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Morimoto Asia Opens Sept. 30 at Disney Springs

posted on September 2nd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

If you’re keeping an eye on construction at Disney Springs, you may have noticed the 36-foot-tall building going up along the waterfront – it’s Morimoto Asia, set to open Sept. 30, a creative collaboration between world-famous Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group.

New Morimoto Asia Restaurant to Open in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

It’s the first “pan-Asian” dining experience for Chef Morimoto, and includes his eclectic take on his favorite Asian flavors including moo shu pork, Peking duck, lobster chow fun, sweet and sour crispy whole fish, and spicy kung pao chicken. Weekends, dim sum will be served during brunch, with dumplings, shumai, bao, spare ribs and more. (Don’t worry there’s plenty for kids, such as chicken ramen, kakuni pork bao, and karaage fried chicken.)

The sushi bar, sculpted from hundreds of pieces of hand-selected ash wood that’s backed with a wall of hammered copper, has just 14 coveted seats, with global inspiration from toro, kanpachi, Japanese red snapper, uni, sea eel, hamachi, fluke, salmon and more – whatever is freshest. If you’re in the lounge or dining rooms, a selection of specialty rolls and sushi platters will be available.

The restaurant will serve sake, including the Morimoto signature line, wines from around the globe, signature cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. Beers, bottled and draft, will be mostly Asian, including the Morimoto signature beer by Rogue Ales. (Beer fans, the collector’s edition Imperial Pilsner and Morimoto Soba Ale and the highly coveted Black Obi Soba will be available.)

The expansive restaurant includes beautiful lounges, dining spaces, open kitchen and a two-story outdoor terrace overlooking the water. The main entrance features a three-story glass corner, and the sculptural bar is one of the largest in the world, more than 270 feet long, connecting the grand dining room on the ground floor with the upper level Forbidden Lounge as it wraps around the staircase. Look for custom glass beaded chandeliers and glass mosaics based on ancient Japanese prints.

Morimoto Asia will begin to accept reservations on September 16 through Open Table. Reservations through 407-939-MOTO(6686) begin November 1. Hours are daily from 11:00 a.m. to 2 a.m. serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

By the time it’s complete in 2016, Disney Springs will double the number of shops and restaurants currently found at Downtown Disney and grow to more than 1 million square feet, including 350,000 square feet of new leasable space. Disney Springs will include four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods with a high-quality, diverse mix of retailers – including premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options. Sophisticated restaurants will provide experiences for families and convention-guests alike.

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Force Friday Midnight Event at Disney Parks Now Open to All Guests on September 4, 2015

posted on September 2nd, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

We have an exciting update about the midnight Force Friday event at Disney Parks. Due to overwhelming guest demand, the Force Friday event on September 4, 2015 is now open to Star Wars fans of all ages – and will no longer be a ticketed event.


Guests who attend this midnight release party will be some of the first to find new Star Wars and Star Wars: The Force Awakens themed merchandise. In addition to items guests may find at The Disney Stores and select national retailers, we will be releasing several items found only at Disney Parks including apparel, pins, toys, retail MagicBands (Walt Disney World Resort only), Vinylmation figures, and more. Please note that purchase limits will apply.

Two merchandise locations – World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort and Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort – will join stores around the world opening their doors at midnight for a special celebration of all things Star Wars.

Beginning September 3, fans across the world will get a sneak peak of new product inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens via the world’s first-ever global live toy unboxing event on the Star Wars YouTube channel. The live stream kicks off with the first unboxing in Sydney, Australia at 7:45 a.m. local time on Thursday, September 3 (5:45 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 2), and concludes with a grand finale at Lucasfilm in San Francisco at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) on Thursday, September 3.

Guests are encouraged to document their experience using the hashtag #ForceFriday.

Looking forward to seeing you at Disney Parks!

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Toffee Gourmet Treats are Back at the Disneyland Resort

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

How many of you are toffee fans? If you find yourself visiting the Disneyland Resort this September, you’re in luck because I have a special treat for you! Candy locations throughout the resort will begin offering toffee gourmet goodies again, beginning September 1.


This scrumptious apple is once again covered in creamy caramel, dipped in sweet milk chocolate and is topped with crunchy toffee pieces, roasted almonds and chocolate drizzle, as the final touch. Of course, our candy makers didn’t stop there. They have incorporated many of the toffee ingredients used for the apples for marshmallow wands, crispy treats and bark. Yes, you read that right.


Look for these delicious treats and more 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.

I’m probably not the only one wishing today was September 1, am I? Will you give this one a try?

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Preview Disney Infinity 3.0 at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace on August 28-29

posted on August 27th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m delighted to announce we are holding special preview days for the new Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition on August 28-29 at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort. This all day event will give guests a first opportunity to see and play Disney Infinity 3.0 before its official release date on August 30.


Throughout the day, guests will be able to play Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition at the location. I know my son and I can’t wait as there are several new figures including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and characters from
Inside Out.” I’m most excited about the Sam Flynn and Quorra figures from “TRON: Legacy.” I’m also looking forward to trying the “Tomorrowland” Power Disc Pack as I loved the film!


Finally, guests will have an opportunity to meet a few individuals involved with the game’s development. Special guests will include:

  • Senior Producer Ryan Rothenberger who has worked on the Disney Infinity franchise since the very beginning. Currently, he is the Game Director overseeing the creation and development of all new heroic Play Sets for Disney Infinity 3.0.
  • Senior Producer Michael Schneider who oversees the development and execution of the console versions of Disney Infinity and helps make sure the game launches on time worldwide.
  • Associate Producer David Mayernik who has been with the Disney Infinity team since the first game where he held the position of Product Support Specialist. Here he worked as a liaison between the Guest Experience Support Team and Production.

On Friday, August 28, Allison Petrek, Lead Community Manager for Disney Infinity, will be meeting with guests from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. You can catch her weekly as a host of Disney Infinity Toy Box TV where the team shares all of the latest game news including new releases, contests, events, and more.

I hope to see you there!

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Force Friday Merchandise Event Details Released

posted on August 26th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

There’s been an “awakening” in the force, have you felt it?


New Star Wars™ themed merchandise and more will land in our galaxy at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts on September 4, 2015 at 12:01 AM (Midnight). Set your hyperspace coordinates and come to this merchandise ticketed event to gather supplies and other acquisitions in preparation of the highly anticipated film release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December.

Tickets to the Force Friday merchandise event include:

  • The opportunity to be among the first to purchase new Star Wars and Star Wars: The Force Awakens themed merchandise, including Disney Theme Park Merchandise exclusives and licensed products. Purchase limits will apply.
  • Amenity gift

Which “side” will you choose? No matter where your alliances fall, here are the details on where the events will take place.

Tickets for the Force Friday merchandise release are $50 per person and are limited to availability. No discounts apply.

Reservations for the Force Friday merchandise ticketed event will be accepted only via beginning August 26, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. (Pacific Time)/ 2 p.m. (Eastern Time).

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Find ‘Fancy Footwork’ with Customized TOMS at Curl by Sammy Duvall at Downtown Disney West Side

posted on August 25th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager

Whether you have one pair or a hundred, shoes are some of our most important accessories. Every good stroll requires a good pair, and more and more, shoes have become a reflection of our own personal, unique styles. Walk the West Side at Downtown Disney and you can find a one-of-a-kind, custom-painted-just-for-you pair of TOMS at Curl by Sammy Duvall. A team of talented artists creates inspired art, using the shoes as their canvas. And the best part? When you purchase any pair of TOMS shoes, the company will donate a second pair to someone in need.

Check out the video below to get some ideas for your next pair, or feel free to come up with your own suggestions for the TOMS customization team at Curl!

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Disneyland Resort Event Snapshot – September 2015

posted on August 24th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost September. If you’re in need of back-to-school fun, then be sure to take part in special Disney Theme Park Merchandise events taking place throughout the month at the Disneyland Resort!


September 2: Meet Disney Legend and Imagineering Ambassador Marty Sklar, who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his newest book, One Little Spark!: Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering from 10 a.m. – Noon at Disneyana in Disneyland park. Learn more here.


September 5–6: Look for special appearances by Gabriela Ruiz (Serpenthes), who will be setting up shop inside WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District on September 5–6 and 26–27 from 2-5 p.m. each day. Learn more here.

September 12: Meet artist Miss Mindy, who will be on hand for an artist appearance and signing of her designer blind box Vinylmation series themed to Circus. Look for Miss Mindy from 3–5 p.m. at D Street in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.

September 12–13: If you have been waiting for just the right time to order one of artist Dave Avanzino’s Custom Letter Plaques, or his newest release from D23 EXPO 2015 — the Custom Ticket Book Plaques – you’re in luck! Dave will be appearing from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. each day at Disneyana inside Disneyland park. Add one to your collection! Learn more here.


September 19: Join us for an artist showcase at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District as we celebrate the release of new works of art by John Coulter, Jerrod Maruyama and Kristin Tercek from 3–5 p.m. Learn more here.

Artist in Residence: Appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month is artist David Lozeau. Look for artist showcases on the following dates: September 4-6, 11–13, 18-20 and 25 from 6-10 p.m. Learn more here.

What events are you most excited for?

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Happy National Waffle Day from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

posted on August 24th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator

Happy National Waffle Day from Disney Parks Food and Beverage! What better way to indulge on this delicious holiday than with one of our top 8 waffles from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts:


  1. Mickey Waffles
    Look for these breakfast classics are resort hotels across property, and at Plaza Inn at Disneyland park.
  2. Buffalo Chicken Waffle Slider from Trilo-Bites at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
    This fiery new snack is simply wild!
  3. Waffle Cone from Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream at Disney California Adventure park
    Cool down with this sweet, hand-scopped treat.
  4. Waffle Sandwiches from Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom Park
    Go sweet with the fruit and Nutella waffle sandwich, or try one of the savory lunchtime waffle sandwiches—either way you can’t go wrong.
  5. Waffle Fries at Golden Oak Outpost in Magic Kingdom Park
    Creative toppings make these waffle fries a tasty meal.
  6. Sweet and Savory Waffles from the Belgium Global Marketplace at Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
    Try the Belgian waffle topped with berries or chocolate ganache and whipped cream for dessert or the Potato and Leek Waffle with beer-braised beef and smoked gouda cream for a hearty snack when the festival returns on September 25.
  7. Maple Waffle Breakfast Cone from BoardWalk Bakery
    A practically perfect breakfast on the go.
  8. Buffalo Chicken and Cornbread Waffles from the Fantasy Fare Food Truck at Downtown Disney
    This sweet and spicy treat is sure to satisfy.

What’s your favorite Disney Parks waffle? Let us know in the comments below!

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Enter ‘The Chew’s’ Sweepstakes for a Chance to Win a Trip to 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on August 19th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations

Want a chance to win a trip to Walt Disney World Resort during our most delicious time of year?

We’re thrilled the Emmy award-winning ABC hit show “The Chew” is joining us for the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – and they are giving you (and three of your guests) a chance to win a visit too.

The Chew’s Magical Culinary Adventure Sweepstakes includes a visit to Walt Disney World Resort during the week of October 8-12, 2015, the opportunity to attend a live taping of The Chew, a stay at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort (within walking distance of Epcot), and a chance to dine at one of our newest restaurants in Downtown DisneyThe BOATHOUSE. You’ll even get to ride an amphicar.

More than 30 marketplace experiences will be served up for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, including new tasting areas in Future World. That’s where you’ll sip, savor and sample in the Sustainable Chew Marketplace, which will offer dishes inspired by the show. At Chew Lab, food and science meet to create hot culinary tech trend treats like the Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.

Also on the menu for the Festival’s 53 days (September 25-November 16), we’re bringing back some guest favorites from the two decades of the event, the Dominican Republic Marketplace returns, and you can rock out to live music during the Eat to the Beat concerts.

You have until September 18th to enter.

What better combination than food, foodies, and fans of food and foodies to celebrate 20 delicious years?

Good luck!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on 9/18/15. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 years of age or older. Grand Prize winner must travel between October 8 – 12, 2015. See Official Rules for full details including entry requirements, eligibility restrictions, prize description & limitations. Void where prohibited.

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Top 10 Things I Discovered at the D23 EXPO 2015

posted on August 18th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


The D23 EXPO 2015 was a blast! There were incredible announcements of upcoming projects throughout the Walt Disney Company (the seven year old me can’t believe that Star Wars Land will be a real place). Besides those major announcements, I wanted to share the top 10 things I discovered during my visit this year.


I Need to Step Up My Aloha Shirt Collection
Being a long time fan of Aloha shirts, I loved seeing John Lasseter’s Studio Collection on display. In 1999, designer Reyn Spooner created a custom shirt for John featuring art and characters from Disney-Pixar’sToy Story 2.” The tradition continues today with shirts for the newest animated features including “Inside Out.”


Incredible Displays
Located nearby the shirt display, I found this wall of Pixar balls (above). The décor found throughout the Expo was over-the-top. I’d love to recreate something like this wall in a future home.


DisneyNature “Born in China”
Ever since I was an attraction manager at China Pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot, I’ve dreamed of visiting China. I look forward to seeing DisneyNature “Born in China” coming soon to theatres. You can see the trailer here


Caring at the Disney Citizenship Pavilion
I loved watching Disney fans make care kits at the Disney Citizenship Pavilion. This pavilion showed what Disney is doing to inspire kids and families to think creatively, live healthier, conserve nature, and strengthen our communities.


Disney Infinity 3.0
I’m beyond excited for Disney Infinity 3.0 which debuts on August 30 this year. I loved seeing a full size image of Sam Flynn from Disney’s “TRON: Legacy” that will be a new figure released later this month. Stay tuned for additional details about an early launch party at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace on August 28.


Gravity Falls Mystery Shack
There was a full scale recreation of the Mystery Shack from Gravity Falls. I wanted to take everything home with me. A brand new episode debuts on Monday, August 24 at 8:30 p.m. on Disney XD. I can’t wait!


Quest for Trading Cards
Since I spent 7 ½ years as Project Manager for Disney Trading, I was delighted to see trading cards at the D23 Expo. They were part of a Trading Card Quest presented by Disney Visa Card. Fans received a starter pack of cards, and could search for opportunities to collect different cards from locations all over the show floor. I even watched Disney Fans trading cards in my hotel lobby.


Disney Dream Store
I visited the Disney Dream Store a few times. The 3-foot Vinylmation Haunted Mansion-inspired figure by artist Javier Soto was impressive.


D23 EXPO Design Challenge
I was also impressed with the D23 EXPO Design Challenge that my fellow author Jeffrey Epstein first discussed in March 2015. In honor of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, artists were invited to craft their own interpretation of Sleeping Beauty Castle. The image above contains just a few pieces I enjoyed seeing.


The People Who Make the Dream a Reality
My favorite thing I learned attending the D23 EXPO 2015 is Disney fans are incredible people! While I enjoyed seeing a Nav’i from the upcoming Pandora – The World of AVATAR coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I loved meeting people who love Disney as much as me. The costumes some fans wore, such as the one my friend Mary Jo made to honor newly inducted Disney Legend Julie Reihm Casaletto, were outstanding. Stay tuned for a closer look at some of those costumes in a future Disney Parks Blog article.

What was your favorite part of the D23 EXPO this year? Please share in the comments below.

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