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D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 Archives

May 28, 2010

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 - Part 4

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Logo

This blog will cover the final evening of D23's Flower and Fireworks Celebration.

After the morning sessions, we had free time to roam the parks and catch the last day of the Flower and Garden Festival.

I enjoyed dinner with some friends and then went over to Epcot for the final 2 events of the D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration.

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First off, reserved seating for the Flower Power Concert with Chubby Checker and the Wildcats. I'll let the photos speak for themselves except to say, this was a VERY entertaining, high energy show. The time went way to quickly!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Chubby invited the ladies in the audience to come on stage and sing and dance with him. Many D23 members as well others in the audience went up and had a blast.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Back to the "regular" show ....

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

...Then the men were invited up on stage!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

A great time was had by all! The time flew by!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

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Next, our final event, a private IllumiNations Dessert party in the Italy Isola. We weren't sure if the rain would hold off, but it did, mostly. The one time it started to drizzle, out came all the rain ponchos so we would stay dry.

Desserts were great!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration IllumiNations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations

IllumiNations is the perfect way to end a day at Disney!


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations

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Thanks to Sharon Sipple for photographing the D23 event for AllEars®. I would also like to thank D23, Barry and all the presenters who made the entire event very special. Highlights for me were the talks by ... I started to list my favorites and then realized I enjoyed all the presentations. Each one was unique and interesting.

A number of your have asked if I felt it was worth the price of $195. Realizing that special events have an expensive price tag everywhere at Disney - I did feel it was worth the money and very glad I attended the Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010.

It was great meeting so many fellow D23 members and also many AllEars® fans!

I look forward to the announcement of another D23 event at Walt Disney World!

Hey, see this little green button? Well, it allows you to share this blog with your family and friends quite easily. Give it a try; it's pretty neat!


May 27, 2010

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 - Part 3

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Logo

Yesterday's blog covered the talk from Epcot Vice President Dan Cockrell.

This blog will cover talks by:

WDW Parks Events Content Development Operations Manager, Michael Jenner
Twinings Tea's Daniel Wasilick
Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival Horticulture Manager, Eric Darden


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Michael Jenner, WDW Parks Events Content Development Operations Manager


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Michael shared a history of the Food and Wine Festival...

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

and some very interesting tidbits ....

-- Just 2 items have remained on the menu for all past Festivals; Sushi in Japan and Kielbasa and Pierogies in Poland

-- Only 9 Marketplaces have participated in all 14 Festivals: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, UK, Mexico and USA. 4 Marketplaces have made 13 of the 14 years: Australia, Greece, New Zealand and South Africa.

-- 7 of the top 25 food menu items from 2009 were brand new to the Festival; Fishersman's Pie #2 (Ireland), Beef Tenderloin #7 (South Africa), Chicken Souvlaki #11 (Greece), Tostado Pollo #15 (Mexico), Chocolate Lava Cake #19 (Ireland), Ribs #20 (France), and Cannelloin #24 (Italy).

-- Over 600,000 folks are used each year and it takes 750,000 beer cups and 338,000 wine glasses.

-- Guests enjoyed over 100,000 miniature desserts.

-- 1,500 pounds of fresh strawberries are used.

There was also a lot of news concerning the 2010 Food and Wine Festival:

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

-- This year's theme will be "Delicious Discoveries."

-- Two big new events were announced:

1) Delicious Discoveries First Bites, to be held on September 30, is a sneak peek before the festival opens with food and beverage samplings from the marketplaces, wine seminars, culinary demos, and entertainment. This will be a "hard ticket" event at the Festival Center, but there is no price info as yet;

2) 3D Delicious Dessert Discovery will be held every Thursday evening. This will be a dessert reception featuring both "action and prepared stations of sweet enticements" paired with wine, cordials, and coffee, followed by exclusive IllumiNations viewing. Cost will be approximately $50 per person.

-- New in the International Marketplaces this year will be: Belgium, featuring steamed mussels; Singapore featuring Shirmp Cake on Sugarcane Skewer; and South Korea featuring "Bo Ssam" Lettuce wraps with roast pork and kimchi slaw.

Also new this year will be a Marketplace Discovery Passport that can be picked up at the Festival Center. It will allow you to jot down tasting notes and keep track of where you visited. Each marketplace booth will have its own unique stamp for the book.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

-- Returning celebrity chefs this year include Cat Cora, Jamie Dean, and Robert Irvine, among others.

-- France will have Grand Marnier tastings.

-- There will be an entrance display featuring cakes; while World Showcase Plaza's display will have champagne to mark the festival's 15-year celebration.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

-- Wine Pairings return to the France, Italy, Morocco and Japan pavilions.

-- The Party for the Senses will continue with the VIP experience, but will eliminate the weekly themes, which were not popular with guests. Cirque du Soleil is in discussions to return as the entertainment for the events, but there is no contract yet.


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Daniel Wasilick from Twinings of London was next.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Daniel shared a brief history of tea and how Twinings have been part of Epcot for 28 years!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Daniel's big announcement was that Twinings will be introducing a full lime of organics and fair trade teas in partnership with Whole Foods. The Twining products are 100% organic and there will be 12 different varieties. The teas will be released in August of this year and they will be for sale in the Epcot shop as well as Whole Foods.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

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The last official presenter was Eric Darden, Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival Horticulture Manager.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Eric gave a great presentation showing how the Flower and Garden Festival has evolved over the years. He had numerous photos of festival components from the early days and compared them to today's festival.


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

The park's history with horticulture goes back to Walt Disney. Imagine today's parks with no landscaping?!

Bill Evans worked for Walt and designed his estate. When Walt decided to build Disneyland, he brought Bill on board. Bill Evans had his hands in the landscaping of every single park through Disneyland Hong Kong. Eric reflected on some of Bill's story's about Walt Disney.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

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At the end of the final presentation, all 4 gentlemen returned to the stage to answer audience questions.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Afterward, they stayed around for a while and chatted with D23 members.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Thank you all for a great informative morning! This made the D23 event for me!


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

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Food Presentation by the Patina Group and Via Napoli!!!

Here is an artist rendering of Via Napoli!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

We were in for an unexpected treat! The team from Via Napoli prepared samples of a number of the items that will be at the restaurant. In addition to pasta, zucchini, and focacccio, there were several dessert samples.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Benito and team from Italy!
Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

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On the way out, we were handed a Flower and Garden Festival bag with some additional items: wine glass from the 2009 Food and Wine Festival, a DVD on the Making of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, samplings of Twinings Teas, a Captain EO button (from Disneyland) and perfume samples.


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Once again, I must comment about how wonderful this portion of the D23 event was. I really enjoyed the speakers, they were interesting and had some great slides. I felt as though we received some information not previously made public. The food was outstanding and overall a A++ experience!

That's it for Part 3. The last blog will report on Chubby Checker's concert and the IllumiNations dessert party!

May 26, 2010

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 - Part 2

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Logo

Today we were in for a very special experience as part of the D23 Flowers and Fireworks event.

Once again folks arrived very early. D23 provided coffee and tea while we waited!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

In addition to breakfast in the Yacht Club's Grand Harbor Ballroom, we would be having a series of presentations by:

Epcot Vice President, Dan Cockrell
WDW Parks Events Content Development Operations Manager, Michael Jenner
Twinings Tea's Daniel Wasilick
Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival Horticulture Manager, Eric Darden

I was very much looking forward to this portion of the event and it far exceeded my expectations!

Walking into the ballroom was a huge wow!!! The large room was elegant and inviting.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

The smells of breakfast were in the air and it would be hard to decide where to begin!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Breakfast

Mad Hatter Scrambled Eggs
Snow (Egg) White Vegetable Fritata
Mickey Waffle "sandwiches" with strawberry compote, pecans, whipped cream and syrup
August Gusteau's Smoked Pork Loin
Turkey Bacon
Mickey Cut Breakfast Sausage Patties
Breakfast Parfaits
Pocahontas Color of the Wind Potatoes - red, yellow and green peppers
Warm Cinnamon Loaf and assorted pastries
August Gusteau's Charcuterie Bratwurst
Spicy Apple Compote
Fresh cut fruits

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

After enjoying a scrumptious breakfast that featured both the sweet and savory -- it was time for the presentations.

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Walt Disney World Ambassador Vanessa Rosas opened the session by welcoming everyone!

First to speak, Epcot Vice President, Dan Cockrell who shared a great deal of information with us, some announced publicly for the very first time.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Topics included the new restaurants in Epcot's World Showcase - Hacienda de San Angel coming to the Mexico Pavilion and Via Napoli, a full service restaurant coming to the Italy Pavilion. Both restaurants are scheduled to open in September 2010 and should be added to the Dining Reservation System in July or August.


Hacienda de San Angel - Mexico
Dan spent a great deal of time sharing some insights that went into the story and theming for the Hacienda de San Angel. Dan and some of the restaurant chefs went to Mexico and visited the original San Angel Inn. Art and food are Mexico's most important cultural gifts and the restaurant will reflect that.


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

The restaurant will have indoor and outdoor seating. It will be a dual purpose, flex restaurant. There will be 150 seats outside and 250 seats inside. During lunch the Cantina (quick service) is very busy, but there is not as much seating as desired. Therefore a portion of the sit down restaurant will be blocked off for Cantina guests to also enjoy the air conditioning..

Around 4pm, the Cantina will still be working, but the whole inside will open as the full working table service restaurant. None of the seats will have backs to the windows so you can enjoy the lagoon and IllumiNations.

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Via Napoli - a full service pizzeria
The construction will create a whole new look, the area has been extended back another 50-60 feet and there will be a new piazza. Again, Dan spent a great deal of time sharing some insights that went into the story and theming of the new restaurant. In Europe there is often one building with different facades out front and that's what you will see in Via Napoli.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


The 3 pizza ovens are inspired by the 3 famous volcanoes in Italy: Mount Etna (Sicily), Stromboli (Aeolian Islands), and Mount Vesuvius (near Naples). The 3 oven "mouths" where the pizzas go in are inspired by Italy's Park of Monsters sculptures. Very thin crust pizza and when it's ready it will be served quickly and hot.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Restaurant will reflect both traditional and modern Italy. Costumes will be burgundy and muted olive colors.


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Dan also announced that The Germany pavilion will be getting a new Werther's Candy Shop. It will replace the Glas Und Porzellan shop, and fresh candy will be made on site.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

We learned that an original Captain EO sign had been saved and will be part of the attraction when it reopens in July, in Epcot's Imagination pavilion.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Lastly, Le Plume et Pallet in France will be carrying exclusive fragrances beginning July 2010.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

That's it for Part 2. Check back tomorrow for the remaining presentations from Sunday Morning's event!

May 25, 2010

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 - Part 1

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Logo

The Flowers and Fireworks D23 event began on Saturday evening, May 15th and ended Sunday evening, May 16th. It was announced earlier this year as one of the Walt Disney World D23 events.

Tickets went on sale April 8th and I was ready at the computer. The March 2010 First Anniversary Party sold out in moments, as did the December Magic and Merriment D23 event.

I was a bit concerned with the $195 price tag but decided to go ahead and purchase 2 tickets. My order went right through and it later turned out the event never did sell out.

The D23 website had event information so I knew ahead of time the general schedule of events.

Included with the cost of your ticket:

Private dinner on the beach at Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel & Spa
Private viewing of the Electrical Water Pageant and Wishes
Presentation on the Magic Kingdom's fireworks spectaculars
Continental breakfast at Disney's Beach Club Resort
Exclusive presentations from Dan Cockrell, Michael Jenner, Eric Darden, and Daniel Wasilick
Private VIP seating at Chubby Checker's Flower Power concert
Private dessert party and viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
Commemorative gift (one per guest)


CHECK IN

Check in for the D23 event was held just off the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. I arrived right at 9am and check-in went smoothly.

Barry Jacobson was on hand to greet D23 members and assist in giving out our "goody bags".

Barry Jacobson

I chatted with Barry for a few moments and asked where the other D23 folks were, like Steven, Jeffrey and the ladies. For a variety of reasons each was unable to attend. Several folks commented throughout the event that an additional D23 Cast Member would have been nice. Barry did a great job, but I agreed that additional D23 folks would have added to the event.

Contents of the D23 Bag:

-- A Wide Brim straw hat with the D23 Flowers and Fireworks ban in green.
-- D23 beverage coozie
-- Credentials and lanyard for the events
-- D23 Welcome Letter
-- D23 Event Itinerary
-- D23 bag


D23 Goody Bag Contents

Accompanying me to the D23 event is Sharon Sipple who would be doing the All Ears photography.


Itinerary

Saturday May 15

9am - 5pm - Check in and receive packet at Grand Floridian

7:30pm Cookout on the beach at the Grand Floridian with a special fireworks presentation and special viewing of the Electric Water Pageant and Wishes

Sunday, May 16

8am - Begin check-in for morning presentations at the Grand Harbor Ballroom at Disney's Yacht Club

8:45am Breakfast is served

9:30am - 11:00am Morning Presentations from Epcot Vice President, Dan Cockrell, WDW Parks Events Content Development Operations Manager, Michael Jenner, Twinings Tea's Daniel Wasilick and Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival Horticulture Manager, Eric Darden.

11:00am - Free time to explore the Flower and Garden Festival

7:15pm - Check-in for Flower Power Concert featuring Chubby Checker and the Wildcats.
7:45pm - Concert begins

8:30 - Dessert party at Italy Isola with viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

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First Official Event was the Cookout on the beach at the Grand Floridian with a special fireworks presentation and special viewing of the Electric Water Pageant and Wishes

While the day was quite warm, the evening was amazing with a cool breeze and perfect sky.
I headed over to the Grand Floridian around 6:15pm to check out where the event would take place. The lobby had a number of D23 folks relaxing and enjoying the orchestra. I walked over to the beach area (behind the themed pool) and found that set up was still going on. I spoke to one of the Cast Members who told me no one would be allowed in until 7:30, the official start time. Back to the lobby I went to relax in the air conditioning.

Around 7pm Sharon and I went back to the BBQ area and found that folks had indeed been allowed to go ahead and sit down at the tables while setup continued.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

As we looked around for a table, Brenda and Ron waved us down and had some seats saved for us (thanks!). Steve and Vickie Barrett also joined us at the table along with 3 D23 event regulars!

There were lots of Disney figurines for decor on the buffet tables:


D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

The grills were going strong and the smells filled the air.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

But before dinner was served, 2 very special surprise guests arrived and gladly posed with everyone for photos!

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

If the evening had one negative it was the fact that the only beverages that were complimentary were lemonade and an herbal, caffeinated tea.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

The charge for adult beverages, I totally understand. However, paying $4 for a bottle of water (when the event cost $195) was over the top. I know a number of folks, including myself, were not happy about this. Eventually a couple of iced water coolers were brought out for everyone.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ


Now, onto the food itself!

Grilled Beef Burgers
Vegetarian Burgers
Grilled Chicken Breast with Floridian Citrus Barbecue Glaze
Grilled Bratwurst
Green Leafy Salad
Multi-grain Salad
Slow Cooked Vegetarian Baked Beans
Baked Mac N Fine Cheeses
Caramelized Onions
Sauerkraut

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

While the lines looked long, they actually moved at a steady pace. There were two separate buffets set up and each had 2 sides for serving.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

Dessert included a chocolate delight, Mickey Shaped vanilla cake with a strawberry topping.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ


D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

After dinner, Mickey and Minnie appeared again. Here is Barry enjoying the photo op.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

Several special treats were in store for us once the sun went down.

First, we had our own private showing of the Electric Water Pageant.

The pageant consists of two strings of seven barges, each carrying a 25-foot-tall screen of lights. The pageant features King Triton and creatures from under the sea -- turtles, whales, seahorses, even a sea monster; all set to Disney music. The pageant concludes with Flags and Stars set to a patriotic musical medley of God Bless America, Yankee Doodle, and You're a Grand Old Flag. It debuted October 21, 1971 and has been basically the same show ever since.

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D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ


Next up were Chris Oyen and Brad Ciccotti, fireworks magicians extraordinaire! Both have been involved with Walt Disney World fireworks shows for a very long time!

Chris spoke first about his experiences with Disney and fireworks shows. Brad then joined him to present us with a very special version of "Fireworks 101, Disney Style", complete with examples of the types fireworks they were explaining. At the end of the presentation, we had our own private fireworks display (brief) which combined the effects we had just learned about. Chris and Brad were great presenters! This entire segment was AWESOME!

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

Afterward, folks moved further down the beach and enjoyed WISHES.

Our special evening gift was a light bulb from the Electric Water Pageant. A nice souvenir, unfortunately it was simply a bulb wrapped in tissue paper, no card or otherwise identifying notation as to it's origin.

Electric Water Pageant Light bulb

Soon, it was time to head home and rest up for Sunday's early morning at the Yacht Club Convention Center.

Check back for Part 2.

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About D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Deb's Digest in the D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

2015 D23 Expo is the previous category.

Destination D - Disneyland 55 is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.