Disney’s 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, that runs September 14 – November 24.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Celebrates 20 Years of Flavors from Around the World
Guests attending the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort join a daily beverage seminar at the Festival Center. Seminars offer guests an opportunity to meet a featured winery principal or beverage expert, discover tasting tips and sample select wines or other beverages.

Let’s begin with the stellar lineup of celebrity chefs who will cook and entertain throughout the 62-day festival — Geoffrey Zakarian, Maneet Chauhan, Duff Goldman, Elliott Farmer, Masaharu Morimoto and Graham Elliot are the newcomers for 2016, joining longtime favorites including Robert Irvine, Cat Cora, Norman Van Aken, Elizabeth Falkner, Buddy Valastro and Jamie Deen. And, yes, ABC’s “The Chew” is back for a week of taping their Emmy Award-winning show!

Seared Scallops Coming to 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Mojo Roasted Pork Coming to 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
For the very first time, we’re expanding the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival experience to some of the Walt Disney World Resort

“Brunch with a Twist at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa” — a sumptuous 5-star, 5-course meal prepared by the resort’s award-winning chefs
“The Secrets of Flavor at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort” — a three-course lunch that gives guests a ‘sensory-food connection’ at Yachtsman Steakhouse
“Culinary Adventures with a Master Chef” at Disney’s Contemporary Resort — a hands-on chef’s table experience in a professional working kitchen
“Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto” at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort — an entertaining tour of the whimsical Trader Sam’s, followed by lunch and a special mixology session
Keep checking Magical-Destinations Blog for updates about when you can begin making reservations for these festival experiences and more.

And with 39 new or re-imagined marketplace dishes and 47 new cocktails, beers, wines and ciders on the menu for this year’s festival, there will be a lot to choose from. Here are a few new dishes from some of the more than 30 Festival Marketplaces that Epcot guests can experience this fall: elegant seared scallop with truffled celery root puree, Brussels sprouts and mushrooms at Wine & Dine Studio; the mojo pork with black beans and rice at Islands of the Caribbean (and the divine quesitos are there too!); loaded Greek “nachos” at the Greece Marketplace, and our favorite: peanut butter and white chocolate mousse from The Chew Collective.

Visit epcotfoodfestival.com for more details on all of the festival’s events.

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Soarin’ Around the World Is Now Open at Disney Parks

The wait is over! Disney Parks guests can finally experience Soarin’ Around the World, the newly reimagined attraction that whisks guests on a journey above more than a dozen wondrous international destinations around the world.

The attraction is now open at three Disney Parks: Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort; Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort; and at Shanghai Disneyland (where the attraction goes by the name Soarin’ Over the Horizon).

Soarin’ Around the World elevates guests up to 40 feet into an 80-foot projection screen dome that fill’s a guest’s entire field of vision that gives them the sense of flight. During their journey, guests can expect to spy jaw-dropping natural and man-made landmarks like the Great Wall of China, Sydney Harbor in Australia, and the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Not only that, but a guest may find that their other senses are engaged, feeling, smelling and hearing the new world around them.

In addition to the new attraction experience, the attraction at Epcot also added a third theater and reimagined its queue to feature a new game called “Soarin’ Challenge” that guests can play via smartphone while they wait. This complimentary travel trivia game allows guests to join hundreds of other players to answer questions on geography, cuisine, languages and more. Guests can also unlock passport stamps for their digital collection and aim to up their personal score on the leaderboard. Don’t have a mobile device? No problem – look to one of the in-queue displays to participate.

So tell us – what destination are you looking forward to flying over in Soarin’ Around the World?

Disney Expands “Frozen” Franchise with New Collection of Books, Animated Shorts and Digital Extensions

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Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated feature Frozen launched a worldwide phenomenon in 2013, becoming the highest-grossing animated feature ever released with more than $1.27 billion in global box office. To build on the beloved tale, Disney announced Frozen Northern Lights, an original story from the kingdom of Arendelle spanning a collection of books, animated shorts from the LEGO Group and new digital extensions. Beginning in July, Frozen fans can follow Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven on an epic adventure to restore the glimmer of the Northern Lights.

“Natural phenomenon meets cultural phenomenon in this all new story, ‘Frozen Northern Lights,’” said Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “We’re excited to share this new adventure and offer fans great new ways to connect with their favorite characters thanks to a host of related books, digital games and activities.”

The story titled, “Disney Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights,” published by Random House, will be introduced as a deluxe novelization in July ahead of an extended collection of books featuring the familiar characters fans know and love, as well as a brand-new protagonist named Little Rock. In addition, the storyline will be reimagined by the LEGO Group with four new animated shorts and a full compilation airing on Disney Channel this fall. The shorts will bring the unique brand of stylized animation and witty LEGO humor to the world of Frozen, with the voice talent from the movie reprising their roles.

Celebrate Finding Dory with “whale talk”

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Opening in theaters nationwide on June 17, “Finding Dory” features a fun and talented voice cast, including Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, Albert Brooks as Marlin, Ed O’Neill as “septopus” Hank, Kaitlin Olson as whale shark Destiny and Ty Burrell as beluga whale Bailey.

To celebrate the day, on June 11 guests will receive a complimentary “Speak Like a Whale Day” button when entering a theme park at the Disneyland Resort or exiting a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort, while supplies last. Guests will also receive buttons at distribution locations on the Disney Cruise Line ships, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort.

At the Exposition Park on the West Side of Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort and at the Downtown Disney Live! Stage at Disneyland Resort, dive into the fun with a live DJ hosting music, games and giveaways from 11am to 4pm. And throughout the afternoon little minnows and adults alike can learn the ancient art of whalespeak in a fun and interactive presentation.

Guests will also be invited to Speak Like Whale with special activities hosted on all 4 Disney Cruise Line ships.

At The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot, guests may have the opportunity to participate in brief personalized experiences with one of our animal experts throughout the day. Based on your interests, our cast members can provide insider’s knowledge about our animals and point out the real-life species who inspired the characters of Dory and her friends, including a sea star like Peach and clownfish like Nemo.

If you’re not able to celebrate the day at Disney Parks, share in the fun by uploading a video of your best whale impression and tag with #SpeakLikeAWhaleDay.

 

Frozen Games at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

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Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park kicked off this Memorial Day the Frozen Games with Olaf and Kristoff hosting daily winter-themed activities for guests of all ages, including Snowball Toss and Ski Pole Limbo. All activities are complimentary and guests can sign up at the park entrance to participate.

The Games Committee has decided to take advantage of a freak Florida snowstorm to host an impromptu Frozen-themed event at Blizzard Beach! Guests at the water park can choose to join Team Kristoff or Team Olaf in a flurry of fun family activities—from Ice Pail Relays and Slide Races to a Snowball Toss, Ski Pole Limbo and more!

Olaf and Kristoff will join Winter Games Committee members in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and make appearances throughout the day to cheer on their teams and share the latest scores and updates.

The Frozen Games is an all-day event that takes place daily from May 27 to August 21, 2016 at Blizzard Beach water park. There is no cost to participate—all activities are included with your regular park admission! The event begins shortly after the park opens, and Guests can sign up right at the park entrance.

Hurry to Blizzard Beach water park this summer—before the sun melts the snow away!