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D23 Expo Revisited – Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

The 2013 D23 Expo was last weekend, and it truly a a magical event for all Disney fans who attended!  This was my first D23 Expo and I enjoyed every minute of it: I met Disney Legends, new friends, and learned what being a true Disney Fan was all about!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Once we got into the convention center, the first day’s main event was the Animation Session hosted by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer for Pixar and Walt Disney Studios as well as Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering.  We were given glimpses into the next several movies in the pipeline for Pixar, Walt Disney Animation, and Disneytoons Studios.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories
We were even treated to guest appearances from voice actors Dane Cook from Planes, Bill Hader from Monsters University, and Josh Gad and Kristen Bell from Frozen, the much anticipated new animated feature from Walt Disney Studios.  We even got a special appearance from John Ratzenberger!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Bill Hader from Monsters University and Pixar Veteran, John Ratzenberger

At the end of the session Broadway great Idina Menzel sang “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen and brought the house down!

After the main session, which ran five hours, we were all hungry and headed outside to the row of food trucks that D23 had brought in. I enjoyed a meatball sandwich that was incredible.

After lunch, it was time for walking around the Collector’s Gallery, where Disneyana collectors from all over the world were gathered to buy, sell, and trade Disney collectibles from vinylmations to animation cells from classic Disney features.

Pat Carrol, the voice of Ursula from Disney’s Little Mermaid, Imagianeer and Disney Legend Bob Gurr were also there signing autographs and taking pictures, it was incredible.  There were also some amazing collector’s items that were available for sale.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Disney Legend Bob Gurr

The next day was filled with smaller sessions in the morning until it was time for the Walt Disney Studios Live Action Feature Movies panel.  We were treated to previews from Marvel’s Thor: Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, and even Captain America.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Angelina Jolie for Maleficent at D23

The highlight of the day was the presentation for Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, the story of Wait Disney and P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins.  It was a great preview and concluded with an appearance from Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak who portrayed the Sherman Brothers in the movie.  Schwartzman and Novak were accompanied by Richard Sherman, one half of the legendary Sherman Brothers songwriting team.  They sang “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” from Mary Poppins as they were surrounded by kite flying dancers.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Disney Legend Richard Sherman, B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman

On the final day, we were able to sit in a session with Disney Legends, Bob Gurr, Marty Sklar, Alice Davis, and X Atencio called Working with Walt.  These are some of the very Imagineers who actually worked with Walt Disney.  It was an incredible experience to listen to their stories and learn more about some of the great Disney movies and the creation of Disneyland.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent walking around the vendor booths and some of the incredible Disney Consumer Products.  We got to experience some of the upcoming Disney products before they were released.  We even got some signed lithographs from Disney Consumer Product Artists!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

 One thing we learned was to divide and conquer.  One of us would wait in line for whatever main event we wanted to see, while the rest of us were able to walk around or sit in on other smaller sessions.  If you attend the next D23 event, don’t forget to bring tons of patience, the lines are super long, but it does give you the opportunity to make new friends and read all those emails you have been meaning to get to!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

D23 was an incredible event.  We are already looking to the next one in 2015.  We discovered that we were not alone in our love and passion for Walt Disney and all of his wonderful creations.

Richard Sherman and Alan Menken D23 Expo Live Press Conference

Disney fans looking forward to the incredible D23 Expo this weekend in Anaheim, California got a sneak peak at the amazing event featuring Richard Sherman and Alan Menken live on stage together!

Richard Sherman and Alan Menken D23 Expo Live Press Conference

Richard Sherman & Alan Menken

During a conference call for fans and press, Sherman and Menken discussed the plans for the live event as well as their carriers in Disney, Broadway, and film.

From D23.com:

Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken: The Disney Songbook one night only, two of the world’s most celebrated songwriters and composers will take to the stage. Richard Sherman and Menken have won a combined 10 Academy Awards for their work with Disney, and have composed music and songs for more than three dozen Disney feature films, over two dozen Disney Park attractions, and half a dozen Disney musicals on Broadway.

Enjoy this press conference from Richard Sherman and Alan Menken.

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Richard M. Sherman and his brother Robert B. Sherman composed some of the most beloved songs in the Disney canon. The Disney Legends won two Oscars® for their work on Mary Poppins, and during their decades–long association with Disney they wrote more than 200 songs for 27 films and two dozen television productions. They made unforgettable contributions to such Disney films as The Parent Trap, The Jungle Book, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and the entire Winnie the Pooh series, as well as the family classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. They also penned beloved songs for Disney Parks including the theme songs for Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, it’s a small world, and Carousel of Progress. Richard wrote the song “Make Way for Tomorrow Today” for the blockbuster film Iron Man 2.

With eight Academy Awards, Alan Menken has received more Oscars than any living person. He has written songs and scores for some of the world’s most beloved films: TangledEnchanted, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast , Aladdin, Pocahontas, Hercules, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Little Shop of Horrors, Home on the Range and Newsies. His song “Star Spangled Man,” was the patriotic anthem of the 2011 hit film Captain America: The First Avenger. Menken’s Broadway successes include his 2012 Tony Award® for Newsies, plus The Little MermaidBeauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, and Sister Act . His other stage productions include King David, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and his latest stage production Aladdin: The New Musical, opening next year. 

Top Ten Walt Disney World Resort Summertime Favorites

Top Ten Walt Disney World Resort Summertime Favorites

It’s Summertime and that means we need to countdown all the great things to to this Summer at Walt Disney World Resort!  Drum roll please…

10 –Walt Disney World Resort will be kicking off Monstrous Summer with an all-nighter at Magic Kingdom Park. On May 24 and help Disney charge up with scream energy to power Magic Kingdom Park for an entire 24 hours!

 9 -If all-nighters aren’t your thing, don’t worry. A lot of the Monsters University students will be setting up shop around Disney’s Hollywood Studios to meet their biggest fans all summer long.

 8 -Amid all this monstrous excitement, look for the “Monsterail” as it zips around in scare-riffic style. Text your favorite joke and see if it gets into the show at the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor at Magic Kingdom Park. And make a note to see Disney•Pixar “Monsters University,” premiering June 21 at the AMC Downtown Disney 24 Theatres at Downtown Disney West Side!

 7 -Get ready to take a swim without setting foot in the water! Visit New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park and check out Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid. You’ll be delighted with a lineup of familiar characters and favorite nautical songs.

 6 – Since you’re already in Magic Kingdom Park, make sure to track down a secret frosty treat, the Dole Whip! Dating back to when Walt first opened Disneyland park, the Dole Whip is an elusive pineapple-flavored ice cream concoction that you can only find in a few locations worldwide!

 5 – Sometimes summer weather is best served inside a relaxing (and not to mention air-conditioned) lounge. Soothe away your stresses with one of the many spa treatments at Senses Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort to conquer the dog days of summer.

 4 – With the kids’ summer break looming, a night out at Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Downtown Disney is the perfect escape. Roll your way through a few frames and some fresh sushi in this beautifully styled restaurant, lounge and bowling alley.

 3 – What fun would summer be without a trip to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park? Enjoy steep drops and adventurous water rides. Sometimes a lazy river can’t match the huge thrill of a plunge down Summit Plummet!

 2 – Make some time in your schedule for a lap around Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot. You’ll cool off with speeds up to 65 mph and the gusts that come with them as you tear through the newly re-imagined track.

And our Number 1 Walt Disney World Resort Summertime Favorites…

 1 – The perfect way to end a perfect summer day is with a perfect summer night! Visit one of our nighttime fireworks spectaculars that you’ll find in Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot.

That’s our list…what would YOUR Top Ten be for a MONSTER-ous Summer at Walt Disney World?

Special ‘Room Only’ Discount for Disney Visa Card Holders

In addition to the Free Dining offer, Disney also released a room only discount for Disney Visa Cardholders!  If free dining is not available or not a good fit for your vacation to Disney World, you can also save with the room only discount, which saves you up to 30% off your hotel!
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This discount may be a better deal than the free dining, especially for those guests staying at a Disney Deluxe Resort. When you contact your Kingdom Magic Travel Agent, they will make sure you get the best possible price for your vacation.  This hotel discount is available for travel between 8/15/13 – 9/28/13.
The discounts include:
You can add tickets and Disney Dining Plans to your package for additional savings.
For this resort discount, Disney has a few blacked out resorts including campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, 3-Bedroom Villas, and Little Mermaid Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. For this discount, you must pay your $200 and final payment using your Disney Visa Card.
This discount expires on July 31, 2013.

Free Dining Offer for Disney Visa Card Holders

Disney’s Visa cardholders can get a FREE Disney Dining Plan when you book a full price Magic Your Way package and check in between 9/2/13 – 9/25/13. You must purchase a package that includes a minimum of 3 nights accommodation at an on-site Walt Disney World resort and a minimum 2-day Base Ticket at full price.

Get a FREE dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted 6-night/7-day Magic Your Way room and ticket package at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels, valid for arrival most nights September 2 - September 25, 2013:

Guests who book a vacation package at one of Disney’s Value Resorts will receive the Quick Service Dining Plan.

Guests who book a vacation package at Disney’s Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa resorts will receive the regular Dining Plan.

Dining upgrades can be added:

  • Guests staying at a Value Resort can upgrade from the Quick Service Dining Plan to the regular Dining Plan for less than $19 per adult, per night, and less than $3 per child, per night.
  • Guests staying at a Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort can upgrade from the regular Dining Plan to the Deluxe Dining Plan for less than $45 per adult, per night, and less than $20 per child, per night.

Tickets can also be upgraded to add Park Hopper, Water Park Fun & More and/or No Expiration, for an extra cost.

Book by 7/31/13. A $200 deposit using your Disney’s Visa card is required at the time of booking. Vacation package can be booked up to a maximum of 14 days. Everyone in your party must purchase the same package and same tickets.

Ft. Wilderness campsites, 3-bedroom villas and Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation Resort are not included in this offer. As with all Disney promotional discounts, some resorts, room types and date combinations will not be available. It’s important to be flexible if you want to book a discounted package. The number of vacation packages available with free dining are limited and are subject to availability.

Click Here to Book this Amazing Offer

Disney Unveils New ‘Festival of Fantasy’ Parade Coming to Magic Kingdom Park in 2014

For many guests, a visit to a Disney theme park wouldn’t be complete without catching a parade. Whether it’s the thrill of seeing which Disney character comes up next, or that moment when your favorite character waves right at you, there’s just something magical about a Disney parade.

new procession, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, will march into Magic Kingdom Park in spring 2014.

Disney is happy to share that a new procession, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, will march into Magic Kingdom Park in spring 2014.

new procession, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, will march into Magic Kingdom Park in spring 2014.

The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will bring a celebration of New Fantasyland to Main Street, U.S.A., through fantastic and innovative new parade floats, vibrant costumes, and an original soundtrack that will feature beloved songs from favorite Disney films, plus a parade theme song.

new procession, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, will march into Magic Kingdom Park in spring 2014.

This parade will specifically highlight the stories of “The Little Mermaid,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Dumbo,” “Pinocchio,”“Peter Pan,” “Tangled” and the Disney●Pixar film “Brave” among others. (Check out a sneak peek of the “Tangled”-themed float above).

What do you think of the new parade coming to Magic Kingdom?

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.”

 

 

 

New Magic in the Making at Walt Disney World Resort

From flying over Never Land to taking a spin in a tea cup, Fantasyland has been home to some of our guests’ favorite experiences at Walt Disney World Resort since opening day. So when Disney set out to reinvent the most popular land at our most popular Disney destination, they knew that it had to be something truly spectacular – and it is true to say that New Fantasyland is exactly that.

Last Friday, Tom Staggs,  chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, toured the construction site as Disney completed the finishing touches for their official opening on December 6, and while the entire expansion is extraordinary, there are a few aspects in particular that should think will be huge hits with guests.

Enchanted Tales with Belle - New Magic in the Making at Walt Disney World Resort

Part of what makes Disney Parks so special is our ability to connect people with the Disney characters and stories they love. With Enchanted Tales with Belle, we’re doing that in a magical new way. Guests will enter Belle’s cottage, step through an enchanted mirror and be transported to the world of “Beauty and the Beast,”where they’ll help Lumiere, Belle and The Wardrobe recreate “the tale as old as time” by becoming part of the story themselves. Our Imagineers have brought these characters to life in ways that are sure to delight guests both young and old.

One of the hallmarks of a great Disney experience is the meticulous attention to detail that goes into the worlds we create, and the queue for Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid is another fantastic example of “the more you look, the more you see.” Before taking a voyage under the sea with Ariel and her friends, guests can explore the caves and grottos in and around Prince Eric’s castle, interacting playfully with Scuttle and a few of his friends along the way. The rockwork that’s been done is spectacular, and the paintings that adorn the vaults beneath the castle help draw visitors to New Fantasyland even further into the story of the beloved animated film.

One of the most gratifying aspects of this expansion is the way that our new attractions, entertainment, merchandise and food offerings all come together to create a singular experience that is a worthy addition to a park as iconic as Magic Kingdom Park. The result is only possible through the hard work and the collaboration from people across Disney Parks and Resorts, and I am extremely proud of what they have accomplished. We can’t wait to take guests beyond the walls of Cinderella Castle to discover the new stories, new adventures and new magic that will help them make shared memories that last a lifetime.

Discover More Excitement in New Fantasyland This December!

Deep in the depths of Magic Kingdom park in Walt Disney World lies a legendary world—New Fantasyland—that’s been long hidden from our view. As story has it, this is a place where mermaids sing, beauties tell tales, beasts roar and elephants fly.

Soon, these legends will become reality—when the wonders of New Fantasyland are revealed. Discover how you can become a part of the adventure!

The New Fantasyland Expansion
New Fantasyland is opening in phases for the largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom park, offering more immersive enchantment and interactive experiences!

Upon completion, Fantasyland will nearly double in size—so you can look forward to extensive additions of fun for the entire family. The expansion provides more Disney characters and stories presented in rich detail in 2 new themed areas—Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus.

Enchanted Forest – Opening December 6, 2012!

Beginning in late 2012, you can meet some favorite Disney Characters in Enchanted Forest, where you’ll be immersed in the popular Disney films The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Here, you can venture through lush landscapes, discovering roaring waterfalls and royal castles along the way.

Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences include:

  • Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid: Enter Prince Eric’s castle, board a giant clamshell and rock out on this new musical attraction. During your journey, you’ll behold a world teeming with color and characters as you enjoy high-energy songs and incredible effects that take you inside scenes from the animated Disney film The Little Mermaid.


    Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant: Feast in one of 3 incredible dining rooms in the middle of Beast’s Castle. Savor the classic flavors of France coming soon to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park. Located at the base of the mountain below Beast castle, this themed venue transports diners to the magical world of the popular Disney film Beauty and the Beast. By day, Be Our Guest Restaurant serves up quick-service cuisine, so you can enjoy a short break from your park festivities. By night, it becomes a traditional table-service restaurant where you can reconnect with family and friends over satisfying fare.


    Be Our Guest Restaurant

  • Enchanted Tales with Belle:  Take a trip through the world of the popular Disney film Beauty and the Beast during this captivating storybook adventure in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park! Your journey begins in Maurice’s workshop, where an enchanted mirror becomes your doorway to an unforgettable experience. After stepping through the mirror, you’ll find that you’ve been transported to Beast’s magnificent library, where Belle and Lumière invite you to become part of a lively retelling of the “tale as old as time.”


    Enchanted Tales with Belle

  • Ariel’s Grotto: Take photos and get autographs with everyone’s favorite undersea princess. Now you can visit everyone’s favorite undersea princess at her new home in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park! Ariel’s Grotto is nestled in a picturesque cove along the rocky shoreline of the Under the Sea~Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction. Here, Ariel is excited to meet new friends, sign autographs and pose for photos.

    Ariel's Grotto

Enjoy all this—and so much more—beginning December 6, 2012.

All in the Details: The Theming of Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park

Last week we gave you a look inside the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction, which opens December 6 in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. Many of you have asked exactly how this attraction is different from The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction at Disney California Adventure park. Well, feast your eyes on the photos below to get the answer – it’s the attraction’s amazingly detailed exterior.

Provided by Walt Disney Imagineering, these photos show exactly how guests will become immersed in the tale of “The Little Mermaid” the instant they arrive at the attraction. Its marquee was just installed and features Ariel on the bow of a shipwrecked boat. From here, guests walk through a detailed queue that takes them over a shoreline that has scattered pieces of the ship and into the rocky cliffs below Prince Eric’s castle, with the sound of rushing water all around.

Part of Your World: ‘The Little Mermaid’ Wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Opens September 15

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which immerses guests in the stories of “Cars,” “Finding Nemo” and “The Lion King,” will celebrate the opening of “The Little Mermaid” courtyard this Saturday, September 15.

I recently had the opportunity to stay in the “Cars” courtyard for my son’s birthday, and the level of detail our Imagineers went to to recreate the places and characters from these films is simply amazing! Not to mention that the family suites offer three different sleeping areas, two bathrooms, and a kitchenette – plenty of room for a birthday party!

Here’s a look inside each of the resort’s four courtyards.

The Little Mermaid’ Wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Opens September 15

The Little Mermaid courtyard offers 864 standard rooms, which are decorated in perfect “Under the Sea” style. Outside, the area features large icons of Ariel, Flounder, Ursula, and King Triton, among others, plus a Flippin’ Fins pool.

The Finding Nemo courtyard offers 320 family suites, an impressive Big Blue Pool and a kids’ water play area. Character icons that can’t be missed here include Nemo, Marlin, Crush and Mr. Ray.

The Cars courtyard

If your kids loved the movie “Cars,” this is a not-to-be-missed trip through Radiator Springs. The Cars courtyard offers 480 family suites, and on your journey to your room, you’re sure to pass the Cozy Cone Motel, Tow Mater Towing & Salvage, the Wheel Well Motel and other nods to the film.

The Lion King courtyard, which offers 320 family suites, allows guests to embark on a journey through Africa with Simba and friends. Here guests can visit Pride Rock, watch Timon and Pumbaa dance “hakuna matata” style across a log bridge, and more.

Which area of the resort looks most intriguing to you? Tell us in the “comments” section below!

 

 

All in the Details: The First Photos from Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park

Today we’re thrilled to share the very first photos from inside the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction, which will open at Magic Kingdom Park this December.

Housed in the grottos below Prince Eric’s Castle, this New Fantasyland attraction invites guests to follow Ariel on her remarkable journey as she meets Prince Eric, falls in love, and makes a deal with Ursula, the evil Sea Witch.

All in the Details: The First Photos from Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park

These photos, supplied by Walt Disney Imagineering, are some of my favorite that we’ve shared in our “All in the Details” series so far. I love this shot, which is obviously inspired by the “Kiss the Girl” scene from the film.

some of Sebastian’s friendssome of Sebastian’s friends

And check out some of Sebastian’s friends above – sure looks like they’re having fun “Under the Sea.”

Many of you have asked about the differences between this attraction and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction at Disney California Adventure park. For that answer, you can’t miss our previous posts and photos of the attraction’s impressive exterior, which includes Prince Eric’s Castle, and its queue, which leads through shipwrecks and rocky cliffs below.

All in the Details: Head Under the Sea to Visit Ariel’s Grotto at Magic Kingdom Park

Many fans of “The Little Mermaid” have been asking for a mermaid-related update over the past few weeks, so today we’re happy to share the first look inside Ariel’s Grotto, a new character greeting location coming to New Fantasyland.

Ariel’s Grotto at Magic Kingdom Park

As you can see, Ariel will greet guests in mermaid form, seated on a giant seashell throne. The grotto will be located within the base of the seaside cliffs upon which Prince Eric’s Castle sits, but is separate from the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction.

This character greeting will debut with the rest of New Fantasyland for a preview period beginning November 19, and then a grand opening on December 6.

What do you think? Will you visit Ariel when New Fantasyland opens?

 

Disney Cruise Line Offers Immersive Experiences and Adventurous Activities for Kids of All Ages

Aboard Disney Cruise Line, it’s great to be a kid. Children can let their imaginations set sail in nearly an entire deck customized just for them, teens and tweens have places to gather, and the smallest seafarers are cared for in colorful spaces with whimsical themes. Dedicated areas and customized interactive programs inspire, entertain and spark the imagination of children ages three months to 17 years.

While children are enjoying the most extensive youth activity areas at sea, parents can enjoy the ship “worry-free,” thanks to an onboard mobile phone service that allows kids and counselors to contact parents anytime and anywhere on the ship. Plus, all Disney Cruise Line youth activities are supervised by specially trained counselors and feature some of the longest operating hours at sea, providing greater flexibility for parents and even more fun for kids.

Click On Each Image For A Larger View

Flounder’s Reef / It’s a Small World
Infants and toddlers ages three months to three years enjoy life “under the sea” at “The Little Mermaid”-themed Flounder’s Reef Nursery (Disney Magic, Disney Wonder). In the It’s a Small World Nursery (Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream), little ones enter a whimsical world inspired by the classic Disney theme park attraction. Trained counselors care for and entertain children with toys, books, videos, crafts and games. The nurseries offer some of the longest operating hours and some of the lowest hourly rates for baby and toddler care in the cruise industry, allowing parents to explore adventures ashore, relax on the ship and enjoy time on their own.
As an added convenience, all baby products needed for a Disney cruise can be pre-arranged and delivered directly to a guest’s stateroom upon arrival.

Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab
It’s not an official port of call, but children feel like they’ve been transported to Peter Pan’s Never Land at the whimsical Oceaneer Club (Disney Magic, Disney Wonder). This child-friendly oasis, themed to Captain Hook’s pirate ship, contains a play area with slide and rope bridge, a “captain’s closet” filled with costumes and toys, and an open seating area for arts, crafts, games, storytelling, musical fun and dancing. On the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream, Oceaneer Club is a child-friendly oasis that transports kids to the magical lands of Disney fairies, friendly monsters, adventuresome toys and undersea exploration.

Kids go to “infinity and beyond” at the space- and science-themed Oceaneer Lab (Disney Magic, Disney Wonder). Twinkling star-like lights and giant planetary spheres fill the room along with an oversized Buzz Lightyear figure. Computers with video games and music stations begins the exploration, and kids can participate in crazy experiments at the interactive science lab, karaoke jams, pajama parties, sports challenges and more. On the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream, kids can sketch original, hand-drawn art, bring to life computer-animated characters and create and record their own original songs.

In both the Club and Lab on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream, kids can have real-time conversations with Crush, the animated sea turtle from “Finding Nemo” and Stitch the mischievous animated space alien. A Magic PlayFloor gives kids the chance to soar above London with Peter Pan, step into the futuristic world of Tron or use their own movements to control the tilt of a giant virtual maze.

On all Disney ships, children can personalize their cruise vacation by selecting activities and events based on interest. With no age restrictions, kids and parents select programs to create a customized experience for each child. Best of all, children of different ages – siblings, extended family and friends – can participate in youth activities together.

Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are open to children ages three to 10. Popular activities include:

Experiences that draw inspiration from classic Disney stories and popular Disney characters:

  • During Cinderella’s Royal Ball, young guests can feel like royalty as Cinderella shows them how to be a prince or princess.
  • So You Want to be a Pirate offers adventurous tales of the high seas, pirate training for young buccaneers, swashbuckling fun and a special appearance by Captain Hook.
  • Children are immersed in the world of Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story” during Toy Story Boot Camp. Led by Corporal Green, toy recruits participate in interactive activities.

Hands-on activities that appeal to children’s sense of creativity and invention:

  • The next great celebrity chef could be discovered at Ratatouille Cooking School, where children work together to bake tasty chocolate chip cookies.
  • During the Animal Tracking Series, children discover that conservation can be fun as they learn about endangered animals, create an animal tracking device and locate (plush) cotton-top tamarin monkeys using telemetry tracking on Castaway Cay.
  • In Flubber, one of the most popular youth activities on Disney Cruise Line, children join the Professor in creating magical green goo and other interesting concoctions.

Other onboard youth activities include playful programs such as Mouseketeer Training and Little Einsteins for preschoolers; challenge-and-solution games like Stitch’s Great Adventure and Detective School with Goofy; high-action group activities such as Kim Possible: Cruise Control and The Challenge of Davy Jones; and unstructured free time to enjoy the youth areas, play on computers and spend time having fun with new friends.

Vibe and Edge
Vibe (ages 14 to 17) and Edge (ages 11 to 13) are ultra cool teen- and tween-only hangouts. The areas are the perfect chill-out spots with comfy couches, computer games, plasma-screen TVs, MP3 players and other chill-out necessities. These trendy and tranquil areas offer an elite getaway for teens and tweens to set their own vacation agenda – whether socializing with new friends, playing the latest video games, experiencing cutting-edge technology or just chilling out. Plus, organized activities such as dance parties, trivia games and sports contests keep teens and tweens engaged and entertained.

At Vibe on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream, teens have their own private deck area outside – a mod space for fun in the sun without ever leaving the teen club.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, click here.

New Fantasyland Update: What’s New, What’s Next in the Magic Kingdom

New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom® Park at the Walt Disney World® Resort will take enchanting experiences one step further with circus big tops, an undersea grotto and more magic than ever before! Two incredible themed areas – Storybook Circus and Enchanted Forest – will nearly double the land’s original size. Here’s a summary of what you will find in these new areas.

New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom® Park at the Walt Disney World® Resort

Storybook Circus – Now Open!
Step right up to Storybook Circus, a throwback to the golden era of classic three-ring attractions. Here you can:

  • Soar through the air on Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which is now twice the fun thanks to the addition of a second pachyderm squadron.
    • At the Big Top at Dumbo the Flying Elephant you can enjoy themed (and air-conditioned) play experiences – from the Human Cannonball to a Tower of Flames – and will receive a circus ticket pager upon entering that goes off when it’s your turn to board the attraction!
  • Enjoy the classic Barnstormer attraction, which has a bright new look, featuring Goofy as The Great Goofini. It’s a twisting, turning roller coaster “flight” high above the circus fun.
  • Cool off at Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station, a circus-themed water play area. Water squirts from playful monkeys, elephants, camels and from Casey Jr. when he lets off billows of cooling “steam.”

Enchanted Forest – Previews Start Nov. 19, 2012. Grand Opening on Dec. 6, 2012.
Open in time for the holiday season, Enchanted Forest will offer you a magically interactive realm that brings to life Belle’s beautiful French countryside and allow you to be part of Ariel and Prince Eric’s world. Enchanted Forest will be home to two new castles (Prince Eric’s from “The Little Mermaid” and the Beast’s from “Beauty and the Beast”), a quaint village, waterfalls and plenty of pixie dust! Highlights planned include:

  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid is a major new attraction that takes you on a ride with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves – all against a musical backdrop of songs from the classic film.

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid

  • The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill and houses the Be Our Guest Restaurant (reservations open in late August), which will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery and mysterious “West Wing” of the castle. With seating for 550, this eatery promises a French bistro flavor, offering “great food fast” service by day and full table service dining in the evening.
  • Maurice’s Cottage (decorated with a few of his wacky contraptions!) is situated in Belle’s Village amongst a French countryside setting complete with a wishing well and rustic foot bridge. The inventor’s humble workshop welcomes you into the first scene of Enchanted Tales with Belle, a lively retelling of the “tale as old as time.”
  • Nearby in Belle’s Village, you will find the rousing Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

Enchanted Tales with Belle in Belle's Village

Additional elements of New Fantasyland will open in 2013 and 2014. You can always find the most up-to-date information here on our blog.

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