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'it's a small world' at Disneyland Park

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

posted on May 7th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s Learn to Draw animation tutorial series continues with a lesson on a classic Disney character – Goofy! Goofy, initially dubbed Dippy Dawg, made his first on-screen debut in the short film “Mickey’s Revue” on May 25, 1932. The short also featured Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow.

Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and get ready for step-by-step instructions on how to draw your own Goofy from Mike Chovanec of the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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

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Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Erin Gallagher, Education Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with some feathered friends this Saturday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Become an “honorary bird” and “migrate” around Rafiki’s Planet Watch as you discover how your wing span and feather color (that’s bird talk for arm length and clothes) matches up among nearly 350 species of wild birds. Learn about the great lengths we go to at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with help from the Disney Conservation Fund, to care for not only the birds we have here, but for birds all over the world!

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Purple Martin Come to Walt Disney World Resort Every Year to Raise Their Young Whooping Cranes Migrate to Florida Every Year

For example, as you walk through the park, keep your eyes to the skies because you might just spot a purple martin. These tiny birds (weighing in at approximately two ounces) with purple, glossy feathers come to Walt Disney World Resort every year to enjoy some vacation time and raise their young. They enjoy world-class “resorts” (the birdhouses we provide) and indulge in the best food around. Purple martins are aerial insectivores, which means they eat flying insects they catch right out of the air!

In the eastern United States, purple martins rely exclusively on humans to build their birdhouses and prepare their sheltered nests, tucked away in what’s referred to as a “cavity.” Without birdhouses like those at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot and other locations around Walt Disney World Resort, the purple martins would simply have nowhere to nest. This is a unique phenomenon among all bird species and represents an incredible opportunity for people to engage in a direct conservation experience with these charismatic little songbirds!

When all their chicks have fledged, or grown the feathers necessary for flight, purple martins embark on an incredible migration down to the Brazilian Amazon. What’s truly amazing about this journey is that one purple martin can make the nearly 3,000-mile trek in fewer than three weeks! We want to understand where these birds spend their time, how they are affected by climate change and the factors that influence their choices along their migratory routes so we can better protect all the wild places they call home We also have many questions about purple martin nesting behavior, including how these birds raise their young and if pairs stay together both while they are here at Walt Disney World and also once they depart for Brazil.

How do we begin to answer these questions? The first step lies in a lightweight accessory called a geolocator. While the adult purple martins are here, we outfit each of them with a little backpack that they will wear for the next year. The geolocator backpack will gather location data for the bird during its migration to Brazil and during its return to Disney the following spring. The geolocators aren’t cumbersome for the birds, and the tracking data give us important information about their migration, including all the important migratory stop-overs (i.e. rest stops) the martins utilize during their journey.

Check out this quick video to see how our cast attaches the geolocators to the birds and release them into the wild!

We cannot wait to download the data from the birds that have returned to Disney’s Animal Kingdom this year!

Whooping cranes, a majestic, large bird have been through quite the roller coaster in their population numbers and are another species we will honor as part of our celebration of migratory birds.

Whooping cranes can grow up to 5 feet tall with a wing span of nearly 7 feet, making it the tallest bird in North America. They get their name from the resounding “whooping” sound they make that can be heard over several miles. In 1860, there were about 1,400 cranes—a pretty troubling number. In 1941 however, numbers dwindled to merely 15 birds! Hunting, feather trade and negative human impacts on their habitat hit the birds hard. The whooping crane was listed as an endangered species in 1967 and has held that status ever since.

Since then, several organizations, including the Disney Conservation Fund and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, have banded together to help increase the population size. One such program used is to raise these birds and teach them to migrate with the help of a special plane called an ultra-light. Operation Migration is the organization who coordinates this program and they work with the chicks from the day they hatch to their release into the wild. The birds travel from Wisconsin to Florida every year following this plane, which you can see for yourself at International Migratory Bird Day. You may even catch a glimpse or carry on a conversation with one of the original and current crane pilot Joe Duff, who first led the whooping cranes along their migratory path and have helped boost whooping crane numbers to just over 400 cranes!

Join us this Saturday, May 9, to learn more about purple martins, whooping cranes and more migratory birds that you may recognize from your own backyard! We hope to see you there! And stay tuned for more information about our conservation efforts with migratory birds!

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˜New Main Street Enchanted Windows to Debut for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

posted on May 5th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


If you’ve wandered down Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park recently, you may have noticed some of the windows along the front of the Emporium are covered. What is going on behind those blue curtains, you ask? Today, I’m excited to tell you!

The beloved Main Street animated windows will come to life once again for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration as Main Street Enchanted Windows. Since the early 1960s, scenes from Disney animated classics have been featured in the windows of the Emporium at Disneyland park. This year, for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, these classic windows will be updated with new, exciting technology and effects. Take a look behind the scenes of the creation of these windows with John Gritz, Creative Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering, in the video below!

There will be a total of six Main Street Enchanted Windows. The first two, featuring the stories of “Peter Pan” and “Cinderella,” will be unveiled in May, followed by “Frozen” and “The Princess and the Frog” in July, and “Toy Story” and “Aladdin” in August.

The Main Street Enchanted Windows are just another way the Disneyland Resort continues to delight guests in ways both big and small … from our new nighttime spectaculars and the addition of new magic to classic attractions, to special details that catch your eye as you stroll down Main Street, U.S.A. See it all for yourself when the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration begins May 22!

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Top Ten: Tips for Summer Vacation Planning at Disney Parks

posted on May 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you planning a Disney Parks vacation this summer? Jeanette Kaplun, editor and founder of Hispana Global, recently stopped by Walt Disney World Resort to share her favorite tips on summer vacation planning. Check out some of what Jeanette had to say below.

For more of Jeanette’s travel advice, be sure to check out her Top-Ten Summer Vacation Planning Tips here.

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Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration HARVEYS Collection

posted on April 29th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Disney fans, buckle up! I decided to take a different route when it came to showing you the HARVEYS attraction poster totes that are headed to the Disneyland Resort this May. So join me as we go inside the HARVEYS factory for a behind-the-scenes look at how the bags are actually made.

If you’re curious as to when you can get your hands on one of these new bags, they will debut as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration at Disney Vault 28 in the Downtown Disney District, beginning May 22 and will retail for $198 each.

Which design are you most excited for?

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A Hands-On Strudel Demonstration in Austria with Adventures by Disney

posted on April 29th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Well, sweet teeth actually (32 of them to be precise). When traveling I always look forward to tasting regional foods from each destination visited, and generally the foods I’m most eager to sample are the desserts. So imagine my delight when I learned that while on an Adventures by Disney Danube River Cruise our guests get to take part in an Austrian apple strudel demonstration and learn how to make this famous scrumptious treat.

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From making the dough from scratch to filling it with delicious apples to pulling the freshly baked treat out of the oven, this demonstration will get you and your family feeling like natural-born chefs. I know this sounds too delicious to be true, so if your mouth isn’t already watering check out the video below to get a better look.

Austrian strudel making is just one of the many active hands-on experiences found on a 7-night/8-day European River Cruise vacation with Adventures by Disney. Stay tuned as I continue to share other exciting adventures from this vacation.

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‘Show Your Disney Side Week’ on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

posted on April 27th, 2015 by Tony Shepherd, Producer, Broadcast Marketing


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A few weeks ago, I dropped a not-so-subtle hint here on the Disney Parks Blog that there might be more Disney fun coming on “Wheel of Fortune” this season. Well, the wait is over: “Show Your Disney Side” Week starts tonight on “Wheel of Fortune!”

For this special week of shows, we wanted to bring our Disney Side to their Studio. So, we brought them a truckload of pixie dust – and, I literally mean a truckload – to help deliver the magic!

'Show Your Disney Side Week' on 'Wheel of Fortune' 'Show Your Disney Side Week' on 'Wheel of Fortune'

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy are there to share in all the excitement, as well. They had a terrific time with Pat Sajak and Vanna White, as well as meeting the Studio audience. (But … here’s the honest truth. It was part of my job to keep an eye on those guys, and when I wasn’t looking, a few “unplanned events” MAY have occurred. Which MAY have been captured on camera. And you MAY see in the shows. Ooops.)

Here’s another first for Disney and “Wheel”: an entire episode dedicated to our Happily Ever After Side. More about that from my friend Michelle Smits at Disney’s Fairytale Weddings and Honeymoons on the Ever After Blog later in the week – but make sure you don’t miss Thursday night’s show!

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Because I know you love it when we can “lift the curtain” and give you a behind-the-scenes look at productions, we’re thrilled to offer up an all access pass! Check out this fantastic video for a look at how we moved attraction vehicles from Disneyland Resort, up the Santa Ana Freeway, to Culver City – I wish you could have seen the look on motorist’s faces as Dumbo went “flying” by! You’ll see the Characters “working” here, too. And … you’ll even get to discover what Pat and Vanna’s Disney Side is!

The shows feature fantastic vacation prizes to both the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort – a pretty good reminder that it’s time for you to be thinking about planning your next vacation to show your Disney Side, right?

And there’s even a chance for you to win a magical Grand Adventure to enjoy with your entire family at the Walt Disney World Resort, just for watching. (Details on that are here.)

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Tune in all week starting tonight! Check your local listings for details. And … buy a vowel!

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VIDEO: Disney Actress Ashley Brown Answers Reader Questions

posted on April 23rd, 2015 by Anne Macklin, Talent Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Broadway’s own Mary Poppins, Ashley Brown, took a minute out of her family’s visit while at Magic Kingdom Park to answer your questions about Walt Disney World Resort.

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Check out the video below to see if she responded to you!

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VIDEO: Learn to Make the Manhattan from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on April 23rd, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


The Manhattan cocktail became popular during Prohibition, and remains popular with guests of Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure park. This swanky signature cocktail is served with Carthay Circle Restaurant’s famous ice sphere, and is garnished with cherries. The ice sphere used in the cocktail is a perfect sphere—the optimal shape for keeping your drink cold, without melting and diluting the drink.

Watch as our bartender creates a Manhattan cocktail (and one of those fabulous ice spheres) from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge below:

For this drink, you will need:

  • 2 Ounces rye whisky
  • 1/2 Ounce sweet vermouth
  • A couple dashes of bitters
  • Cherry garnish

For reservations, visit Disneyland.com/dine or call 714-781-DINE.

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‘Frozen’ Friends to Take the Stage Aboard the Disney Magic

posted on April 22nd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


We’re just weeks away from our “Frozen” friends making their stage show debut at sea in the Walt Disney Theatre aboard the Disney Magic! Our creative team is hard at work preparing for Anna, Elsa and Olaf to join the line up of beloved Disney characters in our guest-favorite musical, “Disney Dreams … An Enchanted Classic.”

The new production number is a heartfelt, humorous and memorable tribute to the “Frozen” film. As with all of our shows, expect magical special effects. Where Elsa goes, there’s likely to be snow! Also, tune up your voices because you’re sure to be singing aloud to your favorite “Frozen” songs.

While you wait in anticipation to see Anna, Elsa and Olaf on the big stage at sea, hear more from the show’s producer about these brand-new scenes debuting on our European sailings this summer!

For more on our special “Frozen”-inspired entertainment, check out my previous posts:

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