Dateline Disney

Walt Disney World's Media Office publishes a bimonthly Press Release called Dateline Disney, which highlights WDW activities for those particular months.

November/December 2012

In this edition:

  • Epcot: Eat to the Beat! at the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival; Test Track 2.0 Debuts; Candlelight Processional Returns
  • Magic Kingdom: Preview, Grand Opening Dates Set for New Fantasyland; Celebrating the Holidays with Mickey's Very Merry Christmas
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios: Wreck-it-Ralph Joins Cast; The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow Debuts
  • Downtown Disney: Festival of the Masters Returns; Splitsville Entertainment Complex Debuts
  • Disney Sports: Children's Miracle Network Classic; Seventh Annual Old Spice Classic
  • New Year's Eve Celebration: Special Dining, Dance Parties and Fireworks Galore


Nosh, Sip and Eat to the Beat through Nov. 12 at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Sip the Key Lime wine by Florida Orange Groves at Florida Local marketplace and dig into the heavenly Linda Bean's Perfect Main Lobster Roll at Hops & Barley marketplace. Then grab a seat to eat to the beat of pop icons like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performing in America Gardens Theatre during the final 12 days of the 17th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

Disney guests have been flocking to the annual food fest since opening day Sept. 28 and continue to celebrate by sampling tempting bites and organic wines from TERRA, the new vegan marketplace, and more than 25 other food and beverage kiosks representing regional cuisine from six continents.

Every evening, they can rock to an Eat to the Beat concert at 5:30, 6:45 or 8 p.m. Onstage in November are:

  • Nov. 1-2              38 Special -- "Hold on Loosely"
  • Nov. 3-4              Howard Jones LIVE -- "No One Is to Blame"
  • Nov. 5-6              NEW! Blues Traveler -- "Run-Around"
  • Nov. 7-8              NEW! Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group STYX - "Come Sail Away"
  • Nov. 9-12            Big Bad Voodoo Daddy -- "Go Daddy-O"Culinary demonstrations, beverage seminars and other daily events at the Festival Center add an extra element of fun for foodies.

Weekend HGTV Home Entertaining Seminars in November feature:

  • Nov. 2-4              Marianne Canada, Special Projects Editor.
    Seminar topic: "Handmade Goodies They Won't Regift."
  • Nov. 9-12           Emily Henderson, Secrets from a Stylist. Seminar topic: "Create Holiday Memories: Style, Share, Preserve Those Family Photos & Cards."

Festival Center guests are still savoring liquid-candy-bar sweetness when they taste the gourmet drinking chocolate at The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar in the Center. Other don't-miss festival opportunities: the popular Ocean Spray "Discover the Cranberry Bog" and The Watermelon Patch presented by the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

For details on all special events, including the popular Party for the Senses - final event Nov. 3 - and other premium tasting experiences, visit

Children's Miracle Network Classic

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.- The Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic returns to Disney's Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses November 8-11, 2012, for its 42nd consecutive year of PGA TOUR play at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Central Florida's longest-running professional golf event is aimed at improving the lives of children, and will be held just a short pitch and putt from the Magic Kingdom. The Classic's two Joe Lee-designed courses annually provide a competitive environment for the 128-player field, while spectators are treated to a gorgeous backdrop of Florida woodlands and sparkling lakes.

In last year's exciting finale, Luke Donald strung together six straight birdies to pass Webb Simpson on the leaderboard and on the PGA TOUR money list. Donald finished with an 8-under 64 for the Classic win on his way to capturing TOUR Player of the Year status.

Previous winners of the Disney Classic include Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and David Love III.

For more information, please visit

Festival of the Masters Returns to Downtown Disney Nov. 9-11, 2012

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels returns to Downtown Disney Nov. 9-11, 2012 for its 37th year. The prestigious open-air fine arts festival features nearly 150 award-winning artists, sidewalk chalk art, limited-edition fine art, photography, sculpture, jewelry, glass art, Disney collectibles, live music and more. The event takes place from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Art from an array of Disney artists also will be on display and available for purchase. The Disney Artist Village tent at Pleasure Island will feature Disney character art created by masters from various Disney disciplines, including Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative design and development arm of The Walt Disney Company. At the Art of Disney, artist Dave Avanzino will create art pieces using prop-like elements and fonts based on signs and attractions found around Disney theme parks. Both locations will feature artist appearances throughout the weekend.

For the first time ever, the event will feature an Emerging Masters area, where more than 30 juried up-and-coming artists will showcase works and compete for awards. 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, a do-it-yourself fashion show, and the "Michaels Master Mural" where guests can help create a mosaic-like mural.

Other activities will include complimentary face painting and live entertainment by performers from La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil, a chance to construct an 8-foot tall LEGO Hulk figure, domino games at Fuego by Sosa Cigars, live music at various venues, such as House of Blues and Bongos Cuban Café, and more. Admission and self-parking are complimentary at Downtown Disney.

For more information about Festival of the Masters, including exhibit times and other activities, please visit

Celebrated Custom Continues at Magic Kingdom for 20 Nights:
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Families can deck the halls starting this November with 20 evenings of holiday splendor with Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a festive tradition immersing families in the holiday spirit on selected nights during the months of November and December:

  • Nov. 9, 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30
  • Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21

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 yuletide and cheer with lively stage shows, spectacular fireworks, a unique holiday parade and holiday traditions including complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and a prediction of snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A.Partygoers also can take in the spectacle of Cinderella Castle, adorned with thousands of shimmering white lights, covering the turrets and towers like a glistening blanket of ice. The twinkling lights create an elegant wintry effect perfect for the seasonal celebration.

For more information, visit NOTE: this is a hard ticket special event after regular park hours; purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended

Preview, Grand Opening Dates Set as Expansion Continues for New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - There's more magic to come as the expansion of the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom- nearly doubling in size -- continues at Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, so many more attractions are coming on line later this year that Dec. 6, 2012 has been set as the Grand Opening of Fantasyland. Previews begin Nov. 19.

Among attractions to make their debuts:

  •  Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a major attraction where guests will travel with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves - all against a musical backdrop of songs from the film. The new attraction combines the enduring appeal of a classic Disney "dark ride" with wonderful technological innovations to offer guests a personal journey into the scenes of the film. Adventurers will feel as if they are descending below the ocean's surface. Once "under the sea," guests will find themselves immersed in the story of "The Little Mermaid," sharing Ariel's adventure through a magical cast of characters and a captivating musical score that will entice everyone to sing along. The fun continues at "Ariel's Grotto," a meet-and-greet with the mermaid heroine herself.
  • The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill across an old stone bridge from Ariel's new home. The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery, and mysterious "West Wing" of the castle. With seating for 550, this magnificent facility will offer "great food fast" service by day and full-service table dining in the evening. Nearby in Belle's Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston's Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.
  • Just outside the village is Belle's cottage and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The adventure begins in Maurice's workshop, where an enchanted mirror is the doorway to a captivating new kind of storytelling experience: guests will be transported to the Beast's library to meet Belle and Lumiere, and share in a lively, interactive re-telling of the "tale as old as time.

Wreck-It Ralph Comes to Disney's Hollywood Studios

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.- Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz, from Disney's newest animated adventure comedy "Wreck-It Ralph," in theaters in 3D Nov. 2, will soon make their debut in a new character greeting experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Guests visiting The Magic of Disney Animation attraction will be invited to step through Game Central Station, a key location from the film, where they'll catch glimpses into various game worlds on their way to a meeting with Ralph and Vanellope in the candy-coated cart racing game, "Sugar Rush." Look for Ralph and Vanellope to join the Disney's Hollywood Studios family of stars this November.

About the characters:

Ralph:As the bad guy in the '80s-era, 8-bit game "Fix-It Felix, Jr.," Ralph is tired of being overshadowed by the good-guy star of the game. Ralph sets out on a game-hopping journey across the arcade to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero.

Vanellope: A feisty misfit from the candy-coated cart-racing game "Sugar Rush," Vanellope Von Schweetz wants nothing more than to join the ranks of the "Sugar Rush" racers.

Seventh Annual Old Spice Classic Continues Holiday Hoops Tradition at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The seventh annual Old Spice Classic at Walt Disney World Resort continues the holiday hoops tradition with eight teams tipping off Thanksgiving weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in one of the nation's premier preseason Division I men's college basketball tournaments.

This year's Old Spice Classic, held Nov. 22, 23 and 25, boasts a strong field that features preseason Top 25 teams Gonzaga (No. 19) and Vanderbilt (No. 22) along with Clemson, Davidson, Marist, Oklahoma, UTEP and West Virginia.

The tournament tips off Thanksgiving Day with West Virginia vs. Marist at noon, followed by Vanderbilt vs. Davidson at 2 p.m., UTEP versus Oklahoma at 7 p.m. and finally Clemson vs. Gonzaga at 9 p.m. In all, there will be 12 games over the three days. Each team competes in one game per day and advances through a bracket-tournament format. The two undefeated teams face off in the championship game Sunday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. All games will air on ESPN networks.

Tickets for the Old Spice Classic are available through Ticketmaster (800/745-3000 and and at ESPN Wide World of Sports box office.

Celebrity Narrators Share Christmas Story During Candlelight Processional at
Walt Disney World Resort Nov. 23 - Dec. 30, 2012

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Hollywood sensation Geena Davis headlines a list of a dozen celebrities scheduled to host one of the most beloved holiday traditions at Walt Disney World Resort -- Candlelight Processional. This joyous retelling of the Christmas story is accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a glorious mass choir. Candlelight Processional takes place at World Showcase in America Gardens Theatre at Epcot from Nov. 23 - Dec. 30, 2012 with three performances nightly: 5:00, 6:45 & 8:15 p.m.

Narrators scheduled to appear (subject to change):

  • Nov. 23 - 25               Geena Davis
  • Nov. 26 - 29               Neil Patrick Harris
  • Nov. 30 - Dec. 1       Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dec. 2 - 4                     Andy Garcia
  • Dec. 5 - 7                     Blair Underwood
  • Dec. 8 & 9                   James Denton
  • Dec. 10 - 13                Jodi Benson
  • Dec. 17 - 19                TBA
  • Dec. 20 - 22              Trace Adkins
  • Dec. 23 - 25              Gary Sinise
  • Dec. 26 - 28              Amy Grant
  • Dec. 29 - 30             Marlee Matlin / Jack Jason

Candlelight Dinner packages are available at select restaurants by calling 407-WDW DINE. 407/939-3463. Packages are available on select nights and include dinner, a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances and pre-arranged fireworks viewing. Availability is limited

Design, then test drive! The new Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.- A re-engineered, design-centric Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will grand open Dec. 6, 2012 with a sleek new "Chevrolet Design Center." Amid upbeat music, engaging media, dramatic lighting and a collection of Chevrolet concept cars and model vehicles, guests themselves will become automotive designers and create their own custom concept vehicles.

The adventure will then shift into high gear as guests buckle into their 6-person "SimCar" ride vehicle and put their design through its paces on the exhilarating hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit. Their performance testing complete, guests will move into a post-show area filled with special effects and be scored on how well their custom concept vehicle did.

The Test Track refurbishment is part of a new multi-year alliance with General Motors. As Chevrolet marks its 100th anniversary, the new alliance agreement enables General Motors to tell its story in new and exciting ways to millions of guests from around the world and continue as the official vehicle sponsor of Walt Disney World Resort.

Swashbucklin' this Fall: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.- The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow debuts this fall at Disney's Hollywood Studios, immersing Walt Disney World Resort guests in all the action and adventure of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series.

Aspiring pirates will experience the story of Captain Jack Sparrow like never before to discover if they have what it takes to join his jolly crew. State-of-the-art technology brings the swashbuckling world of Captain Jack, from an eerie treasure cove to an epic ship-to-ship battle.

The attraction will be included with theme park admission and will be located in Soundstage 4, former space of Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Splitsville Entertainment Complex Debuts

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The age-old image of bowling is about to change with the opening of Splitsville, America's Bowling Alley, at Downtown Disney West Side this fall.

Splitsville's 50,000 square feet, two-story location will be unlike traditional bowling alleys -- with 30 lanes separated into several clusters to create a one-of-a-kind perspective immersed in hip and retro elements. The Downtown Disney location also will boast billiard tables, live entertainment, a dramatic balcony and ample outdoor seating.

Placing a whole new spin on the bowling experience with its emphasis on unique design, Splitsville will greet guests with upscale sushi bars, plush booths and dynamic decor overlooking the bowling lanes. Between strikes and spares, guests can feast on menu items including hand-tossed pizza, fresh-rolled sushi, grilled mahi-mahi with "Voodoo" shrimp and hand-cut filets alongside alley classics such as cheeseburgers and crinkle-cut fries served right at the lane.

Splitsville at Downtown Disney is the Orlando-based chain's fifth location joining venues in Tampa, FL, Miami, FL, Fairview, TX and Fredericksburg, VA. The expansion to Downtown Disney comes amid a growth era for the sport of bowling, which is the most popular participation sport in America with nearly 70 million people participating in the sport each year, according to the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America.

For more information, visit

Ring in a Happy New Year with Special Dining, Dance Parties and Fireworks Galore at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - 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 the parks on Dec. 31, 2012, while revelry of other sorts takes place elsewhere throughout the Vacation Kingdom.

Here's a snapshot of what's in store:

  • At Epcot, guests can dance away 2012 to the beat of the DJs stationed at select pavilions throughout the evening and watch "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" salute the new year at 7 p.m. and 11:42 p.m. A buffet dining experience inspired by Disney's classic animated films Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 will take place at World ShowPlace facility, with reservations available from 4:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Priced at $68.67 for adults and $44.37 for children. Park admission is required.
  • At Disney's Hollywood Studios rock in the New Year with resident family of landscapers/rock and roll musicians, Mulch, Sweat, and Shears! "The Mulch, Sweat, and Shears New Years Eve Spectacular" blasts off on a specially built stage in front of Disney's Hollywood Studios signature Sorcerer Hat icon and includes contemporary rock, funk, and classic rock and roll favorites. The four concert sets will feature pyrotechnics and special effects and lead up to ringing in the New Year with Mulch, Sweat, and Shears playing live accompaniment to a full scale fireworks spectacular in order to welcome the start of 2013 properly!
  • At DisneyQuest, located at Downtown Disney, there is a family-friendly cyber celebration from 8 p.m. -1 a.m. Guests are entertained with a DJ Dance Party, character meet and greets, plus unlimited access to games and DisneyQuest attractions including Pirates of the Caribbean, Virtual Jungle Cruise and CyberSpace Mountain. There's a confetti drop and festive party favors as the clock strikes midnight. Partygoers also get a coupon for a quick service entrée, side and drink. Tickets go on sale soon at 407-934-7639.
  • At Cirque du Soleil, located at Downtown Disney, 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
  • Disney Cruise Line offers a New Year's Party complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown to guests sailing on select cruises departing in late December. For booking, call 888-325-2500.
  • 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 $161.85 for adults and $77.19 for children, plus DJ, balloon artist and special fireworks viewing.
  • 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 a video DJ and limited viewing of Epcot's Fireworks.

For specific information about other holiday dining offerings at Disney resort hotels on Dec. 31, call 407/WDW/DINE.