The Three Caballeros AA’s Return to the Gran Fiesta Tour

Panchito, José Carioca, and Donald Duck have returned to their rightful place at the finale of the Gran Fiesta Tour in the Mexico Pavilion after being fully restored.

The three audio-animatronic figures have been missing since the early part of the year because of a refurbishment.  According to reports, the historic trio have been rebuilt from the ground up using the latest technology to replace components that were originally made by hand nearly 50 years ago.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure Get’s Opening Date

During today’s virtual Shareholders Annual meeting, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced the grand opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT will be October 1st.

Chef Remy will help kick off “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” in Parisian style.

In this new attraction, guests will feel like they’ve shrunk to the size of Chef Remy as you scurry through Gusteau’s famous restaurant on a wild adventure for the whole family.  I’m sure all parents will appreciate, this attraction will have no height requirement! Based on Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award-winning “Ratatouille,” the experience will be part of a newly expanded France pavilion inside EPCOT that will also open Oct. 1.

Josh D’Amaro Confirms that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure to Open in 2021

Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products virtually took the stage at the IAAPA Expo: Virtual Education Conference and among his comments announced that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open sometime in 2021.

The ride which will be located in the France pavilion had been originally planned to open in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 closure in March and subsequent restrictions on theme park operations that followed the opening  was delayed.  This means that Disney will wait until it can properly market the attraction to drive guests back to Walt Disney World next year.

The exterior of the expansion is largely complete, and we have heard from sources that ride system testing is already underway inside the show building.

Walt Disney World Announces Eat to the Beat Concert Series Line-Up

On Monday Walt Disney World announced the initial line-up for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series for this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.  This is the festival’s 23rd year and will run from August 30 to November 12, 2018.

New to this year’s concert series will be percussionist extraordinaire and singer Sheila E and ‘80s Canadian rockers Glass Tiger.

98 Degrees, featuring brothers and “Dancing With the Stars” alums Nick and Drew Lachey, will  bring their smooth harmonies to the festival. I’m sure there are a lot of Disney fans hoping that they’ll sing “True To Your Heart” from Disney’s “Mulan.”

Also new this year is entertainer Jim Belushi who brings his rhythm-and-blues band The Sacred Hearts to the festival this year.

Two Contemporary Christian music artists will also be joining the line-up this year.  MercyMe, who successfully branched out from music this year with the hit film based on lead singer Bart Mallard’s life called “I Can Only Imagine.”  Also, former “Royal Tailor” front man Tauren Wells, who has found some mainstream success this year, touring with Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie, will also be performing.

Returning this year are fan favorites ‘80s pop stars Tiffany and Billy Ocean, along with ’90s hit makers like Hanson and Everclear.

Swing-meisters Big Bad Voodoo Daddy also be returning and will close out the festival.

The lineup so far is:

  • 8/30-31 – Blue October – “Into the Ocean”
  • 9/1-3 – Tiffany – “I Think We’re Alone Now”
  • 9/4-5 – MercyMe – “I Can Only Imagine”
  • 9/6-7 – Glass Tiger – “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)
  • 9/8-9 – Tauren Wells – “Hills and Valleys”
  • 9/10-11 – Postmodern Jukebox
  • 9/12-13 – TBD
  • 9/14-16 – Baha Men – “Who Let The Dogs Out”
  • 9/17-19 – TBD
  • 9/20-21 – Living Color – “Cult of Personality”
  • 9/22-23 – Sheila E – “The Glamorous Life”
  • 9/24-26 – Sugar Ray – “Every Morning”
  • 9/27-28 – David Cook – “Light On”
  • 9/29-30 – Jeffrey Osbourne – “On The Wings of Love”
  • 10/1-2 – Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts – Various Hits
  • 10/3-4 – Everclear – “Santa Monica”
  • 10/5-7 – Mark Wills – “19 Somethin’”
  • 10/8-10 – Air Supply – “All Out Of Love”
  • 10/11-12 – TBD
  • 10/13-14 – TBD
  • 10/15-16 – 98 Degrees – “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)”
  • 10/17-18 – 38 Special – “Hold On Loosely”
  • 10/19-21 – Devon Allman Project – “Ragged and Dirty”
  • 10/22-23 – TBD
  • 10/24-25 – Billy Ocean – “Get Outta My Dreams”
  • 10/26-28 – Starship featuring Mickey Thomas – “We Built This City”
  • 10/29-31 – Hanson – “MMMBop”
  • 11/1-2 – TBD
  • 11/3-4 – Taylor Dayne – “Prove Your Love”
  • 11/5-7 – Boyz II Men – “End Of The Road”
  • 11/8-9 – The Hooters – “And We Danced”
  • 11/10-12 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – “Go Daddy-O”

As you can see, the line up is not complete at this time, so check back and look for updates in the coming months.

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 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 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

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

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.

Walt Disney World Completes Candlelight Processional Narrator Line-Up

Walt Disney World has completed its line-up for the celebrity narrators for this year’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

Disney Legend Kurt Russell, who has starred in Disney films from the 1960s to 2017’s “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” will read the Christmas story this year – as well as gold- and silver-medal-winning gymnast Laurie Hernandez. Two veterans of the event – actress/comedienne Ana Gasteyer and Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” – complete this year’s list.

As previously announced, new narrators for this year’s lineup include Matt Bomer (“White Collar,” “The Last Tycoon,”); Star Wars fan favorite Warwick Davis, who played Wicket the Ewok in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi;” Daytime Television Legend Pat Sajak and TV star CCH Pounder, who was recently at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the grand opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar.

And returning this year are everyone’s favorite hard-driving Dr. Bailey from “Grey’s Anatomy,” Chandra Wilson – and newly-named Disney Legend Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of ABC’s “The View.”

Below is the full list of narrators:

  • Nov. 24 – 26 – Laurie Hernandez
  • Nov. 27 – 28 – Matt Bomer
  • Nov. 29 – 30 – Ana Gasteyer
  • Dec. 1-3 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dec. 4-5 – Pat Sajak
  • Dec. 6-8 – Jodi Benson
  • Dec. 9-11 – Kurt Russell
  • Dec. 12-14 – Warwick Davis
  • Dec. 15-17 – Trace Adkins
  • Dec. 18-21 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 22-24 – CCH Pounder
  • Dec. 25-27 – Jaci Velasquez
  • Dec. 28-30 – Chandra Wilson

The Candlelight Processional is performed three times every night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 PM) during the holiday season at the America Gardens Theatre. Dinner packages are available which include meal and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances.

In addition to the lunch and dinner packages, breakfast options are again available at some restaurants in and near Epcot such as Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and The Garden Grill. Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are also available this year at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, with breakfast and dinner options being offered at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk.

Candlelight Dining Packages for breakfast start at $35 plus tax per person for adults and $21 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. Candlelight Dining Packages for lunch and dinner start at $44 plus tax per person for adults and $15.50 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9.

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays which includes the Candlelight Processional, takes place in 2017 from November 24 – December 30 at Epcot.