Follow AllEars.net Founder Deb Wills on her journeys near and far via Walt Disney World, the Disney Cruise Line, and Adventures by Disney as she shares her planning thoughts and details of her trips and various Disney experiences. Deb is also active raising funds and awareness in the fight against Breast Cancer!
Today I had the opportunity to preview some of the brand new costumes and brand new floats that are part of Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.
Video of the Costumes
Video of the Mickey Airship, Peter Pan and Little Mermaid Floats
Float by Float Line Up:
THE PRINCESS GARDEN - the pageantry of Disney princesses. Cinderella, Bell, Tiana and their princes will ride in a garden of topiaries, woodland creatures and more. This 50- foot long parade will be capped off with Frozen's Anna and Elsa!
TANGLED - a massive long ship on the high seas featuring Flynn Rider and Rapunzel. This 36 foot long float includes some dastardly thugs!
THE LITTLE MERMAID - Ariel, and her friends, including Sebastian, are part of the seashell music jubilee. Performers include: Lion Fish, Coral Fish, Seashell and Sea Horse.
PETER PAN - The Jolly Roger pirate ship, Peter Pan and Wendy, the Lost Boys, Skull Rock, Tinker Bell and Captain Hook will all be part of this unique float.
BRAVE - The bagpipe shaped float announces the arrival of Merida. Scottish dancers will step to the songs of the highlands.
SLEEPING BEAUTY- highlighted by the Steampunnk-inspired dragon, Prince Phillip, raven dancers, good fairies and thorn-inspired stilt performers perform on and around the 53 foot long float
FINALE AND MICKEY'S AIRSHIP - the parade's finale is this 90 foot long "train" of great Disney characters including Pinocchio, Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Mad Hatter all in festive colors. There are dancing hippos, bubble girls (celebrating Storybook Circus), Pegasus horses and Mickey and Minnie atop the airship.
Mickey's America Streetbeat Limited Time Magic Scores!
This week's Limited Time Magicis Mickey's America Streetbeat performed in the American Gardens Theatre in Epcot. Streetbeat is a high energy 24 minute show with professional dancers and Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald Duck.
The jam session includes hip-hop, acrobatics, lots of percussion as well as tap dance - modern style.
Each of the Disney characters gets their own spotlight in the show too!
Mickey's America Streetbeat was created especially for Limited Time Magic although some segments have been previously performed at ESPN Wide World of Sports and "Helping Kids Shine" Grants award presentations.
As far as Limited Time Magic events go, I think this one is spot on! If you plan to be in Epcot between now and July 14th, be sure to include this as part of your day! Show times are 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30.
July 1st marks 15 years that the band Off Kilter has entertained countless visitors with their trademark high kicks and hijinks on their home stage in the Canada pavilion in Epcot.
While the band has grown in popularity, (in fact, many would argue it is the best entertainment in Epcot), it has not outgrown its original concept. Did you know that founder Jamie Holton began playing bagpipes when he was just 11 years old?!
"My parents come from a Scottish background and loved bagpipes, so I started studying how to play them when I was young," he explains. After winning the first competition he ever entered, he "continued up the competition ladder," searching for the best teachers and playing in a pipe band in Daytona Beach.
In 1990, Jamie, by then an accomplished piper, was able to convert his unusual skill into a full-time position at Walt Disney World, when he became a member of the Caledonian Bagpipe Trio, which performed in World Showcase. The following year he traveled to Tokyo Disneyland, where he originated the Fantasyland Bagpiper, a solo act that combined piping with comedy.
Jamie Holton on the left
By 1996, Jamie started to develop an idea he'd had: to blend his love of bagpipes and traditional Celtic music with rock-and-roll to create a band with a "world music" sound. He met Irishman Mark Weldon, a musician (and former All-Ireland motocross champion) with a wealth of Celtic musical knowledge, and the two began talking about the concept. They shared their growing excitement with keyboardist Tony Escapa, recruited lead guitarist Randy Holbrook and drummer Scott Zymowski, who had been working in a band at Disney's Pleasure Island.
Here's a look back at some of the coverage and photos of Off Kilter that we've shared on AllEars.
Blogger Jack Spence highlighted them when discussing the Canada Pavilion:
In 1997, the Celtic-rock band Off Kilter was formed and became a permanent fixture at Epcot. Besides drums, fiddles, and guitars, bagpipes are a part of the instrumental makeup. The group became so popular that a permanent stage (The Mill Stage) and seating was erected shortly after their arrival. Although they perform a wide range of songs, they generally try to present pieces from Canadian artist and composers.
And our photobloggers have made Off Kilter their focus on several occasions:
Photo Blogger Scott Thomas created this "postcard" of the band!
Lead by singer and bagpipe player, Jamie Holton (upper right below), Off Kilter's unmistakable sound pulls people in and their fun on stage presence keeps them there. Along with Jamie, (from top left) bass guitarist Mark Weldon, master guitarist Randy Holbrook and keyboardist Tony Escapa. Not pictured is drummer Scott Zymowski. Click the Photo for a Larger Version.
Off Kilter on stage in the Canada pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.
Jamie recalls, "When we approached Disney with the idea, they were very supportive -- they told us they trusted us to do a good job with it." When they finally auditioned, Holton says they were enthusiastically welcomed. "As far as I know, we're the first band here that was ever listened to and hired on the same day," he adds.
Check the Epcot Times Guide to see when Off Kilter is playing!
Casey's Corner Pianist - Jim on Main Street U.S.A.
As you walk down Main Street U.S.A. you may be drawn to smells of popcorn and hot dogs coming from Casey's Corner. Many find Casey's a great place for a tasty "snack". But as you round the corner a delightful surprise is waiting for you - Jim the Ragtime Pianist!
Jim has been tickling the ivories since the 1970s. He'll entertain you with a wide variety of Disney tunes, as well as some corny jokes and banter if you engage him.
Jim is one of the "hidden treasures" of the Magic Kingdom.
Grab a coke, hot dog or popcorn, take a seat and enjoy!
Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season featuring D’Vine Voices
Joyful! returns to Epcot for the 2010 Holiday Season.
This blog is from a 2009 performance!
New to Epcot's Holidays Around the World in 2009 is D'Vine Voices who perform four times daily on the Future World Fountain Stage. D'Vine Voices is comprised of 16 artists and musicians (12 vocalists, 4 musicians - drums, bass, 2 keyboard). Some are native Central Floridians; others are transplants from across the USA and the world. Today, they all call Central Florida home. Not all members performed together before, but they came together as D'vine Voices for this engagement.
Do not miss this energetic inspirational group! They are sure to have you clapping, humming and dancing as their performance unfolds.
The versatile ensemble, led by DaVonda Simmons, was inspired by choir rehearsals at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Eatonville. They combine the sounds of Jazz, R&B and urban music into holiday song!
Each 25 minute show is a bit different and their repertoire includes arrangements of standards such as "Hark! The Herald Angels", "Silent Night", and "Go Tell It on the Mountain", contemporary holiday gospel songs such as "Joyful, Joyful" and "Season of Joy", and secular holiday favorites such as "This Christmas" and "That's What Christmas Means to Me".
Some of these talented singers may look familiar to you as they have performed in Central Florida and at Walt Disney World in the past:
DaVonda Simmons (Founder/Director) - Ms. Simmons has been seen in Orlando at Downtown Disney's Pleasure Island Jazz Company, Sea World, The Blue Zoo, City Jazz at Universal Studios, and the Blue Martini in Tampa, Florida.
Meka King - Meka has also performed at several Central Florida Theme Parks: Walt Disney World (Lion King), Universal Studios Florida (Blues Brothers), Sea World (Miracles) and Cirque Du Soleil (La Nouba).
Van Dobbins III has performed as "Nakawa" in Disney's Festival of the Lion at Disney World.
Robert Wawoe is also employed by the Walt Disney Company as cast member, and has performed with American VYBE, Tarzan Rocks, Tomorrowland Countdown, Mainstreet Philharmonic and Epcot's Mo'Rockin.
According to DisneyWorld.com: "Feel the beat of the JAMMitors, the percussion-playing clean-up crew that really cleans up! Using regular trashcans, dustpans, hardhats, flyswatters and more, this trio of custodians are actually percussionists who bang, clap, clip and clomp to your heart's delight. The JAMMitors show runs approximately 8 minutes and, in addition to percussion, features syncronized choreography that adds to the jammin' good time. "
What can you share about when the JAMMitors started playing in Epcot?
But, I digress. So as I turned around, it wasn't the JAMMitors, but it must have been relatives of theirs known as the JAMMin Chefs (I think that's the right title). They were making special appearances during Epcot's Food and Wine Festival.
They were having a grand time making music on a variety of pots, pans, and boxes. They also entertained the crowd with a variety of "corny" jokes. All in all good fun and just another one of Epcot's great Live Entertainment acts!!!