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Today in Disney History: ‘Hocus Pocus’ Casts a Spell in Theaters

posted on July 16th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


On July 16, 1993, Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” opened in theaters, and the world was introduced to those wacky and wicked Sanderson sisters: Mary (Kathy Najimy), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Winifred (Bette Midler). After wreaking havoc on Salem, Massachusetts, the sisters returned to the great beyond, only to be heard from during annual Halloween showings of the movie on Disney Channel.

Now, 22 years later, the Sanderson sisters are set to return during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, in the all-new show “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.” Winifred, Mary and Sarah will have only a few hours to run amuck, using their magic and the power of some fiendish Disney villains to throw the best, evil Halloween party this side of the graveyard!

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The show will feature memorable songs from the film, like “Come Little Children” and “I Put a Spell on You,” along with appearances by Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent and more.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be held on select nights at Magic Kingdom Park, beginning September 15. Tickets are still available, but will go quickly, so be sure to get yours soon.

My family likes to go the party early in the run and stretch out the Halloween fun as long as possible. Plus, this year I just don’t think I can wait until October to see “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular!” In fact, I might even have to fire up my Disney Movies Anywhere app and watch “Hocus Pocus” tonight! Who’s with me?

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Mickey’s Halloween Party Expands to 17 Nights with Return of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, September 11 – November 1

posted on July 15th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues into Halloween Time when the season begins again September 11, with the addition of the new “Paint the Night” parade during the expanded 17 nights of Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland park!

In addition to the popular Halloween Time seasonal attractions, Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, Mickey Mouse and his friends in Halloween costumes, the Dia de los Muertos celebration and the special after-hours Mickey’s Halloween Party (a separate, ticketed event), guests will also be able to enjoy the new nighttime spectaculars that are the signature of our 60th anniversary celebration – “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, “Paint the Night” parade and “World of Color – Celebrate!” as well as special sparkling Halloween decor in honor of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

Please note: This year, Mickey’s Halloween Party will include “Paint the Night” parade and “Halloween Screams” fireworks. Mickey’s Costume Party cavalcade will not be featured this year; “Disneyland Forever” fireworks will be presented on non-party nights.

You can purchase your Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets early – and on your mobile device – here. Be sure to mark your calendars for the following dates:

  • July 22: Tickets on sale to Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders, Disney Rewards Visa card holders and Disney Vacation Club members
  • July 29: Tickets on sale to general public
  • Mickey’s Halloween Party 2015 dates: Friday, Sept. 25; Monday, Sept. 28; Wednesday, Sept. 30; Friday, Oct. 2; Monday, Oct. 5; Wednesday, Oct. 7; Friday, Oct. 9; Monday, Oct. 12; Wednesday, Oct. 14; Friday, Oct. 16; Monday, Oct. 19; Thursday, Oct. 22; Friday, Oct. 23; Sunday, Oct. 25; Tuesday, Oct. 27; Thursday, Oct. 29; and Saturday, Oct. 31

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and Disneyland.com/Halloween for more updates on Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort and Mickey’s Halloween Party, and join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #HalloweenTime.

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20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Expands for First Time into Future World

posted on July 13th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


For the first time ever, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is stretching into the park’s Future World with four new food and beverage marketplaces.

The festival opens September 25 and runs through November 16, and will feature more than 30 global marketplaces for sipping and noshing throughout the park.

20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Expands for First Time into Future World

Along the walkway toward Future World West, the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese festival area will feature the Cheese Studio (offering a cheese sampler served on an artist’s palette to pair with wines) and the Wine Studio with premium wines on tap – each keg keeps the wine super fresh and holds the equivalent of 26 bottles, eliminating bottle, cork, cardboard and paper waste. Bottles, corks and materials from other marketplaces are recycled.

Then, near the Epcot Character Spot, the new Next Eats area will debut with Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award® winning lifestyle series “The Chew,” starring co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. Sustainable Chew will feature three dishes, and Chew Lab will show off hot culinary tech trends like a Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.

Beginning July 15, you can go to epcotfoodfestival.com for more details. Booking for premium events like the new Rockin’ Burger Block Party (details soon!), Party for the Senses and Signature Dining Experiences will begin July 30 at 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378).

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ABC’s ‘The Chew’ Will Broadcast from 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival; Also Featured in Two First-Ever Future World Marketplaces

posted on July 2nd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


We all have a favorite host from ABC’s “The Chew” – superstars Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall and Daphne Oz each have a special way of sharing their culinary know-how on the Emmy-Award-winning lifestyle series. And for the first time in the show’s history, these dynamic hosts are leaving the Manhattan studio to tape shows October 7, 8, and 9 from the 20th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. The five festival episodes will air October 12-16.

Shows will be taped before a live audience, and we’re sure the hosts will be all over Walt Disney World Resort discovering remarkable dining finds, getting a taste of innovative, fun and healthful eats – the best the vacation kingdom has to offer.

CLINTON KELLY, DAPHNE OZ, MARIO BATALI, MICHAEL SYMON, CARLA HALL

Along with the taping of the show, “The Chew” will be featured in two marketplaces throughout the festival’s 53-day celebration from September 25-November 16, helping celebrate 20 delicious years. For the first time in the festival’s history, marketplaces will expand into Future World in the new Next Eats festival area with three delicious dishes from “The Chew” in their Sustainable Chew Marketplace: Savory Pork Spareribs with Cheesy Mascarpone Grits; Ricotta & Zucchini Ravioli with Tomato Sauce, and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Figs and Pistachio Brittle. (Herbs and veggies from The Land pavilion will flavor the marketplace dishes when harvested.) The eco-home-inspired marketplace will offer a chance for guests to learn more about how food is grown and the importance of sustainability.

Also in Next Eats, Disney chefs are collaborating with “The Chew” for the Chew Lab, a cutting-edge marketplace inspired by food-science labs and the hottest culinary tech trends.

“The Chew” airs on ABC Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. EST, noon CST. For updates on the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, visit epcotfoodfestival.com throughout the summer.

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Today in Disney History: ‘Lady and the Tramp’ Hit Theaters

posted on June 22nd, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


He’s a tramp, but we love him. Of course, Lady grew to love him as well. Today in 1955, Walt Disney Pictures released “Lady and the Tramp“. This Disney classic love story between two dogs from different sides of town continues to warm the hearts of Disney fans.

Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, a favorite of mine, at Magic Kingdom Park pays homage to this Disney classic film. Here you can enjoy Italian cuisine while surrounded by sketches, lithographs and animation cells from the movie. There’s even a fountain in the center with a statue of Lady & the Tramp.

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It’s the perfect place to recreate the spaghetti scene where Lady and Tramp romantically slurp up the same noodle. You can also spot Lady and Tramp at Disney’s Pop Century Resort in the 1950s section and at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Fun fact, “Lady and the Tramp” was the first Disney animated feature filmed in CinemaScope.

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Tokyo Disneyland Unveils Plans for ‘Disney’s Halloween’ Celebration

posted on June 15th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this month, plans were unveiled for “Disney’s Halloween,” a seasonal celebration that will take place at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea from September 8 – November 1.

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During this time, families will be able to enjoy halloween fun at the theme parks and resort hotels. At Tokyo Disneyland, the theme of the event will be “Halloween Fair,” and will feature Disney characters in Halloween costumes, a “Happy Halloween Harvest” parade that features floats decorated with seasonal treats, and more.

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The celebration will continue over at Tokyo DisneySea, where the focus will be on the Disney villains. The park will be transformed with an eerie atmosphere and a new villains show on Mediterranean Harbor. Other offerings will include “Villains Halloween Party” on the American Waterfront and “Casbah Magical Treat” at the Arabian Coast section of the park.

For a look at how the park celebrated fall festivities last year, check out this previous post and photo gallery.

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Sights and Sounds of Disney Parks: Playing It Cool at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 12th, 2015 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Amid all the excitement of the fun and magic during the Coolest Summer Ever, let’s share some thoughts about all the Walt Disney World ways and wonders we enjoy to keep us cool. You’re probably already an expert on tips for dialing up the fun and toning down the sun, but to get started, here are just a few:

Stay cool inside. Drink plenty of water—even before you get too thirsty. Make sure the whole gang stays properly hydrated.

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Stay cool outside. Wear hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and comfy shoes—shoes that were made for walking. You don’t have to be a runner or jogger to visit your hometown running shoe store (or Fit2Run at the Downtown Disney Area). They’ll help you find shoes that support the way you specifically walk. Just wait until you’ve walked in shoes so comfy, they’re ‘like butter’!

Take a break. Make use of extended park hours and Extra Magic Hours so briefly bid adieu to the parks for an hour or two at your Disney Resort hotel. Take a refreshing “power nap.” Loll around in the pool (staying in the shade as much as possible). Savor a leisurely meal at a Disney Resort restaurant (make reservations soon). When you get back to the parks, you’ll feel as fresh as the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival!

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Write a book. You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Well, we’re very proud of a brand new gem now available in select shops called “My Walt Disney World Travels”. It’s an easy-to-carry spiral bound book with lots of places to jot down the delightful details of up to five Walt Disney World Resort visits. Each of the five visit sections has a pocket for odds and ends that become personal treasures.

‘My Walt Disney World Travels’ Book Available at Walt Disney World Resort ‘My Walt Disney World Travels’ Book Available at Walt Disney World Resort ‘My Walt Disney World Travels’ Book Available at Walt Disney World Resort

You might ask, “Sure, ‘My Walt Disney World Travels’ is filled with fun, clever things, but isn’t it a kids’ book?” Yes and no. Yes, hand them to the kids when they’re in need of a cool-down break; when they’re asking when their chicken nuggets will be served, or just about to make all the grownups wake up just a little too soon. But why should kids have all the journal fun? The book has a wonderful Mary Blair flair to it, so it epitomizes the pinnacle of style and sophistication.

That reminds me, I’ve got to go jot something down right now! Until we meet here next Friday, what are your tips for keeping cool and comfortable on warmish summer days?

For information on purchasing select Disney merchandise items, call Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Merchandise Guest Services at 1-877-560-6477 or send an email to 
merchandiseguestservices@disney.go.com.

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A Guest of Star Wars Weekends, Frank Oz Will Be

posted on June 12th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Are you looking for one of the greatest stars of the Star Wars saga? Well, fear not. After all, fear is the path to the Dark Side. You seek Yoda. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Yoda you shall find!

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Our very special guest this weekend is none other than Frank Oz, the man who brought to life the most powerful Jedi Master of all time. Beyond his portrayal of Yoda in Star Wars, Frank Oz is also a noted director and the award-winning performer behind lovable Muppets Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal and more. This weekend, you’ll be able to see Frank Oz in the “Legends of the Force” celebrity motorcade on Hollywood Blvd. and at Theater of the Stars, where he’ll share stories of his illustrious career during “A Conversation with Frank Oz.”

For this year’s final weekend, you will find yourself among a galaxy of Star Wars stars. Here’s the full list of those scheduled to appear:

  • Event Host James Arnold Taylor: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Frank Oz: Yoda (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: A New Hope; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
  • Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)

Adventure! Excitement! A Jedi craves not these things, but Star Wars Weekends fans sure do! And this weekend promises to be the most adventurous and exciting yet.

Who is planning to join us as we “iris out” and bid farewell to Star Wars Weekends 2015? Let us know in the comments, and may the Force be with you. Always.

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Feel The Force With New Star Wars Weekends Desktop Wallpapers

posted on June 11th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week our friends in the Yellow Shoes Creative Group produced three wallpapers based on the commercial spot to share with all of you in honor of the return of Star Wars Weekends.

To download a size that fits your device, simply click on the image below.

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Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it. And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special page.

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Behind the Scenes: This Year’s Star Wars Weekends Creative Campaign

posted on June 11th, 2015 by Will Gay, Creative Director, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


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Ready are you? We sure were. All of a sudden I look around and I am in the middle of the TV commercial shoot for the upcoming launch of this year’s Star Wars Weekends. This is one of those moments that I just think, “Are you kidding me? How did I get here in the middle of all this awesomeness and where did all these troopers come from?” It is a little surreal to say the least. Maybe it really did all start “A long time ago in a galaxy” … well you know. You see, my Jedi Master creative teammates and myself are huge Star Wars fans ourselves. We grew up watching the original trilogy and playing with everything Star Wars. So working on the creative for the latest campaign here at Yellow Shoes really was a dream come true for us.

After editing this great footage we shot right here at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, then adding in all the cool special effects, it was finally complete. And we are very excited to share with you today the finished spot we call, “Lit”.

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Oh, and did you notice some very familiar footage in the beginning of the spot? How cool is that? Not to mention that iconic soundtrack that comes up at the end that can make a grown man get a little misty-eyed.

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The idea behind this year’s campaign is simple: it’s as close to the Force as you can get. Everything plays out around the notion of going to Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and you are literally surrounded by the Force and all things Star Wars.

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