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February 1, 2017

Reservations Now Open for Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Premium Events

When the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival returns March 10 through April 16, 2017, the festival will host hundreds of events, seminars and demonstrations. Here's the current schedule of the superstar chefs, wineries and breweries that will be partaking in the 2017 premium events.

The popular “In the Kitchen with…” series debuts for the 2017 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival. See your favorite celebrity chefs Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine, Cat Cora, G. Garvin, Graham Elliot and Jet Tila demonstrate their skills in the kitchen, try a tasting menu created by the chef and even get an autograph! Cost is $99 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

The popular Sweet Sundays events are back! Join celebrity pastry chefs Duff Goldman, Emily Ellyn and Keegan Gerhard as they show how to make some of their delectable desserts. Cost is $79 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Winemaker Dinners highlight wines from California vintners Duckhorn Vineyards and Flora Springs Winery, with a four-course meal carefully selected to enhance the flavor of the wine. While you dine, enjoy insights and inspiration behind the pairings by a knowledgeable winemaker. Cost is $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

A special Winemaker Dinner featuring Disney Family of Wines includes Fess Parker Winery, GoGi Wines, Lasseter Family Winery and Silverado Vineyards. The wineries at this event each have a special connection to the Disney legacy. Cost is $200 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Beer lovers, rejoice! New to this year’s festival, Brewmaster Beer Dinners feature prix fixe dinners where hand-selected beers from California-based breweries will be paired and served with a four-course specialty menu prepared by Disney chefs. Knowledgeable brewmasters present each beer and describe the chef’s inspiration for the pairing. Cost is $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

There are plenty of other ways to take part in the 2017 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival! Learn cooking techniques and get sample tastings during informative Culinary Demonstrations by talented local, visiting and Disneyland Resort chefs. Quench your thirst for knowledge with engaging Beverage Seminars, which feature informative, guided tastings of wine, beer or spirits. There’s fun for the whole family! Kids ages 3-11 can partake in the return of a complimentary, hands-on experience called Jr. Chef, which will take place daily.

Events taking place March 10 through April 1 are now available to book, and reservations will continue to become available 60 days prior to each event’s date. To view a full listing of Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival events or to make reservations visit Disneyland.com/FoodAndWine.

January 31, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Preview at Disney Parks

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Starting February 10, guests visiting Disney Parks will be able to watch an 8-minute sneak preview from Disney's new live-action adaptation "Beauty and the Beast."

-- At Disney California Adventure, the preview will be presented in 3D with special in-theater effects at the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land.

-- At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the film preview will be part of the One Man’s Dream attraction.

Each sneak peek location will also include a display featuring a collection of props and costume pieces actually used in the film's production. Among the film's stars are Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston; Kevin Kline as Maurice; and Josh Gad as LeFou. Eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the 1991 animated film, provides the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as several new songs written by Menken and three-time Oscar® winner Tim Rice. The film will be in theaters March 17.

Disney Schedules Opening Night Events Nationwide for Beauty and the Beast

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Events Include Screening of the Highly-Anticipated Live-Action Film, Special Behind-the-Scenes Content and Music Video for “Beauty and the Beast” Performed by Ariana Grande and John Legend

BURBANK, Calif. (Jan. 31, 2017) – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures is scheduling special opening night events for “Beauty and the Beast” fans on Thursday, March 16 at approximately 590 locations nationwide. The events, which are taking place ahead of the 7:00pm showings at theaters with IMAX®, Dolby Cinema® and other select premium large formats, will give fans the opportunity to be among the first to experience the highly-anticipated live-action film and will include special behind-the-scenes on-screen content and the only opportunity for in-theatre audiences to see Ariana Grande and John Legend’s music video for their Beauty and the Beast duet.

Theaters from AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Marcus and Wehrenberg are participating, as is the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, and each theatre circuit will be offering special concession stand promotions and commemorative give-away’s celebrating the film and the event.

Tickets for the “Beauty and the Beast” opening night fan events are on sale now and available through www.BeOurGuest.com/fan-events/. For more information, visit www.BeOurGuest.com.

About the Film:

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film “Beauty and the Beast,” the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos and produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, p.g.a. and Todd Lieberman, p.g.a. with Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Don Hahn serving as executive producers. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.

Celebrate your team’s conference football championship at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

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Atlanta and New England fans can celebrate their teams’ successful seasons with a free night at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, while the residents of the champion’s state will be able to celebrate in style with a free room upgrade!

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Jan. 30, 2017 – The winners of this year’s big football game between Atlanta and New England will celebrate their victory in style – and now their fans can, too. The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is once again rewarding fans with the “I’m off to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort!” deal for residents of each team’s state.

Residents of both Georgia and New England will receive a free night at the Epcot Resort-area resort when booking two nights at the standard price before February 28, 2017 for stays through Jan. 31, 2018.

For fans of the big game’s winner, there is even more in store. Residents of that team’s state will celebrate in style with a complimentary room upgrade.

Fans also can enjoy a championship-caliber meal at any of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s 17 restaurants and lounges, including Shula’s Steak House, the restaurant of the NFL’s winningest coach, Don Shula.

There’s no better place to celebrate a team’s victory than the place known for championship celebrations.

For additional information, or to make reservations, guests can call 1-800-227-1500 and mention their home state –Georgia or New England. Details of the offer are also available online at www.swandolphin.com/offers/biggame.html. Guests must have valid appropriate state identification (valid New England states include Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) to present upon check-in. Based on rate schedule availability. Offer is not valid Dec. 22 – 31, 2017. Taxes, resort services fee and gratuities not included. Not valid with any other special offers, promotions, or for existing reservations or groups.

January 30, 2017

DisneyQuest to Close July 3, 2017; NBA Experience to Take Its Place

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Today, it was announced that DisneyQuest at Disney Springs West Side will close on July 3, 2017, to make way for The NBA Experience, a one-of-a-kind basketball-themed experience featuring hands-on activities that put guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. The NBA Experience was originally announced for Disney Springs in June 2015.

Until July 3, DisneyQuest will continue to offer a great interactive experience for all guests. Disney fans of classic arcade game favorites and virtual worlds featured at the indoor theme park are invited to come out and enjoy the experiences.

More details will be announced soon regarding the NBA Experience, which will include immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences, as well as a restaurant and a retail store.


Planet Hollywood's Transformed Orlando Flagship Location Opened Today

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America’s Iconic Celebrity-Themed Restaurant Opens Revitalized Location With Four-Story Stargazing Observatory Inspired by Disney Springs’ Turn-of-the-Century Aesthetic

ORLANDO, Fla. (January 30th, 2017) -- Planet Hollywood, America’s preeminent restaurant destination dedicated to celebrating the entertainment industry, opened its Orlando flagship location, Planet Hollywood Observatory, today, January 30, 2017.

Centrally located to all the nearby attractions, the restaurant overlooks the heart of Disney Springs, the dining, retail and entertainment district located at Walt Disney World Resort. Multi-million dollar renovations have transformed Planet Hollywood’s iconic globe into a four-story stargazing observatory with new spaces, including an outdoor terrace and lounge, a new menu and an exciting new look and feel. The 36,000-square-foot restaurant invites patrons of all ages to “Dine Amongst the Stars” with an immersive theatrical dining experience unlike anything before.

Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, each floor was created to provide a different experience so guests can return again and again, discovering a new adventure each time. Walls and glass displays throughout the restaurant are adorned with imagery as well as a curated collection of memorabilia that pays homage to a long tradition of filmmaking and Planet Hollywood Observatory’s continued commitment to the new, rising stars of the entertainment industry. Along with a state-of-the-art 4,500-square-foot video wall, Planet Hollywood Observatory guests will be mesmerized by three-dimensional interiors that come to life through Trompe L’oeil 3D technology, an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist not on the screen but in the space itself.

“We wanted Planet Hollywood Observatory to re-invent what is expected from themed dining. What we’ve created here is a stand-alone destination that evokes the feeling of early 20th century Florida and fits into the greater story of Disney Springs,” said Planet Hollywood International Founder and Chairman Robert Earl. “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome guests, and our wonderful staff, into this newly reimagined space.”

An enhanced, yet timeless menu highlights Planet Hollywood’s classic dishes, introducing a savory selection of “Big Bite Burgers” and over the top Signature Sandwiches from dynamic chef, restaurateur and television personality Guy Fieri and new decadent sweets that include hand-dipped milkshakes and indulgent shareable desserts. A curated beverage program features a variety of wines, bottled and draft beers, as well as cocktails served in specialty glassware to cater to the needs of all guests, from groups with small children to young adults and seniors.

The Stargazers lounge, a 5,000-square-foot outdoor expansion overlooking Disney Springs, allows guests to relax under the stars while enjoying cocktails and live entertainment al fresco. A dedicated beverage menu, focused on Florida craft beers, touts 20 different taps as well as 10 signature cocktails infused with classic Floridian ingredients, such as the Stargazer with Stoli Blueberi vodka, lemonade, fresh blueberries and basil, and The Observatory with Stoli vodka, Limoncino Bottega, Monin Peach Tea and Candoni Prosecco.

Planet Hollywood Observatory is now officially open to the public and is open daily from 11 a.m. until 1 a.m.

January 25, 2017

International Zebra Day - January 31st

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Three types of Zebras make their home at Walt Disney World.

On the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail in Animal Kingdom you will find Grevy's zebra (photo above). You can identify this endangered species by its wide, round ears and the patch of white on its snout before the stripes begin.

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Also at Animal Kingdom you will find Grant's zebras on the Kilimanjaro Safari. Their ears are more pointed and thin, and the stripes continue around their bellies.

Finally, on the savannas at Animal Kingdom Lodge you can spot Hartmann's zebra. Their bellies are white like Grevy’s zebra, but you can identify them by their thin, pointed ears.

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Source: Disney Parks Blog

Paddlefish Restaurant at Disney Springs to Open February 4

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ICONIC DISNEY DESTINATION UNDERGOES COMPLETE TRANSFORMATION Paddlefish, restaurant and rooftop bar and fish boil, will open Feb. 4

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.. (January 25, 2017) -- Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, Feb. 4. The seafood-centric restaurant, formerly known as Fulton’s Crab House, has undergone an extensive, multimillion-dollar transformation which involved a full renovation with a brand new design (interior and exterior) that has transformed the vessel into a modern yacht experience.
The aesthetic of Paddlefish was inspired by a modern, seafaring yacht with its clean lines, crisp designs, refined woods and a sophisticated color palette of blues and grays. Purposeful elements will be showcased in the dining areas such as booths that are put into spaces with great views and a bar that overlooks the paddlewheel. Unique design features include opening up all of the windows for an open-air feel and bar areas decorated with brass accents that resemble fish gills.

“We’re excited to embark upon Paddlefish’s next voyage, and can’t wait for guests to share this new experience with us,” said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy Restaurants. "As Disney Springs evolves and grows, we're looking forward to sharing this newly reimagined restaurant with both vacationers and Florida locals.”

Paddlefish’s menu will showcase fresh seafood including Maine lobster, King and Snow crabs and a selection of fresh fish including sea bass, catfish and salmon. Fan favorites and classic dishes from Fulton’s Crab House, such as Lobster Corn Dogs and Crab Legs, will still be offered on the menu alongside new, contemporary options such as Lobster Risotto and Jambalaya. The menu also features interactive dining experiences including tableside services like Lobster Guacamole and Branzino for Two carved right at your table.

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“It’s been incredible to have this opportunity to not only completely redevelop the menu, but also the kitchen design to accommodate it,” said Executive Chef Mark Boor. “I’ve put my heart and soul into creating a well-balanced menu that will have something that appeals to every palate and I’m excited to finally welcome guest on board and see that hard work and vision come to life."

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Paddlefish will also showcase unique beverage offerings. The cocktail menu was inspired by classic, turn-of-the-century American cocktails and gives them a unique, modern spin with fresh ingredients and spirits that are house made by small craft artisan distillers. “We’ve really dug deep into finding some truly rare and amazing wines and spirits along with our favorite, familiar classics,” said General Manager, Jimmy Kraus. “Our goal was to have cocktails that feel timeless, unique and balanced.”

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Paddlefish will be open for lunch and dinner in addition to offering a Sunday brunch. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy three unique dining room experiences on the ship, which can seat a total 760 guests. Guests can enjoy their meal in the main dining room, in the “Boil Room” where guests can create their own seafood boils or on the rooftop deck where guests can sip on shared punch bowls and snack on shared plates while soaking in the sun and views of Lake Buena Vista and Disney Springs. Paddlefish also offers versatile private dining rooms and event spaces to accommodate celebrations or meetings from 20 to 1,000 guests.

About Paddlefish

Docked on the shores of Lake Buena Vista, Paddlefish is the only venue in Disney Springs to offer rooftop-level waterfront dining. Led by Executive Chef Mark Boor, Paddlefish’s menu features fresh seafood and interactive tableside experiences. Paddlefish is outfitted with several private dining rooms as well as a rooftop setting that can be rented out to accommodate groups of all sizes. Paddlefish seats 760 guests and is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch and its rooftop deck is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch and its rooftop deck is open for late night drinks and dining until 1 a.m. For more information visit www.paddlefishrestaurant.com.

Disney Cruise Line Now Offers Marvel Day at Sea on Select 2018 Disney Magic Sailings

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Disney Cruise Line Expands Marvel Day at Sea to Select Disney Magic Sailings from Miami in 2018

CELEBRATION, Fla., Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2018, Disney Cruise Line guests will celebrate Marvel Day at Sea on the Disney Magic during eight special voyages from Miami departing January through April. The new Marvel Day at Sea voyages from Miami follow the premiere of the epic event on seven special sailings from New York City in the fall of 2017. New character interactions and an immersive show with Doctor Strange take center stage in the lineup of entertainment throughout the day-long celebration on all Marvel Day at Sea cruises.

Marvel Day at Sea combines the thrills of renowned Marvel comics, films and animated series, with the excitement of a Disney Cruise to summon everyone's inner Super Hero for the adventures that lie ahead during this unforgettable day at sea.

The event features exclusive character interactions, including the debut of Black Panther and Loki as part of a Disney vacation experience. Marvel Day at Sea also marks the first official appearance of Iron Man on a Disney Cruise Line ship.

In the Walt Disney Theatre, a spell-binding new show featuring Doctor Strange will keep families on the edge of their seats. Doctor Strange will showcase his journey from doubter to practitioner as he demonstrates the power of the mystic arts. The show concludes with an epic battle where guests must help Doctor Strange against the Dark Dimension.

Occurring on one action-packed day during each of the special Disney Magic sailings, Marvel Day at Sea transports guests to a new realm of possibilities when the Marvel Universe assembles on the ship. The event features all-day entertainment including interactions with some of the mightiest Marvel Super Heroes and the menacing foes who oppose them, an extraordinary deck party, Marvel-themed youth activities, special merchandise and unique food and beverage offerings.

Also featured are exclusive at-sea screenings of fan-favorite films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe including the newest theatrical releases, as well as viewings of the Disney XD shows: Marvel's Avengers Assemble, Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.

Marvel Day at Sea hosts an awesome mix of immersive entertainment that is sure to empower guests to unlock their hidden superhuman abilities as they assemble their own Super Hero community onboard the Disney Magic on this very special day. Highlights include:

Unleash Your Inner Super Hero during the Ultimate Day at Sea

Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Black Panther, Loki and other Marvel Universe Super Heroes and Villains are onboard for scheduled interactions and photos.
During an immersive show in the Walt Disney Theatre, Doctor Strange demonstrates the power of the mystic arts and enlists guests in an epic battle against the Dark Dimension.
A brand-new spectacular party fills the upper deck with music, dancing and games.
The deck party culminates in a stunning display of themed pyrotechnics, lighting, sound effects and the largest collection of Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains ever assembled on a cruise ship.
Kids and families summon their Marvel knowledge and enjoy friendly competition during trivia games, covering courageous heroes and fun facts from the Marvel Universe.
For young heroes-in-training, Marvel-themed games, activities and arts and crafts will be offered throughout the day in the Marvel's Avengers Academy in the Oceaneer Club.

The new 2018 Marvel Day at Sea sailings depart from Miami on Jan. 7, 21; Feb. 4, 18; March 18; April 1, 15 and 29. The five-night cruises include a stop at Disney's private island Castaway Cay and either Cozumel, Mexico, or Grand Cayman.

Marvel Day at Sea from New York will be on seven- and eight-night Disney Magic Bahamian cruises departing on Oct. 6, 14, 28; Nov. 4, 11 and 18, 2017. All will include a stop at Disney's private island Castaway Cay and Port Canaveral, Fla., with a day at the Walt Disney World Resort. Marvel Day at Sea will be on one seven-night Canadian Coast cruise departing from New York on Oct. 21, 2017, with stops at Charlottetown, Sydney and Halifax.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit http://www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.

January 20, 2017

ABC's 'The View' Comes to Walt Disney World Resort March 6-10

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Lucky Viewers Can Enter for a Chance to Join the Festivities in 'The View's "Magic Is Endless" Sweepstakes

The magic kicked off on The View recently as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto joined Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sara Haines, Jedediah Bila and Sunny Hostin live in studio to share the exciting news that “The View” will broadcast from Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. March 6-10 (11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET). The co-hosts will experience the endless magic of all four Walt Disney World theme parks, enjoy entertaining conversations on the hottest topics and welcome celebrity guests to the talk show’s stage at the majestic “Tree of Life.”

“The View” continues its year-long celebration of season 20 with its first-ever broadcast from Walt Disney World and ratings up across the board, making it the only broadcast daytime show to see gains in the key demos this season. The show previously broadcast for one week from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Calif. in March 2009 and from the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. in Nov. 2013.

The excitement continues with “The View”’s “Magic Is Endless” Sweepstakes presented by American Tourister, offering the chance for three lucky viewers to win grand-prize packages including a trip for themselves and up to three guests each to Walt Disney World Resort, attend the taping of “The View” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and receive a $500 Disney gift card. Plus each grand-prize winner and their guests will receive a hardside carry-on suitcase featuring Disney and Star Wars characters courtesy of American Tourister.

The entry period ends Jan. 29 at 11:59 p.m. ET. “The View”’s “Magic is Endless” Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 or older. No purchase necessary. Winners must travel between March 3-8, 2017. Viewers can learn more and enter for a chance to win at www.TheViewMagicIsEndlessSweepstakes.com or by visiting The View’s homepage at abc.com/theview, which contains full details and Official Rules.

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