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Author Archives: John Donahue

Mobile Order Available at Pandora – The World of Avatar beginning May 27

Mobile Order Available at Pandora – The World of Avatar beginning May 27

As many of you know, a new food ordering service, Mobile Order, is debuting in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Today, Disney is thrilled to let you know that Mobile Order will be available at the park’s Satu’li Canteen restaurant on opening day – May 27 – and then expanding to Pizzafari, Flame Tree Barbecue and Restaurantosaurus during the summer. And better yet, more Mobile Order fast casual and quick service locations across Walt Disney World Resort are on the way.

Mobile Order, which can be found in the My Disney Experience app, offers the added convenience of being able to place orders and purchase meals on-the-go. You select menu items, customize orders and pre-pay for meals during park visits – all within the app.

It’s easy to do. After you’ve placed your order and pre-pay in the app, and arrive at Satu’li Canteen, you’ll just tap the “I’m here” button. That will notify the kitchen to prepare your meal. When ready, you will be alerted through the app to pick up your meal at the designated window with the Mobile Order pick up sign.

You should know that during the initial launch period of Mobile Order, the only form of payment accepted will be by credit card. Anyone with special dietary restrictions, or those who want to use discounts or redeem dining plan entitlements must place their order with a cashier.

Here’s a look at Mobile Order in action:

Opening the Music Box of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Aboard the Disney Dream

Opening the Music Box of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Aboard the Disney Dream

Disney Cruise Line‘s all-star creative team is hard at work on the new production of “Beauty and the Beast” coming to the Disney Dream this November.

In the new film, Belle’s father, Maurice, is an artist who creates intricate music boxes. His musical masterpieces are unique with special meaning behind them, particularly one that is a re-creation of where Belle was born in Paris. This same music box propels Maurice to sing “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” the new heartfelt song about holding onto memories by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Tim Rice.

In Disney’s stage musical, the theme of the music box will guide the audience through the story. A combination of high-definition projections, dynamic scenery and a little bit of Disney magic will open the music box to reveal the captivating details of Belle’s journey. To learn more about how Disney Cruise Line’s new interpretation of “Beauty and the Beast” will create this outstanding visual panorama, one that reaches beyond the stage, check out this behind-the-scenes video.

 

There’s much more to share about this incredible new production before it debuts in the Walt Disney Theatre aboard the Disney Dream.

Iceland Joins Lineup of Adventures by Disney Vacations in 2018

Iceland Joins Lineup of Adventures by Disney Vacations in 2018

Adventures by Disney announced its newest destination – Iceland! In 2018, you can navigate the diverse landscapes of this country and explore the natural powers of majestic waterfalls, massive glaciers and stunning volcanos. This new 8-day, 7-night, action-packed vacation takes you from Reykjavik and the Golden Circle in the South to Akureyri and Lake Mývatn in the North. Prepare to be immersed in rich Icelandic culture and unparalleled natural beauty that join forces through this land of fire and ice.

Visit the iconic Thingvellir National Park, breathtaking Goðafoss waterfall and massive Kerið crater. Prepare to unwind and relax at the soothing Blue Lagoon and Mývatn Nature Baths. Explore the high seas with a spectacular humpback whale-watching expedition.

Iceland Joins Lineup of Adventures by Disney Vacations in 2018

Even more thrilling, you’ll come face-to-face with magnificent glaciers on a scenic cruise, and even hike on the massive ice caps themselves. Embark on a whitewater rafting adventure through the glacial river of Skagafjörður and trot through the scenic countryside on an Icelandic horse. Hike along, and even behind, some of the region’s most awe-inspiring waterfalls, including Seljalandsfoss and Goðafoss.

Iceland Joins Lineup of Adventures by Disney Vacations in 2018

Unique culinary stories are also a large part of this vacation, as you learn to make bread baked using geothermal heat. You can also discover the secret to Iceland’s traditional smoking process.

Also in 2018, Adventures by Disney vacations to Germany, Costa Rica and Ireland have been reimagined, expanding upon the already rich authentic experiences and local storytelling of these destinations. In all, Adventures by Disney will offer trips to more than three dozen destinations in 2018.

Bookings for all 2018 vacations open May 19, 2017!

Tickets Now Available For Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Visits

Tickets Now Available For Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Visits

Heading to Magic Kingdom Park this fall? Don’t miss out on our guest-favorite Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will start earlier than ever this year, with parties running on Aug. 25 & 29; Sept. 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 & 29; Oct. 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 & 31; and Nov. 1. The event will feature trick-or-treating, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show, Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and “Happy HalloWishes.” Guests of all ages are also welcome to dress up for the party (check the park costuming guidelines here).

Tickets Now Available For Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Visits

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be held Nov. 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26 & 28; and Dec. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 & 22. The party will feature Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, “Holiday Wishes,” “A Frozen Holiday Wish,” and much more.*

  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – Advance ticket prices starting at $74 for adults and $69 for children (3-9).
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Advance ticket prices starting at $89 for adults and $84 for children (3-9).

For more information and to order tickets, contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner. You’ll want to get these tickets early, because certain popular dates may sell out fast. Reservations for event-night dining and dessert parties will open later this summer.

How to Have the Perfect Weeklong Vacation on the Disney Fantasy

How to Have the Perfect Weeklong Vacation on the Disney Fantasy

In just a couple weeks, Disney Cruise Line will be debuting new spaces on the Disney Fantasy, including two immersive areas for kids – Star Wars: Command Post and Marvel Super Hero Academy. More to come on that, but for now, I want to share with you my tips for how to have the perfect weeklong vacation on the Disney Fantasy.

How to Have the Perfect Weeklong Vacation on the Disney Fantasy

1. Choose the right itinerary for your family. With 7-night Caribbean cruises sailing from Florida all throughout the year, your options for a weeklong vacation on the Disney Fantasy are endless. The only tough decision you’ll need to make is whether to go on an Eastern or Western Caribbean cruise. I love both, so that choice is entirely up to you!

How to Have the Perfect Weeklong Vacation on the Disney Fantasy

2. When the ship’s in port, venture ashore. I  Immerse yourselves in Mayan culture in Cozumel, snorkel with stingrays in Grand Cayman and sail around the beautiful Virgin Islands from St. Thomas. Whatever you choose, make the most of your family’s time in these tropical destinations.

How to Have the Perfect Weeklong Vacation on the Disney Fantasy

3. Take time to recharge during your days at sea. There’s nothing more relaxing than soaking up the sun by the pool or getting pampered in our ocean-view spa. Your days at port will be packed with adventure, and enjoying downtime while the ship is cruising through the deep blue will give you the energy you need for your next day of excitement.

How to Have the Perfect Weeklong Vacation on the Disney Fantasy

4. Don’t miss the fun each night in the Walt Disney Theatre. Disney Cruise Line shows and entertainment are the perfect opportunity for quality family time that everyone will enjoy. From Broadway-caliber musicals to magicians, comedians and 3D new-release films, you and the kids will consider this time together a highlight of the cruise.

How to Have the Perfect Weeklong Vacation on the Disney Fantasy

5. Give everyone time for themselves each day. The opportunities for family time on a Disney cruise are plenty, and so are the chances for “me time.” When your kids beg you to stay longer in the youth club so they can sling webs with Spider-Man or play Jedi mind tricks on Stormtroopers, don’t feel guilty about indulging in brunch at Palo or a Champagne tasting at Ooh La La.

Those of you who have cruised on the Disney Fantasy, what tips do you have to add?

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

No trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter can feel complete without a belly full of Butterbeer. But what if you want to branch out?

If you are planning a visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, here are some delectable treats you’ll still be craving when you’re back in the Muggle world.

Pick Your Flavor – Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Straight from the books and movies, Florean’s yummy creations live on in Diagon Alley! With so many curious and wonderful flavors, you can’t go wrong.

  • Chocolate Chili Ice Cream – Both sweet and spicy for those who crave the extraordinary.
  • Strawberry and Peanut-Butter Ice-Cream – This flavor will help you relive your school lunch days.
  • Earl Grey and Lavender Ice Cream – Put your pinkies up because now we’re getting sophisticated. Tea lovers can experience their favorite drink in frozen form.
  • Salted Caramel Blondie Ice Cream – Salted caramel mingles with super creamy goodness and Blondie brownie bits to leave you smiling after every bite.
  • Butterbeer Ice Cream – Okay, okay… This isn’t exactly “beyond Butterbeer.”  But who could resist a mouthwatering bite of the Butterbeer flavor in soft-serve form? (No one can resist. The answer is no one.)

Fishy Green Ale – Leaky Cauldron, The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Hopping Pot

Looking for a drink on another Ordinary Wizarding Level? Fishy Green Ale comes with an oversized straw and a bed of blueberry “fish eggs” at the bottom. The consistency is creamy and the aroma is mint with a hint of cinnamon.

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Gillywater – Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment

This water is perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot Diagon Alley day. And for those curious about the art of potion-making, our witches and wizards can add such tonics as Fire Protection Potion, Babbling Beverage, Draught of Peace and Elixir to Induce Euphoria.

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Tongue Tying Lemon Squash – Leaky Cauldron, The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Hopping Pot

This isn’t your Muggle’s lemonade. Tart and tangy with a hint of vanilla, your lips will pucker at the mere thought of Tongue Tied Lemon Squash. And your taste buds will thank you after the first sip.

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice – Leaky Cauldron, The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Hopping Pot

A carbonated cup of deliciousness with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon and sugar on the rim. Need we say more?

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Peachtree Fizzing Tea – Leaky Cauldron, The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Hopping Pot

Fresh off its appearance in your favorite Harry Potter films, this concoction has a fizzing volume of a whopping 87%. Peach and a hint of ginger bubble up to the glee of all who thirst for something special and effervescent in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Wizard’s Brew and Dragon Scale Beer – The Leaky Cauldron, The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Hopping Pot

Beer is good. Beer made exclusively for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is even better! For those who like something dark, Wizard’s Brew is a sweet stout with notes of chocolate and coffee. Dragon Scale is an amber lager – also sure to please. Take the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade to find Hog’s Head Brew and complete the trifecta.

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Fire Whisky – The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Hopping Pot

If you’re wanting the strong stuff, Fire Whisky is the way to go. Cinnamon in flavor, you can order this one in single or double-shot form or get it as a mixed drink. No matter what, it goes down smooth and gives you the liquid courage you’ll need to brave Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Skiving Snackbox – Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Next time you’re looking to get out of a meeting or class, Fred and George have you covered. The set includes:

  • Fainting Fancies: sugary citrus gummies
  • Nosebleed Nougat: milk chocolate-covered marshmallow with pistachios
  • Fever Fudge: vanilla fudge with spicy, hot jelly beans
  • Puking Pastilles: sticky green and purple sweets

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Sugar Quills – Sugarplum’s Sweetshop

Sugary, lollipop-like quills that actually write, these come in a variety of flavors. Practice the art of sucking on them thoughtfully while pondering your next revelation of a sentence.

Beyond Butterbeer: 15 Treats Unique To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Pumpkin Pasties – Sugarplum’s Sweetshop

You know you’ve been wanting to try Pumpkin Pasties, one of Harry’s first wizarding treats. Baked pastries filled with saccharine goodness, these are essential for any fan of pumpkin flavored anything.

As you can see, you will have no trouble finding a feast of fun food and drinks to try at Diagon Alley. Boy are your Muggle friends going to be jealous.

In the comments below, tell us which wizarding world treats you recommend at Diagon Alley.

Must be 21 years of age or older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages at Universal Orlando Resort.

Delicious Ideas For Treating Mom on Mother’s Day At Walt Disney World Resort

Delicious Ideas For Treating Mom on Mother’s Day At Walt Disney World Resort

Whether it’s a delectable brunch or a sweet cupcake on Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Park, there are plenty of ways to say “I love you” to mom on her special day on May 14.

Let’s start with brunch:

  • Boma – Flavors of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is hosting a Mother’s Day brunch from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. some favorites from the dinner menu are added to the buffet, and breakfast include one mimosa per adult.
  • Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Beach Club Resort is offering a Mother’s Day character brunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. with a Bloody Mary bar and generous buffet.
  • Next door at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, the Mother’s day brunch is from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. with a holiday buffet.
  • The Wave . . . Of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will host a buffet Mother’s Day brunch from 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Garden Grove Mother’s Day Character Brunch Buffet will be 7 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Walt Disney World Swan.
  • For something sweet, Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom Park is offering a Magic Kingdom Mother’s Day chocolate raspberry cupcake. And Contempo Café at Disney’s Contemporary Resort has a triple chocolate cupcake just for mom with an edible Mother’s Day plaque for decoration.

Call your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to book Mother’s Day brunch at Walt Disney World.

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora – The World of Avatar

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora – The World of Avatar

Guests visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar will fly on the back of a mountain banshee at one of its major attractions, Avatar Flight of Passage. Soaring on the back of one of these powerful winged creatures represents an important rite of passage for the Na’vi.

Today, Disney has announced a new way for guests to connect with these animals at The Rookery inside Windtraders, the primary merchandise location on Pandora. Cody Hampton with Disney Parks Merchandise gave us a first look at these new interactive creatures, and explained how they continue the tradition of immersive storytelling found at Disney Parks.

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora – The World of Avatar

“We love bringing to life stories from our attractions through creative and innovative product designs,” explained Cody. “Banshees are an important animal on Pandora, both as an animal in the ecosystem and as a cultural symbol to the Na’vi. Disney’s Animal Kingdom will also will feature a Na’Vi River Journey ride, where guests get a chance to cruise through a Pandora jungle. They are also part of one of the signature attractions, so it felt natural to feature them as a must-have souvenir from a visit to Pandora. These banshees are fun, interactive, and continue the excitement guests will feel when experiencing [Avatar Flight of Passage].”

At the Rookery, a Naturalist from Alpha Centauri Expeditions will assist a guest with identifying a favorite banshee from among 10 unique styles. Each interactive banshee includes three ranges of motion – mouth, head, and wings – that are controlled by hand. Guests will also hear them make authentic banshee sounds provided by Disney’s partners at Lightstorm Entertainment.

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora – The World of Avatar

“We worked closely with [Lightstorm Entertainment] when designing the banshees,” continued Cody. “Their colors were inspired by banshees seen in the ‘Avatar’ motion picture. Their sounds make them feel as though they flew directly into Windtraders from the attraction. Guests will determine each banshee’s personality through a combination of hand movements and sounds.”

Guests can either display a banshee on their shoulder or cradle them in their arms. Disney will also offer a banshee perch that is sold separately.

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora – The World of Avatar

“The mountain banshee has come to symbolize our continued commitment to the environment,” said Cody. “Before guests depart Windtraders, Naturalists will encourage them to make a pledge to respect and protect the natural world on Pandora and back home on Earth.”

When you see other banshee keepers on Pandora, or back at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, please greet them with “Oel Ngati Kameie” (“I See You”), the traditional Na’vi phrase of greeting and respect.

22nd Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Stretches to 75 Days

22nd Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Stretches to 75 Days – With Record 35 Marketplaces

There are many special numbers to celebrate as we announce the 22nd annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, opening Aug. 31 and running through Nov. 13 – that’s 75 days to sip, savor and enjoy one of America’s top food festivals (13 more than last year).

And to celebrate Epcot’s opening 35 years ago in 1982, there will be a record number of Marketplaces – 35 in all – stretching around World Showcase and into Future World.

While the Marketplaces play a starring role, we recommend planning ahead so you don’t miss your favorite celebrity chefs, hands-on culinary workshops and demonstrations at the Festival Center, Party for the Senses, or your favorite artists at one of the nightly Eat to the Beat concerts. Stay tuned. We’ll let you know when schedules are in place and bookings for specialty festival events open this summer.

22nd Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Stretches to 75 Days – With Record 35 Marketplaces

Chefs are busy at work on new dishes for the Marketplaces, paired with wines, beers and ciders. We got a taste of the new crispy chicken with griddled cornbread and red-eye gravy for the Farm Fresh Marketplace and the spicy Korma Chicken with cucumber-tomato salad, almonds, cashews and warm naan bread from the India Marketplace– just two of the intriguing and delectable new tastes that will be in the 2017 cookbook. Another favorite was the charcuterie in a cone from the Spain Marketplace, perfect for strolling and tasting. For a favorite sweet, it’s back to India with the pistachio cardamom cake with a dollop of chocolate coconut mousse. And these are just a sampling of dozens of new tastes.

This year there are more family favorites, too, with the Ratatouille-inspired scavenger hunt back for another year as well as culinary demos and dishes geared toward kids’ palates.

22nd Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Stretches to 75 Days – With Record 35 Marketplaces

Along with Party for the Senses, the festival includes specialty dining and pairing events at World Showcase restaurants and events at the resort hotels such as Brunch with a Twist at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Countdown to Pandora – The World of Avatar: Cast Members Prepare to Bring Pandora to Life

Countdown to Pandora – The World of Avatar: Cast Members Prepare to Bring Pandora to Life

As Walt Disney once said, “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

Decades later, it’s no different for Pandora – The World of Avatar, which will come alive on May 27 thanks to the enthusiasm and talent of our 700 cast members who were selected to open this epic new land. Cast members are in training now to help guests soar through the skies on the back of a banshee in the attraction Avatar Flight of Passage, sail through a bioluminescent rainforest in the family-friendly attraction Na’vi River Journey and walk beneath towering floating mountains.

In addition to training for these new roles, cast members will be immersed in the Na’vi culture, by learning about their language, environment and way of life. One example is the way cast members will be able to welcome guests to this awe-inspiring land with the common Na’vi word for hello – Kaltxi (kahl-T’IH). In fact, each cast member on Pandora has received a handbook with some common Na’vi phrases, such as Oel ngati kameie [well NGAH-tee KAH-mey-yeh]. In the native language of Pandora, this means, “I see you.”

Countdown to Pandora – The World of Avatar: Cast Members Prepare to Bring Pandora to Life

Here’s a first look at the special nametags for cast members representing Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE), a futuristic travel company that prepares visitors from Earth for their exciting adventure to Pandora. You might also notice that cast members who are “Earning their Ears” may be wearing a ribbon that features the Na’vi word for student: Numeyu.

The multi-year expansion at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has created 1,500 jobs since construction began, including about 800 construction jobs and the 700 operational roles specifically for Pandora, ranging from engineers, attraction hosts, food and beverage and more.

To the Disney cast members joining us to help create unforgettable memories for guests as they visit Pandora, welcome … or as the Na’vi say, Zola’u nìprrte’!

Five Can’t-Miss Experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Summer 2017

Five Can’t-Miss Experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Summer 2017

Are you a Disney movie buff? If so, there’s never been a better time to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The live-action “Beauty and the Beast” released earlier this spring was a smash success, while discussion around Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 2017) and even “Frozen 2” (November 2019) are already buzzing online!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers movie-themed entertainment experiences and attractions based on guest favorite films. Check out our suggestions for your summer visit below.

1. “The Music of Pixar Live!” – Set to debut May 26, this brand-new, limited-time concert event will showcase memorable music from Pixar Animation Studios films, complete with a live orchestra and appearances by beloved Disney•Pixar characters. The show will be presented three times nightly at Theater of the Stars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Check the park’s Times Guide for more.

Five Can’t-Miss Experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Summer 2017

2. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks – Excited for the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in December 2017? Celebrate the Star Wars saga in this state-of-the-art show that features fireworks, projection effects, dynamic lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics that light up the night with an unforgettable finale.

3. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along – Did you catch this week’s news that “Frozen 2” will be released in theaters November 27, 2019? Celebrate the heart (and songs) of the original “Frozen” film by checking out the park’s For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along.

Five Can’t-Miss Experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Summer 2017

4. “Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage” – Did you catch the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” in theaters this spring? If you loved the film, don’t miss Belle and Beast’s love story played out live on stage at the park. “Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage” is performed multiple times each day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Five Can’t-Miss Experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Summer 2017

5. Classic Attractions – Of course, many must-do guest favorite attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios have been inspired by beloved films, including Toy Story Mania!, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.

Ride to the Beat of Favorite Tunes on Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure Park

Ride to the Beat of Favorite Tunes on Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure Park

Just like Star-Lord crosses the cosmos to the beat of vintage pop songs from his awesome mix tape, guests aboard the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure park will rise and fall to the tune of six famous pop favorites throughout their epic adventure. Each time guests board a gantry lift to rescue the Guardians of the Galaxy from The Collector’s Fortress, they will experience one of the six randomized scenarios created for the attraction. Each ride profile will utilize the attraction’s hair-raising ascend-and-drop sensation, as Rocket hotwires the lift to play one of these awesome songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s or early ‘80s:

  • “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar (1980)
  • “Give Up The Funk” by Parliament (1975)
  • “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf (1968)
  • “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 (1969)
  • “Free Ride” by The Edgar Winters Group (1973)
  • “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley (1972)

The songs and drop sequences aren’t the only things that will vary among these randomized scenarios – each one shows a different version of the escape, with different action sequences playing out before your rising and falling gantry lift.

The multiple ride experiences are the result of extensive research, experimentation and ride testing by the creative team at Walt Disney Imagineering. The team worked from a list of nearly 100 fun, high-energy songs, narrowing the list down to the final six by testing each one in action. Boarding a gantry lift, they donned their own headsets – just like Star-Lord – and played each track to see which songs worked best with potential ride profiles.

“A strong identifiable rhythm and a memorable hook were key points,” explained John Dennis, Executive Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering. “For example, ‘Free Ride’ has an iconic guitar hook, a killer bass line in the verse and, in the chorus, the backing vocals have a great ascending line. The rock n roll music playing on board the ride is just plain fun. The songs, each paired with its own ride profile, give us six unique experiences.”

The songs enhancing the adventure of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! aren’t the only ways in which the attraction acknowledges the importance of music in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies. “Guardians of the Galaxy” film composer Tyler Bates wrote the music for The Collector’s Fortress lobby and office scenes, as well as for the attraction exit.

Come rock to the beat of these favorites when Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! opens May 27 at Disney California Adventure park!

7 Ways To Relax And Unwind At Universal’s Volcano Bay

7 Ways To Relax And Unwind At Universal’s Volcano Bay

Universal’s Volcano Bay is going to be jam packed with amazing thrills and heart-pounding water slides. And thanks to the TapuTapu wearable, you’ll be able to virtually wait in line for these incredible attractions. This means you’ll have more time to kick off your flip flops, sit back in your padded lounger and take in the soothing island breeze.

Here are seven ways to rejuvenate and unwind in our tropical paradise.

1. Sandy Beaches

Imagine warm sand sinking between your toes while you gaze out at crystal clear waters. This vacation dream becomes a reality at Waturi Beach, where you can relax by the waves of a sparkling lagoon that sits at the base of the mighty Krakatau. You can find Waturi Beach in Wave Village, the first of three villages you’ll encounter at Volcano Bay.

2. Tropical Beverages

Unwind with refreshing tropical cocktails and frozen drinks inspired by fruity island flavors. Try one of our favorites, POG, a non-alcoholic blend of passion fruit, orange and guava juices. Adults can sip on our Toasted Coconut Pineapple beverage, a delicious mix of toasted coconut rum and fresh pineapple juice.

7 Ways To Relax And Unwind At Universal’s Volcano Bay

3. Premium Seating

Leave your beach chairs at home and reserve one pair of padded loungers instead.* With premium seating around the park, just pick the location of your seat, sit back and soak in your vacation.

This private space includes one pair of padded loungers, an adjustable umbrella and built-in locker storage – which makes it a perfect place to keep your things when you want to take a dip in the crystal waters of Waturi Beach.

4. Private Cabanas

Escape to your own private paradise and rent a cabana for the day.* With options like single units with seating for up to six, or family units, with seating for up to sixteen, there are plenty of options.

Cabanas come with concierge service with exclusive menu options, a fruit and snack basket, a small refrigerator pre-stocked with bottled water, complimentary locker and towel service and more.

5. Island Cuisine

Take a break from the slides to enjoy our unique island-inspired food. There are over 60 options to choose from, including our Pulled Chicken Mole Taco, Poke Poke Bowl or Jerked Mahi Sandwich. Treat yourself to dessert with Chocolate Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Chocolate Lava Cake or Guava Tapioca Pudding.

7 Ways To Relax And Unwind At Universal’s Volcano Bay

6. Winding Rivers

At Volcano Bay, it’s okay to be lazy – and at the Kopiko Wai Winding River, you can do just that. Take a slow ride through the tropical landscape, journey beneath the lava rocks and venture to Stargazer’s Cavern to reveal the magical night sky above. Located at the River Village, this is something fun for Waturi of all ages.

7 Ways To Relax And Unwind At Universal’s Volcano Bay

7. Leisure Pools

Make sure to check out the Puka Uli Lagoon in the Rainforest Village. In this leisure pool, you can relax while your little ones enjoy fun features like bongo drums and spraying water.

Watch the bravest Waturi take on the Ko’okiri Body Plunge from the comfort of The Reef, a peaceful leisure pool in the Wave Village. A clear plexi tube shoots straight through this 5.5-foot-deep pool, which features its own private waterfall perfect for frolicking.

Volcano Bay is the perfect mix of fun and rejuvenation. How do you plan to relax at Volcano Bay? Tell us in the comments below.

Star Wars Day at Sea Returning in 2018

Star Wars Day at Sea Returning in 2018

This week was the last time Disney Cruise Line transported Disney cruisers to “a galaxy far, far away” for an entire day of fun – in 2017, that is. We’re so excited to be bringing back Star Wars Day at Sea in 2018 for another season of out-of-this-world adventures!

 

Over the past four months, guests aboard the Disney Fantasy have discovered the Force by hanging out with Jedi, Wookiees, droids, Stormtroopers and other iconic characters from the Star Wars saga during the epic day at sea on their Caribbean cruise. Now, you’re invited again to join us in 2018 when the day-long celebration returns to 15 special Disney Fantasy sailings from January through April.

BB-8 Now Greeting Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

BB-8 Now Greeting Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

BB-8, the loyal droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has just begun greeting guests at the park’s Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

BB-8 appears in addition to Kylo Ren and Chewbacca, two characters from the Star Wars galaxy who guests regularly encounter at Star Wars Launch Bay. In addition to character greetings, the location also offers guests the chance to explore galleries full of treasured memorabilia and authentic replicas of large-scale Star Wars artifacts, including some from the latest film in the franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

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