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The Most Adorable Halloween Merchandise This Year at Disney Parks

posted on August 23rd, 2012 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I recently shared with you a look at the new Halloween art program at Disney Parks. While several departments created merchandise to celebrate the season this year, one category won the prize for being the most adorable – plush! Denise Edelmaier, product developer for dolls and plush, gave me a look at some of the new items coming for this delightfully spooky time of year.
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Halloween Plush Available at Disney Parks

First, it’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dressed in their Halloween park attire. Cody Reynolds, senior character artist with Disney Design Group, explained how Mickey got his hat as seen in the plush above.

“In the main piece of art, every character is wearing a hat except Mickey,” said Cody. “I chose not to put a hat on Mickey as it would have blocked the view of The Haunted Mansion. Yet I knew a hat would be important for some categories to use, so I drew a top hat for him. If you look carefully at the main art, you will see a ghost is actually holding Mickey’s hat. I thought it was a nice nod to one of the final attraction scenes where the Hitchhiking Ghosts have some fun with guests.”
Plush Inspired by 'Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas' Available at Disney Parks

Two of my favorite plush return this year – a super cuddly Jack Skellington and his dog Zero from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” They are joined by a new nine-inch plush featuring Mickey Mouse dressed like Jack.
Nine-Inch Duffy the Disney Bear Halloween Plush Available at Disney Parks

My friend Duffy the Disney Bear also has a few new items. In addition to a new open edition pin, there will be a 9-inch Duffy plush (which is a new sized bear) and a 17-inch bear costume. These items were inspired by the Halloween attire that Duffy wore last year at Disney Parks.
Duffy the Disney Bear's Halloween Outfit Available at Disney Parks

Speaking of costumes, Duffy will be appearing in his Halloween attire at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort starting September 11. You can also find him dressed as a pumpkin at his friendship gazebo in World Showcase at Epcot from October 1-31.

At Disneyland Resort, Duffy will be dressed for Halloween during Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland park on select nights starting September 28. You can also find him sporting his pumpkin costume at Treasures in Paradise in Disney California Adventure park from September 14 to October 31.

Check out these posts to read more about how we’re preparing for Halloween at Disney Parks:

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Find Your Halloween Style at the Disneyland Resort

posted on August 22nd, 2012 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Kids definitely have their own sense of style and know who they want to emulate. Admit it… you know what I’m talking about. With Halloween just around the corner, here’s a quick look at some of the newest styles available for a limited time this fall at the Disneyland Resort.

Find Your Halloween Style at Studio Disney 365 in the Downtown Disney District

If you’re in the Downtown Disney District, then be sure to create a spectacle with the new “World of Color” hairstyle available at Studio Disney 365 – it’s guaranteed to mesmerize those around you.

Find Your Halloween Style at Studio Disney 365 in the Downtown Disney District

To top things off, if you’re looking to add a little bit more fright to your night, then ask the stylists at Studio Disney 365 about the special limited-time-only “Night Fright” makeover.

Find Your Halloween Style at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park

Simply be”witching” is the best way to describe the Minnie Witch transformation at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Fantasyland at Disneyland park. Whether you create your own sense of style with this look or add it to one of the “boo-tiful” princess costumes available, it’s sure to make you the belle of the ball. Valiant Knights, don’t despair – our fairy-godmothers-in-training will help prepare you for battle as well as you take on this spirited holiday.

Find Your Halloween Style at The Pirates League at the Disneyland Resort

Last but not least, be sure that you plan on bringing your “crew” to The Pirates League. It’s swashbuckling fun for the whole family, not just the kids. Will you be Captain (Hook) or a First Mate? Or an Empress? Discover the treasure that awaits you.

Remember reservations can be made for any of these experiences by calling 714-781-STYLE or 714-781-7895. Quick Tip: The Night Fright and Minnie Witch transformations will begin September 14.

Do you have a favorite?


See more of what you can expect during Halloween at the Disneyland Resort in the posts below:

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How a Horse Becomes a Disneyland Horse: Owen Makes His Main Street, U.S.A., Debut at Disneyland Park

posted on August 22nd, 2012 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


As we learned last time, Disneyland horse-in-training Owen has earned an A+ as he has been getting ready this year to join his fellow cast members on Main Street, U.S.A. Today we get to see a very important milestone in his training, “graduation” – his first time transporting Disneyland park guests in the Main Street streetcar!

Next time you’re on Main Street, U.S.A., keep an eye out for Owen and be sure to congratulate him on successfully completing his training!

Read the complete story of “How a Horse Becomes a Disneyland Horse”:

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Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: August 2011

posted on August 21st, 2012 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


It’s time to take another look back on the Disney Parks Blog. Let’s see what some of our top stories were one year ago this month – August 2011!

Dumbo the Flying Elephant Desktop Wallpaper

Add Disney Parks to Your Desktop
One year ago, we launched our first Disney Parks Blog wallpaper – and it’s still one of my favorites!

Caption This: Vintage Jungle Cruise

Caption This: Vintage Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park
The first in a now-popular series on the Disney Parks Blog launched last year with the first “Caption This” from George Savvas.

First Look: Family Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Disney Parks Blog readers got the first look inside Disney Story Room family suites coming to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

Main Street, U.S.A., Restaurants to Expand at Disneyland Park
It’s now one of my favorite places to eat, but one year ago we first announced Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe would be coming to Disneyland park as part of a major refurbishment on Main Street, U.S.A., which would include updates to Carnation Café, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and more.

Club 33 Main Dining Room

Inside Club 33 at Disneyland Park
We took you inside Club 33 at Disneyland park for a special look at the exclusive club.

New Fantasy Faire Experience Coming to Disneyland Park
During the 2011 D23 Expo, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs and Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis announced the new Fantasy Faire, coming to Disneyland park in spring 2013.

Radiator Springs Racers Begins Ride Testing Today
Disney California Adventure park guests are now racing through Ornament Valley on Radiator Springs Racers, but just one year ago it began the first stages of ride-testing.

Baby Elephant Receives Warm Welcome at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Baby Elephant Receives Warm Welcome at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
On August 24, 2011, the elephant herd at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park welcomed a new member: the 311-pound male calf, Jabali.

It’s Here! Aulani Opens its Doors to the First Guests
On August 29, 2011, Walt Disney Parks & Resort Chairman Tom Staggs joined Goofy to welcome the very first guests to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawai`i.

Golden Oak Homes at Walt Disney World Resort

First Look: Inside Golden Oak Homes at Walt Disney World Resort
Disney Parks Blog readers got the first look inside one of the first luxury resort homes in the Golden Oak community at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Easy Apple Crisp from Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort

posted on August 21st, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Here’s a sweet ending that’s delish year-round. Disneyland Resort Assistant Pastry Chef Nubia Renteria shows how simple it is to pull together an impressive apple crisp that’s on the menu from time to time at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa. With a crunchy topping of sugar, oats, pecans and coconut with buttery, tart apples and a swirl of Brandy, Chef Nubia tops it with homemade Manchego cheese ice cream. But it’s OK to just to add a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream for an easy bowlful of comfort.

Apple Crisp
Serves 6

Apple Filling
1 1/2 pounds crisp apples, such as Fuji or Braeburn
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy)
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Crumble Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup shredded coconut
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Manchego Cheese Ice Cream
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups half-and-half
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/2 pound Manchego cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes

For apple filling:

  1. Peel apples and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat; add sugar, and stir about 2 minutes or until sugar melts.
  3. Add diced apples, and cook about 3 minutes or until apples just begin to soften. Combine lemon juice, Calvados, and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir until cornstarch is dissolved.
  4. Add lemon juice mixture to the pan, and cook about 4 minutes, stirring, until juices thicken. Serve warm.

For crumble topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, oats, pecans, and coconut in a large bowl; stir until well combined. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Slowly add melted butter to the bowl, stirring to incorporate.
  3. Pour mixture onto an un-greased cookie sheet, breaking up large clumps with your fingers. Bake 10 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly; break up any remaining big pieces to achieve a crumbly consistency.

For Manchego cheese ice cream:

  1. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy; set aside.
  2. Combine cream, half-and-half, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Slowly ladle 1 cup hot cream mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour egg-cream mixture back into the saucepan, and cook about 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Pour mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Add cheese cubes and stir. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Once cooled, pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard cheese and vanilla bean. Refrigerate custard until cold, then freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

To serve:

  1. Spoon apple filling into serving dish and sprinkle with crumble topping.
  2. Serve with a scoop of Manchego cheese ice cream on the side.



Look below for more recipes from the Disneyland Resort:

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Then and Now: Lafitte’s Anchor at Disneyland Park

posted on August 20th, 2012 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


One of my favorite things about Disneyland park is its history. As the first in what would become many Disney parks, Disneyland represents years of legacy and tradition. You may be able to name the attractions that still remain in the park since opening day, but what else? Which details, with their quiet stories, are still tucked away in corners of Disneyland park, 57 years later?

Lafitte's Anchor in Frontierland at Disneyland Park in 1955

In what was then Frontierland, guests in the summer of 1955 could see Lafitte’s Anchor – a “relic” from the pirate ship commanded by Jean Lafitte in the battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. But, as the plaque warned, “… don’t believe everything you read.”

Lafitte's Anchor Now Sits in New Orleans Square Along the Banks of the Rivers of America at Disneyland Park

The anchor has been moved a bit and has a new plaque, but you can still see this piece of Disneyland history in what is now New Orleans Square, along the banks of the Rivers of America.

What other bits of the past have you found while exploring Disneyland park?

Read more about the history of Disneyland park in the posts below:

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SNEAK PEEK: Jack’s Gingerbread House Arrives at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland Park

posted on August 20th, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


It’s a Disneyland Resort tradition, and “Pumpkin King” Brian D. Sandahl, Senior Designer for Disney Entertainment Creative Development, has a wild and wacky new design for this year’s gingerbread house, the holiday centerpiece on the table in the ballroom of the Haunted Mansion Holiday in Disneyland park.

Of course, it’s not just any holiday, but one inspired by Jack Skellington and the animated film, “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas,” so there are no reds and greens. So there’s a little bit of Halloween and a little bit of Christmas all rolled into one with orange berries, black pine garland, and garishly bright colors.

“Imagine if Jack Skellington had landed on the Haunted Mansion and decorated it with his vision of Halloween and Christmas,” says Brian.
A Sketch of Jack’s Gingerbread House for This Year's Haunted Mansion Holiday

Now in its 12th year in the Haunted Mansion, this year’s gingerbread house perches on a skinny mountain, and it’s tall and spindly, just like Jack. At nine feet, it’s one of the tallest, according to Brian.

“Jack’s house, candles eerily flickering in the windows, is perched atop a steep, snow-covered peak, with gingerbread steps to his door,” he explains. “Along the way, there are lighted pumpkins in the ‘snowy’ cliffs.”
Jack Skellington’s Pet Ghost Dog Zero, Covered in Fondant for This Year's Haunted Mansion Holiday

Those snowy cliffs are covered with pounds and pounds of sweet fondant, a simple sugar-water-cream of tartar mixture that is pliable (and edible). Jack’s pet ghost dog Zero is also covered in fondant, with a small glowing nose that looks like a jack-o-lantern as he flies in circles around the top tower.

It’s these moving pieces and parts that Brian loves best. Along with a flying Zero, there’s a classic Christmas train – but this one is the “terror train” from the movie that travels on a “ghost track” around the gingerbread house, with an engine, a coal car, a flatbed car with an enormous cupcake with candles, and a caboose.

“You’ll see the train, but it will appear as a ghost train – you can see through it,” says Brian. “As the train travels its creepy course, the ‘ghost lady’ at the right end of the ballroom table blows out the candles on the cupcake.”

Brian gets the fun started, then adds animation and lighting with a talented technical team. Meanwhile, Pastry Chef Jean-Marc Viallet and his bakers at the Disneyland Bakery are working on the exterior’s sweet touches with gingerbread, frosting, candies and fondant.

Opening day is September 14! We plan on several trips through the attraction to see all the holiday touches.

Read more about Halloween at the Disneyland Resort in the posts below:

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Hauntingly Fun Halloween Merchandise Features the Haunted Mansion at Disney Parks

posted on August 20th, 2012 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Halloween Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks

As summer winds down, I’m anticipating the arrival of my favorite season. Fall is host to many things I love, including college football and my birthday. At Disney Parks, fall signifies the return of Halloween, a two-month celebration that includes special events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida or the amazing holiday makeover for the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park. Speaking of the Haunted Mansion, this classic attraction will be prominently featured in new Halloween merchandise arriving in August. You may recall my conversation with Cody Reynolds, Senior Character Artist with Disney Design Group, about last year’s playful artwork. Cody explained that collaboration was a key ingredient in creating this year’s designs.
Mugs and Other Halloween Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks

“This year’s art program has been in development for about 18 months,” said Cody. “Disney Theme Park Merchandise partnered with Walt Disney Imagineering, Entertainment and the Food and Beverage division in order to create one cohesive visual story for Halloween that will be used in several ways at Disney Parks.”

As we talked, Cody showed me the progression of concepts for this year’s art.

“We worked through concepts that had characters wearing a variety of costumes,” continued Cody. “We dressed them as pirates, princesses, clowns and more. We finally settled on their theme park attire with a fun Halloween twist, like Minnie’s classic polka dot dress done in black and orange.”
Halloween Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks

This artwork will be used on a variety of merchandise items, including decorative items, mugs, pins, shirts, hats, Vinylmation, and much more. We are also introducing a line of Haunted Mansion-inspired items that will be carried year round. (I gave a first look at these items a few months ago.)

I particularly like how the Mansion’s gates were used as the place where the characters and Mansion residents meet.

“We intentionally chose the gates as a meeting place,” Cody explained. “They worked really well for the story we were telling, as they are a common feature found at the Haunted Mansion attractions.”
Halloween Countdown Coming to Disney Parks

Cody drew the characters, while Disney Design Group artist Darren Wilson created the “ghostly” type font. Disney artist Patty Landing contributed the great patterns and graphic elements (like that stylized Haunted Mansion wallpaper!).

I think one of my favorite new items is the “Countdown to Halloween” figurine. Now I just need to figure out what costume to wear this year.



Read more about this year’s Halloween preparations at Disney Parks in the posts below:

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on August 19th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Artist Rendering of the Be Our Guest Restaurant Coming to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Set your alarm. Early tomorrow, you’ll be able to make first reservations at our new Be Our Guest Restaurant in the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. We announced the big date this week and shared a look at what’s on the lunch and dinner menus.

As Pam told us, the first seating will be for dinner on November 19. Check out our original post for details on how to reserve your table and see some exclusive photos from inside the restaurant.

“Twenty

And this holiday season – for the first time in its history – the Candlelight Ceremony and Processional is being extended to a total of 20 nights at Disneyland park, with two performances each night.

The first two nights, December 1-2, will be invitation-only events. Performances from December 3-20 will be open to Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders and guests booking special, to-be-announced dining packages for the 2012 holiday season. Check Erin’s post for more details.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week:

Major Makeover for the France Pavilion at Epcot – Take a behind-the-scenes look at the changes being made to the Bistro de Paris in the France Pavilion at Epcot, which will have a whole new look and name come early December.

All in the Details: Imagineers Add Character to Belle’s Village in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park – Our friends over at Walt Disney Imagineering share the detailed process it took to create the elaborate new bronze statue in Belle’s Village in New Fantasyland.

Disneyland Resort APs: Register Now for Your Chance to ‘Glow With the Show’ at ‘Fantasmic!’ on August 28 – Do you want to “Glow With The Show?” Exciting news for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders: You can RSVP for a private viewing of “Fantasmic!” on August 28.

‘Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality’ Opens at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort September 1 – Beginning September 1, the “Phineas & Ferb” brothers will invade another area of Walt Disney World Resort, when “Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality” opens at Downtown Disney.

New Signature Images Released of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park – See how the newly released signature images of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park are putting the “fantasy” into New Fantasyland.

A Tasty Tour: Inside the Candy Kitchen on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park – Did someone say candy? Take a tour of the updated Candy Kitchen at Disneyland park with candy maker, Rob McHargue.

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Take 5: Behind the Scenes of Disney Dream Portraits by Annie Leibovitz

posted on August 18th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Olivia Wilde Preparing for the Evil Queen Photo Shoot

A few weeks ago, the Disney Parks Blog unveiled new Disney Dream Portraits by Annie Leibovitz. Part of the fun of these photos is going behind the scenes with the stars who have brought some of our favorite characters to life. Read these posts for a peek at the magic behind these portraits.

Take 5: Behind the Scenes of Disney Dream Portraits by Annie Leibovitz

  1. Disney Dream Portraits by Annie Leibovitz: Behind the Scenes with Russell Brand as Captain Hook – Russell Brand took on his portrayal of the nefarious “Peter Pan” villain at Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch, the site of many Disney productions – including the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.
  2. Disney Dream Portraits by Annie Leibovitz: Behind the Scenes with Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Jason Segel as the Hitchhiking Ghosts – For this shoot, three of the funniest comics around were transformed into three iconic “grim grinning ghosts” from the Haunted Mansion.
  3. Disney Dream Portraits by Annie Leibovitz: Behind The Scenes With Alec Baldwin as the Spirit of the Magic Mirror – Alec Baldwin’s photo shoot was totally unique: with no costumes and no set, his photos were all about his face.
  4. Disney Dream Portraits by Annie Leibovitz: Behind The Scenes With Queen Latifah as Ursula – Queen Latifah takes on the black tentacles and white hair of the “The Little Mermaid” villain with gusto.
  5. Disney Dream Portraits by Annie Leibovitz: Behind The Scenes With Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen - This video shows off the incredibly detailed costume and set that helped Olivia Wilde prepare to emulate the Evil Queen herself.
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