Halloween at the 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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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

999 Happy Haunts: The Organist Pipes A ‘Swinging Wake’

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


Today, we’ll celebrate the Halloween holiday with our final look at one of the Haunted Mansion residents. Today, we’re heading inside the Grand Hall area of the mansion to learn more about the Organist.

In the Grand Hall, a collection of spirits have materialized for a grand celebration with music provided by an Organist at the far left of the room.

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(Art by Garrett McGill)

This character plays a waltz version of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” while ghostly couples dance nearby. Did you ever notice that there are skulls floating out of the organ instead of musical notes?

For more Happy Haunts, check out the posts below:

Halloween Tricks (and Treats) with an Optical Illusion Inspired by The Haunted Mansion

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Inside the Haunted Mansion, anything can happen. As things go bump in the night, your eyes also play tricks on you. “Is this haunted room actually stretching?

In 2011, we debuted a Haunted Mansion-themed optical illusion that featured our phantom friends, The Hitchhiking Ghosts.

This year, we’re back with another Halloween treat (and a trick) for fans of the classic attraction. A haunted hallway with a floating candelabra serves as the inspiration for this apparitional optical illusion.

All of the trickery was done without the use of any video special effects. At the end of the short video, the spooky secret is revealed. Happy Halloween!

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Pain & Panic Celebrate Halloween

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Halloween is tomorrow. Are you in a PANIC trying to get ready for the big day? Does finding a costume cause you great PAIN? Bad news, these two won’t be of any help. Here’s a look at Pain and Panic getting their dance on at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in 1997. Happy Halloween!

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

13 Halloween-Inspired ‘Light Paintings’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on October 29th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


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It’s Halloween week and we’re back at Magic Kingdom Park creating some amazing free hand “light painting” artwork in the air with colored LED penlights.

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The Hitchhiking Ghosts and our 12 other Halloween-themed “light paintings” were drawn without a guide or template during an after-hours park visit. Each image was drawn quickly and with skill by Matt Stewart, a Yellow Shoes Creative Group Art Director. And while Matt “drew” the art, Paul Chase, a Disney Parks Content Producer, used long camera exposures to capture each move of the penlight.

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Matt and Paul have used this same technique to create “light paintings” that featured the iconic profile of Mickey Mouse, an impressive American Flag in front of Cinderella Castle and the galaxy’s most famous villain, Darth Vader.

Let us know your favorite “light painting” in the comments and keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more light art at Disney Parks.

(*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.)

To see more “light painting” artwork at Magic Kingdom Park, visit the posts below:

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Style Snapshots: Fright-less Fashion for Halloween at Disney Parks

posted on October 28th, 2014 by Michelle Stepney, PR Content Director


There are still a couple of days before Halloween is officially here, but the celebration is well under way at Disney Parks. Whether you’re enjoying Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort or Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, this fashion forward look is perfect for a day or night of fright-less fun.

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Jack Skellington takes center stage on this comfy, purple hued sweatshirt, a nod to his royal pedigree as the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. Pair it with black denim or leggings and black flats. We chose the patent Mickey ballet flats from our merchandise collection. The Skellington print is subtly repeated in the purple and black cotton scarf, the perfect layering piece for cool fall evenings. Accessorize with an arm party featuring one of the newest Alex + Ani for Disney designs. The Jack Skellington charm bracelet is a nice touch for the season or fun any time of year when stacked with the Disneyland or Walt Disney World bracelets you may already have in your collection. And don’t be afraid to mix gold and silver tone metals. The contrast will add even more interest to your look.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney PhotoPass Service Simplifies Access to Walt Disney World Photos, Videos

posted on October 28th, 2014 by Sandi Wallace, Walt Disney World Communications


With attraction photos, you can capture some amazing Disney moments. And now, Disney PhotoPass Service is making it even easier for you to collect those memories.

Beginning today, if you’re wearing an active MagicBand on select Walt Disney World Resort attractions, your photos will be automatically associated to your My Disney Experience account. You don’t have to do anything. In fact, if you’ve worn your MagicBand on one of the participating attractions in the last 45 days, you should be able to find that photo in your account now.

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Don’t have a MagicBand? Don’t worry. We’re making it easier for you, too. Today we turned on new touch points at Magic Kingdom Park (Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain). So after you ride, simply find your photo on the preview wall and touch your park ticket or Memory Maker card to the touch point to associate your photo. We expect to have photo touch points installed at Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks by mid-November.

Beginning soon, guests wearing active MagicBands will have attraction videos automatically associated to their accounts. Videos are currently available for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Just like attraction photos, if you’ve worn your MagicBand on one of the participating attractions in the last 45 days, you should be able to find that attraction video in your account soon. Guests will be able to view these videos in their accounts, but a Memory Maker entitlement is required to download and share them.

Just remember that all Disney PhotoPass photos and videos expire 45 days after they are taken. So be sure to log in to your account to secure your memories before they expire.

And watch for more exciting news coming from Disney PhotoPass Service soon!

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, MagicBands, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It’ Street Party Livens Up Magic Kingdom Park

posted on October 27th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party stepped off at Magic Kingdom Park on Friday, offering a traveling celebration that encourages guests to party right along.

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The party features Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and other favorite Disney friends. Guests get to vote on songs for the Street Party’s playlist (see Shawn Slater’s original blog post for more details on that). Our cameras were out for the inaugural Street Party – here’s what guests had to say.

Want to catch a Street Party for yourself? Check the Times Guide at the park on the day of your visit for more information.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

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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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

‘A Frozen Holiday Wish’ for Magic Kingdom Park

posted on October 27th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


This holiday season, the wintry wonder and magic of Disney’s “Frozen” is coming to Magic Kingdom Park with “A Frozen Holiday Wish.”

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“A Frozen Holiday Wish” features Anna and Elsa in an all-new show on the Castle Forecourt Stage. With special appearances by rugged mountain man Kristoff and lovable snowman Olaf, the show culminates in Queen Elsa using her incredible powers to present a gift to everyone in the kingdom, transforming Cinderella Castle into a glimmering ice palace for the holidays.

“A Frozen Holiday Wish” begins November 5 and will be presented nightly through December 31, 2014.

Will you see a performance of “A Frozen Holiday Wish” this season? Tell us in the “Comments” section below!

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort