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Two New Ways to Enjoy Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on July 31st, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


How about an after-hours street party, and an Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package to make the 19th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival even more fun?

Delicious Desserts Tempt the Sweet Tooth

Epcot Food & Wine Festival – Late Nights LIVE! street party will run from 9:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday during the festival between the United Kingdom Pavilion and World Showcase Plaza. The event includes six tastes (food and beverages) from select marketplaces, live music, entertainment, and a DJ. Cost is $79, plus tax. Bringing together the love of food with the love of music, it’s the perfect destination for a delicious final bite. Party is subject to capacity and advance reservations are recommended; to book a spot, call 407-939-3378. We know that Greece, Hawaii and Desserts & Champagne will be showcased, along with others that will change throughout the festival.

*Note: Admission to Epcot is not required after 9 p.m. for guests who have purchased credentials to the event. However, if the guest wants to visit Epcot before 9 p.m., valid theme park admission is required. Alcohol will only be served to guests 21 and older.

Now for some brand-new “Premium” fun! From noon-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday during a select festival period (September 22-November 6), the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package is an opportunity for guests staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel (or the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels) to sip and savor in style. The package includes an in-room gift with wine for guests 21 and older, a festival wine glass, truffles and credential for the Premium Package Areas at the festival – plus an Epcot International Food & Wine Festival MagicBand and a $50 Disney Gift Card to start the fun. The credential gives access to 10 VIP “Premium Package Areas” around World Showcase Promenade where you can order items from Marketplaces and have them delivered to you – no waiting in line. You can also bring your favorite marketplace treats into the Premium Package Areas and just relax. The package also includes one admission to Epcot Food & Wine Festival – Late Nights LIVE!, which you can attend on Tuesday or Thursday night.

Cost is $199 per guest, plus tax, plus Epcot admission.

For the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package, call 407-939-1889. For more general information on the festival, go to epcotfoodfestival.com.

For more about the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, visit the posts below:

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Five Things You Can’t Miss During Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Park

posted on July 30th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


It may be July, but the time has come to get ready once again for Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland park! Tickets are on sale to the general public here, and there’s so much to look forward to. Here are my top five can’t-miss favorites at Mickey’s Halloween Party.
Mickey's Costume Party Cavalcade at Mickey's Halloween Party in Disneyland Park

  1. Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade – this is an exclusive, for Mickey’s Halloween Party guests only.
  2. Disney Villains make special appearances at Mickey’s Halloween Party in a series of must-see moments in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A.
  3. Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland Park

  4. Trick-or-treat stations throughout Disneyland park, stocked with candy and healthy goodies.
  5. Halloween Screams, fireworks spectacular – another exclusive just for party guests.
  6. Monsters U Dance Party at Tomorrowland Terrace, featuring Mike & Sulley and the Monster Scare-Off.

What are your Mickey’s Halloween Party must-do’s? Let us know in the comments!

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Be Prepared for ‘Villains Unleashed’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on July 23rd, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


We’re just one month out from August 23, the night a record number of Disney villains – more than 50 in all – will invade Disney’s Hollywood Studios as part of the park’s new, separately ticketed event, “Villains Unleashed.” While some of the surprises being planned for this one-night-only party remain hidden under a cloak of mystery, other tantalizing details are beginning to emerge, and it’s shaping up to be one fiendishly fun evening!
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  • Hades Hangout - The party kicks off at 8 p.m. at the main event stage, where hosts Hades, Megara, Pain and Panic are killing ‘em with comedy. They’re joined throughout the night by the Underworld Dancers, DJ Igg Nite, live music from Bernie Briquette and Brimstone, and a rogues gallery of roaming rottens, from the Queen of Hearts and Sheriff of Nottingham to the Big Bad Wolf and Captain Hook.
  • Villains Dominion – For this one special night, the Streets of America area of the park will be swarming with baddies. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to meet favorites like Cruella De Vil, Jafar, Dr. Facilier and Gaston, along with more rarely seen baddies such as Shan Yu from “Mulan,” Bowler Hat Guy from “Meet the Robinsons,” or Captain Gantu and Dr. Hämsterviel from “Lilo & Stitch: The Series.” In addition to these dedicated villain encounters, you may spot even more wandering evildoers in the area. Look for Judge Claude Frollo, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella, and more!
  • The Dark Side – During “Villains Unleashed,” the area around Star Tours – The Adventures Continue becomes a wretched hive of scum and villainy, the place to find nefarious bounty hunter Boba Fett, Sith apprentice Darth Maul, and the ultimate villain – Darth Vader! And that’s not all! Wandering the area, you’ll stumble upon more malcontents from that galaxy far, far away: Zam Wessel, Aurra Sing, Asajj Ventress, Jango Fett, Greedo, Jawas, and others.
  • Villainous Encounters – Visit Stage 4 (where The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction is seen during the day), and you can “Parlay” with the one and only Hector Barbossa. And just around the corner in the Animation Courtyard is where you’ll discover a bit of the Moors, where you can have an audience with the mistress of all evil, Maleficent!
  • Oogie Boogie’s Freaky Funhouse Show – Over on Sunset Boulevard, Theater of the Stars presents a production of extreme performances, hosted by the original master of scare-monies, Oogie Boogie. It’s an all-new show that’s sure to thrill!
  • Fantasmic! Strolling up Sunset Boulevard, a gang of villainous henchmen, known as the Night Crawlers, tempt you to join them for a special pre-show to the evening’s performance of Fantasmic!, itself a celebration of the power and intrigue of some of the greatest Disney villains.
  • “Villainy in the Sky” Fireworks – Ultimately, Hades summons Maleficent to the main event stage to close things out with a devilishly dazzling display of pyrotechnics!

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And there’s more! You can get a Villains ExScream Makeover with complimentary face painting at stations around Echo Lake, join in on one of the dance parties taking place in the park, and enjoy a wicked cabaret atmosphere – not to mention some delectable, small-plate menu items – at Club Evil in the Hollywood Brown Derby.

For fans of Disney’s darker characters, “Villains Unleashed” promises to be a nightmare come true! It’s all happening one night only, August 23, 2014, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You won’t want to miss it, so get your tickets now, before they all disappear!

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New Epcot Cookbook to Feature All Three Festivals

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


You can’t buy a copy until September, but we wanted to give blog readers a sneak peek at the new Epcot cookbook that debuts just in time for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (September 19-November 10). Instead of an annual cookbook just for that festival, the new book – even the title is still in the working stages – will feature, for the first time ever, recipes from Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, winter’s Holidays Around the World and the springtime Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Here’s a picture of Disney photographer Matt Stroshane and stylist Laurel Ainley as they shot the new food photos for the book. Long days and lots of prep create pretty dishes we hope will make you hungry.

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Meanwhile, here’s a few photos from the book and one of our favorite recipes from this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to get you started.

Grilled Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri
Serves 6

Salmon
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
6 (5- to 6-ounce) Verlasso salmon fillets, skin removed

Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, including stems, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh arugula
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste

Quinoa Salad Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste

Quinoa Salad
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked per instructions (makes approximately 3 cups cooked), cooled
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/4 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste

For salmon:

  1. Combine garlic salt, lemon juice, and olive oil in small bowl. Place salmon in large zip-top bag and add liquid, turning fillets to evenly coat.
  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove salmon from refrigerator at least 10 minutes before cooking.
  3. Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Cover 15 x 10-inch baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place salmon on baking sheet in a single layer, evenly spaced.
  4. Bake 15 minutes or until the salmon easily can be flaked apart with a fork.

For chimichurri sauce:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend for about 10 seconds on medium speed or until ingredients are evenly blended. Season with salt and pepper. Store in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.

For quinoa salad dressing:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For quinoa salad:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl and toss with Quinoa Salad Dressing.

To serve:

  1. Equally divide Quinoa Salad between serving plates, top with salmon fillet and drizzle with Chimichurri Sauce.

Cook’s note: Verlasso salmon is sustainable and farm-raised; you can use any fresh, high-quality salmon in this recipe.

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Ready, Set, Dial! Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Premium Event Reservations Open July 31

posted on July 16th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


First, go to epcotfoodfestival.com on July 24 when the new premium events will be posted and take a few minutes to plan ahead – because at 7 a.m. July 31 you can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) to book your spot at some of the most coveted events for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Dates are September 19 – November 10, and while there’s plenty of fun included with park admission, you won’t want to miss some of the top-tier experiences that require a separate ticket.

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Here’s what’s new this year:

  • Dining Through the Decades, A Tribute to Walt Disney (October 24) $99 pp or $119 pp
  • Experience Puerto Rico – The All Star Island (September 20) $99 pp
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival — Boot Camp Series interactive epicurean adventure (September 21, October 5, 12, 19, Nov. 2) $119 pp
  • Food for Thought (Fridays, plus Saturday October 11) $169 pp
  • Mediterranean Food & Wine Pairing (Wednesdays) $55 pp
  • Italian White Truffle & Wine Pairing Dinner (October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30) $295 pp

And here are some of the most popular events making a comeback:

  • Parisian Breakfast (Saturdays) $39 pp
  • “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery (October 3, 10 and 17) $59 or $99 pp – this also can be booked at epcotfoodfestival.com
  • Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining 
(more than 20 dinners throughout the festival; prices vary)
  • Shake and Indulge Like the French Featuring Grand Marnier (Saturdays beginning September 27) $55 pp
  • Cheese Seminars (Saturdays) $79 pp
  • Party for the Senses (October 4, 11, 18 and November 1) $149, $189 or $299 pp – this also can be booked at epcotfoodfestival.com
  • Party for the Senses Featuring Disney Chefs from Around the World (October 25) $149, $189 or $299 pp
  • Food & Wine Pairings (Tuesdays and Thursdays) $55 pp
  • Sunday Mornings With … (Sundays) $99 pp

There’s more, like Italian and French pairings and lunches, a Japan “Hibachi Experience” and a Mexican tequila lunch. You can also book the popular Culinary Demonstrations ($15), Mixology Seminars ($15) and Wine Seminars ($15).

See you soon at Epcot!

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Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort Returns September 12 – October 31 With 14 Nights of Mickey’s Halloween Party

posted on July 2nd, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


UPDATE 7/16/14: Tickets are now on sale to Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders, Disney Rewards Visa card holders and Disney Vacation Club members here.

HALLOWEEN TIME:  Main Street

The Happiest Place on Earth is about to get spookier again, when Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort returns September 12 through October 31. And there will be even more thrills and chills with 14 nights of Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland park!

Halloween Time features the popular seasonal attractions, Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, along with some famous Disney Villains, Mickey Mouse and his friends in Halloween costumes, the Dia de los Muertos celebration and the special after-hours Mickey’s Halloween Party (a separate, ticketed event).

You can purchase your Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets early – and on your mobile device – here. Be sure to mark your calendars for the following dates:

  • July 16: Tickets on sale to Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders, Disney Rewards Visa card holders and Disney Vacation Club members
  • July 30: Tickets on sale to general public
  • Mickey’s Halloween Party 2014 dates: Friday, September 26; Tuesday, September 30; Friday, October 3; Monday, October 6, Wednesday, October 8; Friday, October 10; Tuesday, October 14; Friday, October 17; Monday, October 20; Wednesday, October 22; Friday, October 24; Monday, October 27; Wednesday, October 29; and Friday, October 31.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog and Disneyland.com/Halloween for more updates on Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort and Mickey’s Halloween Party, and join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #HalloweenTime.

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Save Up to 30% on Select Disney Resort Hotels For Trips Through October 3

posted on June 30th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Considering a vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort in late summer or early fall? This is a great time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort, with the recent opening of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, plus the return of fun fall festivities, such as the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties.
More Treats Than Tricks

Guests booking stays at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels for trips taking place between August 16 and October 3, 2014, may save up to 30% thanks to our latest room offer. This offer must be booked by August 8, 2014.

Click here for more details on discounts at specific resorts and to book.

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: A ‘Frozen’ Summer Is On Its Way

posted on June 28th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier this week, we shared the exciting news that a bevvy of new “Frozen” -inspired entertainment options will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios very soon. Here are some of the first photos of Anna and Elsa at the park.

A ‘Frozen’ Summer Is On Its Way A ‘Frozen’ Summer Is On Its Way

Beginning July 5 (yes, just one week from today!), Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be the home to the Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome procession, a For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration, a “Frozen” fireworks spectacular and much more. Be sure to check out Shawn’s original blog post for all of the exciting details!

Tell us – will you be at the park July 5 for the “Frozen” debut? Which offering are you most excited to experience?

To join the conversation online, use the hashtag #FrozenSummer.

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Take a Sneak Peek at the ‘Villains Unleashed’ Guest List at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on June 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


As we shared earlier this month, “Villains Unleashed,” a new, separately ticketed event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, will feature more than 50 Disney villains. Villains will appear at the event in several different ways, participating in character greetings, stage shows, and more.

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We just got a sneak peek at a portion of the invite list. Many more villains will be on hand at the the event, but here’s a few names you may recognize. (Entertainment is subject to change!).

  • Hades
  • Meg
  • Pain
  • Panic
  • Anastasia
  • Drizella
  • Lady Tremaine
  • J. Worthington Foulfellow
  • Gideon
  • Big Bad Wolf
  • Cruella De Vil
  • Captain Hook
  • Mr. Smee
  • Bowler Hat Guy
  • Queen of Hearts
  • Gaston
  • Jafar
  • Darth Vader
  • Darth Maul
  • Boba Fett
  • Asajj Ventress
  • Emperor Palpatine
  • Stormtrooper
  • Zam Wessell
  • Jango Fett
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New Merchandise Coming to Fifth Weekend at Star Wars Weekends From June 13-15, 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on June 12th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


New Merchandise Coming to Fifth Weekend at Star Wars Weekends From June 13-15, 2014 at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Being a long-time Star Wars fan, I’m delighted there is a fifth weekend for Star Wars Weekends this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This extra weekend takes place during Father’s Day on June 15, which is perfect since I regularly recreate a famous scene from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back with my son. Here is a brief look at some new items that you will find at Darth’s Mall, our merchandise location found between Toy Story Midway Mania and Studio Backlot Tour.

New Merchandise Coming to Fifth Weekend at Star Wars Weekends From June 13-15, 2014 at Disney's Hollywood Studios

New items will include fun Darth Vader shirts, and some character T-shirts, a glass mug, and a spinner pin with characters from the upcoming Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

Other new items include a 3-inch Vinylmation set that was originally designed for Vinylmation – Star Wars series 2 (it contains a Jawa and R5-D4), and a limited edition, D-Tech on Demand case for iPhone 5/5S featuring Goofy and Max. You can also find a new Disney Theme Park Tagalong, featuring Jedi Master Yoda.

New Merchandise Coming to Fifth Weekend at Star Wars Weekends From June 13-15, 2014 at Disney's Hollywood Studios

For the first time, we will release two limited edition, retail MagicBands with pre-printed images (edition size 2,500 each). There will be a green retail MagicBand with Yoda’s image and a red retail MagicBand with Darth Vader’s image (colors were selected to match their light saber colors). Each retail MagicBand will be packaged in a decorative Star Wars Weekends box (you can use the free Aurasma app on your mobile device to make the box image come to life).

New Merchandise Coming to Fifth Weekend at Star Wars Weekends From June 13-15, 2014 at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Finally to celebrate this fifth weekend, I would love your help in selecting the next Star Wars-themed Disney Racer that will be released in spring 2015. You may recall that we recently re-launched Disney Racers at Disney Parks. This is the first time we’ve asked our readers to select the next design to be made. When it’s released, the packaging for this die-cast metal car will have a “fan choice” call-out.

Please take a moment to vote for your favorite design from the list below. Voting will only be available for three days, June 12-15, 2014. We will reveal the winning entry on Monday, June 16, on the Disney Parks Blog.

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