5 Reasons To Take a Star Wars Day at Sea Cruise

From January to March 2020, you can enjoy out-of-this-galaxy experiences on special seven-night Caribbean cruises aboard the Disney Fantasy.

Courtesy of Disney Destinations

It doesn’t matter if you are Padawans or Jedis. When it comes to your knowledge of the saga, there are fun activities for everyone! Here are the top five legendary experiences you can have while sailing on the high seas.

1. Feel the Force with out-of-this-galaxy entertainment.

Watch as some of the saga’s most iconic moments come to life during this exclusive, nighttime deck show. See some of Star Wars most popular characters, including Rey! Immerse yourself and let the Force flow through you during the fireworks at sea spectacular set to John Williams’ Star Wars score.

2. Help Chewbacca in a fun-filled scavenger hunt.

There are porgs onboard! You can help your favorite Wookiee find the porgs that are wreaking havoc throughout the ship. At the end, you can also meet Chewbacca as he congratulates you on a job well done!

3. Experience epic encounters.

Whether you are a part of the light side or have dabbled into the dark side, you’re sure to see some familiar and exciting faces. Meet Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and Darth Vader during scheduled photo sessions. Be on the lookout…you might just see some First Order Stormtroopers or Jawas wandering around the ship.

4. Brush up on Star Wars knowledge.

During the sailing, all films in the Star Wars saga will air on the big screen so you can jog your memory. You can also stop by Star Wars 101, an interactive session designed to give you the lowdown on all things Star Wars. Once you’re a Star Wars expert, gather the family and join a game of Star Wars trivia!

5. Let the little ones have their own fun.

Inside Disney’s Oceaneer Club, little rebels can join the Resistance when members of the resistance and BB-8 come by looking for recruits. In the Star Wars: Command Post, kids can even defend against the First Order during a fun puzzle-solving adventure game.

This one-day event is perfect for those who want to combine the magic of a Disney cruise with the thrilling adventures of Star Wars. Consider adding on a pre or post-cruise visit to Hollywood Studios to see the all new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as well! We can make it happen and we never charge a fee.  Contact a Vacations with Character® Travel Professional for a free, n0-obligation quote today!

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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Now Open

Now Open for 87 Days Through Nov. 23!

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2019
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

The 24th Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival – starts today and runs through Nov. 23, 2019 with irresistible bites, sips and non-stop family fun. That’s 87 delicious days of Festival-exclusive edibles and entertainment, such as a Candy Sushi-making experience, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt, the rockin’ Eat to the Beat Concert Series and Disney du Jour Dance Party.

Opening week is set to thrill foodies at more than 30 global marketplaces, filled with eats like the warm raclette Swiss cheese debuting at The Alps Global Marketplace, a brand-new location for this year’s event. Guests can follow their nose to the jerk-spiced chicken grilled on site for all to savor at the Islands of the Caribbean Global Marketplace. And get ready for a taste of autumn at the Appleseed Orchard Global Marketplace near Le Cellier Steakhouse, where a chill vibe plus charcuterie and cheese nibbles pair well with fresh apple-enhanced libations plus fanciful flights with spice and kick.

Toast the Festival kickoff at Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar, where mimosas will be served individually or as a flight for those who can’t choose between vibrant fruity flavors like key lime and blood orange.

Bust some moves this opening weekend when Radio Disney ‘Next Big Thing’ artist alum Meg Donnelly (“With U,” Disney Channel’s “Zombies”) ratchets up the fun factor at the Disney du Jour Dance Party, Aug. 30 and 31 in Future World. The Dance Party runs daily, with Disney Characters and Radio Disney artists appearing each Friday and Saturday. More new artists will be announced this week, adding to the concert series’ smorgasbord of family fun!

Also this weekend, guests can groove with the Plain White T’s (“Hey There Delilah”) at the debut of this year’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series, Aug. 29-31. Or, celebrate with new Festival act Sawyer Brown (“Thank God for You”) who’ll take the stage and round out Labor Day weekend of top tunes Sept. 1 and 2 (weather permitting).

The outdoor concerts are included with theme park admission and located at America Gardens Theatre, running Sundays to Thursdays at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m. from Aug. 29 – Nov. 19.  There’s still time to book an Eat to the Beat Dining Package at select Epcot table-service restaurants to secure guaranteed concert seating as well!

Make a date to catch one or more of the other big-name artists live in concert:
  • Plain White T’s
    August 29 through 31
  • Sawyer Brown – NEW!
    September 1 through 2
  • MercyMe
    September 3 through 4
  • Grace Kelly – NEW!
    September 5 through 6
  • Zach Williams – NEW!
    September 7 through 8
  • Lauren Daigle – NEW!
    September 9 through 10
  • Jimmie Allen – NEW!
    September 11 through 12
  • Tiffany
    September 13 through 15
  • Smash Mouth
    September 16 through 17
  • Everclear
    September 18 through 19
  • STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
    September 20 through 22
  • Postmodern Jukebox
    September 23 through 24
  • Blue October
    September 25 through 26
  • Mark Wills
    September 27 through 29
  • Sugar Ray
    September 30 through October 2
  • Taylor Dayne
    October 3 through 4
  • INDIA – NEW!
    October 5 through 6
  • 98°
    October 7 through 9
  • Boyce Avenue – NEW!
    October 10 through 11
  • Southern Avenue – NEW!
    October 12 through 13
  • Kenny G
    October 14 through 15
  • 38 Special
    October 16 through 17
  • Baha Men
    October 18 through 20
  • Billy Ocean
    October 21 through 22
  • Sheila E.
    October 23 through 25
  • High Valley
    October 26 through 27
  • Hanson
    October 28 through 30
  • Sheena Easton
    October 31 through November 1
  • Kris Allen – NEW!
    November 2 through 3
  • Boyz II Men
    November 4 through 6
  • The Hooters
    November 7 through 8
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
    November 9 through 11
  • Joey Fatone and Friends, featuring Chris Kirkpatrick and Ryan Cabrera – NEW!
    November 12 through 14
  • BBMak – NEW!
    November 15 through 16
  • Spanish Harlem Orchestra – NEW!
    November 17 through 18
  • DCappella – NEW!
    November 19

Here’s a quick preview of this fun festival:

Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Travel Agent to book an adventure that includes this spectacular celebration of global cuisines, music and more!

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Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Sneak Peek

Today, we’re excited to share this first look inside the attraction!
A look inside Rise of the Resistance
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

When it opens, this harrowing adventure will blur the lines between fantasy and reality and will put you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

Imagine as you join the Resistance and depart from Batuu in a transport ship to meet General Leia Organa at a secret rendezvous point: But beware! Along the way, you’ll be captured by a First Order Star Destroyer. The action then ramps up as you seek to escape the clutches of Kylo Ren and the First Order. Luckily, you’ll have the help of other heroes of the Resistance. Do you think you have what it takes to escape?

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be one of the most ambitious, advanced and immersive experiences ever undertaken by Walt Disney Imagineering. The attraction is also one of the largest Disney has ever created. Its massive show building is a world unto itself, housing two full-size AT-AT walkers and a Star Destroyer hangar bay – complete with a TIE fighter and a garrison of Stormtroopers – plus more thrills and surprises ever imagined.

As we’ve previously shared, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open on Dec. 5, 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® in Florida and Jan. 17, 2020 at Disneyland® Park in California.

Stay tuned for more updates and contact us to book your vacation to this amazing new land!

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First Look at Disney Wish and New Disney Island

At the D23 Expo 2019 yesterday, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman, Bob Chapek, announced the highly anticipated name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, Disney Wish. It’s very fitting because making wishes come true is at the heart of so many Disney stories.
New Disney Wish stearn of ship featuring Rapunzel
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

A beloved hallmark of Disney Cruise Line is a tradition to adorn the back of their ships with an iconic character that reflects the theme of each vessel. For the Disney Wish, the ship’s stern will feature Rapunzel. Our favorite artsy princess, paintbrush in hand, uses her enchanted hair to suspend herself as she decorates the stern of the ship with the help of her feisty sidekick, Pascal. Spirited, smart, curious and above all, adventurous, Rapunzel embodies the wish and desire to see and experience the world.

A first glance of the ship’s elegant atrium was also revealed:

Artist concept drawing of atrium for new cruise ship, Disney Wish
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

The ship’s atrium will be a bright, airy and elegant space inspired by the beauty of an enchanted fairytale.

Castaway Cay, a beloved private Island of Disney Cruise Line, will be joined by a second tropical destination in The Bahamas, which will be located on the breathtaking island of Eleuthera at a place called Lighthouse Point. The new destination will celebrate both the stories of The Bahamas and the natural environment of Lighthouse Point itself.

Arial photo of Bahamian Island to be transformed for DIsney Cruise Line
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

Bob was joined by Imagineer Joe Rohde to share a first look at the plans for the second island destination in The Bahamas.

Joe Rohde, whose work includes the design of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, has embarked on an in-depth cultural tour of The Bahamas. With local artists and cultural experts, he has explored cultural sites across New Providence and Eleuthera, from Junkanoo shacks to noted art galleries.

Joe points out that Disney will be directly involved in conservation efforts to preserve and protect the environment and will be working with local artists to create a unique destination that is rooted in Bahamian culture and filled with Disney magic.

Lighthouse Point will be a new Disney-owned and -managed port of call for Disney Cruise Line. The signature island experience will celebrate the spirit and culture of The Bahamas. (Disney)
Lighthouse Point will be a new Disney-owned and -managed port of call for Disney Cruise Line. The signature island experience will celebrate the spirit and culture of The Bahamas. (Disney)

Construction at Lighthouse Point will begin only after an Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan are reviewed and accepted by the Government of The Bahamas and public consultation has occurred. Construction could begin in 2020 with completion in late 2022 or 2023.

The Disney Wish is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and will set sail in January 2022. The vessel will join Disney Cruise Line’s award-winning fleet where you experience the magic of Disney entertainment combined with the relaxation of tropical, sun-drenched beaches and the adventure of ocean cruising. Disney Wish will also be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

There’s so much to look forward to on the high seas! Stay tuned as we look forward to sharing more exciting details with you in the future. And in the meantime, it’s not to late to set sail on Disney’s Magic, Wonder, Dream or Fantasy. Contact us a for a free no-obligation quote!

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Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Details Revealed!

Today at the D23 Expo 2019, Bob Chapek, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products released a few more exciting details and sneak peeks!

Artist rendering of entrance to Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disneyland
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

As we’ve previously shared, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway—the first major ride-through attraction with a Mickey theme—is coming to both Disneyland® Park in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios® in Florida.

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Line Queue
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

In Disneyland Park, the attraction will be opening in Mickey’s Toontown in 2022. The action will take place at the El CapiTOON Theater, where Mickey and Minnie are premiering their newest short, “Perfect Picnic.” Before guests enter the cinema, they’ll experience a treat – a special exhibit created by the Toontown Hysterical Society featuring costumes and props from the toon world.

Mickey and Minnie's Concept Artwork for entrance at Disneyland
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Imagineers are getting ready to open next year! You’ll be invited to the Chinese Theatre, which serves as the magic portal through which theatergoers will step from the human world directly into the cartoon world for one Goofy adventure!

Imaginners at work on Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

What can you expect as you step inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy® Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts? Well…once into the cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie, you’ll board a train with Goofy as the engineer and experience one magical moment after the next that leads to a zany, out-of-control adventure filled with surprising twists and turns!

Imaginners at work on Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

With an original story and lovable theme song, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses state-of-the-art technologies and dazzling visual effects to transform the cartoon world into an incredible and immersive multidimensional experience. We can’t wait to experience this all-NEW attraction! How about you?

Stay tuned for future updates on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway!

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Disney Shares Exciting Announcements to Be Unveiled at D23 Expo 2019

This weekend’s D23 Expo 2019 will showcase dozens of exclusive reveals and announcements for Disney parks and resorts across the globe.
Sneak peeks at highly anticipated new areas and experiences coming to Disney parks around the world. The largest Disney fan event in the world, D23 Expo celebrates all the wonderful worlds of The Walt Disney Company under one roof across film, television, theme parks, products, online, music, live entertainment and more.
The Disney Parks pavilion at D23 Expo, taking place Aug. 23-25, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

And to kick things off, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek shared exciting news from Anaheim as a preview of what’s to come this weekend!

An all-new Star Wars vacation experience is coming to Walt Disney World® Resort!

tar Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be a new, first-of-its-kind vacation experience where Guests will check in for a two-night adventure aboard a glamorous starship.  Once onboard, Guests will interact with characters and become active participants in stories that unfold around them on their galactic journey.
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be a new, first-of-its-kind vacation experience where Guests will check in for a two-night adventure aboard a glamorous starship.  Once onboard, Guests will interact with characters and become active participants in stories that unfold around them on their galactic journey.

Inside the Disney Parks “Imagining Tomorrow, Today” pavilion at D23 Expo, visitors will be able to see a new model and incredible visuals of the starcruiser – called the Halcyon.

multi-year transformation of Epcot®
Courtesy of Disney Destinations Travel News

Also at Walt Disney World Resort, there are big plans for the multi-year transformation of Epcot®, with new experiences that will make the park more Disney, more family, more timeless and more relevant to the millions of Guests who visit each year.

Courtesy of Disney Destinations Travel News

The reinvention of Epcot will include Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana.” This first-ever attraction based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios hit film, “Moana,” will let Guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.

And this October, you’ll be able to visualize all of the exciting plans for Epcot at a new experience center in the Odyssey Events Pavilion, called Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience. Inside this first-of-its-kind offering within a Disney park, you’ll discover engaging and interactive exhibits that allow you to step inside the relentless innovation, energy and excitement and see some never-before-revealed details driving the future of Epcot all throughout this unprecedented period of transformation.

Courtesy of Disney Destinations Travel News

At Disney California Adventure® and Disneyland Paris, announcements were already made about the immersive Super Hero themed lands. Today, we have learned these fantastic lands will be called Avengers Campus.

When you visit Avengers Campus, you’ll become part of an interconnected, global story that spans from California to Paris to Hong Kong with the Avengers recruiting new extraordinary people to join them.

Inside the pavilion at D23 Expo, Guests will be able to see an in-story experience where they’ll learn why the Avengers are building these campuses. And on Sunday, more details will be revealed about what Guests will be able to experience when they open.

The pavilion will also feature many of the attractions and lands coming to our sites around the world including TRON Lightcycle Run coming to Magic Kingdom® Park, as well as additional expansions in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Here’s a quick look inside:

We can’t wait for more details to come on Sunday, and we’ll be posting them here, so stay tuned!

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Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Named One of TIME’s ‘World’s Greatest Places’

We’re excited to share the news! Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has been named one of TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places 2019.

Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

This annual list recognizes 100 destinations around the world that are breaking new ground, leading industry trends and offering guests an experience that’s unlike any other.

Walt Disney once said “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

There were never truer words! Since opening at Disneyland® Resort on May 31, 2019,  Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge visitors have been transported to a galaxy far, far away as they visit the largest single-themed land in Disney parks’ history. The land has quickly become a guest favorite, with visitors raving about the many immersive experiences to explore on the remote planet of Batuu, including blasting across the galaxy aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – already one of the Disneyland Resort’s top-rated attractions that recently welcomed the one millionth member of Hondo Ohnaka’s flight crew!

TIME Magazine measured the land across quality, originality, innovation, sustainability and influence, and as we countdown to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World® Resort on Aug. 29, 2019,  guests on both coasts can look forward to exploring the experience-based storytelling of this one-of-a-kind land.

Rise of the Resistance will join the already popular Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run on Dec. 5 at Walt Disney World (Walt’s birthday in fact) and later in Disneyland on January 17. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will blur the lines between fantasy and reality, putting you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

Stay tuned for exciting coverage of the debut at Walt Disney World Resort next week!

And if you’re ready to live your Star Wars adventure in a galaxy far, far away, please contact us and we’ll create a vacation like you’ve never experienced before! Visit us at vacationswithcharacter.com for a free quote or more information. We never charge a fee but our expertise is priceless!

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New Dates Announced for After Hour Events at Magic Kingdom Park and Animal Kingdom

Disney After Hours events are such a hit that we wanted to share the latest news with you!
Side Shot of Cinderella Castle at Dusck in Magic Kingdom
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

In case you aren’t familiar with Disney After Hours events, these evening events are your opportunity to experience the magic of a Disney theme park for three hours after regular park hours, which means little wait for attractions, experiences and character meet and greets.

TIP: You can even enter the park early, starting at 7 p.m. on your event night, before Disney After Hours begins!! Ice cream novelties, popcorn and select beverages are also included in Disney After Hours admission once the party starts.

At Magic Kingdom Park, expect little wait at 25 plus attractions and experiences, including favorites like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Space Mountain and many more.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, enjoy the best the park has to offer at night, including the resplendent Tree of Life Awakenings, adventures within Pandora – The World of Avatar and more!

Dates just announced include the following for each park:

Magic Kingdom Park

  • November 18, 2019
  • December 9, 2019
  • January 6, 2019
  • January 13, 2020
  • January 17, 2020
  • January 20, 2020

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • October 5, 9, 19, 26 and 30, 2019
  • November 5, 13 and 19, 2019
  • December 7, 14 and 18, 2019
  • January 9, 16, 22 and 30, 2020
  • February 6, 13, 19 and 27, 2020
  • March 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2020

If you would like more information about this or other package options, please contact a Vacations with Character® Travel Agent. We have the experience, expertise, and training to help you create the perfect vacation package for your needs. Best of all, our “white glove” service is always free to our clients!

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Dates Announced for Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2020

New Orleans  is known for its parades, food, music, and fun. Experience it all nightly when Universal Mardi Gras returns to Universal Studios Florida from February 1 to April 2 in 2020!

Mardi Gras Parade Float for Universal Orlando Universal Studios Florida
Mardi Gras Parade Floats Universal Studios Florida USF Entertainment Beads
Join in on the fun with the nightly, family-friendly parade and celebrate with performers in colorful costumes. As Mardi Gras floats fill the streets, collect all the beads your heart desires!
Hunkering for a taste of N’awlins? Feast on Cajun specialties and tasty Mardi Gras treats in the French Quarter Courtyard. And, of course, party to the sounds of the Bayou as bands straight from the Big Easy play in the park every day.
As part of the event, and on select nights, you can even enjoy the annual Mardi Gras concert series featuring today’s top artists — and it’s included with your park admission!
Concert stage at Univesal Studios with Rip Ride Rockit in the background
Universal Studios Mardi Gras Concert Stage
The lineup will be released in the coming months and we’ll share that information with you soon. In the meantime, read our blog from this year to see what you can expect. 

This is one party you won’t want to miss! With a park admission ticket or Annual Pass to Universal Studios Florida, you’re an honorary part of the krewe! Stay tuned for all the details to come or if you’d like more information, feel free to reach out to your favorite Vacations with Character® Travel Professional, or request a free quote via our website!

 

 

Halloween Marathon of Mayhem Lagoon Show Announced for HHN29

A new lagoon show is debuting September 6 to November 2 for select nights at Universal Studios Florida during Halloween Horror Nights 29!
Special effects show featuring clips from top horror films in neon
Halloween Marathon of Mayhem – Halloween Horror Nights

Watch as the lagoon transforms with a spectacle of neon and synth, featuring iconic scenes from top horror films, cult classics and TV shows in “Halloween Marathon of Mayhem”.

Grab a bucket of popcorn and get ready as the lagoon lights up with iconic scenes from Netflix’s Stranger Things, Ghostbusters, Universal Monsters and Killer Klowns from Outer Space. This new show features a blend of fountain-based media, state-of-the-art technologies and special effects in a new way. This is one 80’s nightmare you won’t want to miss!

Read our blog for 5 great tips for the Ultimate Halloween Horror Nights experience or for more information about the Scare Zones, Academy of Villians, and Haunted Houses!

Show times each event night are 10PM, 11PM and 12AM but you’ll need to download the Official Universal Orlando Resort Mobile App for the show schedule or contact A Vacations with Character® Travel Agent to book a HHN vacation package or for tickets to this year’s event. It will be a thrill you won’t soon forget! Note:  This vent may be too intense for young children and is not recommended for children under the age of 13. No costumes or masks are allowed.

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