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 Disney Parks Releases 
Chilling Challenge: What's Hiding Inside the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park?

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Now that Jack Skellington has given the Haunted Mansion back to its 999 happy haunts, the classic attraction is open once again for Disneyland park guests. And those with a keen eye will notice something strange when they leave the mansion and enter its spooky cemetery on their Doom Buggies ... but what disquieting metamorphosis is happening in this space? Leave your guesses in the comments and I'll tell you as soon as this specter receives your sympathetic vibrations and is ready to materialize!

Chilling Challenge: What's Hiding Inside the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park? by Erin Glover: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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10 Million & Counting: MagicBands a Hit with Walt Disney World Resort Guests

If you enjoy MagicBands and all they can do as much as my family does at Walt Disney World Resort then you're probably not surprised that we're already celebrating a significant milestone -- 10 million MagicBands distributed.

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Since our original announcement, MagicBands have become a favorite way for guests to make their visit easier, more personal and magical. The colorful MagicBands link your entire MyMagic+ experience together and can serve as a theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass card as well as a room key for Disney Resort hotel guests. You travel lighter with MagicBands at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Recently, MagicBand was named one of Fortune Magazine's "26 Coolest Gadgets of 2014." MyMagic+ was also honored with an "Innovation by Design" award by the popular magazine and website, Fast Company. It received the top spot in the "Experience Design" category when Fast Company revealed the 10 best designs of the year at their annual "Innovation by Design" Awards and Conference in New York City.

As regular Disney Parks Blog readers know, you receive a MagicBand if you stay at a Disney Resort hotel or you are a Walt Disney World Passholder. If you are not staying at a Disney Resort hotel and are not a Passholder, you receive a card when you purchase park admission--and you have the option to purchase a MagicBand online or at select retail locations at Walt Disney World Resort.

Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog in future weeks for some new ways you can personalize and show your Disney Side with MagicBands.

10 Million & Counting: MagicBands a Hit with Walt Disney World Resort Guests by Thomas Smith: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Merchandise Art Revealed

The countdown to the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is under way! I have the scoop on all of the merchandise hitting stores in May 2015 at the Disneyland Resort. Here's your first look at the dazzling new art that will appear on three celebration collections and more than 500 merchandise items, including apparel, accessories, headwear, home décor, souvenirs, toys, pins, D-Tech, collectibles and more.

When I think about a diamond, words like timeless, brilliant and eternal come to mind, which is exactly what our artists envisioned, too. Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Disney Design Group Creative Manager Cody Reynolds about the 60th anniversary, their inspirations and what our Disney fans can expect to find.

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The 'Character' collection focuses on the characters, attractions and the rich history of the resort. "The palette is retro in style but has a slightly modern twist," said Cody. "We thought about diamonds as a precious heirloom that can be passed down through generations or can be a promise of a bright new future. We wanted the art to speak to the special moments and memories that our fans have shared over the years, but we also wanted to celebrate the bright, amazing future still ahead and the generations of guests that will continue to share in the experience." Artist Tip: The art is a timeline with each panel representing a fifteen year span. It begins in black and white (a nod to when Disneyland was first introduced), and slowly transitions becoming more and more colorful with the inclusion of notable characters and icons that denote the timeframe and their debut.

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The 'Castle' collection is quite dynamic and I think you'll find the sparkling blue and silver hues almost hypnotizing. "We wanted to capture the heart of Disneyland and the love that so many people have for it," said Cody. "Sleeping Beauty Castle to us is that heart. A centerpiece you can find day or night, glistening with magical diamond dust." Accompanying this iconic symbol are none other than Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, who are as beloved and precious as any diamond you can find.

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The 'Diamond' collection can be described in one word: stunning. The black, gray and silver tones are simple, classic and elegant. "We wanted to create a line based on the shape and qualities of an actual diamond, multi-faceted, unique and endlessly reflective," says Cody, "it's what Disneyland represents to so many of us. It gave our artists the opportunity to create rare and special pieces and provide something magical to our guests that we hope will last forever."

As you can see, there are so many things to share with you and even more stories to tell. In the coming months you'll get your first look at some of the amazing merchandise lined up for you, including cool must-have items that I can guarantee you won't want to live without. Also keep an eye out for glimpses of rare, limited edition, high-end items that will make your jaws drop.

Join the countdown to this momentous occasion in Disney history with a special series of pins featuring memorable Walt Disney moments and quotes.

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These pins will release each month, beginning January 31 through July 2015. Curious to see what's inside these diamond shaped pins or when they will be released? Learn more here.

Are you excited to see more of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration merchandise headed your way?

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Merchandise Art Revealed by Michelle Harker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Trend Spotting: Our Favorite Walt Disney World Resort Restaurants for Charcuterie

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Charcuterie, the fancy French term for preserved meats, is an age-old food preparation that's popping up on lots of Walt Disney World Resort menus. The newest at Trattoria al Forno at Disney's BoardWalk made us want to try them all.

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We love that Trattoria al Forno features cured Italian meats on the breakfast menu with tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and cheese with fonduta (an Italian melted cheese made with Fontina cheese). What a way to start the day with a press pot of good coffee. For dinner, the restaurant pairs the charcuterie with house-pickled peppers, rich olives, caponata (eggplant) and grilled bread.

On the dinner menu at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park, the charcuterie for two includes assorted cured meats and sausages with tart cornichons, pickled onions and a toasted baguette. Pair this one with a crisp white wine to enhance the flavors.

Over at Epcot, we head to two spots: Chefs de France in the France pavilion, and Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada pavilion. The dinner menu at Chefs de France include assiette campagnarde, a rustic assortment of French patés and charcuteries that is trés authentique. At Le Cellier, the generous platter of meats comes with grilled sourdough and buttery Italian Robiola cheese.

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At Disney's Hollywood Studios, stop by the al fresco Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge for the artisanal cheese & charcuterie board for two that features salami Calabrese, salami Toscano, duck rillette (similar to paté), imported prosciutto and paté de campagne. Relax with a Champagne or martini flight, or one of the craft cocktails or wines by the glass.

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa features charcuterie at both Cítricos and adjacent Mizner's Lounge, a beautiful wooden board piled with prosciutto di Parma, sopressata, dry pork coppa, beef bresaola, Palacios chorizo, domestic artisanal salame, Pecorino Romano, Medjool dates, bread-and-butter pickles and Marcona almonds. That's dinner!

At Disney's Contemporary Resort, California Grill starts with handcrafted charcuterie with seasonal accompaniments. Downstairs at The Wave ... of American Flavors, American-crafted cheeses, country-style paté and artisan cured meats are the stars of the charcuterie board.

Others on our list: Kona Café at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort mixes it up a bit with cured meats, olives, aged goat cheese, house-made bread and fruit compote on both the lunch and dinner menus. Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney's Yacht Club Resort kicks it up with suckling pig, country sausage, lardo and boar terrine on the charcuterie platter.

We'll end over at cozy Territory Lounge at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, the "Northwest Charcuterie" include cured meats such as venison and bison sausage, liverwurst; artisan cheeses like creamy Rogue River Blue, cranberry-mustard, sweet pickles and walnut bread. This calls for a Moosehead!

Trend Spotting: Our Favorite Walt Disney World Resort Restaurants for Charcuterie by Pam Brandon: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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The Ultimate Disney Cruise Line Packing Checklist

First-time Disney cruisers often ask what to pack when planning their vacation with us. Packing for a Disney cruise isn't the same as packing for any other vacation since there's so much fun you may not even expect, like our swashbuckling Pirate Night! We put together this ultimate packing checklist for first-time Disney cruisers, and my guess is that even some of you who have already sailed with us will find it helpful! Let me know in the comments what other items are on your ultimate Disney cruise packing list.

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The Ultimate Disney Cruise Line Packing Checklist by Jonathan Frontado: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Walt Disney World Resort Event Snapshot - February 2015

This February, fall in love with some of the latest releases debuting at Walt Disney World Resort!

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February 5 -- 23: Meet representatives from Precious Moments Dolls at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace as we celebrate the release of the Valentine's themed collection. Or make a special stop February 20 - 22 and meet creator and designer Linda Rick. Learn more.

February 9 -- 15: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings at Art of Disney in Epcot. Be sure to stop by and see what's 'in store' for you! Learn more.

February 12 -- 16: Meet renowned international artist Larry Dotson this month at The Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace and add a new piece to your collection. Learn more.

February 13: Drop in if you dare, as we celebrate Friday, the 13th with a special artist showcase featuring Brian Blackmore, Tyler Dumas, Quynh Kimball and Richard Terpstra from 4 - 6 p.m. at Tower Hotel Gifts at Disney's Hollywood Studios, as we celebrate the release of some of their new pieces in the Hollywood Tower Hotel authentic collection. Keep an eye out, Steven Miller will be sharing more details on this new collection on the Disney Parks Blog in the coming weeks. Learn more.

February 19 -- 22: Beloved artist David E. Doss will appear at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace February 19 - 22 and again February 26 - March 1. Be sure to stop in and say hello! Learn more.

Which artist are you most excited to see?

Walt Disney World Resort Event Snapshot - February 2015 by Michelle Harker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Disney Parks After Dark: A Delicious Shot of Ratatouille

Tonight's "After Dark" image is of the lovely La Place de Rémy area at Walt Disney Studios Park (at Disneyland Paris). This quiet square houses the Ratatouille, l'Aventure Totalement Toquee de Remy attraction, which whisks guests into a crazy, culinary adventure inside Chez Gusteau. Guests begin their adventure on the rooftops of Paris before boarding ratmobiles to scurry through the restaurant.

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Have you visited this part of the park yet? Tell us in the "Comments" section below.

Disney Parks After Dark: A Delicious Shot of Ratatouille by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration to Begin May 22 with New Nighttime Spectaculars and More

Last night, during a special after-hours presentation at Disneyland park, Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced that the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration will begin Friday, May 22, featuring a glittering parade, street-to-sky fireworks and an all-new "World of Color."

Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Park Will Receive a Diamond Medallion Featuring the Letter 'D' for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Carthay Circle Theatre in Disneyland California Adventure Park Will Receive a Diamond Medallion Featuring the Letter 'D' for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

The iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland park and Carthay Circle Theatre in Disney California Adventure park will glisten and gleam, each with its own diamond medallion featuring the letter "D." The entire resort will sparkle with Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration décor and festive banners in shades of Disneyland blue.

Disney California Adventure park will present a special edition of the popular "World of Color" show. In "World of Color - Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney," Mickey Mouse will take guests on a fun-filled and inspirational journey through the unparalleled imagination of Walt Disney, exploring his decades-long legacy of memorable animated moments and the dream of Disneyland park.

New 'Paint the Night' Parade Coming to Disneyland Park New 'Paint the Night' Parade Coming to Disneyland Park New 'Paint the Night' Parade Coming to Disneyland Park

At Disneyland park, the new "Paint the Night" parade will bring some of the most innovative floats, vibrant costumes, dazzling special effects, unforgettable music and energetic performances ever presented at the Disneyland Resort. This new, state-of-the-art nighttime parade floods Main Street, U.S.A., with stunning color, fun surprises and more than 1.5 million brilliant LED lights.

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Also at Disneyland park, the new "Disneyland Forever" fireworks spectacular will be a sky-high celebration featuring sparkling pyrotechnics, immersive projections, and other effects that transform Disneyland park right before your eyes. "Disneyland Forever" envelops you in an enthralling, breathtaking journey like never before, leveraging the largest installation of projection mapping technology in a Disney park and surprising special effects. The new show will feature two original songs, the theme "Live the Magic" and the inspiring closing song "Kiss Goodnight," written by Disney Legend Richard Sherman.

Event Guests Get Sneek Peek at Projections for New 'Disneyland Forever' Fireworks Spectacular Coming to Disneyland Park for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

Guests at the special presentation last night got a sneak peek at the projections now in development for this all-new nighttime spectacular. Take a look at the video below to see what else happened!

We've got even more to share, including dazzling and delicious food and merchandise offerings especially for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, so keep following the Disney Parks Blog and join the conversation with the hashtag #Disneyland60.

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration to Begin May 22 with New Nighttime Spectaculars and More by Erin Glover: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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A Secret Sleeper Bed at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

As we gear up for the scheduled spring opening of phase 1 of the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort, Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, we couldn't help but share with you a couple "sneak peek" images of what some of the rooms will look like.

Currently under construction, the 360 Deluxe Studios will be the largest at Walt Disney World Resort. This flexible space will comfortably sleep up to five guests each thanks to a hidden pull-down bed tucked away in a very clever spot - beneath the television!

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Here's a closer look at the adorable artwork inside.

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These rooms offer other great features that make them ideal for families craving space and top-notch amenities. Stay tuned as we continue to share more details and photos of this beautiful resort!

A Secret Sleeper Bed at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows by Amanda Adler: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Disney Sports Style: How To Show Your #DisneySide

Hello! My name is Aubrey Hang and I'm the Sports Marketing Community Manager for runDisney and ESPN Wide World of Sports. I am thrilled to be the newest author on the Disney Parks Blog, sharing updates on the amazing fashion seen during the eight runDisney race weekends and other events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

First of all, everyone has a different sports style. Guests love to show their Disney Side by incorporating a character's style into their own fashion. We have athletes who might just add a touch of Disney, to those who are "DisneyBound" and finally those who wear full costume from head to toe. We see people of all ages dress up for the occasion with many wearing group and family coordinated outfits. The creativity put into these outfits is unbelievable and so much fun to watch cross the finish line.

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We've teamed up with Leslie Kay of DisneyBound to help put looks together for upcoming events and speak at our runDisney Health & Fitness Expos. My favorite outfit Leslie recommended so far was for the Dopey Challenge. Using pieces from Champion and New Balance, she put together a look to resemble Dopey!

In this blog series, I will focus on fashion recaps from our past events as well as ideas and inspiration for upcoming ones. I'm excited to give tips on how to create fun looks for runDisney races, as well as share with you the fashion seen at our ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex events! Here's a sneak peek at some of my favorites from past runDisney events:

Have you shown your #DisneySide during a runDisney event? Which character inspired your look? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disney Sports Style: How To Show Your #DisneySide by Aubrey Hang: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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