Disney's Electrical Parade

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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Oscar-Winning ‘Frozen’ Songwriters Enjoy a Heart-Warming Visit to Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 21st, 2014 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


They’ve been called “Cutest Couple Ever.” They’ve won the Academy Award for “Let it Go,” part of a musical score that has already become the stuff of legend. The New York home of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez is laden with awards — including the Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy (making Bobby an “EGOT,” a person who has won all four awards).

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So, what did they want to do next? Go to Disney Parks!

Kristen and Bobby are firm on a very important point. No amount of fame and acclaim can compare with the love of friends and family (they just welcomed a little nephew into the fold last month). Clearly they’re having as much fun seeing their daughters react to Disney magic as they’re enjoying it themselves (I feel the same way about my kids, just like my father did about me).

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As Kristen says in the video, “We’re Disney people!” They’ve got an especially warm attachment to the first stage musical they worked on together, Finding Nemo—The Musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom — as well as The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot, which features their song, “In the Big Blue World.” They told me about their Disney fandom in this interview.

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By the way, have you checked out the Limited-Edition color 12” vinyl LP album version of the “Frozen” soundtrack?. It’s available here. I love to shine the two blue discs and the crystal engraved disc up to the light — that is, when I’m not listening to them!

You can find the compact disc soundtrack of “Frozen,” as well as the Finding Nemo — The Musical cast album at select Walt Disney World Resort shops (or by calling Merchandise Guest Services at 1-877-560-6477).

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Stay Cool This Summer With Disneyland Resort Frozen Desserts

posted on June 20th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


In celebration of summer, we took on the tough assignment of highlighting some of our favorite frozen fare featured at the Disneyland Resort. From the classic shakes at Flo’s V-8 Café in Cars Land to the Boysen Apple Freeze at Maurice’s Treats in Fantasyland, we found several foodie fun facts for you to digest.

What’s your favorite frozen treat to cool off with at the Disneyland Resort?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort

“I’m a Runner, I’m a Champion” – I runDisney

posted on June 20th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


“I run to prove what I can do and who I am.” Most of us would expect a strong statement like that to come from an adult but it didn’t. That statement came from one of the most courageous runners I have met, 11-year-old Sarah Kate Sligh from Fairhope, AL.

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Spending time with Sarah Kate you quickly realize she is just a normal little girl. She loves her family, spends time with her little brother, plays tag with friends and enjoys school. But what hundreds of people witnessed at the finish line of the runDisney 1-Mile Kids Race at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals was nothing short of amazing.

As I mentioned, Sarah Kate is a runner. She belongs to the running club at school, trains with her mother and participates in races. What you will be surprised to learn is she does all of this while living with Cerebral Palsy. A neurological disease making walking difficult and running almost impossible – almost!

Sticking to her motto, “Finish strong, never stop,” Sarah Kate took on the challenge of the 1-mile run. Starting out strong she will be the first to admit her legs got tired and started to hurt. With her wheelchair always close by, she never once thought about sitting down. As the finish drew close and the crowd cheered her on, Sarah Kate responded by picking up the pace. Pushing her own wheelchair to steady herself, she crossed the finish line. A victory for Sarah Kate, a victory for everyone watching.

Not dwelling on what she can’t do, Sarah Kate focuses on what she can do. Her message, “ If you want to do something just go for it and don’t let anything stand in your way, and just finish strong.”

If you have been looking for inspiration to start a healthy active lifestyle and participate in a runDisney event, or needing motivation to push through long training runs, then please take a few minutes to watch Sarah Kate’s story. If she can do it, we all can!

Sarah Kate, you are a champion.

#WhyIrunDisney is dedicated to sharing compelling and motivational human-interest stories. To view submissions and to learn how to upload and your story, visit irundisney.com.

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Disney Stars Share Their Top Five Rockin’ Disney Attractions

posted on June 20th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this spring, actresses Vanessa and Laura Marano, from ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth” and Disney Channel’s “Austin and Ally,” respectively, rocked their Disney Sides by visiting our parks and experiencing their favorite attractions.

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Laura headed to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, while Vanessa hit the Disneyland Resort in California. Be sure to check out the video below in which they share their “Top Five” Disney Parks attractions.

How many attraction favs do you share with the Marano sisters? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Summertime at the Disneyland Resort Keeps Getting Happier

posted on June 20th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Summer is almost officially here! There’s so much to do at the Disneyland Resort this summer – from experiencing the newly reopened Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to meeting Captain America at Innoventions … it’s hard to name it all. That’s why we put it all together in a video for you!

What are you looking forward to this summer at the Disneyland Resort?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Celebrate Summer With A Ride Through Crush ‘N’ Gusher at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

posted on June 20th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Tomorrow, Saturday, June 21, is the first official day of summer – and nothing feels quite like summer to me than a trip to a Disney water park.

In honor of tomorrow’s official return to summer fun, check out the video below, which is a ride-through video of one of our most popular water slides – Crush ‘n’ Gusher at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Enjoy!

Will you visit a Disney water park this summer? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Training the Horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland Park

posted on June 17th, 2014 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Our horses at Circle D Ranch have come to the Disneyland Resort from a variety of backgrounds, all with the training to do their previous jobs. However, since the work of a Disneyland horse is so specific, each new horse undergoes a lengthy training process before becoming an official equine cast member. Our human cast members also come from varying backgrounds, which is why Circle D Ranch training emphasizes uniformity and consistency – not only for the horses, but also for the cast members who work with them.

In this video, you’ll see Lead Equine Trainer Jennifer Gable working with one of our Circle D horses in a training exercise called “Round Pen.” Note that the stick she holds in her hand is not a whip, but rather a training tool used to focus the horse’s attention. You’ll also see that by working with the horse’s natural herding instincts, the exercise provides mental stimulation and builds an atmosphere of trust between horse and trainer.

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Guests React to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on June 17th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Seven Dwarfs Mine Train officially debuted in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park just about three weeks ago. We recently headed out to the park to ask some guests their thoughts on the new attraction just after their first ride through it. Check out the video below to hear their reviews for yourself!

Have you experienced Seven Dwarfs Mine Train yet? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

See the posts below for more on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train:

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Five Things You Might Have Missed on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on June 17th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


This month marks the second anniversary of the grand reopening of Disney California Adventure park. Since then, the details of Buena Vista Street have captured the hearts of Disney fans and families – making the new entrance one of the most beloved lands at the Disneyland Resort. Today, I’m excited to share some of the details you might have missed in one of our newest additions, Buena Vista Street!

1. Disney California Adventure Park Rededication Time Capsule

Just inside the entrance of Disney California Adventure park, near the flagpole, look for a plaque on the ground. It reads: “May the hopes and dreams represented by the collection contained within the time capsule beneath this marker inspire a future generation of dreamers when it is unsealed a quarter century from now, on June 15, 2037.”

Do you know where the other time capsule is located at the Disneyland Resort? How about the year in which it will be opened?

2. Hyperion Bridge – The Disneyland Monorail crosses over a bridge that is inspired by a Los Angeles landmark, the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge. The original bridge opened in 1929 and can still be found in Los Angeles, spanning Interstate 5 from Glendale, Calif., to the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.

3. Street Addresses on Buena Vista Street

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This next detail is a favorite of mine: Next time you visit Disney California Adventure park, look at the addresses of each of the buildings on Buena Vista Street. Believe it or not, there is a significance to the numbers! The first two digits of all the addresses (26 or 27) refer to two of the years that the Walt Disney Studios were located on Hyperion Avenue in Los Angeles. The second two digits often, though not always, correspond to a milestone year in the history of the Studios. For example, the address of Julius Katz Shoe and Watch Repair is 2701 Buena Vista St., representing the year of Walt Disney’s birth – 1901.

4. Rock Candy Mountain Model – Located in the window of Trolley Treats is a model of Rock Candy Mountain, a short-lived concept to be part of Storybook Land Canal Boats in Fantasyland at Disneyland park. In the original plans, the exterior of the mountain was to be completely covered with candy – and the model was covered with real candy! Fortunately the original has since retired but we do have a replica featuring a scale-model trolley (fitting for Trolley Treats) traveling through lollipops, taffy, chocolate, fudge and more. If you look closely, you might find a hidden Mickey, of sorts, deep inside the mountain.

5. Atwater School of Art & Animation

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As you walk by Atwater Ink & Paint, look for the Atwater School of Art & Animation sign. The instructors are listed as: “Messrs. Clark, Davis, Johnston, Kahl, Kimball, Larson, Lounsbery, Reitherman, Thomas.” Do these names sound familiar? Well, these “instructors” are actually Walt Disney’s “Nine Old Men,” a group of key animators who provided direction for Disney animated classics like “Peter Pan,” “Cinderella” and many more.

Have you discovered other details of Buena Vista Street? Please share with us in the comments below!

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