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All About Character Dining At Walt Disney World!

Character dining at Walt Disney World transforms your meal into an experience and a vacation memory your family will always cherish! Here are a few of the reason why choosing a character meal can enhance your next Disney vacation!

Skip The Line

The Disney characters are truly celebrities! Everyone wants to get an autograph from their hero and take a picture with their favorite princess! Due to how popular the characters are the lines to meet the characters can often be pretty long. When you choose a character meal you get VIP access to meeting the characters in a much more personal way.

 

See More Characters 

The great thing about character meals is that there are always multiple characters you get to meet and interact with throughout your meal. If you were to wait in line for a character in the parks often times that meet and greet experience just features that one character. So for every character you would want to see you need to wait in another queue. With character dining you are most often meeting upward of 6-8 characters all while in the relaxed setting of enjoying your meal. You can save your family hours of time by meeting all your favorite characters this way rather than spending time in lines.

 

More Personal Experience 

With character meals, you have the opportunity to interact with character in a more intimate setting as opposed to a quick photo-op in the park. During character dining meals, the characters take a lot more time with each group making for many more memories that you and your party will always remember!

 

Now that we have covered some of the great reasons to choose a character dining experience, now let’s talk about the different character meals available at Walt Disney World!

All of the Character meals are different and each provides something unique as far as atmosphere, cuisine, theming and even down to which characters you get to meet. Now we will break down each character meal currently available at Walt Disney World so you can pick your favorite for your next trip!

 

Cinderella’s Royal Table 

Characters: Princesses

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Cinderella’s Royal Table is one of the most sought after reservation at Disney World. This dining experience is like no other, the restaurant is actually located upstairs inside Magic Kingdom’s icon, Cinderella’s Castle! When you dine here you are sure to feel like royalty! Throughout your meal you will meet some of your favorite Disney princesses! The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a pre-fix menu with a great variety of options for everyone. Cinderella’s Royal Table is the most popular character meal in Disney World and reservations go fast. If you are interested in booking a reservation be sure to book as soon as your 180 days reservation window is open. Your Kingdom Magic Agent can assist you in making your reservations as soon as they become available to help guarantee you get in to all the place you want to go.

Tiana’s Riverboat Party – Ice Cream Social and viewing party 

Meals: Dessert party

Characters: Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen

In this unique experience Tiana and Naveen from Disney Princess and the Frog, invent you aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat for an unforgettable party! The experience includes ice cream, topping and more sweet treats. The fun doesn’t stop there the dining experience also gives you VIP seating for the Magic Kingdom’s festival of Fantasy parade! From atop the Mark Twain Riverboat you are sure to have the best seat in the house to view this magical procession!

The Crystal Palace 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Characters: Winnie the Pooh Characters

The Crystal Palace is located right at the end of Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. The restaurant’s theming is Inspired by Victorian greenhouses of the late 1800s, the restaurant features an array of topiaries and tropical palms, the perfect backdrop for meeting some of your favorite characters from the hundred-acre-woods. The restaurant serves a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Garden Grill

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Characters: Classic Characters

The Garden Grill is located in the land pavilion in Epcot. This restaurant has one of the most unique views! Why? Because the view is always changing! As you dine the entire restaurant actually, very slowly is rotating around. At one point, you even have a view overlooking the Living with the Land boat ride! This restaurant is a family style meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Classic character such as Mickey Mouse, Chip and Dale and Goofy can be spotted here! (Character offerings subject to change)

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Characters: Disney Princesses

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is located at the Norway Pavilion inside Epcot. The restaurant transports you inside of a medieval castle with beautiful cathedral ceilings and breathtaking archways. You can start your day here with American Breakfast favorites served family style. Or join your favorite princess for lunch or dinner and enjoy Norwegian-inspired fare. During lunch and dinner guest get to begin their meal with a visit to the buffet where they will find some Scandinavian starters, and then visitors will also get to select a hot entree. Child menu options are also available so everyone in your party will find something they enjoy.

Hollywood and Vine

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Characters: Disney Junior Characters or Classic Characters

Located in Hollywood Studios, Hollywood and Vine serves a great buffet-style meal with an abundance of offering. Your little ones will love meeting their favorite Disney Junior Characters during a memorable breakfast buffet. The restaurant also does seasonal characters dining experiences that feature the Classic Characters during lunch and dinner. Starting early September you can partake in Minnie’s Halloween Dine, and come early November Minnie’s Holiday Dine. During these seasonal meals you can meet Classic Characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy all decked out in either there Halloween costumes or there Christmas finery! (Characters subject to change)

Tucker House

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Characters: Classic Characters

Animal Kingdom is home to Tusker House. Here you can meet some of the Classic Characters in their adorable safari outfits! The food here is a buffet-style and offers a great mix of both traditional favorites and also for the adventurous eater, some delicious African-influenced items! To enhance your experience even more Tusker House offers a Rivers of Light dining package that gives you reserved seating for Animal Kingdom’s new nighttime water projection show!

1900 Park Fare 

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Characters: Disney Characters or Cinderella Characters

Located at Disney deluxe Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, 1900 Park Fare offers an amazing buffet spread that is fit for royalty. During breakfast guest can be part of the

Supercalifragilistic Breakfast! This experience allows you to meet some more rare characters, including the Mad Hater, Alice and even Mary Poppins! As Mary Poppins herself would state, this meal is “practically perfect in every way!”

During dinner, you can step into the story of Cinderella and meet characters from the beloved tale during Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner.  Prince Charming, the Step-Mother, Step-Sister and of course Cinderella herself are a few of the characters that guests get to meet. (Character appearances subject to change)

Chef Mickey’s 

Meals: Breakfast, Brunch or Dinner

Characters: Classic Characters

Located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s is a fun buffet meal for the whole family! Meet the Classic Disney Characters as you enjoy a buffet of American favorites! This restaurant offers breakfast, brunch and dinner.

Ohana

Meals: Breakfast

Characters: Lilo and Stitch Characters

Ohana is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but breakfast is extra special because breakfast here is a Characters meal! Located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort you feel as though you have been transported to the beautiful Hawaiian islands! Ohana brings alive the spirit of the Hawaiian culture. During breakfast you can meet Lilo and Stitch! These characters are very rare to find in the parks so if you are a fan of the film this meal is a must-do!

(Character subject to change)

Cape May Cafe

Meals: Breakfast

Characters: Classic Characters

Located at Disney Beach Club Resort, this New England-style, beachside setting restaurant is the perfect backdrop for a Disney Character breakfast! Meet your favorite Disney Classic Characters adorned in their Tropical-Vacations attire, all while enjoying an all you care to enjoy buffet!

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ 

Meals: Dinner Show

Characters: Classic Characters

Located at Disney Fort Wilderness campground join Mickey and the gang for Dancing and a delicious barbeque buffet. This dining experience is interactive and filled with fun!

Trattoria al Forno

Meals: Breakfast

Characters: Tangled and Little Mermaid Characters

Located at Disney Boardwalk Resort this restaurant offers the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast! Jump-start your morning with a hearty breakfast featuring beloved Characters from some of your favorite Disney fairytales. Familiar faces from popular animated tales such as Tangled and The Little Mermaid will be drifting through the restaurant and stopping by your table to meet you while you dine on delicious morning staples. Here you can meet character such as Ariel, Prince Eric, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.

Choosing a Character meal for your next Trip to Walt Disney World is sure to create lasting memories for your entire family!

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail 2017!

Disney Springs located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida is home to a wide array of wonderful shops and restaurants. With so much to see and do you can easily spend a day during your vacation relaxing, shopping and dining at Disney Springs!

During the Christmas season Disney Springs becomes even more magical with special holiday offerings! The most popular among these festive additions… The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail!

The Tree Trail is a pathway lined with beautiful Christmas trees and each tree is themed to a different Disney character or film! The Tree Trail was first introduced last year and was an instant hit! This year it is back by popular demand and is more than doubled in size from its original year. The team at Disney does a wonderful job creating decorations that perfectly portray our favorite Disney stories!

Trees that can be spotted on the 2017 Tree Trail include:

Mickey and Minnie Tree

Pluto Tree

Sleeping Beauty Tree

The Little Mermaid Tree

The Princess and the Frog Tree

Beauty and the Beast Tree

Frozen Tree

Snow White Tree

Cinderella Tree

Pinocchio Tree

101 Dalmatians Tree

Fantasia Tree

Villains Tree

Robin Hood Tree

Dumbo Tree

Tangled Tree

Peter Pan Tree

Lilo And Stitch Tree

The Jungle Book Tree

The Muppets Tree

Mulan Tree

Mary Poppins Tree

Alice in Wonderland Tree

Each tree is themed perfectly with excellent attention to detail. The Sleeping Beauty tree is covered in gorgeous colorful flowers and balls or yarn that give a nod to the iconic spinning wheel from the movie. The Little Mermaid tree looks just as though Ariel herself decorated it using all her treasures she has collected under the sea! The princess and the frog tree has a New Orleans feel, featuring Mardi Gras beads and masks. The Beauty and the Beast tree has Mrs. Pots, Cogsworth, Lumiere and the whole gang represented as beautiful stained-glass ornaments. The Tangled tree includes Rapunzel’s tiny sidekick Pascal hidden on it, as well as her infamous frying pan from the film!

Walking the trail is sure to put you and your family in the spirit of the season! The trails atmosphere is complete with a soundtrack of Christmas music and with a little Disney magic it even snows in the middle of Florida!

Keep an eye out for a featured ornament on each tree, it is showcased in a glass lantern and is a Disney Parks ornament that you can buy in the nearby Days of Christmas shop and take home for your own tree! This is a great way to get ideas for your own holiday decorating and start a new family tradition!

The Disney Spring’s Christmas Tree Trail is a must see attraction when visiting Disney World this Christmas season! Come take a closer look at some of these amazing trees in our YouTube video!

Favorite Quick Service in Magic Kingdom!

While in Magic Kingdom inevitably you are going to work up an appetite from a day filled with rides, shows and fun! The Magic Kingdom park has several highly popular restaurants such as the sought-after Cinderella’s Royal Table, here you can dine with royalty inside the famous Cinderella Castle. Be Our Guest Restaurant is another favorite for Beauty and the Beast fans, here you step inside the story with French influenced cuisine and dining rooms perfectly themed with details from the film. Crystal Palace on the corner of Main Street USA offers character dining with the lovable Winnie the Pooh characters and includes a wonderful buffet spread to fill you up before hitting the parks again.

These table service restaurants are a great experience to add to your day at the Magic Kingdom, but if you are looking for a faster and less expensive option then we know you will also have a great experience at a Disney quick service restaurant. When many people think of theme park fast food they think about just burgers and fries. Disney does quick service much differently! At a Disney quick-service location you can enjoy many gourmet options and even some unique menu offerings. Quick Service locations are also themed to the area of the park they are in and just like with everything Disney does, you feel immersed in the backstory and environment. Cosmic Rays Starlight Café in Tomorrowland feels like a futuristic space center. Pecos Bills in Frontierland will immerse you in an old western salon featuring delicious Mexican cuisine. Columbia Harbour House located in Liberty Square is another great choice, here in this colonial themed quick service location you can enjoy great seafood items such as the lobster roll or the New England clam chowder.

Now it’s time for my pick for the best quick service at Magic Kingdom! Drum roll please….. Pinocchio Village Haus! Located in Fantasyland this restaurant is themed with touches from, you guessed it… Pinocchio! There are two main reason that I have named Pinocchios’ my favorite quick service.

Reason #1: The food! I love the menu offerings at Pinocchio Village Haus! Pinocchio’s is known for their artisan flatbreads. You can choose from the sausage and pepperoni flatbread, pepperoni flatbread, classic cheese flatbread or my favorite the caprese flatbread! I have had the caprese flatbread several times before and it has always been a winner for me and the portion sizes are very generous. I would say that a flatbread here is definitely shareable for two people. Pinocchio Village Haus also features menu items such as the chicken caesar salad, chicken parmesan pasta, chicken parmesan sandwich, penne pasta and marinara, and chicken breast nuggets.

Reason #2: The atmosphere! The second reason I love this quick service location is for the atmosphere. For a quick service location, you can make this meal an experience if you know just where to grab a table! There are two spots I like to head for to get a table when eating here. The first is on the main floor where you order and pick up your food. Head to the back of the restaurant and you will find a wall of glass windows that overlook the It’s a small World attraction! There are about 6 tables directly against the window that you can experience this unique view. If you can grab a table here do it! It is so relaxing to enjoy your meal as you watch the Small World boats float past. My other favorite spot to sit here is a little less known and is an absolute hidden gem! Toward the center of the restaurant you will find an unmarked staircase. Head upstairs and you will find a second level of seating and even an upstairs deck that looks out into fantasyland. In my experience this has always been a more quiet and relaxing spot to sit because many guest do not know you can go up the staircase.  There is not much signage advertising the additional seating. I have even had an experience where my family and I where the only guest dining on the upper deck!

There are a lot of places to dine in the Magic Kingdom but if you are looking to save time and some money head to a quick service location.  Happy eating!!!

Despicable Me, Shrek, Madagascar and Holiday Favorites Spread the Cheer in the New Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

Despicable Me, Shrek, Madagascar and Holiday Favorites Spread the Cheer in the New Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

The new Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s is unlike any other parade that has been at Universal Orlando Resort.

We have 16 new balloons that will soar above you, 13 of which were exclusively designed for us by Macy’s, the global leader in balloon entertainment. And let me just say right now: the Dronkeys from Shrek are adorable (more to come on them later)!

These 15 floats are HUGE. Each float has an astonishing lighting display and unique details to each theme.

Despicable Me, Shrek, Madagascar and Holiday Favorites Spread the Cheer in the New Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

Jingle All the Way With the Minions

The Minions are bringing mayhem to the holidays this year. You’ll hear them sing their own rendition of Jingle Bells as they attempt to decorate a Christmas tree. Look up and you’ll see Bob the Minion balloon chase after his favorite teddy bear, Tim. You’ll also see Lucy (for the first time ever), Gru and his daughters spreading holiday cheer.

Santa Claus is Coming to Madagascar

Up next, King Julien and the Madagascar crew are inviting you to a tropical holiday party. The Penguins are searching for Santa Claus, followed by King Julien who has gifted himself a giant pineapple balloon. The last float showcases Alex, Gloria, Marty and Melman celebrating the holidays like only they can.

Celebrate the Most Wonderful Time of Year with Shrek  

Shrek, Fiona and their baby ogres are also celebrating the holidays in their swamp. Gingy leads the festivities from above with his gingerbread house float below. Donkey follows right behind with an assortment of gifts. Lastly, Shrek and Fiona share a massive float with Dragon while two of her Dronkey babies fly above.

Here Comes Santa Claus…With His Elves

Holiday favorites are also returning with a brand new look. Santa’s elves are inviting you into the workshop where you’ll see all your favorite toys come to life. Following close behind is Santa Claus himself. Santa’s float is beautiful when it lights up with all the reindeer!

Having a performance background, I’m also really excited about the choreography in this parade. We have more than 100 performers and every one of them has a unique personality that ties to their character’s theme.

Also new to the parade this year is the musical score—and Santa will be making it snow throughout the parade.

You can watch the parade near the end of your park day in Universal Studios Florida. Check the Official Universal Orlando Resort App or your park map for the parade start time when you visit.

The parade is just one of the exciting new elements coming to this year’s Holidays celebration at Universal Orlando Resort.

The festivities start on Saturday, Nov. 18 and run through Jan. 6. Start writing your Christmas list and add Holidays at Universal Orlando to it. You won’t want to miss it!

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season is here. And at Disney Springs, it’s not only here, but bigger and better than ever. That goes for everything from holiday shopping
to entertainment, and of course, to the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail!

Back for its second year, the Tree Trail now boasts 25 Disney-inspired trees, including ten
additions featuring iconic characters. Wondering what’s new? Peter Pan, Robin Hood, Sleeping
Beauty, Pinocchio, Snow White, Dumbo, Fantasia, and Lady and the Tramp now take center
stage with trees themed to these beloved stories. There’s also a tree featuring an assortment of
ornaments that are all available at the nearby Disney’s Days of Christmas store. (Tip: look for
the featured ornament on ALL the trees, housed inside a special display lantern; most are
available for purchase, while supplies last.) And one of my favorites—the Disney Springs
Tree—showcases the many retail brands here on property – one look reminds me that I can
pretty much complete all of my Christmas shopping without leaving property.

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

Call me a traditionalist, but in spite of the many options, my top pick is still the classic Mickey
and Minnie tree. That’s the beauty of the expanded Tree Trail – there really is something for
everyone!

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

Based on the popularity of this new seasonal staple, hours have been extended an additional
hour every Friday and Saturday and also on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Tree Trail is
offered through the holiday season, and will run through January 7, 2018. The updated
operating hours are as follows:

Monday – Thursday:   12 pm to 10 pm
Friday – Saturday:  10 am to 11 pm
Sunday:  10 am to 10 pm
Christmas Eve, 12/24:  10 am to 11 pm
Christmas Day, 12/25:  10 am to 11 pm

From my family to yours, have a very Happy Holiday and awesome New Year!

What You Didn’t Know About Watching Disney’s Happily Ever After Fireworks | New Tips

There’s a new nightly fireworks show at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom called Happily Ever After and you want the best viewing experience possible. What do you need to do?  Start with throwing out all the “tried and true advice” from friends who had seen Wishes, the blog posts you’ve read about Wishes and any type of advice that dates back to the old fireworks show. Happily Ever After is a whole new type of show with a new set of rules.
This is a show that you’re going to want to see more than once if you can. There is so much fighting for your attention, in a good way, that there’s no way you can take it in one time. I found myself watching the projections so much that I would forget about the fireworks, then I would focus on that and miss the projections.
Here are 5 Suggestions for a having a Happy, Happily Ever After Viewing Experience….
1. It’s essential that choose a location in the hub area so you have a full view of the castle and all it’s turrets. What do I mean by the hub? The park is laid out in a hub and spoke design, with the Partner’s Statue of Mickey and Walt in the Center. You want to locate yourself in the yellow area below.
Why: With Wishes, the fireworks and Jiminiy Cricket told the store and any castle projections were icing on the cake. It’s the exact opposite with Happily Ever After. The castle projections are essential to the story, with the fireworks in more of a supporting role. We had a spot back by Main Street Ice Cream Parlor and there were times when the story was a little disjointed because we couldn’t see all the projections on the castle to know what was going on.
2. If you really want to see Happily Ever After, don’t try to watch it from Fantasyland. With Wishes, you used to be able to get a good view of the show, not missing a lot from the back side of the castle if you were in Fantasyland…not anymore. You would miss about 90% of the show this way, again, because the projections are now telling the story. You won’t see any of this from Fantasyland.
3. Be considerate of those around you, everyone wants to see the show. If you put your children up on your shoulders, you’re basically saying, “I don’t care about anyone behind me being able to see”. Admit it, you would be upset if your child’s view was blocked….remember, everyone is there for a good time, you all spent the money to come, instead, get there a little earlier and head to a viewing location where doing something like this isn’t necessary. It’s safer for your child anyway if they are not up on your shoulders, perched on a rail someplace etc. Consider instead holding them up in your arms…it’s a safer alternative if they can’t see from the ground.
4. If this is a vacation that your family will take only every other year or couple years, I understand…Disney can be expensive, but you want to give your family the best experience. So consider booking a Fireworks Dessert Party to guarantee your family a great viewing location and a special treat. There are currently 2 dessert party options for Happily Ever After. The Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party gives you access to a dessert buffet and viewing from the Tomorrowland Terrace locations. The Plaza Garden Fireworks viewing party gives you access to the same dessert buffet, but then you are guided to a viewing location out in the plaza garden area to see the fireworks show. This is a less expensive options because it will involve standing only. Now you have a great location, you can relax and you’re not fighting the crowds.
5. For the sanity and enjoyment of everyone around, TURN OFF YOUR FLASH on your camera or phone. The flash is good for about 4 feet..it’s not going to help, it’s just going to annoy everyone around you. Don’t hold your phone up over your head the whole time either to record the show. Again, you’re just annoying everyone else, and you’re going to be so focused on recording that you’re going to miss the whole show you waited to see. Don’t watch it through your phone, watch it “in the moment”.
Grab your family, grab your friends or grab that special someone and head over to Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom to experience the new show. In fact, I loved the song enough to download it from ITunes!

 


Blogger, Traveler, Wife, Runner….I’m known as many different things.  But I’m here to be your Travel Professional.  Ever since I was a little girl I had an interest in travel. I would collect the postcards books that my grandparents brought back to me from their travels and I kept them in a special box that I loved to pull out and flip through. As I traveled with my family I started collecting postcards on my own and pictures, maps, and other mementos of my travels.

Believe it or not, I still have those postcards and every once in awhile I’ll bring them out and flip through smiling at the memories they bring back. Although I might not collect postcards anymore I collect photos, stories and information on my travels. I love to soak up a destination, reveling in the local food life. I absolutely love sharing my travel stories, foodie moments and special encounters.

Carrie@MustLoveTravel.com
(321) 323 – 9835

Why Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort?!

Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort can enhance your vacation with perks, convenience and also a little extra layer of magic! Staying on-site gives you extra opportunities that only resort guest can take advantage of. Here are just a few of the benefits you will experience when staying at a Walt Disney World Resort:

 

Proximity  

The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida is over 40 square miles. The resort truly is an entire world of its own! With 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, Disney Springs, the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, and hundreds of restaurants and shops, the Disney property has something for everyone! The massive resort is also home to over 30 themed Disney Resort hotels. Staying at a Disney Resort on-property allows you to make the most out of your vacation time with easy access to everywhere on-property. Staying off site, you lose so much precious time by having to commute on and off Disney property each day of your trip.

 

Transportation

Staying on-site at a Disney Resort you can enjoy the benefit of utilizing the Disney transportation system. All Disney Resorts have buses that can take you directly to all of the theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs and many other locations on Disney property. Some resorts even offer boat transportation to and from the parks! If you stay in the Magic Kingdom Resort area you can even take a monorail straight from your resort to the front gates of the Magic Kingdom park!

 

Magical Express

On the topic of transportation, Disney also offers an incredible service exclusively to resort guests, the magical express. The magical express is your roundtrip complimentary transportation from the Orlando International airport to your Disney hotel.  This service even handles getting your luggage for you and delivers it right to your room allowing you to skip waiting at baggage claim!

 

Theming

Disney World Resort hotels are known for their immersive theming and attention to detail. When you stay on-property at a Disney Resort you get to stay within the magic of Disney 24/7! The same creative team of Imagineers that design the parks and attractions also design the resort hotels! They bring the hotels to life through storytelling and hints of Disney magic everywhere you turn. Feel as if you are staying on a tropical island at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Discover the colorful city of New Orleans at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort. Relax in nature and luxury at Disney Wilderness lodge. Pamper yourself and step back in time to the beauty of the Victorian era at Disney Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. When you stay at a Disney Resort you truly get to have a vacation within your vacation!

 

Extra Magic Hours

Another way staying on-site allows you to maximize your time on vacation is through Disney’s extra magic hours. Each day a select park will open an hour early or remain open up to an additional 3 hours in the evening exclusively just for guests staying at a Disney hotel!

 

Be the first to make Fast Passes

Disney’s Fast Pass system allows you to skip the standby line on select attractions by reserving Fast Pass times in advance. This is another great perk that when utilized can help you make the most out of your vacation. When you stay onsite you get to be among the firsts to reserve your fast passes before any other offsite guests. You can book attraction times up to 60 days in advance! Fast passes for popular rides can fill up quickly, so having access to reserving your fast passes before anyone else helps guarantee that your family can see and do everything you want during your trip.

To hear more about how staying at a Disney resort can enhance your next Disney vacation, watch our video:

 

 

Loki Makes His Debut Alongside Thor at Marvel Day at Sea

Loki Makes His Debut Alongside Thor at Marvel Day at Sea

Riding the wave of the epic film opening of Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” guests aboard the Disney Magic are finding even more ways to unleash their inner Super Heroes and mythical gods during Marvel Day at Sea. And a huge thrill for everyone, the mischievous Loki is making his debut as part of a Disney vacation experience for the first time ever!

While onboard, you may come face-to-face with Thor or catch Loki lurking around the ship, as these half-brothers take a brief break from fighting side-by-side or their latest bout of sibling rivalry. In fact, Loki’s presence on Marvel Day at Sea marks his very first appearance as part of a Disney vacation experience.

Loki Makes His Debut Alongside Thor at Marvel Day at Sea

If you happen upon Loki, he may charm you like only the God of Mischief can. But always remember, Loki is a roguish trickster, burdened with the glorious purpose of spreading mayhem!

Thor and Loki also appear in “Marvel Heroes Unite” – the action-packed stunt spectacular that showcases Marvel Super Heroes and Villains, facing off in a sensational battle at sea.

During Marvel Day at Sea and on all Disney ships, year-round, you can see the biggest Disney and Marvel films onboard, the same day they are released on land. Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” is now showing now across the Disney Cruise Line fleet.

Marvel Day at Sea is on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

The Holidays Begin Here at the Disneyland Resort

The Holidays Begin Here at the Disneyland Resort

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort are underway, making the Happiest Place on Earth the perfect place to kick off your own holiday season. From festive comfort foods at Festival of Holidays to enchanting snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A., the Disneyland Resort has everything you need to get into the holiday spirit!

 

Enjoy Holidays at the Disneyland Resort now through January 7, 2018.

One Night Only: Autism-Friendly Blue Man Group Show To Support Autism Speaks

One Night Only: Autism-Friendly Blue Man Group Show To Support Autism Speaks

Blue Man Group at Universal CityWalk has once again partnered with Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism science and advocacy organization. Their third annual collaborative Blue Man Group performance will be on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 6 p.m.

This performance will be “autism-friendly,” creating a safe and welcoming environment for individuals and families affected by autism.

 

Every time Universal partners with Autism Speaks for this special performance, the cast and crew can’t wait for the show to begin. The energy from the audience is so unique and everyone involved plays off of that energy. Some individuals with autism may be non-verbal, but it doesn’t matter once our show starts because the Blue Men communicate without words.

It is so special to look out into the audience and witness people of all ages affected by autism connecting with the Blue Men and music in an environment where they’re encouraged to be themselves and have fun.

Slight modifications will be made to the show including reducing sound and light levels at various moments during the performance and making earplugs available upon request. The Blue Men will limit the amount of direct audience interaction and keep their approach to the audience more subdued. Blue Man Group will also create calming environments in the theater’s lobby for families seeking a break from the excitement.

The Universal Orlando Resort Autism Speaks performance is part of a national partnership between Blue Man Group and Autism Speaks, in which Blue Man Group pledges to host autism-friendly shows suitable for families in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York City and Orlando.

New Offerings Introduced at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival 2017!

The annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is a fan favorite year after year. The culinary event gives guests the opportunity to sample food and beverage offerings from countries around the world. There is truly something for everyone! The International Food and Wine Festival is so popular, many guests make it a tradition to come back every year. Many even plan their yearly visit around when the event is taking place. Since the festival is so well loved Disney always does a wonderful job of ensuring there will be something new to experience alongside all the returning favorites. This year was certainly no exception, with more festival marketplaces than ever before! This year 2017, marks the 35th anniversary of Epcot, because of this Disney very fittingly gave the festival 35 marketplaces!  Here are some of the new offerings introduced during the 2017 festival!

The Light Lab

The Light Lab was located inside Innoventions West. This futurist lab was themed to science and you guessed it… light! The lab explored the role science plays in the culinary arts. Ever wonder how foods color and visual appearance affects our dining experience? Or how different tastes affect the human body? These questions are answered through colorful displays inside the lab. Menu offerings at the light lab included a ‘glownut’ a donut that actual appears to glow through the use of light and some Disney magic of course! The Light Lab quickly became well known for their creative beverage offerings, such as the T=CC2; a vanilla tonic water with liquefied cotton candy!

Flavors from Fire

Located in Future World just outside of Innoventions West, Flavors from Fire offered barbeque classics with a modern gourmet twist!

This marketplace instantly became popular for its smoked corned beef with warm crispy potatoes, pickled onions and blonde ale beer fondue. Another fan favorite from Flavors from Fire was the ‘Piggy Wings’; roasted pork wings with Korean barbeque sauce and sesame seeds.

Next Eats

Next Eats, located in Future World was comprised of three marketplaces, two of which were brand new to the 2017 festival. The marketplaces to call the ‘Next Eats’ area home were, ‘Active Eats’, ‘Earth Eats’ and ‘Coastal Eats’. Active Eats was popular for their loaded mac and cheese with Nueske’s pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, peppers and green onions. For dessert, Active Eats had a very unique offering, the sweet avocado crema with strawberries, yellow cake and tortilla streusel. When you think of something sweet, avocado is most definitely not the first thing to pop in your head! But believe me this dessert can hit your sweet tooth! It is delicious and one of my personal favorite items from the 2017 festival!

Spain

Over in World Showcase, Epcot introduced a new marketplace country… Spain! A popular menu offering here was the charcuterie in a cone with a selection of imported Spanish meats, cheeses, olives and an herb vinaigrette. From Spain, I tried one of their dessert offerings, the sweet olive oil cake with powder sugar and lemon curd. It was light and moist with just the right amount of sweetness.

We were very impressed with the new offerings introduced at this years’ festival and now we can’t wait until the 2018 International Food and Wine Festival! To discover a few of the new offerings, join us in the video below for a fun day of food tasting in Epcot!

The ‘Candlelight Processional’ Returns To Epcot

The ‘Candlelight Processional’ Returns To Epcot

The “Candlelight Processional,” a guest-favorite holiday offering, will return to Epcot tonight.

This show, which is included in theme park admission, presents the traditional story of Christmas in truly spectacular fashion – with a celebrity narrator, a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.

This year’s list of narrators offers a mix of returning favorites and new faces:

  • Laurie Hernandez – November 24 to 26, 2017
  • Matt Bomer – November 27 to 28, 2017
  • Ana Gasteyer – November 29 to 30, 2017
  • Whoopi Goldberg – December 1 to 3, 2017
  • Pat Sajak – December 4 to 5, 2017
  • Jodi Benson – December 6 to 8, 2017
  • Kurt Russell – December 9 to 11, 2017
  • Warwick Davis – December 12 to 14, 2017
  • Trace Adkins – December 15 to 17, 2017
  • Neil Patrick Harris – December 18 to 21, 2017
  • CCH Pounder – December 22 to 24, 2017
  • Jaci Velasquez – December 25 to 27, 2017
  • Chandra Wilson – December 28 to 30, 2017

The processional is performed three times per night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.) throughout the holiday season. Candlelight dining packages, available on select nights, include a meal and seating at a Candlelight Processional performance. Availability is limited.

Packages for breakfast start at $35 plus tax per person for adults and $21 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. Candlelight Dining Packages for lunch and dinner start at $44 plus tax per person for adults and $15.50 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9.

Thanksgiving Reservations Now Available for Ale & Compass Restaurant

Thanksgiving Reservations Now Available for Ale & Compass Restaurant

Last week, Disney announced that reservations are now available at the new Ale & Compass Restaurant at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort for dining on Nov. 26, 2017, and beyond for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Thanksgiving Reservations Now Available for Ale & Compass Restaurant

Great news! The Ale & Compass team just let us know they have released reservations earlier – now beginning on Thanksgiving Day.

In addition, Ale & Compass Restaurant is one of the featured restaurants included in the Candlelight Processional Dining Package, which includes a 3-course meal and guaranteed priority seating at Candlelight Processional.

New Harry Potter Film Star, Panels And Experiences Revealed For A Celebration Of Harry Potter

New Harry Potter Film Star, Panels And Experiences Revealed For A Celebration Of Harry Potter

Hold on to your Hippogriff because we have more details to announce for one of our favorite event, A Celebration of Harry Potter.

We’re excited to announce that Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) is joining the Harry Potter film stars line up for next year’s event!

We also have new content and returning fan favorites for witches, wizards and Muggles to enjoy at the Harry Potter Expo. You’ll be able to step into J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World with:

  • NEW: “Wizarding Costumes from Harry Potter: The Exhibition” – You’ll be able see some of the most stunning costumes from the Harry Potter series and walk the runway to pose for a one-of-a-kind keepsake photo.
  • “The Sorting Hat Experience” – If you don’t know your Hogwarts house, you’ll have the chance to find out if you’re a Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor or Slytherin at “The Sorting Hat Experience.”

New Harry Potter Film Star, Panels And Experiences Revealed For A Celebration Of Harry Potter

  • Pottermore – Start practicing your Harry Potter trivia because Audible Recall is back with updated questions. And, you can even play against your fellow housemates with house-specific rounds each day of the event. #HogwartsRules
  • Scholastic – Scholastic is celebrating 20 years since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first published. You can write your favorite Harry Potter memory on the Muggle Wall, step into a life-sized recreation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and enter to win one-of-a-kind Harry Potter prizes.

New Harry Potter Film Star, Panels And Experiences Revealed For A Celebration Of Harry Potter

  • MinaLima – Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima are back this year to share their graphic designs of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and so much more.
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – “The Making of Harry Potter” is back to give you the opportunity to see first-hand some of the incredible effects that were used in the Harry Potter film series.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – As the play gets ready to open on Broadway, you’ll get an exclusive, never-seen-before look at the costumes, designs and imagery from the production.

Get ready for three brand-new panels you won’t want to miss:

  • Discover Behind-the-Scenes Secrets with Award Winning Special Effects Supervisor, John Richardson – The magic comes alive as John Richardson – Special Effects Supervisor on all eight Harry Potter films – shares with you how flying broomsticks, floating candles, wand explosions, fire-breathing dragons, and more were created on the Harry Potter film set.
  • “Graphic Design for Film: Creating the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes” – Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina of MinaLima are here to chat about what went into bringing Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes to life.
  • “The Magic of Costumes in Harry Potter” – Join Jany Temime, award-winning costume designer behind the last six films, and Eddie Newquist, exhibition curator, to talk about the amazing costumes in the Harry Potter films.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your house robes and wands, and get your vacation packages today for A Celebration of Harry Potter.

Star Tours Gives Guests First Peek at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Planet at Disney Parks

Star Tours Gives Guests First Peek at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Planet at Disney Parks

Recently, guests on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue boarded Starspeeders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park to discover a thrilling new journey to the farthest reaches of space and found themselves landing unexpectedly on a planet in the outer rim of the Star Wars galaxy – a planet known to C-3PO, and now to us, as Batuu.

This remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but its prominence was bypassed by the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe haven for those intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order. While Batuu may be new to us, it is clearly already familiar to many characters from the Star Wars saga as a stepping off point for epic adventures.

As the Creative Executive on these projects working alongside so many talented Imagineers and Lucasfilm partners, I look forward to sharing more updates from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as we further explore the stories and adventures you’ll be invited to discover when our new lands open in 2019.

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