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POLL: Eat What You Want Day With Disney Parks Blog Authors

posted on May 11th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


What would you eat if you could eat anything you want from Disney Parks and Resorts? This is a question I asked a few Disney Parks Blog authors for Eat What You Want Day (which is my new favorite food holiday). Keep reading to find out the authors’ picks:

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Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort
I chose the 32-ounce Dry Aged Tomahawk Rib Chop from The BOATHOUSE, the newest restaurant at Downtown Disney. The $115 cut is meant for two guests but I actually shared mine with two friends and Executive Chef Bob Getchell. On “Eat What You Want” Day (and any other special occasion!), this is the perfect splurge.

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Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort
I’m so excited that Critter Country at Disneyland park is open again following its recent refurbishment, because it means I can enjoy my favorite lunch again … the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich at Hungry Bear Restaurant!

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Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort
I chose a Mickey Pretzel – it’s something I remember since my first theme park visit. It’s a perfect treat to enjoy while walking through the park and even better dipped in cheese!

Disney Parks Blog Author Nate Rasmussen Meeting Olaf at Disney California Adventure Park Disney Parks Blog Author Nate Rasmussen Enjoying an Olaf Marshmallow Pop from Disney California Adventure Park

Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center
I love food is ‘character’ themed in our parks – so fun. When I went to “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park a couple of weekends ago, I tried something new. I had an Olaf marshmallow pop and then got to meet Olaf.

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Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
A beautiful plate of pristine sushi at California Grill – probably a crispy crab roll.

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Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment
One of our favorite treats when visiting any Disney Park is the popcorn. The regular popcorn tastes great, but the unique flavors available in certain places make for a special treat. The Buffalo Blue Cheese Flavored Popcorn in Future World at Epcot is definitely one of my favorites, while my boys each have a preference for the cheddar and the sour cream and chive flavors available there. Whether it’s these at Epcot, honey-flavored popcorn at Tokyo Disneyland or dill pickle flavor from the Cozy Cone Motel at Disney California Adventure park, flavored popcorn is an indulgence we can’t resist!

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Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations
I chose the Chinese Chicken Salad in a Sourdough Bread Bowl from Pacific Wharf Café. There is nothing like walking through Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure park and smelling freshly baked bread. Then, you add a healthy and delicious salad INSIDE it? Truly, a match made in heaven. (I always ask for extra dressing on the side for some “dipping” sauce for my bread.)

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And me? I chose a Dole Whip Float from Aloha Isle Refreshments in Magic Kingdom Park. Dole Whip has been my go-to for years, it makes me feel like a pineapple princess, and there’s something about enjoying it in Adventureland that makes it even more magical!

Let us know what you would choose to eat on Eat What You Want Day; vote for your pick in our poll below!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort

Stay Refreshed During Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend With These Special Buffets at Downtown Disney District and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel

posted on May 8th, 2015 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


It’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort (along with Mother’s Day, of course). Runners along with their friends and family supporters will find plenty at the Downtown Disney District and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel to sustain them both before and after the race.

Stay Refreshed During Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend With These Special Buffets at Downtown Disney District and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel Stay Refreshed During Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend With These Special Buffets at Downtown Disney District and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel Stay Refreshed During Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend With These Special Buffets at Downtown Disney District and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel

ESPN Zone opens early, at 8 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and will serve breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. both mornings. Select TVs at the Zone will be playing a live feed of the race. Throughout the weekend, ESPN Zone also will be offering runner-inspired special buffets – 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday – featuring a wide selection of salads, entrees, sides and desserts along with a build-you-own pasta station and a carving station offering pork loin with peach bourbon sauce. Adults (perhaps with the exception of those in training) are invited to try the Pixie Punch, served with a glow cube and made with vodka, peach schnapps, pineapple juice and sour apple. Space is limited. Buffet reservations are taken at 714-300-3776.

Naples offers a Tinker Bell Half Marathon Buffet as well, from 4 to 9 p.m. today (Friday) and Saturday, with salads, pasta, pizza and cookies. You’ll also find a choice of pasta dishes on the Catal menu for Friday and Saturday dinner. And La Brea Bakery is adding a protein bowl to their menu, along with strawberry pie and shortcake.

Meanwhile, PCH Grill at nearby Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel offers its own Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Dinner Buffet Friday and Saturday evening, with salads, a pasta station, carving station with herb marinated roast au jus plus a special kids buffet featuring hot dog sliders, macaroni and cheese, green beans and tater tots.

Feel the burn!

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Many Tasty Ways to Enjoy Mother’s Day This Sunday in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

posted on May 8th, 2015 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


The restaurants of the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort are offering mothers (and the hungry families who love them) a choice of meals this Sunday.

Catal, for example, is offering a special Mother’s Day three-course prix-fixe brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring a choice of appetizers and eight entree options including steak and eggs, bread pudding French toast, grilled chicken Caesar salad and crispy-skin half chicken with haricots verts, cherry tomatoes and bearnaise sauce.

“Ralph

Ralph’s Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen features some Mother’s Day specials including “Fish in a Bag” sea bass Paupiette-style, grilled ribeye forestiere and gulf shrimp primavera. The dessert special is strawberry shortcake.

House of Blues will have two seatings, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., for its popular Gospel Brunch, featuring local talent performing traditional and contemporary gospel and a brunch buffet that includes House of Blues signature chicken and waffles.

All mothers dining at La Brea Bakery Café will receive a complimentary heart-shaped sugar cookie.

For Mother’s Day at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Storytellers Café is extending the hours for its regular Sunday brunch for an additional two and a half hours, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Merchandise Flies in for Mother’s Day Weekend at the Disneyland Resort

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Pixie Power is in the air! Can you feel it? We went inside Pixie Hollow to bring you all the details on the runDisney 2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry, which is just days away, May 7–10 at the Disneyland Resort. You won’t believe the selection of merchandise this year. So let’s get started!

Themed Tinker Bell Half Marathon apparel will include the ever-popular “I Did It” T-shirt, performance shirts, a tank, shorts, fleece hoodie and of course, the ladies zip jacket. One of my favorite features on this collection is the clever saying “Tink Happy Thoughts” and the screened floral wings that appear on the back of several items. It certainly makes me feel as if I could fly to the finish line.

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Tinker Bell 5K fans will have some extra support this year from the Lost Boys, while the “I Did It” Tinker Bell 10K fans will be filled with pixie power.

Are you participating in the Inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge? Short- and long-sleeve T-shirts, performance wear, a tank, fleece hoodie and ladies jacket have made the list of this particular spirited sprite. Take a look!

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Other items to race in for include the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend shirt and jacket, runDisney and Coast-to-Coast merchandise, hats, magnets, clings, pins, headbands, special artist sketches and an array of drinkware. Here’s a look at the water bottles, tumbler, glass stemware and mug, in case you’re thirsty for more.

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What about Dooney & Bourke? Don’t despair, Tinker Bell fans! The satchel, backpack, letter carrier and wristlet are sure to make your heart soar.

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So get a jump on your shopping list and be ready when the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo takes flight beginning Thursday, May 7, at the Disneyland Hotel.

To all of you participating in the race, I wish you all the best of luck with a touch of pixie dust!

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Top 10 Disney Salads, Coast to Coast

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


May is National Salad Month (who knew?). One of our favorite ways to eat is with a big bowl of deliciousness that doesn’t always involve romaine.

Here are 10 of our favorite salads from the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Salad bars don’t count – we love the ways the chefs create a taste sensation with a little bit of this and that.

The Caesar Salad at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante at Disneyland Park 'Smiling Tiger Salad' at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

At Disneyland Resort:

  1. “Smiling Tiger Salad” at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. What’s not to love about Chef Andrew Sutton’s tempura fried lobster, spicy beef, Asian greens and a drizzle of coconut-lime vinaigrette?
  2. Relax over lunch with the Roasted Chicken and Strawberry Salad at Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure park, a mélange of warm asparagus, avocado, arugula, toasted ancient grains and roasted chicken breast filled with strawberry butter.
  3. Also at Disney California Adventure park, we discovered the Greek Salad at Paradise Garden Grill – grab a seat in the shade and dig in to this generous bowl of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, pepperoncinis, marinated olive and feta flavored with a lemon-oregano dressing and pita bread for scooping. You might want to share.
  4. Over at Disneyland park, a longtime favorite is the Caesar at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante. This is the real deal, as the Caesar was invented in Mexico City – though a staple in Italian restaurants, the Caesar generally is attributed to Caesar Cardini, an Italian who created the salad at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, where it became a hit with Hollywood stars. Rancho serves the Hacienda Caesar, romaine tossed, sweet peppers and cotija cheese in housemade dressing with pepitas seeds, radishes and crisp tortilla chips. Top it with grilled chicken or carne asada.
The Power Salad at Sunshine Seasons at Epcot The Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios

At Walt Disney World Resort:

  1. Heading to the East Coast, The Plaza Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort has an entrée salad that’s never left the menu – the chicken strawberry salad with greens, grilled chicken breast, cucumbers, fresh strawberries and gorgonzola tossed in a lightly sweet white zinfandel vinaigrette. A classic.
  2. Over at Sunshine Seasons at Epcot, try the trendy Power Salad – a bowlful of protein with quinoa, oak-fired chicken, almonds and honey vinaigrette. You’ll have plenty of energy to power walk World Showcase Promenade.
  3. Quinoa is the star of another favorite at ABC Commissary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – the Couscous Quinoa & Arugula Salad, tossed to order. We top it with grilled salmon for extra protein and Omega 3s.
  4. Also at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, who doesn’t love the Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby? Chopped delightfully small and tossed tableside, it’s a classic with ham, bacon, turkey breast, egg, tomatoes, blue cheese, avocado and chives, all mixed with dressing still made from the original recipe when the salad was invented in Hollywood in the 1930s.
  5. Delightfully different is the Jiko Salad at Jiko—The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. A lovely plate of poached pears, heirloom spinach, kabocha squash in a pear vinaigrette topped with a brittle of pumpkin seeds and black lentils. Instagram worthy.
  6. And finally, another longtime favorite we always have to order: the Crispy Rock Shrimp Salad at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This one stays on the menu, though Chef Brian Piasecki may mix up the ingredients. Right now it’s crispy rock shrimp (a Florida delicacy) with spicy baby greens, Subarashii pear, red onions, soy reduction and addictive wasabi cream. You won’t want to share this one.
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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Sounds from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Now on Pandora

posted on May 5th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


If music has the power to take you away, then brace yourself for a trip to a Hawaiian paradise with “Disney Aulani Sounds” on Pandora! This new mixtape includes songs by artists featured at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, creating an authentic Hawaiian musical experience.

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While listening to the playlist, you’ll enjoy songs from the “Aulani: Music of the Maka’ala” soundtrack – including my favorite, “Mele Ho‘ala Moku.” As quite the avid fan, I can assure you that taking a moment to close your eyes and listen to these songs transports you away to Aulani.

And to connect listeners to Aulani, Disney and Pandora also included musical artists who regularly perform at Off the Hook and The ‘Olelo Room. If you are vacationing at Aulani, be sure to check out The Daily ‘Iwa to see which local artists are performing – you may recognize their music from the “Disney Aulani Sounds” station!

Lastly, don’t forget that Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Aulani is celebrating moms the whole month of May with an all-new breakfast-in-bed option and a blissful menu of spa treatments at the award-winning Laniwai Spa. Celebrate Mom with aloha and learn more about “Mahalo Momma Month” here.

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New Themes Announced for Tokyo Disney Resort Development

posted on April 29th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We have an exciting announcement from our partners at Oriental Land Company with new details on the largest expansion in Tokyo Disney Resort’s history.

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Oriental Land Company revealed the theme for the eighth port in development at Tokyo DisneySea Park will be Scandinavia with a portion of the area themed to the Disney film “Frozen”. Additionally, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Alice in Wonderland” will be the themes for two new areas in development in Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland Park.

'Beauty and the Beast'-Themed Area Coming to Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland Park 'Alice in Wonderland'-Themed Area Coming to Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland Park

These new enhancements are part of the resort’s 10-year, 500 billion yen expansion plan that we shared last year. As part of the plan, Tokyo Disneyland Park centers on the redevelopment of Fantasyland, which will nearly double the size of the themed land. For Tokyo DisneySea Park, the new eighth themed port will be developed in the expansion site located south of Lost River Delta.

This new development is a result of the shared vision and strong partnership between Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Oriental Land Company that has been cultivated over the last few years to chart a course for the resort’s future. This collaboration has led to the creation of exciting new attractions, entertainment and dining experiences, helping to make Tokyo Disney Resort one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations. We continue to be excited about this development and the new offerings guests visiting Tokyo Disney Resort will enjoy.

Stay tuned for updates on the new magical experiences coming to Tokyo Disney Resort!

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Copper River Salmon is Back on Menus at Artist Point, Flying Fish Cafe and California Grill at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 29th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


One of our favorite times of year – Copper River Salmon has made its way back to menus at three Walt Disney World Resort restaurants: Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Flying Fish Café at Disney’s Boardwalk area.

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It’s so special because this prized salmon is available for a very short window of time – mid-May to mid-June. Every year those beauties travel up the Copper River in South Central Alaska, covering a distance of about 3,200 miles to their spawning ground. All that hard work means fish that is flavorful and full of goodness. The Alaskans call them Chinook or Tyees, and the largest on record is a whopping 126 pounds.

Keep an eye on the menus, but the best way to serve Copper River Salmon is simply grilled. Artist Point used cedar planks, and California Grill is planning “a la plancha” style, or grilled on a metal plate. Chef Brian Piasecki at California Grill says he’s hoping that local Zellwood corn will accompany in some form or fashion. And we’ll wait to see what the chefs at Flying Fish Cafe create.

Make your reservations now – 407-WDW-DINE.

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

posted on April 27th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


With the addition of quizzes on the Disney Parks Blog, I’m excited to have a little fun testing your knowledge of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! Even if you have never visited our beautiful resort in Hawai`i, take a look through some of our past Aulani blog posts to find the answers! Have fun and good luck!
 

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

What does the word “Aulani” mean in Hawaiian?
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What is the name of the only teen spa in Hawai`i, found at Aulani?
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What are the names of the two water slides found at the Pu’u Kilo in the Waikolohe Valley?
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What is the name of the magical, interactive kids club found at Aulani?
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Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Officially Opens Today at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

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


The collectible souvenir mugs are in at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and the doors officially open today.

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Those coveted cups include the Uh-Oa!, Krakatoa Punch, Nautilus, Polynesian Pearl, HippopotoMai-Tai, Rum Flight shot glasses in the three colors and the Shrunken Zombie Head – all available only at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

It’s a pretty popular spot, with waits some evenings up to two hours at peak times as guests ooh and ah over more than 1,200 pieces of memorabilia and have a good time with the staff. The handcrafted cocktails are delicious, and just order an Uh-Oa! and see what happens with the special effects.

If you want a table and there’s a wait, Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace is almost as cool as the lounge, with a lava rock waterfall and live Hawai’ian-themed entertainment every night with the gorgeous backdrop of Seven Seas Lagoon and a seat for the Magic Kingdom Park fireworks.

Walt Disney Parks & Resorts recently won a VIBE VISTA Award in the category of “Best Spirits Program in Hotels.” The award represents “exemplary creativity, execution and results in an extremely competitive field,” as judged by the faculty at Johnson & Wales University. And Trader Sam’s helped land the prestigious award.

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