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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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Reservations Now Open for the Feel the Force Premium Packages During Star Wars Weekends

posted on April 7th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Prepare to ‘Feel the Force’ with special premium packages offered this year at Star Wars Weekends. These dining packages put you close to the action of the Legends of The Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade, the “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks and more in true intergalactic-foodie style.

Star Wars Weekend

Enjoy your morning at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, knowing the Feel the Force Premium Package includes reserved viewing for the Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade from 11 a.m.-noon, with a selection of soft drinks, water and a snack.

Star Wars-Themed Cupcakes from the 'Symphony in the Stars' Fireworks Dessert Party During Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios Star Wars-Themed Cupcakes from the 'Symphony in the Stars' Fireworks Dessert Party During Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The grand finale to your day at Star Wars Weekends is the “Symphony in the Stars” Fireworks Dessert Party at 9 p.m. Enjoy Star Wars-themed desserts (including the famous Yoda and Darth Vader Cupcakes above), and a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages–all with an up-close view of the fireworks!

You can expand your universe of choices by upgrading to the Feel the Force Deluxe Premium Package. In addition to the benefits listed above, the Deluxe Premium Package allows guests to follow behind the Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard, provides reserved seating for all of the celebrity talk shows that day in the Theater of the Stars, and offers priority access to Darth’s Mall throughout the day of the package. It also comes with a commemorative lanyard and credential to honor your most impressive day.

To book this event, hurry you must. Quantities are limited. The Feel the Force Premium Packages will take place on event weekends, May 15 to June 14. For more information about premium packages, VIP tours and Star Wars dining events, visit StarWarsWeekends.com.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Martini and Champagne Tastings on a Disney Cruise

posted on April 7th, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


Last week I kicked off a new series to tell you about some of the beverage seminars we offer onboard as another way for adults to indulge on a Disney cruise. Today I want to tell you about our sophisticated Martini and Champagne Tastings.

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Martini Tasting

In our Martini Tasting, you’ll sample a variety of gin- or vodka-based cocktails, each one with a unique taste and method of creation. In addition to the Classic Martini, we’ll introduce you to specialty cocktails with a modern twist, like the Cosmopolitan or Apple Martini, and dessert drinks, like the Toblerone Martini or Chocolate Martini.

After an introduction to the history of the Martini, the bartender will explain the secrets and curiosities that evolve around the world of Martinis. How did the martini become so famous? Gin or Vodka? Shaken or Stirred? Olive or Lemon?

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Champagne Tasting

During our Champagne Tasting, our knowledgeable wine team will take you on a journey from France to Italy and all around the world with some of our best Champagnes and sparkling wines, like Moët & Chandon Imperial and Taittinger Prestige Rosé. We’ll also introduce you to the art of mixing traditional Champagnes and sparkling wines with liquor to make delicious Champagne cocktails.

Check back next week to learn about our whiskey and cognac tastings.

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California Grill Salad Celebrates Florida Tomato Month at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 7th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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April is Florida Tomato Month, a fact that makes our neighbors to the North just a little covetous – as they are getting ready to plant for summer, we’re already harvesting beautiful, juicy Florida tomatoes. So if it’s early for you, stash this recipe ‘til summertime and re-create a divine taste of this California Grill salad that showcases heirloom tomatoes with a snappy vinaigrette and a rich dollop of ricotta cheese.

Chef Brian Piasecki says his restaurant high atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World Resort will just have the Florida tomato salad on the menu for a few more weeks. “Later in the season, we get our heirlooms from Ohio,” says Chef Brian. In peak tomato season California Grill serves up to 200 pounds of tomatoes a week – on everything from tomato flatbreads to risotto, salads and other seasonal dishes.
For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Shisito Pepper Vinaigrette
Serves 4

Shisito Pepper Vinaigrette

  • 1 cup shisito peppers, stems removed and seeded
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heirloom Tomato Salad

  • 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, each cut into 4 slices
  • 1 pint small heirloom tomatoes cut in half
  • 8 slices sourdough bread, toasted and cut into circles with a round cutter
  • 1/4 cup shaved red onion (about a 1/4 of a small red onion)
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 3/4 cup shisito pepper vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, divided
  • 12 small basil leaves
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For shisito pepper vinaigrette:

  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add peppers and stir until skins are blistered.
  2. Combine blistered peppers, garlic, vinegar, and lemon juice in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  3. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until dressing is thick. Add Tabasco, pulsing to combine.
  4. Transfer to medium bowl and stir in herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For heirloom tomato salad:

  1. Layer 4 tomato slices and 2 bread rounds on each of 4 plates.
  2. Combine halved tomatoes, red onion, arugula, and shisito vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper; toss well to coat.
  3. Divide mixture evenly among plates.
  4. Dollop 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese on top of each salad; top with basil leaves.

Cook’s Note: Shisito peppers are small Japanese peppers that are slightly sweet and mildly spicy. You may substitute poblano peppers for a similar flavor.

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

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

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


Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure park has become known for its innovative modern eats and artisan cocktails. Today, we are beginning a series demonstrating the craftsmanship that goes into some of the restaurant’s signature cocktails.

Watch our bartender create the Tequila Daisy cocktail from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge below:

For those following along at home, these are the ingredients you will need to create the Tequila Daisy:

  • 1.5 Oz tequila
  • 1/2 Oz triple sec
  • ½ Oz agave nectar
  • 1 Oz lime juice
  • 1/2 Oz egg whites
  • Sugared viola garnish
  • Splash of violet liqueur

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

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From Stem to Stern Wine Tasting on a Disney Cruise

posted on April 3rd, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


If you’ve sailed with us before, you know that entertaining our adult guests is just as important to us as keeping the little ones happy. One of the ways we do that is through our adult enrichment series, including behind-the-scenes experiences and various seminars, like our beverage tastings.

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Over the next several weeks, I’ll give you a closer look at some of the sophisticated tastings you can join on your next Disney cruise, starting today with our “From Stem to Stern” wine event where a knowledgeable sommelier teaches you to sip like a pro. During this experience, you’ll sample wines from around the world. Our sommelier will tell you about the history of winemaking and discuss the production method and classification of five different types of wines.

If you’re new to wine tasting, this experience is a great introduction to the art of identifying the taste, aroma and character of wine. For the connoisseur, it’s the perfect way to indulge your senses and expand your knowledge. You’ll have the opportunity to savor the flavors of both Old World wines, such as those from France, Italy or Spain, and New World wines from the United States, Argentina, Australia or other regions around the globe. What’s more, you’ll get the chance to speak one-on-one with the Head Sommelier from Palo, our fine dining Italian restaurant, whose knowledge of wine will impress even the most distinguished guests.

We offer different beverage tastings on each ship and itinerary, and I look forward to telling you about more of them in the coming weeks. What’s been your favorite beverage tasting with us so far?

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First Look: New Olaf Premium Sipper Coming to Disneyland Resort

posted on April 2nd, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


What’s better than warm hugs from a snowman? A cool drink in an Olaf Premium Sipper! For the first time in forever, guests will be able to purchase the new Olaf Premium Sipper from Food & Beverage locations throughout Disneyland Resort.

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Don’t worry, east-coast “Frozen” fans—this “cool” sipper will launch during the 24-Hour Party at the Magic Kingdom, May 22-23 — where you can celebrate the Coolest Summer Ever!

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Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Makes its Grand Opening Debut at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 1st, 2015 by Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Disney Vacation Club


Today, we celebrate the opening of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest addition to the expanding Disney Vacation Club portfolio. Located on Seven Seas Lagoon, this new resort features over-the-water Bora Bora Bungalows and Deluxe Studios with a tropical ambiance, which are sure to transport members and guests to a South Pacific-inspired paradise. Not to mention, Magic Kingdom Park is just a quick monorail ride away!

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The new reimagined Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort also offers more dining and recreation experiences to discover and enjoy, including a reimagined Lava Pool, new children’s water play area, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Pineapple Lanai, which serves the world-famous Dole Whip soft serve — just to name a few of the exciting new enhancements to this original Walt Disney World Resort hotel. And there’s plenty more beyond that …

Last night we invited media to come and discover this exciting new tropical resort with signature Disney touches. From touring the Bungalows and Deluxe Studios to visiting Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Pineapple Lanai, the media was able to experience the exciting new features that Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort have to offer.

Here’s a video that highlights this momentous occasion.

In addition, here are some pictures from last night’s grand opening event.

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Hippity Hoppity, Easter’s on the Way With Fun Foodie Ideas at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 31st, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Big or small, there’s a way to celebrate Easter at Walt Disney World Resort. From specialty cupcakes in Magic Kingdom Park to an Easter egg parade at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and a garden party brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, there’s something for everyone.

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From March 29-April 11, Magic Kingdom Park guests can nibble a cupcake that’s almost too pretty to eat – carrot cake with cream cheese icing and a carrot piped on top, or a vanilla cupcake with a chocolate nest of malted milk eggs. And don’t forget the delicious white chocolate rabbit cupcake from Cheshire Café!

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At Epcot, guests can pick up an adorable chocolate cupcake with marshmallow filling, marshmallow-buttercream frosting at Fountain View from March 29-April 11, and Sunshine Seasons April 4-5.

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A noon on March 31, join in the 3rd annual Disney’s Contemporary Resort Easter Egg Parade at Chef Mickey’s – the procession of pastry chefs starts in the restaurant, then their chocolate bunnies and beautifully decorated eggs are displayed through Easter on the fourth floor near the restaurant. There will also be a special cupcake April 3-5, featuring carrot cake with pineapple-coconut filling, white chocolate buttercream frosting, toasted coconut, jelly beans and a bunny macaron garnish.

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At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, fans of Boma — Flavors of Africa will be happy to hear that hours are extended on Easter Sunday, April 5, from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. And ‘tis the season for sweets, with a table laden with goodies – chocolate peanut butter eggs, jelly beans, kisses, chocolate miniatures so that breakfast guests can make a little take-home box.

Over at Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Palace Library at Kidani Village is being converted to “Library Lounge” during this bustling season, open from 4 p.m.–midnight and offering Sanaa appetizers and cocktails (not on the Disney Dining Plan). It’s the perfect place to beat the heat with a pretty savannah view.

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Guests of the resort can enjoy the Maji Pool Bar Cookout from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (weather permitting) March 28-April 12: burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst and a chicken burger by the pool (on the Disney Dining Plan). Look for some fun entertainment too.

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At Disney’s BoardWalk, try the Easter cupcake from BoardWalk Bakery. Vanilla cake with raspberry panna cotta filling, topped with a cute coconut “nest” with jelly beans.

Three seasonal brunches are open for booking. The 1900 Park Fare Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will be from 1-3 p.m. daily March 29-April 5. No Disney characters, just an enjoyable mid-day spread of delicious goodies.

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

New ‘Frozen Fever’ Treats Coming to Disney Parks and Resorts

posted on March 30th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


It’s official: we’ve caught Frozen Fever! The Disney Parks Food and Beverage team has created new treats inspired by the “Frozen Fever” short.

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Make today a perfect day with Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake, available at select quick-service locations at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. This vanilla cupcake has icy blue buttercream frosting, marshmallows and snowflake candies, topped with a white chocolate Olaf.

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Walt Disney World Resort

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Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day starts with birthday cake-flavored ice cream, piled high with hot fudge, mint marshmallows, brownie pieces, whipped cream, sprinkles and, of course, warm hugs. This sweet treat will be available at select ice cream shops at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort:

Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney World Resort

Guests at select table-service locations will be able to order an ice-cream cake of their own, inspired by Princess Anna’s birthday cake. At Disneyland Resort, guests can order an individual ice cream cake and at Walt Disney World Resort, guests will be able to order a sweet slice of ice cream cake.

Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney World Resort

These “Frozen Fever” treats are available now at Disneyland Resort and beginning April 8 at Walt Disney World Resort for a limited time.

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