Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: Howdy from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park

posted on August 21st, 2014 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


For this “Disney Parks After Dark,” I wanted to find a place in the Disneyland Resort where I could take a series of photos while staying in the same place over a short period of time. My goal was to make each photo look different without adding additional lighting. The first photo is a typical example of what I would normally take of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It was taken at 9:18 p.m.

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The second photo was taken at 9:22 p.m., but under the bright red glow from the finale of “Fantasmic!” on the nearby Rivers of America.

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The last photo was taken at 9:32 p.m., during the “Magical” fireworks spectacular. For these three photos, I made minor adjustments in the camera to vary the blur of the trains. For this last photo, I moved the tripod a bit to the left to get more of the fireworks in the shot.

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Disney Parks After Dark: A New Fantasyland Scene

posted on August 14th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “Disney Parks After Dark” image was shot by photographer Tom Bricker in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.

I love the interesting angle he took on this shot, which shows the intricately sculpted detail of the Fantasyland wall, plus the light and color of the carousel and Cinderella Castle in the background. Such a pretty sight!
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‘Light Painting’ Once Again Takes Art into Midair Inside Magic Kingdom Park

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


Last month I had the pleasure of introducing our readers to two of our creative cast members, Paul Chase and Matt Stewart, and their Disney Parks version of “light painting.”

Paul, a Disney Parks Content Producer, and Matt, a Yellow Shoes Creative Group Art Director, spent an evening in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort with colored LED penlights. Just like before, Matt “drew” in midair (without a guide or template), while Paul made magic behind the camera using long camera exposures that captured every move of the penlights. There were no chances to “erase” a mistake.

In the first Disney Parks Blog post about their unique artwork, I promised a second edition of their work, and here it is.

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In this edition, Paul and Matt give fairy wings to guests, create a few classic Mickey Mouse drawings, and even head to space (or at least Pizza Planet) with one of the famous aliens from “Toy Story.” And no collection of space art would be complete without the galaxy’s most famous villain, Darth Vader.

In fact, one of Lord Vader’s famous lines comes to my mind when I see their work: “Impressive. Most impressive.”

(*Note: Matt and Paul were in a very controlled environment with proper personnel on-site. If you attempt an artful creation like this, please insure proper safety measures are taken.)

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Disney Parks After Dark: New Fantasyland After Hours

posted on August 7th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Happy Thursday!

Check out this week’s “After Dark” image, which was shot in the New Fantasyland area of the park just after the Magic Kingdom Park closed.

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Anyone else fancy a late-night ride on the carousel?

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios Welcomes Girls, Inc. for ‘Frozen’ Fun on National Sisters Day

posted on August 5th, 2014 by Andrea Finger, Manager, External Communications


When it comes to my sisters, I like warm hugs. But on this National Sisters Day, it was clear an “icy reception” by “Frozen” royalty Anna and Elsa at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was the warmest way to celebrate sisterhood. The pair welcomed a group of girls from Central Florida nonprofit Girls, Inc. for “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE” today … and these “sisters in spirit” couldn’t have been more elated!

As one of four sisters, I couldn’t help but giggle along with this gaggle of 12 girls, ages 8-12, as they took part in a special ice-skating session, played in the snow and built a snowman. After watching a procession of guests in “Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome,” the girls enjoyed front row views at the special sing-along moment.

And the singing continued as the girls belted out “Let It Go” and other favorite tunes from the movie during “A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.”

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Known for inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold – just like Elsa and Anna – Girls, Inc. is a Disney Grant recipient that provides mentors to guide them, peers who share their drive and an encouraging, girls-only environment. With Disney’s support, the organization develops programs that encourage girls’ academic achievement and character development, as well as promoting literacy and cultural arts.

Two spirited royal sisters and a group of Central Florida girls who are bravely pursuing their dreams… Put ‘em together, it just makes sense.

For more information about “Frozen” fun this summer, see the posts below:

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Disney Parks Blog Fans Have a Blast at ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Meet-Up at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 1st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


While the film “Guardians of the Galaxy” officially opens in theaters today, more than 500 Disney Parks Blog readers were just treated to a sneak preview of the film at Downtown Disney this past weekend.

The movie is an action-packed space adventure in which Peter Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord) finds himself the target of a bounty hunter after stealing a mysterious orb. Quill is forced into a partnership with a quartet of misfits for one last, desperate stand — with the fate of the entire galaxy hanging in the balance.

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To celebrate their early viewing, many of our guests arrived at the theater dressed up as their favorite Super Hero, with several fans sporting homemade costumes inspired by “Guardians of the Galaxy” characters. (Check out this great one above).

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Before heading into the film, our guests were given collectible “Guardians of the Galaxy” 3D glasses, with each pair inspired by a different “Guardians” character. After the film ended, we surprised each attendee with a collectible “Guardians of the Galaxy” toy. Fun!

Check out the video above for highlights from our latest meet-up.

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Disney Parks After Dark: France Pavilion at Epcot

posted on July 31st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Here’s one place we haven’t stopped yet on our tour through the parks after dark – it’s the France Pavilion at Epcot.

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Doesn’t this shot of the pavilion’s lush garden look so serene?

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Disney Parks After Dark: A Peaceful Night at Tom Sawyer Island

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


In my opinion, tonight’s “After Dark” image is one of the best we’ve ever shared. It’s a snap of Tom Sawyer Island right at sunset. It’s so calm and serene that it just makes me want to visit again very soon.

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A Journey Through Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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


Have you had a chance to experience the “Frozen” Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios yet?

Earlier this month, we shared a look at the new “Frozen Fireworks” show that light up each night. This week we’re taking a look inside Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, a location set up adjacent to Toy Story Mania! that offers “Frozen” merchandise, ice skating, a snow play area for kids, themed treats, and fun photo ops.

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Check out the photo gallery above for a look at the fun inside.

What’s your favorite “Frozen” summer offering? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.


For more on “Frozen” Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, visit the posts below:

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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