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This week at Walt Disney World was a busy one, even though it was a holiday week. From the addition of two new upcharge experiences  at the Magic Kingdom to the confirmation of a new limited-time event at Epcot, and even some exciting news about Rivers of Light, there has been quite a lot going on at the resort over the past seven days!  

Programming note: Though we normally devote some time to Orlando-area parks outside Lake Buena Vista, there has been so much going on at Walt Disney World over the past seven days that we decided to forgo the “beyond” this week. You’ll hear about all the news from Universal Orlando Resort, Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando in next week’s update!

1. The Epcot International Festival of the Arts announced for 2017

Image: Disney

Earlier this week it was announced that there would be a new annual festival debuting at Epcot in 2017: the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. This new event will debut in just two months, kicking off in January 2017, and will include art demonstrations, broadway performances, and of course plenty of culinary treats to sample. You can read more about this event here

2. Epcot International Food and Wine Festival extended in 2017

Image: Disney

In even more news about special events at Epcot, dates were released this week for the 2017 edition of The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Interestingly, this year's event will be getting underway a full two weeks earlier than it did in 2016, now kicking off on August 31 and lasting until November 13, 2017 for a record 75 days in total, the longest (by far) this event has ever gone on for. We've got more on why Disney is extending thse events here

3. Rivers of Light Cast Member previews kick off 

Rivers of Light

Image: Disney

Cast Members at Disney's Animal Kingdom were able to attend previews of Rivers of Light over the weekend, which is a strong indication that this show will open to guests in the very near future. And while Disney has not yet made any official announcement about an opening date for the show since its delay earlier this year, with this latest development, we'd expect an announcement in the very near future. 

4. Moana moves into One Man's Dream at Disney's Hollywood Studios 

A brand new Moana meet and greet experience debuted this week inside the One Man's Dream attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Guests wanting to meet Moana will need to walk through the museum portion of this attraction, past the theater, and can then walk into a beachy alcove with a projected waterfall, where they can wait to meet Moana. It is currently unknown whether this is a permanent meet and greet space, or something temporary akin to the first Anna and Elsa meet and greet at Epcot back in 2013. 

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