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Reservations Now Open for the Feel the Force Premium Packages During Star Wars Weekends

posted on April 7th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Prepare to ‘Feel the Force’ with special premium packages offered this year at Star Wars Weekends. These dining packages put you close to the action of the Legends of The Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade, the “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks and more in true intergalactic-foodie style.

Star Wars Weekend

Enjoy your morning at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, knowing the Feel the Force Premium Package includes reserved viewing for the Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade from 11 a.m.-noon, with a selection of soft drinks, water and a snack.

Star Wars-Themed Cupcakes from the 'Symphony in the Stars' Fireworks Dessert Party During Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios Star Wars-Themed Cupcakes from the 'Symphony in the Stars' Fireworks Dessert Party During Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The grand finale to your day at Star Wars Weekends is the “Symphony in the Stars” Fireworks Dessert Party at 9 p.m. Enjoy Star Wars-themed desserts (including the famous Yoda and Darth Vader Cupcakes above), and a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages–all with an up-close view of the fireworks!

You can expand your universe of choices by upgrading to the Feel the Force Deluxe Premium Package. In addition to the benefits listed above, the Deluxe Premium Package allows guests to follow behind the Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard, provides reserved seating for all of the celebrity talk shows that day in the Theater of the Stars, and offers priority access to Darth’s Mall throughout the day of the package. It also comes with a commemorative lanyard and credential to honor your most impressive day.

To book this event, hurry you must. Quantities are limited. The Feel the Force Premium Packages will take place on event weekends, May 15 to June 14. For more information about premium packages, VIP tours and Star Wars dining events, visit StarWarsWeekends.com.

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Frank Oz and Ian McDiarmid Among the Stars Announced for Star Wars Weekends 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on April 3rd, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


To paraphrase a certain scruffy looking nerf herder, I’ve flown from one side of the galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of cool stuff … but nothing as cool as Star Wars Weekends. This year’s event is shaping up to be among the best, with a new show, new locations for merchandise and autograph opportunities and a galaxy of stars that includes returning favorites and luminaries making their first hyperspace jump to Star Wars Weekends!

So shall we dispense with the pleasantries?
Here are the celebrities scheduled to appear for Star Wars Weekends 2015 (entertainment is subject to change):

Weekend I (May 15 – 17)
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  • Ian McDiarmid: Senator/Emperor Palpatine (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Amy Allen: Aayla Secura (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
  • Tiya Sircar: Sabine Wren (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend II (May 22 – 24)

  • Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Silas Carson: Ki-Adi-Mundi, Nute Gunray (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
  • Vanessa Marshall: Hera Syndulla (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend III (May 29 – 31)

  • Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Daniel Logan: Boba Fett (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
  • Steve Blum: Zeb Orrelios (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend IV (June 5 – 7)

  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Jeremy Bulloch: Boba Fett (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend V (June 12 – 14)
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  • Frank Oz: Yoda (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: A New Hope; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)

Of course, Star Wars Weekends host James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels) will be appearing every week, and in addition to Ashley Eckstein’s Weekend IV guest spot, she will also be joining us every day of the event as host of “Padawan Mind Challenge – Family Edition.”

Details are still coming together for the event, but some of the highlights of what’s new for Star Wars Weekends 2015 include:

  • Star Wars: Rebels” – Relive the adventurous twists and turns of the first exciting season of the Disney XD series “Star Wars: Rebels,” in an all-new show with Star Wars Weekends host James Arnold Taylor and a special guest from the show’s voice cast … along with a few surprises!
  • Autograph Opportunities – For the first time, autograph sessions with Star Wars celebrities will be held in an indoor location, just off Commissary Lane near Star Tours – The Adventure Continues. For complete details about autograph opportunities, be sure to visit StarWarsWeekends.com prior to your visit.
  • Darth’s Mall – Can’t find the droids you’re looking for? Head over to this new complex of shops near Streets of America for the best selection of Star Wars merchandise in this galaxy or any other!

All this, plus dozens of Star Wars characters appearing throughout the park, yummy Star Wars-inspired treats and the spectacular fireworks finale, “Symphony in the Stars.” It just goes to show you that Star Wars Weekends is as close to the Force as you can get!

Believe it or not, we still have more to share with you in the weeks ahead, so keep checking Disney Parks Blog and StarWarsWeekends.com for updates, and keep the conversation going on social media using #SWW2015!

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Jedi Knight and TIE-fighter Pilot D-Tech Me Figures Premiere at Star Wars Weekends Starting May 15, 2015

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m excited to announce that two new D-Tech Me figurines – a Jedi Knight and a TIE-Fighter pilot – are premiering at Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this year.

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First introduced in May 2012, Star Wars – D-Tech Me is a 10-minute experience that uses the world’s highest-resolution, single-shot 3D face scanner created by Imagineering scientists with Disney Research labs. The captured image is later sent to a high resolution 3D printer to create the figurine. This year, the experience will be located inside Darth’s Mall, near Streets of America across from Studio Catering Company.

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In addition to the new figurines, we will again offer the Carbon-Freeze Me figurine, Alderaan Princess figurine, and male and female options for Stormtrooper and X-Wing pilot figurines.

For children, the Carbon-Freeze Me and Alderaan Princess figurines will be available in more youthful appearances.

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The Star Wars – D-Tech Me 7-inch figurines are $119.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. For 15-inch figurines, retail is $999.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. All participants will receive a specially designed button.

Completed figurines will arrive within 6-8 weeks after the experience if shipping domestically (it takes a little longer if shipping internationally).

Guests can book their experience by calling 407-WDW-TECH (407-939-8324) starting March 26. We will only offer the experience during Star Wars Weekends 2015 (May 15 – 17, May 22-24, May 29-31, June 5-7, and June 12-14). Guests attending the Galactic Gathering event on May 14 will be some of the first individuals to experience Star Wars – D-Tech Me this year.

Please note: Separate theme park admission required for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No discounts apply unless otherwise noted. Guests must be at least three (3) years of age to participate in the Star Wars D-Tech Me experience. Children must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age or older during the entire experience. A valid accepted credit card number is required at time of booking. No-shows or reservation cancellations within 48 hours of scheduled experience will result in such credit card being charged a $25 cancellation fee. The experience, due to its personalized nature, is non-refundable and not eligible for an exchange. Certain restrictions may apply. All prices, components and information are subject to change without notice.

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Art In The Garden Returns to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 27-29, 2015

posted on March 25th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m happy to announce the return of Art in The Garden to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This annual artist showcase will be held from March 27-29 in several areas throughout World Showcase. Here is a brief listing of which artists will be featured during this year’s event.

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Guests can meet David Doss and Greg McCullough on the World Showcase Promenade from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day. David will release one of his newest images featuring Olaf enjoying summer, while Greg will have artwork featuring Winnie the Pooh and Friends.

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In the Puffin’s Roost at Norway Pavilion, guests can meet Larry Dotson from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day. I love his artwork featuring the Stave Church from the World Showcase Pavilion.

Artist Reinhard Herzog will be in Glas Und Porzellan at Germany Pavilion from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day. Known for creating amazing glass-blown keepsakes, Reinhard will release two new ornaments that resemble a bride and groom. He will also have other glass-blown items available for personalization during the event.

Finally, while not art related, I encourage you to attend the free cooking demonstrations held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Port of Entry at the entrance to World Showcase. The 15-minute demos begin at 3:00 p.m. each day and offer guests an opportunity to meet a Disney chef.

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En Vogue To Appear at the Garden Rocks Concert Series at Epcot March 20-22

posted on March 20th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


The Garden Rocks Concert Series at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has a few newbies this year, including this weekend’s group – En Vogue. I own a couple of their CD’s, and have sung along with their hits including “Free Your Mind”, “Don’t Let Go” and “My Lovin”. The trio has a new album coming out later this year. I had a chance to chat with Rhona Bennett about their festival debut – it’s a homecoming, of sorts, for her!

En Vogue to Perform at "Garden Rocks" Concert Series

Victoria: Welcome to Walt Disney World Resort, and your first Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival!

Rhona: I haven’t attended the festival before, so I’m looking forward to this. Disney has a knack for creating enchanting environments.

Victoria: You’re already kind of part of the family – I read you were on the “The All-New Mickey Mouse Club”. What can you tell us about that time?

Rhona: I gained so much from my experience at Disney … I had a great time exploring the fine arts (dancing/singing/acting/interviewing/recording/etc..) on such a platform and with such a talented group of kids. And … I frequented Space Mountain, ‘The World’ at Epcot and the splendor of the night lights at the Magic Kingdom [Park].

Victoria: What can you share with us about the new album coming out? Any flowers or garden themes in it (smile)?

Rhona: We’re all pretty silly, so we had a good time being creative and recording the forthcoming album. There were funny writer’s block moments where we would break out into song and dance while passing the time … And, although we don’t have any songs with a flowers or garden theme, we do have a song called, ‘Blue Skies’, that could compliment them.

Victoria: What attractions, characters, food or experiences are “must do’s” during your time with us?

Rhona: I would love to visit Downtown Disney again. I heard that it has continued to expand with greater attractions and places to eat. I will definitely take another stroll through ‘The World’ at Epcot. And, I wonder what’s in place of ‘Horizons in Future World’. I used to love that ride!

I sure hope Rhona isn’t disappointed Horizons was closed back in the late 1990s! Maybe she should take a spin on Test Track Presented by Chevrolet or Mission: SPACE instead! What attraction would you recommend for her first time back in a while?

You can catch her with En Vogue this Friday, Saturday and Sunday as part of the Garden Rocks Concert Series at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m.

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U.S. Navy Blue Angels Roar Down Main Street, U.S.A. at the Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 19th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


What happened this morning at Magic Kingdom Park was really cool: to the cheers of thousands of guests gathered on Main Street U.S.A. and in front of Cinderella Castle, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels performed two flyovers of the theme park.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Soar Above Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort

Six F/A-18 Hornet jets that were traveling from their home base in Pensacola, FL, to an air show in the state, used the opportunity to entertain and inspire guests. Traveling more than 250 mph, these jets capable of super sonic speeds roared down Main Street U.S.A. holding the tradition Delta Formation on their first pass. After quickly turning around the jets returned and executed a Delta Break over Cinderella Castle.

This was a magical flight these pilots and park guests will not soon forget. Your chance to experience the excitement is one click away on the video box above.

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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Blooms with Help from Bees, Disney Gingerbread Houses

posted on March 13th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Do you remember our “over-the-top” gingerbread creations during the holidays? Well, those delicious works of art are creating quite a buzz during the 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Your favorite Disney gingerbread houses from the Walt Disney World Resort are shared with bees to help pollinate the spectacular flowers blooming right now at Epcot.

And we “Spring into Spring” today with special programs and food celebrating longer days, warmer weather, and St. Patrick’s day in our first extended weekend of the festival. Check out the details and menus at this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

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Two New Culinary Favorites at This Year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 13th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


What fun to make our rounds on the World Showcase Promenade and taste all the new creations from Executive Chef Gregg Hannon and his team at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. We love the blooms, but the food gets most of our attention.

Chef Gregg agreed to share two brand-new recipes this year, one savory, one sweet. The Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash from The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews takes a little time, but, oh, it’s worth it. “Burnt Ends,” by the way are the crunchier outside pieces of leftover brisket – so you get to enjoy a beef brisket, then make this fabulous hash for another meal. And the Florida Blueberry and Lemon Curd Tart from the Florida Fresh Outdoor Kitchen takes advantage of blueberry season in the Sunshine State.

So if we don’t see you on the promenade between now and May 17, we hope you’ll try these recipes at home. For two great Florida Fresh Outdoor Kitchen recipes back by demand this year, check out the Watermelon Salad and Shrimp and Grits.

For more information, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or go to epcotinspring.com. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

Outdoor Kitchen Offerings at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash

Burnt Ends Brisket Hash
Serves 4-6

Pickled Jalapeño Peppers

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion
  • 1 cup sliced jalapeño peppers
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

White Cheddar Cheese Fondue

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup shredded aged white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons diced jalapeño pepper

Burnt Ends Brisket Hash

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium white potato, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced poblano peppers
  • 2 tablespoons diced jalapeño peppers
  • 3 cups cubed smoked beef brisket
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For pickled jalapeno:

  1. Place sliced onions and jalapeños in a medium-sized glass bowl.
  2. Combine white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, black peppercorns, bay leaf, garlic, and coriander in a small saucepan. Cook over high heat until mixture boils.
  3. Pour brine over onions and jalapeños. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours.

For white cheddar cheese fondue:

  1. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 5-8 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  2. Add flour, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes. Do not allow mixture to brown.
  3. Add cream, salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until simmering. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes, until mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Add hot sauce. Slowly add cheese, stirring constantly, 3-5 minutes, until cheese melts and is creamy.
    Add diced jalapeño peppers. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For burnt ends brisket hash:

  1. Heat canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium for 5 minutes, or until oil is shimmering.
    Carefully add potatoes. Cook potatoes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes, until potatoes are golden and cooked through.
  2. Add remaining vegetables. Cook 3-5 minutes, until softened. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve:

  1. Evenly divide burnt ends brisket hash among plates. Top with white cheddar cheese fondue. Garnish with pickled jalapeño peppers.

Outdoor Kitchen Offerings at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: Florida Blueberry and Lemon Curd Tart

Blueberry Lemon Curd Tarts
Makes 6 tarts

Lemon Pastry Cream

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Vanilla Tarts

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoon very cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 teaspoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

Blueberry Filling

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Blueberry Meringue

  • 2 egg whites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pureed blueberries

For lemon pastry cream:

  1. Whisk cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar, egg and egg yolks together in a medium bowl; set aside.
    Combine milk, vanilla and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat.
  2. Remove 1 cup of hot milk and slowly pour into the cornstarch/egg mixture, whisking briskly, so eggs do not cook.
  3. Stir cornstarch/egg/milk mixture back into remaining hot milk.
  4. Return saucepan to medium-low heat, stirring constantly so eggs do not curdle or scorch on bottom of pan; cook until cream thickens.

  5. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring until completely blended. Stir in lemon juice.
    Pour mixture into a heat-proof container, cover with plastic wrap placed in contact with surface of cream to avoid forming skin. Refrigerate until chilled.

For vanilla tarts:

  1. Mix egg yolk, water and vanilla together in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Cut butter into flour mixture using pastry cutter or 2 knives until texture resembles coarse cornmeal. Butter pieces should be no larger than small peas.
  4. Add egg mixture; mix with fork just until dough pulls together.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  6. Transfer dough onto lightly floured work surface; pat into a ball and flatten. Cut dough into 6 equal portions.
  7. Roll out each portion into a circle about 2 inches larger than the diameter of each tart pan.
  8. Place dough into tart pans without stretching. With fingers, snugly press dough into sides and bottom. Press along top edge of pans to remove excess dough. Prick bottom and sides of each tart.
    Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

For blueberry filling:

  1. Prepare an ice water bath to accommodate a medium saucepan.
  2. Combine 1 cup blueberries, sugar and water in a medium saucepan.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  4. Add cinnamon and remaining cup of blueberries, continue to cook until entire mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and place pan in ice water bath to cool.

For blueberry meringue:

  1. Whip egg whites in a large glass or metal bowl until foamy.
  2. Add cream of tartar, then gradually add sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold in blueberry puree.

To serve:

  1. Cover bottom of each tart with blueberry filling.
  2. Layer lemon pastry cream on top of blueberry filling.
  3. Place meringue in piping bag with a wide opening decorator tip (so blueberries in meringue do not clog tip). Garnish each tart.

Chef’s note: For the tart, a stand mixer with a flat beater can be using instead of mixing dough by hand. Mix flour, sugar and salt at low speed. Add butter, beat on medium-low speed until texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add egg yolk, water and vanilla mixture, beat just until dough pulls together.

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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Performers: Jon Secada

posted on March 10th, 2015 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Take one look at Jon Secada’s résumé and it’s no wonder he’s been so successful. One of the first Latin crossover stars, he’s a Grammy winner who’s sold over 20 million records. Also an accomplished performer, songwriter and producer, Jon’s starred on the Broadway stage and has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the business—from Gloria Estefan to Frank Sinatra. He even performed for Pope John Paul II.

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Lucky for us, he took time out of his busy schedule to chat about his upcoming debut at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (running March 4–May 17, 2015), his career and also his history with Disney.

RUSS: What will it be like to grace the Garden Rocks Concert Series stage for the first time?

JON: Looking forward to it! This will be a different experience because I’m used to playing Epcot in the fall. It should be a lot of fun to experience the park at a different time of year.

RUSS: So what can audiences expect?

JON: The hits. Everything that people know me for over the past 20-plus years. My show’s going to incorporate a little bit of everything that’s a part of my career. But for the most part, it’s a high-energy show with a concentration on the up-tempo stuff in my repertoire. That’s what I like to do. Keep the people moving. Everybody’s walking around and being active. So I like to be active as well.

RUSS: Will you have the same set list for each show, or mix it up?

JON: There are certain songs that stay the same. But the rest, I kind of mix and match with different recordings that I’ve done. So for each set, the fans will get the core songs that people know me for, and then they’ll also get a taste of something different. Maybe a couple of songs that they didn’t hear in the last set. That way, it draws people who maybe saw the last show. You can go knowing that you’re not going to experience the exact same set.

RUSS: How would you describe your music?

JON: It’s pop but with a fusion of different flavors. I grew up listening to R&B, rock, Latin music and jazz. I also studied jazz music. So my music has been kind of a fusion that’s integrated so many styles. There are melodies, hooks and lyrics that you remember and can sing along to. So that’s always been kind of the essence of my career and my recordings.

RUSS: I’m glad you brought up your different influences. How does it make you feel being one of the biggest bilingual crossover stars in the world?

JON: I was very fortunate in the early ’90s when my career got off the ground because I was one of the first artists to have success in both languages. And it created a wave of colleagues, friends and other artists who followed during that decade. It’s been the difference maker in my career. And I’m very proud of my heritage, very proud to be Hispanic-American.

RUSS: Will you be bringing your family?

JON: Yeah, they’ll be coming with me. They love the opportunity every time that I perform to enjoy the parks. We take advantage of maybe spending an extra day or so, whether it’s before or after the shows, to hang out and enjoy all that Disney has to offer.

RUSS: What do you hope people get out of your shows?

JON: Hopefully a strong, very organic, very transparent performance. There’s not a lot of sequencing going on. I truly sing live. I just love leaving it all on stage and being just as high energy and passionate as possible.

RUSS: Your admiration and respect for your fans is obvious.

JON: I owe everything to my fans. It’s the reason I have a career. They’ve really followed me through all the different paths that I’ve taken. And so I really appreciate that.

RUSS: You have a new book, “A New Day,” out. Tell us about it.

JON: Yeah. It was released in both English and Spanish a few months ago. It’s a memoir reflecting on my life and 25 years in the business, incorporating who I am as a Latino. I was very humbled, very flattered when I was approached to do this book.

RUSS: One last question. Just how big a Disney fan are you?

JON: (laughs) I’m a huge fan. My children grew up going to the parks. But I’ve also done a lot of work for the Walt Disney Company through the years. My first big project was the “Pocahontas” soundtrack; I did a duet with Shanice called “If I Never Knew You (End Title)”. And we sang it in English, Spanish and Portuguese. I did the Christmas Day Parade here at Walt Disney World Resort a few years ago. Yeah, so, I’ve had a 20-plus year experience doing different things for Disney along the way. A lot of memories there. Plus, I’d say I go the parks at least twice a year. And my kids, they’re growing older but they still love that experience!

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New Wearable Disney Gift Card Designed for Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 9th, 2015 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


Complete your visit to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival with an exclusive wearable Disney Gift Card created especially for this year’s event.

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With a new Festival-themed design, the mini Disney Gift Card has all the functionalities of a regular Disney Gift Card, with the added convenience of wearing it around your wrist. Enjoy the sights and scents of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival while discovering foods that highlight the taste of spring. Simply use your Disney Gift Card at any festival kiosk, and enjoy!

This year’s design will be available exclusively at Epcot and Epcot Resort locations for a limited time during the Festival. Activate your Disney Gift Card with as little as $15, then just swipe or scan to pay for food and more.

The fun doesn’t have to end after the Festival! Reload your Disney Gift Card on property as often as you like, and use it for practically all things Disney throughout Walt Disney World Resort and at other Disney destinations nationwide.

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