In Walt’s Words- A Look Back At The Disney On The Road At Disneyland
Last week I was surrounded by Disney magic, as I was lucky enough to be invited to be a part of Disney On The Road Celebration, a special one day event that takes the the Disney Social Media Moms Celebrations to places around the country. For the first time ever, this magical event came home to where it all started -the Disneyland Resort with the morning festivities hosted at Disney Paradise Pier Resort.
“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.”
The morning kicked off as we entered the dazzling ballroom at the Disney Paradise Pier Resort. Adorned with everything from special edition Glow With The Show Ears and magical paint brushes that yes, lit up and made noise, much to my delight, to our own special Mickey and Minnie Mouse all decked out in their Disneyland Diamond Celebration finest, as magical as the room was, it was the shrieks of delight and the tears of joy as we encountered friends that we hadn’t seen in far too long, or finally met in person for the very first time, that was the real star of the kickoff to the morning of surprises and special treats as only Disney can do.
Disney has the inexplicable ability to bring out the best in us all. It allows us to keep the most important parts of our childhood-curiosity, enthusiasm, the willingness to be silly, but more importantly to live in the moment and believe in the magic unconditionally and nowhere was that more true than in that roomful of people who had come together to be a part of the special “On The Road” Celebration knowing that one man’s dream still lives on in the hearts and souls of so many.
I think Walt would have loved to be a part of this but in having it at the Disneyland Resort, you couldn’t help but feel his presence all around you in everything we did. It was the words of Walt that I kept coming back to me as we learned for ourselves about all the things that Disney had planned for us not only for that day but for the upcoming year and beyond. Here’s a look at some of my takeaways from that morning, and what you can look forward to in the days, weeks and months ahead.
“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
As we bid a fond farewell to the Disneyland Diamond Celebration, Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director at Disneyland Resort the Disneyland Resort filled us in on all that is new at the Happiest Place On Earth as well as what the future holds.
- Although the dazzling “Paint The Night” parade will roll down Main Street USA for the last time over Labor Day Weekend, the quintessential Disney Parks nighttime parade, the Disney Main Street Electrical Parade is coming home to where it belongs for a limited engagement.
- Over at Disney California Adventure Park, you can now go Soarin’ Around The World in the newly reimagined attraction that whisks you away on a journey above more than a dozen wondrous international destinations around the world.
- Once you land, head down Buena Vista Street and take in the Broadway caliber stage show, “Frozen- Live at the Hyperion” which delights audiences young and all. This all-new theatrical interpretation for the stage adapts the story of Anna and Elsa from Disney’s blockbuster hit, Frozen. Trust when I say this is worth melting for and you won’t want to let it go after you experience it for yourself.
- If you haven’t dropped in at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, now is the time to check in before it puts up its “No Vacancy” sigh for the last time in January as it gets ready to transport you to a new galaxy when in the summer 2017, the outrageous and irreverent gang will appear in Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! – a comically high-energy, rocking new adventure.
- Guests will be right in the mix with characters from the blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.
“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”
The one and only Leanne Jakubowski O’Regan, Director of Social Media at Disney Parks served as our incomparable hostess for the morning along with Michele Himmelberg both gave us a magical look behind the curtains as to what was new across the Disney family and what we could look forward to in the future.
This summer all eyes were glued to the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort and Shanghai Disneyland first Disney Park resort in Mainland China and the second in Greater China, after the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Shanghai Disney is truly a one of a kind destination featuring attractions, entertainment, restaurants, shops and more created especially for China at Shanghai Disney Resort. From the largest castle ever created, Enchanted Storybook Castle to Mickey Avenue to Wishing Star Park to a Tomorrowland unlike nothing we’ve ever experienced before, put a visit to Shanghai on the top of your Wish List of must-see places.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Get ready to set sail as the Disney Cruise Lines adds not one but two more ships ready to take to the high seas for more destinations than ever before.
“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”
- The Force Is Strong at Disneyland and Disney Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort as Star Wars-themed lands prepare to give guests a brand new immersive experience as guests are transported to a galaxy far, far, away.
- The toys are back in town as Toy Story Land is now under construction also at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. The new land, inspired by the Toy Story film franchise, will allow guests to shrink to the size of a toy and explore the world of Andy’s backyard.
- Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, get ready to step into a world like no other as mystical world of Pandora – The World of AVATAR will take guest to a land that features awe-inspiring floating mountains, a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants as well as an amazing new attraction called AVATAR Flight of Passage which will allow guests to experience what it’s like to fly with banshees.
“I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.”
- Now open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Tree of Life Awakening a new nighttime spectacular in which each scene appears to emanate from within the iconic Tree of Life itself and reveals stories of wonder from the animal kingdom.
- Disney Springs has taken the former Downtown Disney District at the Walt Disney World Resort from 75 shops and restaurants to more than 150 and is a shopper and foodie’s delight. The waterfront property is a vibrant mix of stores, restaurants and entertainment spread through four distinct neighborhoods and not to be missed.
- This summer the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort gave a royal welcome to a brand new Princess, Elena of Avalor, Disney’s first princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures. You can see Elena daily at the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage several times a day.
“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”
Thanks to Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director at the Disneyland Resort, and Victoria Lim Managing Editor of Public Relations & Editorial Content, and the hundreds of others that work with them to help create the Disney Parks Blog, the dream becomes a reality as they tell the stories behind the story that bring every aspect of Disney to life.
Through their online website as well as the social media channels that bring you all the latest in the up to the minute news from the Parks as well as their videos, live broadcasts, special events and forums, once again they show that with Disney it all begins and ends with the storytelling, no matter what medium you chose to tell it in, and there are millions of stories waiting to be told when it comes to Disney. Erin taught us all that whether it is for own blog, or for the editorial content of something as expansive as the Disney Parks Blog, advance planning is the key and sometimes the simplest ways, are still the best. From Victoria we all learned to create our own professional looking videos, using the tools we had at hand-our smart phones.
“Animation offers a medium of story telling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world.”
Enter Amy Smeed, the first woman ever to hold the title of head of animation for Disney Animation Studios and who brought with her special previews of Disney’s Moana, which sails into theaters November 23. Her passion for the project was infectious and her genuine enthusiasm for the movie and what it represents immediately captured the hearts and minds of every person in the room. Walt Disney’s 56th animated film, Moana, is a story of family, of courage, of determination and following your calling and finding your destiny in the world.
The story takes place three thousand years ago, when the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why. Disney’s Moana will be Disney’s first Pacific Islander princess and will feature the voice talents of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a mighty demi-god and introducing Auli’i Cravalho who stars a Moana, the young teenage girl who bravely sails across the Pacific Ocean to “complete her ancestors’ quest and decides to sail across the Pacific Ocean to finish what her ancestors started. Save the date and get ready to set sail with Disney’s Moana, when it sails into theaters and into our hearts November 23…the ocean is calling. To find out more about the making of Disney’s Moana, click here. For an in-depth look at the characters that bring the film to life, click here.
“Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.”
Just when you thought the surprises couldn’t possibly get any better, they could as actress, mom, and blogger Tiffani Thiessen and Good Morning America meteorologist, adventurer and new mom Ginger Zee took to the stage to share a little of what they had learned along the way.
Both shared that their journeys started and still continued with parents that supported and encouraged their dreams full heartedly, and that the most important things in life were not necessarily whether you succeed at everything you do each and every day, but that you try. Both women were humble, easy going with a love for life and their families that captured our hearts.
“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever.”
The magic is just beginning at Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort as the holidays are about to be in full swing and transform the parks into places of even more wonderment and magic.
Mickey’s Halloween Party at the Disneyland Resort invites guests to scare up some fun during spookiest time of the year. Beginning September 9 through October 31 will bring 17 nights of Mickey’s Halloween Party as well as seasonal favorites like Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday. Beginning this year get ready for the new “Frightfully Fun Parade” as it takes to the streets, featuring a spectacle of spooky spirits from the deepest bayous of New Orleans to Halloweentown and beyond featuring the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow who sets the tone as he arrives on his ghostly black steed just ahead of the parade itself, carrying a flickering jack-o-lantern as a warning to everyone along the parade route.
Over at Walt Disney World Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is already welcoming boos and ghouls of all ages to celebrate HallowScream time featuring feature the new stage show, “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular,” as well as returning favorites, like Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Parade and “Happy HalloWishes” Fireworks. Disney characters will be dressed in their Halloween best, and guests at the event can take photos with all Seven Dwarfs, appearances by Jack and Sally from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and Lotso from “Toy Story 3” in Tomorrowland. Don’t forget to don your favorite Halloween attire and get ready to fill your goodie bags to the brim as you trick-or-treat your way around the Magic Kingdom.
Once the screams and laughter have subsided, get out your winter best as the Magic Kingdom gets ready to welcome you to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party beginning in November. Parties give you an opportunity to celebrate with snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A., Disney characters in holiday attire, and very special entertainment offerings, including Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade and Cinderella Castle Dream Lights.
It wouldn’t be a Christmas Celebration without a cup of hot chocolate and tasty cookies available throughout the Park. All three holiday parties are separate ticketed events. To find out more information on how you can be a part of the fun, head on over to the Disney Parks Website
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”
For one very magical day, The Disney Social Media Moms “On The Road” Celebration brought us all together at the Happiest Place on Earth and whether it was our first time there, or we had been going since the Park first opened in 1955, our joy and love for Disney multiplied in ways we could have never imagined. We knew when that pixie-dusted invitation hit our inbox that we would all have Disney in common, and it was our magical foundation to build upon throughout the day, and long after we parted.
“The Magic is as wide as a smile and as narrow as a wink, loud as laughter and quiet as a tear, tall as a tale and deep as an emotion and so strong it can lift the spirit, so gentle it can touch the heart. It is the magic that begins the happily ever after.”
Thank you Leanne, Courtnee, Lisa, Erin, Michele and the Disney Parks Social Media Moms Team for a most magical day. It is because of Disney I can make wishes and hold the memories in my heart forever.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”