Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Residents of The Haunted Mansion

posted on October 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Well, they aren’t exactly photos, but I think some of the coolest images we shared this week appeared in our “999 Happy Haunts” series, in which we’re taking a closer look at the residents of The Haunted Mansion attraction.

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Each post in the series focuses on a different ghost or other resident of the mansion – and each post features a unique piece of artwork created especially for it by a different artist.

Two more posts are set to run in this series. Which image is your favorite so far? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s MyMagic+ Honored with ‘Innovation by Design’ Award

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We’re pleased to share that MyMagic+ – our collection of tools taking the guest experience to the next level at the Walt Disney World Resort – was recently honored with an “Innovation by Design” award by the popular magazine and website, Fast Company.

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MyMagic+ received the top spot in the “Experience Design” category when Fast Company revealed the 10 best designs of the year at their annual “Innovation by Design” Awards and Conference in New York City. Winning entries were honored as the smartest, most ambitious design experience developed in concert with business and culture.

As we’ve shared here on the Disney Parks Blog, MyMagic+ is a new way for guests to experience an even more magical Walt Disney World vacation, with FastPass+, Disney’s MagicBand and the My Disney Experience website and app.

Congratulations to the MyMagic+ teams working on this award and all of the cast members assisting in the ongoing evolution of the guest experience at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Filed: FastPass+, MagicBands, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

VIDEO: The Muppets Make ‘Swedish’ Shrimp Tacos at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Hellu iferybudy, tudey zee Swedish Chef veell shoo yuoo—let’s try that again—Hello everybody, today the Swedish Chef will show you how to re-create Shrimp Tacos from Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at home. Don’t worry, we provide subtitles. Bork Bork Bork!

In case you couldn’t understand Swedish Chef, here is the recipe so you can make Shrimp Tacos at home:

Tacos de Camarones (Shrimp Tacos)
Makes 10 (6-inch) tacos

Chipotle Sauce

  • 2/3 cups mayonnaise
  • 7.5 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, puréed

Shrimp Tempura

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, about 30 to 35 shrimp

Shrimp Tacos

  • 10 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup favorite salsa verde

For chipotle sauce:

  1. Mix mayonnaise and puréed chipotle peppers in a medium bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

For tempura shrimp:

  1. Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 375˚F in a deep fryer.
  2. Beat egg white in a small bowl until frothy and light. Do not overbeat. Set aside.
  3. Mix together flour, cornstarch, salt, parsley, paprika, baking powder, garlic powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add water and egg white; mix until smooth.
  4. Add shrimp and toss until fully covered with batter.
  5. Drop 6 to 8 at a time in hot oil. Do not overcrowd. Fry 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove fried shrimp and drain on paper towels.

To serve:

  1. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of chipotle mayonnaise on flour tortilla and place 3 shrimp down middle. Top with small handful of cabbage and drizzle with salsa verde.
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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

999 Happy Haunts: The Hitchhiking Ghosts

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Our weekly series in which we take an in-depth look at the ghostly residents of The Haunted Mansion continues this week with a look at a fan-favorite: The Hitchhiking Ghosts.

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(Art by Mercedes Crespo)

The Hitchhiking Ghosts were actually some of the final ghoulish “residents” that were added into the plans for The Haunted Mansion. Not only that, but their look (designed by Imagineer Marc Davis) and their location within the attraction changed throughout the development process. According to Jason Surrell’s book “The Haunted Mansion: From The Magic Kingdom To The Movies,” some of the earlier ghosts designed to be in the hitchhiking trio were moved up to other scenes within the attraction.

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(Art by Kyle Olson)

In the end, the three hitchhikers were designed as a traveler with a top hat and carpetbag, a tall skeletal figure and a fuzzy bearded fellow carrying a ball and chain. The three were later dubbed Ezra, Gus and Phineas by fans.

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(Art by Richard Page)

Something that has made this trio a favorite of many Haunted Mansion fans is their unique ability to “follow you home,” which they appear to do by hopping into (or on top of) your Doom Buggie in the following scene.

The Hitchhiking Ghosts were enhanced at the attraction at Magic Kingdom Park in 2011 with additional special effects (watch a behind-the-scenes video on that here).


For more on the residents of The Haunted Mansion, check out the spooky good posts below:

Considering a Walt Disney World Vacation? Check Out Our Latest Vacation Deals

posted on October 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you considering a trip to Walt Disney World Resort for the holidays or winter season? Well, we’re happy to share that two new deals we recently launched that you won’t want to miss!

Goofy Lights Up the Holidays

First up, our Play, Stay, Dine, & Save package is back, for guests booking vacations with travel dates between December 14-20, 2014, and January 5-March 7, 2015. This package includes theme park tickets, a resort stay, and a dining plan. (How much you save depends on which category of resort you choose).

Guests traveling to Walt Disney World Resort January 5-March 7 can also save up to 30% off on most Disney resorts.

Both the Play, Stay, Dine & Save Package and the Resort Discount offer can be booked between October 9 – December 29, 2014. For more information on both, click here.

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Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

America’s Cutest Pet – Howl-O-Ween Special Airing October 18

posted on October 16th, 2014 by Tony Shepherd, Producer, Broadcast Marketing


In my thirty years of working in television, the one thing I never wanted to hear anybody say is, “Well, his career has gone to the dogs.” But in this (one and only) instance, I’m really glad it did!

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After reviewing hundreds of pet clips, and experiencing a never-to-be-forgotten day at Magic Kingdom Park, when we were visited by 101 dogs, each showing their Disney Side … we’re excited to share a brand new special! Animal Planet’s “America’s Cutest: Disney Side Howl-O-Ween” comes chock full of pets disguised as your favorite Disney characters, promising animal fans one of the kookiest, spookiest hours of television — maybe ever.

Hosted by actor and pet aficionado John O’Hurley, the one-hour pet-acular premieres Saturday October 18 at 9 p.m. Eastern on Animal Planet.

Watch America’s Cutest Pet – Howl-o-Ween Special Airing October 18

This show was fantastic to work on. In addition to that magical Disney Side Dog Day at Magic Kingdom Park, during filming we had more than 30 of your favorite Disney characters drop in and get into the act. It seems they love cute pets just as much as you and I do – and they have a LOT to say about them!

It was great to work with long-time Disney fan John O’Hurley and his family. We shot with them in all four parks, so you’ll get to share in their Disney Side, as well. There are lots of other surprises in store – and with Halloween right around the corner, you might get a few costume ideas from these playful pets, too!

As you know, I always promise some good behind-the-scenes info – but this time, it’s show, not tell! Check out the cool behind the scenes video … and tune in on Saturday night for a howling good time! (See what I did there?)

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Learn to Draw Winnie The Pooh at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on October 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, our “Learn to Draw” series is focusing on a classic character, Winnie the Pooh.

This week, Brian James Fichtner from Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is back to give you a lesson in how to draw the perfect pooh bear. Let’s do it!



For more animation tutorials, visit the links below:

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Hiro and Baymax Are on Their Way to Disney Parks This Fall

posted on October 16th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


After Disney’s new animated feature “Big Hero 6” hits theaters in 3D in November, the stars of the film are heading to Disney Parks to greet their fans.

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At Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests can step inside The Magic of Disney Animation attraction to tour the lab from the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, and then meet Hiro Hamada and his huggable buddy Baymax in Hiro’s garage workshop.

When Hiro and Baymax fly west to Disneyland park in California, they’ll find a home-away-from-home in a recreation of Hiro’s robotics workshop near the Starcade in Tomorrowland. Disneyland guests can also get an exclusive preview of the film at the “Special Extended Sneak Peek of ‘Big Hero 6,’” now playing in Tomorrowland’s Magic Eye Theater.

With all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who’s catapulted into the midst of a dangerous plot and must transform his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—and a diverse group of friends into a band of high-tech heroes.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Happy Boss’s Day!

posted on October 16th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


He’s a mouse. He’s the leader of the club. And, he just happens to be my boss. Happy Boss’s Day, Mickey Mouse! Here’s the Big Cheese himself arriving in Mickey’s Birthdayland in 1988. Check out that awesome Florida license plate!

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

First Look at Menu for New Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk — Reservations Open October 21

posted on October 15th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Opening day is set for December 18 for Trattoria al Forno, the new restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk that will showcase classic Italian cuisine including handcrafted mozzarella made daily, fresh cavatelli pasta and pizzas baked in wood-burning ovens.

Uncle Pats Pickled Peppers at New Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Meatball Cannelloni Basil at New Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk
Lasagna Bolognese at New Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Chicken Parmesan at New Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk

Open daily for breakfast and dinner, with reservations starting October 21, Chef Dee Foundoukis and her team in Trattoria al Forno’s kitchen are creating a true taste of all of Italy’s diverse regions.

We’re so excited to finally share the menu with you – in upcoming posts we’ll be sharing details from Walt Disney Imagineering about the décor and more as we get closer to opening. And some delicious recipes for you to try at home!

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Trattoria al Forno will be open 7:30-11 a.m. for breakfast, 5-10 p.m. for dinner, and accepts the Disney Dining Plan. For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE or www.disneyworld.com/dine.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort