There are 13 days and oodles of ways for guests to enjoy the 16th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in November. The popular 45-day festival, which began Sept. 30, continues through Nov. 13 with a sizzling lineup of 39 Eat to the Beat! concerts and a culinary passport to hundreds of food and beverage flavors from six continents.
With three Eat to the Beat! concerts daily (5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m.), the hot tickets in November are:
Nov. 1: Hanson “Give a Little”
Nov. 2-3: The Pointer Sisters “He’s So Shy” (New to the festival!)
Nov. 4-6: Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
Nov. 7-8: Air Supply “Lost in Love”
Nov. 9-10: Richard Marx “Right Here Waiting”
Nov. 11-13: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy “Go Daddy-O”
During the festival’s final two weeks, thousands of sweet and savory samplings of 76 international tastes will be served to guests at more than 25 marketplaces surrounding the park’s World Showcase Lagoon. Foodies who want in on a party like no other have two more opportunities with the Nov. 5 and Nov. 12 Party for the Senses food, wine and entertainment extravaganzas.
Special wine and culinary programs, including Party for the Senses grand tasting events, require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations. Information and reservations for select events and programs are available at disneyworld.com/foodandwine.
Festival of Masters Welcomes Artist Graham Knuttel
The works of Irish artist Graham Knuttel have found homes among Hollywood royalty like Sylvester Stallone, Whoopie Goldberg and Robert DeNiro. On Nov. 11, 2011, one of the renowned artist’s works will find a home at Walt Disney World Resort.
His latest commission — a painting for Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Downtown Disney — will be unveiled during the opening day of Festival of the Masters, one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded juried art festivals since 1975. While the painting will be on permanent display at the pub, Knuttel will exhibit a collection of many new pieces at the Nov. 11-13 festival and will appear at Raglan Road “Meet the Artist” events Nov. 12 at 2 and 3:30 p.m.
Known for his bold, bright canvases of stylized figures, Knuttel’s Raglan Road painting is based on a poem, “On Raglan Road,” written in 1946 by lovesick poet Patrick Kavanagh and recorded in song by Ireland’s greatest folk musician, Luke Kelly. The pub scene in the painting pops with more than two dozen unconventional Knuttel figures that include Kavanagh, Kelly, Irish rockers Bono and The Edge and writers James Joyce and Brendan Behan. Looking closely, admirers may discover a photo of a child wearing mouse ears.
Nearly 150 award-winning artists who create paintings, jewelry, sculptures, photographs and more will show off their works at the festival. There’s also live entertainment and family-friendly activities each day. Hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking are complimentary. More information: disneyworld.com/artfestival.
Top Celebs Headline Candlelight Processional at Epcot
Academy award-winning actress Mira Sorvino returns to Walt Disney World Resort Nov. 25-27, 2011, to kick off Candlelight Processional, the enormously popular Disney holiday celebration that will continue nightly through Dec. 30, 2011, at Epcot.
Sorvino is among a dozen celebrities, ranging from contemporary Christian and country music artists to a soap opera legend and award-winning actor, who will take the stage for the joyous retelling of the Christmas story. They join a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir at Epcot America Gardens Theatre for performances at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. most nights. The lineup (artists subject to change):
Nov. 25-27: Mira Sorvino
Nov. 28-Dec. 1: Michael W. Smith
Dec. 2-3: Geena Davis
Dec. 4-6: Edward James Olmos (guest shows at 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. only)
Dec. 7-9: Isabella Rossellini
Dec. 10-12: Neil Patrick Harris
Dec. 13-15: Lorraine Bracco
Dec. 16-18: talent tba
Dec. 19-21: Trace Adkins
Dec. 22-24: Susan Lucci
Dec. 25-27: Blair Underwood
Dec. 28-30: Marlee Matlin
For a guaranteed seat to Candlelight Processional, guests can purchase a special dining package (on select nights) by calling 407-WDW-DINE. Candlelight information online is at http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/special-events/candlelight-processional/.
Walt Disney World Resort Sends 2011 out with a Bang
New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest fireworks evenings of the year at Walt Disney World Resort, a place where fireworks are both spectacular and an every-night occurrence. Fireworks and nighttime shows will light up the skies and create a mood of celebration at three theme parks on Dec. 31, 2011, while revelry of other sorts takes place elsewhere throughout the Vacation Kingdom.
Here’s a snapshot of what’s in store:
- Magic Kingdom presents a double helping of pyrotechnics: “Wishes” nighttime spectacular with a holiday overlay at 8:30 p.m. and “Fantasy in the Sky” at 11:51 p.m.
- Epcot‘s “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” delights revelers with a salute to the new year at 7 p.m. and 11:42 p.m.
- At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the 25-minute spectacular “Fantasmic!” that combines water, fire, lights, lasers, fireworks and music will be presented at 6:30 and 8 p.m., with the popular “Lights! Camera! Happy New Year!” fireworks display at midnight.
- At Cirque du Soleil, all guests attending the Dec. 31 performances will receive a limited-edition Walt Disney World/Cirque trading pin. Shows are at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. For pricing contact 407/WDW/SEAT.
- Registered guests at select Disney resort hotels will be treated to music and entertainment. At Narcoosee’s restaurant (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), for instance, there will be a four-course dining experience for $149, plus DJ, balloon artist and special fireworks viewing at 8:30 and 11:51.
- Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort offers a special-ticket New Year’s Eve party from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. with video DJ Tony Zapulla.
For specific information about other holiday dining offerings at Disney resort hotels on Dec. 31, call 407/WDW/DINE.
Magic Kingdom Parking Lot Goes to Disney Heroes and Villains
It may seem “goofy” or “dopey” and make you feel “grumpy” or “happy,” but: The parking lot at Magic Kingdom has gone to the Disney Heroes and Villains.
Say “hello” to Woody, Aladdin, Simba, Hook, Scar, Zurg and a half dozen other goodies and baddies. They have replaced sections named for “classic” Disney characters and Dwarfs.
New names for sections of the lot are part of an operational change designed to make it easier for Magic Kingdom guests to navigate and remember where they parked their vehicle in the 12,000-plus vehicle, 125-acre facility. With the change, there are two loading and unloading zones at the Transportation and Ticket Center, one for trams running to the Heroes portion of the parking lot, the other for the Villains area.
With the change, guests will park either in one of six Heroes sections (Aladdin, Mulan, Peter Pan, Rapunzel, Simba, Woody) or one of six Villains sections (Cruella, Hook, Jafar, Scar, Ursula , Zurg). According to park operations, the change provides more visual cues to joggle guests’ memories.
Disney Fantasy Upper Decks a Splashing Delight for Kids and Comfortable Retreat for Adults
An array of wet and wonderful new surprises help guests cool off as they enjoy soaking up the sun aboard the Disney Fantasy, the new Disney Cruise Line ship scheduled to set sail in March 2012.
Guests can splash and play in a brand-new water play area, AquaLab. As the story goes, AquaLab was created by Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, and features a variety of water “experiments” designed to drench the whole family with pop jets, geysers and bubblers.
But that’s just the beginning of the get-wet fun in the 1,800-square-foot space. By turning wheels and moving levers at three wacky aqua stations, kids “control” the speed and temperature of AquaDuck, the ship’s water coaster. At a leaky wall, the water fun is “all hands on deck” as kids try to keep the water circulating by covering holes in squirting and spurting pipes with their hands. In another area, kids scramble to stop leaky pipes from filling a row boat with water. Water leaks and sprays from the Ducky Dinghy, suspended overhead, and as the boat fills, a fish pops his head out of a bucket while everyone gets delightfully drenched.
Just for adults on the Disney Fantasy, a new exclusive area offers a retreat on the upper decks for guests 18 and older (in addition to the adults-only Quiet Cove Pool). At Satellite Sun Deck on deck 13 forward, a brand-new water feature called Satellite Falls is a circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain that provides cool comfort. Around this upper deck, adult guests can soak up the sun in loungers or relax in the shade under a canopy.
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.
Indiana State Leads Strong Old Spice Classic Field at Disney
The sixth annual Old Spice Classic, headlined by Indiana State, will be held Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 24, 25 and 27, at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort.
The Old Spice Classic field is once again strong, featuring three teams that reached the postseason in 2011. Indiana State earned an NCAA berth, while Dayton and Fairfield played in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). They will be joined by Arizona State, DePaul, Minnesota, Texas Tech and Wake Forest.
Players to watch include Minnesota senior Trevor Mbakwe, who led Team USA in rebounding this summer at the World University Games and has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason list.
The tournament consists of 12 games over three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. ESPN networks will air virtually the entire tournament, including all opening-day games and the championship game.
For more information about the tournament, visit OldSpiceClassic.com, follow on Twitter @OldSpiceClassic and @DisneySports and on Facebook at facebook.com/OldSpiceClassic. For more information on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, visit www.espnwwos.com.
- Walt Disney World Resort Sends 2011 out with a Bang (chipandco.com)
- A Spooktacular in the Sky at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts (chipandco.com)