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Celebrating 50 Years of “it’s a small world” Around the World

IT'S A SMALL WORLD AT THE 1964 WORLD'S FAIR 50TH ANNIVERSARY

Today was a big day in Disney theme park history. We celebrated the 50th anniversary of Disney’s “it’s a small world” along with thousands of guests and cast members at Disney Parks around the globe united today in a historic “It’s a Small World” sing-along. The iconic attraction opened as a tribute to peace and hope, saluting UNICEF, at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Today it is represented around the globe.

“‘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.”

I had the opportunity to talk with a few of the cast members who are responsible for maintaining the Magic Kingdom version of the attraction. We talk about the history of the attraction and what is involved in caring for all the dolls costumes:

Throughout the day, Disney Parks guests participated in events in all five resorts around the world, including in-park sing-alongs, cavalcades and special musical performances. Richard M. Sherman, the Oscar-winning songwriter who composed “It’s a Small World” with his late brother, Robert, led a sing-along at Disneyland Park in California.Read More »Celebrating 50 Years of “it’s a small world” Around the World

New Lawsuit Accuses Disney Parks of Discrimination Against Guests With Cognitive Impairments

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A group of guests have filed a lawsuit against Disneyland and Walt Disney World alleging the new Disabled Access System (DAS) violates the American with Disabilities Act, specifically for guests with cognitive impairments, such as autism. The main argument of the lawsuit is that prior to the new DAS system, Disney was much more accommodating allowing families to have wonderful experiences together. And because Disney had the knowledge to provide those accommodations then, to not provide them now is discriminatory. The lawsuit gives multiple examples of guests who are unable to comply with the new DAS process without risking a meltdown from the impaired individual.

As you might expect, the lawsuit systematically excludes evidence that doesn’t support its theory. For nearly everything it lists as examples of Disney’s bad behavior, I’ve read first hand accounts of the exact opposite behavior from Disney. But that’s how a lawsuit works.

Some of the facts in the lawsuit are incorrect or border on the incorrect. It mentions that a photo of the disabled guest is added to the DAS, but then states that it is related to the entry to the park, which it’s not. It’s related to making sure the person who is using the DAS is the disabled person, not someone who picked it up off the ground.

They also accuse Disney of sponsoring videos to make the ‘rented invalid’ problem seem worse than it was. I would like to see the evidence for that.

What is true, is that Disney changed their procedures and they are not as accommodating to those with cognitive impairments as they were in the old system. But it does not also follow that that change now places Disney outside the boundaries of the protections the ADA provides.

I guess that is now for the courts to decide.Read More »New Lawsuit Accuses Disney Parks of Discrimination Against Guests With Cognitive Impairments

2014 Hidden Mickey Pins to Be Arriving Soon

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If you’re a fan of trading pins at the parks, you’ll be excited to hear that the Hidden Mickey pins for 2014 will be released soon to cast members! The first wave will feature favorite characters and attractions from both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as the “it’s a small world” collection that will be shared between parks to mark the famous attraction’s 50th anniversary.

From the selection of Disneyland pins, I’m especially loving the Tiki Faces and Oswald. And the tiles, which are inspired by the art on Carthay Circle on Buena Vista Street, are also great collectibles.

And for the Walt Disney World collection, the Parking Lot signs are back again, along with some new choices. I particularly like the Colorful Pascal (because he’s the best Disney sidekick ever) and the Character Sketch Pads.

Pictures of the Wave A pins from Disneyland and Walt Disney World are below:
Read More »2014 Hidden Mickey Pins to Be Arriving Soon

Animated Recreation of Disneyland’s America Sings

James Lopez is best known as an animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios and an instructor at CalArts. He’s worked on a bevy of great film characters including Timon from The Lion King, Pain from Hercules, and Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog.… Read More »Animated Recreation of Disneyland’s America Sings

Disneyland Resort for the Holidays is Festive Fun

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This year at the Disneyland Resort you can see something you’ve never seen before, Cars Land decorated for the holidays. It’s as fabulous as it sounds.

In addition to the festive automotive decor of Cars Land (more photos at the bottom of this post) there is also the tasteful glamor of Buena Vista Street, making Disney California Adventure the perfect holiday compliment to the parade, fireworks, and jamboree fun found in Disneyland.

Read More »Disneyland Resort for the Holidays is Festive Fun

Disneyland Resort Ambassador Team

Disneyland Names 2013 Ambassadors

To become a Disneyland Ambassador is a great honor for any cast member. It’s a tradition that goes back to 1965 when Walt Disney himself selected the first Ambassador, Julie Reihm, to help with community awareness and media interviews. The ambassador represents the 23,000 other… Read More »Disneyland Names 2013 Ambassadors

Disneyland sets New 2012 Half-Marathon Course

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Earlier this week, runDisney made another exciting announcement, this time revealing the course for the Disneyland Half Marathon to be held on September 2, 2012. Although the majority of the course remains unchanged from years previous, there is an exciting new turn early on that… Read More »Disneyland sets New 2012 Half-Marathon Course