Spaceship Earth at Epcot

Creative Fries at Golden Oak Outpost in Magic Kingdom Park

posted on August 13th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Golden Oak Outpost, the unassuming little spot in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park, used to be a perfect quick stop for a spicy fried chicken breast sandwich or chicken breast nuggets. Now they’ve added a whole new menu of creative waffle fries with toppings that make the humble potato a meal.

BLT Gourmet Waffle Fries DSC_0144

BBQ Waffle Fries at Golden Oak Outpost in Magic Kingdom Park Tex-Mex Waffle Fries at Golden Oak Outpost in Magic Kingdom Park

How about BLT waffle fries, topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato and a drizzle of Ranch dressing? Or the BBQ pork waffles fries topped with pork and creamy slaw. Our favorite combo is the Tex-Mex creation, topped with black bean-cucumber relish, warm Cheddar cheese sauce and spicy jalapeño slices. And an ode to Canadian fast food is the “poutine-style” fries, topped with brown gravy and white Cheddar cheese.
Sweet Potato Tots

If you’re looking for something a little less adventurous, they’ve added hot, crunchy sweet potato nuggets.

If you’ve tried the new waffle fries, do you have a favorite?

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrating Shark Conservation for Shark Week

posted on August 13th, 2014 by Kim Sams, Director, Corporate Citizenship, Conservation Programs, The Walt Disney Company


Summer is usually the time of year that we hear a lot about sharks! Whether it’s a news segment showing aerial video of sharks swimming off popular Florida beaches or a week dedicated to celebrating these unique animals, sharks continue to inspire wonder and capture our imaginations.

Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrating Shark Conservation for Shark Week. Photo Credit: Neil Hammerschlag, R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, University of Miami Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrating Shark Conservation for Shark Week. Photo Credit: Neil Hammerschlag, R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, University of Miami

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) is committed to protecting sharks and the marine habitats where they live. Since 1995 the DWCF has:

  • Contributed more than $6.3 million to projects focused on conserving marine ecosystems and wildlife.
  • Supported 27 projects working to protect sharks and rays worldwide.
  • Funded organizations like Conservation International, Mote Marine Laboratory and the University of Florida to advance shark conservation and engage communities in their protection.

Our team recently had the opportunity to visit one of the shark conservation projects the DWCF has supported since 2011 with the University of Miami’s RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program. This program is an outstanding example of the kind of projects funded through the DWCF’s annual conservation grant program. The research of University of Miami’s faculty, students and volunteers focuses on several shark species in the Atlantic Ocean and is both advancing our understanding and providing leverage to better protect these iconic animals. The program is also a fantastic example of inspiring the next generation of conservationists, and last year brought more than 1,000 students along on their research trips to learn about and participate in shark conservation first-hand! We are happy to debut a video of this great program and thank the many guests whose DWCF contributions have helped initiatives like these.

Interested in discovering more about sharks during your next visit to Walt Disney World Resort? Stop by The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot where you might find Blacknose, Sandbar and Sand Tiger sharks alongside several different types of rays. You can take a photo with Bruce from “Finding Nemo” and explore a maze filled with fun facts about sharks. You can also talk to educators to learn more about these animals, the threats they are facing and how you can be a shark conservationist through simple actions like contributing to the DWCF!

Happy Shark Week!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Delicious One-Dish Wonder From The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 13th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


One of our favorite spots for dining in Magic Kingdom Park is The Crystal Palace on Main Street, U.S.A., a delightful array of soups, salads, veggies, meats, fish and sweets – everything from stuffed French toast in the morning to peel-and-eat shrimp, oven-roasted chicken, steak, key lime pie and chocolate cake for dinner. A bite of this, a taste of that, it’s fun to mix and match from dozens of dishes.

The spacious, airy dining room has one of the best buffets at Walt Disney World Resort, plus you get to spend some time with some of your favorite Disney characters as they pay a visit to tables and stop for photos.

CPP706631

Fresh, inventive salads have always been our favorite, and the chefs continually add interesting new combos, like this pasta salad with feta and Parmesan cheeses, bold Kalamata olive, veggies and a sweet-tart balsamic vinaigrette. Chef Alphonoso Walker shows you how easy it is to put this together at home, a perfect summertime supper.

Pasta Salad with Feta, Fresh Vegetables, and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta, such as penne, farfalle, or ziti
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red peppers
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green peppers
  • 1/2 cup finely diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Assembly

  1. Cook pasta per package instructions. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together white balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a medium bowl until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk in chives. Set aside.
  3. Combine cooked pasta, olives, onions, red peppers, green peppers, and tomatoes.
  4. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Fold in feta and Parmesan cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more dressing, if desired, to taste.
  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , ,

Filed: Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

KaBOOM! Play Together Tour Powered by Disney Parks Kicks Off in Anaheim This Weekend – Coming to Cities Across the U.S.

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


From coast to coast and points in between, the KaBOOM! Play Together Tour Powered by Disney Parks will travel to six cities across America to inspire fun-filled family play! This free event kicks off in Anaheim, California this weekend and is the perfect opportunity for families to connect and spend meaningful time together.

Just last week, I had the chance to watch a few of my fellow cast members and their families test this unique experience. It was great to see them take on the playful obstacle course – from creating team flags that represented their families’ personalities and then raising them when they completed the course in the spirit of family pride, to building a tunnel they could all climb through to the next obstacle and solving a tricky puzzle – they worked together and had fun.

Check out the video below to see some of the families in action!

I hope you have a chance to join in and play with your family at one of the stops below. To reserve your time slot visit kaboom.org/playtogether or register on-site the day of the event. The dates and locations of each tour stop are:

  • Anaheim - Center Street Promenade, Saturday & Sunday, August 16-17
  • Sacramento - Adjacent to State Capitol Bldg., Wednesday, August 20
  • San Francisco – Marina Middle School, Saturday & Sunday, August 23-24
  • Chicago - Lincoln Park, Grove 2, Saturday & Sunday, August 30-31
  • Atlanta - Old 4th Ward Skate Park, Saturday & Sunday, September 6-7
  • Kissimmee, FL – Mill Run Park, Saturday & Sunday, September 13-14
  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Visiting Walt Disney World Resort? Check Out These Free Vacation-Planning Tools

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation but don’t know where to start? Well, there are actually a lot of complimentary vacation planning tools available out there that can help you plan the perfect trip for your family. Here are some of our favorites.

VPT335621

  • WaltDisneyWorld.com – This essential planning website is where you can begin to explore our theme parks and resorts, buy theme park tickets, make resort and dining reservations, and more. You can also create set up a MyDisneyExperience profile, which lets you organize all of your vacation plans in one place, as well as select FastPass+ for specific attractions you want to experience during your vacation.
  • Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD – When you order your free Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD, you’ll discover a world of ways to make family memories together, including special tips on how to make the most of the magic. You can also watch online.
  • Walt Disney World Customized Maps – Our Customized Map tool allows you to explore our different theme parks and select the attractions and entertainment that are specific to your family’s interests and activity level. You can also have the maps printed and have them shipped directly to your door (US only).
  • Ratings & Reviews – Discover what other guests are saying about our Walt Disney World resorts, dining and attractions and start planning your must-sees today!
  • Disney Parks Moms Panel – Got a vacation-planning question? Ask the Disney Parks Moms Panel, our team of talented vacation planners that are ready and waiting to help.

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: FastPass+, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

New ‘Pirates’ Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card Coming to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


When Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns to Magic Kingdom Park September 1, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom fans are in for an additional party “treat” – the chance to pick up another event-exclusive game card.

SMK807799

In case you’re a Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom newbie, SOTMK is an in-park interactive experience that allows guests join Merlin in a quest to defeat a team of Disney villains who are scheming to take over the park. Guests use maps to search for villain’s lairs throughout the park. When they find a magic portal, guests use spell cards that each feature a different magical power to foil a villain’s plan. This complimentary experience begins in the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A., where you can pick up everything you need to join in the fun.

This year’s special event card features the Helmsman pirate from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.

The Pirate Helmsman’s Bombardment card will be distributed in addition to the regular Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card packs (yes, you can still pick up both while attending the party). Guests must show their party ticket and event wristband in order to get one.

Can’t wait to test this card out? Share your excitement in the comments section below!

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Here’s What Our Guests Are Saying About ‘Frozen Summer Fun’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you had a chance to experience everything that our Frozen Summer Fun celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has to offer?

As Shawn Slater announced last week, the offerings – including Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome and the “For the First Time in Forever: A ‘Frozen’ Sing-Along Celebration” – have been so popular among our guests that some will continue through September 28.

What do you love about our Frozen Summer Fun celebration? Tell us in the comments section below!

For more about “Frozen Summer Fun” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, visit the posts below:

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

PANDORA Jewelry Coming to Disney Parks This Fall

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


01_ParksBlog_Pandora_Logo

I’m excited to announce that PANDORA Jewelry is coming to Disney Parks! Guests will soon find an original collection of beautifully designed Disney-themed jewelry launching in select retail locations at Disney Parks and around the world.

The new collection of hand finished sterling silver and 14K gold charms was created in collaboration with Disney Consumer Products and Disney Theme Park Merchandise, and will feature inspirations from some of Disney’s most beloved characters. The collection will include 25 different styles, with an additional 16 styles found only at Disney Parks.

Later this fall, select merchandise locations at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Vacation Club properties and Disney Cruise Line ships will begin selling the collections. The Disney Parks online store will also carry select items from PANDORA Jewelry.

Additionally two existing Disney merchandise locations at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will unveil unique retail installations, combining PANDORA’s sleek aesthetic and Disney’s creativity.

PANDORA will also be the sponsor of the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom Park and beginning in 2015, PANDORA Jewelry will become a presenting sponsor of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend held annually at the Disneyland Resort.

I’ll share additional details in the coming months about the exciting new merchandise offerings at Disney Parks.

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Plan Ahead for 3rd Annual ‘Great Irish Hooley’ August 29-September 1 at Downtown Disney

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


What a perfect way to celebrate Labor Day all weekend long – the annual Great Irish Hooley music festival rocks the house at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney.

A “hooley” is a traditional Irish social celebration, and this one combines live music, cool step dancing (you can even learn a few steps) and authentic tastes for a trifecta of fun all in one convivial spot.

IRISH154555

Live music begins at 4 p.m. Friday, August 29, and at noon Saturday, August 30 through Monday, September 1 and continues throughout each day and night. This year’s Hooley band lineup includes:

Scythian- A headliner on the Celtic festival circuit and equally at home in rock venues – the band will release a fan-funded album, “Jump at the Sun,” this month.

The Raglan Rebels- Ireland’s best up-and-coming young band with traditional and modern songs and ballads.

Drops of Green- An exciting new ballad group from the heart of Ireland.

The Brayzen Heads- A popular duo on guitar and banjo playing Raglan Road regularly.

The West Coast Trio- From Connemara, playing traditional and contemporary Irish songs on accordion, flute and guitar with plenty of reels and jigs.

Just tap your toes to the music or get up and dance – from Saturday to Monday there will be free workshops, “From Our Roots to Riverdance,” led by renowned Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast. Or try a little “ceili” (kay-lee), a precursor to line dancing, with the award-winning Raglan Road Dancers. The complete entertainment schedule is at www.raglanroad.com.

Of course we think the authentic Irish cuisine at Raglan Road is the best part of this Hooley. Go for classics like beer-battered fish and chips or shepherd’s pie, or try something more contemporary like their butternut squash risotto with shiitake mushrooms, arugula and Parmesan. They also offer gluten-free options (including fish and chips).

IRISH158999

We know we’ll be there for an early (8:30 a.m.) brunch on August 30, when big-screen TVs will be tuned to the University of Central Florida-Penn State Croke Park Classic football season opener taking place in Dublin, Ireland. Start the game with a Guinness, signature Bloody Mary or other favorite morning brew or beverage. Brunch guests can tuck into the chef’s Full Irish Breakfast featuring sausage, black and white pudding, bacon, roasted tomato, mushrooms and fried eggs with potato “roasties.” Smoked salmon omelette and pancakes with crème fraiche, maple syrup and berry compote also are on the menu. Hooley music begins right after.

For reservations, call 407-938-0300.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney Dining, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

The 2014 Disney’s Night Of Joy Entertainment Lineup Rocks

posted on August 11th, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Well, we’re a little less than one month away from Disney’s Night of Joy 2014. I can’t believe another year has flown by so fast.

nojnoj789871

To help plan your night, we wanted to give you an update on the entertainment schedule for the event. (Entertainment schedules are subject to change).

Friday, September 5:

Castle Forecourt Stage

  • 7:40 p.m. – Matthew West
  • 9:20 p.m. – Chris Tomlin
  • 11:30 p.m. – Hillsong United

Galaxy Stage

  • 7:30 p.m. – Building 429
  • 8:50 p.m. – Building 429
  • 10:25 p.m. – Mandisa
  • 12:10 a.m. – for KING & COUNTRY

Rockettower Plaza Stage

  • 8:05 p.m. – Matt Maher
  • 9:40 p.m. – The Neverclaim

Saturday, September 6:

Castle Forecourt Stage

  • 7:40 p.m. – MercyMe
  • 9:30 p.m. – Gospel Music Association Winner Phil Perry
  • 9:50 p.m. – Casting Crowns
  • 11:55 p.m. – Skillet

Galaxy Stage

  • 7:30 p.m. – Colton Dixon
  • 8:50 p.m. – Colton Dixon
  • 10:25 p.m. – Britt Nicole
  • 12:10 a.m. – Israel Houghton and New Breed

Rockettower Plaza Stage

  • 8:15 p.m. – 1 Girl Nation
  • 9:40 p.m. – We As Human
  • 11:20 p.m. – Rhett Walker Band

Night of Joy is an after-hours event that requires a special ticket. Event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each evening. While artists perform at several stages, many popular Magic Kingdom Park attractions also are available for guests. In addition, there are special benefits for groups of 10 or more. Additional information about individual and group tickets is available at www.nightofjoy.com.

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort