By Courtney Potter
Walt Disney World Resort Announces Eat to the Beat Concert Series Lineup
Yes, it’s true: The Eat to the Beat Concert Series will be bringing the heat to the 2023 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival starting Thursday, July 27. Our pals at the Disney Parks Blog recently revealed a first look at the lineup of artists bringing sizzling sounds to the America Gardens Theatre!
Fan favorites including Sheila E. and Hanson are ready to serve up hits once again, while festival newcomers Orianthi, Phillip Phillips, The Bacon Brothers, We The Kings, and more bring new flavor to this year’s menu of talent. Speaking of talent, local bands will take the stage Tuesday through Thursday, so guests can enjoy delicious eats and fun beats all week long! Check out the full list of announced artists below:
July 28-29: Orianthi (NEW)
July 30-31: For King & Country (NEW)
August 4-5: Southern Avenue
August 6-7: Tiffany
August 11-12: Ruben Studdard with Haley Reinhart
August 13-14: The Bacon Brothers (NEW)
August 18-21: Joey Fatone & Friends
August 25-26: Ayron Jones (NEW)
August 27-28: Phillip Phillips (NEW)
September 1-2: Baha Men
September 3-4: MercyMe
September 8-9: Ray Parker Jr.
September 10-11: TobyMac
September 15: Celebrity Latin Talent
September 16: Celebrity Latin Talent
September 17-18: Raul Acosta and Oro Solido (NEW)
September 22-23: Los Amigos Invisibles
September 24-25: 98°
September 29–October 2: Boyz II Men
October 6-7: Mark Wills
October 8-9: Sugar Ray
October 13-14: Hoobastank
October 15-16: Air Supply
October 20-21: Taylor Dayne
October 22-23: Billy Ocean
October 27-30: Hanson
November 3-4: We The Kings (NEW)
November 5-6: Sheila E.
November 10-11: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
November 12-13: 38 Special
Beginning Thursday, July 6, secure your spot for these performances with an Eat to the Beat Dining Package. Find out more by visiting TasteEPCOT.com. To experience the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, guests must have both valid admission and a park reservation for EPCOT on the same date.
American Idol Reveals the Top 5’s “Disney Night” Songs
It’s been an amazing season thus far… and now, we’re just about to celebrate one of our favorite American Idolevents: “Disney Night”!
This Sunday, May 14, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC, celebrate the magic of Disney as the Top 5 perform Disney classics live—and America votes for the Top 3. Plus, Sara Bareilles will open the show with a special rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star”; Hollywood Records recording artist Sofia Carson will mentor the contestants at Disneyland Resort; and Halle Bailey will perform “Part of Your World” from the upcoming film The Little Mermaid, in theaters May 26.
The “Disney Night” performers and songs are:
- Colin Stough – “Real Gone” (Cars) / “Nobody Knows” (Pete’s Dragon)
- Iam Tongi – “Lava” (Lava) / “Father and Son” (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)
- Megan Danielle – “Carried Me With You” (Onward) / “You Can’t Stop the Girl” (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil)
- Wé Ani – “Into the Unknown” (Frozen 2) / “The Climb” (Hannah Montana: The Movie)
- Zachariah Smith – “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” (The Lion King) / “Life Is a Highway” (Cars)
Watch episodes of American Idol on demand and on Hulu the day following their premieres.
President Biden Hosts American Born Chinese Screening
With the premiere of American Born Chinese just over the horizon, President Joe Biden recently hosted a special screening of the Disney+ Original series as part of the largest Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month celebration at the White House, in partnership with The Asian American Foundation.
Academy AwardⓇ-winning actor and series co-star Ke Huy Quan joined President Biden to kick off the event. “This is a show about that very crossroads—between storybook fantasy and real-world struggle,” Quan said. “It tells the tale of an immigrant family, with an American son, finding their way, forging their own path, and dealing with all the highs and lows of that difficult journey. It’s about the blending of cultures, influences, and values into a new American identity. And most of all… it’s about family.”
Also in attendance were stars Ben Wang, Yeo Yann Yann, Chin Han, Daniel Wu, Jimmy Liu, and Sydney Taylor, as well as the series’ creative team: executive producer and author Gene Luen Yang, executive producer and director Destin Daniel Cretton, series creator and showrunner Kelvin Yu, and executive producers Melvin Mar, Jake Kasdan, and Erin O’Malley. Peyton Elizabeth Lee and Alex Aiono, stars of the Disney+ Original series Doogie Kamealoha, M.D., were also among the many distinguished guests.
Biden commented on the evening, saying, “Nights like these are a reminder of the power of stories.” To see footage of Quan and Biden’s remarks, click here.
Look for American Born Chinese on Disney+ beginning May 24!
5 Fantastic Things to Watch This Weekend Presented by State Farm®
As per usual, there’s a ton of fun content to check out this weekend from around the worlds of Disney. Kick off this lovely mid-May sojourn with a new episode of The Ghost and Molly McGee on Disney Channel and Disney XD; a special presentation of Brave on Freeform; an all-new episode of BUNK’D: Learning the Ropes on Disney Channel; and more where that came from…
Reservation and Other Updates from Walt Disney World Resort
Earlier this week, our friends at Walt Disney World Resort announced some big changes coming in 2024—including easing reservation requirements, bringing back dining plans, and simplifying the Genie+ experience.
Starting with park visits on January 9, 2024, theme park reservations will no longer be required for date-based tickets. When purchasing a ticket, guests simply select a start date for January 9, 2024, or later, complete the purchase, and they’ll be all set! Date-based tickets are the standard ticket option offered to guests; for other admission types, including non-dated tickets, theme park reservations may be required to continue managing attendance. To check which admission types require park reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/ThemeParkReservations.
In addition, 2024 will bring select days on which Annual Passholders and Disney cast members may visit Walt Disney World theme parks without needing a park reservation. Once introduced, these “good-to-go” days will be rolled out by the resort on an ongoing basis. This will be in addition to the recent update that offers Passholders the opportunity to visit the theme parks after 2 p.m. without needing a park reservation, except on Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park. Good-to-go days vary by park, and pass block-out dates and capacity limitations continue to apply as they do today.
But that’s not all: Two popular Disney dining plans will return as options for those staying at Disney Resort hotels who purchase a vacation package, starting with stays beginning January 9, 2024, which will open for bookings on May 31. And there will be new ways to plan with Disney Genie+ service (including individual Lightning Lane selections) before the day of a guest’s park visit.
To see more about these updates, check out the Disney Parks Blog—and stay tuned for more info!