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Replay Our Live Stream of The Walt Disney World Marathon

posted on January 11th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


This is your chance to share in the excitement of a runDisney start and finish line. You can now watch a replay of your friends, family and thousands from around the world start and finish the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna. The 26.2-mile journey started just outside Epcot on Epcot Center Drive, and took runners through the Magic Kingdom, on the track of the Walt Disney World Speedway, through Animal Kingdom, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and finished in the shadow of Spaceship Earth outside Epcot.

Below is a choice of two live streams. The first includes the start line, multiple cameras and social media feeds. The second, an uninterrupted stream from the finish line.

You can join in the runDisney social media conversation by using #WDWMarathon.

For more information on the half marathon, marathon and other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

Walt Disney World Marathon:

To view the full size version of the Walt Disney World Marathon, click here.

Walt Disney World Marathon Finish Line:

To view the full size version of the Walt Disney World Marathon Finish Line, click here.

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

Replay Our Live Stream of The Walt Disney World Half Marathon

posted on January 10th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


This is your chance to replay the excitement of a runDisney start and finish line. Check out replays of our live streams from earlier today as your friends, family and thousands from around the world start and finish the Walt Disney World Half Marathon presented by Cigna. The 13.1-mile journey started just outside Epcot on Epcot Center Drive, and took runners to the Magic Kingdom, through Cinderella Castle, back to Epcot, past Spaceship Earth, and finished in the Epcot parking area.

Your chance to track, watch runners cross the finish line and share in their celebration “live” begins by viewing the video feeds below.

Below is a choice of two live streams. The first includes the start line, multiple cameras and social media feeds. The second, an uninterrupted stream from the finish line.

You can join in the runDisney social media conversation by using #WDWHalf.

For more information on the half marathon, marathon and other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon Start Line:

To view the full size version of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon Start Line, click here.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon Finish Line:

To view the full size version of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon Finish Line, click here.

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Filed: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Cinderella’ Sneak Peek and Golden Coach Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on January 9th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Who else is getting excited to see Disney’s dazzling, live-action feature “Cinderella” when it comes out this spring? Well, for a limited time starting January 17, you can head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for an exclusive preview of “Cinderella” at the park’s ABC Sound Studio. This special sneak peek will be presented through March 21.

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The original golden coach from the film is also on its way to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where it will soon be on display outside the movie theater façade on Streets of America. There, you will have an opportunity to capture your own close-up with this stunning set piece from “Cinderella.” This one-of-a-kind, red carpet appearance of the coach will be available February 1 – April 11, 2015.

On New Year’s Eve, guests visiting Magic Kingdom Park were treated to a glimpse of the magical coach and other “Cinderella” surprises. Here’s a look at what happened when they discovered how “Midnight Changes Everything!”

Inspired by the classic fairy tale, “Cinderella” brings to life the timeless images from Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece in a visually dazzling spectacle for a whole new generation. Directed by Academy Award-nominee Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay by Chris Weitz, the film stars Lily James in the title role, Richard Madden as the Prince, Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett as the infamous stepmother Lady Tremaine, and Academy Award-nominee Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother.

“Cinderella” arrives in theaters March 13.

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

Disney Parks After Dark: IllumiNations in Italy

posted on January 8th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “After Dark” image was taken at the Italy Pavilion at Epcot during “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.” What’s your favorite activity to do in this part of the park after the sun goes down? Watching fireworks? Devouring the pavilion’s terrific pizza? Ending the night with a yummy chocolate cannoli?

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Watch Walt Disney World Half & Full Marathons Live On The Disney Parks Blog

posted on January 8th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


We are off and running – literally. This morning the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna officially got underway with the Walt Disney World 5K.

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It was exciting to join thousands of runners at Epcot and brave the unseasonable cool temperature and run the 3.1 mile course around World Showcase, past Spaceship Earth, and cross the finish line to earn a runDisney 5K finisher medal. The costumes, energy and Disney spirit were amazing. It was fun to see first-time runners, and runners of all ages and nationalities enjoying the fun run.

This morning’s run kicks off a four-day celebration of running, which includes runDisney Kids’ Races, Walt Disney World 10K tomorrow, Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday and Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday.

That leads me to share some exciting news. The Disney Parks Blog and runDisney want to share the excitement of the start and finish lines of our events. Building off the success of live video streams for the holidays, we will “live’ stream the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday.

Family and friends, and those wanting to see what a runDisney event is all about, will be able to visit the Disney Parks Blog both days starting at 5 a.m., and watch the start and finish of both races. You will be able to track, watch runners cross the finish line and share in their celebration.

We are always looking for ways to enhance our runner and guest experience, and hope this live stream allows you to share in the magic of a runDisney event.

For more information on runner tracking and runDisney events, visit runDisney.com.

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Learn to Draw Mickey’s Pal, Pluto, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on January 8th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


I have to say that of the “Fab Five” Disney characters (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald and Goofy), my favorite sidekick for Mickey Mouse of these has always been Pluto. This week, our Learn to Draw animation series continues with a lesson on how to draw one of Mickey’s best friends.



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

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: National Bubble Bath Day

posted on January 8th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


According to the Internet, National Bubble Bath Day is celebrated today. Whenever I think of baths, I think of the “perennial houseguest” Uncle Orville over at Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park who is seen here, prior to the attraction officially opening, bathing sans bubbles in 1974.

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Here’s to a day of pampering and relaxation … and hopefully a little privacy too. (Poor Uncle Orville never seemed to get any.)

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

Sights & Sounds at Disney Parks: Lucie Arnaz and the Space Mountain Launch

posted on January 8th, 2015 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


You may be aware that Space Mountain celebrates its birthday this month—it’s 40 years young!—as a beloved attraction. But do you know that it’s the oldest operating roller coaster in Florida? Or who were the first two stars to be launched into the Tomorrowland galaxy? Emmy-winning entertainer/producer Lucie Arnaz and Tony-winning Broadway legend Tommy Tune, that’s who.

The Space Mountain grand opening festivities were almost as elaborate as the opening of Walt Disney World Resort itself, so much so that a musical variety special was created for “The Wonderful World of Disney TV” show by Academy Awards producer Marty Pasetta. It was called “Welcome to the ‘World'” because it was the first network TV special to take place at Walt Disney World Resort (earlier broadcasts were either non-network programs or short previews).

Lucie Arnaz Hosted the Space Mountain Openin Ceremony at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975 Lucie Arnaz Hosted the Space Mountain Openin Ceremony at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975 Lucie Arnaz Hosted the Space Mountain Openin Ceremony at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975

We caught up with the versatile Lucie as she was finishing a triumphant national tour of the hit musical “Pippin.” She was delighted to gab with us about what went on behind the scenes during the opening festivities for Space Mountain, though she hadn’t watched the special in years but got the opportunity recently when Marty Pasetta sent her a copy.

So what was her reaction seeing the definitely-’70s (think groovy fashions and splashy production numbers) show again? “Fantastic!”

And she shared a tasty tidbit with us. Aside from the technicians who tested it out, Lucie and Tommy were the first two people to ever ride on Space Mountain, introducing the country to the soon-to-be fan favorite.

“It was just incredible fun. Nothing like you’d ever seen before. Because it was in the dark! A roller coaster is one thing, but when you were in the dark you couldn’t tell if you were going to go left or right or up or down—it’s like WLLAHH! Just amazing.”

To get the amazing shots needed for the special, more than half a dozen cameras were installed all around the inside of Space Mountain. And what you see is what you get—when you see the stars riding the attraction, they’re actually doing it, again and again and again, until the director was satisfied with the takes.

Or, as Lucie explains it, “We were like, ‘Oh, good! We get to go around again! YAY!’”

The song “I’m Flying” from “Peter Pan” was recorded before the taping and the stars lip synched to it while cameras rolled. They put speakers in the rocket and every time the director yelled “Action!” the song would play and they’d sing along to their vocal track.

Between singing and general screaming while riding Space Mountain, Lucie says her voice was “lost in space.” But she still calls it a “spectacular experience.”

During rehearsals, they’d open the park early for the stars and that took her back to another time. “I felt just like a kid again, back when my mom [TV legend Lucille Ball] used to take us to Disneyland.”

She and Tommy even got the chance to waltz together, by themselves, at night, in front of Cinderella Castle. It doesn’t get more magical than that.

A musical highlight of the show mentioned all the things you could do at Walt Disney World Resort—circa 1975—to the tune of “Holiday for Strings.” It begins with the line “They have a Mickey Mouse, a haunted house” and ends with “Grumpy, Sneezy, Bashful, Sleepy, Happy, Doc and … DOPEY!” Incredibly, Lucie remembers the song verbatim and even sang it for us.

The memorable TV special finale was the Space Mountain grand opening ceremony with astronaut Gordon Cooper. And that was no accident. The Mercury 9 and Gemini 5 astronaut served on the Space Mountain creative team as a consultant.

As our conversation wound down, I asked Lucie if she’s had the chance to enjoy Space Mountain here in Orlando since she hosted the special. Her response was immediate. “Yes, yes! Several times since then. I’ve been to Disney World a lot with my kids.”

With all that Lucie Arnaz continues to accomplish, it’s gratifying to learn that she enjoys Disney Parks stuff just as much we all do. Obviously, the Space Mountain show wasn’t just a TV gig for her.

And that was the opening chapter for an attraction that is so popular, Space Mountain now exists at every Disney Resort across the globe. So when was the last time you enjoyed a rousing rocket ride to explore the wonders of outer space?

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Cinderella Castle Wallpaper Series Now Available on the Disney Parks Blog

posted on January 7th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


During the holidays, we wrapped our popular Cinderella Castle unique perspective wallpaper series with a special image from Magic Kingdom Park. Whether it was sunset, night or just a bird’s-eye view of the Castle, each image captured by Walt Disney World photographer Kent Phillips was spectacular.

Today, for Disney Parks Blog readers who may have missed any of the wallpapers, we’re offering the entire series right here. To download the art, simply click on the images below.

Cinderella Castle Wallpaper Series Now Available on the Disney Parks Blog Cinderella Castle Wallpaper Series Now Available on the Disney Parks Blog

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

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New Retail MagicBands and Accessories to Kick Off 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 7th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


With the start of 2015, I wanted to give you a look at some new retail MagicBands and accessories coming to Walt Disney World Resort this month.

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At the end of December, I shared a story about dated 2015 merchandise. One item I didn’t include in that story was the retail MagicBand that features Mickey Mouse showing off his Disney Side at Walt Disney World Resort. This limited release retail MagicBand is currently available in select merchandise locations in Florida for $24.95 (plus tax).

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This month, we will release some additional open edition retail MagicBands for $19.95 each (plus tax) on the following dates:

  • Ariel and Cinderella Castle – January 16
  • Belle – January 23
  • Tinker Bell; Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear – January 30

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Guests may also soon notice new retail packaging for MagicBands. I spoke with merchandiser Kevin-Michael Lezotte who gave me some additional insight into this redesign.

“New packaging for retail MagicBands was recently introduced with the release of the 2015-dated Graphic MagicBand,” explained Kevin-Michael. “A team composed of MyMagic+ Products and Services, Merchandising, Disney Design Group Artists and Integrated Supply Chain collaborated on this new design. I like that the artwork is now front and center, which will make finding favorite designs much easier. Guests should look for the new packaging throughout this year.”

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Finally, Kevin-Michael gave me a preview of new MagicBand-its arriving this month. These small items can attach to the side of any MagicBand. I love the Disney cats set!

Look for these items in select Walt Disney World Resort merchandise locations. Select accessories and solid color retail MagicBands can also be found on our Disney Parks online store at http://www.DisneyStore.com/MagicBands.

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Filed: MagicBands, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort