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Via Napoli Restaurant, Italy Pavilion at Epcot

Disney Parks Blog Unboxed – 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Merchandise

posted on February 9th, 2016 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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France Pavilion is one of my favorite places in World Showcase at Epcot. I have spent countless hours watching my favorite film at Walt Disney World Resort, the gorgeous “Impressions de France.” I even had my first cup of coffee at the pavilion when I was 16. In this edition of Disney Parks Blog Unboxed, I was looking forward to spending another beautiful morning in France. My day, however, was interrupted by the arrival of a basket.

This year, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs from March 2 to May 30. You will find the items seen in the video and much more at select merchandise locations throughout Epcot. The Festival Center, located in Future World between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions, will be open Fridays through Sundays throughout the event.

In the coming weeks, stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for additional looks at merchandise created especially for this event.

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

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know The Seas With Nemo & Friends at Epcot?

posted on February 9th, 2016 by Rose Monahan, Librarian, Walt Disney World Resort


Is “Finding Nemo” one of your favorite films? Then you must’ve experienced The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot. How well do you know this attraction? Test your knowledge below.

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The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot

How large is the saltwater aquarium at The Seas with Nemo & Friends?
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What is the name of the vehicle you board to find Nemo?
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What was the original name of the pavilion that is now called The Seas with Nemo & Friends?
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What year did The Seas with Nemo & Friends ride-through attraction open?
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Romance for Your Valentine: Top 10 Date Ideas at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 8th, 2016 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Ahh…l’amour.

Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, any day you want to dedicate to love, we are celebrating hearts, and cupid and romance. Here are 10 ideas to help you celebrate with us:

  1. Sweetheart Wine Tasting Cruises – Beautiful Italian music, award-winning wines and an array of delicious hors d’oeuvres on board a 40-foot Italian Water Taxi with the BOATHOUSE’S trusted captain and crew through the waters of Lake Buena Vista. Call 407-939-2628 to make a reservation.

  1. The new Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise – A breathtaking view of the Magic Kingdom Park night time fireworks, “Wishes,” from an exclusive and romantic spot on Seven Seas Lagoon with desserts and drinks. The soundtrack is piped through the boat’s sound system for this magical viewing. Click here for reservations.

  1. The new Brunch at the Top at California Grill – On Valentine’s Day Sunday, try the new Brunch at the Top with your beloved. The menu showcases fresh, market-driven cuisine and toast with a glass of bubbly or wine (the restaurant has more than 1,600 bottles on display). Click here for reservations.

  1. Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party – Sweets and stars collide at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as guests look to the sky January 5 – March 19, for a special viewing of the Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks set to the most dramatic and memorable Star Wars themes of all time. Click here for reservations.

  1. Disney Springs shopping spreeThe World of Disney in Disney Springs Marketplace recently expanded with an additional 6,000 sq. ft. of retail selling space. Try the new handcrafted chocolate at The Ganachery. Or for vegans, Erin McKenna Bakery NYC has savory offerings and an all-vegan and gluten-free menu.

  1. Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine at Hollywood & Vine – Celebrate the magic of the movies and glamour of Hollywood with an epic feast at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from Jan. 4 to March 20, 2016. Click here for reservations.
  2. La Nouba at Disney Springs – As part of the La Nouba’s ongoing evolution, the Cirque du Soleil show continues to bring new acts: B-Boy, commonly referred to as breakdancing, and Aerial Bamboo, a technique mastered by only a handful of performers worldwide. The acts join the recent additions of uproarious clowns and a breathtaking juggling rolla bolla act. For more information, visit DisneyWorld.com/entertainment.

  1. Sushi Bar at Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs – From Feb. 12 – 14, a special Valentine’s Day romantic dinner for two includes a four course, prix-fixe menu starring Chef Morimoto’s signature Peking Duck for two. On Valentine’s day only, a five-course Omakase dinner will be served at the intimate second-level 14-seat sushi bar. For reservations, call 407-939-6686 (MOTO).
  2. Monsieur Paul Proposal-popping and Vow Renewal dinner at Epcot – In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower (replica), indulge in a decadent meal, peer out of the second story windows that overlook the World Showcase Lagoon, toast with champagne, and dessert is served with an extra sparkle on the plate: the big question, and your token of love. Click here for reservations.

  1. Sunset and cocktails at the Polynesian – Sip on champagne and strawberries against the backdrop of the Seven Seas Lagoon and the beautiful new Bora Bora Bungalows. Take a moonlit stroll along the torch-lined waterfront and visit Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

How will you romance the one you love, Disney-style?

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on February 7th, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


We kicked off the first week of February with our first-ever live stream of “Fantasmic!” from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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This guest-favorite show explores the magic of Mickey Mouse’s imagination – and the adventure he embarks upon when the Disney villains show up to try to turn his dream “into a nightmare Fantasmic.”

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During the live stream, you voted to unlock a new Sorcerer Mickey wallpaper. Disney artist Mike Britton created the wallpaper that celebrates the color of “Fantasmic!”

Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

See Blood, Sweat & Tears April 15-17 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival See Brian Howe April 22-24 at Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
See Georgia Satellites April 29-May 1 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival See Darlene Love May 13-15 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Also this week, we shared an update that two more weekends and four new acts will join the lineup for this year’s Garden Rocks concert series during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Thirteen pop bands with hits spanning the decades will take the stage each weekend through Memorial Day at America Gardens Theatre from March 2 – May 30. Check Victoria’s original story for more.

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

Josh Gad Takes Viewers to Rarely Seen Places at Disneyland Park During ‘The Wonderful Disney: Disneyland 60’ February 21 on ABC – Josh Gad will take viewers on a unique tour of Disneyland park, including peeks inside Walt Disney’s private apartment above Main Street, U.S.A., and the Disneyland Dream Suite in New Orleans Square, during the two-hour television special, “The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60,” on Sunday, Feb. 21, on the ABC Television Network.

Enter Now for Chance to Win Dazzling ‘Sleeping Beauty’-Inspired Crown in Disneyland Diamond Days – Disneyland Diamond Days sweepstakes, part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, has been giving guests the chance to win dazzling prizes – and this week’s prize is one of the most dazzling!

Making Wishes Come True at the Disneyland Resort – Recently, The Walt Disney Company celebrated making 100,000 wishes come true with Make-A-Wish. In celebration of this special relationship, we asked our cast members for some of their favorite memories fulfilling wishes.

Reservations Now Open for New Table-Service Dining at River Belle Terrace in Disneyland Park – On February 10, the next chapter for River Belle Terrace will begin as the restaurant reopens as a table-service location, featuring barbecue favorites, tasty sides and more.

New Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration HARVEYS Attraction Totes Debut – Are you ready to see the next wave of attraction poster totes from HARVEYS created for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration?

Tips for a Rainy Day at the Disneyland Resort – Here at the Disneyland Resort, wet weather does not put a damper on day of fun. Try out these activities to sprinkle extra excitement on your rainy day visit.

Celebrate Black History Month With Special Author Signings at Epcot – Guests have the opportunity to meet four renowned African-American authors and cultural icons each Saturday during the month of February. Book signings are open to all guests and hosted at the American Adventure Pavilion, where books written by each guest author are also available for purchase throughout the month.

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Sweet Treats at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 5th, 2016 by Rachel Bshero, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and if you haven’t picked up a gift or made plans yet—don’t worry. There are plenty of sweet ways to show you care with specialty treats at Walt Disney World Resort.

Specialty Pops from The Ganachery at Disney Springs Pre-Packed Box of Ganache from The Ganachery at Disney Springs

At The Ganachery at Disney Springs, you’ll find specialty ganache squares and pops decorated for Valentine’s Day—raspberry enrobed in dark chocolate and passion fruit enrobed in milk chocolate. Surprise your sweetie with a pre-packed box of ganache.

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Perhaps your love’s allegiance lies with The Dark Side. Fear not, these Star Wars-inspired chocolate bars, available in both dark and milk chocolate, are the perfect way to say I love you. (I know.)

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake from Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom Park Black Forest Waffle from Sleepy Hollow at Magic Kingdom Park

In my opinion, Magic Kingdom Park is one of the most romantic places at Walt Disney World Resort, though I may be biased because I met my husband there. Romance your valentine with a chocolate raspberry cupcake from Main Street Bakery, or indulge in the Black Forest waffle with vanilla ice cream at Sleepy Hollow.

Lady and the Tramp Cupcake at Disney's Hollywood Studios Chocolate Cupcake with a Strawberry-Marshmallow Center from Epcot

If cupcakes are the way to your Valentine’s heart, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a cupcake featuring Lady and the Tramp that is paws-itively adorable. At Fountain View in Epcot, you’ll find a chocolate cupcake with a strawberry-marshmallow center, strawberry butter and a ganache drizzle sure to make your sweetie’s heart melt.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Disney Days of Past: Carnivale at Epcot

posted on February 4th, 2016 by Rose Monahan, Librarian, Walt Disney World Resort


Countries all around the world are getting ready to celebrate Carnivale. In these Epcot flashback photos from 1998, we see the elaborate costumes worn to represent different counties celebrating Carnivale. Beads were handed out to guests while floats, stilt walkers and dancers paraded down the promenade.

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Carnivale at Epcot in 1998 Carnivale at Epcot in 1998 Carnivale at Epcot in 1998
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Disney Parks Bento Box Magic: Albert the Monkey

posted on February 4th, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


We’re continuing our exclusive series of Disney-inspired bento box tutorials and our first how-to video of 2016 features a favorite character from Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland Park – Albert the Monkey.

Disney Parks Blog reader and fan Mike Kravanis designed his latest bento box during a visit to the China Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort. To create Albert, Mike used a few salmon salad and rice filled inari pouches and added them to a bed of kale. Radishes and olives were also combined to make Albert’s eyes.

And to complete the bento box, tomato and yellow carrots were used to make a lantern. Check out the video for step-by-step instructions.

Also, keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more Disney-inspired bento box tutorials in upcoming weeks.

For more from our “Disney Parks Bento Box Magic” series, visit the posts below:

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More Days, More Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on February 3rd, 2016 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Two more weekends and four new acts join the lineup for this year’s Garden Rocks concert series during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Thirteen pop bands with hits spanning the decades will take the stage each weekend through Memorial Day at America Gardens Theatre from March 2 – May 30.

Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice, Bad Company, former lead singer BRIAN HOWE, Georgia Satellites and Darlene Love make their Festival debut this year.

See Blood, Sweat & Tears April 15-17 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival See Brian Howe April 22-24 at Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
See Georgia Satellites April 29-May 1 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival See Darlene Love May 13-15 at the Garden Rocks Concerts at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Here’s the lineup (subject to change without notice):

  • March 4-6 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
  • March 11-13 – Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
  • March 18-20 – Little River Band “Reminiscing”
  • March 25-27 – Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
  • April 1-3 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”
  • April 8-10 – The Guess Who “American Woman”
  • April 15-17 – NEW! Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
  • April 22-24 – NEW! Bad Company, former lead singer BRIAN HOWE “Can’t Get Enough”
  • April 29-May 1 – NEW! Georgia Satellites “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”
  • May 6-8 – Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
  • May 13-15 – NEW! Darlene Love “Wait ‘Til My Bobby Gets Home”
  • May 20-22 – Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
  • May 27-30 (Monday) – The Spinners “Working My Way Back to You”

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45, and 8 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Festival and included with park admission.

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Celebrate Black History Month With Special Author Signings at Epcot

posted on February 3rd, 2016 by Annette Gibbs, Public Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Anybody up for a quick trip with me down memory lane? I remember when one of my favorite books was made into the box office hit film, “Waiting to Exhale” starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett. I can still hear Whitney singing one of the many catchy tunes from the movie soundtrack. The book, filled with colorful characters was written by NY Times best-selling author Terry McMillan. Now back to the present. I have great news. Terry is appearing at Epcot this Saturday, February 6th for a book signing and fan meet and greet.

But wait, there’s more! For all the foodies or, if you’re like me you just love to eat good food, on February 13th you can meet celebrity chef and author G. Garvin. When Chef Garvin isn’t cooking delicious food on TV he’s writing award winning recipe books.

These special appearances are in celebration of Black History Month. Guests have the opportunity to meet four renowned African-American authors and cultural icons each Saturday during the month of February. Book signings are open to all guests and hosted at the American Adventure Pavilion, where books written by each guest author are also available for purchase throughout the month.

Meet Terry McMillan the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot Saturday, Feb. 6, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. Meet Chef G. Garvin at the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot Saturday, Feb. 13, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.
  • Terry McMillan
    Saturday, Feb. 6, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.

    Critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Terry McMillan is known for her powerful novels and short stories about African American women. Her novel, “Waiting to Exhale,” was adapted into a film starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett in 1995. Many of McMillan’s other novels, including the award-winning “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” have also been brought to life for film and television audiences. McMillan recently published her eighth novel, “Who Asked You?”
  • Chef G. Garvin
    Saturday, Feb. 13, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.

    Acclaimed chef and television host, Chef G. Garvin has mastered the art of cooking as well as writing. His cookbook, “Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin: More Than 200 Incredible Recipes from the Chef Who Keeps it Super Simple,” received an American Literacy Award. Chef Garvin has enjoyed continued success with his subsequent cookbooks and television show “Road Trip with G. Garvin” on The Cooking Channel.

While at American Adventure Pavilion be sure and visit the memorable exhibit “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection,” a collection of rare art, documents, books and artifacts attributed to African American history. Philanthropists Florida natives Bernard, Shirley and their son Khalil Kinsey share some of their vast personal collection of artifacts spanning 400 years of history. Also explore the pavilion rotunda and see the exquisite portraits of influential men and women who contributed to the progress of America.

Be sure and watch the blog for updates on other authors who will appear at Epcot.

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90 Days of Delicious Tastes for 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on February 1st, 2016 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Two new Outdoor Kitchens join the line-up for this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, upping the deliciousness at the 23rd annual fest that will span a record 90 days from March 2-May. 30.

Outdoor Kitchens at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

La Isla Fresca and Cider House are the two new Outdoor Kitchens, and we got a sneak peek of dishes from each at a recent tasting with the Epcot culinary team. La Isla Fresca takes guests to the Caribbean for authentic bites such as Jamaican braised beef with pigeon peas and rice; spicy jerk chicken or grouper with mango salsa and a Tres Leches cake with guava puree (the traditional meringue is replaced with whipped cream in this version). Pair either of the savories with a Red Stripe Jamaican-style lager, or frozen Simply Tropical juice drink (with or without rum).

The Cider House offers a spin on tastes from the United Kingdom, including a field greens salad with greens harvested from The Land Pavilion, heirloom apples, Stilton cheese and dried blueberries; and a pear cider-brined shredded corned beef, braised cabbage and pears with Branston (a British food brand) dressing. The Cider House will offer four hard ciders, including a blueberry ciders made in Plant City, Fla., plus Cigar City Tampa-Style Lager.

Urban Farm EATS Outdoor Kitchen at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The 11 other Outdoor Kitchens include Urban Farm Eats (new seared pork tenderloin), Pineapple Promenade , Fleur de Lys, Florida Fresh, Taste of Marrakesh, Hanami, THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews (the pulled pig slider gets crispy onions on top), Primavera Kitchen, Lotus House, Bauernmarkt (German currywurst sausage is new this year) and Jardin de Fiestas. Such diversity of tastes!

You’ll be wowed by the colorful extravaganza put on by the Disney horticulture team – whimsical topiaries (yes, Elsa and Anna will be there), 220 “floating gardens” in the lagoon and a new edible flower garden next to The Land Pavilion. It’s all beautiful at night, with twinkling lights shining across the gardens.

Food lovers, mark your calendar for April 29-May 1, when Florida Fresh Weekend features the state’s edible bounty from Apalachicola to Zellwood.

For more information about the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639). Watch for details at epcotinspring.com. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

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