As we gear up for the debut of “Mickey and the Magical Map,” the latest and greatest new show at Fantasyland Theatre in Disneyland park, it triggered memories from my colleagues about what’s been featured in this popular theatre in years past. Many of them grew up in Southern California. They danced at Videopolis, had a front-row seat to “Animazement” and celebrated the holidays watching “Mickey’s Nutcracker.” Those are only a few of the fun shows, so check out this video and take a trip down memory lane. Enjoy!
posted on May 17th, 2013 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
posted on May 17th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor
Ewoks are celebrating, Max Rebo is playing a happy keyboard tune with his feet, and the droids are happier than C-3PO in an oil bath. Why? Because Star Wars Weekends launched its galactic celebration today at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Here are some new things to keep your electrobinoculars looking for during the event:
- A giant rancor has taken up residence this year in Darth’s Mall. The intricate, fan-created beast from Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi is sculpted from 2,000 square-feet of expanded polystyrene foam.
- Our lovable pair of chipmunks, Chip and Dale, get into the Star Wars fun this year by dressing as Ewoks. Clad in their Ewok best, the duo also is depicted on this year’s event logo with Jedi Mickey.
- Stormtroopers will be “on the move” this year, with mobile sentry outposts along Hollywood Blvd. These new outposts offer the Empire’s shock troops new vantage points to survey the areas for Rebel spies.
- Tosche Station, made famous as the place where Luke Skywalker wanted to pick up some power converters, finds a new home this year at Star Wars Weekends at the main stage on Hollywood Blvd. Atmospheric entertainment keeps the galaxy festive throughout the day before transforming into a DJ dance party.
- Warwick Davis, the actor who brought Wicket the Ewok to life on the silver screen, hosts a new one-man show entitled “An Ewok’s Tale – my short story” for two weekends this year.
Star Wars Weekends takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through June 9. Most event activities are included in regular park admission.
Join the conversation online by using the hash tag #StarWarsWeekends on Twitter.
Star Wars: © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.
(*celebrities and entertainment schedule subject to change)
posted on May 14th, 2013 by Faron Kelley, Director, Marketing & Communications, Disney Sports
How many of you are like me – running, leading a healthy, active lifestyle, but falling short when it comes to diet and nutrition? It’s no secret proper nutrition is the key to fueling your exercise and helping your body recover and prevent injury. Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming runDisney event, or just getting off the couch to start your journey to a healthier lifestyle, you aren’t alone: the runDisney team is with you every step of the way.
If you haven’t done so yet, I invite you to check out runDisney.com. There, you will find training programs from our official training consultant Jeff Galloway. Jeff’s run/walk/run program will get you off the couch and moving down the road safely and with little risk for injury.
Recently, we were excited to welcome Tara Gidus as the official nutritionist for runDisney. Her tips are helping runners fuel their training programs and races, and they will help you achieve your goal of a healthy lifestyle.
Tara recently teamed up with Disney Chef Gary Jones to prepare a couple healthy dishes that are easy to make and delicious to eat. The first of three recipes and nutrition tips start today on runDisney.com.
Check out these posts for more of the latest runDisney news:
posted on May 14th, 2013 by Korri McFann, Worldwide Marketing & Business Development Director, Weddings & Honeymoons
June has always been a big wedding month. I remember attending more than my fair share of June weddings growing up. The weather is pretty, the sun is shining and there are vacations aplenty. In anticipation for a summer chock-full of wedding events, I’m sharing this fun-loving video of a couple who had a very special Bridal Portrait Session at Magic Kingdom Park. It doesn’t get more romantic than that!
posted on May 13th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort
Hundreds of rubber ducks raced around the world for a cause at the 5th annual “it’s a small world” duck race! Cast members sponsored and decorated the ducks to raise more than $1,800 for Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire before Disneyland park opened for the day.
The cast fundraiser carries forward the attraction’s legacy of supporting children, dating back to the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair when it was created in honor of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
While cast members waited anxiously to see which rubber duck would race through “it’s a small world” fastest, we sent along our camera to capture the journey and winners!
Read more about community outreach at the Disneyland Resort in these posts:
posted on May 11th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new official Disney Princess!
Presiding over the ceremony was Gymnastics gold medalist Gabby Douglas, and of course, our Disney Princesses: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana and Rapunzel, were in attendance.
Check out the video below to see the royal ceremony for yourself!
VIDEO: Special ‘Limited Time Magic’ Viewing Area for ‘Magical’ Fireworks Spectacular at Disneyland Resort
posted on May 10th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Manager, Social Media and Print, Disneyland Resort
As Thomas Smith first told us last week, we’ve got a special “Limited Time Magic” treat for you “Glow With the Show” fans here at the Disneyland Resort. For a limited time, you can experience “Magical” fireworks spectacular from a special viewing area on Main Street, U.S.A., if you wear your “Glow With the Show” ears. Take a look at the … well, magical time that awaits you in this video!
Remaining special viewing area dates are: May 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19. Keep in mind that viewing space will be on a first-come, first-served basis, due to limited capacity.
posted on May 9th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
There’s the Cuban, the lobster, the California Burger . . . and Chef Dan at ESPN Club on Disney’s BoardWalk can’t help but keep inventing new “extreme” burgers-more a meal than a sandwich. One of the newest is the PB&J Burger, a stack that starts with creamy peanut butter on a Kaiser roll and builds with an Angus Burger, bacon, pickled jalapeños and a generous slather of house-made blackberry. His latest is the Farmhouse Burger, beginning with potato pancakes instead of bread, then everything for a big breakfast is included: a fried egg, sausage, oven-roasted tomatoes, arugula – and an Angus Burger, of course. Take a look at my pal John Graham’s video.
posted on May 8th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks
This week, The Force is indeed strong at Tokyo Disneyland with the opening of the updated Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. The attraction had been closed for more than a year while Imagineers were busy adding new stories and adventures. Like the attractions at Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests now have the opportunity to experience more than 50 different story combinations and experience these adventures in dazzling 3D.
The biggest changes between the U.S. and Tokyo attractions are in the queue areas themselves. In the Droid Room of the Tokyo Disneyland attraction, if you look carefully, you may discover a reference to a classic Disney Parks attraction. Any guesses as to what this attraction pays homage to?
I’d also like to share a video from our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering, who updated the Tokyo Disneyland Star Tours attraction, so you can see what other changes they made to the Arrival Hall – a room we don’t have in either Anaheim or Orlando.
posted on May 7th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Manager, Social Media and Print, Disneyland Resort
“…I just want it to look like nothing else in the world. And it should be surrounded by a train.” — Walt Disney
Even before Disneyland Resort was built – when the idea for the theme park was still being developed – it was surrounded by its now-iconic railroad. Not only would it provide guests with a “grand circle tour of Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom,” but it also would create a natural barrier between the outside world and the magical realms inside. This made the Disneyland Railroad one of the most important opening day attractions. So far, we’ve met some of the Steam Engines of the Disneyland Railroad, and today we’ll take a look back to a specific time in Walt’s lifelong love of trains and his inspiration for this beloved attraction. Believe it or not, he found this inspiration right in his own backyard …
In 1947, Walt bought a new electric train and wanted to show it off. He brought it over to Walt Disney Studios and knew exactly who to show it to: Ward Kimball and Ollie Johnston, the animators behind Jiminy Cricket and Thumper, and fellow train enthusiasts. He quickly learned that they each had impressive trains of their own – but theirs were big enough to ride in their backyards! So, of course, Walt had to have one of his own. A few years later, in 1950, he had the perfect spot for his train: the backyard of his home on Carolwood Drive. And it was 63 years ago this week that the first engine was steamed up on Walt’s own, personal ⅛-scale model railroad, the Carolwood-Pacific Railroad.
Take a look back as Walt tests out his Carolwood-Pacific Railroad in the footage below, which originally appeared in the 1956 television show, “Where Do The Stories Come From?”
At first, Lillian Disney, Walt’s wife, was not exactly excited about their brand-new backyard being taken over by a miniature railroad, so Walt wanted to do something special to make her comfortable with the idea. He enlisted the help of horticulturalists Jack and Bill Evans (who would later go on to cultivate the horticulture for the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland park) to create a beautifully landscaped backyard, and then even named the locomotive of his new railroad “Lilly Belle” in her honor. This kind gesture now lives on here at Disneyland; the Grand Canyon observation caboose which operates on the Disneyland Railroad is now lovingly referred to as the Lilly Belle.
If you’re interested in seeing this incredible piece of Disney history yourself, you can see the Carolwood-Pacific Railroad and the Lilly Belle at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, Calif. It was one of my favorite moments in a day full of amazing moments at this remarkable museum. Also consider a visit to Walt Disney’s Barn – the actual barn from which Walt would monitor and remotely control the Carolwood-Pacific Railroad – now relocated to Griffith Park in Los Angeles, Calif.
The idea of having my own, personal railroad in my backyard sounds incredible. What would you name your own backyard railroad?