Category Archives: Disney World

Celebrate “The Lion King” at Jiko – The Cooking Place

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Get ready to celebrate the circle of life with a new limited-time prix fixe dining experience inspired by “The Lion King!” Starting June 30, 2019, join us as we toast to the popular film at Jiko – The Cooking Place

Located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jiko transports you to the heart of Africa with its vibrant spices, crackling wood-burning ovens, and a delicious blend of traditional African wines and cuisine, making it the perfect place for this special celebration. Starting June 30, you’ll be able to partake in an exclusive three-course menu crafted as a one-of-a-kind culinary celebration of Simba’s story. As the dinner progresses, wildly talented musicians will join in on the fun with vibrant African melodies as well as live performances of the award-winning movie soundtrack.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The menu will feature dishes inspired by The Circle of Life: Nants’ Ingonyama, a story celebrating Simba’s journey through life. Each dish follows our lion prince as he grows up, highlighting each stage of his life through unique flavors and spices. You’ll start your meal off with the “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” starter – a dish featuring Young Cedar Creek clam malata, potatoes, pomegranate, and a bone marrow finish. This dish symbolizes the playfulness of Simba’s joyous childhood and his desire to one day become king.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Moving on to the main event: Be Prepared. Choose from two entrées: Bone-In Ribeye with hibiscus, nettles, and fregula or Lobster Sosatie with red shrimp, squid, mussels, and fragrant rice. These dishes are inspired by the eerie elephant boneyard and Simba’s courage to persevere through trials and tribulations. 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

And the third course, Hakuna Matata, celebrates balance as Simba grows up and learns what is truly needed to successfully lead the Pride lands. This dessert features caramelized orange, chocolate choux, and playful foliage.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Finally, finish off the evening with “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and reflect on your journey with a selection of friandeses and teas to cap off your meal.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

This limited-time prix fixe menu will be available during the dinner period at Jiko – The Cooking Place starting June 30 in addition to Jiko’s regular menu. Pricing is $65 per person, tax and gratuity not included, with the option to add your choice of two levels of wine pairings at an additional cost. For more information and to book reservations, call 407 WDW-DINE (407 939-3463) or visit the Walt Disney World Resort website.  

Complete Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Food and Beverage Offerings

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney

With Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on the horizon, Disney’s creative teams have been hard at work crafting the innovative food and beverage offerings that guests will experience when they visit the Black Spire Outpost. The Disney Parks Blog recently shared all of the menus in a Guide to the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge food and beverage offerings for these highly-anticipated lands coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort this year.

Located on the never-before-seen planet of Batuu, the Black Spire Outpost (which is the name of the village in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) serves as a remote trading port for smugglers, traders, and adventurers traveling the Outer Rim and Wild Space. A once busy crossroads on the galaxy’s edge now surpassed by the rise of hyperspace travel, the infamous village is a thriving port for those traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. The outpost also serves as a home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, as well as a safe haven for those avoiding the reach of the First Order.

Photo: Disney

In the Star Wars galaxy, due to the remote nature of the planet, Batuu has a deep history of “farm to table” style whole foods with cooking traditions that have been passed down generation to generation, influencing the dishes found in the outpost. Each dish tells a story of the local culture, drawing inspiration from unique spices, ingredients, and cooking techniques. 

Weary travelers can take refuge in Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo or even grab a specialty cocktail in the outpost’s favorite watering hole, Oga’s Cantina. They can also grab a quick bite (or some Blue Milk!) at one of the stands located in the Black Spire Outpost.  

Photo: Disney

Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo

A multi-purpose transport shuttle docked on top of a large hangar will beckon guests into Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, a designated location for traveling food shuttles. Docked in the hangar is Tugg’s Grub, a “traveling diner for diners traveling” run by Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs. In high-demand for his cooking skills, he moves from site to site in a modified Sienar-Chall Utilipede Transport that can be transformed into a mobile kitchen and restaurant. His travels across the galaxy allow him to fill his pantry with exotic ingredients which he uses to make new and unusual dishes inspired by his time on Takodana.  

Photo: Disney

Entrées:

  • Smoked Kaadu Ribs – sticky pork ribs served with a blueberry corn muffin and cabbage slaw
    Fried Endorian Tip-yip – crispy chicken served with roasted vegetable potato mash and herb gravy
  • Yobshrimp Noodle Salad – chilled shrimp served with marinated noodles and vegetables
    Roasted Endorian Tip-yip Salad – marinated chicken served with mixed greens, roasted seasonal vegetables, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and green curry ranch
  • Felucian Garden Spread (lunch only) – plant-based “kefta” served with herb hummus, tomato-cucumber relish, and pita
  • Braised Shaak Roast (dinner only) – beef pot roast served with cavatelli pasta, wilted kale, and mushrooms
  • Ithorian Garden Loaf (dinner only) – plant-based “meatloaf” served with roasted vegetable potato mash, seasonal vegetables, and mushroom sauce

Desserts:

  • Oi-oi Puff – raspberry cream puff with passion fruit mousse
  • Batuu-bon – chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse and coffee custard
Photo: Disney

Kids’ Meals:

All Meals include choice of Small Lowfat Milk or Small Dasani Water

  • Yobshrimp Noodle Salad (Disney Check) – chilled shrimp served with noodles, vegetables and sweet orange dressing
  • A Taste of Takodana (Disney Check) – black bean hummus served with edible soil with nuts, chilled dipping vegetables, and multi-grain crisps
  • Fried Endorian Tip-yip – crispy chicken served with macaroni & cheese and seasonal vegetables
Photo: Disney

Specialty Beverages without Alcohol:

  • Moof Juice – Simply Fruit Punch and Simply Orange with chipotle-pineapple
  • Phattro – Gold Peak Unsweetened Tea, Odwalla Lemonade, and desert pear
  • Batuubucha Tea – Suja Pineapple Passionfruit Kombucha
Photo: Disney

Oga’s Cantina

Run by the boss of the Black Spire Outpost underworld, Oga Garra, Oga’s Cantina is an establishment that attracts some of the most interesting and disreputable characters in the galaxy. Very little is known about Oga herself. She’s not usually at the Cantina, preferring to collect payments remotely, and most of the locals have never laid eyes on her before. Her patrons come from across the galaxy to sample the famous concoctions offered here. These beverages are created with unique ingredients using “otherworldly” methods. In addition, Oga regularly procures unique shipments of beers, cider, and wines. While partaking in these thirst-quenching concoctions, guests can enjoy the musical stylings of DJ R-3X (also known as REX), the former Starspeeder 3000 pilot droid we first met in Star Tours. He’s reinvented himself as the cantina’s resident DJ and is quirky and talkative as ever, just trying to do his best on the job.

Photo: Disney

Concoctions with Alcohol

Featuring a wide range of classic and unique spirits found throughout the galaxy with a mixture of tastes and flavors to liven your taste buds.

Morning Specialties

  • Spiran Caf – Peru Alto Mayo Organic Joffrey’s Coffee, orange marmalade, rum, vanilla whipped cream, and citrus zest
  • Bloody Rancor – vodka, chile liqueur, spicy Bloody Mary mix, and rancor bone

Afternoon and Evening Specialties

  • Fuzzy Tauntaun – peach vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice with tangerine, pure cane sugar, and “buzzz” foam
  • Jedi Mind Trick – grapefruit and rose vodka, falernum, blue curaçao, white grape juice, lime juice, and grapefruit bitters
  • The Outer Rim – silver tequila, açaí liqueur, lime juice, pure cane sugar, black salt, and exotic fruit purée
  • T-16 Skyhopper – vodka, melon liqueur, kiwi, and half & half
  • Dagobah Slug Slinger – reposado tequila, blue curaçao, citrus juices, ginger, herbs, and bitters
  • Jet Juice – bourbon, chile liqueur, açaí liqueur, white grape juice, and lemon juice
  • Yub Nub – pineapple rum, spiced rum, citrus juices, and passion fruit
  • Bespin Fizz – rum, yuzu purée, pomegranate juice, white cranberry juice, and cloud swirl

Concoctions without Alcohol

Showcasing a combination of beverages found throughout the galaxy which yield vibrant colors along with sweet, tangy, or savory taste and fruity or spicy flavors.

Morning Specialties:

  • Black Spire Brew – Cold Brew Joffrey’s Coffee, honey, falernum, passion fruit, and citrus
  • Moogan Tea – Gold Peak Unsweetened Tea, chocolate milk, vanilla, and cinnamon
  • Tarine Tea – Gold Peak Unsweetened Tea, peach, huckleberry, and mint
  • Blue Bantha – Blue Milk served chilled with bantha-inspired vanilla-butter sugar cookie

Afternoon and Evening Specialties:

  • Cliff Dweller – citrus juices, coconut, hibiscus-grenadine, and Seagram’s Ginger Ale
  • Hyperdrive (Punch It!) – Powerade Mountain Berry Blast, white cranberry juice, black cherry purée, and Sprite
  • Jabba Juice – Simply Orangewith pineapple, kiwi, cantaloupe, and blueberry popping pearls
  • Blue Bantha – Blue Milk served chilled with bantha-inspired vanilla-butter sugar cookie
  • Blurrgfire – lemonade, pomegranate juice, and habanero-lime
  • Carbon Freeze – Powerade Lemon Lime, wild strawberry, blueberry, and green apple popping pears

Provision

  • Oga’s Obsession – lemonade, cotton candy flavor, and blueberry popping pearls with a bursting dried fruit mixture

Beers on Tap

  • Gold Squadron Lager
  • White Wampa Ale
  • Gamorrean Ale
  • Bad Motivator IPA

Cider on Tap

  • Spice Runner Hard Cider

Wine on Tap

  • Toniray
  • Imperial Guard
Photo: Disney

Black Spire Outpost Market

Ronto Roasters sits as the centerpiece of the Black Spire Outpost Marketplace, drawing in passersby with a large podracing engine that’s firing up a barbecue pit. Hungry customers who queue up to order will encounter a former settler droid, 8D-JB, carefully turning the spit of meats. Elsewhere in the marketplace is Kat Saka’s Kettle, which offers Outpost Mix (a unique popcorn snack with a colorful blend of sweet and spicy flavors), and a Milk Stand serving up two local favorites: Blue Milk and Green Milk served as a frozen beverage.

Photo: Disney

Ronto Roasters Menu:

Food

  • Ronto Wrap – roasted pork and grilled sausage with peppercorn sauce and tangy slaw wrapped in pita
  • Nuna Turkey Jerky – choice of sweet or spicy

Specialty Beverages

  • Tatooine Sunset – Gold Peak Unsweetened Tea, Odwalla Lemonade, melon, and blueberry
  • Sour Sarlacc – Minute Maid Limeade, raspberry, and spicy mango
  • Meiloorun Juice – pineapple, Simply Lemonade with blueberry, white cranberry juice, lemon juice, and desert pear

Milk Stand Menu:

Serving a frozen plant-based blend of coconut and rice milks

  • Blue Milk
  • Green Milk
  • Bubo Wamba Family Farms Novelty Drink Vessel
Photo: Disney

Kat Saka’s Kettle Menu:

  • Outpost Popcorn Mix – colorful blend of sweet and spicy flavors, popped in coconut oil
  • MSE-6 Series Repair Droid Souvenir Popcorn Vessel
  • Specialty Bottled Beverages – Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Dasani

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens May 31 at the Disneyland Resort and August 29 at the Walt Disney World Resort. Meal periods and menu items may vary from coast to coast. 

At the Disneyland Resort, reservations will be required to enter the land until June 24, at which time reservations will no longer be required. In addition, at the Disneyland Resort, mobile ordering will be available through the Disneyland app for Ronto RostersMilk Stand and Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo (menu items are subject to availability). 

Complete Guide to Food Bowls at Disney World

Food bowls have become the newest sensation at Disney parks and resorts across the country. With so many yummy options, including tons of build-your-own bowls, there’s something for everyone. They have everything from breakfast and dinner bowls to sweet and savory choices. But remember, Disney’s chefs are always looking to enhance our dining experiences with new menus and new dishes throughout the year, so these bowls are all subject to change – and you never know what new bowls at Disney might show up!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

  • Power Bowl – sautéed chicken, kale, and broccoli stir-fried in tataki sauce served over roasted sweet potatoes topped with avocado and sesame seeds
  • Sweet n’ Spicy Chicken Bowl – tempura-battered chicken, broccoli, and peppers (red and green) tossed in spicy Thai chili sauce served over sushi rice
  • Taco Bowl – seasoned ground beef, black bean corn salsa, spicy taco-seasoned sauce, and white rice topped with shredded lettuce, pickled jalapeños, cheddar jack cheese, and sour cream served in a crunchy tortilla shell
  • Spicy Veggie Bowl – broccoli, kale, and crisp mixed vegetables stir-fried in spicy kimchi tataki sauce and topped with avocado and green onions served over sushi rice
  • Spicy Veggie Bowl with Protein (Disneyland Resort only) – choice of grilled salmon, sautéed shrimp, or tofu with broccoli, kale, and crisp mixed vegetables stir-fried in spicy kimchi tataki sauce and topped with avocado and green onions served over sushi rice
  • Poke Bowl (Disneyland Resort only) – choice of salmon, ahi tuna, or tofu with pickled radish and avocado over bamboo rice blend topped with spicy mayo, sesame seeds, and scallions
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food TruckDisney Springs

  • Burrito Bowl – choice of brisket barbacoa, chicken tinga, pork sofrito, grilled tri-tip steak, or black beans and rice served with salsa verde, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, queso fresco, cilantro, jalapeño, and corn tortilla strips served over your choice of rice or lettuce

YeSake, Disney Springs

  • Build-Your-Own Bowl – choice of fresh ahi tuna, cooked shrimp, Yakiniku beef, fresh salmon, or grilled chicken served with your choice of rice, grains, vegetables, and sauces

Springs’ Street Tacos, Disney Springs

  • Steak Bowl – grilled steak with avocado crema, pico de gallo, beans, queso fresco, jalapeño, cilantro, radish, and lime
  • Fish Bowl – seared white fish with tropical fruit salsa, beans, red cabbage, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime
  • Chicken Bowl – braised chicken adobo with avocado crema, beans, queso fresco, pico de gallo, jalapeño, cilantro, radish, and lime
  • Vegetarian Bowl – yellow rice, black beans, roasted corn and peppers, pico de gallo, beans, queso fresco, jalapeño, cilantro, radish, and lime
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Intermission Café, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

  • Create-Your-Own Bowl – choice of braised adobo beef or pulled pork with choice of base: fragrant rice, black beans, or pinto beans; with toppings made fresh in-house
  • Plant-based Bowl – plant-based crumbles and cheddar shreds with toppings made fresh in-house
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Satu’li CanteenDisney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Create-Your-Own Satu’li Bowl – choice of wood-grilled chicken, chili-garlic shrimp, beef, or chili-spiced fried tofu; choice of base: rice, black beans, red and sweet potato hash, noodles, or hearty salad; topped with your choice of sauce: charred green onion vinaigrette, black bean vinaigrette, or creamy herb dressing (The options available for the Create-Your-Own Satu’li Bowl allow for 48 different bowl combinations)

Harambe Market, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Rib Bowl – ribs, cilantro rice, and green salad base topped with salsa
  • Chicken Bowl – grilled chicken, cilantro rice, and green salad base topped with salsa
  • Roasted Vegetable Bowl – roasted vegetables, cilantro rice, and green salad base topped with salsa

Landscape of FlavorsDisney’s Art of Animation Resort

  • Smoothie Bowl – strawberry banana smoothie topped with honey granola, sliced strawberry, and sliced banana
  • Asian Chicken Bowl – fried chicken with broccoli, onions, peppers, and a honey-garlic stir fry sauce with jasmine rice

Lottawatta LodgeDisney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

  • Rice Bowl – choice of teriyaki-glazed tofu or roasted chicken served with stir-fry vegetables

Leaning PalmsDisney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

  • Meatless Picadillo Rice Bowl – rice with pigeon pea served with vegan picadillo, roasted corn, pepper, pineapple salsa, and sweet plantain
  • Jerk Chicken Rice Bowl – jerk-seasons chicken served with roasted corn, peppers, and sweet plantains topped with pineapple salsa
  • Adobo Pork Rice Bowl – adobo-seasoned pork served with roasted corn, peppers, and sweet plantains topped with pineapple salsa
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Centertown MarketDisney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

  • Made-to-Order Breakfast Island Bowl – choice of bacon, chorizo, or plant-based breakfast sausage; choice of scrambled, poached, or tofu scramble; choice of sauce: salsa verde or pico de gallo served with home fries
  • Made-to-Order Dinner Island Bowl – choice of sliced rotisserie beef, pork shoulder, jerk chicken thighs, vegan chipotle seitan; choice of base: greens, red beans, and rice base; choice of sauce: chimichurri, garlic ranch, and spicy pink sauce

Contempo CaféDisney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Grilled Shrimp Bowl – blackened shrimp, cilantro rice, and seasonal accompaniments
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

ABC CommissaryDisney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Shrimp Teriyaki Bowl – stir-fried shrimp, Napa cabbage, snap peas, red peppers, carrots, onions, edamame, shiitake mushrooms, and broccoli tossed in a house-made teriyaki sauce over brown rice
  • Teriyaki Vegetable Bowl – stir-fried Napa cabbage, snap peas, red peppers, carrots, onions, edamame, shiitake mushrooms, and broccoli tossed in a house-made teriyaki sauce over brown rice topped with crushed cashews
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Fairfax Fare, Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • 7-Layer Rice Bowl – choice of grilled chicken, pulled pork, or vegan chili served with cilantro rice, black beans, fire-roasted corn medley, pico de gallo, and sour cream topped with cheddar served with warm tortillas
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Sassagoula Floatworks and Food FactoryDisney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

  • Create-Your-Own Rice Bowl – choice of salmon, shrimp, pulled pork, or tofu; choice of base: white, brown, or dirty rice; choice of beans: red or black; choice of sauce: pico de gallo or BBQ glaze
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and CaféMagic Kingdom Park

  • Pork Bowl – pork with roasted vegetables, rice, and black beans
  • Chicken Bowl – chicken with roasted vegetables, rice, and black beans
  • Veggie Rice Bowl – rice, black beans, and roasted vegetables

For more information, full menus, and to make reservations, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website

Thanks Disney Parks Blog!

13 Things to Do at Disney World Without a Park Ticket

The highlight of any Walt Disney World Resort vacation is always the four spectacular theme parks, but there is so much more to see and do outside of the theme parks. Whether you have some extra time on a travel day or are taking a break from the parks to rest during your vacation, there are lots of things to keep you busy at Disney World without a park ticket.

Here are 13 things to do at Disney World without a park ticket:

  1. Disney Springs: Disney Springs (formerly known as Downtown Disney) is one of the most popular things to do at Disney World that doesn’t require theme park admission. It offers shopping, restaurants, bowling, a movie theater, food truck park, and so much more.
  2. Disney’s Boardwalk: Disney’s Boardwalk offers restaurants, a bakery, pizza window, shops, old fashioned carnival games, surrey bikes, and more. ESPN Club is a great place to catch a game or the whole family can enjoy a leisurely ride along Crescent Lake, if you rent a surrey bike.
  3. Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: Did you know that you can go horseback riding at Disney World? You can! There are both pony rides for little ones and trail rides for those who may just be young at heart. You can also visit Cinderella’s Ponies or enjoy a carriage ride around the property.
  4. Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: You can roast marshmallows and sing campfire songs with everyone’s favorite chipmunks most evenings at Fort Wilderness. You are welcome to bring your own s’mores supplies or they are available for purchase, too. Don’t forget your camera and autograph book for this unique experience.
  5. Watch Fireworks from a Resort: You can see Magic Kingdom’s nighttime spectacular, Happily Ever After, from any of the monorail resorts. You are welcome to visit these resorts, even if you are not staying there. You can make a dining reservation to coincide with a view from select restaurants or head out by the water to enjoy the view. You can also see Epcot’s IllumiNations from Disney’s Boardwalk and Disney’s Beach Club Resorts.
  6. Beaches and Cream: Treat yourself to some delicious ice cream at Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. You can choose to dine in the restaurant (reservations recommended) with the exclusive Kitchen Sink or order at the to-go counter and eat at one of the outdoor tables.
  7. Electrical Water Pageant: This parade of floating lights has sailed across the Seven Seas Lagoon since Magic Kingdom Park first opened in 1971. You can view the Electrical Water Pageant from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, or even outside of Magic Kingdom Park.
  8. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Animal Kingdom Lodge is quite an incredible resort. You can view some of your favorite animals on the savanna from the resort like giraffe, cattle, and zebra. There are also unique activities available including cultinary tours, face painting, cookie decorating, and more. My friend Leah has a great review here.
  9. Ride the monorail: There are three different monorail routes at Disney World which cover over 14 miles. You can ride the resort monorail between the Transportation and Ticket Center, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Magic Kingdom Park, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. There are some wonderful shopping and dining locations along this route.
  10. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: Art of Animation has some of the best theming of any resort. You can enjoy free drawing classes here or take time to explore the four sections of the resort with large statues featuring characters from “Finding Nemo,” “Cars,” “The Lion King,” and “The Little Mermaid.”
  11. Movie Under the Stars: A great way to end you day at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel is with a movie under the stars. All Disney hotels offer this free activity, either by the pool or elsewhere on their grounds. The schedule changes monthly so be sure to check with the front desk or the recreation sign by the pool for the current movie showing during your vacation.
  12. Miniature Golf: Disney World has two miniature golf courses on property- Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland. You can find Fantasia Gardens at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel while Winter Summerland is at Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park. The cost is $14 for ages 10+ or $12 for children ages 3-9.
  13. Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- Riverside: You can enjoy a 25 minute horse-drawn carriage ride from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- Riverside for $55 plus tax. Each carriage can accommodate up to four adults or two adults and three children. Advance reservations are recommended and available up to 180 days in advance.

What are your favorite things to see and do at Disney World without a park ticket?


Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night Begins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 24, 2019

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Get ready to experience a new dining adventure honoring some of the most majestic and endangered African animals and celebrating the beloved story of “The Lion King.” Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night offers a unique way to dine at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a family-friendly progressive dining experience drawing inspiration from the many facets of African cultures and animals.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Your journey begins with a welcome reception at the Wildlife Express Train Station and takes you on a fun-filled adventure to the train station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, then continues on to Harambe Market. Throughout the night, you’ll take in sights, sounds, and scrumptious flavors in celebration of “The Lion King” and the Big Five game animals: the African elephant, the rhinoceros, the Cape buffalo, the leopard, and our host animal, the lion. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the importance of the Big Five and the challenges they face around the world as well as how Disney is working to protect them. 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Starting at the train station, you’ll receive light hors d’oeuvres, snacks, and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) while enjoying acoustic music before hopping on the train to ride over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with more light bites and sips. And hanging out in the train station, familiar friends Timon and Rafiki will be available for character greetings and fun interactive activities for all ages. Once you’ve finished up at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, hop back on the train and get ready to venture over to Harambe Market for the main event. Throughout the marketplace, you’ll enjoy an array of sweet and savory dishes paired with unique beverages. 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night begins on July 24, 2019 on select nights for a limited time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Pricing is $125 plus tax for adults and $99 plus tax for children ages 3-9 and separate park admission is required. Reservations can be made starting April 3 by calling 407 WDW-DINE (407 939-3463) or by visiting the Walt Disney World Resort Dining Page

Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party Coming to Disney California Adventure Park This Fall

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Trick or treat! Disneyland Resort is bringing a new event to guests of all ages this Halloween season: Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party at Disney California Adventure park. This separate-ticket party treats guests to multiple new experiences that are fun for the entire family, from the new “World of Color” spectacular – “­Villainous!,” to an interactive “Descendants”-inspired dance party, a stage show with Mickey Mouse, and a mysterious Disney villains walk-through experience. 

Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party will add to the fun of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, celebrated from Sept. 6 through Oct. 31, 2019.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Highlights of Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party include:

  • “Villainous!” – The new “World of Color” show weaves a Halloween tale about a young girl named Shelley Marie. This twisted tale carries Shelley on an unforgettable journey, exploring the villainous side of Disney characters through fountains, lights, lasers, projections and special effects. “Villainous!” shows that, deep down, there’s a little villain in all of us.
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail – Transformed into a wondrous and ethereal world of Disney villains unlike anything seen before, Redwood Creek will be tricked out in a dreamlike environment. This new experience unfolds in a series of scenes, each creating a hauntingly beautiful dream-space of color, sound, light and shadows, as stories emerge from the darkest night to create an enchanting world.
  • Immersive Treat Trails – Enjoy trick-or-treating at the new, wonderfully wicked treat trails throughout the park. Iconic characters such as Mad Hatter from Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” or even Oogie Boogie himself will surprise and delight. Additional treat trails will feature oversized cauldrons full of treats for all guests to enjoy.
  • DescenDance – A new pulsing party in the Backlot area of Hollywood Land is inspired by the popular “Descendants” franchise from Disney Channel. As the DescenDance begins, a spell is cast, summoning the greatest dance crew from the Isle of the Lost to throw down and lead everyone in moves that are set to the biggest hit songs from the “Descendants” movies.
  • “Frightfully Fun Parade” – The guest-favorite parade is coming to Disney California Adventure park for the first time! The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow starts the procession, followed by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse who lead the cavalcade of characters and many mischievous Disney villains who are ready to stir up some trouble along the parade route.
  • Mickey’s Trick and Treat show – Perfect for young guests, this new, interactive stage production invites kids of all ages to join Mickey Mouse and his pals as they throw a one-of-a-kind Halloween party! Enjoy dancing, not-so-frightening scary-tales, and candy at the Disney Theater in Hollywood Land.
  • Character encounters – Meet beloved Disney characters ­– and villains, too. You may be surprised at who you discover at this Halloween party, ready for photos and greetings!

Take note of these important dates and mark your calendars:

  • April 23: Tickets on sale to Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Visa card holders
  • April 30: Tickets on sale to general public
  • Oogie Boogie Bash 2019 dates: Sept. 17, Sept. 19, Sept. 22, Sept. 24, Sept. 26, Sept. 29, Oct. 1, Oct. 3, Oct. 6, Oct. 8, Oct. 10, Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Oct. 17, Oct. 20, Oct. 22, Oct. 24, Oct. 27, Oct. 29 and Oct. 31

Entry to Disney California Adventure park before the party is included with an Oogie Boogie Bash ticket. The after-hours party begins at 6 p.m. PT and you will have the opportunity to play in the park for three hours before the event starts on Tuesday and Thursday nights (excluding Oct. 29 and Oct. 31) or four hours on Sunday nights, plus Oct. 29 and Oct. 31.

Tickets for the new Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party* may be purchased online, as well as at the Disneyland Resort main gate and by phone at 714-781-4636. Online and mobile purchases are not available the day of the event. Parking is not included in the ticket price, and parking fees will apply. Entertainment and attractions are subject to change without notice. Guests may visit the site for additional details.

For more information and tickets to Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party at the Disneyland Resort, visit Disneyland.com/HalloweenParty

*The number of tickets available are limited and valid only for the specific event date and hours. Limit eight (8) tickets per person, per event date. Tickets not required for Guests ages 2 and under. Tickets are non-refundable and may not be resold or transferred for a commercial purpose. Costumes are subject to Disney guidelines and should not be obstructive or offensive; please check special event costume guidelines at https://disneyland.disney.go.com/faq/parks/dress for restrictions. Offer and event elements are subject to restrictions, change or cancellation without notice.

Complete Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary Celebration

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The Disney’s Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary will take place May 1, 2019, and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the past, present, and the new, exciting future of Disney’s Hollywood Studios as the park continues to evolve into a thrilling destination where you can let your adventure begin. 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Here’s a taste of how guests can celebrate the milestone anniversary at the park on May 1:

  • View a Star Studded Celebration – A Disney’s Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary Star-Studded Celebration cavalcade starring Mickey and friends will step off at 10 a.m. and will head down Hollywood Blvd.
  • Pick Up a Commemorative 30th Anniversary Guide Map & Button – Guests entering the park can grab a special 30th anniversary commemorative guide map and button.
  • Grab Exclusive 30th Anniversary Merchandise – Special 30th anniversary merchandise will be unveiled on May 1, including a new adult T-shirt, baseball cap, Tervis 24-oz tumbler, MagicBand, ornament and much more. Annual passholders can also shop for some items exclusively created for them. Merchandise can be found starting at 8 a.m. in Grand Park, while supplies last. (Please note: Merchandise will go on sale at 8 a.m., Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens at 9 a.m.)
Photo: Disney Parks Blog
  • Taste Special Food & Beverage Items – A slew of special anniversary food & beverage items will be available throughout the park, including Kylo Ren Cupcakes, Incredibles Macarons, Tres Leches Verrine and many more. Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog next week for an official foodie guide!
  • Stay For the Debut of “Wonderful World of Animation – The park’s new nighttime projection show will light up the park for its official debut on May 1. Watch in wonder as the façade of the Chinese Theatre is magically transformed – displaying this stirring tribute to animation. Behold spectacular sequences celebrating themes like magic, family, adventure, romance andfriendship. Each theme is brought to life through unforgettable moments from beloved films—like “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Incredibles,” “Coco” and many more. The show will debut at 9:05 p.m. ET, just prior to the park’s “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show.

Want to make the absolute most of the 30th anniversary fun? Grab tickets now for a special Disney After Hours Event Night that has been added to the schedule for May 1. Attendees can experience little to no-wait on park favorites, including The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Toy Story Land attractions and more. Additionally, this special anniversary edition of Disney After Hours will feature some beloved Disney characters ready to greet guests in the Chinese Theatre Courtyard, at Star Wars Launch Bay and more. There will also be a special encore performance of “Wonderful World of Animation” taking place exclusively for event attendees. 

Will you head out to Disney’s Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary Celebration on May 1? Tell us in the comments section below!

Woody’s Roundup Barbecue Buffet Coming to Disney’s Contemporary Resort for Fourth of July

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Summer is almost here, and if you’re planning on visiting Walt Disney World Resort over the 4th of July holiday, this event is one you certainly won’t want to miss! Come hangout with us July 4 – 6 at Woody’s Roundup – a fun-filled barbecue buffet complete with great food, familiar friends, and fun times, all from the comfort of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

This exciting event lets you step inside Andy’s favorite playset to join in on a summertime hootenanny with Woody’s Roundup. Harken back to your playful beginnings along with Sheriff Woody, Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl, and the rest of your favorite toys! When you arrive at the resort, Sarge will be there to greet you and make sure you’re in tip top toy shape and ready for playtime. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by your host, decked out in their favorite western gear and ready to entertain in true cowpoke style. You’ll also discover that the room has been filled with rustic camp time playsets offering the perfect setting for this summertime bash. Meet your favorite toy pals Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye from the playful world of Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story. Buzz Lightyear will even be on hand in his own playtime zone. Theatrical backdrops, toys, and other fun props will help bring the room to life!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

While you’re greeting with the toys, saunter on over to the delicious barbecue buffet, featuring some of the best barbecue outside of the Wild West. Feast on mouthwatering barbecue beef brisket, low and slow-smoked pork ribs, and grilled boneless chicken with roasted peach coulis, or take a bite out of a fire-roasted vegetable cake served with chipotle succotash. Create the perfect plate with sides including fresh cornbread (served with honey butter – YUM!), sweet cream cole slaw, southern-style potato salad, and grilled vegetables with smoked olive oil. You can also chow down on some warm vegetarian campfire chili or mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette and roasted pepper ranch dressing. In addition, kids can enjoy their own special buffet featuring items like Creamy Mickey Roni Cheese, chicken fingers, and potato barrels.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

And for dessert? Try some yummy salted caramel cookie bars, cherry pie shots, or assorted sliced fresh melon. And in celebration of the 4th of July holiday, grab a patriotic Red, White, and Blue Cake Push Pop!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

While you’re chowin’ down, a rootin’ tootin’ DJ spins Woody’s favorite tunes from a rustic toy set right in the heart of it all. Kids can go have some fun with activities like the Trick Ropin’ Toy, Make-Your-Own Toy Station, camp-style carnival games, and a larger-than-life balloon artist who can recreate your favorite Toy Story characters. And finally, at the end of the night, you’ll be invited out to the Porte Cochére to end the evening with a viewing of the famous Magic Kingdom Park nighttime spectacular.

This limited-time event is happening for three nights only, July 4-6, from 6:15-9:15pm each night at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your family’s spot before it’s too late! Tickets are $149 for adults and $99 for children ages 3-9, tax and gratuity included. To make reservations, you can call 407 WDW-DINE (407 939-3463) and for more information, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website

All menu item and event experiences are subject to change without notice. 

Enjoy Behind-the-Scenes Access to “Rivers of Light” During Backstage Magic Tour

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

There is so much to see and do at Walt Disney World Resort, from exhilarating rides and attractions to spectacular shows and parades and more. But have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes to bring all that magic to life?

During the Adventures by Disney Backstage Magic Tour, Disney fans can get an up-close look at the artistry, technology and wizardry behind Disney’s world-famous theme park entertainment. And beginning in June, Adventures by Disney will offer a brand-new experience as part of this tour: behind-the-scenes access at Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s nighttime spectacular, “Rivers of Light“! 

This exclusive daytime visit takes guests backstage to visit a hidden marina where the animal and lotus barges are prepared for the evening performance. These Backstage Magic guests will be among the first to see the inner workings — and learn the mechanical and technological secrets — behind this incredible attraction! 

Guests will also enjoy a new private lunch at Tiffins Restaurant, featuring a special menu and fascinating insider stories about the creation of the park, starting in June. If you’re a fan of Animal Kingdom, then this is officially a “must-do” for you!

But what is the Backstage Magic Tour?

Expertly led by knowledgeable tour facilitators, this immersive Adventures by Disney experience allows guests to witness first-hand the magic and hard work that goes on behind-the-scenes at the theme parks. Highlights include backstage visits to…

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Epcot: Explore the inner workings of The American Adventure attraction as your tour facilitators reveal the feats of engineering and attention to detail behind this inspiring Audio-Animatronics stage show. (I don’t want to give anything away, but the only way to describe the technology here is “WOW!”)

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Creative Costuming: Observe the talented professionals who design costumes for character, show and parade performers at Walt Disney World Resort. Spoiler alert: It’s not all needles and thread! 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Central Shops: Explore the facility where engineers, mechanics and artisans develop and maintain all of your favorite attractions, including Audio-Animatronics, ride vehicles and elaborate stage sets. Not even the tiniest details go unnoticed here!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Magic Kingdom: Become immersed in the story that started with Walt himself as you navigate the “utilidor” tunnels, a network of underground passageways constructed beneath the theme park so Disney Cast Members can move around undetected – right beneath guests’ feet!

On the Adventures by Disney Backstage Magic Tour, guests visit Walt Disney World Resort Textile Services to unfold the secrets behind one of the world’s largest laundry facilities. (Disney)

Textile Services: “Unfold” an experience like no other within one of the world’s largest laundry facilities. Yes – at Disney, even the laundry is pixie-dusted! Don’t miss your opportunity to see this fascinating facility in action, an experience only available during the Backstage Magic Tour through the end of May.  

Ready to get your own VIP pass to see the magic backstage? Call 407-939-8687 or contact your travel agent to book the Backstage Magic Tour!

Top 5 Reasons to Add a Day at Universal to a Disney World Vacation

There are so many exciting things to see and do in Orlando that it can be hard find to do them all during one vacation! Although you may not need to spend a week exploring Universal Orlando Resort, it’s a great add on to a Disney World vacation! You can add a day at Universal to your Disney vacation to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, minions, Transformers, and more!

Here are the top five reasons why you should add a day at Universal Orlando Resort (or maybe a few) to your Disney World vacation:

  1. Harry Potter: The biggest draw for most families to visit Universal Orlando Resort is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It is the ultimate experience for any Harry Potter fan. You can walk the streets of London, ride Hogwarts Express, drink butterbeer at Three Broomsticks, fly with Harry, and so much more.
  2. Super Heroes, Dinosaurs, Minions, and More: Visit with all of your favorite super heroes at Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure, try the new Marvel Character Dinner, and feel the gamma rush on the Incredible Hulk coaster. You can explore Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure to get up close and personal with Blue at Raptor Encounter, watch a dinosaur egg hatch, and embark on a daring raft ride. You can become a minion on Despicable Me Minion Mayhem or enjoy breakfast with Gru, the girls, and minions. The Simpsons and SpongeBob Squarepants can also be found at Universal Orlando Resort!
  3. Volcano Bay: Universal’s new water theme park is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. From a relaxing beach to adventurous water rides, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and somewhere for everyone to cool off. The TapuTapu wearable allows you to even enjoy other attractions and activities in the park while you wait for your turn to ride!
  4. Thrill Rides: Universal Orlando Resort is full of thrill rides in all three of their parks! You can feel the rush of adrenaline on The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Revenge of the Mummy, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Krakatau Aqua Coaster, and more.
  5. Seasonal Events: Universal Orlando Resort hosts a number of seasonal events throughout the year, many of which are included with general park admission. You can celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal, Florida’s biggest party every February and March. Or, Rock the Universe with contemporary Christian artists in early February. Universal also hosts the nation’s premier Halloween event, Halloween Horror Nights. And, the whole family will love the holidays at Universal featuring Grinchmas, Universal’s Holiday Parade featuing Macy’s, Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and more.

We can help you add a day at Universal Orlando Resort to your Disney World vacation without the hassle of renting a car. You can learn more about our exclusive shuttle to Universal from any of the Disney World hotels here.