Landmark Disneyland Hotel to Undergo Significant Renovation

Historic hotel to feature considerable changes to guest rooms, exterior

ANAHEIM, Calif.  (June 16, 2009) – Beginning in August 2009, Southern California’s landmark Disneyland Hotel will start a significant renovation project that will include major improvements to its guest rooms and considerable changes to the exterior of the hotel. The hotel will remain open during the renovation, which will be conducted in phases, and is scheduled to be completed in 2012.  

“We are excited to embark on the largest and most extensive renovation of one of Disney’s classic hotels,” said Disneyland Resort President Ed Grier. “This renovation provides us with the opportunity to bring new magic to this historic hotel, which enables us to enhance the Disney experience that our guests have come to expect. “It also reinforces our ongoing commitment and investment in the Anaheim Resort District – working with the city and area businesses to continue to evolve the district into a world-class, multi-day tourist destination,” added Grier.

Significant Guest Room Upgrades, New Room Amenities and Exterior Enhancements
Disneyland Hotel’s renovated guest rooms will feature an all-new contemporary look with exquisite Disney touches woven into the décor. A stunning new headboard that features an artistically carved representation of Disneyland Park’s famous Sleeping Beauty Castle will serve as the focal point in each guest room. The background on the headboard uses fiber optics to create a magical skyline with fireworks – bringing the immersive park experience into the room. Rooms also will feature black and white art that will take guests back in time, reinforcing the nostalgia and history of Walt’s first theme park.

When completed, guest rooms will boast new flat screen TVs, mini-refrigerators, coffeemakers, safes capable of holding laptop computers, and new state-of-the-art telephone, cable and wireless Internet connections. Upgrades to plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems also are included in the project.

Disneyland Resort’s original hotel, built in 1955, also will experience a noteworthy change to its exterior.  All of the three towers will feature an updated look, with large windows that will give the outside a sleek, radiant blue tint. The windows will replace the current sliding doors and faux balcony railings and are specially designed to be energy efficient and to extensively filter outside noise.

“The new design for the hotel’s exterior will enhance the existing towers and compliment the resort as a whole. The windows will feature a sky blue reflective glass that channels the feel of our bright California sky,” said Mike Montague, director of resort development for Walt Disney Imagineering.

The Disneyland Hotel is composed of three main structures – the Magic, Wonder and Dreams towers. Construction will take place in one vertical half of a tower at a time – leaving the rest of the tower open for guests. The Dreams tower will be the first to be renovated and is scheduled to be completed in June 2010.

Popular Choice for Convention Visitors  
In addition to being a top choice for vacationing families, Disneyland Hotel has long been a favorite for meeting and convention planners because of its prime location and size – and direct access to more than 136,000 square feet of convention space.  Anaheim hosts hundreds of groups each year and the renovation will help maintain the city’s premiere position as a meeting destination.

“We are thrilled with Disney’s plans to renovate the Disneyland Hotel,” said Charles W. Ahlers, president of the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau.  “With the renovation of the hotel and the expansion of Disney’s Grand Californian, coupled with other new hotel developments that are coming to Anaheim over the next few years, our city will continue to be a premier destination for convention and meeting planners.”

Energy Efficient Enhancements
As with other construction and enhancements that are underway throughout Disneyland Resort, the renovation will include energy-efficient upgrades. The most notable feature will be the hotel’s new windows.  With their reflective capabilities and double-pane glass, the windows will change the look of the exterior of the hotel dramatically, while reducing energy consumption by keeping guest rooms at the desired temperature.

The use of occupancy sensors in guest rooms, low-flow toilets, energy-efficient light bulbs and paint low in volatile organic compounds are just a few more of the ways that the hotel will offer guests a “green” lodging experience.

Renovation is Part of Larger Resort Expansion
The Disneyland Hotel renovation is a part of a larger expansion project underway throughout the resort. Disney’s California Adventure Park is undergoing a multi-year expansion project that includes new experiences, attractions and night-time spectaculars, culminating in 2012 with the opening a brand new land – Cars Land.  The four-star Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is also undergoing an expansion, adding 200 hotel rooms and 50 two-bedroom villas that are part of Disney Vacation Club, which will make its first West Coast debut when it opens in the fall of 2009.

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Lights, Camera, Action! It’s Studio Disney 365

Disneyland Resort Opens New Immersive Makeover Experience
Exclusively at Downtown Disney District

 

ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 26, 2009) – A stylish and unique makeover experience premiers at the Disneyland Resort with the debut of Studio Disney 365.  Opening June 26 in the Downtown Disney District, the dazzling new makeover boutique is a one-of-a-kind specialty store offering guests a unique chance to rock out like some of their favorite Disney Channel stars.  
           
From the moment they step into the Studio Disney 365 “sound stage,” guests will see lights, cameras, and a lot of action!  Talent agents and stylists will help these “stars of tomorrow” undergo a complete transformation, getting them camera-ready to walk the carpet and preparing them for their grand entrance onto the set. Studio Disney 365 is the place to be for emerging stars, with so much to do and so much to see!
           
Studio Disney 365 guests can choose from five different Studio Star makeover packages.  All packages include a talent contract, choice of hair makeover, complete cosmetic makeover, deluxe make-up case, a downloadable photo file, a customized lanyard with photo and a photo shoot.

  • From The Top –Your hair, our unique style,$29.95.
  • Color Cue – Includes a unique twisted pony design and choice of up to four colored streaks, $39.95.
  • That’s A Wrap – Includes five front braids and high pony twists, your choice of faux hair tousled pony and a lace stretch headband, $49.95.
  • Spotlight – Includes two French braids wrapped to each side, your choice of faux hair pony tail and a flower hair accessory, $49.95.
  • Secret Star – Includes a Hannah Montana-inspired wig with sequined headband, rocker light-up headset and a themed face gem, $59.95.
  • Rock Star  –Studio Disney 365 also features a special treatment for those upcoming rock stars.  The “Rock Star” look for boys is $18.95 plus tax and includes a slicked-back or spiked hairstyle with colored gel tips, smokey eyes, a downloadable photo file and a customized lanyard with photo.

 
Wardrobe options befitting a true superstar await guests at Studio Disney 365, where they can take center stage dressed from head to toe in today’s hottest fashions.*

  • Studio Rocker – Includes choice of trend T-shirt, fingerless gloves, tutu and colored ankle tights.
  • Trend Setter – Includes choice of trend T-shirt, sunglasses, scarf and fedora.
  • Scene Stealer – Includes complete Hannah Montana costume, featuring gold lame jacket, tank, black leggings, black and purple tutu and light-up guitar sticks.
Studio Star makeovers are designed for children ages three and older, who must be accompanied by an adult age 18 years or older.  Studio Disney 365 is located in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort.  Operating hours vary.  Advance reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 714/781-STYLE (714/781-7895).

* Wardrobe package price may vary based on style, size and price of apparel and accessories.  Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

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A ‘Celebration’ of the Season: During “What Will You Celebrate?” Year, Glistening Ice Palace Marks Walt Disney World Resort Transformation Into Festive Winter Wonderland

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Trees glisten, snow flurries and Cinderella Castle sparkles during the winter wonderland season at Walt Disney World Resort.  By late November, themed décor will blanket the Vacation Kingdom as Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney and 23 resorts unwrap their own sleighfuls of yuletide gaiety.

And with the year’s “What Will You Celebrate?,” guests can get in the spirit beginning
Nov. 10 by beholding twinkling lights of one of Disney’s newest holiday traditions – Castle Dreamlights! – in Magic Kingdom.  Donning their holiday finest, Cinderella and friends take to the Cinderella Castle stage daily for a dream-come-true, light-the-night moment. With 200,000 sparkling, jewel-like crystals adorning the iconic castle, the glistening light-show spectacular signals the beginning of Disney seasonal merriment. 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
at Magic Kingdom – Nov. 10 also marks the first of 19 select evenings when the theme park hosts the long-running Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. During this popular special-ticket event, guests are treated to “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” “Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” fireworks spectacular plus special shows featuring Disney characters decked out in their holiday finest, carolers, festive tree lightings and more.
The “Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” celebrates the festivities with dancing snowflakes, marching toy soldiers, a horse-drawn sleigh, enchanting floats and spirited characters all proceeding through the streets of the theme park in a merry and melodic cavalcade.
During “Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season,” Cinderella Castle beams brightly as the evening is capped with eye-popping fireworks orchestrated to classic holiday tunes.
Favorite attractions also are open throughout the evening.  And while forecasters predict the first snowfall of the season will swirl a winter-like effect down Main Street, U.S.A, guests can take heart: there’s hot cocoa and cookies to add a warm spirit, plus apple slices and apple juice as the perfect trimming for a not-to-miss outing for the whole family.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates are: Nov. 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 29 and Dec. 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18.  Advance tickets are suggested as some nights are expected to sell out. Advance tickets and information are available now by visiting www.disneyworld.com or by calling 407/W-DISNEY.
 

Beginning Nov. 27
,Walt Disney World Resort unwraps even more wintertime wonderment across property.  Here’s the lineup:

Epcot Presents Holidays Around the World
– International holiday traditions unfold throughout World Showcase Nov. 27-Dec. 30 when storytellers such as Pere Noel in France, La Befana in Italy and Santa Claus in The American Adventure share the traditions of the season and spread the message of goodwill. As a “nightcap” to each day, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” – a kaleidoscope of lasers, lights, fireworks and music – takes on a spirited holiday finale.

Candlelight Processional at Epcot
A heartfelt holiday tradition led by a mass choir and 50-piece live orchestra showcases the reason for the season Nov. 27-Dec. 30. Presented at America Gardens Theatre at 5, 6:45 and 8 p.m. nightly, Candlelight Processional features celebrity narrators who retell the joyous Christmas story. The narration is interspersed with memorable music. Past celebrity narrators include Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, Abigail Breslin and Edward James Olmos.  Performances are included with Epcot admission, and guests are advised to arrive early.  Entertainment is subject to change without notice. Special dining packages that include guaranteed seating for this beloved event also are offered by calling 407/WDW-DINE.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios –
Bathed in bulbs of brilliance, the streets of America glow with millions of dancing lights and animated displays Nov. 27 through Jan. 3, 2010.  Amid gently falling snow, guests will bask in the glow as twirling carousels, melodic angels, colorful wreaths, marching toy soldiers and Santa and his reindeer move to high-energy music and 3-D effects, creating a dazzling symphony for the senses.  The spectacle actually starts behind the scenes while the summer temperatures are still on the rise in Florida as dozens of Disney “elves” begin their meticulous work on more than six miles of rope lights, 84 angels, 66 snow machines and more.
 

Holiday
Happenings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – “Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade” gets a holiday makeover Nov. 27 through Jan. 3, 2010, when it is magically transformed into “Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade.” This whimsical spectacle is a theatrical showcase of characters, floats and puppetry with a holiday world-beat twist. Guests can meet Disney characters decked out in their holiday best at Camp Minnie-Mickey, which also features live seasonal entertainment, holiday photo opportunities and decorative Christmas trees.
 

Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney
There are enough toys to fill up Santa’s sleigh at stores such as Once Upon a Toy, World of Disney, Team Mickey Athletic Club and LEGO Imagination Center.  Guests can finish their holiday shopping at this one-stop mecca featuring something for everyone on their list – Tren-D, the newest designer boutique; Basin bath and body shop; Arribas Brothers; Disney’s Days of Christmas holiday shop; Fuego by Sosa Cigars and more– and enjoy the dazzling light display and holiday décor that adorns the Downtown Disney streets
Nov. 17-Dec. 24.  And at Downtown Disney Marketplace, guests can meet Santa himself Nov. 17-26 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Nov. 27-Dec. 24 from noon to 10 p.m. (subject to change).
 

Christmas
Confections Sweeten Vacation Kingdom – Each holiday season, Disney chefs deck the halls in fanciful fashion, creating larger-than-life displays from edible ingredients all across Walt Disney World Resort.  The sweet scent of gingerbread fills the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where a life-sized Victorian gingerbread house is constructed for the holidays.  To create the 16-foot-high dream house, Walt Disney World pastry chefs use 1,050 pounds of honey, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 800 pounds of flour, 140 pints of egg whites and 180 pounds of apricot glaze.  Meanwhile, at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, a life-size carousel silently spins in the lobby, featuring ponies made of chocolate and fondant, giant candy cane poles, handcrafted poinsettias and hand-painted portraits of famous Disney characters. 

Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday with Disney Cruise Line
For a gift that’s both nautical and nice, Santa’s wish list could include a cruise on the Disney Magic or the Disney Wonder, both decked “to the rafters” with holiday cheer.  From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to both ships, with traditional “turkey day” fare to Christmas feasts, “snow flurries” and New Year’s Eve galas.  Beginning Nov. 21, special stem-to-stern events on both ships include: nightly King Triton’s Tree Lighting of a glittering, three-deck-tall tree; family crafts such as decorating stockings, making holiday cards and creating animation cels; storytellers sharing tales of diverse holiday traditions; feasts in Disney’s three themed dining rooms; and “Til We Meet Again,” a special seasonal edition of Disney Cruise Line’s cheerful farewell on the final night of each cruise.
To make arrangements for a holiday vacation at Walt Disney World Resort, guests can visit www.disneyworld.com, call the Disney Reservation Center at 407/W-DISNEY, or consult with a local travel agent.

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Celebrating Citizenship

1,000 Immigrants To Be ‘Sworn In’ July 3 on Main Street, U.S.A. at Walt Disney World Resort

 

New citizens will attend premiere of re-imagined Hall of Presidents attraction, now featuring President Barack Obama figure
 
           
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – In a stirring celebration of citizenship, more than 1,000 immigrants will gather on Main Street, U.S.A. July 3 to be “sworn in” as American citizens. 
And as the country kicks off Independence Day weekend, these brand-new Americans will attend a premiere performance of the newest Walt Disney World attraction, a re-imagined Hall of Presidents, now featuring a lifelike Audio-Animatronics figure of President Barack Obama.

From more than 100 countries and ranging in age from 18 to 82, the immigrants will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States during a Friday morning ceremony jointly hosted by
Disney Parks and Resorts and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
USCIS’s highest-ranking official will preside over the ceremony on the forecourt of Cinderella Castle.  The event will feature a welcoming address by Walt Disney World Resort President Meg Crofton, the presentation of the colors, the national anthem, the Oath of Allegiance and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Actor Andy Garcia – a naturalized citizen himself – will deliver a keynote address during the ceremony.  Garcia, originally from Cuba, is an acclaimed actor known for roles in films as diverse as “The Untouchables,” “The Godfather: Part III” and “Ocean’s Eleven.”
“This year, Disney parks are asking our visitors, ‘What will you celebrate?’ ” Crofton said.  “And on a weekend when our entire nation celebrates its independence, we are honored to host – and celebrate – 1,000 individuals who are embracing American citizenship.”
 
New Citizens to Preview Revised Hall of Presidents 
To cap a star-spangled morning, the new citizens and their family members will get to preview The Hall of Presidents attraction – which reopens July 4 in the Liberty Square area of Magic Kingdom.  The attraction has been closed since Election Day last November for a makeover that included installation of a lifelike Audio-Animatronics figure based on President Obama.

The figure of the country’s 44th chief executive – which comes to life with recognizable mannerisms and makes comments that were recorded recently at the White House – is part of an eight-month makeover so significant that the iconic attraction has been retitled The Hall of Presidents: A Celebration of Liberty’s Leaders.  Other updates to the “re-Imagineered” attraction which has been entertaining Magic Kingdom guests since 1971:
  • A re-programmed Abraham Lincoln delivers arguably the greatest speech in the history of the presidency – the Gettysburg Address.
  • For the first time in the attraction’s history, George Washington stands and delivers a stirring speech.
  • Developed with the assistance of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the show now tells a moving story of the bond between the presidents and “We, the People,” focusing on the chief executives who have guided America through trying, turbulent times.“Our goal with every major Disney attraction is to completely immerse our guests in a compelling story,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  “The stories associated with the American presidency are some of the most engaging and relevant our guests will hear while they are with us.  And, like all great stories, these stories inspire, motivate and teach us to appreciate the challenges and personal triumph that comes with overcoming adversity.”

    Presentations of The Hall of Presidents show will take place daily beginning July 4 and are included with Magic Kingdom admission

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    Three Disney Parks Plan Special Fireworks on July 4

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Guests celebrating the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort will have a choice of fireworks shows as Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios present special pyrotechnics and Epcot adds a patriotic “tag” to its famous “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” spectacular. Here’s what’s in store:       

    Magic Kingdom – “Celebrate America Fireworks” will fill the sky at 9 pm. July 4 (guests who’d like to begin the celebratory weekend a day early can enjoy the special fireworks on July 3 at 9 p.m.). After the fireworks, guests can enjoy a performance of Disney’s “SpectroMagic” parade of lights, music and magic at 10:30 p.m. on July 3-4. Park hours are 9 a.m.-11 p.m. on July 3-4.

    Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Special fireworks will be presented at 10 p.m. on July 4, providing guests with a bonus nighttime entertainment extravaganza to complement “Fantasmic!” (which will be at 9 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.). Park hours on July 4 are 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

    Epcot – “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” which features dazzling special effects, colorful lasers, brilliant fireworks and fiery torches all choreographed to a musical score, becomes even more dynamic on July 4 as the normal show is supplemented with a patriotic finale. The performance begins at 10 p.m. Park hours on July 4 are 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom – No fireworks here (we wouldn’t want to disturb the animals’ rest). Guests can enjoy all the regular attractions and shows on July 4 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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    California Grille on July 4th

    On July 4, 2009 there will be a special Independence Day dinner. They will be serving alot of great food !  Like  summer Lobster Rolls, Sushi, Boneless St. Louis style pork ribs, Black Angus Strip Steaks, Sweet Corn, Summer Salads, a variety of desserts, and other dishes. The dinner will also have a DJ, a fortune teller, magician, and strolling entertainment. You will have a great view of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios fireworks.

    The cost for this event is $220.00 per person for Adults and children.

    To book this event contact me at KellyR@travelwiththemagic.com or 1-800-670-4312

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    Dining at Epcot: An International Adventure

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – When Epcot debuted more than 25 years ago, the World Showcase pavilions pioneered the idea of global cuisine as a theme park attraction in itself, and expanded fine dining in Central Florida.

               
    “Authenticity and tradition were two key words when we embarked on the research and planning for our restaurants,” said Jens Dahlmann, executive chef for Epcot.  “Our goal is to staff each World Showcase restaurant with people from the country represented, so when you’re in Germany’s Biergarten, for instance, your hostess will greet you and take your order as if you’re in Hamburg or Munich.”
               
    Collaborating with chefs and restaurateurs from around the world, such as France’s celebrated Paul Bocuse, and Joachim Splichal’s Tutto Italia Ristorante, the Epcot restaurants are premier attractions at Walt Disney World Resort. From a spirited mariachi band and mole poblano in Mexico to belly dancing and spicy bastilla in Morocco, World Showcase offers gustatory globe-trotting – all in easy walking distance.
               
    “Our guests love the diverse dining adventures,” said Mandy DiGiammarino, general manager of Epcot Food & Beverage.  “We immerse our guests in traditional cultures, but with contemporary experiences.”
               
    Ordinarily, it might take a lifetime of vacations to sample the representative cooking of China, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Italy, Norway, Mexico and Morocco.  For the World Showcase traveler, it’s a 1.1-mile walk around the lagoon, where all roads lead to authentic restaurants. Starting counterclockwise from Future World:
     
    Canada

    Le Cellier Steakhouse
    welcomes guests to a cozy space featuring steakhouse fare – favorites such as Prince Edward Island mussels, cheddar cheese soup, King salmon, salt-crusted prime rib and a veal
    t-bone.  Ales and beers reflect Canada’s brewing history, and dessert wine feature Canadian ice wine and late harvest Rieslings.
     
    United Kingdom

    Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room
    embodies “Otium Cum Dignitate,” or “leisure with dignity,” and sipping Bass Ale and Guinness Stout in the lively pub gets guests in the spirit.  The adjacent restaurant offers herb-roasted lamb, vegetable curry, bangers and mash and other traditional dishes.  The Rose & Crown’s outdoor seating is one of the best spots for viewing the nightly “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” fireworks and laser show. 
    For a quick bite, the Yorkshire County Fish Shop is a walk-up window for popular fish and chips. 
     
    France

    Chefs de France
    has the lively atmosphere of an authentic brasserie along the Rue de Seine, with gastronomic creations of its three famous owner-chefs: Paul Bocuse, the late Gaston Lenôtre and Roger Verge, whose gourmet restaurants in Lyon, Paris and Cote d’Azur, respectively, are known around the world.  Bocuse’s son, Jerome, oversees the culinary operations, and Executive Chef Bruno Vrignon trained under Bocuse in his Lyon restaurant. Braised lamb shank, roasted breast of duck, seared tuna and classic onion soup are menu among favorites.
    Upstairs, Bistro de Paris showcases upscale French cuisine in a more intimate setting. 
     
    Morocco

    Restaurant Marrakesh
    serves flavorful specialties, using a long list of herbs and spices including saffron, a key ingredient in many Moroccan dishes.  A favorite appetizer is bastilla, or fried pastry, that combines layers of the pastry with chicken seasoned with almonds, powdered sugar and cinnamon.  The dessert menu includes bastilla au lait etamandes, with cream and toasted almonds and traditional Moroccan mint tea. During lunch and dinner, a belly dancer entertains with live Moroccan music. 

    Tangierine Café
    , located on the right side of the entrance to the showcase, specializes in quick-service specialties such as shawarma, sandwiches made from slow-roasted chicken, beef or lamb, served with hummus and tzatziki.
     
    Japan
               
    On the top floor of the Japan pavilion is Tokyo Dining and adjacent Teppan Edo teppanyaki dining rooms.  With sleek interiors and stylish costuming for chefs and servers, both restaurants infuse authentic Japanese hospitality with a dash of hipness.
               
    The popular teppanyaki rooms feature show-style cooking along with traditional teppan dishes. Tokyo Dining is a 140-seat dining room with a centerpiece “show stage” where diners can watch the sushi chefs in action. Nearly 50 varieties of sushi and sashimi and six varieties of sake are on the menu, along with tempura and grilled steaks and seafood.
    Overlooking tranquil gardens, the Yakitori House features yakitori (broiled skewers of chicken basted with teriyaki sauce) and beef soba (paper-thin beef simmered in a spicy sauce and served with noodles). Modeled after a teahouse in the Katsura Summer Palace in Kyoto, the Yakitori House also serves such uniquely Japanese desserts as green tea and ginger ice cream.
     
    Italy
               
    In the Italy pavilion, Tutto Italia (“everything Italian”) Ristorante showcases cuisine from different regions of Italy, with a seasonal menu with freshly made breads and pastries, handmade mozzarella and pasta, and an array of Italian wines.  But favorites that remain on the menu include eggplant Parmesan, fried calamari, penne Caprese, cannelloni al forno and spaghetti with veal meatballs.  And sweet endings like classic tiramisu and cannoli are hits, as are gelati and sorbetti.
               
    “My inspiration for Tutto Italia was the incredible variety of cuisines that I have enjoyed during my visits to Italy,” said Chef Joachim Splichal of California-based Patina Group, which operates the restaurant. “I wanted to distill that experience and create a restaurant with some of my favorite dishes.”
               
    Tuxedoed waiters create the ambience of big-city dining in the traditional restaurants in Rome and Milan.  On cooler Florida days, the tables on the patio are wonderful for al fresco dining under umbrellas. 
    Plans are in the works for further renovations of the restaurant, one of the most popular in Epcot World Showcase.
     
    Germany
               
    A sumptuous buffet features authentic German cuisine. It’s a home-cooked dining experience, with guests served from skillets and crock pots surrounded by a lively Octoberfest celebration. The chef offers salads from Bavarian cabbage to warm German potato salad; and main dishes such as roasted chicken, pork shank, homemade spaetzle, white veal sausages, salmon with lemon-dill sauce and carved pork roast. Sweet endings include Black Forest cake and apple strudel.
     
    Mexico
               
    Unlike most Mexican restaurants in the United States, you’ll not find nachos at the San Angel Inn in Epcot, because, says manager Richard Debler, they are not authentic Mexican dishes. And Debler was trained in his family’s restaurant in Mexico City.
               
    Chocolate may sound like an unorthodox ingredient to use with chicken, but the mole poblano prepared according to a San Angel Inn recipe combines chile ancho, chile passilla, green tomatoes, ground tortillas, coriander seed and 11 other spices with cocoa for a rich sauce in which chicken is simmered until tender. Fresh tortillas are made every day and filled with duck marinated with tamarind sauce and topped with avocado, pineapple and chives.
    A new tequila bar adjacent to the restaurant offers a taste of the popular beverage.  
               
    In the Cantina de San Angel, just outside the pyramid entrance to Mexico, you can find nachos, burritos and tacos, as well as sweet churros (donuts rolled in cinnamon and powdered sugar), frozen margaritas and Mexican beer.
     
    China
               
    Epicurean adventures into five Chinese provinces await World Showcase travelers at the 250-seat Nine Dragons Restaurant where servers from China enjoy interacting with guests.  (Placemats are a conversation starter with Chinese writing symbols and their evolution through centuries.)  
    The menu showcases authentic Chinese cuisine, but with a lighter, contemporary touch.  You can still order traditional appetizers such as pot stickers and eggrolls, but a favorite is the Dioa Yu Tai cucumber salad, with a light spice and sweet-and-sour vinaigrette.  Or the crisp shrimp and taro “lollipops,” deep-fried and served on a stick.
    Entrées range from traditional such as fried rice, sweet and sour chicken and kung pao chicken, but more contemporary Asian fare include peppery shrimp with spinach noodles, spit-roasted Beijing chicken with mashed taro and a mix-and-match noodle sampler.   
               
    The lobby features etched glass and gold artwork on one wall, depicting a pair of dragons playing with a golden ball.  (The ball represents wisdom, and the dragons, representing people, are forever chasing it.) The dining room is brightened with colorful lanterns in pale greens, blues and reds and elegant glass sculptures from China backlit on one wall.
    Next door, the 200-seat Lotus Blossom Cafe offers counter-service.  And the Joy of Tea outdoor cart features hot and cold teas, trendy frozen green tea concoctions and alcoholic drinks such as plum wine and wine green tea slush. 
     
    Norway
               
    “Help yourself to the koldtbord” (cold table) is the catch phrase in Akershus Royal Banquet Hall where guests are encouraged to make multiple trips to the table. The seafood, cold meats and cheeses provide an appetizing beginning for this Norwegian-inspired dining experience. 
               
    Next come the smarvarmt, or hot dishes. A sampling of these delights would include pork shank, mustard-glazed grilled salmon and lamb stew.
               
    There’s a “Princess Storybook” theme at breakfast, lunch and dinner starring Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Pocahontas, Mulan, Cinderella, Ariel, Alice and Mary Poppins.
    Scandinavian sweets and sandwiches are available across the pavilion courtyard at the Kringla Bakery and Cafe. Popular palate pleasers include strawberry cake; a cloudberry-filled cream horn; Skol Bread, a cream and coconut treat; and the trademark offering, the kringla, a sweet pretzel. Norwegian beer also is available.
     
    America’s Choice
               
    Future World restaurants feature all-American fare. Electric Umbrella offers salads, chicken sandwiches and burgers, all which can be “topped” at a central toppings and condiments bar.
               
    Farmer Mickey, Pluto and Chip ‘n Dale present beef, seafood and poultry dishes served family style for dinner at The Land’s revolving restaurant, Garden Grill. Below the Garden Grill, and below the pavilion’s enormous central skylight, is Sunshine Seasons, where four shops offer a diverse selection of fast-casual dining options.
               
    Serving the only American food in World Showcase, the Liberty Inn bill of fare represents cooking at its simplest – hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, french fries and, of course, Coca-Cola.
               
    Coral Reef Restaurant is part of The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion in Future World, featuring seafood specialties as well as steaks.
     
    Meals For Children
               
    Special meals for children 9 and under can be found throughout Epcot, offering entrées they are familiar with: from quesadillas in Mexico to grilled fish at Coral Reef Restaurant. 
               
    Kids who enjoy adventures in eating won’t be disappointed, either. They can try pot stickers in China; Japan’s tempura, shrimp and fresh vegetables dipped in a light batter and fried; or France’s croquette de boeuf en brioche (a fancy hamburger).  
     
    Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
               
    Adding even more diversity to the mix for dining experiences is the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The six-week-long festival attracts a diverse audience of more than 1 million guests each fall, from wine connoisseurs and epicures to neophytes primed to boost their wine IQs.  Beer aficionados can raise their steins at several tasting locations.  
               
    “There’s no other festival environment in the world like ours,” said Chef Dahlmann.  “From the picturesque World Showcase Lagoon to the authentic architecture that showcases many cultures, it’s an ideal backdrop for the exceptional culinary and wine-related talent of Walt Disney World Resort and for the great celebrity chefs and wine connoisseurs who join us each year.”

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