Disney 'Festival of Fantasy Parade' at Magic Kingdom Park

Sneak Peek at First-Ever Nighttime Party at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on May 31st, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Harambe Nights kicks off in just about a week on June 7, and we got a taste of the amazing celebration that stretches Disney entertainment and dining to new heights.

Early in the evening, the new Harambe Theatre and “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” is the center of attention, with emotional music performed by a live choir and 25-piece orchestra, the back-up for such talented performers – we were mesmerized as we watched scenes from the blockbuster film come to life in a whole new way.

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The Walt Disney World Resort chefs are hard at work too – after the performance, Harambe Village lights up with a lively street party where the food takes center stage. The menu took weeks of planning by Chefs Robert Gilbert and Leonard Thompson, working in symphony with Chef David Njoroge at Sanaa restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, a native of Kenya who embraces true African-style cooking.

Before the show gets started, you get a little taste of the African and Indian cuisine with small bites such as Moroccan beef kefta with tamarind glaze and a mini-cheeseburger with tomato curry aioli. And just for fun, as you watch the show, there’s a cute little container of “Lion Chow,” a mix of pretzel chips benne (sesame) crumbles, cardamom candied pecans, raisins, cherries and ginger.

The evening is a culinary journey with aromatic spices – you’ll smell the lamb cooking, and get a taste of warm naan bread hot off the griddle. The aromatic spice of Africa create a mélange of amazing tastes – so be adventurous if you haven’t tried something like eggplant tikka masala or crispy pappadum crackers. But you’ll find plenty of familiar flavors too, as the cuisine of America’s South borrows plenty of tastes from Africa, such as barbecued pork (served with a delicious polenta) or simple roast chicken.

With all those diverse bites, naan, an Indian flatbread, is the perfect accompaniment. We can almost guarantee you’ll wish for another taste once you are home, so we’re sharing the recipe without the traditional tandoor oven – just use a pizza stone in the oven or your grill. Harambe Nights takes place every Saturday from June 7 through August 9. The welcome reception begins at 7 p.m., showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Capacity is limited. For tickets, call 407-939-1319 or visit Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights.

Naan Bread
Makes 5 (8-inch) breads

3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; stir to combine.
  2. Combine milk, water, and oil in a medium bowl; whisk to combine.
  3. With the mixer running, pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. As soon as the mixture comes together, switch attachment to a dough hook, and mix until dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Do not over-mix.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
  5. Place a pizza stone on a top rack of the oven, positioned approximately 6 inches below the broiler. Preheat oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Divide dough evenly into 5 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into an 8-inch circle.
  7. Turn oven to broil. Carefully slide one circle of dough onto the preheated pizza stone, and broil until bread is bubbled and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Watch carefully, as the bread can burn very quickly. Repeat with remaining dough rounds. Brush the warm bread with melted butter, and serve immediately.
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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Summer Excitement Heating Up at Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

posted on May 30th, 2014 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


What’s on your to-do list this summer? Beach volleyball? Watching a few World Cup games? Outdoor concerts? Hawaii?

Believe it or not, you don’t need to look further than Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim for any of those things.

Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

The Downtown Disney Summer Celebration gets underway next Friday, June 6, with the first “DOLE Days of Summer” Hawaiian Night. The nights, every Friday except July 4 through mid-July, will feature Hawaii-themed entertainment in the Paradise Plaza next to House of Blues and Wonderground Gallery. Cast members from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, on the island of Oahu, also will be present with a special Aulani photo location and to share information about the Disney resort.

As part of the celebration, Downtown Disney District in partnership with Dole will be featuring fresh, new recipes within its dining locations throughout summer. Special menu items – among them a Pineapple Mojito at Tortilla Jo’s, Mango Chicken Salad at La Brea Bakery and Banana Split Dazzler at Haagen-Dazs – will feature each chef’s creativity, ease of preparation and the health benefit.

Downtown Disney District will celebrate Father’s Day weekend, June 14-15, when RIDEMAKERZ brings back the popular “Build One Ride and Build Another Ride for Free” special. Kids and Dads who build one ride can have extra fun building a second ride for free with freewheel street chassis, stock rims and stock tires.

World Cup games begin June 12, in Brazil and continue through July 13. ESPN Zone will show games throughout the tournament and will have a special breakfast menu when games are played in the morning. ESPN Zone also will offer select World Cup merchandise featuring team jerseys, vintage soccer Ts and ESPN soccer scarves.

Men and women pro sand volleyball legends will appear when Downtown Disney District once again hosts a beach volleyball exhibition and tournament, July 16-20, complete with its own sand volleyball court in the middle of the action at Downtown Disney District. Other participants will include local Orange County volleyball teams.

Special additions to the Saturday outdoor entertainment at Downtown Disney District round out the summer fun – mark your calendars:

  • July 26 – DJ Wendy spins beach and surf tunes
  • Aug. 2 – Catch a Wave (surf beach band)
  • Aug. 9 – Ele (Latin band)
  • Aug. 16 – Island Reggae (steel drum group)

Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for more details about all the fun coming this summer to Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim!

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June’s Gourmet Apple is a Sundae Surprise at Disneyland Resort

posted on May 30th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


There’s no split decision when it comes to the gourmet apple for June at Disneyland Resort. Why? Because it was actually inspired by a banana split.

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How did they do it? I’ve got the scoop! The apple has been covered in caramel, enrobed with banana flavor-infused chocolate, rolled in chocolate chips, drizzled with dark chocolate and has been topped off with mini marshmallows and dollops of vanilla white chocolate. Finally, you can’t have a banana split without chopped roasted peanuts and of course, cherries on top!

When I first heard what our Candy Makers had up their sleeves for June, all I could think was, “this apple is going taste like a sundae on a stick,” while my dear friend and fellow Disney Parks Blog author Tyler Slater professed, “I need it in my life.” As you can tell, we are clearly both fans of this sundae-inspired concoction.

Find it beginning June 1 at Candy Palace in Disneyland park, Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure park and Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District.

Simply put, it’s delicious!

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

Yummy Celebration Planned for Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon June 1 Anniversary

posted on May 30th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Has it really been 25 years since Mount Mayday rose out of the sandy soil at Walt Disney World Resort, creating all-new ways to cool off in the Florida sun, from a lazy river to a reef full of tropical fishes and the crazy Humunga Kowabunga water slide?

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Believe it or not, we’re celebrating on June 1 with a party all day – a DJ on the Clock Tower, a free cupcake (vanilla with blue icing) with the purchase of an adult entrée at Typhoon Tilly’s or Leaning Palms, and the Baybreeze, a specialty beverage with cranberry juice, pineapple juice and vodka just for grown-ups ($3.50). Let’s Go Slurpin’ bar also will feature its own anniversary cocktail, the Blue Hawaiian, only available on June 1.

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Forget dogs and burgers and try the new chicken and waffle sandwich, made with a crispy fried chicken breast topped with peppery arugula, mild Asiago cheese and honey aioli. If you prefer your waffles sweet, try the chocolate chip waffle with fresh fruit sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Both waffles will be available at Lowtide Lou’s and are only on the menu ‘til Aug. 1.

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Also new are two salads getting great reviews from guests. The Shrimp Wrecked Salad at the Snack Shack location features mixed greens, feta cheese, and dried cranberries, cherries and blueberries tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette and topped with strawberries and shrimp. Tropical Chicken Salad at Leaning Palms has mixed greens, Parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, cucumbers, mandarin oranges and grilled chicken with raspberry vinaigrette.

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Throw on your swimsuit and head out for a day of fun!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Walt Disney World Resort

Tangaroa Terrace Menu Gets Makeover, Plus Three New Drinks at Trader Sam’s at Disneyland Hotel

posted on May 28th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Tangaroa Terrace is a favorite stop for a quick bite at the Disneyland Hotel, especially when it’s a perfect Southern California day and we can snag a seat on the patio overlooking the Monorail Pool.

Starting with breakfast, they’ve added the Loco Moco, a burger served over rice with brown gravy and a fried egg with a side of island fruit. Aloha! This reminds us of breakfast at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Get healthy with a bowl of apple cinnamon-spiced steel-cut oatmeal served with coconut whipped cream and island fruit. Or opt for Mickey-shaped waffles with fruit and bacon or Portuguese sausage.

Slow-Roasted Kalua-Style Pork Sandwich at Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel Shrimp Tacos at Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel

The all-day menu starts at 11 a.m. (through closing at 10 p.m.) and new on the menu are shrimp tacos with sautéed shrimp, cabbage and lime tartar sauce all wrapped up in warm corn tortillas and a side of tropical slaw. Also, a slow-roasted kalua-style pork sandwich is on a sweet Hawaiian roll topped with tropical slaw. Or teriyaki chicken breast that comes with fresh caramelized pineapple, Havarti cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato on a multi-grain bun. Side options include tropical slaw, sweet potato fries, french fries or island fruit.

Tangaroa Terrace Salad adds more tropical flair with lettuces, cabbage, black kale, caramelized pineapple, grape tomatoes and crispy marinated tofu, all tossed in a sweet vinaigrette and topped with toasted macadamia nuts. (Substitute sautéed shrimp for the tofu for a little extra.) And the Big Island Flatbread is topped with marinara sauce, ham, caramelized pineapple, red onion, cilantro and mozzarella.

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar fans will love three new cocktails. Start with the Murky Mojito made with rum, fresh lime juice, mint and organic agave nectar topped with a splash of Angostura bitters. Or the Passionate Python with dark and aged rums, red passion fruit and tropical juices, garnished with an orange peel “python.” If you’re foregoing alcohol, try the Polynesian Punch, a mix of Sam’s Gorilla Grog with hibiscus grenadine. Sit back, sip and let the fun begin.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts

Sophisticated Keys Takes Cocktails to New Level on Disney Magic

posted on May 27th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Ahhhh, what a peaceful retreat after a boisterous day of kayaking, snorkeling, and a long bike ride on beautiful Castaway Cay: softly lit Keys piano bar on the Disney Magic. The talented pianist entertained us with Disney tunes (by request) on a beautiful baby grand piano as we settled back in an armchair to peruse a remarkable menu of after-dinner cocktails. Reserved after 9 p.m. for guests 18 and older, the Deck 3 lounge was bliss.

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And no ordinary cocktails on this menu, but the classics combined with trendy new drinks designed by the Disney mixologists, from the bartender’s version of a Manhattan made with Jack Daniel’s “Sinatra Select,” Antica Formula Carpano Vermouth and Cointreau to a Diamonds Martini with Three Olives Strawberry Vodka and Aviation (gin) and Cocci Vermouth di Torrino. This isn’t your dad’s after-dinner cocktail.

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Trendy ingredients are mixed tableside, like the Coco Royale with 1800 Coconut Tequila, Moët Ice Champagne and coconut flakes – a divine concoction that we all agreed was our favorite. The Moji-Do is Keys’ take on a mojito, this version with Kraken Black Spiced Rum, yuzu juice, slice orange, corn shoots and fresh mint leaves, again beautifully mixed tableside. And you wouldn’t recognize the Bloody Mi-Re, a trendy take on a Bloody Mary with Belvedere Bloody Mary, yellow tomato juice, fresh lime juice and Whiskey Worcestershire Sauce.

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Wine is decanted and serve tableside is exquisite Riedel “Black Tie” glassware – gorgeous mouth-blown stemware from Austria, all accented with a beautiful black stem. There’s also a selection of beer, Scotch, Single Malt Tequila, Cognac, Port, Madeira and specialty coffees.

If you feel like dancing post-cocktails, Fathoms is next door, or settle in for a quiet game of backgammon or checkers at O’Gills Pub – all part of the ships’ new After Hours section that caters to grown-ups after dark.

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dining

Rockin’ Your Disney Side at the Disneyland Resort Can Be a Real Treat!

posted on May 23rd, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort



4:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 p.m. PDT

A couple of days ago I teased you with the fact that we would be casting a spell on your taste buds with some new treats debuting today as part of the Rock Your Disney Side 24-hour event at the Disneyland Resort. Here’s your first look at our Candy Maker’s wonderfully wicked creations.

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If your Disney Side tends to be more hero than villain, here are a few other sweet suggestions to help you make it through the night. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Jack Skellington and Olaf-inspired apples are tantalizing treats. Our character-inspired cookies, cake pops and cupcakes are full of fun.

Special tip: If you find yourself bouncing off the walls and in need of a Tigger Tail, be sure to visit Hunny Spot in Critter Country.

Some of you who are rockin’ around the park with us already may have discovered these tasty treasures, but for those of you heading to the resort a little later today, keep an eye out for these treats at Candy Palace in Disneyland park, Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure park and Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District!

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

What’s for Lunch at Magic Kingdom Park?

posted on May 23rd, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer



11:00 a.m. EDT / 8:00 a.m. PDT

So many treats, so little time. If you must prioritize, here’s one taste you don’t want to miss: the satisfying Poisoned Apple Waffle Sundae at Sleepy Hollow, a warm waffle topped with sweet stewed apples and whipped cream. And we’re partial to the Maleficent cupcake at Main Street Bakery, devil’s food cake with purple and green buttercream frosting (and dark chocolate horns for garnish). Take a picture before you dig in, as they’re only available for 24 hours!

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Happy Little Orange Bird Apple Lands at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on May 23rd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager



9:00 a.m. EDT / 6:00 a.m. PDT

If you’ve read several of my previous Disney Parks Blog articles, you’ll know I’m a super fan of the Orange Bird. This classic Disney Parks character returned to the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland in 2012. Since then, we’ve released a few merchandise items with this happy little character including shirts, an ear hat, a figurine, some pins and more. Today, I’m excited to share the newest Orange Bird treat – a decorative candy apple! I was so excited that I got dressed up in my Orange Bird best!

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The apple has a caramel base that is covered in orange sugar and other decorative elements. I believe the secret ingredient is sunshine because seeing him makes me smile.

You can find this apple at the Main Street Confectionery and Big Top Souvenirs in Magic Kingdom Park today. He will be found at additional locations following the event.

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

Shareable Kitchen Sink Sundae Now on More Menus at Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort

posted on May 20th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Fans of the ginormous Kitchen Sink Sundae at Beaches & Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort at Walt Disney World Resort will be happy to know that the indulgent bowl of ice cream is now also a treat in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort.

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At Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and Plaza Restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A, you’ll find Mickey’s Kitchen Sink Sundae in an adorable “sink” in the shape of Mickey’s red pants. Get ready to share – it’s hand-scooped chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream drizzled with hot fudge, strawberry and caramel topping and topped with chocolate and peanut butter chips, whipped cream, and, of course, a cherry or two. Grab a few spoons and dig in! Cost is $14.99 and it’s not on the Disney Dining Plan.

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That same sink, not nearly so full, is also on the menu at Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream at Disney California Adventure park. This version is vanilla ice cream drizzled with hot fudge and topped with chocolate chips and a cherry, served with two freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Cost is $11.99.

The adorable red sink is yours to keep and carry home as a souvenir of your Disney indulgence, and Beaches & Cream now uses the same keepable sink.

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