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Look Back at the Making of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Rose Parade Float

posted on January 25th, 2016 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


I hope you all got the chance to see the spectacular float “Disneyland Diamond Celebration – Awaken Your Adventure” on New Year’s Day in the 127th Rose Parade from Pasadena, California. Weeks before the finishing touches were added, we went to the warehouse and captured the 166-foot-long float just as it was taking shape. We included some of the video we taped on New Year’s Day to illustrate the amazing work the float team did. It’s fun to see the before and after side-by-side, don’t you think?

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disneyland Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 24th, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


This week, our blog coverage of Disney Parks included an update on an unforgettable act of kindness that led to a dream come true and a special visit to the Walt Disney World Resort.

You may remember the story of two college students who started an effort to raise money and surprise Kathryn Thompson, a beloved cafeteria worker at Acorn University in Elon, NC, with a trip to Walt Disney World. This past week, Kathryn traveled to Florida for her dream vacation and a surprise reunion with the two students who made it happen. Check out Bob’s original story for more details

We also let you know that in Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll soon be able to explore a new exhibit that delves into some of the behind-the-scenes research that went into the production of Disney’s upcoming comedic adventure “Zootopia.”

The ‘Zootopia’ exhibit opens January 29 inside Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Shawn has all of the details in his original story.

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

#DisneyGrandAdventure: Magical Memories for Multi-Generation Families at Walt Disney World Resort – Keep checking the blog for #DisneyGrandAdventure posts in the months to come and learn more about the Grand Adventure for Grandparents & Grandkids here.

When I See an Elephant Fly … from the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park – Disneyland Resort fans know that our attractions need a bit of scrubbing and polishing every now and then. But when the attraction in question is the world famous Jungle Cruise, and the scrubbing and polishing involves one rather hefty bull elephant … well then, you just call in a helicopter.

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Engineer Andy Fitzgerald to be Saluted at Disneyland Resort Flag Retreat Ceremony January 24 – Today we will extend a special thank you during the daily flag retreat ceremony at Disneyland park to Andy Fitzgerald, one of four U.S. Coast Guardsmen who went out to sea to rescue the crew of the SS Pendleton in 1952.

Disneyland Diamond Days Winner Enjoys Private Breakfast in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park – Recently, Disneyland Diamond Days winner Simon Dawson from Thousand Oaks, Calif., and his family enjoyed a private breakfast in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland park, along with a ride on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. The morning got even more magical when Roger Rabbit himself joined them for a visit!

Space Mountain-Themed Products Are Clear for Launch at Disney Parks – One of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World Resort is Space Mountain because I’ve dreamed of being an astronaut. This classic Disney attraction in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park opened on January 15, 1975.

Kids Remember Their Disney Cruise – What are the things you remember most from your first Disney cruise? In this video, we talked with some of our youngest cruisers to hear what they had to say. Check it out!

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

This Week in Disney Park Photos: Unforgettable Kindness at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 23rd, 2016 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


We know a visit to the Most Magical Place on Earth can be impactful, especially for the first time. I still remember my first visit when I was nine years old. Two selfless Elon college students made that dream come true for a beloved cafeteria worker, by raising enough money to send not just her, but her whole family, on vacation.

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This Week in Disney Park Photos, we captured images of the Unforgettable Kindness students Taylor Zisholtz and Lucy Smith-Williams bestowed upon Kathryn Thomson. Zisholtz and Smith-Williams led a social media campaign to raise the funds to send Thomson, her son, daughter-in-law and grandson to Walt Disney World Resort.

You can watch more of Thomson’s trip, plus a surprise reunion, in this video produced by Robert Hitchcock.

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Kids Remember Their Disney Cruise

posted on January 22nd, 2016 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


What are the things you remember most from your first Disney cruise? In this video, we talked with some of our youngest cruisers to hear what they had to say. Check it out!

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When I See an Elephant Fly … from the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park

posted on January 22nd, 2016 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Disneyland Resort fans know that our attractions need a bit of scrubbing and polishing every now and then. But when the attraction in question is the world famous Jungle Cruise, and the scrubbing and polishing involves one rather hefty bull elephant … well then, you just call in a helicopter. (Of course!) I hope you’ll enjoy the video below, which proves once again that elephants really can fly.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Unforgettable Kindness Leads To A Dream Come True At Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 21st, 2016 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


“They will never know how much this means to me.” Those words from Kathryn Thomson following an unforgettable trip and surprise reunion at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

For more than 10-years Thomson has worked at the Acorn coffee shop at Elon University in Elon, NC. Not only does she serve up warm beverages but also provides warm kindness to thousands of students passing through her life each day. Warm conversation, southern charm and genuine interest in the students, Thomson is loved by all she touches.

On most nights Thomson listens to young people share their hopes and dreams, but late one evening in the coffee shop she shared her dream with two complete strangers, Taylor Zisholtz, a junior from Philadelphia, PA, and Lucy Smith-Williams, a freshman from Gainesville, FL. Someday she hoped to take her son, his wife and two grandchildren to Walt Disney World. A tough task for someone working two jobs to make ends meet. In an act of unforgettable kindness, the two students hearing her wish turned to social media and the Elon University community to raise money for Thomson’s dream to come true. Quickly the story became viral on social media channels. Reaching beyond North Carolina borders, the story was picked up by national media. Soon people from around the world were donating to make Thomson’s dream a reality. Within weeks Zisholtz and Smith-Williams were able to deliver the great news that Thomson would be able to take her family to Disney.

Unforgettable Kindness Leads To A Dream Come True At Walt Disney World Resort Unforgettable Kindness Leads To A Dream Come True At Walt Disney World Resort

This past weekend Thomson and her family traveled to Florida for an unforgettable family vacation. They experienced all four theme parks, a special meet and greet with Mickey Mouse and with a little Disney magic, a surprise reunion with the two college students who worked to make this happen.

Standing in front of Cinderella Castle, with a beautiful North Carolina accent, Thomson said, “It’s a dream come true.”

Following the principals of Cinderella herself, three strangers united by courage and kindness.

Three lifelong friends sharing an unforgettable experience at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Moana’ Star Auli’i Cravalho Spends Day of Family Fun at Disneyland Park

posted on January 15th, 2016 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


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On a recent visit to California to record dialogue for the upcoming Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Moana,” actress Auli’i Cravalho, who portrays the film’s title character, took a break from the studio to meet Mickey Mouse and enjoy a day at Disneyland park.

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Auli’i said, “I was beyond thrilled to visit Disneyland with my family – to see all of the incredible attractions featuring characters from my favorite animated films, was truly inspiring!”

“Moana” debuts in theaters in November, and in this video from Walt Disney Animation Studios you’ll learn how filmmakers helped Moana find her voice.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

First Impressions of ‘Tangled: The Musical’ Aboard the Disney Magic

posted on January 14th, 2016 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Just a few weeks ago, “Tangled: The Musical” joined the incredible line-up of original, Broadway-style stage entertainment aboard the Disney Magic, and audiences are raving about this spectacular new production.

With enchanting music, adventure, romance, humor and that special Disney touch, this show really does have something to delight everyone in the family. But don’t take it from me … Watch the video below to hear what some of our guests had to say after seeing the show for the first time.

Have you seen “Tangled: The Musical” aboard the Disney Magic? Did you watch our exclusive live stream featuring one of the new songs? Tell us your first impressions in the comments section below.

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Tastes of Aulani: Learning Hawaiian at The ‘Olelo Room

posted on January 13th, 2016 by Michael Ramirez, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


One of the great things about writing for the Disney Parks Blog is the opportunity to showcase incredible offerings and details found at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts around the world. I love showcasing the many offerings at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, and today is no exception. Continuing the “Tastes of Aulani” series, cast member ­­­­Malia shares what makes The ‘Olelo Room a must-visit during your vacation to this Hawaiian resort.

What is your favorite food or beverage item to enjoy at The ‘Olelo Room? Tell us in the comments below!

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Filed: Aulani, Disney Dining, Hotels & Resorts

#DisneyFamilia: Mealtime is Familia Time at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 13th, 2016 by Sarah Domenech, International Public Relations Manager


For our familias, having dinner together or at least a daily meal juntos is very important. And when you go on vacation, dining together is a priority for our guests because it helps them build memorable moments.

One of the many benefits that our guests enjoy while staying at one of our Walt Disney World Resort hotels is the Disney Dining Plan. In this week’s post, we let you know how the plan works and how you can take full advantage of it.

By following five easy steps, you and your familia will be able to plan the vacation of a lifetime, including deliciouscomidas!

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