Disney News for August 2014

Plenty of changes happening at Walt Disney World. Here is a round-up of the news as of August 2014!

Big changes for entertainment in the World Showcase in Epcot. Off Kilter, Mo’Rockin’, Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps, and World Showcase Players. There will be new entertainment including traditional Berber music and dance troupe in Morocco, Celtic folk music ensemble in the United Kingdom, flag waving performers in Italy, and a lumberjack inspired show in Canada. The last performances will be taking place September 25 for the World Showcase Players and September 27 for the rest.

The American Idol Experience at Hollywood Studios is closing much sooner than originally reported. This attraction was slated to close permanently in January 2015, but will actually be closing August 29, 2014 30, 2014.

The Festival of the Masters an open-air fine arts festival which was scheduled for Nov 8-10 has been cancelled for this year, 2014. Due to the expansion of Downtown Disney and its change to Disney Springs there isn’t enough room to host the event this year.

The Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! will be changing this fall into the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party with new characters and music.  The change will include the addition of Phineas and Ferb, Stitch but still include classic characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald Duck.

Disney has quietly been remodeling some rooms at the Caribbean Beach Resort. The good news is that some of the rooms that have been finished now have queen sized beds and a 5th bed, the murphy pull down style that we have seen at Port Orleans Riverside. The rooms also feature sliding doors like those at Coronado Spring Resort instead of the typical curtain. We will follow up as more information becomes available.

In important Dole Whip news, Captain Cooks at the Polynesian has reopened but with no self-serve Dole Whips in sight! Rumor has it they will be back but in a different location and no more self-serve. You know we are hoping to see them back soon.

2014 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Flower and Garden

I recently had a chance to check out for the first time the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. The festival is from March 5- May 18, 2014. With the recent addition of food booths last year there has been a renewed interest in the festival. I was particularly excited to see the character topiaries as they seemed to be done even more impressively than in past years. Plus I am a huge fan of Dole Whips and I had try the one with rum on top. In addition to the outdoor kitchens, topiaries, butterfly house, concerts and gorgeous flowers there are also play areas.

This year there were three themed playscapes; Monster’s University, Mater Parts Plants & Play, and Backyard Play Garden. My party had four children under the age of seven so we checked out all of the play places. The most popular and largest of the play areas was the Monsters University one. It was also on the path from Future World into World Showcase via way of Canada and was partially covered. The first play area we visited was the Mater’s Parts, Plants & Play, located near Test Track and it is also where we got our Garden Passports. These passports you could get stamped at the various outdoor kitchens (food booths) and the play areas.   We also visited the Backyard Play Garden which is located in World Showcase between Morocco and France.
We also skipped a full lunch so that we could try some snacks from the outdoor kitchens. First we stopped that the Florida Fresh booth to try the watermelon passion fruit slush, it was a clear winner with my four year old. Next I tried the pulled pig slider with coleslaw from the Smokehouse, again it was delicious, if a bit messy.

Watermelon smoothie Florida Fresh

As we continued on exploring the World Showcase and playing Agent P’s World Showcase adventure and checking out topiaries, we really enjoyed taking our time and soaking it all in. Our final stop for the outdoor kitchens was the Pineapple Promenade, for a regular dole whip for my daughter and a dole whip with rum for me and my sister to share. If you haven’t been to the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot it comes highly recommended by me. I found this day to be relaxing and fun and full of trying new things. If you are going before May 18th, check it out or consider a trip next year around spring break!

Dole Whip with Rum