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Silly Symphony Swings at Paradise Pier

Artist ‘Spaghetti Toes’ Depicts Kids’ Disney Parks Memories In Artwork

posted on April 21st, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Our guests have been sending in adorable videos of their preschoolers sharing favorite Walt Disney World Resort memories as part of our “Kids Remember” series. It has been fun and often hilarious hearing what little ones recall from their visits. So much so, that we couldn’t resist working with artist and dad Spaghetti Toes to turn some of the cutest quotes into charming posters which you can see below.

Young Isaac remembers his ride on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom Park. Who knew marshmallows could take down Emporer Zurg?

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The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is no match for the fearless (and curious) Arianna.

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Sweet Taryn sure got into character during Enchanted Tales with Belle at Magic Kingdom Park.

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Do your kids have any stories from your family Disney trip? You still have a chance to enter the “Kids Remember” contest by submitting a video at KidsRememberContest.com. Hurry, the last day to enter is April 30!

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Freshly Picked Music at the Garden Rocks Concert Series at Walt Disney World Resort: Taylor Dayne

posted on April 21st, 2015 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


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Now that the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is in full bloom, it reminds us of all there is to love about it. From the whimsical Disney character topiaries and spring-inspired delicious dishes to the expert demonstrations and Garden Rocks Concert Series, where some of the biggest names in music grace the stage.

We caught up with Taylor Dayne, who will soon play Garden Rocks for the first time (you may have seen her perform at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival). Starting with her smash 1987 single “Tell It to My Heart,” it’s hard to top this New York native for infectious dance pop.

RUSS: Growing up on Long Island, did you ever imagine all the success you’ve achieved?

TAYLOR: As a little kid, I had the vision of “I’m gonna be a rock and roll star,” singing to the radio or every commercial that came on. I was very passionate about working hard. To make music was always my goal and my dream as a very, very young girl. I’m just so blessed.

RUSS: We’ve heard you’re a pretty big Disney fan. True?

TAYLOR: Ya know, the beautiful thing about Disney is I grew up on the incredible animation. And, of course, on Sunday nights we got to watch Disney on TV. The shows, the movies, the parks—it’s pretty special and amazing. Just a big part of my life.

RUSS: Any favorite Disney memories?

TAYLOR: For me growing up, it was “it’s a small world.” I made my children (12-year-old twins Levi and Astaria) go on it because the music is just so incredible.

RUSS: As for the theme parks, adrenaline rush or milder thrills?

TAYLOR: I’m not a drop-from-the-sky kind of girl. No. My son will do that. I stand there and watch while he falls from the sky and does the roller coasters with all the drops. Though I was in to it when I was younger.

RUSS: Have a favorite attraction?

TAYLOR: I love Soarin’ at Epcot! You’re in the chair and floating. It’s incredible. You’re in that entire experience. You’re moving in it. It’s brilliant.

RUSS: Describe your music.

TAYLOR: When people ask me that, I say dance, pop, some R&B to a degree. But classic. So if you’re listening to the radio, you might hear “I’ll Always Love You,” “Send Me A Lover” or “Love Will Lead You Back.” I’ve always been incredibly passionate and people feel what I’m singing. Big voice, big passion.

RUSS: People are anxious to experience your show at the Flower & Garden Festival for the very first time. What do you have in store?

TAYLOR: I hope the fans get an experience so they feel like they’ve been to a show. There’s a beginning, a middle and end. There’s a story. I want them to feel like they got a piece of me. Music is just such a universal language. Why are people so inspired by music? Because it touches them in such a sensorial way. At this point, to a lot of them these songs are the soundtrack of people’s lives. You feel like, “Wow, I remember that.” So yeah, I always look forward to performing at Epcot. It’ll be awesome.

RUSS: Thanks so much for your time. One last question. What’s something your fans may not know about you?

TAYLOR: I’m a nature freak [laughs]. That’s what I do. I go out there and find my peace. My quiet time.

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival continues through May 17. Taylor Dayne performs May 1 through 3. All performances take place at the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and are included with Epcot admission.

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Blizzard Beach Water Park?

posted on April 20th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Is Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park a must-do for you on your Walt Disney World Resort vacations? Think you’re an expert when it comes to our water slides? Test your knowledge below to find out!

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Blizzard Beach Water Park at Walt Disney World Resort

How many lanes of racers are there at the Toboggan Racers slides?
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How tall is Summit Plummet?
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Whose home do you pass by on the Cross Country Creek?
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How long is the slide at Slush Gusher?
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You can find the Fahrenheit Drops, Frozen Pipe Springs and Cool Runners attractions in what area of Blizzard Beach Water Park?
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Join the ‘Party for the Planet’ Starting on Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on April 20th, 2015 by Allyson Atkins, Education Manager, Disney's Animals, Science and Environment


Over the next few weeks, a visit to Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch should be a must-do on your itinerary.

After arriving in the land of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, hop aboard the Wildlife Express Train to make your way to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Moments after disembarking from the train, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about exciting conservation efforts taking place around the world – some led by nonprofit organizations supported by the Disney Conservation Fund, and others supported by our own Disney’s Animal Programs researchers and educators.

Disney Parks Blog Exclusive: The fund recently opened a new gallery to showcase conservation programs implementing unique conservation solutions to address urgent threats facing today’s wildlife. If you’ve contributed to the Disney Conservation Fund, this is a great place to learn more about projects you have helped support, as well as ways our Disney cast members are leading conservation efforts around the world. On behalf of wildlife and wild places worldwide – thank you!

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On Wednesday, April 22, exclusive Earth Day activities will be offered during our “Party for the Planet” Earth Day celebration. You can participate in interactive activities, explore limited time merchandise offerings, and interact with animal and education experts from Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment and the Disney Conservation Fund team about conservation projects currently in progress.

This year’s “Party for the Planet” celebration includes two exclusive “research stations” at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and the Main Entrance of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. These research stations allow you to see behind-the-scenes footage from the newest Disneynature film, “Monkey Kingdom,” while exploring how technology is used to enhance conservation efforts. You will have the opportunity to get an up-close, hands-on look at the technology scientists use to learn about animals, as well as the valuable data that comes from special equipment called camera traps. Many of the tools showcased at these research stations were used throughout production of the newest Disneynature film, “Monkey Kingdom.” This limited time offering is in partnership with Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Conservation International.

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Thankfully, the “party” doesn’t stop after Earth Day. One of the best things about “Monkey Kingdom” is that for every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2015), Disneynature will make a donation to Conservation International to help protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats! The Disneynature “Monkey Kingdom” research station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch will be open April 22 – May 20.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch has been one the best kept secrets at Disney’s Animal Kingdom … but hopefully not for long – we hope to see you soon!

Want to bring the fun of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disneynature “Monkey Kingdom” home? Download this free family activity packet for more information and fun activities for all ages.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 19th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re as excited as we are about the upcoming 24-hour celebrations to kick off summer at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, then this was another great week to be checking the Disney Parks Blog.

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This week, we offered 24 suggestions on how you can make the most of this year’s 24-hour celebration at the Walt Disney World Resort. It begins on May 22, and here are some of our favorites:

  • Challenge yourself to get as many photos with Disney characters as possible. The My Disney Experience App will have the latest on appearance times.
  • Join the late night dance parties in your pajamas. That’s what Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Chip, Dale and Goofy will be wearing!
  • Show your #DisneySide by wearing a costume. (Check out the guidelines here).

Check Jennifer’s original story for the complete list and let us know what you’re planning during the 24-hour celebration.

Also, opening on May 22 as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, the new “Paint the Night” parade will feature some of the most innovative floats, vibrant costumes, dazzling special effects, unforgettable music and energetic performances ever presented at Disneyland Resort. Shawn shared a behind-the-scenes look at performer rehearsals with the Fiber Fairies from the opening unit and the Cars Crew, who join Mack Truck and Lightning McQueen.

Check Shawn’s original story for more details about the “Paint the Night” parade.

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

Closer Look at Nighttime Entertainment and More Coming for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – Hear thoughts from Steve Davison, vice president of Parades and Spectaculars, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, on the new nighttime spectaculars currently in development … and watch to the end for your first look at the “Cars” story from the new “Paint the Night” parade!

A Taste of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – The kickoff of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is right around the corner, and we have more details to share about some of the new food and beverage offerings sure to dazzle your taste buds.

Mickey Mouse and Friends to Wear Sparkling New Ensembles for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – We’ve already shared some of the sparkling new decor, entertainment and merchandise coming for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration beginning May 22. Some of our biggest stars will also sparkle for the celebration!

Disney Parks After Dark: Astro Orbitor Revisited at Disneyland Park – Disneyland Resort Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer shares some special photos of this classic attraction, both in motion and at rest.

Learn to Draw: Sorcerer Mickey from ‘Fantasia’ – This week’s Learn to Draw animation tutorial series continues with a lesson on how to create your own Sorcerer Mickey.

Disney Days of Past: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Constructed – Surrounded by over 45 acres of savanna, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge continues to be one of the most spectacular hotels at Walt Disney World. In September 2000, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was beginning to take shape as construction continued on what is now known as Jambo House.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: The BOATHOUSE Docks at Downtown Disney

posted on April 18th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The BOATHOUSE, the newest eatery to open at Downtown Disney here at the Walt Disney World Resort, officially opened its doors on Monday.

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The restaurant offers a one-of-a-kind waterfront dining experience that includes a menu of steaks, chops, fresh seafood and much more. The BOATHOUSE also showcases a must-see display of rare watercrafts from the 1930s – 1950s, plus a special fleet of 1960s Amphicars. (Check out Darcy’s original blog post to learn how you can take a ride in one of these beauties).

The BOATHOUSE is so unique and visually compelling that we had to share more images with you. Be sure to check out the gallery below.

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#DisneyKids: Enjoying Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on April 17th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


In honor of Earth Day next week and the fact that many children have an endless fascination with animals, we wanted to focus this week’s #DisneyKids story on our furry, feathered and scaled friends at the Walt Disney World Resort. There are quite a few areas both in the theme parks and at the resorts where guests of all ages can interact with their favorite animals.

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As the name suggests, Disney’s Animal Kingdom park is home to magnificent creatures across 250 species, and is an incredible place for little ones to learn about wildlife. Even better, there are several self-guided areas where families can go at their own pace without lines – perfect for toddlers who aren’t interested in sitting still for long. Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is a favorite of my own little girls because they can decide how long we spend checking out each animal like gorillas and hippos.

For a day outside of the theme parks, another place that is a huge hit with horse lovers is the Tri-Circle-D Ranch at the laid-back Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Little ones over the age of two can enjoy pony rides, and the entire family can take a carriage or wagon ride through the beautiful resort grounds.

Check out more ideas for your little animal lovers here.

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Actress Ashley Brown Visits Walt Disney World, Answers Your Parks Questions

posted on April 17th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


In 2005, actress Ashley Brown made her Broadway debut as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” and then in 2006, made Disney history when she originated the title role of Mary Poppins in the show’s grand Broadway debut. Talk about living out your Disney dreams!

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This award-winning actress is visiting the Walt Disney World Resort soon for some fun in the Florida sun – and she’s taking your questions! This is your chance to ask Ashley a question on some of her Walt Disney World “favorites,” including attractions and places to dine, shop, stay, etc. We’ll be back next week with a video as Ashley answer them to share some of her Disney Parks “favorites” with all of you.

Please post your questions now in the ‘comments’ section below.

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Yummy Recipe for Healthy Kids’ Day April 17 from 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on April 17th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


What kid doesn’t love chicken nuggets? And what parent wouldn’t love for them to be healthier too? In celebration of Healthy Kids’ Day on April 17, we’re sharing the recipe for Grandpa’s Crispy Baked Chicken from 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where everything on the menu is inspired by old-fashioned home cooking.

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The chicken is one of four kids’ meals that get the “Mickey Check” – a tool that makes it easier to identify nutritious choices, found on select kids’ meals and fruit carts throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. To receive the Mickey Check, foods must meet The Walt Disney Company Nutritional Guidelines developed by health experts and align to federal dietary guideline recommendations.

So while the kids are having fun at 50’s Prime Time (watching TV and being playfully scolded by the waitresses), they are enjoying good-for-you tastes like grilled salmon, turkey meatloaf, meatless meatballs over multigrain spaghetti and this healthful version of chicken nuggets that is served with mashed potatoes, carrots and fruit salad.

Grandpa’s Crispy Baked Chicken
Serves 6

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  1. Mix oil and garlic in a large bowl. Add chicken tenderloins, cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Press panko gently against each chicken strip until evenly coated. Lay coated chicken strips on a rack on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake 5 additional minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked and crisp.
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Learn to Draw: Sorcerer Mickey from ‘Fantasia’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on April 16th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s Learn to Draw animation tutorial series continues with a lesson on how to create your own Sorcerer Mickey. This version of the mouse made his on-screen debut in the 1940 film “Fantasia,” which went on to win two Academy Awards. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and get ready for step-by-step instructions from Don Shane of the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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

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