Connect with us


Never mind the Pink Panther. Meet the Emerald Green Mickey.

Why would someone take a 14.55 carat emerald, then sculpt this precious gem ’til it looked just like Mickey Mouse? Jim Hill suspects that it may have something to do with the early, early days of WDW’s World Showcase project.



I got a call the other day from A.C. A Chicago area Disneyana fan who also dabbles in precious gems.

“You’ll never believe what I just bought. Here, let me send you a picture.”

And — a few minutes later — this is what pops up in my inbox.

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, folks. That is actually a dime-sized head of Mickey Mouse that’s been carved out of a mint-green stone. Ah, but that’s not just any mint-green stone. That — my friends — is a 14.55 carat emerald. With an estimated retail value of $60,000.

“Who would do such a thing?, ” you ask, Well, that was why A.C. was getting in touch with me. Both to show off his new trinket as well as ask if I had any info about this gem’s origin.

And — to be honest — I HAD heard about a jewel such of this. An emerald Mickey Mouse that was supposedly accompanied by a Donald & a Goofy that had also been sculpted out of precious stones.

“Who told you about that?,” you query. Actually, it was an Imagineer who had once worked on the original version of World Showcase. No, not that collection of themed buildings that you find clustered around Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon. But — rather — WED’s very first pass on this project. Back when World Showcase was to have been located right next door to WDW’s Ticket Transportation Center.

This version of the plan dates back to late 1973 / early 1974. Back when the Imagineers were really just wrapping their heads around how to turn Walt’s last dream into something that could actually be constructed. At this point, the folks who were running Walt Disney Productions had pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that they’d never actually be able to pull a really-for-real “Experimental Prototype Communiuty of Tomorrow” (I.E. a real city) up out of the swamps of Central Florida.

But — that said — the public (not to mention the Florida legislature) was still expected the Disney corporation to eventually deliver on Walt’s last & best dream. So Mouse House managers wondered: How can we deliver on the promise of Epcot without actually having to build a full-blown city.

What these rather weaselly executives eventually decided to do was — rather than build an actual “community of tomorrow” — they’d just break Epcot down to its component parts. A series of themed satellite structures, if you will. That would each celebrate some aspect of the future.

Under this version of the Epcot plan, there would have been futuristically-styled structures built all around Disney’s 27,000-acre Central Florida parcel. With some of these buildings being envisioned as places where conventioneers (who were meeting on Disney World property) could go to learn the latest about manufacturing techniques or corporate training. While still other structures will house state-of-the-art learning centers for medicine, communications and the arts.

But those doesn’t sound like places that would be all that fun to visit, now do they? Particularly when you’re on vacation. And — given that the then-managers of Walt Disney Productions were more concerned about creating compelling reasons for tourists to return to Disney World rather than honoring Walt’s last wishes (Which — when you come to think of it — doesn’t make Disney’s old management team all that different from Disney’s current management team. Anyway … ) — they knew that they had to come up with a public component of Epcot. Some sort of gated attraction that would sound so interesting, so entertaining that WDW visitors would be happy to pay to get in.

This is where World Showcase came in, folks. Which — according to its description in Walt Disney Productions’ 1974 annual report — was supposed to be:

” … a permanent international showcase through which the nations of the world may creatively communicate their history, their culture and their commerce.”

Okay. I know that description sounds kind of vague. So let’s get to the specifics, shall we?

This World Showcase plan called for two enormous semi-circular structures. (“How enormous?,” you ask. Well, at full build-out, this version of World Showcase was supposed to have occupied an area that was almost as large as WDW’s Magic Kingdom. So perhaps that will give you some idea of how truly big these horseshoe-shaped buildings were supposed to be.) Inside each of these “wings” there was supposed to have been room for 17 different international pavilions. Which means that — if everything had gone according to plan here — World Showcase would have played host to 34 separate countries.

Sounds kind of ambitious, doesn’t it? Well, this World Showcase plan had its clever aspects as well. Take — for example — how the Imagineers planned on dealing with the international competition aspect of this project.

Now anyone who’s ever been to a World’s Fair will tell you what an architectural nightmare those places can be. With each country building what it hopes will be an eye-catching structure. All because (out of some perverted version of national pride) they want their pavilion to be the most popular attraction at that year’s Fair.

The end result — as you might imagine — is that most World’s Fairs ended with this truly odd collection of international pavilions. Each of them competing for attention. Well, Disney wanted to avoid that. Which is why the Imagineers came up with an idea that would have forced all the countries who actually took part in this version of World Showcase to come across as equals. At least in the eyes of WDW visitors.

The key was that the entrance to each pavilion was to have looked virtually identical to its next door neighbor. Here, let me show you how.

Here’s a shot of the model of the proposed entrance areas for the Great Britain & France pavilions. Notice that their facades are virtually the same shape & size. This was done deliberately, With the hope that WDW visitors (from the outside of these international pavilions, anyway) would get the idea that Great Britain was any greater than France.

Of course, once you got inside a particular international pavilion, the actual size of the interior of the structure (as well as the variety of rides, shows, shops and restaurants to be found there) … Well, that would depend on how much each participating nation had agreed to put up in order to fund the construction of their particular World Showcase pavilion. Put up a small pile of dough and you’d probably get an itty-bitty building built out behind your country’s slice of this giant horseshoe-shaped structure. Put up a large amount of money and the Imagineers would be happy to create an enormous wedge-shaped building that paid tribute to your nation.

The large projected cost of building these two enormous horseshoe-shaped structures was obviously a factor in this particular version of World Showcase not becoming a reality. But that’s not to say that Mouse House officials didn’t give it the old college try.

Toward that end, Disney Production representatives traveled the globe in the mid-1970s. Seeking out world leaders who’d (hopefully) be eager to sign up the countries up to become part of this most ambitious project.

These senior company officials went from (quoting from Disney’s 1976 annual report now) “Manila to Moscow to Mexico City.” At each turn in the trail meeting with kings, queens, ambassadors and foreign ministers. All with the hope of getting these countries to commit to becoming participants in WDW’s World Showcase project.

As part of their sales pitch, the Imagineers would often put together elaborate presentations at WED’s headquarters in Glendale, CA. Below, you’ll see a photo (also from Disney’s 1976 annual report) where company officials are trying to persuade his excellency Ardeshir Zahedi, the ambassador of Iran, to get his nation to take part in the World Showcase project.

And — of course — as part of the courtship process, Walt Disney Productions would often treat these foreign dignitaries & their families to trips to Disneyland and/or week-long Disney World vacations. All in an effort to close the deal.

And — as a show of appreciation — these dignitaries would sometimes present gifts to Disney company officials. Which is where that Mickey-shaped emerald finally re-enters today’s story.

You see, according to the story that this (now deceased) Imagineer once told me, an un-named member of Disney Productions management was once gifted a set of jewels just like these as a “Thank You” gift by some foreign potentate (Who was particularly thrilled that his country had been selected to be part of the original version of the “World Showcase” project).

Anywho … For some odd reason, this Disney company official opted not to hang onto these amazing gifts. But — rather — sold off the pieces to an unnamed individual in the mid-to-late 1970s. There the jewels stayed until earlier this year. When this collector (for some reason or other) decided to put the Mickey emerald on the market and A.C. quickly snatched it up.

Of course, half the fun of owning a piece like this is trying to get a sense of its real history. Trying to determine whether or not this gem really does have a tie to the early, early history of WDW’s World Showcase. Which is A.C. turned to me. Which is why I — in turn — am now appealing to JHM readers for help.

Now I know that I heard this story about some Disney-themed gem from this old Imagineer friend of mine a few years back. But — given that this gentleman is no longer with us — I’m no longer able to confirm if the precious stone that A.C. now owns was actually part of that collection. Which is why I was hoping that some other WDI veteran (or some well-informed JHM reader) might now be able to come forward to corrobrate this part of the story. Let A.C. know if his latest find really does have a truly unique tie to Disney Company history. Or if this highly unusual piece was just the creation of some Disneyana fan who had WAY too much time on their hands.

Also — if anyone out there might know whatever became of the Donald & Goofy-shaped gems that were once rumored to accompany this piece — Well, A.C. would be happy to hear about those pieces as well.

Either way, I figured that this oddily shaped emerald offered a unique opportunity to talk about the early, early days of the Epcot project. Which is why I decided to write today about when World Showcase was supposed to be a separate gate, built on 100-acres of land right next door to WDW’s Ticket & Transportation Center.

Your thoughts?

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.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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



Listen to the Article

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

Continue Reading


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



Listen to the Article

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

Continue Reading


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



Listen to the Article

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

Continue Reading