Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Making a Greener Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on October 10th, 2014 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is one of the most anticipated events of the year here at the Disney Parks. It’s a guest favorite and loads of fun. But are you aware of all the eco-friendly efforts that go on behind the scenes?

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Lawrence Whiteside of Magic Kingdom Environmental/Recycling recently shared with the Disney Parks Blog what goes into this green endeavor and why they do it.

“For the last 13 years, the MK Recycle Team and its partners have committed to support our corporate goals and standards. I hope our actions provide a deeper knowledge and understanding of our environmental efforts, and to also inspire others to take action and make even more of a difference.”

Conservation at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is serious business. For instance, some of the initiatives during last year’s party included recycling 25,000 cardboard boxes and 500 pounds of shrink wrap, salvaging Craisin boxes to store over 3,000 pounds of scrap electronics and repurposing “Monsters University” cardboard boxes to help out with the Toys for Tots drive.

The due diligence of the MK Recycle Team during this event just keeps getting greener, according to Lawrence.

“Our environmental successes and stories are a rich part of our history and a key focus of our growth. We not only recycle on stage but, through a collaborative effort, recycling happens backstage to reduce waste and our carbon footprint.”

The Walt Disney Company has a longstanding tradition of corporate citizenship. From providing children’s environmental education programs to pledges to reduce energy and waste consumption on property, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party’s goals fall right in line with this environmental stewardship.

So, while you’re enjoying Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade, your favorite spooktacular Disney characters, the Happy HalloWishes fireworks spectacular and all the rest of the festivities, maybe you can take a moment to consider the concentrated effort put forth to giving back to Mother Earth.

Though he was speaking specifically of the U.S.A., Walt Disney’s words of wisdom could easily be applied to the big picture: “Its preservation and the wise conservation of its renewable resources concerns every man, woman and child whose possession it is.”

Lawrence echoes those sentiments. “Personally, I think everybody needs to play a role in preserving our planet,”

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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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Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort Offers Shivery Tricks and Spooky Treats For Halloween Time

posted on October 8th, 2014 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


What’s your favorite scary experience for the Halloween season? The shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort are providing plenty of Halloween Time atmosphere for the season.

Build-A-Bear Workshop is offering a grizzly change of pace: you can build a werewolf; House of Blues will host a Halloween costume contest on October 31; and seasonal treats are available at Starbucks, La Brea Bakery, Haagen-Dazs, Jamba Juice, Marceline’s Confectionery and other locations throughout the Downtown Disney District.

Special Halloween artwork may be found at WonderGround Gallery and Kaman’s Art Shoppe. Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen offers both a Haunted Gingerbread House Building Workshop (October 25 and 26) and “The Password is Murder” interactive murder mystery show including champagne reception and four-course dinner (October 22). We’ll share more information about these and more over the next few weeks.

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Would-be trick-or-treaters, ages 3-15, in search of a “Frozen”-themed makeover for the holiday will find what they’re looking for at the newly opened Anna & Elsa’s Boutique. And watch for some ghostly décor to appear around the portal entry and common areas of the Downtown Disney District as Halloween approaches!

If you have a taste for classic spooky movies, AMC Downtown Disney 12 has a special Thursday night series for you.

  • October 9 features two vintage classics: “Dracula” with Bela Lugosi at 7 p.m. and “The Wolf Man” with Lon Chaney Jr. at 9 p.m. For those who can’t get enough of the world’s most famous vampire, “Dracula Untold” is opening in IMAX at AMC Downtown Disney 12 that same night!
  • October 16 offers somewhat lighter fare: “Casper” with Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman at 7 p.m.
  • October 23 turns the spotlight on Boris Karloff, starring in the original “Frankenstein” and “The Mummy” chillers.

AMC Downtown Disney 12 also will present a special, limited time return engagement of Disney’s “Maleficent,” starring Angelina Jolie, Friday, Oct. 24, through Thursday, Oct. 30. Experience this wickedly fun twist on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale as Disney’s most iconic villain is brought to life like never before. Audience members may receive special gifts, including Maleficent horns, while supplies last, during the run. “Maleficent” is new on Blu-ray & Digital HD November 4 and on DisneyMoviesAnywhere.com. Also watch for screenings of “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” on Friday and Saturday of Halloween weekend, October 31 and November 1.

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Halloween Treats Begin to Materialize at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

posted on October 8th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


The spirit of Halloween is in the air, and festive fall treats have materialized at Walt Disney World Resort hotels. I love discovering new treats during the holidays and am excited to share a few of these frightening finds with you.

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Right off the bat, I knew I couldn’t resist the specialty cupcakes from BoardWalk Bakery. Vanilla cake with caramel apple filling, topped with whipped cream—it’s like eating an apple pie inside of a cupcake. Whether you choose the bat or ghost cupcake, you can’t go wrong.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my favorite haunts, and the pastry team has concocted creepy treats for Halloween. There’s something to please every palate—creamy pumpkin cheesecake and scones, spooky skeleton brownies, chocolate cupcakes with candy corn filling topped with buttercream and my favorite—a gooey chocolate-pecan torte.

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Step off the monorail at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and check out the spooktacular sweets. At Contempo Café, you’ll find a creepy, crawly cupcake—white cake with marshmallow filling topped with buttercream frosting and an itsy bitsy sugar spider on a chocolate web. It also seems goblins have taken over Chef Mickey’s, garnishing everything from cookies and brownies to fruit tarts and cheesecakes.

Which ghoulish delight are you dying to sink your fangs into?

For more on Halloween-inspired treats you can find at Walt Disney World Resort, visit the posts below:

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Sights & Sounds of Disney Parks: An Inside Peek at Mickey’s ‘Boo-to-You’ Halloween Parade at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on October 7th, 2014 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Under the seasoned auspices of the multitalented, Tara Anderson, Senior Director at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Entertainment, ghosts waltz, spirits become more spirited, villains strut their stuff and happy haunts materialize — all on the otherwise chipper, cheery Main Street, U.S.A.

Even if you’ve never met Tara (and she’s super nice), countless Magic Kingdom Park guests (perhaps including you) have cheered the artistry of Tara, along with the creative team, singers, dancers, characters and villains that make Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade one of the all-time most popular features of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Tara sat down (something she rarely gets a chance to do) and told us about her boo-tiful baby.

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GREG: You know this parade backwards and forwards, the way Queen Elsa knows advanced refrigeration. What is the “story” that unfolds as we watch the parade?

TARA: The story of the parade is that Mickey and his Magic Kingdom friends are having a series of parties. So, the first scene is Mickey’s own party. It kind of represents Main Street, U.S.A. because he, Minnie, Donald and Daisy are in a quaint gazebo. He’s invited friends like Snow White, Dopey, Pinocchio, Gepetto, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Aladdin, Jasmine and Pooh. And Pluto has a new costume this year — an adorable lion!

Then the parade takes us to Adventureland, where it’s pirates, pirates, pirates! This year, we put Peter Pan and Wendy and some Lost Boys on the pirate ship. It’s my homage to the scene in the film where the pirates have them trapped and Peter comes to the rescue Of course, we have Captain Jack Sparrow, Barbossa and some crewmembers. That’s our Adventureland salute.

GREG: What songs do we hear during this sequence?

TARA: You’ll hear “Boo To You,” written specifically for the parade. It’s so catchy, we find ourselves still singing this tune to ourselves six months into the next year! There’s no question that every parade really starts with the music. For Hook’s ship, we have “Yo-Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” from Pirates of the Caribbean and “A Pirate’s Life is a Wonderful Life” from Peter Pan.

The next sequence is Liberty Square and Haunted Mansion. It begins with the Groundskeeper and his dog, Jolene.

GREG: Dolly Parton’s “Jolene?”

TARA: (laughs) Oh no, not at all! Our Jolene is actually a rescue dog, which is why none of the craziness going on ever phases her. The gravediggers — known as the Deadly Dozen — and our graveyard float follow Jolene and the Groundskeeper. This year, we doubled the number of dead waltzers.

GREG: I love the dead waltzers. So light on their feet!

TARA: Then, of course, the Hitchhiking Ghosts come along and the Grim Grinning Ghosts.

GREG: And those gravedigger shovels that spark. Is that a special effect?

TARA: Actually, that was a happy accident. We were backstage one night, just walking around a building and somebody was dragging a shovel and it sparked. It was like “Ooooohhh!” and we made it part of the show.

GREG: It’s such a simple thing! Everyone loves the shovels.

TARA: To represent Frontierland, we have a Halloween Hoedown. This year, our cowgirls have new costumes. We decided to give everybody cowboy boots and denim and just rock it out a little bit. The music there is mostly “Ghost Riders in the Sky” with a little bit of “Rodeo” thrown in. Clara Cluck sits up in her barn while Clarabelle Cow calls out the square dance for Chip ‘n Dale, Brer Bear, Brer Fox, Brer Rabbit and the Country Bears — Big Al, Wendell and Liver Lips.

GREG: And as everybody knows, a party is never quite the same without Liver Lips.

TARA: Isn’t that the truth! (laughs) From here, we change things up in the parade a little bit. Our Goofy’s Candy Company truck got an extreme makeover and it’s a new Sugar Rush delivery truck full of candy corn. Wreck-It Ralph rides the truck and Vanellope runs around, being Vanellope. The truck looks like it’s made out of candy. Really cute. Goofy’s Candy Factory is after the Sugar Rush truck.

GREG: Then lots of villains bring up the rear.

TARA: They get to be the grand finale. They’re singing “It’s Good To Be Bad” around a float carrying the Dead Head Band, and behind there’s the Queen of Hearts, Frollo, Big Bad Wolf and others. They’re on a villain float with Chernabog; we have Maleficent, Jafar and the wicked queen from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” New this year is the Bowler Hat Guy from “Meet the Robinsons” and he’s very, very funny!

GREG: How many months in advance do you start preparing this parade?

TARA: After the current parade has its run, we have a post-parade meeting to discuss successes and opportunities for improvement. Then around February, we talk about the event as a whole and determine what we might want to do in the coming year. If we’re going to revamp a float or create new costumes, they need the longest lead times. This year we started rehearsals at the beginning of August because we opened the party on September 1.

GREG: How does this parade rate on the “Tara Meter”?

TARA: On the “Tara Meter”? I don’t know — I’m not supposed to have favorites among my children! It is certainly one of my favorites. It’s just one of those things where everything came together just right. Yes, we tweak it every year. I love that it has that sort of flexibility to add and take away, but the core is so solid, you can do that.

GREG: It’s sort of like a great Broadway show. It might be revived dozens of times, but there are always alterations, the score changes, the chemistry of the cast varies and scenes are moved around. It’s always fresh.

TARA: Absolutely. And we do that. We want it to be fresh for our new guests and our many returning guests — and we’re grateful that there are so many. We want them to see the things that they’ll remember and want to see again and also be thrilled by new things. That’s why “Boo-to-You” is forever new!

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‘Dancing With The Stars’ Contender Alfonso Ribeiro Celebrates Halloween Time at Disneyland Park

posted on October 7th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Actor Alfonso Ribeiro took a break from dance rehearsals to bring his family to Disneyland park to experience a little Halloween Time magic last week.

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Minnie Mouse stopped by to wish him luck in his pursuit of the mirrorball trophy as a season 19 contender on “Dancing with the Stars.” It is even rumored that Minnie and Alfonso were seen doing a few steps from “The Carlton!”

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Celebrating Halloween on a Disney Cruise

posted on October 7th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Disney cruisers are no strangers to showing their Disney Side out at sea (arrgh mateys!) And this fall, Pirate Night isn’t the only excuse you have to put on a costume, let loose and bring out the fun in your family during vacation.

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Our Halloween on the High Seas voyages are jam packed with fun for the whole family (Mom and Dad … that means you, too!) And the best part? All of it is included in your cruise fare! In this video, hear from Cruise Director Christiaan about the fun you and your family can expect when celebrating Halloween on a Disney cruise.

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Home Decor Experts Sabrina Soto, Michael Moloney Help ‘Haunt’ Your Disney Side For New Disney Parks Contest

posted on October 6th, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


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As Halloween approaches, we at Disney Parks thought it was a great time to have you show us your Halloween Disney Side. And what better way to do that, than with a contest!

Starting today and running through November 4, you will be able to upload your favorite Disney Parks-themed Halloween photos to enter for a chance to win a private “Midnight at the Haunted Mansion” party for you and three guests with a spooky overnight stay in Cinderella Castle. All of the details and information on how to enter can be found at DisneySideContest.com.

Photos can be themed to four categories: Home décor, food and beverage, pumpkin carving and costumes.

And each Monday this month, the Disney Parks Blog will feature tips for your photos from some spook-tastic Disney and celebrity experts.

This week, it’s home décor.

We caught up with decorating and design gurus Sabrina Soto and Michael Moloney at Disneyland park recently, getting some great “haunted” home décor tips from Disneyland Resort Enhancement Manager Chris Barnhill. Now, Sabrina and Michael are not just superstars of design. They also have amped-up their Halloween cred as the hosts of “The Great Halloween Fright Fight,” airing on ABC Tuesday, October 28, which spotlights Halloween-embracing homeowners who have turned their properties into macabre masterpieces.

Chris shared with Sabrina and Michael some simple tips for haunted home décor, based on the creepy creations he and his team conjure up for Halloween Time at Disneyland. They include some eerie eyes (a la the wallpaper in the traditional version of the Haunted Mansion) and two sinister treasures based on decorations seen inside the Haunted Mansion Holiday which is inspired by the classic animated film “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Those are great tips. I’m going to my craft store right now! Oh wait! I can’t win!

Oh well, YOU can; and that’s what counts!

Don’t forget, we want to see your most frightfully-fun Disney Parks-themed Halloween photos. 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.

And check back this month to the Disney Parks Blog for more tips on how to “Haunt Your Disney Side.”

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.

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13 Reasons to Love Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on October 3rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


I adore Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This after-hours event at Magic Kingdom Park is something I look forward to attending each fall, and can’t get enough of the special Halloween entertainment that comes alive throughout the park.

In case you haven’t been to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party before, here are 13 reasons you should check it out for yourself this year.

"Happy HalloWishes" fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom

  1. “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks – This villains-themed fireworks show lets Disney’s biggest “baddies” light up the sky above Cinderella Castle in a special show only offered during the Halloween parties.
  2. Trick-Or-Treating (even for adults!) – As I shared in an earlier blog post, we’ll be handing out a whopping 261 tons of candy at our parties this year. Read more on that here.

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  1. Halloween Costumes – Not only are Disney characters dressed in their Halloween best, but you’re welcome to dress up, too! Parties are also great for people watching – it’s amazing to see the costumes that other guests come up with.
  2. Event-Exclusive “Pirate Helmsman” Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card – This year’s exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card was inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean and can only be obtained by attending a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Cards are complimentary (one per guest), and guests must show their party ticket and event wristband in order to get one.
  3. The Headless Horseman Rides Again - If you pick a parade spot early enough, you just may catch the riding past of the Headless Horseman. It’s an amazingly spooky moment that you don’t want to miss!

Boo to You!

  1. “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade” - This parade is packed with Halloween fun, including appearances by some of the “happy haunts” from the Haunted Mansion – including the Hitchhiking Ghosts. Mickey Mouse and many of his friends are also in the lineup, of course.
  2. Villain’s Sinister Soiree Dessert Party – For guests who can’t get enough of the Disney villains, there’s a new, additional ticket offering called “Villain’s Sinister Soiree Dessert Party: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle” that offers entertainment by Lady Tremaine and Cinderella’s stepsisters, as well as appearances by other Disney villains – and some amazing desserts. Attendees also get VIP viewing for fireworks and the parade. More info on that here.

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  1. Haunting Decor on Main Street, U.S.A. - After the sun sets, Main Street, U.S.A., becomes ablaze with illuminated pumpkins of all sizes and shapes, among other eerie lighting effects. This part of the park is a must for photos.
  2. Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball – This Tomorrowland dance party is a true monster mash, which features favorite friends from Monstropolis. Get your dance moves (and your camera) ready!

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  1. Special Halloween Treats – Think pumpkin spiced waffle sundaes, candy corn cupcakes, and more. Check your event map for special treat locations.
  2. Special Character Greetings – The event also features special character meet and greet opportunities with many Disney characters dressed in Halloween costumes, making for some cute photo opps! (All entertainment subject to change, of course).
  3. Magic Kingdom Park Attractions – In addition to all of the Halloween fun, most attractions are open for you to enjoy – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, anyone?
  4. The Haunted Mansion - This attraction is always great fun, but it is simply a must during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties. Be on the lookout for the mansion’s maids and butlers to be a bit spruced up on party nights.

What’s your favorite part of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Tell us in the comments section below!

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New, Yet Familiar Faces Animate Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park

posted on October 3rd, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


It’s a special treat to see what innovative additions the Disneyland Resort Entertainment team will add to Haunted Mansion Holiday in Disneyland park each season. This year I spoke with Senior Art Director Brian Sandahl, got a sneak peek at the spruced-up singing pumpkins and gained some insight into “little” Sally’s makeover before the attraction reopened for its 14th season of frightful fun.

Have you seen these animated updates at Haunted Mansion Holiday?

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