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Pandora – The World of Avatar Opening 2017 at Animal Kingdom

At the recent D23’s Destination D: Amazing Adventures presentation, additional details were shared about the opening of Pandora – The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in summer 2017 at Walt Disney World® Resort.

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When you travel to this new land you will be immersed in adventure and wonder with the following experiences:

  • Satu’li Canteen – The main restaurant in Pandora – The World of AVATAR that will feature Na’vi art and cultural items
  • Windtraders –  The merchandise location where travelers can find Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more
  • Pongu Pongu – A special drink location with a design that is a eclectic as its Expat owner
  • AVATAR Flight of Passage – Excursions that offer the jaw-dropping experience of riding on a Banshee over the world of Pandora
  • Na’vi River Journey – A family-friendly experience that will send your Clients down a sacred river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest

Get excited for this new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and stay tuned for more exciting details!

Star Wars-themed Land Dazzles at Night!

Today we’re excited to share a new image from Walt Disney Imagineering that shows just how amazing the Star Wars-themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® at Walt Disney World® Resort will look once the sun goes down.

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As you can see, the land will take on a whole new dimension after dark and feature adventures and surprises around each corner. If you look close, the image reveals a peek at what you will discover in this all-new land, including one of the signature attractions that lets you take control of the Millennium Falcon.

Work is already underway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland® Park in Anaheim, CA, to bring the stories from a galaxy, far, far away to life in the parks.

We’re also excited to share that Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm teams are currently in production to add an exciting new mission to the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction, based on elements from Star Wars Episode VIII.

Stay tuned for more information!

Holiday Treats & Candlelight Narrators at Holidays Around the World

One of the best ways to celebrate the holiday season at Epcot is trying all tasty treats around World Showcase, and Holidays Around the World is adding more food and drink options for this year’s celebration, now through December 30, 2016 at Walt Disney World® Resort.

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Here’s some of the items you’ll find at the five new marketplaces:

  • Prost! in Germany (artisan cheese plate or sauerbraten with red cabbage and spätzle)
  • American Holiday Table in American Adventure Pavilion (slow-roasted turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce)
  • Alpine Haus between France and Morocco (cheese fondue in a bread bowl with fresh steamed vegetables)
  • Seasonal Southern Delights near World Showcase Plaza (blackened catfish with white cheddar grits with okra)
  • Feast of Three Kings Feast near World Showcase Plaza (Three Kings Bread)

Also as a part of Holidays Around the World at Epcot, Candlelight Processional returns to present the story of Christmas in truly spectacular fashion – with a celebrity narrator, a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.

Celebrity Narrators scheduled to make appearances this year include (subject to change without notice):

  • Nov. 25-27 – Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Nov. 28-Dec. 1 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 2-3 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dec. 4*-6 – Edward James Olmos
  • Dec. 7-9 – TBA
  • Dec. 10-12 – Robby Benson
  • Dec. 13-15 – Meredith Vieira
  • Dec. 16-18 – Jim Caviezel
  • Dec. 19-21 – Joe Morton
  • Dec. 22-24 – Ming-Na Wen – NEW!
  • Dec. 25-27 – Jodi Benson
  • Dec. 28-30 – Cal Ripken, Jr. – NEW!

The processional is performed three times per night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.) during the holiday season at the American Gardens Theatre. Dining packages are available on select nights and include a delicious meal and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances. Availability is limited.

Candlelight Dining Packages for breakfast start at $27 plus tax per person for adults and $14 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. Candlelight Dining Packages for lunch and dinner start at $47 plus tax per person for adults and $20 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. To book a package call your travel agent today!

NEW Adventures by Disney Food & Wine Themed River Cruise

Earlier this year, Adventures by Disney® announced new river cruise itineraries for 2017, sailing along the Rhine River in Europe. And starting today, you have the chance to book an all-new Rhine River adventure designed specifically for foodies!

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This 8-day, 7-night epicurean vacation sets sail on Oct. 21, 2017, allowing you to discover the unique culinary history and culture of four countries—Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Onboard will be Disney Culinary Director John State and Master Sommelier Brian Koziol, who have worked hand-in-hand with Adventures by Disney to masterfully craft this premier gourmet sailing.

On this river cruise, you will:

  • Be immersed in gastronomic delights as you visit world-famous breweries, award-winning wineries and festive local pubs.
  • Expand your cooking repertoire with John State, the culinary director for Disneyland Resort, as he shares the authentic dishes of Europe during intimate gourmet demonstrations and workshops.
  • Learn about regional wines and food pairings as you visit the local vineyards with Brian Koziol, one of only 230 Master Sommeliers in the world.

From taking patisserie and tart flambé classes in France and strolling through German vineyards to discovering the secrets of Swiss cheese and touring the Heineken factory in Amsterdam, a variety of delicious experiences are available for you to uncover on this all-inclusive, adult exclusive adventure.

Visit our Adventures by Disney page or call your Travel Agent today!

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Any fan of “The Tonight Show” knows to expect the unexpected when Jimmy Fallon is involved.

We’ve got all the details on what you’ll experience as you’re transported to The Big Apple when “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” opens at Universal Studios Florida next spring.

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Hang Out in Studio 6B
Arrive in the Studio 6B Club in style, and enjoy a live performance from the Ragtime Gals barbershop quartet, or check out some of the show’s classic bits, from History of Rap to Lip Sync Battle. You’ll also have the chance to meet and dance with the beloved “Tonight Show” mascot, Hashtag the Panda.

Ever dream of sending your own personalized “Tonight Show” Thank You Note? You’re in luck! You can play host at your own Interactive Desk in the Studio 6B Club. Here, you’ll be able to send Jimmy Fallon’s famous Thank You Notes to your friends and family, prep for your race with a ‘Jimmy Drive’ retro-style video game, and watch your favorite show clips.

Get Ready for a Wild Ride
After a briefing in the Studio 6B Lobby, you’ll board the world’s first-ever flying theater, which seats up to 72 audience members, for a rousing race alongside Jimmy Fallon through the greatest city in the world, New York.

From 30 Rock out into the streets (and the skies!) of The Big Apple, you and your fellow studio audience members will zoom past iconic New York City landmarks in an action-packed race with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

Be sure to keep an eye out for cameos from familiar characters like Sara from “Ew,” Jimmy in “Tight Pants,” and “Tonight Show” announcer Steve Higgins. All the sweet sounds of New York will come to life with the help of the Grammy award-winning band, The Roots, the musical masterminds behind the original attraction score

Step into the History
As you step foot into the renowned NBC Studios, you’ll get a front row seat to witness the most significant moments in the history of NBC as you travel through the 62-year evolution of “The Tonight Show.”

Making your way through “The Tonight Show” lobby, you’ll also get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see real set pieces from one of the longest-running shows in television history. You’ll see everything from suits of past hosts, to iconic desk props, to NBC video cameras used to record the show, all surrounding a display honoring the current host, Jimmy Fallon.

For a behind the scenes look at how “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” is shaping up, check out this video:

Universal’s Volcano Bay

In early summer 2017, a first-of-its-kind water theme park will erupt at Universal Orlando ResortUniversal’s Volcano Bay. It will be an innovative experience filled with incredible thrills and perfected relaxation.  And on November 15, you will have the chance to purchase tickets to experience it firsthand.

Volcano Bay will span 30 fully immersive acres and feature a variety of experiences that range from daring to serene.  Dozens of unique attractions will offer something for everyone, including a multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, a peaceful winding river, twisting multi-rider raft rides, speeding body slides that drop from the top of the volcano into the waters below – and more.  And the best part – you won’t have to wait in long lines to enjoy any of it.

Krakatau Aqua Coaster is a state-of-the-art coaster that will take you on an exciting voyage unlike any other, and the all-new TapuTapu wearable technology that will redefine the way guests experience water parks.

Krakatau Aqua Coaster will be the star experience at Universal’s Volcano Bay – combining innovative ride technology with water theme park thrills to take families on an unforgettable adventure through the park’s massive icon – the 200-foot Krakatau volcano.

Guests will board specially-designed canoes and propel downwards – and upwards – through the volcano’s interior peaks and valleys.  You’ll twist, turn and plummet along dark passageways, be launched through sparkling waterfalls and so much more.

Universal is using some of the incredible technology that makes its theme park attractions so compelling to create a first-of-its-kind aqua coaster in Florida.  The attraction will use linear induction motor technology, which launches the canoe uphill before it immediately sends riders into a downhill plunge.  This technology – combined with the immersive theming Universal is known for – will make Krakatau Aqua Coaster a unique water theme park attraction that’s fun for the entire family.

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What is TapuTapu? 

TapuTapu is a wearable technology that allows you to wait in line virtually while you’re playing in other areas of the park. Each guest will receive a TapuTapu upon arrive to the park which will alert you when it’s your turn to ride so you can head over to the attraction.

Another function of your TapuTapu is “tap-to-play” which lets your create special effects like controlling streams of water from whales in Tot Tiki Reef, shooting water cannons at guests riding down the Kopiko Wai Winding River, and illuminating images in volcano caves.

Universal’s Volcano Bay is designed to be as fun and hassle-free as possible. Will you be purchasing your tickets on November 15?!

First Look at Stargazer Lounge at Planet Hollywood in Disney Springs

The theme of the re-imagined Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World® Resort will still feature stars from the big screen, but much of the new focus will be on stars in the sky, as the restaurant completes its transformation into a turn-of-the-20th-century observatory.

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Food and drink menus are soon to be revealed, but Guests can expect more famous movie memorabilia, video screens, cutting edge music and a store featuring themed merchandise.

Opening later this year in Town Center at Disney Springs, the restaurant will feature Stargazer Lounge where you will find signature craft cocktails with names that reflect the planets and space travel – including The Observatory and the Sparkling Sputnik.

Stay tuned here for more information! We’ll be updating this post as new information is shared!

Disney Cruise Line 2018 Itineraries

On October 25, Disney Cruise Line unveiled where their ships will be sailing for the first part of 2018, which includes homeports on both the East and West Coasts. Itineraries in the Bahamas and the Caribbean depart from Florida and Puerto Rico, and Baja and Mexican Riviera sailings depart from California.

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For the first time, Disney Cruise Line will be visiting Bonaire, a Caribbean destination located just north of the South American coast. This Dutch Caribbean island is favored for arid climate and sunny weather, and its beautiful waters and reef-lined coast are perfect for water sports including scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, and kiteboarding.

Here’s a look at the lineup from January – May.

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San Juan to Southern Caribbean, including Bonaire
From San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Disney Wonder sets sail on three seven-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean. Departing January 14, 21, and 28, each voyage offers a unique itinerary with four destinations and two days at sea. This limited-time engagement includes a combination of calls on Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Kitts.

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San Diego
Disney Cruise Line’s return to San Diego in April and May includes seven Disney Wonder cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera, where you can enjoy world-famous beaches and snorkeling. Five-night sailings visit Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico, while two and three-night cruises call on Ensenada. Friday departures for the two-night cruises offer the ultimate weekend getaway from San Diego.

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Port Canaveral
With three ships in port and cruise lengths spanning three, four, and seven nights, you have a full menu of options from Port Canaveral, Florida. Plus, every sailing includes a day at Castaway Cay. The Disney Fantasy continues to sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages, while the Disney Dream embarks on three and four-night cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay. From February 8 through April 8, the Disney Wonder will alternate similar three, four, and seven-night itineraries.

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Miami
To kick off 2018, the Disney Magic continues sailing from Miami with four and five-night voyages to the Bahamas, plus five-night Western Caribbean cruises. You’ll also visit Castaway Cay during every one of these sailings. Other Bahamian ports of call include Nassau and Key West, while a stop in Grand Cayman or Cozumel headlines the Western Caribbean itineraries.

Bookings for these 2018 itineraries open, October 27. Contact your travel agent today!

Disney Cruise Line Introduces Marvel Day at Sea in Fall 2017

In fall 2017, Disney Cruise Line guests assemble on the Disney Magic to celebrate the epic adventures of the Marvel Universe’s mightiest Super Heroes and Super Villains in a brand-new, day-long event during seven special sailings departing from New York City: Marvel Day at Sea. The celebration combines the thrills of renowned Marvel comics, films and animated series, with the excitement of Disney Cruise Line entertainment to summon everyone’s inner Super Hero for the adventures that lie ahead during this unforgettable day at sea. (Chloe Rice, photographer)

In fall 2017, Disney Cruise Line guests assemble on the Disney Magic to celebrate the epic adventures of the Marvel Universe’s mightiest Super Heroes and Super Villains in a brand-new, day-long event during seven special sailings departing from New York City: Marvel Day at Sea. The celebration combines the thrills of renowned Marvel comics, films and animated series, with the excitement of Disney Cruise Line entertainment to summon everyone’s inner Super Hero for the adventures that lie ahead during this unforgettable day at sea. (Chloe Rice, photographer)

In 2017, Disney Cruise Line Guests will unite and celebrate the epic adventures of the legendary Super Heroes and Super Villains from the Marvel Universe during a brand-new, day-long celebration: Marvel Day at Sea.

Unleash the hero within—and experience the thrills of the Marvel Universe—during a day-long extravaganza where family fun rules on the Disney Magic.

Join some of your favorite Marvel Super Heroes (and villains) from The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy—as well as Spider-Man—for one epic day filled with one-of-a-kind entertainment, unforgettable meet-and-greets and special offerings you won’t find anywhere else.

During Marvel Day at Sea, you’ll enjoy:

  • A spectacular deck party, featuring dancing, fireworks and the largest collection of Marvel Super Heroes and villians ever assembled on a cruise ship
  • Thrilling photo ops with some of your favorite heroes, including Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Spider-Man
  • The newest Marvel Studios blockbuster inside the Walt Disney Theatre—plus a Marvel movie marathon featuring past hits
  • Open-air, Funnel Vision screenings of the latest Marvel TV animated series
  • A fan-filled costume celebration in the ship’s Atrium
  • Extraordinary games and activities at Disney’s Oceaneer Club and throughout the ship
  • Surprise Super Hero and Super Villain appearances throughout the ship
  • Amazing themed food and beverages
  • Exclusive merchandise and collectibles

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Marvel Day at Sea—a heroic celebration of the Marvel Universe—is a one-day extravaganza available on select sailings from New York in October and November of 2017. For the remainder of your voyage, look forward to a thrilling itinerary of entertainment and activities-from Broadway-style shows and innovative dining to immersive Port Adventures.

2017 Sail Dates:

7-Night Bahamian Cruises:

  • October 14, 2017
  • October 28, 2017
  • November 4, 2017
  • November 11, 2017

8-Night Bahamian Cruises:

  • October 6, 2017
  • November 18, 2017

7-Night Canadian Coast Cruise:

  • October 21, 2017

Contact your travel agent today!

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Starting November 14, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is presenting an all-new holiday nighttime spectacular called Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Santa Claus is missing, and there’s a search and rescue mission to bring him back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve! The show includes state-of-the-art projections, special effects, snow, fireworks, and an exciting musical score.

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The show is led by two elves, Wayne and Lanny, the duo from the animated special, “Prep and Landing.” This Christmastime adventure features holiday moments from your favorite films including “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” “Bambi,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” to name a few.

A special way to enjoy this new holiday spectacular is with the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party. Included is reserved viewing, desserts, specialty beverages, a pair of 3D HoloSpex® glasses and more.

This one-of-a-kind holiday experience for your entire family will be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from November 14 through December 31. Don’t miss out on these magical memories.

Book Mickey’s Not-so-scary Halloween Party Tickets Today

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort for 29 select nights of spooktacular fun beginning Sept. 2, 2016. This popular fall special-ticket event features encore performances of last year’s new hit show “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.”

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Guests can enjoy tons of Halloween fun as they trick-or-treat throughout the park, meet their favorite Disney Characters and enjoy the boo-tiful festive décor.

And it wouldn’t be Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party without “Mickey’s Boo-to-You Parade” and the “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks.

Tickets are available for select dates in September and October, including Halloween night! Here’s a full list of this year’s dates:

Sept. 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30, Oct. 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30 and 31.

Book today! Advance ticket prices start at $72 for adults and $67 for children (3-9).

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! Coming to Disney California Adventure Park Summer 2017

Beginning in summer 2017, the outrageous and irreverent gang will appear in Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! – a comically high-energy, rocking new adventure at Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort. You will be right in the mix with characters from the blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.

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Deep inside his fortress-like collection, the mysterious Taneleer Tivan (aka The Collector) is displaying his newest acquisitions, the Guardians of the Galaxy. They are trapped in customized display cases, suspended over a vast abyss. Unbeknownst to their unscrupulous captor, the intrepid Rocket has escaped and is enlisting the Collector’s VIP guests for help. Guests board a gantry lift, which launches them into a chaotic and hilarious adventure as they join Rocket in an attempt to break his fellow Guardians out of captivity.

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The new attraction will anchor a broader universe of Super Heroes that will grow over time at Disney California Adventure Park. This exciting new presence will transform the structure currently housing The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (scheduled to close in early 2017) into an epic new adventure, enhancing the breathtaking free fall sensation with all-new visual and audio effects to create a variety of ride experiences. You will experience multiple random, unique ride profiles in which the rise and fall of the gantry lift will rock to the beat of music inspired by the film’s popular soundtrack.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! opens summer 2017 at Disney California Adventure Park. Stay tuned to Disney Travel News as we’ll bring you more details as the attraction develops as well as opportunities to celebrate The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror before it closes in early 2017.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex To Become New Epicenter of Cheer and Dance

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In February Disney announced that Walt Disney World Resort plans to build a new sports venue at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Today, we’re excited to give you a first look at the design of the new state-of-the-art venue.

The new indoor sports venue, which will be adjacent to the Jostens Center, will feature a flexible design that can morph from one large competition space capable of seating more than 8,000 fans to as many as four separate competition areas. It will be so flexible that it can be configured to host a variety of other sports, such as basketball and volleyball, as well as concerts.

It will be the only venue of its size in America that is specifically designed with cheerleading and dance competitions in mind, offering special warm up and practice areas as well as spaces for judges and officials.

The facility, expected to be complete within the next 18 months, will perfectly complement the growing number of prestigious cheerleading and dance events at Disney. Currently, the sports complex plays host to nine cheerleading and dance competitions, such as the National High School Cheerleading Championships in February.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex was already a major player in the cheerleading and dance world, but the construction of this massive new indoor venue means that the sports complex is poised to become the epicenter of cheerleading and dance events in this nation. And that’s enough to make any cheerleader do backflips.

Reservations Open for Re-Imagined Flying Fish on Disney’s BoardWalk at Walt Disney World Resort

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After a major re-imagining, reservations open July 29 for dates beginning August 3 and beyond at Flying Fish on Disney’s BoardWalk. The entire interior, including the on-stage kitchen, has been beautifully redesigned, along with an all-new menu crafted by Chef Tim Majoras, a veteran of the Flying Fish kitchen.

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The seafood-centric menu features entirely sustainable fish and shellfish, and includes Chef Majoras’ creations such as corn-crusted wild Gulf shrimp, wild Alaskan king salmon and plancha-seared Hokkaido scallops. For carnivores, there’s Wagyu filet mignon, Kurobuta pork belly and bison striploin. General manager and sommelier Stig Jacobsen has crafted a new wine list with nearly 80 selections by the glass.

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Here’s a look at some of the dishes and the new menu. Contact your Kingdom Magic Travel agent for more info and reservations.

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Soarin’ Around the World At Epcot In Walt Disney World

This week on Travel With Rick, Leslie and Rick were enjoy a day at Epcot, and got their first look at Soarin’ Around the World in the Land Pavilion. This attraction has recently undergone a refurbishment replacing the original Soarin’ over California scenery to locations all over the world!

Check out the video and enjoy the new scenes as you go Soarin’ Around the World!

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