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Top 9 Disney Parks Recipes for Fall

posted on September 2nd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

While we’re still sweltering in Florida, temperatures are beginning to cool across the U.S., with thoughts of fall – apples and pumpkins, gingerbread and comforting bowls of soup.

So we’re getting ready and rounded up nine of your favorite recipes that we’ve posted on the Disney Parks Blog. Here they are, all in one spot, so take your pick: a hot, crisp gingerbread beignet from Disneyland park, perhaps? Or maybe something fancy like Chef Scott Hunnel’s pan-seared sablefish from Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World Resort.

In no particular order, the Top 9:

  1. Apple Crisp from Napa Rose, Disneyland Resort. What’s not to love about warm apples with splash of apple brandy, and a topping of sugar, oats, pecans and coconut? Bring on the vanilla ice cream.

Gingerbread Beignets from Café Orleans at Disneyland Park

  1. Gingerbread Beignets from Café Orleans, Disneyland park. Frying makes everything better — gingerbread never tasted this good.

Pumpkin Mousse with Ocean Spray Craisins and Orange Sauce at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

  1. Pumpkin Mousse from Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Forget pumpkin pie. Impress your guests with layers of pumpkin, streusel and apricot-orange sauce.

Pumpkin Beignets From Club 33 at Disneyland Park

  1. Pumpkin Beignets from Club 33, Disneyland park. We love pumpkin. We love beignets. Add a warm maple glaze and watch them disappear.

  1. Hearty Pozole Soup, Paradise Garden Grill, Disney California Adventure park. “Pozole” is just a fancy word for old-fashioned hominy, giving substance to this tomato broth along with pork. We love the crunchy toppings, too: radishes, lime, cilantro and more.

  1. Harvest Salad, Carthay Circle Restaurant, Disney California Adventure park. This is really a fancy dinner in a bowl, with duck and caramelized apples (perfect pairing) with the crunch of fresh greens. This one takes a little time, but it’s worth it.

  1. Pumpkin Twists from Maurice’s Treats, Disneyland park. Our readers love pumpkin, and this baked treat is made with frozen puff pastry and pureed pumpkin. Easier than it looks.


  1. Pumpkin Muffins. Breakfast or dessert, you decide. With pumpkin, golden raisins and a crunchy streusel topping, we could go either way. Or have for both breakfast and dessert.

  1. Pan-Seared Sablefish, Victoria & Albert’s, Walt Disney World Resort. If you’re p for a kitchen challenge, this fine dish from Chef Scott Hunnel will elicit praise. If you can’t find sablefish, Chilean sea bass work well. Bon appétit!
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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

6 Tips From Disney Chefs for National ‘More Herbs, Less Salt Day’ Aug. 29

posted on August 28th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Who knew there’s a national day to remind us to step away from the salt shaker, meant to encourage us to reach for herbs instead of salt? The Disney chefs love the idea, and we’re sharing a few of their favorite tips.

Chef Christian Rumpler, Trattoria al Forno, Disney’s Boardwalk: “You could always liven up a dish with fresh parsley and oregano, but acidic flavors like lemon balm, lemongrass or something cool like lemon thyme are at the top of the list,” says Rumpler. He also recommends a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and flavored vinegars like apple cider vinegar. “Those flavors give you a punch of flavor without the salt.”

Chef Marcel St. Pierre, Steakhouse 55, Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort: “Sorrel is my favorite substitution for salt, and one of my favorite perennial herbs,” says St. Pierre. “It adds a lightly sour taste with a little acidity to any dish.” He uses it at Steakhouse 55 to finish the fresh pasta tagliatelle. “It adds a surprising, refreshing lemony flavor, reducing the amount of salt needed to finish the dish.”

Executive Chef John State, Disneyland Resort: Cilantro is State’s favorite herb when there’s a need to cut salt. “Cilantro is bright and complements multiple cuisines, from Thai and Mexican to Indian and Middle Eastern.” It’s the acidity and fragrant aroma that are so appealing to the taste buds, says State. “Cilantro is rounded in flavor with lemony, floral, balanced acidity – and you can use it all, even the stem,” explains State.

Chef Dee Foundoukis, Le Cellier, Canada pavilion, Epcot World Showcase, Walt Disney World Resort: Foundoukis will give up her fleur de sel or truffle salt for a combination of fresh thyme and oregano. “That earthy feel-good adds so much flavor, it makes me forget about the salt – for a while,” says Foundoukis.

Chef Tim Keating, Flying Fish Cafe, Disney’s Boardwalk, Walt Disney World Resort: “That’s an easy one for us at Flying Fish,” says Keating. “We utilize classic French ‘fines herbes’ to amp up flavor and easily displace salt in salads, vinaigrettes, vegetable sautés and to crust our fish.” You can buy it dried, but their fresh, house-made mixture is a combination of half Italian flat-leaf parsley and half equal amounts of tarragon, chervil and chives, all finely chopped.

Chef Brian Piasecki, California Grill, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Walt Disney World Resort: “If I am making lighter foods like salads, flatbreads and appetizers, I like basil, cilantro, oregano, Italian flat parsley, onion sprouts and tops and even finely chopped radish tops (micro radish or wasabi),” says Piasecki. “These are great raw and delicate in flavor.” For cooked dishes, Piasecki goes for something heartier such as rosemary, thyme, and sage. “These hold up to the heat of cooking and are a bit stronger in flavor and infuse the food,” he explains.

Do you have a favorite herb to recommend when you’re cutting back on salt?

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

Disney Parks After Dark: Dusk at Disney’s BoardWalk

posted on August 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

The sun is just about to set on Disney’s BoardWalk and the Friendship Launch boats that speed guests to and from Epcot. What a lovely sky, isn’t it?


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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Laniwai Spa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa?

posted on August 26th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations

There isn’t anything quite like an experience at Laniwai Spa. Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, this “freshwater heaven” at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is guaranteed to make your Hawaiian vacation unforgettable. Let’s have some fun and see how much you know about the Laniwai Spa in the quiz below!


How Well Do You Know Laniwai Spa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa?

What does “laniwai” mean in Hawaiian?
What is the name of the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on ‘Oahu, which is found at Laniwai Spa?
Which of the following classes is not offered through the Mikimiki Fitness Center?
Where can little ones receive magical makeovers at Aulani?

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Filed: Aulani, Hotels & Resorts

A Unique Point of View: Monorail Pool Slides at the Disneyland Hotel

posted on August 26th, 2015 by Michael Ramirez, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations

Staying at the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort has many perks. One of my favorite amenities at our hotels are the themed pools! And of course, no hotel pool is complete without water slides!

With the help of our amazing video crew, a few GoPro cameras and three fantastic lifeguards – Brett, Jenn and Monique – we wanted to share just how fun our slides are at each of our resort hotels.

First up, the Monorail Pool at the Disneyland Hotel! Choose between two Monorail-themed slides: the 180-foot-long Monorail Red slide and 80-foot-long Monorail Yellow slide. Little known fact: both are replicas of the original Mark 1 Monorail trains which traveled between Disneyland and the Disneyland Hotel during the early ‘60s. If you can’t decide which slide to ride first, check out the video below!

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#DisneyFamilia: Staying Inside the Magic

posted on August 26th, 2015 by Sarah Domenech, International Public Relations Manager

In this week’s video series “Sonia’s Best of Walt Disney World,” Sonia gives us an inside look on all of the benefits that our familias get when they stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

Did you know that we have hotel suites that accommodate up to six people? Now, abuelita can stay with the whole family the next time you come to Walt Disney World Resort!

Sonia shares these and other little tidbits of information, including her favorite resorts and all the benefits you get by staying in our hotels to help you enjoy even more Disney magic.

So tell me, out of the more than 25 resorts at Walt Disney World, which one is your favorite?

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Wildlife Wednesday: Welcome our Baby Giraffe to the Savanna!

posted on August 26th, 2015 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

Big news for the Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – our newest giraffe calves have ventured out onto the savanna for the first time. Mara, Milo and Lincoln are 3-, 4- and 5-months old, respectively, and are doing very well in their new home.


Although on our savanna, the giraffe don’t have to be concerned with predators, we want to make sure they are old enough to follow their mothers and family, so our animal keepers keep them backstage until they are old enough to feel secure. In the wild, giraffe calves have to learn how to follow their mothers in case there is danger.


Of the nine subspecies of giraffe, Masai giraffe are the amongst most populous in the wild at about 35,000, but sadly reports of increased poaching for their meat, hide and tails are leading to significant reductions. Two of the other subspecies are already critically endangered. When you see them on the savanna, note their spots – Masai giraffe have leafy, uneven spots. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you will find reticulated giraffe that have smooth-edged spots.


Giraffe are very curious, observant animals that like to survey their land very carefully. This makes “every day a new day” for giraffe. They will notice if there are any new additions to the savannah, including other animals or changes to the landscape. This is true in the wild as well; because giraffe are so tall and pay such close attention to their surroundings, other animals use them as safety indicators.


The next time you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we hope you see Lincoln, Milo and Mara on the savanna at Kilimanjaro Safaris. They will probably be close to their moms, learning all they need to know to grow to adulthood.

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Celebrate National Waffle Day

posted on August 24th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


Happy National Waffle Day!

This morning we join our friends at Chef Mickey’s as they prepare one of their most popular dishes on the menu, Mickey Waffles.

For you trivia buffs, National Waffle day is celebrated in the United States on August 24 to recognize the date Cornelius Swartwout was issued a patent for the waffle iron back in 1869.

What do you like on your Mickey Waffles? This blog author likes natural maple syrup and strawberries. Now I‘m hungry.

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Happy National Waffle Day from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

posted on August 24th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator

Happy National Waffle Day from Disney Parks Food and Beverage! What better way to indulge on this delicious holiday than with one of our top 8 waffles from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts:


  1. Mickey Waffles
    Look for these breakfast classics are resort hotels across property, and at Plaza Inn at Disneyland park.
  2. Buffalo Chicken Waffle Slider from Trilo-Bites at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
    This fiery new snack is simply wild!
  3. Waffle Cone from Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream at Disney California Adventure park
    Cool down with this sweet, hand-scopped treat.
  4. Waffle Sandwiches from Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom Park
    Go sweet with the fruit and Nutella waffle sandwich, or try one of the savory lunchtime waffle sandwiches—either way you can’t go wrong.
  5. Waffle Fries at Golden Oak Outpost in Magic Kingdom Park
    Creative toppings make these waffle fries a tasty meal.
  6. Sweet and Savory Waffles from the Belgium Global Marketplace at Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
    Try the Belgian waffle topped with berries or chocolate ganache and whipped cream for dessert or the Potato and Leek Waffle with beer-braised beef and smoked gouda cream for a hearty snack when the festival returns on September 25.
  7. Maple Waffle Breakfast Cone from BoardWalk Bakery
    A practically perfect breakfast on the go.
  8. Buffalo Chicken and Cornbread Waffles from the Fantasy Fare Food Truck at Downtown Disney
    This sweet and spicy treat is sure to satisfy.

What’s your favorite Disney Parks waffle? Let us know in the comments below!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyKids: First Disney Campfires

posted on August 21st, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager

There are many advantages to staying in a Disney resort when visiting Walt Disney World Resort, and one of my family’s favorites is somewhat of a hidden gem – the campfires! Offered at many of our hotels, these regular events are a wonderful way to wind down as a family after an exciting day in the parks. They’re complimentary, and because they take place at your hotel, it’s easy to get little ones back to your room for bedtime. If the kids are still not sleepy following s’mores, stick around for Movies Under the Stars. There’s something so magical about snuggling up to watch a favorite Disney movie outdoors.

Each campfire is themed to the resort at which it takes place – for example, over at Fort Wilderness Resort, Chip ‘n’ Dales Campfire Sing-A-Long has a country theme complete with a singing cowboy and special appearance from everyone’s favorite chipmunks.

Here’s a peek at what your family can expect at a few of my favorite campfires at resorts on property – Fort Wilderness, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

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Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort