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Reservations Open Today for Thanksgiving Day Dining at Disneyland Resort

posted on September 29th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

It’s countdown to turkey time, and the Disneyland Resort chefs are planning some extra-special dining for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26. Here’s where you’ll find the big bird in the theme parks and hotels. For reservations, visit or call 714-781-DINE.


The biggest celebration is from noon-5 p.m. at the Disneyland Hotel ballroom, where the annual fall harvest includes Thanksgiving favorites such as carved roasted breast of turkey and prime rib, served with homemade stuffing, sweet potato soufflé, fresh cranberry-orange relish and smashed potatoes and gravy. You’ll also find salads, artisan cheeses, smoked salmon and cured meats, poached shrimp and king crab legs. Desserts include pumpkin and pecan pies, tarts, cookies, chocolate mousse and a chocolate fountain. Fall harvest buffet is $76.99; also a special buffet just for ages 3 to 9, $27.99.

Here’s your guide to Thanksgiving Day dining throughout the Disneyland Resort:

Disneyland Park

  • Carnation Café: Slow-roasted turkey with turkey-bourbon gravy, mashed sweet potatoes, apple-cranberry stuffing, cranberry-orange relish, veggies and a dinner roll.
  • Plaza Inn: Slow-roasted turkey with traditional turkey gravy and sage dressing, mashed potatoes, veggies and a dinner roll.
  • River Belle Terrace “Fantasmic!” Dinner: Slow-roasted turkey breast with stuffing, roasted garlic-thyme mashed potatoes, home-style gravy, veggies, cornbread and cranberry relish.
  • French Market Restaurant: Slow-roasted turkey breast with andouille sausage stuffing, Market potatoes, home-style gravy, veggies, artisan bread and cranberry relish. Also pumpkin pie.
  • Blue Bayou Restaurant: Slow-roasted turkey roulade with focaccia stuffing, roasted garlic, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, Cognac turkey gravy and cranberry relish.
  • Harbour Galley: Turkey tortilla soup simmered with roasted corn and black beans.
  • Café Orleans: Slow-roasted turkey breast with cornbread and giblet stuffing, red skin mashed potatoes, veggies, home-style gravy and cranberry relish.

Disney California Adventure Park

  • Mortimer’s Market: Turkey-shaped sourdough bread.
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant: Receive a voucher for “World of Color” preferred viewing with your choice of Carthay Circle Salad with heirloom apples, roasted walnuts, winter greens, bacon, dates and creamy citrus vinaigrette or Cinderella Pumpkin Broth with lemongrass-cilantro grilled chicken, caramelized onion and Tuscan kale. Entrée added: grilled Sierra free-range turkey with a Poblano chile and mushroom tamale, and creamed corn with turkey jus. Dessert, also a la carte, is crunchy butterscotch pie with cashews, holiday Chantilly and caramel.
  • Wine Country Trattoria: Herb-roasted turkey breast with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, herb focaccia stuffing, seasonal vegetables and orange-cranberry sauce. Also pumpkin pie.
  • Boudin Bread Cart at Pacific Wharf: Turkey-shaped sourdough bread
  • Pacific Wharf Café: Turkey pot pie soup in a bread bowl; pumpkin spice bread pudding.
  • Flo’s V8 Café: Rotisserie-roasted turkey breast with mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies and 0range-cranberry sauce.
  • Ariel’s Grotto: Slow-roasted turkey breast with turkey gravy, apple stuffing, orange-cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and veggies (includes voucher for “World of Color” preferred viewing).
  • Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta: Pumpkin pie.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

  • Storytellers Café: Dinner buffet with salads and fresh fruit, roasted corn chowder, hand-carved turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce, hand-carved beef, pan-seared salmon, pork loin, candied yams, sourdough bread stuffing, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, green beans. Also holiday desserts include pumpkin and pecan pies, bread pudding with vanilla sauce, chocolate pate, dulce de leche pot de crème.
  • Napa Rose: Chef Andrew Sutton’s Four-Course Wine Country Feast (wine flight also available); reservations and information, 714-300-7170.

Disneyland Hotel

  • Steakhouse 55: Starter course – butternut squash soup with crispy shredded skirt steak and maple clabbered cream; Entrée – roasted turkey Wellington, brioche stuffing, cranberry, Swiss chard, wild mushroom gravy; Dessert – trio of sweet potato mousse parfait, pecan cake pop and pumpkin whoopie pie. Wine pairings available. Also available in the Steakhouse 55 Lounge.
  • Goofy’s Kitchen: Turkey and herb stuffing will be added to the buffet brunch, along with turkey gravy, sweet potatoes and tortellini with pumpkin cream sauce.

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel

  • Disney’s PCH Grill: Dinner Buffet – Cold selections include salads, heirloom tomato-mozzarella topped with creamy pesto & aged balsamic reduction, roasted potato salad with creamy mustard dressing. Hot selections include fried chicken, roasted sustainable fish, sausage and herb stuffing, roasted garden vegetables, mini smashed potatoes with cheddar cheese, spice-rubbed pork shoulder. On the carving station, herb-marinated roast and oven-roasted turkey breast are served with beef au jus, creamy horseradish, cranberry relish and brown gravy. Traditional holiday desserts include pumpkin pie, chocolate pecan pie, apple pie, chestnut-apricot flight, vanilla caramel and cranberry jelly, molten chocolate hazelnut crumb cake.

Note: Disney characters will not be in attendance for Thanksgiving meals served at Storytellers Café and Disney’s PCH Grill.

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Morimoto Opens Tomorrow at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 28th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

It’s official – the name change from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, and the opening of Morimoto on Wednesday, the newest venture for Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, and his first restaurant featuring Pan-Asian cuisine.

With everything from pristine sushi to noodle bowls, this cuisine is the real deal. And the knockout dining room includes a private, glass-walled dining space, a lounge, outdoor terrace and a sushi bar sculpted from hand-selected ash wood and hammered copper.

Check out the video for a look at the gorgeous interior. For reservations, call 407-939-MOTO(6686) (reservations through 407-WDW-DINE begin Nov. 1). Open daily for dinner and weekend brunch.

By the time it’s complete in 2016, Disney Springs will double the number of shops and restaurants currently found at Downtown Disney and grow to more than 1 million square feet, including 350,000 square feet of new leasable space. Disney Springs will include four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods with a high-quality, diverse mix of retailers – including premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options. Sophisticated restaurants will provide experiences for families and convention-guests alike.

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Napa Rose Executive Chef Andrew Sutton Wins ‘Chef of Year’ in Golden Foodie Awards

posted on September 28th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Disneyland Resort is celebrating a big win at last night’s Golden Foodie Awards: Executive Chef of Disneyland Signature Restaurants Andrew Sutton won Chef of the Year!

The red carpet culinary awards show presented by the Orange County, California, Restaurant Association celebrates and honors chefs, bartenders and dishes in chef-driven and independent restaurants in Orange County.


Chef of the Year is one of three categories (out of 24) that are “Peer’s Choice”: Best New Restaurant, Chef of the Year and Pastry Chef of the Year.

“I am so honored to receive this award from my fellow culinarians,” said Sutton, “and give a big thank you to my supporting cast, and to Disney for their commitment to the highest culinary standards.”

Food Network personality Simon Majumdar hosted the event, and each winner was presented with the Golden Foodie Award statuette covered in 14-carat gold. For a list of all the winners, go to

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Today’s the Day! 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Opens

posted on September 25th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

We’ve never missed a single festival since the first one in 1996 at Epcot, and the 20th celebration that starts today and runs through November 16 promises to be the best of the best.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

With hundreds of wine tastings, parties, culinary demos, where to begin? Hosts of ABC’s “The Chew” will be there (October 7-9) to tape five episodes of the show, and two cool new Chew-themed marketplaces stretch the festival into Future World for the first time, with 30 marketplaces for sips and tastes of food from around the globe, two wines celebrating 20 years created just for the festival, whew!

Other things you won’t want to miss:

  • Chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern kicks off the first Rockin’ Burger Block Party tonight at World Showplace (you might still snag a ticket); “The Chew” celebs will be there on Oct. 8, and Cake Boss Buddy Valastro will welcome guests on Nov. 6.
  • Party for The Senses – five in all this year, including a “Yelloween Masquerade Party” on Oct. 31, with up to 50 food and beverage stations and show-stopping entertainment.
  • Free Eat to the Beat concerts – David Cook this weekend, coming up Chaka Khan, Wilson Phillips, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The Pointer Sisters and more!
  • Celeb chefs doing all sort of fun demos – Cat Cora, Robert Irvine, Jamie Deen and more – John Ash, who was at the very first festival in 1996, is back for the 20th. More than 250 chefs in all during the 53-day festival.
  • If you’ve got a Chase debit or credit card, check out the Chase Lounge at the American Adventure pavilion for free refreshments (and a spot to take a break from the Florida fall sunshine).
  • The Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog is back, a floating carpet of 900 pounds of red berries that’s fun for all ages.
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt is aimed at little ones, but fun for any age. Details at the Festival Center.

Pick up a free Marketplace Discovery Passport that features pages with all 30 festival marketplaces that you can have stamped as a cool souvenir (make notes of your favorite dishes on the pages, too).

Included with Epcot Admission: Back to Basics series, special book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discovery Passport and attractions and park entertainment.

Special Programming by Reservation: The Party for the Senses grand tasting events, and other special beverage and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) and get details at

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New Backstage ‘Flavor Lab’ Opens in October at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 24th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Ever wonder how a new dish makes it on the menu at Be Our Guest Restaurant? Or how a cocktail comes to life? A new, behind-the-scenes “Flavor Lab” brings the Walt Disney World Resort chefs, front-of-house managers, sommeliers, mixologists and more together in a state-of-the-art research and development facility.


The 7,000-square foot Flavor Lab serves as a hub of new product, packaging and equipment innovation for food and beverage programs across Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

While it’s not open to the public, Disney guests will be the ultimate benefactor of all the testing, measuring and collaborations that will happen in the expansive new space. Before Flavor Lab, Disney operated a small test kitchen, but most of the culinary operations were spread across the Vacation

“With increasing new projects, we needed space,” says Jean-Marie Clement, director, Food & Beverage Concept Development. “This new facility will provide a professional, creative and collaborative workspace for sharing and showcasing new ideas, concepts and best practices.”

Nearly three years in the making, about 18 culinary, front of house and project design team members will work there full time, but the building will be bustling. “When we open a new concept, we’ll be able to train cast members on new equipment,” says Jean-Marie. “We can test a new equipment and keep up with trends and technology.”

“From product testing and cast training to food photography and vendor presentations, “we’ll have the best-of-the-best Disney talent under one roof,” says Jean-Marie.

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Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar Now Open at Disney Springs

posted on September 22nd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


It’s a real wow when you walk through the door at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, opening at 11:30 a.m. today and daily at Downtown Disney. Its eclectic décor includes everything from spare airplane parts to nostalgic postcards and antique maps tacked to the walls, all a nod to the “Indiana Jones” films in which Jock Lindsey was Indy’s pilot and sidekick. We guarantee you’ll discover something new every visit.

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar Opens Today at Downtown Disney Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar Opens Today at Downtown Disney

Located on the waterfront between Paradiso 37 and the BOATHOUSE, the interior has a cozy feel and features light bites and drinks inspired by Jock’s globe-trotting. We got a chance to try some of the opening menu bites: crispy calamari flatbread with a kick from harissa and peppery arugula; Dr. Elsa’s She-Deviled Eggs; “Good” Dates stuffed with goat cheese, and Snack of Ra for a taste of Africa with salads and dips served with injera (bread) and naan crisps. And mixologists are having fun with the cocktails, from the Cool-Headed Monkey to The Scottish Professor. (We’ll let you guess the ingredients.)

The real architectural showstopper is the outside lounge that was Jock’s old canvas-covered steamboat named Reggie (now in dry dock). Stretching out into the water, it’s a spectacular spot for lunch or for sunset-watching.

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is part of the largest expansion in Downtown Disney history, which will transform the area into Disney Springs, a lively shopping, dining and entertainment destination. Guests at Disney Springs will have a unique Disney experience amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm.

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. No reservations.

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Celebrity Chefs Join Fun for Rockin’ Burger Block Parties at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 22nd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Fans of Andrew Zimmern, Buddy Valastro and “The Chew” celebs won’t want to miss the Rockin’ Burger Block Parties, a new add to this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.


Andrew Zimmern (host of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods”) will kick off the first party on September 25, welcoming guests and reminding them to vote for their favorite burger of the night. Next up, the cast of ABC’s “The Chew” will be at the party on October 8. And, finally, “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro will launch the final burger party on November 6.

It’s always fun to see the celebrity chefs out on the town, and the Rockin’ Burger Block parties look like a blast, with more than a dozen sliders at each party, from a coffee-crusted beef short rib burger topped with smoked Gouda, garlic potato string and sangria ketchup to a shrimp and scallop burger topped with spicy Thai slaw and cilantro-lime mayo (with a side of smoked sea-salted fried edamame). As you pair burgers and beverages inspired by top recording artists, a DJ will spin their best and most popular tracks.

Other savory and sweet bites assure you’ll leave satisfied, from spicy-sticky pig wings to a cinnamon roll fireball bread pudding with cream cheese glaze. Bites are paired with craft beers, wines, cocktails and more.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite burger!

Dates are September 25, October 8 and November 6 from 7-9 p.m. Cost is $99; $119 for reserved table on main floor, early admission at 6:45 p.m., and a specialty cocktail; or $199 for Nosh Pit seating with a private reserved table, early admission at 6:45 p.m., specialty cocktail and premium bar.

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Pumpkin Love: 6 Favorite Recipes from Disney Parks Chefs

posted on September 10th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

We love anything pumpkin flavored, and while you can find pumpkin year-round, fall is the season when we find excuses to add a dollop to most any dish, sweet or savory. Below, Disney Parks chefs share six favorites, starting with this favorite pumpkin bread from Goofy’s Kitchen at Disneyland Resort.

Goofy’s Kitchen Pumpkin Bread
Makes 9-inch loaf

1 cup cake flour
3/4 cup bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray; set aside.
  2. Whisk together cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, water, and oil in a medium bowl. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined; do not overmix. Stir in raisins.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Turn loaf out of pan onto a wire rack to cool.


Pumpkin Cheesecake
This was a big hit last fall at the Disneyland Resort. The graham cracker crust with a pinch of ginger, classic cheesecake filling and a drizzle of chocolate on top create a trifecta of yum.


Pumpkin Twists
These twists from Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks are served year-round with seasonal fruit, such as strawberry, but the pumpkin version is like a portable pie – flaky puff pastry with a pumpkin filling that you can eat on the run.


Pumpkin Muffins
The Disneyland Resort pastry chefs must make a gazillion of these during the fall – a moist muffin with sweet golden raisins and a crunchy streusel topping. Breakfast or dessert, you decide.

Pumpkin Beignets From Club 33 at Disneyland Park

Pumpkin Beignets
We might consider these hot squares of fried dough with a maple glaze to be the ultimate indulgence, a recipe we scored from Club 33 at Disneyland Resort (you could skip the maple glaze, but we say, go for it!). Pair with a dark coffee or your favorite tea any time of day.

Pumpkin Mousse with Ocean Spray Craisins and Orange Sauce at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Pumpkin Mousse
This was an Epcot International Food & Wine Festival favorite, and is a fabulous stand-in for pumpkin pie if you want something a little different. Crunchy streusel, creamy pumpkin mousse, spice cake and easy orange-apricot sauce create layers of flavor.

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New Cookbook Celebrates 20 Years of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 9th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

As you make your way around World Showcase Lagoon and over into Future World for new delicious tastes and sips of flavors from around the globe, we can bet there will be a dish or two that you might want to re-create at home to share special memories. The “Epcot International Food & Wine Festival” cookbook for 2015 is a little heftier than the usual collections of recipes we share – it also includes 50 pages of history, photos and memories from the last two decades.


The recipes go all the way back to 1996 and include dishes that represent the festival through the years. And for 2015, Epcot Executive Chef Gregg Hannon is returning some classics to the Marketplace menus, such as pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese puffs), apple strudel in Germany, spicy chicken sausage with polenta in Canada and the lobster roll at Hops & Barley.

We’ve got those recipes, along with dishes that have never left the menu, like Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup, Belgian waffles with berry compote and bo ssam in South Korea. A little bit of history, and a lot of good eating in 20 years.

You’ll have 53 days, September 25-November 16, to enjoy the food, live entertainment, demos and seminars. Go to to start planning! Meantime, here’s a recipe from the book to whet your appetite.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Pepper Bacon Mac and Cheese
Farm Fresh Marketplace
Serves 6

Pepper Bacon Macaroni

  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 8 slices pepper bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced white onions
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 3 small jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced

Cheese Sauce

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound (4 cups) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 pound (1 cup) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 pound sliced American cheese
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) shredded Gruyere cheese


  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 slices pepper bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For pepper bacon macaroni:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook pepper bacon until crisp. Chop and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of grease.
  3. Heat grease in a medium-skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  4. Add onion, green pepper, red pepper and jalapeño. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, until vegetables are warm, but still crisp. Set aside.

For cheese sauce:

  1. Heat cream in large saucepan over medium heat. When it begins to simmer, slowly stir in all of cheese, mixing well to melt cheese.

To assemble and serve:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine cooked pasta, vegetables and cheese sauce in a large bowl.
  3. Pour into a 9- x 13-inch baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake 15 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onions and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
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New Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise Debuts Oct. 5 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 8th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Cast your sights on the new Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise—the perfect way to take in a breathtaking view of the Magic Kingdom Park night time spectacular fireworks from an exclusive spot on Seven Seas Lagoon with dazzling desserts and drinks.


Imagine sailing off from the Ticket & Transportation Ferryboat Dock promptly one hour prior to “Wishes” Nighttime Spectacular, offered select nights weekly, on the iconic, double-stack ferryboat. Set a course for decks laden with delectable sweets such as “The Grand” key lime tart; pineapple upside down cake from the chefs at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort; spiced flourless chocolate cake from the pastry kitchen at Disney’s Contemporary Resort; “Main Street” Mickey Balloon Tarts; mini “fireworks” cupcakes with a pop; Cinderella’s Sugar Slipper with Orange Financier; no-sugar-added Florida mango panna cotta; and a fabulous fruit and cheese spread. Toast the evening with specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in souvenir glow glasses.


Enjoy this sweet ending to your day, before watching the dazzling “Wishes” overhead, the largest fireworks spectacular ever at Walt Disney World Resort. The medley of famous Disney songs and the voices of Disney characters are piped through the boat’s sound system for this magical viewing. And you can bet there will be some special “magical moments” Disney style.

With limited guests per sailing, this is a very special ticket. Cost is $99, $69 ages 3 to 9, including tax and gratuity. For reservations, visit or call 407-WDW-DINE. Anchors Away!

Please note on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very-Merry-Christmas Party nights, the fireworks display will be Happy HalloWishes or Holiday Wishes—Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, not “Wishes” Nighttime Spectacular.

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