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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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This week, we featured some "must-see" time-lapse videos on the Disney Parks Blog, including an amazing look at the all-new Disney's Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Holiday Ice Castle inspired by Disney's blockbuster film, "Frozen".

Watch our video and try to find Olaf. He's hidden 14 places in the display. Pam also included more details about the 17-foot-tall masterpiece in her original story.

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We also kicked off a new series at Disney's Contemporary Resort this week. Our "Room with a View" stories will feature suites at the Walt Disney World Resort that have something special in common - a spectacular view.

Our first room with a view is a Club Level 1 Bedroom Theme Park View Suite on the 14th floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort. You can see more images as well as book a stay at the Resort in our original story.

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

Mad T Party Steps Out of Disney California Adventure Park and Back Through the Looking Glass November 30 -- Mad T Party will leave Disney California Adventure park after its November 30 performance. This is your chance to travel down the rabbit hole one more time!

Disneyland Resort Entertainment Team Shares Their Favorite Festive Feature for 'it's a small world' Holiday -- Watch as the same team behind Haunted Mansion Holiday's magical makeover tells us about their favorite holiday enhancements at another famous attraction!

Visions of the Future Spring Up at Downtown Disney -- Get a few more glimpses of the future as Downtown Disney continues to undergo its transformation into Disney Springs.

Planning for a Day at Castaway Cay -- Dolly from the Disney Parks Moms Panel shares some of the excellent activities to take part in on this island paradise!

Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: What's in the Name? -- Learn the significance behind the name of Disney's beautiful resort on O'ahu, and how it seeks to celebrate Hawai'i's rich legacy of storytelling.

Runners Show Off Their 'Super Hero Side' at Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon -- Meet some of the super heroes who ran the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon last weekend.

December 2014 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort -- Disney Parks Blog author Michelle Harker shares some of the details on merchandise events coming to Disneyland Resort in December.

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap by Thomas Smith: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: A Happy Birthday to Mickey Mouse

Earlier this week, we celebrated Mickey Mouse's birthday with a "Mickey takeover" of the Disney Parks Blog.

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Our favorite pal was brought into existence by creator Walt Disney on November 18, 1928. Be sure to click through the gallery above to see photos of Mickey Mouse throughout the history of our parks.

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: A Happy Birthday to Mickey Mouse by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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The Beautifully Disney 'Frozen' Collection Debuts at Disney Parks

A flurry of excitement is swirling at Disney Parks. Why? The 'cool' new collection from Beautifully Disney debuting in stores now will undoubtedly melt your heart with its spectrum of colors inspired by the award-winning film, "Frozen."

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New to the collection this year is the Rollerball Eye Shadow set. Designed with rollerball tip for effortless application, the lightweight, shimmering silver-toned Elegant Ice and golden-toned Sparkling eye shadows glide on with seamless precision for illuminated eyes. The shimmery loose shadows add dimension and light, creating a delicate dance of glistening crystals for your eyes. Tip: Simply glide the rollerball directly onto the eyelid for a subtle touch of glamour.

Do you want to build ... the perfect manicure? The whimsical winter colors of Spiraling Snow, Magnificent Power, Frozen Queen and Miss Royal Pants will help you do just that! Sparkling Snow is, of course, one of my favorites as it leaves me with a glittering feeling of fallen snowflakes on my fingertips. Those who are a bit more daring might find Magnificent Power a bit cooler for their taste.

One of this year's must-have items includes the newly designed eye shadow palette featuring eight different shades ranging from warm earth tones to fun frosty hues. Discover the magic inside as you mix and match colors to create your own look. Tip: Use colors like Crystal Snowflake and Powers Unleashed to create a classic and regal looking cat-eye. Or try shades like Touched By Magic and Follow Your Heart for a simple yet elegant twist.

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Your look is almost complete ... the final touch: the lips. Find which one of the mini-lipstick sets suits your style, whether it is the soft pink of Regal Beauty, the rich mauve of Radiant Heart, the vibrant fuchsia of Queen To Be or the daring violet shade of Optimistic. Tip: These mini lipsticks are easy to take with you and create the perfect application for any occasion.

Look for this new collection and other fan favorites in stores now at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, including the following locations:

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  • Downtown Disney District -- Disney Vault 28
  • Disneyland park - Disney Clothiers
  • Disney California Adventure park - Elias & Co.
  • Walt Disney World Resort

  • Downtown Disney Marketplace -- Marketplace Co-Op - Beautifully Disney
  • I know this new collection is on my list of things to pick up this holiday season. Is it on yours?

    The Beautifully Disney 'Frozen' Collection Debuts at Disney Parks by Michelle Harker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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    Disneyland Resort Cast Members Grant Nearly $2.2M to Southern California Nonprofits Since 1997

    Cast members say that one of the best parts of working for the Disneyland Resort is the encouragement we receive to give back to our communities.

    This year, Disneyland Resort cast members granted 85 Southern California nonprofit organizations a total of $415,000 in grants through the Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund (DVCF). That's nearly $2.2 million since the program's inception in 1997!

    DVCF is funded entirely by cast members through regular payroll deductions or one-time donations. Those who contribute during the year have the opportunity to nominate an organization of their choice. The organizations, from local schools to social service agencies, received up to $5,000 each. Organizations that received a grant this year include American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Club, Make-A-Wish and Sam Dimas Mountain Rescue.

    Check out the video below and watch Christine Ludin, a hotels cast member at the Disneyland Resort, present $5,000 to the Southern California Special Olympics!

    Disneyland Resort Cast Members Grant Nearly $2.2M to Southern California Nonprofits Since 1997 by Melanie Vogel: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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    Get into the Holiday 'Swing' with Disney Golf

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    If you're looking for something different at Disney to do with the kids while they are out of school for the holidays, Disney Golf has some ideas for you.

    How about putting the kids in a golf camp? Starting December 22, Disney Golf is offering a series of special one-day holiday golf camps for juniors. The camps are December 22, 23, 29 and 30 at Disney's Lake Buena Vista golf course at Walt Disney World Resort.

    The camps offer PGA instruction on all facets of the game, from putting to on-course play. Naturally, the camps are designed to appeal to kids through games, prizes and an overall fun atmosphere. Kids ages 7-17 can participate in one camp or all four.

    Each one-day camp runs from 9 a.m. -- 3 p.m. and costs $115 per kid (includes lunch and beverages). To sign up your kid, call (407) WDW-Golf or go to www.golfwdw.com.

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    There's also something new for adults this holiday season. Guests looking to get in a few holes early before hitting the theme parks can take advantage of Disney Golf's new Sunrise 9 promotion which allows golfers to play nine holes starting anytime between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. any day based on availability. The rate is $29 and includes a breakfast sandwich, plus a beverage before and after your round at Disney's Palm, Magnolia or Oak Trail golf courses.

    To book a tee time, call (407) WDW-Golf or go to www.golfwdw.com/sunrise-9/.

    Get into the Holiday 'Swing' with Disney Golf by Darrell Fry: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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    First Look at the New Gingerbread House at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland Resort

    Happy National Gingerbread Day! To celebrate, I'm giving you a sneak peek at the brand-new gingerbread house coming to Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland Resort.

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    Opening on November 27, this gingerbread house was created by a talented team of 25 artists, engineers and bakers, and it will take a total of 1,400 hours to bake and create the edible portion alone! The house measures in at a whopping 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide. Which might leave you wondering: what goes into a gingerbread house of this scope?

    • More than 500 pounds of gingerbread
    • 60 gallons of frosting and icing
    • 100 pounds of isomalt sugar
    • 50 pounds of granulated sugar
    • 50 pounds of powdered sugar
    • 2 gallons of egg whites
    • 1 quart of lemon juice

    Want to bring home a piece of the holiday magic? Seasonal offerings for sale include:

    • Gingerbread shingles and other assorted holiday cookies
    • Holiday cookie-decorating kits
    • Gingerbread house kits
    • Specialty hot chocolate and cider

    Run, run, run as fast as you can to Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa on November 27 to check out this sweet masterpiece!

    First Look at the New Gingerbread House at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland Resort by Rachel Brent: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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    Listen As Rusty Cutlass Pirate Band Plays Holiday Tunes at Magic Kingdom Park

    Even pirates tend to catch the holiday spirit during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parties, and there's no better example than this -- a holiday musical performance by Rusty Cutlass band.

    In the video below, the pirates gather to play "one of the prettiest Christmas songs they know." What do you think?

    Look for the pirates to perform in Adventureland during party nights at 7:45, 8:45, 9:45 and 10:45 p.m.

    Listen As Rusty Cutlass Pirate Band Plays Holiday Tunes at Magic Kingdom Park by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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    Disney Parks After Dark: Things That Spin in the Night at Disneyland Resort ... Revisited

    Back in 2011, I started a Disney Parks Blog series called "Things That Spin In the Night." It featured motion-blurred images of attractions at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. I thought it would be fun to revisit that series today.

    The photos from "Things That Spin In the Night" included after-dark images of Astro Orbitor, Mad T Party, Mickey's Fun Wheel, Silly Symphony Swings, and the Golden Zephyr. I realized that there was a particular photo of the Golden Zephyr that I didn't take the first time around. The first time, I focused more on getting three attractions in one photo. This time, I focused on getting the name of the attraction in the photo. As you can see, the Golden Zephyr sign in the front of the attraction is quite attractive, especially at night when it has a blue glow.

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    Click on the links below to see more of the "Things That Spin in the Night" series:

    Disney Parks After Dark: Things That Spin in the Night at Disneyland Resort ... Revisited by Paul Hiffmeyer: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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    Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: What's in the Name?

    In Hawaiian culture, names are very important. So today, our "Unforgettable Details of Aulani" series continues with a look at the meaning of the name 'Aulani,' and how Hawaiian culture and Disney storytelling came together to create a Hawaiian experience like no other at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

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    Aulani has a full time Cultural Advisor on staff, Kahulu De Santos. She explained to me that when Disney started this Hawai'i project, Walt Disney Imagineering established a Hawaiian Cultural Committee which worked side by side with Imagineers to create the experiences at Aulani. Their discussions surrounded the art work, architecture and themes that would be built into the resort.

    "As the story is told, one morning, while the committee was working on coming up with a name for the resort, one of the members shared that he had a dream about the name 'Aulani,'" explained Kahulu. "Aulani means 'messenger of a chief' or 'messenger of a greater authority.' So the committee quickly determined that this would be the name it would present to Disney as the name for this new resort."

    The important significance of Aulani is that the resort serves as a location that shares the messages and stories of the Hawaiian culture, its chiefs and its people, while recognizing and honoring traditional and contemporary Hawaiian practices, she explained.

    Aulani celebrates Hawai'i's rich legacy of storytelling combined with the magic of Disney. The name Aulani invites guests to ponder and listen to the many-layered stories or "messages" found at this beautiful resort on O'ahu.

    One of my favorite examples of these unique stories at Aulani involves the significance of the kapa design in the cast member nametags. Have you seen these? What's your favorite story found at Aulani? Tell us in the comments below.


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

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    A Celebration of Disney Trains at the Walt Disney Family Museum

    As The Walt Disney Family Museum unveils its new exhibit, All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt's Trains, we look back at some rarely seen photos and a very special moment in Disney train history.

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    On May 10, 2005, at 7 a.m., a ceremony took place before Disneyland opened for the day. On the occasion of Disneyland's 50th anniversary, about 100 people gathered at the New Orleans Square Station of the Disneyland Railroad to honor animator and Disney Legend Ollie Johnston, one of Walt's Nine Old Men, for how he inspired Walt Disney with his love of trains. Ollie inspired Walt to build his backyard railroad, the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Walt's love of giving people rides on this little steam train in his backyard eventually led to the building of Disneyland.

    After the speeches that early May morning, Ollie was presented with a plaque from the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society. Then everyone heard a toot of a steam whistle and up pulled a gleaming steam train. Ollie at first thought it was a Disneyland engine, then his son Ken leaned down and said, "Dad, that is your engine." Ollie then realized it was his beloved Marie E. and he started to cry. And then so did everyone else.

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    I then told Ollie that the Marie E. needed a real engineer to drive it around Disneyland and asked if he would like to do it. "Boy, would I!!" was his answer. He climbed up into the cab of the Marie E. with the help of the amazing Disneyland Railroad crew and they strapped him in with seatbelts borrowed from one of the old Matterhorn bobsleds.

    At 94 years old, Ollie expertly engineered his Marie E. -- the only outside train ever run on the rails of Disneyland -- three times around Disneyland to the cheers of everyone there.

    It was said that of all of the year-long events celebrating Disneyland's 50th anniversary, the morning of May 10 was by far the most special.

    - John Lasseter

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    This memory told by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, recalls a very special moment in Disney train history. It's one of many train tales being celebrated in All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt's Trains, a new exhibit at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, Calif. On view through February 9, 2015, this comprehensive exhibition explores the influence that railroading had on Walt Disney's life and work. It also tells the story of how his railroading legacy lives on to this day in Disney films and theme parks around the world.

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    The arc of this exhibition doesn't start and end with just Walt, though. All Aboard explores the interest and passion for railroading of Walt's friends and staff, including Ollie Johnston. The Disney Legend was able to make his Disney railroad dreams come true at Disneyland before he passed away in 2008.

    A Celebration of Disney Trains at the Walt Disney Family Museum by Jeffrey Epstein: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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