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ABC’s ‘The Chew’ Will Broadcast from 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival; Also Featured in Two First-Ever Future World Marketplaces

posted on July 2nd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


We all have a favorite host from ABC’s “The Chew” – superstars Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall and Daphne Oz each have a special way of sharing their culinary know-how on the Emmy-Award-winning lifestyle series. And for the first time in the show’s history, these dynamic hosts are leaving the Manhattan studio to tape shows October 7, 8, and 9 from the 20th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. The five festival episodes will air October 12-16.

Shows will be taped before a live audience (visit thechew.com for information on how to obtain tickets), and we’re sure the hosts will be all over Walt Disney World Resort discovering remarkable dining finds, getting a taste of innovative, fun and healthful eats – the best the vacation kingdom has to offer.

CLINTON KELLY, DAPHNE OZ, MARIO BATALI, MICHAEL SYMON, CARLA HALL

Along with the taping of the show, “The Chew” will be featured in two marketplaces throughout the festival’s 53-day celebration from September 25-November 16, helping celebrate 20 delicious years. For the first time in the festival’s history, marketplaces will expand into Future World in the new Next Eats festival area with three delicious dishes from “The Chew” in their Sustainable Chew Marketplace: Savory Pork Spareribs with Cheesy Mascarpone Grits; Ricotta & Zucchini Ravioli with Tomato Sauce, and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Figs and Pistachio Brittle. (Herbs and veggies from The Land pavilion will flavor the marketplace dishes when harvested.) The eco-home-inspired marketplace will offer a chance for guests to learn more about how food is grown and the importance of sustainability.

Also in Next Eats, Disney chefs are collaborating with “The Chew” for the Chew Lab, a cutting-edge marketplace inspired by food-science labs and the hottest culinary tech trends.

“The Chew” airs on ABC Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. EST, noon CST. For updates on the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, visit epcotfoodfestival.com throughout the summer.

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Top U.S. Military Surprise Reunions at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Families make memories at Disney Parks every day – but for a handful of our guests, Walt Disney World Resort is a place where they’ve experienced magical surprise reunions with loved ones returning from tours of duty abroad.

In honor of the Fourth of July, we’d like to share our favorite U.S. Military surprise reunions that have taken place within our “world” over the past few years. Get ready to get the tissues out!

  1. Young guest Adisen Kallas is reunited with her father, Navy SEABEE UT1 Scott Kallas, at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex after his 11-month tour of duty.

  1. Watch as SPC Scott Halquist of St. Cloud, Florida, surprises his three young children at Epcot’s American Adventure attraction.

  1. Mickey Mouse helps one military family reunion come true for the Liddell brothers – Jacob, Joshua and Jackson.

  1. Check out the magic that CW2 Travis Myers created for his wife, Kim, during the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon – all the way from Afghanistan.
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Filed: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Final Phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Opens Today

posted on July 1st, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


The final phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at the Walt Disney World Resort opened today, marking the completion of all 360 Deluxe Studios at the resort.

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I recently had the opportunity to stay in one of the resort’s Deluxe Studios and it was truly a fantastic experience. During my stay, I zipped over to Epcot via the monorail and made it back in time to watch the Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from the resort. I strolled along the resort’s beach area and tested out room service (late-night pizza was fantastic, but not as yummy as eating Tonga Toast in bed the next morning). At Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort I took my son on his first pontoon boat ride on Seven Seas Lagoon, spoiled his lunch by getting him a Dole Whip from Pineapple Lanai and sampled drinks on the outdoor patio of the new Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

In addition to the resort’s unbeatable location and fun amenities, the features within our villa make this my favorite Disney Vacation Club Deluxe Studio to date. We especially enjoyed the spacious split bath design, the hidden pull-down bunk-size bed and the kitchenette (the fridge would have been perfect for our leftover take-out pizza, had we not polished the whole thing off right away).

Want to see more? Take a tour of this unique accommodation in this video.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney Vacation Club, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Show Your Patriotic #DisneySide with Americana Themed Goods from Disney Parks

posted on June 30th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


With the Fourth of July holiday right around the corner at Disney Parks, I recently found a few items to help guests show their patriotic Disney Side.

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Our newest retail MagicBand features Mickey Mouse standing in front of an American flag. This limited release item has a retail of $24.95 and can be found in select merchandise locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

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I adore the Fourth of July limited edition pin with Carl and Ellie from Disney•Pixar’s “Up.” This pin has an edition size of 3,500 and will be released at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. I also like the new, open edition Minnie Mouse bow decorated in red, white and blue.

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The Graphic Apparel team introduced shirts including a tank top along with short and long sleeved options. These designs will be similar in both California and Florida with the only differences being the name of the Disney Resort destination.

Show Your Patriotic #DisneySide with Americana Themed Goods from Disney Parks Show Your Patriotic #DisneySide with Americana Themed Goods from Disney Parks

Finally, guests visiting Heritage Manor Gifts in World Showcase at Epcot will find some unique Americana items including shirts. The location also carries USA Charm Bracelets by Alex and Ani in both gold and silver.

Happy Independence Day!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Epcot, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Celebrating the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 29th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Independence Day is coming up, and the parks at Walt Disney World Resort are planning to celebrate our nation’s 239th birthday with some star-spangled salutes to America!

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If you’re visiting Walt Disney World Resort for the 4th of July, here are some highlights of the special entertainment planned for that day:

  • Magic Kingdom Park “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” rockets into the air above Cinderella Castle. This special, fireworks spectacular will be presented two nights in a row, at 9 p.m. on both July 3 and 4.
  • Epcot On July 4, enjoy a special concert of great American songs by Voices of Liberty at America Gardens Theater, where they’ll be performing at 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 3 p.m. You can also meet Chip ‘n’ Dale in patriotic attire outside The American Adventure, and at 10 p.m. that evening “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” joins the celebration with the addition of a heart-pounding, all-American grand finale.
  • Disney’s Hollywood StudiosThe “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party leads up to a “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration,” as the sky above Disney’s Hollywood Studios ignites in a shower of shimmering light for a pyrotechnic, rock ‘n roll road trip across America. The DJ kicks things off at 5:45 p.m. and keeps the party going until fireworks time at 10:15 p.m.

Looks like the 4th of July is going to be a blast all across Walt Disney World Resort!

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – July 2015

posted on June 28th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort this July? Be sure to check out these special artist appearances and signings!

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Now through July 20: Representatives from Precious Moments dolls will be on hand for the release of the new Patriotic Collection, among other fan favorites. Meet the representatives and see the dolls throughout the day, each day, at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

July 1 – 5: Take part in a special Givenchy fragrance event at Le Plume et Palette in the France Pavilion at Epcot. Learn more.

July 2 – 3: Find the latest releases from artist David E. Doss, who will be appearing daily, July 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 from 1 – 9 p.m. at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

July 2 – 5: Appearing at Art of Disney in Epcot throughout the month is artist Larry Dotson. Look for artist showcases on the following dates: July 2, 3, 4, 5, 16, 17, 18, 19, 30 as well as August 1 and 2. Learn more.

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July 11 – 14: Meet Fragrance Designer Geir Ness throughout the day at Puffin’s Roost in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot.

July 13 – 18: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings July 13 – 18 and July 27 – August 1 from 1 – 8p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

July 17 – 18: Meet artist Jeremiah Ketner who will be on hand for a special artist showcase and signing at WonderGround Gallery in Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace from 5 – 8p.m., each day. Learn more.

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July 23 – 26: Meet artist William Silvers who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his newest releases from 1 – 9p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Not able to make it? William will return for additional signing opportunities July 30 – August 1 from 12 Noon – 8 p.m., each day, at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park. Learn more.

Throughout the month look for other special appearances and signings at select World Showcase pavilion locations in Epcot, including Le Plume et Palette and La Signature in France, The Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom and Puffins Roost in Norway. Learn more.

Reminder: Tickets to this year’s GenEARation D Pin Trading event taking place Sept. 11 – 12 are still available but are in limited supply. It’s not too late to register! Learn more.

Which events will you check out?

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: Bon Nuit from Epcot’s France Pavilion

posted on June 25th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


I adore tonight’s “After Dark” image, which was shot at Epcot‘s France Pavilion.

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The pavilion’s Belle Epoque architecture, the winding gardens and pink Florida sky make this really look like a perfect fairytale destination, don’t they?

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No Reservation? No Problem! Unique Breakfasts at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 25th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


It’s no secret that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Last year, I wrote about some of my favorite places to grab breakfast before a day in the parks at Walt Disney World Resort. Today, I have a few unique breakfast picks to share with you — all available without a dining reservation.

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What is your favorite quick-service breakfast at Walt Disney World Resort? Let us know in the comments below!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

New Chef, New Menu Items for Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

posted on June 24th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Disney’s Wilderness Lodge takes guests on a journey to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with design inspired by turn-of-the-century National Park lodges. And Artist Point carries that theme into the dining room with dramatic murals, timbered columns and pretty views of Bay Lake and Silver Creek Falls.

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So, of course, the cuisine helps tell the story, and Chef Michael Gonsalves, new at the helm in the Artist Point kitchen, is having fun with a menu that is focused on the America’s Pacific Northwest. “We are looking to convey the wonders of nature through food,” says Chef Michael.

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Regional dishes such as Dungeness crab cakes, steamed mussels, Cedar plank salmon and wild-caught prawns and halibut are on the menu, but Chef Michael is having fun with new tastes, too. A dashi-braised short rib starter is served with kombu turnip pickles, daikon and wild greens. Charred field asparagus with Berkshire prosciutto, mustard vinaigrette, and foraged greens also graces the menu. And he showcases produce from the “Land” at Epcot as well with offerings such as the “Land” Greens Salad featuring Masumoto Peaches, and Seed Granola.

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Favorites such as the smokey portobello bisque with crispy shiitakes stays on the menu, as well as the buffalo strip steak from North Fork Canada. For summer, Chef Michael is adding a new cheese and house-made charcuterie boards.

“We’ll be offering Pacific Northwest cheeses with house-made seed lavosh and crostini,” says Chef Michael. “And the house-made charcuterie will be ‘nose-to-tail,’ using the whole hog.” The restaurant’s beef, bison, halibut and salmon all are sourced from the Pacific Northwest too.

Most popular dish? The Cedar plank salmon, says Chef Michael, with his new rendition with local potatoes, baby fennel, Florida citrus and ver jus.

Every dish on the menu gets a wine pairing from sommelier Alvin Burrill, with each selection from Washington or Oregon. But Alvin also might recommend a Pacific Northwest ale if you ask, like the handcrafted Rogue Ales made in partnership with Voodoo Donuts (strange but true).

Looking ahead, Chef Michael says they are working on a terrace dining experience with a communal chef’s table – stay tuned for details!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Good Morning from Epcot’s Spaceship Earth

posted on June 22nd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Happy Monday!

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This week’s morning shot was taken at the iconic Spaceship Earth attraction at Epcot. Who’s ready for a trip back in time to “the dawn of recorded history”?

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

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort