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The Orbitron in Tomorrowland at Hong Kong Disneyland

Fifteen Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2015

posted on January 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


It’s a new year – do you have a Disney Parks vacation on your bucket list for 2015?

Whether it’s new dining experiences, sports milestones, holiday celebrations or the return of annual theme park festivals, there’s a lot to look forward to at Walt Disney World Resort in 2015. Here are 15 reasons you should consider planning a trip this year.

Trattoria al Forno Brings the Italian Countryside to Disney's BoardWalk

1. Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk – The newest Disney restaurant just opened its doors a few days ago. The menu features authentic Italian cuisine and wines – and is now an option on the Disney Dining Plan. Yum!

Exposition Park Opens for Disney Food Trucks at Downtown Disney

2. Exposition Park Food Trucks – While we’re on the topic of food, 2015 will give you time to check out the recently opened food trucks at Downtown Disney. This dedicated outdoor area also has live entertainment at night (subject to change, of course).

3. 2015 runDisney Races Are Off & Running - Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will take place January 7-11. (Check out a sneak peek at the merchandise that will be sold at this year’s event here). Space is still available in the Kids Races!

4. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – This nightspot is based on the popular themed lounge at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, and is set to open here in spring. Trader Sam’s will offer tiki cocktails served in souvenir mugs, as well as smaller food offerings. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more on this fun new location.

5. Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic – Soccer fans can get their kicks at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic February 1-March 1 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In it, eight pro teams, including six Major League Soccer squads, will compete in 16 games.

PRINCESS HALF MARATHON AT DISNEY WORLD

6. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Returns – This princess-themed weekend of running events returns to Walt Disney World February 19-22.

7. Starbucks to Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A new Starbucks location will open at the park in February, 2015. The new location, dubbed The Trolley Car Café, will be themed to a classic trolley car along Hollywood Boulevard and offer a unique experience for coffee lovers visiting the park.

Sunset closer

8. The Atlanta Braves Return For Spring Training – The Braves will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for their 18th consecutive year of spring training. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 or visiting ticketmaster.com, as well as at the sports complex box office.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

9. The 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: A Spring Tradition Returns March 4-May 17 – Character topiaries, home gardening seminars, floral displays and much more will return to the park’s festival in 2015.

10. Star Wars Weekends Returns – This annual event will return to delight fans of the Force and the Empire May 15 – June 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

11. “Tomorrowland” Debuts In Theaters May 22 – While it isn’t a theme park offering, how could any Disney Parks fan possibly miss out on seeing this one? AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Downtown Disney may be the perfect location. The trailer looks amazing!

12. Annual Events – 2015 means the return of our favorite annual events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and more. Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for news and dates on our 2015 special events.

Morimoto Exterior (1)

13. New Eats at Downtown Disney – The area continues to evolve into Disney Springs, and in 2015, The Landing, the first of four interconnected neighborhoods will open to guests. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more dates and details on the openings of Morimoto Asia, THE BOATHOUSE and STK Orlando, three restaurants planned for the area, as they come available.

14. Another Year of #DisneySide Fun - Guests loved showing their Disney Side – that side each one of us has that isn’t afraid to have fun and show our silly sides – at our parks in 2014. This year we’ll continue the fun by encouraging all of you to show your Disney Side at our parks (and at home) throughout 2015.

15. Your Family Vacation – If this is the year for your family’s vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, then there’s nothing to look forward to more than your family’s special time together. If you visit our parks in 2015, we hope you have a wonderful time.

Which event or new offering are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the “comments” section below.

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2014: A Delicious Year for Walt Disney World Disney Dining

posted on December 31st, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


From food trucks to new dining rooms, 2014 was a busy year for the Walt Disney World Resort chefs. Here’s a look at the top stories for Walt Disney World Resort Dining:
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  • DISNEY SPRINGS – The first two restaurants were announced for Disney Springs, an entertainment-dining-retail district re-imagined from Downtown Disney. Opening in summer 2015 at The Landing in the heart of Disney Springs, Chef Masaharu Morimoto is teaming up with Patina Restaurant Group to debut Morimoto Asia, the Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian dining experience. Also coming to The Landings in spring 2015 is The BOATHOUSE: Great Food, Waterfront Dining, Dream Boats. The BOATHOUSE restaurant will immerse guests both on land and on water with live music and Captain’s guided tours aboard The Venezia, a beautifully crafted 40-foot wooden Italian water taxi featuring Champagne toasts and chocolate-covered strawberries. There also will be guided Amphicar rides that launch from land, entering the water with a splash, taking guests on a 20-minute tour of the landmarks of Disney.

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  • TRATTORIA AL FORNO (December 2014) – The newest Walt Disney World dining experience is Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk, featuring authentic flavors of Italy’s diverse regions – wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas, hand-crafted mozzarella, imported charcuterie and cheese and a 100 percent Italian wine list. Trattoria al Forno is open 7:30-11 a.m. for breakfast, 5-10 p.m. for dinner, and accepts the Disney Dining Plan.
  • EXPOSITION PARK (December 2014) – The Disney food trucks got a new home at Downtown Disney West Side – Exposition Park, where guests will always find one or more of the trucks, along with visiting food trucks. Nightly entertainment, plenty of seating. Hours may vary during peak times and special events, but daily hours are 4-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 3-11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
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  • EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL EXPANDS (September 2014)The festival was expanded to a record 53 days – that’s a whole extra week to take in the marketplaces, cool concerts and some very special dinners.

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The Smokehouse 1023ZW_0070CC

  • NEW SMOKEHOUSE AT HOUSE OF BLUES (January 2014) – Popular House of Blues opened their new Smokehouse, a quick-service window where it’s easy to grab a generous smoked beef brisket sandwich, pulled pork or chicken sandwich, smoked turkey leg, St. Louis half-rack of ribs or an all-beef hot dog. That’s the menu, short and sweet. The Smokehouse opens at 11:30 a.m. daily, with closing around 10 p.m.

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  • SPICE ROAD TABLE (January 2014) – Spice Road Table opens in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot World Showcase, featuring regional flavors from the Mediterranean with small plates such as a Mediterranean omelet with sausage, potatoes and caramelized onion; mussels with preserved lemons and tomato sauce baked in an earthenware tagine pot, and Moroccan merguez sausage with a fresh tomato salad. Inspired by the outdoor cafes along the Mediterranean, there are 120 outdoor terrace seats and 60 seats inside with a scenic view of World Showcase lagoon.

We’re looking ahead to 2015!

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IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party Reservations Now Open for January and February 2015

posted on December 27th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Looking for an exciting and delicious way to start 2015? IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party will delight your senses. Savor a confectionery assortment of delectable desserts and sparkling wines from around World Showcase.

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This sparkling soiree will take place select Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings at Epcot’s Showcase Plaza — an exclusive setting perfect for viewing “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.” Sample sweets from around the globe, such as traditional Moroccan baklava, Italian tiramisu, French chocolate ganache tarts and more.

IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party reservations are now open for January and February. Cost to attend is $49 for adults and $29 for children ages 3-9. For reservations, visit Disneyworld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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January’s Gourmet Apple Makes a Sweet Return at the Disneyland Resort

posted on December 26th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


I have been waiting all year for the return of the delicious and oh-so-sweet gourmet apple for January. Now with less than a week to go, the countdown is officially on. Disneyland Resort candy kitchens, I’m ready for you … are you ready for me?

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The January gourmet apple has been covered in creamy caramel, enrobed in sweet milk chocolate and rolled in crushed chocolate and cream sandwich cookies. How do you top that? Well, if you’re our candy makers, you drizzle a little peanut butter and a little dark chocolate, and you add a small garnish of roasted, chopped peanuts on top. It’s almost too good to eat. But rest assured, I’ll make the sacrifice.

Look for it beginning January 1 at Candy Palace on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park; Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park; and Marceline’s Confectionery in the Downtown Disney District.

What’s on your list of things to try in the New Year?

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Disney Cruise Line Recipe: New Year’s Eve Cocktails

posted on December 26th, 2014 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


The countdown to the New Year has begun! Today, I’m sharing two of our adult beverages created especially for New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Countdown and Fireworks cocktails. I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts this month about the new drinks we’re serving during our Very Merrytime Cruises. Cheers to 2015!

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‘Countdown’ Cocktail

  • 2 OZ Midori
  • 1 OZ Absolut Citron
  • 1/2 OZ Elderflower St.Germaine
  • 1/2 OZ fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 OZ agave nectar
  • Sugar
  1. Mix Midori, Absolut Citron, Elderflower St.Germaine, fresh lemon juice and agave nectar.
  2. Moisten the rim of a martini glass and dip it in sugar.
  3. Pour drink into martini glass.

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‘Fireworks’ Cocktail

  • 4 OZ Prosecco
  • 1/2 OZ pomegranate syrup
  • 2 raspberries
  1. Mix Prosecco and pomegranate syrup.
  2. Pour into Champagne flute and top with raspberries.



See the posts below for more recipes from Disney Cruise Line:

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New Menu Item at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Magic Kingdom Park

posted on December 24th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


The Citrus Swirl has competition!

Disney Style Snapshots: Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration

A little Orange Bird told me a favorite pineapple soft serve treat in Magic Kingdom Park is now available at Sunshine Tree Terrace. Shh … You didn’t hear it from me!

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Disney Fantasy Pastry and Bakery Team Wins First Annual Fleetwide Gingerbread House Competition

posted on December 23rd, 2014 by Stephen Walker, Fleet Culinary Standards and Consistency Chef, Disney Cruise Line


One of the first things you see (and smell) when you walk onboard a Disney ship is a fantastically decorated, oversized gingerbread house. Countless hours (well, 320 hours to be exact) went into developing and creating the gingerbread house on each ship.

Gingerbread Winners

This year, we kicked off what will now be an annual competition to honor the best gingerbread house on all four ships. Congratulations to the Disney Fantasy pastry and bakery team who won the 2014 trophy for their intricate icing work and theming. The house looked like it came right out of a frozen fairytale forest!

Our gingerbread houses are baked, built and decorated onboard each year. In addition to the candies, cookies and other fun decorations, each team uses approximately 650 pounds of gingerbread dough, 220 pounds of icing sugar and 5,250 gingerbread bricks. No wonder they smell so good! When you see members of our pastry and bakery team onboard, be sure to congratulate them on a job well done!

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Seasonal Craft Beers at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 19th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


I’m a huge fan of craft beers, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out several seasonal craft brews are offered at Walt Disney World Resort.

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“When the weather turns cold, it’s time to seek out some of the most popular seasonal beers, including winter ales and Indian Pale Ales (IPAs),” says Jason Cha-Kim, Beverage Manager at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “These beers are brewed stronger, richer and more full-bodied with wonderful holiday flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel.”

A few of the craft beers you can enjoy at Walt Disney World Resort include Widmer Brothers Brrr Seasonal Ale, Bell’s Winter White Ale, Harpoon Winter Warmer Spiced Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop IPA and Shock Top Shockolate Wheat.

Another brew perfect for this time of the year is the Einstok White Ale available at the beer cart in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot—the only place you’ll find this ale on tap outside of Iceland!

Keep an eye out for these limited-time brews throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

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Disney Cruise Line Recipe: Holiday Coffees

posted on December 19th, 2014 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


Now that I’ve shared recipes for two of our guest-favorite holiday cocktails, our Poinse-tini and Christmas Cookie, I want to give you a taste of the specialty coffees we are serving during our Very Merrytime Cruises. Whether you’re hosting breakfast, dinner or a gathering anytime in between, these coffees are sure to be a hit at your holiday party. Once you’ve tasted them all, let me know your favorite in the comments.

Caramel Pecan Chai
Caramel Pecan Chai
Oregon Chai, caramel pecan syrup and steamed milk.
Paddy Mint Mocha
Paddy Mint Mocha
Espresso, peppermint, chocolate sauce and steamed milk.
Egg Nog Mocha
Egg Nog Mocha
Espresso, egg nog syrup, chocolate sauce and steamed milk.

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Trattoria al Forno Opens Today at Disney’s BoardWalk

posted on December 18th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


It’s opening day for the newest Walt Disney World Resort restaurant, and we’ve got Vinnie Tai, area manager, to walk us through Trattoria al Forno on Disney’s BoardWalk.

With four distinct dining areas, authentic Italian cuisine and top-notch Italian wines, the Trattoria al Forno story was inspired by the authentic Italian menu and the rich storytelling of the turn-of-the-century boardwalk setting.

Trattoria al Forno Brings the Italian Countryside to Disney's BoardWalk

Trattoria al Forno will be open 7:30 – 11 a.m. for breakfast, 5 – 10 p.m. for dinner, and accepts the Disney Dining Plan. For reservations, visit www.disneyworld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.


For more on Trattoria al Forno at Walt Disney World Resort, visit the posts below:

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