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Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter

Revel in the romance and pageantry of New Orleans’s historic French Quarter at this Resort hotel, where cobblestone streets, gas lamps, wrought-iron balconies and fragrant magnolia blossoms evoke the Antebellum era and colorful Mardi Gras characters and jazz keep things lively. Then stroll along the Sassagoula River to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, home to Cajun and Creole specialties.

Recreation:
At Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter, Doubloon Lagoon is home to Scales: the 51-foot-long sea serpent slide whose tongue splashes you into the lagoon. It’s Mardi Gras every day with the water play area, a whirlpool spa, and the Mardi Grogs pool bar.

Take your family on a horse-drawn carriage ride as you take in the rustic beauty along the pathways and banks of the Sassagoula River. Each ride is 25 minutes and reservations are recommended.

There are plenty of more activities you and your family can enjoy such as movies under the stars, campfires complete with smores, bike rentals, fishing, and an arcade too!

Dining:
Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory is a quick-service restaurant at Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter where you can enjoy traditional Cajun and Creole cuisine such as beignets, jamalaya with sausage and cornbread, and create-your-own rice bowls.

Scat Cat’s Club is a Southern-style jazz lounge with a full bar serving specialty cocktails, draft beer, and mouth-watering appetizers all while you enjoy live music.

Transportation:
Enjoy a leisurely cruise to Disney Springs on the complimentary water taxi. Disney’s bus transportation is available to and from all Disney’s theme and water parks.

Experience the enchanting rustic beauty and southern hospitality of the bayou at this picturesque Disney Resort hotel. For more information about this resort and booking your next Disney vacation, visit us online today! We are you concierge to the magic and much more!

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Celebrate the spirit of the South Pacific at this tropical oasis of coconut palms, lush vegetation, koi ponds, and white-sand beaches. Village longhouses flank the Great Ceremonial House, where torch-lighting, drums, and a traditional fire-knife dance welcome the night. On the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort invites you to savor “Ho’Onanea”—the passing of time in languid tranquility.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Recreation:
You certainly can’t miss the Lava Pool at this resort. It has a towering volcano, a waterfall, and an exciting 142 foot-long waterslide that everyone will enjoy. The Oasis Pool is nestled amid a lush garden and is the perfect spot to relax and unwind.

Also at the Polynesian Resort is Lilo’s Playhouse: a kid’s club for ages 3-12 where they’ll be visited by some of their Disney friends, be entertained with endless activities, and even enjoy dinner and late-night snacks.

Kona Cafe at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Dining:
Your family will enjoy a breakfast to remember with Lilo, Stitch, and their friends at ‘Ohana. At this feast-style breakfast, characters will sign autographs and pose for photos while you and your family start your day with hearty foods and plenty of laughs.

If you’re looking for dinner and a show, you’ll have to experience Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. Hula dancing, fire dancing, and a show-stopping fire-knife performer will delight you with traditions from Polynesia as you enjoy an authentic meal.

Casual quick-service dining is available at 5 different locations on Polynesian property as well as two lounges and three other sit-down restaurants.

Monorail at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Transportation:
Board the monorail for an easy ride-in-the-sky to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. The resort’s complimentary water taxi will also take you to Magic Kingdom park, and Disney’s Bus Transportation is always available to take you to most areas throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is a wonderful escape to the South Pacific and fun for the whole family. For more information about this resort and booking your next Disney vacation, visit us online today! We are you concierge to the magic and much more!

Iconic Disney Destination Undergoes Complete Transformation to Become Paddlefish

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4. Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4. The seafood-centric restaurant, formerly known as Fulton’s Crab House, has undergone an extensive, multimillion-dollar transformation which involved a full renovation with a brand new design (interior and exterior) that has transformed the vessel into a modern yacht experience.

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4.

The aesthetic of Paddlefish was inspired by a modern, seafaring yacht with its clean lines, crisp designs, refined woods and a sophisticated color palette of blues and grays. Purposeful elements will be showcased in the dining areas such as booths that are put into spaces with great views and a bar that overlooks the paddlewheel. Unique design features include opening up all of the windows for an open-air feel and bar areas decorated with brass accents that resemble fish gills.

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4.

“We’re excited to embark upon Paddlefish’s next voyage, and can’t wait for guests to share this new experience with us,” said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy Restaurants. “As Disney Springs evolves and grows, we’re looking forward to sharing this newly reimagined restaurant with both vacationers and Florida locals.”

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4.

Paddlefish’s menu will showcase fresh seafood including Maine lobster, King and Snow crabs and a selection of fresh fish including sea bass, catfish and salmon. Fan favorites and classic dishes from Fulton’s Crab House, such as Lobster Corn Dogs and Crab Legs, will still be offered on the menu alongside new, contemporary options such as Lobster Risotto and Jambalaya. The menu also features interactive dining experiences including tableside services like Lobster Guacamole and Branzino for Two carved right at your table.

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4.

“It’s been incredible to have this opportunity to not only completely redevelop the menu, but also the kitchen design to accommodate it,” said Executive Chef Mark Boor. “I’ve put my heart and soul into creating a well-balanced menu that will have something that appeals to every palate and I’m excited to finally welcome guests onboard and see that hard work and vision come to life.”

Paddlefish will also showcase unique beverage offerings. The cocktail menu was inspired by classic, turn-of-the-century American cocktails and gives them a unique, modern spin with fresh ingredients and spirits that are house made by small craft artisan distillers. “We’ve really dug deep into finding some truly rare and amazing wines and spirits along with our favorite, familiar classics,” said General Manager, Jimmy Kraus. “Our goal was to have cocktails that feel timeless, unique and balanced.”

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4.

Paddlefish will be open for lunch and dinner in addition to offering a Sunday brunch. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy three unique dining room experiences on the ship, which can seat a total 760 guests. Guests can enjoy their meal in the main dining room, in the “Boil Room” where guests can create their own seafood boils or on the rooftop deck where guests can sip on shared punch bowls and snack on shared plates while soaking in the sun and views of Lake Buena Vista and Disney Springs. Paddlefish also offers versatile private dining rooms and event spaces to accommodate celebrations or meetings from 20 to 1,000 guests.

Update: Universal’s Volcano Bay

As we announced in this post from November, Universal Orlando Resort is opening a first-of-its-kind water theme park – Universal’s Volcano Bay! The park is set to open in early Summer, but here is another video sneak peek about what’s to come!

Tickets are already available for purchase, and we are eagerly awaiting the opening! Call your travel agent today or visit us online!

Star Wars Day at Sea Returns to Disney Cruise Line in Early 2018 on Select Disney Fantasy Sailings

Disney Cruise Line has made an announcement of galactic proportions: Star Wars Day at Sea will return in early 2018! The epic day at sea will be part of 15 special Disney Fantasy sailings to the Caribbean from January through April.

Disney Cruise Line guests can experience the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga for the first time aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship in a day-long celebration: ìStar Wars Day at Sea.î The event combines the power of the Force, the magic of Disney and the excitement of cruising for an out-of-this-galaxy experience unlike any other. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

The event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations including a deck party spectacular with an extraordinary fireworks display, encounters with the galaxy’s most formidable and heroic characters, Star Wars-themed family and youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings and special merchandise.

Star Wars Day at Sea ñ Chewbacca

Departing Jan. 6, 20; Feb. 3, 17; March 3, 17, 31; and April 14, 2018, the western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, and Castaway Cay. Departing Jan. 13, 27; Feb. 10, 24; March 10, 24; and April 7, 2018, the eastern Caribbean itinerary includes Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay.

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Last year’s inaugural season of this special day-long celebration left all of us in anticipation, and I can tell you, there’s a ton of excitement in the air. Its fun to see everyone dressed up enjoying the fantastic activities happening all day long.

Watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on the big screen tonight in the Walt Disney Theatre is sure to be even more incredible after seeing Jedi, Wookiees, droids, Stormtroopers and other iconic characters walk around the ship all day!

‘Delicious Disney, A Chef Series’ Continues in 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort

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Imagine an intimate evening filled with delicious cuisine prepared just for you by an award-winning culinarian from Walt Disney World Resort. This year, the Walt Disney World Resort chefs launched a new dinner series to showcase the stellar talents of the culinary team; with unique and inspired culinary creations coupled with deliciously creative wine pairings. And the “Delicious Disney, A Chef Series” will continue in 2017 with the theme of “storytelling with food.” These dinners are a wonderful opportunity for epicureans to meet our amazing chefs as they prepare specially themed meals for you, our guests.

The dinners are often intimate (no more than 60 guests), and the kickoff for 2017 will be Jan. 31 at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom Park. There will be nine dinners in all, in other locations including Markham’s at Golden Oak, Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park, and backstage at the Walt Disney World Tree Farm. See the full schedule below.

All reservations may be booked by calling 407.939.5773 daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

January 31st at 7:45 p.m. Fireworks Reception – 9 p.m. Dinner
Celebrate the Magic Kingdom Parks’s 45th Anniversary!
Featuring Magic Kingdom’s Culinary Director Robert Gilbert and Team
Location Cinderella’s Royal Table, Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park

February 22nd at 6:30pm
Come Explore a Journey around the World of Flavors
Featuring Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Culinary Director Robert Adams and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

April 26th at 6:30pm
Enjoy Legendary Culinary Moments from Disney Animation History
Featuring Victoria & Albert’s Chef de Cuisine Aimee Rivera and Team
Markham’s at Golden Oak

May 31st at 6:30pm
Celebrating the Silly Symphony Flowers and Trees Anniversary
Featuring Park Event’s Culinary Director Chef John Clark and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

June 28th at 6:30pm
A Culinary tribute to Ratatouille’s 10th Anniversary
Featuring Citricos’s Chef Dominque Filoni and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

July 19th at 6:30pm
Enjoy the exotic and exquisite tastes of a journey Under the Sea
Featuring Flying Fish’s Timothy Majoras and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

August 16th at 6:30pm
A Walk around the World with Disney
Featuring Culinary Director Edwin Wronski and the Flavor Lab Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

September 5th at 8:30pm
Enjoy a sampling of the Beast’s favorite French Cuisine
Featuring Flavor Lab’s Chef de Cuisine Roland Muller with Magic Kingdom Park’s Culinary Director Robert Gilbert
Location Be Our Guest, West Wing, Magic Kingdom Park

December 6th at 6:30pm
Farm to Table Dining Experience
Featuring a collaboration of our Disney Chefs
Location The Tree Farm

*Markham’s at Golden Oak Events are hosted by Chef de Cuisine Phillip Ponticelli

A New Way to Start the Day at Magic Kingdom!

Starting on January 9, you will be allowed to enter Magic Kingdom Park earlier than the park’s scheduled opening time and experience some new enhancements! If you’ve ever experienced Magic Kingdom’s “opening moment”, then you’re familiar with waiting at the front of the park to kick off the day.

Magic Kingdom Park

This will allow you time to savor the charm of Main Street, U.S.A., enjoy breakfast or a warm drink at the Main Street Bakery featuring Starbucks. Then promptly at opening, a new welcome show will officially open the park for the day on the Castle Forecourt Stage. A Royal Herald will appear to deliver a proclamation and welcome a few familiar characters to the stage, officially opening the park so “the magic can begin!”

To book your next magical vacation, visit us online!

The Ramp – Cape Porpoise, Maine On Travel With Rick

This week on Travel With Rick, we enjoy some great seafood at the Ramp in Cape Porpoise, Maine. We discovered this little restaurant / bar last year during our first trip up to Maine. Located underneath the main restaurant, Pier 77, you literally walk down the “ramp” to get to it. The decor is made up of old and new political and sports memorabilia, and serving up some of the finest seafood anywhere!

Famous for their lobster roll and seafood stew, our favorites, but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu!

Universal’s Volcano Bay Revealed: Universal Orlando’s Third Theme Park To Open In 2017

A lush, tropical oasis unfolds before you, instantly transporting you to a little-known Pacific isle. In the distance, a colossal volcano rises above a sparkling beach, boasting majestic waterfalls by day and blazing lava by night.

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Welcome to Universal’s Volcano Bay– a radically-innovative water theme park opening next year at Universal Orlando Resort. Spanning 28 fully immersive acres, Universal Orlando’s third theme park will be an entirely new kind of water theme park experience, giving guests even more to enjoy on their vacation.

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At Volcano Bay, guests will discover a place like no other, filled with incredible thrills and relaxing indulgences. This one-of-a-kind park will combine exhilarating experiences with hassle-free convenience so families can get the most out of their vacation together. They won’t have to stand in long lines or wrestle with tubes before diving into the unique attractions found throughout the park. They can enjoy a variety of experiences, ranging from winding rivers and private, two-story cabanas to family raft rides and twisting body slides that launch guests above the water.

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Here’s what you need to know about Volcano Bay:

  • An Innovative Water Theme Park Experience:
    Volcano Bay will redefine the queue experience so guests can focus entirely on having fun and spending time together. Guests won’t even have to carry their own rafts up the slides.
  • 18 Unique Attractions in Four Imaginatively-Themed Areas:
    Volcano Bay will offer 18 unique attractions ranging from daring to serene. They’ll be divided across four primary park areas where there’s something for everyone, including a multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, peaceful winding river, twisting multi-rider raft rides, speeding body slides that drop from the top of the volcano into the waters below – and a state-of-the-art marquee attraction that will be revealed at a later date.
  • An Award-Winning Team of Creators:
    A place like this could only be brought to life by Universal Creative – the same team behind ground-breaking theme park experiences like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. The team researched water parks and tropical resorts around the world to help redefine the water park experience and shape their vision for Volcano Bay.

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  • Easy-to-Access, Resort-Like Amenities Throughout the Park:
    Each area of the park will offer its own easy-to-access, resort-like amenities, such as concierge locations and lockers, so guests won’t have to stroll out of their way to get what they need. There will also be highly-themed restaurants and bars located throughout the park offering signature food and beverage options and impressive volcano views. Even more unique features of the park will be announced later.
  • International Tickets On Sale Soon:
    Universal Orlando will soon introduce a brand-new, 3-Park Explorer ticket for guests where they can plan to experience the highly-anticipated Volcano Bay for travel dates beginning June 1, 2017. Tickets will soon be available through international web sites and travel professionals, and additional ticket options will be announced later.

This is just the beginning, and more exciting details about Volcano Bay will be released over time. Stay tuned for additional information!


Don’t Miss the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Now at Epcot

Ahhh, summer! Schools are out, the days are longer, and there’s nothing like relaxing with a cold drink and maybe taking in a concert in the park. If that’s your idea of a good time, Epcot has got you covered with the return of the Sounds Like Summer concert series!

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Each evening through July 23, the America Gardens Theater in World Showcase rocks with live music from some of the best tribute bands in the world, including acts appearing at Epcot for the first time this year that feature the music of Fleetwood Mac, Tina Turner and Bruce Springsteen. All this week through Saturday, June 11, Don’t Look Back is rocking the stage with their tribute to legendary ‘70s group Boston.

Here’s a look at the rest of the lineup in the coming weeks (entertainment and times are subject to change):

  • June 12-18: Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles
  • June 19-24: Rumours – A Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band
  • June 25-July 1: Simply Tina – A Tribute to Tina Turner
  • July 2-9: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 10-16: Bruce in the USA – A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
  • July 17-23: DSB – A Tribute to Journey

Show times are at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. each evening, and concerts are included with regular Epcot admission.

Kristoff & Olaf To Host Frozen Games At Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

Attention “Frozen” fans: Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will play host to the inaugural Frozen Games this summer.

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The Winter Games Committee has taken advantage of the freak snowstorm over Central Florida and will host an impromptu sporting event known as The Frozen Games. They’ve even invited Kristoff and Olaf to lead teams of guests in a day full of fun “Frozen” activities, before the warm sun melts the snow away.

Guests visiting the waterpark can to join “Team Kristoff” or “Team Olaf” and participate in a variety of activities, including Ice Pail Relays, a Snowball Toss to Ski Pole Limbo and Slide Races.

Olaf and Kristoff will join the Winter Games Committee members in the games’ Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and will give updates throughout the games to report on their team’s achievements.


Disney Cruise Line Planning Two New Cruise Ships

We have some big news to share here at Disney Cruise Line. Actually, the word “big” hardly begins to describe it. We’re talking about news that’s more than 1,000 feet long and more than 200 feet high – multiplied by two!

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That’s right, Disney is again expanding its family cruise business with plans to build two new ships, each of them showcasing the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and unparalleled service that only Disney can deliver.

The company has entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. The schedule calls for the new ships to be completed in 2021 and 2023.

“We pride ourselves on the unforgettable vacation experiences we deliver to our guests each and every day, and the expansion of our Disney fleet will allow us to create even more magical memories for families at sea and in incredible cruise destinations around the world,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

While design plans, ship names and itineraries are still in development, the Walt Disney Imagineering team is already dreaming up exciting new innovations that will be uniquely fun and distinctly Disney. Each new ship will be approximately 135,000 gross tons – slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy – and each is currently planned to include about 1,250 guest staterooms.

Since first setting sail in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has been an industry leader in innovation and game-changing creativity. For instance, with the launch of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy ships in 2011 and 2012, the company introduced several firsts for the industry, including a water coaster at sea (AquaDuck) and virtual portholes in interior staterooms (Magical Portholes) that provide real-time views of the sea as well as sightings of animated Disney characters.

“The expansion of Disney Cruise Line only adds to our excitement for the unprecedented growth taking place across our vacation destinations, from new Star Wars experiences coming to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts to the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris and the grand opening of our newest park, Shanghai Disney Resort,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

More details about the Disney Cruise Line fleet expansion will be announced at a later date.

New Ways to Experience Disneyland Park Attractions Throughout 2016

If you have ever wondered how the Disneyland Railroad steam engines run, or what Jungle Cruise skippers do when they aren’t in their boats, they’ll soon have a chance to find out.

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Beginning this month, Disneyland Park Guests will have unique, limited-time opportunities to experience some of their favorite attractions in new ways.

While the Disneyland Railroad is temporarily closed this year, Guests at the Main Street and New Orleans Square Train Stations will be able to get up-close with the historic steam engines that have circled Disneyland Park for decades, learn about these amazing machines firsthand from our own train engineers and even take a picture with an engine! Each engine will be accompanied by knowledgeable train engineers, who will share fun facts, details on how the engines operate, stories from the history of the Disneyland Railroad and more.

And, while the world-famous Jungle Cruise undergoes refurbishment early this year, the skippers will still share their stories, adventures and humor with Disneyland Park Guests in front of the attraction. They’ll recount tales from their travels while the Jungle Navigation Company headquarters readies for reopening later this year.

Look for these special opportunities and more – including new, limited-time experiences aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia – throughout the year at Disneyland Park.


Disney by Land and Sea: Top Ways for Adults to Relax and Have Fun

Adding a Disney cruise to the end of your Walt Disney World Resort vacation is the perfect way to extend your family’s fun-filled adventures. We know the kids won’t run out of energy, but after all the fun you have in the parks, it’s likely the grownups will appreciate the many opportunities to recharge at sea.

Here are the top ways you can unwind and keep the fun alive during your cruise …

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