Refurbishments #4 WDW Theme Parks

AS OF TODAY AUGUST 1, 2016 THESE ARE THE CURRENT UP TO DATE SCHEDULED REFURBISHMENTS AT THE WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT’S THEME PARKS. CHECK BACK FOR MORE POSTS AS MORE NEWS BECOMES AVAILABLE!

MAGIC KINGDOM

Monorail: Now – Summer 2016: The Walt Disney World Resort Monorail System is undergoing refurbishment and may be on modified service and/or routes. If Guests plan to use this form of transportation during their visit they should check to be sure of the best option available on their day of travel, as alternative transportation options will be available.

Swiss Family Treehouse: July 6 – September 24, 2016

Liberty Square Riverboat: August 1 – 7, 2016

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: August 8 – November 18, 2016

“It’s a Small World”: August 22 – September 15, 2016

EPCOT

None

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Pizza Planet: January 19 – Late 2016

Muppet Vision 3D: August 15 – 22, 2016

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

DINOSAUR: July 25 – October 16, 2016

Dino Institute Shop: July 25 – October 16, 2016

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

NONE

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

Annual Referbishment October 23 – December 24, 2016

Disney Springs

Planet Hollywood: January 5 – Fall 2016

Fulton’s Crab House – reopening as Paddlefish: April 4 – Fall 2016

Cookes of Dublin: August 1 – 8, 2016

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

Every year, sometime in March through May,Walt Disney World puts on EPCOT’s International Flower & Garden Festival. EPCOT is always beautifully landscaped but the amazing Disney Magic truly shines during this festival. Exquisite plantings, topiary’s of your favorite Disney characters and specially themed gardens as well as gardening tips and weekend concerts are some of the many amazing things that you can experience while attending the Flower & Garden Festival.

Go on over to the Walt Disney World Website to get the official dates and schedule for the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.

Besides all of the beautifully designed topiaries that are placed throughout Future World and World Showcase, you can also enjoy the Outdoor Kitchen Booths. Similar to the pop up stands for the Food & Wine Festival, these booths are all around World Showcase and feature small serving plates of goods as well as interesting drinks from all of the different countries. (Hints International Festival). 

Each weekend during the Flower & Garden Festival you can attend “hands-on presentations” and “demonstrations” for select gardening tips. Also, each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night during the Flower & Garden Festival you can catch some amazing singers and bands at the America Gardens Theater. You can find a complete schedule of the Garden Rocks Concert Series on the Walt Disney World Website.

Just like any special event that goes on at Walt Disney World, crowds impact how much you enjoy yourself. The Flower & Garden and Food & Wine Festivals bring in fairly large local crowds to these invents, especially on the weekends. If you are interested in seeing the Garden Rocks Concerts plan to get there early to get your spot and enjoy some of the foods. But if you are just going to see the displays and enjoy some food, go during the week!

 

EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FLOWER & GARDEN FESTIVAL EXPANDS TO 90 DAYS IN 2016

Celebrating its 23rd year, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival returns to Walt Disney World Resort March 2-May 30, 2016, expanding from 75 days to 90 days.

From fresh farm market flavors at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens and new Disney character topiaries to interactive play gardens and live rockin’ music, this annual event will shower your family with spring surprises.

Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, will make their topiary debut with Donald and Daisy at the park’s front entrance garden. Plus, in celebration of the National Parks Service Centennial, Ranger Mickey Mouse, in topiary form, will make his first appearance.

Savory bites and sweet treats will be abundant at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, returning for a fourth year with Guest favorites and new food and beverage offerings. And, when they’re not noshing along the World Showcase promenade, you can dig in for a hands-on experience during Disney-led gardening seminars or grab a seat for pop musical performances during the Garden Rocks concert series at the outdoor America Gardens Theatre.

Stay tuned to Disney Travel News for more details about this exciting event!

 

GET A SPLASH OF COLOR AT THE NEW COLORTOPIA EXHIBIT AT INNOVENTIONS AT EPCOT

Now at Walt Disney World Resort, you and your family can experience the wonderful world of color at Colortopia, Presented by Glidden – a brand new exhibit in Innoventions at Epcot.

At Colortopia, you can explore 3 interactive zones – the Color Lab, color Our World Studio and Power of Color Theater – for a fun, informative take on the numerous ways color affects our lives. From creating custom hues and digital painting to understanding how different shades can impact moods, Guests will learn how every color tells a story.

Plus, the Colortopia mobile app allows you and your family to take their masterpiece home, colorize photos and play with a range of vivid palettes.

 

New Years Eve in Disney World

The week in between Christmas and New Years is by far the most crowded time in Walt Disney World. If you are not a crowd person then this time is NOT for you! I would advise you to go in September and October or the end of January and February. But if you are willing to take on the crowds and make the most of it then pay attention!

  • Arrive Early and Stay Late! During this time of year the parks open to guests staying on property very early and stay open very late to accommodate the heavy crowds. Get to the parks at least an hour to 30 minutes earlier than park open.

  • Take a Break Mid-Day! This goes hand in hand with Arrive Early and Stay Late. For the most party during this week you could see the Magic Kingdom opening as early as 7:00 am and closing at 3:00 am. There is absolutely no way that you could be there that whole time whether you are a party of all adults or adults and children. Plan to skip the middle part of the day, go back to your hotel and eat lunch and take a nap. Then head back late in the afternoon after the crowds have drowned out and enjoy the evening festivities at the parks!

  • Eat your Meals Off-Schedule! Your normal day-to-day schedule is likely to change while you’re in Disney, whether it’s a time change for you and your family or just the way that you schedule your park time. Let’s say if you are going to the parks super early you’re going more than likely going to eat breakfast early which is going to make your lunch early. This is a good thing because your lunch time will not be at the normal “lunch” time. Like I had said above, eating at your hotel or getting a reservation for lunch at an hotel would be your best bet. Even bringing or buying lunch items to eat in the hotel room would be a good way to avoid crowds and take a break from Disney.

  • Utilize your FastPass+! First of all make sure to get your FastPasses as soon as they become available at the 60-Days Out mark. Schedule your FastPasses for the busiest times of the day, which will be the middle of the day. So before you leave for your break for mid-day go ride all the rides! Plan on during the morning hours and evening hours either waiting in line or experiencing the other things that the parks have to offer besides the rides.

  • Do the Unpopular Rides! These rides you may have done once before, but they aren’t your “HAVE TO” rides every time you go to the parks. These rides are also the classics and will more than likely have little to no line. Imagine that! For example some rides at the Magic Kingdom are: Carousel of Progress, Tiki Room Shows, Country Bear Jamboree and the Hall of Presidents. And don’t forget a ride around on the Walt Disney World Railroad or the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. In EPCOT attractions like Living with the Land, American Adventure and Figment are classics but usually don’t hold a very long line. Any of the stage shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom are your best bet to ditch the crowds at those parks. 

The Magic Kingdom and EPCOT have specialty firework shows just for New Years. The Magic Kingdom actually presents their firework show, Fantasy in the Sky, on December 30 as well as New Years Eve. On each of these nights Holiday Wishes will go off followed by the New Year’s show, so don’t leave early! EPCOT presents Illuminations twice on New Years Eve. The first running includes the Peace on Earth segment and the second running will feature the New Year’s Eve version.

Plan to go to wherever you choose to watch the fireworks at least two hours in advance if not more. Get there and pick your spot and stay there! Dress warm and make sure you’ve gone to the bathroom and ate something before you pick your spot.

I can not stress enough to pack your patience. And just remember that not everything is going to go according to plan but it is essential to have a plan to go by! Have alternative choices and enjoy the little things and you should have a great time! After all you will be in the Happiest Place on Earth!

HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD RETURNS TO EPCOT NOVEMBER 27

Beginning Nov. 27, 2015, you and your family can celebrate a world of cheer as Holidays Around the World returns to Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort. Amid joyful music and seasonal food favorites, time-honored traditions spring to life as costumed performers present holiday heritage throughout World Showcase.

This year, you and your family can enjoy new live musical performances by American Music Machine. This five-member a capella group will perform modern and nostalgic holiday hits, including “White Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

“Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season” enlivens the Fountain Stage throughout the day, while the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs take us on a musical exploration of holiday traditions from across the Great White North in the Canada Pavilion. In Mexico, “Feliz Navidad” features colorful dancers and mariachis, who celebrate the holiday customs of Mexico in an interactive, musical performance, and the China Pavilion bursts to life with the vibrant Chinese Lion Dance, bringing good fortune and happiness to all in honor of major holidays such as the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival.

Plus the Candlelight Processional, one of the most beloved holiday traditions at Walt Disney World Resort, takes place at America Gardens Theater at 5, 6:45 and 9 p.m. each evening. 

Holidays Around the World at Epcot takes place Nov. 27-Dec. 30, 2015.

ROCKIN’ BURGER BLOCK PARTY AND YELLOWEEN MASQUERADE PREMIUM EVENTS AT THE EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL

With the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort just a few weeks away, now is a great time to check this year’s Premium Events. Here’s a closer look at two of the delicious offerings available during the festival, which takes place Sept. 25-Nov. 16, 2015. 

Rockin’ Burger Block Party

At the Rockin’ Burger Block Party in World Show Place, you can feast on a selection of delectable burgers, sliders and finger foods, including a coffee-crusted beef short rib burger, a spiced lamb burger, a shrimp and scallop burger, spicy-sticky pig wings, veggie pot stickers and cheeseburger spring rolls. You can even vote on the best burger of the night. Plus, as you can party the night away with a live DJ, enjoy a variety of craft beers, wines and cocktails. And, for a sweet end to the evening there are over-the-top desserts to enjoy, including cinnamon roll fireball bread pudding, snickerdoodle-crusted apple custard crisp and chocolate ganache brownies.

Dates for the Rockin’ Burger Block Party are Sept. 25, Oct. 8 and Nov. 6 from 7-9 p.m., with hosts ABC’s “The Chew” joining the fun on Oct. 8. The cost is $99 plus tax; $119 plus tax for reserved table on main floor, early admission at 6:45 p.m., and a specialty cocktail; or $199 plus tax for VIP Nosh Pit seating with a private reserved table, early admission at 6:45 p.m., specialty cocktail and premium bar.

Party for the Senses Yelloween Masquerade

For one night only, you can grab your yellow and black attire for the elegant Yelloween Masquerade Party Oct. 31, 2015 from 7-9:30 p.m. This very special Party for the Senses event celebrates Halloween with an alluring array of menu items paired with champagne, wines, craft beers and specialty cocktails. You can revel the night away with tantalizing music and magnificent visuals in a unique experience unlike any other Party for the Senses event. The dress code for this mysterious masquerade is stylish and charming, so I would encourge you to be creative as you dress in your best yellow and black

The cost is $169 plus tax general admission; $199 plus tax for a reserved table on the main floor with specialty cocktail toast, and $319 plus tax for a private reserved table, early entrance at 6:45 p.m., specialty cocktail toast, artisanal cheese station and more.

Book your Premium Event reservations by calling 407-WDW-FEST (407-939-3378) or by booking online at epcotfoodfestival.com. Admission to Epcot is required.