Walt Disney World today previewed more of the new attractions that will be available at Epcot starting later this week.
We got a first look at the new Beauty and the Beast Sing Along last month during another Disney press event. Our correspondent at the preview today called it an inventive mix of the original animation and plenty of new bits, including new narration from Angela Lansbury, that make it an enjoyable stand-alone film. Plus, you get to sing in public, to the delight or torment of those around you.
Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along starts Friday and will play during the day while Impressions de France returns in the evenings. The specific hours for each show are 11am-7pm for Beauty and the Beast and 7:30pm-9pm for Impressions de France, which is now projected in 4K. The lobby of the France pavilion's theater is now presenting "Tales as Old as Time: French Storytelling on Stage and Screen," with displays of artwork and costumes from French theater, cinema, ballet and opera, some of which are on loan from Opera Orlando.
Today, Disney also previewed the new Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 film that also opens Friday. The new production stars Second City legends Catharine O'Hara and Eugene Levy and kicks off with amazing views of the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City. Celine Dion returns for her rendition of "O Canada," in addition to a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington. The movie takes full advantage of its 360-degrees projection to deliver a compelling geography lesson that might inspire many Epcot visitors to think about a trip to Canada in real life.
The third new movie at Epcot, Awesome Planet from The Land pavilion, was not ready to see today, but should be running by Friday, according to Disney.
Friday also marks the start of the annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Today, invited media sampled a few of the treats available at the Food Studios located around the park. The visual highlight was the Rose Panna Cotta from Masterpiece Kitchen, which begs to be posted to fans' social media.
It's a bit unwieldy to eat, though, and quite sweet. You can find a complete menu from the Food Studios on Disney's website.
More impressive was the live musical entertainment that visitors will find three times daily at the America Gardens Theatre, featuring Disney on Broadway performers. Here is the complete schedule:
January 17, 20, 21 and 24 – Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White (“The Lion King”)
January 18, 19, 22 and 23 – Heidi Blickenstaff (“The Little Mermaid”) and Gavin Lee (“Mary Poppins”)
January 25 – Special performance featuring Simmons, White, Blickenstaff and Lee
January 26, 28, 29; February 1, 2, 5 and 6 – Kara Lindsay (“Newsies”) and Kevin Massey (“Tarzan”)
January 27, 30, 31, February 3, 4, 7 and 8 – Liana Hunt (“Newsies”) and Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
February 9 – Special performance featuring Lindsay, Massey, Hunt and Jacobs
February 10, 12, 13, 18, 19, 22 and 23 – Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) and Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
February 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20 and 21 – Syndee Winters (“The Lion King”) and Michael James Scott (“Aladdin”)
February 24 – Special performance featuring Brown, Strickland, Winters and Scott
If you want to avoid the wait and get a reserved seat, Disney on Broadway Dining Packages are available for Biergarten Restaurant, Rose & Crown Dining Room, Coral Reef Restaurant, and Garden Grill Restaurant. Call +1-407-WDW-FEST or follow the link to reserve.
And you don't have to just watch. If you want to participate in creating art, there are many varied opportunities such as making “Handimals,” an interactive experience presented by Kaman’s Art Shoppes. The artist uses the guest’s handprint and creates an illustration around it for a unique gift to take home.
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts runs through February 24 at Walt Disney World.Tweet
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