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 Disney Parks Releases 
Disney Parks After Dark: A Canopy of Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is in full swing at Disney's Hollywood Studios, with more than 5 million lights on display.

Here's a shot of my absolute favorite part of the display -- the canopy of lights that you get to walk under as you exit the Streets of America area of the park.

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Come out to the park to see it for yourself through January 4, 2015.

Disney Parks After Dark: A Canopy of Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Happy Thanksgiving from Disneyland Park

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Holidays at the Disneyland Resort may have started November 13, but our autumn colors are in full force right alongside the Christmas trees and tinsel. I wanted to show you this lovely photo taken by Disneyland Chief Photographer, Paul Hiffmeyer, showing golden autumn leaves against the icy slopes of the Matterhorn. All of us here at the Disneyland Resort wish you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving from Disneyland Park by Erin Glover: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Disney Parks Blog Team

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Happy Thanksgiving! It may be a holiday weekend, but our authors have a few fun surprises to share with you right here over the next few days, including a new Disney Parks Blog wallpaper, another live stream announcement, and more. And those of you who can't wait to indulge in Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping over the next few days can find everything you need to know about Disney Parks deals in this post by Steven from earlier in the week.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Disney Parks Blog Team by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Every Role a Starring Role - Hotel Programs Coordinator

Did you know that guests staying at any of the three Disneyland Resort hotels have an opportunity to participate in fun, exclusive activities? Hotel Programs Coordinator Dave Lay and his team work together to create and facilitate these unique experiences for our hotel guests, including learning to drawing Mickey Mouse and morning power walks through Disney California Adventure park, before it's open to day guests! Watch how Dave leads hotel guests through these one-of-a-kind activities in this "Every Role a Starring Role!"

Every Role a Starring Role - Hotel Programs Coordinator by Melanie Vogel: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Real Super Heroes at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

I love runDisney finish lines. Short of running and crossing myself, there is no place I would rather be during an event weekend. The shouts of joy, tears of happiness and the pure emotion of runners achieving their goals is amazing.

Although it is exciting to see the winners and top finishers cross, it's the runners in the middle of the pack and at the end of the race where I find the most inspiration. For many of these athletes, and yes they are athletes, it is their first race. They set a goal, trained hard and are now experiencing one of the greatest accomplishments in their lives. Others are running for a cause dear to their heart. And for some of these runners they battled hardship on the course and are digging deep to make it to the finish.

If you follow my posts you know one of my favorite stories to produce are profiles on last-place finishers. Partly because I like to point out that runDisney treats the last place finisher just like race winners with fanfare, music and confetti, but also because I like to share what motivated and gave those runners the will to finish. My hope is their stories inspire others to get off the couch, try running, adopt a healthy active lifestyle and join us for a runDisney event.

Recently at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort, I set out to do that story again. Fortunately for all of us I ended up getting a story with a little more meaning -- an inspirational story that focuses on selfless sportsmanship.

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Now, I'm not going to give you all the details in this blog post because I am hoping you will watch and see the story unfold as it did for me. But what I will tell you is that on race day Cambrey Fuller from South Jordan, UT, met an angel, a true super hero, Ashley White from Phoenix, AZ.

On behalf of all of us at runDisney, congratulations Cambrey for crossing the finish line, and thank you Ashley for being a super hero. This is what running and runDisney are all about.

For more information on runDisney and to register for an upcoming event, visit runDisney.com.

Real Super Heroes at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort by Robert Hitchcock: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Celebrate Thanksgiving With A Disney Parks Turkey Leg Wallpaper

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Just in time for Thanksgiving Day, we have our latest holiday-inspired Disney Parks Blog wallpaper. The art features one of our famous theme park turkey legs and Disney Artist Jeff Maurer created it so you can spruce up your smartphone or computer for the big day.

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Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it. And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special wallpaper page.

Celebrate Thanksgiving With A Disney Parks Turkey Leg Wallpaper by Thomas Smith: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park - Floral Mickey

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Main Street Station and its iconic floral depiction of Mickey Mouse have become one of the most photographed locations in the world, as millions of guests over six decades have captured their first Disney Parks memory entering Walt Disney's original magic kingdom.

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But less than a week before opening day, the floral in "floral Mickey" had yet to materialize. Horticulturalist Jack Evans received a memo dated July 11, 1955, from Joe Fowler which read, "When are you going to plant Mickey Mouse in the entrance? Looks to me like the time is getting pretty late."

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As you probably know, "Mickey" was planted in time for the big day and he's been in full bloom every day since.

Check back for more "construction updates" soon.


Previously in the "Building the Dream" series:

Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park -- Floral Mickey by George Savvas: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Tree of Life

Symbolizing the interconnected nature of all living things, the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom rises up from the center of Discovery Island at the park. Soaring over 140 feet into the air, the Tree of Life hadn't "grown" any of its 100,000+ leaves yet in January 1997.

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The 14-story tree is 50 feet wide at its base with roots that spread 170 feet in diameter. More than 8,000 branches make up the foliage that spreads 160 feet over the park below.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Tree of Life by Nate Rasmussen: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Family Volunteer Day - Serving Communities in the Spirit of Thanksgiving

On Saturday, November 22, Disney Friends for Change sponsored Family Volunteer Day, a nation-wide effort that demonstrates the magic created when families volunteer together to support their neighborhoods and communities around the world. The annual event, now in its 22nd year, celebrates the power that families have to make a real difference in their community, while strengthening their relationships and spending quality time together. Here's a look at how Walt Disney Parks and Resorts teams participated in Family Volunteering Day and other holiday giving projects:

  • At Disneyland Resort, Disney VoluntEARS helped pack food boxes at the Orange County Food Bank in support of Family Volunteer Day. VoluntEARS hosted another event at the Downtown Disney District to make healthy snack-packs that were also donated to the Orange County Food Bank. Additionally, Disneyland cast members participated in a Military Care Package drive and a canned food collection.
  • To support Family Volunteer Day, Disney VoluntEARS and families from Hong Kong Disneyland took part in a coastal cleanup activity at Silvermine Bay. The event gave families the opportunity to spend time together while contributing to the cleanliness of their surrounding shoreline. In December, Hong Kong Disneyland cast members and their families will also visit two local hospitals for festive celebrations to help spread the joy of the holidays amongst patients and their loved ones.
  • Every year, VoluntEARS from Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa partner with their neighbors at Ko Olina Resort for Thanksgiving Outreach, an event that serves meals to 4,000 people across Oahu's Leeward Coast.
  • In the spirit of Family Volunteer Day, Shanghai Disney Resort partnered with the non-profit organization Right to Play China through "Imagination Playground," a play outreach program that aims to strengthen family bonds through various creative play activities. More than 100 children of migrant workers and low-income families have participated in family play activities with Shanghai Disney Resort VoluntEARS this holiday season.
  • At Walt Disney World Resort, cast members and their families partnered with the 2013-2014 Walt Disney World Resort Ambassadors to support Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation's (ONIC) Family Fun & Fall Festival. VoluntEARS helped set-up and break down the event, staff the activity and game stations and serve refreshments. Additionally, VoluntEARS from Disney's Pop Century Resort will serve meals on Thanksgiving at the Coalition for Homeless Center for Women & Children and Men's Pavilion.

Real magic comes from the efforts of families working together to make lasting and positive change in the world. Thanks to our teams from around the world and to the families who are part of that magic every year.

Family Volunteer Day - Serving Communities in the Spirit of Thanksgiving by Thomas Smith: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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Learn More About The Talented Hong Kong Disneyland Chefs

Since 1955, Disney Parks and Resorts have been places where guests can create memorable experiences with their friends and families. Immersive dining experiences have become an integral part of the storytelling and guest experience. Disney chefs across the world create meals for guests with careful attention to detail. The talented chefs at Hong Kong Disneyland have recently proven themselves to be international culinary leaders.

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The wide range of dishes prepared by Hong Kong Disneyland chefs showcase their diverse culinary talents. They are able to cook delicious American meals, South Asian cuisine and even Halal-certified and vegetarian options. The chefs at the award-winning Crystal Lotus restaurant in the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel can even create dishes from four major culinary regions of China: Sichuan, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong.

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The chefs at Hong Kong Disneyland have boosted the resort's reputation for its culinary excellence. A team of chefs led by Hong Kong Disneyland won the world-renowned Salon Culinaire Mondial last year. This western cuisine competition is held every six years in Basel, Switzerland and measures culinary art at the topmost level. Also, two young chefs from Hong Kong Disneyland won the 2013 International Young Chef Challenge in Korea.

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Not only do these chefs cook excellent meals at the park, they use their time and culinary talent to serve people in the community. Through a partnership with Hong Kong's leading hunger relief charity, Foodlink, the Hong Kong Disneyland chefs donate surplus food to those in need. Since the program began in December 2013, Hong Kong Disneyland has collected more than 11 tons of safe-to-eat excess food from its hotel and restaurants. Chefs volunteer their personal time and use surplus ingredients to make delicious meals which are then delivered to underserved children and families in nearby communities in Hong Kong each week.

We are thrilled to have such talented chefs at Hong Kong Disneyland!

Learn More About The Talented Hong Kong Disneyland Chefs by Pam Brandon: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

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