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!

Five Fun Facts about Disney Cruise Line

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  1. The Buena Vista Theatre is the place to be to watch all of the first run movies onboard the ship. The theatre is based on the three theatres that premiered Snow White.
  2. The Mystery of the Black Hull: When Disney was designing the Disney Magic they wanted the ship to look like a classic oceanliner and stick to the color scheme of Mickey Mouse. Classic ships had a black hull but Disney thought black looked too gloomy. They found the color they wanted when a Disney employee named Monica entered the room wearing dark blue pants. Thanks to Monica the hull of the ship is painted Monica Blue.
  3. Deck 5 is kid sized. The Oceaneer’s Club, Oceaneer’s Lab, and Nursery are located on Deck 5. There are lots of super sized toys in the youth clubs and you will notice that Deck 5 is not quite as tall as the other decks.
  4. Disney Cruise Line is the only cruise line with rotational dining. Guests rotate between three different themed restaurants throughout their cruise while being served by the same service team in each location.
  5. Disney received special permission from the U.S. Coast Guard to paint their lifeboats yellow instead of the traditional orange to keep with the Mickey Mouse color scheme.

Written by Shante Carson — Shante is a Disney Cruise Expert with over ten cruises taken on the Disney Fantasy, Disney Fantasy, 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.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel News for the Week of Oct 15, 2014

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

New! Trattoria al Forno Opening Announced: Opening day is set for December 18 for Trattoria al Forno, the new restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk that will showcase classic Italian cuisine including handcrafted mozzarella made daily, fresh cavatelli pasta and pizzas baked in wood-burning ovens. Trattoria al Forno is open 7:30-11 a.m. for breakfast, 5-10 p.m. for dinner, and accepts the Disney Dining Plan.

trattoria al forno 3 trattoria al forno 2

New! Bus Route Tested Between Magic Kingdom Resorts and Typhoon Lagoon: From Oct. 12-25, a new bus route will be tested between Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Epcot to give Guests traveling to and from Typhoon Lagoon an alternative to the monorail to and from Epcot. This route will only be in service daily from 2 p.m. until Typhoon Lagoon’s nightly closure.

Reminder! Monorail Service Hours Adjustment: Effective beginning the night of Sept. 27, the Walt Disney World daily monorail service will run:

  • on the Magic Kingdom Resort beam until 1 hour after park close and resume every morning beginning at 7 a.m.
  • on the Epcot beam until 1 hour after Magic Kingdom Park closes or 11 p.m. (whichever is earlier) and resume every morning at 8 a.m.
  • on the Magic Kingdom Express beam until 1 hour after park close and resume every morning at 8:30 a.m.

Closures and Refurbishments

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

Big Top Souvenirs in New Fantasyland

Big top tent dtpLadies and Gentlemen, step right up for some fun shopping and tasty treats during your next visit to Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park!  Big Top Souvenirs is located in the Storybook Circus area of New Fantasyland, just a stone’s throw away from the Dumbo attraction. There is something fun for everyone at this huge, authentic-looking circus tent, themed after a grand circus of the 1940’s.Big Top lmp

 

As you take a look inside Big Top Souvenirs you will feel like you’ve just entered a real circus arena! There are lights, rope ladders, trapezes and tightropes. The floor looks to be made of hand-sewn canvas. Disney merchandise is displayed in old-fashioned circus train cars, complete with wheels! Even the friendly Cast Members are dressed in adorable circus attire!

big top treats dtpGoofy’s Glaciers, cold drinks, candy apples, cotton candy, cupcakes, caramel corn, fudge, cookies, cake pops, and other colorful bakery items are available along with a ton of Disney themed merchandise. Here are some other things you will find here:

  • Toys
  • Wide assortment of hats
  • Pre-packaged flavored popcorn and candy
  • Accessories
  • Children’s clothing
  • Personalized ear hats
  • Home decor

big top treats made lmpDisney Cast Members are always busy as they create incredible candy apples and decorate other tempting confections at the Big Top Treats open show kitchen in the center of the tent. During our recent visit, our young grandson was mesmerized as he watched a Cast Member  decorate cake pops and marshmallow treats with neon-colored sugar. As he looked on, the friendly Cast Member paused from her duties to create a little Disney “magic”.  She asked what color he liked best and then prepared a tiny marshamallow treat just for him! I’m not sure how often they do this but it was a magical moment for us!

So…Come one, come all and step right up for some great snacks and fantastic merchandise at Big Top Souvenirs! Be sure to make a stop during your next Walt Disney World vacation.

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 15, 2014

Walt Disney World Updates and Mousecellaneous News for the Week of October 15, 2014

New! 2015-2016 runDisney Event Dates Released: The 2015-2016 runDisney event dates are now available. Much like past events, each runDisney event in 2015-2016 is expected to be in high demand and sell out quickly. For more information on upcoming races, visit www.runDisney.com. EVENT CALENDAR:

  • Expedition Everest Challenge Weekend ll May 1-2, 2015 ll On Sale – December 16, 2014
  • Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry ll May 7-10, 2015 ll SOLD OUT
  • Disneyland® Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna ll September 3-6, 2015 ll On Sale – February 10, 2015
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend ll November 6-7, 2015 ll On Sale – March 17, 2015
  • Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend ll November 12-15, 2015 ll On Sale – April 7, 2015
  • Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna ll January 6-10, 2016 ll On Sale – April 28, 2015
  • Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation ll January 14-17, 2016 ll On Sale -June 16, 2015
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals ll February 18-21, 2016 ll On Sale – July 15, 2015
  • Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry ll May 5-8, 2016 ll On Sale – August 11, 2015

New! 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.

New! Celebrate Halloween with New Disney Gift Card Designs: Join Mickey and Minnie for a spooky celebration with this new Halloween Disney Gift Card, available online and at select locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort. Load your Disney Gift Card with as little as $15 and use it to purchase Halloween merchandise, costumes, treats and more during your visit.

halloween gift cardsReminder!  Beautifully Disney The Haunted Mansion Collection Available: The Beautifully Disney boutique at the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney has a small staff of trained beauty advisors who provide complimentary tips and tricks for applying the cosmetics. Disney Parks Authors Darcy Clark and Steven Miller checked out their services in this video from Disney Parks Blog.

New! Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Fever at Bridal Fashion Week: Bridal fashion week took over Manhattan last week offering a chance for designers to preview their spring 2015 collections. This year was extra special for Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings because they added a new dress to the traditional eight Disney princess-inspired gowns line up – Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen.” For a true modern day bride, the Elsa wedding dress is bold and daring while remaining regal and elegant. The Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings gowns will be available starting January 2015 in Alfred Angelo retail stores and are offered in signature colors in addition to white and ivory.

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 15, 2014

Walt Disney World Theme Park News – Oct 15, 2014

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Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom Park

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 Monday, October 13, Thursday, October 16,  Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31. Currently, tickets are still available for:  Oct 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, and 28.

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 ..!”

Reminder! Memento Mori Haunted Mansion-themed Shop Now Open: Memento Mori, the Haunted Mansion-themed merchandise shop, is officially open in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom Park. You may recall reading about this new location in early September. Once considered the abode of Madame Leota, this shop is the destination for a variety of Haunted Mansion Authentic merchandise created especially for Disney Parks. The Disney Parks online store will be carrying select items from the Haunted Mansion Authentic program. Visit http://www.DisneyStore.com/HauntedMansion.

Memento Mori

Epcot

 New! 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.

canadian-lumberjack-show-00

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! 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*.

OUAT Magic Shot

Reminder! Frozen Holiday Premium Package Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios: A new Frozen Holiday Premium Package was announced this week!  Offered November 7 – 19, November 21 – December 9 and December 11 – January 4, 2015, this package includes reserved seating for a performance of “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” at the Premiere Theatre, and reserved Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights viewing and Frozen-themed dessert party (which will feature mini Anna cupcakes and mini Elsa cupcake, among other delicious treats) in the evening, and a holiday themed lithograph and “Frozen” pin. The package costs $89 per adult and $59 per child (ages 3 – 9), plus tax (gratuity is included). Valid theme park admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required and is not included in this package price.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

 New! 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! Character Dining Times Extended at Tusker House: From Oct. 4 to Dec. 24, Tusker House will extend their character dining hours to 5 p.m. However, when park hours are until 7 p.m. or later, a dinner buffet without characters is offered from 6:15 p.m. to park close. During this time, the following character dining experiences will be offered: Breakfast: 8-10:55 a.m., Lunch: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., *Lunch extends to 5:30 p.m. if the park is open until 6 p.m.

Closures and Refurbishments

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