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Disney Parks Honored with Several Industry Awards

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


I’m happy to report that earlier this week, two prestigious organizations honored Disney Parks projects with multiple industry awards.

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On Tuesday, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced their annual Thea Award winners. Among the honorees, TEA announced that “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, is the recipient of the Thea Classic award, honoring attractions that have withstood the test of time and have endured for 20 or more years. TEA said in their announcement that the attraction “continues to captivate audiences around the world with pure charm, melded with a profound message deceptively hiding in a simple and astonishingly catchy song … This timeless classic continues to engage generation after generation. Surely “it’s a small world” is the very definition of a Classic.”

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Also, Bistrot Chez Remy, the new French restaurant at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris that is inspired by the Disney∙Pixar film “Ratatouille,” is the winner of the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Themed Restaurant. “It is a truly charming and thematically thorough dining experience, where oversized objects are reused in every possible way to create tables, chairs, architectural elements, and props … [E]verything is very well-conceived and delivered to create an illusion that is both convincing and coyly self-aware. The exterior of the attraction looks like a typical Parisian café, but on closer inspection, one realizes that this is the world of Paris from the film, where there are no straight lines – a perfect blend of fiction and reality. This venue exhibits thoroughness, conceptual clarity, dedication to narrative detail, and exceptional finish.”

Wilderness Explorers Opens at  Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Finally, Wilderness Explorers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, an interactive experience that combines badge collecting, guest interaction and learning about the natural world, is the winner of the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Interactive Park Attraction on a Limited Budget.

“Disney has incorporated storytelling and gaming to create an experience that is intimate and personal in its connection to the guests, yet wisely recognizes that technology would be a distraction and remove guests from nature. Guests are given a role in the story – becoming a Wilderness Explorer – that was a poignant, aspirational story of a core identifiable character from the Pixar film. This intersection point between film story world, live animals and the beautiful habitats within Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a huge part of why this attraction is effective … This unique attraction is worthy of honors as much for its craft as for the authenticity and cleverness of implementation within a unique park environment.”

TEA is an international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences. Thea Awards will be given out at an awards ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel on March 21, 2015.

On Wednesday night, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) awarded their Brass Rings Awards for Live Entertainment Excellence and “Once Upon a Time” at Tokyo Disney Resort won for Best Multimedia Spectacular.

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IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards mark achievements of excellence throughout the global attractions industry.

Congratulations to all who worked to create and bring these wonderful projects to life!

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

Photo Gallery: Disney Castles That Have Been Covered in Real Snow

posted on November 5th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier we mentioned that tonight guests will gather at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort to watch Elsa (from “Frozen”) magically transform Cinderella Castle into a glittering ice palace during the “Castle Dream Lights” and “A Frozen Holiday Wish” stage show.

But did you know that there are actually a few Disney Parks castles that occasionally find themselves dusted with real snow?

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Disneyland Park (Paris) is located in Marne-la-Vallée, France, and sees regular snowfall. These shots were snapped in December 2010, after a sizeable flurry added extra holiday charm to the park’s Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant castle. (Click through the gallery to see additional park attractions covered in snow).

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Every so often, Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland will also see some snowfall. Our friends at the park shared these amazing shots of their temporary “ice” castle – and other attractions – back in January 2013.

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Years ago at Tokyo Disneyland, some Disney characters took advantage of the snowfall for a playful snowball fight with their park’s snowy castle as a backdrop. Check out that photo above.

Snow-Capped Mountains Behind Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle

While it doesn’t snow in Anaheim, California (home to the Disneyland Resort), it has in higher elevations around the city. In 2009, we shared this image, which shows Sleeping Beauty Castle with snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains as the backdrop.

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

Photo Gallery: Halloween Fun at Tokyo Disney Resort

posted on October 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


As Halloween approaches in just a few days, the party is already in full swing at Tokyo Disney Resort, where both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are hosting “Disney’s Halloween” celebrations.

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At Tokyo Disneyland, guests can enjoy the Happy Halloween Harvest Parade, which features seven fall-themed floats and Disney characters in costumes. Families can also experience The Haunted Mansion in a whole new way, with Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare temporarily enhancing the attraction’s existing storyline. The park has also been festooned with Halloween decor, and guests can end their night with special Halloween fireworks.

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Over at Tokyo DisneySea, guests are enjoying “New York Halloween Follies,” a Halloween party that’s themed to the roaring 20s, hosted by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Guests can also visit Lido Isle to spy a performance by some festive skeletons or head to Lost River Delta to attend Chip and Dale’s Skeleton Fiesta.

Be sure to click through the photo gallery above for a look at the fun.

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First Disney Ambassador Julie Reihm Casaletto Welcomes New Ambassadors

posted on October 11th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Walt Disney Parks and Resorts celebrates 50 years of the Disney Ambassador program, which was first introduced as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of Disneyland. Walt Disney needed someone to act as a representative of Disneyland to audiences in the community and around the world, as well as host VIP guests and foreign dignitaries. Julie Reihm Casaletto, a tour guide for the park at the time, was selected by Walt to be the first Disney Ambassador.

A half-century later, in a ceremony in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park, Julie joined more than 50 former Disney Ambassadors yesterday morning to welcome the 2015-2016 Disneyland Resort Ambassador team, Jessica Bernard and Allie Kawamoto.

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The 50-year tradition continued at Walt Disney World Resort yesterday, as Caitlin Busscher and Nathaniel Palma were announced as the 2015-2016 Disney Ambassador team, receiving the golden opportunity of sharing the magic of “our world” – and representing nearly 70,000 fellow Cast Members – with the Central Florida community.

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Rounding out the global anniversary celebration, Disney Ambassadors also were announced recently at other Disney Parks around the world. At Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Sara Hui was selected as the next Ambassador to represent the Asia-based theme park, and Tokyo Disney Resort chose Riina Imaeda as the first ambassador to serve a two-year term in Japan. Sonia Demay and Romina Grochow were welcomed as new Ambassadors at Disneyland Paris earlier this month.

The Disney Ambassador family will grow this year, as Shanghai Disney Resort, scheduled to open in 2015, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, will for the first time name Disney Ambassadors.

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Filed: Aulani, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disney Resort, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort Unveils 2014 Holiday Fun, Entertainment & More

posted on September 10th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Doing your Christmas dreaming a little early this year? Then check out the exciting holiday entertainment that Tokyo Disney Resort has in the works.

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Tokyo Disney Resort will begin their annual holiday celebration on November 7, with special events, entertainment and more taking place at both Tokyo Disneyland Park and Tokyo DisneySea.

At Tokyo Disneyland Park, guests will be able to enjoy Disney’s Santa Village Parade, in which Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters help Santa Claus prepare for the holiday. The park will also feature special seasonal photo locations, holiday decor and more.

At Tokyo DisneySea, guests will be able to enjoy a Colors of Christmas holiday tree display and lights around Mediterranean Harbor. Guests visiting the Lost River Delta can enjoy Fiesta de la Luz (“Festival of Lights”) – a holiday lantern display. Over at the American Waterfront, Snow Crystal Illumination will light up the area with white lights. Mickey and friends will also appear at Waterfront Park for performances of “Holiday Greeting from Seven Ports,” and they’ll also take part in a brand-new show called “Colorful Holiday Greeting.”

The holiday celebration will run through December 25, 2014.

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‘Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy’ Coming to Tokyo Disney Resort

posted on August 27th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Some of the most popular stories on the Disney Parks Blog this summer have been about the many offerings at our “Frozen Summer Fun” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that the “Frozen” fun is continuing this winter at Tokyo Disney Resort with a new special event called “Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy.”

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“Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy” will run from January 13 through March 20, 2015 at Tokyo Disney Resort. The event will be themed to the hit film “Frozen” and offer opportunities to experience the world of ice and snow created by Elsa’s magical power.

During the event, the nighttime entertainment “Once Upon a Time” will be presented in a special version that features new scenes based on Disney’s “Frozen.” And during the day, Anna and Elsa will make appearances and greet guests along the parade route to the music of “Let It Go,” the theme song from the film.

This special winter event will be presented only at Tokyo Disney Resort.

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A Model Day at Tokyo Disneyland – Disney Parks Tilt-Shift Video

posted on August 7th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


One of the most popular videos on the Disney Parks Blog continues to be one of our first projects – A Model Day at Magic Kingdom Park. Since introducing readers to tilt-shift at Disney Parks, we’ve featured Epcot, Disney California Adventure, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland park and even a special Disney Cruise Line adventure. Take a look at our latest tilt-shift video highlighting the beauty of Tokyo Disneyland.

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Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World: Meet Gelatoni and More!

posted on July 30th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Have you ever wanted to take a trip around the world to visit our Disney Parks & Resorts? Join me on a whirlwind shopping trip as we take a look at what is happening in the world of Disney Theme Park Merchandise as we continue the “Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World” series!

The mystery of who has been painting the art in the Mediterranean Harbor area of Tokyo Disney Sea has finally been solved. Tokyo Disneyland Resort recently introduced Gelatoni, a Disney friend of Duffy. This cool cat has an artistic flair for creating new masterpieces for all to enjoy. Our Disney fans were very eager to scoop up anything with Gelatoni on it including a tote, shopping bag, memo pad, writing pen and more. Those of you visiting the Tokyo Disneyland Resort will even find a special Gelatoni plush to add to your collection.

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As you may know, Hong Kong Disneyland celebrates its 9th anniversary this year. Here’s a look at some of the commemorative merchandise that has been created in honor of this special celebration including souvenirs, apparel, memorabilia, accessories, dolls, limited edition pins and more.

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This month Disneyland Paris introduces PhotoPass+ containing everything you need to access high resolution digital image files of your vacation memories. All of the photos taken by our Disney PhotoPass photographers, or on attractions equipped with Image Capture, may be linked to your PhotoPass+.

Disney PhotoPass+ App Available at Disneyland Paris

In addition, for the first time at Disney Parks, Disneyland Paris has debuted a new Disney PhotoPass App that allows you to download all of the pictures taken by our photographers and attractions photos directly to your mobile device.

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Where will our next shopping trip take us? Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog to find out.

For more from the “Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World” series, visit the posts below:

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disney Resort Welcomes 600 Millionth Guest

posted on April 21st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Our friends at Tokyo Disney Resort celebrated an amazing milestone earlier this month, welcoming their 600 millionth guest on April 12.
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So who was the 600 millionth guest? Yumi Sakai, who was visiting the park with her husband and two children. To celebrate, Yumi was given flowers and asked to help lead a special ceremony alongside Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. She also received a certificate, three years of park admission, Mickey Mouse and Duffy plushes, and more.

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Tanabata Days Returns to Tokyo Disney Resort June 24

posted on April 11th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Disney Tanabata Days, the traditional Japanese event also known as the Star Festival, will return to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea parks June 24 through July 7.

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The festival has been offered at Tokyo Disneyland Park since 1997, but this year will be expanded for the first time to Tokyo DisneySea Park.

At Tokyo DisneySea, guests can enjoy a Wishing Place at the New York area of American Waterfront where they can write wishes on Wishing Cards and then tie them onto Tanabata decorations. Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters will also dress in Tanabata-themed costumes themed to greet guests.

Over at Tokyo Disneyland, guests can find a Wishing Place in the center of World Bazaar. Mickey and Minnie Mouse will ride on rickshaws along the parade route and can also be spotted in a “Tanabata Greeting” mini parade.

In addition to the theme parks, the Disney Resort Line Monorail stations will also offer a Wishing Places and original Wishing Cards.

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