Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Family Creates Giant Olaf at the Beach to Celebrate Disney Side

posted on September 8th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re a regular Disney Parks Blog reader, you know it’s been a summer of Frozen Fun for us. So, before the season officially comes to an end, we wanted to share a spectacular Frozen-inspired sand creation a family made to show their Disney Side at New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

snbnns735699

Each summer vacation, the Dorf family chooses a Disney character to design and build in the sand and everyone pitches in to make it happen. This year, Olaf from the film “Frozen” was the obvious choice since he wanted to experience summer, according to the family.

The Dorf family used a grid to trace the Olaf character in the sand and then filled it in with collected seaweed and a some food coloring. The final product is a fantastic beach Olaf in the sun we just had to share.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

Get ‘A-Head’ in Life with Words of Wisdom from Shrunken Ned at Disneyland Park

posted on September 5th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Looking for some friendly advice? Check out Shrunken Ned, Jungle Witch Doctor at South Sea Traders in Adventureland at Disneyland park. Ned has the cure for whatever ails you. He hangs around all day just waiting to tell people what to do. Give him a hand and he’ll give you a personal prescription; no appointment necessary.

Here’s the great advice Ned recently gave me:

Ned

Trivia Question: Shrunken Ned signs each prescription card with his original name. What is it?

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Three Generations Crossing The Disneyland Half Marathon Finish Line Together

posted on September 5th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Here is a little secret, I love my job and working with runDisney. Event weekends are exciting and standing at the finish line watching thousands of people accomplish their goals is uplifting, rewarding and sometimes emotional. From cheers of excitement to tears of joys, the stories that unfold at the finish line are incredible. I am truly inspired meeting and talking with our runners. Their stories provide messages we can all learn from.

Three Generations Crossing The Disneyland Half Marathon Finish Line Together ‘it’s a small world’ At Disneyland Paris

Last year I introduced the runDisney community to 81-year-old Flor Irlandez from Portland, OR. In 2013 she was the oldest runner to complete the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort. She ran the Disneyland 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday, 19.3 miles. Last weekend she returned to run the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare, this time at the age of 82. Running with two of her daughters, a son in-law and grandson, she once again completed the two-day event and collected three runDisney finisher medals and family memories to last for years.

There are a couple lessons we can takeaway from Flor’s accomplishment.

First, we should not let age be a barrier to accomplish our goals. Flor’s message is simple, “Just get going, not just running, but walking, getting out, sweating …. I just feel good after a run, everybody should do it.”

Second, participating in a runDisney event can be fun for the entire family. Flor has inspired three generations to lead a healthy active lifestyle. “It just makes it fun and it’s no longer about running and racing, but about being together and being healthy as a family,” says Marissa Walker, Flor’s daughter from Berkeley, CA.

Flor, your accomplishments are amazing, not just in running but also in how you have inspired generations. We all look forward to seeing you at the finish line for years to come.

For more information and to register for a runDisney event, visit runDisney.com.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Cheer On Your Disney Side “Kicks-Off” With Nationwide Competition

posted on September 5th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


With college football season underway and teams fighting for the four spots in the new College Football Playoff system, college cheer and dance squads from across the country are jumping into action and competing for national recognition of their own by cheering on their Disney Side.

CheerOnYourDisneySide_303 Varity

This week, college cheer and dance squads began competing in a nationwide competition by creating 30-second videos of a cheer or dance routine using remixed Disney Park attraction music to show off their “Disney Side.’’ Video submissions are being accepted at Espn.com/CheerMagic through Nov. 10 with four finalists announced Dec. 11 on ESPN around the telecast of the Home Depot College Football Awards show at Walt Disney World Resort. The winning squad will be announced January 12 on ESPN before the college football National Championship. The winning team of Cheer On Your Disney Side sponsored by ESPN working in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit, wins a $100,000 grant for their college spirit program and a group trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The excitement is not limited to just cheer and dance squads. Fans can get into the action by voting for their favorite Disney Side cheer and dance routine from the final four finalists.

How do you get involved, take a look.

For more information, rules and to submit a video, visit Espn.com/CheerMagic.

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.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.

disney-side2ESPN

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of 50 US States and DC, at least 18+ who are a School Administrator, Teacher, Coach or Administrative Director, representing a public or private, 2 or 4 year college/university located in the 50 US States or DC. Starts 9/3/14 12:00 PM EST. Ends 11/10/14 11:59 PM EST. To enter visit www.espn.com/CheerMagic and follow the directions provided to complete the Online entry form, and upload your Spirit Squad’s 30 sec videos. For prize details odds of winning and complete Official Rules go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Experience The Grand Adventure at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 5th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Sure, Sunday is National Grandparents Day but we’ve been celebrating the endearing relationship that exists between grandparents and grandchildren all summer. It’s a club of two generations that parents don’t have a membership to. And at Walt Disney World Resort, there are amazing family adventures to experience, especially if you have the word “grand” in your title.

A Grand Adventure between grandparents and grandchildren at Disney Parks is like no other outing. Whether it’s flying on elephants, meeting characters or just exploring the parks, it can be an experience of a lifetime. Take a look at some of our most popular “grand” adventures.

What’s your favorite Grand Adventure at Walt Disney World Resort? Let us know in the comments and then keep exploring on our special Grand Adventure page.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Original Cast of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue Reunites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As Pam shared earlier, we’re celebrating the official 40th birthday of the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. And to mark the occasion, we have a special video – the first-ever reunion of the original cast. The Pioneer Hall Players were college students to begin the show’s 40-year run and tonight, they’re back to share their favorite memories.

The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue presents three shows nightly, seven days a week, at 4 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. If you’ve experienced Hoop-Dee-Doo, please let us know about your favorite memories in the comments.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

ESPN Prepares Football Fans With Inaugural Fantasy Football Convention at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Are you ready for some football? Are your lineups set?

Tonight, the 2014 NFL season kicks-off as the Green Bay Packers square off against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. While most of us are just now planning for an upcoming season of tailgating, chili and pumpkin-flavored beverages, hundreds of lucky fans kicked-off their “fantasy” season with some serious bragging rights. They had the opportunity to tailgate with ESPN’s Matthew Berry, Tim Hasselbeck and Sara Walsh, sit in on a live telecast of ESPN2′s “Fantasy Football Now”, and get some insider tips on choosing the right team. It was all capped off with a fantasy football draft coached by NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.

Here are some highlights of the event:

The ESPN Fantasy Football Convention is an example of the type of event you can only experience when Walt Disney World Resort and ESPN join forces. And it only happens at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. While this year’s Convention has come and gone, there’s still time to sign your family and friends up for some friendly competition with ESPN Fantasy Football.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyKids: First runDisney Race

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Okay, I am just going to be honest with you, this Disney First is really cute and the photos and videos below are guaranteed to put a big Disney smile on your face. What do you get when you combine adorable kids in costumes, Disney characters and a runDisney event? You get unforgettable Disney memories that will last a lifetime.

This past weekend hundreds of kids participated in their first runDisney race at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort. From the 400 meter run to the diaper dash, our youngest competitors lined up to challenge themselves and each other.

If you or your child wants to experience a runDisney first at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort, visit runDisney.com for more information and to register.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Happy Birthday! Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue Celebrates 40 Years of Food, Fun at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


September 5 marks the official 40th birthday of one of the longest-running dinner shows in American history – Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. We say “official” because the show got its start that summer (on June 30) as part of the Disney World Fine Arts College Workshop program, with six young actors playing the roles, says Forrest Bahruth, the original choreographer who still creates fantastic shows for Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Entertainment.

HDD796642

“Hoop-Dee-Doo was upbeat, and guests came for the corny jokes, good food and lots of fun,” said Forrest Bahruth, show director, Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Entertainment and the original choreographer for the dinner show. “Forty years later, the heart is still in it, the energy is still there.”

Of course we think the endless buckets of fried chicken and ribs play a starring role, too. The menu has only had one major change since its debut – the apple pie for dessert was changed to strawberry shortcake way back in 1979. Today, servers (who are part of the high-energy show) dish up about 900 pounds of fried chicken every night, and cooks spend about six hours each day just breading the chicken. Add 400 pounds of pork ribs, slow cooked starting at 11 a.m. daily on a big outdoor smoker.

For sides, there are 120 pounds of corn, 400 pounds of potatoes to be mashed and 30 gallons of baked beans. It takes 15 gallons of strawberries and 12 gallons of whipped cream to make dessert.

Add beer, wine, sangria and soft drinks, and you got a formula for fun – a show that has presented about 37,000 performances before more than 10.5 million guests. And like the food, the show, while fine-tuned, hasn’t changed much, says show director Tom Vazzana.

“Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue exemplifies everything that Disney stands for,” says Vazzana. “It’s interactive fun for families and stellar entertainment – six performers put on a show that’s 90 minutes of pure enjoyment.”

Performers sing, dance and act their way through the timeless classic. “I love to go and hear kids squeal with delight at Six Bits, but also hear strong American ballads,” says Vazzana. “Families tell me it’s the first time they’ve seen a Broadway-style show – it’s obtainable and accessible, quintessential Disney.”

Hoop-Dee-Doo presents three shows nightly, seven days a week, at 4 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE or book online.

Looking Back

In true Disney fashion, Walt Disney Imagineers designed Pioneer Hall in authentic Wild West style with 1,283 hand-fitted pine logs from Montana and 70 tons of stones from North Carolina to recreate a look from the late 1800s. The building opened April 1, 1974.

Themed entertainment is always part of the Disney story. While Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was being written and cast, a group of country-Western musicians called The Star-Spangled Washboard Band opened in Pioneer Hall, according to an historical timeline by Larry Billman, author/writer and Disney entertainment consultant, who was the author and writer of the original show.

Bob Jani, the director of entertainment for both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, saw the potential for a “dinner theater show” and hired Billman. After multiple rewrites (the first version was called “We’re With You, Mother McCree!”), Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was born.

Students from the 11-week college workshop auditioned for the three female and three male character performers in Hoop-Dee-Doo: Six Bits Slocum and Dolly Drew (comic relief), Jim Handy and Flora Long (the singers), and Johnny Ringo and Claire de Lune (the dancers).

Fun Facts

  • Today, one member of the original cast from the college program still works for Disney – Marilyn Kay Magness, who played the part of Dolly Drew. She’s executive creative director, Disney Parks, Creative Entertainment.
  • An early draft of the show was titled The Whoop-Dee-Doo-Revue, which was revised to Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
  • Principal songwriter was Tom Adair, who also wrote words for the score for Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” and the “Mickey Mouse Club.”
  • In 1979 the song “Apple Pie Hoedown” was replaced with “Strawberry Short Cake Walk” when shortcake replaced apple pie on the menu.
  • The writers added a nod to Disney legacy with “The Legend of Davy Crockett” skit, complete with a coonskin cap and bear puns.
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was part of the opening entertainment at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, with Larry Billman and Forrest Bahruth directing and staging the new version. The show played there until 1995.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney Dining, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Learn To Draw Minnie Mouse at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, our “Learn to Draw” series is focusing on a classic Disney character who needs no introduction. It’s Minnie Mouse!

This week, Heather Worley from Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is here to give you a quick tutorial on how to draw the perfect Minnie. Grab a pencil and paper and let’s go!

For more animation tutorials, visit the links below:

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort