This sign in the Storybook Circus section of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park promotes “The World’s Most Amazing Circus.” Underneath, there are listed a few of the “daring feats” you may see inside.
posted on June 19th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
posted on June 19th, 2013 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
Today, we’re celebrating the 15th anniversary of the 1998 Disney animated film “Mulan,” so I traveled to the China Pavilion at Epcot this morning to photograph Fa Mulan in the shadow of the Temple of Heaven. She is a complex character, displaying balance between bringing honor to her family and staying true to herself. Her determination inspires others to have courage and believe in themselves.
Mulan comes from a time of dragons and a land of tradition, and lives on today to bring great joy and inspiration to guests from the world over. As I walked away, I captured two young admirers sharing their own excitement with the beautiful heroine.
The China Pavilion is an enchanted place to meet an enchanting princess, seven days a week.
posted on June 18th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks
Earlier today, we officially reopened the Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom Park – a favorite stop for many Disney Parks Blog readers. And on the menu for the first time at Walt Disney World Resort, you’ll now find Starbucks drinks and food along with delicious Disney house-made treats.
After this morning’s official opening ceremony, Main Street Bakery served up Disney cookies, brownies and cupcakes to Magic Kingdom Park guests. Starbucks offerings include coffee and espresso beverages and Frappuccino® blended beverages, as well as breakfast sandwiches and pastries.
Main Street Bakery, which is designed to fit with the current theme of Main Street, U.S.A., won’t be the only Walt Disney World Resort location to serve Starbucks. As previously announced, other locations are coming to Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Let us know what you’re looking forward to ordering during your next visit to the Main Street Bakery in the comments below.
posted on June 18th, 2013 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations
I recently toured the spa – albeit in a hard hat – and I fell in love with the warmth of the design. It’s a perfect blend of elegance and nature. I think it is the mindful mix of textures like natural stone, pebbles and reed-like wall coverings, plus the wood plank floors, and wood-beamed ceilings that make you feel like you are outdoors.
The theme of this spa is clearly the serenity of nature and it is evident at every turn. Branch-like fixtures and soft amber lighting along with a trickling waterfall built into a rock wall create a tranquil mood and inviting welcome. Native American artwork will adorn the walls of the two-story spa featuring 10 treatment rooms, a co-ed relaxation room and two lounges. A gorgeous mosaic tile mural imbedded with hummingbirds and trees is the centerpiece of the whirlpool and steam rooms. The heated loungers are pretty fabulous too!
This Senses spa carries on the theme of sister spa Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort that opened in December, with relax, renew or imagine – each of which will create a custom experience. And don’t worry this spa will offer the delicious elixirs and memorable miniature cupcakes as well.
So what are you waiting for, book your indulging journey. I know I will.
posted on June 17th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
Just back from a whirlwind trip through Napa Valley and Sonoma Vineyards, California Grill Chef Brian Piasecki and general manager Michael Scheifler went in search of the best of the best for the soon-to-open California Grill.
“We visited 15 wineries in five days,” says Scheifler. “It was a whirlwind, but we came home with some great new discoveries.” Like Tres Sabores, a small, organic vineyard in Napa where they discovered a delicious zinfandel. And Heitz Cellars, where they are bottling magnums of chardonnay just for California Grill – it’s resting in the bottles now and won’t be ready until fall, says Scheifler.
“We’ll offer club service, where we will bring the magnum to the table to pour by the glass, a really fun presentation” he says.
The new display case is a showstopper as guests exit the elevator to the 15th floor, with 1,600 bottles on display in an onstage, climate-controlled, state-of-the-art cabinet. In all there will be about 250 wines on the list, and out of those, 72 percent will be from California. Another 22 percent is Old World wines and 5 percent New World wines.
“We’ll have something for every palate,” says Scheifler, “from a first-growth Bordeaux to a boutique wine from Oregon or South Africa.”
There will be 80 wines by the glass, up from 50 on the previous wine menu. And sommeliers will be there to help you select a pairing, with more than 20 on staff.
Scheifler is just as excited about the expanded sake program to pair with the expanded sushi menu, with 10 varieties on the list, from a light, sparkling sake to “cask strength.” And craft beer is back, with eight brews on the new menu, mostly from California.
“We can’t wait to debut the new beverage lineup,” says Scheifler. “Drinks span from classic cocktails to wines you won’t find anywhere else, the beverages are a great complement to Chef Brian’s new menu.” Stay tuned for menu updates coming soon!
posted on June 17th, 2013 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort
Last week I told you this was my first time working on our Car Masters Weekend event at Downtown Disney. Today, I’ll admit that this past weekend was my first time actually attending the event! As they say, “better late than never.” Here are a few thoughts from a newbie, in no particular order:
- The “car show” part was a lot cooler than I expected. Though I’m not a huge car buff, I really enjoyed seeing the huge variety of 150+ vehicles displayed throughout Downtown Disney West Side. There were old cars, new cars, fast cars, famous cars … a great mix of classic, muscle and exotic cars. And while they were fun to look at, my favorite part was talking to the owners and hearing them tell their stories. Those sweet rides have a lot of history.
- I still get starstruck around Lightning McQueen and Mater – I was grinning from ear to ear (can you see my giant simile or is my hat blocking your view?) and judging from their line of fans, I was not the only one. Totally worth the wait!
- The event really was designed with families in mind – I saw tons of kids and they were having as much fun as their parents, if not more. I think the interactive experiences from “Monsters University,” “PLANES” and “The Lone Ranger” really added a nice touch. Add to that the chance to play Disney Infinity and test drive remote control RIDEMAKERZ vehicles and it was definitely a weekend with something for everyone.
- Having Chip Foose and Jay Ward at the event was awesome – I got the chance to meet the popular car enthusiast and Pixar filmmaker, and both were so genuinely excited about cars that their enthusiasm got me even more revved up. Even better? They were great with the fans and put on three amazing shows each day, plus Chip did daily autograph sessions. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll be able to bring them back again next year.
- People love a good cone hat – I wore mine throughout the event and got so many smiles and waves that I started to feel like a celebrity in a parade. I even had a few guests ask to take photos with me, which I happily agreed to. (Note: The Luigi tire hats are fun, too, but I think we can all agree that orange is my color, right?)
To bring this one to the finish line, I’ll just tell you that Car Masters Weekend was so much more than I expected. You can bet your last tank of gas that I’ll be making this an annual tradition! Hopefully you will, too!
Did you make it out to Car Masters Weekend? If so, I’d love to know what got you most revved up – share in the comments below!
posted on June 17th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
High atop one of the shops here on Main Street, U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom Park, one window is dedicated to one of Walt Disney’s first animators – Ub Iwerks, whose credits include animation on Walt Disney’s earliest shorts, Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie.
One word has been blurred from the sign. Do you remember it?
posted on June 16th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks
Mark your calendars – On August 13, we begin booking reservations for premium events for the 18th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. And this week, Pam shared a list of experiences planned for this year’s 46-day fest, including some new ones:
- New Scotland, Land of Food And Drink (Sept. 28), $95 or $115
- New Spirits Confidential (Nov. 1), $80 or $95
- New Parisian Breakfast (Saturdays), $37
- New Hibachi Experience (Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5), $120
There are many more experiences, including The Discovery of Chocolate, to be found in Pam’s original Epcot International Food & Wine Festival story. Also, here’s the all-important number to keep handy: 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378).
And did you catch the water performance by The Aqualillies during their visit to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort? The synchronized swimming team showed off their skills with style in the resort’s Big Blue Pool – the largest pool we have at the entire the Walt Disney World Resort.
Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.
Disney Parks After Dark: Mysterious Island at Tokyo DisneySea – The “Disney Parks After Dark” series continues with a beautiful view of Mysterious Island at Tokyo DisneySea.
A Look Back: Sailing Ship Columbia Debuts at Disneyland Park 55 Years Ago This Week – In honor its 55th anniversary, take a look at some new and vintage photos of the Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland park.
New Savory Treat at Disneyland Park: Slow-Roasted Pork Shank – The slow-roasted pork shank, which debuted at Gaston’s Tavern at Walt Disney World Resort, is now on the menu at Edelweiss Snacks in Fantasyland at the Disneyland Resort!
Finish That Disney Parks Sign: A ‘Tangled’ Poster at Magic Kingdom Park – Jenn asked us to identify what prestigious collection will be on display in the Lavender Tea Room at Magic Kingdom Park.
Retelling a ‘Tale as Old as Time’ with New Vinylmation Series Debuting at Disney Parks on June 21 – Take a look at the new “Beauty and the Beast” Vinylmation series that is set to debut at Disney Parks on June 21.
Cruise Over to Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney This Father’s Day – Car Masters Weekend returns to Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort June 15-16.
Like Father, Like Son: Kevin Rafferty and Kevin Rafferty, Jr. – In honor of Father’s Day, enjoy an interview with a father-son duo that help create two generations of magic for Disney Parks.
posted on June 15th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks
With Father’s Day tomorrow, it’s time to show your dad just how important and appreciated he is. At Disney Parks, we’re honoring valued dads around the globe from a siamang with twin daughters to Walt Disney’s dad, Elias, to the Rafferty father-son duo, and more. Whether you’ll be celebrating this June 16 at Disney Parks or at home, read the posts below for tips and gift ideas that dad is sure to love. How are you going to celebrate Father’s Day this year? Share your plans in the comments below.
Take 5: Celebrating Father’s Day with Disney Parks
- Wildlife Wednesdays: Siamang with Twins is Father of the Year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort – Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort celebrates a siamang with twins as father of the year.
- Like Father, Like Son: Kevin Rafferty and Kevin Rafferty, Jr. – In honor of Father’s Day, here’s an interview with a father-son duo that helps create magic for Disney Parks.
- Surprise your Hero on Father’s Day – This Father’s Day, recognize the champion in your life and show dad how much you care with a one-of-a-kind gift from Disney Floral & Gifts.
- Making Time for Dad This Father’s Day at Disney Parks – Focus on timepieces for Dad this Father’s Day with these Disney Parks watches!
- Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Elias Disney – Our tour of the Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park continues with the original “Disney Dad” – Elias Disney.
This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Car Masters Weekend Returns, Tokyo DisneySea Shimmers & Guests Become Wilderness Explorers
posted on June 15th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
Some of the most interesting sights to be seen at Walt Disney World Resort this week can be spotted right now at the kickoff of Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney. More than 150 crazy, quirky and collectible cars have already pulled into the West Side area, including a few famous faces from the Disney•Pixar film, “Cars” and “Cars 2.”
Car Masters Weekend will run through June 16, from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., and features meet and greets with Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile, appearances by Disney•Pixar’s Cars filmmaker Jay Ward and automotive designer Chip Foose, “Cars” movie marathons and much more.
Check out the gallery below to see other key moments in Disney Parks photos this week.