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Early Morning Magic at Toy Story Land! Walt Disney World Video

 

Toy Story Land is the newest land to be added to the Walt Disney World Resort! This new land completely immerses you into Andy’s backyard! Every detail of this land has been designed to make you feel scaled to the size of a toy yourself! Toy Story Land is home to three attractions, two of which just debuted with the land’s opening!

 

Toy Story Mania

Toy Story Mania has been around at Hollywood Studios for several years and is loved by so many Disney Park-goers! Now with the opening of Toy Story Land, Toy Story Mania has been rerouted into the new land! This 3-D interactive ride takes you through a variety of carnival scenes featuring favorite midway games. Using your toy blaster you get to actually aim at targets and earn points! One scene you are throwing darts at balloons, the next you are throwing rings at those little green aliens! This attraction is so interactive and it is fun to compete against your friends and family to see who will get the best score!

 

Alien Swirling Saucers

The Alien Swirling Saucers attraction is one of the brand-new attractions to open along with the opening of Toy Story Land. This attraction is an adorable whip style ride featuring those lovable little green aliens, and of course… THE CLAW! As you spin and whip around in your rocket you will hear some of your favorite Toy Story songs played in a techno style!

 

Slinky Dog Dash

Slinky Dog Dash also made its debut along with the opening of Toy Story Land! This attraction has become an instant fan-favorite with guests! This family-friendly roller coaster looks as though Andy has crafted it himself using a dash and dodge coaster set and then attached Slinky Dog! This coaster is vibrant and filled with child-like wonder! You can ride it again and again and find new details!

 

 

In addition to these great new attractions, Toy Story Land is also home to new entertainment offerings and character meet and greet opportunities! With all the exciting new things to see and do in Toy Story Land it is safe to say that this brand-new land has been extremely popular with Disney guests! Since the land’s opening the attractions have consistently had long wait times. Fastpasses for the Toy Story Land attractions are extremely hard to achieve even for those staying on-property with the 60-day out booking window. Your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner is always happy to help you try to score one of these coveted Fastpasses as soon as your booking window opens, but it can never be guaranteed due to these attraction’s popularity. Everyone wants to experience what Toy Story Land has to offer! However, we have some exciting news about how you can guarantee to enjoy everything in Toy Story Land and take in the new attractions with practically no crowds what so ever!

 

 

Early Morning Magic

Disney has recently added a new hard-ticketed event, Early Morning Magic in Toy Story Land! When purchasing a ticket to this special early morning event you get to go into Toy Story Land an hour and a half before the park opens and regular day guests are allowed in! Disney only sells a limited amount of tickets to each event, this way participants get to experience Toy Story Land with EXTREMELY LOW crowd levels! The event also includes a wonderful breakfast which features a selection of entrees as well as a buffet-style breakfast, all included with your ticket!

 

 

Some of our awesome Kingdom Magic Vacation’s Travel Planners and I recently attended Early Morning Magic in Toy Story Land for ourselves! We had the best time and all agreed that this experience is a wonderful value for the experience that you get! We were able to do every attraction in Toy Story Land multiple times! With less crowds, we were able to take in all of the details that can be found in Toy Story Land! We also enjoyed an awesome breakfast that was included in our ticket! All around we had the best time together! You feel like true VIPs getting exclusive access to Disney World’s most popular experiences!

 

 

You can enter the park at 7:00 and enter Toy Story Land itself at 7:30. With this event you get to enjoy being among the only people in Toy Story land from 7:30 – 9:00. Breakfast is served from 7:00 to 10:00. Our best advice that we found was to go to Toy Story Land first and spend the full amount of time in the land until regular day guests get to come in at 9:00. Then at 9:00 breakfast is still served for another hour so you can use this time to go eat and not feel like you are rushing through your meal.

 

 

We arrived to Hollywood Studios bright and early! We were able to enter the park a little before 7:00. We took our time to enjoy a very empty Hollywood Boulevard, a very rare sight to behold! We took a lot of awesome pictures with the help of some very fun cast members! They even took some selfies!

 

 

Once 7:00 hit, Cast Members were directing that we could head to the Backlot Express to start enjoying breakfast or wait by the Chinese Theatre to be allowed into Toy Story land at 7:30. If you remember our tip to spend the full time in Toy Story Land first, then I’m sure you can guess that is just what we did! We headed to the waiting area to get into the land and they actually let us in at exactly 7:17 rather than waiting until 7:30. Another reason to head to the land first!

 

 

Once in the land we went straight back to Slinky Dog Dash, the attraction we all were anticipating the most! After our first ride on Slinky we got straight back in line and by 7:30 we were already riding Slinky Dog Dash for the second time! Both times we didn’t even stop walking through the cue line the entire time! We were able to walk straight to the loading dock every time!

 

 

 

After our second time on Slinky Dog we then walked around the land taking in the many wonderful details! We also took tons of photos with no one in the background! The area was empty!

 

 

Next, we headed to Alien Swirling Saucers! Just like with our experience at Slinky Dog we walked right to the loading area with NO WAIT!

 

 

After Alien Swirling Saucers, we road Toy Story Mania! We had a blast all competing to see who would get the best score!

 

 

After our ride, we stopped off in the rides exit area to take photos next to the popsicle stick wall and the checkerboard wall! These are both popular Instagram spots! With the limited crowds, we were able to take our time and snap a lot of photos!

 

 

 

Next, we did a character meet and greet with Buzz Lightyear! No one was in line to see him and we were able to just walk right up! We got a big group shot with him as well as everyone in our party got their own pictures with Buzz! Since we were the only guests at the meet and greet at the time, Buzz was really able to take his time with us and it made for a very special experience!

 

 

Our Travel Planner Karen even asked Buzz if he could switch into Spanish Mode and he proceeded to flamenco with her! It was such an incredible interaction! We got great photos and videos from the moment which you can see in our new YouTube video!

 

 

After meeting Buzz and taking more picture throughout the land we headed back to Slinky Dog dash and rode the attraction for our third time! After that ride, we hoped right back in line and rode Slinky Dog Dash a fourth time! Just like before we had no wait and walked straight to the front of the line!

 

 

 

As 9:00 neared we decided we wanted to do Alien Swirling Saucers again! We headed back over to Alien Swirling Saucers and rode it for our second time that day!

 

 

 

Once we were finished riding Alien Swirling Saucers it was 9:00 and day guests were now being let into Toy Story Land. We then made our way out of the land and over to the Backlot Express for our complimentary breakfast! With this meal, you get to order an entrée as well as enjoy a buffet style breakfast featuring pastries and fruit. We found out you can actually order as many entrees as you want all included, so you can try everything if you really wanted to! Fountain drinks, juices and coffee are also included.

 

Our meal was incredible, I order the Avocado Smash Toast with a Baked Egg as well as the Fried Chicken and Doughnuts! Everything was delicious! The fact that this great meal is included in the price of your early Morning Magic Experience makes Early Morning Magic a great value!

 

We all agreed that Early Morning Magic in Toy Story Land was so worth it! The experience of having the land practically to ourselves made us feel so special! This offering is a great way to avoid the crowds and hours of waiting so that you can get to truly experience and appreciate every aspect of Toy Story land!

 

 

We filmed our experience during Early Morning Magic! Watch our new YouTube video to join us for the fun and all the laughs! Our Travel Planners love to work hard and play hard!

 

Featured Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planners:

 

Alyssa Maisano:

http://mustlovetravelgroup.com/alyssa/

 

Karen Holmes:

http://mustlovetravelgroup.com/karen/

 

Jennie Nowers:

http://mustlovetravelgroup.com/jennie/

 

Abbie Germann:

http://mustlovetravelgroup.com/abbie/

 

Bob Gervais:

http://mustlovetravelgroup.com/bob/

 

Stacy Solomon:

http://mustlovetravelgroup.com/ssolomon/

 

Contact our team to plan your next vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort or to whatever destination you are dreaming of traveling to next!

Christmas Decorations in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Walt Disney World Video!

 

This past summer on June 30th 2018, Toy Story Land officially opened at Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort! The new land’s opening had been long awaited for by fans and since the grand opening many visitors have been having a blast in Andy’s backyard! Here you can play interactive carnival games in Toy Story Mania, take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, race through the backyard on Slinky Dog Dash coaster, meet your favorite Toy Story characters and more! It is safe to say that this new land has become an instant hit with park goers! With this year being Toy Story Land’s first Christmas, many guests were curious what Disney was going to do regarding Christmas decorations in the land! With all the impressive design elements and details that can be seen throughout Toy Story Land year-round, everyone knew Disney was going to pull out all the stops when it came to Christmas decorations, and they did!

 

 

The Holiday displays that can be seen throughout Toy Story Land are so fun and truly tell a story! There is everything from large displays such as the giant sugar cookie shaped like Ham to little details like reindeer antlers on Rex! Here are a few of my favorite Christmas decorations from Toy Story Land!

 

Decorations on the Character Figurines!

Disney really did think of every detail when it came to decorating Toy Story Land for Christmas! Many of the giant figures of the Toy Story characters that can be seen throughout the land have been adorned with festive attire. As soon as you enter the land you will notice that Woody is wearing a Christmas scarf! My favorite character addition is the reindeer antlers on Rex! What I love about this is the reindeer antlers give the impression they are cut out of cardboard and colored in with a crayon! Like so many things in Toy Story Land there are tons of references to everything being created by Andy himself as he was playing with his Toys! It is the things like this that remind us all of our own childhood and the games we loved to play and create!

 

 

Characters Outfits!

Not only do the figures get holiday touches but the real meet and greet characters that roam through Toy Story Land also get festive touches to their outfits! Woody and Jessie have Christmas vests, Buzz has a Santa hat on top his head and the Green Army Men are all wearing holiday scarfs!

 

 

 

Green Alien Baubles

Out front of the Alien Swirling Saucer attraction you will find a stacked display of three massive Christmas ornaments! 2 of which are decorated to look like the Little Green Aliens! There is an additional bauble like this that can be spotted near the rides exit!

 

 

 

Ham Sugar Cookie!

This display is my favorite of all the Toy Story Land decorations! The thing to remember with Toy Story Land is that we ourselves are shrunken down to the size of a toy, so everything is scaled to how toys would see! With that in mind this sugar cookie is gigantic! It is decorated with frosting to look like Ham wearing a Santa hat! What I think is so fun about this decoration and the reason it is my favorite is actually the detail behind the display. If you peak behind the cookie you will see that the Ham cookie is being held up by a Green Army Man! This is one of the many ways that the holiday pieces in Toy Story Land are not just decorative, but they also tell a story that ties into the land itself!

 

 

 

Ride Overlays

What is incredible about the Holiday enhancements in Toy Story Land is that Disney is not just adding decorations they are bringing additions to your entire experience in the land! This includes Christmas overlays on the attractions! On Alien Swirling Saucers, new Christmas soundtracks have been added as onboard ride songs and will play at random in the rotation of music that guest can experience during their ride! When I rode the attraction with my family we did not get one of the holiday songs. However, we did get to see one of the holiday sets as we were waiting in line. It is very adorable! The lighting effects during these sequences are also red and green to go along with the holiday music! The Slinky Dog Dash Coaster also has some Holiday themed audio bits that can be heard as you ride the attraction!

 

 

I was so impressed with all the enhancements that Disney made in Toy Story Land during this Christmas season! I filmed my experience getting to see all of the holiday decorations and overlays for the first time! You can watch my experience in our new YouTube video!

 

 

Looking for the perfect gift to give your family this holiday?! Give the gift of a Walt Disney World Vacation! Your loved ones will remember the memories made during your trip forever! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today. Our team of travel professionals are excited to help you plan the vacation you have been dreaming of!

Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (June 28, 2018) – Fun extends to food in the new Toy Story Land opening June 30 at the Walt Disney World Resort. Here, mealtime comes with a heavy helping of nostalgia, as Woody’s Lunch Box serves up classic on-the-go menu items with a creative twist.

Woody’s Lunch Box is a quick-service food and beverage location serving tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The walk-up window Ð open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Ð dishes up all sorts of sandwiches and sides that put a spin on classic recipes. Walt Disney World Resort collaborated with Mini Babybel to bring WoodyÕs Lunch Box to life. Inside the 11-acre Toy Story Land, guests can whoosh along on the family-friendly roller coaster, Slinky Dog Dash, take a spin aboard Alien Swirling Saucers and try for the high score on Toy Story Mania! (Steven Diaz, photographer)

Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the new 11-acre land brings to life all the magic and fun of Pixar Animation Studios’ hit Toy Story films. In this land – inspired by Andy’s backyard – guests are honorary toys and set off for thrills and laughs on three signature attractions.

“Everyone has a special food memory, so it can be tricky putting a modern spin on the favorites,” explained Lenny DeGeorge, Concept Development Culinary Director for Walt Disney World. “We honored these classic dishes by using the best ingredients to elevate the flavors. How we constructed the sandwiches was important, such as layering the ingredients in a specific order, to maximize textures and flavors. Why have a cold sandwich when you can have a toasted, hot, gooey, cheese-filled one?”

With apologies to Mom, lunch-box cuisine was never like this!

S’more French Toast

Inspired by the classic American campfire treat, this breakfast sandwich oozes goodness in a chocolate ganache- and marshmallow-stuffed French toast topped with graham cracker crumbles. 

Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich

To ensure a soft gooey middle, Disney chefs created a sharp cheddar cream cheese spread, layered in provolone and cheddar and wrapped the sandwich in garlic butter-grilled French bread.

BBQ Brisket Melt

With a nod to cowboy Woody, this Texas-style smoked brisket features cheddar, Monterey Jack, pickles, BBQ sauce and garlic butter-grilled sourdough.

Totchos

This bite-sized treat combines potato barrels, corn chips, chili and queso.

Lunch Box Tarts

A modern interpretation of a breakfast toaster pastry as a hand-held dessert, these feature a uniquely delicate crust. Layer in high-quality ingredients for fillings, add a decorative garnish, and these tasty tarts beat anything Mom ever packed. Choice of Raspberry Lunch Box Tart garnished with Icing and Dried Fruit and Chocolate-Hazelnut Lunch Box Tart garnished with Icing and Caramelized Bacon

Other menu options include:

  • Smoked Turkey Sandwich – The quintessential lunch-box staple with tomato and lettuce on multigrain bread; to give it a kick, Disney chefs add a creamy Dijonnaise.
  • Banana Split Yogurt Parfait – Layers of banana-vanilla Greek yogurt (with a hint of honey), fresh bananas, strawberries and pineapple topped with granola and chocolate chips make for a delicious way to start the day!
  • Monte Cristo – Woody’s version of this classic sandwich has layers of ham, turkey, Swiss cheese, and raspberry jam, grilled to a golden brown.
  • Kids’ Menu – Grilled cheese or turkey sandwich, both with potato barrels and mandarin oranges.
  • Sides – Tomato basil soup, vegetable macaroni salad, potato barrels and Mini Babybel snack cheese, the Official Snack Cheese of Walt Disney World Resort.

In addition to fountain drinks and refreshing lemonade, beverage offerings include a classic Barq’s root beer float and a Mystic Portal Punch (PowerAde Mountain Berry Blast with flavors of lemon-lime and tangerine). For the big kids, there’s a Grown Up’s Lemonade with cherry vodka, Odwalla Lemonade, and black cherry purée.

Woody’s Lunch Box at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will dish up nostalgia daily beginning June 30 from park open until the toys close up shop – that is, park close. Disney Dining Plan accepted.

Toy Story Land to Open at Walt Disney World Resort June 30

It’s official! Toy Story Land, the highly-anticipated toy-filled land inspired by the beloved “Toy Story” films, will open to guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios June 30, 2018.

When it opens, guests visiting Toy Story Land will “shrink” to the size of a toy and join in on the fun Woody, Jessie, Buzz, and Andy’s other beloved toys are having in Andy’s backyard. Here, guests can take a ride on Slinky Dog Dash, a roller coaster Andy has assembled from his Mega Coaster Play Kit and topped off with Slinky and Jessie. (Check out the time-lapse video above of one of Slinky Dog Dash’s first test runs).

Families will also be able to take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, a galactic play set that Andy won from Pizza Planet. Here, adorable little green aliens swirl about in their flying saucers with guests in tow in their rocket ship toys, while “The Claw” hangs overhead.

Guests can also walk through a new carnival game box to experience Toy Story Mania!, which has been a guest-favorite attraction at the park since it opened in 2008. Now expanded with a third track, the popular attraction will put even more guests in the action taking aim at 3D objects – using everything from baseballs to cream pies – in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced games.

 

 

 

First Look: Slinky Dog Dash Ride Vehicle Arrives At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

First Look: Slinky Dog Dash Ride Vehicle Arrives At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Slinky Dog Dash attraction, currently under construction in Toy Story Land, celebrated a major milestone today – National Slinky Day – with the reveal of the coaster’s first Slinky Dog ride vehicle.

Slinky Dog Dash is one of two major attractions coming to Toy Story Land, a 11-acre expansion that’s set to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Summer 2018. In Toy Story Land, guests will shrink to the size of a toy and explore the world of Andy’s backyard on two fun family attractions – Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers.

 

Slinky Dog Dash is a family coaster themed as if Andy built it in his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit and some of his other favorite toys. The attraction’s ride vehicles, inspired by the character of Slinky in the film, will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops Andy has created to stretch Slinky’s coils to the max.

The second attraction, Alien Swirling Saucers, is designed as a toy play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first “Toy Story” film. Aliens are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle using “The Claw.”

Check out the video above for a look at the warm welcome the new ride vehicle received.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Announces New Lands, Entertainment and Experiences

Disney announced a line-up of new attractions and entertainment coming to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort during the D23 EXPO 2015.

Star Wars Enhancements & New Experiences at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

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Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.

Star Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park.

Jedi Training Academy – A favorite of younger fans is reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”

Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park, you can explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will be thrilled to climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which Guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios,

Guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

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Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida

The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land. This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. You will think you’ve been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels, and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land, which will include two new attractions and one expanded favorite.

Family-friendly roller coaster – All on the back of Slinky Dog, this coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a fun, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land.

Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers. The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, while “The Claw” looms over.

Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds a third track to this popular attraction.

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After Dark at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Pandora – The World of AVATAR

As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will immerse guests into the world of Pandora, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.

“Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live performers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.

Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.

Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land – a world that includes floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and the winged creatures known as Banshees, giving guests a transformational experience they will never forget.

AVATAR Flight of Passage – This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.

Soarin’ Around the World in Florida and California

Next year, guests at Epcot and Disney California Adventure Park will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its U.S. debut.

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Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park

Jungle Cruise fans can look forward to the brand-new Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen restaurant opening in Magic Kingdom Park late 2015. At the Jungle Skipper Canteen, guests will be able to experience “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” in one of several unique dining rooms – including a crew mess hall and a once-hidden secret meeting room of the famed Society of Explorers and Adventurers. The restaurant will also be staffed by Jungle Cruise Skippers.

Stay tuned for more information about these new enhancements and attractions!


runDisney’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend Now On Sale

We invite you – if you dare – to join us for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend October 4-5, 2013!  Haunted by Disney villains at every turn, the 10-Miler course will take you on a thrilling journey through ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Disney’s Hollywood Studios before finishing in the shadow of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler Weekend October 4-5, 2013! Haunted by Disney villains at every turn

The fun doesn’t end at the finish line, in fact it’s just getting started with the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash! After the race, party all night long with some of your favorite Disney villains as you enjoy exclusive access to some of Disney’s Hollywood Studios favorite attractions, including Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™, and Toy Story Mania!

Don’t get left in the dark, register today for a weekend of towering fun!

HGTV Stars Meet ‘Toy Story 3’ Heroes at 18th Epcot Flower & Garden Festival March 2-May 15

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A constellation of HGTV design stars lights up the 18th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 2 through May 15, while “Toy Story 3” heroes Woody and Buzz take Disney topiary magic “to infinity and beyond!” 

Genevieve Gorder, Vern Yip and nine other HGTV design gurus appear for the first time at the Walt Disney World Resort festival during weekend presentations that cover topics ranging from “Life, Love and Landscaping” (Yard Crashers’ Ahmed Hassan, April 8-10) to “Curb Appeal Projects from Concept to Construction” (Curb Appeal: The Block’s John Gidding, April 29-May 1).

Disney’s topiary craftsmen pack powerful curb appeal into the festival’s Future World front-entrance garden where the lead toys of Disney’s Oscar-nominated film “Toy Story 3” meet arch-enemy Lotso (a.k.a. Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear) in a larger-than-life floral spectacle. The popular Disney-Pixar characters hit the sandbox as seven- and eight-foot-tall topiaries surrounded by a sand castle, strawberry-scented field and playground toys featured in the film.  With bold strokes of seasonal color, the topiary display marks the first time that “Toy Story” characters have been featured at the festival. It’s also the first time in seven years that the front-entrance floral display showcases all-new topiary characters, says festival horticulture manager Eric Darden.

“It created unique challenges,” Darden says, “and it’s meticulous work. Woody is skinny, and it was a challenge to create his legs. The detail on Buzz is pretty daunting.” And the buzz on the pink-floral Lotso (a.k.a. Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear) is that he will smell like strawberries, just like his big-screen character, when guests stroll by. 

This year’s 75-day festival showcases more than 100 expertly crafted topiaries, and another show-stopper will be the brand-new “Cars 2” display at the World Showcase plaza, Darden says. Large floral topiaries of “Cars” characters Mater and Lightning McQueen will park their colorful chassis beneath a black-and-white checkered arch. To complete the scene, gardeners will create floral flags representing Japan, France, Italy and the United Kingdom – destinations of the car characters in the sequel due in theaters June 24.

And Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and pals appear in topiary splendor among a Hundred Acre Wood wildflower display between Future World and World Showcase. They’re just in time to spread the happy news about the “Winnie the Pooh Movie” debuting Summer 2011.

New in the Park!

HGTV’s festival sponsorship adds fresh excitement to an event that has expanded and endured through the years. Festival Center presentations showcase HGTV and HGTV.com celebrities on weekends and other experts seven days a week. Located next to Mission: Space in Future World, the center presents workshops and talks by a solid lineup of master gardeners, Walt Disney World horticulturists and a mix of TV and radio personalities, authors and educators. 

Also adding fresh fun to the festival:

  • A roomier-than-ever Bambi’s Butterfly House more than doubles in size this year in its new location along the Imagination Walkway by Innoventions West in Future World. It’s the first time the popular garden has expanded since its 2005 debut, and guests will see more butterflies than ever, Darden says.
  • For the first time at Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden, favorite Disney Fairies will pose for photos and sign autographs throughout the day. Young fans who enter this whimsical garden also discover play structures for children ages 2-5.
  • HGTV presents a Sustainable Beauty Garden with ideas for your own home garden.
  • Rapunzel lets down her hair at Rapunzel’s Tower in the Tangled Magical Garden inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ animated film, “Tangled,” located between the Germany and Italy pavilions.
  • Flower Power grows with new-to-the-festival pop acts. Melissa Manchester, March 25-27 (Don’t Cry Out Loud) and Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., April 8-10 (You Don’t Have to Be a Star) are set to light up America Gardens Theatre with their timeless tunes.
  • A new Festival Special Weekend is slated for May when Disney*Pixar presents a Pixar Animation Studios celebration in conjunction with the upcoming “Cars 2” big-screen debut set for June 24.

Throughout the festival, elaborate floral beds and entertaining exhibits will decorate the park landscape and showcase the extraordinary talents of Disney gardeners.  A blooming Guerlain Fragrance Garden at the France pavilion returns with its never-ending “love story” of the relationship between plants and perfume. At the Japan showcase, the art of bonsai will mesmerize guests who stop at the pavilion’s vermilion torii gate.

Don’t miss:
  • Flower Power concerts – Popular bands will rock the open-air America Gardens Theatre every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. Jose Feliciano is scheduled to kick off the concert series March 4-6. The Flower Power lineup also will feature pop favorites like Davy Jones and Chubby Checker & The Wildcats.
  • The Festival Center – Guests can shop for festival merchandise, attend workshops and demonstrations and get ideas and tips from master gardeners.
  • Disney Gardening at Home presentations – Disney horticulturists will share gardening tips and lead guests in a hands-on, take-home activity.
  • Special Festival Weekend Celebrations – Art in the Garden celebration of plein air artists March 25-27; Fresh from Florida Farmer’s Market salute April 29-May 1; Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and Guerlain’s Enchanted Gardens events May 6-8; and the Disney*Pixar weekend celebration May 13-15.

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