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 Disney Parks Releases 
A 'Hollywood' Classic: The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The 25th anniversary of Disney's Hollywood Studios is fast approaching on May 1, and in honor of the upcoming park milestone, Disney Parks Blog author Nate Rasmussen and I will be taking a look back at some of the park's original attractions.
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A 'Hollywood' Classic: The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios A 'Hollywood' Classic: The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios A 'Hollywood' Classic: The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios

One of my all-time favorites that you can still experience today is 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." Other guest-favorite scenes include a spooky stop through some of the first horror films ever produced, a perilous scene for Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark", and the moment Dorothy and friends come into sight of the Emerald City.

Did you know that the Western scene, which features both Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, was designed to represent multiple films, instead of one film in particular? Fans of those ol' Westerns may be interested to know that John Wayne's horse isn't one specific horse from a film, but was designed as a composite of horses from his different films.

Which film scene in The Great Movie Ride is your favorite? Tell us in the "Comments" section below.

A 'Hollywood' Classic: The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Disneyland Resort Pin Trading Challenge

If you know, me, you know I'm always up for a challenge. So when my dear friend and fellow Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover challenged me to a Disney Parks Blog Pin Trading Challenge at Disneyland Resort, I said, "I'm in!"

What would the challenge entail? Erin and I headed into Disneyland Resort with rarely seen Disney Parks Blog pins in hopes that we could make some great trades with Disney fans and take part in some of the fun activities and trading opportunities available. You truly have to see this for yourself!

As you can tell, we had a lot of fun trading, and we only visited a handful of locations. There are so many more places you can go. Remember you can also trade with any cast member and other guests.

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Disney California Adventure park

  • Fly 'n' Buy
  • Julius Katz & Sons
  • Radiator Springs Curios
  • Souvenir 66
  • Tower Hotel Gifts

Downtown Disney District

I always say, Pin Trading is as easy as 1-2-3. There are just a few things to remember. Here are some guidelines on Disney Trading to help get you started. Tip: Keep an eye out for Hidden Mickey pins, generally found on Disneyland Resort cast member lanyards.

My own personal tip on trading: I always say trade for pins that mean something to you, whether it's a favorite character, attraction or icon. Trade for things you love. Pin trading can be fun by yourself or with the entire family. It's a great way to meet new friends, visit with old ones and share stories. Remember, Disney pins and trading are popular at many of our Disney Parks & Resorts.

Now, back to business, the competition is still on and we need your help! Both Erin and I are convinced we each have the best pins on our lanyard, so share your comments with us and let us know who you think has the better pins.

Disneyland Resort Pin Trading Challenge by Michelle Harker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Magic in the Details: World-Class Accommodations and Dining on a Disney Cruise

When you think about what sets Disney apart, what is it that comes to mind? My guess is that most of you will agree it's attention to detail. No matter where you vacation with Disney, it's easy to tell right away the thought that's put behind even the smallest of things. It's what we call "magic in the details."

This month we shared with you some of the magical details you'll find on a Disney cruise, from dazzling entertainment for the whole family to activities catered to kids and adults. Today, take a closer look at the world-class accommodations and dining you can expect when sailing with us.

What other ways do you notice the Disney difference on a Disney cruise?

Magic in the Details: World-Class Accommodations and Dining on a Disney Cruise by Jonathan Frontado: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Finish that Disney Parks Sign: A Perfect Morning Treat

Have you spotted this sign on the side of an oversized cereal box at Disney's Hollywood Studios? It describes everything you need in your cereal bowl for a perfect ___. What are the blurred words in the sign? You tell us in the "Comments" section below. We'll update the post later today with the answer.

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Finish that Disney Parks Sign: A Perfect Morning Treat by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Wildlife Wednesdays: The Seas with Nemo & Friends Earns Praise for Conservation Efforts, Animal Care from Accrediting Association

Earth Month is a time when we give extra thought to how we can protect our planet year-round, including our amazing oceans and marine wildlife. So it is with tremendous pride that I share the news that The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot was granted accreditation once again by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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"The Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredits only those aquariums and zoos that meet the highest standards," said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. "As a leader in wildlife conservation and animal care, inspiring millions of visitors each year, The Seas is ranked among the best aquariums in the world."

To be accredited, The Seas underwent a thorough review to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care; veterinary programs; conservation, research and education; safety; guest services; and quality of staff.

The accreditation process, which must be repeated in its entirety every five years, includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observed all aspects of the operation at The Seas, and met with and interviewed Seas and other Disney leadership and Cast.

Some of the points of particular achievement noted by the inspection team included:

  • The Seas conservation programs, including its partnership with the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and conservation efforts in the state of Florida and beyond.
  • Education programs that address both local and global conservation, including guests with special needs.
  • Excellence in animal care, including enrichment, a strong program of veterinary care and nutrition, and research projects that foster animal health and knowledge focused on animals at The Seas and in the wild.
  • Staff who are dedicated, knowledgeable and exhibit a spirit of teamwork.

Being accredited by the AZA is an important way the team at The Seas with Nemo & Friends shows how much they care about connecting people with animals, and inspiring families and children to protect wildlife and nature.

Wildlife Wednesdays: The Seas with Nemo & Friends Earns Praise for Conservation Efforts, Animal Care from Accrediting Association by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D.: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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The History of the Walt Disney World Monorail: Mark VI, 1989-Present

The Mark VI Monorail made its debut at Walt Disney World Resort in June 1989. Below is a look at one of the first trains being loaded onto the monorail track.

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The Mark VI trains had wider monorail doors, improved air conditioning (great for that warm, summer Florida weather) and communication systems and increased interior height for standees.

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The first two Mark VI Monorails were operated and tested at night without guests until December 1989 when Monorail Blue started transporting guests. This new fleet of monorail trains, built by Bombardier, increased guest capacity by 30 percent.

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Today, the Mark VI Monorail trains carry an average of 16 million passengers annually at the Walt Disney World Resort, and is still one of the coolest "non-attraction" attractions, in my opinion, at Walt Disney World Resort.

See the posts below for more on the history of Monorails at Disney Parks:

The History of the Walt Disney World Monorail: Mark VI, 1989-Present by Nate Rasmussen: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Sushi Takes Center Stage at Kona Cafe at Disney's Polynesian Resort

Sushi is on a roll at Kona Cafe at Disney's Polynesian Resort - for dinner, the little Kona Island sushi bar in the upstairs lobby is now an extension of the restaurant, and the sushi is crafted in the dining room in the former dessert show kitchen, giving chefs plenty of room to create specialties from sashimi and simple rolls to more elaborate combos such as the Caterpillar Roll (inside-out tuna roll, shrimp salad, tempura crunch and avocado) or the Lava Roll (togarashi-spiced tempura shrimp, bay scallops, spicy mayo and chives).

Sushi Takes Center Stage at Kona Cafe at Disney's Polynesian Resort Sushi Takes Center Stage at Kona Cafe at Disney's Polynesian Resort

If you enjoyed the Kona Island sushi bar before, you can still grab a seat there, no reservations required, and the entire restaurant menu is also available. (We're partial to the sticky wings and Pan-Asian noodles with shrimp.) But now you can start with a little sake and more than a dozen choices on the sushi menu.

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And java fans will be happy to know that Kona Island is still the spot to grab a delicious cup of coffee and pastry in the mornings - it's right next to the resort's monorail station.

Sushi Takes Center Stage at Kona Cafe at Disney's Polynesian Resort by Pam Brandon: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Four New Disney Attraction Poster-Inspired T-Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store in April 2014

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This year, we've been featuring a series of Disney Parks' attraction poster T-shirts on our Disney Parks online store. These shirts are sold for a limited period of time, and feature some pretty amazing art of things I love at Disney Parks! Today, I'm happy to share details about four new T-shirts coming to the online shop in April. Once again, Disney Design Group Artist Richard Terpstra was inspired by posters featured in the outstanding "Poster Art of the Disney Parks" book by Vanessa Hunt and Danny Handke (a must have book for any Disney fan!).

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From April 15-20, the Disney Parks online store will release two T-shirts - a purple shirt celebrating Fantasyland at Disneyland park, and a green shirt featuring the Sunshine Tree Terrace at Magic Kingdom Park. The original Fantasyland attraction poster referenced for the purple tee was created in 1955 by Bjorn Aronson.

For the green t-shirt, many readers may recall seeing this attraction poster when the Orange Bird returned to the Sunshine Tree Terrace in April 2012. I can't wait to wear mine while enjoying a citrus swirl in Adventureland (does anyone care to join me?).

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Then, from April 22-27, we salute the 50th anniversary of two classic Disney attractions - "it's a small world" and Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress. Both attractions debuted at the 1964 New York World's Fair and later found their way to Disney Parks. For these T-shrts, we will offer both adult and kids sizes.

The "it's a small world" shirt was inspired by the attraction poster designed by Paul Hartley in 1966. The Carousel of Progress shirt references a design from 1967 by Ken Chapman (I want to be that guy pictured at right living in Progress City!).

To find these T-shirts, I invite you to visit http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents during the dates referenced above. The shirts will ship in 6-8 weeks once orders are completed (express shipping is not available).

Four New Disney Attraction Poster-Inspired T-Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store in April 2014 by Steven Miller: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Rave Reviews for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park

I recently asked Disneyland park guests to review the newly refurbished Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. While it was the return of a Frontierland favorite for some and a pioneer trip on the train for others, all passengers agreed it's still the "wildest ride in the wilderness."

Have you had a chance to take a tour on the runaway ghost train since it reopened? If so, what did you think?

Rave Reviews for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park by Shannon Swanson: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Celebrities Help Announce Disney Junior's Give a Book, Get a Book and a Donation of up to 1 Million Books

Disney Junior announced its new Give a Book, Get a Book program in a big way this past weekend, as Disney Junior stars Ariel Winter and Tim Gunn (of "Sofia the First") and David Arquette (of "Jake and the Never Land Pirates") performed a storybook reading at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Anaheim, Calif.

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Through Give a Book, Get a Book, Disney will partner with First Book to provide for the donation of up to 1 million books to U.S. communities in need, and also present families with free digital books from Disney Publishing Worldwide. The program includes a redemption code offering a free Disney Digital book and a way for families to experience giving back by donating books to the community of their choice after purchasing a specially-marked Disney Junior book or product.

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Families and children gathered around at the Disneyland Hotel to listen to the celebrity readers. They also enjoyed hearing a story read by LeVar Burton, children's literacy advocate and Cofounder and Curator-in-Chief of the award-winning Reading Rainbow app. Burton spoke about the importance of building literacy and of storytelling in the digital age.

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Storytelling is the foundation of Give a Book, Get a Book, designed to inspire parents and caregivers to spend time each day sharing stories that help develop the critical thinking, vocabulary and language skills a preschooler needs. The initiative includes public service announcements, interactive Radio Disney events, and free story time events at Boys & Girls Clubs of America Disney Store locations, starting April 21.

Details are available at the new website, www.giveabookgetabook.com. Families can find online activities there and also access resources that promote the value of storytelling.

Celebrities Help Announce Disney Junior's Give a Book, Get a Book and a Donation of up to 1 Million Books by Michele Himmelberg: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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