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Kick Off 2016 with a Healthy Day at Disney Springs

posted on January 5th, 2016 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


I know, I know … when you think about your dream day at Disney Springs, you probably envision eating an indulgent meal at one of the new restaurants at The Landing, sitting for an evening show at Exposition Park and sampling hand-crafted sweets or drinks (maybe both?) to cap off your visit. While I’m certainly a fan of treating yourself every now and then, I also know that during the start of a new year, many of us recommit to getting healthier. Believe it or not, Disney Springs is the perfect place to do just that!

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Take a look at some of my favorite ways to stay motivated and healthy during your next Disney Springs outing:

  • Get Your Steps In: When you walk from the West Side to the Marketplace, you’ll be clocking in a distance of roughly one mile. Make it a round trip journey and add in stops at your favorite stores (including the newly-expanded World of Disney) and you should easily hit three miles.
  • Find Fitness Gear: Want to track your daily activity, including the aforementioned walking? Many of the latest fitness trackers and GPS monitors are available at Fit2Run, alongside shoes, apparel and accessories all designed to help you become the best version of yourself. And if you’re not sure what gear is right for you, just ask – their staff is trained to help you find the perfect fit.
  • Have a Healthy Meal: Healthy options abound – as long as you make smart choices. A few of my favorite menu items include a the Citrus Salmon Salad at Raglan Road and the Baby Kale Quinoa Salad from Wolfgang Puck Express (both are incredible!); the Alberto Roll at Splitsville Luxury Lanes; and the grilled fish tacos at Paradiso 37, Fulton’s Crab House or The BOATHOUSE – seriously, the dish is excellent at all three locations. If you don’t know what to order, your server should be able to make some good-for-you recommendations.
  • Dance It Out: With free live entertainment nightly, there’s always a chance to dance. The family-friendly DJ Dance Party at the Marketplace is a sure bet and you’ll likely find a beat you can groove to at Waterview Park, near Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, as well.

Of course, my list is just a sampling. I asked a few fellow cast members for additional suggestions … they ranged from “buy a cute Disney character-inspired hand sanitizer from World of Disney” to “hydrate” to “just get outside and enjoy the fresh air.” Notice a trend? These are all things that guests can enjoy at Disney Springs every single day, all year long. And that’s exactly what I plan to do!

If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments below – I’d love to know. In the meantime, here’s to a happy and healthy new year.

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Senses Juice Bar on the Disney Dream: Recipe for Replenishment

posted on January 5th, 2016 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


One of the newest additions to the Disney Dream, Senses Juice Bar, is serving up juices and smoothies made-to-order from fresh fruits, vegetables and other nutritious ingredients. Its ocean-view sitting area is an exclusive retreat for adults, located steps from the spa and fitness center.

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The menu is fully customizable, but I highly recommend you try out our unique, nutrient-rich combinations. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing recipes from the menu, starting today with one that is perfect for athletes to replenish after a vigorous workout.

Beginning Perfect for Athlete 1027ZV_0706KP

Ingredients

  • 6 Spinach leaves
  • ¼ Carrot
  • ½ Avocado
  • ¼ Fresh ginger
  • 6 Basil leaves
  • 2 tbs Manuka honey
  • 5 oz Water

Directions

  1. Blend with or without ice based on desired consistency.
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A Very Special Afternoon Tea Begins January 22 at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel

posted on January 4th, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Steakhouse 55 is a lovely oasis of elegance at the Disneyland Hotel, with white linens and historic black-and-white photos of Hollywood greats from Walt Disney to Frank Sinatra and Shirley Temple decorating the walls.

The restaurant is hosting a mid-day tea from noon to 3 p.m. beginning January 22, bringing the rich tradition of a royal afternoon respite to Disneyland Resort guests where they can enjoy sweets, savories and a grand selection of a dozen special teas. After a fun morning in the parks, it’s a relaxing way to enjoy time with family and friends (and indulge just a little).

Mid-Day Tea at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22 Mid-Day Tea at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22 Mid-Day Tea at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22

The amazing selection of teas, including Twinings, features a variety of caffeine-free, loose-leaf varieties or herbal infused creations. Pair your favorite sip with traditional scones, an assortment of tea sandwiches, desserts and more. Apertifs, wines by the glass and cordials are available for an additional cost.

You can choose from three distinct tea parties:

Classic Tea Party at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22 Classic Tea Party at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22 Classic Tea Party at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22

Classic Tea Party with traditional scones, tea sandwiches, desserts, teas and herbal infusions

Premium Tea Party at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22 Premium Tea Party at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22

Premium Tea Party with sparkling wine, traditional scones, salad, tea sandwiches, desserts, teas and herbal infusions and a farewell truffle

Kids' Tea Party at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22 Kids' Tea Party at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22 Kids' Tea Party at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22 Kids' Tea Party at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel Beginning Jan. 22

Kids’ Tea Party with scones, tea sandwiches, desserts, herbal infused teas, milk or hot chocolate

Cost is $50 for the Classic Tea Party, $65 for the Premium Tea Party and $35 for the Kids’ Tea Party. Gluten-free and vegan options are available. For reservations, visit Disneyland.com/dine or call 714-781-DINE.

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Reservations Now Open for Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine at Hollywood & Vine

posted on January 4th, 2016 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Awards season is almost upon us, and the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown is in the air! From January 4 to March 20 Minnie Mouse will be inviting all of her friends to join her at Hollywood & Vine, where she’s hosting a fabulous dinner party celebrating the glamour of Hollywood!

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Celebrate the magic of the movies at Hollywood & Vine–the hottest spot in town this award season. Walk the red carpet and get ready for your close-up with some of the biggest stars of the silver screen. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy are dressed in their designer best. It’s the perfect Hollywood party filled with dazzling décor and a musical score.

Of course, no fabulous Hollywood party is complete without stellar eats. Scene-stealing soups (including the famous creamy popcorn soup, garnished with caramelized popcorn), best supporting appetizers, best leading entrees (bacon-wrapped pork loin, lobster and shrimp macaroni and cheese and honey-bourbon glazed turkey are headliners) and themed desserts are on the menu.

Reservations are now open for Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine, and can be made by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

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Gourmet Treats Kick Off the New Year at the Disneyland Resort

posted on December 30th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Ring in the New Year with new gourmet treats from our Candy Kitchens! If you’re headed to the Disneyland Resort this January, here are a few quick tips on some of the special, hand-crafted items you’ll find. January’s gourmet apple and marshmallow wand are dipped in caramel and milk chocolate, rolled in chocolate cookie pieces and then drizzled with dark chocolate and peanut butter. How can you top that? Chopped roasted peanuts, of course!

While the crispy follows suit to the listed ingredients above, minus the caramel, it’s the bark that we’re finding has everyone’s taste-buds piqued. Being introduced for the first time is layered bark.

What does that mean exactly? Folded between thick milk chocolate is a layer of creamy peanut butter. While that alone makes me happy, our candy makers added a few finishing touches that I think you’ll enjoy. Topping the layered bark is dark chocolate, peanut butter, chocolate cookie pieces and chopped roasted peanuts! Yes, this is in fact, where I drop the mic and walk away. I’m pretty sure the description says it all.

Which one will you treat yourself to?

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Year In Review: 10 Moments That Made Disney History in 2015

posted on December 30th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


So many incredible things happened at Disney Parks around the world this year, from major anniversary celebrations to attraction openings, 2015 is truly a year to remember.

Here are our top 10 highlights:

  1. Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Begins – The Disneyland Resort celebrated 60 years of magic in 2015 by debuting three new nighttime spectaculars: “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, “Paint the Night” parade, and “World of Color – Celebrate!

Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

  1. Star Wars-Themed Lands Announced – Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced plans for two Star Wars-themed lands to be added to Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Read the official announcement for more.

Toy Story Land Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

  1. Toy Story Land Plans Announced for Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Crowds at the 2015 D23 Expo were surprised and delighted to hear that plans for a Toy Story Land for Disney’s Hollywood Studios are in the works.

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  1. New Star Wars Offerings Debuted – Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios both welcomed new Star Wars-inspired offerings in late 2015, including Star Wars Launch Bay, enhancements to the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction and more.

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  1. Hatbox Ghost Reappeared in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park – After decades in hiding, the Hatbox Ghost reappeared inThe Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park. Take a behind-the-scenes look at his appearance here.

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  1. Jungle Skipper Canteen opens at Magic Kingdom Park – For Disney Parks fans who can’t get enough of The Jungle Cruise, now there’s the Jungle Skipper Canteen restaurant, which just opened its doors in December at Magic Kingdom Park. Check out Pam’s review of the menu items here.

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  1. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto & Tiki Bar Opened at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Disney fans rejoiced when Walt Disney World Resort finally got a Trader Sam’s! Offering quirky atmosphere and views of Seven Seas Lagoon, Sam’s dishes out drinks and snacks that are unique to only this location.

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  1. Downtown Disney Renamed Disney Springs – This shopping/dining area has been transformed over the past year to feature some amazing new dining spots, like Morimoto and The Boathouse, terrific bars like Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar, and cool shops like The Ganachery and many more. Although more expansions are planned, the area was officially renamed Disney Springs in 2015.

Bringing New Magic to Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland Park, Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering

  1. Magical Enhancements At Matterhorn Bobsleds and Peter Pan’s Flight – Two classic Disneyland park attractions were plussed up this year with new enhancements, including additional special effects at Matterhorn Bobsleds and new figures of the Darling children and a moving Thames River at Peter Pan’s Flight.

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  1. Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Opened – Disney Vacation Club celebrated the debut of its latest property this past spring with the opening of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.

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15 for ’15 – What a Year for Walt Disney World Resort Dining!

posted on December 29th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


New restaurants open, one closes (to reopen in 2016) – here are 15 top Walt Disney World Resort culinary stories for 2015. Up next: 16 for 2016.

Starting in March, the Outdoor Kitchens expanded at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. It was the third year for the culinary addition at the festival, with the new Botanas Botánico Outdoor Kitchen between France and Morocco pavilions with treats like cachapas with farmer’s cheese, a sweet yellow corn pancake, and seafood ceviche with shrimp, scallops and grouper with mango and avocado.

Also in March, the new breakfast started at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park. The quick-service breakfast menu has a decidedly French touch, with everything from assorted cured meat and cheese served with marmalade, fresh fruit and a toasted baguette to eggs Florentine served in a puff pastry shell with country ham and roasted plum tomatoes.

Late March saw the opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It’s a popular spot, and guests ooh and ah over more than 1,200 pieces of memorabilia. The hand-crafted cocktails are delicious (order an Uh-Oa! and see what happens with the special effects).

Beginning April 1, new allergy-friendly menus debuted in 2015 at more than 100 quick-service and table-service locations at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, along with more ways to make the special-diet-request process easier.

In May, the much-anticipated Harambe Market opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where food plays a starring role with African-inspired street food at four walk-up windows and plenty of shaded seating. Skewered chicken and kabob flatbreads, beef and pork sausage fried in a curried corn batter (like a corn dog), spice-rubbed karubi ribs and South African wines are a home run. Or try tikka masala chicken, the newest addition to the menu.

April saw the opening of The BOATHOUSE, the first all-new dining spot at Disney Springs – not a bad view in the house with all of the dining rooms with waterfront views or on the water. Seafood is the star (try the lobster roll). Then take a ride in the dream boats from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s (or watch for free from the dock).

The new Ferrytale Wishes, A Fireworks Dessert Cruise, debuted in September, the perfect way to experience Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from a spot on Seven Seas Lagoon. The decks are laden with delectable sweets, plenty of ice cream and beverages (with and without alcohol) in souvenir glow glasses. Enjoy this sweet ending to your day, then settle to watch the spectacular Wishes nighttime spectacular overhead, the largest fireworks display ever at Walt Disney World Resort.

20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival expands for first time into Future World (Sept. 25-Nov. 16) with four new food and beverage marketplaces. Starting along the Rose Walk between Future World and World Showcase, the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese festival area featured the Cheese Studio (offering a cheese sampler to pair with wines) and Wine Studio with premium wines on tap. The new Next Eats area included Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award® winning lifestyle series “The Chew.”

Late September was the opening of the much-anticipated Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar along the waterfront at Disney Springs. With 150 seats inside and out, the bar cleverly features salvaged equipment, spare airplane parts and mementos from Jock’s travels.

For the first time ever, “The Chew,” ABC’s Emmy-Award® winning daytime show, broadcasted from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival October 7-9. Hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly and Carla Hall filmed segments across Walt Disney World Resort in addition to taping before a live audience. Episodes aired October 12-16, 2015.

Minnie’s Seasonal Dine added to Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With five distinct dining experiences depending on the season, including Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine, Minnie’s Springtime Dine, Minnie’s Summertime Dine, Minnie’s Halloween Dine, and Minnie’s Holiday Dine. Festive new costumes and seasonally themed eats make this dinner fun for the whole family.

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Morimoto Asia also opened in November, the newest to join the line-up at Disney Springs. It’s the newest venture for Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, and his first restaurant featuring Pan-Asian cuisine, including the signature Morimoto Peking Duck, carved and roasted in house.

New Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen opened in December in the Magic Kingdom. Diners can set off on a culinary adventure at a new eatery in Adventureland featuring “World Famous Jungle Cuisine.” Just steps from the legendary Jungle Cruise attraction you can enjoy the bold, flavorful tastes of Asia, South America and Africa at this new 222-seat table-service restaurant staffed by the wisecracking crew of the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd.

The Ganachery opened in December at Disney Springs, a jewel box of a shop that’s showcases the beauty of chocolate. The star of the show is a custom-made ganache, Disney’s own recipe for a luxurious mixture of melted chocolate and cream. Stepping inside this shop is reminiscent of an apothecary of another era, a lovely little space elevates sweets to an experience akin to a wine tasting.

Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa ends the year on a high note by winning the coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award – that’s 16 years in a row, putting the restaurant in an exclusive tier of dining experiences. Each year AAA reviews nearly 30,000 restaurants, but just 0.4 percent make the AAA Five Diamond. The restaurant also was once again honored as one of the top restaurants in the United States in TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice awards (No. 6 of 25). And Time Magazine named Victoria & Albert’s to its Top 100 list of U.S. restaurants.

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Moms Panel Monday: Planning Your 2016 Unforgettable Disney Vacations

posted on December 28th, 2015 by Leanne O'Regan, Director, Social Media, Disney Parks


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With Christmas behind us and the new year fast approaching, if your family is like mine, the kitchen conversation starts leaning towards spring and summer vacation decisions. Knowing that a Disney destination is top of mind for many people, our Disney Parks Moms Panelists are ready to start helping folks narrow down the choices to a perfect Disney get-away.

Aparna from Ontario will be taking her family on their very first Disney vacation in May 2016 and asks what dining options are best for her three young children. Moms Panelist Whitney gave her some great advice including one of my favorites, Flame Tree Barbecue at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which is delicious!

Matthew from Illinois will be here with his family also in May and asks about transportation options to get from his Disney hotel to their dining reservation at a different Disney resort. Moms Panelist Lauren knew exactly how to help.

Cari from Ohio wonders about renting personal watercraft during her stay as something different to do. Moms Panelist Susan helped her based on her own experience with the water recreation activities.

And Moms Panelist Ashley helps a new mom from Tennessee plan their November 2016 traveling with an infant. Ashley’s own experience vacationing at Disney Parks with a baby came in very handy as she offers great advice including sticking to a routine, utilizing portable cribs and visiting the Baby Care Centers located in each Disney theme park.

Make sure you visit the Disney Parks Moms Panel as you start planning your 2016 Disney vacations. Our panelists have a wide range of experience and are here to help your vacations be unforgettable and magical.

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Reservations Open for Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 24th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Here’s a sweet new way to have even more out-of-this-world fun January 8-March 20, 2016, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.

Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party happens January 5 – March 19, with special viewing for the “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks. Enjoy a selection of sweets as the night sky erupts with an arsenal of impressive fireworks, set to the most dramatic and memorable Star Wars themes of all time.

On the menu, look for lots of Star Wars-themed desserts treats, including the popular Droid and Darth Vader cupcakes and a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. And you’ll get a souvenir Chewbacca stein to take home!

Cost is $69, $39 ages 3 to 11, including tax and gratuity. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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Vanessa Williams to Perform Countdown to Midnight: New Year’s Eve 2016 at Yacht & Beach Club

posted on December 23rd, 2015 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Recently, I shared details of the Countdown to Midnight: NYE 2016 extravaganza taking place at Yacht & Beach Club on the Disney Parks Blog. Today, I’m excited to announce that Vanessa Williams, the talented actress (known for her roles in ABC’s Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty) and singer will be performing at the event. Disney fans will recognize her voice from the Academy Award-winning song, “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas.

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Additional details about Countdown to Midnight: NYE 2016 can be found here. The event is now open to all guests, and can be booked by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

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