Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

All in the Details: Imagineers Unveil the Storyline of Disney Springs

posted on August 19th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


How does Walt Disney Imagineering re-imagine an area of Walt Disney World Resort that guests have enjoyed for more than 40 years?

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That’s the creative challenge our Imagineering team, including Executive Creative Director Theron Skees, has been tasked with – to transform the area currently known as Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a destination that’s being expanded to include more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment experiences. From an Imagineering perspective, this means developing a storyline and creating a sense of time and place that influences everything from the architecture to the costumes.

We were also excited to share that our Imagineers will continue to share updates here in our “All in the Details” series in the coming months as their work progresses. Here’s the first piece, in which Theron introduces the Disney Springs project and Imagineering’s role in it.

The first “neighborhood” in Disney Springs – the opening of The Landing – is set for 2015. Construction on Disney Springs will continue into 2016, so be sure to stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more behind-the-scenes looks at the progress happening as Downtown Disney transforms into Disney Springs.


For more about Disney Springs, visit the stories below:

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What is Your Summertime Favorite at the Disneyland Resort?

posted on August 18th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Summer is slipping by, but there’s still time to experience all your summertime favorites here at the Disneyland Resort. We recently asked some of you, our Disney Parks Blog readers, to tell us about your favorite things to do at the Disneyland Resort during the summer … take a look!

What do you love the most about summertime at the Disneyland Resort? Let us know in the comments!

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I runDisney: Jeff Galloway

posted on August 18th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


When it comes to running, Jeff Galloway is a rock star. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, stop by the runDisney booth at a health and fitness expo and witness the line of people waiting to meet and get advice from this running legend.

runDisney fans know Galloway as the training consultant for runDisney. His Run-Walk-Run method is credited for getting thousands of people off the couch, running and crossing finish lines at Disney and races around the world. His warm southern charm combined with his passion to help every runner succeed, makes him adored by all who come in contact with him.

Galloway’s professional running career is historic and well documented. Running alongside Steve Prefontaine and Frank Shorter, he was a member of the 1972 Olympic Team in Munich, Germany. His extraordinary running resume includes winning the inaugural Peachtree Road Race 10K in Atlanta, winning the Atlanta and Honolulu Marathons, and a 7th place finish in the Boston Marathon.

One might think an athlete with those credentials is unapproachable and incapable of relating to the average runner, however with Jeff Galloway, those preconceived notions are far from the truth. With his competitive juices evaporated like the sweat from the thousands of miles he has logged, Galloway is committed to helping all of us become better runners and achieve our goals.

“What I have discovered is I get a whole lot more back in helping another person than I ever got in doing this for myself,” said Galloway. “I’m one runner trying to help another runner and that gives me tremendous joy.”

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Practicing what he preaches, Galloway uses the Run-Walk-Run method in all of his races. At most events you will find him running alongside his wife of 37 years, Barbara. He credits his parents, both educators, for giving him the ability to teach. His professional running career provides the credentials and platform to be heard.

The accompanying video provides a small glimpse into Galloway’s spirit. He talks about what jump started his running career at the age of 13, his motivation for running today and his passion for runDisney.

I invite you to come out to a runDisney event to meet him in person and run with him during a race. One tip, when you meet Galloway ask about his unexpected path to the 1972 Olympic Team and the unselfish act of friendship and sportsmanship he demonstrated during the Olympic Trials. It is a story that will leave you in awe; it is a story that makes Jeff Galloway a legend on and off the course.

Jeff, thank you for what you do for runDisney and for runners around the world. You are changing lives, and in the end that is bigger than any medal and raises you higher than any winner’s podium.

As the official training consultant for runDisney, Galloway provides training plans for runDisney events. His plans and videos on how to get off the coach and use the Run-Walk-Run method to jump-start a healthy active lifestyle can be found at runDisney.com.

#WhyIrunDisney is dedicated to sharing compelling and motivational human-interest stories. To view submissions and to learn how to upload your story, visit irundisney.com.


For more from the “Why I runDisney” series, visit the stories below:

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The Citizens Take Over ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!’ at Disneyland Park

posted on August 18th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


The rootin’ tootin’ town of Frontierland has been taken over and the citizens are speaking out during this limited-time experience in Frontierland at Disneyland park. “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!” has created some real characters and the feud between the folks of Rainbow Ridge and Frontierland is heating up. Who will end up owning the wild western town is up to you! Come on down and discover the old west now until September 1.

Sharp Shootin’ Shannon wants to know: Have you experienced “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!”? If so, what is your name and are you for Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge?


For more about “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!” fun at Disneyland park, visit the links below:

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Experience the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Awesome Mix Tape Dance Party During “Villains Unleashed” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on August 15th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Guardians of the Galaxy” has become a blockbuster hit with audiences all over the world enthralled by the thrilling cosmic adventure’s cast of characters and chart-topping soundtrack. “Awesome Mix Vol. 1,” a mix tape of retro-1970s gems given to Peter Quill by his mother, plays a key role in the story of “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Now a mysterious gang of villains has stolen that prized cassette, and Peter Quill – you may know him as the legendary Star-Lord – is on his way back to Earth on a mission to retrieve it.

Meanwhile, we’ve learned that a “Guardians of the Galaxy” Awesome Mix Tape Dance Party is being planned as part of the “Villains Unleashed” event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 23. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

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For those of you attending the event, be sure to duck into Stage 5 in the Animation Courtyard with your fellow Terrans, where the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Awesome Mix Tape Dance Party promises to be the hottest spot this side of Knowhere with an out-of-this-world DJ and other surprises. Plus, you never know when Star-Lord and his infamous teammate, Gamora, might crash the party to retrieve his prized cassette!

“Villains Unleashed” is a separately ticketed special event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, happening after regular theme park operating hours on August 23, 2014. Tickets are $67 plus tax ($62 plus tax for children 3-9). Quantities are limited, so get yours before they’re gone!

In “Guardians of the Galaxy,” actor Djimon Hounsou portrays the feared intergalactic hunter, Korath. Hounsou visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios recently and spoke with us about what it was like to play a villain in the film.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll definitely want to catch “Guardians of the Galaxy,” now playing in theaters in 3D. I’ve seen it twice myself and can’t wait to watch it again! How many times have you seen the movie? What’s your favorite song from the soundtrack? Let us know in the Comments.

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MyMagic+: Video Captures Your Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Drop at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 13th, 2014 by Kelly Glassburn, Manager of Marketing & Communications, Disney’s PhotoPass Service


Why is it that the things that scare us the most are often the experiences we are drawn to again and again? I hate creepy crawlies, but when asked if I want to hold something like a giant tarantula … I always say yes! Or, when presented with the opportunity to drop 13 stories when you are really afraid of heights … you buckle up, close your eyes, and hope that you don’t embarrass yourself in front of a group of fellow thrill seekers.

Better yet, how many times have you wished to have those scary (but exhilarating) moments captured on video? The look, the screams, the panic and ultimately the relief on our faces when the moment is over – what if you could relive that experience over and over again with video? How cool would that be?

Well, guess what? Disney PhotoPass Service has introduced some awesome new technology, which will enable guests with a MagicBand and an active Memory Maker entitlement who ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror to receive a video memento of their 13-story drop! The video is automatically associated to your My Disney Experience account, and any linked Family & Friends and Managed guests on your account will also be able to view and share the video. Check it out!

So, get ready for a whole new level of memorable thrills if you have a MagicBand and Memory Maker! And if you are that guy, or that girl, who screams like a banshee on this attraction, we’ll let you relive that magical memory again, and again, and again.

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Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrating Shark Conservation for Shark Week

posted on August 13th, 2014 by Kim Sams, Director, Corporate Citizenship, Conservation Programs, The Walt Disney Company


Summer is usually the time of year that we hear a lot about sharks! Whether it’s a news segment showing aerial video of sharks swimming off popular Florida beaches or a week dedicated to celebrating these unique animals, sharks continue to inspire wonder and capture our imaginations.

Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrating Shark Conservation for Shark Week. Photo Credit: Neil Hammerschlag, R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, University of Miami Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrating Shark Conservation for Shark Week. Photo Credit: Neil Hammerschlag, R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, University of Miami

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) is committed to protecting sharks and the marine habitats where they live. Since 1995 the DWCF has:

  • Contributed more than $6.3 million to projects focused on conserving marine ecosystems and wildlife.
  • Supported 27 projects working to protect sharks and rays worldwide.
  • Funded organizations like Conservation International, Mote Marine Laboratory and the University of Florida to advance shark conservation and engage communities in their protection.

Our team recently had the opportunity to visit one of the shark conservation projects the DWCF has supported since 2011 with the University of Miami’s RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program. This program is an outstanding example of the kind of projects funded through the DWCF’s annual conservation grant program. The research of University of Miami’s faculty, students and volunteers focuses on several shark species in the Atlantic Ocean and is both advancing our understanding and providing leverage to better protect these iconic animals. The program is also a fantastic example of inspiring the next generation of conservationists, and last year brought more than 1,000 students along on their research trips to learn about and participate in shark conservation first-hand! We are happy to debut a video of this great program and thank the many guests whose DWCF contributions have helped initiatives like these.

Interested in discovering more about sharks during your next visit to Walt Disney World Resort? Stop by The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot where you might find Blacknose, Sandbar and Sand Tiger sharks alongside several different types of rays. You can take a photo with Bruce from “Finding Nemo” and explore a maze filled with fun facts about sharks. You can also talk to educators to learn more about these animals, the threats they are facing and how you can be a shark conservationist through simple actions like contributing to the DWCF!

Happy Shark Week!

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Delicious One-Dish Wonder From The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 13th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


One of our favorite spots for dining in Magic Kingdom Park is The Crystal Palace on Main Street, U.S.A., a delightful array of soups, salads, veggies, meats, fish and sweets – everything from stuffed French toast in the morning to peel-and-eat shrimp, oven-roasted chicken, steak, key lime pie and chocolate cake for dinner. A bite of this, a taste of that, it’s fun to mix and match from dozens of dishes.

The spacious, airy dining room has one of the best buffets at Walt Disney World Resort, plus you get to spend some time with some of your favorite Disney characters as they pay a visit to tables and stop for photos.

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Fresh, inventive salads have always been our favorite, and the chefs continually add interesting new combos, like this pasta salad with feta and Parmesan cheeses, bold Kalamata olive, veggies and a sweet-tart balsamic vinaigrette. Chef Alphonoso Walker shows you how easy it is to put this together at home, a perfect summertime supper.

Pasta Salad with Feta, Fresh Vegetables, and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta, such as penne, farfalle, or ziti
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red peppers
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green peppers
  • 1/2 cup finely diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Assembly

  1. Cook pasta per package instructions. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together white balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a medium bowl until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk in chives. Set aside.
  3. Combine cooked pasta, olives, onions, red peppers, green peppers, and tomatoes.
  4. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Fold in feta and Parmesan cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more dressing, if desired, to taste.
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KaBOOM! Play Together Tour Powered by Disney Parks Kicks Off in Anaheim This Weekend – Coming to Cities Across the U.S.

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


From coast to coast and points in between, the KaBOOM! Play Together Tour Powered by Disney Parks will travel to six cities across America to inspire fun-filled family play! This free event kicks off in Anaheim, California this weekend and is the perfect opportunity for families to connect and spend meaningful time together.

Just last week, I had the chance to watch a few of my fellow cast members and their families test this unique experience. It was great to see them take on the playful obstacle course – from creating team flags that represented their families’ personalities and then raising them when they completed the course in the spirit of family pride, to building a tunnel they could all climb through to the next obstacle and solving a tricky puzzle – they worked together and had fun.

Check out the video below to see some of the families in action!

I hope you have a chance to join in and play with your family at one of the stops below. To reserve your time slot visit kaboom.org/playtogether or register on-site the day of the event. The dates and locations of each tour stop are:

  • Anaheim - Center Street Promenade, Saturday & Sunday, August 16-17
  • Sacramento - Adjacent to State Capitol Bldg., Wednesday, August 20
  • San Francisco – Marina Middle School, Saturday & Sunday, August 23-24
  • Chicago - Lincoln Park, Grove 2, Saturday & Sunday, August 30-31
  • Atlanta - Old 4th Ward Skate Park, Saturday & Sunday, September 6-7
  • Kissimmee, FL – Mill Run Park, Saturday & Sunday, September 13-14
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Here’s What Our Guests Are Saying About ‘Frozen Summer Fun’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you had a chance to experience everything that our Frozen Summer Fun celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has to offer?

As Shawn Slater announced last week, the offerings – including Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome and the “For the First Time in Forever: A ‘Frozen’ Sing-Along Celebration” – have been so popular among our guests that some will continue through September 28.

What do you love about our Frozen Summer Fun celebration? Tell us in the comments section below!

For more about “Frozen Summer Fun” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, visit the posts below:

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