Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

‘Frozen’ actor Jonathan Groff, ‘Scandal’s’ Joe Morton confirmed for Epcot Candlelight Processional

posted on October 1st, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Just when you thought we couldn’t work Disney’s hit animated film “Frozen” into ONE MORE blog post, we are excited to announce the addition of Jonathan Groff to the lineup of celebrity narrators for the 2014 Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

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Groff, who voices the character of Kristoff in Disney’s “Frozen,” is also a Tony-nominated veteran of the Broadway stage (“Spring Awakening”) and TV (“Glee”).

This year’s event will also have a little “Scandal” with everyone’s favorite Gladiator Papa Pope Joe Morton, who plays Kerry Washington’s secret-agent-father on Scandal. Morton’s career has spanned more than 40 years with hits on Broadway, TV and in film.

Groff and Morton join an illustrious list of celebrity narrators for this year’s event including newcomers Ana Gasteyer and returning favorites like Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris. They will be just part of the Holidays Around the World celebration at Epcot, the Candlelight Processional is one of the most beloved holiday traditions at Epcot – a joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a glorious mass choir.

  • Jodi Benson – 11/28 – 11/29
  • Neil Patrick Harris – 11/30 – 12/2
  • Jonathan Groff – 12/3 – 12/4
  • Whoopi Goldberg – 12/5 – 12/6
  • LeVar Burton – 12/7 – 12/9
  • Edward James Olmos – 12/10 – 12/11
  • Joe Morton – 12/12 – 12/14
  • Chita Rivera – 12/15 – 12/17
  • Ana Gasteyer (New) – 12/18 –12/20
  • Marlee Matlin – 12/21 – 12/23
  • Isabella Rossellini – 12/24 – 12/25
  • Blair Underwood – 12/26 – 12/27
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – 12/28 – 12/30

The Candlelight Processional is presented three times per night at the American Gardens Theater at Epcot. Show times are 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. (Narrators are subject to change without notice.)

For more information on Holidays Around the World at Epcot and the Candlelight Processional or to make reservations for a Candlelight Processional dinner package, check out http://www.disneyworld.com/holidays. And check back to the Disney Parks Blog for updates on who fills those last coveted slots in our narrator lineup.

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Hanson Appears at Eat to the Beat Tonight

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The band Hanson (“I Will Come to You”) will take to the stage tonight at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in the event’s Eat to the Beat concert series.

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Earlier today, the band, which is made up of brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson, took a break from performing to showcase their their new beer brew, Mmmhops Pale Ale, to Epcot guests in the Festival Center.

Hanson will take the stage tonight at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. at the America Gardens Theatre and shows are included in theme park admission.

The remaining acts in this year’s Eat to the Beat concert series are:

  • Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Air Supply
  • Oct. 3-5 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
  • Oct. 6-8 – Sugar Ray
  • Oct. 9-10 – Fuel
  • Oct. 11-12 – Sister Hazel
  • Oct. 13-14 – Richard Marx
  • Oct. 15-16 – Billy Ocean
  • Oct. 17-19 – Night Ranger
  • Oct. 20-22 – Smash Mouth
  • Oct. 23-24 – Jim Brickman
  • Oct. 25-26 – Los Lonely Boys
  • Oct. 27-28 – Wilson Phillips
  • Oct. 29-31 – Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX
  • Nov. 1-2 – 38 Special
  • Nov. 3-5 – Boyz II Men
  • Nov. 6-7 – David Cook
  • Nov. 8-10 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
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Wildly Spooky Treats at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 26th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


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As it gets closer to Halloween, we keep scaring up more and more treats at Walt Disney World Resort. Recently, I shared the ghoulish delights you can find at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, so now let’s take a look at some of the frightfully fantastic treats you can find at our other Walt Disney World theme parks.

Kusafiri Bakery and Isle of Java in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park are serving up creepy concoctions. I couldn’t resist this adorable demitasse mug, which combines some of my favorite things—Minnie Mouse, pumpkins and chocolate mousse. If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, the chocolate brownie with spooky sprinkles is to die for, while a sweet pumpkin muffin is a perfect way to start a fall morning.

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I adore gummy candies, so I was especially excited about the Spooky Worms ‘n Dirt Sundae from Discovery Island Ice Cream. A scoop of your favorite flavor gets topped with crushed chocolate cookies, gummy worms, whipped cream and spooky sprinkles. You’ll also find the frightful Bat Cupcake—chocolate cake topped with white icing, sprinkles and a chocolate bat.

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If cupcakes are your favorite, you’re not going to want to miss the bewitching offerings at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Sunshine Seasons at Epcot is brewing up a chocolate Witch Cupcake with a peanut butter filling. If you’re craving carrot cake, head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for their tasty take on this cupcake. Which witch will you choose?

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Vintage Walt Disney World: A Look Back at Tapestry of Nations

posted on September 25th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Fifteen years ago, Tapestry of Nations had its soft opening at Epcot. I can’t let a milestone pass by without sharing a photo from my favorite parade. (I’m biased. Here is proof.) Here’s a look at Hammerman in front of a Millennium-themed Spaceship Earth in September 1999.

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Although the Sage of Time doesn’t take his great millennium walk around World Showcase Lagoon any more, I still smile every time my iPod shuffles to the parade music.


Read on for more posts about Epcot in the “Vintage Walt Disney World” series:

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

New Quick Bites at Two Epcot Restaurants

posted on September 24th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


When you’re on the run, it’s fun to find creative quick-service eats – and two Epcot restaurants are upping their games with diverse new menu items.

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In World Showcase, American Adventure’s Liberty Inn has four new dishes. The Red, White and Blue Salad features field greens, Ocean Spray craisins, pecans, apples and blue cheese with a sherry vinaigrette ($7.99). The burger gets an inspired makeover with “Surf and Turf” flavors: 1/3-pound Angus burger stacked with a house-made crab cake and spicy tartar sauce ($11.49). Or keep it simple with the Maryland Crab Cakes with a side of Old Bay fries ($10.99). Louisiana-style Shrimp is served in a creamy Cajun tomato broth with roasted green peppers and onions and served over hot rice ($9.99).

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In Future World, the popular Electric Umbrella adds a French Dip Burger – a hefty 1/3-pound Angus burger topped with beef brisket, crispy onions and Muenster cheese ($10.99). The Sausage and Pepper Sandwich is another generous meal with slowly-stewed Italian sausage, peppers, onions, tomatoes and Provolone cheese ($9.49). The lighter Veggie Naan Wich features broccoli slaw and edamame with a drizzle of tofu wasabi dressing on warm naan bread ($9.49). And for chocolate fans, there’s a new chocolate cupcake, just simple and sweet.

Have you tried any of these new quick bites?

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10 Things To Love About Fall at Walt Disney World Resort

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


Today is the first day of fall, and here at Walt Disney World Resort that means it’s the official start of a whole new season of fun.

Here are 10 reasons that fall is a great time to visit our parks.

Mickey's Boo-to You Halloween Parade

  1. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties – This special after-hours Halloween party at Magic Kingdom Park is a must-do during a fall visit. Bring your Halloween costumes, get ready to trick-or-treat and expect to see some amazing Halloween entertainment and fireworks! More details on this offering here.
  2. Villain’s Sinister Soiree - Available only on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights, guests can book this special package that offers a wicked good time that includes VIP viewing for the parade and fireworks, as well as an exclusive dessert party that features some of your favorite Disney villains, musical entertainment and some delectable treats. The package costs $99 per person and more details can be found here.

Playing a Halloween Tune

  1. Pumpkins! (And Generally Amazing Fall Decor) - Fall at Magic Kingdom Park offers up some amazing photo opportunities, as our photography team showed in this blog post earlier this month. What I love most are the pumpkins along Main Street, U.S.A., which each feature their own unique design. Take a moment to check them out.

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  1. Haunted Mansion Merchandise Shop Set To Debut - This fall will see the debut of a new dedicated merchandise shop that Haunted Mansion fans are guaranteed to love. Steven Miller offered a sneak peek at some of the items that will be available at the shop in this post. Stay tuned for more on the shop’s opening.
  2. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival - Each night through November 10, Epcot will come alive with food and fun thanks to the return of one of our most popular events, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year, 25 marketplaces will show off the talents of 270 chefs, including some of Disney’s finest, as well as some celeb chefs.
  3. Celebrity Chef Appearances - This year’s festival will feature appearances by celeb chefs Jamie Deen, “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro and Allen Susser, among others.
  4. Eat To The Beat Concert Series - While we’re talking about fall fun at Epcot, the Eat to the Beat concert series is already underway with several new acts – including Fuel, Jim Brickman, Los Lonely Boys and David Cook – in the lineup. (Concerts are included in park admission).

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  1. runDisney Races Return – Two race weekends - The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler Weekend and Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend – will return to Walt Disney World Resort October 3-4 and November 7-8, respectively. Registration for Kids Races and after parties are still available.
  2. Special Fall Treats - Even snacks are dressed up for the holiday, with new Maleficent cups, Zero popcorn buckets and more now appearing in parks.

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  1. Fall Savings on Resort Rooms - Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort this fall can save up to 30 percent on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels, including Deluxe Villa Resort rooms and Deluxe Resort rooms. This offer is valid for stays most nights October 4 through November 25, and November 29 through December 23, 2014 and must be booked by October 3, 2014. (Some restrictions apply). To book, visit DisneyWorld.com/fall or call 407-WDW-1896.

What’s your favorite part of visiting Walt Disney World Resort during the fall season? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Filed: Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

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


The 19th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kicked off this weekend and we shared a few stories on the Disney Parks Blog to help during your visit, including Pam’s post featuring the top ten “must-try” new tastes at this year’s event.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Brazil Marketplace

There are 35 new food offerings this year and Pam recommended 10 to look forward to tasting. At the Farm Fresh Marketplace, there’s the perfect taste of Southern comfort food: griddled “Yard Bird” (chicken thigh) with collards and a dollop of the house-made habanero sauce. The Lobster Alfredo at the Hops & Barley Marketplace also made the list. Go check out the complete list.

@r-g3nrQa5r: Enjoying Disneyland in the late 1960's - A Captured Memory with Minnie! @KrazyKevinWolff: My Dad, Uncles, & Grammy at the ‪@Disneyland ‪#Matterhorn Bobsleds in the late '60s. @rOsRMEpzHS: My Sister and I Excited to Hold Pinnochio's Hand at Disneyland in the 60s. @q7xs4LofoF: Me and My Mom on Burro (and Horse?) Ride in Frontierland, 1964. Maybe This is Why I Hate Hats? ;) @qopsCOPAn-: I Love This Picture of Me and My Brother and Sisters, Think This is Around '1969' Always Loved This Photo, Look at My Trendy Haircut I'm on Mickeys Left with the Pin Curl Sideburns and Sunglasses on My Head 'So Cool' and Talk About Nostalgic Mickey Mouse! Enjoy!

And as you know, to get ready for the upcoming Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, we’re looking for the most magical Disneyland Resort memories from the past six decades. Erin has narrowed down the photo submissions for the 1960s and is now asking for your help to decide which will win. Visit Erin’s story this weekend and let us know your favorite.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week

Fodor’s Travel Names Aulani a Top Hotel – Read more about this distinguished award, and plan your “Beach Getaway” to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush’ Moseys Out of Disneyland Park September 27 – Every great story must have a great ending – it’s time to bid farewell to ‘Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush’ at Disneyland park. Be sure to visit your friends in Frontierland and Rainbow Ridge before September 27.

#DisneyKids: First Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park – Watch some first Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party experiences at Magic Kingdom Park!

Halloween Time Treats at the Disneyland Resort – Take a first look at some of the delightfully wicked treats debuting this year as part of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort.

Halloween Time Novelty Items to Materialize at Disneyland Resort – Get a sneak peek at some of the spooky souvenir novelty items coming to Disneyland Resort for Halloween.

Learn to Draw Grumpy from ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ – Watch as Brian James Fichtner from Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios gives a quick tutorial on how to draw the perfect grump!

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New Wearable Disney Gift Card Designed for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 19th, 2014 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


When visiting the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, complete your experience with our new wearable Disney Gift Card created especially for this year’s event.

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In addition to the many features of a Disney Gift Card, this year’s Festival-themed card comes with a wristband to ensure quick and easy access for convenience at festival kiosks. Activate your Disney Gift Card with as little as $15 and just swipe to pay as you sample your favorite food and beverages throughout the event.

The fun doesn’t have to end after the festival! Reload your Disney Gift Card on property and use it for practically all things Disney throughout Walt Disney World Resort and at other Disney destinations nationwide.

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For more about this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase, visit the posts blow:

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Our Top 10 New Tastes for 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 18th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


All sorts of special events, cooking demos and parties make the 19th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival worth the trip, but for us, it’s the simple pleasure of noshing and sipping our way around World Showcase that is one of the most memorable parts of the 53-day festival (the longest ever) that debuts Friday, September 19, and runs through November 10.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Brazil Marketplace

This is the seventh year that Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann has been at the helm, and every year he gets a little more authentic, a little more creative. Thirty-five new food offerings debut this year, requiring multiple visits to truly savor each taste.

And while it may be nearly impossible to appreciate every single dish paired with tasting-sized servings of wine, beer (and non-alcoholic beverages) at the 25+ Marketplaces, we’ve done a little homework and are suggesting the Top 10 new, “don’t-miss” dishes for 2014.

Here, in no certain order, are 10 of the new dishes worth a taste, even if you have to share to make it all the way around:

  1. Lobster Alfredo at the Hops & Barley Marketplace, a bowl with warm macaroni noodles, generous bits of lobster and a crunch topping. Add a 6-ounce pour of crisp Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat.
  2. Eat dessert first: you don’t want to miss the rich, velvety caramel crème brûlée with fleur de sel at the France Marketplace. Pair it with a flute of Sparkling Pomegranate Kir.
  3. A hearty, healthful dish is Patagonia’s Verlasso salmon, served with quinoa salad and a flourish of garlicky arugula chimichurri. Add a pour of the fruity Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier.
  4. At the Farm Fresh Marketplace, there’s the perfect taste of Southern comfort food: griddled “Yard Bird” (chicken thigh) with collards and a dollop of the house-made habanero sauce. Just for fun, add a Florida wine (yes, Florida), the Key Limen-Key Lime Wine from Florida Orange Groves.
  5. Also at Farm Fresh, the Florida grass-fed beef slider with a scoop of kicky pimento cheese melting over the warm burger was another don’t-miss. We added the Beer Flight (four 4-ounce servings): I-4 IPA, Ba Ba Black Lager, Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale and Florida Cracker Belgian Style White Ale.
  6. Even if the idea of snails is not for you, give it a try. They’ve jazzed up the escargot in France, now served with three tender snails in pastry with lots of garlic, spinach, bacon and Parmesan. Be elegant and pair with a cool Chardonnay, Macon-Villages, La Côte Blanche.
  7. The Greece marketplace has added hearty Vegetarian Moussaka, made with eggplant and potatoes and a rich béchamel sauce. Try it with Domaine Skouras Moscofilero, a white wine with rich flavors of citrus and tropical fruits. (We also loved sipping the Tzatziki martini featuring Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka and BOLS Natural Yoghurt Liqueur.)
  8. For a taste of the tropics, it’s the Ensalada de Carrucho, Caribbean conch salad with onion, tomato and cilantro at the new Puerto Rico Marketplace along the Rose Walk leading to World Showcase Plaza. Pair it with Medalla light beer.
  9. Canada’s Seared Rainbow Trout with Bacon, Frisee and Maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette deserves a pour of the Canada Mission Hill Family Estate Syrah.
  10. Desserts & Champagne Marketplace is always our final stop, and we can recommend this year’s trio: Passion Fruit Coconut Creamsicle, Blueberry Lime Cheesecake Roll and Chocolate Espresso Opera Cake. Best of all, they’re now serving Dom Pérignon Champagne. Life is good.

And we still have to make room for a few returning favorites: the grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and crunch potato chips in Australia; crispy pork belly with black beans, tomato and cilantro in Brazil; Kālua pork slider with sweet and sour Dole pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise in Hawaii, and the kimchi dog with spicy mustard sauce in South Korea.

Also, here’s a link to all the menus. Get out there and share your favorite Marketplace dishes with us!


For more about this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase, visit the posts below:

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Taste Your Way Around the World In Style With New Dooney & Bourke Bags Coming to Epcot on September 29

posted on September 17th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival returning to Walt Disney World Resort, I wanted to share some exciting news. For the first time, the Disney Theme Park Merchandise team is releasing a specially designed Dooney & Bourke collection inspired by the annual festival of culinary delights.

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When designing the new colorful pattern, Disney Design Group artists were inspired by marketing artwork featuring Chef Mickey Mouse. Three of the items will contain a unique leather hangtag that has the event logo (the wristlet will not have this hangtag). I love the subtle designs used on these new bags as sometimes less is more.

The four new items will be released at the Festival Center in Epcot starting September 29.

The Festival Center is located between the Universe of Energy and Mission: SPACE pavilions in Future World. We will have these items on display in that location when the event kicks off on September 19. This Dooney & Bourke collection will not be available on our Disney Parks online store at this time.

I wonder how many Kālua pork sliders I can carry in one of these bags (they are my favorite thing from the event!). I hope to see you at Epcot!

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