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California Misadventure — Part 2

In Part 2 of this fan favorite from the archives, learn how the Walt Disney Company pitted the cities of Long Beach and Anaheim against one another in the race to see which community would serve as home to the corporation’s next Southern Californian theme park.



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Way back in 1955, Walt Disney made a rash decision. In order to get a hotel built next to his Anaheim theme park, Walt gave TV producer Jack Wrather a 99-year lease as well as exclusive use of the Disney name (should Wrather decide to build any more hotels in Southern California). It would take 34 years, $161 million, as well as just a slight hint of blackmail before the company finally got control of the Disneyland Hotel.

Once that was done, Disney CEO Michael Eisner hoped to turn Orange County into another Orlando by building hundreds of new Disney-owned-and-operated hotel rooms in the Anaheim area. Realizing that he would need thousands of guests to fill up all these new hotel rooms, Eisner orders Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) to cook up some concepts for new California-based attractions that would drive up Disneyland attendance.

His only artistic directive to the team: “Amaze me. Astound Me.”

One month later, the Imagineers returned with plans for not one but two new Disney theme parks: One which could be built on top of Disneyland’s old parking lot, while the other could be constructed on property that the company had recently acquired along the waterfront in Long Beach.

They both seemed like such wonderful ideas. Which would Eisner choose to build? And why?

The rumors began flying in March 1990.

The Mouse was up to something.

Something big.

For months now, Disney had been meeting privately with the port authorities and city officials of Long Beach. Everyone the Mouse spoke with was sworn to secrecy. But — even so — little tidbits had begun to leak out about this highly hush-hush project.

Like … whatever Disney was up to, the company would be spending at least a billion dollars to get the thing up out of the ground. And … The project would feature a massive port for cruise ships, as well as several seaside luxury hotels. Best of all, there was talk of an elaborate new Disney theme park.

Long Beach residents were thrilled by these rumors.

The people of Anaheim, as you might understand, were not.

For years now, Orange County residents had listened politely as Disneyland cast members complained about how the company’s pre-existing deal with the Wrather Corporation prevented the Mouse from expanding in Anaheim. Well, that contract was null and void now. So where was Disney? Not planning any projects for Orange County, that’s for sure. The Mouse is down by the water, mapping out mega-resorts with his new pals from Long Beach.

Anaheim officials felt hurt and betrayed by what they perceived as the Mouse turning his back on his long-time friends. But — rather than get mad — these Orange County officials became determined to win back Disney’s affections. They’d do whatever they had to get back in Mickey’s good graces.

Which is exactly what the Mouse had hoped they’d do.

Ah — if we’d only known for sure what the Disney Company was actually up to, way back then in 1990-1991. We could have gotten a big box of popcorn and sat right down front. ‘Cause this was “Show Business” on a grand scale, with the real emphasis on “Business.”

As in “Giving Someone the Business.”

I mean, this was manipulation on a masterful, massive scale. The Walt Disney Company successfully pitting two major Southern Californian cities against one another, with Anaheim and Long Beach battling to see who would have the privilege of paying a billion dollars for public improvements (stuff like new highway ramps, street widening, etc.) that Disney insisted were necessary to properly launch its new theme park. All that time, all that energy, all the money expended, just so that city can have the bragging rights to having bagged the new Disney kiddie park? It hardly seems worth the effort.

Is the Mouse really that Machiavellian? Let’s look at the time line, kiddies.

January 1989: Michael Eisner asks the Imagineers to come up with some ideas for new Disney attractions for Southern California. WDI delivers two killer concepts to its CEO: Westcot Center and Disney Seas.

Truth be told, there are some obvious similarities between the two proposed theme parks. Westcot Center and Disney Seas both had bold designs that depart radically from the look and feel of classic Disneyland. Mind you, the two proposed parks aren’t that original. Both used a giant knock-off of Epcot Center’s Spaceship Earth as their centerpiece / icon (Westcot Center has its great golden Spacestation Earth, while the Disney Seas park has its bright blue Oceana.)

Most importantly, both Westcot Center and Disney Seas are going to be almost prohibitively costly to construct. Initial estimates suggest that the parks will each cost $3 billion to build.

That’s a lot of money for the Walt Disney Company to have to lay out all on its own; particularly in 1989, when the Mouse is still recovering from the massive construction bills the company ran up hurrying to finish Walt Disney World’s (WDW) Disney-MGM Studio theme park in Orlando in time for its grand opening in May of that year.

And then there’s the cash the Mouse has to have on hand to cover the costs of its portion of the Euro Disney. (This was way back when Disney thought that Euro Disney was going to be a guaranteed goldmine. Which just goes to show that the Mouse doesn’t always know what it’s doing. Anyhow… )

Disney needed a way to make either of these projects more financially viable (read that as “cheaper to build”). The easiest way to do this was to persuade an outside party to take on a portion of the cost. Someone with deep pockets. Like — say — Long Beach, or Anaheim, or even the State of California.

Disney worked hard to keep all the outside parties involved in this project off-center and out of the loop. For example, the Mouse officially announced the “Port Disney” project in April 1990. However, within just a week’s time, the Mouse put out a press release that — in a nutshell – said: “By the way, if we don’t get that modification to the State Coastal Act that we’re looking for, we’re pulling the plug on the whole damned project tomorrow.”

Long Beach — which was desperate to land this $3 billion project (with the hope that it might revitalize its depressed downtown area ) — repeatedly jumped through whatever hoop the Mouse set up. High-ranking city officials even put pressure on Peter Douglas, executive director of the Coastal Commission (reportedly even threatening to have him removed from his $70,000-a-year job), just because he dared to speak out against the “Port Disney” project.

Meanwhile, Anaheim officials continued to pester Disney management, hoping to get it to change its minds about Long Beach and refocus its expansion efforts on Orange County.

One enterprising politician even used Disneyland’s July 17th birthday celebration as a forum to plead the county’s case. Standing on stage in the Magic Kingdom, he departed from his scripted birthday greeting to personally urge Michael Eisner to bring the California second gate project back to Anaheim. Michael was not amused.

Little did this politician realize that the other shoe was about to drop. Disney was continually finding its efforts to clear all the legal hurdles to build Disney Seas / Port Disney stymied by environmentalists. Three of California’s largest environmental groups had banded together to protest the project. They had a particular problem with the Mouse’s plan to fill in 256 acres of San Pedro Bay so it could build its Disney Seas theme park.

Sensing that “Disney Seas” might end up going the way of the Titanic, the Mouse unofficially put the word out during the summer of 1990 that it might have another Californian theme park in the works, just in case “Port Disney” fell through.

Orange County officials were further heartened in February 1991, when they learned that the Disney Company had purchased 23 acres of land in Anaheim. Why would you buy land if you didn’t intend to build something on it?

Still, the Mouse worked hard at keeping Anaheim officials off-balance. It would leak detail about the proposed Anaheim second gate, then have a ribbon cutting for the “Port Disney” visitor center the very next day.

By May 1991, when Disney finally officially unveiled its $3.1 billion plan for the Westcot / Disneyland Resort project, the Anaheim city fathers were complete basket cases. While they were thrilled that Disney had finally revealed its plans for a second Anaheim park, they were also terrified that the project might suddenly fall through.

The Mouse had these guys right where it wanted them, particularly when it began issuing statements such as (when asked in a straightforwardly fashion) whether the company intended to build just Westcot or just Disney Seas, a Mouse-ka-spokesman replied: “While it wants to build both, the Walt Disney Company can only build one of these parks in the 1990s. The company will build first in the city that provides us with the best support package.”

The Mouse’s message was clear: Give us what we want (In Anaheim, Disney was looking for $1 billion worth of street widening, tree planting and public improvements. At Long Beach, Disney was asking for $880 million worth of highway improvements) or we’ll go with the other guy.

In the end, Anaheim did exactly what Disney asked. They even tabled discussion of a theme park admission tax because the Mouse threatened to cancel Westcot if the proposed tax ever came up for a vote.

By the fall of 1991, though Disney would never publicly admit to it, the company had given up on its Long Beach project. The state of California had refused to give the Mouse the zoning variance it needed to fill in that portion of San Pedro Bay. Without that additional land to build on, the whole “Port Disney” project was no longer viable.

Just days before Christmas, Long Beach got a huge lump of coal in its stocking, as Disney officially cancelled the “Port Disney” project. Had the project actually gone forward, “Disney Seas” would have created 20,000 jobs for the community.

Orange County officials rejoiced at this news, little realizing how often they’d been manipulated by the Mouse during the selection process.

And the manipulation would continue for months to come — as the Disney Company would repeatedly seek Anaheim’s approval for the numerous changes it would make to Westcot’s master plan.

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

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Jens Dahlmann of LongHorn Steakhouse has lots of great tips when it comes to grilling



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Sure, for some folks, the Fourth of July is all about fireworks. But for the 75% of all Americans who own a grill or a smoker, the Fourth is our Nation’s No. 1 holiday when it comes to grilling. Which is why 3 out of 4 of those folks will spend some time outside today working over a fire.

But here’s the thing: Though 14 million Americans can cook a steak with confidence because they actually grill something every week, the rest of us – because we use our grill or smoker so infrequently … Well, let’s just say that we have no chops when it comes to dealing with chops (pork, veal or otherwise).

So what’s a backyard chef supposed to in a situation like this when there’s so much at steak … er … stake? Turn to someone who really knows their way around a grill for advice. People like Jens Dahlmann, the Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef for Darden Restaurant’s LongHorn Steakhouse brand.

Given that Jens’ father & grandfather were chefs, this is a guy who literally grew up in a kitchen. In his teens & twenties, Dahlmann worked in hotels & restaurants all over Switzerland & Germany. Once he was classically trained in the culinary arts, Jens then  jumped ship. Well, started working on cruise ships, I mean.

Anyway … While working on Cunard’s Sea Goddess, Dahlmann met Sirio Maccioni, the founder of Le Cirque 2000. Sirio was so impressed with Jens’ skills in the kitchen that he offered him the opportunity to become sous-chef at this New York landmark. After four years of working in Manhattan, Dahlmann then headed south to become executive chef at Palm Beach’s prestigious Café L’Europe.

Jens Dahlmann back during his Disney World days

And once Jens began wowing foodies in Florida, it wasn’t all that long ’til the Mouse came a-calling. Mickey wanted Dahlmann to shake things up in the kitchen over at WDW’s Flying Fish Café. And he did such a good job with that Disney’s Boardwalk eatery the next thing Jens knew, he was then being asked to work his magic with the menu at the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill.

From there, Dahlmann had a relatively meteoric rise at the Mouse House. Once he became Epcot’s Food & Beverage general manager, it was only a matter of time before he wound up as the executive chef in charge of this theme park’s annual International Food & Wine Festival. Which – under Jens’ guidance – experienced some truly explosive growth.

“When I took on Food & Wine, that festival was only 35 days long and had gross revenues of just $5.5 million. When I left Disney in 2016, Food & Wine was now over 50 days long and that festival had gross revenues of $22 million,” Dahlmann admitted during a recent sit-down. “I honestly loved those 13 years I spent at Disney. When I was working there, I learned so much because I was really cooking for America.”

And it was exactly that sort of experience & expertise that Darden wanted to tap into when they lured Jens away from Mickey last year to become LongHorn Steakhouse’s new Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef. But today … Well, Dahlmann is offering tips to those of us who are thinking about cooking steak tips for the Fourth.

Photo by Jim Hill

“When you’re planning on grilling this holiday, if you’re looking for a successful result, the obvious place to start is with the quality of the meat you plan on cooking for your friends & family. If you want the best results here, don’t be cheap when you go shopping. Spend the money necessary for a fresh filet or a New York strip. Better yet a Ribeye, a nice thick one with good marbling. Because when you look at the marbling on a steak, that’s where all the flavor happens,” Jens explained. “That said, you always have to remember that — the higher you go with the quality of your meat — the less time you’re going to want that piece of meat to spend on the grill.”

And speaking of cooking … Before you even get started here, Jens suggests that you first take the time to check over all of your grilling equipment. Making sure that the grill itself is first scraped clean & then properly oiled before you then turn up the heat.

“If you’re working with a dirty grill, when you go to turn your meat, it may wind up sticking to the grill. Or maybe those spices that you’ve just so carefully coated your steak with will wind up sticking to the grill, rather than your meat,” Dahlmann continued. “Which is why it’s always worth it to spend a few minutes prior to firing up your grill properly cleaning & oiling it.”

Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of heat … Again, before you officially get started grilling here, Jens says that it’s crucial to check your temperature gauges. Make sure that your char grill is set at 550 (so that it can then properly handle the thicker cuts of meat) and your flattop is set at 425 (so it can properly sear thinner pieces of meat).

Okay. Once you’ve bought the right cuts of quality meat, properly cleaned & oiled your grill, and then made sure that everything’s set at the right temperature (“If you can only stand to hold your hand directly over the grill for two or three seconds, that’s the right amount of heat,” Dahlmann said), it’s now time to season your steaks.

“Don’t be afraid to be bold here. You can’t be shy when it comes to seasoning your meat. You want to give it a nice coating. Largely because — if you’re using a char grill — a lot of that seasoning is just going to fall off anyway,” Jens stated. “It’s up to you to decide what sort of seasoning you want to use here. Even just some salt & pepper will enhance a steak’s flavor.”

Then – according to Dahlmann – comes the really tough part. Which is placing your meat on the grill and then fighting the urge to flip it too early or too often.

“The biggest mistake that a lot of amateur cooks make is that they flip the steak too many times. The real key to a well-cooked piece of meat is just let it be, “Jens insisted. “Of course, if you’re serving different cuts of meat at your Fourth of July feast, you always want to put your biggest thickest steak on the grill first. If you’re also cooking a New York Strip, you want to put that one on a few minutes later. But after that, just let the grill do its job and flip your meat a total of three or four times, once every three minutes or so.”

Of course, the last thing you want to do is overcook a quality piece of meat. Which is why Dahlmann suggests that – when it comes to grilling steaks – if you’re going to err, err on the side of undercooking.

“You can always put a piece of meat back on the grill if it’s slightly undercooked. When you over-cook something, all you can do then is start over with a brand-new piece of meat,” Jens said. “Just be sure that you’re using the correct cut of meat for the cooking result you’re aiming for. If someone wants a rare or medium rare steak, you should go with a thicker cut of steak. If one of your guests wants their steak cooked medium or well, it’s best to start with a thinner cut of meat.”

Photo by Jim Hill

As you can see, the folks at Longhorn take grilling steaks seriously. How seriously? Just last week at Darden Corporate Headquarters in Orlando, seven of these brand’s top grill masters (who – after weeks of regional competitions – had been culled from the 491 restaurants that make up this chain) competed for a $10,000 prize in the Company’s second annual Steak Master Series. And Dahlmann was one of the people who stood in Darden’s test kitchens, watching like a hawk as each of the contestants struggled to prepare six different dishes in just 20 minutes according to Longhorn Steakhouse’s exacting standards.

“I love that Darden does this. Recognizing the best of the best who work this restaurant,” Jens concluded. “We have a lot of people here who are incredibly knowledgeable & passionate when it comes to grilling.”

Speaking of which … If today’s story doesn’t include the exact piece of info that you need to properly grill that T-bone, just whip out your iPhone & text GRILL to 55702. Or – better yet – visit prior to firing up your grill or smoker later today. 

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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Brattleboro’s Strolling of the Heifers is a sincere if somewhat surreal way to spend a summer’s day in Vermont



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Some people travel halfway ‘around the planet so that they can then experience the excitement of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. If you’re more of a Slow Living enthusiast (as I am), then perhaps you should amble to Brattleboro, VT. Where – over the first weekend in June – you can then join a herd of cow enthusiasts at the annual Strolling of the Heifers.

Now in its 16th year, this three-day long event typically gets underway on Friday night in June with a combination block party / gallery walk. But then – come Saturday morning – Main Street in Brattleboro is lined with thousands of bovine fans.

Photo by Jim Hill

They’ve staked out primo viewing spots and set up camp chairs hours ahead of time. Just so these folks can then have a front row seat as this year’s crop of calves (which all come from local farms & 4-H clubs) are paraded through the streets.

Photo by Jim Hill

Viewed from curbside, Strolling of the Heifers is kind of this weird melding of a sincere small town celebration and Pasadena’s Doo Dah Parade. Meaning that – for every entry that actually acknowledged this year’s theme (i.e. “Dance to the Moosic”) — …

Photo by Jim Hill

… there was something completely random, like this parade’s synchronized shopping cart unit.

Photo by Jim Hill

And for every piece of authentic Americana (EX: That collection of antique John Deere tractors that came chugging through the city) …

Photo by Jim Hill

… there was something silly. Like – say – a woman dressed as a Holstein pushing a baby stroller through the streets. And riding in that stroller was a pig dressed in a tutu.

Photo by Jim Hill

And given that this event was being staged in the Green Mountain State & all … Well, does it really surprise you to learn that — among the groups that marched in this year’s Strolling of the Heifers – was a group of eco-friendly folks who, with their  chants of “We’re Number One !,” tried to persuade people along the parade route not to flush the toilet after they pee. Because – as it turns out – urine can be turned into fertilizer.

Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of fertilizer … At the tail end of the parade, there was a group of dedicated volunteers who were dealing with what came out of the tail end of all those cows.

Photo by Jim Hill

This year’s Strolling of the Heifers concluded at the Brattleboro town common. Where event attendees could then get a closer look at some of the featured units in this year’s parade…

Photo by Jim Hill

… or perhaps even pet a few of the participants.

Photo by Jim Hill

But as for the 90+ calves who took part in the 2017 edition of Strolling of the Heifers, once they reached the town common, it was now time for a nosh or a nap.

Photo by Jim Hill

Elsewhere on the common, keeping with this year’s “Dance to the Moosic” theme, various musical groups performed in & around the gazebo throughout the afternoon.

Photo by Jim Hill

While just across the way – keeping with Brattleboro’s tradition of showcasing the various artisans who live & work in the local community – some pretty funky pieces were on display at the Slow Living Exposition.

Photo by Jim Hill

All in all, attending Strolling of the Heifers is a somewhat surreal but still very pleasant way to spend a summer’s day in Vermont. And that’s no bull.

Photo by Jim Hill

Well, that could be a bull. To be honest, what with the wig & all, it’s kind of hard to tell. 

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Sunday, June 4, 2017

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Looking to make an authentic Irish meal for Saint Patrick’s Day? If so, then chef Kevin Dundon says not to cook corned beef & cabbage



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Let’s at least start on a positive note: Celebrated chef, author & TV personality Kevin Dundon – the man that Tourism Ireland has repeatedly chosen as the Face of Irish Food – loves a lot of what happens in the United States on March 17th.

“I mean, look at what they do in Chicago on Saint Patrick’s Day. They toss all of this vegetable-based dye into the Chicago River and then paint it green for a day. That’s terrific,” Kevin said.

But then when it comes to what many Americans eat & drink on St. Paddy’s Day (i.e., a big plate of corned beef and cabbage. Which is then washed down with a mug of green beer) … Well, that’s where Dundon has to draw the line.

Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon displays a traditional Irish loin of bacon with Colcannon potatoes and a Dunbrody Kiss chocolate dessert. Photo by Tom Burton. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“Green beer? No real Irishman would be caught dead drinking that stuff,” Kevin insists. “And as for eating corned beef & cabbage … That’s not actually authentic Irish fare either. Bacon and cabbage? Sure. But corned beef & cabbage was something that the Irish only began eating after they’d come to the States to escape the Famine. And even then these Irish-Americans only began serving corned beef & cabbage to their friends & family because they had to make do with the ingredients that were available to them at that time.”

And thus begins the strange tale of how corned beef & cabbage came to be associated with the North American celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. Because – according to Dundon – beef just wasn’t all that big a part of the Irish diet back in the 19th century.

To explain: Back in the Old Country, cattle – while they were obviously highly prized for the milk & cheese that they produced – were also beasts of burden. Meaning that they were often used for ploughing the fields or for hauling heavy loads. Which is why – back then — these animals were rarely slaughtered when they were still young & healthy. If anything, land owners liked to put a herd of cattle on display out in one of their pastures because that was then a sign to their neighbors that this farm was prosperous.

“Whereas pork … Well, everybody raised pigs back then. Which is why pork was a staple of the Irish diet rather than beef,” Dundon continued.

So if that’s what people actually ate back in the Old Country, how then did corned beef & cabbage come to be so strongly associated with Saint Patrick’s Day in the States.? That largely had to do with where the Irish wound up living after they arrived in the New World.

“When the Irish first arrived in America following the Great Famine, a lot of them wound up living in the inner city right alongside the Germans & the Jews, who were also recent immigrants to the States. And while that farm-fresh pork that the Irish loved wasn’t readily available, there was brisket. Which the Irish could then cure by first covering this piece of meat with corn kernel-sized pieces of rock salt – that’s how it came to be called corned beef. Because of the sizes of the pieces of rock salt that were used in the curing process – and then placing all that in a pot of water with other spices to soak for a few days.”

And as for the cabbage portion of corned beef & cabbage … Well, according to Kevin, in addition to buying their meat from the kosher delis in their neighborhood, the Irish would also frequent the stores that the German community shopped in. Where – thanks to their love of sauerkraut (i.e., pickled cabbage) – there was always a ready supply of cabbage to be had.

“So when you get right down to it, it was the American melting pot that led to corned beef & cabbage being found in the Irish-American cooking pot,” Dundon continued. “Since they couldn’t find or didn’t have easy access to the exact same ingredients that they had back in Ireland, Irish-Americans made do with what they could find in the immediate vicinity. And what they made was admittedly tasty. But it’s not actually authentic Irish fare.”

Mind you, what Kevin serves at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Disney Springs (which – FYI – Orlando Magazine voted as the area’s best restaurant back in 2014) is nothing if not authentic. Dundon and his team at this acclaimed gastropub pride themselves on making traditional Irish fare and then contemporized it.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“Take – for example – what we serve here instead of corned beef & cabbage. Again, because it was pork – rather than beef – that was the true staple of the Irish diet back then, what we offer instead is a loin of bacon that has been glazed with Irish Mist. That then comes with colcannon potatoes. Which is this traditional Irish dish that’s made up of mashed potato that have had some cabbage & bacon mixed through it,” Kevin enthused. “This heavenly ham – that’s what we actually call this traditional Irish dish at Raglan Road, Kevin’s Heavenly Ham – also includes some savory cabbage with a parsley cream sauce as well as a raisin cider jus. It’s simple food. But because of the basic ingredients – and that’s the real secret of Irish cuisine. That our ingredients are so strong – the flavors just pop off the plate.”

Which brings us to the real challenge that Dundon and the Raglan Road team face every day. Making sure that they actually have all of the ingredients necessary to make this traditional-yet-contemporized Irish fare to those folks who frequent this Walt Disney World favorite.

“Take – for example – the fish we serve here. We only used cold water fish. Salmon, mussels and haddock that have been hauled out of the Atlantic, the ocean that America and Ireland share,” Kevin stated. “Not that there’s anything wrong with warm water fish. It’s just that … Well, it doesn’t have the same structure. It’s a softer fish, which doesn’t really fit the parameters of Irish cuisine. And if you’re going to serve authentic food, you have to be this dedicated when it comes to sourcing your ingredients.

Copyright Mitchell Beazley. All rights reserved

And if you’re thinking of perhaps trying to serve an authentic Irish meal this year, rather than once again serving corned beef & cabbage at your Saint Patrick’s Day Feast … Well, back in September of last year, Mitchell Beazley published “The Raglan Road Cookbook: Inside America’s Favorite Irish Pub.” This 296-page hardcover not only includes the recipe for Kevin’s Heavenly Ham but also it tells the tale of how this now-world-renown restaurant wound up being built in Orlando.

On the other hand, if you happen to have to the luck of the Irish and are actually down at The Walt Disney World Resort right now, it’s worth noting that Raglan Road is right in the middle of its Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival. This four day-long event – which includes Irish bands and professional dancers – stretches through Sunday night. And in addition to all that authentic Irish fare that Dundon and his team are cooking up, you also sample the fine selection of beers & cocktails that this establishment’s four distinct antique bars (each of which are more than 130 years old and were imported directly from Ireland) will be serving. Just – As ucht Dé (That’s “For God’s Sake” in Gaelic) – don’t make the mistake of asking the bartender there for a mug of green beer.

“Why would anyone willingly drink something like that?,” Dundon laughed. “I mean, just imagine what their washroom will look like the morning after.”

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Friday, March 17, 2017

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