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DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: Food & Wine Festival Details; New Holiday Party & Other Holiday Details; Epcot Monorail Reopens; Baby Animals; Sneak Peek at new PhilharMagic & More

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (this week) for two big reasons. First, we got a ton of details about holiday offerings including a new holiday party coming to Walt Disney World and the other Disney parks. Second, our all-time favorite event, EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, is back and bigger than ever. We have all the details on food, drink, entertainment and more. The EPCOT monorail line has finally reopened. Catch a sneak peek at the Coco addition to Mickey’s PhilharMagic and the trailer for a cool new Disney+ series that will take guests behind the scenes of some of our favorite Disney attractions. There’s a new ticket offer out, and don’t miss the story on two new babies born this week at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. All this and more below in this week’s news roundup.





 

1 – The 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival – Now Open

The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is open! This delicious celebration, which runs through November 20, 2021, features 129 days of foodie fun, including a menu of new flavors and sips along with live entertainment, family activities, and more. Learn more at the links below.

Click here for the seven reasons you don’t want to miss the 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.

Click here for photos of the menu boards with pricing for easy planning.

Click here for full menus and lots of photos of items available.

Click here for our Instagram Story with photos of food and beverage items, merchandise, and more.

2 – Walt Disney World Announces 2021 Holiday Season Offerings and Sneak Peeks

This week Disney celebrated #HalfwaytotheHolidays, and we learned about what will be offered at Walt Disney World. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will not return this year. Instead, an all-new “Disney Very Merriest After Hours” will be offered. There is no word on whether or not the Candlelight Processional will be returning with the EPCOT Festival of the Holidays. However, Sunset Seasons Greetings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is returning this year after being absent last year. Finally, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the holiday edition of Tree of Life Awakenings will be returning. Learn more, including offerings at Disney Resorts and Disney Springs, at the link below.

Click here for the announcement of the 2021 holiday season offerings at Walt Disney World.

More Holiday Fun

Click here for a holiday merchandise sneak peek.

Click here for a first look at the Holiday Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.

Click here to learn how to celebrate the holidays on Disney Cruise Line!

3 – EPCOT Monorail Line Reopens to Guests

On July 18, after over a year of closure, the EPCOT monorail line reopened to guests. With park capacity rising and many people wanting to park hop over to EPCOT to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival, we’re excited to see the line reopen. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for more on the EPCOT monorail line reopening to guests.


 

4 – Mickey’s PhilharMagic Debuts New “Coco” Scene at Disneyland – Coming Soon to Walt Disney World

Now at Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris, guests can enjoy new scenes from Disney and Pixar’s “Coco.” Guests of Walt Disney World will get to experience the updates later this year. Disney Cast Member Kevin Rafferty, Jr. shares more below.

Dim the lights for a new “Coco” scene in “Mickey’s PhilharMagic”!

Credit: Disney

Guests of the Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris can don their opera glasses at the fan-favorite attraction and experience the addition of the musical number “Un Poco Loco,” from Disney and Pixar’s “Coco.” One of the original composers of “Coco” – Germaine Franco – produced a score unique to “Mickey’s PhilharMagic.”

The 3D, animated scene extends Donald Duck’s musical journey, bringing the fantasy adventure to new heights alongside all the attraction’s fan-favorite musical numbers. The scene will be added to Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort later this year during the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary celebration.

Credit: Disney

In addition to Germaine Franco, Walt Disney Imagineering collaborated with Pixar and Disney Animation Studios to add the scene to the attraction’s other classic musical sequences. Learn more about the collaboration in this video!

5 – Trailer for ‘Behind the Attraction’ Coming to Disney+

‘Behind the Attraction,’ an all-new original series from Disney+ lets you take a peek beyond the magic of Disney Parks to discover what’s Behind the Attraction! The show explores how Imagineers filled the Haunted Mansion with 999 happy haunts, how the Twilight Zone Tower of TerrorTM transformed into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! (while defying gravity in the process) and why Space Mountain took so long to launch. This week a new trailer was released for the show. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for the trailer for ‘Behind the Attraction’ Coming to Disney+

6 – Reimagined Jungle Cruise Opens at Disneyland

The world-famous Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park officially reopened on July 16, 2021, with new adventures, an expanded storyline and more humor as skippers take guests on a tongue-in-cheek journey along some of the most remote rivers around the world. The new creative concept is original to Walt Disney Imagineering, just like the classic attraction itself.

Changes to this attraction also are underway in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, with completion expected later this summer.

The world-famous Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park officially reopened on July 16, 2021, with new adventures, an expanded storyline and more humor as skippers take guests on a tongue-in-cheek journey along some of the most remote rivers around the world. The new creative concept is original to Walt Disney Imagineering, just like the classic attraction itself. (Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort)

The world-famous Jungle Cruise skippers return to share the unique adventure and interactions that guests expect on this expedition in Adventureland. New scenes have fun with the legendary comedic tone of the attraction, and some unexpected scenarios give the jungle and the animals the last laugh!

What’s new: Disney Imagineers have a longstanding history of updating attractions at the Disneyland Resort and Disney Parks. The expanded backstory centers around Alberta Falls, the granddaughter of the world-renowned Dr. Albert Falls, who is now proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd. New scenes include:

  • A safari of explorers from around the world finds itself up a tree after the journey goes awry
  • Chimpanzees have taken over the expedition’s wrecked boat
  • A Lost & Found location has turned into a Gift Shop run by Alberta’s longtime friend, Trader Sam

Don’t miss: Jungle Cruise skippers incorporate plenty of gags as they narrate “wildlife” scenes for guests who have boarded a canopied tramp steamer, leaving civilization behind.  Those scenes include:

  • Ancient Cambodian Shrine with leaping tigers, lethal cobras and snapping crocodiles
  • Jungle Cruise Safari Camp is a former camp overrun by “explosively” curious gorillas.
  • Indian Elephant Bathing Pool where bathing Indian elephants have their “trunks on”
  • The African Veldt where angry hippos and hungry lions are guarding a “sleeping” zebra
  • Schweitzer Falls, where skippers introduce guests to something they may have never seen before – the “back side of water”!

 

7 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Two Baby Animals

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park welcomed two baby animals this week, just a day apart, with a Nile hippopotamus calf born Monday and a western lowland gorilla following on Tuesday. Both newborns are healthy and under the supervision of Disney’s animal care team.

Gorilla mom Azizi gave birth backstage at the theme park Tuesday afternoon and introduced the baby to the entire family troop soon thereafter. The infant may now be seen onstage at Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail presented by OFF! Repellents. Azizi and the baby’s father Gino, are also parents to the infant’s big brother Cory, who was born in 2014.

A Hippopotamus calf made a splashy debut Monday in the park’s Safi River on Kilimanjaro Safaris, joining nine other hippos in the family, or bloat, including mother Tuma and father Henry. The calf is nuzzling with Tuma and moving through the water already like a pro, and may be seen by guests experiencing Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Disney’s animal care team is giving both mothers ample time to nurse and bond with their newborns; updates will be shared soon, including the sex and weight of each new arrival. Both sets of parents were paired through the Species Survival Plan, a program overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The plan ensures responsible breeding of vulnerable or critically endangered species – including Nile Hippopotamuses and western lowland gorillas – to help create healthy, genetically diverse populations for years to come.

Check out the adorable little ones in our Instagram post below:

8 – First ‘Disney Fab 50’ Sculpture Revealed for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World

This week Disney revealed the first sculpture design of one of the ‘Disney Fab 50’ sculptures that will be displayed across Disney Parks during “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.” Learn more at the link below.

Click here for more on the new sculpture revealed for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World.

9 – Disneyland Celebrates 66 Years

“To all who come to this happy place, welcome! Disneyland is your land.” When Walt Disney opened the gates to Disneyland Park on July 17, 1955, those were the words he chose to dedicate it as a source of joy and inspiration for all the world. Continuing as that happy place more than six decades later, the Disneyland Resort is celebrating 66 years as it welcomes guests back to the magic once again. Nearly all attractions and restaurants plus all three Disneyland Resort hotels are now open, and Disneyland park will present performances of Mickey’s Mix Magic with fireworks.

On the July 17 anniversary, Disneyland park guests were treated to a brief celebratory cavalcade featuring the Disneyland Band, characters, Disneyland Resort Ambassador and more! Guests can also purchase limited-time anniversary-themed caramel apples at Pooh Corner and Candy Palace and celebratory cupcakes at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café in Disneyland.

What began as Walt Disney’s dream when Disneyland opened in Anaheim in 1955 has continued to evolve with imagination and innovation, expanding from the original Disney theme park to become the Disneyland Resort with Disney California Adventure Park, three hotels and Downtown Disney District.


 

10 – Florida Resident Ticket Offer at Walt Disney World

Heads up Florida residents! A new ticket offer just rolled out. Disney Cast Member Eric Scoot has all the details below:

It’s time to start planning for some fun in the sun! As the summer season continues, there’s so much for guests to enjoy throughout every corner of Walt Disney World Resort – from the upcoming EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival to the recent return of firework spectaculars including “Happily Ever After,” fan-favorite restaurants like ‘Ohana, and entertainment like “Celebration of Festival of the Lion King” and more.

There are so many fun experiences to see and do, and we know Florida residents often love to visit the parks each year during the summer season. We’re always looking to introduce new options for them to visit and today, we’re excited to share details on our Florida resident summer ticket offer for this year! Available now for use through September 17, Florida residents can enjoy the magic happening throughout the theme parks for $54 per day (plus tax) with the 4-day Florida Resident Summer Fun Ticket* (total price: $215 plus tax).

To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date are required for guests ages 3 and up. As a reminder, reservations are required with admission for each day of your visit.

This Florida resident ticket is a great way to experience signature events such as EPCOT’s International Food & Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE®. Starting July 15, enjoy a taste tour across six continents and more. At Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT, enjoy a dazzling nighttime display of fireworks, music and more with the return of “Happily Ever After” Presented by Pandora Jewelry and “EPCOT Forever.”

Florida residents can also join the inhabitants of the Pride Lands for an immersive theatrical experience at “Celebration of Festival of the Lion King” in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or step inside the wacky and unpredictable cartoon world in Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With so much to experience and discover, now is a great time for Florida residents to plan a summer escape to Walt Disney World Resort!

Specially priced two and three-day Florida Resident Summer Fun Tickets are also available. For added flexibility, tickets can be used on consecutive or nonconsecutive days. For more information on this offer and great add-ons including the Park Hopper, Park Hopper Plus and Water Park and Sports options, click here.

For information on other Florida resident offerings, click here.

No matter how you hope to experience Disney, we’ve got you covered and can’t wait to see Florida residents this summer at Walt Disney World Resort!

*One Theme Park per day. Ticket valid through 9/17/21. Proof of Florida residency required.

11 – Disney on Ice Celebrates 40 Years

Disney on Ice is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year! In late June, we joined a virtual roundtable discussion where we learned all about Disney on Ice and how it has evolved over the years! Learn more at the link below and enjoy some photos in our Instagram post below.

Click here to learn more about Disney on Ice!


 

What’s New and Happening Now at Walt Disney World Resort

2021 Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival – Now Through November 20, 2021

Click here for the seven reasons you don’t want to miss the 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.

Click here for photos of the menu boards with pricing for easy planning.

Click here for full menus and lots of photos of items available.

Click here for our Instagram Story with photos of food and beverage items, merchandise, and more.

Coming Soon to Walt Disney World

Summer Resort Reopenings

  • July 19 – Polynesian Village Resort
  • August 26 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • August 26 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House
  • September 16 – All-Star Sports Music Resort
  • October 14 – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – River Side
  • October 28 – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • December 9 – All-Star Sports Resort

August 10 – October 31, 2021 – Disney After Hours Boo Bash

Click here to learn about the all-new Disney After Hours Boo Bash coming in fall 2021 at Magic Kingdom.

October 1, 2021 – The Most Magical Celebration – 50 Years of Walt Disney World

Click here for details on “The Most Magical Celebration,” which begins on October 1, 2021, on the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World and runs for 18 months.

October 1, 2021 – Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure & France Pavilion Expansion Opens

Click here for more on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure & France Pavilion Expansion – What We Know So Far

November 12 – December 30, 2021 – Holiday Season at Walt Disney World

Click here for details on the 2021 holiday offerings at Walt Disney World.

Jungle Cruise – Updated in Phases, while remaining open to guests in 2021

Click here to learn about the updates coming to The Jungle Cruise at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Park.

Star Wars Hotel – 2022

Click here for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser-What We Know So Far About the Upcoming Star Wars Themed Hotel Coming to Disney World

EPCOT Reimagined – Now Through 2022 and Beyond

Click here for what we know about the New EPCOT and what’s coming!


 

New and Coming Soon to Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort – Now Open

Click here for details on the reimagined Snow White’s Enchanted Wish – now open!

Halloween Time is Back This Fall at Disneyland Resort

Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure – Now Open

Click here for more on the Avengers Campus! Now open at Disney California Adventure!

Click here for details on food and beverage offerings inside Avengers Campus.

Click here for information on merchandise available inside Avengers Campus.

Coming Soon to Disney Cruise Line

The Disney Wish

Click here for an overview of the next Disney Cruise Line Ship – The Disney Wish – Coming Summer 2022

Click here for information on bookings for the inaugural season in summer 2022.

Click here for more information on new dining experiences on the Disney Wish.

Itineraries in 2022

Click here to learn about Summer 2022 Itineraries on the Disney Cruise Line

Click here to learn about Early 2022 Itineraries on the Disney Cruise Line

Click here to learn about Marvel Day at Sea and Star Wars Day at Sea in Early 2022

Click here to learn about Halloween and Holiday Themed Cruises in fall 2022

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.



 

Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
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