Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

A Taste of the Islands at Shutters Restaurant at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

posted on September 3rd, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


One of our favorite little Walt Disney World Resort dining gems is Shutters at Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, where Chef Scott Tosh can elevate any dish with bright island flavors – he knows that “spicy” doesn’t mean “hot,” but instead an infusion of fantastic flavors.

We’re also fans of his crispy chicken wings, glazed in habanero-brown sugar. Pair those with the Shutters Salad (greens, jicama, avocado, tropical salsa, goat cheese and citrus vinaigrette) and a fruity cocktail for starters. But it’s really the sustainable fish where Shutters shines, like this Jerk-Seared Mahi-Mahi, with a demo by Chef Mike Reitzler, who was at the helm in the kitchen at Shutters, now at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The dish may take a little time, but you can do most of the prep early in the day, then sear the fish just as your guests are ready for dinner.

Shutters is open nightly at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE. Dinner is on the Disney Dining Plan.

Jerk-Seared Mahi-Mahi with Ancho BBQ sauce, Tropical Salsa, Caribbean Rice & Green Beans
Serves 4

Tropical Salsa

  • 1 medium, ripe mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro

Ancho BBQ Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

Jerk Seasoning

  • 8 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Mahi

  • 4 (6-ounce) mahi filets
  • 1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 12 teaspoons jerk seasoning, divided

Caribbean Rice

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives

Green Beans

  • 1 pound thin green beans
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For tropical salsa:

  1. Combine mango, pineapple, onion, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, and jalapeno in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together rice vinegar, honey, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over mango mixture. Add cilantro, gently stirring to combine.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.

For ancho BBQ sauce:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cooking until fragrant and softened, about 4 minutes. Add tomato and jalapeno, cooking until tomato breaks down, about 3 minutes more.
  2. Whisk in ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, honey, lemon juice, chili powder, paprika, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, or until onions are soft and sauce is thickened.
  4. Carefully transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

For jerk seasoning:

  1. Combine allspice, dry mustard, paprika, granulated onion, lemon pepper, dried hot red pepper flakes, white or black pepper, cayenne, granulated garlic, cinnamon, salt, and thyme in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Store remaining jerk seasoning in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

For mahi:

  1. Rinse mahi with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Rub each mahi filet with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle first side of each filet with 1 1/2 teaspoons Jerk Seasoning, patting to adhere. Repeat with the second side of each fish.
  3. Transfer mahi to a large plate, lightly cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. When ready to serve, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 mahi filets. Sear each side 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked all the way through. Repeat using remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and remaining 2 mahi filets.

For Caribbean rice:

  1. Melt butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, cooking until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice, stirring to coat in butter.
  2. Stir in turmeric and salt. Add water, stir a few times, then cover pan. Turn heat to low and cook 20 minutes.
  3. Remove rice from heat and keep covered 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork; add chives and fluff again.

For green beans:

  1. While fish is cooking, blanch green beans in boiling salted water until bright green and just tender.
  2. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drain green beans and add directly to sauté pan, tossing to coat in butter. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve:
Brush barbecue sauce on serving plates, evenly divide rice and green beans among plates. Top each with a mahi filet. Serve with more sauce and tropical salsa spooned over top.

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Disney Brings HBCU Alumni and Advocates Together to School Local Students in Higher Ed Opportunity

posted on August 29th, 2014 by Belinda Frazier, Manager, Corporate Citizenship


As an alumna of Clark Atlanta University, one of our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), I was proud to take part in a unique college fair today at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The HBCU College Information Fair brought together 100 students from Orlando’s Edgewater High School, HBCU advocates and Disney cast members who attended HBCUs.
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The event – which is part of the 10th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney – began with a presentation by United Negro College Fund Development Director Sherry Paramore, who outlined the value of an HBCU education, as well as how to prepare for college and secure scholarships. And though they’ll be rivals at Sunday’s MEAC/SWAC football game, representatives of North Carolina A&T State and Alabama A&M shared the stage amicably as they provided tips on making your college application stronger and applying for financial aid.
Local Students to Attend College Fair at Disney

After the presentations, I joined fellow cast members who attended HBCUs in sharing my college experiences with students browsing the fair. As I explained how my academic experiences prepared me for a career at Walt Disney World Resort, I told them that enrolling at an HBCU is more than just being a student at a university. It’s becoming part of a network of future business and community leaders who share in the legacy of achievement.
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As we talked, I was inspired by their hopes, dreams and vision for the future. I hope they were inspired, too … and that I see some of them again one day as fellow Disney cast members!

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Celebrates Three Years of Paradise with a Touch of Magic

posted on August 29th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Today marks the third anniversary of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! Let’s celebrate with a look back at three major milestones this beautiful resort has seen through the past three years.

Tradition and Magic at the Grand Opening of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

Tradition and Magic at the Grand Opening of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

With the help of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Hawaiian performers and Aulani cast members, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, led the Grand Opening Ceremony. One of our favorite moments during the ceremony was the joining of Hawaiian culture and the magic of Disney – symbolized by the mixing of sand from the beach with pixie dust in an ‘umeke, a ceremonial wooden bowl.

Ka Maka Landing Officially Opens at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

New Ka Maka Landing Officially Opens Tomorrow at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Ka Maka Landing opened in October 2013, completing the Waikolohe Valley expansion. Your ‘ohana can now spend the day in the spectacular infinity-edge pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and children can splash and play in the new Keiki Cove. Be sure to take a break and enjoy a poolside meal at Ulu Cafe before diving back for more Hawaiian fun.

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Travel + Leisure Readers Recognize Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa and Disney Cruise Line for Excellence

Last month, Travel + Leisure announced its World’s Best Awards 2014, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, was named the Top Hotel for Families in the United States. Cast members were positively thrilled to receive this honor on behalf of our Hawaiian resort, and look forward to continuing the tradition of providing extraordinary guest service.

Please join me in wishing Aulani a hau`oli la ho’omana’o, or happy anniversary! If you’d like to visit and celebrate the anniversary too, take advantage of a special travel package this fall: book a consecutive four-night or more stay, now through October 30, 2014, for travel between August 15 and December 22 (excluding November 26-29), and receive the fourth night free! Learn more about this great vacation offer here.

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Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2014: Merchandise First Look

posted on August 25th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


How many of you will be joining us this weekend for the Disneyland Half Marathon? Here’s your first look at some of the art that will appear on some of the most sought after event merchandise, including performance T-shirts, short and long sleeve T-shirts, hoodies, jackets, drinkware, hats, pins and more.

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A true fan favorite is, of course, the men’s and ladies T-shirts emblazoned with the “I Did It” message on it, with the course map featured on the back.

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As you know the “Dumbo Double Dare” is back! You’ll find plenty of merchandise, including men’s and ladies’ T-shirts in a variety of silhouettes featuring both the Dumbo Double Dare logo and the ever famous “I Did It,” along with a jacket, hoodie, sports bottle, keychain, headwear and car magnets.

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Other great selections will include runDisney performance T-shirts, shorts, a zip hoodie, headwear, sports bands, a magnet, cinch sak and my personal favorite, a runDisney Medal Holder.

Want more? Because we have it! Keep an eye out for specially created Dooney & Bourke bags, trading pins, Vinylmation, drink ware and, of course, our “Coast to Coast” collection.

If you’re looking to make any of these items part of your Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend experience or look, then I’d recommend you race to the Health & Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel, as this merchandise will go fast.

Good luck to everyone participating in this year’s event!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts

Caption This: Toys Will Be Toys at Disney Resorts

posted on August 25th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you ever returned to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel room to see a sight like this?

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It sure looks like these Disney friends would love to come out and play. What’s on their minds? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This” photo below!

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Perfect Pre-Dinner Fun: Wine Pairings at Martha’s Vineyard at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

posted on August 20th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Tucked in a quiet corner of Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Martha’s Vineyard is one of our favorite quiet spots for a pre-dinner cocktail or a light bite. And now, new late-afternoon wine pairings combine food and wine with a little enlightenment, with wine experts on hand to talk about what you’re sipping.

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Upcoming dates are 4-5:15 p.m. September 4, September 25, October 2 and October 30. Wineries aren’t yet announced (the last one was France’s Louis Jadot), but the Disney chefs are having fun with pairing delicious food with whatever is poured – we tried a mild white fish with dry Pouilly-Fuissé, a seafood paella with fresh Chardonnay and a strong red Beaujolais-Villages with a chocolate flourless cake and cherry sorbet. The wine expert and the chef are a delightful duo as they lead guests through the hour-long tasting. No need to takes notes, they’ll send you home with a bookmark that tells about the wines.

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It’s an intimate setting – no more than 18 guests, and the conversation flows with the wine. Cost varies, but is in the $20-30 range for three wines paired with three small plates, and price depends on what’s being poured.

For reservations, call 407-934-3833.

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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Menehune Adventure Trail

posted on August 19th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


The legendary Menehune are mischievous little people with magical powers ​who live in the forest and only come out at night. Menehune statues are hidden throughout Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Look for them along the Waikolohe stream, along walking paths, in phone booths, elevators … pretty much anywhere! In fact, so many are hidden in the Waikolohe Valley that Aunty has enlisted Aulani guests to help find them on the Menehune Adventure Trail. Using interactive handsets, your ‘ohana can set out on ​30 challenges that immerse you in the mysteries, legends and lore of Hawai‘i. The Menehune supply plenty of enchantment along the way! The “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series continues today with ​an inside look at some of the secrets you will discover on the Menehune Adventure Trail.

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  • Lava Tube: Deep inside the Pu’u Kilo in the Waikolohe Valley, you might stumble upon a lava tube filled with magma. Watch out – it just may explode! You’ll need the help of the Menehune to divert the magma, avoiding trouble. During this mission to save the island, guests can sense the impressive sights and sounds of a lava flow.
  • Hula Drums: One of Aunty’s friends, Kani, is a master hula teacher who just uncovered an old video of her mother dancing the hula. However, the video has a minor technical difficulty – it doesn’t have any sound! Aunty turns to you and the Menehune to find the right rhythm for the chant using magical instruments along the trail.
  • Kapa: A traditional Hawaiian barkcloth, Kapa is the focal point of one of my favorite missions along the Menehune Adventure Trail. Aunty informs you that a young woman is about to be married, but her mother’s wedding gift, a kapa cloth, remains unfinished. With the help of the Menehune, you can help calm the mother-of-the-bride and complete the magically illuminated pattern.

Now is the best time to explore the Menehune Adventure Trail and more on a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! Book a consecutive four-night or more stay now through October 30, 2014, for travel between August 15 and December 22 (excluding November 26-29), and receive the fourth night free! Learn more about this great vacation offer here.


For more from the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series, visit the posts below:

New Capt. Cook’s Debuts at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

posted on August 18th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


In true Disney fashion, look for a big wow at the new Capt. Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – the menu makeover brings island-style cuisine to the popular quick-service spot that’s open around the clock.

Start with the classic lobster roll served on a buttered bun. They’ve added blackened fish tacos, a noodle bowl (beef or shrimp) and delectable coconut curry meatballs. A new gourmet hot dog is slathered with garlic ketchup and mango relish. And our favorite – crispy fried chicken and waffles, a hearty breakfast favorite that stays on the menu all day.

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No worries, the favorite hot beef ‘n blue sandwich stays, says Chef Pete Bruenen. Ditto for the pizzas, grilled chicken sandwich and house-made sushi, delivered from Kona Island upstairs. The grab ‘n go case stays filled with drinks, salads, sandwiches and the popular cold noodle salad and turkey club, says Chef Pete.

Fans of the breakfast Tonga Toast will still find it on the menu, along with a new breakfast burrito with egg, bacon, potatoes and Cheddar cheese.

Bridget Sherren, operations manager for Food & Beverage at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, shared a little news about Pineapple Lanai, opening the end of August. “Dole Whip gets its own dedicated spot,” she says, a new window in the courtyard for Dole Whip soft serve and floats (pineapple or vanilla Dole Whip). “It’s a great spot for families,” says Bridget.

Another new treat is Hawaiian shaved ice at Kona Island on the resort’s second floor. Located just off the monorail, Kona Island serves specialty coffee and pastries all day, and now shaved ice joins the lineup, along with takeout sushi. Hours are 6:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 5 – 10 p.m.

And watch for Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto to open in spring 2015 next door to Captain Cook’s. Details soon!

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Quick Merchandise Tips for August at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on August 15th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Whether you are going to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa for the first time or making a return trip this August, here are a few key things you might want to keep an eye out for.

Up first are a couple of pins you could say are filled with ‘character.’ Chip n’ Dale Paddling and the Aulani ~ Mickey Mouse logo pin will release in mid-September. Tip: Pins make great souvenirs if you are looking for something to commemorate your stay at Aulani. They also make the perfect gift for a loved one back home.

Aulani ~ Mickey Mouse Logo Pin Chip n’ Dale Paddling Pin

Debuting later this summer is our Aulani-inspired Alex and Ani bangle in Rafaelian Gold finish. Those of you who have seen my recent posts on Alex and Ani bangles know that I’m already jealous since this particular bangle will only be available at Aulani.

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Look for these wonderful treasures and more at Kālepa’s Store. What souvenir will you take home to represent your Aulani vacation?

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Matterhorn Bobsleds and Monorail Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store Starting August 18

posted on August 13th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m excited to announce that two Disney Parks attraction poster shirts will be released online from August 18-24. These new shirts feature nods to some classic Disney Park icons – the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland park and the Walt Disney World Monorail System in Florida. Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra created the artwork for these shirts that will be printed on Hanes Beefy tees.

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The original Matterhorn Bobsleds poster that Richard referenced when designing the shirt was created by Paul Hartley in 1959, the year the attraction opened in California.

According to the “Poster Art of the Disney Parks” book by Walt Disney Imagineers Vanessa Hunt and Danny Handke, the artist who created the original monorail artwork is unknown. During a trip to California last year, Vanessa showed me that original monorail artwork in its various stages of completion (I even saw the pencil lines, which was a total Disney geek moment!).

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Like many guests, I have fond memories of both the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction and the Walt Disney World Monorail. My son’s first ride at Disneyland park a few years ago was the Matterhorn Bobsleds. We visited Disneyland park again last September where he posed next to the attraction poster while wearing some dapper attire.

As for the Walt Disney World Monorail, I love watching it zip through Disney’s Contemporary Resort. I took the image shown above of monorails passing in the night while that gorgeous mural by Mary Blair looms in the background.

You can order these shirts starting August 18 by visiting http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

I also heard a practically perfect T-shirt will be offered on that same website from August 27-31 (it’s a must-have!).

Do you have a favorite memory of the Matterhorn Bobsleds or the monorail? Please share in the comments below.

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