Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Time-Lapse Video: Haunted Mansion Holiday Gingerbread House Installed at Disneyland Park

posted on October 1st, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Halloween Time is upon us, and that means the return of seasonal fan favorite, Haunted Mansion Holiday. Each year, Jack Skellington takes over the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park, transforming the iconic attraction in honor of “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” One of the signature details of Haunted Mansion Holiday is the enormous gingerbread house, which changes each year. Our video team documented the installation of this year’s creation … take a look in this time-lapse video!

Have you seen the new gingerbread house inside Haunted Mansion Holiday this year?

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Perfect Dish for Fall Weather from Chef Scott Hunnel at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

posted on October 1st, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the crème de la crème of Disney restaurants – the only AAA Five-Diamond restaurant in Central Florida, and home to Chef Scott Hunnel, a James Beard Award-nominated pro who runs the small kitchen with his finely tuned team.

With only 53 coveted seats in the dining room, plus the opulent (and even smaller) Queen Victoria’s Room and private Chef’s Table in the kitchen, we can’t all get a reservation, but Chef Hunnel kindly shares this pan-seared sablefish that you can make at home. It’s the sort of dish that tastes simple but takes some care to prepare.

At Victoria & Albert’s, this dish is served with beautifully sculpted baby vegetables and garnished with delicate fried carrot curls. Sablefish is also known as black cod and butterfish. If you can’t find sablefish, a good substitution is Chilean sea bass. And if you can’t find Zellwood sweet corn, any fresh corn will work.

Pan-Seared Sablefish with Fingerling Potatoes and Zellwood Corn
Serves 4

Corn Relish

  • 2 ears Zellwood sweet corn
  • Olive oil, for roasting corn and sautéing vegetables
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, diced small
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Zellwood Corn Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 leek, white part only, diced
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 ears Zellwood corn, kernels removed
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 quart corn stock or chicken stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, bay leaves, and peppercorns tied together with string)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons butter

Fingerling Potatoes

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • Olive oil, for sautéing
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

Sablefish

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 (5-ounce) portions sablefish
  • Fresh white pepper, Maldon sea salt, to taste

For corn relish:

  • Husk corn and lightly brush with olive oil. Heat a saute pan or grill over medium-high heat.
  • Place corn in pan and rotate every few minutes using tongs. Baste with a little olive oil, as needed. Cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until corn is charred and tender. (If charring too fast, lower heat slightly.) Cool and slice kernels from the cob. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Halve pepper lengthwise; remove stems, seeds, and membranes. Place cut side down on foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Roast 20 to 25 minutes, or until skins are blistered. Carefully bring foil up and around the pepper halves to enclose. Let stand 15 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  • Loosen edges of skins from pepper halves with a sharp knife. Slowly pull off skin and discard. Dice one-half into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small saute pan. Saute corn, pepper, and onion until soft. Stir in cumin and season to taste. Remove from heat and toss with extra virgin olive oil. Set aside until ready to serve.

For Zellwood corn sauce:

  1. Heat saute pan over medium heat. Saute onion, leeks, and celery for 1 minute.
  2. Add garlic and corn, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in white wine, scraping bits from bottom of pan. Add stock and bouquet garni; reduce heat and simmer 35 to 40 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and season to taste.
  3. Remove from heat, purée with immersion blender, and strain through a chinois or china cap. Stir in butter. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For fingerling potatoes:

  1. Wash and quarter fingerling potatoes. Place in saucepan and cover with water over high heat. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender, depending on size of potatoes. Remove from heat and cool under running water.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and cook until golden and crispy, turn and cooking about 5 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chives. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For sablefish:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat olive oil in sauté pan over high heat.
  2. Season sablefish with salt and pepper. Place skin side down in pan and sauté for 1 minute or until golden brown. Turn and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Roast in oven for about 2 minutes, or until desired doneness.

To serve:

  1. Place roasted fingerling potatoes in center of plate and top with fish.
  2. Drizzle Zellwood corn sauce around fish and potatoes; top fish with corn relish.
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Filed: Disney Dining, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Halloween Celebration Begins at Disneyland Park Paris October 1

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Halloween is on its way to Disneyland Park (Paris), with the return of the park’s Disney’s Halloween Festival on October 1.

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During the event, which runs through November 2, guests can watch The Maleficent Disney Villains Promenade or Mickey’s Halloween Celebration (which features Disney characters dressed in Halloween costumes), visit their favorite villains in Maleficent’s Court, or take photos in one of the park’s many seasonally decorated photo locations.

Here’s a sneak peek at the fun.

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Filed: Disneyland Paris, Special Events

Tilt-Shift Video: Four Nights on a Disney Cruise

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


We know how much you love to see our exclusive tilt-shift videos, a “miniature scale” of the fun you can have at our parks and on our cruises.

Our first tilt-shift video gave you a glimpse at a journey on the Disney Wonder, and to this day, it is one of our most popular videos. Now, we want to show you some of what you’ll experience over four nights on the Disney Dream sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida to the Bahamas. From Broadway-style stage shows and meet and greets with Disney friends, to fun in the sun at Castaway Cay and a relaxing day at sea, every member of your family will find something just for them.

Check it out … the magic of tilt-shift photography combined with the magic of a Disney cruise!

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Delicious and Seasonal: Harvest Apple Salad from Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Fall is here – the season for California apples – and elegant Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure park is taking advantage of the bounty with this beautiful Harvest Apple Salad, which also includes the richness of duck confit to match the tart, sweet apples.

Confit (pronounced con-fee) may sound daunting, but it’s basically a French term for slowly roasting the duck while it’s submerged in liquid – in this recipe it’s duck fat and olive oil. This is one of those recipes that takes time, but the reward is a rich, bright salad that’s perfect for a dinner party.

In case you can’t get to the beautiful Carthay Circle Restaurant, inside the detailed re-creation of the iconic Carthay Circle Theatre at Disney California Adventure park, Chef Francisco Origel shows us how it’s done. This seasonal recipe is just one of the many California-inspired dishes on the menu.

Harvest Apple Salad with Crispy Duck Confit
Serves 8

Duck Confit

  • 4 skin-on, bone-in duck legs
  • Coarse salt freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 3 dried bay leaves
  • Olive oil for covering duck in roasting pan

Cider Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup fresh apple cider
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard or Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salad

  • 4 gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 6 wedges per apple
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-wide sticks
  • 6 cups thinly sliced kale
  • 6 cups thinly sliced frisée lettuce
  • 10 breakfast radishes, thinly sliced

For duck confit:

  1. Generously salt and pepper duck legs and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
    Prick skin of duck legs all over with a needle or a small, sharp knife, being careful not to pierce the meat. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and sear duck legs until golden on both sides. Place in a baking dish just large enough to fit all 6 legs and cover with rendered duck fat from skillet. Add thyme, bay leaves, and enough olive oil to submerge duck.
  3. Place in oven, uncovered, and bake 2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool in fat to room temperature.
  4. Remove duck legs from fat; remove meat from bones, discarding bones; pull meat into shreds.
  5. Place shredded meat in a medium skillet over medium-high heat; cook just until duck is crispy. Set aside.

For vinaigrette:

  1. Place apple cider and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Combine reduced apple cider-vinegar and mustard in blender; blend until combined. With blender on medium speed, slowly stream in olive oil.
  3. Removed from blender and place in bowl; stir in thyme and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For salad:

  1. Smear cold butter in bottom of large skillet. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Add apples slices and turn on heat to medium-high. As butter begins to melt and sugar caramelizes, turn apples to brown both sides. Add more butter if necessary; cook apples until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes, turning often. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Combine kale, frisée, radishes, and gala apple sticks in a large bowl, tossing to combine. Add shredded duck.
  3. Add just enough dressing to coat, tossing to combine. Serve immediately with caramelized apple slices.
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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort

Danny Elfman Visits Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park

posted on September 26th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Earlier this week, we shared a special reading from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” from the film’s composer, Danny Elfman, in front of Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland park. While he was here, we caught up with the Elfman, the man who provided the singing voice for Jack Skellington himself! We were amazed to learn that this was Elfman’s first time experiencing this holiday overlay. In the video below, he describes what it was like to hear his music blended with his favorite Disneyland attraction.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Celebrating A Soldier’s Safe Return at the Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Cigna

posted on September 26th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


This story has it all: runDisney magic, tears, joy and celebration.

If you participated in the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or follow my runDisney blog posts on a regular basis, this story will be familiar. It is a follow-up to an emotional magical moment that played out at the start of the race in February, but with a new twist at the Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Cigna.

Kim Myers of Seattle, WA, traveled to Walt Disney World Resort to run the Princess Half Marathon for a couple reasons. First, she was part of a larger group running on behalf of “Wear Blue: Run to Remember,” a running organization that participates in races around the world to celebrate the sacrifice of US military and their families. Second, she was celebrating her birthday and ran to take her mind off the fact that her husband, CW2 Travis Myers, couldn’t be with her. He was serving our country in Afghanistan with the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces group. Thanks to a thoughtful husband, technology and a little Disney Magic, we were able to surprise Kim with a special birthday message from Travis who was half a world away. At that time Kim said if everything went according to plan Travis would be home in time to run the Disneyland Half Marathon with her and they not only would celebrate his return but ironically his birthday.

Well, I am happy to tell you that everything did go according to plan. Travis returned home safely to his family from his final tour of duty. And as promised he took Kim’s hand and together they ran the Disneyland Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort earlier this month.

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When I recently visited Kim and Travis in Seattle, Kim told me, “I run as a way to find my own identity as a very busy person, mom, wife, fulltime job …. and a very positive way to deal with a lot of stress.”

Now, with Travis safely home, the loneliness of running alone is replaced by running with her partner in life.

“The Disneyland Half Marathon is our celebration run,” Kim said. “We’re getting out there to celebrate where we’ve come from as well as how far we have left to go, both as individuals and also together as a couple.”

I hope you will take a moment to watch Kim and Travis’ journey to the Disneyland Half Marathon. It is truly a story of love and celebration.

runDisney salutes and thanks all of our service men and women and their families around the world for keeping our country safe.

#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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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyKids: Funniest Disney Parks Roundtable Outtakes

posted on September 26th, 2014 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


In recent months, we have shared #DisneyKids videos in which our resident kid-at-heart Gary Buchanan interviews preschoolers about their experiences at Walt Disney World Resort. What we learned from these fun, unscripted conversations with little ones is that even at a young age they remember a great deal about their favorite Disney attractions, characters and experiences.

For as much as our mini panel liked to talk about Disney, they are still kids, and let’s just say there were times when they got a little restless. There were so many silly moments from our shoot that we created an outtakes video that we hope makes you smile. What are your little ones’ goofiest Disney moments?


For more from our #DisneyKids series, visit the posts below:

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ Star Constantine Visits Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you seen “Muppets Most Wanted” yet?

The latest film in the Muppets franchise takes the entire gang on a global tour through Berlin, Madrid, Dublin and London. But of course mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves tangled up in an international crime caper headed by Constantine, the World’s Number One Criminal and Kermit lookalike.

It just so happens that Constantine himself recently stopped by Disney’s Hollywood Studios – and talked with our very own John Graham to share what he loved about his visiting Disney Parks.

“Muppets Most Wanted” is now available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

VIDEO – Must-Have Souvenirs for a Magical Disney Cruise Line Vacation

posted on September 24th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Earlier this year, I shared a video featuring some must-have souvenirs for a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Recently, I visited the Disney Fantasy, one of four amazing ships from Disney Cruise Line, where I selected a few of my favorite souvenirs that will make any Disney cruise extra magical. The nice part is that you can order many of these products from our Disney Parks online store before your trip. After watching the video below, I invite you to visit http://www.DisneyStore.com/Cruise.

What is your favorite must-have item for a Disney Cruise Line cruise? Please share in the comments below.

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line