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Announcing New Retail, Dining Experiences Coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 15th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Since unveiling plans for Disney Springs, we’ve been sharing regular updates as we reimagine and reinvent this corner of the Walt Disney World Resort. Today, we’re thrilled to share the names of 13 new high-profile tenants coming to the area, including fashion retailers Zara, Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, UNIQLO and PANDORA.

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Here’s a list of the 13 new retail and dining experiences announced for Disney Springs:

RETAIL

  • Zara
  • Tommy Bahama
  • Lilly Pulitzer
  • UNIQLO
  • PANDORA
  • UGG
  • L’Occitaine en Provence
  • Edward Beiner

DINING

  • Edison
  • Sprinkles
  • Blaze Pizza
  • Vivoli Gelateria
  • Tea Traders by Joffrey’s Tea

 
 
 

Announcing New Retail, Dining Experiences Coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort Announcing New Retail, Dining Experiences Coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

When work is completed in 2016, Disney Springs will have expanded to more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment venues. The area will include four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods with a high-quality, diverse mix of retailers – including premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options – and sophisticated restaurants.

We have more information on the retail and dining experiences here. Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more details in the future as Downtown Disney continues its expansion into Disney Springs.

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California Grill Celebrates 20 Years at the Top at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

posted on May 15th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Has it really been 20 years since California Grill put Walt Disney World Resort dining on the culinary map? May 15, 1995, the date that the beautiful space was unveiled on the top floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort with stellar cuisine and an equally spectacular bird’s-eye view of Magic Kingdom Park and Walt Disney World Resort. Reimagined in 2013 with new interiors and a new onstage kitchen and menu, the restaurant has not rested on its laurels.

View of Magic Kingdom Park from California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

While there’s no big ta-dah planned for the turning 20, Chef Brian Piasecki focuses on beautiful produce, so spring is one of his favorite times of the year. “Soft shell crabs, local heirloom tomatoes, Delta asparagus, spring onions, West Coast halibut, morel mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, baby artichokes, Zellwood corn, fava beans, English peas,” says Chef Brian, ticking off the list of amazing ingredients he’s working with in the kitchen for the 20th anniversary.

Copper River Salmon at California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort Chocolate Pudding Cake at California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

“And don’t forget Copper River salmon season opens May 12,” he says. “We’re serving the salmon ‘a la plancha’ [grilled on a metal plate] with Zellwood sweet corn yeast cakes, baby shiitake mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns and pickled ramps, topped with spiked milk-stout maple syrup.”

Then there’s more fresh seafood, the BLT heirloom tomato flatbread with house-smoked bacon, and more local sweet corn, says Chef Brian, who has been at the helm at California Grill since 2009.

“To create the wow experience is the greatest feeling,” he says. “I have the opportunity to create amazing food with an incredible team.”

The most-ordered dish on the menu is the fork tender, oak-grilled filet of beef, right now paired with heirloom tomato risotto, a rich tomato-butter sauce, micro basil and a dash of aged balsamic vinegar. But if you ask Chef Brian for his favorite dish has says he’s partial to the tempura-fried soft shell crab with an espelette (red pepper) aioli and local red watercress salad.

And the beverages are as finely tuned as the food, thanks to area manager Michael Scheifler, who keeps a close eye on trends. “For spring and summer was are rolling out a seasonal beer menu, including the new Napa Smith Cool Brew from the only brewery in Napa Valley” says Michael. “We’re also adding a ‘Super Premium Spirit Page’ with offerings such as Bunnahabhain Single Malt Scotch, Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon and Hennessy Richard.”

So raise a glass. Happy 20th, California Grill, cheers to 20 more!

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Complete List of Special Eats for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Event, May 22-23

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


The countdown is on for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-Hour event, May 22-23. If you’re anything like me, you like to plan your day in the parks based on where you want to eat. In addition to the cupcakes and drinks I recently shared on the Disney Parks Blog, I’ve compiled the ultimate foodie guide to specialty food offerings during the 24-Hour event at the Disneyland Resort:

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Jolly Holiday Bakery Café

  • Disneyland Diamond Celebration Cupcake

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Carnation Café

  • Country-fried Chicken Sandwich with honey-mustard coleslaw on brioche bun

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Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

  • Diamond Anniversary Ice Cream Sandwich: choice of ice cream between two sugar cookies
  • Ice cream sundae served in a souvenir kitchen sink

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Plaza Inn

  • Fried Chicken and Waffles

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Village Haus Restaurant

  • Flatbread Special with buffalo chicken, Serrano chile slices and chipotle aioli

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Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port

  • Supernova Pizza Special with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, salami, chorizo, chicken sausage, bacon, pepperoncini and seasoned parmesan

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Stage Door Café

  • Mocha Chip Funnel Cake

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Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante

  • Street Taco Trio – three street-style tacos with beef, chicken or carnitas on soft corn tortillas garnished with cilantro and onion, topped with salsa verde served with rice and beans

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French Market Restaurant

  • Creamy Corn Chowder – garnished with roasted corn and black eyed peas, maque choux in a sourdough bread boule

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  • Slow-Roasted Louisiana Beef Stew – simmered with seasoned carrots, peas, red potatoes and mushrooms in a sourdough bread boule
  • Market French Dip – thinly-sliced slow-roasted beef with crispy onion straws on a potato roll with a side of handmade Cajun chips and au jus

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  • N’Awlins Salad – lettuce medley, julienned yams, Granny Smith apples, caramelized pecans, lentils, tart cherries and a sweet citrus vinaigrette

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  • Royal Street Chicken Caesar Salad – crispy romaine lettuce, citrus chicken, parmesan cheese, croutons with a traditional Caesar dressing

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  • Shrimp Po’Boy – popcorn shrimp, mayonnaise, sliced tomato, shredded lettuce seasoned with vinegar and oil, served on a toasted potato roll with house-made potato chips and fruit

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Blue Bayou Restaurant

  • Creole-brined Bone-in Pork Chop served with roasted garlic Boursin-mashed potatoes, sautéed baby spinach, champagne pear coulis and tomato relish

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Café Orleans

  • Bananas Foster French Toast – thick-cut brioche bread battered and grilled then topped with fresh caramelized bananas and rich caramel sauce, served with bacon

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Tomorrowland Terrace

  • Breakfast Burrito (available from 11 p.m. – 6 a.m.)

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Hungry Bear Restaurant

  • Pulled Pork Hot Dog with citrus slaw, fried jalapenos and fresh cilantro

 

Disney California Adventure park

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café

  • Disneyland Diamond Celebration Cupcake

Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream

  • S’mores Bar – vanilla or chocolate ice cream bar dipped in milk or dark chocolate with fluff drizzle and graham cracker crumbs

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Award Wieners

  • “The Insomniac” – bacon, egg and sausage dog with pepper jack cheese, topped with a maple crunch

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Wine Country Trattoria

  • Surf & Turf – roasted lobster tail and grilled sirloin, mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and demi-glace
    Special two-course, prix fixe breakfast menu from 12-1:45 a.m. with reserved viewing for a special 3 a.m. showing of “World of Color.”

Lucky Fortune Cookery

  • Steamed chicken and vegetable dumpling bowl served with rice, vegetables and rice wine vinegar dipping sauce

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Cozy Cone Motel

  • Barbecued pulled pork and slaw cone

Ariel’s Grotto

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Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta

  • Mac and cheese pizza – crispy pizza topped with sun-dried tomato sauce, crispy bacon, mozzarella and creamy mac and cheese, topped with bacon pesto

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

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Chef Mickey’s Opens for Brunch Starting May 31 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

posted on May 15th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Reservations open May 22 for what promises to be a popular new addition to Walt Disney World Resort dining – mid-day brunch daily at Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

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The popular restaurant, with the Monorail breezing by overhead, has been open for breakfast and dinner, and is one of the very best spots for an audience with Chef Mickey and his pals, who make a stop at each table during dining service.

For brunch, the menu of breakfast favorites expands with soup; salads including Caesar; seafood, fresh broccoli, antipasto, chicken and Caprese, and hot dishes such as barbecued ribs, seafood étouffée and baked salmon. (And, yes, the famous Mickey waffles are on the brunch menu.) The ice cream bar and Contemporary bakery sweets also will be part of the expansive buffet.

Hours for brunch are 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Breakfast is still 7-11:30 a.m. and dinner 5-9:30 p.m.) Meals are one table-service entitlement on the Disney Dining Plan. For reservations, visit www.disneyworld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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Beer Tasting on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 15th, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


We’ve covered several of the tastings adults can indulge in on a Disney cruise, from wine and Champagne, to liquors and cocktails. Last but not least, I’ll tell you about our seminar on the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, beer.

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In this tasting, the bartender will go through the interesting history of beer, the oldest alcoholic drink, and divulge fun facts about it. You’ll learn how to properly taste a beer and distinguish one from another, going through the different types, production methods and ingredients used. Beers tasted during the seminar could include ale, stout, wheat, imported lager and domestic lager.

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Our Irish pub onboard each ship is the perfect setting for this tasting. On your next visit, be sure to ask our expert bartenders about their favorite drink of choice!

Next week, I’ll conclude this series with our beverage seminar that is more than just a tasting. Check back to learn about our mixology class, which is like going through a mini bartender course! In the meantime, get up to speed on the seminars I’ve shared with you so far:

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First Look: Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Souvenir Vintage Stein

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


Over the past few months, I’ve teased some of the new souvenir novelty food and beverage items created for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration — like the balloon-inspired popcorn buckets, and the artwork for popcorn buckets and hot mugs. Today, I’m showing you my personal favorite of the 60th anniversary items.

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This stunning souvenir vintage stein features whimsical representations of favorite lands and attractions, and is topped with Sleeping Beauty Castle. This plastic stein is lightweight enough to carry around at the park, while being beautiful enough to display on a shelf (which is exactly what I’m planning to do).

Look for the stein, in addition to other specialty food and beverage items when the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration kicks off on May 22.

Cheers to 60 years!

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24-Hour Event Merchandise Sparkles at the Disneyland Resort

posted on May 14th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


There’s a number of reasons why I’m looking forward to May 22! First of all, it’s my mom’s birthday, so happy early birthday Mom! Not only that, it’s the exciting moment we have all been waiting for — the official kick-off to the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration! When you couple that with a 24-hour event and new nighttime spectaculars like the “Paint the Night” parade, “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, could it get any better? When I got a sneak peek at the artwork for the 24-hour event tees, “Being Up All Night Makes Me Dopey,” the answer was yes! Take a look, and I think you’ll agree.

Special Tip: Look for special glow-in-the-dark elements on the adult and youth tees.

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Also debuting as part of the exciting event is a limited release pin.

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Want more? Let me sweeten the deal — there will also be a specially created cupcake with the “Up All Night” logo. Our candy makers have been hard at work, creating delicious new confections in honor of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog, because I’ll be sharing all of the details shortly.

Tees and pins will be available at:

Cupcakes can be found at:

It’s going to be an amazing celebration! Are you ready for it?

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

Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Makahiki: The Bounty of the Islands

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


So far, the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series has shared the magic behind iconic locations at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, like ‘Alohi Point, Menehune Bridge and Pu’u Kilo. Today we continue with an inside look at Makahiki: The Bounty of the Islands and how this delicious restaurant enhances the Aulani story for guests vacationing in Hawai’i.

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Aulani Cultural Advisor Kahulu De Santos shared with me that the traditional Hawaiian Makahiki season is actually during the fall months. “The sunset rising of the beautiful open star cluster Makali‘i (Pleiades), followed by the first visible crescent moon appearing at dusk, heralds the beginning of the Makahiki season,” she explained.

The story of the Makahiki season comes to life inside Aulani’s popular buffet restaurant in a series of artistic executions. A mural by leeward artist Solomon Enos highlights the powerful imagery and ancient protocols associated with the sacred time of the year. The colorful imagery gives Aulani guests a glimpse of the ceremonies and offerings presented to Lono-i-ka-Makahiki, the god of peace, rain and agriculture in order to bring fertility and prosperity to the land.

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There are other notable design elements for guests to discover in the buffet area itself. For example, the curving walls are embedded with tiles made of coconut fiber that lend a natural and organic backdrop for the art. Look up and you’ll also see this Hawaiian treat used in another design element. In fact, the entire ceiling consists of coconut tiles, augmented by a scattering of mirrored glass mosaic tiles. Return to Makahiki in the evening hours – the design is very reminiscent of a starry night.

Let’s not forget about the delicious food offerings, too! Your ‘ohana will enjoy items like sliced island fruits, Asian-inspired entrées and more! Make reservations to say hello to some of your favorite Disney characters at “Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at Makahiki” or have a delectable dinner in this one-of-a-kind restaurant with lots to discover here.

Do you have a detail at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, you’d love to know more about? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar to Open this Fall at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 12th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Tucked in between the soon-to-be-expanded Paradiso 37 and recently opened BOATHOUSE restaurant, a new Disney owned and operated Food & Beverage offering has been taking shape. Today, I’m thrilled to share more details on this aviation-themed lounge, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.

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With a prime location along Lake Buena Vista and seating for 150, the venue will feature unique cocktails – such as the “Hovito Mojito” with Barsol Quebranta Pisco, fresh lime juice and simple syrup – and small plates such as “Air Pirates Everything Pretzels” with house-made mustard and beer cheese fondue.

The design team has gone to great lengths to ensure that every element – from the propeller-based ceiling fans and diving bell “booth” to the “Rolling Boulder Meatballs” on the menu – fits within the storyline.

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And just what is that story? Ardent fans of the “Indiana Jones” films may recognize Jock Lindsey as Indy’s frequent pilot; he’s also the owner of a pet snake named Reggie – an important detail, trust me on this! In the main room, guests will discover an expansive bar, aviation decor filling the room, vintage travel posters covering the walls and correspondence between Jock, Indy and their fellow adventurers on display. Guests can eat, drink and be merry outside as well, in Jocks’ old steamboat, now in permanent dry dock and aptly named “Reggie;” and in nearby seating on the adjacent deck.

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is set to open this fall at Downtown Disney. If you’re as excited about this next adventure as I am, let me know in the comments below!

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POLL: Eat What You Want Day With Disney Parks Blog Authors

posted on May 11th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


What would you eat if you could eat anything you want from Disney Parks and Resorts? This is a question I asked a few Disney Parks Blog authors for Eat What You Want Day (which is my new favorite food holiday). Keep reading to find out the authors’ picks:

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Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort
I chose the 32-ounce Dry Aged Tomahawk Rib Chop from The BOATHOUSE, the newest restaurant at Downtown Disney. The $115 cut is meant for two guests but I actually shared mine with two friends and Executive Chef Bob Getchell. On “Eat What You Want” Day (and any other special occasion!), this is the perfect splurge.

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Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort
I’m so excited that Critter Country at Disneyland park is open again following its recent refurbishment, because it means I can enjoy my favorite lunch again … the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich at Hungry Bear Restaurant!

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Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort
I chose a Mickey Pretzel – it’s something I remember since my first theme park visit. It’s a perfect treat to enjoy while walking through the park and even better dipped in cheese!

Disney Parks Blog Author Nate Rasmussen Meeting Olaf at Disney California Adventure Park Disney Parks Blog Author Nate Rasmussen Enjoying an Olaf Marshmallow Pop from Disney California Adventure Park

Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center
I love food is ‘character’ themed in our parks – so fun. When I went to “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park a couple of weekends ago, I tried something new. I had an Olaf marshmallow pop and then got to meet Olaf.

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Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
A beautiful plate of pristine sushi at California Grill – probably a crispy crab roll.

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Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment
One of our favorite treats when visiting any Disney Park is the popcorn. The regular popcorn tastes great, but the unique flavors available in certain places make for a special treat. The Buffalo Blue Cheese Flavored Popcorn in Future World at Epcot is definitely one of my favorites, while my boys each have a preference for the cheddar and the sour cream and chive flavors available there. Whether it’s these at Epcot, honey-flavored popcorn at Tokyo Disneyland or dill pickle flavor from the Cozy Cone Motel at Disney California Adventure park, flavored popcorn is an indulgence we can’t resist!

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Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations
I chose the Chinese Chicken Salad in a Sourdough Bread Bowl from Pacific Wharf Café. There is nothing like walking through Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure park and smelling freshly baked bread. Then, you add a healthy and delicious salad INSIDE it? Truly, a match made in heaven. (I always ask for extra dressing on the side for some “dipping” sauce for my bread.)

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And me? I chose a Dole Whip Float from Aloha Isle Refreshments in Magic Kingdom Park. Dole Whip has been my go-to for years, it makes me feel like a pineapple princess, and there’s something about enjoying it in Adventureland that makes it even more magical!

Let us know what you would choose to eat on Eat What You Want Day; vote for your pick in our poll below!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort