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Disney Parks After Dark: A 'Frozen' Royal Reception at Disneyland Park

The "Frozen" Royal Reception cottage in Fantasyland at Disneyland park takes on a different feeling in the early morning hours before sunrise. I love the light reflecting off the wet surface that makes the cottage enchanting.

In the "Disney Parks After Dark" series, one thing that stands out in the photos from the different parks is the beautiful lighting. The photo below is a good example of how Disney uses light to enhance the park after dark.
The Frozen Royal Reception Cottage in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park


See more of Disneyland park in out "Disney Parks After Dark" series:

Disney Parks After Dark: A 'Frozen' Royal Reception at Disneyland Park by Paul Hiffmeyer: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Milt Albright

With the passing of Disney Legend Milt Albright last week, I thought it would be fitting to pay tribute to him and highlight a few of the many successes of his 45-year career with Disney.

(April 11, 2013)  Main Street Windows (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

Milt always said his luckiest day was June 19, 1947 - the day he achieved his goal to work for Walt Disney. It all started 10 years earlier, in December 1937, when he saw a Time magazine cover story featuring fellow Missourian, Walt Disney. He knew then and there that it was his destiny to work for The Walt Disney Company.

Milt was born in Kearney, Mo., on June 7, 1916. He was the oldest of three boys and grew up on the family farm north of Kansas City. When Milt was a young man, a friend of his father paid him to deliver a car to Los Angeles. He fell in love with the area and decided to make Southern California his home.

Milt joined the Walt Disney Studios in 1947 as a junior accountant. Working in the Payroll Department, he was entrusted with the job of preparing and delivering paychecks for top executives, which brought him into direct contact with both Walt and Roy Disney.

By 1953, the self-described "poor accountant" had another goal - he wanted to be involved with the development of Walt's new "amusement" park in Anaheim. In an attempt to gain attention from Walt, Milt, an automobile buff, designed a miniature car using a 1954 Corvette as his model for what would eventually become the Autopia attraction. Walt was intrigued by the fiberglass auto and took it for a drive before Milt could explain that it was not finished - it had no brakes.

"Well, Walt crashed into a wall to stop it and the body of the car split in half like a walnut," Milt recalled in a 1987 interview with the Anaheim Bulletin. While Walt was not impressed with the car, he did take note of Milt.

In the spring of 1954, Milt was hired as manager of accounting for Disneyland. "I got to come down here because they wanted somebody they could trust," said Milt. "Didn't have to be very smart -- just honest." Milt hung a framed organizational chart in his office that was the first such chart for the park. It was dated July 1, 1954, and had 17 "employees" on it including Milt, Walt and Ron Miller, who eventually became president of Walt Disney Productions.

In 1957, Milt became manager of Holidayland, a private party and picnic area (near the area that is now Critter Country) designed for group events. In 1958, he transferred to Group Sales where he founded one of the most innovative and successful in-house marketing programs ever conceived. It was called the Magic Kingdom Club, and it offered discounts and special admission tickets to card holders. At its peak, the Magic Kingdom Club boasted nearly 6 million members associated with more than 8,000 companies worldwide. Milt also extended the private party concept to Grad Nite. The first Grad Nite, held on June 15, 1961, was one night only with about 8,000 graduates from 30 local high schools in attendance. The Grad Nite program continues to be successful today and remains a popular tradition for many Southern California graduates.

In the late 1970s, Milt became manager of special projects for Marketing. He was later promoted to manager of Guest Communications, a position he held until his retirement in 1992.

Upon his retirement on July 17, 1992, Milt said, "I had the enormous good fortune to be hired by the finest entertainment company in the world. I believed it then, and I believe it still. Based on a lifetime with Disney, I would say with great conviction to any young person that you'll never find a better place to start. Tough out the lean early years, learn Disney teamwork and don't be afraid to innovate ... to come up with new ideas. I've had 45 years of challenge and some success in Marketing because I took a chance and built an Autopia prototype car for Walt."

Milt was honored with a window on Main Street, U.S.A., in 1992. The window, located above The Mad Hatter, highlights Milt's innovative business sense and his ambition to take on any project: Milt Albright, Entrepreneur, "No Job Too Big - No Job Too Small."

Milt was named a Disney Legend in 2005 for his significant contributions to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He passed away on April 7, at the age of 97.

Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Milt Albright by Jon Storbeck: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Show Your 'Disney Side': Minnie Mouse Nail Tutorial

This week's suggestion as to how you can show your "Disney Side" at our 24-hour "Rock Your Disney Side" all-night party -- or anytime, really -- is sure to please Minnie Mouse fans. It's step-by-step directions on how you can give your nails a perfect Minnie makeover!

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Will you join us for our 24-hour event at Magic Kingdom Park, Disneyland park or Disney California Adventure park on May 23? If so, how will you show your "Disney Side"? Tell us in the "Comments" section below!

Join the conversation online with the hashtag #DisneySide.

Show Your 'Disney Side': Minnie Mouse Nail Tutorial by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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'Maleficent' Sneak Peek Debuts in Disney Parks April 18

Beginning tomorrow, April 18, guests at Disney Parks on both coasts will be able to enjoy an exclusive sneak peek at Walt Disney Studios' "Maleficent," which opens in theaters May 30.

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This special extended sneak peek will play daily in RealD 3D at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the ABC Sound Studio and at Disney California Adventure park.

The film stars Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning in the lead roles of Maleficent and Aurora, respectively, and tells the "untold" story of Maleficent and the betrayal that ultimately turned her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge, Maleficent places an irrevocable curse upon the king's newborn infant, Aurora. As she grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the conflict between a place she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy.

To kick off this special opportunity, Walt Disney Studios just sent us this exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film to share with you. Enjoy!

'Maleficent' Sneak Peek Debuts in Disney Parks April 18 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Top Five: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Videos from Walt Disney Imagineering

With the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opening later this spring, this week we thought we'd review some of the best video content we've shared so far around this attraction.

Just to review, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was Inspired by the 1937 Disney animated film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" -- but unlike Magic Kingdom Park's original Snow White's Scary Adventures attraction, this new experience tells the tale from the dwarfs' perspective. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a family coaster with a '38-inch height requirement, and will be the final attraction to debut in New Fantasyland as a part of the park's multi-year New Fantasyland expansion.

Over the past few months, we've released several videos that offer looks inside the making of the attraction. Check out some of our favorites below.

  1. Check out a ride-through video of the attraction, which is shown side-by-side with an early CGI rendering that Imagineers used to help design the attraction's track.

  2. Take a peek inside the attraction for a first look at the Dwarfs and the technology used to bring them to life.

  3. Yellow Shoes Creative Group shared this CGI video of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

  4. Take a look behind the scenes to see how Walt Disney Imagineering created ride vehicles for the attraction.

  5. Head onto the construction site with Imagineers Dave Minichiello and Pam Rawlins to learn more about how Mine Train was constructed.

Top Five: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Videos from Walt Disney Imagineering by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Past Epcot International Flower & Garden Festivals

Celebrating its 21st year, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is in full bloom. My favorite part of the festival is all the topiaries throughout the Park. Here's a look at a past topiary from the 1998 festival - Phil. (Hercules's trainer)

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There are almost 100 topiaries at Epcot this year with 79 character topiaries to enjoy. What's your favorite topiary past or present from the festival? Tell me in the "Comments" section below!

Vintage Walt Disney World: Past Epcot International Flower & Garden Festivals by Nate Rasmussen: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Features Local Ingredients in Luscious New Desserts at 'AMA 'AMA

When you cook on an island paradise, using delectable local ingredients only makes the food taste better. And Chef Ron Viloria at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai'i, gets creative with sweets on his new dessert menu at beachside 'AMA 'AMA -- Contemporary Island Cooking restaurant.

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"We're using native mamaki tea for the panna cotta, and lavender with tart kalamansi (a citrus fruit also known as calamondin) for the semifreddo," says Chef Ron. The fragrant lavender comes from Ali'i Kula lavender farms in Maui, and the kitchen also is sourcing local honeycomb for the semifreddo, a "semi-frozen" dessert.

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Cocoa is another Hawaiian product, and Chef Ron is using Kokoleka chocolate for his "Chocolate with Aloha" dessert that's made with chocolate from Waialua Estate (cacao and coffee beans) on O'ahu's North Shore, where the nutrient-rich volcanic soil, abundant rainfall and plentiful sunshine produce some of the world's best cacao.

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Chef Ron also added a modern representation of Hawai'i's traditional mochi cake, a tender, soft, chewy dessert made with rice. And he's using lemongrass and coconut in the lemongrass crème Catalana, an island version of the classic French crème brûlée made with fresh coconut.

"Of six desserts on the menu, five are new," says Chef Ron. (He kept the popular chocolate cake, now called "Mocha Chantilly Cake.") Guests seems to love the lemongrass crème Catalana too, he says. Hopefully you'll get to visit Aulani soon - Chef Ron changes the desserts about every six months.

"It was so much fun sourcing products locally to make some delicious desserts for our guests at 'AMA 'AMA," says Chef Ron. "Giving diners a taste of Hawai'i makes their vacation extra special."

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Features Local Ingredients in Luscious New Desserts at 'AMA 'AMA by Pam Brandon: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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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.

Disneyland park

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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