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Disney Parks After Dark: A Parisian Sunset at Epcot

posted on October 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


I love Paris … at World Showcase. And tonight’s Disney Parks After Dark photo only makes me want to visit it again. What a lovely sunset (captured by Photographer Tom Bricker).

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What’s your favorite pavilion to visit in World Showcase after the sun goes down? Tell us in the “Comments” section below!

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‘Direct Your Disney Side’ Shorts Showcase Tween Filmmakers’ Disney Side

posted on October 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


If given the chance, how would a tween express their Disney Side on film?

This was the question that our Yellow Shoes Creative Group (partnered with McGarry Bowen and Adolescent Films) posed to tween filmmakers in our “Direct Your Disney Side” project. Three tweens, Elwood Walker, Jack Vinetz, and Claire Jantzen were chosen to pitch, storyboard and even direct their own short film, all inspired by how they show their Disney Side.

We’ll be sharing each student’s short here on the Disney Parks Blog in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek behind-the-scenes at the fun the tweens had during their filmmaking adventures.

Be sure to check back tomorrow, when we’ll share “Rocket Boy” the first film in the series.

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‘Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!’ Street Party Starts Tomorrow at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on October 23rd, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


The “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party is ready to make its debut at Magic Kingdom Park! This new version of the park’s popular Disney character street party brings with it new music and characters and new ways for you to become part of the show.

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The fun starts as a parade of giant gift boxes make their way down Main Street, U.S.A. toward the Central Plaza in front of Cinderella Castle. Everyone’s invited to follow the procession and dance along to the original song, “Party Up!” Once party hosts Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy pop up, it’s time to join in and dance with our party peeps and favorite Disney pals like Stitch and Phineas and Ferb.

You’ll “Move It!” You’ll “Shake It!” And when it comes time to “Play It,” you’ll even get to vote for the next song on the party playlist!

This street party promises to be so much fun, you’re going to want to share the excitement with all your family and friends. When you post those awesome selfies to Twitter and Instagram, be sure to tag them with #MoveItShakeItPics. They may just show up on the floats as part of a special finale moment!

The “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party hits Magic Kingdom Park on Friday, October 24, and will be presented several times daily, so come on out and join in the fun!

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10 Things To Know About The Haunted Mansion Theme ‘Grim Grinning Ghosts’

posted on October 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Of all the Disney Parks attractions with catchy theme songs, I sure don’t mind when this one gets stuck in my head. “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” the theme of The Haunted Mansion, is both merry and spooky at the same time, and is perfectly fitting for one of our guest-favorite attractions.

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As our Halloween celebration continues, here are 10 things you may not know about this tune.

  1. The success of the catchy theme song, “Yo Ho Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me),” at Pirates of the Caribbean spurred interest in creating a similarly compelling tune for the (then under-construction) Haunted Mansion attraction. Without “Pirates” we may never have had “Ghosts!”
  2. “Grim Grinning Ghosts” composers Buddy Baker and X. Atencio were proven to be Disney songwriting successes when put on the project. Atencio had penned lyrics to the song “Yo Ho Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me)”, while Baker’s theme park contributions included scoring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Carousel of Progress.
  3. Popular voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft sang baritone for the track. His voice can also be heard in “One Hundred and One Dalmatians,” “The Sword in the Stone,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Jungle Book” and “Pete’s Dragon” among other Disney films.
  4. Thurl’s quartet, The Mellomen, also contributed harmony to “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” The group had previously lent their voices to “Alice In Wonderland,” “Peter Pan” and “The Jungle Book.”

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  1. The arrangement of the tune progresses throughout the attraction, starting off on an eerie piano in the library and funeral scenes, then bolder as organ music in the dining room and a whooping party in the graveyard scene.
  2. “Grim Grinning Ghosts” hits a high note in the graveyard scene, where a set of singing busts await “to shriek and harmonize.” Did you know that each of these busts has a name? They are: Rollo Rumkin, Uncle Theodore, Cousin Algernon, Ned Nub and Phineas P. Pock.
  3. The face of singer Thurl Ravenscroft appears on one of the singing busts – Uncle Theodore, which you can identify at Magic Kingdom Park attraction as the “broken” bust.
  4. Buddy Baker, X. Atencio and Thurl Ravenscroft have all been named Disney Legends in years past for their contributions to Disney Parks and films.
  5. The pop band Barenaked Ladies did a cover of “Grim-Grinning Ghosts” in 2003 for the film “The Haunted Mansion” which starred Eddie Murphy.
  6. A reference to a “Grim Grinning Ghost” (note “ghost” is singular, not plural) appears in the William Shakespeare poem “Venus and Adonis” which was completed in 1593.
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Wildlife Wednesday: Cotton-top Tamarins Explore Their New Home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on October 22nd, 2014 by Anne Savage, Ph.D., Conservation Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


Last week we helped acquaint you and the newest cotton-top tamarin pair at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Gemma and Draco. The pair has been delighting guests all week. If you haven’t had a chance to visit yet, we’ve got you covered!

Check out these photos to see the pair exploring their new home!

Wildlife Wednesday: Cotton-top Tamarins Explore Their New Home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Wildlife Wednesday: Cotton-top Tamarins Explore Their New Home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Did you know…?

  • Cotton-top tamarins are a critically endangered species of primate found only in the tropical forests of Colombia. This 1-pound monkey lives 8-10 years in the wild and the median life expectancy in zoos is 11.2 years.
  • Cotton-top tamarins live in social groups of 2-10 individuals.
  • Females, on average, give birth to twins annually and parental care in this species is shared by all group members.
  • Pairs breed every 28 weeks in captivity, but once a year in the wild. The birth period in the wild appears to be linked to the rainy season when there is the greatest abundance of fruit and insects in the diet.
  • Disney’s Animal Programs’ team members have helped coordinate cotton-top tamarin pairings since 1997 through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP).
  • The word ‘tamarin’ translates to ‘tití’(pronounced tee-tee) in Spanish. Proyecto Tití’s conservation program works to protect cotton-top tamarins in their tropical forest home in Colombia by having a 20+ year study of these amazing animals that has given us new insights into what they need to survive in the wild. Since field studies alone won’t save cotton-top tamarins, Proyecto Tití has also developed innovative strategies to empower local communities to get involved and benefit from conservation activities!
  • Kids in Colombia are involved in conservation, too! Check out the video below to learn more about Proyecto Tití’s programs and the impact they have had on the community and cotton-top tamarin conservation efforts!

On your next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, be sure to stop by and welcome Draco and Gemma into their new home!

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Finish that Disney Parks Sign: A Stop At The Confectionery at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on October 22nd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week we’re taking a sweet stop at the Confectionery on Main Street, U.S.A. I love so many of the treats inside – from the specialty apples and Mickey crispy treats to my personal favorite, the chocolate-covered pineapple skewers.

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According to this sign, the Confectionery is the home of ___. Do you remember the missing words? If so, tell us in the comments section below. We’ll post the answer later today.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Another Look at PANDORA Jewelry Coming to Disney Parks in November 2014

posted on October 21st, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Today, I’m thrilled to share a new image featuring PANDORA Jewelry created especially for Disney Parks. Coming this November, PANDORA’s Disney jewelry collection features hand-finished .925 sterling silver and 14K gold charms inspired by some of Disney’s most beloved characters.

The image above showcases the new sterling silver Disney Parks “Wonderful World” bracelet, which features PANDORA’s unique threading system and a ball clasp engraved with our castle logo.

The bracelets are styled with some of the previously discussed charms, including the sterling silver Walt Disney World Resort destination charm, which is hand-finished with flush-set cubic zirconia star detail. You can also see the “Mickey Mania” charm, a sterling silver openwork Mickey charm with red, light yellow, black and white enamel.

Newly pictured charms include the aptly named “Mickey Swirls,” which is an openwork sterling silver charm with a Disney Mickey icon swirl design. There is also a beautiful dated sterling silver and blue enamel 2015 Edition charm (blue is my favorite color!), with 18 cubic zirconia stones bead-set in star and Mickey details.

I particularly like the Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat dangle in sterling silver with blue enamel, as it reminds me of one of my favorite Disney films, “Fantasia.” You may also notice a specially designed sterling silver charm featuring a Disney Cruise Line ship (I really need to take another Disney cruise).

Select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will release the 16 Disney Parks-specific PANDORA Jewelry items beginning November 3. You will also find select items on our Disney Parks online store on that day at DisneyStore.com/Pandora.

Guests can also find an additional 25 charm designs from the Disney jewelry collection at PANDORA stores throughout North America, starting October 31.

Stay tuned for additional details about a special release party that will be held on November 7-8 in Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida.

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Sign Up for Our Disney Parks Blog ‘Big Hero 6’ Meet-Up at Downtown Disney

posted on October 21st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


UPDATE: This event has been filled to capacity. Please CLICK HERE to view a list of the accepted event attendees. If you are on the list and did not receive a confirmation email by 6 p.m. EST today, please contact us at WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com.

We’ve just finalized plans for our next Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up and it’s one you’ll not want to miss. On November 2, 2014, we’re offering the opportunity to be part of a special preview screening of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Big Hero 6” at AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Walt Disney World Resort before it opens in U.S. theaters on November 7.

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Our Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up begins at 11 a.m. EST (doors open at 10 a.m.) at AMC Downtown Disney 24 on Sunday, November 2, 2014. At the event, you’ll see “Big Hero 6,” which is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius—thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred.

Attendees of the Meet-Up will also get the opportunity to meet-and-greet “Big Hero 6” characters Hiro and Baymax before they debut for guests in the park.

RSVP for the meet-up now by sending us an email with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com. Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of attendees will be selected for the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All attendees who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests do not need to be 18 or older.
  • Disney “Big Hero 6” is rated PG.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • We will send an email to individuals whose valid RSVPs are received by us via email before we reach the planned capacity to confirm their attendance for the event.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in across from AMC Downtown Disney 24 for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person and guest.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation.

This post will be updated after capacity has been reached.

Also, here are some other things to know:

  • This is an advance screening of the film. Closed Captioning and Descriptive Video services may not be available.
  • Please arrive early. No one will be admitted late. We may refuse, revoke or limit admission in our sole discretion at any time.
  • NO RECORDING

The screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any video or audio recording devices (including, without limitation, cameras) into the venue and you consent to a physical search of your belongings and person for recording devices. If you attempt to enter with a recording device, you will be denied admission. If you attempt to use a recording device during this screening, you consent to your immediate removal from the venue and forfeiture of your recording device and its contents. Any attempted unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability. We reserve the right to pursue any and all available remedies at law and in equity for any unauthorized recording and/or copyright infringement, including without limitation statutory damages of up to $150,000 per violation, and nothing contained in this notice shall be construed to limit our available remedies and/or legal recourse. You assume all risks of personal injury arising from or incidental to attending the screening, whether occurring prior to, during, or after the event. Further, by attending you grant permission to Disney Destinations, LLC, its licensees, licensors, affiliates and agents, to record and utilize your name, voice and likeness to publicize the screening and promote the movie.

Hope to see you there.

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The ‘Frozen’ Fun Continues at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Snowground! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on October 21st, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Yoo-Hoo! Have you heard? Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, one of the most popular parts of last summer’s “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!” event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is back and staying put through the holidays!

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Oaken and his cousins have re-opened their cool hot spot (or is that hot cool spot?) in a new space, on Streets of America just steps away from Studio Catering Co. and “Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.” The new Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Snowground! features a larger-than-ever play area with real snow, plenty of “Frozen” merchandise, and those yummy “Frozen”-inspired cupcakes and other treats. And every 30 minutes or so, you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights shimmering in the night sky.

So if you want to build a snowman or are just craving one in cupcake form (that’s carrot cake with cream cheese frosting – YUM!), you’re in luck! Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Snowground! is open daily at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, through the holiday season.

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Haunt Your Disney Side Contest, Week 3 (Pumpkin Carving Tips)

posted on October 20th, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Halloween is almost upon us and “Grim, Grinning, Ghosts” are coming “Out to Socialize!”

Which means you only have a short time left to show your Halloween Disney Side by uploading photos of your Disney Parks-themed Halloween decor, food and drinks, carved pumpkins and costumes at DisneySideContest.com.

This week’s blog post focuses on our favorite orange Halloween decoration – jack-o-lanterns.

The Disney Parks Blog‘s John Graham caught up with Disney Channel star Olivia Holt (“I Didn’t Do It”), who has some experience with all things Halloween.

Olivia, along with an expert pumpkin carver from the Disneyland Resort, recently showed off their Halloween Disney sides at Disneyland park Big Thunder Ranch.

They have some great tips for that perfect Disney Parks-themed jack-o-lantern, as well as showcasing some spectacularly-carved pumpkins that YOU can use as inspiration for your Haunt Your Disney Side entries.

Don’t forget, we want to see your most frightfully-fun Disney Parks-themed Halloween photos. Check out DisneySideContest.com to enter for a chance to win some eerie, scary prizes, including that private “Midnight at the Haunted Mansion” party for you and three guests with a spooky overnight stay in Cinderella Castle.

And check back this month to the Disney Parks Blog for more tips on how to “Haunt Your Disney Side.”

NO PURCH NEC. Ends 11/4/14 at 11:59:59 PM ET. 50 US/DC/Canada (excl. QC), 18/age of majority +. Void where prohibited. Subject to Official Rules.


For more from the Haunt Your Disney Side contest, visit the post below:

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