Disney will continue with their tradition of holiday television specials by airing two separate events this year on ABC.
The first, “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magic Holiday Celebration” will air on November 30 from 9pm to 11pm. Julianne Hough and Nick Lachey will host the special from Walt Disney World, while Jesse Palmer will co-host the show from Disneyland Resort in California.
Specials performances will be made by:
- Ciara in a Christmas medley from Cinderella Castle.
- Darius Rucker, singing “Winter Wonderland.”
- Hit group, Fifth Harmony will sing “Can You See,” from “The Star” soundtrack, and “The Christmas Song.”
- Fitz and the Tantrums will perform “HandClap” and their original Christmas song “Santa Stole My Lady.”
- Hanson will sing “Finally It’s Christmas,” from their recently released Christmas album.
- Boy band In Real Life will sing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
- Jason Derulo will perform “This Christmas.”
- Lea Michele will perform “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”
Disney will announce additional performances at a later date.
The second television holiday special, titled “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration,” will air on Christmas day from 10am to noon. Hough and Lachey will also be hosting the special, with Palmer once again co-hosting from Disneyland in California.
For “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration” performances will be made by:
- Ciara will sing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” from Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
- Darius Rucker singing “Home for The Holidays.”
- Fifth Harmony performing “Sleigh Ride.”
- Fitz and the Tantrums will be performing “Last Christmas.”
- Jason Derulo will sing “Silent Night” from Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.
- ”Glee” star Michele will perform “Let It Snow.”
- 98 Degrees will play their new song “Season of Love” from their new holiday record.
- Telly Leung and Arielle Jacobs, from the stage show “Aladdin,” will perform “A Whole New World” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
As with the first special, additional performances will be announced later.
Disney Parks Podcast Show #403 – An Interview With Author of Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation Mindy Johnson
In this episode, Tony and Parkhopper John interview Mindy Johnson who recently authored the book Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation, we discuss the rich history of the Ink and paint department.
Vist Mindy at Mindy Johnson Creative
Disney Parks Podcast Show #401 – An Interview With Keith Gluck From The Disney Project
In this episode, Tony and Parkhopper John talk with webmaster from The Disney Project and His up coming event here in Orlando and so much more!
Disney Parks Podcast Show #398 – An Interview With Former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort Lee Cockerell
In this episode, Tony and Parkhopper John talk with Lee Cockerell about what its like leading Walt Disney World and so much more
The first-ever Disney Junior Music Radio Station launches on Apple Music today, Friday, September 22 with the Disney Junior Music: Nursery Rhymes Collection digital album featuring 20 classics including “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” “Wheels on the Bus” and the “Alphabet Song” performed by Genevieve Goings (Choo Choo Soul) and Rob Cantor (Goldie & Bear). The physical CD will be available on October 13.
Also launching with the new station are five new EPs of previously unreleased songs celebrating music from favorite Disney Junior series. Highlights include “Happy Helpers” from Mickey and the Roadsters Racers, performed by Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck; “Make Them Proud” from Elena of Avalor, performed by Aimee Carrero, the voice of Princess Elena; “Life in the Pride Lands” from The Lion Guard, performed by singer/songwriter Beau Black; the Puppy Dog Pals theme song; and the Doc McStuffins: Toy Hospital theme song performed by Amber Riley (Glee).
About the Disney Junior Series:
Mickey and the Roadster Racers
“Mickey and the Roadster Racers” is a madcap car-racing adventure series which takes Disney’s #1 star, Mickey Mouse, his pals Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Daisy and Donald, and their uniquely personalized vehicles, on humorous high-spirited races around the globe, as well as hometown capers in Hot Dog Hills.
Modeling compassion and care for kids age 2-7, Disney Junior’s Peabody Award-winning animated series, “Doc McStuffins,” tells the imaginative story of six-year-old Doc McStuffins who communicates with and heals stuffed animals and broken toys.
Elena of Avalor
“Elena of Avalor” is an animated series that follows the story of Elena, a brave and adventurous teenager who has saved her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn to rule as crown princess until she is old enough to be queen. Elena’s journey will lead her to understand that her new role requires thoughtfulness, resilience and compassion, the traits of all truly great leaders.
The Lion Guard
“The Lion Guard” follows the adventures of Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, and his diverse group of friends, as they unite to protect the Pride Lands. Created for kids age 2-7 and their families, the stories are designed to communicate positive lessons about teamwork, community and diversity.
Puppy Dog Pals
“Puppy Dog Pals” follows two fun-loving pug brothers, Bingo and Rolly, whose thrill-seeking appetites take them on exhilarating adventures throughout their neighborhood and around the globe.
About Disney Junior
Disney Junior reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior’s series blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills. In the U.S., Disney Junior is a daily programming block on Disney Channel and a 24-hour channel. There are 34 Disney Junior channels in 25 languages around the world.
The Disney Junior: Nursery Rhymes Collection digital album, as well as series EPs for Doc McStuffins, Elena of Avalor, The Lion Guard, Mickey and the Roadster Racers and Puppy Dog Pals EPs can all be heard on Apple Music’s Disney Junior Radio Station today at http://disneymusic.co/DJMusicRadio. All albums are now available digitally and at streaming services. For more information on Walt Disney Records’ releases become a fan at Facebook.com/disneymusic or follow us at Twitter.com/disneymusic.
Doc McStuffins – http://disneymusic.co/DJMDocDL
Elena of Avalor – http://disneymusic.co/DJMElenaDL
The Lion Guard – http://disneymusic.co/DJMLionGuardDL
Mickey and the Roadster Racers – http://disneymusic.co/DJMRoadsterDL
Puppy Dog Pals – http://disneymusic.co/DJMPDPDL
Disney Junior: Nursery Rhymes Collection – http://disneymusic.co/DJNurseryRhymesDL
Disney Junior: Nursery Rhymes Collection – http://disneymusic.co/DJNurseryRhymesAZ
Have you dreamt of stepping foot into the Cinderella Castle Dream Suite that sits four stories high overlooking Main Street, U.S.A. from one side and Fantasyland from the other? This magnificent suite features all of the comforts and conveniences of a luxury hotel and is located inside of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom. The features in the suite include rich décor and beautiful elements such as a cut-stone floor, mosaic art, rich, hardwood paneling, and stunning stained-glass windows.
As you may know, only a very select few will ever have the chance to step foot inside, let alone spend a night in the iconic Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort. This once in a lifetime experience, you see, is not one that is for sale.
Today, we are sharing how you can have the chance to win this amazing experience from Give Kids the World and Disney!
By giving your support in the form of a donation to Give Kids the World, you and five guests will be entered to win:
- A dream-come-true night at the famed Cinderella Castle Suite at Walt Disney World Resort and 2-day Disney Park passes for each guest
- Feast on a fairy tale breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table
- Get flown to and from Orlando, courtesy of Give Kids The World Village
Give Kids The World Village is an incredible nonprofit organization that is located in Central Florida. This amazing resort grants weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The weeklong stay includes everything the families need, from meals to transportation, allowing these families to focus on having fun and being together.
Walt Disney left an amazing legacy to the world, more than most in history. But perhaps his lesser known gifts are his quotes and statements made over his storied career. (More akin to “Edicts”; when Walt spoke, like EF Hutton, everybody listens!) Two of his most important quotes, ones that the company adheres to this day are… “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world” and
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”. Walt was never content to rest on his laurels and he detested sequels. His never wanted his park to become a museum, it was always to change with new and better entertainment for his guests. With this, many attractions, parades and shows have been re-imagined or replaced. This is the result of moving forward.
Case in point is the iconic Downtown Disney area. For more than thirty years, this shopping, dining and entertainment venue gave guests a place to come to enjoy some Disney magic out of the parks, and without the cost of a ticket. Previously billed as Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, Walt Disney World Village, Disney Village Marketplace and Downtown Disney. Now it has been re-imagined into four distinct districts, 150 new tenants, with new upscale outlets and new eateries, and two parking garages, ending the struggle to find a parking space.
Some of the original restaurants have closed to make room for the new, or have shuttered to be renovated to blend into the new upscale landscape. One such guest favorite was the iconic Fulton’s Crab House. The eatery resided in a building replica of a riverboat Walt named after Lillian, his wife. The operators, Levy Restaurants have completed a stem to stern renovation, up and down, which now showcases a luxurious and modern sternwheel steamboat, with interior designs that Disney states reflects the “crisp luxury of modern yachting”.
Recently, the restaurant hosted a limited seating, Rooftop Wine Dinner, the only eatery in Disney Springs to offer rooftop-level waterfront seating. This culinary event was hosted by Executive Chef Steve Richard. This event gave the lucky attendees a chance to experience the world-renowned offerings of Chef Richards, and the unique wine pairing selections from some of Italy and Spain’s eclectic wineries, but before I get into the evening, I got a rare chance to interview Chef Richards and Jimmy Kraus, the General Manager. I asked Chef Richards his take on the new theming of the restaurant and he said…” You can see that Disney Springs is very different than Downtown Disney was, the entire area was upgraded, activities, retail and different food and beverage options have been added, it was time to upgrade and move forward and bring it to the next level”. I asked if he worked at Fulton’s, and he stated…” I worked at Portabella’s for five years, now under construction, soon to become Terralina’s”. “Since then, I have been the area chef for Levy Restaurants at Disney Springs, and my oversite included Fulton’s and recently been focused as the executive chef at Paddlefish”.
I then asked if the new menu would resemble the old Fulton’s, and Steve replied…” We were careful to preserve some of the favorite items from Fulton’s because it was a staple brand from Downtown Disney and we didn’t want to leave the old fans of Fulton’s behind, so there are a number of things we’ve kept, including lobster corn dogs, a terrific appetizer item, a fantastic crab cake dish with Maque choux. We still have three species of crab that we steam, Snow crab, Queen crab and King crab, which were a pillar of the Fulton’s menu. In addition to steaming the crabs, we now serve them from the seafood boil kitchen, which is a new kitchen, not found at Fulton’s”
I asked Chef Richards if he could elaborate on the different species of crab, and he summed up with…” King Crab is the largest of the three, Queen Crab is also known as Beardi Crab, and two main species of Snow Crab, one called Opilio, and the larger one, more prized is the Queen Crab”. I than asked what is a guest favorite, and he replied…” The Snow crab is the most popular, because people are most familiar with it” “But the best crab, if you are going to have one bite of crab; the Beardi, or Queen crab is the one I recommend. It’s not as large as the King crab, but much sweeter”
Is the seafood served local, I asked? “Some of it is local, since we opened we served Mahi Mahi from the waters of Florida, to Hawaiian Opah, from the Pacific” I asked who designed the new menu, and Steve said…”I was certainly involved in the development of the new menu, and we worked with a talented group of people who worked together to get the menu where it is today” “In fact we changed it a few times since we opened in February”. How often do you anticipate changing the menu? “Since opening, we have changed the menu approximately once a month, not fully, but a few items, we are listening to what our guests tell us, what they like and what they would like to see”. “We recently added several new sandwiches, we added a blackened catfish sandwich for the lunch menu, and for dinner a terrific buffalo chicken sandwich and a Cajun chicken sandwich and chicken Caesar wrap”
Asking about the major differences between lunch and dinner menus, Chef Richards replied…” There is a lot of overlap between the two. There are more sandwiches available for lunch, and several lighter entrée salads for the daytime” “There is a considerable part of the dinner menu for lunchtime, so no matter what time you come, there will always be something to please the guests” And what about landlubber crowd I asked…” We have two steaks on the menu, filet mignon and a prime New York strip, nicely marbled which is served with saluted mushrooms. We also offer a pork chop with applesauce, also available is a terrific burger, a proprietary blend of brisket and chop, served with pimento cheese, red onion on a brioche bun” I inquired about the wine list, and Steve said…”Jimmy (Manager Jimmy Kraus) worked very hard on the wine list, and we have an unique list of wines for our guests” Manager Jimmy chimed in and said…”Our servers are trained in making suggestions for wine choices for our guests, and we have three wine stewards in the building, all sommelier certified”
So, from my brief interview, you can see that the new Paddlefish is in capable, confident hands. So, let’s talk about the four-course tasting wine dinner that evening. Held on the restaurants rooftop deck, my wife and I strolled around the top deck before things began and were struck by the amazing 360deg views of Disney Springs. The Décor is modernist with a lean towards the nautical. The rooms are nicely appointed and give an airy, outdoor feeling. We started our appetizer selection with warm skewers in a small glass, of grilled shrimp and lemongrass, followed by Thai glazed Louisiana broiler claws. Both offerings were flavorful with just the right hint of spices. The vino served was Contratto extra Brut, a wonderful compliment to the food.
After the reception, the group walked forward to an interior dining room/bar, with an outside area, complete with a dozen white, high-boy tables, if you wanted to take in the view of Disney Springs while imbibing on your favorite libation. It was before the first course while at our table the group was introduced to Chef Steve Richards, Manager Jimmy Kraus, and the rest of the crew. Notable, Trey our wine sommelier was introduced, and he was on hand to explain all the wine offerings served with each course. First up, Yellow-fin tuna Crudo with avocado mousse, miso soy glaze and Snracha emulsion. Sommelier’ choice…Gramona Gessami Blanco, which went well with the tuna and accompaniments.
The second course was a velvety smooth Plant City cream corn bisque, King Crab toasted bread center and chive oil. The soup had a huge depth of flavor, and the King Crab bread center melted in your mouth. The wine, Monte Carbonare Soave, was another perfect choice that Trey selected. Our Third course was my favorite, because I simply love lamb and octopus, and because my wife is not a fan either selection, I sampled two servings! The lamb was cooked to perfection and you could cut it with your fork, and the octopus, which I know from personal experience, is very hard to cook just right…Too much and it’s chewy like gum, too little, mushy and not very appetizing. However, the chef got it down perfect, it was done to perfection, and the marmalade and mint gremolata were the perfect sidekicks. Wine pairing for this course…Mocali Brunello de Montalcino. For myself, this wine was a bit bold for my palate.
The fourth course was dessert. White chocolate and Passionfruit mousse, and a Ginger Florintine cookie. This was my wife’s favorite course, dessert. This dessert was heavenly! The chocolate and Passionfruit complimented each other perfectly, the ginger cookie made a nice ending. The wine for the dessert course was Poire Prisonniere, a specialty brandy with a real pear in the bottle. The brandy was very good, as brandies go, but neither myself or Donna drink brandy, but our fellow diners said it was top notch!
There you have it. The new and improved former Fulton’s Crab House, now re-named and re-imagined as the Paddlefish Restaurant is in the very capable and competent hands of Head Chef Steve Richards and Manager Jimmy Kraus. This four-course Wine Dinner was a little tease of what to expect at the new eatery. With Chef Richards at the helm in the kitchen, offering fresh eclectic menu choices, along with some old favorites, and a rooftop scenic dining area, the only one in Disney Springs, Paddlefish will continue to be the top pick on every Guests list to dine.
Paddlefish is at 1670 Buena Vista Dr.
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 407-934-2628
Sunday -Thursday 11:30am-11:00pm
Rooftop Deck Live Music Every Friday & Saturday 9pm – Midnight