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Don’t Miss the Mighty Family Fun Zone at Downtown Disney West Side

posted on March 13th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


The Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival is in full swing and family fun abounds! One of my favorite highlights from this year’s event is The Mighty Family Fun Zone presented by “Muppets Most Wanted.” Here, guests can enjoy Muppets mayhem, complete with music, games and activities for the whole family.

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Inspired by the upcoming film, guests of all ages can pose for Muppets-themed photo ops, learn to draw a Muppets character, let loose at a DJ Dance Party and collect Muppets character trading cards featuring Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Constantine, Beaker and Animal. Of course, guests can get a stamp for their Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival Passport, too!

For a sweet bite, look for special Muppets Rice Crispy Treats at the Downtown Disney Food Trucks.

Visit the Mighty Family Fun Zone presented by “Muppets Most Wanted” at Downtown Disney West Side, located between Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues, from 5pm-9pm through 3/14, then enjoy extended hours, from 12pm-9pm, 3/15-3/17/14.

Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted,” an international crime caper starring Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey and the whole Muppets gang, hits theaters on March 21, 2014. (Obviously, I plan to see it at AMC Downtown Disney 24!) For more information about The Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival, click here.

In the meantime, I think even Kermit would have to agree with me … through March 17, it is easy being green!

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Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort Goes St. Patrick’s Day Green This Weekend

posted on March 13th, 2014 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


St. Patrick’s Day is this coming Monday, which means if you’re Irish – or just wish you were – you have an entire weekend to celebrate in the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort.

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Saturday through Monday, you can put a jig in your step with special Downtown Disney District entertainment: The Molly Condon Irish Dance Company, and Irish hammer dulcimer musician Scott Williams.

And starting Friday, traditional Irish fare – corned beef and green beer – will be offered at several Downtown Disney District locations: Catal & Uva Bar, House of Blues, La Brea Bakery and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. ESPN Zone will offer green beer and a signature St. Patrick’s Day cocktail Friday through Monday, and will add corned beef and cabbage to the menu on Monday only.

Friday through Monday, Catal & Uva Bar will offer St. Patrick’s Day specialties such as Guinness Beer and Irish Cheddar dip, potato leek soup with Dubliner grilled cheese and whiskey-scented crème fraiche, Black and Tan battered fish and chips, corned beef on rye with Irish potato salad and whiskey bread pudding with stout gelato and Jameson crème anglaise. Uva Bar offers a Beer Special (Blue Moon Witbier with Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur) and Green Jello Shots in assorted flavors.

At House of Blues, it’s “Shamrock ‘n Roll” time. The VooDoo Lounge menu for the weekend through Monday features corned beef and cabbage, fish ‘n chips, and specials on Guinness, Jameson and green beer along with the traditional full menu.

La Brea Bakery will offer a special corned beef hash and eggs breakfast. Their lunch specials will include a Reuben on rye with corned beef, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island slaw, or a classic corned beef and cabbage dinner.

Erin go bragh!

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Lucky Day! The Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival Starts Tonight at Downtown Disney!

posted on March 7th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Pam Brandon recently shared some early details on the St. Patrick’s fun planned for Downtown Disney. Today, I want to give you even more insight into what you can expect this year! For starters, the event has a new name: “The Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival” which really ties to the over-the-top revelry we have planned. Spanning eleven days – from tonight through March 17, 2014 – there is more to experience than ever before. With festivities centered around Raglan Road and spilling throughout all of Downtown Disney, I think we can all agree that this celebration is mighty, indeed!

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A few of the highlights, below:

  • Live Entertainment – Familiar favorites, including the U2 tribute band “Elevation” and the ever-popular “3 Dollar Band” and “The Willis Clan” mix with Downtown Disney newcomers like “We Banjo 3,” an award-winning quartet from Galway, and “Goitse,” a sought-after group that infuses their own compositions into traditional Irish tunes. With three stages and a non-stop line up of talent on the docket, there’s a sound to suit every taste!
  • Festive Drinks & Food – Not sure which libations to sample first? Craving something delicious and green? Pick up a Mighty St. Patrick’s Passport to find out what’s on the menu. From Irish Cream Coffee at Forty Thirst Street (get a free sample during event hours!) to St. Patrick’s Mickey Mouse apples at Candy Cauldron, your palette will be delighted. For true Irish fare, don’t miss Raglan Road, or for a quicker bite, sample the Fisherman’s Pie (a dish from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival) at the Superstar Catering Food Truck.
  • Family Fun – It is easy being green with the Mighty Family Fun Zone presented by “Muppets Most Wanted” where guests of all ages can learn to draw Muppets friends, show off their best moves at a DJ Dance Party and take part in games, giveaways and special photo ops. Plus, with dance workshops, stilt walkers and face-painting, there’s more to be found here than at the end of the rainbow!

For more information, visit www.disneyworld.com/St.PatricksFestival. Attending the event? Be sure to tag your photos with #MightyFestival to spread the Irish fun – we’ll be doing the same via the Downtown Disney Twitter handle, @WDWDowntown.

Here’s to our mightiest St. Patrick’s Celebration yet – I hope to see you there!

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First Look Inside Festival Center for 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 6th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival officially underway, I stopped by the Festival Center to get a first look at the set up. This location, found in Future World between the Universe of Energy and MISSION: Space pavilions, is home to a variety of things including demonstrations and a merchandise shop. When I arrived, the event team was putting finishing touches on several areas inside the pavilion. I snapped a few photographs of the merchandise store that I thought you may enjoy.

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The sound of running water filled the air as I walked around the merchandise shop. The center of the shop had a nice garden-like setting complete with trees and fountains. I spotted several garden items throughout the display including wind chimes, garden stakes and other decorative goods.

First Look Inside Festival Center for 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival First Look Inside Festival Center for 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

In a previous article, I shared a look at some of the new merchandise we’ve created for this annual event. I enjoyed seeing the two different visual statements of these items displayed along the walls.

There were a few other things that caught my eye including new, instant photograph-inspired T-shirts for adults, kids and Passholders. There was also a jar-shaped plastic tumbler complete with the event logo. I particularly liked the calendar that contains images of the character topiaries featured throughout Epcot. This is the first time we’ve offered a calendar like this for the event.

Here is a gallery containing a few other items that I liked. The 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs through May 18, 2014. I invite you to join the conversation on social networks by using the hashtag #EpcotInSpring. You can also find more information about the event by visiting EpcotInSpring.com.
I hope to see you at Epcot; I’ll most likely be at my favorite Outdoor Kitchen, the Pineapple Promenade!

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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Returns Today

posted on March 5th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival returns to the park today, with new Muppet-themed topiaries, Outdoor Kitchens, and Flower Power concerts.

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In addition to many lovely floral displays, this year’s topiaries will include Mickey, Minnie and Pluto; Mater’s Parts, Plants & Play Garden; Classic Disney Couples; Beauty and the Beast; and Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden. Kermit and Miss Piggy are also appearing in topiary form in between the Italy and the Germany pavilions with a display inspired by the new movie Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted“. For a behind-the-scenes look at how their topiary came to be, check out the video below!

Also at this year’s festival, guests will be able to enjoy tastes from eleven Outdoor Kitchens, which will serve up a slew of new “sweet & savory” and “spring-inspired” menu items. (Check out a sneak peek at this year’s dishes in Pam’s previous post).

The Flower Power Concert Series also returns this Friday with The Guess Who (“American Woman”) taking the stage. Upcoming acts also include two bands making their debut Flower Power Concert performance: Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) and The Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”). Performances are included in park admission and take place Friday through Sunday at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.

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New Mini Disney Gift Card Designs for Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 4th, 2014 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


If you’re visiting the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, you’ll notice we have several exclusive mini Disney Gift Cards created especially for this year’s event. And today, we’re excited to share an early look at the new artwork.

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The mini Disney Gift Cards have all the functionalities of a regular Disney Gift Card, with the added convenience of wearing it around your wrist. As you enjoy the sights and scents that the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has to offer, the mini Disney Gift Card will help you quickly satisfy your taste buds by purchasing foods that highlight the taste of spring at the outdoor kitchens.

These designs will be available exclusively at Epcot for a limited time during the festival.

Activate your Disney Gift Card and just swipe to pay for food and more. Your Disney Gift Card can even be reloaded as many times as you want at the majority of festival kiosks. When the festival is over, you can continue using your card since, like all Disney Gift Cards, it’s good for practically all things Disney here at the Walt Disney World Resort and beyond.

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New Merchandise and ‘Rebel Rendezvous’ Event Coming to Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on February 28th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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One of my favorite events returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 16, 2014 – Star Wars Weekends! Today, I’m delighted to give you a first look at some of the new merchandise we’ve created for this year’s event. I also have some details about a new merchandise ticketed event coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 15, the day before Star Wars Weekends officially opens. I’ll share more about that event in a moment, but first let’s take a look at the new merchandise poster.

“This year’s merchandise poster contains a few nods to the upcoming Disney XD animated series ‘Star Wars Rebels,” explained Disney Design Group artist Tyler Dumas. “The color orange in the poster was inspired by the ‘Star Wars Rebels’ series’ logo, while the non-specific battle scene is supposed to take place between the events of Episode III and IV. This is similar to the storyline of the upcoming animated series. We also included a Star Speeder 1000 and R2-MK as tributes to Disney Parks.”

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This poster will be used on a variety of items including the ever popular Disney pins. The Disney pin team will also release a few other items like concept artwork cards with pins, a limited release mystery set and, my favorite, a Battle of Yavin lanyard with medal.

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The toy team created several new items this year including a limited edition figures set; a lenticular 1,000-piece puzzle; a Jabba the Hutt latex character; and a Queen Amidala and Princess Leia Deluxe Fashion Set.

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The limited release Vinylmation mystery series Star Wars: Series 4 will also debut during Star Wars Weekends. Look for a limited edition 9-inch and 3-inch figure set featuring the Rancor and his keeper this year.

To round out the preview, the arts and collectibles team have designed four medium-sized figures (Pluto dressed as an AT-AT is my favorite!).
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I promised some details about a merchandise ticketed event on Thursday, May 15. The “Rebel Rendezvous” will be held between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Attendees will receive exclusive access to Darth’s Mall one day before it opens to the public; a limited edition recruitment pack with items like a custom messenger bag, cadet hat, tumbler, lanyard, pin and medal set; preferential opportunity to purchase select 2014 Star Wars Weekends merchandise; and special meet and greet opportunities with characters and Disney artists.

Registration for the event will begin on March 4, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. EST at www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com, but you can visit the site now for additional details and restrictions. A catalog with additional merchandise images will be published on March 4.

May the Force Be With You!

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Food Competes with Flowers for Top Billing at 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on February 19th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Instead of photos of the gorgeous flowers and topiaries, we want to show off some of the delicious new delights for your taste buds at the 21st annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival that opens March 5 and runs through May 18 – that’s 75 days to take it all in.

Last year was the first year that food starred alongside the flowers, and this year 11 Outdoor Kitchens debut around World Showcase Lagoon, each with an artful produce and herb-raised garden bed that showcases something that you can taste in the dish they’re offering, say, corn at the Florida marketplace, or pineapples in Japan.

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Chef Jens Dahlmann had fun with the new Urban Farm EATS with its sustainable garden featuring tilapia swimming around that help fertilize the veggies. All three dishes are gluten free and two are vegetarian. There’s a pickled beet salad with goat cheese cream, mizuna (greens) and pistachios, eggplant grown at The Land pavilion at Epcot with Romesco (sweet pepper sauce) and spaghetti squash, and a ghost-pepper-dusted tilapia with crisp melon slaw and mint oil – and if you’ve never tried ghost pepper, it’s a kicky treat. They even have a vegan chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon and a gluten-free beer.

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In all there are 16 vegetarian dishes and a dozen gluten-free choices. Each marketplace has three to four dishes, adding up to more than 50 beverages and 40 different food items. It’s your chance to try anything from pulled-duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes in France to a “piggylicious” bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch at The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews. Craft beers abound again this year, from a Tropical Mango Pale Ale from St. John Brewers in the U.S. Virgin Islands to Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale brewed right here in Florida just for the festival.

Get a full rundown of what’s being offered at each Urban Kitchen as well as information on all the other fun things to do at epcotinspring.com.

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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: An Extra Week This Fall

posted on February 18th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


We’ve already got our culinary plan of attack for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival opening in just about two weeks (March 5 – May 18), and now we can look ahead to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival that’s going to run a record 53 days, from September 19 – November 10. Maybe this year will be the year to sample all of the great tastes.

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That’s a whole extra week to take in the marketplaces, cool concerts and some very special dinners. Stay tuned, we won’t have the lineup of celebrity and Disney chefs until summer, but will share here on the Disney Parks Blog. And keep an eye on epcotfoodfestival.com for updates.

In the meantime, check out the Outdoor Kitchen and raised garden beds at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, a completely different culinary experience from fall’s Food & Wine Fest. Between the two, we have 128 days of yum.

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Flower Power Concert Series Adds New Acts, Returns To Epcot March 7

posted on February 4th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is just about one month away and today we’re happy to share this year’s Flower Power Concert Series lineup with you.

Village People Will Preform at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The Flower Power Concert Series showcases the music of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, with concerts taking place Friday – Sunday at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m., at the America Gardens Theatre. This year’s lineup includes two new acts – Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) and the Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye In The Sky”) – as well as returning favorites like the Village People. Check out the full entertainment schedule (subject to change) below:

  • March 7-9 - The Guess Who
  • March 14-16 – Gary Lewis and the Playboys NEW
  • March 21-23 – The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO
  • March 28-30 – The Lovin’ Spoonful
  • April 4-6 – Paul Revere & The Raiders
  • April 11-13 – Village People
  • April 18-20 – The Grass Roots
  • April 25-27 – Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone
  • May 2-4 - STARSHIP Starring Mickey Thomas
  • May 9-11 – Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
  • May 16-18 – Alan Parsons Live Project NEW

Who are you planning to see this spring? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

For more information, visit EpcotInSpring.com.

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