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2016 Candlelight Processional Dining Packages Now Available

It’s never too early for some holiday cheer! And today, we’re excited to announce that dining packages for 2016 Candlelight Processional are now on sale.

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As a part of Holidays Around the World at Epcot, this favorite Walt Disney World Resort holiday tradition presents the story of Christmas in truly spectacular fashion – with a celebrity narrator, a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.

Celebrity narrators this year include some returning favorites like contemporary Christian music singer Steven Curtis Chapman, actors Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris and newcomers like legendary baseball player Cal Ripken, Jr. Here’s the list of confirmations we have so far:*

  • 11/25-27 – Steven Curtis Chapman
  • 11/28-12/1 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/2-12/3 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • 12/4-12/12 – TBA
  • 12/13-12/15 – Meredith Vieira
  • 12/16-12/18 – TBA
  • 12/19-12/21 – Joe Morton
  • 12/22-12/27 – TBA
  • 12/28-12/30 – Cal Ripken, Jr.

The processional is performed three times per night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.) during the holiday season at the American Gardens Theatre. These packages, available on select nights, include a delicious meal and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances. Availability is limited.

This year, in addition to lunch and dinner packages, breakfast options are available at some favorite Epcot restaurants like Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and Garden Grill. Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are also available this year at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, with breakfast and dinner options being offered at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk.

Candlelight Dining Packages for breakfast start at $27 plus tax per person for adults and $14 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. Candlelight Dining Packages for lunch and dinner start at $47 plus tax per person for adults and $20 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9.

‘Holidays Around the World’ is an extravaganza of holiday entertainment, merchandise, food, beverages and festivities where guests can celebrate at Epcot throughout the holiday season. Time-honored traditions come alive through the sights and sounds of the countries of World Showcase; and live musical performances enliven the park throughout the day.

To book a Candlelight Processional dining package, conatct your Kingdom Magic Travel Planner today!

Holidays Around the World, including the Candlelight Processional, run November 25 – December 30, 2016 at Epcot.

*Narrators and entertainment are subject to change without notice. Theme park admission is required. There is no 5 p.m. show on 12/4.

Top Ten Can’t-Miss Experiences at Disneyland Resort This Summer

From a new live stage show to all-new attractions, there’s so much for you to experience at the Disneyland Resort this summer! Here are ten experiences you won’t want to miss.

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  • The new “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” immerses Disney California Adventure Park guests in the emotional story of Anna and Elsa in an exciting theatrical interpretation for the stage, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects, show-stopping production numbers and some unique surprises.
  • On Soarin’ Around the World at Disney California Adventure Park, you can take flight on an all-new adventure to exciting destinations.
  • The fun-filled Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, new in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park, is rolling with fun as Luigi’s cugini (or family) have come from Carsoli, Italy, to help celebrate Race Day in Radiator Springs. You can join in the fun by hopping aboard miniature Italian roadsters, in the style of late 1950s micro cars. The cars perform the traditional dances of their village, moving to upbeat music and Luigi’s singing in a precision-choreographed dance across a trackless “dance floor.”
  • In Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park, Star Wars Launch Bay invites Guests to discover authentic replicas of film props and encounter Star Wars characters such as Chewbacca and Kylo Ren.
  • The Star Wars-themed transformation of Space Mountain into Hyperspace Mountain thrusts guests into an X-wing battle as they race through the darkness. The experience is enhanced by a new soundtrack, inspired by the Star Wars films’ musical themes and re-orchestrated to match every move in the attraction.

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  • At Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, guests can encounter a new adventure and characters from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” while journeying aboard a Starspeeder 1000.
  • Make sure you don’t miss their chance to see the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration dazzle and shine before the celebration ends Sept. 5, 2016.
  • The sparkling “Paint the Night” parade builds on the tradition of breathtaking nighttime parades in Disneyland park that began with the “Main Street Electrical Parade.” Illuminated almost entirely by LED lights, “Paint the Night” is a state-of-the art, vibrant wonder that immerses Guests in the magical, luminescent worlds of many Disney and Disney●Pixar characters.
  • The “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular entertains guests from the tips of their toes to the sky high above, surrounding the audience with music, dazzling visual projections and other special effects that bring the pyrotechnics to life in surprising new ways. You may enjoy the projections from multiple locations, including Main Street, U.S.A., and “it’s a small world” mall.
  • At Disney California Adventure Park, “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” is a fun-filled version of the popular, nighttime “World of Color” spectacular. Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris joins Mickey Mouse on a magical water canvas, bringing to life the remarkable story of Walt Disney and The Happiest Place on Earth with animated imagery, live-action film, fountains, lasers, special effects and a stirring musical score.

Ring in 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort with the New ‘Disney Countdown to Midnight’ New Year’s Eve Celebration

Are you headed to Walt Disney World Resort to ring in the new year? There are a variety of great options for fireworks and family fun on New Year’s Eve. But if you are a partygoer  you may want to consider “Disney Countdown to Midnight – A New Year’s Eve Celebration” at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

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This ticketed event will take place Dec. 31, 2016, beginning at 8 p.m. at the hotel’s Convention Center. There, you can ring in 2017 in the Fantasia Ballroom by dancing to music spanning from the ’60s to today, and trying “best-of-the-best” bites and wine pairings from California Grill, Flying Fish, Cítricos and Narcoossee’s.

Party guests can also enjoy the group Alter Ego as they perform their extravagant music- and dance-filled revue, then stroll outside to catch a unique musical act playing songs of today with a retro twist. The event will be highlighted with Magic Kingdom Park fireworks viewing and a champagne toast. There will also be themed photo backdrops and props to help you capture the memories of the evening and receive a souvenir to commemorate the night. Plus complimentary transportation will be provided for select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

Tickets for this special evening are extremely limited. If you have a resort reservation, you can reserve tickets starting today. Reservations will open to all Guests on July 4.

To purchase or for more information, contact your Kingdom Magic Travel Planner.

Disney Cruise Line Special Itinerary Merchandise – Northern Europe

Before the Disney Magic begins our Mediterranean season in early August, she will take Disney cruisers to explore the Baltic region with stops in some of Europe’s most celebrated cities including Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. Of course, no matter where you travel, we always want to make sure you do it in style, which is why our merchandise teams is making sure that we have you covered from head to toe, literally.

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The special line of merchandise designed for the Northern Europe itineraries will include adult and youth T-shirts, fleece, as well as the commemorative keepsakes such as a wood magnet, tumbler, pin and die-cut postcard.

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Discover authentic keepsakes, traditional crafts, folk art and more in our overdressed Russian bazaar inside Sea Treasures, Deck 3, Forward. Also, keep an eye out for specially created pieces of art representing several of the Baltic region ports of call in the Vista Gallery. Here’s a sneak peek of Spinning in Denmark by Daniel Killen.

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We’re not done quite yet. If you are you joining us on the Disney Magic as she sails from Northern Europe to Barcelona, look for this specially created tee and hat, which feature some of the ports of call along the way.

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Merchandise will be available at White Caps, Deck 4, Forward, in addition to other select locations. Next stop the Mediterranean, who’s with us?


Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – with Marc & Kriss

This week on Travel With Rick,  while Rick is still in Maine for part of the summer but was really missing Walt Disney World! His friends Marc and Kriss were at the Magic Kingdom last week and when he saw their video of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, he loved it so much he knew he had to share it with you!.

We hope you enjoy this POV ride on Big Thunder as much as we did, it’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!


‘Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire’ Now Open at Magic Kingdom Park

Hear ye! Hear ye! Let it be known by all lords and ladies of Magic Kingdom Park that “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” has officially begun!

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This all-new live stage show graces the grandest stage at Walt Disney World Resort with magic, music and merriment. Against the majestic backdrop of Cinderella Castle, Mickey Mouse and his friends welcome favorite characters from some of Disney’s newest classics: “The Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled” and “Frozen.” The show celebrates the unique stories of the citizens who make up this magical kingdom and the wonderful moments that can happen when we try new things, go to new places and get to know new friends.

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“Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” features fifteen Disney characters, a musical score recorded by the London Symphony, the original song “On This Day” by composers Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda (“Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings”), elaborate costumes, special effects, a dazzling display of daytime fireworks and more!

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Are you planning to join us for the Faire? Let the celebration begin!


Soarin’ Around the World Is Now Open at Disney Parks

The wait is over! Disney Parks guests can finally experience Soarin’ Around the World, the newly reimagined attraction that whisks guests on a journey above more than a dozen wondrous international destinations around the world.

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The attraction is now open at three Disney Parks: Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort; Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort; and at Shanghai Disneyland (where the attraction goes by the name Soarin’ Over the Horizon).

Soarin’ Around the World elevates guests up to 40 feet into an 80-foot projection screen dome that fill’s a guest’s entire field of vision that gives them the sense of flight. During their journey, guests can expect to spy jaw-dropping natural and man-made landmarks like the Great Wall of China, Sydney Harbor in Australia, and the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Not only that, but a guest may find that their other senses are engaged, feeling, smelling and hearing the new world around them.

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In addition to the new attraction experience, the attraction at Epcot also added a third theater and reimagined its queue to feature a new game called “Soarin’ Challenge” that guests can play via smartphone while they wait. This complimentary travel trivia game allows guests to join hundreds of other players to answer questions on geography, cuisine, languages and more. Guests can also unlock passport stamps for their digital collection and aim to up their personal score on the leaderboard. Don’t have a mobile device? No problem – look to one of the in-queue displays to participate.

So tell us – what destination are you looking forward to flying over in Soarin’ Around the World?


‘Inside Shanghai Disney Resort’ Gallery Opens at Epcot

Yearning to visit Shanghai Disneyland? You can now get a taste of the world’s newest Disney Park at Epcot, where the “Inside Shanghai Disney Resort” gallery which has just opened its doors in the House of the Whispering Willows Gallery at the China Pavilion.

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The gallery showcases exclusive artwork, as well as a look at the classic and cutting-edge attractions within Shanghai Disneyland’s six lands of fantasy and thrilling adventure.

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In addition, the exhibit illustrates how elements of Chinese culture were woven into the fabric of the resort. Walt Disney Imagineers traveled across China seeking inspiration for Shanghai Disneyland, its two hotels, and the Disneytown shopping district. The result, as guests will discover, is an authentically Disney experience that remains distinctly Chinese.


Universal’s Volcano Bay Revealed: Universal Orlando’s Third Theme Park To Open In 2017

A lush, tropical oasis unfolds before you, instantly transporting you to a little-known Pacific isle. In the distance, a colossal volcano rises above a sparkling beach, boasting majestic waterfalls by day and blazing lava by night.

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Welcome to Universal’s Volcano Bay– a radically-innovative water theme park opening next year at Universal Orlando Resort. Spanning 28 fully immersive acres, Universal Orlando’s third theme park will be an entirely new kind of water theme park experience, giving guests even more to enjoy on their vacation.

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At Volcano Bay, guests will discover a place like no other, filled with incredible thrills and relaxing indulgences. This one-of-a-kind park will combine exhilarating experiences with hassle-free convenience so families can get the most out of their vacation together. They won’t have to stand in long lines or wrestle with tubes before diving into the unique attractions found throughout the park. They can enjoy a variety of experiences, ranging from winding rivers and private, two-story cabanas to family raft rides and twisting body slides that launch guests above the water.

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Here’s what you need to know about Volcano Bay:

  • An Innovative Water Theme Park Experience:
    Volcano Bay will redefine the queue experience so guests can focus entirely on having fun and spending time together. Guests won’t even have to carry their own rafts up the slides.
  • 18 Unique Attractions in Four Imaginatively-Themed Areas:
    Volcano Bay will offer 18 unique attractions ranging from daring to serene. They’ll be divided across four primary park areas where there’s something for everyone, including a multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, peaceful winding river, twisting multi-rider raft rides, speeding body slides that drop from the top of the volcano into the waters below – and a state-of-the-art marquee attraction that will be revealed at a later date.
  • An Award-Winning Team of Creators:
    A place like this could only be brought to life by Universal Creative – the same team behind ground-breaking theme park experiences like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. The team researched water parks and tropical resorts around the world to help redefine the water park experience and shape their vision for Volcano Bay.

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  • Easy-to-Access, Resort-Like Amenities Throughout the Park:
    Each area of the park will offer its own easy-to-access, resort-like amenities, such as concierge locations and lockers, so guests won’t have to stroll out of their way to get what they need. There will also be highly-themed restaurants and bars located throughout the park offering signature food and beverage options and impressive volcano views. Even more unique features of the park will be announced later.
  • International Tickets On Sale Soon:
    Universal Orlando will soon introduce a brand-new, 3-Park Explorer ticket for guests where they can plan to experience the highly-anticipated Volcano Bay for travel dates beginning June 1, 2017. Tickets will soon be available through international web sites and travel professionals, and additional ticket options will be announced later.

This is just the beginning, and more exciting details about Volcano Bay will be released over time. Stay tuned for additional information!


Wells Beach Lobster Pound with Troy Brown On Travel With Rick

This week on Travel With Rick, we visit one of our favorite places in Maine, the Wells Beach Lobster Pound. Owner Troy Brown explains the history of the restaurant started by his Grandfather and now passed down to him. Troy started when he was just 9 years old and has been part of the Lobster Pound now for 39 seasons!

We learn about the different kinds of Maine Lobster, pick a fresh pound and a half “soft shell” female, boil it up fresh and enjoy the delicious, succulent lobster with melted buttah and house made cole slaw. (that’s not a typo) Everything is bettah with buttah!

We also enjoy one of the best lobster rolls you’ll find anywhere. Troy shows us just how they create these incredibly tasty treats with the only ingredients being the fresh lobster meat from their tanks, a little mayo and a soft toasted split top roll. Nothing could be bettah!

So check out this week’s video and see why we love the Wells Beach Lobster Pound so much!


Shanghai Disney Resort Celebrates Historic Grand Opening

Shanghai Disney Resort, the first Disney resort in Mainland China and the sixth worldwide, celebrated its historic Grand Opening today, culminating one of Disney’s most ambitious projects ever. Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, celebrated the opening of the one-of-a-kind vacation destination with thousands of distinguished guests, celebrities and Chinese officials.

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“The grand opening of Shanghai Disney Resort is a celebration of creativity and collaboration, a triumph of imagination and innovation, and a testament to the strong partnership between Disney and China,” Iger said. “Together we have created an extraordinary destination, a magical place unique in all the world, where East meets West, the past meets the future, and anything is possible for those who believe. It is our sincere hope that this spectacular place will inspire wonder and create joy for the people of China for generations to come.”

Honoring the Disney-Chinese partnership that created this resort, Iger and Chinese officials cut a red-and-gold ribbon to dedicate Shanghai Disneyland, the resort’s magnificent theme park. Joining Iger were Wang Yang, CPC Politburo Member and State Council Vice Premier, and Han Zheng, CPC Politburo Member and Party Secretary of Shanghai. Iger also shared a greeting similar to the one Walt Disney said on opening day for the original Disneyland, in 1955: “To all who come to this happy place, welcome.”

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The Grand Opening ceremony marked the moment with music, pageantry and a stream of Disney characters, from Mickey Mouse and Snow White to Baymax and Jack Sparrow, in front of the iconic Enchanted Storybook Castle. A multi-generational choir performed a unique version of the Disney song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” arranged in a Chinese style to reflect the balance of Disney magic and China’s cultural spirit at Shanghai Disney Resort. The ceremony also featured six performers holding enormous, brightly colored fans to represent the six lands of Shanghai Disneyland.

Following the official dedications, tens of thousands of guests entered Shanghai Disneyland on its Grand Opening day to explore world-class attractions and live entertainment spectaculars­—many being offered for the first time in a Disney theme park. The three-day Grand Opening event also included two red-carpet occasions: Tuesday’s premiere of the first Mandarin production of THE LION KING, now showing at the Walt Disney Grand Theatre, and Wednesday’s gala concert with celebrity performers at Evergreen Playhouse in Shanghai Disneyland.


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All the Disneyland Resort is a Stage: Nighttime Spectaculars

We recently featured the 10 things you can’t miss at the Disneyland Resort, and today we’ll take a look at the amazing spectaculars that light up the night at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. Don’t miss your chance to see these dazzling Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration spectaculars before the celebration ends this summer.

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“Disneyland Forever” fireworks – This nighttime fireworks spectaculars debuted in 2015 during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, lighting up the sky above Disneyland park. This street-to-sky experience surrounds you with music, fireworks, projections and special effects to bring you into the middle of magical Disney stories.

“World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” – This innovative and immersive nighttime spectacular presented on Paradise Bay in Disney California Adventure park combines water, color, fire, music and animation to share the story of Walt Disney and his dream of the Happiest Place on Earth.

Check back soon for a look at our dazzling parades as we continue our features on live entertainment throughout the Disneyland Resort.


Statement from The President of Walt Disney World

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George A. Kalogridis offered the below statement regarding the tragic accident that occurred at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa:

“There are no words to convey the profound sorrow we feel for the family and their unimaginable loss. We are devastated and heartbroken by this tragic accident and are doing what we can to help them during this difficult time.

On behalf of everyone at Disney, we offer them our deepest sympathy.”

George A. Kalogridis,
President, Walt Disney World Resort

The #1 Reason Travel With Rick Loves Maine So Much

This week on Travel With Rick, you’ll find out the number one reason we love Maine so much, we are only a mile from the beach! We take a drive over, show you some of the homes, the beautiful, rocky coastline of Wells Maine, point out one of our favorite restaurants along the way and end up on Wells Beach, a place that has become one of our favorite places in the world. So much so in fact that last year we bought a small home and now spend a few weeks in the summer here.

So check out the video and see some of the beautiful sites around Wells, Maine!


Ten Experiences You Can’t Miss at the Disneyland Resort this Summer

From a new live stage show to all-new attractions, there’s so much to do at the Disneyland Resort this summer! Here are ten experiences you won’t want to miss.

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1.  The new “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” immerses Disney California Adventure park guests in the emotional story of Anna and Elsa in an exciting theatrical interpretation for the stage, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects, show-stopping production numbers and some unique surprises.

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2. Take flight on an all-new adventure to exciting destinations when Soarin’ Around the World opens at Disney California Adventure park beginning June 17.

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3. The fun-filled Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, new in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park, is rolling with fun as Luigi’s cugini have come from Carsoli, Italy, to help celebrate Race Day in Radiator Springs. Park guests join in the fun by hopping aboard miniature Italian roadsters, in the style of late 1950s micro cars. The cars perform the traditional dances of their village, moving to upbeat music and Luigi’s singing in a precision-choreographed dance across a trackless “dance floor.”

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4. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay invites guests to discover authentic replicas of film props and encounter Star Wars characters such as Chewbacca and Kylo Ren.

5. The Star Wars-themed transformation of Space Mountain into Hyperspace Mountain thrusts guests into an X-wing battle as they race through the darkness. The experience is enhanced by a new soundtrack, inspired by the Star Wars films’ musical themes and re-orchestrated to match every move in the attraction.

6. At Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, guests encounter a new adventure and characters from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” while journeying aboard a Starspeeder 1000.

7. Don’t miss your chance to see the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration dazzle and shine before the celebration ends September 5, 2016.

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8. The sparkling “Paint the Night” parade builds on the tradition of breathtaking nighttime parades in Disneyland park that began with the “Main Street Electrical Parade.” Illuminated almost entirely by LED lights, “Paint the Night” is a state-of-the art, vibrant wonder that immerses guests in the magical, luminescent worlds of many Disney and Disney●Pixar characters.

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9. The “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular entertains guests from the tips of their toes to the sky high above, surrounding the audience with music, dazzling visual projections and other special effects that bring the pyrotechnics to life in surprising new ways. Guests may enjoy the projections from multiple locations, including Main Street, U.S.A., and “it’s a small world” mall.

10 .At Disney California Adventure park, “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” is a fun-filled version of the popular, nighttime “World of Color” spectacular. Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris joins Mickey Mouse on a magical water canvas, bringing to life the remarkable story of Walt Disney and The Happiest Place on Earth with animated imagery, live-action film, fountains, lasers, special effects and a stirring musical score.

What are you most excited to do at the Disneyland Resort this summer? Tell us in the comments!


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