Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 12th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we unveiled an exciting behind-the-scenes look at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train that’s set to debut at Magic Kingdom Park in 2014.

Walt Disney Imagineers Ben VanBeusekon and Mary Mac Eachin explained the creative process behind designing and producing themed cars for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and shared how the train cars are painted and aged in a way that contributes to the storyline of the attraction. Check Jennifer’s original blog story for more.

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And did you see, leaders from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Lightstorm Entertainment kicked off the largest expansion in Disney’s Animal Kingdom history with a ceremonial groundbreaking for the park’s new AVATAR-inspired land with blue, Na’vi-inspired shovels.

In our photo illustration, the group was joined by a Na’vi, showing the scale of characters from the “AVATAR” film. Check our original story for more details about the area and some great video from the ceremony.

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

Exclusive First Look: New Annie Leibovitz Disney Dream Portrait Featuring Jessica Chastain as Merida – This stunning new portrait can be seen in the February issue of O – The Oprah Magazine, available on newsstands later this month.

Meet Captain America from ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ This Spring at Disneyland Park in Anaheim – Meet the first avenger in person at Disneyland park!

Disney Parks After Dark: A Fun Night at Gaston’s Tavern at Magic Kingdom Park – See this snap of the fountain outside Gaston’s Tavern after sundown.

A Mom’s Take: Cruising with Disney to Alaska – Thinking about an Alaskan cruise? Get all the best tips here to make your vacation extra special!

Ten Things You May Not Know About Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Learn more about this fantastic Victorian-era inspired resort.

Save Up to 30% on Select Rooms at Walt Disney World Resort This Spring – Enjoy the return of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Star Wars Weekends and more this spring at Walt Disney World Resort.

Southern California Residents Can Show Their ‘Disney Side’ with New Disneyland Resort Ticket Offers – Consider these exciting 2-day and 3-day ticket offers for Disneyland Resort.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on January 5th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We kicked off the New Year with a look ahead at some great reasons to visit the Walt Disney World Resort in 2014, including the debut of Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom Park.

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Visit Jennifer’s original story to see more reasons why you should be planning a vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort this year.

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And we continued our previews on the Disney Parks Blog with a preview of new merchandise coming to Disney Parks in 2014. Check out Steven Miller’s early look at what’s ahead.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on to begin the year.

Stellar Wine Cellar at Napa Rose at Disneyland Resort – Ryland Brown, Sommelier at Napa Rose presents the restaurant’s excellent wine cellar.

Three Kings Day Celebration Moves to Disney California Adventure Park, January 3-6 – Disney ¡Viva Navidad! came to a close with a Three Kings Day celebration this week at Disney California Adventure park.

My Parting Shot At Disney Parks – See one of Gene Duncan’s favorite shots, as he signs off after a nearly 40 year career.

Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Cicely Rigdon – Read about Disney Legend Cicely Rigdon, a true part of Disneyland Resort history.

Year in Review: Disneyland Resort Through the Lens – Look at some of our favorite photos of Disneyland park from 2013, courtesy of Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer.

We’re Giving Away a Vacation-a-Day Through January 31, 2014 During the Family Time Resolutions Sweepstakes! – See this exciting opportunity to win a 5-day/4-night vacation for four to either the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort.

13 Disney Cruise Line Highlights of 2013 – A look back at the best moments for Disney Cruise Line in 2013.

A Year in Dining: The Top Five Milestones at Walt Disney World Resort – Five standout achievements in food at Walt Disney World Resort in 2013.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 29th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As we wrap up the year, this week’s stories featured some great looks at the best in 2013, including Jennifer’s Year in Review at the Walt Disney World Resort and Erin’s Year in Review at the Disneyland Resort.

'Glow With the Show' Debuts at Walt Disney World Resort New Fantasyland at Disneyland Park

Did you have a favorite Disney Parks story, photo or even Disney Parks Blog meet-up of 2013? Let us know in the comments.

Here are some of the other stories we shared this Christmas week.

Vintage Walt Disney World: Boxing Day at the Canada Pavilion – Take a look at the Canada Pavilion, still under construction from January 1982.

Merry Christmas from Disneyland Park – Merry Christmas! Look at these photos of our Christmas tree on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure park.

Top Five Entertainment at Disney Parks in 2013 – Don’t miss this list of new experiences that debuted at Disney Parks in 2013.

Disney Parks After Dark: All Is Calm & Bright at Tokyo Disneyland – Check out a peaceful nighttime shot of Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland.

Year’s Top ‘Limited Time Magic’ Experiences at Disney Parks – Watch this video recap of 2013′s top ‘Limited Time Magic’ experiences.

First Look at New Pins Coming to Disney Parks in 2014 – Collector or trader of pins? Take a sneak-peek at what’s to come in 2014!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 22nd, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we continued our holiday celebration on the Disney Parks Blog with a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at how we decorate at the Disneyland Resort.

Our Resort Enhancement team at the Disneyland Resort is responsible for the seasonal transformation and as we shared, they’ve been busy creating decorations since February.

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And this season, we gathered a group of our favorite Christmas trees from around Disney Parks and created a special holiday slideshow. There are trees from all of the parks, including Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland.

Check out the trees and let us know how many you recognize. Do you have any favorites?

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

Adventures by Disney Invites You to “Step in Time” to the ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Set – Walk through and experience some of the locations where “Saving Mr. Bank”’ was filmed!

Counting Down to New Year’s Eve Fun at DisneyQuest at Walt Disney World Resort – Experience “a night of virtual awesomeness,” this New Year’s Eve at DisneyQuest.

“Saving Mr. Banks” Practically Perfect Preview Wraps Up Year of Disney Parks Blog Meet-Ups – Photos and video of this sneak peek preview of ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ at Walt Disney World Resort.

Holiday Goodies and Menu Changes in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort – Read about the special menu offerings available for the holidays at Disneyland Resort.

Windows at Disneyland Park: Fess Parker – Learn about Fess Parker, Disney Legend and the man who played Davy Crockett.

Step In Time: A Tencennial Parade Marches at Magic Kingdom Park – See the sights of the Tencennial Parade, all the way from 1981.

Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips: ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ Parade – See these helpful tips to getting the best out of ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ Parade.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 15th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you haven’t visited Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this year, we shared the next best thing to being there – beautiful new video from the park. This year’s collection of dancing lights has been enhanced with Glow Ears, which allow park guests to become a part of the show as their ear hats light up.

Ear hats can also currently be used during performances of “Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” fireworks during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties.

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Also this week, Pam shared some ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at Disney Parks. From a New Year’s Cupcake at Jolly Holiday Bakery in Disneyland park to the Napa Rose New Year’s Eve Bash, the Disneyland Resort is ringing in 2014 with something fun for everyone. See our original story for some Disneyland Resort options.

We also shared opportunities at the Walt Disney World Resort at Epcot and even Disney’s Boardwalk. Check Pam’s post for New Year’s Eve ideas or you can call 407-WDW-DINE.

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

Disney Parks After Dark: Bridge to Beast’s Castle in New Fantasyland – See this amazing shot of the bridge to Beast’s Castle, taken just as the sun went down.

The Making of ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday Clock Show at Disneyland Park – Learn about the creation of ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday Clock Show, and watch the lights change the décor of this famous attraction for the holidays.

Shanghai Disney Resort VoluntEARS Give Back to Local Community – Read about a Disney VoluntEARS visit to the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center.

Disney Parks Blog Presents the ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Practically Perfect Preview at the Disneyland Resort - See how nearly 500 Disney Parks Blog readers enjoyed the screening of the upcoming Disney film “Saving Mr. Banks”!

First Holiday at Sea for the Re-Imagined Disney Magic – Photos of the Disney Magic Cruise Ship, all decked out for the holidays.

Recreating 1961 Disneyland for ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Read this story straight from the Disneyland Line, a magazine distributed exclusively to Disneyland Resort cast members.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland Park to Close for Refurbishment January 6 - Read up on how this underwater attraction will be closing for refurbishment in January, to reopen in late 2014.

Sights & Sounds of Disney Parks: Disney’s Songwriting Mom & Dad – Read this special interview with the songwriters of Disney’s “Frozen,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 8th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we celebrated Walt Disney’s birthday on the Disney Parks Blog with special headers, images and stories.

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A reader favorite was Paul’s post featuring one of the images he captured while photographing Walt’s apartment above the Main Street Fire Station for the Disneyland archive. It shows the view as Walt would have seen it, looking out of his apartment window.

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And Walt Disney Imagineering recently reached another milestone in the construction of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with the addition of a few scenic elements guests will encounter at the top of the mine train’s first lift. Check out Jennifer’s original post for more photos.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is set to debut in 2014 in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.

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

First Look: ‘Garden of the Twelve Friends’ to Feature Mosaic Murals at Shanghai Disneyland – Each of the 12 Chines Zodiac characters will be celebrated at this newly planned attraction, featuring stunning views of the Enchanted Storybook Castle.

Latin-Inspired Tastes for Disney ¡Viva Navidad! At Disney California Adventure Park – As part of the holidays at Disneyland Resort, try these 10 new tastes, including Homemade Pozole and Torta al Pastor!

Top Ten Things to Do at Castaway Cay with Disney Cruise Line – Swim with stingrays, splash down water slides at Pelican Plunge, and explore everything else Castaway Cay has to offer.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Record Number of Sea Turtle Nests This Year at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort – Read about the successful nesting season of green sea turtles, loggerheads and leatherbacks at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.

Main Street Style: A Retro Day at Disneyland – See 50′s era styles on display at Disneyland, in honor of Walt Disney’s 112th birthday.

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade Brings Holiday Cheer to Magic Kingdom Park – Our largest photo gallery yet of Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, courtesy of Disney photographer Kent Phillips.

Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Herb Ryman – Learn about artist Herb Ryman and the initial designs of Disneyland park.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 1st, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


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This week, we shared another behind-the-scenes peek at Disney Parks. The creative team at Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group gave Disney Parks Blog readers a first-of-its-kind look at creating a “Very Merry” ad campaign at Magic Kingdom Park.

Check Will’s original story to learn more about the idea behind this year’s holiday campaign.

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And Will unveiled some very merry wallpapers just for Disney Parks Blog readers. Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpapers before you download it.

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Also, we shared the latest story in a special blog series featuring the history of the Disneyland Monorail. We continued our look back at this iconic Disneyland park attraction with the next model, the Mark II. Check Erin’s original post for the full history and a chance to share some of your favorite Disneyland Monorail memories.

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

Vintage Walt Disney World: Happy Thanksgiving! – Gobble! Gobble! Take a look at this giant turkey strutting down Main Street, U.S.A., during “America on Parade” in 1975.

December Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort – Learn about December appearances from some of our favorite artists at Disneyland Resort!

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar Gets in the Spirit of Holiday Season at the Disneyland Hotel – Three new specialty drinks have arrived this season at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.

Every Role a Starring Role – “World of Color” Stage Manager at the Disneyland Resort – Watch “World of Color” Stage Manager Adeena Welle in action!

Mickey Mouse Creates a Magical Reunion For a Military Family at Magic Kingdom Park – Watch as Lt. Colonel Jason Liddell is reunited with his family at Magic Kingdom Park, after 14 months in Afghanistan.

Holiday Treats Delight at the Disneyland Resort – Our Disney Candy Makers have been preparing for December, with over 25 different offerings available this season. Sweet right?

Step In Time: “Mickey’s Birthday Parade” Marks 50 Years For the Mouse at Magic Kingdom Park – Step back to November 18, 1978 with photos of “Mickey’s Birthday Parade” at Magic Kingdom Park.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on November 24th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller passed away at the age of 79.

Diane Disney Miller Story Teller Statue

Upon learning the sad news, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Diane Disney Miller. She is remembered by Disney fans around the world as the beloved daughter of Walt Disney, and one who graciously shared her family history and personal memories of her father.”

“Diane was a fierce guardian of her father’s legacy who never hesitated to set the record straight, opening The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco to bring her father’s fascinating story to life. In our many conversations over the years, Diane’s unique and special perspective about her father only deepened my considerable appreciation for him. Diane was incredibly generous in that regard, freely sharing her personal insights and providing details that deepened our knowledge, and we remain grateful for her many valuable contributions to our efforts to preserve Disney history. She and her sister, Sharon, have long been recognized as Walt’s inspiration for Disneyland, a place he created for families to have fun together. For that reason and many others, Diane will always have a special place in our company’s legacy and in the hearts of fans.”

“She was also known for her philanthropic efforts, including playing an integral role in the development of the renowned Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to ensure the creation of a unique venue bearing her father’s name that she believed would be “a wonderful thing for the city, for the spirit, for the soul.”

“Diane was the wife of former Disney CEO Ron Miller, as well as mother to their seven children, Christopher, Joanna, Tamara, Jennifer, Walter, Ronald and Patrick. She also had 13 grandchildren and had the great joy of recently welcoming her first great-grandchild into the world. We send our sincere condolences to the entire family and our thoughts remain with them during this difficult time.”

Our post, “Remembering Diane Disney Miller,” included a few favorite photos of Diane, including a special moment captured during Walt and Lillian’s wedding anniversary celebration in The Golden Horseshoe, just four days before the grand opening of Disneyland park.

Here are some of the other stories shared this week on the Disney Parks Blog.

Candlelight Processional Returns To Epcot November 29 at Walt Disney World Resort – 2013 narrators of this holiday offering include Gary Sinise, Neil Patrick Harris, Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, Sigourney Weaver and more!

Mandy Moore Celebrates Disney Junior’s ‘Sheriff Callie’s Wild West’ at Disneyland Park – Read about Mandy Moore’s visit to Frontierland in Disneyland park last week.

Disney Parks Attractions Honored with Thea Awards – The Themed Entertainment Association announced awards for attractions at Hong Kong Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland park.

ABC’s ‘The View’ Visits the Disneyland Resort – Watch a special video of ABC’s “The View,” being hosted in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle and Disneyland park!

Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Merchandise Debuts at Disney California Adventure Park - Take a look at some of the new ¡Viva Navidad! merchandise coming to Disneyland Resort just in time for the holidays.

Step In Time: Christmas Parade at Magic Kingdom Park in 1977 – See Chip ‘n’ Dale, Mary Poppins, Dumbo and friends take part in the 1977 Christmas Parade at Magic Kingdom Park.

The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park – Celebrate the 85th anniversary of Mickey Mouse by taking a look at the history of his home at Disneyland Park, Mickey’s Toontown!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on November 17th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


The holiday season has arrived at Disney Parks and as regular Disney Parks Blog readers know, the Jungle Cruise attractions at both Disneyland park and Magic Kingdom Park have transformed into the Jingle Cruise for the holidays. This week, Shannon shared a fun tour of the attraction in Disneyland park.

Tour the Jingle Cruise for yourself this holiday season at both Disneyland park and Magic Kingdom Park.

Also this week, we shared seven great tips for beginners preparing to experience this season’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park. You can get the biggest bang for your buck by using your party ticket to enter the park as early as 4 p.m. The holiday festivities don’t start until 7 p.m., so you could use this time to get through a few more attractions.

Check Jennifer’s original post for more tips on how you can make Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party magical.

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

New Indulgences at Senses Spa & Salon on the Re-imagined Disney Magic – See pictures of the new and improved Senses Spa & Salon aboard the Disney Magic Cruise Ship.

Tokyo Disney Resort Launches ‘Disney Princess: Welcome, Little Princess’ – Learn about this new Disney Princess event, part of “Tokyo Disney Resort 30th: The Happiness Year.”

First Look: Nick Cannon, Mary J. Blige, Demi Lovato, ‘Teen Beach Movie’ Cast and More at the Disneyland Resort for the 2013 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade on ABC – See the stars on parade in this sneak-preview of the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, scheduled for Wednesday, December 25 at 10 a.m. ET, 9 a.m. CT/PT on ABC

VIDEO: Disney ¡Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure Park – This festive holiday celebration brings music, dancing, character appearances, delicious food and fun activities for the whole family to Paradise Gardens!

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Serves Up a Special Night at the Walt Disney World Resort – Congratulations to the overall winners Justin Scheid from Sparta, NJ, and Kristin Teneglia of Seminole, Fla. Both had record-setting times!

Disney California Adventure Park Guests Control the Action with the Fun Wheel Challenge – Find out how you can have the opportunity to interact with other guests and your surroundings while you wait for “World of Color” to begin.

‘World of Color – Winter Dreams’ Opening Today at Disney California Adventure Park – Watch this video to get a behind the scenes look at “World of Color – Winter Dreams” now open at Disneyland Resort!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on November 3rd, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


During Halloween week, we shared more than the spooky side of Disney Parks here on the blog. Among our other stories, there were a few exciting announcements, including the upcoming return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park.

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This year’s parties will take place from 7 p.m.-midnight on November 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21 and 22, and December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19 and 20. Tickets (which are separate from a regular park ticket) are already on sale now and purchasing ahead of time can actually save you money. Click here to get tickets.

So, what’s new this year? Visit Jennifer’s original story and find out.

New Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon Medals

Also this week, we unveiled some of the new runDisney medals for race weekends in 2014.

The new Princess Half Marathon medal is inspired by our classic and most enduring princess, Cinderella. And the Tinker Bell Half Marathon medal has a few new enhancements from last year. Check Darrell’s blog post for more details as well as a photo gallery of the medals.

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

Social Media All-Stars to Show Their Disney Side at Disneyland Park November 5 - The Grumpy Cat, Tiffany Alvord, and more social media all-stars will be showing their Disney Side this November at Disneyland Resort! Will you be there to see it?

Step In Time: A ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ Parade Marches On at Magic Kingdom Park - Check out these classic black and white photos from the Mickey Mouse Club parade in 1976.

A Special Treat: Walt Disney World Wins Sustainability Award for “Making the Switch” to Save Electricity - Read about why Walt Disney World Resort was honored with a sustainability award this week for environmental efforts!

A Look at Recent and Future Haunted Mansion Merchandise at Disney Parks – Not ready for the spookiest month of the year to be over? Check out this Haunted Mansion merchandise available at Disney Parks to continue the fun!

New Surprises in Store for ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday at Disneyland Park - Did you hear the news about “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort this holiday season? Get the update here!

A Look Back at Celebrated Disneyland Resort Guests: Elsa Lanchester and Charles Laughton – 1956 - Travel back in time and see what Elsa Lanchester looked like on her visit to Disneyland park in 1956.

Minnie Mouse and Disneyland Resort Horses Participate in Anaheim Halloween Parade - Watch this video to see how the Disneyland Resort Horses strutted their stuff in the Anaheim Halloween Parade this week!

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