The much-anticipated Rise of the Resistance ride will be here this week. The experience will open on December 5th!
Hollywood Studios will open at 8:00 a.m. and remain open until 10:00 p.m. This extends both its opening and closing that day by one hour giving guests a longer time to spend on the planet of Batuu!
Looking at Walt Disney’s Worlds park schedule it looks like Epcot and Animal Kingdom will both be having Extra Magic Hours on December 5th. Hopefully this will draw crowds to those parks and give others the opportunity to experience the new Rise of the Resistance.
Disney says this new ride is a massive, multi-platform, new attraction that is unlike anything that Disney has done before! In this ride the Resistance needs your help and hidden in the forest outside Black Spire Outpost, the Resistance is gathering recruits for a secret mission. Your transport will be captured by an imposing First Order Star Destroyer and Kylo Ren is on board. Resistance fighters are at the ready to help you escape. Along the way you will come in contact with favorite Star Wars characters including Rey, Finn, BB-8 and Poe Dameron.
If you are ready to take this thrilling new adventure then contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel planner to get started planning today!
Did you know you can get married at Walt Disney World or at any Disney destination that would be magical for you? Just imagine saying I Do in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, on a Disney Cruise or at Aulani in Hawaii. Well it is all possible with a Disney Fairytale Wedding package. Here is some information to get started planning your Disney wedding or vow renewal.
-Your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner can go over the Disney Weddings packages to learn more about pricing and tools to help you plan.
-You will have a Disney Wedding Planner that will help you every step of the way and will turn your dreams into reality.
-Disney Weddings can be affordable. There are different packages to choose from. The Escape package starts at around $7,000 and the Wishes package begins at $12,000. You can customize add on’s such as arriving in Cinderella’s carriage to dessert parties for your guests while watching the fireworks. The possibilities are endless to create the dream wedding you always wanted.
-There are many locations both indoors and outdoors where you can choose to say I do and your wedding planner can help you with what is best for you.
After your magical Disney wedding you’ll want to plan your perfect Honeymoon, so contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planner to help you make all the arrangements!
Can you believe it is December?! Time is moving so fast and in just a few short weeks we will will be ringing in a brand new year! 2020 is sure to be filled with so much excitement and what better way to kick off the celebration of this upcoming year then by celebrating at the Universal Orlando Resort!
New Year’s Eve in Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida is the perfect place to celebrate New Years Eve! Here you will find upbeat live music to dance the night away! As well as energizing and exciting party zones that are sure to help keep you awake until midnight! Also during this bash you will be able to meet some of your favorite Universal characters!
You will keep the party going as you get to enjoy Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration! Also throughout the park you will be dazzled by amazing pyrotechnic displays and showers of confetti! And of course, no party is complete without party favors. Universal Orlando will make sure you walk away with some exciting New Years swag!
EVE at Universal CityWalk
If you are looking for a more exclusive event then EVE, an event that takes place at Universal Studios CityWalk is perfect for you! EVE is an electrifying New Year’s Eve celebration that is perfect for those looking to start the New Year off with a party! At the event you can enjoy a great select of signature drinks. You also get exclusive access to dance the night away in at least five incredible CityWalk clubs with live music!
And once you have worked up an appetite from all the dancing you can feast upon a wide selection of unlimited delicious gourmet cuisine offerings. At this event you also get to rock out on Orlando’s biggest outdoor dance floor! EVE is a separately ticketed event for guests 21 and over.
Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to plan your next visit to the Universal Orlando Resort!
It’s the most magical time of the year… Christmastime! During this festive season the Universal Orlando parks and resorts get even more awesome! From holiday decorations, to special offerings, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Universal Studios Florida! Even a Grinch will find themselves getting into the spirit of the season when they visit! During this Christmas season you can celebrate Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
Let’s take a look at the festive offerings that can be found in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
Over at Universal Studios Florida inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you will find that both Diagon Alley and London have been adorned top to bottom with festive Christmas décor. Throughout the land you will be dazzled by the brilliant holiday lighting. Throughout this area of the park you will find a wide selection of specialty holiday treats and drinks! The atmosphere is fun and festive! Grab yourself a Butter Beer, walk around, and enjoy the ambiance!
If you have visited Universal Studios Florida before, then you may have seen Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees! Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees are an exciting musical act that performs in Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees have a special show prepared just for the holidays that you can catch this time of year!
Over at Universal Island’s of Adventure park, you can visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter -Hogsmeade. This time of year Hogsmeade embraces the spirit of the season! All of the shops and storefronts are festively decorated with garland and lights! You can catch a performance by the Frog Choir! This time of year they sing festive holiday songs.
Also throughout the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade, you will find a variety of special holiday treats and drinks to share! Once evening comes the night sky will dazzle with the projection of holiday spirit at The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle. At night you can experience a special projection show that lights up the Hogwarts castle! This amazing spectacular is called, The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle and it is a must see show during your holiday visit!
Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next visit to the Universal Orlando Resort
You have made the decision to take the family on a trip to Walt Disney World. This trip may be many months away but there are things you can do while you wait for your magical trip to begin that will get the excitement started. In my family the trip planning has become a special part of the whole trip experience. There is so much fun in the anticipation of the upcoming trip. Let me highlight five ways to get everyone in the family excited for the trip and make the waiting half the fun!
1. Listen to Disney Music and Watch Disney Movies
Disney music and movies are so fun and entertaining for the whole family. It is a favorite pasttime for my family to listen to Disney music and watch our favorite Disney Movies. You can find some great music to listen to while driving around with your family. It will make your drive time more fun and keep you excited waiting for your Disney trip. Check out your favorite streaming services for great Disney movies and music. It is sure to get everyone excited.
2. Check out YouTube
YouTube is a great resource for learning all about the Disney Parks. If you want to see what is going on at Disney, you are sure to find a great video out there. This is a great way to show your family all that Disney World has to offer by seeing what other people have experienced while there. You can find things on rides, shows, resorts dining and so much more. If you have young children that may be a little afraid of certain rides, watching a video about the rides can prepare them and help you decide which rides are best for your family. This can help you decide what is a priority and then when it is time you will be able to secure the Fastpasses that you will want.
3. Dining Reservations
There are so many places to eat at Walt Disney World. From quick service to signature dining, there is something that everyone will enjoy. Check out the Dining section of the My Disney Experience app and have the family go through the menus of the restaurants and get everyone involved in making the dining reservations. Maybe let each member of the family pick a special restaurant for each day of your trip. Don’t forget to check out all the Character meal choices if this is something your family would enjoy and pick out the ones that sound the best to all of you.
4. Save Money
It’s no secret that a Disney World vacation can become expensive so the months leading up to the trip is a great time to start a trip fund for souvenirs or a special experience. You can make a cute Disney jar to save your money. Get everyone involved and get creative. If your children get an allowance they can put some money in the jar. For birthdays and Christmas the kids can ask for Disney gift cards to add to the savings. Parents can add to it with extra change at the end of each day. Its fun to see how much you can save and then split up the money for souvenirs or use it for a special experience like one of the character dining meals or renting a boat or taking a carriage ride. There are so many possibilities and it will be fun deciding what to do with your extra cash!
5. Make a Disney Count Down
I know it may seem like your trip is a long way off and it is fun to have a countdown. This is especially good for younger kids that don’t understand the concept of time. There are so many count down ideas. From making your own like a chain to purchasing something premade. There are many sites with ideas and printables or shops that sell really unique count down items.
I hope you enjoyed these ideas and can incorporate them into your Disney trip planning.
If you want to book a trip our Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planners are here to help. Please call today to start planning your next magical Disney vacation.
The 2020 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts will open January 17th 2020 and run through February 24th. This festival will celebrate culinary, visual and performing arts.
One of the fan favorites of this Festival is the Disney Broadway Concert Series. These concerts feature Broadway performers singing some beloved songs from Disney musicals. We know some of the pairs of artists this year include Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland, Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey, Heidi Blickenstaff and Gavin Lee, and Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White.
The current lineup that Disney has announced today is as follows:
Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White
January 20 through 21
Heidi Blickenstaff and Gavin Lee
January 18 through 19
January 22 through 23
Kissy Simmons, Heidi Blickenstaff, Alton Fitzgerald White and Gavin Lee
Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey
January 28 through 29
February 1 through 2
February 5 through 6
January 30 through 31
February 3 through 4
February 7 through 8
Kara Lindsay, Kevin Massey and TBD
Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland
February 12 through 13
February 18 through 19
February 22 through 23
February 14 through 17
February 20 through 21
Ashley Brown, Josh Strickland and TBD
These performances will take place at 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm and 8:00 pm daily during the Festival dates.
Dining packages are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner at participating EPCOT restaurants. This reservation guarantees you seating at one of the three concerts held that day. Dining packages will be available for booking starting November 14th.
Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation travel planner who can assist you in booking your trip to the Festival of the Arts!
EPCOT is a food lovers paradise. There are so many things to taste in all the 11 countries around World Showcase, not to mention all the additional food and drinks that come along with the four festivals that happen around the year. But today I am going to focus on my favorite snacks that I have to get on my trip. Let’s see if any of them are your favorites too!
In Norway there is a wonderful Café which is the Kringla Bakeri Café. You will find many delicious Norwegian treat and sandwiches. My choice here is the famous School bread. This is a sweet bread roll, which is injected with vanilla custard and covered with sweet icing and toasted coconut. The recipe comes from a classic Norwegian snack, which kids took to school in their packed lunches.
Here in China I always stop by the Joy of Tea cart to pick up a Bubble Milk Tea. The tea I love is a sweetened peach flavored black tea with tapioca pearls. This drink is creamy and decedent and I love to stroll the World Showcase while sipping!
You can smell my next stop before you even see it and that is the Karamell-Kuche shop. This shop specializes in caramel treats of the maker’s of Werther’s Original Caramels. The smell just pulls you into this shop and I grab a bag of their fresh popped caramel corn. The popcorn is made fresh right there as you watch!
It is usually pretty hot in Florida and nothing can beat the heat like a nice refreshing cold treat. That is why I stop by the Kaki Gori stand in Japan. Kaki Gori is shaved ice with a sweet flavored syrup. I always do the add on of the creamy sweetened milk which gives it a creamsicle taste. Some of the flavors to choose from are strawberry, melon, cherry and tangerine. If you can’t make up your mind you can ask for rainbow and get a little of everything!
Here in France is a wonderful ice cream shop called L’Artisan des Glaces. There are many flavors to choose from and even some special treats like ice cream filled macaroons. My top two flavors are the Caramel Fleur de Sel Ice cream and Coco-white chocolate. You cannot go wrong with any of the choices.
I hope you enjoyed my top five list and I am sure in the future, I’ll have some new favorites as the chefs are always coming up with new treats for us to try.
Contact you Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner to start planning your next Walt Disney World vacation!
The Universal Orlando resort has announced that its newest hotel, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites, will be opening on March 17, 2020. This news is very exciting because this value hotel was originally not set to open to guests until May 2020. This amazing new hotel is opening early! A whole 2 months early!
Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites is the sister property to Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites. Dockside Inn and Suites will be located directly across the street from Surfside Inn and Suites. Dockside Inn and Suites will be a great value resort with affordable pricing starting at $85 per night! the best part! This value resort is home to many luxurious amenities making it an incredible value for the price. the addition of Dockside Inn and Suites will add 2,050 guest rooms to the Universal Orlando Resort property! These rooms will include both standard rooms and 2-Bedroom suites! These beautiful suites can sleep up to six guests making it ideal for families!
Over at Surfside Inn and Suites the theming is summer sun with lots of beach vibes! At the new Dockside Inn and Suites the theme here channels the calming feeling of a beach retreat. From the newly released concept art we can see Dockside Inn and Suites theming includes a lot of earth tones which make for a very comfortable and cozy feel!
We are so excited that Dockside Inn and Suites is now opening early on March 17, 2020! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planner today to plan your next visit to the Universal Orlando Resort!
In last weeks blog I discussed getting your Advanced Dining Reservations at Table Service Restaurants in Disney World. In that blog I recommended that you not make reservations for every day of your vacation and to leave some days just to plan as you go and not be locked into any one location at a specific time. This week I would like to give you my top picks at each park for a Quick Service Dining Option that is still really good food and not typical burgers and fries.
In Magic Kingdom hands down for me I always head to Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square. There are so many of my favorites on this menu. My personal favorites would be the Trio platter which has fried shrimp, breaded chicken breast nuggets and battered fish served with hushpuppies and choice of green beans & carrots or french fries. Another fav is the chicken pot pie or some healthy options like the grilled salmon or Harbour salads. There is plenty of seating in this location. I always head upstairs and get a seat by a window to people watch as I enjoy my meal.
My pick for Animal Kingdom is Flame Tree Barbecue and I have selected it for two reasons, the food and the atmosphere of this location’s seating. Flame Tree is located in the Discovery Island section of the park and you will easily be able to find it by just following the incredible BBQ smell. They have ribs, chicken and pulled pork. I’ve tried them all and love them! My go to is the smoked pulled pork sandwich served with coleslaw and signature baked beans. I have heard a lot of rave reviews on their baked macaroni and cheese with pulled pork so this is on my list to try next time. As for the seating I mentioned, I like that it is outdoors and under nice shaded pavilions. It is tucked away and I like to head to the area closest to the water overlooking Expedition Everest. It is so quiet and peaceful down there and is the perfect place to recharge your energy for more exploring.
I have to say that Hollywood Studios was always the park that I struggled to find a quick service location that had anything that I would highly recommend. That was until Toy Story Land opened and with it Woody’s Lunch Box. The menu here is not large by any means but everything I have tried has been delicious. My favorite is their grilled three cheese sandwich and the tomato-basil soup. The smoked turkey sandwich, totchos and BBQ Brisket melt are also good choices. My only complaint is they need more seating so I recommend having someone stand in line to order while the rest of the family looks around for a family getting ready to leave and then grab it up quick.
Okay, I have left the best for last. EPCOT is a foodie lovers park. The quick service options here are endless and this is the one park where I have a hard time just giving you one pick, so I will break it down with a pick in Future World and then World Showcase. In Future World I would head over to the Land Pavilion where Sunshine Seasons is located on the bottom floor. This is a food court which has many options and you will be able to find something for everyone in your group. There are different shops within the court. You can choose from: Asian Noodles Shop, Grill Shop, Sandwich Shop, Soup & Salads Shop and of course a Bakery Shop to enjoy a sweet treat. There is plenty of seating and if you plan your fast passes carefully this is where Soarin and Living with the Land and located.
In World Showcase there are many quick service locations each geared toward the cusine from the Country you are visiting. Pick your favorite and you can’t go wrong. I have to say I have had something from each that I have loved but if pressed to pick I’ll have to choose the fish and chips in the UK!
I hope you have enjoyed my quick service picks. If this has made you hungry and wanting to plan your next Disney World trip please contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation travel planner to get started.
Bourne fans get excited because, “the chase is on!” This coming Spring 2020, the Universal Orlando Resort will welcome its newest show. This brand-new live-action stunt show will be called, The Bourne Stuntacular! The Bourne Stuntacular will debut at Universal Studios Florida. This new live-action show is based on Universal Pictures’ blockbuster Bourne film franchise. The Bourne Stuntacular will use cutting-edge effects that will literally have you on the edge-of-your-seat! Universal has shared that this epic live show will blur the lines between stage and cinema in a hybrid form of entertainment that has never been seen before!
The Bourne Stuntacular will follow lead character Jason Bourne around the world as sinister characters pursue him. This action-packed show will feature thrilling chase scenes, punishing fistfights, death-defying leaps and danger at every turn. All of this action will all happen right in front of you with live performers, interactive props and a massive LED screen! We know this level of immersion will make it impossible to determine where the live-action ends and the screen begins! Universal Orlando has stated that with this show “You won’t just watch it – you’ll feel it.”
We are so excited that this brand-new live-action stunt show will soon be calling Universal Studios Florida home! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next visit to the Universal Orlando Resort!
Part of the fun of my Walt Disney World trips is looking forward to the food that I am going to get to eat. Just as much as the rides and attractions, I look forward to the dining experiences that Disney World has to offer. With four parks and the entire Disney Springs Area there are so many options to choice from when selecting a place to dine.
If you are a Disney Resort Hotels guest, you can start booking your dining reservations 180 days in advance of your trip and can make reservations for the entire length of your Resort stay – up to 10 days. If you are staying off Disney property, you can still make reservations 180 days in advance of that first day of your trip and continue to make reservations as each 180 day mark arrives.
I think advance dining is great! It guarantees that you will have your most important reservations that you want to experience. This 180 day mark is extremely important not to miss if you have your heart set on reservations like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest Restaurant. There are also some very popular restaurants like the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill and The Polynesians Resort’s Ohana. These are restaurants that if you would like a reservation there I would suggest booking as soon as possible.
Now with all of that being said, I do not want to overwhelm you by thinking that you need to schedule every meal this far in advance. Remember that this is your vacation and I do not know about you but the last thing I want to do is stress out while planning or enjoying vacation. As I said before there are so many restaurants at Walt Disney World that even during your trip you will be able to find really good Table service dining reservations available. When you schedule yourself out for every meal, you really lock yourself into being at a certain place at a certain time, which can add a lot of stress. You never know what may change your plans such as the weather could be bad and you change where you want to be that day. The last thing you want is to feel stressed because you now cannot change because you are locked into a dining reservation. Disney does charge usually a $10 per person for no shows or reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance.
My suggestion is to schedule your must have reservations and then leave some of your vacation days wide open to do whatever you wish. There are also so many really good Quick Service Dining options at Disney that are not just your traditional burgers and fries. In an upcoming blog, I will give you a list of some of my favorite Quick Service locations at each park. In addition, you will want to keep in mind the time of year you are visiting because EPCOT has so many festivals involving good food offerings that if this is something you enjoy you will want to have some of the meals while eating around the World Showcase.
If hope this helps you with planning dining on your next Walt Disney World trip and if you are thinking of planning your next trip your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner will be happy to assist.
It is that most magical time of year again at the Magic Kingdom and along with all the festive decorations comes an annual event not to be missed and that is the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This party is a special ticketed event held on select nights now through December 22nd. The Magic Kingdom closes for the evening and ticket holders can start to enter Magic Kingdom at 4:00 p.m. with the official party beginning at 7:00 p.m. and lasting until midnight.
Let me tell you a little about the party so you can decide if this is something you would like to add on to your holiday trip. First, let’s talk about treats! Party guests will enjoy a variety of complimentary sweets and treats located at various treat stations throughout the park. Also, note that there are healthy and gluten-free options that will be available upon request. You will get to fill up on many different yummy cookies, pretzels, eggnog, hot chocolate, apple cider and fanta drinks. There will also be special holiday treats for purchase that are only available during the party!
At this wonderful time of year, Cinderella Castle transforms each night by Queen Elsa as she gives everyone their Frozen Holiday Wish! Christmas magic will surround you with carols and even snow coming down on Main Street!
Then there is the Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade which features costumes and floats that are themed to Winter Wonderland, Christmas Sweets and of course Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The parade happens twice at 8:30 p.m. and 11:00 pm. Just a little tip, the second parade is often easier to get a better seat.
Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom are always special but the Christmastime Fireworks are not to be missed! This year debuts a brand new fireworks show called Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks and is presented at 10:00 p.m. on party nights only.
There are many other party events happening through the night like fun dance parties, Christmas songs performed by a cappella group and special holiday character meet and greets. All of this fun, not to mention the rides and attractions you can enjoy with much shorter waits.
So if you and your family want to partake in all this festive Christmastime fun, contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation travel planner today!
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort recently went through many exciting enhancements! The biggest of these enhancements being the addition of Gran Destino Tower. This new tower is home to 545 guest rooms. Fifty of these guest rooms being suites. The tower is beautiful! Here you will find rich touches of Spanish architecture mixed with a fresh, modern and contemporary feel!
Our team stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs on our most recent company event last month. We loved taking in the beauty of this resort during our time there and getting to explore the luxurious new Gran Destino Tower.
At the very top of Gran Destino tower sits a new Disney restaurant, Toledo! Toledo is known for their great Tapas, Steak & Seafood. This luxurious restaurant is themed after a Spanish haven inspired by surrealist art and the 1930s avant-garde. This restaurant has a very relaxed feel to it. It is classic and sophisticated, yet still so warm and inviting all at the same time.
By far my favorite part of this amazing restaurant was the views! Being on the top floor of Gran Destino Tower you can enjoy views all over Disney World property. It very much reminded me of the experience of being at one of my other favorite Disney restaurants, the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Similar to how Toledo sits at the top of Gran Destino Tower, the California Grill sits on the top floor of the Contemporary Resort. If you have ever dined at the California Grill then you will know that the views from the top are simply breathtaking. Out the restaurant’s windows you can see gorgeous views of Seven Seas Lagoon, Bay Lake, the Magic Kingdom Resorts and even over into Magic Kingdom Park!
From Toledo, you get that same feeling as over at California Grill with the beautiful views this restaurant offers! At Toledo you get birds-eye views of a whole different area of property. Here at this location you are close to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You can see some of the icons of these nearby parks from up above! I loved at night spotting the tall pieces of rock work in the distance that are a part of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge over at Hollywood Studios. At night, these rock formations of the land are all illuminated in a purple color. It was so cool seeing this from up at Toledo.
The menu here has something for everyone. They are known for their steak and seafood. So, whether you are in the mood for surf or turf you will find something you like here! I can’t wait to get back to Toledo soon for the great food and spectacular views!
Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort.
Last week I shared that on our most recent company event I had the incredible opportunity to experience the Universal Orlando Resort for my very first time! In last weeks post I detailed what the experience was like and everything that I had the chance to do in the resort and parks during my time there.
This week I wanted to get more personal and share what my top 3 favorite things were from the Universal Orlando Resort! Let the list begin!
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon was the very first Universal Ride I experienced inside Universal Studios Florida! I enjoyed this ride so much that it made my highlights list! Something that really struck me about this experience was actually the wait before you board the attraction. Instead of standing in your average queue forming a winding line like most rides, here the process is completely different. Soon into your wait your party gets handed a card with a color group on it. You then head upstairs to what is set up as the Tonight Show stage. Here you will find lots of displays to look at and nice seating areas to go relax. It is one big open space where you can explore or simply just sit down. Then when they call your color group you make your way to the ride entrance and are inside the attraction in minutes. This was really neat to see! My favorite part of the waiting area was the stage where live acts would come out and perform for everyone! While we were there the entertainment was a barbershop quartet that did covers of many modern day pop songs! They were so entertaining! Everyone in the room was having such a great time. You would never know we were really all waiting in “line” Here at this ride the waiting is part of the actually attraction!
Another highlight from inside Universal Studios Florida for me was exploring Diagon Alley! Diagon Alley is part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. At Universal Orlando the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is actually built in two locations. There is a Harry Potter section in both Universal Studios and in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Universal Studios is home to Diagon Alley and Islands of Adventure holds the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade. Out west in Universal Studios Hollywood they also have the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade. I have been out to Universal Studios Hollywood before so I was already familiar with Hogsmeade. But Diagon Alley, which can only be found in Universal Studios Florida was entirely new for me. if you read my post from last week about my full experience visiting Universal, then you will know that the day I visited the parks was the night of a Halloween Horror Nights. This meant Universal Studios closed early in preparation for the event that night. By the time I got into Diagon Alley the park had just closed so I wasn’t able to ride anything or go in any shops but as the park was clearing out, I was able to walk around Diagon Alley and see everything! This is something that I have always wanted to do! I am a big fan of Harry Potter so I appreciated getting to see all of the details and references there were from the movies!
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Once Universal Studios closed for the night we used our park-to-park ticket and made our way over to Islands of Adventure to spend the rest of the evening. It was there that I had my next highlight, getting to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. As I said earlier, Universal’s Islands of Adventure park is home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade. Hogsmeade was very similar to the Hogsmeade found out in Universal Studios Hollywood that I had recently been to and it felt so good to see it again and enjoy another butter beer! But on this Hogsmeade visit I had my next highlight. Something I didn’t have time to do during my visit out in California, I got to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey! This is the main attraction in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! It was spectacular! I loved everything about this experience. The queue line for this attraction is actually inside of the Hogwarts castle! I felt like I had stepped inside of the movie! Similar to the Jimmy Fallon attraction, I found I did not mind the wait because there was so much to look at! Most notably – the talking portraits on the castle walls! They keep you very entertained while in line. The ride itself was very immersive. You feel as though you are flying on a broom alongside Harry Potter. This ride is part simulator and part roller coaster track. There are many exciting dips and turns. It is a great thrill!
These were just a few of my top highlights I got to enjoy on my quick visit to Universal Orlando. I am already so eager to get back! I know that my list will keep growing and growing as I experience all of the great attractions and rides these parks have to offer.
I learned on this visit to the Universal Orlando Resort how incredible this destination truly is. There is something for everyone here! From the gorgeous Universal Resort Hotels to the thrills and theming in the amazing parks – it all adds up to one incredible vacation. Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to book your next vacation to the Universal Orlando Resort!
Walt Disney World’s newest mode of transportation is here! The Disney Skyliner has arrived! The Skyliner has been added to the Walt Disney World Resort transportation fleet alongside, buses, boats, monorails and even Minnie Vans! The addition of the Disney Skyliner now gives guests another option for Disney transportation. This efficient system is helping to alleviate Disney bus traffic by giving resort guests and park goers another way to get around property.
Not only is the Skyliner efficient and convenient, but it is also so much fun! I rode the Skyliner for the first-time last month and truly felt that this transportation system feels more like a fun ride rather than simply a means of getting from point A to point B. With the Skyliner it feels as though your journey is already a part of the destination! The Skyliner is an attraction in itself!
For me riding the Skyliner gave me a similar feeling to riding the Disney monorail system. If you have been to Walt Disney World before, then I’m sure at some point you have experienced the famous Disney monorail. The Disney monorails are icons of the Disney Parks and Resorts and I’m sure you agree that riding the monorail is a fun form of transportation and gives you that feeling of being on a ride rather than just a transportation system. I had that same feeling while riding the Skyliner. The way I see it, I am predicting now that soon the Disney Skyliner will be just as iconic as the monorail. I see the Skyliner becoming one of those staples that you think of when you picture Walt Disney World!
Currently the Disney Skyliner takes flights to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s NEW Riviera Resort opening next month! All Disney guests are welcome to ride the Skyliner. It is not just exclusive to guests staying at the resorts that are on the Skyliner line. In fact, the Disney Skyliner now provides guests a new way to park hop between Epcot in Hollywood Studios. After using the system to park hop between these two parks last month, I would say in my opinion this is now the easiest and fastest way to get between Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
Now let’s talk about how the Skyliner works. Prior to me riding the system for myself, I didn’t fully understand how the Skyliner operated. I didn’t know if each station had direct flights to all the other stations, or if transfer flights were involved in order to get where you were going. My first day riding the Disney Skyliner I took every line available and fully experienced all aspect of the Skyliner and now I have a full understanding of how this great system operates.
You can refer to the map above to get more of a picture of how the system functions. All of the lines connect through the station located at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. From the Caribbean Beach station, you will find 3 lines you can go on. The first line takes a flight that stops at Disney’s Riviera Resort and then continues on to Epcot. The Second line at the Caribbean Beach station is a direct line that goes straight to Hollywood Studios. And the third line at the Caribbean Beach station goes directly over to Art of Animation and Pop Century. These two resorts share a central Skyliner Station.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach is the main hub station for the skyliner where you will catch all your connecting flights. All of the other stations have one flight option which will take you right to Caribbean Beach. With the exception of the Epcot Line because it offers the stop at Rivera prior to continuing onto Epcot. Likewise Disney’s Rivera Station since it is already on the Epcot line is another exception because you have two option here of either catching a flight to Epcot or over the other direction to Caribbean Beach.
With this knowledge in mind you can now plan out how to get from place to place. For example, if you were wanting to park hop from Hollywood Studios over to Epcot you would get on the line at Hollywood Studios which runs to Caribbean Beach and from there at the Caribbean Beach station transfer to the Epcot Line. Another example, let’s say you want to go from Art of Animation to Epcot. You would get on the skyliner at the Art of Animation station for the flight over to Caribbean Beach where you then catch your transfer flight to Epcot.
Disney has done a wonderful job with this new transportation system and the Skyliner is very easy to navigate. There are a lot of directional signs everywhere so you know exactly where you are going. And Disney Cast Members are always nearby and happy to help if you have any questions or need directions.
I have become such a big fan of the Disney Skyliner. I enjoyed my experience riding the Skyliner so much and it fills me with so much joy to know that this system is now open at Walt Disney World. I am excited for the future and what this means for new transportation or even a possible expansion of this system in the future!
Watch our new YouTube video to hear more in-depth about my experience and thoughts on riding the Disney Skyliner!
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