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Ears the News: July 13, 2018 Edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News

Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com 

Disney has announced the first of its narrators for the 2018 Candlelight Processional, part of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.

Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com 

Also confirmed today is that Candlelight Processional Dining Packages go on sale Wednesday July 11 2018.

The Candlelight Processional presents the traditional story of Christmas with a 50-piece orchestra, a massed choir and a celebrity narrator. The processional is performed three times per night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.) during the holiday season at the America Gardens Theatre. Candlelight Processional Dining Packages which include a meal at a restaurant and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances.

Here is the line-up so far:

11/22 – 11/23 – Chita Rivera
11/24 – 12/2 – TBD
12/3 – 12/6 – Neil Patrick Harris
12/7 – 12/9 – Whoopi Goldberg
12/10 – 12/12 – TBD
12/13 – 12/14 – Blair Underwood
12/15 – 12/17 – Gary Sinise
12/18 – 12/20 – Pat Sajak
12/21 – 12/23 – TBD
12/24 – 12/25 – Edward James Olmos
12/26 – 12/27 – Jodi Benson
12/28 – 12/30 – TBD

Lunch and dinner packages are available at some favorite Epcot restaurants like Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway pavilion); Biergarten Restaurant (Germany pavilion); Chefs de France (France pavilion); Coral Reef Restaurant (The Seas pavilion); The Garden Grill Restaurant (The Land pavilion); La Hacienda de San Angel and San Angel Inn Restaurante (Mexico pavilion); Nine Dragons Restaurant (China pavilion); Restaurant Marrakesh and Spice Road Table (Morocco pavilion); Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room (United Kingdom pavilion); Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining (Japan pavilion); and Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria (Italy pavilion).

Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are also available this year at Epcot-area resort restaurants at Ale & Compass at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, with breakfast and dinner options being offered at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk.

Candlelight Processional Dining Packages start at:

For Breakfast: $38 plus tax per person for adults and $22 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9.
For Lunch: $50 plus tax per person for adults and $16.99 plus tax per person for children, ages 3.
For Dinner: $55 plus tax per person for adults and $16.99 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9.

Candlelight Processional Dining Packages go on sale Wednesday July 11.

Disney is introducing a new Annual Pass on July 9, aimed at offering more flexibility for guests visiting Walt Disney World.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com 

The Florida Resident Theme Park Select Pass is another option for Florida residents who are looking for access to at least one theme park during most times of the year. Each park's availability will be accessible online through a 13-month blockout calendar.

It includes at least 325 days of access at select theme parks and at least 175 days of access to all four theme parks throughout the year, and is priced at $439.

In addition to the new pass, Disney is also introducing add-ons for Florida Resident Disney Weekday Select, Florida Resident Theme Park Select and Florida Resident Disney Silver Passholders.

Priced at $89, that gives access to Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom through August 9 2018, which is a period currently blocked out to those passes.

Both the new Florida Resident Theme Park Select Pass and the add-on will be available for purchase on July 9 2018.

Disney has unwrapped details on its 2018 Christmas Holiday Season entertainment, and with it comes a few new enhancements to some existing offerings.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com 

At Disney's Hollywood Studios from November 8 2018 to January 6 2019, Sunset Seasons Greetings will return accompanied by new laser effects.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Continues for its third year, and guests can meet Santa at the Once Upon a Time shop November 10 to December 24, and Santa Goofy after he steps in December 25.

Toy Story Land will feature holiday songs on Alien Swirling Saucers.

At the Magic Kingdom, things remain largely unchanged, with Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party being the main holiday draw, beginning November 8 2018.

Epcot's International Festival of the Holidays begins November 18 and will see a return of the Holiday Kitchens kiosks around World Showcase, and Chip and Dale's Christmas Tree Spree scavenger hunt will be on sale for $6.99.

Reflections of Earth will see the addition of the holiday finale, and the Candlelight Processional runs from November 22 to December 30 2018.

At Disney's Animal Kingdom, Diwali, the holiday Festival of Lights in India, will be part of the new live show UP! A Great Bird Adventure from November 8 2018.

Disney Springs will continue its Christmas Tree Trail in the Marketplace from November 8 2018 to January 5 2019, and Santa's Chalet will be available from November 8 to December 31.

Stitch's Holiday Gift hunt also returns this year.

The Magic Kingdom's Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is now closed for refurbishment. It will reopen to guests on July 31 2018.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com

With the opening of Toy Story Land, Pixar Place at Disney's Hollywood Studios is now closed-off to guests.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com

During the opening week of Toy Story Land, Pixar Place was being used as overflow queue space, but with crowds in Toy Story Land now stabilized, the construction walls have moved in. Only the restrooms on the corner of Pixar Place remain accessible to guests.

2018 New Year’s Eve celebrations are now available to book at Disney’s Contemporary Resort - Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration and Disney Countdown to Midnight, including an option to purchase VIP access to the Ink and Paint Club.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com 

Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration (8pm - 12:15am)

This New Year’s Eve, welcome in 2019 with a festive, family-friendly frolic through some childhood joys during Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Sarge from Pixar Animation Studios’ Toy Story films will welcome you as you arrive at the second floor of the resort. Once inside, you will discover spaces that have been transformed with scenes from beloved Pixar movies.

Highlights of the evening include:

Being enveloped in the worlds of various Disney•Pixar films, like “Inside Out,” “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and “Up,” including meeting some of your favorite characters.

Kids’ activities, including Boot Camp with Sarge, Pixar Face Painting and a balloon artist creating favorite Pixar characters.

An interactive DJ spinning Radio Disney hits from his Cars-inspired DJ Rig, complete with tires and road signs right out of Radiator Springs.

A delicious buffet dinner, including Woody’s Favorite Lemon Thyme Chicken Breast, Wall-E’s Pan Seared Mahi-Mahi, Rex’s Manhattan Filet, Sulley’s Beast White Cheddar Baked Mac & Cheese, build-your-own salad options, desserts, kids’ favorites like chicken fingers and more.

A viewing of the famous Magic Kingdom New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Tickets are $190 per person, including tax and gratuity. To purchase tickets, call (407) WDW-DINE.

Disney Countdown to Midnight (8pm - 12:15am)
This New Year’s Eve, dress up and party during Disney Countdown to Midnight – an evening of dining, dancing and enchantment in the Fantasia Ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Come discover a world sparkling with magic – everything from a Mickey Mouse mirror ball to Disney Character topiaries – as you move and groove to the high-energy New Year’s Bash Band and a live DJ providing music all night long.

Other highlights of the evening include:

A “cheftainment” station featuring a seasonal menu inspired by some Disney Signature Dining restaurants – with a touch of Disney magic.

A special appearance by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

At the end of the night, guests will be invited out to the porte cochère, where they will receive a Champagne flute and welcome 2019 with a viewing of the famous Magic Kingdom New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Tickets are $275, including tax and gratuity. To purchase tickets, call (407) WDW-DINE.

Ink and Paint Club experience (7pm - 12:15am)

Offered only as a VIP enhancement to the Disney Countdown to Midnight party and located adjacent to the Fantasia Ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, this special reception begins prior to the opening of the main event. At the Ink and Paint Club, guests will step back in time into a vintage Disney Animation-inspired room with silver Chiavari chairs, metallic tables and references to classic Disney Animation filling the room. Ticketed guests can visit the lounge throughout the evening, starting with a featured reception from 7-8 p.m.

Highlights of this special reception include:

Photo opportunities with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse with a unique Disney Animation backdrop.

A pianist providing live entertainment.

Chef stations featuring king crab, tuna tartare, sheep’s milk ricotta gnocchi, cocktails, Champagne, cordials and more – all included with admission.

Reserved seating in the Disney Countdown to Midnight Party when it opens at 8 p.m.

Disney Ink & Paint Club is only available as a part of an enhanced ticket that includes access to both the Disney Countdown to Midnight and the Ink & Paint Club for $450 total per guest. Access to Ink & Paint Club must be purchased concurrently with the Disney Countdown to Midnight ticket and cannot be added on at a later date. To purchase tickets, call (407) WDW-DINE.

Registration for the Toy Story Land Annual Passholder event is now open.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com 

The opportunity is available to Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Passholders, and attendees will get exclusive access to Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania!

Dates are available during September 2018 from 7am to 8am. You can register on the Passholder website.

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