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Monday, June 5, 2023

V.I.Passholder Month Underway at Disney World

 by Beth Keating



June 5, 2023


Passholders are getting their day in the sun this month, with Disney World offering up a pretty lengthy list of expanded perks for Annual Passholders until the end of June.  


Among those special promos are extra merchandise discounts, larger dining discounts, a loveable Figment Passholder magnet, a limited time Passholder lounge area at EPCOT, specialty snacks, and new Photopass shots for Passholders.


As huge Figment fans, we knew we had to head over to EPCOT to grab our Figment magnet, so we decided to see how many of the Passholder perks we could fit into one visit. Our first stop was straight to the Creations shop to snap up our magnet, just in case they ran out. Not to fear, though, there were huge stacks of the magnets available, and the line was fairly short and very efficient. We were through the line in less than ten minutes. These Annual Passholder-exclusive magnets will be available at the Creations Shop through June 30, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Bring your ID.)


Of course, the magnet line empties into the Creations shop, where we perused the various themed merchandise, before leaving with a Guardians tee-shirt, at a 30% Passholder merch discount. The Passholder merchandise discount at select Disney owned and operated merchandise locations is temporarily increased from 20% to 30%, which can be a big chunk of change, especially on higher priced merchandise.  It knocked $9.00 off our tee-shirt purchase.


Next stop was the BRUNCHCOT food kitchen, where we were able to get our 20% discount on the yummy avocado toast. There are roughly 15 Flower & Garden Festival booths offering the special, limited time 20% off discount on food and non-alcoholic beverages, and our $6.00 avocado dish rang up at $4.80 with our Passholder card.  (You also need to use a cashless form of payment to get the discount.)  If you are wondering, the avocado toast was good, though the ciabatta itself was a little soggy rather than “toast” crisp, but the layer of avocado was thick and creamy, with a hint of lemon.  The multi-colored Toy Box tomatoes were super sweet and juicy, the radish slices crisp, and the sprinkle of cotija cheese added a touch of saltiness.


Photo by Jonathan Keating

The Passholder discount applies to a wide array of dining locations as well, with an increase from the normal Passholder discount of 10%, to 20% on food and nonalcoholic beverages at select locations throughout Walt Disney World. We dined at Trattoria al Forno on the BoardWalk, one of our favorite Disney restaurants, before they close for a short refurb next week. It was delicious, with outstanding service from our waiter, Alejandro, and our Passholder card garnered a $22.00 discount for dinner.  We’ve always had superior service at Trattoria al Forno, and the discount was a great bonus.


One of the perks that we missed along the way was the special Photopass Magic Shot for Passholders. Since it was pouring that afternoon, the Photopass photographers had also ducked for cover, so we’ll have to try to collect those shots another time.  They’ll be available exclusively for Passholders until the end of June. The EPCOT spot provides props inspired by the new Figment Annual Passholder magnet. You can find it near the fountains outside of Journey Into Imagination with Figment from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.  If you find yourself at Animal Kingdom instead, you can queue up for a Magic Shot with WALL-E and Eve. This shot was originally available for a limited time during Earth Week, but is now back exclusively for Annual Passholders. Find it near Discovery River and the Tree of Life, between Africa and Asia, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.


We also had limited success with our visit to the Passholder Lounge at Sunshine Seasons in the lower level of The Land Pavilion. Of course, since it was pouring, every other Passholder in EPCOT probably had the same idea in heading for a dry, air-conditioned hideout. The area is small, with maybe 15 or so tables, a charging station, and a water station, so it was filled to capacity by the time we arrived late afternoon. The cast members were standing at the entrance to the seating area, scanning IDs and handing out small bags of M&Ms, Figment stickers, and bags of Guardians of the Galaxy zargnuts to guests. We were able to make our way to the water station to grab a few cups of cold water, but there wasn’t a seat to be had.


Instead, we headed back out to the main section of Sunshine Seasons to find a table. There we enjoyed one of the two Passholder exclusive offerings, the Figment dessert cake. There’s also “A Spark of Grape Shake,” a combination of grape, guava, passionfruit, orange and lime, topped with whipped cream, that others seemed to enjoy.  The treats are available until the end of June at Sunshine Seasons, from park open to park close.


Photo by Jonathan Keating

The Figment cake ($6.99) was adorable, but I can’t say it tasted all that fabulous, and it was a “one and done” for us.  Described as a raspberry “lemonade” tart, it was a firm shortbread shell filled with a very tart lemon mousse, and a raspberry mousse dome that was not nearly as strongly flavored as the lemon mousse. The dome was covered in the traditional Disney gel in a bright purple hue, with white chocolate “wings” colored orange for our favorite Figment.   


As an additional June plus for Passholders, Disney is offering “Bonus Reservations” as part of V.I.PASSHOLDER Days. Every day until June 30, bonus reservations are available for EPCOT and Animal Kingdom, and the bonus reservations don’t count against your Annual Pass’s allotted park reservation hold.  There’s no limit to how many you can make (so go crazy!), and there’s a good chance Disney may be adding more bonus locations to the schedule, so be sure to check back on the reservations calendar.


To take advantage of any of the discounts or freebies, including the lounge or magnet, Passholders must present their valid Annual Pass ID from the Tickets and Passes section of their My Disney Experience app, and a valid photo ID to receive the discount. We even needed to show our Annual Passholder ID to purchase the Passholder treats at Sunshine Seasons. 


Enjoy your extra goodies this month!




Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.

Friday, June 2, 2023

It’s National Donut Day… And Disney Doesn’t Shy Away

 by Beth Keating



June 2, 2023


Disney is all about the Instagrammable delights, and more than a few selections feature over-the-top creations with donuts in the mix. (Cue the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop’s “double desserts” with a donut on top of a shake…Share with a friend, or suffer the consequences of a complete sugar crash later.) The Mickey Confetti Shake ($15.00) currently has a cupcake perched atop the shake, but often the menu has an offering with a donut crowning your souvenir cup.

While there are tons of circular yeasty treats throughout the parks, especially around holidays and celebrations, if you are at Disney World today for National Donut Day (June 2), here are a few special places to check out in order to get your sugar fix.

At Disney Springs, the obvious choice would be Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew. It’s the spot you’ll find the more traditional but no less delicious classic glazed, vanilla iced, and sprinkle donuts ($4.75). A dozen donut holes will cost you $5.00, but if you want something a little more fun, Everglazed also has Fruity Pebbles, Purple Glazed Ube, and Mounds Coconut Dream varieties, among others, including the Brooklyn Blackout, a chocoholics dream. Really looking for a quirky lunch option? Try the Donut Burger ($13.00)!   


A less obvious choice at Disney Springs is the Salt & Straw ice cream shop, where you can sample The Salty Donut Guava + Cheese, a cream cheese flavored ice cream infused with chunks of glazed brioche donuts from the famed craft donut shoppe, The Salty Donut. Swirl in some Florida guava curd, and you have a unique treat.

Vivoli il Gelato in The Landing area at Disney Springs will fill your donut with a scoop of your favorite hand-crafted gelato and sauce. Just ask them for the Bombolato ($10.50), a warm Italian specialty.


If you are looking for a sweet indulgence that is vegan, gluten-free or kosher, head to Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC,  also located in Disney Springs.  There you’ll find a selection of goodies, including bagels, cupcakes and cookies, with donuts priced around $5.95.


Joffrey’s Coffee locations are a quick stop to get a fast jolt of sugar alongside your hit of caffeine, and you’ll find them all over the parks, even at the Caribbean Beach Skyliner hub – we’ve snapped up a few oversized donuts there while on our way between stops. If you find yourself at the Joffrey’s at Blizzard Beach this summer, miniature versions of the donuts come in an order of either six for $4.89 or twelve for $9.29. For an additional $1.59, you can add on a cup of chocolate, raspberry or white chocolate dipping sauce to take you to a next level sugar-rush. Sadly, Blizzard Beach is still closed for its refurbishment right now so that won’t help you for National Donut Day.


Visiting Animal Kingdom and want something a little different?  Eight Spoon Café (which has great mac and cheese, by the way) offers an unusual pulled pork sandwich in a jelly donut ($6.99), sweet and savory at the same time.


At EPCOT?  We suggest a treat that is donut-adjacent, but oh-so-good!  In the France pavilion, tucked down a side path, is L’Artisan des Glaces, where you can obtain the handcrafted goodness known as “Croque Glacé” ($9.50), a scoop of your favorite artisanal ice cream pressed into a homemade warm brioche bun, meltingly bringing those flavors together. Absolutely delightful, though maybe not a “donut” in the purest sense of the word. 


If you find yourself on the west coast, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney is the place to be. They specialize in “crazy shakes,” with everything from slices of pie or cake, Rice Krispy Treats, brownies or ice cream sandwiches balanced on the top of the shake ($11.00-$24.00). Of interest for you today, though, is their seasonal offering, a vanilla shake with rainbow sprinkles, available through June 30. Too plain, you say?  Did I forget to mention there’s an entire rainbow donut on the frosted vanilla rim?  And it might be anchored by the gummy rope candy and unicorn pop that’s propping it up!  


If you find yourself in the newly remodeled area of Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland, Daisy’s Goody-Goody Donuts ($5.99) at Café Daisy is a set of house-made mini-donuts covered in cinnamon sugar. 


Of course, if all you are looking for is your run-of-the-mill pastry donut, most of the resort food courts from the All-Star Movies to Everything POP Shopping & Dining at Pop Century have a colorful selection of the breakfast fuel for you for as little as $2.49. But where’s the fun in that? Go wild - National Donut Day only comes around once a year!




Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.

“The Weekly Economist II” Provides a Much-Needed Antidote to Bad Thinking on the Economy

 Ray Keating’s Second Book in Series Offers More Quick Reads on Topics and Questions Related to Economics and Business

Ray Keating, editor and publisher of DisneyBizJournal.com and a leading economist on small business and entrepreneurship, has written a new book titled The Weekly Economist II: 52 More Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist. This is the second book in an ongoing series, with the first being The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist.


When listening to talking heads or politicians, people are legitimately bewildered about how the economy actually works and how to think about critical issues. The Weekly Economist and now The Weekly Economist II offer quick reads on topics essential to thinking clearly on economics and business, and for assessing the often wild assertions heard from politicians on such matters.


Ray Keating notes, “There’s a great deal of misguided and misleading talk about the economy, business, and public policies. Applying sound economic thinking to such matters is critical for our country and the world. With the second book in The Weekly Economist series, I’m hoping that people will take at least a few minutes each week to read these short essays, and by doing so, become a light for clear-eyed thinking of matters critical to economic growth and our quality of life.”


The Weekly Economist and now The Weekly Economist II hold appeal for a general readership looking to become more informed citizens. And they’re ideal for the classroom, boardroom and workplace.


Praise for The Weekly Economist II


"An accessible, wide-ranging compendium. Keating remains remarkably impartial here, offering fair critiques and reasonable assessments of economic decisions, theories, and policies across time. This is an impressive second installment of the author's economics essays, avoiding repetition from the first collection, and offering cogent advice that feels more timely than ever."  - Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★


Praise for The Weekly Economist


“Reading Mr. Keating's new book is worth more than a degree in economics from most universities. Sensible and accessible, The Weekly Economist is a veritable catechism of how to think economically.” - Fr. Robert Sirico, author of The Economics of the Parables and President Emeritus of the Acton Institute

“If you want a quick and accurate insight into the major topics in economics, and if you have little or no background in economics, Ray Keating's The Weekly Economist is the book for you. Turn to any page and you'll find tight clear reasoning that will help you understand the complicated economic reality around you.” - David R. Henderson, editor, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

“For those who are curious about economics but who may not be interested in tackling a dry 300-page economics textbook, Ray Keating provides a brilliant alternative - a weekly breakdown of 52 economic concepts everyone should be familiar with. Although designed to give one easily digestible theme a week, many readers will undoubtedly want to binge-read to see which topics are their favorites. Great information for those new to economics or as a weekly refresher.” - Bryan Riley, Director, National Taxpayers Union Free Trade Initiative

“a lively primer” - Gene Veith, Cranach: The Blog of Veith, and author of God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life


“An accessible and comprehensive guide to concepts that regularly baffle the average person. This book runs the gamut when it comes to economic issues, and will invariably help readers think more critically about the financial machinery that runs the world. Keating makes a subject as potentially dry as economics into something dynamic and interesting. A natural storyteller, he carefully dissects an intimidating sphere of modern existence into a book that nearly anyone could learn from and enjoy.” - Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★

Paperbacks and Kindle editions of The Weekly Economist and The Weekly Economist II are available at Amazon.com, and signed books at www.RayKeatingOnline.com


Review copies, and author interviews and appearances are available upon request. 


Additional praise for Ray Keating’s work…


“Keating is at his best when tackling the issue that introduced him to the world of conservative thought: the benefits of the free market.”  - Kirkus Reviews


“Keating is no sour-puss conservative... Keating’s pro-growth agenda of dramatic supply-side tax and regulatory cuts, school choice, and much smaller government stands as New York’s only chance at rebirth.”  - Steve Forbes


Ray Keating's “take on the economy is unabashedly supply-side, offering a clear understanding that risk taking and entrepreneurship are the engines of economic growth.” - Jack Kemp


“A common-sense explanation of why politicians and bureaucrats shouldn't throw sand in the gears of global trade.” - Dan Mitchell, Chairman, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, about Free Trade Rocks! by Ray Keating


Contact: Ray Keating

E-mail: raykeating@keatingreports.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/freeenterpriseeconomics

Twitter: @FreeEnterprise7


Friday, May 26, 2023

Kick Off Your Holiday Weekend With Cobbler From King Stefan’s Banquet Hall

 by Beth Keating



May 28, 2023


Disney has been known to make a few mistakes along the way, and one of the mistakes that has been covered up by the mists of time is the naming of the restaurant in Cinderella Castle at Disney World.  Many moons ago, the restaurant was named “King Stefan’s Banquet Hall,” an odd moniker because King Stefan was Sleeping Beauty’s father, not Cindy’s.  So why would Aurora’s dad have a restaurant in Cinderella’s castle?  Eventually, someone figured out that the name didn’t really fit, and the restaurant today is known as “Cinderella’s Royal Table.”  Regardless, it is just as difficult to get dining reservations there now as it was back in the day, when it was the purview of King Stefan.

We honeymooned at Disney World eons ago, and were privileged to dine there when it was still  King Stefan’s (and we have the mug to prove it!).  In flipping through our ancient copy of Cooking With Mickey: Gourmet Mickey Cookbook Vol. II, we came across a recipe for the now-defunct King Stefan’s Banquet Hall, and thought it might be time to give this recipe a try. After all, a berry cobbler sounds like the perfect treat to kick-off a holiday weekend! And boy, were these good! No wonder everyone loved them back in the day… They were, indeed, a fan-favorite.

This recipe is relatively easy on the pie-making scale (I’m a pie-making novice), and its blackberries, combined with the tart Granny Smith apples, offers a less sweet pie than you would normally expect in comparison to other fruit pies, but it was no less delicious. The recipe looks like a lot of steps, but it really isn’t. You could even cheat a little and use a premade refrigerated pie dough instead of making the dough from scratch if you wanted. Give it a try, and remember the good ole days of King Stefan’s Banquet Hall along the way!


Apple-Blackberry Cobbler From King Stefan’s Banquet Hall


1 ½ pounds Granny Smith apples

2 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup light brown sugar

1 1/3 cups water

½ teaspoon cornstarch

½ cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)

Pie dough (recipe follows)

Egg wash (recipe follows)


Peel and core apples. Cut in quarters, then in ¼-inch slices. Add to 3-quart saucepan with butter, nutmeg, sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar and 1 cup of water. Cook until the apples are tender, but not soft. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.


After apples have become tender, reduce heat. Mix ½ teaspoon of cornstarch with 1/3 cup of water, and slowly add to apple mixture. Continue stirring until mixture thickens (3 to 5 minutes). Remove from heat and cool.

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter 6 individual baking dishes or soufflé cups. Fill each dish with ½ cup of apple mixture. Top each cup with one tablespoon of blackberries. Cover blackberries with pie dough and brush top of each crust with egg wash.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until top of each cobbler is lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve warm.


Ingredients-Pie Dough:

¾ teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups pastry flour

1 tablespoon sugar

½ cup vegetable shortening

¼ cup water

¼ cup milk


Sift into a 3-quart mixing bowl salt, pastry flour, and sugar. Add shortening and blend with a pastry cutter. Combine water and milk and gradually add to flour mixture, just enough to form a moist dough. Knead lightly, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll dough ¼ inch thick and cut to fit individual baking dishes, allowing enough extra dough to hang over sides of the dish.


Ingredients-Egg Wash:

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup milk


Combine egg and milk and brush on cobbler just before baking.




Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Is the Family Complete Now?

 by Beth Keating



May 23, 2023


It’s been several years in the making, but the trio is finally together.  Does that mean the grouping is complete, or is Disney going to try to sneak another critter into the mix on me? I’m referring, of course, to the loyal and musical pals from The Lion King, of which I have unabashedly acquired all three. (I know, it’s a popcorn bucket addiction. I’m sorry.)

Over at Animal Kingdom, Disney has been slowly dropping popcorn buckets and sippers in the likenesses of the trio of furry friends from the animated Lion King movie.  First came the Simba popcorn bucket, introduced in 2020 with a return post-COVID, and while he looked cute working on his roar, he was a bit on the wobbly side and hard to position once you got him home. Whatever, he was adorable, and a perfect souvenir from the Animal Kingdom. I ended up hanging him on a wall from his shoulder strap because he just couldn’t stand up on his own. And he’s just hung around there for the past few years, not knowing that his Pride Rock companions would be joining him later.


Along came Earth Day 2023, and Disney began offering the accompanying merch. Short-legged Pumbaa showed up in time to help kick-off Animal Kingdom’s 25th anniversary festivities. Cute and goofy looking, he joined Simba in the room, sitting nearby on a shelf, because his thick-skinned warthog self was well-balanced for sitting and waiting. And he didn’t have to wait long, because a mere few weeks later, a certain meerkat (see what I did there?) arrived, and the duo was now a trio.

Did Disney plan it that way, spreading out the arrival of my Timon sipper so that he was just a few weeks removed from the Earth Day arrival of Pumbaa, or was it meer-ly a coincidence of delays in supply-chain shipping that caused the gap? Was he supposed to be an Earth Day celebration drop as well? I’d like to think the Parks, Experiences and Products cast members were kindly spreading out my popcorn bucket addiction costs, rather than just trying to make me crazy by instigating my quick return to the parks to snatch up Timon. Timon’s carry strap even matched Pumbaa’s, with a special “Hakuna Matata” wonderful phrase and Animal Kingdom’s 25th  anniversary logo printed on it.  


Incidentally, Timon was $18.00 if you chose him with a bottled water, or $19.25 if you chose him with a bottled soda or Powerade.  He was available at a number of the snack carts throughout the Animal Kingdom, and as of my purchase of Timon, Pumbaa was still available at several popcorn carts. (Pumbaa was $22.) There were a few kiddos walking through the park with both buddies hanging around their necks.


Am I free to assume that our Lion King-themed food bucket series is complete now?  Or will Disney add a new personality to the group?  Perhaps Nala will show up… or maybe Mufasa! Now that would be a great addition. Be prepared!




Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Disney World Restaurants Bringing New Menus

 by Beth Keating



May 20, 2023


There’s a lot going on in the culinary world at Disney right now!  In addition to the continuing construction at soon-to-open places like The Cake Bake Shop on the BoardWalk, and Summer House on the Lake at Disney Springs, Disney has announced a few more updates. 


This is often the time of the year when many restaurants give a seasonal refresh to their menus, and Disney restaurants are no exception. Two fan favorite spots at Disney World – The Hollywood Brown Derby and Jaleo - are getting rather large updates to their current menus, and while some of the existing popular dishes are staying, there are a plethora of new (and drool worthy) options hitting tables. On top of that, one EPCOT restaurant will be getting a do-over, with the Japan pavilion’s now closed Tokyo Dining reopening later this year as “Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya.”


First up is one of our family’s favorite haunts at Hollywood Studios – The Hollywood Brown Derby. And for those of you who might be worried, let me note right off the bat that two of the most requested items on the current menu are staying put: the famous Cobb salad, and the grapefruit cake. Whew!


Now that that is out of the way, let’s take a peek at the interesting looking additions coming to the restaurant. 

Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

The appetizer selection will be expanding with a half dozen new options! Crab Louie is built from a “crispy olive bread, citrus blend, fried capers, and Louie sauce.” Of course, fancy dining establishments always offer a shrimp cocktail plate, and since Hollywood Brown Derby is the park’s Signature Dining locale, there will be a Shrimp Cocktail with shaved fennel cucumbers and traditional cocktail sauce arriving on site. An Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad with shaved onions, Thai basil, and gremolata will be drizzled with a citrus vinaigrette, and is of particular interest to our household.  Also of great interest in our house is the new Charcuterie Board, with a chef’s selection of cured meats, cheeses, and accompaniments.  Many years ago, at a bed & breakfast in Vermont, we tried Escargot, and we enjoyed it enough to be looking forward to Disney’s upcoming take on the dish, with roasted garlic béchamel and crispy prosciutto.  Lastly, the chefs will be adding Roasted Bone Marrow, including braised beef, pickled mustard seeds, and a fig bread crostini. 


While these offerings alone are quite the undertaking, the Derby’s culinary team wasn’t done yet.  There are a few updates to the entrée menu as well.  Filet Mignon, paired with glazed carrots, potato pave, horseradish cream, and a peppercorn sauce will be appearing next to a Lamb Shank entrée with summer vegetables, harissa vinaigrette, and nasturtium chermoula. If those two dishes sound a little too over-the-top for you, a Free-Range Chicken and Dumplings might sound more middle of the road, but once again, the folks behind the kitchen doors are taking this dish up a notch – and adding lemon-ricotta Gnudi, shishito cream, and a gooseberry jus to the plate.  The Grilled Pork, not to be outdone in this department, will be served with a lavender-sage polenta and local corn salsa with a huckleberry barbecue sauce.

Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

But wait! There are still more new offerings. The Sustainable Fish will be plated with white bean ragout, derby summer vegetables, and a roasted tomato emulsion, and the Seafood Cioppino is a medley of shrimp, sea scallops, seasonal fish, and mussels, served in an aromatic tomato broth with a toasted baguette for dipping.  For plant-based diners, there is a new offering as well, a Shepherd’s Pie, combining roasted garlic mashed potatoes, mushrooms, peas, corn, and carrot Romesco.  Making a dining decision at the Brown Derby is certainly going to require a lot of thought! 


At Disney Springs, Jaleo by celebrity chef José Andrés, is stirring up a new list of summer dishes to add to their famous paellas and Spanish regional specialties.  (Chef Andrés was named as one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2012 and 2018.  He’s been named a James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year;” and you may also know him from “World Central Kitchen,” where they have provided millions of meals for local residents in times of crisis and natural disasters.)

At Jaleo, entrées are prepared in an open kitchen, and when a new paella is ready, you’ll hear the bells ring! The kitchen’s wood fire is not only impressive, but adds great flavor to the meals, and the soaring, multi-level restaurant has a lively atmosphere.  


The new summer menu options include:  


  • Cono de Atún “Gilda”($8): Cone of Tuna Tartare, Modern Olive, Cantabrian Anchovy and Piparra Pepper
  • Gazpacho Estilo Algeciras ($10): Classic chilled Spanish soup made with Tomato, Cucumbers and Green Bell Peppers 
  • Ensalada de Aguacate y Mojo Verde “Spanish Diner” ($13): Avocado, Mojo Verde and Goat Cheese Salad
  • Piquillos Rellenos con Brandada de Bacalao ($16): Stuffed Piquillos of Bacalao and Potato served with Manchego cheese and a Bechamel Sauce
  • Mejilones a la Brasa con Mojo Verde ($16): Mussels cooked in Josper served with Mojo Verde
  • Lubina a la Pobre ($56): Whole roasted Branzino served with Potatoes, Olive Oil and Fresh Herbs
  • Ensalada de Tomate con Ventresca ($34): Heirloom Tomato Salad served with Red Onions, Piparra Peppers and 4 oz. of conserved Tuna Belly from Asturias 
  • Secreto Iberico de Bellota ($105): Secreto Iberico cooked on the basque grill and served with Pan con Tomate 
  • Pintxos Morunos de Cordero ($18): Basque Grilled Lamb Skewer with Andalusian Spices 
  • Berenjenas con Miel ($12): Fried eggplant with honey and lemon zest 
  • Atún Crudo con Aguacate ($18): Thinly sliced tuna served with avocado and a citrus dressing 


And while both The Hollywood Brown Derby and Jaleo are updating their menus for a seasonal twist, over at EPCOT, the new “Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya” in the Japan pavilion will be opening later this summer, with an emphasis on Japan’s seasonal festivals.  According to Disney, “Each month brings a new celebration to your table. From hanging tanzaku to celebrate Tanabata in July to savoring moon-viewing dumplings in September, a cultural representative from Japan will guide you through each unique festival experience, one bite at a time. The atmosphere also embraces the festivals of Japan, with the atmosphere featuring beautiful, hand painted artwork and lanterns highlighting some of the natural wonders that Japan offers as well. Each and every visit is designed to create unforgettable memories that capture the spirit of Japan’s vibrant seasonal festivities.

Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

In addition to the full menu, there will also be an open sushi bar and grill, preparing such treats as Kobore SushiTokyo Negi Roll, Funamori, and The Monster Roll. The freshly prepared selections will also have that famous artistic Japanese touch: The Funamori features sashimi and sushi arranged on a boat-shaped platter. Disney says, “This iteration of Funamori is even served with the festive pomp and the boat procession of the famous Tenjin Matsuri!”

As the restaurant name suggests, a particular feature of the new eatery will be Japanese Izakaya, a “type of casual pub-style restaurant,” with its emphasis on sharing plates of food. The small plate menu includes choices such as Karaage Chicken, Salmon Misoyaki, and Tomato Salad with Avocado.

The sushi bar will be creating beautiful fresh selections, but there will also be a grill serving traditional selections such as Okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake.

The restaurant will make its new home on the second floor of the Japan pavilion, in the space occupied by the former Tokyo Dining, and its huge glass windows will be a gorgeous spot for watching people on the World Showcase promenade below, or especially for evening fireworks, if you are lucky enough to grab one of those special seats!

Pack your stretchy pants for your next trip to Disney… there are a lot of new food options coming your way!


Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.