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Date Night Ideas at the Universal Orlando Resort!

 

The amazing thing about the Universal Orlando Resort is that there is truly something for everyone from children, to families, to couples! Universal Orlando is the perfect backdrop for date night! Here are 6 date ideas perfect for couples visiting Universal Orlando!

 

1. Forever Young!

You and your significant other can enjoy letting loose and embracing your inner-kids at Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone! We are all kids at heart so this can be such a fun date night idea!

  • Reconnect with your childhood favorites (like Barney and SpongeBob SquarePants)
  • Ride the rides
  • Watch the delightful Animal Actors on Location!
  • Check out Curious George Goes To Town and other play areas

One of our favorites spots has to be Curious George Goes To Town! The front section of this play area is a water playground and the back section is the Man in the Big Yellow Hat’s Ball Factory. Here you and your partner can challenge each other by throwing and blasting soft foam balls at each other! This date will definitely give you nostalgia and is sure to bring out the silly side of your relationship!

 

2. Old Hollywood!

Get ready to step back in time into the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood! Feel like an A-List couple as you enjoy the Hollywood portion of Universal Studios Florida together. Explore the streets and experience these fun activities during your vintage date night:

  • Cuddle up at Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show
  • Enjoy a meal at Mel’s Drive-In
  • Take photos with some classic 50’s characters
  • Grab ice cream sundaes at Schwab’s Pharmacy
  • Browse the shops

 

3. Mystical Date!

If you and your date are into horoscopes and Greek mythology then you are sure to enjoy a date night in the Lost Continent in Islands of Adventure:

  • Discover what is written in your stars at Star Souls – Psychic Reading
  • Visit Mythical Medals and get matching, custom-made coin medallions
  • Enjoy an incredible dinner at the award-winning Mythos Restaurant
  • Explore the ancient temple ruins at Poseidon’s Fury

A fun hidden-gem in this section of the park is the Mystic Fountain! When awakened, the Mystic Fountain will talk and joke around with you! Make a wish together and toss a coin in this fountain, but be careful because you might get splashed by this playful fountain!

 

4. Bay and Night!

Are you and your special someone looking for an exciting overnight getaway?! Universal has you covered – their “Bays” are sure to wow your bae! Plan a stay at Cabana Bay. Have your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner request a room with a view overlooking Volcano Bay! Here’s a fun list of things to do!

  • Go bowling at Galaxy Bowl or enjoy the Game-O-Rama arcade! Both are located right inside the hotel!
  • Get some beauty sleep in this awesome resort!
  • Rise, shine and enjoy a romantic walk to Volcano Bay right from your hotel!
  • Chill, thrill or both – couple’s choice!

If you really want to go all out, book premium seating or a private cabana at Volcano Bay! With shaded reserved space, food and beverage service, and comfortable places to cuddle up, you and your bae will absolutely love this amazing water theme park!

 

5. Night Above the Town

Every couple loves a good night on the town, but you know what’s even better? A night above the town! That’s exactly what you can look forward to at Aventura Hotel’s Bar 17 Bistro! This incredible location can be found on the rooftop, 17 stories up! From Bar 17 Bistro you and your significant other can take in amazing views of the Universal Resort as well as the greater Orlando area. This is also a great spot for a double date!

  • Put on your date night finest and grab your favorite couple friends
  • Grab one of the comfy outdoor couches
  • Order some incredible food and drinks
  • Visit Aventura’s Virtual Reality Game Room for some friendly competition
  • Dance the night away thanks to the live DJ
  • End with the “Almost Sangria” – the perfect date nightcap

 

6. Classic with a Twist

At Universal’s CityWalk, you have a plethora of classic date night options all in one place: dinner, movies, mini golf, karaoke, dancing, dueling pianos, clubs and more! The list of options goes on and on! But if you are looking for an added twist, check out Blue Man Group! Grab dinner, see the show, then add any (or all) of the following for an incredible night of entertainment and a super fun date night:

  • Enjoy a friendly competition with some mini golf
  • Sign your date up for karaoke at Rising Star
  • Grab a drink at Fat Tuesday
  • Sing along with the entertainment at Pat O’Brien’s
  • Watch a movie at Universal Cinemark

 

We hope these ideas have inspired your next Universal Orlando date night! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next trip to the Universal Orlando Resort or to any destination that you are dreaming of traveling next!

 

Part 2 – 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts VIDEO – Walt Disney World

In today’s blog post I am excited to share with you part 2 of my experience at the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts! If you read my previous post then you know how excited I was to be attending this festival for my very first time in person! This was the one festival that I had yet to experience for myself and now having returned from my vacation I can say that this festival just might be my favorite Epcot festival! The event encompasses everything from visual arts to culinary arts and even performing arts! Every corner of the park had something new and fun to discover!

 

 

I filmed my entire experience at Festival of the Arts and you can watch it all in our new video series on our YouTube Channel! Join me on part 2 of my Festival of the arts journey! Here’s what you will see in part 2:

 

We continued our first day at the festival by making our way to the Morocco Pavilion where we found “Mosaic Canteen,” the festival marketplace in Morocco. Looking over the menu I was instantly drawn to the Mediterranean Flatbread with Za’atar, Olive Oil Artichoke, Olives, Mozzarella, and Feta Cheese. This dish received a 5 out of 5 on my rating scale! It had a little kick of heat but the creaminess of the feta cheese definitely cut the spiciness. This flatbread was packed full of flavor and was such a unique item!

 

 

It was then time for our Frozen Ever After Fastpass! We changed up our path around World Showcase and backtracked toward Norway to get to our Fastpass. Along the way, we stopped to look at a few more of the art booths and some of the vendors. You can definitely make multiple laps around World Showcase and always end up coming across something new! We stopped to admire and browse through many of these art galleries. I found a table that I absolutely loved! This table’s base was made up of beautiful sculptures featuring characters from the Little Mermaid! Ariel has always been my favorite princess so I was fascinated with this beautiful work of art!

 

 

We then took a detour from festival activities to ride Frozen Ever After in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion, followed by a ride on the Grand Fiesta Tour in the Mexico Pavilion. After enjoying these two attractions it was time to experience the Festival of the Arts offering that I had been anticipating the most… the Animation Academy! If you have been a Disney parks fan for the past few years or more than you will most likely remember when the Animation Academy was a year-round attraction with a permanent home at Hollywood Studios. In this experience, you get to participate in a 20-minute-long drawing class with a Disney animator! By the end of the session you will have completed your very own Disney character drawing that you get to take home. My family and I always loved this experience! In the days back when Animation Academy was at Hollywood Studios we would at times go around and around, getting back in line and taking the class over and over again! Over the years, we brought home enough sketches to make our own gallery! A few years back Animation Academy at Hollywood Studios was replaced by Star War Launch Bay. Here’s the good news, the Animation Academy lives on at Festival of the Arts! During the event, you can visit the Animation Academy over at Epcot’s Odyssey Center! The class is structured exactly the same as when the experience was at Hollywood Studios! I was so excited to be back at the Animation Academy! We did two classes back to back. During our first class, we drew Pluto and during our second class we drew Chip from Beauty and the Beast!

 

 

After our class at Animation Academy we ventured into Future World to explore more of the offerings for Festival of the Arts. Over by Test Track we found “Taste Track,” a festival marketplace. There was one item here that I specifically wanted, the Paintbrush Churros! These are Mini Cinnamon Sugar Churros Dipped in Colorful White Chocolate! Be sure to snap a picture of these before enjoying them because the presentation is too cute! The churros are served to you inside of a paper cone. The tops of each churro features cascading colorful white chocolate that gives the look of paint running down a paintbrush! It is adorable and it taste incredible! A churro is a classic theme park treat and the white chocolate just enhanced it to a whole new level of deliciousness!

 

 

After enjoying those delicious churros, it was time to head out of the park for the night and back to our resort. We made our way to the front of Epcot, but before heading to catch our resort bus we made sure to stop and admire the Festival of the Arts display at the front entrance of the park! We had entered early this day through the entrance at International gateway so this was our first time seeing the beautiful and colorful festival display that is at the front of the park! The display featured a topiary of figment holding a paintbrush and all around him were rainbows and splashes of color!

 

Watch our YouTube Video:

 

We then said goodnight to Epcot and caught the bus back to our hotel, but this was just the begin for our time at the Festival! Stay tuned for part 3, when we come back for our second day at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts!

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to plan your next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort or to any destination that you are dreaming of visiting next!

Part 1 – 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts VIDEO – Walt Disney World

This past Monday February 25 marked the final day of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts for this 2019 season. This year was my first time getting to attend the event and now I am counting the days until the 2020 Festival of the Arts! I loved every aspect of this festival and have so much I am excited to share. So far here on our blog I have loved showing you our search for Figment during Figment’s Brush with the Master Scavenger Hunt and sharing my recap of my top 5 favorite moments from the festival! Now I am so excited to take you on my full journey at the festival from the beginning all the way through our vacation! In the coming days, here on our blog and on our YouTube channel I will be sharing my full Festival of the Arts experience in video form!

 

 

I vlogged each day that my family and I visited the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts and from all the footage I am going to share each moment with you through a multi-part video series. Here is what you will see in part 1:

 

On our first full day of our trip my family and I were ready to take on our first ever day at Epcot’s Festival of the Arts! We entered Epcot through the International Gateway entrance, this is a side entrance to the park that will bring you right into World Showcase! We had spent our morning at Disney Springs so we decided to take a bus to Disney’s Boardwalk Resort located in the Epcot Resort area and then walk to the park through the International Gateway. Since most of the offerings for this festival can be found around World Showcase, this entrance was a great way to dive right into the action!

 

 

First before starting anything else we stopped to grab a festival passport as soon as we came in the gate! The festival passport is a staple item at every festival that Epcot puts on. Inside this little booklet, you will find a guide to all the offerings that the event has to offer. You will see information on entertainment offerings, full menus for each festival marketplace and more! Once we grabbed our passports we made our way into our first World Showcase pavilion, the United Kingdom! Alice was in the middle of her Meet and Greet and this was when I spotted one of the first sights of the festival! Alice was greeting guests next to an easel that had a canvas with a painting of the White Rabbit! During festival of the Arts all of the characters who meet throughout the World Showcase will have a piece of art with them! It makes for a very cute photo op!

 

 

Speaking of photo ops, this brings us to one of the next festival offerings we came across, the “Artful Photo Ops!” Throughout Epcot you can find special photo ops that depict many famous works of art. You and your family get to step inside these masterpieces and become part of the work of art yourself! It is so much fun! The first festival photo op we came across was located between the United Kingdom Pavilion and the Canada Pavilion. This set up looked like an open storybook with scenes from Peter Pan. One page was the Mermaid lagoon and the other page was Skull Rock! Also while we were in the United Kingdom we came across our first visual art decal. These decals can be found throughout World Showcase, they create the impression that they have been painted on the side of the building! They are great pieces of visual art!

 

 

We continued our walk around World Showcase and soon came across our first Art of Disney stand! Throughout all of Epcot you will find tents set up selling wonderful art pieces! Throughout the festival, the artists themselves will come to do signings of their work and meet guests. The first art gallery we came across was the WonderGround Gallery. We had a very magical moment happen here because this very first gallery we came upon happened to have an artist there right then! As we approached closer I realized it was Ashley Taylor! Ashley creates incredible Disney Inspired Art and I love her work! I was able to purchase a print and get it signed by her. She was so sweet and lovely to chat with!

 

 

We explored a few more galleries and then made our way to the Expression Section: A-Paint-by-Number Mural! This massive mural is a larger than life paint by number that comes to life through the help of Epcot guests! All guests can do their part in painting this work of art! We got our paint and were assigned 5 squares to paint. After my family and I painted our squares we turned in our paint and paintbrush and the cast member handed us a postcard that showed the finished product of what the mural will look like upon completion! It is a very fun keepsake to take home with you and remember your vacation!

 

 

After painting we began getting hungry and were ready to explore the culinary arts sector of the festival! We continued our walk around World Showcase and looked at the multitude of festival booths we saw along the way. We ended up trying our first two food items from ‘Cuisine Classique’ located by the Germany Pavilion. From here we tried the Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib with Parsnip Puree, Broccolini. Baby Tomatoes, and Aged Balsamic. We also tried the Seared Corvina with braised Ratatouille and Lemon-Thyme Beurre Blanc. Spoiler Alert! We gave both of these dished a 5 out of 5 on our rating scale! They were delicious and plated with such artistry and attention to detail!

 

 

We found some more art photo ops including The Birth of Venus, The Scream, The Mona Lisa and Washington Crossing the Delaware! We also spotted several more of those fun art decals including Timon and Pumbaa, Pascal and more!

 

 

From The Artist’s Table in the American Adventure Pavilion we tried our next two festival food items. We had the Beef Wellington with Mushroom Bordelaise, Fennel Cream, and Roasted Baby Vegetables. We also had the Pan-seared Scallop with Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, and Parmesan Crisp.

 

 

We then took a walk through my personal favorite shop in the World Showcase, Japan’s Mitsukoshi! Inside the store they had some special merchandise displays for Festival of the Arts! We then explored more of the festival gallery tents including a stand devoted to pop-up cards. We also looked at the festival merchandise which featured a lot of Figment! I love Figment, he is a classic! So I am very happy with all the fun Figment merchandise!

 

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of our journey at Festival of the Arts!

 

Now is the perfect time to start planning for the 2020 Epcot International Festival of the Arts! Our team here at Kingdom Magic Vacation is always ready to help you plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World or to any destination that you may be dreaming of next!

 

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – NEW Attraction Opening THIS SUMMER at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort!

 

This has been an exciting week for Universal Orlando! The Universal Orlando Resort has now shared details and concept art about their brand-new Harry Potter roller coaster that will be opening THIS SUMMER inside of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Let’s check it out!

 

For some time now we have known that a new coaster was under construction at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, in Universal Orlando. However as far as details of the coasters theme and backstory, we really didn’t know much! Well now that has changed! We now know that guest will get to join Hagrid on a coaster that shares a great resemblance to his bike with the side car that he first gave Harry Potter himself a ride in! From the look of the concept art it will appear that we get to step right inside of the movie! I am so excited!

 

In this brand-new attraction, we will get to join Hagrid and fly far beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle! During this thrilling roller coaster ride we will plunge into the paths of some of the Wizarding World’s rarest magical creatures. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Universal’s most highly themed coaster opens June 13, 2019! I am so excited that this coaster’s opening day is just around the corner! You can find the new ride only at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, in Universal Orlando!

 

Now is the perfect time to plan your summer vacation to the Universal Orlando Resort! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today!

Best Universal Orlando Vacation Tip! How to get Universal Express Unlimited Pass For FREE!

 

Are you looking for a way to take your Universal Orlando Vacation to the next level?! Well do we have the Universal Vacation tip for you! This Universal vacation tip is a game changer! It will enhance your visit in ways you never thought possible, we are talking about getting Universal Express Unlimited pass for FREE! That’s right! It all starts by contacting your Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planner and booking your next stay at any of the amazing Universal Orlando Resorts! Staying at a Universal Orlando Resort gives you many benefits and perks! One of the amazing perks that comes with staying at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel is that you get a FREE Universal Express Unlimited pass!

Universal Express Unlimited is free when you stay at one of these three hotels:

  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Portofino Bay Hotel - Universal Studios Orlando Resort Hotel

  • Hard Rock Hotel Orlando

 

  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort

    5 Hidden Gems At Loews Royal Pacific Resort

You may be wondering, what is a Universal Express Unlimited pass? It’s a pass that lets you skip the regular stand-by lines to almost all of Universal’s rides and attractions! The best part is, the pass is UNLIMITED! You can ride your favorites again and again never having to wait in line! For example, if you want to ride Revenge of the Mummy more than one time, you can use your Universal Express Unlimited pass to skip the regular line, as many times as you want! It’s that easy! All you need is a stay at one of the three hotels we mentioned and use your hotel room key.

 

 

To get you excited for your next visit here are just a few of the rides you can ride with Universal Express Unlimited:

  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

 

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

 

  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong

 

  • Jurassic Park River Adventure

 

  • MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack

 

These are just a few examples of some of our favorites! The list of rides goes on and on!

 

So now all you have to do is plan your next visit to the Universal Orlando Resort. Your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner can help you choose the Universal Resort that is right for you and assist you in planning your perfect getaway!

 

 

 

 

Figment’s Brush with the Masters at Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts 2019!

 

I recently returned home from an incredible visit to the Walt Disney World Resort! It was magical! This vacation had a lot of first for me, I had never visited Disney World in the month of February ever before. It is not a month that my family and I typically travel but this long weekend trip in February was planned for a very specific reason, we choose to visit this time of year to attend our very first Epcot International Festival of the Arts!

 

 

2019 marked the third year for Epcot’s Festival of the Arts and up until just a few day ago this was the only Epcot festival that I had not personally attended. As an art lover, I was filled with so much anticipation and excitement going into my first Festival of the Arts! Let’s just say all of my expectations were exceeded and then some! I LOVE THIS FESTIVAL! Be on the lookout for many upcoming post about my experience at this wonderful event! I have so much that I can’t wait to share!

 

 

Today I want to share with you a fun activity that you can participate in at the Festival of the Arts, Figment’s Brush with the Masters! This experience is a scavenger hunt challenge that takes place in each pavilion throughout World Showcase. If you are familiar with Remy’s Hide and Squeak during the Food and Wine Festival or Egg-stravaganza during Easter it is similar to these scavenger hunt experiences! You are on the hunt to find famous paintings throughout World Showcase and must use your map and sticker sheet to match each painting to the corresponding country you found it in.

 

 

There are several locations throughout Epcot that you can purchase your map. You can choose to also pick up your prize right then or wait to redeem it after you have completed the challenge. My family and I had a blast doing this experience! I found that by having something you are hunting for in each country, it makes you to stop in each pavilion and truly appreciate the details that are all around you! I was noticing things in each country that I had never noticed before!

 

 

Figment’s Brush with the master challenge would be perfect for kids because it gives them something to do while parents might want to spend time sampling some of the many wonderful culinary offerings that can be found at the festival! We saw so many kids enjoying the challenge and excited to explore each pavilion and find Figment!

 

 

If you want to see what Figment’s Brush with the Masters is all about, join me in our new YouTube video! I vlogged my family experience hunting for Figment! I hope you have as much fun watching as we had searching each pavilion! You are sure to get some laughs at us circling back to pavilions when the quest got challenging! Enjoy!

 

Plan your next adventure by contacting your Kingdom Magic vacations travel Planner. Our knowledgeable and passionate team is ready to help you plan the perfect trip that encompasses everything you are looking for!

Concert Lineup, Food, Parade Theme & More Details on Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2019!

2019 is here! Now that the New Year is here we can start looking forward to one of Universal Orlando’s biggest events of the year, Universal’s Mardi Gras! This popular Universal event is returning once again for a 2019 season! This year’s event runs February 9th through April 4th, 2019. This exciting celebration brings nightly parades, live concerts, Cajun food and drinks and beads, beads and more beads to Universal Studios Florida on select nights!

Universal has now announced the line-up of musical acts that will perform in the events concert series! Let’s take a look at the star-studded concert lineup which features both new and returning fan-favorites. You can catch these live performances on select nights at the Music Plaza Stage.

 

Concert Lineup:

February 9 – BUSH

February 16 – Gavin DeGraw

February 17 – Dan + Shay

February 23 – Macklemore

March 2 – To be announced

March 9 – Becky G

March 10 – Sean Paul

March 16 – Steve Miller Band

March 17 – Ziggy Marley

March 23 – NF

March 24 – Pitbull

March 30 – To be announced

March 31 – To be announced

 

New Nighttime Parade Theme

The nightly event parade will return with 12 floats, tons of beads, festive dancers and stilt performers! Every Year Universal chooses a different theme for the parade. This year’s new theme is sure to make for one very fun parade – Party Animals! You can look forward to seeing elaborately decorated floats accompanied by performers dressed as their spirit animals! These spirit animals come from all over the world, like the arctic, jungle, ocean, swamp and more!

 

 

French Quarter Food and Drinks

The French Quarter Courtyard will be receiving a new culinary twist this year! All of the food and beverages will be served in tasting size portions. This will now allow you to be able to try more of the delicious culinary creations so you can experience everything Mardi Gras has to offer!

To add to the fun, Universal’s culinary team has created many new and returning fan-favorite food and beverage offerings. A few of these New Orleans’ classics include: beignets, frog legs, crab etouffee, and crawfish! Plus, there will be a signature Mardi Gras cocktail, craft beer and more.

 

 

French Quarter Entertainment Lineup

The French Quarter Courtyard just would not be complete without the beats of the Big Easy! You can watch these authentic New Orleans bands performing daily in the French Quarter. Here is the music lineup:

February 9 – 17: Dirty Bourbon River Show

February 18 – 27: Naughty Professor Brass Band

February 28 – March 18: Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister

March 19 – April 4: New Breed Brass Band

 

Be sure to check out Mardi Gras this season at Universal Orlando! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next vacation!

Perfect Way to End Your Day at the Universal Orlando Resort – Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration!

 

Let’s Take a look at the newest nighttime show now calling Universal Orlando home! Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration is showing on select nights at Universal Studios Florida. This night-time spectacular is a great way to end your day at the Universal theme parks. You can look forward to seeing all the best moments and memories from your day come to life right before your eyes! These breathtaking scenes become reality in the middle of the lagoon on massive water screens! Scenes include clips from Illumination’s Despicable Me, Jurassic World, Harry Potter, The Secret Life of Pets and so many more!

 

 

All these movie moments that we know and love come together to create an incredible celebration of some of our favorite characters and stories! The show is made possible with some amazing projection mapping, pyrotechnics, lasers, dancing fountains and more.

 

 

Be sure to catch Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration during your next visit to the parks! If you are looking for a unique way to experience Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration and Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s than look no further than the Exclusive Holiday Viewing Area & Dessert Party! This special add-on experience gets you exclusive viewing areas for Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s and Universal’s Cinematic Celebration. Also included are specialty and seasonal desserts, sparkling wine, sparkling cider, hot chocolate, coffee, and other non-alcoholic beverages.

 

 

Plan your next visit to the Universal Orlando Resort by contacting your Kingdom Magic vacations Travel Planner. Our knowledgeable team is excited to help you put together the perfect vacation that will be memorable for you and your family!

 

How I celebrated New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World! Fireworks Boat Cruise from Disney’s Grand Floridian!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas filled with peace and joy! Even though Christmas is over for the year that doesn’t mean the holiday festivities are slowing down anytime soon! Now we are counting down to New Year’s! Last year I spent New Year’s Eve at the Walt Disney World Resort and the experience became my favorite New Years to date! There are many wonderful ways to ring in the New Year at Disney! I wanted to share with you my evening last year and what my experience was like!

I enjoyed a fireworks boat cruise that set out from Disney’s Grand Floridian resort and Spa. We got to dock in the middle of Seven Seas lagoon and have one of the best spots in the house for the Magic Kingdom fireworks!

We arrived to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort early for our dinner reservation at Grand Floridian Café. It was my very first time dining at the restaurant and now this dining location is on the top of my list for my favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World! A great meal is always a must for any New Year’s Eve celebration!

 

 

Then we made our way to the Grand Floridian’s marina. Included in the fireworks boat cruise for the New Year’s celebration was a private dessert party only for those groups taking fireworks cruises that evening! They had a roped off section just out front of the marina near Gasparilla Island Grill. They had such a nice spread for us of delicious desserts, soft drinks, coffee and alcoholic drinks for those in the party over 21. Disney also provided all of us with festive gear including noise makers, party hats and more!

 

 

After a wonderful dessert party, it was soon time for the fun to begin! We meet our very own boat captain who escorted out party to our private pontoon boat. We set out for a tour around all of Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. The voyage was very relaxing and beautiful. Our captain was very knowledgeable and told Disney history and facts about the property throughout our voyage.

 

 

As midnight approached we then got our spot and docked on the middle of Seven Seas Lagoon to enjoy a wonderful viewing of the New Year’s Eve fireworks from the Magic Kingdom! My favorite part is the grand finale where the Disney characters countdown from 10 until we reach the stroke of midnight! Fireworks in the shapes of numbers 10 through 1 explode in the sky! It is truly incredible! Once the new year is here the night sky is illuminated with tons of fireworks from every direction! It will take your breath away. Your boat captain will then provide a champagne toast for all those in the party old enough to enjoy it.

 

 

I had the most incredible time ringing in the New Year at Walt Disney World. I vlogged my entire experience from the evening. You can watch it on our YouTube channel:

 

Have a wonderful New Year! Now is the perfect time to book your 2019 travel plans! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today!

New Plant-Based and Vegan Menu Offerings at the Universal Orlando Resort!

 

The Universal Orlando Resort is now proud to offer several new plant-based menu offerings that will be served at restaurants across the Universal property. This is very exciting news for those who are looking to eat vegan during their time at Universal. Universal Orlando has introduced six new vegan menu options. These meals are available now at select restaurants in Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay. The offerings are all very vast, so there is something for everyone! Whatever your preference may be you are sure to find something you will enjoy. Let’s take a look at some of these new menu offerings!

 

 Tomato Pesto Cresto de Gallo

Available: Mythos Restaurant (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)

This meal is made with vegan chicken, sundried tomato, roasted mushrooms, Kalamata olives and fresh basil.

 

Penne Genovese

Available: Lombard’s Seafood Grille (Universal Studios Florida)

This dish is made with vegan sausage roasted broccoli, cherry tomatoes and basil oil.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Available: Louie’s Italian Restaurant (Universal Studios Florida), Café 4 (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)

This Bolognese sauce is made with vegan Italian sausage crumbles.

 

Chipotle Sausage with Orzo

Available: Confisco Grille (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)

This dish features vegan Italian sausage crumbles, roasted red peppers, chipotle pesto, arugula

 

Chick’n & Avocado Sandwich

Available: Mel’s Drive-In (Universal Studios Florida), The Burger Digs (Universal’s Islands of Adventure), Bambu (Universal’s Volcano Bay)

This is a new take on a classic sandwich! Made with vegan chicken and vegan cheese

 

Impossible Burger

Available: Richter’s Burger Co. (Universal Studios Florida), Captain America Diner (Universal’s Islands of Adventure), Kohola Reef (Universal’s Volcano Bay)

Universal has made the impossible possible with this delicious vegan burger!

 

In addition to Universal’s new plant-based options, let’s not forget about their already existing plant-based meals:

Spaghetti and Marinara: available at Louie’s Italian Restaurant, Café 4, Comic Strip Café, The Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-pendous

Veggie Pad Thai: available at Confisco Grille. Mythos Restaurant

Veggie Kebabs: available at Oasis Cooler

Vegan Burger: available at The Burger Digs

Falafel Pita or Salad: The Burger Digs

Rice Bowl: Thunder Falls Terrace

Tropical Baby Greens Salad: Kohola Reef

Veggie Roll Sushi: Kohola Reef, Whakawaiwai Eats

Veggie Wrap: Kohola Reef

 

Now, if you or a member of your party has a specific dietary need there is no reason to stress about where to eat or what to order when dining at the Universal parks. There are so many new options! You will find a choice that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to book your next vacation to the Universal Orlando Resort or to whatever destination you are dreaming of visiting next.

 

 

 

Top 5 Favorite Christmas Decorations at Walt Disney World!

 

Christmas is just around the corner! I can’t believe how fast this season has flown by! I am feeling so fortunate to have experienced the magic of the holidays at the most magical place on Earth this year, Walt Disney World! During my visit to Disney last month I made sure to check out all of my favorite Christmas displays and festivities across Disney property! What I love about the holidays in Walt Disney world is that there is SO MUCH to discover! Every inch of the park is decked out and in such a unique and creative way! Disney doesn’t just put up a generic tree and garland in a gift shop. Oh no! Quite the contrary they theme every decoration specifically to the restaurant, shop or resort that it is in! For example, the ice cream shop on Main Street has garland and trees featuring ice cream cone ornaments! Over at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa all their decorations have a Victorian style to them to perfectly compliment the theme of resort itself!

 

9 Must-Do’s For Fall Visits to Walt Disney World Resort

 

There truly is so much to see when it comes to the decorations around Walt Disney World! I recommend truly taking your time going through the parks this time of year. Be sure to stop and truly appreciate the details of the holiday decorations. There is so much to discover! Today I would like to share with you my top 5 favorite Disney World Christmas displays that are more hidden gem displays! I am leaving out the well-known park icon trees and big centerpiece decorations and going to countdown my favorite decorations that are a bit more obscure! These displays both big and small are something that I look forward to seeing year after year!

 

#5 Mickey Wreaths

 

Christmas wreaths in the shape of Mickey Mouse adorned every lamppost down main Street USA! This decoration is a Disney classic! I love it for its simplicity. It is very traditional and from a distance you may not even notice it is a Mickey, but as you begin to stroll down Main Street towards the castle you can’t miss this little touch of magic!

 

#4 Poinsettia Trees

 

I have always loved poinsettias! I think they are so beautiful and I always know the Christmas season has begun once I start seeing those festive flowers! Disney uses gorgeous poinsettias in many of their holiday displays. By far my favorite creation Disney produces using poinsettias is their poinsettia trees! Using a towering framework in a rounded tree shape Disney florists will cover every inch of the framework with poinsettias! These poinsettia trees are spectacular and make an amazing backdrop for a family Christmas photo! Poinsettia trees can be seen in multiple places across Walt Disney World property! There are always some lining the walkway between Future World and World Showcase in Epcot as well as poinsettia trees in the entrance hub of Magic Kingdom. Pictured here you will see a poinsettia tree on the grounds of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

 

#3 Rockette-Style Christmas Ornaments

 

A display that I get so excited to see every year can be found in a storefront in Hollywood Studios! Disney is known for creating incredible window displays in many of their shopfronts and this particular display at Hollywood Studios can’t be missed! Larger than life Minnie Mouse Christmas ornaments are forming a Rockette kick-line! This display is so adorable and fun! It definitely fits into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood Studios!

 

#2 Echo Lake Decorations

 

A few years ago, Hollywood Studios icon tree moved from out-front of the park to inside the park to the center of Echo Lake. I know I said in this countdown, main centerpieces such as icon trees don’t count and that is still true. The decorations I am referring to in echo lake are the smaller accent pieces that compliment the area around the icon tree’s new location! The park’s tree sits on an island in the middle of the lake. In the water surrounding the island you will find one of my favorite Christmas decorations across all of Walt Disney World… floating Christmas ornaments! These floating baubles are beautiful all day long but at night they become a real showstopper and actually light up! These lighted baubles illuminate the water around them and create such a cool effect! I think this was the area of the park I spent the most time in just admiring the decorations and taking tons of photos!

 

#1 Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

 

My top spot on my list goes to a hidden gem that I enjoy seeing year after year, the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House!  This is not your normal gingerbread house! This pastry masterpiece is life-size! The inside of the gingerbread house is an actual working store where you can purchase gingerbread treats and other festive snacks and goodies! This year the Grand Floridian Gingerbread house is celebrating its 20th annual year! I highly recommend making the trip over to Disney’s Grand Floridian resort and spa to see this one of a kind creation. From the Magic Kingdom park you can easily commute to Disney’s Grand Floridian via a boat or monorail! Definitely make sure to take the time to check it out! You will be glad you did!

Give the gift of travel this holiday! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next vacation!

NEW Marvel Character Dinner Experience at Universal’s Islands of Adventure! Universal Orlando Resort

 

We all love super heroes! They are the definition of bravery and inspire us each and every day! Many of us have a special place in our hearts for these heroes, which is why you will be so excited to hear that you can actually dine with Marvel super heroes during the brand-new Marvel Character Dinner experience at Universal’s Islands of Adventure at the Universal Orlando Resort! The Marvel Character Dinner is held inside Cafe 4. This experience allows you to meet several marvel characters as you enjoy your meal! It is the best way to guarantee you get to meet with all the characters you want during your vacation and you can enjoy the convenience of not having to wait in line! The characters come to you throughout your time in the restaurant!

 

 

Here are a few tips to make the most of your experience at the Marvel Character Dinner!

 

  1. Start taking it all in the moment you arrive!

As you head towards Cafe 4 from the entrance of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you are first greeted by the roar of The Incredible Hulk Coaster! The perfect sight to get you in the Marvel spirit! Throughout the Universal theme parks you can enjoy many Marvel attractions such as The Incredible Hulk Coaster and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man!

 

  1. Get ready for your super hero welcome!

Make sure you pick up your tickets at the park entrance before you make your way to the main entrance of Cafe 4. Upon arrival, you and the other guests of the Marvel Character Dinner will have the restaurant all to yourselves. You will soon be greeted by some amazing and enthusiastic Universal Team Members who will be ready to help start your super hero-filled night! This dining experience offers a variety of seating times available for you to book. Make sure you reserve your dining early to guarantee you get the seating time that works best for you and your party.

  1. Get settled and prepare for some amazing food and awesome drinks! (Adults…you can even enjoy a “grown up” beverage!)

Your waiter will help you begin your super meal with a variety of great beverage choices! Your server will also guide you through an overview of the buffet offerings! From an assortment of pizzas, pastas and salads to giant meatballs, cupcakes, cookies and so much more, you will be sure to find something for everyone in your party! As always, the wonderful Universal culinary team is always ready to help with any special food requests that you and your family may have. The buffet is all you care to enjoy so you can help yourself to as many plates and trips through the buffet line as you like!

 

  1. The BEST part! The Marvel Super Heroes!

You will be so amazed by the amount of meet-n-greet time you and your group will have with your favorite Marvel Super Heroes! This quality character time is worth the price of admission alone! The Marvel Super heroes don’t just stop by to pose for a quick picture, they truly take their time to stop and chat and laugh with you and your party! You are sure to be best friends with all the heroes by the end of the meal! Remember to bring your autograph books and any merchandise you would like the Marvel super heroes to sign for you! Make sure your camera and phone batteries are fully charged so you can capture every amazing moment with the characters! These interactions are truly memorable and something you will want to look back on! You can also plan to take advantage of ‘My Universal Photos.’ With this service, Universal Orlando’s professional photographers capture all the fun of your super hero encounters for you! Later, you can view, purchase, download and share these high-quality memories! Included with your Marvel Character Dinner, you will receive one free digital photo download!

 

  1. Take a ride!

The fun doesn’t stop once your meal is over! After your dinner is the perfect time to hit up your favorite Marvel attractions like, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride! Depending on what time your meal ends, the rides may be closed. However, you can still always end your fun-filled evening by taking some last-minute photos in Marvel Super Hero Island!

 

You are sure to have a SUPER time at the Marvel Character Dinner! This is an incredible way to meet the most characters possible all while enjoying a great meal! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner to start planning your next visit to the Universal Orlando Resort or to whatever destination you are dreaming of next!

 

First Look at Universal Orlando’s NEW Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites

The way time is moving, summer 2019 will be here before we know it! We have many reasons to be excited for the upcoming Summer including the opening of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites! This summer Universal’s newest resort hotel will welcome its very first guests. The resort will have a fun surf theme! Guests at this new Universal resort can expect exclusive Universal Orlando theme park benefits. Universal’s Endless Summer Resort will also have the most affordable price point of any Universal resort! The theming and details at Surfside Inn and Suites will make you feel like you are right in the ocean surf. Universal has stated that they are excited to bring the same level of detail and authenticity that guests see in the parks to the design of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort. Here’s a first look at the surf-inspired guest rooms at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort!

As soon as guests step into their room they will notice the beach vibe everywhere. The vibrant design features were inspired by being inside the barrel of a wave, surrounded by cool blue waters. Other details include a full-sized surfboard, colorful artwork, bright pinstriped rug runners, and tie-dye curtains. This resort hotel will be a wonderful retreat for families!

The Endless Summer resort will also feature suites! 2 bedroom suites allow the whole family to all stay together! Forget about connecting rooms because at the Endless Summer Resort the whole family can stay in one suite! These 2 bedroom suites can sleep up to six people with a separate bedroom allowing adults to have some privacy. There is also a beachy picnic table and kitchenette area, the perfect spot for the whole family to hang out and enjoy a meal together. Another benefit of the suites are the spacious bathrooms. With two sinks and a separate shower area, the entire family can get ready quickly and be able to hit the Universal parks in time for Early Park Admission (a perk of staying at a Universal Orlando Resort.)

That’s right, when staying at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort you will receive all of the exclusive benefits that come with staying at a Universal Orlando hotel. This includes Early Park Admission, free transportation to CityWalk and the parks, and resort-wide charging privileges with your room key. You can look forward to all these Universal theme park benefits plus the quality of a Universal Orlando hotel at this incredible price point!

Rates for a seven-night stay start at just $73 per night for a standard room, and $111 for a 2 Bedroom Suite. In the future Universal’s Endless Summer Resort: Surfside Inn and Suites will also have a sister property, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites.

Bookings are now available for Universal’s Endless Summer Resort: Surfside Inn and Suites! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to book your perfect stay at the Universal Orlando Resort!

Avengers and Other Super Heroes to Assemble in New Themed Areas at Disneyland Resort

Highly anticipated new experiences at Disneyland® Resort will soon invite your Clients to become part of a bigger universe filled with epic heroes and adventures, and today we’re sharing a sneak peek! Developed in partnership with Marvel Studios and Marvel Themed Entertainment, these experiences will champion the next generation of Super Heroes.

At Disneyland Resort, a new Super Hero-themed land will begin recruiting Guests in 2020, with even more new experiences to follow. The Guardians of the Galaxy will be joined by Spider-Man and the Avengers in what will become a completely immersive Super Hero universe, furthering the evolution of Disney California Adventure® Park. This new land will be anchored by the popular Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, in the adjacent space that is currently occupied by “a bug’s land.” “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” closed March 19, 2018 to make way for this new heroic experience; the rest of the land will close in late summer.

Stay tuned to Disney Travel News for more details!

 

Family Fun In The Sun On The Island Of Jamaica

Jamaica has long been a coveted vacation spot for honeymooners, but few people recognize its great potential as a family destination.

Negril, Jamaica

There are a number of resorts on the island that lend themselves excellently to guests who travel with their spouses and children, and quite a few of them are right on the beach.  Riu Negril is located on beautiful Bloody Bay Beach, and its sister hotel, Riu Palace Tropical Bay, just finished its renovations and is now open for business once again! Guests at the Palace have exchange privileges to use any of the amenities at the Riu Negril. The Riu resorts and the Royal Decameron Club Caribbean in Runaway Bay are all fantastic seaside options, but resorts are especially abundant near Ocho Rios–and for good reason, since this is one of the most gorgeous areas of the island.

Shaw Park Beach, the Sunset Jamaica Grande and Riu Ocho Rios all offer beautiful mountain views and hikes to nearby waterfalls in addition to their location on the sand, which is nothing less than ideal. Don’t neglect Seashore Bay Beach in your Jamaican resort search, either: this is Karisma’s first hotel outside Mexico, and it sits on 1000 feet of the beautiful Seven Mile Beach. Royal Decameron Montego Beach is especially blessed, with Doctor’s Cave Beach on one side and the Hip Strip on the other–the beach is only a short walk from great restaurants and shopping, and vice versa! For an extra special beach stay, look into Sunset at the Palms: these treehouse-style bungalows sit just steps from some of the best beachfront property in Jamaica.

Doctors Cove

But Jamaica offers more than lovely beaches and crystal clear water. Jamaica is more – much more. Jamaica is deep emerald green rainforests, waterfalls and mountain streams. Jamaica is an array of birds – colorful parrots, macaws, and hummingbirds with tails that curl three times their body length. Jamaica is reggae and intricate wood carving. Jamaica’s culture does not lurk around its edges; you don’t have to go looking for it in museums. Jamaica’s culture permeates the island. It drifts through every breeze and wafts through every moment on the island, whether in the smell of roadside food preparation or in the rhythm and sound of the music present everywhere. Jamaica dances and invites you to dance with it. The Jamaican culture has endured slavery, oppression and bad times. Its culture, like its people, not only survives, not only endures, but thrives.

MwDU0Z-PkEk

Of course, for some people, a good vacation means getting something more than just a little sun and culture–specifically, it means getting a few rounds on a choice golf course. Jamaican resorts and hotels excel in this regard, offering courses for every golfer’s taste and experience level. The Ritz Carlton has a golf course spanning 600 acres, offering breathtaking views of the Caribbean to golfers while they tee off. If you’re a non-golfer traveling with someone who can’t get enough of the links, you might consider choosing a resort with a golf course and a spa. Riu Montego Bay offers both of these, but the Hilton Rose Hall takes it one step further for families with kids by including a championship golf course, a spa with a full menu of treatments and luxuries and a water park complex that will keep everybody happy.

Beaches Resorts in Jamaica

Families have many options for accommodation and fun in Jamaica–no matter what your tastes and preferences are, you’ll find something to suit them!

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