Disney have bought Fox… How will this affect the parks?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So I started this blog in December 2017 but never got around to publishing it however with Disney sealing the deal and finally purchasing 20th Century Fox I think its time to share, don’t you..

It has been announced that the Walt Disney Company have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire and Twenty-First Century Fox which will also include Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, cable and international TV businesses for a HUGE.. get this… $52.4 BILLION in stock.

Image result for 21st century fox

This deal is the latest in a list of big assets in which Disney have gained in the last 12 years since Bob Iger has been CEO and Chariman. First came Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012. These have led to ownership of IP such as Toy Story, Avengers and Star Wars. As part of this deal Bob Iger will stay in his role as chairman and CEO until the end of 2021.

Disney have relied on their recent IP gains as they prepare for the 50th Anniversary in 2021 with the likes of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land and a rumoured Indiana Jones Land. And they now own a large chunk of Fox’s film and TV properties such as X-Men, Alien, Deadpool, Fantastic Four, Planet of the Apes, The X – Files, 24 and channels such as FX and National Geographic. The vast amount of material this will give Disney for future park ideas could include the likes of Planet of the Apes, Night at the Museum, Ice Age, Home Alone or any National Geographic ideas. Imagine the Home Alone house sitting in a park or a ‘come to life’ Museum walk through. The possibility for Disney in their parks is now endless. Fox also own Avatar so this could mean a possible expansion if any of the 4 Avatar sequels prove just as popular as the first.

Now we know that a few of Fox’s properties are already featured in various other theme parks, especially Universal Orlando Resort. Universal have Springfield USA / The Simpsons and are still  the sole home of Spiderman, Captain America and the likes despite the Mouse buying Marvel Entertainment. The Walt Disney Company have said it will give them ‘the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof‘ (although i’m not sure how family friendly Deadpool is 😉 )however there are so many restrictions for Disney due to many already being present at Universal which leads me on to some detective work I’ve been carrying out.. Fox (FX in particular) is the home of American Horror Story so would this mean any changes to Universals Halloween Horror Nights once the deal is sealed.. which could take up to 12-18 months.

 

UPDATES

“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us—one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”

It is said that the merger doesn’t change anything concerning the right for The Simpsons currently at UOR however we now know that AHS will not be featured at any HHN’s in the foreseeable future due to this merger.

There is also no word just yet on how Marvel properties will be integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When asked about the effects of this merger on MCU studio head Kevin Feige told Vulture “We’re not thinking about it. We’re focusing on everything we’ve already announced […] [Adding Fox’s Marvel characters] would be years away.”

Ryan Reynolds has posted a tweet showing his feels on this merger though.. 😉

Deadpool at Disney could really be a sight to see! 😉

This could be the start of some big big things for Disney and us as guests to the parks. We’ll be sure to keep you updated!

What Fox IP would you like to see at Disney after this merger?

Smiles Included,

Abby

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has an opening date!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We now have opening dates for the most anticipated land in a Disney park everrrr!

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is opening on the 29th August 2019 at Hollywood Studios Orlando (and 31st May at the California park) A lot sooner than we expected to be honest!

Disney have said that the lands are debuting early due to ‘high guest interest’ however there are a few differences with this opening than past debuts (such as Toy Story Land and Pandora).. Disney are opening Galaxy’s Edge in what they’re calling ‘phases’.
On opening day of ‘phase 1’ guests will be able to experience Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run, try out all the food and drink and shop til they drop in the merchant stalls. It won’t be until phase 2 though that guests will be able to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance which is opening ‘later this year’ do you think this is a good idea by Disney or is ‘the most ambitious, immersive and advanced attraction ever imagined that will put guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance and will blur the lines between fantasy and reality.’ just not going to be ready for the opening dates?

If you’re planning on visiting the Disneyland park for the opening in May, on top of your valid theme park admission you will be required to make a no-cost reservation, subject to availability to access the land. Information on how to make a reservation will be available at a later date.
Guests staying at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels during these dates will receive a designated reservation to access Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during their stay (one reservation per registered guest); valid theme park admission is required.

But more importantly, a reservation will not be offered or required to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the Walt Disney World Resort at this time. At the moment all you’ll need is your admission and you’ll have to bear in mind that capacity is limited. I can already picture peeps camping outside days before the opening!
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios WILL be available during extra magic hours though. During Extra Magic Hours guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels can spend extra time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios enjoying select attractions.  Details will also be available at a later date.

Here are some tips that Disney have shared to help with planning..

Park Admission: Regular theme park admission is required to enter Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There will not be a separate ticket for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.   To visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland park between May 31 and June 23, 2019, guests will need valid theme park admission and will be required to make a no-cost reservation, subject to availability, to access the land.  We’ll share information on how to make a reservation at a later date.

Land Entry: Because we anticipate galactic excitement during the opening months this year, we are planning ahead to deliver the best possible experiences for our guests.  Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be open during normal park operating hours. It will not be included in Extra Magic Hour or Magic Morning at Disneyland Park.  It will be available during Extra Magic Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Attractions: For your vacation planning purposes, please be aware that Disney FASTPASS service, including access via Disney MaxPass, (at Disneyland park) and Disney FastPass+ service (at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) will not initially be offered at Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. We will continually evaluate our operations and services in order to help provide a great guest experience.

Planning: You should also note that vacation packages, park tickets and Disney Resort hotel stays do not guarantee access to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.  The land —including participation in its experiences—will be subject to capacity restraints and other restrictions.

In a post by Attractions Magazine it looks as though the height requirements have been released too – ‘Height requirements for both rides were also released. At Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, guests must be 38 inches or taller to ride. Once it opens, guests must be 40 inches or taller to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.’

Check out this new video for more details:

Now we have an opening date you better get planning!! 😉

Smiles Included,

Abby

Disney announce new Pavilion and more for Epcot

Hey Thrill Seekers,

New Pavilion

As part of their big multi-year transformation of Epcot Disney have announced that there are now plans in place for a play pavilion that will ‘be unlike anything you’ve ever seen at the park’ The new pavilion will be devoted to playful fun and will feature an innovative city that ‘will come to life’ under the dome of this un-named pavilion which was previously known as ‘Wonders of Life’ Disney have said:

‘The pavilion’s city will be bursting with interactive experiences, your favorite Disney characters, hands-on activities and engaging entertainment when it opens just in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort!’

“This innovative, new pavilion is beyond anything we’ve ever created and is completely unique to Epcot,” said Zach Riddley, portfolio executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. “Built on the power of play, it introduces an immersive and interactive ‘city’ where you can explore, create, and interact with some of your favorite Disney characters. This is an experience worthy of our bold vision for Epcot – and another signature element of our transformation.”

New entrance

Not only can we look forward to a whole new pavilion, Disney have also announced that changes are going to be happening to the main entrance of Epcot. The plaza will welcome guests with new pathways, sweeping green spaces and a newly reimagined fountain. This new design will pay homage to the original park entrance with fresh takes on classic elements. Also as part of the new entry experience ‘Leave A Legacy’ photos will move in to a setting which will be just outside the park’s gateway.
Other redevelopment will also begin between Spaceship Earth and the World Showcase Promenade – more details on this transformation are going to be released at a later date too.

Experience Center

Disney have also announced a Discovery Center which will be coming to Epcot later this year. Guests will soon be able to look into the future at this new center which will be located in Odyssey Events Pavilion and will feature interactive exhibits which main aims are to help visualise park projects throughout the transformation.

These aren’t the only new things that have been announced for Epcot. Here are some of the other new experiences / attractions coming to Epcot.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster
  • Space themed table service restaurant
  • Epcot Forever – limited nighttime show over the lagoon
  • New permanent nighttime spectacular (2020)
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure – France Pavilion
  • Circle Vision 360 film for China Pavilion
  • Beauty and the Beast sing-a-long in France Pavilion
  • Signature dining experience inspired by Japan and its natural beauty

I feel Disney are doing everything right with Epcot to bring it back to life! (even though it is one of my fave parks anyway!)

Smiled Included,

Abby

Everything we know about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Last week I wrote about all of the new details we have learned about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and yesterday some anonymous sources leaked information to Attractions Magazine, especially about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and it’s sooooo cool!

I mentioned in my last post that it sounds as though there was going to be 2 parts to the attraction – a different ride vehicle for each part with a trackless section and this now appears to be true. Lets see what we have discovered from the leaked information..

Pleaseeee be aware that this hasn’t been confirmed by Disney so is still purely rumours and the below contains a hell of a lot of SPOILERS.

There is a blue transport ship currently on display at Hollywood Studios which has also previously been featured in other displays and art concepts. It is said that guests will be loaded on to this ship (first ride vehicle) which will then spin 180 degrees. Large screens and sound effects will make guests feel as though they are taking off from planet Batuu into space. During this journey the whole entire ship will be taken over by the First Order who will ensure the ship lands inside one of their Star Destroyer Hangars.

It sounds like guests will then be treated just like real rebels by The First Order as they exit into the hangar they will be told to ‘move along’ whilst trying to take in their surroundings – animatronic stormtroopers, TIE fighters and even a view of space. This will be one of the largest rooms in the attraction. The First Order will then instruct guests to enter individual load rooms (12 in each room is my guess from the image of the ride vehicles) which will be themed to prison cells. Once in the prison cells a droid will give the infamous safety talk whilst keeping you up to date with the story (i know i’d definitely be paying close attention to this so that i don’t end up asking my peers ‘whats going on now’ throughout the ride!)

The 12 in each loading room will then be split into 2 groups of 6 to board two different First Order vehicles (2nd ride vehicles) which will be accompanying each other throughout the rest of the attraction and will not be separated for more than a few seconds throughout. The vehicles are going to be trackless and will navigate through 4 showrooms. It is said that no room will have more than 2 vehicles in it at a time so this means there will be eight different ride vehicles navigating at a time meaning a continuous stream of guests going through the sequence (that is if they have more than just the 8 vehicles obviously).

The first room you enter will be a blue room where a ‘rogue droid’ will hack into the First Orders system and take over control of guests vehicles which will suddenly ‘take off’ to start the escape mission. The second room will be themed to the hallways inside a Star Destroyer and guests will come face to face with Kylo Ren (animatronic Kylo Ren might i add) who will scare off the rogue guests with his lightsaber and as the ride vehicles back up they’ll take a different route into the AT-AT room which is room number 3 of 4. The buddy vehicles will separate briefly at this point as they travel up individual lifts to more than 40feet high – the AT-AT walkers will be nearly to the size scale that they are in the films (Remember this land and its attractions are all about immersiveness!) each one of the AT-AT’s will have moveable heads which can breathe fire…

The two ride vehicles will then exit the lift and pair up again as they both go under an ‘elevated area’ which will feature both Kylo Ren and General Hux (animatronics) in deep discussion about how the Resistance have come to save the guests. It sounds as thought the pair will not hear that they have company so the guests will quickly sneak away into the 4th room ‘the gun room’ which is said to not actually feature the likes of stormtroopers wondering around like the promo video. 🙁 There will however be a row of the large guns shooting off and guests will get to feel the power on the shots and recoils. There will also be screens (windows to space) showing the resistance fleet getting blasted. Guests will then come face to face with Kylo Ren once again where he will nearly grab them but a huge blast will hit the Star Destroyer just in time causing Ren to get sucked between a broken piece of the ship and the guests :O

From there the guests will get some intel from the resistance about some escape pods – the hacked vehicles will then input the coordinates supplied by the resistance and take off. Unfortunately they have one more encounter with Kylo Ren just before they can fully escape. He uses THE FORCE to keep guests still as he makes his way toward them but luckily a wall suddenly collapses which diverts his attention letting the guests escape, each vehicle will back up into its own escape pod. From there comes another twist as this ride becomes more thrilling than i ever imagined it to be since most peoples focus has been on the Millennium Falcon attraction! Apparently the escape pods are actually lift shafts that will drop guests from the highest point in the show building (remember guests are still 40feet up!), along with the addition of giant screens guests will feel like they have just blasted off into space!! It is said that there may also be windows in the escape pods which will show other ‘guests’ falling through space back to Batuu. Its still not over though as guests will take on a crash landing into an old warehouse before entering the unloading area.

How COOL does Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance sound? I know right! remember the ‘First Order vehicles’ are trackless which i think will work sooo much better than a track for the above ride concept!

Who else is now even more excited for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to open this Autumn?!

Smiles Included,

Abby

What’s coming to the Orlando parks in 2019?

Hey Thrill Seekers!

Happy New Year! Now that all of the festivities are over and i’m as plump as Homer Simpson it’s time to get back to work… I mean it’s not really work when i’m talking about all the new and exciting new things we can now say are opening this year in our beloved Orlando parks!

Universal

New Harry Potter Coaster – Islands of Adventure
Let’s start with the one we’re most excited about here at OAT.. The new Harry Potter coaster coming to Islands of Adventure!!
Said to “combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure.”  we really cannot wait for this to open! Universal have been massively tight lipped about this attraction and it sure has done the job of filling everyone with anticipation about what we’re gunna get. All we know so far is:
For the first time ever, fly far beyond the grounds of Hogwarts™ castle on a thrilling roller coaster ride that plunges into the paths of some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures. Universal’s most highly themed coaster takes off in 2019. Only at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™, at Universal Orlando Resort™.
Construction is well under way at Islands of Adventure and we hope for it to be open soon!

Disney

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Hollywood Studios
Next up is a whole new planet that our world is going crazy for! It’s been a long time coming since it was announced in April 2016 and we can finally say that it’s opening this year – in Fall to be precise (ish). 😍 Who else cannot wait to ride
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?! 

Mickey and Minnies Runaway Railway – Hollywood Studios
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is going to be an immersive ride opening this year. Construction is expected to be finished by fall 2019. The attraction will feature an original story and theme song as it takes guests into the wacky world of the award winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts.

Lightning McQueens Racing Academy – Hollywood Studios
The show will be performed daily in the Sunset Showcase Theatre and there will be a giant wraparound screen that is said to be nearly 2 stories tall and more than 200 feet from end to end!
A lot of the action will be carried out on the giant screens and you will also be able to see a live Lighting McQueen jump into a giant racing simulator like what was used in the training in Cars 3 which is said to be a huge prop with moving parts and its own screen, again, just like the film!

Disney’s Skyliner
This brand new gondola system will connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT to four hotels: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort as well as the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney’s Riviera Resort.

NBA experience – Disney Springs
Developed by Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with the NBA, this one-of-a-kind destination will feature hands-on activities that highlight the action and excitement of professional basketball.
Visitors will be able to take part in hands on activities such as;

  • Execute the perfect slam dunk just like NBA superstars, captured by cameras surrounding adjustable baskets.
  • Access a team locker room that showcases up-to-date statistics and visuals of top NBA and WNBA players.
  • Track and improve their jump shots and passing skills in a replicated NBA Combine challenge, complete with a scouting report that highlights their stats at the end of the session.
  • Step onto the court and hear the roar of the crowd as they maneuver through a series of timed shots to aim for a high score.

Busch Gardens

Tigris
This is another COASTER that we’re super excited about, set to open in spring Tigris will catapult riders through an exhilarating array of looping twists with forward and backward motion, breath-taking drops, a 150-foot skyward surge, and an inverted heartline roll, all at more than 60 miles per hour. Tigris will race riders along more than 1,800 feet of steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s largest and most powerful cat –the tiger. – A thrill seekers dream!

Aquatica

KareKare Curl
Holding two passengers per raft, this new slide delivers a high-adrenaline, weightless adventure. It looks as though it’s going to be a really cool addition to Orlando’s best water park!

SeaWorld

Sesame Street Land
Opening in spring we will finally be able to walk down the famous street, mingle with characters, see daily parades as well as have loads of fun on
SIX colourful, themed rides, including Elmo’s Choo Choo Train, Cookie Drop, Abby’s Flower Tower, Super Grover’s Box Car Derby, Big Bird’s Twirl ‘n’ Whirl and Slimey’s Slider!! Excited is an understatement.. especially to meet Abby Cadabby! 😉

LEGOLAND

LEGO Movie World
Last but definitely not least is the exciting LEGO Movie World, also opening in spring we are getting a whole new world at LEGOLAND Florida, complete with not 1, not 2 but 3 new rides! We’ve got LEGO Movie: Masters of flight, UniKittys Disco Drop and Battle of Bricksburg. There will also be opportunities to meet your favourite LEGO Movie characters such as Emmett.

2019 is going to be a BIG year for the Orlando parks and we can’t wait to see what announcements are going to be made this year too! Here’s a recap of what we can expect..

Which one are you most looking forward too?

Smiles Included,

Abby

Is Disney’s new patent application for Lightsabers?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Lets talk LIGHTSABERS!!

We came across a patent at the beginning of this year which looked as though it was Disney’s door to having pretty much real life lightsabers in their park when Galaxy’s Edge opens HOWEVER a new patent has recently been filed which also points to lightsabers but using completely different and more realistic technology.

Let’s take a look at what we learned in Jan and what we’ve learned today..

January Patent

Back in January Disney filed a patent called ‘audience interaction projection system’ which looked like they were developing a system that will allow guests to ‘carry a physical hilt that can interact with an augmented reality apparatus of some type.

According to the patent the physical hilt would contain positioning and motion sensors – like a Wii controller. The patent didn’t specifically mention Star Wars however they do look like weapons in lightsaber shapes and it mentioned ways in which users can use the technology to interact with the environment and fight enemies.

The patent stated the following:

 “An audience interaction projection system provides a lighting feature that provides a new way for an audience member to participate in an entertainment experience; e.g., theatrical performance, theme park feature, concert, sporting event, movie, etc. The audience member may actually feel as if they are launching powerful beams of laser-like light toward objects on the stage.”

The patent also appeared to discuss drones and how the ‘lightsabers’ could communicate with drones.. It stated “Multiple LEDs can be activated in sequence at various times to give the user the impression that the movement by the user of the faux lightsaber is deflecting multiple laser beams,”

From what we understood from this patent back in January, there is a projector beaming light toward it. The projector technology would then be able to project visible light that is invisible until it hits the intended device — again, a lightsaber — and “rendering the visible light as a beam that appears to emanate from the object rather than from the light source.”

Newest Patent

Now this patent shows a completely different and in my opinion, more realistic way to bring lightsabers to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Called ‘Sword Device with Retractable, Internally Illuminated Blade’ shows a lightsaber style design which allows the ‘beam’ to shoot out of the hilt and retract in a way that is more realistic than the current replica’s and toys you can purchase which are either triangle shaped or you end up having to screw the blade in.

The patent application states:

“Briefly, the inventors recognised that there was a need for a new special effects device that can be used as a theatrical prop, toy, or collector’s item that effectively simulates fictional energy swords including the lightsabers found in many popular films. Particularly, the special effects device (or energy sword, lightsaber prop, or the like) is specially configured to provide an extendable and retractable energy blade that appears to emanate from a handheld hilt due to a lighting effect that appears to provide bright hilt-based lighting.”

In a post by wdwinfo.com they break down the idea of this patent to a simpler explanation.. “The idea behind how it works is genius, because it is based in an action many of us nerds performed in our youth (or last Tuesday). Have you ever extended a tape measure and retracted it, pretending it was a lightsaber? I have, and I had no idea that what I was doing would be used by Disney inventors years later. Imagine two tape measures, both with half-circle cross sections, placed together to create a tube. Disney’s lightsaber hilt would include two spools, one for each half of a cylinder; when extended by a motor the spools would shoot out the two halves, joining them together and producing a lightsaber-blade shape. The opening of the hilt is shaped to overlap the sides or “zip” them together, making for one solid blade. A lightsaber’s gotta light, so LEDs or other lighting elements could be affixed to the “tape” to create the effect, evened out by an anisotropic diffuser to give the appearance of one long, solid light.”

This technology could be used for lightsabers to be purchased in the parks and hotel, for shows that will take place in Galaxy’s Edge and of course for collectors to add to their stashes. 😉

Now I think what we’ve seen in the second patent will be what Disney go with, do you? Obviously Disney file patents all the time with some never coming to life but I think this really goes to show that they are working real hard towards having light sabers in the parks for Galaxy’s Edge.

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Returns in January

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Epcot International Festival of the Arts is returning for a 39 day celebration of visual, culinary and performing arts from all over the world. It starts on the 18th January and ends on the 25th February, offering activities and entertainment for the entire family.

Plus new for 2019 guests can sing along to their favourite Disney Broadway songs throughout Disney on Broadway Concert Series where each week , different pairs of Disney Broadway stars use the America Gardens Theatre Stage to sing tunes from award winning Broadway productions. There will be daily showings at 17:30, 18:45 and 20:00 and the lineup will rotate regularly and feature music from the likes of The Lion King, Frozen and Beauty & the Beast.

  • Kerry Butler (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Kevin Massey (“Tarzan”)
  • Meredith Inglesby (“The Little Mermaid”) and Steve Blanchard (“Beauty and the Beast”)
  • Arielle Jacobs and Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
  • Heidi Blickenstaff (“Freaky Friday”) and Gavin Lee (“Mary Poppins”)
  • Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) and Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
  • Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White (“The Lion King”)

There is no extra cost for the concert series but you can get reserved seating by booking a dining package at a participating restaurant!

Of course it wouldn’t be an Epcot Festival without tonnes of scrumptious food and Epcot International Festival of the Arts will not dissappoint with their 13 Food Studios, plus other creative offerings.

Drop by The Artist’s Table for beef wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables, or enjoy smoked salmon and cream gâteau with egg yolk cream, paddlefish caviar and micro-herbs at The Painter’s Palate. Pop Eats! will serve up almond frangipane cake with raspberry and chocolate, while red wine-braised short rib with parsnip purée, broccolini, baby tomatoes and aged balsamic will be available at Cuisine Classique.

Guests will also find activities to the inspire artists of all ages. Here are a few fun highlights:

  • Everyone’s invited to grab a paintbrush and help create a wall mural along World Showcase Plaza.
  • At the Artful Photo Opportunities, you can step inside masterworks of art and take photos with friends.
  • The Paint with a Disney Artist program invites guests to learn under the tutelage of a professional (offered select Fridays and Sundays, including continental breakfast, for an additional fee).
  • Performing artists are scheduled throughout the festival, demonstrating gravity-defying feats of strength, acrobatics and many other skills.
  • International musical and variety acts will share their talents with guests, including the return of Bodh’aktan to the Canada stage and Delta Q, a new group performing in Germany.
  • Guests can join in the fun of Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt by purchasing a map at select merchandise locations.
  • A variety of workshops led by professionals will teach different artistic techniques, such as floral design, ink and paint, mixed-media art and more (offered Friday-Monday for an additional fee). As a memento of what they learn, guests will take their creations home with them. Details on workshop registration will be released soon.
  • Complimentary 30-minute seminars will give guests helpful instruction for producing their own artwork at home.

Remember It starts on the 18th January and ends on the 25th February!

Smiles Included,

Abby

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays looks TASTY!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Running from the 18th November through to the 30th December, Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is  a celebration of holiday traditions from around the globe including Candlelight Processional, festive decorations, unforgettable entertainment and of course, YUMMY FOOD!

There will be 12 Holiday Kitchens plus additional locations throughout the park and this year there’s not only new items at Feast of the Three Kings but there is a whole new Holiday Kitchen! ‘L’Chaim’ which will feature traditional Jewish Dishes such as the below Pastrami on Rye, Chicken and Matzo Ball Soup, Egg Cream and more.

Pastrami on Rye from L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen at Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

Make sure you don’t miss out on the official Holiday Cookie Stroll! All you need to do is buy 5 cookies from any of the official cookie stroll locations (which will be noted in your passport so make sure you get a stamp for each) and once you have collected 5 all you need to do is take your passport to Holiday Sweets & Treats for a free completer cookie. 🙂

Holiday Cookie Stroll Cookies at Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

 

Peppermint Sugar Cookies from Bavaria Holiday Kitchen at Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

Alex Dunlap, Food & Beverage Content Relations Coordinator has put together a handy foodie guide to this event, lets take a look at it! If you’re not hungry now, you will be after this!!

Cheese Fondue from Bavaria Holiday Kitchen at Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

BAVARIA HOLIDAY KITCHEN (GERMANY)
Food Items:

  • Potato Dumpling with Mushroom Sauce (Kid-Approved)
  • Sauerbraten, Red Cabbage and Spätzle
  • Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl with Fresh Steamed Baby Vegetables and Marble Potatoes featuring Melissa’s Produce (Vegetarian) (Kid-Approved)
  • Black Forest Roulade with Cherry Whipped Cream
  • Peppermint Sugar Cookie (Vegetarian)

Beverages:

  • Possmann Pure Hard Apple Cider, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Possmann Pure Hard Black Currant Apple Cider, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Schöfferhofer Pomegranate Hefeweizen, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Cider Flight
  • Regional Riesling
  • Glühwein: House-made Hot Spiced Wine

Hand-Carved Smoked Ham from American Holiday Table at Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

AMERICAN HOLIDAY TABLE (THE AMERICAN ADVENTURE)
Food Items:

  • Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Cranberry Sauce (Kid-Approved)
  • Hand-carved Smoked Ham with Green Beans and Sweet Potato Casserole (Gluten/Wheat Friendly) (Kid-Approved)
  • Chocolate Pecan Tart with Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce (Vegetarian)
  • Red and Green Chocolate Chip Cookie (Vegetarian)

Beverages:

  • American Heritage Milk Chocolate Gourmet Hot Cocoa with Wondermade Marshmallows (non-alcoholic) (Kid-Approved)
  • Orange Blossom Brewing Cranberry Kringle Pilsner, Orlando, FL
  • Shipyard Eggnog White Porter, Clearwater, FL
  • JDub’s Season’s Greetings Peppermint Milk Stout, Sarasota, FL
  • Holiday Beer Flight
  • Cocoa Candy Cane: American Heritage Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa with Peppermint Schnapps

ce Wine Flight from Yukon Holiday Kitchen at Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

YUKON HOLIDAY KITCHEN (CANADA)
Food Items:

  • Seared Salmon with Crown Maple Whisky Glaze, Parsnip Silk, Apple Chutney and Hazelnut Croquant
  • Traditional French Canadian Tourtiere with Canadian Ketchup (Kid-Approved)
  • Maple Bûche de Noël: Maple Mousse rolled in Gingerbread Chiffon Cake with Cranberry Sauce and Pecan Crumble (Vegetarian) (Kid-Approved)
  • Gold Chocolate Chip Cookie (Vegetarian)

Beverages:

  • Frozen Coffee (non-alcoholic)
  • Unibroue Éphémère Strawberry and Rhubarb
  • Inniskillin Riesling Icewine
  • Inniskillin Pearl Vidal Icewine
  • Inniskillin Gold Oak Icewine
  • Ice Wine Flight
  • Frozen Coffee with Tap 357 Whisky

Tres Leches Rice Pudding from Feast of the Three Kings at Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

FEAST OF THE THREE KINGS (SHOWCASE PLAZA)
Food Items:

  • Pastelón: Sofrito-marinated Beef with Sweet Plantains and Olives (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
  • Queso Fresco-stuffed Arepa topped with Shrimp, Crushed Avocado Aji and Tomato Sauce (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
  • Arepas topped with Melted Queso Fresco (Vegetarian) (Gluten/Wheat Friendly) (Kid-Approved)
  • Tres Leches Rice Pudding with Pumpkin Seeds (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
  • Green and White Sugar Cookie (Vegetarian)

Beverages:

  • Coquito: Tropical Eggnog (non-alcoholic) (Kid-Approved)
  • M.I.A. Beer Company Trey Reyes Mango Golden
  • Coquito: Tropical Eggnog with a Bacardi Gold Dark Rum Floater

HOLIDAY SWEETS & TREATS (SHOWCASE PLAZA)
Food Items:

  • Peppermint Sundae: Chocolate Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, and Peppermint Candy (Gluten/Wheat Friendly) (Kid-Approved)
  • Holiday Tree Sugar Cookie (Vegetarian)
  • Holiday Cookie Stroll Completer Cookie – Red and Green Mickey Sugar Cookie (Vegetarian)

Beverages:

  • Hot Cocoa (non-alcoholic) (Kid-Approved)
  • TG Lee Eggnog (non-alcoholic)
  • Chocolate Apple Shake featuring Twinings Winter Spice Tea (non-alcoholic)
  • Shipyard Eggnog White Porter, Clearwater, FL
  • Hot Cocoa with Assorted Cordials (Baileys Irish Cream, Frangelico Liqueur or Fireball Cinnamon Whisky)
  • Firenog: T.G. Lee Eggnog with Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
  • Chocolate Apple Shake featuring Twinings® Winter Spice Tea and Butterscotch Schnapps

Potato Knish with Herb Sour Cream from L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen at Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

L’CHAIM! HOLIDAY KITCHEN (BETWEEN MOROCCO AND FRANCE)
Food Items:

  • Pastrami on Rye with House-made Pickles and Deli Mustard
  • Potato Knish with Herb Sour Cream (Vegetarian) (Kid-Approved)
  • Chicken and Matzo Ball Soup
  • Black and White Cookie (Vegetarian)

Beverages:

  • Egg Cream: Milk, Chocolate Syrup and Seltzer (non-alcoholic)
  • Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Lager
  • Blue Cosmo Cocktail

REFRESHMENT OUTPOST (NEAR AFRICA OUTPOST)
Food Items:

  • Warm Caramel Stuffed Salted Pretzel with Soft-serve Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce (Kid-Approved)

Beverage Items:

  • Shipyard Eggnog White Porter, Clearwater, FL

Turkey Poutine from Refreshment Port at Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

REFRESHMENT PORT (NEAR CANADA)
Food Items:

  • Turkey Poutine: Sweet Potato Fries with Turkey Gravy, Cranberry Relish and Crispy Onions

Beverage Items:

  • Eggnog Shake (non-alcoholic)
  • Eggnog Shake with Baileys Irish Cream

FIFE & DRUM (THE AMERICAN ADVENTURE)
Food Items:

  • Holiday Apple Pie Sundae with Soft-serve Ice Cream, Caramel Sauce and Crunchy Streusel Topping (Kid-Approved)

Beverage Items:

  • Budweiser Reserve Collection Copper Lager

Croissant Doughnut from Taste Track at Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

TASTE TRACK (NEAR TEST TRACK)
Food Items:

  • Croissant Doughnut tossed in Cinnamon Sugar
  • Croissant Doughnut with Chocolate and Holiday Sprinkles (Kid-Approved)
  • Croissant Doughnut with Eggnog Pastry Cream and Gingersnap Crumbs
  • Gelato

Beverage Items:

  • Pancake Milkshake (non-alcoholic) (Kid-Approved)
  • Banfi Rosa Regale Sparkling Red

LE MARCHE DE NOËL HOLIDAY KITCHEN (FRANCE)
Food Items:

    • Napoléon de Saumon Fumé, Brioche à L’aneth: Smoked Salmon Napoleon in a Dill Brioche
    • Bouchée à la Reine Traditionnelle: Turkey and Mushrooms in a Veloute Cream Sauce served in a Light Puff Pastry
    • Bûche de Noël au Chocolat “Christmas Log”: Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Caramel Ganache

(Kid-Approved)

Beverage Items:

  • Spiced Rum Punch Slush: Spiced Rum, Rhum Clement V.S.O.P., Orange and Pineapple Juice with Cinnamon
  • Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot Blend, Château La Grand Moulin, Blaye, Côtes de Bordeaux
  • Holiday Kir: Sparking Wine and Monin Cranberry Syrup
  • Willm, Brut Blanc de Blanc Sparking Wine

SAPPHIRE HOLIDAY KITCHEN (MOROCCO)
Food Items:

  • Grilled Lamb Kefta Kebab with Whole Wheat Pita, Cucumber, Olives, Tomatoes, Mint Yogurt Sauce and Harissa-cilantro Dressing
  • Confit of Chermoula Chicken Drum with Cinnamon Granny Smith Apple, Toasted Almonds, Brussels Sprouts and Pinot Noir Glaze
  • “Sfenj” – Warm Beignets with Cream, Cinnamon Sugar, Toasted Almonds and Chocolate Sauce

Beverage Items:

  • Casa Beer
  • Kasbah Prestige Red Wine
  • The Andalusian “Poinsettia” Cocktail: Sparking Wine, Orange Liqueur and Cranberry Juice topped with Orange Blossom Water
  • Walnut Spiced Coffee with Walnut Liqueur and topped with Cinnamon and Whipped Cream

TUSCANY HOLIDAY KITCHEN (ITALY)
Food Items:

  • Cavatappi ai Quattro Formaggi: Baked Four-Cheese Pasta, Parmesan Crumble and Truffle Essence (Kid-Approved)
  • Mozzarella in Carozza: Golden-crusted Fried Mozzarella Sandwich and Tomato Sauce (Kid-Approved)
  • Crespelle di Mele: Cinnamon Apple Fritters and a Vanilla Sauce Drizzle with Chocolate Caramel Sauce
  • Bacio al Cioccolato: Warm Hazelnut Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream
  • Panettone Mignon: Miniature Traditional Italian Christmas Fruitcake

Beverage Items:

  • Moretti Lager
  • Moretti La Rossa Double Malt Beer
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Chianti
  • Prosecco
  • Corbinello
  • Moscato

SHANGHAI HOLIDAY KITCHEN (CHINA) 
Food Items:

  • Pork and Vegetable Egg Rolls (Kid-Approved)
  • Mongolian Beef Bao Bun and a Fortune Cookie
  • Celebration Barbecue Pork with Steamed Rice and a Fortune Cookie
  • Spicy Mala Chicken with Steamed Rice and a Fortune Cookie

Beverage Items:

  • Sweetened Bubble Milk Tea: Mango Flavored Milk Tea with Tapioca Pearls (non-alcoholic)
  • Jasmine Beer
  • Plum Wine

SHI WASU HOLIDAY KITCHEN (JAPAN)
Food Items:

  • New Year Celebration Soba: Buckwheat Soba Noodles in Hot Dashi Soup with Chicken and Spinach
  • Holiday Green Tea “Yule Log”: Delicate Spongecake rolled with Whipped Cream Filling

Beverages:

  • Ichigo Milk Boba: Popping Strawberry Boba Cream Drink with Japanese Calpico (non-alcoholic)
  • Sapporo Draft Beer
  • Cinnamon Apple Cider: Plum Wine, Orange Juice with Lemonade and Apples

LAS POSADAS HOLIDAY KITCHEN (MEXICO)
Food Items:

  • Enchilada de Pollo con Mole: Chipotle Chicken in a Corn Tortilla topped with Mole Negro and garnished with Shredded Oaxaca Cheese and Sesame Seeds
  • Tamal de Camarón: Corn Tamal stuffed with Guajillo-marinated Shrimp topped with Mole Rojo and Shredded Cotija Cheese
  • Arroz Con Leche: Rice Pudding with Cranberries

Beverages:

  • Cerveza Mexicana Artesanal: Allende Mexican Craft Ale served with a Floater of Kahlúa
  • Noche Buena Margarita: Libélula Joven Tequila, Cranberry and Lime Juices and Agave Nectar topped with Lime Foam and Sprinkles
  • La Posada Margarita: Cazadores Blanco Tequila, Horchata-Cinnamon Liqueur, and Agua de Horchata topped with Cinnamon

Where would you be heading first?!

Don’t forget the event is running  18th November through to the 30th December. 🙂

Smiles Included,

Abby

90th Anniversary of Mickey and Minnie Celebrations

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It was all started by a  mouse 90 years ago and Disney are definitely going big with the celebrating 90 years of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse! All Disney Park sites will hold events to celebrate this milestone including the ‘World’s Biggest Mouse Party – a limited time, global celebration of Mickey and Minnie’ and even an exhibition in New York City!

Here’s what to expect from the Florida parks:

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will celebrate Mickey’s birthday from November 16-18 with special merchandise and food & beverage items as well as the chance for guests to celebrate at Magic Kingdom Park during the “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party, sing “Happy Birthday” along with the Dapper Dans on Main Street, U.S.A., and join in a special birthday dance party at Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. Then in 2019, Walt Disney World will continue celebrating when World’s Biggest Mouse Party comes to the resort.

This week we got a sneak peek at the outfits Mickey and Minnie will be wearing for the big celebration. “Mickey Mouse’s crisp white suit will feature a shower of colorful confetti, while fashion icon Minnie Mouse will don a puff-sleeve dress adorned with pompons and a buoyant bubble skirt for the celebration at some of our parks.”

According to Senior Costume Designer Joe Kucharski, their outfits will reflect the party spirit of the celebration:

“The looks that Mickey and Minnie will be wearing to celebrate their 90th anniversary represent all of the colourful exuberance of a party and birthday party decorations, complete with confetti, balloons, pompoms, streamers and more!” he said. “These playful bursts of colour and texture are set against crisp white, meant to evoke the nostalgic feeling of frosting, crisp linens and tissue paper.”

The new outfits will be seen at Walt Disney World Resort in “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party,” opening January 18 during Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom Park – a limited-time celebration that will include new entertainment, merchandise and speciality food and beverage.

As Walt said, ‘I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse’ and these celebrations are gunna make sure of that!!

Smiles included,

Abby

Is an Indiana Jones Land coming to Hollywood Studios?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Orlando Weekly recently posted a rumour that an Indiana Jones themed land could be the next big project for Disney and it would be coming to Hollywood Studios after the opening of Galaxy’s edge. According to many rumour sites they have had the idea of expanding Indiana Jones for a while. There was some speculation a while ago surrounding Indiana Jones moving to Animal Kingdom with the Dinosaur ride being changed up to fit in with the theme but surely it would make more sense for it to go to Hollywood Studios seeing as it would be a land based on an iconic movie hero.

If this does happen it will most likely be where the current Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is and according to Orlando Weekly, it could even expand to cover 8 acres and cover the land where Star Tours currently lives. – This is a lot bigger than what was rumoured for Animal Kingdom!

Word on the street is that it would feature multiple attractions including an indoor family attraction which will be up there with the two new Star Wars attractions and an outdoor roller coaster like Disneyland Paris and Tokyo DisneySea. The peeps in the know however, have been keeping very quiet about this and no details have been shared yet but check out some of the Indiana Jones attractions that can be found at Paris and Tokyo:

An Indiana Jones land is viewed as post-50th Anniversary addition to Walt Disney World with an opening rumoured sometime after 2021 but within the next 10 years but don’t worry because we’ve still got Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening soon enough!

Would you be a fan of an Indiana Jones mini land?

Smiles Included,

Abby