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 Disney Parks Releases 
New Cars Land Neon Merchandise at Disney California Adventure Park

They say when the cat's away, the mice will play. That general rule applied here. While I was out of town visiting our Disney Theme Park Merchandise offices based on the east coast, my friends and fellow colleagues had some fun in the sun, showing off some of the new Neon Cars Land 'At-Tire,' which recently made its way down Route 66 and into Ramone's House of Body Art and Radiator Springs Curios in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park.

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Capturing some of the most notable locales in Cars Land, these T-shirts and tanks can be paired with anything from jeans to skirts. Of course, the hats are a great addition to any look!

Special Tip: One of the coolest features on these items is the glow-in-the-dark and neon embellishment that has been added to certain areas on the print. Look at the zzz's that appear on the Cozy Cone Motel or the logo on the Cars Land T-shirt.

Here are a few other things that got my wheels spinning. The Cozy Cone Motel light-up magnet and keychain, and of course, our trading pins. Take a look!
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Will you go with the 'Flo' or 'Cozy' up with any of these designs?

New Cars Land Neon Merchandise at Disney California Adventure Park by Michelle Harker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Festival of the Masters Update

If you've been to Downtown Disney or read our Blog lately, you know changes are coming. The area is undergoing the largest expansion in its history. As we prepare for Disney Springs, much of the area that traditionally houses the Festival of the Masters is unavailable due to expansion work and unfortunately we will not be able to host the event.

We appreciate the enthusiastic support we've received from the arts community, both locally and nationally, which has contributed to the long-running success of the Festival. Walt Disney World Resort is a strong supporter of the arts and we remain committed to nurturing the arts.

We ask for your patience and understanding during this time of growth and look forward to building new memories with you at Disney Springs.

Festival of the Masters Update by Thomas Smith: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Perfect Pre-Dinner Fun: Wine Pairings at Martha's Vineyard at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Tucked in a quiet corner of Disney's Beach Club Resort, Martha's Vineyard is one of our favorite quiet spots for a pre-dinner cocktail or a light bite. And now, new late-afternoon wine pairings combine food and wine with a little enlightenment, with wine experts on hand to talk about what you're sipping.

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Upcoming dates are 4-5:15 p.m. September 4, September 25, October 2 and October 30. Wineries aren't yet announced (the last one was France's Louis Jadot), but the Disney chefs are having fun with pairing delicious food with whatever is poured - we tried a mild white fish with dry Pouilly-Fuissé, a seafood paella with fresh Chardonnay and a strong red Beaujolais-Villages with a chocolate flourless cake and cherry sorbet. The wine expert and the chef are a delightful duo as they lead guests through the hour-long tasting. No need to takes notes, they'll send you home with a bookmark that tells about the wines.

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It's an intimate setting - no more than 18 guests, and the conversation flows with the wine. Cost varies, but is in the $20-30 range for three wines paired with three small plates, and price depends on what's being poured.

For reservations, call 407-934-3833.

Perfect Pre-Dinner Fun: Wine Pairings at Martha's Vineyard at Disney's Beach Club Resort by Pam Brandon: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Double Rainbow Fills Sky at Magic Kingdom Park

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There's nothing unusual about getting some rain this time of year at Walt Disney World Resort. But the double-rainbow that appeared after a recent storm at Magic Kingdom Park was anything but ordinary. Cast member Brian Hicks captured a series of beautiful shots and we wanted to share them with Disney Parks Blog readers.

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Double Rainbow Fills Sky at Magic Kingdom Park by Thomas Smith: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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This 'Spoonful of Sugar' is (Almost) Too Cute to Eat at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe at Disneyland Park

You'll find this adorable little sweet for just 10 days, August 22-31, at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe in Disneyland park, and we know you'll want a picture before you take a bite. This "Mary Poppins"-themed Spoonful of Sugar involves pâte à choux, chocolate caramel ganache, rainbow sprinkles, chocolate pastry cream, dark chocolate gloss, white chocolate coating, a sugar penguin and marshmallows. A lot of work for a single bite. And it's just $3.29.
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If this revs up your sweet tooth, the Disneyland Resort pastry chefs have added a dozen more new delights that should be on the menu until early September. Mickey-shaped French macaroons are flavored with raspberry rose and passion fruit. Other fruity desserts include a Meyer lemon strawberry tart, pineapple bundt cake, blueberry cheesecake, lemon honey cupcake, orange crème brûlée and a banana cream éclair. Chocolate fans will love the red velvet whoopie pie and the chocolate brownie mousse. Add a vanilla cream éclair and an oat bran muffin to round out the diverse options.

Mickey Macaroons at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe at Disneyland Park Pineapple Bundt Cake at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe at Disneyland Park Whoopie Pie at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe at Disneyland Park

If you prefer something savory with your sweets, Jolly Holiday Bakery Café also offers sandwiches, generous salads, soups and quiche.


For more about Jolly Holiday Bakery Café in Disneyland park, check out the posts below:

This 'Spoonful of Sugar' is (Almost) Too Cute to Eat at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe at Disneyland Park by Pam Brandon: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Wildlife Wednesday: Welcome a Sumatran Tiger to Disney's Animal Kingdom!

Sohni is a name of Hindi origin which means beautiful. This is certainly a fitting name for the newest tiger that can be seen at Disney's Animal Kingdom on the Maharajah Jungle Trek, a self-guided walking tour set in the land of Asia.

The Maharajah Jungle Trek is home to many different species including komodo dragons, birds, bats and hoof-stock. Until very recently only one species of tiger could be found on this trail, but with Sohni's arrival comes increased diversity in the form of a Sumatran tiger, a species that is only found in the wild on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. To help you identify the difference, remember that Sumatran tigers are the smallest of the tiger subspecies. Females weigh between 165 - 242 lbs. and males weigh between 220 - 310 lbs.

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Human population growth has dramatically reduced the tigers' natural habitat. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered and it is estimated that there are fewer than 500 individuals left in the wild. You can help protect tigers and many other species by supporting conservation organizations through contributions or volunteering.
You can learn more about tigers including Sohni on your next visit, but until then here are a few tiger fun facts:

  • Tigers mark their territory with visual signals, such as scratches on a tree or on the ground, and chemical signals, such a spraying a tree with urine and scent gland secretions.
  • Tigers can be extremely swift for short distances, running 30 to 35 mph, and can leap impressive distances averaging 13 feet.
  • Tigers seem to enjoy water and can swim well. They use rivers and lakes to seek relief from the heat and to catch fish.
  • Tigers are carnivores and are the top predators in their ecosystem. A male tiger in the wild requires nearly 3 tons of food per year.
Wildlife Wednesday: One of These Is Not Like the Other - Welcome a Sumatran Tiger to Disney's Animal Kingdom! Wildlife Wednesday: One of These Is Not Like the Other - Welcome a Sumatran Tiger to Disney's Animal Kingdom!

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) supports local and global nonprofit organizations that address the planet's most urgent conservation issues including tigers around the world. In spring 2013, the DWCF supported an emergency request to assist the rehabilitation of orphaned tiger cubs in Russia. For more information and an update on the tigers supported in this project, check out the video on IFAW's website.

Wildlife Wednesday: Welcome a Sumatran Tiger to Disney's Animal Kingdom! by Jill Piltz: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Everything You Need to Know to Attend Villains Unleashed at Disney's Hollywood Studios

More than 50 Disney villains are set to rule Disney's Hollywood Studios on August 23, as a part of the new Villains Unleashed event.

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Villains Unleashed, which is a one-night event that requires a separate party ticket, will feature appearances by rare villains, meet-and-greet opportunities, an Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show, "Villainy in the Sky" Fireworks and much more.

The park will be buzzing with activity and fun that night. Here are some tips on how to make the most of it!

  • Parking - Guests arriving by car for Villains Unleashed should come through the Main Auto Plaza, the south entrance located off US-192 and World Drive. The satellite entrance (across from the Hess station) will be closed for this event.
  • Arrive Early - The party starts at 8 p.m., but guests with an event ticket can enter the park as early as 5 p.m.
  • Event Guide - Pick up an Event Guide for show times and details on which characters can be found in different areas.

  • Kick Off The Party At Hades Hangout - The fun begins at 8 p.m. at Hades Hangout as he summons the villains for the night's festivities.
  • Meet Characters - Villains available for character greetings will have established queues with posted appearance times. There will be separate queues for each villain, so you can be sure of meeting the one you want.
  • Fantasmic! - Arrive early so you don't miss the pre-show with the Night Crawlers (starts at 9:35 p.m.).
  • Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show - Four showings during the night at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 p.m. (Some content may be too intense for young children.)
  • See Special Fireworks -- "Villainy in the Sky" starts at 12:45 a.m. Excellent viewing is available in front of the Sorcerer Hat, and all along Hollywood Blvd.



See the posts below for more about Villains Unleashed:

Everything You Need to Know to Attend Villains Unleashed at Disney's Hollywood Studios by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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A Beautiful Day to Debut a New Bridge and Boat Dock at Downtown Disney

Ninety degrees, clear blue skies and the sort of fluffy white clouds you see in magazine advertisements - it was a perfect morning to officially open the new Marketplace Boat Dock and Saratoga Bridge at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Earlier today, I joined Vice President of Downtown Disney, Keith Bradford, along with cast members and guests who had gathered to celebrate the milestone- one of many that will ultimately take place as the property undergoes the largest expansion in its history, as it transforms to Disney Springs.
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The newly-opened bridge offers a pedestrian-friendly connection between Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and more than 70 shopping, dining and entertainment offerings available at Downtown Disney. In addition, the Marketplace Boat Dock, now conveniently located near the Marketplace Bus Loop, provides easy access to the West Side and Pleasure Island. Guests aboard the complimentary water taxi may even learn more about what's on the horizon (literally!) as they travel from district-to-district.

One of my favorite views of Downtown Disney is from this new vantage point; with a view of the entire complex, it's a great reminder of how much there is to see and do (which, I'll admit, I sometimes take for granted, since I'm here every day)!
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Want to experience it for yourself? The Marketplace Boat Dock operates daily starting at 10:30 a.m., weather permitting. Take a ride, then let me know what you think in the comments below!


For more on Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, read the posts below:

A Beautiful Day to Debut a New Bridge and Boat Dock at Downtown Disney by Darcy Clark: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Menehune Adventure Trail

The legendary Menehune are mischievous little people with magical powers ?who live in the forest and only come out at night. Menehune statues are hidden throughout Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Look for them along the Waikolohe stream, along walking paths, in phone booths, elevators ... pretty much anywhere! In fact, so many are hidden in the Waikolohe Valley that Aunty has enlisted Aulani guests to help find them on the Menehune Adventure Trail. Using interactive handsets, your 'ohana can set out on ?30 challenges that immerse you in the mysteries, legends and lore of Hawai'i. The Menehune supply plenty of enchantment along the way! The "Unforgettable Details of Aulani" series continues today with ?an inside look at some of the secrets you will discover on the Menehune Adventure Trail.

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  • Lava Tube: Deep inside the Pu'u Kilo in the Waikolohe Valley, you might stumble upon a lava tube filled with magma. Watch out -- it just may explode! You'll need the help of the Menehune to divert the magma, avoiding trouble. During this mission to save the island, guests can sense the impressive sights and sounds of a lava flow.
  • Hula Drums: One of Aunty's friends, Kani, is a master hula teacher who just uncovered an old video of her mother dancing the hula. However, the video has a minor technical difficulty -- it doesn't have any sound! Aunty turns to you and the Menehune to find the right rhythm for the chant using magical instruments along the trail.
  • Kapa: A traditional Hawaiian barkcloth, Kapa is the focal point of one of my favorite missions along the Menehune Adventure Trail. Aunty informs you that a young woman is about to be married, but her mother's wedding gift, a kapa cloth, remains unfinished. With the help of the Menehune, you can help calm the mother-of-the-bride and complete the magically illuminated pattern.

Now is the best time to explore the Menehune Adventure Trail and more on a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! Book a consecutive four-night or more stay now through October 30, 2014, for travel between August 15 and December 22 (excluding November 26-29), and receive the fourth night free! Learn more about this great vacation offer here.


For more from the "Unforgettable Details of Aulani" series, visit the posts below:

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All in the Details: Imagineers Unveil the Storyline of Disney Springs

How does Walt Disney Imagineering re-imagine an area of Walt Disney World Resort that guests have enjoyed for more than 40 years?

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That's the creative challenge our Imagineering team, including Executive Creative Director Theron Skees, has been tasked with -- to transform the area currently known as Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a destination that's being expanded to include more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment experiences. From an Imagineering perspective, this means developing a storyline and creating a sense of time and place that influences everything from the architecture to the costumes.

We were also excited to share that our Imagineers will continue to share updates here in our "All in the Details" series in the coming months as their work progresses. Here's the first piece, in which Theron introduces the Disney Springs project and Imagineering's role in it.

The first "neighborhood" in Disney Springs -- the opening of The Landing -- is set for 2015. Construction on Disney Springs will continue into 2016, so be sure to stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more behind-the-scenes looks at the progress happening as Downtown Disney transforms into Disney Springs.


For more about Disney Springs, visit the stories below:

All in the Details: Imagineers Unveil the Storyline of Disney Springs by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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