What do you get when you cross a thirsty zebra with a bottle of rum? Yule find out when you sip the Red-Nosed Zebra at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel – a chilly concoction of aged rum, strawberry puree, lemon and lime juices.
If the holidays are making you go ape, try the Gorilla Nog with honey-flavored whiskey, Sam’s Gorilla Grog, ginger and orange liqueurs.
For a sweet sip, try the Mele Kaliki-Mocha – “the jungle java that Sam sends to you from the land where lions prey.” The combo of iced coffee, cream of coconut and coffee liqueur is topped with whipped cream to make it snowy white.
The three specialty drinks are available only until January 5, 2014. The Red-Nosed Zebra is $9.50, Gorilla Nog $10.75 and Mele Kaliki-Mocha is $10.75. Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar welcomes children (Sam’s No-Booze Brews will enchant half-pint headhunters), but is restricted to guests 21 and older after 8 p.m.
Each year, the elaborate gingerbread creations get bigger and better at Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts. From a 3-foot-tall replica of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall in Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom Park to the life-sized gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, it takes a multitude of dedicated pastry chefs to build each design.
Check out the video that showcases this year’s new creation at Disney’s BoardWalk, a sweet replica of a Jersey Shore Boardwalk concession stand. By the numbers, it’s 674 gingerbread shingles, 420 marshmallows for marquee lights and 90 pounds of saltwater taffy for the wreaths.
(And if you’re a pin collector, the last pin signing for the BoardWalk gingerbread is 1-5 p.m. Friday.)
The handiwork starts with a concept and scale drawing, then it takes some serious teamwork to construct the gingerbread designs on stage in front of guests.
Most of the displays have delicious sweets for sale, and activities like gingerbread decorating. Here’s where you’ll find other fab holiday treats through January 2, 2014:
- A 17-foot gingerbread holiday tree in the Grand Canyon Concourse of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, made with 136 pounds of honey, 211 pounds of flour, 101 eggs and 151 pounds of chocolate!
- A life-size, spinning carousel in the lobby of Disney’s Beach Club Resort has ponies made of chocolate fondant and hand-painted chocolate Disney characters – made with 50 pounds of dark chocolate, 100 pounds of confectioners’ sugar and 10 quarts of simple syrup. The lobby at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort features a holiday village with a miniature train surrounded with a sugar rock mountains.
- At Epcot, the promenade at The American Adventure is home to Mrs. Claus’ Bake Shop with freshly baked gingerbread, sugar and chocolate cookies, peppermint bark, hot cocoa and ciders.
- Also at Epcot, The Land Pavilion showcases gingerbread creations representing icons from Disney parks and resorts around the world.
If you love the Joffrey’s coffee and tea you’ve been sipping at Disney Parks coast to coast, you can take the experience home – the blends created just for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort are now available at www.joffreys.com/disneyparksandresorts.
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company roastmaster Chris de Mezzo created the blends with Disney Parks chefs for signature restaurants, and each coffee, such as the Flying Fish Cafe Espresso and Artist Point Blend, was inspired by the menu and restaurant in which it is served. (Joffrey’s is the official specialty coffee provider of Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disney Vacation Club.)
Since 1984, the Tampa, Florida-based company has been importing and distributing premium coffees and teas using the finest beans and tea leaves from around the world. The coffees and teas are selected by de Mezzo, a coffee and tea artisan and visionary dedicated to the craft of creating exceptional coffees and teas. Joffrey’s roasts an ever-evolving variety of coffees from hand-picked beans collected from continents all over the world. They use specialty grade Arabica beans, an elite category with rigorous standards that can only be met by fewer than 10 percent of coffee beans worldwide.
Let’s say you don’t want to sit down for a big Thanksgiving feast but prefer noshing as you play in the Disney theme parks. Here’s a tip sheet to help you navigate the “Limited Time Magic” treats available November 24 – December 1:
Walt Disney World Resort
Magic Kingdom Park
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Pumpkin cupcake in most quick-service locations, and specialty drinks at bars and lounges
- Sunshine Seasons – Pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin muffin and gingerbread and pumpkin mousse (Thanksgiving day only)
- Garden Grill – Sweet potato pie with maple whipped cream (Thanksgiving day only)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Kusafiri Bakery and Isle of Java – pumpkin muffin
- Anandapur Tea Company and coffee kiosk at park entrance – pumpkin latte, maple-spiced raspberry latte and pumpkin muffins
- For Thanksgiving Day, November 28, Tusker House is featuring an “all-you-care-to-eat Thanksgiving dinner” for lunch and dinner
Disney California Adventure Park
You’ll see plenty of Disneyland park guests munching these sweet sticks – the perfect portable food from Maurice’s Treats in Fantasy Faire!
Chef Christina shows how the Disney pastry chefs make the fancy Strawberry Twists with almond paste, fresh strawberry jam and puff pastry.
Here’s an easier home version of the recipe – we skipped the almond paste (but you could buy your favorite brand and slather the puff pastry before adding the jam). This uncomplicated recipe uses store-bought puff pastry and fresh berries – but you could always substitute your favorite jam, too. The twists are delicious just out of the oven.
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 (17.3-ounce) box (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
- Powdered sugar, for garnish
- Combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mash mixture with a potato masher until the berries are softened and sugar is dissolved.
- Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often to prevent mixture from sticking to pan, until thick, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- Place one sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured, movable, flat surface, such as a lightweight cutting board. Lightly dust surface of pastry with flour and roll to smooth creases.
- Spread pastry sheet with 1/3 cup of the strawberry mixture. (Refrigerate any remaining strawberry mixture for up to 5 days.)
- Roll the second sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to smooth creases; place on top of first sheet and press down gently.
- Place filled puff pastry in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone mat.
- Using a ruler as a guide, cut into pastry into 1 1/2-inch strips. Carefully pick up strips and place on baking sheets, twisting 3 times before laying down.
- Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Cool 10 minutes and finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Cook’s Note: You may substitute 1/3 cup store-bought strawberry jam.
Spice Road Table is coming soon to Epcot, offering a variety of Moroccan small plates and specialty drinks. Regional flavors from the Mediterranean are highlighted, along with a scenic view of the World Showcase lagoon in front of the Morocco pavilion.
Perfect for IllumiNations viewing or relaxing with a selection of Moroccan flavors and cocktails along World Showcase Lagoon, the lounge is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds, say the designers. There’s an array of small plates: zesty harissa chicken drumettes; a Mediterranean omelet with sausage, potatoes and caramelized onion; mussels with preserved lemons and tomato sauce baked in an earthenware tagine pot; Moroccan merguez sausage with a fresh tomato salad; garlicky jumbo shrimp in a spicy chile pepper sauce.
Inspired by the outdoor cafes along the Mediterranean, the whitewashed façade of Spice Road Table is accented in icy shades of blue from the famous “Blue City” of Chefchaouen in Morocco’s Rif Mountains. A collection of shops in the colorful style of a Moroccan “souk,” or marketplace, stretches along the front of the building – and a henna tattoo artist will create temporary body art from traditional and modern designs.
With 120 outdoor terrace seats, the inside will seat 60 with cozy booths, Moroccan light fixtures, tilework, tapestries and art representing Morocco’s indigenous Berber tribes.
From turkey pot pie soup in a sourdough bread bowl at Pacific Wharf Café at Disney California Adventure park to a Disney Family Thanksgiving Feast at the Disneyland Hotel, “turkey day” is a day of deliciousness at Disneyland Resort.
While you’ll find all sorts of holiday treats in both theme parks and all of the resorts, get your turkey fix in all sorts of delicious creations. Here are our Top 10 picks:
- The biggest extravaganza is the Disney Family Thanksgiving Feast on Thanksgiving Day at the Disneyland Hotel – a buffet with classic harvest of roast turkey, prime rib, homemade stuffing, sweet potato soufflé, fresh cranberry-orange relish and smashed potatoes and gravy. Add to that fresh salads, artisan cheeses, smoked salmon, chilled shrimp, king crab legs and charcuterie. And that’s all before desserts such as pumpkin and pecan pies, tarts, cookies, freshly made crêpes and a chocolate fountain with sweets for dipping. Cost is $73.99 (plus tax and gratuity) for guests ages 10 and older, $21.99 (plus tax and gratuity) for the child’s buffet for guests ages 3-9, with kid-friendly tastes like homemade pizza, mac and cheese, chicken tenders, fresh corn, mini hotdogs and other favorites.
- An old-fashioned turkey dinner at Wine Country Trattoria at Disney California Adventure park: herb-roasted turkey with garlic mashed potatoes, focaccia stuffing, haricot vert and orange cranberry relish. Tastes even better al fresco. (Thanksgiving day only)
- The ultimate comfort food is the turkey pot pie soup in a sourdough bread bowl at Pacific Wharf Café at Disney California Adventure park. (Nov 8 – Jan 5)
- Two for one: the bounteous buffets at Storyteller’s Café at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa and Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. There’s seemingly no end to the seasonal tastes on both buffets, but we promise turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce at both. (Thanksgiving day only)
- On the run in Disneyland park, try the special holiday sandwich at Village Haus: grilled chicken topped with roasted mushrooms, Swiss cheese, arugula and basil-roasted garlic-Parmesan aioli. Add a slice of pumpkin pie. (Nov 8 – Jan 5)
- There’s more turkey at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park: fresh roasted turkey pizza with craisins, mozzarella, Parmesan, fresh sage and white sauce. (Nov 8 – Jan 5)
Authentic chicken tamales are on the holiday menu at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante in Frontierland at Disneyland park. (Nov 8 – Jan 5)
- Thanksgiving dinner takes a fancier turn at Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square at Disneyland park with slow-roasted turkey roulade with truffle chicken liver fig stuffing, roasted garlic Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, Cognac turkey jus and cranberry jelly. (Thanksgiving day only)
- So delicious – the turkey crepe at Café Orleans in New Orleans Square at Disneyland park, stuffed with diced turkey, butternut squash, cipollini onions and peas with a side of giblet stuffing, cranberry coulis and orange oil. (Thanksgiving day only)
- For a relaxed dinner, head to Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel for roasted butternut squash with crème fraîche, turkey with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon, herb dressing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin crème brûlèe. A classic holiday meal with no dishes to wash! (Thanksgiving day only)
Reservations for our Disneyland Resort table-service restaurants can be made by calling 714-781-DINE or online at disneyland.disney.go.com/dining.
The sweet fun continues with two more designer cupcakes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. First up, a yummy pumpkin cupcake with maple icing, a flourish of chopped pecans and topped with a tiny pumpkin with mouse ears is the seasonal sweet through November 30.
Starting December 2 through January 5, look for a gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese frosting, red and green sprinkles, a little red bow and “elf cap” to celebrate the winter holidays.
Both are $5.19 and available at ABC Commissary, Pizza Planet, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Co., Starring Rolls Cafe, Rosie’s All-American Café and Fairfax Fare. Cupcakes are on the Disney Dining Plan.
There’s a feast of dining options for the upcoming holidays at Walt Disney World Resort. Starting with Thanksgiving Day (November 28), special menus include all the classics – turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
In the theme parks, Thanksgiving specials are on the menu for lunch and dinner:
- At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Tusker House Restaurant is offering lunch and dinner feasts.
- At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, both 50’s Prime Time Café and Hollywood & Vine will include traditional Thanksgiving fare for lunch and dinner.
- Epcot World Showcase restaurants include Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway, Biergarten Restaurant in Germany, Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada and Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room in the United Kingdom has a Thanksgiving lunch and dinner. In Future World, Coral Reef Restaurant in The Seas with Nemo & Friends is offering lunch and dinner feasts, and Sunshine Seasons is offering a special Thanksgiving menu throughout the day. The Italy Pavilion will also have special selections at Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria.
- In Magic Kingdom Park, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant is including Thanksgiving fare with their regular lunch and dinner options. And, of course, Liberty Tree Tavern will have a traditional Thanksgiving offering!
- At Downtown Disney, Raglan Road will have a special Thanksgiving menu of Bunratty Mead glazed Turkey with butter whipped potatoes, apple, sage and sweet onion stuffing, braised Brussels sprouts, cranberry & plum chutney and traditional gravy for $27.95. This menu is available from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on November 28. Fulton’s Crab House, Portobello, and Wolfgang Puck Grand Café will also offer special prix fixe menus.
In the resorts, special dining for Thanksgiving Day is planned at:
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground — Mickey’s Backyard Thanksgiving Feast at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ show located at the Fort Wilderness Pavilion. Four show times: noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. (Trail’s End Restaurant is also offering lunch and dinner options.)
- Disney’s All-Star Resorts — Intermission Food Court and World Premiere Food Court (lunch and dinner).
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge — Jiko – The Cooking Place (dinner), Sanaa (lunch and dinner).
- Disney’s BoardWalk — Flying Fish Café, Kouzzina by Cat Cora (dinner).
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort — Shutters at Old Port Royale (dinner).
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort — California Grill, Chef Mickey’s (Dinner); The Wave … of American Flavors (lunch and dinner).
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort — Cítricos has three seatings for dinner; Grand Floridian Café (lunch and dinner), Narcoossee’s (dinner).
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort — Olivia’s Café (lunch and dinner).
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort — ‘Ohana (Dinner), Kona Café (lunch and dinner).
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — Boatwright’s Dining Hall (dinner).
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa — The Turf Club Bar and Grill (lunch and dinner).
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge — Artist Point (dinner), Whispering Canyon Café (lunch and dinner).
- Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts — Cape May Café (dinner), Captain’s Grille (lunch and dinner), Yachtsman Steakhouse (dinner).
For Christmas Day, there’s everything from Mickey’s Christmas Feast at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort to a prixe fixe at Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s Boardwalk.
In the theme parks:
- At Epcot, Biergarten Restaurant at the Germany Pavilion will plus up the buffet with special holiday dishes, and Le Cellier Steakhouse is offering a special menu.
- At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Tusker House Restaurant will have Christmas specials on the buffet.
- At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Hollywood & Vine will have Christmas lunch and two dinner seatings with carved turkey breast, cornbread stuffing, root beer glazed butternut squash, spiced pumpkin mousse on the buffet.
- In Magic Kingdom Park, The Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland will offer Christmas Day dinner, and Tangaroa Terrace and Tortuga Tavern will feature a special holiday dinner buffet.
- At Downtown Disney, Fulton’s Crab House and Portobello will have a holiday prix fixe offering.
In the resorts:
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground — Mickey’s Backyard Christmas Day Feast at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ show located at the Fort Wilderness Pavilion. Two shows at 5 and 7 p.m. will offer all the holiday classics. (Trail’s End Restaurant is also offering lunch and dinner options.)
- Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts – Cape May Café will be serving hand-carved smoked ham with winter pineapple chutney and turkey with stuffing. Captain’s Grille will offer a holiday buffet. Yachtsman Steakhouse will feature a special menu.
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort – The Wave … of American Flavors will offer a special menu. And Chef Mickey’s will offer a Christmas Day brunch.
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – Cítricos will have two seatings at 5 and 7:30 p.m. as well as special Christmas Day seating in the private Chef’s Domain, offering a four-course menu.
- Disney’s Boardwalk – Flying Fish Cafe will feature a prixe fixe four-course menu.
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort – Whispering Canyon Café will offer an all-you-care-to-eat holiday dinner with turkey, ham, beef strip loin, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread and cranberry sauce.
Additional information and dining reservations can be made by visiting www.disneyworld.com/dine or calling 407-WDW-DINE (3463).
If you’re a fan of the lump crab cakes with remoulade at Steakhouse 55, Chef Alle Thiam is sharing his recipe, one of the favorite starters at the Disneyland Hotel restaurant.
While steaks dominate the entrees, the crab cakes are one of six seafood appetizers on the menu, along with smoked ahi tuna, seared scallops, crisp calamari, shrimp cocktail and sautéed shrimp.
Recipe for Steakhouse 55 Crab Cakes
Makes 14 to 16 mini crab cakes
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle
- 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sriracha*
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
- 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- Olive oil, for cooking
- Lemon wedges, for serving
For tartar sauce:
- Combine mayonnaise, pickle, seafood seasoning, sriracha, lemon juice, paprika, chives, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir until very well combined.
- Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
For crab cakes:
- Combine mayonnaise, egg, seafood seasoning, Dijon, lemon juice, chives, cayenne, and black pepper in a medium bowl, whisking to combine.
- Gently fold crab into mayonnaise mixture, being careful not to break up up crab.
- Gently fold in panko until just incorporated — do not over mix.
- Form balls about the size of a golf ball, and press them into cakes.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Cook crab cakes 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until crab cakes are golden brown on both sides.
- Serve with tartar sauce lemon wedges.
*Sriracha is an Asian hot sauce made from chilis, garlic, sugar, and salt.