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December 11, 2017

Dug and Russell to Get Their Own Show at Animal Kingdom

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12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas: New Show at Disney's Animal Kingdom to Feature Russell, Dug from Disney-Pixar's 'UP'

An all-new show is coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom in Spring 2018 featuring Russell and Dug from Disney-Pixar's 'UP.'

Beginning just in time for the 20th anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom next year, this new experience will offer guests the chance to see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug as they discover species of birds from around the world in their newest adventure at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur village. There will be “UP” close encounters each day with amazing winged creatures!

To begin to prepare for the new show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, December 31, 2017 will be the final showing of Flights of Wonder. Until the end of this month, you can still experience Flights of Wonder at the park.

The Edison Grand Opening New Year's Eve

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The Edison at Disney Springs will host a dazzling gala Grand Opening on New Year’s Eve, showcasing its lavish Industrial Gothic-style, crave-worthy food and exceptional cocktails plus a truly spectacular lineup of world-class entertainment all within Central Florida’s newest entertainment hot-spot.

The Edison’s doors will open at 7:30 p.m., allowing guests ample time to eat, drink and be merry, right up through a special midnight toast to ring in 2018. A fully immersive dining experience, The Edison features multiple themed areas to explore, such as the Lab performance space, The Ember Parlour, Telegraph Lounge, The Patent Office, The Tesla Lounge, The Radio Room, and the Waterfront Patio.

Tickets for The Edison’s New Year’s Eve Grand Opening are $150 and available to a limited number (350) of lucky guests to purchase. The ticket price includes tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, live-action food stations and a wide selection of beer, wine and premium spirits from 8 p.m until midnight; plus, a selection of coffee, desserts and a celebratory midnight toast to ring in the new year.

“The Edison is an exuberant, fantastic place and unlike anything currently available in all of Central Florida,” said Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group. “We are opening our doors on New Year’s Eve for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration with music, live entertainment, and exceptional food and drinks.”

A minimum age of 21 is required to attend this event. Guests arriving to The Edison Orlando are asked to adhere to our dress code. Men may wear slacks, jeans or dress shorts. No ball caps, sleeveless shirts or flip-flops are permitted. Jackets are optional.


Purchase Tickets HERE

The Edison will be an awe-inspiring place for families to come throughout the day for delicious contemporary American fare and drinks combined with the best in service, all within its unique environment. At night, The Edison truly comes alive, and provides a sensory overload of entertainment that will include live musicians, dancers and aerialists – all of which will be on display during the New Year’s Eve Grand Opening.

The Edison at Disney Springs
A lavish “Industrial Gothic” –style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination, The Edison is famous for exceptionally good classic American food, craft cocktails and live entertainment including cabaret and music. With multiple levels and a performance space, The Edison is open for lunch and dinner. The menu is executed by Chef PJ Finneran, and consists of contemporary American fare such as Pork Belly Pops with a chile-brown sugar glaze, Crispy Fried Chicken with cast iron buttermilk biscuits and its signature The Edison Burger, a juicy combination of house-ground sirloin, shortrib and brisket, topped with Cabot cloth-bound cheddar, onion rings, smoked bacon, house pickles, lettuce, tomato, special sauce and served with hand-cut fries. The Edison’s beverage program places a huge focus on artfully crafted cocktails, interesting beer and wines and house-made punches, made to serve from two to 10 guests. The main room features a dance floor and stage, where each night The Edison will feature an eclectic lineup of live entertainment including musicians, aerialists and dancers. The Edison is open 11:30am-1am (Sunday-Wednesday) and 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. (Thursday-Saturday). The Edison will be 21 years and older nightly starting at 9 p.m. The Edison offers discounts for Disney Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members, Tables in Wonderland cardholders and Disney Cast Members. For more information visit TheEdisonFLA.com.

December 8, 2017

Details on the New Disney Skyliner Transportation System

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Earlier this year, Disney released news on a new Disney Skyliner transportation system that will give resort guests an unforgettable journey and a picturesque view of Walt Disney World Resort as they take to the sky to travel from select Disney resorts to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Today, the Disney Parks Blog revealed new details on what you can expect from the Disney Skyliner system.

Select Disney Skyliner cabins will have iconic Disney characters incorporated into their exterior design to give the appearance that a Disney pal is riding along with guests, such as characters from the ‘Fab Five,’ figures from Disney attractions, fan favorites from movies, and more.

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The design of the Disney Skyliner station at International Gateway at Epcot (pictured at the top of this page) will be inspired by the park’s nearby European Pavilions, and will be covered with metal and glass canopies, hand-painted murals and ornamental steel structures that harken back to the early 18th century Art Nouveau style. Guests traveling to Epcot via the Disney Skyliner will be welcomed to the park with a rare birds-eye view of World Showcase.

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The Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station will be the hub of activity for Disney Skyliner. This station is inspired by the open air village marketplaces of the Caribbean and will showcase the nearby resort’s architectural detailing and color schemes. At this station, passengers will be able to transfer gondola routes to reach their destination, or are invited to sit and admire the waterfront resort setting.

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The design style of the station at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will fit with that of the park’s main entrance and bus stations. Passengers traveling here from the Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station can expect a new aerial perspective of the park’s iconic attractions, like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will share a Disney Skyliner station that feels whimsical and contextual with both resorts. Upon departing the gondola station, Skyliner passengers will ascend over Hourglass Lake and enjoy a panoramic view of these two colorful resorts.

Finally, cabins will slow down at the Disney Skyliner turn-station along Buena Vista Drive, where guests can see the mechanical and aerial components that make up the Disney Skyliner.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for future updates, including an opening date on this incredible new guest option.

December 7, 2017

Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival Expands to Six Weeks in 2018

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Guests Will Enjoy California-Inspired Cuisine, Delicious Beverages, Entertainment, Celebrity Chefs and More at Disney California Adventure Park

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 7, 2017) –The popular Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival returns to the Disneyland Resort March 2 to April 12, 2018, with flavors and fare inspired by the Golden State. The culinary festival will bring delicious cuisine, specialty beverages and exciting entertainment to guests of all ages at Disney California Adventure Park. With new experiences happening daily during the six-week event, guests will always find something tasty to try and fun to do as they explore the uniquely Disney festival.

The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival features a variety of offerings for the whole family to enjoy, including unique food and beverage offerings to sip and savor at more than a dozen Festival Marketplaces. Guests will experience presentations and demonstrations with celebrity chefs such as Robert Irvine, Alexandra Guarnaschelli and Shaun O’Neale, food and beverage tastings, winemaker dinners, beer, wine and spirit seminars, and more. Guests also will enjoy live music, entertainment and special activities, all of which bring a “California vibe” to the festival.

Guests looking for more palate-pleasing experiences will want to try the festival’s signature events, including new offerings such as the Disney Family of Wines Dinner, as well as returning favorites like Sweet Sundays and the Winemaker or Brewmaster Dinners. Another guest-favorite returning to the festival is the complimentary Junior Chef experience, with hands-on fun led by Chef Goofy, for children ages 3 to 11.

Many of the Disney California Food & Wine Festival events are included with admission to Disney California Adventure Park. Special signature events and seminars will require a separate fee.

Additional details will be available as the March 2 opening date approaches for the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival. Guests may also check for the latest information and schedules as they become available, at Disneyland.com.

December 6, 2017

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Transformation Details Revealed

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Earlier this year, Disney announced that the Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World would undergo some transformations. Today, as part of the 12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas news series, the Disney Parks Blog shared new colorful details about those enhancements debuting late this summer.

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Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be reimagined as the port of entry where guests will check in before embarking on their island vacation. This centralized location will offer resort guests more convenient access to services, amenities and dining, including an all-new Centertown Market for casual eats, an all-new Shutters restaurant offering waterfront dining adjacent to the new Banana Cabana outdoor bar and lounge, and Calypso Trading Post for shopping.

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Centertown Market will be expanded and enclosed, creating a quick-service restaurant with an indoor street market vibe. Guests will enter the space under a large palapa-like structure, accented with glowing colored light pendants made from glass bottles. The market will feature open shutters, wooden light posts, awnings, ornamentation and unique seating areas. Guests will also have access to the Grab n’ Go market for a specialty coffee and quick bites.

Shutters, a Caribbean-inspired table-service restaurant, will be located on the waterfront of Old Port Royale, transporting guests to a beachfront home in the tropical islands. Large open shutters will allow the sun to cast a warm light into the space adorned with handmade items that appear as they’ve been found on the islands. Leaves and floral design motifs will fill the space, celebrating the natural beauty of the Caribbean.

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A festive poolside bar, Banana Cabana will be a great place to gather for food and drinks, immersing guests into the fun and relaxation of island life. Cabana-style drapes will flank seating areas and re-purposed steel drums will illuminate a central communal table made from a wooden boat.

Forget something? No worries! With its history of being the port’s import and export facility, Calypso Trading Post will offer shoppers Disney merchandise and other vacation essentials.

The Disney Parks Blog will reveal more details on these enhancements coming to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort in the coming weeks.

December 5, 2017

Memorable New Story Elements Add to the Fun at the Pixar Play Parade During Pixar Fest Celebration

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(Disney Parks Blog, December 5, 2017) - Pixar Play Parade returns April 13 to the Disneyland Resort – this time, at Disneyland park! Part of the limited-time Pixar Fest celebration, this delightful parade will bring even more of your favorite Pixar stories to life with the addition of three new story elements.

The parade will begin as all Pixar films have, with an appearance by the iconic and adorable Pixar Lamp. Rolling ahead of the famous lamp will be the familiar yellow Pixar Ball, making a cameo in Pixar Play Parade, as it has in many Pixar films.

Also joining the parade are characters from the beloved film, “Up.” Wilderness Explorer Russell will appear astride the colorful flightless bird, Kevin, with Carl Fredricksen and Dug following behind amid green foliage and snipe chicks, with Carl’s tethered house floating above.

Another popular Pixar story coming to Pixar Play Parade is “Inside Out.” Perched atop colorful memory orbs, Joy and Sadness take flight aboard Bing Bong’s rocket wagon, with Bing Bong himself cheering them on!

Don’t miss these new story elements and the return of Pixar Play Parade, beginning April 13 at Disneyland park.

New Dining, Retail and Family-Friendly Entertainment Coming to Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in Early 2018

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(Disney Parks Blog, December 5, 2017) - Exciting changes are arriving at Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in early 2018. With new dining and entertainment experiences, here’s a peek at what to expect at the beginning of next year.

The new, groundbreaking hyper-reality experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID, will transport guests deep into the Star Wars universe, walking freely and untethered throughout the multisensory experience with friends and family. In groups of four, teams will go undercover as stormtroopers to capture Imperial intelligence vital to the budding rebellion’s survival. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will open on January 5, 2018. Tickets available now at TheVOID.com.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes is a dynamic recreation destination offering a unique combination of dining, drinks, bowling and entertainment. The Downtown Disney District location will feature 20 bowling lanes interspersed throughout the location, four dining areas (indoors and out), more than 25 flat screen TVs, and the ability to host both live performers and DJs. Splitsville will open in early 2018.

Also, D-Street will close on January 2 and reopen in early 2018 as a reimagined retail space that offers Disney fans a variety of Disney-themed home goods. Guests will find a curated assortment of products that will change with each season. Most of the unique items found at D-Street will still be available throughout the resort and shopDisney.com.

Freeform's Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic Premiers Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. EST

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Academy Award-Winning Actress and The View Co-Host Whoopi Goldberg Reveals Disney Holiday Secrets

Special Appearances by ‘Descendants’ star Sofia Carson and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Jordan Fisher

Freeform, Disney’s young adult television and streaming network, announced that Academy Award-winning actress and “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg will host its upcoming holiday special “Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic.” Premiering DEC. 18 at 8:00 p.m. EST, with special co-hosts Disney Channel’s “Descendants” star and Hollywood Records/Republic Records recording artist Sofia Carson and “Dancing with the Stars” winner and Hollywood Records recording artist Jordan Fisher, the festive one-hour event will reveal how the holiday magic and spirit come to life as the Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks and resort hotels are transformed into winter wonderlands filled with seasonal attractions, joyful entertainment, festive décor and special treats that make every day feel like a holiday. The spirit of the season shines even brighter in these magical places where families share traditions and make memories together.

“As a longtime friend of Mickey, there’s no place I’d rather spend the holidays than at the Happiest Place on Earth,” said Whoopi Goldberg. “To see the incredible work that goes into turning the parks into a winter wonderland is truly magical, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”

From the executive producers of the “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings” series, Ann Lewis Roberts, Simon Lythgoe and Jenny Daly, viewers will meet the dedicated team of Disney cast members and Santa’s helpers, who meticulously plan, design, build and bring to life wondrous Christmas trees, life-size gingerbread houses and much more!

“Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic,” hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, will air during Freeform’s annual “25 Days of Christmas” programming event. Now in its 21st year of bringing holiday cheer to viewers, Freeform’s 25 continuous days of holiday-themed entertainment for the whole family runs from Dec. 1–25, and viewers can ring in the season with festive specials, classic holiday movies and returning favorites.

December 4, 2017

12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas Series

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12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas Series to Feature Daily Announcements About New Offerings

BURBANK, Calif. — (Dec. 4, 2017) There’s a special treat in store for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts fans this holiday season: a dozen announcements over 12 days about exciting new offerings coming to Walt Disney Parks & Resorts in 2018 and beyond.

Starting Dec. 5 and continuing daily through Dec. 16, the Disney Parks Blog will unveil exclusive new details about events, entertainment, attractions and more at the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, as well as new offerings aboard Disney Cruise Line.

This magical “12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas” news will give fans a first look at the stellar line-up of projects and updates coming to Disney Parks & Resorts, including:

Never-before-seen images and video
New resort hotel experiences
Delectable new dining options
Special events
Updates about new attractions announced at the 2017 D23 Expo

Stay tuned in to all of the exciting announcements by visiting DisneyParksBlog.com starting Dec. 5, 2017 at 11 a.m. EST.

December 1, 2017

Patina Restaurant Group Announces the Appointment of Chef Theo Schoenegger as Executive Chef of new Dining Experiences in Disney Springs

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Patina Restaurant Group is excited to announce the appointment of Chef Theo Schoenegger as Executive Chef of its new highly anticipated Italian concepts Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante and Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar opening this winter at Disney Springs. One of the most influential Italian chefs in New York history, Theo’s simple yet superb cooking at San Domenico and Palio set the standard for authentic Italian fine dining. A rare chef with versatility to do rustic, more casual food and also elegant, Michelin-level cuisine, Schoenegger is at the top of his game. Now with these new Disney restaurants, he will shift his focus to Sicilian and Roman cuisine.

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Schoenegger comes to Orlando from Las Vegas where he most recently was Executive Chef at Sinatra, an Italian fine dining restaurant located at Wynn Las Vegas. There, he served a modern twist on classic Italian cooking, that included many of Frank Sinatra’s personal favorites. Schoenegger originally cooked these dishes for the legendary singer when living in New York, including spaghetti with clams and ossobuco.

Prior to his work in Las Vegas, Schoenegger spent four years at the helm of Patina Restaurant Group's signature location, Patina, located at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The four star restaurant allowed him to combine his Italian roots with traditional French technique and modern execution. There, he received rave reviews from the Los Angeles Times, received a Michelin star and a Relais & Châteaux rating (only two restaurants in Los Angeles have received this honor). While in California, he embraced cooking with wide-ranging ingredients while keeping dishes contemporary and innovative.

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Schoenegger has traveled all over the U.S. cooking in various kitchens including Aquoria in Palm Beach and Rock Center Café in New York. In 1986, he was a young chef that had the opportunity of a lifetime. He moved from Italy to Midtown Manhattan to work for legendary restaurateur, Tony May, at Palio and at San Domenico, two of the premier Italian restaurants in the country. He showcased his passion for Italian cuisine and set the bar for future chefs who still use his recipes today.

Raised in San Candido, Italy, Schoenegger recounts working on his family's farm and cooking in the kitchen with his mother. Growing up in the mountains, his mother taught him about utilizing what they had locally and showcasing the natural flavors of the ingredients. To this day, he credits his mother as being the most influential cook of his entire career and feels he inherited her passion for food.

Schoenegger will now incorporate his knowledge and technique for Italian cuisine leading the culinary teams at Maria & Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar. The new restaurants will bring a casual elegance to Disney Springs with a blend of star ingredients embedded in elaborate, multipart compositions while keeping the simplicity they demand. Presentation and service will include varieties of amuse bouche upon being seated, a vast selection of fine Italian wines, table-side preparation and service. Guests will experience dishes like Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan), and handmade pastas such as Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), ‘Ncasciata al Forno (Sicilian baked pasta) - served tableside. Other dishes will include fresh fish, richly flavored steaks and chops.

Maria & Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar are slated to open during this winter.

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