Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort

New, Yet Familiar Faces Animate Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park

posted on October 3rd, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


It’s a special treat to see what innovative additions the Disneyland Resort Entertainment team will add to Haunted Mansion Holiday in Disneyland park each season. This year I spoke with Senior Art Director Brian Sandahl, got a sneak peek at the spruced-up singing pumpkins and gained some insight into “little” Sally’s makeover before the attraction reopened for its 14th season of frightful fun.

Have you seen these animated updates at Haunted Mansion Holiday?

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Learn to Draw Jack Skellington at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on October 2nd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, our “Learn to Draw” series is focusing on a character who is a perfect fit for the month of October – it’s Jack Skellington!

Character artist Brian James Fichtner from Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is here to give you step-by-step directions on creating the perfect pumpkin king. Let’s do it!



For more animation tutorials, visit the links below:

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Disney Wedding Cake Animation Image Mapping

posted on October 1st, 2014 by Korri McFann, Worldwide Marketing & Business Development Director, Weddings & Honeymoons


We recently unveiled new technology at our Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings Showcase this past Saturday- and I couldn’t wait to share it with you! A wedding cake is probably the most significant confection you’ll ever eat (and buy) – so why not turn it into a living piece of art? With imagery that scrolls over icing like a mini movie, Walt Disney World Resort wedding cakes can now be transformed with fully customizable image mapping projection technology. Whether you want to showcase a photo slideshow, home video or your favorite quote fondant is refashioned into an enchanted canvas that is sure to impress. But don’t take it from me, check out the video below and see for yourself.

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Sign Up for Our Disney’s ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ Meet-Up at Downtown Disney

posted on October 1st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


UPDATE: This event has been filled to capacity. Please CLICK HERE to view a list of the accepted event attendees. If you are on the list and did not receive a confirmation email by 5 p.m. EST today, please contact us at WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com.

We’re kicking off October for Disney Parks Blog readers with the opportunity to be part of a special preview screening of “Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” at AMC Downtown Disney 24 at the Walt Disney World Resort before the film opens in U.S. theaters on October 10, 2014.

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Our Disney Parks Blog meet-up begins at 1 p.m. EST (doors open at noon) on Saturday, October 4, 2014. At the event you’ll see the film, Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” which follows 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life. Alexander soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Here’s a sneak peek:

RSVP for the meet-up now by sending us an email with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com. Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of attendees will be selected for the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All attendees who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests do not need to be 18 or older.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • We will send an email to individuals whose valid RSVPs are received by us via email before we reach the planned capacity to confirm their attendance for the event.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in across from AMC Downtown Disney 24 for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person and guest.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
    The event is subject to change or cancellation.

This post will be updated after capacity has been reached.

Also, here are some other things to know:

  • This is an advance screening of the film. Closed Captioning and Descriptive Video services may not be available.
  • Please arrive early. No one will be admitted late. We may refuse, revoke or limit admission in our sole discretion at any time.
  • NO RECORDING

The screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any video or audio recording devices (including, without limitation, cameras) into the venue and you consent to a physical search of your belongings and person for recording devices. If you attempt to enter with a recording device, you will be denied admission. If you attempt to use a recording device during this screening, you consent to your immediate removal from the venue and forfeiture of your recording device and its contents. Any attempted unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability. We reserve the right to pursue any and all available remedies at law and in equity for any unauthorized recording and/or copyright infringement, including without limitation statutory damages of up to $150,000 per violation, and nothing contained in this notice shall be construed to limit our available remedies and/or legal recourse. You assume all risks of personal injury arising from or incidental to attending the screening, whether occurring prior to, during, or after the event. Further, by attending you grant permission to Disney Destinations, LLC, its licensees, licensors, affiliates and agents, to record and utilize your name, voice and likeness to publicize the screening and promote the movie.

Hope to see you there.

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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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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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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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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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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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