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Behind the Scenes: Decorating Easter Eggs at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

posted on March 17th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Recently, I was invited to take a behind-the-scenes look at the hard work and artistry that goes into creating the beautiful chocolate Easter eggs displayed at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. I am so egg-cited to be able to give Disney Parks Blog readers a peek at the magic behind the scenes at the Grand Floridian Bakery.

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The level of detail that goes into these hand-painted, hand-carved creations is truly amazing. Erich Herbitschek, the Executive Pastry Chef of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, shared that his team begins working on the egg-stravagant pieces in January. The finished eggs will be on display starting March 20.

Be sure to keeping checking the Disney Parks Blog for more springtime food fun!

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

Giant Sand Castle in the Snow Announces 24-Hour Party, ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 11th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As you may have seen on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” we shared some true Disney magic in winter-weary Boston by creating a warm summer scene, inspired by Olaf’s “In Summer” dream, to officially announce that the “Coolest Summer Ever” is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort. And it all begins with a Disney Parks Blog reader favorite – a 24-hour event at Magic Kingdom Park – during Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff to summer.

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Olaf, who is the official host of our “Coolest Summer Ever,” surprised Bostonians near historic Faneuil Hall with a 20-foot wide beach that included a Cinderella Castle made of sand, beach chairs, beach balls and other reminders of summer fun at Walt Disney World Resort. Check out how it all came together in the video below.

We’re kicking off the summer with an all-night party at the Walt Disney World Resort. Magic Kingdom Park will be open to guests for 24 hours of nonstop fun from 6 a.m.-6 a.m. May 22-23. Guests are invited to dress to show their Disney Side while a selection of favorite attractions, entertainment, merchandise, food and beverages will be on tap all night long to celebrate the start of the “Coolest Summer Ever” at Walt Disney World Resort.

For the “Coolest Summer Ever,” we’re already planning experiences you won’t want to miss. Here’s an early look at some of the highlights:

There’s more to come, so keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog or visit Disneyworld.com/CoolestSummerEver for future details and information.

Also, later this morning, Erin will be sharing a special announcement from Disneyland Resort right here on the blog.

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Filed: Disney Vacation Club, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

An Overwater Retreat at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

posted on March 10th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


I recently took you inside the soon-to-open Disney Vacation Club Deluxe Studio accommodations at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and showed you rooms brimming with space, comfort and a little South Seas flair. But for those looking for the ultimate Polynesian-style getaway nothing beats the resort’s new Bora Bora Bungalows, scheduled to open April 1.

Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

These 20 freestanding 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom Bungalows are the first of their kind at Walt Disney World Resort. They’re actually located over top of the Seven Seas Lagoon and feature sleeping space for up to 8 guests. Luxurious touches throughout the private Bungalows are paired with pops of playful color, exposed wood ceiling beams, distressed hard wood flooring and other stylish design choices. Mid-century style furniture in the living room serves a practical purpose – the sofa folds out into a bed for two. And, the Bungalows feature not just one, but two hidden pull-down beds – one in the living room and another in one of the bedrooms! (To remind yourself how fabulous the pull-down bed concept is check out my previous post.)

Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

They also offer a laundry room (not that you WANT to do laundry on vacation, but it’s there for those times when you must), a full kitchen and large glass doors throughout that take you to your private deck space, complete with fun furniture and remarkable views of the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Opening in 2015

Artist Rendering-Proposed

And did I mention that the Bungalows will each have their own personal plunge pool? They’ll be the perfect place for a little midday cool down and offer a relaxing place to view the nightly fireworks.

Because they are perched over the water there will be a private, gated boardwalk leading to these accommodations that’s only accessible to Disney Vacation Club Members and guests who are staying in the Bungalows.

Right now Walt Disney Imagineering is putting a few final touches on these unique accommodations, but I’ll be back with more photos once they’re complete!


To read more about the Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, visit the stories below:

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Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort

posted on March 5th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort

Last night, hundreds of Disney Parks Blog readers gathered at the Disneyland Resort for our Disney’s “Cinderella” Royal Celebration.

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The event started with a special screening of Disney’s new live-action film, “Cinderella” and the new animated short, “Frozen Fever”, both opening in theaters on March 13.

Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort Surprise Appearances and More at Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort

Then guests were invited to a royal reception at the Disneyland Hotel, where they enjoyed dancing, desserts and special photo opportunities.

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But the evening’s biggest surprise was an appearance by the stars of “Cinderella,” Lily James and Richard Madden. Take a look at this magical moment and more from the event in the video below!

Did you join us for Disney’s “Cinderella” Royal Celebration at the Disneyland Resort? Tell us about it in the comments! And be sure to catch “Cinderella” in theaters on March 13.

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New Cinderella Cupcake at Contempo Café in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

posted on March 4th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


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The pastry team at Disney’s Contemporary Resort has created a brand-new specialty cupcake inspired by Disney’s live-action “Cinderella” movie, in theaters on March 13. Beautifully adorned with a sparkly white chocolate slipper and sugary pumpkin, this vanilla cupcake is filled with vanilla icing and buttercream and is topped with a sprinkle of “fairy dust.”

Be sure to pick up this creative confection from Contempo Café before it disappears at the stroke of midnight on March 31!

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

This Spring, Explore O‘ahu While on Vacation at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on March 2nd, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


I’m a huge fan of Disney Animation’s blockbuster hit “Frozen” and especially the ice queen, Elsa. However, we disagree on this: the cold does bother me. Anyway, with average temperatures of 78 degrees in Hawai‘i, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is the perfect place to thaw out this spring. While vacationing in a tropical paradise, be sure to explore the 112 miles of shoreline along O‘ahu. This beautiful island features world-class shopping, dining, sightseeing and cultural activities. One of my favorite days during my first trip to Aulani was driving along the North Shore and then hiking to the spectacular Waimea Falls! Learn more about the amazing O’ahu adventures you can do with your family while vacation at Aulani here.

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And to ensure you have plenty of time to explore everything O‘ahu has to offer, the longer you stay in paradise on most nights from April 6 through June 15, 2015, the more you and your ‘ohana will save!

  • Save 10% on 3 consecutive nights
  • Save 20% on 4 consecutive nights
  • Save 30% on 5 or more consecutive nights

What are you most excited to do on your next Hawaiian vacation?

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Filed: Aulani, Disney Vacation Club, Hotels & Resorts, Vacation Planning

All Aboard For A Morning Train Ride at Disneyland Resort Paris

posted on March 2nd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Is a train ride around a Disney Park a must-do for you? In this photo, the sun is just rising on the Disneyland Railroad at its Main Street Station (inside Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort Paris). The train offers a 20-minute journey through the park, with stops in Frontierland, Fantasyland and Discoveryland.

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Where will your day take you?

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Shutters at Old Port Royale: A Hidden Disney Dining Gem

posted on February 27th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Recently, I was lucky to have Chef Scott Tosh at Shutters at Old Port Royale guide me through dinner at the beachy restaurant located at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

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The appetizers brought a taste of the islands: barbecue shrimp and grits, chicken wings, braised beef and pepper jack cheese empanada. Of course, I had to try Chef Scott’s favorite dish on the menu—pan-seared crab cakes. The mango mayo is one of his personal recipes.

Barbecue Shrimp and Grits from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort Chicken Wings from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort Braised Beef and Pepper Jack Cheese Empanada from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort Pan-Seared Crab Cakes from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort

The entrees I sampled were like a tropical getaway: Caribbean-spiced pork, osso buco, island pasta with shrimp, garlic-lime-seared chicken breast, today’s sustainable fish, and the char-crusted 10-oz New York strip. The outer crust of the New York strip seals in the juices and enhances the flavor with the chimmichurri sauce and smoked Gouda macaroni and cheese.

Osso Buco from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort Char-Crusted New York strip from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort Sustainable Fish Dish from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort Island Pasta with Shrimp from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort

By now, you’re probably aware that I have quite the sweet tooth, so it should be no surprise to learn that I had to sample every dessert on the menu. The decadent Shutters chocolate cake served with a rich chocolate pate, the vanilla cheesecake topped with a banana brûlée, the tres leches cake topped with toasted coconut, and my favorite—the warm cinnamon white chocolate bread pudding.

Tres Leches Cake from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort Warm Cinnamon White Chocolate Bread Pudding from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort Vanilla Cheesecake Topped with a Banana Brûlée from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort No Sugar Added Mango and Vanilla Custard from Shutters at Old Port Royale at Walt Disney World Resort

For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine, or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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Victoria & Albert’s Chef Scott Hunnel Nominated for 2015 James Beard Award

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Congrats to Chef Scott Hunnel, a semi-finalist for the prestigious Best Chef award for the South Region by the James Beard Foundation. Chef Hunnel leads the team at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (already a AAA Five-Diamond winner).

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He’s among 20 chefs from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Puerto Rico nominated for the honor. The final ballot will be announced on March 24, with chefs chosen by regional judges. Winners will be announced in Chicago on May 4.

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, Chef Scott sources the freshest seasonal ingredients from around the globe in a menu that changes daily.

Good luck, Chef Scott!

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Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrate Animals and Nature throughout the Year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Allyson Atkins, Education Manager, Disney's Animals, Science and Environment


In addition to celebrating with us as at our Spring Forward event, don’t forget to mark your calendars for more fun wildlife and nature inspired events heading your way!

Earth Day/Party for the Planet: April 22
Back by popular demand – it’s a “Party for the Planet” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends where we will be hosting an Earth Day celebration. Discover how you can help animals by creating wildlife-friendly spaces in your backyard. Explore ways to protect and care for marine life through engaging activities. Learn more about sustainable living and how to make great choices every day to benefit both your family and our planet! Join us and don’t forget to grab your exclusive Earth Day 2015 merchandise.
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International Migratory Bird Day: May 9
Spring is all about the birds as we celebrate our winged friends on International Migratory Bird Day. Become an “honorary bird” and discover how you measure up in size and color to nearly 350 species of wild birds while also learning about the great care we provide for our birds at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Discover what the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is doing to ensure our skies stay filled with the many colored feathers of these amazing animals. From what they eat, to where they fly, you’ll learn all you care to know about birds—and that’s nothing to squawk at!

World Turtle Day: May 21
While visiting Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in turtle life as you try on a replica turtle shell or get up-close with some of our turtles and tortoises including seeing our veterinarians in action with these unique animals. At The Seas with Nemo & Friends, discover how to help turtles overcome threats they face in the wild while taking part in hands-on activities that let you experience life as a turtle–all while turtles swim gracefully in the background throughout our 5.7-million-gallon aquatic habitat!
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Tour de Turtles: August 1
Hundreds of sea turtles lay their nests on the beaches of Florida every year and on this special day we invite you to join us at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort for the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s annual “Tour de Turtles” event. Two turtles who have made their nests at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort will be equipped with satellite transmitters which allow sea turtle fans to follow the marathon migration of these turtles from their nesting beaches to their foraging grounds. The turtles had been fitted with satellite transmitters to help with conservation efforts as they swim to raise awareness about the threats that sea turtles face. Join us for the race to the ocean where you can participate in beachside activities while learning ways you can help sea turtles!
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Keep an eye out for these events and more! Here are a few more dates to look forward to:

  • World Oceans Day: June 3
  • Pollinator Day: June 11
  • Big Cat Day: July 30
  • Primate Day: August 20
  • Elephant and Rhino Day: September 24
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Filed: Disney Vacation Club, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort