Disney vacation adventures into fantastical realms continue coast to coast in fall 2009 as Disney Vacation Club (Disney Vacation Club) unveils home-like accommodations inspired by the architecture and style of a long-ago time … and adventuresome diners try the tastes of a faraway place in a new Disney restaurant.
With the scheduled fall opening of The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, vacationers at Disneyland Resort – whether Disney Vacation Club Members or overnight guests – will be able to unwind and stretch out in an environment that celebrates the influences of California’s renowned Arts & Crafts style of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Meanwhile, guests’ quest for adventure and exploration is further satisfied this fall at Walt Disney World Resort by the opening of Kouzzina by Cat Cora. The new restaurant will serve up Mediterranean-style cuisine that pays tribute to the chef’s Greek roots.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa expansion:The scheduled late-fall debut of 50 two-bedroom equivalent vacation villas marks Disney Vacation Club’s first accommodations on the West Coast and caps a year when Disney Vacation Club will have revived “treehouse living” at Walt Disney World Resort (Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa), immersed guests in the African experience … in Florida (Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge), and brought vacation ownership so close to Magic Kingdom (Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort) that families can blow Tinker Bell a kiss goodnight and use Cinderella Castle as their nightlight.
The villas are part of a Grand Californian expansion that also includes more than 200 new hotel rooms, a new swimming pool and underground valet parking – all within walking distance of the fantasy and fun of Disneyland Park, Disney’s California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney District.
Based on availability, guests can kick back in a Disney Vacation Club villa at the Grand Californian by calling the Disneyland Resort Reservation Sales Center at 714/520-5060, by visiting www.disneyland.com or by consulting a travel agent.
Kouzzina by Cat Cora opening at Walt Disney World Resort:Cat Cora, the first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s hit show “Iron Chef America,” is a Mississippi native born to a family of Greek restauranteurs. She draws on the generations of kitchen “know-how” handed down in that background of different and flavorful cultures – seasoned with training at the renowned Culinary Institute of America in New York – at Kouzzina (Greek for “kitchen” and pronounced “koo-zee-nah”).
Located in the space previously occupied by Spoodles at Disney’s BoardWalk, Kouzzina will serve fare that reflects Cora’s philosophy to create simple yet sensational meals. She says the restaurant will feature “time-honored recipes passed down from my ancestors, as well as my favorite Greek and Mediterranean dishes that my family loves.”
Kouzzina will serve breakfast and dinner. To make arrangements for a taste of Cora’s culinary magic, guests should call 407/WDW-DINE.
Also at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida:
From September into the holidays, Walt Disney World guests will discover a season filled with festivals and fun. As guests join in the spirit of Disney’s “What Will You Celebrate?” there are plenty of special ways to mark special personal occasions: food and wine, music, art, sports, Halloween and holiday mirth all serve as the theme for special events and festivals.
Here’s a snapshot of what’s in store:
14th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:During six entertainment-packed weeks Sept. 25-Nov. 8, Epcot guests can taste fine cuisine and wines from the top “foodie” cities of the world. Care for a taste of Camarões com Palmito (shrimp with palms) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil? Or how about a sip of the trendiest wine from Buenos Aires, Argentina? They are examples of the flavors of more than 25 international marketplaces from six continents that dot the World Showcase promenade during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
Tapas-sized portions of regional specialties run $2-to-$7 each, and recommended wines and beers make perfect pairings at each kiosk. Live regional entertainment is scheduled throughout each day along the promenade. Daily wine and beer tastings serve up sips from around the world, and culinary demonstrations dish up featured taste treats. A series of special culinary programs features a lineup of renowned winemakers, guest chefs and speakers participating in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.
Live music kicks the festival up several notches each evening during the Eat to the Beat! concert series featuring acts from many musical genres including classic rock, jazz, R&B, funk and soul. Scheduled to appear for the first time on the Eat to the Beat! stage are: Richard Marx, Better than Ezra, Vanessa Carlton, John Waite and Billy Ocean. Returning acts are Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Starship, En Vogue, Sister Hazel, Kool & The Gang, Spyro Gyra, Jon Secada, Sister Sledge, Taylor Dayne, Boyz II Men, Night Ranger and Los Lobos.
Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) for information and to make reservations for special events and programs. Festival details will be available by late July at www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine, and guests can book special events and programs beginning Aug. 11.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party:The ghosts and goblins are friendly on 24 hauntingly happy Magic Kingdom evenings between Sept. 4 and Nov. 1. Disney characters are decked out in their Halloween finest, and guests are invited to do the same at this popular after-hours event (7 p.m.-midnight). There’s trick-or-treating galore and a chance to experience many popular attractions plus two scheduled entertainment extravaganzas guests can see at no other time: Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween parade and the bewitching “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks spectacular.
Parties are slated for Sept. 4, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29, Oct. 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31 and Nov. 1. To purchase advance tickets, guests can call 407/W-DISNEY or visit www.disneyworld.com/halloween now. For most party dates, if tickets are purchased prior to event day, guests save $7 per ticket.
Disney’s Night of Joy:Multi-platinum Christian rock band P.O.D. will make its 2009 concert debut as part of a 14-act lineup for the 27yh Disney’s Night of Joy Sept. 11-12 at Walt Disney World Resort. The musically diverse contemporary Christian event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park also will feature MercyMe, newsboys, Skillet, Flyleaf, Chris Tomlin, Kutless, Jars of Clay, Grits, Leeland, NEEDTOBREATHE, Superchick, Mandisa and Family Force 5.
Seven acts will perform each evening between 7 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. at stage locations throughout the park. Night of Joy begins after regular park operating hours, with concerts and select park attractions available exclusively for the enjoyment of event ticket holders. All the details about tickets are available online at www.nightofjoy.com.
34th annual Festival of the Masters presented by Sharpie®:More than 150 award-winning artists who work in media from clay to wood, metal and mixed media to oils and watercolors – jewelry artists, painters, photographers, sculptors and more – will show off their works Nov. 13-15 at Downtown Disney during one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded juried art festivals.
A festival for art-lovers of all ages, the 34th annual ‘Masters’ includes live music and entertainment, chalk art sidewalk displays and family activities. Concurrently, House of Blues at Downtown Disney will present its 11th annual Folk Art Festival – Where Art Meets the Soul.
Festival hours are 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are complimentary. For more information about Festival of the Masters, guests may contact 407/824-4321 or visit disneyworld.com/artfestival.

Children’s Miracle Network Classic:The PGA TOUR returns to Walt Disney World Resort for the 39th consecutive year Nov. 12-15 when the Vacation Kingdom hosts the 2009 Children’s Miracle Network Classic. The final official-money event of the year, the Classic has a $4.7 million purse, including $846,000 for the winner.
In last year’s event, Davis Love III shot an 8-under 64 on the final round to narrowly hold off a late challenge from Tommy Gainey for a one-shot win. The victory, which served as Love’s 20th on tour, moved him into the No. 1 position in lifetime earnings at the Classic, passing Tiger Woods and Vijah Singh, and securing the fan favorite a lifetime exemption on the PGA TOUR.
The Children’s Miracle Network Classic, Central Florida’s longest-running professional golf event, is aimed at improving the lives of children. It is played just a pitch and a putt from Magic Kingdom on Disney’s Palm and Magnolia golf courses. The two Joe Lee-designed courses annually provide a competitive environment for the 128-player field, while spectators are treated to a backdrop of Florida woodlands and sparkling lakes. More information is available online by visiting www.childrensmiraclenetworkclassic.com.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party:On 18 select evenings in November and December, guests can experience the enchantment of Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle plus two special entertainment extravaganzas, “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” and the holiday-themed fireworks spectacular, “Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season,” during a special after-hours party inside the Magic Kingdom theme park.
The jingle-jolly event also features live Disney character stage shows, character greetings, cookies and cocoa, and even “snow” on Main Street, U.S.A. Plus, many of the most-popular Magic Kingdom attractions are open to guests during party hours (7 p.m.-midnight). Dates are: Nov. 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 29; Dec. 1, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 18. Admission to this event requires a separate ticket. To purchase advance tickets, guests can call 407/W-DISNEY or visit www.disneyworld.com now. For most party dates, if tickets are purchased prior to event day, guests save $7 per ticket.

Old Spice Classic:Eight of the nation’s top NCAA men’s basketball teams – including 2009 NCAA tournament participants Florida State, Marquette, Michigan and Xavier – will be in action at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex Thanksgiving weekend for 12 games in three days, Nov. 26, 27 and 29. This year’s Old Spice Classic also includes Baylor and Creighton, both participants in the 2009 National Invitational Tournament, as well as Alabama and Iona. Each team will compete in one game per day at The Milk House, with the two remaining undefeated teams meeting in the championship match Sunday, Nov. 29. For more information, visit www.oldspiceclassic.com.
Pop Warner Super Bowl:The nation’s top youth football teams and players will converge on Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex for the 53rd Pop Warner Super Bowl this December, marking the 15th consecutive year the football fest involving more than 60 teams is being held at Walt Disney World Resort.
To reach the Pop Warner Super Bowl, teams nationwide will battle their way through local and regional tournaments, earning the right to say “I’m Going to Disney World!” Teams are competing at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in four divisions based on size and age –
Jr. Pee Wee (ages 8-10), Pee Wee (9-11 yrs.), Jr. Midget (10-12 yrs.) and Midget (11-14 yrs.).
Playing Pop Warner football and dreaming of grownup football stardom isn’t far-fetched for some youth: Nearly 70 percent of current NFL players played Pop Warner football when they were kids – including stars such as Reggie Bush, Adrian Peterson, Donovan McNabb and Tim Tebow. For more information, visit www.popwarner.com.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K (and 5K):A nighttime road race that takes participants on a journey through Disney’s Hollywood Studios and into the “fifth dimension” returns to Walt Disney World Resort Oct. 24 with the third annual running of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K.
The “Tower” race is one of Disney’s premier themed-destination endurance events, attracting participants and spectators from all over the country, many of whom turn race day into an extended family vacation at Walt Disney World Resort. The event is complete with live entertainment, a themed “after party” and exclusive opportunities throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In addition, a 5K race has been added for 2009. For more information, visit www.disneyenduranceseries.com.
To learn more and make arrangements for vacations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida near Orlando, guests can visit www.disneyworld.com, call the Disney Reservation Center
(407/W-DISNEY) or consult with a travel agent. At www.disneyworld.com, guests can also register for free admission to a Walt Disney World theme park on their birthday in 2009.