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Every Role a Starring Role: Disneyland Resort Casting Recruiter

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


As a casting recruiter, Steven Warkentin brings magic to our guests through hiring our future magic-makers. In fact, he’s held a number of the positions for which he hires including roles in attractions, entertainment and custodial guest services.

Steven says, “I get to offer jobs to candidates who are going to help carry on Walt Disney’s legacy in this special place where the magic started. Who knows? I could be hiring our next Disney Ambassador. I think that’s pretty amazing!”

Steven shares more about his role and tips for applying at the Disneyland Resort in this “Every Role a Starring Role!

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Bird’s-Eye View In a Rustic Retreat at Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


As part of our new “Room with A View” series, we’re heading into the woods for a special look at our “over the treetop” accommodations at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. Perched 10 feet off the ground in a lush landscape, sit the beloved Treehouse Villas, part of the Disney Vacation Club. I treasure the peaceful stillness of the landscape and the tranquil views of the Sassagoula River. It takes you to a quiet place and makes you feel like you are a hundred miles from the theme parks, when you are actually just a boat ride away from Downtown Disney. There are 60 rustic, home away-from-homes with lots of privacy and extra space ideal if you’re traveling with a large family, or have an extended stay. And who doesn’t love the idea of sleeping in a treehouse? I was so psyched when they opened in 2009, I took my family there for a weekend getaway. Imagine staying at a lakeside cabin in an upstate New York state park – albeit a fancy cabin with four TVs and granite counters. The experience is a nice pause from the hectic pace of daily life.

Inside the three-bedroom villas (photos and video from villa 7026), earth-tone colors, wood accents and natural light streaming in through floor-to-ceiling windows complement the rustic retreat. Nature is woven in the artwork and furniture in creative ways — like a tree branch as the base for a lamp, leafy pillows and a family-size wooden kitchen table, bench and chairs. A Hidden Mickey can be spotted in an end table created by three tree stumps. All the treehouses have two guestrooms with two queen-size beds each, and a room for the kids with bunk beds. There’s also a full kitchen in case you want to cook, contemporary amenities and a nice-size living area, which really makes it feel like home. The oversized porch is another gem and the ideal place to kick back, watch the sunset and take in the amazing view.

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Filed: Disney Vacation Club, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Behind the Scenes: Food Network Hosts Cruising on the Disney Dream

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Stephen Walker, Fleet Culinary Standards and Consistency Chef, Disney Cruise Line


Back in January, I had the unique experience of cooking with the hosts of Food Network’s “The Kitchen.” If you saw the episode, you may remember their excitement when I invited them to sail with me on a Disney cruise. Not only did Jeff Mauro and Katie Lee take me up on that offer, they brought two other Food Network stars – Amanda Freitag (“Chopped”) and Melissa d’Arabian (“Guy’s Grocery Games”) – along with their families and friends for three nights of fun, sun, and delicious food.

Host Jeff Mauro and His Family on the Disney Dream Host Melissa d'Arabian and Her Family on the Disney Dream

Tonight, Food Network is showing a one-hour special featuring this crew’s Disney Dream cruise. Onboard we took them behind the scenes to see the inner workings of the ship’s galleys, slightly larger than the kitchens where they are used to cooking! Now, you can get a glimpse at their backstage experience and learn more about the culinary masterpieces our talented chefs prepare every day.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect:

Check it out tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Be on the lookout for some familiar faces, including Cruise Director Christiaan, Remy Executive Chef Patrick and a few Disney pals!

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Irene Jewell Celebrates 90th Birthday with First Visit to Disneyland Park

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Last month, on her 90th birthday, Irene Jewell, legendary dancer and wife of Disney cinematographer Stuart Jewell, visited Disneyland park for the first time. Known for her impressive height, Irene performed under the name Ricki Covette in the course of her 30-year career. She later met Disney cinematographer Stuart Jewell, known for his camera work on Disney’s “True-Life Adventures,” including “The Living Desert” and “The Vanishing Prairie.” He also produced much of the now-iconic time-lapse footage from the construction of Disneyland.

But despite her own legendary status and connection to Disneyland history, Irene had never visited the park! So she thought her 90th birthday would be the perfect occasion.

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Irene arrived with her “Special Complimentary Main Gate Admission” ticket in hand, which she held onto for years. (She got to keep it, by the way.) She went on to enjoy a day of fun, including Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and “it’s a small world” – three attractions she had specifically been looking forward to.

When I asked whether Stuart has shared any of his Disneyland memories with her, Irene said, “He told me about opening day – they didn’t expect so many people! It was getting crowded, so he grabbed a camera and took a picture of Ronald Reagan, Bob Cummings and Art Linkletter that appeared in the paper.”

If you’d like to see some of Stuart Jewell’s work, take a look at this time-lapse video, which we shared earlier this week. In the first few seconds, you can even see Stuart and his team prepping and installing the cameras!

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Video Captures the Royal Experience of the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Recently in a kingdom not so far away, more than 24,000 Princesses and Princes made a 13.1-mile journey through Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Some runners took just over an hour to complete their journey, and for others it took a little longer. No matter their ability they all followed the same path, triumphantly ran through Cinderella Castle, celebrated at the finish line, earned the coveted Disney Princess Tiara Finisher Medal and created runDisney memories that will last a lifetime.

What was their experience like?

With the help of 6 photographers from the Disney Yellow Shoes team, 13 cameras and tens of thousands of images, we can share their journey in just over two minutes.

Once upon a time ……

A special thanks to Disney photographers David Roark, Matt Stroshane, Kent Phillips, Ryan Wendler, Chloe Rice, Todd Anderson, and editor Bryan Smoker for their creativity in bringing this story to life.

For more information on runDisney event weekends, I invite you to visit runDisney.com.

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Filed: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Rare Time-Lapse Video Shows Disneyland Park Construction

posted on March 24th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


As we prepare to celebrate 60 years of memories and magic during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, we’ve been looking back at key moments in our history – times when Disneyland pushed the limits of what was possible and created new, innovative experiences for our guests. Searching our archives, we came across this amazing time lapse footage of Disneyland construction. Blink and you might miss some amazing moments!

My favorite parts are the clock tower on the Main Street Train Station being lifted into place and the first guests flowing through the turnstiles. What are yours?


See more about the construction of Disneyland park in George’s “Building the Dream” series:

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Disney Cruise Line to Sail First-Ever British Isles Cruise in 2016

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


Today we revealed our 2016 summer sailings, announcing our first-ever British Isles cruise, plus ports of call in more than 15 European countries! In addition to the British Isles, our tour of Europe includes cruises in the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, Greek Isles and the Mediterranean. Pretty incredible, right?!

Disney Cruise Line Charts New Course for British Isles

Our 12-night British Isles voyage on the Disney Magic departs from Dover, England, visiting destinations in Scotland, Ireland, France and England. I can’t possibly highlight all of the cool things you’ll experience on this cruise, but here’s a sampling:

  1. The majestic beauty, iconic castles and Highland culture of Scotland
  2. The merry, cosmopolitan city of Dublin, Ireland
  3. The culturally rich and romantic Paris, France
  4. The birthplace of the Beatles and the British Invasion in Liverpool, England
  5. The charming countryside of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands

Of course Europe isn’t the only awesome locale we’re taking you to in the summer of 2016. We’re also revisiting favorite destinations elsewhere around the globe including Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas. In this video, Cruise Director Brent gives us a sneak peek at where you can sail with us next year …

For more details, check out the Itineraries and Ports for 2016 page of disneycruise.com, and get ready to book this Thursday!

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VIDEO: Six-Course Dessert Experience at Remy on the Disney Fantasy

posted on March 23rd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Okay dessert lovers, after you watch this next video, you’re going to be craving something sweet. Disney Parks Blog author Salah talks all about our new dessert experience at Remy on the Disney Fantasy, an event that features not one, not two, but six amazingly delicious desserts. It’s times like this one that I wish you could taste something just by looking at it, don’t you?

If you missed our video with Salah last week about Petites Assiettes de Remy, check it out here. And next time you’re onboard, I hope you’ll dine with us at Remy. Whether it’s for Petites Assiettes, dinner, brunch or dessert, you’re sure to have a dining experience unlike any other!

For more about your dining experience at Remy with Disney Cruise Line, visit the links below:

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First Look at Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Merchandise

posted on March 23rd, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


We only have a few months to go before the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration begins. Is everyone as excited as I am? It was so tough to decide what to show you for a first look. So, I thought I would take you behind the scenes, into our Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration showroom, where you can see for yourselves some of the amazing items headed your way this May at the Disneyland Resort.

There’s so much more to see, so keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration merchandise updates. And join the conversation with the hashtag #Disneyland60.

What items made your list for the big celebration?

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U.S. Navy Blue Angels Roar Down Main Street, U.S.A. at the Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 19th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


What happened this morning at Magic Kingdom Park was really cool: to the cheers of thousands of guests gathered on Main Street U.S.A. and in front of Cinderella Castle, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels performed two flyovers of the theme park.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Soar Above Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort

Six F/A-18 Hornet jets that were traveling from their home base in Pensacola, FL, to an air show in the state, used the opportunity to entertain and inspire guests. Traveling more than 250 mph, these jets capable of super sonic speeds roared down Main Street U.S.A. holding the tradition Delta Formation on their first pass. After quickly turning around the jets returned and executed a Delta Break over Cinderella Castle.

This was a magical flight these pilots and park guests will not soon forget. Your chance to experience the excitement is one click away on the video box above.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort