Friday, February 21, 2014

Ears the News with Richard




The Nanea Volcano feature pool at Disney's Polynesian Resort is set for an extended refurbishment later this year. The pool is expected to be closing in August 2014, reopening sometime in 2015. The work is related to the addition of the new Disney Vacation Club Villas at the Polynesian Resort.

The full menus are now available for the Outdoor Kitchens at the 2014 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, which this year runs from 3/5/2014 to 5/18/2014.
Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog
Similar to the Marketplace Kiosks at the Food and Wine Festival, these promenade kiosks give you the chance to try small plates of some unique food and drink, for a cost of around $5 per dish. 

Here is the full run-down of this year's offerings:



Florida Fresh: Experience a taste of several fresh Florida ingredients, each grown and produced locally. It’s a perfect opportunity to treat your senses to some of the most delightful fruit and drink the Sunshine State has to offer! Florida Fresh can be found next to the Germany Pavilion.

Food
Watermelon salad with pickled onions, BW Farm baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction
Shrimp and stone ground grits with andouille sausage, sweet corn, tomatoes and cilantro
Florida kumquat pie (TRYit!)
Drink
Watermelon passion fruit slush featuring Simply Lemonade®
Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria featuring Simply Lemonade, Florida Orange Groves (St. Petersburg, Florida)
Garda Italian Wine Blend, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
Rogue Valley Pinot Noir, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
Blonde Ale, Orlando Brewing Company (Orlando, Florida)
Cotton Mouth Belgian Style Witbier, Swamp Head Brewery (Gainesville, Florida)
Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale, Florida Beer Company (Cape Canaveral, Florida) – Festival Exclusive!
Florida Avenue Blueberry, Cold Storage Craft Brewery (Tampa, Florida)
Beer Flight – Blonde Ale, Cotton Mouth Belgian Style Witbier, Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale and Florida Avenue Blueberry
Simply Orange

Hanami: Journey near the Japan Pavilion where the annual ritual of admiring springtime flowers is in full bloom. From delectable bites to refreshing beverages, uncover how Hanami’s flavors reflect the season.

Food
Frushi – Fresh pineapple, strawberries and melon, rolled with coconut rice, topped with raspberry sauce, sprinkled with toasted coconut and served with whipped cream on the side
Temaki hand roll – Sliced Panko fried chicken, curry sauce, rice and pickled julienne carrots wrapped with Nori
Hanami sushi – A flavorful combination of salmon, scallop and beef-topped rice balls served atop a shiso violet sauce (TRYit!)
Japanese puffed rice cakes with green tea whipped cream and azuki
Drink
Kirin draft beer
Pinepple Paradise with Yuzu Slushie – Frozen blend of sweet sake, pineapple juice and crème, flavored with a hint of Yuzu citrus juice
Orange Mango Slushie – Frozen blend of Nigori sake, mango and orange juice

Jardin de Fiestas: Make your way near the Mexico Pavilion where the tapas are spring light and cooked just right. Don’t miss your chance to take part in this festival of flavors, complete with savory tacos and mouthwatering cocktails.

Food
Tacos al pastor – Corn tortilla filled with achiote-marinated pork, garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions and cilantro
Quesadilla de hongos con queso – Flour tortilla filled with mushrooms and cheese
Flan de chocolate Abuelita – Mexican chocolate custard
Drink
Tecate draft beer
White Mexican sangria
Franbuesa (raspberry) margarita on the rocks
Tequila flight – blanco, reposado and añejo
Dasani® bottled water

Fleur de Lys: Indulge your senses in extravagance at this tasty milieu influenced by the “flower of the lily.” Once a royal emblem used by the French monarchy, the symbol now serves as inspiration for this decadent stop where you can refine your palate with some of the France Pavilion’s most magnificent culinary masterpieces! 

Food
Gnocchi Parisien à la Provençal – Parisian-style dumplings with vegetables and mushrooms
Confit de canard, pommes de terre Sarladaise – Pulled duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes
Macaron à la fleur d’ Oranger – Orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache (TRYit!)
Drink
La Vie en Rose frozen slush – Vodka, Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liquor, and white and red cranberry juice
Kir Imperial – Sparkling wine, Chambord and black raspberry liquor
Rosé pamplemousse cocktail – Rosé wine mixed with natural grapefruit syrup
Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – Fruity white beer with citrus notes

Lotus House: Hit the pavement near the China Pavilion for a garden-fresh take on spring-influenced flavors. Appease your cravings with a wide variety of Chinese cuisine, including popular street foods and bubble tea. 

Food
Beijing-style candied strawberries
Spring pancake with grilled chicken and green apple
Vegetable spring rolls
Drink
Popping bubble tea
Kung Fu Punch – Vodka and triple sec with mango and orange juice
South Sea Storm – Guava juice with light and dark rum
Plum wine
Tsing-Tao beer
Lychee aerated water

Pineapple Promenade: Enjoy the Great White North with a tropical twist at the Canada side of World Showcase promenade. Then, get ready to hear your sweet tooth say, “Thank you!” as you bite into all kinds of treats featuring this popular golden fruit. 

Food
Pineapple soft serve
Pineapple soft serve with Myers’s dark rum
Pineapple soft serve with Parrot Bay coconut rum
Sweet potato cinnamon waffle with pineapple soft serve (TRYit! selection)
Drink
Frozen desert violet lemonade featuring Simply Lemonade (nonalcoholic)
Tropical Mango Pale Ale, St. John Brewers (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Once Upon a Vine’s The Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc

Primavera Kitchen: Say, “Ciao!” to spring as you set sail for a land of garden-fresh foods near the Italy Pavilion. On your stop, be sure to explore the countryside’s many flavors—caprese, manicotti, torte di ricotta and fine Italian wines. 

Food
Caprese – Fior di latte mozzarella, roasted peppers and olio verde
Three cheese manicotti – Egg pasta stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato sauce and béchamel
Torta di ricotta – Lemon cheesecake with limoncello-marinated strawberries
Drink
Placido Pinot Grigio
Placido Chianti
Bosco del Merlo Prosecco
White peach bellini – Prosecco and white peach puree
Strawberry rossini – Prosecco and marinated strawberries
Frozen Italian primavera – Assorted fruit slushy with limoncello and vodka
Moretti Lager
Moretti La Rossa

Taste of Marrakesh: Embark on a trek near the Morocco Pavilion and educate your tastes on North African spices. Each unique flavor has been paired with fresh ingredients and can be sampled with Moroccan beer and wine at this garden oasis.


Food
Lamb brewat roll with prunes and sesame
Harissa chicken kebab with couscous salad
Baghrir – Moroccan pancake with honey, almonds and argan oil
Drink
Mint iced tea
White sangria
Guerrouane red
Casa Beer
Desert Rose – Sparkling wine with pomegranate liqueur

Eggplant Scallop- photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog
Urban Farm Eats – NEW!: Honor the earth and all it grows with a refreshing selection from this location’s all-natural menu. Choose from a hearty array of foods and beverages, many of which have been cultivated entirely from th
e soil!

 Food
 Pickled beet salad with goat cheese cream, mizuna and pistachios
Land-grown eggplant “scallop” with romesco sauce and spaghetti squash (TRYit!)
Ghost pepper-dusted tilapia with crisp winter melon slaw and mint oil featuring The Original Sauce Man’s Kick It Up Rub
Drink
 Cucumber lemon spa water, finished with a sprig of fresh mint
The Vegan Vine Chardonnay
The Vegan Vine Cabernet Sauvignon
Redbridge Gluten-Free Sorghum Beer, Anheuser-Busch (St. Louis, Missouri)

THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews: Celebrate the truly American tradition of slow-cooked flavors near The American Adventure Pavilion. Sink your teeth into savory barbecue meats and then pair each one off with craft brews from across the country.
 Food
 Pulled pig slider with cole slaw
Piggylicious cupcake- photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog
Smoked beef brisket with collard greens and jalapeño corn bread
Smoked turkey “rib” (TRYit!)
“Piggylicous” bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch featuring Nueske’s® Applewood Smoked Bacon
 Drink
 Magic Hat #9, Magic Hat Brewing (South Burlington, Vermont)
Maduro, Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida)
Fat Tire, New Belgium Brewing Company (Ft. Collins, Colorado)
Billy’s Chilies, Twisted Pine Brewing Company (Boulder, Colorado)
Beer Flight – Magic Hat #9, Maduro, Fat Tire and Billy’s Chilies
The Original Rib Shack Red Wine

The Buttercup Cottage: Delight in elegant afternoon-tea offerings and fresh garden flavors near the United Kingdom Pavilion. Drop by this charming locale to sample scrumptious treats, British teas and beverages inspired by lovely English fruits and fragrances.

Food
 Freshly baked potato and cheddar cheese biscuit with smoked salmon tartare
Field greens with Plant City strawberries, toasted almonds and Farmstead stilton (TRYit!)
Pork and apple sausage roll with house-made piccalilli
Freshly baked lemon scones with berry preserves and crème fraiche
 Drink
 Chilled rose blush lemonade featuring Simply Lemonade with Raspberry (nonalcoholic)
Twinings® Cold Brewed English Classic with lemon grass syrup
Berry tea cocktail – Twinings Cold Brewed Mixed Berry Tea with Florida Cane vodka and Plant City strawberry, flavored with raspberry and açaí syrup
Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvee
Deloach Pinot Noir

Intermissions Café: Dig into your day or turn over the evening at this charming stop found right within the Festival Center. Pop inside to find all kinds of fine food and beverages—wine, cheese, wraps, salads and more!
Food
Grapes
Fruit & cheese plate
Vegan trio
Southwest chicken wrap
Tuna salad with pita
Side salad
Asian tuna salad with noodles
Caprese Push-Pop – Tomato, mozzarella and balsamic (TRYit! selection) 
Drink
 Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria, Florida Orange Groves (St. Petersburg, Florida)
Garda Italian Wine Blend, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
Rogue Valley Pinot Noir, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
Martini Prosecco
Strongbow Cider, Bulmers Cider Company (White Plains, New York)
SweetWater Blue, SweetWater Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia)


The Downtown Disney Marketplace boat dock is set to close on 2/22/2014 to allow construction on the new Disney Springs Marketplace causeway bridge.

During the closure, which is expected to last through until late 2014, boat service to Downtown Disney from Port Orleans on the Sassagoula River Cruise will stop only at the Pleasure Island dock. Old Key West and Saratoga Springs will stop at the West Side dock. The internal Downtown Disney water taxi service will operate between the West Side and Pleasure Island docks.

The 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival dates are now available, and this year guests get an extra week of festivities. Starting a week earlier than normal, the festival begins on 9/19/2014 through to 11/10/2014.


Remember last summer when Disney announced that AT&T would become the official wireless provider for both Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort?
Less than a year later, AT&T have already carried out extensive upgrades to the AT&T network at the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, giving both guests and cast members enhanced performance.

AT&T has completed the successful deployment of more than 350 small cells, 25 DAS systems and 40 repeaters at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort properties. Already deployed are specialty network solutions at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney.

More info is available at the AT&T blog.



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