New York World's Fair 50th Anniversary

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on October 31st, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


What better week to share a most unique panoramic photo of Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland park? Did you see it? It’s GigaPan technology and George’s post was a first for the Disney Parks Blog. Check it out – you can zoom in to explore the image in amazing detail.

Were you able to find the Disney Parks Blog pin in the photo? And yes, George was correct. We are busy working on something special at Walt Disney World. Stay tuned.

And now, enjoy our Halloween list of stories you may have missing on the blog this week.

U.S. Military Can ‘Let the Memories Begin’ in 2011 with Special Offers at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resorts – Now through September 28, 2011, active and retired U.S. military personnel can take advantage of special offers on theme park tickets and accommodations.

It’s Showtime Aboard the Disney Dream – Check out the recently unveiled lineup of entertainment aboard the Disney Dream.

Who’s Flying This Thing?! – So who will be flying the Starspeeder 1000 in the new Star Tours? Find out in this post!

The Citizens of Hollywood – ‘Speed Trap’ – Gene Duncan introduced us to officers Percival Peabody and William Club on patrol at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Air Force Thunderbirds Fly Over Walt Disney World – We caught a rare sight this week – the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flying over Main Street U.S.A. and Cinderella Castle to commemorate the start of “Air Force Week” in Central Florida.

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Take 5 with Halloween at Disney Parks

posted on October 30th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Boy Enjoying Halloween at Disney
Happy Halloween from Disney Parks! We’ve been getting ready for this weekend for the past few months, and celebrations at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort have already begun. Take a look at this year’s Halloween celebrations in our top five Halloween posts from 2010.

Are you celebrating Halloween at Disney Parks? Let us know in the comments.

Top 5: Halloween at Disney Parks

  1. Mickey Moves His Halloween Party Across the Esplanade – Big news broke in May, when we announced that Mickey’s Halloween Party was moving to Disneyland park.
  2. Trivia Contest: You Could Win a Spot at the Villains Victory Party at Disneyland Park – This Halloween, not only did Disney Parks Blog readers have the chance to vote for their favorite Disney villain – they also had the opportunity to celebrate with the winner at the Villains Victory Party!
  3. Grim Grinning Guests Come Out to Socialize – Walt Disney World guests got into the spirit at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Check out some of their costumes.
  4. Haunted Mansion Holiday Panorama – For the first time on Disney Parks Blog, we shared a panoramic photo taken with GigaPan technology. Can you find the hidden surprise in this image of Haunted Mansion Holiday?
  5. Trick or Treat Disney Style – See what sweet treats we’re baking up at Disney Parks for Halloween.
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‘Topping Out’ – An Expansion Milestone at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on October 29th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Topping Out Ceremony

I witnessed a milestone in the multi-year expansion of Disney California Adventure park today. I joined some media and watched the “topping out” ceremony for the Cars Land mountain range’s tallest peak. At 125 feet, it’s the most visible part of the new 12-acre Cars Land, which is scheduled to open in 2012.

At the base of this mountain range will be the entrance to Radiator Springs Racers, the E-ticket thrill ride which will headline Cars Land along with other attractions, food and merchandise shops all based on the Disney-Pixar blockbuster, “Cars.”

Aerial Map of Cars Land

“Topping out” is a traditional construction event among construction workers and engineers that takes place when the highest piece of steel is installed on the frame of a building. Today, we were privileged to observe this ceremony, which marked a major milestone in the construction of this new and exciting land.

As part of the tradition, the final beam is painted white and signed by the ironworkers, steel design engineer and construction management. Several key people were on hand to explain the significance of this milestone, including Vice President of Disney California Adventure park, Mary Niven, Walt Disney Imagineer Kathy Mangum, and Walt Disney Imagineer Jim Kearns.

Mary Niven described the event as a huge milestone for Disney California Adventure park. “Literally and metaphorically, we’ve reached the other side of the mountain,” she said.

And there’s more exciting news about Disney California Adventure. World of Color, the nighttime spectacular which opened this past June, has now been seen by more than 1 million guests! And for those of you who have been in the park recently, you’ve seen Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure rising along the parade route. When Little Mermaid opens in 2011, along with Goofy’s Sky School and some brand new restaurants, we will have completed our work in the Paradise Pier section of the park. Whew – time flies!

Check back on the Blog later today to see video from today’s “topping-out” ceremony and time-lapse footage that shows the mountain range coming to life!

UPDATE: Here’s the video from today’s ceremony. Please join me in congratulating all of the workers on the Cars Land project, including the ironworkers, steel design engineers and the entire project team.

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Villains Victory Party: Maleficent Announced as Baddest Disney Villain

posted on October 29th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Maleficent at Villains Victory Party Ceremony

The votes have been tallied and, last night at the Villains Victory Party, Maleficent was named the victor in the race for the title of baddest Villain of them all. The announcement took place at 10 p.m. and the ceremony was rife with mischief and cheap tricks from all the Disney villains. While Maleficent may be the winner of this battle, all of the villains are evil in my book. Take a look at this video from the ceremony:

Thanks for all your votes the past several weeks. True followers of the campaign know that Maleficent started off with a healthy lead, and none of her opponents could ever catch up.

To attend the ceremony announcing the baddest Villain at Disneyland park, guests won through contests run by local Los Angeles radio stations and on the Disney Parks Blog. Winners of the Disney Parks Blog Trivia Contest correctly answered three trivia questions about the villains.

Winners began checking in at 3 p.m. and made a mad dash to the Park to take in all the Halloween fun before the Villains Victory Party started at 8 p.m.

As the day’s last guests were leaving the parks, and Disneyland park officially closed for the evening, a party started over in Adventureland. Eerie music filled the air. Disney characters began appearing in their Halloween costumes and more Disney villains than you can imagine started appearing.

From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., winners enjoyed several attractions to themselves, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion Holiday, Indiana Jones Adventure and Haunted Voyages aboard the Mark Twain.

Haunted Voyages Aboard the Mark Twain

Special party perks also included tarot card readers, palm readers and Club Skellington (a special dance party that normally is held only during Mickey’s Halloween Party).

Spooky Tarot Card Reader

Michael and Xochitl Ayala of Huntington Park, shown below, came to have some Halloween fun without their children. “We like scary stuff at Halloween and the villains are scary and fun, too,” Michael said. “We didn’t tell the kids where we were going. They would have wanted to come, too.”

Michael and Xochitl Ayala of Huntington Park

Sheryl and Stacy Garcia, mother and daughter from Wilmington, got to attend the party because Sheryl quickly answered all three questions about the villains on the Blog and entered the contest.

“This contest was really fun because it’s the villains,” said Stacy, a student at LA Harbor College. “They’re evil, but they’re misunderstood. Once you get to know their side of the story, you get to like them. Think about it – Hook lost his hand to the Croc.”

In the Vote for the Villains campaign, Stacy voted for Maleficent.

Sheryl and Stacy Garcia, Mother and Daughter from Wilmington

For those of you who voted for your favorite Disney villain, are you happy with the final outcome? Is Maleficent truly the baddest Disney villain of them all?

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ElecTRONica Meet-Up: Recap of our Biggest Meet-Up Yet

posted on October 29th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


ElecTRONica Meet-Up at Disney California Adventure Park

Wow, that was definitely the biggest party I’ve ever thrown! It was great seeing many of you dressed in costumes and seeing so many Disney Parks Blog and TRON fans in one place at last night’s ElecTRONica Meet-Up.

ElecTRONica Meet-Up at Disney California Adventure Park

Meet-Up guests were treated to complimentary admission to Disney California Adventure park and the full ElecTRONica experience just for this group. The full ElecTRONica experience included several performances, like Laserman and our Power Surge show, a DJ emceeing the event and providing some great dance music, access to all the ‘80s games at Flynn’s Arcade and the 3-D preview of “TRON: Legacy.”

Attendees of the ElecTRONica Meet-Up also had several extra-special opportunities, including a signing with “TRON: Legacy” screenwriters, viewing of select props from the upcoming movie, a unique privilege to dress up in TRON costumes at the event and an exclusive, limited edition Flynn’s Arcade Token.

ElecTRONica Meet-Up at Disney California Adventure Park

Some of the props on display from “TRON: Legacy” included one costume that had never been displayed before last night. The all-white costume, worn by Jeff Bridges, who plays Kevin Flynn in both the original and latest film, was also accompanied by actual Black Guard and Rinzler helmets worn by characters in the movie.

ElecTRONica Meet-Up at Disney California Adventure Park

Many hard-core TRON fans made sure to check-in early to reserve spots for the signing opportunity with Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, the screenwriters for “TRON: Legacy.” Eddy and Adam posed for photos with guests and even answered a few questions for our Twitter followers.

ElecTRONica Meet-Up at Disney California Adventure Park

Some Twitter followers were interested in knowing if it was necessary to remember, or be familiar with, the original film in order to understand and enjoy the new one. Eddy said that he and Adam tried to ensure that “TRON: Legacy” honored the first film and preserved some of the original’s DNA, but not so much that newer fans would be unable to enjoy it. “TRON: Legacy” will appear in theaters Dec. 17.

We also saw that many Twitter followers gave us a shout-out on Twitter last night. We’re glad you enjoyed the experience and we appreciate the great feedback.

If you attended the meet-up last night, tell us about your experience. Did you meet someone new? Are there any cool stories from last night that you’d like to share? If you were unable to attend, we really hope to see you next time.

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A Wonderful Night at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

posted on October 29th, 2010 by Kent Phillips, Photographer, Walt Disney World


I love walking around the Magic Kingdom each Halloween season, especially during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This year, as my kids broke the sound barrier making a beeline from trick-or-treat station to trick-or-treat station, a few things caught my eye and I couldn’t help but slow down and snap off a quick shot or two.

Donald Duck Halloween Statue in Front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

Of all the Halloween character statues that decorate the planters in the “Hub” in front of Cinderella Castle, Donald’s really jumped out at me. The last sunlight on that gorgeous evening was just about to disappear behind the trees and I got off one last shot before the park began its transformation to nighttime spook-tacular.

Jack-o-Lantern in Front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

Later, as I waited in front of the castle for Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade, I noticed a jack-o-lantern perched atop one of the food carts selling Mickey Bars and other frozen treats. I had a LOT more time to make this photo because it was a warm night and business was good. That pumpkin must have stayed put for the better part of 15 minutes.

Our family had a wonderful night. My four-year-old rode Haunted Mansion for the first time and declared it officially “awesome.” Everybody went on all the rides they wanted, watched fireworks and the parade, and ingested enough candy to render me utterly speechless.

They’ve already made me swear to take them again next year.

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Happy Hallo-Wedding at Walt Disney World

posted on October 29th, 2010 by Korri McFann, Worldwide Marketing & Business Development Director, Weddings & Honeymoons


If 999 happy haunts and spook-tacular cakes are your thing, this post is for you! Our couples love wedding themes and Halloween is no exception. From a floral casket to skull detailing on their cake, this couple had an event fit for a Halloween enthusiast.

Halloween Themed Wedding Cake

Floral Casket

Our Weddings team transformed Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa using cobwebs, oversized trees, orange and red lighting and black spider web table coverings. Carved pumpkins and foliage added to the spooky landscape.

Halloween Themed Centerpiece

Halloween Themed Table Settings

No Halloween-inspired wedding would be complete without a bride and groom in costume.

Bride and Groom in Costume Enjoying the Festivities

To keep up with Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Behind-the-Scenes Video: How to Decorate Pumpkins Like the Disneyland Resort Enhancement Team

posted on October 28th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


If you haven’t started carving that Halloween pumpkin, here’s a new idea! Have you ever considered turning the pumpkin on its side and using the stem as a nose? That’s a tip from Dave Caranci, a cast member from the Resort Enhancement Team at the Disneyland Resort who often thinks of new and different ways to decorate the Resort. Here’s how he and his team decorate the Resort for Halloween. You’re sure to pick up a new idea for this year or the next.

If you’d like to see more behind-the-scenes video showing how we decorate for Halloween, check out an earlier post yesterday about the giant pumpkins on Main Street., U.S.A., and at the entrance to Disneyland park.

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A View From…Tokyo Disneyland

posted on October 28th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


UPDATE: We’ve added more unique sights from Disney’s Halloween at Tokyo Disneyland.

Mickey Mouse in the 'Welcome to Spookyville' parade at Tokyo Disneyland

Last week, we kicked off this series with a look at the “Halloweenmosphere” created by our friends at Disneyland Paris. Now, here’s another treat – some unique sights from Tokyo Disneyland where the entire park is decked out for Halloween. They’re celebrating the season with a special event called “Disney’s Halloween” at both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.

Halloween at Tokyo Disneyland Halloween at Tokyo Disneyland Halloween at Tokyo Disneyland Halloween at Tokyo Disneyland
'Welcome to Spookyville' parade at Tokyo Disneyland 'Welcome to Spookyville' parade at Tokyo Disneyland 'Welcome to Spookyville' parade at Tokyo Disneyland Tokyo Disneyland Guests in Halloween Costumes
Tokyo Disneyland Guests in Halloween Costumes Tokyo Disneyland Guests in Halloween Costumes Tokyo Disneyland Guests in Halloween Costumes Tokyo Disneyland Guests in Halloween Costumes
Halloween at Tokyo Disneyland Halloween at Tokyo Disneyland Halloween at Tokyo Disneyland Halloween at Tokyo Disneyland

There’s a new parade at Tokyo Disneyland this year called Disney’s Halloween Street “Welcome to Spookyville.” And as you can see, Mickey, his friends and guests are part of the celebration. Stay tuned for our next post in this series featuring sights you won’t see at Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World.

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Disney Soaps Help ‘Clean the World’ Combat Cholera

posted on October 28th, 2010 by Kathleen Prihoda, Manager of Media Relations, Walt Disney World Resort


Did you know that soaps and shampoos from Walt Disney World Resort hotels have a second life after their initial use by guests?

Disney VoluntEARS work with Clean the World, an Orlando-based nonprofit, to collect, sanitize and repackage discarded amenities from the nearly 28,000 hotel rooms on Disney property so they may be distributed to people in need worldwide.

All 24 Walt Disney World Resort hotels participate in the innovative recycling effort that aims to improve health and personal hygiene in impoverished areas around the world. So far this year, Disney Resorts have donated 25,710 pounds of soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion.

Teams from Clean the World are currently in Haiti aiding in efforts to contain the cholera outbreak by delivering more than 100,000 bars of sanitized soap to several orphanages, clinics and schools. Shawn Seipler, executive director at Clean the World, points out that soap can’t cure cholera but it can help prevent spread of the disease. As you can see from the photos he shared with us, some of these items look familiar.

Haitian Children With Donated Disney Soaps

Considering that Disney is one of the chief suppliers for Clean the World, more Disney soaps will be on the way to Haiti soon. The nonprofit is planning to deliver another 200,000 bars of soap in November.

Haitian Children With Donated Disney Soaps

Clean the World’s efforts complement Disney’s commitment toward improving children’s lives and doing what is right for the environment.

Their mission is impressive and I hope you join me in wishing them continued success.

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