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Reservations Now Open for Afternoon Tea at Crescent Solarium at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

posted on February 3rd, 2016 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


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The elegance of enjoying small bites in an elegant solarium with a warm cup of tea simply can’t be beat. I adore afternoon tea, and am delighted to share the introduction of Afternoon Tea at Solarium Gardens at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Available on select dates (currently February 11-14, February 18-21, March 24-29, May 5-8, June 16-19, September 1-5), guests have the choice of tea services:

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Sea Side Park Tea
First course featuring a selection of Artisan cheeses and seasonal accompaniments, second course petit sandwiches and canapés on house-made breads, third course scones served with clotted cream, lemon curd and seasonal jam, finale of house-made pastries and tea cookies. Accompanied by your choice of loose-leaf tea.

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Sandy Cove Tea
First course featuring petit sandwiches and canapés on house-made breads, second course features scones served with clotted cream, lemon curd and seasonal jam, house-made pastries and tea cookies. Served with your choice of loose-leaf tea.

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Prince Cove Tea
First course featuring house-made charcuterie and cheese plate, second course scones served with clotted cream, lemon curd and seasonal jam, finale house-made pastries and tea cookies. Accompanied by your choice of loose-leaf tea.

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Short Sands Beach Tea
Guests ages 3-9 can enjoy a first course of assorted tea sandwiches (shaped like Mickey Mouse), second course scone served with clotted cream, lemon curd and seasonal jam, finale chocolate chip cookies. Accompanied with special “dark tea” (chocolate milk).

Fellow lovers of afternoon tea, over at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, look for a brand new selection of Twinings teas at Afternoon Tea, exclusive to Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog to learn more about the new offerings at Garden Vue Tea Room sponsored by Twinings® of London.

Reservations are now available and can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

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Downtown Disney District Celebrates Mardi Gras at the Disneyland Resort with Special Music, Menus at House of Blues and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen

posted on February 3rd, 2016 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


Tuesday, Feb. 9, is Mardi Gras, and no one knows how to do a family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration like the folks at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and House of Blues in Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort.

“Ralph

The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group has deep roots in the New Orleans French Quarter Mardi Gras tradition. The Mardi Gras menu at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen features such specialties as traditional gumbo, red beans and rice, Creole jambalaya, BBQ shrimp and grits and the famous beignets.

Also on the agenda for Mardi Gras at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen is live music from 6-10 p.m. in both the first- and second-floor dining rooms, a Mardi Gras costume contest at 8 p.m. in the Flambeau Room, free Mardi Gras beads for kids and some Bourbon Street specials at the bar.

Over at House of Blues, the all-ages entertainment lineup starts at 7 p.m. on February 9 and features L.A. Vation, “The World’s Greatest Tribute to U2,” and The Who Generation, “A Tribute to The Who.” Special Big Easy-inspired menu items include a fried catfish po’boy or a plate of fried catfish nuggets.

Let the good times roll or, if you prefer, laissez les bon temps rouler!

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This February, Treat Your Love to Something New at Disney Springs

posted on February 2nd, 2016 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


Valentine’s Day is February 14th, but why limit date night to just one Sunday? I’ve always considered Disney Springs one of the very best spots for a fun night out, whether you’re looking for a treat yo’ self-splurge or something more casual and carefree.

This year, there’s even more to love at Disney Springs, with plenty of new options for romance. Read on for a few of my favorite ideas for couples:

  1. Love is an adventure—especially at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar: with themed cocktails and inventive small plates, I suggest starting with drinks and splitting an appetizer before moving on to dinner. (This is also a favorite watering hole for late night escapades!)

  1. Do a classic date night better, with dinner at one of our new (or newly expanded!) hot spots: by now, you’ve heard the buzz about Morimoto Asia – it’s in the spotlight for a reason. The exquisitely prepared Pan Asian cuisine pairs perfectly with the upscale ambience of the dining room. I also love their curated beverage menu … the sake sangria is perfect for sharing. On Valentine’s Weekend, make a reservation to enjoy a special prix fixe dinner: $85 per person gets you four courses and features the impressive Morimoto Peking Duck dish. If you prefer the flavors of the Americas, visit Paradiso 37. Here, a new expansion added nearly 500 additional seats, many with waterfront views. The updated wine bar is another nice enhancement. Of course, their menu continues to impress and on Valentine’s Day, couples can enjoy a five-course meal (Grilled Filet Oscar or Seared Black Grouper, anyone?) at $39.99 per person.

  1. Be sweet at The Ganachery: An intimate space showcasing sophisticated ganache made in-house, it’s no surprise that this Disney owned and operated chocolate boutique often has a line to get in. Choose your own favorites among 16 flavors, or pick up a pre-selected assortment of treats hand-picked to create the ultimate Valentine’s gift.

  1. Toast to your better half with a Wine Tasting Cruise at The BOATHOUSE: The newest experience at The Landing ships off Valentine’s Day Weekend. February 12-14, you can enjoy an intimate cruise about The Venezia, a breathtaking 40-ft water taxi. Reservations are required and are limited to 10 guests (groups are welcome!); the cost is $150 per person for the one-hour wine-and-hors d’oeuvers-included voyage, departing at 4:30pm. Call 407-939-2628 to book.

  1. Fall in love with “La Nouba” all over again, thanks to brand-new acts: The breakdancing b-boys will get your heart pumping while a you-need-to-see-it-to-believe-it aerial bamboo act brings pure romance. Though the show is dark on Valentine’s Day, there is plenty of opportunity to catch this classic Cirque du Soleil spectacle with the one you love. Visit the “La Nouba” website or call (407) 939-7600 to purchase tickets.

Which date idea sounds most fun to you? (Though really, why pick just one … February has just begun, so if you plan things just right, you may be able to do all of the above this month—that’s definitely something to love!)

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Reservations Now Open for New Table-Service Dining at River Belle Terrace in Disneyland Park

posted on February 2nd, 2016 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


One of the original restaurants at Disneyland park, River Belle Terrace (under a variety of names) has been serving up home-style eats and Southern hospitality for more than sixty years. On February 10, the next chapter for River Belle Terrace will begin as the restaurant reopens as a table-service location, featuring barbecue favorites, tasty sides and more.

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What’s on the new menu? For starters, look for creamy pimento cheese dip with toasted bread and crispy celery, grilled and chilled shrimp with house-made BBQ cocktail sauce and lemon, and a house salad with arugula, apple, gorgonzola, dried cranberries, candied pecans and apple vinaigrette.

If you’re looking for a lighter entrée, try a salad topped with your choice of chicken, grilled shrimp, brisket or BBQ tofu. Whether you choose River Belle’s Chopped Salad with romaine lettuce, black beans, garbanzo beans, pickles, roasted corn, red bell pepper and tomatoes topped with fried onions served with a BBQ-ranch dressing or the Terrace Wedge with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, crumbled gorgonzola, garnished with pickled red onions and buttermilk-gorgonzola dressing, you can’t go wrong.

For the main attraction, Disneyland Resort chefs were inspired by barbecue tastes from up and down the Mississippi River. Look for tasty entrees like pork spare ribs, oven-roasted barbecue chicken, barbecue tofu, sustainable fish, oven-roasted sausage links and sandwiches featuring fried chicken, beef brisket or pulled pork. Each entree includes a side of River Belle Terrace’s signature baked beans as well as a choice of tangy coleslaw, seasoned tater bites, potato salad or seasonal vegetables. Kids will love the oven-roasted chicken, sustainable fish, BBQ ribs or mac ‘n cheese, each served with seasonal vegetables and fruit.

No Southern meal is complete without dessert. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the warm maple, apple and bacon bundt cake or butterscotch pudding parfait. For a twist on a classic dessert, try the fried cheesecake.

Reservations can be made by visiting Disneyland.com/dine, or by calling 714-781-DINE (3463).

TIP: Did you know you can now modify your existing dining reservations? Under the “My Reservations” page, simply click “Change Reservation” to change the time or number of guests in your part of your existing reservation.

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All in the Details: Exploring Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 2nd, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


Ask a server at Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen where the best seat in the house is, and in true Jungle Cruise fashion, he or she may respond with, “Inside!”

All in the Details: Exploring Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park All in the Details: Exploring Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park

That’s just proof that the witty and adventurous spirit of the guest-favorite Jungle Cruise attraction has spread to the nearby Skipper Canteen restaurant, which just opened its doors in December. The table service eatery features three unique dining rooms, including the crew’s Mess Hall; The S.E.A. Room, a secret meeting room for the Society of Explorers and Adventurers that was once hidden behind a bookcase; and the Falls Family Parlor, formerly occupied by the infamous jungle explorer Dr. Albert Falls. Remember him as the namesake of The Jungle Cruise’s Schweitzer Falls?

All in the Details: Exploring Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park All in the Details: Exploring Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park

The theming and storyline of the restaurant is really brought to life in the tiny details you can find in each room, which are stocked with treasure troves of mementos that Falls and the other adventurers collected over years of exploration. Disney Parks history buffs will have a blast picking out references to The Jungle Cruise attraction in the restaurant’s wood carvings, and few artifacts have even made their way over from the former Adventurer’s Club at Pleasure Island (now Disney Springs). Can you spot any in these photos?

Another fun element that brings the location to life is the background music. On my latest visit, a friend remarked that she felt she was a million miles away, in a different time, as tunes from the 1930s played lazily in the background. So fun.

Want to learn more about the Skipper Canteen and its menu? Check out Pam Brandon’s previous post.

For more All in the Details posts, visit the posts below:

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90 Days of Delicious Tastes for 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on February 1st, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Two new Outdoor Kitchens join the line-up for this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, upping the deliciousness at the 23rd annual fest that will span a record 90 days from March 2-May. 30.

Outdoor Kitchens at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

La Isla Fresca and Cider House are the two new Outdoor Kitchens, and we got a sneak peek of dishes from each at a recent tasting with the Epcot culinary team. La Isla Fresca takes guests to the Caribbean for authentic bites such as Jamaican braised beef with pigeon peas and rice; spicy jerk chicken or grouper with mango salsa and a Tres Leches cake with guava puree (the traditional meringue is replaced with whipped cream in this version). Pair either of the savories with a Red Stripe Jamaican-style lager, or frozen Simply Tropical juice drink (with or without rum).

The Cider House offers a spin on tastes from the United Kingdom, including a field greens salad with greens harvested from The Land Pavilion, heirloom apples, Stilton cheese and dried blueberries; and a pear cider-brined shredded corned beef, braised cabbage and pears with Branston (a British food brand) dressing. The Cider House will offer four hard ciders, including a blueberry ciders made in Plant City, Fla., plus Cigar City Tampa-Style Lager.

Urban Farm EATS Outdoor Kitchen at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The 11 other Outdoor Kitchens include Urban Farm Eats (new seared pork tenderloin), Pineapple Promenade , Fleur de Lys, Florida Fresh, Taste of Marrakesh, Hanami, THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews (the pulled pig slider gets crispy onions on top), Primavera Kitchen, Lotus House, Bauernmarkt (German currywurst sausage is new this year) and Jardin de Fiestas. Such diversity of tastes!

You’ll be wowed by the colorful extravaganza put on by the Disney horticulture team – whimsical topiaries (yes, Elsa and Anna will be there), 220 “floating gardens” in the lagoon and a new edible flower garden next to The Land Pavilion. It’s all beautiful at night, with twinkling lights shining across the gardens.

Food lovers, mark your calendar for April 29-May 1, when Florida Fresh Weekend features the state’s edible bounty from Apalachicola to Zellwood.

For more information about the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639). Watch for details at epcotinspring.com. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

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February Gets Even Sweeter at the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 29th, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


I am so excited to share details on all of the special hand-crafted treats headed your way this February from our (candy) kitchen to yours at the Disneyland Resort.

The gourmet collection for February will include an apple dipped in caramel and dark chocolate, rolled in chopped roasted almonds and garnished with cherries, drizzled milk chocolate and a few additional chopped almonds, for the finishing touch.

The gourmet bark, however, is infused with nut and amaretto oil, drizzled in white and milk chocolate and then topped with dried cherries and chopped roasted almonds. Yes, I tried it — it’s incredible!

Are you unsure what type of candy your Valentine might enjoy? Our candy makers are way ahead of you and have just what you’re looking for to make this the sweetest Valentine’s Day yet.

Look for a special themed pink Minnie Mouse apple, which I’m not actually showing you here, because I want you to see it for yourself and even share it with me! The cake pop and crispy treat have been dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with red and pink pareils, with an extra drizzle or two of white chocolate. As you can see, the marshmallow wand is pretty much the same, but don’t forget the layer of caramel it’s dipped in before we dip it and sprinkle it with everything else.

Our candy makers had one last trick, or in this case, treat up their sleeve: a peppermint-infused, heart-shaped pattie. Is there any better way to say “I heart you”?

The Valentine-themed treats will only be available until February 14, so don’t miss out!

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Nine Dragons Restaurant in China Pavilion at Epcot Celebrates ‘Year of the Monkey’ Beginning Feb. 8

posted on January 25th, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Nine Dragons Restaurant in the China Pavilion at Epcot has been a longtime favorite, maybe because we’ve had the privilege of meeting the talented Asian chefs in the kitchen who create authentic Chinese dishes. Yes, they cater to Americanized tastes with favorites such as Kung Pao chicken and sweet-and-sour pork, but it’s also the place where you can enjoy braised pork belly steamed buns, shrimp and taro lollipops and Shanghai xiaolongbao, the ultimate steamed pork soup dumplings.

In celebration of the Chinese “Year of the Monkey,” Nine Dragons is offering some special menu items and a new prix fixe lunch menu.

The lunch special (3 courses for $17.98) starts with spring rolls or pot stickers. There is a choice of three entrees: Happily Family, with sliced chicken breast, beef and shrimp stir fry; Moo Goo Gai Pan with stir-fried chicken breast, mushrooms and snow peas; and General Tso’s Chicken Buns Lunch Box with three steamed buns and hot-and-sour soup. Dessert is strawberry-red bean ice cream or ginger-caramel ice cream.

Another addition to the menu, just for Year of the Monkey are three steamed buns: braised pork belly served with chili aioli; sweet-and-sour, batter-fried fish buns topped with pork floss; and General Tso’s Chicken buns with batter-fried chicken breast. (Pork floss is dry, fluffy shredded pork seasoned with soy sauce and sugar.) Add a cold Tsingtao beer for a real treat.

The menu specials run through January 27, 2017, so you have plenty of time, with the restaurant open daily for lunch and dinner (Disney Dining Plan accepted). Passholder, Disney Vacation Club, Tables in Wonderland and Golden Oak discounts are accepted (to celebrate the Chinese New Year, all these discounts are 20% for the month of February). For reservations, visit Disneyworld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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If you’d like to try to make the steamed buns at home, here’s a recipe. Happy Year of the Monkey!

Sweet-and-Sour Fish on Steamed Buns
Makes 4

Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Fish

  • 8-ounce fillet white fish, such as cod, snapper or grouper
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • Pinch ground white pepper
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus additional for frying
  • 4 prepared bao buns (folded Chinese-style steamed buns–see Cook’s Note below)

Garnish

  • Thinly sliced onion, carrot, and lettuce
  • Pork Floss (see Cook’s Note below)

For sweet-and-sour sauce:

  1. Combine water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, vinegar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Combine cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water, stirring until dissolved. Stir cornstarch mixture into sauce, stirring constantly. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

For fish:

  1. Pat fish dry and cut into four equal-size pieces.
  2. Season fish with salt and white pepper. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Whisk together water and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add water mixture to flour mixture, whisking just until no lumps remain.
  4. Pour vegetable oil into a deep pan to a depth of at least two inches. Heat oil to 350°F.
  5. Dip seasoned fish into prepared batter. Shake off excess. Drop gently into oil. Fry 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Transfer cooked fish to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.
  7. Reheat steamed buns by placing in a steamer basket over simmering water 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. On a plate, assemble bun by inserting a slice of fried fish between a bun, ladle sweet and sour sauce over fried fish, and place garnish over sauce. Sprinkle with pork floss (optional). Serve immediately.

Cook’s note: Bao buns are available in the refrigerated or freezer section of Asian markets. Pork floss is a sweet and salty dried, shredded pork product available in most Asian markets.

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Valentine’s Day Weekend Yum at Disneyland Resort

posted on January 20th, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend, February 12-14, Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure park has a new seasonal menu (and a Sweetheart Dinner for Two), and other Disneyland Resort restaurants are adding a little romance and lots of flavor to their menus.

Starting with Carthay Circle Restaurant, the Sweetheart Dinner for Two ($140 plus tax and gratuity) will be February 13 and 14 and include three courses: lobster and asparagus to start; Steak Florentine for two (Grilled Porterhouse of Chianti Beef) with sautéed Brussels sprouts, parsnips and bacon and roasted fingerling potatoes with Brie; and Chocolate Hearts for Two for dessert with chocolate espresso and white chocolate raspberry served tableside with warm chocolate sauce. What’s not to love?

Valentine’s Day Weekend Yum at Disneyland Resort Valentine’s Day Weekend Yum at Disneyland Resort Valentine’s Day Weekend Yum at Disneyland Resort

And if you can’t make it Valentine’s Day weekend, the restaurant’s seasonal menu includes gems on the lunch menu such as Winter Pozole with Tempura Fried Shrimp, Grilled Turkey Scaloppini, a Crispy Maple Leaf Duck Confit Salad and savory Moroccan Lamb Meatballs. The seasonal dinner menu has added Carthay Shellfish Cioppino, Artichoke Crepes, Braised Lamb Shank with Winter Bean Cassoulet and Angus Beef Delmonico with chipotle sweet potatoes.

Back to Valentine’s Day. Here’s a quick guide to goodies that are special on the menu:

Disneyland Park

  • Valentine’s Day cotton candy on the street carts, February 14 only.
  • Carnation Café is offering Surf and Turf with sirloin steak and a shrimp skewer with veggies (February 14).
  • Blue Bayou Restaurant has a Sweetheart Duet for February 14 with a bacon-wrapped filet mignon and halibut atop tomato croutons with sautéed baby spinach and roasted potatoes, served with a chardonnay dill and cognac peppercorn café au lait sauce. In addition, Blue Bayou Restaurant will offer a Sweetheart Toast which includes a souvenir champagne flute engraved with the Blue Bayou Restaurant logo, served with sparkling cider (cost is $11.95 per person).
  • Café Orleans is serving sautéed shrimp and Andouille sausage with zucchini and cherry tomatoes with linguine pasta in a cream shrimp fume (February 14).

Disney California Adventure Park, Along with Carthay Circle Restaurant (above)

  • Valentine’s Day cotton candy on the street carts, February 14 only.
  • Valentine Sundaes at Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream (February 12-14).
  • Teddy bear-shaped bread and heart-shaped bread at Mortimer’s Market, Pacific Wharf carts and Boudin Bread Cart (February 12-14). Pacific Wharf carts also will offer a valentine sugar cookie.
  • Wine Country Trattoria at Golden Vine Winery is serving a February 14 special that starts with an arugula salad, then a choice of lobster tail or surf ‘n turf with beef tenderloin and shrimp with veggies and, for dessert, ricotta cannoli with a berry compote. The winery’s Alfresco Tasting Terrace will have a dessert sampler on February 14 with a vanilla fruit tart, raspberry macaroon and tiramisu paired with a sparkling wine.

Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

  • Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel will offer a special three-course dinner paired with wines February 13-16. Start with shrimp and scallop cassoulet with fried artichoke and lobster cream; for the main course, broiled filet mignon with morel mushroom fettuccine and asparagus; and for dessert, raspberry-white chocolate crunch cake. (The same special is available in The Lounge at Steakhouse 55.)
  • On February 14, Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will showcase Chef Andrew Sutton’s Four-Course Country Valentine’s Day Dinner (available with a wine flight).
  • Next door on February 14, Storyteller’s Cafe will offer a bacon-wrapped filet mignon with a Cabernet reduction and lobster-sun-dried tomato risotto.
  • At Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel on February 14, PCH Grill’s tasting stations will include seafood saute station, carving station with beef, a wood-fired pizza station, mini-taco station and mac ‘n cheese bar. Other hot and cold stations offer everything from pan-seared chicken breast to heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella and a build-your-own salad. And special sweets just for your valentine.

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

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Celebrating National Popcorn Day at Disney Parks and Resorts

posted on January 19th, 2016 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


January 19 is National Popcorn Day, and at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, we’re celebrating everything popcorn—from the sight of bright yellow kernels is an iconic Disney Parks popcorn sleeve or souvenir bucket to the smell of salt and butter filling the air as you walk by a popcorn cart. Is there anything better than strolling down Main Street U.S.A. with a snack of piping hot popcorn?

To celebrate one of my favorite food holidays, I’m sharing a first look at a brand new souvenir popcorn bucket that will be coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests will be able to purchase the lotus popcorn bucket later this year. But that’s not all, this bucket also lights up, becoming a beautiful luminary.

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On the West Coast, guests can look for a second edition of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 60th Anniversary bucket, available now. The bucket is available in red, blue and purple, but we’ve added that ‘Disneyland’ banner everyone knows and loves on Mickey Popcorn Balloons.

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Did you know Walt Disney Parks and Resorts guests enjoy more than 540,000 pounds of popcorn annually? Recently, Pop Secret was named the official popcorn of Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, meaning our popcorn carts all sell hot, fresh Pop Secret-brand popcorn—YUM! Look for new Pop Secret co-branded popcorn scoops to arrive at Disney Parks later in 2016.

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How are you celebrating National Popcorn Day? Let us know in the comments below!

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