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23
Jan 13

Dates and What’s New for the 2013 20th Annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot Flower and Garden festival 20th

A blooming bounty of festival firsts will welcome Disney guests to the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 6-May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.  First, the news:

  • Epcot chefs will cook up first-time festival food and beverage fun, with special cooking stations offering exclusive-to-the-festival bites along the park’s World Showcase promenade.
  • A new circus-like “Land of Oz Play Area,” based on the Disney fantastical film adventure “Oz: The Great and Powerful” to be released in March 2013, will debut a kaleidoscope of interactive fun.
  • Disney topiary experts will grow, shape and manicure a Fab Five Disney character topiary with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck (with Daisy Duck in a cameo) featured in a celebratory floral cookout scene in living topiary color at the park’s front entrance.
  • New illuminated gardens in the park’s Future World and World Showcase will cast a colorful glow over each festival evening.

Throughout the 75-day garden party, guests will discover festival surprises around every corner including new topiary triumphs, colorful garden displays, a butterfly bounty, HGTV celebrity designers, interactive gardening seminars and whimsical children’s play areas.  On weekends, top Flower Power rockers of the 1960s and ’70s will perform.

Every Friday through Sunday, HGTV design celebrities will host Festival Center seminars.  During opening weekend, March 8-10, Chris Lambton of “Going Yard” will appear; other designers scheduled to take the stage include Brandon Johnson of “My Yard Goes Disney” and Meg Caswell of “Meg’s Great Rooms.”

Now the details:

  • Festival-themed flavors:  Guests will discover culinary creations and refreshing libations at multiple festival-themed food and beverage locations.  Chefs are tweaking the menu to include backyard barbecue and a variety of garden-inspired and global tastes.  Around the World Showcase promenade
  • Fab Five topiary barbecue: 14-foot-tall topiary Goofy will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms. At Epcot Front Entrance
  • Land of Oz Play Area:  This interactive new children’s play zone will feature play systems adorned with giant flowers and designed to stretch kids’ imaginations and muscles. Midway-style games, red-and-white circus-themed tents and the “Oz Movie Garden” of intriguing plants will capture the spirit of the upcoming “Oz: The Great and Powerful.”  Also on tap: fun games, photo opportunities, the “great and powerful Oz’s” crashed hot-air balloon and lush plants inspired by the movie.  On the Imagination Walkway
  • Illuminated Gardens:  Every night when the sun sets, many of the festival’s world-famous Disney topiaries and gardens will twinkle and shine in a new light.  Throughout World Showcase and Future World
  • “Monsters University” topiary:  Floral representations of Mike and Sully from the hit Disney-Pixar film “Monsters, Inc.” and stars of Disney-Pixar’s June 2013 release, “Monsters University,” will join the festivities as new topiary family members.  On the Future World Walkway
  • Phineas and Ferb topiary:  The popular Disney Channel animated celebs limit their shenanigans to go green for a family photo-op.  Behind Spaceship Earth
  • “Radiator Springs” interactive play zone:  Race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck “Mater” of the Disney-Pixar film “Cars 2″ will be the well-maintained topiary stars of this play area.  On the Test Track Walkway
  • Flower Power Firsts1970s top disco band The Village People (April 19-21) and 1960s singer-songwriter Tommy Roe (May 3-5) bring on the Flower Power beat when they take the concert stage.  At America Gardens Theatre

And a new twist:

  • Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House: Eight fanciful fairy topiaries of Pixie Hollow, including Tinker Bell, Fawn, Vidia and Terrence, take over the Butterfly House this year where hundreds of colorful winged beauties flit to life.  On the Imagination Walkway.

In all, more than 100 topiaries, 240 floating mini-gardens, dozens of flower towers and sweeping beds of multi-colored blooms will add floral splendor to the park landscape.  Daily hands-on gardening seminars, and other Festival Center events will offer innovative ideas, design tips and gardening know-how to park guests.  The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.


12
Nov 12

Recap of the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon MeetUp in Epcot

chef mickey amanda tinney rundisney wine dine half meetupIt’s been a whirlwind of a weekend out at Walt Disney World for the 2012 Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I have lots of fun stuff to share with you and I’m gonna start with a recap of the Wine and Dine Half MeetUp that took place in Epcot this past Friday.

Darrell Fry put the call out on the Disney Parks Blog earlier this month and 40ish applicants were selected for an exclusive 2 mile run thru Epcot before park opening.  I was there to cover the event and was able to make the run around the park with my favorite runner girl, Sarah of RunningatDisney.com Go check out her site! Wait! Read this post first.

and it goes like this…

This past Friday, Sarah and I had a ‘butt-crack-of-dawn’ alarm set in our room at the Disney Boardwalk Inn.  We hopped out of bed, threw on our running gear and made our way over to the Epcot parking lot just as the sun was starting to come up.

Epcot sunrise disney

We made our way from the parking lot to the bag check staging area where everyone started checking in.  The group was outfitted with matching runDisney tech shirts so we could all get our swag on in the group photos and many of us took turns recognizing each other from Facebook and Twitter.

epcot wine dine half meetup rundisney

Apparently I “Will Call” so call me maybe…

sarah mcgovern amanda tinney disney rundisney

RunningatDisney and I

Here’s some of the team that keeps runDisney going strong! If it weren’t for these guys, opportunities like these would be non-existent! Show em some Disney love by giving them a follow over on Facebook and Twitter.

disney rundisney team at epcot

Our challenge that morning was to make it from the front of the park, thru Future World and then loop around World Showcase 1.5 times ending in Germany without stopping for schoolbread…or Tipsy Ducks in Love… or a shot from La Cava.

Runners had to pick their poison. A Run-Walk-Run with the “Official runDisney training Consultant” Jeff Galloway or a Run-Run-Run with the ‘now’ three-time-winner of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Anton Van Zyl. I chose the Run-Walk-Run method cause it was with an official and I officially wanted to make this run official. If you’re not familiar with it, check out the Jeff Galloway Run-Walk-Run Training Tips at runDisney.

Look at us all on the move! Running like it’s “rope drop”.

epcot rundisney wine and dine meetup tweetup

We ran into the big cheese near the Fountain of Nations. He must have been out for his morning run as well and was gracious enough to stop for a picture with us!

mickey mouse sports disney rundisney epcot

Daniel Wanderman gives Mickey a high four!

Daniel Wanderman mickey rundisney epcot

The walk portion of the Run-Walk-Run or as the Disney Nerd in me likes to call it… Truck-on-Stage. See… this is another reason you fellow Disney nerds need to come down to WDW for a runDisney race… never-before-seen and backstage access!

epcot disney china wine dine rundisney meetup

I also have to throw in this “official” Disney photo taken by an official Yellow Shoes Disney photographer to make it official.

wine dine marathon meetup epcot china disney amanda tinney

Here’s a shot of the Run-Run-Run’ners in Mexico…

rundisney meetup epcot

Right to Left (RunningwithSass, Anton Van Zyl, Eat Sleep Run Disney and “nice Twitter friend” that I can’t remember the name of because I’m such a doofus)

Jeff Galloway Group epcot wine dine half meetup

After both pace groups had arrived safely in Germany Bob Hitchcock told us “we didn’t have to go home but we couldn’t stay here.”

bob hitchcock rundisney disney germany

I jest. He invited us in to the Biergarten restaurant for more surprises!

But first….a #TeamRunDisney Facebook Group photo. #Represent

Team Run Disney Group epcot wine dine half meetup

Once the group had grabbed a muffin and beverage and seated themselves we were treated to a few expert talks. My fave was the talk given by reigning Wine and Dine Half Marathon Winner Anton Van Zyl who told us that he likes to eat soda and potato chips in the latter part of a marathon.

Anton Van Zyl disney wine dine meetup champion epcot

His talk was followed up by official runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus, who dropped some runner foodie knowledge on us.  You can see “Tara’s Top 20 Nutrition Tips” over on my other blog iGetSkinny.com

official runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus chef mickey

That’s Tara above with Chef Mickey and Chef Steff the “Sports Chef”. He made us some kicked up spaghetti pie!

spaghetti pie from the sports chef

More treats were given out at the end of the MeetUp which included a runDisney sports bottle and a 1-Day ticket to return to Epcot to experience the International Food and Wine Festival, along with a $10 Disney Gift Card!  What? Such VIP service…I didn’t want this MeetUp to end!!!  But like all good things…it did. Here’s our group shot before leaving the park and heading over to Kouzzina’s for breakfast…

2012 disney wine dine meetup epcot rundisney

Were you at the runDisney Wine and Dine Half MeetUp? If you were leave me a link to your recap or photos in the comments section. I’d love your take on it! If you weren’t at the MeetUp, does this sound like something you’d like to do? Where would you like to see the next MeetUp held?


06
Nov 12

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Video Game Demo Now Available for Download

Disney Epic Mickey 2 The Power of TwoDisney Interactive today announced that a demo of the highly-anticipated “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” video game is now available for download on the PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE Marketplace for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in North America. In the video game demo, players will adventure as Mickey Mouse and explore the extensive tutorial and early levels of the game including the magical laboratory of the sorcerer, Yen Sid. In addition, players will meet Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney’s first cartoon star, and experience a few of the fun co-op abilities that will be available in the full game at launch. The adventure will culminate with an exciting sizzle reel that showcases some of the exciting and action-packed elements of the game. “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” will be available for all major console systems in North American retail stores on November 18th.

The “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” video game returns Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Wasteland, an alternate world filled with more than 80 years of forgotten Disney characters and theme park attractions. But for the first time, Mickey and Oswald will join forces as true partners – Mickey with the magical paint brush that allows him to wield paint and thinner, and Oswald with a powerful remote control that allows him to command electricity. This new co-op play further enhances the idea that “PlayStyle Matters” – a unique approach to gameplay pioneered by Warren Spector where players tackle challenges the way they want to in order to explore a variety of possibilities and storylines, but always with consequences for their chosen actions.

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” for the Wii system from Nintendo is being developed by Junction Point, while the Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system versions of the game are being developed by Blitz Games Studios, and Nintendo’s Wii U version is being developed by Heavy Iron. Supporting the latest technology, the game will also feature full support for the PlayStation Move motion controller. “Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion” for the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system is under development by critically-acclaimed developer DreamRift, in collaboration with Junction Point. The games are rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB.

For more information, go to www.facebook.com/DisneyEpicMickey or follow the game on Twitter at #savewasteland.


24
Oct 12

Mickey Mouse “Runaway Brain” Disney Groom’s Cake

Mickey Mouse Runaway Brain Disney Groom's Cake

In the background…a card that reads “I love you more than zombies love brains”. Brought to you via the Disney Weddings Blog. Can you spot the hidden mickey on the cake?


22
Oct 12

Mickey and Minnie Disney Engagement Cake

Mickey and Minnie Disney Valentine Cake

via Lana Cakes