2019 Fall Fun At Walt Disney World

If you are looking for some place to take one last fall vacation before winter sets in again, look no further than Walt Disney World. With so much for the entire family to enjoy, there’s no better time to go than 2019! Here’s everything you need to know to experience a fun-filled time with your friends and family at Walt Disney World this fall courtesy of Disney:


As the calendar turns the page into fall later this year, the curtain will lift on an exciting time for Walt Disney World Resort. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be brand new at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, while Magic Kingdom Park will unveil a new fireworks show as part of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will run for a record number of days, and the park will wave a fond farewell to “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” before ushering in a new nighttime spectacular, “Epcot Forever.” These enticing options and more are all part of a season of fun where guests are invited to “fall into magic.”

New Fireworks Show for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park

A new Halloween-themed fireworks show debuts this year during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This new show will feature state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, lighting and dazzling fireworks that come together to tell a not-so-scary story about how anything can happen on Halloween night. The show will take guests along for a trick-or-treating adventure, where four friends – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy – find themselves drawn into a mysterious haunted house.

Held for a record 36 select nights from August 16 – November 1, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a specially ticketed event that captures the spirit of the season with spooky décor, lighting and music parkwide, along with returning favorites such as “Mickey’s Boo to You Parade,” the “Hocus Pocus Villains Spelltacular” castle stage show and trick-or-treating throughout the park. Also returning for this year’s party will be special attraction experiences for Mad Tea Party, Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain. Children are encouraged to dress in costume and enjoy the spirit of Halloween with their families. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a ticketed, after-hours special event. Tickets start at $79. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

DID YOU KNOW … The Headless Horseman will appear prior to “Mickey’s Boo to You Parade.”

Record Number of Days Set for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The Epcot celebration of cuisine, music and more takes place August 29 – November 23 – a record 87 days. During this foodie festival, the park will brim with marketplaces, culinary demonstrations, beverage seminars, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, specialty merchandise and much more. In some fun for the whole family, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak will send guests on an adventure searching for Remy in a savory scavenger hunt around the festival. Eat to the Beat concerts will bring a lineup of pop, rock, R&B, country, Christian, swing and Latin artists, with three shows every night of the festival through November 19. Families will find a play area for kids and an international flair – including kid-approved menu items – at many of the 30-plus Global Marketplaces.

DID YOU KNOW … This year’s festival will offer 249 Eat to the Beat concerts.

Last Call for “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” as “Epcot Forever” Debuts October 1

For nearly 20 years, the nighttime spectacular “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” has brought each day at Epcot to a thrilling close. Guests have marveled as World Showcase lagoon came to life with fireworks, fountains and lasers paying homage to the joyful story of humanity and the remarkable achievements of our time. The show’s final night will be September 30, to make way for an all-new, limited-time spectacular, “Epcot Forever,” debuting October 1. This new show will be a celebration of the past, present and future of Epcot, built around the magical soundtrack guests have come to know and love at the park. The new show will feature fireworks, lasers and choreographed special-effect kites accompanied by a stirring collection of songs celebrating Epcot.

DID YOU KNOW … “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” has entertained millions of guests since it debuted in October 1999.

Bounce into Fall at Disney Springs with NBA Experience and Special Seasonal Offerings

Basketball is officially “in season” this fall, after NBA Experience holds a championship-worthy grand opening August 12 at Disney Springs. When guests step into this re-creation of a modern NBA arena, they’ll feel what it’s like to be a basketball superstar. The one-of-a-kind destination features 13 unique interactive and hands-on experiences where Disney magic merges with the thrills of the NBA and WNBA.

NBA Experience is part of the ever-evolving Disney Springs area. Also new is Jaleo, offering the very best of Spanish cuisine and design seen through the creative lens of renowned Chef José Andrés. Jaleo (which means “revelry” in Spanish) treats diners to an extensive tapas menu, reflecting the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine, complemented by sangrias and a premier selection of Spanish wines. Just off the main entrance is Pepe by José Andrés, the first brick-and-mortar location of the chef’s wildly popular Spanish food truck.

Jaleo is one of six restaurants at Disney Springs featuring James Beard Award-winning chefs, and dining venues throughout the district will offer sample-sized fall food and drinks. With the help of a printed guide, guests can make their way through Disney Springs and sample all the flavors of the season from select locations.

The fall season is also a great time to enjoy entertainment and shopping at Disney Springs. Colorful backdrops will make great seasonal photos for the entire family, while new fall looks will be available in shops throughout the shopping district, including Halloween costumes for kids and clothing for adults featuring their favorite Disney characters.

DID YOU KNOW … NBA Experience will span 44,000 square feet of basketball action and fun.

Make the Jump to Lightspeed in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

On the heels of its August 29 opening, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge offers Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests the chance this fall to live their own Star Wars stories. The action takes place on Batuu, a far-flung planet populated by scoundrels and adventurers. While visiting the land, guests can stop for a drink at Oga’s Cantina or discover rare artifacts at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, among other immersive Star Wars experiences. The groundbreaking attraction Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run gives guests control of the iconic spacecraft as the ship hurtles through space on a smuggling mission. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, a second attraction opening later in 2019, will put guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

DID YOU KNOW … Guests will play one of three unique and critical roles in Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – pilots, gunners or flight engineers – providing multiple ways to experience the attraction.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity.

Disney Skyliner Takes Flight this Fall

A new mode of transportation will float through the air around Walt Disney World this fall when Disney Skyliner, a state-of-the-art gondola system, begins gliding guests across the sky in custom cabins. Disney Skyliner will conveniently connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, as well as the 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney’s Riviera Resort (planned to open in mid-December). Select gondolas will have iconic Disney characters incorporated into their exterior designs to give the appearance that a Disney pal is riding along with guests. Disney Skyliner will offer a new way to experience Walt Disney World with amazing views only available from the sky.

DID YOU KNOW … Several Disney Skyliner gondolas will be adorned with graphics based on Disney films, attractions or characters.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park Lights Up at Night

As the sun sets earlier and earlier this fall, these nighttime experiences will come to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

  • “Rivers of Light: We Are One” is the next chapter for this nighttime show on Discovery River. Updates include dramatic new imagery and familiar animal characters from Disneynature films along with a colorful tapestry of unforgettable moments from Disney animated films.
  • Pandora – The World of Avatar continues to come to life each night with bioluminescent fauna and flora as guests hike amid floating mountains, fly on their own mountain banshee, take a mystical river ride and more.

DID YOU KNOW … On May 1, 2019, a baby western lowland gorilla was born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Named Grace, the gorilla and her parents can now be seen at the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail inside the park.

Disney Resort Hotels News

To welcome fall travelers, there’s always something new at Disney resort hotels. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will greet guests with its new 15-story Gran Destino tower (opening this summer), adding 500-plus guestrooms, including suites and concierge-level services. New waterfront dining and a retail shopping area have come to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, while a mid-December opening is planned for Disney’s Riviera Resort, a Disney Vacation Club property inspired by the grandeur and enchantment of the European Riviera.

DID YOU KNOW … Sitting atop the new Gran Destino tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will be Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, a new table-service restaurant featuring dishes and small plates inspired by the flavors of Spain.

2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Marks 10-Year Milestone

Wine and Dine Half MarathonThis fall’s runDisney race season is a delectable celebration 10 years in the making as the 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend takes place October 31 – November 3. Filled with a delicious slate of events and Disney magic along every mile, this year’s event includes a 5K, 10K, half marathon and kids’ races. During this year’s Disney Fall Feast 5K, guests can run, jog or walk their way around Epcot for the first time during this fall event. At the November 3 post-race party, guests enjoy after-hours access to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, including marketplaces and select Epcot attractions. For all race-season details, please click here. Guests can also register via the celebrated charity for this year’s event, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

DID YOU KNOW … runDisney is one of the most popular race organizers in the United States, with more than 188,000 runners participating in events throughout the year.


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

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 visiting Walt Disney World this fall?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

Jaleo And Pepe Now Open In Disney Springs

The long wait is now over! As of yesterday, Jaleo and Pepe are both open in Disney Springs. Fans of tapas style dining and drinks looking for a table service meal, can give Jaleo a try. For sandwich lovers looking for a quick service option, check out Pepe. Here’s a quick look, courtesy of Disney:


José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup is proud to announce that its beloved Jaleo brand will open a new location at Disney Springs, bringing the spirit and flavors of Spain to the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida and creating 280 new jobs. As the pioneering brand that popularized tapas dining in the U.S., Jaleo at Disney Springs — opening March 17— will be the fifth Jaleo location in the U.S., the first in Florida and the largest location to date.

First opened in Washington, D.C., in 1993, Jaleo represents the very best of Spanish cuisine and design, seen through the creative lens of Spanish Chef Andrés and his team. Jaleo offers an unparalleled tapas experience in a lively setting befitting its name, which means “revelry.”

Jaleo at Disney Springs will feature an extensive menu of tapas reflecting the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine, as well as sangrias and a premier selection of Spanish wines. Highlights include a variety of authentic paellas cooked over a wood-fired paella pit, Spanish specialties like hand-carved Jamon Iberico de Bellota and wood-grilled Iberico pork, and signature dishes like Gambas al ajillo, shrimp sautéed with garlic and chili, and Pollo Croquetas, classic Spanish chicken fritters.

On the restaurant’s front corner adjacent to the Jaleo entrance will be Pepe by José Andrés, the first brick and mortar location of the chef’s wildly popular Spanish food truck, which has been a D.C. fixture for more than six years. Pepe by José Andrés will offer a diverse menu of Spanish sandwiches, or bocatas, both hot and cold, as well as gazpacho and salads to go. The quick-service location will also sell delicious Spanish sangria, complete with sangria ice cubes to prevent any dilution of the drink in the Florida climate.

Designed by renowned Spanish designer Juli Capella, the architectural form of the building housing both Jaleo and Pepe is inspired by the bold, playful nature of Spain featuring petals that organically open, inviting guests to enter and experience the very best of Spanish cuisine. The petals themselves form pergolas, which extend toward the outdoors, allowing light to flow in and out.

Jaleo at Disney Springs will be open for dinner starting March 17 with lunch service beginning later in the month. Pepe will be open for lunch and dinner beginning March 17, no reservations needed. To make a reservation at Jaleo, please call 321-348-3211.


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

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 trying Jaleo, Pepe or both?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

First Look At Jaleo Coming To Disney Springs In 2019

Hey fans of tapas style dining and drinks, if you’re heading to Walt Disney World in 2019, you have plenty to be excited about. With several new restaurants already open at Disney Springs, get ready to get your fix of savory shareable Spanish small plates, sangria and more coming in 2019 at Jaleo. Here’s a first look:


José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, in collaboration with renowned Spanish design firm Capella Garcia Arquitectura, recently revealed details of the striking design of the beloved Jaleo brand’s newest location at Disney Springs. Opening this winter, the 22 thousand square foot restaurant will be Andrés’ largest to date and will bring the spirit and flavors of Spain to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Based on the colorful iconography of Spain, the architectural form of the building is inspired by an artichoke, a vegetable native to José’s homeland. The artichoke structure opens up, inviting guests to enter and experience the very best of Spanish cuisine. The petals themselves form pergolas, which extend toward the outdoors. The freestanding, two-story building lacks solid walls and is completely open to the outside, with large windows offering views of the lake while protecting diners from the sun. “There are no cubic forms, no opaque walls, no straight lines: here reigns a plant-like organic structure with its dynamic forms. An avant-garde, expressionist and welcoming architecture,” remarks Juli Capella, principal at Capella Garcia Arquitectura, on Jaleo’s design.

The interior features a double height central courtyard that visually connects the restaurant’s two floors. The idea of Jaleo, the Spanish word for “revelry,” inspires the large, family-style gathering space, inviting guests to share tapas and sangria, gather with family at the foosball tables, or enjoy the more elegant central seating for paellas and grilled meats, anchored by the restaurant’s open kitchen and wood fire grill. Private dining options include two terraces, one overlooking the Disney Springs promenade and another overlooking the lake.

Typical Spanish colors of citrus, namely orange and lemon, offer a welcoming ambience alongside predominant touches of wood and ceramic materials. Stunning artwork includes the “Suit of Lights,” an iconic photo of a bullfighter’s suit from Spanish photographer Rafael Vargas, as well a collage of San Sebastian’s popular Concha beach by photographer Ciuco Gutiérrez, bringing the Spanish landscape closer to Walt Disney World Resort.

Occupying the front-corner of Jaleo and overlooking the main promenade of Disney Springs will be a quick-service concept serving Spanish street-food-inspired sandwiches and salads. The design of the casual restaurant features natural materials and a luminous, open feel, inviting visitors into the friendly space, which is centered around a large mural from Marc Jesús, a famous painter from Menorca. With dynamic visual elements drawn from the culinary delights and landscapes of Spain, Andrés and Capella aim to surround visitors in the culture of their native country and all its creativity.


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

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 Jaleo be on your list of restaurants to try?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!