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Category Archives: Disney Springs

VIDEO TOUR – The Art Corner! – NEW SHOP now open at Disney Springs – Artistic Talent Group – Walt Disney World

 

On my most recent trip to Walt Disney World I just so happened to visit Disney Springs on a very special day! I was strolling through Disney Springs on the opening day of The Art Corner, a brand-new shop run by Artistic Talent Group! Talk about being in the right place at the right time! This trip I was staying at a Disney Springs Resort Area Hotel and upon checking in my family and I first decided to head over and explore Disney Springs for a bit before making our way to the parks for our evening plans.

 

During our walk through the Marketplace side of Disney Springs we spotted The Art Corner! This new store took the place of where LittleMissMatched used to be. Having not recognized this new shop we wondered inside and were instantly amazed by all of the creativity that is flowing through this incredible new place! We were greeted by many smiling faces who were so kind to talk to us about everything that The Art Corner has to offer! Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to see inside!

 

 

Artistic Talent Group has brought a brand-new retail and entertainment concept to Disney Springs! This shop specializes in interactive art of all kinds! Visitors to the store can expect to see a wide selection of unique artistic mediums brought together inside of The Art Corner!

 

Opening!

The shop opened February 7th 2019 at Disney Springs. The store brings an exciting and original new pop-up concept to Disney World’s bustling shopping, dining and entertainment district!

The Art Corner serves as the first brick-and-mortar retail shop of its kind at Walt Disney World, The Art Corner brings together in one location the work from a variety of talented artists!

 

What’s inside!

The Art Corner showcases talented artists producing original work including classic watercolor caricatures, ground-breaking digital caricatures, hand-drawn names and artistic marbling. Caricatures have been a guest favorite at Walt Disney World for decades! Now brand-new, digital caricatures offer an innovative twist on this classic art form.

 

 

 

Name Works, the popular provider of personalized artwork, also has a new location inside The Art Corner, complementing its other locations across Walt Disney World! At Name Works, hand-drawn names are created and personalized with illustrations of guests’ favorite things, including select animated characters!

 

 

After a successful debut at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts in 2018, the interactive, hands-on artistic marbling activity now has a year-round home inside The Art Corner. This customizable experience allows guests to learn the ancient art form of Suminigashi, working along-side a professional artisan to create custom-made silk items. Each piece is designed with specific colors and patterns that the guest themselves get to select!

 

 

Inside The Art Corner you will also find a unique “Coffee & Canvas” gallery by Steven Mikel. Steven is an artist from Coconut Creek, Florida who is represented by Artisitic talent Group. This artist’s work adds a very original touch of whimsy to the store. Focused on revealing the overlooked or unnoticed beauty tucked away in the details of the world around us, Steven paints exclusively using different varieties of coffee!  Every painting often requiring between 60 to 150 brewed cups! The “Coffee & Canvas” gallery helps define the unique niche this gallery/merchandise location brings to Disney Springs over the course of its one-year engagement.

 

“Our goal is to continue Walt Disney’s vision of bringing smiles to the faces of every guest who visits our store, just as they do when they visit Walt Disney World Resort,” said Barbara and Keelan Parham, owners of Artistic Talent Group. “We are thrilled to open our doors and bring The Art Corner to life at Disney Springs!”

 

I had the privilege to Interview The Art Corner’s Owner, Keelan Parham. He was so kind to welcome us into his shop and take us on a tour throughout the store to see everything that The Art Corner has for guests to enjoy! Watch the tour on our YouTube Channel:

 

 

Artistic Talent Group

Artistic Talent Group (ATG) is a talent agency representing visual artists for the special events industry. ATG divisions include Caricature Connection, who have been drawing caricatures and other products on Disney property for over twenty-five years, and Name Works, who create personalized pieces of artwork featuring guest’s names.

 

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner to plan your next vacation!

Disney’s Saratoga Springs 2 Bedroom Villa – Preferred Room Tour! Walt Disney World

 

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort at Walt Disney World is a gorgeous deluxe property! I have personally stayed here twice and have had a wonderful experience both times! This resort ranks as being one of my all-time favorites and I am excited to share with you why I enjoy it so much!

 

 

Saratoga Springs is themed to the historic Saratoga Springs that existed in New York in the late 1800’s as a well-known retreat that was known for its spas and horse racing! The theming throughout the resort sets this scene! Everything from the rooms, to the lobby, to the grounds is detailed to transport you to that time and place! This Victorian-style resort sits in-between Village Lake and the rolling greens of the golf course!

 

 

This may be a turn of the century-themed resort but it is stocked full of every modern luxury you want! There are also wonderful amenities located right on the resort’s property such as Senses Spa and Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. When you are looking to grab a bite, you will love the onsite dining locations! You will find everything from grab-&-go and quick-service meals at The Artist Palette, to gourmet dishes at the Turf Club. The resort features a main pool area as well as several quite pools located throughout the entire property! The grounds are tranquil and serene. It is a great place to be if you are looking to relax!

 

 

What I love most about this resort is its location! Saratoga Spring is location directly across the lake from Disney Springs! You are so close you can actually walk straight from the resort over to Disney Springs by the connecting walkways! There is also boat transportation that will take you over! This close location is super convenient for being able to just pop over to Disney Springs to grab a drink, get a bite to eat, shop or just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. Disney Springs is a great spot to hangout and unwind after a day in the park. However, having to take bus transportation to Disney Springs after a long day in the parks might hinder you from coming over every night. That’s why staying at Saratoga Spring is so wonderful! Being walking distance from Disney Springs you have the ability to enjoy this awesome spot in a more relaxed way and much more often.

 

 

I recently got to stay in a 2-bedroom villa here at Saratoga Springs. This villa was incredible and very spacious! Join us on a room tour in our new YouTube video!

 

 

Have you ever stayed at Saratoga Springs? Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel planner to plan your next magical vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort or to any destination that you are dreaming of next!

 

NEW Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill Now Open at Disney Springs! Walt Disney World

I love Disney Springs for all of the wonderful, shopping, dining and entertainment offerings that call Disney Springs home! There is a huge selection of stores and eateries to choose from, giving you endless options for a fun day or night out! And now I am excited to share with you that the list of places to check out at Disney Springs just got even longer! This past week Disney Springs welcomed Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill to their lineup of amazing restaurants!

Chef Wolfgang Puck has a name well known around Disney Springs! Chef Wolfgang Puck’s Counter Service location, Wolfgang Puck Express, located in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs has remained consistently open. In addition to his success at this popular quick-service location, the chef has had other Disney Spring’s eateries! If you visited Disney Springs a few years back or even when the area was known as Downtown Disney, then you may remember his previous restaurant that was located over on the West Side, Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe and Dining Room. Also on the West Side the famous chef also previously had a quick-service location which also closed in August 2017. (Fun Fact: The former location of Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe will soon be home to Jaleo by Chef José Andrés.)

 

Now we are very excited that Wolfgang Puck has a brand-new restaurant in a new location in the Town Center section of Disney Springs, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill! Here the celebrity chef will be serving up his signature California cuisine with a new twist!

 

The restaurant is located in the Town Center of Disney Springs. You can find it in between the Town Center indoor shopping complex and the Coca-Cola Store. It is directly across from Guy Ferrari’s Chicken Guy. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill has a much different atmosphere then the previous Wolfgang Puck Café. When you enter the new restaurant you immediately pick up on the very modern, fresh vibe that this new location has! It is very sleek and gives the Wolfgang Puck name a whole new identity.

Once inside Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill you will notice accents of red contrast against a pallet of neutral tones. There is a wide array of different seating arrangements including a space to host large party sizes! In addition to the crisp and clean colors, there are plenty of details that add visual appeal to the restaurant, from exposed wood beams to intricate lighting pieces. The location features many large windows giving the space a very bright and open feel. On the walls of the restaurant you can find many black and white portraits that bring a very personal touch into the space! Some of the black and white art is of fresh produce used to highlight the fresh ingredients you will find in your dishes.

 

All of these touches are great however, the true focal point of the restaurant is the on-stage kitchen where all of the culinary artistry is taking place! When you enter the restaurant to your left-hand side the first thing you are greeted by is the pizza kitchen! Chef Wolfgang Puck is known for his gourmet pizzas, so this is an appropriate welcome to the restaurant! Located in the back of the restaurant you will find the main open kitchen where all of the other wonderful dishes are coming to life!

Now here comes the part that I personally am most excited for, there’s the Gelato Bar! This Gelato bar is connected with the bakery area. You can find it to your right as you enter Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill! Not dining in at the restaurant but in the mode for dessert? Then good news, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill has you covered! You will also be able to get this gelato from the restaurant’s walk-up window! I will definitely be checking out this gelato bar on my next visit to Disney Springs!

 

So now let’s talk about the restaurant’s food! Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill menu has received a very fresh makeover when compared to the chef’s previous dining location, while still retaining some well-loved classics. This menu of “California cuisine,” offers a wide selection of options. Everyone in your party is sure to find something they will enjoy!

 

I will definitely be making a dining reservation to check out Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill on my next vacation to Walt Disney World this February! Looking at their menu I am looking forward to trying either the Basil and Shrimp Pizza or the Sea Bass! Be sure to check out this great new restaurant yourself next time you are in Disney Springs! Plan your next vacation now by contacting your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner! Our team is always ready to use their knowledge and expertise to help you plan your perfect vacation!

 

Explore the New Bourbon Trail at Disney Springs

There’s something exciting – and tasty! – coming to Disney Springs on May 1. Kick off your summer by exploring this brand-new Bourbon Trail, where guests ages 21 and older can discover bourbon-inspired beverages and food pairings. Meander through the many shops and restaurants throughout the area and find your favorites!

Each of these drinks has been carefully paired with a delicious dish, and there’s even a map that shows where to find all of them! Whether you’re a bourbon aficionado, or just enjoy sipping and savoring new drinks, this trail is perfect for an afternoon stroll or a night out with friends.

I’ve put together this guide to everything being offered on the trail, so be sure to read up and prepare your taste buds, because these offerings will only be available through June 17 and you won’t want to miss out! You might even find me strolling about and sipping on a tasty beverage myself …

House of Blues Restaurant & Bar

  • Fine and Mellow – featuring Knob Creek Bourbon, St. Elder, lemon juice, strawberry, and rhubarb bitters
  • Hurry Sundown Old Fashioned – featuring Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Benedictine, butter pecan syrup, bitters, and caramel pecan bacon
  • Smoked Brisket or Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • Homemade Bread Pudding – topped with toffee sauce and bourbon butter
    Splitsville Dining Room

    • The Trifecta – a stirred concoction of Old Forester 100, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Benedictine, and Pimento Dram
    • BBQ Chicken Pizza – smothered in BBQ sauce, topped with marinated grilled chicken, BBQ sauce, smoked gouda, mozzarella, cilantro, and red onion

    Bongos Cuban Café

    • Angel’s Envy Bourbon Mojito – featuring Angel’s Blue Envy Bourbon, simple syrup, soda water, and fresh mint leaves
    • Authentic Cuban Style Churrasco Certified Angus Beef – a 10-ounce skirt steak hand-cut and served with house-made chimichurri sauce, white rice, and beans

    YeSake

    • Strawberry Bourbon Sour Slushie – bourbon, sweet strawberry puree, and lemonade

Citrus Fresh – salmon, green leaf lettuce, cucumber, onion, spinach, and jalapeño tempura crunch wasabi ponzu sauce (available as a bowl or wrap)


Planet Hollywood Observatory

  • Bulleit Frontier Old Fashioned – featuring Bulleit Bourbon, sugar, and bitters
  • BBQ Ribs – fall-off-the-bone St. Louis-style ribs, slow cooked in-house, smothered with BBQ sauce, and served with triple fries

STK Orlando

  • Double Down – featuring Woodford Reserve and lemon juice
  • Double Smoked Bacon – served with date chutney, oven-dried tomatoes, and crispy garlic
  • Bag O’ Donuts – enhanced with dulche de leche filling and spice chocolate and raspberry sauces

Enzo’s Hideaway

  • Enzo’s Bourbon Swizzle – featuring Bulleit Bourbon, lemon juice, ginger syrup, bitters, and fresh mint sprigs with notes of spice, rye, and cedar

Salumi and Formaggi Board – an impressive selection of meats and cheeses


The Edison

  • Peach Tree Downs – a refreshing peach mint julep with a nutty pecan finish featuring Knob Creek Bourbon and Old Camp Peach Pecan Whiskey, with a rich, sweet, woody, full-bodied and almost-fruity flavor and aromas of toasted nuts, grain, and oak
  • DB Clothesline Candied Bacon – maple and black pepper-infused bacon served with a sour pickle

Paradiso 37, Taste of the Americas

  • Kentucky Sunrise – featuring Jim Beam Bourbon, orange juice, and grenadine
  • Argentinian Skirt Steak – 10-ounce char-grilled skirt steak topped with caramelized onions and chimichurri and served with wasabi or truffle fries

The Ganachery

Woodford Reserve Bourbon – comprised of more than 200 delectable flavor notes, from bold grain and wood to sweet aromatics: spice, fruit, and floral notes


Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant

  • The Gold Cup – featuring Bulleit Bourbon, Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and muddled mint, lime, and cucumber
  • Dub Schpuds – herb roasted potato wedges with a Smithwick’s & Dubliner cheese dip

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

  • Coffee Old Fashioned – Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Kahlua Coffee Liqueur, Joffrey’s Cold Brew Coffee, Vanilla Syrup, Aromatic Bitters, and served with a coffee ganache square

Snakebite Sliders – three gourmet beef sliders with tomato-bacon jam, house-made pickles, shredded lettuce and cheese


The Boathouse

  • Orlando Pride – featuring Old Forester Bourbon and a homemade blackberry citrus purée

Calamari – hoisin chili marinated calamari rings lightly fried with a medley of peppers and served with a side of hoisin chili sauce


Paddlefish

Southern Sangria – featuring Medley Bros. Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, peach liqueur, Tempranillo, and seasonal fruit with warm notes of caramel, oak, and spices that are followed by touches of creamy vanilla, milk chocolate, and caramelized sugar

The Pork Chop – a 10-ounce pork chop served with house-made applesauce and fresh green beans

The Polite Pig

Winner’s Circle – featuring Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Pamplemousee grapefruit liqueur, and elderflower tonic, with a rich and complex flavors and hints of vanilla, toffee, and candied fruit

The Southern Pig Sandwich – mouthwatering pulled pork, fennel-apple slaw, tangy mustard BBQ and Dukes Mayonnaise

Frontera Cocina

  • Bórbon Néctar – featuring Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, 3 dashes of organic agave, 5 drops of Elemakule Tiki Bitters, and orange peel with lean oak, corn, and caramel flavors and finishes of warm toffee, spice, and drying wood
  • Carne Asada – garlic and red chili-marinated Creekstone Natural Black Angus Steak, black beans refritos with queso fresco, and caramelized plantains with crema and Cotija cheese and served with tomatillo salsa and warm tortillas

    D-Luxe Burger

    • Smoked Bourbon Gelato Shake – vanilla gelato blended with Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon, hickory smoke, and dark chocolate sauce and topped with a bacon strip
    • Southern Burger – signature blend beef patty topped with a fried green tomato, pimento cheese, lettuce, grilled onion, and bacon

    Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

    • The Old Fashioned Elder – featuring Michter’s Bourbon and St. Germain Elderflower
    • Basil Hayden’s Mint Julep – featuring Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, simple syrup, and sprigs of fresh mint
    • Famous Thigh High Chicken Biscuits – three biscuits topped with Chef Art’s fried chicken thighs, drizzled with hot honey, and served alongside bread and butter picklesEverything on this tasty Bourbon Trail will be available at Disney Springs from May 1 to June 17, so come on out, grab a drink and a snack, and take a walk with us! You can even pick up a Bourbon Trail Passport that contains all of this info and more at the Disney Springs Welcome Center and at any participating location.

Thanks to  Alex Dunlap and the Disney Parks Blog for this post on the Bourbon Trail at Disney Springs!

 

Splitsville Dining Room

Rock n roll is all around you at this vintage, retro-style bowling alley that gives a fresh spin on dining, music, and entertainment. Whether you want to bowl before or after your meal, this indoor-outdoor restaurant spans two floors, has five bars, a billiards area, and 30 bowling lanes – and there’s often live music!

Open from 10:30am – 1am, Splitsville is 50,000 square-feet of pure fun. With a seemingly endless menu, there is something for even the pickiest of eaters. From burgers to fresh-rolled sushi, hand-tossed pizzas, and veggie bowls, everyone will be pleased.

Start your meal with amped-up bowling alley classics like loaded fries, macho nachos, and cheeseburger sliders. For those who have to eat gluten free, there is no shortage of choices! Grilled salmon with mango chutney, ahi tuna, spicy veggie bowl, and the fiesta chicken bowl are just a few of your many options.

Save room for dessert so you can enjoy a Ghiradelli brownie a la mode, root beer float, or the super sundae, and you will surely be ready for a nap after a few rounds of bowling!

You can get to Disney Springs by the complimentary bus system, or you can park your car. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days in advance.

Planet Hollywood Observatory Opens at Disney Springs

Planet Hollywood Observatory has opened its flagship location in the heart of Disney Springs™ at Walt Disney World® Resort, transforming its iconic globe into a four-story stargazing observatory with new spaces including an outdoor terrace, a new menu and an exciting new look and feel.

Inside it’s an immersive theatrical dining experience, with each floor providing a different ambiance, including the fabulous curated collection of film-making memorabilia and a 4,500-square-foot video wall the uses trompe l’oeil 3D technology – images with such realism that they appear to be in three dimensions.

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Classic Planet Hollywood dishes are on the new menu, as well as a selection of over-the-top burgers and sandwiches by celebrity Chef Guy Fieri. Desserts are a hallmark of the restaurant, like the hand-dipped milkshakes and generous sweets made for sharing.

Beer, wine and cocktails offer a little something for every taste, and Stargazers Lounge has a beverage menu that focuses on Florida craft beers (with 20 on tap) and 10 signature cocktails.

The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. The new 5,000 square-foot Stargazers Lounge that will let you relax under the stars will be opening soon.

17 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World in 2017

With an amazing land set to debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in 2017, a new festival, a multitude of dining locations and popular returning events, 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year at the Walt Disney World® Resort!

Check out 17 reasons to visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2017

1. “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” Fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

This “out of this world” fireworks spectacular, which returned a few weeks ago to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, uses the latest projections effects, lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics to light up the sky, Star Wars style.

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2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Inspired additions to Star Wars Launch Bay

Your can celebrate the newest cinematic addition to Star Wars, courtesy of an assortment of props from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

3. MagicBand 2 Rolls Out

MagicBand 2, the next iteration of bands that offer the same helpful functions as the original bands, have just made their way to select Disney Parks merchandise locations and the Shop Disney Parks app. Stay tuned for more updates!

4. Exclusive New Star Wars Tour Now Available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This seven-hour experience, led by a Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide, allows you to experience Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; get an insider’s tour and meet characters at Star Wars Launch Bay; screen “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi” and enjoy Star Wars-themed menu items at Backlot Express. The tour wraps at the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which includes reserved viewing for the show. Younglings ages 4-12 on the Guided Tour package can also train in the way of The Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. The price is $129 per Guest. Book your today by calling 407-939-7529.

5. Disney After Hours Events Return January-March

Disney After Hours returns to Magic Kingdom® Park on Jan. 20, 27, Feb. 2, 9, 16, March 2 and 9, 2017. This 3-hour event takes place after the park closes and is only open to a limited number of Guests, which means much shorter lines at 25 attractions, character greetings and more. The cost is $119 per adult or child (tax not included). Book today by calling 407-827-7185, or online at Disneyworld.com.

6. More Dining to Debut at Disney Springs

Dozens of shopping and dining locations made their debut at Disney Springs in 2016 – and even more are set to open in 2017! Stay tuned for news and opening dates for Planet Hollywood Observatory, Paddlefish, The Polite Pig, The Edison and Wine Bar George.

7. Milestone Races for runDisney

It’s the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. And to celebrate, they’ve made Donald Duck their mascot. Also, in anticipation of the release of “Beauty & The Beast” this spring, runDisney has themed this year’s Princess Half Marathon after the film.

8. First-Ever Epcot® International Festival of the Arts Begins January 13

Epcot will start 2017 off with a bang, offering a brand new art festival for you to experience. This new offering will run weekends between Jan 13-Feb. 20, 2017 and will showcase visual, culinary and performing arts.

9. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Begins March 1

This year’s spring festival will run March 1-May 29, 2017. Festival “firsts” include brand-new topiaries of Belle and Figment, two new outdoor kitchens (bringing the total to 15), and a “Cars” interactive play garden for kids in honor of the upcoming Disney•Pixar film, “Cars 3.”

10. New Garden Rocks Dining Packages to debut at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

During the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, dining packages will be available on select days at a number of Epcot restaurants, combining dinner and reserved seating for performances of the Garden Rocks Concert Series. Stay tuned for more details!

11. New Family Raft Ride at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Coming this spring, you can enjoy a new family-style raft attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Planned to be one of the longest Disney water park attractions, this experience will immerse you in the story of treasure hunter, Captain Mary Oceaneer. You will gently ascend in treasure rafts, only to plunge into a whitewater adventure where they may encounter some of Mary’s legendary treasure.

12. Boulder Ridge Cove, Geyser Point Bar & Grill Opening Summer 2017

Scheduled to open at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in summer 2017, Boulder Ridge Cove pool will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool in what appears to have been an abandoned rock quarry. Geyser Point Bar & Grill, a new quick-service eatery, will be located in the heart of the feature pool area of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

wildlodge

13. Pandora – The World of AVATAR Opening Summer 2017

This new land will open its doors at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in summer 2017 with exciting new offerings – including AVATAR Flight of Passage, the Na’vi River Journey, the Satu’li Canteen Restaurant, Pongu Pongu drink location and Windtraders merchandise shop.

pandora

14. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Returns for a Record 75 Days

This year’s festival will kick off on August 31 and run through November 13 – for a record 75 days!

15. 35th Anniversary of Epcot

The second theme park to be built at the Walt Disney World Resort will mark its 35th anniversary on Oct. 1, 2017.

16. More Updates to Star Wars-Inspired Land

As we’ve previously shared, a Star Wars-inspired land is currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Measuring 14-acres, this new land will transport you to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

starwarsland

17. Return of Holiday Favorites

Stay tuned for updates on next year’s Candlelight Processional narrators, the return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park, “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and more!

Disney Parks Prepares for Most ‘Magical Christmas Celebration’ Airing Dec. 25

Following a festive kick-off to the holidays that began Thanksgiving Day with two new broadcast specials, Disney Parks will close out 2016 with its most cherished seasonal tradition of all – the annual Christmas Day spectacular. “The Disney Parks’ Magical Christmas Celebration” airs Sunday, December 25, 2016, on the ABC Television Network (10a.m. – 12 p.m. ET; airtimes vary; check local listings) and on the ABC and the Disney Channel apps.

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Ushering in its 33rd year are the dynamic brother-sister duo from “Dancing with the Stars,” Julianne Hough and Derek Hough, who will present the two-hour ABC special from the Walt Disney World Resort. The season’s most eagerly awaited celebration culminates with the fan-favorite Christmas parade delivered by Disneyland correspondent, Good Morning America’s Jesse Palmer from the action-packed parade lines alongside other exciting celebrity guests.

Beyond offering an all-star performance lineup featuring the biggest names in music and entertainment, the joyous program will provide viewers with a necessary holiday reminder: the importance of family togetherness. Following the inspirational stories of the families introduced in the Thanksgiving Day special, the telecast will feature heartwarming moments between loved ones, reinforcing the notion that Christmas is all about friends and family coming together.

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Taking viewers on a magical ride down Main Street U.S.A. and beyond, the Christmas Day festivities will be bigger and brighter than ever before. A complete list of musical performances is included below.

  • Alessia Cara performs a “A Holly Jolly Christmas” from Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
    Mariah Carey performs one of the biggest selling holiday songs of all time, “All I Want for Christmas is You” from the Disneyland Resort
  • Sofia Carson delivers a new arrangement of “Silent Night” from her Disney Channel performance and also hosts from backstage at Walt Disney World Resort
  • Kelly Clarkson performs “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in front of Cinderella Castle at the Walt Disney World Resort
  • Gavin DeGraw sings “Merry Christmas Baby” in front of Cinderella Castle at the Walt Disney World Resort
  • Jordan Fisher performs “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” from Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
  • OneRepublic performs “Kids” from Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
  • Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks deliver in front of Cinderella Castle at the Walt Disney World Resort solo and duet performances from their new album, “Christmas Together,” out now

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In keeping with the spirit of the season, Disney Parks around the world are festively cast with spectacular experiences and special castle lighting moments, making them the perfect destinations for families celebrating the holidays and for the beloved ABC special.

  • All four parks of the Walt Disney World Resort get in the holiday spirit with new shows, thrilling spectaculars and beloved characters to create lasting memories. At Magic Kingdom Park, in addition to exciting new entertainment for the special-ticket “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party,” Cinderella Castle transforms into a shimmering ice palace as Queen Elsa leads “A Frozen Holiday Wish” nightly. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, an all-new “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” sends beloved Disney characters on a mission to get Santa back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve. At Epcot, in addition to global entertainment, guests can explore what the holidays taste like around the world. For its first-ever full holiday celebration, Disney Springs is wrapped in festive décor and entertainment, while dozens of new stores have laid the welcome mat out for holiday shoppers. An all-new nightly spectacle, “Starbright Holidays,” fills the skies above Disney Springs with 300 show drones performing an amazing aerial ballet set to holiday music.
  • At Disney California Adventure Park in the Disneyland Resort, a new “Festival of Holidays” treats guests to music, dance, food and heartwarming holiday traditions. The popular World of Color nighttime water spectacular is also transformed into “World of Color – Season of Light” with holiday music and treasured Disney animation. Among a sleigh-full of holiday events and activities at Disneyland Park is “A Christmas Fantasy,” a daily parade of floats, music, tin soldiers and holiday cheer. In addition, Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle creates magical snowfall moments along Main Street, U.S.A.

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The 33rd annual Christmas celebration airs nationwide on December 25 at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. CST, MST and PST on the ABC Television Network. The show will also be available on the ABC and the Disney Channel apps.

Holiday Shopping Made Fun for Little Ones at Disney Springs

For many parents, the thought of holiday shopping with their kids in tow sounds like a surefire way to put a damper on the spirit of the season. The reality is that it’s not always possible to get away for a few hours, especially during this busy time of year.

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Our solution? Do your shopping at Disney Springs, and build in time for the kids to have some fun, too! There are countless scenarios, but here’s what we’d suggest:

SHOPPING: Start your day in Town Center, picking up presents for some of the fellow grown-ups on your list. Make sure to visit UNIQLO (where the fashions are on-trend and the looks are affordable) and let your son or daughter spin the famous UNIQLO prize wheel after you check out – kids love it! Next? Stop by nearby UNDER ARMOUR BRAND HOUSE where they’ve recently debuted a new virtual reality experience. For the perfect stocking stuffers, stock up on bath bombs from Basin in the Marketplace; while there, try out one of their latest scrubs for your own mini spa-like service. Then there’s World of Disney, with something to thrill Disney every fan in your life.

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TREATS: Looking for an incentive to encourage good behavior? Options abound! I’m currently craving the new Gingerbread cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes, but the peppermint milkshake from D-Luxe Burger or a holiday-inspired specialty apple from Candy Cauldron would also do the trick! If frozen treats are more your style, the seasonal flavors from Vivoli il Gelato are a sure bet.

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SANTA: Make sure your kids have their wish lists ready to share with Santa – he’s available daily from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. through Christmas Eve. With the convenient pager system (just check in at the podium when you arrive), your wait time in line is minimal.

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EATS: Fuel up with lunch or dinner. Kids go crazy for Rainforest Café or T-REX, both located in the Marketplace. Other favorites include The BOATHOUSE where kids’ meals come in tiny amphicars or Morimoto Asia where special chop sticks let kids practice their culinary etiquette.

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HOLIDAY FUN: During this time of year, your visit isn’t complete without a trek through the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail. (Tip: Find out which tree your kids love most, then let them choose an ornament to take home from Disney’s Days of Christmas, where literally thousands of ornaments are available for sale.) Every evening at 6:00 p.m. the nightly tree lighting ceremony kicks off the evening with a festive glow. Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt is not to be missed – it’s a scavenger hunt style adventure designed for families with kids of all ages. Cap off the night with a viewing of “Starbright Holidays | An Intel Collaboration” featuring 300 show drones choreographed in a stunning aerial ballet in the sky, at 7:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m.

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FAMILIAR FAVORITES: For some kids (my oldest niece included!), it’s impossible to visit Disney Springs without a ride on the Marketplace Carousel and Marketplace Train. Take a few minutes to indulge your kids, and their memories of your “shopping day” at Disney Springs will be nothing but fond!

First Look at Stargazer Lounge at Planet Hollywood in Disney Springs

The theme of the re-imagined Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World® Resort will still feature stars from the big screen, but much of the new focus will be on stars in the sky, as the restaurant completes its transformation into a turn-of-the-20th-century observatory.

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Food and drink menus are soon to be revealed, but Guests can expect more famous movie memorabilia, video screens, cutting edge music and a store featuring themed merchandise.

Opening later this year in Town Center at Disney Springs, the restaurant will feature Stargazer Lounge where you will find signature craft cocktails with names that reflect the planets and space travel – including The Observatory and the Sparkling Sputnik.

Stay tuned here for more information! We’ll be updating this post as new information is shared!

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