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Happy Villaintine's Day from Disney Parks Blog

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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Filed: Disney Cruise Line

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

Pixar Wizards Leave Their Signatures on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

posted on January 11th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


If you’ve had the chance to stop through Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, you may have noticed the impressive Storyboard Chandelier that serves the lobby’s centerpiece. Since the resort opened in 2012, it has become tradition for film contributors – both voice actors and those working behind the scenes – to add their autograph to a sketch appearing on the chandelier.

Over the years, many artists, filmmakers and actors have stopped by to autograph panels on the chandelier, including Jodi Benson and Pat Carroll from “The Little Mermaid,” John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney & Pixar Animation Studios, as well as Josh Cooley from “Inside Out” and writer Robert Baird from “Big Hero 6” and “Monsters University”.

Recently Pixar’s Pete Docter, Jay Ward & Jerome Ranft, who have contributed to blockbusters like “Inside Out,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Up,” “Cars,” “Brave,” and more, stopped in to make their mark.

Check out the video above that details this latest legendary autograph session.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyTweens: Thrills and Adventures Await Your Tweens at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 8th, 2016 by Raquel Giorgio, Public Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Hi! I’m Raquel Giorgio, Public Relations Manager at Walt Disney World Resort, and the mother of one very adorable and enthusiastic Tween. My nine-year-old daughter is just starting to yearn for independence … but still wants to know her family is within arm’s reach. Sound familiar to you?

I want to welcome you to the latest series on the Disney Parks Blog. It’s all about … you guessed it … Tweens! While we know that Walt Disney World Resort is a favorite vacation destination for families with younger children, I’m here to tell you that Walt Disney World Resort is also the perfect place to bring your older kids! Thrilling and adventurous experiences in all FOUR of our Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, TWO water parks and Disney Springs await them! Now that they are older, Tweens can do and experience so much more! They’re taller and height restrictions may no longer apply to them. And they may be up for more adventure now!

Just check out brothers Graeme and Corbin as they try to one-up each other with a challenge to go on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.

Whenever I bring my daughter to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it’s mandatory that the family ride Expedition Everest three times … in a row! She just loves it! And then she’ll exit the ride to search out a chance to meet Mickey and Minnie in their trendy safari outfits!

What are some of your favorite thrill rides here at Walt Disney World Resort that you’d like to share with your older kids? Is it Space Mountain, Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom Park? Perhaps Test Track at Epcot or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments below.

For more information on planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort with your Tween, check out www.disneyworld.com/Tweens.

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Filed: Disney Springs, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

California Farm Prepares New Home for Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm Animals

posted on January 8th, 2016 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


As we prepare to wish our Disneyland goats a fond farewell, we’re happy to announce that they have found a wonderful forever home on a farm in Murrieta, Calif. The farm’s owner, Jenelle, already cares for four former Disneyland goats on her farm: Jane, Lilo, Medusa and Penny. We spoke with Jenelle recently, and her love for our Disneyland goats is abundant. She’s looking forward to welcoming all the goats (and our sheep and donkeys, too)! Click on the video below to meet Jenelle and see the farm where the all the Disneyland goats will scamper and play together beneath beautiful open skies.

You can visit our friends at Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm at Disneyland park now through January 10.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Watch ‘Disney: Beyond the Parks’ Tonight on Destination America

posted on January 6th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


Many Disney Parks Blog readers know that the magic of Disney extends beyond our theme parks to places like Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Hawai’i; aboard magnificent Disney Cruise Line ships; and at locations around the world with Adventures by Disney.

Tonight on Destination America, viewers can check out “Disney: Beyond the Parks,” a special that explores the fun Disney guests can have in places like Alaska, Wyoming, San Francisco and Hawai’i.

Check your local listings for times and channels – but in the meantime, check out a sneak peek above!

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Filed: Adventures by Disney, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line, Hotels & Resorts