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Japan Pavilion at Epcot

Top 10 Disney Salads, Coast to Coast

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


May is National Salad Month (who knew?). One of our favorite ways to eat is with a big bowl of deliciousness that doesn’t always involve romaine.

Here are 10 of our favorite salads from the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Salad bars don’t count – we love the ways the chefs create a taste sensation with a little bit of this and that.

The Caesar Salad at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante at Disneyland Park 'Smiling Tiger Salad' at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

At Disneyland Resort:

  1. “Smiling Tiger Salad” at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. What’s not to love about Chef Andrew Sutton’s tempura fried lobster, spicy beef, Asian greens and a drizzle of coconut-lime vinaigrette?
  2. Relax over lunch with the Roasted Chicken and Strawberry Salad at Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure park, a mélange of warm asparagus, avocado, arugula, toasted ancient grains and roasted chicken breast filled with strawberry butter.
  3. Also at Disney California Adventure park, we discovered the Greek Salad at Paradise Garden Grill – grab a seat in the shade and dig in to this generous bowl of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, pepperoncinis, marinated olive and feta flavored with a lemon-oregano dressing and pita bread for scooping. You might want to share.
  4. Over at Disneyland park, a longtime favorite is the Caesar at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante. This is the real deal, as the Caesar was invented in Mexico City – though a staple in Italian restaurants, the Caesar generally is attributed to Caesar Cardini, an Italian who created the salad at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, where it became a hit with Hollywood stars. Rancho serves the Hacienda Caesar, romaine tossed, sweet peppers and cotija cheese in housemade dressing with pepitas seeds, radishes and crisp tortilla chips. Top it with grilled chicken or carne asada.
The Power Salad at Sunshine Seasons at Epcot The Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios

At Walt Disney World Resort:

  1. Heading to the East Coast, The Plaza Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort has an entrée salad that’s never left the menu – the chicken strawberry salad with greens, grilled chicken breast, cucumbers, fresh strawberries and gorgonzola tossed in a lightly sweet white zinfandel vinaigrette. A classic.
  2. Over at Sunshine Seasons at Epcot, try the trendy Power Salad – a bowlful of protein with quinoa, oak-fired chicken, almonds and honey vinaigrette. You’ll have plenty of energy to power walk World Showcase Promenade.
  3. Quinoa is the star of another favorite at ABC Commissary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – the Couscous Quinoa & Arugula Salad, tossed to order. We top it with grilled salmon for extra protein and Omega 3s.
  4. Also at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, who doesn’t love the Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby? Chopped delightfully small and tossed tableside, it’s a classic with ham, bacon, turkey breast, egg, tomatoes, blue cheese, avocado and chives, all mixed with dressing still made from the original recipe when the salad was invented in Hollywood in the 1930s.
  5. Delightfully different is the Jiko Salad at Jiko—The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. A lovely plate of poached pears, heirloom spinach, kabocha squash in a pear vinaigrette topped with a brittle of pumpkin seeds and black lentils. Instagram worthy.
  6. And finally, another longtime favorite we always have to order: the Crispy Rock Shrimp Salad at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This one stays on the menu, though Chef Brian Piasecki may mix up the ingredients. Right now it’s crispy rock shrimp (a Florida delicacy) with spicy baby greens, Subarashii pear, red onions, soy reduction and addictive wasabi cream. You won’t want to share this one.
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It’s Almost Time for the Diamond Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


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When the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration kicks off May 22, you’re invited to take a trip down the Rabbit Hole and experience the Diamond Mad T Party, a splendiferous new version of the popular nighttime entertainment experience at Disney California Adventure park. Diamond Mad T Party will feature heart-pounding live entertainment, interactive fun and delectable delights all wrapped in sparkling décor and seasoned with some unique tributes to 60 years of Disneyland Resort.

During the Diamond Mad T Party, the main stage explodes in a swirling kaleidoscope of sparkle, shine and sound. The Mad Hatter has assembled the most amazing and talented band this side of Wonderland, featuring live contemporary and classic rock favorites as well as newly mashed-up Disney tunes given a rare Mad T Party twist! And when the band is not onstage, the White Rabbit DJ takes over and plays the latest and hottest dance tunes around.

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, our whimsical and mischievous hosts for the party, have taken a trip down the Rabbit Hole and back in time, where they found themselves inside the magical Disney Vault. Eager to share where they have been and what they have seen, Dee and Dum have loaded their trunk and brought back some fanciful artifacts to add to the Hatter’s Diamond Mad T Party!

Nearby at the House of Cards, Mad T Party guests have opportunities aplenty to dance and play along to interactive activities or just chill out with a cold drink from the Drink Me Bar or Chiller truck. New this go ‘round is a fantastical photo location created in the spirit of the Diamond Mad T Party while paying tribute to Disney past.

In addition, fans of the Hottest Deck in Town will be dealt an extremely lucky hand, as the Hollywood Backlot Stage becomes the dazzling new location for this talented dance crew. They will be bringing their high-energy and infectious performances to the party with a brand new look on their brand new stage.

So get practicing your Futterwacken and other dance moves. We’re just a couple weeks away from all the muchness that will be the sparklingly, spectacularly delightful Diamond Mad T Party!

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Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Erin Gallagher, Education Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with some feathered friends this Saturday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Become an “honorary bird” and “migrate” around Rafiki’s Planet Watch as you discover how your wing span and feather color (that’s bird talk for arm length and clothes) matches up among nearly 350 species of wild birds. Learn about the great lengths we go to at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with help from the Disney Conservation Fund, to care for not only the birds we have here, but for birds all over the world!

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Purple Martin Come to Walt Disney World Resort Every Year to Raise Their Young Whooping Cranes Migrate to Florida Every Year

For example, as you walk through the park, keep your eyes to the skies because you might just spot a purple martin. These tiny birds (weighing in at approximately two ounces) with purple, glossy feathers come to Walt Disney World Resort every year to enjoy some vacation time and raise their young. They enjoy world-class “resorts” (the birdhouses we provide) and indulge in the best food around. Purple martins are aerial insectivores, which means they eat flying insects they catch right out of the air!

In the eastern United States, purple martins rely exclusively on humans to build their birdhouses and prepare their sheltered nests, tucked away in what’s referred to as a “cavity.” Without birdhouses like those at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot and other locations around Walt Disney World Resort, the purple martins would simply have nowhere to nest. This is a unique phenomenon among all bird species and represents an incredible opportunity for people to engage in a direct conservation experience with these charismatic little songbirds!

When all their chicks have fledged, or grown the feathers necessary for flight, purple martins embark on an incredible migration down to the Brazilian Amazon. What’s truly amazing about this journey is that one purple martin can make the nearly 3,000-mile trek in fewer than three weeks! We want to understand where these birds spend their time, how they are affected by climate change and the factors that influence their choices along their migratory routes so we can better protect all the wild places they call home We also have many questions about purple martin nesting behavior, including how these birds raise their young and if pairs stay together both while they are here at Walt Disney World and also once they depart for Brazil.

How do we begin to answer these questions? The first step lies in a lightweight accessory called a geolocator. While the adult purple martins are here, we outfit each of them with a little backpack that they will wear for the next year. The geolocator backpack will gather location data for the bird during its migration to Brazil and during its return to Disney the following spring. The geolocators aren’t cumbersome for the birds, and the tracking data give us important information about their migration, including all the important migratory stop-overs (i.e. rest stops) the martins utilize during their journey.

Check out this quick video to see how our cast attaches the geolocators to the birds and release them into the wild!

We cannot wait to download the data from the birds that have returned to Disney’s Animal Kingdom this year!

Whooping cranes, a majestic, large bird have been through quite the roller coaster in their population numbers and are another species we will honor as part of our celebration of migratory birds.

Whooping cranes can grow up to 5 feet tall with a wing span of nearly 7 feet, making it the tallest bird in North America. They get their name from the resounding “whooping” sound they make that can be heard over several miles. In 1860, there were about 1,400 cranes—a pretty troubling number. In 1941 however, numbers dwindled to merely 15 birds! Hunting, feather trade and negative human impacts on their habitat hit the birds hard. The whooping crane was listed as an endangered species in 1967 and has held that status ever since.

Since then, several organizations, including the Disney Conservation Fund and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, have banded together to help increase the population size. One such program used is to raise these birds and teach them to migrate with the help of a special plane called an ultra-light. Operation Migration is the organization who coordinates this program and they work with the chicks from the day they hatch to their release into the wild. The birds travel from Wisconsin to Florida every year following this plane, which you can see for yourself at International Migratory Bird Day. You may even catch a glimpse or carry on a conversation with one of the original and current crane pilot Joe Duff, who first led the whooping cranes along their migratory path and have helped boost whooping crane numbers to just over 400 cranes!

Join us this Saturday, May 9, to learn more about purple martins, whooping cranes and more migratory birds that you may recognize from your own backyard! We hope to see you there! And stay tuned for more information about our conservation efforts with migratory birds!

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New Garage Walkways Now Open at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Everywhere you look at Downtown Disney, signs of the future are popping up as the area transforms into Disney Springs. The latest can be seen in the parking garage.

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Top-Five Enchanting Princess Encounters on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


On a Disney cruise, you’ll not only feel like royalty yourself with our legendary service and first-class accommodations, you’ll actually be in the company of true royalty with several Disney princesses sailing the high seas. Throughout your voyage you’ll have plenty of opportunities to be graced by their presence, but here’s what I’ve selected as the top five enchanting princess encounters on a Disney cruise.

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Sounds from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Now on Pandora

posted on May 5th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


If music has the power to take you away, then brace yourself for a trip to a Hawaiian paradise with “Disney Aulani Sounds” on Pandora! This new mixtape includes songs by artists featured at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, creating an authentic Hawaiian musical experience.

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Disney’s 60th KaBOOM! Playground, Largest to Date, Built in Anaheim in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Disneyland Resort

posted on May 5th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Last weekend, we built Disney’s 60th – and largest – KaBOOM! playground nationwide at Twila Reid Park in Anaheim, Calif. The playground is inspired by drawings created by kids in the Anaheim Achieves after-school program, and includes a disc golf course, a zip line, horseshoe pits, a giant “fun web” and, of course, swings and slides!

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Exploring the Big Island of Hawai‘i on Two Special Disney Cruise Line Voyages

posted on May 5th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


This September, we’re returning to Hawaii with two unforgettable 10-night cruises. These voyages will visit the four major Hawaiian islands—the Big Island, Maui, O‘ahu and Kaua‘i. Over the next several weeks, I’ll tell you about some of the exciting Port Adventures you can join to discover the scenery and experiences found on each island. Let’s start today with excursions in historic Hilo, your gateway to the beauty and culture of the Big Island of Hawai‘i, including Volcanoes National Park.

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˜New Main Street Enchanted Windows to Debut for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

posted on May 5th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


If you’ve wandered down Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park recently, you may have noticed some of the windows along the front of the Emporium are covered. What is going on behind those blue curtains, you ask? Today, I’m excited to tell you!

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Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience Coming to Star Wars Weekends

posted on May 5th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Guests attending Star Wars Weekends will be able to find shelter and sustenance in the Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience. Reports have been made that this location was once a known hangout of Rebel pilots, aliens, bounty hunters and smugglers; with the immersive environment and stellar bites—I understand why!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort