Disneyland Announces May Merchandise Events

Fireman Mickey

See what’s happening this May in the world of merchandise events at the Disneyland Resort!

May 3: Are you curious about the next Beautifully Disney collection? Wonder no more. Check out the new line inspired by “Alice in Wonderland” and meet the artist behind the Beautifully Disney collection. Jeff Granito will be on hand from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more.

May 3 – 4: Meet artist Bill Robinson from 1 – 4 p.m., each day at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Not able to make it? No problem! Bill will return later in the month, look for him again May 31 and June 1.

May 4: Celebrate “May the Fourth Be With You” and stop by D Street in Downtown Disney where artist Mike Kungl will be on hand for an appearance and signing from 2 – 6 p.m. as we debut some of the new ACME Archives Limited “Star Wars” pieces.

May 17: Meet artist Noah from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District.

May 17: Jerrod Maruyama will appear at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District from 2 – 4 p.m. as we debut his latest piece from the Happiest Hipster on Earth Collection inspired by “Alice in Wonderland.”

May 17 – 18: Meet artist Bob Elias from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Disneyana in Disneyland park and see some of his latest works inspired by some of Disney’s most beloved characters.

May 23: Have you been waiting for just the right hand-painted Ink & Paint Cel to add to your collection? I think I found the one for you! Mickey Mouse is dressed in his fireman best as he stands proudly in front of the Disneyland Fire Dept. on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland park. Stop by Disneyana throughout the day and meet the artists behind this new piece. Not able to make it? Look for a special opportunity to purchase this piece online.

May 24: Artists Joey Chou, Liana Hee and Jeremiah Ketner will take part in an artist signing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m at WonderGround Gallery in Downtown Disney, as we celebrate the release of some of their latest works.

Artist in Residence: Appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month of May is artist Gregg Visintainer. Look for special artist showcases on the following dates: May 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31 from 6 – 10 p.m.

Don’t forget! It’s not too late to get your tickets to attend the Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” in Disneyland Trading Event.

Disneyland Resort Restaurants Win Big at Southern California Writers Awards

Carthay Circle

Sometimes we all want a little advice when we’re making a dinner reservation, and often it’s food writers and critics that send us to the best restaurants. That’s why we enjoy seeing the annual awards from the Southern California Restaurant Writers Inc., a group formed nearly 40 years ago to keep a finger on the pulse of the region’s dining. This year the group awarded Disneyland Resort a dozen awards to eight restaurants – two in Disneyland park, two in Disney California Adventure park and three in Disneyland Resort hotels.

Here are the awards:

Golden Bacchus Wine Award (the highest wine award):
Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge (Disney California Adventure park)
Napa Rose (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa)
Steakhouse 55 (Disneyland Hotel)

5 Stars (the highest award):
Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge
Napa Rose
Steakhouse 55

4 Stars:
Ariel’s Grotto (Disney California Adventure park)
Blue Bayou Restaurant (Disneyland park)
Café Orleans (Disneyland park)
Storytellers Cafe (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa)

3 Stars:
Goofy’s Kitchen (Disneyland Hotel)

Manager of the Year:
Jose Barragan – Barragan has been with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for 17 years and manages Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure park.

To make reservations at any of the Disneyland Resort restaurants, visit www.disneyland.com/dine or call 714-781-DINE (3463).

Meg Crofton Honored for Orlando Economic Development Achievements

Meg-Crofton

Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France, accepted the Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) James B. Greene Award for hercontributions to Central Florida’s economic prosperity.

Crofton received the honor at the organization’s annual awards dinner last evening at Amway Center. First presented in 1990, the award recognizes a leader whose work has had a significant impact on the region’s business community and quality of life.

“With her enduring enthusiasm and hard work in support of our area’s economic vitality, Meg is truly deserving of this highest honor bestowed by the EDC,” said Scott Faris, CEO of MicroVapor Devices and current chair of the EDC Board of Directors. “Through initiatives such as the EDC Leadership Charter, she built a legacy of collaboration and engagement that propelled the organization to new heights in economic development for the region.”

As EDC board chair from 2009-2010, Crofton helped guide the organization through the recession, developing innovative ways to engage the group’s board members. During those challenging economic times, she championed a variety of regional initiatives, such as the development of SunRail, Amway Center and Orlando’s Medical City.

During her time as president of Walt Disney World Resort, Crofton took on a variety of community leadership roles. She was appointed to the University of Central Florida’s Board of Trustees and served on the Florida Council of 100, a group that promotes statewide economic growth. She also served on the Rollins College Board of Trustees, the boards of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness and Orlando Health, and the Executive Committee of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

“I’m honored and humbled to be recognized by the EDC with this prestigious award,” said Crofton. “Central Florida will always be special to me and I’m so proud of all the EDC has accomplished on behalf of this outstanding community.”

Crofton, who grew up in Central Florida and lived in the region until 2013, is responsible for operations at many of Disney’s theme parks and resorts, including Walt Disney World Resort – Central Florida’s largest employer – Disneyland Resort in California and Disneyland Paris.

Springtime Roundup Being Held at Disneyland

DLR Springtime Roundup

Hop to It! – Spring has sprung at Disneyland Park with the new Springtime Roundup, presented March 28-April 20 at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland. Guests of all ages may celebrate the season with live entertainment, dancing, springtime décor, crafts and yummy treats. Several times each day, a lively country band takes center stage, inviting guests and dancing cowboys and cowgirls to come together for a hoedown and “bunny hop.” Mickey and Minnie, dolled up in their Easter best, meet guests, along with famous Disney rabbits that hop in for the occasion. Guests may watch demonstrations on egg art and decorate their own bunny-shaped sugar cookies throughout the day. Special snacks include apple pie burritos and cotton candy swirled in lovely springtime pastels.

Disney Parks Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of ‘It’s a Small World’ Invites the World to Join a Global Sing-Along

DISNEY PARKS SMALL WORLD

In a historic, global event, guests and cast members at Disney Parks around the world will unite in song to celebrate the 50thanniversary of “it’s a small world,” the classic Disney Parks attraction that opened as a tribute to peace and hope at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Fans from around the world can join the festivities in a first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along atSmallWorld50.com.

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, hundreds of voices from Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas.”

Fans around the world also are invited to join the global sing-along virtually. SmallWorld50.com launches today as a “global hub” of music and harmony where guests may record videos of themselves singing the classic song and create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to benefit UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). UNICEF provides health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more to children around the world.

” ‘it’s a small world’ has inspired hundreds of millions of people through its timeless theme,” said Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Every moment of every day there are Disney guests enjoying ‘it’s a small world’ somewhere around the globe.  The 50th anniversary of this attraction represents a celebration of the shared optimism, hope, and humanity of people throughout the world.”

New Video Features People Around the World Singing “It’s a Small World”

To help announce the celebration, Disney Parks released a video featuring people around the world singing, dancing to and playing “It’s a Small World.” Filmed across six continents in more than 25 countries, the video features international “performers” – including bagpipers in Scotland, Bollywood movie actors in India, a firefighter in New York City, and members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – to create one worldwide video.

That video and others will be part of the launch of SmallWorld50.com, the global website for the attraction’s anniversary. Fans around the world are encouraged to participate online by recording on the Small World 50 website videos of themselves singing “It’s a Small World” and by creating virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to share with their friends through social media.

The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” plus $1for every sing-along video recorded on SmallWorld50.com and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to$100,000. Disney began its relationship with UNICEF in 1964 with the debut of “it’s a small world” at the New York World’s Fair. More recently, Disney and UNICEF have worked together to create a brighter tomorrow for thousands of children through programming that helps foster imagination and creativity.

Throughout the day, Disney Parks also will sponsor Google Hangouts that invite people from around the world to participate in the anniversary events. Fans are encouraged to visit SmallWorld50.com for details.

Disney Store adds to the Golden Anniversary celebration with the “it’s a small world” doll collection, inspired by the original Fantasyland attraction, and stores nationwide will offer fans a chance to celebrate at “it’s a small world” events. From Thursday, April 10, to Sunday, April 13, children are invited to visit a participating Disney Store to take a journey on an imaginary boat ride around the globe, learning how to say “hello” in various languages and singing “It’s a Small World” along the way. Guests are encouraged to call their local Disney Store or visit DisneyStore.com to confirm participation and details.

The Creation of a Classic 

One of the most beloved attractions in the history of Disney Parks, “it’s a small world” is featured at all five Disney Resorts around the world. The original attraction premiered at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, created by Walt Disney himself and WED Enterprises, which eventually became Walt Disney Imagineering (the creative masters behind Disney theme parks and attractions).

The attraction features a gentle boat ride through a Lilliputian land populated by colorfully dressed Audio-Animatronics dolls representing children from many regions of the world singing a simple song about universal harmony. A team of WED artistic geniuses, including Disney Legends designer Mary Blair and costumer Alice Davis, created its now iconic style.

In 1963, Walt Disney was asked to create an exhibit for the 1964 World’s Fair to salute UNICEF and children around the world. With Walt’s blessing, Marc Davis, one of the original Disney animators, designed the boat ride attraction through the regions and countries of the world. The first version of “it’s a small world” entertained and thrilled more than 10 million visitors in New York from 1964-65. In 1966, after some major enhancements, including an enlargement of approximately 33 percent, the attraction found a permanent home at Disneyland in California.

In the attraction, hundreds of dolls “sing” the familiar song, “It’s a Small World,” in five languages (English, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish). Academy Award® winning composers Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who won two Oscars® for their work on Disney’s feature film “Mary Poppins,” were asked by Walt Disney to create a simple, yet catchy piece that could be sung in many different languages while guests traveled by boat through the attraction. The resulting song, “It’s a Small World (After All),” became one of the most well known and happiest of all Disney tunes.