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There's Something for Everyone to Fall in Love with This Autumn at Walt Disney World Resort
Original 'Enchanted Tiki Room' Hosts Squawking up a Storm Again, Giving Guests Even More to Chirp (and 'Tweet') About
Do you like Disney entertainment "heritage"? Aspire to keep a fitness routine on schedule during vacation? Love music? Art? Sports "spectating"? Food and drink adventures? Theme park parties celebrating Halloween or the holidays? For fun-seekers with any of those passions and special interests, fall 2011 is a season to make some memories at Walt Disney World Resort. Here's a look at what's in store from Labor Day through Thanksgiving …
A 'Tropical Serenade' rekindling memoriesThe Sunshine Pavilion, featuring a show variously known as "Tropical Serenade" and "The Enchanted Tiki Birds," debuted on Oct. 1, 1971, in Magic Kingdom. In 1998, following substantial refurbishment, it re-launched as The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management, with two famous Disney birds – Iago from Aladdin and Zazu from The Lion King – taking control and trying to spruce up the show. The "new management" has been let go and the future of the Adventureland landmark is in the wings and wit of José, Fritz, Michael and Pierre – four crooning parrot hosts who ushered in sophisticated Audio-Animatronics technology at California's Disneyland in 1963 at The Enchanted Tiki Room. In time for fall 2011 vacations, The Enchanted Tiki Room (as the Magic Kingdom attraction now will be called) is being prepared to reflect the show at Disneyland that represents a milestone in Disney theme park entertainment. While Walt Disney's creative team previously had produced movable figures, none had the sophistication of the bird-brained cast of the Tiki Room. José, Fritz, Michael and Pierre produce movements when solenoid coils hidden inside receive signals recorded onto magnetic tape and are regarded as the first "true" Audio-Animatronics figures. They introduce a musical presentation by more than 200 birds, flowers and tikis. Even the audience gets into the act, joining in during the musical ditty "Let's All Sing Like the Birdies Sing." The Enchanted Tiki Room (tentatively slated for opening in August 2011) has shows throughout Magic Kingdom operating hours.
Sweet views and a whole lot moreFourteen floors up in the iconic Disney's Contemporary Resort tower, guests who don't want to take a vacation from a wellness lifestyle will have a new haven – 23 luxury rooms and suites that exude relaxation and fitness, complete with panoramic views of Bay Lake or Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon. The luxury accommodations (scheduled to be available beginning late fall 2011) will feature eco-friendly decor like bamboo flooring, 100-percent cotton linens and non-allergenic wrapped mattresses. Bathrooms will be equipped with rainwater showers and tea tree oil. Fourteenth-floor guests also can enjoy the benefit of having cardio equipment right in their room. And they'll have daily access to seasonal and organic fresh foods at the concierge lounge and can enjoy yoga sessions and spa treatments at the resort's renovated wellness studio. Booking information is available from the Disney Reservation Center (407-934-7639) or a local travel agent.
Events to suit all sorts of tastes
Some of the most popular
and enduring special events at Walt Disney World Resort
happen during the fall. Here are snapshots:
Disney's Night of Joy – TobyMac, MercyMe, newsboys, Jeremy Camp, Jars of Clay and Skillet will headline one of the most-decorated lineups in the 29-year history of Disney's contemporary Christian music event Sept. 9 and Sept. 10, 2011, in Magic Kingdom. The 16 artists have a 20-year legacy of accolades – 70 GMA Dove Awards and eight GRAMMY® Awards including reigning Christian music Artist of the Year (Francesca Battistelli). Night of Joy is an after-hours event that requires a special ticket. Event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each evening. More information is available at www.nightofjoy.com.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – The headless horseman romps down Main Street, U.S.A. aboard his steed, ghostly apparitions flit among the buildings of Magic Kingdom, Cinderella Castle is draped in eerie hues and the night sky is painted with bursts of orange and green fireworks during this popular after-hours Magic Kingdom party on 23 select autumn evenings between Sept. 13 and Nov. 1, 2011. The special-ticket event features trick-or-treating throughout the park, "Happy HalloWishes" fireworks spectacular, "Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade" – including Disney characters and the stars of the Haunted Mansion attraction – and the opportunity to experience popular attractions. Information about dates and tickets is available at www.disneyworld.com/halloween.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – A veritable world of culinary adventures is on the menu Sept. 30-Nov. 13, 2011, during the 16th edition of the festival presented by Vanity Fair Napkins. The journey along the promenade around World Showcase Lagoon includes more than two dozen marketplaces where everyone from neophytes to epicures and aficionados can nibble and sip their way across six continents of food and beverage adventures. Talented culinarians from across America and around the world will be involved with specialty dinners, seminars featuring cooking demonstrations and wine tastings, the popular Saturday night grand tastings – Party for the Senses – and more. The festival also will feature the popular Eat to the Beat! concert series each evening. Details are available at www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine.
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic – PGA TOUR thrillers have been the norm in this $4.7 million season-ending event on Disney's Magnolia and Palm courses. Twelve of the most recent 16 editions of the pro golf event have been decided by one stroke or a playoff. A field of 128 players will tee off in the 41st Classic Oct. 20-23, 2011. The 2010 winner was Robert Garrigus. More information: www.ChildrensMiracleNetworkClassic.com.
Festival of the Masters – Nearly 150 award-winning artists who turn clay, wood, metals, oils, watercolors and more into creations that treat the eyes – such as paintings, jewelry, sculptures and photographs – will show off their works Nov. 11-13 at Downtown Disney. One of the Southeast's most highly regarded juried art festivals since 1975, Festival of the Masters features live entertainment and family-friendly activities each day. Admission and parking are complimentary. For more information, guests may visit www.disneyworld.com/artfestival.
Old Spice Classic – The eight-team college basketball tournament again will be held over Thanksgiving weekend – Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Nov. 24, 25 & 27, 2011 – at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Arizona State, Dayton, DePaul, Fairfield, Indiana State, Minnesota, Texas Tech and Wake Forest make up the field. Seven of the teams reached the 2010 postseason. The Old Spice Classic will feature 12 games over the three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. The two teams that remain undefeated throughout will face off in a championship match Sunday, Nov. 27. Additional information can be found on the Old Spice Classic website at www.OldSpiceClassic.com.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party – On 19 select evenings between Nov. 8 and Dec. 18, 2011, guests can experience the enchantment of Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle plus two special entertainment extravaganzas, "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade" and the holiday-themed fireworks spectacular, "Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season." The special after-hours party, which requires a separate admission ticket, also features live Disney character stage shows, character greetings, cookies and cocoa, and even "snow" on Main Street, U.S.A. More details are available at www.DisneyWorld.com/holidays.