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Happy Thanksgiving from the Disney Parks Blog

Unforgettable Moment at Walt Disney World Resort Shared With the Nation on ‘Good Morning America’

posted on November 26th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director

It was a moment Lt. Colonel Shannon Patrick Thompson and his family had waited years for, the chance to thank a United States postal worker from Virginia who literally kept Thompson’s family connected while he served our country in Afghanistan.

During his deployment Thompson provided much needed medical attention to men, women and children who were sick or injured by the tragedies of war. While this Naval officer provided distinguished service, his wife Irene and daughter remained back home in Virginia trying to maintain life as normal as possible. Providing care packages to her husband became vital in an attempt to keep that normalcy. This is where a hometown hero entered their life and provided the bridge of support the family needed. Ron Johnson, a postal worker in Salem, VA, provided the shipping expertise and words of encouragement Irene needed to get through those tough days of deployment – every time she came to the post office

Working with ABC’s “Good Morning America” and Walt Disney World Resort, Thompson and his family were able to thank Johnson in an amazing way with a trip to Walt Disney World Resort for him and his fiancé. A trip filled with one-of-a-kind surprises and an emotional reunion with the Thompson family. Unforgettable moments shared with the nation this morning on “Good Morning America“.

Following the reunion, both families were treated to a Thanksgiving feast and spent time together at Magic Kingdom Park. Unforgettable moments filled with tears of happiness, laughter and thankfulness.

We salute all the men and women in our armed services and the everyday people who make a difference in our communities by lending a helping hand.

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Filed: Community Outreach, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Cruise Line Crew Members Give Back at Local Food Pantries

posted on November 25th, 2015 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, Disney Cruise Line crew members volunteered at local food pantries to help with Thanksgiving preparations in communities near our Florida homeports in Port Canaveral and Miami, and in Galveston, Texas.

Last Saturday, Disney VoluntEARS from the Disney Fantasy cruise ship in town for the day in Port Canaveral sorted and stocked more than 9,000 pounds of food at the Sharing Center of Central Brevard, an organization that provides emergency assistance to those in need.

Take a look at those crew members in action and hear why they wanted to support this great cause.

Over Thanksgiving, the Sharing Center is serving dinner and assisting 250 local families with meal baskets. Donated food is also distributed at the Sharing Center’s Emergency Food Pantry year round, which provides an estimated 8 tons of food monthly to residents living within Central Brevard County.

Crew members from both the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic also volunteered at local food banks in port communities surrounding Galveston, Texas and Miami, Florida last week. Throughout the year, our Disney Cruise Line cast and crew members contribute thousands of hours of their personal time to support great causes.

How do you and your family give back this time year?

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Filed: Community Outreach, Disney Cruise Line

‘The Good Dinosaur Weekend’ Celebrated Pixar’s Newest Film

posted on November 25th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager

Last weekend we celebrated the newest Disney•Pixar release, “The Good Dinosaur,” on both coasts — at Disney Springs in Florida and the Downtown Disney District in California. With a DJ dance party, chalk art, activities, giveaways and more, it was a party filled with dino-sized fun for the whole family! Couldn’t make it in person? Check out the video recap below, then make plans to see the film which makes it official debut today, November 25, 2015.

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Filed: Disney Springs, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

Wildlife Wednesday: Animals Love Pumpkins!

posted on November 25th, 2015 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

We are thankful to care for these amazing animals every day … and, recently, the animals showed us they are thankful for pumpkins!

Our animals love enrichment, including toys, scents and special food treats, including pumpkins! Enrichment is stimulating and fun for the animals, and it’s an important part of their care. Different types of enrichment enable the animals to make choices about their environment and encourage natural behaviors.

Here are just a few of our animals recently enjoying some fall enrichment at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Check Out ‘Why To Stay At A Disney Resort Hotel: The Musical’

posted on November 25th, 2015 by Geoffrey Pointon, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations

With more than 25 themed Walt Disney World Resort hotels on property offering an abundance of amenities and services, you may be wondering what is the best way is to learn about them before you book your next Walt Disney World vacation. How about a reimagined musical score written with some of the Disney classics in mind (“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Step In Time,” “I Wanna Be Like You,” “it’s a small world” and “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”)?

Add a touch of Nicolas Dromard, who played the role of Bert in the Broadway version of “Mary Poppins,” and also appearing in the “Jersey Boys” as Tommy. You then add a splash of Steven Antin, (director of this wonderful 3 ½ minute musical video) who has appeared in “21 Jump Street,” “The Goonies” and directed various feature films. And top all that off with various dance numbers choreographed by Joey Pizzi, who has worked on such films as “Chicago,” “Hairspray” and “The Terminal” and this is what you get.

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Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney by Land and Sea: The Perfect Balance of Adventure and Magic

posted on November 24th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Over the summer I gave you my top five reasons why you should add a Disney cruise to your next Walt Disney World Resort stay. Based on your response, it seems you agree Disney by land and sea is the ultimate family vacation!

Now, check out this video to see how a Disney Cruise out of Port Canaveral, Florida, combined with a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, is the perfect balance of adventure at sea and theme park magic.

What would you add to the list from your last land and sea experience?

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

450 Disney Parks Blog Readers Attend ‘The Good Dinosaur’ Meet-Up

posted on November 24th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Over the weekend, 450 Disney fans joined us at Disney Springs for our latest event, the Disney Parks BlogThe Good Dinosaur” Meet-Up. Our morning of fun included an early screening of the film, a good ol’fashioned “roar-off” among our younger guests, surprises that included Disney Parks Blog hats, and more.


450 Disney Parks Blog Readers Attend ‘The Good Dinosaur’ Meet-Up 450 Disney Parks Blog Readers Attend ‘The Good Dinosaur’ Meet-Up

In “The Good Dinosaur,” Pixar Animation Studios takes you on a journey into the dinosaur world, where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend named Spot. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo must learn to confront his fear and discover what he is truly capable of. To hear what our guests thought of the film, check out the video below.

Don’t forget to see “The Good Dinosaur” when it opens on Wednesday, November 25.

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Filed: Disney Springs, Walt Disney World Resort

40 Seconds of Fun: ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday Time-Lapse Video

posted on November 23rd, 2015 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort

Three weeks before Holidays at the Disneyland Resort officially kicked off, we continuously documented the talented elves of Disneyland Resort Entertainment as they decked the walls of “it’s a small world” Holiday.

Here’s some fun facts about what it took to give “it’s a small world” Holiday its festive look:

  • Eleven Technical Services cast members worked five nights a week for eight weeks to do decorate the attraction’s façade, topiaries, trees and more.
  • The attraction’s façade has 50,000 C7 size lights in seven different colors: red, blue, green, amber, fuchsia, purple, and white. This adds up to almost five miles of light strings on the façade.
  • There are an additional 10,000 C7 lights on the “it’s a small world” Toy Shoppe and the three towers along the “it’s a small world” Mall.
  • The same crane that installs the Disneyland park Christmas tree is used to install the Santa hat on the clock.
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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Holiday How-To: Holiday Leftovers Panini

posted on November 23rd, 2015 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator

Not sure what to do with your leftovers from Thanksgiving? In our final turkey-day tip, Lenny DeGeorge, Executive Chef, Concept Development for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, shows us how to make the perfect holiday panini. Watch below!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Holiday How-To: Jazz Up Your Cranberry Sauce

posted on November 20th, 2015 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator

Want to wow your guests with a side that’s just as special as the turkey? Watch below as Lenny DeGeorge, executive Chef, Concept Development for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, shows us a simple way to jazz up your cranberry sauce – they’ll never believe the cranberries came out of a can!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort