As the weather cools down this fall, entertainment at Walt Disney World Resort heats up with new experiences offering guests a chance to strike up fun at a new bowling and entertainment complex, immerse themselves in the world of Jack Sparrow, become automotive designers, see zebras up close on safari, and much more.
Here’s a look at what’s in store…
Splitsville: bowling re-imagined
The age-old image of bowling is about to change with the new opening of Splitsville, America’s Bowling Alley, at Downtown Disney West Side this fall.
Splitsville’s 50,000 square feet, two-story location will be unlike traditional bowling alleys — with 30 lanes separated into several clusters to create a one-of-a-kind perspective immersed in hip and retro elements. The Downtown Disney location also will boast billiard tables, live entertainment, a dramatic balcony and ample outdoor seating.
Placing a whole new spin on the bowling experience with its emphasis on unique design, Splitsville will greet guests with upscale sushi bars, plush booths and dynamic decor overlooking the bowling lanes. Between strikes and spares, guests can feast on menu items including hand-tossed pizza, fresh-rolled sushi, grilled mahi-mahi with “Voodoo” shrimp and hand-cut filets alongside alley-classics such as cheeseburgers and crinkle-cut fries served right at the lane. For more information, visit www.splitsvillelanes.com.
Enjoy ‘best’ eats and sips from around the world
New vegan and fresh-from-Florida dishes will debut along with international bites and sips at the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 28-Nov. 12. The 46-day culinary event — named one of the “Best Food and Wine Festivals” on the Travel Channel web site – adds an extra day of festival fun this year and rocks the park with top music acts during daily Eat to the Beat! pop concerts.
Authentic Taste seminars, HGTV home-entertaining presentations and most event experiences are included with regular Epcot admission. To book special festival programs like Mixology Seminars, Culinary Demonstrations and the Party for the Senses grand tasting events, guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378). Information for select events and programs will be updated periodically this summer at www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine.
Design, then test drive! The new Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
A re-imagined, design-centric Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will debut in fall with a sleek new “Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot.” Amid upbeat music, engaging media, dramatic lighting and a collection of Chevrolet concept cars and model vehicles, guests themselves will become automotive designers and create their own custom concept vehicles.
The adventure will then shift into high gear as guests buckle into their 6-person “SimCar” ride vehicle and put their design through its paces on the exhilarating hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit. Their performance testing complete, guests will move into a post-show area filled with special effects and be scored on how well their custom concept vehicle did.
The Test Track refurbishment is part of a new multi-year alliance with General Motors. As Chevrolet marks its 100th anniversary, the new alliance agreement enables General Motors to tell its story in new and exciting ways to millions of guests from around the world and continue as the official vehicle sponsor of Walt Disney World Resort.
Swashbucklin’ this Fall: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow
The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow debuts this fall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, giving Walt Disney World Resort guests a chance to become immersed in the world of the four “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.
Aspiring pirates will experience the story of Jack Sparrow like never before to discover if they have what it takes to join Captain Jack’s crew.
The attraction will be included with theme park admission and will be located in Soundstage 4, former space of Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Kilimanjaro Safaris: From A to Zebra
Zebra at Disney’s Animal Kingdom welcome guests on Kilimanjaro Safaris to their new home in fall 2012. A reconstructed savannah space featuring a new watering hole for live animals will offer an additional viewing opportunity at the end of guests’ expedition through Africa.
Tricks, Hits and more as fall favorites return to Walt Disney World
Now in its 30th year, Night of Joy returns to Magic Kingdom Park with a contemporary Christian music festival Sept. 7-8. Headlining this after-hours event in 2012 will be Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, NEEDTOBREATHE, MercyMe, Third Day and Kutless along with 10 other inspiring singers in a variety of genres. While artists perform at several stages, many popular attractions also are available for guests. Event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each evening and require a special ticket. Additional information is available at www.nightofjoy.com.
A family-friendly fright-fest in Magic Kingdom featuring a children’s parade, trick-or-treating throughout the park, face painting, and more, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a Halloween-themed special event held on 23 select evenings Sept. 11-Nov. 2. Purchase of an additional admission ticket is required to attend. More information: Disneyworld.com
RunDisney double-dares guests to brave dark and ghostly streets haunted by Disney villains in The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend Sept. 28-29. The newly created 10-mile race takes place in and around Disney’s Hollywood Studios with thrilling rides operating late into the night. The weekend includes the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash, kids’ races and a family fun run 5K at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. For more information, visit runDisney.com.
A hole-in-one for children
The PGA TOUR returns to Walt Disney World Resort for the 42nd Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Nov. 8-11. The Fall Series event, held annually at the Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses, features some of the world’s top golfers playing in one of the resort’s longest-running traditions.
A popular destination for golfers and their families, the Classic serves as the season finale for the PGA TOUR, and the final opportunity for golfers on the threshold to play their way into the Top 125 on the money list. Additionally, the pro-am format has recently been headlined by popular names such as Johnny Damon, Ray Allen, Doc Rivers and Jerome Bettis. For more information, visit: http://classic.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org
The ultimate “runners’ night out”
With a start under the stars, the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon takes runners through the theme parks with world-class Disney entertainment along the way to help the miles fly by. After finishing, runners and their guests can celebrate their accomplishment at an exclusive after-hours party inside the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. The weekend, Nov. 9-10, also includes kids’ races, a family fun run 5K and a health and fitness expo. For more information, visit runDisney.com.
Come alive with color
Downtown Disney invites guests to the 37th Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels Nov. 9-11. This outdoor fine arts show features more than 150 juried Fine Artists and over 40 Emerging Masters, offering one-of-a-kind selections in jewelry, paintings, clay, glass and eight additional categories. Plus, live entertainment, interactive activities for kids and families and unique food offerings. Additional information can be found at disneyworld.com/downtowndisney