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2014 Year In Review With Travel With Rick

Rick and John review all of the amazing destinations, restaurants, and events they have experienced this past year on Travel with Rick and look ahead to what’s coming in 2015!

Hope you enjoy today’s video, be sure to leave a comment and share it with your friends!

Where Would You Like Kingdom Magic
To Take Your Family This Year?

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar – Guest Blog Post

If you’ve followed me at for any measure of time, you know that my entire family loves Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  Frankly, from our view, for the price, it is one of the best places to stay at Walt Disney World Resort.  It is clean, NOT crowded (as much as you might fear it is – given that it is a conference resort), and the people working there are top-notch.  Well, we also love their lake-side watering hole – Laguna Bar.

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

This way to paradise!

One of the things I tell people is that I fell in love with Walt Disney World many years ago because of the Cast Members.  As a young family, with one 2nd grader in tow, we were taking our very-first BIG vacation.  The staff at Coronado Springs made us feel like we were the only guests visiting Walt Disney World, and they made us want to be a PART of the magic.  What more can you ask for when you’re handing Mickey your hard-earned dollars?  Well, the bartenders at Laguna are prime examples of great service.

The Laguna Bar sits directly behind El Centro – the Southwestern U.S./Mexican-themed resort’s main (central) building.

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

Only a few steps away from El Centro.

It is a small establishment, but, for us, it packs a large “punch” in the form of hours of enjoyment.  It’s our vacation, after all, and what does one do on vacation but relax?  Oh, we love the theme parks, don’t get us wrong, but sometimes we just want to sit around and chill.  Laguna Bar is an ideal spot.  A cold beverage of any variety, enjoyed by Lago Dorado (the man-made lake at the heart of the resort) takes us to a very happy place.

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

A comfortable, little resting place.

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

The stools encircle the bar.

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

Welcome to Laguna!

Dining Recon: Laguna bar

Ample seating.

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

A beautiful view.

Food options at Laguna Bar are a bit limited, but Coronado’s Quick Service food court – Pepper Market – is just a short stroll away.

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

If you’d like to stick around and keep your seat, however, Laguna sports a new menu.  With cuisine supplied by Cafe Rix, they have expanded their options to include nine salad and sandwich items as well as four “kids” meals and two desserts.  The former menu offered choices from amongst only two salads, three sandwiches, and two recipes of individual pizzas.  A big improvement!

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

We had the Cobb Salad and the All Beef Jumbo Hot Dog.  The salad was fresh and very filling.  Accompanied by your choice of chips, the “dog” was a hearty little meal!

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

You’ll love their signature cocktails. The Cancun Colada is especially tasty!

Whether you are buying a beverage or looking for a place to enjoy “take-out” from either Pepper Market or Cafe Rix, there’s plenty of seating.  For us, though, we enjoy a spot at the bar.  It is there that we can enjoy the company of Laguna’s outstanding staff of bartenders.

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

No, Paola! We can’t drink that whole bottle!

If you’re looking for a surprisingly quiet, clean, moderately priced place to call home when you reach Walt Disney World, we would highly recommend Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  If you’re looking for a place to sit back, relax, and chill in the presence of friendly Cast Members and a beautiful view, then visit Laguna Bar.

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

The crowd gathers!

The Three Caballeros request your presence!

Dining Recon: Laguna Bar

Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at

NEW VIDEO – Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Universal’s newest and largest hotel opening Early 2014 offers endless family fun and exclusive theme park benefits.Your family will enjoy Early Park Admission to select rides and attractions at Universal’s Islands of Adventure®, one hour before the park opens (valid theme park admission required).

Universal Orlando's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Opens in 2014

Plus, this hotel offers moderate and value priced accommodations including family suites that can sleep up to 6 and have a kitchenette!
You can’t go wrong by booking your on-site hotel stay in the heart of the excitement at Universal Orlando Resort — you’ll be a short walk or complimentary shuttle bus ride away from both theme parks and Universal CityWalk®.

Splash back to the 1950’s and 60’s for endless family fun at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, opening early 2014. From the moment you arrive, you will be taken back to the iconic beach resorts of the era. Go for a swim or relax in the lazy river, grab a burger and a milk shake or take the family for a game or two at the bowling alley. Take a road trip to Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and enjoy exclusive theme park benefits.

Be One of the First to Enjoy This Brand New Resort

Contact Kingdom Magic Today!

Universal Orlando Unveils New Dining Plans

Universal Orlando has unveiled a new dining plan!  The new Universal Dining Plan is available to add to any vacation package with on-site hotel or off-site hotel, when you book through Kingdom Magic Vacations!

The new Universal Dining Plan is available to add to any vacation package with on-site hotel or off-site hotel, booked through Kingdom Magic Vacations

The first seating for the new dining plan is July 1st, 2013!  The cost of the Universal Dining Plan is $45.99 +tax for adults and $17.99 +tax for children (age 3-9), remember gratuities are not included.

There is also a new Free dining package, available for our off-site hotels only, for bookings made Now – 8/29/13, and is valid for travel 8/15 – 11/24/13 and 12/2 – 12/19/13.  This package includes 2 FREE days of the Universal Dining Plan when you stay 4-Nights or longer on this exclusive vacation package.

The Universal Dining Plan is NOT AVAILABLE for purchase at the parks, so make sure add it on when you book your vacation package!

he new Universal Dining Plan is available to add to any vacation package with on-site hotel or off-site hotel, booked through Kingdom Magic Vacations


When you purchase your vacation package and include the dining plan you’ll receive a ticket to be exchanged at Universal Orlando Resort for a Universal Dining Plan card.
You can pick up your Universal Dining Plan card at:

he new Universal Dining Plan is available to add to any vacation package with on-site hotel or off-site hotel, booked through Kingdom Magic Vacations

Each day of the Universal Dining Plan entitles guests to enjoy:

Entrée, Dining Plan Dessert & Non-Alcoholic Beverage
Entrée & Non-Alcoholic Beverage
• ONE SNACK (such as a hot dog, ice cream, frozen beverages)
From food carts or counter service locations
From food carts or counter service locations

The Universal Dining Plan offers you the utmost in savings and convenience. Now when you book your Universal Orlando Resort vacation you can purchase your meals and snacks in advance! Make the most of your time and enjoy family meals together at some of Universal Orlando’s most popular dining establishments.

To see the participating restaurant list CLICK HERE.

Call us at 866.972.6244 or Request a Quote Online!

Great Rates for Florida Residents at Walt Disney World Resort

Now is the best time to be a Florida Resident!  You can take advantage of this incredible offer from Walt Disney World and spend 4 days in all of the amazing Theme Parks of Walt Disney World Resort!

Florida Residents can now save on 3-night/4-day stay at Walt Disney World Resort

Now Florida Residents can discover something new at the Walt Disney World resort this spring!

Book any 3-night/4-day Package for as low as $56* per person, per day!

Book now and save!

Florida Residents can Save at Walt  Disney World

Important Information:

  • $56 perper, per day for 3-night/4-day package
  • For most nights April 6-June 3, 2013 (based on a family of 4) at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort in a standard room
  • This package includes a 4-Day Discover Disney Ticket giving you access to all four Theme Parks (on Theme Park per day)

Call Kingdom Magic Vacations today at 866-972-6244 or

Reduce the Thought of Mealtime with Disney’s Dining Plan

My Disney Card

Disney Dining Plan card (Photo credit: sburke2478)

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

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

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

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

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

The Holidays Are in Full Swing at Walt Disney World Resort

We hope everyone had an excellent Thanksgiving last week. And you know what the day after Thanksgiving means – the Christmas season is officially back!

The Holidays Are in Full Swing at Walt Disney World Resort

With the Holidays Around the World celebration at Epcot returning to the park today, holiday offerings can now be found at each of our four theme parks.

Here’s a look at the fun you can find at Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom throughout the holiday season.

Now is also the perfect time to check out the lovely holiday décor at our resorts. If you’re still considering making a trip to Walt Disney World Resort during the holidays, don’t forget to check out Magic Your Way packages, which are available for stays most nights November 23 to December 20, 2012.

57 Disney Resort Pools Offer Splashtastic Fun

Click Here to Book your Disney Vacation Now!

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…



Click Here to Book your Disney Vacation Now!

Pop singer “Ke$ha” at the Magic Kingdom

Click Here to Book your Disney Vacation Now!

KEEPING TIME: Pop singer “Ke$ha” poses April 21, 2011 with The White Rabbit from Disney’s animated film “Alice in Wonderland,” at the Magic Kingdom park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Ke$ha’s debut single, entitled “Tik Tok,” was a number one hit around the world. The Magic Kingdom is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

Click Here to Book your Disney Vacation Now!

Modern Family Star Jesse Tyler Ferguson Spotted at Universal Orlando Resort

Click Here to Book your Universal Vacation Now!

Actor and star of the hit TV series, “Modern Family”, Jesse Tyler Ferguson joked around with Woody Woodpecker at Universal Orlando Resort on March 25th, 2011. Ferguson experienced both Universal Orlando’s theme parks while in town on vacation, stopping to ride the Incredible Hulk coaster and enjoy lunch at Three Broomsticks at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. © 2011 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

Click Here to Book your Universal Vacation Now!

Unique New ‘Wild Africa Trek’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Brings Thrills of Faraway Adventure to Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Navigating a rickety footbridge over a river chasm can be dicey enough for explorers. In an all-new Disney adventure, what lurks below that bridge may quicken their step to get to the other side: Crocodiles!

A ravine of menacing-looking crocs, pools of hippos, bushwalks along untracked terrain and other thrills await guests on Wild Africa Trek, a unique wildlife experience scheduled to launch in early 2011 into the deepest, most-remote reaches of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Reservations can be booked beginning Oct. 15, 2010, for the three-hour, expert-led adventure that will immerse guests in the realms and wildlife thrills of far-off Africa – without leaving Walt Disney World Resort. In small groups, guests on the Wild Africa Trek will enjoy an “up-close-and-personal” experience with African wildlife species that make their home in Pangani Forest as well as other areas of the park’s Harambe Wildlife Reserve.

As part of the adventure, guests will clip onto a lifeline as they step to the very edge of a cliff to get amazingly close to the hippos and crocs waiting just below. Talk about cliff-hangers!

Adventure-minded guests will have the experience of a lifetime as they get immersed in an authentic African safari experience that only Disney can deliver,” said Michael Colglazier, vice president of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “We are thrilled to be offering this unique outdoor adventure aimed at active vacationers, taking interactions with the incredible animals that inhabit the Harambe Reserve to the next level and literally blazing new trails in our park.”

Highlights of what’s in store for guests on this add-on adventure:

  • Trekking with experienced guides through areas of Harambe Wildlife Reserve that aren’t explored during regular Disney’s Animal Kingdom experiences.
  • Navigating through fern and vine forests on a bushwalk that sets a course for adventure.
  • Clipping into a harness attached to a safety line, crossing a seemingly precarious rope bridge over the Safi River and cliff-hanging at the edge of gullies that are home to hippos and crocodiles.
  • Experiencing the thrill of “over-landing” in customized open-air vehicles following the edge of a magnificent, wide-open savanna.
  • Unwinding from an unforgettable adventure at a private safari camp for wildlife viewing.  At this station elevated above the savanna, guests savor sample tastes of Africa as their adventure draws to a relaxing and satisfying close.
Wild Africa Trek will be offered several times daily at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Groups will be kept small, consisting of no more than 12 trekkers per safari.

Reservations for Wild Africa Trek can be arranged by calling 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687). Pricing for this unique adventure will vary seasonally. Guests who reserve a booking from Jan. 16-Feb. 26, 2011, may take advantage of an introductory offer starting at $129. Park admission is required for participants.

Give a Day of Volunteer Service in 2010, Get a Day of Disney Theme Park Fun – Free

Disney Parks announces "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program foDisney Parks is launching a program that celebrates the spirit of volunteer service with a simple proposition: “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day.”

Disney hopes to inspire families to volunteer in their communities during 2010 through this first-of-its-kind program. One million people who perform volunteer service for a participating organization will receive a free one-day admission ticket to a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park.
While the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program kicks off Jan. 1, right now guests can learn more about the program and how to get their free one-day admission to a Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme park by visiting (for the United States and Puerto Rico) or (for Canada).
In the past year, guests have been celebrating all sorts of special moments in their lives at Disney parks – from birthdays and anniversaries to reunions and graduations as part of the “What Will You Celebrate?” campaign.
“In 2010, we want to recognize and add one more reason for celebration: the contributions people make to their communities every day,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We want to inspire 1 million volunteers – people who will invest time and energy to make their own communities and neighborhoods a better place.”
To enable people to sign up for an eligible volunteer project, Disney is working with HandsOn Network, the nation’s largest volunteer network.  Part of Points of Light Institute, HandsOn Network has 250 on-the-ground volunteer action centers across the country and connects volunteers to more than 70,000 nonprofit agencies that need their help.
“Wherever we live, our communities need our hands-on help to thrive,” said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light Institute. “We are thrilled at this unprecedented effort by Disney Parks to help mobilize 1 million volunteers into action.  ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ has the potential to reach so many families and instill the volunteer spirit in a new generation.”
Bob Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said, “‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ fits perfectly with our long history of supporting and participating in volunteer efforts.  It’s a great way to honor guests who are making a positive contribution to their communities.”
Starting Jan. 1, 2010, guests can go to for the United States and Puerto Rico or for Canada to search for volunteer opportunities available in those areas through HandsOn Network and sign up for a day of volunteer service.  Many of the opportunities will be for projects that entire families can participate in together.
To raise awareness for grass-roots community volunteerism and the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program, Disney VoluntEARS and volunteers from Southwest Airlines are joining with local volunteers on projects coordinated by HandsOn Network in cities across North America this fall and winter.  Southwest Airlines also is providing transportation for the initiative.
“Southwest Airlines strives to make a positive difference in the communities we serve, from protecting the environment to supporting a local cause,” said Linda Rutherford, vice president of Communications and Strategic Outreach, Southwest Airlines.  “Southwest employees give back both locally and nationally through volunteerism, with individual and personal efforts, serving together as teams or through companywide efforts.  The opportunity with Disney unites two companies that are devoted to the spirit of volunteerism.”
Give a Day, Get a Disney Day details:
Must pre-register and sign up for eligible volunteer opportunity at  Ticket quantities for this program are limited. Must be at least age 6 to participate. Other terms and conditions apply.  For details, see in the United States and Puerto Rico. In Canada, see
About HandsOn Network
Disney Parks announces "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program foThe volunteer-focused arm of Points of Light Institute, HandsOn Network is the largest volunteer network in the nation and includes more than 250 HandsOn Action Centers that reach more than 83 percent of the nation’s population and extend to 10 countries.  HandsOn includes a powerful network of more than 70,000 corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations that are answering the call to serve and creating scaled impact.  In 2008, the network delivered approximately 30 million hours of volunteer service.
About Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Disney Parks and Resorts are where dreams come true.  More than 50 years ago, Walt Disney created a new kind of entertainment families could experience together, immersed in detailed atmospheres and vibrant storytelling.  His vision now includes a collection of five of the world’s leading family vacation destinations Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif.; Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; Tokyo Disney Resort, Urayasu, Chiba, Japan; Disneyland Resort Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, France; and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China.  In addition, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts includes the world-class Disney Cruise Line; Disney Vacation Club, with nine resorts and more than 420,000 members; Adventures by Disney, a guided group vacation experience to some of the world’s most popular destinations; Disney Regional Entertainment, which operates the ESPN Zone dining and entertainment centers; the World of Disney stores; and Walt Disney Imagineering, which creates and designs all Disney parks, resorts and attractions.

ROYAL DEBUT: Princess Tiana makes her Disney Parks debut

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

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

chefremy2_3002From the Silver Screen to Haute Cuisine!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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