Permits Filed for Rivers of Light Construction Suggest at Least Two Viewing Areas

Rivers of Light

According to

Construction permits have just been filed for ‘Rivers of Light’ construction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom suggesting there will be at least two viewing areas for the water based show.

The permits include:

  • Asia Viewing Area
  • Asia Viewing Area Control Building
  • Dinoland EER Completion
  • Dinoland Viewing Area
  • Discovery Island Light Bunkers Completion

Information released so far on the new nighttime show has been limited, with Disney so far only saying, “Rivers of Light promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting our guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom”.

Rivers of Light is expected to open in March 2016.


Walt Disney World to Host ESPN Fantasy Football Convention

ESPN FFB Convention

Nothing says “fall” like tailgate parties, chili cook-offs and, of course, football season. On August 22-23, you can officially kick-off sport’s greatest season of the year with ESPN‘s inaugural Fantasy Football Convention, taking place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The first-of-its-kind event features unprecedented access to ESPN talent including Matthew Berry, Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, Sara Walsh, Mark Schlereth, Stephania Bell, Tim Hasselbeck and more!

Start things off with an epic Tailgate Party, where you can mix and mingle with ESPN talent and be a judge in the first-ever ESPN Chili Bowl. Decorated Disney Chefs from around the world will serve up their best creations for a chance at this prestigious award. The next morning, you’ll have breakfast with some of your favorite characters decked out for the gridiron.

Ever wonder what it’s like behind-the-scenes of an ESPN studio show? You’ll get the chance to find out, as the Convention includes a live broadcast of Fantasy Football Now. The event finale features the opportunity to take part in a live fantasy football draft. Whether you’re new to fantasy football or a long-time veteran, you’ll get the chance to pick your teams with the help of ESPN Fantasy

Experts roaming the floor. And best yet, season winners of leagues created during the Convention will receive a customized trophy. Talk about bragging rights!

For more information on the inaugural Fantasy Football Convention at Walt Disney World Resort and to register, click here.

Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview “Taste Your Way Around The World”

tables in wonderland

Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview “Taste Your Way Around The World”

Where: East Hall, World ShowPlace Pavilion at Epcot®

When: Saturday July 19, 2014 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Price: $143.78, tax & gratuity included

We have limited seating remaining, so if you are counting down the days…

With the 19th Annual Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival just around the corner, we would like to invite Tables in Wonderland members only to a “sneak preview” of this year’s Festival! Join us as we sample the food and hear speakers talk about the new and exciting things we have in store for you this year! Learn what new marketplaces will be added, as well as new special events. Be one of the first to be “in the know” as we taste our way around the world!

Please visit the following website for self-booking and instant confirmation.

When you go to the website please have the following information ready:

Tables in Wonderland Ticket Number (number beginning with a W and includes a date)

First and Last Name of everyone in your party (you may purchase up to 10 tickets)

Home address

Phone number

Credit Card Number

Billing Address of the Credit Card

Personal Email Address

Food Allergies (if any)

Seating Requests: Please add the Name/Registration Number of any guests on a separate booking you wish to be seated with.

Please Note: Request’s will be accommodated as available and are not a guarantee.

Things to note about this event: 

The event is limited to 250 Guests, and is exclusive to Tables in Wonderland members.  Park admission not required.

The menu for this event is inspired by the International Marketplaces:

Buffet Reception

Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)
South Africa Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms
Scotland Sea Scallop with Spinach Cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon
Puerto Rico Sweet Corn Sorullitos with Mayo Ketchup
Terra “CraB’less CraB Cake”, Pepper Slaw and Cajun Remoulade featuring Gardein™
Farm Fresh Nueske’s Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise and pickled Jalapeños

Aulani Sunset featuring Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum
Paperboy Red Blend
The Great American Wine Company, Chardonnay
Domaine Chandon, Brut Sparkling Blanc de Noir
Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale, Bold City Brewery, Jacksonville, FL

Plated Dinner

Greece Course
Vegetarian Moussaka
Paired with Domaine Skouras Moscofilero

Patagonia Course
Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimi Churri
Paired with Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier

Puerto Rico Course
“Carne Guisada con Arroz Blanco” Slow Braised Beef with Puerto Rican Grown Rice
Paired with Medalla Light Beer or Sangriiia Cocktail

Dessert Trio

Hops and Barley Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing
Refreshment Port Croissant Doughnut
Bean to the Bar Warm Drinking Chocolate
Paired with Rosa Regale

NOTE: This event is exclusive to Tables in Wonderland members.
Event entry will be granted only with a valid photo ID AND Tables in Wonderland Membership Card.
Tables in Wonderland Members who do not bring their membership card may not be admitted to the event.
Ticketed members who do not attend the event forfeit their place as well as all experiences, benefits, and gifts associated with the event.
All Tables in Wonderland Special Events are subject to change without notice. There are no cancellations or refunds.Tickets are not transferable.


Trattoria al Forno to Replace Kouzzina by Cat Cora on Disney’s BoardWalk


Disney announced that ‘Trattoria al Forno’ will replace the soon-to-close Kouzzina by Cat Cora on Disney’s BoardWalk in December 2014.

A “trattoria” is an Italian restaurant serving simple food, and “al forno” is Italian for “food baked in an oven,” and this new spot will showcase Old World techniques, including handcrafted mozzarella made daily, cavatelli (small dumpling-shaped pasta) and a variety of Neopolitan-style pizzas baked in wood-burning ovens. Neopolitan pizzas, by the way, are pizzas in the classic style of Naples, Italy, with simple tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella.

A beautiful Italian flywheel slicer slices paper-thin Italian meats, served with a variety of olives and caponata. Satisfying pastas, velvety seasonal risottos and fresh seafood and vegetables will celebrate the delectable diversity of Italian cuisine with authentic ingredients and recipes from Italy’s various regions.

Italy is just half the size of Texas but has wonderfully diverse cuisine, and Trattoria al Forno will showcase dishes from Italy’s various regions – for instance, braised beef Bolognese with house-made cavatelli from Bologna, semolina tagliatelli carbonara from Latium (more specifically Rome), pork chop alla Milanese named after the city of Milano. And you’ll find classic Italian favorites: chicken breast alla Parmagiana with tagliatelle pasta; shrimp with garlic, capers and anchovy butter with polenta; whole roasted fish with roasted vegetables; baked lasagna; grilled steak; slow-cooked lamb shank with polenta; and eggplant rollatini.

A seasonal risotto will always be on the menu, and vegetarians will appreciate the ruffled campanelle pasta with green beans, roasted potatoes and Genovese pesto.

Add a classic Italian dessert with an after-dinner cappuccino for a perfect ending. Look for tiramisù, lemon panna cotta with almond crunch and berries, gelatos, and the signature bomboloni (Italian donut holes) with dark chocolate and vanilla gelato.

Wines will be 100 percent Italian from historic wine regions including Tuscany, Veneto and Piedmont, with over 60 offerings by the bottle and more than 25 wines by the glass – Chiantis, Super Tuscans and fine Italian white wines such as Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and Moscato. Signature cocktails and Italian beers and sodas round out the drink menu, with a signature-blend Italian coffee roasted just for Trattoria al forno.

Walt Disney Records Releases ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Today


Award-winning composer Mark Mancina, who won a Grammy for Best Soundtrack Album (with Phil Collins) for his work on Disney’s 1999 feature “Tarzan,” produced and composed the score for “Planes: Fire & Rescue.” The Planes: Fire & Rescue original motion picture soundtrack takes off today, July 15.

Composer Mark Mancina returned to the runway to create the score for “Planes: Fire & Rescue.” As composer for “Disney’s Planes,” Mancina was able to take themes established in the first film and update them to reflect the unique and heroic nature of “Planes: Fire & Rescue.” “Dusty’s more grown-up so the music wanted to be a little more grown-upa little bit richer. There’s an arc to his life and the music needed to follow that arc.”

Mancina opted for a more orchestral sound in the new score. “It comes from an earthy direction, so there’s a lot of orchestral percussion, French horn, strings and woodwinds,” he says. “There is added texture from other types of instruments, but the heart of the score is an orchestra.”

The melodic score was recorded with a 90-piece orchestra. For Dusty’s training montage, filmmakers agreed it called for a bold acoustic piano that would stand out from the orchestra. Says Mancina, “We were lucky enough to have Bruce Hornsby play piano on the score, which brought a completely different color and a much more mature feel to the score.”

Hornsby, a multiple Grammy-winning artist, also played a special cue that can be heard near the end of the film, supporting the serious and emotional tone filmmakers sought.

Brad Paisley performs two new songs for the film, including “Runway Romance,” which was written by director Bobs Gannaway and Danny Jacob, and “All In,” a song Paisley signed on to write and perform after hearing of the film’s firefighting themes. “My father’s a firefighter,” says Paisley. “He was my whole life. And my brother-in-law and several family members are firefighters. I was really honored to pay tribute to them. I sat down after seeing a rough cut of the movie and it came to me very quickly.

“My dad was president of the volunteer fire department, which was walking distance from our house,” continues Paisley. “I spent several days of each week there with himany time the whistle blew, he went. It was truly inspiring to watch him lead that way. It’s a strange and wonderful mentality that these people have. They get so excited about that opportunity to help. My favorite line in the song is, ‘Where there’s smoke and flames, and everybody needs out, I’m all in.'”

Paisley also lends his voice in a cameo appearance as a pickup truck in Honkers Sports Bar.

Newcomer/singer/songwriter Spencer Lee performs “Still I Fly,” a song he co-composed with his writing partners Windy Wagner and Michael “Smidi” Smith. “Still I Fly” can be heard when Dusty, after discovering that he may never race again, leaves Propwash Junction en route to Piston Peak to train as an aerial firefighter.

Planes: Fire & Rescue track list follows:

1.    Still I Fly* Performed by Spencer Lee
2.    Runway Romance** Performed by Brad Paisley
3.    All In** Performed by Brad Paisley
4.    Planes: Fire & Rescue – Main Title Score
5.    Propwash Score
6.    Out of ProductionScore
7.    Dusty Crash LandsScore
8.    Fire! Score
9.    An All New Mayday Score
10.  Sad Mayday Score
11.  Pontoons Score
12.  A Special Kind of Plane Score
13.  Training Dusty Score
14.  We Got the Gear BoxScore
15.  Cad Score
16.  Blazin’ Blade Mystery Score
17.  Mystery of Blaze-Lightning Score
18.  Lightning Storm Fire Score
19.  (It’s) Hip to Be Cad Score
20.  Harvey & WinnieScore
21.  CheersScore
22.  Nobody Has Your Gear Box Score
23.  Fire by the LodgeScore
24.  Behind Enemy Lines Score
25.  Evacuation Score
26.  Blade Is Down Score
27.  Loopin’ Lopez Score
28.  Tourist Trapped Score
29.  Fire Heroes Score
30.  Rescue Harvey & Winnie Score
31.  Dusty Saves the Day Score
32.  Saving Dusty Score
33.  You Had Us Worried Score

Bob Iger Named “2014 CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive Magazine

Bob Iger

Chief Executive magazine today announced that Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, has been named “2014 CEO of the Year,” an honor bestowed upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of CEO peers. This is the 29th year the award has been given, with past honorees including Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft, Jack Welch, former CEO of GE and Michael Dell, founder, chairman and CEO of Dell Computers.

“Even iconic brands need fixing from time to time,” says JP Donlon, Editor in Chief of Chief Executive magazine. “But instead of the easy fixes, Bob Iger played the long game by addressing Disney’s cultural issues head-on with a three-pronged strategy, making it a stronger, more profitable company with greater depth in its overall brand. For this reason, he is well-deserving of this year’s CEO of the Year honor.”

Just the sixth CEO in the company’s history, Iger, who took over the helm in October 2005, transformed the organization into a profit-making powerhouse. He acquired Pixar Animation Studios from Steve Jobs in 2006 and Marvel Entertainment in 2009. In 2012, Iger negotiated a deal for Lucasfilm, which gave Disney the rights to the Star Wars brand. During Iger’s tenure, Walt Disney’s 2013 shareholder return was 202 percent. In February of this year, the stock price hit an all-time closing high of $79.23, compared to just$23.81 when Iger first took over as CEO.

Nominations for CEO of the Year were garnered from among the readers of Chief Executive magazine. The 10 most frequently cited nominations were evaluated and a winner voted upon at a meeting of a peer Selection Committee, which took place earlier this year inNew York City.

The 2014 CEO of the Year Selection Committee was comprised of: David Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell, and 2013 Chief Executive of the Year; Dan Glaser, President and CEO, Marsh & McLennan; Fred Hassan, chairman, Zx Pharma and partner/managing director, Healthcare at Warburg Pincus; Tamara Lundgren, President and CEO, Schnitzer Steel Industries; Tom Quinlan, President and CEO, RR Donnelley; Christine Jacobs, former chairman and CEO, Theragenics, and director, McKesson; Bob Nardelli, CEO, XLR-8, Bill Nuti, Chairman and CEO, NCR’ Jeff Sonnenfeld, President and CEO, Chief Executive Leadership Institute, Yale School of Management;Mark Weinberger, Chairman and CEO, EY; Maggie Wilderotter, Chairman and CEO, Frontier Communications; and Tom Saporito, Chairman and CEO, RHR International.

“Bob is a visionary and innovator who consistently delivers terrific performance across a diverse portfolio of businesses,” Dan Glasersaid.

“He’s been a disruptive innovator in taking the entertainment industry to another level using new media and new technology,” addedTom Quinlan. “He took a great brand and made it better, which isn’t easy to do.”

Iger’s 2014 CEO of the Year designation will be celebrated at an invitation-only event hosted by NYSE Euronext and the Chief Executive Group at the New York Stock Exchange in July.

Monorail Gold Evacuated Following System Power Failure

Monorail Gold

Monorail Gold passengers were evacuated last night following a power failure resulting from severe weather in the area.

The power failure took place around 6 PM on July 13 2014, affecting most of the monorail system. The other monorails operating on the system were able to restart, however, Monorail Gold, which was operating on the Epcot beam, was unable to restart. The monorail happened to come to a halt right on top of the switch track for the Epcot beam, located near to the Wilderness Lodge Resort. The position of the broken-down monorail meant that the usual rescue trains that operate on the monorail beams were unable to reach the stranded Monorail Gold.

With temperatures rising inside the monorail and no quick way of moving the monorail, the decision was made to evacuate the passengers. Although Disney routinely rehearses the evacuation of the monorails, it is rarely done with park guests. The evacuation routes typically involve climbing out of exit hatches onto the roof of the monorail, and then descending down to the beam or into another car, and onto an exit stairway or cherry picker.

Reedy Creek emergency services began the evacuation at around 7pm, and the approximately 120 guests on board were all evacuated by around 8pm.

‘Maleficent’ is the Top Grossing Non-Super Hero Movie of the Year


Movie-going audiences don’t seem to be growing weary of super hero movies, since they keep turning out in droves to see movies like ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’.  One fierce contender though managed to distinguish herself from the spandex fest, Angelina Jolie as Disney’s classic evil fairy ‘Maleficent’.  The movie has now crossed the $600 million mark, making it the highest grossing, non-super hero movie of 2014 so far, besting hits like YA adaptations ‘Divergent’ and ‘The Fault Of Our Stars’ and even the well-received ‘Godzilla’ reboot.

‘Maleficent’ has hung in there and continued to draw viewers while other movies have come and gone.  Keep in mind, grosses are drawn from all territories, which could point to Angelina Jolie being one of the few movie stars that is guaranteed to draw viewers, world wide.  Internationally, a lot of films rely on bankable stars to drive ticket sales.  Is Jolie’s undeniable star power the only factor?  Perhaps not.  The story of ‘Maleficent’ builds upon Disney’s popular classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’.  Surely that helped sell the film to many, just as Disney’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ draws viewers to that hit show by drawing from Disney’s vault of popular hits.

The film’s writer, Linda Woolverton is certainly benefiting.  It seems highly likely that Disney will be building on ‘Maleficent’ with additional films and will probably turn to Woolverton to script them as well, just as she is currently working on a follow-up to 2010′s Tim Burton-directed ‘Alice In Wonderland’ entitled ‘Through The Looking Glass‘.

Elizabeth Mitchell Joins ‘Once Upon a Time’ in Mysterious ‘Frozen’ Role


TV geek goddess Elizabeth Mitchell is coming to Storybrooke.

Entertainment Weekly revealed today that Mitchell has joined the cast of ABC’s Once Upon a Time for a season 4 arc as part of the much-anticipated Frozen-inspired storyline. The move marks Mitchell’s return to ABC, where she became a fan favorite on Lost. Since then, she’s starred in ABC’sV and was most recently on NBC’s Revolution. Only this time, we hear Mitchell might be playing a villainous character.

Mitchell’s Once Upon role isn’t being revealed yet, but we’re told she is “possibly malevolent” with ties to royalFrozen sisters Anna (newcomer Elizabeth Lail) and Elsa (Fringe familiar Georgina Haig) as well as to Storybrooke and Arendell. The events in Once Upon are expected to take place after the events in last year’s animated Disney hit. Let the speculation begin!

Epcot Open Wonders of Life this Week for World Cup Viewing

Wonders of Life

The old Wonders of Life Pavilion, currently called ‘Festival Center’ will be opening this week to show the final four games of the 2014 World Cup.  Disney also announced that Restaurantosaurus at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also offering World Cup viewing.

The Festival Center and Restaurantosaurus locations opening are in addition to the existing viewing areas in the Odyssey Restaurant and Walt Disney World Resort hotels and Downtown Disney.

Wednesday July 9 – Netherlands vs. Argentina at 4pm.

Saturday July 12 – Third place game at 4pm.

Sunday July 13 – World Cup Final at 3pm.