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The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure Park

Top 5 Picks for Lunch on the Walt Disney World Monorail

posted on July 28th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


A lunchtime getaway on the monorail is one of our favorite tips for Magic Kingdom Park guests – take a leisurely mid-day break, then return energized to the park for more fun and fireworks.

Here are our five favorite stops, where you should be able to grab a seat without a reservation (though it’s nice to plan in advance).

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  1. Kona Cafe, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Just steps from the resort’s monorail station, this casual spot is the quickest getaway for a table-service lunch. This might be the biggest challenge without a reservation, so best to call ahead (sometimes early or late lunches work best without a reservation). The dish to taste: fish tacos with seared tilapia, tomato salsa and mango mayonnaise, also a great selection of hand-crafted sushi made to order. And, yes, the legendary Kilauea Torte is still on the menu.
  2. The Wave… of American Flavors, Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Jog downstairs to the first floor from the monorail station to this casual table-service restaurant. Again, reservations are nice, but not always necessary. Dish to taste: the build-your-own burger with Florida-raised and grass-fed beef. Add a little candied bacon, caramelized onions, guacamole – lots of delicious toppings. Organic draft beer too.
  3. Grand Floridian Cafe, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The monorail stops on the second floor, so make your way to the lobby to this airy, pleasant cafe where you reservations are preferred but not necessary. Dish to taste: the tuna Niçoise salad with a medium-rare tuna steak with greens, eggs, fingerling potatoes, green beans, Kalamata olive and tomatoes, served with fresh black olive bread. You can always add a glass of wine.

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  1. Contempo Cafe, Disney’s Contemporary Resort. No reservations necessary, and it’s just steps from the monorail station of the resort’s fourth floor. Contempo Cafe is quick service, and a fun diversion from Magic Kingdom Park. The specialty cupcakes and desserts are not to be missed. Dish to taste: the hot smoked turkey sandwich with Brie, arugula, green apple slices, apple butter and honey mustard on challah bread. Fries on the side.

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  1. Epcot. So it’s impossible to choose just one restaurant, and this requires a much longer departure from Magic Kingdom Park, but it’s doable, and reservations are best. While it’s a hike from the monorail stop to the World Showcase restaurants, a quicker stroll is Coral Reef Restaurant in The Seas with Nemo & Friends – and you get a dazzling live show from the fish, sharks, turtles and rays in the giant aquarium. Dish to taste: the divine lobster bisque with tarragon and brandy has been on the menu since Day 1, but the grilled New York strip steak is a crowd pleaser.

Tell us your favorite! For reservations visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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Garden Grill Restaurant Breakfast and Lunch Reservations Open Today

posted on July 28th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Tucked into the back of the Land pavilion at Epcot, Garden Grill Restaurant is known for family-style food, unique views of the “Living with the Land” attraction, and fun antics and interactions with our favorite chipmunks — Chip ‘n’ Dale.

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Beginning November 8, Garden Grill Restaurant will begin serving up breakfast and lunch in addition to dinner. The new Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Breakfast Harvest Feast will have all the fixin’s served in an all-you-care-to-enjoy family style. What’s on the menu? Look for breakfast favorites like biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, Mickey waffles, and their signature item, Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake.

At lunch, look for your all-you-care-to-enjoy favorites from the dinner menu, like “Living with the Land” Harvest-inspired Farmer’s Salad (which utilizes greens from the attraction), char-grilled sliced filet of beef, roasted all-natural sliced turkey breast with freshly-harvested vegetables and scrumptious side dishes.

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

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Fuel Your Emotions with Recipes Inspired by Disney•Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’

posted on July 27th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Food can change any mood. Nothing can turn a rough day around like a warm bowl of creamy mac and cheese. Or maybe you want to spice up your day with a dish exploding with flavor. Whatever you’re in the mood for, I have a feeling you’ll want to try these recipes inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” and created by Disney Parks Food and Beverage:

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  • Joy’s More-is-More S’mores: Chocolate and marshmallows fresh out of the oven just ooze happiness, right?
  • Sadness’s No-Cry Comfort Food: For those times you need a good cry, try this mac. With its FOUR cheeses, it’s better than tears.
  • Fear’s Panko-Protected Long Beans: Vegetables? Never Fear. Fried to a golden brown—this one is mouth-wateringly risk-free.
  • Disgust’s Is-That-Broccoli? Pizza: While broccoli normally triggers Disgust’s defenses, this version passes inspection.
  • Anger’s Hot-Headed Tuna: It’s exploding with flavor—those Sichuan peppercorns have the same fiery spirit that fuels Anger.

Click here to download all five recipes.

Which recipe do you ‘feel’ like cooking?

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#CoolestSummer Ever: Ep-Cool

posted on July 24th, 2015 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


As it’s written in the sage words of many a colorful Walt Disney World Resort brochure, “Epcot is the only place where you can travel the world, voyage to the bottom of the sea and zoom into space — all in one unique park.” It’s also a great place to seek out über-cool fun at it’s über-coolest.

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Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros! This is one of Epcot’s most charming and cheerful attractions – and what a totally Disney way to cool off! As your boat floats amid festive festoonery, Donald Duck, Panchito and José Carioca host a south-of-the-border celebration that seems to have come directly from the Disney animated classics, “The Three Caballeros” and “Saludos Amigos.” Master Disney animator Eric Goldberg directed the flawless animation of our pals, while master Disney art director Susan Goldberg painstakingly crafted the film segments to look like they were created in the glorious Technicolor days of Walt himself.

Impression de France! If this magnificent film had been entered in the Cannes film festival, it might have won the Palme d’Or — at least, that’s what we fans would give it. Arguably the most poetic and evocative five-screen motion picture to appear in a Disney Park, it’s highlighted with Buddy Baker’s stunningly beautiful musical arrangements of such cool composers as Saint-Saëns, Debussy and Ravel — as well as Buddy’s original compositions. C’est si bon!

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Chill out in the primeval past. Ellen’s Energy Adventure is perfect for midday time travel. The attraction tucks you in for a cool and cozy journey. The Audio-Animatronics dinosaurs are always impressive, suggesting the dioramas of Disneyland park and the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and also the skirmish in “Fantasia” between the Stegosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus Rex (not to mention a verbal skirmish between Ellen and Judy!). You’ll emerge from it all refreshed and ready to challenge earth, space and everything else at Epcot.

Who needs wings to fly? Get there first thing or just before park closing, or set up a Disney’s FastPass+ reservation as far ahead as you can for the Soarin’ attraction, because it’s mighty popular. But even if you use the standby queue, it’s aaahhh-conditioned. As soon as you start soaring on Soarin’, it’s coolness turned all the way up to eleven.

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Have your dessert and watch it, too. It’s majorly cool to savor gourmet desserts with an excellent view in the glow of moonlight, lasers and fireworks. Our Epcot World Showcase chefs have outdone themselves with their delectable spread of international treats: tiramisu, tarts, cupcakes, baklava and more to munch as, from a special viewing location, you see “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” dazzles the pavilions and paints the heavens with a kaleidoscope of color. This IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party requires an additional cost, and you can make reservations here.

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Martha’s Vineyard Wine Pairings Return to Disney’s Beach Club Resort

posted on July 23rd, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Last year, Pam Brandon introduced the Martha’s Vineyard Wine Pairings on the Disney Parks Blog. Today, I’m excited to let you know these popular pairings are returning on select dates this summer and fall.

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The intimate event is a foodie’s dream – a wine expert from the winery and a Disney chef guide guests through the tasting, detailing the notes of each pairing. The following dates currently scheduled to take place from 2-3 p.m.

  • August 22 – San Sebastian Winery
    *This event includes a takeaway bottle of Castillo Red wine in a lighthouse-shaped bottle. Cost per person is $60 to attend.
  • September 26 – Ironstone Vineyard
  • October 17 – Napa Smith (The only brewery in Napa Valley, CA)
  • November 7 – To Be Determined

Cost varies between $25-40 per person (before tax and gratuity) for three wines — or beers, if you are attending the October 17 event — perfectly paired with three small plates.

Beginning August 3, you can reserve your spot by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

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Disney Days of Past: Hot Dogs From Casey’s Corner at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 23rd, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Today is National Hot Dog Day. Which can only mean one thing – a trip is in order to Casey’s Corner at Magic Kingdom Park! Here’s a photograph of the Casey’s Corner sign back in 1996.

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Did you know that Casey’s Corner was named Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner when the parked opened in 1971? The name was later changed to Casey’s Corner in 1995. Here’s the Refreshment Corner as seen in 1977.

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Are you a fan of hot dogs? What are you toppings of choice? Tell us in the comments section below!

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Top 5 Hot Dogs to Celebrate National Hot Dog Day at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

posted on July 22nd, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Tomorrow is National Hot Dog Day, but at Disney Parks we celebrate year-round! Did you know Walt Disney Parks and Resorts guests enjoy more than 6.4 million hot dogs annually? In honor of National Hot Dog Day, I’m sharing my Top 5 hot dogs from coast to coast:

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  1. Macaroni & Cheese Hot Dog (Restaurantosaurus, Disney’s Animal Kingdom): This dog is topped with creamy macaroni and cheese and bacon bits, sure to satisfy your prehistoric hunger.

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  1. Vegetarian Portobello-Mushroom Philly (Award Wieners, Disney California Adventure park): Even carnivores will love this dish with grilled Portobello, onions and bell peppers sautéed in Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale and topped with pepper jack cheese.
  1. Frankfurter in a Pretzel Roll (Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner, Disney’s Hollywood Studios): This dog is perfect when you’re on the go, the Dijon mustard inside the roll will help keep you mess-free for your silver screen debut.

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  1. Chili-Cheese Dog (Refreshment Corner, Disneyland park): Combining Walt Disney’s love for chili with an all-American hot dog, this classic might be the perfect Disneyland tribute.

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  1. Barbecued Pork and Coleslaw Gourmet Hot Dog (Casey’s Corner, Magic Kingdom Park): Topped with barbecued pulled pork and refreshing coleslaw, this hearty dog begs to be enjoyed picnic-style in the new Hub grass area.

How will you celebrate National Hot Dog Day?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Snack Time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 20th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Exploring Disney’s Animal Kingdom can really work up an appetite, especially after conquering Expedition Everest and traveling on Kilimanjaro Safaris. Luckily, there are some new snacks and a few favorites to tide you over until dinner.

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The newly revamped Gardens Kiosk, located on Discovery Island, features a Trek Power Salad with quinoa, beets, edamame and citrus as well as a Farmer’s Salad with blueberries, goat cheese and candied pecans. Both salads are eligible as a snack entitlement on the Disney Dining Plan. Also new to the menu is a chilled green tea infused with orange blossom honey, cucumber-mint-pomegranate lemonade, and raspberry lemonade sweetened with stevia.

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For a hearty snack, check out the baked lobster mac and cheese and baked pasta marinara with mozzarella at Beastly Kiosk. Both pasta dishes are packed with cheesy goodness and count as snack entitlements on the Disney Dining Plan.

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You’ll find Mr. Kamal’s while trekking between Africa and Asia, the vegan menu reflecting both cultures. Here, you’ll find samosas served with mango salsa, hummus served with vegetables and pita, and delicious falafel. Across the path at Bradley Falls, look for a new Asian beef slider, edamame, and Asian noodles.

What is your favorite snack at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

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Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel Presents Tahitian Terrace Diamond Luau

posted on July 19th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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A 60th anniversary celebration like no other is on tap at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar for August 10 and 11 on the Magic Kingdom Lawn at the Disneyland Hotel.

The sessions will include the Tahitian Terrace Tribute Show with Tahitian dancers; a historical overview by Imagineers; and tastes from the original menu of the “gone-but-not-forgotten” Tahitian Terrace tropical restaurant. Guests also receive two drink tickets good for non-alcoholic Tahitian Punch, Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration drink (with alcohol), wine or beer.

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Everyone also gets goodies: a commemorative Tahitian Terrace Diamond luau lei, a special edition diamond Tiki glass and swizzle stick, a Tahitian Terrace print on parchment and a Tahitian Punch recipe card. Guests can also purchase up to two Diamond Tiki glasses.

Pre-paid admission is $150 (with tax and gratuity) for either 5-6:30 p.m. or 7-8:30 p.m. on August 10 or 11. A limited number of tickets will be sold for each session. Reservations are now open. For tickets, visit Disneyland.com or call 714-781-DINE.

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Happy National Ice Cream Day! Top 5 Ice Cream Treats to Try at Walt Disney World Resort this Summer

posted on July 19th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


At Disney Parks, we all scream for Ice Cream! Today is National Ice Cream Day and we’re celebrating by sharing our Top Five Favorite Ice Cream Treats to try at Walt Disney World Resort this summer.

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  1. The Warm Glazed Doughnut from Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is stacked with cinnamon apples and topped with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce. This treat is really out-of-this-world!

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  1. L’Artisans des Glace in the France Pavilion at Epcot has 16 delicious flavors of hand-crafted frozen treats including ice cream and sorbet that change seasonally—like Caramel fleur de sel and Coconut White Chocolate. If you’re looking to try something new, the chocolate macaron ice cream sandwich is magnifique!

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  1. The new Double Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream Sandwich from Tamu Tamu Refreshments at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is perfectly portable, so you can snack on your way to your next Disney’s Animal Kingdom adventure.

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  1. Dad’s Brownie Sundae from 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is my current favorite sundae. A chocolate brownie is piled high with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, caramel sauce, whipped cream, and is topped with chocolate candies, caramel corn and a cherry. What’s not to love?

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  1. No list is complete without the Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, available throughout Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. (Though in my opinion this treat is best enjoyed in front of Cinderella Castle, while waiting for “Wishes!” Nighttime Spectacular to begin!)

How are you celebrating National Ice Cream Day?

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