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December 8, 2016

Morimoto Asia Rings in the Holidays

Ready to ring in the holidays? Visit Morimoto Asia for new and inovative holiday cocktails!

Winter Wonderland, Fuji Apple Holiday Cider and more. (Click on the photo for a detailed image.)

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How about an Asian Whisky Flight? (Click on the photo for a detailed image.)

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Morimoto Asia is located in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World.

December 6, 2016

New Land of Fantasy and a New Year Full of Magical Additions at Walt Disney World

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The unveiling of a magical, mythical world of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and soaring Banshees anchors an exciting 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort – a year filled with new water park fun, a new festival for Epcot, more openings at Disney Springs, an awe-inspiring nighttime experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and much more.

Here’s a roundup at what the new year has in store:

Pandora – The World of Avatar – A transformational experience unlike any other, Pandora – The World of Avatar, opens in summer 2017. In collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment, Disney is bringing to life the fantasy world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s epic film AVATAR, in a breathtaking new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Avatar Flight of Passage will send guests flying above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee. Bioluminescent rainforests dramatically wrap around Na’vi River Journey, a family-friendly boat ride.

Hungry adventurers can recharge at Satu’li Canteen, the main dining location, or Pongu Pongu, a drink kiosk with a design as eclectic as its expat owner. Shoppers can stock up on Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more at Windtraders. “From the place making to the two extraordinary attractions that will be in the land…these promise to set new high-watermarks for the experiential magic we give our guests,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Disney Parks and Resorts.

More Additions to Disney Springs in 2017 – With the multi-year makeover of this hip, happening district for dining, shopping and entertainment in the homestretch, still more exciting openings are on tap for 2017. Great new food and beverage venues lead the way.

Paddlefish – Sleek and modern after a bow-to-stern transformation from the former Fulton’s Crab House, Paddlefish will serve fresh seafood, steaks and chops. Unique menu choices for seafood lovers include a build-your-own boil. A new rooftop lounge will serve up a late-night menu and shipshape views of the water and Disney Springs. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

Planet Hollywood Observatory – Longtime Downtown Disney-goers will remember the iconic domed restaurant that drew celebrities and fans of the Hollywood scene. The reborn space will be themed to stars of a different kind: a turn-of-the-20th-Century observatory serving up amazing burgers and sandwiches created by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, and craft cocktails whose names are inspired by the planets and space travel. Movie memorabilia, video screens, contemporary music and themed merchandise complete the scene.

The Polite Pig – A sister restaurant to the Ravenous Pig, a favorite with Orlando locals, The Polite Pig will bring the same focus on genuine Florida cuisine to a broader global audience at Disney Springs. Lunch and dinner menus will feature a variety of wood-fired smoked and grilled items as well as an innovative beverage program that serves all drinks on tap, including beer, wine and cocktails.

Wine Bar George – Orlando master sommelier George Miliotes uncorks his first Disney wine bar in a space reminiscent of a winemaker’s estate warmed by oak wood and cozy lighting. Small plates dominate the food menu but it will be the wines with a starring role: more than 100 selections both by the bottle and the glass in a range of varietals and vintages.

Home to four distinct neighborhoods, Disney Springs treats guests to a world of beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs, arcing foot bridges and waterfront charm. Venues have doubled – to approximately 150.

New Family Raft Ride at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – Aboard this family-style raft adventure, guests will be immersed in the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer. Legend holds that this treasure hunter roamed the seven seas in search of undersea artifacts – until a rogue storm marooned her at Typhoon Lagoon. Guests gently ascend in treasure rafts, only to plunge into a whitewater adventure where they will encounter some of Mary’s deep sea booty. When it opens in spring 2017, it will be one of the longest attractions (2 minutes) at Disney’s Water Parks.

Rivers of Light – Coming in 2017, this powerful theatrical production takes Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests on a magnificent emotional journey – a visual mix of water, fire, nature and light choreographed to an original musical score. Continuing the park’s transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience, the amazing after-dark show on the banks of Discovery River celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world. With innovative and never-before-seen technology, Rivers of Light will be unlike any other production ever staged at Walt Disney World Resort.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts – Epcot welcomes an all-new festival playing winter weekends and treating guests to a triple scoop of artful fun. For six colorful weekends (Fridays through Mondays) Jan. 13-Feb. 20, visual, culinary and performing arts will take center stage. Each weekend will feature taste bud-tempting and eye-dazzling creations from the Disney culinary team. Meantime, exciting new art from various media will tempt art lovers. Because the artwork will change out, it’s a new art festival every weekend. In addition, the lagoon-side stage at American Gardens Theatre will pulse with favorite showtunes performed by Broadway talent. In a collaboration with Disney Theatrical, songs from some of Disney on Broadway’s award-winning shows including The Lion King, Newsies and Aladdin will be performed.

Unique All-New Experiences for Dining, Star Wars Fans – A new adventure in Disney dining and the ultimate Star Wars tour are being offered to guests in 2017.

Disney’s famed monorail is your connection in a movable feast called Highway in the Sky Dine-Around. The new experience gives guests priority boarding on the monorail for a distinctly Disney dining experience with stops for cocktails, appetizers, dinner and dessert. From a welcome cocktail at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, guests call at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (apps), Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (entree) and back to the Contemporary for dessert, cordials and coffee. Offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

For the ultimate Star Wars fan comes the ultimate tour. An all-new Star Wars Guided Tour is a seven-hour immersion in all current Star Wars experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Character greetings, themed dining, ride experiences, insider’s tours, dessert party and VIP viewing of Star Wars: a Galactic Spectacular are among highlights. Offered Mondays and Saturdays, it’s part of several new Star Wars additions announced in December 2016 for the park, including a new onstage sequence in the daytime experience “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.” Star Wars-themed lands are planned for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

New Cabins and Deluxe Villas coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – In 2017, a proposed new Disney Vacation Club Resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, is scheduled to open, featuring new Resort accommodations that include plans for Deluxe Villas and unique waterfront cabins. Other enhancements coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge include a brand-new bar & grill, in addition to a quick-service restaurant. A sweeping re-imagination of the former Hidden Springs Pool, part of Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, is also scheduled to open in summer 2017. Named Boulder Ridge Cove, this area will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool.

New Cheerleading, Dance Venue for ESPN Wide World of Sports – A first-of-its-kind venue specifically designed for the high-energy world of cheerleading and dance team competition opens its doors in 2017 at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The complex is collaborating with Varsity Spirit, the nation’s top cheerleading organization, in bringing the new multi-use venue to life. The venue will include a flexible design that allows for as many as four competition areas. With the ability to seat more than 8,000 guests, the sports and entertainment venue also can accommodate six regulation basketball courts, six regulation volleyball courts or be configured for concerts.

The Main Street Electrical Parade Returns Jan. 20, Lighting Up the Nighttime at Disneyland!


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Separate-Ticket Premiere Welcomes Main Street Electrical
Parade Back to Disneyland Park on Thursday, Jan. 19

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2016) –The Main Street Electrical Parade, one of the most popular of all Disney parades, returns to Disneyland Park Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, with all the lights, sounds, music and fun that have made it a beloved icon. With nightly performances through Sunday, June 18, guests will have a limited time to enjoy the parade’s encore performance.

The dazzling and colorful after-dark parade premiered in Disneyland in 1972 and has been seen at Disney Parks around the world. Although its last Disneyland Park performance was in November 1996, and at Disney California Adventure Park in 2010, it has continued to shine brightly in the memories of thousands of guests.

Guests who wish to be among the first to welcome the parade back to Disneyland may purchase a special, separate ticket for an after-hours premiere on Thursday evening, Jan.19. After the park closes, premiere ticket holders will enjoy a night of exclusive access to select Disneyland attractions and select restaurants from 7:30 to midnight, along with an exciting performance of the Main Street Electrical Parade before its official return on Jan. 20. Tickets to the premiere go on sale for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders on Tuesday, Dec. 6, and to the general public on Tuesday, Dec. 13. They may be purchased at any Disneyland Resort ticket booth or by calling 714-781-INFO (714-781-4636).

Accompanied by treasured Disney tunes interwoven with the distinctive “Baroque Hoedown” synthesized soundtrack, the Main Street Electrical Parade brings a variety of beloved Disney stories to life in parade floats covered in approximately half a million twinkling lights. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy lead the way and Cinderella, Peter Pan, Snow White, Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland are among the characters whose stories unfold along the parade route. Tinker Bell now appears with other fairies on the Peter Pan float.

The parade’s return to Disneyland for the first time since 1996 also marks the return of the original Main Street Electrical Parade opening float. A whimsical train pulls a giant drum unit that proclaims “Disneyland Presents ... Main Street Electrical Parade” in bright lights.

Some of the parade’s most impressive scenes are the 23-foot-tall Clock Tower looming over Cinderella’s Ball, attended by elegant ballroom dancers in costumes covered with lights; and the 108-foot-long finale unit, a red-white-and-blue tribute to America. Elliot, the smoke-breathing, tail-wagging “Pete’s Dragon,” weighs more than 5,600 pounds and is 16 feet tall, more than 10 feet wide and 38 feet long. Guests will need to keep an eye out for Elliot, who disappears from time to time along the route.

The Main Street Electrical Parade was performed more than 3,600 times for more than 75 million guests during its original run in Disneyland Park. The enduring popularity of the parade led to Electrical Parades at Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The parade returned to the Disneyland Resort with an engagement in Disney California Adventure Park from 2001 to 2010.

A specially decorated Main Street Electrical Parade boat will appear in the 108th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, Dec. 14 through 18 in Newport Harbor. Mickey Mouse will serve as Grand Marshal for the popular boat parade on opening night, Wednesday, Dec. 14, accompanied by Disney Ambassador Allie Kawamoto.

Information about the Main Street Electrical Parade premiere party, happening after hours on Jan. 19, will be available on www.Disneyland.com beginning Tuesday, Dec. 6.

December 5, 2016

New Star Wars Experiences Coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Lineup includes new elements from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” updates to fan favorites and an ultimate tour of Star Wars experiences

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Dec. 5, 2016) – A galaxy of new Star Wars experiences is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning mid-December. The announcement -- made today at Walt Disney World Resort -- noted that some of the coming-soon additions are inspired by “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” that opens in theaters worldwide on Dec. 16.

Guests, including fans of the epic space saga, will find new entertainment, special displays inside Star Wars Launch Bay, a first-ever themed tour and more at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Premiering this Month

-- Star Wars Launch Bay – a multi-sensory space celebrating all things Star Wars – is now updated with authentic replicas from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” joining other Star Wars memorabilia in the preview gallery. Making-of footage from “Rogue One” has been added to the “Meet the Makers” film featured in Star Wars Launch Bay.
-- In the popular daytime stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away,” guests will get a first look at AWR Troopers from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Outfitted in their specialized Stormtrooper armor with a dark, ominous gleam, these soldiers serve as bodyguards and enforcers for Director Krennic, a highly placed officer within the Advance Weapons Research (AWR) division of the Empire. A new Troopers sequence will join the show Dec. 16. Performances daily.
-- The fan favorite nighttime show, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on December 16 and will join “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” as a second nightly fireworks spectacular at the park through Dec. 31. The show will continue to be presented in 2017.
-- Starting mid-December, randomized tracks will be returning to Star Tours – the Adventures Continue, the popular attraction that uses motion simulator-based technology. Instead of each ride experience launching from the planet of Jakku, the attraction will be randomized to both start and end at different locations for every galactic journey. New scenes from “Star Wars: Episode VIII” will be added to Star Tours in the coming year.

New in 2017
For the ultimate fan comes the ultimate tour. An all-new Star Wars guided tour is a seven-hour immersion in all the park’s current Star Wars experiences. Here’s what it includes:

A Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide
Priority boarding for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Encounter two Star Wars characters (Chewbacca and Kylo Ren) at Star Wars Launch Bay
An in-depth, insider’s tour around Star Wars Launch Bay
Screening of “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi”
Enjoy Star Wars-themed menu items during dinner at Backlot Express
A spot in the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which includes themed sweets and specialty beverages, as well as reserved viewing for the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show

Younglings ages 4-12 on the guided tour package can also train in the way of The Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. Priced at $129 per person, tours begin Jan. 2 and will be offered on Mondays and Saturdays throughout 2017. Reservations for January tours can be made soon.

This latest flight of additions celebrating the Star Wars saga continues to elevate the Star Wars presence at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Entire Star Wars-themed lands are now under construction at the theme park and at Disneyland Park in California

December 4, 2016

NEW Disney Parks Planning DVD is HERE! Order Today!

The 2017 Disney Parks Planning DVD for Walt Disney World and Disneyland has arrived in time for the holidays.

Your FREE planning videos will include:

A complete tour of the 4 Theme parks, 2 Water Parks and over 20 Resort hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

A tour of the Disneyland Resort in California, including 2 Theme Parks and 3 Resort hotels

Affordable ways to play and stay during your Disney vacation, plus personalized tips, and information on special events

Get your free copy now by clicking on the link:

December 3, 2016

New PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs

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A brand-new Disney PhotoPass Studio just debuted in the Marketplace at Disney Springs, and is the perfect place to snap a family portrait.

At the Studio, guests can choose from the original standard background or new virtual backgrounds that place you front and center at some of your favorite Disney scenes. A Disney PhotoPass Photographer will be onhand to find the perfect virtual background for your portrait.

Along with additional portrait spaces, new view stations have been installed for you to easily preview, purchase and print all of your vacation memories linked to your Disney account with the assistance of a Disney PhotoPass Photographer*.

Reservations are not needed to visit the Disney PhotoPass Studio, and photos taken at this location will be linked to your My Disney Experience account. Studio photos are also included as part of an active Memory Maker entitlement.

*Online account registration required. Disney PhotoPass Service and Memory Maker are subject to the Disney PhotoPass and Memory Maker terms and applicable policies available at https://mydisneyphotopass.disney.go.com/help-and-support/policies. Photos in your account will expire pursuant to the expiration policy Downloads are restricted to personal use only. Not responsible for missing, lost or damaged photos. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

Spaceship Earth to Become Star Wars Death Star

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Spaceship Earth at Epcot to become Giant Star Wars Death Star during Special After-Hours Event

In celebration for the upcoming release of Rogue One – A Star Wars Story, Walt Disney World is hosting a special (now sold out) event during which Spaceship Earth will magically transform into the iconic super-weapon the Death Star.

The evening will also include announcements about the new Star Wars experiences and enhancements coming to Walt Disney World.

You will be able to watch this exclusive after-hours event on the Disney Parks Blog during #DisneyParksLIVE stream on Monday, December 5.

The #DisneyParksLIVE stream will begin at 10:25 p.m. on the Disney Parks Blog.

To follow along on Twitter, use the hashtags #DisneyParksLIVE and #RogueOne.

November 29, 2016

Highway in the Sky Dine-Around Launches Dec. 2 at Walt Disney World Resort

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The new Highway in the Sky Dine-Around will give guests priority boarding on the monorail for a dining journey around the circuit between Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

The journey starts with check-in at The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You then board the monorail to be whisked off to Disney’s Polynesian Resort to celebrate the spirit of the South Pacific with island-inspired sips and appetizers.

Afterward, you return to the monorail and head to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where you will enjoy a sumptuous wine dinner at award-winning Citricos. After dinner, sip sparkling wine and sample artisanal cheese in the Grand Floridian's lobby.

The monorail then takes you to your final stop -- Disney’s Contemporary Resort for dessert, cordials and coffee on a private patio with a view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks over Cinderella Castle.

Highway in the Sky Dine-Around is offered Tuesday, Friday and Sunday beginning December 2. Reservations open November 29. (No dine-around between Dec. 18 and Jan. 3). Cost is $150 plus tax and gratuity. Valet parking is included. For reservations, 407-WDW-DINE.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

November 25, 2016

2017 Food and Wine Festival Dates Announced

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Dates Announced for the 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Mark your calendar: August 31 through November 13 will be a record 75 days of global culinary creations, celebrity chefs, premium events, Eat to the Beat concerts, and more.

November 23, 2016

New Amenities Coming to Disney's Wildnerness Lodge

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Those who’ve visited Disney’s Wilderness Lodge recently may have noticed that the Disney Vacation Club accommodations formerly known as The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge have assumed a new name – Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. This new name more accurately reflects the railroad theming of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and complements the storyline of the resort.

But that’s not all that’s changing at the resort. A sweeping re-imagination of the former Hidden Springs Pool area will help tell the richly layered backstory of Boulder Ridge. Depicted in the artist rendering below and scheduled to open in summer 2017, Boulder Ridge Cove will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool in what appears to have been an abandoned rock quarry.

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Such rejuvenating transformations were common in the Pacific Northwest following the mid-20th-century fading of the Transcontinental Railroad, as locals turned rails into trails – repurposing everything from bridges and tunnels to cranes and quarries. A nearby “Boulder Ridge Railway and Mining Co.” water tower will be among the pool area’s landmark reminders of its pioneering past, while a vintage mine cart supports the mining theme with an affectionate nod to Disney history.

Beyond the new pool space, scheduled enhancements to the resort are “chugging along” and include a brand-new bar & grill, in addition to a quick-service restaurant. Geyser Point Bar & Grill will be located in the heart of the feature pool area of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, where Members and guests can grab a bite to eat as they lounge by the resort’s main pool. The rendering for this area highlights ample outdoor seating and architecture that looks right at home with that of the existing Lodge, as well as Boulder Ridge Villas.

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