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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.

Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World Resort Reopens with New Auction Scene

Pirates of the Caribbean reopened at Magic Kingdom Park and guests were  introduced to the new version of the attraction’s auction scene we first announced last summer.

Just as Walt Disney embraced and encouraged Disney Parks to “keep moving forward” since the opening of Disneyland Park in 1955, Walt Disney Imagineering has introduced many new characters at Pirates of the Caribbean attraction over the years.

The pirate auctioneer now oversees a sale of the townspeople’s most prized possessions and goods. In this scene, the familiar redhead figure has switched sides to become a pirate named Redd, who’s just pillaged the town’s rum supply and has something to say about it.

Check out a sneak peek at what this new scene will look like in the photo above.

As we previously shared, the auction scene in the attraction at Disneyland Paris received a similar revision last year. Disneyland park will also receive similar updates to its Pirates of the Caribbean attraction later this spring, with work beginning April 23.

New Images of the Star Wars-Inspired Resort Planned For the Walt Disney World Resort

Earlier this month we shared a look inside the groundbreaking new hotel concept coming to the Walt Disney World® Resort that will combine luxury with complete immersion into an authentic Star Wars story.

Today, we’re thrilled to have more new visuals of this resort to share with you!

The immerse experience offered at this hotel will stand out among all of our resorts around the globe. As you can see, families visiting this resort will board a starship alive with characters and stories that unfold all around them during their voyage through the galaxy – and every window has a view of space!

The resort will also be seamlessly connected to the highly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, allowing your Clients a complete Star Wars experience. Guests visiting the resort will be welcome to participate as a resident of the galaxy by dressing in Star Wars-inspired attire.

Stay tuned for more updates on all Star Wars-inspired guest offerings at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – with Marc & Kriss

This week on Travel With Rick,  while Rick is still in Maine for part of the summer but was really missing Walt Disney World! His friends Marc and Kriss were at the Magic Kingdom last week and when he saw their video of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, he loved it so much he knew he had to share it with you!.

We hope you enjoy this POV ride on Big Thunder as much as we did, it’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!

13 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2013

It seems there’s always a new reason to visit Walt Disney World Resort – whether it’s the debut of a new guest offering, an update made to a favorite attraction, or the return of a fun annual event, there’s always something to do and see at our parks.

That said, here are 13 new reasons to visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2013.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes opened at Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort

1. Splitsville Luxury Lanes opened at Downtown Disney exactly two weeks ago on December 19. No doubt this new location will be a big draw for guests of all ages who love to bowl, dance, play pool and dine.

Dining at the new Monsieur Paul restaurant in the France pavilion at Epcot

2. Another recent debut is the Monsieur Paul restaurant in the France pavilion at Epcot. The restaurant now features a new menu created by Chef Francesco Santin.

3. Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort just debuted to guests. I don’t know about you, but I hope to hit up this newly reimagined location for a facial or massage in the coming year.

4. As Disney Parks Blog Author Tom Smith mentioned earlier, we’ll have a lot of fun surprises to look forward to in 2013 with Limited Time Magic.

5. The Atlanta Braves will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for spring training, which means a chance to attend fun preseason games beginning February 22 against the Detroit Tigers.

6. Characters from “Doc McStuffins” and “Sofia the First” will be added into the “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on February 15.

7. The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, its fun topiaries, and the Flower Power Concert Series will return for some spring fun March 6. As we previously shared, this year’s festival will also whisk guests back to the land of Oz.

8. We’ve marked some milestone anniversaries at Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot in the last two years. This spring, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate its 15th year.

9. My fellow blog author Darrell Fry just announced that the Drew Brees Passing Academy and Tournament will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, June 27-30. Sounds like an amazing opportunity for football fans!

10. A newly updated California Grill will debut at Disney’s Contemporary Resort this summer (date TBA). In addition to decor, Chef Brian Piasecki is also tweaking the menu, which will continue to focus on fresh, seasonal creations.

11. The 31st Night of Joy returns to Magic Kingdom Park September 6-7, this year featuring Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith as the main acts.

Big Thunder Mountain at the Magic Kingdom Park

12. Last fall, we shared the news that an interactive queue is coming to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom Park. Should be interesting to see exactly what materializes at this attraction in 2013.

Princess Fairytale Hall coming to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park in 2013

13. Princess Fairytale Hall, another new addition to Magic Kingdom Park, will open in New Fantasyland in 2013 (exact date TBA). This will be the new home for Disney princesses to meet their loyal subjects in the Magic Kingdom Park. To open in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland, the regal space will provide the perfect setting for meeting Cinderella, and Aurora and the other Disney princesses.

Which event or new offering are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the “comments” section below.

Walt Disney Imagineers Unveil the Backstory of Barnabas T. Bullion, Founder and President of Big Thunder Mining Company

Last week, we shared an image of a portrait that’s a part of a new project our Walt Disney Imagineers are currently working on – and today we’re happy to reveal the identity of that man and share details on the role he’ll play in the enhanced storyline of a certain Magic Kingdom Park attraction, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Barnabas T. Bullion, Founder and President of Big Thunder Mining Company

The fellow’s name is Barnabas T. Bullion, and he’s the gold magnate who rules the Big Thunder Mining Company with a golden fist. Imagineers have already begun working overnight in the park on the attraction’s new interactive queue, where you’ll be able to see this portrait, as well as an additional landscape portrait of the mountain itself.

landscape portrait of Big Thunder Mountain

According to the enhanced backstory: “Barnabas T. Bullion is the founder and president of the Big Thunder Mining Company. The longtime mining magnate comes from a powerful East Coast family and considers gold to be his very birthright by virtue of his oddly appropriate name; in fact, he considers the ultimate gold strike to be his destiny. And that is why he is having so much trouble with Big Thunder Mountain. According to superstitious locals, Big Thunder Mountain is very protective of the gold it holds within, and the unfortunate soul who attempts to mine its riches is destined to fail. And so far that prophecy is coming to pass. The mine has been plagued by mysterious forces and natural disasters ever since. And yet the Big Thunder Mining Co. is still in operation. In fact, Bullion is discovering new veins of gold and digging new shafts every day, offering a closer look at the Big Thunder mining operation than ever before. But a word to the wise for anyone attempting to visit the mountain: watch out for runaway trains.”

Look for these new additions and a number of additional interactive elements in the coming months at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the wildest ride in the wilderness!

All in the Details: My What a Guy, Gaston! Exploring Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

The preview period for New Fantasyland is now underway, which means more guests than ever are already experiencing fantastic new Magic Kingdom Park attractions that bring stories such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Dumbo” to life.

Exploring Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

One of these locations is Gaston’s Tavern in Belle’s Village, where Gaston has made a few appearances so far, no doubt enjoying all of this excitement and attention.

A centerpiece of the village, which appears right in front of Gaston’s Tavern, is a fountain of Gaston and his sidekick, LeFou. According to the storyline of this area, the statue was a gift to the village from Gaston himself.

in front of Gaston’s Tavern, is a fountain of Gaston and his sidekick, LeFou

When you visit, don’t miss the inscription on the dedication plaque, which suits Gaston perfectly. Here, you find out that this “gift” is actually titled “A Tribute to Gaston” and bears the following inscription: “An extremely generous gift to the humble people of my village, from me, Gaston.”




Characters in Flight, New Tethered Balloon Experience at Downtown Disney, Serves Up Tinker Bell Views of Walt Disney World and Beyond

charinflightLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The fun soars to exciting heights at Downtown Disney West Side with an iconic new tethered balloon that takes Walt Disney World guests soaring up to 400 feet above the waterfront.
Characters in Flight operated by Aerophile is a 72-foot-diameter balloon with a whimsical design featuring hand-painted silhouettes of a dozen of Disney’s famous “flying characters” – such as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Dumbo.  The vibrantly colored balloon can take up to 30 guests at a time on a six-minute flight – thanks to its enclosed volume of 210,000 cubic feet of lighter-than-air gas.  The ascents, by day or night, provide guests with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled, 360-degree view of the Vacation Kingdom and for miles beyond.
Guests board a gondola beneath the bright yellow balloon from a landing platform on Village Lake at the end of the main promenade at Downtown Disney West Side. Riders can catch flights aboard the attraction seven days a week, under the control of a licensed pilot.  Hours Sunday-Thursday are 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. while liftoffs Friday-Saturday are 10:30 a.m.-midnight, weather permitting.  Tickets ($16 for ages 10-up and $10 for ages 3-9) can be purchased on-site.  Availability is on first-come, first-serve basis.
Based in Paris, Aerophile S.A. was founded in 1993 by engineers Matthieu Gobbi and Jerome Giacomoni, known for reinventing the tethered gas balloon following an 80-year absence.  Aerophile is recognized as the world leader in tethered gas balloons.  Aerophile’s relationship with Disney began with the launch of PanoraMagique in Disney Village at Disneyland Resort Paris in 2005.  The whimsical balloons, offering panoramic views, are visible in major cities including Paris, Berlin, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubaï.

ROYAL DEBUT: Princess Tiana makes her Disney Parks debut

princesstianaROYAL DEBUT: The newest theme park character scheduled to soon make her debut in the Disney theme parks, Princess Tiana (back, center), made her very first public appearance Aug. 6, 2009 at the 2009 National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention in Tampa, Fla. Princess Tiana is featured in the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film, “The Princess and the Frog.” Pictured at the convention with Princess Tiana are young fans (L-R, back row): Diana Alfonso, age 7, from Coral Springs, Fla.; Erin Howard, age 7, from West Palm Beach, Fla.; Amanda McKendrick, age 8, from Orlando, Fla.; and Madison Meadows, age 8, from Dallas, Texas. Also joining in the fun are (L-R, front row): Ryleigh Lawton, age 3, from Clermont, Fla. and Mia Wood, age 4, from Orlando, Fla. “The Princess and the Frog” film will premiere in theaters nationwide Dec. 11, 2009. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

“KRIS IS… AMERICAN IDOL!”: 2009 American Idol Kris Allen is “Going to Disney World!”

kris-_ai_300“KRIS IS… AMERICAN IDOL!”: Kris Allen is photographed May 20, 2009 after taping the famed Disney Parks “I’m Going to Disney World!” commercial at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, immediately after being crowned the newest “American Idol” in the show’s star-studded season finale. Allen’s appearance in the Disney spot celebrates the new “American Idol Experience” theme park attraction at Walt Disney World in Florida. Not only does the newly crowned Idol shout “I’m Going to Disney World!” at the spot’s conclusion, his voice also is featured throughout the ad as he performs the classic Disney song, “When You Wish Upon A Star.” Allen is only the second singer in Disney’s “What Are You Going To Do Next?” campaign history to appear in the iconic commercial. (Paul Hiffmeyer, photographer)

Feel the Force at Disney’s Hollywood Studios During Star Wars Weekends 2009 – On Now

starwarsweekendslogo300LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Once again, the power of the Force and the magic of Disney combine in May and June for Star Wars Weekends, a sci-fi fan-fest inspired by the popular film saga.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 22-June 14, 2009, Disney’s Hollywood Studios becomes the temporary home for a band of out-of-this-world characters, including Wookiees, Sith, droids, Jedi, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Rodians.  Dates are May 22-24, May 29-31, June 5-7 and June 12-14.

A giant, “A to Z” gathering of Star Wars characters – from Anakin Skywalker to Zam Wesell – will roam the streets of the theme park during meet-and-greet sessions.  Jedi Training Academy – one of the interactive entertainment experiences featured in the theme park – takes place throughout the day on the event’s main stage and allows young guests to learn from a Jedi Master before testing newly acquired skills in a battle with Darth Vader.
Also featured: the chance to purchase one-of-a-kind Star Wars memorabilia, Star Wars trivia contests, special Star Wars parades, rides on the famed Star Tours attraction, and autograph sessions and star conversations with famous Star Wars actors and creative geniuses.
stormtroopers300Star Wars Weekends At-a-Glance
Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays  May 22-June 14, 2009
Celebrity Host
Jay Laga’aia (“Captain Typho”) with special guest Ashley Eckstein (“Ahsoka Tano”)
A Galaxy of Photo Opportunities – Encounter more than 50 Star Wars characters from the entire saga. From Darth Vader to Darth Maul and Greedo to Chewbacca, you’ll find heroes, bounty hunters, droids and villains from throughout the galaxy.
Celebrities from Star Wars will attend each weekend and participate in:
  • Autograph Sessions
  • Legends of the Force – Star Wars themed motorcade
  • Stars of the Saga – Talk Show and Q&A hosted by Jay Laga’aia

Clone Wars: Behind the Force – A behind-the-scenes show that explores the excitement of Star Wars: The Clone Wars led by Ashley Eckstein,the talented voice behind “Ahsoka Tano.”
In addition to being the voice of “Ahsoka Tano” in The Clone Wars TV series and feature film, she has appeared on shows such as “That’s So Raven” and in films including “Sydney White,” which starred Amanda Bynes. She and her husband, Major League Baseball player David Eckstein (a two-time All Star who won the 2006 World Series MVP Award), were married at Walt Disney World Resort in 2005.

jediacademy300Jedi Training Academy – Each young “Obi-wanna-be” who is chosen will learn a lightsaber combination as they prepare to face the dark side!
Star Tours Attraction –Blast your starspeeder through the ultimate Star Wars adventure.
Padawan Mind Challenge – Kids under 12 can test their wits before the Jedi Council!
Hyperspace Hoopla – Star Wars characters and guests gather for an entertaining conclusion to each day’s events.
Wicket’s Warehouse – Shop a galaxy of Star Wars themed and limited-edition merchandise developed just for Star Wars Weekends 2009.

Weekend Celebrities

Weekend 1 (May 22-24)

Ray Park (“Darth Maul”)
Warwick Davis (“Wicket the Ewok”)
James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan in Star Wars: The Clone Wars)**

vader300Weekend 2 (May 29-31)
Peter Mayhew (“Chewbacca”)
Matthew Wood (“General Grievous”)

Weekend 3 (June 5-7)
Jeremy Bulloch (“Boba Fett”)
David Prowse (“Darth Vader”)
Matt Lanter (voice of Anakin in Star Wars: The Clone Wars)**

Weekend 4 (June 12-14)
Dave Filoni (Director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Temuera Morrison (“Jango Fett”)
** Guest appearances in Clone Wars: Behind The Force presentations

Event activities are included in theme park admission.  Appearances and entertainment subject to change without notice. 

Hall of Presidents to Reopen in July

hall3001LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — A July reopening is planned for the Hall of Presidents, an iconic attraction in Magic Kingdom.  An Audio-Animatronics version of President Barack Obama will join representations of the previous 43 presidents of the United States as part of an attraction that has been celebrating American history since Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971.  Disney Imagineers also are updating a broad array of show elements.

Disney’s Smallest Audio-Animatronics Figure Brings ‘Chef Remy’ to Life at Les Chefs de France in Epcot

chefremy2_3002From the Silver Screen to Haute Cuisine!

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The newest chef at Walt Disney World Resort may be small in stature, but he’s a big hit with guests enjoying haute cuisine at Les Chefs de France in Epcot. With his flair for French fare, diners of all ages are eating up his whimsical tableside visits.

His name is Remy, and he’s the rat-turned-chef made famous in the Academy Award-winning Disney•Pixar film “Ratatouille.” A new Audio-Animatronicscharacter created by Walt Disney Imagineering, Remy stars in a new guest experience at Les Chefs de France entitled “Bon Appétit from Chef Remy.” Les Chefs de France is one of the restaurants featured at the France pavilion in Epcot.

Six days a week, four times a day (subject to change), a Maître d’ greets diners with a rolling gourmet food cart. Dramatically lifting the lid from a silver-domed cheese platter, the Maître d’ reveals the guest of honor – a six-inch-tall rat with silky-soft fur, pink paws and traditional toque. Chef Remy then comes to life, entertaining diners with sprightly movements and lively banter. Winding their way through the restaurant, Remy and his Maître d’ pal make stops at each table. In addition to his hijinks, Chef Remy might even bust a move to the beat of different tunes, from the soft sway of a French love song to the hot sounds of hip-hop.

chefremy300The 40-minute experience provides guests an up-close encounter with the “Ratatouille” star as he laughs, sniffles and even flirts with his new friends.

Remy is part of the Living Character initiative created for Disney Parks by Walt Disney Imagineering.

“By combining technologies, our Living Character initiative creates new levels of guest interaction and brings characters to life like never before,” said Holger Irmler, who worked on the Remy project for Walt Disney Imagineering. “Things we do are so complex, yet our goal is to make them seem so magical to our guests.”

Since its inception, the initiative has been providing guests with a dash of never-before-seen technology and a heaping helping of legendary Disney magic. The first Living Character debuted in 2004 in the form of a large and lovable dinosaur named Lucky.

Not only is Remy one of the newest Audio-Animatronicscharacters created by Walt Disney Imagineering, he also holds the distinction of being the smallest one ever created. Having already wowed guests at Disneyland Resort Paris, Imagineers chose Epcot as the next park for Remy to visit – with Les Chefs de France serving as the perfect Parisian setting for his Walt Disney World debut.

chefremy3_3001THE BIG CHEESE: Famed French Chef Paul Bocuse introduces his grandson — also named Paul Bocuse — to a new Audio-Animatronics figure named “Remy” April 3, 2009 at Les Chefs de France restaurant at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Remy, made famous in Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated film “Ratatouille,” is featured at the restaurant in a new guest experience called “Bon Appetit from Chef Remy.” The Audio-Animatronics figure — the smallest ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering — interacts with diners inside the restaurant. Through Sept. 5, Remy will make appearances in the dining room during specific times. Epcot is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

Guests dining at Les Chefs de France are encouraged to make advance reservations by calling 407/WDW-DINE (407/939-3463) up to 90 days prior to their visit. “Bon Appétit from Chef Remy” is scheduled to take place at Les Chefs de France Monday through Saturday until Sept. 5, 2009 (subject to change).

MOBILE MAGIC: Disney Parks teams with Verizon to bring new wireless phone experiences to guests

disney_wireless300MOBILE MAGIC: Disney Parks teams with Verizon to bring unprecedented new wireless phone experiences to guests at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Planned services include an exclusive mobile application that will give guests with Verizon service the ability to easily locate shows, restaurants and the Disney characters anywhere inside the Parks, get real-time attraction availability information, access mobile games, receive messages from characters and more. (Garth Vaughan, photographer)

Walt Disney World Resort Offers Romantic Playground for Lovebirds on Valentine’s Day and Every Day

mickey_valentines_day_300LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The storybook setting and amorous ambiance of Walt Disney World Resort has lovebirds flocking to the Vacation Kingdom for a romantic getaway. Moonlit strolls, luxurious spas and intimate dining make it feel like Valentine’s Day every day. And new for 2009: as part of Disney’s “What Will You Celebrate?” couples commemorating their commitment have a “heart full” of enchanting ways to customize their Valentine’s vacations.

Couples who’ve been bitten by the love bug don’t need a fairy godmother to find romance at Walt Disney World Resort. This is, after all, home to some of the world’s most famous romances: Cinderella and Prince Charming, Lady and the Tramp, Beauty and the Beast – and don’t forget America’s sweethearts, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

Throughout the 40-square-mile playground, love is in the air at the Vacation Kingdom. During a couples spa experience. In the middle of a romantic dinner. Or on one of the “love boats” that cruise Walt Disney World waterways.
Honeymooners thrive in the romantic allure of Walt Disney World Resort – a top-rated honeymoon destination, according to industry experts.
And for couples who want to make their own fairy tale dream come true – complete with Cinderella’s coach and her famous glass slipper – Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings can create an unforgettable union.

The four Walt Disney World theme parks create a perfect setting for spontaneous romance – whether it’s a stroll along the lush Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or a relaxing stop for espresso and pastries at a sidewalk table in the France pavilion at Epcot World Showcase. Beyond the parks, couples can embrace a bouquet of romantic experiences that seem designed just for them:

gfspa_300The Couple that ‘Spas’ and ‘Flies’ Together….. – What’s more enjoyable than a luxurious spa treatment? Imagine sharing it with that special someone. The Grand Floridian Spa & Health Club, in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, features a “couples room” where guests can enjoy specialized spa treatments – such as massages and facials – with the one they love. For information about spa treatments, call 407/824-2332.
Make like Aladdin and Jasmine – fly through the sky with your loved one on an adventurous tandem parasail over Bay Lake. Those looking to soar to new heightscan spend 10 minutes alone soaring high above Disney and get a bird’s-eye view of Magic Kingdom and its neighboring resorts. Rates start at $170 (plus tax) for a tandem flight. Contact Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, or call 407/939-0754 for reservations.

Magical Resorts – From the romance of an African lodge to the Victorian splendor of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the mood is set for an enchanting stay at a Walt Disney World resort hotel. Disney’s fantasy hotels transport couples to faraway places with lavish theming, picturesque views and superior service. For reservations, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639).

The Love Boat – The Grand Floridian’s Grand 1 – an elegant 52-foot yacht – can give couples, or parties up to 18, a stunning view of “Wishes” fireworks showering above Magic Kingdom during select evening cruises along Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Private butler service and gourmet meals also are available. Romantic evening cruises begin at $480/hour (plus tax),including captain and private deck hand. Reservations may be made up to 90 days in advance by calling 407/824-2682.

At Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Marina, a 1920s-style 26-foot mahogany runabout is available for private rental. Half-hour afternoon cruises are $95 (plus tax) for up to six people. For $300 (plus tax),up to six guests can take a Fireworks Cruise into Epcot (45-50 minutes) for an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind view of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.” The craft – complete with captain – travels across Crescent Lake for the nightly fireworks, sound and laser show. Reservations may be made up to 90 days in advance by calling 407/WDW-PLAY (939-7529).

The name of the boat is perfect for couples in love: Breathless II.

Disney Dining Serves Romance – Couples find Disney dining infused with romance in settings ranging from subdued to spectacular. And with this year’s “What Will You Celebrate?” Disney offers new entertainment and services that allow guests to turn their personal milestones into magical Disney experiences.

  • Disney’s three-course, prix fixe Sweetheart Dinner for Two is the perfect way to create a memorable evening, ending with a shared dessert. Dinners include a specially selected beverage in a souvenir toasting glass to commemorate a special moment and are available at all Walt Disney World signature restaurants except Victoria & Albert’s. Guests who prefer an in-room romantic dinner can check with their Disney resort hotel’s front desk.
  • cal_grill_300California Grill atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers a panoramic view overlooking the Magic Kingdom theme park. Here, stellar cuisine and the restaurant’s award-winning selection of California wines set the stage. Lovebirds can catch a Florida sunset over Magic Kingdom.
  • One of the most romantic dinner spots at Walt Disney World Resort is a table for two at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The elegant restaurant has been honored with the Five-Diamond Award from AAA for its gourmet cuisine. Combining Royal Doulton china, Cristofle silver and personalized menus, Victoria & Albert’s is the “crown jewel” of the Grand Floridian’s dining destinations. Soft harp music fills the air as “maids” and “butlers” provide stellar service to each of the 18 tables in the intimate dining room. Ladies also receive a long-stemmed red rose.
  • For the ultimate romantic experience, an evening at the Chef’s Table is unsurpassed. Couples are seated at a cozy table in Victoria & Albert’s kitchen and treated to a culinary feast custom tailored to their specific tastes by Chef Scott Hunnel.
  • Guests who prefer to dine in an even more intimate setting at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort& Spa need only to pick up the closest telephone. The Grand Floridian can arrange a private dinner for two, served against the elegant backdrop of the Grand Floridian beach – or aboard the Grand 1 – on a sunset excursion along Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Certain menu items can be specially prepared for the evening. Seven-day notice is requested.
  • For all Walt Disney World dining information, guests can call 407/WDW-DINE (939-3463).

Nature Lovers – A horseback ride through one of the backwoods trails at Walt Disney World Resort is just the thing for couples who share a love of nature and each other. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground offers wrangler-led tours (45 minutes) through the deep, pine-scented woods that make up part of the Vacation Kingdom’s 40 square miles. Tours leave several times daily from Trail Blaze Corral, and may be reserved by calling 407/WDW-PLAY (939-7529).

carriage_300Romantic Evening – Horse-drawn carriage rides through the wilderness of Walt Disney World Resort are a romantic treat for couples looking for a secluded nighttime outing. The antique carriages depart from Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and traverse throughout the scenic landscape of the 750-acre rustic resort. Or guests can choose a relaxing old-fashioned carriage ride through Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside with pickup at Boatwright’s Dining Hall. Each nightly excursion is 30 minutes long for $45, available from 5:30-10 p.m. and 5:30-9:30 p.m., respectively. For reservations, guests can call 407/WDW-PLAY (939-7529).

Weddings Around the ‘World’ – The epitome of Disney romance can be summed up in four words: Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings. Since the first wedding at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion in 1995, approximately 1,600 couples each year have exchanged vows at Walt Disney World Resort.

For these couples, dreams become reality. Where else but at Disney could a bride arrive for her wedding in Cinderella’s glass coach, have a handsome major domo carry wedding rings to the altar in a glass slipper, or have Mickey and Minnie greet guests at the reception?

Whether it’s an elegant ball at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, a traditional ceremony at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion or a beach-themed wedding complete with tiki torches, leis and luau on one of the Walt Disney World white-sand beaches, Disney custom designs each wedding with the famous “Disney Difference” – providing attention to the tiniest detail.

wedding_chapel_300Disney’s wedding specialists incorporate all the elements in a one-stop shop including the ceremony, entertainment, cuisine, floral arrangements, audiovisuals and accommodations. For more information on Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings, call 321/939-4623 or visit

Couples who are tying the knot back home can arrange a Disney’s Fairy Tale Honeymoon by calling 321/939-4623 or visiting the Web site at

Renewing Vows – Many couples who’ve been married for years are coming to Walt Disney World Resort, often with their families, to renew their vows five, 10, 25 and 50 years later. A Disney vacation provides the perfect backdrop to celebrate this family milestone. Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings experts can tailor the ceremony and celebration to suit each couple.

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