DisneyStore.com, and Disney Store locations in the U.S. Shop for hundreds of designs online at DisneyGiftCard.com.

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Reservations Open for Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 24th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Here’s a sweet new way to have even more out-of-this-world fun January 8-March 20, 2016, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.

Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party happens January 5 – March 19, with special viewing for the “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks. Enjoy a selection of sweets as the night sky erupts with an arsenal of impressive fireworks, set to the most dramatic and memorable Star Wars themes of all time.

On the menu, look for lots of Star Wars-themed desserts treats, including the popular Droid and Darth Vader cupcakes and a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. And you’ll get a souvenir Chewbacca stein to take home!

Cost is $69, $39 ages 3 to 11, including tax and gratuity. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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Disney Parks Blog Readers Celebrate The Opening Of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

posted on December 21st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


The wait is over and the much-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens film has landed in theaters – and of course, our Disney Parks Blog fans were ready and waiting.

Guests Celebrate The Opening Of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at Disney's Hollywood Studios Guests Celebrate The Opening Of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at Disney's Hollywood Studios Guests Celebrate The Opening Of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Last week, our readers were among the first to see what has shaped up to be one of the most anticipated films of all time right here at AMC Disney Springs 24. They walked the red carpet – many in costume – and were also surprised with a quick Q&A with Show Director Tony Giordano who joined us in the theater before the film began to talk about how guests are reacting to the new Star Wars offerings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Afterwards, the group headed to a private event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that featured appearances by Star Wars characters (including Captain Phasma), access to the new Star Wars Launch Bay and Jedi Training: Trials of the Temples, themed food & beverage, and special photo opps.

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The evening was also highlighted with a preview performance of the new fireworks show, “Symphony In The Stars: A Galactic Spectacular.”

Check out the video above for a look inside the event.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


This week, thousands of guests celebrated the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens during a special-ticketed Star Wars: The Force Awakens Opening Night event at the Walt Disney World Resort. And the group included Disney Parks Blog readers who joined us to watch the film at AMC Disney Springs 24 before enjoying a private after-hours party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We have a new video this weekend featuring what you had to say about the film.

And to continue the celebration, the Disney Parks Blog live streamed the “Symphony In The Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show on Friday night from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

“Symphony In The Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” is a dazzling Star Wars-themed fireworks show that’s set to memorable music featured throughout the saga. The spectacular will be featured nightly at the park.

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

Sneak Peek At ‘Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration’ Holiday Fashion – “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts and Jesse Palmer will serve as hosts to this year’s two-hour procession of floats and celebrity performances, including appearances by Jason Derulo, Ariana Grande, Seal, Tori Kelly, Andy Grammer, the cast of “Descendants” and more.

Wallpaper: It’s National ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater Day’! – Brittany Ungvrasky, our “Ugly Christmas Sweater” designer, racked her brain to combine the thoughts of a hideous jumper with something iconically Disney. The happy result was a digitally “stitched” design that leans toward the adorable. It is Disney after all!

Disney Parks After Dark: Colors Come Alive at Night During Holidays at the Disneyland Resort – Holiday nights at Disneyland park come alive with vivid colors from “Paint the Night” parade, “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, the attractions and the holiday décor. Take a look at six images that represent a small portion of what you can see after the sun sets during the holidays at Disneyland park.

VIDEO: Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke Celebrates 90th Birthday at Disneyland Park – “In this whole wide world there was no happier bloke” than entertainment icon and Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke as he celebrated his 90th birthday with family, friends and fans at Disneyland park last Sunday.

U.S. Marine, Five-Year-Old Daughter Reunited with Help of Santa Claus at the Disneyland Resort – After a seven-month deployment, U.S. Marine Brian Demo was reunited with his five-year-old daughter, Abigail, whose one and only wish was to have her daddy home in time for Christmas.

Disney Parks Bento Magic: Jack Skellington ‘Sandy Claws’ & Christmas Treen – This week’s Disney-inspired bento box is simple to create and sure to impress your family and friends during the holiday season. It’s our first two-tiered bento box project featuring Jack Skellington in his “Sandy Claws” hat from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” film along with a special seaweed salad Christmas tree.

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LIVE STREAM: Watch ‘Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular’ Fireworks at 10:50 p.m. EST

posted on December 18th, 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.

Attention Star Wars fans: we’re just moments away from sharing the debut of “Symphony In The Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks live from Disney’s Hollywood Studios with all of you.

We know you’re the biggest Disney Parks fans out there – as well as the biggest Star Wars fans around – so we’ll start our program a bit early tonight (around 10:50 p.m.) to offer behind-the-scenes looks and interviews on the park’s newest Star Wars offerings. The fireworks spectacular will begin promptly at 11 p.m., but be sure to stick around after the grand finale to watch interviews with some of the creators of Disney Parks’ newest nightly fireworks show.

In the meantime, tell us in the comments section where you’re watching from and whom you’re watching with.

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