Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

Eight Delectable Disney Parks Treats for National Ice Cream Day

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


Why do we love ice cream so much? Sunday, July 20, is National Ice Cream Day, declared by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and we’re happy for the pure joy of a dripping ice cream cone on a hot summer day.

Disney Parks fans know the gooey Kitchen Sink Sundae, the irresistible Dole Whip and ice-cold Mickey Mouse bar. And we’ve all picked a favorite flavor for a double scoop from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor at Disneyland park or Plaza Ice Cream Parlor at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort. But for National Ice Cream Day, we’re stepping out with some ice cream creations you may not have tried.

Here are eight favorites that are a little more creative than a double dip of vanilla or chocolate:

  1. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself dining at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on National Ice Cream Day, order the Sundae Sampler, a mini-trio with Frangelico toffee mousse, a float with root-beer flavored ice cream and homemade vanilla soda and a “banana split” (mousse, fresh roasted pineapple, fresh strawberries, whipped cream, candied peanuts, chocolate sauce and a cherry). You won’t want to share.

eddpt123456

  1. Run, don’t walk, to try the chocolate macaron sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces at the France pavilion at Epcot. A crunchy chocolate cookie sandwich with dark chocolate ice cream made right there, it’s simply divine. There are 16 flavors, but, seriously, that chocolate-chocolate sensation is a must. Another favorite? The hand-pressed brioche ice cream sandwich.
  2. Try something different at the new Morocco Juice Bar at Epcot World Showcase, where the chef is making bold ice cream flavors like chocolate and cinnamon, green tea, pistachio with orange blossom water (our favorite), strawberry and red bean, and toasted almond with rosewater.
  3. For a Magic Kingdom pick-me-up, grab the latte iced coffee float at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies in Tomorrowland. (The kids can get a caramel or hot fudge sundae.)

eddpc123456

  1. At Disneyland Resort, we always make a stop at Clarabelle’s at Disney California Adventure park for the hand-dipped ice-cream bar. Choose vanilla, chocolate or mixed berry sorbet, ask for it dipped in milk or dark chocolate, then add a flourish of toppings like chocolate chips or rainbow sprinkles. Made on the spot while you watch.
  2. Get fancy at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa with a single, double or triple scoop of artisanal ice creams: Scharffen Berger chocolate chunk, Tahitian vanilla bean or creamy California strawberry. The Napa Rose pastry chefs churn it out fresh.

eddps123456

  1. If you’re strolling Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort, stop at Uva Bar for a homemade ice-cream milkshake. We recommend the s’mores flavor. Or if a root beer float is more to your liking, they make theirs with Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream and craft root beer.

eddpp123456

  1. We’ve got a soft spot for cobbler a la mode, and some of the best is at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue – fresh fruit (whatever’s in season) baked in a skillet with a crunchy topping and vanilla ice cream. Grab at least two spoons and share.
  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , , ,

Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Summer Nights to Savor: Epcot Presents a Nighttime Transformation

posted on July 18th, 2014 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Something magical happens as the sun sets over Spaceship Earth. All of Epcot takes on an ethereal radiance. After all, day or night, you’re under the magic spell of Walt Disney Imagineering at a Disney Park, so evenings bring on their meticulous skills in lighting your way through another chapter of your Epcot “story.”

illlll837881

Your night for spectacular attractions and entertainment

Even if you’ve never visited Epcot before, try to picture it all in your mind’s eye. The sun is disappearing into ribbons of gold and red clouds as you enter Test Track. Your vehicle speeds to a furious pace. It bursts from the show building and zooms you around the track, the lights of Epcot flashing in all directions. You take in a few more attractions and it’s off to World Showcase. Each pavilion is bathed in its own special glow.

This is a particularly special night for you. Magical things await, things you’ve never experienced before and they each involve tasty treats. But it’s still a little early and you’d like a quick meal now, so you enjoy fish and chips at the United Kingdom pavilion (nothing seems to compare to them).

Your night for IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party

World Showcase Lagoon shimmers in the evening lights, as if in anticipation of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth — the nightly fireworks, laser and music extravaganza. Here’s the nice part: You’re assured a wonderful view because you’ve booked the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party. In addition to experiencing the show from a fantastic vantage point, you’re going to enjoy delectable desserts served with coffee, tea or even a sparkling wine.

Mmm. The chefs have outdone themselves on this evening’s dessert masterpieces. Food always tastes better when they make it. How do they do it? Even though you shouldn’t, you decide to fill another dessert plate with those little chocolate thingies — so soft, so rich. Better save some room though. There’s more to enjoy later.

As the IllumiNations finale fills the entire sky with the glorious spectacle that could only happen at a Disney Park, you breathe a contented sigh. Because you also booked the Epcot After Hours Wind Down, you don’t have to make your way to the exit with the throngs of other guests.

Your night for Epcot After Hours Wind Down

For this, your first time to try this brand-new Epcot experience, you’ve chosen Spice Road Table in the Morocco pavilion as your restaurant. The buzz has been good. As a fan of tapas, it’s the chance you’ve been waiting for. (Incidentally, you might also want to visit Spice Road Table at other times of the day. If you happen to be a Walt Disney World Passholder, you have another reason to visit: a 30% discount off the regular menu now through September 17, 2014!)

A sense of calm falls over you as the cast members welcome you. Warm, friendly conversation murmurs in the elegant, intimate Spice Road Table dining room, where you are seated with a lovely view of World Showcase Lagoon. Since Epcot After Hours Wind Down includes a wine flight, you are presented with three superb international wines, each with its own flavors and scents of fine fruits and spices. You sip a little of each, comparing the “personalities” of each wine.

Three hot, tempting tapas are placed before you. Tonight, one of them is a lamb slider. Lamb has such a delightfully distinctive taste — and this is a fabulous way to enjoy it. Two petite Moroccan Lamb Sausages are completely different from the sliders but equally superb in preparation and presentation. But your favorite is the Harissa Chicken Roll, a blend of exotic spices of the east with chicken nestled in a light crusty roll. There’s no hurry. You savor each morsel, the wine cleansing your palate between every few bites. Authentic music plays in the background. The stars shine over Epcot through the picture windows. A great way to top off the evening.

Perhaps most comforting of all is your leisurely stroll along World Showcase promenade, the desserts, tapas and wine adding a light spring to your step. It’s just you and a handful of other delighted guests — ambling through the peaceful pavilions toward Spaceship Earth in the distance. It’s as if this world is here just for you.

And you know what? It is.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Merchandise ‘Rockets’ Into Disney Parks

posted on July 16th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


My friend and Disney Parks Blog author Shawn Slater was the first to give you the inside scoop on the “Guardians of the Galaxysneak peek taking place now at Disney Parks. How many of you have already seen it? If you haven’t, I’m not going to spoil it for you, but I would definitely recommend checking out this intergalactic 3D cosmic adventure the next time you visit the Magic Eye Theater in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park or ABC Sound Studio at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you are planning to set your course for space adventure and join the quartet of ragtag rivals along with Peter Quill to help save the universe, then we better make sure you are prepared for battle. Here’s your first look at some of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” merchandise you can expect to find at Disney Parks.

Fans of the entire “Guardians of the Galaxy” crew or Rocket, in particular, will be happy to find these film-inspired T-shrits.

GOG071614

As for toys, we have those too! You’ll find the Rapid Fire Rocket, Star-Lord Blaster, a Hero Ship and Pursuit Spacecraft play sets, as well as Galactic Battler, Titan Hero figures and more.

GUARDI574888

A few other things to keep an eye out for in the coming weeks is the “Guardians of the Galaxy” book and CD, as well as a specially designed D-Tech iPhone case and more. One final pick for me, is the “Guardians of the Galaxy” limited edition pin. Take a look!

GUARDI485999

Here’s quick list of where you can find all of the merchandise I’ve shown you for your very own super heroes:

Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney World Resort

Ready, Set, Dial! Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Premium Event Reservations Open July 31

posted on July 16th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


First, go to epcotfoodfestival.com on July 24 when the new premium events will be posted and take a few minutes to plan ahead – because at 7 a.m. July 31 you can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) to book your spot at some of the most coveted events for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Dates are September 19 – November 10, and while there’s plenty of fun included with park admission, you won’t want to miss some of the top-tier experiences that require a separate ticket.

FAW773366

Here’s what’s new this year:

  • Dining Through the Decades, A Tribute to Walt Disney (October 24) $99 pp or $119 pp
  • Experience Puerto Rico – The All Star Island (September 20) $99 pp
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival — Boot Camp Series interactive epicurean adventure (September 21, October 5, 12, 19, Nov. 2) $119 pp
  • Food for Thought (Fridays, plus Saturday October 11) $169 pp
  • Mediterranean Food & Wine Pairing (Wednesdays) $55 pp
  • Italian White Truffle & Wine Pairing Dinner (October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30) $295 pp

And here are some of the most popular events making a comeback:

  • Parisian Breakfast (Saturdays) $39 pp
  • “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery (October 3, 10 and 17) $59 or $99 pp – this also can be booked at epcotfoodfestival.com
  • Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining 
(more than 20 dinners throughout the festival; prices vary)
  • Shake and Indulge Like the French Featuring Grand Marnier (Saturdays beginning September 27) $55 pp
  • Cheese Seminars (Saturdays) $79 pp
  • Party for the Senses (October 4, 11, 18 and November 1) $149, $189 or $299 pp – this also can be booked at epcotfoodfestival.com
  • Party for the Senses Featuring Disney Chefs from Around the World (October 25) $149, $189 or $299 pp
  • Food & Wine Pairings (Tuesdays and Thursdays) $55 pp
  • Sunday Mornings With … (Sundays) $99 pp

There’s more, like Italian and French pairings and lunches, a Japan “Hibachi Experience” and a Mexican tequila lunch. You can also book the popular Culinary Demonstrations ($15), Mixology Seminars ($15) and Wine Seminars ($15).

See you soon at Epcot!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Sneak Peek: Voices of Liberty at Epcot Add ‘Let It Go’ To Their Repertoire

posted on July 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you heard? Voices of Liberty, the longtime acapella group at Epcot, recently added some new songs to their repertoire. New songs guests may hear during their daily shows include “You Raise Me Up,” “True Colors,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Here’s a sneak peek at one of those new tunes, “Let It Go” from “Frozen.

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

The Disney Side of Alex and Ani ‘Charmed Arms’ at Disney Parks

posted on July 8th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It’s time to show us your Disney Side with your “charmed arms” from Alex and Ani! Not only do we want to see which Alex and Ani bangles from our Disney collection have made it onto your arms, but we also want to see them in front of some of your favorite characters, attractions and icons at Disney Parks.

CAD706841

I know that many of you were eager to know if Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” would be making a splash at Disney Parks, and I’m here to tell you, she is, along with Rapunzel from “Tangled.” Here’s your first look!

CAD706842

Joining them will be a few of everyone’s favorite Disney pals, Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Goofy and Donald Duck.

CAD706843

Look for these bangles to debut July 14 at the following Disney Parks & Resorts locations and Online.

Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney World Resort

Online – Shop Now!

What’s next? I can tell you this much, you will either find it a nightmare or you will consider it really cool.

Now I invite you to share your Disney ‘charmed arms’ with us! Use #DisneySide and #charmedarms across our social channels, including Twitter, Vine, Google+, Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest. If you tag your Instagram photos using #DisneySide #charmedarms we may just feature it on the @Disneyland, @WaltDisneyWorld or @AlexandAni Instagram feeds.

Will you add any of these new Alex and Ani Disney Collection bangles to your wrist?

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Packages for 2014 Candlelight Processional at Epcot On Sale Today

posted on July 8th, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


I know. I know … talking about the holidays in July is a little early, but I love the holidays at Walt Disney World Resort.

And one of my favorite events of the entire year is the Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

CLP870631

Today, guests can start booking their Candlelight Processional Dining Packages. This is great for you early planners since the event starts the night after Thanksgiving (November 28) and runs through December 30.

We also have a partial list of celebrity narrators including Candlelight veterans Whoopi Goldberg and Jodi Benson, and two fabulous new narrators – Academy-Award-winning actress Sharon Stone and Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer.

For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it’s a gorgeous re-telling of the Christmas story with a celebrity narrator each night and seasonal music from a massed choir and huge orchestra. The event started at Disneyland park in the 1958 with Walt Disney himself. At Walt Disney World Resort, it’s presented at the America Gardens Theater at Epcot, a beautiful venue, especially when all decked out for the holidays.

I’ve had the honor of being in the cast choir – you know the folks in the green Christmas tree robes – for six years. I thought it was a magical experience watching this program. Little did I know that being on stage, a part of it, would be even more. I’ve had a chance to sing along side actors like Neil Patrick Harris and Gary Sinise, and gospel legends like Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman, who is back again this year.

Here is a partial list of celebrity narrators:

  • Jodi Benson – 11/28 – 11/29
  • TBD – 11/30 – 12/2
  • TBD – 12/3 – 12/4
  • Whoopi Goldberg – 12/5 – 12/6
  • TBD – 12/7* – 12/8
  • TBD – 12/9 – 12/11
  • TBD – 12/12 – 12/14
  • Sharon Stone (New) – 12/15 – 12/17
  • Ana Gasteyer (New) – 12/18 – 12/20
  • Marlee Matlin – 12/21 – 12/23
  • TBD – 12/24 – 12/25
  • TBD – 12/26 – 12/27
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – 12/28 – 12/30

Narrators are subject to change without notice. – Show Times are at 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. & 8:15 p.m. each night. *Show Times on December 7 are 6:45 p.m. & 8:15 p.m. only

Candlelight Processional Dining Packages, available on select days, start at $35 for lunch and $50 for dinner for adults, include a delicious meal at an Epcot restaurant and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances. Note: Availability is limited. Guests can call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) or book online at www.disneyworld.com/holidays.

Keep checking back to the Disney Parks Blog for updates on the Celebrity Narrator list and other fun holidays stuff.

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

It’s A Happy Fourth of July At Disney Parks

posted on July 4th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Fourth of July celebrations are already well underway at Disney Parks, and the party kicked off last night at Magic Kingdom Park with an early performance of “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.”

4july2304798

Our photographers were out to catch some of the lovely sights for us.

“Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” will again blast off tonight at 9 p.m. Elsewhere at the Walt Disney World Resort, Epcot will host “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” at 10 p.m., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will launch their fireworks at 10:15 p.m.

Over at the Disneyland Resort, the festivities started even earlier this week, with “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” lighting up the night beginning July 1. Look for it tonight at 9:25 p.m. Disney California Adventure park will also host a special patriotic pre-show at the start of the 9:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. performances of “World of Color.”

For more on the Fourth of July celebrations at Disney Parks, visit the posts below:

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , , , ,

Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Distinctly Patriotic Merchandise at The American Adventure in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 3rd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


FJM706683

With the Fourth of July holiday only a few days away, I spent some time in one of my favorite pavilions at Epcot, The American Adventure. After all these years of visiting Walt Disney World Resort, I never tire of seeing the magnificent Voices of Liberty followed by the amazing show hosted by Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin. I still tear up when hearing “Golden Dream” played during the montage of historical events (the Apollo 11 moon landing gets me every time!). After the show, I stopped in Heritage Manor Gifts, the merchandise location at Epcot that introduced a whole new assortment of goods last fall. This time, I was in search of merchandise with a distinctly patriotic theme.

FJM706682

I was delighted to find several things bathed in red, white and blue including many new shirts. I really liked the patriotic Mickey Mouse shirt which was made in the U.S.A. (just like the shirt states). The location also had a few different Tervis Tumblers along with red and blue toothpick holders.

FJM706684

In addition to a few Disney-themed T-shirts, there was an assortment of Americana-themed shirts by Black & Denim, a company based out of Tampa, Florida.

My favorite item in the shop was the tapestry featuring Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck with artwork reminiscent of Disney Parks’ bicentennial celebration from 1975, America on Parade.

FJM706685

While many of these items are found only in Heritage Manor Gifts at Epcot, guests may find the patriotic Mickey Mouse plush in several shops at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

This year, there is also a limited edition pin with Tinker Bell that isn’t offered at The American Adventure Pavilion. The pin has an edition size of 3,000 and contains a red, white and blue pinwheel that spins. Look for it in Disney pin trading locations in both California and Florida.

Have a Happy Fourth of July!

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Celebrating Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 30th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


dhsfoj789951

Independence Day is coming up, and the parks at Walt Disney World Resort are planning to celebrate with some star-spangled salutes to America in honor of our nation’s 238th birthday!

If you’re visiting Walt Disney World Resort for the 4th of July, here is some of what you can look forward to:

  • Magic Kingdom Park – “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” rockets into the air above Cinderella Castle. This special, fireworks spectacular will be presented two nights in a row, at 9 p.m. on both July 3 and 4.
  • Epcot – On July 4, enjoy a special concert of great American songs by Voices of Liberty at America Gardens Theater, where they’ll be performing at 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 3 p.m. You can also meet some favorite Disney characters in patriotic attire outside The American Adventure, and catch the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps at the pavilion at 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4 p.m., and 4:45 p.m. That evening, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” joins the celebration at 10 p.m., with a heart-pounding, pyrotechnic grand finale.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration” at the Sorcerer’s Hat Stage on July 4, features the “Rock Your Summer Side” Dance Party, with a DJ and live band. The Hollywood Rockers will take you on a rock ‘n roll road trip across America that culminates with the band playing live during that night’s fireworks spectacular. The celebration kicks off at 6 p.m. and continues through 11 p.m., with fireworks at 10:15 p.m.

Looks like the 4th of July is going to be a blast all across Walt Disney World Resort!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort