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.

Walt Disney World Resort Celebrates 25 Years of Marathons with Central Florida’s Largest Sports Event

The 25th annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, ranks among the nation’s most popular destination races, growing from 8,200 runners in 1994 to more than 100,000 athletes and spectators expected at the event this year, including 76 “perfects” (runners who have participated in every Walt Disney World Marathon). As Central Florida’s largest sporting event, the four-day race weekend offers activities for runners of all ages and levels including the 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathonrunDisney Kids Races and runDisney Health and Fitness Expo.

Storylines include: 

Georgia Cleland (Ruxton, Md.) is attempting to tackle her first marathon, which is remarkable given she is still trying to overcome the lingering effects of the life-threatening acute lymphocytic leukemia she battled as a child. Now 33 years old and having grappled with intense treatments, including cranial radiation and chemotherapy, she is running with Team in Training, the campaign her father founded in her honor 30 years ago.  Team in Training is the world’s largest endurance sports fundraising and training program, raising more than $1.5 billion for research to fight blood cancers.

Tony Randolph (Baltimore, Md.), who was once nearly homeless and wrestling with substance abuse, is an example for everyone that there is no hill too high to climb. Randolph, who is running the 5K this weekend, has used running to help him leave his homelessness and substance issues behind, and now has stable housing and his own landscape business with the help of the Back on My Feet organization. The national non-profit organization supported by the Cigna Foundatiocombats homelessness through running and community support.

Bindu Panapalli (Glen Allen, Va.)  has tried to help cancer patients for years through her job as a lab technician. Now she is a walking, talking – and running – example of how to courageously fight the disease. Despite several surgical procedures and chemotherapy treatments over an 18-month period, Panapalli is running the 10K this weekend as a testament to others who are trying to overcome similar challenges. Afterwards, she will be back at work helping fellow cancer patients while also working toward a doctorate degree.

When & Where: 

Walt Disney World 5K Race:Date: Thursday, Jan. 4

Start 5:30 a.m.

Arrive at Epcot by 4:30 a.m. for live coverage of the start and finish line.
Walt Disney World 10K Race: Date: Friday, Jan. 5Start 5:30 a.m. Arrive at Epcot by 4:30 a.m. for live coverage of the start and finish line.
Walt Disney World Half Marathon Race:Date: Saturday, Jan. 6

Start 5:30 a.m.

Arrive at Epcot by 3:30 a.m. for live coverage of the start and finish line.
25th annual Walt Disney World Marathon Race:Date: Sunday, Jan. 7

Start 5:30 a.m.

Arrive at Epcot by 3:30 a.m. for live coverage of the start and finish line.

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Disney’s Lady and the Tramp Wags Its Way into the Walt Disney Signature Collection on Digital Feb. 20 and Blu-ray Feb. 27


What better way to celebrate today’s National Spaghetti Day, then announcing this February, Disney’s cherished animated classic, “Lady and the Tramp,” will join the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection! As one of the greatest love stories ever told, “Lady and the Tramp” is sure to melt the hearts of generations with its beloved characters, brilliant animation, memorable music and sweet sentiment. Every member of the family will treasure this timeless tale—loaded with three versions of the film, classic bonus material and three all-new features—when it heads home on Digital and on Movies Anywhere Feb. 20 and on Blu-ray on Feb. 27!

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Walt Disney World Marathon, Pro Bowl Among Exciting 2018 Sports Events at Disney

A new year signals a new sports season at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, where thousands of athletes of all ages and abilities will train and compete in 2018. The action gets underway Jan. 4, when the complex hosts the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo during the 25thannual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. This premier runDisney race weekend – featuring kids’ races, 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon races – brings more than 100,000 runners and spectators to the Orlando area, making it the largest sporting event in Central Florida.

A week later on Jan. 12, collegiate cheerleading and dance squads will yell, tumble and stunt their way to glory in the National College Cheerleading & Dance Championship, the most prestigious college cheer event in the country.

And to close out a busy January, the top stars representing the AFC and NFC conferences will return to the sports complex for NFL Pro Bowl Week festivities. In addition to team practices, the 2018 Pro Bowl Skills Showdown will take place at the sports complex, pitting AFC and NFC athletes against each other in unique competitions, such as:

  • Kick Tac Toe:  A new challenge this year which will test the accuracy of kickers with a version of the classic game.
  • Gridiron Gauntlet: A selected number of players from each team will participate in a relay race which showcases strength, speed and agility.
  • Drone Drop: A bonus event where one player from each team will attempt to catch footballs dropped from drones from increasing heights above the field.  The player who records the highest catch total wins a monetary prize that will be donated to the charity of his choice.

Pro Bowl Week culminates with the 2018 Pro Bowl, held Jan. 28 at Camping World Stadium.

In February, the Atlanta Braves return for their 21st spring training season at Disney, with games getting underway at Champion Stadium on Feb. 26. The Braves will host the World Series Champion Houston Astros (Mar. 8), as well as Washington Nationals (Feb. 26, March 1), St. Louis Cardinals (March 3), Miami Marlins (March 4) and New York Yankees (March 9, 24), among others.

For fans in attendance, Disney character appearances and special moments such as kids running the bases after every game are some of the in-game entertainment opportunities that make Braves spring training at Disney a unique experience. Individual spring training game tickets are on sale at www.espnwwos.com/braves, through Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000) and at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Box Office. Tickets range from $15 (general admission berm seating in left field) to $59 (lower level reserved seats).

Information on Braves spring training season tickets, suite/hospitality, group tickets and mini-plans is available by calling the premium sales team at (407) 939-GAME (4263) and online at www.espnwwos.com/braves. The popular mini-plans will be available again this season, featuring three three-game options.

Below is a look at all events held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex through March 2018:

  • 25th annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (Jan. 4-7)
  • Diamond 9 Sun Classic Winter Showcase (Jan. 11-14): The top travel softball teams in the country will play in front of college coaches in this premier showcase event.
  • National College Cheerleading & Dance Championship (Jan. 12-14)
  • Disney 3v3 Soccer Championship (Jan. 13-15): One of eight youth soccer events at the sports complex, this tournament offers and Open Division to all 3v3 teams, and an Invitational Division for teams that have qualified by participating in other 3v3 events.
  • Disney Field Hockey Showcase (Jan. 19-21): Returning to the sports complex in 2018, this USA Field Hockey-sanctioned event is the ultimate place for top field hockey clubs to be seen by college coaches.
  • Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitationals (Jan. 19-21): The Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitational is a first-class women’s and men’s competitive gymnastics competition
  • NFL Pro Bowl Week (Jan. 24-27)
  • National Dance Team Championship (Feb. 2-4)
  • National High School Cheerleading Championship (Feb. 10-11)
  • Diamond 9 President’s Day Sun Classic (Feb. 15-19)
  • Twirl Mania International Championship (Feb. 16-19): A baton twirling championship designed for soloists, pairs and twirl teams.
  • Braves Spring Training (Mid Feb.-Mar.24)
  • Disney President’s Day Soccer Festival (Feb. 17-19)
  • Diamond 9 College Citrus Classic Week I (Feb. 22-25)
  • Disney High School/College Spring Training (Feb. 25-April 29): high school and college baseball, golf, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, softball, tennis and track and field teams spend spring break training where the pros train at Disney
  • Diamond 9 College Citrus Classic Week II (Mar. 1-4)
  • Contest of Champions National Dance Competition (Mar. 2-4)
  • UCA International All-Star Championship (Mar. 10-11): An annual gymnastics competition held at the sports complex
  • Disney Volleyball Showcase (Mar. 16-18): This USA Volleyball-sanctioned event is a qualifying tournament for the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.
  • AmeriCheer & AmeriDance International Championship (Mar. 24-25)
  • AAU Boys’ Basketball (Mar. 30-July 29): AAU spring hoops events get underway in March, culminating in the AAU National Championships in July.

Photos – Exterior of St. James Theatre for Frozen the Broadway Musical

Take a look at the Exterior for Frozen the Broadway Musical coming soon.

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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