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Skeleton Crew

Jim Hill talks about a proposed nighttime-only retheming of Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Which is sure NOT to be popular with some theme park fans.



If you like today’s story … Well, you then have Jeff Lange & Lee at to thank.

After all, they’re the two who let the cat out of the bag yesterday with this exchange over on that site’s discussion boards:

Lee: Now, wait until JH tells the story about what MAY happen to Pirates at DL…thats a cool story.

JL: That is a kick ______ story. I don’t know why Jim hasn’t told it yet, but it rules.

Which is probably how my JHM in-box wound up filling up yesterday afternoon. As dozens of readers wrote to me, asking if I might reveal what WDI is supposedly thinking about doing with Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride.

So — per your requests — I will now share with you what I’ve heard. Though I have to tell you that a lot of you folks are NOT going to like what you hear today. Hell, I seriously doubt that many of you will believe that this story is even true. You’re going to think that I made this whole thing up.

I mean, this plan for POTC sounds so unlikely, so preposterous. The tale I’m telling just can’t be legit.

But it is, folks. I first heard about this plan for Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride toward the middle of last year. The news came straight from one of my very best sources. A guy who’s really wired into the theme park community. No, I can’t reveal his name. All I can tell you that he’s a man who’s got some really great connections at the Walt Disney Company. More importantly, this guy who has never ever steered me wrong with a theme park-related story.

So — before we get started here — I just wanna offer up A WORD OF WARNING: This is one of those ride redo concepts that I know is going to make a lot of you people who just love Disneyland the way it is absolutely crazy. The very idea that the Imagineers would ever think of doing something like this to “Pirates of the Caribbean” — the ride that many Disneyana fans believe to be one of Walt’s crowning achievements — borders on blasphemy.

On the other hand, folks who enjoyed the “Curse of the Black Pearl” film and/or those who just love it when the Mouse takes big chances in order to make old attractions at its theme parks seem new again are going to jump with joy when they hear about this plan.

Alright. I know. That’s enough stalling. Get on with the story, already. I just wanted to make sure that ” … properly warned ye be” before I lay this twisted tale on you.

Okay. You all already know that — since November of 1984, back when the “Country Bear Christmas Special” show first debuted at Disneyland — that the Walt Disney Company has been using seasonal overlays to freshen up rides & shows at its theme parks. The most obvious (and successful) examples of this practice are “Haunted Mansion Holiday” and “It’s a Small World Holiday.”

And — since 1994 — visitors to the Disney-MGM Studio theme park have enjoyed no less than four distinctly different drop profiles on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. So it’s clear that there’s a real hunger out there among theme park fans for attractions that change. Whether it be for only a few months every year or virtually every time you get on that ride (like Tower of Terror and/or the troop transports in the “Indiana Jones Adventure”).

But how would you feel about a theme park ride that gives you one experience during the day, but an entirely different experience once the sun goes down each night?

What am I talking about? Well, do you remember the curse from “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”? If not … Let’s listen in as Captain Barbossa explains it to Elizabeth:

Copyright 2003. Walt Disney Pictures

BARBOSSA: Look! The moonlight shows us for what we really are. We are not among the living, and so we cannot die, but neither are we dead. For too long I’ve been parched with thirst and unable to quench it. Too long I’ve been starving to death and haven’t died. I feel nothing – not the wind on my face nor the spray of the sea, nor the warmth of a woman’s flesh. (The Captain walks out into the moonlight and reveals himself to be a skeleton) You best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner. You’re in one!

You get the premise, right? These pirates look normal as long as the sun’s up, but turn into horrific skeleton figures as soon as the moon rises.

So picture this: During the day, Disneyland runs its standard version of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Which has been delighting theme park goers since March of 1967. But once the sun sets, this New Orleans Square attraction temporarily stops operations for 15 minutes to a half hour to reset. And then …

Well, it’s the same old ride right up until the moment that you enter the harbor for POTC’s bombardment scene. But then … You can’t help but notice that the moon’s out. And the crew of the “Wicked Wench” looks different somehow. Could it be that there are skeletons now manning the cannons on that pirate ship?

But this is just the first of many surprises for all you “Pirates” fans out there. For — instead of following the standard route and just floating to the right — your boat now follows a new path across the harbor. You veer to the left instead, going between the “Wicked Wench” and the Spanish fort. Once that’s done, you then enter a darkened channel that takes you behind the pre-existing POTC sets. Where pools of moonlight occassionally reveal skeletal pirates who — just as they’ve always done — loot and then try & burn down the city.

Only this time … These skeletal pirates actually notice us. That there’s a boatload of tourists floating close nearby. So — periodically — they make attempts to board our vessel and/or deliberately try and sink us.

Copyright 2003. Walt Disney Pictures.

In short, these are NOT the “ne’er do-well cads” that we’ve met on previous trips through POTC. In fact, given how intent this bunch of boney b*stards is on scaring the cr*p out of us, it’s doubtful that any of them can truthfully claim that ” … Aye, but we’re loved by our mommies and dads.”

Thankfully, by the time our boat finishes its backstage journey and manages to hook back up with POTC’s original flume (just past the attraction’s burning dungeon sequence), we have only just managed to escape with our lives. As our boat chugs back uphill to the offload area, we thank our lucky stars that those skeletal pirates weren’t actually able to harm us and (perhaps) recruit us to join their doomed crew.

That’s the plan, folks. Disneyland’s “Pirates” ride remains as it always has during the day. Which is a basically family-friendly attraction. But — once the sun goes down — this New Orleans Square favorite will take on a much more darker, sinister tone. This new nighttime version of POTC will make the “Haunted Mansion” seem almost tame by comparison.

Now I know what I’ve just described above sounds utterly preposterous. That there’s just no way that the Walt Disney Company would ever allow something like this to be done to Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride.

But the fact of matter is, folks, that this sort of redo for Disneyland’s “Pirates” actually has been proposed. Senior Imagineers have gone down to Anaheim and wandered all through that cavernous show building out beyond the berm. They’ve even measured the available space out behind behind POTC’s pre-existing sets. And — sure enough (If you take advantage of POTC boat storage space) — there really is enough room back there for another flume. As well as space for several new show scenes for this more horrific take on “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

“So when’s this ‘Pirates’ redo supposedly going to happen?,” you ask. Well, that’s really the wrong question to ask in this situation, folks. Given how controversial this proposed nighttime retheming project supposed is, perhaps the more apt question might be: “How likely is it that this project ever actually gets off the ground?”

To be honest, a lot of that depends on how these new “Pirates” sequels do. Should these films rack up grosses approaching what “The Curse of the Black Pearl” earned (Over $650 million worldwide), I’d wager that Disney Company management would then take a closer, more serious look at this proposal.

But — for now, anyway — this proposed “Pirates” redo remains one of the more unusual proposals bouncing around WDI these days. Good old family-friendly “Pirates” by day. Much darker, significantly scarier version of the same ride at night.

I’m sure that you folks will have some questions about this project. So let me now try & address some of the issues that I’m sure will come up.

  • Yes, the plan is that Disneyland would make sure that parents understand that the skeletons take over POTC once the sun goes down each night. So that no small children would be unintentionally exposed to the much scarier nighttime version of this New Orleans Square attraction.
  • No, I don’t have any information about how WDI intends to daily swap out all of the AA figures that regularly appeared in “Pirates” ‘s bombardment sequence and/or the burning dungeon scene at the very end of the ride for skeletons.

As for what I personally think of this proposed “Pirates” redo … To be honest, I’m not all that big on scares. So I don’t know how I’d feel about having skeletons leaping out at me menacingly every few seconds. To me, that just makes this second POTC flume (You know? The one that’s supposed to go behind all of the previously existing sets in the show?) sound like an extended version of the attic sequence from “The Haunted Mansion.”

But — that said — I still have to admit that I’m pretty intrigued by the idea of a Disney theme park attraction that goes one way during the day, but then takes an entirely different path at night. So — if the Imagineers actually do manage to ever install this ambitious retheming at Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” — I know that I’m flying out to Anaheim just to check this out.

But what do you folks think? Is this really the sort of thing that Disney should be doing at its theme parks?

Or perhaps the better question might be proposed to all the people who’ve actually worked at Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” over the past 37 / nearly 38 years. As in: Is there really room enough behind POTC’s pre-existing sets to do something like this? To install a new flume, to build new show scenes that can properly support & present skeletal AA figures? I’d love to hear what these people have to say.

I know, I know. I’m probably asking more questions than I’ve answered in this article. But I have to admit that this proposed “Pirates” retheming project just fascinates me. I almost wish that it would get the green light. Just so we could see if the Imagineers could actually pull this thing off.

Anyway … What do you folks think?

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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