Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a qualifying purchase, I will receive a small commission from those purchases.
The new year spells new excitement as 2014 heralds magical events, special openings and much more at Walt Disney World Resort and beyond. Here’s a look at what’s in store in the Vacation Kingdom from January through May:
Get Your Princess On! Feb. 20-23 Set for 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
Thousands of women will celebrate their inner princess at the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort, Feb. 20 – 23. The all-new Disney Enchanted 10K and Glass Slipper Challenge, running the 10K and and half marathon over the course of 2 days, join the runDisney Kids Races, the Cinderella Royal Family 5K and the Disney Princess Half Marathon to offer events for the entire family and all abilities. The women-focused Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo runs Feb. 20 – 22 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and features the latest in running fashions and technology as well as a speaker series with running experts. The Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney takes place Feb. 23 and will be the perfect event to celebrate a crowning achievement.
Play Ball! Atlanta Braves Spring Training Welcomes Top Teams to Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Atlanta Braves Spring Training returns to Walt Disney World in February and March with a slate of games featuring Major League Baseball’s top teams at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The 2014 schedule has yet to be released, but the list of Grapefruit League clubs that commonly visit Champion Stadium include the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and Detroit Tigers.
Guests also will be treated to game day entertainment and additional fan experiences in a way only Disney can do, from character appearances, to an exclusive On-Field Spectator Experience and kids running the bases after the game.
Kermit and Miss Piggy Topiaries Debut at 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 5 to May 18
Disney gardeners will paint the landscape with rainbows of blooms while Epcot chefs tempt guests with marketplace tastes during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 5 – May 18, 2014, at Walt Disney World Resort.
New in 2014, a floral Miss Piggy will join Kermit and his blooming banjo in the World Showcase topiary display. In the Epcot front entrance garden, Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck in larger-than-life topiary splendor will celebrate spring with a butterfly hunt adventure and welcome guests to the park. A new Timon topiary will join Pumbaa near the park’s outpost location between China and Germany.
The garden party continues for 75 days. After debuting in 2013, the food-and-beverage marketplaces will return with new menu items for Disney guests to enjoy, such as Piggylicious Bacon Cupcakes and a Barbecued Chicken Leg at the Smokehouse Barbecue Marketplace. As they sample from marketplace menus of gustatory delights, guests can wander among themed gardens and children’s play areas. Most gardens will be illuminated when the sun sets to extend the festival fun.
At the Festival Center, daily interactive gardening seminars will set the stage for outdoor do-it-yourself inspiration, and popular HGTV celebrities will headline weekend seminars filled with home, garden and design ideas.
Back by demand, the Disney-Pixar “Cars” garden and playground will bring favorite movie characters to life. Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House will be aflutter with hundreds of the winged beauties and intricate fairy topiaries including Tinker Bell and Periwinkle.
Two new acts will hit the stage at America Gardens Theatre during the 2014 Flower Power Concert Series: Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) and The Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”). Other pop acts set to perform include The Guess Who (“America Woman”), Chubby Checker & the Wildcats, The Village People, Paul Revere & The Raiders and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone. (Entertainment is subject to change.)
Dozens of Disney-crafted “flower towers,” herb gardens and beds of multi-colored blooms will add to the floral splendor of the park’s landscape. Disney’s garden gurus estimate 70,000 bedding plants will surround the Future World east and west lakes alone; on the water, 220 mini-gardens will be set afloat. Several special weekend happenings, including the popular Art in the Garden Weekend, will be scheduled.
The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.
Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine Slated for March 6-9; Inspires Teens to Dream Big at Walt Disney World Resort
Plans are under way for the 2014 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. U.S. high school students ages 13-19 participate in this innovative outside-the-classroom educational and mentoring program. The 2014 Disney Dreamers Academy, now in its seventh year, will take place March 6 – 9, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Disney Dreamers Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire and fuel the dreams of teens, help them discover a world of possibilities and help them prepare for the future. Annually, 100 U.S. high school students, selected from thousands of applications, embark on an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida for an immersive four-day program that inspires and fuels their dreams.
Both onstage and behind the scenes, the Disney theme parks become vibrant ‘classrooms,’ leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Motivational speakers and celebrities share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and DREAM BIG. Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain firsthand knowledge from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives.
Out-of-this-World Fun! Star Wars Weekends set for May and June 2014
Star Wars Weekends returns to the Walt Disney World Resort in May and June 2014, as Disney’s Hollywood Studios becomes Star Wars central for guests of all ages. Specific dates for the annual sci-fi fan-fest will be announced at a later date.
Each year, the power of the Force and magic of Disney combine as plenty of out-of-this-world characters – including Wookiees, droids, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Jedi – roam the streets of the theme park and pose in themed meet-and-greet areas. Guests can experience one of the largest Star Wars parades in the world during the day and then dance the night away at the surprise-filled “Hyperspace Hoopla.”
Jedi Training Academy, one of the interactive entertainment experiences at the theme park, is expanded during the event and allows young guests to learn from a Jedi Master before testing their newly acquired skills in a battle with Darth Vader or Darth Maul.
Also featured: the chance for fans to purchase one-of-a-kind and limited edition Star Wars memoribilia, Star Wars trivia and star conversations with Star Wars celebrities.
Event activities are included in regular theme park admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ready to Roll in Spring 2014
It “crowns” New Fantasyland – the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history – and there’s nothing “sleepy” about it. When it opens in spring 2014, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, inspired by the classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” will take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine” and through the rolling countryside surrounding the mine. A stone bridge over a creek leads guests to the entrance of the attraction. Just ahead: the rustic cottage of the Dwarfs. The family-style coaster will feature a first-of-its-kind train of ride vehicles mounted in cradle-like pivots that allow the cars to swing back and forth during the ride. The journey will be accompanied by music from the film and there’s a cast of animated figures of Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs and a collection of playful forest critters. An interactive queue will feature activities themed to mining.
Disney Magic Homeports in Port Canaveral, Offers New Itineraries for 2015
With all four Disney Cruise Line ships sailing from Florida ports in the early part of 2015, Disney’s private island Castaway Cay takes center stage. Every cruise departing from January to April includes a stop at Castaway Cay, a lush tropical island reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.
Bookings are now open to the public. Highlights from the Disney Cruise Line 2015 schedule include:
Caribbean and Bahamas from Port Canaveral — In 2015, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Port Canaveral to the Caribbean and Bahamas on a variety of itineraries.
- Three-night Bahamas sailings on the Disney Dream to Nassau and Castaway Cay (Jan. to April).
- Four-night Bahamas sailings on the Disney Dream to Nassau and Castaway Cay, including a day at sea to enjoy the one-of-a-kind Disney Cruise Line shipboard experience (Jan. to April).
- Seven-night Western Caribbean, including Key West aboard the Disney Magic, including Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Castaway Cay (Jan. to April).
Caribbean and Bahamas from Miami — In 2015, the Disney Wonder will sail from Miami on four-night Bahamian and five-night Western Caribbean cruises.
- Four-night Bahamas (Jan. to April).
- Five-night Caribbean, including Grand Cayman (Jan. to April).
- Five-night Caribbean, including Cozumel (Jan. to April).
Captain America Now Visiting Recruits Onboard Disney Magic
This spring or any time, a “Marvel”-ous awaits onboard the newly re-imagined Disney Magic. For the first time onboard a Disney Cruise ship, Captain America is greeting guests and young recruits, bringing Marvel’s Avengers Academy alive, and delighting kids of all ages.
The Oceaneer Club onboard the Disney Magic now plays host to Marvel’s Avengers Academy, where young crime-fighters are transported to a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) —a technologically advanced remote command post used by The Avengers for special missions and operations training.
Throughout the base, displays featuring some of the equipment that helps to make The Avengers earth’s mightiest heroes—Iron Man’s high-tech suit of armor, Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer—inspire super hero “recruits” through their academy missions. Marvel’s Avengers Academy is a multi-day, immersive entertainment experience for children, where they interact with Marvel characters and unleash their inner super heroes.
Marvel’s Avengers Academy centers on high-tech fun, with computer stations and a giant video wall to assist in their multi-day “training” and super hero missions. Special lighting and audio effects enhance the experience.
Siera is a Disney travel specialist. She would love to help you plan your next vacation at no cost to you so you can experience these exciting events this spring! Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.