Coming to Disney World and Disney Cruise Line in Spring 2014

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The new year spells new excitement as 2014 heralds magical events, special openings and much more at Walt Disney World Resort and beyond. Here’s a look at what’s in store in the Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line from January through May:

Expanded Expo, New Events Added to 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna

The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna will take place Jan. 8 – 12 at Walt Disney World Resort.  New in 2014 is the Walt Disney World 10K and the Dopey Challenge, in which participants run the 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon (48.6 miles over the course of 4 days).  These new runDisney events join the runDisney Kids’ Races, Disney Family Fun Run 5K, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, the Walt Disney World Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge (running both the half and full marathon).  Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports has expanded to 4 days and will feature runDisney merchandise, a speaker series and the latest in running fashion and technology.

Get Your Princess On! Feb. 20-23 Set for 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Thousands of women will celebrate their inner princess at the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort, Feb. 20 – 23.  The all-new Disney Enchanted 10K and Glass Slipper Challenge, running the 10K and and half marathon over the course of 2 days, join the runDisney Kids Races, the Cinderella Royal Family 5K and the Disney Princess Half Marathon to offer events for the entire family and all abilities.  The women-focused Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo runs Feb. 20 – 22 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and features the latest in running fashions and technology as well as a speaker series with running experts. The Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney takes place Feb. 23 and will be the perfect event to celebrate a crowning achievement.

Play Ball! Atlanta Braves Spring Training Welcomes Top Teams to Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Atlanta Braves Spring Training returns to Walt Disney World in February and March with a slate of games featuring Major League Baseball’s top teams at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The 2014 schedule has yet to be released, but the list of Grapefruit League clubs that commonly visit Champion Stadium include the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and Detroit Tigers.

Guests also will be treated to game day entertainment and additional fan experiences in a way only Disney can do, from character appearances, to an exclusive On-Field Spectator Experience and kids running the bases after the game.

Information on the Braves’ spring training season, group tickets and mini-packs is available by calling 407/939-GAME (4263) and online at  Individual game tickets are available through Ticketmaster (800/745-3000 and and at the sports complex box office. 

21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival to Bloom with Floral Color, Cook with Marketplace Flavors March 5 to May 18 

Disney gardeners will paint the landscape with rainbows of blooms while Epcot chefs tempt guests with marketplace tastes during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 5 – May 18, 2014, at Walt Disney World Resort.

Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck in larger-than-life topiary splendor will celebrate spring with a butterfly hunt adventure in the Epcot front entrance garden.  Whimsical topiaries of Mickey Mouse and dozens of other Disney characters will surprise guests beyond the park’s iconic Spaceship Earth.

The garden party continues for 75 days. For the festival’s second year, Disney guests can taste sweets and savories from about a dozen food-and-beverage marketplaces surrounding the World Showcase Lagoon.  As they sample from marketplace menus of gustatory delights, guests can wander among themed gardens and children’s play areas. Most gardens will be illuminated when the sun sets to extend the festival fun.

At the Festival Center, daily interactive gardening seminars will set the stage for outdoor do-it-yourself inspiration, and popular HGTV celebrities will headline weekend seminars filled with home, garden and design ideas.

Back by demand, the Disney-Pixar “Cars” garden and playground will bring favorite movie characters to life.  Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House will be aflutter with hundreds of the winged beauties and intricate fairy topiaries including Tinker Bell, Fawn and Terrence.

The opening weekend Flower Power Concert Series at America Gardens Theatre will present fan-favorite band The Guess Who (“American Woman”) March 7-9.  Other pop acts set to perform include Chubby Checker & the Wildcats, The Village People, Paul Revere & The Raiders and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone. (Entertainment is subject to change.)

More than 100 topiaries, 220 floating mini-gardens, dozens of flower towers and sweeping beds of multi-colored blooms will add floral splendor to the park landscape.  Several special weekend happenings, including the popular Art in the Garden Weekend, will be scheduled.

For more information about the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639).  The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine Slated for March 6-9; Inspires Teens to Dream Big at Walt Disney World Resort

Plans are under way for the 2014 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. U.S. high school students ages 13-19 participate in this innovative outside-the-classroom educational and mentoring program. The 2014 Disney Dreamers Academy, now in its seventh year, will take place March 6 – 9, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Disney Dreamers Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire and fuel the dreams of teens, help them discover a world of possibilities and help them prepare for the future. Annually, 100 U.S. high school students, selected from thousands of applications, embark on an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida for an immersive four-day program that inspires and fuels their dreams.

Both onstage and behind the scenes, the Disney theme parks become vibrant ‘classrooms,’ leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Motivational speakers and celebrities share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and DREAM BIG. Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain firsthand knowledge from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives.

For more information visit 

Out-of-this-World Fun! Star Wars Weekends set for May and June 2014 

Star Wars Weekends returns to the Walt Disney World Resort in May and June 2014, as Disney’s Hollywood Studios becomes Star Wars central for guests of all ages. Specific dates for the annual sci-fi fan-fest will be announced at a later date.

Each year, the power of the Force and magic of Disney combine as plenty of out-of-this-world characters – including Wookiees, droids, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Jedi – roam the streets of the theme park and pose in themed meet-and-greet areas. Guests can experience one of the largest Star Wars parades in the world during the day and then dance the night away at the surprise-filled “Hyperspace Hoopla.”

Jedi Training Academy, one of the interactive entertainment experiences at the theme park, is expanded during the event and allows young guests to learn from a Jedi Master before testing their newly acquired skills in a battle with Darth Vader or Darth Maul.

Also featured: the chance for fans to purchase one-of-a-kind and limited edition Star Wars memoribilia, Star Wars trivia and star conversations with Star Wars celebrities.

Event activities are included in regular theme park admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For more information and future updates, guests may check online at, or

Captain America Now Visiting Recruits Onboard Disney Magic

A “Marvel”-ous time is underway onboard the newly re-imagined Disney Magic, starting Oct. 20. For the first time onboard a Disney Cruise ship, Captain America will be greeting guests and young recruits, bringing Marvel’s Avengers Academy alive, and delighting kids of all ages.

The Oceaneer Club onboard the Disney Magic now plays host to Marvel’s Avengers Academy, where young crime-fighters are transported to a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) —a technologically advanced remote command post used by The Avengers for special missions and operations training.

Throughout the base, displays featuring some of the equipment that helps to make The Avengers earth’s mightiest heroes—Iron Man’s high-tech suit of armor, Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer—inspire super hero “recruits” through their academy missions. Marvel’s Avengers Academy is a multi-day, immersive entertainment experience for children, where they interact with Marvel characters and unleash their inner super heroes.

Marvel’s Avengers Academy centers on high-tech fun, with computer stations and a giant video wall to assist in their multi-day “training” and super hero missions. Special lighting and audio effects enhance the experience.

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.

Disney Magic Homeports in Port Canaveral, Offers New Itineraries for 2014

The newly re-imagined Disney Magic is now making Port Canaveral home for 2014, offering new Bahamian itineraries to match the exciting additions to the ship.

Following a dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, in the Fall of 2013, the Disney Magic sails to the Bahamas on three- and four-night itineraries. Departing from Port Canaveral from January to May three- and four-night itineraries include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay and Nassau.

Sea days will now prove even more fun for younger guests onboard the Disney Magic, as the re-imagined ship features Marvel’s Avengers Academy, where young hero-recruits can step into a high-tech command post used by The Avengers and family fun abounds at the AquaDunk, a three-story body slide that begins with a surprising launch.

Family dining has also taken a turn for the unique with the addition of Carioca’s, a Latin themed restaurant inspired by South American cuisine and a completely re-imagined Animator’s Palate.

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.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ready to Roll in Spring 2014

 It “crowns” New Fantasyland – the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history – and there’s nothing “sleepy” about it. When it opens in spring 2014, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, inspired by the classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” will take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine” and through the rolling countryside surrounding the mine. A stone bridge over a creek leads guests to the entrance of the attraction. Just ahead: the rustic cottage of the Dwarfs. The family-style coaster will feature a first-of-its-kind train of ride vehicles mounted in cradle-like pivots that allow the cars to swing back and forth during the ride. The journey will be accompanied by music from the film and there’s a cast of animated figures of Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs and a collection of playful forest critters. An interactive queue will feature activities themed to mining.


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Chip is the owner, editor, and writer of Chip and Company. When he is not writing about Disney News or Planning Tips, you will find him counting down the days to his next Disney Vacation.
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