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Mad Tea Party at Disney Parks

Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic Merchandise Drops Into Disney Parks on February 13, 2015

posted on January 26th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Last summer, I gave you a first look at a new merchandise collection called “Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic” that was inspired by the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney Parks. Today, I’m excited to announce that this line will drop into Disney Parks starting Friday, February 13 (what a perfect day!). These new products will be found inside Tower Hotel Gifts in both Disney California Adventure park at Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort. I recently visited the merchandise presentation offices at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where I found a display of several new items.

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The merchandise presentation team set up a display to show what Tower Hotel Gifts may look like when the product is set. They told me they will be making adjustments to props, fixtures and lighting in the shops to complement the new merchandise.

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Disney Design Group artists were inspired by the Haunted Mansion Authentic program released last year when designing this artwork. You will notice similar design elements such as the use of vintage advertisements. The Hollywood Tower Hotel logo was also included on several items that could have been sold in the hotel gift shop before that one stormy night long ago.

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I love the tote bag that looks like vintage luggage and the bellhop cap is perfect! I was glad to see the bell was updated with new artwork (you can see the difference in this story from July 2013).

Guests will also find new apparel items for adults and kids. My son will be beyond thrilled that there will be a kid’s T-shirt with a character from his favorite episode.

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In addition to apparel and other souvenirs, the Disney pin team will release some new open edition pins as part of this collection.

Finally, I invite you to meet some of the Disney Design Group artists behind this collection on Friday, February 13. This event will be held at Tower Hotel Gifts inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Disney Artists Tyler Dumas, Brian Blackmore, Richard Terpstra and Quynh Kimball are scheduled to attend.

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and used with permission pursuant to a license with CBS, Inc.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Caption This: Disney Characters Take Flight at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 26th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Back in 1988, two hot air balloons named Ear Force One (Mickey) and Zippity Doo Duck (Donald) took flight here at Walt Disney World Resort.

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This photo just begs for a caption. They look pretty excited for their journey. What’s on their minds? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This” in the comments section below.

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 25th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we featured several popular “Frozen” stories on the Disney Parks Blog, including a special announcement that Olaf is coming to all four Disney Cruise Line ships along with information about brand-new Disney Cruise experiences being planned for the entire family beginning this summer.

Land of “Frozen” Coming to Disney Cruise Line in Summer 2015

Jonathan included highlights of some of the new experiences in his original story. And he’ll be sharing more right here on the Disney Parks Blog over the next several weeks.

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We also continued our “Learn to Draw” series with a special guest this week – actor Josh Gad. Josh, who voiced Olaf in the “Frozen.” film, stopped by The Magic of Disney Animation to test his own skills at drawing his animated friend.

Check out Jenn’s original post to see more tutorials on drawing your favorite Disney characters.

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

Disneyland Resort Circle D Corral Now Zero Waste Certified – Thanks to efforts begun four years ago by cast member Andrea Raney, Circle D Corral is now gold-level Zero Waste certified by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, with 99 percent of its waste repurposed, composted or recycled!

Splitsville Hits a High Note with New Saturday Night Bands at Downtown Disney West Side – Have you heard the live music on Saturday Nights at Splitsville? Disney Parks Blog author Darcy Clark shares her impression, and details a number of improvements coming to Splitsville in 2015.

Vote to Name Our New Baby Goats at the Disneyland Resort – See some pictures of the new kids at Circle D Corral, and don’t forget to vote for their names!

Video Rewind: Caring for Classic Disneyland Park Attractions – Take a look back at some behind-the-scenes videos we showed you in years past here on the Disney Parks Blog to see how we care for our classic Disneyland park attractions.

Tweens Make New Friends at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Learn all about the ways tweens can hang loose during a vacation at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

Nick Arciniaga Wins First-Ever Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort – Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon, and to the more than 23,000 runners who participated!

A Unique Point of View: Mad Tea Party at Disneyland Park – Get a look at these unique images from Disneyland Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Best Places to Find Disney Tsum Tsum at Disney Parks

posted on January 23rd, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Last summer, my son (and the rest of the world) discovered Disney Tsum Tsum. I recall we were on vacation in Ohio when he asked to download the fun puzzle matching and stacking game. Upon returning to Florida, he found the adorable stacking plush offered both at Disney Stores and in select locations at Disney Parks. Our friends at Oh My Disney even celebrated their arrival with a visit to Disneyland park (as seen in this article). I recently asked Victoria Hamilton, merchandiser for dolls and plush at Disney Theme Park Merchandise, about the best places to find Tsum Tsum when visiting Disney Parks.

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“There are currently two different locations that offer Tsum Tsum,” explained Victoria. “Guests in California should stop by the plush room inside World of Disney at Downtown Disney District. For guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort, they should visit Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney Marketplace. These two locations carry an assortment of four-inch plush and a handful of the larger sized plush.”

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She also told me that they will continue carrying select Tsum Tsum after they are released at Disney Stores. For example, guests will find the “101 Dalmatians” mini Tsum Tsum plush collection in early February at Disney Parks. This collection was first released at Disney Stores and online in early January.

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In related news, the Disney Pin Team will release a collectible pin pack featuring Tsum Tsum later this year. Each pack will contain five randomly selected pins. I grabbed a handful of pins to photograph for this story including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit!

In addition to the two different locations at Disney Parks, you can find select Tsum Tsum products online at http://www.DisneyStore.com/TsumTsum.

Happy stacking!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on January 22nd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Tonight’s “After Dark” image was shot in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park. It’s a shot of one of the park’s original attractions – Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.

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Is Adventureland one of your favorite stops at night? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Learn to Draw Special Edition: ‘Frozen’ Voice Actor Josh Gad Tests His Skills at Drawing Olaf

posted on January 21st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


One of the most popular videos we ever shared in our “Learn to Draw” series is a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw Olaf, the lovable snowman from “Frozen.”

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Check out what happens when actor Josh Gad, who voiced Olaf in the film, stops by The Magic of Disney Animation to test his own skills at drawing his animated friend. Josh, a Florida native, also shares what he loves about Disney Parks and talks about how it’s “surreal” to see “Frozen” characters added into the mix.



For previous animation tutorials on some of your favorite Disney characters, check out the list below:

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

Splitsville Hits a High Note with New Saturday Night Bands at Downtown Disney West Side

posted on January 20th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


In early November, Splitsville Luxury Lanes quietly introduced a new offering inside their venue – live bands on Saturday nights. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I only recently had the chance to experience it for myself. Three months after the first band took the stage, I can attest that “quiet” isn’t an adjective I’d use to describe it—it’s loud, bright and totally fun!

On the night I visited, The Jimmy James Band covered everything from The Beatles to Taylor Swift. Taking requests and encouraging guests to sing along and get out on the dance floor, the high-energy enthusiasm in the air was contagious. My party of four was perfectly positioned to catch every shake of the tambourine, and when the bass guitarist came on the floor to rock with the crowd, I was just inches away!

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Of course, we bowled, too. And had dinner. And drinks. With three sushi lovers and a full-throttle carnivore, our table was covered with edamame, a variety of rolls, and the Bacon Cheeseburger. Oh, and let us not forget a few Frozen Schooners – I really do think Splitsville serves the coldest beer in town! The only downside? The food was so good that everyone missed my strike.

With a new year here, Splitsville is rolling into 2015 with even more enhancements. Their menu now includes Crispy Wings, a Sushi Tuna Rice Bowl, a Foghorn Burger, Steak Alfredo and a California Crunch Roll. New drinks include a Cinnamon Toast Colada (I’m so regretting not trying that one during my last visit!) and Sangrita (Margarita meets Red Sangria). They recently expanded their first floor Bullet Bar, too, so there’s more space than ever to catch your game, people watch, or – my new favorite – enjoy live music on Saturday nights!

Want to check out the bands during your next West Side visit? The Jimmy James Band, Blonde Ambition or another guest group will perform 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. every Saturday night. There’s no cover charge and there are plenty of tables, bar seats and lanes on the first floor with great views of the stage and dance floor. To guarantee a spot and reserve a lane, contact kingpin@splitsvillelanes.com or call 407-938-PINS; for dinner only, you can book online here.

Now, more than ever, Splitsville really is my favorite Downtown Disney West Side spot to “Roll In & Rock Out!” Would you agree?

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Filed: Disney Dining, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Enjoy Breakfast or Brunch With Royalty at Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

posted on January 19th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Recently, I was invited to dine with royalty at Cinderella’s Dining at Cítricos—Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. I’m excited to share my experience with you!

The magical experience begins with a photo opportunity with none other than the beautiful Cinderella. One of Disney’s signature restaurants, Cítricos is beautiful during the day, especially with the presence of the Disney princesses.

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The meal starts with a basket of freshly baked multi-grain croissants, apple pastries and blueberry muffins. A special touch are the wishing wands and swords brought to the table to use in the Magical Wishing Ceremony, an enchanting moment when—with a little Disney magic—your prince’s or princess’ wish can come true!

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Guests receive a choice of appetizer: a garden salad with artisanal greens, endive, roasted carrots, sugar snap peas and Marcona almonds with Riesling vinaigrette; charcuterie; chicken noodle soup or a fresh fruit plate. I chose the fresh fruit and was delighted with a plate of pineapple, strawberries, apple slices and more with a dollop of crème fraîche.

During our meal, Disney princesses made their way to our table for photos and lively conversation about the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, magic carpets and life under the sea.

Scrambled Egg Whites with Hot Ten-Grain Cereal, Greek Yogurt Topped with Granola, a Whole-Grain Croissant and Fresh Fruit Entree Available at Cinderella’s Dining at Cítricos—Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses Steak and Slow-Poached Eggs Entree Available at Cinderella’s Dining at Cítricos—Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses Florida Shrimp with Creamy Cheddar Cheese and Smoked Bacon Grits Entree Available at Cinderella’s Dining at Cítricos—Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses Grilled Ham and Slow-Poached Eggs on Top of a Biscuit with Gravy Entree Available at Cinderella’s Dining at Cítricos—Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses

For my entrée, I chose the scrambled egg whites with hot ten-grain cereal, Greek yogurt topped with granola, a whole-grain croissant and fresh fruit. The portion sizes were perfect, and it was a delicious start to my morning. Other entrées for adults include steak and slow-poached eggs, Florida shrimp with creamy cheddar cheese and smoked bacon grits, grilled ham and slow-poached eggs on top of a biscuit with gravy and more.

The children’s menu is sure to delight your prince or princess—with appetizers such as bite-sized cheddar cheese and grapes and entrée choices ranging from Mickey waffles with sausage and bacon to steak with mashed potatoes and sweet corn.

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The meal ended with a decadent dessert trio of chocolate-raspberry cake, crème brûlée and a vanilla bean cream puff. Needless to say, I was sufficiently stuffed at the end of this meal.

Reservations for Cinderella’s Dining at Cítricos—Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses can be made by visiting DisneyWorld.com, or calling 407-WDW-DINE.

My wish has already come true—I get to bring the magic of Disney Parks Food & Beverage to Disney Parks Blog readers around the world. May all of your wishes come true!

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

Download Our Disney’s Contemporary Resort Wallpaper by Artist Jason ‘Tiki’ Tackett

posted on January 19th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you one of the many enjoying a holiday off of work or school today? Perhaps you’re using today for some special family time, or even some vacation planning for this spring or summer.

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Here’s a desktop/mobile wallpaper of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, created by artist Jason ‘Tiki’ Tackett, that just may keep you “Disney Dreaming” all winter long.

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

Want to check out our other designs? Check out the full gallery of wallpapers on our special page.

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Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 18th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we celebrated the anniversaries of two favorite attractions here on the Disney Parks Blog with some exclusive stories, photos and yes, wallpapers. To download the wallpapers, simply click on the images below.

Space Mountain Anniversary Wallpaper Carousel of Progress Anniversary Wallpaper

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpapers before you download it.

Our “There’s a Great Big, Beautiful Tomorrow” art was created by artist Brittany Ungvarsky and the Space Mountain attraction wallpaper was created by artist Jeff Maurer.

Don’t miss our “Space Mountain Marks Milestone” post and video of Walt Disney talking about creating the Carousel of Progress.

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And we also shared a special sneak peek of the new interactive queue that’ll debut at Peter Pan’s Flight at the Walt Disney World Resort. You’ll be able to see your own shadow come alive on the wall in the children’s nursery and get a sprinkle of pixie dust before heading off into Never Land with Peter Pan.

You can see a few more images of the new queue in Jennifer’s original story.

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

Top Five Tips for Visiting the Disneyland Resort – Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover offers some pointers on what to do and how to make the most of your next trip.

More Than 700 Compete in Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge – See some special images of runners making their way across a special 5K course throughout Castaway Cay!

First Look at runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation Merchandise – Take a look at some of the T-shirts, jackets, magnets, runner’s hats and more arriving at Disneyland Resort this weekend.

Building The Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – A Unique View of Town Square – George Savvas shares a photo taken from an unfinished clock tower on Main Street Station at Disneyland park!

Discover With Me: Breakfast at Ulu Cafe at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Discover delicious ways to start your day and fuel up at Ulu Cafe at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

#DisneyKids: Big Surprises for Little Kids – Have you ever surprised your family with a Walt Disney World Resort vacation? We thought we’d share a few ideas.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort