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#DisneyFamilia: Juntos (Together) in Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 15th, 2015 by Sarah Domenech, International Public Relations Manager


Hola (Hello)! I’m Sarah Domenech, Public Relations manager for the Hispanic and Latin American markets. I want to welcome you to our latest series.

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Walt Disney World Resort is the perfect place to bring your whole family for the vacation of a lifetime! And Latinos surely know how to make the most of their time off together. However, traveling to our parks with the whole familia (family) can be a little bit overwhelming. We know it takes a lot of time and effort to plan the perfect vacation para todos (for all).

Travel expert Sonia Gil, also known as the “Hada Madrina (Fairy Godmother) of Travel,” offers you valuable tips to plan that perfect Walt Disney World Resort vacation in a new video series called “Sonia’s Best of Walt Disney World.”

From where to stay, shop and eat to her favorite things to do, Sonia will show you how easy it is to plan an amazing vacation.

Be sure to visit Disneyworld.com and select your preferred language to get more information.

Do you have other tips for spending quality family time juntos (together) at Walt Disney World Resort? I would love to hear from you!

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Shanghai Disneyland Themed Lands to Include New Attractions, Live Shows

posted on July 14th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Just a few minutes ago in China, Disney chairman and CEO, Bob Iger unveiled new, exciting details on Shanghai Disney Resort, the area’s first Disney destination, and the six themed lands planned for the Shanghai Disneyland theme park.

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Shanghai Disney Resort will be a world-class family entertainment destination that blends the magic of Disney and the cultural spirit and beauty of China. And during a special event that included Disney COO Tom Staggs and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek, Bob Iger shared a peek at what the Resort will look like with the unveiling of a spectacular scale model showcasing its two hotels, Disneytown – its international shopping, dining and entertainment district, Wishing Star Park’s beautiful gardens and six themed lands of mainland China’s first Disney theme park – Shanghai Disneyland.

“We are building something truly special here in Shanghai that not only showcases the best of Disney’s storytelling but also celebrates and incorporates China’s incredibly rich heritage to create a one-of-a-kind destination that will delight and entertain the people of China for generations to come,” said Iger speaking to media during today’s presentation at the Shanghai Expo Centre. “We are taking everything we’ve learned from our six decades of exceeding expectations – along with our relentless innovation and famous creativity to create a truly magical place that is both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”

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At Shanghai Disneyland, Disney stories will come to life at the tallest, largest and most interactive castle at any Disney theme park. The themed lands will offer something for everyone with live stage productions, world premieres and thrilling attractions ­­– many never seen before – that will appeal to guests of all generations. Guests also will be able to experience Disney characters in each land, including Mickey and his pals on Mickey Avenue and in Gardens of Imagination.

In Tomorrowland, one of the six themed lands, guests will be able to experience the TRON Lightcycle Power Run, a new coaster-style attraction where riders board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles for one of the most thrilling adventures at any Disney park.

Along with Tomorrowland, we have a more detailed look at the lands coming to Shanghai Disneyland:

Fantasyland will be the largest land and home to the majestic Enchanted Storybook Castle that we’ve already featured here on the Blog. In this fairy-tale paradise, guests will float through familiar Disney stories on Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, hitch a rollicking ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and take flight over the skies of London on Peter Pan’s Flight. They may also explore the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh or follow Alice through a dazzling Wonderland maze.

Treasure Cove – will be the first pirate-themed land in a Disney park. As guests explore this pirate world, they will enter Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, an attraction that transforms a boat ride into a thrilling journey with cutting-edge innovations in robotics, animation, set design and multimedia. Adventurous spirits will be tempted to board a pirate ship, paddle through the scenic cove on Explorer Canoes and dine at Barbossa’s Bounty.

Adventure Isle will immerse guests in a newly discovered lost world, filled with hidden treasures and a chance to explore its mysteries. The mighty Roaring Mountain will tower over guests and beckon them on their journey. Guests can blaze their own trails at Camp Discovery, travel around the world on Soaring over the Horizon, or embark on the thrilling rafting adventure Roaring Rapids, straight through the heart of Adventure Isle. There they discover the underworld realm of a mysterious, fearsome creature.

Tomorrowland will not only include the TRON Lightcycle Power Run but also offer the chance for guests to go to infinity and beyond on Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, a new space ranger adventure, or break the bonds of gravity on Jet Packs. The land will feature a massive, color-shifting canopy near the TRON Lightcycle Power Run.

Mickey Avenue will be the first main entry at a Disney park inspired by the colorful personalities of Mickey Mouse and his pals. In the neighborhoods of this welcoming, whimsical avenue, guests will share a hug and get a photo with some all-time favorite Disney characters. Avenue M Arcade, one of the many shops along the avenue, will feature the largest selection of gifts and collectibles inside the theme park.

Gardens of Imagination will celebrate the wonders of nature and the joy of imagination, as guests leave everyday life behind to enjoy the seven whimsical gardens. Guests will take a spin on the Fantasia Carousel, soar on the back of Dumbo the Flying Elephant and enjoy the area’s iconic Disney entertainment, including Castle stage shows and “Ignite the Dream, a Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light.” From several places in this land, guests will enjoy “Mickey’s Storybook Express,” an exciting parade with its own musical soundtrack and colorful performers on the longest parade route in a Disney park.

Since breaking ground in 2011, Disney and Shanghai Shendi Group announced that they were expanding the park by adding additional attractions and entertainment to allow more guests to have a spectacular Disney experience at Grand Opening in spring of 2016. Stay tuned for more updates on Shanghai Disney Resort.

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Tastes of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Local-style Acai Bowl at ‘AMA‘AMA

posted on July 14th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


I have been in love with the Local-style Acai Bowl at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, since my first visit to O’ahu. This healthy and delicious smoothie-like parfait features fresh Hawaiian fruit, organic granola, local honey and other garnishings! To say I crave one here on the mainland every morning would certainly be an understatement. Today, the “Tastes of Aulani” series continues with Chef Kevin preparing my favorite menu item at ‘AMA’AMA – Contemporary Island Cooking. Enjoy the video below and then start your day off with an acai bowl using the recipe below!

Local-style Acai Bowl
Serves 4

  • 3/4 cup acai purée
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 bananas, divided
  • 1/4 cup local honey, more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup organic granola
  • 12 slices starfruit
  • 1/2 cup poha berries
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
  1. Blend purée, strawberries, blueberries, 1 banana, and honey in a blender on high speed. Pour into 4 small serving bowls.
  2. Top each with even amounts of granola, starfuit, poha berries, strawberries, and banana. Drizzle to taste with honey and garnish with mint.

Chef’s note: Acai is a reddish, purple berry that comes from the acai palm tree which is native to Central and South America. High in antioxidants, the flavor is described as a cross between a rich blackberry or raspberry and a piece of dark chocolate. The sweet-tart poha berry is a relative of the tomatillo that looks like a cherry but tastes more like a tart tomato. Acai purée can be found in the freezer section of local health food stores.

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Celebrate Sunday with Kirk Franklin’s Gospel Brunch at House of Blues Orlando

posted on July 14th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Joyful, uplifting, and enthusiastic … that’s how I’d describe my first experience at Kirk Franklin’s Gospel Brunch at House of Blues Orlando. Whether you’re a fan of gospel or not, a regular churchgoer or an occasional attendee, everyone is welcome here! With gospel songs personally selected by legendary producer and artist Kirk Franklin, and an amazing all-you-can-eat buffet featuring breakfast favorites, southern specialties including my favorite: chicken and waffles, and desserts, it’s impossible to choose what I enjoyed most.

Check out the video below to learn more about this spectacular Sunday offering.

Ready to book? Choose your showtime – 10:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. – then call 407-934-2583 or book online.

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Local Students Shower Disneyland Resort and Its Cast Members With Thousands of Birthday Wishes

posted on July 13th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Nothing makes a birthday celebration more special than a few heartfelt birthday wishes — except maybe several THOUSAND wishes! Well, that is exactly the magic our cast members felt when thousands of Anaheim elementary school students showered Disneyland Resort and its cast with birthday cards for a very happy 60th. With a touch of magic and a little help from some beloved Disney friends, this video brings to life some of the children’s cutest creations as they make their way to our cast.

Students from kindergarten through sixth grade got into the spirit of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, creating birthday cards that feature drawings of everything from birthday cakes to favorite characters and attractions, along with sentiments that express just how much they treasure their visits to the Disneyland Resort. On July 17, these dazzling creations will be on display throughout the Resort for cast members to enjoy. I can’t wait to open mine!

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Room With A View: Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside

posted on July 10th, 2015 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


The next installment in our Disney Parks Blog series, “Room with A View,” takes a look inside Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. This resort blends the Southern charm of the sprawling Garden District with the playful spirit of the French Quarter – Disney style. Towering magnolias, oak trees and colorful azaleas surround the four, three-story manor homes that make up Magnolia Bend.

Let’s walk up the winding staircase to these stately mansions and take a peek at the view from the cast-iron balconies just outside room 9257.

The magical thing about staying in Magnolia Bend is the myriad of scenes you can take in from different spots along the spacious balcony that wraps around the entire floor. You can step outside your room for a glimpse of a rural New Orleans scene with open gardens, fragrant courtyards and a tranquil fountain inviting you to toss a coin to make a wish. There is so much to take in. If you are lucky you might even catch a horse-drawn carriage passing by. And you can’t miss the bustling riverfront and authentic water mill, which is just a stone’s throw away. There’s a comfortable elegance and excitement here that captures the essence of the south.

Inside the “Royal Room” and you will see regal touches that make this a fun resort for families. The storyline is that Princess Tiana has hosted royal friends from around the world and each special guest left behind a cherished memento to mark their visit. The themed accommodations showcase playful artwork, majestic banners, a golden chandelier and other ornate accents. I was especially intrigued by the large framed 3-D lenticular artwork of Tiana. And little girls will be giddy when they discover the magic button that transforms the headboard into a dazzling fiber-optic fireworks display. Other whimsical touches include a dual bathroom sink with Genie’s magic lamp from Disney’s “Aladdin” as the faucet. There’s even a nod to the Disney princes with respective scrolls on the walls. Characters from beloved Disney•Pixar films can also be spotted in the wallpaper border.

Room With A View: Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside

Be sure to explore the photo gallery above of this southern gem of a resort!

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Google ‘Code the Road’ Ends With Celebration at Epcot

posted on July 9th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Recently, Google embarked on a nationwide bus tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Google Maps API that ended Friday, June 26, with a special celebration at Epcot.

Here, they hosted an event that allowed park guests to check out a digital display of Google Maps-related apps and also taught a group of students (grades 6-12) from Collegiate Pathways’ Tech Sassy Girlz about coding and technology. Disney cast members also took part in the celebration, giving the students a technology tour of Epcot that explored the park’s interactive queue experiences, and mapping and navigation technology, among other projects.

Check out the video below for a look inside the celebration.

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Every Role a Starring Role – Aviator at Soarin’ Over California at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on July 6th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Welcome aboard, flight enthusiasts! I’m Kevin, your in-flight entertainment for the next 3-4 minutes. As many of you know, we immerse our guests in the rich history and vibrant surroundings of the state of California when they visit Disney California Adventure park here at Disneyland Resort. As an Aviator at Soarin’ Over California, Ryan Adams has the unique role of preparing guests for an exhilarating flight through some of these iconic sights, sounds and smells of California — all within a few minutes! We now invite you to sit back, buckle your seat belts and remain seated as we prepare for lift off into this episode of “Every Role a Starring Role!”

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Light-Painting Video Marks Fourth of July Magic at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 3rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Last year, Thomas Smith shared an amazing series of light-painting images that our friends in Disney’s Yellow Shoes Department, Matt Stewart and Paul Chase, created using just light pens and a camera. This year, the guys are back with more Fourth of July fun – this time taking their skills to the next level by creating this light-painting video that stars Mickey Mouse.

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A lot of amazing work went into creating this – including Matt freehanding designs like the flag and fireworks in mid-air, and Paul snapping more than 200 photos.

Think this is cool? Check out some of their past light-painting contributions in the list below.

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Video Rewind: Celebrating America at the Disneyland Resort

posted on July 3rd, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


The Fourth of July is just a day away! From our daily flag retreat ceremony to special Independence Day entertainment, the Disneyland Resort has a variety of traditions that salute America’s heritage. In celebration of our nation’s birthday, let’s take a look back at three videos showcasing how we have paid tribute to America here at the Disneyland Resort.

In 2011, we showed you how the classic attraction, “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” employs advanced Audio-Animatronic technology to honor one of our most revered presidents.

During the summer of 2012, the Voices of Liberty a cappella group performed traditional American songs at the Main Street Opera House.

This Independence Day, “Disneyland Forever,” the all-new fireworks spectacular, will be followed by a patriotic, pyrotechnic grand finale to celebrate America’s birthday. Before you enjoy that show, take a look back at last year’s “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.”

Will you be celebrating Independence Day at the Disneyland Resort? Check out Shawn’s post for this year’s special entertainment!

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