Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lots and lots of Walt Disney News!

Fall Opening Planned for Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom

A fall 2013 opening is slated for Princess Fairytale Hall as New Fantasyland, the largest expansion project in the history of Magic Kingdom, continues to grow. Princess Fairytale Hall will be the new home for Disney princesses to meet their loyal subjects in the Magic Kingdom. The castle-like entrance will feature walls of stone and stained glass windows opening up into a large gallery – an airy space with a high ceiling – where portraits of the Disney princesses adorn the walls. When it’s time for their royal audience, guests will proceed toward an elegantly finished chamber, where they may meet some of their favorite Disney princesses. Each chamber accommodates up to two Disney princesses. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will join the New Fantasyland lineup of fun in 2014.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Returns Sept. 10 with 23 Nights of Halloween Fun in Magic Kingdom

Halloween’s happiest haunts will reappear for 23 “spook-tacular” nights of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom.

From Sept. 10 through Nov. 1, the after-hours special ticket event will immerse guests in the Halloween spirit. The bewitching “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks spectacular will illuminate the sky in bursts of orange and green fireworks.  In “Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade” the Headless Horseman parades a gang of ghostly characters down Main Street, U.S.A. for a haunted, but happy, Halloween season.

New features this year include the debut of Jack Skellington and Sally (from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas”), along with “Monsters, Inc.” scarers Mike and Sulley hosting their own Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball.

The night of ever so slightly frightful fun begins at 7 p.m. and runs until midnight, with guests encouraged to don their favorite Halloween costumes and partake in trick-or-treating around the Magic Kingdom theme park.

Party dates in 2013 are:

Sept. 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, and 29
Oct. 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, and 31
Nov. 1

To purchase advance tickets, guests can visit or call 407-W-DISNEY.

Night of Joy Celebrates 31st Year with Christian Music Stars

2013 marks the 31st year for Disney’s Night of Joy, two nights where the best in Contemporary Christian music meets the fun and fantasy of the Magic Kingdom.

The complete line-up includes:
  • Friday, September 6: Mercy Me, Steven Curtis Chapman & Michael W. Smith, Skillet, Mandisa, Audio Adrenaline, For King and Country, Moriah Peters, We As Human and City Harbor
  • Saturday, September 7: TobyMac, Francesca Batistelli, Newsboys, Matthew West, Group 1 Crew, Building 429, Plumb and Jamie Grace

Night of Joy is an after-hours event that requires a special ticket. Event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each evening. One-day tickets to Disney’s Night of Joy are $55 plus tax in advance and $65 plus tax the night of the show (if available). Two-night tickets are $99 plus tax (advance purchase only) and group discounts are also available.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit

California Grill Opens Doors After Complete Redesign, Reimagining

The iconic California Grill that started a dining evolution at Walt Disney World Resort in 1995 reopens this fall after a complete transformation with a design inspired by mid-century modern California, and a new menu showcasing seasonal ingredients and a lighter touch.  

Welcoming back guests in early September with sweeping views of the Magic Kingdom from atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the reimagined restaurant features dishes such as baked local prawns with charred lemon and wild Columbia River salmon with Zellwood sweet corn pudding.

Sushi is showcased with a new, multi-course omakase menu featuring pristine seafood. The wine list expands with about 250 wines on the list, 80 by the glass. There also are 10 varieties of sake, eight kinds of craft beers and ciders, and signature cocktails created just for California Grill. For reservations call 407-WDW-DINE.

Fall Into Savings with Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Offers

It’s a great time to stay at the Walt Disney Resort, where great rates and special offers are available throughout the fall.

Guests who purchase a non-discounted six night/seven day Magic Your Way package at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will receive a free dining plan for use during travel this fall. Book now through September 15, 2013 to take advantage of this offer available during the following dates:

September 29 to October 2, 2013
October 18 to November 2, 2013
November 11 to November 23, 2013
December 12 to December 22, 2013

Save up to 30% on stays at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, valid for stays on most nights. With a variety of dates available, guests can save on their stays from now until December.

September 29 through November 9, 2013: book by September 15, 2013
November 10 through November 22, 2013 and November 30 through December 23, 2013: book by November 3, 2013

For more information call 407-W-DISNEY, your travel agent or visit

New Festival Flavors and Eat to the Beat Concert Bands Are Hot, Hot, Hot at the 18th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Disney chefs and beverage experts will dish up 220 different festival foods and beverages at the 18th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase, which takes place from Sept. 27-Nov. 11, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort. With more than 25 international and specialty marketplaces, guests can indulge in a variety of authentic tastes at familiar favorites such as Brazil, Australia, and Africa, vegan options at Terra, or debut dishes from Scotland.

Festival highlights include:
  • Culinary demos from a high-powered lineup of celebrity chefs such as Cat Cora, Gale Gand and Buddy Valastro.
  • Daily wine tastings and mixology seminars, which are available for a nominal fee.
  • Special culinary programs that showcase a lineup of renowned winemakers and guest chefs who participate in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.
  • A vast lineup of premium seminars, tastings and pairings including the popular Party for the Senses grand tasting events.
  • Eat to the Beat! concerts feature debut acts The Go-Go’s, Edwin McCain, The Manhattan Transfer, Wilson Phillips and Spin Doctors along with fan favorites Sugar Ray, Boyz II Men and Smash Mouth.

Authentic Taste seminars, Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog, special book signings, Eat to the Beat! concerts,cultural adventures and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations for premium programs and events. Complete festival information including reservations for select events and programs is available at

Serving up changes at Fountain View at Epcot

Reopening in early September, Fountain View will have a new look and new offerings for Epcot guests— featuring Starbucks products. Popular Disney-made treats will be served alongside Starbucks treats like coffee, espresso and Frappuccino-blended beverages, as well as breakfast sandwiches and pastries.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Opens New Gardens Kiosk

Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests with special dietary restrictions now have an have an easy way to learn about meal options in the park.

Thanks to the new Gardens kiosk, open 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. daily on Discovery Island, guests can stop and chat with cast members about food allergies or intolerances such as gluten or wheat, lactose or dairy, peanuts and tree nuts, shellfish, soy, fish, eggs and corn.

Gardens also offers snacks for purchase including hummus with vegetables, granola bars, popcorn, desserts, chips, a gluten-free beer and vegan sweets from Baby Cakes.

Guests also can visit to review special dietary requests, or send an email with specific needs to 14 days prior to your visit.

Conservation Days at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

This fall, guests can participate in activities themed to special critters and learn how Disney cares for them and supports their conservation in the wild through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. The special days are:

September 5: International Vulture Awareness Day
September 26: Elephant Day
October 31: Bat Day
November 12: Rhino Day

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is Haunting Backdrop for 10-Miler Weekend, Oct. 4 – 5

Disney villains take center stage for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, Oct. 4 – 5.   The weekend features a haunting nighttime 10-mile race starting at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, running through ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and finishing, appropriately enough, near The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Runners and guests who purchase a special ticket can enjoy the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash post-race party.  Partygoers will enjoy live music, Disney characters and access to attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock “n” Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and Toy Story Mania! until 4 a.m.  Families can enjoy the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run and runDisney Kids’ Races at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday, Nov. 5.  A two-day Health and Fitness Expo featuring several vendors and a speaker series takes place on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4 – 5 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  For more information visit

Newly Re-Imagined Disney Magic Sailing in October

Disney Cruise Line’s flagship vessel, the Disney Magic, will be setting sail with new spaces, re-imagined areas and exciting additions for the whole family, Oct. 20.

From a new grand atrium lobby and children’s area of “super hero” proportions to a three-story water thrill ride and a space to stimulate the “Senses,” there are plenty of new and magical surprises in store for cruise guests. The ship features fun new experiences with Marvel characters – the first time Super Hero icons from the Marvel Universe have been introduced on a Disney Cruise Line ship.

Following the “re-imagining” transformation of the ship that takes place during dry dock Sept. 7-Oct. 10 in Cadiz, Spain, the Disney Magic will depart Oct. 20 from Miami on a special five-night voyage including two stops at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, and a stop at Nassau. This first cruise after dry dock sets the stage for a schedule of two-, three-, four- and five-night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean. Beginning Jan. 2, 2014 the Disney Magic will sail from Port Canaveral on alternating three- and four-night cruises including a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, and Nassau.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

Spooky Sailings for Disney Cruise Line Guests This Fall

The witching hour has begun at Disney Cruise Line, and with that comes treats, tricks and everything in between.

Starting as early as Sept. 21, ship guests will delight in spooky surroundings and magical mischief to celebrate the Halloween holiday the only way Disney knows how. Haunted parties will feature costume-clad Disney characters and spooky Halloween movies will be shown across the ships.

Guests will be encouraged to scare up an appetite for special spooky treats like spider cakes and “Witch’s Brew.”

On select Disney Dream voyages, Halloween on the High Seas will be the debuting for the fleet. This fiendish event will feature several new themed additions, including Mickey’s Calling All the Monsters Mouse-Querade Deck Party, a celebration in addition to the swashbuckling Pirate Night.

Other events like Haunted Stories of the Sea told by a mysterious storyteller will captivate young ghouls and goblins, and A Nightmare Before Christmas—Sing and Scream will delight guests of all ages with an interactive movie experience followed by a special meet and greet with Jack Skellington and Sally.

To celebrate Halloween, the Disney Dream sails three- and four-night Bahamas cruises from Sept. 22 to Oct. 31 (excluding Sept. 29.) The Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Sep. 21 to Oct. 26; the Disney Wonder sails seven-night Bahamas and Western Caribbean cruises from Sept. 28 to Oct. 26; and the Disney Magic departs on Oct. 27 for a five-night Western Caribbean voyage.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

Limited Time Magic Continues with Memory-Filled Disney Experiences

September and October see more exciting Limited Time Magic fun for Disney Parks guests – surprise and delight moments that appear, then disappear to give way to the next experience.

Disney dream makers are crafting more surprises and magical offers:

Unleash the Villains:  Mark Friday the 13th with extra hours and special meet and greets Disney-style. On Sept. 13, 2013 Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will stay open until the 13th Hour (1 a.m.). Maleficent, Capt. Hook, Hades and other Disney villains host a dance party, plus “Villainy in the Sky” fireworks and other nighttime mischief.

Pirate Week:  Celebrate scalawags all week long as the adventures of Jack Sparrow come to life like never before during a bicoastal buccaneer bash in which Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort become pirate-palooza: pirate bands, pirate meet-and-greets, and more. Popular Disney Junior favorites Jake and the Never Land Pirates will join the festivities at Walt Disney World Resort.  Dates to be announced.

Chalk Art Festival: The streets of Downtown Disney on both coasts transform into a giant canvas during a Chalk Art Festival. Guests enjoy their favorite Disney characters and scenes from classic Disney films portrayed in epic 3-D chalk art – for a limited time only. Dates to be announced.

Visit for weekly updates.

Disney Dreamers Academy Celebrates its Seventh Year of Igniting Lives, Dreams and Passions

Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine is seeking its next class of teens who are looking to make their dreams a reality. Applications are available now for U.S. high school students ages 13-19 to attend this innovative, educational and mentoring program March 6-9, 2014. Students must submit their applications on by October 31, 2013.

Entering its seventh year, Disney Dreamers Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire and fuel the dreams of teens, help them discover a world of possibilities and prepare them for the future. Each year, 100 students participate in hands-on workshops related to a multitude of career paths. Each participant learns important skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies from established professionals and celebrity speakers in a magical setting at the Walt Disney World Resort. Past event speakers include national talk show host and entertainer Steve Harvey, actress and recording Artist Jordin Sparks, journalist Soledad O’Brien, E! News host Terrence J, motivational speaker Jonathan Sprinkles and more.

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