Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Disneyland Resort Cast Members Grant Nearly $2.2M to Southern California Nonprofits Since 1997

posted on November 21st, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Cast members say that one of the best parts of working for the Disneyland Resort is the encouragement we receive to give back to our communities.

This year, Disneyland Resort cast members granted 85 Southern California nonprofit organizations a total of $415,000 in grants through the Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund (DVCF). That’s nearly $2.2 million since the program’s inception in 1997!

DVCF is funded entirely by cast members through regular payroll deductions or one-time donations. Those who contribute during the year have the opportunity to nominate an organization of their choice. The organizations, from local schools to social service agencies, received up to $5,000 each. Organizations that received a grant this year include American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Club, Make-A-Wish and Sam Dimas Mountain Rescue.

Check out the video below and watch Christine Ludin, a hotels cast member at the Disneyland Resort, present $5,000 to the Southern California Special Olympics!

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Listen As Rusty Cutlass Pirate Band Plays Holiday Tunes at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on November 21st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Even pirates tend to catch the holiday spirit during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and there’s no better example than this – a holiday musical performance by Rusty Cutlass band.

In the video below, the pirates gather to play “one of the prettiest Christmas songs they know.” What do you think?

Look for the pirates to perform in Adventureland during party nights at 7:45, 8:45, 9:45 and 10:45 p.m.

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Time-Lapse Video: Imagineers Install Springs Bottling Co. Marquee at Downtown Disney

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


Earlier today, we shared updates on several new offerings that are on the horizon for Downtown Disney as it transitions into Disney Springs.

One of those updates was that Walt Disney Imagineering recently installed a Springs Bottling Co. Marquee atop the building that will eventually house the Morimoto Asia restaurant. The marquee, which is now part of Downtown Disney’s illuminated nighttime skyline, helps weave the turn-of-the-century theme of Disney Springs through the area, as this building formerly served as Springs Bottling Co., the town’s bottling company.

Check out this time-lapse video of how our Imagineers installed the new marquee literally over night.

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Runners Assemble For Victory at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort

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


Back In February, runDisney invited runners to assemble for the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort. When registration opened in March, the response was overwhelming and the race sold out in 110 minutes.

Well, this past weekend more than 18,000 runners representing all 50 states and 12 countries reported for duty and participated in the runDisney Kids Races, the Avengers Super Heroes 5K and the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon. The excitement was electric.

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Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye were on hand to join forces and cheer on our youngest athletes participating in the Diaper Dash and Kids Races, and our more experienced athletes running through Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and Angel Stadium.

William Prom from Irvine, Calif., Overall Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Winner Alex de la Huerta from Mexico City, Mexico - Who Won the Woman's Title at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

Congratulations goes out to all our finishers, but I would like to extend special recognition to William Prom from Irvine, Calif., the overall half marathon winner, and to Alex de la Huerta from Mexico City, Mexico, who won the women’s title.

Now that the race weekend is over, it’s time for everyone to celebrate victory and look back on the sights and sounds from the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon.

If you would like more information on the 2015 Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend or other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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Room With A View: ‘Theme Park View’ Suite at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Today, we’re kicking off a new series on the Disney Parks Blog, featuring suites at Walt Disney World Resort that have something special in common – a spectacular view.

Our first room with a view is a Club Level 1 Bedroom Theme Park View Suite on the 14th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and one of its most impressive features is the amazing sight of Magic Kingdom Park during the day and the spectacular fireworks at the park when the sun sets.

Of course, the view inside this 1,428 square foot suite is just as impressive. There’s unique artwork throughout the suite, and the open living room is set up with Bose surround sound as well as a DVD and stereo systems.

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The living room and bedroom have an oversize balcony with lounge chairs to enjoy the view of Magic Kingdom Park. The suite also features two full bathrooms and a separate living area.

You can book this suite now at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. To find prices and availability for this suite, visit our Disneyworld.com page.

We’re just getting going with this series, so let us know if this is your favorite resort view or if you have another at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Planning for a Day at Castaway Cay

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


As the weather cools down and winter approaches, do you find yourself dreaming about Castaway Cay more and more, too? I thought so.

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For those of you who haven’t had the chance to sail to our private island yet, let me sum it up for you in one word: paradise. Since it’s our most popular destination, we get tons of questions about it as guests anticipate their first visit. We checked in with Dolly from the Disney Parks Moms Panel during her recent family vacation to get answers to your questions about planning for a day here. Find out what she had to say…

What tips do you have for first-timers visiting Castaway Cay?


For more about cruising with Disney from a mom’s point of view, visit these posts:

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Disneyland Resort Entertainment Team Shares Their Favorite Festive Feature for ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday

posted on November 17th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


If you happened to see the video I posted back in September showing the Haunted Mansion Holiday magical makeover, you may recognize some of the talented “elves” in this video. Once again, I’ve asked the Disneyland Resort Entertainment team to show me their favorite holiday enhancements; only this time they are creating “it’s a small world” Holiday at Disneyland park.

My favorite addition to “it’s a small world” Holiday has to be the clock show, which debuted last year. What’s yours?

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Closer Look: ‘A Frozen Holiday Wish’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on November 17th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Earlier this month, we began our Disney Side holiday video series with a live stream of the all-new “A Frozen Holiday Wish” from the Castle Forecourt Stage at Magic Kingdom Park. It was such a hit that this week we’re sharing a closer look at the show. Disney Show director James Silson has a special look for Disney Parks Blog readers.

“A Frozen Holiday Wish” is now being presented nightly through December 31, 2014 at Magic Kingdom Park. Here’s how you can see it this holiday season.

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Disney Magic Creates Spectacular ‘Frozen’ Gingerbread Castle at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 17th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Take a look at this amazing time-lapse video of the all-new Gingerbread Holiday Ice Castle at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, inspired by Disney’s blockbuster film, “Frozen.”

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Soaring in the resort’s Grand Canyon Concourse, the 17-foot-tall masterpiece is visible from the monorail as guests head to and from Magic Kingdom Park. While it took months to bake all the sweet components, pastry chefs spent five days building the Holiday Ice Castle that’s also inspired by Mary Blair’sit’s a small world.”

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Adorned with sugar snowflakes, gingerbread shingles and chocolate-coated trees, look for Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and his sidekick Sven created with sugar, chocolate and an assortment of candy. All in all, the pastry chefs whipped up 311 pounds of honey, 514 pounds of flour, 212 eggs, 67 pounds of spices, 222 pounds of icing and 423 pounds of chocolate. The Ice Castle has more than 1,500 gingerbread shingles!

Can you find Olaf? He’s hidden 14 places in the display.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on November 16th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared even more holiday experiences happening this season at Disney Parks as well as a special behind-the-scenes peek at how we transform Magic Kingdom Park for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you missed it, take a look at what happens while you sleep.

Our Holiday Services department works year round to make sure everything is ready to be installed at each park and resort at Walt Disney World Resort.

Here are some of other stories we worked on this week.

Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Main Entrance – We continued our “Building the Dream” series on the Disney Parks Blog with a special look at the making of the Main Entrance of Disneyland Park.

First Look: Black Widow and Hawkeye on a Mission This Weekend at Disneyland Resort – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Black Widow and Hawkeye, are descending upon the Disneyland Resort for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon!

First Look: Themed Hotels, Disneytown Announced for Shanghai Disney Resort – Get a peek at some exciting updates for Shanghai Disney Resort, including two themed hotels and an area called Disneytown – a spectacular shopping, dining and entertainment district.

Cinderella’s Dining at Cítricos–Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Starting January 8, 2015, the Disney princesses will welcome guests to Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa!

Dateline Adventureland: Lost Holiday Shipment Found Aboard the Jingle Cruise at Disneyland Park – See how these lost yule tide trappings are now being appropriated by the animals of Jingle Cruise at Disneyland Park.

Trust Your Training – The Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation Finisher Medals Revealed – These ARE the medals you’re looking for … see the finisher medals to be be presented at the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!

First Look at runDisney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Merchandise – Create your own hero identity with merchandise debuting this weekend as part of the runDisney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon.

Disney Parks After Dark: Very Merry Fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park – See this spectacular image, captured by photographer Mark Willard during the fireworks show, Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season.

First Look: Train, Trisha Yearwood, Lucy Hale, Trey Songz and More at the Disneyland Resort for Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration on ABC – Earlier this week we gave our readers the first look at what’s in store Christmas morning from the Disneyland Resort on ABC.

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