Dateline Disney: July/August 2013


    Independence Week at Walt Disney World Resort: All Part of Limited Time Magic

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney Parks guests can get their red, white and blue on for an entire week during a special tribute to the stars and stripes with Independence Week July 1-7, 2013 — all part of Limited Time Magic at Walt Disney World Resort.

    It’s a seven-day patriotic extravaganza as Disney Parks honor America with a Fourth of July celebration like never before. At Magic Kingdom, a 15-minute 360-degree fireworks spectacular rockets into the air every night with ”Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.”

    Guests can enjoy a patriotic spectacle as Goofy, Donald and Pluto lead a spirited procession down Main Street, U.S.A, prior to the daily Celebrate a Dream Come True parade at Magic Kingdom. The rousing pre-parade features the Main Street Philharmonic, Citizens of Main Street and Walt Disney’s historic horse-drawn calliope.

    Patriotic-themed merchandise and tasty treats inspired by Americana will also be on the menu all week long.

    On Independence Day only:

    Epcot: Discovery Experiences at American Adventure spotlight American history and heritage. Guests can meet with Disney characters adorned in patriotic dress. An afternoon of live entertainment kicks off at 12:30 p.m. in the America Gardens Theatre with the Voices of Liberty Fourth of July concert. This holiday special is a harmonizing partnership of the eight-part, a capella Voices of Liberty, Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps and Disney characters. The Heartbeat of Freedom, a special tribute following IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth lights up the sky at 10 p.m.

    • Characters in patriotic dress are on set from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and from 3:30 – 6 p.m. outside near Kidcot (under the porte-cochere)
    • Voices of Liberty showtimes at America Gardens Theatre are 12:30, 1:45, and 3 p.m. They are also doing two sets inside the American Adventure Rotunda at 4:15 and 5 p.m.
    • Special showtimes for Slippery When Wet (Sounds Like Summer concert series) on the Fourth of July are 5:15, 6:30, 7:45, and 9 p.m.

    Disney Hollywood Studios: Enjoy a twist on traditional fireworks with the all-new “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration”. The party begins at the Sorcerer Hat with a DJ at 6 pm. At 7, 8, 9 and 10 p.m., Mulch, Sweat& Shears will take you on a musical road trip through America. Everything leads up to a special rock ‘n roll fireworks presentation at 10:15 p.m.

    18th Epcot International Food& Wine Festival Premium Event Reservations Open August 13, 2013

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Don’t touch that snooze button! When the alarm clock rings at 7 a.m. on August 13, 2013, foodies will be picking up the phone to book premium events slated for the 18th annual Epcot International Food& Wine Festival Sept. 27-Nov. 11. During this year’s 46-day food, wine, beer and cocktail extravaganza, guests can choose from a variety of special culinary and beverage programs like the popular Party for the Senses grand tasting experience and the new Parisian Breakfast. These special events have proven to be extremely popular and availability is limited. Guests can book:

    • NEW! Scotland, Land of Food And Drink (Sept. 28) $95 or $115 pp
    • NEW! Spirits Confidential (Nov. 1) $80 pp or $95pp
    • NEW! Parisian Breakfast (Saturdays) $37 pp
    • NEW! The “Hibachi” Experience (Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5) $120 pp
    • “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery (Oct. 4, 11 and 25) $55 or $90 pp
    • Epcot Wine Schools (Sept. 29, Oct. 27, Nov. 3) $135 pp
    • Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining
(more than 25 dinners throughout the festival; prices vary)
    • Mixology Series: Taste, Shake and Indulge Like the French (Saturdays) $65 pp
    • Kitchen Memories (Sept. 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8) From $110-$170 pp
    • Cheese Seminars (Sept. 28, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9) $80 pp
    • Party for the Senses (Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Nov. 2) $145, $180 or $285 pp
    • Food& Wine Pairings (Tuesdays, Thursdays) $55
    • Sweet Sundays (Sept. 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10) $99 pp
    • The Discovery of Chocolate (Oct. 13 and 27) $75 pp

    Additional special events slated will include Italian and French pairings and lunches, as well as a Mexican tequila lunch. Guests also can book special festival experiences including daily Culinary Demonstrations ($14), Mixology Seminars ($15) and Wine, Beer or Spirit Seminars ($14). To make reservations starting August 13, call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378). Inside-the-park festival dining experiences as well as culinary and beverage programs require park admission fees. Event updates and details will be posted at in August.

    Sounds like Summer Concert Series Brings Classic Hits to Epcot through July

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Summer sizzles at Epcot as some of the world’s greatest tribute bands rock the stage on select summer nights. Classic hits from U2, Bon Jovi, The Police, and many more will rock during Sounds Like Summer concert series. The high-energy performances for Walt Disney World Resort guests take place at the open-air America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase.

    The schedule (entertainment subject to change without notice):

    • June 30 to July 6: Slippery When Wet ~ The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
    • July 7 to 13: SouthBound and Company ~ A Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd
    • July 14 to 20: The Police Experience ~ A Tribute to The Police
    • July 21 to 27: 2U ~ A Tribute to U2

    Show times are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. – except on July 4 when show times are 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m. Sounds Like Summer concerts are included with Epcot admission.

    Luxurious Spa Opens at Walt Disney World: Senses, A Disney Spa At Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. – Senses, A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort set to open its doors on July 25 at Walt Disney World Resort.

    The two-story, full-service spa is inspired by the healing properties of natural springs that have drawn people for centuries to Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. Senses will incorporate the springs, nature and the storyline of health in its design and theming. Design materials and textures, including natural stone, will “connect with the earth and speak to the serenity and tranquility associated with nature,” according to Ginger Mclean, spa director.

    Each treatment is guided by one of the spa’s core themes – relax, renew or imagine – each of which will create a custom experience. A completely redesigned space, Senses, A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, will feature 10 treatment rooms offering an array of services including water therapy, massage and facials. Heated loungers, plus a whirlpool and steam room in the wet areas provide rejuvenation and renewal. Three manicure stations and four pedicure stations round out the services.

    The opening of Senses, A Disney Spa at Saratoga Springs Resort follows the opening of its sister spa, Senses, A Disney Spa at the Grand Floridian Resort that opened in December, 2012 featuring 15 treatment rooms. To book a treatment guests can call 407-WDW-SPAS.

    Disney Cruise Line Introduces One-of-a-Kind Port Adventures in Jamaica

    CELEBRATION, Fla. – Disney Cruise Line invites families to explore Jamaica with one-of-a-kind Port Adventures featuring exclusive Disney touches when the Disney Wonder calls on Falmouth in late 2013 for the first time.

    As part of its Signature Collection Port Adventures, Disney Cruise Line worked with local tour operators to create excursions that offer families authentic cultural experiences with exclusive activities for Disney Cruise Line guests.

    For example, bamboo raft rides along the Martha Brae River offer exceptional views of the island’s lush tropical scenery and are a popular activity among cruise line guests. With Disney, cruisers have the unique opportunity to become a bamboo raft captain, learning how to build the raft and navigate the waters.

    Just outside Falmouth, one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved Georgian towns, guests are immersed in history and culture at an 18th century Great House. Exclusive to Disney Cruise Line, families may enjoy a hands-on pottery painting activity hosted by a local artist. On another tour at the Great House, Disney cruisers become detectives, solving clues around the plantation to experience a multitude of thrills, including kayaking, tubing and zip lining.

    Disney Cruise Line will visit Jamaica with new itineraries departing from Galveston, Texas beginning Oct. 5, 2013. The new seven-night Western Caribbean sailings will call on Falmouth, Jamaica, as well as Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico.

    To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.

    ‘Great Irish Hooley’ a Labor Day Weekend Celebration at Raglan Road Irish Pub& Restaurant in Downtown Disney

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Great Irish Hooley returns for four non-stop days of incomparable Irish food, live music and fun at Raglan Road Irish Pub& Restaurant in Downtown Disney August 30-Sept. 2.

    Irish slang for a party or celebration, the Great Irish Hooley debuted in 2012 to such acclaim that it returns in 2013 with top Irish bands, music and dance workshops and Celtic fun for all in the family.

    A lineup of celebrated Irish bands will play traditional, folk and rock tunes on the restaurant stage and outside on the pub patio. Families can participate in Irish dance workshops led by renowned Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast and join in Irish Music Workshops with distinguished Dublin-born multi-instrumentalist Declan Masterson. Guests also can kick up their heels during structured set dancing called the Ceili (kay-lee) — a precursor to today’s country line dancing. Celtic face painting and authentic food and beverages are on tap, as well.

    “Last year’s hooley was such a success that we started planning early this year to invite the best of Irish bands and entertainers,” says John Cooke, a Raglan Road founding partner and native of Ireland.

    Among the Great Irish Hooley lineup:

    • Scythian (sith-ee-yin) will play kicked-up Celtic and world music infused with a touch of punk-rock sensibility.
    • Lisa Canny, musician-singer-songwriter from Ireland’s west coast will entertain with traditional and folk music featuring her contemporary flair.
    • Elevation, the leading U2 tribute band on the planet, will rock the crowd with the best of U2.

    During the celebration, guests can grab a table for authentic fare by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon or belly up to one of Raglan Road’s 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars.

    The Great Irish Hooley schedule of entertainment and events will be posted this summer at Call 407/938-0300 for information.

    Inaugural Sports Festival Features Young Athletes

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Coming this summer is the inaugural Disney Sports Festival at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. From June 16 to August 2, thousands of kids in youth sports from across the country will travel to Walt Disney World Resort for this multi-sport event.

    The sports festival kicked off with Disney Soccer Academy in June, followed by AAU boys and girls basketball, Rawlings International Salute to Baseball and track and field championships. The USSSA Girls Fast-Pitch World Series follows later in the month, followed by the Challenge Sports 3v3 National Championships in August.

    For more, visit