Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort

Give the Gift: 12 Days of Disney Cruise Line

posted on October 22nd, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Holiday season is fast approaching! Are you still looking for that perfect gift? Here are 12 things that come along with the gift of a Disney cruise

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VIDEO: How to Make Pumpkin Twists from Disneyland Resort

posted on October 22nd, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Goblins and ghoulies from last Halloween … awaken the spirits with your pumpkin cuisine! Looking for a frightfully fun treat to serve at your Halloween party? Watch below as Chef Christina Orejel from Disneyland Resort demonstrates how to make Pumpkin Twists, a Halloween Time treat.

Pumpkin Twists
Available at Troubadour Tavern and Maurice’s Treats at Disneyland park, and Cozy Cone Motel at Disney California Adventure park.
Makes 6

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 tablespoon instant pectin
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 (17.3-ounce) boxes (6 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup sanding sugar

  1. Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and instant pectin in a medium bowl. Stir in pumpkin puree until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Place one sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured, movable, flat surface, such as a lightweight cutting board. Lightly dust surface of pastry with flour and roll lightly just to smooth creases.
  3. Spread with 1/3 cup of pumpkin mixture, stopping 1/4-inch from edges.
  4. Roll a second sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to smooth creases; place on top of first sheet and press down gently. Repeat process two more times with remaining pastry sheets and remaining filling. Refrigerate filled pastry 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone mat.
  6. Working with one filled pastry at a time, cut into 1 1/2-inch strips.
  7. Place strips on baking sheet spacing about 1/2-inch apart. Carefully lift strips and twist each 3 times before laying down. (Leave remaining filled pastry in refrigerator until ready to bake.)
  8. Mix together coarse sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice.
  9. Beat egg and milk together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush each twist with egg wash and evenly sprinkle evenly with coarse sugar mixture.
  10. Bake 22 to 24 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process two more times, cutting and baking one remaining filled pastry at a time.

Cook’s Notes: To make pumpkin pie spice at home, combine 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon ground allspice.

Sanding sugar is larger, polished grains of sugar – about four times larger than those in granulated sugar. Because the sugar crystal grains are large and reflect light, they give off a “sparkling” effect. The large-grained sugar won’t melt and disappear as it bakes, giving a nice crunch to dessert topping.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Wildlife Wednesday: Cotton-top Tamarins Explore Their New Home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on October 22nd, 2014 by Anne Savage, Ph.D., Conservation Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


Last week we helped acquaint you and the newest cotton-top tamarin pair at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Gemma and Draco. The pair has been delighting guests all week. If you haven’t had a chance to visit yet, we’ve got you covered!

Check out these photos to see the pair exploring their new home!

Wildlife Wednesday: Cotton-top Tamarins Explore Their New Home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Wildlife Wednesday: Cotton-top Tamarins Explore Their New Home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Did you know…?

  • Cotton-top tamarins are a critically endangered species of primate found only in the tropical forests of Colombia. This 1-pound monkey lives 8-10 years in the wild and the median life expectancy in zoos is 11.2 years.
  • Cotton-top tamarins live in social groups of 2-10 individuals.
  • Females, on average, give birth to twins annually and parental care in this species is shared by all group members.
  • Pairs breed every 28 weeks in captivity, but once a year in the wild. The birth period in the wild appears to be linked to the rainy season when there is the greatest abundance of fruit and insects in the diet.
  • Disney’s Animal Programs’ team members have helped coordinate cotton-top tamarin pairings since 1997 through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP).
  • The word ‘tamarin’ translates to ‘tití’(pronounced tee-tee) in Spanish. Proyecto Tití’s conservation program works to protect cotton-top tamarins in their tropical forest home in Colombia by having a 20+ year study of these amazing animals that has given us new insights into what they need to survive in the wild. Since field studies alone won’t save cotton-top tamarins, Proyecto Tití has also developed innovative strategies to empower local communities to get involved and benefit from conservation activities!
  • Kids in Colombia are involved in conservation, too! Check out the video below to learn more about Proyecto Tití’s programs and the impact they have had on the community and cotton-top tamarin conservation efforts!

On your next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, be sure to stop by and welcome Draco and Gemma into their new home!

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The New Anna & Elsa’s Boutique in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort Will Give You ‘Chills’

posted on October 20th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Can you feel the chill in the air? ‘Frozen’ has taken over the newly themed Anna & Elsa’s Boutique in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort. Here’s a look at some of the magical transformations taking place!

If you’re a fan of Anna, Elsa or Olaf and of course, warm hugs, be sure to stop by on your next visit!

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A runDisney Love Story at the Disneyland Half Marathon

posted on October 20th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


So do you think you love Disney? Do you think you love Disney enough to run 13.1 miles? If the answer is yes to both questions, you are not alone. Christine Cheng and Anthony Tsang’s love for Disney and each other have put them on the course to love runDisney.

“We run because of runDisney,” Christine recently told me when I visited them at home in San Francisco, just before they completed the Dumbo Double Dare at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna at Disneyland Resort. “We have really never exercised too much before, but Disney gives us the motivation to get out there and lead a healthy, active lifestyle.”

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Saying Disney is a part of their everyday life is an understatement. Their home is filled with Disney keepsakes, they enjoy using their annual passes and visiting the parks several times a year, and of course, one of their greatest Disney memories – a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding.

“We just love that Disney opens so many new experiences to us, so there’s always some way to incorporate Disney into our lives,” the couple said. “Even if you don’t think you can run, you can do a runDisney race.”

I hope Christine and Anthony’s love story inspires you to add a little runDisney to your life.

For more information on runDisney and to register for an upcoming event, visit runDisney.com.

#WhyIrunDisney is dedicated to sharing compelling and motivational human-interest stories. To view submissions and to learn how to upload your story, visit irundisney.com.

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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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Pumpkin Carvers Show Their Disney Side During Halloween Time at Disneyland Park

posted on October 20th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


From “it’s a small world” to “Frozen,” the pumpkin carvers design an elaborate display showing their Disney Side each day at the Halloween Carnival in Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree at Disneyland park. I recently caught up with one of the creative carvers and asked her about her colorful creations.

Which Disney character or attraction would you like to see produced on a pumpkin?

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VIDEO: The Muppets Make ‘Swedish’ Shrimp Tacos at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Hellu iferybudy, tudey zee Swedish Chef veell shoo yuoo—let’s try that again—Hello everybody, today the Swedish Chef will show you how to re-create Shrimp Tacos from Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at home. Don’t worry, we provide subtitles. Bork Bork Bork!

In case you couldn’t understand Swedish Chef, here is the recipe so you can make Shrimp Tacos at home:

Tacos de Camarones (Shrimp Tacos)
Makes 10 (6-inch) tacos

Chipotle Sauce

  • 2/3 cups mayonnaise
  • 7.5 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, puréed

Shrimp Tempura

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, about 30 to 35 shrimp

Shrimp Tacos

  • 10 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup favorite salsa verde

For chipotle sauce:

  1. Mix mayonnaise and puréed chipotle peppers in a medium bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

For tempura shrimp:

  1. Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 375˚F in a deep fryer.
  2. Beat egg white in a small bowl until frothy and light. Do not overbeat. Set aside.
  3. Mix together flour, cornstarch, salt, parsley, paprika, baking powder, garlic powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add water and egg white; mix until smooth.
  4. Add shrimp and toss until fully covered with batter.
  5. Drop 6 to 8 at a time in hot oil. Do not overcrowd. Fry 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove fried shrimp and drain on paper towels.

To serve:

  1. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of chipotle mayonnaise on flour tortilla and place 3 shrimp down middle. Top with small handful of cabbage and drizzle with salsa verde.
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First Disneyland Resort Ambassador Comes ‘Home’ for 50th Anniversary of Disney Ambassador Program

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations


When Julie Reihm Casaletto was approached by a fellow cast member to apply for the Disney Ambassador program, she initially said no. She was busy making straight A’s in college, and taking a year off from her studies wasn’t part of the plan. But that cast member didn’t give up and once Julie started the interviewing process, she began to realize that a year of world travel would be an exciting gig. Those interviews obviously went very well, because Julie was chosen as Disney’s first ambassador in 1965 … and the rest is Disney history.

The Disney Parks Blog had a chance to talk one-on-one with Julie, while she was at the Disneyland Resort for the 50th anniversary of the Disney Ambassador program. She talked about her incredible year as ambassador and her special bond with Walt Disney.

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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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