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Category Archives: Epcot

“Garden Rocks” Concert Series Returns!

The America Gardens Theatre will once again come alive with some of the best music from the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s as the 2017 Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival presents the “Garden Rocks” concert series at Walt Disney World® Resort. And, for the first time this year performances are scheduled not just Friday through Sunday, but every Monday, too!

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“Garden Rocks,” brings favorite stars from the rock and pop history to Epcot. Returning favorites like Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone and The Spinners join brand new artists like Berlin featuring Terri Nunn.

Poised to be one of the best ever, this year’s line-up shakes out like this:

  • March 3-4 – Jon Secada – “Just Another Day
  • March 5-6 – Dennis DeYoung – The Music of STYX – “Grand Illusion
  • March 10-13 – Pointer Sisters – “I’m So Excited
  • March 17-18 – Simple Plan – “Welcome to My Life” – NEW
  • March 19-20 – Plain White T’s – “Hey There Delilah
  • March 24-27 – Night Ranger – “Sister Christian
  • March 31-April 3 – Little River Band – “Reminiscing
  • April 7-10 – Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice – “Spinning Wheel
  • April 14-17 – Gin Blossoms – “Hey Jealousy
  • April 21-24 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO – “Evil Woman
  • April 28-29 – Exposé – “Point of No Return” – NEW
  • April 30-May 1 – Berlin featuring Terri Nunn – “Take My Breath Away” – NEW
  • May 5-8 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas – “We Built This City
  • May 12-15 – The Guess Who – “American Woman
  • May 19-22 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone – “I’m Henry VIII, I Am
  • May 26-29 – The Spinners – “Working My Way Back To You

“Garden Rocks” concert performances are held each Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Festival. Show times are at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. & 8 p.m. each night. Concerts are included with regular park admission to Epcot.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Dates

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The Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival returns to Walt Disney World® Resort Aug. 31-Nov. 13, 2017. This year’s festival will be a record 75 days of global culinary creations, celebrity chefs, premium events, Eat to the Beat concerts, and more.

Stay tuned to Disney Travel News for more updates about this favorite fall event!

Epcot International Festival of the Arts – January 2017

A brand new event is coming to Walt Disney World® Resort! The Epcot® International Festival of the Arts debuts Jan. 13 – Feb. 20, 2017. It’ll be a trifecta of global masterpieces: combining visual, culinary and performing arts for six colorful weekends.

Over the six weeks of the festival, you can enjoy different pairings of phenomenal Broadway talent in concert singing the award-winning music of Disney on Broadway. Plus, you’ll feast on delicious creations that look almost too good to eat.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will run Fridays through Mondays, and unveil brand new art each week. That means you’ll want to return each weekend for an original experience! Stay tuned for more info and to book your next Walt Disney World vacation, call your travel agent today!

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Holiday Treats & Candlelight Narrators at Holidays Around the World

One of the best ways to celebrate the holiday season at Epcot is trying all tasty treats around World Showcase, and Holidays Around the World is adding more food and drink options for this year’s celebration, now through December 30, 2016 at Walt Disney World® Resort.

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Here’s some of the items you’ll find at the five new marketplaces:

  • Prost! in Germany (artisan cheese plate or sauerbraten with red cabbage and spätzle)
  • American Holiday Table in American Adventure Pavilion (slow-roasted turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce)
  • Alpine Haus between France and Morocco (cheese fondue in a bread bowl with fresh steamed vegetables)
  • Seasonal Southern Delights near World Showcase Plaza (blackened catfish with white cheddar grits with okra)
  • Feast of Three Kings Feast near World Showcase Plaza (Three Kings Bread)

Also as a part of Holidays Around the World at Epcot, Candlelight Processional returns to present the story of Christmas in truly spectacular fashion – with a celebrity narrator, a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.

Celebrity Narrators scheduled to make appearances this year include (subject to change without notice):

  • Nov. 25-27 – Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Nov. 28-Dec. 1 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 2-3 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dec. 4*-6 – Edward James Olmos
  • Dec. 7-9 – TBA
  • Dec. 10-12 – Robby Benson
  • Dec. 13-15 – Meredith Vieira
  • Dec. 16-18 – Jim Caviezel
  • Dec. 19-21 – Joe Morton
  • Dec. 22-24 – Ming-Na Wen – NEW!
  • Dec. 25-27 – Jodi Benson
  • Dec. 28-30 – Cal Ripken, Jr. – NEW!

The processional is performed three times per night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.) during the holiday season at the American Gardens Theatre. Dining packages are available on select nights and include a delicious meal and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances. Availability is limited.

Candlelight Dining Packages for breakfast start at $27 plus tax per person for adults and $14 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. Candlelight Dining Packages for lunch and dinner start at $47 plus tax per person for adults and $20 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. To book a package call your travel agent today!

Garden Rocks Concert Series Returns To Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Planning a trip to Epcot this spring for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival? This year, 11 pop bands are set to appear in the Garden Rocks Concert Series, which will take place March 4-May 17, 2015. Several acts will join this festival lineup this year, including En Vogue, Little River Band, Jon Secada, Pablo Cruise and Taylor Dayne.

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Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and are included with Epcot admission. Check out this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):

  • March 6-8: Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
  • March 13-15: Pablo Cruise “Love Will Find a Way”
  • March 20-22: En Vogue “Free Your Mind”
  • March 27-29: Starship “We Built This City”
  • April 3-5: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
  • April 10-12: Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
  • April 17-19: Jon Secada “Just Another Day”
  • April 24-26: The Guess Who “These Eyes”
  • May 1-3: Taylor Dayne “Tell It to My Heart”
  • May 8-10: Little River Band “Lady”
  • May 15-17: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”

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Eggs-citing Event Returns to Disney Parks

Many Disney fans took part in last year’s egg-sperience at Disney California Adventure park and Epcot and loved it! Well we have egg-citing news, because it’s back by popular demand!

What can you egg-spect? From April 10 – 20, you’ll be able to search for special hidden “eggs” themed to Disney characters at Epcot, Disney California Adventure park and for the first time, Disneyland park!

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How it works!

Have fun exploring the parks hunting for ‘eggs’ that portray Disney characters! Record your discoveries by placing the corresponding sticker on the specially themed Egg-stravaganza map to represent that location. Maps and stickers can be purchased for $4.95, plus tax at the following parks and locations:

  • Disney California Adventure park – Elias & Co., Oswald’s, Radiator Springs Curios, Rushin’ River Outfitters, Studio Store and Treasures in Paradise.
  • Disneyland park – Disney Showcase, Fairy Tale Treasures, Gag Factory, Pieces of Eight and Pooh Corner
  • Epcot – Heritage Manor (American Adventure Pavilion), Disney Traders, International Gateway, Pin Central and Port of Entry

There are a dozen reasons for you to love the event this year! I know what new characters have been added, but it’s up to you to find them.

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Don’t crack under the pressure! Whether you choose to hunt for eggs or not, return your map to a redemption location: Elias & Co. at Disney California Adventure park; Disney Showcase in Disneyland park or Disney Traders in Epcot and participate in an ‘egg-scramble’ to pick up your surprise.

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What is the surprise, eggs-actly? Let’s just say it bears a striking resemblance to what you are already searching for!

Purchase as many maps as you’d like—while supplies last—and play again and again! No discounts apply. You should also know that separate admission is required to enter Disney Theme Parks and the experience is subject to restrictions and change without notice.


2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens

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Take your pick from garden-grown treats, savory meats and spring-inspired flavors—including tempting TRYit! selections, featuring fun foods made with fresh ingredients—this year at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival!


Florida Fresh

Florida FreshExperience a taste of several fresh Florida ingredients, each grown and produced locally. It’s a perfect opportunity to treat your senses to some of the most delightful fruit and drink the Sunshine State has to offer! Florida Fresh can be found next to the Germany Pavilion.

To eat:

  • Watermelon salad with pickled onions, BW Farm baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction
  • Shrimp and stone ground grits with andouille sausage, sweet corn, tomatoes and cilantro
  • Florida kumquat pie (TRYit!)

To drink:

  • Watermelon passion fruit slush featuring Simply Lemonade®
  • Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria featuring Simply Lemonade, Florida Orange Groves (St. Petersburg, Florida)
  • Garda Italian Wine Blend, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
  • Rogue Valley Pinot Noir, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
  • Blonde Ale, Orlando Brewing Company (Orlando, Florida)
  • Cotton Mouth Belgian Style Witbier, Swamp Head Brewery (Gainesville, Florida)
  • Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale, Florida Beer Company (Cape Canaveral, Florida) – Festival Exclusive!
  • Florida Avenue Blueberry, Cold Storage Craft Brewery (Tampa, Florida)
  • Beer Flight – Blonde Ale, Cotton Mouth Belgian Style Witbier, Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale and Florida Avenue Blueberry
  • Simply Orange

Hanami

HanamiJourney near the Japan Pavilion where the annual ritual of admiring springtime flowers is in full bloom. From delectable bites to refreshing beverages, uncover how Hanami’s flavors reflect the season.

To eat:

  • Frushi – Fresh pineapple, strawberries and melon, rolled with coconut rice, topped with raspberry sauce, sprinkled with toasted coconut and served with whipped cream on the side
  • Temaki hand roll – Sliced Panko fried chicken, curry sauce, rice and pickled julienne carrots wrapped with Nori
  • Hanami sushi – A flavorful combination of salmon, scallop and beef-topped rice balls served atop a shiso violet sauce (TRYit!)
  • Japanese puffed rice cakes with green tea whipped cream and azuki

To drink:

  • Kirin draft beer
  • Pinepple Paradise with Yuzu Slushie – Frozen blend of sweet sake, pineapple juice and crème, flavored with a hint of Yuzu citrus juice
  • Orange Mango Slushie – Frozen blend of Nigori sake, mango and orange juice

Jardin de Fiestas

Jardin de FiestasMake your way near the Mexico Pavilion where the tapas are spring light and cooked just right. Don’t miss your chance to take part in this festival of flavors, complete with savory tacos and mouthwatering cocktails.

To eat:

  • Tacos al pastor – Corn tortilla filled with achiote-marinated pork, garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions and cilantro
  • Quesadilla de hongos con queso – Flour tortilla filled with mushrooms and cheese
  • Flan de chocolate Abuelita – Mexican chocolate custard

To drink:

  • Tecate draft beer
  • White Mexican sangria
  • Franbuesa (raspberry) margarita on the rocks
  • Tequila flight – blanco, reposado and añejo
  • Dasani bottled water

Fleur de Lys

Fleur de LysIndulge your senses in extravagance at this tasty milieu influenced by the “flower of the lily.” Once a royal emblem used by the French monarchy, the symbol now serves as inspiration for this decadent stop where you can refine your palate with some of the France Pavilion’s most magnificent culinary masterpieces!

To eat:

  • Gnocchi Parisien à la Provençal – Parisian-style dumplings with vegetables and mushrooms
  • Confit de canard, pommes de terre Sarladaise – Pulled duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes
  • Macaron à la fleur d’ Oranger – Orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache (TRYit!)

To drink:

  • La Vie en Rose frozen slush – Vodka, Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liquor, and white and red cranberry juice
  • Kir Imperial – Sparkling wine, Chambord and black raspberry liquor
  • Rosé pamplemousse cocktail – Rosé wine mixed with natural grapefruit syrup
  • Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – Fruity white beer with citrus notes

Lotus House

Lotus HouseHit the pavement near the China Pavilion for a garden-fresh take on spring-influenced flavors. Appease your cravings with a wide variety of Chinese cuisine, including popular street foods and bubble tea!

To eat:

  • Beijing-style candied strawberries
  • Spring pancake with grilled chicken and green apple
  • Vegetable spring rolls

To drink:

  • Popping bubble tea
  • Kung Fu Punch – Vodka and triple sec with mango and orange juice
  • South Sea Storm – Guava juice with light and dark rum
  • Plum wine
  • Tsing-Tao beer
  • Lychee aerated water

Pineapple Promenade

Pineapple PromenadeEnjoy the Great White North with a tropical twist at the Canada side of World Showcase promenade. Then, get ready to hear  your sweet tooth say, “Thank you!” as you bite into all kinds of treats featuring this popular golden fruit.

To eat:

  • Pineapple soft serve
  • Pineapple soft serve with Myers’s dark rum
  • Pineapple soft serve with Parrot Bay coconut rum
  • Sweet potato cinnamon waffle with pineapple soft serve (TRYit! selection)

To drink:

  • Frozen desert violet lemonade featuring Simply Lemonade (nonalcoholic)
  • Tropical Mango Pale Ale, St. John Brewers (U.S. Virgin Islands)
  • Once Upon a Vine’s The Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc

Primavera Kitchen

Primavera KitchenSay, “Ciao!” to spring as you set sail for a land of garden-fresh foods near the Italy Pavilion. On your stop, be sure to explore the countryside’s many flavors—caprese, manicotti, torte di ricotta and fine Italian wines.

To eat:

  • Caprese – Fior di latte mozzarella, roasted peppers and olio verde
  • Three cheese manicotti – Egg pasta stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato sauce and béchamel
  • Torta di ricotta – Lemon cheesecake with limoncello-marinated strawberries

To drink:

  • Placido Pinot Grigio
  • Placido Chianti
  • Bosco del Merlo Prosecco
  • White peach bellini – Prosecco and white peach puree
  • Strawberry rossini – Prosecco and marinated strawberries
  • Frozen Italian primavera – Assorted fruit slushy with limoncello and vodka
  • Moretti Lager
  • Moretti La Rossa

Taste of Marrakesh

Taste of MarrakeshEmbark on a trek near the Morocco Pavilion and educate your tastes on North African spices. Each unique flavor has been  paired with fresh ingredients and can be sampled with Moroccan beer and wine at this garden oasis.

To eat:

  • Lamb brewat roll with prunes and sesame
  • Harissa chicken kebab with couscous salad
  • Baghrir – Moroccan pancake with honey, almonds and argan oil

To drink:

  • Mint iced tea
  • White sangria
  • Guerrouane red
  • Casa Beer
  • Desert Rose – Sparkling wine with pomegranate liqueur

Urban Farm Eats – NEW!

Urban Farm Eats – NEW!Honor the earth and all it grows with a refreshing selection from this location’s all-natural menu. Choose from a hearty array of foods and beverages, many of which have been cultivated entirely from the soil!

To eat:

  • Pickled beet salad with goat cheese cream, mizuna and pistachios
  • Land-grown eggplant “scallop” with romesco sauce and spaghetti squash (TRYit!)
  • Ghost pepper-dusted tilapia with crisp winter melon slaw and mint oil featuring The Original Sauce Man’s Kick It Up Rub

To drink:

  • Cucumber lemon spa water, finished with a sprig of fresh mint
  • The Vegan Vine Chardonnay
  • The Vegan Vine Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Redbridge Gluten-Free Sorghum Beer, Anheuser-Busch (St. Louis, Missouri)

THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews

THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and BrewsCelebrate the truly American tradition of slow-cooked flavors near The American Adventure Pavilion. Sink your teeth into savory barbecue meats and then pair each one off with craft brews from across the country.

To eat:

  • Pulled pig slider with cole slaw
  • Smoked beef brisket with collard greens and jalapeño corn bread
  • Smoked turkey “rib” (TRYit!)
  • “Piggylicous” bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch featuring Nueske’s® Applewood Smoked Bacon

To drink:

  • Magic Hat #9, Magic Hat Brewing (South Burlington, Vermont)
  • Maduro, Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida)
  • Fat Tire, New Belgium Brewing Company (Ft. Collins, Colorado)
  • Billy’s Chilies, Twisted Pine Brewing Company (Boulder, Colorado)
  • Beer Flight – Magic Hat #9, Maduro, Fat Tire and Billy’s Chilies
  • The Original Rib Shack Red Wine

The Buttercup Cottage

The Buttercup CottageDelight in elegant afternoon-tea offerings and fresh garden flavors near the United Kingdom Pavilion. Drop by this charming locale to sample scrumptious treats, British teas and beverages inspired by lovely English fruits and fragrances.

To eat:

  • Freshly baked potato and cheddar cheese biscuit with smoked salmon tartare
  • Field greens with Plant City strawberries, toasted almonds and Farmstead stilton (TRYit!)
  • Pork and apple sausage roll with house-made piccalilli
  • Freshly baked lemon scones with berry preserves and crème fraÎche

To drink:

  • Chilled rose blush lemonade featuring Simply Lemonade with Raspberry (nonalcoholic)
  • Twinings® Cold Brewed English Classic with lemon grass syrup
  • Berry tea cocktail – Twinings Cold Brewed Mixed Berry Tea with Florida Cane vodka and Plant City strawberry, flavored with raspberry and açaí syrup
  • Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvee
  • Deloach Pinot Noir

Intermissions Café

Intermissions CaféDig into your day or turn over the evening at this charming stop found right within the Festival Center. Pop inside to find all kinds of fine food and beverages—wine, cheese, wraps, salads and more!

To eat:

  • Grapes
  • Fruit & cheese plate
  • Vegan trio
  • Southwest chicken wrap
  • Tuna salad with pita
  • Side salad
  • Asian tuna salad with noodles
  • Caprese Push-Pop – Tomato, mozzarella and balsamic (TRYit! selection)

To drink:

  • Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria, Florida Orange Groves (St. Petersburg, Florida)
  • Garda Italian Wine Blend, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
  • Rogue Valley Pinot Noir, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
  • Martini Prosecco
  • Strongbow Cider, Bulmers Cider Company (White Plains, New York)
  • SweetWater Blue, SweetWater Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia)

2014 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens

Instead of photos of the gorgeous flowers and topiaries, we want to show off some of the delicious new delights for your taste buds at the 21st annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival that opens March 5 and runs through May 18 – that’s 75 days to take it all in.

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Last year was the first year that food starred alongside the flowers, and this year 11 Outdoor Kitchens debut around World Showcase Lagoon, each with an artful produce and herb-raised garden bed that showcases something that you can taste in the dish they’re offering, say, corn at the Florida marketplace, or pineapples in Japan.

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Chef Jens Dahlmann had fun with the new Urban Farm EATS with its sustainable garden featuring tilapia swimming around that help fertilize the veggies. All three dishes are gluten free and two are vegetarian. There’s a pickled beet salad with goat cheese cream, mizuna (greens) and pistachios, eggplant grown at The Land pavilion at Epcot with Romesco (sweet pepper sauce) and spaghetti squash, and a ghost-pepper-dusted tilapia with crisp melon slaw and mint oil – and if you’ve never tried ghost pepper, it’s a kicky treat. They even have a vegan chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon and a gluten-free beer.

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In all there are 16 vegetarian dishes and a dozen gluten-free choices. Each marketplace has three to four dishes, adding up to more than 50 beverages and 40 different food items. It’s your chance to try anything from pulled-duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes in France to a “piggylicious” bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch at The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews. Craft beers abound again this year, from a Tropical Mango Pale Ale from St. John Brewers in the U.S. Virgin Islands to Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale brewed right here in Florida just for the festival.


New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is returning to Walt Disney World Resort on March 5. Disney Parks Blog shared new details about the merchandise being offered this year. Here is a first look at some of my favorite items coming to Epcot.

New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

You may recall that we introduced topiary artwork last year to our merchandise assortment. This fun and festive artwork was created by our Yellow Shoes Marketing group and it was wildly popular with guests attending the event. This year, we have used that artwork on new softlines, home décor and more.

New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Topiaries also found their way onto new pins created especially for this year’s Festival. There is a limited release pin featuring Mickey Mouse that will be found in multiple locations through Epcot. There are also a series of limited-edition pins that include characters like Kermit the Frog or Mater and Lightning McQueen.

New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Finally, the Vinylmation team will introduce a new “revealed/concealed” mystery set with figures shaped like topiaries on March 28. Disney Design Group artist Caley Hicks designed the 3-inch figures. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey topiary is the revealed figure in the set, and it will be found on the top of each mystery box. The other four figures will be randomly packaged, so you won’t know which one you get.

New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

I invite you to stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog in the coming weeks as I will be offering a first look inside the Festival Center located between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions at Epcot.

New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival


2014 Epcot Flower Power Weekend Concert Line Ups

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

At Epcot this spring, guests can boogie to their favorite “far out” pop tunes and rock ‘n’ roll classics of the 1960s and ’70s at the Flower Power concert series during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 5-May 18.

Alan Parsons Live Project

The lineup will feature two new-to-the-festival-acts: Gary Lewis and The Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) and Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”).

Village People

An eclectic mix of festival-fan favorites includes Village People (“Y.M.C.A.”), who debuted for the Flower Power series in 2013, Paul Revere & The Raiders (“Good Thing”) and more. The Guess Who kick off the concert series March 7-9.

paul-reveere

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and are included with Epcot admission.


Here is this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):

March 7-9 The Guess Who “American Woman”
March 14-16 NEW! Gary Lewis and The Playboys “This Diamond Ring”
March 21-23 The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
March 28-30 The Lovin’ Spoonful “Summer in the City”
April 4-6 Paul Revere & The Raiders “Good Thing”
April 11-13 Village People “Y.M.C.A”
April 18-20 The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions”
April 25-27 Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VII, I Am”
May 2-4 Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
May 9-11 Chubby Checker & The Wildcats “The Twist”
May 16-18 NEW! Alan Parsons Live Project “Eye in the Sky”


Spice Road Table Opens In Epcot

The doors are open at Spice Road Table at the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot!  With fantastic views of World Showcase Lagoon and IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth from almost every angle of the restaurant, Spice Road Table offers an authentic taste of the Mediterranean at the Morocco Pavilion in Epcot.

 Spice Road Table at the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot

Along with the new eatery, there’s live entertainment from Mo Rockin’ Band, henna tattoos, a “juice” bar and a shop stocked with great Mediterranean flavors to carry home (from olives to spicy harissa and mint tea). It’s a lively spot!

Spice Road Table Lobby

If you aren’t ready to sit and just want something cold on a hot afternoon, the juice bar is the spot for a Morocarita, Habibi Daiquiri or Sultan’s Colada (there’s also a non-alcoholic drink); ice cream in unusual flavors such as toasted almond and rosewater, plus beer, sangria and wine.

Hours are 11 a.m. until Epcot park closing. There are no reservations, and Disney Dining Plan isn’t accepted.

Spice Road Table Lounge

Spice Road Table Chandelier

Inspired by the outdoor cafés along the Mediterranean, the whitewashed façade of Spice Road Table is accented in icy shades of blue from the famous “Blue City” of Chefchaouen in Morocco’s Rif Mountains.

Spice Road Outdoor Terrace Seats

With 120 outdoor terrace seats, the inside will seat 60 with cozy booths, Moroccan light fixtures, tilework, tapestries and art representing Morocco’s indigenous Berber tribes is showcased.


Spring Savings at Walt Disney World Resort

HGTV and DIY Network Stars ‘Crash’ The 2014 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

You could say that this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be a “crash”-ing good time.

Sponsored once again by our friends at HGTV, they have filled the festival with tons of HGTV and DIY Network experts – including most of the stars we HGTV/DIY insiders call “The Crashers.”

hgtv-stars

The Crashers, for those uninitiated into HGTV/DIY fandom, are HGTV/DIY expert designers and contractors who comb home improvement stores for people who need renovation help. Then – in just three days, mind you – they (with an expert crew of helpers) make over the family’s yard, bathroom, kitchen or whatever. Crashers making their very first appearance at this year’s festival are Matt Blashaw from “Yard Crashers,” Matt Meunster from “Bath Crashers” and Alison Victoria from “Kitchen Crashers.” Very exciting!

HGTV/DIY favorites at this year’s festival include Vern Yip, one of the judges of “Design Star,” Florida’s own David “Color Splash” Bromstad and John Gidding from “Curb Appeal.” Also new to this year’s festival are “Renovation Raiders” star Amy Matthews and Chip Wade, who started with Gidding on “Curb Appeal” and now has his own hit show called “Elbow Room.”

Here’s the list (everything subject to change, of course):

  • March 7-9 – Vern Yip, “Design Star”
  • March 14-16 – Chris Lambton, “Going Yard”
  • March 21-23 – Matt Blashaw, “Yard Crashers”
  • March 28-30 – Matt Meunster, “Bath Crashers”
  • April 4-6 – Taniya Nayak, “House Hunters on Vacation”
  • April 11-13 – Amy Matthews, “Renovation Raiders”
  • April 18-20 – John Gidding, “Curb Appeal”
  • April 25-27 – David Bromstad, “Color Splash”
  • May 2-4 – Chip Wade, “Elbow Room”
  • May 9-11 – Genevieve Gorder, “Design Star”
  • May 16-18 – Alison Victoria, “Kitchen Crashers”

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

14 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2014

Whether it’s new entertainment, character meet and greets, holiday celebrations or the return of annual theme park events, there’s a lot to look forward to at Disney Parks in 2014. That said, here are 14 reasons you should visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2014.

Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

  • Meet Magician Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom Park. If you haven’t visited Town Square Theater at Magic Kingdom Park lately, you’re in for a delight when you see the tricks Mickey has up his sleeve. Check out our video of the new experience in this previous blog post.
  • Food trucks recently debuted at Downtown Disney as a fun new dining option. Check them out Wednesdays through Sundays, from 5 – 11 p.m. parked at Downtown Disney West Side near Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues.
  • Another season of 2014 runDisney racing fun begins January 8, with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Check out runDisney’s official website for details on races both here and at the Disneyland Resort.
  • Visit Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Beginning January 26, Disney Junior stars,Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First, will greet guests during meals at the Disney Junior Play n’ Dine at Hollywood & Vine.
  • The Atlanta Braves will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for spring training, which means a chance to attend fun preseason games beginning in February.
  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival returns to the park March 5 – May 18. This annual festival, with its floral displays, topiaries, and food fun, will showcase Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy as this year’s lead topiary.
  • There’s always something fun planned for St. Patrick’s Day at Downtown Disney each year, especially at Raglan Road. Stay tuned for more.

Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios will mark its 25th anniversary on May 1, 2014. Stay tuned for more on this milestone closer to time.
  • Star Wars Weekends will add more film fun to Disney’s Hollywood Studios May 16-June 8, 2014.
  • Car Masters Weekend, an event that’s perfect for car lovers (and lovers of “Cars”), will return to Downtown Disney June 14 – June 15, 2014. Details still to come.
  • Disney’s Night of Joy will return to Magic Kingdom Park on September 5-6, with artists MercyMe and Matthew West already in the lineup.
  • Spice Road Table, a new restaurant planned for the Morocco pavilion at Epcot, will open its doors in early 2014. Check out a sneak peek at the menu’s yummy dishes here.
  • Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade will debut at Magic Kingdom Park this spring. This new daytime parade will feature floats inspired by the films “The Little Mermaid,” “Tangled,” “Brave” and many more.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the latest and largest installment in the New Fantasyland expansion, will debut at Magic Kingdom Park in 2014 to tell the story of “Snow White” from the perspective of the Seven Dwarfs.

Epcot in Walt Disney World

BONUS 15th Reason To Visit Walt Disney World:

Save Up to 30% on Select Rooms at Walt Disney World Resort This Spring!

If you’re considering booking a spring vacation, now is the time to do so. Guests who book their resort stays now through March 31, 2014, (for vacations taking place March 14 – April 12, 2014, and April 20 – June 15, 2014) may receive up to 30% off the cost of their room.

Plus, when you upgrade to a Magic Your Way package with a minimum four-day theme park tickets, you’ll get one more ticket day for free.

Click here for full details.

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