Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

‘Fall’ in Love with Pumpkin-Inspired Delights at Downtown Disney

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Living in Florida, fall is my favorite time of year. Temperatures start to dip, the humidity (sort of) takes a break and autumn is in the air. Fall has already arrived here at Downtown Disney – and I know this because I’m surrounded by pumpkin-tinged treats. See a few of my top picks below:

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  • Pumpkin Spice Caramel Squares from Ghirardelli – you can only find these bites of amazingness in September and October, so stock up while you can. My fellow Disney Parks Blog author Jennifer Fickley-Baker introduced me to these mouth-watering morsels and I love/hate her for it!
  • Pumpkin Shampoo and Conditioner Bars from Basin – with potassium, alpha-carotene, zinc, beta-carotene and lutein, they make your hair strong, soft and silky – a perfect complement to any Halloween costume you may be considering. (Rumor has it Basin also has a “Pumpkin Patch” soap, too. So fun.)
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks – this caffeinated favorite needs no explanation; my motto: once you’ve taken your first sip of the season, cute boots, bulky sweaters and festive scarves are fair game, no matter what the thermometer reads.
  • Sweet Treats from Goofy’s Candy Company and Candy Cauldron – luckily, we’ve got eight weeks to sample the latest concoctions from my go-to candy shops. First up? Pumpkin fudge. (Review: Amazing.)

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Keep up with the latest seasonal offerings from Downtown Disney via our Twitter handle, @WDWDowntown. In the meantime, tell me which pumpkin product you can’t wait to try in the comments below.

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Happy fall, y’all! (I’m originally from Georgia, so I can say that.)

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – October 2014

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


Wondering what merchandise events are headed your way this October at the Walt Disney World Resort? Take a look!

Satisfy your appetite and quench your thirst for merchandise during this year’s 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Fellow author Steven Miller gave you a sneak preview of this year’s commemorative merchandise, here are a few other special appearances you won’t want to miss. Learn more.

  • Festival Center – Paola Gutierrez (October 3, 24 and November 7) and William Silvers (October 4, 18 and November 1)
  • Art of Disney – Rob Kaz (October 24 – 26) and Michelle St. Laurent (October 30 and November 1 – 2)
  • Coming in November! Tim Rogerson and The Beekman Boys.

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October 2 – 12: Beloved artist David E. Doss returns to the Walt Disney World Resort this month. Look for special appearances by David, October 2 – 12 and 23 – 29 at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

October 8 – 12: Artist Greg McCullough will be on hand for special appearances and signings this month at the Walt Disney World Resort. Meet Greg, October 8 – 12 at Art of Disney in Epcot or October 15 – 19 and October 30 – November 5 at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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October 9 – 12: Meet artist Larry Dotson who will be appearing throughout the month at the Walt Disney World Resort. Look for Larry to appear at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park, October 9 – 12 and 23 – 26 and at Art of Disney in Epcot, October 16 – 19. Learn more.

October 10 – November 3: Look for the latest releases from Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick, including her new Halloween collection. Linda will appear throughout the day October 10 – 12 and again October 31 – November 1 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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Which event are you most excited about?

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Hanson Appears at Eat to the Beat Tonight

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The band Hanson (“I Will Come to You”) will take to the stage tonight at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in the event’s Eat to the Beat concert series.

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Earlier today, the band, which is made up of brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson, took a break from performing to showcase their their new beer brew, Mmmhops Pale Ale, to Epcot guests in the Festival Center.

Hanson will take the stage tonight at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. at the America Gardens Theatre and shows are included in theme park admission.

The remaining acts in this year’s Eat to the Beat concert series are:

  • Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Air Supply
  • Oct. 3-5 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
  • Oct. 6-8 – Sugar Ray
  • Oct. 9-10 – Fuel
  • Oct. 11-12 – Sister Hazel
  • Oct. 13-14 – Richard Marx
  • Oct. 15-16 – Billy Ocean
  • Oct. 17-19 – Night Ranger
  • Oct. 20-22 – Smash Mouth
  • Oct. 23-24 – Jim Brickman
  • Oct. 25-26 – Los Lonely Boys
  • Oct. 27-28 – Wilson Phillips
  • Oct. 29-31 – Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX
  • Nov. 1-2 – 38 Special
  • Nov. 3-5 – Boyz II Men
  • Nov. 6-7 – David Cook
  • Nov. 8-10 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
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The Disney Parks Blog Celebrates Five Years of Storytelling

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


UPDATE: Thank you for the wonderful “Happy Anniversary” messages. We’ve reached our limit and are no longer taking emails for a chance to receive a poster. Please keep checking the blog for future opportunities.

Over the weekend, we celebrated a special day for the Disney Parks Blog – our five year anniversary. It’s an exciting milestone for us that would not have been possible without your consistent support and participation during the years.

We’ve paved our path one story at a time on the Blog and we’re thrilled to let you know that there are even bigger plans to grow in the future as we continue to offer the latest, official information about Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line and Disney vacation experiences worldwide.

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Today, we wanted to pause and say thank you with a special photo we’ve saved just for the occasion. The bird’s-eye view of Cinderella Castle was captured by author and Walt Disney World photographer Kent Phillips earlier this year – and it’s one of our favorites.

You can win this poster today if you’re one of the first 150 people to email us a “Happy Birthday Disney Parks Blog” greeting of no more than 50 characters in length (which could be a simple “Hi” or “Happy Birthday Disney Parks Blog” greeting) to WDW.Sweepstakes@Disney.com and include your full name and mailing address in the email. Once the potential winners are determined, we’ll send notifications via email. See the sweepstakes rules and eligibility requirements here.

Thank you again for all of the support and be sure to keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog as we continue to grow.

Sweepstakes open only to persons who, upon entering, are not deemed minors in their jurisdiction of primary residence and are legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 United States or D.C. Limit one (1) entry per person/per email address. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Subject to complete Official Rules. Ends 09/29/14.

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Picture If You Will Merchandise for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

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


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The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend is returning soon to Walt Disney World Resort. This weekend of runDisney events takes place on October 3-4, and includes a nighttime Disney Villain Hollywood Bash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios following the 10-miler on Saturday. If there was a race I’d like to run, this would be the one due to my love of all things Tower of Terror. The merchandise events development team recently shared with me some of the merchandise create for this event which I thought you’d like to see.

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Like previous runDisney events, there will be a variety of apparel items offered this year including both long and short sleeve options. I love this year’s artwork, especially the map on the back of the “I Did It” tee. The black jacket is also a nice addition and will contain glow-in-the-dark ink.

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Other items will include limited release pins including one with Hitchhiking Ghosts from The Haunted Mansion that will also glow-in-the-dark. Guests will also find a car magnet, water bottle, hat, and, my favorite, a silver necklace with a Maleficent-themed running shoe. We will also have a black Disney ear hat for the Kids’ Races that will contain the logo with Donald Duck dressed for Halloween.

To find these items and more, I invite you to attend the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

On Friday, October 3, 2014, the Expo will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

On Saturday, October 4, 2014, guests can visit the Expo from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

I wish all participants the best of luck during the race and watch out for those Disney Villains!

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and used with permission pursuant to a license with CBS, Inc.

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Caption This: Fun with the Kitchen Sink

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “Caption This” image shows one of my favorite desserts in all of the Walt Disney World Resort – it’s the Kitchen Sink, which can be found at Beaches & Cream.

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It sure looks like these kids have a challenge on their hands. What should their strategy be for finishing this one? Go ahead and “Caption This” photo in the “Comments” section below.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on September 28th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we officially welcomed the newest addition to our gorilla family troop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in our weekly “Wildlife Wednesday” series. The new Western lowland gorilla is the second gorilla birth this year, and the fifth in the park’s history.

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All Western lowland gorilla babies born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom have been a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which ensures long-term survival of species by helping AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums manage species’ genetic diversity through detailed records of individual animals.

Check out Rachel’s story for more baby gorilla photos from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

@rBc5FNoura: 70′s decade! Me and My Little Brother in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle @eilonwey28: 1970′s Disneyland. Me and Pluto on Main St. – Taken by my Dad in Mar. 1977, on my 2nd birthday. @rdpMW9qguY: 1974 Standing in front of Main Street @rvxaOmLOX6: 1974 Grad Nite From @sIV4quTHq4

And we continued the voting for the top Disneyland Resort memory from the past 60 years with some favorite Disneyland Resort memories from the 1970s.

You can go now to Erin’s story to vote. Voting will remain open until 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, October 1. Be sure to check back Thursday, October 2, when we’ll share the top five memories from the 1980s.

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.

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

Halloween Time Snacks and Sweets at Disneyland Resort – Get a look at some of the snacks and sweets we’ve scared up at Disneyland Resort for Halloween Time.

Danny Elfman Reads from ‘Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas’ at Haunted Mansion Holiday in Disneyland Park – Watch as musician, composer and longtime collaborator with Tim Burton, Danny Elfman performs this special reading of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ Star Constantine Visits Walt Disney World Resort – See the World’s Number One Criminal speak with our very own John Graham, sharing what he loves about visiting Disney Parks.

Planning for a Spooktacular Time at Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Park – Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort is here! Here are some tips for planning your visit to Mickey’s Halloween Party.

A Home Away From Home at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: 1-Bedroom Villa – Check out the spacious villas available at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Learn more about booking your getaway today!

New Halloween Celebrations at Disney Parks – Special new Halloween-themed gifting experiences from Disney Floral & Gifts are now available at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort!

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Yummy Fall Treats

posted on September 27th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Another thing to love about fall at Disney Parks – in addition to colorful decor, Halloween parties and trick-or-treating – are the special seasonal treats that are making their way into our parks.

Earlier this week, Food & Beverage author Rachel Brent showed off some of the yummy treats that are now available at the Disneyland Resort. Among the mouth-watering treats she shared photos of were Banana Fritters, Pumpkin Beignets, Caramel Apple Smoothie and much more.

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Rachel also gave us a great look at the spooky snacks available this fall at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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The witch cupcakes sure look delicious to me. Which treat would be your fav? Tell us in the “Comments” section below!

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Celebrating A Soldier’s Safe Return at the Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Cigna

posted on September 26th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


This story has it all: runDisney magic, tears, joy and celebration.

If you participated in the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or follow my runDisney blog posts on a regular basis, this story will be familiar. It is a follow-up to an emotional magical moment that played out at the start of the race in February, but with a new twist at the Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Cigna.

Kim Myers of Seattle, WA, traveled to Walt Disney World Resort to run the Princess Half Marathon for a couple reasons. First, she was part of a larger group running on behalf of “Wear Blue: Run to Remember,” a running organization that participates in races around the world to celebrate the sacrifice of US military and their families. Second, she was celebrating her birthday and ran to take her mind off the fact that her husband, CW2 Travis Myers, couldn’t be with her. He was serving our country in Afghanistan with the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces group. Thanks to a thoughtful husband, technology and a little Disney Magic, we were able to surprise Kim with a special birthday message from Travis who was half a world away. At that time Kim said if everything went according to plan Travis would be home in time to run the Disneyland Half Marathon with her and they not only would celebrate his return but ironically his birthday.

Well, I am happy to tell you that everything did go according to plan. Travis returned home safely to his family from his final tour of duty. And as promised he took Kim’s hand and together they ran the Disneyland Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort earlier this month.

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When I recently visited Kim and Travis in Seattle, Kim told me, “I run as a way to find my own identity as a very busy person, mom, wife, fulltime job …. and a very positive way to deal with a lot of stress.”

Now, with Travis safely home, the loneliness of running alone is replaced by running with her partner in life.

“The Disneyland Half Marathon is our celebration run,” Kim said. “We’re getting out there to celebrate where we’ve come from as well as how far we have left to go, both as individuals and also together as a couple.”

I hope you will take a moment to watch Kim and Travis’ journey to the Disneyland Half Marathon. It is truly a story of love and celebration.

runDisney salutes and thanks all of our service men and women and their families around the world for keeping our country safe.

#WhyIrunDisney is dedicated to sharing compelling and motivational human-interest stories. To view submissions and to learn how to upload your story, visit irundisney.com.

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New Halloween Celebrations at Disney Parks

posted on September 26th, 2014 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG


If you like new experiences at the Disney Parks, read on. As most of you know I’m part of the creative team for Disney Floral & Gifts that creates new gifting experiences. We meet twice a week and talk about how we can help you live out your favorite stories for holidays and special occasions (yes it’s a tough job). In this case, back in February we started a “re-design” of our Halloween tricks and treats…beginning with a discussion about what you said you liked and didn’t like from 2013. Our creative sessions are exactly what you might imagine. Then one day, the creativity is finished and I get the chance to share the inside scoop. So today, we announce (cue scary music) … the new … Mickey’s Spooktacular Celebration at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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This year we enhanced what you said you loved the most; the ambiance, glow, décor and personalization! We also kept some current surprises you loved and added in new elements you’ve requested. What’s included? Imagine walking up to your Resort room to see a creepy banner hanging from your door featuring a Mickey shaped pumpkin with light up eyes looking right at you. You crack open the door and peak around the corner to see surprises scattered around the room! As you search you find a special note from Mickey, an exclusive luminous bin stacked to the top with goodies, Halloween blanket…

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…exclusive Mickey pillow cases, shadow puppets to create your own spooky stories, a light up candelabra covered in creepy spider webs, glowing eyes (check out the mirror in the back of this image, on the right), as well as tricks and games.

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Curious to learn what’s “brewing” at the Disneyland Resort? If you’re a villain at heart, check out what our Disneyland Resort Floral and Gifts creative team developed, A Disney Villainous Celebration. Apparently they believe Halloween is their holiday so they are taking over your resort room to make it their own! Let’s just say they wanted to add a little trouble to Mickey’s surprise. Here you’ll see light up candelabras with gargoyles, a luxurious black villain blanket, villain treats, exclusive villain pins and lanyard. Take a look at the silver villain picture frame in the center of the picture too. Do you see the Evil Queen at the top? There’s also a really clever Villain Monopoly game…

Not able to visit us this fall? Then check out this exclusive surprise we created for your little one through our Ship to Home option. The story is that Minnie or Mickey sent this surprise so they could tag along with your little one for trick or treat. The bag alone is a keeper. And yes, the eyes do light up! There are Disney treats, a light up Mickey lanyard, an adorable note and autographed picture and more.

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For details, check out the Not-So-Scary Halloween Treat Bags!

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There’s so much more to share so you’ll want to stay tuned. But if your curiosity gets the best of you, check out our website through the links above or call a Disney Floral & Gifts Dream Maker at 407-WDW-GIFT for Walt Disney World Resort and 714-781-GIFT for Disneyland Resort. Disneyfloralandgifts.com

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