Monday, May 21, 2018

WDW Passholder News!

The WDW Passholder magnet craze is back, and this time our friend Donald Duck is at the forefront!


You can pick these little beauties up at Disney's Hollywood Studios now thru June 29, 2018, or while supplies last at Mickey’s of Hollywood, Celebrity 5 & 10, Keystone Clothiers, Once Upon a Time or Walt Disney Presents.

Make sure to have your MagicBand or Annual Pass ID Card as they'll need to scan it. And please don't give the CM's grief if you ask for more than you're entitled to and they say no. This is a nice offering from Disney, so please follow the rules (or "guidelines" as Captain Barbosa would say). Do yourselves a favor and don't put it on your car. As nice as it looks, there will be someone who will think that it will look even nicer on their car and it will vanish. I know, it's a sad world that we live in when a car magnet isn't safe. ETSY has many options to by these as stickers. Mine adorn my refrigerator, along with all my runDisney race magnets. 

Passholders can also enjoy the following thru June 29, 2018:
  • Early access to purchase a Toy Story Land MagicBand: Annual Passholders can visit Mickey’s of Hollywood, Celebrity 5 & 10, Keystone Clothiers, Once Upon a Time and Walt Disney Presents to purchase an official Toy Story MagicBand before it becomes available to all Guests on June 30. I picked one up and LOVE it!
  • Double character dining discounts: Annual Passholders can receive a limited-time 20% discount on all meal periods at Hollywood & Vine.
  • Daily viewings of Incredibles 2 sneak peek: From 9-10 a.m., Annual Passholders are invited to attend an Annual Passholder-only viewing of the Incredibles 2 sneak peek at Walt Disney Presents. Otherwise, you can enjoy with all other park guests during regular operating hours. I'm excited for this sequel that picks up literally minutes after the 2004 original.

Wine lovers rejoice! Wine Bar George is NOW OPEN at Disney Springs


Master Sommelier George Miliotes has brought his renowned wine expertise to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort with his new venture, Wine Bar George, that opened on May 19, 2018. Wine Bar George will be the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida.

Miliotes is no stranger to Walt Disney World Resort – he was part of the opening team of the California Grill restaurant at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and managed the venue from 1995 to 2002. While there, he created an award-winning wine list and one of the first “100 wines by the glass” lists in the country.

“Disney Springs is the perfect place to open a wine bar and share my passion with the world,” Miliotes said. “Having the opportunity to train and hire my own team while sharing my 40-plus years of knowledge is truly incredible, and I look forward to opening our doors soon.”

As one of only 249 worldwide industry professionals certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers, Miliotes will feature wines from acclaimed and well-known wineries as well as growing regions and wineries that are up-and-coming. The location will offer an unparalleled wine list including more than 130 selections by the ounce, glass and bottle.

“The wine list will feature more than 130 wines all served by the ounce, glass or bottle,” Miliotes said. “The list will include more than 40 varietals from regions around the world. We will use the Coravin, the Vinfinity system and wine on tap to ensure each wine is enjoyed to its fullest extent. Servers will adeptly pair a range of small plates, cheese and charcuterie, shareable entrees and dessert with each wine. If you are looking for an awesome $9 glass on tap or a few ounces of Château Margaux, we will have wines for you to enjoy.”


Guests will have the opportunity to explore endless food and wine pairings at Wine Bar George. Executive Chef Ron Rupert and Miliotes have worked closely to create a menu that will pair with the extensive wine list.

“Offerings will feature seasonally relevant items, and everything will be made in-house,” Rupert said. “I’ve worked jointly with George to develop a menu that represents both global and local cuisine.

Guests will enjoy food that is familiar, yet new all at once.”


With a team hand-selected by Miliotes, guests can expect their experience to include wine education, which will be served up in an approachable and fun manner. Joining Miliotes as General Manager is George Vavalides who brings more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry including nearly 20 years with P.F. Chang’s. Jamie Irizarry will be part of Miliotes’ team as Restaurant Manager. Irizarry has more than 15 years in the industry working with restaurants such as Seasons 52, Eddie V’s and The Capital Grille. Robyn Cohen will join as Bar Manager with 15 years of bartending experience including, most recently, at Flying Fish on Disney’s BoardWalk. Cohen and Miliotes worked jointly to develop the featured cocktails at Wine Bar George, all of which will include a grape-based spirit. In addition to the extensive wine list, the wine bar will offer a variety of cocktails, a selection of beer and cider and frosé.

The 200-seat wine bar will join a growing and remarkable group of dining, shopping and entertainment offerings at Disney Springs. The design for the 6,000-square-foot space will be similar to a winemaker’s home estate with a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere. The space includes seating for groups of all sizes, areas for private events and sweeping views of Disney Springs. Follow George @WineBarGeorge on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and join the #WineBarGeorge conversation. Visit WineBarGeorge.com for more news and updates.

About Disney Springs

Disney Springs is a one-of-a-kind retail, dining and entertainment district located in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. With its namesake springs, beautiful open-air promenades and lakefront setting, Disney Springs evokes the charm of Florida waterfront towns at the turn of the 20th century. It’s also home to a collection of more than 150 shops, entertainment venues and restaurants, including top-name retail brands, specialty boutiques and dining experiences created by celebrity and award-winning chefs. Located in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Disney Springs is open daily.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Exciting New Experiences and Entertainment Highlight an Incredible Summer that Kicks Off Memorial Day Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort


From Super Heroes to an intergalactic concert, from eye-popping shows to a nighttime beach party to get your glow on, from new reasons to love Disney Springs to an all-new land where toys reign supreme, there’s only one way to describe summer 2018 at Walt Disney World Resort.

Incredible!

When Disney kicks off its Incredible Summer over Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27, guests will kick up their sandals to nonstop fun, immersed in favorite Disney films, entering the worlds of beloved characters and experiencing exciting new attractions and entertainment.

And, with the addition of a nighttime party at Typhoon Lagoon, this summer will be even more incredible.

At Magic Kingdom Park from May 25 through Sept. 3, favorite Disney•Pixar Super Heroes will take over Tomorrowland with the premiere of the Incredible Tomorrowland Expo that celebrates all things super. Guests will interact with Mr. Incredible, Frozone and other characters from Disney•Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and upcoming “Incredibles 2.” And, for the first time ever, guests will get to see Edna Mode, the world’s greatest costume designer for the Supers. Tomorrowland gets decked out for this Supers celebration with Incredibles décor and the sounds of incredible music. High-energy fun builds to a “SUPER” dance party on the Rocket Tower Stage. “Incredibles 2” opens in theaters nationwide June 15.

There will be more Super Hero action at Epcot where Star-Lord and Gamora, from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, take guests on a musical journey through the cosmos. The Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live! concert series will feature hits from Star-Lord’s Awesome Mixtapes – fun and favorite tunes from the two movie soundtracks. There will be five show times daily, running June 9 through Aug. 19.

This summer, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two super new experiences:
  • UP! A Great Bird Adventure premieres April 22, Earth Day, coinciding with the start of the park’s 20th anniversary celebration. The show features Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug, from the Disney•Pixar animated film “UP,” as they discover bird species from around the world.
  • Donald’s Dino-Bash!, which opens Memorial Day Weekend, is a “dino-tastic” celebration where Donald Duck takes over Dinoland U.S.A. The world’s most famous duck is celebrating his recent discovery that ducks are descendants of dinosaurs. He’s brought along feathered friends Scrooge McDuck and Launchpad McQuack, plus other Disney characters to meet guests. In addition to bringing his own decorating touch to the land, Donald puts on a nightly dance party where everyone can shake their tail feathers. The dance party is the newest addition to the lineup of after-dark entertainment that keeps the fun going past sundown at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

In addition to the fun new entertainment at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests can still thrill to the park’s newest land, Pandora – The World of Avatar. There they can experience Avatar Flight of Passage, which quickly became the top-rated attraction at Walt Disney World.

New Nighttime Fun at Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Just announced, Rex and his “Toy Story” pals will be throwing a glow party bigger and better than ever at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. Disney H2O Glow Nights will transform the water park like never before. Rex, a.k.a. Partysaurus Rex, serves as host and promises a sudsy good time. All attractions will be open for guest enjoyment and, as part of the fun, a DJ will host dancing on the beach. This special-ticket event will crank out the fun Thursdays and Saturdays only, June 21 through Aug. 11, from 8 p.m.-11 p.m.  Tickets go on sale March 19 and are $55 per person plus tax for adults and $50 per person plus tax for children ages 3-9.  For more information and to purchase tickets, call (407) 939-1872.

Exciting Adventures and Delicious Delights at Disney Springs

Summer 2018 also marks the first summer for incredible new offerings at Disney Springs, including “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire,” a hyper-reality experience from Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID; and new restaurants and bars have popped up to tempt any appetite. These include The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant and bar; Maria & Enzo’s, an open and airy Italian trattoria featuring family-friendly dishes inspired by Sicily; Terralina Crafted Italian, a new concept from James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano; and Wine Bar George, the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida, brought to Disney Springs by former California Grill manager and Master Sommelier George Miliotes (opening this spring).

Toy Story Land Opens

The capstone of the Incredible Summer at Walt Disney World is the June 30 opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Part of a multi-year reimagining of the park, this new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. Guests will experience two new attractions. Slinky Dog Dash is a family-friendly coaster that will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops that Andy has created to stretch Slinky and his coils to the max. “Toy Story” pals also come to life in another fresh-from-the-box themed attraction – Alien Swirling Saucers. This Pizza Planet toy play set is loaded with aliens circling about in their flying saucers pulling along rocket ships full of guests. The new land will also encompass Toy Story Mania!  Already one of the most popular attractions, it will feature a brand-new entrance designed to look like a play set filled with carnival games.  Woody’s Lunch Box will be a new quick-service kiosk serving tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats inside Toy Story Land.

Immersive New Pixar Character Experience for Children

Disney’s Contemporary Resort will soon be home to an immersive new Pixar character experience that is exclusively for children ages 4-12 and takes place nightly from 5-10:30 p.m. Pixar Play Zone will offer a playful and exciting evening that will transport kids on an adventure with their favorite characters from “Toy Story” and “The Incredibles.”

Kids will learn how to battle the enemies of Star Command in Space Ranger Training, and they’ll learn the ropes of the Wild West with Woody and Jessie during Woody’s Roundup. As part of The Piston Cup Challenge, youngsters will build and race cars on the Radiator Springs Racetrack. Kids will also will learn some sweet dance moves during the Incredible Dance Party with Mr. Incredible and Mrs. Incredible. The evening includes dinner, other activities and arcade games.

The new Pixar experience is $65 per child plus tax.  For more information and to make reservations, call (407) 824-5437.

To learn more about planning a Walt Disney World vacation, see your local travel agent, visit DisneyWorld.com or call (407) 934-7639.

Ready, Set, Glow: Tickets Now On Sale for Disney H2O Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon during Incredible Summer at Disney


Guests can start making plans to join some of their favorite “Toy Story” characters during Disney H2O Glow Nights, the splashy new, nighttime pool party coming to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park this summer.

Tickets are on sale now for this after-dark event, which is part of an Incredible Summer coming to Walt Disney World Resort. Tickets are $55 plus tax for guests ages 10 and up, and $50 plus tax for children ages 3-9.

On Thursday and Saturday evenings, from June 21 to August 11, Rex and his “Toy Story” pals will transform Typhoon Lagoon like never before by throwing a glow party in the surf pool and throughout the park. Rex, a.k.a. Partysaurus Rex, will serve as host and invite guests of all ages to join the festivities. All attractions will be open for guest enjoyment and, as part of the fun, there will be special food and beverage offerings, “Toy Story” character greetings, a DJ dance party on the beach and more. Disney H2O Glow Nights also will feature The Wharf, a unique, adults-only area with a private bar, entertainment and additional seating. To purchase tickets and learn more about Disney H2O Glow Nights, call (407) 939-1872.

Disney H2O Glow Nights is one of many new and exciting experiences coming to Walt Disney World Resort as part of an Incredible Summer that will include:
  • The 20th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom including UP! A Great Bird Adventure beginning April 22 and Donald’s Dino-Bash! starting Memorial Day Weekend
  • The Incredible Tomorrowland Expo at Magic Kingdom Park featuring characters from “The Incredibles,” beginning May 25
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live! concert series at Epcot, beginning June 9
  • The launch of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on June 30
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is a 60-acre themed water park – inspired by the legend of a typhoon, earthquake and volcanic eruption. As the story goes, those events combined to create an inland sea with break waves (Typhoon Lagoon) and a towering watershed mountain (Mt. Mayday) with a stranded shrimp boat (the Miss Tilly) on top.

The park offers water activities for all ages, including signature attractions such as the water-coaster Crush ‘n’ Gusher; the water playground, Ketchakiddee Creek; and the popular Castaway Creek, a meandering lazy river.

Disney Springs Gets Its Spring On with Late-Night Offerings and Trend-Setting Styles


Springtime in Florida means longer, sun-filled days followed by warm-breezy nights perfect for spending time outside. And with dynamic, late-night entertainment, fresh dining experiences and stylish new stores, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort is the place to be … and be seen … this spring season.

Enjoy Late-Night Your Way

Every Thursday through Saturday after the clock strikes 10pm, Disney Springs comes alive with late-night offerings until 2am, perfect for those wanting that extra zing for an adult fun-filled weekend.

The Landing neighborhood is the place where late night is taken to the next level with a collection of venues offering a variety of unique experiences, all within steps of each other. Guests can mix and match their options to design the perfect night, with choices that range from sophisticated to laid back; romantic candlelight to high-energy dancing; and the ability to hop to each venue (with complimentary parking and no cover charges).

Flapper-style dancers lead the way to the dance floor at The Edison. The lavish “Industrial Gothic” – themed restaurant offers hand-crafted cocktails and live entertainment. Follow the sake sangria to the sophisticated Forbidden Lounge at Morimoto Asia, where a separate entrance welcomes guests for a late-night menu and libations. Or witness the art of pouring the perfect pint at Raglan Road, singing is a must to keep up with the Irish spirit.

Other venues welcoming late-night explorers include Enzo’s Hideaway, Paradiso 37, The BOATHOUSE, STK Orlando, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar and Vivoli Il Gelato.

New Retail Locations

Fresh and fabulous trends will debut at Disney Springs with the May arrival of DisneyStyle. This Instagram-worthy location will have fans swooning over spirit jerseys galore and an endless supply of Disney Parks-inspired accessories.

DisneyStyle will join the lineup of other Disney-chic locations such as The Disney Corner. Open for a limited time, this retail location is a two-story Disney dream come true filled with apparel for kids – including infants – a fun mix of accessories and selfie-worthy backdrops.

Also in Town Center, Ever After Jewelry Co. & Accessories is now the ultimate spot for high-end fashion jewelry from Disney Parks. It offers an even larger selection of favorite brands and products including PANDORA Jewelry, Alex & Ani bracelets and charms, handbags by Dooney & Bourke, stylish headwear and more.

Delicious New Flavors Coming Soon

The highly-anticipated Wine Bar George will open its doors later this spring, bringing the expertise of Master Sommelier George Miliotes to Disney Springs. The wine list will feature more than 135 wines by the ounce, glass and bottle, and the menu will include small plates, cheese and charcuterie, and sharable entrees. The design of the two-story space will reflect the style of a winemaker’s home estate, with a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere. Guests will learn about food and wine pairing while enjoying stunning views of Disney Springs.

Also opening this spring is Terralina Crafted Italian. The new dining experience, curated by celebrity and James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano, will transport guests to the splendor of the Italian countryside with cuisine combining authentic Italian flavors and an unparalleled ambiance.

Disney Springs is open every day of the year from 11:00am to midnight, with select restaurants, lounges and entertainment locations open late-night hours until 2:00am on select nights. To learn more about Disney Springs, visit DisneySprings.com or call (407) 939-6244.

Pandora Utility Suit Will “AMP” Up the Excitement at Disney’s Animal Kingdom


A 4.2-ton, towering mechanical suit is sure to stop guests in their tracks when it debuts at Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on April 22. The new Pandora Utility Suit is inspired by the iconic Amplified Mobility Platform (AMP) suits of power armor from the epic film AVATAR.

Perched ten feet high, a human pilot straps into the cockpit of this exo-carrier and controls its powerful, yet agile movements. The giant walking suit was designed with articulated hands and a shoulder span of more than five feet. It also bears claw marks and battle scars from a Thanator – an alpha predator on Pandora.

But the Pandora Utility Suit was actually designed for restoration, while the film’s AMP suits were created for infantry missions of destruction. Its streamlined structure and technical upgrades make it the perfect tool to collect plant samples, study flora and survive Pandora’s wild terrain.

Like all the lands at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Pandora is rooted in nature. The Pandora Utility Suit showcases that in dramatic fashion. As the suit traverses the land daily, its pilot will interact with guests, share details about the land’s otherworldly landscape, and highlight the importance of preserving nature.

The Pandora Utility Suit continues the collaboration between Disney and Lightstorm Entertainment that first brought Pandora – The World of Avatar to life nearly a year ago. The suit will debut April 22 as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.

Friday, December 29, 2017

2018 Brings More Magic Than Ever to Walt Disney World Resort


From a toy-inspired land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to a milestone year for Disney’s Animal Kingdom to exciting additions at Disney Springs to an encore year for an Epcot festival, there’s plenty in store for guests to Walt Disney World Resort – and beyond – in 2018.

Here’s a look around:

Toy Story Land Comes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In summer 2018 Disney unwraps a joyful, toy-full surprise for its guests with the opening of the all-new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Stepping into their favorite Pixar blockbuster films, guests will feel like they’ve shrunk to the size of a toy as they play in Andy’s backyard with their favorite Toy Story pals, including Woody and Buzz. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land. This new 11-acre play space will include two new attractions and one expanded favorite:
  • Inspired by the playful dachshund spinoff of Slinky, the American toy classic, Slinky Dog Dash will be a family-style coaster that will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops that Andy has created to stretch Slinky and his coils to the max.
  • Bathed in music, lighting and sound effects, Alien Swirling Saucers is designed as a play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first “Toy Story” film. Famous little green aliens from the movie are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.”
  • A third track has recently been added to the hugely popular Toy Story Mania!, which invites guests to take aim at 3D objects in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced games.

When it’s time for refreshment, Woody’s Lunch Box will be a new quick-service window serving tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats. Walt Disney World Resort will collaborate with Mini Babybel to bring Woody’s Lunch Box to life.

New Dining and Entertainment at Disney Springs

Eight new dining concepts debut at Disney Springs in 2018, joining the stellar line-up of award-winning restaurants at this one-of-a-kind retail, dining and entertainment complex:

Opening this winter, The Edison is a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant, bar and nighttime destination that will feature live entertainment, including cabaret. Adjacent to The Edison guests will enjoy a trio of modern Italian restaurant and bar concepts. Maria & Enzo’s will be an open and airy Italian trattoria featuring family-friendly dishes inspired by Sicily. Enzo’s Hideaway will pour Prohibition-era cocktails at its Tunnel Bar and offer hearty Roman dishes. Pizza Ponte will be the perfect place for a quick bite, with pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches and espresso on the menu.

Chicago-based Levy Restaurants introduces Terralina Crafted Italian with James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano. The new restaurant will feature dishes inspired by Mantuano’s adventures in Italy.

In spring 2018, Master Sommelier George Miliotes will bring his expertise to Disney Springs with Wine Bar George. With more than 100 wine selections by the bottle and glass, Miliotes will serve up wine education along with shareable plates, cheese and charcuterie.

Other openings slated for 2018 at Disney Springs include Jaleo, a Spanish concept by world-renowned Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, a modern concept inspired by laid-back California dining.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Celebrates 20 Years

Majestic in its grandeur and showcasing the magic of nature with inhabitants that roam, run, crawl, fly, slither and swim; Disney’s Animal Kingdom will mark its 20th anniversary in 2018.

The vast, 500-acre park is Disney’s largest, providing a grand stage for the celebration of the world of animals and their natural habitats. Live creatures from mite-sized to mammoth call Disney’s Animal Kingdom home. Lush landscaping, Broadway-quality live shows, conservation themes and rides, attractions and adventures for all ages complete the scene.

As the park continued to evolve, it added a distant moon in 2017. Pandora–The World of Avatar transports guests to a mystical world of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and breathtaking new experiences. Inspired by the blockbuster motion picture, AVATAR, the new land invites guests to explore a glowing landscape, encounter a larger-than-life Na’vi shaman and soar on the back of a fearsome banshee.

And debuting just in time for the park’s 20th anniversary is a new show featuring Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s film “UP” This new experience will offer guests the chance to see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug as they discover species of birds from around the world in their newest adventure at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur Village. There will be “UP” close encounters each day with amazing winged creatures.

An Expanded Festival of the Arts at Epcot

Returning to Epcot for a second year, the expanded Epcot International Festival of the Arts will celebrate all things art – performing, visual and culinary – from January 12 to February 19 – with festivities running seven days a week and Disney on Broadway performing each weekend (Fridays through Mondays) throughout the festival.

Guests can kick off 2018 with world-class cuisine, remarkable visual art and an extraordinary lineup of live entertainment. Festival highlights:
  • Seminars and workshops from top Disney, local and nationally-renowned artists including classes on drawing animation, photography and the art of making topiaries
  • More than a half a dozen specially-created food studios offering a wealth of “artistic” culinary delights
  • A host of performing artists that build on the already stellar lineup of authentic Epcot performers
  • An encore performance of the Disney on Broadway series featuring Disney on Broadway stars singing favorite songs from award-winning Broadway shows.

Another returning favorite is Disney on Broadway dining packages, where guests can pair a meal at one of the participating Epcot restaurants with priority seating for the Disney on Broadway concert series.

For more information on the festival visit www.disneyworld.com/ArtfulEpcot or call 407-WDW-DINE (3463).

New Multi-Use Venue at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

ESPN Wide World of Sports will open a new multi-use sports and entertainment venue in 2018. It will seat more than 8,000 guests and have the ability to host six regulation basketball courts, six regulation volleyball courts or concert configurations. For cheer and dance events, it will accommodate performance and warm-up space and include a flexible design for one large competition space that can be set up for as many as four competition areas. Additional areas can be tailored for warm-up and practice, along with areas for judges and officials. There will be concessions throughout the building, and additional box office and entry to the complex.