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Author Archives: Rick Howard

Disney Cruise Line Adds New Destinations to Incredible Lineup of Itineraries for Families to See the World in Summer 2019

New cruise from Rome and seven new ports in Europe, plus Alaska and Caribbean sailings, take center stage

CELEBRATION, Fla. (Mar. 1, 2018) – In summer 2019, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries and to seven new ports in Europe, including a first-ever round-trip cruise from Rome and first-time visits to destinations in Sweden, France, Spain, Denmark and Northern Ireland. Disney Cruise Line takes guests on a grand tour of Europe with visits to the Mediterranean in early summer and northern Europe in late summer. Plus, adventures continue with sailings to Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas, including new cruise lengths aboard the Disney Fantasy.

Bookings open to the public on March 8, 2018.

New round-trip sailing from Rome

For the first time, Disney Cruise Line guests can experience the rich history of Rome as a bookend experience in a single cruise.

In Rome, families can explore the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican, and sample authentic local cuisine.

On June 14, 2019, the Disney Magic will sail an eight-night cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome). Ports of call include Salerno (Positano, Amalfi, Pompeii) and La Spezia (Florence, Pisa), Italy; Villefranche (Monte Carlo, Cannes, Nice) and Marseilles, France; and Barcelona, Spain.

First-time visits to seven new ports in Europe

Disney Cruise Line will call on seven new ports in Europe for the first time in 2019, including Gothenburg and Nynashamn (Stockholm), Sweden; Toulon (Provence) and Brest, France; Cartagena, Spain; Fredericia, Denmark; and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Belfast is a new destination on a seven-night British Isles cruise departing from Dover, England, near London, on Sept. 8, 2019. In Belfast, Disney Cruise Line guests can explore the stunning Giant’s Causeway, one of the most impressive natural wonders in the United Kingdom, and enjoy breathtaking vistas along the Antrim Coast, including the dramatic cliff-side ruins of the medieval Dunluce Castle.

Throughout the summer, the Disney Magic’s tour of Europe includes engagements in the Baltic, Norwegian fjords, Iceland, British Isles and the Mediterranean.

Return to Alaska                  

In 2019, the Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer season, opening up a world of breathtaking natural vistas, magnificent glaciers and awe-inspiring wildlife. A variety of five-, seven- and nine-night itineraries will depart from Vancouver, Canada, with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska, plus Victoria, Canada.

Special Disney Fantasy itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas

In addition to seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, near Orlando, Florida, the Disney Fantasy will embark on a variety of special itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas throughout the summer of 2019.

The special itineraries include a three-night Bahamian cruise departing Aug. 7, a six-night western Caribbean cruise departing June 30, an eight-night southern Caribbean cruise departing June 22, and an 11-night southern Caribbean cruise departing July 27.

All cruises aboard the Disney Fantasy in the summer of 2019 include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, in addition to multiple tropical destinations where Disney Cruise Line guests can dive into charming island cultures, sunbathe on golden beaches and revel in local marketplaces.

Castaway Cay: More opportunities to explore Disney’s exclusive private island

In 2019, the Disney Dream will sail a series of cruises that include two stops at Castaway Cay so guests can have twice the fun in the sun and enjoy even more of Disney’s award-winning pristine island paradise.

On June 19, July 3 and July 17, 2019, the Disney Dream will sail from Port Canaveral on four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau, plus two stops at Castaway Cay.

On June 14, June 23, June 28, July 7, July 12 and July 21, 2019, the Disney Dream will sail from Port Canaveral on five-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau, plus two stops at Castaway Cay.

These special itineraries are in addition to three- and four-night Bahamian cruises from Port Canaveral that visit Nassau and Castaway Cay.

Guided Experiences with Adventures by Disney

In the summer of 2019, Disney Cruise Line guests can enrich their experience by combining a Europe or Alaska cruise with a package from Adventures by Disney, a leader in family guided group vacations.

New pre-cruise Short Escapes

New in 2019, Adventures by Disney will offer pre-cruise guided experiences in Rome and Vancouver. These three-night Short Escapes, also offered in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Barcelona, allow families to experience memorable icons in ways that few can, such as a private, after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in Rome. Plus, activities like ziplining, flamenco dancing and preparing local cuisine immerse families in the culture of the region.

Guided group excursion packages for select Europe cruises

Families can also enhance select European sailings with an Adventures by Disney package during the cruise. Knowledgeable Adventure Guides lead travelers to experience the best of each port, helping them unlock the wonders of the destination through immersive excursions and off-the-beaten-path adventures. In addition, guests will enjoy exclusive receptions onboard and have access to concierge service from these dedicated guides throughout the voyage.

These Adventures by Disney offerings open for booking beginning March 8, 2018, with the exception of the Vancouver Short Escape, which will open for booking later this year.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, Contact Us Today!

New Images of the Star Wars-Inspired Resort Planned For the Walt Disney World Resort

Earlier this month we shared a look inside the groundbreaking new hotel concept coming to the Walt Disney World® Resort that will combine luxury with complete immersion into an authentic Star Wars story.

Today, we’re thrilled to have more new visuals of this resort to share with you!

The immerse experience offered at this hotel will stand out among all of our resorts around the globe. As you can see, families visiting this resort will board a starship alive with characters and stories that unfold all around them during their voyage through the galaxy – and every window has a view of space!

The resort will also be seamlessly connected to the highly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, allowing your Clients a complete Star Wars experience. Guests visiting the resort will be welcome to participate as a resident of the galaxy by dressing in Star Wars-inspired attire.

Stay tuned for more updates on all Star Wars-inspired guest offerings at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Toy Story Land to Open at Walt Disney World Resort June 30

It’s official! Toy Story Land, the highly-anticipated toy-filled land inspired by the beloved “Toy Story” films, will open to guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios June 30, 2018.

When it opens, guests visiting Toy Story Land will “shrink” to the size of a toy and join in on the fun Woody, Jessie, Buzz, and Andy’s other beloved toys are having in Andy’s backyard. Here, guests can take a ride on Slinky Dog Dash, a roller coaster Andy has assembled from his Mega Coaster Play Kit and topped off with Slinky and Jessie. (Check out the time-lapse video above of one of Slinky Dog Dash’s first test runs).

Families will also be able to take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, a galactic play set that Andy won from Pizza Planet. Here, adorable little green aliens swirl about in their flying saucers with guests in tow in their rocket ship toys, while “The Claw” hangs overhead.

Guests can also walk through a new carnival game box to experience Toy Story Mania!, which has been a guest-favorite attraction at the park since it opened in 2008. Now expanded with a third track, the popular attraction will put even more guests in the action taking aim at 3D objects – using everything from baseballs to cream pies – in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced games.

 

 

 

TOP REASONS TO VISIT DISNEY PARKS IN 2018

The year 2018 is shaping up to be an unforgettable year of anniversaries, expansions and new experiences for Guests visiting Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Here’s a round-up of just some of the fun that you can enjoy across our theme parks and cruise ships in 2018.

Disneyland® Resort

1. New Dining, Retail & Family-Friendly Entertainment Coming to Downtown Disney® District at the Disneyland Resort in Early 2018 – New dining and entertainment experiences are coming to Downtown Disney District very soon, including Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID and Splitsville Luxury Lanes. D-Street will also be reimagined into a retail space that offers Disney fans a variety of Disney-themed home goods.

2. Lunar New Year Festival Returns to Disney California Adventure® Park, Jan. 26-Feb. 18, 2018 – This spectacular festival will feature Hurry Home — Lunar New Year Celebration, a nighttime water show on Paradise Bay; specialty Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese foods at marketplaces; Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession; traditional crafts and more.

3. Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Expands to Six Weeks in 2018 –Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will return March 2-April 12, 2018, bringing delicious cuisine, specialty beverages and exciting entertainment to Disneyland Resort Guests for its third season. The culinary festival will expand to six weeks, with more days for your Clients to enjoy the flavors of the Golden State. More than a dozen Festival Marketplaces will feature California-inspired tastes and sips. Guests will experience presentations and demonstrations with celebrity chefs such as Robert Irvine and Alex Guarnaschelli; food and beverage tastings; winemaker dinners; beer, wine and spirit seminars – all in addition to live music, entertainment and special activities throughout the festival.

4. Pixar Fest Brings Celebration of Friendship Throughout Disneyland Resort Beginning April 13 – Beginning April 13, 2018, this limited-time celebration of friendship and beyond will feature the debut of an all-new “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” and the return of two favorite parades as well as even more beloved Pixar characters, new décor, atmosphere entertainment, themed food and beverage and new merchandise items.

5. Pixar Pier Will Debut This Summer – This summer will bring a transformed land for your Clients to experience at Disney California Adventure park when Pixar Pier opens along the southern shore of Paradise Bay, with newly themed attractions, foods and merchandise throughout. This new, permanent land in the area that is now Paradise Pier will introduce four new neighborhoods representing beloved Disney·Pixar stories: “The Incredibles,” “Toy Story,” “Inside Out” and a fourth neighborhood that will be a celebration of many of your favorite Pixar stories.

Walt Disney World® Resort

6. Disney Springs® Will Welcome Eight New Dining Locations – A total of eight exciting new F&B locations are set to make their grand debuts at Disney Springs in 2018. The Edison, along with Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, Enzo’s Hideaway and Pizza Ponte are scheduled to open early in 2018, while Terralina Crafted Italian, Wine Bar George, Jaleo and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill are set to debut later on in the year.

7. The Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival Celebrates its 25th Anniversary –This year’s festival will run from Feb. 28-May 28, 2018. The 90-day event brings with it a multitude of Disney character topiaries, tasty offerings at 15 Outdoor Kitchens, garden tours, the Garden Rocks music series, new kids’ activities, the Egg-Stravaganza scavenger hunt and much more.

8. Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme ParkCelebrates It’s 20th Anniversary – The  theme park dedicated to celebrating life in the animal kingdom will mark a milestone 20th anniversary on Earth Day, April 22, 2018.

9. Toy Story Land Opens in Summer 2018 – The highly anticipated expansion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will debut to Guests this summer, and with it, two new attractions: Alien Swirling Saucers and the Slinky Dog Dash family coaster. Your Clients can already catch a glimpse of what’s in store inside the park’s Walt Disney Presents attraction, where they can view the model and some attraction vehicle maquettes.

Disney Cruise Line

10. Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea Return from January-April 2018 – Epic adventures at sea return to Disney Cruise Line with special engagements of two popular events – Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea. Spanning two Disney cruise ships, sailing across the Caribbean and Bahamas, these cruises bring Disney and fan-favorite fun to families and guests of all ages.

11. Rapunzel’s Royal Table Debuts on the Disney Magic in March 2018 – Exciting new spaces and experiences designed for Guests of all ages are coming to the Disney Magic in March 2018, including an enchanting dining experience for families at Rapunzel’s Royal Table. The first table service restaurant themed to “Tangled” that features characters and live entertainment will transport your Clients to the kingdom of Corona for an evening of music and interactive fun.

12. Disney Cruise Line Visits New Destinations in Summer and Fall 2018 – Disney Cruise Line offers families a chance to see the world and explore magnificent destinations in 2018, including first-time visits to ports in Italy and Ireland during the summer and to Bermuda and Quebec City, Canada in the fall. Throughout the year, Disney Cruise Line will return to popular destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas, Alaska, Europe, Canada and Mexican Riviera.

Experience the excitement of Star Wars at three Disney Destinations!

You’ve seen them on the big screen….now is your chance to meet them in person! Experience all the excitement of Star Wars at three Disney Destinations!

At Disney Parks, the force is strong! At Hollywood Studios and Disneyland, not only can you ride along with CP3O on Star Tours (this is worth riding numerous times as there are multiple versions…it’s almost never the same ride twice!), you can meet many of the major characters like Kylo Ren, Chewbacca and BB-8 and Darth Vader at Launch Bay. Be sure to have your cameras ready, or better yet, take advantage of Disney’s photo service to capture these moments. Younglings can be a part of The Jedi Training Academy and face off against the dark side (and let’s be honest here….us grown ups would like to do this too!)

At Star Wars Theater in Disney World, watch a behind the scenes video and see how film makers are creating the future of the Star Wars saga. In Disneyland, be sure to catch Star Wars: Path of the Jedi at The Tomorrowland Theater, a 10 min film featuring the highlights of the films.

At Hollywood Studios, witness Star Wars, A Galaxy Far Away. This live stage show, featuring Kylo Ren, Rey, Chewbacca, BB-8 and Darth Maul, brings to life legendary scenes from the movies. End your evening enjoying Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular…watch highlights from the film along featuring music and fireworks to light up the night sky. For an additional cost, you can enjoy a reserved seating area and indulge in The Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party (available on select nights).

Disney Cruise Line offers it’s own experiences. On select Caribbean sailings (Jan to April 2018), Darth Vader and the Storm troopers are taking over! Get ready for up close encounters with many from the dark side, like Boba Fet, the Jawas and the storm troopers. Not to worry though, Chewbacca and BB-8 are here too.

In the Oceaneer Club, younglings must defend against the First Order ar the Resistance Base. Little rebels can join the resistance when BB-8 and a pilot stop in to look for new recruits. End your evening on deck enjoying Summon the Force, a stunning spectacular featuring live action and featuring iconic moments from the saga. Sail off to a galaxy far away with the night time fireworks show featuring the musical score from John Williams.

Be sure to contact your Must Love Travel Group agent for more information or to make plans to experience all that Disney has to offer. Don’t forget to keep an eye open for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening on both coasts in 2019! I know I can’t wait!

Save 20% on Select Disney Cruises This Fall from New York City!

Cast off on a spirited, Halloween on the High Seas adventure to Canada or The Bahamas from New York aboard the Disney Magic. Select sailings also include Marvel Day at Sea, an unforgettable morning-to-night experience featuring some of your favorite Super Heroes.
With this offer, you can save 20% off prevailing rates as quoted on Disneycruise.com for Verandah Staterooms with Restrictions on select 4- to 8-night cruises departing New York on September 27, October 2, October 6 and October 21, 2017.

Everything you need to experience a relaxing, yet fun-filled family vacation is at your fingertips—Broadway-caliber shows, elaborately themed pool areas, diverse dining options and so much more!

  • Explore 4 cruise itineraries eligible for 20% off prevailing rates on Verandah Staterooms with Restrictions with this offer: Other categories and sail dates with other rates may be available.

5-Night Halloween on the High Seas Canada and New England Cruise from New York on September 27, 2017 – Sail from New York and call upon historic ports of call—including Bar Harbor, Maine and Saint John (New Brunswick).

  • $1,360 per person, based on double occupancy. Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of $160 per person not included.

4-Night Halloween on the High Seas Canada Cruise from New York on October 2, 2017 – Escape to the unspoiled beauty of Saint John and discover the many galleries, shops, restaurants, nature trails and all this magnificent maritime hub has to offer.

  • $1,088 per person, based on double occupancy. Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of $143 per person not included.

7-Night Halloween on the High Seas Canada Cruise from New York with Marvel Day at Sea on October 21, 2017 – Experience the cultural hubs of Canada at Charlottetown, Sydney and Halifax.

  • $1,960 per person, based on double occupancy. Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of $174 per person not included.

8-Night Halloween on the High Seas Bahamian Cruise from New York with Marvel Day at Sea on October 6, 2017 – Visit Disney’s private island, Walt Disney World Resort and tropical Nassau.

  • $1,728 per person, based on double occupancy. Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of $177 per person not included.

Important Details on Verandah Staterooms with Restrictions

  • Full payment is required at the time of booking for all Guests and is non-refundable.
  • Full legal names of all Guests are required at time of booking and no name changes are allowed.
  • Specific stateroom will be assigned at a later time, based on availability.

* Important Details

  • Not combinable with Disney Vacation Club Points.
  • Rate does not include Gratuities or Port Adventures.
  • The number of staterooms allocated for this offer is limited.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts.
  • Rates are in U.S. dollars.
  • Offer subject to Disney Cruise Line Terms and Conditions.

Book Your Cruise
To take advantage of this special offer, call (866) 972-6244 or contact your Kingdom Magic Travel Planner Today!

 

Disney Cruise Line Hyperlapse

Disney Cruise Line offers a vacation experience unlike any other that magically brings families together while providing unparalleled kid fun and relaxing adult time. Discover what sets Disney apart during a one-of-a-kind voyage that includes the world-class hospitality, legendary service and attention to detail that Disney is famous for—it’s magic only Disney could provide.

 


That’s Why You Hire a Guide

Leslie and I just returned from a week in Wyoming snowmobiling north of Yellowstone. Now this was not a typical vacation for us. No fastpasses, ADR’s, no cruise safety drills or even a Palo brunch. And it’s cold, no…it’s very cold!

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We’ve lived most of our lives in Florida, we’re not snow people, this was our third trip out to Wyoming, but two years ago, our first trip out, was our first snow trip, ever! But we enjoy it so much we wanted to visit again, it’s become an annual event for us. Leslie calls it her “happy place” But one thing we have learned in all of our years of travel is that if you’re going to try something different, something new, you’re going to need a guide. Now in some cases a guide book will do, There is something to be said for wandering through a city and discovering things on your own. I will say however, one of the things I enjoy most about Adventures by Disney is the way the guides make a destination come to life, so guides are important, and some things you just can’t get from a book or on your own.

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Some activities require a bit more knowledge and understanding. I have some “bucket list” places in the world I want to scuba dive. When I finally make it to Palau or Truk Lagoon, I’ll be sure to have a guide, I don’t want to miss a thing. Wouldn’t it be a shame to do all that planning, travel half way around the world only to find out later that you missed that one thing that Truk is famous for?

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We’ve fallen in love with snowmobiling, the activity and the area where we do it. We’ve had the same guide all three trips, and we’ll request him again next year. He’s perfect for us. He’s enough of a hot dog that he challenges me to play around in the snow, while he’s also patient with Leslie’s timidness and stops often to let her take photos and enjoy the landscape. At the same time, he challenges us both to try new things and improve our skills year each year.

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A guide is an important thing. They’re with you for the whole trip. They make sure you “don’t miss a thing”, landmarks, wildlife and just having fun in the snow! They keep you on the trail and make sure you don’t get lost, and make sure you’re back in time for lunch or dinner! They dig you out of the snow when you get stuck, I did that a lot! And, they help you reach the top of the mountain.

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The top of the mountain you say? Yes I do say. Our guide, Brian, decides we’re ready to climb to the top of Austin’s Peak. The highest mountain around Brooks Lake other than the Pinnacles which you have a great view of from the Lodge at Brooks Lake. Austin’s Peak is 10,500 feet above sea level. There are three climb steps you have to make to get to the top. Our first trip we couldn’t even make it past the first climb. Partly because of the sleds we were riding, (this year we graduated to bigger machines) partly because of the conditions, and partly our experience level. What a difference a year makes, better equipment, the correct climate to climb, and more experience.

(There’s a lesson there)

So after Brian convinced Leslie that we were going to the top, we all began our climb. We made it up the first chute, a very narrow pass to get to the first peak. There were already several other riders there contemplating the ascent up the second peak. None were going, they were just staring at the mountain.  After a bit more reassuring, we started up the second climb, it was steep, and you just hang on and give the sled all its got and work to the top.

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Cool, second climb over, one more to go. We began that one, and the snow was so deep and there was a left slant that draws you down the mountain rather than up. I gave it my best, but near the top the sled started veering left with the slope and I couldn’t get it pointed back up. Rather than stall or roll, I turned back down to the bottom of the last hill. When I got down there the valley was to narrow for me to turn around, I had no where to go. Did I mention what an awesome guide Brian was? He came down the last hill, told me we were going to the top and together we made the climb, and yes we all made it to the top!

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It was the most incredible and exhilarating thing I’ve ever done, I’ve never been challenged like that before. We stood on the top looking all around and feeling that awesome feeling of solitude and awe at what we were seeing. As we started back down the other group was beginning their climb now that they had seen us do it. (so many lessons here, right) We rode back down to the bottom, going down can be as thrilling as going up! And at the bottom of the peak, had high fives all around and stories to last a life time.

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Now, if Leslie and I had been doing this on our own and came up to that mountain, if I had said “let’s climb that”, she would have said I was crazy and headed back for an early dinner! But because we had Brian, and he encouraged us and showed us the way, she was willing to give it a try and it became a lifelong vacation memory. As we stood on top of that mountain last week, that’s the thought that ran through my head, “that’s why you have a guide” We experienced more each year than we did the year before, because of our guide Brian.

Here’s a photo of Leslie and I on Austin’s Peak. Brian enjoyed taking us up the first mountain so much, he took us up Lava Mountain the next day. Now, that’s why you hire a guide!

rick-leslie


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A Unique Point of View: ‘a bug’s land’ at Disney California Adventure Park

I’ve heard it’s tough to be a bug, but it looks like a lot of fun from this point of view of “a bug’s land” at Disney California Adventure park. For this video we took a spin on Francis’ Ladybug Boogie, Flik’s Flyers, Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies and Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train. Check it out and see what the buzz is all about!

 

‘Limited Time Magic’ Brings Delicious Treats for Happy Lunar New Year Celebration to Disney California Adventure Park

While many of us celebrate the New Year on January 1, the Lunar New Year is usually between late January and early February, determined by the cycles and phases of the moon. Best known as “Chinese New Year,” Lunar New Year is also celebrated by the Vietnamese and Korean cultures, and is a time for big festivities.

‘Limited Time Magic’ Brings Delicious Treats for Happy Lunar New Year Celebration to Disney California Adventure Park

 

Disney California Adventure park is joining in the fun with the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration, part of “Limited Time Magic” from February 8-11, with the eateries in Pacific Wharf adding Asian-inspired treats. Lucky Fortune Cookery is adding chicken and veggie pot stickers and pork spare riblets with char siu sauce to its menu, as well as ginger milk tea (a delicious new creation by the Disney chefs) and mini-almond cookies.

Pacific Wharf Café is adding a barbecued pork bao roll, a traditional Chinese steamed bun, along with ginger milk tea and almond cookies. And their popular Chinese chicken salad in a sourdough bowl fits the bill, too.

Boudin Bread Cart is offering a giant loaf of sourdough shaped like a snake

 

The San Francisco cart adds the barbecued pork bao roll, edamame, almond cookies and ginger milk tea, while the Boudin Bread Cart is offering a giant loaf of sourdough shaped like a snake, for “the year of the snake.”

Pacific Palisades Coffee Cart is adding ginger milk tea, edamame and almond cookies, while Rita’s Baja Blenders will offer Tsing Tao beer. Try a little of everything to celebrate lively Asian flavors and a different tradition this year. Happy Lunar New Year!

Mickey Check for Kids’ Meals Debuts at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

From an udon noodle bowl at Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure park to turkey pot pie at Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom Park, the new Mickey Check is now featured on kids’ menus in both quick-service and table-service restaurants across Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.

Mickey Check for Kids’ Meals Debuts at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

 

Following the introduction earlier this month at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, the expansion of the Mickey Check helps families easily find nutritious choices, part of an ongoing program that launched in 2006 with nutrition guidelines. The Mickey Check makes it even easier to identify healthier food options in all of the Disney theme parks and resorts.

Choices that receive the Mickey Check must meet Disney Nutrition Guidelines that limit calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar. For the Disney chefs, it’s been a fun challenge to tweak menus. For example, Blue Bayou in Disneyland park now offers seared salmon, spaghetti, broccolini and fresh fruit for kids. At Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot, there’s grilled sirloin with green beans and brown rice. (Kids’ Complete Meals must be ordered without substitutions and include at least three of the following food groups: fruits and vegetables; low-fat dairy; whole grains or lean protein, beans, eggs and nuts.)

Mickey Check for Kids’ Meals Debuts at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

 

While new to table-service restaurants, the Mickey Check also appears on some Disney-licensed food products sold at retail locations, on qualifying recipes at Disney.com and Family.com, and on menus at quick-service restaurants at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

 

Vintage Walt Disney World: Disney’s Vero Beach Resort Opens to Guests

Today in 1996, grand opening ceremonies were held for Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Here’s a look at an early rendering of the resort from our archives.

early rendering of Disney's Vero Beach resort

 

With the Atlantic Ocean as its backdrop, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort was the first Disney Vacation Club Resort located outside Walt Disney World Resort property. The Resort’s design and theme reflect the Treasure Coast region where the resort is situated.

Vintage Walt Disney World: Disney’s Vero Beach Resort Opens to Guests

 

Ground breaking took place on July 28, 1994, where Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale were all in attendance for the big moment.

With 175 Villas, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is a great place to unwind, relax and enjoy the Florida sunshine.

 

With 175 Villas, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is a great place to unwind, relax and enjoy the Florida sunshine.

Relax, Rejuvenate & Unwind at Disney Resort Fitness Centers, Spas & Salons at Walt Disney World Resort

Did you know that Disney’s Yacht & Beach Ship Shape Massage Salon & Fitness Center just underwent a major renovation? It is sparkling with a modern, yet warm, motif that complements the nautical resort. There are five treatment rooms and even a relaxation room for the ultimate in lounging.

Relax, Rejuvenate & Unwind at Disney Resort Fitness Centers, Spas & Salons at Walt Disney World Resort

 

Around Disney property there are other facilities that offer traditional salon services, plus a limited menu of massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, plus a fitness center to soothe and unwind. Think of these offerings as a super convenient way to get a little “you time” right at your home resort.

Relax, Rejuvenate & Unwind at Disney Resort Fitness Centers, Spas & Salons at Walt Disney World Resort

 

All six locations are now owned and managed by Disney so that means a whole new menu of relaxing and pampering services with a dash of Disney in décor and guest service. Treatment hours are from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and salon hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center, Disney’s BoardWalk Muscles & Bustles Health Club, Disney’s Coronado Springs La Vida Health Club and Casa de Belleza Salon, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Sturdy Branches Health Club, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort Olympiad Fitness Center. And remember the spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort is now closed for a major renovation and is scheduled to reopen in summer as the brand new Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. (The fitness center will remain opened with limited hours.)

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Ship Shape Massage Salon & Fitness Center

 

For the ultimate in well-being, there’s also the newly opened Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. This full-service spa opened its doors last month to feature 15 treatment rooms with services such as water therapy, sugar exfoliation body treatments, rejuvenating citrus facials and an extensive array of massages, spa manicures and pedicures.

Wilderness Explorers Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom This Spring

Have you seen the Disney•Pixar film “Up”?

If you recall, young Russell from the film is a dedicated Wilderness Explorer who can’t wait to earn badges by having all kinds of adventures while learning about the world.

Wilderness Explorers Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom This Spring

 

We’re happy to announce that the Wilderness Explorers adventure organization is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with a planned opening this spring. Soon, guests can become Wilderness Explorers and experience the entire park using their field guides, completing challenges and earning badges as they go. With more than 30 badges available, Wilderness Explorers is fun for the whole family and helps guests experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom and its themes in a new and exciting way.

A Visit to Northwest Mercantile in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot

A Visit to Northwest Mercantile in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot

 

I love Canada! I first visited this beautiful country when I was 10 years old. My family took a trip to Niagara Falls, where we stayed in a bed and breakfast for a few days. Since then, I’ve visited Toronto twice, and I recently took a trip to Montreal in spring 2011 (great food and great music!). The closest I get to Canada these days is World Showcase in Epcot. This week, winter has descended upon Canada Pavilion as part of Limited Time Magic. Guests can meet and take photos with some favorite Disney characters in the snow for this week only. I stopped by Canada Pavilion’s Northwest Mercantile this past weekend to see what the merchandise location had in store.

Canada Pavilion’s Northwest Mercantile

 

Northwest Mercantile houses a variety of Canadian-themed goods. Upon entry, I was greeted by the shop’s newest items – a selection of Canadian Native Handicrafts by Monague Native Crafts. I asked Sylvie Brumbaugh, merchandiser for World Showcase, about these new goods.

“I’m always looking for unique items for World Showcase,” said Sylvie. “When deciding on assortments that capture the essence of a particular country, we consider several things including popular marketplace trends. For the Canadian Native Handicrafts line, we have apparel, pottery and an expanded collection of dream catchers. Monague Native Crafts is a leading Canadian supplier of these items, so it’s great to carry them in the location.”

 unique items in the shop including Sasquatch Sweat soap and the ketchup-flavored potato chips

 

I liked some of the more unique items I found in the shop including Sasquatch Sweat soap and the ketchup-flavored potato chips. Sylvie told me some of the most popular items are the Hatley pajamas (perfect for a cold Canadian winter’s night!).

some items give a nod to the 360-degree film at the pavilion, “O Canada

 

My favorite things, however, give a nod to the 360-degree film at the pavilion, “O Canada.” Disney Design Group created the artwork which Sylvie applied to hats, shirts, tumblers, mugs and more. I like the simplicity of the red “Canada” shirt, while the plaid moose pattern is fun. I also saw the awesome World Showcase shirt we created for the 30th Anniversary of Epcot.

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