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New Chef, New Menu Items for Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

posted on June 24th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Disney’s Wilderness Lodge takes guests on a journey to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with design inspired by turn-of-the-century National Park lodges. And Artist Point carries that theme into the dining room with dramatic murals, timbered columns and pretty views of Bay Lake and Silver Creek Falls.

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So, of course, the cuisine helps tell the story, and Chef Michael Gonsalves, new at the helm in the Artist Point kitchen, is having fun with a menu that is focused on the America’s Pacific Northwest. “We are looking to convey the wonders of nature through food,” says Chef Michael.

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Regional dishes such as Dungeness crab cakes, steamed mussels, Cedar plank salmon and wild-caught prawns and halibut are on the menu, but Chef Michael is having fun with new tastes, too. A dashi-braised short rib starter is served with kombu turnip pickles, daikon and wild greens. Charred field asparagus with Berkshire prosciutto, mustard vinaigrette, and foraged greens also graces the menu. And he showcases produce from the “Land” at Epcot as well with offerings such as the “Land” Greens Salad featuring Masumoto Peaches, and Seed Granola.

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Favorites such as the smokey portobello bisque with crispy shiitakes stays on the menu, as well as the buffalo strip steak from North Fork Canada. For summer, Chef Michael is adding a new cheese and house-made charcuterie boards.

“We’ll be offering Pacific Northwest cheeses with house-made seed lavosh and crostini,” says Chef Michael. “And the house-made charcuterie will be ‘nose-to-tail,’ using the whole hog.” The restaurant’s beef, bison, halibut and salmon all are sourced from the Pacific Northwest too.

Most popular dish? The Cedar plank salmon, says Chef Michael, with his new rendition with local potatoes, baby fennel, Florida citrus and ver jus.

Every dish on the menu gets a wine pairing from sommelier Alvin Burrill, with each selection from Washington or Oregon. But Alvin also might recommend a Pacific Northwest ale if you ask, like the handcrafted Rogue Ales made in partnership with Voodoo Donuts (strange but true).

Looking ahead, Chef Michael says they are working on a terrace dining experience with a communal chef’s table – stay tuned for details!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Good Morning from Epcot’s Spaceship Earth

posted on June 22nd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Happy Monday!

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This week’s morning shot was taken at the iconic Spaceship Earth attraction at Epcot. Who’s ready for a trip back in time to “the dawn of recorded history”?

For more from the “Good Morning” series, visit the posts below:

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Today in Disney History: ‘Lady and the Tramp’ Hit Theaters

posted on June 22nd, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


He’s a tramp, but we love him. Of course, Lady grew to love him as well. Today in 1955, Walt Disney Pictures released “Lady and the Tramp“. This Disney classic love story between two dogs from different sides of town continues to warm the hearts of Disney fans.

Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, a favorite of mine, at Magic Kingdom Park pays homage to this Disney classic film. Here you can enjoy Italian cuisine while surrounded by sketches, lithographs and animation cells from the movie. There’s even a fountain in the center with a statue of Lady & the Tramp.

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It’s the perfect place to recreate the spaghetti scene where Lady and Tramp romantically slurp up the same noodle. You can also spot Lady and Tramp at Disney’s Pop Century Resort in the 1950s section and at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Fun fact, “Lady and the Tramp” was the first Disney animated feature filmed in CinemaScope.

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

PHOTO GALLERY: Special Images of Mulan as ‘Ping’ at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 19th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today in Disney history back in 1998, the film “Mulan” was released in theaters.

In the film, Mulan disguises herself as a male soldier named “Ping” to take her father’s place in the Imperial Army in a fight against the Huns. Along her journey, she finds strength and bravery within – as well as love with warrior Shang.

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In honor of today’s anniversary, Disney Photographer Ryan Wendler shot these amazing images of Mulan dressed as Ping.

For more from our Princess Photo series, visit the post below:

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Today in Disney History: ‘Mulan’ Debuts

posted on June 19th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Today in 1998, Walt Disney Pictures “Mulan” was released in theaters. Based on an old Chinese folktale, Mulan tells the story of the spirited-young girl who secretly joins the Chinese army in her father’s place and helps defeat the Huns, while saving the Emperor.

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Fans of Disney Parks know that Mulan can be found greeting guests at Epcot at the China Pavilion where she greets guests regularly.

“Mulan” can also be seen in Mickey and the Magical Map at Disneyland park in California. Singing “Reflection,” Mulan is joined on stage by both Pocahontas and Rapunzel each singing songs from their respective films.

“Mulan” was the first feature-animated movie primarily produced at Disney Feature Animation at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Look Ahead to New Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks Later in 2015

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


As summer begins at Disney Parks, here is a sneak preview of items coming later this year. This is one of my favorite articles to write as I get to share some awesome things currently in development.

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Time For MagicSliders
One of the more popularly requested accessories for MagicBands at Walt Disney World Resort is a watch. I’m happy to report there will be two MagicSlider timepieces coming this summer – a Minnie Mouse analog timepiece and one with a digital display.

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Disney Pins From Regions Beyond
Memento Mori, the Haunted Mansion-themed shop located in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom Park, inspired two open edition pins coming late summer. One pin resembles the brooch that female cast members wear in the location, while the other looks like a sign found outside the shop. You can see both of those items in this previous article.

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Cogsworth and Chef Figment
Cogsworth may be one of my favorite characters from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” I was happy to see there will be a medium-sized figurine coming this September. This figurine is the companion piece to the Lumiere figurine we released in 2013. The best part – Cogsworth’s face is a working clock!

Also arriving this fall is a new 12-inch Figment plush created especially for the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. My favorite festival of the year returns to Walt Disney World Resort from September 25 through November 16.

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Villainous T-Shirts
This fall, Chernabog from Walt Disney’s “Fantasia” and Hades from Disney’s “Hercules” will be featured on new Disney Villain T-shirts. I love this artwork created by Disney Design Group artist Dave Keefer.

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Disney Theme Park Holiday Ornaments
This year, we will release ornaments featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in attire representing different Disney Theme Parks. It’s probably no surprise that I adore the Epcot ornament especially since Mickey and Minnie are wearing their spacesuits from the 1980s.

Look for these and other items coming to select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort.

Which item is your favorite? Please share in the comments below.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Epcot, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Wildlife Wednesday: Happy Father’s Day from The Seas with Nemo & Friends!

posted on June 17th, 2015 by Sara Green, Education Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Happy Father’s Day from The Seas with Nemo & Friends!

As we look forward to Father’s Day weekend, here’s to one of the most rad dads in the ocean world–the seahorse! Did you know seahorses are one of the rare species in which the males give birth?

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While human moms carry their babies for up to 10 months, seahorse dads give birth after a pregnancy lasting up to four weeks. Don’t think they get off that easy though! Seahorse contractions can last up to 12 hours, similar to humans!

Unlike in the human world where the father’s work is just beginning when the baby is born, the male seahorse is let off babysitting duty after he gives birth. Baby seahorses go on their own to look for a new home in the seagrass beds and coral reefs and start their life independent of their parents.

Happy Father’s Day from The Seas with Nemo & Friends! Happy Father’s Day from The Seas with Nemo & Friends!

Seahorse homes are a vital part of our big blue world. Join us as we honor the dads who take time to teach their kids to preserve and conserve our oceans and don’t forget to see the seahorses at The Seas with Nemo & Friends!

Happy Father’s Day to human and animal dads alike!

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Taste Track Now Open at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 17th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Taste Track, a new food and beverage location at Epcot, is serving up a few new twists on the favorite sandwich. These specialty grilled cheese sandwiches are as creative as the cars you can design at nearby Test Track.

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For a deliciously grown-up version of the grilled cheese sandwich, try the Gruyere and Applewood smoked bacon. Elevate your sandwich with the Fontina and tomato basil version. For a sweet take on the classic sandwich, try the Canadian cheddar and apples grilled cheese sandwich on cinnamon raisin bread. The crisp apple slices perfectly complement the melty cheese.

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Each sandwich comes with your choice of tomato bisque soup or a side salad. Other menu items include roasted chicken salad and a kid’s grilled cheese sandwich.

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Which grilled cheese sandwich are you excited to try? Let us know in the comments below!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Beat the Heat with Cool Treats at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 16th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


With summer quickly approaching, temperatures are on the rise. If you’re looking for treats that will help you beat the heat beyond the Mickey ice cream bar and Dole Whip, I’ve got a few suggestions for you:

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Aw, shucks! Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort has a Mickey Gelato Sundae that is as cute as it is delicious. Looking for a dairy-free option? Try one of their tasty new slushes. Flavors change—so be sure to try them all! You can even bring home some of the magic with a can/bottle holder imprinted with the resort’s logo.

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Tamu Tamu Refreshments at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a new menu filled with frosty treats. Choco-holics will love the Double Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream Sandwich. My favorite on the new menu? The Chocolate Waffle with Espresso Mousse—the combination of the hot waffle and chilled semifreddo is simply wild!

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At Epcot, Liberty Inn just added Apple Pie a la Mode to their menu. Cool and creamy ice cream makes this hand-held treat a patriotic way to cool down.

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Cooling off at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park? Take a break from Summit Plummet and cool down with a unique brrr-everage like Frozen Hot Cocoa at Lottawatta Lodge. Over Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, try the shaved ice at Lowtide Lou’s.

How do you stay cool on hot days at Walt Disney World Resort?

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Dreamfinder and Figment Will Return in New Disney Kingdoms Comic Series This Fall

posted on June 15th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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As a long time fan of Figment, I’m thrilled to announce that Dreamfinder and Figment will return this fall in an all-new Disney Kingdoms comic series titled “FIGMENT 2.” This new series is a sequel to the fan-favorite, sell-out Figment miniseries based on the beloved Journey Into Imagination attraction in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort.

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“Figment 2” will be written by Jim Zub and penciled by Ramon Bachs. The Disney Kingdoms team shared with me the cover artwork created by John Tyler Christopher. He also drew an incredible action figure variant cover for this first issue (I know I’m not the only one wishing those action figures were real!).

I recently caught up with Jim Zub, who wrote the first “Figment” mini-series, to learn more about what readers can expect.

Steven: What was your reaction to the fan response to the original Figment miniseries?

Jim: “Working with these beloved characters and having our new story be embraced by Disney fandom was an absolute thrill. Whenever you’re working with established material, you want to find a balance between giving people what they expect and adding something new and unexpected. I’m incredibly proud we were able to do just that in a way that respect the core themes that make Journey Into Imagination so special.”

The miniseries was an origin story for Dreamfinder and Figment. Where do you hope to take readers with this new adventure?

Jim: “Our new journey picks up right where the previous mini-series left off. Figment and Dreamfinder are now in the modern world and they’re going to discover that a lot of things have changed in their absence. The legacy of dreams and imagination they left behind more than a hundred years ago is greater than they ever expected, but they’re going to find it hard to live up to their own legend. Couple that with a young dreamer inspired by the Academy Scientifica-Lucidus and a dark threat from an unexpected source and we’ve got all the ingredients for high adventure.”

I recall hearing you rode the original EPCOT Center attraction with Dreamfinder. Do you have a favorite memory from that experience?

Jim: “I visited Walt Disney World Resort over 25 years ago, so my memories of the original Journey Into Imagination attraction aren’t razor sharp. Going through the reference material sent over from Walt Disney Imagineering helped remind me of the main visual elements. We wanted to bring those elements into our comic in unexpected ways. Some of it is through lines of dialogue or lyrics of music, but also specific visual motifs as well. With both stories, I’ve tried channeling the feelings of wonderment and exploration the attraction left me with.”

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If you missed the first miniseries, Disney Kingdoms recently released a hardbound book of all five-issues. I found my copy at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort.

Look for “FIGMENT 2” coming to Disney Parks this fall.

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort