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Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland Park

‘I Do!’ Memorable Proposals at the Disneyland Resort

posted on February 13th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Everyone has their own special memories of the Disneyland Resort – for some, it’s a first visit or a favorite show, and for many, it’s celebrating the beginning of an exciting journey with a loved one. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m excited to share stories of three memorable proposals stories recalled by cast members from some of our most romantic restaurants – who were able to make these special moments even more magical.

Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge, Disney California Adventure Park

When this guest took his girlfriend to the Disneyland Resort for the first time, he decided to propose to her in front of the wishing well at Snow White Grotto. He even presented the engagement ring in a glass slipper! Later that night, the couple celebrated their engagement in a private dining room at Carthay Circle Restaurant, where the cast members had “his & hers” ear hats waiting for them. The bride-to-be was in tears, and so were the cast members at Carthay Circle Restaurant!

Blue Bayou Restaurant, Disneyland Park

Cast members at Blue Bayou Restaurant were able to make a sweet moment even sweeter for one newly engaged couple. After the groom-to-be proposed (to applause from the entire restaurant), Blue Bayou Restaurant cast members presented the couple with special treats and sparkling cider flutes to celebrate.

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Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa

The Napa Rose team was very excited to help with this unique proposal! One prince charming created a View-Master-like disc for his girlfriend, with slides showing moments throughout their relationship, ending with a very important question on the last slide: “Will you marry me?” Cast member, Wendy, delivered chocolate truffles to celebrate the moment. Other guests even joined in the celebration … the couple sitting next to the newly engaged guests was so touched by the surprising event, they paid for the couple’s dinner.

Where would you pop the question at the Disneyland Resort? Do you have a Disneyland Resort proposal story of your own? Share with us below! And happy Valentine’s Day!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Offers Up Comfort and Extra Space

posted on February 13th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


I recently shared with you photos of the hidden pull-down bed that will be found in the accommodations at the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, which is currently under construction. This nifty pull-down bed feature, along with the pullout couch, means the Deluxe Studio rooms at this resort will comfortably sleep up to five guests. And I stress the word “comfortably” here because, once completed, these 360 Deluxe Studios will be the largest at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Model rooms shown. Floor plans and furnishings subject to change.

The rooms are designed to be flexible, allowing for lounging during the day – indoors and out on your private balcony or patio – and cozy sleeping at night (or during that mid-day naptime, which is always a must in my book).

Adding to the “comfy” factor of these accommodations are the convenient storage options. In addition to serving up plenty of closet space, guests will be delighted to find that the coffee table opens to reveal storage inside and the bed is designed to accommodate luggage underneath (fun surprise: you’ll even find a storage drawer tucked under there as well).

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Of course it wouldn’t be a Disney resort without all those playful design touches that truly make you feel as if you’re vacationing in a Polynesian paradise.

Playful Design Touches in the New Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Deluxe Studio at Walt Disney World Resort Playful Design Touches in the New Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Deluxe Studio at Walt Disney World Resort

Plus, these Deluxe Studio villas will offer a really great feature that will allow families tons of comfort while they’re getting ready to hit the theme parks, or the resort’s soon-to-be-completed revamped feature pool, each morning. But I’ll save that reveal for my next post.

Stay tuned for more details and photos from Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows!

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Filed: Disney Vacation Club, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

New ‘Cooking Safari With Mickey’ Cookbook Debuts This Spring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on February 12th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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It was so much fun to work with the chefs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to put together “A Cooking Safari With Mickey,” a collection of recipes showcasing the flavorful cuisine of South Africa and India.

We know that our guests are well traveled and love exploring new tastes, and sharing these recipes is a treat. Here’s a sneak peek of the cookbook, with one of our favorite recipes from Sanaa in Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. We like it a little spicy, so add more jalapeños and chili powder. And cardamom pods can be found in Indian grocery stores – -some stores call them seeds, rather than pods. (Each pod is about the size of a dried cranberry and contains 17 to 20 tiny seeds.)

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Spicy Durban-Style Chicken
Serves 4

Dry Masala

  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder

Chicken and Curry Sauce

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Course salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 3 cups canned crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • Basmati rice, for serving

For dry masala:

  1. Toast star anise, cumin seeds, bay leaves, and cardamom pods in a heavy, dry skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring until spices begin to brown and are fragrant. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Grind spices in a blender or coffee grinder into a fine powder.
  3. Combine spice mixture with cinnamon, chili powder, ancho chili powder, Madras curry powder, and turmeric powder. Toast in heavy, dry skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until fragrant. Remove from skillet and set aside to cool.

For chicken and curry sauce:

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Trim fat from chicken and cut into 1-inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Place chicken in skillet and brown for 8 to 10 minutes, turning to evenly cook. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Add onions and jalapeños to skillet and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add ginger and garlic, stirring to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Mix in dry masala mixture with a rubber spatula and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and increase heat to high for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Return chicken to skillet, add water, and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until sauce slightly thickens. Stir in cilantro. Serve immediately over basmati rice.
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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World: See What’s in Store!

posted on February 11th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Who doesn’t enjoy a little retail therapy? This particular ‘window’ shopping trip shouldn’t cost you a thing – unless, of course, you are planning a visit to one of our many parks or resorts around the world. Take a look at some of the exciting new offerings and what our resident experts had to share.

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Traveling to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Keep an eye out for the Dated 2015 collection at Kalepa’s Store. This year’s playful art featuring signature characters and icons lends itself to an array of items including adult and kid’s tees, souvenirs, mugs and ornaments that are easy to pack. Travelers Tip: If your trip is booked for later this spring, keep watching the Disney Parks Blog. I will be releasing details on several new collections set to debut this April which are guaranteed to make a splash! Now, off to Hong Kong Disneyland!

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“We invite you to spread cheer and happiness this year,” said Fion Lai, “and celebrate Chinese New Year with us at Hong Kong Disneyland.” You’ll find special themed merchandise including apparel, plush (Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Duffy the Disney Bear and ShellieMay), festive candy boxes and biscuits as well as Disney-themed Lai See red packets and Fai Chun. Let’s keep traveling – next stop: Tokyo Disney Resort!

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Our family and friends at Tokyo Disney Resort have cooked up something special as they celebrate a Sweet Duffy event through March 20, 2015. “This unique celebration is a recipe for success, says Director of Merchandise,” Gary LaTouche. “Our Disney fans love Duffy the Disney Bear, ShellieMay and Gelatoni, we have found that they can ‘bear’ly contain their excitement for some of the new offerings including plush, accessories, cooking essentials and sweet treats.” Where to next? How about Disneyland Paris?

Disneyland Paris Product Developer Regis Alart shared details with us about several new collections that have been added to Art on Demand at Disneyland Paris. “Some of my favorites include the Theatrical Mickey Mouse posters, reminiscent of the Fantasyland attraction, Meet Mickey Mouse,” Regis explains, “as well as the Circus inspired pieces designed for the Disney & Co. boutique on Main Street, U.S.A.; ‘Frozen’ and Disneyland Paris character art, designed by members of our merchandise art department.”

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How does Art on Demand work? It’s easy! Simply find a kiosk (available at select art/collectible locations) and peruse the selections until you find what you’re looking for. Categories include characters, attractions, concept drawings and pieces by various Disney and Disney-inspired artists. Next, select the size and medium (canvas or paper), make your payment and within two to three weeks it will be delivered straight to your home.

Art on Demand is currently available at Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort. Tip: Fans of Marc Davis and “Frozen,” you’ll be glad to know … selections from Snow Queens – Art of Ice exhibit (currently on display in The Disney Gallery) are now available at the Disneyland Resort!

Where would you travel to?

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Filed: Aulani, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Hotels & Resorts, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

Grab Gal Pals for Valentine’s Day Celebrations at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 11th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


They’re with you through tears and laughter, when you’ve kissed more frogs than princes … so grab your sisters from another mister and celebrate Galentine’s Day at Walt Disney World Resort.

Nature Meets Nurture at Senses Ð A Disney Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort

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Indulge in some group pampering – mani/pedis anyone? – at one of our signature spas: Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Spring Resort.

Dine rockin’ your prettiest tiara
You’re all princesses at our Character dining featuring fairytale friends you’d want to be buds with. Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner, Cinderella’s Dining at Citricos and Princess Storybook Dining grant your wishes to dine with royalty.

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Retail Therapy
Alex & Ani, Dooney and Bourke, Pandora, Vera Bradley, apparel (Downtown Disney), perfume (Bonjour, Epcot France!), jewelry (ahlan Morocco!) and more are available all over Walt Disney World resorts and theme parks.

The Great Outdoors
Consider glamping at Fort Wilderness in one of our cabins, and hit the links as your favorite foursome, ride horses, rent bicycles, kayak, parasail, even hook a fish – all with some Disney flair.

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Dinner and Dancing
Grab your grass skirt for the Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Or enjoy Mississippi-delta cuisine and live music at House of Blues in Downtown Disney West Side.

We have so many other ideas for your girlfriend getaway – even if it’s just for the afternoon. But I’d love to hear from you: what are your favorite ways to celebrate with your best buds at Walt Disney World Resort?

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Discover With Me: Kula Wai at the Laniwai Spa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on February 10th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


This Valentine’s Day, treat your special someone to a blissful day at Laniwai Spa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Walt Disney Imagineering designed this “freshwater heaven” to pamper guests in ways that enhance connections to nature and encourage personal enlightenment.

Today, the “Discover with Me” series continues with a tour of the Kula Wai – the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on O‘ahu! Every guest that books one of the nearly 150 treatments at the Laniwai Spa receives complimentary access to this 5,000-square-foot garden. Paul, a Laniwai Spa cast member, shows what spa guests can discover at this tropical oasis in the video below!

Learn more about the treatments available–including therapies specially designed for couples–available at the Laniwai Spa here.

How will you celebrate your loved one this Valentine’s Day at Aulani? Leave your answer in the comments below!

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Sweet Valentine’s Day Offerings at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 9th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Princess Tiana said it best: “My mom always said that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” If that’s the case, love is all around at Walt Disney World Resort! This week, you’ll find specialty sweets throughout the resort; here are some of our favorites:

Red Velvet Waffle Sundae with Cream Cheese Icing and Sprinkles at Sleepy Hollow Chocolate-Raspberry Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

Magic Kingdom Park

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Epcot

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Valentine’s Day heart-shaped cheesecakes, fondue for two, and chocolate covered strawberries at The Mara
  • Heart-shaped puff pastry filled with a Champagne mousse and wild strawberry sauce at Jiko – The Cooking Place

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Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort

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Disney’s BoardWalk

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Valentine Trinity Dessert featuring petite double-ganache chocolate cake, Champagne sabayon and raspberry turnover at Artist Point
  • Strawberry-dipped chocolate cupcake at Roaring Fork

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Sweetheart pancakes and Valentine’s-themed dessert buffet at Chef Mickey’s
  • Red velvet pancakes, red velvet cupcake, strawberry-chocolate crème brûlée, and flourless chocolate cake at The Wave … of American Flavors
  • Double-chocolate specialty cupcake at Contempo Café

Which treats will you share with your sweetie with on Valentine’s Day?

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

Disney Days of Past: A Peek at the Polynesian

posted on February 5th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Winter got you down? Here’s to dreaming of the warm summer months ahead with a little help from some Disney friends at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in 1985.

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I’m especially a big fan of Goofy’s sunglasses. Aloha from Florida!

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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Pu‘u Kilo

posted on February 4th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


One of my favorite locations at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is the Maka‘ala Lanai, just outside the Maka‘ala lobby. Here guests take in a panoramic view of the beautiful Waikolohe Valley, including the Pu‘u Kilo – a large volcanic remnant that serves as the valley’s visual centerpiece. Today, the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series continues on the Disney Parks Blog with a review of the significance of this massive geological element and how it enhances the Aulani story for guests visiting this beautiful resort in Hawai`i!

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The goal of Walt Disney Imagineering was to make the resort’s landscape look as if it was already there. With this in mind, it was vital to the Aulani story for this lava outcropping to have a starring role.

Aulani Cultural Advisor Kahulu De Santos shared with me that “pu‘u” means “hill” and “kilo” means “seer” or “observe” and that the name of the centerpiece is a reference to the many hidden images embedded within the hill’s surface. These images reveal themselves to guests who are “seers,” or those who watch closely. As the sunlight shifts throughout the day, keep an eye out for an owl, an eel, a whale, a shark, and even a sea turtle on the jagged-edged surfaces of the Pu‘u Kilo!

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For guests at Aulani, the Pu‘u Kilo is also largely a place of recreation. Two of the major highlights are the water slides: Volcanic Vertical and Tubestone Curl. If you’re feeling adventurous, I would definitely recommend the Volcanic Vertical – a body slide that immediately plunges riders into total darkness through the center of the Pu‘u Kilo. Tubestone Curl, on the other hand, is designed as a one- or two-person slide that carries riders past the uppermost ridges of Pu‘u Kilo before splashing into the Waikolohe Stream.

Are you more tempted to splash down Volcanic Vertical or Tubestone Curl while at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Let us know in the comments below.

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Day 4 – Experience ‘My Storybook Moment’ at Meet and Greets

posted on February 4th, 2015 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG


If “A dream is a wish your heart makes” then do I have a surprise for you!

Many little girls dream of being a princess. How do we know? If you have “royalty” living in your “castle” it’s pretty obvious. Lol. They love playing dress up with gowns and tiaras, and many times, they create their very own “live-action” fairy tale, perhaps involving you in part of their epic adventure? There may also be a few requests for a pony that can live in the garage, or their bedroom? You’re smiling, you’re remembering a moment in particular huh? That’s great. This gift was designed with you in mind then.

If your sweetheart has princess character traits, you can now provide her with a new magical moment like none other. If you’re wondering what all the excitement is about, take a peek at Sundays post, Show your Disney Side, and take the quiz so you can learn how to create a “Disney magical moment” for the little princess in your life as part of our 14 Days of Love series.

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So I have a question: What if your little sweetheart could be proclaimed a princess at the Disney World or Disneyland parks, by their favorite fairy tale princess. Would you do it?

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Of course you would. And truth be told, if no one was looking, you might slip in as her stand-in if need be? To meet a Disney Princess is so magical, but to be proclaimed a princess, now that’s a moment fit for a storybook right? Perhaps her storybook? Well, due to the interest of our WDW Mickey and Minnie’s Valentine Surprise, and DLR Mickey and Minnie’s Valentine Surprise we’re expanding our experiences and releasing the first in a series of “storybook moments” for little ones.

What’s included? Inside a pink “Storybook Moment” bag is a royal invitation to any Princess meet and greet, a princess sash, fairy tale tiara and personalized storybook proclamation, but it’s missing a signature to make it official. She needs to go to a Princess meet and greet to get a Princess signature for her proclamation. And so the fairy tale begins. You help prepare her for this royal moment by draping the sash on her, placing the tiara on her head, then take her to a Princess meet and greet. Once at the meet and greet, her princess will sign her declaration and recognize her as part of the royal court.

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Want to see one take place?

Now, imagine your little ones reaction getting prepared for this moment, then experiencing it. The stories she’ll tell later and the keepsakes to place in her room will remind her that she’s loved and accepted for the essence of her.

To check it out, click on to this WDW “My Storybook Moment” link or DLR “My Storybook Moment” link to look at the keepsakes included. The price is $128.95, not including tax and delivery. The gift is available to pre-order as part of our 14 Days of Love series, with delivery on property starting May 15. You can also call a Disney Floral & Gifts Dream Maker at WDW (407)WDW-GIFT or DLR (714-781-GIFT). Your surprise can be delivered to a resort room in preparation for the next day’s visit to the parks, or you could send it to a WDW character dining location too. As her fairy godmother or godfather you have so many magical possibilities.

And, if you’re looking for an outlet to create more magical moments for those you care about, tune in tomorrow. For those who enjoy “building” a magical moment as well as experiencing one, this post will be for you. Sound “cool”? I can’t wait to share, I just hope I don’t get “frozen” in the moment. (Wink).

In the meanwhile, I think there’s a little one somewhere who’s waiting for a fairy tale moment. #Disney14DaysofLove.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort