Disney's Hollywood Studios, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Interior

The Halloween Tree at Disneyland Park

posted on October 22nd, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


If you walk through Frontierland during Halloween Time at Disneyland park, you can’t miss the beautifully decorated oak tree near the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, with glowing orange lights and hand-painted jack-o’-lanterns hanging from its branches. The tree, which is inspired by Ray Bradbury’s 1972 fantasy novel “The Halloween Tree,” was dedicated to the author on Halloween night in 2007.

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Bradbury, a lifetime Disney fan and the author of classic American novels such as “Fahrenheit 451,” met Walt Disney in 1964. In the years that followed, Bradbury helped develop many attractions at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, most notably Spaceship Earth at Epcot. He also penned the screenplays for two Disney films, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” (1983) and “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit” (1999).

Bradbury’s novel “The Halloween Tree” tells the story of a group of trick-or-treaters who learn about the origins of Halloween while on an adventure to find their missing friend. Bradbury dreamed of having a Halloween Tree at Disneyland, and on the 35th anniversary of the novel, his dream was brought to life. “I belong here in Disneyland, ever since I came here 50 years ago. I’m glad I’m going to be a permanent part of the spirit of Halloween at Disneyland,” the author said at the tree’s dedication. Bradbury would visit the tree before he passed away in 2012.

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Today, the Halloween Tree delights guests of all ages and honors Bradbury’s many contributions to The Walt Disney Company. A plaque at the base of the tree commemorates the night of its dedication: “On the night of Halloween 2007, this stately oak officially became ‘The Halloween Tree,’ realizing famed author Ray Bradbury’s dream of having his symbol for the holiday become a part of Disneyland.”

Bradbury’s icon continues to be part of Disney Halloween magic even outside of Disneyland park. If you’re celebrating the Halloween season aboard one of the four ships of the Disney Cruise Line this year, don’t miss the Pumpkin Tree in the lobby that is inspired by “The Halloween Tree.”

Have you visited the Halloween Tree during Halloween Time this year?

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VIDEO: How to Make Pumpkin Twists from Disneyland Resort

posted on October 22nd, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Goblins and ghoulies from last Halloween … awaken the spirits with your pumpkin cuisine! Looking for a frightfully fun treat to serve at your Halloween party? Watch below as Chef Christina Orejel from Disneyland Resort demonstrates how to make Pumpkin Twists, a Halloween Time treat.

Pumpkin Twists
Available at Troubadour Tavern and Maurice’s Treats at Disneyland park, and Cozy Cone Motel at Disney California Adventure park.
Makes 6

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 tablespoon instant pectin
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 (17.3-ounce) boxes (6 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup sanding sugar

  1. Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and instant pectin in a medium bowl. Stir in pumpkin puree until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Place one sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured, movable, flat surface, such as a lightweight cutting board. Lightly dust surface of pastry with flour and roll lightly just to smooth creases.
  3. Spread with 1/3 cup of pumpkin mixture, stopping 1/4-inch from edges.
  4. Roll a second sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to smooth creases; place on top of first sheet and press down gently. Repeat process two more times with remaining pastry sheets and remaining filling. Refrigerate filled pastry 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone mat.
  6. Working with one filled pastry at a time, cut into 1 1/2-inch strips.
  7. Place strips on baking sheet spacing about 1/2-inch apart. Carefully lift strips and twist each 3 times before laying down. (Leave remaining filled pastry in refrigerator until ready to bake.)
  8. Mix together coarse sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice.
  9. Beat egg and milk together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush each twist with egg wash and evenly sprinkle evenly with coarse sugar mixture.
  10. Bake 22 to 24 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process two more times, cutting and baking one remaining filled pastry at a time.

Cook’s Notes: To make pumpkin pie spice at home, combine 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon ground allspice.

Sanding sugar is larger, polished grains of sugar – about four times larger than those in granulated sugar. Because the sugar crystal grains are large and reflect light, they give off a “sparkling” effect. The large-grained sugar won’t melt and disappear as it bakes, giving a nice crunch to dessert topping.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

#GetHappierContest Winner Shares Happy Memories from Disneyland Park

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


This summer, we asked you to share what makes you happiest at the Disneyland Resort in our #GetHappier Instagram contest. Well, the winner has been chosen, and it’s Mary Powell from Nevada! As our grand prize winner, Mary will receive a trip for four to the Disneyland Resort – sure to make anyone get happier! I recently asked Mary for the story behind this adorable winning photo.

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She seems to be very excited to meet Mickey Mouse! Has she seen him again since this photo was taken?
She was very happy to meet Mickey. She has seen him again since this picture and still loves him, although multiple princesses are making their way up her list of favorites.

What happened right after this photo was taken?
It was a pretty magical moment for everyone in the room. We really didn’t want to leave, Lydia (our daughter) included. Thankfully we were there with lots of family and there were other kids in our family that we got to meet Mickey.

We can see what makes her happy at Disneyland … what makes you happy here?
That moment is one of many that makes us love Disneyland. It is those magical moments that seem to come around every corner that sets Disneyland apart. We have gone as single people, a married couple without children, and now are passing our Disney love to the next generation. Each stage is a unique experience at Disneyland but it is always a happy and memorable experience. I love that there is something for everyone and even with a 5-month-old we were able to enjoy plenty of attractions, shows and experiences.

What is the first thing you’re going to do when you arrive on your grand prize trip to the Disneyland Resort?
The first thing we always look forward to is coming out from under the bridge at the entrance of Disneyland and getting that first glimpse of Main Street and the castle. Both my parents grew up going to Disneyland. They actually were both there the first week that Disneyland opened at 5 and 7 years old. It is an experience we have all shared over the years.

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More Pumpkin Yum from Disneyland Resort

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


In case you can’t make it to Disneyland Resort to taste all the delectable pumpkin treats we mentioned in last week’s pumpkin cheesecake recipe post, here’s one more recipe we just had to share just in time for National Pumpkin Day (Oct. 26): hearty pumpkin muffins packed with the flavors of sweet golden raisins, nutmeg and cinnamon. A crunch of streusel on top makes them perfect with coffee to start the day.

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You could nosh on more Disneyland Resort pumpkin treats from morning ‘til night: pumpkin beignets (Café Orleans and Mint Julep Bar in Disneyland park); pumpkin twists (Troubadour Tavern and Maurice’s Treats at Disneyland park and Cozy Cone Motel at Disney California Adventure park); pumpkin pie (Plaza Inn and French Market Restaurant in Disneyland park, Flo’s V-8 Cafe at Disney California Adventure park); pumpkin cheesecake muffins (Market House in Disneyland park and Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café at Disney California Adventure park), and pumpkin cheesecake (Jolly Holiday Bakery Café and French Market Restaurant in Disneyland park, Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta at Disney California Adventure park and White Water Snacks at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa). Beyond the bakery treats at various spots throughout the parks and resorts, there’s pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks and Boudin Bakery’s pumpkin-shaped sourdough at Pacific Wharf Café, Disney California Adventure park bread cart and Mortimer’s Market.

You’ll find these pumpkin muffins in Disneyland park at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café and the Cappuccino Cart in the Hub. At Disney California Adventure park, they’re at Schmoozies and Pacific Wharf Café. You can also find them at White Water Snacks at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Surfside Lounge at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.

But if you can’t make it to Disneyland Resort, whip up a batch and enjoy – maximum flavor, minimum guilt.

Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

Muffin Recipe
1 cup cake flour
1 cup bread flour (may substitute all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 5-ounce can pumpkin purée
1 cup golden raisins

Streusel
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

For muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Sift together cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat together sugar and eggs until pale yellow in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Blend in oil and pumpkin purée until mixture is smooth.
  4. Blend half of flour mixture into egg mixture until just combined. Scrape sides of bowl, then stir in raisins. Add remaining flour mixture to batter, mixing just until combined.
  5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan, filling about 3/4 full.

For streusel:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mash butter with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon streusel on each muffin.
  2. Bake 18 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 325°F and bake 5 minutes more or until golden brown.
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Pumpkin Carvers Show Their Disney Side During Halloween Time at Disneyland Park

posted on October 20th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


From “it’s a small world” to “Frozen,” the pumpkin carvers design an elaborate display showing their Disney Side each day at the Halloween Carnival in Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree at Disneyland park. I recently caught up with one of the creative carvers and asked her about her colorful creations.

Which Disney character or attraction would you like to see produced on a pumpkin?

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New Disney Kingdoms Series to feature Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

posted on October 18th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


A reader favorite here on the Disney Parks Blog, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, will be the focus of a new Disney Kingdoms series and today we’re thrilled to share a first look at the spectacular cover artwork and details behind the adventure set in the wild Frontier.

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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a five-part comic series driven by Walt Disney Imagineering storytelling that’ll include earthquakes, floods and, of course, dynamite-chewing goats. Disney Kingdoms editor Bill Rosemann says, “This action-packed story by writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Tigh Walker will feature the never-before-told saga of how the gold mine in Big Thunder Mountain became the haunted legend it is today.”

As readers explore the “wildest ride in the wilderness,” they’ll go back in time to a Gold Rush town where daring men and women were in a daily battle between man and mountain. There will be plenty of surprises and mystery along the way as the series uncovers why Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is more than a rumbling, tumbling train car attraction.

Disney Kingdoms Big Thunder Mountain Railroad series will be on sale in comic shops across the country in the spring of 2015.

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First Disneyland Resort Ambassador Comes ‘Home’ for 50th Anniversary of Disney Ambassador Program

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations


When Julie Reihm Casaletto was approached by a fellow cast member to apply for the Disney Ambassador program, she initially said no. She was busy making straight A’s in college, and taking a year off from her studies wasn’t part of the plan. But that cast member didn’t give up and once Julie started the interviewing process, she began to realize that a year of world travel would be an exciting gig. Those interviews obviously went very well, because Julie was chosen as Disney’s first ambassador in 1965 … and the rest is Disney history.

The Disney Parks Blog had a chance to talk one-on-one with Julie, while she was at the Disneyland Resort for the 50th anniversary of the Disney Ambassador program. She talked about her incredible year as ambassador and her special bond with Walt Disney.

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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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No Turning Back Now! Ink & Paint Cel Debuts at the Disneyland Resort

posted on October 15th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


There’s “No Turning Back Now!” Not only is that the title of the newest Ink & Paint Cel from Disneyland park, featuring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in front of the Haunted Mansion, but I can pretty much guarantee once you see it, you won’t be able to resist getting it. See for yourself!

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This new piece, available now at Disneyana in Disneyland park is limited to an edition size of 1000. The cel will be available in a variety of formats including Unframed ($150), Framed ($240), Framed Cel with Postcard ($260) and Framed Cel with Postcard and Pin ($280). All framed pieces available with your choice of black or gold frames. For additional cel details please click here.

If you’re curious about the limited-edition pin (LE 750) that is only available if you choose the framed postcard and pin option, wonder no more. Here’s a sneak peek at what it will look like!

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Unable to make it to the Disneyland Resort? A limited number of cels will be available to purchase online for a limited time only. Applicable tax and shipping fees apply. Discounts available on framing only. Order yours today here!

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Fortune Teller Ivana Mystic Predicts Fun for Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort

posted on October 15th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Halloween Time is in full swing at the Disneyland Resort, and it seems that predictions about all the fun and spookiness have been true … namely those made by famous fortune teller, Ivana Mystic. Ivana has been appearing at the Halloween Carnival in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree area of Disneyland park, and I stopped by earlier in the season to find out what she predicted to be in store this year.

Was she correct in her predictions for Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort? Come see for yourself, now through October 31!

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