2014 Eat to the Beat Concert Lineup Announced

Eat to the Beat Logo

This year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will return to the park September 19 – November 10, and we just received the list of performers who will participate in the Eat to the Beat concert series.

New acts coming this year include the Jo Dee Messina, Fuel and Los Lonely Boys. There are also several returning favorites, including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Boyz II Men.

Check out the full schedule below.

  • Sept 19-21 – Jo Dee Messina
  • Sept. 22-23 – The Pointer Sisters
  • Sept. 24-25 – Rick Springfield
  • Sept. 26-27 – Christopher Cross
  • Sept. 28-29 – Hanson
  • Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Air Supply
  • Oct. 3-5 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
  • Oct. 6-8 – Sugar Ray
  • Oct. 9-10 – Fuel
  • Oct. 11-12 – Sister Hazel
  • Oct. 13-14 – TBD
  • Oct. 15-16 – Billy Ocean
  • Oct. 17-19 – Night Ranger
  • Oct. 20-22 – Smash Mouth
  • Oct. 23-24 – Jim Brickman
  • Oct. 25-26 – Los Lonely Boys
  • Oct. 27-28 – Wilson Phillips
  • Oct. 29-31 – Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX
  • Nov. 1-2 – 38 Special
  • Nov. 3-5 – Boyz II Men
  • Nov. 6-7 – David Cook
  • Nov. 8-10 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
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Organizational Changes Take Place at WDI and Epcot

Walt_Disney_Imagineering_logo

Disney is in the process of a reshuffle of organizational leadership at Epcot and Walt Disney Imagineering.

As posted earlier, Tom Fitzgerald will be taking over the creative direction of Epcot.

In addition, current Epcot Vice President Erin Youngs will take on the new role of vice president Construction, Horticulture, Textile Services and Distribution Services.  Youngs will be replacing the retiring Greg Ruse.

Replacing Youngs as Epcot VP will be Sam Lau who currently is the vice president of Walt Disney World Transportation.  Lau will report to Jim MacPhee.  Replacing Lau in transportation will be Jason Kirk who will be taking on the role of vice president, Transportation Operations.  Kirk previously had bee part of the team that relaunched Disney California Adventure and most recently was a director of Planning and Industrial Engineering.  Kirk will report to Tom Wolber.

Meanwhile, at  Walt Disney Imagineering, Scott Trowbridge is being moved to a new project studio solely dedicated to the Star Wars franchise.  Additionally, Trowbridge will be taking on the role of portfolio leader at Disneyland Resort.  Previously he was leading WDI Research and Development and various Blue Sky work.

Tom Fitzgerald to Take Over Creative Direction of Epcot

Tom Fitzgerald

Included in the organizational changes that are taking place within Walt Disney Imagineering and in park leadership, veteran Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald will be taking on the lead creative direction of Epcot.

Disney is positioned to begin a major re-imagineering of Epcot, looking to restore the original direction of the park in both World Showcase and Future World.  With Tom’s extensive experience with Walt Disney Imagineering, he should be positioned well to take on such a project.

Main Street Bakery and Fountain View to add ‘La Boulange’ Baked Goods to Menus

Main-Street-Bakery

The Main Street Bakery at the Magic Kingdom and Fountain View at Epcot will soon be adding ‘La Boulange’ baked goods to their menus.

La Boulange is a San Francisco bakery and café serving artisanal pastries, and has partnered with Starbucks to offer them in locations across the country. Many of the items are served warm, and include goodies such as Criossants, Sticky Buns, Brownies, and Cookies.

Many guests are a fans of the Starbucks coffees being served in the parks, but the lack of baked goods that used to be served in the Main Street Bakery is viewed as a loss by quite a few guests. The addition of ‘La Boulange’ products may go some way to giving those guests better quality baked goods.

Downtown Disney Food Truck Moves to Epcot’s World Showcase This Weekend

World Showcase of Flavors Truck

Epcot guests will see the “World Showcase of Flavors” food truck from Downtown Disney visiting this weekend.

The food truck to be parked near World Showcase Plaza at the entrance to World Showcase.  The truck will be serving food from 11 AM until park closing from April 18 through to Sunday April 20 2014.

Easter Egg Hunt to be Held at Epcot’s United Kingdom Pavilion

United Kingdom

Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny will be hosting Easter Egg Hunts and Egg Relays on Easter Sunday April 20th at Epcot’s United Kingdom Pavilion.

All guests ages 3-9 will be able to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt, while the Easter Egg Relay will be open to all children ages 8-12.  There will be a smaller Easter Egg Hunt available for children 3 and under.

The Egg Hunts will be held every 10 minutes from 11 AM until 3:30 PM and the Egg Relay will be held every 40 minutes from 11:40 AM until 3:40 PM

Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will also be available fore meet and greet pictures from 11:30 AM until 3 PM.

Epcot Introduces After Hours Wind Down

Epcot Wind Down

Are you looking to extend your Epcot day beyond normal closing? ‘Epcot After Hours Wind Down,’ might just be what you are looking for.

Starting April 17 until September 15 2014, guests can choose to spend time in one of four World Showcase lounges, from the conclusion of IllumiNations through to 11pm. Participating locations will be:

  • La Cava del Tequila – Mexico
  • Rose & Crown Pub – United Kingdom
  • Spice Road Table – Morocco
  • Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar – Italy

Each location will offer a beverage sampling and selection of small bites.

‘Epcot After Hours Wind Down’ is available Thursday through Sunday, from the conclusion of IllumiNations through to 11pm, at a  cost of $35 per lounge ,per person (adults and children are priced equally), excluding tax and tip. Park admission is required, along with a reservation. Upon arrival at the lounge a wristband will be issued to provide access.

Reservations can be made at http://www.DisneyWorld.com/Spring or calling 407-WDW-DINE. ‘Epcot After Hours Wind Down’ does not offer any discounts, nor is it available on the Disney Dining Plan.

Walt Disney World Releases 2014 Epcot Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Lineup

Sounds-Like-Summer-Concert-Series

Walt Disney World Resort has released the lineup for Epcot’s 2014 Sounds Like Summer concert series. The annual summer music festival features tribute bands that perform concerts at American Gardens Theatre in Epcot World Showcase.

Feel the rhythm as an assortment of high-energy bands pay tribute to the legends that inspired them. Enjoy Sounds Like Summer when each act takes the stage for an entire week at this rocking seasonal party—coming ‘round once again in June and July 2014.

2014 Epcot Sounds Like Summer concert series
(schedule subject to change)

Walt Disney World’s Epcot summer concert series runs from June 8 through the July 26, with acts performing several short concerts during each night of their run. All the 2012 Summer Like Summer acts return for this year’s series.

  • June 8 – 14: Hotel California ~ A Salute to the Eagles
  • June 15 – 21: Don’t Stop Believin’ ~ a Journey Tribute Band
  • June 22 – 28: Good Vibrations ~ A Tribute to The Beach Boys
  • June 29 – July 5: Don’t Look Back ~ The Boston Experience
  • July 6 –12: Stayin’ Alive ~ A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 13 –19: Slippery When Wet ~ The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
  • July 20 – 26: 2U ~ A Tribute to U2

Concerts take place three times each night, at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. except for July 4. On Independence Day, Don’t Look Back ~ The Boston Experience will perform four times: 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m. and 9 p.m.

These concerts can be very popular.  Not only do the shows take place during Walt Disney World’s busy summer season, some returning acts have built a following of local fans while new performers attract regulars in search of variety.  Be aware that later shows, especially on the weekends, may be particularly crowded.

For these reasons, guests who are interested in seeing a particularly tribute band may wish to plan to see a performance earlier in the day.  Please plan on arriving at American Gardens Theatre well before a show’s start, as seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Epcot’s Sounds Like Summer concert series are free, included with park admission to Epcot.

So sit back and relax, or get on your feet and dance to a collection of covers of the finest chart-topping icons the music industry has to offer!

Walt Disney World Increases Parking and Valet Fees

Parking-Marker-Disney-World-Lot

As of March 30, 2014 the following new parking fees have been instituted:

  • Automobile, taxi, limo or motorcycle: $17
  • Camper, trailer or RV: $18
  • Bus or tractor trailer: $21

The last parking fee increase was in June of 2013, which saw a $1 increase for a car to $15. Offsite guests with single or multi-day tickets will mostly be impacted by the increase since guests staying at Walt Disney World resorts get complimentary parking and Annual Passholders also receive free parking as part of their pass benefits. Valet parking at Walt Disney World Resort hotels has increased from $15 to $20.  Self parking at resort hotels remains free.