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Monday May 25, 2015
MEMORIAL DAY
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Sunday May 24, 2015
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Saturday May 23, 2015
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Friday May 22, 2015
No News Updates Today

Thursday May 21, 2015
‘World of Color – Celebrate!’ Premieres at Disney California Adventure Park, Opens for Guests May 22
First Look: Cinderella Castle Adds Regal Turrets at Magic Kingdom Park
Inside Walt Disney's Ambitious, Failed Plan to Build the City of Tomorrow
Behind the Scenes: Creating the Music for ‘Tangled: The Musical’ for Disney Cruise Line
Downtown Disney District Extended Hours for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Event, May 22-23

‘World of Color – Celebrate!’ Premieres at Disney California Adventure Park, Opens for Guests May 22

DisneyParks Blog -Last night, we welcomed fans and media to the premiere performance of “World of Color – Celebrate!” New for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, this nighttime spectacular is a contemporary and moving celebration of Walt Disney and his dream of Disneyland, hosted by Mickey Mouse and award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris.

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Just before the performance began, Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, joined Neil and Mickey Mouse on stage to introduce the new show.

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“We’re thrilled to commemorate 60 years of Disneyland with three new nighttime spectaculars, including a special ‘World of Color’ show,” Chapek said. “Our new show salutes Walt Disney, a visionary who dreamed big and then made those dreams come true.”

Take a look back at this special night!

 

“World of Color – Celebrate!” opens for Disney California Adventure park guests on May 22. Keep an eye here as we continue to bring you coverage from the launch of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration this week.

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First Look: Cinderella Castle Adds Regal Turrets at Magic Kingdom Park

DisneyParks Blog - Throughout the year, we’ve been bringing you updates on the enhancements that are being made in the Central Plaza area between the end of Main Street and Cinderella Castle, which include new pathways, gardens, and fireworks viewing areas.

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Today we’re happy to share a first look at another milestone for the area – the addition of new turrets that flank Cinderella Castle. The turrets extend the castle’s royal look across the new expanded area.

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Inside Walt Disney's Ambitious, Failed Plan to Build the City of Tomorrow

Esquire - The future is forged by pouring a stiff drink, kicking back, and taking a second to question everything. We here at Esquire.com love a crazy-idea-that-just-might-work, so this week, we're paying tribute to the forward-thinkers of past and present with a series called Esquire Predicts. Because no one gets ahead without imagining what "ahead" looks like.

It all began with a vision of a wheel. Folks would call the circumference home, while a climate-controlled city center would house corporations from all over the world. Between the urban and suburban would lie the greenbelt, dotted with parks, golf courses, and anything else paradise had to offer. A web of electric monorails and car-sized movers would act as the spokes, zipping residents to and fro. No more grueling commute. No more noisy streets. No more of life's little frustrations.

Walt Disney called it the "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow," and he wanted it yesterday. After opening Disneyland in July 1955 in Anaheim, California, the visionary conceived of a city that would bring his patented magic to life. Of course, that was easier said than done, the defining characteristic of most Disney projects. But logistics didn't faze him. He was a student of aesthetic, technology, and workflow. Whatever he couldn't crack himself, he threw to his elite Imagineers.

This wasn't Walt Disney's first folly. When Hollywood pundits told him that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs wouldn't work as the company's first feature-length animated film, he produced it anyway. And when he mounted Disneyland, critics said the same. So why not build the perfect city?

He nearly did. But when Disney peered into the future, he failed to see his own timeline. On October 26, 1966, Walt and Marty Sklar, principal creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, produced a film detailing their plans for "EPCOT." Two months later, Walt died of acute circulatory collapse due to lung cancer. In 1966, Walt Disney Productions had the land, the manpower, the designs and the dream to build the Community of Tomorrow. All that was missing was Walt, the last line of defense against reality

Few of life's inconveniences were as irksome to Walt as the early morning trash pickup, cans clanging through the silent streets. That was no way to wake up. "Why can't there be a better way?" former colleagues recall him asking. The question followed him everywhere. In the mid-'30s, Disney also regularly took his daughters to a merry-go-round in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz, though he didn't much care for it. As the girls played, the animator would sit on the bench, eating peanuts and wondering why his neighborhood attraction—and all amusement parks, for that matter— couldn't be cleaner. They could, of course, if he willed it.

Walt was a smooth operating amalgam of creative willpower and savvy sales tactics. He was a regular Don Draper, right down to the carousel obsession. After Disneyland opened and filled investors' pockets with cash, suits were lining up on Walt's doorstep. They wanted him, which offered some promise. He wanted something, too: tools of the future.

"Walt Disney had one foot in the past, because he loved nostalgia, and one foot in the future, because he loved new technology," says Marty Sklar, who joined Disney's marketing and publicity team in the 1950s. During his early days at the company, Sklar watched as Walt devoured futurist literature, clocked long days with tech companies, and traveled the world searching for new-fangled solutions. (He solved the trash problem when he discovered a pneumatic waste collection system in Sweden.) But he was still country boy at heart. During a 1956 visit to his hometown of Marceline, Missouri, to celebrate a swimming pool named in his honor, Walt told the crowd that he felt sorry for lifelong city dwellers. "I'm glad my dad picked out a little town were he could have a farm," he said, "because those years that we spent here have been memorable years."

Walt's close colleagues can't pinpoint a moment when the Community of Tomorrow idea popped into his head. Things just seemed to snowball with evolving technology. At the top of the list was Disneyland's monorail. "He was fixated on transportation," Sklar says. "We spent so much time and energy on figuring out new ways to move people." During a trip to Germany with his wife, Disney wound up alongside a suspended "sandbag" monorail system. Bob Gurr, an Imagineer specializing in transportation, says Disney was so taken by it that he drove to the service yard, jumped out of his car, and approached the guys working on the trains. "He didn't speak German," Gurr says. "But he came back with a whole bunch of information and photographs of this really ugly-looking train. He said, 'Bobby, I want you to design a monorail.' It looked like a loaf of bread with a slot in the bottom sitting on a stick." After clearing his head with a little Saturday morning Buck Rodgers, the redesign came to Gurr. "I was at my coffee table, and in about ten minutes I sketched it up real quick," he says. "I came in on Monday and made a rendering of it."

Walt unveiled Disneyland's first monorail in 1959, as the idea for the Community of Tomorrow took hold. By then, conglomerates were going full court press for partnerships. General Electric had approached Disney to design an exhibit for New York's 1964 World's Fair, "Progressland," which would take visitors through the history of electricity, all the way through a near-future city run quietly on eco-friendly GE power. And Walt Disney Productions was slated to build four attractions for the World's Fair: "Progressland," the Ford Wonder Rotunda's "Primeval World," "It's a Small World" for the Pepsi-sponsored UNICEF pavilion, and "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" at the State of Illinois Pavilion.

"Progress City" slideshow with original "Carousel of Progress" narration

Disney's World's Fair work would double as a testing ground for the percolating EPCOT. Art illustrated by Imagineer Herbert Ryman for GE's "Carousel of Progress" informed his design work for EPCOT, and later became the basis for a "Progress City" 3D model that lived in Disneyland's Tomorrowland. Even more influential were Gurr's designs for the Ford Magic Skyway, which introduced the public to Disney's WEDway PeopleMover. Inspired by the Minirail automated monorail at the 1964 Swiss National Exhibition, Gurr's version featured a rotating turntable entry system to ensure shuttles were always available, no hassle.

Sklar says Disney kept one book placed prominently on his desk during the World Fair days: Victor Gruen's The Heart of Our Cities: The Urban Crisis: Diagnosis and Cure. Published in 1964, it challenged sociological, historical, and psychological city planning theories with logic and artistry. Also, the ideal city was a wheel. "One of my mentors, [designer] John Hench, had a whole theory about that," Sklar says of Walt's fixation on circles. "Everything in Mickey is round and non-threatening, whereas you'd get into characters like Felix the Cat and he'd have all these sharp edges and they didn't last because of that. And John said, 'Well, you know, the things we think about are round, and we love women's breasts."

Like Disney, Gruen preached the distinction between utilitarian functions and home life, people coming and going with ease. The book breathed life into the lofty EPCOT notion, immediately recognizable in commissioned art from Ryman, Hench, Gurr, set designer Harper Goff, architect George Rester and the many others involved with looking ahead to "Tomorrow." Sklar calls Disney's approach to overseeing these early designs—and everything that went into his parks—as "specifically vague." "Disney knew what he wanted, but he demanded input from his team." Should the central city be under a dome? Yes. Should there be a skyscraper at the center? Yes, it would be hard to resist a "wienie," Disney's term for a pillaring object that screams "come this way." How about an underground roadway for cars? Yes. And they couldn't forget the monorail. While Ryman painted one of his City of Tomorrow watercolors, Gurr remembers Disney coming behind him to make the request. "Hey Herby, we're gonna have a monorail, so … stick a monorail on there."

Walt had to make the Imagineers believe in the Community of Tomorrow. Gurr recalls Disney Productions' "boiler room," a giant meeting place with 16-foot ceilings where the core team set up graphics and soaked up the ambition. "The meetings were really, really upbeat," Gurr says. 'But we hadn't yet come to the part of, 'Okay smarty, let's start this thing and now let's see how we're gonna figure it out.'"

Soon after the World's Fair, Walt and the Imagineers visited Westinghouse Electric headquarters to discuss the Community of Tomorrow. They'd eventually hit all the majors—IBM, DuPont, General Electric, the Sarnoff—but first up was Westinghouse. The day kicked off with Disney's EPCOT pitch, then Westinghouse followed with their own product preview. Then there was lunch, and then cocktails. Then more EPCOT talk. "By the next morning," Gurr says, "everybody was still saying, 'Well, what the hell is this place? I don't understand it!'"

Disney's EPCOT plans elicited blank stares and blind support. If Disney was in, so were the bigwigs. Construction talks even predate the World's Fair. One preliminary land study review, drawn up by Disney's resident economist Harrison "Buzz Price" and his company, Economics Research Associates, in 1959, reveals a partnership between RCA, Disney, and John D. MacArthur to build the Community of Tomorrow in Palm Beach, Florida. The early incarnation would have stretched across 11,956 acres and demanded a new theme park's income just to sustain itself. RCA ultimately bailed, with Disney's resources going toward the World's Fair. In 1965, EPCOT was simply called "Project X," a code name as retro-futuristic as they come.

While Disney hoped to surprise the general public with concept art and model designs, he first needed real estate for the sprawling complex. Disneyland's size disappointed its creator—you can only pour so much magic into 160 acres—and he wasn't about to skimp on this vision. Finessed plans pictured the city stretching across 1,100 acres, with an adjacent theme park and airport of the future covering 26,300. Locations in St. Louis, the Canadian side of Niagra Falls, Washington D.C., New Jersey, and even New York's abandoned World Fair site were considered. But only one place had the malleable land and blue skies that embodied Walt Disney's perfectionism: Florida.

The EPCOT land acquisition was the Mouse House's Chinatown. To covertly obtain low-cost property in Osceola county's Reed Creek Basin, Disney formed several real estate companies that strategically purchased plots under government and reporters' radars. Factions like "Reedy Creek Ranch Co.," "Latin-American Development," "Ayefour Corporation," "Tomahawk Properties," and the "Compass East Corporation" swooped in to buy property, baffling locals. Someone wanted their swampland? Sold. But when word got out that the buyer was Walt, zeroes were added to price tags. "On one parcel, the guy jacked the price out of sight," Gurr recalls. "We simply designed the park around his property and he lost his access. He finally sold decades later." In June of 1965, Disney snagged the desired 27,433 acres—twice the size of Manhattan, as he'd remind throughout planning—for $5.1 million.

"The Florida Project," "The Future Project," "Waltopia" were some of the names Community of Tomorrow adopted as it trudged toward fruition. "Progressland" was the only misnomer—between terraforming the Reed Creek swamp lands to ecological surveys, and translating the Imagineers' majestic art into a livable habitat, EPOCT needed a plan. Of course, that didn't stop Walt, the P.T. Barnum of amusement parks, from selling the thing. He'd have to, if EPCOT was to fulfill his vision.

Standing between Walt and the future was the Florida legislature. The particulars are a cloud of tax bracketing, legal quagmires, and zoning issues (see Steve Mannheim's dense Walt Disney and the Quest for Community for more), but, clearly, launching a city in the middle of an established state was going to be hard. Beyond that, Community of Tomorrow was an "experimental" metropolis tricked out with cutting edge toys.

As Sklar puts it, Walt wanted the "freedom to be able to do what he wanted to do." ("Freedom" being "the authority to generate power through nuclear fission," a right the team would actually receive). So he appealed to the Florida Legislature the way he knew how, with an educational special. Disney and Sklar wrote the "Florida Film" (above), which offered a vague glimpse of just how darn wonderful EPCOT would be. Sklar still has the seven pages of notes he took from the first meeting on October 10, 1966: "EPCOT WILL BE A SHOWCASE TO THE WORLD OF AMERICAN FREE ENTERPRISE." The pair even wrote and shot two versions—one for Florida Legislature and a second for the general public. On February 2, 1967, the finished product screened for legislators. Walt never saw it.

Gurr recalls one particularly devastating headline published in the wake of Walt's death: "Epcot Died Ten Minutes After Walt's Body Cooled." While not entirely accurate, questions remained. Up until then, the Imagineers' had focused on the big picture. But how would families in EPCOT function? And who would live there? The loose idea was to invite employees of General Electric of Westinghouse to inhabit EPCOT's Homes of the Future for a six-month sabbatical. But where would the kids go to school?

Bigger problems weren't clarified either. What would Florida weather, around-the-clock public transportation, and high-powered trash disposal mean for daily life under a 50-foot dome? There were too many concerns. "It made great sense to Walt, but he didn't live long enough to get into the nitty gritty details of getting an idea to work," Sklar says. "There's a gigantic difference between the spark of a brilliant idea and the daily operation of an idea."

Nonetheless, Imagineers rallied to keep EPCOT alive. Sklar, Gurr, and their colleagues started the "Wednesday Morning Club" think tank, while Roy Disney, on the brink of retirement (he was five years older than Walt), led a hardheaded charge. If Project X wasn't going to become the Community of Tomorrow, it wouldn't become the Big Talk of Yesterday, either. Over the course of a decade, EPCOT, a residential oasis, evolved into Walt Disney World and Epcot Center, a theme park founded on futurism.

After opening in 1982, the Imagineers continued to nurture Disney Studios' ties to progress by hosting the Epcot Forums, where great minds like Ray Bradbury, atmospheric physicist Carl Hodges, and Girard O'Neal, inventor of the particle storage ring, met to discuss the future of science. The original park had a center where any teacher could bring educational materials on Epcot-friendly subjects back to their classrooms. Sklar even worked with industrial companies to create a kind of snail mail Google, in which patrons could send questions and get responses within two weeks. "We were really looking for people who were doing far out things and things we thought the public should know about," he says.

But it wasn't the Community of Tomorrow, nothing could be. "I think he was quite naïve from the standpoint of naïve about the negative parts of life," Gurr says of Walt. The engineer believes that if Walt had lived, if EPCOT had launched smoothly, the practical and pragmatics would have crushed him. "He always saw the good parts of life as being so interesting…. and how could you make it even better?"

Walt treasured aesthetics. If a film looked vivid, a park felt clean, and a ride whisked you to the 23rd century, that pile of work back home wouldn't seem so bad when you returned. Life had a little more joy to it.

No one can live in Disney's Community of Tomorrow, but they can enjoy its aesthetic and feel Walt's passion explode off the page. The art still leaves an impression, burrowing into our dreams. Which is where it counts, after all.

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Behind the Scenes: Creating the Music for ‘Tangled: The Musical’ for Disney Cruise Line

DisneyParks Blog - Last month, we gave you a first look at the production of “Tangled: The Musical,” coming to the Disney Magic this November. Today we continue our all-access pass with an exclusive video all about the development of the spectacular music for this show—which will include three new songs that weren’t in the movie!

In the video below, you’ll hear from some of the musical masterminds behind this production, starting with Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken, whose work includes classic Disney films like “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Also featured are Grammy Award-winning lyricist Glenn Slater and Tim Williams. What a team!

 

Stay tuned for more exclusive videos from behind the scenes of “Tangled: The Musical” over the next several months.

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Downtown Disney District Extended Hours for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Event, May 22-23

DisneyParks Blog - If you’re still mapping out your plan for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-hour event this week, I’ve got more information for you. In addition to Downtown Disney District locations that will operate during their normal business hours on May 22-23, the locations below have extended their hours to serve our guests who will be here to celebrate with us.

 Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

  • Starbucks: 4 a.m. (5/22) to 5 a.m. (5/23)
  • Haagen Dazs: 6 a.m. (5/22) to 2 a.m. (5/23)
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels: 6 a.m. (5/22) to 2 a.m. (5/23)
  • La Brea Bakery Express: 4 a.m. (5/22) to 2 a.m. (5/23)
  • Earl of Sandwich: 6 a.m. (5/22) to 2 a.m. (5/23)
  • Jamba Juice: 6 a.m. (5/22) to 2 a.m. (5/23)

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Wednesday May 20, 2015

Prepare to be Dazzled for 24 Hours this Friday at Disneyland Resort

DisneyParks Blog - The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is almost here! The party kicks off Friday, May 22, at 6 a.m. and continues for 24 hours, through 6 a.m. Saturday, May 23, with multi-faceted entertainment experiences at both Disneyland Resort theme parks and the official debut of the three new spectaculars created just for the celebration.
In addition to the already stellar entertainment lineup at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, here are some of the other highlights planned for Friday:
 
  • The parks open at 6 a.m. with countdown moments featuring some of your favorite Disney characters, including Mickey and the gang in their sparkly new Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration outfits.
  • Throughout the parks, you can mark the hours at special celebration photo spots.
  • Beginning at 6 p.m., join us in the Main Street Opera House for a sing-along screening of Walt Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins.” If you miss it then (or just can’t get enough), the “Mary Poppins” sing-along will be presented again at 10 p.m., 12:45 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.
  • Over at Tomorrowland Theater, you can catch the sneak peek of scenes from the “Tomorrowland” movie during the day, and then return at 10 p.m. or 3 a.m. for a full-length screening of “Guardians of the Galaxy.” We’ll also be showing “The Avengers” in the Tomorrowland Theater at 12:15 a.m.
  • If live music is your thing, we’ll have a band playing retro hits on the Tomorrowland Terrace stage beginning at 7 p.m. and the Royal Swing Big Band Ball in Fantasy Faire, with four sets starting at 10:30 p.m.
     
 Disney Parks Blog Celebrates the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration
 
  • The “Paint the Night” parade will be presented twice for its opening night, at 8:50 p.m. and 1 a.m., with the premiere of “Disneyland Forever” fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
  • After all that, you can hit the dance floor to the DJ mix at TLT Dance CLUB in Tomorrowland from 12:30 a.m. – 5 a.m., or head over to Mickey’s Toontown for a Pajama Party with your pals, starting at midnight and continuing into the wee hours of the morning.
  • At Disney California Adventure park, the all-new “World of Color – Celebrate!” will have three showings at 9 p.m., 10:15 p.m. and 3 a.m.
  • Over at Pacific Wharf, a DJ spices things up with a Latin dance party from 10:45 p.m. – 5 a.m.
  • Join the Mad T Party Band for the new Diamond Mad T Party in Hollywood Land from 8:30 p.m. – 1 a.m., and stick around as the White Rabbit DJ keeps things hopping ‘til morning.

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DisneyParks Blog - We are excited to announce that Shanghai Disney Resort celebrated a major construction milestone this week with the topping out of the Enchanted Storybook Castle. Our leaders – Bob Iger, chairman and CEO, and Tom Staggs, chief operating officer – were at the resort to witness the installation of the extraordinary gold finial atop the tallest of the eight towers of the castle.
 
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 New Construction Milestone as Golden Spire Tops Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort New Construction Milestone as Golden Spire Tops Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort

Shanghai Disney Resort is one of the most ambitious projects we’ve ever undertaken at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and the magnificent Enchanted Storybook Castle will serve as its fitting icon. The castle will be the tallest structure at the resort and the most complex and largest Disney castle ever built. It will feature a beautiful winding staircase leading guests on a “Once Upon a Time Adventure” and exciting retail, dining and entertainment. Walt Disney Imagineering was recently recognized by the American Institute for Architects for its successful application of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the design of the castle, showcasing the technology and innovation used in the castle’s development.
 
 A Golden Peony on the Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort A Golden Peony on the Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort

This castle was designed specifically for the people of China, with input from many collaborative partnerships with international and local experts. The golden finial installed this week was made locally in Shanghai and is topped with a peony – the flower of China – which is placed atop a cascade of Disney stars. Another one of the golden finials has traditional Chinese “lucky” cloud patterns, peonies and lotus and features Magnolia flowers — which represent Shanghai — and a Disney crown to symbolize Disney princesses.

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DisneyParks Blog - Harambe Market, a new area that will serve-up African-inspired street food, is set to open May 23 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Today, we’re excited to share with you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at just how the team is currently working together to bring this new area to life.
 
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Disney Parks Schedules - Walt Disney World Resort kicks off the 'Coolest Summer Ever' with a 24 hour special event May 22nd-23rd at the Magic Kingdom, hosted by Olaf from Disney's animated hit “Frozen."
 
The Magic Kingdom will be open 24 hours to guests from 6 am to 6am, Friday May 22 to Saturday, May 23 2015.
 
Make sure to check the times guide once inside the park for any changes.

Event Schedule

Entertainment

Welcome Show
Friday: 5:50am, Main Entrance
Flag Raising
Friday: 6:30am, Town Square
Flag Retreat
Friday: 6pm, Town Square
#INCREDIBLESSuperDanceParty
Friday: 9:30am to 2:20pm, Tomorrowland
Disney's Up All Night Dance Party
Saturday: 2am - 5:45am, Cinderella Castle hub
A Frozen Fantasy Pre-parade to the Main Street Electrical Parade
Friday: 10:45pm and Saturday: 12:45am
Frontierland Dance Party
Saturday: 2am - 5:30am, Frontierland
Disney Channel Club Chill 
Friday: 4:30pm to 11pm, Tomorrowland
Frozen Movie Screening
Saturday: 12am - 5am, Tomorrowland
Move It!, Shake It!, Dance and Play It!
Friday: 9:30am, 5:40pm, Main Street, U.S.A.
Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
Friday: 12pm and 3pm, Parade Route
Disney Channel Grand Marshals appearing in the 3pm parade.
Celebrate the Magic
Friday: 8:45pm, 9:45pm, Saturday 12:15am, Main Street, U.S.A.
Wishes
Friday: 9pm
Main Street Electrical Parade
Friday: 11pm
Saturday: 1am
Kiss Goodnight
Saturday: 5:45am Railroad Station Main Street, U.S.A.

Character Meet and Greets

Main Street, U.S.A.

  • Pluto - Intermittently 7:00am–2:00pm
  • Snow White - Intermittently 7:00am–2:00pm
  • Marie - Intermittently 9:30am–2:00pm
  • Aurora - Intermittently12:30pm–6:30pm
  • Town Square Theater
    Mickey Mouse - 6:00am–6:00am
    Tinker Bell - 6:00am–6:00am

Adventureland

  • Aladdin and Jasmine - Intermittently 9:30am–6:00pm

Frontierland

  • Woody and Jessie from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story” Exit of Splash Mountain - Intermittently 10:00am–5:00pm
  • Chip 'n' Dale - Intermittently 8:30am–1:00pm Liberty Square
  • Characters from “The Princess and the Frog” Liberty Square bridge - Intermittently 6:30am–8:00pm

Fantasyland

  • Ariel at Ariel's Grotto - 6:00am–6:00am
  • Gaston - Intermittently 10:00am–6:00pm
  • Merida from Disney•Pixar’s “Brave” Fairytale Garden - Intermittently 9:15am–6:15pm
  • Pete's Silly Sideshow - Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy - 8:00am–11:00pm
  • Princess Fairytale Hall - Anna and Elsa from "Frozen" - 6:00am–6:00am, Cinderella and Rapunzel - 6:00am–6:00am

Tomorrowland

  • Buzz Lightyear - Intermittently 9:00am–5:45pm
  • Stitch - Intermittently 6:30am–2:15pm

Attraction Hours

FastPass+ will be available from 6am to 3am.

Adventureland

  • Jungle Cruise - 6am to 6am
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin - 6am to 6am
  • Pirates Adventure - 6am to 6am
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - 6am to 4:30am
  • Swiss Family Treehouse - 6am to 6am
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room - 6am to 6am

Frontierland

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - 6am to 6am
  • Country Bear Jamboree - 6am to 6am
  • Splash Mountain - 6am to 5am
  • Tom Sawyer Island - 8am to approx 7:30pm

Fantasyland

  • Ariel’s Grotto - 6am to 6am
  • Casey Jr Splash n Soak Station - 6am to 6am
  • Dumbo - 6am to 2am and 4:30am to 6am
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle - 6am to 6am
  • “it’s a small world” - 6am to 3:30am
  • Mad Tea Party - 6am to 11:15pm and 3am to 6am
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic - 6am to 6am
  • Peter Pan’s Flight - 6am to 5am
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel - 6am to 6am
  • Princess Fairytale Hall - 6am to 6am
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - 6am to 6am
  • The Barnstormer - 6am to 10pm and 2:30am to 4:30am
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - 6am to 6am
  • Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid - 6am to 4:30am

Liberty Square

  • Liberty Square Riverboat - 10am to 8pm and 9:30pm to 12am
  • The Haunted Mansion - 6am to 4:30am
  • The Hall of Presidents - 6am to 6am

Main Street U.S.A.

  • Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom - 6am to 6am
  • Town Square Theater - 24 hours
  • Walt Disney World Railroad - 6am to 8pm and 9:30pm to 6am

Tomorrowland

  • Astro Orbiter - 6am to 6am
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin - 6am to 5am
  • Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor - 9am to 6am
  • Space Mountain - 6am to 3:30am
  • Stitch’s Great Escape! - 6am to 6am
  • Tomorrowland Speedway - 6am to 6am
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover - 6am to 6am
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress - 6am to 6am

Food and Beverage

Quick Service Restaurants

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant - 6:30am to 2:30pm
  • Casey’s Corner - 6am to 6am
  • Columbia Harbor House - 10am to 2am
  • Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe - 9am to 5:30am
  • The Diamond Horseshoe - 11am to 3pm
  • Tomorrowland Terrace - 11am to 3:30pm
  • Tortuga Tavern - 10am to 12am
  • Pinocchio Village Haus - 10am to 2:00am
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe - 9:30am to 3am

Table Service Restaurants

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant - 2:30pm to 12am 
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table - 7am to 11:30pm
  • The Crystal Palace - 6:15am to 12am
  • The Diamond Horseshoe - 4:30pm to 9:30pm
  • Liberty Tree Tavern - 11:30am to 10:30pm
  • Plaza Restaurant - 11am to 3am
  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant - 11:30am to 10:30pm

Snacks

  • Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies - 11am to 3am 
  • Aloha Isle - 9:30am to 3am
  • Cheshire Cafe - 6am to 5am
  • Cool Ship - 10am to 5am
  • Friar's Nook - 6am to 5am
  • Gaston's Tavern - 6am to 6:00am
  • Golden Oak Outpost - 10:30am to 3am
  • The Lunching Pad - 6am to 6am
  • Main Street Bakery - 6am to 6am
  • Plaza Ice Cream Parlor - 6am to 6am
  • Prince Eric's Village Market - 9am to 9pm
  • Sleepy Hollow - 6am to 6am
  • Storybook Treats - 11am to 6am
  • Sunshine Tree Terrace - 7am to 5am
  • Westward Ho - 6am to 6am

Breakfast Locations

Friday and Saturday

Main Street Bakery
Casey's Corner
Cheshire Cafe
Sunshine Tree Terrace
Sleepy Hollow
Liberty Square Market
Westward Ho

Friday Only

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Saturday Only from 2am

Cosmic Ray's - Hot breakfast sandwich
Friar's Nook
Lunching Pad - Breakfast dog

Transportation

From Walt Disney World Resort hotels, bus transportation is set to begin at 5:15am on Friday, continuing through the entire 24 hour event.
 
Resort watercraft operation begins at 5:15am.
 
If you are arriving by car, the Transportation and Ticket Center parking lot will be opening at 4:30am on Friday, with Ferry service beginning at 5:15am.
 
The Resort monorail will be operating from 5:15am on Friday to 3am on Saturday, then from 5:30am on Saturday to 2am on Sunday

The Express monorail will be operating from 5:20am on Friday to 6:30am on Saturday.
 
The Epcot monorail will be operating from 8am on Friday to 6:30am on Saturday, then from 9:00am on Saturday to 11pm on Saturday.

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Disney guest crashed through golf-cart windshield, jumped into Bay Lake

Orlando Sentinel - Deputies arrested a 27-year-old Ohio man early Monday after an apparent drunken night at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort.
 
Andrew Hall, of Mentor, Ohio, was arrested after being rescued by a Walt Disney World marine unit, which found him struggling to stay afloat in the middle of Bay Lake, according to an Orange County Sheriff's Office arrest report.
 
Before that, deputies said Hall was drinking at the resort's restaurant and attempted to leave on a bicycle, according to the report.
 
A manager at the restaurant said Hall had trouble staying balanced and fell numerous times, so the manager drove a golf cart to catch up and help.
 
When the manager got to Hall, he ran toward the cart, jumping and crashing through the plastic windshield, the report states.
Hall then got in the driver's seat and headed for Bay Lake, where he crashed into a pier, the manager told deputies. There, he jumped into the water and swam away until he started struggling, according to the report.
 
A Walt Disney World marine unit came to help, however, deputies said Hall yelled racial slurs and refused to get in the boat, the report states.
He then "dove below the surface beyond sight," the report states. When he came back up, Hall was going in and out of consciousness, gasping for breath, according to the report.
 
Deputies said someone from the marine unit jumped in, swam to him and pulled him into the boat.
 
Emergency medical crews met them on shore and took Hall to a local hospital, where he was treated and released.
 
He was then booked into the Orange County Jail on charges of disturbing the peace at a public lodging establishment, grand theft and criminal mischief, according to the report.
Deputies said the damage to the golf cart and pier cost about $5,000.
 
Hall is being held on $2,500 bail.

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Deadline Hollywood - With Inside Out one of the most warmly received films here in Cannes, Disney and Pixar rode the wave of good will this morning during a two-hour presentation of upcoming titles from both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. In contrast to Disney’s 25-minute CinemaCon showcase which was followed by a screening of Inside Out last month, there was much emphasis placed on the upcoming toons for an audience that lapped up every second. Chief Creative Officer of both Pixar and WDAS, John Lasseter, highlighted art and scenes from Thanksgiving release The Good Dinosaur; followed by 2016 sequel Finding Dory; animal tale Zootopia and Polynesia-set musical Moana.
 
A significant amount of time was devoted to The Good Dinosaur, a coming-of-age tale which has had its share of twists. It’s directed by Pete Sohn who stepped in for Bob Peterson after he departed in 2013, resulting in a release date change from May 2014 to November 25 this year. It will also play an exclusive preview engagement at Paris’ Grand Rex Theatre from November 14 in somewhat of a Disney tradition.
 
The Good Dinosaur follows teenager Arlo, who is separated from his family when he falls into a raging river and is swept hundreds of miles away. He comes across Spot, a human cave-boy orphan with whom he forms a bond as he attempts to get home. Lasseter said, “Our films ask ‘What if?’ questions. What if monsters really did live in your closet? What if a rat wanted to be the finest chef in the most beautiful city in the world? I think our next movie asks the biggest ‘What if?’ of all. What if the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs actually missed Earth?”
 
The footage shown today captivated the international audience assembled at the Olympia theater (lending extra overseas appeal, Lasseter noted that the hairdos on the film’s velociraptors are modeled after famous soccer players). Two French women sitting near me alternately gasped and whispered “extraordinaire” and “incroyable” when amazingly lifelike close-ups of CGI foliage were shown. The environment, Lasseter said, is “a living, breathing character” in the film. The level of believability we are striving to get into this film really is breathtaking.”
 
Next up was Finding Dory which asks the question “Where is Dory’s family?” Lasseter said, “That has been just bugging us since we made (Finding Nemo) and we thought this could be a great place to move forward.” Andrew Stanton returns to direct the movie that picks up six months after the original. Voiced again by Ellen DeGeneres, Dory’s memory of her childhood is triggered while she’s at school on the Coral Reef one day with Nemo. She makes her way to an institute that cares for undersea creatures and teams up there with Hank The Octopus who becomes her guide. Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy voice Dory’s parents and folks today were treated to some of their banter. There was also great footage of a kelp forest on California’s northern coastline (“a new look for us,” said Lasseter) and a glimpst of the Loons, to whom Lasseter referred as “the Seagulls of the new movie. They’re so startlingly dumb it’s hilarious.”
 
Once he was done with the Pixar slate, which also includes Toy Story 4 in a “brand new chapter that’s very personal,” Lasseter switched gears to Walt Disney Animation Studios. He marveled that it had been 10 years since he and partner Ed Catmull had taken over WDAS. “When we came in, we realized there was tremendous talent.” So they “redefined the culture to make it filmmaker driven.” Now, he says, after such mega-hits as Frozen and Big Hero 6, “Walt Disney Animation Studios is back. Ed and I always believed what would heal this studio — because it was quite broken when we came in, the morale was really low — what would really heal it is if we can make a movie to be a really big hit. These guys are on fire now.”
 
On deck for WDAS is Zootopia which looks like a whole lot of elevated fun and had the audience in stitches at certain points. Helmed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, it’s “classically Disney” in that there are talking animals. The story is set in a modern civilized world that is entirely inhabited by animals from all over the globe who walk upright, wear human clothes and use technology. But there are biases among them and natural enemies, say rabbits and foxes, don’t get along.
 
Jason Bateman voices a sly con-artist Fox and Ginnifer Goodwin is the glass-half-full bunny who is the first of her kind to join the Zootopia Police Force. The two are forced to pair up to locate a missing mammal in less than 48 hours. Eliciting huge laughs was a scene in which the unlikely partners are rushing to get a run on a license plate, only to find the DMV is fully staffed by sloths. This one has a March 4, 2016 release.
 
Musical adventure tale Moana from directors Ron Clements and John Musker is “inspired by the people and music and stories of the South Pacific,” Lasseter said. It was also inspired by the group’s own experience on a research trip to Oceana. The story follows a talented young navigator whose father forbids her to sail beyond their island’s reef. When she sets out anyway and ends up stranded on another island, she meets the fallen demi-god Maui and they set off on an adventure. A song montage was shown to Cannes attendees who showered it with applause while Moana‘s rendering of the ocean, which is also a character in the film, received hoots and hollers. Moana releases on November 23, 2016.
 
Finally, Lasseter offered up a sneak preview of Pixar artist Sanjay Patel’s Sanjay’s Super Team, a short that has its world premiere at the upcoming Annecy animation fest and which will play ahead of The Good Dinosaur when it hits theaters.
 
It’s been a big week for Disney in Europe. Along with the Cannes premiere of Inside Out, the studio held a press conference for Tomorrowland in London on Monday. That movie rolls out beginning today in 65 overseas markets including the key European centers — it’s currently No. 1 in Paris after its first showing this afternoon.

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PR Newswire - Disney Store today opened the doors of its flagship store in the popular Lujiazui area of Pudong, Shanghai, China. The landmark store is the largest retail space of any Disney Store in the world featuring 5000 square meters of immersive shopping experiences and innovative product, and also features an outdoor plaza.

 
 
"We couldn't be more delighted to open our first Disney Store in China, in Shanghai," said Mr. Paul Candland, President The Walt Disney Company, Asia-Pacific region. "Disney Store plays a critical role in how millions around the world experience our brand and allows kids, young adults and families to have a uniquely fun and immersive experience while shopping for their favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars products," he added.
 
The Chinese characters representing the specific date and time chosen to open its doors to the public – May 20 at 1:14 p.m., represents highly popular social media code among young people as a time to openly express love and long-term commitment to each other.

 
 
In a momentous week for The Walt Disney Company in China, the opening of the Disney Store in Shanghai comes one day after the topping of the Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort, which is due to open next year. "We want to thank the people of Shanghai for welcoming us to the City and could think of no better way than to open the store on May 20 at 1314 hours," said Mr. Candland.
 
With an estimated 40 million tourists visiting the Lujiazui area each year, the Disney Store, with its unique product range and entertaining, immersive and innovative design elements, is set to become a world-class destination and meeting point among locals contributing to Shanghai's reputation as a family, business, cultural, entertainment and tourism destination.

 
 
"We welcome the first Disney Store in China to Shanghai's Pudong District and are excited about the unique role it will play to bring a new energy to Lujiazui. The Disney store is a stunning new landmark of retail, tourism and culture in China," said Mr. Jian Danian, Deputy Governor of Pudong government.
 
The interior of the Shanghai Store was designed using Disney's award-winning, innovative format, featuring elements unique to the area that will surprise and delight Guests and bring to life the most popular characters from across Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars.

The store has numerous design features unique to Shanghai which include:
  • A Disney Magic Kingdom Castle, measuring 19 feet high (5.855m) at the heart of the store,  featuring an hourly musical and projection show
  • A one-of-a-kind Marvel area complete with hand-sculpted statues of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and an 8-foot-tall Hulk
  • A character balloon area with one-of-a kind sculpted hot-air balloons featuring Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Daisy, Donald, Pluto, and Chip and Dale
  • Unique Mickey Mouse-shaped roof sculpted with over 8,000 LED lights visible from key tourism vantage points such as the Pearl Tower
  • A landscaped plaza
Key features of the Disney Store Shanghai include:
  • Disney characters hidden in the 12ft tree landscape
  • A Disney Portal Gateway area features an impressive gateway inspired by Pixar's Monster's University and featuring all the latest in Disney entertainment
  • A crystal chandelier in the young-adult-female area where Tinker Bell can be found sprinkling her Pixie Dust
  • A Magical Mirror which entertains guests who stand in front of the mirror

To mark the opening of its first Store in the country, The Walt Disney Company in China has announced a RMB620 000 (US$100,000) charitable donation to the Shanghai Charity Foundation (Pudong Chapter) to support programs that benefit kids and families in the Pudong District, where the store is located.
 
"Disney is proud to support our local community and do what we can to help bring happiness and magic to kids and families in need," said Mr. Stanley Cheung, Chairman, The Walt Disney Company in China.
 
For regular updates on Disney Store China, please visit www.disneystore.cn.

About Disney Store
The Disney Store retail chain, which debuted in 1987, is owned and operated by Disney in North America, Europe, and Japan. Disney Store is the retail merchandising arm of Disney Consumer Products, the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) and its affiliates that extends the Disney brand to merchandise. Disney Store carries high-quality products, including exclusive product lines that support and promote Disney's key entertainment initiatives and characters. Disney Store opened its first store in Glendale, California and, in doing so, originated the themed retail business model. There are currently more than 200 Disney Store locations in North America; more than 40 Disney Store locations in Japan; and more than 70 Disney Store locations in Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, plus online stores www.DisneyStore.com, www.disneystore.co.uk, www.disneystore.fr, www.disneystore.de www.disneystore.se, www.disneystore.dk, www.disneystore.it, www.disneystore.es and www.disneystore.co.jp. Each Disney Store location offers a magical shopping experience that can only be delivered by Disney, one of the world's largest and most successful entertainment companies. For more information, please visit www.disneyconsumerproducts.com/press/us/disneystore or follow us at www.facebook.com/DisneyStore and www.twitter.com/DisneyStore.

About The Walt Disney Company in China
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments. Disney's first animation screened in China in the 1930s and today our long association continues with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou with over 3000 employees. The company is focused on creating high-quality entertainment experiences and effectively building local and Disney franchises in China. Disney currently has several established businesses in the country, including studio entertainment, parks and resorts, consumer products, media networks, interactive, and Disney English. In September 2005, Disney opened its doors to its first theme park in China, Hong Kong Disneyland and in 2011 announced ground breaking for Shanghai Disney Resort, a joint venture with Shanghai Shendi Group. On May 19th 2015, the Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disney Resort was topped out, and on May 20th Disney opened the doors of its first Disney Store in China, in Shanghai. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $48.8 billion in its Fiscal Year 2014. For more information about The Walt Disney Company please visit: http://corporate.disney.go.com/  

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Kotaku - The most frustrating aspect of Disney Infinity has been trying to collect all the game-enhancing Power Discs randomly packed in stupid blind bags. Almost as exciting as adding Star Wars characters, Infinity 3.0 is selling its Power Discs in a far less shady way.
 
Power Discs themselves are a cool idea—augmentations that unlock textures, items and costumes for use in Disney Infinity’s creative Toy Box mode. But what’s not cool is having to purchase those discs in blind packs of two, never knowing what you were going to get. Toss in a few super-rare Discs, and it’s frustration city with a large side of wasted cash.
 
Disney Infinity 3.0 will be selling its Power Discs in themed four-packs based on Disney properties or special events. Retailing at $9.99, each disc is clearly marked, and there’s no chance of doubles.
 
 Disney Infinity 3.0 Does Away With Blind-Bagged Power Discs
 
The Tomorrowland Power Disc Pack comes with four things.
  • The Retro Ray Gun will give players a blast from the past feel with a crimson and gold retro-futuristic weapon
     
  • Tomorrowland Time Bomb will unleash a powerful shockwave and temporarily freeze your opposition in time
     
  • Tomorrowland Stratosphere allows you to transform the Toy Box with amazing vista from the futuristic world of Tomorrowland (sky dome disc)
     
  • Tomorrowland Futurescape will allow players to experience the utopian city of Tomorrowland (terrain/texture customization disc)
     
Four things, all at once, no having to buy the one’s you’re missing off eBay.
Game producer John Vignocchi told Kotaku the new method of packaging Power Discs was in direct response to fan requests, and makes for a great way to easily provide content for Disney events. Me, I just like seeing what I am buying.

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ComicBook Movie - Back when Disney first announced Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Brad Bird was one of the studio's preferred choices to direct the movie. Having already helmed two critically lauded Pixar flicks in The Incredibles & Ratatouille, Bird clearly had strong ties to Disney, but he turned the movie down in order to pursue a different project for them: his original sci-fi/adventure, Tomorrowland.

While promoting the new movie (set to be released this Friday), the fan favorite director opened up to Yahoo! about his decision to turn down what would have been the biggest movie of his career:

"It absolutely was [a tough decision], but there was no way to do that film without junking this film, and we had already gotten George Clooney involved and I was excited about this film. I understand they had to get [The Force Awakens] made, and they would’ve had to push it in order for me to do it.”

Bird elaborated on these comments in another interview with IGN, claiming that, unlike his new movie, The Force Awakens was "going to get made whether [he did] it or not":

"I thought there's a chance that Tomorrowland wont get made, simply because it loses its momentum. A movie is a weird thing. It's not a tangible thing. You have this wispy cloud that you're trying to solidify and I thought that it deserved to be made. You know, Star Wars is a very robust thing right now and it's going to be fine."

Despite this, Bird noted he still had a lot of love for the revered sci-fi franchise. However, when Yahoo! pressed him about the upcoming spin-off Star Wars Anthology movies, he refused to get into that discussion, simply stating: "Right now I’m writing Incredibles 2, so I’ve got my hands full!"

Bird's decision to pursue a more original work like Tomorrowland over another franchise film was praised by many at the time, but with the movie sitting at 67% on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment, is it possible he made the wrong decision? That's debatable. Would you still like to see Bird involved in this next wave of Star Wars movies?

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Tuesday May 19, 2015

Watch Premiere Performances of ‘Paint the Night’ Parade and ‘Disneyland Forever’ Fireworks and Disneyland Resort 24-Hour Event LIVE on Disney Parks Blog

DisneyParks Blog - If you’re not one of the lucky Disney Parks Blog readers to join us for the premiere performances of “Paint the Night” parade and “Disneyland Forever" fireworks at Disneyland park on May 21, don’t worry! We will webcast both performances LIVE here on the Disney Parks Blog that evening.

You will be able to choose between four different views – two overlooking Sleeping Beauty Castle and two on Main Street, U.S.A. – all complete with sound! Check back here at approximately 8:30 p.m. PDT to watch “Paint the Night” parade and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks live from Disneyland park.
 
And come back bright and early the next morning for our live webcasts from the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-hour event! In addition to the four views from inside Disneyland park, we will be adding two more inside Disney California Adventure park: from Cars Land and Paradise Pier. Follow along with all the fun from at home!

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DisneyParks Blog - When the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration kicks off May 22, one of the brightest gems promises to be the new, state-of-the-art “Paint the Night” parade. This dazzling nighttime procession is led by Tinker Bell flying in a magical, musical overture, spreading pixie dust along the Disneyland parade route. Right on her tail (but never growing up!) is Peter Pan, perched high atop an enormous drum inspired by a float from the classic “Main Street Electrical Parade.”

 
 
And that’s not the only nod to Disneyland parade heritage. If you look closely, you may just spot a rosette taken from a light on one of the original Main Street Electrical Parade floats, hand-placed on the tip of Tinker Bell’s wand!
 
Of course, “Paint the Night” is just one facet of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, which is also bringing the all-new “World of Color – Celebrate!” and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular, all starting May 22.

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DisneyParks Blog - I had the pleasure of interviewing Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman again recently, this time for his work on the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, new for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. It’s such an honor every time I get a chance to chat with him. He’s as nice as you would imagine! This time I joined him and Broadway star Ashely Brown in a recording studio in Hollywood, Calif. Ashley had just flown in from New York to record Mr. Sherman’s latest masterpiece, “A Kiss Goodnight.” He wrote it for the new fireworks show, set to debut to guests on Friday, May 22, at Disneyland park. It’s a beautiful song, and Ashley has such a beautiful voice. I also learned that there’s a special reason why Richard chose the words, “A Kiss Goodnight,” and he explains in the video. Enjoy!
 
 

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Monday May 18, 2015
Disney Cruise Line Announces New Sailings from the Big Apple in 2016
Fuel Your 24-Hour Party Fun at Magic Kingdom Park on May 22
Here’s What You Need to Know to Line Up for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Event
Keep ‘Cool’ and Show Your #DisneySide at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration at Disney Parks
#DisneyKids: 24-hours of Fun for Little Ones at Walt Disney World

Disney Cruise Line Announces New Sailings from the Big Apple in 2016

DisneyParks Blog - The Disney Magic’s arrival to New York City today sparked a grand announcement: We’re returning to the Big Apple in 2016 for sailings to both the Bahamas and Canada!

 Disney Cruise Line returning to New York

And that’s not all … We also revealed that we’re sailing again from Miami and Galveston, Texas with new options from these popular homeports. Cruise Director Ray tells you all about it in this video. Check it out …

 

Here’s a snapshot of what’s in store for the fall of 2016 from New York, Miami and Galveston:

New York

  • Sailings from New York to the Bahamas include a visit to Walt Disney World Resort, plus a Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation between the ship and the resort. All New York to Bahamas voyages also include a stop at Castaway Cay.
  • One five-night voyage from New York to Canada stops in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick. Check out Arny’s post, A Glimpse of a Disney Cruise to Atlantic Canada, which includes a video from our first visit to these charming ports.

Miami

  • For the first time, we’re offering seven-night voyages from Miami to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, in addition to shorter options. All sailings from Miami include a stop at Castaway Cay.

Galveston

  • A variety of seven-night cruises are departing from Galveston, including Bahamian sailings and Western Caribbean sailings. Plus, for a quick getaway, we’re offering two four-night sailings to Cozumel.

Bookings for the new itineraries open to the public on May 20, 2015. More details can be found on the Itineraries and Ports for 2016 page of disneycruise.com.

Sailings from New York, Miami and Galveston are in addition to our ever-popular cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida. Which homeport do you plan to sail from in 2016?

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Fuel Your 24-Hour Party Fun at Magic Kingdom Park on May 22

DisneyParks Blog - We’re gearing up to have the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort, and what better way to kick it off than with a 24-Hour party at Magic Kingdom Park?

I have a few tips for finding great bites during the 24-Hour Party at Magic Kingdom Park:

For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with a cup of coffee and a pastry (or a cupcake; I don’t judge) from Main Street Bakery. A favorite for me are the waffles from Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square, delicious served topped with strawberries and whipped cream or as a ham and cheese omelet sandwich—either way, you can’t go wrong.

 

Cupcakes celebrating the 24-Hour Party will be available at Main Street Bakery and Gaston’s Tavern. Since we’re kicking off the Coolest Summer Ever, everything from cotton candy to our lemonade is turning blue!

For lunch, I love the Pot Roast Macaroni and Cheese or Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese from The Friar’s Nook. Or, still in Fantasyland, I enjoy watching the ‘it’s a small world’ boats drift by in Pinocchio Village Haus while enjoying one of their delicious flatbreads (the Caprese is my favorite—I love the juicy tomatoes and balsamic drizzle).

 

Hang loose during the Tomorrowland beach party, starting at 4 p.m., and grab a snack at The Lunching Pad, featuring a tropical watermelon lemonade, a special gourmet hot dog topped with pulled pork and cole slaw and a crisped rice treat shaped like a flip-flop available only during the beach party.

For dinner, ample seating and air conditioning can’t be beat—it’s the best way to recharge. Try the new Deluxe Chicken Sandwich with pepper jack cheese, bacon and chipotle mayo at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café, or try one of the new Rice Bowls (choose from beef or veggie) at Tortuga Tavern. In Liberty Square, the Seafood Mac and Cheese—cheesy goodness made with lobster and shrimp—and Chicken Pot Pie from Columbia Harbor House hit the mark for comfort food both entrees are only available after 4 p.m.

 

Looking for dessert? There’s nothing like watching Wishes from Main Street with a sundae from Plaza Ice Cream Parlor in hand—be sure to try Olaf’s take on this sweet treat! If dessert isn’t your thing, and you’re looking for a late-night snack instead, give the gourmet waffle fries from Golden Oak Outpost a try.

For the night owls who make it to the wee hours of the morning, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café will offer a breakfast plate loaded up with crispy bacon, fluffy scrambled eggs and herb-crusted roasted red skin potatoes.

 

My fellow Disney Parks Blog author, Pam Brandon, will be giving you east-coast food updates on May 22, and I’ll be live-blogging the Disneyland Diamond Celebration Kickoff in California!

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Here’s What You Need to Know to Line Up for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Event

 Mickey Mouse and his Friends in their Pajamas in Front of the Main Street Train Station at Disneyland Park

DisneyParks Blog - The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration kicks off this week with a 24-hour event on May 22-23 at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks! Some of you may be planning to arrive early in the hopes of being among the first to celebrate with us. If so, I’ve got some important information to share with you.

Parking

  • Pumbaa lot will open for early arrivals at 10 p.m. the evening of May 21.
  • Mickey & Friends Parking Structure will open at 4 a.m. and Toy Story Lot will open at 5 a.m. on May 22.

Pre-Opening Queue

  • Guests may bring games, blankets, chairs, tents and sleeping bags, but guests must return these items to their cars or hotel rooms and return to the line by 2 a.m.
  • At 2 a.m., all guests in line will be moved through Security checkpoints to the Disneyland Resort Esplanade, where they will receive a commemorative keepsake while supplies last.
  • No smoking, fighting or loud music will be allowed in line.
  • All guests in line will be able to temporarily leave the line to use the restroom, purchase food or beverages, and return or retrieve items from their vehicles/hotel rooms.

Opening Celebration

  • At 4 a.m., guests who choose to begin their day at Disneyland park will be escorted onto Main Street, U.S.A., to prepare for the opening celebration moment, which will take place at approximately 6 a.m. inside Disneyland park.
  • Guests who choose to begin their day at Disney California Adventure park will be escorted onto Buena Vista Street at 5:30 a.m.

Costumes and Prohibited Items

  • Costumes for adults are not allowed for this event. Please refer to the guidelines listed here.
  • Be sure to check the list of prohibited items here.
  • Lockers in the Disneyland Resort Esplanade and inside Disneyland park will be available at 4 a.m. Disney California Adventure park lockers will be available at 5:30 a.m.

Tickets

  • Regular park admission used on May 22 is valid for the entire 24-hour period (6 a.m. on May 22 through 6 a.m. on May 23). A special ticket is not required for this event.
  • Disneyland Resort ticket booths will open at 2 a.m. on May 22.
  • SoCal and SoCal Select Annual Passports will not be valid for admission on May 22.
  • Premium, Deluxe and Premier Annual Passports will be valid for admission during the entire 24-hour period.

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Keep ‘Cool’ and Show Your #DisneySide at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration at Disney Parks

DisneyParks Blog - The 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration is the exciting start to the “Coolest Summer Ever” at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort and launches the Diamond Celebration at Disneyland Resort. This event is a 24-hour party within the theme parks – from coast to coast!

There will be guests showing their #DisneySide in their favorite costumes and Disney-inspired outfits. I wanted to share a few ways to show your sporty #DisneySide at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration, as well as some tips from our friends at New Balance to keep comfortable if you plan on staying on your feet the majority of the day.

Here are some outfits I pieced together that will be comfortable, stylish and show your #DisneySide from the Disney Store, New Balance and Champion.

Adult:

 Keep 'Cool' and Show Your Disney Side at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration at Disney Parks Keep 'Cool' and Show Your Disney Side at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration at Disney Parks

Children:

 Keep 'Cool' and Show Your Disney Side at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration at Disney Parks Keep 'Cool' and Show Your Disney Side at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration at Disney Parks

New Balance Tips for the 24-Hour Event

Possible Rain or Sweat?
Don’t worry! Stuff your kicks with some newspaper heel to toe, let them sit overnight to absorb moisture. Don’t put your shoes in the dryer; it’ll hurt the materials!

Wiggle Room
You’re used to a size 8 in those heels? Bump it up about a half size from your street shoe to your running shoes. It’s a good thing to have some wiggle room in the front of your shoes for your toes to splay. Minor foot swelling is also common when we spend long days walking or running on our feet, so make sure to have at least a thumbs nail length of toe room for those little piggies.

Lace with Attention
Be careful how you lace up your shoes. It’s great to lock in the heel, but don’t put too much pressure on that instep. Your feet will thank us come dinnertime.

Legs Up the Wall
Long day on your legs? Lie flat on the ground with your legs at a 90-degree angle up the wall or on the back of a couch. This very common yoga position is thought to increase blood flow to the heart. Give circulation a refresh in those stems and get back out there.

Type of Ride
Just like attractions can differ, so too do the rides of a shoe! Make sure you’re happy with the ride you select for the entire day – sandals may be too thin. If you have a few pairs of sneakers to choose from, try out the level of cushioning to ensure it’s plush enough or light enough to carry you through this adventure!

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#DisneyKids: 24-hours of Fun for Little Ones at Walt Disney World

DisneyParks Blog - If you have young kids, a 24-hour event might not seem like a natural fit for you, but there are actually a lot of activities during the 24-hour kickoff to the Coolest Summer Ever at Magic Kingdom Park that are perfect for little ones. If your kids are anything like mine, they are often awake at dawn and ready to go. Next Friday, May 22, when they’re up before the sun, you can bring them to our party – which starts at 6 a.m. at the Magic Kingdom Train Station with Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf. Throughout the day, there are all kinds of special events that kids will love:

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  • Disney Channel stars will appear as Grand Marshals for the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” at 3 p.m.
  • Disney Channel Club Chill will open in Tomorrowland at 4 p.m. with DJ Frost leading a dance party with music videos from Disney Channel stars.

In between all of the one-day-only fun, be sure to use the My Disney Experience app to select FastPasses for favorite attractions and character meet & greets. You can also use the app in the park to find things like attraction height requirements and even the nearest restrooms – a must for potty training parents!

If you’re going to stay for the amazing Wishes fireworks show in the evening, be sure to pack snacks and pjs to keep little ones comfortable. But don’t worry if you forget something, our Baby Care Centers are fully stocked with everything from diapers and training pants to toddler food and sunscreen.

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Sunday May 17, 2015
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