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Learn to Draw Mickey’s Pal, Pluto, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on January 8th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

I have to say that of the “Fab Five” Disney characters (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald and Goofy), my favorite sidekick for Mickey Mouse of these has always been Pluto. This week, our Learn to Draw animation series continues with a lesson on how to draw one of Mickey’s best friends.

For previous animation tutorials on some of your favorite Disney characters, check out the list below:

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

Training the Horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland Park: Building Strength and Coordination

posted on January 6th, 2015 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort

In the latest in our series of Disneyland Resort horse training videos, we’ll see Duke working on his ground driving skills with Circle D Equine Trainer Cindy Moser. To a casual observer, ground driving looks like the trainer is simply driving a horse without a cart, but these exercises are an ideal way to develop a horse’s strength, fitness and coordination. And for a new Disneyland Resort horse, these skills are another achievement on the path to pulling the trolley on Main Street, U.S.A.

See the posts below for more on training the horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland park:

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Go Retro With The 2015 New Balance runDisney Shoes

posted on January 6th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney

What better way to kick-off the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna then to unveil the new 2015 New Balance runDisney shoes.


Inspired by the Disney classic Steamboat Willie, the limited edition Retro Mickey and Retro Minnie 990v3 shoes will be available for the first time at this weekend’s runDisney Health and Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The retro black and white shoes feature musical notes around the front sole, classic images of Mickey and Minnie, character signatures and other hidden Disney surprises.

Now, if you are a fan of the 2014 New Balance runDisney shoes I have additional good news. Due to popular demand, a limited number of the 860v4 Sorcerer Mickey and Pink Minnie, as well as the 890v4 Goofy and Cinderella shoes will be available at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and at the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at Disneyland Resort, January 15 – 18.


The new Retro Mickey and Minnie 990v3 shoes will only be available at Health and Fitness Expos during runDisney event weekends. To minimize waiting in line for shoes, New Balance has created a virtual queue to let you know when it’s your turn to be fitted and make your purchase. Starting on Wednesday, January 7, starting at 6 a.m. runners can sign up at using their bib number, and all other guests can sign up Thursday, Jan. 8, starting at 6 am. Be sure to visit to get all the details on ordering and pick-up. For more information on runDisney event weekends, including Health and Fitness Expo dates and hours, visit

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New Disney Parks TV Spot Features Ohio State University, University of Oregon Mascots

posted on January 2nd, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks

Now that all is set for the big game in the inaugural College Football Playoff, we’ve launched our next TV spot created in the same vein as our iconic “I’m going to Disney World” commercials.


In the new spot, mascots from The Ohio State University and the University of Oregon are still passing the time at the airport waiting to see who gets to go to Walt Disney World. Now, we’re down to two.

With the new version of the TV spot, we’re also launching our next online poll. We’d love to hear what Disney Parks Blog readers think. Who wins and gets to go to Walt Disney World?

Watch the College Football Playoff National Championship on ESPN, Monday, January 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Join the conversation on Twitter @CFBPlayoff using the official hashtag #CFBPlayoff.

Be sure to check the Disney Parks Blog later this month for a special behind-the-scenes look at how we created these TV spots.

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Third Tween-Directed ‘Direct Your Disney Side’ Short Debuts

posted on January 2nd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

Last year, we introduced the “Direct Your Disney Side” project, in which our Yellow Shoes Creative Group (partnered with McGarry Bowen and Adolescent Films) worked with three tween filmmakers to bring their #DisneySide-inspired short films to life.

The final short in the series, “Soar,” will appear in theaters nationwide starting today, as a part of the NCM First Look pre-show content (which will run before film previews begin). “Soar,” by 15-year-old Claire Jantzen, tells the story of a female heroine who braves many dangers and villains to rescue a boy and fly off to a happily ever after.

Watch the other shorts in this series here:

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A Bowl of Comfort: Clam Chowder from Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

posted on January 2nd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Just in time for chilly weather, Chef David Hutnick from Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is sharing the recipe for their popular clam chowder. With chopped clams, clam juice and fresh clams, there’s a fresh taste of the ocean in every warm bite. (Plus a little bacon for rich flavor.)

Fresh seafood from around the U.S. is one of the specialties at Captain’s Grille – steamed mussels, lump crab cake, lobster roll, buttermilk-fried rock shrimp, seared tuna, blackened corvina, salmon, snow crab legs and scallops are on the menu, but carnivores will also find a Cabernet-braised short rib and pan-seared chicken on the dinner menu.

Captain’s Grille is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For reservations, visit or visit 407-WDW-DINE.

Clam Chowder
Makes 6 cups

Chive Oil
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/2 cup chives

Clam Chowder
1/3 cup chopped bacon
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup diced celery
18 ounces chopped clams in juice
3 cups heavy cream
24 ounces (3 cups) bottled clam juice
1 cup diced white or gold potatoes
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound fresh clams, well scrubbed

Bacon-Chive Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon

For chive oil:

  1. Cut chives into 1-inch pieces. Place in a fine-mesh sieve and place under very hot running water for about 3 minutes (this avoids a “grassy” flavor).
  2. Combine chives and oil in a blender. Blend on low until well combined, then blend on high for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl; pour chive oil into sieve. Do not press on solids; let oil drip through sieve into bowl, discarding solids.

For chowder:

  1. Heat a stockpot over medium heat; add bacon, cooking until golden and beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion and celery, stirring to combine. Cook until onion is translucent and celery softens, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add clams with their juice, stirring to combine. Add cream, clam juice, and potatoes. Simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender and soup has thickened slightly, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Heat wine in a large sauté pan with a lid over medium-high heat until simmering. Add clams, cover pan, and cook until clams open, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve chowder garnished with cooked whole clams and a drizzle of chive oil.

For bacon-chive biscuits:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Using fingers or a pastry cutter, blend in butter until mixture resembles wet sand.
  3. Stir in buttermilk; fold in chives, cheese, and bacon, just until combined.
  4. Roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness, then use a small round cutter to cut 8 biscuits.
  5. Whisk together egg and water in a small dish. Brush tops of biscuits with egg wash.
  6. Bake until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
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Filed: Disney Dining, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

31 Disney Dream Vacations, Nights in Cinderella Castle to be Awarded in Disney ‘Flip’ Side Sweepstakes

posted on January 1st, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks

Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2015 in a big way by “flipping” Disney Side around and giving away a Walt Disney World Resort vacation that includes a night in Cinderella Castle Suite everyday in January!

Disney Parks Blog readers know that everyone has a Disney Side – that side of you that comes out to play the moment you step through the gates at any of our parks. Well, this month, we’re “flipping” it and exploring how your favorite Disney characters show their Disney Side in fun and unexpected ways.

It’s already begun.  From now until January 31, visit to check-out videos and photos from Sam, the Disney Parks Insider, as he goes behind the scenes with all-Parks access, an arsenal of cameras and crafty disguises to show you never-before-seen Disney Sides of some of your favorite Disney Park personalities. While visiting, be sure to enter the Disney “Flip” Side Sweepstakes. There is a new winner selected everyday in January. That’s 31 winners who will receive a 5-day/4-night dream vacation at Walt Disney World Resort for four that includes:

  • 1-Night stay at the Cinderella Castle Suite in the Magic Kingdom Park
  • 3 Nights at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel
  • 5-Day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun & More Options
  • $500 Disney Gift Card
  • Personalized “Disney Side” Welcome Basket
  • Glass Slipper Gift inspired by the new live-action film “Cinderella,” in theaters March 13
  • Round-trip coach airfare (If the winner resides more than 250 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort)

Visit and enter everyday for a chance to win. It’s Disney Side fun, flipped around just for you.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to individuals, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not minors. Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (PT) on 1/1/15 and ends 11:59 PM (PT) on 1/31/15. The Sweepstakes is made up of 31 daily sweepstakes each beginning at 12:01 AM (PT) and ending at 11:59 PM (PT) each day. Limit one (1) Entry per daily sweepstakes. Click here for full Official Rules.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

VIDEO: New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on December 31st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks

Happy New Year! Tonight, we live streamed our special New Year’s Eve presentation of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks from Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort – and you can watch the replay for yourself below. To view the fireworks show, skip ahead to 20:10 in the video below.

Be sure to check back for more live events on the Disney Parks Blog in 2015.

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Year in Review: 2014 at the Disneyland Resort

posted on December 31st, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort

The year is almost over, so let’s take a look back at all that 2014 brought to the Disneyland Resort!

VIDEO: Celebrating 59 Years of Magic at the Disneyland Resort – We celebrated 59 years of Disneyland with a special celebration and a sneak peek at the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.


A Look Back at June 14, 1959: Grand Opening of the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Submarine Voyage at Disneyland ParkGeorge shared this amazing look back at the opening of three major Disneyland park attractions 55 years ago.

Time-Lapse Video: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Refurbishment at Disneyland Park
Fans of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad raved when the attraction reopened earlier this year with an upgraded track and new effects.

Global Sing-Along Celebrates 50th Anniversary of ‘it’s a small world’ – We celebrated the anniversary of the Disney Parks classic this year with a global sing-along.

Runners Assemble For Victory at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort – The inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon invited athletes to assemble with some of their favorite heroes.

‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!’ at Disneyland Park

Five Lessons Learned During ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!’ at Disneyland Park – Disneyland park guests helped create the story of “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!” in this first-of-its-kind experience.


Dateline Adventureland: Adventure Trading Company Now Open at Disneyland Park – Guests caught Juju fever when the Adventure Trading Company set up shop in Adventureland.

What was your favorite Disneyland Resort event in 2014?

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Year In Review: 2014 Disney Parks Blog Meet-Ups

posted on December 30th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

Disney Parks Blog meet-ups are one of my favorite parts of working on our team. Not only do we get to allow some of the biggest Disney fans out there the chance to experience something new at our parks, but we get to meet our readers face to face, as well!


In 2014, we were able to offer some one-of-a-kind experiences to our fans – from testing out the new Food Trucks at Downtown Disney, to dressing up like favorite superheros for an early screening of “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Here’s a look back at the fun we had with our readers in 2014.

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort