Disney guests can sip and savor fresh flavors from six continents during the 18th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 27-Nov. 11, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney chefs will debut the authentic tastes of Scotland at the celebrated 46-day festival known for innovative food, wine, beer, cocktails, music and entertainment. The sizzling aromas of more than 25 ethnic and specialized marketplaces including Africa, Brazil and Florida Local will tempt guests strolling the World Showcase Promenade. Celebrity chefs like Warren Brown and Jamie Deen will bring culinary cachet to special festival events and demonstrations.
Festival planners will present a delectable menu of premium programming, plus daily wine tastings and mixology seminars. Nightly Eat to the Beat concerts will keep the party rockin’, and five bands will make their festival debut this year. In Future World, the iconic Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog will return for a third year to introduce families to the cranberry’s rich agricultural heritage.
- New marketplace debuts; favorites return -Traditional flavors with a twist will pair with beers, meads and Scotch at the new Scotland Marketplace designed by Walt Disney Imagineering. Scottish officials were so impressed with the hit Disney film, “Brave,” that they contacted festival planners about participating in this year’s festival. The Brazil Marketplace returns by popular demand with an exciting new menu following a one-year hiatus. Hawai’i is back with its flavorful Kalua Pork Slider, and Terra, which debuted last year, returns with vegan favorite Trick’n Chicken Curry.
- Fan favorites rock the house at Eat to the Beat! Concerts – “We Got the Beat” with the Go-Go’s (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) and four other musical acts are set to make first appearances at Eat to the Beat nightly concerts. Also new to the festival stage: Edwin McCain (Oct. 10-11), The Manhattan Transfer (Oct. 12-13), Spin Doctors (Oct. 31-Nov. 1), and Christopher Cross (Nov. 2-3) Nineteen bands are slated, with STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas kicking off the concert series Sept. 27-29. Returning fan favorites include The Pointer Sisters, Smash Mouth, Boyz II Men, Sister Hazel, Air Supply, Hanson and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
- Celebrity chefs cook and dish – Renowned chefs like Warren Brown, Paula DaSilva, Gale Gand, Jamie Deen, Robert Irvine, Dean Max, Rock Harper, Jeff Henderson, Art Smith, Buddy Valastro, Allen Susser, “Cake Boy” Eric Lanlard, Duskie Estes and John Stewart, Donald Link, Bryan Voltaggio and Emily Ellyn share their talents during culinary demos and premium events.
- Festival Welcome Center buzzes with activities – Guests can make the most of complimentary Authentic Taste seminars. Culinary demonstrations and wine seminars feature new tastes and sips for a nominal fee.
- Reserved culinary events draw foodies — Special culinary programs showcase a lineup of renowned winemakers, guest chefs and speakers like Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson as they participate in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.
Other festival highlights include:
- More than 270 chefs including Disney chefs and culinary stars from across the country
- A complimentary Marketplace Discovery Passport to be stamped at each international marketplace visited for the perfect scrapbook souvenir.
- Party for the Senses grand tasting events Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, and Nov. 2 featuring tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment.
- Premium events including “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery on select Fridays, Cheese Seminars on Saturdays and Sweet Sundays on Sundays.
Yesterday, the official Disney Parks blog offered some new details on the Disneyland location of Starbucks, as the Market House is slated to close next month to begin the conversion for the parks’ Starbucks location, opening this fall — an exact closure date has not yet been announced. This will finalize plans for the Disneyland Resort where the first location has already been thriving at Disney California Adventure at the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café.
On the east coast, we’ve been keeping tabs on the development as plans for the Magic Kingdom and Epcot have already been announced and — in the case of the former — are well underway.
The most recent date we have for a scheduled opening for Starbucks at the Magic Kingdom is June 19, 2013.
Today we also received additional information for the Epcot location which will be at the current Fountainview Ice Cream Shop. While preliminary reports had the location closing this month for the conversion with a re-opening for summer, we have learned that the current plans have the location closing on April 8, 2013 with a re-opening slated for fall. A new ice cream shop in France, where the bakery previously was, will open in June.
Locations for Disney’s Hollywood studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom have yet to be confirmed.
Guests to the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot will journey “between the pages” of history as the American Heritage Gallery opens its doors to an art exhibit representing over 400 years of African-American achievement and contribution.
“Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection,” which opens March 8, draws from an extensive collection of rare art, documents, books and artifacts amassed by philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, who share a passion for African-American history.
Their private collection has been displayed throughout the U.S., including in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Approximately 40 pieces will be on display for Epcot guests at any given time on a rotating basis during the exhibit run.
“We always wanted to extend the reach of the Collection to a larger, more international and diverse audience,” explained Bernard Kinsey. “So we are delighted to be collaborating with Disney to share the stories of our remarkable ancestors.”
Overseeing the collection is the Kinseys’ son, Khalil, whose school-age curiosity inspired his parents to build their collection.
The exhibit – themed to hope, belief, courage, imagination and heritage – provides optimistic and empowering stories from American history from voices that are not commonly seen or heard. Art and artifacts pay homage to African-Americans who helped build and transform a nation. Their stories of determination and courage, from the nation’s early days to the present, are at the heart of the exhibit.
To enrich the immersive storytelling experience of the exhibit, Walt Disney Imagineers added interactive displays in which Epcot guests can deepen their knowledge of the American heritage that the Kinsey holdings represent. Epcot guests will be able to use touch screens placed throughout the exhibit to further explore the art, artifacts and history. Guest-activated lanterns will help bring the history to life, with narration provided by Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg (“The View”), Diane Sawyer (“ABC World News with Diane Sawyer”), and actors Chandra Wilson & James Pickens, Jr. (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Kerry Washington (“Scandal”), Zendaya Coleman & Roshon Fegan (“Shake It Up”), China Anne McClain (“A.N.T. Farm”), Tyrel Jackson Williams (“Lab Rats”).
“We are thrilled to bring the Kinsey Collection to Epcot guests,” said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president, Walt Disney World Parks. “Epcot is such a rich cultural tapestry that it serves as the perfect showcase for this powerful collection, with its celebration of the human spirit.”
Among highlights of each themed gallery:
By age 19, Phillis Wheatley became internationally known as the first African-American ever to publish a book of poetry (1773). She wrote poetry about hope and freedom and is now known as The Mother of African American Literature. (Document on display: Phyllis Wheatley’s first book).
Other Hope Gallery highlights: Samuel Francis Smith, My Country ‘Tis of Thee lyrics (1895); “Untitled,” Hughie Lee Smith (1951); Almanack, Benjamin Banneker (1796)
Harriet Jacobs, an enslaved young black woman often called an “American Anne Frank” stayed seven years in a tiny attic until she could escape to freedom. She later chronicled her story in an autobiography. (Document on display: Harriet Jacobs’ book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 1862)
Other Courage Gallery highlights: Sea Island Woman, fiber art, Bisa Butler (2006); Loss, sculpture, Michael Chukes (1998);
In 1870, only seven years after Emancipation, Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African-American to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. Josiah Walls became the first African-American to represent Florida in the House of Representatives. (Document on display: “Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels Cabinet Card Photograph”)
Other Belief Gallery highlights: Buffalo Soldiers Parade Flag (1889); What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, Abby Fisher (1881); A Negro Explorer at the North Pole, Matthew Henson book (1912) and article.
Alain Locke not only became the first African-American Rhodes scholar in 1907, but his book “The New Negro” helped inspire the Harlem Renaissance, a period in American culture that produced artists, musicians, writers and thinkers that showed the world how American greatness comes from all of its citizens. (Document on display: The Negro in Art, by Alain Locke).
Other Imagination Gallery highlights: Harmon Foundation Catalogs (1931-1935); American Beach Negro Ocean Playground, Florida – Steel plaque (1930); “Untitled” (Kadir Nelson, 1992)
History can be shared through many types of artifacts. Sometimes it’s as simple as a timeworn letter written by Carrie Kinsey (Bernard’s cousin) to President Roosevelt. Or an old sewing machine passed down through generations by Shirley’s grandmother, Susie Plummer Pooler. (Document on display: “Letter to President Roosevelt,” by Carrie Kinsey)
Other Heritage Gallery highlights: Bill of Sale-William Johnson (1832); Schedule of Over 500 Slaves (1820); Sewing Machine (1900), Susie Plummer Pooler
The American Adventure pavilion is in the heart of the World Showcase area of Epcot. “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” is included in Epcot admission. For more information, visit http://thekinseycollection.com
Disney Parks has updated its official Limited Time Magic schedule to include two upcoming events at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
At Walt Disney World’s Epcot, the Canadian pavilion will play host to a ‘magical Winter Wonderland’ where guests are invited to play in ‘snow.’ The Limited Time Magic experience will also provide an opportunity to mix and mingle with some unspecified Disney Characters, though Canada has famously played host to Koda and Kenai from Disney’s Brother Bear in the past. The special event runs from January 14, 2013 through January 20.
Meanwhile at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, the Bayou Bash and Mardi Gras returns to New Orleans Square. Princess Tiana is joined by Louis the Alligator in this tribute to the Big Easy’s infamous annual celebration. For 4 weekends (January 18 – 21, January 25 – 27, February 1 – February 3 and February 8 – 12), the streets of New Orleans Square will be filled with jazz music, street performances and Cajun cuisine.
According to internal documents dating various refurbishments around the Walt Disney World, we can currently expect Walt Disney World’s first in-park Starbucks to open at the Magic Kingdom theme park on May 18, 2012.
The restaurant will be located at the Main Street Bakery which is scheduled for closure between January 6, 2013 and May 17, indicating it will emerge as a Starbucks-branded location on May 18, 2013. As with its west coast counterpart, the Main Street, USA location Starbucks will remain themed to its location with cast members donning costumes that lend themselves to the theme park’s land.
This will be the second of six announced in-park locations, one at each theme park between the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. The first opened earlier this year at Disney California Adventure as part of the new Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café in the Buena Vista Street area of the park. A location at Epcot’s Fountain View has also been announced, though it will close for its changeover at some point in March, re-opening in late summer.
Another recently announced upcoming closures at the Walt Disney World resort include: Liberty Belle (February 1 – 7), Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage (January 7 – 12), Disney Junior: Live on Stage (January 14 – February 13) and Kali River Rapids (January 6 – February 15).
A blooming bounty of festival firsts will welcome Disney guests to the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 6-May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort. First, the news:
- Epcot chefs will cook up first-time festival food and beverage fun, with special cooking stations offering exclusive-to-the-festival bites along the park’s World Showcase promenade.
- A new circus-like “Land of Oz Play Area,” based on the Disney fantastical film adventure Oz: The Great and Powerful to be released in March 2013, will debut a kaleidoscope of interactive fun.
- Disney topiary experts will grow, shape and manicure a Fab Five Disney character topiary with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck (with Daisy Duck in a cameo) featured in a celebratory floral cookout scene in living topiary color at the park’s front entrance.
- New illuminated gardens in the park’s Future World and World Showcase will cast a colorful glow over each festival evening.
Throughout the 75-day garden party, guests will discover festival surprises around every corner including new topiary triumphs, colorful garden displays, a butterfly bounty, HGTV celebrity designers, interactive gardening seminars and whimsical children’s play areas. On weekends, top Flower Power rockers of the 1960s and ’70s will perform.
Every Friday through Sunday, HGTV design celebrities will host Festival Center seminars. During opening weekend, March 8-10, Chris Lambton of “Going Yard” will appear; other designers scheduled to take the stage include Brandon Johnson of “My Yard Goes Disney” and Meg Caswell of “Meg’s Great Rooms.”
Now the details:
- Festival-themed flavors: Guests will discover culinary creations and refreshing libations at multiple festival-themed food and beverage locations. Chefs are tweaking the menu to include backyard barbecue and a variety of garden-inspired and global tastes. Around the World Showcase promenade
- Fab Five topiary barbecue: 14-foot-tall topiary Goofy will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms. At Epcot Front Entrance
- Land of Oz Play Area: This interactive new children’s play zone will feature play systems adorned with giant flowers and designed to stretch kids’ imaginations and muscles. Midway-style games, red-and-white circus-themed tents and the “Oz Movie Garden” of intriguing plants will capture the spirit of the upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful. Also on tap: fun games, photo opportunities, the “great and powerful Oz’s” crashed hot-air balloon and lush plants inspired by the movie. On the Imagination Walkway
- Illuminated Gardens: Every night when the sun sets, many of the festival’s world-famous Disney topiaries and gardens will twinkle and shine in a new light. Throughout World Showcase and Future World
- Monsters University topiary: Floral representations of Mike and Sulley from the hit Disney-Pixar film Monsters, Inc. and stars of Disney-Pixar’s June 2013 release, Monsters University, will join the festivities as new topiary family members. On the Future World Walkway
- Phineas and Ferb topiary: The popular Disney Channel animated celebs limit their shenanigans to go green for a family photo-op. Behind Spaceship Earth
- “Radiator Springs” interactive play zone: Race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck “Mater” of the Disney-Pixar film Cars 2 will be the well-maintained topiary stars of this play area. On the Test Track Walkway
- Flower Power Firsts: 1970s top disco band The Village People (April 19-21) and 1960s singer-songwriter Tommy Roe (May 3-5) bring on the Flower Power beat when they take the concert stage. At America Gardens Theatre
And a new twist:
- Fawn’s Butterfly House: Eight fanciful fairy topiaries of Pixie Hollow, including Tinker Bell, Fawn, Vidia and Terrence, take over the Butterfly House this year where hundreds of colorful winged beauties flit to life. On the Imagination Walkway
In all, more than 100 topiaries, 240 floating mini-gardens, dozens of flower towers and sweeping beds of multi-colored blooms will add floral splendor to the park landscape. Daily hands-on gardening seminars, and other Festival Center events will offer innovative ideas, design tips and gardening know-how to park guests.
The Flower Power concert series kicks off March 6-10 with Micky Dolenz (“I’m a Believer”) and continues each weekend with pop favorites including:
- March 15-17: Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
- March 22-24: The Guess Who
- March 29-31: Nelson
- April 5-7: The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie
- April 12-14: Paul Revere & the Raiders
- April 19-21: The Village People (new!)
- April 26-28: The Orchestra, Featuring Former Members of ELO and ELO II
- May 3-5: Tommy Roe (new!)
- May 10-12: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
- May 17-19: Starship starring Mickey Thomas.
While Disney guests celebrate spring during their festival visit, they also can explore the reimagined, design-centric Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, the hang-gliding sensation of Soarin’ and other high-tech Future World marvels. In World Showcase, where the spotlight will shine on topiaries of Disney princesses, storybook characters and even pandas and trolls, guests will discover the attractions, shops and restaurants that represent cultures and cuisine of 11 countries.
Walt Disney World has published its guide to annual passholder discounts online at WDWHolidayGiftGuide.com which gives interactive access to its 28 page guide of savings during the holiday season.
One of the actual items featured in the publication is a gorgeous Epcot ‘Holidays Around the World’ ornament (pictured, left) which will be available in Santa’s Village at the American Adventure pavilion.
Arguably much the rest of the publication is fluff and the bulk of the savings appear to be with shops at the Downtown Disney District where 10% – 20% off merchandise seems to be the norm, but it also appears that there are some real bargains to be had.
One example is at the Richard Petty Driving Experience where annual passholders are able receive an additional two laps during an exotic car driving session for free (for a total of 8 laps), which is estimated to be a savings of $130.
As a hint, if reading the publication online appears to be difficult, you can right-click on any of the pages and view them individually as an image. The online viewer does allow you to left-click and zoom in/out, but the right-click is a more direct method.
It should come at no large surprise that when the newly revamped ‘Test Track,’ as presented by Chevrolet, makes its official debut on December 6, that cast members will sporting a new look to go along with it. And true enough, as depicted here, not only will that be the case, but there will be little mistake to which attraction a Test Track cast member serves, provided the temperature is above 80 degrees.
A concerned, anonymous contributor has provided us with this image, which demonstrates both the male and female versions of the costume (which appear to be identical, save for the baseball cap), along with the optional, innocuous (and rather ambiguous) outdoor winter wear which would look fairly contemporary if the early 1990s should ever decide to return.
Walt Disney World today announced some of its plans for the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Promises Floral Fantasy and Topiary Triumphs, scheduled to take place at the theme park from March 6 – May 19, 2013.
Commemorating the milestone anniversary will be a Sensational Six birthday event display located at the front of the park. Colorful, whimsical topiaries of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck will welcome topiary Daisy to their Epcot front-entrance celebratory barbecue. The 14-foot-tall topiary Goofy will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms.
And that’s just the festival opener. New topiaries, gardens, children’s play areas and interactive gardening seminars will set the stage for 75 days of festival fun as Disney’s horticulture team revs up for its 20th year of beautiful blooms and creative whimsy.
In honor of next summer’s Monsters University from Disney/Pixar, Mike and Sulley from Disney/Pixar’s will join the festivities with a topiary on the walkway from Future World to the park’s World Showcase. A new playground re-creating Radiator Springs from Disney/Pixar Cars playground brings favorite movie characters to life in topiary on the Test Track Walkway. And 2013?s Fawn’s Butterfly House flits to life with hundreds of butterflies and eight fairy topiaries including Tinker Bell, Fawn, Vidia and Terrence.
The opening weekend Flower Power Concert Series at America Gardens Theatre will present fan favorite Micky Dolenz on March 8-10. Other pop acts set to perform include Chubby Checker & the Wildcats, The Guess Who, Paul Revere & The Raiders and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone.
More than 100 topiaries, 240 floating mini-gardens, dozens of flower towers and sweeping beds of multi-colored blooms will add floral splendor to the park landscape. Daily hands-on gardening seminars, HGTV celebrity presentations, and other Festival Center events will offer innovative ideas, design tips and gardening know-how to park guests.
Walt Disney World Resort guests will experience the thrill of designing their very own virtual vehicle – then putting their design through its paces – when the re-imagined, multi-sensory Test Track Presented by Chevrolet grand re-opens Dec. 6, 2012.
The iconic Epcot attraction, a new collaboration between Chevrolet Design and the creative team of Walt Disney Imagineering, celebrates how meticulous design not only shapes the look of Chevrolet cars and trucks, but drives their performance on the open road.
For inspiration for the project, Walt Disney Imagineers made numerous visits to Detroit, collaborating with Chevrolet designers and touring the inner sanctums of Chevrolet’s design studios.
“As storytellers, to be able tell Chevrolet’s design story was fun for our Imagineers,” said Eric Jacobson, senior vice president of WDI. “Chevrolet designers come from the same creative roots as Imagineers. Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will become, for Epcot guests, an exciting part of their visit to Walt Disney World Resort.”
Amid upbeat music, eye-popping lighting effects and a collection of Chevrolet concept cars and model vehicles, guests themselves will become automotive designers – and peer into the future of personal transportation in the process.
“Through an enduring partnership, Chevrolet and Disney continue to inspire generations to imagine the impossible and innovate,” said Chris Perry, vice president, U.S. Marketing, General Motors. “The re-imagined Test Track reflects the personality and values of Chevrolet design and offers guests a behind-the-scenes look at a discipline that drives our business. This first-of-its-kind automotive design attraction represents the best of Chevrolet design and Disney innovation.”
Test Track guests enter an all-new, interactive pre-show area – completely retooled and re-imagined from the garage-like testing area of the former GM Test Track. The sleek new “Chevrolet Design Center” invites guests to create their own virtual custom-concept vehicle. Car design wannabes will get to shape their own virtual car, truck or crossover vehicle and learn how their design choices perform against four important attributes:
At design kiosks, rows of touch screens become canvasses for guests to try their hand at design magic. Here, they can virtual-draw – maneuver their vehicle design by shape, length, width and engine size. Once they create the design of their dreams, guests complete their creation with even more choices. They can make a design statement with an expressive front grill, order up wheels by size and style, add paint and other graphics and trick out their vehicle – top to sides, front to back – with the latest accessories. Then comes the crowning touch of their design – adding Chevrolet’s world-famous bowtie logo.
Their virtual Chevrolet vehicle complete, the adventure then shifts into high gear as guests – armed with a card encoded with their personal design that travels with them – board their 6-person “SimCar” ride vehicle. Ahead: a thrilling journey into a dazzling multi-sensory digital experience as guests put their personal design through a series of performance tests – the exhilarating heart of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet.
Along their route, riders experience changing terrain and extreme conditions as their designs are scored for Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power. How does their design stand up on the challenging hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit? How well does it navigate through bumpy roads, icy conditions, turn-on-a-dime curves and other surprises? Their design skills are put to the test – at speeds of up to 65 mph.
The fun and excitement continues in the post-show area.
Scoring their design. Guests get to compare their car’s results to that of a baseline SimCar – and also see how they performed against their fellow “designers.”
At a digital driving table laying out a road course, guests can race their virtual custom-concept vehicles against other guests’ designs, over changing terrain and encountering extreme conditions.
Brand-new car designers can create their own commercial – starring their virtual car.
In another experience, guests get to pose with actual Chevrolet vehicles. Through green screen technology — with a few taps on their touch screen – guests can suddenly find themselves posing with their Chevrolet on the lunar surface, arcing across the galaxies, navigating the bright-white of a polar landscape or other thrilling scenes. The images become easily sharable on social media, sending virtual postcard greetings to family, friends or co-workers back home.
New and concept Chevrolet vehicles are laid out showroom-style. Guests can get behind the wheel of Chevrolet’s latest models. Chevrolet product specialists are on hand to answer any questions.