Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Haunt Your Disney Side Contest, Week 3 (Pumpkin Carving Tips)

posted on October 20th, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Halloween is almost upon us and “Grim, Grinning, Ghosts” are coming “Out to Socialize!”

Which means you only have a short time left to show your Halloween Disney Side by uploading photos of your Disney Parks-themed Halloween decor, food and drinks, carved pumpkins and costumes at DisneySideContest.com.

This week’s blog post focuses on our favorite orange Halloween decoration – jack-o-lanterns.

The Disney Parks Blog‘s John Graham caught up with Disney Channel star Olivia Holt (“I Didn’t Do It”), who has some experience with all things Halloween.

Olivia, along with an expert pumpkin carver from the Disneyland Resort, recently showed off their Halloween Disney sides at Disneyland park Big Thunder Ranch.

They have some great tips for that perfect Disney Parks-themed jack-o-lantern, as well as showcasing some spectacularly-carved pumpkins that YOU can use as inspiration for your Haunt Your Disney Side entries.

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.


For more from the Haunt Your Disney Side contest, visit the post below:

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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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999 Happy Haunts: The Hitchhiking Ghosts

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Our weekly series in which we take an in-depth look at the ghostly residents of The Haunted Mansion continues this week with a look at a fan-favorite: The Hitchhiking Ghosts.

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(Art by Mercedes Crespo)

The Hitchhiking Ghosts were actually some of the final ghoulish “residents” that were added into the plans for The Haunted Mansion. Not only that, but their look (designed by Imagineer Marc Davis) and their location within the attraction changed throughout the development process. According to Jason Surrell’s book “The Haunted Mansion: From The Magic Kingdom To The Movies,” some of the earlier ghosts designed to be in the hitchhiking trio were moved up to other scenes within the attraction.

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(Art by Kyle Olson)

In the end, the three hitchhikers were designed as a traveler with a top hat and carpetbag, a tall skeletal figure and a fuzzy bearded fellow carrying a ball and chain. The three were later dubbed Ezra, Gus and Phineas by fans.

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(Art by Richard Page)

Something that has made this trio a favorite of many Haunted Mansion fans is their unique ability to “follow you home,” which they appear to do by hopping into (or on top of) your Doom Buggie in the following scene.

The Hitchhiking Ghosts were enhanced at the attraction at Magic Kingdom Park in 2011 with additional special effects (watch a behind-the-scenes video on that here).


For more on the residents of The Haunted Mansion, check out the spooky good posts below:

America’s Cutest Pet – Howl-O-Ween Special Airing October 18

posted on October 16th, 2014 by Tony Shepherd, Producer, Broadcast Marketing


In my thirty years of working in television, the one thing I never wanted to hear anybody say is, “Well, his career has gone to the dogs.” But in this (one and only) instance, I’m really glad it did!

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After reviewing hundreds of pet clips, and experiencing a never-to-be-forgotten day at Magic Kingdom Park, when we were visited by 101 dogs, each showing their Disney Side … we’re excited to share a brand new special! Animal Planet’s “America’s Cutest: Disney Side Howl-O-Ween” comes chock full of pets disguised as your favorite Disney characters, promising animal fans one of the kookiest, spookiest hours of television — maybe ever.

Hosted by actor and pet aficionado John O’Hurley, the one-hour pet-acular premieres Saturday October 18 at 9 p.m. Eastern on Animal Planet.

Watch America’s Cutest Pet – Howl-o-Ween Special Airing October 18

This show was fantastic to work on. In addition to that magical Disney Side Dog Day at Magic Kingdom Park, during filming we had more than 30 of your favorite Disney characters drop in and get into the act. It seems they love cute pets just as much as you and I do – and they have a LOT to say about them!

It was great to work with long-time Disney fan John O’Hurley and his family. We shot with them in all four parks, so you’ll get to share in their Disney Side, as well. There are lots of other surprises in store – and with Halloween right around the corner, you might get a few costume ideas from these playful pets, too!

As you know, I always promise some good behind-the-scenes info – but this time, it’s show, not tell! Check out the cool behind the scenes video … and tune in on Saturday night for a howling good time! (See what I did there?)

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Happy Boss’s Day!

posted on October 16th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


He’s a mouse. He’s the leader of the club. And, he just happens to be my boss. Happy Boss’s Day, Mickey Mouse! Here’s the Big Cheese himself arriving in Mickey’s Birthdayland in 1988. Check out that awesome Florida license plate!

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Michael J. Fox, George Stephanopoulos and Families Share October Holiday at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 15th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Legendary actor Michael J. Fox and ABC News’ chief anchor George Stephanopoulos joined their wives — actresses Tracy Pollan and Alexandra Wentworth — and children last weekend for an October vacation at Walt Disney World Resort.

Michael J. Fox, George Stephanopoulos, Tracy Pollan, Alexandra Wentworth at Disney World in Florida

Stephanopoulos, who also anchors “Good Morning America” and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” once made a cameo appearance on Fox’s hit TV show, “Spin City.” During their visit, Disney photographer David Roark was able to capture this photo of the two families on a picture-perfect day in Magic Kingdom Park.

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Favorite Memes from Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom

posted on October 13th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


When we hosted our first-ever Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom Park this summer, we were amazed at all of the great costumes. Readers’ pet dogs were dressed like Disney princesses, pirates and even Cruella de Vil. Here are some of our favorite memes from the event.

Favorite Memes from Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom Favorite Memes from Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom
Favorite Memes from Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom Favorite Memes from Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom

Portions of the Disney Side Dog’s Day at Magic Kingdom will be included in an Animal Planet Disney Side edition of “America’s Cutest Pet” scheduled to premiere on October 18.

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Haunt Your Disney Side Contest, Week 2 (Food and Beverage Tips)

posted on October 13th, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


UPDATE: To give you more inspiration for your Disney-Parks-inspired Halloween treats, our friend Rosanna Pansino of the popular “Nerdy Nummies” YouTube is showing off how she haunts her Disney side by sharing how to make Maleficent-inspired candy apples.

Well, we are one week into the Disney Parks “Haunt Your Disney Side” contest and we’ve been getting some SWEET (and scary) entries at DisneySideContest.com.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in their photos of Disney-Parks-Inspired Halloween decor, food and drink concoctions, carved pumpkins and costumes so far.

And, if you haven’t uploaded your photos yet, there’s still time 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.

This week’s Disney Parks Blog post focuses on “spook-a-licous” food and drinks. We want to see those tasty treats – like Halloween cakes, cookies and cocktails inspired by Disney Parks. And we have a quick video to give you some ghostly inspiration.

Happy Haunting! And don’t forget to Show 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.

For more from the Haunt Your Disney Side contest, visit the post below:

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Snapping Rare Moon Photos at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 11th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, some of the most unusual photos snapped at Walt Disney World Resort were taken by David Roark and Matt Stroshane at Magic Kingdom Park, where they were perfectly positioned to catch a Blood Moon move over our park.

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Be sure to check out the full gallery above. And for full details on this rare event, click here.

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Capture All Your Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Memories with a One Day Memory Maker

posted on October 10th, 2014 by Kelly Glassburn, Manager of Marketing & Communications, Disney’s PhotoPass Service


Halloween memories are extra special in my family … as it’s the one time of year where I can get my boys to get in a photo without me begging them to pose! There’s something about getting dressed up in their costumes, especially if we are headed out to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party to meet some of our favorite characters.

This is one of my favorites, of my tough guy muscling up to meet our favorite Space Ranger and intergalactic superhero.

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At this year’s event, there’s an opportunity for party guests to purchase a new product that we’re currently testing – a one day Memory Maker.

Now through October 31, a one day Memory Maker entitlement can be added to your Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ticket for only $39. All of your Disney PhotoPass photos taken on the day your event ticket is used, including character encounters and select dining and attraction photos are included — no matter how many you get or if they were taken earlier in the day before Mickey’s Not-So-scary Halloween Party!

And don’t worry … if you aren’t able to make it to this year’s party, no trick, we’ve got a special TREAT for you! Simply log into your My Disney Experience account and claim PhotoPass ID COMEJOINTHEPARTY to receive a unique Bonus shot of some of our favorite ghosts! HINT: “We’ve got 999 happy haunts here, but there’s room for a thousand ..!”

So don’t delay … visit any ticket booth at the Transportation and Ticket Center for more information and to add the one day Memory Maker entitlement to your Mickey’s Not-So- Scary Halloween Party event. (Don’t worry if you have already purchased your Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ticket – you can still add the one day Memory Maker test product the night of your event!)

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