Spaceship Earth at Epcot

Show Your Pet’s Disney Side on Animal Planet’s ‘America’s Cutest’

posted on July 30th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


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A national search is under way for the cutest video celebrating the Disney Side of pets – and I know Disney Parks Blog readers are up for the challenge. The popular Animal Planet America’s Cutest TV show is producing a special Disney Side edition for a Howl-O-Ween Pet-acular that’ll air later this year and they want to hear from you.
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Show Your Pet’s Disney Side on Animal Planet’s ‘America’s Cutest’ Show Your Pet’s Disney Side on Animal Planet’s ‘America’s Cutest’ Show Your Pet’s Disney Side on Animal Planet’s ‘America’s Cutest’ Show Your Pet’s Disney Side on Animal Planet’s ‘America’s Cutest’

Whether you dress your dog as a jungle cruise skipper or build a hamster-sized Splash Mountain, your pet could become bigger than the Astro Orbiter by appearing in Animal Planet’s Howl-O-Ween Pet-acular.

It’s easy to share your pet’s Disney Side video. Just visit the Animal Planet entry page and add your clip. Here are a few tips:

  • Hold your camera or phone horizontally instead of vertically.
  • Film in the highest resolution possible and please don’t compress.
  • No music, radio or TV in the background.
  • Please include the pets face in the clip.

After you’ve shared your video, watch America’s Cutest: The Disney Side Edition in October to find out if your pet’s Disney Side is one of America’s cutest. Also, let us know about your pet’s Disney Side in the comments.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Meet the Horses of the Disneyland Resort: Finn and Bug

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort


Greetings from Circle D Ranch at the Disneyland Resort. Let’s meet two more of the lucky horses that live here.

This is Finn.
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Finn is a Brabant draft horse. He’s 11 years old, weighs 1,590 lbs and stands 17.2 hands tall. Finn came to the Disneyland Resort from Oakley, Calif., and took to his new life here, as they say, “like a duck to water.” In the relatively short time Finn has been a part of the Circle D team, he has pulled the Horse Drawn Streetcar on Main Street, U.S.A., pulled the carriage for the Disney Villains at Mickey’s Halloween Party, and was the star of the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration this January for The Year of the Horse. Finn is a very calm horse, and he loves attention.

This is Bug.

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Bug is also a Brabant draft horse. He’s 10 years old, weighs 1,555 lbs and stands 17 hands. Bug also came to Circle D from Oakley, Calif. In fact, Bug and Finn were a show team before they came to the Disneyland Resort. Although they look as if they could be brothers, Bug is shorter and bulkier than Finn. And despite being one of Circle D’s smallest horses, Bug easily outweighs many of the horses that are taller than him, because he is so muscular. You can find Bug at the Big Thunder Ranch petting farm. Look to see if he’s there the next time you’re at Disneyland park!

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A Perfect Recipe for National Lasagna Day July 29

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Yes, it’s a little warm to crank up the oven, but in honor of National Lasagna Day, we’re proposing that you do just that and make a generous pan of this lasagna Bolognese from the chefs at the new Trattoria al Forno opening this fall at Disney’s BoardWalk. The leftovers are delish.
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“Trattoria al Forno is true Italian cooking,” says Chef Lenny DeGeorge, executive chef, Concept Development, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. “We’ve challenged ourselves to come up with authentic recipes that will wow our guests – this restaurant is the next chapter in Disney dining.”

It’s the attention to quality and detail that sets Trattoria al forno apart, says Chef Lenny. “We’ve got an authentic prosciutto slicer, we’re making cavatelli pasta in-house, pickling peppers, making mozzarella, and serving spectacular pizza pies,” he says. One of his favorite menu items is the charcuterie, with special cured meats such as hard salami with fennel pollen.

DeGeorge grew up in an American-Italian family, but says it was a trip to Italy that forever changed his thoughts on cooking Italian. “Italian food isn’t about lots of ingredients, less is more,” says Chef Lenny. “True marinara is simply the best tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and time, lots of cooking time.” This is the recipe at Trattoria al forno, and they add a little house-made chicken stock to fortify the meat dishes. “I think Italians will approve,” says Chef Lenny.

His lasagna recipe, below, is “moist, rich, and nothing like the Americanized version most of us grew up eating,” says Chef Lenny. Trattoria’s signature dishes like pasta carbonara will be made with fresh eggs, Romano cheese and guanciale (salt-cured pork cheeks), not the Americanized version with bacon, cream and peas. The chicken Parmesan is pounded paper thin, breaded and deep fried, with a side of long, flat ribbons of fresh tagliatelli pasta.

“We’re paying more attention to our guests’ refined palates,” he says.

Lasagna Bolognese from Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk
Serves 8 to 10

Turkey Bolognese

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 1/2 quarts half and half
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ricotta Filling

  • 1 (32-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Lasagna

  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan, divided

For turkey Bolognese:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add turkey, onion, and garlic and sauté, breaking up turkey, until turkey is cooked through.
  2. Drain any grease from pan and add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
  3. Use water to rinse tomato can and add to pan, stirring well. Add sugar, oregano, basil and crushed red pepper, stirring well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer 30 minutes, covered, stirring often.

For Alfredo sauce:

  1. Combine half and half and garlic in a large saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil.
  2. Dissolve cornstarch in water; whisk cornstarch mixture into boiling half-and-half, whisking constantly.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer mixture 3 minutes, whisking frequently. Stir in Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

For ricotta filling:

  1. Combine ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; stir until well combined.

For lasagna:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Ladle half of Alfredo sauce in the bottom of a 9×13-inch glass-baking dish. Top with 3 lasagna sheets. (Pasta will expand to cover filling.)
  3. Ladle half of turkey Bolognese on top. Top with 3 lasagna sheets. Gently spread half of ricotta filling over lasagna sheets and top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Top with 3 lasagna sheets.
  4. Top with remaining Bolognese and 3 more lasagna sheets. Spread with remaining ricotta mixture and top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella.
  5. Top with 3 lasagna sheets, remaining Alfredo sauce, and shredded Parmesan.
  6. Wrap pan tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil.
  7. Bake 1 hour, 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more. Let rest at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Click here to download our keepsake recipe card.

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A VIP ‘La Nouba’ Experience Debuts with ‘L’Experience’ at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Last month, I told you about the new clown duo that recently joined the cast of “La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil.” I hinted that something “behind-the-scenes and amazing” was coming. Today, I have more to share and I’m certain that the experience of “L’Experience” will not disappoint!

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Treat Yourself to the Pretzels and Peanut Butter Gourmet Apple at the Disneyland Resort

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


I’m a pretty big peanut butter and pretzel fan. So what happens when you combine those two ingredients with an apple at the Disneyland Resort? We wanted to find out, so we challenged our Disneyland Resort Candy Makers to come up with the perfect recipe and here’s what they have to share with us.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

Anna and Elsa’s Royal Tour with Disney Cruise Line

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


“Frozen” fun has gone nautical! If you sailed with us recently, you may have seen these two royal sisters for the first time in forever together on a Disney ship. Princess Anna and Queen Elsa kicked off their Royal Tour of our ships and are surprising Disney cruisers with special appearances on select seven-night or longer voyages. I had the chance to meet Anna and Elsa on the Disney Wonder in Alaska, where this photo was taken, and for a moment I felt as if I’d been transported to Arendelle!

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Download a Special Disney Parks Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Wallpaper

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We thought Disney Parks Blog readers would enjoy a little something special for the 15th anniversary of the popular Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. So today, we asked Disney artist Jeff Maurer to create a special new mobile/desktop wallpaper especially for the occasion.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith Turns 15 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today we’re celebrating the anniversary of one of my favorite attractions – Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. The attraction originally opened its doors at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 29, 1999.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

Haunted Mansion-Themed Merchandise Shop Opening This Fall in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 28th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’ve enjoyed hearing from guests who are just as excited as me for the new Haunted Mansion products coming this fall to Disney Parks. As it turns out, Madame Leota and the 999 happy haunts from The Haunted Mansion attraction have also received your sympathetic vibrations. This fall, they are gathering to open a new merchandise destination in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Walking in a Wyoming Winter Wonderland with Adventures by Disney

posted on July 28th, 2014 by Danielle Berman, Marketing Manager, Adventures by Disney


Ever wanted to “mush” your way through the snow-covered Wyoming wilderness or witness the erupting geysers at Yellowstone National Park? This summer heat might have you thinking of escaping to a “winter wonderland,” and with Adventures by Disney you can experience your own snow-filled family adventure to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park during the winter holiday season.

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Filed: Adventures by Disney