Tag Archives: Disneyworld

Photo Tour: 2015 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival

The 2015 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is now in full swing and runs until November 16, 2015!

Taste Your Way Around The World. Embark on a culinary adventure celebrating 20 years of culture and cuisine with the finest wine and beverage offerings at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, presented by CHASE®.

Each fall, as the seasons transform, so does Epcot—where dozens of unique flavors and fun experiences unfold across the park. Festival highlights include:

Global Marketplaces – Make your way through gastronomy greatness at over 30 global marketplaces.

Eat to the Beat – Immerse yourself in the music during this multi-week festival featuring rockin’ tunes from a variety of popular artists!

Festival Center – Begin your journey into exquisite flavors from all over the globe at the Festival Center—open 9:00 AM to park closing.

Festival Dining and Tasting Events – Discover new dimensions of flavor as you sample incredible dishes from all over the globe.

Demonstrations and Seminars – Take some tips from the pros as you get an inside look at the care and craft of these food and beverage creations.

Visiting Chefs and Personalities – Join some of the culinary world’s brightest stars on your journey into whole new worlds of flavor.

Here are some photos of our visit last week:

EPCOT Food and Wine Festival | I-4 Exit Guide
Welcome to the 2015 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival!

 

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2015 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival – Showcase Plaza: Australia on the left and looking south across the lake towards France
EPCOT Food and Wine Festival | I-4 Exit Guide
2015 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival – World Showcase: United Kingdom looking north towards Canada

 

EPCOT Food and Wine Festival | I-4 Exit Guide
2015 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival – Showcase Plaza: Patagonia on the right looking west.
2015 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival | I-4 Exit Guide
2015 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival – Showcase Plaza: Dominican Republic.

 

EPCOT Food and Wine Festival | I-4 Exit Guide
2015 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival – Showcase Plaza: Looking north.

 

2015 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival | I-4 Exit Guide
2015 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival – World Showcase: South Korea looking north to China

 

The 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is now in full swing and runs until November 16, 2015!

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Announces New Lands, Entertainment and Experiences

Disney announced a line-up of new attractions and entertainment coming to its theme parks around the world during the D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim, California.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek gave 7,500 lucky fans a behind-the-scenes look at what’s to come.  He was joined by Imagineers working on these projects as well as legendary filmmakers James Cameron and Jon Landau who shared new details about Pandora – The World of AVATAR including the names of the land and E-ticket attraction – AVATAR Flight of Passage.  Fans also got a chance to see Marvel legend Stan Lee in a cameo appearance where he posed as an unsuspecting fan during Iron Man’s dramatic entrance.

Among the many announcements Chapek shared were new and enhanced Star Wars experiences coming later this year to theFlorida and California theme parks, plans for a new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and more details on Pandora—The World of AVATAR, which is already under construction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Chapek also shared that Soarin’ Around the World will make its U.S. film debut at Epcot and Disney California Adventure taking guests to new places around the world.  Additionally, fans got a preview of exclusive video of the first Marvel attraction planned for Disney parks, coming to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2016.

“From Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration to the anticipation of Shanghai Disney Resort, we’re in the midst of unprecedented growth and expansion around the globe,” said Chapek. “With these new announcements, we continue our legacy in creating innovative attractions, worldwide entertainment, and magical lands that take our guests into the worlds of stories they love.”

In addition to these announcements, Chapek talked about the exciting news announced earlier in the day by Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger for plans to bring Star Wars-themed lands to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando and Disneyland park in Anaheim.  Each 14-acre land will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet with two signature attractions, including a customized secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.

Details on each of the projects include:

Star Wars Enhancements & New Experiences
From a new Star Tours adventure to Star Wars Launch Bay, from a new Jedi Training Academy to “Season of the Force,” soon guests will be part of both new and enhanced experiences at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.
  • Star Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings.  Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park.  Also at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with super heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries.  Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.
  • Jedi Training Academy — A favorite of younger fans is reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”
  • Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts.  In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will be thrilled to climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida
The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land.  This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard.  Guests will think they’ve been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination.  Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels, and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land, which will include two new attractions for any Disney park and one expanded favorite.

  • Family-friendly roller coaster – All on the back of Slinky Dog, this coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a fun, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land.
  • Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers.  The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, while “The Claw” looms over.
  • Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set  and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds a third track to this popular attraction.

After Dark at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Pandora – The World of AVATAR  

As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will immerse guests into the world of Pandora, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.

  • “Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. “Rivers of Light” will magically come to life on the natural stage of Discovery River, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.
  • Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land – a world that includes floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and the winged creatures known as Banshees, giving guests a transformational experience they will never forget.
    • AVATAR Flight of Passage – This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.

Soarin’ Around the World in Florida and California
Next year, guests at Epcot in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its U.S. debut.

Iron Man Unveiled for Hong Kong Disneyland
Iron Man landed at D23 EXPO today for a special appearance, and soon Hong Kong Disneyland guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the Super Hero himself. Set to open in 2016, Iron Man Experience will be the first Marvel attraction at any Disney park, taking guests on an epic adventure over the streets and in the sky above Hong Kong.  The adventure will begin at the new Stark Expo where guests board the Iron Wing to take flight and battle Hydra alongside fan-favorite Avenger, Iron Man.


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Photo Update – Disney Springs Construction Continues

Construction continues on the transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. While the metamorphosis won’t be complete until 2016, we thought you might like to see some of the completed portions of this massive project.

Disney Springs will feature an eclectic mix of offerings. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, visitors can explore a wide variety of shopping and dining options. The transformation will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues with more than 150 unique establishments.

When the project is complete, Disney Springs will include four outdoor districts; The West Side, Marketplace, The Landing and Town Center… all interconnected by a flowing spring and a scenic waterfront.

Here’s a few shots we took of the progress on a recent visit. Click a photo for a larger view…

Disney Springs - The Boathouse | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney Springs | The Landing – The Boathouse (Table Service Dining)

 

Disney Springs - The Boathouse | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney Springs | The Landing – Paradiso 37 (Table Service Dining)

 

Disney Springs  | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney Springs | The Landing – Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar (right) and Paradiso (center)

 

Disney Springs  | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney Springs | The Landing – The Boathouse (Table Service Dining)

 

Disney Springs  | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney Springs | Westside – Wolfgang Puck Express (Quick Service) and Grand Cafe (Table Service Dining)

 

Disney Springs  | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney Springs | West Side – Shopping Promenade (Splitsville in the distance)

 

Disney Springs  | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney Springs | The Landing – Shopping Promenade outside The Boathouse

 

Disney Springs  | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney Springs | The Landing – Shopping Promenade

 

Disney Springs  | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney Springs | West Side – Bongos Cuban Cafe (Table Service Dining)

 

Disney Springs  | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney Springs | West Side Shopping Promenade

 

Disney Springs  | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney Springs | The Landing – Fulton’s Crab House and Planet Hollywood in the distance

Disney Reveals Look at Avatar Land Glowing Forest

Disney Imagineers have recently revealed a behind-the-scenes look of their upcoming Animal Kingdom attraction based on James Cameron’s 2009 sci-fi fantasy film “Avatar.”

The new “land” coming soon to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is a re-creation of Cameron’s mythical jungle planet Pandora. Disney has yet to release specifics on Avatar Land’s rides or shows, but the theme of the new attraction will no doubt attempt to recreate iconic scenes from the film including the world’s floating mountains, flying banshees and interactive bioluminescent forest.

Imagineers have been working on the project since 2011, and the new expansion is projected to open in 2017.


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Disney’s Flamingo Crossings Hotels Break Ground

An Alaska-based developer broke ground today on a 248-room Marriott Springhill Suites and the 250-room Marriott TownePlace Suites at Disney’s Flamingo Crossings, a mixed-use tourist district planned on the western edge of Disney property. The developer also has plans to build seven hotels on the property within the next four or five years.

Flamingo Crossings will combine third-party branded lodging, retail and dining in a pedestrian-friendly environment. Located directly off Florida Route 429 (exit 8) this 450-acre mixed-use value-oriented tourist district will support value-oriented and limited-service hotels, 1,000 to 1,500 timeshare units, 300 to 500 thousand sq. ft. of tourist-related retail, casual sit-down and fast-food restaurants, gas/convenience, grocery, gift shops,and other tourist-oriented service.

Now Playing: Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Embark on a culinary adventure of eclectic cultures, global cuisines and the finest wine country offerings at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Presented by CHASE.

Each fall, as the seasons transform, so too does Epcot—where dozens of unique flavors and fun experiences unfold across the park. Enjoy the pinnacle of food and wine celebrations, celebrity chef cooking demos and some of the most unique dining opportunities in the world.

International Marketplaces
Make your way through gastronomy greatness at over 25 global marketplaces. Enjoy tantalizing bites, sip perfect pairings and try decadent desserts.

Epcot Food & Wine Festival – Late Nights LIVE!
Join the festivities at an extraordinary after-hours street party that goes into the night, and indulge your evening cravings for delicious sips and bites.

New Experiences
Reserve a spot at premium events, sharpen your culinary skills and discover sumptuous dishes along with wines, beers and spirits.

Demonstrations, Seminars & Talks
Have a meeting of the minds with master mixologists, wine experts, world-class Fromagers and celebrated chefs. Sample, sip and learn!

Festival Fine Dining Events
Discover impeccable menus, innovative dishes and new culinary trends. Haute cuisine has its place. Here, it has several.

Eat to the Beat Concert Series
Soak up the rocking sounds of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s at this outdoor concert series, featuring nightly performances from a sizzling line-up of musical acts.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival runs from September 19 thru November 10, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Officially Opens at Walt Disney World Resort

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a playful and musical family-style coaster that immerses guests in the timeless story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, officially opened at Magic Kingdom today in time to greet summer guests to Walt Disney World Resort.

Joined by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida and Orlando Magic players Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris, Magic Kingdom vice president Phil Holmes welcomed park guests as the first riders to experience the newest attraction at Walt Disney World Resort.

As the crowning jewel of New Fantasyland – the largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom – the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a rocking, rollicking coaster that immerses guests in the lovable world of Sleepy, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, Happy and Dopey. Inspired by the classic Disney animated film classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the attraction sends riders on a playful musical adventure into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.”

Featuring an innovative, first-of-its-kind ride system, guests boarding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train pivot back and forth during twists, turns, hills and drops. Guests are transported through magical mountain scenery and a glowing mine with scenes of the Dwarfs and frolicking forest creatures.

Music from the film classic accompanies the journey. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train features spectacular Audio-Animatronics – with cars slowing down so guests can spot favorite characters making an appearance in different scenes.

At ride’s end, the cottage of the Dwarfs, replicated from the film to exacting detail by Walt Disney Imagineers, comes into view with a dancing Snow White visible through a window.

Guests can reserve access to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with FastPass+ in advance of their visit to Walt Disney World Resort using MyDisneyExperience.com a component of MyMagic+.

About Walt Disney World Resort Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous, nearly 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation destination featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom); two water adventure parks (Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon); 36 resort hotels (26 owned and operated by Walt Disney World, includes eight Disney Vacation Club resort properties); 63 holes of golf on four courses; two full-service spas; Disney’s Wedding Pavilion; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Downtown Disney, an entertainment-shopping-dining complex.  Walt Disney World Resort is also included in vacation packages of Disney Cruise Line. Located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971. Open daily, year-round. For information on attractions and vacations at Walt Disney World Resort, visit disneyworld.com, call (407) W-DISNEY or contact local travel agents.

 

Disney Parks Kick Off Summer Vacation Season With 24 Hours of Magic, May 23-24

Disney Parks will kick off the summer travel season with a 24-hour, coast-to-coast celebration that invites guests to “Rock Your Disney Side” at three Disney theme parks – Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in California, and Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

From 6 a.m. Friday, May 23, to 6 a.m. Saturday, May 24, 2014*, on each coast, guests will spend 24 hours laughing, screaming, dancing and embracing their own Disney Side – that fun, playful side that emerges as they enter a Disney park.

Disney pirates, princesses, villains and a few rarely seen characters will stay in the parks all day and all night, inviting guests to dress up for the occasion, too. Guests may join the party dressed in costume, perhaps as their favorite Disney Hero or Villain. Costumes should be child-friendly and adhere to any guidelines determined by Disney.   Continue reading Disney Parks Kick Off Summer Vacation Season With 24 Hours of Magic, May 23-24

Celebration, Florida

Founded in 1994, Celebration is a planned community created by a real estate division of The Walt Disney Company. Disney commissioned famous architects to create the master plan and to design the streets and buildings.

Celebration has the flavor of a southern American village from the 1930s. Residential neighborhoods are clustered around a small, pedestrian-friendly downtown area. Market Street has a storybook atmosphere with a Caribbean flavor. Sided in brightly-colored stucco, the downtown buildings have wide overhangs, shutters, verandas, and arcades.

Places to Stay

Nestled lakeside in downtown Celebration is the “Bohemian Hotel Celebration” offering a charming blend of Old Florida elegance and contemporary luxury. The “Mona Lisa” is a an all suite hotel is located near the entrance to Celebration and easily accessible from I-4 and US 192. Just outside of the “bubble” is US Route 192, a 10 mile strip of commercial development that has just about every chain hotel you can think of.

Places to Eat

There are variety of dining options in Downtown Celebration with world-class restaurants and specialty food stores offering a variety of international cuisines perfect for any occasion. Cafe D’Antonio features items representative of many of Italy’s varied regions. The Celebration Tavern is a New England style restaurant and tavern that has become the town’s social hub and place to be seen since opening. The Columbia Restaurant overlooks Celebration’s picturesque lake and offers classic elegance in a Mediterranean style setting where diners can enjoy fine Spanish/Cuban cuisine in our old-world-style dining rooms, an outdoor cafe, or courtyard. Imperium Wine Room is a 100 seat, class-service, food and wine bar offering the highest quality food and wines with a 50 seat patio. Enjoy the delights of the Confectionery Chocolates and Ice Cream from Kilwin’s. The Market Street Cafe makes over 60 items from scratch every day. Savor quality authentic Japanese food and sushi at Seito Sushi. Shannon’s of Celebration is an authentic Irish restaurant in a perfect lakeside setting. Discover the authentic taste of Thai food at Thai Thani. Upper Crust Pizza and Starbucks round out the downtown Celebration food choices.

This is, of course the heart of tourist country, so venturing out of the confines of Celebration will prove to be a restaurant and fast food wonderland.

Places to Go

Downtown Celebration has the finest selection of shops and boutiques with something for everyone in the family. Enjoy walking the brick-lined streets of Celebration Town Center and spend time with family and friends.

The town of Celebration also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. Whether you prefer to stroll down Market Street perusing fine art, dance to family friendly music in front of the lake, or watch snow falling during the holiday months, there’s always something to do in Celebration!

Just two blocks from Market Street is the Celebration Golf Club, a daily fee golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.

Getting Around

Celebration is located approximately 20 miles southwest of Orlando just off Interstate 4, exits 65, 64 or 62. US Route 192 runs east-west. Once in the Celebration “bubble” it’s not unusual to see electric vehicles, Segway human transporters and bicycles in your travels. Celebration has miles of wide, paved and wooden trails and paths. It is a very walkable community so park your car and explore!