Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rachel Echo and the Joy to the Small World - Christmas 2009

The new Disney’s holiday television spot [Joy to the Small World] is based on It’s a Small World Holiday Attraction which debuted with a dazzling light display on the building exterior on November 27, 1997 at Disneyland, CA.

I had the honor to met Rachel Echo, a beautiful 13 years old girl, with a amazing voice who lives in Carleton, MI, one of the singers of the TV Commercial song. She was with the MOTCC group ( Michigan Opera Theater Children's Chorus) and one day, Disney people appeared and 14 people was chosen to go and record at Yessin studios. She told me:

“We did it for around 2 hours and then they gave us pizza  and  pop :) lol...we did about 5 different harmonies which we recorded around 3 times each to get the affect of hundreds of kids singing and then we were done. They Layered my voice too!”.

Rachel Echo is the second solo singing “It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears”.

Rachel gave us one last message:

"This was an amazing experience and if anyone is given an opportunity like this, don't pass it up. They were very nice all the time and this is something we'll never forget"

In this video you can hear the original soundtrack and see the clock and the snow at the holiday attraction at Disneyland.

Back to the ride, for the first time, dolls that traditionally sang "it's a small world" in their native languages now alternated with "Jingle Bells” with a new restored and remastered original attraction soundtrack .

A few people knows that: Bill Rogers, the voice of Disneyland, is heard inside the attraction.

Bill is most known for his Disneyland announcements such as welcoming guests in the morning or the notification that the fireworks will be beginning in just five minutes. In the spirit of the season, Bill told about his character: "The folks in the music and entertainment departments came to me fortunately, because I really didn't have much to do in terms of attractions at any time, and they asked me to record a few Santa Claus lines. For years I had been doing Santa Claus for my children, not only privately but in public. So Santa Claus was allowed to offer a few admonitions to those who had been good and those who were considering the dark side. We just had a whole lot of fun with this!"

Click Here to see the Rachel Echo Youtube page

Click Here to see the Bill Rogers Official Homepage

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Behind the Magic — Disney Holidays HGTV

David  Bromstad, former Disney World cast member, won fame by winning the first season of HGTV’s Design Star. Last week, the Miami-Beach based designer was back in the parks, working on Behind the Magic — Disney Holidays, an HGTV special that debuts Nov. 29. Bromstad, who now hosts Color Splash on HGTV (taping resumes in January, he says), talked about the episode.

What is your mission while here?
We’re filming behind the scenes Disney magic Christmas special. We’re showing America how crazy and fantastic Disney is. Really, they do everything overnight.

What kind of things are you seeing?
Last night we saw Main Street getting all decorated. We saw the Castle. We saw people practicing. Just everything and all happening simulatenously. Really quite amazing.

Did they rip down Halloween in front of you?

They ripped out Halloween before we even got there, and we got here pretty early. They were on top of things.

Is it giving you a flashback to your time as a cast member?
Absolutely, I worked with visual merchandisers for several years. I knew a lot of the stuff that happened, but it’s always so crazy and amazing to see it again and again and again. You never get sick of it.

You host “Color Splash” and Disney IS a color splash. What style would you call that?
You can go into the Magic Kingdom and see a very traditional Christmas then go over to Tomorrowland and see something really wacky and far out and wild. Then go to Animal Kingdom and see something completely opposite. That’s the great thing about Disney, there are so many places that you can go and be inspired by different things.

Did you learn something you did not know in the last two days?
I didn’t know it only took three days to do [decorate] the entire Magic Kingdom. That was the biggest thing. I knew it happened quickly — just not that quickly.

What else have you seen?

I actually got to go into the Disney Christmas warehouse, where cameras have never really been before. I got to see all the trees, the fake trees all dismantled and being ready to be shipped out. All the floor trees, wreaths and garland. It’s huge — 5,000 square feet of Christmas crazy. Awesome.

Did your Disney experience influence your personal style?

Disney always influences me. Disney is what I look to for quality. Because I worked here as an artist and because I learned how to be an artist because of Disney, they took the quality of my art and made it superior. To this day, when I do artwork or when I do a room, I always compare to if it would match up with Disney.

Click Here to see the original post at Disney Parks Blog

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Magic Kingdom Carol

Every holiday season, Disney becomes more magical with a lot of special events, decoration, shows, parades and more.

For me, Main Street U.S.A is unbeatable this time of year. Get a sundae with hot fudge at Ice Cream Parlor and see the Castle with it special christmas lights from Rose Garden while setting up for Wishes Nighttime Spectacular is one of my favorites.

And how about you? What's your favorite part about celebrate the season?

In this video, you'll see the 2009 Emporium windows with the Mickey's Christmas Carol decorations and some guests talking about their favorite part at Disney Parks.

Click Here to see Mickey's Christmas Carol film

Click Here to see the original post / video at Disney Parks Blog

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Disney's Magical Weddings and Proposals


Fairy Tales Come True at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on October 10th, 2011 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations

Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons brought some romance to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, last week showcasing the wondrous possibilities for matrimony at our newest resort.

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The Makaloa Garden was completely transformed into a stylish and elegant wedding venue complete with a draped floral wedding arch, dazzling chandeliers and chic furnishings. We even sprinkled in a little Disney magic with custom made Mickey-shaped pink pillows and flower petals forming the shape of Mickey’s head carefully placed down the aisle. Mickey and Minnie themselves even joined in on the enchanting celebration sporting their Hawaiian wedding attire.

Internet Marriage Proposal Couple Celebrates Their Engagement at Disneyland Park

posted on September 30th, 2011 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

You may have seen an online video of a fun marriage proposal that occurred at Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort last week.

We thought it would be fun to meet this young couple, so we invited Jamin and Valerie to Disneyland park, where our own Paul Hiffmeyer took their engagement photo.

Jamin and Valerie at Disneyland Park

They told me their favorite things to do at the Disneyland Resort include Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Soarin’ Over California and especially Turtle Talk with Crush! These two are truly kids at heart.

Today, they are most looking forward to experiencing Star Tours: The Adventures Continue for the very first time.

Jamin and Valerie at Disneyland Park

Some special guests also stopped by to wish the happy couple best wishes on their upcoming marriage.

As for setting the date, it’s looking like May 11, 2012, is going to be the big day. Congratulations, Valerie and Jamin!



Wedding Bells Ring at Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Weddings 
If your thoughts turn to love, romance, and all things "twitter-pated" in the spring, you're not alone – there's a reason that spring is the traditional season for wooing and wedding. And for couples who are ready to take that final step and embrace a happily-ever-after, there's no finer place than Walt Disney World Resort to say "I do."

We wanted to peek behind the bridal veil and see what goes into planning a Disney's Fairy Tale Wedding, so we sat down with Korri McFann. A 15-year veteran on the Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons team, Korri gave us some helpful tips for making the most of a wedding and showed us what it takes to make the magic.

"I and many of my colleagues are all very passionate about the work we do in weddings," she explains. "I guess you can say we are one of the few who get to think about weddings 365 days of the year!"

That passion is put to work creating weddings that are as special as the couples they celebrate. And to make a wedding truly memorable, Korri urges the couple to take charge and decide what would make the day meaningful. "Being engaged is very overwhelming, but it is very important to share with our team what is most important to you. The more our team knows the better we can help to make your day perfect."

She recommends booking 16 months in advance to ensure couples can reserve the venue of their choice, and to allow plenty of time for relaxed planning with their Disney Wedding Planner. Specialists are assigned to help them arrange food, flowers, and complete event management. Korri reminds couples, "Our dedicated team of experts is here to make the planning process easy and, more importantly, fun. Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings truly is a 'one-stop-shop' for all your planning needs. Walt Disney World Resort offers floral, photo, video, transportation, culinary, and entertainment that work perfectly together so you don't have to!"

Once the planning is done and the big day arrives, she has one crucial tip, "My biggest advice for the wedding day is to let go ... allow us to take on the planning, so you can truly be a guest at your own wedding!"

The Memories Collection makes planning easy, with wedding plans designed with a Disney touch – just choose the option that strikes your fancy and let the magic unfold. But suppose you picture a wedding as unique as you are? For couples looking for a truly personalized experience, the Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings Wishes Collection is there to make their dreams come true. From an intimate gathering to a grand gala event, the team is there to tailor every detail. Says Korri, "My favorite part is helping a couple create an event that is their story. This can be as simple as a color scheme, an amazing menu that reflects their heritage, or special entertainment and special touches that reflect themselves as a couple. That is when you know you have helped to plan a great wedding!"

The centerpiece of a fairy-tale wedding is a fairy-tale gown – and it's hard to do better than a gown from an actual fairy tale! Brides looking for lovely couture can turn to the Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo collection, inspired by the style and personality of seven iconic Disney Princesses: Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, and Tiana. The collection includes classic, grand ball gowns in layers of tulle and sparkle net, updated fit and flare styles to highlight curves and movement, and pleated and wrapped bodices to flatter the bride's figure.

Flowers and frills make a wedding lovely and highlight this once-in-a-lifetime moment. But the key to a real dream wedding might lie in something very simple. Korri says, "We have seen a lot of events over the years, but the best weddings are when couples relax and get to enjoy their event. It is about the couples joining as one family – I still tear up when I see a bride go down the aisle. I guess that is why I am still in this business!"

First Look at the Royal Wedding Dress – Ariel’s, That is

posted on April 25th, 2011 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

As anticipation builds for the British royal wedding on Friday, so does speculation about what Kate Middleton will wear when she weds Prince William. We have another princess getting ready to debut her wedding gown here at the Disneyland Resort, on June 3. That’s when Ariel and Prince Eric will debut in The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, an attraction inspired by the classic animated film, including the film’s wedding scene.

To find out more about Ariel’s dress and Prince Eric’s attire, I talked to the clothing designer, Gloria Bowls. She collaborated with Walt Disney Imagineer Larry Nikolai to create a look that reflects several periods of British history. Ariel’s gown, similar to the dress in the film, was largely influenced by the royal wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 (“The Little Mermaid” film debuted in 1989).

“What was amazing about Diana’s dress was that no princess had arrived on the scene with such grandeur – larger than life,” Gloria said. “Ariel’s dress has some of that grandeur, a fantasy come to life – and larger than life. The big poof sleeves are almost as big as her head.”

Here’s a sneak peek at Ariel in her wedding finery.

First Look at the Royal Wedding Dress - Ariel’s, That is

Gloria designed custom wedding gowns and evening wear before taking on the challenge of designing costumes for Audio-Animatronics figures and consulting for Disney. She credits Larry Nikolai’s vision for encouraging her to let this dress express Ariel’s mermaid personality (i.e., she has this thing for “thingamabobs”).

“Ariel’s dress is made very much like a regular bride’s dress in that the bodice is fully lined, interlined and extensively boned – it practically stands up on its own,” Bowls said. “My favorite part is the front inset of the skirt … an underwater seascape with a shell, a starfish, a seahorse, all beaded and appliqued on, with seaweed lace.

“I hope each little girl will come off the ride inspired and dreaming of having a dress like Ariel’s for her own wedding day.”

These photos show Gloria as she was working on the dress, plus some of the intricate detail.

First Look at the Royal Wedding Dress - Ariel’s, That is
First Look at the Royal Wedding Dress - Ariel’s, That is
First Look at the Royal Wedding Dress - Ariel’s, That is

Complementing Ariel’s dress is Prince Eric’s attire, inspired by 19th century British royalty and British military uniforms. Details such as gold silk buttons reflect the aspects of courage, valor and honor.

Gloria was one of many experts who worked on this attraction. Would you like to hear from some of the Walt Disney Imagineers who created the Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure? Enter for a chance to attend our meet-up, scheduled for May 10 at 6:30 p.m.

What do you think of the magical detail in Ariel’s royal wedding gown?

‘Rock the Pavilion’ with Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons

posted on April 11th, 2011 by Korri McFann, Worldwide Marketing & Business Development Director, Weddings and Honeymoons

We recently had the honor of kicking off the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration where we held a surprise vow renewal ceremony for Walt Disney World couple, Kristen & Greg. I’m seeing more and more couples look for unique and interesting ways to make their grand entrance, so I wanted something fun and energetic to introduce our bride Kristen. I enlisted the help of some friends and Franck himself to make operation ‘Rock the Pavilion’ come to life.

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In 1991 Disney created the Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings services to couples at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Cruise Lines.

In the beginning, only couples with a valid California or Florida marriage license could purchase its wedding packages but, since 2007 even gay couples can have a commitment ceremony and they added the Honeymoon service.

People propose at Disney Parks all the time, so… nothing is more natural than get married there too. I made 3 videos to show how those proposals happen and how Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons can help your dream come true!

According to wedding industry experts, Walt Disney World Resort is Recognized as a top-ranked honeymoon destination and destination weddings venue.

The sky is the limit for themed weddings - from an enchanting Cinderella-like wedding in Magic Kingdom or a Hollywood extravaganza in Disney’s Hollywood Studios to international-themed nuptials at Epcot or a safari-themed reception at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

More than 1,600 couples from every state in America and from international locations wish to tie the knot at Florida or California every year.

The most widely used location for weddings, vow renewals and commitment ceremonies, is the Disney’s Wedding Pavilion on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon, inside the Grand Floridian Resort.

The first wedding at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion was televised live June 18, 1995, on Lifetime Television as part of its “Weddings of a Lifetime” series.

The Imagineers designed it in a special way… you can see Cinderella’s Castle behind the altar and through a arch outside the chapel.

“The pavilion gives couples an elegant indoor setting with the romance of Cinderella Castle visible in the distance,” said George Aguel, vice president resort sales, planning and development, Walt Disney Attractions.

The Best Videos with Proposals, Engagements, Weddings and more at Disney Parks:

Part I

Part II

Part III

“Through the years, hundreds of couples have requested to get married in the theme parks,” said Randy Garfield, executive vice president of sales and travel operations, Walt Disney Attractions. “We have expanded our offerings and designed a one-of-a-kind wedding program to fulfill those special requests.” Weddings at Walt Disney World Resort’s most famous venues are limited only by the imagination of the couples. Here are several possibilities:

Magic Kingdom
            The romance of the fairy tale is captured as a bride, dressed in a specially designed Cinderella gown, arrives in a horse-drawn carriage. A fairy tale major domocarries the wedding rings in a glass slipper, a trumpeter heralds the bride’s entrance with favorite Disney fanfare and an elegant string quartet sets the scene. Couples exchange vows at the Rose Garden with Cinderella Castle as the backdrop for the ultimate fairy tale celebration in a place where dreams really do come true.


            Couples can choose from several venues around World Showcase -- The American Adventure, United Kingdom, France or Italy -- for an international festival featuring specialized food and entertainment. At The Seas with Nemo and Friends, a 5.7-million-gallon tank featuring more than 200 varieties of sea life is the backdrop for couples.


Disney’s Hollywood Studios
            Screaming fans and autograph hounds set the scene. The bride arrives in a star motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard for an official handprint ceremony at the Chinese Theater. A reception follows in the Great Movie Ride attraction. The evening can end with “Sorcery in the Sky” fireworks featuring a personalized pyro show. Couples can even “take the plunge” -- literally and figuratively -- on The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror.


Disney’s Animal Kingdom
            Weddings are exotic at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Couples can take their guests on an adventure into the wild with a safari-themed reception. Imagine African music, food and décor to inspire a beautiful African celebration.

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