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Planting the Disney Cruise Halloween Pumpkin Trees

Disney Cruise Line is just a few days away from the start of this year’s first Halloween on the High Seas cruise! As Disney Cruise Line prepares for their extra spooky celebration, bringing ghoulishly good fun to all four ships, they are putting the finishing touches on their new Pumpkin Trees.

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If you look closely, you may even see some of the décor for Disney‘s Very Merrytime Cruises.

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And you thought you needed a lot of space to store your holiday decorations!

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Who else is excited to celebrate Halloween and all of the winter holidays with Disney Cruise Line?


Princess New Menus Showcase Destination Specialties

When the new Regal Princess sails into Florida this November to begin her maiden Caribbean cruise season, she will debut a new Princess Cruises dining program that will showcase regional culinary specialties designed to reflect the destinations its ships visit around the world.

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The new program will enable guests to enjoy regional menu items created with local produce, spices and seafood. The first special menus are inspired by the Caribbean in keeping with the ship’s fall itineraries. The regional cruise ship menus will eventually roll out across the fleet, and will include culinary specialties from an array of vacation destinations including the Mediterranean, Alaska and Hawaii.

“One of the joys of travel is experiencing the culinary specialties for which a destination is known,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “So now when our guests cruise with Princess around the world, they’ll be able to enjoy some of the most celebrated local dishes onboard as well as ashore.”

Beginning with Regal Princess, regional cruise menus will introduce guests to the exotic fusion of flavors found in island cuisine, including such offerings as:

Arawak’s Caribbean-Style Pork Chop – Prepared with traditional Jamaican jerk spice and curry, and served with red beans, rice and rum sauce, this extraordinary dish earned Princess Cruises Corporate Executive Chef Alfredo Marzi the top prize at the 8th Annual Bacardi Bartender and Chef Cruise Competition.

Red Snapper Mojito – Featuring ceviche accented with fresh mint, mango and avocado, and finished with a splash of rum, this was the winning dish created by Princess Cruises Executive Chef Antonio Cortese at the 6th Annual Bacardi Bartender and Chef Cruise Competition

Island-Spiced Jerk Chicken – A marinade of rum, molasses, tangy lime juice and thyme, plus sweet-and-fiery Scotch Bonnet peppers, infuses this tender chicken dish with the spirit of the islands.

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Caribbean Cocktails – The Caribbean Cooler is the perfect poolside cocktail, with coconut rum, melon liqueur, banana liqueur, citrus mix and pineapple juice. The West Indies Yellow Bird offers a classic taste of the region, featuring a shaken melody of rum, galliano and banana liqueur with orange and pineapple juice. The Cool Runnings cocktail, a favorite of the Caribbean Islands, features a delicious combination of rum, banana liqueur, blackberry brandy and grenadine, blended with coconut and pineapple.

Regal Princess begins her Caribbean cruise season on November 6 with a short preview sailing, followed by a schedule of seven-day cruises to ports in the Eastern Caribbean including St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays in the Bahamas.


Carnival Pride To Sail From Baltimore and San Juan

The Carnival Pride will operate a series of 10- to 14-day Caribbean cruises round-trip from Baltimore and one-way between Baltimore and San Juan as well as new five-day Bermuda cruises and unique six- and eight-day Caribbean/Bahamas voyages, beginning in October 2015.

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“Our guests and travel agent partners have been seeking more varied options from the Northeast – particularly longer length voyages – and we’re delighted to expand our schedules from Baltimore and San Juan to provide these attractive ‘Fun Ship’ cruise offerings from these ports,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “These new voyages not only provide vacationers with an abundance of five- to 14-day cruise choices but also feature a wide range of spectacular island destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda,” he added.

Carnival Pride will operate a series of 10-, 11- and 14-day cruises either round-trip from Baltimore or one-way between Baltimore and San Juan in 2015 and 2016.

The voyages include an 11-day exotic southern Caribbean cruise from Baltimore to San Juan departing Jan. 17, 2016, with stops at Grand Turk, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, and St. Croix; a 10-day exotic eastern Caribbean cruise from San Juan to Baltimore departing Jan. 28, 2016, calling at St. Thomas, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia; St. Kitts and St. Maarten; and a 14-day eastern Caribbean cruise round-trip from Baltimore March 13, 2016, featuring eight different island destinations: Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Maarten.

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During these voyages, guests can relax on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, enjoy a host of shopping, dining and sightseeing opportunities, experience unique Caribbean cultures and visit centuries-old landmarks and attractions.

Carnival Pride will also offer two five-day Bermuda cruises in 2015-16 – one departing Oct. 26, 2015, and another April 10, 2016. These cruises spend two full days at Heritage Wharf, where guests can marvel at the island’s legendary pink sand beaches, enjoy a variety of watersports and visit historic sites such as the Royal Naval Dockyard and Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere.

Additionally, three six-day Bahamas cruises operating round-trip from Baltimore and featuring visits to Freeport and Nassau will be offered. These value-packed cruises, which depart Nov. 30 and Dec. 20, 2015, and Feb. 14, 2016, provide consumers with a new short duration cruise option from Baltimore at an incredible value.

Carnival Pride will also offer a new series of eight-day exotic eastern Caribbean voyages departing from Baltimore and featuring Grand Turk, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau, each offering gorgeous beaches and excellent watersports. Departure dates for these voyages include Oct. 18 and 31, and Dec. 26, 2015, and Feb. 20, and April 15 and 23, 2016.

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A special six-day East Coast U.S. and Bahamas cruise from Baltimore featuring the line’s first-ever scheduled in-transit call to Charleston, S.C., as well as Port Canaveral, Fla., Nassau, and Freeport, will be offered Nov. 22, 2015.

This fall, Carnival Pride will undergo a multi-million-dollar makeover that will add a variety of dining, bar and entertainment innovations that are part of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative.


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We Want YOU to Write for Kingdom Magic Runners!

You read that right!  We want to hear from our Kingdom Magic Runners Community on Facebook!  We believe there’s nothing more motivating than hearing the stories from your fellow runners.  For awhile now Donna and I have been sharing some of our stories with you through the Kingdom Magic Vacations Blog.  We love writing for you and will continue to do so, but we invite you to join us.

Share with us your triumphs, learning experiences, your equipment reviews etc.  Tell us why YOU started running!  Why is it important to you?  Donna and I will be reviewing races as we run them, but we’d love to get your take on things.  We’ve established some guidelines & ideas to help you out, but feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  Submissions can be sent to:

Donna, Donna@KingdomMagic.com

or

Carrie, Carrie@KingdomMagic.com

Guest Blogger Guidelines

Share your insights on the Kingdom Magic Vacations Blog. Our editorial team is always delighted to consider guest posts. Send us an email with a brief pitch.

Hot topics: running, running tips, running destinations, running at Disney, Universal or other theme parks, race reviews, running apparel and equipment reviews, bucket list running, stories on how you became involved in running, what it means to you etc. and more.

Browse our website and blog to familiarize yourself with our content.  Kingdom Magic Vacations Blog’s guest bloggers gear their content to our predominantly North American audience families seeking incredible vacation experiences. They appreciate our positive perspective and passion for what we do.

Guidelines:

  • Word count 400-800 words
  • All submissions will be edited for correct grammar before publication. We may also break up long blocks of text to increase readability.
  • Keep titles short and simple, preferably no more than eight words.
  • Content is geared to the Kingdom Magic Vacations audience and is unique, meaning it is not posted on or committed to a media outlet or syndication service
  • A balanced viewpoint that doesn’t singularly promote a specific company or service
  • We prefer posts that include resources to learn more and stimulate follow-on discussion by posing a question, etc.
  • We welcome image submissions with your blog, as long as you have the rights to the image and provide a brief caption and photo credit.
  • Please include a short bio (2-3 sentences). Include your twitter handle and other social media info, and a quality photo
  • Please submit draft in Microsoft Word to our Editorial Team

We strive to complete the review process within 48-72 hours of receiving a submission. If needed, feedback will be provided for a revision. Please understand we can’t guarantee publication until the review board reviews and accepts a final draft.  We also respectfully ask that the content you submit is not submitted or published on any other website.

Article Author – Carrie Bryniak

carrie-bryniakI am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well.  My first RunDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others.  Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships.  If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m here to help you and support your efforts!

New Street Experiences At Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights’ Show Director Lora Wallace revealed some of the ghastly details about the chilling new street experiences at Universal Orlando Resort‘s premier Halloween experience. 

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Original Street Experience – MASKerade; Unstitched

The whole concept is that these people are trapped in an old time period—their skin is falling off, they have stitched their skin back to their faces, but much of it is still peeling off. What I love about the concept is that it is like you’re entering this really surreal dance, but it is very terrifying at the same time.

There is wax holding their skin on, some are sewing their skin back on but they are doing it very poorly, and there are some whose skin is still detached.

It is grand in scale—there are elements above your head while this off-putting yet harsh waltz music plays. Everyone is moving in a really surreal and creepy dance. There is beauty along with the disgust.

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Original Street Experience – Bayou of Blood

Our high priestess is crazy-evil and in a trance, doing numerous spells and sacrifices to get the ultimate power in her. Because she has made these sacrifices, many other voodoo practitioners in the area have come and they are squatting outside of her shack. They feel if they make sacrifices to her, they will get some of that power when she makes the ultimate sacrifice.

You’re going to see her sacrifice someone right in front of you…you will see every gory detail of this ultimate sacrifice. But that’s not the end—once you get past the sacrifice and the high priestess’ shack, you enter into the area inhabited by the voodoo squatters…and they are all looking for something or someone to sacrifice.

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Halloween Horror Nights annually draws hundreds of thousands of horror fans from around the globe. Tony Timpone, Editor of Fangoria Magazine, said, “After visiting scream parks all across the U.S. for the last 20 years, I can easily say that Universal’s is the best in the business… Halloween Horror Nights is the ultimate Halloween experience.”

On select nights September 19 – November 1, your worst nightmares will take shape as Universal Studios Florida theme park is transformed into the award-winning Halloween Horror Nights. See if you can survive all-new haunted houses, spine-chilling street experiences, outrageous live shows, and more. There’s no better way to “end” your day at Universal Orlando than with the winner of Amusement Today’s “Best Halloween Event” Golden Ticket award.


2nd Annual “Celebration of Harry Potter” Announced

We have some exciting Harry Potter news to share with you today! Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. will be hosting the second annual “A Celebration of Harry Potter” event from January 30 to February 1, 2015.

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Park guests were so thrilled by “A Celebration of Harry Potter” last year that Universal Orlando has decided to host another fun-filled opportunity for fans. This special event celebrates the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter as fans from around the world join together at Universal Orlando Resort for three days of everything Potter.

All general admission park guests will have the chance to experience the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo, attend Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent, visit the all-new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and much more!

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For all the super fans out there, a limited number of exclusive event vacation packages—including annual passholder packages.  These packages offer hotel accommodations, theme park tickets, and exclusive benefits including:

Last year, these packages sold out within days, so if you want to be in the center of this celebration, so buy your general admission theme park tickets for those dates now!

Look forward to seeing you in January for this unforgettable event experience!


New Wine Pairing Experiences At Disney’s Beach Club

Tucked in a quiet corner of Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Martha’s Vineyard is one of our favorite quiet spots for a pre-dinner cocktail or a light bite. And now, new late-afternoon wine pairings combine food and wine with a little enlightenment, with wine experts on hand to talk about what you’re sipping.

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Upcoming dates are 4-5:15 p.m. September 4, September 25, October 2 and October 30. Wineries aren’t yet announced (the last one was France’s Louis Jadot), but the Disney chefs are having fun with pairing delicious food with whatever is poured – we tried a mild white fish with dry Pouilly-Fuissé, a seafood paella with fresh Chardonnay and a strong red Beaujolais-Villages with a chocolate flourless cake and cherry sorbet. The wine expert and the chef are a delightful duo as they lead guests through the hour-long tasting. No need to takes notes, they’ll send you home with a bookmark that tells about the wines.

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It’s an intimate setting – no more than 18 guests, and the conversation flows with the wine. Cost varies, but is in the $20-30 range for three wines paired with three small plates, and price depends on what’s being poured.

Make sure you let your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner know you want to try this amazing experience!


New Street Party To Debut At Magic Kingdom

The “Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!” Street Party has been a guest favorite at Magic Kingdom Park since its debut in 2009. This fall, Disney is kicking things up a notch with new music, new characters, and a new way for you to be part of the show!  Disney is even giving this party procession a new name – “Move it! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party.

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The fun begins on Main Street, U.S.A., as a high-energy party anthem heralds the arrival of favorite Disney characters – including new additions Stitch and Phineas & Ferb – who parade toward Cinderella Castle as the emcee, stilt walkers, and the rest of our party peeps encourage everyone to join in.

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Things heat up in the Central Plaza when hosts Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy appear atop giant gift boxes, leading everyone in a medley of remixed classic party songs. Once you’ve moved it, shaken it, and danced it, it’s time to help decide what comes next, as you vote for one of three current hits during the “Play It!” part of the show. You never know which way it might go!

The “Move it! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party will be presented several times daily, starting this fall. In the meantime, you can still enjoy the “Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!” Street Party each day at Magic Kingdom Park.


Halloween Horror Nights Original Houses Revealed

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights are considered one of the best scare experiences in the United States and Universal’s creative team has come up with some incredibly horrifying concepts for this year’s event!

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In a recent interview, Assistant Show Director Charles Gray divulged some details on how the houses are created and even gave us a sneak peek at some of the original houses being created for this year’s event.

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The Dollhouse of the Damned

The word to keep in mind here is ‘juxtaposition.’ When you walk into the house, you find yourself in this old-time morgue. But this little girl has set up shop and now it’s her playhouse. She’s torturing people in there. So you’re taking the sweetness of the dollhouse and childhood and combining it with something completely sinister. That theme remains throughout the maze. Another phrase we use is ‘forced integration.’ You’ll see characters with porcelain doll masks that have been smashed into their faces, and now they’re permanent. They’re victims of this twisted amalgamation. It’s really creepy.

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Giggles and Gore, Inc.

So, we asked ourselves, where do evil clowns come from? And we discovered evil clowns are not born, they’re made. It’s an actual process. We all know that there are countless unsolved disappearances across the country. Where do these people end up? In the clown factory, being stretched, smashed and eviscerated.

Faces are peeled off and voice boxes are torn out. Victims are dropped into a wood chipper, and the gunk that comes out is shoved into other people to create these massive, nasty stuffed clowns.

Toward the end, you encounter the most evil of all evil clowns: The Discarded. These are the surviving clowns that have been cast down for being too dangerous to exist, even with other evil clowns.

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Roanoke – Cannibal Colony

The year was 1587. It was one of the first settlements of the colonial era. The people living here were expecting supplies from Europe, but there was a war going on so they couldn’t make the voyage. Three years later, when the supply ship finally arrived, everyone was gone…except the deranged cannibals who’d managed to survive by eating their fellow settlers.

As a guest, you’re fighting you’re way through this chaotic gauntlet of flesh-hungry man-eaters. What’s cool about the set is that Karen, our décor guru, has traveled up to Virginia to some of these historic settlements and brought back photos for us to use as visual reference. So, the scenery you’re observing throughout the maze is all pulled straight from theses real-life settlements.

If you are looking for a terrifying time and your heart can take it, Halloween Horror Nights may be right up your alley running on select nights in September, October and November. But be warned, you never know what evil is lurking behind the next corner and remember to savor each moment, because it just might be you last.


Eat To The Beat Concert Series Line Up Announced

This year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will return to the park September 19 – November 10, and we just received the list of performers who will participate in the Eat to the Beat concert series.

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New acts coming this year include the Jo Dee Messina, Fuel and Los Lonely Boys. There are also several returning favorites, including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Boyz II Men.

Check out the full schedule below.

  • Sept 19-21 – Jo Dee Messina
  • Sept. 22-23 – The Pointer Sisters
  • Sept. 24-25 – Rick Springfield
  • Sept. 26-27 – Christopher Cross
  • Sept. 28-29 – Hanson

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  • Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Air Supply
  • Oct. 3-5 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
  • Oct. 6-8 – Sugar Ray
  • Oct. 9-10 – Fuel
  • Oct. 11-12 – Sister Hazel
  • Oct. 13-14 – Richard Marx
  • Oct. 15-16 – Billy Ocean
  • Oct. 17-19 – Night Ranger
  • Oct. 20-22 – Smash Mouth
  • Oct. 23-24 – Jim Brickman
  • Oct. 25-26 – Los Lonely Boys
  • Oct. 27-28 – Wilson Phillips
  • Oct. 29-31 – Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX

Dennis DeYoung to Perform at "Eat to the Beat" Concert Series

  • Nov. 1-2 – 38 Special
  • Nov. 3-5 – Boyz II Men
  • Nov. 6-7 – David Cook
  • Nov. 8-10 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Princess To Start Celebrating 50th Anniversary

Princess Cruises will start celebrating its 50th anniversary year (2015) at this fall’s naming ceremony of the Regal Princess in Port Everglades.

Love Boat Cast Regal Godparents

The company is honoring the role that The Love Boat played in its history by selecting the original cast members to serve as godparents for the Regal Princess. All six cast members – who played the roles of Captain Stubing, Gopher, Isaac, Doc, Julie and Vicki – will reunite to christen the new ship on Nov. 5.

Princess said the ceremony will officially launch its golden year anniversary celebrations, which will celebrate five decades of operation throughout 2015.

The actors include Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing) Fred Grandy (Gopher, the chief purser), Ted Lange (Isaac, the bartender), Bernie Kopell (Doc, the ship’s doctor), Lauren Tewes (cruise director Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki, the captain’s daughter).

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“We can think of no more suitable godparents for our newest ship than the cast of the show that put Princess on the map,” said Jan Swartz, the line’s president. “The show has been such a visible part of our company’s history, it made sense to kick off our anniversary celebrations with this special tribute.”

The pilot episode of The Love Boat, shot aboard Princess’ 730-passenger original Sun Princess in 1977, began the relationship between the cruise line and the show, which for 10 seasons eventually became one of the highest rated and longest-running shows on television. The Pacific Princess and Island Princess were the primary floating stars of the show, while later episodes and specials were filmed aboard many of Princess’ other cruise ships in destinations around the globe.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that my former cast mates and I will be part of Regal Princess’ U.S. debut,” said Gavin MacLeod, who has been Princess Cruises’ ambassador since the show ended in 1986. “The fact that The Love Boat continues to air in international syndication around the globe is a testament to the show’s longevity and the world’s fascination with romance on the high seas.”

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The 3,560-guest Regal Princess, which entered service in May of this year, is arriving in Port Everglades to begin her maiden season of Caribbean cruises. Among the special features found on board is a multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship, offering a host of dining and entertainment options; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

“The ship’s naming ceremony is just the beginning of the celebrations that will mark our company’s golden anniversary,” said Swartz. She added that beyond the Regal Princess festivities, guests sailing on any of the line’s fleet of 18 cruise ships during 2015 will enjoy a wide range of anniversary experiences.

Get To Know The Regal Princess


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MyMagic+ Video Captures Your Tower of Terror Drop

Beginning Aug. 12, 2014, park guests with both a MagicBand and a linked Memory Maker entitlement who ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will find a video memento of their 13-story drop automatically associated to their My Disney Experience account.

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The attraction video will be available only to guests who have purchased Memory Maker and have linked their Memory Maker entitlement and MagicBand to their My Disney Experience account.

Guests with a linked Memory Maker entitlement also will be able to view and download the videos of their linked Family & Friends and Managed Guests that also have MagicBands.

Get a glimpse of what park guests will receive in this sample video!


Disney’s Night Of Joy 2015 Entertainment Lineup

Disney’s Night of Joy 2014 is less than a month away and the most magical night for Christian Music is due to be an epic event at the Magic Kingdom.

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To help plan your night, we wanted to give you an update on the entertainment schedule for the event. (Entertainment schedules are subject to change).

Friday, September 5:

Castle Forecourt Stage
7:40 p.m. – Matthew West
9:20 p.m. – Chris Tomlin
11:30 p.m. – Hillsong United

Galaxy Stage
7:30 p.m. – Building 429
8:50 p.m. – Building 429
10:25 p.m. – Mandisa
12:10 a.m. – for KING & COUNTRY

Rockettower Plaza Stage
8:05 p.m. – Matt Maher
9:40 p.m. – The Neverclaim

Saturday, September 6:

Castle Forecourt Stage
7:40 p.m. – MercyMe
9:30 p.m. – Gospel Music Association Winner Phil Perry
9:50 p.m. – Casting Crowns
11:55 p.m. – Skillet

Galaxy Stage
7:30 p.m. – Colton Dixon
8:50 p.m. – Colton Dixon
10:25 p.m. – Britt Nicole
12:10 a.m. – Israel Houghton and New Breed

Rockettower Plaza Stage
8:15 p.m. – 1 Girl Nation
9:40 p.m. – We As Human
11:20 p.m. – Rhett Walker Band

Night of Joy is an after-hours event that requires a special ticket. Event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each evening. While artists perform at several stages, many popular Magic Kingdom Park attractions also are available for guests. In addition, there are special benefits for groups of 10 or more.


Halloween Horror Nights Adds Vampires and Aliens

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 24 will be adding 2 additional houses this year based off of Alien vs. Predator and Dracula Untold, a new feature film soon to be released.

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“Dracula Untold: Reign of Blood” (opening in theaters on September 17th) will introduce guests to the sadistic Transylvanian ruler Vlad Tepes, known as “Vlad the Impaler,” who infamously tortured his enemies by impaling them alive with a wooden stake and suspending their bodies. The foreboding maze will also shed an ominous light on the one-time hero, turned blood-thirsty-tyrant, who chose to embrace unholy powers in order to defeat his enemies. “Dracula Untold: Reign of Blood” will spiral guests through Dracula’s eternal damnation, where the thirst for blood is never-ending.

“‘Everyone thinks they know the story of ‘Dracula’,” said John Murdy, Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “But there is much more to the tale than just a dark figure lurking in the shadows, drinking blood. While Dracula Untold will reveal the origin story of the man who became Dracula, our ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ maze will invite guests to experience the atrocities Dracula imposed on his victims in the most frightening and immersive way possible.”

“As a huge fan of the Universal Classic Monsters, my interest is certainly piqued any time a film explores other facets of the classic characters,” said Michael Aiello, Director of Entertainment – Creative Development, Universal Orlando Resort. “Dracula Untold offers a unique perspective on the origin of the world’s most famous vampire. Our maze will place guests within many of the pulse-pounding moments from the upcoming film, offering guests an unprecedented living preview of the horrors that await.”

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The terrifying new “AVP: Alien vs Predator” maze at Universal Studios Hollywood will answer the proverbial question asked by mankind since the beginning of time: Are we alone in this dark, vast universe? “AVP: Alien vs. Predator” will once and for all shed light on the answer when it brings to life the violent creatures cohabitating our world as it pits two rival alien species in a fight to the death with Earth as their battleground. This menacing maze will uncover a dangerous alien spaceship carrying a race of hunter aliens known as Predators and a threatening new alien life form that uses human hosts to propagate its species. After crash landing in a remote section of America and escaping to the countryside, the alien and predator become hunter and prey with guests caught in the crossfire.”

“When attempting to bring two of the most iconic creatures ever put on film to ‘Halloween Horror Nights,’ you need to rely on everything you’ve learned up to this point” said Michael Aiello, Director of Entertainment – Creative Development, Universal Orlando Resort. “We’re employing our full arsenal of tricks and techniques in translating the AVP: Alien vs. Predator brand into an authentic and horrific maze experience. Puppetry, elaborate costumes and unique environments have all been created in close collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox. Our guests are going to be thrown head first into this epic battle where only the strong will survive. This is truly going to be an out-of-this-world maze experience that the fans have been waiting for.”

“‘AVP: Alien vs. Predator’ is by far the most technically complicated and ambitious maze we’ve ever created for ‘Halloween Horror Nights,’” said John Murdy, Creative Director for Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “It’s a monumental undertaking to recreate these massive, iconic characters for a live event. Fortunately, we have the expert assistance of Academy Award®-winning make-up artists, Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis from Amalgamated Dynamic Inc. (ADI), the special effects geniuses behind the original creatures for the AVP film franchise. Tom and Alec and the ADI team are excited about our maze and have graciously allowed us to cast from their original molds so that our maze will be absolutely authentic to the movies.”

Either way guests choose, Dracula or Alien vs. Predator, it is sure to be a terrifying experience for Halloween Horror Nights!


Hogwart’s Express Celebrates One Millionth Rider

Having only been opened a few short weeks, Universal Orlando Resort and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter celebrates the Hogwart’s Express’ one millionth rider!

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As with everything in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it was always about bringing the books and films to life, and Universal Orlando Resort worked tirelessly for several years to make the Hogwarts Express an immersive and authentic experience.

In the books and films, the journey on the Hogwarts Express is an important rite of passage for young wizards and witches. So for us, giving guests that same experience was really critical. From the train itself, handcrafted in Europe, to the immersive window scenes featuring the films’ iconic stars and locations, every detail of the Hogwarts Express was faithfully recreated to deliver a wondrous and memorable experience.

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Now, one million riders happily confirm they got the experience right –– which is wonderful, because all we design, develop and create is for our audience to experience and enjoy. So, a sincere thanks to all our fans and guests for riding the Hogwarts Express and joyfully embracing the world of Harry Potter brought to life here at Universal Orlando Resort.


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