Walt Disney at Disneyland Park

Happy Thanksgiving from the Disney Parks Blog Team

posted on November 27th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


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Happy Thanksgiving! It may be a holiday weekend, but our authors have a few fun surprises to share with you right here over the next few days, including a new Disney Parks Blog wallpaper, another live stream announcement, and more. And those of you who can’t wait to indulge in Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping over the next few days can find everything you need to know about Disney Parks deals in this post by Steven from earlier in the week.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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Celebrate Thanksgiving With A Disney Parks Turkey Leg Wallpaper

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


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Just in time for Thanksgiving Day, we have our latest holiday-inspired Disney Parks Blog wallpaper. The art features one of our famous theme park turkey legs and Disney Artist Jeff Maurer created it so you can spruce up your smartphone or computer for the big day.

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Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it. And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special wallpaper page.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Tree of Life

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Symbolizing the interconnected nature of all living things, the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom rises up from the center of Discovery Island at the park. Soaring over 140 feet into the air, the Tree of Life hadn’t “grown” any of its 100,000+ leaves yet in January 1997.

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The 14-story tree is 50 feet wide at its base with roots that spread 170 feet in diameter. More than 8,000 branches make up the foliage that spreads 160 feet over the park below.

Walt Disney World Photo Gallery Disc

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Filed: Disney History, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Family Volunteer Day – Serving Communities in the Spirit of Thanksgiving

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


On Saturday, November 22, Disney Friends for Change sponsored Family Volunteer Day, a nation-wide effort that demonstrates the magic created when families volunteer together to support their neighborhoods and communities around the world. The annual event, now in its 22nd year, celebrates the power that families have to make a real difference in their community, while strengthening their relationships and spending quality time together. Here’s a look at how Walt Disney Parks and Resorts teams participated in Family Volunteering Day and other holiday giving projects:

  • At Disneyland Resort, Disney VoluntEARS helped pack food boxes at the Orange County Food Bank in support of Family Volunteer Day. VoluntEARS hosted another event at the Downtown Disney District to make healthy snack-packs that were also donated to the Orange County Food Bank. Additionally, Disneyland cast members participated in a Military Care Package drive and a canned food collection.
  • To support Family Volunteer Day, Disney VoluntEARS and families from Hong Kong Disneyland took part in a coastal cleanup activity at Silvermine Bay. The event gave families the opportunity to spend time together while contributing to the cleanliness of their surrounding shoreline. In December, Hong Kong Disneyland cast members and their families will also visit two local hospitals for festive celebrations to help spread the joy of the holidays amongst patients and their loved ones.
  • Every year, VoluntEARS from Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa partner with their neighbors at Ko Olina Resort for Thanksgiving Outreach, an event that serves meals to 4,000 people across Oahu’s Leeward Coast.
  • In the spirit of Family Volunteer Day, Shanghai Disney Resort partnered with the non-profit organization Right to Play China through “Imagination Playground,” a play outreach program that aims to strengthen family bonds through various creative play activities. More than 100 children of migrant workers and low-income families have participated in family play activities with Shanghai Disney Resort VoluntEARS this holiday season.
  • At Walt Disney World Resort, cast members and their families partnered with the 2013-2014 Walt Disney World Resort Ambassadors to support Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation’s (ONIC) Family Fun & Fall Festival. VoluntEARS helped set-up and break down the event, staff the activity and game stations and serve refreshments. Additionally, VoluntEARS from Disney’s Pop Century Resort will serve meals on Thanksgiving at the Coalition for Homeless Center for Women & Children and Men’s Pavilion.

Real magic comes from the efforts of families working together to make lasting and positive change in the world. Thanks to our teams from around the world and to the families who are part of that magic every year.

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Filed: Aulani, Community Outreach, Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Hotels & Resorts, Shanghai Disney Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Special Edition Wildlife Wednesday: What Are We Thankful For? You! – Thank You for Contributing to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund!

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Kim Sams, Director, Corporate Citizenship, Conservation Programs, The Walt Disney Company


Recently, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) was thrilled to announce its 2014 grant recipients. With this announcement DWCF surpassed $25 million awarded to nonprofits working to conserve wildlife and connect kids and families with nature. As we enter a season full of thanks and giving for many, we want to take a moment to thank you! Matched by Disney, your contributions to DWCF at Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney Cruise Line and Disney Vacation Club, are directly contributing to protecting animals and their habitats, and helping children all over the world have nature experiences. Not only do we thank you, the grant recipients thank you as well. Here are a few notes from recipients expressing gratitude for the conservation efforts made possible by your contributions.

The Marine Mammal Center: Mahalo!!! This is such wonderful news – especially as we just celebrated the opening and blessing of the new Hawaiian monk seal hospital and were joined by 150 members of the community, government, funders, and volunteers in Kona last week. And as we just sent off the first four young Hawaiian monk seal patients healthy back to the ocean – before our facility was built these four seals would have been left with no hope of survival. It is an exciting time of hope and possibility in the recovery of the Hawaiian monk seal. Thank you so much for your support!

Project: Hawaiian Monk Seal Healthcare Project

The Purple Martin Conservation Association: This is most wonderful news and on behalf of our purple martin conservation team we express our deep thanks for your support of our project. We look forward to working together with Disney to make important progress in the conservation of declining populations of purple martins.

Project: Connecting Songbird Conservation Across Hemispheres

Hawaiian Monk Seals at The Marine Mammal Center Tagged Purple Martin at The Purple Martin Conservation Association

SAVE THE FROGS!: This is amazing news! Thank you so much to you all and to Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund for your support of our amphibian conservation programs in West Africa.

Project: Saving Ghana’s Endangered Squeaker Frog

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The Jane Goodall Institute: Thank you so much for this wonderful news. Having Disney’s support of the Jane Goodall Institute and our Mandrill Reintroduction Project is greatly appreciated. Releasing rehabilitated mandrills back into the wild is so important, not only for the individuals themselves, but also for the surrounding ecosystem. They are important contributors to their local biodiversity and their presence has a positive spillover effect on other threatened wildlife. Again, thank you to everyone at Disney for your support.

Project: Release of Wild Born Mandrills

Sea to Shore Alliance: Thank you so much to all of you at DWCF for this fantastic news! We are extremely honored to be funded for the seventh year in a row, and we know our African manatee collaborators, whose projects benefit so greatly from your grants, are very grateful as well. We look forward to sharing more news and photos with you soon.

Project: African Manatee Research and Conservation

Every $1 in guest donations is matched by The Walt Disney Company and awarded to nonprofits to support conservation projects around the world. By contributing to the DWCF, guests are making a meaningful difference in conserving species all over the world. To see more projects visit Disney.com/conservation and click on the Google Earth application.

Happy Holidays!

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Made With Magic Items Now Available at Disney Parks

posted on November 25th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m happy to announce that Made With Magic items are now available at Disney Parks. You may recall my recent Disney Parks Blog article about Made With Magic, the new name for products that light up and interact with select Disney experiences at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. I recently visited Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to get a first hand look at these new products.

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As the sun set on another beautiful Florida day, I saw these items in action at the top of the Hollywood Hills Theater just before seating opened for the first Fantasmic! show. We currently offer a Disney ear hat, a Minnie Mouse headband and a Sorcerer Mickey wand. A light-up Mickey Mouse glove will be coming to Disney Parks in spring 2015. Each Made With Magic item has a retail of $25.00 (that retail includes tax).

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My favorite item is the Sorcerer Mickey wand as it has the ability to change other Made With Magic items. It’s pretty easy to use. To change the color patterns on the wand, press the artist pallet button. Once you find a color pattern you like, you can press the wand button to change other Made With Magic items. I changed an entire display of Disney ear hats with just one wand (I wonder if I can use this wand to clean up my apartment as that would be amazing).

Look for these items in select merchandise locations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. Guests in California can find these items in various merchandise locations in Disneyland park and in Disney’s California Adventure park.

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

Before/After: Magic Kingdom Park Transforms for the Holidays

posted on November 25th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you enjoyed this month’s behind-the-scenes look at the overnight installation of holiday decorations at Magic Kingdom Park, then you’ll love today’s special look at the transformation from Disney photographer Charlie Champagne. Scroll back and forth to see the transition from Halloween to Christmas at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park

Entrance to Magic Kingdom Park

Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park

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Making Plans for New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 24th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


It may still be November, but I bet many of you are already thinking ahead and starting to make plans for New Year’s Eve. Well, if you’re going to be ringing in 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort, here’s a rundown of some of the entertainment we have planned for this year’s celebration.

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  • Epcot – It’s a night-long party throughout Epcot, with unique entertainment including a DJ and light show at the Future World Fountain Stage, dancing under flame effects and a smoke-billowing dragon in China, a British blast to the past in United Kingdom, Euro-pop and lasers in Italy, and a Latin band and DJ on the America Gardens Stage. Cap it all off with one of two showings of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” fireworks, at 6:00 p.m. or 11:40 p.m., followed by a countdown and pyrotechnic salute to the new year.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Exclusive specialty drinks and food items are available throughout the night, as the Event Stage comes alive with an energetic DJ and performances by Mulch, Sweat & Shears. As midnight approaches, the band takes the stage to count down to 2015 and plays live during a jaw-dropping fireworks spectacular.
  • Magic Kingdom Park – You can get a head start on the festivities, with a special New Year’s Eve eve presentation of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at 11:50 p.m. on Tuesday, December 30. The same show will be repeated on December 31.

So tell me … what are you doing New Year’s Eve?

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Holiday Deals Coming This Week to the Disney Parks Online Store

posted on November 24th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With the holiday shopping season officially starting this week, I wanted to share some holiday deals that are coming to the Disney Parks online store.

Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28, 2014

  • 20% off your entire order, plus free shipping with purchases $75 and more. Use code: THANKS

Monday, December 1, 2014

  • Enjoy 25% off $100 or more; 20% off $75 or more; or 15% off $50 or more, plus free shipping with purchases $75 and more. Use code: CYBER

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To help you find the perfect gifts for loved ones, I invite you to check out the online gift guide here.

Happy shopping!

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Celebrate Thanksgiving Week With Our Latest Disney Parks Blog Wallpaper

posted on November 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Turkey Day is almost here and in honor of the big day we have a new Disney Parks Blog wallpaper to share with you.

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Disney Artist Jeff Maurer pulled this one together, it’s a graphic of one of our famous theme park turkey legs – with a Disney twist.

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it. And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special wallpaper page.

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