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Happy Holidays from Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at the Walt Disney World Resort

Cítricos–Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses

posted on December 4th, 2014 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG


When you were little, did you dream of being a Princess? I did. Actually, truth be told, I remember dressing up in oversized gowns, my mom’s high-heeled shoes and Grandma’s old jewelry. Then, once in full costume, I could be found “performing” in front of my bedroom mirror. What an imagination I had … and even more so … the concern I created for my parents (lol). Now as a grown-up I get the opportunity to channel this imagination with new Disney gifting experiences that help make your dreams come true such as being proclaimed a princess at Walt Disney World Resort perhaps? Intrigued? Then read on …

While we spruce up Cinderella’s Royal Table, we are offering a magical experience at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & SpaCinderella’s Dining at Cítricos–Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses from January 8 – March 3, 2015. Cinderella will welcome each guest upon arrival, and the Disney Princesses will greet each table during the dining experience for photos and autographs. You will be able to join in an interactive “Magical Wishing Ceremony” with Cinderella and the Disney Princesses–complete with “wishing wands” and “wishing swords” for the children. Sounds amazing, right?! There’s more …

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What if you could add on to the experience with a personalized Princess Proclamation just for your little one. This over–the-top gifting surprise provides the extravagant fairy tale treasures that make her dream a reality. Take a look. Waiting for her on the table when you arrive at Cinderella’s Dining could be “My Disney Fairytale Proclamation.”

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Included is a personalized proclamation, signed by a favorite fairy tale princess, a pink plush princess cape (which transforms into a blanket as well), a gemstone tiara and an almost life-size crystal light-up slipper. Imagine your little one receiving these keepsakes at Cinderella’s Dining at Cítricos! And yes, there’s more!

Cítricos–Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses Cítricos–Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses Cítricos–Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses
Cítricos–Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses Cítricos–Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses

For those who want to enhance the experience even more, you can add on First Wish, to commemorate her memory made during the magical wish ceremony.

Take a look …

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This exclusive keepsake includes a pixie-dusted wishing rose wand and silver wish charm bracelet featuring a Swarovski crystal “wishing star.” After she makes her wish, celebrate the memory by placing the bracelet on her wrist as a reminder to believe. Over the years, collect charms to add to her “wish bracelet” that symbolize dreams come true, such as getting a part in a school play, overcoming a challenge etc…and it all began at Disney.

So here’s how this works. Simply book a reservation for Cinderella’s Dining at Cítricos (407-939-DINE) and let a cast member know you’re interested in My Disney Fairytale Proclamation or First Wish, then they will connect you to a Disney Floral & Gifts Dream Maker to add this gift. Or, if you already have a reservation, order through the links above or call a Dream Maker at 407-WDW-GIFT. Once your gift is ordered, our Basketeers will create your surprise, and then deliver it to the restaurant to be placed on your table prior to seating. There’s one catch … like any limited time offer, you’ll want to check out Cinderella’s Dining at Cítricos and these add on gifts sooner rather than later. They’re available now. This is definitely one of those “before the clock strikes midnight” opportunities … an experience that includes fairy tale Princess keepsakes vs oversized clothing and Grandma’s jewelry … just sayin. ☺

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Think Outside the Box for New Year’s Eve Celebrating at Walt Disney World Resort

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


Early birds are already making their New Year’s Eve plans, and reservations go fast for many Walt Disney World Resort restaurants. But we’ve got some offbeat ideas for ringing in 2015 that don’t require a reservation (except for one).

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If you’re at Epcot, you can still make a reservation for early dining at lovely Monsieur Paul upstairs in the France Pavilion (one of our top spots for fine dining). It’s a treat to lunch at Monsieur Paul, as it’s usually just open for dinner: there are still seats available at 11:45 a.m., noon, 2:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. This gracious experience ($85 per person plus tax and gratuity), starts with Cassolette d ’escargots Cauderanaise (escargot cassolette with white wine, bacon, shallots); a salad with Roquefort cheese, pear and caramelized pecans, or mussels soup with saffron and light fennel cream. Entrées include chicken with morels mushrooms and white sauce; broiled Maine lobster casserole, or beef short ribs braised in red wine with Parisian gnocchi with herbs. The sweet ending is a delectable French dessert.

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If you can’t snag a reservation, another favorite is Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar in the Italy Pavilion, a cozy spot to sip Bellinis or martinis, or choose from a solid wine list. Small plates include pastas, Tuscan-style pork ribs, paninis, charcuterie and imported cheeses. La Cava Del Tequila in the Mexico Pavilion doesn’t take reservations either – try a flight of tequilas (more than 100 to choose from) and pair with chips and guacamole or a shrimp cocktail for a light bite.

If you prefer to watch Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from afar, grab a seat in the lounge at Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The expansive wine and cocktail list pairs nicely with small bites from the kitchen like arancini (crispy risotto with sweet Italian sausage and mozzarella), Prince Edward Island mussels or slow-roasted Berkshire pork belly.

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You can also see Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from Disney’s Contemporary Resort where The Wave . . . of American Flavors lounge (ages 21 and older) offers signature cocktails, beer and wine along with seasonal tastes such as steamed Florida Cedar Key clams, lump crab, Florida rock shrimp cakes and a sustainable fish taco.

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At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge offers prime outdoor seating with wine, beer and cocktails and a substantial menu – yes, you can get the famous Cobb Salad as well as Wagyu beef sliders, artisinal cheeses and charcuterie and Maine mussels (we love the desserts too, like the warm blueberry cobbler with crème fraîche and orange blossom honey).

Another tucked-away spot that’s got a view of Epcot fireworks from along the BoardWalk at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is casual Crew’s Cup Lounge – beer fans highly recommend the Sam Adams beer flight, but there’s a bounteous selection of other brews, cocktails and wine. The menu runs the gamut from a New England-style lobster roll to pappardelle pasta with braised short ribs.

And if fireworks aren’t an important part of your year-end celebration, for a lovely spot head to Victoria Falls Lounge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, where you can sip a Coconut Elixir (non-alcoholic), a truffle olive martini or a fabulous South African wine while listening to live music. The menu is one of our lounge favorites: tandoori-spiced chicken wings, peri peri scallops, pork wings, crispy chick pea bites and artisanal cheeses. For guests looking for a heartier meal, Boma Flavors of Africa still has reservations available on New Year’s Eve.

Wishing you a happy, healthy 2015!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Santa Is Making the Rounds at Disney Parks

posted on December 4th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Festival Of The Seasons

Santa Claus is a busy guy this time of year, but we have good news! He’s carving time out of his schedule to pay a visit to Disney Parks, where you can meet him and fill him in on your fondest wish for this holiday season. Between now and Christmas Day, Santa will be making stops throughout Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Here are some of the places you’re bound to find him:

Be sure to consult the in-park Times Guide or ask a cast member to find out just when you can see Santa on the day of your visit, and have a wonderful ho-ho-holiday!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

VIDEO: The Magic Behind the ‘Frozen’ Gingerbread Display at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

posted on December 3rd, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Do you want to build a snowman … gingerbread display? Chef Jeff Barnes and his pastry team at Disney’s Contemporary Resort have done just that. This year’s spectacular display combines two beloved Disney stories — “Frozen” and “it’s a small world.”

Want a behind-the-scenes look at how the “cool” gingerbread display was created? Check out the video below!

While you’re taking in the majesty of this whimsical confectionary creation, take home a “taste” of the magic with specialty cookies, blue raspberry-cake gelato, ornaments and “Frozen” merchandise.

Some cookies are worth melting for!

For more about the ‘Frozen’ Gingerbread Display at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, visit the posts below:

A Peek Inside The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

posted on December 1st, 2014 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the newest addition to the growing Disney Vacation Club portfolio at Walt Disney World Resort, offers Victorian elegance just a hop, skip and jump (or one short monorail ride, whichever mode of transportation you prefer) away from Magic Kingdom Park.

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If you’ve yet to check out this breathtaking Disney Vacation Club offering let me tell you right now – you are missing out. I could write sonnets about the lobby alone. From the whimsical “Mary Poppins“-themed fountain to the two five-tier custom grand chandeliers, the lobby is truly grand. But, since guests generally tend to sleep in the villa-style accommodations (and not the lobby, although it is certainly cozy enough), I think it’s best to focus on those.

The resort features spacious accommodations that sleep anywhere from five to twelve guests, providing even more flexibility and choices for Disney Vacation Club members and guests. The resort’s Deluxe Studios are the first at Walt Disney World Resort that sleep up to five guests, thanks to what is (arguably, although I stand by it) the coolest feature to date – a hidden pull-down bed! The front of this unassuming television stand pulls down to reveal a secret sleeping spot, complete with special Disney artwork. Ta-da!

A Peek Inside The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa A Peek Inside The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

For those looking for a little more space, 1- and 2-bedroom Villas, and 3-bedroom Grand Villas offer living rooms, full kitchens and separate sleeping areas. They are all magnificent, but the Grand Villa, which sleeps up to 12 people, has some serious “wow” factor. It even has its own media room, complete with a big-screen television and comfy seating for the whole family. Want a peek inside? Check this out.

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is now nearly 80% sold out. And, while staying just steps away from the top-notch amenities available at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the flagship Walt Disney World Resort experience, is certainly on my “must do” list, the great thing about being a Disney Vacation Club member is the variety of vacation destinations available to you. Whether it’s this sort of Victorian splendor you crave, or watching a giraffe munch on lunch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, or even exploring thousands of other vacation options in destinations around the world, the possibilities of where you can vacation as a member are vast.

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Recipe: Aunt Cass’ Wings from ‘Big Hero 6′

posted on December 1st, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


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If you’re anything like me, you were dying to try Aunt Cass’ “Melt-Your-Face-Off” Wings when she made them for Hiro in “Big Hero 6.” Since it might be tricky to visit Lucky Cat Café in San Fransokyo, the final recipe in our “Big Hero 6” series is Aunt Cass’ Wings, inspired by Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The best part about making these wings at home? You can adjust the cayenne pepper and chili powder levels to make them mild or “melt your face off,” whichever you prefer!

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Over-the-Top Gingerbread Creations Wow Walt Disney World Resort Guests

posted on December 1st, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


How about an amazing gingerbread ice castle inspired by the blockbuster movie “Frozen,” or a life-size replica of a Jersey Shore concession stand stocked with holiday goodies?

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These are just two of the spectacular, all-new gingerbread designs that Walt Disney World Resort pastry chefs have spent months planning and weeks meticulously building. While the finished creations may look easy as pie, cobbling together a life-size masterpiece in gingerbread takes a lot of skillful hands.

You can see the displays through the first week of January, 2015.

Fast facts:

  • The all-new “Frozen” gingerbread ice castle at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is adorned with sugar snowflakes, gingerbread shingles and chocolate-coated trees – Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven are decorated with sugar, chocolate and candy. In all, 423 pounds of chocolate and 311 pounds of honey went into the creation. While you can’t eat the house, there’s a special blue raspberry cake “Frozen” gelato, plus gingerbread and sugar cookies, snowflake ornaments, linzer and the popular chocolate-peppermint cookies. Take home a build-your-own snowman kit.
  • Also all new is a life-size replica of a Jersey Shore Boardwalk concession stand serving holiday treats – ice cream cones, gingerbread houses and cookies and stollen bread. Sweet wreaths and Mickey- and Minnie-shaped gingerbreads decorate the stand that’s made of 674 gingerbread shingles, with a huge ice cream cone on top – and the marquee features 420 marshmallows! You can even make your own gingerbread house with kits for sale.
  • The life-size gingerbread house celebrates 16 years at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – the pastry chefs use the same building plans to re-create a fresh masterpiece each year, using a classic gingerbread recipe from Austria (they estimate 400 hours of baking). The house stands 16 feet high and features 40 window panes, made with a whopping 1,050 pounds of honey, 700 pounds of chocolate, 600 pounds of confectioner’s sugar, 35 pounds of spices, 800 pounds of flour, 140 pints of egg whites and 180 pounds of apricot glaze – more than 10,000 pieces of gingerbread make up the house. Gingerbread house decorating demos are featured daily except Sundays, and this is the place to buy gingerbread cookies, stollen, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate-peppermint bark (divine), gingerbread ornaments, mini-gingerbread houses and other goodies.
  • Head over to Disney’s Beach Club Resort and check out the 14th annual Holiday Carousel, a life-size, spinning carousel with ponies made of chocolate and fondant, handcrafted poinsettia and gingerbread snowflakes – look for 14 hidden Mickeys, one for each year! The chefs used 36 pounds of honey, 96 pounds of bread flour, 100 pounds of icing and 50 pounds of dark chocolate to create the extravaganza that also features a miniature Magic Kingdom Park Castle made of gingerbread. Sweets for sale include mini-gingerbread houses, cookies, gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese icing, stollen and gingerbread kits. While you’re there, look for a new winter wonderland gingerbread scene in Fittings and Fairings, as well as a chocolate Maleficent at the Beach Club Marketplace.
  • Next door at Disney’s Yacht Club, an adorable holiday village with miniature train adorns the lobby, surrounded with sugar rock mountains.
  • At Epcot on the Promenade at American Adventure in World Showcase, Mrs. Claus’ Bake Shop is offering freshly baked gingerbread, sugar and chocolate cookies, peppermint bark, hot cocoa and ciders (perfect for Epcot Candlelight Processional snacks). Inside, you’ll find a gingerbread version of the Capitol building of the United States.
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Caption This: Holiday Mischief at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

posted on December 1st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Sure looks like Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is ready for the holiday season with this lovely decor. But this totem of Donald Duck and Goofy nearby, it sure looks like Donald is up to something, but what?

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You tell us – go ahead and “Caption This” image in the comments section below.

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Every Role a Starring Role – Hotel Programs Coordinator

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Did you know that guests staying at any of the three Disneyland Resort hotels have an opportunity to participate in fun, exclusive activities? Hotel Programs Coordinator Dave Lay and his team work together to create and facilitate these unique experiences for our hotel guests, including learning to drawing Mickey Mouse and morning power walks through Disney California Adventure park, before it’s open to day guests! Watch how Dave leads hotel guests through these one-of-a-kind activities in this “Every Role a Starring Role!”

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Family Volunteer Day – Serving Communities in the Spirit of Thanksgiving

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


On Saturday, November 22, Disney Friends for Change sponsored Family Volunteer Day, a nation-wide effort that demonstrates the magic created when families volunteer together to support their neighborhoods and communities around the world. The annual event, now in its 22nd year, celebrates the power that families have to make a real difference in their community, while strengthening their relationships and spending quality time together. Here’s a look at how Walt Disney Parks and Resorts teams participated in Family Volunteering Day and other holiday giving projects:

  • At Disneyland Resort, Disney VoluntEARS helped pack food boxes at the Orange County Food Bank in support of Family Volunteer Day. VoluntEARS hosted another event at the Downtown Disney District to make healthy snack-packs that were also donated to the Orange County Food Bank. Additionally, Disneyland cast members participated in a Military Care Package drive and a canned food collection.
  • To support Family Volunteer Day, Disney VoluntEARS and families from Hong Kong Disneyland took part in a coastal cleanup activity at Silvermine Bay. The event gave families the opportunity to spend time together while contributing to the cleanliness of their surrounding shoreline. In December, Hong Kong Disneyland cast members and their families will also visit two local hospitals for festive celebrations to help spread the joy of the holidays amongst patients and their loved ones.
  • Every year, VoluntEARS from Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa partner with their neighbors at Ko Olina Resort for Thanksgiving Outreach, an event that serves meals to 4,000 people across Oahu’s Leeward Coast.
  • In the spirit of Family Volunteer Day, Shanghai Disney Resort partnered with the non-profit organization Right to Play China through “Imagination Playground,” a play outreach program that aims to strengthen family bonds through various creative play activities. More than 100 children of migrant workers and low-income families have participated in family play activities with Shanghai Disney Resort VoluntEARS this holiday season.
  • At Walt Disney World Resort, cast members and their families partnered with the 2013-2014 Walt Disney World Resort Ambassadors to support Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation’s (ONIC) Family Fun & Fall Festival. VoluntEARS helped set-up and break down the event, staff the activity and game stations and serve refreshments. Additionally, VoluntEARS from Disney’s Pop Century Resort will serve meals on Thanksgiving at the Coalition for Homeless Center for Women & Children and Men’s Pavilion.

Real magic comes from the efforts of families working together to make lasting and positive change in the world. Thanks to our teams from around the world and to the families who are part of that magic every year.

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Filed: Aulani, Community Outreach, Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Hotels & Resorts, Shanghai Disney Resort, Walt Disney World Resort