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#DisneyFamilia Rings in the Nuevo Año with Disney Parks and Univisión

posted on December 31st, 2015 by Sarah Domenech, International Public Relations Manager

To help celebrate the end of 2015 and welcome 2016, Disney Parks is partnering with Univisión Network to host a New Year’s Eve TV special with performances from top artists like Luis Fonsi, Becky G, Piso 21 Joey Montana, Luis Coronel and more!

Ring in the Nuevo Año with Disney Parks and Univisión Ring in the Nuevo Año with Disney Parks and Univisión

Univisión Feliz 2016 will broadcast today live from Disneyland park at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and from Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. EST on your local Univisión stations. Be sure to follow all of the night’s action by following and using the hashtags #UnivisionFeliz2016 and #DisneyInolvidable.

Here’s a special message from actress and singer Sofía Carson!

Feliz Año Nuevo a todos!

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January 2016 Walt Disney World Resort Merchandise Event Snapshot

posted on December 30th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

Take time in the New Year to meet some of the amazing artists behind the magic. Here are a few events taking place in January 2016 at the locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort, which is how I captured them this month, so be sure to keep a close eye on where exactly they will be appearing.

Disney Springs
Now – Jan. 4: Representatives from Precious Moments dolls will be on hand for the release of some of their newest dolls, among other fan favorites, throughout the day, each day, at Fun Finds in Disney Springs Marketplace. Learn more.

Jan. 1 – 3: Join us as we welcome artist Bryan Fyffe, who will be on hand for special appearances and signings, Jan. 1 – 2 from 5 – 8 p.m. and Jan. 3 from Noon – 3 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in Marketplace Co-Op. Learn more.

Jan. 13 – 17: Artist Greg McCullough returns to Art of Disney this month. See some of his latest releases and more Jan. 13 – 17 and Jan. 27 – 31 from 1 – 8 p.m., each day. Learn more.

Jan. 16: Meet artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith who will be on hand showcasing some of her newest releases, among other favorites, from 4 – 7 p.m. in WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op. Learn more.

Jan. 22 – 24: ACME Artist Raymond Swanland will be appearing from 7 – 9p.m., each day at Star Wars Galactic Outpost (previously D-Street) in Disney Springs West Side. Don’t miss the chance to see some of his latest Star Wars releases. Learn more.

Jan. 1 – 3: Larry Dotson returns to Art of Disney this month with special appearances throughout the day, each day, Jan. 1 – 3 and Jan. 7 – 10. Learn more.

Jan. 8 – 10: Be sure to stop by and check out the latest releases of handmade bath and body products from Rinse. Representatives will be on hand throughout the day, each day, Jan. 8 – 10 and Jan. 15 – 17 at Heritage Manor in the American Adventure Pavilion. Learn more.

Which artists are you most excited to meet?

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15 for ’15 – What a Year for Walt Disney World Resort Dining!

posted on December 29th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

New restaurants open, one closes (to reopen in 2016) – here are 15 top Walt Disney World Resort culinary stories for 2015. Up next: 16 for 2016.

Starting in March, the Outdoor Kitchens expanded at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. It was the third year for the culinary addition at the festival, with the new Botanas Botánico Outdoor Kitchen between France and Morocco pavilions with treats like cachapas with farmer’s cheese, a sweet yellow corn pancake, and seafood ceviche with shrimp, scallops and grouper with mango and avocado.

Also in March, the new breakfast started at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park. The quick-service breakfast menu has a decidedly French touch, with everything from assorted cured meat and cheese served with marmalade, fresh fruit and a toasted baguette to eggs Florentine served in a puff pastry shell with country ham and roasted plum tomatoes.

Late March saw the opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It’s a popular spot, and guests ooh and ah over more than 1,200 pieces of memorabilia. The hand-crafted cocktails are delicious (order an Uh-Oa! and see what happens with the special effects).

Beginning April 1, new allergy-friendly menus debuted in 2015 at more than 100 quick-service and table-service locations at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, along with more ways to make the special-diet-request process easier.

In May, the much-anticipated Harambe Market opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where food plays a starring role with African-inspired street food at four walk-up windows and plenty of shaded seating. Skewered chicken and kabob flatbreads, beef and pork sausage fried in a curried corn batter (like a corn dog), spice-rubbed karubi ribs and South African wines are a home run. Or try tikka masala chicken, the newest addition to the menu.

April saw the opening of The BOATHOUSE, the first all-new dining spot at Disney Springs – not a bad view in the house with all of the dining rooms with waterfront views or on the water. Seafood is the star (try the lobster roll). Then take a ride in the dream boats from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s (or watch for free from the dock).

The new Ferrytale Wishes, A Fireworks Dessert Cruise, debuted in September, the perfect way to experience Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from a spot on Seven Seas Lagoon. The decks are laden with delectable sweets, plenty of ice cream and beverages (with and without alcohol) in souvenir glow glasses. Enjoy this sweet ending to your day, then settle to watch the spectacular Wishes nighttime spectacular overhead, the largest fireworks display ever at Walt Disney World Resort.

20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival expands for first time into Future World (Sept. 25-Nov. 16) with four new food and beverage marketplaces. Starting along the Rose Walk between Future World and World Showcase, the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese festival area featured the Cheese Studio (offering a cheese sampler to pair with wines) and Wine Studio with premium wines on tap. The new Next Eats area included Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award® winning lifestyle series “The Chew.”

Late September was the opening of the much-anticipated Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar along the waterfront at Disney Springs. With 150 seats inside and out, the bar cleverly features salvaged equipment, spare airplane parts and mementos from Jock’s travels.

For the first time ever, “The Chew,” ABC’s Emmy-Award® winning daytime show, broadcasted from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival October 7-9. Hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly and Carla Hall filmed segments across Walt Disney World Resort in addition to taping before a live audience. Episodes aired October 12-16, 2015.

Minnie’s Seasonal Dine added to Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With five distinct dining experiences depending on the season, including Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine, Minnie’s Springtime Dine, Minnie’s Summertime Dine, Minnie’s Halloween Dine, and Minnie’s Holiday Dine. Festive new costumes and seasonally themed eats make this dinner fun for the whole family.


Morimoto Asia also opened in November, the newest to join the line-up at Disney Springs. It’s the newest venture for Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, and his first restaurant featuring Pan-Asian cuisine, including the signature Morimoto Peking Duck, carved and roasted in house.

New Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen opened in December in the Magic Kingdom. Diners can set off on a culinary adventure at a new eatery in Adventureland featuring “World Famous Jungle Cuisine.” Just steps from the legendary Jungle Cruise attraction you can enjoy the bold, flavorful tastes of Asia, South America and Africa at this new 222-seat table-service restaurant staffed by the wisecracking crew of the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd.

The Ganachery opened in December at Disney Springs, a jewel box of a shop that’s showcases the beauty of chocolate. The star of the show is a custom-made ganache, Disney’s own recipe for a luxurious mixture of melted chocolate and cream. Stepping inside this shop is reminiscent of an apothecary of another era, a lovely little space elevates sweets to an experience akin to a wine tasting.

Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa ends the year on a high note by winning the coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award – that’s 16 years in a row, putting the restaurant in an exclusive tier of dining experiences. Each year AAA reviews nearly 30,000 restaurants, but just 0.4 percent make the AAA Five Diamond. The restaurant also was once again honored as one of the top restaurants in the United States in TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice awards (No. 6 of 25). And Time Magazine named Victoria & Albert’s to its Top 100 list of U.S. restaurants.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney Springs, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on December 27th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Our holiday coverage continued this week at Disney Parks with daily stories and even a special edition of our email newsletter with an exclusive Christmas wallpaper. Along with our holiday content, we also shared some important information for those of you planning to welcome 2016 at the Walt Disney World Resort.


Shawn posted a rundown of some of the entertainment lined up for this year’s celebration at Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom Park. And if you can’t join us in person for New Year’s Eve, be sure to tune in here on the Disney Parks Blog where we’ll be hosting a live stream of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks, direct from Magic Kingdom Park on December 31. Watch for more details coming soon.

We also included an update that reservations opened for Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.

Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party happens January 8-March 20, 2016 from 6:30-8 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with special viewing for the “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks at 7:45 p.m. each night. You can enjoy a selection of sweets as the night sky erupts with an arsenal of impressive fireworks, set to the most dramatic and memorable Star Wars themes of all time. Check Pam’s story for more details.

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

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Guest Talent Coordinator for Special Events Such as Disney ¡Viva Navidad! – Guest Talent Coordinator Danny Gaitan hosts guest performers at the Disneyland Resort during special events such as runDisney race weekends and holiday celebrations. Danny says he creates magic not only for our guests who experience the performances, but also for the performers who get the opportunity to entertain on a world-class stage.

Disneyland Resort Horses Featured in Horsetown Parade of Lights in Norco, California – For the second year in a row, Disneyland Resort horses participated in the annual Horsetown Parade of Lights in Norco, Calif. Pulling a vintage stagecoach used in Frontierland for many decades, Clydesdale team Lucky and Eddie glowed as festive decorations illuminated their harnesses.

By the Numbers: Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park – Last week, we put some numbers on the holiday cheer at Disneyland park, and now we’re back with some festive figures for Disney California Adventure park!

Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks Now Open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Nestled in the imposing shadow of Mt. Everest, Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks is the perfect place for tired and hungry travelers to stop in for a quick bite to eat or a refreshing beverage. For climbers who are returning from their ascent, a stop at the bar is considered tradition.

Set Sail for Wintertime Fun with Adventures by Disney Holiday River Cruises – Every family has their holiday traditions. In my family they all seem to center around baking, sweets and the regret that comes from so much baking and so many sweets.

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Walt Disney World Resort Holidays? – Have you visited Walt Disney World Resort this holiday season? Do you think you know everything there is to know about the amazing decorations and miles of lights that make our resort even prettier this time of year?

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Special New Year’s Eve Entertainment at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 26th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment

As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. Well, 2015 has certainly been fun, and now here we are on the cusp of another incredible new year! For those of you planning to welcome 2016 at Walt Disney World Resort, we have quite a party planned for you. Here’s a rundown of some of the entertainment lined up for this year’s celebration.

Walt Disney World Resort Sends 2012 out with a Bang

  • Epcot – It’s a night-long party throughout Epcot, with unique entertainment including a DJ and light show at the Future World Fountain Stage, dancing under flame effects and a smoke-billowing dragon in China, a British blast to the past in United Kingdom, Euro-pop and lasers in Italy, a Latin band and DJ on the America Gardens Stage and a “Silent DJ” party in Japan. Cap it all off with one of two showings of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.” The 6:00 p.m. show will include our holiday finale, while the 11:40 p.m. performance will be followed by a countdown and pyrotechnic salute to the New Year.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Ring in a most unforgettable New Year with a Disney character dance party at Center Stage, leading up to fantastic fireworks set to the soundtrack of favorite films and memorable moments from across Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (Note: ‘Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular’ will not be presented on Dec. 31)
  • Magic Kingdom Park – You can get a head start on the festivities, with a special New Year’s Eve eve presentation of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at 11:50 p.m. on Wednesday, December 30. The same show will be repeated on December 31. For families looking to wrap things up a little earlier, both nights will also feature the Holiday Wishes New Year’s Celebration at 6:30 p.m., complete with expanded fireworks and a New Year’s Eve countdown.

If you can’t join us in person for New Year’s Eve, be sure to tune in right here to Disney Parks Blog, where we’ll be hosting a live stream of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks, direct from Magic Kingdom Park on December 31. Watch for more details coming soon!

So tell me… What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

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Mariachi Cobre Plays ‘Fum, Fum, Fum’ at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 23rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Earlier this month, we shared a holiday musical performance with you by Epcot’s Mariachi Cobre, one of the musical groups you can find playing seasonal tunes during the park’s Holidays Around the World.

This week we’re happy to share with you another performance by the group. The song “Fum, Fum, Fum.”

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‘Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival’ to Debut Today At Epcot

posted on December 23rd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

We recently shared plans for a new “Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival” experience to open in Future World at Epcot, and we’re happy to announce that this new offering will officially open its doors today.


This new experience will feature a look into the visionary minds behind some of the world’s most iconic animated films today. Once inside the theater, guests can put on their 3D glasses and enter the imaginative worlds of three animated shorts – “Get A Horse,” “For The Birds” and “La Luna” – which will burst to life on the big screen (and in the theater) like never before.

“Get a Horse” stars Mickey Mouse and features Walt Disney himself as the voice of the iconic character. This black-and-white, hand-drawn short follows Mickey, his favorite gal pal Minnie Mouse and their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow as they delight in a musical wagon ride — until Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road.

“For The Birds” opens to show one by one, a flock of small birds perch on a telephone wire. Sitting close together has problems enough, and then along comes a large dopey bird that tries to join them. The birds of a feather can’t help but make fun of him—and their clique mentality proves embarrassing in the end.

And lastly, “La Luna” is the timeless fable of a young boy coming of age in the most peculiar circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way amidst their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions?

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Hark! The Voices of Liberty Sing Holiday Classics at Epcot

posted on December 22nd, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations

Is it the costumes? The aroma of gingerbread and cocoa? It’s probably that the Voices of Liberty just know how to combine beautiful harmonies. And when they perform their holiday songbook, I can’t help but feel a little more merry.

Here is the eight-part harmony, a cappella group performing a combination of carols, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” with “Angels We Have Heard on High.”

You can enjoy the Voices of Liberty at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot. What songs would you like to hear them sing?

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Moms Panel Monday: Making Magic for All In the Family at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 21st, 2015 by Leanne O'Regan, Director, Social Media, Disney Parks

Today’s Moms Panel Monday shares different Moms’ Views on planning a large family vacation. Lauren from England asked the Disney Parks Moms Panel about traveling with 12 family members of all ages to Walt Disney World Resort in May. She wants to make sure everyone in the family has a magical vacation. Our Moms Panelists to the rescue! A dozen Panelists stepped up with some really unique and fun ideas for the entire family.


Moms Panelist Brenda suggests experiencing the live entertainment offerings so the whole family can have fun together, like Turtle Talk with Crush at Epcot and Enchanted Tales with Belle at Magic Kingdom Park.

Susan suggests attractions that are top picks for her family including Festival of The Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Living with the Land at Epcot.

Panelist Andrea shares some “off the beaten path” ideas like exploring Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom Park or becoming a Wilderness Explorer at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

And Moms Panelist Whitney made me laugh with her advice based on her own large family gathering experience in the parks.

You can find this question with the all the panelist’s answers as well as other helpful questions and answers on the Moms’ Views section of the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Enjoy a Holiday Mash-up from Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season

posted on December 17th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations

Yesterday I shared a lovely performance from Voices of Liberty at the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot. Continuing my affinity for holiday music, Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season performs at Future World Fountain Stage four times daily.

In this performance you’re about to click on, you’ll watch a mash-up of “What Child Is This” and “Carol of the Bells.” It’s soulful and uptempo, and with the strong harmonies of both songs, difficult not to sway along with them.

Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season performs through December 29.

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