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Special Dishes, Where to Find Bubbly for New Year’s Eve at Disneyland Resort

posted on December 16th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


So fun to ring in the New Year at the Disneyland Resort, and the culinary teams have added a few goodies to celebrate in ways grand and small.

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In Disneyland park, you can go for the gusto with a pan-seared New York strip loin a la Oscar with Dungeness crab, classic Béarnaise and a chive-café au lait sauce from Blue Bayou Restaurant. Another delicious steak is on the menu at Carnation Café: sirloin with skewered shrimp, mashed potatoes, fresh broccoli, sun-dried tomato butter and a rich herb beurre blanc (French butter sauce). Round out the beef ideas with a simple flat iron steak served with garlic mashed potatoes, butternut squash and green beans at Café Orleans.

At the French Market Restaurant, a generous roasted pork chop is flavored with Calvados applesauce, braised greens and sweet potato soufflé.

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If you’re on the run, try the Jambalaya Skewer at Bengal Barbecue. Café Orleans is serving a rich pecan praline Yule Log. Or go for the old-fashioned chocolate funnel cake with peppermint at Stage Door Café, if you simply want dessert.

Disney California Adventure park has two New Year’s Eve specialties: herb-roasted rack of lamb with potato rosti, fresh veggies and Zinfandel jus at Ariel’s Grotto Restaurant, and a simple New York strip steak with mashed potatoes and fresh veggies at Wine Country Trattoria. You also can sip a mulled wine at Alfresco Tasting Terrace – rich and warm with berry tones, hints of orange and aromatic seasoning spices (no to-go cups for this one). And if you’re looking for sparkling wine to ring in the New Year at Disney California Adventure park, you’ll find it at Wine Country Trattoria, Mendocino Terrace and Alfresco Tasting Terrace.

If you forego the theme parks and are looking for hotel dining, Storytellers Cafe has a hefty rib-eye with garlic roasted potatoes and fresh veggies on their New Year’s Eve menu. End with their chocolate crème brûlée – who says you can’t ring in 2015 with chocolate?

For reservations, visit disneyland.com/dine or call 714-781-3463.

Happy New Year!

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Taste of Hollywood Returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the Holiday Season

posted on December 15th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


With the hustle and bustle of the holidays approaching, check a delicious meal-to-go and a reserved seat for Fantasmic! off your list with Taste of Hollywood to Go at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. From December 24 to 31, the popular Taste of Hollywood To Go option will be returning with a few new entrees, all of which include a reserved seat for Fantasmic!.

Cold-Cut Roast Beef Sandwich Option from the Taste of Hollywood To Go Available at Disney's Hollywood Studios Dec. 24 to 31 Vegetable Sandwich Option from the Taste of Hollywood To Go Available at Disney's Hollywood Studios Dec. 24 to 31

Adults can choose from a vegetable sandwich served with ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers, quinoa salad and chocolate cake; shrimp salad served with pita, ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers and mandarin orange cheesecake; golden fried chicken served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sweet corn and carrots and warm apple crisp; cold-cut roast beef sandwich with creamy horseradish served with classic potato salad, grilled asparagus and chocolate cake; California sushi tuna roll served with avocado, orange and tomato salad, ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers and spicy pecan-chocolate cluster.

Shrimp Salad Option from the Taste of Hollywood To Go Available at Disney's Hollywood Studios Dec. 24 to 31 Kids Meal Option from the Taste of Hollywood To Go Available at Disney's Hollywood Studios Dec. 24 to 31

Kids’ choices include a power pack with strawberry yogurt, apple wedges, carrot sticks with ranch dip, fish crackers, an organic apple cinnamon and oatmeal snack-size sandwich bar or a turkey and American cheese wrap with strawberry yogurt, apple wedges, carrots with ranch dip and a seven-layer cookie bar.

Reservations are now open, and can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE up to 24 hours in advance. If you do not have a reservation, you can always check the day you are in the park for availability. Meals can be picked up from Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Choice of Fantasmic! showtime is based on availability, with the number of seats based on the number of meals purchased.

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Gingerbread House Wows at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort

posted on December 12th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Last month, Rachel Brent gave us a sneak peek at the new, enormous gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort. Today, I’ve got photos to share with you from this 7 ½ feet-tall and 12 feet-wide wonder.

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The house is made of more than 500 pounds of gingerbread and took a team of 25 artists, engineers and bakers to create. But it’s not just there for looks! Guests can purchase gingerbread shingles, assorted holiday cookies, holiday cookie-decorating and gingerbread house kits, and specialty hot chocolate and cider at this gingerbread house.

Check it out before Holidays at the Disneyland Resort ends January 6!

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Disney Cruise Line Recipe: Poinse-tini

posted on December 12th, 2014 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


If you’re looking for a festive signature cocktail to serve at your holiday party, our Poinse-tini is the perfect choice! Offered during our Very Merrytime Cruises, along with the Christmas Cookie cocktail I shared last week, the sweetness of this easy-to-make concoction makes it a favorite among many. Give it a taste this weekend, and let me know in the comments what you think!

Poinse-tini

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz Chambord
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz cinnamon syrup
  • Black cherry syrup
  • Bitters
  • Sugar
  1. Shake and strain gin, Chambord, fresh lemon juice and cinnamon syrup.
  2. Moisten the rim of a martini glass and dip it in sugar.
  3. Layer bottom of martini glass with black cherry syrup.
  4. Pour drink into martini glass and top with a dash of bitters.
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Five Amazing Sights You’ll See at Disney ¡Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on December 11th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Now in its second year at Disney California Adventure park, Disney ¡Viva Navidad! is a huge hit with our guests. What is it about this festive celebration that is so captivating? Here are my top five favorite sights at Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

1. The Three Caballeros

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At Disney ¡Viva Navidad! you can meet Donald, Jose and Panchito – the Three Caballeros!

2. Live Music

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Yes, technically this is a sound – not a sight – but look at those outfits! The traditional Mariachi, Norteño and other regional music groups who perform at Disney ¡Viva Navidad! are as much fun to watch as they are to listen to.

3. “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party”

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The “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party” takes over Paradise Garden several times a day, featuring the Three Caballeros, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Brazilian samba dancers and drummers and enormous mojiganga puppets.

4. Traditional Folklorico Dance

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Each weekend, Disney ¡Viva Navidad! features traditional Folklorico dance troupes from across the region. These amazingly talented dancers are even more impressive with their brightly colored costumes. This is definitely a must-see.

5. Delicious Food

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Okay, another one that’s more than a sight, but I can’t leave out the food. Paradise Garden Grill features a special menu this time of year exclusively for Disney ¡Viva Navidad! All of the dishes and desserts are incredible, but my favorite is the Torta al Pastor – fresh-made telera bread with al pastor pork, chorizo beans, lettuce, avocado mash and crema served with tortilla chips and salsa. See the complete menu in Rachel’s post here.

What is your favorite part of Disney ¡Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure park?

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Spread Holiday Cheer with Tasty Treats at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 11th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


There’s no place like Walt Disney World Resort for the holidays. From Holidays Around the World at Epcot to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park, there is so much to do and so many treats to try. Today, I’m spreading some holiday cheer by sharing some of my favorite holiday treats.

Guests Can Decorate Gingerbread Cookies in the Lobby of Jambo House Guests Can Decorate Gingerbread Cookies in the Lobby of Jambo House

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, guests can decorate gingerbread cookies in the lobby of Jambo House. The suggested $5.00 donation goes to Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. While you’re there, stop by their holiday treat table, where you’ll find all kinds of scrumptious goodies including peppermint bark, chocolate and pistachio crackle cookies, gingerbread cookie animals, butternut crunch bark, coconut cream cupcakes and house-made chocolate hazelnut spread. The African hot chocolate is made from scratch using Ghanaian milk and Tanzanian dark chocolates, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles—perfect to sip by the resort’s fire pit on a cool evening.

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The gorgeous gingerbread house in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is a Walt Disney World Resort holiday season staple, but just outside the main entrance of the resort’s lobby, you’ll find “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” from noon – 6 p.m. At the Garden View Tea Room, look for festive indulgences like holiday-inspired tea blends, gingerbread scones, apple butter and cranberry trifles. Gasparilla Island Grill is serving up a seasonal holiday turkey sandwich, piled high with traditional fixings like stuffing and cranberry.

BoardWalk Cupcake

Still craving the sweet stuff? BoardWalk Bakery has a specialty chocolate-peppermint cheesecake cupcake decorated to look like a Christmas Tree.

DHS Cupcake

If you are looking for some festive in-park treats, be sure to stop by Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a specialty gingerbread cupcake. Adults can take in the beauty of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights with Yuletide cheer in the form of one of several specialty Christmas cocktails available throughout the park, such as the Gumdrop with Stoli Razberi vodka, Chambord, Sprite, pineapple and cranberry juices garnished with candy gumdrops. There’s also a Winter Berry and Torched Holiday Cider and my favorite, the Very Merry Cherry. At Pizza Planet Arcade, you’ll find The Claw—Sauza Gold Tequila, Disaronno, triple sec, and sweet-and-sour served with a souvenir glow cube. Catalina Eddie’s on Sunset Boulevard is the home of Very Berry Lemonade, and at ABC Commissary, you’ll find Holiday Delight—Bacardi Razz rum, blue curacao, orange juice and a splash of Sprite with a souvenir glow cube.

These holiday offerings are only around for a limited time, so be sure to check them out while you can!

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In True Disney Fashion, the Story of Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk

posted on December 9th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Opening Dec. 18, Trattoria al Forno is the newest Disney dining experience, and together Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Parks Food & Beverage Concept Development have crafted a backstory that builds upon the Disney legacy of storytelling and originality. Trattoria al Forno has been a creative collaboration bringing story elements such as authentic food and ingredients, a wine list featuring 100% Italian wines, and décor together to create an exciting new dining experience for Walt Disney World Resort guests.

“The Trattoria al Forno story was inspired by the authentic Italian menu and the rich storytelling of the turn-of-the-century boardwalk setting, says Missy Renard, Walt Disney Imagineering resorts art director. “Working closely with the Food & Beverage Concept Development team throughout the project was critical to the seamless merging of the story, menu and design – it was a shared vision.”

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The story begins with an Italian family that ran a modest tavern and boarding house on the boardwalk, which expanded over the years into a popular restaurant. The menu’s mix of authentic and innovative dishes supports the story of the restaurant being handed down, with each generation adding their own touches to the meals and the restaurant’s design. The color palette throughout is inspired by the fresh ingredients used to make the flavorful dishes.

The new restaurant is arranged as a series of separate rooms, starting with the original Entrata, or entrance, where the story begins. An arched brick wall with an aged keystone medallion anchors the room and introduces the traditional building materials used throughout the restaurant. Along the back wall, a custom wine cabinet displays authentic regional wines offered on the menu. Vintage family photos line the walls and introduce the generational story.

“As the restaurant was growing, boardinghouse rooms were converted into additional dining spaces,” explains Renard. “There are four distinct dining rooms, with furnishings, finishes and lighting relating to the character of each original boarding house room.” The first room, the Cucina, is designed as the eat-in kitchen for the boarding house guests. The forno, or oven, with its rustic wood mantle and copper hood, is the centerpiece. Next is the Sala da Pranzo, the formal dining room, which showcases the family’s fine silver, glassware and eclectic china in a grand hutch, with two crystal chandeliers above in the vaulted ceiling. “The finishes are more opulent – carpet, draperies, settee-style seating and a communal table in front of the show kitchen,” says Renard.

The Sala da Pranzo leads into Salotto, or living room, of the old boarding house, now a dining area with tufted circular booths and upholstered chairs, and photos of vintage Italian market scenes decorating the walls. Finally, the Taverna is a secluded dining area located in the structure’s original tavern, where the mirrored back bar still hangs in front of exposed brick walls.

“The three main dining rooms are open to the show kitchen and to each other, but the styling differences in each create individual dining experiences,” says Renard. “The result is combination of intimate and lively dining spaces with a tailored progression of storytelling.”

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A Dining Experience ‘Fantasmic!’ at Disneyland Park

posted on December 8th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


A few weeks ago, fellow Disney Parks Blog author, Erin Glover, shared the exciting news about “Fantasmic!” dining packages coming to Disneyland park. With options ranging from table-service dinners to On-the-Go as well as a fabulous dessert party—there’s something for everyone!

Hand Tossed Cavatappi Pasta Primavera at River Belle Terrace in Disneyland Park Kids Slow Roasted New York Strip at River Belle Terrace in Disneyland Park

At River Belle Terrace, you’ll find a three-course menu. Start with a choice of corn chowder soup or salad. Entrees include slow-roasted New York strip and Cajun shrimp skewer with garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and red wine reduction; rosemary-marinated chicken breast with garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables; or vegetarian hand-tossed pasta with seasonal vegetables in a garlic cream sauce. Complete the meal with caramel apple pie with streusel or chocolate cake with vanilla sauce. Our younger guests can start the meal with a finger-friendly crudité appetizer before a steak or chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Macaroni and cheese is also available as an option. Confetti cupcake with chocolate frosting will tempt their sweet tooth, or choose a fruit skewer.

Apple Cranberry Galette at Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland Park Creme Brulee at Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland Park

For a classic New Orleans Square experience, the “Fantasmic!” dining package at Blue Bayou Restaurant is offered with regular dinner service and menu from 4 p.m. – close. Indulge in an appetizer, entrée and choice of apple cranberry galette, crème brûleé or eight-layer cake for dessert. There will also be a kid’s meal option for guests ages 3-9. Guests who choose the “Fantasmic!” dining package at Blue Bayou Restaurant will also receive a souvenir seat cushion.

Kids Spaghetti at Aladdin’s Oasis in Disneyland Park Vegetable Lasagna at Aladdin’s Oasis in Disneyland Park

For a family on the move, Aladdin’s Oasis will have special On-the-Go meals that include “Fantasmic!” viewing. Selections include herb-marinated grilled chicken and seasonal vegetables, lasagna Bolognese or vegetarian lasagna. All adult entrees are served with salad and choice of dressing, dinner roll, marbled cheesecake and a beverage. Kids’ meals include choice of chicken, pasta or macaroni and cheese along with seasonal vegetables, fresh fruit, a dinner roll, Mickey-shaped cookie and a beverage. Reserve a time to pick up your meal between noon and 7pm.

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If you have a sweet tooth like me, I suggest trying a dessert party that takes place 90 minutes before each showing of “Fantasmic!” at Hungry Bear Restaurant. You’ll enjoy live entertainment while enjoying favorite sweets like an eight-layer Ghirardelli chocolate hazelnut cake, a classic opera cake, and a light and creamy New York-style cheesecake. There are coconut and French macaroons and Madeleines with a trio of dipping sauces. To top it all off? A Chocolate Sorcerer Mickey. The dessert party also includes fresh hot coffee, cocoa and a seasonal beverage. Options are available for guests with nut and gluten allergies.

Each dining package includes a “Fantasmic!” FASTPASS ticket for admission to a reserved viewing area for a designated showing of “Fantasmic!” that day. “Fantasmic!” dining package availability is limited. For reservations, visit disneyland.com/dine or call 714-781-DINE (3463).

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Fantastic New Home for Disney Food Trucks: Exposition Park at Downtown Disney West Side

posted on December 5th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Check out these photos of the new Exposition Park at Downtown Disney West Side, the permanent home of the four Disney-owned food trucks.

Disney Food Trucks: Exposition Park at Downtown Disney West Side Disney Food Trucks: Exposition Park at Downtown Disney West Side

“Guests can always find one or more of the Disney food trucks at this location, with visiting local food trucks joining the fun from time to time” says Darcy Clark, Downtown Disney marketing manager. “With nightly entertainment and extra seating, this West Side location is sure to become a favorite.”

The four Disney food trucks, along with the ESPN food truck, may be there – Namaste Café with flavors from Disney’s Animal Kingdom (think butter chicken and Tandoori spiced shrimp); Superstar Catering with favorites from Disney’s Hollywood Studios like a Margarita Flatbread; Fantasy Fare with Magic Kingdom Park goodies like the corn dog, and World Showcase of Flavors with Epcot tastes from grass-fed beef sliders to Pierogies.

You’ll find Exposition Park between Bongo’s Cuban Café and Starbucks – an expansive grassy area that take advantage of the pretty waterfront. Hours may vary during peak times and special events

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Disney Cruise Line Recipe: Christmas Cookie Cocktail

posted on December 5th, 2014 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


During our Very Merrytime Cruises, we are serving very special cocktails to get you into the festive spirit. I’ll share recipes for some of them over the next few weeks, starting today with one that’s perfect for an after-dinner treat – our Christmas Cookie cocktail. Check back next week for our holiday twist on a martini, the Poinse-tini!

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  • 1 ounce Baileys
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 ounce peppermint schnapps
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Whipped cream
  • Cookie shavings
  1. Blend Baileys, Kahlua, peppermint schnapps and ice cream.
  2. Layer bottom of catalina glass with chocolate sauce.
  3. Pour drink and top with whipped cream and cookie shavings.
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