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Epcot’s 2019 Food & Wine Dates Announced & Other Disney News This Week

Every week I gather the latest news from Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, and other Disney parks to help you keep up with all of the changes. Here is the most recent Disney news for the week of April 1-7, 2019:

1. Food & Wine, Festival Of The Holidays Dates 

Get ready, because dates for Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival and International Festival of the Holidays have been announced.

Food & Wine: Aug. 29-Nov. 23 (And, yes, it begins the same day Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge officially opens at Disney World.) Also, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series will run from Aug. 29-Nov. 19, concluding a few days prior to the festival’s end in order to get ready for the Candlelight Processional.

Festival of the Holidays: Nov. 29-Dec. 30

2. New Dining Experience Coming To Animal Kingdom

There is a new nighttime dining experience coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night will allow guests to visit and explore the Wildlife Express Train Station, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and Harambe Market like never before. There will be special food and beverages offered, including light hors d’oeuvres, snacks, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Better yet, you’ll even get to meet Timon and Pumba from The Lion King! The event will also teach guests about the Big Five game animals (the African elephant, the rhinoceros, the Cape buffalo, the leopard, and the lion) and the challenges they face. Here are the important details:

-Begins July 24, 2019 and will take place on select nights through Oct. 23, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
-Costs $125, plus tax for adults (ages 10 and up) and $99, plus tax for children (ages 3-9); separate theme park admission is required.
-You can begin making reservations immediately, so click here to do just that.

3. New Disney Villains After Hours Event

This summer, experience Disney After Hours in a whole new light when Villains take over the event at Disney’s Magic Kingdom on select nights from June 6-Aug. 8. Here’s what you need to know about Disney Villains After Hours:

-Tickets go on sale April 29
-If purchased in advance, tickets cost $139 per adult or child (plus tax). If purchased on the day of the event, tickets will be $144 per adult or child (plus tax). Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members can get specially priced tickets for just $109 per adult or child (plus tax).
-You can check in as early as 7 p.m. prior to the event officially beginning at 10 p.m. and running until 1 a.m.
-Here are the event dates:

  • Thursday, June 6, 2019
  • Thursday, June 13, 2019
  • Thursday, June 20, 2019
  • Thursday, June 27, 2019
  • Monday, July 1, 2019
  • Thursday, July 11, 2019
  • Thursday, July 18, 2019
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019
  • Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019
  • Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019

As for what this specific After Hours event will include, here’s what you can expect:

  • Disney Villains Stage Show:  Called “Villains Unite the Night,” the show will feature Hercules’ Hades and Meg, Aladdin’s Jafar, Snow White’s The Evil Queen, The Princess and the Frog’s Dr. Facilier, and Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent.
  • Maleficent the Dragon Will Be Let Loose: For the first time, she’ll be wandering the park breathing fire.
  • Villainous Attraction Enhancements: There will be villain-inspired additions at Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain.
  • Special Food & Beverages: Guests can purchase desserts, drinks, and dishes inpsired by The Evil Queen, Cruella de Vil, Maleficent, Hades, Dr. Facilier, and even Emperor Zurg from Toy Story.
  • Merchandise: New logo merchandise and other items from a curated collection of the best Disney Villains merchandise will be available for purchase.
  • No Character Meet & Greets: The villains appearing during the stage show will not be available for character greetings.

4. Haunted Mansion Now Has On-Ride PhotoPass

Disney World’s Haunted Mansion attraction now has on-ride PhotoPass, making it the 13th attraction across the resort to offer the photo opportunity.

5. Magic Kingdom Offering Special Experiences On April 13

In honor of the Haunted Mansion becoming Disney World’s 13th attraction PhotoPass location, there are all kinds of fun opportunities happening at Magic Kingdom on April 13. Check them out:

PhotoPass Opportunities:
-A “Tomb Sweet Tomb” prop and an animated shot outside the exit of the Haunted Mansion (begins at 9 a.m. and only available during the day)
-Hitchhiking Ghosts Magic Shot near the hearse (available all day and night starting at 9 a.m.)
-The Hatbox Ghost Magic Shot near entrance to Liberty Square Riverboat (available all day and night starting at 9 a.m.)
-Mickey-shaped orbs Magic Shot outside Memento Mori (in the evening)
-Pose with the caretaker’s lantern near the Haunted Mansion exit (in the evening, after sundown)
-Purchase an 8×10 lenticular image showing your spirit at Memento Mori for a special price of $13.13, plus tax

Memory Maker Deal:
-Memory Maker One Day is only available on April 13 and will allow you to receive unlimited digital downloads of ALL your PhotoPass pics and videos taken on that day (not just at Magic Kingdom, including the ones mentioned above, but wherever PhotoPass is offered) for just $69

Special Treat:
-Try the Midnight Fright Delight “browkie” (inspired by the clock inside the Haunted Mansion) at Liberty Square Market for $6.99, plus tax

Haunted Performance:
-Catch the Cadaver Dans ghostly quartet in Liberty Square in the evening

Seriously, how fun does all of this sound, especially the Magic Shots?

6. Celebrate Fourth Of July With Woody’s Roundup

At Disney’s Contemporary Resort on July 4-6 (6:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.), you can celebrate the holiday with Woody’s Roundup barbecue buffet. Not only can guests meet Woody, Jessie, Bullseye, and Buzz Lightyear, but you can enjoy a variety of food, dancing, and activities for kids, including  the Trick Ropin’ Toy, Make-Your-Own Toy Station, camp-style carnival games, and a balloon artist. Of course, there will also be fireworks. The event costs $149 for adults and $99 for children, tax and gratuity included. Space is limited, so be sure to making a booking as soon as possible. You can make reservations online or by calling 407 WDW-DINE.

7. AP’s & DVC Members Can Purchase Banshees With Discount

In addition to the release of a new Night Blossom banshee at The Rookery at Windtraders (located in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora — The World Avatar), Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members now receive a 20 percent discount on all banshee purchases.

8. Bo Peep Is Coming To Disney Parks For Meet & Greets

In celebration of Toy Story 4′s release on June 21, Bo Peep will be making appearance at Disney Parks starting this summer. The parks include Disneyland Paris, Disney California Adventure’s Pixar Pier, Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Toy Story Land, and also Disney Parks in Asia.

9. Jessie’s Critter Carousel Is Officially Open

Jessie’s Critter Carousel at Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure park is open for business and it looks like such a cute ride!

That’s it for Disney news from this past week. I’ll continue to collect park updates, so be sure to keep your eyes open for my weekly news post!

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Featured Image: Courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort