In honor of Earth Day next week and the fact that many children have an endless fascination with animals, we wanted to focus this week’s #DisneyKids story on our furry, feathered and scaled friends at the Walt Disney World Resort. There are quite a few areas both in the theme parks and at the resorts where guests of all ages can interact with their favorite animals.
As the name suggests, Disney’s Animal Kingdom park is home to magnificent creatures across 250 species, and is an incredible place for little ones to learn about wildlife. Even better, there are several self-guided areas where families can go at their own pace without lines – perfect for toddlers who aren’t interested in sitting still for long. Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is a favorite of my own little girls because they can decide how long we spend checking out each animal like gorillas and hippos.
For a day outside of the theme parks, another place that is a huge hit with horse lovers is the Tri-Circle-D Ranch at the laid-back Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Little ones over the age of two can enjoy pony rides, and the entire family can take a carriage or wagon ride through the beautiful resort grounds.
Check out more ideas for your little animal lovers here.
In 2005, actress Ashley Brown made her Broadway debut as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” and then in 2006, made Disney history when she originated the title role of Mary Poppins in the show’s grand Broadway debut. Talk about living out your Disney dreams!
This award-winning actress is visiting the Walt Disney World Resort soon for some fun in the Florida sun – and she’s taking your questions! This is your chance to ask Ashley a question on some of her Walt Disney World “favorites,” including attractions and places to dine, shop, stay, etc. We’ll be back next week with a video as Ashley answer them to share some of her Disney Parks “favorites” with all of you.
Please post your questions now in the ‘comments’ section below.
What kid doesn’t love chicken nuggets? And what parent wouldn’t love for them to be healthier too? In celebration of Healthy Kids’ Day on April 17, we’re sharing the recipe for Grandpa’s Crispy Baked Chicken from 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where everything on the menu is inspired by old-fashioned home cooking.
The chicken is one of four kids’ meals that get the “Mickey Check” – a tool that makes it easier to identify nutritious choices, found on select kids’ meals and fruit carts throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. To receive the Mickey Check, foods must meet The Walt Disney Company Nutritional Guidelines developed by health experts and align to federal dietary guideline recommendations.
So while the kids are having fun at 50’s Prime Time (watching TV and being playfully scolded by the waitresses), they are enjoying good-for-you tastes like grilled salmon, turkey meatloaf, meatless meatballs over multigrain spaghetti and this healthful version of chicken nuggets that is served with mashed potatoes, carrots and fruit salad.
Grandpa’s Crispy Baked Chicken
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds chicken tenderloins
- 2 cups panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
- Mix oil and garlic in a large bowl. Add chicken tenderloins, cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Press panko gently against each chicken strip until evenly coated. Lay coated chicken strips on a rack on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake 5 additional minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked and crisp.
This week’s Learn to Draw animation tutorial series continues with a lesson on how to create your own Sorcerer Mickey. This version of the mouse made his on-screen debut in the 1940 film “Fantasia,” which went on to win two Academy Awards. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and get ready for step-by-step instructions from Don Shane of the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
For previous animation tutorials on some of your favorite Disney characters, check out the list below:
Dockside Margaritas is set to open later this month at Downtown Disney Marketplace. This waterfront margarita bar is the perfect place for enjoying the relaxing things in life – Florida style. Everything about Dockside Margaritas projects a fun, laid-back vibe—from the theming which is reminiscent of a Florida fruit stand from the 1960s with cool, tropical colors and eclectic, modern furniture to the handcrafted margaritas and authentic Floridian brews.
Waterfront entertainment will return, with live performers from 2:30-10:30 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 12:30-10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. With live entertainment daily, beautiful views of the waterfront at Buena Vista cove and ample seating, Dockside Margaritas is sure to be a popular destination to relax with friends and family.
Refreshing, handcrafted margaritas and cocktails include:
- Patrón Añejo Margarita – Patrón Barrel Select Añejo Tequila, Grand Marnier, Sweet-and-Sour and fresh Lime Juice
- Habanero Lime Margarita – Patrón Silver Tequila, Habanero Lime, fresh Lime Juice and Florida Sugar Cane Simple Syrup
- Sunset Margarita – Casamigos Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, fresh Lime Juice, Sweet-and-Sour and Orange Juice
- Orange Grove Rum Runner – Siesta Key Spiced Rum, Blackberry Brandy, Crème de Banana, and Florida Citrus Juices with a float of Gosling’s 151 Rum
- Sugar Cane Mojito – Siesta Key Silver Rum, Florida Sugar Cane Simple Syrup, fresh Lime Juice and Mint
- Strawberry Margarita – Herradura Reposado Tequila and fresh Lime Juice blended with Strawberry Purée
- Florida Citrus Freeze – Florida Cane ‘Orlando Orange’ Vodka and Peach Schnapps blended with Orange Purée
Look for craft beers from Florida breweries, like Orange Blossom Pilsner, Bold City Duke’s Brown Ale and Cigar City Jai Alai IPA. Tropical Florida wine in refreshing flavors like Mango Mamma and Key Limen will also be available.
Dockside Margaritas is set to open April 23 at Downtown Disney Marketplace–just in time to kick back and enjoy Florida summer.
Surrounded by over 45 acres of savanna, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge continues to be one of the most spectacular hotels at Walt Disney World. Opening 14 years ago today, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby soars six stories high under an incredible thatched roof. In September 2000, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was beginning to take shape as construction continued on what is now known as Jambo House.
While seeing a giraffe outside the balcony of a guest room is quite unique, the Jambo House is also home to two distinctive restaurants celebrating the flavors of Africa – Jiko and Boma (not to mention they’re absolutely delicious).
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great place to relax and enjoy the ambience of the Resort when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the Parks.
We’re all about celebrating a childhood “firsts” here at the Walt Disney World Resort – the first time you meet Mickey Mouse, your first haircut at the barber shop on Main Street, U.S.A., the first time you’re tall enough to ride the Tomorrowland Speedway by yourself.
My most memorable “first” was my first character breakfast. It was on the Empress Lily, now Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney.
Our colleagues at Disney Junior want to celebrate those firsts with you in the My Magical First Sweepstakes. You can now enter for a chance to win a 5-day, 4-night vacation for four to Walt Disney World Resort from Disney Junior at Disney.com/MyMagicalFirst.
Imagine your little one’s first Walt Disney World vacation including:
It will be a magical time that you will remember forever. Trust me.
Check out Disney.com/MyMagicalFirst for all the information including how to enter and keep watching the Disney Parks Blog and the #DisneyKids for more fun for ideas for your little ones.
Walt Disney’s interest in progress, technology and making strides toward the future has always been something that has shaped Disney Parks, and has inspired new attractions and experiences since day one. During his lifetime, Walt led the charge in developing Audio-Animatronics technology, planned a Tomorrowland for Disneyland park that would allow people to taste what the future may be like, and dreamed of showcasing an “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” in his plans for Epcot.
According to “Tomorrowland” Director/Writer Brad Bird and Writer Damon Lindelof, it was Walt’s vision of the future that provided them with a lot of inspiration when creating their “city of tomorrow” for the film. Check out the video below to learn more.
The film “Tomorrowland,” opens in theaters nationwide on May 22, 2015. (Guests visiting Disneyland park and Epcot will be able to watch an exclusive sneak peek from the film starting this weekend, as well as see props and images from the movie. The Tomorrowland Theater at Disneyland park will host their sneak peek starting Friday, April 17, and the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot will open its doors on Saturday, April 18).
Epcot is GROOVIN’ this June and July with the return of the Sounds Like Summer concert series.
From June 7 to July 25, the America Gardens Theater will once again rock out with some of the world’s hottest tribute bands.
This year’s lineup includes: (Entertainment and times subject to change)
- June 7-13: DSB – A Tribute to Journey
- June 14-20: 2U – A Tribute to U2
- June 21-26: Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot – A Tribute Billy Joel Show
- June 27 – July 4: Don’t Look Back – A Tribute to Boston
- July 5-11: Fire & Ice – A Tribute to Pat Benatar
- July 12-18: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
- July 19-25: Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles
The Sounds Like Summer concerts are included with regular Epcot admission. Show times are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. daily.
Check back to the Disney Parks Blog for updates on all things Summer 2015 at Walt Disney World!
Do you want to have the Coolest Summer Ever at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Reservations for the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package are now available for dates starting June 17 to September 7. Have a day fit for Arendelle royalty, with reserved viewing to a trio of Frozen Summer Fun experiences and chill out with cool refreshments.
Each Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package includes:
- See Anna and Elsa in the reserved viewing for Frozen Royal Welcome, complete with regal refreshments—water, a selection of soft drinks, and ice cream
- Reserved seating for your choice of (1) show time of For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Frozen Fireworks viewing with dessert party, a dazzling nighttime display of fireworks paired with Frozen-themed desserts as well as specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
Cost is $69 for adults, $39 for children age 3 to 9 (tax and gratuity are included). Reservations can be made online or by calling 407-939-3463. Package availability is limited; so don’t let this opportunity go!