Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival Celebrates the ‘Art of Flavor’ at Disneyland Resort April 16 – May 31

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Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival will create a kaleidoscope of culinary experiences for guests of every palate April 16-May 31 at Disney’s California Adventure park and select locations across the Disneyland Resort.

Chefs, winemakers and brewmasters will celebrate The Art of Flavor at this year’s tantalizing festival, which features entertaining culinary demonstrations, outstanding wine and spirits seminars, and delicious food, wine and beer. General sales for Festival events began Feb. 16.

Look for chefs Guy Fieri and Cat Cora of Food Network, along with Disney culinary masters and special guests as they present their gastronomic talents in a full menu of complimentary demonstrations and signature paid events. The signature events include winemaker dinners, Sweet Sundays, Napa Rose Cooking School and Taste Food-Wine-Life, a night that celebrates the essence of the festival with a mosaic of food, wine and live entertainment.

Opening weekend features celebrity chef Guy Fieri, the popular television personality and “food dude” who appears on shows such as “Guy’s Big Bite” on the Food Network. Fieri will conduct complimentary food demonstrations on the Festival’s main stage.

“Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival is a great time,” Fieri said. “Of course the kids love Disneyland, but now this is something extra for the adults. It’s incredible chefs, great wines from around the world and Disney. You’re gonna dig it. See you there!”

Some events, including culinary demonstrations, are included with admission to Disney’s California Adventure park. Signature events are separately ticketed and require reservations. For details, visit www.disneyland.com/foodandwine.

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Pollo Campero to Open New Concept Eatery at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney in Late 2010

Pollo Campero, an international Latin chicken quick-service restaurant chain, has partnered with franchisee Levy Campero to deliver a new restaurant concept in Downtown Disney® Marketplace at Walt Disney World® Resort. The restaurant will feature Pollo Campero’s signature Latin chicken, as well as a new restaurant concept featuring fresh, healthy food.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Pollo Campero to introduce its famous chicken, along with our newest fresh restaurant concept of salads and wraps, to visitors from all over the world,” said Adam Cummis, president of Levy Campero. “We are thrilled to collaborate with one of the strongest brands in the world to showcase our Latin delicacies and look forward to a long working relationship.”

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WDW Refurb Update: HISTK Playground to Remain Open; Bibbidi Bobbidi and Sunshine Tree Terrace

A few changes to the Walt Disney World refurbishment schedule:

First, the official list from Disney that once listed the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure removed it a few days ago and there are no signs of it coming back, so I removed it from the list here.

Second, we have two additional, unverified additions: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in the Downtown Disney Marketplace to be closed from January 18 through March 6 and the Sunshine Tree Terrace quick service location in the Magic Kingdom, from January 17 through February 12.

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WDW Refurb Update: Cantina de San Angel Refurb Begins Major Refurbishment and More

Cantina de San Angel, the quick service location in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion, has just closed and begun its lengthy refurbishment. Expected to be replaced with a new, more convenient dining opportunity, the restaurant is slated to re-open on September 24, just a week shy of the 2010 Food and Wine Festival.

During the refurbishment, Taqueria Del Lago, the Mexican booth from the 2009 Food and Wine Festival will be operating for guests’ convenience.

We are also being advised that Shrunken Ned’s Junior Jungle Boats, located near the World Famous Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, will be unavailable from January 8 through January 25.

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PCH Grill: Eat It, Stitch! Aloha, Mickey! Character Meal Does a Switch Stance

As of December 11, the character meal at Paradise Pier Hotel’s PCH Grill will be transforming from Lilo & Stitch Aloha Breakfast to Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends. The buffet menu will include flatbreads from a wood burning oven & signature chilaquiles with shredded beef, salsa verde & queso fresco.

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Disney’s Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant Recieves Tenth Consecutive AAA Five Diamond Award

Chef Scott Hunnel © DisneyLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 24, 2009 – For the 10th year in a row, Victoria & Albert’s restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award. As one of only 52 restaurants to receive this symbol of excellence in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean, Victoria & Albert’s delivers “haute cuisine” with seven-course prix-fixed menus, wine pairings and the finest ingredients from the world market.

At the helm of this critically-acclaimed restaurant is 15-year Victoria & Albert’s veteran, Chef de Cuisine Scott Hunnel.

“It takes every individual on the team to achieve such a great honor consistently, from the reservationists to the wait staff and culinary team,” remarked Hunnel about reaching this prestigious milestone. “The secret to our success is realizing that it’s a continuous journey of reinvention in the restaurant and what we’re doing today has to be better tomorrow.”

Only 0.27 percent of AAA’s 60,000 Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants in North America received this honor for 2010. According to AAA’s ratings guidelines, to achieve Five Diamond status, restaurants must “consistently provide a world-class experience.”

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Magic Kingdom to Host Two New Year’s Eve Experiences for First Time

Via its official blog, Disney Parks has announced that the Magic Kingdom will be hosting two special events for New Year’s Eve this year.

First up is an all-you-can-eat dinner and dessert party at the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station with an exclusive viewing of the Wishes fireworks show. Choose from artisan breads, fruit, cheeses, sushi, salads, seared tuna, beef short-ribs and carved pork (a ‘child-friendly’ food station will also be available).  Check-in for the event begins at 6:15 pm and the cost is $139.99 per adult (ages 10+) and $69.99 per child (ages 3-9).

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Victoria and Albert’s to Host New Year’s Eve Event for First Time

Orlando’s single five-star restaurant, Victoria and Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, will be hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration dinner. The dinner will run from 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm with a chef and sommelier preparing an 8 – 10 course menu that includes caviar from around the world and a collection of some of the most eclectic and famous champagnes available. Chef Scott Hunnel and his team will also make personal appearances during the event.

Please note that viewing the fireworks is not included in this package.

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Liberty Tree Tavern to Offer Breakfast, Character Dining During Crystal Palace Refurbishment

As we reported earlier, Crystal Palace will be closed for refurbishments from January 3 through January 13, 2010. During this time, characters will once again return to Liberty Tree Tavern in Frontierland and the table service location will serve breakfast in addition to lunch and dinner. Once Crystal Palace returns, Liberty Tree will resume with lunch and dinner service only and no character experience.

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Children’s Miracle Network Classic Creates Innovative Wine & Dine Walk Along Walt Disney World Fairways

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Oct. 13, 2009) – This year’s Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World Resort is sure to leave fans with a good taste in their mouths.

Literally.

The 2009 Classic, taking place Nov. 12-15, will feature a culinary twist distinctive among PGA TOUR events. In addition to watching exciting golf action, spectators can sip, sample and savor elaborate dishes, unique wines and select beers along the fairways of Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course.

The Wine & Dine Walk runs Friday through Sunday of tournament week, with food, beer and wine stations positioned on key holes along the back nine of the Magnolia course offering fans the best flavors of New England, Africa and India. Cuisine from some of Disney’s newest and most popular restaurants will be featured, including The Wave (Disney’s ContemporaryResort), Sanaa (Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge) and The Turf Club Bar & Grill (Disney’s Saratoga SpringsResort & Spa). The wine, beer and cuisine offerings will range from $3.25 to $7.50.  For more information, visit www.childrensmiraclenetworkclassic.com.

“The Wine & Dine Walk will offer fans an enhanced golf experience that makes enjoying the tournament as easy as a ‘walk in the park,’” tournament director Kevin Weickel said.  “We are bringing together the culinary expertise of our various Disney resorts to create a potpourri of cultural experiences intertwined with the drama of the final PGA TOUR Fall Series event.”

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