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'it's a small world' at Disneyland Park

New ‘Cooking Safari With Mickey’ Cookbook Debuts This Spring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on February 12th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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It was so much fun to work with the chefs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to put together “A Cooking Safari With Mickey,” a collection of recipes showcasing the flavorful cuisine of South Africa and India.

We know that our guests are well traveled and love exploring new tastes, and sharing these recipes is a treat. Here’s a sneak peek of the cookbook, with one of our favorite recipes from Sanaa in Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. We like it a little spicy, so add more jalapeños and chili powder. And cardamom pods can be found in Indian grocery stores – -some stores call them seeds, rather than pods. (Each pod is about the size of a dried cranberry and contains 17 to 20 tiny seeds.)

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Spicy Durban-Style Chicken
Serves 4

Dry Masala

  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder

Chicken and Curry Sauce

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Course salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 3 cups canned crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • Basmati rice, for serving

For dry masala:

  1. Toast star anise, cumin seeds, bay leaves, and cardamom pods in a heavy, dry skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring until spices begin to brown and are fragrant. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Grind spices in a blender or coffee grinder into a fine powder.
  3. Combine spice mixture with cinnamon, chili powder, ancho chili powder, Madras curry powder, and turmeric powder. Toast in heavy, dry skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until fragrant. Remove from skillet and set aside to cool.

For chicken and curry sauce:

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Trim fat from chicken and cut into 1-inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Place chicken in skillet and brown for 8 to 10 minutes, turning to evenly cook. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Add onions and jalapeños to skillet and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add ginger and garlic, stirring to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Mix in dry masala mixture with a rubber spatula and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and increase heat to high for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Return chicken to skillet, add water, and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until sauce slightly thickens. Stir in cilantro. Serve immediately over basmati rice.
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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Grab Gal Pals for Valentine’s Day Celebrations at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 11th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


They’re with you through tears and laughter, when you’ve kissed more frogs than princes … so grab your sisters from another mister and celebrate Galentine’s Day at Walt Disney World Resort.

Nature Meets Nurture at Senses Ð A Disney Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort

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Indulge in some group pampering – mani/pedis anyone? – at one of our signature spas: Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Spring Resort.

Dine rockin’ your prettiest tiara
You’re all princesses at our Character dining featuring fairytale friends you’d want to be buds with. Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner, Cinderella’s Dining at Citricos and Princess Storybook Dining grant your wishes to dine with royalty.

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Retail Therapy
Alex & Ani, Dooney and Bourke, Pandora, Vera Bradley, apparel (Downtown Disney), perfume (Bonjour, Epcot France!), jewelry (ahlan Morocco!) and more are available all over Walt Disney World resorts and theme parks.

The Great Outdoors
Consider glamping at Fort Wilderness in one of our cabins, and hit the links as your favorite foursome, ride horses, rent bicycles, kayak, parasail, even hook a fish – all with some Disney flair.

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Dinner and Dancing
Grab your grass skirt for the Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Or enjoy Mississippi-delta cuisine and live music at House of Blues in Downtown Disney West Side.

We have so many other ideas for your girlfriend getaway – even if it’s just for the afternoon. But I’d love to hear from you: what are your favorite ways to celebrate with your best buds at Walt Disney World Resort?

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

February Brings Sweet Valentine’s Surprises from the Candy Kitchens at the Disneyland Resort

posted on February 10th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Are you unsure about what to get your Valentine this February 14? Our Disneyland Resort candy makers have been hard at work trying to make your gift-finding job a little easier.

Our candy makers’ top pick is an apple dipped in caramel, enrobed in milk chocolate, decorated with pink sanding sugar, candy-coated chocolate polka dots and adorned with a pink bow. What a treat for any Valentine.

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Of course, you can’t go wrong with our gourmet apple of the month, Black Forest. Sinfully delicious, the apple has been dipped in creamy caramel and dark chocolate, adorned in almonds and sweet cherries and drizzled on top with milk chocolate.

Looking for something a bit sweeter? Other sweet selections for you to choose from include white, milk and dark chocolate-dipped strawberries, a marshmallow wand and krispy treat.

Find all of these delicious sweets now at Candy Palace on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park; Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park; and Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District.

What are you getting your Valentine?

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

The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on February 9th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


With a new year comes new beginnings, and I’d like to begin 2015 by reviving one of my favorite Disney Parks Blog series, “The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling,” with one of my favorite snack-time spots, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe at Disney California Adventure park.

See Pictures of the Silver Lake Sisters at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park See Pictures of the Silver Lake Sisters at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park See Pictures of the Silver Lake Sisters at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park

This 1930s-era eatery was established by Dolly, Dottie and Ethel Bounds, known professionally as Fiddler, Fifer & Practical (aka the Silver Lake Sisters). They spent a good part of their lives performing the vaudeville circuit, entertaining the troops in World War I and becoming minor celebrities in nightclubs along the then‐emerging Sunset Strip in Hollywood.

After 20 years of singing, dancing and playing their instruments (Dolly on violin, Dottie on flute, Ethel on piano), the sisters decided to put down roots on Buena Vista Street. The idea came from Ethel, the practical one. She had always handled the trio’s business affairs and was constantly urging her sisters to settle down and open a legitimate business. They finally agreed, joining together to open Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café, with its name an homage to their act.

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A wall inside the restaurant features photos, posters and memorabilia from the days when Dolly, Dottie and Ethel performed as Fiddler, Fifer & Practical – the Silver Lake Sisters. You can see them in publicity shots and in photos showing them performing on stage and relaxing or prepping backstage in their dressing rooms. A map of California shows the various places they’ve performed throughout the Golden State, and above the front window, marquee letters, spell out “Silver Lake Sisters.”

So the next time you’re getting a great deal on a square meal at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café, take a look around and discover the story of these talented ladies for yourself.


For more from “The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling” series, visit the links below:

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

Sweet Valentine’s Day Offerings at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 9th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Princess Tiana said it best: “My mom always said that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” If that’s the case, love is all around at Walt Disney World Resort! This week, you’ll find specialty sweets throughout the resort; here are some of our favorites:

Red Velvet Waffle Sundae with Cream Cheese Icing and Sprinkles at Sleepy Hollow Chocolate-Raspberry Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

Magic Kingdom Park

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Epcot

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Valentine’s Day heart-shaped cheesecakes, fondue for two, and chocolate covered strawberries at The Mara
  • Heart-shaped puff pastry filled with a Champagne mousse and wild strawberry sauce at Jiko – The Cooking Place

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Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort

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Disney’s BoardWalk

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Valentine Trinity Dessert featuring petite double-ganache chocolate cake, Champagne sabayon and raspberry turnover at Artist Point
  • Strawberry-dipped chocolate cupcake at Roaring Fork

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Sweetheart pancakes and Valentine’s-themed dessert buffet at Chef Mickey’s
  • Red velvet pancakes, red velvet cupcake, strawberry-chocolate crème brûlée, and flourless chocolate cake at The Wave … of American Flavors
  • Double-chocolate specialty cupcake at Contempo Café

Which treats will you share with your sweetie with on Valentine’s Day?

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Celebrate The Anniversary of ‘Pinocchio’ With This Desktop/Mobile Wallpaper

posted on February 7th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


On this date in Disney history, the film “Pinocchio” had it’s grand premiere at the Center Theatre in New York City back in 1940. The film, which tells the tale of a little wooden puppet who longs to become a real boy, went on to inspire a Pinocchio’s Daring Journey attraction at Disneyland park. At Magic Kingdom Park, you can dine at Pinocchio’s Village Haus in Fantasyland, or spy characters from the film in “Main Street Electrical” parade, as well as seasonal event parades.

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We’re happy to share this special wallpaper image with you. Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special page.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Trolley Car Café Opens, Now Serving Starbucks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on February 6th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As an update on our previously announced plans to bring Starbucks locations to our theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort, we officially opened the newest location this week – The Trolley Car Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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As we shared earlier, the Trolley Car Café is themed to a classic trolley car station and gives guests a sense of atmosphere from early 20th century Hollywood. We have some of the first photos to share from this week’s opening.

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The Trolley Car Café is located on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is now serving Disney baked goods and Starbucks La Boulange™ pastry items along with Starbucks coffee and espresso beverages.

The store is the third in-park location serving Starbucks products at Walt Disney World Resort, along with other locations at Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, as well as at Downtown Disney. In addition to these locations at Walt Disney World Resort, there’s also another along the way.

Starbucks Rendering

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog this summer for an update on the location at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Creature Comforts is being re-imagined and will also be serving Starbucks coffee and espresso beverages, as well as Frappuccino blended beverages and signature breakfast sandwiches and pastries.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Coming Soon: Lunch Reservations at Be Our Guest Restaurant

posted on February 6th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park has been a guest favorite since it opened with the New Fantasyland expansion. Beginning February 25, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you to make reservations for the fast-casual lunch experience at Be Our Guest Restaurant.

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Guests will also have the option to pre-order their meal 30 days prior up to 5 minutes before their reservation.

Lunch is served daily from 10:30a.m. – 2:30p.m. Reservations can be made beginning February 25 via My Disney Experience, by visiting disneyworld.com/dine, or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

Don’t forget to try “The Grey Stuff” on the Master’s Cupcake while you’re there … it’s delicious!

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

A Mouthwatering Glimpse at Remy’s Dessert Experience on the Disney Fantasy

posted on February 5th, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


Bonjour! I’m back to tell you more about our newest premium culinary offerings at Remy, our French-inspired fine dining restaurant. Dessert lovers, this one is for you!

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Now offered on the Disney Fantasy, Pompidou’s Patisseries Dessert Experience is your chance to indulge in decadent desserts handcrafted by Remy’s award-wining chefs. It is offered in the afternoon once each cruise during a day at sea, providing a unique alternative for our adult guests.

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One of the exclusive aspects of this event is that it is hosted by Remy’s Executive Chef and Executive Pastry Chef. Throughout the six-course tasting, these culinary masters provide insight into the history of desserts, including the artistry of crafting sweet masterpieces. Like our dinner menu, the desserts vary by season. One of our featured items on the menu now is an orange crème pâtissière inside an orange-flavored tuile wafer. Another is our raspberry sorbet paired with vanilla ice cream, French vanilla meringues and fresh raspberries, topped with a raspberry sauce.

A Mouthwatering Glimpse at Remy’s Dessert Experience on the Disney Fantasy A Mouthwatering Glimpse at Remy’s Dessert Experience on the Disney Fantasy

In addition to tasting these delicious desserts, it is the opportunity for the intimate and in-depth culinary dialogue with the chefs at Remy that makes Pompidou’s Patisseries Dessert Experience a must-do for every Disney cruise. Now tell me, of the new Remy offerings I’ve told you about recently – this dessert experience, the Petites Assiettes progressive tasting event, the truffle menu and the caviar selections – which are you most excited to try?

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Day 4 – Experience ‘My Storybook Moment’ at Meet and Greets

posted on February 4th, 2015 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG


If “A dream is a wish your heart makes” then do I have a surprise for you!

Many little girls dream of being a princess. How do we know? If you have “royalty” living in your “castle” it’s pretty obvious. Lol. They love playing dress up with gowns and tiaras, and many times, they create their very own “live-action” fairy tale, perhaps involving you in part of their epic adventure? There may also be a few requests for a pony that can live in the garage, or their bedroom? You’re smiling, you’re remembering a moment in particular huh? That’s great. This gift was designed with you in mind then.

If your sweetheart has princess character traits, you can now provide her with a new magical moment like none other. If you’re wondering what all the excitement is about, take a peek at Sundays post, Show your Disney Side, and take the quiz so you can learn how to create a “Disney magical moment” for the little princess in your life as part of our 14 Days of Love series.

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So I have a question: What if your little sweetheart could be proclaimed a princess at the Disney World or Disneyland parks, by their favorite fairy tale princess. Would you do it?

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Of course you would. And truth be told, if no one was looking, you might slip in as her stand-in if need be? To meet a Disney Princess is so magical, but to be proclaimed a princess, now that’s a moment fit for a storybook right? Perhaps her storybook? Well, due to the interest of our WDW Mickey and Minnie’s Valentine Surprise, and DLR Mickey and Minnie’s Valentine Surprise we’re expanding our experiences and releasing the first in a series of “storybook moments” for little ones.

What’s included? Inside a pink “Storybook Moment” bag is a royal invitation to any Princess meet and greet, a princess sash, fairy tale tiara and personalized storybook proclamation, but it’s missing a signature to make it official. She needs to go to a Princess meet and greet to get a Princess signature for her proclamation. And so the fairy tale begins. You help prepare her for this royal moment by draping the sash on her, placing the tiara on her head, then take her to a Princess meet and greet. Once at the meet and greet, her princess will sign her declaration and recognize her as part of the royal court.

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Want to see one take place?

Now, imagine your little ones reaction getting prepared for this moment, then experiencing it. The stories she’ll tell later and the keepsakes to place in her room will remind her that she’s loved and accepted for the essence of her.

To check it out, click on to this WDW “My Storybook Moment” link or DLR “My Storybook Moment” link to look at the keepsakes included. The price is $128.95, not including tax and delivery. The gift is available to pre-order as part of our 14 Days of Love series, with delivery on property starting May 15. You can also call a Disney Floral & Gifts Dream Maker at WDW (407)WDW-GIFT or DLR (714-781-GIFT). Your surprise can be delivered to a resort room in preparation for the next day’s visit to the parks, or you could send it to a WDW character dining location too. As her fairy godmother or godfather you have so many magical possibilities.

And, if you’re looking for an outlet to create more magical moments for those you care about, tune in tomorrow. For those who enjoy “building” a magical moment as well as experiencing one, this post will be for you. Sound “cool”? I can’t wait to share, I just hope I don’t get “frozen” in the moment. (Wink).

In the meanwhile, I think there’s a little one somewhere who’s waiting for a fairy tale moment. #Disney14DaysofLove.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort