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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Celebrate A Grand Opening

posted on April 4th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week at Walt Disney World Resort some of the coolest photos came from the opening of the Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. The grand opening ceremony included performances by fireknife dancers, drummers, and the lighting of special torches that each represented different Polynesian islands.

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Makes its Grand Opening Debut at Walt Disney World Resort

For more on this lovely resort – and the nearby Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – check out the posts below.

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot: April 2015

posted on March 31st, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


See what’s happening in the world of Merchandise Special Events this April at Walt Disney World Resort!

April 1 – 5: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, April 1 – 5 and 15 – 19 from 1 – 9 p.m. Not able to make it? It’s okay! Greg will return April 29 – May 3 with special appearances each day from Noon – 8 p.m. at Art of Disney in Epcot. Learn more.

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April 6 – 14: Be sure to stop in and check out some of the latest releases by artist David E. Doss from 1 – 9 p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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April 10 – April 12: Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick will be on hand for special appearances and signings of her new Easter collection throughout the day, each day, at Heritage Manor at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot. Not able to make it? No problem! Representatives from Precious Moments Dolls will be on hand now – April 12 at Heritage Manor at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot, and now – April 27 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

April 16 – 18: Renowned international artist Larry Dotson is scheduled to appear April 16 – 18 and 23 – 26 at Art of Disney in Epcot. If you are unable to make it, find him, April 30 – May 3 at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

April 17: New creations take form as Disney Pins! Be among the first to ‘assemble’ at Disney’s Pin Traders in Downtown Disney Marketplace for these new releases and meet artists Tim Loucks and Erica Virgin who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 11 a.m. – Noon.

April 17: Take part in Trading Night from 6 -9 p.m. p.m. in Veracruz A at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Register online here. Learn more.

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April 18 – 22: Celebrate Earth Day with us! Take part in special artist showcases with Bushman (April 18-19), Just Plumerias (April 18 – 22), Elemental Nursery (April 18 – 22) and William Silvers (April 20 -22), at select locations throughout at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Learn more.

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April 24 – 25: Join us as we welcome artist Matt Hawkins to WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Take part in a special artist showcase and signing April 24 from 4 – 7 p.m. and April 25 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Learn more.

April 25: There’s something special happening at Cherry Tree Lane at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Keep watching for details from fellow author Steven Miller.

April 25: Meet artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith at WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace from 4 – 7 p.m. Learn more.

Which event are you most excited for?

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Hippity Hoppity, Easter’s on the Way With Fun Foodie Ideas at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 31st, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Big or small, there’s a way to celebrate Easter at Walt Disney World Resort. From specialty cupcakes in Magic Kingdom Park to an Easter egg parade at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and a garden party brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, there’s something for everyone.

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From March 29-April 11, Magic Kingdom Park guests can nibble a cupcake that’s almost too pretty to eat – carrot cake with cream cheese icing and a carrot piped on top, or a vanilla cupcake with a chocolate nest of malted milk eggs. And don’t forget the delicious white chocolate rabbit cupcake from Cheshire Café!

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At Epcot, guests can pick up an adorable chocolate cupcake with marshmallow filling, marshmallow-buttercream frosting at Fountain View from March 29-April 11, and Sunshine Seasons April 4-5.

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A noon on March 31, join in the 3rd annual Disney’s Contemporary Resort Easter Egg Parade at Chef Mickey’s – the procession of pastry chefs starts in the restaurant, then their chocolate bunnies and beautifully decorated eggs are displayed through Easter on the fourth floor near the restaurant. There will also be a special cupcake April 3-5, featuring carrot cake with pineapple-coconut filling, white chocolate buttercream frosting, toasted coconut, jelly beans and a bunny macaron garnish.

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At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, fans of Boma — Flavors of Africa will be happy to hear that hours are extended on Easter Sunday, April 5, from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. And ‘tis the season for sweets, with a table laden with goodies – chocolate peanut butter eggs, jelly beans, kisses, chocolate miniatures so that breakfast guests can make a little take-home box.

Over at Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Palace Library at Kidani Village is being converted to “Library Lounge” during this bustling season, open from 4 p.m.–midnight and offering Sanaa appetizers and cocktails (not on the Disney Dining Plan). It’s the perfect place to beat the heat with a pretty savannah view.

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Guests of the resort can enjoy the Maji Pool Bar Cookout from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (weather permitting) March 28-April 12: burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst and a chicken burger by the pool (on the Disney Dining Plan). Look for some fun entertainment too.

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At Disney’s BoardWalk, try the Easter cupcake from BoardWalk Bakery. Vanilla cake with raspberry panna cotta filling, topped with a cute coconut “nest” with jelly beans.

Three seasonal brunches are open for booking. The 1900 Park Fare Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will be from 1-3 p.m. daily March 29-April 5. No Disney characters, just an enjoyable mid-day spread of delicious goodies.

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

Discover With Me: Pau Hana Room at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on March 30th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Just in time for spring break, the “Discover with Me” series continues with the Pau Hana Room at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! I enjoy this series because it allows Disney Parks Blog readers to meet cast members from around the resort who will answer guests’ most frequently asked questions. It also provides an insider’s perspective on how to make the most of your vacation to Aulani. Today, meet Tori in the video below and learn what makes the Pau Hana Room a must-see visit during your vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

How will your ‘ohana spend your spring break at Aulani? Tell us in the comments below!

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Sneak Peeks at Polynesian Fun at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 28th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, we shared a few peeks inside the changes happening at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Our author Amanda Adler shared a look inside the amazing new bungalow rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World Resort.

A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

She also gave us a look at the view guests can expect at night in this week’s “After Dark” series.

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Pam Brandon gave us another sneak peek at the highly anticipated Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, which will debut at the resort late-April.

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The location will serve tropical themed beverages and small plates. Be sure to check out Pam’s original post for all of the tasty details!

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

Much-Anticipated Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Opens at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Enthusiastic fans of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel are celebrating the soft opening March 28 of the East Coast version. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is located off the main lobby of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort; the adjacent Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace offers views of the marina and Seven Seas Lagoon. Official opening is set for late April, when the coveted Tiki souvenir glassware arrives. (Tiki fans go bananas for the collectible mugs.) As soon as the official date is set, we will share on the Disney Parks Blog.

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Founded by Adventureland’s famous “head” salesman, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto has some similarities to the Anaheim original. But at Walt Disney World Resort, the magical theming reflects its new resort location. This enchanted South Seas hideaway welcomes guests to explore a menu of “magical tropical drinks and food,” and while this new version shares a few cocktails and small plates, Beverage Manager Brad Ward, Chef Lenny DeGeorge, and the Concept Development team have created new menu items just for the Walt Disney World Resort Trader Sam’s.

The famous Trader Sam cocktails, available in Disney collectible Tiki mugs, are a mix of old and new. We won’t share ingredients, but the names might give away the concoctions.

Only at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto:

  • Polynesian Pearl
  • Nautilus
  • Castaway Crush
  • Tahitian Torch
  • Dark & Tropical Stormy

Favorites imported from Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar:

  • Krakatoa Punch
  • Uh-Oa!
  • HippopotoMai-Tai
  • Shrunken Zombie Head

And there are Sam’s No-Booze Brews:

  • Schweitzer Fall
  • Skipper Sipper
  • Polynesian Punch

Small bites are on the menu, with a couple inspired by the Disneyland Trader Sam’s menu – the chicken lettuce cups with hoisin ginger sauce and the Hawaiian poke with Sriracha aioli and wonton chips. New to the Walt Disney World Resort menu are kalua pork tacos with shredded cabbage and pickled vegetables; pan-fried dumplings with soy-sesame dipping sauce; roasted chicken and pork pâté bánh mì sliders with pickled vegetables; salmon oshizushi (press sushi); corn-battered Portuguese sausages with curry ketchup and a Headhunter Sushi Roll.

The lounge has 50 seats inside and 82 on the patio. No reservations are required.

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

Bird’s-Eye View In a Rustic Retreat at Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


As part of our new “Room with A View” series, we’re heading into the woods for a special look at our “over the treetop” accommodations at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. Perched 10 feet off the ground in a lush landscape, sit the beloved Treehouse Villas, part of the Disney Vacation Club. I treasure the peaceful stillness of the landscape and the tranquil views of the Sassagoula River. It takes you to a quiet place and makes you feel like you are a hundred miles from the theme parks, when you are actually just a boat ride away from Downtown Disney. There are 60 rustic, home away-from-homes with lots of privacy and extra space ideal if you’re traveling with a large family, or have an extended stay. And who doesn’t love the idea of sleeping in a treehouse? I was so psyched when they opened in 2009, I took my family there for a weekend getaway. Imagine staying at a lakeside cabin in an upstate New York state park – albeit a fancy cabin with four TVs and granite counters. The experience is a nice pause from the hectic pace of daily life.

Inside the three-bedroom villas (photos and video from villa 7026), earth-tone colors, wood accents and natural light streaming in through floor-to-ceiling windows complement the rustic retreat. Nature is woven in the artwork and furniture in creative ways — like a tree branch as the base for a lamp, leafy pillows and a family-size wooden kitchen table, bench and chairs. A Hidden Mickey can be spotted in an end table created by three tree stumps. All the treehouses have two guestrooms with two queen-size beds each, and a room for the kids with bunk beds. There’s also a full kitchen in case you want to cook, contemporary amenities and a nice-size living area, which really makes it feel like home. The oversized porch is another gem and the ideal place to kick back, watch the sunset and take in the amazing view.

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Disney Parks After Dark: View of the Electrical Water Pageant from New Bora Bora Bungalows at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


We’re less than one week away from the grand opening of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World Resort.

When completed, the resort will feature 360 Deluxe Studios, as well as 20 over-the-water Bora Bora Bungalows offering private decks complete with personal plunge pools and views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom Park area. Guests staying the Bungalows will be able to watch Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from their back decks (complete with the fireworks soundtrack pumped in for their listening pleasure), as well as the Electrical Water Pageant. Check out the view!

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This photo, shot last week, truly captures the beauty of this timeless nighttime parade combined with the classic South Pacific styling of our newest resort addition.

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

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Hop into Spring with Specialty Food Offerings at Disneyland Resort

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


I’m hoppy to let you know our Disneyland Resort culinary team has been working on some Easter offerings that are sure to put a “spring” in your step!

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Special menu items will be available throughout Disneyland park. At Plaza Inn, look for a pan-seared salmon served with a Chardonnay dill cream sauce, rice pilaf and seasonal vegetables on April 5. Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante will feature three street-style tacos with beef, chicken and carnitas on soft corn tortillas garnished with cilantro and onion, topped with salsa verde. At Bengal BBQ, look for a Linguica (smoke-cured pork sausage) and pineapple skewer.

To me, Easter isn’t complete without dessert! Look for a cupcake at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café in Disneyland park, and Pacific Wharf Café and Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café in Disney California Adventure park. This sweet treat featuring lemon cake with Mandarin orange frosting, chocolate flowers, carrot and a white chocolate bunny and chocolate curls. Stage Door Café will also be featuring a new specialty funnel cake, Cookies and Cream.

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One of my favorite Easter traditions is decorating eggs, and at the Springtime Roundup you can decorate your own Easter-themed cookies with our cookie decorating kit. If you get hungry while you’re at the Springtime Roundup, you can pick up one of these tasty snacks: juicy strawberries with chocolate dip, Mickey-shaped pretzels, strawberry twists, cotton candy and hot dogs.

A traditional Easter brunch buffet — with characters — will also be offered at Storytellers Café, Disney’s PCH Grill, and Goofy’s Kitchen on April 5. Be sure to check out chef demonstrations decorating Easter-themed sugar cookie and cupcakes, taking place in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

For reservations, visit Disneyland.com/dine or call 714-781-DINE.

These specialty food offerings will only be available for a limited time, so hop to it!

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

Enjoy ‘Frozen Fun’ Before it Melts Away and Stay Close to the Magic with Disneyland Resort Hotel Offer

posted on March 25th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


UPDATE 4/23/15: This Disneyland Resort hotel offer has been extended for reservations made through May 21.

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If you haven’t experienced all of the frozen fractals during “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park, there’s still time! Whether you’re planning a spring or early summer visit to the Disneyland Resort, or you want to see “Frozen Fun” before its limited-time engagement ends May 15, this new Disneyland Resort Hotel offer puts you closer to the magic.

Make reservations at any Disneyland Resort hotel from March 25 through May 7 May 21, 2015, to save 20 percent on premium rooms and 15 percent on standard rooms on Sunday through Thursday nights from April 5 to June 16, 2015.

Don’t let the “Frozen” fun and this great offer melt away! Click here for more details.

Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room at the same hotel. Travel must be completed by 06/17/15. Ask about savings in other room types. Not valid on previously booked rooms. Advance reservations required. Subject to availability as the number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Excludes applicable fees and taxes. Limit two (2) rooms per reservation and five (5) people maximum per room. Not valid in combination with any other hotel discounts or offers. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Separate Theme Park admission required to enjoy “Frozen Fun” and the Parks.

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