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 Disney Parks Releases 
New Merchandise Kiosks Set the Bar High at Downtown Disney

Unlike most people, I'm at Downtown Disney five days a week. I get to see the property transform before my very eyes on a pretty regular basis, and I can honestly say that one of my favorite signs of progress is the opening of new venues.

With gifts galore and barware to please every beverage connoisseur, two new kiosks at Downtown Disney have put a big smile on my face; and I'm not the only one ... they've been hugely popular with guests since their opening late last fall. Aptly named "Sublime" and "Set the Bar," both venues are located at the recently remodeled Riverboat Square, between Fulton's Crab House and Portobello.

Find a Unique Gift and More at Sublime

Need to find a unique card with just-the-right sentiment? Or gift a candle that will remind your recipient of you every time she lights it? Searching for a magnet that will make you chuckle? Or a book that's sure to inspire? Find this and more at "Sublime." In just a few short months, it's already become one of my "go-to" stores when I need to find something fun and fanciful.

And while there are also gifts aplenty at "Set the Bar," I think I'll opt to keep most of what I buy there for myself, thank you very much. From bottle openers to flasks, shot glasses to copper mugs, this is a perfect perch to find the latest "must-haves" to transform your Saturday-night at-home-cocktail-hour into a truly sensational soiree. (Feel free to add me to your guest list!)

Have you had the pleasure of purchasing at these new retailers yet? If so, let me know which products you loved most ... I'm almost due for another shopping spree and I could use a few ideas!

New Merchandise Kiosks Set the Bar High at Downtown Disney by Darcy Clark: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Finish That Disney Parks Sign: Cupcakes at the Confectionery

If you have a sweet tooth for treats at the Confectionery at Magic Kingdom Park, you just may get the answer correct in this week's "Finish That Disney Parks Sign" challenge.

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One word on this sign, about the shop's yummy cupcakes, is blurred out. Do you know the missing word? 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: Cupcakes at the Confectionery by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Tastes of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Tropical Mai Tai at The `Olelo Room

A visit to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, has so many unforgettable experiences. With this in mind, we are starting the "Tastes of Aulani" series so you can bring some of the memorable flavors of Hawai`i back with you. Today you can try your bartending skills at one of the signature cocktails featured at The `Olelo Room, Off the Hook and Wailana Pool Bar! Watch Aulani cast member Keola share the magic behind creating the Tropical Mai Tai at The `Olelo Room in the video below. The recipe follows so you can enjoy a little taste of this Aulani favorite in your own home.

Tropical Mai Tai:

  • 1/2 ounce Odwalla Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 ounces Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2 ounce Monin Orgeat Syrup
  • 1 ounce Old Lahaina Silver Rum
  • 1/2 ounce BOLS Orange Curaçao
  • 1 ounce Myer's Original Dark Rum (float)
  • Thin pineapple half-moon and a layer of FOMZ Passionfruit::Mango foam, for garnish
  1. Pour lime juice, pineapple juice, Old Lahaina Silver Rum, Orange Curaçao, and Orgeat syrup in mixing glass; fill with ice and shake for 30 seconds.
  2. Strain into tall glass over fresh ice and add float of Myer's Original Dark Rum and layer of FOMZ Passionfruit::Mango foam; garnish with a thin pineapple half-moon.

Tastes of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Tropical Mai Tai at The `Olelo Room by Tyler Slater: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Time for Tea with Alice and the Mad Hatter at Disneyland Park

As you probably already know, January is National Hot Tea Month! To celebrate this very merry "unholiday" we sat down with Alice and the Mad Hatter for a game of musical chairs at Disneyland park.

Take a seat for yourself next time you see Alice and the Mad Hatter at Refreshment Corner on Main Street, U.S.A.!

Time for Tea with Alice and the Mad Hatter at Disneyland Park by Shannon Swanson: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic Merchandise Drops Into Disney Parks on February 13, 2015

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Last summer, I gave you a first look at a new merchandise collection called "Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic" that was inspired by the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney Parks. Today, I'm excited to announce that this line will drop into Disney Parks starting Friday, February 13 (what a perfect day!). These new products will be found inside Tower Hotel Gifts in both Disney California Adventure park at Disneyland Resort and Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort. I recently visited the merchandise presentation offices at Disney's Hollywood Studios where I found a display of several new items.

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The merchandise presentation team set up a display to show what Tower Hotel Gifts may look like when the product is set. They told me they will be making adjustments to props, fixtures and lighting in the shops to complement the new merchandise.

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Disney Design Group artists were inspired by the Haunted Mansion Authentic program released last year when designing this artwork. You will notice similar design elements such as the use of vintage advertisements. The Hollywood Tower Hotel logo was also included on several items that could have been sold in the hotel gift shop before that one stormy night long ago.

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I love the tote bag that looks like vintage luggage and the bellhop cap is perfect! I was glad to see the bell was updated with new artwork (you can see the difference in this story from July 2013).

Guests will also find new apparel items for adults and kids. My son will be beyond thrilled that there will be a kid's T-shirt with a character from his favorite episode.

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In addition to apparel and other souvenirs, the Disney pin team will release some new open edition pins as part of this collection.

Finally, I invite you to meet some of the Disney Design Group artists behind this collection on Friday, February 13. This event will be held at Tower Hotel Gifts inside Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Disney Artists Tyler Dumas, Brian Blackmore, Richard Terpstra and Quynh Kimball are scheduled to attend.

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and used with permission pursuant to a license with CBS, Inc.

Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic Merchandise Drops Into Disney Parks on February 13, 2015 by Steven Miller: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Governor Awards Disneyland Resort California's Highest Environmental Honor

The Disneyland Resort was honored last week with a Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) for waste reduction efforts. In the last 10 years, the Disneyland Resort has doubled the amount of waste diverted from landfills with the long-term goal of achieving Zero Waste - a designation already awarded to Circle D Corral by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council and one of the success stories noted in the GEELA nomination.

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From the 4.4 million pounds of food scraps processed into animal feed annually, to the 20,000 pounds of partially used bathroom amenities collected at Disneyland Resort hotels for Clean the World Foundation, to the donation and repurposing of gently used shoes, costumes, furniture and decorations, and much more - the Disneyland Resort is doing its part to reduce, reuse and recycle.

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The Disneyland Resort also was a 2009 GEELA recipient for sustainable practices, which included the drought-conscious way water-based attractions are drained and refilled working with the Orange County Water District.

Governor Awards Disneyland Resort California's Highest Environmental Honor by Kevin Rafferty, Jr.: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Get a Sneak Preview of 'Cinderella' at Disney California Adventure Park

Disney's all-new live-action feature, "Cinderella," arriving in theaters March 13, is inspired by the classic fairy tale and brings to life the timeless images from Disney's 1950 animated masterpiece as fully-realized characters in a visually dazzling spectacle for a whole new generation.

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Beginning January 30, guests visiting Disney California Adventure park will have an opportunity to see an extended sneak preview for the film, complete with a magical sequence being shown exclusively in Disney Parks.

This special sneak peek of "Cinderella" will be presented in the park's Bug's Life Theater for a limited-time, January 30 - March 26.

Get a Sneak Preview of 'Cinderella' at Disney California Adventure Park by Shawn Slater: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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A Morning View From Angkor Wat with Adventures by Disney

Topping the list of places I want to visit someday is Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia, so I found it only fitting that the first entry from Adventures by Disney in the new Disney Parks Blog "sunrise" series be this shot from the famed Angkor Wat. "Wat" means "temple," and guests can explore it by foot, via tuk-tuk and even while riding an elephant on an Adventures by Disney trip to Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. What fun for our guests!

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On which Adventures by Disney vacation would you most like to see the sunrise?

A Morning View From Angkor Wat with Adventures by Disney by Amanda Adler: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Caption This: Disney Characters Take Flight at Walt Disney World Resort

Back in 1988, two hot air balloons named Ear Force One (Mickey) and Zippity Doo Duck (Donald) took flight here at Walt Disney World Resort.

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This photo just begs for a caption. They look pretty excited for their journey. What's on their minds? You tell us. Go ahead and "Caption This" in the comments section below.

Caption This: Disney Characters Take Flight at Walt Disney World Resort by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

This week, we featured several popular "Frozen" stories on the Disney Parks Blog, including a special announcement that Olaf is coming to all four Disney Cruise Line ships along with information about brand-new Disney Cruise experiences being planned for the entire family beginning this summer.

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Jonathan included highlights of some of the new experiences in his original story. And he'll be sharing more right here on the Disney Parks Blog over the next several weeks.

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We also continued our "Learn to Draw" series with a special guest this week -- actor Josh Gad. Josh, who voiced Olaf in the "Frozen." film, stopped by The Magic of Disney Animation to test his own skills at drawing his animated friend.

Check out Jenn's original post to see more tutorials on drawing your favorite Disney characters.

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

Disneyland Resort Circle D Corral Now Zero Waste Certified -- Thanks to efforts begun four years ago by cast member Andrea Raney, Circle D Corral is now gold-level Zero Waste certified by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, with 99 percent of its waste repurposed, composted or recycled!

Splitsville Hits a High Note with New Saturday Night Bands at Downtown Disney West Side -- Have you heard the live music on Saturday Nights at Splitsville? Disney Parks Blog author Darcy Clark shares her impression, and details a number of improvements coming to Splitsville in 2015.

Vote to Name Our New Baby Goats at the Disneyland Resort -- See some pictures of the new kids at Circle D Corral, and don't forget to vote for their names!

Video Rewind: Caring for Classic Disneyland Park Attractions -- Take a look back at some behind-the-scenes videos we showed you in years past here on the Disney Parks Blog to see how we care for our classic Disneyland park attractions.

Tweens Make New Friends at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa -- Learn all about the ways tweens can hang loose during a vacation at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

Nick Arciniaga Wins First-Ever Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort -- Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon, and to the more than 23,000 runners who participated!

A Unique Point of View: Mad Tea Party at Disneyland Park -- Get a look at these unique images from Disneyland Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer.

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

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