Dateline Disney: November/December 2013


    In this edition:

    Magic Kingdom: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Celebrates the Holidays

    Epcot: Great Tastes and Rockin’ Bands Continue at Epcot International Food& Wine Festival; Celebrity Narrators Share Christmas Story During Candlelight Processional

    Downtown Disney: Festival of the Masters Dazzles with Fine Art

    Walt Disney World Resort: Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend; Glow with the Show Ear Hats Brighten the Holiday Season; Disney Parks and Adventures by Disney Get “Frozen”; Eighth Annual Old Spice Classic Serves Up Holiday Hoops; New Year’s Eve Dinners Add Sparkle to a Disney Vacation

    Disney Cruise Line: Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday

    Epcot International Food& Wine Festival Tempts Guests Through Nov. 11 with Great Tastes, Rockin’ Bands and Celeb Chefs

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney guests are flocking to the 18th Epcot International Food& Wine Festival for inspired new sips and noshes, live concert performances and celebrity chef demonstrations. The popular fall festival continues through Nov. 11, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.

    This year’s Scotland Marketplace is new on the festival’s global tasting tour with a vegetarian version of the traditional Scottish haggis, as well as Scottish salmon and a Glenfiddich whisky flight. More than 25 ethnic and specialized marketplaces surround the World Showcase Promenade, and many dishes feature a beverage “perfect pairing” suggested by Walt Disney World sommeliers.

    At the Festival Center, Disney guests can catch culinary demonstrations by celebrity chefs like Paula DaSilva, Erika Davis and Ingrid Hoffmann. Daily wine tastings and mixology seminars offer new sips and tips to guests. And the iconic Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog, filled with more than 300,000 floating cranberries, is back for a third year.

    Nightly Eat to the Beat concerts keep on rockin’ through Nov. 11 with a stellar lineup that includes two first-time festival acts:

    • Nov. 1 NEW! Spin Doctors “Two Princes”
    • Nov. 2-3 NEW! Christopher Cross “Sailing”
    • Nov. 4-5 Hanson “Get the Girl Back”
    • Nov. 6-8 Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group STYX “Come Sail Away”
    • Nov. 9-11 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy “Go Daddy-O”

    Authentic Taste seminars, Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog, special book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discovery Passport and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.

    The final Party for the Senses (Nov. 2) grand tasting event and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations. Information and reservations for select programs is at

    Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Set for Nov. 8-9

    runDisney will serve up miles of fun during Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 8 – 9, 2013. More than 14,000 registered runners will take on this unique nighttime 13.1-mile course starting at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, running through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishing at Epcot. After crossing the finish line, runners can join family and friends for a special ticketed post-race party inside Epcot until 4 a.m. The Finish Line Party features more than 25 kiosks offering fine cuisine and wine from the Epcot International Food& Wine Festival, plus Disney characters, music and the opportunity to ride various attractions such as the newly reimagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet and Soarin’.

    New this year is the Disney Wine& Dine Pre-Race Taste on Friday, Nov. 8 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This special ticketed event offers runners and fans a private reception on the set of Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, featuring food and beverages from the Epcot International Food& Wine Festival, music and Disney characters. In addition to the half marathon, Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend features Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, runDisney Kids’ Races at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8 – 9, at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. For more information, visit

    Dazzling Displays of Art Highlight Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney Nov. 8-10, 2013

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – For its 38th year, Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels is transforming Downtown Disney into an art lovers’ paradise Nov. 8-10, 2013. The prestigious open-air fine arts festival features more than 300 artists creating and showcasing their unique works in painting, photography, sculpture, chalk, glass and more. Exhibits feature more than 130 award-winning artists, nearly 20 up-and-coming Emerging Masters, the Disney Artist Village, live performance artists and more.

    A crowd favorite, the Disney Artist Village will return with one of the largest displays of official Disney art available for purchase and will include meet and greets with the more than 25 artists behind those masterpieces. Located between Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues on Downtown Disney West Side, the Disney Artist Village tent will feature Disney character art created by masters from various Disney disciplines including Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group. Disney Artists also will perform live shows as they create new works of art onstage and will host interactive chats about art and what it can be. Both the art chats and live performances will take place at Waterside Stage in the Marketplace.

    New this year, “Mixers and Masters” will highlight artistic cocktails throughout Downtown Disney. Select dining locations will feature specialty drinks for sipping and strolling including the Pinkberry Martini from Wolfgang Puck Cafe, Blue Nile from Rainforest Cafe and Huckleberry Lemonade at Splitsville. Guests can learn what goes into making an artfully delicious cocktail during daily presentations on Waterside Stage. “The Art of Mixology” will feature 10-minute demonstrations with experts three times a day.

    Guests also can become part of the festival with interactive fun. Various activities presented by Michaels will be available, including “Make It Take It” crafts, coloring Disney-inspired masterpieces and the “Michaels Master Mural” where guests can help create a mosaic-like mural. Children are invited to creatively chalk sections of the Marketplace for the Children’s Chalk Art display; help build a giant LEGO masterpiece and create an interactive LEGO mural.

    Other activities will include:

    • Live entertainment by performers from La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil
    • House of Blues 15th year celebration of its Folk Art Festival with more than 30 accomplished artists
    • Special artist appearances at Hoypoloi and Pop Gallery
    • Live entertainment at various venues, including House of Blues, Bongos Cuban Cafe, Raglan Road, and Splitsville

    The event takes place from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission and self-parking are complimentary at Downtown Disney; valet parking is available during the event from 12 p.m. – 2 a.m. via Entrance 4 at Downtown Disney West Side. For more information about Festival of the Masters, including exhibit times and parking information, please visit

    Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Celebrates the Holidays at Magic Kingdom

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will have 19 magical nights from November 8-December 20. For a quarter century, Walt Disney World Resort guests have been mesmerized by this must-see event, a grandly festive tradition immersing families in the holiday spirit. Dates for 2013:

    Nov. 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22
Dec. 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20

    Beginning at 7 p.m. (after regular park hours), guests with special event tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party can enjoy all the holiday splendor with lively stage shows featuring Disney characters all dressed up for the holidays, a unique holiday parade and favorite holiday traditions including complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. The fun continues with a holiday “Celebrate the Magic” castle projection show and Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season nighttime fireworks spectacular. Guests can enjoy new experiences and attractions at New Fantasyland.

    NOTE: this is a hard ticket special event after regular park hours; purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended.

    Glow With the Show Ears Brighten The Holiday Season At Walt Disney World Resort

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — During the holiday season guests of the Walt Disney World Resort can enjoy a dazzling addition to festive favorites with Glow with the Show Ear hats.

    Beginning in November with the premiere of Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks spectacular at Magic Kingdom, the Glow With the Show Ear hats will place guests in the middle of the magic. With every dancing light, musical note and vibrant explosion in the sky, the Glow ears will illuminate, change colors and patterns to synchronize with every spectacular moment during these yuletide shows.

    The new Glow With the Show Ear hats debuted at Walt Disney World Resort during the 15th anniversary of Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and were added to Wishes and Celebrate the Magic castle projection show at Magic Kingdom.

    These magical Ear hats glow in myriad colors, commanded with the latest technology to complement the imagery and beat of the fireworks and spectaculars. When not activated by these experiences, more surprises are in store for participants as the magical ears glow with other ears and settings around the Vacation Kingdom.

    Disney Parks and Adventures by Disney are Getting “Frozen” Starting this Fall

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Beginning in November, guests will be able to meet the fearless heroine Anna and her sister Elsa from the upcoming Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated film Frozen in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. Nearby, a new gallery exhibit will explore how the culture and beauty of Norway inspired the film’s creators.

    In the evenings this holiday season, the story and characters from Frozen join “Celebrate the Magic,” the nighttime projection show that transforms Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom.

    And starting this fall, guests can begin making reservations for the newest trip from Adventures by Disney, which ventures to Norway for the first time in 2014. Adventure-seeking families can discover the awe-inspiring Norwegian fjords that inspired the setting of Frozen.

    During the eight-day, seven-night vacation, guests journey to Norway and follow in the footsteps of the Frozen filmmakers by seeing the places, meeting the people and experiencing the beauty that inspired the setting and the look of the film.

    Holiday Cheer is Spread Across Walt Disney World

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Magic Kingdom: Santa’s elves have transformed the Magic Kingdom into a winter wonderland with festive wreaths, bows, garland, sparkling lights and towering Christmas trees. Cinderella Castle comes aglow as a glimmering ice palace for the holidays — thanks to a special effects spectacle bathing the castle in 200,000 shimmering white lights.

    Epcot Holidays Around the World: Guests become immersed in the festivities, as they experience a celebration of the holidays from the various countries throughout World Showcase. The merriment continues with meet and greets with Santa and Mrs. Claus, plus the nightly “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” laser, light, fireworks display capped with a seasonal finale.

    Disney’s Hollywood Studios: The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: This massive seasonal display features millions of dancing lights, plus animated displays and 3-D effects perfectly synchronized to electrifying holiday tunes amidst snowfall. The rich tradition takes place on the Streets of America, dazzling guests from Nov. 8, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014.

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Celebrate safari style as Disney’s Animal Kingdom is wilder than ever this winter season. Mickey and his pals rejoice in traditional holiday music with a world beat twist during the daily “Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade” Nov. 7, 2013 to Jan. 2, 2014.

    Downtown Disney: Get all your holiday shopping done at Downtown Disney during Festival of the Seasons. The shopping mecca is draped with yuletide cheer from Nov. 15 – Dec. 29 featuring live entertainment, holiday carolers, a lively street party, plus photo ops with Santa and Santa Goofy.

    Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday with Disney Cruise Line

    CELEBRATION, Fla. – Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship during Very Merrytime Cruises, beginning early November through the new year, with traditional “turkey day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries,” New Year’s Eve galas and Disney friends dressed for the occasion.

    Special stem-to-stern holiday events include an interactive tree lighting ceremony in the atrium lobby, visits from Santa Claus and his elves, traditional holiday feasts, family holiday crafts, holiday storytellers and more. When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, during the holidays, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music.

    Guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast, with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. On Christmas Eve, guests can leave milk and cookies for Santa when he visits the ship at midnight. Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and Hanukkah services will be held each day, Nov. 28 – Dec. 5. To celebrate the new year, voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2014, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown with balloon drops.

    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 a travel agent.

    Eighth Annual Old Spice Classic Serves Up a Heaping Helping of Holiday Hoops at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The eighth edition of the Old Spice Classic at Walt Disney World Resort tips off on Thanksgiving Day, with eight teams taking to the court at HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex over the holiday weekend, Nov. 28, 29 and Dec. 1.

    The Old Spice Classic is one of the nation’s premier preseason Division I men’s college basketball tournaments, with this year’s lineup featuring Butler, LSU, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Sienna, St Joe’s and Washington State.

    Throughout the three days, there will be 12 total games, with the two undefeated teams set to face off in the championship game on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m., which will air on ESPN2. All games will be broadcast on ESPN networks.

    Single session and tournament tickets are available through Ticketmaster (1-800-745-3000 and and at the ESPN Wide World of Sports box office.

    For more information, please visit

    Celebrity Narrators Share Christmas Story During Candlelight Processional Nov. 29-Dec. 30

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Candlelight Processional is a timeless holiday offering at Epcot that combines seasonal music with the poignant reading of The Christmas Story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a mass choir performing seasonal melodies, and a 50-piece live orchestra nightly November 29 – December 30, at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre stage on select nights. (Show times on December 8 are 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. only) Whoopi Goldberg and Ashley Judd highlight the list of narrators this season:

    • Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 – Gary Sinise
    • Dec. 2-3 – Neil Patrick Harris
    • Dec. 4-5 – Ashley Judd
    • Dec. 6-7 – Whoopi Goldberg
    • Dec. 8-10 – Sigourney Weaver
    • Dec. 11-13 – Dennis Haysbert
    • Dec. 14-16 – James Denton
    • Dec. 17-19 – Edward James Olmos
    • Dec. 20-22 – Trace Adkins
    • Dec. 23-25 – TBA
    • Dec. 26-28 – Blair Underwood
    • Dec. 29-30 – Amy Grant

    Guests can purchase a Candlelight Dining Package, which combines lunch or dinner at select Epcot restaurants with guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional and VIP viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

    New Year’s Eve Dining All Across Walt Disney World Resort

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – From lunches and dinners to a New Year’s Day brunch, there are more than a dozen spots for ringing in the New Year.

    At Epcot World Showcase, Biergarten Restaurant in Germany is offering both lunch and dinner celebrations; La Hacienda de San Angel in Mexico is offering a New Year’s Eve dinner; Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada has three seatings, and Monsieur Paul in France starts celebrating at noon with seatings throughout the day and evening. The World ShowPlace pavilion also will host a party.

    In the Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland Terrace will feature a New Year’s Eve fireworks dinner and dessert party.

    In the resorts, special dining for ringing in the New Year is planned at Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s Boardwalk; Citricos, Victoria& Albert’s and Narcoossee’s, all at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort& Spa; California Grill and Chef Mickey’s (New Year’s Day brunch) at Disney’s Contemporary Resort; Boma – Flavors of Africa (New Year’s Day breakfast) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (lunch and dinner).

    For information and reservations, 407-WDW-DINE.