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From Stem to Stern Wine Tasting on a Disney Cruise

posted on April 3rd, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


If you’ve sailed with us before, you know that entertaining our adult guests is just as important to us as keeping the little ones happy. One of the ways we do that is through our adult enrichment series, including behind-the-scenes experiences and various seminars, like our beverage tastings.

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Over the next several weeks, I’ll give you a closer look at some of the sophisticated tastings you can join on your next Disney cruise, starting today with our “From Stem to Stern” wine event where a knowledgeable sommelier teaches you to sip like a pro. During this experience, you’ll sample wines from around the world. Our sommelier will tell you about the history of winemaking and discuss the production method and classification of five different types of wines.

If you’re new to wine tasting, this experience is a great introduction to the art of identifying the taste, aroma and character of wine. For the connoisseur, it’s the perfect way to indulge your senses and expand your knowledge. You’ll have the opportunity to savor the flavors of both Old World wines, such as those from France, Italy or Spain, and New World wines from the United States, Argentina, Australia or other regions around the globe. What’s more, you’ll get the chance to speak one-on-one with the Head Sommelier from Palo, our fine dining Italian restaurant, whose knowledge of wine will impress even the most distinguished guests.

We offer different beverage tastings on each ship and itinerary, and I look forward to telling you about more of them in the coming weeks. What’s been your favorite beverage tasting with us so far?

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First Look: New Olaf Premium Sipper Coming to Disneyland Resort

posted on April 2nd, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


What’s better than warm hugs from a snowman? A cool drink in an Olaf Premium Sipper! For the first time in forever, guests will be able to purchase the new Olaf Premium Sipper from Food & Beverage locations throughout Disneyland Resort.

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Don’t worry, east-coast “Frozen” fans—this “cool” sipper will launch during the 24-Hour Party at the Magic Kingdom, May 22-23 — where you can celebrate the Coolest Summer Ever!

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Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Makes its Grand Opening Debut at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 1st, 2015 by Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Disney Vacation Club


Today, we celebrate the opening of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest addition to the expanding Disney Vacation Club portfolio. Located on Seven Seas Lagoon, this new resort features over-the-water Bora Bora Bungalows and Deluxe Studios with a tropical ambiance, which are sure to transport members and guests to a South Pacific-inspired paradise. Not to mention, Magic Kingdom Park is just a quick monorail ride away!

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The new reimagined Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort also offers more dining and recreation experiences to discover and enjoy, including a reimagined Lava Pool, new children’s water play area, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Pineapple Lanai, which serves the world-famous Dole Whip soft serve — just to name a few of the exciting new enhancements to this original Walt Disney World Resort hotel. And there’s plenty more beyond that …

Last night we invited media to come and discover this exciting new tropical resort with signature Disney touches. From touring the Bungalows and Deluxe Studios to visiting Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Pineapple Lanai, the media was able to experience the exciting new features that Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort have to offer.

Here’s a video that highlights this momentous occasion.

In addition, here are some pictures from last night’s grand opening event.

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Hippity Hoppity, Easter’s on the Way With Fun Foodie Ideas at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 31st, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Big or small, there’s a way to celebrate Easter at Walt Disney World Resort. From specialty cupcakes in Magic Kingdom Park to an Easter egg parade at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and a garden party brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, there’s something for everyone.

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From March 29-April 11, Magic Kingdom Park guests can nibble a cupcake that’s almost too pretty to eat – carrot cake with cream cheese icing and a carrot piped on top, or a vanilla cupcake with a chocolate nest of malted milk eggs. And don’t forget the delicious white chocolate rabbit cupcake from Cheshire Café!

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At Epcot, guests can pick up an adorable chocolate cupcake with marshmallow filling, marshmallow-buttercream frosting at Fountain View from March 29-April 11, and Sunshine Seasons April 4-5.

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A noon on March 31, join in the 3rd annual Disney’s Contemporary Resort Easter Egg Parade at Chef Mickey’s – the procession of pastry chefs starts in the restaurant, then their chocolate bunnies and beautifully decorated eggs are displayed through Easter on the fourth floor near the restaurant. There will also be a special cupcake April 3-5, featuring carrot cake with pineapple-coconut filling, white chocolate buttercream frosting, toasted coconut, jelly beans and a bunny macaron garnish.

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At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, fans of Boma — Flavors of Africa will be happy to hear that hours are extended on Easter Sunday, April 5, from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. And ‘tis the season for sweets, with a table laden with goodies – chocolate peanut butter eggs, jelly beans, kisses, chocolate miniatures so that breakfast guests can make a little take-home box.

Over at Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Palace Library at Kidani Village is being converted to “Library Lounge” during this bustling season, open from 4 p.m.–midnight and offering Sanaa appetizers and cocktails (not on the Disney Dining Plan). It’s the perfect place to beat the heat with a pretty savannah view.

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Guests of the resort can enjoy the Maji Pool Bar Cookout from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (weather permitting) March 28-April 12: burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst and a chicken burger by the pool (on the Disney Dining Plan). Look for some fun entertainment too.

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At Disney’s BoardWalk, try the Easter cupcake from BoardWalk Bakery. Vanilla cake with raspberry panna cotta filling, topped with a cute coconut “nest” with jelly beans.

Three seasonal brunches are open for booking. The 1900 Park Fare Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will be from 1-3 p.m. daily March 29-April 5. No Disney characters, just an enjoyable mid-day spread of delicious goodies.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

New ‘Frozen Fever’ Treats Coming to Disney Parks and Resorts

posted on March 30th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


It’s official: we’ve caught Frozen Fever! The Disney Parks Food and Beverage team has created new treats inspired by the “Frozen Fever” short.

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Make today a perfect day with Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake, available at select quick-service locations at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. This vanilla cupcake has icy blue buttercream frosting, marshmallows and snowflake candies, topped with a white chocolate Olaf.

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Walt Disney World Resort

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Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day starts with birthday cake-flavored ice cream, piled high with hot fudge, mint marshmallows, brownie pieces, whipped cream, sprinkles and, of course, warm hugs. This sweet treat will be available at select ice cream shops at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort:

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Walt Disney World Resort

Guests at select table-service locations will be able to order an ice-cream cake of their own, inspired by Princess Anna’s birthday cake. At Disneyland Resort, guests can order an individual ice cream cake and at Walt Disney World Resort, guests will be able to order a sweet slice of ice cream cake.

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Walt Disney World Resort

These “Frozen Fever” treats are available now at Disneyland Resort and beginning April 8 at Walt Disney World Resort for a limited time.

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Spring Time Treats at the Disneyland Resort

posted on March 30th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Spring is here! Flowers are in bloom, eggs will soon be hidden and you may even find yourself catching a glimpse of a bunny or two. We did! These magnificent treats will debut in candy kitchen locations around the Disneyland Resort this April, so be sure to “hop” by!

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If you’re curious as to how these creations came to life, I have the inside scoop. The Bunny apples are dipped in caramel, then, are intricately dressed with mini marshmallows to create the effect for the mouth and tail. Dip them in white chocolate, add a little sanding sugar (especially on the top of the marshmallow ears). The final touch, a few well-placed (and sometimes colorful) chocolate candies that create the eyes and nose.

Of course, the egg pops are a treat in themselves! The egg-shaped cake pops have been dipped in white chocolate and dressed with milk chocolate discs to create the ears. Finally with the help of some (colorful pixie dust) sanding sugar, and some simple decoration, they’re set!

If you’re curious what gourmet apple will line the shelves, it will once again be the dark chocolate raspberry apple. That’s right Disney fans, it’s back!

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The apples will be smothered in caramel, enrobed in dark chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate and raspberry infused white chocolate. You want more? Great! We literally have you covered from top to bottom. How? The top of the apple, as well as the bottom third of the apple have been encased with a mixture of white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and chopped roasted almonds.

Look for all of these treats and more at Candy Palace in Disneyland park; Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure park; and Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District!

Which one will you try?

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

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Sneak Peeks at Polynesian Fun at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 28th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week, we shared a few peeks inside the changes happening at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Our author Amanda Adler shared a look inside the amazing new bungalow rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World Resort.

A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

She also gave us a look at the view guests can expect at night in this week’s “After Dark” series.

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Pam Brandon gave us another sneak peek at the highly anticipated Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, which will debut at the resort late-April.

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The location will serve tropical themed beverages and small plates. Be sure to check out Pam’s original post for all of the tasty details!

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Much-Anticipated Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Opens at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Enthusiastic fans of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel are celebrating the soft opening March 28 of the East Coast version. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is located off the main lobby of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort; the adjacent Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace offers views of the marina and Seven Seas Lagoon. Official opening is set for late April, when the coveted Tiki souvenir glassware arrives. (Tiki fans go bananas for the collectible mugs.) As soon as the official date is set, we will share on the Disney Parks Blog.

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Founded by Adventureland’s famous “head” salesman, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto has some similarities to the Anaheim original. But at Walt Disney World Resort, the magical theming reflects its new resort location. This enchanted South Seas hideaway welcomes guests to explore a menu of “magical tropical drinks and food,” and while this new version shares a few cocktails and small plates, Beverage Manager Brad Ward, Chef Lenny DeGeorge, and the Concept Development team have created new menu items just for the Walt Disney World Resort Trader Sam’s.

The famous Trader Sam cocktails, available in Disney collectible Tiki mugs, are a mix of old and new. We won’t share ingredients, but the names might give away the concoctions.

Only at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto:

  • Polynesian Pearl
  • Nautilus
  • Castaway Crush
  • Tahitian Torch
  • Dark & Tropical Stormy

Favorites imported from Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar:

  • Krakatoa Punch
  • Uh-Oa!
  • HippopotoMai-Tai
  • Shrunken Zombie Head

And there are Sam’s No-Booze Brews:

  • Schweitzer Fall
  • Skipper Sipper
  • Polynesian Punch

Small bites are on the menu, with a couple inspired by the Disneyland Trader Sam’s menu – the chicken lettuce cups with hoisin ginger sauce and the Hawaiian poke with Sriracha aioli and wonton chips. New to the Walt Disney World Resort menu are kalua pork tacos with shredded cabbage and pickled vegetables; pan-fried dumplings with soy-sesame dipping sauce; roasted chicken and pork pâté bánh mì sliders with pickled vegetables; salmon oshizushi (press sushi); corn-battered Portuguese sausages with curry ketchup and a Headhunter Sushi Roll.

The lounge has 50 seats inside and 82 on the patio. No reservations are required.

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Behind the Scenes: Food Network Hosts Cruising on the Disney Dream

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Stephen Walker, Fleet Culinary Standards and Consistency Chef, Disney Cruise Line


Back in January, I had the unique experience of cooking with the hosts of Food Network’s “The Kitchen.” If you saw the episode, you may remember their excitement when I invited them to sail with me on a Disney cruise. Not only did Jeff Mauro and Katie Lee take me up on that offer, they brought two other Food Network stars – Amanda Freitag (“Chopped”) and Melissa d’Arabian (“Guy’s Grocery Games”) – along with their families and friends for three nights of fun, sun, and delicious food.

Host Jeff Mauro and His Family on the Disney Dream Host Melissa d'Arabian and Her Family on the Disney Dream

Tonight, Food Network is showing a one-hour special featuring this crew’s Disney Dream cruise. Onboard we took them behind the scenes to see the inner workings of the ship’s galleys, slightly larger than the kitchens where they are used to cooking! Now, you can get a glimpse at their backstage experience and learn more about the culinary masterpieces our talented chefs prepare every day.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect:

Check it out tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Be on the lookout for some familiar faces, including Cruise Director Christiaan, Remy Executive Chef Patrick and a few Disney pals!

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Hop into Spring with Specialty Food Offerings at Disneyland Resort

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


I’m hoppy to let you know our Disneyland Resort culinary team has been working on some Easter offerings that are sure to put a “spring” in your step!

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Special menu items will be available throughout Disneyland park. At Plaza Inn, look for a pan-seared salmon served with a Chardonnay dill cream sauce, rice pilaf and seasonal vegetables on April 5. Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante will feature three street-style tacos with beef, chicken and carnitas on soft corn tortillas garnished with cilantro and onion, topped with salsa verde. At Bengal BBQ, look for a Linguica (smoke-cured pork sausage) and pineapple skewer.

To me, Easter isn’t complete without dessert! Look for a cupcake at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café in Disneyland park, and Pacific Wharf Café and Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café in Disney California Adventure park. This sweet treat featuring lemon cake with Mandarin orange frosting, chocolate flowers, carrot and a white chocolate bunny and chocolate curls. Stage Door Café will also be featuring a new specialty funnel cake, Cookies and Cream.

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One of my favorite Easter traditions is decorating eggs, and at the Springtime Roundup you can decorate your own Easter-themed cookies with our cookie decorating kit. If you get hungry while you’re at the Springtime Roundup, you can pick up one of these tasty snacks: juicy strawberries with chocolate dip, Mickey-shaped pretzels, strawberry twists, cotton candy and hot dogs.

A traditional Easter brunch buffet — with characters — will also be offered at Storytellers Café, Disney’s PCH Grill, and Goofy’s Kitchen on April 5. Be sure to check out chef demonstrations decorating Easter-themed sugar cookie and cupcakes, taking place in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

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

These specialty food offerings will only be available for a limited time, so hop to it!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts