Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Celebrate Halloween with a Disney Parks Blog ‘Light Painting’ Wallpaper

posted on October 31st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Earlier this week, we shared the latest in our series of amazing free hand “light painting” artwork in the air with colored LED penlights. The Halloween-inspired art was so popular, we’re sharing a special wallpaper created especially for Disney Parks Blog readers.

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Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

There are more great “light painting” images to see in our original post.

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Digging Up Details About Memento Mori Shop in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World

posted on October 31st, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Memento Mori, the new Haunted Mansion-themed shop, recently opened in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom Park. This location is the destination for new Haunted Mansion Authentic products at Walt Disney World Resort. In recent weeks, I’ve enjoyed hearing guests’ reactions and seeing photographs from their visits to the shop. Since it’s Halloween, I caught up with my Walt Disney Imagineering partners to dig up a few interesting details about the shop that you may not know.

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You may recall that it is rumored the little shop was the abode of Madame Leota. While she disappeared long ago, many of her belongings are still located in the shop such as a beautiful portrait that was possibly created during the time she lived in the area.

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The shop’s name was inspired by a gravestone found in the graveyard scene inside the attraction. The Victorian-era phrase “Memento Mori” reminded people of that age “to live life to the fullest as everyone is mortal.”
There are two different signs found outside the shop. The larger sign has an eyeball-like graphic that looks like it follows you when passing by the location.

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Merchandise cast members wear costumes that are slightly different than the maid and butler costumes from the attraction. I love the unique Madame Leota-inspired broach that female cast members wear (yes, the merchandise team is considering making it a retail item in the future).

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The broach also inspired a mirror found on a wall inside the shop. The mirror’s frame is basically a larger replica of the broach.

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One of the coolest new things in the shop is Spirit Photography, which is another way for Guests to pursue the mysteries of life. This special kind of photography has been known to touch the spirit world, revealing the secrets that lie beyond.

Outside the Spirit Photography room, you will find some recreations of the earliest form of photography known as “daguerreotype.” I also liked the wallpaper found inside the photography area.

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While visiting the shop to get photographs for this story, I had my portrait taken. After a few moments, I was presented an 8-inch by 10-inch, lenticular image that revealed my spirited Disney Side. No reservations are needed for this experience.

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999 Happy Haunts: The Organist Pipes A ‘Swinging Wake’

posted on October 31st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today, we’ll celebrate the Halloween holiday with our final look at one of the Haunted Mansion residents. Today, we’re heading inside the Grand Hall area of the mansion to learn more about the Organist.

In the Grand Hall, a collection of spirits have materialized for a grand celebration with music provided by an Organist at the far left of the room.

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(Art by Garrett McGill)

This character plays a waltz version of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” while ghostly couples dance nearby. Did you ever notice that there are skulls floating out of the organ instead of musical notes?

For more Happy Haunts, check out the posts below:

Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – November 2014

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


November is bustling with events at Walt Disney World Resort, take a look!

Have you taken part in this year’s 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? There’s still time. Here are a few special guest appearances you won’t want to miss. Learn more.

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November 1 – 2: Be among the first to get Disney Infinity 2.0 during our special launch event at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

November 3 – 6: Meet artist Larry Dotson who will be on hand for special appearances each day at Art of Disney in Epcot. Learn more.

November 6 – 9: Beloved artist David E. Doss returns to Walt Disney World Resort this month. Look for appearances by David at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

November 7: “Drop” in to Tower Gift Shop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a special Game Night with Disney Design Group Artist, Quynh Kimball. From 4 – 6 p.m. you can challenge Quynh to a game of Jenga or Clue, both inspired by The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction, as he tells you about how he designs these Disney Theme Park Exclusive games. Learn more.

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November 7 – 8: Excited for PANDORA? Be sure to watch for a special post from Steven Miller on a special jewelry showcase scheduled to take place at Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

November 7 – 8: Join us as we welcome artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith who will appear for the very first time at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Meet Jasmine from from 5 – 7 p.m. each day. Learn more.

November 7 – 9: Representatives from Precious Moments Dolls will be on hand at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace for the release of the Villains Collection inspired by Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and the Evil Queen. Not able to make it? No problem. Representatives will be on hand throughout the holiday season, beginning November 20. Learn more.

November 10 – 13: Artist Greg McCullough will be on hand for special appearances and signings this month at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Meet Greg (November 10 – 13, 16 – 20, 26 – 28 and November 30 – December 4). Learn more.

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November 14 – 15: Meet Disney artists David Buckley, Will Gay, Joe Kaminski, Mark Seppala and Don “Ducky” Williams, November 14 from 6 – 8 p.m. and November 15 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

November 14 – 16: ACME Archives artist William Silvers will be on hand for a special showcase as we debut some of his newest pieces inspired by Star Wars. William will appear November 14 – 15 from 5 – 9 p.m. each day and November 16 from Noon – 4 p.m. Learn more.

November 21 – 22: Take part in a Disney artist showcase with Joe Kaminski, Alex Maher, Tim McCloskey and Darren Wilson, November 21 from 6 – 8 p.m. and November 22 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

November 21 – 23: Precious Moments doll designer Linda Rick will be on hand for the debut of her Holiday Princess Collection. Look for special appearances by Linda, November 21 – 23 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace and November 27 – 30 at Santa’s Village at American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot. Learn more.

November 29 – 30: Meet Disney Traditions artist Jim Shore and see some of his latest releases November 29 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace and November 30 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Heritage Manor in Epcot. Not able to make it? Take advantage of a special pre-purchase opportunity. Learn more.

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There’s just one last thing to note before I go. Holidays Around the World kicks off November 24, I know Steven Miller is planning to share all the details with you but here are a couple of events worth noting on your holiday calendar.

  • Precious Moments Dolls (Nov. 24 – Dec. 30)
  • Reinhard Herzog (Nov. 25 – Dec. 23)

Which event are you most excited about?

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Halloween Tricks (and Treats) with an Optical Illusion Inspired by The Haunted Mansion

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Inside the Haunted Mansion, anything can happen. As things go bump in the night, your eyes also play tricks on you. “Is this haunted room actually stretching?

In 2011, we debuted a Haunted Mansion-themed optical illusion that featured our phantom friends, The Hitchhiking Ghosts.

This year, we’re back with another Halloween treat (and a trick) for fans of the classic attraction. A haunted hallway with a floating candelabra serves as the inspiration for this apparitional optical illusion.

All of the trickery was done without the use of any video special effects. At the end of the short video, the spooky secret is revealed. Happy Halloween!

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Learn to Draw Stitch at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, our “Learn to Draw” series focuses on a Disney character that’s simply out of this world – Stitch.

This week, Heather Worley from Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is back at the animation desk for a lesson in how to draw this trouble-making creature.



For more animation tutorials, visit the links below:

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Pain & Panic Celebrate Halloween

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Halloween is tomorrow. Are you in a PANIC trying to get ready for the big day? Does finding a costume cause you great PAIN? Bad news, these two won’t be of any help. Here’s a look at Pain and Panic getting their dance on at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in 1997. Happy Halloween!

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13 Halloween-Inspired ‘Light Paintings’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on October 29th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


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It’s Halloween week and we’re back at Magic Kingdom Park creating some amazing free hand “light painting” artwork in the air with colored LED penlights.

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The Hitchhiking Ghosts and our 12 other Halloween-themed “light paintings” were drawn without a guide or template during an after-hours park visit. Each image was drawn quickly and with skill by Matt Stewart, a Yellow Shoes Creative Group Art Director. And while Matt “drew” the art, Paul Chase, a Disney Parks Content Producer, used long camera exposures to capture each move of the penlight.

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Matt and Paul have used this same technique to create “light paintings” that featured the iconic profile of Mickey Mouse, an impressive American Flag in front of Cinderella Castle and the galaxy’s most famous villain, Darth Vader.

Let us know your favorite “light painting” in the comments and keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more light art at Disney Parks.

(*Note: Matt and Paul were in a very controlled environment with proper personnel on-site. If you attempt an artful creation like this, please insure proper safety measures are taken.)

To see more “light painting” artwork at Magic Kingdom Park, visit the posts below:

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Special Edition Wildlife Wednesday: What Do Rhinos, Art Auctions and Imagineers Have in Common?

posted on October 29th, 2014 by Scott Terrell, DVM, DACVP, Animal Health Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


World Rhino Day is officially recognized each year on September 22, and provides a great opportunity to share information and raise awareness about the exponential rise in rhinoceros poaching in the wild. While some are aware of the declining numbers of rhinos in the wild, many don’t have the opportunity to take the next step to help reverse the decline. Chad Harmon, a member of the team who works with animals in the Ituri Forest on Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, took matters into his own hands. He and his wife started a non-profit organization called The Horns and Heroes Project – an organization that combines the conservation of rhinos around the world with the passion and creativity of the art community.

The organization’s first event, in 2012, invited 50 artists from around the Orlando, Fla. area to decorate cast moldings of rhino horns. These decorated horns were then displayed at an auction event and 100 percent of the $6,000 proceeds were sent to the International Rhino Foundation. The ‘Heroes’ portion of the organization’s title comes in as the money donated supports the front line park rangers patrolling on the ground, risking their lives against armed poachers to keep rhinos safe in the wild.

So, that covers rhinos and art auctions, but where does Disney Imagineer, Joe Rohde, fit in?

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This year over 70 artists decorated rhino busts that were auctioned off. Joe Rohde learned about the event and showed support by creating his own piece of artwork that was showcased along with members of the Orlando community and Disney’s Animal Programs. A Zoological Manager on the elephant team, Steve Lefave, created the piece of art that produced the highest bid – over $900! The piece, titled “Abbey Normal,” was created using several recycled pieces and depicts a “Frankenstein”-like rhino. When asked about his inspiration for the piece, Lefave said, “If we don’t protect the rhino, we will have to recreate it by some other means.” Lefave also spoke very highly of the organization with admiration that is “through the roof” because he knows all the work to save this species comes from the heart.

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Inspired by the guiding principles of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Harmon strives to inspire calls to action by exposing audiences to the subject matter and then provide a way to get involved. Harmon’s intention is to invite art lovers to come in the door, but then leave an art lover who is also a conservationist. The most recent event raised over $23,000 with over 400 people in attendance!

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Organizations like this are just one way that Disney cast members are making a difference around the world. Keep an eye out for upcoming events in your area and opportunities to get involved in other conservation programs, organizations and initiatives!

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Be the First to Get Disney Infinity 2.0 at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace on November 1-2, 2014

posted on October 29th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Since the announcement of Disney Infinity 2.0 earlier this year, my son has been asking when he can get the new figures. He currently has every figure from the initial release and loves playing the game. He will be excited to hear about an early purchase opportunity on November 1-2, 2014 at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace for Disney Infinity 2.0.

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We will release the Disney Infinity 2.0 Starter Pack containing Merida from Disney•Pixar’s “Brave” and Stitch (retail $59.99 plus tax). Guests will receive one complimentary Disney figure with the purchase of a Disney Infinity Starter Pack at Once Upon a Toy during the weekend.

Additional items being released will include figures of Maleficent, Donald Duck, Aladdin and Tinker Bell. Guests should also look for figures of Hiro and Baymax from Disney’s upcoming animated feature “Big Hero 6” coming to theatres on November 7.

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Game developers will also be on hand throughout the weekend providing game demonstrations. I’ve played Disney Infinity many times with my son and it’s fun (I especially like the mode where he can create his own worlds).

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Finally, guests should look for a new series of Power Discs as shown in the image above. These discs are typically presented in a mystery pouch, so you won’t know which ones you get. I can’t believe there will be a Power Disc for Gus from Disney’s 1976 motion picture “Gus.” That’s amazing!

The national market release date is November 4, so guests visiting Once Upon a Toy will be some of the first people to get these items.

I can’t wait!

Gift with purchase offer valid while supplies last. Qualifying purchase based on pre-tax, post discount single transaction amount. Offer not valid on previous purchases. One (1) complimentary Disney Interactive Game Piece per purchase of a Disney Infinity Starter Pack at Once Upon A Toy in the Downtown Disney® Marketplace. Complimentary Disney Interactive Game Piece determined by Disney in its sole discretion and is subject to change without notice. Promotion only applies to Disney Infinity Starter Pack merchandise transactions. Complimentary Disney Interactive Game Piece must be returned in the event that the Disney Infinity Starter Pack from the qualifying purchase is returned. Offer subject to change without notice. Limits and restrictions apply.

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