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Category Archives: Walt Disney World Resort – Orlando


The Walt Disney World® Resort is the place where worries disappear, fun reigns supreme and dreams coming true are the everyday. With four Theme Parks…two Water Parks…over 20 themed Resort Hotels…two nighttime entertainment districts…a state-of-the-art sports complex…dining, shopping and recreation galore, it’s easy to see how this vacation of a lifetime has enough smiles for everyone.
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Fall into Magic this Year at Walt Disney World Resort

Parties, races, culinary delights and more await guests during the upcoming fall season

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Tastes, toys, treats and more are all on the menu this fall at Walt Disney World Resort. From culinary creations to sporting events to special parties, there are many different ways to fall into magic during the cool-down season, both in the theme parks and all across the resort.

23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Offers New Tastes

The aromas and flavors of more than 30 global food and beverage marketplaces, plus a full menu of new offerings such as “Sunday Brunch with the Chef,” welcome guests during the 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Aug. 30-Nov. 12. One of America’s top food festivals since 1996, the 75-day Epcot dine-around extravaganza will surprise guests with new and inspiring sips and bites throughout the park’s World Showcase and several Future World venues. Highlights include:

  • The grandest of the festival’s don’t-miss tasting events, Party for the Senses in World ShowPlace, will welcome acclaimed chefs and vintners Sept. 22, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and Nov. 10. They will showcase creative bites and palate-pleasing sips with sensational live entertainment.
  • “Eat to the Beat” concerts – 225 in all – will rev up the America Gardens Theatre stage three times nightly with new musical acts including Vertical Horizon, 98 Degrees, Sheila E. and others. Selections span a broad range of eras and genres from rock and pop to rhythm and blues.
  • “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops Wednesdays and Thursdays provide new opportunities for guests to interact with visiting chefs, mixologists and other pros.

Throughout the festival, guests will find something for everyone in the family:

  • A Ratatouille-inspired adventure is back as Chef Remy encourages families to play together during Remy’s Ratatouille Hid ‘n’ Squeak scavenger hunt.
  • On Friday and Saturday evenings, enjoy an interactive Character Dance Party.
  • In the new Junior Chef Kitchen, children become the chefs and eat what they make in this complimentary experience each Sunday in the Festival Center.

This is just an appetizer for what’s to come this fall. The 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is included with theme park admission, but certain programs require a separate ticket and/or reservation; for full details, visit TasteEpcot.com.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Starts Sooner than Ever

Let’s boo this! There are even more nights to celebrate the spooky season this year during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This special-ticket event runs select nights Aug. 17-Oct. 31 at Magic Kingdom Park – the earliest in the calendar year it’s ever started. It’s also the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney Pictures’ “Hocus Pocus,” so what better way to celebrate the film than the spellbinding Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular at Cinderella Castle, where the Sanderson Sisters take “stage fright” to another level.

Guests should keep their eyes open for dancing ghosts, the Headless Horseman, plus Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan and many more beloved Disney Characters in the Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade. There will also be plenty of sweets for all trick-or-treaters around the park, including allergy-friendly options. And each night during the party, the skies above an eerily lit Cinderella Castle come alive during Happy HalloWishes, a magical fireworks extravaganza that definitely goes bump in the night!

Advance tickets start at $75 for adults and $70 for ages 3-9 (plus tax). For a full list of event dates, visit MickeyHalloween.com. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as space each night is limited. For more information, call (407) WDISNEY (934-7639).

New Toy Story Land: A Perfect Place for Fall Fun

Where better to spend a beautiful fall day than playing in Andy’s backyard, the young toy owner from Pixar Animation Studios’ Toy Storyfilms. In this extraordinary new land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests are “honorary toys” surrounded by Andy’s favorites – Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and many more.

Across 11 fun-filled acres, guests can hop on the all-new Slinky Dog Dash for a family-friendly roller coaster ride, take a spin and enjoy some interstellar beats on Alien Swirling Saucers and go for the high score playing midway games inside the 4D world of Toy Story Mania! When toys get hungry, there’s no better place to grab a bite than Woody’s Lunch Box, a walk-up window featuring a bevy of nostalgic delights – from a grilled three-cheese sandwich to a Lunch Box Tart and much more.

Toy Story Land also offers a collection of new merchandise items, allowing guests to take their special memories home with them. Among the many highlights: a Buzz Lightyear Bubble Blower and a Slinky Dog headband.

Disney Junior Dance Party Shimmies into Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Later in fall, the new Disney Junior Dance Party premieres at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This live performance will feature high-energy music, a vibrant party atmosphere, special effects and characters from popular Disney Junior TV shows. Guests are invited to join all the fun with the stars of “Mickey and the Roadster Racers,” “Doc McStuffins,” “The Lion Guard” and the newest hit series, “Vampirina.”

Two New Restaurants, Reimagined World of Disney Opening at Disney Springs

  • James Beard Award-winning Chef José Andrés – one of “The 100 Most Influential People of 2018” according to Time.com – will open a new location of his popular Jaleo this fall. It will offer an extensive menu of tapas that reflects the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine. Designed by renowned Spanish designer Juli Capella, the new multi-level restaurant will feature breathtaking exterior architecture and a vibrant, theatrical décor representing the colorful, dynamic culture of Spain. Andrés’ Disney Springs venue will be his largest and most ambitious location to date.
  • A new restaurant by James Beard Award-winning Chef Wolfgang Puck will also open this fall. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will modernize the traditional “bar and grill” concept in a setting inspired by traditional farmhouses – with a touch of elegance. The restaurant will capture the essence of laid-back California dining made popular by Puck’s Spago, his flagship restaurant in Los Angeles.
  • In late fall, Disney Springs will reveal the newly reimagined World of Disney store, where guests will discover the products they love from Disney Parks in a dynamic and distinctly Disney environment. The flagship store remains open throughout the enhancement process.

New Hotel and Ticket Package Available Labor Day Week

The “Ultimate Disney Fall into Magic Package” is available this year for the week of Labor Day. The limited-time offer, available for booking through Aug. 19, includes a five-night stay at a select Disney Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe Villa resort hotel for arrival Sept. 3 and departure Sept. 8, 2018. The package also features four-day Magic Your Way tickets and an itinerary full of special experiences in all four parks – including access to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and two hours of exclusive evening access to Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Packages start at $149 per person, per night for a family of four in a standard room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. For more information, contact us today!

32 Eat to the Beat Bands Slated to Appear During 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts (known for their soulful rhythm & blues covers) will perform Oct. 1-2 at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. during the 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival “Eat to the Beat” concert series. Performances are included with Epcot admission. (Disney)

9 new acts join hit makers of all genres appearing Aug. 30 – Nov. 12, 2018

9 new acts join hit makers of all genres appearing Aug. 30 – Nov. 12, 2018
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Thirty-two musical acts will perform during the 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Aug. 30-Nov. 12, 2018. These performers represent a diverse collection of hitmakers from pop to country to R&B and more.

The concert series packs a powerful lineup ready to rock the America Gardens Theatre stage at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. daily. Eat to the Beat welcomes nine new-to-the-festival bands including MercyMe, Sheila E and Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts, who join 23 returning acts.

The lineup (included in Epcot admission and subject to change) includes the following artists, best known for these popular songs:

Aug. 30-31 Blue October – “Into the Ocean”

Sept. 1-3 Tiffany – “I Think We’re Alone Now”

Sept. 4-5 NEW! MercyMe – “I Can Only Imagine”

Sept. 6-7 NEW! Glass Tiger – “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)”

Sept. 8-9 NEW! Tauren Wells – “Hills and Valleys”

Sept. 10-11 Postmodern Jukebox – Known for vintage-style covers of modern hits

Sept. 12-13 NEW! Vertical Horizon – “Everything You Want”

Sept. 14-16 Baha Men – “Who Let the Dogs Out”

Sept. 17-19 Plain White T’s – “Hey There Delilah”

Sept. 20-21 Living Colour – “Cult of Personality”

Sept. 22-23 NEW! Sheila E – “The Glamorous Life”

Sept. 24-26 Sugar Ray – “Every Morning”

Sept. 27-28 David Cook – “Light On”

Sept. 29-30 Jeffrey Osborne – “On the Wings of Love”

Oct. 1-2 NEW! Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts – Known for their soulful rhythm & blues covers

Oct. 3-4 Everclear – “Santa Monica”

Oct. 5-7 Mark Wills – “19 Something”

Oct. 8-10 Air Supply – “All Out of Love”

Oct. 11-12 NEW! Anderson East – “All on My Mind”

Oct. 13-14 Smash Mouth – “All Star”

Oct. 15-16 NEW! 98 Degrees – “Give Me Just One Night”

Oct. 17-18 38 Special – “Hold On Loosely”

Oct. 19-21 The Devon Allman Project – “Ragged and Dirty”

Oct. 22-23 Kenny G – “Songbird”

Oct. 24-25 Billy Ocean – “Get Outta My Dreams”

Oct. 26-28 Starship featuring Mickey Thomas – “We Built this City”

Oct. 29-31 Hanson – “MMMBop”

Nov. 1-2 NEW! High Valley – “She’s with Me.”

Nov. 3-4 Taylor Dayne – “Prove Your Love”

Nov. 5-7 Boyz II Men – “End of the Road”

Nov. 8-9 The Hooters – “And We Danced”

Nov. 10-12 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – “Go Daddy-O”

(Songs listed are for artist recognition only and may not be included in the concert set list)

Festival-goers can book Eat to the Beat Dining Packages at 15 popular Epcot restaurants, guaranteeing a breakfast, lunch or dinner reservation and confirmed seating at a same-day Eat to the Beat concert.

Greater than the Destination

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

On the last night of my family’s recent vacation, I snapped this picture from the Turtle Walk at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. The Turtle Walk is typically busy—people checking in and out, looking for a cocktail (the Gurgling Suitcase), or experiencing the activities available at the resort. On our last night, the sun was setting as we headed back to our room, resulting in this beautiful scene. I was struck by the beauty of the destination at that moment, but the memories of the journey are what will stick with me. Regardless of where we go on our travels, the process of travel and the moments along the way are what remain.

What destinations do you want to be part of your journey? We would love to talk with you about your bucket list, your favorite places or anywhere that interests you. We know that life is about the moments and the connection of all the destinations along the way. How can we help make those moments and the greater life-long journey more special? Let us start working with you today.

New Details Revealed for Dining Locations at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

A few months ago, we shared updates for some of the common areas at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World® Resort. Today we have more exciting news about two dining locations.

When the reimagining of Old Port Royale is complete in just a few months, the former Shutters table-service restaurant will open in an all-new location as Sebastian’s Bistro!

Located along the Old Port Royale waterfront, Sebastian’s Bistro will feature beautiful views, warm island hospitality and a menu that blends Latin and Caribbean flavors from market-fresh ingredients.

When you arrive at the casual, family-friendly restaurant, they’ll be welcomed by a blue shiplap marquee featuring everyone’s favorite red crustacean. And inside, Guests will feel as though they’ve just stepped into a tropical beachfront home.

Every detail celebrates the natural beauty of the Caribbean – from coral patterns and kelp filigree, to lure-inspired art and nautical designs. You may even notice abstract artwork and landscapes featuring Sebastian and friends.

We’re also excited to give you a look at the resort’s quick-service dining location, Centertown Market.

As previously shared, Centertown Market will be expanded to create an indoor street market vibe.

You will enter the space under a large palapa-like structure, accented with glowing, colored light pendants made from glass bottles. The market will feature open shutters, wooden light posts, awnings, ornamentation and unique seating areas. Guests will also have access to the Grab n’ Go market for specialty coffee and quick bites.

Stay tuned for more details!

Tron Attraction Update Now Loading …

Last summer plans were unveiled for a thrilling Tron coaster-style attraction to be added in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom® Park. Here’s a first look at a new Tron-themed billboard at Magic Kingdom Park that’s now visiblefrom Storybook Circus.

The new attraction will occupy an entirely new area next to the land’s Space Mountain, and now, as we prepare to welcome Tron into the park, a few modifications will be made to nearby attractions as construction kicks into gear.

First, the Walt Disney World® Railroad will temporarily take up residence at the Main Street Station starting in December 2018, pausing its grand-circle tours of Magic Kingdom Park. During this time, you will be able to get an up-close look at the railroad and take advantage of one-of-a-kind photo opportunities.

The Tomorrowland Speedway will close for a portion of 2019, as the attraction’s track is adjusted. It will reopen as the same attraction you know and love in the summer of 2019.

Magic Kingdom’s Tron attraction, which is set to debut in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021, is based on TRON Lightcycle Power Run at Shanghai Disneyland (pictured above). This coaster-style attraction allows riders to board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles for a thrilling race through the digital frontier. TRON Lightcycle Power Run debuted on Shanghai Disneyland’s opening day and quickly became the highest-rated attraction at the park.

We look forward to sharing more updates with you on the thrilling new addition of Tron as work progresses. Stay tuned for updates!

Ring In the New Year at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

Planning ahead for big holiday events is very important, and New Year’s Eve is right there at the top of the list. This year, if you are looking for a unique experience outside of the theme parks, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the place to be. But don’t wait to book your Clients, because party bookings are now available!

To ring in 2019, two New Year’s Eve celebrations are available at Disney’s Contemporary Resort: Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration (recommended for families) and Disney Countdown to Midnight, including an option to purchase VIP access to the Ink and Paint Club (recommended for adults without kids). Both celebrations will feature entertainment, music, food and other refreshments, plus a viewing of the  New Year’s Eve fireworks at Magic Kingdom® Park to cap off the night. Here’s what else to expect at each party:

Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration (8 p.m.-12:15 a.m.)

This New Year’s Eve, welcome in 2019 with a festive, family-friendly frolic through some childhood joys during Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Sarge from Pixar Animation Studios’ Toy Story films will welcome Guests as they arrive at the second floor of the resort. Once inside, Guests will discover spaces that have been transformed with scenes from beloved Pixar movies.

Highlights of the evening include:

  • Being enveloped in the worlds of various Disney•Pixar films, like “Inside Out,” “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and “Up,” including meeting some of your favorite characters.
  • Kids’ activities, including Boot Camp with Sarge, Pixar Face Painting and a balloon artist creating favorite Pixar characters.
  • An interactive DJ spinning Radio Disney hits from his Cars-inspired DJ Rig, complete with tires and road signs right out of Radiator Springs.
  • A delicious buffet dinner, including Woody’s Favorite Lemon Thyme Chicken Breast, Wall-E’s Pan Seared Mahi-Mahi, Rex’s Manhattan Filet, Sulley’s Beast White Cheddar Baked Mac & Cheese, build-your-own salad options, desserts, kids’ favorites like chicken fingers and more.
  • A viewing of the famous Magic Kingdom New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Tickets are $190 per person, including tax and gratuity.

Disney Countdown to Midnight (8 p.m.-12:15 a.m.)

This New Year’s Eve, dress up and party during Disney Countdown to Midnight – an evening of dining, dancing and enchantment in the Fantasia Ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You will discover a world sparkling with magic – everything from a Mickey Mouse mirror ball to Disney Character topiaries – as they move and groove to the high-energy New Year’s Bash Band and a live DJ providing music all night long.

Other highlights of the evening include:

  • A “cheftainment” station featuring a seasonal menu inspired by some Disney Signature Dining restaurants – with a touch of Disney magic.
  • A special appearance by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
  • At the end of the night, Guests will be invited out to the porte cochère, where they will receive a Champagne flute and welcome 2019 with a viewing of the famous Magic Kingdom New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Tickets are $275, including tax and gratuity.

Ink and Paint Club experience (7 p.m.-12:15 a.m.)

Offered only as a VIP enhancement to the Disney Countdown to Midnight party and located adjacent to the Fantasia Ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, this special reception begins prior to the opening of the main event. At the Ink and Paint Club, Guests will step back in time into a vintage Disney Animation-inspired room with silver Chiavari chairs, metallic tables and references to classic Disney Animation filling the room. Ticketed Guests can visit the lounge throughout the evening, starting with a featured reception from 7-8 p.m.

Highlights of this special reception include:

  • Photo opportunities with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse with a unique Disney Animation backdrop.
  • A pianist providing live entertainment.
  • Chef stations featuring king crab, tuna tartare, sheep’s milk ricotta gnocchi, cocktails, Champagne, cordials and more – all included with admission.
  • Reserved seating in the Disney Countdown to Midnight Party when it opens at 8 p.m.

Disney Ink & Paint Club is only available as a part of an enhanced ticket that includes access to both the Disney Countdown to Midnight and the Ink & Paint Club for $450 total per guest. Access to Ink & Paint Club must be purchased concurrently with the Disney Countdown to Midnight ticket and cannot be added on at a later date.

Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (June 28, 2018) – Fun extends to food in the new Toy Story Land opening June 30 at the Walt Disney World Resort. Here, mealtime comes with a heavy helping of nostalgia, as Woody’s Lunch Box serves up classic on-the-go menu items with a creative twist.

Woody’s Lunch Box is a quick-service food and beverage location serving tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The walk-up window Ð open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Ð dishes up all sorts of sandwiches and sides that put a spin on classic recipes. Walt Disney World Resort collaborated with Mini Babybel to bring WoodyÕs Lunch Box to life. Inside the 11-acre Toy Story Land, guests can whoosh along on the family-friendly roller coaster, Slinky Dog Dash, take a spin aboard Alien Swirling Saucers and try for the high score on Toy Story Mania! (Steven Diaz, photographer)

Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the new 11-acre land brings to life all the magic and fun of Pixar Animation Studios’ hit Toy Story films. In this land – inspired by Andy’s backyard – guests are honorary toys and set off for thrills and laughs on three signature attractions.

“Everyone has a special food memory, so it can be tricky putting a modern spin on the favorites,” explained Lenny DeGeorge, Concept Development Culinary Director for Walt Disney World. “We honored these classic dishes by using the best ingredients to elevate the flavors. How we constructed the sandwiches was important, such as layering the ingredients in a specific order, to maximize textures and flavors. Why have a cold sandwich when you can have a toasted, hot, gooey, cheese-filled one?”

With apologies to Mom, lunch-box cuisine was never like this!

S’more French Toast

Inspired by the classic American campfire treat, this breakfast sandwich oozes goodness in a chocolate ganache- and marshmallow-stuffed French toast topped with graham cracker crumbles. 

Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich

To ensure a soft gooey middle, Disney chefs created a sharp cheddar cream cheese spread, layered in provolone and cheddar and wrapped the sandwich in garlic butter-grilled French bread.

BBQ Brisket Melt

With a nod to cowboy Woody, this Texas-style smoked brisket features cheddar, Monterey Jack, pickles, BBQ sauce and garlic butter-grilled sourdough.

Totchos

This bite-sized treat combines potato barrels, corn chips, chili and queso.

Lunch Box Tarts

A modern interpretation of a breakfast toaster pastry as a hand-held dessert, these feature a uniquely delicate crust. Layer in high-quality ingredients for fillings, add a decorative garnish, and these tasty tarts beat anything Mom ever packed. Choice of Raspberry Lunch Box Tart garnished with Icing and Dried Fruit and Chocolate-Hazelnut Lunch Box Tart garnished with Icing and Caramelized Bacon

Other menu options include:

  • Smoked Turkey Sandwich – The quintessential lunch-box staple with tomato and lettuce on multigrain bread; to give it a kick, Disney chefs add a creamy Dijonnaise.
  • Banana Split Yogurt Parfait – Layers of banana-vanilla Greek yogurt (with a hint of honey), fresh bananas, strawberries and pineapple topped with granola and chocolate chips make for a delicious way to start the day!
  • Monte Cristo – Woody’s version of this classic sandwich has layers of ham, turkey, Swiss cheese, and raspberry jam, grilled to a golden brown.
  • Kids’ Menu – Grilled cheese or turkey sandwich, both with potato barrels and mandarin oranges.
  • Sides – Tomato basil soup, vegetable macaroni salad, potato barrels and Mini Babybel snack cheese, the Official Snack Cheese of Walt Disney World Resort.

In addition to fountain drinks and refreshing lemonade, beverage offerings include a classic Barq’s root beer float and a Mystic Portal Punch (PowerAde Mountain Berry Blast with flavors of lemon-lime and tangerine). For the big kids, there’s a Grown Up’s Lemonade with cherry vodka, Odwalla Lemonade, and black cherry purée.

Woody’s Lunch Box at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will dish up nostalgia daily beginning June 30 from park open until the toys close up shop – that is, park close. Disney Dining Plan accepted.

New Show Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy Opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Early 2019

Calling all racers! Beginning in early 2019, there’s going to be another exciting reason to get revved up about a visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. It’s Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, a high-octane first-of-its-kind new show that’ll put you right in the middle of the world of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars.”

At Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, located near Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, you will come face-to-face with racing legend Lightning McQueen, who is excited to showcase what he’s learned over the years with Guests – the next generation of rookie racers. Of course, as Lightning McQueen has discovered throughout his career, things don’t always go according to plan, and he has to think fast to get back on course. With friends Tow Mater, Cruz Ramirez and the gang from Radiator Springs on his side, Lightning gears up for the challenge.

You can speed on over to find out what happens when Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy opens early next year!

‘The Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live!’ Now Playing at Epcot

Star-Lord and Gamora from “Guardians of the Galaxy” are now taking Guests on a musical journey through the cosmos in “Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live!” at the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot®.

You can catch “Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live!” five times a day from now through Aug. 19, 2018. It’s included with theme park admission and is part of a lineup of “Incredible Summer” offerings at Walt Disney World®Resort.

Guests can also stop into the American Adventure at Epcot where they’ll find special offerings inspired by the new “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Live!” At Liberty Inn, they’ll find an adorable Groot Sipper Cup that comes with their choice of fountain or frozen beverage and a Rocket Fuel Slushy with frozen Coca-Cola and bourbon. Over at Fife & Drum Tavern, they can sip on an “I am Float” Root Beer with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and mint leaves or the Awesome Mix Slushy with layers of frozen lemonade, blue raspberry, and strawberry. There’s also the chocolate Galaxy Cupcake with buttercream and a white chocolate piece featuring Groot!

 

Spring Bounty to Feature Blooms, Flavor-Rich Cuisine, Interactive Gardens, Concerts

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will kick off spring at Walt Disney World Resort Feb. 28 and continue through May 28, 2018, with seasonal fun for all. What began in 1994 as a 38-day celebration of Disney-style gardens and topiaries has grown over the years to a 90-day spring extravaganza with something for every generation.

The 2018 festival, which takes place during the 35th anniversary of Epcot, will showcase millions of brilliant blossoms, flavor-rich cuisine from 15 Outdoor Kitchens, Disney topiary stars, interactive play gardens and live chart-topping musical acts during the Garden Rocks Concert Series.

The 90-day festival will open with an irresistible array of sights, sounds, tastes, aromas and tactile discoveries:

  • New and creative dishes will debut at 15 Outdoor Kitchens encircling the World Showcase Promenade. Guests can sip and savor their way around Epcot, enjoying chef-inspired noshes and refreshing libations.
  • A bonanza of Disney character topiaries, including classic-character favorites Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and many others, will play a starring festival role. Returning this year, Belle will be featured in France along with Beast, Snow White in Germany with the Seven Dwarfs, and Anna and Elsa in Norway.
  • A brand-new Future World interactive play garden and a revved-up Road to Florida 500 garden featuring new games and play challenges will set the pace for family festival fun. The new interactive area in Future World will feature a play maze, a sensory garden, an activity zone and a covered seating area. The redesigned “Cars”-themed garden based on the Disney•Pixar sequel, “Cars 3,” will add more fun activities like highway bingo for families.
  • A brand-new Epcot front-entrance topiary garden will set the milestone anniversary scene with a kaleidoscope of blooming color where topiary icons Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy will greet festival guests.
  • The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series will feature hit makers of the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s on the America Gardens Theatre stage. Three evening concerts each Friday through Monday present musicians that span multiple genres.
  • Garden Rocks Dining Packages will be available on select days at a number of Epcot restaurants.

Each Outdoor Kitchen will feature its own raised-bed or in-ground garden of herbs and produce that can inspire the growing numbers of guests who want to learn to grow what they eat.

“The culture of growing your own food continues to trend, and our guests each year have quite a few questions related to edible gardens,” says Eric Darden, festival horticulture manager. “They get a big kick comparing items in our gardens with the herbs and produce our chefs incorporate into the festival’s Outdoor Kitchen recipes.”

And there’s more:

  • The back-by-demand Figment topiary garden between Future World and World Showcase will offer the perfect selfie backdrop and family photo opportunity.
  • The Royal Tea Garden Tour will return for a second year each festival morning at the United Kingdom pavilion. For a small fee, guests can follow a knowledgeable guide through the tranquil tea garden setting to learn the history and artistry behind growing and blending tea. A post-tour treat of tea and scones is included. The shorter, complimentary English Tea Garden Tour also will be offered on select days.
  • Among the nearly 100 festival topiaries will be returning favorites like the pandas and Bromeliad dragon at the China pavilion, The Three Caballeros at the Mexico pavilion, Disney-Pixar’s Woody at the American Adventure pavilion and Buzz Lightyear in Future World.

Dozens of Disney-crafted “flower towers” and beds of multi-colored blooms will transform the park’s landscape. At least 70,000 bedding plants will surround the Future World east and west lakes alone; on the water, 220 mini-gardens will be set afloat.

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!

 

Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World Resort Reopens with New Auction Scene

Pirates of the Caribbean reopened at Magic Kingdom Park and guests were  introduced to the new version of the attraction’s auction scene we first announced last summer.

Just as Walt Disney embraced and encouraged Disney Parks to “keep moving forward” since the opening of Disneyland Park in 1955, Walt Disney Imagineering has introduced many new characters at Pirates of the Caribbean attraction over the years.

The pirate auctioneer now oversees a sale of the townspeople’s most prized possessions and goods. In this scene, the familiar redhead figure has switched sides to become a pirate named Redd, who’s just pillaged the town’s rum supply and has something to say about it.

Check out a sneak peek at what this new scene will look like in the photo above.

As we previously shared, the auction scene in the attraction at Disneyland Paris received a similar revision last year. Disneyland park will also receive similar updates to its Pirates of the Caribbean attraction later this spring, with work beginning April 23.

Pixar Characters Will Greet Guests in Toy Story Land At Walt Disney World Resort

You will have the chance to encounter some of your favorite characters from the Disney•Pixar “Toy Story” films, including Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl, at Toy Story Land – opening June 30 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®.

Woody, Buzz and Jessie will be greeting guests throughout Toy Story Land on a daily basis. And each character (along with the rest of the gang) will be joining in on the fun in a land where guests “shrink” to the size of a toy. Guests will be also be able to take a ride on Slinky Dog Dash, a roller coaster Andy has assembled from his Mega Coaster Play Kit, or take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, a galactic play set that Andy won at Pizza Planet.

Toy Story Land guests can also walk through a new carnival game box to experience Toy Story Mania!, which has been a guest-favorite attraction at the park since it opened in 2008. Now expanded with a third track, the popular attraction will allow even more guests to take aim at 3D objects – using everything from baseballs to cream pies – in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced games.

Stay tuned for more updates as we move closer to the opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Toy Story Land to Open at Walt Disney World Resort June 30

It’s official! Toy Story Land, the highly-anticipated toy-filled land inspired by the beloved “Toy Story” films, will open to guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios June 30, 2018.

When it opens, guests visiting Toy Story Land will “shrink” to the size of a toy and join in on the fun Woody, Jessie, Buzz, and Andy’s other beloved toys are having in Andy’s backyard. Here, guests can take a ride on Slinky Dog Dash, a roller coaster Andy has assembled from his Mega Coaster Play Kit and topped off with Slinky and Jessie. (Check out the time-lapse video above of one of Slinky Dog Dash’s first test runs).

Families will also be able to take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, a galactic play set that Andy won from Pizza Planet. Here, adorable little green aliens swirl about in their flying saucers with guests in tow in their rocket ship toys, while “The Claw” hangs overhead.

Guests can also walk through a new carnival game box to experience Toy Story Mania!, which has been a guest-favorite attraction at the park since it opened in 2008. Now expanded with a third track, the popular attraction will put even more guests in the action taking aim at 3D objects – using everything from baseballs to cream pies – in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced games.

 

 

 

TOP REASONS TO VISIT DISNEY PARKS IN 2018

The year 2018 is shaping up to be an unforgettable year of anniversaries, expansions and new experiences for Guests visiting Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Here’s a round-up of just some of the fun that you can enjoy across our theme parks and cruise ships in 2018.

Disneyland® Resort

1. New Dining, Retail & Family-Friendly Entertainment Coming to Downtown Disney® District at the Disneyland Resort in Early 2018 – New dining and entertainment experiences are coming to Downtown Disney District very soon, including Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID and Splitsville Luxury Lanes. D-Street will also be reimagined into a retail space that offers Disney fans a variety of Disney-themed home goods.

2. Lunar New Year Festival Returns to Disney California Adventure® Park, Jan. 26-Feb. 18, 2018 – This spectacular festival will feature Hurry Home — Lunar New Year Celebration, a nighttime water show on Paradise Bay; specialty Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese foods at marketplaces; Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession; traditional crafts and more.

3. Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Expands to Six Weeks in 2018 –Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will return March 2-April 12, 2018, bringing delicious cuisine, specialty beverages and exciting entertainment to Disneyland Resort Guests for its third season. The culinary festival will expand to six weeks, with more days for your Clients to enjoy the flavors of the Golden State. More than a dozen Festival Marketplaces will feature California-inspired tastes and sips. Guests will experience presentations and demonstrations with celebrity chefs such as Robert Irvine and Alex Guarnaschelli; food and beverage tastings; winemaker dinners; beer, wine and spirit seminars – all in addition to live music, entertainment and special activities throughout the festival.

4. Pixar Fest Brings Celebration of Friendship Throughout Disneyland Resort Beginning April 13 – Beginning April 13, 2018, this limited-time celebration of friendship and beyond will feature the debut of an all-new “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” and the return of two favorite parades as well as even more beloved Pixar characters, new décor, atmosphere entertainment, themed food and beverage and new merchandise items.

5. Pixar Pier Will Debut This Summer – This summer will bring a transformed land for your Clients to experience at Disney California Adventure park when Pixar Pier opens along the southern shore of Paradise Bay, with newly themed attractions, foods and merchandise throughout. This new, permanent land in the area that is now Paradise Pier will introduce four new neighborhoods representing beloved Disney·Pixar stories: “The Incredibles,” “Toy Story,” “Inside Out” and a fourth neighborhood that will be a celebration of many of your favorite Pixar stories.

Walt Disney World® Resort

6. Disney Springs® Will Welcome Eight New Dining Locations – A total of eight exciting new F&B locations are set to make their grand debuts at Disney Springs in 2018. The Edison, along with Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, Enzo’s Hideaway and Pizza Ponte are scheduled to open early in 2018, while Terralina Crafted Italian, Wine Bar George, Jaleo and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill are set to debut later on in the year.

7. The Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival Celebrates its 25th Anniversary –This year’s festival will run from Feb. 28-May 28, 2018. The 90-day event brings with it a multitude of Disney character topiaries, tasty offerings at 15 Outdoor Kitchens, garden tours, the Garden Rocks music series, new kids’ activities, the Egg-Stravaganza scavenger hunt and much more.

8. Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme ParkCelebrates It’s 20th Anniversary – The  theme park dedicated to celebrating life in the animal kingdom will mark a milestone 20th anniversary on Earth Day, April 22, 2018.

9. Toy Story Land Opens in Summer 2018 – The highly anticipated expansion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will debut to Guests this summer, and with it, two new attractions: Alien Swirling Saucers and the Slinky Dog Dash family coaster. Your Clients can already catch a glimpse of what’s in store inside the park’s Walt Disney Presents attraction, where they can view the model and some attraction vehicle maquettes.

Disney Cruise Line

10. Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea Return from January-April 2018 – Epic adventures at sea return to Disney Cruise Line with special engagements of two popular events – Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea. Spanning two Disney cruise ships, sailing across the Caribbean and Bahamas, these cruises bring Disney and fan-favorite fun to families and guests of all ages.

11. Rapunzel’s Royal Table Debuts on the Disney Magic in March 2018 – Exciting new spaces and experiences designed for Guests of all ages are coming to the Disney Magic in March 2018, including an enchanting dining experience for families at Rapunzel’s Royal Table. The first table service restaurant themed to “Tangled” that features characters and live entertainment will transport your Clients to the kingdom of Corona for an evening of music and interactive fun.

12. Disney Cruise Line Visits New Destinations in Summer and Fall 2018 – Disney Cruise Line offers families a chance to see the world and explore magnificent destinations in 2018, including first-time visits to ports in Italy and Ireland during the summer and to Bermuda and Quebec City, Canada in the fall. Throughout the year, Disney Cruise Line will return to popular destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas, Alaska, Europe, Canada and Mexican Riviera.

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