Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort

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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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Top Stories

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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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

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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Learn to Draw Winnie The Pooh at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on October 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, our “Learn to Draw” series is focusing on a classic character, Winnie the Pooh.

This week, Brian James Fichtner from Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is back to give you a lesson in how to draw the perfect pooh bear. Let’s do it!



For more animation tutorials, visit the links below:

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Fortune Teller Ivana Mystic Predicts Fun for Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort

posted on October 15th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Halloween Time is in full swing at the Disneyland Resort, and it seems that predictions about all the fun and spookiness have been true … namely those made by famous fortune teller, Ivana Mystic. Ivana has been appearing at the Halloween Carnival in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree area of Disneyland park, and I stopped by earlier in the season to find out what she predicted to be in store this year.

Was she correct in her predictions for Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort? Come see for yourself, now through October 31!

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Wildlife Wednesday: Cotton-top Tamarins Are ‘On the Move’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

posted on October 15th, 2014 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Disney’s Animal Kingdom is full of excitement, updates and changes! Even some of the animals are in on the excitement, including two cotton-top tamarins, Gemma and Draco, who just moved into a new home.

Gemma, a female tamarin, has been delighting guests at Rafiki’s Planet Watch since December 2000 where she was voted “best personality” by her keepers. In March 2011, she moved to Discovery Island to debut the remodeled tamarin island in front of the Tree of Life. This week she was joined by Draco for her second grand opening in a brand new exhibit which will bring their world even closer to guests. Draco, a male tamarin, has spent most of his life with his parents and five siblings in an indoor exhibit at the Milwaukee County Zoo. He joined us at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in August. His debut will mark the first time he has experienced an outdoor exhibit! He has already been observed chasing lizards in his backstage area.

Cotton-top Tamarin Draco at Disney's Animal Kingdom Cotton-top Tamarin Gemma at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Since his arrival, Draco also has spent time becoming acquainted with his new mate, Gemma. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) identified the pair as potential mates within its Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP works to ensure long-term survival of species by helping AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums manage species’ genetic diversity through detailed records of individual animals. Through the efforts of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ SSP, more than 300 cotton-top tamarins are cooperatively managed in more than 80 U.S. zoos. Over the past few weeks, Gemma and Draco have shown great interest in each other, and we believe they will be happy and successful mates.

Cotton-top Tamarin Exhibit at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Cotton-top Tamarin Exhibit at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

While Gemma and Draco finish acclimating and comfortably settle into their new home over the next few weeks, their job as animal ambassadors is just beginning! The cotton-top tamarin is one of the most endangered primates in the world. A 2008 census conducted by our partners at Proyecto Tití in Colombia concluded that only 7,500 cotton-tops remained in the wild, and the population has been severely impacted by habitat destruction throughout its range in Colombia. This information prompted the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Primate Specialist Group to recommend changing the classification of cotton-top tamarins from Endangered to Critically Endangered in 2008. Since then, Proyecto Tití increased their public outreach and education programs, stopped the development of a proposed airport, and secured two new protected areas for cotton-top tamarins and other wildlife to live safely in Colombia. The impact of the work is beginning to pay off, as we find communities are embracing conservation efforts and the population of cotton-tops appears stable!

One outreach program has taught women to crochet using plastic bags like the ones we bring home from the grocery store. (What a great way to recycle and keep trash out of the forest!) They make beautiful, colorful tote bags called ‘eco-mochilas’. These unique and environmentally friendly totes are sold locally in Colombia, online, and at Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Purchasing an eco-mochila helps communities in Colombia earn money for their families and protect forests that the cotton-top tamarins call home.

Don’t miss next week’s Wildlife Wednesday post to see Gemma and Draco in their new home, learn more about cotton-top conservation work and how education programs beginning in younger generations are positively affecting communities in Colombia. Until then, check out the video below to see some of the conservation work Proyecto Tití has already accomplished!

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Southwest Airlines and Walt Disney World Resort Create an Unforgettable ‘Disney Side’ Flight from Dallas’ Love Field

posted on October 14th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


When you hear the familiar harmony of the world-famous Dapper Dans, you instantly know you’re at a Disney Park on Main Street, U.S.A., right?

That’s why if you were in Dallas’ Love Field early Monday morning, you might have been puzzled to hear the barbershop quartet’s tunes echoing through the airport terminal.

Walt Disney World Resort joined with Southwest Airlines to help celebrate the addition of the airline’s first non-stop route from Dallas’ Love Field to Orlando International Airport.

The Heart of Southwest Airlines Combines with the Magic of Walt Disney World Resort for an Unforgettable Flight

Prior to boarding, passengers were able to commemorate the flight by posing in front of backdrop of Cinderella Castle that served as a “Disney Side” family photo opportunity.

Then, the Dapper Dans began singing a selection of tunes from their harmonious repertoire. The quartet even debuted its new arrangement of “Let It Go.”

Aboard Flight #887, passengers listened as Jungle Cruise Skipper “Jungle Jane” made flight announcements in the attraction’s famous style of humor. (And it is true: when the plane flew through a passing shower, passengers saw the backside of water.) Mouse Ears and Mickey Mouse-shaped treats were given to passengers, as well as complimentary tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party that evening in the Magic Kingdom. As the plane continued to Orlando International Airport, The Dapper Dans roamed the aisle of the airplane, providing one-of-a-kind, in-flight entertainment.

Take a look at this gallery of photos provided by Disney Parks photographer Ryan Wendler, as well as this video with host John Graham.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

It’s Halloween Time at Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on October 14th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


What’s in the tea that makes Mad T Party so … well, mad … during Halloween Time at Disney California Adventure park? We talked to the show’s choreographer to find out!

Be sure to travel down the Rabbit Hole for yourself before Halloween Time ends on October 31 to see all the special Halloween-edition madness for yourself!

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