Walt Disney World Announces Dates for 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

I don’t think it was a surprise to anyone but the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival will be returning this fall for it’s 23rd year for 2018.  In Disney’s announcement on the Disney Parks Blog it was mentioned that the festival would again run for 75 days, like it did in 2017 and will run from August 30th until November 12th.

While Disney did not provide any details regarding this years festival, they did say that, “This year’s festival will continue its tradition of fine dining events, appearances by favorite Disney culinarians and top celebrity chefs, and a slate of concerts from favorite bands of the last few decades.”

While I’ve never been able to attend the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, I am a lover of food and especially Disney Dining and really enjoy reading, listening and watching videos of other people’s experiences at the festival.  Not only does the festival sound like a lot of fun, especially if you are a lover of food, it sounds like a great experience to enjoy with friends and family without the pressure of wait times and FastPasses for attractions.  One of these years I really want to go and experience it for myself.

If you are looking for information about the festival, please go to TasteEpcot.com.


Disney Makes Series of Announcements for Parks Around the World at D23 Expo Japan 2018

Yesterday at D23 Expo Japan, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, announced a series of exciting  new updates for Disney Parks around the world.

One of the most anticipated items that was announce at D23 Expo last July is the Star Wars-inspired resort planned for the Walt Disney World Resort.  According to Chapek, “It is going to be unlike anything that exists today.”  At the D23 Expo Japan Disney shared a new look of the first-of-its-kind resort that will combine a luxury resort with a complete immersion into an the Star Wars story.

Many of us Star Wars Disney fans were looking forward to the immersion at this resort will that will stand out among all of the Disney resorts around the globe.  The huge announcement was that it will be seamlessly connected to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  This will give guests a total Star Wars experience.

I don’t know if I’ll ever stay at this resort, but I am excited about the concept and the possibilites that could be incorporated into it.

Chapek also unveiled a first look at Epcot’s highly-anticipated “Guardians of the Galaxy”attraction. The big takeaway…. it’s a roller coaster!

According to Disney, “With the “Guardians of the Galaxy”-inspired coaster, we’re going big. This one-of-a-kind family attraction will be one of the world’s longest enclosed roller coasters when it’s added to Future World at Epcot.”

If the Imagineers at WDI do anything close to what they came up with for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! this attraction could be truly amazing.  I for one cannot wait until it opens.

Now to the Disneyland Resort.  Chapek announced that Pixar Pier will open June 23 at Disney California Adventure park.  Pixar Pier will be featuring four whimsical neighborhoods representing beloved Pixar stories with newly themed attractions, foods and merchandise.

As announced earlier, Pixar Pier will also include the Incredicoaster.  This coaster will be a super combination of character figures, lighting and special effects that that is being promoted, will bring the Parr family racing alongside you in a high-speed adventure.

I am a huge Incredibles fan.  I think that it’s one of my favorite Pixar movies.  Of all of the things coming to Pixar Pier, this attraction is the one that I am looking forward to the most.

In addition to the Incredicoaster the announcement, Disney also announced that in June a dazzling new float for the popular “Paint the Night” parade featuring Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone from “The Incredibles” will be coming to Disney California Adventure.

I absolutely love the “Paint the Night” parade.  In my opinion it’s the best nighttime parade Disney has ever produced for the domestic parks.  Adding an Incredibles float makes it even better.

Chapek also announced that Disney’s first Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be  opening next year.

According to Chapek, “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will have a new catchy theme song created especially for the attraction as well as a new experience that defies logic that we’re calling 2 ½-D.”

While I will really miss “The Great Movie Ride,” I am really looking forward to this attraction.  I’m hoping that it’s done really well making it a fun attraction for the Studios.  The “2 1/2 – D” sound like it might be a lot of fun.  In Disney’s description it is supposed to be like 3-D except without the glasses.  What can I say….except….sign me up!

As for Disneyland Paris, Disney is re-imagining one of its resort hotels into Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel. Chapek shared a sneak peek into one of the rooms that will open the re-imagined hotel in 2020.

Chapek also announced that the Marvel Super Hero universe will be coming to Walt Disney Studios Park.  The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith will be totally reimagined as a high-speed, hyper-kinetic adventure where guests riding the coaster will team up with Iron Man and their favorite Avengers.

I don’t know when I’ll ever get to Disneyland Paris, but if I ever do get there, this attraction will be on the top of my list to see and do there.

I like what Disney announced at D23 Expo Japan 2018.  What do you think?

Walt Disney World Announces ‘Incredible Summer’ for All Four Parks

Last week Walt Disney World announced that guests will see new attractions and entertainment experiences as “beloved stories from several Disney films come to life” at Walt Disney World this summer.

Here is what Disney announced…

The Incredibles Take Over Tomorrowland

Guests can party with Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone from Disney•Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and the soon-to-be blockbuster “Incredibles 2.” Edna Mode, the greatest superhero costume designer, will also make her debut appearance. Each evening, guests can enjoy a “SUPER” dance party on the Rocket Tower Stage.

Don’t we already have a dance party and an Incredibles one at that in Tomorrowland already?  Okay Edna Mode is new and it will be themed to Incredibles 2….but this really isn’t anything new.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Take the Stage at Epcot

Star-Lord and Gamora from “Guardians of the Galaxy” will join an alien band, taking guests on a journey through the cosmos. The party will feature hits from Awesome Mixtapes 1 and 2 – fun and favorite tunes from the two movies’ soundtracks – building the anticipation for a new Epcot Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.

This sounds like it could be fun….though it sounds a lot like the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Dance Off!’ that’s being held in front of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure, minus the “dance off” part.  Fun….new to Epcot, promotes the upcoming attraction, but not original.

“Explorers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure” & A “Dino-Tastic” Celebration for Donald Duck Will Debut At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Two new can’t-miss offerings will debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in time for the park’s 20th anniversary. First, guests can discover new bird species from around the world at the new show “Explorers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure,” which will star Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug. The park will also launch a “dino-tastic” celebration, in which Donald Duck takes over Dinoland, U.S.A., in a new character celebration.

“Explorers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure” sounds like an UP re-themed “Flights of Wonder” attraction to me.  I’m a big fan of the movie UP but this doesn’t sound really new.

I am curious to see what the “Dino-Tastic Celebration for Donald Duck” will be.  While I was hoping for a new parade for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this new celebration could be fun and is much needed for Dino-Land which lacks anything significant to keep people there beyond the few attractions that draw people there.

See “The Incredibles 2” at AMC Disney Springs

Everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back in “Incredibles 2” – but this time Helen is in the spotlight, while Bob navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack, whose superpowers are emerging. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone must find a way to work together again—which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible. “Incredibles 2” busts into theaters on June 15, 2018.

For me this might appeal to locals or for a rainy day.  I don’t know about you, but with the money I spend for a trip to vacation at Walt Disney World I’m not sure I want to spend two hours watching a movie that I can watch at home.

Now….for the biggie…

Toy Story Land Opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

One major highlight of “Incredible Summer” will be the grand opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This new 11-acre land will shrink guests to the size of a toy and allow them to explore the fun and adventure of Andy’s backyard. There, guests can experience two new attractions: the family coaster Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers. Toy Story Land also will feature an existing guest-favorite attraction, Toy Story Mania!, which will expand to add a third track into the rotation. The land’s Woody’s Lunch Box will be a new quick-service restaurant that will offer up tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats to Toy Story Land guests.

This what I’m looking forward to.  I cannot wait until this opens.  I’m really hoping that Toy Story Land is open when I’m at Walt Disney World this summer.

Except for Toy Story Land and the Dino-Tastic Celebration in Dinoland none of the rest excites me much, but considering that all of this is limited to the summer season when the parks are fairly busy and there is a huge need to entertain people when they aren’t able to get on attractions or into other shows these are probably good and fun enough to serve the purpose.

What do you think of Incredible Summer?

Disney Announces Performer Line-Up for Epcot International Festival of the Arts Broadway Series

Walt Disney World has announced the performer line-up for the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts – Disney on Broadway Series.

The Disney on Broadway Series takes place on Fridays through Mondays at the America Gardens Theatre, with showtimes at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 PM, and is included with theme park admission. Dining packages with reserved seating are also available.

The performer line-up is:

  • January 12-15 and 19-22: New this year, Kara Lindsay will join returning performer Kevin Massey, performing songs from Tarzan, Aladdin, Newsies, and Frozen.
  • January 26-29 and February 2-5: Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White, performing songs from Tarzan, The Lion King, Aida, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid.
  • February 9-12 and 16-19: Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland, performing songs from Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, Mary Poppins, Newsies, and Frozen.

Walt Disney World to Celebrate Mickey’s Birthday Saturday

The Magic Kingdom will be celebrating Mickey Mouse’s birthday on Saturday November 18th with special entertainment, merchandise and desserts.

The day will kick off with a special Welcome Show birthday moment and rope-drop, followed by a Tomorrowland birthday-themed dance party, birthday celebration during Move it! Shake it! Dance & Play It! Street Party, and finally a Happily Ever After pre-show birthday moment.

Guests arriving at any of the Walt Disney World theme parks will also receive a birthday button.

If you’re celebrating Mickey tomorrow, be sure to pick up one of his tasty treats and wish him a happy birthday. All of these items will be available all weekend, November 17-19

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Found at Trolley Car Café

  • Mickey’s Birthday Cupcake – Cookies and cream-flavored cupcake with cookies and cream frosting

Magic Kingdom
Found at Main Street Bakery, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café and Pinocchio Village Haus

  • Steamboat Willie Cookies ‘n Cream Cheesecake – Cookies and cream cheesecake with chocolate glaze, whipped cookies and cream panna cotta and Steamboat Willie garnish
  • Found at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest Restaurant and Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen
  • Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat Chocolate Cake – Layers of flourless chocolate cake with caramel mousse, milk chocolate pearls and a red glaze

Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Found at Contempo Café

  • Mickey’s Red Velvet Cake – with cream cheese filling and white chocolate glaze

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts
Found at Beach Club Marketplace and Market at Ale & Compass

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Large peanut butter cupcake

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Found at Narcoossee’s

  • Happy Birthday Mickey Dessert – Almond-crusted cheesecake

Disney Springs
Found at the Ganachery

  • Strawberry Ganache Lollipop
  • Mickey Mouse-themed Milk Chocolate Bar

Found at Amorette’s Patisserie

  • Mini Mickey Dome Cake – Chocolate chiffon, milk chocolate mousse and orange blossom pâte de fruit
  • Mini Pluto Dome Cake – Banana and peanut butter-flavored
  • Mickey-Shaped Chocolate Macaroon

Found at Sunshine Seasons

  • Mickey’s Cookies ‘n Cream Cheesecake

Found at Rose & Crown Dining Room

  • Kid’s Bangers and Mash with Mickey-Shaped Potatoes
  • Scotch Egg with Mickey-Shaped Puff Pastry
  • Mickey-Shaped Cheese in Cheese Plate
  • Mickey Banoffee Tart – Banana, Jameson Irish Whiskey-Caramel, sweet cream and chocolate

Found at The Garden Grill

  • Mickey-Shaped Cucumber Salad

Found at Fountain View and Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe

  • Mickey’s Celebration Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake with white chocolate mousse and vanilla buttercream

Found at Le Cellier Steakhouse

  • Mickey Nanaimo – Chocolate cake with peanut butter cream covered in red glaze with graham cracker-coconut streusel and toasted coconut ice cream

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Found at Kona Café

  • Mickey’s Hau’oli lā Hānau – Coconut mousse, crispy vanilla pearls, tropical fresh fruits and dragon fruit sorbet

Found at Capt. Cook’s

  • Mickey’s Chocolate Celebration Birthday Cupcake – Chocolate cupcake filled with strawberry guava ganache and topped with white chocolate mousse

Disney’s All-Star Resorts
Found at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

  • Mickey’s Pumpkin Mousse Marshmallow Tart – Pumpkin mousse with spiced marshmallow dipped in chocolate

Found at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

  • Steamboat Mickey’s Cupcake – Chocolate cupcake with Oreo buttercream

Found at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

  • Mickey’s Pumpkin Whoopie Pie – Pumpkin whoopie pie with cream cheese buttercream

Disney’s BoardWalk
Found at BoardWalk Bakery

  • Heritage Mickey Dessert – Black and white tart with white chocolate mousse and topped with a dark chocolate Mickey dome adorned with chocolate ears, tail and buttons

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Found at Roaring Fork

  • Mickey’s Mischievous Rice Krispy Treat – Mickey-themed crispy treats

Found at Whispering Canyon

  • Mickey’s Birthday Dark Chocolate Dome – Dark chocolate Mickey dome with raspberry sauce and Chambord cream

Found at Geyser Point

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Brownie – Mickey brownie with dark chocolate mousse and white chocolate face

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Found at The Mara

  • Mickey’s Charm – Lemon rose cremeux, caramelized milk chocolate mousse tart

Found at Jiko – The Cooking Place

  • Fantasmic Entremet – Spiced chocolate and cherry entremets

Found at Boma – Flavors of Africa

  • Steamboat Willie Cheesecake – Oreo cheesecake tartlets

Found at Sanaa

  • Tropical Mickey Tart – Coconut lime cremeux, passion fruit mousse tart

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Found at Creature Comforts, Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery and Isle of Java

  • Safari Mickey Cupcake – Yellow cake filled with banana pastry cream, dipped in chocolate ganache and topped with buttercream and fondant and red chocolate balloon

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Found at Leaning Palms and Happy Landings Ice Cream

  • Mickey’s Birthday Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake with white buttercream icing and Happy Birthday Mickey chocolate topper

Found at Typoon Tilly’s and Snack Shack

  • Mickey’s Birthday Cupcake – Chocolate cupcake with buttercream icing and red chocolate Mickey glove

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Found at Trail’s End Restaurant

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Yellow cake with strawberry filling, buttercream icing, sugar cookie Mickey Ears, chocolate buttons and tail

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Found at ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill

  • Mini Mickey Dome Cake – Chocolate chiffon, milk chocolate mousse and orange blossom pâte de fruit

Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Found at Everything POP Shopping & Dining

  • Mickey Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake covered with buttercream frosting and topped with Oreo cookies and crumbles

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Found at Landscape of Flavors

  • Mickey Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake with buttercream icing, Oreos and white chocolate buttons

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Found at Artist Palette

  • Happy Birthday Mickey! – Funfetti cake with vanilla buttercream

Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Found at Good’s Food to Go

  • Mickey Funfetti Mini Cake – Yellow cake with vanilla bean filling

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Found at Centertown

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Red velvet cupcake filled with chocolate mousse and fondant Mickey topping

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and French Quarter
Found at Riverside Mill Food Court and Sassagoula Float Works and Food Factory

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Red velvet cupcake filled with chocolate mousse and fondant Mickey topping

Walt Disney World Announces Dates for 2018 Flower and Garden Festival

Walt Disney World has announced that the 2018 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival will take place over 90 days, from February 28 through May 28.

Epcot will be celebrating 25 years of the event in 2018.  Some highlights of next year’s event include:

  • Disney Character Topiaries
  • 15 Outdoor Kitchens serving creative, flavor-rich cuisine that highlights spring garden offerings
  • Garden Rocks music series – with its classic rock ‘n’ roll stars from the ‘60s, ‘70s ‘80s and ‘90s. Garden Rocks Dining packages will be available for certain Epcot restaurants – pairing a meal with reserved seating for your favorite concert
  • Garden Tours – Including Gardens of the World Tour (spring edition); the English Tea Garden Tour; and Royal Tea Garden Tour (extra fee required)
  • New interactive kids play areas
  • Egg-Stravaganza scavenger hunt

Walt Disney World to Offer Special Holiday Tours that Unwrap the Holidays

With the holiday season just around the corner, the Walt Disney World Resort is quickly becoming a winter wonderland. Interested in learning the secrets behind this magical, festive transformation? The Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy and Disney’s Holiday D-Lights tours offer the chance to go behind the scenes of the astonishing annual decorating efforts throughout the Theme Parks and Resorts.

Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy takes you backstage to learn just how Walt Disney World Resort gets dressed up for the holiday season and watch the “elves” themselves, the cast members of Holiday Services at work. From holiday celebrations around the world at Epcot to the traditional trimmings of Main Street U.S.A. you don’t want to miss this dazzling wonderland of holiday secrets.

Disney’s Holiday D-Lights is offered on 12 select nights throughout the season. Meet with Event & Decorating Support cast members and discover how some of the most cherished holiday customs are brought to light at Epcot and Magic Kingdom Park. Learn how they decorate Cinderella Castlewith thousands of twinkling lights and experience the iconic Candlelight Processional.

Don’t miss out on unwrapping the holiday magic! Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy and Disney’s Holiday D-Lights are only offered seasonally throughout November and December. Call 407-WDW-Tour for reservations.

Annual Passholders Can Get Special Seating for Eat to the Beat Concerts

Walt Disney World annual passholders can secure special seating to the remainder of this year’s Eat to the Beat concert series. The three-times-a-night performances are part of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which runs daily through Nov. 13.

To take advantage of the offers, passholders must first go to the Festival Center, located in the Future World half of the theme park, to secure a badge for one of that day’s concerts. There will be a limited number of badges available, and they will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, Disney says. They will be given out until one hour before showtime or until they run out.

A valid annual pass and photo ID are required to receive a badge.

Passholders with badges will go to a designated entrance at America Gardens Theater on the World Showcase side of the park for the concerts. Disney says concertgoers should arrive 15 minutes before concert time.

The offer is tied to the 35th anniversary of Epcot, Disney World says.

Remaining performers include Hanson (Oct. 30-Nov.1), Blue October (Nov. 2-3), Living Colour (Nov. 4-5), Boyz II Men (Nov. 6-8), Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Nov. 9-11) and Squeeze (Nov. 12-13). Nightly performances are set for 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m.

From the Orlando Sentinel

The SpectacuLAB Interactive Show Set to Debut at Epcot in November

Every day, guests have a blast exploring their imagination, creativity and curiosity at Innoventions at Epcot.

Today Disney announced that Innoventions will welcome The SpectacuLAB, an engaging new interactive show this November. In it, guests will be invited to join a group of real scientists, and their tech-savvy intern, for a series of thrilling experiments that put scientific principles like ultrasonic pressure, barometric pressure, acceleration and force to the test. Through this funny and fascinating show, guests of all ages will have the opportunity to participate in the demonstrations and discover how each scientific principle has inspired amazing technologies we enjoy today.

To bring The SpectacuLAB to life, Walt Disney World will collaborate with sponsor Murata, a global leader in the design, manufacture and supply of advanced electronic components, and Science from Scientists, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve STEM literacy at schools.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Returns for 39 Days Of Creativity January 12 to February 19

Returning to Epcot for a second year, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts will celebrate all things art – performing, visual and culinary, from January 12 – February 19, with festivities running seven days a week and Disney On Broadway performances happening each weekend (Fridays through Mondays) in 2018.

After a successful year one in 2017, the festival is coming back better than ever.

Guests can kick off 2018 with world-class cuisine, remarkable visual art and an extraordinary lineup of live entertainment. Introduce your inner aficionado to an exciting extravaganza brimming with phenomenal artists, gourmet fare, musical performances, stage productions and other amazing acts. We’ve rolled everything you love about the arts into one spectacular festival.

The festival features:

  • Seminars and workshops from top Disney, local and nationally-renowned artists including classes on drawing animation, photography and the art of making topiaries – just to name a few
  • More than a half a dozen specially-created food studios offering a wealth of “artistic” culinary delights
  • A host of performing artists that build on Epcot’s already stellar lineup of authentic performers
  • And, my favorite, the Disney on Broadway series featuring performers from some of the best Disney Theatrical productions

Dinner and a Show
Another returning favorite is our Disney on Broadway Dining Packages, where you can maximize your experience at the Festival with a meal at one of the participating Epcot restaurants and priority seating for our Disney on Broadway concert series.

Starting today, guests can book a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner, and later be followed by a phenomenal Disney on Broadway inspired concert – select dates from January 12 – February 19, 2018. The concert series will feature pairings of Disney on Broadway stars, singing favorite songs from award-winning Broadway shows. When you reserve a Disney on Broadway Dining Package, you’ll be able to relax at your meal with friends and family and rest assured that your priority seats are waiting for you for the 5:30, 6:45 or 8 p.m. concert. *

You need to book these soon; as these events are sure to fill up quickly!

For more information on the Festival, click over to www.disneyworld.com/ArtfulEpcot or call 407-WDW-DINE or 407-939-3463.