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Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Returns to Epcot June 7 – July 25

posted on April 15th, 2015 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Epcot is GROOVIN’ this June and July with the return of the Sounds Like Summer concert series.

From June 7 to July 25, the America Gardens Theater will once again rock out with some of the world’s hottest tribute bands.

2U ~ A Tribute to U2

This year’s lineup includes: (Entertainment and times subject to change)

  • June 7-13: DSB – A Tribute to Journey
  • June 14-20: 2U – A Tribute to U2
  • June 21-26: Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot – A Tribute Billy Joel Show
  • June 27 – July 4: Don’t Look Back – A Tribute to Boston
  • July 5-11: Fire & Ice – A Tribute to Pat Benatar
  • July 12-18: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 19-25: Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles

The Sounds Like Summer concerts are included with regular Epcot admission. Show times are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. daily.

Check back to the Disney Parks Blog for updates on all things Summer 2015 at Walt Disney World!

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Epcot Flowers Bloom at Night

posted on April 11th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “Disney Parks After Dark” image was an unusual one – and apparently a fan favorite. The original photo, which took a look at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at night, showcased a topiary of three pals from “Beauty and the Beast.”

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Because it was so popular, we didn’t want you to miss two others shots our photographer snapped while roaming the park late at night. Here are two shots of the Cinderella and Prince Charming topiaries. Notice the clock in the background? Looks like it’s almost time for her to run!

Cinderella and Prince Charming Topiaries at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Cinderella and Prince Charming Topiaries at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

You can enjoy the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival daily through May 17.

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Charming Additions to the ALEX AND ANI Disney Collection

posted on April 10th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Fans of ALEX AND ANI take note – there are quite a few styles headed to Disney Parks over the next couple of months. Start making your list … now!

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Up first are new additions to the Words Are Powerful collection, inspired by Disney sayings. These bangles will be available in Shiny Silver and Yellow Gold finishes. Whistle While You Work will debut April 13, followed by When You Wish Upon A Star on April 27, and then Believing Is Just The Beginning on May 4.

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Are you planning a trip during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration? In late May, look for a bangle featuring Sleeping Beauty Castle with two accent charms – an oval D60 and blue Swarovski crystal. This will be available in a Rafaelian Silver finish. There’s also the Disneyland Forever bangle featuring a blue buffed epoxy charm with the words Disneyland Forever and two accent charms – an oval D60 and clear Swarovski crystal. This will be available in a Shiny Silver finish. Please note: These two bangles will not be offered online at this time.

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What better way to wrap this up than with actual ‘wraps?’ Similar to the Dream wrap that was recently released, in late May we will debut a Wishes wrap in green, a Believe wrap in teal, and in June, a Magic wrap in red.

Where can you plan to find all of these ALEX AND ANI bangles, wraps and more?

Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney World Resort

Tip: Limited quantities of the bangles and wraps shown above, except for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration pieces, will be available online on or around the same dates as they debut at Disneyland and Walt Disney World merchandise locations.

Which pieces will you add to your collection?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

It’s Almost Time for an Exclusive Sneak Peek of Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ – Only in Disney Parks!

posted on April 10th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


You wanted to see “Tomorrowland.” Here it comes!

Our sneak peek of the new Disney movie begins Friday, April 17, at Disneyland park. Head over to the Tomorrowland Theater for an exclusive look at scenes from the film, complete with special in-theater effects. And you can continue your “Tomorrowland” experience by exploring an all-new exhibit in the Starcade, featuring original props and production artwork.

Disney's TOMORROWLAND..Casey (Britt Robertson) ..Ph: Film Frame..?Disney 2015

For those of you visiting Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, you can catch this Disney Parks-exclusive preview of “Tomorrowland” at Epcot, where the sneak peek begins its special engagement at the Imagination Pavilion in Future World on Saturday, April 18, and continues through May 24. At Epcot, you’ll also get a close-up look at one of the jet packs used in the film, along with a display of conceptual art and photos from the set.

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In Disney’s riveting mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” a jaded scientist and an optimistic teen embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space. Directed by two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird, “Tomorrowland” stars Academy Award® winner George Clooney as scientist and former boy-genius Frank Walker and Britt Robertson as Casey Newton. Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

Here’s a look at the latest trailer for “Tomorrowland,” opening in theaters on May 22, 2015.

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Disney Parks After Dark: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Blossoms at Night

posted on April 9th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


I know the amazing floral displays and topiaries at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival look amazing during the day, but who would’ve thought they looked this beautiful illuminated at night?

This “Beauty and the Beast”-inspired topiary features Beast, Belle – and Cogsworth in the background.

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Have you visited the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this year? Do you prefer visiting during the day or in the evening?

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot Features ‘Disney Family of Wines’

posted on April 9th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Le Cellier Steakhouse is a top pick for guests who love a good steak – the AAA Candian beef tenderloin with truffle butter sauce is a hands-down favorite, but you also can order pan-seared snapper, free-range chicken and Kurobuta pork at this outstanding restaurant in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot.

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Now the wine list kicks it up, featuring six of the eight wineries of the “Disney Family of Wines,” and will be the first restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort to feature all eight, says Rick DeCicco, area manager at Le Cellier Steakhouse. The list includes several Reserve vintages.

“We’re waiting on Skywalker Vineyards and Gogi, and they are on the way,” says Rick.

The diverse collection has a personal connection to the Disney name: an artistic talent, a sense of what makes for good storytelling, quintessential family DNA … all of the wineries display qualities long identified with Walt Disney and The Walt Disney Company, carrying on the Disney legacy and typifying the passion, innovation and quality that the name Disney symbolizes.

The wineries:

  • Fess Parker Winery
  • MacMurray Ranch
  • Silverado Vineyards
  • Lasseter Family Winery
  • Gogi (owned by actor Kurt Russell)
  • Frank Family Vineyards
  • Chappellet Winery
  • Skywalker Vineyards

The restaurant has debuted a beautiful beverage book dedicated to The Disney Family of Wines, and has taken the service staff through training to educate them about the wines and winemakers. “This has a great impact on our guests since they love a great Disney story,” says Rick. Every leader at Le Cellier also has completed the introductory level course of the Court of Master Sommeliers, a feat worth mentioning (and congratulations!).

So, what does Rick suggest? “The Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon with the filet mignon is by far our most popular offering,” he says. “Or the Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon with the Angus strip steak and Cabernet butter.”

For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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Celebrate Earth Day at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on April 8th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


The natural beauty of Mother Nature + Disney magic = a perfect place to celebrate Earth Day. Of course, you can find it at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: Gardener's Palette

We think Earth deserves a whole (extended) weekend! We’ve got lots of ways to appreciate and celebrate with activities, discoveries and more.

Here’s are some fresh ways to get your green on, from April 17-22:

Three of our new specialty gardens connect families and kids with nature: Nature Rocks, presented by The Nature Conservancy, the Backyard Habitat presented by the National Wildlife Federation and the Purple Martins presented by Audubon Florida. These lush spots will inspire you and your family to spend more time outdoors, and maybe even how to bring a little Disney magic to your home.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Specialists will visit the Festival Center (April 17-19).

At the Seas with Nemo & Friends, learn about conservation efforts to protect coral reefs, sea turtles, sharks and the many other amazing creatures that inhabit our oceans (April 22).

Check out the sand sculpture that showcases Disneynature’s “Monkey Kingdom” movie at the World Showcase Outpost. Make sure to pick up a kids activity booklet while you’re taking a sand-selfie!

For more information about this and other Fun Fresh Weekends, check out EpcotInSpring.com.

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Behind the Scenes: Photographing a Blood Moon at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on April 4th, 2015 by David Roark, Manager of Photography, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


It has been a lot of fun working on these “Moon over Walt Disney World” images over the years. Photographing a Super Moon or Blood Moon event presents a unique set of challenges. Here are some behind-the-scenes tips on how we shoot an event like this.

  1. Time of the eclipse – If the eclipse is happening well after moonrise or well before moonset, it is usually too overhead to include any Disney subject matter. The best photos come when the moon is close to the horizon within an hour of sunrise or sunset so the sky is not too dark.
  2. Unique Disney subject matter – You may have seen Super Moon with the Holiday Cinderella Castle and Spaceship Earth, as well as Blood Moon behind Crossroads Mickey from Hollywood Studios. These are all locations that can be photographed from a variety of angles and with a telephoto lens (300-600mm).
  3. Camera location – It is rare that the moon and a perfect camera location all line up. The preference is to have a steady camera location on the ground or on a rooftop. Most times, I need to have a bucket truck to get into the perfect spot or just get around an obstruction.
  4. Weather conditions – Clouds and fog always add another element of uncertainty. I like to think Walt helps me manage this!

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The first step I use to plan one of these photos is to use specific photo apps that tell me precisely where the moon will be at a specific time. One of my favorite apps works with Google Maps, so I get a very specific map of possible locations.

For today’s blood moon, everything lined up perfectly at the new Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, other than a very tall stand of trees near the Ticket & Transportation Center. A quick call over to the Disney Arborists and my bucket truck operator, Carlos Lopez, and I was set for a 5 a.m. start this morning. Having the bucket truck allows me to get an elevated view (and work around trees, light poles, etc), but it also creates challenges because the bucket can cause a lot of camera movement when you are shooting at long exposure times. We usually have to move the truck a few times to get into the perfect spot. I prefer to shoot moonset because the Florida weather is a bit more predictable in the morning. The moon began to enter Earth’s shadow at 6:15 a.m. Moonset was at 7:13 a.m. The moon wasn’t in total eclipse until 7:58 a.m., well after the moon had dropped below the horizon. That is why you only see it partially shadowed in this photo. It was a very clear morning, but the moon became obscured by ground fog moments after this photo was taken.

See the posts below for more about moon photography at Walt Disney World Resort:

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot: April 2015

posted on March 31st, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


See what’s happening in the world of Merchandise Special Events this April at Walt Disney World Resort!

April 1 – 5: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, April 1 – 5 and 15 – 19 from 1 – 9 p.m. Not able to make it? It’s okay! Greg will return April 29 – May 3 with special appearances each day from Noon – 8 p.m. at Art of Disney in Epcot. Learn more.

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April 6 – 14: Be sure to stop in and check out some of the latest releases by artist David E. Doss from 1 – 9 p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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April 10 – April 12: Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick will be on hand for special appearances and signings of her new Easter collection throughout the day, each day, at Heritage Manor at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot. Not able to make it? No problem! Representatives from Precious Moments Dolls will be on hand now – April 12 at Heritage Manor at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot, and now – April 27 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

April 16 – 18: Renowned international artist Larry Dotson is scheduled to appear April 16 – 18 and 23 – 26 at Art of Disney in Epcot. If you are unable to make it, find him, April 30 – May 3 at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

April 17: New creations take form as Disney Pins! Be among the first to ‘assemble’ at Disney’s Pin Traders in Downtown Disney Marketplace for these new releases and meet artists Tim Loucks and Erica Virgin who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 11 a.m. – Noon.

April 17: Take part in Trading Night from 6 -9 p.m. p.m. in Veracruz A at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Register online here. Learn more.

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April 18 – 22: Celebrate Earth Day with us! Take part in special artist showcases with Bushman (April 18-19), Just Plumerias (April 18 – 22), Elemental Nursery (April 18 – 22) and William Silvers (April 20 -22), at select locations throughout at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Learn more.

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April 24 – 25: Join us as we welcome artist Matt Hawkins to WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Take part in a special artist showcase and signing April 24 from 4 – 7 p.m. and April 25 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Learn more.

April 25: There’s something special happening at Cherry Tree Lane at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Keep watching for details from fellow author Steven Miller.

April 25: Meet artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith at WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace from 4 – 7 p.m. Learn more.

Which event are you most excited for?

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Hippity Hoppity, Easter’s on the Way With Fun Foodie Ideas at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 31st, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Big or small, there’s a way to celebrate Easter at Walt Disney World Resort. From specialty cupcakes in Magic Kingdom Park to an Easter egg parade at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and a garden party brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, there’s something for everyone.

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From March 29-April 11, Magic Kingdom Park guests can nibble a cupcake that’s almost too pretty to eat – carrot cake with cream cheese icing and a carrot piped on top, or a vanilla cupcake with a chocolate nest of malted milk eggs. And don’t forget the delicious white chocolate rabbit cupcake from Cheshire Café!

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At Epcot, guests can pick up an adorable chocolate cupcake with marshmallow filling, marshmallow-buttercream frosting at Fountain View from March 29-April 11, and Sunshine Seasons April 4-5.

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A noon on March 31, join in the 3rd annual Disney’s Contemporary Resort Easter Egg Parade at Chef Mickey’s – the procession of pastry chefs starts in the restaurant, then their chocolate bunnies and beautifully decorated eggs are displayed through Easter on the fourth floor near the restaurant. There will also be a special cupcake April 3-5, featuring carrot cake with pineapple-coconut filling, white chocolate buttercream frosting, toasted coconut, jelly beans and a bunny macaron garnish.

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At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, fans of Boma — Flavors of Africa will be happy to hear that hours are extended on Easter Sunday, April 5, from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. And ‘tis the season for sweets, with a table laden with goodies – chocolate peanut butter eggs, jelly beans, kisses, chocolate miniatures so that breakfast guests can make a little take-home box.

Over at Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Palace Library at Kidani Village is being converted to “Library Lounge” during this bustling season, open from 4 p.m.–midnight and offering Sanaa appetizers and cocktails (not on the Disney Dining Plan). It’s the perfect place to beat the heat with a pretty savannah view.

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Guests of the resort can enjoy the Maji Pool Bar Cookout from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (weather permitting) March 28-April 12: burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst and a chicken burger by the pool (on the Disney Dining Plan). Look for some fun entertainment too.

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At Disney’s BoardWalk, try the Easter cupcake from BoardWalk Bakery. Vanilla cake with raspberry panna cotta filling, topped with a cute coconut “nest” with jelly beans.

Three seasonal brunches are open for booking. The 1900 Park Fare Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will be from 1-3 p.m. daily March 29-April 5. No Disney characters, just an enjoyable mid-day spread of delicious goodies.

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