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IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party Reservations Now Open for January and February 2015

posted on December 27th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Looking for an exciting and delicious way to start 2015? IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party will delight your senses. Savor a confectionery assortment of delectable desserts and sparkling wines from around World Showcase.

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This sparkling soiree will take place select Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings at Epcot’s Showcase Plaza — an exclusive setting perfect for viewing “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.” Sample sweets from around the globe, such as traditional Moroccan baklava, Italian tiramisu, French chocolate ganache tarts and more.

IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party reservations are now open for January and February. Cost to attend is $49 for adults and $29 for children ages 3-9. For reservations, visit Disneyworld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Fireworks Around Our World

posted on December 27th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are fireworks a must-see for you on New Year’s Eve? Here at Walt Disney World Resort, our holiday spectaculars have been lighting up the night for weeks in anticipation of Christmas. Check out the gallery of images below for a look at the latest fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot.

Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season

For details on what our parks have planned for New Year’s Eve, click here.

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Blair Underwood ‘Thrilled’ To Narrate The Candlelight Processional Dec. 26-27

posted on December 26th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Actor Blair Underwood is set to narrate The Candlelight Processional at Epcot December 26 – 27, and he just can’t wait to hit the stage.

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“Being a narrator for The Candlelight Processional really is the highlight of my Christmas and my family’s Christmas,” he says, speaking of wife Desiree, and their kids Paris, Brielle and Blake, who eagerly accompany him on his holiday trip. “If you want to get into the holiday spirit – the Christmas spirit – there’s nothing like coming into The Candlelight Processional to feel and be transported into the greatest story ever told.”

Blair, who has appeared in the show as a narrator for several years, says for him The Candlelight Processional is not only a chance to participate in a beautiful musical performance, but it also enables him to take part in something very meaningful for him during the holiday season.

Blair Underwood ‘Thrilled’ To Narrate The Candlelight Processional Dec. 26-27 Blair Underwood ‘Thrilled’ To Narrate The Candlelight Processional Dec. 26-27

“What I notice more than anything during the show is a sense of peace, a sense of traditional holiday spirit, and a sense of love,” he says. “[The show] is always magical and that’s what Disney World was created to be. [Instead] it’s people coming into that moment and celebrating the birth of Christ, which is very important to me, as I am a Christian.”

In addition to celebrating the season at the show, Blair and his family are also looking forward to spending some fun family time together in the theme parks during their visit as well. This year, they’re also looking forward to trying out the latest things Walt Disney World Resort has to offer, such as “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” and seeing the technology of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

“Our tradition is to try to cram in as much as possible,” he laughs. “When our kids were younger, we spent a lot of time at Magic Kingdom. Last year we spent more time at Epcot, which has been an eye-opener. We as a family love to travel and it’s fun to go to those different countries in Epcot and see the similarities between the pavilions and the actual countries. The food is always a big part of that, too.”

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Isabella Rossellini To Narrate ‘The Candlelight Processional’ Dec. 24-25

posted on December 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Actress Isabella Rossellini will take the stage to narrate the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day performances of “Candlelight Processional” (December 24-25).

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The show is a retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator with seasonal songs performed by a live choir and orchestra. Shows take place daily at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at the America Gardens Theatre.

In addition to Rossellini, remaining narrators in this year’s line-up include:

  • Blair Underwood – December 26 – 27, 2014
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – December 28 – 30, 2014

Have you seen the Candlelight Processional at Epcot this year?Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Final Week to Experience the Candlelight Processional at Epcot

posted on December 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Attention music lovers: The 2014 season of the Candlelight Processional is now in its final week at Epcot.

Christmas by Candlelight

In case you haven’t seen the show, it’s a joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, plus music supplied by an orchestra and choir. Performances take place at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre at Epcot.

Remaining narrators this season are:

  • 12/21 – 12/23: Marlee Matlin
  • 12/24 – 12/25: Isabella Rossellini
  • 12/26 – 12/27: Blair Underwood
  • 12/28 – 12/30: Steven Curtis Chapman

Narrators are subject to change without notice.

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – January 2015

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Are you visiting Walt Disney World Resort this January and are looking for a few other things to check out? Here are a couple of artist showcases that made my list.

January 1 – 4: Artist Larry Dotson will be on hand to kick off the New Year with special appearances and signings at Walt Disney World Resort, January 1 – 4 at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park and January 8 – 11 at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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Now – January 5: Get dolled up! Stop by Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace and meet representatives from Precious Moments Dolls who will be wrapping up this season’s showcase. Learn more.

January 6 – 8: Fall in love with the latest fragrance, The Essence of Norway, from Laila Inc. Fragrance Designer Geir Ness will be available for a special appearance and signing from Noon to 6 p.m., each day, at The Puffin’s Roost in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. Learn more.

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January 19 – 25: Have you been waiting to meet artist Greg McCullough? Find him this month at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace. It’s never too late to add a new piece by Greg McCullough to your collection. Learn more.

We have many more events in store for you this year, so keep watching the Disney Parks Blog.

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Seasonal Craft Beers at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 19th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


I’m a huge fan of craft beers, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out several seasonal craft brews are offered at Walt Disney World Resort.

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“When the weather turns cold, it’s time to seek out some of the most popular seasonal beers, including winter ales and Indian Pale Ales (IPAs),” says Jason Cha-Kim, Beverage Manager at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “These beers are brewed stronger, richer and more full-bodied with wonderful holiday flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel.”

A few of the craft beers you can enjoy at Walt Disney World Resort include Widmer Brothers Brrr Seasonal Ale, Bell’s Winter White Ale, Harpoon Winter Warmer Spiced Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop IPA and Shock Top Shockolate Wheat.

Another brew perfect for this time of the year is the Einstok White Ale available at the beer cart in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot—the only place you’ll find this ale on tap outside of Iceland!

Keep an eye out for these limited-time brews throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

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Ana Gasteyer Narrates the Candlelight Processional December 18-20

posted on December 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Comedian Ana Gasteyer will take the stage at Epcot tonight in her debut appearance as the narrator for the Candlelight Processional.

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In case you haven’t seen the show, the processional is a retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator plus seasonal songs performed by a live orchestra and choir. Shows take place daily at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.

Remaining narrators this season are:

  • Marlee Matlin – December 21 – 23, 2014
  • Isabella Rossellini – December 24 – 25, 2014
  • Blair Underwood – December 26 – 27, 2014
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – December 28 – 30, 2014

As a reminder, all entertainment is subject to change without notice.

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VIDEO: Make Your Holiday Meal Magical With Tips from Disney Chef Charles Dolson

posted on December 17th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Creating a decadent holiday meal for your guests can be stressful. Chef Charles Dolson, Area Chef of the Land Pavilion at Epcot, shares tips on how to make your holiday meals a little bit easier and much more delicious.

Watch as Chef Charles demonstrates how to butter the bird, spice up your cranberries, add texture to salad and make memorable holiday brownies. He even suggests ways to put your guests to work in the kitchen!

Happy holidays from the Disney Parks Food & Beverage team!

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Your Chance To Vote And Cheer On Your Disney Side With Top Four Colleges

posted on December 16th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


As our favorite college football teams kicked off the season this fall ESPN gave college cheer and dance teams something really big to cheer about – their Disney Side.

Dozens of squads from across the country choreographed routines to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs and submitted their videos as part of the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, working in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit.

Last week the four finalists were announced; Auburn University, Louisiana State University, Rutgers University and Santa Monica College.

Well now it’s your turn to get into the game and vote for your favorite video at Espn.com/CheerMagic. The school with the most votes wins. And fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found at Espn.com/CheerMagic.

Online voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on Jan. 12 in Dallas. The winning cheer or dance squad will earn a $100,000 grant from ESPN for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

To help you make your decision we will profile each school over the next two weeks right here on the Disney Parks Blog. You will see and hear how each team incorporated their Disney Side with their school spirit in the making of their video.

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We kick off our behind the scenes series with the Auburn Tigers. They selected “it’s a small world” and featured several of their favorite Disney attractions. Take a look at their submission video and then a behind the scenes feature.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their Disney Side’– their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.
No purchase necessary. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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