As the summer season winds down, festive fall happenings ramp up at Walt Disney World Resort with standout events, new eateries, and an out-of-this-world land where banshees fly and mountains float. The Vacation Kingdom is the place to celebrate the golden days of the harvest season.
Here’s a look at the fantastical experiences in store this fall throughout Walt Disney World Resort:
First Fall for Pandora – The World of Avatar
The exotic new land of Pandora – the World of Avatar is a don’t-miss adventure this fall. It’s where you can soar on a banshee, sail down a sacred river and discover a mystical world of glowing rainforests and floating mountains. Inspired by the epic film AVATAR from director James Cameron, the wondrous new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is big fun for guests of all ages.
Exotic eats are on the menu at Satu’li Canteen including healthful create-your-own bowls and bao bun pods stuffed with meat or spicy vegetables. Out-of-this world beverages and refreshing treats await at the Pongu Pongu specialty-drink location.
The day isn’t complete without a stop in Windtraders. This fun and immersive retail location offers more than 200 unique merchandise items, so guests can take a little piece of Pandora back home with them. There’s a banshee rookery where you can select your very own banshee. With a digital scan of your face, ACE Avatar Maker lets you create a personalized Avatar action figure. There’s even a handy translator unit that will help you learn how to speak Na’vi. At the shop’s bead bar, you can craft Na’vi-inspired necklaces using feathers and beads,
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Offers Early Start
Not-so-spooky ghosts and goblins return earlier than ever with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party that delights fun-seekers of all ages in the Magic Kingdom. For 32 select nights beginning on August 25, the Magic Kingdom will host this guest-favorite event from 7 p.m.–midnight (not included with regular park admission). Highlights include Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade; Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular; Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular; Disney characters donning favorite Halloween costumes; and treat trails throughout the Magic Kingdom. Plus, partygoers can enjoy dozens of iconic attractions.
The 2017 Party dates: August 25, 29; September 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 and 29; October 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 and 31; and November 1, 2017. Advance tickets are $74 for adults and $69 for ages 3-9. Visit Disneyworld.com/Halloween for party dates and prices, or call 407/WDISNEY (934-7639).
Spirits Soar With Night of Joy
A stellar line-up of Christian music will light up the stages at ESPN Wilde World of Sports Complex September 8-9 during the annual Night of Joy Concert series. Along with hip-hop, pop, rock, praise and adult contemporary music, there’s a family activity zone, food trucks and more.
On Friday, September 8 artists TobyMac, MercyMe, Zach Williams, Natalie Grant, Danny Gokey will perform on the Champion Stadium stage, while Matt Maher, Colton Dixon and Rend Collective will play inside the HP Field House, all starting at 5 p.m.
The party continues on Saturday night with headliners Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman, along with Kirk Franklin and Jordan Feliz performing at Champion Stadium, with Crowder, Jeremy Camp and Tye Tribbett taking the stage at the HP Field House.
Single-night tickets purchased in advance are $45 plus tax, and $69 plus tax for both nights. Doors open at 5 p.m. To learn more about additional ticket offerings, check out NightofJoy.com or call 407-W-DISNEY (934-7639).
Disney Springs Welcomes Terralina Crafted Italian
The foodie scene continues to grow at the ever-evolving Disney Springs with the fall opening of Terralina Crafted Italian, a new dining experience curated by James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano. Operated by Levy Restaurants, this new dining location will feature dishes inspired by Mantuano’s adventures in Italy’s Lake District. This entirely new restaurant is being built in the location formerly occupied by Portobello Country Italian Trattoria
Terralina’s menu will present authentic Italian cuisine cooked in Chef Tony’s signature olive oil imported directly from Italy. The restaurant’s wood-burning oven will fire up a selection of artisanal, hand-tossed pizzas and fresh vegetable dishes. Fan favorites from Portobello Country Italian Trattoria such as the antipasti platter and signature pasta dishes will remain on the menu alongside new additions such as mussels and pork chops. For more information or to make reservations call, 407-WDW-DINE (934-7639).
22nd Annual Epcot international Food & Wine Festival Expands
A record 75-day festival overflows with culinary events, celebrity chefs, seminars, musical acts and workshops, during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Aug. 31-Nov. 13, 2017.
Celebrated for its creative tapas-sized dishes and inspired sips, high-energy entertainment and premium signature dinners and tastings, the festival will sizzle with a more than 35 specialized marketplace – celebrating 35 years of Epcot. Guests can pair wines, beers and ciders with delicious tastings as they stroll World Showcase Promenade and Future World.
Celebrity and Disney chefs will present culinary demonstrations, and beverage experts will host daily wine tastings and seminars (additional charges apply), ABC’s “The Chew” returns to Epcot to tape a week’s worth of shows Oct. 4-6.
This year’s festival will also spotlight inspired dishes geared towards kids and offer scavenger hunts and culinary demos designed for the whole family.
Some 32 musical acts are set to perform during the popular Eat to the Beat concerts with returning fan favorites Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Air Supply and 38 Special, plus newcomers The Hooters, 10,000 Maniacs and Kenny G. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) or visit epcotfoodfestival.com for information and updates about booking premium culinary programs, dinners and tasting events such as the popular Party for the Senses.
Sporting events expand far beyond football this fall at Walt Disney World Resort with:
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Returns
The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend takes place Nov. 2-5. Presented by MISFIT, the event coincides with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The food- and fitness-inspired weekend includes runDisney Kids Races, a 5K and a 10K. The weekend concludes with the Sunday half marathon that takes participants through multiple Disney theme parks and culminates at Epcot. Later that night, runners enjoy a festive and exclusive after-hours party in the park.
Teams Compete at Pop Warner Super Bowl
Sixty-four of the top youth football teams in the nation compete in this week-long Super Bowl that takes place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Teams battle for national crowns in four divisions based on size and age, including Jr. Pee Wee (ages 8-11 yrs.), Pee Wee (9-12 yrs.), Jr. Varsity (10-13 yrs.) and Varsity (11-15 yrs.). This event coincides with the Pop Warner National Cheer & Dance Championships, bringing together thousands of cheerleaders from across the country to Walt Disney World Resort.
Photo: Tom Bricker.