Watch – Disney’s Animal Kingdom B-Roll: New Baby Hippo

Disney’s Animal Kingdom B-Roll: New Baby Hippo | Walt Disney World News

http://wdwnews.com/videos/2018/01/17/disneys-animal-kingdom . . .

Adventures by Disney Announces Expanded Cruise Vacation Options for 2019

Adventures by Disney, a leader in guided group travel worldwide, revealed today new cruise vacations for 2019, offering more European river cruise sailings than ever before, including all-new sailings down France’s Seine River. New Southern California land packages were also announced, which can be added on to 2018 Disney Cruise Line vacations setting sail from San Diego.

All-New European River Cruises on France’s Seine River

Adventures by Disney announced all-new sailings along the Seine River in 2019, combining two days exploring Paris on land, followed by eight days of cruising to picturesque French destinations such as Conflans, Vernon and more. Adventures by Disney river cruises allow families to explore the heart of Europe in a way that’s active, immersive and easy. (Disney)
Adventures by Disney announced all-new sailings along the Seine River in 2019, combining two days exploring Paris on land, followed by eight days of cruising to picturesque French destinations such as Conflans, Vernon and more. Adventures by Disney river cruises allow families to explore the heart of Europe in a way that’s active, immersive and easy. (Disney)
Adventures by Disney announced all-new sailings along the Seine River in 2019, combining two days exploring Paris on land, followed by eight days of cruising to picturesque French destinations such as Conflans, Vernon and more. Adventures by Disney river cruises allow families to explore the heart of Europe in a way that’s active, immersive and easy. (Disney)
Adventures by Disney announced all-new sailings along the Seine River in 2019, combining two days exploring Paris on land, followed by eight days of cruising to picturesque French destinations such as Conflans, Vernon and more. Adventures by Disney river cruises allow families to explore the heart of Europe in a way that’s active, immersive and easy. (Disney)

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When It Makes Sense to Buy an Annual Pass

An Annual Pass is a Disney World lover’s dream come true… visit the parks as often as I want for a whole year? Yes, please!

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Did You Know … What’s Coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World Resort

1. It Opens Next Year! – Opening date is currently set at 2019. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the Disneyland® Resort will debut first and the land at the Walt Disney World® Resort will debut second.

2. It’s Set On The Planet Batuu – At Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, guests will visit Batuu, a remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but its prominence was bypassed by the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe haven for those intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order.

4. A Second Attraction Planned for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Puts You On A Star Destroyer – This attraction, “built on a scale we’ve never done before,” will make guests feel like they’re inside a hangar bay in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. (The name of this attraction is still yet to be released).

5. A Cantina Will Serve Up Blue Milk – Only one food and beverage item has been announced for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge so far and that’s the blue milk Luke Skywalker made famous in “Star Wars IV: A New Hope.”

6. Expect To See Characters From A Galaxy Far, Far Away – Guests will also encounter many familiar faces inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including BB-8, Chewbacca, members of the First Order and – among many others – Rex, the troublesome pilot you may remember from the previous version of a certain Disney attraction who takes on a new role in this land as the DJ at the cantina.

7. The Land Will Feature Marketplaces & New Toys – Imagineers looked to the exotic markets of Istanbul and Marrakech for inspiration for the land’s marketplace, where guests can explore a rich collection of shops and merchant stalls. One stall will be overseen by a Toydarian, a creatures fans first encountered on Tatooine in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” Here, guests will be able to discover all kinds of fun toys straight out of the Star Wars galaxy.

8. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Merchandise Has Already Been Released – The first Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge merchandise, available at select locations at the Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort, was released in December. The line currently consists of an assortment of men’s and women’s T-shirts, hats and more that feature faces and places familiar to Star Wars fans, including the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge logo, the Millennium Falcon, BB-8, DJ Rex and more.
9. View A Portion Of The Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Model Right Now – A portion of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge model is currently on display at the end of the Walt Disney Presents exhibit at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®.

Can’t Miss Experiences at Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Back by popular demand, the Epcot® International  Festival of the Arts starts on Jan. 12, 2018 and runs all the way to Feb. 19, 2018. This year’s fest is seven days per week with the Disney on Broadway series running Fridays through Mondays.

Here are some of the highlights guests can enjoy!

5. Workshops/Seminars – A plethora of different offerings spotlight this year’s Odyssey Festival Center. Guests can learn to draw Disney animated characters; get tips on taking the perfect photos; and study a host of artistic genres including acrylics, watercolors, musical composition, storytelling and even floral arranging. The seminars are included with Epcot admission and are generally 30 minutes; and the workshops have a nominal fee but last 75 minutes and include hands-on training and a cool take-away. Seminars can be reserved day-of at the Odyssey Festival Center. Workshops can be booked in advance by calling (407) WDW-TOUR.

4. Kids’ Activities – Younger Guests will discover lots of activities including “Figment’s Brush with the Masters,” a scavenger hunt through the countries of World Showcase. They can also grab a paintbrush and join in on the fun as they help create a wall mural at Expression Section in World Showcase Plaza; and there is even an interactive kids “chalk art” area this year.

3. Artful Photo Ops –Guests can put themselves into classic masterworks of art and take the perfect selfie. This year’s newest photo ops allow guests to step into Boticelli’s “Birth of Venus” and “picture” themselves in an homage to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

2. Food Studios – With more culinary options this year, guests can find edible works of art including a basil- scented salmon roulade with purple rice and Romesco sauce; wild mushroom risotto with aged parmesan, truffle shavings and Zinfandel reduction; and a deconstructed Reuben sandwich, with shredded corned beef, Thousand Island dressing, pickled red cabbage and a rye curl. And the sweets are just as tempting with my favorite being the Pop’t Art cookie with strawberry filling.

1. Disney on Broadway Series – Guests can expand their theatrical horizons with show-stopping songs from award-winning Disney on Broadway musicals. One of the best ways to experience Disney on Broadway is through a dining package. Book a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner for your Clients and they can enjoy priority seating at the show. Reservations are available through 407-WDW-DINE or 407-939-3463.

*Disney on Broadway Dining Packages are available for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner and include a 3-course meal or full buffet, depending on the location.

Vacation Planning Tips for the Disneyland Resort, a World-Class Family Vacation Destination

Guests visiting the Disneyland Resort will enjoy special moments and create unforgettable memories with their friends and families in 2018, including experiencing the first-ever Pixar Fest celebration and opening of a new land, Pixar Pier. Beloved nighttime spectaculars, immersive attractions and entertainment offer countless ways for guests to make the most of their vacations at the Happiest Place on Earth. There are plenty of tips for guests as they plan to stay and play at Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, the three on-site hotels and Downtown Disney.

PLAN

  • Official Disneyland App – The official Disneyland App offers useful information right at a guest’s fingertips, including attraction wait times, FastPass return times, maps, entertainment guides and other special features. Guests may also use the app to purchase tickets with their mobile device, look for character appearances in the park and find park hours. Details are available here.
  • Disney Vacation Planning DVD – Guests are invited to preview the magical experiences that await their next Disneyland Resort Vacation with a library of informative videos. To order a Disney Vacation Planning DVD, go to www.DisneyPlanning.com.
  • Disneyland Express – Just 30 miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and just 15 miles from John Wayne Airport (SNA), Disneyland Resort offers the Disneyland Express for easy bus transfer to the resort. Disneyland Resort Express also provides convenient transportation to Anaheim area hotels.
  • Dining Reservations – To make the most of vacation time, guests may make dining reservations in advance at the resort’s award-winning restaurants. Special dining packages offer guests a full-course meal and reserved viewing for the “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland and “World of Color” at Disney California Adventure. “For reservations, guests may call 714-781-DINE or email a date, time and contact information to dine@Disneyland.com. Guests may also book a table online at Disneyland.com.
  • Social Media – Keep up with the latest updates about the Disneyland Resort at DisneyParksBlog.com, where guests may also get behind-the-scenes looks at the parks, resort hotels and Downtown Disney. For planning tips and fun facts, follow @Disneylandon Twitter. Guests may also engage with Disneyland on Facebook and Instagram.
  • In-Park Social Media – While at the resort, guests may follow @DisneylandToday on Twitter for information about Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney and the resort hotels with live updates and answers.

STAY

  • Stay in the Magic – Guests discover many special benefits when they stay at one of three Disneyland Resort hotels: the classic Disneyland Hotel and luxurious newly reimagined Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa – both AAA Four Diamond properties – and the sunny California beachfront-themed Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.
  • Extra Magic Hour – Early Admission to the Parks – Guests staying at any Disneyland Resort hotel may enjoy Extra Magic Hourentry into Disneyland or Disney California Adventure one hour before the parks open to the public. This opportunity is good for the length of a guest’s stay, with designated days for each park. To check availability, daily times and additional information, visit Disneyland.com and click on “Park Hours.” (Valid theme park admission and active hotel room key required.)
  • Grand Hotel Experience –Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa just completed the most extensive refurbishment since the hotel’s 2001 opening. Guest rooms have been completely redesigned with a fresh sense of luxury and the pool deck has been refreshed with beautiful, new hardscapes to reinforce the Arts and Crafts style. Guests staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa enjoy an exclusive entrance to Disney California Adventure through the hotel. Nearby, guests also enjoy the Downtown Disney District, with its eclectic mix of entertainment, dining and shopping opportunities. The new, elevated experience continues to impress guests and the hotel was named one of the Top Hotels in Southern California in the 30th annual Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards.
  • Storybook Vacation – At Disneyland Resort hotels, guests have the opportunity to share a meal and laughs with favorite Disney characters, relax by sparkling pools and enjoy a night on the town complete with dinner at one of several award-winning restaurants.
  • Convenience and Legendary Service – Guests who stay at Disneyland Resort Hotels are treated to exclusive conveniences throughout their stay, including a Key to the Magic card for charging meals and merchandise to the guest room. The Package Express service delivers resort merchandise purchases right to a guest’s hotel. Hotel guests are treated to the legendary Disney guest service throughout their vacation.
  • Multi-generational travel and large parties – Many families enjoy traveling to the Disneyland Resort with family members of multiple generations, or with family reunions. The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort welcome multi-generational travelers and large parties, offering multiple suites at each hotel that sleep parties of six or eight. Some of the suites connect to adjacent suites to accommodate the larger parties.
  • Great Value – Guests can find great value in multiple-day tickets and vacation packages at the Resort hotels, or at nearby Good Neighbor hotels, by purchasing online. The latest special offers are available at Disneyland.com/offers.

PLAY

  • Disney FastPass Service – FastPass allows guests to maximize their time in the park by reserving a specific time window to enjoy their favorite attractions. When guests return during that time, they enjoy a shorter line reserved for FASTPASS holders. Guests are encouraged to pick up FastPass tickets early for favorite attractions such as Radiator Springs Racers.
  • Disney PhotoPass Service  PhotoPass Photographers at character, dining and special locations throughout the park ensure that everyone gets in the photo. Guests may link, view and purchase photos at Disneyland.com or directly from the Disneyland App.
  • Disney MaxPass – Guests will maximize their day with the ability to reserve digital Disney FASTPASS selections right from your mobile device using the Disneyland app while in the parks. Plus, it offers the opportunity to download, save and share Disney PhotoPass photos captured during an entire day. Both services are included for the introductory price of only $10 per ticket and can be purchased through the app.
  • “A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” Tour – Guests may follow in the footsteps of the man whose vision and creativity brought Disneyland park to life, Walt Disney. This 3 ½-hour guided tour covers the life of Walt Disney and stories behind the magic of Disneyland. To book this, or other tours offered by Disneyland Resort, call (714) 781-TOUR (8687).
  • Charging Lockers – Guests re-charge their batteries and get back to the fun in no time when using special lockers on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park and Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure Park that include options for traditional AC outlet or specialized chargers for electronic devices.
  • Parent “Rider Switch” – A theme-park “rider switch” policy gives both parents a chance to enjoy their favorite attractions without double the wait. A parent who waits with a young child while the other parent rides the attraction may board the ride with minimal wait time once the first parent exits. Guests may ask a cast member about this option.
  • Enjoy the shows and entertainment – Oftentimes, children enjoy live entertainment and stage shows for the first time at the Disneyland Resort. Families may choose from multiple shows in the daily Show Entertainment Guide (available at the main entrance gate and at Guest Relations centers). These include parades, character encounters and shows such as “Disney Junior Dance Party!” (Disney California Adventure) and “Mickey and the Magical Map” (Disneyland). Fans of Disney’s global film phenomenon, “Frozen”, will find the dazzling theatrical interpretation “Frozen Live at the Hyperion Theater” at Disney California Adventure Park. Guests also may encounter performers and singers as they stroll through the parks, including the Dapper Dans at Disneyland, and Five and Dime at Disney California Adventure.
  • Be amazed by spectacular fireworks – Fireworks illuminate the sky above Sleeping Beauty Castle choreographed to timeless music and with surprise appearances by some classic Disney characters. Viewing locations are throughout Disneyland and top spots include: in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, along Main Street, U.S.A., in front of “it’s a small world” in Fantasyland and along the Rivers of America in Frontierland.
  • Character Dining – Character dining is a great way to introduce youngsters to Disney characters. At select locations, a cast of characters will visit guests at their tables. For reservations, call 714-781-DINE. Another tip: Many Disney restaurants offer children’s menus.
  • Healthful Dining Options – While special treats are part of the Disney fun, families can also choose nutritious snacks such as nuts, trail mix and fresh fruit from outdoor carts. Kids meals come with fruit or vegetables on the side, along with juice, water or low-fat milk. Fries and soda are available upon request, at no additional cost. Look for the Mickey Check symbol on menus, indicating the best nutritional choices for children. Additionally, For lifestyle dining options, or for requests from guests with food allergies or intolerances, there are a wide range of choices, from kosher to gluten-friendly and sugar-free.

Plenty of Delicious Dining Options Offer Something for Every Guest at the Disneyland Resort

From fast-casual fare to haute cuisine, the menu of dining options at the Disneyland Resort offers something for every guest. Here, waffles with the Disney characters are as celebrated as the spectacular creations at Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge.

The rise in fine dining at the Disneyland Resort is often an unexpected delight. At the hotels, top award winners are Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel. A stellar wine program has elevated the quality of dining service throughout the Resort, with trained sommeliers in restaurants including Napa Rose, Steakhouse 55 and Storytellers Cafe at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure Park.

Healthful Initiatives

Even though vacation may be a time for indulgence, Disneyland chefs provide healthful options. For lifestyle dining options, or for requests from guests with food allergies or intolerances, there are a wide range of choices, from kosher to gluten-friendly and sugar-free.

For families, the Mickey Check makes it easy to identify healthier food options in the all of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, part of an ongoing program that launched in 2006 with nutrition guidelines. Choices that receive the Mickey Check must meet Disney Nutrition Guidelines that limit calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar. For example, Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland Park now offers seared salmon, spaghetti, broccolini and fresh fruit for kids. (Kids’ Complete Meals must be ordered without substitutions and include at least three of the following food groups: fruits and vegetables; low-fat dairy; whole grains; or lean protein, beans, eggs and nuts.)

The Mickey Check also appears on some Disney-licensed food products sold at retail locations, on qualifying recipes at Disney.com and Family.com, and on menus at quick-service restaurants at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts.

Theme Park Eats
At Disney California Adventure, Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge is designed to be one of the premier dining locations at the Disneyland Resort. The cuisine is the star, with artisan ingredients, locally sourced produce, seafood and meats from throughout Southern California.

Also found on Buena Vista Street are three spots for quick bites: Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe serving Disney baked goods and Starbucks La Boulange™ pastry items along with Starbucks coffee and espresso beverages; Mortimer’s Market with whole and cut fruits, bottled water, juices and soft drinks; and Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream.

Cars Land has three spots for guest to fuel up: Flo’s V8 Cafe with an on-stage rotisserie and house-made pies; Cozy Cone Motel with tasty cone-theme treats from churro bites to chili “cone” queso; and Fillmore’s Taste-In with whole and cut fruits, bottled water, juices and soft drinks.

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Disney California Adventure Park Adds More Fun and Attractions as the Happiest Place on Earth Gets Even Happier

Explore seven exciting lands that bring to life Disney stories and characters through amazing attractions, entertainment and dining. The two most recent additions—Buena Vista Street and the awe-inspiring Cars Land—join the themed lands of Grizzly Peak, Paradise Pier , Pacific Wharf, “a bug’s land” and Hollywood Land. With so much to do day and night, Disney California Adventure Park has something for every member of your family.

In summer 2018, Pixar Pier will open as a new land in Disney California Adventure, featuring four whimsical neighborhoods where guests can step into beloved Disney•Pixar stories. The first neighborhood, inspired by “The Incredibles,” will feature the exciting new Incredicoaster, and others will celebrate themes from Pixar favorites such as “Toy Story” and “Inside Out.”

A recent addition to Disney California Adventure is Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Guests are the protagonists of a rockin’ new adventure as they help rescue a cosmic gang of misfits in this thrilling attraction fueled with high-energy, hilarious action that will be fun for Super Hero fans and those who are discovering this story for the first time.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! entices guests with an original storyline based on “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, comics and animated television series, with a rapid rise into chaotic adventure and surprising visuals. The fast-paced action rocks to the beat of music inspired by the films’ soundtracks, including classic rock and pop music from the ‘60s, ‘70s and early ‘80s. And with multiple ride profiles, guests never know which adventure they’ll get.

“Frozen – Live at the Hyperion,” a theatrical adaptation based on Disney’s animated blockbuster film, is performed daily at the Hyperion Theater. This theatrical interpretation for the stage immerses audiences in the beloved world of “Frozen” and takes audiences on the heartwarming journey of Anna and Elsa, with all of the excitement of live theater. The show features elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects, and show-stopping production numbers.

Cars Land and Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Park, added more fun and attractions such as Radiator Springs Racers and the Carthay Circle Theatre in 2012. These exciting lands were part of a five-year expansion that added more Disney and more experiences for guests of the Disneyland Resort, a world-class, family vacation destination with two theme parks, three hotels and the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district.

From the thrills of Cars Land to the romance of Buena Vista Street, Disney California Adventure is a testament to what Disney Parks does best – connect guests to the iconic stories, characters and music they love, helping them make shared memories to last a lifetime.

Guests enter Disney California Adventure through another lively and richly detailed land, Buena Vista Street. The themed and designed entrance brings the spirit of Walt Disney into the park as never before, immersing guests in a locale reminiscent of Los Angeles in the 1920s, a time and place full of hope and optimism. With its familiar shop names, period costumes and architecture, Buena Vista Street is inspired by the “city of dreams” Walt Disney found when he arrived by train in California.

The icon of Disney California Adventure, the Carthay Circle Theatre, is a majestic building at the end of Buena Vista Street that recalls, in name and architectural style, the great California movie palace where “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” premiered in 1937. Carthay Circle Theatre, home to the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge, anchors the plaza from which guests set out to experience all the thrills, excitement and wonder of Disney California Adventure. Upstairs, guests enjoy Southern California cuisine and the ambience of a post-gala party at Carthay Circle Restaurant, while the ground floor Carthay Circle Lounge offers appetizers and bar service, along with historic photographs and exhibits.

The Red Car Trolley, based on Los Angeles’ historic Pacific Electric Red Car Line, transports guests from Buena Vista Street down Hollywood Boulevard, to the footsteps of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!. Street characters and entertainers such as the “Red Car Trolley News Boys” and “Five & Dime” add to the lively fun along Buena Vista Street, engaging guests as they step back in time.

The expansion of Disney California Adventure, announced in 2007, has produced a succession of new entertainment and attractions.

  • Toy Story Mania! opened in 2008, inviting guests into an interactive, ride-through, attraction where they enter a 4-D carnival midway hosted by characters from the Disney●Pixar movie “Toy Story.”
  • “World of Color,” the nighttime water spectacular, debuted in 2010 and the popular show has been seen by more than 5 million guests.
  • In 2011, the park reached its next milestone with the premiere of The Little Mermaid
  • ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, a ride-through attraction based on the Disney animated classic movie.
  • Additional highlights include new restaurants such as Paradise Garden Grill and the enhancement and re-theming of such attractions as Mickey’s Fun WheelGames of the Boardwalk, Silly Symphony Swings and Goofy’s Sky School.

The transformation of Disneyland Resort, a world-class, multi-day, family vacation destination, began in 2001 with the opening of Disney California Adventure, the Downtown Disney district and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Since then, the Disneyland Resort has continued to grow with the addition of popular attractions and shows such as “Frozen — Live at the Hyperion” and Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa was recently refurbished, bringing new magic to the deluxe hotel with completely redesigned guest rooms plus a refreshed lobby, pool area and concierge-level lounge. The most extensive refurbishment since the hotel’s 2001 opening elevates the premium guest experience and brings a contemporary approach to the Arts & Crafts design style.

In 2009, the resort completed a major expansion of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which included the first West Coast destination for Disney Vacation Club.  A magical renovation of the signature Disneyland Hotel was completed in early 2012, including re-imagined guest rooms, a new restaurant and bar, and a new pool with monorail-themed water slides.

2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts Adds More Days, Broadway Talent, Plus Artful Food and Fun Jan. 12-Feb. 19

Expanding on its 2017 debut, the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World Resort will present a daily, multifaceted celebration of art in many forms from Jan. 12-Feb. 19. Five new Food Studios will debut at the festival, giving park guests an expanded selection of creative and delicious new tastes to savor at a total of 13 Food Studios around the World Showcase promenade.

The 2018 festival, growing from last year’s long-weekend event schedule, will expand to seven days a week, with the popular Disney on Broadway Concert Series returning Fridays through Mondays. Also back by popular demand will be the festival’s artful cuisine, exhibits, seminars, workshops, performance art and interactive fun ranging from innovative photo ops and hands-on mural painting to drawing and food-styling classes.

As Epcot guests explore the world of talent surrounding them, they also can tempt their palates with culinary work-of-art creations at the festival’s Food Studios. Enticing tastes at stops around the World Showcase promenade will include photo-worthy fan favorites like pan-seared scallops with chorizo and roasted red pepper coulis at The Artist’s Table; wild mushroom risotto from Masterpiece Kitchen; a trio of savory doughnuts from The Painter’s Palate; plus decadent dessert delights and beverage standouts like the Pomegranate Mule featuring Van Gogh Vodka.

New Studios this year will be located at the following areas: France (“L’Art de la Cuisine Française” or “The Art of French Cooking”), Morocco (“Mosaic Canteen”), Japan (“Takumi Table”), Italy (“L’Arte di Mangiare” or “The Art of Eating”) and China (“The Painted Panda”).  A complete list of Food Studios and menus are at The Culinary Arts: Food Studios.

Daily events will include complimentary seminars at the Odyssey Festival Showplace such as “Trailblazing Ladies of Disney Animation,” and interactive workshops ($39) like “Sculpting a Mixed Media Action Figure.”

Each Friday through Monday, the hottest show at Epcot – Disney on Broadway Concert Series – will showcase the stellar talents of performers from award-winning Disney on Broadway musicals. Here’s the lineup:

  • January 12-15 and 19-22: Jenn Gambatese (NEW!) and Kevin Massey Jan. 12-15; Kara Lindsay (NEW!) and Kevin Massey Jan. 19-22, who will perform songs from “Tarzan,” “Aladdin,” “Newsies” and “Frozen.”
  • January 26-29 and February 2-5: Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White will perform songs from “Tarzan,” “The Lion King,” “Aida,” “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid.”
  • February 9-12 and 16-19: Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland will perform songs from “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Tarzan,” “Mary Poppins,” “Newsies” and “Frozen.”

All Disney on Broadway shows are included in theme park admission and will take place Fridays through Mondays at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. Broadway fans can book dining packages that include guaranteed seating for one of the three evening shows.

Throughout the festival, guests can get their art on by:

  • Joining in the fun of “Figment’s Brush with the Masters” Scavenger Hunt
  • Popping into the frame of a masterpiece for a cleverly artful photo op (think DaVinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware” or new this year, Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”!)
  • Watching new gravity-defying feats of strength and acrobatics featured among the festival’s scheduled performing arts
  • Discovering authentic cultural artifacts along the World Showcase Art Walk – look for the Art Palette near each highlighted work of art at each country represented
  • Marveling at exhibits showcasing works by iconic Disney artists, the new Chalk Gallery, the American Heritage Gallery and more
  • Viewing some of 50-plus visiting artists at work and taking a drawing class at the Animation Academy
  • Wielding a paintbrush to put their mark on the Hands-on-Wall Mural at World Showcase Plaza

The Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages, available at five participating Epcot restaurants, can be booked now online at Disneyworld.com or by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-7463.

To book a seminar or workshop, guests can call (407) WDW-TOUR or visit the Odyssey Festival Showplace during the festival.

Avatar: Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is worth the four-hour wait.

A teen Reality panelist recently experienced the new attraction at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom and said the four-hour wait was worth it. He’d even wait that long again.

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