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.

 

How Serving Your Kids Ice Cream for Breakfast Can Make a Difference! #IceCreamWakeUp

Surprise Your Kids with an Ice Cream Wake Up to Raise Awareness & Funds for Give Kids The World (and be entered to win a prize)!  #IceCreamWakeUp

EmilyEllyn2

Having ice cream for breakfast is a favorite tradition at Give Kids The World. Now there's a great way for you to share in this tradition from your home! Plus, by doing so you might win a prize from Celebrity chef and Retro Rad Diva Emily Ellyn, who's this year's Ice Cream For Breakfast 2014 spokesperson! And, if all that isn't enough, you'll be raising awareness for a wonderful cause at the same time!

In case you aren't familiar with our most cherished, local Orlando non-profit, we want you to know Give Kids The World (GKTW) is a 70-acre, nonprofit "storybook" resort that fulfills fantasy vacations for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Families who stay at the Village enjoy a week complete with accommodations in one of Village’s 140 whimsical villas, transportation, donated attraction tickets, meals, and much more. And, one of the best parts is that these vacations are completely cost free for them! It's truly an inspirational place. We encourage everyone to support GKTW, and what could be easier than doing so with ice cream?

The Ice Cream For Breakfast campaign encourages individuals, families and corporations to support GKTW by hosting an ice cream social fundraiser. Emily Ellyn is kicking off the campaign with a contest called Ice Cream Wake Up, a family video competition everyone can participate in!

Check out this Retro Rad Video, which explains Ice Cream Wake Up:

HOW You Can Get in on the Fun

Here's what you do - It’s easy!

  1. Just pick up some ice cream at the store.
  2. Simply surprise your kids (or your grandkids, your neighbors’ kids even your furry, four-legged kids!) with Ice Cream For Breakfast
  3. Video their amazed reactions
  4. Share the video on YouTube or other social channels using #IceCreamWakeUp and go here to share with GKTW 

WHY You Should Get in on the Fun

Besides the enjoying the delighted reactions from your children during their #IceCreamWakeUp, you'll also have a chance to be delighted yourself becase each entrant will have a chance to win a prize pack from Emily Ellyn!

Ice Cream Wake Up Party Pack: includes:

  • Fun Zebra Apron from Emily Ellyn’s signature line with Cupcake Provocateur Coordinating napkins and cups.
  • Emily Ellyn’s Chocolate Cherry Jam & Ice Cream Topping
  • A $20 Visa Gift Card to get your party started!
  • All in a fun coordinating pail!

 

Submit up to three videos per household by 11:59pm (ET) April 17, 2014. All entrants will be entered to win the fabulous prize pack and a winner will be selected at random! From late April through May 2014, Give Kids The World will share “mash-ups” of the funniest, sweetest, most unusual and joyous reactions. Be sure to stay tuned in to Give Kids the World on TwitterFacebookYouTube and follow their blog at www.givekidstheworld.org/blog to check them out.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Enter the #IceCreamWakeUp Today!

 

For more information about Give Kids The World Village, please visit www.gktw.org

Disneyland News and Updates for the Week of April 10, 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 the Disneyland's Egg-stravganza scavenger hunt, "it's a small world" 50th Anniversary, new menu items at Trader Sam's and more!

What’s New This Week?

egg827226

Disneyland Resort in California

New! 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.

New! Watch as the World Sings Together for 'it's a small world' 50th Anniversary: On April 10, hundreds of voices from the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland will sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas” in a global sing-along that will be aired live on “Good Morning America.” A special guest will spearhead the celebration from Times Square in New York City, where an international choir of children will join in singing the beloved song – linking via satellite with singers at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

New! "it's a small world" 50th Anniversary Souvenirs: In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of "it's a small world," select locations at Disneyland Park will offer a souvenir travel mug and/or souvenir popcorn bucket. Beginning April 11, Fantasyland and Toontown locations currently offering Souvenir Hot Mugs and/or Souvenir Popcorn Buckets will begin offering “it’s a small world” 50th Anniversary Souvenir Hot Mugs and/or Souvenir Popcorn Buckets.

New! Disneyland Park's Blue Bayou Shares Popular Recipe: Disney Parks Blog Food Writer Pam Brandon shares the recipe of a delectable lamb dish from Blue Bayou Restaurant at Disneyland park. Chef Jesse Tiscareno shows us the steps of making the Panko-crusted Rack of Lamb, starting with a rich rosemary jus made with red wine, then a hearty white-bean stove-top cassoulet, the perfect pairing with the rich lamb.

New! 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! 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.

Reminder! Watch for Coupons on Quick Service Dining Receipts: Certain quick-service locations in Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort theme parks will give a merchandise coupon attached to your receipt March 18 through April 28 The coupon offers 20 percent off purchase at participating merchandise locations during store opening and 1 p.m. between March 18 and April 29.

New! Merchandise Events

  • April 11 – 13: This weekend only, local So. Cal artist Noah will take over WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District and fill the store with Disney inspired and non-Disney artwork.
  • 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.

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

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

A trip to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World would not be complete without a ride on Dumbo the Flying Elephant!  This classic attraction is located in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland.  The ride is based on Disney’s 1941 animated film, Dumbo, the big-eared elephant who learns that he can fly.dumbo2

Gone are the days when you had to wait what seemed like forever in the hot sun for a ride on a whimsical flying elephant.  Now, this attraction has been transformed into an experience like never before!  The “wait” for the ride is now one of the best parts! As you enter the big colorful circus tent, you will be given a pager that looks like a circus ticket that actually holds your place in line. Children can now play in a fantastic circus-themed playground complete with slides and huge climbing nets.  There’s a separate area for toddlers with fun and safe activities. Parents can relax in the comfort of air conditioning on bleachers that surround the play area as they watch the kids having fun!  When the pager goes off, you will go to a short line before boarding the ride.

The new Dumbo attraction now has two sets of side-by-side rotating elephants, moving in opposite directions, making your wait even shorter.  The centers of the gondolas feature Baby Dumbo as he is being delivered by the stork.  Water fountains encircle the bottom of the carousels and they sparkle at night with bright and colorful LED lighting.  As the band organ music begins you will control your elephant with a joystick that allows you to gently fly high into the air.  Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by someone age 14 or older but there are no height restrictions.

dumboWhile Disney’s Fastpass+ service is available for this attraction, you will miss the fun of the interactive waiting area.  Take time to feel the wind in your face with an awesome view of Storybook Circus as you experience Dumbo the Flying Elephant on your next 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.

What’s New for Week of Apr 9, 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  in Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando! This week features a new Muppet-themed scavenger hunt at Epcot, multiple Easter happenings at Walt Disney World, plus a glimpse at the Hogwart's Express, live shows and concerts at Universal Orlando and more!

What’s New This Week?

MBI Muppets Recruitment Station at Epcot

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

New! 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

Muppet Investigation Germany

Muppet Investigation France Water Way

New! Watch as the World Sings Together for 'it's a small world' 50th Anniversary: On April 10, hundreds of voices from the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland will sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas” in a global sing-along that will be aired live on “Good Morning America.” A special guest will spearhead the celebration from Times Square in New York City, where an international choir of children will join in singing the beloved song – linking via satellite with singers at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

 New! Easter Specialty Cupcake Available at Disney's Hollywood Studios: Beginning Friday, April 4, the Easter cupcake has become available at Disney's Hollywood Studios! Indulge in white chocolate and raspberry for just $5.19 at select quick service locations: FairFax Fare, Pizza Planet, Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary, Studio Catering Co., and Rosie's All American Café. This treat is part of the Disney Dining Plan and will be available through April 20.

Easter Cupcake2

New! Egg-stravaganza Returns to Epcot:  From April 10 – 20, you’ll be able to search for special hidden “eggs” themed to Disney characters at Epcot. 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:  Heritage Manor (American Adventure Pavilion), Disney Traders, International Gateway, Pin Centraland Port of Entry. Whether you choose to hunt for eggs or not, return your map to the redemption location at Disney Traders in Epcot 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.

Epcot Easter Egg Hunt

New! Magic Kingdom to Receive Easter Enhancements Soon: 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.

New! Exquisite Easter Eggs on Display April 4-22 at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa:  Disney's Grand Floridian lobby has its 3rd Annual Easter Egg Display in place now thru April 22! The exquisite eggs are edible works of art with scenes from Disney movies like Frozen, Cinderella and Lady and the Tramp as well as several original designs. Here are photos of just a few of them. The detail is incredible and the smell of chocolate in the air is divine!

Grand Floridian Easter Egg Display 2014 Fairy God Mother

Grand Floridian Easter Egg Display 2014 Flowers

Grand Floridian Easter Egg Display 2014 Frozen

Grand Floridian Easter Egg Display 2014 Lady and the Tramp

New! CGI Ride-Through of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: The Disney Parks Blog released a full version of a CGI video that takes you on a colorful ride through part of the attraction. It's a short 15 seconds, but it sure looks like an exciting ride! We can't wait to experience the new attractions ourselves! Watch the video here:

New! 'Celebrate Africa' at Animal Kingdom Lodge April 10: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Cultural Representatives will ‘Celebrate Africa’ on April 10. Learning about Africa will be a fun and interactive experience with Guests of all ages.

New! Meet a Real Firefighter at Innoventions West in Epcot: Come meet a real firefighter up close and personal April 8 - 9! Liberty Mutual Insurance is proud to present Reedy Creek firefighters at the “Where’s the Fire?” exhibit in Innoventions West. Kids of all ages will enjoy learning how to keep themselves and their homes safe from fire. These firefighters will share helpful hints on fire safety and prevention. This interactive presentation allows Guests to gain knowledge and confidence on what to do in case of an emergency at 10 & 11 a.m. and 1, 2, 3 & 4 p.m.

Reminder! Muppet Vision 3D Preshow Video: To highlight the new Muppet film “Muppets Most Wanted," the Walt Disney Imagineering team has installed a new version of the preshow video in Muppet*Vision 3-D. The new version of the preshow video for the Muppet*Vision 3-D will experience a broadcast interruption from Constantine, the evil villain from the new film. Wanted posters can be seen outside the theater. Here are a few still photos from Constantine's broadcast where he details his evil plan from the movie.

Constantine at Muppet*Vision 3D

Reminder! Diamond Horseshoe to be Open Select Dates: The Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square will be open select dates in April for lunch and dinner. Guests can enjoy hand-carved sandwiches, snacks, beverages for lunch, and a traditional family-style turkey dinner with all the accompaniments on select evenings. Quick service lunch will be available on the following dates: April 1-7, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and April 11-28, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dinner at the Diamond Horseshoe allows advanced reservations and is available on the following dates: April 13, 4:30-9:30 p.m., April 14-17, 4:30-8:30 p.m., April 18, 4:30-9:30 p.m., April 19, 4:30-8:30 p.m.

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 Village People - April 11-13 at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 pm.; Designers' Stage - weekdays, noon and 3 pm will host Joel Karsten, Straw Bale Gardens - Breaking New Ground! - April 8-10; and Designers' Stage - Presented by HGTV - Friday-Sunday, noon and 3 pm will host NEW THIS YEAR! Amy Matthews, Renovation Raiders - April 11-13. Numerous additional presentations take place daily through the day during the entire festival which runs through May 18.

Reminder / Update! Polynesian 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. Beginning April 9, Capt. Cook's will be 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.

Reminder! Day Guests Can Now Make Fastpass+ Reservations 30 Days in Advance:  As of Mar 31, Guests who are not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel are now able to make Fastpass+ selections 30 days in advance of their trip! They may use their RF-enabled theme park ticket to enter the parks and redeem Fastpass+ selections, or they may purchase a MagicBand and link their theme park admission to the MagicBand.  MagicBands are available in seven colors - pink, blue, red, green, orange, gray, yellow - and are sold at select merchandise locations at the theme parks and Downtown Disney ($12.95+tax).

Reminder! Disney Announces Fastpass+ News: The Disney Parks Blog featured an article about MagicBands and Fastpass+ by Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. In this article, Staggs indicated that the ability to have Fastpass+ at more than one park per day is in development. He also explained that guests will be able to make more than three Fastpass+ selections at in park kiosks after they have used their original three selections. He explains, "Once they’ve used the three they’ve booked, we’ll enable them to select another at kiosks in the parks. And once they’ve used the fourth, they can select another, and so on."

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 9 – 13: Artist Greg McCullough returns April 9 – 13 to Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace and will appear later in the month from April 23 – 27 at Art of Disney in Epcot. Be sure to stop in and say hello.
  • April 10 – 13: Look for special appearances by artist Larry Dotson, April 10 – 13 at Art of Disney in Epcot and April 21 – 25 at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. 

  • 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

Hogwarts Express April 2014

New! Hogwarts Express is on the Track: The Hogwarts Express arrived at Universal Orlando Resort late last year.  Universal Orlando placed the iconic locomotive on the tracks between the two theme parks.  Just like in the books and films – guests will be able to board the Hogwarts Express and travel between The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, which opened in June 2010 at Islands of Adventure, and ‘London’ when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, which opens at Universal Studios Florida this Summer. While this isn't exactly new, we were able to get a photo of the famous train this past weekend.

New! Comedian Mike Epps at Hard Rock Live: See Comedian/actor Mike Epps on his national sold out comedy tour, "Mike Epps LIVE!” at Universal Orlando's Hard Rock Live April 12, 2014. $55.75 Reserved Main Floor & Lower Balcony. $49.75 Reserved Upper Balcony. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Buy tickets here or call 407-351-LIVE (5483).

New! 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).

New!  Universal Parking Fees Increased: Universal Orlando has raised the fee for parking in its garage to $17, up from $16.  Guests use this structure while visiting Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure theme parks and the Universal CityWalk shopping and dining district. RV/Bus parking and "preferred" parking is $22. Florida residents can use the Universal garage without charge after 6 p.m. with proof of residency. The Universal increase comes on the heels of a similar increase at Disney World this week. Parking at Disney theme parks is also $17 now.

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.

From the moment you arrive, you are surrounded by the hotel’s bold design, period colors, neon and retro feel.  When complete (June 2014), there will be two pool complexes with sand beach and interactive features, a themed lazy river experience and 10-lane bowling alley.  Family suite rates will begin at $174 per-night; standard room rates will begin at $119 per-night.  Package rates are available with savings based on length-of-stay; a family of four can stay for seven nights for $47 per person, per-day – including accommodations and tickets to both Universal Orlando theme parks.

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.

Reminder! Lynyrd Skynyrd Set to Perform This Saturday at Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras Celebration: The excitement of Mardi Gras continues this Saturday, April 12 with a performance by Lynyrd Skynyrd! Concerts begin at 8:30pm.

skynyrd

Reminder! Impact Wrestling Taping Select Dates March through May: Guests can watch Impact Wrestling live events and tapings at Universal Orlando April 10 – 12 & 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

  • None scheduled

Disney Cruise Discounts

Disney Cruise Line offers outstanding value to every guest onboard.  When you book a Disney Cruise you will receive exceptional service, fantastic food, and unparalleled entertainment for the entire family.  Disney is offering special pricing for the following cruises through April 30, 2014.

                                                    5-Night Western Caribbean Cruises
                                                                Departing from Miami, FL
                                Sailing to Grand Cayman and Cozumel or Cozumel and Castaway
                                                           From $130 per person, per night
                                                              Based on double occupancy
                                                       Total price for two Guests $1,300
                                      For October 17 & 26, 2014 sailings aboard Disney Wonder
                                               Category 9C Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom
 
                                                             4-Night Bahamian Cruise
                                                              Departing from Miami, FL
                                                Sailing to Castaway Cay and Key West, FL
                                                         From $130 per person, per night
                                                             Based on double occupancy
                                                        Total price for two Guests $1,040
                                          For October 22, 2014 sailing aboard Disney Wonder
                                                  Category 9C Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom

 These prices are subject to availability and won’t last long.  Prices do not include taxes, port fees, gratuities or excursions.  Contact me today and experience the magic of a Disney Cruise vacation at a discounted price!

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