Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort

Wildlife Wednesday: Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) Announces 2014 Grant Recipients & Surpasses $25 Million Granted

posted on September 10th, 2014 by Kim Sams, Director, Corporate Citizenship, Conservation Programs, The Walt Disney Company


If you’ve recently enjoyed a Disney visit, you probably had the opportunity to support the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF). There are plenty of ways you may have contributed – adding a dollar to your purchase, picking up a sponsored pin or plush item, enjoying the Wild Africa Trek excursion at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or snorkeling at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Every donation, big or small, adds up and is combined with support from Disney, which in turn has given all of us something amazing to celebrate.

Including the 141 grants being awarded this week, we have contributed more than $25 million dollars to study wildlife, protect habitats and develop community conservation and education programs across the globe and here in Florida.

This week, our office shared the good news with more than 100 nonprofit organizations who will divide $3.5 million dollars in 2014 conservation grants to support projects benefiting wildlife and habitats spanning five continents –from lions in Tanzania and elephants in China to giant armadillos in Brazil and monk seals in Hawaii. To see a list of all the 2014 DWCF grant recipients, visit www.disney.com/conservation.

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Today the world is losing species at up to 10,000 times the natural rate, which makes doing what we can to protect the wonder of nature more important than ever. Thank YOU for joining us as we work with experts to reverse the decline of threatened species around the globe and build the next generation of conservationists.

What inspires you to protect the planet?

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Spotlight on Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store in September 2014

posted on September 9th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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September is an exciting month for new merchandise at Disney Parks. In particular, our Disney Parks online store will be offering a few unique T-shirts throughout the coming weeks. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to find online.

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Last September, you may recall seeing artwork shared by my fellow author Jennifer Fickley-Baker on the Disney Parks Blog. The artwork was created by our Yellow Shoes Creative Group and featured Disney villains playing famous roles from the Haunted Mansion attraction. From September 8-14, we will be releasing Hanes Beefy-T shirts for both men and women with this artwork. We will also have an option for posters or canvas prints of these villainous images (they will measure 50-inches by 19-inches). Apparel items will ship in 4-6 weeks, while the poster and canvas prints will ship in 12-14 days. Express shipping is not available.

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Ahoy! Thar be a new pirate shirt me hearties coming to the online store to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19. The shirts will be printed on Hanes Nano-tees for both men and kids (grey), and there will be a woman’s cut in purple. The artwork was created by Disney Design Group artist, Richard Terpstra, who was inspired by a vintage Disney postcard from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Look for this shirt online for three days only – September 19-21. Savvy?

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Finally, the next Disney Parks attraction poster T-shirts will be released from September 22-28. These Hanes Beefy-T shirts were also designed by Richard Terpstra and salute two former attractions at Disney Parks – Submarine Voyage at Disneyland park and, my favorite, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in Magic Kingdom Park. Artist Sam McKim designed the original attraction poster for Disneyland park, while artist Richard Hebner adapted that design for the Magic Kingdom Park attraction.

These shirts will only be offered on the Disney Parks online store for a limited time. You can place orders starting on the aforementioned dates at http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

New Mickey’s Halloween Party Merchandise Coming to the Disneyland Resort

posted on September 9th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Beginning September 12, Halloween Time “spooks” into high gear at the Disneyland Resort. What does that mean exactly? Well, a few things that I look forward each year are the fall decor along Main Street, U.S.A., the pumpkins that have been carefully tucked away, anxiously waiting to be spotted, Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and of course, Mickey’s Halloween Party. I know some of the more popular dates are selling quickly so be sure to check Disneyland.com for updates, in case you are planning to ‘treat’ yourself this year!

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You may have noticed that the art for this year’s Mickey’s Halloween Party merchandise looks vaguely familiar. A similar logo can be found on some of the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party merchandise that will be available at Walt Disney World Resort, as fellow Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller recently shared.

If you are still unsure of what to wear, here are a few things to keep an eye out for at this year’s party, that might help. Mickey’s Halloween Party T-shirts will be available in youth, ladies and adult sizes. For those chilly nights, I suggest the zip fleece.

A few other treats to add to your stash include our open and limited edition pins. The Halloween Time 2014 pin will release on September 12, while the Mickey’s Halloween Party pins, the Halloween Screams pin and our Annual Passholder pin featuring the Hitchhiking Ghosts will release on September 26.

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Look for Mickey’s Halloween Party merchandise and more at the following Disneyland park locations: Disney Showcase, Emporium, Pieces of Eight, Pioneer Mercantile and The Star Trader.

Are you ready to get into the festive spirit?

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Side ‘Not-So-Scary’ Soiree at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on September 9th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


UPDATE: The Disney Side ‘Not-So-Scary’ Soiree entry period has ended. Please continue to check the Disney Parks Blog for future events.

It’ll be tough to top the great time we had during last year’s Halloween event hosted by the Disney Parks Blog but we think that’ll happen at this year’s Disney Side “Not-So-Scary” Soiree at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort. On Sunday, September 14, we’re hosting another costumed event during one of the first nights of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for 91 winners of the Disney Side “Not-So-Scary” Soiree at Magic Kingdom Park Sweepstakes.

Disney Side ‘Not-So-Scary’ Soiree at Magic Kingdom Park

The Disney Side “Not-So-Scary” Soiree at Magic Kingdom Park begins at 7 p.m. EDT on Sunday, September 14 but we’re asking attendees to begin arriving at 4:00 p.m EDT. We’ll kick off the night with VIP parade viewing in front of Cinderella Castle and then VIP fireworks viewing before heading inside the Castle for a “witching hour” Villains Soiree that’ll include appearances by Disney Villains, music and fantastic desserts inspired by Disney Parks characters.

Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes (no masks) and it’d be great if it was a Disney Parks-inspired costume, subject to the costume guidelines below.

You can enter for a chance to win by clicking here and following the entry instructions to complete an official entry form. Your Entry must state your valid email address (“Address”) and full name.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All attendees who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older and a resident of Florida as of September 9, 2014, but guests of the winners do not need to be 18 or older.
  • Limit one guest per winner in the promotion.
  • We will send a notice to the winning entrants.
  • It will be necessary for the winner and guest to check in at the front of Magic Kingdom Park for access to the event. The notice will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Costumes should not be obstructive, offensive or violent; drag on the ground; contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another guest; contain any weapons or objects which resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
  • Masks will not be permitted.
  • Winning prizes are non-transferrable and have no cash value.

I hope to see you in your best costume on September 14.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to persons who are legal residents of, and physically located within, Florida, and who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Starts 12:00:01 P.M. on September 9, 2014, and ends 3:00:00 P.M. on September 9, 2014. To enter online, follow the instructions at http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2014/09/disney-side-no-so-scary-soiree-at-magic-kingdom-park-official-rules/. Limit one (1) Entry per person per Address. Click here for Official Rules.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Lakeside Casual’ Attire for Servers at New Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk

posted on September 9th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


As the new Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk gets ready for a December opening, here’s a look at the classic server attire, designed by Walt Disney Imagineer Celina Lung, who’s been a Disney costume designer for nearly 20 years.

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“My inspiration comes from the trattoria’s interior and lakeside setting,” says Celina. “Like the restaurant, the server attire is charming, casual, a little upscale.” The warm décor matches the restaurant color palette, she explains. Celina’s research also took her to a seaside bistro in Southern California to come up with a look that’s “not overdesigned, but simple and elegant.”

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The burgundy shirts and blouses with gold contrast echo the décor, with khaki-colored pants for a more casual look. “We’re in America, not Italy, and I wanted the servers to look casual but polished,” says Celina. One detail, for instance, is the bladed leather belt with an antique brass buckle to lend a more refined finish.

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For colder months, she designed a jacket with a relaxed fit in classic tweed. Servers will also wear long bistro aprons, weaving the elegance of traditional European restaurant with the experience of a neighborhood restaurant.

Her expertise is in many costumes throughout Disney Parks, from the server attire at Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot to various lands and restaurants at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort (her current project) and Disneyland park. And she’s always got something in the works.

Meanwhile, interior work and recipe development continues on Trattoria al Forno, more details to come!

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New Disney Pins and Accessories Round Out a Summer of Pins at Disney Parks

posted on September 8th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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This summer, I’ve been highlighting some of the 250 new pins and accessories created especially for Disney Parks. To conclude my three-part story, I’m again turning the spotlight on new items arriving in August and September at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.
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One of the easiest (and most portable) ways to display Disney pins is by using a neck lanyard. We also offer a variety of trading bags including one of my new favorites pictured above. I love the colorful patchwork of logos that represent various icons and attractions from Disney Parks.

I’m also in love with the new four-pin set, featuring Carl and Elli from Disney•Pixar’s “Up.” The photograph-like pins are so adorable (I need to watch that film again!).
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Fans of Disney’s “Tangled” will be delighted to see several new pins, featuring Rapunzel, Flynn Rider and other favorite characters from the animated feature. Look for both individual open-edition pins and some two-pin sets.
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Finally, there are numerous places to find pins at Disney Parks. One of the newest locations can be found in The Chapeau hat shop on Main Street, U.S.A., in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort. I stopped by the location the other day to take some photographs. This new location is a great addition to the well-established main pin location in Magic Kingdom Park – Frontier Trading Post in Frontierland.

Happy Trading!

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

Family Creates Giant Olaf at the Beach to Celebrate Disney Side

posted on September 8th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re a regular Disney Parks Blog reader, you know it’s been a summer of Frozen Fun for us. So, before the season officially comes to an end, we wanted to share a spectacular Frozen-inspired sand creation a family made to show their Disney Side at New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

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Each summer vacation, the Dorf family chooses a Disney character to design and build in the sand and everyone pitches in to make it happen. This year, Olaf from the film “Frozen” was the obvious choice since he wanted to experience summer, according to the family.

The Dorf family used a grid to trace the Olaf character in the sand and then filled it in with collected seaweed and a some food coloring. The final product is a fantastic beach Olaf in the sun we just had to share.

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

Caption This: Mischief at Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on September 8th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Check out this week’s “Caption This” image, which was shot back in 2004. In the photo, Stitch celebrated the opening of the Stitch’s Great Escape attraction by temporarily toilet-papering Cinderella Castle.
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What does his grin in this photo tell us? Go ahead and “Caption This” image.

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Central Florida Disney VoluntEARS Take Wellness to Heart at AHA Walk

posted on September 7th, 2014 by Janet Burnley, Vice President for Compensation, Human Resources Information Systems, Workforce Planning and Health/Wellness for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts


Like me, many cast members at Walt Disney World Resort strive for a heart healthy lifestyle. As in states across the country, heart disease tops the list of health concerns in Florida. Whether it’s a family member, friend or fellow cast member, we all know and care for someone who has struggled with heart disease and stroke.

Central Florida Disney VoluntEARS Take Wellness to Heart at AHA Walks Central Florida Disney VoluntEARS Take Wellness to Heart at AHA Walk

That’s why hundreds of Disney VoluntEARS put on their walking shoes yesterday for the 2014 Greater Orlando Heart Walk. As the signature fundraising event for the American Heart Association (AHA), the annual 5K was held at the University of Central Florida. Before they even crossed the finish line at yesterday’s race, Disney cast members formed teams to raise more than $23,000, helping the AHA make strides in its fight against heart disease and stroke.

With names such as “Ahoy Me HEARTies,” “The Happiest of Hearts” and “Mickey’s PhilHEARTmagic – the teams reflected the spirit of cast members throughout Walt Disney World Resort. Thanks to cast members’ fundraising efforts and enthusiasm for the cause, Walt Disney World Resort ranks among the AHA’s top contributors in Central Florida.

Central Florida Disney VoluntEARS Take Wellness to Heart at AHA Walks Central Florida Disney VoluntEARS Take Wellness to Heart at AHA Walk

Besides raising important funds for the AHA’s research and education programs, the Heart Walk is a fantastic way for cast members to spend time with family, friends and team members in celebration of health and wellness. In addition to raising money and awareness for this important cause yesterday, walkers visited booths, entered to win fitness prizes and just had a great time together.

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Filed: Community Outreach, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Disney Recreate the Magic’ Contest Winner will Relive 80s Visit

posted on September 7th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


What better day than National Grandparents Day to share an update on our contest asking grandparents and parents to submit a favorite Disney Parks memory and photo from the 70s or 80s. Grandmother Rebecca Ackley has won our “Recreate the Magic” contest with an image she calls “Goofy looking hair for grandma.”

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Recreating the Magic” for Rebecca will be traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort with her husband of 31 years, her children and grandchildren. Rebecca, who has recently been undergoing chemotherapy treatments, said another family photo with Goofy, Chip and Dale would make life “grand” for this grandmother.

Be sure to check back here on the Blog to see how the Ackley family recreates their special memory during their visit to Disney Parks.

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort