Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Pumpkin Mania at Disneyland Resort

posted on October 10th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


‘Tis the season – for pumpkin, that is. The ubiquitous gourd takes center stage at Disneyland Resort this time of year, flavoring everything from coffee to soups, and yes, even old-school pumpkin pie.

Disneyland Resort Bakery gets in on the fun with pumpkin beignets, pumpkins twists, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin cream cheese muffins sold throughout the parks and hotels. We got hooked on this pumpkin cheesecake that you’ll find at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta at Disney California Adventure park, Jolly Holiday Bakery Café and French Market in Disneyland park and White Water Snacks at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The graham cracker crust with a pinch of ginger, classic cheesecake filling and a drizzle of chocolate on top create a trifecta of yum.

Beyond the bakery, there’s pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks, and Boudin Bakery’s pumpkin-shaped sourdough at Pacific Wharf Café, the Pacific Wharf bread cart and Mortimer’s Market, all at Disney California Adventure park.

And if you’re in search of that good ol’ pumpkin pie, you’ll find it at Plaza Inn, Carnation Cafe, Village Haus Restaurant, River Belle Terrace and French Market Restaurant in Disneyland park, and at Flo’s V-8 Café and Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta at Disney California Adventure park.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake
Makes 9-inch cheesecake

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup butter-melted

Cheesecake Filling

  • 3 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5-ounce can evaporated milk
  • Chocolate syrup, for drizzling

For crust:

  1. In a bowl combine the crushed graham cracker, sugar and ginger. Melt the butter and stir into mixture.
  2. Spray bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Press crust mixture into bottom of pan using your hands.
  3. Place pan on a large piece of foil and wrap foil tightly up sides and around pan.

For cheesecake filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Beat cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  4. Whisk together pumpkin purée, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl until well combined. Add pumpkin mixture to cream cheese mixture, beating until well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add evaporated milk, mixing well.
  5. Slowly pour cheesecake filling onto crust mixture in prepared pan. Drizzle with chocolate syrup.
  6. Place foil-wrapped pan inside a larger roasting pan. Place oven rack and carefully add enough hot water to reach halfway up sides of springform pan.
  7. Bake 1 hour, or until center moves only slightly when shaken.
  8. Turn oven off. Crack open oven door, and allow cheesecake to cool inside oven 1 hour.
  9. Remove pan from water bath and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Cover top of pan with foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Cook’s Notes: Wrapping foil around springform pan prevents water from the water bath from getting into the cheesecake. The slow cooling inside the oven prevents cheesecake top from cracking.

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2014 Travelers’ Choice: TripAdvisor Names Victoria & Albert’s One of Top 5 Restaurants in U.S.

posted on October 10th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa was honored as one of the Top 5 restaurants in the United States in TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice awards.

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The Walt Disney World Resort restaurant is the only Florida restaurant on the illustrious list. “One-of-a-kind dining experience in Orlando – worth it!” and “A special meal in a special place,” reads the TripAdvisor website.

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Victoria & Albert’s also is a AAA Five-Diamond Award winner, one of just two in Florida. Under the helm of Chef Scott Hunnel, maître d hotel Israel Perez and Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek, the restaurant features some of the very best seasonal ingredients from local markets, as well as from around the world.

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TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, according to the website, reaching nearly 280 million unique monthly visitors and more than 170 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions.

The awards honor top travel spots worldwide based on millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for restaurants worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.

Congrats to Chef Scott, Israel, Chef Erich and the entire Victoria & Albert’s team!

For more on Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, visit the posts below:

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Stay Longer, Save More this Winter at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, with Choice of Special Offers

posted on October 9th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Winter is just around the corner and what better way to escape the cold weather than with a tropical vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawai`i? If that is not tempting enough, the longer you stay and enjoy snorkeling at Rainbow Reef or relaxing at the infinity pool in Ka Maka Landing this winter, the more you’ll save! Take a look at the video below and you’ll see why Aulani has become a favorite destination for families around the world.

Starting today, book a 4-night stay at Aulani and enjoy the 4th night free with a complimentary breakfast at the Ulu Cafe! Click here to learn more. Or if you’re thinking your keiki will need more time at Aunty’s Beach House, our signature complimentary kids club, or you’ll need an extra day at Laniwai Spa, enjoy 30% off a 5-night or more stay – plus complimentary breakfast at Ulu Cafe. Click here to learn more.

You can book either of these special offers October 9, 2014, through February 23, 2015, for most nights January 4, 2015, through March 23, 2015. Visit www.DisneyAulani.com or call 866-443-4763 for more information.

*Stay 4 nights and get the fourth night free with daily breakfast offer for stays of four consecutive nights. Save 30% with daily breakfast offer for stays of five or more consecutive nights. All stays must be booked between 10/9/14 and 2/23/15 inclusive, with all nights between 1/4/15 and 3/23/15. 30% savings based on the non-discounted price of the same room. Number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited, and room availability may vary by dates of stay. Package includes daily breakfast for all Guests booked per room per night of your package stay. Breakfast is only redeemable at Ulu Cafe during normal breakfast operating hours, and includes one entree and one coffee or fresh rotating juice. Breakfast entitlements may not be redeemed for cash in whole or in part, sold separately, transferred or refunded and will expire at midnight on package departure date. Excludes Resort fees and taxes. Not valid in combination with any other discounts or offers. Offers exclude suites and 3-bedroom Grand Villas. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room. Limit two rooms per reservation and subject to room occupancy limitations. Advance reservations required. Subject to additional restrictions and changes without notice.

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Halloween Treats Begin to Materialize at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

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


The spirit of Halloween is in the air, and festive fall treats have materialized at Walt Disney World Resort hotels. I love discovering new treats during the holidays and am excited to share a few of these frightening finds with you.

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Right off the bat, I knew I couldn’t resist the specialty cupcakes from BoardWalk Bakery. Vanilla cake with caramel apple filling, topped with whipped cream—it’s like eating an apple pie inside of a cupcake. Whether you choose the bat or ghost cupcake, you can’t go wrong.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my favorite haunts, and the pastry team has concocted creepy treats for Halloween. There’s something to please every palate—creamy pumpkin cheesecake and scones, spooky skeleton brownies, chocolate cupcakes with candy corn filling topped with buttercream and my favorite—a gooey chocolate-pecan torte.

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Step off the monorail at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and check out the spooktacular sweets. At Contempo Café, you’ll find a creepy, crawly cupcake—white cake with marshmallow filling topped with buttercream frosting and an itsy bitsy sugar spider on a chocolate web. It also seems goblins have taken over Chef Mickey’s, garnishing everything from cookies and brownies to fruit tarts and cheesecakes.

Which ghoulish delight are you dying to sink your fangs into?

For more on Halloween-inspired treats you can find at Walt Disney World Resort, visit the posts below:

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Wildlife Wednesday: Baby Sea Turtles Hatch from Anna & Elsa’s Nests at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort!

posted on October 1st, 2014 by Anne Savage, Ph.D., Conservation Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


Three months ago, we shared the story of two loggerhead sea turtles that lumbered ashore under the cover of darkness to lay their eggs on the beach by Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Lots of sea turtles nest like this elsewhere in Florida, but these two particular turtles are special. As you might have guessed, this was our first introduction to Anna and Elsa, our two loggerhead turtle princesses!

Anna and Elsa, Our Two Loggerhead Turtle Princesses Anna and Elsa, Our Two Loggerhead Turtle Princesses

Anna and Elsa made their debut the following morning at Olaf’s Beach Party as Disney’s Vero Beach Resort team hosted an annual Tour de Turtles event! After being outfitted with satellite transmitters so that researchers can continue to track their movements, Anna and Elsa ‘let it go’ and began their trek back to the ocean. Both turtles, along with the other turtle competitors in this year’s Tour de Turtles, are swimming to raise awareness about the threats that sea turtles face. Anna is raising awareness about artificial light pollution on nesting beaches, and Elsa is raising awareness about plastic debris littering our oceans. Is Anna following her big sister, Elsa, just as she did in Disney’s Frozen? Check out tourdeturtles.org to see where they are now!

A few months have passed since we bid farewell to Anna and Elsa as they began their migratory journey to their foraging grounds. Meanwhile, many sea turtle nests are scattered across the beach, quietly incubating under the surface of the sand. Loggerhead sea turtle nests contain an average of 115 ping pong ball sized eggs. (The photo below depicts a life size model shown at this year’s event.) Both Anna and Elsa’s nests hatched during the past week, and we are happy to report some great news!

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As the younger sister, Anna is a smaller turtle. Her nest had 72 eggs, 68 of which resulted in little hatchlings that successfully made it to the ocean. (The photo below shows Disney sea turtle biologists counting the eggshells after Anna’s nest hatched.) That means that 94% of Anna’s hatchlings were successful, just like their brave mother! (If we’re giving out letter grades, she gets an ‘A+’ for ‘Anna’ and the success of her hatchlings, of course.) Elsa, the big sister to Anna, produced a larger nest of 127 eggs, of which 115 hatched! Elsa even returned two weeks after Tour de Turtles to nest again on our beach, and that nest is still incubating. We’re thrilled that both Anna and Elsa’s nests were so successful. Please join us in wishing the little hatchlings the best of luck as they begin their first big adventure in the ‘big ol’ blue’!

Disney Sea Turtle Biologists Counting the Eggshells After Anna’s Nest Hatched Sea Turtle Hatchlings at Disney's Vero Beach Resort

On your next trip to the beach, you can help sea turtles like Anna and Elsa. Thousands of sea turtles accidentally swallow plastic debris that travels to the ocean through storm drains or flies from landfills, mistaking the small pieces for food. Pick up litter and you might save a turtle’s life!

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Perfect Dish for Fall Weather from Chef Scott Hunnel at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

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


Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the crème de la crème of Disney restaurants – the only AAA Five-Diamond restaurant in Central Florida, and home to Chef Scott Hunnel, a James Beard Award-nominated pro who runs the small kitchen with his finely tuned team.

With only 53 coveted seats in the dining room, plus the opulent (and even smaller) Queen Victoria’s Room and private Chef’s Table in the kitchen, we can’t all get a reservation, but Chef Hunnel kindly shares this pan-seared sablefish that you can make at home. It’s the sort of dish that tastes simple but takes some care to prepare.

At Victoria & Albert’s, this dish is served with beautifully sculpted baby vegetables and garnished with delicate fried carrot curls. Sablefish is also known as black cod and butterfish. If you can’t find sablefish, a good substitution is Chilean sea bass. And if you can’t find Zellwood sweet corn, any fresh corn will work.

Pan-Seared Sablefish with Fingerling Potatoes and Zellwood Corn
Serves 4

Corn Relish

  • 2 ears Zellwood sweet corn
  • Olive oil, for roasting corn and sautéing vegetables
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, diced small
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Zellwood Corn Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 leek, white part only, diced
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 ears Zellwood corn, kernels removed
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 quart corn stock or chicken stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, bay leaves, and peppercorns tied together with string)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons butter

Fingerling Potatoes

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • Olive oil, for sautéing
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

Sablefish

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 (5-ounce) portions sablefish
  • Fresh white pepper, Maldon sea salt, to taste

For corn relish:

  • Husk corn and lightly brush with olive oil. Heat a saute pan or grill over medium-high heat.
  • Place corn in pan and rotate every few minutes using tongs. Baste with a little olive oil, as needed. Cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until corn is charred and tender. (If charring too fast, lower heat slightly.) Cool and slice kernels from the cob. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Halve pepper lengthwise; remove stems, seeds, and membranes. Place cut side down on foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Roast 20 to 25 minutes, or until skins are blistered. Carefully bring foil up and around the pepper halves to enclose. Let stand 15 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  • Loosen edges of skins from pepper halves with a sharp knife. Slowly pull off skin and discard. Dice one-half into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small saute pan. Saute corn, pepper, and onion until soft. Stir in cumin and season to taste. Remove from heat and toss with extra virgin olive oil. Set aside until ready to serve.

For Zellwood corn sauce:

  1. Heat saute pan over medium heat. Saute onion, leeks, and celery for 1 minute.
  2. Add garlic and corn, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in white wine, scraping bits from bottom of pan. Add stock and bouquet garni; reduce heat and simmer 35 to 40 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and season to taste.
  3. Remove from heat, purée with immersion blender, and strain through a chinois or china cap. Stir in butter. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For fingerling potatoes:

  1. Wash and quarter fingerling potatoes. Place in saucepan and cover with water over high heat. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender, depending on size of potatoes. Remove from heat and cool under running water.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and cook until golden and crispy, turn and cooking about 5 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chives. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For sablefish:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat olive oil in sauté pan over high heat.
  2. Season sablefish with salt and pepper. Place skin side down in pan and sauté for 1 minute or until golden brown. Turn and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Roast in oven for about 2 minutes, or until desired doneness.

To serve:

  1. Place roasted fingerling potatoes in center of plate and top with fish.
  2. Drizzle Zellwood corn sauce around fish and potatoes; top fish with corn relish.
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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Menehune Bridge

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


If your little ones love water, the Menehune Bridge will be a favorite destination at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. This 2,200 square foot interactive water play zone designed for keiki under 48 inches features two junior-sized water slides, spinning gourds and a climbing wall! As with most water activities in the resort’s Waikolohe Valley, it is free to guests.

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During a visit to Aulani, Cultural Advisor Kahulu De Santos shared with me the Menehune legend that provides the inspiration for this aquatic play structure. I’m excited to pass the story along as part of our “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series.

According to Hawaiian legend, a boy named Laka went searching for his chief-father after his mysterious disappearance. His grandmother told him to “go to the mountains and look for the tree that has leaves shaped like the Hilo moon – such is the tree for a canoe.” He took his grandmother’s advice and found and fell the tree just before sunset. When he woke the next day to work on his new canoe, the tree he cut down was mysteriously gone! This trickery happened to Laka several times, until he decided to dig a small trench and hide alongside the tree trunk.

While hiding, he found the culprits taking his trees – a pair of Menehune! Once caught, they pleaded forgiveness for their mischievous actions and promised to build Laka a canoe. That evening, a multitude of Menehune carried the canoe down the mountain to Laka’s beachside home. Upon their arrival, a marvelous feast ensued and the mischievous Menehune were forgiven.

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Menehune Bridge celebrates the legend of Laka’s canoe but also encourages aquatic mayhem – inspired by the Menehune, of course. If you want to get a fun view of Laka’s canoe, stand beneath it as it fills with water. Be patient – you’ll be in for a surprise!

What are your keiki looking forward to most during your vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Tell us in the comments below!


For more from the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series, visit the posts below:

Seasonal Delights for Thanksgiving at Disneyland Resort

posted on September 26th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


CORRECTION: Thanksgiving reservations will be taken beginning Sunday, Sept. 28, and reservations for Disneyland Hotel dinner available beginning October 8. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Turkey, turkey and more turkey! For just one day – Thursday, Nov. 27 – restaurants at the Disneyland Resort are showcasing the big bird along with other seasonal sides, from cranberry relish to pumpkin pie and maple bacon funnel cake. Do we dare forego cooking and just head to Disneyland Resort? Thinking so.

Let’s start on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park, with Carnation Café’s slow-roasted turkey with turkey Bourbon gravy, mashed sweet potatoes, apple-cranberry stuffing, cranberry-orange relish, veggies and a classic dinner roll. Of course there’s pumpkin pie.

Keeping with traditions, Plaza Inn is cooking slow-roasted turkey with gravy and sage dressing, mashed potatoes, veggies and a roll. Blue Bayou Restaurant kicks it up with turkey roulade, truffle-infused chicken giblet stuffing, roasted garlic Boursin mashed potatoes and veggies. French Market Restaurant is doing Andouille sausage stuffing with the turkey, and River Belle Terrace adds cornbread and roasted garlic-thyme mashed potatoes to their turkey breast with stuffing.

For something a little different, Café Orleans is making crepes with turkey, butternut squash, cipollini onions and peas with giblet stuffing, cranberry coulis and orange oil. And for just a quick bite, there’s turkey tortilla soup at Harbour Galley, holiday tamales at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante. For a sweet tooth, try the maple bacon funnel cake at Stage Door Café, and there’s plenty of pumpkin pie (at Carnation Café, Village Haus Restaurant, River Belle Terrace and Café Orleans).

Heading over to Disney California Adventure park, Ariel’s Grotto is going traditional with slow-roasted turkey breast and gravy, apple stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and veggies. Flo’s V-8 Café is cooking herb-roasted turkey with mashed potatoes and stuffing, veggies and cranberry relish. And Wine Country Trattoria adds Italian flair with focaccia stuffing with herb-roasted turkey and garlic mashed potatoes, served with haricot vert and orange-cranberry relish.

Take home a loaf of turkey-shaped bread from Boudin Bakery, available at Pacific Wharf Café, Mortimer’s Market and Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta. Or eat dessert first with pumpkin pie at Wine Country Trattoria, Flo’s V-8 Café and Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta.

Heading to the Disneyland Resort hotels, Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel is offering a three-course menu with starters such a butternut squash soup, crispy shredded skirt steak and maple clabbered cream; the entrée is roasted turkey Wellington with pecan stuffing, cranberry relish, Swiss chard and wild mushroom gravy, and dessert is a choice of sweet potato pot de crème, cinnamon gelato, marshmallow meringue and apple crisp.

Also at Disneyland Hotel, Goofy’s Kitchen adds holiday tastes to the brunch and dinner buffet: turkey, orange-cranberry sauce, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, vanilla-scented roasted sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows, herb stuffing, butternut squash soup, pumpkin pie and cranberry cobbler.

At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Chef Andrew Sutton offers his fabulous four-course Country Wine Feast for the holiday at Napa Rose. Next door at Storyteller’s Café, the loaded buffet adds turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce, beef with Cognac au jus and creamed horseradish, brioche bread stuffing with sweet Italian sausage, roasted golden beets with Feta and holiday sweets, including lots of pies.

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Another generous buffet is at Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, featuring Thanksgiving tastes such as turkey, gravy and stuffing, cranberry relish and roasted veggies, along with salads soups, beef, salmon and more.

Of course, you can head directly to the Disneyland Hotel ballroom for the annual fall Thanksgiving dinner – a bounty of turkey, prime rib, stuffing, sweet potato soufflé, cranberry-orange relish, poached shrimp, king crab legs and all the trimmings. Pumpkin and pecan pies, tarts, cookies, freshly made crepes and a chocolate fountain are the sweetest ending for a day of thanks.

For reservations, call 714-781-DINE.

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A Home Away From Home at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: 1-Bedroom Villa

posted on September 23rd, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Planning a vacation usually includes the following questions: Where are we going to eat? How much clothing do we need to pack? Who is going to sleep where? Well, I’m happy to report that a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, has an easy solution to all three with its spacious villas. The 1-Bedroom Villa, 2-Bedroom Villa and 3-Bedroom Grand Villa are all designed to comfortably accommodate larger groups and offer just-like-home amenities. This new series will spotlight these beautiful villas, beginning with a look at what is included with a stay in a 1-Bedroom Villa.

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With more than 750 square feet of living space, a 1-Bedroom Villa is perfect for up to five guests. When trying to decide where everyone is going to sleep, remember that the 1-bedroom villa has a separate bedroom and living room. So if you have little ones that need to go to sleep earlier, the family fun can still continue in the living room! Also, don’t worry about packing extra clothes because a washer and dryer is available inside the room.

One of the best tips to maximize the villa’s amenities is to pick up select food offerings at Kalepa’s Store and prepare them in the kitchen in your room. Dinnerware, glassware, pots and pans – everything you need to prepare a delicious meal – is already in your room! Have leftovers? A 1-Bedroom Villa features a full-size refrigerator as well. My fellow Disney Parks Blog author, George Savvas, recently vacationed in a 1-Bedroom Villa at Aulani, and told me that complimentary dishwasher soap and laundry detergent are included with your stay – so no need to worry about packing those necessities!

Ready to book your villa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Reserve a consecutive four-night or more stay, now through October 30, 2014, for travel between August 15 and December 22 (excluding November 26-29), and receive the fourth night free! Learn more about this great vacation offer here.


See the posts below for more about Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa:

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10 Things To Love About Fall at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today is the first day of fall, and here at Walt Disney World Resort that means it’s the official start of a whole new season of fun.

Here are 10 reasons that fall is a great time to visit our parks.

Mickey's Boo-to You Halloween Parade

  1. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties – This special after-hours Halloween party at Magic Kingdom Park is a must-do during a fall visit. Bring your Halloween costumes, get ready to trick-or-treat and expect to see some amazing Halloween entertainment and fireworks! More details on this offering here.
  2. Villain’s Sinister Soiree - Available only on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights, guests can book this special package that offers a wicked good time that includes VIP viewing for the parade and fireworks, as well as an exclusive dessert party that features some of your favorite Disney villains, musical entertainment and some delectable treats. The package costs $99 per person and more details can be found here.

Playing a Halloween Tune

  1. Pumpkins! (And Generally Amazing Fall Decor) - Fall at Magic Kingdom Park offers up some amazing photo opportunities, as our photography team showed in this blog post earlier this month. What I love most are the pumpkins along Main Street, U.S.A., which each feature their own unique design. Take a moment to check them out.

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  1. Haunted Mansion Merchandise Shop Set To Debut - This fall will see the debut of a new dedicated merchandise shop that Haunted Mansion fans are guaranteed to love. Steven Miller offered a sneak peek at some of the items that will be available at the shop in this post. Stay tuned for more on the shop’s opening.
  2. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival - Each night through November 10, Epcot will come alive with food and fun thanks to the return of one of our most popular events, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year, 25 marketplaces will show off the talents of 270 chefs, including some of Disney’s finest, as well as some celeb chefs.
  3. Celebrity Chef Appearances - This year’s festival will feature appearances by celeb chefs Jamie Deen, “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro and Allen Susser, among others.
  4. Eat To The Beat Concert Series - While we’re talking about fall fun at Epcot, the Eat to the Beat concert series is already underway with several new acts – including Fuel, Jim Brickman, Los Lonely Boys and David Cook – in the lineup. (Concerts are included in park admission).

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  1. runDisney Races Return – Two race weekends - The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler Weekend and Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend – will return to Walt Disney World Resort October 3-4 and November 7-8, respectively. Registration for Kids Races and after parties are still available.
  2. Special Fall Treats - Even snacks are dressed up for the holiday, with new Maleficent cups, Zero popcorn buckets and more now appearing in parks.

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  1. Fall Savings on Resort Rooms - Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort this fall can save up to 30 percent on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels, including Deluxe Villa Resort rooms and Deluxe Resort rooms. This offer is valid for stays most nights October 4 through November 25, and November 29 through December 23, 2014 and must be booked by October 3, 2014. (Some restrictions apply). To book, visit DisneyWorld.com/fall or call 407-WDW-1896.

What’s your favorite part of visiting Walt Disney World Resort during the fall season? Tell us in the comments section below.

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