Top 5 Updates for Walt Disney World

It’s been a busy week for Disney Destinations and we thought we’d share the top 5 things you might want to know about!
Courtesy of Disney Travel News
1) Three new films will debut Jan. 17, 2020, at Epcot, on the same day the Epcot International Festival of the Arts begins!

“Awesome Planet”, in The Land pavilion, showcases the Earth’s beauty and diversity in a 10-minute film featuring spectacular imagery, in-theater effects and an original musical score from Academy Award-winning® composer Steven Price.

“Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along”, in the France pavilion, is directed and produced by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” films, and invites Guests to participate in a twist on a tale as old as time. It also features narration from Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts in the original film. The new sing-along will run in rotation with “Impressions de France,” which will receive an upgrade to 4K projection.

And “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360”, in the Canada pavilion, is an update to the previous “O Canada!” film with new scenes, a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington and new narration by award-winning actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.

2) We were given a “first look” inside Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot!
Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Chef Remy is cooking up something special at Epcot®, and Walt Disney Imagineering is hard at work developing a new attraction for the park’s France pavilion, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, planned to open in summer 2020. Based on Disney and Pixar’s hit film, “Ratatouille,” this family-friendly attraction will invite you to shrink down to the scale of a rat for a culinary adventure with Chef Remy. You will race across Gusteau’s kitchen floor aboard special trackless ride vehicles, which you can see in the image at the top of this post.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is one of several new experiences coming to Epcot as part of the park’s historic transformation already underway.

3) New Details were revealed on restaurants coming to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

The new fast-casual restaurant, opening this winter at The American Adventure in Epcot, will serve classic barbecue and home-style craft brews. When Guests step into the pavilion, they’ll be greeted by the enticing aromas of barbecue coming from a large smoker located in the center of the outdoor bar and seating area. Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue will celebrate American backyard barbecue with flavors from different regions around the United States.

Space 220 Restaurant

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Space 220 is a new table-service restaurant debuting this winter at Epcot next to Mission: SPACE. Imagine entering a restaurant and stepping into a special space elevator that will take you 220 miles above the earth’s surface, offering incredible celestial views! Doesn’t this sound amazing? You’ll feel as if you’re traveling straight up into space to dock next to the Centauri Space Station suspended just beyond the orbit of Mission: SPACE. We can’t wait for the journey!

Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Coming in 2020 to Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a new table-service restaurant that invites you to a rootin’, tootin’ rodeo right in Andy’s back yard! Here, you’ll be immersed with all your favorite toy pals in the western atmosphere of Woody’s Roundup providing a fun, family-friendly dining experience that could only be had in Toy Story Land. A new artist concept image (see above) emphasizes the theme of the new dining locale constructed from Andy’s favorite larger-than-life play sets and games.

4) JUST ANNOUNCED: Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to Debut in 2021 at Walt Disney World Resort
Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will begin transporting Guests from Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida to a galaxy far, far away beginning in 2021. This is a new type of immersive vacation that only Disney could create – a two-night, cruise-style itinerary where you become the hero of your own adventure in an experience that surrounds you 24/7 in Star Wars storytelling.

In a new artist concept rendering just released (above), you get a first look at what you’ll see when you arrive for your Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser vacation. The Galactic Starcruiser Terminal is where you’ll begin your Star Wars experience!

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Whether you show up via personal vehicle, Disney transportation or by landspeeder, curb-side check-in prepares you to leave Earth behind, jump to lightspeed and begin your Star Wars story. From the Starcruiser Terminal, Guests will enter an exclusive launch pod transport ship (above) for travel up to the Halcyon, the starcruiser in a galaxy far, far away. Through the pod’s viewports, it looks as though you’re traveling through space to approach the massive ship that is much too large to land on any planet.

A “spaceport of call” to Black Spire Outpost is included in the itinerary, where special passenger transports take you to the planet Batuu (also known as the destination for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®). You’ll remain fully in-story as you step aboard the transport ships designed specifically for this new immersive experience, which take you from Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and back.  For Star Wars fans, this promises to be an amazing experience like no other and we’ll be reporting on all the future details as they are announced.

5) The groundbreaking new Disney attraction Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is officially open at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® – and we’re excited to say Guests are loving it! See for yourself:

Stay tuned to our blog for updates and information to come or to book your next vacation to experience a Disney Destination and see what all the hype is about! Our services are free for our clients but our experience and expertise are priceless! www.vacationswithcharacter.com

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas in Universal Orlando!

Universal Orlando is gearing up for a beautiful holiday season! Take a sneak peek at some of the decorations going up around Islands of Adventure and find out why YOU need to vacation in Universal Orlando this holiday season.
Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort – photo credit: Derek Funk

There’s so much fun to be had during the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort! Add in fun decor, special attractions and adorable shows, and it’s no wonder why it’s a “must do” for many families each year.

Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort
Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort – photo credit: Derek Funk

Who doesn’t love the Grinch?! You can catch him in The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular daily. This adorable live performance is a retelling of the classic holiday tale starring The Grinch™. Afterward, you can even meet the maven of mischief himself for an autograph and photos!

Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort – photo credit: Derek Funk

The Cat in the Hat attraction is getting in on some holiday action!

Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort – photo credit: Derek Funk

If I Ran the Zoo, I’d decorate them too!

Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort – photo credit: Derek Funk

If you have never thought about visiting Universal Orlando for the holidays, you should! There’s so much to see…so much to do! Here’s a few more highlights of the seasonal events:

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

  • Experience Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ as Diagon Alley™ and Hogsmeade™ are transformed with festive decor and special entertainment. The Frog Choir sings seasonal melodies and there are special treats and drinks to share. Then, at dusk a dazzling projection of holiday spirit, The Magic of Christmas, unfolds on Hogwarts™ Castle.
  • At the Grinch™ & Friends Character Breakfast, choose from irresistible entrees and get your camera ready. The mischievous Grinch™ himself will make the rounds, stopping to pose for photos and share hilariously snarky small talk. (Separately ticketed experience.)
  • Merry and Mayhem combine as the Minions join Santa Claus in Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, a favorite treat that also features characters from Madagascar and Shrek. It’s not to be missed!
  • The best-selling holiday artist of all time also visits Universal Studios as Mannheim Steamroller returns for live performances on select nights and it’s included (yes, you read that right!) with your Universal Studios Florida admission. Concert Dates are Saturday and Sundays: Nov. 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15.
  • From Thanksgiving to Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s, all the traditional feasts and festivities are happening in the onsite resorts plus a few surprises! Enjoy classic favorites like ornament decorating, and visits with Santa along with tree and menorah lighting ceremonies. You can also take a break from cooking and savor delicious holiday meals at acclaimed restaurants as well as additional activities for the whole family. You might even catch some rockin’ holiday parties!

    Create more memorable holiday moments and contact us for a free quote! We offer a best-price guarantee, never charge fees, and our experience is priceless!

Be sure to stay tuned for more info and live updates to come as we get closer to Thanksgiving. We’ll be venturing into the the parks and resorts and we can’t wait to share it with you!

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Experience a Holiday of Fun at Walt Disney World®

Good news! Due to overwhelming demand, Disney has increased availability for the 2019 Ultimate Disney Christmas Package and extended the booking window for this special offer!
Courtesy of Disney Travel News

This package is a great way for you to experience all the holiday fun of a Walt Disney World® Resort vacation, with an itinerary full of Yuletide offerings – including a five-night stay at a select Disney resort hotel from Dec. 21-26, 2019. Also included are four-day theme park tickets with the Park Hopper® Option, plus some exclusive holiday experiences just for Guests taking advantage of this magical offer.

Some highlights include:

  • Saturday, Dec. 21: Exclusive nighttime access to experience Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey and Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Plus, you can catch an exclusive showing of the park’s new “Rivers of Light: We Are One” show on Discovery River.
  • Sunday, Dec. 22: Tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, where you can see the brand-new “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks” nighttime spectacular.
  • Monday, Dec. 23, or Tuesday, Dec. 24 (one night per reservation): Access to an exclusive reserved viewing area to watch “Epcot® Forever,” the new nighttime spectacular at Epcot. Plus, each Guest (ages 3 and older) receives a digital $50 Epcot Theme Park Dine Promo Card to use at participating locations in the park.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 25: An Ultimate Disney Christmas gift delivered to your resort hotel room!

The holiday season is a special time at The Most Magical Place on Earth, from snow dancing above along Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom® Park to sumptuous smells wafting out of Holiday Kitchens in Epcot, or new festive décor at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to high-tech projection shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. These are just a few of the holiday happenings taking place across all four theme parks, just waiting for you to discover!

Ultimate Holiday Offer for Walt Disney World 2019

The Ultimate Disney Christmas Package now can be booked through Nov. 23, 2019. Contact us for more information or to book and give the gift of magic this holiday season! When you book your vacation with us, our services are free and you’ll receive our expert advice on where to go, what to see and do, where to eat as well as tip sheets, park maps and more! https://vacationswithcharacter.net/disney.html

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5 New Things to Look Forward to at Universal Orlando!

A lot of changes have occurred at Universal Orlando this year and more are coming. Here’s a list of our favorites to share!
Bourne Stuntacular Logo and Background
Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

1) COMING IN SPRING OF 2020, Universal Studios Florida debuts this new live-action stunt show that will leave audiences wondering, “How on earth did they do that?” Through a cutting-edge fusion of stagecraft and film, you’ll follow hero Jason Bourne across three continents as sinister characters pursue him, hoping to bring him in. Brace yourself for The Bourne Stuntacular!  You won’t just watch it – you’ll feel it.

Take a sneak peek at the new attraction entrance…the walls are down!

Courtesy of Derek Funk

2) NOW OPEN FOR BOOKING: Running Universal

Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

Running Universal packages are now available to book for Orlando and Hollywood! Get ready to see Universal Orlando Resort like you’ve never experienced it before as Running Universal presents the first ever Epic Character Race 5K and 10K weekend. Join your favorite characters and run through the heart of Universal Orlando Resort. You’ll enjoy special photo ops, take home brag-worthy medals, commemorative swag and a weekend of unforgettable memories. Contact us to book!

3) NOW OPEN: Bigfire Restaurant in CityWalk

Courtesy of Derek Funk

Universal Citywalk’s bold new restaurant is now open, adding to the collection of amazing restaurant selections. American fare like steaks and freshwater cuisine are given the fire-kissed treatment. Bigfire is a wonderful addition to the unique and fun venues at CityWalk.

4) NOW OPEN: TODAY Cafe in Universal Studios Florida™

Courtesy of Derek Funk

“Introducing the first ever TODAY Cafe at Universal Studios Florida™. NBC’s top-rated morning show is the inspiration for this one of a kind cafe. With its stage lighting and TODAY show segments on the big screen TVs you’ll feel like you’re actually on the TODAY set. One of the standout features of the cafe will be seasonal dishes inspired by a TODAY personality.”

Courtesy of Derek Funk

Filled with baked goods, salads, sandwiches and specialty coffees – including a unique blend created specifically for the TODAY Cafe – this is a great place to stop in for a coffee break or grab a snack, lunch or dinner. The TODAY Cafe will make you feel a part of the show’s Studio 1A experience every time you visit.

5) STILL SHOWING: Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle

Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

“As darkness falls at Hogwarts™ castle, Dementors™, Death Eaters™ and other unspeakable creatures cloak the stone walls with sinister images from the darker side of magic. Experience the fire-engulfed army of Inferi, the soul-draining breath of Dementors™ and the haunting image of Lord Voldemort™ as you stare in awe at the castle’s takeover. It’s an ominous new spectacle of light and music at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.” Running for select nights Sept. 14–Nov. 15, this is a show you won’t want to miss!

If you are interested in more information, simply reach out to us via our websites and fill out a quote form or shoot us an  email at https://universalvacationplanners.com/ or https://vacationswithcharacter.net/universal-orlando.html. We’re always here to help you celebrate life with an adventure and Universal Orlando is a great way to do just that!

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Stay tuned to our blog and social media channels as more details about the exhilarating new live show, resort updates, and holiday happenings will be revealed in the coming days, weeks, and months!

 

New Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tasting Sampler Value Card

If you are looking for a great way to experience the flavors of Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tasting Sampler Card is a great option!

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

The Sampler Card goes on sale today and costs $50 USD.  When you purchase this card you ‘ll actually receive  TWO digital value cards: one $50 USD card that can be used at over 40 outdoor food and beverage locations throughout the park (and does not expire), AND a bonus $10 USD card that can be used at select quick-service restaurants after 4 p.m.

It’s a great way to enjoy a delectable day of flavorful food and beverage as you taste your way around the park’s carts and kiosks, and select restaurants!

But wait!! That’s not all!!

With each $50 USD card purchased, you’ll also receive two (2) reserved seats for the second showing of Rivers of Light: We are One. (Note: these must be redeemed between Dec. 22, 2019 and Jan. 4, 2020).

Participating quick-service restaurants include: Restaurantosaurus (DinoLand U.S.A), Pizzafari and Pizzafari Family-Style Dining (Discovery Island), Flame Tree Barbecue (Discovery Island), and Satu’li Canteen (Pandora – The World of Avatar).

At each of the outdoor food and beverage locations, you can use the $50 USD card to purchase anything on the menu. Among these dishes are some favorites from this spring’s Tasting Sampler as well as a whole host of delicious new bites only available during the holiday season.

Here’s a list of all the new and returning eats and treats that you won’t want to miss:

Kusafiri Bakery (Africa)

  • Curry Trio with Shrimp, Chicken, and Vegetable Curries
  • Coffee
  • Pastries

Caravan Road (Asia)

  • Ginger Slaw Dog
  • Char Siu Pork with Sticky Rice

Mr. Kamal’s (Asia)

  • Fried Chicken Dumplings
  • Kamal’s Fries with Dipping Sauces

Trilo-Bites (DinoLand U.S.A.)

  • Buffalo Chicken Chips
  • Peppermint Cookies and Cream Sundae
  • Bugs ‘n Grubs Cone

Dino-Bite Snacks (DinoLand U.S.A.)

  • Scrooge McDuck’s Billionaire Bacon Caramel Sundae
  • Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwich

Terra Treats (Discovery Island)

  • Tomato and Cheese Pizza
  • Seasonal Specialty Pizza

Smiling Crocodile (Discovery Island)

  • Pulled Pork Jelly Donut Slider
  • Pulled Pork Street Taco
  • Tamale with Tomatillo Sauce, Red Chile Sauce, and a Jalapeño Cream Sauce

Additional Participating Carts and Kiosks 

Africa

  • Mahindi (popcorn, glazed nuts, beer)
  • Tamu Tamu Refreshments (Simba Sunset, Simba Ice Cream Sandwich, Pineapple Dole Whip Cup, ice cream treats, beer)
  • Dawa Bar (specialty beverages, cocktails, beer)
  • Harambe Fruit Market (fruit, pretzels, grilled corn with African spices)

Asia

  • Warung Outpost (pretzels, chips, margaritas)
  • Drinkwallah (nuts, chips, frozen beverages)
  • Chakranadi (pretzels, nuts, beer, fountain beverages)
  • Anandapur Ice Cream Treats (Forbidden Mountain Cone, soft-serve ice cream treats, fountain beverages)
  • Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks (Pumpkin Spice Pretzel, popcorn, ice cream treats, pretzels, cocktails, beer)
  • Snack Cart near UP! A Great Bird Adventure (ice cream treats)

DinoLand U.S.A.

  • Dino Diner (chips and queso, chili cheese dog, corn chip pie, churros, beer)
  • Corn-ivores (popcorn, bottled beverages)

Discovery Island

  • Feeding Ground (popcorn, frozen lemonade, beer)
  • Eight Spoon Café (macaroni and cheese with pulled pork or shrimp, pretzels)
  • Isle of Java (coffee, pastries, chocolate donut holes)
  • Snack Cart near Tiffins Restaurant (all-beef hot dogs, ice cream treats)

Pandora – The World of Avatar

  • Pongu Pongu (pretzels, pineapple lumpia, specialty beverages)
  • Beverage Cart near Pongu Pongu (chips, bottled beverages)

Parkwide

  • Ice Cream Carts (ice cream treats, bottled beverages)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tasting Sampler can be purchased starting today, Oct. 8, 2019, and will be available through Jan. 4, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. noon E.T. and can be used at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during regular operating hours. When you purchase the sampler, you’ll receive an email for each digital value card. Each email will have a barcode that can be added to your digital wallet on your mobile phone and scanned at most food and beverage locations throughout the park. For a full list of participating locations and menu offerings, visit any food and beverage location at the park. To purchase, visit http://offers.disney.com/DAKDINEBONUS/ or contact your favorite Vacations with Character Travel Agent for help with a vacation package that includes this special offer.

PLEASE NOTE: 

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tasting Sampler $50 USD digital value card can only be redeemed at the participating locations indicated on the Tasting Sampler map, which will be available at any participating food and beverage location in the park from Dec. 22, 2019 through Jan. 4, 2020. It cannot be used at Table-Service Restaurants or Quick-Service Restaurants and does not expire. Terms and Conditions apply
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom After 4 p.m. Quick Service Bonus $10 USD digital value card may only be redeemed at the five locations above and is not valid for use after Jan. 4, 2020. Terms and Conditions apply
  • Guests must be at least 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages. Please keep a valid form of identification on hand at all times to verify your age. 
  • All menu items and event experiences are subject to change without notice. 
  • $50 USD Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tasting Sampler and the $10 Disney’s Animal Kingdom After 4 Quick Service Bonus are separate products and cannot be combined. 
  • For the Rivers of Light: We Are One show  seating, you may check in at the Dining Package kiosk on the DinoLand U.S.A. side of the theater and show a Cast Member their Tasting Sampler Digital Value Card on their mobile device.
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5 Favorite Fall Fun Events at Walt Disney World Resort

Fall is a Favorite Time of Year to Visit the Walt Disney World® Resort. There’s Simply so Much Fun to be Had! Here’s a List of our Top Fav’s!

Courtesy of Disney DestinationsIndulge in spooky thrills at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is already delighting Guests with the “treat” of a new fireworks show this year – “Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular.” Other must-sees at the event are the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” stage show and “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade,” which features Disney characters in new Halloween costumes – and the spectral bride from the Haunted Mansion.

RELATED: Jack Skeleton Hosts Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular

Indulge your taste buds at the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival – Where else but at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival can you sample mouthwatering international fare at more than 30 Global Marketplaces, watch live culinary demonstrations, and learn tips and tricks from celebrity chefs? Eat to the Beat concerts also keep the fun going in the evening, bringing the sounds of pop, rock, R&B, country, Christian, swing and Latin artists to the America Gardens Theatre, three times nightly. Pop down for a long weekend or add this to your vacation plans — it’s a must do for my family and friends!

RELATED: Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Now Open

Catch “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” at Epcot one last time – While you’re visiting Epcot for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, be sure to stay for “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.” The show will take its final bow on Sept. 30, in order to make way for the park’s new nighttime show, “Epcot Forever.”

Make out-of-this-world memories at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Named one of Time Magazine’s world’s greatest places, become part of your own Star Wars story at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. Try galactic food and beverages, craft your own lightsabers, build droids and even help fly the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” at Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. TIP: Now through September 30, Guests can interact with an exclusive Snapchat filter that’ll put you inside a realistic hologram – start your transmission from the planet of Batuu today! (Available in certain U.S. regions only.)

Dive into a Disney water park – With cooler temps and smaller crowds, it’s the perfect time to cool off and relax in the Cross Country Creek lazy river at Disney’s Blizzard Beach® or jump the waves in the Surf Pool at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon®. Adding this option to your vacation package is a great way to enhance your trip and grab some R & R!

Contact us for details, for tickets, or to book your next Fall getaway! We never charge a fee but our experience and expertise are priceless!

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10 Top Tips for ‘Getting your Pirate On’ at Walt Disney World Resort

Ahoy, mateys! It’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and to celebrate, we’re sharing the top 10 ways to experience a Pirate’s Life in Walt Disney World!

Captain Hook
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

1) Dive Into Your Very Own Pirate Tale at The Pirates League in Magic Kingdom. Guests 3 years and up can come aboard for a swashbuckling pirate transformation that can include a hairstyle, facial effect and other special treasures. Or choose a deluxe head-to-toe makeover into a mesmerizing mermaid or pirate captain!

2) Play A Pirate’s Adventure ~ Treasures of the Seven Seas. Join an interactive hunt for secret treasures hidden throughout Adventureland. Just head over to The Crow’s Nest and pick up a talisman that magically allows you to read a secret treasure map. Then it’s all hands on deck as you hunt for treasure!

3) Younger scallywags 4 to 12 can fearlessly channel their inner pirate on water with Pirate Adventure Cruises, which feature fun activities like donning bandanas and treasure hunting like true pirates.

4) Seasoned sailors and dessert lovers can set their sights on The Pirates & Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage. Enjoy a boat ride starting from Disney’s Contemporary Resort that includes a treasure trove of delicious dessert options, perfect for snacking on before meeting Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.

5) Experience a swashbuckling attraction and pretend you’re a Lost Boy or one of Captain Hook’s crew on Peter Pan’s Flight in Fantasyland. Climb aboard a gentle pirate galleon and set sail across the sky to Never Land!

6) Embark on a thrilling adventure on Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland, which features a lively Halloween overlay exclusively offered during nights of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

7) Salute your favorite Scallywags and give Captain Hook your most convincing “Arrrgh!” during Magic Kingdom Park’s daily “Festival of Fantasy Parade,”. You’ll find Captain Hook, Mr. Smee and Tick-Tock scouring the parade route for Wendy and Peter Pan.

8) Those interested in nighttime family-friendly frights can shake hands with the most fearless pirate in the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow, in Adventureland exclusively offered during nights of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – or catch Jack sparring with Captain Barbossa aboard their ship during the “Boo-To-You Halloween Parade.” 

9) For buccaneers 4 to 12 with still more energy to burn, Disney’s Beach Club Resort offers a fun and safe evening of mischief with a pirate’s feast included. Because after a full day of pirate living, everyone can use a little treasured rest and relaxation!

10) Check into the Captain’s Quarters and walk the plank into your comfortable pirate-themed quarters at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to relax and recuperate from a thrilling day in the life of a pirate.

If a pirate’s life is for you, contact us and we’ll be sure to help you plan a swashbuckling adventure!

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5 Great Reasons to Visit Epcot in 2020

The lovable Figment welcomes guests to the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The annual event celebrates the culinary, visual and performing arts.

1) The annual Epcot® International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World® Resort invites Guests to immerse themselves in the visual, culinary and performing arts in ways that only Disney can offer, including live concerts and art performances, workshops, art signings and much more. Today, we’re happy to share that this popular festival will return to the park Jan. 17-Feb. 24, 2020.

2) One highlight of the festival is the Disney on Broadway Concert Series, in which Disney on Broadway stars pair up to perform their favorite songs from award-winning productions at the America Gardens Theatre. We’re happy to confirm that the Disney on Broadway Concert Series will again return to the park nightly during the festival.

In addition to Epcot International Festival of the Arts offerings, you’ll also be able to enjoy fun new experiences in World Showcase!

3) As previously announced, the new “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” will debut in January 2020 in the France pavilion in addition to Impressions de France. This new sing-along adventure is directed by Don Hahn, producer of both the animated and live-action versions of this tale as old as time.

4) “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” will debut in January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story.

5) And The Land pavilion will welcome a new film, “Awesome Planet,” in January 2020 showcasing the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of the planet.

And of course, you’ll be able to cap off your day by taking in the new nighttime show “Epcot Forever,” which debuts Oct. 1, 2019. The show will be an all-new spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting, lasers and choreographed special-effect kites that will take guests on a journey through the past, present and future of Epcot.

It’s not too early to book your next adventure but before this amazing new show debuts, don’t forget to bid a fond farewell to “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” before it closes on Sept. 30, 2019!

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10 Reasons to Visit Seuss Landing in Universal Orlando

In 1999 Universal Orlando opened it’s second theme park, Islands of Adventure, and Seuss Landing was born! Since then, it’s been captivating the hearts and minds of the young and old alike!
Colorful Entrance to Suess Landing
Photo Credit: Vacations with Character®

Here’s a list of our favorite top 10 things to experience, along with a few secret tips!

1) There are No Straight Lines! Dr. Seuss’s illustrations were known for their curved or slanted lines. The designers at Universal Creative used this inspiration when creating Seuss Landing. Even the trees were brought in from a hurricane-stricken area off the coast, making them as twisted as the rest of this land.

Sign for Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-Pendous
Photo: Vacations with Character®

2) See The Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-pendous! Based on the Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Circus, which tells the tale of young Morris McGurk and his dreams of a creating an amazing circus, it’s an interesting place to eat. Don’t forget to look up above and wave to those passing by on the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!™

Photo: Vacations with Character®

3) Speaking of the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride…this is one attraction you won’t want to miss! This gentle ride circles around Seuss Landing fifteen feet in the air and lasts around three minutes. The story of The Sneetches is featured in a few audioanimatronic displays as riders glide past in train cars. Keep your camera ready as this attraction offers a bird’s eye view of Seuss Landing and beyond! TIP: There are two separate tracks, so try to ride both!

Truffula Trees in Seuss Landing
Photo: Vacations with Character®

4) Everyone loves the message of the Lorax and you can take a short walk through the Truffula trees, enjoying little surprises along the path. No trip to Seuss Landing is complete without visiting!

Suess Landing Sign
Photo: Vacations with Character®

5) Sneetch Beach is a well-kept, almost hidden secret! Located to the left of the Green Eggs and Ham™ Cafe, this path is hardly utilized and is a cute spot to take a break from the crowds and also a great photo op! TIP: It’s  the perfect shortcut when trying to make rope drop for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat pose for a photo op
Photo: Vacations with Character®

6) Character Meet and Greet Photo Ops – Some of the characters you can meet include Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Sam I Am, the Lorax, and the Grinch. TIP: The best time to meet these characters is after a performance of Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear, a musical rendition of the good doctor’s best-loved stories. Be sure to check the mobile app or a times guide for performances.

One Fish Two Fish Ride
Photo: Vacations with Character®

7) Climb aboard  One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish™ and delight in this children’s book come to life. This is a ride that kids (and parents) love!  TIP: Listen to the song as you ride to hear whether you should move your fish up, up, up or down, down, down – mess up and you might get wet!

Carosel in Suess Landing
Photo: Vacations with Character®

8) Take a spin on Caro-Suess-El, a Merry-Go-Round From The Mind Of Dr. Seuss. Not only can you climb aboard a creative cast of Dr. Seuss characters, you can make their eyes blink, ears wiggle and heads turn! Did you know: this is the first carousel to allow guests to control some of what their character can do?

Photo: Vacations with Character®

9) Climb Into Your Couch Car and Ride Through The Book, The Cat in the Hat! Each scene has been vividly re-created with colorful characters as you twist from room to room. While the mischief mounts inside the house, The Cat in the Hat™, and Thing One™ and Thing Two™ make quite a mess!

Sookers and Sookers Sweet Candy Cookers Bakery and Sweet Shop in Suess Landing
Photo: Vacations with Character®

10) Pick up a sweet treat in Sookers and Sookers Sweet Candy Cookers! Infectious confections tickle your nose from the moment you enter this one-stop-shop for snacks both sweet and savory. It’s a “must do” for my family each time we visit! Peruse a rainbow-colored display of bins brimming with bulk candies, homemade fudge, caramel apples, cotton candy, and the best cookies around. It’s one sweet way to start – or end your day!

Authorized Universal Orlando Travel Professional

Thanks for reading and if you’d like to experience this magical place for yourself, contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Travel Professional. We can save you money and even offer special tickets that include Early Entry into the parks, one full hour before the general public is allowed in!

Think left and think right, Think low and think high, oh the thiings you can think, if you only try! Bye Bye!
Photo: Vacations with Character®

 

5 Reasons You Must Visit the Walt Disney World Resort This Fall

Fall is an amazing time to visit Walt Disney World® Resort and one of our absolute favorites!
Courtesy of Disney Destinations

Here are five reasons YOU need to visit!

1) Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is back! The spookiest event of the year has returned to Magic Kingdom® Park, and this year, there’s a new fireworks show – “Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular”. Party nights also feature returning favorites, such as “Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade,” the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” stage show, Disney characters in their finest Halloween costumes and much more. Don’t miss out!

2) The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has returned! Tour 30 festive global food and wine marketplaces as well as explore seminars and special dining opportunities at this year’s event, which will run daily through Nov. 23. The festival’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series also provides nightly entertainment, with performers like Sugar Ray, Hanson, Sheila E., Boyz II Men and many more lined up to appear.  Also, be sure to take in “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” one last time. The show will take its final bow on Sept. 30, in order to make way for the new nighttime show, “Epcot Forever.”

3) Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®! Become part of your own Star Wars story by experiencing galactic food and beverages, crafting your own lightsabers, building droids and even helping to fly the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” at Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.  TIME Magazine recently named this land “One of the World’s Greatest Places” for 2019!

4) NBA Experience is open at Disney Springs®! This newly opened venue allows you to experience what it’s like to be selected in the NBA Draft, and step onto the court to make clutch shots and highlight-worthy slam dunks. NBA Experience also provides ample opportunities to learn more about the NBA and WNBA via interactive displays, films and trivia. It’s a “must do” for basketball fans!

5) Enjoy the Hakuna Matata Dance Party one last time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park – head to the Discovery Island Stage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the party, a family-friendly event that features music, dance, games and some favorite Disney friends. The show ends its run on Sept. 30, 2019.

There’s never been a better time to visit and we’d love to help you with your plans! As Authorized Disney Vacation Planners, we know how to make your vacation a magical one — and we never charge a fee for our services. Stress-free planning, peace of mind, and helping you create priceless vacation memories are what we are all about! Contact us for a free quote today!

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Vacations with Character® has earned the distinction of being an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner