Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure Park

Welcome to the Plaza Inn at Disneyland Park

posted on February 4th, 2014 by Shannon Swanson, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


When I think of the Plaza Inn on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park, I can virtually smell the fried chicken … yum! However, there’s so much more to this iconic restaurant if you take the time to look around when you stop in. The video below features Steve Valkenburg, who has had the pleasure of working there for more than 30 years, along with historical footage of Walt Disney describing what would eventually become one of his favorite restaurants in Disneyland.

What’s your favorite feature at the Plaza Inn?

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This Bitter Storm at Napa Rose Will Warm You Right Up at Disneyland Resort

posted on February 4th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


While brisk winter weather blankets much of the country, it’s still pretty balmy here in Southern California – where the only “Bitter Storm” is at Napa Rose restaurant at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

The bartender layers sweet and sour tastes from bourbon to cherry liqueur, adds a splash of lemon juice and tops the cocktail with a tart sliver of grapefruit peel. It’s a sunny sip of California that can take you away even if you’re shoveling snow.

Bitter Storm
Serves 1

  • ¾ ounce Bulleit Bourbon
  • ¾ ounce Fernet-Branca
  • ½ ounce Cherry Heering liqueur
  • ½ ounce Poire William brandy
  • ½ ounce Orgeat syrup
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • Grapefruit peel, for garnish
  1. Pour all ingredients into a shaker; fill with ice and vigorously shake for 30 seconds.
  2. Strain into a tall chilled glass filled with ice. Garnish with grapefruit peel.

For more about dining at the Napa Rose, read these posts:

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Pick Your Sweet Treat at Market House, Disneyland Resort

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


Deciding which treat to enjoy may be difficult on your next visit to Market House in Disneyland park and Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe at Disney California Adventure park. Both serve Market House serves Starbucks specialty beverages and a variety of “Disneyland Favorites” as part of its sweet lineup, including the gooey Berliner donut.

Berliner

The Berliner is a type of jelly donut made in Berlin, Germany. Disneyland Executive Chef Christine Weissman, a native of Germany, loves to share the story of the donut’s connection to President John F. Kennedy – so if you see her out and about in the theme parks, stop and ask! (It’s one of her favorite stories and favorite desserts.)

Several delicious La Boulange pastries were recently added to the selection of sweet offerings. Starbucks recently partnered with La Boulange, a San Francisco Bakery and café, rolling out their baked goods in Starbucks nationwide. The new pastries showed up this week in the two locations that serve Starbucks inside our parks at Disneyland Resort, and will be coming to Walt Disney World Resort this spring. There’s everything from a bacon, egg and Gouda artisan sandwich to a chocolate croissant, everything served warm.

Along with the Berliner, Fans of classic Disneyland Resort sweets will still find the cinnamon roll at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, and the Mickey Mouse-shaped sugar cookie remains on the menu at Market House. And the popular Mickey Mouse-shaped cookie with chocolate icing is still at both.

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Kicky Ribs from Storyteller’s Café at Disneyland Resort are Perfect for the Big Game

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


The big game calls for a plate of delicious ribs to share (with plenty of napkins). Grillmasters, however, settle back and enjoy the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos because this recipe comes together on the stovetop and gets finished in the oven.

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The chefs at Storyteller’s Café at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa created this kicky sauce with spicy chipotle and sweet tamarind glaze. We go light on the glaze to let the flavor of the tender, meaty pork shine through.

Serve it with the crunchy red cabbage slaw and some crisp garlic bread. The restaurant adds fresh broccoli and mashed potatoes, but you can save that rendition for another day. With a cold brew, this is down-home deliciousness.

Chipotle and Tamarind-glazed Ribs with Red Cabbage and Golden Raisin Slaw
Serves 4

Chipotle and Tamarind-glazed Ribs

  • 1 (2-pound) rack pork ribs
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 5 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup root beer
  • 1/4 cup minced chipotles in adobo
  • 1/4 cup tamarind pulp
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Red Cabbage and Golden Raisin Slaw

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 cups thinly shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives

For chipotle and tamarind-glazed ribs:

  1. Place ribs in a large stockpot. (Cut ribs in half widthwise if needed to fit.) Add enough cold water to cover ribs by 1 inch. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Cut a 6-inch square piece of cheesecloth; place pickling spice in the center. Pull edges up and tie into a bundle with a piece of kitchen twine. Add spice bundle to cooking liquid.
  2. Turn stove to medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 1 1/2 hours, or until ribs are very tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, cooking until golden and very tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, cooking until fragrant and tender, about 2 to 4 minutes more. Add tomato sauce, ketchup, root beer, chipotles, tamarind pulp, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring very frequently to prevent burning, until well combined and slightly thickened. Set aside.
  4. Preheat broiler. Remove ribs from cooking liquid and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Coat both sides of ribs with prepared sauce; broil 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbly.

For red cabbage and golden raisin slaw:

  1. Whisk together vinegar, oil, honey, shallots, cilantro, garlic, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add cabbage and carrots, tossing to coat. Stir in raisins and chives. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
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Hear Ye! Hear Ye! February’s Black Forest Gourmet Apple is Fit for the Kingdom at Disneyland Resort!

posted on January 27th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Most fairy tales that we’re familiar with have far off kingdoms, royal families and, in the far off corner, some type of black forest that strikes fear in the hearts of the villagers everywhere. Rest assured there is nothing to fear with what I am about to show you. For the month of February, our Disneyland Resort Candy Makers have whipped up something fit for a royal family – a Black Forest apple. Even just at the site of it, without even tasting it, there wasn’t an ounce of doubt in my mind that it was the perfect addition to the gourmet apples series that you have come to know and love.

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Imagine taking the essential flavors of a black forest cake and re-imagining it onto a caramel apple. Should I go on? The tart green apple is covered in creamy caramel, lost in a forest of dark chocolate and roasted almonds and adorned with sweet Maraschino cherries. How do you top that? Well I asked that same question, and of course, their answer was… ‘easy.’ ‘To top it off, this decadent confection is drizzled in sweet milk chocolate and crowned with additional cherries.’ Say it with me now… Yum!

Will you try this enchanting new gourmet apple? Look for it beginning February 1 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!

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Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First Make Their Debut at Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on January 27th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Two of the biggest stars from Disney Junior, Doc McStuffins and Sofia from “Sofia the First,” have joined the cast of Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine.

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As part of this character dining experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, kids have the chance to meet Doc, Sofia, Handy Manny and Jake from “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.” And during special musical moments throughout breakfast and lunch, they’re invited to get up and join in the fun with the characters and our Disney Junior Play Pals.

In fact, an all-new musical moment has been added, with favorite songs from the TV shows, “Doc McStuffins” and “Sofia the First.” Doc and the Play Pals get everyone to stretch and flex, so they’re “Ready for Action,” while Princess Sofia helps the Play Pals remind their friends that they can do “Anything.”

Of course, the “Hot Dog Song” from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Talk Like a Pirate,” and other popular tunes are still part of the fun, so Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine offers something for every Disney Junior fan!

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The Mauro’s Magical Disney Vacations Airs on Food Network

posted on January 24th, 2014 by Tony Shepherd, Producer, Broadcast Marketing


It’s a chilly January just about everywhere – so, we wanted to bring you a little something to warm up your winter – and – pun fully intended – whet your appetite for an exciting vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort soon!

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We recently had the opportunity to host Jeff Mauro, the Food Network’s Sandwich King, and his family here at the resort – and each one really found their Disney Side! And, because cameras caught it all, the Food Network is sharing the whole experience with you tonight!

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With visits to Magic Kingdom, Epcot and a fun-filled safari in Animal Kingdom, the Mauro clan hits the ground running to make this Disney vacation their best yet. In the midst of all the fun, they dine at restaurants throughout the resort, including the new Be Our Guest restaurant, Sanaa, Chef Mickey’s, Victoria and Albert’s and California Grill.

We had a fantastic time filming this special. Jeff met many of our world class Disney Chefs, and even got in the kitchen with some of them. Here’s Jeff with Chef David Njoroge at Sanaa, where he learned to make our famous Naan Bread.

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I’ve never been on a shoot where so much delicious Disney food was at my fingertips. Of course, being a producer and all, it’s my job to sample some of the food.

Okay, that’s a lie. I ate everything.

Hope you’ll tune in to the Food Network tonight at 8:00 Eastern / 7:00 Central, for The Mauro’s Magical Disney Vacation.

Here’s a preview…

Hmmmm. I wonder if I can get priority seating at Sanaa for lunch today…..?

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New Smokehouse at House of Blues Downtown Disney West Side

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


More fun food at Downtown Disney West SideHouse of Blues opened their new Smokehouse, a quick-service window where it’s easy to grab a generous smoked beef brisket sandwich, pulled pork or chicken sandwich, smoked turkey leg, St. Louis half-rack of ribs or an all-beef hot dog. That’s the menu, short and sweet. And the cole slaw has just the right amount of tang, the baked beans are sweet, the bread is soft and warm, and the meat is smoked right there in the House of Blues kitchen. True Southern-style good eats.

New Smokehouse at House of Blues Downtown Disney West Side New Smokehouse at House of Blues Downtown Disney West Side

Seating is just outside of Crossroads at House of Blues on the “Front Porch,” an expanded area with a stage for live (local) music seven nights a week. And the outdoor cocktail bar is handy – you can order from the bar and Smokehouse, or servers will wait on you in the evenings. Pair a brisket sandwich with a Swamp Water specialty drink (vodka, Blue Curaçao and orange juice) for a quick and casual bite.

New Smokehouse at House of Blues Downtown Disney West Side New Smokehouse at House of Blues Downtown Disney West Side

The Smokehouse opens at 11:30 a.m. daily, with closing around 10 p.m. Prices range from $6.99 to $12.99 (and not on the Disney Dining Plan).

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Chef de Cuisine Bill Orton

posted on January 23rd, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Chef de Cuisine Bill Orton oversees culinary training, chef recruiting and special dietary programs at the Disneyland Resort, including a new Culinary Apprentice Program he helped develop!

As the first three cast members selected for the program, Chefs Albert Esparza, Joanna Aguayo and Sean Harper are about two months into their six-month journey to become certified culinarians with the American Culinary Federation, learning culinary skills at a different Disneyland Resort dining location every two weeks.

The three chefs will learn how to create everything from pasta with clams at Wine Country Trattoria to fried pickles at Carnation Café, and also will spend a week at an outdoor vending location. Chef Bill explains more about the program and his role in this “Every Role a Starring Role!

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New Kids’ Meals at Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on January 21st, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Ariel’s Disney Princess Celebration is a magical spot for little ones as they descend the spiral staircase into Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure park and enter an enchanting restaurant with seaweed-wrapped pillars and glowing sea creature light fixtures — plus their favorite Disney Princesses and Characters.

New Kids’ Meals at Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park, Featuring Sandy Scoop of Sweets New Kids’ Meals at Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park, Featuring Seashell Symphony With Bacon New Kids’ Meals at Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park, Featuring Chocolate Chip Cruise

And now the kids’ meals for breakfast and lunch match the fun with new creations on the menu. For breakfast, there are three new choices. The Sandy Scoop of Sweet features fresh fruit, strawberry yogurt, granola and a seasonal muffin – and it meets the Disney Mickey Check guidelines that limit calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar. Seashell Symphony is a clever stack of turkey bacon, tri-tip or sausage with scrambled eggs topped with a slice of croissant to create the “seashell.” It’s served with hash browns and cereal. And the cute Chocolate Chip Cruise is a sailboat crafted from a waffle with a turkey bacon sail and a side of cereal. Kids are happily digging into these fun creations.

New Kids’ Meals at Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park, Featuring Ursula Octo-Dog New Kids’ Meals at Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park, Featuring Whozits & Whatzits Fries and Nuggets
New Kids’ Meals at Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park, Featuring Clammy Turkey Sammy New Kids’ Meals at Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park, Featuring Dinglehopper Angel Hair Pasta

Lunch has four new dishes. Ursula’s Octo-Dog is a hot dog carved into the shape of an octopus (a good trick to try at home) served with mac-n-cheese and fruit and veggie skewers. Whozits & Whatzits is baked chicken nuggets with fruit and veggie skewers. The Clammy Turkey is a turkey sandwich with a bun that looks like a clam shell served with fruit and veggie skewers. And the Dinglehopper Angel Hair Pasta comes with fruit and veggie skewers, and meets the Mickey Check guidelines.

Grown-ups have delicious options too, such as grilled lobster tail salad, red oak-smoked honey-whiskey barbecue tri-tip, fire-roasted corn cakes, and sustainable fish of the day, citrus-glazed chicken breast and sautéed shrimp with angel hair pasta.

For reservations, visit www.disneyland.com/dine or call 714-781-DINE (3463).

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