10 Tips for Universal Orlando’s Reopening

Universal Orlando Resort is officially open! We’re excited to take you on a walk with us as we show you what you can expect from line queues to meet and greets to dining and more in this first phase of reopening. Read on for 10 Tips on what to expect!

Universal’s Iconic Globe / Photo Credit Derek Funk

1) Whether you travel to the park via resort buses or personal car, social distancing space is always maintained (even in the parking lot by skipping a space between cars).

2) Upon arrival, you’re greeted with new and clear signage as well as ground markers to enforce the new guidelines for all guest’s health and safety.  It’s at this point ALL guests are required to pass a temperature screening before heading into the security area and through the metal detectors!

Universal’s New Signage / Photo Credit Derek Funk
Universal’s New Floor Signs / Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

3) All of the line queue have also been updated with social distancing markers to ensure guests are 6 feet apart. Here is how Hagrids line looks; these markers continue throughout the queues for all attractions.

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

4) Hand sanitizer is being given out by a Team Member before experiencing an attraction.

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

FUN FACT: Hagrids carts are actually 6 feet apart so they will NOT be skipping every other cart and from what we have been reassured, it’s very easy to ride a coaster with a well fitting mask. Don’t worry if you lose yours, Universal has complimentary, disposable masks they will supply you with!

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

5) Many attractions are being added to a new Virtual Line Pass, which is a nice surprise especially for fans of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure!

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

Don’t have access to the Universal Mobile app? They’ve got you covered! You’ll notice the creation of Virtual Line Kiosks:

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

6) While the parks were closed, Universal has been very busy! You’ll notice some upgrades, such as the new Raptor Encounter, including a new baby friend who can’t wait to meet you! ♥

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk
Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

7) Speaking of meeting our friends, everyone loves greeting their favorite characters and Universal has, thankfully, found a creative way! You’ll have to wear a mask and take a selfie within social distancing guidelines (notice the ground marker) but you’ll still have a great new photo op with your pals!

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk
Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk
Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

We ♥ the Spongebob Photo Op and give it 2 fins up!

8) As for dining, upon entrance you’re greeted with a hand sanitizer dispenser and will be seated for social distancing. Ordering and paying will be done from the mobile app.  Eventually, the mobile app will be updated with the dining plan but until then (and if you don’t have a mobile phone) ONE person from your party will walk up and go through the line to order and pay at the register (with your mask on, of course). This is a photo of Louie’s:

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

UPDATED 6/5/2020:
9) Another important detail to know: if a ride has a virtual line available, that is the only way you can currently experience that attraction. So, if you do not have a virtual line reservation you will not be permitted to ride. Currently we are also being told you will not be able to book more than TWO  virtual line time at once but we’ll keep you updated if that changes! (Previously, it was said to be one.)

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

10) We have a list of all of the most pertinent details regarding operational procedures from screening to sanitization. Please visit our website for more information by clicking here!

We hope you enjoyed our virtual tour and tips.  Are you ready and excited to visit? Contact Vacations with Character® and let’s talk about your next amazing getaway to Universal! We have some special savings to tell you about including discounts on tickets, plus we are EXPERTS when it comes to Universal vacations. Visit us at our main website for a free quote: https://universalvacationplanners.com/ or reach out and drop us a line!

Authorized Universal Orlando Travel Professional
Vacations with Character is proud to have the distinction of being an Authorized Vacation Planner for Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood

NEW Exciting Offers at Walt Disney World Resort

A Walt Disney World® Resort Vacation is THE Perfect Holiday Gift for Loved Ones to Create Memories that Last a Lifetime and We Have Some New Special Offers to Tell You About!

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Enjoy a Kids Delicious Dining Offer: Free Dining Plan for Kids (Ages 3-9) ~ Plus an Extra Dash of Magic!

You can get a FREE dining plan for kids (ages 3 to 9) when you buy a non-discounted 3-night/3-day package for yourself and your child(ren) that includes theme park tickets, a dining plan, and a room at a select Disney Value Resort hotel.

All 3 dining plans—Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan and Disney Deluxe Dining Plan—are eligible with this offer, but everyone in your reservation must be on the same package. For instance, if you purchase a package with the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan, then your kid(s) (ages 3 to 9) on that package will receive the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan.

With this offer, you’ll also receive the Frozen Welcome Pack, including:

  • Voucher for one stroller rental for the length of your stay
  • Voucher for one in-park 5×7 photo print per room
  • One merchandise bag per room including a plush, book and 2 treats

This offer is valid for arrivals most nights from January 1 – March 7, 2020 when you. book through January 1, 2020.

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Give the Gift of a Magical Stay at a Disney Resort Hotel – Save Up to 25% on Rooms in Early 2020

Save up to 25% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels – valid for stays most nights Jan. 1 through April 25, 2020 when you book by Jan. 1, 2020. Or save up to 20% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels – valid for stays most nights Jan. 2 through April 25, 2020 when you book through March 7, 2020.

Plus, receive a $30 USD Disney Gift Card* per person (ages 3 and up) on the reservation when you upgrade to a package by adding 6-day or longer Theme Park tickets*. Gift cards can be used  at participating locations in your resort hotel, in the theme parks, at restaurants and more!

Courtesy of Disney Travel News
Photo Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Florida Residents: Spring into 2020 with Great Rates at Select Disney Resort Hotels

Are you a Florida Resident? You too can save up to 30% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels at Walt Disney World® Resort for stays most nights Jan. 1-April. 25, 2020 when you book through April 25, 2020!

And last, but not least:

RELATED: Disney Visa Cardmembers Save up to 40% on a Stay at Disney’s Riviera Resort

Visit us online for a free quote or reach out to your favorite Vacations with Character® Travel Planner. We never charge a fee but our experience and expertise are priceless when it comes to planning your vacation! Why not book your adventure with a trusted source? Vacations with Character® is a registered Florida Seller of Travel!

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

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Additional per adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts and Studios at Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Valid admission is required to enjoy theme parks and special events and is not included in this offer. Offer excludes the following room types: campsites, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. Proof of Florida residency required at check-in.

*One Disney Gift Card will be given per reservation. If you complete online check-in in advance, the Disney Gift Card will be emailed to you on the day of your arrival. Otherwise, you’ll be asked for your email address when you check in at the Front Desk of your Disney Resort hotel – and the Disney Gift Card will be sent to that email address. The email will contain a bar code for using the Disney Gift Card. If you don’t receive your Disney Gift Card in your inbox, please check your spam folder or stop by the Front Desk for assistance.


#NowMoreThanEver It’s Time to Save!

At Vacations with Character® we understand the importance of vacations!

They are not only fun and relaxing, but healthy for us. They help us recharge our batteries and get back to feeling our best. While our minds, bodies and souls personally benefit, our relationships do too. We reconnect and bond all while creating precious, amazing memories that last a lifetime!

This is exactly why our agency was formed and why our fantastic team has come together. We ♥ helping countless families and friends celebrate life – with a vacation!

Today, we are excited to share THREE NEW SPECIAL DISCOUNTS for Walt Disney World, and an extended date on FREE DINING for Disney Visa Cardmembers! We’ve got the recap of them all right here for you!

Please note, the number of rooms allocated for these offers are limited. Therefore, if you are interested, contact us today to place your no-obligation courtesy hold!

1) This summer, enjoy a little extra flavor during a fun-filled stay!
Walt Disney World Resort Quick Service Mealtime with Family
Photo Courtesy of Disney Travel Agents

Receive a FREE meal per person (ages 3 and up), per night at a select Walt Disney World Resort quick-service dining location when you purchase a non-discounted 4-night/5-day room and theme park ticket package at select Disney Moderate and Value Resort hotels.

This offer is valid for arrivals most nights from May 28 through August 21, 2019 but you must book through June 30, 2019.  Don’t forget to ask about packages of other lengths of stay as well!

Click here for all the details!

2) Stay in the magic with this great room offer!
A smiling boy splashes through knee high water with his family watching in the background
Photo Courtesy of Disney Travel Agents

Save up to 25% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels, valid for stays most nights May 28 through August 28, 2019.

Plus, when you book this offer for arrivals May 28 to June 30, 2019, you’ll receive a Disney Gift Card at check-in—so you can enjoy even more magic during your stay! The value of your Disney Gift Card will vary based on Resort Category and original length of stay:

  • Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per room per night
  • Disney Deluxe Resorts: $20 per room per night
  • Disney Moderate Resorts: $15 per room per night
  • Disney Value Resorts: $10 per room per night

Contact us to book through August 28, 2019 to take advantage of this great offer!

Click here for all the details!

3) Sizzle in Summer Fun with a kid-size Vacation Package!
Sulley from Monsters, Inc. greets a young boy and his mother
Photo Courtesy of Disney Travel Agents

Make memories you’ll cherish forever when you stay in the middle of the magic at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

For as low as $1,205, a family of 3 can enjoy a 3-night stay in a standard room at a Disney’s All-Star Resort hotel and 2-day Walt Disney World Resort theme park base tickets. Sample package price is valid for arrivals most Sunday through Tuesday nights June 2 – June 25 and July 7 – August 26, 2019.

When you book this offer for arrivals in June, you’ll even receive a Disney Gift Card at check-in—so you can enjoy more magic during your stay! The value of your Disney Gift Card will vary based on Resort Category and length of original stay:

  • Disney Value Resorts: $10 per room per night
  • Disney Moderate Resorts: $15 per room per night
  • Disney Deluxe Resorts: $20 per room per night
  • Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per room per night

You must book this offer by August 26, 2019.

4) Disney® Visa® Cardmembers: Enjoy This Delicious Offer
Breakfast platter featuring Mickey shaped waffles
Photo Courtesy of Disney Travel Agents
Savor the magic this summer during a fun-filled vacation at Walt Disney World Resort! If you’re a Disney Visa Cardmember, you can enjoy a FREE dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted 4-night/5-day Walt Disney Travel Co. package that includes a room for 4 nights at a select Walt Disney World Resort hotel and 5-day theme park tickets with Park Hopper® Option.
Book through June 16, 2019 for arrivals most nights August 1 through August 21, 2019.
Note: packages for other lengths of stay may be available.

No photo description available.

Savings is based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Length of stay requirements and other restrictions apply.

#NowMoreThanEver it’s a great time to visit and a great time to save!

Contact your favorite Vacationista at Vacations with Character® to book one of these amazing offers or ask about others for different dates of travel! www.vacationswithcharacter.com

Pet Friendly Vacations #NationalPuppyDay

One of our amazing greyhounds and beloved family members

Years ago, my newlywed husband and I adopted the first of many rescued pets, a greyhound. What an amazing creature! She brought us great joy – and much love.

I remember a time when we decided to go on a vacation to Key West. I was so excited — but also very worried about leaving our first “baby”. After all, she had grown to be a member of our family! Although we truly enjoyed our vacation, I simply couldn’t wait to get back home to her and I spent a great deal of time thinking about her and hoping she wasn’t too sad in our absence. If only she could have joined us, the vacation would have been perfect.

I know I am not alone in my love for our furry (and other) friends. According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), over 60 million people own a dog, over 47 million own a cat, and 68% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 84.6 millions homes…that’s a lot of animal lovers! ♥

Pet owners have a millennia-long history of close relations and loyalty with our four-legged companions, and in fact, studies have even been done that show we love our dogs and cats as much as our children! For this reason, it’s easy to understand why the thought of vacationing without them would create anxiety over leaving them behind. So, in honor of #NationalPuppyDay I’ve decided to share some information that might make you and your pooch smile (and yes, I really do believe dogs — and cats — smile!)

Dog Friendly Resorts at Walt Disney World (Sorry Felines!)
The colorful logo and building exterior of Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Photo Courtesy Disney Destinations

Thankfully, Disney understands that dogs aren’t just pets too! As part of an ongoing pilot program, 4 of the Disney Resort hotels have designated dog-friendly accommodations, including:

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Ft. Wilderness Camping Sites – Pet Friendly Loops

Upon arrival, dogs and their owners will be greeted with a complimentary Pluto’s Welcome Kit and placed in resort rooms that have easy access to outdoor walkways for exercise plus green spaces with pet relief areas.

At this time dogs are the only pets allowed, with a maximum of 2 permitted per Guest room. Disney says “Dogs are expected to be well-behaved, leashed in public areas and properly vaccinated.”

As for booking a campsite, you may request a pet-friendly loop for an additional fee per night, but please know that pets are not allowed in pop-up trailers or tents!

Are you an allergy sufferer? No worries! While certain floors or sections of these Disney Resort hotels are designated as dog-friendly, the majority of areas remain canine-free to protect Guests with allergies. Also, other than service animals, dogs are not permitted in theme parks, water parks or common areas such as restaurants, pools and recreational spaces as well.

Walt Disney World® Resort Pet Boarding/Kennels

In addition to pet-friendly accommodations,  pets can stay at a charming retreat while you are off having fun in the parks.  First-rate accommodations and activities cane be found at Best Friends Pet Care.

Best Friends Pet Care includes:

  • 17,000 square feet of air-conditioned indoor space
  • 10,000 square feet of covered outdoor runs and play areas
  • 25,000-square-foot dog park

According to their website, the staff —made up of 45 highly trained pet care providers—are animal lovers, first and foremost and Best Friends Pet Care is open one hour before the theme parks open through one hour after closing. They also offer overnight accommodations! While the facility can accommodate up to 300 dogs, cats and small pets, reservations at Best Friends Pet Care are suggested.

If your travels are drawing you over to the Wizarding World at Universal Orlando for some amazing adventures, your pets are welcome there too!

Pet Friendly Resorts at Universal Orlando
Image result for hard rock hotel universal photos
Photo Courtesy Universal Orlando Resorts

Universal’s Loews Hotels are dog-and cat-friendly too! All pets receive their own gifts upon including a pet tag, bowl and a special treat to kick off their vacation. Owners receive a detailed brochure with information on hotel pet services such as the Loews Loves pets room service menu, local dog walking routes, and area pet services, including veterinarians, pet shops and groomers. Universal designated pet-friendly resorts include:

  • Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel
  • Loews Royal Pacific Hotel
  • Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

Loews Hotels requests all pets to be leashed or restrained at all times in public spaces in the hotel or on the property. Also note your furry friends must be supervised at all times while in the hotel or on the property as well.

Good to know info:

  • A $10 per hour “time out” fee will be assessed by Loews Hotels if a pet is left unattended and needs to be removed from a guestroom
  • Guests need to display the special Loews Loves Pets “Pet In Room” sign to alert housekeeping that a pet is in residence as at Loews Hotels as they will enter a guestroom at least every 24 hours to ensure the safety and security of our guests regardless of whether a “Still Dreaming” or “Pet in Room” signs are hanging
  • Pets are not allowed in food and beverage, pool or fitness center areas.
  • Guests are responsible for pet waste clean-up inside the hotel and throughout the property grounds
  • Loews Hotels reserves the right to remove guests whose pets are deemed noisy or disruptive
Your Pets Can Stay While You Play Too!

Loews will help you arrange for a local pet sitting service through the hotel’s concierge or, you can utilize Universal Orlando’s daytime kennel service for cats and dogs, where you’ll never be too far from your furry friend.

Kennels open as early as 8 am, with caring staff available until two hours after park close. Need an extended day? Your pet can stay after hours unattended until 3 am. When you’re ready to pick up your pal, simply use the phone located outside of the kennel and a Universal staff member will come by to assist you.

Kennel restrictions, dimensions and requirements include:

  • First-come, first-served basis charge of $15.00* per pet, per day–no reservations required or accepted
  • Dogs weighing 39 pounds and more will be boarded in our covered outdoor kennel area with fans for cooling
  • Outdoor pens are 7′ x 4′ and feature secure fencing and clean cement floors for a safe environment
  • Cats and dogs weighing 38 pounds and less will be boarded in air conditioned indoor kennel
  • Cozy 3′ x 2 1/2′ metal kennels include a fenced front for privacy

They also recommend bringing food, blankets and toys to make your four-legged friend feel at home. While the kennel attendant will supply water and keep things clean, they also ask that you plan to return to take your pet for a walk at least once during the day. You’ll find this safe environment just minutes away from the action, so you can come back throughout the day to check on your pet, drop off snacks or just have a quick cuddle with your cutie.  For more information and requirements call (407) 224-9509 or fax (407) 224-9516.

Other options are definitely available in and around the Orlando area as well.

Give your furry friend(s) some extra love today as we celebrate National Puppy Day and don’t forget to contact a Vacations with Character® Travel Professional to book your next adventure with Fido or Boo-Boo Kitty! Your furbabies will ♥ you for it! www.vacationswithcharacter.com