A Chat With Ginnifer Goodwin At The #ZootopiaEvent

Disney's Zootopia

A Chat With Ginnifer Goodwin At The #ZootopiaEvent

Ginnifer Goodwin is a self-proclaimed ‘Disney Geek’ who was in her red Mickey Mouse pajamas when she received the call offering her the role of Judy Hopps in Zootopia, opening March 4, 2016.

Judy Hopps - Anyone Anything Ginnifer Goodwin

I had the chance to participate in the #ZootopiaEvent and speak with her about the process of creating the movie, what she learned along the way, and what she hopes you’ll learn from Zootopia.

Zootopia ZootopiaEvent Ginnifer Goodwin
ZOOTOPIA – Actress Ginnifer Goodwin speaks to press via Skype at the ZOOTOPIA Press Junket at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in Orlando, Fl. Photo by Alex Kang. ©2016. Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Zootopia - Anyone can be Anything

I mean I grew up seeing and loving every Disney film. Hence it being the goal to be in a Disney animated feature.”

Who hasn’t dreamed of one day being in a Disney movie where you could save the day? I know I have!

Hearing the joy in Ginnifer’s voice when she talked about the process really showed just how much fun she had bringing Judy to life.

…it’s better than the dream was of getting to work on them. Like, the reality is even better than the dream is what I should say.”

Although Ginnifer was in Vancouver filming Once Upon A Time while Zootopia was taking shape, she chose to travel the Disney Studios for her recording sessions whenever she could.

I love that they would surround me with art from the film. So the booth was always really an inspiring place to be. There’s something about the history being in the place where Disney came to be, what Disney is.”

Zootopia - Chief Bogo Quote

While her animated favorites Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, and Alice in Wonderland hold a special place in her heart, she prepared for the work and challenges as she normally would.

I think most of the challenges came from just learning how to act with only my voice, more than it was about the character…there’s something about not having your facial expression, and body language, a costume, props to which you can clink to express something. Anything.

And having to relinquish all control to the animators, to the editors, and just say, okay, I’m going to throw, I’m gonna throw everything into my voice. And I’m gonna give the directors a million different choices for every single scene, and then let them edit together what they think makes their character. I mean, I didn’t know who the character really was, I don’t feel, until I saw the movie.

And that’s the opposite of the experience I have in live action where I feel like it’s about being a control freak and sort of protecting your character from everyone else who’s working on the project.

And saying, like, no, this is my journey, and this is how I’m going to express this journey. And it was a really liberating.”

Zootopia ZootopiaEvent Judy Hopps

We could all learn something from Judy Hopps, and Ginnifer Goodwin shared how she can’t wait for her children to watch the movie one day.

I feel like the overlying theme, the one that Judy articulates in the movie…anyone can be anything is gonna be one of the…I think probably one of the first things that I know I hope my kids pick up on when they’re old enough to see this film.

There’s some more underlying themes that are a little more sort of politically based and about the human condition. Ironic, since this is a story about animals, that I hope that they get to at some point when they’re ready for it.

And then I just love that, for instance, Judy takes real responsibility for her actions. And I think she’s so noble in that way. And I hope that kids pick up on that.”

It was such a wonderful experience hearing from Ginnifer Goodwin, and I can’t wait to bring you more interviews and information about Zootopia this week!

Make sure that you’re keeping up with Zootopia on all their Social Media Channels!

Like ZOOTOPIA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyZootopia

Follow ZOOTOPIA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyZootopia

Follow Disney Animation on Instagram: https://instagram.com/disneyanimation/

Visit Disney Animation on Tumblr: http://disneyanimation.tumblr.com/

Visit the official ZOOTOPIA website here: http://movies.disney.com/zootopia

ZOOTOPIA opens in theatres everywhere on March 4th!

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Halloween Horror Nights 26 Vacation Packages Available

It’s Never Too Soon To Start Panicking…

Halloween Horror Nights 26 Universal Studios Florida Universal Orlando

Special Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Vacation Package on Sale Now for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26

Nation’s Best and Most Intense Halloween Event Returns this Fall with All-New Horrifying Content & More Nights Than Ever Before

Vacation Package Gives Guests the Opportunity to Stay at Universal’s Newest On-Site Hotel and Receive $150 Toward Hotel Dining

 

Guests can now book their visit to experience the ultimate Halloween event – Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 – and stay at the destination’s newest hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

Consistently rated the nation’s best and known for terrifying hundreds of thousands of guests from around the world, Halloween Horror Nights returns to Universal Studios Florida this fall for a record-breaking 31 nights – and with all-new content that will bring unimaginable terrors to life.

The twisted minds of Universal’s award-winning Entertainment team work year-round to create an intense experience that guests will never forget. As soon as the gates of Halloween Horror Nights open, guests become “victims” as they’re immersed in iconic horror films, terrifying hit TV shows and haunting original stories.

Guests will encounter hordes of menacing “scareactors” who stalk their every move, incredibly-detailed haunted houses that bring their worst nightmares to life and outrageous live shows. Plus – when they need a break from the screams – guests can enjoy Universal Studios’ popular rides & attractions throughout the night.

Will you survive?

Guests can now book a special version of the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort vacation package that combines the daytime thrills of Universal Orlando’s two world-class theme parks – Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure – with the spine-tingling chills of Halloween Horror Nights.

Halloween Horror Nights 26 Universal Studios Florida Universal Orlando

Special Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Halloween Horror Nights 26 Package

Starts at $209 per adult, per night, tax inclusive

 

** Select event nights

Sept. 16 – Oct. 31, 2016.

Advance purchase required. Offer valid for bookings now –5/31/16. Offer valid for travel9/16/16 –10/31/16

· 3-night on-site hotel accommodations at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Universal’s newest on-site hotel

· 2-Day Park-to-Park Ticket

· Early Park Admission one hour before the theme park opens to one (1) Universal Orlando theme park as determined by Universal Orlando

· 1-Night Admission to Halloween Horror Nights (Sunday – Friday)

· Access to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk

· Plus, for a limited time – guests can receive a FREE $150 hotel dining credit (per room) that can be used at restaurants throughout Loews Sapphire Falls Resort when they book a stay of three nights (Sunday – Thursday).

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Universal Orlando Resort Rendering

Opening this summer, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will be Universal’s fifth on-site hotel. The new, 1,000-room Caribbean-themed hideaway will feature the destination’s largest on-site, resort-style pool at 16,000 square-feet, with a white sand beach, a water slide and cabanas.

Another offer guests can purchase is the Halloween Horror Nights Add-On ticket.  This ticket allows guests to add admission to Halloween Horror Nights to the purchase of a regular Universal Orlando theme park ticket for only $59.  This offer is valid on any Sunday through Friday event night.  

Halloween Horror Nights 26 will run select nights from September 16 to October 31.  More details about the event will be announced at a later date. For more information about these offers, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com/Orlando.

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P!nk Creates Original Music for Alice Through The Looking Glass #DisneyAlice

Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass

Three-time GRAMMY®-winning singer/songwriter P!nk on the studio’s upcoming release

Alice Through the Looking Glass 

Starring Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, with Helena Bonham- Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen

Walt Disney Studios is partnering with three-time GRAMMY®-winning singer/songwriter P!nk on the studio’s upcoming release Alice Through the Looking Glass.

P!nk will write and record an original song which will appear in the film and on the motion picture soundtrack from Walt Disney Records featuring four-time Academy Award® nominee Danny Elfman’s score. She has also recorded a cover version of the iconic song “White Rabbit” for the film’s marketing campaign.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJBdSaH6hl4

Alice Through the Looking Glass is an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories which stars Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, with Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKE0Py64jmk

In Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen with “Alice in Wonderland,” the film is written by Linda Woolverton based on characters created by Lewis Carroll. The producers are Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd and Tim Burton. John G. Scotti serves as executive producer. Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass reunites the cast from the 2010 worldwide blockbuster phenomenon, including Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Matt Lucas and Helena Bonham Carter and introduces new characters played by Rhys Ifans and Sacha Baron Cohen. Also back are the talented voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Barbara Windsor and Paul Whitehouse, and they are joined by Toby Jones.

Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.

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Alice in Wonderland in the Disney Parks

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

As I am gearing up for my next Disneyland trip that will be in a couple months, I am looking forward to visiting and going on my favorite ride multiple times: Alice in Wonderland. While this ride is my favorite of all the Alice in Wonderland themed rides and attractions, it is by no means the only thing themed after the 1951 animated classic. The movie, based on the Lewis Carroll story, spawned several rides in Disney Parks and resorts around the world that I’d like to highlight today. Each Disney property around the world has at least some representation of Alice in Wonderland in their parks.

 

Disneyland

Alice in Wonderland is the classic dark ride which opened June 14, 1958, is found exclusively at Disneyland, and has been a favorite of mine since my first trip five years ago. While it isn’t the first Alice attraction in Disneyland, it is my favorite. I love the new graphics from the latest refurbishment. Going inside and out and on the second level to go over the Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Attraction is a fantastic use of space in Fantasyland.

Three original opening day attractions are based on or feature Alice in Wonderland. The Mad Tea Party (tea cups) are a favorite of many to this day. I especially love this ride at night lit up with the colorful lanterns. Also connected to Alice are both the Casey Jr. Circus Train and Storybook Land Canal Boats, from which you can see the English Village from Alice in Wonderland. As of 2008, the characters of Alice and the White Rabbit were added to it’s a small world.

Tea Cups at night
Tea Cups at night

 

Aside from rides, the influence of Alice appears in two shops in Disneyland, both called The Mad Hatter, one in Fantasyland and one on Main Street USA. Just around the corner from the Alice in Wonderland ride, you can find my favorite bathrooms in any park, which are themed around the cards who serve the Queen of Hearts. There’s also a very cute White Rabbit statue here.

In Downtown Disney, an art gallery called WonderGround Gallery takes its name and inspiration from the Alice stories. For the next few weeks one can also experience some Alice themed rock in the Diamond Mad T Party in California Adventure. The Mad T Party was just announced to be closing on March 30th, 2016. This dance party and area of Hollywood Land hosted concerts with musicians dressed up like Alice, The Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, Caterpillar, March Hare, and Dormouse with hosts Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The House of Cards and Drink Me Bar carried on the theme in the evenings for the Mad T Party.

 

Walt Disney World

In the Magic Kingdom the most visible representation of Alice in Wonderland is in the Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland. Alice and friends can be seen in the evening Main Street Electrical Parade. The Cheshire Cafe is a quick service location where guests can find snacks right near the Mad Tea Party Gardens. In the evening before Wishes, Alice is shown along with the Cheshire Cat in the Celebrate the Magic castle projection show.

OHIO with the Mad Hatter at 1900 Park Fare
OHIO with the Mad Hatter at 1900 Park Fare

Other locations across Disney World property where Alice can be found are at the Grand Floridian. She participates along with the Mad Hatter each morning in the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare. The Beach Pool Water Play area was created a couple of years ago and features an Alice in Wonderland theme. Over at the Polynesian at Lilo’s Playhouse, Club Disney features an Alice play area with video games for the kids. In addition to meeting guests in the Magic Kingdom, Alice is usually found doing a meet and greet near the tea gardens in the UK in Epcot.

 

Disneyland Paris

Like all of the other Disneyland style parks around the world, Paris continues the tradition of a tea cup ride with their Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups. There’s also an Alice in Wonderland themed maze called Alice’s Curious Labyrinth in Fantasyland. In the amazing nighttime castle projection/water screen/laser/fireworks presentation called Disney Dreams, you can see clips of Alice projected onto Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. There is an incredible Alice in Wonderland float in the daytime Disney Magic on Parade. At Walt’s – an American Restaurant, the Fantasyland area has artwork and theming from Alice as well as several other stories.

Alice's Curious Labyrinth
Alice’s Curious Labyrinth

 

Hong Kong Disneyland

Artwork from Alice in Wonderland and many other Disney animated films are on display at the Art of Animation attraction on Main Street USA. Of course you can also find the Mad Hatter Tea Cups in Fantasyland. The spectacular nighttime show called Disney in the Stars Fireworks is a sight to be seen and like some of the other projection shows, this one features animation from Alice.

Mad Hatter Tea Cups
Mad Hatter Tea Cups

 

Tokyo Disneyland

Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall
Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall

There is probably the most variety in the Alice in Wonderland themed offerings in Tokyo. There is the traditional Alice’s Tea Party in Fantasyland. Then Alice can be seen in both parades in the park, during the day in the Happiness is Here Parade, and at night in the Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights riding on top of the Cheshire Cat. The coolest thing in the park (it appears to me who hasn’t been there, but has friends who have been) is the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall. This entire restaurant is themed from top to bottom around Alice in Wonderland and it looks epic! In addition to the parks, the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel gets in on the fun with Alice in Wonderland themed rooms. Also, in April of 2015, Oriental Land Company announced an expansion of Fantasyland scheduled to start tentatively in 2017 which will include a new Alice in Wonderland section.

Alice in Wonderland themed room at Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
Alice in Wonderland themed room at Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

 

Shanghai Disney

I know this park isn’t opening until June of this year, but we already know they are going to have some influences from Alice in Wonderland when they do open. The most direct connection is the Alice in Wonderland Maze, but this will be more themed towards the 2010 Tim Burton movie than the 1951 animated classic. Shanghai is going to be the first of the Disneyland style parks around the world that does not have a tea cups ride. Instead, they will have a very similar, but Winnie the Pooh themed Hunny Pot Spin.

 

Outside of Shanghai, all of the Disneyland style theme parks (and Epcot) offer character meet and greets with at least Alice, and sometimes other characters like the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. I could not find any evidence that there will be a meet and greet with Alice in Shanghai, but where the park hasn’t opened yet, this may change.

When I first started researching for this post, I thought I’d find one or two things outside the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, but found myself almost overwhelmed at all of the incarnations in which you can find Alice in Wonderland all over the world. I hope to someday experience all of these, but in the meantime I will have to settle for looking forward to my Disneyland trip in May and hope that I get to go on my favorite ride multiple times.

Riding Alice In Wonderland
Riding Alice In Wonderland
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Fulton’s Crab House Hosts ‘The Best of Fulton’s’ Wine Dinner

 

 Disney Springs News: Fulton's Crab House Launches Brunch Menu

Fulton’s Crab House Hosts ‘The Best of Fulton’s’ Wine Dinner on March 4, 2016

Dinner to feature the most notable dishes from the last 20 years as a bon voyage as renovations begin in April

 

Fulton’s Crab House will celebrate favorite dishes from 20 years of service at the “Best of Fulton’s” wine dinner on March 4 from 6:30-9:30 p.m.Fulton’s will close for renovation on April 4, reopening in fall 2016.

Fulton's Crab House Disney Springs Walt Disney World

Guests will taste some of Fulton’s Crab House most memorable meals over a 5-course menu paired with wines from around the world. Chef Mark Boor will kick off the evening with a reception starring Garlic Crab Fingers, Oysters Rockefeller and Florida Stone Crab Claws paired with a vintage Le Mesnil Grand Cru champagne. Guests will savor surf-centric courses including Lobster Savannah, an oven roasted Maine lobster stuffed with shrimp, scallops, and béchamel as well as herb marinated and wood-grilled Ahi Tuna with jasmine rice, lemongrass sauce, and bok choy. The entire menu includes:

Reception

Oysters Rockefeller (1999)

Hollandaise 

Portobello Fries (1999)

Fulton’s mustard sauce

Florida Stone Crab Claws (2011)

Key lime cilantro sauce

Garlic Crab Fingers (2000)

Grilled semolina bread

Le Mesnil Grand Cru Champagne Brut 2007 Vintage

 

First Course

New Bedford Scallop (2007)

Wild mushrooms, spinach, red pepper coulis, balsamic glaze

Pazo Senorans Albarino Rias Baixas

Second Course

Lobster Savannah (2006)

Oven roasted Maine lobster stuffed with shrimp & scallops, béchamel

Verget Saint Veran Chataigniers 2007

 

Third Course

Cioppino (2005)

Fulton’s version of the San Francisco classic

King crab, shrimp, mussels, clams, white fish, tomato-herb broth, linguini

Muga ‘Prado’ Gran Reserva Rioja 2006

 

Fourth Course

Ahi Tuna (1999)

Herb marinated, wood grilled, jasmine rice, lemongrass sauce, bok choy

Chatueax Musar Red 1999

Fifth Course

Chocolate Crème Brulee (2001)

Classic milk chocolate custard, dusted with sugar and caramelized,

topped with seasonal berries

Ferreira Port Tawny 20 Year

As a nod to Fulton’s Crab House opening in 1996, tickets for the wine dinner are $96.00 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling 407.828.8996.

For additional information, please visit www.fultonscrabhouse.com or call 407.934.2628.

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Subscribing To Fandom Of The Month

Fandom of the Month

Subscribing To Fandom Of The Month

First off, I just want to say that this is in no way shape or form a sponsored post…it is just something really cool I wanted to share. I subscribed to Fandom of the Mont with my own money and on my own accord. 

I’ve been looking at all the different subscription services that are around, and I finally decided to try one so I subscribed to Fandom of the Month.

Fandom of the Month is monthly (with some surprise boxes offered outside of subscriptions) jewelry subscription that includes 3-4 handpicked fandom inspired jewelry items, with a surprise theme!

Fandom of the Month
Photo: Fandom of the Month

Past items included have been:

Earrings, necklaces, rings (size 7 or adjustable), bracelets, keychains, and pins. Each month the jewelry comes in a hand screen printed muslin drawstring bag with a custom postcard and a custom magnet. Also the mailing boxes are super cute!

Now while the theme is a surprise, but you will want to follow their Instagram because they gives clues to upcoming themes, updates on shipping, and special announcements.

How it all works…

Visit the Fandom of the Month website to choose which subscription you would like. Boxes start at $12.00 (Shipping is an additional charge of $3.75 in the US, $8 for Canada, and $11.50 for International), but the longer you subscribe the price goes down.

Also don’t be shocked if you have to wait a month before you are able to sign-up if you sign up later in the month, because the spots are limited and they do fill up.

And then you impatiently wait for the boxes, which are delivered between the 20th and 25th of every month.

And don’t forget to keep in mind…

  • Once you subscribe to Fandom of the Month Club, your subscription will automatically renew at the end of your cycle.
  • You may cancel ANY TIME, simply log into your account and cancel.
  • There are no penalties or fees for canceling.
  • Due to the extreme savings offered in our boxes, we cannot accept returns or grant refunds for already received boxes.
  • Once a payment has been processed the sale is final. You may however cancel for future months.

Now, let’s look at my first box where the theme was Death Eaters!

Fandom of the Month

Horcrux Charm Bracelet

Fandom of the Month

Dark Mark Earrings

Fandom of the Month

‘Have you Seen this Wizard’ Compact

Fandom of the Month

Death Eater Mask Muslin Bag

Fandom of the Month

Bellatrix Lestrange Magnet

Fandom of the Month

Fandom of the Month Postcard

I have to say that I am really pleased with my first Fandom of the Month, and I can’t wait to see what February’s box has in store when the theme is Classic Alice in Wonderland!

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Morimoto Asia Names Executive Chef

Morimoto Asia Disney Springs

Chef Morimoto Introduces

Chef Yuhi Fujinaga as 

Executive Chef for Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs

A culinary relationship 17 years in the making comes full circle in Orlando
Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group announced the appointment of Yuhi Fujinaga as Executive Chef of Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. Beginning immediately, Chef Yuhi will be overseeing the day-to-day culinary operations at The Iron Chef’s first-ever pan-Asian restaurant.
“I met Chef Morimoto as a young chef in Hawaii, where I grew up. We bonded quickly over our love of fresh fish, big flavors and new cooking techniques,” said Chef Yuhi.  “Through working alongside him at a variety of events throughout the country, I have been inspired by him and his approach to cooking and am thrilled that it’s come full circle.”
Morimoto Asia
Previously, Chef Yuhi was Executive Chef at Patina Restaurant Group’s New York City-based, Sea Grill.  A protégé of Chef Ed Brown, who established the restaurant as one of the top seafood destinations in the city, Chef Yuhi has also worked at New York’s Bar Basque. He lived and worked in Spain at the esteemed Echaurren with Chef Francis Paniego, at Casa Solla with Chef Pepe Solla, and at Gaminiz with Chef Aitor Elizegi. He held posts at the Michelin-starred restaurants Eighty-One and Alain Ducasse at the Essex House.
Known for his modern cooking style, Chef Yuhi draws inspiration from his Japanese heritage and upbringing in Hawaii, where he learned to cook from his grandmother. From her, he learned that the quality of the ingredients is as important as the technique in which used to prepare them. Over the years, he has developed techniques that keep the food simple, yet full of flavor.
“Being a great chef comes from within and I know Chef Yuhi is dedicated and passionate to creating inspirational, world-class dishes,” said Chef Masuharu Morimoto. “I am confident that he will continue to showcase his talent and vision to our guests at Morimoto Asia.”
Morimoto Asia is Chef Morimoto’s newest and first Pan-Asian style restaurant. The menu is an eclectic take on some of Chef Morimoto’s favorite Asian flavors including L.A. BBQ kalbi ribs, pad Thai, Peking duck, Chinese-inspired sticky ribs, sweet-and-sour whole fried fish and Singapore laska noodles. Chinese dim sum includes items such as dumplings, shumai, shrimp har-gao and grilled chicken bao.
The restaurant also includes an intimate 14-seat sushi bar offering unique ocean seasonal specialties from Japan and around the world.  A variety of specialty sushi rolls, sushi platters and seafood towers featuring highlights from the raw bar are also offered to guests not seated at the sushi bar.
Morimoto Asia is open Sunday11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.  The restaurant’s second floor Forbidden Lounge late-night menu is served daily from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.  For more information on Morimoto Asia visit www.morimotoasia.com or call (407) 939-MOTO.
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The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60

Disneyland 60This coming Sunday, February 21st, ABC will air the Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 tv special celebrating 60 magical years of Disney’s first theme park. The show will highlight talent from music, stage, screens big and small, and will be sure to entertain us all. With segments taped in front of audiences in Disneyland Resort over the last few weeks, the two hour special hosted by Dancing With The Star’s Derek Hough airs starting at 8pm Eastern.

During the show, Disneyland 60 will feature elements of the Disneyland Park’s year plus long celebration commemorating the opening of the park in 1955. I can only hope they will show the great new additions of Paint the Night and Disneyland Forever fireworks. These are two of the reasons I’ll be heading back to California in a few months to catch the parade and fireworks before the celebration officially ends on September 5th, 2016.

In addition to the great musical and dancing numbers I’m sure Disneyland 60 has in store, one of the most anticipated segments will likely be the details of Star Wars Land being reveled by Harrison Ford. This will be the official public announcement of the details we will be seeing in Disneyland (and possibly Disney’s Hollywood Studios here in Florida?) over the next several years.

According to ABC.com, there is a very long list of celebrities appearing on the show for the Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60. There will be superstars like Elton John and Idina Menzel, “Also taking part in the festivities is a star-studded line-up of music, film and television personalities that includes Alfonso RibeiroAriel Winter, Bryce Dallas Howard, Eric Stonestreet, Fall Out Boy, Ginnifer Goodwin, Dame Helen Mirren, Hilary Duff, Jason Bateman, Jessica Alba, Jessie J, Jimmy Kimmel, John Stamos, Josh Gad, Julie Bowen, Kelsea Ballerini, Kerry Washington, Kiefer Sutherland, Kristen Bell, Little Big Town, Lupita Nyong’o, Maddie Ziegler, NE-YO, Neil Patrick Harris, Nolan Gould, Pentatonix, Pink, Priyanka Chopra, Sabrina Carpenter, Sarah Hyland, Sofia Carson, Tori Kelly and Kermit the FrogTy BurrellViola Davis, and Zendaya!”

With performances of all kinds to keep us singing and dancing along, The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 is something I don’t plan to miss. I grew up watching Disney specials on Sunday evenings hosted by Michael Eisner under the same title and would love to see the Wonderful World of Disney make a resurgence in some incarnation with programs like this and family friendly movies. Will you be joining in on Sunday to watch the celebration of Disneyland 60?

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Disney Twenty-Three Spring 2016 Issue Celebrates Walt Disney Animation Studios

Disney Twenty-Three D23 Spring 2016 Cover

Disney twenty-three Celebrates the Unparalleled Storytelling of Walt Disney Animation Studios

John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, and the Feature Animation “Story Trust” sit down to reveal the secrets behind hits such as Tangled and Frozen with a look at the upcoming films Zootopia and Moana.

Plus exclusive interviews with Ginnifer Goodwin, Chris Evans, and The Jungle Book Director Jon Favreau.

As a charter member of Disney D23 I have been treated to many Disney Twenty-Three issues, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next issue!

In the 10 years since John Lasseter and Ed Catmull took over the reins of what is now Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney has enjoyed incredible creative and box office success with such films as Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, and, of course, Frozen. The spring 2016 issue of Disney twenty-three looks at the creative talents—from writers and directors to producers and animators—who have driven this wave of superior filmmaking that has resulted in two Academy Awards® for Best Animated Feature for the studio.

Disney twenty-three, available exclusively to D23 Gold Members, includes exclusive interviews with Lasseter and Catmull, as well as the teams behind Walt Disney Animation Studios’ run of hits, discussing the secrets behind their work and how a Disney animated film goes from concept to creation. Plus, Disney twenty-three unveils rarely seen visual development art created for the Studio’s most recent films. There are also advance looks at the upcoming animated films Zootopia—including a revealing one-on-one with star Ginnifer Goodwin—and Moana.

In addition to the animation celebration, the issue offers a sneak peek of Captain America: Civil War, featuring exclusive interviews with star Chris Evans and one of the film’s directors, Joe Russo. And director Jon Favreau details the incredible work behind crafting the stunning live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, including how he snared Bill Murray to voice Baloo the bear.

Also included in the spring issue of Disney twenty-three:

  • Three cheers for the 10-year anniversary of High School Musical, including interviews with the director and members of the cast
  • A look at the colorful concept art from the 1967 animated hit The Jungle Book, with stories from Disney Legend Floyd Norman, who worked with Walt Disney on the film
  • A walk through Walt Disney’s office suite on the Studio lot, recently restored by the Walt Disney Archives
  • Regular features including A Walk with Walt, D Society, and Ask Dave

Disney twenty-three, which is delivered directly to fans’ doorsteps, is offered exclusively to D23 Gold and Gold Family Members as a benefit of their membership. The latest issue will begin arriving in late February.

D23 disney twenty-three Fanniversary D23 Destination D Disney D23 Expo

About D23

The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($74.99), Gold Family Membership ($99.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

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SeaWorld Orlando Mako Lead Car Unveiled #NothingFaster

SeaWorld Orlando Mako

SeaWorld Orlando Mako Lead Car Unveiled

#NothingFaster

This Summer SeaWorld Orlando Mako will take its first swim as the centerpiece of the Sharks Realm, but we got to see the lead car and it was everything I hoped it would be and more!

SeaWorld Orlando Mako

Mako is a hypercoaster who’s height will top 200 feet with speeds reaching 73 mph on a track that’s nearly a mile long that is filled with tight turns giving a weightless feeling to riders at the top of each hill.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako

What I was really excited to see at the unveiling of the Lead Car was that it was a beautiful blend of design, form, and function.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako

In a collaboration between SeaWorld’s animal experts and ride engineers, the car is inspired by the physiology of an actual Mako shark, including five gills on each side, eye placement, and a sleek hydro-dynamic look.

Also, the colors featured on the lead car also evoke a sense of the ocean where the Mako Shark lurks. I love it!

To reach speeds of 73 mph, Mako is going to have to have some fast wheels! The ride vehicle’s wheels are comprised of a special compound that reduces friction to create a smooth, consistent, and relentlessly fast ride from beginning to end.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako

What I am REALLY looking forward to during Mako is the ‘air time’, the feeling of weightlessness or negative gravity force experienced, and the ride vehicle’s design is super open for a heightened sense of freedom and increased mobility.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako

When you look at Mako’s seat, the first thing that you will notice is that the only restraint is a lap guard on their lower body, which allows for the riders’ upper bodies to be free.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako

I cannot wait to explore the Sharks Realm and take my first ride on SeaWorld Orlando Mako, and I look forward to bringing you even more news about its opening details soon!

 

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Plancha Restaurant At Four Seasons Resort Orlando Introduces Sunday Brunch

 Plancha Four Seasons Resort Orlando Tranquilo Golf Course - Header

Plancha Restaurant At Four Seasons Resort Orlando Introduces Sunday Brunch

A three-course brunch and an a la carte menu is available, full of Cuban American flavor

Plancha, the lakeside Cuban American restaurant at Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, will begin offering Sunday Brunch on March 13, 2016.   

Plancha Four Seasons Resort Orlando Tranquilo Golf Course
 Twisted Benedict with Truffle Hollandaise and Grilled Asparagus

There are three options for brunch at Plancha:  a three-course menu with buffet appetisers, choice of one entrée and dessert, plus soft drinks/juices and one alcoholic beverage, for $68 per person; buffet only (excluding choice of a la carte entrée) for $45 per person; and a la carte only.  Bottomless beverages, including Mimosas and Marys, will be available for an additional $18. 

Plancha Four Seasons Resort Orlando Tranquilo Golf Course
“Very Berry” French Toast


“I’m very excited to begin serving brunch at Plancha,” says 
Pedro Sanchez, Plancha Chef. “The location is perfect for a leisurely brunch, and we’ve prepared a delicious menu with a lot of flavour to ensure there’s something for everyone.” 

The buffet will include assorted salads, fruits, smoked salmon and bagels, artisan meats and cheeses, black bean hummus and vegetables, assorted breakfast pastries and much more.

Plancha Four Seasons Resort Orlando Tranquilo Golf Course
Fried Chicken and White Cheddar Waffles

Entrees and a la carte items include a roasted prime rib, vegan spaghetti zucchini, cured salmon, American beef slider, Tampa Bay shrimp omelet with jalapenos and cilantro, a twisted benedict with truffle hollandaise and grilled asparagus, a “very berry” French toast, oatmeal pancakes, and fried chicken and white cheddar waffles.

The dessert buffet will include a selection of seven signature desserts, including Plancha’s flan, tres leches, and guava roll.

Plancha Four Seasons Resort Orlando Tranquilo Golf Course - Tres Leches
Tres Leches

A children’s buffet will be available for $20 per child, including chicken tenders, grilled salmon, mac & cheese, mini burgers, or pancakes.

Plancha Four Seasons Resort Orlando Tranquilo Golf Course
American Beef Slider

Brunch will be available every Sunday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Plancha offers complimentary valet parking and complimentary self-parking.  For reservations, call 407 313 6161.

 

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SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival Weekend Concert Line-Up

SeaWorld Orlando Bands Brew BBQ   

Scotty McCreery and Dennis DeYoung to Hit the Stage at SeaWorld Orlando

Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival

 

 

The SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival  keeps rocking as Saturday, February 20 hot country music star, Scotty McCreery takes the stage.  ACM and CMT Award winner McCreery has sold more than 2.5 million albums and received both Platinum and Gold album certifications.

SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew and BBQ Scott McCreery
                                        Scotty McCreery

Then on Sunday, February 21, legendary and founding member of the rock group Styx, Dennis DeYoung will perform.

SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew and BBQ Dennis DeYoung
                                               Dennis DeYoung

 

The event honors America’s Heroes and featuring live concerts from top classic rock and country bands and artists, tasty BBQ and thirst-quenching beer, and is included with regular park admission. Event festivities begin at 12 p.m. each weekend, with concerts at 4 p.m.*

In addition to the signature acts and festivities, the event also will feature a secondary stage to showcase local bands, and a DJ spinning music for guests to show off their line dancing and boot scootin’ skills.

Beyond the stage, guests can enjoy a Harley-Davidson Orlando display of motorcycles specifically for Bands, Brew and BBQ along with a collection of classic cars.

Returning this year, the patriotic-themed USO Family Garden will offer animal encounters, Explore Zones and a kid-friendly interactive host making this the perfect place to play for families with young guests. Kids of all ages are invited to enjoy this family-friendly area while they learn to line dance, meet animals and have fun all afternoon.

SPECIAL PACKAGES:

SeaWorld Orlando Bands Brew BBQ

For a VIP experience, packages with reserved seating are available.

  • VIP Front Row Seating & BBQ Package – Starting at just $40, guests can reserve a front row seat (just inches from the artists); enjoy a delicious BBQ Tasting Sampler, and one Quick Queue unlimited.
  • Concert Floor Seating & Quick Queue – Starting at just $24, guests can reserve floor seats right in front of the band and Quick Queue unlimited. 

This year, SeaWorld’s chef experts fire up the grill with a bold array of BBQ options beyond the ordinary.  From smoky and spicy to sweet and tangy, there are options for every craving, plus guests can match menu items with specific craft brews or a flight of wine.

SeaWorld Orlando Bands Brew BBQ

New this year, connoisseurs of BBQ and craft brews can delight in sizzling sampler packages sure to elevate the taste buds.

SPECIAL BANDS, BREW & BBQ PACKAGES INCLUDE:

SeaWorld Orlando Bands Brew BBQ

  • BBQ Tasting Sampler – Guests can choose up to five menu items from SeaWorld’s sampler selections at any of the Bands, Brew & BBQ food locations for just $20.
  • Craft Brew Sampler – Guests sample 10 ice-cold craft beers — from a selection of more than 30 brews — for just $30.
  • BBQ Tasting and Craft Brew Sampler (Best Value) – This sampler includes five menu items and five craft brew samples along the Bands, Brew & BBQ Pathway –all for only $35.

MILITARY OFFER – ACTIVE DUTY AND VETERANS

Waves of Honor SeaWorld Orlando

  • SeaWorld Orlando also is proud to offer a special discount for enlisted men and women and veterans during this event, including 50% off the standard price of the 2016 Fun Card, which allows unlimited admission to SeaWorld all year for the price of a single-day ticket. Military also get 10% off special sampler Bands, Brew & BBQ packages. For more details, visit wavesofhonor.com.

LIMITED TIME OFFER – 2016 SEAWORLD ORLANDO FUN CARD

SeaWorld Orlando Fun Card 2016

  • As a special discount for purchasing early — now through March 6 — guests who purchase a Fun Card will pay for less than a day and play all year long. During this special timeframe, the 2016 SeaWorld Orlando Fun Card is just $94 plus tax, which is a $5 savings.

Bands, Brew & BBQ is included with regular park admission. Stay tuned for the latest event information and artist announcements on SeaWorldOrlando.com as well as SeaWorld’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Join the conversation using #SeaWorld #BandsBrewBBQ.  Pay for less than a day Fun Card must be redeemed in-park by March 6, 2016. Taxes, shipping, and service fees not included.

 

*Event times, dates and talent are subject to change or cancellation without prior notice.

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Busch Gardens Tampa Releases 2016 Food & Wine Festival Menu #CorksAndCoasters

Busch Gardens Tampa Food & Wine Festival Logo

Busch Gardens Tampa Releases 2016 Food & Wine Festival Menu #CorksAndCoasters

New Culinary Creations and Expanded Beverage Lineup

 

The annual Busch Gardens Tampa Food & Wine Festival returns this spring featuring sensational new culinary creations including a menu of more than 35 delectable dishes designed specifically for the event; an expanded line up of more than 120 wines, craft brews and cocktails; and performances from chart-topping musical artists including Andy Grammer, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Meat Loaf, The All-American Rejects, O.A.R, Gente de Zona and many more.

Busch Gardens Tampa Food & Wine Festival Chef Norman Van Aken

The Festival takes place on weekends March 5 through April 24, and is included with park admission. For a limited time, as a special incentive for those who plan early, guests who buy a 2016 Fun Card to Busch Gardens also will receive a FREE 2016 Adventure Island® Fun Card.

2016 Food & Wine Festival New Additions:

2016 Busch Gardens Tampa Food & Wine Festival

In addition to new food and beverage options, the Food & Wine Festival also offers new ways for guests to savor the event:

NEW! Food Sampler

Guests with exclusive interests in culinary offerings can purchase the all-new Food Sampler, which includes any five food samples of choice throughout the Festival and starts at $24.99.

NEW! Wine by the Bottle

This year, guests can take home a part of the Food & Wine Festival with wine available for purchase by the bottle in select merchandise locations throughout the park.

The Food & Wine Festival spices up the menu with more than 15 all-new dishes, including duck tacos, lobster ravioli, truffle fries and almond coconut truffles. Plus, Festival classics like bacon mac & cheese and the griddled cheese cake sandwich are back by popular demand.

The Festival features 11 different culinary cabins that guests can experience throughout the park, each with its own special menu:

NEW! Artisan Eats:

Artisan Eats introduces sophisticated flavors crafted to treat guests’ appetites, including truffle fries, shrimp & grits and pan-fried bread pudding with Nutella®-mascarpone drizzle.

NEW! Garden Gate Cafe:

Garden Gate Café joins the Festival this year with pheasant sausage flatbread topped with filet de pomodoro and tuna poke. 2016 Busch Gardens Tampa Food & Wine Festival

Gourmet Lodge:

The exotic flavors of Gourmet Lodge feature smoked beef brisket, pickled shrimp over couscous salad and a guest-favorite griddled cheese cake sandwich.

2016 Busch Gardens Tampa Food & Wine Festival

Savory Tavern:

The rich flavors of Savory Tavern tempt taste buds with coconut shrimp cigars, espresso flan, and a goat cheese polenta cake topped with olives and tomatoes.

Chef’s Plantation:

Chef’s Plantation is home to hearty flavors, including pan-seared salmon cakes, beef short ribs and duck tacos with sweet chili sauce.

Coast to Coast Cookery:

Tastes of the land and sea come together at Coast to Coast Cookery, featuring green peppercorn-seared hangar steak, bacon-wrapped prawns and chilled smoked chicken with apples, sundried cranberries and walnut quinoa. 

2016 Busch Gardens Tampa Food & Wine Festival

Field House Eatery:

The Field House Eatery is the Festival’s biggest location, offering pan-seared diver scallops and lamb chops with tabouleh and tatziki sauce.

Southern Station:

Southern Station tantalizes taste buds with all-new bison sliders, pan-fried cod over fennel risotto, roasted pork belly with red pepper jam, and venison chili with roasted corn, black beans and lime sour cream.

2016 Busch Gardens Tampa Food & Wine Festival

Comfort Kitchen:

The Comfort Kitchen fuses classics like the famous bacon mac & cheese with contemporary elegant eats like lobster ravioli over tomato basil sauce.

Light Fare Canteen:

The Light Fare Canteen freshens the palate with returning favorites like scallop ceviche, a potato and goat cheese tart, and a perfect cheese plate to accompany a glass of wine.

Blazin’ Bistro:

Blazin’ Bistro breaks out the grill for island-inspired cuisine, featuring jerk chicken sliders, roasted cauliflower hummus and a refreshing vanilla Cigar City Maduro® ice cream float with caramel.

2016 Busch Gardens Tampa Food & Wine Festival

Food and beverage is not included with park admission and is available for an extra fee. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages. For more information, visit buschgardens.com.

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