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#DisneyFamilia: Start the Year with a Walt Disney World Resort Vacation Resolution!

posted on January 20th, 2016 by Sarah Domenech, International Public Relations Manager


If one of your new resoluciones for this year is to go on more vacations, then a trip with your familia to Walt Disney World Resort should be the first one on your list!

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You and your family can experience all of the excitement with a package that includes 5-day theme park tickets and a 4-night stay in standard rooms at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort for as low as $1,714* for a familia of 4. You can book this offer through February 28, 2016 for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights February 22 through March 3, 2016 and April 3 through May 26, 2016.

Click here for more details and to book today!

Don’t let this Nuevo Año resolution pass you by!

*Sample package prices based on 2 adults, 1 junior (ages 10 to 17) and 1 child (ages 3 to 9). The number of packages allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets are valid for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. All Guests in the same room must be on the same package.

For more from the #DisneyFamilia series, visit the posts below:

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How to Plan an Unforgettable Girlfriends’ Getaway at the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 18th, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


As the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues to dazzle, 2016 is a great time for you and your girls to channel your inner princesses at the Disneyland Resort. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or simply spending quality girl time at the Happiest Place on Earth, try out these fun activities for a magical girlfriends’ getaway!

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Show off matching Mickey Ears, hats or t-shirts
Stepping out in matching Disney style is the perfect way to celebrate your friendship! Minnie ears from The Mad Hatter at Disneyland park, Disney t-shirts from Gone Hollywood at Disney California Adventure park or cute accessories from the World of Disney store in the Downtown Disney District make great photo props.

Capture your memories with Disney’s PhotoPass Service
Disney’s PhotoPass Service ensures that all the girls can get in the group photo. Friendly PhotoPass photographers will pose you in front of iconic locations in the parks, capture Disney Character greetings and even snap a photo with your personal cameras.

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Rejuvenate at Mandara Spa at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
A getaway is not complete without pampering fit for a princess! The Balinese-themed Mandara Spa inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa provides an escape to paradise with relaxing massages, manicures, facials and more. Reservations are recommended.

Enjoy dinner in the park at Carthay Circle Restaurant
With an exquisite menu and décor inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, you and your best friends will dine like stars at Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure park.

End a spectacular night with the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular
The recipe for a memorable night includes grabbing a cup of hot cocoa, cozying up near “it’s a small world” and spending quality time together as the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks sparkle in the skies above Disneyland park. This spot has a great view of the beautiful animated projections on the exterior of “it’s a small world,” too.

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Grab drinks at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
Located at the Disneyland Hotel, the torch-lit terrace of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar is a relaxing spot to unwind and continue the fun after a day in the parks. This tropical-themed lounge evokes the feeling of a mystical oasis, and some colorful cocktails may conjure up magical surprises!

How do you have fun with your best friends at the Disneyland Resort?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Hotels & Resorts, Vacation Planning

It’s a Beautiful Day on Bay Lake at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 18th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


Happy Monday! Looks like it’s a great one from our view of Bay Lake from the Disney Vacation Club property Bay Lake Tower.

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Who’s ready for a day on the water with water sports provided by Sammy Duval’s?

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Tastes of Aulani: Learning Hawaiian at The ‘Olelo Room

posted on January 13th, 2016 by Michael Ramirez, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


One of the great things about writing for the Disney Parks Blog is the opportunity to showcase incredible offerings and details found at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts around the world. I love showcasing the many offerings at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, and today is no exception. Continuing the “Tastes of Aulani” series, cast member ­­­­Malia shares what makes The ‘Olelo Room a must-visit during your vacation to this Hawaiian resort.

What is your favorite food or beverage item to enjoy at The ‘Olelo Room? Tell us in the comments below!

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#DisneyFamilia: Mealtime is Familia Time at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 13th, 2016 by Sarah Domenech, International Public Relations Manager


For our familias, having dinner together or at least a daily meal juntos is very important. And when you go on vacation, dining together is a priority for our guests because it helps them build memorable moments.

One of the many benefits that our guests enjoy while staying at one of our Walt Disney World Resort hotels is the Disney Dining Plan. In this week’s post, we let you know how the plan works and how you can take full advantage of it.

By following five easy steps, you and your familia will be able to plan the vacation of a lifetime, including deliciouscomidas!

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Pixar Wizards Leave Their Signatures on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

posted on January 11th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


If you’ve had the chance to stop through Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, you may have noticed the impressive Storyboard Chandelier that serves the lobby’s centerpiece. Since the resort opened in 2012, it has become tradition for film contributors – both voice actors and those working behind the scenes – to add their autograph to a sketch appearing on the chandelier.

Over the years, many artists, filmmakers and actors have stopped by to autograph panels on the chandelier, including Jodi Benson and Pat Carroll from “The Little Mermaid,” John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney & Pixar Animation Studios, as well as Josh Cooley from “Inside Out” and writer Robert Baird from “Big Hero 6” and “Monsters University”.

Recently Pixar’s Pete Docter, Jay Ward & Jerome Ranft, who have contributed to blockbusters like “Inside Out,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Up,” “Cars,” “Brave,” and more, stopped in to make their mark.

Check out the video above that details this latest legendary autograph session.

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Jon Favreau Enjoys an Adventure at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on January 8th, 2016 by Michael Ramirez, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Out of the jungle and into a tropical Hawaiian paradise, Jon Favreau, director of the upcoming live-action epic adventure “The Jungle Book,” recently vacationed with his ‘ohana at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa!

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Our pal Mickey caught up with Jon among the volcanic landscape of Aulani’s Waikolohe Valley. “The Jungle Book” hits theaters on April 15, 2016.

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Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration ‘Decades’ Collection 1985–1994 Debuts January 14

posted on January 7th, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues! On January 14, bring home the next piece in the “Decades” collection, depicting 1985 to 1994.

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I’m probably not the only one having flashbacks right now, mostly of the late 80s, early 90s style, but here are a few other things you may remember that happened during that time frame at the Disneyland Resort.

I know some of you spent time at the high-tech (for its time) Videopolis! Don’t deny it. During this time, it was also the 30th and 35th anniversary of Disneyland park; a certain intergalactic musical adventure debuted in the Magic Eye theater in Tomorrowland; Star Tours launched us into a galaxy far, far away; we found our laughing place inside Splash Mountain, changes were underway at the Disneyland Hotel; nighttime spectacular “Fantasmic!” gave us our first look into Mickey Mouse’s imagination; Mickey’s Toontown came to life. That, my fellow Disney fans, is just the tip of the iceberg, as I’m sure you know.

To commemorate this special time in Disney Parks history, the art designed by local southern California artist Jeff Granito will appear on a t-shirt, mug, plate, pin and print. Look for the new “Decades” collection at select locations throughout the Disneyland Resort including:

Disneyland Park

Downtown Disney District

Disney California Adventure Park

Disneyland Hotel

Tip: Have you already pressed a penny with this art at World of Disney Store? If not, put it on your list of things to do on your next visit.

What are some of your favorite Disney memories from 1985 to 1994?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Hotels & Resorts

What’s New in Walt Disney World Resort Dining: 16 for 2016

posted on January 7th, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


2015 was full of culinary news for Walt Disney World Resort, and 2016 promises to be equally exciting, especially at Disney Springs. From new restaurants to more fun with Disney characters, here’s a look ahead at 2016.

  1. Sunday brunches are the hot weekend ticket. Narcoossee’s Waterfront Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a new one, and Brunch at the Top debuts February 7 at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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  1. Get over to the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen in the Magic Kingdom Park and try a rice noodle bowl, sustainable local farm-raised shrimp in chili-garlic sauce, or the Kungaloosh!, an African-inspired chocolate cake with caramelized bananas with cashew-caramel ice cream. This is an all-new menu for the Disney chefs.
  2. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival expands to 90 days, March 2 to May 30 (from 75 days last year). Fresh garden produce, savory bites and sweet treats will be abundant at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, returning for a fourth year with guest favorites and new food and beverage offerings.

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  1. Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate the art of traveling, featuring foods from places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Open for both lunch and dinner. (“Tiffin” is an Indian English word for a midday meal or a type of container used to carry food while traveling).
  2. Adjacent to Tiffins, Nomad Lounge will feature hand-crafted cocktails using the art of mixology with African, Asian and South American flavors, beers and wines from those regions, and a selection of specialty non-alcoholic beverages in addition to small bites.
  3. Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s BoardWalk will temporarily close the end of January, then reopen in the fall with a whole new look – and while the kitchen is working on new menu items, Chef Tim Keating promises that potato-wrapped snapper and the popular New York strip steak will be back. Stay tuned for details.

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  1. Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’’s Hollywood Studios debuted in 2015, but guests can look forward to new themes coming in 2016, including Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine, Minnie’s Springtime Dine, Minnie’s Summertime Dine and Minnie’s Halloween Dine.

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  1. Let’s start 2016 with a taste of the chocolate at The Ganachery at Disney Springs – the proprietary blend of chocolate and cream made right in the shop is not to be missed. The lovely little space elevates sweets to an experience akin to a wine tasting.
  2. Coming to Disney Springs in early 2016 is STK, a modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge and emphasizing a social and fun environment. It will be one of the largest STK locations in the world, occupying 14,000 square feet in a two-story building, including a main level and a rooftop-dining area with incredible views of Disney Springs.
  3. Sprinkles, the world’s first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, will serve up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies at Disney Springs in 2016. Their innovative Cupcake ATM will satisfy sweet-toothed epicureans 24/7.
  4. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza also comes to Disney Springs in 2016, a modern day “pizza joint” known for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. The fast-casual restaurant will feature an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize their pizza, choosing from over 40 fresh toppings.

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  1. Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine will showcase the cuisine of Chef Art Smith at Disney Springs when it opens in Summer 2016. Smith, who was born and reared in the town of Jasper, Fla., on the Florida-Georgia border, will feature farm-to-fork cuisine that showcases the bounty of Florida, and design inspired by turn-of-the century Florida architecture of the late 1800s.

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  1. Also opening in Summer 2016 at Disney Springs, Frontera Fresco by Chef Rick Bayless will showcase the gourmet Mexican cuisine that has made Chef Bayless a culinary legend. The restaurant will feature authentic Mexican specialties such as hand-crafted tortas, tacos, salads, fresh-made guacamole and classic Mexican braised meat entrees, all prepared from time-honored recipes with natural, locally sourced ingredients. Frontera Fresco also will serve an extensive selection of margaritas, cocktails and craft beers and wine.
  2. Look for a re-imagined Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs as the flagship venue is transformed into a star-themed Planet Hollywood Observatory to match the look and feel of Disney Springs. As part of the makeover, the venue will add a new outdoor terrace and bar space called Stargazers and feature live entertainment.
  3. Also at Disney Springs, new Disney quick-service locations and kiosks will be blooming this spring. Perfect for a quick bite. Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more information on these locations.
  4. Two new Disney cookbooks for 2016: a new Delicious Disney: Sweet Treats book due out in the fall, and one celebrating both the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (dates still TBD for the food & wine fest when the book will debut).
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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney Springs, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

New Dishes Highlight Indian-African Flavors at Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village

posted on January 7th, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


When Sanaa opened in 2009 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom LodgeKidani Village, the cuisine was a new adventure for Disney chefs – a melding of Indian and African influences inspired by the resort’s African theme and the melding of the two cultures so closely connected on the ancient Spice Trade Route.

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Now Chef Eddie Mendoza has added new dishes to the menu that he calls “African with an Indian touch.”

“We didn’t invent this fusion, it happened with the ancient spice trade,” says Chef Eddie. “Something magical happened once the Indian spices hit the shores of Africa.”

The restaurant is one of Disney’s top table-service restaurants, but many still consider it a well-kept secret (and a Cast Member favorite). For starters, the view is one of the best at Walt Disney World Resort, with zebras, giraffes and other animals grazing just outside the windows. Lunch is relaxed with lighter fare, and dinner is a bit more elegant and features a top-notch wine list that’s primarily South African.

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“The service team is learning the stories behind our new dishes and also having fun learning their pronunciations”, says Chef Eddie. The popular curries remain on the lunch and dinner menus, as well as the butter chicken, but new favorites include a Traditional Sosatie cooked on skewers with lamb and apricots, and served with butternut squash, bacon, cashews and goat cheese. The Biryani, generally considered an Indian dish, gets African spice and seasonal vegetables “influenced from the Cape of Good Hope.”

How about “Boerewors and Slaphakskeentjies,” traditional South African sausages (boerewors) served with a Cape Malay Onion Salad (slaphakskeentjies). We promise it’s all delicious and described on the menu with a glossary that includes everything from Potjie to describe “slow-braised items” to Umngqusho, a “favorite dish of the Congo with samp (hominy) and beans flavored with butter” (said to be Nelson Mandela’s favorite dish).

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You can be adventurous or stick with tried-and-true dishes such as grilled New York strip steak or seasonal sustainable fish – but we say this is the time to be adventurous, as Chef Eddie makes sure the dishes are just right (you can ask for more heat if you prefer). Lunch still includes the delectable roasted Peri Peri Chicken sandwich and features the new Kenya Coffee BBQ sandwich. We can make a meal of the Indian-style bread service and accompaniments: Coriander Chutney, Garlic Pickle, Tomato-Date Jam and Mango Chutney, for instance.

“Allergy-friendly menus and dietary needs are pretty simple in the Sanaa kitchen,” says Chef Eddie, “as much of the menu is plant based and easy to tweak for special diets.”

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

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