New Details Unveiled For Disney’s Gran Destino Tower

By: Disney Destinations

We have exciting news to share! Our team of Travel Professionals will be able to begin booking reservations for you at Gran Destino Tower on Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort beginning Nov. 27, 2018!

Here are more details from Disney Travel News:

Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman, Bob Chapek, unveiled the name of the new 15-story centerpiece of the resort, the Gran Destino Tower, and the opening month: July 2019.

Gran Destino Tower will be an “oasis on the shore of Lago Dorado” at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Here are some highlights:

* The tower will host a gorgeous 2-story lobby that will serve as a main entrance for all guests.

* Two new restaurants are planned. One will be located on the top of the tower that will provide amazing views of the Walt Disney World® Resort area. The second will be set on an island in the middle of the resort’s 14-acre lake, Lago Dorado. It will be accessible through new walkways stretching across the water, creating a pretty stroll and added guest convenience.

* Gran Destino will introduce 545 new guest rooms plus 50 suites!

* The resorts 1,800 + existing rooms will be fully updated with new fixtures, furnishings and lighting.

* A fresh color palette, Spanish influenced decor, and imaginative Disney touches will help tie the new and the newly re-imagined together.

Who’s ready to experience the spirit of great Spanish explorers? Be sure to contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Travel Professional or request your FREE quote by clicking here.

Guardians of the Galaxy Attraction Update ~ Epcot

Storytelling Coaster Ride Vehicle

We have some exciting news regarding the new “Guardians of the Galaxy”-inspired attraction coming to life at Epcot® and we want to pass it onto you!

According to Disney Travel News, Bob Chapek (Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman) shared the first details on the innovative new ride system planned:

Building an adventure this big will require a ride system and ride vehicles unlike anything guests have experienced before. This encounter can best be described as a one-of-a-kind storytelling coaster that connects the adventure of a storyline with the thrills of a coaster.

“On most coasters, the vehicles point straight ahead throughout the ride,” Bob explained. “But on this attraction, each individual cab will be programmed to direct your eye to the story happening around you. That means instead of whizzing by the action, you’ll be fully immersed in the story from the minute you launch.”

This monster attraction, which will be housed inside a building so large that the volume of four Spaceship Earths could fit inside it, is said be one of the world’s longest enclosed roller coasters when it opens in Future World at Epcot, just in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World® Resort in 2021.

Stay tuned for future updates and be sure to contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Travel Professional to add your name to their list to be contacted for 2021 vacations!


Celebrate an Epic Holiday at Universal Orlando and Create a New Tradition

Can you believe the holidays are almost here? The season can get a little crazy with all the shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, packing, shipping, and let’s not forget the cleaning! Whether you want to make your life a little easier this year, take a break after the big holiday, or celebrate the New Year in a fun and unique way, we’ve got a list of 8 reasons to visit Universal Orlando Resort this holiday season. (Shhh…don’t tell Mickey!)

1. Mischief and Merry

While Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is more magical than you can possibly imagine, when you think of the holidays, one parade is synonymous – the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Universal Orlando treats you to a taste of this beloved event in the Universal Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. Over 100 choreographed performers take part in this family favorite that also features the famous larger-than-life balloons and incredibly detailed floats. Minions from Despicable Me, fairy tale characters from Shrek, and wild animals of Madagascar come together for this celebration you won’t want to miss!

2.  It’s Not Just a Holiday…it’s a Who-liday

When you think of Christmas, what other famous character comes to mind? Why, the Grinch of course! (Sorry Santa!) There’s no better way to experience Who-liday joy except during Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Watch the retelling of this beloved Dr. Seuss tale in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” then meet some of the Whos plus the Grinch himself in adorable photo meet-and-greet opportunities. There’s even a special character breakfast available if you’re savvy enough to “steal” a reservation (ask us how!)

3. Butterbeer and Christmas Cheer

Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

Hot Butterbeer is a seasonal favorite for all muggles! Grab a cup while you while you watch a Harry Potter holiday-themed show or wander through the streets of The Wizarding World admiring the festive window decorations (Universal Orlando really outdoes itself). At night, see a true showstopper as Hogwarts come to life in The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.

4. Put some Jingle in those Bells

Take a stroll over to the Music Plaza Stage at Universal Studios to hear the sounds of the season where, on select nights, you can find Mannheim Steamroller. They’ll put some jingle in your step and keep you in the holiday spirit listening to their modern take on classic holiday tunes.

5. Home Away from Home for the Holidays

While you may leave your home-sweet-home for a spell, you don’t have to leave behind the traditions your family has grown to love. Instead, add to them! The resorts at Universal Orlando are filled with festive decor, tree lightings, yummy treats AND holiday activities from cookie decorating, carolers — and even visits with the big man himself, Santa!

6. Skip the Lines

You’ll waste enough time standing in line whether at the grocery store, the department store, the post office or the gas station! Spending holiday time at Universal Orlando doesn’t have to be the same way. Did you know there are actually ways to SKIP the lines at most major attractions? Universal has an amazing thing called Express Pass and it’s FREE to guests staying at certain resorts on property but it’s also available for purchase as well. Express Pass allows you to experience more, play more, and wait in line less, which also opens the door for a more relaxing vacation. Can you envision spending downtime poolside or just relaxing in your beautiful onsite resort room because you saved so much time skipping the lines? This is the best way to visit a theme park during peak holiday travel times. A Universal Orlando vacation can truly be a stress-free, worry-free one because of this option!

7. Cooking Schmooking

There are countless restaurants and dining options available to choose from in the resorts, theme parks, and in CityWalk — Universal’s “Epicenter of Awesomeness”. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years, all the traditional feasts can most likely be found along with all of your normal favorites…plus a few surprises (there’s even a luau!)

And speaking of CityWalk, this brings us to  number eight on the list:

8. Celebrate the Year—and Party into the Next

How does celebrating the New Year by dancing the night away on Orlando’s biggest dance floor sound? Featuring a live DJ and live music, cocktails and unlimited cuisine, EVE at Universal City Walk is the place to be! As if that weren’t enough, the evening culminates with dazzling fireworks and a champagne toast at midnight. (Note: this is a separately ticketed event for guests ages 21 and older.)

In closing, we’re all about Vacations with Character® around here but even more, we’re about helping you spend quality time with those you love. Why not celebrate the holidays with your favorite characters and create special memories that will last a lifetime?

Contact a Vacations with Character® Travel Professional (we are an authorized seller of Universal Orlando Resort vacations and tickets) or request your FREE quote by clicking here. We provide the best prices possible for your vacation needs, never charge a fee, and our experience is priceless!

All Photos Courtesy: Universal Partner Community / Universal Orlando Resort / Bailey Morris, Universal Partner Community

NEW Disney World After Hours Events!

Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

We’ve got great news! The success of Disney After Hours events have been such a huge hit that not only are more event nights set for Magic Kingdom Park, but for the first time, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be available for select nights as well.

Imagine the ability to experience the magic of Disney with little-to-no waits for attractions, experiences and, of course, CHARACTER meet-n-greets for THREE ENTIRE HOURS after regular park hours! Sounds pretty amazing, right? Well, that’s not all…you can even enter the park early – at 7 p.m. on the event night – before Disney After Hours begins. As if that’s not exciting enough, ice cream, popcorn and select beverages are also included in Disney After Hours admission, which is a separately priced ticket from daytime park admission.

What can you expect at each park?

In Magic Kingdom, enjoy your favorite attractions from Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain as well as newer favorites like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, plus many more.

Event nights at Magic Kingdom will run on: Nov. 26; and Dec. 3, 10, 2018; and Jan. 7, 17, 24 and 28, 2019; Feb. 7, 14, and 28, 2019; and March 7, 2019.

In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, experience little-to-no wait for newly opened Toy Story Land attractions, including Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania! Fan favorites like Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and other attractions will also be available.

Event nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be: Dec. 8, 15 and 22, 2018; and Jan. 5, 12 and 19, 2019; Feb. 2, 9 and 16, 2019; March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2019; and April 6 and 13, 2019.

Enjoy the best Disney’s Animal Kingdom has to offer at night, including the heart-tugging Tree of Life Awakenings, the adventures within Pandora – The World of Avatar and more.

Dates at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are: Dec. 4, 12 and 18, 2018; and Jan. 8, 16, 22 and 31, 2019; and Feb. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 26, 2019; and March 5, 20 and 27, 2019; and April 3, 2019.

At all parks select quick-service food & beverage locations will remain open throughout the night for purchases as well.

All Disney After Hours event tickets cost $125 + tax for advance purchase and $129 + tax for day-of purchases. Disney Vacation Club members and Annual Passholders do receive a discounted price $95 + tax.

Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Travel Professional to purchase tickets or to request a FREE vacation quote by clicking here.  Be sure to ask us for more ideas on how to create an even more magical experience for your next vacation as well!