Disney's Electrical Parade

Disney Parks Moms Panel Search Begins September 2

posted on August 28th, 2014 by Leanne O'Regan, Director, Social Media, Disney Parks


In my many years with Disney Parks, I’ve been fortunate to work on many amazing projects. One project near and dear to my heart will always be the creation and launch of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel in 2008.

The panel, made up of everyday moms and dads from around the globe, have answered hundreds of thousands of questions over the years – covering just about every Disney vacation topic imaginable. Their knowledge of Disney Parks and their passion to help our guests shines in their answers. In fact, you’ve met quite a few of them here on the Disney Parks Blog.

The panel became so popular that several years ago it was expanded to include other Disney Parks vacation experiences. The name was officially changed to the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

September has traditionally been a special month for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. It’s when we search for new panelists to join the team for the next calendar year. It’s a rigorous and thorough process, consisting of multiple rounds, that determines who will be selected to represent the panel and answer vacation questions from guests around the globe.

Thousands will apply for a small number of spots on the panel. But please, don’t let that be a deterrent. The most recent panelists to join the team include several who have applied every year, a few who applied for the very first time, and those in between. Dreams really can come true.

This year, applications will open at 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, September 2, 2014, and will remain open until noon ET on Friday, September 5, 2014.

If you know a mom, dad or grandparent who is your “go-to” person for advice about a Disney Parks vacation and loves to help others plan their trips, encourage them to apply for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. (Be sure to check the rules and regulations on the application to insure eligibility.)

More information about becoming a panelist can be found here.

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New Entertainment Experiences Coming to World Showcase at Epcot

posted on August 28th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Today, we have news about some updates coming to World Showcase at Epcot. One of the best parts of the World Showcase experience is feeling fully immersed in the culture of each country, and the live entertainment presented in the international pavilions plays a large role in creating that atmosphere. Beginning this fall, we will be refreshing the atmosphere entertainment around World Showcase with the addition of new acts and enhancements to some existing performances.

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New experiences debuting over the next several months will contribute to the rich mix of entertainment at Epcot, and provide fresh experiences for our guests. In the near future, you can look forward to enjoying a traditional Berber music and dance troupe in Morocco, a corps of dynamic flag-waving performers in Italy, a thrilling lumberjack-inspired show in Canada, a Celtic folk music ensemble at the United Kingdom, and more.

As we embark on this enhancement of World Showcase entertainment, we bid a fond farewell to Mo’Rockin’, Off Kilter, Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps and World Showcase Players. We thank these performers for all they’ve done to make the Epcot guest experience enjoyable and memorable, and we invite you to come out and see them in their farewell performances over the next few weeks.

More details will be shared, as they become available, about the timing of certain transitions, as well as each of the exciting new entertainment additions coming to World Showcase.

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Top 5 Reasons Not to Miss ‘The Great Irish Hooley’ at Raglan Road

posted on August 28th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Recently, Pam Brandon shared details about one of my favorite Raglan Road events, The Great Irish Hooley. I like it because it’s authentically Irish – outside of the Emerald Isle, you rarely have the chance to experience this sort of spectacle, unless of course, you’re lucky enough to be in the vicinity of the Downtown Disney Area during Labor Day weekend!

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Though it was hard to pick my ‘Top 5,’ I think I’ve done it. Below, in no particular order, are the things you just can’t miss:

  1. Scythian – Haven’t heard of this ultra-talented band? One listen, and you’ll never forget them! The group includes a trio of classically trained fiddle players, a jazz percussionist, and an accordion and banjo player. Currently promoting their new album ‘Jump at the Sun,’ they’ll be taking the Raglan Road stage nightly at 9:30pm.
  2. ‘A Knights Brunch’ & ‘The Rollicking Raglan Brunch’ – Whether you’re cheering for UCF or Penn State, football fans from far and wide are invited to watch the Croke Park Classic football season opener taking place in Dublin, Ireland on August 30th at 8:30am. (Yes, brunch starts at 8:00am that morning, with Guinness, Bloody Marys and more on the menu! The venue is no longer accepting reservations, but walk-ins are welcome.) On Sunday, you can book Raglan Road’s traditional Irish Brunch offering, starting at 11am.
  3. ‘From Our Roots to Riverdance’ – We’re all familiar with ‘Riverdance,’ right? Ronan McCormack, the original choreographer, will trace the origins of Irish dance from early jigs to the modern era in this energetic and entertaining event, taking place daily at 6pm on the outside patio (weather permitting). Bonus: Guest participation is encouraged.
  4. Master Chef Kevin Dundon’s Amazing Menu – If you like traditional Irish fare or a more modern twist on Irish cuisine (like me!), you’ll find something special on the menu, created with only the finest ingredients sourced from the best suppliers. The gluten-free fish ‘n’ chips continues to get rave reviews – and they have gluten free onion rings, too. Who knew?
  5. The Great Irish Ceili – I’m always awed by the Raglan Road dancers and this event puts the spotlight on their fancy footwork. Guests are invited to take part in the ceili, a traditional form of group folk dancing, on Saturday, Sunday at Monday at 3:00pm.

Farewell, summer. Hello, fall fun, ushered in the way only the Irish can do it!

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Wildlife Wednesday: Update on the Wallaby Joey at Disney’s Animal Kingdom– ‘It’s a boy!’

posted on August 27th, 2014 by Andre Daneault, Animal Operations Manager


Earlier this year, we shared with you the exciting news of a wallaby joey that could be seen at the Oasis at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Now that the joey has grown a bit, we can share that “It’s a boy!” and his name is Ozzie. His first time coming out of his mom’s pouch was in April. He gradually spent more and more time out of the pouch and is now pretty independent. He is eating solid foods and currently weighs in at 2.3kg! (The weight range for adults is 4-9kg.)

Wildlife Wednesday: Update on the  Wallaby Joey at Disney’s Animal   Kingdom– 'It’s a boy!' Wildlife Wednesday: Update on the  Wallaby Joey at Disney’s Animal   Kingdom– 'It’s a boy!'

If you are looking for Ozzie on your next visit to the park, he is most active during the cooler parts of the day, mornings and after late day rains. Wallabies are just one of the many interesting wildlife species that can be found at the Oasis Exhibits as you begin your adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Be sure to also look for Giant Anteater, Babarusa (an exotic boar), Barking Deer, Spoonbill Stork and Macaws!!

To learn more about Wallabies or if you missed the first story … you can check it out here!

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Competition, Fun and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Difference Has Boston Team Hitting the Road to Disney

posted on August 26th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


This Labor Day weekend, more than 700 athletes and coaches representing nine states, 5 countries from as far away as Japan, will hit the diamonds at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort for Disney Turn Back the Clock Weekend. For the 18th straight year, teams will enjoy international competition on the field and fun off the field in the parks, and at a private water park party at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park.

For teams like the Cambridge Hitmen, planning the “Road to Disney” started months ago. Team manager Ronnie Ferrara has led teams from Boston to the tournament for the past 14 years. “We have a lot of fun down there,” said Ferrara. “The Disney difference, they are wonderful down there, they treat everyone first class from the day you get there, they go over board trying to help. The fields are unbelievable.”

For the kids, it’s an opportunity to experience good competition and enjoy time with friends and teammates. “What’s great about the baseball is how good the competition is,” said catcher Samuel Olivet, who is making his second trip to the tournament. Rookie pitcher Elliot Harris said, “it seems like a vacation with one of my favorite things to do, which is play baseball.”

Recently, we caught up with the Hitmen on their home field in Cambridge, MA, as they practiced for their trip of a lifetime.

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VIDEO: Disney’s Hollywood Studios Hosts Villains Unleashed

posted on August 26th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Over the weekend, Disney’s Hollywood Studios played host to Villains Unleashed, a special event in which 50 Disney villains (and many Disney fans) packed the park for some nighttime fun and special entertainment.

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The event kicked off at Hades Hangout, where several Disney villains were welcomed to the stage – including Shan Yu, Bowler Hat Guy, Captain Gantu, Oogie Boogie and many others. One fan favorite was Dr. Hämsterviel, who made his debut appearance at Walt Disney World Resort during this event!

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Speaking of cool characters, Disney Junior – Live On Stage was temporarily taken over by Star Lord and Gamora from “Guardians of the Galaxy” for an out-of-this-world dance party.

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Many guests also dressed up to show their “villain” side for the occasion. Some of the amazing costumes I saw that night included Bomb Voyage from “The Incredibles” and Stinky Pete from “Toy Story 2,” among others. (Be sure to click through the gallery above to see more). In addition to meeting villain characters, guests also enjoyed special entertainment, including “Oogie Boogie’s Variety Show” and a Star Wars villain zone.

The evening ended with a spectacular appearance by Maleficent, who kicked off the night’s “Villainy In The Skies” fireworks spectacular.

Be sure to check out the video above for more!

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VIDEO – Halloween Merchandise Returns to Disney Parks

posted on August 26th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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The Halloween season returns to Disney Parks in just a few days. I recently took a break from making my next homemade costume to visit Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort. There, I stopped by the Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A., to make this short video highlighting my favorite Halloween merchandise items created especially for Disney Parks.

The products shown in the video can be found in select merchandise locations at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

You can also find select items by visiting http://www.DisneyStore.com/Halloween.

Trick or treat!

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Villains’ Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle with VIP Parade Viewing, Fireworks and Delicious Sweets at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

posted on August 25th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Starting Monday, you can make a reservation for this fun new, must-do last stop of the evening at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Villain’s Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle.

First you enjoy preferred viewing for Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and the HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular. Then head to Cinderella’s Royal Table for devilish desserts and wicked entertainment in celebration of the villains’ favorite time of year.

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Lady Tremaine takes over Cinderella’s Royal Table after everyone has gone to bed, and she’s invited some of the most evil friends and special guests for a decadent dessert party (maybe you’ll see the Evil Queen, Maleficent, Cruella de Vil or Dr. Facilier?).

Lady Tremaine will welcome guests, and her personal piano player provides live music. (She’ll sing a few haunting solos while guests enjoy the delicious desserts inspired by the villains.)

Cost is $99 ages 3 and older, plus tax (gratuity included). Admission to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is required – this is a separate ticketed event not included in Magic Kingdom Park admission. Tickets for the soiree are limited and reservations recommended! Call 407-939-5262 – no online reservations.

Your ticket includes:

  • Preferred Viewing for the 8:15 p.m. Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade
    Watch the Headless Horseman lead off the parade on a hair-raising ride, followed by a collection of frightful floats and some of your favorite Disney Characters in Halloween costumes.
  • Preferred Viewing for HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular
    The Ghost Host from the Haunted Mansion and some of the most notorious Disney Villains light up the sky to wicked remixes of their favorite songs.
  • Dessert Soiree at Cinderella’s Royal Table
    Lady Tremaine shares her musical talents while you enjoy themed desserts, specialty non-alcoholic drinks, entertainment and visits from some of your favorite Disney villains. Each guest gets an autograph card and souvenir Maleficent dragon cup.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Merchandise to Show Off Your Back-To-School Disney Side

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


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Both of my children returned to school in mid-August. Like many parents during this time of the year, I recently went shopping for their school supplies. Granted, the supplies needed for my college-age daughter are much different than the ones for my grade-school-age son. The idea of supply shopping, however, got me thinking about how to kids could show their Disney Side when returning to classes this fall. Luckily, I spotted a nice display in the Emporium at Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World Resort that offered a few ideas.

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Located just inside the location, the small back-to-school display contained a handful of items including pencils, pens, supply boxes, and more. There were also a few backpacks that we offer at Disney Parks. I wish I had that Buzz Lightyear backpack growing up!

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After seeing the display, I spoke with the souvenirs team at Disney Theme Park Merchandise headquarters. They gave me a closer look at the newest erasers to arrive at Disney Parks.

The mystery collector packs were inspired by other collectible merchandise such as Disney pins and Vinylmation. Each pack contains one eraser from a series of themed erasers with characters like Mickey Mouse and friends; Disney princesses; and characters from Disney Channel’s “Phineas and Ferb.” Some of the designs are shown on the packaging with one eraser design remaining a mystery in each series.

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The team also created new, foot-long erasers that have a colorful hidden Mickey Mouse icon in the designs.

Finally, I love the new character erasers which stand about 4-inches tall. These incredibly detailed erasers are probably more decorative in nature; I wanted to display them on my Disney shelf in my office.
Look for these items in select locations at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.

I want to wish all teachers, faculty and students an exciting and productive school year!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Caption This: Toys Will Be Toys at Disney Resorts

posted on August 25th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you ever returned to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel room to see a sight like this?

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It sure looks like these Disney friends would love to come out and play. What’s on their minds? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This” photo below!

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