Disney's Hollywood Studios, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Interior

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

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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Filed: Magic Kingdom, My Disney Experience, Special Events, 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?

Trick Or Treat?

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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999 Happy Haunts: Meet The Hatbox Ghost

posted on October 10th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s look at the ghosts of The Haunted Mansion focuses on the Hatbox Ghost – aren’t familiar with him? That’s because he was originally planned as a part of the attraction but never, well, materialized.

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(Art by Austin Hillebrecht)

According to Jason Surrell’s book “The Haunted Mansion: From The Magic Kingdom To The Movies,” this ghostly apparition was supposed to appear across from the Bride in the attic scene, holding a hatbox. With every beat of the Bride’s heart, the Hatbox Ghost’s head was supposed to disappear and reappear in the hatbox he was holding. Alas, the Hatbox ghost was eventually cut from the plan due to technical difficulties.

Which Haunted Mansion ghost would you like to see featured here next week? Tell us in the comments section below!

For more about the ghosts from The Haunted Mansion, visit the post below:

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Blood Moon Sets Over Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 8th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


If you were up early this morning, you may have spotted an unusual sight in the sky – the brilliance of a rare lunar eclipse called a “blood moon.”

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Here at Walt Disney World Resort, the moon added the perfect spooky atmosphere to our parks, especially Magic Kingdom Park, which is already decorated for Halloween. Our photographers David Roark and Matt Stroshane were on hand to document the moon’s path over our parks.

Here’s how a blood moon works and why it’s significant: Full lunar eclipses happen maybe once each year, but blood moons that light up with color are extremely rare. Their bright red “blood” color happens when planet Earth is perfectly positioned between the moon and the sun – and the sun is able to shine only a small ring of red light past the earth and onto the moon (sort of like a worldwide sunset is reflecting on the moon). This morning’s blood moon is the second blood moon in a rare tetrad (a series of four) that will appear in 2014-2015. The next two blood moons are set to appear on April 4 and September 28, 2015.

Be sure to click through the gallery above to see the blood moon make its way over Walt Disney World Resort.

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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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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort