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Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Now Accepting Reservations

Guests can now book reservations for Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the new, 1800-room hotel at Universal Orlando Resort that will feature value-priced guest rooms and moderately priced family suites.

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Now Accepting Reservations
The hotel is scheduled to open in early 2014 – with reservations now being accepted for stays beginning on March 31, 2014.

The new hotel is the fourth hotel within Universal Orlando Resort and will evoke the classic, retro-feel of iconic beach resorts from the 1950s and 60’s.  An area located around the North Courtyard will open first, followed later in 2014 by an area located around the South Courtyard.  Each area will have a unique look and feel.

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Now Accepting Reservations
Families will have two options for experiencing the hotel – a value-priced standard guest room or a moderately priced, 430-square-foot family suite that sleeps six.  From the moment they arrive, they will be surrounded by the hotel’s bold design, period colors, neon and retro feel.  When complete, there will be two pool complexes with sand beach and interactive features, a themed lazy river experience and 10-lane bowling alley.  Family suite rates will begin at $174 per-night; standard room rates will begin at $119 per-night.  Package rates are available with savings based on length-of-stay; a family of four can stay for seven nights for $47 per person, per-day – including accommodations and tickets to both Universal Orlando theme parks.

“We believe Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will offer an experience unlike any other in Central Florida,” said Alice Norsworthy, executive vice president of marketing and sales at Universal Orlando Resort.  “And at the same time, it will create an entirely new, value-driven option for families that want to stay within the Universal Orlando Resort.”

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Now Accepting Reservations
As with all Resort hotels, guests at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will be just a brief walk from Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure as well as Universal CityWalk.  They will enjoy benefits that include Early Theme Park Admission, complimentary shuttle bus transportation to the theme parks and Universal CityWalk, complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to their hotel and resort-wide charging privileges with their room key.  Guests can upgrade to one of Universal Orlando’s three deluxe hotels for additional benefits – including complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access.  Those hotels are Loews Portofino Bay, the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort.

Each of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort’s Courtyards will have a unique design and atmosphere.  They will share a highly themed, two-story arrival building that will also be home to a food court serving traditional American classics along with an ever-changing selection of international cuisine, a 10-lane “retro” bowling alley, a game room and a fitness center.

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Now Accepting Reservations

First to open, the North Courtyard and its 600 family suites will be inspired by the sweeping motor courts of the 1950s and 60s.  It will feature four-story buildings with open corridors and direct access to guest rooms.  Each of the 600, 430-square-foot suites will sleep up to six and include a fold-out foam bed, kitchenette, a sliding partition for privacy, two flat-screen TVs, and an extra-large bathroom with preparation spaces for three people at once.

The suite buildings will surround a more than 10,000-square-foot, zero-entry pool with a 100-foot water slide, waterfall features and 4,000-square-foot interactive play area.  Cabanas will be available to guests for rent, and lounge chairs will ring the deck, backed by zones for sunning, game playing, picnicking and relaxing on the grass.

To book your stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, contact your Kingdom Magic Travel Agent today!

Vintage Walt Disney World: Old Maps of Walt Disney World Resort

In the early years of Walt Disney World Resort , this artwork decorated the guest rooms of the Contemporary Resort Hotel and the Polynesian Village Resort Hotel . The piece showcases the spirit and vast, all-new offerings of the “Vacation Kingdom of the World,” including Magic Kingdom Park , golf courses, beaches, watercraft, monorail transportation, Bay Lake and its eventual Discovery Island, Fort Wilderness and Tri-Circle-D Ranch , STOLport, the Polynesian and Contemporary Resort hotels, and three “future” resorts: the Asian, Venetian, and Persian.

Vintage Walt Disney World Map and three “future” resorts: the Asian, Venetian, and Persian. Resorts

While announced to the public in 1969, the Asian, Persian, and Venetian Resort hotels never materialized. Eventually, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa  would open on the site of the Asian Resort, and the sites for the Venetian and Persian Resorts would remain undeveloped. Here’s a look at our property as it’s been developed today.

Current Walt Disney World Map with all 4 Theme Parks and Downtown Disney

As Disney legend goes, because so many of the original Walt Disney World Resort maps were printed for guest rooms, a cast member used the excess ones as wrapping paper for Christmas presents one year. A gift wrapped in Disney magic!

Walt’s Legacy of Protecting the Environment is Part of the Story at New Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, including the just opened Lion King wing, taps into Disney’s rich legacy of beloved characters and stories. It also taps into another part of the Disney legacy; a commitment to conservation and the environment that began with our company’s founder, Walt Disney, and is a key focus of our present and future.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort is Committed to Walt’s Legacy of Protecting the Environment

 A few of the environmental enhancements at the new resort include:

  • The opportunity for guests to help save wildlife and nature by contributing to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.
  • Energy-saving LED lighting in the Ink & Paint Shop, the resort’s merchandise shop, and other areas of the resort.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort is Committed to Walt’s Legacy of Protecting the Environment

  • Reusable plates and utensils in the Landscape of Flavors food court.
  • Recycle bins in key locations in the resort’s public areas (the most for any resort on property) and, of course, recycle bins in every guest room.
  • Environmental information integrated into cast members’ overall training and guidelines.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort is Committed to Walt’s Legacy of Protecting the Environment

Walt Disney World Resort maintains the state of Florida’s Green Lodging designation for all of its resort hotels. Disney’s BoardWalk Inn was among the first resorts in Florida to receive the designation when the program launched in 2004. As our newest resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will be undergoing the process required to achieve this designation after the final wing of the resort, themed after “The Little Mermaid,” opens in September. To achieve the Green Lodging designation, resorts must focus on five categories: water conservation, education and awareness, waste reduction, energy conservation and indoor air quality.

Walt Disney World Resort Sends 2011 Out with a Bang

New Years Magic Kingdom

New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest fireworks evenings of the year at Walt Disney World Resort, a place where fireworks are both spectacular and an every-night occurrence. Fireworks and nighttime shows will light up the skies and create a mood of celebration at three theme parks on Dec. 31, 2011, while revelry of other sorts takes place elsewhere throughout the Vacation Kingdom.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s in store:

  • Magic Kingdom presents a double helping of pyrotechnics: “Wishes” nighttime spectacular with a holiday overlay at 8:30 p.m. and “Fantasy in the Sky” at 11:51 p.m.
  • Epcot‘s “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” delights revelers with a salute to the new year at 7 p.m. and 11:42 p.m.
  • At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the 25-minute spectacular “Fantasmic!” that combines water, fire, lights, lasers, fireworks and music will be presented at 6:30 and 8 p.m., with the popular “Lights! Camera! Happy New Year!” fireworks display at midnight.
  • At Cirque du Soleil, all guests attending the Dec. 31 performances will receive a limited-edition Walt Disney World/Cirque trading pin. Shows are at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. For pricing contact 407/WDW/SEAT.
  • Registered guests at select Disney resort hotels will be treated to music and entertainment. At Narcoosee’s restaurant (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), for instance, there will be a four-course dining experience for $149, plus DJ, balloon artist and special fireworks viewing at 8:30 and 11:51.
  • Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort offers a special-ticket New Year’s Eve party from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. with video DJ Tony Zapulla.

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Why Stay at a Walt Disney World Owned and Operated Hotel?

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Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort

For many guests, the benefit of staying at a Walt Disney World owned-and-operated resort begins before arrival at the Vacation Kingdom.  And for all guests, the benefits and perks combine to make vacation magic 24 hours a day – whether at a Disney Value Resort designed for budget-minded vacationers … or at a Disney Deluxe Resort or Deluxe Villa offering lavish amenities.

Disney POP Century ResortDisney resort hotels are designed to provide a lot more than a pillow beneath guests’ heads.  They are created to immerse guests in a continuation of the worry-free vacation magic and adventures of the Disney parks.  Thus the hotels have themes celebrating the long ago or the far away or even the world of imagination where toys can be bigger than people.

 

Walt Disney World Resort offers a broad range of accommodations – more than 20 resorts that vary in price, allowing guests to pay for only the amenities that are important to them.  Disney Value resort guests are treated to larger-than-life theming, swimming pools and playgrounds, arcade rooms and standard amenities – and with more than 8,000 rooms at four resorts, about one-third of Disney’s hotel accommodations fall into the Value category.  Families who prefer the great outdoors can rent a campsite at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground (with nearly 800 available) and either pitch a tent or bring along an RV.  Moderate resorts, Deluxe resorts and Deluxe Villa resorts are available for guests who prefer additional amenities during their stay.

Consistent among all of the Disney owned-and-operated hotels is staff trained in the Disney way of friendly helpfulness.  Also consistent: perks and benefits that add value to the vacation experience.  Here’s a look at some of the reasons why Disney hotels are so popular with vacationers:


Disney Polynesian ResortTOP FOUR BENEFITS
Disney’s Magical Express – When guests bound for Disney owned-and-operated hotels are traveling via commercial airline to Orlando International Airport (OIA), they can arrange for special luggage tags that allow them to check their bags at their hometown airport, bypass baggage claim at OIA and board state-of-the-art motor coaches for complimentary transportation to the Vacation Kingdom, where their bags “magically” appear in their guestroom.  When it’s time to say good-bye, guests board motor coaches for complimentary transportation back to OIA.  An extra convenience: Guests traveling on participating airlines can check their baggage for the return flight at their Disney resort, saving time and luggage-toting at the airport.
Walt Disney World Transportation System – A Walt Disney World resort ID is the ticket for buses, monorails and boat launches that combine to connect virtually all areas of the Vacation Kingdom.  With the convenience of “door-to-door” service throughout the resort, many guests enjoy their Walt Disney World vacation without a car.
Extra Magic Hours – Each day, Disney hotel guests are offered exclusive time in a Walt Disney World theme park one hour prior to scheduled park opening or for up to three hours after park closing. The park varies from day to day. In addition, Disney water parks sometimes open one hour early for guests of Disney hotels. To take advantage of the additional time in the parks, guests must have their hotel ID plus a Magic Your Way ticket valid for the park(s) offering Extra Magic Hours.
Disney Dining Plan – Guests who combine their hotel accommodations and attractions tickets into a Magic Your Way Package are eligible to add dining for the convenience of a more-inclusive “cruise-style” vacation package.  In 2011, there are three plan choices to satisfy different budgets and appetites.  All include at least two meals and a snack for each night of a Disney resort stay.  Savings and restaurant choices vary.

Disney Fort Wilderness Campfire Chip and Dale

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort GiraffesOTHER NOTABLE ATTRIBUTES, BENEFITS AND PERKS OF DISNEY RESORTS
Location, location, location – With their on-property location convenient to the theme parks, the Disney hotels are a haven for guests who seek a midday swimming break – or a siesta.  For some guests, the convenience is even more specific…
Many families with young children select accommodations in one of the “monorail resorts” – Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  Reason: location near Magic Kingdom and convenient monorail transportation between the resorts and Magic Kingdom or Epcot.
Many adult couples visiting without children enjoy the proximity to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios of Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk – as well as the nightlife of Disney’s BoardWalk.  Walkways and water taxis connect the three resorts with the theme parks.
Theming – It’s not just a room.  In the same way that Disney’s theme parks offer an escape to a timeless land of enchantment, a walk down small-town Main Street or a peek at the future, Disney hotels offer a mix of adventures.  Disney Imagineers have created detailed, themed environments that include the romance and beauty of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to Victorian opulence at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Youth policy – Guests 17 and under stay at no additional charge in parents’ rooms (up to the designated capacity of the room) at Disney resort hotels.
Youth services and facilities – All Disney resort hotels offer in-room child care for ages 6 months to 12 years in partnership with independent childcare provider Kid’s Nite Out; all Disney hotels feature kiddie pools (in addition to full-size pools), many have playgrounds and some have Child Activity Centers for ages 3 to 12.
Online check-in – Guests can take care of the paperwork that normally accompanies check-in … in the comfort of their home up to 10 days before their visit. Upon arrival at their hotel, guests then stop by a special desk, show ID, sign, pick up their room keys and information packet, and begin enjoying their vacation.
Lobby concierge – One call can do it all.  Each Disney resort hotel offers a lobby concierge to arrange park tickets, dining reservations and tee times, and to provide helpful hints on setting up other activities.
Key to the World card – It’s a hotel room key and much more.  Magic Your Way theme park tickets and Disney Dining Plan entitlements can be built into the card.  For easy tracking and convenience, the card also can be used to charge meals, goods and services directly to the room, giving the guest a consolidated statement of vacation purchases.
Merchandise delivery – Purchases at select shops throughout Walt Disney World Resort can be delivered to the guest’s Disney hotel at no charge, allowing the guest to play without lugging packages around the parks.
Exemption from parking fees at the theme parks – By presenting a resort ID, guests enter parking lots for free no matter how many parks they visit during their stay.
“Bottomless” drinking mug – Quenching a vacation-long thirst is easy at Disney’s resorts.  Guests can purchase a mug themed to their resort that will become a keepsake when the holiday ends.  During their length of stay, they can continually refill the mug at designated locations at their resort.
Preferred tee times– Disney hotel guests get preferred tee times for Disney’s four championship golf courses – including two courses that are part of PGA TOUR tradition, having hosted professional events from the early 1970s to the present.
Transportation to “the tees” – Golfing guests at Disney owned-and-operated hotelshave complimentary door-to-door transportation between their resort and Walt Disney World golf facilities.

 

57 Disney Resort Pools Offer Splashtastic Fun

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Coronado PoolWalt Disney World Resort guests can choose from 57 sparkling pools among the 24 themed resort hotels

At Walt Disney World Resort there’s no shortage of waterful fun for the entire family. An array of festive splash areas at each resort, featuring themed pools, waterslides, whirlpools and kiddie pools invite guests to blissfully drench and refresh themselves.

In the same way that Disney’s theme parks offer an escape to a timeless land of enchantment, pools at Deluxe, Deluxe Villa, Moderate, and Value resorts transport guests to faraway and distinct paradises. Guests can cool off in a New England yacht club, amidst a Mayan city, at a lush oasis in the Polynesian tropics or other faraway destinations, all in the heart of Florida.

What are you waiting for? C’mon in, the water’s fine…

 

 

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Construction Crews at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Celebrate “Topping Out”

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Disney Art of Animation Resort Topping Off

The hundreds of people who are building Disney’s Art of Animation Resort from the ground up gathered to mark the project’s “topping out.”

The “topping out” is a special moment that typically occurs in the construction and engineering industry when the highest piece of structure, either steel or concrete, is placed on the building’s frame. The tradition dates back to the Vikings, who would place an evergreen tree on the top of a building to celebrate and bring good luck.

At the construction site for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a crane helped lift the traditional evergreen to the roof of a building that will soon be part of the Lion King wing of the resort hotel.

“The hundreds of people we have working on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are doing an amazing job helping us build a resort hotel that will really delight our guests,” said Gary Hoffmann, senior project manager for Walt Disney Imagineering. “The traditional topping out is an important milestone on a project that continues to run on schedule for an opening just ten months from now.”

In size and scope the construction of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a major project at Walt Disney World Resort, creating upwards of 800 construction jobs. Once open in 2012, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will also create 750 permanent resort hotel jobs.

Walt Disney World Resort features 25 uniquely themed, Disney owned-and-operated resort hotels with more than 26,000 guest rooms – something for every taste and budget. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will likewise be unique, with themed building exteriors and room interiors that bring to life The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid.

Finding Nemo, Cars and The Lion King buildings will be entirely family suites, with 1,120 suites between them. The Little Mermaid buildings will feature 864 rooms in the “value” room category.

The construction of family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is an innovative approach to a changing marketplace. Today more and more multi-generational families are traveling together for various celebrations, including family reunions. These families not only want to play together, they want to stay together, which has created tremendous demand for family suites.

The first wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Finding Nemo, is scheduled to open in May 2012.

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Dine with an Imagineer at the Walt Disney World Resort

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Brown Derby Grapefruit CakeHere’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to dine with a real-life Disney Imagineer and enjoy engaging behind-the-scenes conversation over a delectable lunch at the chic Bamboo Room of the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

Up to 10 guests join in stimulating discussion with one of the incredible creative artists who bring the magic to Walt Disney World attractions and resort hotels. Learn from these talented men or women what it’s like working in the most magical place in the world.

Guests feast on a four-course meal and will receive a souvenir plate designed exclusively for this experience that can be personalized by the Imagineer. Price is $64.96 per guest ages 10 and older, $37.27 ages 3-9, tax included.

Guests can also ask about dinner with an Imagineer at Flying Fish Café at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, which offers the same fascinating peek “under the curtain” at Disney’s creative process while being treated to a tantalizing four-course meal. Cost is $105.83 per guest ages 10 and older, $74.70 ages 3-9, including tax.

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