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‘Will You be My Happily Ever After?’: A runDisney Proposal at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 6th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


If you follow my runDisney posts on the Disney Parks Blog, you know I love being at the finish lines of our events. Watching runners celebrate one of the most memorable moments in their lives is exciting, inspirational and emotional. You see it all – screams of joy, tears of happiness, hugs and high fives. And once in awhile you witness life-changing events. You see, as one journey ends for some runners, another journey begins for others. That is exactly what happened for one couple I caught up with at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

As Thatiany Leal-Oliveira from Boca Raton, FL, ran her first half marathon and first runDisney event, she traveled the 13.1-mile course through Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, as her prince, Sal Lisboa of Deerfield Beach, FL, was in a race of his own, a race into the future. Both taking different courses, but both focused on the finish time. A finish that couldn’t come fast enough. Not only was the coveted Disney Princess Half Marathon Tiara finisher medal waiting for Thatiany to put around her neck, but so was a life changing proposal and “bling” to put on her finger.

So what did she say? Well, runDisney is all about “happily ever after” stories, so see what happens for yourself.

Congratulations Sal and Thatiany, and we wish you a “happily ever after” as you race into the future.

If you want to know more about runDisney and future event weekends, visit runDisney.com. You can also follow us on runDisney Facebook, and on Twitter and Instagram @runDisney.

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Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort

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


Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort

Last night, hundreds of Disney Parks Blog readers gathered at the Disneyland Resort for our Disney’s “Cinderella” Royal Celebration.

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The event started with a special screening of Disney’s new live-action film, “Cinderella” and the new animated short, “Frozen Fever”, both opening in theaters on March 13.

Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort

Then guests were invited to a royal reception at the Disneyland Hotel, where they enjoyed dancing, desserts and special photo opportunities.

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But the evening’s biggest surprise was an appearance by the stars of “Cinderella,” Lily James and Richard Madden. Take a look at this magical moment and more from the event in the video below!

Did you join us for Disney’s “Cinderella” Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort? Tell us about it in the comments! And be sure to catch “Cinderella” in theaters on March 13.

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Learn to Draw Aladdin’s Pal, Genie, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on March 5th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, our Learn to Draw animation series offers up a lesson on how to draw Genie, Aladdin’s hilarious BFF. Check out the video below for step-by-step instructions from Heather Worley 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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The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Returns Today

posted on March 4th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


The 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival starts today, and we’ve got plenty of fresh experiences, food and music for you to enjoy.

Our 11 Outdoor Kitchens are bursting with flavors from the garden, the barbecue and the globe. The new Botanas Botanico features Cachapas with Farmer’s Cheese, a Seafood Ceviche and a fruity La Tizana punch that can become an adult beverage with a splash of Santa Teresa RHUM Liqueur.

Ten new specialty gardens including a pepper garden, health garden of healing herbs, Shakespeare garden and dinosaur plant gardens may inspire your green thumb.

Kids will love the Living Desert Road Rally with Mater and Lightning McQueen topiaries and the Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden. (Truth be told … I was tempted to do some climbing myself on the rope web – check it out!).

Ease into the evening with Garden Rocks concert series. The Gin Blossoms – perfect for a festival featuring flowers and gardens, right? – kick off our festival music offering.

Linger as the sun goes down to roam our illuminated gardens. It’s really a wondrous way to see Epcot at night.

We’ve already seen two of the newest stars make some young guests leap out of their strollers and dash for a closer look. The Anna and Elsa topiaries are pretty spectacular. Horticulture Manager of the festival, Eric Darden, gives us a closer look at the royal sisters before they made their debut at Epcot.

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Today in Disney History: Indiana Jones Adventure Opens at Disneyland Park, 1995

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


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On March 3, 1995, Disneyland park guests began exploring the Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Indiana Jones Adventure. Now a classic, this thrill ride takes intrepid explorers on a journey to discover the mysteries of the temple alongside world-famous archeologist, Indiana Jones. To celebrate this anniversary, let’s do a little Disney Parks Blog archeology and look back at some of the stories we’ve shared from this favorite attraction.

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John Rhys-Davies Returns to Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park
John Rhys-Davies, who portrayed Indy’s faithful friend, Sallah, in two Indiana Jones films, visited the Disneyland Resort last year, and together with his family and friends, rode Indiana Jones Adventure for the first time.

Decoder for Maraglyphics in Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park Courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering Art Library

The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park
Learn the story behind the adventure of this attraction.

On This Day in History: Indiana Jones Adventure Opening Ceremony 1995
Take a look back at the opening ceremony in Adventureland, featuring George Lucas, creator of the blockbuster films.

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Country Singer Luke Bryan Visits Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Joan Peabody, Content Producer


Luke Bryan is one of the most recognized singer-songwriters in the country music industry today. He recently took a break from recording in the studio and preparing for his upcoming tour to take a family trip to the Walt Disney World Resort.

Country Music Artist Luke Bryan Visits Walt Disney World

During his visit, Luke took a break from the fun to check in with us about what he and his family loved about spending time at Disney Parks. Check out the video below to hear all about it.

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A Look at Disney Cruise Line’s Remy Through the Eyes of Three Michelin-Starred Advising Chef Arnaud Lallement

posted on March 2nd, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


The ever-changing menu at our French-inspired restaurant, Remy, is created by two prestigious chefs, Scott Hunnel and Arnaud Lallement, who are both internationally known for their outstanding culinary creations. My guess is that many of you have enjoyed cuisine from Chef Scott Hunnel at the award-winning Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World Resort. But if you haven’t dined at Remy on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream yet, you most likely haven’t had the exceptional experience of tasting dishes developed by Chef Arnaud Lallement.

Today I want to give you the chance to hear first-hand from Chef Arnaud about his commitment to bringing the same excellence to Remy that you’ll enjoy at L’Assiette Champenoise, his Michelin three-star restaurant just outside Reims, France. He sails with us throughout the year to develop new menu items and work with the onboard culinary team, so I took the opportunity on his last visit to talk with him about his role at Remy. Take a look at this video to hear what he had to say …

Check back next week to hear more from Chef Arnaud about his inspiration for creating the exquisite cuisine that sets Remy apart from any other restaurant at sea!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on March 1st, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared a special sneak peek of the work being done to bring the world of AVATAR to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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The update included a new image showing what the magnificent floating mountains will look like when we welcome guests into Pandora, the mythical land based on the blockbuster film AVATAR. You’ll also be able to wander through a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants that are alive with light and sound and discover what it feels like to soar into the sky riding a Banshee.

As Bruce told us in his story, “The project is really pushing the boundaries of what is possible.”

Bruce shared that we’re planning to share Pandora’s grandeur with guests in early 2017.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Also, we announced the dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Walt Disney World Resort. This year, our Magic Kingdom Park Halloween event will be held 25 nights and our signature Holidays event will be 20 nights.

Check out Charles’ original story for details.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Takes Over Popular YouTube Channel What’s Up Moms for Vacation Week – Not too long ago, YouTube sensations What’s Up Moms visited Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, for a family vacation. While at the Travel + Leisure Number 1 Top Family Hotel in the United States, the moms decided to have a little fun by shooting a parody video, featuring a new spin on a familiar hit song.

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Merchandise Planner – Disneyland Resort cast member Freda Hardison is responsible for the inventory planning of toys, such as the popular “Build Your Own Lightsaber,” for merchandise locations at the Disneyland Resort.

Training the Horses of the Circle D Ranch at Disneyland Park: Duke Prepares for His Debut – Part Three – See part three of Duke’s “Journey to Main Street”! Throughout this series, we’ve seen that Duke, in addition to being a beautiful horse, is exceptionally well-suited for his new role at Disneyland park.

March 2015 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort – If you are planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort this March, here are a few quick tips on some of the merchandise events you don’t want to miss!

Luck is on Your Disney Side this March at Disney Parks – This March, think green and luck is sure to be on your Disney Side! Here are a few ways you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Disney Parks.

Neil Patrick Harris Joins Mickey Mouse as Host of the All-New ‘World of Color’ Show for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – Last weekend, award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris hosted The Oscars® on ABC. So, where will his next big hosting gig take place? The Disneyland Resort!

Victoria & Albert’s Chef Scott Hunnel Nominated for 2015 James Beard Award – Congrats to Chef Scott Hunnel, a semi-finalist for the prestigious Best Chef award for the South Region by the James Beard Foundation.

Top 5 Junior Adventurer Activities with Adventures by Disney – Anyone who’s ever traveled with children knows that it can be challenging to find ways to keep the kiddos entertained. Luckily, Adventures by Disney vacations are designed with families in mind so adults can relax, knowing their Junior Adventurers are engaged and having the time of their lives.

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Adventures Ashore in Norway Exclusive to Disney Cruise Line

posted on February 27th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Have you enjoyed learning Norwegian phrases for your Disney cruise as much as I have? I have one more video from this fun series to share with you today. This video features Kenneth, a local you may meet during our Molde Folk Museum & City Tour. Hear what phrases he has to teach you …

Now that I’ve showcased Port Adventures in Molde, Geiranger, Alesund, Stavanger and Bergen, I want to highlight more Disney-exclusive excursions in two of our other Norway ports, Olden and Kristiansand

Visit Iconic Fjord Horses in Olden with Disney Cruise Line Visit Iconic Fjord Horses in Olden with Disney Cruise Line

Iconic Fjord Horses in Olden
From the quaint village of Olden, you’ll travel to a Norwegian Fjord Horse Center to experience one of the world’s oldest breeds and one of the country’s national symbols, the Norwegian Fjord Horse. The adventure includes an up-close look at the stallions, mares and foals in a tour of the stables. Disney cruisers also have an opportunity to interact with the horses and see these magnificent animals in action during a dynamic riding performance before meeting the local students who come here to train and care for their horses.

A Taste of Norway in Kristiansand
For those with a culinary passion, a Port Adventure exclusive to Disney Cruise Line in centuries-old Kristiansand provides the perfect hands-on cooking experience. You’ll don aprons and create Nordic specialties, such as succulent wild game filets and krumkaker, a heavenly waffle cookie typically served around Christmastime. Then, you get to sit back and relax, enjoying your sumptuous meal paired with a glass of wine.

Those of you joining us in Norway this summer, tell me, which of the Port Adventures I’ve shared with you are on your family’s must-do list? Up next, I’ll suggest excursions in Iceland, another one of our brand-new destinations for our summer in Europe!

For more on visiting Norway with Disney Cruise Line, visit the links below:

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Take a Little Trip on Storybook Land Canal Boats at Disneyland Park

posted on February 27th, 2015 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Storybook Land Canal Boats at Disneyland park is full of tiny treasures – if you blink you might just miss one. The cruise lasts 6 minutes; however, here you can take a “mini” tour highlighting some of the attraction’s delightful details.

I was blown away by the new land of Arendelle. What’s your favorite scene?

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