Fireworks at Cinderella Castle

Disney Parks After Dark: Gondolas at the Italy Pavilion

posted on October 9th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


How fun is this post-“Illuminations” shot of World Showcase Lagoon from the Italy pavilion? Photographer Tom Bricker snapped it just as the show was ending.

Anyone up for a late-night gondola ride?

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Retro EPCOT Center Merchandise Coming to Walt Disney World Resort This Month

posted on October 7th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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If you have read some of my previous Disney Parks Blog articles, you will know that I am a super fan of EPCOT Center. I first visited the theme park in 1983 and fell in love with the vision for the 21st Century. Today, Epcot is the place where I spend most of my time as a guest visiting Disney Parks (especially with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in full swing). It may come as no surprise then that I’m beyond happy to see some new retro-inspired EPCOT Center merchandise now arriving at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Created by Disney Design Group, this new artwork is an update to the previous retro artwork introduced in 2012 for the 30th Anniversary of Epcot. You’ll notice that the artists were inspired by some of the simple graphics that were used in the early days of EPCOT Center. The artwork will be featured on some T-shirts, a baseball cap and a D-Tech on Demand case for the iPhone 5/5S (there are no immediate plans for a D-Tech on Demand case for the iPhone 6 using this artwork).

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There are also some long-sleeved options including a sweatshirt that reminds me of something I had in the 1980s!

My favorite item, however, is the key chain that includes artwork from some classic EPCOT Center attractions.

The best place to look for these items is at Mouse Gear in Future World at Epcot.

Hooray for the 21st Century!

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Behind the Scenes: Adding ‘Fantasia’ Magic to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on October 6th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival features the creative talents of many different departments here at Walt Disney World Resort, including our excellent Food & Beverage team. But did you know that Walt Disney Imagineering and Horticulture also play an important part in getting the park ready for the festival?

Check out this video, in which our Walt Disney Imagineers and Horticulture cast members work together to transform the park’s Entrance Planters with “Fantasia”-inspired graphics and topiaries – in just eight hours.

Drawing inspiration from the film, the graphics and horticulture designs illustrate Chef Mickey orchestrating “magical forks” to spread flavor throughout the festival. This theme is carried out throughout the park’s other graphics and horticulture displays.

What is your favorite part of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Fun at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

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


The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is well underway and our guests are loving every minute. Earlier this week, the band Hanson stopped by to perform at the Eat to the Beat concert series and show off their Mmmhops Pale Ale.

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Aside from checking out Eat to the Beat artists, our guests are tasting and sipping their way around the park. Check out the other fun that’s to be had at this year’s event in the gallery above.

Will you visit the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this year? Tell us in the comments section below!

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks After Dark: Sunsets in Morocco

posted on October 2nd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Tonight’s “After Dark” image is a lovely shot snapped in our Moroccan pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot. What a beautiful sunset!

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‘Frozen’ actor Jonathan Groff, ‘Scandal’s’ Joe Morton confirmed for Epcot Candlelight Processional

posted on October 1st, 2014 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Just when you thought we couldn’t work Disney’s hit animated film “Frozen” into ONE MORE blog post, we are excited to announce the addition of Jonathan Groff to the lineup of celebrity narrators for the 2014 Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

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Groff, who voices the character of Kristoff in Disney’s “Frozen,” is also a Tony-nominated veteran of the Broadway stage (“Spring Awakening”) and TV (“Glee”).

This year’s event will also have a little “Scandal” with everyone’s favorite Gladiator Papa Pope Joe Morton, who plays Kerry Washington’s secret-agent-father on Scandal. Morton’s career has spanned more than 40 years with hits on Broadway, TV and in film.

Groff and Morton join an illustrious list of celebrity narrators for this year’s event including newcomers Ana Gasteyer and returning favorites like Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris. They will be just part of the Holidays Around the World celebration at Epcot, the Candlelight Processional is one of the most beloved holiday traditions at Epcot – a joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a glorious mass choir.

  • Jodi Benson – 11/28 – 11/29
  • Neil Patrick Harris – 11/30 – 12/2
  • Jonathan Groff – 12/3 – 12/4
  • Whoopi Goldberg – 12/5 – 12/6
  • LeVar Burton – 12/7 – 12/9
  • Edward James Olmos – 12/10 – 12/11
  • Joe Morton – 12/12 – 12/14
  • Chita Rivera – 12/15 – 12/17
  • Ana Gasteyer (New) – 12/18 –12/20
  • Marlee Matlin – 12/21 – 12/23
  • Isabella Rossellini – 12/24 – 12/25
  • Blair Underwood – 12/26 – 12/27
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – 12/28 – 12/30

The Candlelight Processional is presented three times per night at the American Gardens Theater at Epcot. Show times are 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. (Narrators are subject to change without notice.)

For more information on Holidays Around the World at Epcot and the Candlelight Processional or to make reservations for a Candlelight Processional dinner package, check out http://www.disneyworld.com/holidays. And check back to the Disney Parks Blog for updates on who fills those last coveted slots in our narrator lineup.

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – October 2014

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Wondering what merchandise events are headed your way this October at the Walt Disney World Resort? Take a look!

Satisfy your appetite and quench your thirst for merchandise during this year’s 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Fellow author Steven Miller gave you a sneak preview of this year’s commemorative merchandise, here are a few other special appearances you won’t want to miss. Learn more.

  • Festival Center – Paola Gutierrez (October 3, 24 and November 7) and William Silvers (October 4, 18 and November 1)
  • Art of Disney – Rob Kaz (October 24 – 26) and Michelle St. Laurent (October 30 and November 1 – 2)
  • Coming in November! Tim Rogerson and The Beekman Boys.

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October 2 – 12: Beloved artist David E. Doss returns to the Walt Disney World Resort this month. Look for special appearances by David, October 2 – 12 and 23 – 29 at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

October 8 – 12: Artist Greg McCullough will be on hand for special appearances and signings this month at the Walt Disney World Resort. Meet Greg, October 8 – 12 at Art of Disney in Epcot or October 15 – 19 and October 30 – November 5 at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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October 9 – 12: Meet artist Larry Dotson who will be appearing throughout the month at the Walt Disney World Resort. Look for Larry to appear at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park, October 9 – 12 and 23 – 26 and at Art of Disney in Epcot, October 16 – 19. Learn more.

October 10 – November 3: Look for the latest releases from Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick, including her new Halloween collection. Linda will appear throughout the day October 10 – 12 and again October 31 – November 1 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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Which event are you most excited about?

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

Hanson Appears at Eat to the Beat Tonight

posted on September 29th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The band Hanson (“I Will Come to You”) will take to the stage tonight at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in the event’s Eat to the Beat concert series.

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Earlier today, the band, which is made up of brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson, took a break from performing to showcase their their new beer brew, Mmmhops Pale Ale, to Epcot guests in the Festival Center.

Hanson will take the stage tonight at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. at the America Gardens Theatre and shows are included in theme park admission.

The remaining acts in this year’s Eat to the Beat concert series are:

  • Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Air Supply
  • Oct. 3-5 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
  • Oct. 6-8 – Sugar Ray
  • Oct. 9-10 – Fuel
  • Oct. 11-12 – Sister Hazel
  • Oct. 13-14 – Richard Marx
  • Oct. 15-16 – Billy Ocean
  • Oct. 17-19 – Night Ranger
  • Oct. 20-22 – Smash Mouth
  • Oct. 23-24 – Jim Brickman
  • Oct. 25-26 – Los Lonely Boys
  • Oct. 27-28 – Wilson Phillips
  • Oct. 29-31 – Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX
  • Nov. 1-2 – 38 Special
  • Nov. 3-5 – Boyz II Men
  • Nov. 6-7 – David Cook
  • Nov. 8-10 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
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Vintage Walt Disney World: A Look Back at Tapestry of Nations

posted on September 25th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Fifteen years ago, Tapestry of Nations had its soft opening at Epcot. I can’t let a milestone pass by without sharing a photo from my favorite parade. (I’m biased. Here is proof.) Here’s a look at Hammerman in front of a Millennium-themed Spaceship Earth in September 1999.

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Although the Sage of Time doesn’t take his great millennium walk around World Showcase Lagoon any more, I still smile every time my iPod shuffles to the parade music.


Read on for more posts about Epcot in the “Vintage Walt Disney World” series:

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

New Quick Bites at Two Epcot Restaurants

posted on September 24th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


When you’re on the run, it’s fun to find creative quick-service eats – and two Epcot restaurants are upping their games with diverse new menu items.

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In World Showcase, American Adventure’s Liberty Inn has four new dishes. The Red, White and Blue Salad features field greens, Ocean Spray craisins, pecans, apples and blue cheese with a sherry vinaigrette ($7.99). The burger gets an inspired makeover with “Surf and Turf” flavors: 1/3-pound Angus burger stacked with a house-made crab cake and spicy tartar sauce ($11.49). Or keep it simple with the Maryland Crab Cakes with a side of Old Bay fries ($10.99). Louisiana-style Shrimp is served in a creamy Cajun tomato broth with roasted green peppers and onions and served over hot rice ($9.99).

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In Future World, the popular Electric Umbrella adds a French Dip Burger – a hefty 1/3-pound Angus burger topped with beef brisket, crispy onions and Muenster cheese ($10.99). The Sausage and Pepper Sandwich is another generous meal with slowly-stewed Italian sausage, peppers, onions, tomatoes and Provolone cheese ($9.49). The lighter Veggie Naan Wich features broccoli slaw and edamame with a drizzle of tofu wasabi dressing on warm naan bread ($9.49). And for chocolate fans, there’s a new chocolate cupcake, just simple and sweet.

Have you tried any of these new quick bites?

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort