2015 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Dates Released

WDW Halloween

The 2015 dates for the Magic Kingdom’s hard ticketed event Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party have been released.

This year the party will be held on 25 nights, beginning September 15th and ending on November 1st. Prices for the party are not yet available, and Disney has not said when you can start buying tickets, although both typically begin in early May.

Here are the dates for 2015.

September 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27.
October 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31.
November 1.

Neil Patrick Harris to be Host of All-New ‘World of Color’ Show for the Disneyland Diamond Celebration

Neil Patrick Harris

Disney has announced that Neil will be joining Mickey Mouse as host of the all-new “World of Color – Celebrate!,” opening May 22 at Disney California Adventure park as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Neil, himself a fan of Disney Parks, will bring his unique style of humor and charm to this special edition of the popular “World of Color” show.

“World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” illuminates the night in a celebration of the unparalleled imagination of Walt Disney. Mickey Mouse and Neil take us on a fun-filled and inspirational journey, exploring Walt’s decades-long legacy of memorable animated moments and his dream of Disneyland park, and culminating in a madcap musical tour of Disneyland Resort attractions as you’ve never seen them before!

Since its premiere in 2010, “World of Color” has amazed millions of Disney California Adventure park guests using a groundbreaking “stage” of nearly 1 full acre of engineered superstructure, longer than a football field. Nearly 1,200 programmable fountains and a vast underwater grid with more than 20,000 points of control send water to heights of up to 200 feet; shooting higher than Mickey’s Fun Wheel. The show employs nearly 30 high-definition projectors to take the audience on a journey through some of Disney’s most beloved animated moments.

The all-new “World of Color – Celebrate!” is just one part of our dazzling Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, which kicks off May 22 along with the new “Paint the Night” parade and the fully-immersive new “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular.

Disney Names Chapek Chairman of Parks and Resorts

BobChapek

Bob Chapek has been named Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, it was announced today by Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Thomas O. Staggs, Chief Operating Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

A 22-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company, Mr. Chapek has served since 2011 as President of Disney Consumer Products, driving a technology-led transformation of the Company’s consumer products, retail and publishing operations. He assumes his new role effective immediately.

“Under Bob’s leadership, Consumer Products has seen great success, focusing on brands and a franchise-driven strategy while launching new products and retail experiences that combine technological innovation and creativity,” Mr. Iger said. “He is an experienced and versatile executive well-suited to lead Parks and Resorts into the future.”

As Chairman of Parks and Resorts, Mr. Chapek succeeds Mr. Staggs, who was named Disney’s Chief Operating Officer earlier this month. Mr. Chapek will report to both Mr. Iger and Mr. Staggs.

“Bob is stepping into this role at an incredibly dynamic and exciting time for our Parks and Resorts business,” Mr. Staggs said. “The ongoing construction of Shanghai Disney Resort as well as the new Avatar-themed land at Walt Disney World continues an era of unprecedented growth and historic expansion.”

“I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had during my years at Disney, and am thrilled to join the incredible Disney Parks organization,” Mr. Chapek said. “I look forward to working with the remarkably talented team dedicated to creating magical memories for millions of guests around the world.” A successor to Mr. Chapek at Disney Consumer Products will be named at a later date.

Prior to leading Disney Consumer Products, Mr. Chapek served as President of Distribution for The Walt Disney Studios from 2009 to 2011, and was responsible for overseeing the Studios’ overall content distribution strategy across multiple platforms including theatrical exhibition, home entertainment, pay TV, digital entertainment and new media. He also served as President of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, where he spearheaded the successful “vault strategy” for the company’s iconic films and transformed the primary format of home entertainment from DVD to Blu-ray.

Before joining Disney in 1993, Mr. Chapek worked in brand management at H.J. Heinz Company and in advertising at J. Walter Thompson.

Mr. Chapek earned a B.S. in Microbiology at Indiana University Bloomington and an MBA from Michigan State University.

Disney Cruise Line the Big Winner in Cruise Critic Awards

disney-cruise-characters

From Travel Pulse

Cruise Critic, the online cruise community, announced the winners of its 2015 Cruisers’ Choice Awards, and Disney Cruise Line was again the big winner.

The awards are based entirely on consumer reviews posted to the Cruise Critic website.

For the third year in a row, Disney Cruise Line was named “Best Overall” with Disney Dream winning in the large-ship category and Disney Wonder in the mid-size category. In total, Disney’s fleet won 12 awards, including “Best Entertainment” and “Best Cruises to the Bahamas” for Disney Dream, and “Best Cabins,” “Best Service” and “Best for Families” for Disney Fantasy.

Oceania Cruises’ Riviera nabbed back-to-back wins for “Best Cabins” and “Best Dining” in the mid-size category, a nod to the ship’s luxurious cabin furnishings, variety of restaurants and onboard Culinary Center.

Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Liberty was named “Best Value-for-Money” in the large-ship category for the second consecutive year.

“Best Shore Excursions” awards went to Norwegian Cruise Line’s Hawaii-based Pride of America in the large-ship category, Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess in the mid-size category, and Silversea Cruises’ Silver Galapagos in the small-ship category.

The Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards are awarded in three ship classes, based on passenger capacity. Large is for 2,000-plus passengers, mid-size for 1,200 to 1,999 passengers, and small for 1,199 or fewer passengers. (Although Disney publishes capacity for the Disney Wonder and Magic at 2,700 passengers, that number includes children in third and fourth berths. Cruise Critic judges all ships on a double-occupancy basis, so the two 877-stateroom ships fit into the mid-size category.)

First-place winners include:

Best Cruises Overall

Disney Dream (Large)

Disney Wonder (Mid-Size)

Pacific Princess (Small)

Best Cruise Ship Cabins

Disney Fantasy (Large)

Oceania Riviera (Mid-Size)

Regent Seven Seas Voyager (Small)

Best Cruise Ships for Dining

Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam (Large)

Oceania Riviera (Mid-Size)

Azamara Quest (Small)

Best Cruise Ships for Entertainment

Disney Dream (Large)

Disney Magic (Mid-Size)

Pacific Princess (Small)

Best Cruise Ship Public Rooms

Disney Dream (Large)

Oceania Riviera (Mid-Size)

Crystal Serenity (Small)

Best Cruise Ships for Service

Disney Fantasy (Large)

Disney Wonder (Mid-Size)

Regent Seven Seas Voyager (Small)

Best Cruise Ship Shore Excursions

Norwegian’s Pride of America (Large)

Coral Princess (Mid-Size)

Silversea’s Silver Galapagos (Small)

Best Cruise Ships for Value

Carnival Liberty (Large)

Holland America Zuiderdam (Mid-Size)

Pacific Princess (Small)

It’s Official…Disney is Increasing Ticket Prices for US Parks Tomorrow

WDW Magic Your Way

With record attendance at its theme parks, Disney will be increasing ticket prices at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort effective Sunday February 22nd.

Increases are across the board, with only DisneyQuest, parking fees, and ECV Wheelchair and Stroller rentals escaping an increase. Most notable is the removal of the No-Expiration option on Magic Your Way multi day tickets.

Disney announced Saturday that one-day ticket prices will rise to $105 plus tax at the Magic Kingdom. Prices at Disney World’s three other parks are increasing, too, but at $97 will stay under triple-digit territory.

For guests visiting the California parks, an adult one-day ticket to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure will rise from $96 to $99. A one-day park hopper add-on will increase from $54 to $56. Tickets for children ages 3 to 9 will climb from $90 to $93. A price for a Premium annual pass with parking and no blackout dates will go up 11 percent, from $699 to $779

“A day at a Disney park is unlike any other in the world, and there is strong demand for our attractions and entertainment,” spokesman Bryan Malenius said in a prepared statement. “We continually add new experiences, and many of our guests select multi-day tickets or annual passes which provide great value and additional savings.”

Because of the multi-day tickets, along with Floridian discounts, many if not most visitors will actually pay less than single-day prices. Industry consultants say the sticker shock of a one-day ticket could push even more consumers toward those choices.

Prices are rising on the multiple-day tickets and passes as well. Basic Florida resident annual and seasonal passes will cost $529 and $329 before tax, respectively, up from $485 and $319. Renewals are discounted about 15 percent.

Predictably, some parkgoers were frustrated, even outraged, at the news, taking to social media to rant and rave.

“It is kind of ridiculous that Disney is raising admission costs,” said Tarisa McGillivray, 27, “It’s sad to think you have to spend so much to go to the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Others took the price hike in stride and took a more reasonable approach.

“In comparison to say a concert ticket to a well known artist, Disneyland ticket prices are not that high for the level of entertainment you get in the parks,” said Andrea Bradshaw, 30, of Corona.

“I do think that Disney’s perspective is they’re a premium-priced, premium product,” said Scott Sanders, a former vice president of pricing with the company. “They believe that … there are some people who can’t afford it, but there are a lot of people who are willing to pay for the experience.”

Walt Disney World & Disneyland Ticket Prices Rumored to Increase on February 22

WDW Magic Your Way

As has been rumored for a few weeks, the ticket prices for Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks will soon be increasing.  If what we hear is correct, they will be rising this Sunday, February 22.  If what have heard is fact, for the first time ever, the price of some tickets will be going up over $100.

Some Disney sites have gotten confirmation that the price hikes for Walt Disney World will go into effect on Sunday. Not all ticket increases are known yet, but it has been revealed that a one-day ticket to Magic Kingdom will go up to $105 plus tax.

One-day tickets to Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will go up to $99 plus tax each.

Currently, Magic Kingdom one-day tickets are $99 plus tax while one-day tickets to each of the other three parks are $94 plus tax.

Duncan Dickson is an associate professor at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management and a former Disney executive. He said he has been advised by an unidentified Disney Cast Member that the price increase will happen.

There have also been rumors that the “No Expiration” ticket option will be ending as well. This option always allowed guests to hold onto any unused days on their tickets if they purchased it. If this does happen, all daily-park tickets will expire 14 days after day of first use.

We  have also heard that one-day water park tickets will be automatically have the “Hopper” option. Guests will now be able to visit Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach with their one-day tickets without having to choose just one.

It is expected that the increases will also be happening for tickets at Disneyland this Sunday.

Flame Tree Barbecue Refurb Extended to Late April

flame-tree-barbecue

The refurbishment project at the Flame Tree Barbecue has been extended through late April.

Originally set to re-open on March 1st, the refurbishment is now listed through April 22nd.  The restaurant will be reopening to guests on April 23rd. During the refurbishment, some of the Flame Tree dishes will be available at nearby kiosks.

Disney Releases Some Details about Star Wars Weekends 2015

Star Wars Weekends 2015

The Force is growing stronger here at Walt Disney World Resort as the galaxy prepares for this year’s Star WarsWeekends. If you’re as big a fan of the annual Disney’s Hollywood Studios event you’ll be excited to learn that several crowd-favorites are back in 2015, including James Arnold Taylor! Known for voicing characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” Taylor will host the Stars of the Saga talk show with everyone’s favorite stormtrooper preshow at a new, larger location in Theater of the Stars on Sunset Boulevard.

Darth’s Mall is also moving to a new and expanded complex near Streets of America, where you can find Star Wars-themed and exclusive event merchandise just for Star Wars Weekends 2015.

One of the favorite out-of-this-world experiences to catch this year is the Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine. Your day just wouldn’t be complete without dinner surrounded by your favorite Disney pals dressed in their Star Wars best!

The galaxy won’t be so far, far away when beloved and iconic Star Wars characters assemble and “Summon the Force” each night for a grand celebration, including a look back at your greatest moments throughout the day on social media. For the finale, the night sky will erupt in an interstellar frenzy of fireworks as “Symphony in the Stars” salutes the saga’s most dramatic stories and brings you as close to the Force as you can get.

Disney is still gathering all your favorite droids and scoundrels, so stay tuned for the latest updates. As we announced in December, the fun comes to our galaxy Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from May 15 – June 14, 2015. Check out StarWarsWeekends.com for all the must-know event details.

Disney Releases More Details About the Food at the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens

Flower & Garden Food

It’s the third year for the Outdoor Kitchens around World Showcase Lagoon, and the garden- and spring-inspired tapas-sized food and beverages just get more and more interesting. The new Botanas Botánico Outdoor Kitchen between France and Morocco pavilions will showcase treats like Cachapas with Farmer’s Cheese, a sweet yellow corn pancake, and Seafood Ceviche with shrimp, scallops and grouper with mango and avocado.

“It’s so much fun coming up with creative new flavors to wow our guests,” says Chef Gregg Hannon, Epcot executive chef. He mentions Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños at The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews Outdoor Kitchen, and the Quinoa Vegetable Naanwich with arugula pesto and oven-dried tomatoes at Urban Farm Eats.

Especially appealing are flavors inspired by fruits and veggies, like the Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade, Sparkling Pineapple Wine and Berry Tea Cocktail at Pineapple Promenade; the Macaron Guimauve à la Fraise (strawberry marshmallow macaron) at the Fleur De Lys; the vegetarian Falafel with Cucumber Tomato Salad and Tahini at Taste of Marrakesh; Frushi (fresh pineapple, strawberry and melon rolled with raspberry coconut rice, sprinkled with toasted coconut and whipped cream) at Hanami; Limoncello Panna Cotta (gluten free and vegetarian) at Primavera Kitchen; Watermelon Salad with Pickled Onions, Baby Arugula and Feta Cheese and the Florida Blueberry and Lemon Curd Tart (vegetarian) at Florida Fresh; Beijing Candied Strawberries at Lotus House; and Kale Salad with Dried Cherries, Almonds and Goat Cheese (gluten free and vegetarian) at Urban Farm Eats.

Hungry yet? Protein fans will love everything from Confit de Canard (pulled duck confit) at Fleur De Lys to a spicy hot dog with pineapple chutney and sriracha mayo at Pineapple Promenade. There’s Harissa Chicken at Taste of Marrakesh and a Pulled Pig Slider at The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews. Florida Fresh will serve up hearty Shrimp and Stone-Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage and Jardin de Fiestas has tacos with achiote marinated pork.

Look for our next post on all the fun beverages!

For more information, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or go to epcotinspring.com. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

More Details Released for Star Wars Day at Sea

DCL - Star Wars at Sea

What do you get when you combine the power of the Force, the magic of Disney and the excitement of cruising? An out-of-this-galaxy experience unlike any other!

Last week, Disney Cruise Line shared the exciting news that they’ve added Star Wars Day at Sea, a brand-new, day-long celebration, to eight special sailings on the Disney Fantasy in early 2016. Today, they want to tell you more about the immersive entertainment you can expect throughout the day. Check out these intergalactic highlights:

Force-filled Fun for Everyone

  • Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers and other characters from across the Star Wars galaxy will be onboard for scheduled meet and greets, as well as roaming on deck and elsewhere around the ship. You’re also encouraged to dress up in your own stellar costumes!
  • A shipboard version of the popular Jedi Training Academy experience invites young Jedi hopefuls – known as “Padawans” – to learn lightsaber moves from a Jedi Master. They can then use the Force and face off in a final test against the evil Darth Vader.
  • Kids and families enjoy friendly competition during Star Wars trivia games, covering fun facts from the film and television sagas.
  • For Younglings, Star Wars-themed arts and crafts, games and activities will be offered throughout the day in Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab youth clubs.
  • In the evening, adults entering the night club will feel like they stepped into the Mos Eisley cantina scene. Characters and cantina music set the mood as Star Wars-themed specialty cocktails are served.

DCL - Star Wars at Sea - Chewie

Film Screenings and Celebrities

  • You can watch the first six Star Wars films and follow Darth Vader, Obi Wan Kenobi, Luke and Leia along their epic journey.
  • Also showing will be episodes of the new Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.
  • On each of the special sailings, celebrities and insiders from the Star Wars galaxy will share their experiences, meet fans and sign autographs.

Star Wars Deck Party and Fireworks

  • There’s intergalactic fun when the Star Wars deck party blasts off to an exciting evening filled with music, dancing and games.
  • Star Wars characters converge on the deck stage for a celebration of the Star Wars saga in a show featuring special effects and guest participation.
  • The deck party culminates in a spectacular display of themed pyrotechnics, lighting, sound effects, lasers and Star Wars music.

Who’s ready to join us on the Disney Fantasy for Star Wars Day at Sea?