Walt Disney World Resort Hotel News for the Week of Oct 29, 2014

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

New! Menu Enhancements at Shutters Restaurant at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: On Wednesday, Oct. 29,new enhancements are coming to the menu at Shutters. The resort chefs have created several dishes to add to the themed menu featuring American favorites with a Caribbean twist. Appetizers: Seared Crab Cakes: two crab cakes with Caribbean slaw, curry aioli and mango salsa. A nice refreshing start to your meal. BBQ Shrimp and Grits: grilled shrimp served with citrus barbecue & Nassau grits. Roasted Butternut Squash and Plantain Soup. Entrée: Caribbean-spiced Osso Bucco: This meaty pork shank will be braised to be fork tender and served over sweet potato mash. Their pasta sauce will be changing to a cream based sauce with sweet roasted peppers and goat cheese. Dessert: Warm Cinnamon and White Chocolate Bread Pudding: served with butterscotch and cinnamon sauces.

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New! Disney’s Beach Club Resort Planned Refurbishment: Disney’s Beach Club Resort will be undergoing refurbishment through the next 20 months. Guest rooms will be refurbished with new hard and soft goods. The planned dates for this renovation are Oct 13, 2014 – Aug 22, 2015. The Stormalong Bay Pool – Waterslide and the waterway from the slide to the first bridge of Stormalong Bay will be unavailable Jan 5 – Feb 2, 2015. Stormalong Bay Pool – Lazy River  bridges three and four will be under refurbishment and the lazy river/snorkel area will be closed Feb 2 – Mar 3, 2015. The remaining portions of the pool will remain available to Guests.

New! Disney Resort Holiday Decor Returns Soon: Shining bright with merry décor, gingerbread houses and more, the Walt Disney World Resort hotels are all glittery for the season. Guests will find a sugary showcase of holiday displays throughout the magical resort hotels. From enhancing visual feasts created from all kinds of sweets to refreshing stops offering tasty beverages and treats, each display has its own charming features.

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Reminder! Nanea Volcano Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Resort is Closed: The main pool is officially closed to guests and will remain closed through early 2015. Guests of this resort will be able to enjoy Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park as a complimentary offering. Barefoot Pool Bar will be temporarily closed during the refurbishment of the Nanea Volcano Pool. Beverages will still be available for purchase at the Polynesian East Pool during this time.

Reminder! Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Silver Creek Springs Pool to Close for Refurbishment: The main pool and slide will be closed for enhancements at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Sept. 3 through Nov. 27. During this time, the leisure pool at The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will remain open. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit either the Main Pool at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Complimentary transportation will be provided to both of these neighboring resorts.

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at the Main Street Confectionery

main street confectionery-disneyA walk down Main Street USA at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park would not be complete without a stop at the Main Street Confectionery.  You will find it near the entrance just past Town Square on the right hand corner. The sweet aroma will draw you inside for some magical Disney treats!confectionery lmp

 

Here, you will find a huge variety of every type of sweetness imaginable!

  • Boxed Candy
  • Bagged Candy
  • Jelly Bean Selections
  • Boxed Cookies
  • Fresh Baked Goods and Candies
  • Giant Crispy Treats
  • Goofy’s Sour Candy Station
  • Cold Drinks
  • And much more!

Disney Cast Members prepare treats in an open kitchen where you can watch as they create and decorate goodies right before your eyes! confectionery menuThe old-fashioned candy shop is crisp, clean, bright and colorful with a vast array of pre-packaged goodies as well as an ordering station at the rear of the store with freshly made items. Be sure to look overhead at the conveyor system that moves little baskets of candy – it’s so cute! You will also find adorable limited-time seasonal goodies. Main Street Confectionery is filled with all types of sugary goodness — giant cookies, peanut brittle, cotton candy, fudge, specialty candy apples, cupcakes and more…so much more!

 

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You can get a giant lollipop, bulk candy including Jelly Belly jelly beans, rock candy, chocolate candy and even a bit of sugar-free candy.  Be sure to try one of the chocolate dipped strawberries. The choices of fun Disney-themed confections are endless! On occasion, free samples are offered.

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Be sure and make time to satisfy your sweet tooth and make some sweet memories at the Main Street Confectionery during your next visit to Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Written by Sheri Morris, “Main Street Morris”   Sheri is proud grandmother with a keen eye for detail. She specializes in Disney Travel for adults and RV travel.  Book your next vacation with Sheri at 804 405 5005 or at sheri@destinationsinflorida.com.

Walt Disney World Updates and Mousecellaneous News for the Week of October 29, 2014

Walt Disney World Resort – General

New! PhotoPass Photos Automatically Linked to MagicBands: If you’re wearing an active MagicBand on select Walt Disney World Resort attractions, your photos will be automatically associated to your My Disney Experience account. You don’t have to do anything. In fact, if you’ve worn your MagicBand on one of the participating attractions in the last 45 days, you should be able to find that photo in your account now. Don’t have a MagicBand? Don’t worry. We’re making it easier for you, too. Today we turned on new touch points at Magic Kingdom Park (Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain). So after you ride, simply find your photo on the preview wall and touch your park ticket or Memory Maker card to the touch point to associate your photo. We expect to have photo touch points installed at Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks by mid-November. Beginning soon, guests wearing active MagicBands will have attraction videos automatically associated to their accounts. Videos are currently available for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Splash Mountain PhotoPass Photo

Morimoto Asia and BOATHOUSE Dining Experiences Coming to Disney Springs in 2015: As Downtown Disney Area transforms into Disney Springs, the first of its four distinct neighborhoods is starting to take shape along the waterfront. Known as The Landing, the area will be home to unique and memorable dining experiences including the just announced Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE, opening in Spring / Summer 2015. Dining reservations will be available soon.

MorimotoMorimoto Asia will be Japanese master chef Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s first-ever pan-Asian restaurant featuring flavors from across the continent. This Disney Springs dining destination will include unique exhibition kitchens showcasing traditions like Peking duck carving, and dim sum.

BOATHOUSE

The BOATHOUSE will be an upscale, waterfront dining experience that’ll immerse guests both on land and on water with live music, guided tours aboard the Captain’s piloted 40-foot Italian Water Taxi with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries and guided Amphicar rides that launch from land, enter the water, and take guests on a 20-minute tour of the landmarks of Disney Springs.

New! Downtown Disney Parking Garage Opens Soon: Cast Members working at Downtown Disney beginning Nov. 2 will be able to park in the new parking garage on the West Side. Guests are expected to be able to use the new garage by November 20, 2014. The garage has five levels with about 4,000 parking spaces. On Nov. 20, the first through fourth levels will be partly open with about 1,700 spaces available. In December, nearly 3,000 spaces will be available.

New! Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 7-8: Runners will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort on Nov. 7-9.  Participants in the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, which is sold out, will run a 13.1-mile nighttime race on Nov. 9 through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. The race weekend also will include Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K and runDisney Kids races on Nov. 8. To register for the runDisney kids races and to purchase the few remaining tickets for the Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste Party at Epcot, visit www.runDisney.com.

New! Get Disney Infinity 2.0. at Downtown Disney Marketplace: Guests will have an early purchase opportunity on November 1-2, 2014 at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace for Disney Infinity 2.0. Disney will release the Disney Infinity 2.0 Starter Pack containing Merida from Disney•Pixar’s “Brave” and Stitch (retail $59.99 plus tax). Guests will receive one complimentary Disney figure with the purchase of a Disney Infinity Starter Pack at Once Upon a Toy during the weekend. Additional items being released will include figures of Maleficent, Donald Duck, Aladdin and Tinker Bell. Guests should also look for figures of Hiro and Baymax from Disney’s upcoming animated feature “Big Hero 6” coming to theatres on November 7.

Disney Infinity 2.0

New! Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Closed for Refurbishment: Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is closed for it’s annual refurbishment Oct 26 – Jan 3, 2015. Disney’s Blizzard Beach remains open during this time. 

Merchandise Events

This year’s 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has wonderful merchandise, as always, but here are a few other special appearances you won’t want to miss.

  • Festival Center – Paola Gutierrez (October 3, 24 and November 7) and William Silvers (October 4, 18 and November 1)
  • Art of Disney – Rob Kaz (October 24 – 26) and Michelle St. Laurent (October 30 and November 1 – 2)
  • Coming in November! Tim Rogerson and The Beekman Boys.

October 10 – November 3: The latest releases from Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick, including her new Halloween collection are coming! Linda will appear throughout the day October 10 – 12 and again October 31 – November 1 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

Weekly Walt Disney World Theme Park News, Oct 29, 2014

Walt Disney World Theme Park News – Oct 29, 2014

Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It Street Party Livens Up Magic Kingdom Park

Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom Park

New! ‘Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!’ Street Party Debuted Oct 24: The ‘Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play it!’ Street Party makes its debut at Magic Kingdom Park on Oct. 24! With new music, characters and refreshed floats, Guests have a brand new opportunity to become part of the show. Once Guests have moved it, shaken it, and danced it, they decide what comes next by voting for the next song on the party playlist! While Guests are raising the roof with their Disney character friends, they can post selfies to share on Twitter and Instagram with the #MoveItShakeItPics where their photos may pop up in the special finale moment.

New! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Sold Out Nov 7: The very first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which takes place on November 7th, is already sold out. Parties with availability include November: 10, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 30, 2014 and December: 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 2014.

Reminder! “Frozen” Holiday Wish Debuts Soon: “A Frozen Holiday Wish” features Anna and Elsa in an all-new show on the Castle Forecourt Stage. With special appearances by rugged mountain man Kristoff and lovable snowman Olaf, the show culminates in Queen Elsa using her incredible powers to present a gift to everyone in the kingdom, transforming Cinderella Castle into a glimmering ice palace for the holidays. “A Frozen Holiday Wish” begins November 5 and will be presented nightly through December 31, 2014. As an additional reminder, “Frozen’s” popular characters will also have a bigger presence at Magic Kingdom Park this holiday season. In addition to the ongoing character appearances,and “Frozen Holiday Wish,” Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party-goers can see Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf in “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”

Epcot

New! Stephen Twinings to make Special Appearance in United Kingdom: From Nov. 1-2, Guests who visit The Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom from 1-8 p.m. will have the opportunity to discover delightful teas from Twinings® of London and meet Stephen Twining, a 10th generation Twining family member.

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New! Experience Le Rouge lipsticks from Givenchy Oct. 30-Nov. 2: Experience pure couture with Le Rouge lipsticks from Givenchy. On Oct. 30-Nov. 2, from noon – 9 p.m., beauty experts from our Givenchy team can help find the perfect shade for you at the Givenchy Boutique in France. During this event, Guests who purchase $100 or more in Givenchy merchandise will receive a Givenchy cosmetic bag and deluxe sample. Cast discounts apply.

Update! Candlelight Processional Returns to Epcot:Candlelight Processional is one of the most beloved holiday traditions Walt Disney World Resort, with the joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and glorious mass choir. Among new celebrity narrators this year is Jonathan Groff, who voiced the rugged mountain man Kristoff in “Frozen.” Candlelight performances are at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre. (Show times on December 7 are 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. only). Guests may purchase Candlelight Dining Packages to reserve a seat at the Candlelight Processional. These packages, available on select nights, include a delicious meal, a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances and a pre-arranged location for fireworks viewing. Guests may call 407.WDW DINE for reservations or at www.disneyworld.com. Availability is limited.

  • 11/28 – 11/29: Jodi Benson
  • 11/30 – 12/2: Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/3 – 12/4: Jonathan Groff NEW!
  • 12/5 – 12/6: Whoopi Goldberg
  • 12/7* – 12/9: LeVar Burton
  • 12/10 – 12/11: Edward James Olmos
  • 12/12 – 12/14: Joe Morton NEW!
  • 12/15 – 12/17: Chita Rivera
  • 12/18 – 12/20: Ana Gasteyer NEW!
  • 12/21 – 12/23: Marlee Matlin
  • 12/24 – 12/25: Isabella Rossellini
  • 12/26 – 12/27: Blair Underwood
  • 12/28 – 12/30: Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Please note that narrators are subject to change without notice.

Reminder! Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Under Way: From now until November 10, taste your way around the world at 28 International Marketplaces. Remember to check out  the Eat to the Beat Concert Series at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.. There are also many special festival experiences at the Festival Welcome Center hosted by Transitions® adaptive lenses™ – open daily 9 a.m. – park close including: Culinary demonstrations – daily at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. ($15 per person); Wine and beverage seminars – daily at 12, 2 and 4 p.m. ($15 per person); Mixology seminars – daily at 6 p.m. ($15 per person); The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar- Hosted by Ghirardelli® Chocolate Company – daily from 9 a.m. – park close (Free); Back to Basics (new this year!) – Sundays at 12:15, 2:15, 4:15 and 6:15 p.m.; Book, bottle signings and meet and greets; Seasons of the Vine film; Intermissions Cafe – 9 a.m. – park close; The Festival Center Wine Shop and The Stockpot Shop – 9 a.m. – park close. Check out of photos of the Festival here.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

New! The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Returns: The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights features millions of dancing lights, plus animated displays and 3-D effects perfectly synchronized to electrifying holiday tunes amidst snowfall. The rich tradition takes place on the Streets of America, dazzling guests from November 7, 2014 – January 4, 2015.

New! The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow Closing: The final day for this attraction will be November 6, 2014. No replacement has been announced.

New! Sorcerer Mickey Hat to Be Removed: The iconic sorcerer’s hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will come down early next year. The central hub area at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be re-imagined, but no specific details have been announced yet.

Sorcerer Mickey Hat Disney Hollywood StudiosReminder! “Big Hero 6? Meet and Greet Coming Mid-November: By mid-November, the stars of Disney’s new animated comedy-adventure, “Big Hero 6,” are flying into Disney’s Hollywood Studios to greet their fans. Guests will be able to meet Hiro Hamada and his huggable buddy Baymax inside The Magic of Disney Animation attraction, where they can tour the lab at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology and pay a visit to Hiro’s garage workshop. Disney’s “Big Hero 6” opens in theaters in 3D on Nov. 7.

Reminder! Wandering Oaken’s is Back: Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, one of the most popular parts of last summer’s “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!” event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is back and staying put through the holidays! Oaken’s has re-opened in a new space, on Streets of America near Studio Catering Co. and “Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.” The new Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Snowground! features a larger-than-ever play area with real snow, plenty of “Frozen” merchandise, and those yummy “Frozen”-inspired cupcakes and other treats. And every 30 minutes or so, you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights shimmering in the night sky.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Reminder! Affection Section Closed for Refurbishment: The Affection Section petting area at Rafiki’s Planet Watch is closed for refurbishment through Nov. 10. Although Affection Section is closed, Guests may still experience the animal encounters in and around Conservation Station. Other offerings at Rafiki’s, including Gi-Tar Dan, Out of the Wild merchandise location and Chip & Dale character greetings are still available during this time. The Affection Section will  reopen to Guests Nov. 11.

Reminder! Discovery Island Popcorn Kiosk Reopened: The Discovery Island Popcorn kiosk reopened after refurbishment on Oct. 11.

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney Magic’s Halloween on the High Seas

Pumpkin TreeThis year Disney Cruise Line has spread Halloween on the High Seas to every cruise ship. On my recent 7 night cruise on the Disney Magic, I got to experience Halloween on the High Seas. On Day 1 guests were introduced to the pumpkin tree. Guests gathered around the pumpkin tree and the caretaker shares stories about the origin of Halloween and trick or treating. Each family was given a pumpkin seed to write their family name on so they could help the Pumpkin Tree come to life. Mickey threw a dance party in the atrium on Day 2.  Mickey and his friends were all dressed up in their own Halloween costumes and kids got to go trick or treating. mickey partyThe Nightmare Before Christmas Scream and Scare was also held on Day 2. Mickey’s Masquerade Dance Party and Nightmare Before Christmas Scream and Scare were both repeated during the cruise. On Day 3 there were Halloween Animation cells in the Oceaneer’s Lab. Halloween crafts and ghost stories on the deck stage were the highlights of Day 4. Fathoms hosted an adult only costume contest on Day 5. The costumes on my cruise were amazing. Guests were judged for the best group, best couple, most original, and most Disney costumes. On Day 6, the Pumpkin Tree came to life with lights and music. Overall, the Halloween festivities were really fun and added another element to my cruise vacation.

Written by Shante Carson — Shante is a Disney Cruise Expert with over ten cruises taken on the Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, Disney Magic, and Disney Wonder.  Bon Voyage!  Shante is ready to help you plan your magical Disney Cruise vacation. Book your next vacation with Shante at 252-917-0497 or shante@destinationsinflorida.com.

 

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel News for the Week of Oct 22, 2014

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

New! One Year Anniversary for Newest DVC Resort: The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is celebrating its one-year anniversary on Thursday, Oct 23.

Grand Floridian Villas

New! Disney’s Beach Club Resort Refurbishment: Disney’s Beach Club Resort will be undergoing refurbishment through the next 20 months. Guest rooms will be refurbished with new hard and soft goods.

New! Travel + Leisure Readers Recognize Disney Vacation Club Resorts: Congratulations to the seven Disney Vacation Club Resorts included in Travel + Leisure’s roundup of the top 50 hotels for families in the United States for 2014. Voted on by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, the honored resorts include: Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas.

Travel and Leisure Award

New! Fodor’s Travel Names Aulani a Top Hotel: “An enchanting resort complete with Disney character experiences and a touch of local culture in everything …” That’s what reviewers at Fodor’s Travel, one of the largest and most respected publishers of travel and tourism information, are saying about Aulani which is being recognized as a 2014 Fodor’s 100 Hotel Award winner, and one of the top 12 “Beach Getaway” hotels worldwide. Aulani was the only resort in all of Hawai‘i to be included in this distinguished category.

New! Disney Visa Discount Increased for Resort Carriage Rides: Disney Visa® Cardmembers will now receive a 15% discount for carriage rides at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. When booking this discount, you must use a Disney Visa Card for the guarantee. You will also be asked to present the card at check-in to validate the discount.

Reminder! Hess Gas Station near BoardWalk Temporarily Closed: Due to maintenance and updating of equipment, the Hess gas station and convenience store near Disney’s BoardWalk Resort will be temporarily closed beginning at 7:00am on Monday, October 13. It is anticipated this project will take one to three weeks to complete.

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

Walt Disney World Updates and Mousecellaneous News for the Week of October 22, 2014

Walt Disney World Updates and Mousecellaneous News for the Week of October 22, 2014

Walt Disney World Resort – General

New! Made with Magic Replaces Glow with the Show: Formerly known as “Glow with the Show,” Made with Magic is the new name for all light up items that interact with select Disney nighttime spectaculars. As a complement to “Glow with the Show” ears introduced a few years ago, Made with Magic items will excite, delight, light up and interact with select Disney experiences at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. Products include Mickey Mouse ear hat, Minnie Mouse-inspired headband, Mickey Mouse glove and Sorcerer Mickey wand. Each item will retail at $25.00. The Sorcerer Mickey wand will have multiple light-up functions and will give guests the ability to change the light patterns of other Made With Magic items. Guests can also place the Made With Magic items in a color-changing demo mode, when they aren’t present at “Made With Magic”-enabled entertainment.

Made with Magic

New! Starbucks Menus Updated with Holiday Offerings: Beginning Nov. 12, Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom Park and Fountain View at Epcot will offer a variety of holiday items as part of the Starbucks 2014 Holiday Promotions. Soft launch will occur on Nov. 1.

New! Two New Kiosks Open at Downtown Disney: Two new kiosks recently opened in the Lily Pad area near Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney. Guests can grab great gifts on the go at Set the Bar, as well as Sublime Gifts and Finds – both operated by Something Silver, Inc. Both kiosks offer a 15 percent discount for Disney Annual Passholders. Set The Bar is a dream shop for the cocktail enthusiast, where they curate a selection of beautifully crafted cocktail and
entertainment wares, both nostalgic and novel. From decorative flasks and cocktail shakers to inventive wine and spirits chilling products, Set the Bar has it all for both the novice and the expert. Sublime Gifts and Finds seeks to delight guests with new and interesting products like unique greeting cards, inspirational books and journals, hand-poured soy wax candles and elegant ceramics, to name a few. It’s like a treasure hunt you can peruse – always finding something new, something beautiful, and something you can easily envision giving as a gift or being part of your home.

Reminder! PANDORA Jewelry Coming to Disney Parks: Coming this November, PANDORA’s Disney jewelry collection features hand-finished .925 sterling silver and 14K gold charms inspired by some of Disney’s most beloved characters. The image below showcases the new sterling silver Disney Parks “Wonderful World” bracelet, which features PANDORA’s unique threading system and a ball clasp engraved with the castle logo. Select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will release the 16 Disney Parks-specific PANDORA Jewelry items beginning November 3. You will also find select items on our Disney Parks online store on that day at DisneyStore.com/Pandora. Guests can also find an additional 25 charm designs from the Disney jewelry collection at PANDORA stores throughout North America, starting October 31.

Disney PANDORA

New! Brand New Appearing at Downtown Disney House of Blues: Brand New will perform at House of Blues at Downtown Disney WestSide on Oct 27, 2014. Opening acts are Cymbals Eat Guitars and Foxing. Doors open at 7:00 pm, show starts at 8:00 pm. The concert venue is general admission standing. This event is all ages. Tickets are $37.99.

New! MyMagic+ Honored with ‘Innovation by Design’ Award: Per the Disney Parks Blog: “We’re pleased to share that MyMagic+ – our collection of tools taking the guest experience to the next level at theWalt Disney World Resort – was recently honored with an “Innovation by Design” award by the popular magazine and website, Fast Company. MyMagic+ received the top spot in the “Experience Design” category when Fast Company revealed the 10 best designs of the year at their annual “Innovation by Design” Awards and Conference in New York City. Winning entries were honored as the smartest, most ambitious design experience developed in concert with business and culture.”

MyMagic+ FastPass+ Enhancements

Merchandise Events

This year’s 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has wonderful merchandise, as always, but here are a few other special appearances you won’t want to miss.

  • Festival Center – Paola Gutierrez (October 3, 24 and November 7) and William Silvers (October 4, 18 and November 1)
  • Art of Disney – Rob Kaz (October 24 – 26) and Michelle St. Laurent (October 30 and November 1 – 2)
  • Coming in November! Tim Rogerson and The Beekman Boys.

October 10 – November 3: The latest releases from Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick, including her new Halloween collection are coming! Linda will appear throughout the day October 10 – 12 and again October 31 – November 1 at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

Weekly Walt Disney World Theme Park News, Oct 22, 2014

Walt Disney World Theme Park News – Oct 22, 2014

Frozen Ice Palace Cinderella Castle

Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom Park

Reminder! “Frozen” Characters Magic Kingdom Park Presence Expanded: “Frozen’s” popular characters will also have a bigger presence at Magic Kingdom Park this holiday season. In addition to the ongoing character appearances, Queen Elsa will use her powers to transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace every night starting November 5th. And Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party-goers can see Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf in “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”

New! More Nights Sold Out for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is officially sold out for Tuesday, Oct. 28, Thursday, Oct. 30 and Friday, Oct. 31.

New! Adventureland Merchandise Changes: To make way for a new merchandise concept, Island Supply in Adventureland will close after Oct. 22 and reopen later this year as a different shopping experience. Product sold at Island Supply will be available at Agrabah Bazaar (nearby in Adventureland).

Reminder! Single Day Memory Maker Add On in Testing: A test is being conducted at Magic Kingdom Sept. 26-Oct. 31 in which a new single-day Memory Maker addon is available for sale to Guests when  purchased with a one-day Magic Your Way ticket or a ticket to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This package is sold exclusively at Vacation Planning at the Transportation and Ticketing Center. It is not known if this offering will continue past Oct 31. The price is $39. And don’t worry … if you aren’t able to make it to this year’s party, no trick, we’ve got a special TREAT for you! Simply log into your My Disney Experience account and claim PhotoPass ID COMEJOINTHEPARTY to receive a unique Bonus shot of some of our favorite ghosts! HINT: “We’ve got 999 happy haunts here, but there’s room for a thousand ..!”

Epcot

New! New Performance at Italy Pavilion: Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro has soft-opened in Italy as one of the new World Showcase entertainment acts. This authentic, spectacularly choreographed flag-throwing Cast wears magnificent period costumes and performs to live music. Sbandieratori is a rich, 500-year historic tradition in Italy and is sure to excite the senses. It’s a dynamic and photogenic performance that’s not to be missed. Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro performs daily in the courtyard of the Italy pavilion. Show times for Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro are 11:20 a.m., 12:10, 1, 2, 3, 4:20 and 5 p.m.

Reminder! Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Under Way: From now until November 10, taste your way around the world at 28 International Marketplaces. Remember to check out  the Eat to the Beat Concert Series at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.. There are also many special festival experiences at the Festival Welcome Center hosted by Transitions® adaptive lenses™ – open daily 9 a.m. – park close including: Culinary demonstrations – daily at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. ($15 per person); Wine and beverage seminars – daily at 12, 2 and 4 p.m. ($15 per person); Mixology seminars – daily at 6 p.m. ($15 per person); The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar- Hosted by Ghirardelli® Chocolate Company – daily from 9 a.m. – park close (Free); Back to Basics (new this year!) – Sundays at 12:15, 2:15, 4:15 and 6:15 p.m.; Book, bottle signings and meet and greets; Seasons of the Vine film; Intermissions Cafe – 9 a.m. – park close; The Festival Center Wine Shop and The Stockpot Shop – 9 a.m. – park close. Check out of photos of the Festival here.

Scotland Booth Food and Wine

Reminder! Canadian Lumberjacks Show Now Officially appearing as World Showcase Entertainment in Canada: Throughout Epcot, Walt Disney World presents world-class performers who immerse Guests in a unique cultural experience through a rich mix of live show atmosphere entertainment. The Canadian Lumberjacks show is one of several new World Showcase entertainment offerings coming to Epcot. Enjoy the excitement of axe throwing, chopping, sawing and lots more, as you cheer and applaud for the Canadian Lumberjacks. These lumbermen, representing Canada’s great timber and logging areas, demonstrate their skills in time-honored games of the great forest. The Canadian Lumberjacks hold competitions daily on the Mill Stage in Canada at Epcot.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

New! “Big Hero 6″ Meet and Greet Coming Mid-November: By mid-November, the stars of Disney’s new animated comedy-adventure, “Big Hero 6,” are flying into Disney’s Hollywood Studios to greet their fans. Guests will be able to meet Hiro Hamada and his huggable buddy Baymax inside The Magic of Disney Animation attraction, where they can tour the lab at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology and pay a visit to Hiro’s garage workshop. Disney’s “Big Hero 6” opens in theaters in 3D on Nov. 7.

Big Hero 6

New! Wandering Oaken’s is Back: Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, one of the most popular parts of last summer’s “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!” event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is back and staying put through the holidays! Oaken’s has re-opened in a new space, on Streets of America near Studio Catering Co. and “Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.” The new Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Snowground! features a larger-than-ever play area with real snow, plenty of “Frozen” merchandise, and those yummy “Frozen”-inspired cupcakes and other treats. And every 30 minutes or so, you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights shimmering in the night sky.

Wandering Oakens Frozen

Reminder! New Magical ‘Once Upon a Time’ Photo Opportunity to Celebrate the Arrival of ‘Frozen’ Characters to Storybrooke: On Sunday nights this fall you’ll find Elsa, Anna and Kristoff on ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” series.  In celebration of their arrive in Storybrooke. Disney PhotoPass and ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” have teamed up to provide you with an exclusive “Once Upon a Time” Magic Shot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A Disney PhotoPass Photographer will take your photo in front of a “Once Upon a Time” background, then when you visit MyDisneyPhotoPass.com and claim your photo you’ll find a magical surprise – Elsa and The Evil Queen have joined you! To make this celebration extra special, your “Once Upon a Time” Magic Shot is complimentary for a limited time! Just have your photo taken at the location at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, claim your photo atMyDisneyPhotoPass.com and download your “Once Upon a Time” Magic Shot for no charge*.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Reminder! Cotton-top Tamarins Return to Discovery Island: The cotton-top tamarins were not out for guest viewing while preparations for a new enclosure, located across from Creature Comforts were going on. The new home features a pair of cotton-top tamarins—Gemma and Draco. Cotton-top tamarins are a favorite at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park!

cotton top tamarin

Reminder! Affection Section Closed for Refurbishment: The Affection Section petting area at Rafiki’s Planet Watch is closed for refurbishment through Nov. 10. Although Affection Section is closed, Guests may still experience the animal encounters in and around Conservation Station. Other offerings at Rafiki’s, including Gi-Tar Dan, Out of the Wild merchandise location and Chip & Dale character greetings are still available during this time. The Affection Section will  reopen to Guests Nov. 11.

Reminder! Discovery Island Popcorn Kiosk Reopened: The Discovery Island Popcorn kiosk reopened after refurbishment on Oct. 11.

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

Around the Universe: Universal Orlando Resort News, Oct 21, 2014

There are exciting new things happening every day at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida! Join us every week to read about what’s new “Around the Universe.” This week’s Universal Orlando Resort News update features: new theme park ticket discounts, new merchandise locations, live events and much more!

What’s New This Week?

Universal BUY TWO DAYS GET THE THIRD DAY FREE

Universal Orlando Theme Parks

New! Buy Two, Get third Day Free Offer: Universal Orlando Resort announced the return of the resort’s popular 3rd Day Free Offer for U.S. and Canada residents – giving them a third day FREE with the purchase of a 2-day park ticket. This offer gives visitors even more time to enjoy the trip of a lifetime to Universal Orlando’s two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Offer valid for purchase through June 7, 2015 and is valid for 14 days from the first use – must be used in full by June 20, 2015. Current price of a 2-day, park-to-park ticket is $175.99 per adult, plus tax. Blockout dates apply Dec. 26, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015. To book, contact us 877-918-8941 or request a price online.

New! Buy Two, Get Third Day Free Offer with Vacation Package: Visitors can make it a special vacation by adding a stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort with a discounted vacation package starting at $425 per adult, tax inclusive. Package also includes: 2-Day, Park-to-Park with 3rd Day Free ticket offer, 3-nights stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens. Special vacation package rates are also available at Universal Orlando’s additional resort hotels Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and select Universal Partner Hotels. To book, contact us 877-918-8941 or request a price online.

New! Film Vault Store at Universal Studios: Now there’s a new way to enjoy your favorite movie classics at the all-new store at Universal Studios Florida, Film Vault. Located across from the entrance of TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D, Film Vault is the perfect place to purchase classic memorabilia from your favorite movies like E.T. Extra Terrestrial, JAWS, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and many more. Choose from merchandise like t-shirts, plush toys, mugs and jackets to complete your perfect movie collection.

USF Film Vault Store

New! Park Plaza Holiday Shop Opens: Universal’s newest merchandise shop features a Christmas or Holiday theme. The store is called Park Plaza Holiday Shop and is now open and offers an assortment of themed decor featuring franchises and characters found at Universal Orlando such as Despicable Me, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Simpsons, Betty Boop, and others. The store is located across from Transformers, near Gramercy Park.

New! Universal Corporate Executive Chef Offers Unique Halloween Recipe: Chef Steve Jayson put together a recipe for making Asian-inspired “Bat” Wings that are delicious to eat—and sure to be a big hit at your Halloween party. Check-out this video where he shows you how you can make our Bat Wings at home. You can also get the full recipe here.

New! Select Nights of Halloween Horror Nights Extended: Get your tickets with one extra hour of scares for 10/12, 10/16, 10/19, 10/22, 10/30, and 10/31.

New! Steve Harvey Live Tapings in November: For the first time ever, the Steve Harvey Show is going on the road! They will set up shop at Universal Orlando Resort to tape 5 adventure-packed, fun filled shows and you can be there! Want to be in the audience for these tapings? Will you be in Orlando on November 4th, November 5th and November 6th? Visit Steve Harvey web site.

Reminder! Halloween Horror Nights Announces The Compound: Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 24 has introduced a new social media experience that gives fans the opportunity to join The Compound and win prizes on each event night. To enter, fans must join The Compound, gather their Recon Squad of friends and RSVP for a Recon Mission on a select event night. On the night of their choosing, fans must execute a number of in-park photo challenges on Twitter or Instagram to complete their mission. Fans who submit the photo of their Recon Squad at Halloween Horror Nights will be entered for a chance to win one of the Halloween Horror Nights nightly giveaways, including Halloween Horror Nights 24 gear. In addition to the giveaways, fans that join The Compound will have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win a variety of prizes, including: Tickets to the event on a night of their choosing, the opportunity to transform into a scareactor for a night, the chance to win seats to an exclusive movie screening, 10-disc or 15-disc box sets of “Halloween” and more!

Reminder! New Theme Park Ticket Offer for Active Duty and Retired Members of the Military: Eligible service members can purchase a 1-Day Park-to-Park Ticket and get 2 days FREE. That is three days enjoying both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida for the price of one.  This special military offer is valid for purchase by active duty, reservist military and retired military service members, Department of Defense employees and/or spouses with valid military photo ID. Eligible service members may purchase up to 6 tickets with this offer. This offer is available for purchase now through November 30, 2014, and tickets must be used in full by December 14, 2014. Tickets are activated at either Universal Orlando theme park, with the eligible service member required to be present with a valid military photo ID to activate the ticket. Admission is valid for up to 14 days from first use.  In addition, active duty and retired military personnel can make it a special vacation or long weekend by adding a stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort with a discounted vacation package.

Reminder! One Direction Free Concert November 17 2014 and One Direction Vacation Packages:  One Direction is going to be at Universal Orlando Resort on Monday, November 17 2014 for a special performance for NBC’s TODAY! FREE public viewing will be available throughout Universal CityWalk and no admission is required to attend! You read that correctly, One Direction free concert! Now, if you really want to dial up your visit to see 1D, head into Universal Studios Florida (admission required) and hitch a ride on a specially themed “Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit” roller coaster featuring music from One Direction. Then, hang around for a special One Direction version of the ”Universal Cinematic Spectacular” nighttime show. Oh, and to top it all off, the swanky new Cabana Bay Beach Resort hotel will also feature One Direction theming – including specially recorded wake-up calls from the Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry, and Louis themselves. More info. To book, contact us 877-918-8941 or request a price online.

Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

New! Halloween-themed “Velvet Sessions” event featuring Molly Hatchet Oct 30, 2014: Velvet Bar hosts the city’s only rock ‘n’ roll cocktail party on the last Thursday of the month. Admission is $50 on-line  for this special event and includes specialty drinks and finger foods from 6:30 pm until show time, live music and cash bars from show time onward, and valet parking**. After the show, our guests can hang out in Velvet Bar.

Reminder! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ Exclusive Vacation Package Dates Extended: Experience all the magic and excitement with this exclusive vacation package including admission to both Universal Orlando® theme parks, hotel accommodations, Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ one hour before the theme parks open, breakfast at the Three Broomsticks™ and the new Leaky Cauldron™, receive an Owl Post Welcome Gift and more! Purchase now through December 10, 2014 with select travel through December 18, 2014. Prices starting from $109 per adult, per night, tax inclusive.

Universal CityWalk

New! Judas Priest to Play Hard Rock Live Oct 29:  Judas Priest with special guest Steel Panther will perform at Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk on Oct 29 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $124.50 for lower balcony, $74.50 upper balcony and $49.50 general admission. Doors open at 6:30pm. More info: 407-351-LIVE (5483).

judas priest

New! Classic Albums Live – The Beatles ‘Help’ to Play Hard Rock Live Nov 7: Classic Albums Live is a concert series based in Toronto, Ontario, in which musicians perform a classic rock album in its entirety. The performers are a group of studio musicians and vocalists that perform the albums LIVE using the instrumentation used on the original recording…cut for cut…note for note. The Beatles ‘Help’ will be performed at Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk on Nov 7 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of show. $15 in advance and $20 day of show for general admission standing perimeter. Doors open at 7:00pm. More info: 407-351-LIVE (5483).

New! The Fresh Beat Band to Play Hard Rock Live Nov 8: The Fresh Beat Band, Nickelodeon’s preschool music group and stars of the Emmy Award-winning TV series of the same name, head back on the road for a brand-new nationwide concert tour Nov. 5–Feb. 15.  The Fresh Beat Band will perform at Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk on Nov 8 at 6:30pm. Tickets are $59  First 2 Rows and Balcony Tables, $49 reserved upper balcony, $27.50 Reserved main floor and upper balcony. Meet and Greet packages also available. Doors open at 5:30pm. More info: 407-351-LIVE (5483).

Reminder! NASCAR Sports Grille to Close Nov 1: On September 27, 2014, Universal posted an update  on its Facebook Page indicating that NASCAR Sports Grille will permanently close November 1. It will remain open for lunch or dinner until Nov 1. No replacement has been announced yet.

Closures and Refurbishments

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

  • The Mystic Fountain: closed for seasonal maintenance 10/15 – 10/17

Universal Studios

  • Fear Factor Live: Closed for seasonal maintenance
    Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular®: No shows currently scheduled. Check back following Halloween Horror Nights (event runs through November 1, 2014).

Barb’s Top Reasons to Become a Travel Agent

It’s Great to Be a Travel Agent!

By: Barb Hartling

Become an AgentI remember in high school taking a “career test profile” to see what type of job I should think about for my future.  It came back with 5 career choices, and to this day I remember that being a travel agent was one of them. It took me 15 years to come back around to what this profile assessment told me, but I am happy I got here! Here’s why I’m so glad I have become a travel agent:

Sharing the Magic of Disney 

Being able to share my Disney passion is the main reason why I love being a travel agent.  Planning exciting and memorable vacations with others allows me to relive the fond memories I have of being a 5th grader going to Disney for the first time. By sharing my knowledge,  I am able to educate and help prepare my guest for their vacation, so they are well-informed and prepared to make the most of their time together. With the preparation ahead of time, my guests are able to have trip full of memories to last a life time- and for me there is no greater satisfaction than that!

Continuously Learning

To be constantly learning and gaining knowledge of new places to see and new things to do while on vacation is fun and motivating. Be it for the guest that just wants to totally relax and be pampered or the guest that wants the non-stop adrenaline to be constant every day of their trip, exploring all the possibilities keeps me on my toes. I’m always learning!

Making Real Connections with People

I love to be able to be that one real person in a world full of emails, electronic devices and the Internet. To be able to have a conversation and be that constant for my guest is another great reason to become a travel agent. I love being able to get to know my guests and prepare the perfect recommendations for them, too. To be able to share your personal experience, training and insight with guest and make their vacation dreams come true is so rewarding!

Traveling!

A great perk about being a travel agent is the ability to be able to travel and explore new destinations as much or as little as you want. Traveling gives you the ability to grow and learn and helps you to share your experiences with others. I have been able to take multiple cruises, visit tropical islands, explore other states, check out theme parks all over the country and visit several oceans — all in the name of my job! No other job gives you these kinds of perks!

NewAgents1

Join Our Team! Become a Travel Agent

We are ready to add new agents to our fantastic and supportive team. If you think you’d like to pursue a career as a travel agent, visit http://www.destinationsinflorida.com/business and submit your resume today!