Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Expands to 62 Days in 2016

Hot on the heels of California Adventure reviving their Food & Wine Festival, dates have been announced for this year's 21st annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The event will take place from September 14th through November 14th this year.

The event now spans 62 days up from 2015's 53 days. Giving everyone ample time to get down and try all the new and returning dishes. Check back for new details as the event draws closer.

Is This How Disney Will Use Drones In Their Nighttime Shows?

Is This How Disney Will Use Drones In Their Nighttime Shows?

A while back Disney filed patents to implement drones into their nighttime shows. Diagrams showed drones carrying large, presumably cloth, characters that would be illuminated and appear to dance in the night sky. 

Disney has also been testing floating lanterns using drone technology. The first application of this should be in Animal Kingdom's Rivers of Light show coming this year. A video recently posted by Guinness World Records shows yet another potential application of drone technology that Disney could take advantage on in their nighttime shows.

The video shows dozens of drones flying together autonomously to create shapes, patters and changing colors. It is pretty amazing to watch. Considering this video is more of a glorified tech demo, one could only imagine what a Disney Imagineer could do with this tech. 

Drones are a very hot topic regarding safety and security. This technology could only be used when winds are mild and far away from guest areas. That leaves Animal Kingdom's rivers, Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon and even the Magic Kingdom's Seven Seas Lagoon as potential options to display such a show. Epcot has been rumored to receive a replacement to IllumiNations in the coming years, that could be our first look at this technology fully realized in the parks. Check back often to see the latest on this topic.

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Top 5 Things to Look Forward to in 2016

Top 5 Things to Look Forward to in 2016

2015 is a distant memory now. Onward and upward into 2016. Nearly every year for the foreseeable future will bring a noteworthy addition to the Orlando theme parks. Here are some good reasons to be excited to visit in 2016.

#5 Disney Springs expands
The transformation from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs wasn't an easy or a short one but the long nightmare is soon to be over. 2015 saw great additions like The Hangar Bar, Morimoto Asia and the Ganachery. 

2016 will see the opening of the Town Center area of the expansion. It will bring with it loads of new shops like Pandora, Lilly Pulitzer, Edison, Sprinkles, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza and many more. 2016 will be a great time to check out Disney Springs as most of the walls will be down and plenty of new storefronts will be open for business.

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Captain EO to Close at Epcot [Update]

After 29 years in Epcot's Imagination Pavilion, it is finally time for Captain EO to beat it. The sci-fi film starring Michael Jackson and directed by Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola will close for good on December 6th.

Word started on Twitter that the attraction would be closing for good this time. Posters are already up in the parks inviting guests to watch EO and the gang change the world, one last time.

Captain EO replaced Magic Journeys in 1986 and lasted until 1994 when it was replaced by Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. 2010 saw the revival of Captain EO, following Jackson's death in 2009. Since then theme park fans have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. There have been plenty of false alarms when the theater was taken over for film previews. Rumors have pointed to a permanent Inside Out show replacing EO. Whatever replaces it, I hope it comes soon because there is a 6-month refurbishment happening to Soarin' early next year and that park will be desperate for attractions to fill the void.

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UPDATE: Disney has officially confirmed the closure of Captain EO and announced the replacement. "Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival" will be taking over the Magic Eye Theater shortly after December 6th. The show will consist of three animated shorts in 3D. Disney has not said which shorts will be included or wether or not they will be existing shorts or created just for the attraction.

First Look at Epcot's Frozen Attraction

Disney has revealed the storyline and name of the Frozen ride that is replacing Maelstrom in Epcot's Norway pavilion. 'Frozen Ever After' is a continuation of the Frozen story and not a retelling. Although some favorite moments and music from the film will be included.

You'll be transported to Arendelle's Winter in Summer Celebration where Elsa uses her magic powers to create a winter playland in the middle of summer. During the ride you'll be transported to Elsa's ice palace and then end up in the Bay of Arendelle. Sounds similar to the ending of Maelstrom. All your favorite characters will return including the Snowgies from the Frozen short. Grandpappy troll will also be there telling the story of how Anna and Kristof met.

Imagineers talked with the Wall Street Journal and confirmed that Maelstrom's track will not be changed and that the Frozen overlay will just replace the former theme. Oaken's trading post will serve as the queue. No word yet on any interactive elements but I'm sure Disney is anticipating guests spending a very long time in line. The biggest scene of the ride will be Elsa singing 'Let it Go', of course. There will be plenty of effects during this portion including simulated snow falling.

The animatronic figures that will be used in the ride are based off the same technology that is found in the dwarfs in the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The dwarfs look amazing and I'm sure the technology has taken another step since their implementation. 

The biggest complaint about Frozen coming to Norway is the fact that Arendelle isn't even a real place. Disney is adding new elements to further represent real Norway in its pavilion. The name of the new building being erected to house the Anna and Elsa meet and greet will be called the 'Royal Sommerhus' and will have unique Norwegian architectural features and cultural arts and crafts of Norway. 'Frozen Ever After' is set to open in 2016.