Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort

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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Haunt Your Disney Side Contest, Week 4 (Costumes)

posted on October 27th, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Only a few more days until Halloween! You have your costume ready?

If not, that’s ok!

You still have plenty of time left to show off your Halloween Disney Side by uploading family photos of Halloween home decor, food and drinks, carved pumpkins and costumes themed to Disney Parks attractions at DisneySideContest.com. Each photo uploaded enters you for a chance to win that grand prize of a private “Midnight at the Haunted Mansion” party for you and three guests with a spooky overnight stay in Cinderella Castle.

This week’s post is all about costumes.

We sent Disney Parks Blog author, Steven Miller over to the Creative Costuming “lab” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to get some tips from Disney Costuming’s Glen Howard. (Steven showed his Disney Side this year with a magnificent costume inspired by the Epcot Millennium Celebration’s Tapestry of Nations parade.

Let’s take a look at what Steven and Glen cooked up.

Wow. I should get going on my costume.

And you should check out DisneySideContest.com to enter for a chance to win some eerie, scary prizes, including that private “Midnight at the Haunted Mansion” party for you and three guests with a spooky overnight stay in Cinderella Castle.

You can “Haunt Your Disney Side” all the way through Nov. 4!

NO PURCH NEC. Ends 11/4/14 at 11:59:59 PM ET. 50 US/DC/Canada (excl. QC), 18/age of majority +. Void where prohibited. Subject to Official Rules.


For more from the Haunt Your Disney Side contest, visit the posts below:

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Minnie Cheers On Her Disney Side With Never-Before-Seen Moves

posted on October 24th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


With some never before seen fancy footwork, unique dance moves and a cheer lift, Minnie Mouse and her spirit team recently stopped by the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort to cheer on her Disney Side.

Minnie Cheers On Her Disney Side at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Minnie Cheers On Her Disney Side at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Minnie Cheers On Her Disney Side at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Performing never before seen moves, Minnie is looking to inspire college cheer and dance squads to show their Disney Side and compete in the nationwide Cheer Your Disney Side campaign.

College cheer and dance squads have until November 10 to create and submit a 30-second Disney Parks-inspired routine using remixed Disney Parks attraction music to show off their Disney Side. Video submissions are being accepted at Espn.com/CheerMagic. Four teams will be selected as finalists and announced December 11 on ESPN around the telecast of the Home Depot College Football Awards show at Walt Disney World Resort. The winning squad will be announced January 12 on ESPN before the college football National Championship. The winning team of Cheer On Your Disney Side sponsored by ESPN working in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit, wins a $100,000 grant for their college spirit program and a group trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The excitement is not limited to just cheer and dance squads. Fans can get into the action by voting for their favorite Disney Side cheer and dance routine from the four finalists.

For more information, rules and to submit a video, visit Espn.com/CheerMagic.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their Disney Side – their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of 50 US States and DC, at least 18+ who are a School Administrator, Teacher, Coach or Administrative Director, representing a public or private, 2 or 4 year college/university located in the 50 US States or DC. Starts 9/3/14 12:00 PM EST. Ends 11/10/14 11:59 PM EST. To enter visit www.espn.com/CheerMagic and follow the directions provided to complete the Online entry form, and upload your Spirit Squad’s 30 sec videos. For prize details odds of winning and complete Official Rules go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Subject to Official Rules. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158.

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Tween-Directed Film ‘Rocket Boy’ Takes Disney Side To Theaters

posted on October 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


As we shared earlier, our Yellow Shoes Creative Group and McGarry Bowen have been working with a few tween filmmakers to bring to life their vision of what their Disney Side would look like on film as a part of the “Direct Your Disney Side” project.

Our friends at Yellow Shoes just shared the first of these short films, which is titled “Rocket Boy,” by Elwood Walker. As a part of the “Direct Your Disney Side” project, this short will also appear in theaters nationwide starting today as a part of the NCM First Look pre-show content (which will run before film previews begin).

We’ll have two more tween-directed videos to share with you in this series in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

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‘Direct Your Disney Side’ Shorts Showcase Tween Filmmakers’ Disney Side

posted on October 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


If given the chance, how would a tween express their Disney Side on film?

This was the question that our Yellow Shoes Creative Group (partnered with McGarry Bowen and Adolescent Films) posed to tween filmmakers in our “Direct Your Disney Side” project. Three tweens, Elwood Walker, Jack Vinetz, and Claire Jantzen were chosen to pitch, storyboard and even direct their own short film, all inspired by how they show their Disney Side.

We’ll be sharing each student’s short here on the Disney Parks Blog in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek behind-the-scenes at the fun the tweens had during their filmmaking adventures.

Be sure to check back tomorrow, when we’ll share “Rocket Boy” the first film in the series.

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Southwest Airlines and Walt Disney World Resort Create an Unforgettable ‘Disney Side’ Flight from Dallas’ Love Field

posted on October 14th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


When you hear the familiar harmony of the world-famous Dapper Dans, you instantly know you’re at a Disney Park on Main Street, U.S.A., right?

That’s why if you were in Dallas’ Love Field early Monday morning, you might have been puzzled to hear the barbershop quartet’s tunes echoing through the airport terminal.

Walt Disney World Resort joined with Southwest Airlines to help celebrate the addition of the airline’s first non-stop route from Dallas’ Love Field to Orlando International Airport.

The Heart of Southwest Airlines Combines with the Magic of Walt Disney World Resort for an Unforgettable Flight

Prior to boarding, passengers were able to commemorate the flight by posing in front of backdrop of Cinderella Castle that served as a “Disney Side” family photo opportunity.

Then, the Dapper Dans began singing a selection of tunes from their harmonious repertoire. The quartet even debuted its new arrangement of “Let It Go.”

Aboard Flight #887, passengers listened as Jungle Cruise Skipper “Jungle Jane” made flight announcements in the attraction’s famous style of humor. (And it is true: when the plane flew through a passing shower, passengers saw the backside of water.) Mouse Ears and Mickey Mouse-shaped treats were given to passengers, as well as complimentary tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party that evening in the Magic Kingdom. As the plane continued to Orlando International Airport, The Dapper Dans roamed the aisle of the airplane, providing one-of-a-kind, in-flight entertainment.

Take a look at this gallery of photos provided by Disney Parks photographer Ryan Wendler, as well as this video with host John Graham.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Fans Show Their Spooky Disney Side Aboard the Disney Parks Blog Creepy Cruise Meet-Up

posted on October 8th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Fans Show Their Spooky Disney Side Aboard the Disney Parks Blog Creepy Cruise Meet-Up

Last night, 200 Disney Parks Blog readers showed their Halloween Time inspired Disney Side at the Disney Parks Blog Creepy Cruise Meet-Up. The evening began with a cruise around the Rivers of America in Disneyland park, aboard the Sailing Ship Columbia. But something spooky was happening on deck …

Halloween Meet-up (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

The ship was haunted by the ghosts of Disneyland past! Our ghost host for the evening, Father from Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, introduced special guests throughout the cruise – each representing special moments of dearly departed Disneyland history.

Halloween Meet-up (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

Guests were visited by Miss Pumpkin Festival from the Main Street Pumpkin Festival, a dancer from the Tahitian Terrace, one of Miss Lily’s can can dancers from the Golden Horseshoe Revue, the Deputy Mayor of Toontown who once appeared in Mickey’s Toontown Morning Madness, Becky Thatcher from Tom Sawyer’s Island and even one of the Kids of the Kingdom!

Halloween Meet-up (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

The Creepy Cruise concluded with a special serenade from the Cadaver Dans.

Halloween Meet-up   (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

As guests disembarked from the Sailing Ship Columbia, they found Frontierland filled with surprises, like their favorite Disney characters dressed in their Halloween costumes, a trio of Disney Villains, a bounty of special Halloween Time treats and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, continuing its runaway train trips just for them.

And of course, guests turned out to show their Disney Side! Many of our meet-up guests arrived in costume, and you can see some of our favorites in the gallery above.

Did you attend the Disney Parks Blog Creepy Cruise Meet-Up? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Anna & Elsa’s Boutique Opens in Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

posted on October 6th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Looking for a new place to chill out? Check out the newly transformed Anna & Elsa’s Boutique, now open in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort.

There has been a slight change to the age limit; I’m excited to announce that guests ages 3–15 can show their Disney Side with transformations inspired by some of your favorite “Frozen” characters. Our Crystalizers (stylists) will help you look your Arendelle best, from hair and makeup to wardrobe options that will generate plenty of warm hugs! Click here for a few details on what each package has to offer as well as a few things to know before you go.

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Are you already cool enough? Anna & Elsa’s Boutique will also offer an array of “Frozen”-inspired merchandise worth melting for, including apparel, toys, dolls and more.

So remain icy calm, “Frozen” fans, and visit today!

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Show Your Spooky Disney Side and Set Sail Aboard the Disney Parks Blog Creepy Cruise Meet-Up at Disneyland Park

posted on September 23rd, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


UPDATE: The Disney Parks Blog Creepy Cruise Meet-Up has reached capacity and confirmation emails are being sent. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for future events!

Halloween Time is upon us, and it’s time to show your spooky Disney Side! Registration is now open for the Disney Parks Blog Creepy Cruise Meet-Up on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014.

Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland Park

When you step aboard the Sailing Ship Columbia* to set sail on this creepy cruise, you may not recognize it. The Rivers of America take on an aura of foreboding … has a ghost followed you on board? Explore this floating edifice of fright, but beware …

Of course, costumes are welcome! Come dressed to show your Halloween-inspired Disney Side – whether you’re a Disney Villain, hero, princess or pirate, Halloween Time is the best time to let your inner character out!

So join us the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 7! Space for the event is limited and you must sign up here. Please remember the following:

  • All participants who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests of the participants may be younger than 18.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person plus one guest.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Disneyland park admission will be provided beginning at 8:15 p.m. for the event, but participants will be responsible for any parking fees.
  • Costumes are subject to Disney guidelines and should not be obstructive or offensive.

I will give an update at the top of this post when capacity has been reached. Please note the event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

*Guests must navigate a steep series of stairs when boarding and disembarking the ship.

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#DisneyKids: First Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on September 19th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Holidays are always special at Disney Parks – and as we’ve learned with our #DisneyKids series, they’re also a perfect time for a “first” memory. Right now, our Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is in full swing at the Walt Disney World Resort, so this week we’re at Magic Kingdom Park featuring first Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party experiences.

This year’s celebration features a lot of must-see Halloween-themed entertainment for children, like the “Boo To You Parade,” “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks, Disney characters in costumes, and much more. You can purchase tickets right now on our Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party page.

And if you’re visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, we’re sharing more fun ideas for the little ones as well as offers designed with your family in mind on our special preschool page.

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