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New Resort Experiences And Celebrity Chef Participants Set For The 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

A new lineup of popular celebrity chefs and a series of first-time Disney resort cooking and dining experiences will add culinary appeal to the 21st Epcot International Food & Wine Festival when it returns to Walt Disney World Resort Sept. 14-Nov. 14, 2016.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Celebrates 20 Years of Flavors from Around the World

Culinary notables Geoffrey Zakarian, Maneet Chauhan, Duff Goldman, Elliott Farmer, Masaharu Morimoto and Graham Elliot will step up to the stove to host their first festival special events such as seminars and culinary demonstrations. Other chef icons like Robert Irvine, Cat Cora, Norman Van Aken, Elizabeth Falkner, Buddy Valastro and Jamie Deen will return to entertain foodies and inspire their palates at premium events that include Party for the Senses grand tastings featuring reimagined entertainment.

For a second consecutive year, ABC’s Emmy-Award-winning lifestyle series, “The Chew” will arrive to produce a full week of programs on the show’s exclusive Epcot festival stage.

And, for the first time, you can enjoy the following festival experiences at Walt Disney World Resort hotels:

  • “Brunch with a Twist at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa” — a sumptuous 5-star, 5-course meal prepared by the resort’s award-winning chefs
  • “The Secrets of Flavor at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort” — a three-course lunch that gives you a ‘sensory-food connection’ at Yachtsman Steakhouse
  • “Culinary Adventures with a Master Chef” at Disney’s Contemporary Resort — a hands-on chef’s table experience in a professional working kitchen
  • “Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto” at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort — an entertaining tour of the whimsical Trader Sam’s, followed by lunch and a special mixology session

More details regarding these exciting experiences and other Epcot International Food & Wine Festival details will be shared when available.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Now Open New Location At Disney Springs

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney Springs has moved to a new location near Once Upon a Toy.

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Inspired by Walt Disney’s “Cinderella,” the newly expanded salon has a country home-inspired feel that complements the theming of Disney Springs. Here, Fairy Godmothers-in-Training will continue making magical transformations for Guests ages 3-12. Girls can choose a hairstyle then add make-up, nail color and accessories – even a Disney princess costume. Boys can join in the fun too, as they’re transformed into gallant knights.

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There are interactive elements, décor and artwork found throughout the Boutique – including a tile mural of Cinderella Castle.

As a reminder, all Disney PhotoPass photos taken at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique are included with the purchase of Memory Maker if captured during the applicable Memory Maker window.

Reservations for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique are highly recommended. Appointments can be made up to 180 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-STYLE.

Disney Springs Grand Opening Summer Celebration Now Underway!

With even more live entertainment for summer, special décor, sales at many retailers, and fun warm weather-inspired enhancements, now is the perfect time for you to discover Disney Springs.

Now through Labor Day, you can check out a few of these exciting additions during the Disney Springs Grand Opening Summer Celebration.

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On any given night, there are more than 20 different entertainment acts performing throughout the four Disney Springs neighborhoods. This free entertainment includes a variety of live musicians, improvisational rappers, DJs, Living Statues and, depending on the night your visit, maybe even a roaming illusionist. This summer, we’re adding some local talent including Sleeping Sunset (Pop), The I-4 Band (Top 40), Chaz Robinson (Pop), Casey Conroy (Contemporary/Pop), Plus 1 (Country), Vintage Vinyl (Contemporary with a vintage sound), Dayve Stewart (Jazz), CeCe Teneal (R&B), The Gerry Williams Band (Funk), and The Liam Duncan Trio (Current Acoustic).

Every afternoon, the Marketplace Fountain will be flowing, giving Guests young and old the chance to splash the day away during the Beat the Heat DJ Party. With a combination of chill summer tunes and a variety of ice-cold, frosty beverages (with options for adults and kids) nearby, this will be THE spot to cool down.

Plus, many locations around Town Center, our newest neighborhood, will offer some hard-to-pass-up deals, with some lasting all summer. For example right now, a variety of shops are offering 10-60% off select items and purchases including Columbia Sportswear, Lucky Brand, Alex and Ani, Melissa Shoes, Francesca’s Edwin Pearl, JOHNNY WAS, ZARA, LACOSTE, Johnston & Murphy, Sperry, Kipling, UNOde50 and more (subject to change).

And, with festive Grand Opening décor throughout the property, limited-edition “Grand Opening” treats at select locations and roaming Disney PhotoPass photographers with Disney Springs Grand Opening-themed frames to pose with – you will definitely feel there’s something special in the air!

Getting to Disney Springs is easier than ever. If you are staying at a Disney Resort hotel, they can take complimentary bus transportation that drops off in the heart of Town Center. Or, if they choose to drive, they can access the property from I-4 West via a new connection that leads directly to one of our two convenient parking garages. Both feature complimentary parking and smart technology that identifies open parking spaces. Valet parking is also available.

Be sure to encourage you to discover Disney Springs this summer!

A Peek Inside Anna & Elsa’s Royal Sommerhus at Epcot

Have you had a chance to check out Royal Sommerhus at Epcot yet?

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For the first time in forever, the royal sisters Anna and Elsa have opened up their summer home to greet guests. Located in the Norway pavilion at Epcot, the house is chock full of memories (and memorabilia) from the sisters travels with their parents when they were younger. Now that Elsa is queen, the house has reopened so the sisters can relive their fond memories and make new ones with guests.

Take a look at the video below for more.

 

The Ramp – Cape Porpoise, Maine On Travel With Rick

This week on Travel With Rick, we enjoy some great seafood at the Ramp in Cape Porpoise, Maine. We discovered this little restaurant / bar last year during our first trip up to Maine. Located underneath the main restaurant, Pier 77, you literally walk down the “ramp” to get to it. The decor is made up of old and new political and sports memorabilia, and serving up some of the finest seafood anywhere!

Famous for their lobster roll and seafood stew, our favorites, but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu!

2016 Candlelight Processional Dining Packages Now Available

It’s never too early for some holiday cheer! And today, we’re excited to announce that dining packages for 2016 Candlelight Processional are now on sale.

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As a part of Holidays Around the World at Epcot, this favorite Walt Disney World Resort holiday tradition presents the story of Christmas in truly spectacular fashion – with a celebrity narrator, a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.

Celebrity narrators this year include some returning favorites like contemporary Christian music singer Steven Curtis Chapman, actors Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris and newcomers like legendary baseball player Cal Ripken, Jr. Here’s the list of confirmations we have so far:*

  • 11/25-27 – Steven Curtis Chapman
  • 11/28-12/1 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/2-12/3 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • 12/4-12/12 – TBA
  • 12/13-12/15 – Meredith Vieira
  • 12/16-12/18 – TBA
  • 12/19-12/21 – Joe Morton
  • 12/22-12/27 – TBA
  • 12/28-12/30 – Cal Ripken, Jr.

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. These packages, available on select nights, include a delicious meal and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances. Availability is limited.

This year, in addition to lunch and dinner packages, breakfast options are available at some favorite Epcot restaurants like Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and Garden Grill. Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are also available this year at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, with breakfast and dinner options being offered at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk.

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.

‘Holidays Around the World’ is an extravaganza of holiday entertainment, merchandise, food, beverages and festivities where guests can celebrate at Epcot throughout the holiday season. Time-honored traditions come alive through the sights and sounds of the countries of World Showcase; and live musical performances enliven the park throughout the day.

To book a Candlelight Processional dining package, conatct your Kingdom Magic Travel Planner today!

Holidays Around the World, including the Candlelight Processional, run November 25 – December 30, 2016 at Epcot.

*Narrators and entertainment are subject to change without notice. Theme park admission is required. There is no 5 p.m. show on 12/4.

Top Ten Can’t-Miss Experiences at Disneyland Resort This Summer

From a new live stage show to all-new attractions, there’s so much for you to experience at the Disneyland Resort this summer! Here are ten experiences you won’t want to miss.

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  • The new “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” immerses Disney California Adventure Park guests in the emotional story of Anna and Elsa in an exciting theatrical interpretation for the stage, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects, show-stopping production numbers and some unique surprises.
  • On Soarin’ Around the World at Disney California Adventure Park, you can take flight on an all-new adventure to exciting destinations.
  • The fun-filled Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, new in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park, is rolling with fun as Luigi’s cugini (or family) have come from Carsoli, Italy, to help celebrate Race Day in Radiator Springs. You can join in the fun by hopping aboard miniature Italian roadsters, in the style of late 1950s micro cars. The cars perform the traditional dances of their village, moving to upbeat music and Luigi’s singing in a precision-choreographed dance across a trackless “dance floor.”
  • In Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park, Star Wars Launch Bay invites Guests to discover authentic replicas of film props and encounter Star Wars characters such as Chewbacca and Kylo Ren.
  • The Star Wars-themed transformation of Space Mountain into Hyperspace Mountain thrusts guests into an X-wing battle as they race through the darkness. The experience is enhanced by a new soundtrack, inspired by the Star Wars films’ musical themes and re-orchestrated to match every move in the attraction.

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  • At Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, guests can encounter a new adventure and characters from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” while journeying aboard a Starspeeder 1000.
  • Make sure you don’t miss their chance to see the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration dazzle and shine before the celebration ends Sept. 5, 2016.
  • The sparkling “Paint the Night” parade builds on the tradition of breathtaking nighttime parades in Disneyland park that began with the “Main Street Electrical Parade.” Illuminated almost entirely by LED lights, “Paint the Night” is a state-of-the art, vibrant wonder that immerses Guests in the magical, luminescent worlds of many Disney and Disney●Pixar characters.
  • The “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular entertains guests from the tips of their toes to the sky high above, surrounding the audience with music, dazzling visual projections and other special effects that bring the pyrotechnics to life in surprising new ways. You may enjoy the projections from multiple locations, including Main Street, U.S.A., and “it’s a small world” mall.
  • At Disney California Adventure Park, “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” is a fun-filled version of the popular, nighttime “World of Color” spectacular. Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris joins Mickey Mouse on a magical water canvas, bringing to life the remarkable story of Walt Disney and The Happiest Place on Earth with animated imagery, live-action film, fountains, lasers, special effects and a stirring musical score.

Ring in 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort with the New ‘Disney Countdown to Midnight’ New Year’s Eve Celebration

Are you headed to Walt Disney World Resort to ring in the new year? There are a variety of great options for fireworks and family fun on New Year’s Eve. But if you are a partygoer  you may want to consider “Disney Countdown to Midnight – A New Year’s Eve Celebration” at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

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This ticketed event will take place Dec. 31, 2016, beginning at 8 p.m. at the hotel’s Convention Center. There, you can ring in 2017 in the Fantasia Ballroom by dancing to music spanning from the ’60s to today, and trying “best-of-the-best” bites and wine pairings from California Grill, Flying Fish, Cítricos and Narcoossee’s.

Party guests can also enjoy the group Alter Ego as they perform their extravagant music- and dance-filled revue, then stroll outside to catch a unique musical act playing songs of today with a retro twist. The event will be highlighted with Magic Kingdom Park fireworks viewing and a champagne toast. There will also be themed photo backdrops and props to help you capture the memories of the evening and receive a souvenir to commemorate the night. Plus complimentary transportation will be provided for select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

Tickets for this special evening are extremely limited. If you have a resort reservation, you can reserve tickets starting today. Reservations will open to all Guests on July 4.

To purchase or for more information, contact your Kingdom Magic Travel Planner.

Disney Cruise Line Special Itinerary Merchandise – Northern Europe

Before the Disney Magic begins our Mediterranean season in early August, she will take Disney cruisers to explore the Baltic region with stops in some of Europe’s most celebrated cities including Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. Of course, no matter where you travel, we always want to make sure you do it in style, which is why our merchandise teams is making sure that we have you covered from head to toe, literally.

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The special line of merchandise designed for the Northern Europe itineraries will include adult and youth T-shirts, fleece, as well as the commemorative keepsakes such as a wood magnet, tumbler, pin and die-cut postcard.

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Discover authentic keepsakes, traditional crafts, folk art and more in our overdressed Russian bazaar inside Sea Treasures, Deck 3, Forward. Also, keep an eye out for specially created pieces of art representing several of the Baltic region ports of call in the Vista Gallery. Here’s a sneak peek of Spinning in Denmark by Daniel Killen.

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We’re not done quite yet. If you are you joining us on the Disney Magic as she sails from Northern Europe to Barcelona, look for this specially created tee and hat, which feature some of the ports of call along the way.

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Merchandise will be available at White Caps, Deck 4, Forward, in addition to other select locations. Next stop the Mediterranean, who’s with us?


Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – with Marc & Kriss

This week on Travel With Rick,  while Rick is still in Maine for part of the summer but was really missing Walt Disney World! His friends Marc and Kriss were at the Magic Kingdom last week and when he saw their video of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, he loved it so much he knew he had to share it with you!.

We hope you enjoy this POV ride on Big Thunder as much as we did, it’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!


‘Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire’ Now Open at Magic Kingdom Park

Hear ye! Hear ye! Let it be known by all lords and ladies of Magic Kingdom Park that “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” has officially begun!

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This all-new live stage show graces the grandest stage at Walt Disney World Resort with magic, music and merriment. Against the majestic backdrop of Cinderella Castle, Mickey Mouse and his friends welcome favorite characters from some of Disney’s newest classics: “The Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled” and “Frozen.” The show celebrates the unique stories of the citizens who make up this magical kingdom and the wonderful moments that can happen when we try new things, go to new places and get to know new friends.

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“Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” features fifteen Disney characters, a musical score recorded by the London Symphony, the original song “On This Day” by composers Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda (“Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings”), elaborate costumes, special effects, a dazzling display of daytime fireworks and more!

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Are you planning to join us for the Faire? Let the celebration begin!


Soarin’ Around the World Is Now Open at Disney Parks

The wait is over! Disney Parks guests can finally experience Soarin’ Around the World, the newly reimagined attraction that whisks guests on a journey above more than a dozen wondrous international destinations around the world.

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The attraction is now open at three Disney Parks: Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort; Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort; and at Shanghai Disneyland (where the attraction goes by the name Soarin’ Over the Horizon).

Soarin’ Around the World elevates guests up to 40 feet into an 80-foot projection screen dome that fill’s a guest’s entire field of vision that gives them the sense of flight. During their journey, guests can expect to spy jaw-dropping natural and man-made landmarks like the Great Wall of China, Sydney Harbor in Australia, and the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Not only that, but a guest may find that their other senses are engaged, feeling, smelling and hearing the new world around them.

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In addition to the new attraction experience, the attraction at Epcot also added a third theater and reimagined its queue to feature a new game called “Soarin’ Challenge” that guests can play via smartphone while they wait. This complimentary travel trivia game allows guests to join hundreds of other players to answer questions on geography, cuisine, languages and more. Guests can also unlock passport stamps for their digital collection and aim to up their personal score on the leaderboard. Don’t have a mobile device? No problem – look to one of the in-queue displays to participate.

So tell us – what destination are you looking forward to flying over in Soarin’ Around the World?


‘Inside Shanghai Disney Resort’ Gallery Opens at Epcot

Yearning to visit Shanghai Disneyland? You can now get a taste of the world’s newest Disney Park at Epcot, where the “Inside Shanghai Disney Resort” gallery which has just opened its doors in the House of the Whispering Willows Gallery at the China Pavilion.

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The gallery showcases exclusive artwork, as well as a look at the classic and cutting-edge attractions within Shanghai Disneyland’s six lands of fantasy and thrilling adventure.

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In addition, the exhibit illustrates how elements of Chinese culture were woven into the fabric of the resort. Walt Disney Imagineers traveled across China seeking inspiration for Shanghai Disneyland, its two hotels, and the Disneytown shopping district. The result, as guests will discover, is an authentically Disney experience that remains distinctly Chinese.


Universal’s Volcano Bay Revealed: Universal Orlando’s Third Theme Park To Open In 2017

A lush, tropical oasis unfolds before you, instantly transporting you to a little-known Pacific isle. In the distance, a colossal volcano rises above a sparkling beach, boasting majestic waterfalls by day and blazing lava by night.

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Welcome to Universal’s Volcano Bay– a radically-innovative water theme park opening next year at Universal Orlando Resort. Spanning 28 fully immersive acres, Universal Orlando’s third theme park will be an entirely new kind of water theme park experience, giving guests even more to enjoy on their vacation.

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At Volcano Bay, guests will discover a place like no other, filled with incredible thrills and relaxing indulgences. This one-of-a-kind park will combine exhilarating experiences with hassle-free convenience so families can get the most out of their vacation together. They won’t have to stand in long lines or wrestle with tubes before diving into the unique attractions found throughout the park. They can enjoy a variety of experiences, ranging from winding rivers and private, two-story cabanas to family raft rides and twisting body slides that launch guests above the water.

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Here’s what you need to know about Volcano Bay:

  • An Innovative Water Theme Park Experience:
    Volcano Bay will redefine the queue experience so guests can focus entirely on having fun and spending time together. Guests won’t even have to carry their own rafts up the slides.
  • 18 Unique Attractions in Four Imaginatively-Themed Areas:
    Volcano Bay will offer 18 unique attractions ranging from daring to serene. They’ll be divided across four primary park areas where there’s something for everyone, including a multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, peaceful winding river, twisting multi-rider raft rides, speeding body slides that drop from the top of the volcano into the waters below – and a state-of-the-art marquee attraction that will be revealed at a later date.
  • An Award-Winning Team of Creators:
    A place like this could only be brought to life by Universal Creative – the same team behind ground-breaking theme park experiences like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. The team researched water parks and tropical resorts around the world to help redefine the water park experience and shape their vision for Volcano Bay.

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  • Easy-to-Access, Resort-Like Amenities Throughout the Park:
    Each area of the park will offer its own easy-to-access, resort-like amenities, such as concierge locations and lockers, so guests won’t have to stroll out of their way to get what they need. There will also be highly-themed restaurants and bars located throughout the park offering signature food and beverage options and impressive volcano views. Even more unique features of the park will be announced later.
  • International Tickets On Sale Soon:
    Universal Orlando will soon introduce a brand-new, 3-Park Explorer ticket for guests where they can plan to experience the highly-anticipated Volcano Bay for travel dates beginning June 1, 2017. Tickets will soon be available through international web sites and travel professionals, and additional ticket options will be announced later.

This is just the beginning, and more exciting details about Volcano Bay will be released over time. Stay tuned for additional information!


Wells Beach Lobster Pound with Troy Brown On Travel With Rick

This week on Travel With Rick, we visit one of our favorite places in Maine, the Wells Beach Lobster Pound. Owner Troy Brown explains the history of the restaurant started by his Grandfather and now passed down to him. Troy started when he was just 9 years old and has been part of the Lobster Pound now for 39 seasons!

We learn about the different kinds of Maine Lobster, pick a fresh pound and a half “soft shell” female, boil it up fresh and enjoy the delicious, succulent lobster with melted buttah and house made cole slaw. (that’s not a typo) Everything is bettah with buttah!

We also enjoy one of the best lobster rolls you’ll find anywhere. Troy shows us just how they create these incredibly tasty treats with the only ingredients being the fresh lobster meat from their tanks, a little mayo and a soft toasted split top roll. Nothing could be bettah!

So check out this week’s video and see why we love the Wells Beach Lobster Pound so much!


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