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A Bounty of Festive Fall Offerings in Season at Walt Disney World Resort

A Bounty of Festive Fall Offerings in Season at Walt Disney World Resort

As the summer season winds down, festive fall happenings ramp up at Walt Disney World Resort with standout events, new eateries, and an out-of-this-world land where banshees fly and mountains float. The Vacation Kingdom is the place to celebrate the golden days of the harvest season.

Here’s a look at the fantastical experiences in store this fall throughout Walt Disney World Resort: 

First Fall for Pandora – The World of Avatar

The exotic new land of Pandora – the World of Avatar is a don’t-miss adventure this fall.  It’s where you can soar on a banshee, sail down a sacred river and discover a mystical world of glowing rainforests and floating mountains. Inspired by the epic film AVATAR from director James Cameron, the wondrous new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is big fun for guests of all ages.

Exotic eats are on the menu at Satu’li Canteen including healthful create-your-own bowls and bao bun pods stuffed with meat or spicy vegetables. Out-of-this world beverages and refreshing treats await at the Pongu Pongu specialty-drink location.

The day isn’t complete without a stop in Windtraders. This fun and immersive retail location offers more than 200 unique merchandise items, so guests can take a little piece of Pandora back home with them. There’s a banshee rookery where you can select your very own banshee. With a digital scan of your face, ACE Avatar Maker lets you create a personalized Avatar action figure. There’s even a handy translator unit that will help you learn how to speak Na’vi. At the shop’s bead bar, you can craft Na’vi-inspired necklaces using feathers and beads, 

A Bounty of Festive Fall Offerings in Season at Walt Disney World Resort

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Offers Early Start

Not-so-spooky ghosts and goblins return earlier than ever with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party that delights fun-seekers of all ages in the Magic Kingdom. For 32 select nights beginning on August 25, the Magic Kingdom will host this guest-favorite event from 7 p.m.–midnight (not included with regular park admission).  Highlights include Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade; Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular; Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular; Disney characters donning favorite Halloween costumes; and treat trails throughout the Magic Kingdom. Plus, partygoers can enjoy dozens of iconic attractions.

The 2017 Party dates: August 25, 29; September 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 and 29; October 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 and 31; and November 1, 2017. Advance tickets are $74 for adults and $69 for ages 3-9.

Spirits Soar With Night of Joy

A stellar line-up of Christian music will light up the stages at ESPN Wilde World of Sports Complex September 8-9 during the annual Night of Joy Concert series. Along with hip-hop, pop, rock, praise and adult contemporary music, there’s a family activity zone, food trucks and more.

On Friday, September 8 artists TobyMac, MercyMe, Zach Williams, Natalie Grant, Danny Gokey will perform on the Champion Stadium stage, while Matt Maher, Colton Dixon and Rend Collective will play inside the HP Field House, all starting at 5 p.m.

The party continues on Saturday night with headliners Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman, along with Kirk Franklin and Jordan Feliz performing at Champion Stadium, with Crowder, Jeremy Camp and Tye Tribbett taking the stage at the HP Field House.

Single-night tickets purchased in advance are $45 plus tax, and $69 plus tax for both nights.  Doors open at 5 p.m. To learn more about additional ticket offerings, check out NightofJoy.com.

Disney Springs Welcomes Terralina Crafted Italian

The foodie scene continues to grow at the ever-evolving Disney Springs with the fall opening of Terralina Crafted Italian, a new dining experience curated by James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano. Operated by Levy Restaurants, this new dining location will feature dishes inspired by Mantuano’s adventures in Italy’s Lake District. This entirely new restaurant is being built in the location formerly occupied by Portobello Country Italian Trattoria

Terralina’s menu will present authentic Italian cuisine cooked in Chef Tony’s signature olive oil imported directly from Italy. The restaurant’s wood-burning oven will fire up a selection of artisanal, hand-tossed pizzas and fresh vegetable dishes. Fan favorites from Portobello Country Italian Trattoria such as the antipasti platter and signature pasta dishes will remain on the menu alongside new additions such as mussels and pork chops.

A Bounty of Festive Fall Offerings in Season at Walt Disney World Resort

22nd Annual Epcot international Food & Wine Festival Expands

A record 75-day festival overflows with culinary events, celebrity chefs, seminars, musical acts and workshops, during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Aug. 31-Nov. 13, 2017.

Celebrated for its creative tapas-sized dishes and inspired sips, high-energy entertainment and premium signature dinners and tastings, the festival will sizzle with a more than 35 specialized marketplace – celebrating 35 years of Epcot. Guests can pair wines, beers and ciders with delicious tastings as they stroll World Showcase Promenade and Future World.

Celebrity and Disney chefs will present culinary demonstrations, and beverage experts will host daily wine tastings and seminars (additional charges apply), ABC’s “The Chew” returns to Epcot to tape a week’s worth of shows Oct. 4-6.

This year’s festival will also spotlight inspired dishes geared towards kids and offer scavenger hunts and culinary demos designed for the whole family.

Some 32 musical acts are set to perform during the popular Eat to the Beat concerts with returning fan favorites Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Air Supply and 38 Special, plus newcomers The Hooters, 10,000 Maniacs and Kenny G.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Returns

The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend takes place Nov. 2-5. Presented by MISFIT, the event coincides with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The food- and fitness-inspired weekend includes runDisney Kids Races, a 5K and a 10K. The weekend concludes with the Sunday half marathon that takes participants through multiple Disney theme parks and culminates at Epcot. Later that night, runners enjoy a festive and exclusive after-hours party in the park.

ABC’s “The Chew” Filming Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival

Everyone has a favorite host from ABC’s “The Chew” – superstars Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall and Daphne Oz each have a special way of sharing their culinary know-how on the Emmy-Award-winning lifestyle series. And for the first time in the show’s history, these dynamic hosts are leaving the Manhattan studio to tape shows October 7, 8, and 9 from the 20th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. The five festival episodes will air October 12-16.

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Shows will be taped before a live audience (visit www.thechew.com for information on how to obtain tickets), and we’re sure the hosts will be all over Walt Disney World Resort discovering remarkable dining finds, getting a taste of innovative, fun and healthful eats – the best the vacation kingdom has to offer.

Along with the taping of the show, “The Chew” will be featured in two marketplaces throughout the festival’s 53-day celebration from September 25-November 16, helping celebrate 20 delicious years. For the first time in the festival’s history, marketplaces will expand into Future World in the new Next Eats festival area with three delicious dishes from “The Chew” in their Sustainable Chew Marketplace: Savory Pork Spareribs with Cheesy Mascarpone Grits; Ricotta & Zucchini Ravioli with Tomato Sauce, and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Figs and Pistachio Brittle. (Herbs and veggies from The Land pavilion will flavor the marketplace dishes when harvested.) The eco-home-inspired marketplace will offer a chance for guests to learn more about how food is grown and the importance of sustainability.

Also in Next Eats, Disney chefs are collaborating with “The Chew” for the Chew Lab, a cutting-edge marketplace inspired by food-science labs and the hottest culinary tech trends.

“The Chew” airs on ABC Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. EST, noon CST. For updates on the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, visit www.epcotfoodfestival.com throughout the summer.


Fifteen Reasons To Visit Walt Disney World In 2015

It’s a brand new year – do you have a Disney Parks vacation on your bucket list for 2015?

Whether it’s new dining experiences, sports milestones, holiday celebrations or the return of annual theme park festivals, there’s a lot to look forward to at Walt Disney World Resort in 2015. Here are 15 reasons you should consider planning a trip this year.

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1. Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk – The newest Disney restaurant just opened its doors a few days ago. The menu features authentic Italian cuisine and wines – and is now an option on the Disney Dining Plan.

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2. Exposition Park Food Trucks – While we’re on the topic of food, 2015 will give you time to check out the recently opened food trucks at Downtown Disney. This dedicated outdoor area also has live entertainment at night (subject to change, of course).

3. 2015 runDisney Races Are Off & Running – Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will take place January 7-11.

4. Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic – Soccer fans can get their kicks at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic February 1-March 1 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In it, eight pro teams, including six Major League Soccer squads, will compete in 16 games.

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5. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – This nightspot is based on the popular themed lounge at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, and is set to open here in spring. Trader Sam’s will offer tiki cocktails served in souvenir mugs, as well as smaller food offerings.

6. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Returns – This princess-themed weekend of running events returns to Walt Disney World February 19-22.

7. Starbucks to Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A new Starbucks location will open at the park in February, 2015. The new location, dubbed The Trolley Car Café, will be themed to a classic trolley car along Hollywood Boulevard and offer a unique experience for coffee lovers visiting the park.

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8. The Atlanta Braves Return For Spring Training – The Braves will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for their 18th consecutive year of spring training.

9. The 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: A Spring Tradition Returns March 4-May 17 – Character topiaries, home gardening seminars, floral displays and much more will return to the park’s festival in 2015.

11.  The Expedition Everest Challenge – The Challenge runs it’s last race this year so you don’t want to miss the final expedition!  Check out the special runDisney offer for this year’s race weekend!

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11. Star Wars Weekends Returns – This annual event will return to delight fans of the Force and the Empire May 15 – June 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Plus, this year, you can take your Star Wars Weekends experience to a whole new galaxy with out-of-this universe dining experiences including Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast and Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine!

12. Annual Events – 2015 means the return of our favorite annual events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and more.

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13. New Eats at Downtown Disney – The area continues to evolve into Disney Springs, and in 2015, The Landing, the first of four interconnected neighborhoods will open to guests. Keep your eye open for more dates and details on the openings of Morimoto Asia, THE BOATHOUSE and STK Orlando, three restaurants planned for the area, as they come available.

14. Another Year of #DisneySide Fun – Guests loved showing their Disney Side – that side each one of us has that isn’t afraid to have fun and show our silly sides – at Disney parks in 2014.

15. Your Family Vacation – If this is the year for your family’s vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, then there’s nothing to look forward to more than your family’s special time together. If you visit our parks in 2015, we hope you have a wonderful time.

Which event or new offering are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the “comments” section below.


Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Argentina – Guest Blog Post

As excited as I am about Brazil’s return to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and the menu it brings with it, I’m equally disappointed by its “sister” South American nation – Argentina.

If you’re a veteran of Food & Wine, I’m sure you’ve just reacted to that sentiment with complete disbelief.  After all, Argentina’s Beef Empanada and Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce (a brightly colored green sauce with parsley, herbs, garlic, and tangy vinegar) and Boniato (a Cuban sweet potato or white yam) Purée are generally recognized as festival highlights!  Aren’t they?

Argentina's Beef Empanada

Argentina's Beef Skewer

Frankly, I was so disappointed after sampling both of them in 2011 that I completely passed them by in 2012.  The empanada was the best of the two but pretty ordinary, in my opinion, and the beef skewer was tough and way overdone.

But, then, this is where my wife spilled a valuable “pearl of wisdom” on me … on any given day with any particular meal or any cut of meat, any chef could have a really bad day.  Or, in this case, make even one bad serving.  The morale of the story?  I should give Argentina another shot.  So, in 2013, I will.

Like Brazil, Argentina won’t be serving a dessert this year, so their menu ends with a collection of beverages:

Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut – bright green and yellow in color, this sparkling wine presents with the essential characteristics of Chardonnay

Terrazas Reserva Malbec – an Argentine Malbec wine characterized by its deep color, intense fruity flavors, and a velvety texture

Terrazas Reserva Torrontes – a white Argentine wine with moderate acidity, smooth texture and mouthfeel, as well as distinctive peach and apricot aromas

Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon – with a deep ruby red color, this wine provides pleasant blackcurrant and cherry notes with a full body and long after-taste

When it comes down to it, Kingdom Magic Vacations‘ own Rick Howard might do better justice to describing the virtues of Argentina’s menu than I can.  For me, I can only grade them as an “Incomplete”.  So, step back and listen to last year’s Argentina-focused episode of the Travel with Rick video-cast.

He’ll tell you just how much you should like their Chimichurri Sauce!

It’s not too late to book your trip to experience
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival!
Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations Today!


Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

We’re Almost Ready for the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, How About You?

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will return to Walt Disney World Resort Friday, Sept. 28, and preparation is already flowing at a fast pace behind the scenes.

Here’s a look at just how two of our chefs are adding character to this year’s event.

HGTV Stars Return to Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

We love our festivals here at Walt Disney World Resort!

Having just finished the 2012 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, we now turn to the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year’s food and wine extravaganza runs from September 28 to November 12, and we’re excited to announce the return of some your favorite HGTV stars.

As regular watchers of HGTV (and I’m one of them) know, HGTV programs go beyond just home renovation and gardening. They feature ideas and helpful hints for party planning, catering and tons of other food and beverage topics, which makes them a perfect fit for our festival.

Are you watching this season of “Design Star”? I am loving it; and not just because we got to interview judge Genevieve Gorder on the “Design Star” set. I can’t wait to see who wins and gets to come to Epcot.

In addition to the “Design Star” winner, here are the other HGTV stars that are scheduled for this year’s festival:

HGTV Stars

September 28-30  – “Design Star” Season 7 Winner (To be announced July 25)
October 5-7  – Casey Noble – “Design on a Dime”
October 12-14  – Alison Victoria – DIY Network’s “Kitchen Crashers”
October 19-21  – Brian Patrick Flynn – HGTV.com, “Design Happens” contributor
October 26-28 – Meg Caswell – “Meg’s Great Rooms”
November 2-4 – Marianne Canada – HGTV.com, “Design Happens” contributor
November 9-12 – Emily Henderson – “Secrets From a Stylist”

 

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