The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios

20 Facts For The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’s 20th Anniversary

posted on July 22nd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today we’re celebrating a special milestone on the Disney Parks Blog – it’s the 20th anniversary of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror!

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In honor of today’s milestone, here are 20 fun facts about the attraction.

  1. Our Walt Disney Imagineers viewed 156 episodes of “The Twilight Zone” for inspiration when creating The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
  2. The ride vehicle is an elevator car.
  3. The storyline of the attraction sets the date as Halloween night – October 31, 1939.

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  1. The architecture of the tower was inspired by multiple Southern California landmarks, such as the Biltmore Hotel and the Mission Inn.
  2. The building features 27,000 roof tiles.
  3. The outdoor queue area features the songs “Inside” by Fats Waller and “Mood Indigo” by Duke Ellington.

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  1. The grounds of the Hollywood Tower Hotel were inspired by the look of California’s Griffith Park and Elysian Park.

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  1. The lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel was outfitted with antiques and furniture purchased at Los Angeles-area auction houses.

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  1. Some of the sculptures featured in the lobby are the work of 19th century sculptor Auguste Moreau.
  2. A copy of “Four Pages of Hilarious Star Caricatures by Walt Disney” is featured in Photoplay Magazine on the lobby’s concierge desk.

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  1. The Library room features a hidden nod to Mickey Mouse in this sheet music, which is for the song “What! No Mickey Mouse?”
  2. The clip of film in which Rod Serling introduces the attraction was taken from a “Twilight Zone” episode called “It’s a Good Life.”
  3. While actor Rod Serling appears in the film in the Library room, the voice you hear is actually voice actor Mark Silverman.
  4. The young girl who disappears in the elevator carries a Mickey Mouse doll.
  5. The attraction’s “Fifth Dimension” scene was inspired in part by the “Little Girl Lost” episode of “The Twilight Zone.”
  6. The attraction offers a 13-story drop.
  7. The drop sequence for each elevator car is selected at random by the attraction’s computer system.
  8. Measuring 199 feet tall, Tower of Terror is one of the tallest attractions at Walt Disney World Resort.

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  1. There are now four Tower of Terror attractions at Disney Parks: Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Walt Disney World Resort), Disney California Adventure park (Disneyland Resort), Walt Disney Studios Park (Paris), and Tokyo DisneySea (Tokyo – pictured above) each have their own version.
  2. The attraction will take center stage during runDisney’s Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend this fall, which will feature a The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler, a 5K fun and kids races.

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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Remembering James Garner at the Disneyland Resort

posted on July 21st, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Over the weekend we learned of the passing of Oscar-nominated actor James Garner. In an award-winning career that spanned six decades, his work with Disney included The Castaway Cowboy and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Today we’re looking back at a special memory Mr. Garner made at the Disneyland Resort.

I had the honor and pleasure of meeting James Garner a few times during his run on the ABC comedy “8 Simple Rules.” He was friendly, funny and obviously very much a grandfather figure to his younger co-stars.

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In September 2004 he appeared with the cast of the show at an event at Disney California Adventure park called ABC Primetime Preview Weekend.

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During this event, I gave Mr. Garner a copy of a photo we have in our archives of him with his wife, Lois, celebrating their daughter Gigi’s birthday at Disneyland in 1965. We believe the photo was taken at the Tahitian Terrace.

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When I handed him this photo backstage before a media appearance, Mr. Garner said, “Oh my, it’s my Gigi! Oh, I can’t wait to show this to Lois!” He had never seen the photo before, and he thanked me warmly before excitedly gathering the cast around him to see the picture.

What he surely couldn’t have known that afternoon was that while he was recalling a fond Disney memory from long ago, he had just made a brand new one for me.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney California Adventure Park, Disney History, Disneyland Resort

New Epcot Cookbook to Feature All Three Festivals

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


You can’t buy a copy until September, but we wanted to give blog readers a sneak peek at the new Epcot cookbook that debuts just in time for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (September 19-November 10). Instead of an annual cookbook just for that festival, the new book – even the title is still in the working stages – will feature, for the first time ever, recipes from Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, winter’s Holidays Around the World and the springtime Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Here’s a picture of Disney photographer Matt Stroshane and stylist Laurel Ainley as they shot the new food photos for the book. Long days and lots of prep create pretty dishes we hope will make you hungry.

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Meanwhile, here’s a few photos from the book and one of our favorite recipes from this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to get you started.

Grilled Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri
Serves 6

Salmon
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
6 (5- to 6-ounce) Verlasso salmon fillets, skin removed

Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, including stems, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh arugula
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste

Quinoa Salad Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste

Quinoa Salad
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked per instructions (makes approximately 3 cups cooked), cooled
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/4 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste

For salmon:

  1. Combine garlic salt, lemon juice, and olive oil in small bowl. Place salmon in large zip-top bag and add liquid, turning fillets to evenly coat.
  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove salmon from refrigerator at least 10 minutes before cooking.
  3. Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Cover 15 x 10-inch baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place salmon on baking sheet in a single layer, evenly spaced.
  4. Bake 15 minutes or until the salmon easily can be flaked apart with a fork.

For chimichurri sauce:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend for about 10 seconds on medium speed or until ingredients are evenly blended. Season with salt and pepper. Store in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.

For quinoa salad dressing:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For quinoa salad:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl and toss with Quinoa Salad Dressing.

To serve:

  1. Equally divide Quinoa Salad between serving plates, top with salmon fillet and drizzle with Chimichurri Sauce.

Cook’s note: Verlasso salmon is sustainable and farm-raised; you can use any fresh, high-quality salmon in this recipe.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Scandal’ Actor Joe Morton Visits Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you a fan of ABC’s “Scandal”?

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Show Us What Makes You Happy About Disneyland Resort on Instagram

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


We’ve been making Mondays happier for our online fans and guests this summer, and now we want to know … what makes you happiest about the Happiest Place on Earth? From now until September 1, we’re inviting you to share photos on Instagram showing what makes you happy about the Disneyland Resort for a chance to win a vacation!

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Disney Parks Salutes U.S. Military with Special Ticket, Room Rates

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Today, we’re announcing new special pricing on theme park tickets and accommodations for active duty U.S. military personnel at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Here’s a look at the details:

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Announcing the New Disney Castaway Cay Challenge

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Once again we’re teaming up with runDisney for another Castaway Cay Challenge. This time, we’re calling all princesses!

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Caption This: Mickey Takes Reservations

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Check out this week’s Caption This photo, which was snapped in 1986 at the Central Reservations Office at Walt Disney World Resort. No doubt that this was fancy computer technology at the time!

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on July 20th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we announced that the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration will begin in spring 2015, celebrating 60 magical years of the Disneyland Resort. As part of the celebration, you’re invited to enter a new contest.

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Catamaran Water Fun in Costa Rica with Adventures by Disney

posted on July 19th, 2014 by David Roark, Manager of Photography, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Another beautiful day out here in Costa Rica as we continue to share our Adventures by Disney journey with you! Over the past few days, our teen photographers have taken some breathtaking images with their Nikon cameras, zip lined through the tropical rainforest and white-water rafted through the raging waters of the Tenorio River.

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