Archive for Walt Disney World

New Retail MagicBands & Magic Keeper Colors Kicking off 2018

As you may know, with the introduction of MagicBand 2, guests now have the opportunity to  make their MagicBand truly customizable  by swapping out the center icon and placing it in a different color MagicBand or even one of our popular MagicKeeper accessories. With the debut of the I Am Mickey MagicBand, we have taken care of the customization for Guests. This item pays homage to Mickey Mouse in a new and sleek way with a black MagicBand and yellow center icon. This first ever pre-customized MagicBand is currently available for $22.99 wherever MagicBands are sold.

 

For the Aladdin and Jasmine admirers out there, our latest Limited Edition MagicBand for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday depicts the couple on their moonlit carpet ride over Agrabah. This teal MagicBand is now available with an edition size of 2,400 and retails for $32.99.

You may have noticed over the past year some of your favorite attractions now have their very own MagicBand such as The Pirates of the Caribbean and The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Beginning Jan. 15, 2018, thrill seekers and fans of Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park will be able to purchase a red MagicBand complete with icons and patches representative of this train ride through the Himalayan Mountains. This Limited Release MagicBand will retail for $27.99.

Also, this month, in honor of the theatrical release of 101 Dalmatians in 1961, they’ll be releasing their first-ever MagicBand to feature Pongo, Perdita and a few of those famous paw prints. This white MagicBand will be available Jan. 22 online and in select retail locations throughout the Walt Disney World® Resort on Jan. 26, 2018 and retail for $22.99.

In addition, they have launched three new colors to our current MagicKeeper line: blue, pink and purple. These MagicKeepers allow even more customization as guests can swap icon colors to create new, fun looks.

As always, these MagicBands and MagicKeepers continue to allow guests to connect the vacation choices they make in My Disney Experience – from effortless theme-park entry, to Online Check-In, Disney PhotoPass association and more.

New Theme Park Ticket Extra Available for Limited-Time Purchase at Walt Disney World Resort

Beginning Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, Guests staying in rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels that are eligible for Disney Signature Services and who have purchased a 3-day or longer theme park ticket or an annual pass are able to purchase a theme park extra for $50 plus tax per Guest per day as part of a new, limited pilot program to receive the following:

    • Three additional FastPass+ selections per day. FastPass+ attractions and entertainment experiences, the number of selections you can make and available arrival windows are limited.
    • The opportunity to reserve these three additional FastPass+ selections in more than one theme park when a valid Park Hopper option is also purchased with the ticket.
    • A booking window of up to 90 days in advance for these three additional FastPass+ selections and the ability to book them at multiple top-tier attractions. Guests may not repeat the same FastPass+ attraction during a single day.
    • Preferred viewing location for nighttime spectaculars, one per day, including Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom®Park, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot®, Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® and Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Advanced reservation is required and availability of each nighttime spectacular preferred viewing location is limited.

All theme park Guests with valid theme park admission continue to receive up to three FastPass+ selections at a single park per day at no extra charge, as well as additional day-of in-park selections that may be reserved and redeemed one-at-a-time after those initial three selections are redeemed.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Celebrates 25th Year Feb. 28-May 28, 2018

The 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will kick off spring at Walt Disney World Resort Feb. 28 and continue through May 28, 2018, with seasonal fun for all. What began in 1994 as a 38-day celebration of Disney-style gardens and topiaries has grown over the years to a 90-day spring extravaganza with something for every generation.

The 2018 festival, which takes place during the 35th anniversary of Epcot, will showcase millions of brilliant blossoms, flavor-rich cuisine from 15 Outdoor Kitchens, Disney topiary stars, interactive play gardens and live chart-topping musical acts during the Garden Rocks Concert Series.

The 90-day festival will open with an irresistible array of sights, sounds, tastes, aromas and tactile discoveries:

  • New and creative dishes will debut at 15 Outdoor Kitchens encircling the World Showcase Promenade. Guests can sip and savor their way around Epcot, enjoying chef-inspired noshes and refreshing libations.
  • A bonanza of Disney character topiaries, including classic-character favorites Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and many others, will play a starring festival role. Returning this year, Belle will be featured in France along with Beast, Snow White in Germany with the Seven Dwarfs, and Anna and Elsa in Norway.
  • A brand-new Future World interactive play garden and a revved-up Road to Florida 500 garden featuring new games and play challenges will set the pace for family festival fun. The new interactive area in Future World will feature a play maze, a sensory garden, an activity zone and a covered seating area. The redesigned “Cars”-themed garden based on the Disney•Pixar sequel, “Cars 3,” will add more fun activities like highway bingo for families.
  • A brand-new Epcot front-entrance topiary garden will set the milestone anniversary scene with a kaleidoscope of blooming color where topiary icons Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy will greet festival guests.
  • The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series will feature hit makers of the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s on the America Gardens Theatre stage. Three evening concerts each Friday through Monday present musicians that span multiple genres.
  • Garden Rocks Dining Packages will be available on select days at a number of Epcot restaurants.

Each Outdoor Kitchen will feature its own raised-bed or in-ground garden of herbs and produce that can inspire the growing numbers of guests who want to learn to grow what they eat.

“The culture of growing your own food continues to trend, and our guests each year have quite a few questions related to edible gardens,” says Eric Darden, festival horticulture manager. “They get a big kick comparing items in our gardens with the herbs and produce our chefs incorporate into the festival’s Outdoor Kitchen recipes.”

And there’s more:

  • The back-by-demand Figment topiary garden between Future World and World Showcase will offer the perfect selfie backdrop and family photo opportunity.
  • The Royal Tea Garden Tour will return for a second year each festival morning at the United Kingdom pavilion. For a small fee, guests can follow a knowledgeable guide through the tranquil tea garden setting to learn the history and artistry behind growing and blending tea. A post-tour treat of tea and scones is included. The shorter, complimentary English Tea Garden Tour also will be offered on select days.
  • Among the nearly 100 festival topiaries will be returning favorites like the pandas and Bromeliad dragon at the China pavilion, The Three Caballeros at the Mexico pavilion, Disney-Pixar’s Woody at the American Adventure pavilion and Buzz Lightyear in Future World.

Dozens of Disney-crafted “flower towers” and beds of multi-colored blooms will transform the park’s landscape. At least 70,000 bedding plants will surround the Future World east and west lakes alone; on the water, 220 mini-gardens will be set afloat.

For more information about the 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639). As the festival nears, more details will be available at EpcotInSpring.com. The festival, including all gardens and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

Photos – Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ & Dia De Muertos items inside the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot

Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante Opens, The Newest Italian Dining Gem at Disney Springs

Patina Restaurant Group (PRG) yesterday opened the doors for a media preview and soft opening that showcased the stunning new Italian restaurant located at the reimagined Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort — Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante.

The new dining destination brings to Disney Springs the warmth of Italy and the dreamiest Italian cuisine this side of the Atlantic, courtesy of Executive Chef Theo Schoenegger. The restaurant will officially begin serving dinner to the public on January 5. Lunch and brunch service will begin later this month (updated hours and special events available on the restaurant’s Facebook page).

Fittingly, the media sneak peek on January 4 coincided with National Spaghetti Day, providing the perfect Italian backdrop for the occasion. A dedication ceremony featured Italian ambassadors, chefs, executives from Patina Restaurant Group, Delaware North (Patina Restaurant Group’s parent company), Disney; and very special guests Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

Disney restaurants often have a backstory, part of the company’s tradition of immersive storytelling. Mirroring that tradition, Patina Restaurant Group collaborated with Walt Disney Imagineering to create the story for Maria & Enzo’s.

“The story behind Maria and Enzo is one of travel, food, love and friendship, all steeped in Italian tradition,” said Valenti, referring to the backstory of Maria and Enzo, an Italian couple that immigrated to Central Florida in the 1920s. “Their story is set in a long-forgotten sea-plane air terminal that became the setting for the restaurant.

“We couldn’t be happier to have a chef as talented as Theo Schoenegger,” Valenti continued. “A native Italian with an incredible repertoire, his cooking has a delicious authenticity that brings the story to life.”

Following the dedication, media and special guests enjoyed the food and hospitality at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, where Chef Schoenegger presented a variety of signature dishes including, of course, spaghetti in honor of National Spaghetti Day.

Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante

An intimate Italian trattoria set in the once-abandoned Disney Springs airline terminal from the 1930s, now transformed into a restaurant. The dining room is open and airy, featuring 50-foot ceilings with views of Lake Buena Vista. The restaurant interiors showcase artifacts that recall air travel of the time, with brightly illustrated pictographs, reimagined air terminal boarding gates and a First Class Lounge where randomly selected guests are upgraded upon arrival. The menu, created by Michelin star-rated Chef Theo Schoenegger, features a variety of handmade pastas including Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), Rigatoni all Norma (eggplant, chile, tomato, ricotta salata) and ‘Ncasciata al Forno(Sicilian baked pasta) – served tableside. Other highlights include Braciola di Maiale (Berkshire pork chop, plum mostarda), Nodino di Vitello (grilled veal chop) and Tonno (grilled ahi tuna steak, pistachio pesto) all served with rosemary potatoes and tempura fried vegetables. The spectacular wine list of more than 100 bottles is – lovingly — primarily Italian. The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 12 midnight daily, with weekend brunch coming soon.

The backstory is that the restaurant was the dream of Maria and Enzo who met in Italy before moving to Florida and wanted to introduce Italian cuisine to the townfolk of the bustling Disney Springs. An airline pilot, Enzo was drawn to an abandoned airline terminal, which became the spacious setting for the restaurant. 

Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar

A speakeasy inspired by Roman aperitivo bars, located in the storied rum-runner tunnels that adjoin Maria & Enzo’s. Inspired by Florida’s true history of rum running, Enzo’s Hideaway pours Prohibition-era cocktails and serves a casual menu of hearty Roman dishes, such as the city’s legendary Bucatini alla Carbonara (hollow spaghetti with creamy egg and pancetta sauce) and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe(square-cut spaghetti with pecorino and black pepper). In honor of the weekly dinners Enzo hosted for family and friends, the tunnel bar hosts Sunday Supper, a family-style meal each week. Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar is open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

The backstory tells the tale of Enzo and Maria discovering a long-hidden cavern below the terminal that connected to abandoned sections of the next-door power plant (which today is called The Edison). To Enzo’s astonishment, he came across a Prohibition-era hideaway where a team of flying rum-runners once gathered. Evidence of smuggler activity was everywhere, untouched for decades. Bottles and casks of rum were found along with a roster of flying operatives and their code names. It was a fascinating glimpse at an unknown chapter of the town’s past. Enzo shared his discovery with the local historical society and also decided that the space might make an irresistible spot for dining and socializing. Now it is a cozy gem of a hideaway for Enzo to highlight the family recipes he grew up on, featuring specialties from Rome and nearby regions.

Pizza Ponte

A fast-casual concept and the perfect place for a quick bite serving pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches, and espresso. Pastry specialties include Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) Sfoglia di Riso (pastry with rice cream) and Tiramisu. Savory items include signature Triangolo (stuffed pizza bread) sandwiches, Porchetta (roast pork) and Pizza al Taglio, Sicilian-style pizza by the slice. Pizza Ponte is open from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight daily.

The backstory reveals that Maria began a simple cafe inside the lobby of what was once the bustling Disney Springs air terminal. Pastries and pasta were the initial offerings, but eventually the family was able to install wood-fired pizza ovens that helped make them even more successful. Pizza Ponte is accessed from the entrance beneath the air terminal’s old Control Tower. Within this entrance, guests can view family photos from Maria and Enzo’s many cousins, uncles, aunts and others who began to arrive as their business began to thrive. An elegant wraparound window anchors the space and catches a lot of attention from pedestrians crossing the bridge from the Disney Springs West Side. Offerings reflect many of the most popular foods from both Maria’s roots in Southern Italy and Enzo’s favorites from the region around Rome.

For more information on these Patina Restaurant Group restaurants, visit www.patinagroup.com or visit the restaurants on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MariaAndEnzos, @EnzosHideaway and @PizzaPonteFla.

About Patina Restaurant Group

Patina Restaurant Group (www.patinagroup.com) is a bicoastal boutique company and leader in the premium segment of the restaurant industry.  In New York, its portfolio features Lincoln Ristorante, STATE Grill and Bar at the Empire State Building, Stella 34 Trattoria at Macy’s Herald Square, The Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center, Brasserie 8 ½, The Grand Tier Restaurant at the Metropolitan Opera, La Fonda del Sol at Grand Central, Yellow Magnolia Café at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Other East Coast properties include Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli at the Epcot World Showcase in Lake Buena Vista, Fla, and Morimoto Asia Orlando at Disney Springs.

On the West Coast its portfolio includes the renowned Los Angeles Times’ four-starred and Michelin-starred Patina Restaurant in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Café Pinot, Ray’s & Stark Bar, Catal, Tortilla Jo’s, Catal and Naples in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney District, Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, and catering and food service in museums and cultural centers throughout California.

Garden Rocks Concert Series Tunes Up March 2-May 28 with New Acts and Fan Favorites during 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Disney guests will be working their way back through five decades of hit tunes slated to rock the 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival between March 2 and May 28 during the Garden Rocks Concert Series.  The festival, which runs 90 days from Feb. 28-May 28, 2018, will showcase performers every Friday through Monday.

Fan favorites Night Ranger (“Sister Christian”) will open the series March 2-5, and The Spinners, known for “Working My Way Back To You,” will wrap the concert schedule May 25-28.  Several new bands will perform at Epcot for the first time: Foghat (“Slow Ride”); Smash Mouth (“All Star”); Lonestar (“Amazed”); and Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles (“Hotel California”). Other bands new to the Garden Rocks series will be Rick Springfield (“Jessie’s Girl”), Survivor (“Eye of the Tiger”) and Jo Dee Messina (“Stand Beside Me”).

Guests can dance in their seats each festival weekend to classic tunes at the park’s outdoor America Gardens Theatre overlooking the World Showcase Lagoon.  An eclectic mix of fan favorites includes 1960s icons Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, ’70s-’80s chart-toppers The Village People and new-millennium hit-makers Simple Plan.

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and are included with Epcot admission. Here is this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):

March 2-5                    Night Ranger “Sister Christian”

March 9-12                  STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”

March 16-19                Simple Plan “Welcome to My Life”

March 23-26                Little River Band “Reminiscing”

March 30-April 2        The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”

April 6-7                      Foghat (NEW!) “Slow Ride”

April 8-9                      Survivor (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “Eye of the Tiger”

April 13-14                  Smash Mouth (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “All Star”

April 15-16                  Rick Springfield (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “Jessie’s Girl”

April 20-21                  Jo Dee Messina (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “Stand Beside Me”

April 22-23                  Lonestar (NEW!) “Amazed”

April 27-30                  Blood, Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”

May 4-7                       Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”

May 11-12                   Village People “Y.M.C.A.”

May 13-14                   Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles (NEW!) “Hotel California”

May 18-21                   The Guess Who “American Woman”

May 25-28                   The Spinners “Working My Way Back to You”

Electrifying! The Edison at Disney Springs Opens With an Over-The-Top New Year’s Eve Party

Corks popped, performers dazzled, searchlights painted the skies and The Edison – the newest hot-spot at Disney Springs – rang in 2018 with a gala, grand opening party Sunday night.

The Edison, a lavish, “Industrial Gothic”- themed restaurant and entertainment venue, toasted the new year with an eye-filling spectacle of world-class entertainment, bountiful food stations, craft cocktails and an unforgettable fizzy Champagne toast for the countdown to midnight.

The showy soiree began with a Hollywood-style red carpet made from the train of a red ball gown. Hosts in flapper attire and inventors on stilts greeted special guests amid the dazzling step and repeat photo ops reminiscent of a Tinseltown premiere. Inside, a live band, cabaret dancers, aerialists, variety acts and a DJ created an otherworldly scene and grand celebration as guests welcomed in 2018.

The ticketed grand opening party was the glittery lift-off for The Edison. By day, the new venue will be a playful dining experience for families, while at night, the space transforms into a destination focused on craft cocktails, contemporary American fare and entertainment unique to Central Florida, all within an eye-popping, waterfront setting.

The Edison creates a completely unique combination of style, art and design with great food, cocktails and world-class entertainment.  A fully immersive experience, The Edison features multiple themed areas to explore, such as the Lab performance space, The Ember Parlour, Telegraph Lounge, The Patent Office, The Tesla Lounge, The Radio Room, and the Waterfront Patio.

“The lights are officially on at The Edison and we’re delighted that guests can now experience the extraordinary entertainment, craft cocktails and cuisine unlike anything else in Central Florida,” said Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group. “The reimagined power plant celebrates an era of invention and imagination in a new and distinct way.”

Open for lunch and dinner, The Edison treats guests to menu creations of Chef PJ Finneran that consist of contemporary American fare such as Pork Belly Pops (chile-brown sugar glaze), Crispy Fried Chicken (cast iron buttermilk biscuits), and a signature The Edison Burger, (a juicy combination of house-ground sirloin, short rib and brisket, topped with Cabot cloth-bound cheddar, onion rings, smoked bacon, house pickles, lettuce, tomato, special sauce and served with hand-cut fries). The Edison will soon introduce Bartender’s Midnight Breakfast, a late-night menu that will include traditional breakfast fare at night and offer guests a perfect way to keep the party going as the evening is winding down.

The Edison’s beverage lineup focuses on artfully crafted cocktails, interesting beers and wines, and house-made punches that serve from two to 10 guests. The Edison Signature Series includes cocktails such as The Wonderlust (Pernod Absinthe, Nolet’s Gin, Crème de Violette, pineapple syrup, lemon), Lady Marmalade (Corsair Absinthe, Hangar One, Noilly Prat vermouth, Giffard Ginger, verjus, pomegranate), The Crimson Vesper (Absolut Elyx, Lilet Rouge, Plymouth Sloe Gin, orange) and The Edison (Woodford Reserve, Belle de Brillet Pear Liqueur, lemon).

The center of the restaurant is stage for a dance floor and performance stage, where an eclectic lineup of live entertainers including musicians, aerialists and dancers fire up the night.

The Edison is now open Sunday-Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Thursday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Guests at The Edison must be 21 years or older starting at 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday nights. There is a cover charge of $15 per guest beginning at 10 p.m. Additionally, The Edison has an enforced dress code Thursday-Saturday evenings beginning at 10 p.m. Men must wear slacks, jeans or dress shorts. No ball caps, sleeveless shirts or flip-flops are permitted. Jackets are optional.

This destination restaurant will host a variety of unique events, chef-driven dinners and promotions throughout 2018. The restaurant offers savings for Disney Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members, Tables in Wonderland cardholders and Disney Cast Members. For more information on The Edison, visit TheEdisonFLA.com.

Photos – Cinderella Castle Covered in Lights during the Holiday Season

Take a look at photos from Cinderella Castle during the holidays covered in lights.

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SOAK UP SOME SUN & FUN – SAVE UP TO 20% ON ROOMS AT SELECT DISNEY RESORT HOTELS!

When guests are planning a sun- and fun-filled visit to Walt Disney World® Resort, staying in the middle of the magic will help them make the most of their vacation – and now is the time to book! With this offer, guets can save up to up to 20% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels.

For stays most nights Feb. 18-April 14, 2018. Book through March 7, 2018.

For stays most nights April 15-June 10, 2018. Book through April 7, 2018.

Plus, when guests upgrade to a room and ticket package that includes a minimum 5-day theme park ticket with the Park Hopper® Option or Park Hopper Plus Option, they can get one more day added to the ticket, FREE!

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes 3-bedroom villas, Cabins at Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms. 20% savings based on the non-discounted price of the same room for select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts. Lower savings may be available for other select Disney Resort hotels.

*Tickets and options must be used within 14 days of first use. First use must be by 12/31/18.

Photos – Coco Themed Meet and Greet Area at Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

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