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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.

Top Nine Tween Experiences at Pandora – The World of Avatar

Top Nine Tween Experiences at Pandora – The World of Avatar

A whole new land … and a new opportunity for tweens!

We wanted to share some of the amazing experiences for your tweens in the all-new Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Here’s our list of the top nine things we think your tweens will enjoy!

1. Stroll Through the Land –  And if you or your tweens haven’t seen the movie, you’ll still love the land.

2. Ride the Na’vi River Journey – We truly believe this incredible trip through the bioluminescent forest will set the stage for her entire day.

3. Stop at the Colors of Mo’ara Face-Painting Kiosk – After spying the Na’vi in the bioluminescent forest during the Na’vi River Journey attraction, they will be ready for a transformation themselves!

4. Nibble on a Cheeseburger Pod – Satu’li Canteen is unlike any other Walt Disney World Resort eatery and I just know she will adore the cheeseburger pods on the new menu. They’re unusual, yet familiar too.

5. Sip on a Night Blossom – Pongu Pongu specialty kiosk offers a variety of cool and refreshing drinks. The non-alcoholic Night Blossom is filled with fruity flavors — the perfect frou frou treat for my daughter.

6. Cuddle a Direhorse – Add an adorably blue Baby direhorse or hexapede to cuddle to be a perfect addition to your tweens collection.

7. Selfies at the Overlook – Tweens love to take selfies! The overlook area of Pandora provides the perfect selfie backdrop, with its lush and colorful plants and spectacular views of the waterfall and floating mountains.

8. Soar on the Back of a Banshee – The most thrilling attraction for last, as the Avatar Flight of Passage ride is truly like no other. While it’s thrilling, in every way, you’ll be eager to see if they find it as beautiful as all the people who’ve been brought to tears by it!

9. Return to Pandora at Night – A day in Pandora will make you hungry for dinner. Just across the bridge from Pandora is Tiffins. This signature restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious dinner before returning to Pandora to see it glow with bioluminescence.

Infographic: Learn to Speak Na’vi For Your Trip To Pandora – The World of Avatar

Infographic: Learn to Speak Na’vi For Your Trip To Pandora – The World of Avatar

One of the most fun interactive parts of visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (aside from the amazing attractions, dining at Satu’li Canteen, and shopping at Windtraders), is speaking Na’vi with the cast members who work in this amazing new land.

Here’s a guide to help you prepare for your next visit.

Infographic: Learn to Speak Na’vi For Your Trip To Pandora – The World of Avatar

Summer is Here at Disney Parks

Summer is Here at Disney Parks

Summer has finally arrived! Whether you want to unleash your inner Super Hero, explore new worlds or enjoy spectacular entertainment, we have something for everyone at all of our Disney parks. Here’s a look at what we’ve got in store for a truly blockbuster summer.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! is now open at Disney California Adventure park, kicking off our Summer of Heroes with daring missions, heroic encounters, and even a dance-off to Star-Lord’s old-school rock ‘n’ roll mixtape. Starting June 14, you can also suit up for Super Hero Summer at Hong Kong Disneyland park and step into a new walk-through Avengers Agent mission set in Hong Kong.

Pandora – The World of Avatar is now open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where you can journey 4.4 light years away from Earth for the chance to take in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Valley of Mo’ara. Learn key phrases in the Na’vi language, ride on the back of a banshee and bask in the beautiful bioluminescent glow of the land after sundown.

Summer is Here at Disney Parks

You can also treat yourself to dazzling nighttime entertainment at all of our Disney parks this summer. Enjoy live orchestra performances of “The Music of Pixar Live!” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and take in the new “Happily Ever After” nighttime fireworks spectacular at Magic Kingdom with stunning projections capturing the heart, humor and heroism of many favorite Disney animated films. At Disneyland park, “Fantasmic!”, the Rivers of America attractions and the Disneyland Railroad will return this summer, and don’t forget the Main Street Electrical Parade has been extended through August 20 – so catch it before it glows away!

If you love nighttime parades, you might remember that Tokyo Disneyland’s Electrical Parade Dreamlights is making a sparkling return, now featuring Anna and Elsa from “Frozen.” Tokyo Disney Resort has plenty to offer this summer, including the daytime “Disney Natsu Matsuri” – a colorful Japanese summer festival sprinkled with Disney magic – and “Disney Pirates Summer” for all you scallywags and buccaneers at Tokyo DisneySea.

Summer is Here at Disney Parks

Disneyland Paris continues to sparkle and shine with its 25th anniversary celebration. The festivities include two new daytime shows, a dazzling new parade and a stunning new nighttime finale. Plus, you won’t want to miss traveling at light speed on Hyperspace Mountain and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.

And in just a few weeks, Shanghai Disney Resort – which recently welcomed its 10 millionth guest – will be celebrating its first anniversary with a month of festivities and a magical moment at Enchanted Storybook Castle on June 16. Adventure is out there, and it all begins with you this summer. Let us know what you’re looking forward to most in the comments below!

Disney Dedicates Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney Dedicates Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

As you may have seen during Disney’s LIVE coverage, Disney’s Animal Kingdom hosted a special dedication ceremony for Pandora – The World of Avatar to celebrate this new spectacular world opening to the public on May 27.

At today’s ceremony, held under the magnificent floating mountains of Pandora – The World of Avatar, drummers performed traditional Pandoran rhythms and colorfully-dressed performers led a procession full of pageantry and artful banners to celebrate the occasion.

Disney Dedicates Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger was joined by AVATAR Creator/Director James (Jim) Cameron and members of the film’s cast and crew (pictured, above) after thanking the visionaries and innovators who collaborated to make Pandora just as great in person as it is on the screen.

During the dedication, Iger also praised Cameron for doing “the impossible” again and again – merging wonderful storytelling with mind-blowing technology to create experiences no one has encountered before.

 

“Working with Jim and his team was a dream come true for us, as we pushed the limits of creativity and innovation to bring the digital world of Pandora to the real world of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” Iger said. “And now everyone, including me, who has ever dreamed of visiting this extraordinary world can explore the astonishing landscape and ecosystem, see the Na’vi, soar on the back of a banshee and become part of the AVATAR adventure.”

Beginning on May 27, guests visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar will be able to explore a new world of rainforests pulsing light and experience breathtaking flights soaring above an alien moon on the backs of winged banshees. Let us know what you’re looking forward to in the comments below.

Mobile Order Available at Pandora – The World of Avatar beginning May 27

Mobile Order Available at Pandora – The World of Avatar beginning May 27

As many of you know, a new food ordering service, Mobile Order, is debuting in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Today, Disney is thrilled to let you know that Mobile Order will be available at the park’s Satu’li Canteen restaurant on opening day – May 27 – and then expanding to Pizzafari, Flame Tree Barbecue and Restaurantosaurus during the summer. And better yet, more Mobile Order fast casual and quick service locations across Walt Disney World Resort are on the way.

Mobile Order, which can be found in the My Disney Experience app, offers the added convenience of being able to place orders and purchase meals on-the-go. You select menu items, customize orders and pre-pay for meals during park visits – all within the app.

It’s easy to do. After you’ve placed your order and pre-pay in the app, and arrive at Satu’li Canteen, you’ll just tap the “I’m here” button. That will notify the kitchen to prepare your meal. When ready, you will be alerted through the app to pick up your meal at the designated window with the Mobile Order pick up sign.

You should know that during the initial launch period of Mobile Order, the only form of payment accepted will be by credit card. Anyone with special dietary restrictions, or those who want to use discounts or redeem dining plan entitlements must place their order with a cashier.

Here’s a look at Mobile Order in action:

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora – The World of Avatar

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora – The World of Avatar

Guests visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar will fly on the back of a mountain banshee at one of its major attractions, Avatar Flight of Passage. Soaring on the back of one of these powerful winged creatures represents an important rite of passage for the Na’vi.

Today, Disney has announced a new way for guests to connect with these animals at The Rookery inside Windtraders, the primary merchandise location on Pandora. Cody Hampton with Disney Parks Merchandise gave us a first look at these new interactive creatures, and explained how they continue the tradition of immersive storytelling found at Disney Parks.

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora – The World of Avatar

“We love bringing to life stories from our attractions through creative and innovative product designs,” explained Cody. “Banshees are an important animal on Pandora, both as an animal in the ecosystem and as a cultural symbol to the Na’vi. Disney’s Animal Kingdom will also will feature a Na’Vi River Journey ride, where guests get a chance to cruise through a Pandora jungle. They are also part of one of the signature attractions, so it felt natural to feature them as a must-have souvenir from a visit to Pandora. These banshees are fun, interactive, and continue the excitement guests will feel when experiencing [Avatar Flight of Passage].”

At the Rookery, a Naturalist from Alpha Centauri Expeditions will assist a guest with identifying a favorite banshee from among 10 unique styles. Each interactive banshee includes three ranges of motion – mouth, head, and wings – that are controlled by hand. Guests will also hear them make authentic banshee sounds provided by Disney’s partners at Lightstorm Entertainment.

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora – The World of Avatar

“We worked closely with [Lightstorm Entertainment] when designing the banshees,” continued Cody. “Their colors were inspired by banshees seen in the ‘Avatar’ motion picture. Their sounds make them feel as though they flew directly into Windtraders from the attraction. Guests will determine each banshee’s personality through a combination of hand movements and sounds.”

Guests can either display a banshee on their shoulder or cradle them in their arms. Disney will also offer a banshee perch that is sold separately.

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora – The World of Avatar

“The mountain banshee has come to symbolize our continued commitment to the environment,” said Cody. “Before guests depart Windtraders, Naturalists will encourage them to make a pledge to respect and protect the natural world on Pandora and back home on Earth.”

When you see other banshee keepers on Pandora, or back at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, please greet them with “Oel Ngati Kameie” (“I See You”), the traditional Na’vi phrase of greeting and respect.

Countdown to Pandora – The World of Avatar: Cast Members Prepare to Bring Pandora to Life

Countdown to Pandora – The World of Avatar: Cast Members Prepare to Bring Pandora to Life

As Walt Disney once said, “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

Decades later, it’s no different for Pandora – The World of Avatar, which will come alive on May 27 thanks to the enthusiasm and talent of our 700 cast members who were selected to open this epic new land. Cast members are in training now to help guests soar through the skies on the back of a banshee in the attraction Avatar Flight of Passage, sail through a bioluminescent rainforest in the family-friendly attraction Na’vi River Journey and walk beneath towering floating mountains.

In addition to training for these new roles, cast members will be immersed in the Na’vi culture, by learning about their language, environment and way of life. One example is the way cast members will be able to welcome guests to this awe-inspiring land with the common Na’vi word for hello – Kaltxi (kahl-T’IH). In fact, each cast member on Pandora has received a handbook with some common Na’vi phrases, such as Oel ngati kameie [well NGAH-tee KAH-mey-yeh]. In the native language of Pandora, this means, “I see you.”

Countdown to Pandora – The World of Avatar: Cast Members Prepare to Bring Pandora to Life

Here’s a first look at the special nametags for cast members representing Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE), a futuristic travel company that prepares visitors from Earth for their exciting adventure to Pandora. You might also notice that cast members who are “Earning their Ears” may be wearing a ribbon that features the Na’vi word for student: Numeyu.

The multi-year expansion at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has created 1,500 jobs since construction began, including about 800 construction jobs and the 700 operational roles specifically for Pandora, ranging from engineers, attraction hosts, food and beverage and more.

To the Disney cast members joining us to help create unforgettable memories for guests as they visit Pandora, welcome … or as the Na’vi say, Zola’u nìprrte’!

All in the Details: Imagineers Partner With AVATAR Filmmakers To Create Pandora – The World of Avatar

All in the Details: Imagineers Partner With AVATAR Filmmakers To Create Pandora – The World of Avatar

This week we’re happy to share another behind-the-scenes look at Pandora – The World of Avatar, which will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 27.

Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering just shared another video on the construction of this new land, which gives a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how our the project team has partnered with Lightstorm Entertainment and many of the original AVATAR filmmakers – including James Cameron and Jon Landau – to bring the new land to life. In this video, several members of the Pandora “Super Team” share what the experience of bringing Pandora – The World of Avatar to life has been like for them, and some of the amazing moments that have exceeded even their imaginations.

FastPass+ for Pandora – The World of Avatar Opens to Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Guests, Special Extra Magic Hours to be Offered

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Great news for those of you anxiously counting the days until the opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 27 – FastPass+ reservations are now open to experience the land’s never-before-seen attractions for guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

As you may know, Pandora – The World of Avatar will transport guests to a visually stunning world with floating mountains, bioluminescent plants and more. It’ll also feature two one-of-a-kind attractions: Avatar Flight of Passage, which will allow guests to fly on a banshee over the world of Pandora and the family friendly Na’vi River Journey, which will send guests down a mystical river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest.

Guests at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels can reserve FastPass+ selections for the two attractions up to 60 days prior to check in, beginning today. For all other guests who have pre-purchased valid park admission, reservations will be available starting 30 days prior to their visit, beginning May 27, 2017. You may select one of these two attractions in your first set of Disney FastPass+ selections, depending on availability.

And beginning May 27 (through July 4), guests staying in select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will have the opportunity to experience Pandora — The World of Avatar with special nighttime Extra Magic Hours. Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels with a valid theme park admission can fly on the back of a banshee, navigate a mystical river and walk under floating mountains beyond regular park hours – from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m. This benefit is in addition to the Extra Magic Hours already available to you at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

We will be sharing more updates as we put the final touches on Pandora — The World of Avatar.

First Look at Menu for Satu’li Canteen in Pandora—The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

First Look at Menu for Satu’li Canteen in Pandora—The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

With an entire new land taking shape to open on May 27, Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will transport guests to the visually stunning land of floating mountains and bioluminescent plants. And of course there’s a culinary chapter to the story of the Na’vi.

Guests can enjoy creative, flavorful dishes based on the healthful bounty of Pandora, with wholesome grains, fresh vegetables and hearty proteins at Satu’li Canteen, where an on-stage grill is a prominent feature in the colorful dining room.

The Satu’li Canteen was once the main mess hall of the Resources Development Administration (RDA) base located in the Valley of Mo’ara. Now the canteen is owned and operated by Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) tour company and has been redesigned into a beautiful museum-like dining room.

The interior has been transformed with colorful Na’vi items filling the walls and hanging from the ceiling — hand-woven tapestries, natural Pandoran elements and even cooking tools decorate the restaurant.

First Look at Menu for Satu’li Canteen in Pandora—The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Look for familiar dishes with a twist in the fast-casual restaurant, with bowls that allow diners to customize their lunch or dinner. Diners start with a base of quinoa and vegetable salad; red and sweet potato hash; mixed whole-grain and rice or romaine and kale salad. Next is either with wood-grilled chicken, slow-roasted beef, sustainable fish or chili-spiced fried tofu. And the bowl is finished with charred onion chimichurri, black bean vinaigrette or creamy herb dressing.

The menu also offers steamed “pods” – bao buns with either cheeseburger or vegetable curry and served with root vegetable chips and crunchy vegetable slaw.

For little ones, there’s an option of grilled chicken or beef, fish or tofu with greens or rice; a hot dog wrapped in Parker House dough; cheese quesadilla, or a steamed “pod” (cheeseburger bao bun).

The fast-casual restaurant will also be the first to offer Mobile Order, a new convenient option to order and pay for meals on-the-go within the My Disney Experience app, allowing guests to bypass the queue to order when they arrive at the restaurant. Using the app, guests can select menu items, customize their order and pre-pay for their meal. When they arrive at the restaurant they will tap an “I’m here” button in the app, which will notify the kitchen to prepare the meal. When ready, guests will be alerted through the app to pick up their meal at a designated window. Additional fast-casual and quick-service restaurants will begin to offer Mobile Order later this year.

Disney Dining Plan is accepted at Satu’li Canteen but, at this time, Mobile Order only accepts credit cards.

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