What’s New for Week of Apr 23, 2014 – Walt Disney World & Universal Orlando News

There are new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. Join us every week to read about "What's New" in Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando! This week features a new Star Wars Weekend special offering, new mobile phone charging lockers, new sweet treats at Disney and several special events at Universal Orlando!

What’s New This Week?

Feel The Force Premium Package

Image: Property of Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

New! Feel The Force Premium Package at Star Wars Weekends: Just announced today, a new VIP package experience will be available to guests at Star Wars Weekends this year (every Friday-Saturday-Sunday, May 16 through June 15, 2014). This new experience provides Guests with reserved VIP viewing for two of the most popular Star Wars Weekends event spectaculars: the daytime Legends of the Force Celebrity Motorcade and the nighttime Symphony in the Stars fireworks show. In addition to premium viewing  soft drinks, water and snacks will be served for the motorcade and a dessert party will accompany the fireworks show. Guests will also receive a souvenir digital photo card that captures images of the Star Wars characters and events from that day as well as a series of complimentary Star Wars photos. Price: adults $54, children $32 (per day, tax and gratuity included). Discounts do not apply. More details are available here.

New! Guest Mobile Phone Charging Lockers Open April 25: Starting Friday, April 25, a test will take place at Magic Kingdom Park, allowing Guests to charge the batteries on their mobile phones at a limited number of secure lockers located in Tomorrowland. Charging lockers are located inside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café (near the Fantasyland entrance) and the Tomorrowland Light & Power Company (Space Mountain shop, near the D-Tech offerings). This is a free service. This offering is a test and will continue through mid summer. Guests will use their credit card like a key. They will not be charged.

New! Walk-around Dinosaur Entertainment at Disney's Animal Kingdom: A new atmosphere entertainment offering is currently being tested at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Per Cast Member notes, several times a day, Guests visiting DinoLand U.S.A. may encounter Professor Parker Woodson from the Dino Institute, along with his velociraptor, affectionately named “V,” as they embark on a “Jurassic jaunt” through the land. Guests interacting with Professor Woodson will learn that he has hand raised “V” from birth and is looking forward to Guests getting to meet his dinosaur. When we saw this entertainment offering on April 20, the human was referred to as Dr. Woodson (and it was a woman, not a man as the description indicates) and the dino was referred to as "Val." "Val" walked through DinoLand U.S.A. and made loud velociraptor sounds when prompted by Dr. Woodson.

New Entertainment at Animal Kingdom

New! Seven Dwarfs Mine Train News: On April 22, 2014, vehicles were spotted on the tracks in test runs of The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. We have seen the vehicles testing several times previously and shared videos before, but this time something was different! There were guests riding in them now! Well, not exactly guests, but actors. A commercial was being filmed for the new attraction. We hope this means it will be open to the public soon, but there is still no opening date scheduled. The official dedication of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is scheduled for May 2. We hope to see soft openings very soon!

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Opening Date

New! 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Registration Open: On April 22, registration opened to the public for the 2015 WDW Marathon Weekend events, which include a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon. In addition, there is the "Goofy's Race and Half Challenge," which is comprised of running the Half and Full Marathons and the "Dopey Challenge," which consists of running all 4 races. At the time of this writing, all events are sold out except for the Full Marathon and the "Goofy."

New! Celebrate Earth Day with a Special Cupcake: Beginning Monday, April 21, the Earth Day cupcake will be arriving at Disney's Hollywood Studios! Indulge in awfully delicious gummy worms and chocolate dirt for just $5.19 at select quick service locations: FairFax Fare, Pizza Planet, Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary, Studio Catering Co., Rosie's All American Café. This treat is part of the Disney Dining Plan and will be available April 21 - May 15.

Earth day cupcake

New! La Boulange pastries coming soon to Walt Disney World Resort Starbucks: Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom Park and Fountain View at Epcot will soon add several delicious La Boulange pastries to their menus. Starbucks recently partnered with La Boulange, a San Francisco bakery and café, to roll out their baked goods in Starbucks nationwide. La Boulange items are served warm, making them an extra special treat for Guests to enjoy.

New! Frozen-themed Pastries Available in Epcot Norway: Frozen-themed cookies and rice krispy treats can now be found in Norway. They have previously been available in MouseGear in Epcot and the Main Street Confectionery at Magic Kingdom.

New! Wine on Tap at Disney's Contemporary: The Wave…of American Flavors is now featuring a variety of wines served on tap. The Wine on tap concept is an environmental initiative that the restaurant opted as a unique way to serve well known quality wines. Wines served on tap are fresher than any other method of serving wines because the wines kept in kegs don’t come in contact with air. The restaurant is currently serving Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon from Central Coast California, Acrobat Pinot Noir by King Estate from Oregon, J Vineyards Pinot Gris from Russian River Valley and NxNW Riesling from Oregon. These will be changing on a regular basis.

New! Pete's Silly Side Show Character Greet Hours Change: Starting April 20, Pete’s Silly Sideshow will be adjusting its operating hours to close with Wishes nighttime spectacular. The only exceptions are on evenings without Wishes, Pete’s Silly Sideshow will stay open through regular park close. This includes during hard ticket event nights, and on evenings when Wishes occurs two or more hours prior to park close, Pete’s Silly Sideshow will remain open two hours before park close.

Reminder! Anna and Elsa from ‘Frozen’ Now Meeting Guests at Magic Kingdom Park: Anna and Elsa, from Disney’s Academy Award-winning film “Frozen,” have moved from Epcot to Magic Kingdom Park as of April 20. They join some of their fellow Disney Royals at Princess Fairytale Hall, where Disney FastPass+ service will be available for this character greeting experience. As part of this new arrangement, Snow White will appear in Town Square Courtyard at the beginning of the day, returning to Princess Fairytale Hall in the evenings.

Reminder! “Maleficent” Sneak Peek Showing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: As of April 18, a special extended sneak peek of "Maleficent" is playing continuously every 30 minutes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the ABC Sound Studio through mid-June. A two minute legacy featurette precedes a 9-min extended trailer. Both are in 3-D. Guests are given 3-D glasses to use during the show and a set of paper/cardstock Maleficent horns to keep. Many horned villains can be seen walking around Disney's Hollywood Studios now!

Maleficent Horns

Reminder! Grand Floridian Rooms Under Refurbishment: Guest rooms and buildings throughout Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa have been under refurbishment since early January and the project is scheduled to complete in August. Guest buildings will be taken out of inventory and will not be occupied by Guests while work is being performed. Next building to start refurb is Sago Cay - April 27.

Reminder! Epcot After Hours Wind Down Events: You are invited to relax, unwind and enjoy exclusive access to one of four favorite lounges around World Showcase during the new Epcot After Hours Wind Down, beginning April 17 through Sept. 15. This celebration takes place Thursday through Sunday evenings beginning after IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and continuing until 11 p.m. Following IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, take your pick from four select locations and enjoy cuisine created from award-winning Epcot Chefs and Sommeliers. Tickets can be reserved for the Epcot After Hours Wind Down in advance for one of the following locations around World Showcase: La Cava del Tequila – Mexico, Rose & Crown Pub – United Kingdom, Spice Road Table – Morocco, and Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar – Italy.

Reminder:  Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Continues: This fantastic and colorful festival continues. Here are some of the highlights this week: Flower Power Concert Series performances by Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone - April 25-27 at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 pm.; Designers' Stage - weekdays, noon and 3 pm will host Steve Aitken, How to Buy Mail Order Plants (12 p.m.) 10 Ways to Mess Up Your Garden (3 p.m.) - April 22-24; and Designers' Stage - Presented by HGTV - Friday-Sunday, noon and 3 pm will host David Bromstad, Color Splash - April 25-27. Numerous additional presentations take place daily through the day during the entire festival which runs through May 18.

New! Merchandise Events:

  • Now – May 18: Representatives from Rinse Bath and Body Co. will be on hand throughout the day to help you select the product that is right for your skin. Check them out, they’re amazing!
  • April 21 – May 4: Meet representatives from Kumquat Growers and Tropical Blossom Honey Co. who will be on hand from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., each day on the promenade around World Showcase in Epcot.

Closures and Refurbishments

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

Universal Orlando Resort

Harbor Nights Primavera

New! Harbor Nights Primavera April 25 at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel: Harbor Nights Primavera is a wine tasting and jazz event designed to capture the ambiance of the Mediterranean. Enjoy select wines and sparkling wines, gourmet food samples, and live music from Johnny Cool & the Mobster Swing Band! Harbor Nights takes place under the twinkling lights of the Harbor Piazza at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando.  General admission: $45 in advance/$55 at the door. VIP/reserved tickets: $75 online only (reserved seating includes private wine station, passed hors d'oeuvres, plus all the benefits of a regular Harbor Nights ticket!) For more information and reservations, call 407-503-1200.

New! Velvet Sessions with Berlin featuring Terri Nunn April 24, 2014: Velvet Bar hosts the city's only rock 'n' roll cocktail party on the last Thursday of the month. Admission is $29 on-line or $35 at the door and includes FREE specialty drinks & finger foods and warm-up tunes from 6:30-8:30pm, plus FREE valet parking. Cash bars and live band from 8:00pm onward. Each "session" combines creative cocktails with live music from some of the hottest rock bands.

New! Universal Vacation Discount: For a limited time, Universal Orlando Resort has offered a new discount vacation offer called the "2 Park, 3 Night Getaway." From only $315 per adult, you can experience an unforgettable journey through Universal's Islands of Adventure, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! And, right next door, at Universal Studios, you go behind the scenes, beyond the screen, and right into the action of your favorite movies! You can experience it all in one, unique discount vacation package! With this amazing offer, you can choose from free airport transportation or a free $50 gift card. Plus, receive a 3rd day ticket for free if you book by May 9th.  Act fast as there is a very limited booking window! View Details.

New! Loews Hotels are Hiring: Want an exciting new job? Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific and Universal's Cabana Bay Resort at Universal Orlando are seeking motivated candidates to be part of their world class resort destinations. Find out more about our upcoming Grand Hire event on Apr 25-26 at: http://conta.cc/1i6OgXJ.

Reminder: Two Sold Out Concerts at Universal Hard Rock Live: On Sunday, April 27, "An Evening with Rob Thomas" live performance will take place at Universal's Hard Rock Live. On Monday, April 28, Lana Del Rey will be performing. Both shows are already sold out.

Reminder! Impact Wrestling Taping Select Dates March through May: Guests can watch Impact Wrestling live events and tapings at Universal Orlando April 27 – 28, and May 7 – 10. Impact Wresting events are first-come, first-served. Please note: Taping times are subject to change, so for the most up-to-date information please call 407-224-6000. Numbered tickets will be distributed starting at 10 AM at the CityWalk Blue Man Group walkway. These tickets are your spot in line, therefore the earlier you pick them up, the closer you will be to the front of the audience line. You will then be able to enjoy your day in the park or CityWalk and come back at the time the attendant tells you. Numbered tickets are limited to 10 per person.

Closures and Refurbishments

Universal's Islands of Adventure

  • None scheduled

Universal Studios

  • Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 4/19, 4/23, 4/25 & 4/26 no shows scheduled

New Feel The Force Premium Package Announced for Star Wars Weekends

New VIP Experience Available for 2014 Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World® Resort

Feel The Force Premium Package

Image: Property of Walt Disney World Resort

Feel The Force Premium Package

In March, we told you about two new Star Wars character dining experiences will be introduced to coincide with Star Wars Weekends. Today, we want to share some exciting news about a new VIP experience that is now available for booking during Star Wars Weekends (every Friday-Saturday-Sunday, May 16 through June 15, 2014).

This new experience, called Feel The Force Premium Package provides Guests with reserved VIP viewing for two of the most popular Star Wars Weekends event spectaculars:

  • the daytime Legends of the Force Celebrity Motorcade
  • the nighttime Symphony in the Stars fireworks show.

In addition to premium viewing  soft drinks, water and snacks will be served for the motorcade and a dessert party will accompany the fireworks show.

Guests will also receive a souvenir digital photo card that captures images of the Star Wars characters and events from that day as well as a series of complimentary Star Wars photos.

Price: adults $54, children $32 (per day, tax and gratuity included). Discounts do not apply.

Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade

Star Wars Weekend Celebrity Motorcade

Image: Property of Walt Disney World Resort

Each day of Star Wars Weekends, a motorcade featuring several of favorite Star Wars characters and celebrities makes it's way from the front of the park all the way to the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage—concluding with a grand celebrity welcome. This even draws many, many guests hoping to catch a glimpse or photo with the real-life stars of the saga. In previous years, celebrities featured were Jake Lloyd (young Anakin Skywalker), David Prowse (Darth Vader), Kenny Baker (R2D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), and Anthony Daniels (C3PO) among others. Though the complete list has not yet been announced (correction: the list was just announced) for 2014, it has been declared that Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) will make his first ever appearance June 6-8! You can be the crowds will be intense during Hamill's appearance, so the premium package is a great opportunity for a VIP experience to avoid the masses.

It's often very hot and humid if June at the Walt Disney World Resort, so having some space around you as well as soft drinks and water in the VIP parade viewing area will surely be a welcome relief!

The afternoon experience is from 11am – 12pm, with motorcade occurring at 11:30am. Guests will meet with a Greeter located at Min and Bill's Dockside Diner starting at 10:30am.  Greeter will be available until noon to accept check-ins.  Guests will receive a wristband upon check-in that will also allow entry in the evening dessert party.

Star Wars Weekend VIP experience check in location

Image: Property of Walt Disney World Resort

Symphony in the Stars

New this year, each evening during Star Wars Weekends, guests will experience an incredible nighttime spectacular in the sky above Disney's Hollywood Studios. The finale celebration will feature Star Wars characters and a frenzy of fireworks, complete with Glow with the Show effects. Symphony in the Stars debuted in 2013 during a Limited Time Magic celebration on "Star Wars Day," May the 4th. The show was incredibly popular and drew some of the largest crowds ever seen at Disney's Hollywood Studios. While the crowds are not likely to be quite so significant due to the fact the presentation will appear on all three nights each weekend, it's still likely to be very busy. In order to perform these shows in a manner that favors guest safety, several areas of Disney's Hollywood Studios are closed off due to falling debris from the show. This forces guests to the front of the park and creates a crowded atmosphere.

Symphony in the Stars fireworks dessert party takes place from 9:00 PM to 10:00pm with the firework shows beginning at approximately 9:30pm. If Guests missed the afternoon check-in time, check-in for the dessert party will start at 8:30pm at Min and Bill's Dockside Diner.

Beverages include soda, water, tea and coffee. The fireworks dessert party includes a specialty beverage with an alcoholic option. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.

Again, the ability to experience the show from a reserved VIP area and to experience fantastic desserts and beverages at the same time are excellent perks for guests taking advantage of this package!

Here's our video from last year's Symphony in the Sky

To make a reservation for the Feel The Force Premium Package, you can call (407) WDW-DINE from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM Eastern Time or contact your travel agent for assistance.

 

Spotlight on Animator’s Palate

Animator’s Palate is one of the most unique restaurants on Disney Cruise Line! In addition to dinner, guests also receive a show highlighting Disney Animation at its best. Animator’s Palate is the only restaurant that can be found on all four ships. 

animatorsWhen you walk into Animator’s Palate on the Disney Wonder the restaurant is black and white.  Throughout your dinner the room transforms into a world of color.  On the re-imagined Disney Magic, Sorcerer Mickey headlines the Drawn to Magic dinner show.

You go from black and white character sketches to color sketches to full color film clips of your favorite Disney and Pixar films.  Animator’s Palate was given a new design for the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. The restaurant is decorated to look like an animator’s office.

crush

Guests on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy get an interactive show headlined by Crush from Finding Nemo.  Crush moves from screen to screen talking to guests in the “big human tank.”

 

 

animators palate

Animation Magic is the dinner show on 7 night cruises on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic.  When you first sit down for dinner you are asked to draw your own character.  During dinner, your character becomes part of the show.  You will see each of your characters perform on screen and your name will appear in the credits as you have now become an animator!

 

The cuisine in Animator’s Palate is pacific rim.  The menu features items such as Grilled Pacific Black Cod, Animator’s Trio of Veal, and Lemon Thyme Marinated Chicken Breasts. The fun décor, delicious food, and unique entertainment all come together to make Animator’s Palate my favorite main dining restaurant on Disney Cruise Line.

Written by Shante Carson -- Shante is a Disney Cruise Expert with over ten cruises taken on the Disney Dream, Disney Wonder, Disney Magic, and Disney Fantasy.  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.

New Universal Vacation Discounts with Free Tickets & Free Gift Card

New Universal Vacation Discounts

2-Park Getaway Package

For a limited time, Universal Orlando Resort has offered a new discount vacation offer called the "2 Park, 3 Night Getaway." From only $315 per adult, you can experience an unforgettable journey through Universal's Islands of Adventure, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! And, right next door, at Universal Studios, you go behind the scenes, beyond the screen, and right into the action of your favorite movies! You can experience it all in one, unique discount vacation package!

With this amazing offer, you can choose from free airport transportation or a free $50 gift card. Plus, receive a 3rd day ticket for free if you book by May 9th.  Act fast as there is a very limited booking window!

2 Park, 3 Night Getaway Details

  • 3-Night hotel accommodations
  • 2-Day Park-to-Park Ticket with the 3rd Day Free! (Must use by 5/22/2014)
  • Free Universal Express Unlimited access (not valid at Cabana Bay Beach Resort or Universal Partner Hotels)
  • Early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme parks open
  • Access to live entertainment at Universal City Walk
  • Free round-trip transportation to the Orlando International Airport - OR - a $50 gift card!

You must book this package by May 9 to receive all these great benefits, so book today!

To learn more or to make a reservation,
call us at 877-918-8941 or request a price online.

This offer is valid for:

  • Bookings made now – May 31, 2014
  • Travel dates now – June 21, 2014, August 3 – November 6, November 10 – November 25, and November 30 – December 18, 2014

For an extra bonus, this offer can be combined with Destinations in Florida's exclusive Cabana Bay offer too!

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Special Offer from Destinations in Florida Travel for Cabana Bay Beach Resort Grand Opening

*Note: Bookings made after May 9 will receive all of these great benefits except the 3rd Day Free theme park tickets.

Luxury Meets Magic at New Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

New Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World Opens August 2014

Beginning this summer, you can experience the unrivaled quality and service of a Four Seasons Resort on your next vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort! A new 444 room Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World is in development within the gates of Walt Disney World property. This vibrant lakeside resort is located just minutes from the theme parks and includes active recreation, a rejuvenating spa, championship golf, world-class dining and remarkable  gardens edged by a natural Everglades sanctuary that’s home to indigenous wildlife.

Take a look at the stunning resort rooms and the incredible list of resort amenities below.

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Resort Highlights (from Four Seasons News Release)

  • Rooms with a very special view – In addition to rolling greens and parkland, many accommodations offer spectacular vistas over the Magic Kingdom® Park’s nightly fireworks display from the comfort of one’s furnished balcony.  Among 444 rooms and suites decorated in a fresh and contemporary style is a 16th floor Royal Suite that can be configured with up to three separate living rooms and nine – yes, nine - bedrooms.
Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

  • A world-class culinary experience – After a day of eating on the run, Four Seasons invites guests to enjoy creative cuisine prepared with the finest ingredients at its restaurants and lounges. Ravello is a culinary trip to the Amalfi coast – colourful, lively, and rich with the aromas and flavours wafting from the open kitchen.  Capa,named for the matador’s red cape, sets the stage for tapas and steaks with rooftop fireworks views.  PB+Gstands for pool, bar and grill, where guests can choose creative salads and poolside fare coupled with smokehouse BBQ specialties and hang out in the lounge with its central bar, dine on floating pavilions, or simply grab and go. At Plancha in the golf clubhouse, all guests can savour Cuban American cuisine in a lakeside setting.
  • The Spa at Four Seasons – Inspired by the natural beauty of central Florida’s flora and fauna, the world class Spa will offer 18 luxuriant treatment rooms - including two bungalows for private retreats – plus men’s and women’s private outdoor lounges and whirlpool.
Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

  • Explorer Island – A five acre (two hectare) playground packed with fun for all ages, Explorer Island includes a 7,590 square foot (705 square metre) family pool with a lazy river winding around a “ruined” mansion, climbing wall, waterslides, and a Kids for All Seasons program.  Look forward to beach volleyball, basketball, a video gaming centre, outdoor movie nights on the Starstruck screen, and more.
Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

  • Central Florida’s most beautiful golf course – Designed by Tom Fazio and managed by Four Seasons, the Resort’s Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary golf course is unique in the region for its rolling hills and lush landscaping – reopening in fall 2014.
Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

  • More fun – Three Har-Tru tennis courts, a 24-hour fitness centre, and an adults only pool surrounded by private cabanas.
  • Customizable event facilities – A 37,450 square foot (3,480 square metre) state-of-the-art conference facility with many naturally lit indoor and outdoor spaces with endless configurations for corporate and social events small and large – including up to 720 guests under sunshine or starlight.
  • Access to many special Walt Disney World® offerings - including special on-site Disney Character Breakfasts with Goofy and Pals, plus an onsite Disney Planning Center and the unique option of expert event services from one of the world’s best entertainment companies.

Opening Summer 2014. Now accepting reservations for arrivals from August 3, 2014. 

Pirate Rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

pirate roomDisney’s Caribbean Beach Resort has a lot to offer families that desire a serene and comfortable stay when visiting Walt Disney World.  The Pirate Rooms that were added to the resort in 2009 are a hidden treasure to delight any young boy!  They are located in the Trinidad South section of the resort.

True to Disney’s reputation for attention to every detail, these uniquely themed rooms feature swashbuckling décor from stem to stern.  Kids will have so much fun sleeping and playing on the very cool pirate-ship beds! The design on the bedspreads have authentic looking treasure - gold coins and jewels.  Pirate rooms have carpet designed to look like wood planks with pegs. The refrigerator and bedside table are shaped like old barrels. Bureau drawers are made to look like crates and the table is decorated with a compass. You’ll find buccaneer accessories throughout the bathroom too!   The shower curtain is decorated with pirate ships and a picture the Flying Dutchman is carved into the wall in the shower area.

The Pirate theme continues to the walls with artwork and a room dividing curtain showing scenes from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Magic Kingdom.

Take a trip to the Caribbean and add a little pirate fun!  The laid-back atmosphere of the Caribbean Beach Resort and the smile on your little boy’s face may be just what you’ll need to make this Disney World vacation the BEST vacation ever!

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.

 

Disneyland News and Updates for the Week of April 17, 2014

Disneyland News

Join us every week to read about what's new at the Disneyland Resort in California! This week's Disneyland News features updates on a sneak preview of "Maleficent," Disneyland Resort restaurant news and more fun at the Springtime Roundup!

What’s New This Week?

maleficent disneyland news sneak preview

Disneyland Resort in California

New! “Maleficent” Sneak Peek Coming to Disney California Adventure Park April 18, 2014: The thrilling final trailer for “Maleficent” was released a few weeks ago, and starting April 18, 2014 a special extended (twelve-minute) sneak peek will be playing daily at Bug’s Life Theater at Disney California Adventure Park through mid-June.

New! Eggs-traordinary Art at the Springtime Roundup: Per the Disney Parks Blog: "There are dozens of reasons to visit the Springtime Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Disneyland park, but seeing egg artisan Ray Brown in action is definitely a fan favorite. Ray is part of an elite team who create ‘eggs’-tra special works of art each day by designing, painting and sculpting the oval shapes into one-of-a-kind Disney characters. Recently Ray shared some of his top tips for creating the perfect egg with us..."

New! Plaza Inn Refurbishing  and Alternate Character Dining Experiences: The Plaza Inn at Disneyland Park will be closed for refurbishment from April 21 - May 15. “Breakfast with Minnie” will not be available during this time. Character dining experiences will still be available at “Surf’s Up Breakfast with Mickey” at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, “Chip ‘n Dale’s Critter Breakfast” at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel® & Spa, Goofy’s Kitchen at Disneyland Hotel and "Ariel’s Disney Princess Celebration” in Disney California Adventure Park.

New! Disneyland Resort Wins Multiple Southern California Restaurant Writers Awards: For almost 40 years, Southern California Restaurant Writers Inc. hast kept a finger on the pulse of the region’s best dining. This year, the group awarded Disneyland Resort with a dozen awards across eight restaurants. Congratulations to all the winners! Here are the awards:

Golden Bacchus Wine Award (the highest wine award):

  • Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge (Disney California Adventure park)
  • Napa Rose (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa)
  • Steakhouse 55 (Disneyland Hotel)

5 Stars (the highest award):

  • Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge
  • Napa Rose
  • Steakhouse 55

4 Stars:

  • Ariel’s Grotto (Disney California Adventure park)
  • Blue Bayou Restaurant (Disneyland park)
  • Café Orleans (Disneyland park)
  • Storytellers Cafe (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa)

3 Stars:

  • Goofy’s Kitchen (Disneyland Hotel)

Manager of the Year:

  • Jose Barragan – Barragan has been with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for 17 years and manages Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure park.

Reminder: Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's Menu Enhanced: On Tuesday, April 8, Tangaroa Terrace and Trader's Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel debuted an enhanced menu featuring exciting new menu offerings.

Tangaroa Terrace has added the following: Mickey Shaped Waffles Dusted with Powdered Sugar, served with Island Fruit and your choice of Bacon or Portuguese Sausage; Shrimp Tacos with Sautéed Shrimp, Cabbage and Lime Tartar Sauce, wrapped in Corn Tortillas, served with Tropical Slaw; Loco Moco - A juicy Hamburger Patty served over Rice, topped with Brown Gravy and a Fried Egg, served with a side of Island Fruit; and Slow Roasted Kalua-style Pork Sandwich with Barbecue Sauce and Tropical Slaw on a Hawaiian Roll.

Trader Sams has added two new beverages: Passionate Python - This breathtaking potion has a squeeze of citrus juices, wrapped in passion fruit and rum that will really get a hold on you! It's Dark and Aged Rums, Red Passion Fruit, and Tropical Juices garnished with an Orange Peel “Python" and Murky Mojito - Refreshing as a scoop of deepest river water… Sam stirs up rums, lime juice, mint and Angostura bitters that’ll float your boat. It's rum, fresh Lime Juice, Mint, and Organic Agave Nectar topped with Angostura Bitters.

Reminder! 2014 Egg-stravaganza at the Disneyland Resort: From April 10 – 20, you’ll be able to search for special hidden “eggs” themed to Disney characters in Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure. Have fun exploring the parks hunting for ‘eggs’ that portray Disney characters! Record your discoveries by placing the corresponding sticker on the specially themed Egg-stravaganza map to represent that location. Maps and stickers can be purchased for $4.95, plus tax at the following parks and locations:

  • Disney California Adventure park – Elias & Co., Oswald’s, Radiator Springs Curios, Rushin’ River Outfitters, Studio Store and Treasures in Paradise.
  • Disneyland park – Disney Showcase, Fairy Tale Treasures, Gag Factory, Pieces of Eight and Pooh Corner

Whether you choose to hunt for eggs or not, return your map to the redemption location at Elias & Co. at Disney California Adventure park or Disney Showcase in Disneyland park, and participate in an ‘egg-scramble’ to pick up your surprise! Spoiler alert! The surprise you receive at the redemption location are eggs similar to those you are searching for, but approximately 2 inches tall. It will be a blind choice. Basically think of it like a ‘find the peanut’ game. An egg will be placed under each larger ‘egg’ and they will be scrambled up. When you select the larger egg of your choice, you will find out which ‘surprise egg’ is underneath.

Reminder! Springtime Roundup Continues: Starting March 28, Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland was decked out springtime décor. Some of your favorite Disney characters are stopping by to meet you, along with Mr. Easter Bunny! Other rare hare sightings include Br’er Rabbit, White Rabbit, Thumper and more. Also, an energetic country band takes the stage for several daily performances. This group of dancing cowboys and cowgirls come together for an exciting hoedown including a “bunny hop” that will get you joining right in! Springtime Roundup is also going to bring egg art demonstrations, fun crafts, yummy treats and more. It kicked off March 28 at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and keeps going until April 20!

Reminder! New Snacks for Springtime at the Jamboree: As part of the Springtime at the Jamboree celebration at Disneyland Resort (March 28 - April 20), Disneyland  will be offering bunny cookie decorating kits, Apple Pie Burritos and a variety of other tasty offerings.

New! Merchandise Events

  • April 18 – 20: Hop in and meet Precious Moments doll maker Linda Rick who will be appearing throughout the weekend from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. at World of Disney Store in the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort to celebrate the release of her Spring collection. In case you miss her the first weekend, Linda will return April 25 – 27 too.
  • Artist in Residence: Appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month of April is artist Matt Spangler. Look for special artist showcases on the following dates: April 4, 18, 19, 20 and 25, 26, 27 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Reminder! Tickets for the Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas in Disneyland Trading Event taking place June 13 – 14, 2014, are available now.

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the scheduled renovations and closures at the Disneyland Resort.

That's it for this week's Disneyland news. Join us every week for more!

Book your Disney & Orlando vacation with a local travel agency. World famous services, free gifts, guaranteed lowest prices, and all at no cost to you! Book your vacation with the local experts - we live where you're traveling! Call 877-918-8941 or visit us online

What’s New for Week of Apr 16, 2014 – Walt Disney World & Universal Orlando News

There are new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. Join us every week to read about "What's New" in Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando! This week features a new after-hours event at Epcot, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train news, Polynesian Construction updates, Easter activities, and the Knight Bus arrival at Universal Orlando!

What’s New This Week?

Epcot Wind Down

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

New! Epcot After Hours Wind Down Events: You are invited to relax, unwind and enjoy exclusive access to one of four favorite lounges around World Showcase during the new Epcot After Hours Wind Down, beginning April 17 through Sept. 15. This celebration takes place Thursday through Sunday evenings beginning after IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and continuing until 11 p.m. Following IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, take your pick from four select locations and enjoy cuisine created from award-winning Epcot Chefs and Sommeliers. Tickets can be reserved for the Epcot After Hours Wind Down in advance for one of the following locations around World Showcase:

  • La Cava del Tequila – Mexico
  • Rose & Crown Pub – United Kingdom
  • Spice Road Table – Morocco
  • Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar – Italy

New! Seven Dwarfs Mine Train News: On April 12, 2014, vehicles were spotted on the tracks in test runs of The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Disney has described this attraction as having an innovative new ride system that causes cars to swing back and forth while they travel down the track. The swinging motion is clearly seen in the video. The video below was taken at night and was shot from a few different areas where the vehicles were visible. In most cases, the construction walls have already been removed, but the scene of the vehicles going up a lift is taken from a distance and viewed over the walls on the Tomorrowland Speedway side of the mountain. The official dedication of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is scheduled for May 2. We hope to see soft openings very soon!

Disney Parks Blog also shared a sneak peek at some of the animatronic characters we'll see inside the Mine. Take a look:

New! Voices of Liberty Sing New Tunes: Voices of Liberty, the amazing a capella group performing at The American Adventure pavilion at Epcot, occasionally expanded their repertoire of treasured favorites from the American songbook with new tunes.  Recently, the group has added arrangements of four new songs to the lineup. Two of the new songs, Josh Groban’s inspirational “You Raise Me Up” and Academy Award-winner “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen, were debuted in March when Voices of Liberty performed at the Disney Grants presentation for the Central Florida community. The other new tunes are “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”

New! Peter Pan and Wendy's Temporary Meet and Greet Location: April 12-20, Peter Pan and Wendy will be meeting Guests near the Adventureland bridge. On April 21, they will return back to their usual meeting spot in Fantasyland.

New! Pin Trading Night at ESPN Wide World of Sports: Calling all Traders! Join us for a Frozen evening of pin trading at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex this Tuesday, April 22, from 6-9 p.m. The event will take place in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill and adjacent lobby area. Space will be extremely limited at this event so it is asked that our traders please limit the amount of items they bring. Come meet avid and novice traders, make friends and share stories about your collections!

New! Easter Egg Parade at Chef Mickey's: Disney's Contemporary Resort's Bakery team's second-annual Easter Egg Parade will be Thursday, April 17, at Chef Mickey's. After the parade, all of the decorated eggs will be on display in front of the mural on the fourth floor concourse. Make sure you stop by between Thursday, April 17, and Monday, April 21.

New! Easter Sunday Religious Services Available: For Guests celebrating Easter, the Walt Disney World Resort will host religious services on Sunday, April 20, 2014, in the Fantasia Ballroom of Disney's Contemporary Resort.  The service schedule will be as follows: Catholic Mass: 8:00am and 10:15am and Protestant Service: 9:00am. Parking at Disney's Contemporary Resort will be limited. Guests staying in nearby Magic Kingdom area hotels should take monorail or watercraft transportation to Disney's Contemporary Resort. All other resort Guests must use Walt Disney World Resort transportation to the Magic Kingdom Park and then transfer to a shuttle bus to Disney's Contemporary Resort, located at the bus loading area near the park's main entrance. The shuttle will begin running at 7:00am.

New! Easter Egg Hunts and Egg Relays in the United Kingdom: Hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny, this Easter eggsperience on Sunday, April 20 combines the fun of an old-fashioned Easter Egg Hunt (ages 3-9), with the fast-paced excitement of an Easter Egg Relay (ages 8-12.) A smaller egg hunt area will be provided in a separate garden for children under 3 years old. Guests can check in at the Easter Basket podium in the United Kingdom up to 30 minutes before each Hunt and Relay. Space is limited.

  • Egg hunt times: every 10 minutes from 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Relay times: every 40 minutes after the hour with the first relay at 11:40 a.m. and the final relay at 3:40 p.m.
  • Easter basket toss: continuous in the United Kingdom gardens
  • Character meet and greets: Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will show off their Easter finery as they pose for photos and sign autographs continuously from 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

New! Animal Kingdom Annual Party for the Planet April 22: With April being Earth month, it’s a special time for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Throughout the month, the park will be celebrating with special merchandise and events in the park. Guests can find out what they can do to make their backyards wildlife-friendly and discover other ways to connect with, and conserve, wildlife in nature. Though some offerings have started, the event culminates on April 22 with our annual Party for the Planet Activities at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. The party starts in the main entrance, where Guests can pick up a special Party for the Planet postcard and stop by a display of wildlife-friendly backyard habitats. The fun continues on to Rafiki’s Planet Watch where families can play interactive games, do special activities, and learn how their purchases can make a big difference for wildlife and wild places. Guests can also talk to Cast Members who have worked on conservation projects around the world. Special activities and merchandise will be sticking around Animal Kingdom longer to celebrate Earth Day. Through April 26, face painters and caricature artists will be extending into Rafiki’s Planet Watch from park open - close. These Operating Participants will be featuring bear-themed designs in celebration of Disneynature’s “Bears”. From April 21 – 23, vendors will be positioned throughout the park selling “green” merchandise. Two special plush will be sold throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom with proceeds going to the National Park Foundation through Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund. One dollar from each sale of the Safari-costumed Duffy the Disney Bear and Amber from Disneynature’s “Bears” will be donated to the National Park Foundation.

New! Visit VISION House at Innoventions to Help Environment: On Earth Day, April 22, VISION House is the place to be! This 5-7 minute Earth Day activity at VISION House encourages Guests ages 6-10 to learn about environmentally friendly products to help save the environment and wildlife. This great activity helps kids realize small choices can help the environment. Learn how to be a “smart” shopper when it comes to protecting the environment and wildlife. The Green Shopping Spree activity will run from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. with the last activity beginning at 3:30 p.m. Just by visiting VISION House in Innoventions East, Guests can plant a tree! April 20-26, Green Builder Media will donate $1 for every Guest who visits the VISION House exhibit to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to plant a tree.

New! Celebrate Earth Day at The Seas with Nemo and Friends: At Epcot, Earth Day will be celebrated at The Seas with Nemo & Friends, where children can find out (by trying it!) how turtle excluder devices protect sea turtles, and learn about conservation efforts to protect coral reefs, manatees, sharks and the many other amazing creatures that inhabit our oceans.

New! “Maleficent” Sneak Peek Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios April 18, 2014: The thrilling final trailer for “Maleficent” has just been released, and starting April 18, 2014 a special extended sneak peek will be playing daily at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the ABC Sound Studio through mid-June.

New! Kona Island Sushi Bar New Menu Options: The little Kona Island sushi bar in the upstairs lobby of Disney's Polynesian Resort is now an extension of the restaurant, and the sushi is crafted in the dining room in the former dessert show kitchen, giving chefs plenty of room to create specialties from sashimi and simple rolls to more elaborate combos. If you enjoyed the Kona Island sushi bar before, you can still grab a seat there, no reservations required, and the entire restaurant menu is also now available. But now you can start with a little sake and more than a dozen choices on the sushi menu.

Reminder! Magic Kingdom to Easter Enhancements: From April 13 through April 20, the Magic Kingdom will have Easter activities, mainly an opportunity to meet the Easter Bunny. In recent years, both Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will be available daily at Bunny Lane Garden (between City Hall and Chamber of Commerce) to meet & greet with guests. PhotoPass photographers are expected to be on hand to take pictures. In addition, Mr. Bunny will also make a special pre-parade appearance on April 19 and 20, along with other springtime characters and dancers, and the Azalea Trail Maids. Also, to accommodate peak attendance, from April 13-19, the ‘Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade’ will step off twice daily at Noon and 3:30 p.m. The Main Street Trolley Show performers will be sporting their spring attire, singing and dancing as they welcome Guests to the most magical place on earth!

Easter Bunny at Disney World

Reminder! Anna and Elsa from ‘Frozen’ Heading to Magic Kingdom Park: We’re excited to share that Anna and Elsa, from Disney’s Academy Award-winning film “Frozen,” will soon move from Epcot to Magic Kingdom Park. Starting April 20, they’ll join some of their fellow Disney Royals at Princess Fairytale Hall, where Disney FastPass+ service will be available for this character greeting experience.

Reminder! Participate in a Special Muppet Mission in Epcot World Showcase: You are invited to take part in a Muppet scavenger hunt to celebrate the new film, “Muppets Most Wanted,” in theaters now. In the Great Constantine Caper, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to travel World Showcase in search of Muppets-related items to track down and capture the evil villain from the film, Constantine. The journey starts at Showcase Plaza, where you can pick-up a clue packet (great, free souvenir!) and begin your trip through two separate missions: one through German and Italy, concluding in the America Adventure pavilion, or the other through the United Kingdom, France, and concluding in the American Adventure pavilion. Find fun gags typical of the Muppets and capture Constantine before being inducted as an official agent of the Muppet Bureau of Investigation (MBI).

Muppets at Epcot

Reminder:  Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Continues: This fantastic and colorful festival continues. Here are some of the highlights this week: Flower Power Concert Series performances by The Grass Roots - April 18-20 at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 pm.; Designers' Stage - weekdays, noon and 3 pm will host Janit Calvo, Gardening in Miniature - Small trees and plants that work (12 p.m.) Gardening in Miniature - How to build a garden that lasts (3 p.m.) - April 15-17; and Designers' Stage - Presented by HGTV - Friday-Sunday, noon and 3 pm will host John Gidding, Curb Appeal - April 18-20. Numerous additional presentations take place daily through the day during the entire festival which runs through May 18.

Reminder / Update! Polynesian Construction & Refurbishment Schedule: Disney's Polynesian Resort has many areas currently under refurbishment including the parking lot, the Great Ceremonial Hall, Sunset Pointe, The Never Land Club, portions of the beach and Capt. Cook's. On March 31, Moana Mickey's Arcade permanently closed. On April 9, Capt. Cook's temporarily relocated to a location formerly used for cast dining. The entrance is located under the stairwell below 'Ohana. The temporary location will have modified operating hours and menu item. There will be no Dole Whip soft serve machine at the temporary location. The newly refurbished Capt. Cook's location is expected to reopen this summer. On the beach area, you can see new DVC over-water bungalows being constructed. No completion date has been announced yet.

Capt Cook's Temp location at Disney's Polynesian - Seating

Capt Cook's Temp location at Disney's Polynesian - Food stations

Breakfast Menu at Capt Cooks Temp Location

Lunch and Dinner Menu at Capt Cooks Temp Location

Kids Menu at Capt Cooks Temp Location

Polynesian DVC Polynesian Construction

Update! Castle Painting Complete: Back in January, we informed you Cinderella's Castle would have a crane in view through the end of March for removal of the Dream Lights as well as routine painting. Painting was taking place on the castle turrets from mid-March through early April, which  included a "new" silver color. There was some concern among fans if this silver color is a permanent change, but it was more or less a "primer." The turrets have all returned to their usual blue hue and the fresh paint looks great!

Cinderella Castle Magic Kingdom

Update! Changes in Progress Around Iconic Magic Kingdom "Hub": According to the Disney Parks Blog, "We’re adding several new elements to the area, including sculpted gardens, additional pathways, expanded restaurant seating and even a special viewing area for fireworks and other performances." Other enhancements will include new trees and more landscaping in the Central Plaza area. To make it easier to move around, two additional pathways will be built around the plaza. Also, seating outside of Casey’s Corner and The Plaza restaurant will nearly double in size. This multi-phase enhancement project has already begun and it’ll be completed in 2015. Casey's Corner seating has already been increased. The castle moats were drained in preparation for construction but they have been refilled with dyed blue-green waters. Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe's formerly outdoor seating is now enclosed and Swan Boat Landing has been removed. Also, The Hub popcorn cart has been relocated near the entrance of Adventureland while work takes place.

Casey's Corner Expanded Outdoor Seating
Castle Moats refilled

New! Merchandise Events:

  • Now – May 18: Representatives from Rinse Bath and Body Co. will be on hand throughout the day to help you select the product that is right for your skin. My favorite? Definitely, the lip balms. You should check them out, they’re amazing!
  • April 7 – 20: Renowned artist David E. Doss will be appearing daily on the promenade around World Showcase in Epcot. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection! Learn more.
  • April 21 – May 4: Meet representatives from Kumquat Growers and Tropical Blossom Honey Co. who will be on hand from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., each day on the promenade around World Showcase in Epcot.

Closures and Refurbishments

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

Universal Orlando Resort

The Knight Bus from the "Harry Potter" series has arrived at Universal Studios. (Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel / April 11, 2014)

New! Knight Bus Parked in Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley: The Knight Bus is now parked in the London section of Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is still under construction. In Harry Potter films including "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", this triple-decker bus serves as public transportation for wizards in need and drives erratically through London.

New! Easter Brunch at Loews Royal Pacific Resort: On April 20, 2014, guests can enjoy an Easter Brunch at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. The brunch offers a tropical paradise setting for Easter Sunday. Islands Dining Room will offer brunch from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm featuring roasted leg of lamb, stuffed chicken breast, pork loin, Port Canaveral red snapper, seafood raw bar, sushi station, stir fry station, omelet and waffle station, plus a delectable selection of breads, pastries, cakes, pies and tortes. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, face painter and balloon artist. Adults: $54 | Children ages 3 – 9: $24 (under 3 complimentary).

Reminder! Comedian Joe Rogan at Hard Rock Live: See Comedian / TV star Joe Rogan perform his standup routine at Universal Orlando's Hard Rock Live April 18, 2014. $45.50 First 2 Rows and Lower Balcony $37.50 Main Floor and Upper Balcony Advance $42.50 Main Floor & Upper Balcony Day of Show. . Doors open at 7:00 pm. Buy tickets here or call 407-351-LIVE (5483).

Reminder! Kool and the Gang Set to Perform This Saturday at Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras Celebration: The excitement of Mardi Gras continues this Saturday, April 19 with a performance by Kool and the Gang ! Concerts begin at 8:30 pm.

Reminder! Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Opened March 31: The new hotel is the fourth hotel within Universal Orlando Resort and evokes the classic, retro-feel of iconic beach resorts from the 1950s and 60’s.  An area located around the North Courtyard will open March 31, followed later in 2014 by an area located around the South Courtyard.  Each area will have a unique look and feel. Families will have two options for experiencing the hotel – a value-priced standard guest room or a moderately priced, 430-square-foot family suite that sleeps six.  Family suite rates will begin at $174 per-night; standard room rates will begin at $119 per-night.  Destinations in Florida is offering a special bonus on Universal's Cabana Bay Resort bookings now through April 20, 2014. See offer details.

We had a chance to tour this amazing resort and it is fantastic. Photos can be found here and a video tour is available here.

Closures and Refurbishments

Universal's Islands of Adventure

  • None scheduled

Universal Studios

  • Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 4/19, 4/23, 4/25 & 4/26 no shows scheduled

Book your Disney & Orlando vacation with a local travel agency. World famous services, free gifts, guaranteed lowest prices, and all at no cost to you! Book your vacation with the local experts - we live where you're traveling! Call 877-918-8941 or visit us online

Enjoy a PEEPtastic Week Lots of PEEPS at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin!

Enjoy a Sweet Easter Week Filled with Fun for the Whole Family...with lots of PEEPS ®

If you love PEEPS, you'll want to check out the PEEPtastic Easter Week at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Expect non-stop fun out by the Swan and Dolphin beach and pool area Easter week as their staff has a long list of incredibly fun contests, games and Easter themed activities for all ages. Plus a BIG surprise that they are keeping a secret until Saturday, April 19! You'll just have to be there!

Special Rate For A Limited Time!
Special rate of $189* is available for a limited time for stays April 16 - 23.

Special PEEPS® Welcome Samples
Receive complimentary samples of PEEPS® marshmallow candies at check-in as well as from the Easter Bunny as he greets you around the resort.

PEEPS® Treats at Select Restaurants
The Swan and Dolphin chefs are going all-out to create some specialty items featuring PEEPS® brand marshmallow. And don't forget to make reservations for the special holiday dinner buffet with visits from the lovable Disney characters. Menu.

Meet and Greet the Easter Bunny
The Easter Bunny will be available to meet you, sign autographs and pose for a picture with you in a special PEEPS® Easter setting. Larger-than-life PEEPS® will be found across the property, as the familiar chick-shaped marshmallows will be the inspiration for several 3-ft., 50 pound white chocolate sculptures.

Easter Games and Fun
Enjoy glow in the dark Easter egg hunts, make s'mores out of PEEPS® by the camp fire and enjoy Easter crafts and games
throughout the week.

Express Your Peepsonality® on Pinterest
Pin & win your way to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Grand Prize winner of this contest wins a trip for four people to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin including airfare, Disney theme park tickets and more! Ends April 30, 2014.

Plus More!

Daily Activities*

  • 9:00am-9:00pm: Pool open
  • 9:00am-9:00pm: Equipment for beach and water volleyball, basketball, ping pong, football, and tennis will be available on courts and in either the Swan or Dolphin health clubs (quantities limited)
  • 9:00am-7:00pm: Cabana Beach Hut open
  • 10:00am-7:00pm: Grotto waterslide open
  • 11:00am-6:00pm: Swan paddle boats ($15 per half hour) please inquire at Cabana Beach Hut
  • 11:00am-6:00pm: Hair wraps, hair braiding and temporary tattoos (costs apply)
  • 12:00pm-5:00pm: Poolside music and activities which may include:
    • Jumbo Easter egg race
    • Dive for eggs
    • Bunny hop relay
    • Minute-to-win-it games
    • Larger than life games
    • Flag football/water volleyball
    • Water balloon toss
  • 2:30pm: Poolside craft/concession (costs apply).
  • 5:30pm-12:00am: Camp Dolphin nightly childcare program. Guests ages 4-12 are welcome to come enjoy a night of crafts, games, dinner, a movie and more ($10 per hour per child). Call ext. 4241 for details (reservations required)

Wednesday, 4/16

  • 12:00pm-5:00pm Poolside music and activities
  • 2:30pm  Craft: Create your own fleece pillow ($5)
  • 6:30pm Poolside scavenger hunt
Thursday, 4/17
  • 12:00pm-5:00pm Poolside music and activities
  • 2:30pm Craft: Build a Plush ($15)
  • 8:00pm Dive-In Movie: "HOP"
Friday, 4/18
  • 12:00pm-5:00pm Poolside music and activities
  • 2:30pm Craft: Create your own bouncy ball ($2)
  • 7:00-9:00pm Easter Bunny meet and greet
  • 8:00pm Glow in the dark egg hunt (by age)
    • 8:00pm – ages 4 and under
    • 8:30pm – ages 5-7
    • 9:00pm – ages 8-13

Saturday, 4/19

  • 12:00pm-5:00pm Poolside music and activities
  • 11:00am-12:00pm: Easter Bunny meet & greet, Dolphin lobby
  • 2:30 Craft: Candy art craft ($5)
  • 4:00pm-5:00pm: Easter Bunny meet & greet, Dolphin lobby
  • 7:30-9:00pm – Campfire with s’mores and live entertainment ($5 for a S'more kit which makes up to 4)
  • 8:00-10:00pm – Glow in the dark volleyball
Sunday, 4/20
  • 6:00am-11:00am Easter basket deliveries ($55+)
  • 12:00pm-5:00pm Poolside music and activities
  • 12:00pm -1st Easter egg hunt on the beach
  • 2:30pm Craft: Create your own fleece pillow ($5)
  • 4:00pm - 2nd Easter egg hunt on the beach
  • 7:00-9:00pm Family game night (ages 6-8)

* NOTE: All activities are subject to change. Please contact the health clubs for daily schedules andlocations.

 

Book your Disney & Orlando vacation with a local travel agency. World famous services, free gifts, guaranteed lowest prices, and all at no cost to you! Book your vacation with the local experts - we live where you're traveling! Call 877-918-8941 or visit us online

Top 5 Bars on Disney Cruise Line

Keys

Disney Cruise Line isn’t just for kids.  There are lots of adult only places where you can relax, get a drink, and enjoy the atmosphere.  Take a look at my picks for the Top 5 Bars on Disney Cruise Line.

  1. Skyline is my absolute favorite bar.  You can find Skyline on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.  The highlight of this bar is of course the skyline view.  This bar features 7 LCD big screens that offer a view of some of the world’s most famous cities.  The view changes to a different city every 15 minutes and the drink menu features cocktails inspired by each city.  The skyline even changes from day to night based as the day progresses on your cruise.  If you’re on the Disney Fantasy go ahead and visit the bar the first night of your cruise and order the Cocktail Passport.  This will allow you to get 7 beverages throughout the course of your cruise and you get a neat passport souvenir to take with you.
  2. La Piazza is an Italian themed bar on the Disney Fantasy modeled after a carousel. La Piazza features two Italian beers, prosecco, limocello, and live music.
  3. Keys, as you can probably guess by the name, is a piano bar. Keys is located on the Disney Magic.  Keys features live music nightly and is a nice romantic spot for adults to reconnect and grab a cocktail.
  4. Pink is an elegant bar on the Disney Dream designed to look like the inside of a Champagne bottle. The décor is absolutely fabulous. Pink usually hosts a champagne tasting on each cruise so check your Personal Navigator for the day and time.
  5. O'Gills Pub is an Irish bar with dark woods, brass accents and a selection of Irish beers, located on Disney Magic, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy.  This a great bar to hang out with the guys and watch sports.  O’Gills features a beer flight and usually hosts lots of trivia.

Written by Shante Carson -- Shante is a Disney Cruise Expert with over ten cruises taken on the Disney Dream, Disney Wonder, Disney Magic, and Disney Fantasy.  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.