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'it's a small world' at Disneyland Park

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on March 29th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’ve been looking back at key moments in Disneyland history as we prepare to celebrate 60 years of memories and magic during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. And this week, Erin searched the archives and put together a fascinating time-lapse video of Disneyland construction.

Check out Erin’s original story and let us know about your favorite part of the video.

Disney Cruise Line Charts New Course for British Isles

This week, we also revealed our 2016 Disney Cruise Line summer sailings, announcing our first-ever British Isles cruise, plus ports of call in more than 15 European countries.

Along with the British Isles, our tour of Europe includes cruises in the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, Greek Isles and the Mediterranean. Jonathan has more details and a special video in his original story.

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

Irene Jewell Celebrates 90th Birthday with First Visit to Disneyland Park – Last month, on her 90th birthday, Irene Jewell, legendary dancer and wife of Disney cinematographer Stuart Jewell, visited Disneyland park for the first time.

Enjoy ‘Frozen Fun’ Before it Melts Away and Stay Close to the Magic with Disneyland Resort Hotel Offer – If you haven’t experienced all of the frozen fractals during “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park, there’s still time!

First Look at Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Merchandise – Go behind the scenes, into our Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration showroom, where you can see for yourselves some of the amazing items headed your way this May at the Disneyland Resort.

Wildlife Wednesday: Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Set ‘Gold Standard’ for Animal Care – Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge were granted official accreditation once again by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums!

New Pedestrian Bridge Will Soon Open at the Downtown Disney Area at Walt Disney World Resort – Towering above Buena Vista Drive, a new pedestrian bridge was installed in the early morning hours of March 19.

Behind the Scenes: Food Network Hosts Cruising on the Disney Dream – Check out the highlights from the Disney Dream Cruise with Food Network!

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Disney History, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Sneak Peeks at Polynesian Fun at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 28th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, we shared a few peeks inside the changes happening at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Our author Amanda Adler shared a look inside the amazing new bungalow rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World Resort.

A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

She also gave us a look at the view guests can expect at night in this week’s “After Dark” series.

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Pam Brandon gave us another sneak peek at the highly anticipated Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, which will debut at the resort late-April.

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The location will serve tropical themed beverages and small plates. Be sure to check out Pam’s original post for all of the tasty details!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney Vacation Club, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Jedi Knight and TIE-fighter Pilot D-Tech Me Figures Premiere at Star Wars Weekends Starting May 15, 2015

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m excited to announce that two new D-Tech Me figurines – a Jedi Knight and a TIE-Fighter pilot – are premiering at Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this year.

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First introduced in May 2012, Star Wars – D-Tech Me is a 10-minute experience that uses the world’s highest-resolution, single-shot 3D face scanner created by Imagineering scientists with Disney Research labs. The captured image is later sent to a high resolution 3D printer to create the figurine. This year, the experience will be located inside Darth’s Mall, near Streets of America across from Studio Catering Company.

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In addition to the new figurines, we will again offer the Carbon-Freeze Me figurine, Alderaan Princess figurine, and male and female options for Stormtrooper and X-Wing pilot figurines.

For children, the Carbon-Freeze Me and Alderaan Princess figurines will be available in more youthful appearances.

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The Star Wars – D-Tech Me 7-inch figurines are $119.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. For 16-inch figurines, retail is $999.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. All participants will receive a specially designed button.

Completed figurines will arrive within 6-8 weeks after the experience if shipping domestically (it takes a little longer if shipping internationally).

Guests can book their experience by calling 407-WDW-TECH (407-939-8324) starting March 26. We will only offer the experience during Star Wars Weekends 2015 (May 15 – 17, May 22-24, May 29-31, June 5-7, and June 12-14). Guests attending the Galactic Gathering event on May 14 will be some of the first individuals to experience Star Wars – D-Tech Me this year.

Please note: Separate theme park admission required for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No discounts apply unless otherwise noted. Guests must be at least three (3) years of age to participate in the Star Wars D-Tech Me experience. Children must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age or older during the entire experience. A valid accepted credit card number is required at time of booking. No-shows or reservation cancellations within 48 hours of scheduled experience will result in such credit card being charged a $25 cancellation fee. The experience, due to its personalized nature, is non-refundable and not eligible for an exchange. Certain restrictions may apply. All prices, components and information are subject to change without notice.

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Much-Anticipated Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Opens at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Enthusiastic fans of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel are celebrating the soft opening March 28 of the East Coast version. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is located off the main lobby of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort; the adjacent Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace offers views of the marina and Seven Seas Lagoon. Official opening is set for late April, when the coveted Tiki souvenir glassware arrives. (Tiki fans go bananas for the collectible mugs.) As soon as the official date is set, we will share on the Disney Parks Blog.

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Founded by Adventureland’s famous “head” salesman, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto has some similarities to the Anaheim original. But at Walt Disney World Resort, the magical theming reflects its new resort location. This enchanted South Seas hideaway welcomes guests to explore a menu of “magical tropical drinks and food,” and while this new version shares a few cocktails and small plates, Beverage Manager Brad Ward, Chef Lenny DeGeorge, and the Concept Development team have created new menu items just for the Walt Disney World Resort Trader Sam’s.

The famous Trader Sam cocktails, available in Disney collectible Tiki mugs, are a mix of old and new. We won’t share ingredients, but the names might give away the concoctions.

Only at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto:

  • Polynesian Pearl
  • Nautilus
  • Castaway Crush
  • Tahitian Torch
  • Dark & Tropical Stormy

Favorites imported from Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar:

  • Krakatoa Punch
  • Uh-Oa!
  • HippopotoMai-Tai
  • Shrunken Zombie Head

And there are Sam’s No-Booze Brews:

  • Schweitzer Fall
  • Skipper Sipper
  • Polynesian Punch

Small bites are on the menu, with a couple inspired by the Disneyland Trader Sam’s menu – the chicken lettuce cups with hoisin ginger sauce and the Hawaiian poke with Sriracha aioli and wonton chips. New to the Walt Disney World Resort menu are kalua pork tacos with shredded cabbage and pickled vegetables; pan-fried dumplings with soy-sesame dipping sauce; roasted chicken and pork pâté bánh mì sliders with pickled vegetables; salmon oshizushi (press sushi); corn-battered Portuguese sausages with curry ketchup and a Headhunter Sushi Roll.

The lounge has 50 seats inside and 82 on the patio. No reservations are required.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Bird’s-Eye View In a Rustic Retreat at Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


As part of our new “Room with A View” series, we’re heading into the woods for a special look at our “over the treetop” accommodations at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. Perched 10 feet off the ground in a lush landscape, sit the beloved Treehouse Villas, part of the Disney Vacation Club. I treasure the peaceful stillness of the landscape and the tranquil views of the Sassagoula River. It takes you to a quiet place and makes you feel like you are a hundred miles from the theme parks, when you are actually just a boat ride away from Downtown Disney. There are 60 rustic, home away-from-homes with lots of privacy and extra space ideal if you’re traveling with a large family, or have an extended stay. And who doesn’t love the idea of sleeping in a treehouse? I was so psyched when they opened in 2009, I took my family there for a weekend getaway. Imagine staying at a lakeside cabin in an upstate New York state park – albeit a fancy cabin with four TVs and granite counters. The experience is a nice pause from the hectic pace of daily life.

Inside the three-bedroom villas (photos and video from villa 7026), earth-tone colors, wood accents and natural light streaming in through floor-to-ceiling windows complement the rustic retreat. Nature is woven in the artwork and furniture in creative ways — like a tree branch as the base for a lamp, leafy pillows and a family-size wooden kitchen table, bench and chairs. A Hidden Mickey can be spotted in an end table created by three tree stumps. All the treehouses have two guestrooms with two queen-size beds each, and a room for the kids with bunk beds. There’s also a full kitchen in case you want to cook, contemporary amenities and a nice-size living area, which really makes it feel like home. The oversized porch is another gem and the ideal place to kick back, watch the sunset and take in the amazing view.

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Disney Parks After Dark: View of the Electrical Water Pageant from New Bora Bora Bungalows at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


We’re less than one week away from the grand opening of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World Resort.

When completed, the resort will feature 360 Deluxe Studios, as well as 20 over-the-water Bora Bora Bungalows offering private decks complete with personal plunge pools and views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom Park area. Guests staying the Bungalows will be able to watch Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from their back decks (complete with the fireworks soundtrack pumped in for their listening pleasure), as well as the Electrical Water Pageant. Check out the view!

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This photo, shot last week, truly captures the beauty of this timeless nighttime parade combined with the classic South Pacific styling of our newest resort addition.

To read more about the Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, visit the stories below:

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Video Captures the Royal Experience of the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Recently in a kingdom not so far away, more than 24,000 Princesses and Princes made a 13.1-mile journey through Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Some runners took just over an hour to complete their journey, and for others it took a little longer. No matter their ability they all followed the same path, triumphantly ran through Cinderella Castle, celebrated at the finish line, earned the coveted Disney Princess Tiara Finisher Medal and created runDisney memories that will last a lifetime.

What was their experience like?

With the help of 6 photographers from the Disney Yellow Shoes team, 13 cameras and tens of thousands of images, we can share their journey in just over two minutes.

Once upon a time ……

A special thanks to Disney photographers David Roark, Matt Stroshane, Kent Phillips, Ryan Wendler, Chloe Rice, Todd Anderson, and editor Bryan Smoker for their creativity in bringing this story to life.

For more information on runDisney event weekends, I invite you to visit runDisney.com.

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Exclusive Sneak Peek of Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Coming to Disney Parks in April

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


What if there was a place … a secret place where nothing is impossible?

You wanna go? Well, soon you can, when Disney’s riveting mystery adventure “Tomorrowland” makes its debut in theaters. In the meantime, visitors to Tomorrowland at the Disneyland Resort and Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort can catch an exclusive preview of scenes from the movie.

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For a limited time, a sneak peek of “Tomorrowland” will be presented with special in-theater effects at the Imagination Pavilion theater at Epcot and the Tomorrowland Theater at Disneyland park.

Directed by Oscar® winner Brad Bird and starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney, “Tomorrowland” tells the story of a jaded scientist and an optimistic teen who embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space. “Tomorrowland” features a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen.

The Disney Parks-exclusive “Tomorrowland” sneak peek begins in mid-April at Epcot and Disneyland park. With every second that ticks by, the future is running out, so be sure to take advantage of this special opportunity before “Tomorrowland” opens in theaters on May 22, 2015.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Days of Past: Food Rocks at Epcot

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Today, back in 1994, Food Rocks opened at The Land Pavilion at Epcot. Hosted by Fūd Wrapper, food items sang the virtues of eating healthy. Trying to crash the healthy party were the hard rockers, The Excess, who liked to shout about the best parts of an unhealthy lifestyle in their song “Give Us Junk.”

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Following The Excess performance, Fūd Wrapper reminded everyone that sugary snacks are OK to eat in moderation. The Get-The-Point Sisters sang about this during their hit “Respect.”

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Although Food Rocks no longer jams at The Land, that’s no excuse for poor eating habits!

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

New Menu to Debut at Studio Catering Company at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on March 25th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Guests of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will want to “take five” at Studio Catering Company to check out the tasty new menu.

New Deli Sandwich at Studio Catering Company at Disney’s Hollywood Studios New Braised Pulled Brisket Sandwich at Studio Catering Company at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The first new entrée is a braised pulled brisket sandwich with Munster cheese, arugula, and a creamy horseradish. If you are looking for a hearty sandwich to keep you full between takes (or attractions), try the Deli Sandwich with ham, salami, pepperoni, Provolone cheese, creamy pesto spread, pepper relish and Balsamic glaze.

New Vegetable Wrap at Studio Catering Company at Disney’s Hollywood Studios New Panini at Studio Catering Company at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Guests looking for lighter fare will love the vegetable wrap with garlic herb spread. My favorite of the new entrees? The Panini with turkey, Swiss, Provolone and honey mustard with tomato basil soup.

There are also two new sides available, in addition to French fries and apple slices, guests will also have the choice of house-made chips and tomato basil soup.

These entrees join other new menu items throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner recently added gourmet macaroni and cheese—one featuring buffalo chicken and crumbled blue cheese and the other featuring barbecued pulled pork and crispy onions to the menu. The barbecued pulled pork wedge salad with bacon, roasted corn tomato salsa, crispy tortilla strips, cheddar, and jalapeño ranch dressing at Fairfax Fare is also not to be missed.

That’s a wrap!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort