Disney Cruise Line Announces Excursions for New York City, Walt Disney World

Captain Mickey in New York CityFor those guests planning on making the trek to New York City to board the Disney Magic as she begins to set sail on May 25, 2012, Disney Cruise Line has made available details for a few special excursions in the city, available only on debarkation day.

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WDW Refurb Update: House of Innoventions Closed til Mid-2012; Studio Backlot Tour

House of Innoventions at Epcot’s Innoventions East is now closed, presumably due to the recent announcement that Green Builder Media will be transitioning it into what will be known as the ‘VISION House.’ No specific date has been provided for the re-opening other than an expected time frame of May, 2012.

The Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now slated to close on February 13, 2012 and re-open on March 11.

There is also a minor quiet pool refurb scheduled at the Beach Club Villas on December 14 and 15.

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WDW Refurb Update: Kali River Rapids to Close in January

The official Walt Disney World website is now reporting a temporary closure for Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom beginning January 23, 2012 and re-opening on February 10.

In addition, we have learned of additional counter service and dining location closures which include the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor in the Magic Kingdom (closed January 9 through February 17) and an extension of Tutto Italia Ristorante in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. The restaurant is now scheduled to close a day earlier and re-open a month later.

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Fantasia Takes Center Stage at 2012 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

A little gardening magic will go a long way when an eight-foot-tall floral Sorcerer Mickey topiary holds court at the entrance to the 19th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 7 – May 20, 2012 at Walt Disney World Resort. Standing atop a 12-foot-tall floral mountain cliff and towering above the park’s front-entrance topiary bed, the commanding Sorcerer Mickey will direct a riot of color in the manicured shapes of dancing broomsticks, buckets, mushrooms, hippos, alligators and elephants straight from the classic Disney film, Fantasia.

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Epcot’s ‘Sum of All Thrills’ Online Experience Enhanced to Offer Fuller Experience

Students from the Chain of Lakes Middle School in Orlando, Fla., custom-design their own ride on the new Sum of All Thrills at Innoventions at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009 (AP Photo/Raytheon Company, Phelan M. Ebenhack, HO)You’ll have to build/buy/program your own 360 degree simulator, but if you can manage without it, Raytheon has recently expanded the experience available online. Whereas previously you could relive your experience from the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World via a card received from the Innoventions Exhibit, you now have the opportunity to build the experience from scratch, just like at the park.

The new ‘Sum of all Thrills’ online component offers an on-screen design experience similar to the exhibit at Epcot’s Innoventions. Using mathematical and engineering fundamentals, students can construct exciting virtual roller-coasters, pilot jet-fighter planes, or race bobsleds that dip, dive and swerve through loops, turns and rolls.

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Recipe: ‘Pumpkin Mousse Trifle’ from Epcot’s 2011 Food and Wine Festival

Although I must confess to not having tried it myself this past year at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at the Walt Disney World Resort, it was impossible for me to ignore the constant raves regarding the pumpkin mousse available at the American Adventure pavilion.

Although I didn’t read it before it was apparently deleted, a tweet from @WaltDisneyWorld leads me to believe that the recipe for the pumpkin mousse was published online, if but for a short time. Thus I am pleased to be able to bring you the official recipe from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as relayed via a press release from Ocean Spray, one of the event’s sponsors.

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Duffy the Disney Bear Anniversary Book Release and Passholder Gift Event

On Friday, October 14, both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts will be commemorating one year of Duffy the Disney Bear being in the parks with a book release, signing and a special gift for Annual Passholders.

At Walt Disney World, Disney Design Group artist Monty Maldovan will be on-hand at Disney’s Traders in Epcot near the entrance to World Showcase to sign copies of the new book from 11 am to 1 pm.

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2011 Food and Wine Festival Offers Mobile WebApp, Gowalla Stamps

Epcot International Food and Wine QR mobile site codeAvailable throughout Walt Disney World’s Epcot during the International Food and Wine Festival, September 30 – November 13, 2011, the QR code shown here will take guests to an official mobile site for the event. Although the actual URL is pretty hefty, for the benefit of those without a QR decoder app, we are offering http://626.sk/food which will direct you to the mobile site.

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Wine and Dine Half Marathon ‘Finish Line Party’ to Feature Attractions and New Food Offerings for First Time

A capacity field of runners will experience new food and wine options as well as have exclusive access to signature Disney attractions for the first time at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, at Walt Disney World Resort, further enhancing an event affectionately known as the “ultimate runners night out.”

At the post-race Finish Line Party at Epcot that lasts until 3 a.m., several Epcot attractions will be operating, including Soarin’, Test Track and Mission: Space. Also, there will more than 20 new food and beverage kiosks, bringing the total number to nearly 90, as well as live video feeds of the race on giant monitors.

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Special Events for Epcot’s 2011 Food and Wine Festival Start Booking August 16

Dreaming of a festive autumn evening at the grand-scale Party for the Senses food and wine event at Epcot? Or maybe a more intimate artisanal Cheese Seminar with New York City fromager Max McCalman is on your radar.

Foodies who want to lock in their favorite events at the 16th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 30-Nov. 13 should save the date of Aug. 16, 2011, and set their alarms for 7 am. That’s when reservations open for all special culinary and beverage programs offered during this year’s 45-day food, wine, beer and cocktail extravaganza. These special events have proven to be extremely popular and availability is limited.

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