The weekend blossoms Saturday evening as guests gather at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for a delicious beachside cookout. Enjoy a savory salad before diving into a grilled beef burger from the Evo Grill (veggie burgers too!) or chicken breast with Floridian citrus barbeque sauce glaze, served with all the fixings. Make sure to leave room for mouth-watering side dishes like creamy Southern-style cole slaw, slow-cooked vegetarian baked beans and Baked Mac ‘n’ Fine Cheeses. And don’t forget dessert! (We know we won’t!) Choose between Mickey Strawberry Shortcake or Hershey’s Chocolate S’mores Bread Pudding with Vanilla Crème Anglaise Sauce. Or enjoy both! During dinner, some of Disney’s most beloved characters will also hit the sand to visit with you.
Then sit back and watch a private viewing of the delightful Electrical Water Pageant as it sails by on the Seven Seas Lagoon. The Pageant — Disney’s longest-running parade, having launched in 1971 — boasts a bevy of colorful characters on barges illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights. Following the show, guests will be treated to an exclusive presentation about the creation of Walt Disney World’s fireworks spectaculars. And the night wouldn’t be complete without a private lakeside viewing of the Magic Kingdom’s beloved fireworks spectacular Wishes.
Sunday morning meet at 9 a.m. in the Grand Harbor Ballroom of Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts for a morning of special presentations, created just for D23 Members and their guests. After enjoying breakfast from the continental buffet including “A Spoonful of Sugar” breakfast scones with clotted cream and fresh jams and warm cinnamon loaf laced with fondant, “Mad Hatter” scrambled eggs (with assorted “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum toppings”!), Snow (Egg) White Vegetable Frittata, Tink’s Yogurt Parfaits and classic Mickey Waffles fresh fruit toppings and pecans and whipped cream, grab a seat as Epcot Vice President Dan Cockrell will kick off the morning, giving insider insight into the new additions currently being built at Epcot — a new authentic Neapolitan pizzeria at Italy’s pavilion and expanded outdoor for Cantina de San Angel at the Mexico pavilion. Michael Jenner, WDW Park Events Content Development Operations Manager, will give an exclusive sneak peek at what’s to come at this fall’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which will be celebrating its 15th year of cooking up delicious dishes for Disney guests! Eric Darden, Horticulture Manager of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, will present “The History and Behind the Scenes Secrets of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.” Then, Daniel Wasilick of Twinings Tea — one of the original partners at Epcot — will serve up something special just for guests, including a look at their refreshing teas that can only be found at Epcot. And of course, there will be some terrific surprises and gifts!
After a morning of enriching panels and presentations inside, it’s time to hit Epcot to see the International Flower & Garden Festival up close and personal. Guests will have several hours during the day to enjoy the park at their own pace.
That evening, get ready for some Flower Power as you head to the American Gardens Theatre to do the twist with Chubby Checker! D23 Members and their guests will enjoy reserved VIP seating for the concert. And after burning off some calories twisting the night away, it’s time for dessert! A selection of savory sweets — including some of Walt’s personal favorites — will be awaiting guests at Italy Isola, where everyone will also be able to enjoy private viewing of the Epcot signature spectacle, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.
Of course, no D23 event would be complete without some extra magic! We look forward to making once-in-a-lifetime memories over these two days of festivities.