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Last Chance to Enter the ‘My Magical First Sweepstakes’ from Disney Junior

posted on April 15th, 2015 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


We’re all about celebrating a childhood “firsts” here at the Walt Disney World Resort – the first time you meet Mickey Mouse, your first haircut at the barber shop on Main Street, U.S.A., the first time you’re tall enough to ride the Tomorrowland Speedway by yourself.

My most memorable “first” was my first character breakfast. It was on the Empress Lily, now Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney.

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Our colleagues at Disney Junior want to celebrate those firsts with you in the My Magical First Sweepstakes. You can now enter for a chance to win a 5-day, 4-night vacation for four to Walt Disney World Resort from Disney Junior at Disney.com/MyMagicalFirst.

Imagine your little one’s first Walt Disney World vacation including:

It will be a magical time that you will remember forever. Trust me.

Check out Disney.com/MyMagicalFirst for all the information including how to enter and keep watching the Disney Parks Blog and the #DisneyKids for more fun for ideas for your little ones.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Downtown Disney, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

VIDEO: Learn to Make the Ginger Rogers from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on April 15th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure park pays homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Today’s signature cocktail demonstration is named after a well-known Hollywood starlet, Ginger Rogers.

Watch as our bartender creates the Ginger Rogers cocktail from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge below:

Create your own Ginger Rogers cocktail with these ingredients:

  • 1 Oz dry gin
  • 1 Oz dry vermouth
  • 1 Oz apricot liqueur
  • Splash of lemon juice

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

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Reservations for the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package at Walt Disney World Resort Now Available

posted on April 15th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Do you want to have the Coolest Summer Ever at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Reservations for the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package are now available for dates starting June 17 to September 7. Have a day fit for Arendelle royalty, with reserved viewing to a trio of Frozen Summer Fun experiences and chill out with cool refreshments.

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Each Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package includes:

  • See Anna and Elsa in the reserved viewing for Frozen Royal Welcome, complete with regal refreshments—water, a selection of soft drinks, and ice cream
  • Reserved seating for your choice of (1) show time of For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Frozen Fireworks viewing with dessert party, a dazzling nighttime display of fireworks paired with Frozen-themed desserts as well as specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

Cost is $69 for adults, $39 for children age 3 to 9 (tax and gratuity are included). Reservations can be made online or by calling 407-939-3463. Package availability is limited; so don’t let this opportunity go!

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A Taste of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

posted on April 14th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


The kickoff of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is right around the corner, and we have more details to share about some of the new food and beverage offerings sure to dazzle your taste buds.

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Starting on May 22, Disneyland Diamond Cupcakes will be available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café – a lemon-flavored cupcake representing the Victorian-era theme of Main Street, U.S.A. The Disney California Adventure Diamond Cupcake will be available at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café, featuring orange cake that represents the 1930s theme of Buena Vista Street.

Wild Raspberry Rapids Frozen Lemonade from White Water Snacks Lucky Fortune Tea featuring mango and red passion fruit at the Lucky Fortune Cookery
Honey Bee Frozen Lemonade from Hungry Bear Restaurant Enchanted Cherry Apple Frozen Lemonade from Troubadour Tavern Frozen Pomegranate Silver Sparkler from Jolly Holiday Bakery Café

Specialty drinks are also in the works to celebrate the milestone anniversary. My favorite? The Frozen Pomegranate Silver Sparkler from Jolly Holiday Bakery Café. Other delicious drinks include a special Lucky Fortune Tea featuring mango and red passion fruit at the Lucky Fortune Cookery, Wild Raspberry Rapids Frozen Lemonade from White Water Snacks, Enchanted Cherry Apple Frozen Lemonade from Troubadour Tavern, Honey Bee Frozen Lemonade from Hungry Bear Restaurant and more!

While we’ve already given you a taste of some of the new souvenir sippers and popcorn buckets to come, later this summer look for brand-new sippers that will allow guests to partake in the immersive Made with Magic experience in a whole new way. Make a splash with the “World of Color” sipper at Disney California Adventure park, or show your Disney Villain Side with a Chernabog sipper at “Fantasmic!” in Disneyland park.

I think you will agree that our teams have created offerings to delight all of the senses throughout the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Continue checking the Disney Parks Blog for more details and join the conversation with the hashtag #Disneyland60.

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

New Allergy-Friendly Menus at Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resorts

posted on April 14th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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On April 14, Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will begin to introduce new allergy-friendly menus at approximately 120 quick-service and table-service locations. The menus provide more convenience and readily available options for guests with special dietary requests.

“Over the years, the number of guests with food allergies and intolerances has continued to grow. In 2013 alone, our cast members assisted with more than 650,000 special dietary requests. These new allergy menus are another way in which we can provide high-quality, safe and more accessible alternatives, and the best possible dining experience for guests with specific dietary needs,” says Gary Jones, chef and culinary dietary specialist for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

The new allergy-friendly menus provide allergen content for each menu item, making informed choices easier. Menu selection includes appetizers (where applicable), entrées, side items, desserts and kids’ meals, and focuses on the most common allergens: gluten/wheat, milk, peanut, tree nut and fish.

Guests are still able to consult directly with a restaurant chef or special diets trained cast member. We also encourage guests to continue to communicate special dietary needs to our restaurant cast members, as this allows our culinary team to take extra measures during preparation to prevent the introduction of the allergen.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the recipient of a FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) Award for dedication to providing a safe and enjoyable dining experience for vacationing families and our chefs have been recognized for their commitment to food allergy awareness, education and management.

The new menus will be introduced in signature restaurants on April 14, then debut at other table-service and quick-service restaurants (including Walt Disney World water parks, Downtown Disney and resort hotels) through September 2015. For more information on special dietary requests, click here for Walt Disney World Resort and click here for Disneyland Resort.

Click here to check out a sample menu.

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Tastes of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Blue Hawaiian at The `Olelo Room

posted on April 13th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Update: 4/16/2015: The Blue Hawaiian recipe has been updated with a few minor changes

Our “Tastes of Aulani” series returns to The ‘Olelo Room at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, to feature another signature Hawaiian cocktail. If you have mastered the Traditional Mai Tai and Mahi Mahi Tacos, now it’s time to test your skills with another classic: the Blue Hawaiian! Our bartenders at Aulani prepare this beverage at The ‘Olelo Room, Off the Hook and Wailana Pool Bar. However, if you’re at home, let cast member Keola show you how to make this beverage below. What other delicious eats and drinks from Aulani would you like to try at home? Tell us in the comments below!

Blue Hawaiian

  • 1 ounce House-made Sweet & Sour
  • 2 ounces Pineapple Juice
  • 1 ounce Old Lahaina Light Rum
  • 1 ounce Ocean Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce BOLS Blue Curaçao
  • Pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf, for garnish
  1. Pour sweet & sour, pineapple juice, rum and Blue Curaçao in mixing glass; fill with ice and shake for 30 seconds.
  2. Pour into tall glass; garnish with pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf.
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The BOATHOUSE Makes a Splash at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 13th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Over the past year, The BOATHOUSE: Great Food, Waterfront Dining, Dream Boats has been hoisting up along the Downtown Disney skyline. The venue, open today, is the first of several new restaurants coming to The Landing, a new neighborhood that will be part of Disney Springs.

The BOATHOUSE is an upscale waterfront dining experience showcasing steaks, chops, fresh seafood and a raw bar. Built over the water, the 600 seat nautically themed restaurant also features a display of rare dream boats from the 1930s – 1950s, a beautifully crafted water taxi and a fleet of amphibious autos, called Amphicars.

I had the chance to talk with Theron Skees, executive creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering to learn more about how The BOATHOUSE charted its course. Theron shared “It’s been such a team effort between WDI and the Schussler design team; to see Steve’s dream come to life is awesome. It’s been a true collaboration. Guests will experience rooms that represent different time periods in the history of the building, with a focus on a view of the water. Each design element: the height of the restaurant ceiling, the width of the deck, the transparency of the railing, it was all considered so guests would have maximum visibility to the water.”

I got to tour The BOATHOUSE recently, and if stunning water views and impeccable attention-to-detail were what they were aiming for, well, they nailed it!

Earlier today, Pam Brandon shared details on the menu, so now I’m giving you an early look at what else you can expect at this unique location:

Amphicar Rides – Is it a car? A boat? Yes. And yes! Guests can experience the thrill of a Captain’s guided tour aboard a rare Amphicar that drives on land and floats in the water. The $125 price tag includes your own Car Captain and seating for up to three guests. Along the way, you’ll have a great view of Downtown Disney, direct from the water. I tested the Ampihicars last week and had a blast; you literally drive into the lake with a splash – plus, I felt like a celebrity, waving to all the curious guests onshore! This is the only place in the world to ride in these vintage vehicles. Tours are available daily from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., weather permitting, and will be available soon.

The BOATHOUSE Is Set To Make a Splash at Downtown Disney In Florida

Italian Water Taxi Cruise – The Venezia, a breathtaking 40-foot wooden Italian Water Taxi also offers a Captain’s guided tour of Downtown Disney; this one is complete with live music, chocolate-covered strawberries and a champagne toast. Tours will be offered hourly from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., weather permitting, starting soon, for individuals and groups of up to 20. The cost is $75 per person or $50 per child under age 13. (Want a more private tour for two? Ask about the Antique Steamboat Tour aboard Lady Rose; the cost is $150 per couple.)

“Floating Art” – I knew they were beautiful, but I had no idea I was looking at a multi-million dollar fleet of rare boats. Gathered from museums, private collectors, and boat shows from around the world, be sure to take some time to stroll the marina. Photos are not only allowed, but encouraged, so have your camera handy.

Interior Décor – Boat motors mounted on the wall. Trophies from regattas of days gone by. Stunning photography and artwork, some historical, some richly modern. It’s all incredible. But perhaps my favorite décor element is the brand-new boat that the team modified so it could include a dining table. (I’ll just say it now, everyone will want to sit there, me included!) Of course, the true visual hero, even from inside the restaurant, is the water. The good news is that every single table has a great view, so there’s no such thing as a bad seat.

Entertainment – Harbor Master festivities take place throughout the day and evening, with flag ceremonies and lively musical performances of beloved bugle songs, performed aboard Lady Rose. Inside, live entertainment takes center stage with a variety of musical styles – during my “sneak peek,” familiar songs were floating through the restaurant.

Check out the gallery below for a glimpse of what you can expect when you visit.

It’s hard to guess what guests will love most about The BOATHOUSE. What are you most excited for? Tell me in the comments below – I’d love to know!

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The BOATHOUSE Opens Today at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 13th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


The BOATHOUSE: Great Food, Waterfront Dining, Dream Boats opens today at The Landing at Downtown Disney, the area’s first all-new dining spot featuring spectacular floating artwork: dream boats from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s.

But of course it’s the food that we want to talk about, so we caught up with Executive Chef Bob Getchell, who’s been on the team more than five months creating the menu for the expansive restaurant that features three distinctive bars and nautically theme dining rooms. The BOATHOUSE restaurant is managed by the award-winning Gibsons Restaurant Group.

“Incredible food with a waterfront view is the focal point,” says Chef Bob. “All of the dining rooms have waterfront views or are on the water.” With 600 seats – 400 indoors, 200 outdoors – there’s not a bad view in the house.

The upscale menu focuses on seafood and steaks, upscale cocktails and a solid wine list. You can get anything from a casual basket of fried clams or big butterflied shrimp to “the best Angus beef burgers in town,” says Chef Bob. (And the fries are hand cut.)

New England Lobster Roll at The BOATHOUSE

Let’s start with the raw bar, serving three to five varieties of oysters on the half shell, colossal wild-caught Baja shrimp cocktail, and the BOATHOUSE lobster cocktail made with a pound-and-a-quarter lobster. Local Anastasia Gold caviar is on the menu from a farm in nearby Pierson, Fla.

Even the salads are notable, like the sirloin steak salad with eight ounces of New York strip steak, seared ahi tuna salad with Asian dressing, and the Buffalo chicken salad with Point Reyes blue cheese and spicy pecans.
The rotisserie chicken is brined 24 hours and stuffed with citrus and fresh herbs, then slow roasted. Cedar plank salmon roasts in an 875°F oven. And you’ll find dayboat fish coming in fresh, like the Cape Canaveral tripletail that’s on the opening day menu, or Florida wahoo.

Back to those steaks – Gibsons sources their meat from small farms in the upper Midwest, and features buttery filet mignon, a 28-ounce Porter house and a 32-ounce long bone rib chop (our favorite).

“We’re famous for our big desserts,” says Chef Bob. Like the S’More Baked Alaska made with one-and-a-half gallons of rocky road ice cream with graham cracker crust, topped with a mountain of meringue and marshmallows, chunks of chocolate on the outside, then torched for the s’mores finish. Meant for sharing, of course. Or the Whiskey Caramel Cornbread Cake with fresh berries in a whiskey-honey syrup finished with whisked buttermilk cream and whiskey caramel sauce. But Chef Bob admits his favorite dessert is the ice cream float with grape Nehi soda, poured tableside.

Kids’ meals are no afterthought – they’re all homemade, like the Sticks and Stones with chicken breast strips and fish, hand-breaded. Or the Pig in a Blanket wrapped with pretzel dough and baked.

“We’ve got something for everyone on the menu,” says Chef Bob. More than a dining experience, The BOATHOUSE immerses guests with waterfront adventures including live music and romantic Captain’s guided tours aboard The Venezia, a beautifully crafted 40-foot wooden Italian Water Taxi, or the 1800s antique steamboat Lady Rose, both featuring champagne toasts and chocolate-covered strawberries. Or head to the water for guided Amphicar tours where you’ll enter the water with a splash for a 20-minute tour.

Hours are 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.

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24 Ways to Kick Off Our Coolest Summer Ever Event on May 22 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 12th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


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We’ll officially kick off the beginning of summer here at the Walt Disney World Resort on May 22, with a 24-hour celebration at Magic Kingdom Park.

If you’re heading to our park to join in on the fun, here are 24 suggestions on how you can make the most of this year’s event.

  1. Show your #DisneySide by wearing a costume. (Check out the guidelines here).
  2. Join your favorite heroes from “The Incredibles” in the #IncrediblesSuperDanceParty in Tomorrowland, starting at 9:30 a.m.
  3. Join the “Move It, Shake It, Dance & Play It!” Street party to celebrate the start of summer. The first celebration begins at 9:30 a.m.!
  4. Find the paw prints of “Lady and the Tramp” hidden somewhere on Main Street, U.S.A.
  5. Have breakfast in the park. Mickey Waffles, anyone?
  6. Challenge yourself to get as many photos with Disney characters as possible. The My Disney Experience App will have the latest on appearance times.
  7. Catch the fun of the Royal Majesty Makers, who appear throughout New Fantasyland during the day.
  8. Attend the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade,” which features floats from “Tangled,” “Brave” and many more.
  9. Get your picture with Cinderella’s Pumpkin Coach.
  10. May 22 is also the opening date for the film “Tomorrowland.” Celebrate with a ride through Space Mountain or the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover.
  11. Check out the latest Disney merchandise. Memento Mori, a new spot devoted to Haunted Mansion-inspired gifts, is a great place to start.
  12. Catch the patriotic flag retreat on Main Street, U.S.A., promptly at 5 p.m.
  13. Check out the latest additions to the park, including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the interactive queue at Peter Pan’s Flight.
  14. Join the late night dance parties in your pajamas. That’s what Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Chip, Dale and Goofy will be wearing!
  15. Enjoy the “Celebrate the Magic” castle projection show.
  16. Gather together for “Wishes” fireworks at Cinderella Castle.
  17. Change costumes at the 12-hour mark. Maybe a “hero” look for the day and a “villain” look at night?
  18. 24 hours means a lot of time for character autographs. How many can you get?
  19. Enjoy a late-night snack at the park. Popcorn or Dole Whip?
  20. Take pictures wearing as many different Mickey Ear hats as you can.
  21. See how many Hidden Mickeys you can find in 24 hours.
  22. Catch two showings of the “Main Street Electrical Parade.”
  23. Enjoy your favorite Disney attractions all day (and night) long.
  24. Take an early morning family photo – if you can make it the full 24 hours!

How will you kick off our 24-hour event? Tell us in the “Comments” section below!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot Features ‘Disney Family of Wines’

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


Le Cellier Steakhouse is a top pick for guests who love a good steak – the AAA Candian beef tenderloin with truffle butter sauce is a hands-down favorite, but you also can order pan-seared snapper, free-range chicken and Kurobuta pork at this outstanding restaurant in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot.

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Now the wine list kicks it up, featuring six of the eight wineries of the “Disney Family of Wines,” and will be the first restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort to feature all eight, says Rick DeCicco, area manager at Le Cellier Steakhouse. The list includes several Reserve vintages.

“We’re waiting on Skywalker Vineyards and Gogi, and they are on the way,” says Rick.

The diverse collection has a personal connection to the Disney name: an artistic talent, a sense of what makes for good storytelling, quintessential family DNA … all of the wineries display qualities long identified with Walt Disney and The Walt Disney Company, carrying on the Disney legacy and typifying the passion, innovation and quality that the name Disney symbolizes.

The wineries:

  • Fess Parker Winery
  • MacMurray Ranch
  • Silverado Vineyards
  • Lasseter Family Winery
  • Gogi (owned by actor Kurt Russell)
  • Frank Family Vineyards
  • Chappellet Winery
  • Skywalker Vineyards

The restaurant has debuted a beautiful beverage book dedicated to The Disney Family of Wines, and has taken the service staff through training to educate them about the wines and winemakers. “This has a great impact on our guests since they love a great Disney story,” says Rick. Every leader at Le Cellier also has completed the introductory level course of the Court of Master Sommeliers, a feat worth mentioning (and congratulations!).

So, what does Rick suggest? “The Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon with the filet mignon is by far our most popular offering,” he says. “Or the Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon with the Angus strip steak and Cabernet butter.”

For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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