“LIVE with Kelly and Michael” Announces Guests for Disneyland Celebration Shows

NEW YORK, NY  – “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” has announced the full line-up of guests who will join hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan for five shows originating from the Disneyland Resort, airing May 18-22, 2015. Disney’s iconic original theme park will mark its 60th anniversary with the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, a once-in-a-lifetime event celebrating the resort’s past and future that will kick off on May 22.


Singer and “The Voice” judge CHRISTINA AGUILERA

A performance by one of the three final couples from “Dancing with the Stars”


Late night host JIMMY KIMMEL

“Scandal” star SCOTT FOLEY

A performance by this year’s winner of “American Idol”


“The Middle” star PATRICIA HEATON


A performance by R&B artist NE-YO




Superstar singer MARIAH CAREY chats with the hosts and performs a song from her new album

The hosts also will showcase all that’s exciting and new at the resort, in addition to taking a look back at the storied theme park’s history, and sharing favorite memories of an A-list line-up of celebrity fans.

Disneyland Resort will launch its exciting Diamond Celebration May 22, with a 24-hour event to kick off the 60th anniversary. Guests will enjoy the debuts of three, new nighttime spectaculars, along with dazzling décor, magical merchandise and fun food and beverage items.

ABC to Broadcast Special Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Event In February 2016

Disneyland Diamond Celebration

ABC is preparing to share the magic of Disneyland’s 60th anniversary on its network for the entire nation to see!

The network will air a Disneyland 60th Anniversary special in February, live from the Anaheim theme park.

ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee made the announcement during the network’s upfront presentation. Disneyland has been a frequent setting for ABC shows including Modern Family. 

‘Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar’ Officially Announced for Disney Springs


Tucked in between the soon-to-be-expanded Paradiso 37 and recently opened BOATHOUSE restaurant, a new Disney owned and operated Food & Beverage offering has been taking shape. Today, Disney is thrilled to share more details on this aviation-themed lounge, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.

With a prime location along Lake Buena Vista and seating for 150, the venue will feature unique cocktails – such as the “Hovito Mojito” with Barsol Quebranta Pisco, fresh lime juice and simple syrup – and small plates such as “Air Pirates Everything Pretzels” with house-made mustard and beer cheese fondue.

The design team has gone to great lengths to ensure that every element – from the propeller-based ceiling fans and diving bell “booth” to the “Rolling Boulder Meatballs” on the menu – fits within the storyline.

And just what is that story? Ardent fans of the “Indiana Jones” films may recognize Jock Lindsey as Indy’s frequent pilot; he’s also the owner of a pet snake named Reggie – an important detail, trust me on this! In the main room, guests will discover an expansive bar, aviation decor filling the room, vintage travel posters covering the walls and correspondence between Jock, Indy and their fellow adventurers on display. Guests can eat, drink and be merry outside as well, in Jocks’ old steamboat, now in permanent dry dock and aptly named “Reggie;” and in nearby seating on the adjacent deck.

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is set to open this fall at Downtown Disney.

Walt Disney Archives to Present ‘Disneyland: The Exhibit’ at D23 Expo

DL Abominable Snowman

From the Los Angeles Times – 

Here’s a challenge: Try to condense 60 years of Disneyland history into a single museum-like exhibit.

That’s the test facing Becky Cline, Walt Disney Archives director. She’s putting the finishing touches on “Walt Disney Archives Presents — Disneyland: The Exhibit,” which in August will attempt to encompass the theme park’s past six decades for D23 Expo, Disney’s biennial fan event.

Now factor in that for many of the Disney fans attending D23 Expo, there is more than one Disneyland.

There’s the Disneyland that opened to the paying public July 18, 1955, on a plot of land in Anaheim about 27 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

This is the Disneyland that contains American cultural landmarks such as Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and the Mad Hatter’s spinning teacups. It’s the Disneyland that Walt Disney himself set foot in, and, as this very newspaper described two months before the park’s opening, would ultimately threaten “Santa Claus as a ranking childhood favorite.”

Then there are the Disneylands that exist as personal places in the minds of nearly everyone who visited the park at a young age.

Maybe it’s the Disneyland in which the Jungle Cruise must be ridden at least twice on any single visit because someone’s father always laughed at the skipper’s joke involving the “backside of water.” Or the Disneyland in which the Enchanted Tiki Room is to be avoided because someone’s mother has a paralyzing fear of birds.

Facts don’t matter so much at this Disneyland. Maybe, for instance, you remember seeing real-life mermaids — or rather, real-life women in mermaid costumes — in the submarine lagoon. Or maybe you just saw a picture of them when you were 5 years old and that was real enough.

Finally, there is the Disneyland that no longer exists. This is the Disneyland in which a ride like Adventure Thru Inner Space was a Tomorrowland centerpiece, at least until Star Tours moved into town. It’s the Disneyland in which Main Street U.S.A once had a lingerie shop, and Frontierland once had a calm train rather than a runaway one. This, of course, is the Disneyland forever lost to technological progress — or branding acquisitions.

Cline is hip to all these Disneylands. As the principal architect of “Disneyland: The Exhibit,” Cline has been taking an experiential rather than purely sequential point of view.

For Disneyland is no longer just Walt Disney’s story or the narrative of a company. A certain ownership is placed on anything that touched us at a young age, and only a few escaped into adulthood without being touched by Disneyland, the kingdom of all escapism. Disneyland belongs to all of those who value a playground dedicated to the mind’s eye, where the surreal, the haunted, the childish and the prehistoric can transport each of us to somewhere unique within our own imaginations.

To this day I can’t ride Pirates of the Caribbean without hearing the voice of my late cousin, insisting that the Anaheim edition is far superior to the one at Florida’s Walt Disney World. In that moment, cousin Steve and his stories and exaggerations are as real as they’ve ever been.

So to tell the story of Disneyland at the D23 Expo, which runs Aug. 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, Cline opted not for a point-by-point retelling of how Walt Disney built the park.

“How do I tell this humongous story?” she asked. “I thought, ‘I don’t really want to tell this story in a linear fashion.’ I don’t want to do a chronology, like ‘Walt figured it out here. He built it and designed it and then this happened and this happened.’ ”

Instead, “Disneyland: The Exhibit” will be laid out much like the park — by theme, from the orange groves that once sat on the plot to Main Street U.S.A. and beyond, even touching on aspects of the park typically off limits to us commoners such as the members-only Club 33. Opening the presentation will be some recently acquired surveying equipment used in Disneyland’s construction. Like anything associated with a Disney park, the construction tools are, if not a collectible, priceless to someone.

“The equipment was discovered and turned over to the archives a couple years ago. We haven’t shared it with anybody yet. There’s brass survey markers and 1950s surveying equipment. It’s vintage looking,” Cline said.

To be spread across 12,000 square feet on the Anaheim Convention Center floor, the archival piece isn’t lacking in artifacts that are “vintage looking” — or items that some thought were long lost to history. At least one age-old window decoration at Main Street U.S.A shop the Emporium, for instance, will once again be on display.

“The Emporium would have these very special windows that were created to highlight an anniversary of a film, for example,” Cline said. “Then those window displays actually become historic later on.”

There will be a retired animatronic from Pirates of the Caribbean, costumes worn by “Mickey Mouse Club” cast members when they visited the park, the first-ever ticket sold, which was purchased by Walt Disney’s brother, Roy O. Disney, and a deconstruction of a ride that aims to show the Imagineering process.

“We’re trying to give you a feel of what it would be like to spend a day at Disneyland over the different decades,” Cline said.

Disneyland to this day remains in a constant state of flux. If you’re really young, you may associate the park with “Frozen.” Children of the ’70s may swear by America Sings. Those who grew up going to Walt Disney World across the country may be obsessed with all things related to Epcot’s purple dragon Figment (hand raised), while West Coasters may swear by the Abominable Snowman.

With the reopening on May 22 of the Matterhorn Bobsleds with new animatronics, the original Abominable Snowman will be retired to the Disney archives and shown at D23 Expo. By the time the exhibit is finalized, Cline expects around 300 pieces in total. One of the more detailed displays will be dedicated to Fantasyland ride Alice in Wonderland, which opened in 1958 and will aim to show how a ride is made from the ground-up.

Among the pieces on display will be a wheel-less prototype of the caterpillar-shaped Alice ride vehicles. The plywood mock-up was used to gauge whether a caterpillar-shaped vehicle could be practical, in terms of housing multiple guests.

“We’re calling it ‘Alice in Wonderland: The Anatomy of an Attraction.’ It tells the story of how an attraction comes to be,” Cline said. “It goes from the original inspiration, which is, of course, the animated film that came out in 1951, and takes that and shows how some of the artwork from the film inspired the ride and how the ride was developed. There are some pieces from the final attraction that are now assets in the archives. It’s a vignette that’s not just show and tell.”

Some of the artifacts, including relics from the six-week run of the “Mickey Mouse Club” Circus, are so rare, Cline said, Disney has never shown them publicly before. Just before the circus was introduced in November 1955, Walt Disney touted to The Times that the park was averaging attendance of 50,000 per week and that guests were spending about $2 per person. They weren’t, however, taken with the circus, despite the fact that it featured the “Mickey Mouse Club” cast.

“The Mouseketeers would perform a musical variety act within the circus itself. It was a fascinating experiment,” Cline said, adding that a “two-hour circus kind of took” a little too much of the guest’s time.

Cline was hesitant to say whether “Disneyland: The Exhibit” would have a life outside of the D23 Expo, but with Disneyland’s 60th anniversary festivities launching on May 22, she wouldn’t rule out part of the presentation making its way to the resort.

“Once our exhibit is over we may find other ways to share these assets,” she said. “Time will tell.”

Southern California’s Moreno Shatters Tinker Bell Half Marathon Record

Tinker Bell 1:2 Marathon

Pixie power and persistence pushed Lenore Moreno to smash a race record by almost 9 minutes in the fourth annual Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry at Disneyland Resort. Looking much like a pixie herself, the five-foot, 24-year-old West Covina, Calif. resident flew by her competition, finishing in a mere 1:15:55. The former race record was 1:24:11. She was also nearly nine minutes ahead of second-place finisher Ann Mazur of Charlottesville, VA (1:24:10). Anne-Marie Nuno of Irvine, Calif. came in third (1:24:21).

“Just being inside Disneyland, I think that’s what gave me that push and helped me to forget about how long this half marathon was and just to enjoy the moment,” Moreno said. “I couldn’t have done it anywhere else. Passing under that castle was just magical.”

Moreno started running as a freshman in high school. She continued in college and dreamed of running in a runDisney race but school always got in the way. She finally realized her dream, making history this Mother’s Day. She even had a message for her mom.

“I love you! Happy Mother’s Day!” Moreno said.

Grandmothers, mothers, daughters, aunts and nieces were some of the 13,000 women who spent their Mother’s Day racing along an entertainment-filled 13.1-mile course through Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Parks, as well as by several Anaheim landmarks. Among them, was the Evans family from Irvine, Calif. Cheryl and Coco Evans, wearing identical Tinker Bell costumes, crossed the finish line together.

“Doing this race with me is priceless,” said mom Cheryl Evans. “It’s a memory that will last a lifetime. I’m so happy!” (Additional sound and video of the Evans family can be found at the link below.)

More than 32,050 runners competed in various events during the weekend that included the Never Land 5K, the Tinker Bell 10K, runDisney Kids Races, a health and fitness expo and the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge, which involved runners completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.

Academy-award winning actor and producer George Clooney also came to Disneyland Resort this holiday weekend with his family for the world premiere of Disney’s new mystery adventure “Tomorrowland”.

In total, there were more than 16,000 runners from across the nation and 22 countries. Finishers received a commemorative Tinker Bell “wings’’ medal. The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend is one of eight annual runDisney events and one of two women-focused events. The other is the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which takes place in February at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. Both events are designed to celebrate and promote women’s empowerment, women’s health and an active lifestyle. And both are among the nation’s largest race weekends geared towards women.

Runners can register for any runDisney race weekend at www.rundisney.com.

World’s Largest Flagship Disney Store set to Open in Shanghai on May 20th


The world’s largest flagship Disney store is set to open in Shanghai’s Lujiazui financial district on the afternoon of May 20.

More than 50 workers are now working in overdrive to complete construction of the establishment as half of the participating stores have already moved into the site, jfdaily reports.

The 5,000-square-meter Disney Store will feature a state-of-the art retail space and an outdoor plaza with Disney-themed landscaping, according to the Walt Disney China.

The actual retail space covers just one fifth of the area, and will offer Disney-related products, such as toys, clothes and accessories. The rest of the area will occupied by the outdoor plaza, with the capacity to host exhibitions and entertainment facilities.

“The flagship Disney store will feature the largest and most diverse collection of Disney products by local and international designers,” said Stanley Cheung, executive vice president and managing director of Disney China.

Visitors will also be able to track the progress of the currently under-construction Shanghai Disney Resort, which is scheduled to open in the first half of 2016.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Draws Record Number of Runners

Tinker Bell 1:2 Marathon

A record of 16,000 runners have entered Sunday’s fourth annual Tinker Bell Half Marathon through the Disneyland Resort and streets of Anaheim, being held on Mother’s Day for the first time.

The field for the 13.1-mile race is 87 percent female, with runners from all 50 states and 22 nations participating, according to Raquel Giorgio of Disney Sports Public Relations.

The course begins on Disneyland Drive, goes through Disney California Adventure, Disneyland and Downtown Disney, downtown Anaheim, the Anaheim Center Street Promenade, past the Anaheim Ice skating rink, City Hall and Anaheim GardenWalk shopping center, concluding near Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.

Organizers have added the Pixie Dust Challenge, awarding a special medal for runners who finish both today’s Tinker Bell 10K and the half-marathon. About 5,000 runners have entered both races, Giorgio said.

Hatbox Ghost Returns to Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion After 46 Year Absence

Disneyland’s legendary Hatbox Ghost rematerialized at the Haunted Mansion this morning.

DL Haunted Mansion HBG

The Hatbox Ghost was one of the early residents of the Haunted Mansion and also one of the  shortest in longevity. The Hatbox Ghost featured an effect where the ghost’s head would disappear, then reappear in his hatbox. The effect relied on lighting and never worked particularly well, so Disney removed it from the Mansion within a few weeks of the attraction’s opening in 1969.

At the 2013 D23 Expo, Walt Disney Imagineering showed off a new Hatbox Ghost animatronic, reviving fans’ hopes that an improved version of the Hatbox Ghost would return to the Mansion. Earlier this year, Disney hinted at and the eventually announced the Ghost’s return.  This morning hundreds of Mansion fans to rushed to the attraction at rope drop to see its debut.

When some Haunted Mansion fans spotted a new window appearing at the end of the attic scene around the time of Disney’s announcement, this prompted fears that the Hatbox Ghost would be a screen effect. This morning, that window and the wall around it were gone, revealing an open space in which the Hatbox Ghost performs his new, and much more convincing, disappearing “hat trick.”

Here is a short video of the Hatbox Ghost –

 Hatbox Ghost Video

Disney Channel, Disney XD and Radio Disney Stars to Appear at Magic Kingdom’s ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ 24 hour Event

Disney Channel Club Chill

If you and your kids are fans of the hit shows on Disney Channel and Disney XD, and listen to Radio Disney, they won’t want to miss these special events within the Walt Disney World Resort 24-hour Summer Kickoff on Friday, May 22. Some of the network’s most popular stars will be dropping by the party at Magic Kingdom Park throughout the day, giving fans a unique opportunity to see their favorites in person at fun themed events.

  • Disney Channel’s Club Chill: Be sure to check out this super-cool party zone in Tomorrowland from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., where you can see a DJ spinning the latest tunes, previews of upcoming films and music videos, and more. Keep your eyes peeled because you never know if some of guests’ favorite Disney Channel and Disney XD stars might just stop by.
  • Grand Marshals for the 3 p.m. “Disney Festival Of Fantasy Parade“: Watch as some of your favorite Disney Channel and Disney XD stars kick off the 3 p.m. “Disney Festival Of Fantasy Parade.”

Scheduled to Appear*

    • Karan Brar (“Jessie“)
    • Dove Cameron (“Liv and Maddie” & “Descendants“)
    • Sofia Carson (“Descendants”)
    • Garrett Clayton (“Teen Beach 2“)
    • Skai Jackson (“Jessie”)
    • Peyton List (“Jessie”)
    • Ross Lynch (“Austin and Ally” and “Teen Beach 2″)
    • Laura Marano – (“Austin and Ally”)
    • Maia Mitchell (“Teen Beach 2″ and ABC Family’s “The Fosters“)
    • Bradley Perry – (Disney XD’s “Mighty Med“)
    • Grace Phipps (“Teen Beach 2″)
    • Jake Short – (Disney XD’s “Mighty Med”)
    • Calum Worthy – (“Austin and Ally”)
    • Radio Disney: Broadcasting from 8 a.m. – Midnight catch Ernie D, Brooke, Candice and Nate as they broadcast live during the event! 

      *Talent and entertainment subject to change

Disney Names Leslie Ferraro President of Consumer Products Unit

Leslie Farraro - Disney

Walt Disney Company on Thursday named its parks and resorts’ executive vice president of marketing, Leslie Ferraro, as president of its fast-growing consumer products division.

Ferraro, who has been with Disney since 1999, replaces Bob Chapek, who was appointed chairman of the company’s parks and resorts division in February.

Disney’s consumer products business includes toys, apparel, books and art based on the company’s extensive franchises, which it licenses to third parties or sells through its own stores.

The division’s revenue grew 10 percent to $971 million in the fiscal second quarter ended March 28.

In her previous role, Ferraro was responsible for consumer campaigns, marketing and sales for the company’s theme parks and resorts division.