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Greater than the Destination

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

On the last night of my family’s recent vacation, I snapped this picture from the Turtle Walk at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. The Turtle Walk is typically busy—people checking in and out, looking for a cocktail (the Gurgling Suitcase), or experiencing the activities available at the resort. On our last night, the sun was setting as we headed back to our room, resulting in this beautiful scene. I was struck by the beauty of the destination at that moment, but the memories of the journey are what will stick with me. Regardless of where we go on our travels, the process of travel and the moments along the way are what remain.

What destinations do you want to be part of your journey? We would love to talk with you about your bucket list, your favorite places or anywhere that interests you. We know that life is about the moments and the connection of all the destinations along the way. How can we help make those moments and the greater life-long journey more special? Let us start working with you today.

New Digital Key Feature Coming Soon to My Disney Experience App

At Walt Disney World® Resort, they are always looking for ways to wow Guests with new technology that enhances their experience. The My Disney Experience app is a perfect example, with recently introduced features like mobile order and online check-in that are providing you with additional choices to make your vacation even more enjoyable and convenient. Today, they are unveiling another exciting app feature: a digital key.

Coming soon to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, a new feature in the My Disney Experience app will allow Guests to quickly unlock their hotel room using a digital key on their mobile devices, providing them with another seamless room entry option that brings added ease and flexibility to their experience.

Guests can also use their digital key to unlock the hotel entrance gate and common area doors requiring a key, which may include pools, fitness centers, elevators and club level lounges. Arriving travel parties that have checked in online may even use their digital key to bypass the need to visit the front desk, giving them the opportunity to go directly to their room when it is ready and start their vacation even faster.

The feature represents the latest evolution of keyless room entry, which we began offering with the MagicBand, the unique all-in-one device that effortlessly connects the vacation choices you  make in My Disney Experience. You may use either or both options to enter their room during their stay.

So how does it work? To use their digital key, Guests can opt in and activate the feature on their check-in day through a brief set up process in the app. To enter their room, Guests tap the “Unlock Door” button and then simply hold their phone against the door lock. Check out the video below to see a sneak peek of the feature in action.

Bluetooth®-enabled mobile devices with the latest version of the My Disney Experience app are required to take advantage of a digital key for room entry. Be sure to remember to wear your MagicBand for all other uses including park entry, FastPass+ redemption, room charges and more.

Stay tuned for more information about the digital key feature and other future enhancements to the app.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Inspired by historic Saratoga Springs—a late-1800s’ New York retreat famous for its spas and horse racing—this charming, Victorian-style Resort hotel is nestled between rolling golf course greens and the shimmering Village Lake. Delight in stately Studios and multi-bedroom Villas, dazzling pools and a spa.

Recreation
At Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, there are five pools (that’s right, 5!) for you and your family to enjoy. The High Rock Spring Pool features gushing waterfalls, a zero-depth entry similar to a beach, and a 128-foot-long waterslide. Nearby are 2 whirlpool spas for you to enjoy.

The Paddock Pool has a massive146-foot-long waterslide that you can slide down from atop a water tower. This pool also has a zero-depth entry and a nearby horseshoe-shaped whirlpool spa. Nearby is The Paddock Grill. Open from7:30am – 9pm, this quick-service dining option has quick and delicious bites such as sandwiches, cheeseburgers, fish, and more.

Three leisure pools are located at the Treehouse Villas, Congress Park, and The Grandstand and they each have their own whirlpool spa.

Saratoga Springs is home to endlessactivities such as movies under the stars, campfire activities, bike rentals, fishing, golfing, and a community hall where you can play ping-pong, foosball, rent DVDs, board games, and more!

Senses – A Disney Spa at Saratoga Springs
Senses is a full service spa and health club where you can relax and rejuvenate your mind and body in a calming environment that draws inspiration from the American countryside. Some of their spa services include massage therapies, facial treatments, body therapies and wraps, and more!

A 24-hour fitness center is also available for you to keep fit even while on vacation.

Dining
The Turf Club Bar & Grill is nestled alongside the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course and is the perfect place to enjoy a meal after a round of golf or a day at the parks. This dimly-lit, sophisticated restaurant surrounds you with vintage equestrian memorabilia and a beautiful view of the golf course and Disney Springs. Here you can enjoy a cocktail and a round of pool in their lounge before your hearty meal of American classics like prime rib or oven-roasted lamb.

The Artist’s Palette Restaurant is a quick-service restaurant open from 7am – 11pm where you can grab breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Featuring grourmet sandwiches, soups, salads, and grab ‘n’ go items, be sure to stop by any time of the day for mouth-watering meal.

The Backstretch Pool Bar serves up refreshing beverages, non-alcoholic and alcoholic, and a selection of poolside snacks and sandwiches from 12:30pm – 6pm.

Transportation
Disney’s complimentary bus system is available to take you from the resort to all the theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. You can also get to Disney Springs from the water taxi. One boat launch is located by the Treehouse Villas and the second is near The Turf Club Bar and Grill.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa takes you back to the charming Victorian age of New York. For more information about this resort and booking your next Disney vacation, visit us online today! We are your concierge to the magic and much more!

Find Santa This Holiday Season At Disney

Santa Claus is a busy guy this time of year, but we have good news! He’s carving time out of his schedule to pay a visit to Disney Parks, where you can meet him and fill him in on your fondest wish for this holiday season. Between now and Christmas Day, Santa will be making stops throughout Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.

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Here are some of the places you’re bound to find him:

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Be sure to consult the in-park Times Guide or ask a cast member to find out just when you can see Santa on the day of your visit, and have a wonderful ho-ho-holiday!


‘Tis the Season for Gingerbread All Across Walt Disney World Resort

Each year, the elaborate gingerbread creations get bigger and better at Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts. From a 3-foot-tall replica of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall in Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom Park to the life-sized gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, it takes a multitude of dedicated pastry chefs to build each design.

'Tis the Season for Gingerbread All Across Walt Disney World Resort

Check out the video that showcases this year’s new creation at Disney’s BoardWalk, a sweet replica of a Jersey Shore Boardwalk concession stand. By the numbers, it’s 674 gingerbread shingles, 420 marshmallows for marquee lights and 90 pounds of saltwater taffy for the wreaths.

The handiwork starts with a concept and scale drawing, then it takes some serious teamwork to construct the gingerbread designs on stage in front of guests.

'Tis the Season for Gingerbread All Across Walt Disney World Resort

Most of the displays have delicious sweets for sale, and activities like gingerbread decorating. Here’s where you’ll find other fab holiday treats through January 2, 2014:

    • A 17-foot gingerbread holiday tree in the Grand Canyon Concourse of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, made with 136 pounds of honey, 211 pounds of flour, 101 eggs and 151 pounds of chocolate!
    • A life-size, spinning carousel in the lobby of Disney’s Beach Club Resort has ponies made of chocolate fondant and hand-painted chocolate Disney characters – made with 50 pounds of dark chocolate, 100 pounds of confectioners’ sugar and 10 quarts of simple syrup. The lobby at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort features a holiday village with a miniature train surrounded with a sugar rock mountains.
    • At Epcot, the promenade at The American Adventure is home to Mrs. Claus’ Bake Shop with freshly baked gingerbread, sugar and chocolate cookies, peppermint bark, hot cocoa and ciders.
    • Also at Epcot, The Land Pavilion showcases gingerbread creations representing icons from Disney parks and resorts around the world.

Contact Kingdom Magic Today
and Book Your Holiday Trip to
Walt Disney World

Why You Should Choose a Walt Disney World Resort, Part 1

We love Walt Disney World and chances are you do too.  But it can sometimes be a little overwhelming when it comes time to decide where to stay.  With 25 resort hotels on Disney Property, and dozens more surrounding Walt Disney World, the choice can be difficult to decide which one is right for you and your family.

So over the next few weeks, we’re going to take a deeper look into why you should choose a Walt Disney World Resort for your next vacation!

Why You Should Choose a Walt Disney World Resort, Part 1

Each Resort Has Its Own Unique Magic

Disney Resort hotels offer unique themed experiences, Character Dining and a variety of recreation choices. See how magical your vacation at a Disney Resort hotel can be:

Themed Experiences: Disney Resort hotels are famous for their elaborate theming. You can stroll a seaside Boardwalk, encounter wild animals of the savanna, discover the French Quarter of New Orleans, delight in 20th-century pop culture or much more.

Themed Pools: From sandy-bottomed lagoons and pirate galleons to guitar-shaped pools, splashing in the water is always an adventure at a Disney Resort hotel.

Character Dining: Dine with beloved Disney Characters in a variety of fanciful surroundings. Discover the many ways to meet Disney Characters.

Golf: Complement your Resort stay with a round of golf at one of our championship courses featuring lush green fairways and tournament-ready surfaces. Explore Disney Golf.

Why You Should Choose a Walt Disney World Resort, Part 1

Next time, we will see some of the differences that make Walt Disney World Resorts unique!

Contact Kingdom Magic Today and Discover The Walt Disney World Resort Difference for Yourself!

Walt Disney World Resort’s Grand Floridian Resort Celebrates 25 Years

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has long been on of our favorite Disney Resorts.  Partially because it captures the essence of seaside resorts of the Victorian era – a playful blend of nostalgia and modernism.

Walt Disney World Resort’s Grand Floridian Resort Celebrates 25 Years

 

When the “Grand” first opened its doors 25 years ago today, the opulent resort made a dramatic first impression — a black tie gala with VIPs like Burt Reynolds, Governor Bob Martinez, the late Frank Wells and several of NASA’s original Mercury 7 astronauts in attendance.

Walt Disney World Resort’s Grand Floridian Resort Celebrates 25 Years

 

Walt Disney World Resort’s Grand Floridian Resort Celebrates 25 Years

 

With its snow white towers and red shingled roofs, Disney’s five-story Grand Floridian remains the crown jewel of Walt Disney World Resort.

Walt Disney World Resort’s Grand Floridian Resort Celebrates 25 Years

 

Walt Disney World Resort’s Grand Floridian Resort Celebrates 25 Years

It’s Heating Up Outside But Walt Disney World Pools are Always Cool

We all know that Walt Disney World has some of the most incredible theme parks in the world.  And we love the resorts and all the amazing places to eat.  But one of our favorite things to do after a long morning in the parks, is to go back to our Disney resort and spend some time relaxing at the pool.

Big Blue at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, one of the largest Disney has ever built for a resort, including an underwater sound system

Disney resorts feature some of the most unique and creative, not to mention cool and refreshing, pools in the world.  From the new Big Blue at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, one of the largest Disney has ever built for a resort, including an underwater sound system, to the Nanea Volcano Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Resort which features a volcano and 142 foot long water slide, they are all awe-inspiring.  And on a hot Summer day in Orlando, there is no better place to spend a few hours.

Alice In Wonderland”-themed kids’ water play area

We hear from clients that as much fun as the parks are, their kids love spending time in the many themed pools at Walt Disney World Resort.  And who can blame them?  At Disney’s Grand Floridian, they have the new Alice In Wonderland”-themed kids’ water play area offering the perfect blend of  ‘tea party’ and ‘pool party’, it makes me want to be a kid again!

Uzima Pool at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

All of the Disney Resort pools have features for young and old alike, but my favorite is the Uzima Pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.  It features 1,000-square-foot pool with an exciting water slide and gently sloping, zero-depth entry point, a children’s wading pool, and 2 whirlpool spas.  It’s the perfect way to relax and get a whole new perspective on what a Disney World vacation is.

All of the Disney Resort pools have features for young and old alike

But don’t just take my word for it, here’s Andrew and Rick from TravelwithRick.com to show us around some of the incredible pools of Walt Disney World Resort!  Stay cool everyone!

Don’t Miss Out on Summer Fun at a Disney Pool

Call us at 866.972.6244 or Request a Quote Online!

Two Disney Resorts Named to 2013 Travelers’ Choice Awards for Hotels for Families

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site*, announced the winners of its 2013 Travelers’ Choice Awards for Hotels for Families. This year’s awards recognize a total of 231 family-friendly properties, and top accommodations were identified in 26 regions and countries across the globe, including dedicated lists for Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, China, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Middle East, South America, South Pacific, and the U.S.

TWO DISNEY RESORTS NAMED TO TRIPADVISORS 2013 TRAVELERS’ CHOICE AWARDS FOR HOTELS FOR FAMILIES

Award winners were determined based on the hotels most highly rated by those who traveled with family. Unlike any other hotel honors, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions collected in a single year from travelers around the world.

TWO DISNEY RESORTS NAMED TO TRIPADVISORS 2013 TRAVELERS’ CHOICE AWARDS FOR HOTELS FOR FAMILIES

“For those planning family trips this year, these lists highlight hotels around the world that family travelers love most,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Wherever you’re thinking of traveling, the lists provide inspiration for places to stay in popular family spots as well as lesser-known but similarly appealing family-friendly destinations.”

Top 10 U.S. Hotels for Families:

  1. Floridays Resort, Orlando, Florida
  2. Woodloch Pines Resort, Hawley, Pennsylvania
  3. WorldQuest Orlando Resort, Orlando, Florida
  4. West Inn and Suites Carlsbad, Carlsbad, California
  5. Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, North Conway, New Hampshire
  6. Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Orlando, Florida
  7. Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Orlando, Orlando, Florida
  8. Village at Indian Point, Branson, Missouri
  9. Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, Orlando, Florida
  10. Marriott’s Harbour Lake, Orlando, Florida

Reduce the Thought of Mealtime with Disney’s Dining Plan

My Disney Card

Disney Dining Plan card (Photo credit: sburke2478)

The family is finally going to have the long-anticipated vacation at one of Disney’s Theme Parks. Now begins the earnest task of arranging tickets, transportation, food and lodging. Something to look into that will make the trip much easier is the Disney Dining Plan, referred to as DDP for short.

The DDP is available at several of the Disney resorts. It’s available for guests booking with Disney Vacation Club points or buying a Magic Your Way Package. True to the promise of ‘your way’, customers can select the dining package of their choice. Couples might prefer spectacular meals, while families often prefer quick, efficient meals.

Imagine the convenience of presenting your key before ordering and having the snacks, quick service and table service meals taken from the pre-loaded credits. Walt Disney World Resort, for example, has over 100 restaurants in the park that qualify for various plans. The server gives a receipt showing how many meals are left, as the amount purchased is by room, not individuals. This is convenient because it allows the group to eat extra if someone wants to skip a meal.

Of special interest is the 12-ounce insulated refillable mug included in the package. Refill it with coffee, tea, Coke products and hot chocolate from the self-service soda fountain at the resort. Make sure someone has a tote bag or backpack to carry the mugs so they aren’t lost. The DDP is a fun plan, although it is important to be aware of the gratuity that may be added to your room charge.

If you are interested in trying the Disney Dining Plan on your next trip,
let your Kingdom Magic Travel Agent know and they can arrange it for you!

Free Dining Plan Offer at the Walt Disney World Resort

Now through Sept. 29, 2012, buy a non-discounted Magic Your Way Base Package for 6 nights and 7 days at select Disney Moderate, Disney Deluxe or Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts at the Walt Disney World® Resort for arrivals most nights Sept. 30 – Oct. 4, Oct. 19 – Nov. 1, Nov. 9-15, Nov. 23-29 and Dec. 10-13, 2012, and get the Disney Dining Plan FREE!*

Or, buy a non-discounted Magic Your Way Base Package for 6 nights and 7 days at select Disney Value Resorts for arrivals most nights Sept. 30 – Oct. 4, Oct. 19 – Nov. 1, Nov. 9-15, Nov. 23-29 and Dec. 10-13, 2012, and get a FREE Quick-Service Dining Plan. More info >>

Free Dining is back at the Walt Disney World Resort!

 

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