NEW ELEPHANT VIEWING EXPERIENCE “CARING FOR GIANTS” AT DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM

Now guests can get a closer look at the majestic African elephants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and learn what it takes to care for them. Caring for Giants is a unique, family-friendly backstage viewing experience of our African elephants.

During this 60-minute tour, guests can meet with dedicated animal care specialists who provide for the care and wellness of our elephant herd.  African cultural representatives will also be on hand to share stories of Disney’s conservation efforts dedicated to the preservation of wild populations throughout their homeland. Throughout this experience, guests will be able to observe the elephants from approximately 80 to 100 feet away – so they’ll enjoy a closer encounter with the elephants than they would during other in-park experiences.

Caring for Giants will be offered several times daily beginning March 12, 2017. Groups depart throughout the day between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and each experience lasts approximately one hour.  Guests must be 4 years of age or older to participate. Reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-PLAY (939-7529). Cost is $30 per person (tax included). Admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is required and is not included with the cost of Caring for Giants.

Moana – Special Bonus Clips for Digital HD Release

Today was the Digital HD release date for Disney’s Moana and we have some special bonus clips to share with you. The first is a fun reveal with Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson of some special Easter Eggs hidden in the movie. The second is a behind the scenes look at the creation of Moana’s hit song “We Know The Way”. We would love if you would share these fun clips with your readers and let them know Moana is out now on Digital HD!

Moana – Easter Eggs

Moana – Writing We Know The Way

Disney Develops a Method for Wirelessly Powering an Entire Room

Free-roaming wireless power has been a dream of engineers since the days of Tesla and Edison waging their war of innovation but a number of technical hurdles have prevented it from becoming a reality. The folks at Disney Research have revealed that they’ve successfully built a method to provide full coverage of an average room and power all the devices one might need.

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Disney debuts new preview footage from two Avatar rides

Fans of Avatar are one step closer to experiencing the fantastical jungles of Pandora from the James Cameron-directed movie for themselves. Walt Disney World has unveiled new footage from two upcoming attractions based on the film’s lush environments.

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LA NOUBA BY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL AT DISNEY SPRINGS

Behold a captivating show that artfully blends vibrant music and whimsical characters with daring acrobatics and dazzling choreography at La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil® at the Disney Springs™ West Side.

Guests can marvel at a stunning international cast as they perform glorious feats of incredible strength and breathtaking beauty. Acrobats, aerialists, break dancers, singers, trapeze artists, jugglers and clowns—more than 65 artists representing 15 countries—entertain and mystify with daring acts of grace. A stream of color washes over every scene with the imaginative costumes, out-of-this-world makeup and dynamic sets. As the performers weave dreams onstage, the live music—symphonic, rock or some unique fusion—is always evocative, emotional and inspiring.

These Disney princess and puppy robots teach your kids to code

Disney’s Belle adds programmable dance moves, while FurReal introduces a robot pet dog with a customized personality. Both are arriving from Hasbro this year.

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BB-8 TO GREET GUESTS AT DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS THIS SPRING

When guests visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios® at Walt Disney World® Resort this spring, they will have more Star Wars fun to look forward to as BB-8, the loyal droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, begins character greetings at the park’s Star Wars Launch Bay.

BB-8 will appear in addition to Kylo Ren and Chewbacca, two characters from the Star Wars galaxy who Guests can regularly encounter at Star Wars Launch Bay. In addition to character greetings, the location also offers guests the chance to explore galleries full of treasured memorabilia and authentic replicas of large-scale Star Wars artifacts, including some from the latest film in the franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Disney picks Donald Glover, James Earl Jones to lead live-action ‘Lion King’

Donald Glover is going to be the mane event in Disney’s live-action version of “The Lion King.” And he’ll be joined by an actor whose voice is as legendary as they come.

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New Attractions, Experiences and Dining Debut This Spring at

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Miss Adventure Falls, the newest family attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, splashes onto the scene this spring. Aboard this family-style raft adventure, guests will be immersed in the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer. Legend holds that this treasure hunter roamed the seven seas in search of undersea artifacts – until a rogue storm marooned her at Typhoon Lagoon.

Guests gently ascend to the top of the attraction in treasure rafts, only to plunge into a whitewater adventure where they will encounter some of Mary’s deep-sea treasures.

When it opens, Miss Adventure Falls will be one of the longest attractions (2 minutes) at Disney’s Water Parks.

24th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Welcomes Spring with New Outdoor Kitchens, Topiaries and Entertainment

Celebrating 24 years when it kicks off March 1, 2017, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will jump-start spring with blooms aplenty and gardens of edibles including toothsome morsels from the new Northern Bloom and The Berry Basket Outdoor Kitchens. A new, next-generation Belle topiary from “Beauty and the Beast” will debut in France, and a redesigned “Cars” play garden will introduce a colorful new character topiary sure to capture children’s imaginations.

Poster

The 90-day festival, open March 1-May 29, will feature an irresistible array of new gardens and character topiaries, popular entertainers and tasty food and drink offerings:

  • Fresh, farm-market food and beverage flavors will debut at the new Northern Bloom and The Berry Basket Outdoor Kitchens that will join 13 returning Outdoor Kitchens. Delectable chef-inspired bites from Northern Bloom include Seared Scallops with French Green Beans and Butter Potatoes with brown-butter vinaigrette and Applewood smoked bacon. A Maple Popcorn Shake for sipping can become an adult libation with the addition of some Crown Royal Maple Whiskey. At The Berry Basket, the Lamb Chop with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique can pair with the new Founders Raubeaus Pure Raspberry Ale.
  • The new generation of princess topiaries (Snow White, Anna and Elsa – the first to be designed and created with topiary facial features) will welcome a brand-new Belle topiary as fans remember her from the Oscar-winning Disney film, “Beauty and the Beast.” Located outside the France Pavilion with the Beast topiary, Belle will come to life with sculpted facial features and her yellow ball gown created with golden blooming Joseph’s Coat and Creeping Jenny plants.
  • Another festival first will be a 6-foot-tall topiary of Figment, the feisty dragon mascot of the park’s Imagination! Pavilion, perched atop a 5-foot-diameter ball fashioned from yellow Joseph’s Coat.
  • This year’s Epcot front-entrance topiary garden, “Welcome Spring Fun, Food and Flowers,” inspired by a vintage Walt Disney short film will spring to life with a floral-festooned maypole featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Daisy and Pluto.
  • The popular Garden Rocks concert series will expand to four days each week, with three concerts each Friday through Monday presenting pop musicians that span multiple genres over five decades. New acts this year: Simple Plan, Exposé and Berlin featuring Terri Nunn. Festival favorite Jon Secada kicks off the series March 3 and 4, and Dennis DeYoung featuring the music of STYX wraps the long weekend March 5-6.
  • Redesigned interactive play gardens will include the new “Cars”-themed Road to Florida 500 garden introducing the new “Cruz” character topiary from the June 2017 release of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3.” Music Garden Melodies play area will return with a new garden design, musical note topiary elements and climbing nets.
  • During the first festival week, the Festival Center will open Wednesday, March 1 and each day through Sunday, March 5 with an entertaining mix of gardening seminars and DIY workshops. Throughout the rest of the festival, the center will be open each Friday through Sunday.

One of the popular Outdoor Kitchen gardens, Urban Farm Eats, will return with savory bites, sweet treats and ideas for planting produce that can inspire growing numbers of guests who want to learn to grow their own edibles.

“A lot of people, including young children, are serious foodies now, and they have lots of questions about gardening,” says Eric Darden, festival horticulture manager. “We’re getting more and more people in their 20s and 30s asking, ‘How can I grow this?’ I think we’ll be creating more gardeners because people can see what’s possible.”

The 2017 festival forecast will be sunny with colorful floral bursts by day and a nighttime landscape aglow with twinkling lights:

  • Topiaries of Donald Duck and nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie will share Future World space in front of Spaceship Earth with Chip and Dale for a “Fresh Epcot” selfie and family photo opportunity.
  • Anna and Elsa topiaries will return to the Norway Pavilion festival landscape in celebration of the park’s new Frozen Ever After Nearly 100 festival topiaries in all will include up to 70 character creations such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp, Simba, Timon and Tinker Bell.
  • Guests can plan on special appearances related to Earth Day and other spring activities including: March 31-April 2 and April 28-30: Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment and Conservation Specialists from Disney’s Animal Kingdom; April 22-24: Celebrate Earth Day with featured personalities and activities; May 5-7: Discover the Bounty of Florida Agriculture by learning from Sunshine State specialists; May 12-14: Florida Federation of Garden Clubs presents floral designs that defy description.
  • The Butterflies on the Go garden will return with the story of the Monarch’s epic journey across the continent and featuring butterflies emerging from their chrysalises.
  • On the way to the new Soarin’ Around the World attraction in The Land Pavilion, guests can discover gardens featuring edible flowers, plants that benefit health and healing, and a pollinator paradise.

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.

The festival, including all gardening programs, exhibits, concerts, complimentary English Tea Garden tours and special appearances, is included in regular Epcot admission.

For more information about the 24th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or visit www.epcotinspring.com.