Entertainment in Epcot‘s World Showcase has gone through a tremendous evolution in recent years, and Canada’s Mill Stage has been an epicenter of that overhaul. It seems like only yesterday that we bid a sad farewell to Off Kilter, the long-running Celtic rock band, and welcomed (so to speak) the log-rolling Lumberjack show. Now the Lumberjacks are also long gone, and following a festive seasonal appearance by the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, Epcot’s Canada pavilion has premiered another new act, which will fill the stage for at least the new few months. Even though they don’t even appear on park maps yet, we were at Epcot on January 15, 2016, to watch TradNation debut and capture their opening-day performance for you to enjoy at home.
TradNation has taken over Epcot’s Canada stage. (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)
TradNation is an acoustic musical ensemble that plays Québécois folk songs with traditional orchestrations. That means a whole lot of fingerpicking, fiddlin’, flute playing, and French lyrics, with percussion provided by a spirited step-dancer’s clacking feet. Even if you aced your high school French class, you may struggle to understand the singers’ Acadian-accented patois, but the humble joy they take in sharing their musical heritage is infectious in any language.
Much like the similar Quickstep folk band in the U.K., the TradNation entertainers feel authentic to the point of lacking the polish and stage presence we usually associate with a Disney theme park show; we’re not looking for matching spangled outfits, but this group looks like they just rolled out of Tim Horton’s.
Here’s our full video of a TradNation debut day performance:
With the Canadian Lumberjacks recently getting the axe, it opened up a spot for a brand new entertainment offering at Epcot’s Canada Pavilion. That new offering debuted today and the band is known as TradNation. TradNation is a musical family ensemble that will introduce Guests to a taste of the rich French Canadian heritage of Quebec.
The ensemble group is composed of musicians, singers and dancers and during their sets, they will perform in Quebecois tradition, showcasing not only traditional songs, but they will also perform original family compositions. Their music is designed to showcase the community experience that brings together friends, families, and neighbors.
TradNation will be performing five days a week on the Mill Stage in World Showcase.
This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Things in Orlando We Can’t Wait to Experience in 2016. What a year 2015 was in the Orlando theme parks. We had The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly but 2016 looks to be even better. We have brand new looks coming to some our favorite rides, several completely new attractions, and even a brand new onsite resort. If you’re not excited about what’s coming in the next twelve months you want to check your pulse, as you may possibly be dead. For the rest of us, let’s kick off the countdown with…
# 6 – Frozen Ever After (EPCOT)
The biggest change in the history of World Showcase is about to happen when the Norway pavilion transforms into the land of a fictional country. That’s right, while last year we wrote about the heroic efforts of the #SaveMaelstrom campaign – which unfortunately worked about as well as the Save Mr. Toad protests – this year we are hailing our new theme park overlords Frozen. The old Maelstrom attraction is being converted over to Frozen Ever After, a boat ride that will have guests sailing past audio-animantronics and everyone’s favorite: screens. Frozen Ever After will feature the rear projection technology that we all love in the dwarf animatronics at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, along with the rare opportunity to hear the song Let It Go.
But that’s not all! A Frozen meet and greet is coming to World Showcase, and you remember that a similar meet and greet forever changed how guests enter the Magic Kingdom every morning, Guests meeting Elsa and Anna wll do so at the new Royal Summerhaus. The theming of the Summerhaus will be based on an actual log cabin from Norway, and will also feature some of the tricks used in the Talking Mickey meet and greet on Main Street USA, which should help increase capacity.
Welcome to the first Best Week Ever of 2016! I hope that you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration, and didn’t suffer too badly for it the next day. As it turns out, Walt Disney World itself requires a little “hair of the dog” to recover from the previous week’s capacity crowds. Peak season may have passed, but the Epcot holiday hangover lingers on…
My first Epcot visit of 2016 occurred 4 days into the new year, but the aftermath of holiday crowds — and the flood of cars that had to be parked on every available surface, including the lawn — was still in evidence as I approached the park.
This year is the 25th anniversary of Disney Vacation Club and to celebrate Disney is introducing many new perks for its members.
First, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary, Disney Vacation Club is creating a brand new, exclusive Member Lounge at Epcot, which is slated to open on the second floor of the Imagination Pavilion in late spring of 2016. This new lounge will be included with admission to Epcot and will give members and their guests a place to relax, access device charging stations, enjoy complimentary refreshments and other offerings, WiFi, Member Service Advisors, and mingle with other members.
Other anniversary perks will allow members to be offered additional complimentary theme park and water park events throughout the year such as the 25 and Beyond Bash and the Disney Vacation Club Safari Spectacular; discounts on multi-day theme park tickets at Walt Disney World Resort; a silver anniversary sweepstakes; fun surprises throughout the year and new memorable experiences at not only Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, but also at Aulani and onboard Disney Cruise Line.
DVC members will also receive a new personalized Disney Vacation Club Membership Card that will make it possible for members to enjoy all these new benefits, and other recognition programs, such as special anniversary buttons, photos opportunities, unique merchandise and more.
For more information about the 25th‘s festivities, check out the DVC website.
New Year’s Eve is rapidly approaching and as we say goodbye to 2015, there are a few things you should know about celebrating at the theme parks of Walt Disney World. Disney is the ultimate party atmosphere on New Year’s Eve, so you want to make sure to get the most out of your experience. Here’s what you should know, both in general and park by park:
If possible, eat at off-peak times. Avoid dining from noon-2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Stay in the parks after midnight to avoid the rush to the parking lot.
There will be two fireworks show on December 30 and 31: Holiday Wishes New Year Celebration – 6:30 p.m. and Fantasy in the Sky – 11:50 p.m.
Guests will be able to experience special dance parties on both December 30 and 31. One in Frontierland from 7:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. and one at the Castle Stage from 9:30 p.m. until 2:00 a.m.
Complimentary cookies and cocoa will be available for Guests on December 31 from midnight until 1:00 a.m. at Columbia Harbour House and at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.
Hats and Horns will be distributed on December 31 beginning at 4 p.m. in the following locations, while supplies last:
Near Splash Mountain
Near Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
Have you been missing your opportunity to meet your favorite personal healthcare companion Baymax from the film Big Hero 6? Well, I bring good news!
Guests can now meet the squeezable character at the Epcot Character Spot in Innoventions West. More good news is that Guests will also still be able to interact with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy too! They will be located on the opposite side of the breezeway.
Up until recently, Guests could meet Baymax and Hiro at The Magic of Disney Animation in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That location closed earlier this year to make way for the new Star Wars Launch Bay. Hiro will no longer be meeting with Baymax at Epcot.
The Epcot Character Spot is open from park open to park close and it is very exciting that Guests now have the opportunity to meet one more great character in this location!
Celebrate Hanukkah the Best Week Ever way at Epcot (Photos/videos by Seth Kubersky)
Halloween and Thanksgiving are done and gone and Christmas and New Year are still on their way, but Hanukkah is here right now! In honor of the Festival of Lights, I’m wishing a hearty Chag Sameach to my fellow members of the tribe with this Best Week Ever exploration of 2015’s Epcot Hanukkah celebration.
My visit to Epcot coincided with the third day of Hanukkah, and commenced with a spin of the cosmic dreidel that determines parking spots. I must have landed on Nun because I ended up just about as far as possible from the front…
Allow me to get one thing out there at the outset: I love my family, and traveling with them is one of my favorite things in the world to do. With that said, however — and I say this lovingly — my daughter is not the bravest kid around, and my wife likes to stick to rides that are tame enough that you could step off of them without harm if need be. I, on the other hand, love thrill rides — the taller, the faster, the better. Much though I love spending time with my crew in the parks, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times when I sadly shuffled towards the queue to see Voyage of the Little Mermaid whilst Twilight Zone Tower of Terror beckoned and mocked me in the distance…
Sooooooo, you want to spend time with your family, but there are thrill rides waiting to thrill you. Whatever shall you do? This article will hopefully offer some ideas for getting your thrill-fill without stranding your family to sit on a bench while you ride. Tips after the jump!