Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Welcome to Batuu

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Welcome to Batuu

With the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios only a month away, it’s time to start preparing!!!

To start our journey into this new land, let’s start by talking about where we find ourselves in the Star Wars galaxy itself. 

The Planet of Batuu

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set on the planet of Batuu which is a far-flung destination along the galaxy’s Outer Rim, on the frontier of Wild Space – the uncharted region beyond all known star systems. 

Batuu was once a thriving stop for traders and travelers before advancements in lightspeed technology. 

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Batuu Disney's Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World

Now its lush forests and majestic mountain regions are known only to those who dare to venture this far into the Outer Rim to visit its Black Spire Outpost. 

When guests arrive at the Black Spire Outpost, they will find themselves immersed in a world set somewhere after the events of The Last Jedi and shortly before this December’s Episode IX where they will encounter aliens, droids, and other inhabitants of Batuu as they search for rare and unique goods, discover unusual food and drink, or even join a crew seeking adventures. 

Recently, the struggle between the First Order and the Resistance has made its way to this remote planet.

Scott Trowbridge, the Portfolio Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, has said that this elite garrison from the First Order is known as the ‘Red Fury’.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Batuu Disney's Hollywood Studios Stormtroopers
Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks

These Stormtroopers are searching for someone or something, and you can find them near the life-sized version of the TIE Echelon, a new ship which has a cockpit similar to Kylo Ren’s batwinged shuttle but the curved foils of Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced x1.

Just be careful…The Red Fury doesn’t like strangers approaching their ship.

But if you venture beyond Black Spire’s gates, you’ll find where the resistance has set up a hidden headquarters.

Be on the lookout for a Blue Squadron X-wing, parked on a low platform alongside an A-wing fighter. This area is meant to be part of Batuu’s tranquil Surabat river valley, where early planetary beings set up their own community in cliffside and cave dwellings. 

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Batuu Disney's Hollywood Studios x wing
Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks

Keep in mind, the Resistance doesn’t think of this home base as permanent. They are in a weakened state, and if The First Order strikes, they’ll have to take off in a hurry.

They’re here on Batuu out of necessity, but you’ll have to visit the park (and maybe see Episode IX) to understand exactly why this place is important to both sides.

Characters in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Off the beaten path, this outpost has become a haven for the galaxy’s most colorful — and notorious — characters. 

While exploring the Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu, guests may also encounter some familiar faces such as Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8 and Chewbacca, and could even find themselves face-to-face with Kylo Ren himself.

They won’t be meeting guests, signing autograph books, and doling out hugs ..these characters aren’t an attraction, they are on the streets as part of the land’s story, 

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Batuu Disney's Hollywood Studios Kylo Ren
Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks

Rey and Chewbacca can be found near the ancient ruins outside Black Spire Outpost recruiting locals and visitors to join the Resistance.

The First Order Stormtroopers search The Black Spire Outpost in search of the Resistance near the First Order encampment at Docking Bay 9, and even Supreme Leader Kylo Ren joins the hunt during the day. 

But there’s also a character you may not know roaming the streets 

Resistance spy Vi Moradi may be new to Black Spire Outpost visitors, but her story has close ties with General Leia Organa and Captain Phasma and in Black Spire Outpost as she keeps tabs on the First Order and lets visitors know that the Resistance is growing. 

And Disney’s Cast Members are also immersing themselves into the story of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. 

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Batuu Disney's Hollywood Studios Cast Member Costumes
Disney Parks

As local citizen’s of Batuu, Cast Members have their own personas and story of their roles at the Black Spire Outpost. 

The Language of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

When you are walking the streets of the Black Spire Outpost, you’ll notice that the writing on the wall, literally in most cases, and on Cast Member name tags aren’t in English but in Aurebesh, the written language in the Star Wars galaxy.

You can find several decoders online, but the easiest way is to use the free Play Disney Parks App…which we will be talking about next time!

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Batuu Disney's Hollywood Studios Play Disney Parks App
Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks

There are also some sayings that you might hear around the Black Spire Outpost that you will want to familiarize yourself with including:

  • Bright Suns = Good Morning
  • Rising Moons = Good Evening
  • Travelers = Humans visiting Batuu
  • On Planet = In the Land
  • Datapad = Cell phone 
  • Refresher = Bathroom
  • Hydrator = Water Fountain
  • Being “Off World” = You’re going outside of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  • Ignite the Spark = Greeting for the Resistance
  • Light the Fire = A Resistance callback to “Ignite the Spark”
  • Only the ancients know = I don’t know
  • Til the Spire = Farewell
  • Good journey = An Informal Goodbye
  • May the Spires Keep You = A Formal Goodbye

Reading more about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

While you don’t NEED to know anything about Star Wars to enjoy your visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge the creative minds at Lucasfilm, Marvel Comics, and Disney have been working on building the history of Batuu. 

Over on Laughing Place, they have done a great job of breaking down the ‘essential’ reading for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.

According to the site, “This deep and complete narrative will immerse fans in Star Wars lore, guide them around the planet, introduce essential characters, and reveal interesting secrets that can all be discovered from the comfort of home.”

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Batuu Disney's Hollywood Studios Comics Junior Novel

Here’s what they had to say…Starting with the five-part comic series, of which two have been released. 

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge focuses on Dok-Ondar, the Ithorian junk dealer who has spent his life collecting countless artifacts from the entire history of the Star Wars galaxy. On a side note, visitors to Batuu will be able to visit his Den of Antiquities and purchase a variety of mysterious and interesting items from every era of Star Wars.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge #2 picks up with the First Order’s presence in Black Spire Outpost becoming a nuisance for the locals.

Then there are the Junior Series of novels.


While Lando’s Luck tells a tale that doesn’t take place around Black Spire Outpost, fans might just find a few flashes of Batuu in this first entry of the Flight of the Falcon series.  

Pirate’s Price sees Hondo Ohnaka sitting down in Oga Garra’s Cantina in Black Spire Outpost to tell mercenary Bazine Netal three exciting tales about his relationship with the Millennium Falcon. Fans will even encounter Hondo and the legendary ship on Batuu at the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction.  

And finally 

Fans can dive into the lore of Batuu with the novel Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson, set to be released on August 27, 2019. 

The novel’s description on Amazon reads:

Walk the ancient streets, meet the colorful characters, and uncover the secret history of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the new expansion to the Disney Parks experience!

After devastating losses at the hands of the First Order, General Leia Organa has dispatched her agents across the galaxy in search of allies, sanctuary, and firepower—and her top spy, Vi Moradi, may have just found all three, on a secluded world at the galaxy’s edge.

A planet of lush forests, precarious mountains, and towering, petrified trees, Batuu is on the furthest possible frontier of the galactic map, the last settled world before the mysterious expanse of Wild Space. The rogues, smugglers, and adventurers who eke out a living on the largest settlement on the planet, Black Spire Outpost, are here to avoid prying eyes and unnecessary complications. Vi, a Resistance spy on the run from the First Order, is hardly a welcome guest. And when a shuttle full of stormtroopers lands in her wake, determined to root her out, she has no idea where to find help.

To survive, Vi will have to seek out the good-hearted heroes hiding in a world that redefines scum and villainy. With the help of a traitorous trooper and her acerbic droid, she begins to gather a colorful band of outcasts and misfits, and embarks on a mission to spark the fire of resistance on Batuu—before the First Order snuffs it out entirely.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Batuu Disney's Hollywood Studios Millennium Falcon
Todd Wawrychuk/Disney Parks

We are really excited to share even more about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!

Make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for even more theme park news!

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Holidays in the Parks: Walt Disney World Resort 2019

DISCLOSURE: I was invited by the Walt Disney World Resort to find out more about the holiday season, but all opinions are my own.
Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July

The 2019 Walt Disney World holiday season begins on November 8th with returning favorites as well as the debut of all-new seasonal offerings in all four parks and Disney Springs.

The holidays at Walt Disney World are filled with special live entertainment, characters in festive garb, seasonal décor, holiday treats, specialty eats, miles of garlands and decorations, and a shimmering castle to lift holiday spirits.

To help you plan your trip to Walt Disney World during the holidays, here is a look at holiday happenings throughout the four parks and Disney Springs!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Joins in the Holiday Fun for the First Time

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will introduce the biggest holiday season in its two-decade history, with festive new entertainment and holiday décor in every land. Daytime and nighttime, guests will experience the majesty of nature and holiday magic. 

Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Rendering, Walt Disney World Resort

Here is some of what’s in store:

  • In the heart of the park, on Discovery Island, guests will find themselves immersed in a magical scene. By day, stylized, life-sized animal puppets mingle with villagers who make the island their home. As day becomes night, rooftop luminaries in animal shapes and bird lanterns throughout Discovery Island will bring a warm glow to the village.
  • As the sun sets, the Tree of Life will awaken with a series of wintry tales emerging from within, backed by a familiar and heartwarming holiday musical score. Between awakening moments, the Tree of Life will shimmer and sparkle throughout the night, alive with the magic of nature and the spirit of the holidays.
  • Dinoland, U.S.A. will rock out with the DJ-led “Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Chip ‘n Dale” and plenty of interactive fun and games. Throughout the land, characters gathered for “Donald’s Dino-Bash!” will get in the holiday spirit with colorful costumes.
  • Diwali, the Holiday Festival of Lights in India, has inspired the residents of Anandapur in Glowing flowers, lanterns and more will illuminate the main square leading to the waterfront stage, home to authentic and colorful cultural performances.
Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney World Resort
  • The village of Harambe in Africa will welcome guests with a unique holiday presentation, fusing Western traditions with the colors and texture of authentic African celebrations; colorful costuming and new music flavors each performance.
  • Tusker House diners get their merry on as Safari Donald Duck and his pals spread holiday cheer.
  • Guests will find out-of-this-world Christmastime fun at Pandora – The World of Avatar. Ex-pats living and working on the moon of Pandora roll out seasonal fun with a display at Pongu Pongu of kitschy holiday décor, pairing vintage pieces from Earth with items handcrafted from materials indigenous to Pandora.
  • Christmas tree will tower over the park entrance. Decorated with traditional ornaments and hidden animals, the tree is a prelude to the holiday magic that awaits inside the park.
Magic Kingdom Park to Unveil New Holiday Fireworks Show & Attraction Overlays

The skies above Magic Kingdom Park will sparkle to life this holiday season as visions of fireworks dance in the air during an all-new nighttime show – Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. Hosted by Minnie Mouse, the holiday extravaganza invites guests to come together in a celebration of heartfelt moments and the magic of Christmas.

Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney World Resort

The show will be presented during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which takes place select dates Nov. 8-Dec. 22, and nightly Dec. 23-29.

Also, for the first time ever during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, select Magic Kingdom attractions are receiving special enhancements just for the holidays!

Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney World Resort
  • When you get behind the wheel on the Tomorrowland Speedway, you’ll find yourself cruising a festive freeway filled with thousands of lights and stylized décor.
  • The crew at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor is putting some “Ha Ha Ha” in their “Ho Ho Ho,” with a new show for everyone visiting the Monster World during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. 
  • Space Mountain launches you on a trippy jaunt through the cosmos, filled with dazzling lighting and high-energy holiday tunes.
  • Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland becomes a wild and wacky Christmas party, as you spin your teacups to one of four new holiday combos of lights and music.

This holiday season will also see Magic Kingdom transformed into an enchanting wonderland with dazzling decorations, holiday treats, a shimmering ice castle and more. Returning holiday favorites include:

  • With glittery Cinderella Castle as its centerpiece, Magic Kingdom shines its brightest during the holidays. Guests will be swept into a magical scene of seasonal music, characters in their festive finery and fireworks bursting above. During A Frozen Holiday Wish stage show, Queen Elsa magically transforms Cinderella Castle with glistening ice.
  • Holiday Fireworks Dessert Parties are a sweet way to enjoy the new holiday fireworks. Offered nightly, each festive party includes seasonal treats and dazzling views of the new fireworks spectacular. Dessert parties are not included with theme park admission. For schedules, pricing information and reservations, guests can visit DisneyWorld.com or call (407) WDW-DINE.
Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July  Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018
Ryan Wendler, photographer
  • Each of the 23 nights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will feature performances of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime ParadeA Totally Tomorrowland Christmas and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show. Guests will also experience select rides and attractions (including the “Jingle Cruise”), savor complimentary treats, discover event-exclusive merchandise and delight to a magical “snowfall” on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates: November 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24; December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22. For more information and ticketing, guests can call (407) 939-1872 or visit Disneyworld.com.
Beloved Epcot Candlelight Processional Begins November 29 as Highlight of Holiday Festival

Joyous Yuletide traditions from across the globe are at the heart of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. 

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney Word Resort

From November 29 through December 30, 2019, merry-makers will be immersed in a vast world of holiday decorations and entertainment, themed merchandise, festive cuisine and costumed storytellers in many of the 11 World Showcase nations including:

  • Epcot’s grandest holiday tradition – the Candlelight Processional – features the retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator backed by a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir. Performances will run three times nightly during the festival. Narrators already announced for this year include Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, Steven Curtis Chapman and Edward James Olmos. More narrators will be announced in the coming months. Dining packages include guaranteed seating for the holiday event and can be booked starting July 3 by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
  • Special Holiday Kitchens sprinkled throughout World Showcase will serve up tasty treats inspired by treasured holiday recipes from across the globe.
Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018 Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
  • World Showcase pavilions will come alive with the sights and sounds of special entertainment celebrating each country’s holiday heritage.
  • Chip & Dale are gathering ornaments for their Christmas tree and guests can join in the fun! To be part of Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt, guests will purchase a map and stickers from select merchandise outlets and scout World Showcase locations looking for the famous chipmunks and their ornaments. Completed maps are returned for a special festive surprise, courtesy of the chipmunk duo.
  • Epcot guests can quite literally do their holiday shopping around the world. The World Showcase pavilions are filled with favorite fragrances, jewelry, toys, stocking stuffers and more.
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet guests at The American Adventure pavilion.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Glitters with Special Holiday Entertainment

Holiday adventures begin at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as new attractions, and lands turn this theme park into one big holiday gift. 

Flurry of Fun Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World New Year's Eve Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney World

Add seasonal shows, enchanting “snowfalls,” décor and more, and it’s easy to see how holidays here become extraordinary:

  • Park guests will be mesmerized by the Sunset Seasons Greetings show projected onto the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Boasting amazing laser effects and “snow,” the experience also includes stories, songs and cheer courtesy of favorite Disney friends.
  • The nighttime spectacular “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” will treat holiday-goers to iconic music, fireworks, special effects and state-of-the-art projections to create a one-of-a-kind holiday experience at the iconic Chinese Theatre. To add a sweet touch, guests will be able to make reservations for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party. This event is not included with theme park admission, and pricing and reservation information will be available later this year.
Flurry of Fun Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
  • Holiday touches and festive décor throughout the park will include seasonal fun inside Toy Story Land, as well as joyous greetings from Santa or Santa Goofy.
  • As a curtain-closer, Olaf delivers a special holiday finale in For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along.
Disney Springs Delivers Season’s Greetings

Perfect for this special time of year, the Disney Springs retail, dining and entertainment district is where guests can make a holiday list and check it twice as they breeze among dozens of trendy brand-name stores and a large and varied collection of Disney merchandise. They can also indulge the holiday hungries at great dining spots that will also serve up seasonal cheer.

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Holidays at Disney Springs Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney Word Resort

Live entertainment will include the spectacle of toy soldier stilt walkers, carolers and Living Statues in holiday attire. Holiday decorations set the colorful stage for Disney Springs festivities, which run November 8 through January 5, 2020:

  • Guests strolling the Christmas Tree Trail will be treated to custom-decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme featuring favorite Disney characters.
  • Guests will be invited to join in Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt and discover where the mischievous Experiment 626 is hiding.
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The Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney Day The Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom

DISCLOSURE: I was an invited guest of the Walt Disney World Company to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to share The Lion King goodness in the park, but all opinions are my own.

The Lion King has always played a huge role in the fabric of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and to celebrate the animated classic’s 25th anniversary Walt Disney World is celebrating in a big way with new and enhanced experiences. 

With so many great new experiences, I wanted to share how you can have a Disney Day themed to The Lion King at the park!

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Kilimanjaro Safaris

Since Disney’s The Lion King was first released in theaters 25 years ago, we have lost half of Africa’s lions. Only 20,000 remain. The time to act is now.

The Lion King Kilimanjaro Safaris Disney's Animal Kingdom Wordless Wednesday Safari Animal Kingdom

For each rider on Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during opening week of The Lion King film (July 19 – 25, 2019), Disney Conservation Fund will donate $2 (up to $350,000) to the Wildlife Conservation Network in support of the Lion Recovery Fund’s efforts to help double the number of lions across Africa by 2050. 

Protect the Pride Kilimanjaro Safaris The Lion King
Disney

#ProtectThePride Facts:

  • Lions are threatened from a combination of factors, including: poaching, loss of prey and destruction of habitats, and Disney has launched The Lion King “Protect the Pride” campaign in conjunction with the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund in an effort to double the lion population by 2050.
  • Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed up to $75 million ($13M to projects across Africa) to save wildlife and protect the planet.
  • Disney has already donated more than $1.5 million to the Wildlife Conservation Network’s (WCN) Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) and its partners and will make additional grants as well as invite fans to help double the donation for a total contribution of up to $3 million. Fans may participate by taking part in celebratory experiences and purchasing special-edition products, as part of The Lion King Protect the Pride campaign.

The Animation Experience at the Conservation Center

Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Affection Section and the Wildlife Express Train are once again open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and now there is a brand-new additional experience for everyone to enjoy! 

In honor of the celebration of Disney’s “The Lion King,” The Animation Experience at Conservation Station offers you the opportunity to learn how live animals have inspired some of the most iconic characters from this beloved “tail” while learning more about some of the animals who call Disney’s Animal Kingdom park home.

The Lion King Disney's Animal Kingdom Animation Experience at Conservation Center

During the experience you will create a personalized piece of Disney art through an instructor-led animation class.

You could draw Simba, Zazu, Pumbaa, Timon, or another friend. Each session will be different so be sure to visit often to complete the collection. 

Disney FastPass+ Service will be offered for the experience, and you can make those selections using the My Disney Experience app. 

The Lion King Merchandise

Would it be a trip to Walt Disney World if you didn’t at least look at the souvenirs, and for this celebration you’ll find some extROARdinary new merchandise at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The Lion King Disney's Animal Kingdom Disney Dooney and Bourke Purse

You can find a large selection of items inspired by The Lion King at various locations around the park, but you’ll find the largest selections at Mombasa Marketplace, Island Mercantile, and Discovery Trading Company. 

The Lion King Photo Opportunities

To help you celebrate, Disney PhotoPass photographers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are offering photo opportunities inspired by inhabitants of the Pride Lands – including four brand new Magic Shots! 

You can also snap a photos in a colorful backdrop at the entrance of the park, have fun themed props from “The Lion King” near the Tree of Life, during a tender moment between Simba & Nala, or strike a pose at Lion King Corner near Pizzafari. 

The Lion King Disney's Animal Kingdom Photo Op

I think these photo opportunities are so much fun, and a great way to remember your Disney Day!

The Lion King Inspired Treats around the Park

And what better way to celebrate The Lion King than with a ‘whole pride of eats and treats’! The Disney Parks Blog has broken down all of the tasty goodies you’ll find at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this summer.

From latte art and ice cream sandwiches to special cones and more, there are enough treats here to have a feast fit for a (lion) king! 

Hakuna Matata Dance Party on Discovery Island

Who is ready to let loose? The Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party is a family-friendly event featuring music, dance, games and some of your favorite Disney friends—including Timon, Rafiki, and surprise friends!

The Lion King Disney's Animal Kingdom Hakuna Matata Dance Party

Get into the groove as a live world beat-style band starts the party by adding a cool twist to popular Disney hits. 

Perfect for Guests of all ages, the festivities are held daily at the Discovery Island Stage—don your dance shoes for tons of problem-free fun!

The Lion King Scavenger Hunt

Some of your favorite Lion King characters are hidden around Harambe. Each time you spot one, add the corresponding sticker to your map. Whether you choose to hunt for all the carvings or not, return your map to Mombasa Marketplace in Harambe or The Outpost Shop in the Oasis by September 28, 2019 for a savanna surprise.

The adventure costs only $6.99, and are available while supplies last. Also there is one surprise per map, so if you have a few seekers you may consider purchasing a few maps. 

The Festival of The Lion King

Join the inhabitants of the Pride Lands for a grand gala in honor of Simba, the lion cub who would be king.

The Lion King Disney's Animal Kingdom The Festival of the Lion King

As the lights dim, hear the sounds of the African savanna. A kinetic kaleidoscope of color floods the stage as colossal puppets, extravagantly costumed dancers, amazing acrobats, a daring fire dancer and incredible stilt walkers dazzle the senses.

During spectacular theatrics, you’ll relive all the classic songs from The Lion King, including “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” The spectacular finale includes a soaring rendition of “Circle of Life.”

It’s a moving and immersive theatrical experience celebrating music that has touched generations of Disney fans—and a festival you’ll want to be part of again and again!

Rivers of Light: We Are One

Eastern festival traditions merge with innovative technology to offer a dazzling nighttime pageant of lantern floats, grand theatrical imagery and a soaring musical score!

Enter a breathtaking world that remains hidden by day, but comes alive at night to tell the story of how mankind has been inspired by animals and all of the natural world.

The Lion King Disney's Animal Kingdom Rivers of Light We Are One
Photo: Walt Disney World

With the enhanced Rivers of Light: We Are One, you’ll experience a new story about the milestones we all share in our journey through the great circle of life. It’s a tale told in powerful fashion—featuring the addition of even more dramatic Disneynature live-action footage and a tapestry of classic moments from animal-inspired Disney animated films, including The Lion King.

You’ll be captivated by a re-imagined soundtrack as the original musical score now is woven together with familiar Disney themes, carrying us through moments of discovery, fun, friendship, fear and love.

Tree of Life Nighttime Awakenings

Flickering fireflies magically appear and stir to life the animal spirits in the tree’s towering trunk—bringing to light a dazzling visual display swarming with color and animated imagery.

The Lion King Disney's Animal Kingdom
Photo: Walt Disney World

Gaze upon a young doe embarking upon a thrilling journey. Behold love blossoming between a pair of hummingbirds. Spy a sly fox spreading gifts of love among the denizens of a wintry forest.

A feast for the eyes, each revelation celebrates the eternal balance and harmony that exists in all living things, big or small, and is sure to inspire and delight your whole family tree.

Reawakening Your Love of The Lion King

The Tree of Life sleeps tonight—or does it? Through September 30, experience the wonder as an original musical score and mystical images—featuring animals and themes inspired by The Lion King—take you on a sublime journey. Be there to see this slumbering iconic tree become even more stunning in a new awakening.

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Opening Date for Disney Skyliner Gondolas Announced

The dawn of a new era in Disney transportation is right around the corner! 

On September 29, Disney Skyliner gondolas will take flight and officially begin transporting guests around Walt Disney World Resort.

This state-of-the-art transportation system has been taking shape around the Walt Disney World Resort, and when it opens will offers a new way to experience the resort with amazing views only available from the sky.

The Disney Skyliner connects Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort scheduled to open in December 2019.

Disney Skyliner
Disney Parks Blog

Some Disney Skyliner cabins feature graphics based on Disney films, attractions, and characters.

Guests will take flight with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Chip & Dale, and other Disney stories including:

  • “Coco”
  • Goofy, Pete, Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow
  • “Finding Dory”
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “Monsters, Inc.”
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • “Ratatouille”

Before you know it, Disney Skyliner will be floating guests across Walt Disney World Resort! 

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7 Special Events to Check Out at Walt Disney World

Primeval Whirl at Disney's Animal Kingdom at Night Walt Disney World Special Events
Disney Parks Blog

There are more special, after-hours events than ever at the Walt Disney World Resort, and Jaquelin Logan is breaking them all down on the Disney Parks Blog!

Tree of Life Awakens at Disney's Animal Kingdom at Night Walt Disney World Special Events
Disney Parks Blog

1. For Nature Lovers: Disney After Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

When the sun goes down, Disney’s Animal Kingdom comes alive like never before and Pandora- The World of Avatar transforms into a bioluminescent rainforest.  Disney After Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom not only offers the chance to see the park in a whole new light, it’s also a great way to experience many of the exciting attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. 

Disney H2O Glow Nights at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Walt Disney World Special Events
Disney Parks Blog

2. For Fans That Can’t Get Enough Toy Story: Disney H2O Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

Looking for more ways to celebrate the release of “Toy Story 4” this summer? Disney H2O Glow Nights is the event for you! From Toy-story themed menu items to character greetings with your favorite Toy Story pals, this one-of-a-kind glow party brings “Partysaurus Rex,” to life and lets you experience Typhoon Lagoon attractions under the stars. 

Guests Show Off Their Sinister Sides During Disney Villains After Hours Walt Disney World Special Events
Disney Parks Blog

3. For Villain Devotees: Disney Villains After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park

This summer, Disney’s most notorious villains are taking center stage at Magic Kingdom Park! Disney Villains After Hours will feature a tempting array of villain-inspired treats, special branded merchandise, the all-new night show, “Villains Unite the Night” and Maleficent the Dragon. Check out this complete list of the unique experiences this event has to offer. 

Alien Swirling Saucers in Toy Story Land Walt Disney World Special Events
Disney Parks Blog

4. For Adventure Seekers: Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios 

Let your adventure begin at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Whether you’re heading to Andy’s Backyard, hopping on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith or checking out The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, attending Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios is an awesome way to experience everything Disney’s Hollywood Studios has to offer. 

'Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular' Show during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Walt Disney World Special Events
Disney Parks Blog

5. For Halloween Aficionados: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Did someone say trick-or-treating in the Magic Kingdom Park? At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, dressing up is not just for kids! The unique special entertainment offerings at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party combine the magic of Disney with classic Halloween traditions. You won’t want to miss the brand-new fireworks spectacular or the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” castle stage show.  

Guest with Cinderella at Magic Kingdom Park Walt Disney World Special Events
Disney Parks Blog

6. For Classic Disney Enthusiasts: Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park

From Fantasyland to Tomorrowland, there is so much to explore in the Magic Kingdom Park.  Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park allows you to enjoy more than 25 of Disney’s iconic attractions and character greetings including Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight with less wait times.    

Family on Main Street U.S.A. during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Walt Disney World Special Events
Disney Parks Blog

7. For Christmas Connoisseurs: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 

There is nothing quite like watching an enchanting “snowfall” in Florida. In my opinion, the most wonderful time of the year is even more magical when spent at the happiest place on earth! At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party there is no shortage of holiday cheer, Yuletide traditions and beloved Disney characters.  And debuting this year, an all-new holiday firework show, “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks.” 

Ready to experience the Disney parks like never before? Plan to purchase your tickets early to save on these awesome after-hours events. 

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Fourth of July Highlights at Walt Disney World

Fourth of July Fireworks Walt Disney World
David Roark, photographer

The Fourth of July is this week, and the Walt Disney World Resort is gearing up to celebrate our nation’s birthday with entertainment, scrumptious treats, and patriotic pageantry! 

Here are some highlights and tips on how to make your Independence Day at Walt Disney World extra magical. 

Fourth of July Fireworks Walt Disney World
Photo: Walt Disney World

Fourth of July @ Magic Kingdom Park

  • “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” will offer booming fireworks orchestrated to patriotic melodies at Magic Kingdom Park on both July 3 and July 4 at 9:15 p.m. Here’s more entertainment planned at Magic Kingdom Park: 
  • A fuzzy cast of Muppets – Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie Bear and friends will reenact famous moments in American history in a whimsical way during “The Muppets Present … Great Moments in History.” The live show is performed several times daily near the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square.
  • There is also a special PhotoPass offerings for the 4th of July you won’t want to miss including:
    • From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (weather permitting), look for a photographer in the East Plaza Garden who will assist you with capturing two photos and a one-of-a-kind super-zoom video from a unique angle above the theme park. This experience will be available for a limited time after the holiday, but beginning July 3, the photographer here will offer a patriotic prop you can include in your photos and video.
    • Add some stars and stripes to your photo near Partners Statue where the photographer willoffer this pawsitively fetching prop featuring Pluto.
    • During daylight hours be on the lookout for a photographer near the Liberty Bell who can capture Yankee Doodle-dandy photos of you enjoying the atmosphere, as well as a Muppets Magic Shot. 
    • Visit the Fantasyland castle wall near Prince Charming Regal Carrousel to take a photo in front of Cinderella’s Coach.
    • At the twilight’s last gleaming, salute the “American Original” Mickey Mouse with a bokeh opportunity available on Center Street (near Uptown Jewelers). 
    • Beginning at sunset, enjoy a dazzling display of red, white and blue with this light painting opportunity available behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square.  
  • Guests can dance the night away with DJs spinning tunes at a Hoedown Throwdown in Frontierland and an out-of-this-world Galactic Gathering in Tomorrowland. 
  • Fans who are not able to join in the Independence Day celebration at the park can view a special July 4 live stream of the dazzling fireworks display on the Disney Parks Blog begin at 9:13 p.m. ET on the Fourth. 
Fourth of July Fireworks Walt Disney World
Photo: Walt Disney World

Fourth of July @ Epcot  

  • “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” will end its nearly 20-year run on September 30, 2019. So this will be the last chance to experience the patriotic Fourth of July grand finale of this beloved nighttime spectacular. “The Heartbeat of Freedom” fireworks extravaganza will begin immediately following the 9 p.m. “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” display.  Here’s more entertainment planned at Epcot: 
  • The Voices of Liberty will perform great American tunes during a Fourth of July concert on the America Gardens Theatre stage at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. on July 4. The group also will perform in the rotunda inside The American Adventure pavilion at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Guests can meet favorite Disney characters donning their “Spirit of 76” patriotic attire at The American Adventure throughout the day on July 4.
  • And guests can indulge in themed eats and sips honoring Independence Day throughout the park – everything from patriotic cupcakes and special dining packages to red, white, and blue sangria and a Boom Berry Lemonade.

Also, be on the lookout for special Fourth of July decor at Disney Springs, specialty Food and Beverage items at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and at select Walt Disney World Resorts.  

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Special Offers for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders

Today on the Disney Parks Blog Jeremy Schoolfield, Managing Editor – Walt Disney World Resort Public Relations, shared special offerings that Annual Passholders can take advantage of this summer!

Couple rides Crush 'n Gusher at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

If you’re a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder, you’re able to enjoy a full year of magic, and this summer you can take advantage of several new perks and benefits with special, limited-time offerings.

From special ticket deals to exclusive merchandise opportunities and other experiences, now, more than ever, is the time for Passholders to explore the many options available to them at Walt Disney World Resort. 

New and limited-time Passholder offerings for this summer include:

  • Ticket deals
    • With the return of the popular Bring-a-Friend offer, select Passholders can share the magic of Disney with others through the purchase of a 1-day ticket with Park Hopper Option for the special price of $89 plus tax, available for purchase and use from June 18-Aug. 8, 2019 (offer valid for Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Passholders). Tickets will be available for purchase at theme park ticket windows and must be used on the date of purchase. Passholders can purchase up to six (6) tickets over the course of this promotion.
    • Beginning July 5, Passholders will be able to purchase a new Summer Splash Pass to receive unlimited visits to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park from July 5-Sept. 7, 2019 for the same cost as a non-discounted 1-day water park ticket, $69 plus tax. Tickets will be available for purchase at water park ticket windows.
  • Special event offers
    • H2O Glow Nights are back in 2019 at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park, and Passholders can save $15 off the price sold at the ticket window when purchasing tickets in advance for this nighttime party on select nights. While at the party, Passholders can meet Bo Peep from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” in an experience exclusive to them through June 29, 2019.
    • Passholders can take a walk on the vile side during Disney Villains After Hours, a special event held on select nights this summer at Magic Kingdom Park, and will save $30 off the price sold at the ticket window when purchasing tickets in advance. While at the event, they will also receive a complimentary special Passholder Disney Villains After Hours ornament featuring Hades (limit one (1) per Passholder while supplies list).
  • Limited-time dining discounts
    • Select table-service restaurants across Walt Disney World Resort will offer Passholders a 20% discount on lunch (11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.) now through July 2, 2019. Visit DisneyWorld.com/Passholder for specific locations.

In addition, we’re excited to share that Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Annual Passholders will be among the first to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with special preview opportunities planned before the land’s opening on Aug. 29. Capacity is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. More information and registration details for previews will be shared at a later date.

For more information on these summer offers, visit DisneyWorld.com/APExtras.

These added perks join a host of offerings already available to all Walt Disney World Resort Annual Passholders, including:

  • Up to 20% off select merchandise
  • Up to 20% off at select table-service dining locations
  • Complimentary standard parking at theme parks and water parks
  • Special offers on stays at Disney Resort hotels from time to time

You can visit DisneyWorld.com/PassBenefits for more information on all Walt Disney World Annual Passholder benefits.

Three friends pose with balloons in front of the purple wall at Magic Kingdom Park Walt Disney World Resort Annual Passholders
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Summer 2019 is an amazing time for Annual Passholders to visit Walt Disney World Resort, with new and beloved experiences at all four theme parks:

  • Get your ears on during Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom Park, with the new “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party,” featuring those true originals, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
  • Party with Pixar pals at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during the park’s 30th anniversary year, featuring The Incredibles, Mike and Sulley from Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.”; Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the gang at the new Toy Story Land; and the new Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy that takes you into the world of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars.”
  • Plus, each night the new “Wonderful World of Animation” show transforms the Chinese Theatre with a stirring tribute to Disney animation.  
  • Pandora – The World of Avatar comes to life at night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with bioluminescent fauna and flora. And now evenings in the park are even more special with the new “Rivers of Light: We Are One,” featuring additional stunning imagery and familiar animal characters to the popular nighttime show on Discovery River.
  • Also new, the Tree of Life awakens in a whole new way to honor the 25th anniversary of “The Lion King,” with beautiful projections on the iconic tree featuring music and animation paying tribute to the classic film. 
  • Epcot is bidding a fond farewell to “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” before the nighttime spectacular takes its final bow on Sept. 30, 2019. And guests can experience a special out-of-this-world daily summer concert series at the America Gardens Theatre, June 14 through Aug. 18, 2019. 
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Summer 2019 In Central Florida’s Theme Parks

This summer the theme parks of Central Florida are debuting new offerings, and we are breaking them all down for you!

Summer 2019 Theme Parks  Central Florida Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios Epcot Typhoon Lagoon LEGOLAND Florida SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean Illuminations Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogsmeade Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2019

Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Summer 2019 Theme Parks Central Florida Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios Epcot Typhoon Lagoon LEGOLAND Florida SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean Illuminations Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogsmeade Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2019
Photo: Walt Disney World | David Roark, photographer

For over two years “Rivers of Light” has filled the Discovery River Amphitheater at Disney’s Animal Kingdom nightly with stunning imagery and mystical music, and this summer a new, enhanced version of the show called “Rivers of Light: We are One” brings a distinctively Disney twist to the nighttime pageant. 

The new chapter introduces new imagery featuring familiar animal characters from Disneynature films and classic moments from Disney animation with familiar Disney themes mixed into the original score.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Summer 2019 Theme Parks Central Florida Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios Epcot Typhoon Lagoon LEGOLAND Florida SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean Illuminations Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogsmeade Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2019
Photo: Walt Disney World | David Roark, photographer

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is celebrating its 30th Anniversary, and while Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open later in the summer a new nighttime projection show has already debuted at the park.

The “Wonderful World of Animation” transforms the facade of the Chinese Theatre nightly into a tribute to animation with sequences from beloved films like “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Incredibles,” “Coco”, and many more. 

Epcot
Summer 2019 Theme Parks Central Florida Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios Epcot Typhoon Lagoon LEGOLAND Florida SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean Illuminations Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogsmeade Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2019
Photo: Walt Disney World

At the end of the summer after nearly 20 years, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” will be ending its nightly run on Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon.

The show which filled the park with with energetic music, fireworks, special effects, lasers, and so much more will make way for the debut of the “Epcot Forever” limited-time spectacle on October 1, 2019. 

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
Summer 2019 Theme Parks Central Florida Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios Epcot Typhoon Lagoon LEGOLAND Florida SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean Illuminations Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogsmeade Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2019
Photo: Walt Disney World

H2O Glow Nights are back at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon  on select nights until August 24th, bringing an electric celebration inspired by the Toy Story Toon, “Partysaurus Rex” to the water park for a second summer.

This after-hours special ticketed event boasts shorter wait times for popular water attractions, special entertainment, character meet-and-greets, exclusive food and beverage offerings, and so much more!

SeaWorld Orlando 

Summer 2019 Theme Parks Central Florida Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios Epcot Typhoon Lagoon LEGOLAND Florida SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean Illuminations Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogsmeade Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2019
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando

At SeaWorld Orlando, when the sun goes down the night comes to life as Electric Ocean brings an exotic world of light and music filled with glowing sea creatures, DJ entertainment, special shows, and a spectacular display of fireworks to the park on select nights until September 1, 2019.

The Electric Ocean celebrations are included with your admission to SeaWorld Orlando.

Universal Orlando Resort

Summer 2019 Theme Parks Central Florida Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios Epcot Typhoon Lagoon LEGOLAND Florida SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean Illuminations Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogsmeade Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2019
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

This summer an epic new addition is coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure will be the first-of-its-kind ‘Story Coaster’ that will take guests into the Forbidden Forest, far beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle, on an adventure past towering trees, magical creatures, and impossible obstacles bringing riders close to some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures.

LEGOLAND Florida

Summer 2019 Theme Parks Central Florida Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios Epcot Typhoon Lagoon LEGOLAND Florida SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean Illuminations Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogsmeade Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2019
Photo: LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

The LEGOLAND Florida Resort is celebrating the summer with six weekends of Awe-Summer Events that are bigger and better than ever before! 

Joining fan favorite events Red, White & Boom and Fire Safety weekend, THE LEGOMOVIE DAYS will offer guests a special theater-to-theme park experience filled with THE LEGO MOVIE characters, special activities, and more!

All of these Awe-Summer Events are included with theme park admission and select annual passes.

BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY

Summer 2019 Theme Parks Central Florida Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios Epcot Typhoon Lagoon LEGOLAND Florida SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean Illuminations Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogsmeade Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2019
Photo: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Summer Nights at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay heat up when the sun goes down, including extended hours every night through August 11 and fireworks each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Music, entertainment, special event food, and more to create a vibrant nightlife atmosphere surrounding Florida’s best thrill rides. In addition to fan-favorite coasters, thrill seekers can now take on Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch coaster, in an exciting new way after dark. The triple-launch coaster takes thrills to new heights as riders face a 150’ upward surge, dramatic heartline roll and top speeds exceeding 60 miles per hour through the night sky.

Make sure you follow along on our summer shenanigans on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

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#ICYMI Rivers of Light: We Are One Coming to Animal Kingdom

Rivers of Light We Are One DAK Disney's Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World WDW
Walt Disney World

Rivers of Light: We Are One Show to debut this summer at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

A little over two years ago, the nighttime celebration at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, debuted featuring illuminated lantern floats, beautiful imagery inspired by nature, fascinating performers, a soaring musical score, and innovative special effects. 

And this summer, an updated and enhanced version of the show entitled Rivers of Light: We Are One will debut on the Discovery River Amphitheater at Disney’s Animal Kingdom starting May 24th in time for Memorial Day Weekend.

“Rivers of Light: We Are One introduces additional, stunning imagery and familiar animal characters from Disneynature films, along with a colorful tapestry of classic moments from Disney animation, to express our connection with animals and the emotions and milestones we all share in our journey through the great circle of life,” according to Shawn Slater on the Disney Parks Blog. “The music of “Rivers of Light: We Are One” weaves together the original musical score and familiar Disney themes to create a powerful arrangement that inspires and carries us through moments of discovery, fun, friendship, fear, love and family.”

If you aren’t familiar with the Rivers of Light nighttime show, here is a description:

Eastern festival traditions merge with innovative technology to make Rivers of Light a visual treat unlike any other.

The lush lagoon setting is a central character itself—an ever-changing canvas for the unveiling of an unforgettable tale. Discovery River comes alive with light as a thousand flickering fireflies lead a captivating procession across the water.

Giant floating flowers perform an intricate water ballet as glowing boats drift by. As the story unfolds, original video projections and choreographed laser animation combine to illuminate moments of the celebration like living pixie dust.

Before your eyes, clusters of lantern light shift and shape into stunning animal spirit forms—the Tiger, Turtle, Elephant and Owl. Spellbound, you’re transported across Asian jungles and tropical oceans to African savannas and North American mountains.

Your dreamlike journey culminates in a triumphant finale of song, light, color and earthly elements that leaves you with a profound sense of peace and oneness with nature.

Know Before You Go – Rivers of Light
  • As seating is limited, please plan to arrive early. FastPass+ selections or dining packages are recommended.
  • This show is performed on select nights and runs for approximately 15 minutes. Be sure to check the Entertainment Schedule, the My Disney Experience app, or pick up the Times Guide in the park for the most up-to-date schedule.
  • Due to the nearby animal residents, the enchanting show does not include fireworks.
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Disney’s Animal Kingdom hosts a wild Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet 2019 Disneys Animal Kingdom

Today Jennifer Fickley-Baker shared the following details about the Party for the Planet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on the Disney Parks Blog

Who’s ready to celebrate? In just a few weeks, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be hosting its annual Earth Day celebration, Party for the Planet, April 20-22. During this special three-day event, guests are invited to explore, engage and connect with the magic of nature through family-friendly experiences and specialty offerings.

Party for the Planet kicks off the moment you enter the park, as no Guest will be able to miss a larger-than-life marine debris sculpture celebrating Disneynature Penguins on display in the Oasis.

Party for the Planet 2019 Disneys Animal Kingdom Debris Sculpture
Walt Disney World

The fun continues throughout the park with unique character appearances, special entertainment, and commemorative photo opportunities available with Disney PhotoPass photographers.

Throughout this special weekend event you can meet some of our amazing animal care experts, animal educators and conservation experts to see first-hand how Disney cares for animals and works to save endangered species worldwide.

Party for the Planet 2019 Disneys Animal Kingdom Birds flying
Walt Disney World

Watch animal feedings and training experiences, specially planned for Party for the Planet, to learn how our keepers care for some of your favorite animals.

Looking for a unique experience during Party for the Planet? Take a journey through tales of adventure and cuisine during Tiffins Talks, a special dining experience April 20-22 from 1-3 p.m., featuring the beloved creative force behind the concept, design and buildout of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney Imagineer and Portfolio Executive Joe Rohde. Join Joe for a unique conversation as he regales you with stories from his travels through a delectable 4-course lunch featuring global dishes, desserts and specialty beverages. Space is limited. Pricing for this dining package is $199 plus tax and gratuity and requires separate park admission. Reservations can be made beginning today by calling 407 WDW-DINE (407 939-3463).

Party for the Planet 2019 Disneys Animal Kingdom Tiffins Talks
Walt Disney World

Guests are also invited to meet Joe Rohde at Mombasa Marketplace, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. April 20 and 22, where he will be on hand to sign his own unique artwork, a commemorative lion print that will be on sale throughout the event while supplies last. A wristband is required to meet Joe Rohde. For further details visit the Party for the Planet webpage.

Party for the Planet 2019 Disneys Animal Kingdom Joe Rhode
Walt Disney World

As if all the fun activities happening for Party for the Planet weren’t enough, on Earth Day, April 22, there will be a full assortment of “The Lion King” merchandise available at Mombasa Marketplace!  You can feel the love and take home so many fun souvenirs like this adorable Simba mug, Hakuna Matata Spirit Jersey, this “roaringly” cute Simba youth baseball hat or one of the many new items recently added to this collection. #LionKingCelebration

Party for the Planet 2019 Disneys Animal Kingdom Lion King Spirit Jersey
Walt Disney World

There are so many incredible ways to celebrate nature and the place we all call home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We hope to see you there!

Visit Disneyworld.com/partyfortheplanet for the latest information about the celebration. #PartyforthePlanet

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2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Overview

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2019
Walt Disney World – Matt Stroshane, photographer

The 26th Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival has burst into bloom at the Walt Disney World Resort filling the park with the sights, sounds, and flavors of Spring daily until June 3, 2019. 

Lush Gardens

During the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival breathtaking flower beds, plots of plant life, and wildlife habitats can be found in every area of the park.

From Bonsai trees to butterflies, there’s a bounty of displays ready to capture your family’s attention and imagination.

Topiaries with character

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2019
Walt Disney World – Matt Stroshane, photographer

This year scattered around the park, 70 Disney-crafted topiaries have been created by the talented crew of Disney horticulturists.

Interactive Play Scapes

Step off the beaten Festival path to experience two new whimsical play gardens with fun, hands-on activities and interactive play scapes.

Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Grounds, located near Test Track, is a playful playground and garden inspired by Bo Peep and the rest of your Toy Story pals.

The Play Full Garden, located on the Imagination Walkway, will inspire the entire family to gather for interactive activities that focus on nutrition and wellness.

Outdoor Kitchens

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2019
Walt Disney World – Harrison Cooney

As festival-goers take in all the floral wonders of the Festival, they can also find culinary delights at over a dozen Outdoor Kitchens around Epcot’s World Showcase. 

The Outdoor Kitchens open at 11am, and just outside of each location a garden offers inspiration for learning to grow healthy ingredients. 

Garden Rocks Concert Series

The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series will rock every evening of the festival with three performances by chart-topping artists on the America Gardens Theatre Stage.

Here are the performers you’ll see:

  • April 3 through 4 – Christopher Cross – NEW to Garden Rocks!
  • April 5 through 7 – The Spinners
  • April 8 through 9 – Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group Styx
  • April 10 through 11 – John Michael Montgomery – NEW!
  • April 12 through 13 – Sister Sledge – NEW to Garden Rocks!
  • April 14 through 16 – Night Ranger
  • April 17 through 19 – Sister Hazel – NEW to Garden Rocks!
  • April 20 through 21 – Steven Curtis Chapman – NEW!
  • April 22 through 23 – TobyMac – NEW!
  • April 24 through 26 – Lonestar
  • April 27 through 30 – The Orchestra, starring former members of ELO
  • May 1 through 4 – Herman’s Hermits, starring Peter Noone
  • May 5 through 7 – Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles
  • May 8 through 9 – A Flock of Seagulls – NEW!
  • May 10 through 11 – Marshall Tucker Band – NEW to Garden Rocks! 
  • May 12 through 13 – Peabo Bryson – NEW!
  • May 14 through 15 – Richard Marx – NEW to Garden Rocks!
  • May 16 through 19 – Starship, starring Mickey Thomas
  • May 20 through 21 – Colin Hay of Men at Work – NEW!
  • May 22 through 23 – War – NEW!
  • May 24 through 27 – The Guess Who
  • May 28 through 29 – Jon Secada
  • May 30 through June 1 – Blood, Sweat and Tears
  • June 2 through June 3 – Eddie Palmieri – NEW!

Additionally, guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at 15 popular Epcot restaurants with guaranteed seating for a nightly concert with a Garden Rocks Dining Package. Dining packages can be booked by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

Festival Exclusive Guided Tours

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2019
Walt Disney World – Matt Stroshane, photographer

Guided tours are available for guests interested in learning more about nature’s magic exclusively during the Festival. 

The Royal Tea Garden Tour, presented by Twinings, takes place each festival morning at the United Kingdom Pavilion, and guides guests through the tranquil tea garden to learn the history and artistry behind growing and blending tea.

The Gardens of the World tour, offered on select days, lets guests join a Disney horticulturist for a three-hour walking tour to explore the festival gardens and topiaries discovering new plant materials and gardening techniques to use in their home gardens.

Epcot admission and a fee are required to join these tours. To make a reservation, call (407) WDW-TOUR.

Family Scavenger Hunts

Gardeners of all ages are invited to participate in Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration family scavenger hunt through the garden pollination trail on a search for Spike’s best blooms as he pollinates flower beds across Epcot. 

The botanical-happy hunt begins by purchasing a map at Port of Entry for $6.99 plus tax, then continues with a visit to each World Showcase pavilion.

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, including all gardens and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

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NBA Experience Opening Date Announced

NBA Experience Disney Springs West Side Walt Disney World

Guests can personalize their experience at this all new destination, bringing NBA in WNBA moments to life at Disney Springs 

The Walt Disney World Resort just announced that the NBA Experience, a brand new destination coming to Disney Springs, will officially open on August 12, 2019.

The NBA experience will give guests a chance to feel like a basketball superstar in one-of-a-kind environment packed with 13 interactive elements and hands on activities across 44,000 feet and two floors.

NBA Experience Disney Springs West Side Walt Disney World
Rendering: Walt Disney World

The design of the NBA Experience at Disney Springs was created in collaboration with the NBA, and will include immersive environments such as an entryway designed to make guests feel as if they’re walking through the players tunnel at an NBA or WNBA arena.

A ticket to the NBA experience grants guess access to every activity, in any order they choose with the ability to return to stations to improve performances or learn even more about the game, players, and the teams they love.

In addition to all of the experiences you can have, there will also be a retail store featuring NBA themed merchandise.

NBA Experience Disney Springs West Side Walt Disney World
Rendering: Walt Disney World

Here are a few of the elements that you will find inside of the NBA experience at Disney Springs:

  • A Slam Dunk Challenge, where guests can change the height of the standard 10-foot hoop to as low as 7-feet to perform their own superstar moves – captured by burst photography.
  • An activity that tests shooting skills with spots on a court that light up as guests move from one location to another attempting to sink as many shots as possible in 15 seconds.
  • A way for guests to see how they stack up to some of the world’s best basketball players by measuring their vertical leap, wingspan, shooting, and dribbling.
  • Personalization for various activities with guests names and associating me activity with their favorite NBA or WNBA teams.
  • Real-time technology to aggregate statistics of NBA and WNBA games and players for continuous updates, while leader boards will track top NBA experience performers throughout each day.
NBA Experience Disney Springs West Side Walt Disney World
Rendering: Walt Disney World
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2019 Epcot International Festival of Arts Must Do’s

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Entrance

DISCLOSURE: I was invited by Walt Disney World to preview the Epcot International Festival of Arts, however all opinions are my own.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is back to kick off 2019 with an even larger celebration of the visual, culinary, and performing arts until February 25th.

During the 39 day Festival, you will find a large selection of activities that are included with your admission, concerts featuring Broadway stars, and food that is both beautiful and tasty.

With so much to choose from, I thought that I would share my top picks for a day at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts!

2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts Must Do’s

1. Disney on Broadway Concert Series

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Disney on Broadway Concert Series

My number one choice should come as no surprise! 

The Disney on Broadway Concert Series, with performances at the American Gardens Theatre, features Disney on Broadway stars singing a selection of songs from award-winning Disney on Broadway productions

New this year, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series has expanded to seven days a week during the festival, providing more opportunities than ever before to bask in live Disney magic.

The lineup of performers and songs will rotate regularly, and you can find more information on both on the official Epcot International Festival of the Arts website.

The concert series is included with park admission with shows at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. nightly.

The Disney on Broadway Concert Series is INCREDIBLY popular, and lines form well before the shows begin. However dining packages are available at participating Epcot restaurants and guarantee show seating, and reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

2. Find a picture perfect snack at the Festival Food Studios

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will feature 13 Food Studios, plus additional creative food and beverage offerings, scattered around Epcot, with an expanded selection of delicious new tastes to savor.

My favorites this year from the preview were:

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Beef Wellington

Beef wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables that can be found at The Artist’s Table.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Salmon

Smoked salmon and cream gâteau with egg yolk cream, paddlefish caviar and micro-herbs is sure to be a new favorite at The Painter’s Palate.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Strawberry

Almond frangipane cake with raspberry and chocolate at Pop Eats!.

3. Find fun photo stops

Another one of my favorite things to do during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is to step inside works of art and take fun photos.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Photo Ops

These fun photo ops are scattered around the park, and at each one you will find a Disney PhotoPass photographer to help capture your iconic pose.

4. Learn something new at a complimentary Festival Seminar

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Seminar

Experience a 30-minute seminar led by artists giving helpful instruction for producing your own artwork at home.

These seminars take place in the Odyssey Festival Center from 11:30am until noon and are available on a first-come,-first-serve basis.

All events are subject to cancellation or change, so you will want to check your Epcot International Festival of the Arts times guide. A full list of the Seminars can be found online.

5. Revisit the Animation Academy

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Animation Academy

During the Epcot International Festival of the Arts you can once again pick up your pencil at the Animation Academy where you can learn how to draw some of your favorite Disney characters at the Odyssey Events Pavilion.

6. Make your own masterpiece at Festival Workshops

A variety of workshops led by professionals will teach guests to create their own masterpiece using a variety of artistic techniques Friday-Monday for $39 per participant plus tax at the Odyssey Events Pavilion.

The workshops take place from 1:30pm until 2:45pm, and must be booked in advance by calling (407) WDW-TOUR. If you are an Annual Passholders and/or Disney Vacation Club member, you will receive a 15% discount.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Odyssey Festival Event Center

All events are subject to cancellation or change, so you will want to check your Epcot International Festival of the Arts times guide. A full list of the Workshops can be found online.

7. Become a Festival Artist

You don’t just get to see the art at the Epcot International Festival of Arts, because you can grab a paintbrush and help create a wall mural along World Showcase Plaza.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Mural

After you finish your squares, make sure to visit the mural throughout the day to watch it come to life!

8. Take part in an artful scavenger hunt

Help Figment learn about art on this scavenger hunt around World Showcase with Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Scavenger Hunt

To get started, purchase your map and stickers at Pin Central, Disney Traders, or World Traveler. Then, search for Figment hiding inside famous works of art at each World Showcase pavilion (Here’s a hint… look for the Figment-themed picture frame). Every time you find Figment, add the corresponding sticker to the pavilion on your map.

Once your journey is complete, return your map to Disney Traders for an artful surprise.

9. Don’t forget to exit through the Gift Shop

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Festival Merchandise

You won’t want to miss the chance to take home a piece of artwork or a souvenir from your time at the Epcot International Festival of Arts.

Art collectors and Disney enthusiasts alike will find artwork for sale throughout the entire park, from the Art of Disney store to Festival Markets.

In addition, special merchandise will be available at Mouse Gear and other Epcot locations featuring the festival’s logo adorning shirts, mugs, totes and other charming items.

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January 2019 Theme Park Ticket Offers

January 2019 Theme Park Ticket Offers

January 2019 Theme Park Ticket Offers

Right now there are some FANTASTIC ticket and annual pass offers available for the theme parks of Central Florida!

Let’s take a look at them all!

SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica Orlando Preschool Card

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

The 2019 SeaWorld/Aquatica Preschool Card is now available for registration exclusively for Florida Residents offering an ocean of experiences that are perfect for pint-sized guests, from up-close animal encounters to breathtaking live shows.

SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando will offer kids ages 5 and younger a FREE Preschool Card valid for visits through December 31, 2019 for unlimited admission to both SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando.

Advance registration must be completed online and is only valid for children ages 5 or younger at the time of redemption at the park.

Please note registration is required by January 27, 2019 and ticket redemption is by February 28, 2019.

To redeem your Preschool Card visit a SeaWorld Orlando or Aquatica Orlando ticket window and present all of these:

  • Your Preschool Card online registration confirmation
  • Your child’s birth certificate or travel passport
  • Your Florida resident ID

Also keep in mind that the Preschool Card does not include taxes, service fees, free parking, separately-ticketed events, or other discounts.

To learn more and to register for the Preschool Card, Florida residents can visit https://seaworld.com/orlando/tickets/preschool-free-admission/.

Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island Preschool Card

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

The 2019 Busch Gardens Tampa/Adventure Island Card is now available for registration exclusively for Florida Residents offering an ocean of experiences that are perfect for guests 5 and under.

Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island will offer kids ages 5 and younger a FREE Preschool Card valid for visits through December 31, 2019 for unlimited admission to both Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island.

Advance registration must be completed online and is only valid for children ages 5 or younger at the time of redemption at the park.

Please note registration is required by January 27, 2019 and ticket redemption is by February 28, 2019.

To redeem your Preschool Card visit a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Adventure Island ticket window and present all of these:

  • Your Preschool Card online registration confirmation
  • Your child’s birth certificate or travel passport
  • Your Florida resident ID

Also keep in mind that the Preschool Card does not include taxes, service fees, free parking, separately-ticketed events, or other discounts.

To learn more and to register for the Preschool Card, Florida residents can visit https://buschgardens.com/tampa/tickets/preschool-free-admission/.

Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island BOGO Fun Cards

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

For a limited time, buy a 2019 Busch Gardens Fun Card and get an Adventure Island Fun Card FREE. Blockout dates apply.

Valid at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay through December 31, 2019.
2019 Blockout Dates: Mar. 30 | Apr. 6 & 13-27 | May 25-26 | July 1-7 | Nov. 23-24 & 29-30 | Dec. 21-22 & 28-30.
Valid at Adventure Island March 15 through October 27, 2019.
2019 Blockout Dates: April 14 & 20-27 | May 25-27 | July 4-7, 13-14 & 20.

Keep in mind that a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay / Adventure Island Fun Card

  • Does not include admission to select special events (including Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens), parking, or discounts on food and merchandise.
  • Only valid for residents of the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.
  • Non-transferable and non-refundable. Not valid with other discounts or special offers.
  • Other restrictions apply.
  • Subject to change without prior notice.
  • Adventure Island is a seasonal park.

For more information on the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay / Adventure Island Fun Card visit https://buschgardens.com/tampa/tickets/fun-card/.

LEGOLAND Florida Preschool Pass

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers LEGOLAND Florida Preschool Pass

LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s FREE Preschooler Pass, available from January 10 through February 18, 2019,  will grant Florida Resident children ages 3-years-old and 4-years-old 12 months of unlimited admission to both LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park and Water Park.

As the theme park built for kids, LEGOLAND Florida Resort offers more than 60 percent of its rides and attractions for guests 40 inches or taller. The one-time offer pass includes all seasonal events including Brick or Treat and early spring visits when THE LEGO® MOVIE™ WORLD opens. Taking guests from the theater to the theme park, the newest theme park addition will feature three attractions, inspired by the characters and themes of the worldwide blockbuster THE LEGO® MOVIE and the upcoming THE LEGO® MOVIE 2: The Second Part.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s Preschooler Pass will be available for a limited time at the admission ticket window only. Guests purchasing the pass must bring a copy of their child’s birth certificate or travel passport for proof of age. Children must be aged 3-years-old or 4-years-old at the time of receiving the Preschooler Pass to qualify. Guests ages 2-years-old and under will continue to receive free admission.

Annual Passes are none refundable, however if you have purchased a LEGOLAND Florida Resort Annual Pass for your 3 or 4-year- old, you can choose to extend the validity of that pass by 12 months or transfer the purchased pass to an immediate family member. (Transfers are limited to one per person).

Learn more about the Preschooler Pass at https://www.legoland.com/preschooler-pass/.

Universal Orlando Resort Annual Pass

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

Universal Orlando Resort has launched a first-of-its-kind offer that gives Passholders more thrills and adventure than ever before. Starting today, guests can get up to six months FREE on Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passes depending on what tier they choose.

This special offer is valid on 2-Park (Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure) and 3-Park (Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay) Seasonal and Annual Passes and is available for purchase and activation through April 4, 2019.

Here’s a look at the different Universal Orlando Annual Passes:

  • Seasonal Pass
    • $269.99 for two park, $368.99 for three park
    • Three months free
    • Doesn’t include any parking or merchandise discounts,
    • Includes blackout dates
  • Power Pass
    • $354.99 for two park, $463.99 for three park
    • Three months free
    • 50% off regular daytime self-parking after your first visit
    • Limited discounts at CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
    • Includes blackout dates
  • Preferred Pass
    • $394.99 for two park, $503.99 for three park
    • Six months free
    • Free self-parking and discounted rates for normal and Red Carpet valet parking after your first visit
    • 10% Discount at Universal-owned stores and restaurants (not carts), CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
    • No blackout dates
    • Early park admission without having to be a resort guest
  • Premier Pass
    • $559.99 for two park, $733.99 for three park
    • Six months free
    • Free prime self-parking and normal valet parking, with a large discount for Red Carpet valet parking
    • 15% Discount at Universal-owned stores and restaurants (not carts), CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
    • No blackout dates
    • Early park admission without having to be a resort guest
    • Free Express Pass after 4pm

For more information and to purchase Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passes visit their website.

Walt Disney World Florida Resident ‘Discover Disney’ Ticket

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

For a limited time, Florida residents can take advantage of a special ticket offer and purchase a 3-day Discover Disney Ticket for only $175 plus tax—valid for admission to one theme park per day! Plus, add a 4th day for just $20 more plus tax! These tickets can be used on non-consecutive days through June 30, 2019 with no blockout dates.

Visit multiple theme parks on the same day by upgrading your ticket to include the Park Hopper Option for just $32.50 plus tax more for a 3-day ticket or $37.50 more plus tax for a 4-day ticket.

For an additional $57.50 plus tax, add the Park Hopper Plus Option to a 3-day Discover Disney Ticket—or for an additional $62.50 plus tax, add the Park Hopper Plus Option to a 4 -day Discover Disney Ticket. If you add the Park Hopper Plus Option to your Discover Disney Ticket, you get all the benefits of the Park Hopper Option, plus you can enjoy 3 visits with the 3-day Discover Disney ticket or 4 visits with the 4-Day Discover Disney ticket to the Disney Water Parks, select Disney golf courses and more Walt Disney World fun.

Take advantage of these great prices:

3-Day Discover Disney Ticket – $175 plus tax

3-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Option – $207.50 plus tax

3-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Plus Option – $232.50 plus tax

4-Day Discover Disney Ticket – $195 plus tax

4-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Option – $232.50 plus tax

4-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Plus Option – $257.50 plus tax

Purchase through June 27, 2019. Discover Disney Tickets are valid for use through June 30, 2019 and can be used on non-consecutive days—with no blockout dates.

Tickets and options are nontransferable and nonrefundable and exclude activities/events separately priced. Discover Disney 3- and 4-Day Tickets and add-on Options expire on June 30, 2019.

To learn more and to purchase the Walt Disney World Florida Residents Discovery Tickets visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/resident-discover or to book by phone, call (407) 939-4290 and speak with a vacation planning expert, or call your travel agent.

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Make a runDisney Goal – My runDisney 5K Story

Conversations with Cheryl: Make a runDisney Goal – My runDisney 5K Story

I never thought I could achieve a 5k.  My friends were in participating in the runDisney 5K, and at over 310 pounds I was scared but excited to join them.

Conversations with Cheryl Make a runDisney Goal - My runDisney 5K Story 

How I started slowly…

The idea of training for my first 5k was daunting at first, but once I became more comfortable with the idea that a 5K was 3.1 miles which I typically walked during a day in the parks I was ready to get started.

My favorite (and easy) practice walk was to go to Epcot and walk around World Showcase, which is 1.2 miles.

After I got  comfortable walking for longer periods of time, I found that I wanted to keep going so I would walk at night around my neighborhood or I would hop on the treadmill.

runDisney Conversations with Cheryl 5K runkeeper

Do you need a buddy for a runDisney 5k?

I like to walk with friends, but it is not completely necessary.

If you think you would like to have a buddy, don’t be shy about asking your friends. Who knows…you could inspire them to give it a try, too!

Also if you look on Facebook it is easy to find running groups, charity runners, and running events in your local area.

You can also find a runDisney practice program online and Motivation Tips at Cigna.

runDisney Conversations with Cheryl 5K with Shelley
Getting ready for a runDisney 5K with Shelley

You can do it, too!

I wear my 5k T Shirts and people say “I could never do a 5k”.  My response is If I can walk a 5k at my weight, they should be able to walk one as well.

One thing that helped keep me motived and focused was Cigna Coaching!

Part of my insurance with Cigna involves Cigna coaching for those that don’t meet their BMI.  My coach is friendly  and it is incredibly convenient for me to meet my coach at his mobile office.

httpv://youtu.be/zP5JJARGhDk

My biggest piece of advice? Don’t be scared about meeting with a coach!

One of the first things you will do with your coach is to set goals together.

Your goals can be as simple as:

Do you have Cigna as your health insurance?  You may be able to get voice coaching.

Cigna also offers assistance with Achilles International, they will have some athletes in the races and some Cigna Employees.

What if I don’t have Cigna Insurance?

Coach by Cigna Logo runDisney

Cigna offers a free coaching app which is accessible to everyone on the Apple app store or the Android Google Play Store.

How to register for a runDisney 5K

Registration for the Run Disney 5k fills up quickly, plan to register now.

If your event is full, consider running for Charity listed at the end of the event page.

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