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Happy Villaintines Day from Disney Parks Blog

Reservations Now Open for New Table-Service Dining at River Belle Terrace in Disneyland Park

posted on February 2nd, 2016 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


One of the original restaurants at Disneyland park, River Belle Terrace (under a variety of names) has been serving up home-style eats and Southern hospitality for more than sixty years. On February 10, the next chapter for River Belle Terrace will begin as the restaurant reopens as a table-service location, featuring barbecue favorites, tasty sides and more.

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What’s on the new menu? For starters, look for creamy pimento cheese dip with toasted bread and crispy celery, grilled and chilled shrimp with house-made BBQ cocktail sauce and lemon, and a house salad with arugula, apple, gorgonzola, dried cranberries, candied pecans and apple vinaigrette.

If you’re looking for a lighter entrée, try a salad topped with your choice of chicken, grilled shrimp, brisket or BBQ tofu. Whether you choose River Belle’s Chopped Salad with romaine lettuce, black beans, garbanzo beans, pickles, roasted corn, red bell pepper and tomatoes topped with fried onions served with a BBQ-ranch dressing or the Terrace Wedge with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, crumbled gorgonzola, garnished with pickled red onions and buttermilk-gorgonzola dressing, you can’t go wrong.

For the main attraction, Disneyland Resort chefs were inspired by barbecue tastes from up and down the Mississippi River. Look for tasty entrees like pork spare ribs, oven-roasted barbecue chicken, barbecue tofu, sustainable fish, oven-roasted sausage links and sandwiches featuring fried chicken, beef brisket or pulled pork. Each entree includes a side of River Belle Terrace’s signature baked beans as well as a choice of tangy coleslaw, seasoned tater bites, potato salad or seasonal vegetables. Kids will love the oven-roasted chicken, sustainable fish, BBQ ribs or mac ‘n cheese, each served with seasonal vegetables and fruit.

No Southern meal is complete without dessert. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the warm maple, apple and bacon bundt cake or butterscotch pudding parfait. For a twist on a classic dessert, try the fried cheesecake.

Reservations can be made by visiting Disneyland.com/dine, or by calling 714-781-DINE (3463).

TIP: Did you know you can now modify your existing dining reservations? Under the “My Reservations” page, simply click “Change Reservation” to change the time or number of guests in your part of your existing reservation.

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90 Days of Delicious Tastes for 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on February 1st, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Two new Outdoor Kitchens join the line-up for this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, upping the deliciousness at the 23rd annual fest that will span a record 90 days from March 2-May. 30.

Outdoor Kitchens at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

La Isla Fresca and Cider House are the two new Outdoor Kitchens, and we got a sneak peek of dishes from each at a recent tasting with the Epcot culinary team. La Isla Fresca takes guests to the Caribbean for authentic bites such as Jamaican braised beef with pigeon peas and rice; spicy jerk chicken or grouper with mango salsa and a Tres Leches cake with guava puree (the traditional meringue is replaced with whipped cream in this version). Pair either of the savories with a Red Stripe Jamaican-style lager, or frozen Simply Tropical juice drink (with or without rum).

The Cider House offers a spin on tastes from the United Kingdom, including a field greens salad with greens harvested from The Land Pavilion, heirloom apples, Stilton cheese and dried blueberries; and a pear cider-brined shredded corned beef, braised cabbage and pears with Branston (a British food brand) dressing. The Cider House will offer four hard ciders, including a blueberry ciders made in Plant City, Fla., plus Cigar City Tampa-Style Lager.

Urban Farm EATS Outdoor Kitchen at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The 11 other Outdoor Kitchens include Urban Farm Eats (new seared pork tenderloin), Pineapple Promenade , Fleur de Lys, Florida Fresh, Taste of Marrakesh, Hanami, THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews (the pulled pig slider gets crispy onions on top), Primavera Kitchen, Lotus House, Bauernmarkt (German currywurst sausage is new this year) and Jardin de Fiestas. Such diversity of tastes!

You’ll be wowed by the colorful extravaganza put on by the Disney horticulture team – whimsical topiaries (yes, Elsa and Anna will be there), 220 “floating gardens” in the lagoon and a new edible flower garden next to The Land Pavilion. It’s all beautiful at night, with twinkling lights shining across the gardens.

Food lovers, mark your calendar for April 29-May 1, when Florida Fresh Weekend features the state’s edible bounty from Apalachicola to Zellwood.

For more information about the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639). Watch for details at epcotinspring.com. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

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February Gets Even Sweeter at the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 29th, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


I am so excited to share details on all of the special hand-crafted treats headed your way this February from our (candy) kitchen to yours at the Disneyland Resort.

The gourmet collection for February will include an apple dipped in caramel and dark chocolate, rolled in chopped roasted almonds and garnished with cherries, drizzled milk chocolate and a few additional chopped almonds, for the finishing touch.

The gourmet bark, however, is infused with nut and amaretto oil, drizzled in white and milk chocolate and then topped with dried cherries and chopped roasted almonds. Yes, I tried it — it’s incredible!

Are you unsure what type of candy your Valentine might enjoy? Our candy makers are way ahead of you and have just what you’re looking for to make this the sweetest Valentine’s Day yet.

Look for a special themed pink Minnie Mouse apple, which I’m not actually showing you here, because I want you to see it for yourself and even share it with me! The cake pop and crispy treat have been dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with red and pink pareils, with an extra drizzle or two of white chocolate. As you can see, the marshmallow wand is pretty much the same, but don’t forget the layer of caramel it’s dipped in before we dip it and sprinkle it with everything else.

Our candy makers had one last trick, or in this case, treat up their sleeve: a peppermint-infused, heart-shaped pattie. Is there any better way to say “I heart you”?

The Valentine-themed treats will only be available until February 14, so don’t miss out!

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Nine Dragons Restaurant in China Pavilion at Epcot Celebrates ‘Year of the Monkey’ Beginning Feb. 8

posted on January 25th, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Nine Dragons Restaurant in the China Pavilion at Epcot has been a longtime favorite, maybe because we’ve had the privilege of meeting the talented Asian chefs in the kitchen who create authentic Chinese dishes. Yes, they cater to Americanized tastes with favorites such as Kung Pao chicken and sweet-and-sour pork, but it’s also the place where you can enjoy braised pork belly steamed buns, shrimp and taro lollipops and Shanghai xiaolongbao, the ultimate steamed pork soup dumplings.

In celebration of the Chinese “Year of the Monkey,” Nine Dragons is offering some special menu items and a new prix fixe lunch menu.

The lunch special (3 courses for $17.98) starts with spring rolls or pot stickers. There is a choice of three entrees: Happily Family, with sliced chicken breast, beef and shrimp stir fry; Moo Goo Gai Pan with stir-fried chicken breast, mushrooms and snow peas; and General Tso’s Chicken Buns Lunch Box with three steamed buns and hot-and-sour soup. Dessert is strawberry-red bean ice cream or ginger-caramel ice cream.

Another addition to the menu, just for Year of the Monkey are three steamed buns: braised pork belly served with chili aioli; sweet-and-sour, batter-fried fish buns topped with pork floss; and General Tso’s Chicken buns with batter-fried chicken breast. (Pork floss is dry, fluffy shredded pork seasoned with soy sauce and sugar.) Add a cold Tsingtao beer for a real treat.

The menu specials run through January 27, 2017, so you have plenty of time, with the restaurant open daily for lunch and dinner (Disney Dining Plan accepted). Passholder, Disney Vacation Club, Tables in Wonderland and Golden Oak discounts are accepted (to celebrate the Chinese New Year, all these discounts are 20% for the month of February). For reservations, visit Disneyworld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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If you’d like to try to make the steamed buns at home, here’s a recipe. Happy Year of the Monkey!

Sweet-and-Sour Fish on Steamed Buns
Makes 4

Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Fish

  • 8-ounce fillet white fish, such as cod, snapper or grouper
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • Pinch ground white pepper
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus additional for frying
  • 4 prepared bao buns (folded Chinese-style steamed buns–see Cook’s Note below)

Garnish

  • Thinly sliced onion, carrot, and lettuce
  • Pork Floss (see Cook’s Note below)

For sweet-and-sour sauce:

  1. Combine water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, vinegar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Combine cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water, stirring until dissolved. Stir cornstarch mixture into sauce, stirring constantly. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

For fish:

  1. Pat fish dry and cut into four equal-size pieces.
  2. Season fish with salt and white pepper. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Whisk together water and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add water mixture to flour mixture, whisking just until no lumps remain.
  4. Pour vegetable oil into a deep pan to a depth of at least two inches. Heat oil to 350°F.
  5. Dip seasoned fish into prepared batter. Shake off excess. Drop gently into oil. Fry 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Transfer cooked fish to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.
  7. Reheat steamed buns by placing in a steamer basket over simmering water 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. On a plate, assemble bun by inserting a slice of fried fish between a bun, ladle sweet and sour sauce over fried fish, and place garnish over sauce. Sprinkle with pork floss (optional). Serve immediately.

Cook’s note: Bao buns are available in the refrigerated or freezer section of Asian markets. Pork floss is a sweet and salty dried, shredded pork product available in most Asian markets.

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Valentine’s Day Weekend Yum at Disneyland Resort

posted on January 20th, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend, February 12-14, Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure park has a new seasonal menu (and a Sweetheart Dinner for Two), and other Disneyland Resort restaurants are adding a little romance and lots of flavor to their menus.

Starting with Carthay Circle Restaurant, the Sweetheart Dinner for Two ($140 plus tax and gratuity) will be February 13 and 14 and include three courses: lobster and asparagus to start; Steak Florentine for two (Grilled Porterhouse of Chianti Beef) with sautéed Brussels sprouts, parsnips and bacon and roasted fingerling potatoes with Brie; and Chocolate Hearts for Two for dessert with chocolate espresso and white chocolate raspberry served tableside with warm chocolate sauce. What’s not to love?

Valentine’s Day Weekend Yum at Disneyland Resort Valentine’s Day Weekend Yum at Disneyland Resort Valentine’s Day Weekend Yum at Disneyland Resort

And if you can’t make it Valentine’s Day weekend, the restaurant’s seasonal menu includes gems on the lunch menu such as Winter Pozole with Tempura Fried Shrimp, Grilled Turkey Scaloppini, a Crispy Maple Leaf Duck Confit Salad and savory Moroccan Lamb Meatballs. The seasonal dinner menu has added Carthay Shellfish Cioppino, Artichoke Crepes, Braised Lamb Shank with Winter Bean Cassoulet and Angus Beef Delmonico with chipotle sweet potatoes.

Back to Valentine’s Day. Here’s a quick guide to goodies that are special on the menu:

Disneyland Park

  • Valentine’s Day cotton candy on the street carts, February 14 only.
  • Carnation Café is offering Surf and Turf with sirloin steak and a shrimp skewer with veggies (February 14).
  • Blue Bayou Restaurant has a Sweetheart Duet for February 14 with a bacon-wrapped filet mignon and halibut atop tomato croutons with sautéed baby spinach and roasted potatoes, served with a chardonnay dill and cognac peppercorn café au lait sauce. In addition, Blue Bayou Restaurant will offer a Sweetheart Toast which includes a souvenir champagne flute engraved with the Blue Bayou Restaurant logo, served with sparkling cider (cost is $11.95 per person).
  • Café Orleans is serving sautéed shrimp and Andouille sausage with zucchini and cherry tomatoes with linguine pasta in a cream shrimp fume (February 14).

Disney California Adventure Park, Along with Carthay Circle Restaurant (above)

  • Valentine’s Day cotton candy on the street carts, February 14 only.
  • Valentine Sundaes at Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream (February 12-14).
  • Teddy bear-shaped bread and heart-shaped bread at Mortimer’s Market, Pacific Wharf carts and Boudin Bread Cart (February 12-14). Pacific Wharf carts also will offer a valentine sugar cookie.
  • Wine Country Trattoria at Golden Vine Winery is serving a February 14 special that starts with an arugula salad, then a choice of lobster tail or surf ‘n turf with beef tenderloin and shrimp with veggies and, for dessert, ricotta cannoli with a berry compote. The winery’s Alfresco Tasting Terrace will have a dessert sampler on February 14 with a vanilla fruit tart, raspberry macaroon and tiramisu paired with a sparkling wine.

Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

  • Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel will offer a special three-course dinner paired with wines February 13-16. Start with shrimp and scallop cassoulet with fried artichoke and lobster cream; for the main course, broiled filet mignon with morel mushroom fettuccine and asparagus; and for dessert, raspberry-white chocolate crunch cake. (The same special is available in The Lounge at Steakhouse 55.)
  • On February 14, Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will showcase Chef Andrew Sutton’s Four-Course Country Valentine’s Day Dinner (available with a wine flight).
  • Next door on February 14, Storyteller’s Cafe will offer a bacon-wrapped filet mignon with a Cabernet reduction and lobster-sun-dried tomato risotto.
  • At Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel on February 14, PCH Grill’s tasting stations will include seafood saute station, carving station with beef, a wood-fired pizza station, mini-taco station and mac ‘n cheese bar. Other hot and cold stations offer everything from pan-seared chicken breast to heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella and a build-your-own salad. And special sweets just for your valentine.

For reservations, visit Disneyland.com/dine or call 714-781-DINE.

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Celebrating National Popcorn Day at Disney Parks and Resorts

posted on January 19th, 2016 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


January 19 is National Popcorn Day, and at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, we’re celebrating everything popcorn—from the sight of bright yellow kernels is an iconic Disney Parks popcorn sleeve or souvenir bucket to the smell of salt and butter filling the air as you walk by a popcorn cart. Is there anything better than strolling down Main Street U.S.A. with a snack of piping hot popcorn?

To celebrate one of my favorite food holidays, I’m sharing a first look at a brand new souvenir popcorn bucket that will be coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests will be able to purchase the lotus popcorn bucket later this year. But that’s not all, this bucket also lights up, becoming a beautiful luminary.

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On the West Coast, guests can look for a second edition of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 60th Anniversary bucket, available now. The bucket is available in red, blue and purple, but we’ve added that ‘Disneyland’ banner everyone knows and loves on Mickey Popcorn Balloons.

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Did you know Walt Disney Parks and Resorts guests enjoy more than 540,000 pounds of popcorn annually? Recently, Pop Secret was named the official popcorn of Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, meaning our popcorn carts all sell hot, fresh Pop Secret-brand popcorn—YUM! Look for new Pop Secret co-branded popcorn scoops to arrive at Disney Parks later in 2016.

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How are you celebrating National Popcorn Day? Let us know in the comments below!

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Senses Juice Bar on the Disney Dream: Recipe for Restoration

posted on January 19th, 2016 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


At our new Senses Juice Bar on the Disney Dream, it’s easy to keep your fitness afloat by refueling with a nutrient-packed beverage. A variety of fresh ingredients are available to satisfy your taste buds in a healthy way.

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In my final post of this series, I’m sharing a recipe to restore harmony and balance. Its delicious mixture of fruits and vegetables is sure to fill you up and leave you wanting more at the same time.

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Ingredients

  • 6 Strawberries
  • ½ Avocado
  • 4 Mint leaves
  • 6 slices Beet
  • ½ Apple
  • 4 Goji berries
  • 4 oz water

Directions

  1. Blend with or without ice based on desired consistency.

For more recipes from Senses Juice Bar, check out these past posts:

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Moms Panel Monday: Celebrations at Disney Parks

posted on January 18th, 2016 by Leanne O'Regan, Director, Social Media, Disney Parks


Growing up in Orlando, my family celebrated many milestones at Walt Disney World Resort including birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and new jobs. Today’s Moms Panel Monday comes from Jenn in Delaware who wants to know how to celebrate multiple special occasions with her family of 10.

The Disney Parks Moms Panel offers her some great ideas ranging from a private fireworks cruise to dessert parties, signature dining, knee-slapping entertainment and beautiful gifts from Disney Floral and Gifts.

Two of our newest Panelists, Jen from Missouri and Jackie from Ontario, recommend making a big night of it with a Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party. They truly love the special viewing of Wishes Nighttime Spectacular along with your own table for dining.

Wes, our dad Panelist from Texas strikes a big idea with a bowling party at Disney Springs. He says Splitsville Luxury Lanes is the perfect place to celebrate with their extensive menu and fun atmosphere.

Panelists Emma from the UK, Susan from New York, and Jason from Georgia all recommend a booming idea – a fireworks cruise. Emma likes the Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage while Susan likes the Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise. Both experiences offer once-in-a-lifetime memories for the entire family.

Camila, our Panelist from Brazil, and Heather from New York both suggest one of their favorite restaurants – ‘Ohana. They love the amazing food you’ll find there like coconut-pineapple bread and delicious shrimp.

And Heather also points out something sweet – she’s found that in her many times of traveling to Walt Disney World Resort, it isn’t about where she ate or what special tour they booked, it’s about just being together as one big happy family. She says, “So as you enter the Magic Kingdom Park, let go of all your inhibitions and become a kid again.” Such great advice!

This was a very fun question for our Moms Panel to answer. See more great answers to this question and other Disney Parks vacation planning questions by visiting the Disney Parks Moms Panel. Tell us your favorite ways to celebrate special occasions at Disney Parks in the comments below.

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How to Plan an Unforgettable Girlfriends’ Getaway at the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 18th, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


As the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues to dazzle, 2016 is a great time for you and your girls to channel your inner princesses at the Disneyland Resort. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or simply spending quality girl time at the Happiest Place on Earth, try out these fun activities for a magical girlfriends’ getaway!

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Show off matching Mickey Ears, hats or t-shirts
Stepping out in matching Disney style is the perfect way to celebrate your friendship! Minnie ears from The Mad Hatter at Disneyland park, Disney t-shirts from Gone Hollywood at Disney California Adventure park or cute accessories from the World of Disney store in the Downtown Disney District make great photo props.

Capture your memories with Disney’s PhotoPass Service
Disney’s PhotoPass Service ensures that all the girls can get in the group photo. Friendly PhotoPass photographers will pose you in front of iconic locations in the parks, capture Disney Character greetings and even snap a photo with your personal cameras.

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Rejuvenate at Mandara Spa at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
A getaway is not complete without pampering fit for a princess! The Balinese-themed Mandara Spa inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa provides an escape to paradise with relaxing massages, manicures, facials and more. Reservations are recommended.

Enjoy dinner in the park at Carthay Circle Restaurant
With an exquisite menu and décor inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, you and your best friends will dine like stars at Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure park.

End a spectacular night with the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular
The recipe for a memorable night includes grabbing a cup of hot cocoa, cozying up near “it’s a small world” and spending quality time together as the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks sparkle in the skies above Disneyland park. This spot has a great view of the beautiful animated projections on the exterior of “it’s a small world,” too.

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Grab drinks at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
Located at the Disneyland Hotel, the torch-lit terrace of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar is a relaxing spot to unwind and continue the fun after a day in the parks. This tropical-themed lounge evokes the feeling of a mystical oasis, and some colorful cocktails may conjure up magical surprises!

How do you have fun with your best friends at the Disneyland Resort?

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Date Night at Walt Disney World Resort: Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise

posted on January 15th, 2016 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Recently, I had the opportunity to set course for date night on Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise. My husband and I were married on the Disney Dream, so we were excited to spend our evening on a very special voyage aboard the General Joe Potter!

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Our night began with a sip of sparkling cider, passed to us in a glowing champagne flute upon check-in. We were also given a commemorative Ferrytale Wishes passport. Inside the passport we found not only descriptions of each of the desserts we were about to enjoy, but a commemorative trading pin as well! There was also a surprise children’s activity inspired by Mickey Mouse – but more on that later!

Date Night at Walt Disney World Resort: Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise Date Night at Walt Disney World Resort: Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise

As we boarded, we received a souvenir plate with glass holder (similar to the ones available for purchase at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival), convenient for holding delicious desserts, assorted fruits and cheeses. A selection of soda, lemonade and water was available. Adults can enjoy, wine, beer, sparkling wine and an alcoholic punch. We sampled tastes inspired by the resorts that line the Seven Seas Lagoon. Matthew’s favorite was the Contemporary “Traditional with a Twist” Spiced Flourless Chocolate Cake, while I enjoyed the Polynesian De-constructed Pineapple Upside Down Cake with rum roasted pineapple, vanilla bean and cinnamon.

While we enjoyed taking in the sights, leisurely sailing around the Seven Seas Lagoon, we noticed the children on-board hunting for ‘Hidden Mickeys’ on deck. The ‘Hidden Mickeys’ contained clues to solve a riddle about Mickey Mouse. Even the adults on-board were getting into the fun, helping to complete the scavenger hunt mission. When it was finally time for fireworks, we took in a unique perspective of Wishes Nighttime Spectacular—from the middle of Seven Seas Lagoon—as the music played through the ferryboat’s speakers.

The General Joe Potter Ferryboat debuted as The Kingdom Queen in 1976, but was renamed to honor General Joe Potter in 1999, during the Walt Disney World Resort 30th Anniversary Celebration. William “Joe” Potter, a retired Army major general, was chosen by Walt Disney himself to direct construction for the infrastructure of Walt Disney World Resort.

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To book your own Ferrytale Wishes date night—or a special night out with your family, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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