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Whiskey and Cognac Tastings on a Disney Cruise

posted on April 17th, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


Now that I’ve told you about the wine, martini and champagne tastings you can join on your next Disney cruise, it’s time to talk about our whiskey and Cognac seminars. These tastings give you a chance to sample spirits aged to perfection, learning to appreciate their unique characteristics and tastes.

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Whiskey Tasting

Our Whiskey Tasting is for both those of you with experience drinking this spirit and those of you who are interested in making it your drink of choice. You’ll explore different types, including Scotch, Irish, Canadian and American whiskeys, learning what they are made from and the process of making them. The bartender will teach you how to properly drink whiskey and how to recognize its aromas and flavors.

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Cognac Tasting

What is Cognac, and how do you actually pronounce it? This seminar dives into these commonly asked questions and so much more, including the history and production method of this smooth drink. Like all fine beverages, there’s an art to tasting Cognac, which our bartender will thoroughly explain during this interesting experience. Some of the Cognacs you’ll sample could include Courvoisier, Hennessy and Remy Martin.

Now that I’ve shared seminars for all tastes, next week I’ll tell you about one that is perfect for couples…chocolate and liquor tasting!

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Yummy Recipe for Healthy Kids’ Day April 17 from 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on April 17th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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.

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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
Serves 6

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  1. Mix oil and garlic in a large bowl. Add chicken tenderloins, cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Press panko gently against each chicken strip until evenly coated. Lay coated chicken strips on a rack on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake 5 additional minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked and crisp.
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Dockside Margaritas Opening Soon at Downtown Disney Marketplace

posted on April 16th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


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.

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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.

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Last Chance to Enter the ‘My Magical First Sweepstakes’ from Disney Junior

posted on April 15th, 2015 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


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.

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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.

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VIDEO: Learn to Make the Ginger Rogers from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on April 15th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure park pays homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Today’s signature cocktail demonstration is named after a well-known Hollywood starlet, Ginger Rogers.

Watch as our bartender creates the Ginger Rogers cocktail from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge below:

Create your own Ginger Rogers cocktail with these ingredients:

  • 1 Oz dry gin
  • 1 Oz dry vermouth
  • 1 Oz apricot liqueur
  • Splash of lemon juice

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

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Reservations for the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package at Walt Disney World Resort Now Available

posted on April 15th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


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.

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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!

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A Taste of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

posted on April 14th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


The kickoff of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is right around the corner, and we have more details to share about some of the new food and beverage offerings sure to dazzle your taste buds.

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Starting on May 22, Disneyland Diamond Cupcakes will be available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café – a lemon-flavored cupcake representing the Victorian-era theme of Main Street, U.S.A. The Disney California Adventure Diamond Cupcake will be available at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café, featuring orange cake that represents the 1930s theme of Buena Vista Street.

Wild Raspberry Rapids Frozen Lemonade from White Water Snacks Lucky Fortune Tea featuring mango and red passion fruit at the Lucky Fortune Cookery
Honey Bee Frozen Lemonade from Hungry Bear Restaurant Enchanted Cherry Apple Frozen Lemonade from Troubadour Tavern Frozen Pomegranate Silver Sparkler from Jolly Holiday Bakery Café

Specialty drinks are also in the works to celebrate the milestone anniversary. My favorite? The Frozen Pomegranate Silver Sparkler from Jolly Holiday Bakery Café. Other delicious drinks include a special Lucky Fortune Tea featuring mango and red passion fruit at the Lucky Fortune Cookery, Wild Raspberry Rapids Frozen Lemonade from White Water Snacks, Enchanted Cherry Apple Frozen Lemonade from Troubadour Tavern, Honey Bee Frozen Lemonade from Hungry Bear Restaurant and more!

While we’ve already given you a taste of some of the new souvenir sippers and popcorn buckets to come, later this summer look for brand-new sippers that will allow guests to partake in the immersive Made with Magic experience in a whole new way. Make a splash with the “World of Color” sipper at Disney California Adventure park, or show your Disney Villain Side with a Chernabog sipper at “Fantasmic!” in Disneyland park.

I think you will agree that our teams have created offerings to delight all of the senses throughout the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Continue checking the Disney Parks Blog for more details and join the conversation with the hashtag #Disneyland60.

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New Allergy-Friendly Menus at Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resorts

posted on April 14th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


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On April 14, Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will begin to introduce new allergy-friendly menus at approximately 120 quick-service and table-service locations. The menus provide more convenience and readily available options for guests with special dietary requests.

“Over the years, the number of guests with food allergies and intolerances has continued to grow. In 2013 alone, our cast members assisted with more than 650,000 special dietary requests. These new allergy menus are another way in which we can provide high-quality, safe and more accessible alternatives, and the best possible dining experience for guests with specific dietary needs,” says Gary Jones, chef and culinary dietary specialist for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

The new allergy-friendly menus provide allergen content for each menu item, making informed choices easier. Menu selection includes appetizers (where applicable), entrées, side items, desserts and kids’ meals, and focuses on the most common allergens: gluten/wheat, milk, peanut, tree nut and fish.

Guests are still able to consult directly with a restaurant chef or special diets trained cast member. We also encourage guests to continue to communicate special dietary needs to our restaurant cast members, as this allows our culinary team to take extra measures during preparation to prevent the introduction of the allergen.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the recipient of a FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) Award for dedication to providing a safe and enjoyable dining experience for vacationing families and our chefs have been recognized for their commitment to food allergy awareness, education and management.

The new menus will be introduced in signature restaurants on April 14, then debut at other table-service and quick-service restaurants (including Walt Disney World water parks, Downtown Disney and resort hotels) through September 2015. For more information on special dietary requests, click here for Walt Disney World Resort and click here for Disneyland Resort.

Click here to check out a sample menu.

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Tastes of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Blue Hawaiian at The `Olelo Room

posted on April 13th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Update: 4/16/2015: The Blue Hawaiian recipe has been updated with a few minor changes

Our “Tastes of Aulani” series returns to The ‘Olelo Room at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, to feature another signature Hawaiian cocktail. If you have mastered the Traditional Mai Tai and Mahi Mahi Tacos, now it’s time to test your skills with another classic: the Blue Hawaiian! Our bartenders at Aulani prepare this beverage at The ‘Olelo Room, Off the Hook and Wailana Pool Bar. However, if you’re at home, let cast member Keola show you how to make this beverage below. What other delicious eats and drinks from Aulani would you like to try at home? Tell us in the comments below!

Blue Hawaiian

  • 1 ounce House-made Sweet & Sour
  • 2 ounces Pineapple Juice
  • 1 ounce Old Lahaina Light Rum
  • 1 ounce Ocean Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce BOLS Blue Curaçao
  • Pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf, for garnish
  1. Pour sweet & sour, pineapple juice, rum and Blue Curaçao in mixing glass; fill with ice and shake for 30 seconds.
  2. Pour into tall glass; garnish with pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf.
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The BOATHOUSE Makes a Splash at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 13th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Over the past year, The BOATHOUSE: Great Food, Waterfront Dining, Dream Boats has been hoisting up along the Downtown Disney skyline. The venue, open today, is the first of several new restaurants coming to The Landing, a new neighborhood that will be part of Disney Springs.

The BOATHOUSE is an upscale waterfront dining experience showcasing steaks, chops, fresh seafood and a raw bar. Built over the water, the 600 seat nautically themed restaurant also features a display of rare dream boats from the 1930s – 1950s, a beautifully crafted water taxi and a fleet of amphibious autos, called Amphicars.

I had the chance to talk with Theron Skees, executive creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering to learn more about how The BOATHOUSE charted its course. Theron shared “It’s been such a team effort between WDI and the Schussler design team; to see Steve’s dream come to life is awesome. It’s been a true collaboration. Guests will experience rooms that represent different time periods in the history of the building, with a focus on a view of the water. Each design element: the height of the restaurant ceiling, the width of the deck, the transparency of the railing, it was all considered so guests would have maximum visibility to the water.”

I got to tour The BOATHOUSE recently, and if stunning water views and impeccable attention-to-detail were what they were aiming for, well, they nailed it!

Earlier today, Pam Brandon shared details on the menu, so now I’m giving you an early look at what else you can expect at this unique location:

Amphicar Rides – Is it a car? A boat? Yes. And yes! Guests can experience the thrill of a Captain’s guided tour aboard a rare Amphicar that drives on land and floats in the water. The $125 price tag includes your own Car Captain and seating for up to three guests. Along the way, you’ll have a great view of Downtown Disney, direct from the water. I tested the Ampihicars last week and had a blast; you literally drive into the lake with a splash – plus, I felt like a celebrity, waving to all the curious guests onshore! This is the only place in the world to ride in these vintage vehicles. Tours are available daily from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., weather permitting, and will be available soon.

The BOATHOUSE Is Set To Make a Splash at Downtown Disney In Florida

Italian Water Taxi Cruise – The Venezia, a breathtaking 40-foot wooden Italian Water Taxi also offers a Captain’s guided tour of Downtown Disney; this one is complete with live music, chocolate-covered strawberries and a champagne toast. Tours will be offered hourly from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., weather permitting, starting soon, for individuals and groups of up to 20. The cost is $75 per person or $50 per child under age 13. (Want a more private tour for two? Ask about the Antique Steamboat Tour aboard Lady Rose; the cost is $150 per couple.)

“Floating Art” – I knew they were beautiful, but I had no idea I was looking at a multi-million dollar fleet of rare boats. Gathered from museums, private collectors, and boat shows from around the world, be sure to take some time to stroll the marina. Photos are not only allowed, but encouraged, so have your camera handy.

Interior Décor – Boat motors mounted on the wall. Trophies from regattas of days gone by. Stunning photography and artwork, some historical, some richly modern. It’s all incredible. But perhaps my favorite décor element is the brand-new boat that the team modified so it could include a dining table. (I’ll just say it now, everyone will want to sit there, me included!) Of course, the true visual hero, even from inside the restaurant, is the water. The good news is that every single table has a great view, so there’s no such thing as a bad seat.

Entertainment – Harbor Master festivities take place throughout the day and evening, with flag ceremonies and lively musical performances of beloved bugle songs, performed aboard Lady Rose. Inside, live entertainment takes center stage with a variety of musical styles – during my “sneak peek,” familiar songs were floating through the restaurant.

Check out the gallery below for a glimpse of what you can expect when you visit.

It’s hard to guess what guests will love most about The BOATHOUSE. What are you most excited for? Tell me in the comments below – I’d love to know!

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