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Many Tasty Ways to Enjoy Mother’s Day This Sunday in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

posted on May 8th, 2015 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations

The restaurants of the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort are offering mothers (and the hungry families who love them) a choice of meals this Sunday.

Catal, for example, is offering a special Mother’s Day three-course prix-fixe brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring a choice of appetizers and eight entree options including steak and eggs, bread pudding French toast, grilled chicken Caesar salad and crispy-skin half chicken with haricots verts, cherry tomatoes and bearnaise sauce.


Ralph’s Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen features some Mother’s Day specials including “Fish in a Bag” sea bass Paupiette-style, grilled ribeye forestiere and gulf shrimp primavera. The dessert special is strawberry shortcake.

House of Blues will have two seatings, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., for its popular Gospel Brunch, featuring local talent performing traditional and contemporary gospel and a brunch buffet that includes House of Blues signature chicken and waffles.

All mothers dining at La Brea Bakery Café will receive a complimentary heart-shaped sugar cookie.

For Mother’s Day at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Storytellers Café is extending the hours for its regular Sunday brunch for an additional two and a half hours, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Hotels & Resorts

First Look: New Oil Can Sippers Coming to Cars Land in Disney California Adventure Park

posted on May 8th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator

Soon, you’ll be able to fuel up with these brand-new oil can sippers. You may be familiar with the Dinoco oil company from Disney•Pixar “Cars” (note the gas pumps and oil cans outside of Flo’s V8 Café). Look for these fun souvenir items when they “check in” at Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-hour event on May 22.


And if you’re a fan of the Cars Land cone sippers, be sure to pick one up before they drive off into the sunset to make way for the new oil can sipper.

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Rum and Amari Tastings on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 8th, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line

Next up in my series about the beverage seminars available for adults on a Disney cruise, I’ll tell you about two more of our fun liquor tastings – rum and amari.


Rum Tasting

Rum was first distilled on sugarcane plantations in the Caribbean. A good amount of the world’s rum production still takes place on the islands we visit, making it a beverage of choice for cruisers on our tropical voyages.

As with our other liquor seminars, in our Rum Tasting you’ll learn about the history and production method of this spirit, along with different types such as dark, light, gold, flavored and spiced rum. In addition to tasting three rums straight, you’ll also learn how to make (and of course taste!) two delicious cocktails – Cuba Libre & Caipirinha.


Amari Tasting

Amari, or in singular form amaro, are herbal liqueurs distilled in Italy known for their digestive qualities. As such, amaro is commonly enjoyed after dinner, served neat, although amari cocktails are becoming more and more popular.

In this tasting, you’ll learn about the production, origins, styles and flavorings of this Italian liqueur. You’ll taste five different types such as Ramazzoti, Limoncello, Strega, Cynar and Fernet. It’s the perfect introduction for those of you who have not yet indulged in this flavorful spirit.

To learn about other beverage tastings you can join on a Disney cruise, look back at my recent posts:

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Top 10 Disney Salads, Coast to Coast

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

May is National Salad Month (who knew?). One of our favorite ways to eat is with a big bowl of deliciousness that doesn’t always involve romaine.

Here are 10 of our favorite salads from the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Salad bars don’t count – we love the ways the chefs create a taste sensation with a little bit of this and that.

The Caesar Salad at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante at Disneyland Park 'Smiling Tiger Salad' at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

At Disneyland Resort:

  1. “Smiling Tiger Salad” at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. What’s not to love about Chef Andrew Sutton’s tempura fried lobster, spicy beef, Asian greens and a drizzle of coconut-lime vinaigrette?
  2. Relax over lunch with the Roasted Chicken and Strawberry Salad at Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure park, a mélange of warm asparagus, avocado, arugula, toasted ancient grains and roasted chicken breast filled with strawberry butter.
  3. Also at Disney California Adventure park, we discovered the Greek Salad at Paradise Garden Grill – grab a seat in the shade and dig in to this generous bowl of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, pepperoncinis, marinated olive and feta flavored with a lemon-oregano dressing and pita bread for scooping. You might want to share.
  4. Over at Disneyland park, a longtime favorite is the Caesar at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante. This is the real deal, as the Caesar was invented in Mexico City – though a staple in Italian restaurants, the Caesar generally is attributed to Caesar Cardini, an Italian who created the salad at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, where it became a hit with Hollywood stars. Rancho serves the Hacienda Caesar, romaine tossed, sweet peppers and cotija cheese in housemade dressing with pepitas seeds, radishes and crisp tortilla chips. Top it with grilled chicken or carne asada.
The Power Salad at Sunshine Seasons at Epcot The Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios

At Walt Disney World Resort:

  1. Heading to the East Coast, The Plaza Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort has an entrée salad that’s never left the menu – the chicken strawberry salad with greens, grilled chicken breast, cucumbers, fresh strawberries and gorgonzola tossed in a lightly sweet white zinfandel vinaigrette. A classic.
  2. Over at Sunshine Seasons at Epcot, try the trendy Power Salad – a bowlful of protein with quinoa, oak-fired chicken, almonds and honey vinaigrette. You’ll have plenty of energy to power walk World Showcase Promenade.
  3. Quinoa is the star of another favorite at ABC Commissary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – the Couscous Quinoa & Arugula Salad, tossed to order. We top it with grilled salmon for extra protein and Omega 3s.
  4. Also at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, who doesn’t love the Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby? Chopped delightfully small and tossed tableside, it’s a classic with ham, bacon, turkey breast, egg, tomatoes, blue cheese, avocado and chives, all mixed with dressing still made from the original recipe when the salad was invented in Hollywood in the 1930s.
  5. Delightfully different is the Jiko Salad at Jiko—The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. A lovely plate of poached pears, heirloom spinach, kabocha squash in a pear vinaigrette topped with a brittle of pumpkin seeds and black lentils. Instagram worthy.
  6. And finally, another longtime favorite we always have to order: the Crispy Rock Shrimp Salad at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This one stays on the menu, though Chef Brian Piasecki may mix up the ingredients. Right now it’s crispy rock shrimp (a Florida delicacy) with spicy baby greens, Subarashii pear, red onions, soy reduction and addictive wasabi cream. You won’t want to share this one.
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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience Coming to Star Wars Weekends

posted on May 5th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator

Guests attending Star Wars Weekends will be able to find shelter and sustenance in the Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience. Reports have been made that this location was once a known hangout of Rebel pilots, aliens and smugglers; with the immersive environment and stellar bites—I understand why!


Look for a menu full of Star Wars-themed food and beverage offerings that are out of this world:

  • Pilot’s Pomme Frites – these are tossed with parmesan cheese, garlic and parsley with a garlic aioli for dipping
  • Ensalada Naboo – seared chicken breast, bibb lettuce, grape tomatoes, watermelon radish, almond frica, and a parmesan-peppercorn ranch dressing
  • Lightsaber Bites – hand-dipped corn-battered knockwurst sausages with house-made chips and mustard dipping sauce
  • The Dark Fried – Chicken and Darth Vader waffles served with maple syrup and sweet barbecue sauce
  • Trio of Thermal Detonators – spicy pork wings topped with spicy piquillo-pepper sauce and slaw
  • Slider Sampler featuring “The Sith” barbecue-braised brisket with cole slaw and “The Jedi” with barbecued pulled chicken with arugula
  • Fruit and Cheese “Sabers” featuring Tillamook cheddar, Brie, goat cheese, pickled vegetables, crostini, cheddar crackers, blueberries, raspberries, honeydew melon, strawberry, olives and gherkins
  • Chips & Sith – hummus with red pepper coulis, black sesame dust, and corn tortilla chips
  • Yoda Key Lime Cake
  • Trio of Star Wars mini cupcakes, including Mini Darth Vader (chocolate-peanut butter), Mini Yoda (chocolate-hazelnut), and Mini Jabba the Hutt (salted caramel latte) served in the Han Solo Carbonite Souvenir Box

A new drink menu will also be available:

  • Imperial Blue – Maker’s Mark Whisky, Cointreau, Blue Curacao, sweet and sour, topped with Sprite
  • Tatooine Sunset – Stoli vanilla, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, pineapple juice with grenadine
  • Rebel Red – Grey Goose vodka, Chambord, sour mix and a splash of grenadine
  • Dagobah Swamp Juice – Midori, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, sweet and sour, topped with lemon-lime foam
  • The Dark Side – Stoli vanilla vodka, Bailey’s liqueur, crème de cocoa and brownie garnish
  • Alderaan Ale

The Jabba the Hutt and Yoda cupcakes will also be available at Tusken Fridge Raiders, Trolley Car Café, Starring Rolls Cafe, and Backlot Express. The Darth Vader cupcake will be available at all quick-service locations, including Starring Rolls Cafe, and Trolley Car Cafe and Tusken Fridge Raiders at Darth’s Mall.

For Reservations, visit or call 407-WDW-DINE.

May the food be with you!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Experience Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on May 2nd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager

This week on the Disney Parks Blog we shared the first photos of the new Harambe Market, which will debut to guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in late May.

New Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

This area, which was themed around a Colonial-era train depot design recreates a bustling marketplace where guests visit from around the world. Here, guests can choose to taste food from a variety of different “vendors,” including Kitamu Grill for skewered chicken and a kabob flatbread sandwiches, Famous Sausages for corn dogs inspired by a South African sausage, and Chef Mwanga’s, which serves a spice-rubbed karubi rib with green papaya-carrot slaw. Check out Pam’s post for more information on the other menu items you’ll be able to find at Harambe Market.

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Come Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort

posted on May 1st, 2015 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations

Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

Special Cinco de Mayo menus will celebrate Mexican-American heritage at Tortilla Jo’s and House of Blues this week in the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort. From Friday, May 1, through Tuesday, May 5, Crossroads at House of Blues will feature its “Menu Especial,” with your choice of street tacos – blackened chicken or fish – or a chorizo burger topped with shredded lettuce, avocado and a fried egg. Dessert is strawberry empanadas with cinnamon cream and powdered sugar and, of course, there will be margaritas, including a Don Julio Margarita for the celebration.

At Tortilla Jo’s – Tuesday, May 5, only – the special menu starts with Ensalada Bandera with baby iceberg lettuce wedges, diced tomato, green onion, crispy bacon, hardboiled egg whites and ranch dressing, or Camarones Agua Chile: shrimp cooked in fresh lime juice and served with a mix of red onion, cilantro, red peppers and avocado slice. Entrees include Tricolor Dorado Filete – pan-seared Mahi-Mahi cooked with white onions, capers, olives, fresh oregano and white wine broth served on a bed of red and green bell peppers – or Pollo Adobado – grilled chicken thigh meat marinated in dried chiles, oregano and vinegar served with Mexican red rice and frijoles churros. Dessert is Gelatina de Tres Leche – Mexican-style custard featuring the colors of the Mexican flag – and the drink menu will include three special Margaritas: Blanco Traditional made with Don Weber Blanco tequila and lime juice, Margarita de Raspberry Rojo made with Patron Reposado tequila, lime juice, raspberries and a float of Cointreau, and Green Melon Margarita made with Cuervo Tradicional Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice and a float of Melon Liqueur.

Enjoy, and have a happy Cinco de Mayo with your friends and family.

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Avengers Assemble at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Disneyland Park

posted on May 1st, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator

To celebrate the release of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” today, Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Disneyland park will be adding a few “super” items to their menu.


Look for a trio of treats inspired by your favorite Avengers characters—like the Black Widow Parfait, with layers of chocolate syrup, chocolate cake, white and dark chocolate mousse, strawberry filling, and topped with dark chocolate crunchy candies and Black Widow’s emblem. Take a bite out of crime with a Captain America shield cookie. Or perhaps your “super” sweet tooth is craving a Mark V Dessert Waffle—a red velvet waffle shaped like Iron Man’s mask, topped with edible glitter.


Since I love collecting souvenir Food and Beverage items, I’m most excited about the new Iron Man mug, available with soft drinks.


There will also be an “Avengers: Age of Ultron” keepsake comic book style print, which was designed exclusively for Disneyland Park Food and Beverage. This print is available for $10, after spending $20 (before tax, after discount) at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port. Quantities are limited.

Avengers lovers, assemble at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port before these limited-time offerings are gone!

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Fun New Tastes at Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on April 30th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

The much-anticipated Harambe Market opens late May at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where food plays a starring role with African-inspired street food at four walk-up windows and plenty of shaded seating – 200+ seats.


Built around a Colonial-era train depot design complete with a 1960s water tower, the marketplace re-creates a bustling center of commerce where guests are welcomed from around the world who have come to visit the little seaside town and venture out to the reserve to observe Africa’s animals.

Chef Lenny DeGeorge led the Food and Beverage concept development team, and tells us it’s the sort of food you’d find in a street market in Africa. “The menus reflect the unique personalities of the establishments’ owners,” says Chef Lenny.

New Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

“Kitamu Grill” offers skewered chicken and a kabob flatbread sandwich. “Famous Sausages” features a corn dog, inspired by a South African sausage called a boerewors, dipped in curry-infused corn batter. “Chef Mwanga’s” serves a spice-rubbed karubi rib with green papaya-carrot slaw.

“With three meaty ribs, the karubi rib is our version of the giant turkey legs served in the Disney theme parks,” says DeGeorge. We give two thumbs up to the curry corn dog, made with a special spiced sausage inspired by the traditional boerewors.

A fourth window, called Wanjohi Refreshments (“wanjohi” means “brewer” in Swahili) offers beverages including six South African wines by the glass; Safari Amber Lager and Orlando Brewing I-4 IPA on draft; red sangria with Van der Hum tangerine liqueur from South Africa; The Starr of Harambe, a frozen drink with Starr African rum with mango puree in a souvenir mug; non-alcoholic tangerine lemonade, and fountain beverages including Sparberry from Zimbabwe and Bibo from South Africa.

With shaded tables and merchandise shops, the new market, together with the recently opened Harambe Theatre (home to “Festival of the Lion King”) doubles the size of the original Harambe Village.

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Tequila and Margarita Tasting on a Disney Cruise

posted on April 30th, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line

Salt or sugar? Blended or on the rocks? Many of you have go-to answers to these questions when it comes to drinking margaritas. And if you don’t, our Tequila and Margarita seminar is the perfect opportunity to taste test your preference.


First, you’ll discuss the history and production methods of tequila, sipping brands such as Patron and Casamigos. You’ll also hear about types of tequila, including blanco (white), reposado (rested) and añejo (aged), learning and sampling the differences between each. Next up, you’ll taste both a classic and a modern margarita, deciding for both whether you want it prepared on the rocks, frozen or straight up.

I hope you’re enjoying my series on beverage seminars and making note of which ones you want to join on your next Disney cruise. If you missed any of my posts, take a look back at them:

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