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The ‘Great Irish Hooley’ Returns to Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant This Labor Day Weekend

posted on August 18th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


The “Great Irish Hooley” signifies that we’re half-way to St. Patrick’s Day, and this year we celebrate the fourth installment of this authentically Irish weekend that only Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant could deliver!

If you’ve missed the last three years, let me bring you up to speed: it’s a lively mix of top Irish bands, step-dancing, craft beers, stellar Irish cuisine, and Celtic face-painting, all rolled into one fantastically fun festival.

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For the music lovers in your group, the line-up will not disappoint. Screaming Orphans, a quartet of talented Irish sisters with a passion for original pop/rock, is headlining. A new Raglan Road house band, The Raglan Roots Coalition, will keep the crowd moving. Other bands including JigJam, The West Coast Trio, The Blaggards and Cooney & Ryan, are set to provide a mix of bluegrass, folk, and traditional Irish tunes. And keep an eye out for The Blarney Stones; if lead singer Hannah Carr looks familiar, don’t be surprised – she’s a former Raglan Road Irish Dancer.

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Think you might need a few libations before you try authentic step dancing? Four limited-edition craft beers brewed especially for the Hooley by Ireland’s Rye River Brewing company will be available: a Raglan Road Saison, a citrusy Raglan Road Fruit Salad Weiss Beer, a refreshing McGargles Jims CO2 Stout and a McGargles Francis Tropical American IPA. Of course, they’re in addition to the beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails that will be featured throughout the weekend. (So yes, you can still have your Guinness.)

To polish off the party, save room for Irish fare from celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. The beer-battered fish and chips is a standout, as is the Shepherd’s pie with a contemporary twist. The seafood and gluten-free entrees also gain high marks from guests, but I can honestly tell you that I’ve never had a bad meal here … no matter what you order, you’re in for a treat.

Of course, the above is best enjoyed when you look the part, so consider getting your face painted; artists will be on hand Saturday though Monday to paint kids and kids-at-heart.

The rockin’ long weekend will also commemorate the pub’s 10-year anniversary – a decade of Raglan Road is definitely worthy of celebrating, so make plans to take part!

Click here for full event details.

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Back to School Shopping Ideas from Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 13th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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As summer is quickly fading into fall, it’s time for back to school shopping. I can’t believe my children will return to school in just a couple of weeks. I recently spent a morning at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World Resort searching for back to school shopping ideas. Here is a quick look at some of the items I found for those who want to add a splash of Disney to their backpacks.

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World of Disney and Mickey’s Fun Finds at Downtown Disney Marketplace both offered assortments of pens, pencils and other cool school tools. I liked the colorful Mickey Mouse-inspired pens and the zipper cases are something I wish I had growing up.

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I found some fun apparel items for girls in the Zoey & Pickles boutique inside the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace. They also carried a sweet backpack decorated with images of Mickey Mouse-shaped candies.

Once Upon a Toy store has a new shirt featuring “Miles from Tomorrowland,” the hit Disney Junior animated series.

At Downtown Disney West Side, D-Street had some Oswald the Lucky Rabbit t-shirts, while the Super Hero Headquarters shop carried plenty of apparel options for super heroes of all ages.

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Finally, I visited Curl by Sammy Duvall where I found a small assortment of the popular Disney Vans shoes along with clothing and accessories for girls and boys. Next door, Fit2Run, The Runner’s Superstore, has a perfect selection of athletic footwear and more. Both of these shops now open at 10:00 a.m. daily in Downtown Disney West Side.

Here’s a quick shopping tip I learned after my visit – all Downtown Disney shops now open at 10:00 a.m. which includes Downtown Disney West Side. This is a great time to visit as parking is usually plentiful and it’s easier to get in and out of shops.

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Disneyland Nights: Suggestions for Nighttime Fun During D23 EXPO 2015

posted on August 12th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m looking forward to attending the D23 EXPO 2015 this week at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Expo will be held August 14-16 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. After spending the daytime immersed in all things Disney, I can’t wait to visit Disneyland Resort at night. Here are some of my favorite places, in case you are looking for something to do as the sun sets in the California sky.

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Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
My number one nighttime destination is Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel. While I love finding hidden treasures inside the bar area (look for a hidden Orange Bird figure), I also enjoy sitting outside on the torch-lit lanai listening to live music. If you are hungry, try the Ahi Poke or the Slow-roasted Kālua-style Pork Sandwich. For beverages, I highly recommend the HippopotoMai-Tai or, if you are sharing, the Uh Oa!, named after the tiki goddess of disaster.

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Beignets and Live Music at Downtown Disney District
I like strolling through Downtown Disney District after picking up some beignets and coffee from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express. From 6-10 p.m. this month at Downtown Disney District, each night of the week will be devoted to a different musical style . During the D23 EXPO 2015 weekend, look for these performances:

  • Friday, August 14 – Tupua Polynesian variety show
  • Saturday, August 15 – Phat Cat Swinger (I love that swing dancing is still a tradition!)
  • Sunday, August 16 – Top 40 Music Jam features Dead Ringer

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Carthay Circle Lounge on Buena Vista Street
The little details on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park are fantastic (see my fellow author Tyler Slater’s article for a sampling). I also like Carthay Circle Lounge, which offers handcrafted cocktails by mixologists who use unique glassware, gourmet garnishes and drink-specific ice (try the Manhattan as seen in this video).

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Dole Whips in the Enchanted Tiki Garden at Disneyland Park
There is nothing greater than enjoying a Dole Whip while sitting in the Enchanted Tiki Garden at Disneyland park. I love watching the Tiki gods of the garden come to life as seen in this video.

Do you have a favorite hangout in Disneyland after dark? Please share in the comments below.

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Popular Disney Theme Park Attractions Inspire New ‘Disney Attractionistas’ Dolls

posted on August 11th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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In January 2015, I shared a first look at some new dolls created especially for Disney Parks called “Disney Attractionistas.” I’m happy to report that the first four dolls in this collection were recently released at Disney Parks. I spoke with Victoria Hamilton, merchandiser for dolls and plush, to learn more about these Disney Parks-inspired items.

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“Disney Attractionistas are special friends that love to be together at Disney Parks every chance they get,” explained Victoria. “As the story goes, each Attractionista wished to be part of their favorite attraction, and that it could be a part of them. Once their wishes came true, they were magically transformed with attire inspired by those various attractions. These 12-inch fashion dolls come with detailed clothing, a special animal sidekick and a fun story on the back of the packaging about things each doll enjoys. I think these dolls make great companions for any guest who loves Disney Parks.”

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The first four Attractionistas were inspired by classic Disney attractions such as Mad Tea Party (Maddie), Space Mountain (Celeste), The Haunted Mansion (Gracey) and Pirates of the Caribbean (Pearl).

Two additional dolls will arrive this fall including Carrie, who was inspired by King Arthur Carrousel at Disneyland Resort and Prince Charming Regal Carousel at Walt Disney World Resort; and Nellie whose looks were inspired by the world famous Jungle Cruise.

Disney Design Group artist Mike Sullivan created the designs for the dolls while Dave Keefer designed the packaging.

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The Attractionistas will be carried in select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, and they will be found on our Disney Parks online store.

We will be holding a special Attractionistas party on Friday, August 21 in Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. From 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., Mike and Dave from Disney Design Group will be meeting with guests and signing dolls.

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More Delicious Details for Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, Opening This Fall at Downtown Disney

posted on August 11th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


With an aviation theme (Jock was Indy’s frequent pilot in the “Indiana Jones” films) and a primo waterfront location, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will feature food and drinks inspired by Jock’s globe-trotting to all continents – everything from a Hovito Mojito to Dr. Elsa’s She-Deviled Eggs. Details follow.

Dr. Elsa’s She-Deviled Eggs Coming to Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort Fried Calamari Flatbread with Spicy Harissa Coming to Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

Guests will get a kick out of the salvaged equipment, spare airplane parts and mementos from Jock’s travels that decorate the 150-seat lounge located between Paradiso 37 and The BOATHOUSE restaurant. Outdoors, his old steamboat (now in dry dock) is a fun place for watching the sunset.

At the core of Walt Disney Imagineering is great storytelling: as the tale goes, Jock made a home at this waterfront property in the 1940s after discovering this charming little town while flying Indiana Jones over the Sunshine State in search of the elusive Fountain of Youth in 1938. As a member of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, Jock often welcomed his globetrotting friends to his hangar for a drink and fun times.

Now Jock and Indy may be gone, but his legendary adventures live on at this exotic watering hole. And that’s what gives the place its charm – and a creative menu of adventurous tastes.

Along with beer and wine, start with clever cocktails such as Reggie’s Revenge and The Fountain of Youth featuring Florida vodkas; Hovito Mojito and The Bitter Barkeep with Peruvian Pisco; Anything Goes with an Asian spirit that packs a little heat; The Aviator’s Flight and The Scottish Professor, and that Cool-headed Monkey with African spirits.

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Each of the small plates has a delicious twist, and they’re great for sharing. Dr. Elsa’s She-Deviled Eggs are brined in beet juice with lump crab filling. “Good” Dates feature goat cheese-stuffed dates with Marcona almonds and pickled veggies. Snack of Ra gives a taste of Africa with salads and dips served with injera (bread) and naan crisps. Tanis Tacos are filled with falafel, shredded lettuce and cucumber-tomato salad. The pretzels come with house-made mustard and beer-cheese fondue.

A little more substantial are the Rolling Boulder Sliders with three spice meatballs on mini-buns with yogurt sauce. Or Brody Brats, grilled bratwurst with mustard and pickled cabbage. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar’s take on chicken wings features spicy Asian wings (called “Lao Che’s Revenge”). And “Squid! Why’d It Have to Be Squid” is fried calamari flatbread with spicy harissa.

Get ready for some very fun Disney moments at this new location coming to Downtown Disney!

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Summer of Souvenirs Continues with New Items at Disney Parks

posted on August 4th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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At the beginning of June, I announced a summer of new souvenirs at Disney Parks with a preview of decorative hand sanitizers. Now that the hand sanitizers are available in a variety of merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, here is a look at other new and upcoming items.

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The D-Tech on Demand boutique inside the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace recently made available two designs for fans of ABC’s hit television show “Once Upon a Time.” Guests can create and customize a case for the following mobile phones: iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5/5S/5C, iPhone 6/6+, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy S4/S5/S6.

We are also offering a few pre-printed cases for the Samsung Galaxy S6 in select locations at Disney Parks.

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One of my favorite things being released this month is a Vinylmation, Jr. set inspired by Adventureland. This limited release mystery set contains 12 figures featuring characters such as birds from Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and, my all-time favorite, the Orange Bird. The set will be released at the D-Street locations in Florida and California starting August 7.

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In the coming months, we will be releasing a variety of new key chains. The first three feature mini-handbags that double as coin pouches.

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I thought you’d enjoy seeing this sneak preview of Disney character inspired key chains arriving later this fall.

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Musical Performances – All Kinds! – Take the Stage Throughout August in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

posted on July 31st, 2015 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

As the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues, adults and children visiting the Downtown Disney District will be entertained nightly, beginning this Saturday, by a special lineup of guest music groups, including some Downtown Disney District favorites, on the Westside Stage near ESPN Zone and Earl of Sandwich.

From 6-10 p.m. throughout August, and into the first week of September, each night of the week will be devoted to a different musical style:

  • Caribbean on Mondays
  • Latin on Tuesdays
  • Country on Wednesdays
  • Rockabilly on Thursdays
  • Polynesian on Fridays
  • Swing on Saturdays
  • Top 40 Music Jam on Sundays

Island Reggae Band appears each Monday night through Labor Day, September 7, for the Caribbean performances.

Tuesday Latin nights, August 4, 11, 18, 25 and September 1, feature Adelaide, the hot new cumbia and rock en Español band that was one of the hits of Disney ¡Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure park, and will be featured again for this year’s holidays.

Country fans will want to come out on Wednesdays for the Doo-Wah Riders, August 5, 12 and 26 and September 2. Ry and the Hillbillies will take the stage on August 19

A varied lineup of bands take the stage Thursdays for Rockabilly nights: Rumble Kings on August 6, Crown City Bombers on August 20, Ry Bradley on August 27 and Rayford Brothers on September 3.

On Thursday, Aug. 13, while some guests enjoy the ticketed “Taste of Downtown Disney” event to benefit CHOC – Children’s Hospital of Orange County, the Westside Stage will feature music by Phat Cat Swinger.

Tupua Polynesian variety show is presented Fridays, Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28, and September 4.

The ever-popular swing dancing tradition returns to Downtown Disney District on Saturdays with Tim Gill & the All-Stars on August 1 and September 5, Phat Cat Swinger August 8, 15, 22 and 29.

And Sunday Night Top 40 Music Jam features Dead Ringer on August 2, 9, 16 and 23, and “Off the Cuff” on August 30.

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Walt Disney World Resort Event Snapshot – August 2015

posted on July 31st, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort? Be sure to check out these special artist appearances and signings taking place in August 2015!

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August 6 – 17: Representatives from Precious Moments dolls will be on hand for the release of some of their newest dolls, among other fan favorites. Meet the representatives and see the dolls throughout the day, each day, at their new location, Marketplace Fun Finds in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Tip: Artist & Doll Designer Linda Rick will be on hand for a special appearance and signing Aug. 8 – 9. Learn more.

August 6 – 9: Artist William Silvers will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his newest releases, August 6 – 9 from 12 – 8 p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in Epcot. Not able to make it? William will return for additional signing opportunities August 13 – 16 from 1 – 9 p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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August 8: Meet artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith who will be on hand for a special artist showcase and signing from 4 – 7 p.m. in WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

August 10 – 15: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings August 10 – 15 from 1 – 8 p.m., each day at Art of Disney in Epcot. Not able to make it? Greg will return later in the month, August 24 – 29 from 1 – 8 p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

August 13 – 14: A Kit Heath representative will be on hand to show their jewelry collections at The Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot. Learn more.

August 14: Take part in Trading Night from 6 -9 p.m. p.m. in Veracruz A at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Register online now!

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August 19 – 21: Meet Fragrance Designer Geir Ness throughout the day at The Puffin’s Roost in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. Learn more.

August 19 – 23: Take part in a special Givenchy fragrance event at Plume et Palette in the France Pavilion at Epcot.

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August 21 – 22: Meet artist Whitney Pollett during a special artist signing at WonderGround Gallery in Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace from 5 – 8 p.m., each day. Learn more.

August 28 – 30: Game on! Be there for the launch of Disney Infinity 3.0 taking place throughout the day, each day, at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Be sure to watch the Disney Parks Blog for more details.

Throughout the month look for other additional appearances and signings at select World Showcase pavilion locations in Epcot, including Le Plume et Palette and La Signature in France, The Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom and Puffins Roost in Norway. Learn more.

Which events will you check out?

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Get Ready to Show Your Disney Side During Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort

posted on July 31st, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Guys and ghouls, Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is creeping up. It’s never too early to start planning Halloween costumes, especially if you plan to attend Mickey’s Halloween Party. Looking for inspiration? Why not your favorite Disney characters?

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For your prince or princess (3–12 years of age), visit Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Fantasyland in Disneyland park and watch as they transform before your very eyes into Halloween Minnie, a Knight or their favorite princess. Fans of Anna, Elsa & Olaf (ages 3-15) should definitely plan a quick trip to Anna & Elsa’s Boutique in the Downtown Disney District for “cool” tips and tricks for the Halloween season. Special tip: A Mickey Mouse Pumpkin Glow Stick or Skull Glow Stick is a perfect way to light your path to Halloween adventure at home or at the Disneyland Resort!

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Of course that’s not all – there’s more Halloween fun brewing. As you can see, I had some help from fellow Disney Parks Blog author Tyler Slater and Merchandise Marketing “Ghost Host” Ashley Cortez who took their roles all too seriously. So this year if you choose not to dress up, we have a few tips for you on how you can show your Disney Side. Costume T-shirts and fleece (for adults and youth) inspired by a few not-so-scary classic characters including Buzz Lightyear, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as well an array of intergalactic-inspired apparel and accessories will help you pay Halloween homage in a frightfully fun way. Find all of these and more for the entire family at select locations throughout the Disneyland Resort this August. Tips: Attraction-inspired T-shirts also work well; as you can see, we found these “haunting” T-shirts at Port Royal. If you seek something more subtle, try new headwear on for size – it’s themed to Halloween and the perfect fit for a night of haunting fun.

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Don’t forget to dress your pets! Treat your furry friends to something spook-tacular this season – by adding a little “character” to their look with our Disney Tails Collection. Even Ashley’s dog Nala couldn’t resist showing us her Disney Side in a sparkly sequin bow with her favorite Minnie Mouse shoe toy. Curious as to where they’re available? We found the entire collection at Atwater Ink & Paint on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park, but be sure to check out other locations throughout the Disneyland Resort including World of Disney Store in the Downtown Disney District.

Are you ready for Halloween? How will you show your Disney Side?

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Disney Parks After Dark: The BOATHOUSE Shines at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 30th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you had a chance to try out The BOATHOUSE Restaurant in The Landing area of Downtown Disney yet? The restaurant, which opened just a few months ago, offers diners delicious food, great views of the water, and the chance to experience some floating fun aboard an AquaCar and other watercrafts.

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The BOATHOUSE sure looks lovely at night!

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