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Category Archives: Walt Disney World Resort – Orlando


The Walt Disney World® Resort is the place where worries disappear, fun reigns supreme and dreams coming true are the everyday. With four Theme Parks…two Water Parks…over 20 themed Resort Hotels…two nighttime entertainment districts…a state-of-the-art sports complex…dining, shopping and recreation galore, it’s easy to see how this vacation of a lifetime has enough smiles for everyone.
Learn More About the Largest Expansion in Magic Kingdom Park History

“Rivers of Light” Opens February 17 at Animal Kingdom

For more than a year, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park at Walt Disney World® Resort has continued its evolution to a day-to-night park by introducing a rich variety of new nighttime experiences – from Kilimanjaro Safaris after sunset and fine dining at Tiffins, to the vibrant entertainment at the Harambe Wildlife Parti and Discovery Island Carnivale. And when the Tree of Life awakens after dark, it is truly a sight to behold!

Disney announced one of the park’s newest nighttime experiences, “Rivers of Light,” will make its official debut on Feb 17, 2017.

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Continuing the grand Disney tradition of innovative, after-dark entertainment, “Rivers of Light” combines live performance, floating set pieces, a soaring musical score, fountains and more in a celebration of animals and nature. The story magically unfolds on the broad natural stage of the Discovery River, conveying the uplifting spirit of an ancient and timeless lantern ceremony and filled with symbolism, storytelling and plenty of heart.

Dining and FastPass+ reservations for this new show are now available.

And don’t forget that the next step in the expansion of Disney’s Animal Kingdom – the grand debut of Pandora – The World of Avatar – will take place on May 27, 2017.

Keep your eye on the Disney Travel News, as we share more details on what’s new and what’s next for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

Re-Imagined Planet Hollywood Observatory Opens at Disney Springs

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Planet Hollywood Observatory has opened its flagship location in the heart of Disney Springs, transforming its iconic globe into a four-story stargazing observatory with new spaces including an outdoor terrace, a new menu and an exciting new look and feel.

Inside it’s an immersive theatrical dining experience, with each floor providing a different ambience, including the fabulous curated collection of film-making memorabilia and a 4,500-square-foot video wall the uses trompe l’oeil 3D technology – images with such realism that they appear to be in three dimensions.

Classic Planet Hollywood dishes are on the new menu, as well as a selection of over-the-top burgers and sandwiches by celebrity Chef Guy Fieri. Desserts are a hallmark of the restaurant, like the hand-dipped milkshakes and generous sweets made for sharing.

Beer, wine and cocktails offer a little something for every taste, and Stargazers Lounge has a beverage menu that focuses on Florida craft beers (with 20 on tap) and 10 signature cocktails.

The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. The new 5,000 square-foot Stargazers Lounge that will let guests relax under the stars will be opening soon.

Behind-the-Scenes Look at Pandora – The World of Avatar

Today we’re excited to share this amazing sneak peek into one of the Walt Disney World® Resort’s most exciting expansions: the construction of PandoraThe World of AVATAR, which will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park this summer.

As you can see in this video, Pandora – The World of AVATAR will transport your to a visually stunning world complete with floating mountains and bioluminescent plants. This new land will feature two never-before-experienced expeditions. The family-friendly Na’vi River Journey sends your Clients down a sacred river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest. The journey ends in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora. And, the Avatar Flight of Passage excursion offers the jaw-dropping experience of riding on a Banshee over the world of Pandora.

Get a closer look in this video as the project team shares how this new land has already exceeded even their own imaginations!

17 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World in 2017

With an amazing land set to debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in 2017, a new festival, a multitude of dining locations and popular returning events, 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year at the Walt Disney World® Resort!

Check out 17 reasons to visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2017

1. “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” Fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

This “out of this world” fireworks spectacular, which returned a few weeks ago to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, uses the latest projections effects, lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics to light up the sky, Star Wars style.

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2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Inspired additions to Star Wars Launch Bay

Your can celebrate the newest cinematic addition to Star Wars, courtesy of an assortment of props from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

3. MagicBand 2 Rolls Out

MagicBand 2, the next iteration of bands that offer the same helpful functions as the original bands, have just made their way to select Disney Parks merchandise locations and the Shop Disney Parks app. Stay tuned for more updates!

4. Exclusive New Star Wars Tour Now Available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This seven-hour experience, led by a Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide, allows you to experience Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; get an insider’s tour and meet characters at Star Wars Launch Bay; screen “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi” and enjoy Star Wars-themed menu items at Backlot Express. The tour wraps at the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which includes reserved viewing for the show. Younglings ages 4-12 on the Guided Tour package can also train in the way of The Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. The price is $129 per Guest. Book your today by calling 407-939-7529.

5. Disney After Hours Events Return January-March

Disney After Hours returns to Magic Kingdom® Park on Jan. 20, 27, Feb. 2, 9, 16, March 2 and 9, 2017. This 3-hour event takes place after the park closes and is only open to a limited number of Guests, which means much shorter lines at 25 attractions, character greetings and more. The cost is $119 per adult or child (tax not included). Book today by calling 407-827-7185, or online at Disneyworld.com.

6. More Dining to Debut at Disney Springs

Dozens of shopping and dining locations made their debut at Disney Springs in 2016 – and even more are set to open in 2017! Stay tuned for news and opening dates for Planet Hollywood Observatory, Paddlefish, The Polite Pig, The Edison and Wine Bar George.

7. Milestone Races for runDisney

It’s the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. And to celebrate, they’ve made Donald Duck their mascot. Also, in anticipation of the release of “Beauty & The Beast” this spring, runDisney has themed this year’s Princess Half Marathon after the film.

8. First-Ever Epcot® International Festival of the Arts Begins January 13

Epcot will start 2017 off with a bang, offering a brand new art festival for you to experience. This new offering will run weekends between Jan 13-Feb. 20, 2017 and will showcase visual, culinary and performing arts.

9. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Begins March 1

This year’s spring festival will run March 1-May 29, 2017. Festival “firsts” include brand-new topiaries of Belle and Figment, two new outdoor kitchens (bringing the total to 15), and a “Cars” interactive play garden for kids in honor of the upcoming Disney•Pixar film, “Cars 3.”

10. New Garden Rocks Dining Packages to debut at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

During the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, dining packages will be available on select days at a number of Epcot restaurants, combining dinner and reserved seating for performances of the Garden Rocks Concert Series. Stay tuned for more details!

11. New Family Raft Ride at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Coming this spring, you can enjoy a new family-style raft attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Planned to be one of the longest Disney water park attractions, this experience will immerse you in the story of treasure hunter, Captain Mary Oceaneer. You will gently ascend in treasure rafts, only to plunge into a whitewater adventure where they may encounter some of Mary’s legendary treasure.

12. Boulder Ridge Cove, Geyser Point Bar & Grill Opening Summer 2017

Scheduled to open at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in summer 2017, Boulder Ridge Cove pool will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool in what appears to have been an abandoned rock quarry. Geyser Point Bar & Grill, a new quick-service eatery, will be located in the heart of the feature pool area of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

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13. Pandora – The World of AVATAR Opening Summer 2017

This new land will open its doors at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in summer 2017 with exciting new offerings – including AVATAR Flight of Passage, the Na’vi River Journey, the Satu’li Canteen Restaurant, Pongu Pongu drink location and Windtraders merchandise shop.

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14. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Returns for a Record 75 Days

This year’s festival will kick off on August 31 and run through November 13 – for a record 75 days!

15. 35th Anniversary of Epcot

The second theme park to be built at the Walt Disney World Resort will mark its 35th anniversary on Oct. 1, 2017.

16. More Updates to Star Wars-Inspired Land

As we’ve previously shared, a Star Wars-inspired land is currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Measuring 14-acres, this new land will transport you to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

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17. Return of Holiday Favorites

Stay tuned for updates on next year’s Candlelight Processional narrators, the return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park, “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and more!

Star Wars-Inspired Additions Coming to Hollywood Studios

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Beginning this month, Disney’s Hollywood Studios® will be updating your favorite Star Wars experiences bringing you new experiences beginning in 2017:

  • Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away: AWR (Advanced Weapons Research) Troopers from the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will debut during a new scene in the existing Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away daytime show. AWR Troopers are encased in specialized Stormtrooper armor with a dark, ominous gleam.
  • Star Wars Launch Bay: This location will feature new props from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Making-of footage can be seen in the attraction’s behind-the-scenes film, “Meet the Makers.” Similar updates can also be found at Star Wars Launch Bay in Disneyland® Park in California.
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue: Voyage changes are coming starting in mid-December, switching back to randomized beginnings (instead of starting each journey on the planet of Jakku) and final destinations.
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular: This spectacular show will return nightly beginning Dec. 16, 2016 in celebration of the theatrical release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, joining “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” as a second nightly fireworks spectacular at the park through Dec. 31, 2016.
  • Star Wars Guided Tour: Beginning in 2017, this seven-hour guided tour will be led by a Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide. You will blast off on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, get an in-depth, insider’s tour around Launch Bay, and enjoy Star Wars-themed menu items at Backlot Express. Plus, Guests age 4-12 will have an opportunity to participate in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. And, the finale of this unforgettable day includes themed sweets and specialty beverages at Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which also includes reserved viewing for the show. Stay tuned for more information on this tour and booking information.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on Dec. 16, 2016.

Holiday Shopping Made Fun for Little Ones at Disney Springs

For many parents, the thought of holiday shopping with their kids in tow sounds like a surefire way to put a damper on the spirit of the season. The reality is that it’s not always possible to get away for a few hours, especially during this busy time of year.

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Our solution? Do your shopping at Disney Springs, and build in time for the kids to have some fun, too! There are countless scenarios, but here’s what we’d suggest:

SHOPPING: Start your day in Town Center, picking up presents for some of the fellow grown-ups on your list. Make sure to visit UNIQLO (where the fashions are on-trend and the looks are affordable) and let your son or daughter spin the famous UNIQLO prize wheel after you check out – kids love it! Next? Stop by nearby UNDER ARMOUR BRAND HOUSE where they’ve recently debuted a new virtual reality experience. For the perfect stocking stuffers, stock up on bath bombs from Basin in the Marketplace; while there, try out one of their latest scrubs for your own mini spa-like service. Then there’s World of Disney, with something to thrill Disney every fan in your life.

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TREATS: Looking for an incentive to encourage good behavior? Options abound! I’m currently craving the new Gingerbread cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes, but the peppermint milkshake from D-Luxe Burger or a holiday-inspired specialty apple from Candy Cauldron would also do the trick! If frozen treats are more your style, the seasonal flavors from Vivoli il Gelato are a sure bet.

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SANTA: Make sure your kids have their wish lists ready to share with Santa – he’s available daily from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. through Christmas Eve. With the convenient pager system (just check in at the podium when you arrive), your wait time in line is minimal.

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EATS: Fuel up with lunch or dinner. Kids go crazy for Rainforest Café or T-REX, both located in the Marketplace. Other favorites include The BOATHOUSE where kids’ meals come in tiny amphicars or Morimoto Asia where special chop sticks let kids practice their culinary etiquette.

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HOLIDAY FUN: During this time of year, your visit isn’t complete without a trek through the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail. (Tip: Find out which tree your kids love most, then let them choose an ornament to take home from Disney’s Days of Christmas, where literally thousands of ornaments are available for sale.) Every evening at 6:00 p.m. the nightly tree lighting ceremony kicks off the evening with a festive glow. Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt is not to be missed – it’s a scavenger hunt style adventure designed for families with kids of all ages. Cap off the night with a viewing of “Starbright Holidays | An Intel Collaboration” featuring 300 show drones choreographed in a stunning aerial ballet in the sky, at 7:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m.

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FAMILIAR FAVORITES: For some kids (my oldest niece included!), it’s impossible to visit Disney Springs without a ride on the Marketplace Carousel and Marketplace Train. Take a few minutes to indulge your kids, and their memories of your “shopping day” at Disney Springs will be nothing but fond!

2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Dates

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The Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival returns to Walt Disney World® Resort Aug. 31-Nov. 13, 2017. This year’s festival will be a record 75 days of global culinary creations, celebrity chefs, premium events, Eat to the Beat concerts, and more.

Stay tuned to Disney Travel News for more updates about this favorite fall event!

Disney After Hours Returns for 7 Nights in Early 2017

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Last spring, Disney After Hours event nights debuted at Magic Kingdom Park and delighted attendees with quick access to some of the park’s most popular attractions and character greetings. Disney is thrilled to share that this unique hard-ticket event will return for select dates in January, February and March 2017.

In case you aren’t familiar, Disney After Hours events are limited to a small number of guests, allowing attendees to maximize their time in the park with little to no wait at 25 attractions and experiences, like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Space Mountain and many more. The Disney After Hours ticket allows park entry as early as 7 p.m., which gives attendees time to enjoy the park’s nightly “Wishes” fireworks, and then remain in the park for three hours past the park’s scheduled closing time. In addition, ice cream novelties and select beverages are also provided as part of your admission.

Disney After Hours event nights are currently set for January 20 and 27, February 2, 9 and 16, and March 2 and 9, 2017. (Please note that Disney After Hours does not replace Extra Magic Hours (EMH) for our resort guests and are instead held on non-EMH dates).

Tickets are available now. Contact your Kingdom Magic Travel Planner for more information.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts – January 2017

A brand new event is coming to Walt Disney World® Resort! The Epcot® International Festival of the Arts debuts Jan. 13 – Feb. 20, 2017. It’ll be a trifecta of global masterpieces: combining visual, culinary and performing arts for six colorful weekends.

Over the six weeks of the festival, you can enjoy different pairings of phenomenal Broadway talent in concert singing the award-winning music of Disney on Broadway. Plus, you’ll feast on delicious creations that look almost too good to eat.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will run Fridays through Mondays, and unveil brand new art each week. That means you’ll want to return each weekend for an original experience! Stay tuned for more info and to book your next Walt Disney World vacation, call your travel agent today!

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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!

Breakfast Permanently Available At Be Our Guest In Magic Kingdom

With the successful test of the fast casual breakfast experience at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney has announced this as a permanent offering.

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The prix fixe French-inspired breakfast menu includes pastries, cured meats and cheeses, eggs Florentine, vegetable quiche, and more. Plus, guests can indulge in the Croissant Doughnut, a fried doughnut topped with banana caramel sauce, chocolate ganache and whipped cream. Younger Guests can enjoy brioche French toast, scrambled eggs, fruit crepes, as well as cereal and oatmeal.

Breakfast will be served 8-10 a.m. daily. Pricing will be $21.99 plus tax for adults, $13.99 plus tax for children ages 3-9 years. Reservations will be available beginning Aug. 5, 2015 for dates Oct. 4, 2015 via your Kingdom Magic Travel Planner. Advance reservations are encouraged. The Disney Dining Plan will be accepted.


Chef Mickey’s Opens for Brunch Starting May 31 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Reservations open May 22 for what promises to be a popular new addition to Walt Disney World Resort dining – mid-day brunch daily at Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

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The popular restaurant, with the Monorail breezing by overhead, has been open for breakfast and dinner, and is one of the very best spots for an audience with Chef Mickey and his pals, who make a stop at each table during dining service.

For brunch, the menu of breakfast favorites expands with soup; salads including Caesar; seafood, fresh broccoli, antipasto, chicken and Caprese, and hot dishes such as barbecued ribs, seafood étouffée and baked salmon. (And, yes, the famous Mickey waffles are on the brunch menu.) The ice cream bar and Contemporary bakery sweets also will be part of the expansive buffet.

Hours for brunch are 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Breakfast is still 7-11:30 a.m. and dinner 5-9:30 p.m.) Meals are one table-service entitlement on the Disney Dining Plan. For reservations, contact you Kingdom Magic Travel Planner today!


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