Tips for Buying Discount Disney Hopper Tickets

Is the Disney Hopper Ticket Right for You?

Is the Disney Hopper Ticket Right for You?

Have you ever been to any of Walt’s theme parks in Orlando, Florida and found yourself either wanting to see more of the other Disney theme parks or that the park you are in is just too crowded? Well you wouldn’t be alone. With all of the different tickets you can buy to see all of Walt Disney World’s world famous theme parks, the one ticket that has been the most popular has to be the famous Walt Disney World Park Hopper Ticket!

Working for the mouse for 8 years I have seen it all and the one thing that I would hear the most was how guests wish that they had bought the hopper ticket when they were planning and buying their passes. The main reason people wished they had purchased the Hopper Ticket was that they had accomplished most of what they had set out to do at a certain park and wished to go over to another park in the same day and finish the evening off at another Disney park. On some nights for example, the Animal Kingdom might close at 6pm. and the Magic Kingdom on that night might close at 12am midnight. When you have a 1 Day Base Ticket, you are closing out your night early at the Animal Kingdom. If you had spent an extra $30 to upgrade your ticket to a Hopper Ticket, you would be spending the evening at the Magic Kingdom or Epcot with everyone else being the hero of your vacation. Most people go in with the mindset that they are going to be content with just spending the day at one park, but you would be amazed at how people’s moods and energy change once they are in Walt’s parks.

The biggest advantage to buying a Park Hopper Ticket in my opinion is that if a theme park gets a little too busy for your taste and it does happen quite frequently, you have the ability to travel over to another park where the crowd is much more manageable. For instance I have personally had my own Disney Park Hopper Ticket and started out at the Magic Kingdom and by 3pm or 4pm the park was an absolute mad house. Having the Park Hopper Ticket I and my guests were able to jump on a Monorail and stop by a Disney Resort for a cold beverage on our way to Epcot. Epcot is my default park to head to for a little elbow room. Epcot also closes every night at 9pm. so it is a great park that stays open semi-late and you do not feel the crowd factor as much as you would at any other Disney park.

To add a little curve ball to this equation, you can also buy a Walt Disney World Water Park Fun & More Ticket or the Premium ticket of all tickets the Park Hopper Water Park Fun & More Ticket. Both of these tickets are Hoppers in a sense. The Water Park Fun & More ticket is NOT a Hopper ticket for theme parks i.e. Epcot, Hollywood Studios etc. but a Hopper ticket from your one theme park that you are allowed to visit in that day, to an “Optional” item of your choice. The “Optional” items are the 2 Disney Water Parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach, Disney Quest, ESPN Wide World of Sports, Disney’s Miniature Golf Courses at 2 locations or a round of golf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. So for example with this ticket you could start off at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and stay until 4pm., then you could walk to the front of the park and jump on a Disney bus and go over to Typhoon Lagoon and spend the rest of the day there soaking up the evening sunshine before returning to you humble abode for the night.

Now if you had bought the Walt Disney World Park Hopper Water Park Fun & More Ticket you could do the same thing as the Water Park Fun & More ticket but now you have the ability to Park Hop between theme parks in the same day as well as Hop over to one of the “Optional” items as well. It all boils down to how much money you want to spend, how many days you are going to be here and do you want the ability to change course within you day in order to visit multiple parks. If money is tight and you do not want to visit more than 1 park within a day, or you think that you or your kids will not be able to handle this type of traveling, then stay with the Disney Base Tickets. They are a great ticket and have served many a traveler with just the right amount of Disney Pixie Dust, but if you are the type of person who can handle a little more action in you day then the adventure ticket you are seeking is definitely the Disney Park Hopper Ticket.

To purchase any of these tickets that I have mentioned at a discount, please contact The Official Ticket Center in Orlando, Florida. There are many online ticket brokers, but they are local and have an actual Guest Service location within 5 miles of Disney and other Orlando theme parks.

©Patrick Pulliam 2014

Information & Tips for Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival 2014

Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival Presented by HGTV

Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival Presented by HGTV

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival in Orlando, Florida. Every spring, this Disney theme park dazzles its visitors with high energy entertainment as well as family fun for all. This year’s event will once again open its doors in March and will be brimming with special experiences for all ages and interests.

Here are a few of this year’s Flower & Garden highlights:

• Outdoor Kitchens
• Topiary Displays
• The Flower Power Concert Series
• Interactive Play Areas for Children

This annual event has so much to see and do that you are sure to return again and again throughout the spring!

Outdoor Kitchens: Similar to Epcot’s International Wine & Food Festival, Epcot has integrated this event into their Flower & Garden Festival. At last check, there were 12 food stations throughout the countries. Most dishes will be spring light and cooked just right! Just think tapas size servings that you can eat on the go. Here are a food stations and their menus including drings that will be paired up with each dish:
Florida Fresh
Experience a taste of several fresh Florida ingredients, each grown and produced locally. It’s a perfect opportunity to treat your senses to some of the most delightful fruit and drink the Sunshine State has to offer! Florida Fresh can be found next to the Germany Pavilion.

To eat:
• Watermelon salad with pickled onions, BW Farm baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction
• Shrimp and stone ground grits with andouille sausage, sweet corn, tomatoes and cilantro
• Florida kumquat pie (TRYit!)

To drink:
• Watermelon passion fruit slush featuring Simply Lemonade®
• Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria featuring Simply Lemonade, Florida Orange Groves (St. Petersburg, Florida)
• Garda Italian Wine Blend, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
• Rogue Valley Pinot Noir, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
• Blonde Ale, Orlando Brewing Company (Orlando, Florida)
• Cotton Mouth Belgian Style Witbier, Swamp Head Brewery (Gainesville, Florida)
• Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale, Florida Beer Company (Cape Canaveral, Florida) – Festival Exclusive!
• Florida Avenue Blueberry, Cold Storage Craft Brewery (Tampa, Florida)
• Beer Flight – Blonde Ale, Cotton Mouth Belgian Style Witbier, Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale and Florida Avenue Blueberry
• Simply Orange

Hanami
Travel near the Japan Pavilion where the annual ritual of admiring springtime flowers is in full bloom. From delectable bites to refreshing beverages, uncover how Hanami’s flavors reflect the season.

To eat:
• Frushi – Fresh pineapple, strawberries and melon, rolled with coconut rice, topped with raspberry sauce, sprinkled with toasted coconut and served with whipped cream on the side
• Temaki hand roll – Sliced Panko fried chicken, curry sauce, rice and pickled julienne carrots wrapped with Nori
• Hanami sushi – A flavorful combination of salmon, scallop and beef-topped rice balls served atop a shiso violet sauce (TRYit!)
• Japanese puffed rice cakes with green tea whipped cream and azuki

To drink:
• Kirin draft beer
• Pinepple Paradise with Yuzu Slushie – Frozen blend of sweet sake, pineapple juice and crème, flavored with a hint of Yuzu citrus juice
• Orange Mango Slushie – Frozen blend of Nigori sake, mango and orange juice

Jardin de Fiestas
Make your way near the Mexico Pavilion where the tapas are spring light and cooked just right. Don’t miss your chance to take part in this festival of flavors, complete with savory tacos and mouthwatering cocktails.

To eat:
• Tacos al pastor – Corn tortilla filled with achiote-marinated pork, garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions and cilantro
• Quesadilla de hongos con queso – Flour tortilla filled with mushrooms and cheese
• Flan de chocolate Abuelita – Mexican chocolate custard

To drink:
• Tecate draft beer
• White Mexican sangria
• Franbuesa (raspberry) margarita on the rocks
• Tequila flight – blanco, reposado and añejo
• Dasani® bottled water

Fleur de Lys
Indulge your senses in extravagance at this tasty milieu influenced by the “flower of the lily.” Once a royal emblem used by the French monarchy, the symbol now serves as inspiration for this decadent stop where you can refine your palate with some of the France Pavilion’s most magnificent culinary masterpieces!

To eat:
• Gnocchi Parisien à la Provençal – Parisian-style dumplings with vegetables and mushrooms
• Confit de canard, pommes de terre Sarladaise – Pulled duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes
• Macaron à la fleur d’ Oranger – Orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache (TRYit!)

To drink:
• La Vie en Rose frozen slush – Vodka, Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liquor, and white and red cranberry juice
• Kir Imperial – Sparkling wine, Chambord and black raspberry liquor
• Rosé pamplemousse cocktail – Rosé wine mixed with natural grapefruit syrup
• Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – Fruity white beer with citrus notes

Lotus House
Hit the pavement near the China Pavilion for a garden-fresh take on spring-influenced flavors. Appease your cravings with a wide variety of Chinese cuisine, including popular street foods and bubble tea!

To eat:
• Beijing-style candied strawberries
• Spring pancake with grilled chicken and green apple
• Vegetable spring rolls

To drink:
• Popping bubble tea
• Kung Fu Punch – Vodka and triple sec with mango and orange juice
• South Sea Storm – Guava juice with light and dark rum
• Plum wine
• Tsing-Tao beer
• Lychee aerated water

Pineapple Promenade
Enjoy the Great White North with a tropical twist at the Canada side of World Showcase promenade. Then, get ready to hear your sweet tooth say, “Thank you!” as you bite into all kinds of treats featuring this popular golden fruit.

To eat:
• Pineapple soft serve
• Pineapple soft serve with Myers’s dark rum
• Pineapple soft serve with Parrot Bay coconut rum
• Sweet potato cinnamon waffle with pineapple soft serve (TRYit! selection)

To drink:
• Frozen desert violet lemonade featuring Simply Lemonade (nonalcoholic)
• Tropical Mango Pale Ale, St. John Brewers (U.S. Virgin Islands)
• Once Upon a Vine’s The Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc

Primavera Kitchen
Say, “Ciao!” to spring as you set sail for a land of garden-fresh foods near the Italy Pavilion. On your stop, be sure to explore the countryside’s many flavors—caprese, manicotti, torte di ricotta and fine Italian wines.

To eat:
• Caprese – Fior di latte mozzarella, roasted peppers and olio verde
• Three cheese manicotti – Egg pasta stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato sauce and béchamel
• Torta di ricotta – Lemon cheesecake with limoncello-marinated strawberries

To drink:
• Placido Pinot Grigio
• Placido Chianti
• Bosco del Merlo Prosecco
• White peach bellini – Prosecco and white peach puree
• Strawberry rossini – Prosecco and marinated strawberries
• Frozen Italian primavera – Assorted fruit slushy with limoncello and vodka
• Moretti Lager
• Moretti La Rossa

Taste of Marrakesh
Embark on a trek near the Morocco Pavilion and educate your tastes on North African spices. Each unique flavor has been paired with fresh ingredients and can be sampled with Moroccan beer and wine at this garden oasis.

To eat:
• Lamb brewat roll with prunes and sesame
• Harissa chicken kebab with couscous salad
• Baghrir – Moroccan pancake with honey, almonds and argan oil

To drink:
• Mint iced tea
• White sangria
• Guerrouane red
• Casa Beer
• Desert Rose – Sparkling wine with pomegranate liqueur

Urban Farm Eats – NEW!
Honor the earth and all it grows with a refreshing selection from this location’s all-natural menu. Choose from a hearty array of foods and beverages, many of which have been cultivated entirely from the soil!

To eat:
• Pickled beet salad with goat cheese cream, mizuna and pistachios
• Land-grown eggplant “scallop” with romesco sauce and spaghetti squash (TRYit!)
• Ghost pepper-dusted tilapia with crisp winter melon slaw and mint oil featuring The Original Sauce Man’s Kick It Up Rub

To drink:
• Cucumber lemon spa water, finished with a sprig of fresh mint
• The Vegan Vine Chardonnay
• The Vegan Vine Cabernet Sauvignon
• Redbridge Gluten-Free Sorghum Beer, Anheuser-Busch (St. Louis, Missouri)

The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews
Celebrate the truly American tradition of slow-cooked flavors near The American Adventure Pavilion. Sink your teeth into savory barbecue meats and then pair each one off with craft brews from across the country.

To eat:
• Pulled pig slider with cole slaw
• Smoked beef brisket with collard greens and jalapeño corn bread
• Smoked turkey “rib” (TRYit!)
• “Piggylicious” bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch featuring Nueske’s® Applewood Smoked Bacon

To drink:
• Magic Hat #9, Magic Hat Brewing (South Burlington, Vermont)
• Maduro, Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida)
• Fat Tire, New Belgium Brewing Company (Ft. Collins, Colorado)
• Billy’s Chilies, Twisted Pine Brewing Company (Boulder, Colorado)
• Beer Flight – Magic Hat #9, Maduro, Fat Tire and Billy’s Chilies
• The Original Rib Shack Red Wine

The Buttercup Cottage
Delight in elegant afternoon-tea offerings and fresh garden flavors near the United Kingdom Pavilion. Drop by this charming locale to sample scrumptious treats, British teas and beverages inspired by lovely English fruits and fragrances.

To eat:
• Freshly baked potato and cheddar cheese biscuit with smoked salmon tartare
• Field greens with Plant City strawberries, toasted almonds and Farmstead stilton (TRYit!)
• Pork and apple sausage roll with house-made piccalilli
• Freshly baked lemon scones with berry preserves and crème fraÎche

To drink:
• Chilled rose blush lemonade featuring Simply Lemonade with Raspberry (nonalcoholic)
• Twinings® Cold Brewed English Classic with lemon grass syrup
• Berry tea cocktail – Twinings Cold Brewed Mixed Berry Tea with Florida Cane vodka and Plant City strawberry, flavored with raspberry and açaí syrup
• Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvee
• Deloach Pinot Noir

Intermissions Café
Dig into your day or turn over the evening at this charming stop found right within the Festival Center. Pop inside to find all kinds of fine food and beverages—wine, cheese, wraps, salads and more!

To eat:
• Grapes
• Fruit & cheese plate
• Vegan trio
• Southwest chicken wrap
• Tuna salad with pita
• Side salad
• Asian tuna salad with noodles
• Caprese Push-Pop – Tomato, mozzarella and balsamic (TRYit! selection)

To drink:
• Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria, Florida Orange Groves (St. Petersburg, Florida)
• Garda Italian Wine Blend, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
• Rogue Valley Pinot Noir, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
• Martini Prosecco
• Strongbow Cider, Bulmers Cider Company (White Plains, New York)
• SweetWater Blue, SweetWater Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia)

Designers’ Stage Presented by HGTV
If you are a “Do it Yourself” kind of person then lookout for HGTV and DIY personalities that can help you turn your home into a springtime masterpiece.

Listed below are the celebrities that will be attending this year’s event:

• Chris Lambton: March 14 to 16, 2014
• Matt Blashaw: March 21 to 23, 2014 – NEW!
• Matt Muenster: March 28 to 30, 2014 – NEW!
• Taniya Nayak: April 4 to 6, 2014
• Amy Matthews: April 11 to 13, 2014 – NEW!
• John Gidding: April 18 to 20, 2014
• David Bromstad: April 25 to 27, 2014
• Chip Wade: May 2 to 4, 2014 – NEW!
• Genevieve Gorder: May 9 to 11, 2014
• Alison Victoria: May 16 to 18, 2014 – NEW!

Epcot’s Flower Power Concert Series
Find a comfortable spot with your favorite food and drink and rock out to some peace and love at this outdoor musical event! This is a very popular daily event, so make sure to get there early! Listed below are bands that will be performing at this year’s event:

• The Guess Who – March 7 to March 9, 2014
Known for their song “American Woman”
• Gary Lewis and The Playboys – NEW! March 14 to March 16, 2014
Known for their song “This Diamond Ring”
• The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO – March 21 to March 23, 2014
Known for their song “Evil Woman”
• The Lovin’ Spoonful – March 28 to March 30, 2014
Known for their song “Summer in the City”
• Paul Revere & The Raiders – April 4 to April 6, 2014
Known for their song “Good Thing”
• Village People – April 11 to April 13, 2014
Known for their song “YMCA”
• The Grass Roots – April 18 to April 20, 2014
Known for their song “Midnight Confessions”
• Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone – April 25 to April 27, 2014
Known for their song “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”
• STARSHIP Starring Mickey Thomas – May 2 to May 4, 2014
Known for their song “We Built This City”
• Chubby Checker & The Wildcats – May 9 to May 11, 2014
Known for their song “The Twist”
• Alan Parsons Live Project – NEW! May 16 to May 18, 2014
Known for their song “Eye in the Sky”

Here are a few basics to insure that there are no surprises during your visit to Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival:

Admission to Epcot is required. While most Epcot Flower & Garden Festival events are included with your theme park ticket, many experiences require a separate purchase or a separate admission fee. Availability is limited for some experiences. Events may be rescheduled or cancelled at any time. To purchase you tickets to this event, please visit www.officialticketcenter.com or call toll free 1-877-406-4836.

How Effective Is Disney World’s New Ride Reservation System?

Will Fastpass+ Work for You?

Will FastPass+ Work for You?

The Official Ticket Center ~ Making products and services easily accessible is an important determinant in the success of a business. And I think Disney is probably the best in capitalizing this very crucial aspect in the theme-park industry today. Being the world’s biggest entertainment conglomerate, Disney is unique in handling both its core businesses as well as the demands of fans since inception. It’s not just a source that enables you to connect with your ultimate dreams, but also understands the importance of making things available in the most hassle-free and convenient way possible. One great example of this amazing quality is the implementation of the new ride reservation system at the WDW (Walt Disney World) resort in Orlando.

Intended to provide more flexibility in the booking of favorite rides and bring improvement in the wait-times is the new Fastpass+ (FP+) system and it comes with many great promises. Unlike the legacy paper Fastpass, the ability to obtain reservations in advance becomes a reality now for all those passionate about Disney World rides. If you are staying at a Disney resort then you are good to have a reservation as early as 60 days prior to your trip.

The new Fastpass+ reservation system also puts an end to the need of visiting a Fastpass machine in person. Guests have the advantage of choosing from multiple reservation options now. Moreover, if you are a Disney resort guest you can obtain reservations right from the comfort of your home at a mouse click, or on a smart-phone or tablet while in the parks. Besides, there exist many new Fastpass+ reservation kiosks as well as staff members to assist, throughout the parks for all guests. Another great feature the new system offers is the ability to change the attractions for which you have the reservations. One can also control the return times of attractions reserved and thus eliminate the risk of losing any reservation times.

However, there are also certain speculations about the latest reservation system that suggest otherwise. It’s observed that unlike its predecessor, the new Fastpass+ program brings discrimination among guests or vacationers. There are fans not as happy since the new reservation system mostly favors a particular section of guests specially, those staying at a Disney owned resort. So chances are if you are staying offsite then you are missing some great features. Again with the old legacy Fastpass one can have the ability to obtain reservation at more than one park per day. But the same is not the case with the new system as guests are limited to obtain reservations at one park per day.

But whatever may be the speculations, the ultimate objective of the new program is to cut wait-times and bring more flexibility to ride reservations. And I believe Disney is always a champion in adding more value to our dream vacations.

For discounts on Disney World admissions and passes to exclusive Orlando attractions and events, including discount SeaWorld Orlando tickets, Universal Studios tickets and other special Orlando packages you can all us toll free at 1-877-406-4836.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Fest Adds Food for the First Time

Epcot International Flower and Garden Fest Adds Food for the First Time

Epcot International Flower and Garden Fest Adds Food for the First Time

Step into Disney World’s twentieth Epcot International Flower & Garden Fest; you will be amazed with an array of whimsical topiaries and sweeping garden landscapes along with some of the much anticipated debut attractions. But hey! This is not all, as the annual spring event also brings in the incredible tastes of its fall cousin for the first time in the history of the event. You will have an entire list of food menu to try during the fest. But don’t get confused because of the food kiosks – it is still the most happening spring fest and not the great Epcot International Food & Wine Festival which takes place annually during the later part of the year. Disney is also very careful about not to repeat items from the autumn Festival.

According to the officials the idea of introducing food at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Fest is going around since many years, and which finally culminated in the form of the exotic and edible landscapes and garden marketplace at the 2013 annual spring fest. It is also believed that adding foods to the gardens can boost the visitors’ traffic in big numbers.

If you are visiting the famous annual fest at Disney Epcot this year (from March 6 – May 19, 2013), you will have the option of enjoying some quality time with exotic food and beverages amidst spectacular and magical gardens. Around the World Showcase promenade you will find garden marketplace with great culinary creations. Whether it’s a swing of blueberry wine or the taste of incredibly prepared pineapple snack with spice rum, or a bite of some delicious watermelon salad, the blooming landscapes make the best of feast both for your eye and dining appetites this year.

Again for Disney movie fans the fresh gardens have introduced new attractions in the form of the “Land of Oz Garden” – a magical play zone for kids that reflects the story of the new Disney film the “Oz the Great and Powerful”. Also there is the phenomenal display of characters and scenes from the upcoming Disney movie the “Monsters University”. A look at the amazing topiaries of one-eyed Sully and Mike, backed by monstrous flower towers will take visitors into the world of the fictional university which is famous for mastery in the art of scare techniques.

However, the highlight of this year’s International Flower & Garden Fest at Epcot is not complete without a reference to the incredible topiaries of the “Sensational Six” that form the core of Disney Magic. You will be amazed by the sights of these tall, larger than life size topiaries of the iconic Disney characters- Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto all in their best celebration mood.

For WDW park attraction tickets and passes, including Sea World tickets and discount Universal Studios tickets you can consult authorized ticket Re-Seller The Official Ticket Center

What is you favorite dish? Trying all 29 Marketplaces in One Day at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The fun is on the griddle at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and there’s still time to enjoy the culinary adventures throughout the park before the event comes to a close November 12.

Half the fun of the festival is discovering new dishes in the 29 marketplaces. But what’s your favorite?

That’s the assignment I had on my recent trip around the Epcot culinary world. Whether it’s the subtle seasoning of the Kefta Pocket at the Morocco Marketplace; the volcano sauce on the Spicy Hand Roll at Japan; a smooth, fine Merlot from France; Griddled Greek Cheese at Greece or the wonderful selection of ales and beers at the Hops and Barley Marketplace, there’s a lot to please every palate. Rob, our Concerned Bystander, also makes a cameo in this video, but it seems his tune has changed just a tiny bit.

So, after experiencing all 29 marketplaces in one day, what was my favorite dish?

The Kalua Pork Slider (the chutney and spicy mayo are an unbeatable blend) from the Hawai’i Marketplace takes the top spot in my (very) unscientific sampling. Although the White Corn Arepa (AREPA!) from the Florida Local Marketplace was a close second. With the famous sweet corn from nearby Zellwood, Fla., it’s a tasty treat. (And if you order it, please shout “Arepa!” and you might get a reaction just like I did in the video.)

The best thing is that I received a special stamp at the Festival Center for visiting all 29 countries. (Although I might suggest visiting Epcot a few times before the event ends to collect all of the marketplace stamps!)

Let us know in the comments if you have visited all 29 marketplaces, or if you have discovered your favorite from this year’s festival. Arepa!

For you discount Epcot tickets to this event, please call our office toll free at 1-877-406-4836 or visit our web site at http://www.officialticketcenter.com/epcot-tickets.aspx

Epcot Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Brings The Classic Hits 2012

Eat to the Beat at Epcot's Summer Concert Series

Eat to the Beat at Epcot's Summer Concert Series

The Official Ticket Center Orlando, FL. – The good ole days return to Epcot as select summer nights heat up from June to July with the some of the world’s greatest tribute bands. Classic hits from the likes of U2, The Bee Gees, Bon Jovi and many more will rock during Sounds Like Summer concert series. The high-energy performances take place at the open-air American Gardens Theater in World Showcase.

The schedule (entertainment subject to change without notice):

  • June 10-17: Hotel California ~ A Salute to the Eagles
  • June 18 to 23: Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot ~ The Ultimate Billy Joel Show
  • June 24 to 30: Stayin’ Alive ~ A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 1 to 7: Slippery When Wet ~ The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
  • July 8 to 14: The Police Experience ~ A Tribute to the Police
  • July 15 to 21: SouthBound and Company ~ A Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • July 22 to 28: 2U ~ A Tribute to U2

Show times are 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. – except on July 4 when show times are 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m. Sounds Like Summer concerts are included with Epcot admission. Additional informatio on purchasing your discount Epcot tickets click here http://www.officialticketcenter.com/epcot-tickets.aspx . For the latest information and updated show times, guests may pick up an Entertainment Guide when entering the park.

Topiary Fun Facts and Landscape Trivia Thrive At 19th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Main Enterance Topiary a Few Years Back

Main Enterance Topiary a Few Years Back

19th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
The largest number of front-entrance topiaries ever, 1,000 brilliantly hued butterflies, 240 floating mini-gardens and 30 million blooms paint a landscape masterpiece at the 19th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 7-May 20 at Walt Disney World Resort.

Among this year’s fun festival facts:

• 30 million blooms blanket the park throughout the festival, which runs 75 colorful days.
• The festival’s front-entrance Fantasia topiary scene comprises 28 topiaries – more than have been used in any front-entrance display. The 28 include Sorcerer Mickey, three ostriches, two hippos, two alligators, two elephants, nine stars, a spiral and eight mushrooms.
•22,615 plant plugs of 15 plant varieties make up the Fantasia front-entrance topiary. They include reindeer moss for Sorcerer Mickey’s face and red begonias for his hat; creeping fig for Mickey, hippos and gators; Sweet Ayssum, and three shades of Lobelia simulate water spilling over a large topiary rock made up of Black Scallop Ajuga upon which the Sorcerer stands.
•4,000 Blushing Bride air plants from Guatemala color the two hippos’ tutus and 300 Cotton Candy air plants from Peru feather the wings and tails of the three ostrich topiaries. Smaller air plants are used as ostrich slippers.
•1,250 feet of quarter-inch irrigation tubing is woven into the Fantasia front-entrance topiaries.
•Dozens of additional Disney character topiaries represent the largest collection of Disney character topiary in the world and include classic film stars like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Cinderella and Tinker Bell.
•At least 25 different plants, grasses and mosses of various colors, including pink and red begonias, dusty miller, palm fiber, palm seeds, ficus and lichen, are used to create and define features of additional festival topiaries. More color has been added to the topiaries than in any previous topiary presentation.
•1,000 native butterflies represent up to 10 species at the expansive Bambi’s Butterfly House. Among the garden’s two dozen nectar plants are Cape Royal plumbago, passion flower, coral honeysuckle, blazing star, butterfly bush, scarlet milkweed and canna lily.
•More than 500,000 plants, trees and shrubs are planted for the festival; 250,000 of those are annual blossoms installed for the festival.
•Festival plants include 60 different species of trees, 47 types of palms, and 48 varieties of bedding plants.
•150 hands-on gardening demonstrations and seminars will be presented.
•Thirty “flower towers” of impatiens line Innoventions Plaza.
•240 floating mini-gardens, each three feet in diameter, of multi-hued impatiens provide splashes of color on two ponds that border the walkway between Future World and World Showcase.
•700 container gardens of flowers, herbs, plants and vegetables in clay pots, barrels and urns enhance the landscape throughout Epcot.
•400 Walt Disney World horticulturists are needed to install the festival landscape, topiaries and many exhibits; 100 Epcot horticulturists maintain topiaries and other festival displays.
•It takes more than one full year and about 24,000 cast member hours to prepare for the annual festival.
•The festival’s weekend Flower Power concert series includes 11 artists and groups known for more than 100 Top 40 hits. This year’s musical hit-makers from the 1960s and ’70s include Jose Feliciano, Starship starring Mickey Thomas, The Guess Who, The Spinners, Chubby Checker & The Wildcats, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night (NEW!), The Orchestra starring former members of ELO (NEW!), Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone and Davy Jones.

A Food and Wine Lover’s Paradise Awaits you this Fall at the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Yummy Treats Await at Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Yummy Treats Await at Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Passport to a World of Flavors ~ A food and wine lover’s paradise awaits you this fall at Epcot Theme Park with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, held September 30 to November 13, 2011.

From tasty tapas and refreshing beverages to celebrity chef demonstrations and rock star performances, there’s something to satisfy most every taste and interest.

When you arrive, visit the Festival Welcome Center to pick up your Marketplace Discovery Passport and plan your day. Then, dine your way around the world, attend a cooking demonstration, savor satisfying wines and tap your toes at an exciting outdoor concert.

Convenient Online Booking
Make a reservation—in mere moments—for select events! Online reservations are available for the following:

So plan ahead—and prepare for an extraordinary culinary event!

Admission
Epcot Theme Park admission is required. To secure a spot at special culinary events and experiences, call (407) WDW-FEST or (407) 939-3378, or view our Special Dining Events to book a reservation. Space is limited, so be sure to book in advance.

Some events require additional fees. To purchase food, merchandise and more, consider using the Festival-themed mini Disney Gift Card* to simplify your Festival spending.

Availability is limited for some events. Events may be rescheduled or cancelled at any time.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

The opening weekend of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival begins with a bang—or a starting pistol!

Held September 30 to October 1, 2011, the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend blends the magic of a runDisney race with the flavorful festivities of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Whether you wish to race under the stars or support your favorite runner, this race weekend offers fun for all ages and tastes.

*The Disney Gift Card can be used at select participating locations at Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Store locations in the U.S., DisneyStore.com, DisneyPhotoPass.com, and Adventures by Disney. Visit DisneyGiftCard.com for complete terms and conditions.

Epcot Sounds Like Summer Concert Series 2011

So you are coming to Central Florida and you want to enjoy yourself Right? Well the music takes center stage this summer at Epcot Center as the annual, “Sounds Like
Summer Concert Series” returns to Epcot at the America Gardens Theater.
This year, Epcot has a world class lineup of bands playing tribute to songs from Bon Jovi, U2, The Bee Gees,
and Janet Jackson, so spend a night out enjoying all that a Central Florida summer has to
offer. And the best of all,? these concerts are included Free with your Epcot theme park admission!

Although subject to change, the following groups are scheduled to appear:

BAND NAME PERFORMANCES DATES:

Hotel California June 12 – 18, 2011
A Salute to the Eagles
Stayin’ Alive June 19 – 25, 2011
A Tribute to the Bee Gees
Slippery When Wet June 26 – July 2, 2011
The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
Little Queen July 3 – 9, 2011
The Music of Heart with Special Performances on July 4 *
Frontiers July 10 – 16, 2011
A Tribute to Journey
Karin Lawson July 17– 23, 2011
A Tribute to Janet Jackson
2U July 24 – 30, 2011
A Tribute to U2

*July 4 Performances at 5:15 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:45 pm, and 9:00 pm.
Epcot theme park admission is required. Entertainment subject to change
without notice. All songs listed are for artist recognition only and may
not be included in the performer’s set list.

If traveling to Orlando during this event and you need Epcot tickets, please contact our office by calling toll free at 1-877-406-4836 or visit our web site at www.officialticketcenter.com

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2011

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

 

Walt Disney World Orlando, FL. ~ The weather in Orlando this past Saturday was picture perfect for Disney’s Epcot Annual International Flower & Garden Festival. To stay at home on a day like this would have been such an injustice and with a festival like this, it was a no-brainer what we were going to be doing on this day. We packed up our daughter and drove the 15 minutes to the parking lot of Epcot. Continue reading