Via Napoli Restaurant, Italy Pavilion at Epcot

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on June 15th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This weekend, we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of Disney’s “The Lion King” here on the Disney Parks Blog with special header images and logo. Also, during the week, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of a favorite Disney character, Donald Duck.

Disney Character Artist Brian James Fitchner shared a video tutorial on how draw Donald Duck, created especially for Disney Parks Blog readers. If you missed it, check out Nate’s special “vintage” story featuring Donald Duck.

New Merchandise Coming to Fifth Weekend at Star Wars Weekends From June 13-15, 2014 at Disney's Hollywood Studios

And today (Sunday) is the final day to help decide the next Star Wars-themed Disney Racer to be released in spring 2015.

When the winning Disney Racer is released, the packaging for the die-cast metal car will have a “fan choice” call-out. So, let us know which design should be made and then check back here on the Disney Parks Blog on Monday – Steven will reveal the winning entry.

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

World’s First Production of Disney’s THE LION KING in Mandarin to be Presented at Shanghai Disney Resort – this showstopping production will be put on in a new 1,200-seat Broadway-style theater currently under construction adjacent to Shanghai Disneyland park.

A Look Back at June 14, 1959: Grand Opening of the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Submarine Voyage at Disneyland Park – Disney Parks Blog author George Savvas details the one of the biggest events at Disneyland park, complete with a visit from then Vice President Richard Nixon.

Learning at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Educational Activities for the Whole ‘Ohana – You might just pick up some new skills while visiting Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! Take a look at some of the fun learning activities for the whole family.

‘Trucks on the Town at Downtown Disney West Side’ June 21 at Walt Disney World Resort – Bring all your foodie friends to the first-ever food truck festival at Downtown Disney. Click through for more details.

A Look at Disney Cruise Line’s Taste of Alaska Menu – Get a taste of the delectable dishes available on Disney Cruise Line’s Alaskan Cruises.

Seven Dwarfs Continue Down Mine Train with the Launch of New App, TV Show – Check out these new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train-inspired opportunities!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on June 8th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Harambe Nights debuted at Disney’s Animal Kingdom last night, with actress Viola Davis serving as the celebrity narrator for the inaugural performance.

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A Harambe Nights evening includes a 55-minute theatrical extravaganza, “The Lion King Concert in the Wild,” which features a celebrity narrator, live orchestra, choir and special effects in a retelling of the story of Simba.

From the Disneyland Resort, Valarie Sukovaty shared a great historic video of the Submarine Voyage attraction at Disneyland park, which made its first launch 55 years ago this week. Be sure to check out the video for yourself and stay tuned for more on the 55th anniversary of the Submarine Voyage, Disneyland Monorail and Matterhorn Bobsleds over the next few days.

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

Alex and Ani Add ‘Character’ to the Disney Parks Collection – Wear your Disney Side with these signature wire bangles with icon charms inspired by Disney Parks and characters!

Heidi Klum Meets Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Park Take a look at this fun photo of this unique pair of skippers on the Jungle Cruise boat.

First Look at La Mascarade d’Orleans at Disneyland Park – Get a feel for this new shop, which takes after the storefronts of the French Quarter in New Orleans, coming to Disneyland park later this month.

Disneyland Resort is Going to Make Your Mondays Happier this Summer – Every Monday this summer, Disneyland Resort will be surprising you with new ways to #GetHappier. Click through to learn more!

New Haunted Mansion Merchandise Materializing This Fall at Disney Parks – The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park will celebrate 45 years this August. Take a look at some of these home goods in celebration of the occasion. They’re spooky good.

Guests Celebrate Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park With Acapella Version Of ‘Heigh Ho’ – Watch as Walt Disney World Resort guests show off their Disney Sides by singing “Heigh Ho” after the opening ceremony of this new attraction.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on June 1st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is officially open – and for this week’s grand opening at New Fantasyland, we were joined by some special guests — seven “Littles” and their “Bigs” from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida along with Orlando Magic stars Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris.

If you missed it, we also shared a new version of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train poster, created by Disney artist Mike Britton. Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

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And mark your calendars, “Festival of the Lion King,” the popular musical stage show that originated at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998, will debut at the brand-new Harambe Theatre in the Africa section of the park on June 1.

The show is a daily park offering and is performed multiple times a day (check your My Disney Experience App or the park’s Times Guide for showtimes. Entertainment is subject to change). Let us know what you love most about the show in Jennifer’s original story.

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

Time Lapse: Olaf Sand Sculpture Takes Shape at the Disneyland Resort – Watch a giant sand sculpture of summer’s biggest fan – Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen” take form in this special video!

Journey Through Cast Member Mike Larson’s 50 Years at Disneyland Resort Meet Mike Larson, Disneyland Resort cast member for 50 years.

Tangaroa Terrace Menu Gets Makeover, Plus Three New Drinks at Trader Sam’s at Disneyland Hotel – Get a taste of the new food items offered at Tangaroa Terrace, and the special cocktails available at Trader Sams.

Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Kapa Name Tags – Get an inside look at how the special name tags at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa are made.

A Family Affair on the Re-imagined Disney Magic – Contemplating a cruise? Check out the family fun offered on the Re-imagined Disney Magic in this special video.

runDisney Joins the Force for Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort – Run, don’t walk to Disneyland Resort for Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. First-time rookies (and Wookies) are welcome.

More Details to Make You Hungry for Fun at 19th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Click through to learn what’s new at the 19th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this year at Walt Disney World Resort!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on May 25th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we kicked off summer with 24 straight hours of fun during our Rock Your Disney Side party at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. During our live coverage of the event, we shared more than 30 stories here on the blog and many more photos. Check out our newest video from the celebration.

During the Rock Your Disney Side party, many of you chose which Disney characters appeared in the “Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!” parade, watched the experiences on our live video feeds and showed off your #heroside or #villainside with some amazing costumes.

Guests Rock Their #HeroSide at Magic Kingdom Park Guests Rock Their #VillainSide at Magic Kingdom Park

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We had a blast sharing 24 hours worth of special experiences, tastes and sights and even meeting some of you during the event. Now, it’s time to look forward to all of the summer experiences at Disney Parks.

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

Summertime is Underway at Disney Parks – With the Rock Your Disney Side 24-hour event over, get a preview of what’s on tap for the summer at Disney Parks.

Rock Your Disney Side Parties on Into the Night at Disneyland Park – The party was still going strong in the middle of the night at Disneyland park.

Disney Villains Appear in ‘It’s Good To Be Bad’ Pre-Parade – Disney villains took over the park after dark during the Rock Your Disney Side 24-hour event.

Heigh-Ho! It’s Off to Find Snow White and Seven Dwarfs Merchandise I Go – Some new Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs goodies are available, to mark the opening of The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Rockin’ Your Disney Side at the Disneyland Resort Can Be a Real Treat! – Get a taste of some new treats that debuted as part of the Rock Your Disney Side 24-hour event.

VIDEO: Disneyland Resort Kicks Off Summer During Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour Event – Watch the highlights from the opening of Disneyland for the Rock Your Disney Side 24-hour event!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on May 18th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week on the Disney Parks Blog, we celebrated the launch of Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with new themed header images as well as stories featuring this year’s artwork, gift cards and merchandise at Darth’s Mall. We also shared a special look at a Darth Vader cupcake consumed by the dark side in the pastry display case.

If you enjoyed our Darth Vader cupcake video, check out the behind-the-scenes look at how we did it.

Star Wars Weekends takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 16 – June 15, 2014. Most event activities are included in regular theme park admission.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Tickets On Sale Now Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets On Sale Now

Also this week, tickets for our holiday parties went on sale at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a hard-ticket event that allows you to enjoy Magic Kingdom Park attractions, special Halloween-themed entertainment (parade and fireworks), the Disney Villains Mix & Mingle stage show, special character meet and greets, trick-or-treating throughout the park and much more.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties offer up holiday cheer in November and December, including lights on Cinderella Castle and other amazing holiday decor, a special holiday parade and fireworks, exclusive entertainment, Santa Claus sightings and more.

You can purchase tickets now for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

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

Handy-Dandy Guide to Disneyland Resort Eats You’ll Only Find at Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour Event on May 23 – Learn about all the special food offerings available during the Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour Event at Disneyland Resort.

More ‘Frozen’ Fun at Disneyland Park This Summer – Look for Olaf, Anna and Elsa in a special pre-parade each day at Disneyland park, appearing just ahead of performances of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade!

Five Things You Might Have Missed in Adventureland at Disneyland Park – See some of often overlooked parts of Adventureland at Disneyland park. Do you have a favorite hidden detail?

Goofy’s Glaciers Climb to the Top of Frozen Treats at Disneyland Resort – Cool off with this frozen treat, available in Cherry or Blue Raspberry flavor!

Creating Art for Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Take a look at these fun photos created for Star Wars Weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

PHOTOS – Darth’s Mall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends 2014 – Check out some of the intergalactic merchandise now available during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Five Hawaiian Expressions to Know for Your Visit to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Ready for your trip to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Here are five useful phrases to use during your stay.

Experience Majestic Views of the Grand Canyon with Adventures by Disney – Discover the beauty of Grand Canyon National Park and Arches National Park, raft the Colorado River or take a four-wheel drive adventure. Click through for details!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on May 11th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we continued our ongoing series of Disney Parks Blog stories featuring Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with a time-lapse video of the attraction rising out of the ground at Magic Kingdom Park.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will officially open its doors in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park on Wednesday, May 28.

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And as Shawn told us, The Harambe Theatre is nearing completion in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When it opens in June, the theater will be the new home for the popular show, “Festival of the Lion King.” This week, we shared a first look at the new theater.

Here’s a look at some of the other stories we worked on this week.

A Look Back: Grand Opening of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure Park – Drop into the fifth dimension and see some pictures from the grand opening of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Showing Mom’s ‘Disney Side’ at Disney Parks – Have something planned at a Disney Park with mom this weekend? Watch how you can create some special memories and show your ‘Disney Side’.

Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Bill Evans – Learn the legacy of Bill Evans, The Disney Legend responsible for much of the landscaping design at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort.

Spotlight on Cherry Tree Lane Coming to Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney in 2014 – Get a preview of some of the high-end boutique items that will be offered at Cherry Tree Lane, opening later this year.

Five Types of Cruisers You Meet on Every Disney Ship – Natalie Bailey, Cruise Director, shares some fantastic photos of what you can expect to see aboard a Disney Cruise.

Point of View: Rainbow Reef at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Go “under the sea” with some colorful fish in this snorkeling video of Rainbow Reef.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on May 4th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs announced the date many of you have been waiting for – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park officially opens on May 28.

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Tom made the announcement during a special dedication ceremony in New Fantasyland where he was joined by Disney Princess Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to celebrate the addition of the final component to New Fantasyland.

And if you just can’t wait to take a trip aboard Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, then check out this week’s full ride-through video of the attraction.

You can learn more about the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and see more images from the ceremony in our original blog story.

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

The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park – Learn the legend of Big Thunder Mountain, and don’t forget to ride the newly reopened Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland park!

The Doc is In! Doc McStuffins Visits Disney California Adventure Park Starting May 5 – Meet Doc McStuffins in Hollywood Land near “Disney Junior Live on Stage!” for a limited time, starting tomorrow.

Little Ones Enjoy Makeovers at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Spa Director Lucia Rodriguez gives a tour of the luxurious Laniwai Spa and what’s offered for the little ones in your family.

A Shopper’s Guide to Mother’s Day at Disneyland Resort – Have you gotten your Mother’s Day gift yet? Get some suggestions from of our resident experts at Disneyland park.

Time-lapse Video of Disney Cruise Line in Europe – See some spectacular sights that are part of Disney Cruise Line Destinations in the Mediterranean.

‘Festival of The Lion King’ To Return To Disney’s Animal Kingdom in June – This show-stopping production is returning to a new location in Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom this June.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Marks 25 Years – Check out how we celebrated Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ silver anniversary earlier this week!

– Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders: Enter for Chance to Attend Advance Screening of Disney’s ‘Million Dollar Arm’ Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! This is your last day to enter for a chance to win two tickets to a special advance screening of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm.” Click through for details.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 27th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs continued our MyMagic+ series on the Disney Parks Blog with an exciting update on FastPass+.
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Beginning tomorrow, after guests have used their first three FastPass+ selections, they will be able to select another one at one of the kiosks located in each of our WDW parks. When they’ve used that one, they’ll be able to select another, and so on, ultimately providing guests with even more ways to customize their Walt Disney World Vacation. Tom also said that guests will be able to select and use their additional FastPass+ entitlements when they hop from park to park.

Check Tom’s original post for more details and to let us know what you think.

All in the Details: Construction Walls Come Down at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train All in the Details: Construction Walls Come Down at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

And Seven Dwarfs Mine Train achieved another milestone this week when Walt Disney Imagineering removed the final construction walls from around the attraction. Jennifer shared some of the first photos showing what the entrance will look like, including both the Standby and FastPass entrances.

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

Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips: ‘Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular’ – Disney Parks Blog author Tyler Slater offers some excellent tips on how to watch this show-stopping production at Disney California Adventure.

Show Your DIY Disney Side: Disney Parks Guide Map Magnets – Get creative while showing your Disney Side with this fun and easy art project!

Disneyland Resort Circle D Ranch Cast Members Commit to Composting – Check out how Cast Members at Disneyland Resort help out the environment on Earth Day and every day at Circle D Ranch.

How to Ride a Bicycle Built for Four with the Dapper Dans of Disneyland – Watch this video to meet the Dapper Dans of Disneyland Resort, complete with their bicycle built for four.

Discover the Mystery of Loch Ness with Adventures by Disney – This latest Adventures by Disney update is inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Brave” and will take you onto the dark waters of Scotland and Loch Ness!

All in the Details: Glittering Gems Light Up Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Queue at Magic Kingdom Park – See the underground gems up close and personal in this new update from the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Tammar Wallaby Baby at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Bids Guests “G’day” – Click through for photos of the baby wallabies at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort!

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is a Great Place to be Green – Did you know that Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa became the first Hawaii resort to be LEED certified and achieve Silver Certification? Read this story for more on Aulani’s conservation efforts.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 20th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This weekend, guests at Disney Parks on both coasts can enjoy an exclusive sneak peek at Walt Disney Studios’ “Maleficent,” which opens in theaters May 30. It’s playing daily in RealD 3D at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the ABC Sound Studio and at Disney California Adventure park.

And to kick off this special opportunity, we shared an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.

And did you see our new Disney Parks Blog series? In coming days, we’ll be sharing stories featuring some of the original attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in honor of the park’s 25th anniversary.

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We began the series with a look at The Great Movie Ride. Housed inside a full-scale reproduction of Hollywood’s iconic Chinese Theater, the attraction offers a trip through movie history, starting with early black-and-white “talkies” and musicals to all-time classics like “Casablanca.” Check out Jennifer’s original story to learn more.

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

Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Milt Albright – Read this tribute to Disney Legend Milt Albright and his incredible 45 year career with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Eggs-traordinary Art at the Springtime Roundup at Disneyland Park – Take a look at some of the special art created by Ray Brown and his team, who paint and sculpt ordinary eggs into extraordinary Disney characters.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Features Local Ingredients in Luscious New Desserts at ‘AMA ‘AMA – Chef Ron Viloria details some of the enticing desserts featured on his menu, and the native elements he brings to each dish.

Disneyland Resort Restaurants Win Big at Southern California Restaurant Writers Awards – Eight restaurants at Disneyland Resort won a dozen awards! Click through to learn more.

Rave Reviews for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park – The “wildest ride in the wilderness” reopened on March 17, after extensive refurbishment. Watch some of our guest reactions here!

The History of the Walt Disney World Monorail: Mark VI, 1989-Present – Take another look back at the history of the monorail in our regular series, this time with the Mark VI!

#DisneyKids: First Teacup Spin at Magic Kingdom Park – We’re continuing our regular series of firsts at Disney Parks, this time at the attraction inspired by Walt Disney’s animated classic “Alice in Wonderland.”

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 6th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared the first post of a special MyMagic+ series coming to the Disney Parks Blog with a story from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs.

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Tom shared an update that we’ve reached an exciting milestone – we’re now providing guests who might only be visiting for the day with the ability to fully engage in MyMagic+ before their visit. Guests can register on My Disney Experience online, reserve access to some of their favorite experiences with FastPass+ and also purchase MagicBands on-site, if they choose.

Check Tom’s original story for more details and keep an eye open right here on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates as we continue to roll-out MyMagic+.

CAPTION All in the Details: Jewel Sorting & More Inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Queue at Magic Kingdom Park

And this week, Disney Parks Blog readers were treated to two new “All in the Details” stories featuring Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland. Author Jennifer Fickley-Baker started the week with a close look at the Dwarfs’ cottage. And she ended the week with a peek into an area we haven’t shared much about yet – the attraction’s queue, which features a few interactive opportunities for guests.

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

ACT Anaheim Announces $1.5M in Inaugural Grants – Accelerate Change Together for Anaheim (ACT Anaheim) is awarding $1.5M in grants to 10 local nonprofit organizations. Click through to learn more!

Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Claude Coats – Read about this elite artist and his contributions to many classic Disney animated features, including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Fantasia,” “Dumbo,” and more.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Now on Instagram – Share your Aulani vacation photos using #Aulani and we may feature them on the newly launched @DisneyAulani!

A Look Back: Behind the Scenes of the Re-imagined “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Park – Disney Imagineer Kim Irvine gives an inside look at the new additions made to “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park.

Hear a Gospel Rendition of Disney’s “it’s a small world (after all)” – Watch this special performance “it’s a small world” to continue our celebration of its 50th anniversary!

Five Things You Might Have Missed in ‘it’s a small world’ at Disneyland Park – Catch some of the smaller details of this famous attraction you might have overlooked.

Lots of Fun Horsing Around at Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Walt Disney World Resort – Learn more about Tri-Circle-D Ranch, wagon rides, pony rides and its 90-plus residents.

Exploring Northern Europe with Disney Cruise Line – Click through to see some spectacular photos of Northern Europe and learn how you could be part of a voyage from Disney Cruise Line.

Chalkboard Art-Inspired Items Coming to Disney Centerpiece at Downtown Disney Marketplace in 2014 – Check out these striking chalkboard-inspired home goods, including dishes, glassware, pillows, picture frames and more!

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