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Disney Parks Blog Unboxed – 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Merchandise

posted on February 9th, 2016 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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France Pavilion is one of my favorite places in World Showcase at Epcot. I have spent countless hours watching my favorite film at Walt Disney World Resort, the gorgeous “Impressions de France.” I even had my first cup of coffee at the pavilion when I was 16. In this edition of Disney Parks Blog Unboxed, I was looking forward to spending another beautiful morning in France. My day, however, was interrupted by the arrival of a basket.

This year, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs from March 2 to May 30. You will find the items seen in the video and much more at select merchandise locations throughout Epcot. The Festival Center, located in Future World between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions, will be open Fridays through Sundays throughout the event.

In the coming weeks, stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for additional looks at merchandise created especially for this event.

For more from the “Unboxed” series, visit the posts below:

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‘Celebrate Gospel’ Returns to the Disneyland Resort February 13

posted on February 9th, 2016 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


This Saturday, February 13, guest choirs from throughout Southern California will gather at Disney California Adventure park to “Celebrate Gospel” in honor of Black History Month, and the spirit and history of gospel music.

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Stop by Stage 17 in Hollywood Land from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. to hear the uplifting voices of the choirs listed below. Whether you haven’t experienced “Celebrate Gospel” before, or you are like me and it’s one of your favorite events of the year, the inspiring musical event is sure to raise your spirit!

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • Lorenzo Johnson & Praizum (Los Angeles)
  • Harambee Prep Children’s Choir (Pasadena)
  • New Generation Choir (Santa Ana)
  • Covered Choir (Corona)
  • Ty Snow & Xtreme Purpose (Pasadena)
  • Divine Deliverance Mass Choir (Inglewood)

2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

  • Amazing Grace Conservatory (Los Angeles)
  • Voices of Praise Mass Choir (Temecula)
  • West Angeles Angelic Children’s Choir (Los Angeles)
  • Spiritual Truth (Yorba Linda)
  • Greater LA Cathedral Choir (Los Angeles)
  • LA Inner City Mass Choir (Los Angeles)
  • Destiny 24 (Compton)
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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on February 7th, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


We kicked off the first week of February with our first-ever live stream of “Fantasmic!” from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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This guest-favorite show explores the magic of Mickey Mouse’s imagination – and the adventure he embarks upon when the Disney villains show up to try to turn his dream “into a nightmare Fantasmic.”

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During the live stream, you voted to unlock a new Sorcerer Mickey wallpaper. Disney artist Mike Britton created the wallpaper that celebrates the color of “Fantasmic!”

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

See Blood, Sweat & Tears April 15-17 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival See Brian Howe April 22-24 at Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
See Georgia Satellites April 29-May 1 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival See Darlene Love May 13-15 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Also this week, we shared an update that two more weekends and four new acts will join the lineup for this year’s Garden Rocks concert series during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Thirteen pop bands with hits spanning the decades will take the stage each weekend through Memorial Day at America Gardens Theatre from March 2 – May 30. Check Victoria’s original story for more.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

Josh Gad Takes Viewers to Rarely Seen Places at Disneyland Park During ‘The Wonderful Disney: Disneyland 60’ February 21 on ABC – Josh Gad will take viewers on a unique tour of Disneyland park, including peeks inside Walt Disney’s private apartment above Main Street, U.S.A., and the Disneyland Dream Suite in New Orleans Square, during the two-hour television special, “The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60,” on Sunday, Feb. 21, on the ABC Television Network.

Enter Now for Chance to Win Dazzling ‘Sleeping Beauty’-Inspired Crown in Disneyland Diamond Days – Disneyland Diamond Days sweepstakes, part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, has been giving guests the chance to win dazzling prizes – and this week’s prize is one of the most dazzling!

Making Wishes Come True at the Disneyland Resort – Recently, The Walt Disney Company celebrated making 100,000 wishes come true with Make-A-Wish. In celebration of this special relationship, we asked our cast members for some of their favorite memories fulfilling wishes.

Reservations Now Open for New Table-Service Dining at River Belle Terrace in Disneyland Park – On February 10, the next chapter for River Belle Terrace will begin as the restaurant reopens as a table-service location, featuring barbecue favorites, tasty sides and more.

New Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration HARVEYS Attraction Totes Debut – Are you ready to see the next wave of attraction poster totes from HARVEYS created for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration?

Tips for a Rainy Day at the Disneyland Resort – Here at the Disneyland Resort, wet weather does not put a damper on day of fun. Try out these activities to sprinkle extra excitement on your rainy day visit.

Celebrate Black History Month With Special Author Signings at Epcot – Guests have the opportunity to meet four renowned African-American authors and cultural icons each Saturday during the month of February. Book signings are open to all guests and hosted at the American Adventure Pavilion, where books written by each guest author are also available for purchase throughout the month.

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VIDEO: Join the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park this Weekend

posted on February 5th, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


Happy Lunar New Year Celebration is going on now at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure park, through February 8. The event celebrates time-honored traditions of the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures, inviting citizens of all backgrounds to enjoy the festivities. Join Mulan and Mushu, along with friends Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Chip n’ Dale to celebrate the Year of the Monkey! Take a look at all the fun in the video below.

Join us for the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration, February 5-8, from 11 am – 5 pm each day!

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More Days, More Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on February 3rd, 2016 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Two more weekends and four new acts join the lineup for this year’s Garden Rocks concert series during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Thirteen pop bands with hits spanning the decades will take the stage each weekend through Memorial Day at America Gardens Theatre from March 2 – May 30.

Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice, Bad Company, former lead singer BRIAN HOWE, Georgia Satellites and Darlene Love make their Festival debut this year.

See Blood, Sweat & Tears April 15-17 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival See Brian Howe April 22-24 at Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
See Georgia Satellites April 29-May 1 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival See Darlene Love May 13-15 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Here’s the lineup (subject to change without notice):

  • March 4-6 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
  • March 11-13 – Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
  • March 18-20 – Little River Band “Reminiscing”
  • March 25-27 – Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
  • April 1-3 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”
  • April 8-10 – The Guess Who “American Woman”
  • April 15-17 – NEW! Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
  • April 22-24 – NEW! Bad Company, former lead singer BRIAN HOWE “Can’t Get Enough”
  • April 29-May 1 – NEW! Georgia Satellites “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”
  • May 6-8 – Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
  • May 13-15 – NEW! Darlene Love “Wait ‘Til My Bobby Gets Home”
  • May 20-22 – Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
  • May 27-30 (Monday) – The Spinners “Working My Way Back to You”

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45, and 8 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Festival and included with park admission.

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90 Days of Delicious Tastes for 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on February 1st, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Two new Outdoor Kitchens join the line-up for this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, upping the deliciousness at the 23rd annual fest that will span a record 90 days from March 2-May. 30.

Outdoor Kitchens at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

La Isla Fresca and Cider House are the two new Outdoor Kitchens, and we got a sneak peek of dishes from each at a recent tasting with the Epcot culinary team. La Isla Fresca takes guests to the Caribbean for authentic bites such as Jamaican braised beef with pigeon peas and rice; spicy jerk chicken or grouper with mango salsa and a Tres Leches cake with guava puree (the traditional meringue is replaced with whipped cream in this version). Pair either of the savories with a Red Stripe Jamaican-style lager, or frozen Simply Tropical juice drink (with or without rum).

The Cider House offers a spin on tastes from the United Kingdom, including a field greens salad with greens harvested from The Land Pavilion, heirloom apples, Stilton cheese and dried blueberries; and a pear cider-brined shredded corned beef, braised cabbage and pears with Branston (a British food brand) dressing. The Cider House will offer four hard ciders, including a blueberry ciders made in Plant City, Fla., plus Cigar City Tampa-Style Lager.

Urban Farm EATS Outdoor Kitchen at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The 11 other Outdoor Kitchens include Urban Farm Eats (new seared pork tenderloin), Pineapple Promenade , Fleur de Lys, Florida Fresh, Taste of Marrakesh, Hanami, THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews (the pulled pig slider gets crispy onions on top), Primavera Kitchen, Lotus House, Bauernmarkt (German currywurst sausage is new this year) and Jardin de Fiestas. Such diversity of tastes!

You’ll be wowed by the colorful extravaganza put on by the Disney horticulture team – whimsical topiaries (yes, Elsa and Anna will be there), 220 “floating gardens” in the lagoon and a new edible flower garden next to The Land Pavilion. It’s all beautiful at night, with twinkling lights shining across the gardens.

Food lovers, mark your calendar for April 29-May 1, when Florida Fresh Weekend features the state’s edible bounty from Apalachicola to Zellwood.

For more information about the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639). Watch for details at epcotinspring.com. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

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February Gets Even Sweeter at the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 29th, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


I am so excited to share details on all of the special hand-crafted treats headed your way this February from our (candy) kitchen to yours at the Disneyland Resort.

The gourmet collection for February will include an apple dipped in caramel and dark chocolate, rolled in chopped roasted almonds and garnished with cherries, drizzled milk chocolate and a few additional chopped almonds, for the finishing touch.

The gourmet bark, however, is infused with nut and amaretto oil, drizzled in white and milk chocolate and then topped with dried cherries and chopped roasted almonds. Yes, I tried it — it’s incredible!

Are you unsure what type of candy your Valentine might enjoy? Our candy makers are way ahead of you and have just what you’re looking for to make this the sweetest Valentine’s Day yet.

Look for a special themed pink Minnie Mouse apple, which I’m not actually showing you here, because I want you to see it for yourself and even share it with me! The cake pop and crispy treat have been dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with red and pink pareils, with an extra drizzle or two of white chocolate. As you can see, the marshmallow wand is pretty much the same, but don’t forget the layer of caramel it’s dipped in before we dip it and sprinkle it with everything else.

Our candy makers had one last trick, or in this case, treat up their sleeve: a peppermint-infused, heart-shaped pattie. Is there any better way to say “I heart you”?

The Valentine-themed treats will only be available until February 14, so don’t miss out!

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Elton John to Perform in ‘The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60’ February 21 on ABC and Fans Can Join the Fun with the Disney Applause App

posted on January 27th, 2016 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is the inspiration for a glamorous, star-studded two-hour television event, “The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60,” on Sunday, Feb. 21 on the ABC Television Network.

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Hosted by two-time Emmy Award winner, Derek Hough, the special broadcast will originate from both the heart of Hollywood at the Dolby Theater and at some of the most iconic locations throughout the Disneyland Resort including Sleeping Beauty Castle, Main Street, U.S.A., and Cars Land.

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Among the special appearances during the show, one of the most successful solo artists of all time, Sir Elton John, will captivate audiences as he performs in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park by singing the Oscar®-nominated song “Circle of Life,” from Disney’s “The Lion King,” and his new song “Wonderful Crazy Night,” from his upcoming album.

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Fans watching the show at home can participate in Sir Elton’s performance and much more with the Disney Applause app, available for iOS and Android. Applause delivers a second-screen, interactive experience that will sync directly to the broadcast’s major musical segments, displaying colorful light shows and original content on viewers’ phones. Their display will be in harmony with the illuminated accessories worn by guests and elaborate lighting design during the performances.

Check back for more details on this once-in-a-lifetime television event!

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Happy Lunar New Year Celebration Returns to Disney California Adventure Park

posted on January 12th, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


This year, the Year of the Monkey, brings the return of the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure park, February 5-8! The event will celebrate time-honored traditions of the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures while inviting guests of all backgrounds to enjoy the festivities. For those who celebrate, it is the customary time to reflect on the past and step into a new life of hope, prosperity and happiness.

Happy Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park

Mulan and Mushu will join friends Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Chip n’ Dale during the festivities, celebrating the Year of the Monkey. Special merchandise and authentic food offerings will be available, and colorful live performers, musicians and local artisans will enrich the celebration. Local community groups will perform throughout the day at the Paradise Garden Stage and on the performance corridor outside Paradise Gardens.

Join us for the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration February 5-8, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day!

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Costa Does It Again at the Walt Disney World Marathon

posted on January 10th, 2016 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


Fredison Costa is only about 140 pounds soaking wet, but he said he felt very heavy on Sunday. Maybe it was from the weight of five – count them, five – Walt Disney World Marathon medals he now has in his possession.

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Costa, the Brazilian runner who trains at Walt Disney World Resort, continued to pile on the victories Sunday morning, winning his third straight Walt Disney World Marathon and his fifth in the last six years.

Costa’s win, along with Natasha Yaremczuk’s victory in the women’s division (2:52:23), capped the 23rd Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. The signature runDisney event drew more than 100,000 runners and fans for races of all levels, a Health & Fitness Expo and the first-ever runDisney Race Director Series for race executives from around the world.

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Costa, 38, provided the perfect punctuation to the weekend and is quickly gaining on Adriano Bastos for the title of winningest runner in Walt Disney World Marathon history. With his fifth victory, Costa is only three behind Bastos, who is an eight-time winner.

It’s been anything but easy, especially Sunday. His win – he crossed the finish line in 2:33:24 – was the slowest of his five victories, roughly 15 minutes slower, in fact, than his winning time last year (2:18:06). That’s because he was coming off a recent calf injury that forced him to suspend his training for 10 days. And it didn’t help that it was a warm and wet morning, which also zapped some of his speed as he navigated the 26.2-mile course through all four Disney theme parks.

Nevertheless, Costa said he achieved the one thing he wanted more than anything. He won.

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“I was not happy with my time,’’ said Costa, who trains with former Olympic track & field coach Brooks Johnson at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. “But I’m the happiest man on earth.’’

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