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HGTV Magazine’s Sara Peterson Stops by Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival Marketplaces

Sara Peterson, editor-in-chief of HGTV Magazine, will take the HGTV Designers’ Stage at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this weekend to talk tips on boosting your home’s curb appeal.

While she was at Epcot, she took time to sample a few of the Garden Marketplaces located around World Showcase. Check out her review below!

Flower Power Weekend Concerts for April and May at 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

As the sun sets, gather your friends for some peace, love and rockin’ tunes from the ’50s through the ’90s at these weekend performances.

As the sun sets, gather your friends for some peace, love and rockin' tunes from the ’50s through the ’90s at these weekend performances

∙ April 5-7  The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie “Happy Together”

∙ April 12-14 Paul Revere & The Raiders “Good Thing”

∙ April 19-21  NEW! Village People “Y.M.C.A.”

∙ April 26-28  The Orchestra featuring former members of ELO and ELO Part II “Don’t Bring Me Down”

∙ May 3-5  NEW! Tommy Roe “DIZZY”

∙ May 10-12  Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”

∙ May 17-19  Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built this City”

Flower Power performances are included with Epcot admission.

Celebrate Easter at the Walt Disney World Resort Through March 31

It’s shaping up to be a lovely Easter weekend at Walt Disney World Resort. If you’re in town, here are a few different ways you can celebrate at our parks.

At Magic Kingdom Park, hop down Bunny Lane to visit Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny. (See the park’s Times Guide for an appearance schedule).

Celebrate Easter at the Walt Disney World Resort Through March 31

At Epcot, Easter Egg Hunts and Relays will take place at the Maze Garden in the United Kingdom Pavilion. The Easter Egg Hunts are open to guests ages 3-9, and an Easter Egg Relays are available for guests ages 8-12. A smaller area will be available for Egg Hunts for guests under the age of 3. Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will also pop in to meet-and-greet guests periodically. (Again, see the park’s Times Guide for more).

Easter Egg Hunts and games will also take place in Future World at Epcot for children ages 3-9. To join, stop by the Future World East-er Garden (between Innoventions and Universe of Energy). Space is limited.

Also, don’t forget to enjoy the lovely springtime flowers, Flower Power concerts, and yummy dishes at the new food kiosks at the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Merchandise Events at the Walt Disney World Resort for April 2013

Put some spring in your step and plan your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort during April, because we have a lot of events taking place!

April 5: Disney Design Group Artist Tyler Dumas will be appearing at D Street in Downtown Disney Westside from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. to sign the latest pin, Vinylmation and D Tech release in the 2013 series.

Disney Design Group Artist Tyler Dumas will be appearing at D Street in Downtown Disney Westside from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. to sign the latest pin, Vinylmation and D Tech release in the 2013 series.

April 4: ACME Archives Artist Annick Biaudet will be appearing at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. to sign her newest releases inspired by “Beauty and the Beast.”

ACME Archives Artist Annick Biaudet will be appearing at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. to sign her newest releases inspired by “Beauty and the Beast.”

April 5-7: Spring is in the air and the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is in full bloom. Take time to join us for Art in the Garden Weekend, taking place from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. each day along the promenade in Epcot. Throughout the weekend, artists Larry Dotson, David E. Doss and Noah, along with ACME artist Annick Biaudet will be on hand for artist demonstrations and signings. Note: Noah will appear April 6–7 only.

Art in the Garden Weekend, taking place from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. each day along the promenade in Epcot. Throughout the weekend, artists Larry Dotson, David E. Doss and Noah, along with ACME artist Annick Biaudet will be on hand

April 6: I guarantee this next event is not a figment of your imagination, it’s in fact a signing with Sculptor Bruce Lau at Art of Disney in Epcot from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Bruce will be on hand to sign his latest sculpture Magician Figment, while Disney Design Group Character Artist Monty Maldovan will be joining in the excitement to sign his latest Figment-inspired piece, Mickey and His Pal Figment. Look for Monty at the Art of Disney in Epcot as well, from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

Sculptor Bruce Lau at Art of Disney in Epcot from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Bruce will be on hand to sign his latest sculpture Magician Figment, while Disney Design Group Character Artist Monty Maldovan will be joining in the excitement to sign his latest Figment-inspired piece, Mickey and His Pal Figment.
April 10–11:
 This next event is literally an open book. World renowned author Ridley Pearson is returning to the Walt Disney World Resort for a special appearance and signing April 10-11.

April 8–12: Check out the latest releases from David E. Doss, who will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

April 18–22: Be on the lookout for Larry Dotson who will be appearing at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., each day.

April 19-22: Rounding out the month is a special Disney’s Animal Kingdom park Earth Day celebration with artists and vendors such as Just Plumerias, Elemental Nursery, Photographer Carlos Cuba, Silver Designer, Tim “Bushman #1” Adebule and ACME Archives artist, William Silvers. Looking for something special merchandise to commemorate the day? Keep an eye out for more information to be released shortly.

Chris Lambton From HGTV Visits Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival This Weekend

Well, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, presented by HGTV, is in full swing and, although it’s a tad chillier than normal here in Walt Disney World, we are already having some great times.

Chris Lambton, star of HGTV’s “Going Yard,” is here this weekend, giving tips to Epcot guests on how to turn their yards into spectacular, outdoor venues.

We caught up with Chris during rehearsals and he gave us a sneak peek into his presentation, ”Going Yard for Your Lifestyle.” He encourages families to treat their outdoor spaces with the same care and planning that they would any other room in their homes, tailoring the design to their family’s interests.

Guests of the Festival can see Lambton and other favorite HGTV and DIY stars on “The Designers’ Stage Presented by HGTV” at the Festival Center each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Festival at noon and 3 p.m.

The complete lineup includes:

  • March 15-17 – Chris Grundy, DIY Network’s Cool Tools: “Keepin’ It Green with Grundy”
  • March 22-24 – Egypt Sherrod, host of Property Virgins: “Getting the Inside Scoop on HGTV’s Top Home Features for 2013″
  • March 29-31 – Brandon Johnson, My Yard Goes Disney: “Bringing More Disney Inspiration and HGTV Design to Your Backyard”
  • April 5-7 – Meg Caswell, Meg’s Great Rooms: “Discovering Design Tips to Personalize Your Space & Make a Good Room Great”
  • April 12-14 – Jason Cameron, DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves: “Desperate Landscapes . . . Where Do We Grow from Here?”
  • April 19-21 – Sara Peterson, Editor-in-Chief, HGTV Magazine: “Boosting Your Curb Appeal! 25 Easy Ideas from Front Doors to Flower Pots”
  • April 26-28 – Carter Oosterhouse, Million Dollar Rooms: “Million Dollar Trends”
  • May 3-5 – Casey Noble, Design on a Dime: “Creating Luxury Hotel Floral Arrangements in Your Home”
  • May 10-12 – Dan Faires, HGTV.com, DanMade: “Easy Ideas for Creating a Designer Garden”
  • May 17-19 – David Bromstad, HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, Design Star All-Stars: “The Power of Color”

Presentations by HGTV and DIY Network stars are included with admission to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

The 20th annual festival runs from now through May 19, 2013 at Epcot.

Oz the Great and Powerful Lands at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

The marvelous land of Oz has captured the imaginations of people for over 100 years. Chances are good that this wondrous place has sparked your imagination, whether you’re a school kid, bank teller, rocket scientist—or a horticulturist like Eric Darden.

Eric is the Manager of Horticulture for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This year, the event is presenting one of the most ambitious dreams that Eric, his team and his fellow Disney Parks cast members have ever made come true.

“The Land of Oz Garden is one of the biggest single areas we’ve ever created for the Festival,” said Eric. “It starts in the ‘Kansas’ section, where kids can play midway games in the tents.”

In Walt Disney Pictures “Oz The Great and Powerful” — which opens today nationwide — you’ll see Kansas in black and white, Oz in dazzling color and all in three-dimensional RealD splendor (at select theaters). But at this new Epcot garden, of course everything’s blooming in full color — from the ring toss game and fun mirrors to the Baum Circus tents (named for L. Frank Baum, author of all 14 original Oz books).

“As you walk along, you’ll seem to travel through Oz, where the kids can enjoy the large playground,” explained Eric. Newly designed, this playground sparkles with details that celebrate the film. As the kids play, grown-ups will appreciate the nearby shaded chairs. Look on the other side of this area and you’ll see that it’s actually themed to the Wizard’s deflated hot air balloon!

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

A dazzling array of unusual flowers and plants suggest the setting of Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz The Great and Powerful,” including a bed of yellow pansies arranged to resemble a very familiar brick road—plus some dazzling red glass poppies. These amazing creations were prepared especially for The Land of Oz Garden by artist/sculptor Craig Mitchell Smith using his own elaborate technique of cutting, heating, shaping and reheating each flower—a process that takes four days per poppy!

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. “Now we have great food and beverage options at twelve Garden Marketplaces,” says Eric. “Now it’s all tied together—from the garden to your table—better than ever.

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Great Time and Money Saver for Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

Stop and smell the roses, while sporting this new mini Disney Gift Card with an exclusive Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival design. This Disney Gift Card has all the functionalities of a regular Disney Gift Card, with the convenience of wearing it around your wrist. As you enjoy the sights and scents that the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has to offer, the mini Disney Gift Card will help you quickly satisfy your taste buds by purchasing foods that highlight the taste of spring.

This design will be available exclusively at Epcot for a limited time during the festival.

Stop and smell the roses, while sporting this new mini Disney Gift Card with an exclusive Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival design.

Activate your Disney Gift Card with as little as $5 and just swipe to pay for food and more. Your Disney Gift Card can even be reloaded as many times as you want at the majority of festival kiosks. When the festival is over, you can continue using your card since, like all Disney Gift Cards, it’s good for practically all things Disney here at the Walt Disney World Resort and beyond.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is a Perfect Match with Food and Beverage

This year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival elevates the “farm to table” trend to new heights, with Festival Farms around each Garden Marketplace to show how the plants grow that are part of the delicious food and beverages served daily at the festival through May 19 at Epcot..

This fun video highlights the synergy between the garden and kitchen teams, and gives a little insight into the connections. We can’t wait for a taste of tomato wine with shrimp and grits, or the Florida watermelon salad with arugula!

Sneak Peek at Merchandise for the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

I’m looking forward to the return of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This year’s event will feature millions of blooms, great entertainment and new food offerings from March 6 to May 19 at Epcot. Last year, I enjoyed visiting Epcot on multiple occasions to photograph many beautiful flowers (I also snapped some wonderful images in the butterfly garden). This year, my photographic journey started at the Festival Center. This highly-themed destination is located between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy, and it’s home to demonstrations, seminars and a merchandise shop.

Merchandise at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

This year, the merchandise location resembles a garden oasis. The sound of gentle water and chirping birds filled the air as I took photos. Last year, we introduced artwork that featured Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck as topiaries. The artwork was incredibly popular with guests, so we added a Minnie Mouse topiary to the mix for this year. You can find her image on apparel, a reusable tote bag and, my favorite, a new coffee mug (look inside the mug for a cool detail).

There were a few other items that caught my eye, including a new topiary-inspired headband, a strawberry ear hat, Duffy the Disney Bear in overalls, D-Tech on Demand iPhone cases and more. We are also introducing new garden statues that look like Grumpy and Dopey. Look for additional character topiary statues in the weeks to come.

A Little Disney Magic in Every Topiary at Epcot’s 20th International Flower and Garden Festival

Spring is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate Spring than at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Here is a fun video just released that showcases a not so average shrub.

We hope you enjoy and especially hope you head out to Epcot to experience the festival.

Flower Power Weekend Concerts at 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Feature Artists from the ’60s and ’70s

Pop stars of the 1960s and ’70s will belt out rock ‘n’ roll classics and “best-of” dance tunes for Flower Power concert guests during the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  Beginning March 8 and continuing each weekend, the electric Flower Power lineup of award-winning artists will feature two new-to-the-festival acts:  The Village People (“Y.M.C.A”) and Tommy Roe (“DIZZY”).

Pop stars of the 1960s and ’70s will belt out rock ‘n’ roll classics and “best-of” dance tunes for Flower Power concert guests during the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Kicking off the concert series March 8-10, The Monkees lead singer Micky Dolenz will return for fans who flocked to his May 2012 Epcot festival concerts. Dolenz appeared in concert to honor his beloved late band mate, Davy Jones, who had been a Flower Power fan favorite.

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Here’s the lineup (subject to change without notice):

March 8-10       The Monkees Lead Singer Micky Dolenz “Last Train to Clarksville”

March 15-17     Chubby Checker & The Wildcats “The Twist”

March 22-24     The Guess Who “American Woman”

March 29-31     Nelson “Garden Party”

April 5-7           The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie “Happy Together”

April 12-14       Paul Revere & The Raiders “Good Thing”

April 19-21       NEW! Village People “Y.M.C.A.”

April 26-28       The Orchestra featuring former members of ELO and ELO Part II “Don’t Bring Me Down”

May 3-5            NEW! Tommy Roe “DIZZY”

May 10-12        Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”

May 17-19         Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built this City”

Flower Power performances are included with Epcot admission.

New Festival Attractions and Fantastic Food Marketplaces at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

This year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival  is bigger and better than ever — with gorgeous new gardens and whimsical new Disney character topiaries, plus new Garden Marketplaces serving up tasty culinary creations. And this year, look for topiaries and select gardens to be lit up at night! All this and more gets underway starting March 6, 2013.

Twelve new Garden Marketplace locations will sprout up around the promenade, offering culinary creations and special libations inspired by the gardens at Epcot's World Showcase.

From the bounty of the garden to your table

Twelve new Garden Marketplace locations will sprout up around the promenade, offering culinary creations and special libations inspired by the gardens at Epcot’s World Showcase.

“Our horticulture team recognizes that our guests are curious about where their food comes from and how it is grown,” says Michael Jenner, Park Event Content Development Operations Manager. Garden Marketplaces are a great opportunity for discovery, as guests are able to sample some amazing dishes and learn how to incorporate their own garden harvests into their meals at home.”

“We had been planning to do something like this for many years, and the 20th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is the perfect opportunity,” Michael explains. It became a reality thanks to Walt Disney World Resort  guests like you. Last year, just one experimental marketplace was so overwhelmingly popular, it “grew” this year to a dozen different areas with a wide variety of offerings.

It looks good enough to eat!

Each new marketplace will have two small gardens in front of them filled with plantings to match the host of food and beverage (many nonalcoholic) selections. For instance, the garden at the front of World Showcase Plaza will have blueberries growing to tie in with the Blueberry Wine. The garden near the Canada Pavilion will feature pineapples to match the Pineapple Upside Down Cake that you can purchase.

“I don’t think many guests have actually seen pineapples growing, and that should be a treat,” adds Michael. “We will also have ‘TRYit’ opportunities  at these marketplaces to encourage children and adults to sample some out-of-the-ordinary delights like Watermelon Salad with Pickled Red Onions, BW Farms Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese and Balsamic Reduction.”

Many of these creative menu selections were developed by Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann, who made sure they would be “tapas-size” items, so that you will be able to explore multiple choices.

Don’t forget the new garden passport!

“We will offer guests a special passport with one page per Marketplace,” said Michael. “It will list the plants and other information so that guests can check off what they tasted, write notes and even get it stamped for free, like a field journal.”

One of the most popular marketplaces is sure to be at The American Adventure Pavilion. A huge smoker will be rolled onto the stage to barbeque brisket and pork. Guests can top off that meal sample with a glass of Mama’s Little Yella Pils from Oskar River Blues in Lyons, CO (Czech-style Pilsner), or Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco, CA (India Pale Ale), or just a delicious Rocky Road brownie.

Oz, monsters and lights into the night

You’ll find whimsical children’s play areas, the newest being The Land of Oz Garden , inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz The Great and Powerful .”

There’s so much to see, do and taste during the 75-day garden party! Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival surprises are around almost every corner.

There will be new topiary creations, including a salute to Disney•Pixar “Monsters University.” You’ll find whimsical children’s play areas, the newest being The Land of Oz Garden , inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz The Great and Powerful.” Look for a butterfly bounty, HGTV celebrity designers , hands-on gardening seminars and more. On weekends, rock to performances by top Flower Power Concert Series rockers of the 1960s and ’70s.

And the fun won’t end when the sun goes down — almost all the gardens will now be gorgeously illuminated for the first time, making the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival a complete delight, day and night.

For more information, visit EpcotInSpring.com.

*Entertainment subject to change without notice.

Disney Encourages Kids to ‘TRYit’ During Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival chefs have chosen some fun dishes to encourage youngsters to try something new as part of Disney’s TRYit campaign.

 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival chefs have chosen some fun dishes to encourage youngsters to try something new as part of Disney’s TRYit campaign.

Jens Dahlmann, executive chef for Epcot says, “I approached the TRYit dishes for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival like I approach new foods with my own children, focusing on great ingredients and finding ways to make them interesting for our younger guests.  For some dishes, we found fun and interesting ways to present them, like the ‘Frushi’ [fruit sushi] for example, while other dishes such as the Watermelon Salad combine a familiar fruit paired with the unusual tastes of arugula and feta cheese, making it a whole new experience.”

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival chefs have chosen some fun dishes to encourage youngsters to try something new as part of Disney’s TRYit campaign.

TRYit is part of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living initiative, partnering with parents to inspire kids to try new foods and new activities. You’ll see TRYit dishes all throughout the World Showcase Promenade. The festival is a fun way to try small bites of something new.

Look for the TRYit logo on these diverse dishes in the Garden Marketplaces and Festival Center.

The festival runs from March 6 – May 19, so there’s lots of time to try them all:

  • Beet Lollipop (Intermissions Café in the Festival Center)
  • Wild Berry Slush (Fruits by the Glass)
  • Baked Goat’s Brie with Kumquat Chutney (The Cottage, United Kingdom)
  • Frushi (Fruit Sushi) (Hanami, Japan)
  • Lasagna Primavera (Primavera Kitchen, Italy)
  • Potato Pancakes with house-made Apple Sauce (Bauernmarkt, Germany)
  • Spring Pancake with Grilled Chicken & Green Apple (Lotus House, China)
  • Watermelon Salad with pickled Red Onions, BW Farms Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese & Balsamic Reduction (Florida Fresh)
  • Angel Food Cake with macerated Florida Berries (Florida Fresh)
  • Ratatouille Tarte with Goat Cheese (L’Orangerie, France)
  • Moroccan Sweet Pancake (Taste of Marrakesh, Morocco)
  • Waterkist Farms Heirloom Tomatoes with house-made Mozzarella, Minus 8 Vinegar & Basil (The Cottage, United Kingdom)

To learn more about TRYit and Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living, visit the Magic of Healthy Living web site.

Visit a Magical World in the The Land of Oz Garden at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

Although the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival officially opens Wednesday, March 6, one new garden has appeared a little early.

Guests enter The Land of Oz Garden guided by a yellow-brick road and soon find themselves in an interactive children’s play area that features carnival-style games.

The Land of Oz Garden is open now and at almost one third of an acre, it’s the largest garden ever created for the festival. The area is based on the new Disney film, “Oz The Great and Powerful,” which opens in theaters March 8.

Guests visiting Epcot will enter The Land of Oz Garden guided by a yellow-brick road and soon find themselves in an interactive children’s play area that features carnival-style games. From here, guests walk past a garden filled with a combination of lush, real flowers and fantastical art-glass poppies. As kids play in and around a giant custom Oz-themed play structure, parents can enjoy shaded, comfy chairs just a few steps away.

The Land of Oz Garden will appear for the complete run of the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, through May 19. Walt Disney World Resort horticulturists will keep updating the flowers throughout the festival as the weather warms up in late April, keeping the garden in a constant state of growth and color.

13 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2013

It seems there’s always a new reason to visit Walt Disney World Resort – whether it’s the debut of a new guest offering, an update made to a favorite attraction, or the return of a fun annual event, there’s always something to do and see at our parks.

That said, here are 13 new reasons to visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2013.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes opened at Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort

1. Splitsville Luxury Lanes opened at Downtown Disney exactly two weeks ago on December 19. No doubt this new location will be a big draw for guests of all ages who love to bowl, dance, play pool and dine.

Dining at the new Monsieur Paul restaurant in the France pavilion at Epcot

2. Another recent debut is the Monsieur Paul restaurant in the France pavilion at Epcot. The restaurant now features a new menu created by Chef Francesco Santin.

3. Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort just debuted to guests. I don’t know about you, but I hope to hit up this newly reimagined location for a facial or massage in the coming year.

4. As Disney Parks Blog Author Tom Smith mentioned earlier, we’ll have a lot of fun surprises to look forward to in 2013 with Limited Time Magic.

5. 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 February 22 against the Detroit Tigers.

6. Characters from “Doc McStuffins” and “Sofia the First” will be added into the “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on February 15.

7. The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, its fun topiaries, and the Flower Power Concert Series will return for some spring fun March 6. As we previously shared, this year’s festival will also whisk guests back to the land of Oz.

8. We’ve marked some milestone anniversaries at Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot in the last two years. This spring, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate its 15th year.

9. My fellow blog author Darrell Fry just announced that the Drew Brees Passing Academy and Tournament will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, June 27-30. Sounds like an amazing opportunity for football fans!

10. A newly updated California Grill will debut at Disney’s Contemporary Resort this summer (date TBA). In addition to decor, Chef Brian Piasecki is also tweaking the menu, which will continue to focus on fresh, seasonal creations.

11. The 31st Night of Joy returns to Magic Kingdom Park September 6-7, this year featuring Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith as the main acts.

Big Thunder Mountain at the Magic Kingdom Park

12. Last fall, we shared the news that an interactive queue is coming to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom Park. Should be interesting to see exactly what materializes at this attraction in 2013.

Princess Fairytale Hall coming to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park in 2013

13. Princess Fairytale Hall, another new addition to Magic Kingdom Park, will open in New Fantasyland in 2013 (exact date TBA). This will be the new home for Disney princesses to meet their loyal subjects in the Magic Kingdom Park. To open in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland, the regal space will provide the perfect setting for meeting Cinderella, and Aurora and the other Disney princesses.

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

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