Epcot International Festival of Arts Returns In 2018

With the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival in the past and the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival rapidly approaching, here’s some exciting news for guests with vacations planned for early 2018…the Epcot International Festival of Arts will be returning again beginning in January!

This festival, that made its debut this year, is anticipated to run several weekends in January and February 2018 to help bridge the gap between the busy holiday and spring break seasons. The Epcot International Festival of Arts is a fun-filled, colorful event that showcases visual, culinary, and performing arts from around the world. Last year’s celebration included musical performances by Broadway talent, one-of-a-kind Disney art exhibits, hands-on experiences for the entire family, and artistic dishes almost too beautiful to eat.

Check back often for more information about the 2018 Epcot International Festival of Arts!

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D23 Expo 2017: A First Look At What’s On The Horizon At Walt Disney World

What an incredible weekend filled with exciting announcements out of the D23 Expo 2017! If you’ve been following along with Zeek, Rachel, and I on Behind The Magic Podcast, you know we’ve been speculating for months about what we would hear at the convention this time around. We talked at length about several of the rumors including a Mickey Mouse attraction coming to Hollywood Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ratatouille coming to Epcot, Tron at Magic Kingdom, a new Star Wars Themed Resort, and even the new Disney Skyliner. Zeek and Rachel were lucky enough to be at D23 this weekend to get all of the latest information live! Here’s everything that is confirmed so far courtesy of Disney


WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT OVERALL:

Several projects and updates were announced for Walt Disney World Resort including a new line-up of attractions at Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, new resort hotel experiences and concepts, and two new transportation options.

DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS:

  • Star Wars-themed land update – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the name of the new Star Wars-themed land opening in 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, after the opening of the land at Disneyland Resort. Guests will encounter several characters, including:
    • BB-8
    • Chewbacca
    • Rex
    • Kylo Ren
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway –  In this game-changing attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will feature an original story that will take guests on a journey inside the world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts using new technologies that turn the flat cartoon world into an incredible dimensional display. Located inside the Chinese Theatre, this new attraction will replace The Great Movie Ride, which will close Aug. 13, 2017. Opening for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be announced at a later date.
  • Toy Story Land – Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is scheduled to open summer 2018.

EPCOT:

In preparation for the park’s 35th anniversary, Epcot will continue to evolve to make it more timeless, more relevant, more family and more Disney, while staying true to its original vision beginning with several newly revealed offerings.

  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” – Epcot will have a brand new E-ticket attraction within Future World based on the rockin’ and action-packed world of Guardians of the Galaxy. This is the next step in how guests can encounter these characters at Walt Disney World Resort. To make way for this new adventure, Ellen’s Energy Adventure inside Universe of Energy will close Aug. 13, 2017. The new attraction will open by the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.
  • “Ratatouille” – Within World Showcase, in an all-new space in the France pavilion, a new “Ratatouille”-inspired attraction will take guests on a dazzling chase across a kitchen with the sights, sounds and smells of Gusteau’s Parisian restaurant. Patterned after the number one family attraction at Disneyland Paris, the new attraction will open by the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.
  • China pavilion – To showcase the splendor and majesty of China, an updated film will be added using a next-generation digital camera system to film a brand new, seamless Circle-Vision show for the
    China pavilion.
  • Mission: SPACE – In addition to an updated Orange Mission, a brand new Green Mission will take guests on a stunning tour around the Earth, with younger cadets joining the adventure for the very first time. Mission: SPACE will reopen this August.
  • New restaurant – Adjacent to Mission: SPACE, a new table-service restaurant will invite guests to travel high above the Earth for an unforgettable dining experience. The new restaurant will be managed by Patina Restaurant Group and an opening will be announced at a later date.

MAGIC KINGDOM PARK:

  • “Tron”-themed attraction – The highest rated attraction at Shanghai Disneyland is coming to Tomorrowland in a new area near Space Mountain. Opening will be announced at a later date.
  • Live entertainment theater – Based on the iconic Willis Theater in the 1920s Kansas City where Walt lived after he left Marceline, this new addition to Magic Kingdom Park will be located off of Main Street U.S.A. and will be an entirely new venue for world class entertainment. Opening will be announced at a later date.

RESORTS:

  • Disney Riviera Resort – The proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property will be located near Epcot with a rooftop restaurant that has unbelievable views of nighttime spectaculars at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Opening will be announced at a later date.
  • Immersive Star Wars-themed hotel – An immersive Star Wars-themed hotel will be the most experiential concept ever. Dedicated entirely to the galaxy of Star Wars, guests will have a one-of-a-kind experience where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure in a galaxy far, far away. Opening will be announced at a later date.

TRANSPORTATION:

  • Disney Skyliner – This new transportation system will give guests a bird’s-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort. Disney Skyliner will connect Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to four resorts – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, as well as the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney Riviera Resort. Opening date for Disney Skyliner will be announced at a later time.
  • Minnie Van service – Starting later this month, the Minnie Van service is a whimsical, point-to-point transportation service that will help guests get around Walt Disney World Resort in a jiffy. Guests can arrange their own private Disney vehicle right from their smartphone, and a Disney Cast Member will drive them wherever they want to go around Walt Disney World.

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Which announcement are you most excited about?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

ABC’s “The Chew” To Broadcast From The 2017 Epcot International Food And Wine Festival

Disney is releasing more and more information about what we can expect during this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. A fan favorite back this year is ABC’s “The Chew” returning once again to film a week’s worth of episodes during the foodie event. Here’s the latest details courtesy of Disney:


ABC’s Emmy Award-winning lifestyle series, “The Chew,” returns to Walt Disney World Resort this fall to broadcast five shows from the 22nd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.  “The Chew” shows, to record October 4 – 6 against the park’s iconic Spaceship Earth backdrop, will air on the ABC Television Network, October 9 – 13, 2017, at 1pm EDT, 12pm PDT (check local listings).

The dynamic, Emmy Award-winning co-hosts, who delighted audiences last year with stories of their Disney adventures as they whipped up delectable dishes and drinks, will share tasty new recipes and a bounty of festival surprises with their Epcot audiences.  Throughout the festival’s unprecedented 75-day culinary celebration, which runs August 31 – November 13, 2017, “The Chew” also will feature segments highlighting food and beverages from “around the world” of Walt Disney World Resort and its four theme parks and Disney Springs.

Today also kicks off “The Chew’s” Magical Culinary Adventure Sweepstakes presented by Hidden Valley Ranch.  The winner gets a vacation for four to see a “Chew” taping at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

“It’s our favorite week of the year,” raved Gordon Elliott, executive producer of “The Chew.”

“The hosts enjoy the excitement of the park along with their fans, and for a few days everyone is on holiday–with amazing food!”

Delicious dishes inspired by “The Chew” also will be featured throughout the festival in the themed global marketplace, “Earth Eats, Hosted by The Chew.” Park guests will be able to savor these menu stars: Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots and Feta Cheese; Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli with Rustic Tomato Sauce and a sweet finish: Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with Caramel Drizzle.

Epcot vice president Melissa Valiquette said she and the entire festival team are delighted to welcome back “The Chew” hosts, producers and crew for their third year of on-site production.

“’The Chew’s’ production adds another level of excitement and fun to our iconic fall food and wine festival,” Valiquette said. “It’s magical to see our Epcot stage light up as the show’s celebrated hosts cook, dish and entertain each live audience of festival guests.”

At the Festival Center, guests can watch screenings of “The Chew” show highlights, cooking and entertaining tips. Instructions on how to obtain show taping tickets will be announced at a later date.

“The Chew” celebrates life through food – from cooking and home entertaining to exploring food trends and bringing original ideas to holiday events. The show’s award-winning dream team of culinary and lifestyle experts dish up useful, creative solutions for busy viewers who want to make cooking and home entertaining easy, affordable, and always fun. “The Chew” has spawned five cookbooks, and the sixth, “The Chew Quick & Easy: Stress-Free Recipes for Every Occasion,” will be published September 26, 2017. “The Chew” airs on ABC Monday through Friday at 1pm EDT, noon CDT. 


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Are you a fan of “The Chew”? Are you hoping to see the taping?
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Epcot 2017 Eat To The Beat Concert Series Bands Announced

Eat To The Beat Concert Series Returns To Epcot!

If you plan to visit Walt Disney World this fall for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, here is some exciting news! Disney has recently released the information about which bands will be appearing in the Epcot Eat To The Beat Concert Series that runs from August 31 – November 13, 2017. Here are all of the details courtesy of Disney:


A record 32 musical acts will rev up the Eat to the Beat concert series during the 22nd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival August 31 – November 13, 2017.

Eleven new-to-the-festival bands, including Kenny G., Squeeze and 10,000 Maniacs, join 21 fan-favorite musical acts for a diverse lineup of pop hit makers to rock America Gardens Theatre stage throughout the festival’s 75-day run.

Other new acts to appear are: The Hooters, Baha Men, Lauren Alaina, Mark Wills, American Authors, Devon Allman, Postmodern Jukebox and Blue October.

Guests also can tune into their favorite returning bands that will include festival opening act Delta Rae.  Concerts take place at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00pm daily.  The lineup (subject to change and included in Epcot admission) includes:

  • August 31 – September 1: Delta Rae “Bottom of the River”
  • September 2 – 3: The Hooters New! “And We Danced”
  • September 4 – 5 : Baha Men New! “Who Let the Dogs Out”
  • September 6 – 7: Fuel “Shimmer”
  • September 8 – 10: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
  • September 11 – 12: Lauren Alaina New! “Road Less Traveled”
  • September 13 – 15: Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah”
  • September 16 – 17: Sister Hazel “All For You”
  • September 18 – 20: Air Supply “All Out of Love”
  • September 21 – 22: David Cook “Light On”
  • September 23 – 24: Everclear “Santa Monica”
  • September 25 – 27: Sugar Ray “Every Morning”
  • September 28 – 29: 38 Special “Hold On Loosely”
  • September 30 – October 1: Mark Wills New! “19 Somethin’”
  • October 2 – 3: American Authors New! “Best Day of My Life”
  • October 4 – 5: Christopher Cross “Sailing”
  • October 6 – 8: Devon Allman New! “Ragged and Dirty”
  • October 9 – 11: Dennis DeYoung: The Music of STYX “Come Sail Away”
  • October 12 – 13: Taylor Dayne “Tell It to My Heart”
  • October 14 – 15: Jeffrey Osborne “On the Wings of Love”
  • October 16 – 17: Postmodern Jukebox New! Various Hits
  • October 18 – 20: 10,000 Maniacs New! “Because the Night”
  • October 21 – 22: Toad The Wet Sprocket “Walk on the Ocean”
  • October 23 – 24: Kenny G New! “Songbird”
  • October 25 – 26: Billy Ocean “Get Outta My Dreams”
  • October 27 – 29: Tiffany “I Think We’re Alone Now”
  • October 30 – November 1: Hanson “MMMBop”
  • November 2 – 3: Blue October New! “Into the Ocean”
  • November 4 – 5: Living Colour “Cult of Personality”
  • November 6 – 8: Boyz II Men “End of the Road”
  • November 9 – 11: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy “Go Daddy-O”
  • November 12 – 13: Squeeze New! “Black Coffee in Bed”

(Songs listed are for artist recognition only and may not be included in the concert play list)

Festival-goers can book Eat to the Beat Dining Packages at 15 popular Epcot restaurants, guaranteeing a breakfast, lunch or dinner reservation and confirmed seating at a same-day Eat to the Beat concert. Reservations can be booked at EpcotFoodFestival.com beginning in July 2017.


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Have you attended an Eat To The Beat Concert? Are you going this year?
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2017 Epcot International Food And Wine Festival First Details Released

Great news fellow foodies! Recently the first details of the 22nd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival were released and it looks like it is going to be another fabulous event. Here’s the scoop courtesy of Disney:


Epcot International Food & Wine FestivalA record number of global food and wine marketplaces – 35 in all –will sizzle with new edible delights to celebrate 35 years of Epcot during the 22nd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival August 31 – November 13, 2017. The annual Disney culinary tour of flavors will expand in 2017 for a longer-than-ever 75-day run.

Growing in scope as one of America’s top food festivals each year since 1996, the Epcot event will run for 13 additional days of inspired sips and bites throughout the park’s World Showcase and Future World. Guests will have a chance to mix and mingle with celebrity chefs, experience hands-on culinary workshops and demonstrations at the Festival Center, and get their gourmet groove on at nightly Eat to the Beat concerts.

Here’s the latest festival buzz:

  • New marketplaces will be announced this summer. In addition, India (2009) and Spain (2010) marketplaces will return for an encore. For a third year, global marketplaces will extend into Future World to offer brand-new taste sensations. Disney chefs are in the kitchen whipping up delicious new bites like the Madras Red Curry vegetarian dish and Pistachio Cardamom Bundt Cake to be on the menu at the India marketplace. At the Spain marketplace, delectable Charcuterie in a cone promises to be a guest favorite.
  • Three times nightly Eat to the Beat concerts – 225 concerts in all on the America Gardens Theatre stage — will rev up the World Showcase vibe with new musical acts and returning festival favorites spanning a broad range of eras and genres such as rock, pop and rhythm and blues.
  • “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops, which debuted in 2016 at the Festival Center, return with fresh opportunities for guests to interact with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros. Event hosts and topics will be announced this summer.
  • Popular TV chefs and other culinary icons will entertain foodies and inspire their palates at Festival Center demonstrations. Those same stars of the kitchen also will create new dishes for premium events such as Party for the Senses grand tastings with new concepts and themes.
  • Festival focus on family will spotlight inspired dishes geared toward children’s palates and culinary demos designed to inspire family fun.

Throughout the festival’s 75-day run, park guests can pair wines, beers and ciders with savory and sweet dishes as they stroll the World Showcase Promenade using their complimentary festival passports as a guide.

As guests explore, they’ll find something for everyone in the family:

  • A Ratatouille-inspired adventure will return as Chef Remy gives families a chance to play together during this culinary scavenger hunt.
  • The complimentary Back to Basics Festival Center weekend series will share epicurean tips and tricks from the pros. Book and bottle signings by some of the world’s top vintners will be scheduled, and The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli, will offer guest samples.
  • Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars will offer daily learning and tasting opportunities at the Festival Center. On select Saturdays, Cheese Seminars will be a fromage aficionado’s delight.

Bookings for premium festival events will open this summer:

  • Party for the Senses grand tasting events will showcase creative bites and palate-pleasing sips from eminent chefs and beverage experts plus new live entertainment.
  • Resort premium events will include a Grand Floridian Brunch with a Twist and Culinary Adventures with a Master Chef.
  • Specialty Dining and Pairing events will be on tap at a number of World Showcase participating restaurants.

Included with Epcot Admission:

Back to Basics series, book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Festival Passport and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.

Special Programming by Reservation:

The Party for the Senses grand tasting events, signature dinners and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. When a reservation booking date is announced this summer, guests can call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) and get details at EpcotFoodFestival.com. 


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If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Will you be attending the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!