Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort

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

‘Fall’ in Love with Pumpkin-Inspired Delights at Downtown Disney

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Living in Florida, fall is my favorite time of year. Temperatures start to dip, the humidity (sort of) takes a break and autumn is in the air. Fall has already arrived here at Downtown Disney – and I know this because I’m surrounded by pumpkin-tinged treats. See a few of my top picks below:

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  • Pumpkin Spice Caramel Squares from Ghirardelli – you can only find these bites of amazingness in September and October, so stock up while you can. My fellow Disney Parks Blog author Jennifer Fickley-Baker introduced me to these mouth-watering morsels and I love/hate her for it!
  • Pumpkin Shampoo and Conditioner Bars from Basin – with potassium, alpha-carotene, zinc, beta-carotene and lutein, they make your hair strong, soft and silky – a perfect complement to any Halloween costume you may be considering. (Rumor has it Basin also has a “Pumpkin Patch” soap, too. So fun.)
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks – this caffeinated favorite needs no explanation; my motto: once you’ve taken your first sip of the season, cute boots, bulky sweaters and festive scarves are fair game, no matter what the thermometer reads.
  • Sweet Treats from Goofy’s Candy Company and Candy Cauldron – luckily, we’ve got eight weeks to sample the latest concoctions from my go-to candy shops. First up? Pumpkin fudge. (Review: Amazing.)

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Keep up with the latest seasonal offerings from Downtown Disney via our Twitter handle, @WDWDowntown. In the meantime, tell me which pumpkin product you can’t wait to try in the comments below.

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Happy fall, y’all! (I’m originally from Georgia, so I can say that.)

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – October 2014

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Wondering what merchandise events are headed your way this October at the Walt Disney World Resort? Take a look!

Satisfy your appetite and quench your thirst for merchandise during this year’s 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Fellow author Steven Miller gave you a sneak preview of this year’s commemorative merchandise, here are a few other special appearances you won’t want to miss. Learn more.

  • Festival Center – Paola Gutierrez (October 3, 24 and November 7) and William Silvers (October 4, 18 and November 1)
  • Art of Disney – Rob Kaz (October 24 – 26) and Michelle St. Laurent (October 30 and November 1 – 2)
  • Coming in November! Tim Rogerson and The Beekman Boys.

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October 2 – 12: Beloved artist David E. Doss returns to the Walt Disney World Resort this month. Look for special appearances by David, October 2 – 12 and 23 – 29 at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

October 8 – 12: Artist Greg McCullough will be on hand for special appearances and signings this month at the Walt Disney World Resort. Meet Greg, October 8 – 12 at Art of Disney in Epcot or October 15 – 19 and October 30 – November 5 at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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October 9 – 12: Meet artist Larry Dotson who will be appearing throughout the month at the Walt Disney World Resort. Look for Larry to appear at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park, October 9 – 12 and 23 – 26 and at Art of Disney in Epcot, October 16 – 19. Learn more.

October 10 – November 3: Look for the latest releases from Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick, including her new Halloween collection. Linda will appear throughout the day October 10 – 12 and again October 31 – November 1 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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Which event are you most excited about?

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Filed: Art of Disney, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Five Things You Might Not Know About Horticulture at the Disneyland Resort

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


It’s the details that make you feel like you’re in another world at a Disney Park, and horticulture plays a huge role in creating that feeling. When you’re walking through the untamed jungles of Adventureland in Disneyland park, you may notice the towering bamboo plants near Tarzan’s Treehouse. As you’re strolling through the wooded mountains of Grizzly Peak at Disney California Adventure park, you see the colorful California foliage. These are some of the magical details created every season by the Disneyland Resort Horticulture team. Here are some things you might not know about horticulture at the Disneyland Resort:

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

Hanson Appears at Eat to the Beat Tonight

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The band Hanson (“I Will Come to You”) will take to the stage tonight at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in the event’s Eat to the Beat concert series.

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Top Five Hands-On Food Experiences with Adventures by Disney

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Andrae Gill, Adventures by Disney


With more than two-dozen incredible destinations to choose from, Adventures by Disney allows you to see the world while finding your inner foodie. From creating traditional svele pancakes in Norway and crafting handmade pasta and pizza in Italy to harvesting rice in Laos or grape stomping in Greece, you can immerse yourself in local flavor and cuisine no matter which itinerary you choose.

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The Disney Parks Blog Celebrates Five Years of Storytelling

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Over the weekend, we celebrated a special day for the Disney Parks Blog – our five year anniversary. It’s an exciting milestone for us that would not have been possible without your consistent support and participation during the years.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

October 2014 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Just wait until you see what merchandise events we have headed your way this October at the Disneyland Resort!

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

Picture If You Will Merchandise for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend is returning soon to Walt Disney World Resort. This weekend of runDisney events takes place on October 3-4, and includes a nighttime Disney Villain Hollywood Bash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios following the 10-miler on Saturday. If there was a race I’d like to run, this would be the one due to my love of all things Tower of Terror. The merchandise events development team recently shared with me some of the merchandise create for this event which I thought you’d like to see.

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Caption This: Fun with the Kitchen Sink

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “Caption This” image shows one of my favorite desserts in all of the Walt Disney World Resort – it’s the Kitchen Sink, which can be found at Beaches & Cream.

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort