Sunday, July 16, 2017

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek Reveals Epic, Detailed Model of Star Wars-Themed Lands

During a special preview of D23 Expo 2017, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled a first look at the epic, richly detailed model of the Star Wars-themed lands under development at Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif. and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla. This stunning exhibition, on display in Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ “A Galaxy of Stories” pavilion at D23 Expo, is yet another example of the breathtaking new worlds, immersive storytelling and transformational guest experiences that set Disney apart.

“To say we are excited for the Star Wars-themed lands to open in 2019 is an understatement,” Chapek said. “All along, we have said this will be game-changing, and through the model we can begin to see how truly epic these immersive new worlds will be.”

Chapek plans to share exciting new details about the project during the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Hall D23 Presentation on Saturday. The model will remain on display at the pavilion throughout the weekend to give visitors an up-close look at what’s to come on this never-before seen planet. In addition, the pavilion will display models, artwork and media that provide a first-ever look at some of the locations, starships, creatures, and droids that guests will encounter when they visit this new planet.

At D23 Expo 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced the Star Wars project to the delight of thousands of fans in attendance. The jaw-dropping new lands will open with two anchor attractions – one that gives guests the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and one that puts guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Representing the largest single-themed land expansion at 14 acres each, the Star Wars-themed lands will open in 2019.

However, guests don’t need to wait until 2019 to be immersed in the Star Wars galaxy. From special character encounters to fan-favorite attractions like Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, and interactive entertainment like Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, guests of all ages can experience Star Wars stories at Disney parks and resorts around the world.


The images displayed above are property of the Walt Disney World Company

TERRALINA CRAFTED ITALIAN WILL BRING AUTHENTIC ITALIAN FLAVORS TO DISNEY SPRINGS THIS FALL


Terralina Crafted Italian, a new dining experience curated by James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano, will open this fall at Disney Springs. The new restaurant, which will replace the space at The Landing previously occupied by Portobello Country Italian Trattoria, is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar makeover inspired by Italy’s Lake District.

Set on the shores of Lake Buena Vista, Terralina’s sweeping waterfront views and dining will provide guests with a tranquil escape to another part of the world. Just as in an Italian home, the kitchen will serve as the hearth and perfect centerpiece for guests to gather around in the restaurant. Each dining room will include eclectic decor made up of found art and pieces that share the stories of moments worth celebrating. A newly installed veranda bar outside the main entrance will serve as the perfect welcome mat for guests to relax and sip on craft cocktails, muddled with herbs similar to those grown in a garden located right outside the restaurant.

Terralina’s menu will feature authentic, Italian cuisine cooked in Chef Tony’s signature olive oil, imported directly from Italy. The restaurant’s wood-burning oven will fire up a selection of artisanal, hand-tossed pizzas and fresh vegetable dishes. Fan favorites from Portobello Country Italian Trattoria such as the antipasti platter and signature pasta dishes will remain on the menu alongside new additions such as mussels and pork chops.

“At Levy Restaurants, we are committed to providing guests with exquisite food, impeccable service and unforgettable experiences,” said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy Restaurants. “We are excited to welcome guests into Terralina Crafted Italian this fall to savor one of life’s simplest pleasures: sharing a great meal with great company.”

“It’s been an honor to lead the concept and vision for Terralina Crafted Italian,” said Tony Mantuano, James Beard award winning chef. “We wanted to create a dining experience that would transport guests to the shores of Italy. Focusing on the hearth of the kitchen, dishes will embody the passion and flare of the flames. Executive Chef Justin Plank and I cannot wait for guests to come in and have a taste of Italy.”

Construction is expected to be complete this fall. Terralina will be open for lunch and dinner.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Walt Disney World Salutes Independence Day With All-American Fireworks Displays and More



There’s no better place to celebrate the red, white and blue this Fourth of July than Walt Disney World Resort!

Nighttime spectacles will light up each park:

Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky
Magic Kingdom Park commemorates the Fourth with brilliant fireworks choreographed to patriotic music. The red, white and blue extravaganza will bathe the sky on both July 3 and July 4 at 9 p.m.

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
This nightly Epcot favorite adds a patriotic twist to the show, with a special laser light finale celebrating America. Fireworks will blast off at 9 p.m. on July 4.

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
Celebrate Star Wars, a great icon of American culture, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This one-of-a-kind show takes to the sky at 9:30 p.m. nightly.

Rivers of Light
Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s newest nighttime show celebrates a connection with nature through light, water and fire. Rivers of Light has two showings nightly, 9:15 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Other Independence Day fun and entertainment includes:

  • The talented Voices of Liberty a cappella group will perform traditional Americana tunes during a 4th of July Concert on the America Gardens Theatre stage at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. The vibrant American Music Machine will perform pop hits, at noon, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 3:50 p.m.
  • Meet favorite Disney Characters — all dressed up to celebrate America’s birthday – throughout the day at the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot.
  • The Muppets Present…Great Moments in History: Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie Bear and friends reenact famous moments in American history in a whimsical way. The live show is performed daily in Liberty Square.
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa hosts an All-American July 4 cookout from 7-8:30 p.m. The star-spangled feast includes grilled steak and shrimp, hot dogs, baked beans, sides, plus specialty drinks, beer and wine. There’s a live DJ and crafts for kids. After dinner, head to the Grand Floridian Marina for sweets and a view of the Magic Kingdom Park’s July 4 fireworks. Cost is $120 plus tax, gratuity is included; $59 ages 3 to 11. For reservations, 407-WDW-DINE.

Disney Believes in Magic! Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando Magic Extend Community Sponsorship Agreement


The Orlando Magic will have the power of pixie dust in its court starting next season, as Walt Disney World Resort becomes the basketball team’s first jersey sponsor. Starting with the 2017-18 NBA season, fans will feel the magic when the Disney logo is added on players’ jerseys as part of this expanded relationship.

“With Orlando as our hometown, magic has always been a key strand of our DNA,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “This expanded agreement with Disney brings our story full circle and represents the coming together of two dynamic organizations that have become synonymous with Orlando.”

Since becoming a Champion of the Community sponsor with the Magic in 2010, Disney has been working with the Magic on outreach initiatives that benefit the local community and make Central Florida a better place to live, work and play. The uniform sponsorship strengthens the relationship between Disney and the Magic and will connect both fan bases, provide shared marketing opportunities and cement Central Florida’s reputation as a global sports destination.

“At Walt Disney World Resort, we naturally believe in all things magic and are happy to support our hometown team,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “This long-term relationship symbolizes our shared focus of solidifying Orlando as a world class city for sports.”

As part of this multi-year agreement, Disney will expand its presence at the Amway Center by adding a special seating and hospitality area that may be used for annual passholder upgrades during select Orlando Magic home games. Disney-branded Orlando Magic jerseys will also be available for purchase at the Amway Center.


The Orlando Magic becomes the seventh NBA team to announce a jersey sponsorship. The Disney name will appear on the front left of the jersey and measure about 2½ by 2½ inches.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Celebrate Dads On Father’s Day with 10 Fun Disney Faves for Fathers


Summer is here, which means it’s time to celebrate that special man: dearest Dad. At Walt Disney World Resort, Dads can be sure to enjoy days filled with magic and adventure. This nearly 40-square mile playground overflows with classic attractions, thrills, lively shows and fun for the entire family. Here’s some options to make dad feel like a king on Father’s Day and any day:

Travel to Pandora – The World of Avatar
Take Dad on a journey through Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s newest expansion: Pandora – The World of Avatar. After experiencing the attractions, Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage, head over to Windtraders, a themed retail offering in this mystical new land. There, Dad can create his personal Avatar at the ACE Avatar Maker experience. The guest is photographed and then a unique reveal will present the guest with their personalized avatar figure, which is roughly 12 inches tall. There are male, female and young child options to choose from along with accessory kits to customize their personal figure.

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party
After a day exploring the parks, treat Dad to an epic show and dessert with Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This galactic party features a selection of specialty drinks and tasty sweets before the grand fireworks display begins. After tasty out-of-this-world desserts, enjoy the show in a special viewing area. Tickets can be purchased at DisneyWorld.com/dining. Park admission is not included.

Ride the Waves at Typhoon Lagoon
Dad can learn how to master the waves at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park with private surfing lessons. Instructors teach participants everything from standing on a surfboard to riding the waves in the park’s large wave pool. The 2.5 hour classes are small, with a maximum of 12 people per session to ensure the best experience. Participants must be age 8 or older to learn to ride the waves. Reservations can only be booked at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Private Surf site.

Sail the Seven Seas on the Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage 
Ahoy Mateys! This swashbuckling cruise across Seven Seas Lagoon is perfect for Dad and his little mates. Captain Hook and Mr. Smee from Disney’s Peter Pan make appearances as the ship sets sail. Departing from Disney’s Contemporary Resort, this voyage offers snacks, beverages and pirate fun, all leading up to a great view of Magic Kingdom’s newest nighttime fireworks and projection spectacular, Happily Ever After. Pirates will also get a view of the colorful Electrical Water Pageant as it cruises along the lagoon. Call (407) 939-7529 for reservations.

Boat around at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Try a different kind of aquatic adventure with Dad over at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Guests can rent kayaks or canoes to explore the streams and ponds across resort property. Guests must be 18 or older to rent watercraft. Rentals can be made at The Bike Barn at the Meadow Recreation Area. Rent kayaks and canoes for $13 an hour, open daily.

Take a Swing at Miniature Golf
Home to three professional golf courses, Walt Disney World Resort also features four miniature golf courses. Take Dad for a whimsical round of golf at Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf Course, located near Disney’s Epcot. This course features 18 holes, each themed to a different part of the classic film Fantasia. Fantasia Gardens also offers Fairways, a more challenging, 18-hole course. Christmas comes early at the Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course located next to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park. Winter Summerland features two unique 18 hole courses, one themed to a traditional winter Christmas with giant peppermints and snowflakes, while the other is a summer wonderland, complete with sandcastles and tunes from the Beach Boys.

Toast Dad at the Biergarten Restaurant
Enjoy a German feast and tunes at this restaurant located in the heart of Epcot’s German Pavilion in the World Showcase. Biergarten promises all the fun, food, music and drink found at a traditional German Biergarten during Oktoberfest. Dad can polka on the dance floor, enjoy savory bratwurst and toast with a mug of beer at this lively dining location. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dining or call 407-WDW-DINE.

STRIKE out Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Take dad out to a night of good old-fashioned bowling in a retro, vintage-style venue at Disney Springs. This trendy, two-level location features 30 lanes, plus live entertainment, a balcony bar, and a variety of upscale dining options with all dad’s favorites such as filet sliders, pizza and even sushi.

Explore the Savannah on Wild Africa Trek
This African expedition experience is just right for the dad with an adventurous spirit; and there’s no passport required. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, dad can explore exotic African wildlife in a natural habitat on a privately guided, three-hour journey through a savannah. Wild Africa Trek also invites trekkers to a serene, savannah-view overlook while enjoying African-inspired food and beverage. Wild Africa Trek is $189 to $249 per person, plus tax (prices vary based on season). The tour can be booked by calling 407-WDW-TOUR and is not included with Disney’s Animal Kingdom admission.

Stomp your feet at Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
Enjoy a family-friendly, high-energy hootenanny and a finger lickin’ good feast at this vaudeville review-style dinner show located in the heart of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The Pioneer Hall Players have been entertaining audiences at Fort Wilderness since 1971, promising a rollicking (and delicious) time. This two-hour Wild West themed comedy will have Dad laughing in between bites of endless fried chicken, cornbread and more. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dining or call 407-WDW-DINE.

New Summer-Long Stage Show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Celebrates the Music, Characters and Films from Pixar Animation Studios


Beloved characters and soundtracks from Pixar Animation Studios’ films take center stage all summer long with “The Music of Pixar Live! – A Symphony of Characters” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Now – Aug. 27, “The Music of Pixar Live! – A Symphony of Characters,” inside Theater of the Stars, treats families to a celebration of the music, animation and characters of Pixar films. Featuring fun character moments and brilliant animated scenes on large video screens, a full orchestra performs selections of the stirring soundtracks from films such as “Toy Story,” “Up,” “Finding Nemo,” “Finding Dory,” “The Incredibles” and “Cars.”


Special video segments with the film’s composers take guests inside the scoring of a Pixar film. Their on-camera comments are backed by behind the scenes footage from Pixar, including orchestra recordings, story development, concept art and animation.

From the moment arriving guests are greeted by Green Army Men until the closing finale of You’ve Got a Friend in Me, in which the audience is encouraged to sing along, it’s a Pixar celebration like no other.

Throughout the show, beloved Pixar characters add moments of comedy and fun before their featured segment. As an example, Mike and Sulley take the stage to collect laughs as Mike tries stand-up before the “Monsters, Inc.” segment comes on-screen. Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear unwrap the “Toy Story” segment and “Up” is fronted by a special appearance of Carl Fredricksen and Dug. Can’t forget Dory (though she might!) – appearing before the “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory” segment.

Showtimes will vary for “The Music of Pixar Live! – A Symphony of Characters.” Callers to 407-WDW-DINE can ask about dining packages to pair with the show.

5 New Dining Concepts Coming Soon to Disney Springs At Walt Disney World Resort



Five new dining concepts debut as early as Fall 2017, joining the stellar line-up of awarding-winning restaurants at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort:

Opening in 2018 on the West Side is Jaleo, a concept by world-renowned Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup. Bringing the spirit and flavors of Spain, the Disney Springs restaurant will feature an extensive menu of tapas that reflect the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine, such as paella cooked over a wood fire, hand-carved Jamon Iberico de Bellota and wood-grilled Iberico pork. With five locations in the United States and Mexico City, this will be the first location in Florida. The first floor of the multi-level restaurant will feature a “grab-n-go” storefront with Spanish-style sandwiches. Designed by noted Spanish designer Juli Capella, the multi-level space will feature vibrant, theatrical décor representing the colorful culture of Spain.

Also in 2018, a new Wolfgang Puck concept will open in a new location in Town Center. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, will modernize the traditional “bar and grill” concept in a setting inspired by traditional farmhouses with a touch of elegance. The restaurant, designed by tonychi, will capture the essence of laid-back California dining made popular by Puck at Spago, his flagship restaurant in Los Angeles. The menu will highlight the best of Puck’s signature dishes with Mediterranean influences, innovative takes on comfort food classics and handcrafted specialty cocktails, beer and wine.

This fall, Chicago-based Levy Restaurants is introducing a new Italian concept at Disney Springs with James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano leading development. The new restaurant will replace Levy’s Portobello Country Italian Trattoria and will feature dishes inspired by Mantuano’s adventures in Italy.


Opening later this year, The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant, bar and nighttime destination will debut. A collaboration of Patina Restaurant Group and Kinetescape’s Andrew Meieran, The Edison is noted for classic American food, craft cocktails and live entertainment including cabaret. (The Disney Springs location is inspired by its sister location in Los Angeles.) With Old World sophistication and romance, The Edison will be themed to a 1920s-era electric company, recalling an exuberant era of invention and imagination with entertainment that includes contortionists, aerialists, DJs and more.

Also opening in late 2017 is Wine Bar George, with Master Sommelier George Miliotes bringing his expertise to Disney Springs with an unparalleled wine list including more than 100 selections by the bottle and glass in a range of varietals, vintages and prices. Shareable plates, cheese and charcuterie will complement the wine list, featuring local artisans and seasonally relevant dishes. Wine education will be served up in an approachable and fun manner, including special events and visits from renowned winemakers. Miliotes is widely regarded as one of the industry’s foremost wine experts, and is one of only 236 professionals certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers.