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October 2015 Archives

October 1, 2015

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Completes Swan Guest Room Redesign

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Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Sept. 30, 2015 – The largest makeover in the history of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is one step closer to completion. The hotel has completed redesigning every guest room in the 758-room Swan Hotel. The work is part of a multi-phase, multi-year, $125 million redesign project that will transform every guest room in both the Swan and Dolphin buildings. The first phase of the 1,509-room Dolphin starts later this year.

The new room is inspired by the resort’s water-themed architecture and offers guests a serene and sophisticated atmosphere.

The guest room features all-new upgraded furniture and all of the latest technology including large HD TVs. Additional power outlets provide corporate executives and family travelers more options for use of multiple personal electronics. A glass-topped desk on wheels provides guests with a flexible tabletop space for wherever and whatever the need.

Noted interior design and architecture firm Garcia Stromberg/GS4 Studios along with award-winning interior design firm KBCO Design created the concepts for the new rooms.

Blending an artistic combination of whites, blues and grays, the design creates a tasteful ambiance that appeals to adults while abstract artwork playfully delights children as well.

The centerpiece of the room is the famous Westin Heavenly Bed with its all-white custom-designed pillow-top mattress set, cozy down blanket, a trio of crisp sheets, goose down comforter and four over-stuffed pillows.

The design continues into a completely new bathroom, featuring residential style vanities and a back lit mirror on iridescent glass tiles.

“This new room product provides our guests with their own personal oasis,” said General Manager Fred Sawyers. “Whether visiting for business or leisure, it’s the ideal space to relax and reenergize.”

The hotel’s public spaces, restaurants, meeting rooms, shops, pools and recreational areas will not be impacted and remain fully operational throughout the renovation.

The entire rooms project is currently scheduled for completion by the end of 2017.

October 3, 2015

The Good Dinosaur Preview Scenes at Disney Parks October 16

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Preview Scenes from Disney•Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’ at Disney Parks Starting October 16

Imagine if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct. That’s the premise behind Disney•ŸPixar’s epic adventure, “The Good Dinosaur,” coming to theaters this Thanksgiving.

Beginning October 16, guests visiting Disney Parks will be able to catch a preview of scenes from “The Good Dinosaur” in sneak peeks planned for Disney California Adventure park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

At Disney California Adventure park, “The Good Dinosaur” preview will be presented at the Bug’s Life Theater with special in-theater effects. Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get to see this advance look at clips from the film, as part of the One Man’s Dream attraction on Mickey Avenue.

In “The Good Dinosaur,” Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

Directed by Peter Sohn (“Partly Cloudy”) and produced by Denise Ream (“Cars 2”), DisneyŸ•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters on November 25, 2015.

Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday with Disney Cruise Line

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CELEBRATION, Fla. – This holiday season, give a gift that’s both nautical and nice: a cruise on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy, all decked out with holiday cheer. Starting early November, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship during Very Merrytime Cruises, with traditional “turkey day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries” and New Year’s Eve galas. But the best part might just be relaxing on deck instead of shoveling snow.

During these voyages through the new year, special stem-to-stern holiday events include:

** “Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic” in the atrium lobby on the first night of the cruise, where Disney characters lead holiday carols and the lighting of the glittering, three-deck-tall tree.

** “Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball” in the atrium lobby, where Disney cruisers welcome the guests of honor, Santa and Mrs. Claus, with a grand celebration featuring Broadway-style entertainment, favorite Disney characters and classic holiday tunes. This evening of enchantment is made complete when a special pair of royal sisters joins the party and causes a flurry of “frozen” fun as a magical snowfall overtakes the atrium.

** Holiday story time beneath the giant tree, where children gather to hear classic tales of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza, including a cozy and intimate storytelling with Mrs. Claus as she shares some of her favorite Christmas stories.

** Dickens-inspired carolers carrying the spirit of the holidays throughout the ship while singing holiday classics, sometimes with the help of favorite Disney friends. At the end of the cruise, children will have the opportunity to join the carolers onstage for a special farewell show.

** Family holiday activities including building gingerbread houses and meeting Santa Claus.

** Youth holiday crafts such as decorating stockings and gingerbread men cookies, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells.

** “Deck the Deck Holiday Party,” a tropical celebration with Disney friends leading games such as hula hooping and limbo under oversized candy canes, along with dances for the whole family like the “Yuletide Slide” and a conga line around the pool.

** A special holiday edition of the cheerful farewell celebration on the final night of each cruise, with beloved Disney characters and the ship’s crew in an engaging musical finale led by Mickey Mouse.

On Thanksgiving Day, guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast, visits from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. Also during the special Thanksgiving voyages, NFL football games will be broadcast live on the ships’ outdoor, jumbo LED screens – Funnel Vision – located near the family pool.

Christmas morning at the atrium lobby tree Santa Claus and his helpers will have a surprise for all the kids, and guests will delight in a special musical performance from the children. A traditional Christmas Dinner will be served that night in the dining rooms.

Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Hanukkah services will be held each day, Dec. 6 to Dec. 14.

When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, during the holidays, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music.

For an extra sprinkle of holiday joy, special amenities are available for stateroom delivery. Purchased in advance of sailing, these include holiday-themed gift packages and treat baskets and even mini Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, red berries, mini carnations and a bow topper. Plus, during the holiday cruises, the Disney Cruise Line holiday merchandise collection and ever-popular Disney Cruise Line ornaments will be available in the gift shops.

To ring in 2016, voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown.

To celebrate the holidays, the Disney Magic sails four- and five-night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises departing Nov. 11 to Dec. 23; the Disney Wonder sails four-, six- and seven-night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises departing Nov. 6 to Dec. 24; the Disney Dream sails three- and four-night Bahamian cruises departing Nov. 9 to Dec. 24; and the Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises departing Nov. 14 to Dec. 19.

October 4, 2015

Annual/Seasonal Pass and Tables in Wonderland Price Increases

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Walt Disney World has announced a number of price increases that go into effect today, October 4, 2015.

1. Annual and Seasonal passes have been renamed and given a new price structure.

OLD NAME: Premium Annual Pass
NEW NAME: Platinum Plus Pass
PRICE: $729 for Florida Resident/DVC Member / $829 Otherwise

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except activities/events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), Disney’s Oak Trail golf course, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges
-- Disney PhotoPass (unlimited downloads)

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

OLD NAME: Annual Pass
NEW NAME: Platinum Pass
PRICE: $649 for Florida Resident/DVC Member / $749 Otherwise

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except activities/events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges
-- Disney PhotoPass (unlimited downloads)

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

NEW TIER: Gold Pass
PRICE: $549 for Florida Resident/DVC Member

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, except for “blockout” dates around Christmas/New Year's and Easter/spring break
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges
-- Disney PhotoPass (unlimited downloads)

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

OLD NAME: Seasonal Pass
NEW NAME: Florida Resident Silver Pass
PRICE: $389 for Florida Resident

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission from the activation date to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, except for “blockout” dates around Christmas/New Year's, Easter/spring break, and peak summer vacation period
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

NEW TIER: Florida Resident Weekday Select Pass
PRICE: $259 for Florida Resident

Entitles guest to:
-- admission on weekdays only to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom except for “blockout” dates around Christmas/New Year's, Easter/spring break, and peak summer vacation period
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

TIER: Epcot After 4 P.M. Pass
PRICE: $249 for Florida Resident

Entitles guest to:
-- admission to Epcot, after 4 p.m.
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand

The above prices DO NOT include tax. For a table with the complete listing of all Walt Disney World admission prices, including tax, as well as renewal prices, visit our Ticket Price Comparison Chart.

2. Tables in Wonderland prices have increased.

-- NEW PRICE: $175 for Florida Residents (was $125)

-- NEW PRICE: $150 for Annual / Seasonal Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members (was $100)

Add a second membership for your spouse or partner for $50 more.

Tables in Wonderland memberships are good for one year.

October 6, 2015

Disney Cruise Line Releases Early 2017 Ports and Intineraries

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Returning to popular destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas

CELEBRATION, Fla. (Oct. 6, 2015) – In early 2017, Disney Cruise Line returns to favorite destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas on a variety of itineraries, most from popular Florida ports. Limited-time engagements in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Galveston, Texas, complete the line-up for the first part of the year.

During these sailings, Disney Cruise Line guests will visit timeless tropical locales, dive into charming island cultures, sunbathe on golden beaches and revel in local marketplaces. Most cruises feature a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.

Bookings open to the public on Oct. 8, 2015.

Port Canaveral

With three Disney ships in port and cruise lengths spanning three, four and seven nights, vacationers looking for a Disney Cruise Line getaway in early 2017 have a full menu of options from Port Canaveral. Every sailing includes a day at Castaway Cay.

The Disney Fantasy continues to sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages, while the Disney Dream embarks on three- and four-night cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay. Beginning Jan. 29, the Disney Wonder will alternate similar three- and four-night itineraries.

Miami

To kick off 2017, the Disney Magic continues sailing from Miami with three-, four- and five-night voyages to the Bahamas, plus select five-night Western Caribbean cruises, through March 31.

Castaway Cay awaits guests aboard every one of these Disney Magic sailings. Other Bahamian ports of call include Nassau and Key West, while a stop in Grand Cayman or Cozumel headlines the Western Caribbean itineraries.

San Juan and Galveston

From San Juan, the Disney Magic sets sail on four seven-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean. Departing April 9, 16, 23 and 30, this limited-time engagement includes calls on Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Kitts.

The Disney Wonder completes a season in Galveston with two seven-night Bahamian voyages to Key West, Castaway Cay and Nassau on Jan. 6 and 13. From there, the ship embarks on a six-night journey to San Juan on Jan. 20 with stops in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica.

On Jan. 26, a three-night cruise aboard the Disney Wonder takes guests from San Juan to Port Canaveral, just an hour away from Walt Disney World Resort—the perfect stop for a fairytale land and sea adventure.

The Good Dinosaur - New Trailer

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"The Good Dinosaur" asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voice of Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

October 9, 2015

Countdown to New Year’s with Sensational Entertainment, Extended Hours and Dining Options at Walt Disney World Resort

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort is the perfect place to ring in the New Year. With spectacular fireworks shows, world-class entertainment, and endless dining options, guests can celebrate New Year’s Eve with a touch of Disney magic.

Here’s a look at some of Disney’s entertainment and dining celebrations planned for New Year’s Eve 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort.

Entertainment

Epcot – Guests can celebrate all night long at Epcot. DJs and live music around World Showcase bring guests to their feet with beats from around the globe. Two showings of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” fireworks spectacular at 6 p.m. and 11:40 p.m., followed by a countdown and pyrotechnic salute to the New Year will top off the celebration.

Magic Kingdom – Guests can get a head start on welcoming 2016 at Magic Kingdom as New Year’s Eve fireworks light up the sky on two nights instead of one. Magic Kingdom will present a jaw-dropping presentation of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks on both Wednesday, Dec. 30, and Thursday, Dec. 31 at 11:50 p.m.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Rock ’n’ roll into the New Year with a brilliant fireworks spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The show will be presented on Dec. 31 near the Hyperion Theater at midnight.

Dining:

Magic Kingdom – For guests with a sweet tooth, Tomorrowland Terrace will feature a New Year’s Eve fireworks dessert party twice nightly during the “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks spectacular Dec. 30-31. Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

Epcot – Epcot World Showcase offers a variety of New Year’s Eve lunch and dinner options. (Admission to Epcot is required and not included in dining prices.)

Enjoy live music, premium tequilas, festive décor, and incredible views of the IllumiNations fireworks spectacular at La Hacienda de San Angel at the Mexico pavilion. This colorful celebration begins with seating at 9:30 p.m., and includes a five-course feast featuring a special Surf and Turf entrée. This event is $280.13 for adults and $73.46 for children ages 3-9 (includes tax and gratuity).

Delight in the culture, flavors and elegance of France courtesy of the revered French chef Paul Bocuse at Monsieur Paul at the France pavilion. This restaurant will offer lunch and dinner seatings featuring a three-course meal for $85 per person (plus tax and gratuity), as well as a four-course premiere dining event from 8:45-9:50 p.m. for $235 per person, or $295 with wine (plus tax and gratuity).

The Canadian-inspired eatery Le Cellier Steakhouse will offer a decadent, multi-course menu for guests to enjoy while exploring World Showcase. Reservations are available at 4:30, 6:45 and 9 p.m., with prices varying per seating.

Listen to classic Disney tunes and enjoy a never-ending custom New Year’s Eve dinner buffet at the Epcot World ShowPlace This holiday dining location offers a family-friendly atmosphere with delicious menu items for guests of all ages. The experience also features photo opportunities with unique vignettes of classic Disney characters. Dinner is served from 4:30-10:30 p.m. Tickets cost $71.84 for adults and $44.37 for children ages 3-9 (plus tax).

Resorts – Guests can treat themselves to delectable dining on New Year’s Eve at several Walt Disney World Resort hotel restaurants.

With an elegant feast and delightful entertainment, guests can celebrate with class at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. An exquisite gala includes appearances by favorite Disney characters, complimentary alcoholic beverages, and a magnificent view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. This dine-around style event features elaborate food stations for guests to enjoy throughout the restaurant. Dinner seating is at 8 p.m. and cost is $625 per person (includes tax and gratuity).

New Year’s Eve dinner at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is an extravagant affair complete with ten courses and elite wine pairings throughout the evening. This once-in-a-lifetime experience features a harpist, lavish décor, a personalized menu, and a long-stem rose for ladies.

Narcoosee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa provides guests with a global dining experience with tantalizing seafood selections from around the world. With two dinner seatings, this evening is a delicious and memorable way to begin 2016. Prices vary per seating.

To begin the New Year with style, guests ages 21 and over can dance their way into 2016 at the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk. This special-ticket event includes a live band, champagne toast at midnight, and plenty of dance space on the main floor for an evening of swinging fun. Tickets can be purchased for $37 per person. For an extra VIP New Year’s Eve experience, guests can purchase tickets for private access to the second floor balcony and a dessert party to the backdrop of Epcot’s fireworks spectacular. This special celebration is $80 for each adult.

For a celebratory New Year’s Day feast, guests can book brunch at Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Price is $44.72 for adults and $26.62 for children ages 3-9.

Walt Disney World Swan Hotel offers limited-time New Year’s Eve menus in two tasty locations. For a scrumptious buffet accompanied by Disney Character greetings, guests can visit the enchanting Garden Grove Price is $48.98 for adults and $21.29 for children ages 3-9 (includes tax but not gratuity). To ring in the New Year with Italian fare, guests can enjoy a festive feast at Il Mulino, with reservations available from 7:15-11 p.m. This authentic Italian meal experience costs $105 for adults and $39 for children ages 3-9 (plus tax and gratuity).

For information and reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE or visit disneyworld.com/new-years-eve.

Florida Memories Inspire New Southern Cuisine In Disney Springs Restaurant with Celebrity Chef Art Smith

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2015) – Celebrity Chef Art Smith is bringing a taste of real Florida to a new restaurant opening in summer 2016 at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine will showcase the cuisine of Chef Smith, who was born and reared in the town of Jasper, Fla., on the Florida-Georgia border. After 25 years of preparing award-winning meals for celebrities and heads of state and appearing on television, he is making Florida his home once again.

With farm-to-fork cuisine that showcases the bounty of Florida, and design inspired by turn-of-the century Florida architecture of the late 1800s, Homecoming will feature traditional Southern favorites with sophisticated, chef-inspired creations. The 6,000-square-foot, 200-seat restaurant “is where Florida heritage meets New Southern cuisine,” explains Smith.

“I couldn’t be happier about coming back to Florida and Walt Disney World Resort,” he continues. “To be able to prepare the food I love in the place where I have so many special memories is a dream come true.” Smith is a sixth generation Floridian, and his family still raises cattle, pecans and heirloom vegetables on their ancestral farm.

Smith says he is especially pleased with the restaurant’s Disney Springs connection, as he recalls summertime gatherings at the springs in the Northern part of Florida, casual get-togethers known as “homecomings” when family and friends gathered to share Southern specialties, enjoy homemade desserts and maybe sip a hand-crafted cocktail under the shade of live oak trees.

“Once we heard the story of his passion for Florida and his vision for the restaurant, we knew that it was a perfect match” said George Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “We’re thrilled to welcome Chef Art back to the state and share his spirit of Homecoming with our guests from around the world.”

Homecoming Cuisine

“The menu is a big part of my ongoing homage to Florida’s bygone era,” explains Smith. “We will proudly and prominently support the Fresh from Florida campaign and the vast majority of our seafood, produce, poultry and beef will be from local farms, ranches or fisheries.”

The “rustic-chic” restaurant has a glass-walled show kitchen and the Southern Shinebar that celebrates an era where characters might have created some homegrown spirits on their homesteads just beyond the springs. The bar will feature whimsical cocktails, punches and coolers, including some made with now-legal variations of moonshine.

Smith’s expertise is all over the menu from Southern favorites like homemade pimento cheese, Church Lady deviled eggs, low country shrimp and grits, kale salad with Sweet Grass Dairy cheese and spiced pecans and a grilled Blackstrap pork chop with sawmill gravy. “Each dish has a little Florida twist and makes guests feel like they’re on the back porch with me for every meal,” says Smith.

Desserts will be a specialty, with cakes, pies and delectable sweets made daily and shipped from a bakery in Hamilton County, including the restaurant’s signature Mockingbird Cake. “Southern women, using delicious ingredients and love, are the world’s best bakers,” explains Art.

Disney Springs is a one-of-a-kind Disney experience, treating guests by day and night to great dining, shopping and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm. With an air of sophisticated grace and design that harkens to Florida’s waterfront towns at the turn-of-the-century, Disney Springs is home to four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods opening in phases: The Landing, Town Center, Marketplace and West Side. When fully completed in 2016, Disney Springs will double the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues – from the current 70 to approximately 150.

October 17, 2015

The Good Dinosaur - New Featurette

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"The Good Dinosaur" asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voice of Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

October 19, 2015

Event: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Opening Night

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Walt Disney World has announced a special ticketed event on December 17th for Star Wars movie fans to be held at the AMC Theatre in Disney Springs. Ticket prices reflect a variety of format options for the movie, including 2D ($94.99), 3D ($98.99) and 3D ETX ($99.99).

Starting at AMC Disney Springs 24 between 7 and 8 p.m., guests of the Opening Night Event will have a confirmed seat at the first few public showings of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and then enjoy a private after-hours party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios until 2 a.m. The party will include access to the new Star Wars Launch Bay exhibit, the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction, and a DJ dance party. The night will be highlighted with the preview of a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic “Star Wars” score. Event attendees will also get a commemorative souvenir event ticket. Guests of the Event are encouraged to come dressed in costume showing allegiance to the light side or dark side of the Force.

HOW TO GET TICKETS:

The newest “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer will debut in ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Monday, October 19, during halftime of the National Football League (NFL) game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. Tune in to ESPN to watch the premiere of the final trailer or join your fellow Star Wars fans at Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA to watch the trailer on a giant screen outside AMC Downtown Disney 12 theatres. The fun begins at 5:00 p.m. counting down to the trailer release.

Following the trailer launch, tickets to the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Opening Night Event will be on sale. For tickets to the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Opening Night Event at Walt Disney World Resort, visit amctheatres.com/starwarswdw to purchase.

For more information read the FAQ on the event!

October 20, 2015

Minnie's Hollywood and Vine Dinners now Year Round

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In August, Walt Disney World announced Minnie Mouse would be hosting a holiday dining experience at Hollywood and Vine in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Today WDW has announced that Minnie will now host a seasonal dinner year 'round. From January 4 to March 20, Minnie wil be celebrating the magic of the movies and the glamour of Hollywood. Other themes may include Delightful Spring, Excitement of Summer and Frightening Fun for Halloween.

Reservations open October 27th.

October 21, 2015

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Adds A Carnival Corner

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Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Oct. 21, 2015 – Expanding on the expansive list of delectable culinary offerings, wines from around the world and celebrity chef appearances, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will add an all-new fair-themed food area, Carnival Corner, to its lineup for the event’s sixth year at the Epcot Resort Area hotel. The festival’s newest section will serve specialty carnival fare from themed food trucks.

The area will offer the nostalgic childhood-inspired comfort foods, corn dogs and funnel cakes. For a twist on the traditional and for the first time at the event, guests can enjoy nitro kettle corn, a special kettle corn recipe served smoking with liquid nitrogen.

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Guests looking to revisit their younger days with an adult twist can enjoy prosecco, served in a variety of exciting colors and flavors.

Access to Carnival Corner will be included in the standard admission to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic.

Tickets to the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic are available as part of a hotel package or individually. For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500.

Read our Review of a Past Classic

October 22, 2015

Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless to Open Frontera Fresco Restaurant at Disney Springs

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – Chef Rick Bayless, a six-time James Beard Foundation winner, is bringing Frontera Fresco, his table-service Mexican restaurant concept, to Disney Springs, the new dining, shopping and entertainment district at Walt Disney World Resort.

Opening in Summer 2016, Frontera Fresco will showcase the gourmet Mexican cuisine that has made Chef Bayless a culinary legend.

“I’m thrilled to bring Frontera Fresco to Disney Springs and share my passion for Mexican cuisine with the families who visit Orlando every year,” Bayless said.

The new restaurant will feature authentic Mexican specialties such as hand-crafted tortas, tacos, salads, fresh-made guacamole and classic Mexican braised meat entrees, all prepared from time-honored recipes with natural, locally sourced ingredients. Frontera Fresco also will serve an extensive selection of margaritas, cocktails and craft beers and wine.

“Working with Chef Bayless to bring this fresh dining concept to the new Disney Springs is a joy for us, and we can’t wait for guests to experience it,” said Richard Debler, president and chief executive officer of Vista Springs.

Philadelphia-based Daroff Design is designing the nearly 6,000-square-foot space, which will seat 200 guests. Vista Springs LLC will be the restaurant operator.

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About Rick Bayless

Chef Rick Bayless is probably best known for winning the title of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef Masters,” with his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated, national Public Television Series, “Mexico–One Plate at a Time,” is in its 10th season. In 2012, Chef Bayless was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Best Culinary Host.

Chef Bayless has launched several award-winning Chicago restaurants. He founded the casual Frontera Grill in 1987 and received the James Beard Foundation’s highest award, Outstanding Restaurant, in 2007. The 4-star Topolobampo served its first meals in 1989. And the wildly popular, LEED GOLD-certified, fast-casual Xoco launched in 2009, serving wood-oven tortas, steaming caldos, golden churros and bean-to-cup Mexican hot chocolate. Chef Bayless’s quick-service Tortas Frontera restaurants have changed the face of food service at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, while Frontera Fresco restaurants have brought Frontera flavors to several Chicago locations. His award-winning Frontera line of salsas, cooking sauces and non-GMO tortilla chips can be found coast to coast.

Chef Bayless is the author of nine cookbooks, including “Mexico–One Plate at a Time,” which was won the James Beard Foundation Best International Cookbook of the Year award in 2001. His “Fiesta at Rick’s” is a New York Times bestseller. He has won six James Beard Foundation awards, including two for his cookbooks, Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

October 23, 2015

Four Seasons Resort Orlando Celebrates the Festive Season at the Most Magical Place on Earth

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‘Tis the season to celebrate, with many special holiday activities planned and fun for all ages

This holiday season, for those in cooler climates willing to trade shovels and snow boots for palm trees and infinity pools, the second festive season at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is destined to be an unforgettable experience. From a decadent gingerbread display in the lobby to holiday décor throughout the main resort areas, cooking and mixology classes, and many fun activities in Kids For All Seasons, Four Seasons offers something for everyone this holiday season.

Lobby Décor

The lobby will feature glorious holiday décor in elegant colours of plum and gold, complete with a grand 12-foot-tall (nearly 4-metre) Christmas tree in the lobby, wreaths and columns wrapped with garland, holiday-inspired floral arrangements, and more. A gingerbread creation made by Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber will be a fun conversation starter, and Resort guests will enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and cider daily from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The holiday décor will be in place from December 3, 2015 through January 3, 2016. Plus, a separate gingerbread creation by Chef Saber will be on display at the Festival of Trees event at The Orlando Museum of Art from November 14-22, 2015.

Sweet Treats

From peppermint bark to gingerbread cookies, and even holiday gelato flavours of crushed candy cane, cinnamon stick, gingerbread, and more, the holidays are the perfect time to indulge. Lickety Split will also offer the traditional Italian holiday bread panettone di Milano, holiday stollen, pistachio and cranberry bark, pecan toffee, mini mint chocolate cookies and more to satisfy a sweet tooth. At The Hideout’s own sweet shop, Scoop, complimentary cookies and ice cream will be offered each Friday and Saturday afternoon for Resort guests. Also, complimentary cookie decorating with Chef Rabii will be offered to Resort guests on select dates.

Kids For All Seasons

The Kids For All Seasons (KFAS) complimentary kids camp, open daily for ages 4-12 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, has an array of organised activities planned for Resort guests throughout the festive season. From candy cane scavenger hunts to animal visits, timed races in the Lazy River, balloon art, face painting, and much more, the KFAS team has a thoughtfully orchestrated schedule to provide fun for all ages. Kids will love the weekly holiday movies, from classics such as The Grinch Who Stole Christmas to Home Alone and Elf¸ plus making jingle bell necklaces and writing letters to Santa.

Grown-Up Delights

The young, and young at heart, surely love classes like candy making and cookie decorating. But, Four Seasons has not forgotten about those who would love more of an “adult” class - hence, the complimentary Mixology Classes led by the Resort’s team of master mixologists. Guests ages 21 and older can enjoy how to mix up cocktails guaranteed to spread the holiday cheer. Classes include:

December 22, 2015, 3:00-4:00 pm, Plancha’s Slow Mulled Wine
December 29, 2015 3:00-4:00 pm, PB&G’s Eggnog with a Twist

For those who don’t want to take a class, but would enjoy mixing and mingling with other guests, the Resort is offering complimentary “Wine Mixers” for 21 and older guests in the Winter Garden Atrium on Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:00 pm. On December 24, 2015 the mixer will feature Holiday Wines, and on December 31, 2015 the mixer will feature New Year’s Eve Sparkling Wines.

In addition, the Resort will offer complimentary cooking demos for guests, including:

December 21, 2015, 3:00-4:00 pm, Ravello presents “Cooking for Christmas”
December 28, 2015, 3:00-4:00 pm, Capa presents “Sweet Sausage with Apples”

For Resort guests who don’t want to miss out on NFL games, The Lobby Bar will turn into the “Cigar City Fan Cave” during football games. Table tennis and other games will be available in The Lobby Bar and a themed bar menu will be offered during the games.

Guests will also enjoy playing 18 holes on the picturesque Tranquilo Golf Club or unwinding with a Spa treatment at the 18-treatment room Spa. The Spa is offering several holiday treatments, including the Mistle-toes Pedicure & Manicure.

Holiday Dining

The resort offers several options for holiday dining.

Christmas Day, December 25, 2015

Capa is offering an a la carte menu plus a USD 64 prime rib special. Seatings are available from 4:00 to 10:00 pm. Ravello is offering a buffet brunch for USD 105 per adult and USD 35 per child. Seatings are available from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2015

Capa is offering a dinner with two seating options: a three-course pre-fixe seating between 5:00 and 7:00 pm, available for USD 155 per adult and USD 65 per child; or a second seating, a five-course pre-fixe menu, between 8:00 and 11:00 pm, at USD 295 per adult or USD 95 per child. Both Capa seatings include access to the New Year’s Eve “After Party” in the Grand Ballroom, which will feature a DJ, dance floor, balloon drop and more. Desserts and appetisers are included and there is a cash bar available.

Ravello is offering a New Year’s Eve Buffet from 5:00 to 11:00 pm, for USD 125 per person and USD 45 per child.

New Year’s Eve After Party

Admission to the after party, available exclusively for Resort guests and guests with restaurant reservations, is available for USD 75 per adult ages 21 and older and USD 35 per child and young adult ages 5 to 20. Kids For All Seasons will host a special party on New Year’s Eve for children ages 4-12 for USD 95 per child and includes a children’s dinner buffet (Resort guests only).

For all holiday dining options and special events, space is limited and reservations are based on availability; for reservation inquiries, call 407 313 6161.

Gifts

Four Seasons lobby level boutiques, Wardrobe and Fable, offer an array of options perfect for gift giving. From fabulous outfits, chic accessories, Four Seasons logo apparel and more, there are numerous choices at all price levels. In addition, gift cards are available for purchase at the Resort’s front desk in any dollar amount. Gift cards can be redeemed at Four Seasons Resort Orlando for overnight stays, treatments at The Spa, golf at Tranquilo Golf Club, shopping at the boutiques or any of the Resort’s dining outlets.


Festive Reservations

Guests of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort enjoy complimentary transportation in the Four Seasons motor coach to Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In addition to enjoying all the nearby Disney attractions, a highlight of Four Seasons Resort Orlando is the five-acre (two hectare) Explorer Island water park, including a winding Lazy River complete with a rapids section, two water slides, an interactive splash zone with water cannons, and much more. The Kids For All Seasons program offers organised activities for children ages 4-12, and is complimentary. Adults will enjoy the adult-only pool, 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed Tranquilo Golf Club, and The Spa at Four Seasons. Recreational pursuits for guests of all ages are sure to provide ample entertainment. For more information on reservations, visit the web site or call 1 800 267 3046.

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About October 2015

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in October 2015. They are listed from oldest to newest.

September 2015 is the previous archive.

November 2015 is the next archive.

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