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Country Bear Christmas Special at Magic Kingdom Park

How Guest ‘Wishes’ Benefit The Local Community

posted on December 19th, 2014 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Did you ever wonder what happens to the coins that get tossed into the wishing wells and fountains around Walt Disney World Resort? I’ve asked this question myself and found out that it really does help make wishes come true.

How Guest ‘Wishes’ Benefit The Local Community How Guest ‘Wishes’ Benefit The Local Community

For more than 30 years, Walt Disney World Resort has been collecting the tossed coins and donating the money to local nonprofit organizations that help children in need. Recently, Disney donated $18,000 to Community Based Care (CBC) of Central Florida to help provide services to children in foster care. This year, cast members chose CBC’s Over-18 Support program to receive the funds. This program helps youngsters in foster care obtain their driver’s licenses, find jobs, secure housing and apply for other health and human services.

So the next time you visit Walt Disney World, remember that when you toss a coin into a fountain and make a wish, you are helping make somebody else’s wish come true!

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LSU Tigers Show Their ‘Spirit’ In Cheer On Your Disney Side Contest

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


Inspired by the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World Resort and the folk lore that Tiger Stadium, Death Valley, is haunted, the Louisiana State University cheer and dance teams showed their ‘spirit” for both in a routine for the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit.

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LSU joins Auburn University, Rutgers University and Santa Monica College as the four finalists in the competition. These schools were among dozens of squads from across the country who choreographed routines to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs.

Incorporating several elements from the popular Magic Kingdom Park attraction with additional Disney characters and some LSU flavor, the following video was created.

The LSU Tigers cheer and dance teams did their part, now it’s your turn to get into the game. Guests are asked to go to Espn.com/CheerMagic and vote for their favorite video from the final four. The school with the most votes wins. Fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found Espn.com/CheerMagic.

On-line voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on Jan. 12 in Dallas. The winning cheer or dance squad will earn a $100,000 grant for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

Now before you cast your vote, you may want to go behind the scenes and see what went into the “making of” their video. Profiles of all four schools will be featured this week and next on the Disney Parks Blog.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their “Disney Side’’– their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.

No purchase necessary. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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Behind the Scenes at Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration

posted on December 18th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Robin Roberts and Tim Tebow Tape the 2014 Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration TV Special

Christmas Day is still a week away, but today you’re going behind the scenes with some of the stars taking part in “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” as they share their holiday wishes and talk about what it means to be a part of this Disney holiday tradition. This year our star-studded annual Christmas Day telecast on ABC originates from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in Southern California and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii.

The “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” airs December 25, 2014 on ABC-TV at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. in most other time zones. Be sure to check your local listings and join the conversation online using the hashtag #DisneyParade.

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Filed: Aulani, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Trattoria al Forno Opens Today at Disney’s BoardWalk

posted on December 18th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


It’s opening day for the newest Walt Disney World Resort restaurant, and we’ve got Vinnie Tai, area manager, to walk us through Trattoria al Forno on Disney’s BoardWalk.

With four distinct dining areas, authentic Italian cuisine and top-notch Italian wines, the Trattoria al Forno story was inspired by the authentic Italian menu and the rich storytelling of the turn-of-the-century boardwalk setting.

Trattoria al Forno Brings the Italian Countryside to Disney's BoardWalk

Trattoria al Forno will be open 7:30 – 11 a.m. for breakfast, 5 – 10 p.m. for dinner, and accepts the Disney Dining Plan. For reservations, visit www.disneyworld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.


For more on Trattoria al Forno at Walt Disney World Resort, visit the posts below:

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‘Frozen’ Voice Actor Jonathan Groff Shares What He Loves About Disney Parks

posted on December 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Jonathan Groff is one cool guy.

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The actor who voiced Kristoff in “Frozen” – one of the most successful Disney feature films to date – is actually a huge fan of Disney Parks and films. And the 29-year-old isn’t afraid to geek out over how cool Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is, laugh over recollections of dressing up as his favorite Disney characters for Halloween as a kid, or admit that his head is still spinning over the frenzy that surrounds anything “Frozen.”

Check out our full interview above to hear his thoughts on all of this and much more.

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VIDEO: Make Your Holiday Meal Magical With Tips from Disney Chef Charles Dolson

posted on December 17th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Creating a decadent holiday meal for your guests can be stressful. Chef Charles Dolson, Area Chef of the Land Pavilion at Epcot, shares tips on how to make your holiday meals a little bit easier and much more delicious.

Watch as Chef Charles demonstrates how to butter the bird, spice up your cranberries, add texture to salad and make memorable holiday brownies. He even suggests ways to put your guests to work in the kitchen!

Happy holidays from the Disney Parks Food & Beverage team!

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Watch Holiday Services Install & Unveil The Magic Kingdom Park Christmas Tree

posted on December 17th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


I’m sure by now, many of you have a Christmas tree sparkling somewhere in your home. Here at Walt Disney World Resort we have several “icon” trees that tower several stories tall and boast thousands of lights and hundreds of decorations.

One of those trees can be found at Magic Kingdom Park, measuring 65 feet tall. Our Holiday Services department installed the massive tree overnight – and our cameras were there to catch every moment. Check out the time-lapse video below to see how they did it.

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Your Chance To Vote And Cheer On Your Disney Side With Top Four Colleges

posted on December 16th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


As our favorite college football teams kicked off the season this fall ESPN gave college cheer and dance teams something really big to cheer about – their Disney Side.

Dozens of squads from across the country choreographed routines to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs and submitted their videos as part of the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, working in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit.

Last week the four finalists were announced; Auburn University, Louisiana State University, Rutgers University and Santa Monica College.

Well now it’s your turn to get into the game and vote for your favorite video at Espn.com/CheerMagic. The school with the most votes wins. And fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found at Espn.com/CheerMagic.

Online voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on Jan. 12 in Dallas. The winning cheer or dance squad will earn a $100,000 grant from ESPN for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

To help you make your decision we will profile each school over the next two weeks right here on the Disney Parks Blog. You will see and hear how each team incorporated their Disney Side with their school spirit in the making of their video.

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We kick off our behind the scenes series with the Auburn Tigers. They selected “it’s a small world” and featured several of their favorite Disney attractions. Take a look at their submission video and then a behind the scenes feature.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their Disney Side’– their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.
No purchase necessary. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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Watch Mickey Mouse Take On Maleficent in 8-Bit Style

posted on December 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


If “Fantasmic!,” the popular nighttime spectacular from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park, were a video game, it might just look like this.

Check out this fun video our digital team created and shared earlier today.

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‘World of Color’ Refurbishment Continues Innovative Approach for Conservation in Water Attractions at Disneyland Resort

posted on December 15th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Walt Disney once expressed an “immediate need for education and practice in using our natural resources of soil, forest, water, wildlife and areas of inspirational beauty to the best advantage of all.” Walt’s conservationist heart has led The Walt Disney Company to be a responsible environmental company from the beginning.

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The innovation that fuels Disney to create amazing attractions and experiences, often leads us to pave the way in those behind-the-scenes areas as well. In 2007, when preparing for the launch of “World of Color,” Disneyland Resort drained Paradise Bay in a new way. Partnering with the Orange County Water District, we drained 16 million gallons from the bay into the Orange County Water District’s groundwater replenishment system, instead of storm drains. This ensured the water was purified and stored for future use. When we refilled the bay, the water came from that same system.This innovative, water-saving solution helped earn the resort recognition by being awarded the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in 2009.

Since then, all water-based attractions at the Disneyland Resort follow the same process. “World of Color” will undergo refurbishment beginning January 7, 2015, and will follow the same process that Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage underwent during its recent refurbishment, as did “it’s a small world” Holiday when it reopened in November.

Take a look as Mickey and Goofy help refill Paradise Bay for the first time, back in 2009.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Top Stories