Sunset Over the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Summertime Fun at Disney Parks Blog Summer BBQ Meet-Up at Disneyland Park

posted on June 30th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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Disney Parks Blog readers had the chance to kick off summer in a big way at the Disney Parks Blog Summer BBQ Meet-Up at Disneyland park on Friday!

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Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse were there, greeting guests in “Yee-Haw!” style.

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Guests were treated to live music by Fiddlin’ Duane, Miss Chris and more!

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Talented artists were on hand to sketch guest caricatures, Disney characters, name art and even temporary tattoos.

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Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and even Horace Horsecollar joined guests for a boot-scootin’ line dance! Take a look at all the fun in the video below.

Y’all keep an eye on Disney Parks Blog for future events, ya hear!

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Disney Stars Laura and Vanessa Marano Show Off Their Disney Side Style at Disney Parks

posted on June 30th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


My fellow author Jennifer Fickley-Baker recently shared a video featuring Disney Stars Laura Marano from Disney Channel’s “Austin and Ally” and Vanessa Marano from ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth” during their recent visit to Disney Parks. During their trip to Disneyland Resort, they showed off their Disney Side style in another video recently published on the Disney Style YouTube channel.

The image below contains a few things that Laura and Vanessa selected from Disney Parks. The sequin Minnie Mouse headband is one of the most popular items we carry. The red Mickey Mouse crop top that Vanessa wears isn’t currently offered at Disney Parks, but I found a classic Mickey Mouse tee that works just as well. Finally, Laura is sporting a gray Mickey Mouse shirt that is part of a new art program called “Whimsy.”

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Many of these items can be found at select locations in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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In California, the best places to visit first include Disney Vault 28 and World of Disney at Downtown Disney District.

In Florida, I suggest trying TrenD or Zoey & Pickles inside the newly opened Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. You can see an image from Zoey & Pickles in the bottom right corner of the image above.

You may also find a few select items, such as Beautifully Disney cosmetics, on our Disney Parks online store – DisneyParks.com/Store.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

NFL Superstar Drew Brees Takes The Field At ESPN Wide World of Sports

posted on June 27th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


“Who Dat” at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort? Well “Dat” is Drew Brees, eight time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl MVP quarterback of the New Orleans Saints.

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This week Brees called the sports complex home as more than 300 high school athletes from across the country participated in the exclusive Drew Brees Passing Academy. These young athletes had the opportunity to learn from Brees and train with other NFL superstars such as Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), Darren Sproles (Philadelphia Eagles) and Darrelle Revis (New England Patriots). Participants were exposed to new training techniques for conditioning and performance, and then participated with team members in a two-day 7-on-7 Tournament. Proceeds from the Drew Brees Passing Academy and 7-on-7 Tournament benefit The Brees Dream Foundation, established in 2003 to help cancer patients with quality care and education for children and families.

Here is a look at the amazing experience these high school athletes enjoyed.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex allows athletes of all ages and skill levels to compete and celebrate like the pros do; whether they go on to collegiate/professional fame or not, every athlete takes with them lessons learned that shapes their character, personal and professional development. Brees joins a long list of elite athletes such as Kerri Walsh Jennings, Casey Powell and several English Premiere League soccer players, that come to the complex to create unforgettable experiences with young athletes.

If you are interested in more information on the Drew Brees Passing Academy or ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, visit espnwwos.com.

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#DisneyKids: First Flight on Dumbo the Flying Elephant

posted on June 27th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


So far, we’ve shared several different “firsts” to experience at Disney Parks in our new #DisneyKids blog series but today’s may be our most popular – a first flight on Dumbo the Flying Elephant. This attraction is for everyone – and that’s part of what makes it a special “first” memory for so many guests.

Keep your #DisneyKids suggestions coming in and let us know what was special, memorable or even life changing about your first ride at Disney Parks in the comments.

Also, you can find more fun for little ones – as well as special offers designed with your family in mind on our special preschool page.

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Celebrating the Fourth of July at Disneyland Resort

posted on June 26th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and Disneyland Resort is gearing up to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, concerts, and more! Here’s a look at some of the star-spangled highlights we’ve got planned for next week:

  • Disneyland park – “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” rockets into the air above Sleeping Beauty Castle. This special, fireworks spectacular will be presented on four different nights, July 1 – 4 at 9:25 p.m.

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  • 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band – This outstanding military band from Miramar, California, is returning to Disneyland park for another year! The band will be performing several times throughout the day on Friday, July 4.
    • Catch the band in a brief cavalcade along the parade route at 3:30 p.m., just ahead of the “Frozenpre-parade and the first performance of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.
    • The band will help retire the colors at the Disneyland park flag retreat ceremony in Town Square at 5:30 p.m.
    • Immediately following the flag retreat, at 5:45 p.m., the full band will perform along the parade route, all the way back to “it’s a small world.”
    • Finally, you can enjoy the full band in concert on the stage of the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, starting at 7:15 p.m.

  • Disney California Adventure park – On July 4, a special patriotic pre-show will be presented at the start of both the 9 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. performances of “World of Color.”
  • “Glow With the Show” – Don’t forget to bring along your “Glow with the Show” Ears (or pick up a pair)! Those interactive, light-up Ear Hats magically become part of the fireworks at Disneyland park and “World of Color” and its patriotic pre-show at Disney California Adventure park.

To help you get in the spirit, here’s a look at last year’s production of “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” Who’s ready for some red, white, and blue?!

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VIDEO – Tour the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World

posted on June 26th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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A few weeks ago, we officially opened the doors to the Marketplace Co-Op, our newest retail location in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort. This flexible space location will be a testing ground for new retail shop concepts, products and Guest experiences.

If you have yet to visit, here is a quick grand circle tour of my new favorite shopping destination at Disney Parks. Look for cameos by Tom Sheldon, manager of retail design and development for Disney Theme Park Merchandise, and Ron James, area manager for merchandise presentation, at the beginning of the video. I first interviewed Tom in November 2013 about the shop in this Disney Parks Blog story, and it was amazing to watch the location come to life during these past few months.

You can also find select items from the Marketplace Co-Op on our Disney Parks online store at DisneyStore.com/MarketplaceCoOp

Do you have a favorite item from the Marketplace Co-Op? If so, please share in the comments below.

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A 21st Birthday Celebration for Singing Superstar Ariana Grande at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 25th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


A pop princess met a Disney princess at Magic Kingdom Park, and it was all in celebration of Ariana Grande’s 21st birthday.

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The singer, who recently topped the charts with her megahit “Problem” (featuring Iggy Azalea), visited Magic Kingdom Park, where she was met by Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle. Then, Prince Charming and Cinderella helped celebrate with Grande as a giant Bibbidi Bobbidi Blue-hued birthday cake, created by the talented team of Disney Pastry Chefs, was unveiled. Dozens of Grande’s friends and family members joined in the fun to help the global music superstar celebrate at Magic Kingdom Park.

In this video, Grande — a Florida native — discusses the Magic Kingdom Park celebration, the dress she chose for the occasion and how the music video for her upcoming single, “Break Free,” reminds her of Space Mountain.

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#DisneyKids: Remembering Favorite Disney Characters at Disney Parks

posted on June 25th, 2014 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


As a mother of three young girls, I’m continually delighted by my daughters’ ability to remember even the smallest details from our visits to Disney Parks. It’s all memorable to them because they’re totally immersed in the Disney magic, especially my 4-year-old preschooler.

Today, we’re continuing our #DisneyKids series with our resident ‘kid-at-heart’ Gary Buchanan, who recently hosted an unscripted roundtable discussion with a group of preschoolers to find out how much they really know and remember about Disney. Don’t miss their cute answers.

Do your little ones have favorite characters? Let us know with #DisneyKids.

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Every Role a Starring Role – Celebrating 50 Episodes at Disneyland Resort!

posted on June 24th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Since 2010, our camera crews have covered the Disneyland Resort far and wide to introduce you to our hard working cast members and give you a behind-the-scenes look at the roles they play to bring magic to our guests.

Every Role a Starring Role” – a video series spotlighting various roles at the Disneyland Resort – celebrates 50 episodes this month, and we’ve taken a walk down memory lane that I’d like to share with all of you. As Orange County’s largest employer with 26,000 cast members, it’s no surprise that the Disneyland Resort offers such a wide variety of jobs. (Though, I am surprised by many unique ones!)

We look forward to introducing you to more of our cast members who make Walt Disney’s dream, as he put it, a reality. Here’s another look at those you’ve met so far!

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Seeing Stars During Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on June 23rd, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


“The Lion King – Concert in the Wild,” the incredible theatrical experience produced for Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, celebrates the 20th anniversary of “The Lion King.” This all-new show is a 55-minute retelling of Simba’s story as never seen before, combining music, dance, and spoken word, all performed in the spirit and style of African cultural traditions.

In “The Lion King,” Simba’s father, Mufasa, invites him to look to the stars. “The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars,” he says. “So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you, and so will I.”

This and other wonderful messages and moments from that classic film have resonated with people the world over, including the stars participating as celebrity narrators for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.” For the opening night performance earlier this month, we were honored to be joined by Viola Davis, Tony award winner and Oscar nominated star of “The Help,” “Doubt,” and the upcoming ABC drama “How to Get Away with Murder.” She shared with us her impressions of the performance, as well as her personal connection to one of the main messages of the film.

Harambe Nights continues every Saturday evening through August 9, 2014. The lineup of celebrity guest narrators features acclaimed and award-winning actors and actresses from film, TV, and Broadway, each bringing their own passion for “The Lion King” story. Scheduled to appear*:

  • June 28 David Alan Grier: “Porgy & Bess,” “In Living Color” – SOLD OUT
  • July 5Michael Beach: “ER,” “Third Watch,” “Sons of Anarchy” – SOLD OUT
  • July 12Harry Lennix: “The Blacklist,” “The Five Heartbeats”
  • July 19Joe Morton: “Scandal,” “American Gangster,” “The Good Wife”
  • July 26Alfre Woodard: “Desperate Housewives,” “Miss Evers Boys”
  • August 2Brian Stokes Mitchell: “Ragtime,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Glee”
  • August 9Patina Miller: “Pippin,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”

Every event night so far has sold out, but great seats are still available for each of the remaining dates in July and August. You’ll need to act fast, though! Tickets are $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax, and include parking, a Welcome Reception, “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild,” two hours of additional live entertainment during the Harambe Nights Street Party, and abundant food and drinks throughout the evening. For tickets, visit Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights or call 407-939-1319.

(*Entertainment subject to change)

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