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Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland Park

Save Up To 30% On Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels This Summer

posted on March 25th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This summer is shaping up to be the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort, with Frozen Summer Fun returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios among other exciting offerings at our parks. Now might be the perfect time to book your summer vacation, too, as our latest offer could save you up to 30% on select Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms.

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Guests booking stays with this offer must book between March 23-June 12, 2015 for trips taking place between June 16-August 27.

Click here for full details.

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Wildlife Wednesday: Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Set ‘Gold Standard’ for Animal Care

posted on March 25th, 2015 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


I am honored to announce that Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge were granted official accreditation once again by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The AZA accredits only those zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards in animal management and care. Late last year, we hosted an AZA inspection team who assessed everything from the enrichment our animals receive (that stimulates their natural behaviors and provides them variety in their daily routines), to our veterinary program, our conservation and research and education programs, as well as our safety policies and procedures, security, physical facilities, guest services and the experience and quality of our staff. They look at everything from each part of the operation not only in animal care but from food and beverage to merchandise. It’s quite the process!

Wildlife Wednesday: Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Set ‘Gold Standard’ for Animal Care Wildlife Wednesday: Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Set ‘Gold Standard’ for Animal Care

After this review, the AZA Accreditation Commission deliberated and shared their decision to accredit Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge this past Sunday.

Being accredited allows us to create and continue to nurture our relationships with other accredited organizations to work toward a common goal of conservation and saving species.

Here are some of the wonderful and humbling comments AZA left with us:

  • “The level and commitment to animal care sets the gold standard for our community. Veterinary, nutrition, training, browse program and enrichment programs are state of the art.”
Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge are Committed 'Gold Standard' Care Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge are Committed 'Gold Standard' Care
  • “The keeper staff is professional, passionate and engaged.”
  • “Overall safety culture is extraordinarily strong across the organization, and staff training exceeds all expectations.”
  • “Disney’s Animal Kingdom staff has been successful in making conservation a key value of The Walt Disney Company. The current positive impact and future potential of this change cannot be overstated.”
  • “New interpretive programs, including Wilderness [Explorers] and Wild Africa Trek, add both breadth and depth to program offerings.”
Wilderness Explorers at Disney's Animal Kingdom Wilderness Explorers at Disney's Animal Kingdom

They also recognized the amazing amount of work going on with our upcoming expansion and praised our efforts to maintain a strong focus on animals, nature and conservation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Renewing our accreditation also speaks to the importance we place on connecting kids and nature. Both the park and resort provide a quality experience to learn about animal and conservation in a fun, engaging environment.

Congratulations to the Cast of Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge once again.

Wildlife Wednesday: Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Set ‘Gold Standard’ for Animal Care Wildlife Wednesday: Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Set ‘Gold Standard’ for Animal Care
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Art In The Garden Returns to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 27-29, 2015

posted on March 25th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m happy to announce the return of Art in The Garden to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This annual artist showcase will be held from March 27-29 in several areas throughout World Showcase. Here is a brief listing of which artists will be featured during this year’s event.

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Guests can meet David Doss and Greg McCullough on the World Showcase Promenade from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day. David will release one of his newest images featuring Olaf enjoying summer, while Greg will have artwork featuring Winnie the Pooh and Friends.

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In the Puffin’s Roost at Norway Pavilion, guests can meet Larry Dotson from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day. I love his artwork featuring the Stave Church from the World Showcase Pavilion.

Artist Reinhard Herzog will be in Glas Und Porzellan at Germany Pavilion from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day. Known for creating amazing glass-blown keepsakes, Reinhard will release two new ornaments that resemble a bride and groom. He will also have other glass-blown items available for personalization during the event.

Finally, while not art related, I encourage you to attend the free cooking demonstrations held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Port of Entry at the entrance to World Showcase. The 15-minute demos begin at 3:00 p.m. each day and offer guests an opportunity to meet a Disney chef.

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Found Photo: Orange Bird Visits Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park, 1971

posted on March 25th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


As a part of my job I occasionally get to spend some time sorting through our photo archives here at Walt Disney World Resort, and every time I do, I seem to stumble upon something I just have to share with you Disney history fans. Such was the case when I came upon this rare photo of Orange Bird at Magic Kingdom Park. Over the years, we’ve released several pictures of Orange Bird in his native environment of Adventureland (and during his brief stint at Downtown Disney), but what’s unique about this photo is that it was snapped on June 11, 1971 – several months before the park’s October 1 opening. You can see that construction on Tropical Serenade (now Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room) was still underway in the background. Maybe he was looking for the perfect place to build his own birdhouse?

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After the park opened, Orange Bird greeted families near Sunshine Tree Terrace for several years, where guests could also buy citrus drinks and Orange Bird merchandise. Orange Bird also once had his own record, which was released in 1971 to feature a tune called “The Orange Bird Song” that was composed by the Sherman Brothers (of “Mary Poppins” fame).

Orange Bird returned to Magic Kingdom Park in April 2012, when an Orange Bird statue was retrieved from the WDI Sculpture Studio in California and returned to the land’s Sunshine Tree Terrace. Today, guests can still find Orange Bird cups and merchandise at Magic Kingdom Park.

For more Orange Bird, check out the posts below:

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

posted on March 24th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


When talking about the soon-to-open Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World Resort, it’s hard not to gush on and on. These 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom over-the-water accommodations offer sleeping room for eight, a private deck complete with an individual plunge pool, a full kitchen, gorgeous décor, views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom Park area, in-mirror television in the master bath, a washer and dryer in each unit, gated boardwalk access and other fun features. I really could go on and on (and on).

But they say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and this is certainly one time I have to agree. And, thankfully, I don’t have just one picture to share with you today, I have many.

Let’s start with the boardwalk and front porch leading into a Bungalow. Notice the handcrafted wind chime.

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

Once inside, you’ll find two bedrooms, both offering Mary Blair-inspired bed throws. The second bedroom also offers a sleek surfboard headboard and a fun window seat that’s perfect for relaxing.

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

The master bedroom offers a door to the deck, where you’ll find these (oh so comfy) chairs. Plus, not only is the master bathroom gorgeous, it features an in-mirror television!

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

The living room offers furnishings with a mid-century modern flair. And the full kitchen comes complete with a table seating eight.

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

Oh yeah, and did I mention the plunge pool? You’ll be able to watch (and listen to the soundtrack thanks to the piped-in music) the Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from here.

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

I don’t want to give everything away, but I will leave you with a few more images highlighting just some of the fun touches that will be found throughout the Bungalows when they open next week.

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What’s your favorite feature of the new Bora Bora Bungalows?

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New Pedestrian Bridge Will Soon Open at the Downtown Disney Area at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 24th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


My office is smack dab in the middle of Downtown Disney Marketplace, so I have a front row seat to all the enhancements coming to the property as we transform into Disney Springs. Some days, the progress is subtle, but last week, there was no denying that change was in the air (literally). Towering above Buena Vista Drive, a new pedestrian bridge was installed in the early morning hours of March 19 – when I came to work on Thursday, there it was, extending from the Team Disney area across the roadway to Downtown Disney.

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Our friends at Reedy Creek Improvement District worked closely with Walt Disney Imagineering and the Disney Springs Project Team on this impressive piece of infrastructure. Upon completion, the bridge will weigh 190 tons (or as much 50 average-sized elephants!). While there is still work to be done, it’s expected to be open to guests and cast members later this spring. A second pedestrian bridge, located near Hotel Plaza Boulevard, will open later this summer.

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Have you visited the Downtown Disney area lately? With new retail locations now open, the Village Causeway now fully accessible, and a new restaurant – The BOATHOUSE – set to open next month, this pedestrian bridge is just one more sign of what’s to come. Which one are you most excited about? Tell me in the comments below, I’d love to know!

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Caption This: Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 23rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Walt Disney World Resort is a great place to visit with friends, as evidenced by this photo snapped in 1989 of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

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Looks like they’re up to some mischief. What are they whispering about? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This” image in our comments section.

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Disney Days of Past: Downtown Disney Marks a Milestone

posted on March 22nd, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Downtown Disney turns 40 today. Guests visiting today have quite a different experience than the shopping experience back in 1975 when the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village opened.

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Home to shops like the Pottery Chalet, Posh Pets Etc., Toys Fantastique, and Gourmet Pantry (yep, it’s 40 years old too!), the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village was made up of shops in what we know today as the Marketplace. Pleasure Island didn’t welcome guests until 1989 and the West Side didn’t open until 1997.

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Even at 40, Downtown Disney continues to transform and grow at Walt Disney World Resort. Through 2016, the property will welcome over 75 new venues as it undergoes its largest ever expansion, transforming into Disney Springs.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on March 22nd, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we kicked off our second annual “March Magic” tournament, sharing this year’s roster as well as a printable bracket to keep track of your choices.

Disneyland Resort Roster for the 2015 March Magic Tournament Walt Disney World Resort Roster for the 2015 March Magic Tournament

The 32 teams inspired by favorite Disney attractions are competing for the title of ultimate Disney attraction. Daily attraction matchups are being posted on our official Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort Facebook pages and the final matchup between the top two attractions will take place on April 6. Let us know your favorite!

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And thousands of guests at the Walt Disney World Resort looked to the sky at once this week to see the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform two spectacular flyovers of Magic Kingdom Park. Our Disney PhotoPass photographers snapped our newest image (above) of the jets over Cinderella Castle.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Soar Above Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort

The six F/A-18 Hornet jets were traveling from their home base in Pensacola, FL, to an air show in the state and used the opportunity to entertain and inspire guests. Check out Bob’s original story to see some amazing video from the day.

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

Smokejumpers Grill Opens Today at Disney California Adventure Park – Get a look at this new quick-service location which honors the brave men and women who fight wildfires in California forests.

Disney Park After Dark: A Photo to Crow About from Disneyland Park – Disneyland Resort Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer shares a unique image of a flock of noisy crows flying by Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Cinderella Coach is a Magical Treat at Disney Parks – Debuting this month at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort is a Cinderella Coach inspired apple. It’s safe to say that candy makers got a little ‘carried away’ with this concoction.

Baby Goats Make Their Debut at Disneyland Park – Watch video of our new baby goats at Disneyland park. Bernard and Bianca have been visiting with the guests at Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm for a few weeks now, but we were able to capture this footage on their very first day out!

A Look Back: Sneak Peek Celebration of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland Resort – On March 17, 2005, students from Green Elementary School joined Green Army Men and Buzz Lightyear for a special sneak peek of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

‘Frozen’ Summer Fun LIVE Returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios June 17 – September 7 – One of the biggest highlights of the summer season is sure to be the return of “Frozen” Summer Fun LIVE at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with favorite characters, unforgettable music, delightful enhancements and immersive experiences. Click through for more details!

Petites Assiettes de Remy on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream – Watch Disney Parks Blog author Salah Chetbi explain some of the newest premium culinary offerings at Remy, our fine dining French restaurant on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream cruise ships.

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: U.S. Navy Blue Angels Amaze at Magic Kingdom Park

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


This week at Disney Parks, some of the most compelling images were shot at Magic Kingdom Park, where on Thursday, March 19, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels performed two flyovers above Cinderella Castle.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Soar Above Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort

The six F/A-18 Hornet jets were traveling from Pensacola, FL, to a Florida air show. Traveling at more than 250 mph, the team thundered down Main Street, U.S.A., in the Delta Formation on their first pass, then returned to execute a Delta Break on their second pass.

Don’t miss these amazing shots!

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Amaze at Magic Kingdom Park U.S. Navy Blue Angels Amaze at Magic Kingdom Park U.S. Navy Blue Angels Amaze at Magic Kingdom Park
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