PHOTOS: ‘Happiness Is Here’ Parade from Tokyo Disneyland

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This Monday, April 15, the Tokyo Disney Resort will officially kick off its year-long celebration of its 30th anniversary. One of the exciting new elements joining the line-up is a brand new parade titled ‘Happiness is Here,’ with massive and dynamic floats designed by Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. Although the parade doesn’t officially start until Monday, Tokyo Disneyland has been offering a soft opening to guests, inviting them to preview things to come.

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LIVING SOCIAL: Save 35% on Cirque du Soleil’s ‘La Nouba’ at Walt Disney World

"La Nouba" by Cirque du Soleil: TicketLiving Social is now offering 35% off category 3 and 4 tickets for Cirque du Soleil’s ‘La Nouba’ for performances between April 9 and June 21, 2013 (note the show will be dark May 12 – 27).

Recognized the world over for high-quality artistic entertainment, Cirque du Soleil has brought its unique combination of dance, acrobatics, art, and music to more than 100 million spectators. Join the ranks of mesmerized showgoers when you take in La Nouba at Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Through this special deal, tickets are $40/$32 for category 4 tickets and $49/$39 for category 3 tickets.

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Starbucks Locations at Disney Parks Update

Yesterday, the official Disney Parks blog offered some new details on the Disneyland location of Starbucks, as the Market House is slated to close next month to begin the conversion for the parks’ Starbucks location, opening this fall — an exact closure date has not yet been announced. This will finalize plans for the Disneyland Resort where the first location has already been thriving at Disney California Adventure at the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café.

On the east coast, we’ve been keeping tabs on the development as plans for the Magic Kingdom and Epcot have already been announced and — in the case of the former — are well underway.

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Dave Smith to Offer Presentations to Disneyland Passholders on March 22

The Disneyland Resort has announced that Disney Legend and Chief Archivist Emeritus, Walt Disney Archives, Dave Smith will offer two special sessions for annual passholders at the the Disneyland theme park on March 22, 2013, titled ‘Disneyland: The Way We Were.”

The event promises to take guests on a ‘photographic journey through the attractions, shops, restaurants and other pieces of Disneyland history.’

The events will take place at 5 and 7 pm at the Main Street USA Opera House. Wristband distribution will begin at 11:30 am on March 22 at the Opera House.

For more information, visit the official event page.

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Disney Seeks to Patent Live Action Role Play for Theme Parks

ROLE-PLAY SIMULATION ENGINE With a patent application titled simply ‘Role-Play Simulation Engine,’ Disney Parks may be looking to use its NextGen technology base and cash in on the CosPlay/LARPing — that’s Live Action Role Play — crazes and bring a brand new experience to its theme parks.

The patent allows for guests to participant in ‘long-form role play’ events in which they interact with performers that are employed by the park to engage the guest in the role-playing activities. The performers don’t even need to be humans either. They can be audio animatronics, for example, or something as simple as a video screen that triggers in response to the guest’s arrival.

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‘Disney Springs’ Re-Do for Downtown Disney Officially Announced – To be Completed in 2016

Disney Springs Model (Night time)

Walt Disney World Resort today announced the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm.

Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.

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Disney Parks Viral Site Asks Florida Residents to ‘Free The Goat’

Free the Disney Goat WebsiteWalt Disney World’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group has created a brand new viral website at FreeTheDisneyGoat.com which is designed to make Florida residents aware of new attractions and changes at the Walt Disney World Resort along with the special 3-Day Discover Disney ticket offer.

The site uses Billy the goat from the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction as its spokesman spokesgoat. Billy is aware of all the new and exciting things going on around the resort as well as some favorite classics, but he’s stuck atop Big Thunder and he’s counting the seconds he can break free and explore what the rest of Magic Kingdom and the Resort have to offer — he’s even taking suggestions.

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‘Fantasy Faire’ Imagineer Presentation and Q&A for Disneyland Annual Passholders

Disneyland Fantasy Faire PanelThe Disneyland Resort has announced it will be offering its annual passholders the opportunity to attend a free behind-the-scenes look at the creation of its newest attraction, the Fantasy Faire. The event will include a presentation and Q&A session with Show Director Christopher Utley and Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Director Michel den Dulk.

The event will take place on Thursday, March 14 at 6:00 pm in the Main Street USA Opera House. Required wristbands will be distributed at the Opera House beginning at 11:30 am that day. All attendees must be a current passholder at the time of the event.

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Shanghai Disneyland Model Photo Released (Hi-Res); Resort Slated to Open End of 2015

Shanghai Disneyland ModelEarlier today at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders of The Walt Disney Company, chairman and chief executive officer Robert A. Iger unveiled the first image of a model of Shanghai Disney Resort, featuring the resort’s theme park, Shanghai Disneyland.

“With Shanghai Disneyland, we’re creating a one-of-a-kind destination that is authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese,” said Iger. “We believe this will be one of the most spectacular Disney experiences yet – and an important part of our future. We look forward to opening the gates at the end of 2015 and welcoming the first of the millions of guests who will enjoy Shanghai Disneyland for generations to come.”

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WDW Refurbs: Starbucks Opening Delayed; Tomorrowland and Fantasyland Closures

We received a few new updates from Walt Disney World over the past week or so regarding upcoming refurbishments and have new additions as well as several date revisions. While we recommend verifying all of the changes by visiting our ReSearch page, here are some of the highlights:

  • Main Street Bakery — which is being converted over to the Magic Kingdom’s Starbucks location — is now slated to open on June 19, 2013. This is actually the second delay we have seen before (it was initially slated to open on May 18, then was pushed back to May 28).

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