Tag Archives: Featured

Actress Vanessa Williams Celebrates Daughter’s Graduation at Walt Disney World Resort

Earlier this week, actress, singer and fashion designer Vanessa Williams celebrated her daughter Sasha Gabriella Fox’s graduation from high school with a visit to Walt Disney World Resort.

During their visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Daisy Duck stopped by the Tree of Life to say hello to Vanessa, Sasha and Sasha’s friends.

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Vanessa and Sasha both love Disney and visiting Walt Disney World Resort.  Congrats, Sasha!


Premiere Date Announced for Disney Channel Original Movie ‘Freaky Friday’

Cozi Zuehlsdorff (“Dolphin Tale”) and Heidi Blickenstaff (“The Little Mermaid” and “Something Rotten!” on Broadway, and the stage production of “Freaky Friday”) star in the Disney Channel Original Movie “Freaky Friday,” a music-driven, body-swap comedy about a mother and daughter who, strangely, spend a day in each other’s shoes. It premieres FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 (8:00-9:45 p.m. EDT/PDT), on Disney Channel and will be available earlier (12:01 a.m. PDT) on DisneyNOW (to verified users) and (12:01 a.m. EDT/PDT) on Disney Channel VOD.

Adam Bonnett, executive vice president, Original Programming, Disney Channel, said, “This movie is a creative collaboration with our Theatrical colleagues who developed an original stage musical from a beloved story. Now we’ve added a fresh twist by adapting it again into a movie for kids and families – with Broadway talent on and off camera – that has the potential to be a classic ‘DCOM’ for years to come.”

Tom Kitt wrote the music and Brian Yorkey penned the lyrics for “Freaky Friday.” The Tony Award® and Pulitzer Prize-winning pair also collaborated on “If, Then” and “Next to Normal,” as well as the stage version of “Freaky Friday.” Eight songs from the stage production and two new songs, including one co-written by Cozi Zuehlsdorff, are performed in a theatrical pop-rock style by the cast.

The script, written by Bridget Carpenter (“11.22.63,” “Friday Night Lights,”), is based on her Disney Theatrical Production stage adaptation of the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers. The movie is directed by Steve Carr (“Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” “Daddy Daycare”) and executive produced by Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions (“The Lion King”, “Aladdin” and “Frozen” on Broadway), Carr and Susan Cartsonis (“Deidra & Laney Rob a Train,” “What Women Want”).

Blickenstaff is Katherine Blake, a busy mother and a perfectionist who runs her own catering company and struggles to understand her teenage daughter, who has a mind of her own. While refereeing endless bickering between Ellie and her younger brother Fletcher, Katherine is carefully planning every single detail of her impending wedding to her fiancé and calming influence, Mike.

Zuehlsdorff plays Katherine’s 16-year-old daughter Ellie who’s attempting to assert her independence from the mother who she perceives wants her to be perfect, nothing like who Ellie wants to be. She’s also struggling to accept her father’s death five years ago and the fact that her mom is now getting remarried. As a result, Ellie’s school attendance and grades are suffering.

A confrontation rises when Katherine won’t allow Ellie to join “The Hunt,” an epic all-night scavenger quest organized by her crush Adam. Upon wishing the other would change their ways, mother and daughter magically swap bodies through the magical power of an hourglass that Ellie received from her father – a treasured gift which is then accidentally shattered. Now, they must hunt down the matching hourglass that Katherine’s late husband gave her in order to swap bodies back to their true selves. First, the two must spend the day literally in each other’s shoes, because Ellie needs to get to school or she’ll face suspension and Katherine has an important magazine interview, to promote her catering business, and her engagement party, which can’t be missed.

Also starring in “Freaky Friday” are Ricky He as Ellie’s friend Adam, Alex Désert (“Let it Shine”) as Mike and Disney Channel star Jason Maybaum (“Raven’s Home”) as Fletcher. Kahyun Kim (“Austin & Ally”) plays Torrey, Katherine’s high-strung business associate; Dara Reneé is Ellie’s mean girl classmate, Savannah; Jennifer Laporte and Isaiah Lehtinen are Ellie’s best friends Monica and Karl, respectively; and Sarah Willey (also known as Marlowe Percival) plays Savannah’s friend Kitty.

The movie’s musical highlights include “Just One Day,” a duet by Katherine and Ellie that reveals the distance they feel between each other; “I Got This,” when Katherine and Ellie start their crazy day in each other’s shoes; “Oh Biology,” a song about the changes experienced by adolescents; “Go!,” a fun and fast-moving ensemble number that unfolds during the exciting competition of “The Hunt”; and “At Last It’s Me,” an original pop song performed by Zuehlsdorff.

Tony nominee John Carrafa’s (“Into the Woods,” “Urinetown”) spirited and creative choreography incorporates everyday action and movement, turning ordinary moments into realistic “motion of life” musical sequences.

Emmy® nominee David Lawrence (“Descendants,” “High School Musical”) composed the score. Perry Andelin Blake (“Middle School – the Worst Years of My Life,” “The Wedding Singer”) is the production designer. Academy Award® winner Angus Strathie (“Moulin Rouge!,” “Deadpool”) is the costume designer.

The “Freaky Friday” soundtrack, from Walt Disney Records, will be available in physical and digital formats on August 10. The soundtrack is now available for pre-order: http://disneymusic.co/FreakyFridayCD.


Star-Spangled Americana Collection Now Available at Disney Parks

Fourth of July is quickly approaching and Disney is celebrating by releasing the Americana merchandise collection in the Disney Parks. Guests will be able to find patriotic items in red, white, and blue throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.

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“Mixed with images Mickey and Minnie Mouse, this brightly colored assortment is the perfect accent to summer fun,” explained Katie Thompson, Global Merchandise Strategy manager at Disney Parks Merchandise.

Guests looking to add Americana flair to their homes will find drinkware, a dessert plate, mugs, pillows, dish towels and more. Each item contains little details such as Mickey Mouse-shaped silhouettes or stylish embroidery. Eagle-eyed Guests may spot a red hidden Mickey icon in the star-shaped dish filled with white stars.

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From T-shirts and dresses to striped Spirit Jerseys and pullovers, adults and kids will discover fresh and fashionable apparel and accessories painted with a patriotic color palette.

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New headwear joins the mix with a wide-brimmed straw hat complete with embroidered lettering, or a baseball cap which features a metal bottle cap with bottle opener on the bill.

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Fans of handbags by Dooney & Bourke will love the Crossbody bag, wallet and tote, each containing patriotic stylings and images of Mickey Mouse in red, white and blue.

Adorable plush of Mickey and Minnie and collectible Disney pins round out this collection of Americana “must-haves.”

Look for these products in shops at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World Resort including World of Disney, Marketplace Co-Op and Disney’s Pin Traders. Guests may also find the collection at the World of Disney in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort, and via ShopDisney.com.


Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Signature Dining Events Available to Book Starting June 14

Reservations for nine extremely popular Epcot Signature Dining Events during the 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will open Thursday, June 14. Each festival event offers an exclusive, immersive and tasty dining experience at a World Showcase restaurant.

  • Mexican Tequila Lunch – La Hacienda de San Angel, Mexico Pavilion
  • Italian Food, Wine Vs. Beer Pairing at Via Napoli – Via Napoli, Italy Pavilion
  • Italian Regional Food & Wine Pairing Luncheon – Tutto Gusto, Italy Pavilion
  • Parisian Breakfast – Chefs de France, France Pavilion
  • French Family Meal Traditions – Monsieur Paul, France Pavilion
  • The Parisian Afternoon, Sandwiches, Macarons and Bubbles! – Monsieur Paul, France Pavilion
  • The “Hibachi” Experience: Iron Chef – Teppan Edo, Japan Pavilion
  • Tokyo Pairing – Tokyo Dining, Japan Pavilion
  • Mediterranean Food & Wine Pairing – Spice Road Table, Morocco Pavilion

Get a  Epcot Signature Dining Event dates, details and prices here.

Get more details at EpcotFoodFestival.com, or call 407-939-3378. Disney Vacation Club Members may call Member Services at (800) 900-9800.


Morimoto Asia and The Polite Pig Present ‘Pigs + Pints’ at Disney Springs

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Morimoto Asia and The Polite Pig at Disney Springs will present “Pigs + Pints” on June 24, 2018 featuring a mix of Pan-Asian and Southern-inspired dishes.  During this ticketed event,  Chefs Yuhi Fajinaga, James Petrakis and Julie Petrakis  will present a wide variety of family-friendly fusion dishes that bridge Asia and the American South. In addition, guests ages 21 and up can enjoy craft brews from nearby breweries.

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Menu items include Pork cheek tamales, Dim Sum Dogs (gyoza sausage with fried bao bun), Florida peach glazed pork belly satay with spicy peanut sauce, Pork Skirt Steak Yakiniku Tacos, and house-cured charcuterie which will be served throughout the second floor of Morimoto Asia, while a whole roasted pig will be sliced and served to guests on the upstairs patio overlooking Disney Springs.

With a focus on locally-sourced ingredients, guests will have the chance to meet the farmers from Frog Song Organics and Palmetto Creek Farms, along with representatives from local breweries including Cask & Larder, Coppertail, Crooked Can Brewing Co., Red Cypress and Red Light Red Light.

Pigs and Pints takes place on Sunday, June 24, 2018 from 12 – 3 p.m. and tickets can be purchased in advance here for $55 plus tax and gratuity; children 12 and under are $25.