Posts Tagged ‘Epcot’

New Details About the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

by on May 13, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Back in February, I let you all know that this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival would be running for a grand total of 62 days, (up from 53 days), from September 14 through November 14. Today, we have a glimpse of a few of the fun things you can expect to experience during this year’s festival.

For the second year in a row, the Marketplace Kiosks will extend into Future World. Also new for this year will be hard soda floats at the Desserts & Champagne marketplace. In addition, a savory vegan dish will debut at the Greece marketplace, and the popular Farm Fresh marketplace will showcase Florida’s flavors with new savory dishes.

The Eat to the Beat concert series will be returning with new artists, including Wang Chung. The “Everybody Have Fun Tonight!” band will open the Eat to the Beat concert series Sept. 14-15. More new acts will join the concert series lineup, including Delta Rae and Toad The Wet Sprocket and popular acts, including Wilson Phillips, Boyz II Men and Jeffrey Osbourne, will return to the America Gardens Theatre stage this fall.

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Alberta Bound Now Performing at Epcot’s Canada Pavilion

by on May 9, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

A brand new live entertainment act has debuted in World Showcase at Epcot.  A new live band called Alberta Bound is now playing at The Mill Stage in the Canada Pavilion. The band plays Canadian music that includes traditional fiddle styles from across the country, as well as performing songs from beloved Canadian songwriters.

Alberta Bound’s light and energetic show offers lots of opportunities for clapping and singing along as they take you on a musical journey of our neighbors to the north. They play Wednesday through Sunday with showtimes at 12:00 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:50 p.m., 5:0o p.m. and 6:15 p.m.

As part of this entertainment change, the former band TradNation gave their final performance back in April. Alberta Bound will be performing in a limited engagement, as seems to be customary as of late with performers in World Showcase.

 

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Characters from Finding Dory Now in Turtle Talk with Crush

by on May 9, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

This weekend, Dory and friends joined the interactive attraction Turtle Talk with Crush. Guests can now head to Epcot to join Crush in the “human tank” and find Dory, alongside new characters Destiny the whale shark, Bailey the beluga whale, and Hank the “septopus” (a seven-legged octopus). Ina addition, Squirt, Nemo and his dad Marlin also appear in this fun-filled show.

Turtle Talk with Crush is found in The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion and invites Guests to talk to crush in a completely unique experience. During the show, Guests may ask Crush questions and they will receive answers from the famous sea turtle. The improvised show lasts about 15 minutes and I’m certainly curious to see how the addition of these new characters plays out in front of Guests!

Finding Dory swims into theaters on June 17, 2016.

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Trading Post Refreshments: The New Bar in Epcot – Sort Of

by on April 29, 2016

It’s not easy being Canada…in Epcot that is. You’re the first pavilion in World Showcase for anyone who chooses to go to the right. Your neighbor is the UK pavilion which is beloved by many thanks to its charming storefronts, popular pub, and excellent entertainment. Even your World Showcase equivalent–the first pavilion if you go left instead of right–Mexico, really brings on the heat with three dining options, a boat ride, an award winning mariachi band, and an amazing tequila bar that stands as THE ambassador of the heritage and tradition of tequila.

Sure, the Canada Pavilion is a beautiful spot. The lovely gardens found throughout the country are well represented here. There are lots of delightful spots, especially the waterfalls found at the back of the pavilion. Still, many people tend to bypass this pavilion, which is a shame. A new drinking establishment, however, may help to increase interest in this overlooked area.

FullSizeRender

The new Trading Post Refreshments has been dubbed Epcot’s new bar. This terminology is a bit of a stretch since there is no seating inside, as you would find at a traditional bar. It is still a nice addition, however. There are three Canadian beers from which to choose plus two ice wines; each selection represents Canada fairly well.

FullSizeRender (1)

The prices are also relatively reasonable; two out of the three beers are $6.25 plus tax, with the Blanche de Chambly being $9.25. This beer hails from Quebec and is said to have a yeast and wheat flavor, but I opted to go with the Labatt Bourbon Barrel. I love the rise of beers aged in bourbon barrels, something I’m seeing more and more. I enjoyed the smokey flavor of this beer, though it left a long, lingering aftertaste.

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Celebrate Earth Day at Epcot

by on April 20, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Earth Day is on April 22, and while most of the focus is always on the events that will occur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot also gets in on the Earth Day fun.

This year, Earth Day will be celebrated during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival all weekend long, from April 22-24.

Guests will be able to participate in numerous activities to celebrate the day including:

  • The Jungle Book Matching Activity at The Jungle Book Sand SculptureGuests will be able to play a matching game in which they match species that were featured in The Jungle Book to a fun fact about the animals.
  • Butterfly Citizen Science at Pollinator Garden – Here, Guests will have the opportunity to be a part of a science project by collecting data that will then in turn help conservation and horticulture teams learn about  native Floridian butterflies and their plant preference.
  • Meet Captain Ron at The Seas with Nemo & Friends – No…you won’t be able to meet Kurt Russell as a salty seafarer. Instead, you’ll meet a beagle named Captain Ron who helps conservation experts by sniffing out turtle egg nests to help protect them. Captain Ron and his trainer Pepe Peruyero will have appearances at 10:30 a.m, 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Earth Day weekend. The duo will also give a short presentation about their work, and will be available for photos.
  • At the Festival Center  Guests can catch horticulture and wildlife experts leading seminars about aquaponics, making your property wildlife-friendly and how to grow new plants from the plants you already have.
  • Participate in a National Park Foundation map activity
  • At 11:00 a.m. each day during Earth Day weekend, you can get an up-close look at a nest with a purple martin expert, presented by the The Florida Audubon.
  • Guests can enjoy the Leap for Wildlife at National Wildlife Federation Garden
  • Guests can discover their footprint at The Nature Conservancy Garden

It seems like a great weekend is in store for those looking to celebrate Earth Day at Epcot this weekend!

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Frozen Ever After to Debut at Epcot in June

by on April 20, 2016

For those who have been waiting anxiously to get to experience the upcoming Frozen attraction at Epcot, you will only have to wait a little bit longer.

While a set date has not officially been announced, Frozen Ever After will debut in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot this June.

The attraction’s timeline will occur after the film takes place, taking guests on a boat tour through Arendelle during a “Winter in Summer” celebration. Queen Elsa who has embraced will create a winter-in-summer day and during the adventure Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, trolls and Marshmallow join Guests on their boat journey through the frozen willow forest, past Troll Valley and up to the North Mountain to Elsa’s ice palace, returning to the Bay of Arendelle. During the attraction, Guests will even be able to witness Elsa’s ice magic and experience incredible AudioAnamatronics.

©Disney

©Disney

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Soarin’ Around the World to Debut at Epcot and Disney California Adventure in June

by on April 20, 2016

Soarin' Around the World

©Disney

Guests will finally be able to see the world on Soarin’ at both Epcot and Disney California Adventure.

Beginning on June 17, Soarin’ Around the World will debut giving Guests a glimpse of the Great Wall of China, Sydney Harbor in Australia, and the Matterhorn in Switzerland. The ride will immerse Guests in a multi-sensory experience with sights, sounds, and smells.

The soundtrack of the attraction will see a bit of a change that fits with the new destinations, but will still be based on the current version. There will also be a surprise ending for Guests to experience.

Here is a preview of what Guests will be able to expect with the new film:

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Best (and Worst) Attractions to Get Stuck On

by on April 6, 2016

Thankfully, I had the good sense to bring some reading material along just in case I got stuck

Thankfully, I had the good sense to bring some reading material along just in case I got stuck

It happens. You’re right in the middle of an attraction, and everything just grinds to a halt.  Sometimes you’re down for a few seconds, sometimes it’s several minutes, and sometimes you actually have to be evacuated from the ride.  I was talking with someone in line on a recent trip, and he relayed a story where he spent an hour at the crest of the big drop on Splash Mountain before eventually having to walk off of the attraction without experiencing its climax.  To me, that seems like a pretty awful way to spend an afternoon, and it got me to thinking — what are the best and worst attractions at Walt Disney World to find yourself so stuck that you actually have to exit the ride using your feet? This article attempts to answer this pressing quandary that I suspect most of you had never bothered to contemplate before.

Here are the parameters of the challenge: you’ll be in the midst of the ride, and then at either the most or least optimal moment, the ride will stop moving, although the effects and show elements other than motion will continue to work. You’ll thereafter spend 30 minutes plus whatever time it take to get you rescued in that spot, and then you’ll either be ushered out by Cast Members, or extracted from the ride if necessary. Shows that you could just stand up and leave do not count (i.e., you cannot get “stuck” at Hall of Presidents). Also, you should assume that any momentum-based ride (e.g. roller coasters) is going to come to a natural resting place, such that you won’t be stuck upside down or in the middle of a steep hill.

So, without further ado, let’s go!

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What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to Epcot

by on April 5, 2016

Spaceship Earth!

Spaceship Earth!

If you are planning your very first visit to Walt Disney World, and you’re like me, you’ve probably done your Disney homework on the parks and resorts. I’m sure you have lists of what attractions you want to see, what characters you want to meet, and I bet you even made those dining reservations the day you booked your trip, right? Still, despite all your planning and newly accumulated park knowledge, it’s still easy to make those Disney World Rookie mistakes. My goal today is to let you in on some tips and info that I wish I had known before my park visits to help your first time trip to Walt Disney World run a little more smoothly. I’ve already covered What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to the Magic Kingdom; and so for today, I’m tackling What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to Epcot!

Epcot Map

The length of World Showcase is what I wish I knew before my trip to Epcot!

Two Parks in One

Epcot is one park, but it has two very different sections: Future World and the World Showcase. Future World was originally intended to educate visitors about the world and to be a showplace for new technology. However, Future World has suffered some criticism in recent years as many of its buildings sit empty and seems to be more representative of the past than the future. Still, Future World is home to some of the park’s most popular attractions such as Soarin’, Test Track, and the iconic Spaceship Earth. Epcot’s other section, World Showcase, sits towards the rear of the park and encircles the World Showcase Lagoon. This part of Epcot features eleven pavilions themed after different countries from around the world, as well as one for the United States.

What’s really awesome about World Showcase is that Imagineers went to great lengths to make each pavilion and its design both historically and culturally accurate, so you feel as if you’re in another country and also getting a sense of its history at the same time. Also, I absolutely love eating at the different World Showcase restaurants and shopping for souvenirs from around the world.

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Get Ready to Rock Out With the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series

by on April 1, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Each year, during the summer, Epcot holds the ridiculously fun Sounds Like Summer Concert Series. The concerts feature tribute bands that perform your favorite artists hits and let me tell you, watching these concerts is almost like experiencing the real thing.

The concerts take place nightly from June 5 through July 23 and feature tributes to bands like the Eagles, the Bee Gees and Journey.

The full lineup includes:

June 5-11: Don’t Look Back – A Tribute to Boston

June 12-18: Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles

June 19-24: Rumours – A Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band

June 25-July 1: Simply Tina – A Tribute to Tina Turner

July 2-9: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees

July 10-16: Bruce in the USA – A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen

July 17-23: DSB – A Tribute to Journey

Do keep in mind that entertainment is subject to change.

These fun concerts take place at Epcot’s America Gardens Theatre, which is found at the American Adventure Pavilion. Show times are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. daily and shows are included with your Epcot admission.

So get be prepared to shake your booty and make sure you stop to enjoy the Sounds Like Summer concert series during your summer vacations this year!

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