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New Gift Packages Bring ‘Frozen’ to Your Disney Resorts Room

posted on July 3rd, 2015 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG


If your loved ones are like me, I bet they can’t get enough of “Frozen.” To experience the summer that Olaf dreams about, look no further: the enchanted florist, Disney Floral and Gifts, brings the magic of Arendelle right to your Disney Resorts room.

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Anna & Elsa’s Warm Welcome starts with a beautiful door banner on the door. Once inside, a winter wonderland of snowflake confetti and luminaries light the way to an exclusive tote filled with delicious treats that you might think was left by the royal sisters themselves.

Frozen Door Banner, Part of Anna & Elsa’s Warm Welcome Anna & Elsa Tote Bag, Part of Anna & Elsa’s Warm Welcome

Check out the other goodies: a “Frozen”-themed pillowcase, Anna and Elsa vision glasses, an exclusive light-up lanyard, autograph book (signed by the sisters) and “Frozen”-themed memory cards. You’ll drift off to sleep under a “Frozen”-themed blanket cuddling plush Olaf.

Anna & Elsa Vision Glasses, Part of Anna & Elsa’s Warm Welcome Anna & Elsa Light-Up Lanyard, Part of Anna & Elsa’s Warm Welcome Frozen Pillow Blanket, Part of Anna & Elsa’s Warm Welcome

For Olaf’s Warm Welcome, you get the feeling Anna and Elsa helped your favorite snowman make this gift.

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It features many similar goodies to Anna and Elsa’s Warm Welcome, including the autograph book and “Frozen”-themed memory cards, Olaf light-up lanyard, pillowcase and Olaf plush.

Olaf Light-Up Lanyard, Part of Anna & Elsa’s Warm Welcome Olaf Pillowcase, Part of Anna & Elsa’s Warm Welcome

An Olaf tote bag will be the perfect place to store treats during your journey in the parks.

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Olaf vision glasses will ensure that your loved ones are seeing everything through his eyes, which is a real picnic. (See what I did there?)

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Both experiences are available at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. Check out the links above to learn more about each gift. When you’re ready, you can order online or speak to a friendly Dream Maker seven days a week. To order for Walt Disney World Resort hotel locations, you can call 407-WDW-GIFT (939-4438). For Disneyland Resort hotel locations, you can reach a Dream Maker at 714-781-GIFT (4438).

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Learn Culinary Secrets of Disney Chefs in New Backstage Adventure at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 1st, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Ever wonder how to make a buttery pasta noodle or fork-tender filet mignon? Beginning July 8, the new “Disney Family Culinary Adventure” at Disney’s Contemporary Resort whisks guests backstage for a fun, interactive evening that includes plenty of time with the Disney chefs, hands-on cooking and a festive, five-course dinner with beer and wine served in the kitchen by the professional catering staff.

Aimed at guests 9 and older, the evening starts at 5 p.m. with a friendly introduction to the massive catering kitchen. A maximum of 30 guests put on aprons, hats and gloves and are divided into five cooking groups. And every station has a wow technique, from the ease of making homemade butter (equal parts buttermilk and heavy cream) to a fresh pasta with just three ingredients.

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“We want to show them the tricks of the trade,” says Chef Frank Brough. “It’s a guided experience but they do everything from making cheese and butter to rolling out pasta and breaking down a whole beef tenderloin.”

The five stations:

  • Garde manger, is the French term for food produced in the cold kitchen, where guests learn how to make farmer cheese, from-scratch butter, and how to plate a gourmet salad on a rapidly moving electric belt in the professional kitchen.
  • Sushi, with sushi chefs teaching the art of rolling sushi and sashimi. (This station may rotate with other culinary ideas.)
  • Boucherie, or butcher station, where guests learn how to trim a beef tenderloin to make the perfect filet mignon.
  • Pasta, with just three ingredients (semolina, olive oil and egg), guests learn to make tender noodles from scratch, along with fresh basil pesto.
  • Patisserie, or bakery, where guests get to play with chocolate, mousse and other sweet endings.

Once the food prep is complete, guests move freely about the big kitchen to chat with the chefs – no culinary question goes unanswered. It takes about an hour for all the prep work, then everyone is seated at a long table in the center of the kitchen to enjoy the five-course meal they’ve just prepared. (Vegetarian, vegan and selections for guests with allergies are options for dinner.)

Lights are dimmed, background music plays, and a toast begins the special meal, where each course is served with wine and beer. At the meal’s end a special molecular gastronomy demonstration wows guests (we’ll keep that a secret), and they receive a special toque (chef’s hat) to take home, along with a Disney cookbook signed by the chefs.

“We really want them to leave the kitchen with ideas for a spectacular dinner party that they can do at home without opening a can or reaching for something frozen,” says Chef Brough.

The program is planned two evenings a week (days vary), starting at 5 p.m. Cost is $175 plus tax, $125 plus tax for ages 9 to 12. (Younger guests may have their own cooking station.) Complimentary transportation is provided for Disney Resort hotel guests. To book or for more information, call 407-WDW-PLAY.

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Final Phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Opens Today

posted on July 1st, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


The final phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at the Walt Disney World Resort opened today, marking the completion of all 360 Deluxe Studios at the resort.

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I recently had the opportunity to stay in one of the resort’s Deluxe Studios and it was truly a fantastic experience. During my stay, I zipped over to Epcot via the monorail and made it back in time to watch the Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from the resort. I strolled along the resort’s beach area and tested out room service (late-night pizza was fantastic, but not as yummy as eating Tonga Toast in bed the next morning). At Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort I took my son on his first pontoon boat ride on Seven Seas Lagoon, spoiled his lunch by getting him a Dole Whip from Pineapple Lanai and sampled drinks on the outdoor patio of the new Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

In addition to the resort’s unbeatable location and fun amenities, the features within our villa make this my favorite Disney Vacation Club Deluxe Studio to date. We especially enjoyed the spacious split bath design, the hidden pull-down bunk-size bed and the kitchenette (the fridge would have been perfect for our leftover take-out pizza, had we not polished the whole thing off right away).

Want to see more? Take a tour of this unique accommodation in this video.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney Vacation Club, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyKids: It’s a Pirate’s Life for Me

posted on June 26th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Yo ho, let’s go! The sense of adventure of a pirate’s life can entertain little ones of all ages and we’ve got lots of exciting ways for kids to get in on the action. We rounded up some of the top ways at Walt Disney World Resort for kids to feel like a real pirate for the day in this handy graphic.

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In addition to these great experiences, there is even more swashbuckling fun to be had across the theme parks and resorts. For fans of Disney Jr., don’t miss character dining and meet & greet opportunities with Jake and the Neverland Pirates at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The adventure continues at our resorts with special Pirates Adventure Cruises, where little scallywags can set sail to find hidden treasure. There are even pirate-themed rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

For even more pirates (and princesses), check out this page!

Click on the graphic above to see all our recommendations for pirate fun!

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

New Chef, New Menu Items for Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

posted on June 24th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Disney’s Wilderness Lodge takes guests on a journey to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with design inspired by turn-of-the-century National Park lodges. And Artist Point carries that theme into the dining room with dramatic murals, timbered columns and pretty views of Bay Lake and Silver Creek Falls.

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So, of course, the cuisine helps tell the story, and Chef Michael Gonsalves, new at the helm in the Artist Point kitchen, is having fun with a menu that is focused on the America’s Pacific Northwest. “We are looking to convey the wonders of nature through food,” says Chef Michael.

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Regional dishes such as Dungeness crab cakes, steamed mussels, Cedar plank salmon and wild-caught prawns and halibut are on the menu, but Chef Michael is having fun with new tastes, too. A dashi-braised short rib starter is served with kombu turnip pickles, daikon and wild greens. Charred field asparagus with Berkshire prosciutto, mustard vinaigrette, and foraged greens also graces the menu. And he showcases produce from the “Land” at Epcot as well with offerings such as the “Land” Greens Salad featuring Masumoto Peaches, and Seed Granola.

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Favorites such as the smokey portobello bisque with crispy shiitakes stays on the menu, as well as the buffalo strip steak from North Fork Canada. For summer, Chef Michael is adding a new cheese and house-made charcuterie boards.

“We’ll be offering Pacific Northwest cheeses with house-made seed lavosh and crostini,” says Chef Michael. “And the house-made charcuterie will be ‘nose-to-tail,’ using the whole hog.” The restaurant’s beef, bison, halibut and salmon all are sourced from the Pacific Northwest too.

Most popular dish? The Cedar plank salmon, says Chef Michael, with his new rendition with local potatoes, baby fennel, Florida citrus and ver jus.

Every dish on the menu gets a wine pairing from sommelier Alvin Burrill, with each selection from Washington or Oregon. But Alvin also might recommend a Pacific Northwest ale if you ask, like the handcrafted Rogue Ales made in partnership with Voodoo Donuts (strange but true).

Looking ahead, Chef Michael says they are working on a terrace dining experience with a communal chef’s table – stay tuned for details!

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Wildlife Wednesday: Happy 21st Anniversary to ‘The Lion King’

posted on June 24th, 2015 by Scott Terrell, DVM, DACVP, Animal Operations Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


Happy 21st Anniversary to “The Lion King”!

You loved the film, now see the real-life animal inspirations behind “The Lion King” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

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You can check out our lions on the Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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Visit our meerkats on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and warthogs on the Kilimanjaro Safaris both at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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See if you can spot the mandrills on the savanna on the Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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Try to catch a peek at these majestic birds during the opening sequence of the film and at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

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Next time you watch “The Lion King,” look out for all these animals in the “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” song sequence. You can see them here on the Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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Don’t Miss This Sweet Tribute to the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

posted on June 23rd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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Step in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and the sweet smell of vanilla will lead you directly to the new Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration centerpiece – this elegant cake, standing more than 3 feet tall, is a delightful rendition of Sleeping Beauty Castle that took a team of 10 talented bakers, artists and engineers more than 140 hours to create. (This is the same team that brings you the Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread extravaganza.)

Don't Miss This Sweet Tribute to the Disneyland Hotel Diamond Celebration at Disney's Grand Californian Resort & Spa Don't Miss This Sweet Tribute to the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Just for fun, we asked: there are 18 pounds of marshmallows, 54 pounds of rice cereal, 30 pounds of white chocolate, 40 pounds of gum paste, 15 pounds of fondant and 6 hidden Mickeys. We won’t get to eat this cake, but it sure makes a distinctive photo backdrop. Happy 60th, Disneyland Resort!

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Today in Disney History: ‘Lady and the Tramp’ Hit Theaters

posted on June 22nd, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


He’s a tramp, but we love him. Of course, Lady grew to love him as well. Today in 1955, Walt Disney Pictures released “Lady and the Tramp“. This Disney classic love story between two dogs from different sides of town continues to warm the hearts of Disney fans.

Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, a favorite of mine, at Magic Kingdom Park pays homage to this Disney classic film. Here you can enjoy Italian cuisine while surrounded by sketches, lithographs and animation cells from the movie. There’s even a fountain in the center with a statue of Lady & the Tramp.

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It’s the perfect place to recreate the spaghetti scene where Lady and Tramp romantically slurp up the same noodle. You can also spot Lady and Tramp at Disney’s Pop Century Resort in the 1950s section and at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Fun fact, “Lady and the Tramp” was the first Disney animated feature filmed in CinemaScope.

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

#DisneyKids: Disney Junior Pool Parties at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 19th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Pool season is in full swing at Walt Disney World Resort, and now there’s something to make a day by the water even more fun for little ones. Earlier this month, Disney Jr. Pool Parties began daily at all of our hotels across property.

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The interactive 22-minute Disney Jr. Pool Parties feature music and activities from some of kids’ favorite shows like “Sofia the First,” “Doc McStuffins,” “Jake and the Neverland Pirates,” “Miles from Tomorrowland” and of course, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” Sing-a-longs and games like “Sofia Says” are tailored to our youngest guests so they can stay excited and engaged.

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Also at our resorts, be sure to check out other services and amenities that are perfect for parents of young kids:

  • Children’s Activity Centers – located at Deluxe Resorts, but open to all Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests
  • Playgrounds
  • In-room babysitting services
  • Extra Magic Hours – Perfect for little ones who get up really early!
  • Complimentary transportation across Walt Disney World Resort property
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A Peek Inside a Room with A View at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

posted on June 19th, 2015 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


As part of the Disney Parks Blog ongoing “Room with A View” series, I want to take you to an island paradise where swaying palms and gentle breezes lead to new accommodations at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. As part of the re-imagination of the iconic resort, 360 new Disney Vacation Club Studios reveal a tropical motif with spacious accommodations – and wow, what a view! Let’s go to the third floor of the Moorea longhouse inside room 3020 and take a peek.

When I opened the door to this Deluxe Studio, I was drawn to an outdoor patio that extends the entire width of the room. The third floor lookout offered a panoramic view with so much to take in. To the right you see the monorail whizzing by and ferry boats sailing across the Seven Seas Lagoon. Look left and there’s the flagship Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in all its splendor. And straight ahead, beyond the luxurious Bora Bora Bungalows Magic Kingdom Park with Space Mountain and Cinderella Castle beckoning you to their magical lands. It’s a great view any time of day but especially as night falls and “Wishes” fireworks light up the sky.

A Peek Inside Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

But if you sharpen your lens there are “close-up” shots you might miss such as torch-lit paths, lush landscapes, gentle waves. I watched as a family of ducks waddled to the sandy beach and waterway they call home. It’s more than just a pretty picture – it stirs something within. Memories of my very first Disney resort stay come flooding back each time I visit. And despite its recent reimagining, there’s a familiarity here that makes you feel like you’re home. It’s no wonder families are drawn back to this beloved resort time and time again.

A Peek Inside Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

The new Studios have a ton of space (actually the largest Studios in the Disney Vacation Club portfolio) plus ample storage with under-the-bed drawers and a table that doubles as a storage chest. Rooms have a crisp yet playful décor with vibrant colors, ornate carvings and rich textures. I loved the tiki man lamp perched on a bed of rock lava and the colorful artwork. Studios sleep five with one queen bed, a queen-size pull-out bed and a pull-down bed. A kitchenette with coffee-maker, mini-fridge, a small sink, toaster and microwave all come in handy. The bathroom layout is practical for families, too. There’s a private sink and shower space, plus a separate area with tub, toilet and sink. It’s great if you have teenagers who need their space. And this resort is the first to have connecting Deluxe Studios.

So journey with me to this carefree oasis in the heart of Walt Disney World Resort. Enjoy a photo tour of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.

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