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January 2017 Archives

January 2, 2017

'Remember... Dreams Come True' Returns to Disneyland February 3

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With the classic Main Street Electrical Parade coming home to Disneyland park on Jan. 20, spring 2017 is already shaping up to be a great blast to the past for Disneyland fans. Now there’s even more excitement in the air with the return of the beloved fireworks spectacular “Remember… Dreams Come True.”

Initially presented as the evening highlight of the 50th anniversary of Disneyland Resort in 2005, “Remember… Dreams Come True” features Tinker Bell’s flight, brilliant fireworks, soaring music, dazzling special effects and an amazing journey through the various lands of Disneyland with archival audio tracks, favorite songs and familiar phrases from some of the park’s most popular attractions, past and present. I’m partial to seeing flame effects erupt from Sleeping Beauty Castle during the Indiana Jones Adventure sequence and the feeling of being in a virtual stretching room as fireworks launch straight into the sky to welcome the Haunted Mansion’s “Grim, Grinning Ghosts.”

January 4, 2017

"Delicious Disney, A Chef Series" Continues in 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort

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Imagine an intimate evening filled with delicious cuisine prepared just for you by an award-winning culinarian from Walt Disney World Resort. This year, the Walt Disney World Resort chefs launched a new dinner series to showcase the stellar talents of the culinary team; with unique and inspired culinary creations coupled with deliciously creative wine pairings. And the “Delicious Disney, A Chef Series” will continue in 2017 with the theme of “storytelling with food.” These dinners are a wonderful opportunity for epicureans to meet amazing chefs as they prepare specially themed meals for you.

The dinners are often intimate (no more than 60 guests), and the kickoff for 2017 will be Jan. 31 at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom Park. There will be nine dinners in all, in other locations including Markham’s at Golden Oak, Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park, and backstage at the Walt Disney World Tree Farm. See the full schedule below.

All reservations may be booked by calling 407.939.5773 daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Prices range from $199 - $499 and includes tax, gratuity, and wine.

January 31st at 7:45 p.m. Fireworks Reception – 9 p.m. Dinner
Celebrate the Magic Kingdom Parks’s 45th Anniversary!
Featuring Magic Kingdom’s Culinary Director Robert Gilbert and Team
Location Cinderella’s Royal Table, Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park

February 22nd at 6:30pm
Come Explore a Journey around the World of Flavors
Featuring Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Culinary Director Robert Adams and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

April 26th at 6:30pm
Enjoy Legendary Culinary Moments from Disney Animation History
Featuring Victoria & Albert’s Chef de Cuisine Aimee Rivera and Team
Markham’s at Golden Oak

May 31st at 6:30pm
Celebrating the Silly Symphony Flowers and Trees Anniversary
Featuring Park Event’s Culinary Director Chef John Clark and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

June 28th at 6:30pm
A Culinary tribute to Ratatouille’s 10th Anniversary
Featuring Citricos’s Chef Dominque Filoni and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

July 19th at 6:30pm
Enjoy the exotic and exquisite tastes of a journey Under the Sea
Featuring Flying Fish’s Timothy Majoras and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

August 16th at 6:30pm

A Walk around the World with Disney
Featuring Culinary Director Edwin Wronski and the Flavor Lab Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

September 5th at 8:30pm
Enjoy a sampling of the Beast’s favorite French Cuisine
Featuring Flavor Lab’s Chef de Cuisine Roland Muller with Magic Kingdom Park’s Culinary Director Robert Gilbert
Location Be Our Guest, West Wing, Magic Kingdom Park

December 6th at 6:30pm
Farm to Table Dining Experience
Featuring a collaboration of our Disney Chefs
Location The Tree Farm

*Markham’s at Golden Oak Events are hosted by Chef de Cuisine Phillip Ponticelli

Florida Resident Discover Disney Tickets

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Now through June 5, 2017, Florida residents can purchase Discover Disney tickets and enjoy 3 days of park fun for just $139, plus tax. Or add a fourth day for just $20 more, plus tax! Valid for admission to one park per day; block-out dates Tickets are valid through June 9th. Only Florida Residents may use the ticket.

The cost of the ticket is $139 for a 3-day ticket and $159 for the 4-day ticket offer. The 3-day Park Hopper costs $166.50 and the 4-day Park Hopper costs $193.50

Animal Kingdom block-out dates are May 27, 2017 - June 9, 2017.

Theme park tickets provide admission to one theme park per day for each day of your ticket. Take advantage of our Park Hopper Option for same-day admission to all 4 of our theme parks—Magic Kingdom park, Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom park and Disney's Hollywood Studios—on each day of your ticket.

Disneyland Resort Expands Lunar New Year Celebration to 17 Days, Jan. 20 through Feb. 5

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Lunar New Year Celebration Presents New Nighttime ‘Hurry Home’ Feature, Asian Food and Entertainment, and Disney Magic at Disney California Adventure Park

ANAHEIM, Calif. Dec. 13, 2016 – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Mulan and Mushu will join guests for a bigger-than-ever Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park, from Friday, Jan. 20, through Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. This joyous celebration for the Year of the Rooster expands to 17 days, with colorful live performances, fun-filled activities, beautiful decor, Disney characters in their Lunar New Year costumes, and special food and merchandise offerings.

Guests at the Lunar New Year Celebration will discover new Disney magic as they experience Asian culture through a variety of live performances, including Chinese acrobats and authentic musicians. Each night prior to “World of Color,” a new feature called “Hurry Home” will tell the tale of a journey home for Lunar New Year. The six-minute feature is presented in sequences, utilizing projected animation along with the lighting, special effects and powerful fountains of “World of Color.”

As “Hurry Home” unfolds, guests will get to follow along on the journey of a Little Lantern returning home for the annual celebration of good luck and fortune. Little Lantern encounters three “dream sequences,” featuring appearances by Mulan and the dragon Mushu. “Hurry Home” employs two contrasting animation styles, with fully rendered CG animation and sequences inspired by traditional Chinese paper cut-out style animation. The story is scored with music created for the opening ceremony of Shanghai Disney Resort by Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).

Lunar New Year, traditionally celebrated within Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures, commemorates the moment when both the sun and the moon begin their journey for another year. Highlights of the Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure include:

  • Three new Asian marketplaces offering foods inspired by Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures
  • Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Mulan and Mushu, dressed in their Lunar New Year attire to welcome guests and join them for photos
  • Live performances with an impressive array of authentic performers, acrobats, musicians and more
  • A New Year’s Wishing Wall, where guests may add their own wishes for a wonderful future
  • Lunar New Year décor, including beautiful ornamental lanterns and banners wishing guests a Happy Lunar New Year in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese
  • Lunar New Year commemorative merchandise, including a specially designed t-shirt, pin and the traditional red envelopes for gift-giving

For a limited time only, Disneyland Resort guests may celebrate the tradition, sights, sounds and tastes of Lunar New Year with a touch of Disney magic, only at Disney California Adventure. Guests may check for daily entertainment schedules as they become available, at www.Disneyland.com/LunarNewYear.

2017 at Disneyland Resort: Guests Will Encounter New Super Heroes at Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Main Street Electrical Parade Returns for a Limited Time

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The Magic of Star Wars Season of the Force, Lunar New Year Celebration and New Character Encounters Add More Thrills in 2017

ANAHEIM, Calif. —The debut of a new, high-energy adventure with outrageous and irreverent characters from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” film, plus the return of the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade are part of the magic awaiting guests in 2017 at the Disneyland Resort.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! is an epic new adventure combining a breathtaking free-fall sensation with all-new visual and audio effects, including music inspired by the popular “Guardians of the Galaxy” film soundtrack. Guests will experience a variety of randomized ride experiences, building anticipation each time for what they will see.

In addition, guests will blast into thrilling Star Wars adventures at Season of the Force, join in the cultural festivities of Lunar New Year, encounter familiar and new character friends–and much more.

At Disney California Adventure Park:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Opening for summer 2017 at Disney California Adventure Park, this thrilling attraction brings more Super Heroes to the park with a captivating new story:
    • Guests at Disney California Adventure will join in a daring confrontation with one of the most unusual characters in the park’s history: Tanaleer Tivan, the Collector from the blockbuster film “Guardians of the Galaxy.” He has opened his unique collection of fauna, relics and species to guests for a special tour culminating with his prized possessions: the Guardians of the Galaxy themselves! Fortunately, Rocket, the fearless, genetically modified raccoon from the film, has a plan to free his friends–and that plan includes recruiting Disneyland Resort guests in a sensational rescue effort.
    • A comically cosmic, rocking adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!will drop guests directly into the story alongside characters from the comic books and the blockbuster films. Anchoring a broader universe of Super Heroes that will grow over time in Disney California Adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will transform the structure currently housing The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.™ Guests will experience multiple, random and unique ride profiles in which the rise and fall of the gantry lift rocks to the beat of music inspired by the film’s popular soundtrack.
  • Lunar New Year: Disney California Adventure presents a bigger-than-ever Lunar New Year Celebration from Jan. 20-Feb. 5, 2017. For 17 days, guests will enjoy live performances, fun-filled activities, Disney characters in their Lunar New Year costumes, and foods inspired by Asian cultures. Among the new entertainment offerings is “Hurry Home,” a special six-minute water and projection show on Paradise Bay that follows the journey of Little Lantern on its way home for the annual celebration of good luck and fortune. The story features a score highlighted by an original arrangement of the music created for Shanghai Disney Resort, by Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”). “Hurry Home,” precedes the nightly “World of Color” water, music and film spectacular on Paradise Bay.
  • Princess Elena and Super Heroes: In 2017, guests will find more delightful characters than ever before at the Disneyland Resort. These new additions are sure to offer guests many opportunities to create magical memories:

    • Princess Elena – From toddlers to teens, guests are greeting the brave and adventurous teenager from the Disney Channel series “Elena of Avalor.” Princess Elena is the first Disney Princess inspired by diverse Latin American cultures.
    • Super Heroes in Hollywood Land – In summer 2017, Disney California Adventure welcomes the Guardians of the Galaxy to join other Super Heroes such as Spiderman and Captain America who will be greeting guests throughout 2017 at the Hollywood Backlot.

At Disneyland Park:

  • Main Street Electrical Parade: Guests will be dazzled as this beloved and iconic parade returns to its original home, Disneyland Park, for a limited time, from Jan. 20-June 18, 2017. The legendary parade, which premiered in 1972, will once again light up the night, sparking magic, wonder and, for some, a sense of nostalgia with thousands of twinkling lights, the synthesized music of “Baroque Hoedown” and treasured characters from heartwarming Disney stories. Appearing in Disneyland Park for the first time in more than 20 years, the parade will be led by the familiar whimsical train pulling a giant drum unit proudly proclaiming “Disneyland Presents… Main Street Electrical Parade.”
  • Season of the Force: Star Wars and Disney fans will enjoy out-of-this-galaxy experiences during Season of the Force in Tomorrowland. At Hyperspace Mountain, guests climb aboard the re-imagined Space Mountain attraction and join in an X-wing Starfighter battle as they race through the darkness. Inside Star Wars Launch Bay, guests explore replicas of movie props and models from the new film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and have the opportunity to meet favorite characters like Chewbacca. Young Padawans discover whether they have the makings of a true Jedi at Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, an interactive experience where they may face villains such as the ominous Darth Vader and the Seventh Sister from the Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels.
  • Moana: Having sailed among the islands of Oceania on her quest with the demigod Maui, Moana now has come ashore to visit with guests in Adventureland. The daring teenage heroine stars in “Moana,” the new blockbuster film from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Seasonal Delights:

For many guests, the Halloween and Holidays seasons are made complete with a visit to the Disneyland Resort.

  • Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort – From mid-September through October, guests will celebrate Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort with ghoulish delight, reveling in the spooky décor, creepy treats, and chilling seasonal overlays of Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Guests of the separate-ticket Mickey’s Halloween Party will go trick-or-treating throughout Disneyland and enjoy an exclusive Mickey’s Halloween Party parade and fireworks.
  • Holidays at the Disneyland Resort – From November through early January, Holidays at the Disneyland Resort is in festive full swing. Many guests make it a tradition to come for the Holidays and visit the parks for Disney-themed treats, snowfall on Main Street U.S.A., glistening décor and holiday entertainment. Special holiday attractions include “it’s a small world” Holiday, Jingle Cruise, and Haunted Mansion Holiday, celebrating the collision of Halloween and Christmas.

January 6, 2017

Disney 'Dine on the Go' Debuts January 12

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From January 12 until February 22, guests visiting Magic Kingdom for the day can purchase Disney Dine-on-the-Go, which includes the following:

-- one lunch quick-service entree and one non-alcoholic beverage, good until 4 p.m.
-- one dinner quick-service entree and one non-alcoholic beverage, good after 4 p.m. (Dessert is not included).

You can purchase Disney Dine-on-the-Go at Vacation Planning booths around the Magic Kingdom. Disney Dine-on-the-Go certificates also are available for children ages 3 to 9.

Participating restaurant locations include Casey’s Corner, Columbia Harbour House, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe and Pinocchio Village Haus.

Valid park admission is required to use the certificates. Price is $29 for adults, $12 for ages 3 to 9.

Half Marathon, Other Saturday Races Cancelled

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UPDATED 11:30 p.m. with details regarding the fulfillment of options for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon participants.

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The Walt Disney World Half Marathon, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 7, has been cancelled due to the weather. Other races scheduled for the day have also been cancelled. Here's the official statment from runDisney's Facebook page:

"In an abundance of caution, the Walt Disney World Resort has cancelled all running events on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 due to weather conditions. This includes the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and the Disney Kids Races. In addition, the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo will delay opening until 11 a.m. While we share our Guests’ obvious disappointment, the safety of our Guests and Cast is most important. Weather tracking has indicated there is an elevated risk of lightning in the area of the racecourse. In addition, there are sections of the course that do not provide immediate access to shelter. Both of these factors have influenced this difficult decision.

All registered half marathon runners will receive their half marathon medal and may choose from one of the following options:

-- A FULL REFUND FOR RACE REGISTRATION IN THE FORM OF A DISNEY GIFT CARD

Those participating in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, runDisney Kids Races, ChEAR Squad and Race Retreat will receive a refund in the form of a Disney Gift Card in the amount equal to their registration. Those participating in the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge and/or Dopey Challenge will receive a partial refund in the amount of the half marathon registration.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon, runDisney Kids Races, ChEAR Squad and Race Retreat participants: Bring a valid photo ID and race bib or wristband to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday, Jan. 7 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Disney Cast Members will be there to guide you.

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge and/or Dopey Challenge Participants: For your convenience, there is no need to visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Medals will be awarded on Sunday, Jan. 8, after the full marathon. Your refund will be automatically sent to you via electronic Disney Gift Card.

-- Two One-Day Park Hopper tickets.

Only available to those registered for the half marathon, runners should bring a valid photo ID and race bib to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday, Jan. 7 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Disney Cast Members will be there to guide you.

-- TRANSFER REGISTRATION TO ANOTHER runDISNEY HALF MARATHON RACE IN THE U.S. WITHIN THE NEXT 24 MONTHS

Runners interested in transferring their registration to another runDisney half marathon in the U.S. within the next 24 months should contact runDisney beginning Friday, Jan. 13, 2017.

Please email your future race preferences to rundisney@disneysports.com with your name, bib number, phone number and mailing address so we can mail your medal to you. A Disney Cast Member will follow up with a phone call to discuss availability of future half marathon races.

For convenience, those who choose this option will have their 2017 Walt Disney World Half Marathon medal mailed to their home address so there is no need to visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

-- THERE IS LIMITED AVAILABILITY TO RUN THE FULL MARATHON ON SUNDAY, JAN. 8, 2017 DURING THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED RACE

To transfer a 2017 Walt Disney World Half Marathon registration to the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon, runners may register at no additional charge at Active.com with the following link: http://disneyurl.com/WDWMarathon

Registrations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis until all available spots are filled or until 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. Runners will receive a confirmation email with further instructions.

All registered runDisney Kids Race runners will receive their Kids Race medal and a full race registration in the form of a Disney gift card.

For any Guests who are unable to visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday, Jan. 8 should contact rundisney@disneysports.com. Include your name, bib number and phone number within the email.

January 8, 2017

The Walt Disney Studios 2017

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The Walt Disney Studios once again has a full slate of movies debuting in 2017. Here's a quick look at what's in store!

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Disney Beauty and the Beast - March 17, 2107

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “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 and soul 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; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

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Disneynature's Born in China - Earth Day 2017


Disneynature, in its ongoing quest to bring the natural world to the big screen as never before, presents its most ambitious project to date, taking moviegoers on a grand journey into the wilds of China. “Born In China” follows the adventures of three animal families — the majestic panda, the savvy golden monkey and the elusive snow leopard.

Featuring stunning imagery, the film navigates the vast terrain—from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest—on the wings of a red-crowned crane, showcasing remarkably intimate family moments captured on film for the first time ever.

See Born in China opening week and Disneynature will make a donation in your honor to World Wildlife Fund to help protect wild panda populations and establish new conservation programs for snow leopards in China.


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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL2 May 5, 2017

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Guardians continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - May 26, 2017

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack's only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.


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Cars 3 - June 16, 2017

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short).


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Thor: Ragnarok - November 3, 2017

Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok - the destruction of his home world and the end of Asgardian civilization - at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against her former ally and fellow Avenger - the Incredible Hulk.

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COCO November 22, 2017

Despite his family's baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to provide his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.

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STAR WARS EPISODE V111 December 15, 2017

January 9, 2017

Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival Returns

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Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Returns March 10 through April 16 with Additional Festival Marketplaces and More

The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival has been a huge hit with Disneyland Resort. This popular culinary celebration is back daily March 10 through April 16.

Each day, guests are invited to celebrate some of the best of delicious California cuisine throughout Disney California Adventure park. There will be even more Festival Marketplaces to enjoy this year, plus enhanced Festival-inspired menus at existing restaurants and eateries, where guests can sip and savor delicious flavors from across the Golden State. Guests will enjoy culinary experiences created for the whole family, including a variety of food, beverage and lifestyle seminars, demonstrations and presentations.

The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will also feature ticketed events, such as culinary demonstrations, beer, wine and spirit seminars, premium dining events and demonstrations by celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri, Jamie Deen, Robert Irvine, Duff Goldman, Emily Ellyn, Keegan Gerhard and more. Tickets for these experiences will be available beginning Feb. 1, so mark your calendars!

More information coming soon, including the full schedule of premium experiences taking place during the festival.

January 11, 2017

Star Wars Galactic Nights Announced

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Star Wars: Galactic Nights Special Event Heading to Disney’s Hollywood Studios April 14

Attention Star Wars fans –Star Wars: Galactic Nights, a new Hollywood-inspired special event will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on April 14. Come dressed as your favorite character and celebrate forty years of Star Wars milestones.

Park access and activities will be limited to Star Wars: Galactic Nights event ticket holders only. Here’s a taste of what’s on tap:

Rebel Base Activities – The Rebel Base will serve as the event hub with multiple events, hosted shows, Star Wars dance parties and more taking place in the center of the park.

Watch “Inside the Saga: Celebrity Chat Show” – Catch a celebrity chat show in Epic Theater to learn more about the making of Star Wars films.

Can’t miss Star Wars photo ops – Don your Star Wars finest (see costume guidelines) and enjoy iconic Star Wars backdrops, including Han Solo cast in carbonite, Jabba the Hutt’s Palace, the Hoth Wampa Cave and more.

Galactic Nights Stars in Cars Motorcade – This procession will welcome in Star Wars celebrities down Hollywood Blvd.

Imperial March & March of the First Order – Get your cameras ready for the arrival of the dark side. Darth Vader will lead a battalion of stormtroopers on a dramatic march down Hollywood Blvd to the Event Stage. Captain Phasma will also lead a unit of First Order stormtroopers through the park, pausing to give a demonstration of power and strength.

Seize the Saga Interactive Scavenger Hunt – Event Guests are challenged to collect Star Wars themed pieces at the photo backdrops throughout the park, revealing a surprise when all items have been collected.

“Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” – Watch high-energy clips of the best moments from the film saga juxtaposed with character moments on stage, featuring Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren and more.

“Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” – The skies will come alive with the power of the Force, as the park’s popular Star Wars-themed nighttime spectacular lights up the night.

Other popular attractions will be open, including Star Wars Launch Bay. Additional offerings will include the chance to experience Star Tours-The Adventures Continue attraction, AWR Trooper sightings, roaming droids, Star Wars-themed F&B, special merchandise and much more.

The event will be held at the park from 7 p.m.-midnight. The Star Wars: Galactic Nights ticket costs $129 plus tax for adults and $124 plus tax for children ages 9 and under. Disney Vacation Club and Passholder discount available. Tickets are extremely limited, so visit disneyworld.com or call 407-827-7036 for more information or to book now.

NOTE: It appears that only April 14th is available to purchase tickets which is confusing, since the press release says "Nights"

Additional FastPass Locations and MaxPass Coming to Disneyland

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Additional Disney FASTPASS Locations and New Disney MaxPass Coming to Disneyland Resort

The Disneyland Resort announces a further expansion of Disney FASTPASS coming to two of its most popular attractions -- Toy Story Mania in Disney California Adventure and Matterhorn Bobsleds in Disneyland park. When Disney FASTPASS first launched at Disneyland Resort it was available at four locations, and over the years the number has expanded to a total of 16 attractions.

Later this year, Disneyland will launch Disney MaxPass, which will allow guests to maximize their experience by providing unlimited downloads of their high-resolution PhotoPass images and by enabling the convenience of mobile booking and redemption of Disney FASTPASS return times -- all by using the Disneyland App. Disney MaxPass will be available for an introductory price of $10 a day. Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders also will have the opportunity to purchase Disney MaxPass on a daily or yearly basis.

Guests will continue to have the option of Disney FASTPASS service at no cost by obtaining FASTPASSES at attraction FASTPASS kiosks, just as they do today.

The addition of these two new Disney FASTPASS locations and the introduction of Disney MaxPass provides guests with opportunities to customize their experiences and make it even easier than ever to create unforgettable memories.

We’ll have more information to share on these updates soon -- including details and launch dates -- so keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog.

January 17, 2017

The Power of the Force: California Native Celebrates Victory at Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side

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Pebble Beach’s Adam Roach claims Star Wars half marathon title; Washington DC’s Jennifer Brill is the female winner; More than 35,000 runners take part in the race weekend including 17,000 Californians

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2017) – Adam Roach of Pebble Beach, Calif., conquered the galaxy in the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side at Disneyland Resort on Sunday. Roach, 32, who placed second in last year’s half marathon, beat two-time Star Wars Half Marathon winner, Nick Arciniaga of Fountain Valley, Calif., by over three minutes.

Summoning the powers of the force, Roach launched into hyper speed to blast through the finish line at 1:10:31, just past the second and third-place finishers Bradley Apodaca of Santa Barbra, Calif., (1:10:37) and Robert Hernandez of Fresno, Calif., (1:11:32).

“Last year I was second and I really wanted to come back and win it,” said Roach of the victory. “Arciniaga, who won last year, was back so I knew it would be a really competitive race.”

Jennifer Brill, 27, of Washington D.C., also soared to victory as the female winner on Sunday with a time of 1:24:15. Second-place female finisher was 2016 Super Heroes Half Marathon winner, Lindsey Carter, 28, of Huntington Beach, Calif. (1:25:20) and third-place finisher was Kaili Zink-Hernandez, 29, Fresno, Calif (1:26:54).

More than 17,000 California runners were part of the 35,000 participants that joined the Rebel Alliances at Disneyland Resort in the third annual Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side. The race weekend featured several intergalactic family-friendly events, including a three-day runDisney Health and Fitness Expo, runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side.

Runners also had an opportunity to test their skills through the Star Wars Rebel Challenge, running the 10K on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. Runners who complete the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side at Disneyland Resort and the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side at Walt Disney World Resort in the same calendar year will earn the coveted runDisney Kessel Run Challenge medal.

The Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side was the first of the four runDisney race weekends scheduled for this year at Disneyland Resort, which hosts runDisney events along with Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris.

New Breakfast Offerings Coming to Magic Kingdom

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Several new quick-service breakfast offerings will be making their debut in the Magic Kingdom in the coming weeks.

Casey’s Corner will be serving muffins, bagels and a croissant donut. Those searching for a more savory, brunch-like option will enjoy corn dog nuggets and the hash brown dog. The hash brown dog also comes with bacon, Cheddar, onion straws and chipotle-ranch.

Also on Main Street U.S.A., Plaza Ice Cream Parlor will serve Mickey waffles, Kelloggs cereal and donuts. For a sweet twist on breakfast, try the donut sundae, a donut topped with your favorite flavor of hand-scooped Edy’s ice cream, hot fudge, apple, whipped cream, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and of course, a cherry.

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Sleepy Hollowwill debut a new egg, ham and tomato waffle sandwich which will arrive later this month. The fruit and chocolate-hazelnut waffle sandwich is also available, in case you prefer a sweet breakfast to a savory one.


Star Wars Day at Sea Returns Early 2018 - Select Disney Fantasy Sailings

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Star Wars Day at Sea will return in early 2018! The epic day at sea will be part of 15 special Disney Fantasy sailings to the Caribbean from January through April.

The event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations including a deck party spectacular with an extraordinary fireworks display, encounters with the galaxy’s most formidable and heroic characters, Star Wars-themed family and youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings and special merchandise.

Departing Jan. 6, 20; Feb. 3, 17; March 3, 17, 31; and April 14, 2018, the western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, and Castaway Cay. Departing Jan. 13, 27; Feb. 10, 24; March 10, 24; and April 7, 2018, the eastern Caribbean itinerary includes Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay.

MouseFanTravel.com, the official travel agency of AllEars, is ready to offer a free, no obligation quote.

January 20, 2017

Disneyland Resort Expands Lunar New Year Celebration to 17 Days, Jan. 20 through Feb. 5

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Lunar New Year Celebration Presents New ‘Hurry Home’ Presentation, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese Food and Entertainment, plus Disney Magic at Disney California Adventure Park

ANAHEIM, Calif. Jan. 19, 2017 – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Mulan and Mushu will join guests for a bigger-than-ever Lunar New Year celebration at Disney California Adventure Park, from Friday, Jan. 20, through Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. This joyous celebration for the Year of the Rooster expands to 17 days, with colorful live performances, fun-filled activities, beautiful decor, Disney characters in their Lunar New Year costumes, and special food and merchandise offerings.

Guests at the Lunar New Year celebration will discover new Disney magic as they experience Chinese and Vietnamese cultures through a variety of live performances, including Chinese acrobats and authentic musicians. Each night prior to “World of Color,” a new feature called “Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration” will tell the tale of a journey home for Lunar New Year. The six-minute feature is presented in sequences, utilizing projected animation along with the lighting, special effects and powerful fountains of “World of Color.”

As “Hurry Home” unfolds, guests follow along on the journey of a Little Lantern returning home for the annual celebration of good luck and fortune. Little Lantern encounters three “dream sequences,” featuring appearances by Mulan and the dragon Mushu. “Hurry Home” employs two contrasting animation styles, with fully rendered CG animation and sequences inspired by traditional Chinese paper cut-out style animation. The story is scored with music created for the opening ceremony of Shanghai Disney Resort by Academy Award- winning composer Tan Dun (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).

Lunar New Year, traditionally celebrated within Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures, commemorates the moment when both the sun and the moon begin their journey for another year. Highlights of the Lunar New Year celebration at Disney California Adventure include:

  • Three locations within the Lunar New Year Marketplace offering foods inspired by the cultures of China (Pork Soup Dumplings, Turnip Cakes with Spicy Sausage), Korea (Kimchi Fried Rice, Steamed Vegetable Dumpling) and Vietnam (Sticky Rice Cake with Pork, Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer)
  • Additional Lunar New Year menu items at Paradise Garden Grill, including Vegetable Japchae, Kalbi Beef Short Ribs with Steamed Rice, Whole Crispy Tilapia with Citrus Chile Vinaigrette, Beef Pho Noodle Soup, Mango Pudding and Cassava Coconut Cake.
  • Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Chip ‘n Dale, Mulan and Mushu, dressed in their Lunar New Year attire, will welcome guests to a beautiful photo location with a Lunar New Year-themed setting and Happy Lunar New Year banners in English, Chinese, Korean and Live performances by an array of authentic performers, including Chinese concert musician Jie Ma performing on the traditional pipa string instrument, and Vietnamese concert guitarist, composer and teacher Dat Nguyen.
  • The Acrobats of China perform an exciting mix of traditional and classic Chinese dance with human performance art including riveting feats of strength, grace and balance. This award-winning troupe showcases a cultural art form that has been thrilling audiences for more than 2,500 years.
  • “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession” – Mulan and her dragon friend Mushu welcome the Year of the Rooster with a colorful and exciting procession of beautiful Chinese umbrella dancers and other delightful performers who arrive to music from Disney’s beloved animated film “Mulan.”
  • Lucky Wishing Wall, where guests may add their own wishes for a wonderful future
  • Lunar New Year décor, including beautiful ornamental lanterns and banners wishing guests a Happy Lunar New Year in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese
  • Lunar New Year commemorative merchandise, including a specially designed t-shirt, pin, decorative trinket box and traditional red envelopes for gift-giving.

For a limited time only, Disneyland Resort guests may celebrate the tradition, sights, sounds and tastes of Lunar New Year with a touch of Disney magic, only at Disney California Adventure. Guests may check for daily entertainment schedules as they become available, at www.Disneyland.com/LunarNewYear.

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

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 19, 2017) –The Main Street Electrical Parade, one of the most popular of all Disney parades, has returned to Disneyland Park with all the lights, sounds, music and fun that have made it a beloved icon. With nightly parades scheduled 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 millions of guests.

Accompanied by treasured Disney tunes interwoven with the distinctive “Baroque Hoedown” synthesizer 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. The 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 18½-foot-tall Clock Tower looming over Cinderella’s Ball, attended by elegant ballroom dancers in costumes covered with lights; and the 118-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 creation of Electrical Parades at Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Main Street Electrical Parade returned to the Disneyland Resort with an engagement in Disney California Adventure Park from 2001 to 2010.

Main Street Electrical Parade Dining Packages, including reserved viewing of the parade are available. For information, visit www.disneyland.com.

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.

January 25, 2017

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.

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.

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

January 30, 2017

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.

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.


January 31, 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.

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.

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.

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About January 2017

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in January 2017. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2016 is the previous archive.

February 2017 is the next archive.

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