Updated News from Around the Mouse!

Disney Cruise Line

Tue, May 30, 2017

Meet ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Super Heroes on Marvel Day at Sea with Disney Cruise Line

Cara Allenby , Public Relations Manager, Disney Cruise Line

Anyone else been listening nonstop to Star-Lord’s Awesome Mixtape after seeing “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2?” I must say, it’s worthy of the name!

Today we’re revealing that Star-Lord, Gamora and Groot will be joining the fun during this day-long celebration aboard the Disney Magic. Meeting this group of spacefaring misfits is just one of the many reasons I’m so excited about our Marvel Day at Sea cruises kicking off this fall.

What’s more, I’m thrilled to unveil an adult-exclusive Marvel Day at Sea experience inspired by the Guardian’s interstellar adventures. After a full day of family events, what should you do next? Something good, something bad? Bit of both? Well, we’re giving adults time to kick back in Fathoms nightclub, now a Ravager hideout.

While you mingle with the interstellar outlaws, an electrifying alien dance performance gets the fun started, amping up the energy before a few of your favorite Guardians join the party. As the night continues, you may even get to see the dance-loving Star-Lord get his groove on. As Drax says, “There are two types of beings in the universe: those who dance and those who do not.” Which type are you?

Any idea what tunes will be on the playlist throughout the night? You guessed it! Like I said, Star-Lord has awesome taste in music!

Throughout the summer, I’ll be giving you more details about our Marvel Day at Sea voyages, including the Super Heroes and Villains you’ll meet, plus the activities that will transport you in the Marvel Universe. This epic event premieres on select 7- and 8-night Bahamian and Canada cruises from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018. Keep following along on the Disney Parks Blog as we reveal more of the fun in store for your family.

Walt Disney World Resort

Mon, May 29, 2017

Seven Ways To Have Fun In Pandora – The World of Avatar (Aside From Attractions)

Jennifer Fickley-Bakerby , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Pandora – The World of Avatar is now open to guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The land itself serves as an amazing attraction for guests to explore and interact with, and the area’s two experiences – the thrilling Avatar Flight of Passage and the family friendly Na’vi River Journey – are already wowing guests. But did you know there are actually many other ways you can have fun throughout Pandora – The World of Avatar?

Here are seven must-do suggestions on how you can have the most immersive experience possible during your next expedition to Pandora – The World of Avatar.

Seven Ways To Have Fun In Pandora - The World of Avatar (Aside From Attractions)

1. Match With A Banshee – Already a guest-favorite experience, the land’s Windtraders merchandise shop is home to the Rookery, a nook where banshees reside, waiting to be “matched” with guests.

Visit at Swotu Wayä

2. Visit at Swotu Wayä (“Sacred Place of Song”) – Located in the heart of Mo’ara Valley, guests can interact with a collection of instruments fashioned by the Na’vi. They are connected into the moon’s root system and as guests play the instruments, the area just may respond with music and light.

3. Test Out A Na’vi Translator – Also found in Windtraders, this fun device helps you learn Na’vi words.

Seven Ways To Have Fun In Pandora - The World of Avatar (Aside From Attractions)

4. Dine at Satu’li Canteen – Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Satu’li Canteen offers one of the most interesting menus at the Walt Disney World Resort. Featuring international-inspired cuisine, vegetarian options and specialty libations, it’s the ideal place to refuel on your expedition through the Valley of Mo’ara.

Seven Ways To Have Fun In Pandora - The World of Avatar (Aside From Attractions)

5. Help Regrow the Flaska Reclinata – One of the largest and most fascinating plants on Pandora, guests can help this rare plant “re-seed” itself on Pandora simply through touch.

6. Channel Your Inner Na’vi – Windtraders offers a selection of Na’vi inspired merchandise. Here, you can buy your own set of Na’vi ears or a Na’vi tail. You can also get a Na’vi inspired look over at Colors of Mo’ara.

7. Get Camera Ready – Pandora – The World of Avatar is chock-full of unbelievable photo opportunities – from towering floating mountains, to surprising water falls and much more. Want professional pics? Disney PhotoPass guides are on-hand at multiple locations throughout the land.

Walt Disney World Resort

Mon, June 5, 2017

Bright New Additions to Menu at Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot

Pam Brandonby , Food Writer, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort

Tucked in The Seas with Nemo & Friends in Epcot’s Future World, Coral Reef Restaurant is a cool respite from the Florida sunshine, dimly lit with a spectacular backdrop of the largest inland saltwater environment ever built (it holds enough water to fill 54 Olympic-sized swimming pools).

Every seat is a good one for watching more than 4,000 sea creatures that call The Seas home – sharks, sea turtles, rays and 85 species of tropical fish. And you might even see a scuba-diving Mickey Mouse.

Chef Keith Schockling recently added new dishes to the menu, both savory and sweet. Coral Reef Restaurant fans, never fear, the lobster bisque, there since the restaurant opened, remains on the menu.

Bright New Additions to Menu at Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot

For starters, there’s a charbroiled octopus with nori sushi rice, sesame slaw and a soy reduction; a lump crab cake with watercress-citrus salad and a classic remoulade; seafood salad with Gulf Shrimp and mahi mahi in a citrus marinade with a little kick from serrano peppers, a little sweetness from mango sorbet and crisp plantain chip, and a seasonal house salad – for summer it’s mixed greens, raspberry vinaigrette, fresh berries, feta cheese and sunflower brittle.

New entrées include one from land and one from sea: the tuna bowl with spice-crusted tuna, rice noodles, charred bok choy, crisp shiitakes, pickled vegetables and broth (substitute tofu for tuna if you prefer); and a bone-in roasted pork chop with potatoes, creamy pimento cheese, braised greens and a honey-barbecue vinaigrette.

Bright New Additions to Menu at Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot

There’s even a new sweet, a rich citrus bread pudding with whiskey sauce, candied pecans and salted caramel gelato.

For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dining or call 407-WDW-DINE.

Walt Disney World Resort

Tue, June 6, 2017

Cool Off With a ‘Sweet’ New Disney Gift Card Design!

Virginia Scanlonby , Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services

There’s something scrumptious coming to Disney Parks and you can use it to purchase practically all things Disney! If you’ve ever had a Mickey Ice Cream Bar to cool off at Walt Disney World Resort or at Disneyland Resort, you can now get one that doesn’t melt in the summer sun. This new Disney Gift Card design is only available at the parks, but, just like all Disney Gift Cards, it can be redeemed at Disney Destinations nationwide for anything from theme park tickets to a sweet treat!

Cool Off with a “Sweet” New Disney Gift Card Design!

Activate your Disney Gift Card with as little as $15 and use it to add fun and convenience to your Disney Parks vacation. Perhaps you want to give your little ones (or yourself!) a snack budget; a Disney Gift Card gives them the freedom to pay for the snack or souvenir they want, while giving them a “cool” keepsake of their trip! Disney Gift Cards are reloadable up to $1,000 and never expire, so feel free to use your remaining balance to shop at the Disney Store or on the Shop Disney Parks app when you return home, or save your Disney Gift Cards until your next Disney Parks vacation!

 

Updated News from Around the Mouse!

Tue, May 30, 2017

Meet ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Super Heroes on Marvel Day at Sea with Disney Cruise Line

Cara Allenby , Public Relations Manager, Disney Cruise Line

Anyone else been listening nonstop to Star-Lord’s Awesome Mixtape after seeing “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2?” I must say, it’s worthy of the name!

Today we’re revealing that Star-Lord, Gamora and Groot will be joining the fun during this day-long celebration aboard the Disney Magic. Meeting this group of spacefaring misfits is just one of the many reasons I’m so excited about our Marvel Day at Sea cruises kicking off this fall.

What’s more, I’m thrilled to unveil an adult-exclusive Marvel Day at Sea experience inspired by the Guardian’s interstellar adventures. After a full day of family events, what should you do next? Something good, something bad? Bit of both? Well, we’re giving adults time to kick back in Fathoms nightclub, now a Ravager hideout.

While you mingle with the interstellar outlaws, an electrifying alien dance performance gets the fun started, amping up the energy before a few of your favorite Guardians join the party. As the night continues, you may even get to see the dance-loving Star-Lord get his groove on. As Drax says, “There are two types of beings in the universe: those who dance and those who do not.” Which type are you?

Any idea what tunes will be on the playlist throughout the night? You guessed it! Like I said, Star-Lord has awesome taste in music!

Throughout the summer, I’ll be giving you more details about our Marvel Day at Sea voyages, including the Super Heroes and Villains you’ll meet, plus the activities that will transport you in the Marvel Universe. This epic event premieres on select 7- and 8-night Bahamian and Canada cruises from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018. Keep following along on the Disney Parks Blog as we reveal more of the fun in store for your family.

Disney Dining

Tue, May 30, 2017

More New Dining Spots for Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

Pam Brandonby , Food Writer, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort

Three new dining concepts are expected to open by year’s end at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, with two more on tap for 2018.

This fall, Chicago-based Levy Restaurants is introducing a new Italian concept at Disney Springs, with James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano leading development. The new restaurant replaces Levy’s Portobello Country Italian Trattoria and will feature dishes inspired by Mantuano’s adventures in Italy.

Also opening in late 2017 is Wine Bar George, with Master Sommelier George Miliotes bringing his expertise to Disney Springs with an unparalleled wine list including more than 100 selections by the bottle and glass in a range of varietals, vintages and prices. Shareable plates, cheese and charcuterie will complement the wine list, featuring local artisans and seasonally relevant dishes. Look for some fun wine education, including special events and visits from winemakers. Miliotes is widely regarded as one of the industry’s foremost wine experts, and is one of only 236 professionals certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers.

The Edison Coming to Disney Springs

And The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant, bar and nighttime, is expected to open by year’s end. A collaboration of Patina Restaurant Group and Kinetescape’s Andrew Meieran, The Edison is noted for classic American food, craft cocktails and live entertainment including cabaret. (The Disney Springs location is inspired by its sister location in Los Angeles.) With Old World sophistication and romance, The Edison will be themed to a 1920s-era electric company, recalling an exuberant era of invention and imagination with entertainment that includes contortionists, aerialists, DJs and more.

Looking ahead to 2018:Jaleo Coming to Disney Springs

  • Jaleo, a concept by world-renowned Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, will open on the West Side, bringing the spirit and flavors of Spain, with an extensive menu of tapas that reflect the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine. Think paella cooked over a wood fire, hand-carved Jamon Iberico de Bellota and wood-grilled Iberico pork. With five locations in the United States and Mexico City, this will be the first location in Florida. The first floor of the multi-level restaurant will feature a “grab-n-go” storefront with Spanish-style sandwiches.

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill Coming to Disney Springs

  • And a new Wolfgang Puck concept will open in a new location in Town Center. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, will modernize the traditional “bar and grill” concept in a setting inspired by traditional farmhouses with a touch of elegance. The restaurant will capture the essence of laid-back California dining made popular by Puck at Spago, his flagship restaurant in Los Angeles. The menu will highlight the best of Puck’s signature dishes with Mediterranean influences, innovative takes on comfort food classics and handcrafted specialty cocktails, beer and wine.

Merchandise

Tue, May 30, 2017

Create Your Own Avatar Action Figure at ACE Avatar Maker in Pandora – The World of Avatar

Steven Millerby , Merchandise Communications Manager

In recent months, I have shared details about many of the innovative and creative merchandise products that will immerse guests and connect them like never before to Pandora – The World of Avatar. Today, I’m happy to announce a new way guests can create a truly unique memento at ACE Avatar Maker inside Windtraders. I caught up with Cody Hampton, merchandise product developer, who shared how this experience is connected to this exciting new land.

Create Your Own Avatar Action Figure at ACE Avatar Maker in Pandora – The World of Avatar

“We were inspired by the breathtaking Avatar Flight of Passage attraction when designing ACE Avatar Maker,” explained Cody. “During the attraction, guests are connected with an avatar for first-person flight on a banshee over the moon’s incredible landscape. We thought guests would love to see what they actually look like as a human/Na’vi hybrid. Using a digital process, guests can now create and personalize their own avatar action figure.”

Create Your Own Avatar Action Figure at ACE Avatar Maker in Pandora – The World of Avatar

At ACE Avatar Maker, the natural feel of Windtraders gives way as guests step into a futuristic transformation booth. Guests are greeted by an Alpha Centauri Expedition Scan Technician who uses a state-of-the-art, facial capture scanner to enter data into the Hybrid Digitizing System.

After an image is captured, guests select their avatar’s body style from four different choices. Both youth and adult sizes are offered. They also choose eye color, facial striping pattern, and hairstyle.

Throughout the experience, the technician shares interesting details about the Na’vi. For example, Na’vi naturally have yellow eyes; or the Na’vi gene for dark hair is so strong that it is always dominant in the creation of an avatar.

Create Your Own Avatar Action Figure at ACE Avatar Maker in Pandora – The World of Avatar

Once the customization process is completed, guests receive an ACE identification tag. This keepsake card is used about 30 minutes later at the ACE Avatar Maker Fabricator inside Windtraders where guests receive their completed action figures. Cody told me the packaging was inspired by the Amnio tank that is seen in the Avatar Flight of Passage queue.

Create Your Own Avatar Action Figure at ACE Avatar Maker in Pandora – The World of Avatar

We also offer four accessory sets that can be used with the poseable action figures.

Reservations are required for this experience, and can be made on a first-come, first-serve basis inside Windtraders.

Walt Disney World Resort

Fri, May 26, 2017

Summer of Heroes Begins Tomorrow at Disney California Adventure Park

Erin Gloverby , Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Super Heroes land tomorrow at Disney California Adventure park with the launch of Summer of Heroes! Through September 10, this limited-time celebration will feature all-new epic adventures such as Avengers Training Initiative and Heroic Encounter: Black Widow as well as special themed merchandise and food available throughout Hollywood Land. Summer of Heroes will also launch the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! which will invite guests to join a rock ‘n’ roll bash alongside Star-Lord!

Hero Up during Summer of Heroes, May 27 through September 10, at Disney California Adventure park!

Entertainment and attractions are subject to change without notice. Please check show guides.

 

 

Updated News from Around the Mouse!

Walt Disney World Resort

Wed, May 17, 2017

Mobile Order Available at Pandora – The World of Avatar beginning May 27, Expanding to Other Locations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Thomas Smithby , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

As many of you know, a new food ordering service, Mobile Order, is debuting in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Today, we’re thrilled to let you know that Mobile Order will be available at the park’s Satu’li Canteen restaurant on opening day – May 27 – and then expanding to Pizzafari, Flame Tree Barbecue and Restaurantosaurus during the summer. And better yet, more Mobile Order fast casual and quick service locations across Walt Disney World Resort are on the way.

Mobile Order, which can be found in the My Disney Experience app, offers the added convenience of being able to place orders and purchase meals on-the-go. You select menu items, customize orders and pre-pay for meals during park visits – all within the app.

It’s easy to do. After you’ve placed your order and pre-pay in the app, and arrive at Satu’li Canteen, you’ll just tap the “I’m here” button. That will notify the kitchen to prepare your meal. When ready, you will be alerted through the app to pick up your meal at the designated window with the Mobile Order pick up sign.

You should know that during the initial launch period of Mobile Order, the only form of payment accepted will be by credit card. Anyone with special dietary restrictions, or those who want to use discounts or redeem dining plan entitlements must place their order with a cashier.

Here’s a look at Mobile Order in action:

Stay tuned as we continue to share more about Mobile Order and additional new features and enhancements to the My Disney Experience app.

Disneyland Resort

Mon, May 15, 2017

Come Dancing This Summer at Disneyland Park

Shawn Slaterby , Senior Communications Manager, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment

It’s almost summertime in the Happiest Place on Earth! Who’s up for a date night at Disneyland, taking in a lively performance by a great band? If that sounds like music to your ears, then I’ve got exciting news for you!

Live music is returning to the stage at Tomorrowland Terrace, with rockin’ bands performing hits from the ’50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and today. Beginning May 26, look for live music in Tomorrowland every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, from 7:30-11:15 p.m. Different bands will be appearing through August 20, so be sure to check the entertainment schedule before your visit.

Of course, if swing is your thing, there’s also the Royal Swing Big Band Ball in Fantasy Faire, with fantastic live swing music and jazz every Saturday night from 7-10:30 p.m.

So put your dancing shoes on, and get ready to enjoy some cool music under the moonlight at Disneyland park this summer.

Walt Disney World Resort

Tue, May 16, 2017

Disney’s Night of Joy 2017: Ticket Price, On Sale Date Update

Charles Stovallby , Public Relations Manager

A little Night of Joy update on a Tuesday morning.

We have a new ticketing structure for this event being held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and I wanted to share it with you.

This year, we’ve really tried to create a ticketing structure that meets the needs of a variety of different types of guests including Walt Disney World Annual Passholders.

Event guests will be able to buy a concert only OR a concert plus theme park combination ticket for either evening – or even a two-night concert ticket.

  • Single-night concert only tickets will be $45 plus tax in advance
  • Two-night concert only tickets will be $69 plus tax in advance
  • Add-on a (1) day Walt Disney World theme park ticket for only $62 plus tax*.

There also will be premium seating packages available for an extra charge; and groups of 10 or more will be able to get discounted tickets, as with past events.

Tickets will go on sale in early June.

A little reminder about this year’s talent: (Entertainment subject to change.)

  • Friday, Sept. 8 – MercyMe, TobyMac, Zach Williams, Natalie Grant, Danny Gokey, Matt Maher, Colton Dixon, Rend Collective.
  • Saturday, Sept. 9 – Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Kirk Franklin, Jordan Feliz, Crowder, Jeremy Camp, Tye Tribbett.

For more information, stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for updates on entertainment and events.

* Add-on Theme Park Ticket Option is good for use any one day September 8-30, 2017 at any one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks
**2-Night Concert plus 1-day add-on Theme Park Advanced ticket will also include (1) admission to your choice of Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon for one use September 8-30, 2017. Individuals must purchase by August 8, 2017 to receive water park ticket. Groups must purchase by August 25, 2017 to receive water park ticket.

Disney Cruise Line

 May 18, 2017

First Look at New Spaces and Experiences Aboard the Disney Fantasy

Cara Allenby , Public Relations Manager, Disney Cruise Line

It feels like yesterday I was on the inaugural Disney Fantasy cruise in amazement of all the stylish and unique spaces, and now, just five years later, I’m onboard checking out the incredible enhancements that added even more heart (and a droid!) to my favorite ship.

Yesterday, the Disney Fantasy set sail on her first cruise after a sprinkling of pixie dust that brought new fun for kids, adults and families. Each new area is marked by meticulous detail and unmistakable Disney touches. You’ll have to see it all in person to truly appreciate the sophisticated design elements, but for now, enjoy your first look at some of the ways we added even more magic to one of the most magical ships at sea …

First Look at New Spaces and Experiences Aboard the Disney Fantasy

Star Wars: Command Post
Now kids can train with heroes of the Star Wars saga and help with missions against the First Order. Throughout their journey, they’ll meet members of the Resistance and learn to channel the Force.

First Look at New Spaces and Experiences Aboard the Disney Fantasy

Sweet on You
Themed after the iconic Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, this whimsical ice cream shop features hand-crafted gelato and ice-cream, specialty sundaes, homemade chocolates, truffles and lots and lots of candy.

First Look at New Spaces and Experiences Aboard the Disney Fantasy

Tiffany & Co.
This premier jewelry store is home to timeless collections of jewelry and luxury accessories, including the Tiffany T collection and other glamorous pieces featuring renowned Tiffany & Co. diamonds.

I have already taken my photo with BB-8, and now I’m off to explore Marvel Super Hero Academy (thank goodness for Open House in the kids club). Next up, I’ll show you this new innovative space for children and how they can discover heroic qualities from mighty Super Heroes.

Walt Disney World Resort

Fri, May 19, 2017

Breakfast Menu for Satu’li Canteen at Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Pam Brandonby , Food Writer, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort

Excitement over the debut of Pandora — The World of Avatar means that guests will be arriving early each morning when the new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens.

Breakfast Menu for Satu’li Canteen

Make a stop at fast-casual Satu’li Canteen, where a diverse menu will offer plenty of choices. On the savory side, there’s a hearty Vegetable Goat Cheese Frittata with Wood-Fired, Herb-Crusted Beef and Chimichurri; as well as Pork Shoulder Potato Hash with Chorizo Sausage and Natural Jus, or a Steamed Pod (bao bun) with Scrambled Egg, Bacon, Spinach and Pickled Vegetables.

If you prefer a sweet beginning to the day, try the Tropical Pandora Forest Fruits with Yogurt Muesli and Vanilla Maple Syrup; Steel-Cut Oats with Whiskey Raisins, Marcona Almonds, Goji Berry, or Cinnamon Swirl French Toast with Blueberry Cheesecake Dollop and Passion Fruit Anglaise.

For ages 9 and younger, there’s three tasty meals: Cinnamon Swirl French Toast with Blueberry Cheesecake Dollop and Passion Fruit Anglaise; a Scrambled Egg Steamed Pod (bao bun), and cereal and milk.

See you at Pandora – The World of Avatar soon!

Disneyland Resort

Friday, May 19, 2017

Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America Attractions Return to Disneyland Park this Summer with New Magic

Erin Gloverby , Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

When the iconic Disneyland Railroad and the Rivers of America attractions return to Disneyland park this summer, guests will discover new magic aboard these classic experiences. As we first shared last year, and seen in the artist’s rendering below (courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering), the gorgeous new north bank of the Rivers of America will feature a beautiful new waterfront and an elevated trestle over which the iconic Disneyland Railroad will travel.

The Rivers of America will continue to celebrate the Mississippi, Columbia, Missouri and Rio Grande rivers, enhanced now with a new Columbia Gorge section, highlighted by thundering waterfalls – signaling the return of large waterfalls to the rivers. Longtime Disneyland park fans will remember Big Thunder River Waterfall and Twin Sisters Waterfall; five spectacular new waterfalls along the Rivers of America harken back to these favorites – all on display for guests aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes.

Guests will also experience these features from aboard the Disneyland Railroad, which will travel across the rocks on a trestle that will even extend onto the river, providing a breathtaking view of the new waterfalls. And, for the first time ever, the Disneyland Railroad will be making a left-hand turn as it circles the park.

The Indian Village Found Along the Rivers of America

In addition to the new waterfalls, Disneyland park fans will spot some familiar faces along the Rivers of America as well as throwbacks to Frontierland’s past. The Indian Village, now in a new location, will include a more prominently featured Shaman, seen telling the story of how the hummingbird taught the Indian chief to make a flute.

We’ll have more to share on these returning attractions soon – including opening dates – so keep an eye on Disney Parks Blog.

Updated News from Around Our World and Land!

disneynews

 

Walt Disney World Resort

Thu, May 4, 2017

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora – The World of Avatar

Steven Millerby , Merchandise Communications Manager

Guests visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar will fly on the back of a mountain banshee at one of its major attractions, Avatar Flight of Passage. Soaring on the back of one of these powerful winged creatures represents an important rite of passage for the Na’vi. Today, I’m thrilled to announce a new way for guests to connect with these animals at The Rookery inside Windtraders, the primary merchandise location on Pandora. Cody Hampton with Disney Parks Merchandise gave me a first look at these new interactive creatures, and explained how they continue the tradition of immersive storytelling found at Disney Parks.

Banshee’s at Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

“We love bringing to life stories from our attractions through creative and innovative product designs,” explained Cody. “Banshees are an important animal on Pandora, both as an animal in the ecosystem and as a cultural symbol to the Na’vi. Disney’s Animal Kingdom will also will feature a Na’Vi River Journey ride, where guests get a chance to cruise through a Pandora jungle. They are also part of one of the signature attractions, so it felt natural to feature them as a must-have souvenir from a visit to Pandora. These banshees are fun, interactive, and continue the excitement guests will feel when experiencing [Avatar Flight of Passage].”

Banshee’s at Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

At the Rookery, a Naturalist from Alpha Centauri Expeditions will assist a guest with identifying a favorite banshee from among 10 unique styles. Each interactive banshee includes three ranges of motion – mouth, head, and wings – that are controlled by hand. Guests will also hear them make authentic banshee sounds provided by Disney’s partners at Lightstorm Entertainment.

“We worked closely with [Lightstorm Entertainment] when designing the banshees,” continued Cody. “Their colors were inspired by banshees seen in the ‘Avatar’ motion picture. Their sounds make them feel as though they flew directly into Windtraders from the attraction. Guests will determine each banshee’s personality through a combination of hand movements and sounds.”

Banshee’s at Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Guests can either display a banshee on their shoulder or cradle them in their arms. We will also offer a banshee perch that is sold separately.

Cody shared one final Pandora detail that ties back to the core ideas of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

“The mountain banshee has come to symbolize our continued commitment to the environment,” said Cody. “Before guests depart Windtraders, Naturalists will encourage them to make a pledge to respect and protect the natural world on Pandora and back home on Earth.”

When you see other banshee keepers on Pandora, or back at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, please greet them with “Oel Ngati Kameie” (“I See You”), the traditional Na’vi phrase of greeting and respect.

Special Events

Tue, May 2, 2017

22nd Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Stretches to 75 Days – With Record 35 Marketplaces

Pam Brandonby , Food Writer, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort

There are many special numbers to celebrate as we announce the 22nd annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, opening Aug. 31 and running through Nov. 13 – that’s 75 days to sip, savor and enjoy one of America’s top food festivals (13 more than last year).

And to celebrate the park’s opening 35 years ago in 1982, there will be a record number of Marketplaces – 35 in all – stretching around World Showcase and into Future World.

22nd Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Stretches to 75 Days – With Record 35 Marketplaces

While the Marketplaces play a starring role, we recommend planning ahead so you don’t miss your favorite celebrity chefs, hands-on culinary workshops and demonstrations at the Festival Center, Party for the Senses, or your favorite artists at one of the nightly Eat to the Beat concerts. Stay tuned. We’ll let you know when schedules are in place and bookings for specialty festival events open this summer.

Chefs are busy at work on new dishes for the Marketplaces, paired with wines, beers and ciders. We got a taste of the new crispy chicken with griddled cornbread and red-eye gravy for the Farm Fresh Marketplace and the spicy Korma Chicken with cucumber-tomato salad, almonds, cashews and warm naan bread from the India Marketplace– just two of the intriguing and delectable new tastes that will be in the 2017 cookbook. Another favorite was the charcuterie in a cone from the Spain Marketplace, perfect for strolling and tasting. For a favorite sweet, it’s back to India with the pistachio cardamom cake with a dollop of chocolate coconut mousse. And these are just a sampling of dozens of new tastes.

This year there are more family favorites, too, with the Ratatouille-inspired scavenger hunt back for another year as well as culinary demos and dishes geared toward kids’ palates.

22nd Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Stretches to 75 Days – With Record 35 Marketplaces

Along with Party for the Senses, the festival includes specialty dining and pairing events at World Showcase restaurants and events at the resort hotels such as Brunch with a Twist at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Keep an eye out for details this summer at epcotfoodfestival.com.

Disneyland Resort

Wed, May 3, 2017

New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience to Debut in Disneyland Park

Rachel Bsheroby , Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator

There’s a new way to take in the Tomorrowland skyline at Disneyland park, from a unique point of view! To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Space Mountain at Disneyland Resort, a new lounge experience will debut in Tomorrowland on May 26.

New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience to Debut in Disneyland Park

The new Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience features retro décor and desserts—both sweet and savory, as well as both hot and cold non-alcoholic beverages. The lounge area will be open to guests from 8-10 p.m. If a fireworks spectacular is scheduled, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse right from your seat.

New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience to Debut in Disneyland Park

Your interstellar snack box will include:

  • Mickey Cloud Cake: Cream-filled sponge cake
  • Chocolate Eclipse: Cream-filled chocolate cake drenched in chocolate
  • Coconut Comet: Coconut-strawberry iced sponge cake filled with cream
  • Planetary Pie: Mini cherry-filled pie
  • Moon Rocks: Boursin herbed cheese, cream cheese, shredded cheddar and jack cheese, chives, pimentos, bacon

Cost is $45 for ages 3 and older, tax included. Reservations are now open, and can be booked by visiting Disneyland.com/dining or by calling 714-781-DINE.

Special Events

Fri, May 5, 2017

Race Into Disney Parks for a Sneak Peek of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3”

Shawn Slaterby , Senior Communications Manager, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment

In the coming weeks, Guests visiting Disney Parks will be able to preview scenes from Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3” in sneak peeks planned for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

At Disney California Adventure park, the preview of “Cars 3” will be presented in 3D with special in-theater effects at the Bug’s Life Theater, starting May 12. Beginning May 26, Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get to see this advance look at a segment from the film as part of the One Man’s Dream attraction, where artwork and maquettes from the production will also be on display.

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3” is directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“), produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short) and co-produced by Andrea Warren (“LAVA” short). Here’s a look at the latest trailer for the film:

Plan to catch our sneak peek from the film starting May 12 at Disney California Adventure Park and May 26 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and you can get up to speed with all of “Cars 3” when the film cruises into theaters in 3D on June 16.

 

 

Updated News from Around Our Land and World!

Walt Disney World Resort

Mon, April 17, 2017

Frozen Summer Games Coming to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park Starting May 26

Allison Montgomeryby , Editorial Content Coordinator, Walt Disney World Resort

Today I’m very excited to share that the “Frozen” Summer Games will be returning to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park starting May 26, with even more snowy, summery fun!

And for the first time in forever, you will be able to meet and take photos with Kristoff and Olaf at Blizzard Beach! Either Kristoff or Olaf will be at a designated character greeting location at the park, where you can snap photos of each “Frozen” star and let them know which team you chose to play for.

Following the success of the inaugural “Frozen” Summer Games last year, guests visiting Blizzard Beach can once again join Team Kristoff or Team Olaf to participate in a variety of activities, from Ice Pail Relays and a Snowball Toss to Ski Pole Limbo and Slide Races. It’s going to be a blast!

With crafts, games and a DJ spinning some up-tempo tunes throughout the day, the “Frozen” Summer Games are sure to be a major highlight of your day at Blizzard Beach this summer.

Let us know in the comments if you’ll be playing for Team Kristoff or Team Olaf this summer!

Walt Disney World Resort

Tue, April 18, 2017

New Star Tours Adventure Revealed at Star Wars Celebration

George Savvasby , Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

During Star Wars Celebration in Orlando last week, Star Wars fans got their first look at the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fans attending a special panel discussion entitled Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making also learned that a new destination will be coming to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios later this year featuring some of the iconic actions and locations showcased in the trailer!

New Star Tours Adventure - Star Wars: The Last Jedi

This new Star Tours adventure, first announced by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek last fall, will take guests to the planet of Crait in the middle of an epic battle … and it’s like nothing that frequent Starspeeder travelers have ever seen!

View the full trailer below, and be sure to check back for updates on all-things Star Wars at Disney Parks.

Disneyland Resort

Thu, April 20, 2017

Classic Space Mountain Returns to Disneyland Park This Summer

Erin Gloverby , Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Get ready to initiate power transfer in 3…2…1… when the classic Space Mountain returns to Disneyland park June 1! Just days after we mark the 40th anniversary of this Tomorrowland favorite, space travelers will blast off once again for their intergalactic adventure.

A variation of a concept Walt Disney developed in the 1960s, Space Mountain first opened at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975, and construction on Space Mountain at Disneyland park began soon after. The attraction went on to become a guest favorite, seeing special themed versions such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Hyperspace Mountain.

You are clear for launch starting June 1 with the return of Space Mountain at Disneyland park!

Disneyland ResortMore Disneyland Resort Stories

Wed, April 19, 2017

Tune in on May 7th for a Look at the Magic Behind Happily Ever After with the New Special – ‘Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings’

Korri McFannby , Brand Steward, Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons

You are cordially invited to take a behind-the-scenes look at how a dream wedding becomes a reality. Tune in on Sunday, May 7th at 8/7c on Freeform to see the premiere of the brand new television special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.” With the help of hosts, Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell from ABC’s The Bachelor, we’ll follow one secret proposal and three couples on their way down the aisle.

Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons helps celebrate magical moments and offers something for everyone, from engagements and honeymoons to vow renewals and of course, weddings. For over 25 years, we have been making dreams come true at the Disney Parks and destinations around the globe!

Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.”

Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.” Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.”

Watch ‘Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings’ – the new television special on Freeform May 7th at 8/7c

Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.”

Ever wonder what goes into a wedding with Disney? Check out the 90 minute special all about Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings airing Sunday, May 7th on Freeform at 8/7c! You will see all the magic that goes into a wedding and a proposal as we follow four couples on their big days.

Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.” Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.” Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.”

Hosted by Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell from ABC’s The Bachelor, this special will take you to three iconic Disney Destinations to showcase just some of the amazing offerings from Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons.

Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.”

From a small island ceremony to an all-out celebration in front of a castle, there is something for everyone. Taylor and Tyler will say their “I Do’s” in the American Adventure Rotunda in Epcot surrounded by beautiful holiday décor. Carolina and Isaiah exchange vows on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas! Greg proposes to Melanie in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and finally, Eric and Ruby tie the knot right in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle in the park that started it all – Disneyland park.

Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.” Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.”
Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.” Tune in on May 7th for a look at the magic behind happily ever after with the new special – “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.”

Updated News from Around the World and Land!

Disney-News

Walt Disney World Resort

Fri, April 14, 2017

‘Happily Ever After’ To Feature The Most Advanced Projection Mapping Tech Yet

Jennifer Fickley-Bakerby , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Happily Ever After,” the new nighttime fireworks spectacular, is set to debut at Magic Kingdom Park on May 12. The show will take guests on an emotional journey as favorite Disney characters set out to pursue their dreams, encounter obstacles (and villains!) to ultimately prevail and find their “happily ever afters.” The show also encourages guests to pursue their own dreams and never give up.

While the “story” of the show is the most important part of “Happily Ever After,” how that story is told and choosing the right tools to tell it are essential in creating an unforgettable guest offering.

One tool in particular that Disney Parks Live Entertainment is excited to employ in “Happily Ever After” is the latest in projection mapping technology. The team first used projection mapping in 2010 with the launch of “The Magic, The Memories & You,” a nighttime show that combined guest-submitted photos with different colorful layouts that were projected onto Cinderella Castle. After more advancements were made in the field of projection mapping, a new show, “Celebrate the Magic,” debuted in 2012. Because of its successful use at the Walt Disney World Resort, the use of projection mapping technology then expanded to be used as an entertainment tool at Disney Parks around the world.

Today, you can find projections enhancing entertainment must-see shows like “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” and the seasonal “Jingle Bell: Jingle BAM!” show.

According to Show Director James Silson, projections are one of many invaluable storytelling tools used in “Happily Ever After,” in addition to new hand-drawn animation, an original score and the latest in fireworks, lasers and pyrotechnics.

“With projection mapping technology, you can create an immersive environment for guests, taking them inside the films of Disney,” he said. “It enables us to flood the palate and give our guests an opportunity to experience many of our characters’ worlds in the same show.”

Those characters and film settings will run the gamut from classic Disney films, to more recent ones, like “Moana,” “Zootopia” and “Big Hero 6.”

To create the most technologically advanced projections for Cinderella Castle, Disney Parks Live Entertainment partnered with experts in the field to bring the show to life.

According to Art Director Ryan Kravetz, working with Cinderella Castle as a canvas for these projections has been a dream-come-true project.

“It’s not paper, it’s not a cell. The physical structure of this castle as our starting point is a really powerful medium to be using.”

For a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of “Happily Ever After” projection mapping, check out the video above.

Disneyland Resort

Life-long Star Wars Fan Develops Unique Merchandise Products Coming to Disney Parks This Month

Steven Millerby , Merchandise Communications Manager

We recently announced how guests can support the U.S. Fund for UNICEF on behalf of Star Wars: Force for Change starting this April at Disney Parks. Today, I’m delighted to share additional details about other new Star Wars products launching this month at both Star Wars Celebration 2017 and at select locations in Disney Parks. I caught up with merchandise product developer Cody Hampton who discussed his role at Disney Parks Merchandise, and offered a sneak preview of new items coming soon to this galaxy.

Life-long Star Wars Fan Develops Unique Merchandise Products Coming to Disney Parks This Month

“I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was two-years old,” explained Cody. “I feel like I have a dream role at Disney as I collaborate with the Lucasfilm team to create unique merchandise and immersive experiences you can only find at Disney Parks.”

Life-long Star Wars Fan Develops Unique Merchandise Products Coming to Disney Parks This Month

Cody has been involved with developing Star Wars products found at Disney Parks for years. Most notably, he helped launch Star Wars Droid Factory, a build-your-own action figure experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2012.

This month, Cody is part of a team rolling out a limited release, boxed set with four Astromech droid action figures inspired by characters from the animated series, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”

Additionally, three limited release action figures are making their debut including C1-10P “Chopper” from Disney XD’s animated series “Star Wars Rebels;” a two-pack featuring R2-D2 and C-3PO celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope; and a red Protocol droid, R-3D0, that was briefly seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“This is the first time we’ve introduced Protocol droids to the Star Wars Droid Factory collection,” continued Cody. “All of these pre-packaged figures have interchangeable parts that can be mixed and matched with action figures created at the Droid Factory.”

Life-long Star Wars Fan Develops Unique Merchandise Products Coming to Disney Parks This Month Life-long Star Wars Fan Develops Unique Merchandise Products Coming to Disney Parks This Month

Other products include three emitters for the popular Star Wars Build-Your-Own Lightsaber experience at Disney Parks. These items were inspired by lightsabers seen in Star Wars Rebels.

Finally, look for a plush Ewok scout named Paploo as seen in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. This is the 12th character from the limited release Ewok plush collection, and was created especially for Star Wars Celebration 2017.

These products will debut in Booth 3463 at Star Wars Celebration, a Star Wars fan event coming to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from April 13-16, 2017. Please note select single day tickets are still available for this event.

On April 17, guests may find action figures and the Build-Your-Own Lightsaber parts in select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

Walt Disney World Resort

Tue, April 11, 2017

Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe, Kirk Franklin to Play 35th Disney Night of Joy at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Sept. 8, 9

Charles Stovallby , Public Relations Manager

The hits just keep on coming – as they say – with this year’s Disney Night of Joy event featuring 15 of the greatest performers in Contemporary Christian music – Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9.

With Country Christian Music legends like MercyMe, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman and Kirk Franklin joining a new generation of Christian hit makers like Danny Gokey, Jordan Feliz and Rend Collective, the complex will be filled with two nights of awe-inspiring music.

Word has it that Amy and Steven might sing a couple of songs together!

We are also thrilled to welcome Night of Joy favorite, Matthew West as our host for the two-night event this year. Matthew will be running around the complex, introducing artists and just generally keeping things hopping.

This year’s event – our 35th actually – will feature one of the greatest concert lineups in Contemporary Christian music history. (Entertainment subject to change.)

  • Friday, Sept. 8 – MercyMe, TobyMac, Natalie Grant, Danny Gokey, Matt Maher, Colton Dixon, Rend Collective, Zach Williams.
  • Saturday, Sept. 9 – Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Kirk Franklin, Jordan Feliz, Crowder, Jeremy Camp, Tye Tribbett.

Tickets will go on sale in early June.

Walt Disney World Resort

Mon, April 17, 2017

Frozen Summer Games Coming to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park Starting May 26

Allison Montgomeryby , Editorial Content Coordinator, Walt Disney World Resort

Today I’m very excited to share that the “Frozen” Summer Games will be returning to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park starting May 26, with even more snowy, summery fun!

And for the first time in forever, you will be able to meet and take photos with Kristoff and Olaf at Blizzard Beach! Either Kristoff or Olaf will be at a designated character greeting location at the park, where you can snap photos of each “Frozen” star and let them know which team you chose to play for.

Following the success of the inaugural “Frozen” Summer Games last year, guests visiting Blizzard Beach can once again join Team Kristoff or Team Olaf to participate in a variety of activities, from Ice Pail Relays and a Snowball Toss to Ski Pole Limbo and Slide Races. It’s going to be a blast!

With crafts, games and a DJ spinning some up-tempo tunes throughout the day, the “Frozen” Summer Games are sure to be a major highlight of your day at Blizzard Beach this summer.

Let us know in the comments if you’ll be playing for Team Kristoff or Team Olaf this summer!

Star Wars at Disney Parks

Tue, April 18, 2017

New Star Tours Adventure Revealed at Star Wars Celebration

George Savvasby , Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

During Star Wars Celebration in Orlando last week, Star Wars fans got their first look at the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fans attending a special panel discussion entitled Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making also learned that a new destination will be coming to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios later this year featuring some of the iconic actions and locations showcased in the trailer!

New Star Tours Adventure - Star Wars: The Last Jedi

This new Star Tours adventure, first announced by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek last fall, will take guests to the planet of Crait in the middle of an epic battle … and it’s like nothing that frequent Starspeeder travelers have ever seen!

View the full trailer below, and be sure to check back for updates on all-things Star Wars at Disney Parks.

 

Updated News from Around the World!

Halloween Fun Awaits at an After-Dark
Special Event in Magic Kingdom Park!

IMPORTANT PARTY DATES & DETAILS

This week, we shared information many Disney Parks Blog readers look forward to seeing every year – dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

For Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, 32 spook-tacular dates include:

  • August 25, 29
  • September 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29
  • October 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31
  • November 1
Glowing Mickey Mouse-themed pumpkin lanterns line the streets outside Cinderella Castle

When to Attend, What to Wear and More
Learn all about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party—from important dates to our official costume rules.Read More
Three teen Guests stand shoulder to shoulder dressed in costumes ranging from a princess, a Ghost Host from the Haunted Mansion and Alice in Wonderland

Attractions Open During the Event
Discover dozens of iconic attractions you’re welcome to enjoy in each magical land across the park!Read More

VILLAINOUS ENTERTAINMENT

Disney Villains perform the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular
Chills, thrills and villains await during a wickedly fun celebration hosted by the Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s Hocus Pocus.
Fireworks bursting over Main Street U.S.A. and Sleeping Beauty Castle

Themed Fireworks Show
Sing along with some of the most infamous Disney bad guys and girls in history as this fall spectacular lights up the sky!
Ghostly performers for Mickey's

Boo-to-You Halloween Parade
Masquerade with costumed Characters—including stars from the Haunted Mansion—for a night of family-friendly frights.
The undead barbershop quartet known as the Cadaver Dans performing for Guests at Magic Kingdom park

The Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet
Find this Dapper Dans-style “band” in Frontierland! They’ll have you howling in laughter to their “dead pan” humor.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Santa Mickey holding hands with a family dressed for the season as lights shine on Cinderella Castle

Join Mickey at this festive winter celebration for live entertainment, spectacular fireworks and an oh-so-jolly holiday parade.

For Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas, 21 holiday-tastic dates include:

  • November 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26, 28
  • December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22

Walt Disney World ResortMore Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Tue, April 4, 2017

Discovering the Details of D-Living in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

Steven Millerby , Merchandise Communications Manager

With Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” now in theaters, I recently returned to D-Living in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. In January, this dynamic location was magically transformed into a charming boutique inspired by the opulent castle from the new live-action film. The shop is filled with many little details to discover thanks to dedicated Cast Members from Merchandise Presentation and Creative Services with Disney Parks Merchandise. I recently spoke with team members about their work on this enchanting destination in Town Center.

Discovering the Details of D-Living in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World

“We began planning the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ theme shortly after [D-Living] opened last November,” explained Melissa Calderon, who is one of eight Cast Members supporting Merchandise Presentation in the Disney Springs area. “We had a handful of days to physically transform the location, so collaboration was critical. Everyone on my team helped with fabrication including designing, building, and painting all the props guests see. One of the best parts of my role is getting to work on projects like this with such creative people.”

Discovering the Details of D-Living in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World

Guests visiting D-Living will immediately recognize one of Melissa’s beautiful contributions to the shop – a paper flower encased in a glass dome.

“My mother used to make paper flowers,” said Melissa. “I had never tried making a paper rose. I used tea-stained, printed paper that looked like pages from a book. I love reading but couldn’t bring myself to use pages from an actual book [laughs]. While the rose only took me a couple of hours to create, the hand painted ribbons with French phrases for one display wall seemed to take forever.”

Discovering the Details of D-Living in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World

Before the Merchandise Presentation team installed the props, Paul Seus, a Creative Services Cast Member, had already spent a month designing graphics for the location, including wallpaper that looks like a wall of books.

“In total, there are about 2,000 books guests see in the library-themed section, “said Paul. “I hid a few references to other Disney animated classics on some book spines. On the column capitals, guests may also find hidden roses which were inspired by the Beast’s enchanted flower from the film.”

For Melissa, the positive response from guests about her team’s work in D-Living is a highlight.

“I’ve loved seeing photos of the shop and reading comments from our guests about their visits on social media and the Disney Parks Blog. It’s a rewarding feeling knowing I’ve helped make a guest’s experience even more magical.”

Walt Disney World ResortMore Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Wed, April 5, 2017

The Polite Pig to Open April 10 at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

Pam Brandonby , Food Writer, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort

Finishing touches are being made for the April 10 opening of The Polite Pig in Town Center at Disney Springs, the newest concept for award-winning Orlando Chefs James and Julie Petrakis. The husband-wife team, also owners of The Ravenous Pig and Swine & Sons in Winter Park and Cask & Larder at Orlando International Airport, are opening this newest concept with James Petrakis’ brother Brian.

The Polite Pig will feature “modern barbecue” in an open kitchen, with Southern sides like a tomato and watermelon salad, mac and cheese and smoked corn with lime butter. (Sauce fans, there’s a bar with seven different ways to top your ‘cue, from Layla’s Sweet to Fresno Hot Sauce.) Add a solid selection of craft beers and cocktails, and a bourbon bar with more than 50 selections, from small batch bourbons to a Pappy Van Winkle 23-Year Family Reserve.
We talked with Julie, who met James, by the way, while studying at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Both are Central Florida natives.

Why did you decide to open at restaurant at Disney Springs?
Disney approached us with the idea of opening a fast-casual outpost that would represent the atmosphere and quality of our Winter Park location, The Ravenous Pig. We shared their enthusiasm for bringing a true local restaurant to Disney Springs.

Is the menu similar to The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, your other restaurants in Central Florida?
I would say that the menu is similar in its approach to using quality, seasonal ingredients, with our signature touch. We’ll have Cask & Larder Brewery beers, cocktails on tap and also an extensive Bourbon Bar. And this restaurant will focus a bit more on wood-smoked and grilled items.

Anything you’ll offer at The Polite Pig that will be a signature, or exclusive to that restaurant?
Most of the menu will be exclusive to The Polite Pig: modern barbecue with The Ravenous Pig twist. Like the Southern Pig Sandwich with pulled pork off the smoker, apple slaw, mustard sauce and Duke’s mayo; peel-and-eat shrimp with bourbon-cocktail sauce, and crispy Brussels sprouts with whiskey caramel.

Who will be the chef daily in The Polite Pig kitchen?
We have two of our Ravenous Pig/Cask & Larder veterans at the helm, Jared Thate and Allie Weldon, along with Chef James Petrakis’ guidance and inspiration.

Tell us about the craft beer program.
We will feature four of our beloved Cask & Larder Brewery brews on tap, as well as a couple other Florida/domestic craft beers.

Anything special about The Polite Pig cocktails?
We will feature five house cocktails on tap, including some of our crowd favorites from The Ravenous Pig, such as the Gin and Tonic and Old-Fashioned.

How many seats and describe the décor.
We’ll have 190 seats, and the décor pays homage to the beloved swine of The Polite Pig, as well as antiquity. Whimsical pigs on various adventures can be seen throughout the space, and rustic touches are used for custom featured art pieces. Large faded graphics also adorn the main wall of the space adding to the feel of the long-time family run business.

What’s your favorite dish on The Polite Pig menu?
My favorite appetizer is the Hop Salt Pretzel with beer cheese fondue and IPA mustard. Favorite sandwich: the Salmon BLT with bacon jam, marinated tomato, romaine and aioli. I love that with a side of charred broccoli tossed with herb buttermilk dressing and house granola.

What do you think is the secret to good food?
Using quality seasonal ingredients and taking great care of it by enhancing with smoke/cooking, proper seasoning and passion!

Disneyland ResortMore Disneyland Resort Stories

Thu, April 6, 2017

Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Fisher, Stan Lee, and More Disney Legends Announced for D23 Expo 2017

Jeffrey Epsteinby , Director, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

Today we are thrilled to announce the 2017 Disney Legends. Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Stan Lee are among the honorees who will be inducted at the ceremony, Friday, July 14 at D23 Expo, hosted by Bob Iger. Walt Disney Imagineer Wayne Jackson, who developed attractions for Disney Parks around the world, will also be inducted, as well as animators Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi and Manuel Gonzales; director Garry Marshall; and The Lion King on Broadway director Julie Taymor.

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of Disney Legends, which honors those who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy. Fred MacMurray was the first Legend, inducted in 1987.

D23 Expo will take place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, across the street from Disneyland Resort. Tickets and more information are available now at D23expo.com.

Disneyland ResortMore Disneyland Resort Stories

Fri, April 7, 2017

Meet the Heroes of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Coming to Disney California Adventure Park May 27

Erin Gloverby , Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

The Guardians of the Galaxy are coming to Disney California Adventure park! Opening May 27, the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! blasts you straight into their story for the first time ever as you help Rocket bust his pals out of the Collector’s Fortress.

But wait … “Who is Rocket?” you may ask. If you have not seen the blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy” film, animated series, read their comics or if you just need a refresher, we’ve got you covered!

Meet the Guardians of the Galaxy

A group of cosmic adventurers led by Star-Lord, the Guardians of the Galaxy protect the universe from threats all across space. The team also includes Drax, Gamora, Groot and Rocket. Learn more in this video!

Meet Rocket

An expert marksman with a penchant for large weaponry, Rocket is the last of his kind. He teams up with Star-Lord and other adventurers to form the Guardians of the Galaxy, and together they travel the galaxy and defend it from those who wish it harm. Learn more about this fighting ball of of fur and fangs in this video!

Encounter the Guardians of the Galaxy at Disney California Adventure Park

Come face-to-face with the Guardians of the Galaxy this summer, at Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Deep inside his fortress-like collection, the mysterious Taneleer Tivan (aka The Collector) has the Guardians of the Galaxy on display as his newest acquisitions. Unbeknownst to their captor, Rocket has escaped and is enlisting the Collector’s VIP guests for help. Guests board a gantry lift, which launches them into a chaotic and hilarious adventure as they join Rocket in an attempt to break his fellow Guardians out of captivity.

After breaking out of the Collector’s Fortress, you may run into Star-Lord and Gamora on their way to escape aboard the Milano, with Star-Lord stopping to fire up his old-school boom box and get a dance party started. And for the first time, citizens of Earth will have the chance to meet Groot!

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog to learn more about the Guardians of the Galaxy, and don’t miss Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and Summer of Heroes, beginning May 27 at Disney California Adventure park!

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