Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Home Decor Experts Sabrina Soto, Michael Moloney Help ‘Haunt’ Your Disney Side For New Disney Parks Contest

posted on October 6th, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


HGTV

As Halloween approaches, we at Disney Parks thought it was a great time to have you show us your Halloween Disney Side. And what better way to do that, than with a contest!

Starting today and running through November 4, you will be able to upload your favorite Disney Parks-themed Halloween photos to enter for a chance to win a private “Midnight at the Haunted Mansion” party for you and three guests with a spooky overnight stay in Cinderella Castle. All of the details and information on how to enter can be found at DisneySideContest.com.

Photos can be themed to four categories: Home décor, food and beverage, pumpkin carving and costumes.

And each Monday this month, the Disney Parks Blog will feature tips for your photos from some spook-tastic Disney and celebrity experts.

This week, it’s home décor.

We caught up with decorating and design gurus Sabrina Soto and Michael Moloney at Disneyland park recently, getting some great “haunted” home décor tips from Disneyland Resort Enhancement Manager Chris Barnhill. Now, Sabrina and Michael are not just superstars of design. They also have amped-up their Halloween cred as the hosts of “The Great Halloween Fright Fight,” airing on ABC Tuesday, October 28, which spotlights Halloween-embracing homeowners who have turned their properties into macabre masterpieces.

Chris shared with Sabrina and Michael some simple tips for haunted home décor, based on the creepy creations he and his team conjure up for Halloween Time at Disneyland. They include some eerie eyes (a la the wallpaper in the traditional version of the Haunted Mansion) and two sinister treasures based on decorations seen inside the Haunted Mansion Holiday which is inspired by the classic animated film “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Those are great tips. I’m going to my craft store right now! Oh wait! I can’t win!

Oh well, YOU can; and that’s what counts!

Don’t forget, we want to see your most frightfully-fun Disney Parks-themed Halloween photos. Check out DisneySideContest.com to enter for a chance to win some eerie, scary prizes, including that private “Midnight at the Haunted Mansion” party for you and three guests with a spooky overnight stay in Cinderella Castle.

And check back this month to the Disney Parks Blog for more tips on how to “Haunt Your Disney Side.”

NO PURCH NEC. Ends 11/4/14 at 11:59:59 PM ET. 50 US/DC/Canada (excl. QC), 18/age of majority +. Void where prohibited. Subject to Official Rules.

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Today in Disney History: New Disneyland Sign Debuts, 1989

posted on October 6th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


For years, a large marquee sign on Harbor Blvd. welcomed guests to Disneyland park. On this day in 1989, the original sign which stood at the entrance since the park opened, was replaced with a new sign featuring an electronic marquee. To mark this occasion, I’d like to re-share two photos that were originally posted by George Savvas in this fantastic article back in 2010 here on the Disney Parks Blog.

New Disneyland Sign Installed, 1989

In the photo above, you can see the old and the new side-by-side as the new sign is installed.

New Disneyland Sign Installed, 1989

And here is the new sign, finished and lit up, as it would welcome guests for the next 10 years.

Do you remember these Disneyland landmarks? Share your memories with us in the comments!

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on October 5th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As we celebrated five years of stories on the Disney Parks Blog this week, we launched another new, exclusive series especially for the Halloween holiday – 999 Happy Haunts.

999 Happy Haunts: Meet Madame Leota

Each week, 999 Happy Haunts will be offering an up-close look at a different resident of The Haunted Mansion right here on the Disney Parks Blog. And first up, we focused on one of the ladies of the house – Madame Leota.

Visit Jennifer’s original story to find out everything you ever wanted to know about Madame Leota and then let us know what resident you’d like to see next.

@amii91581: 80s Cousins with Goofy @kerinjmb: Throwback Thursday to Disneyland Circa 1988 @KimaFoster:1980′s @heidir313: 1985 @bjjlawson: With my dad @ Autopia circa 1989.

As regular readers know, we’ve been voting for the top Disneyland Resort memory from each decade of the past 60 years, and this week, we went back to the 1980s. Take a look above at the top Disneyland Resort memories we received from the 1980s and then go to Erin’s post to vote for your favorite.

Voting will remain open until 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, October 8. Be sure to check back Thursday, October 9, when we’ll share the top five memories from the 1990s.

For complete rules, click here.

No purchase necessary. 18/age of majority+, 50 US/DC only. Void where prohibited. See Rules for details.

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

Five Things You Might Not Know About Horticulture at the Disneyland Resort – There are some magical details created every season by the Disneyland Resort Horticulture team. Check out some things you might not know about horticulture at the Disneyland Resort.

Time-Lapse Video: Haunted Mansion Holiday Gingerbread House Installed at Disneyland Park – Our video team documented the installation of this year’s Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house. Take a look in this time-lapse video!

Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Menehune Bridge – Learn about the Menehune legend that provides the inspiration for Menehune Bridge, the aquatic play structure at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

Delicious and Seasonal: Harvest Apple Salad from Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure Park – Get the recipe for the delicious Harvest Apple Salad from Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure Park and even a sneak peek of how Chef Francisco Origel makes it!

Vintage Walt Disney World: Happy Birthday, Magic Kingdom Park! – To celebrate the anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World Resort, check out an aerial view of Magic Kingdom Park and the surrounding resort area in early 1971.

Eight Signs You Are Craving a Disney Cruise – Check out these 8 signs that say you’re ready for your next vacation with Disney Cruise Line.

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New, Yet Familiar Faces Animate Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park

posted on October 3rd, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


It’s a special treat to see what innovative additions the Disneyland Resort Entertainment team will add to Haunted Mansion Holiday in Disneyland park each season. This year I spoke with Senior Art Director Brian Sandahl, got a sneak peek at the spruced-up singing pumpkins and gained some insight into “little” Sally’s makeover before the attraction reopened for its 14th season of frightful fun.

Have you seen these animated updates at Haunted Mansion Holiday?

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New Halloween Trick-or-Treat Totes at Disney Parks

posted on October 3rd, 2014 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG


When you were a kid, did you get with the neighborhood gang to talk candy strategy for trick-or-treat night? We were all over it back then, remember? We covered our neighborhood, then went into adjoining neighborhoods, all in a quest to create the ultimate stash we’d call our own. Now as adults, the kid in us still comes out when it comes to candy during the Halloween season. Think about it – in your office, who comes to mind with the bowl of candy available for everyone? Only as an adult, we have to act more civilized. No running or screaming or shoving candy in our mouth – in public that is.

At Disney Parks, we get that inside every adult is a child that still loves to play and enjoy life to its fullest. So each year, our creative team talks about how we can top last year’s experience, so check this out.

For 2014 our Disney Floral & Gifts creative team developed a new Not-So-Scary Halloween Treat Bag for Walt Disney World Resort. Take a look at this exclusive canvas bag, featuring a Mickey pumpkin with battery-powered light-up eyes. Did you notice that at the bottom of the bag there’s “tattered fabric” to create a spooky look? The trick-or-treat letters glow in the dark, too. Then, our creative designer filled the tote with popular mouth-watering treats, including Mickey’s crispy treats, candy from Goofy’s Candy Company and more. It also comes with a Mickey pumpkin light-up lanyard for lighting up those spooky nights, temporary glow-in-the-dark eyeball tattoos and your very own autograph book to collect favorite character signatures. And get this, it comes in a Mickey and Minnie version for boys and ghouls.

Minnie Not-So-Scary Halloween Treat Bag Mickey Not-So-Scary Halloween Treat Bag

And, where would you want to take these bags? To Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, of course! So here’s the inside scoop, for third year in a row, I got ahold of the candy maps for the party so children and adults could start planning for their ultimate candy adventure! This year the Magic Kingdom Park has stocked up with even more candy than ever before. There will be two trick or treat trails, featuring over nine trick or treating locations where you may see some of your favorite characters all dressed up. Oh, and you may have heard that one of the many new experiences that are being launched this year revolves around the evil side of Disney at the Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square. The Club Villain Dance Party will feature a few of your favorite mischievous characters dancing the night away, so you gotta check that out. Want to see more of the Villains? Then, stay for the Happy Hallowishes Nighttime Spectacular and Villains Cast Show!

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort

For those of you who can’t make it this year to the party, we can kind of send a party to you. Our Not-So-Scary Treats Tote is also part of our ship to home offerings with just a few different twists.

If you’re headed to the Disneyland Resort this season, to celebrate the holiday, it’s all about Mickey’s Halloween Party! Our Floral & Gifts team in California created Haunted Halloween Buckets to enjoy in the resort as well as in the parks! Special Tip: The Mickey pumpkin bucket features battery-operated glowing eyes and a collection of treats to keep you energized for the night!

Mickey Haunted Halloween Bucket Minnie Haunted Halloween Bucket

Of course, we got our hands on the Halloween party map as well! Make sure to catch the Halloween Screams – A Villainous Surprise in the Skies Fireworks hosted by Jack Skellington and eight trick or treating locations throughout Disneyland park.

Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland Resort Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland Resort

I’ve got a few more “tales to tell” about new gifting experiences this year. One includes “orchestrating a Halloween surprise” and building your own gift from our collection of tricks and treats. So stay tuned. And remember, you can also add Mickey’s Spooktacular Celebration to your Disney World vacation and a Disney Villainous Halloween to your stay at the Disneyland Resort. Our Halloween gifts are available now through October 31st or while supplies last.

Oh, and you can also add these trick or treat totes and buckets to your Halloween In Room Celebration available at Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

If you have questions, call a Dream Maker at 407-WDW-GIFT for Walt Disney World Resort or 714-781-GIFT for Disneyland Resort.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

999 Happy Haunts: Meet Madame Leota

posted on October 3rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


In honor of the upcoming Halloween holiday, we’ll offer an up-close look at a different resident of The Haunted Mansion right here on the Disney Parks Blog each Friday. Today, we’re focusing on one of the ladies of the house – Madame Leota.

999 Happy Haunts: Meet Madame Leota

(Art by Cameron Garland)

Leota first appears in the Seance Circle room, summoning the Mansion’s spirits from within an illuminated crystal ball that appears to float on its own above the table. Her famous line, “Serpents and spiders, tail of a rat. Call in the spirits wherever they’re at!” was recorded by Eleanor Audley, then Disney’s go-to gal for voicing the perfect villainess. (Audley also supplied the voices of Lady Tremaine in “Cinderella” and Maleficent in “Sleeping Beauty”). Leota’s visage was a visual of Imagineer Leota Toombs, an Imagineer/model builder whose face fit the dimensions the team was looking for and agreed to participate in a demo – and nailed it.

The character of Madame Leota appears in another form later on in the attraction. Just before you disembark your Doom Buggie, “Little Leota”, appears up high and beckons guests to hurry back. Here’s a fun fact – although Eleanor Audley supplied the voice for Leota in the Seance Room, it’s both the voice and face of Leota Toombs that combined to create Little Leota.

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Vote Now for the Top Disneyland Resort Memory from the 1980s

posted on October 2nd, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Okay, fellow ‘80s kids! Today is the day to vote for your favorite, totally rad photo from the 1980s! We’ve been voting for the top Disneyland Resort memory from each decade of the past 60 years, and today it is time to go back to the 1980s. As we prepare for the upcoming Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, we asked you to submit your most magical Disneyland Resort memories from the past six decades. Now we continue narrowing down the submissions to decide which will win!

Here are the top Disneyland Resort memories we received from the 1980s:

1980s - Option 1

From @amii91581: 80s cousins with Goofy

1980s - DLR60th  - Option 3

From @kerinjmb: Throwback Thursday to Disneyland circa 1988

1980s - DLR60th - Option 10

From @KimaFoster:1980′s

1980s - Option 4

From @heidir313: 1985

1980s - Option 5

From @bjjlawson: With my dad @ Autopia circa 1989.

So, which is your favorite? Vote now!

Voting will remain open until 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, October 8. Be sure to check back Thursday, October 9, when we’ll share the top five memories from the 1990s.

Each decade winner will receive a special Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration prize. Then, we’ll give you the chance to vote for one Grand Prize winner from among the winners of each decade. This lucky fan will win a trip to the start of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration in spring 2015.

For complete rules, click here.

No purchase necessary. 18/age of majority+, 50 US/DC only. Void where prohibited. See Rules for details.

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Haunted Mansion Attraction Poster T-Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store October 6-12, 2014

posted on October 2nd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


The Disney Parks online store continues its attraction poster T-shirt series this month with a salute to the Haunted Mansion. These Hanes Beefy-T shirts will be sold online from October 6-12, 2014. I did some digging to learn more about the original designs that inspired Disney Design Group Artist Richard Terpstra when creating these two shirts.

HMT078941

The original poster for the Disneyland park attraction was created in 1969 by Ken Chapman and Marc Davis.

HMT078942

In 1971, artist George Jensen adapted the original Disneyland poster for the Walt Disney World Resort attraction poster.

HMT078943

You can see a few more poster images from this classic Disney attraction in my favorite book, “Poster Art of the Disney Parks” by Vanessa Hunt and Danny Handke. You can now find this book on our Disney Parks online store.

To order the shirts, visit http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents starting October 6. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. There will also be a special promotion offering two shirts for $40.00 (plus tax). The shirts are normally $24.95 each.

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Time-Lapse Video: Haunted Mansion Holiday Gingerbread House Installed at Disneyland Park

posted on October 1st, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Halloween Time is upon us, and that means the return of seasonal fan favorite, Haunted Mansion Holiday. Each year, Jack Skellington takes over the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park, transforming the iconic attraction in honor of “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” One of the signature details of Haunted Mansion Holiday is the enormous gingerbread house, which changes each year. Our video team documented the installation of this year’s creation … take a look in this time-lapse video!

Have you seen the new gingerbread house inside Haunted Mansion Holiday this year?

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Delicious and Seasonal: Harvest Apple Salad from Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Fall is here – the season for California apples – and elegant Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure park is taking advantage of the bounty with this beautiful Harvest Apple Salad, which also includes the richness of duck confit to match the tart, sweet apples.

Confit (pronounced con-fee) may sound daunting, but it’s basically a French term for slowly roasting the duck while it’s submerged in liquid – in this recipe it’s duck fat and olive oil. This is one of those recipes that takes time, but the reward is a rich, bright salad that’s perfect for a dinner party.

In case you can’t get to the beautiful Carthay Circle Restaurant, inside the detailed re-creation of the iconic Carthay Circle Theatre at Disney California Adventure park, Chef Francisco Origel shows us how it’s done. This seasonal recipe is just one of the many California-inspired dishes on the menu.

Harvest Apple Salad with Crispy Duck Confit
Serves 8

Duck Confit

  • 4 skin-on, bone-in duck legs
  • Coarse salt freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 3 dried bay leaves
  • Olive oil for covering duck in roasting pan

Cider Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup fresh apple cider
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard or Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salad

  • 4 gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 6 wedges per apple
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-wide sticks
  • 6 cups thinly sliced kale
  • 6 cups thinly sliced frisée lettuce
  • 10 breakfast radishes, thinly sliced

For duck confit:

  1. Generously salt and pepper duck legs and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
    Prick skin of duck legs all over with a needle or a small, sharp knife, being careful not to pierce the meat. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and sear duck legs until golden on both sides. Place in a baking dish just large enough to fit all 6 legs and cover with rendered duck fat from skillet. Add thyme, bay leaves, and enough olive oil to submerge duck.
  3. Place in oven, uncovered, and bake 2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool in fat to room temperature.
  4. Remove duck legs from fat; remove meat from bones, discarding bones; pull meat into shreds.
  5. Place shredded meat in a medium skillet over medium-high heat; cook just until duck is crispy. Set aside.

For vinaigrette:

  1. Place apple cider and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Combine reduced apple cider-vinegar and mustard in blender; blend until combined. With blender on medium speed, slowly stream in olive oil.
  3. Removed from blender and place in bowl; stir in thyme and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For salad:

  1. Smear cold butter in bottom of large skillet. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Add apples slices and turn on heat to medium-high. As butter begins to melt and sugar caramelizes, turn apples to brown both sides. Add more butter if necessary; cook apples until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes, turning often. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Combine kale, frisée, radishes, and gala apple sticks in a large bowl, tossing to combine. Add shredded duck.
  3. Add just enough dressing to coat, tossing to combine. Serve immediately with caramelized apple slices.
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