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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19 Magical Experiences in 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort

19 Magical Experiences in 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort

Over on the Disney Parks Blog, Jeremy Schoolfield just shared a blog post about the 19 new Magical Experiences in 2019 coming to Walt Disney World.

2019 is definitely going to be one for the Theme Park history books!!!

Check out what’s coming in his post and let us know what you’re looking forward to the most!!!!

19 Magical Experiences in 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2019 is going to be an amazing time at Walt Disney World Resort, with so many new and exciting things happening all year long. You’ll travel to a galaxy far, far away and experience zany fun aboard a runaway railway. You can MousekeDance yourself silly and play basketball like the pros. Or maybe you’ll want to take in beautiful views while you dine 15 stories high atop a new resort hotel tower or glide across the sky in a gondola.

So let’s get to it!

Here are 19 reasons to be excited for a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in 2019:

2019 Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

1. Anything Can Happen at Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration – Starting Jan. 18, Magic Kingdom Park is honoring those true originals, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, now, more than ever with new entertainment, merchandise and specialty food and beverages. The new “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party” will parade up Main Street, U.S.A. several times daily, while you can meet Mickey and Minnie together – wearing their new birthday outfits – in Town Square Theater.

2019 Hollywood Studios 30 Logo

 

2. Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios – On May 1, Walt Disney World Resort will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The park is honoring this achievement all year with a new 30th anniversary logo and other fun and excitement (see below!).

2019 Illuminations Farewell Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

3. Say a Fond Farewell to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – After nearly 20 years of delighting Epcot guests through music, fireworks, fire torches and more, this nighttime spectacular will be ending in the second half of this year. Now, more than ever you’ll want to spend another evening around World Showcase Lagoon to celebrate this classic show that has entertained millions since its October 1999 debut.

4. Jaleo Cooks Up Fresh Tastes at Disney Springs – Chef José Andrés will bring the spirit and flavors of Spain to Disney Springs with his new Jaleo restaurant, opening this winter. The tapas experience will offer a lively setting befitting its name, which means “revelry.”

5. Party with Pixar Pals at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Starting Jan. 18, celebrate the park’s 30th anniversary with The Incredibles, who will host a dance party at Pixar Avenue (where you can also meet the one and only Edna Mode!). A door to the monster world will open at Walt Disney Presents, where Mike and Sulley from Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” will be greeting you. And Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and the rest of the gang are ready to welcome you into Andy’s backyard at the new Toy Story Land.

2019 Festival of the Arts Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

6. Disney on Broadway Concert Series Expands During Epcot International Festival of the Arts –This celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts returns Jan. 18-Feb. 25. This year, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series will expand to seven days a week, so you can bask in live Disney magic more than ever. The festival also will feature 13 Food Studios, a variety of workshops led by professional artists, interactive exhibits and activities, and much more.

7. “The Lion King” Roars Again at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney Pictures’ animated classic “The Lion King.” To mark this occasion, starting Jan. 18 Rafiki and Timon will lead you in dances and games during the “Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party” on Discovery Island.

2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

8. Take in the Topiaries During Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – Welcome spring’s arrival with this popular festival, which returns March 6-June 3. This year’s event will feature delectable bites at outdoor kitchens, as well as dozens of world-renowned, Disney-themed topiaries. In addition, the Garden Rocks Concert Series will include three shows a day for all 90 days of the event.

2019 Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

9. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy Speeds into Disney’s Hollywood Studios – When this new show experience opens this spring, you’ll come face to face with racing legend Lightning McQueen, who will teach you about racing from his years of experience on the track. This will be the untold story of Lightning McQueen … as told by Lightning McQueen!

2019 H2O Glow Nights Typhoon Lagoon Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

10. H2O Glow Nights Return to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – These evening beach parties happen Thursdays and Saturdays from May 30 through Aug. 17, transforming the water park into a new nighttime experience through special music, lighting and food. Come party with friends from Pixar’s “Toy Story” films during the 30th anniversary summer of Typhoon Lagoon!

11. New Cinematic Nighttime Experience Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios – As part of the theme park’s 30th anniversary, Wonderful World of Animation will debut May 1. The show will use state-of-the-art technology to take you on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey.

2019 Gran Destino Tower Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

12. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort to Open New Tower – This summer, the resort will complete a total reimagining, including the new 15-story Gran Destino tower featuring a rooftop restaurant and 545 new guest rooms. A second new restaurant will be located on an island in the middle of the resort’s 14-acre lake, while all of its existing 1,800-plus rooms have been fully updated with new fixtures and furnishings.

2019 NBA Experience Disney Springs Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

13. NBA Experience Will Be a Slam Dunk at Disney Springs – This brand-new destination will allow you to participate in your own scouting report, take you through pregame preparations and let you step onto the court to make clutch shots and highlight reel-worthy slam dunks. By participating in 13 unique and innovative hands-on activities, you’ll feel like a star player.

23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

14. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Will Spice Up Fall – The aromas and flavors of global marketplaces will welcome you to the 24th year of this renowned festival. You’ll have a chance to meet celebrity chefs, try new food and wine pairings, and listen to great music during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.

15. Major Youth Sporting Events Return to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – The Jr. NBA World Championship will return to the complex, showcasing top boys and girls basketball teams from around the world. In December, the 63rd Pop Warner Super Bowl will bring hundreds of young football players to Walt Disney World to compete in national championship games.

2019 Black Spire Outpost Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

16. Explore Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Live your own Star Wars adventure when this deeply immersive land opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this fall (and this summer at Disneyland Park in California). You’ll explore Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, where you’ll find all manner of new sights, sounds, smells, tastes, characters and creatures from a galaxy far, far away. The land will also feature two thrilling new attractions: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

2019 Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

17. Take a Ride on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Opening later this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this will be the first ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. It will feature a new original story and lovable theme song, taking you on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. New technologies will transform the two-dimensional cartoon world into an astounding multi-dimensional experience.

2019 Disney Skyliner Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

18. Glide Through the Air in the Disney Skyliner – Disney Skyliner will offer Tinker Bell views later this year as guests float in gondolas to either Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios on roundtrips from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort.

2019 Disney's Riviera Resort Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

19. Disney’s Riviera Resort Will Be 15th Disney Vacation Club Resort – Scheduled to open by the end of this year, Disney’s Riviera Resort will reflect an elegant early 20th-century design, inspired by Walt Disney’s travels to the Mediterranean. The deluxe DVC resort is slated to offer approximately 300 family-friendly vacation home units.

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Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips

Disclosure: I was an invited guest of the Walt Disney World Resort to experience the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, however all opinions are 100% my own.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.

The Epcot International Festival of Holidays fills the park with holiday magic, international seasonal delicacies, captivating live entertainment, and festive decor daily until December 30th. And the best gift of all? Most of what you can experience is included with your theme park admission!

The Festival is a great way for families to learn about and even celebrate Holiday traditions from around the world, and at this year’s Epcot International Festival of Holidays you can also experience a new Holiday Cookie Stroll as well as new food and beverage items at Holiday Kitchens throughout Epcot.

With so much to do, I thought I would share my Epcot International Festival of the Holidays must do’s and tips!

Top 7 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Must Do’s and Tips

Try a tasty teats at the Holiday Kitchens

At the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays  you can savor holiday dishes and beverages from across the globe at 12 specialty kitchens set around the park’s World Showcase.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018
The L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen is new this year, and the potato knish with herb sour cream was AMAZING!!!

New items this year include black forest roulade with cherry whipped cream at the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen in the Germany pavilion and sofrito-marinated beef with sweet plantains, and olives at the Feast of the Three Kings Holiday Kitchen.

AND a brand-new kitchen this year, L’Chaim!, will feature traditional Jewish dishes such as pastrami on rye, chicken and matzo ball soup, and more. I can tell you that this Holiday Kitchen is an ABSOLUTE MUST DO!!!!

If you want to find out a COMPLETE list of what you can find at each Holiday Kitchen, visit the official Festival website to plan your culinary celebration!

Tip – If you want to sample dishes at the Holiday Kitchens, you can stay on budget by using Disney Gift Cards! Also, don’t forget to register your card on disneygiftcard.com, because if you lose the card you can still have access to the money you’ve loaded onto the card.

Three words…Holiday Cookie Stroll

New this year is the Holiday Cooke Stroll where you can enjoy delicious cookies from cookie stroll locations around World Showcase.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018
Here’s a list of all the cookies on the stroll!

As you enjoy the cookies you will collect stamps for each one in your Holiday Passport, and if you get all five stamps you will be rewarded with a complimentary “completer” cookie and a cold glass of milk!

Tip – You don’t have to eat all all five cookies in one day, but I won’t stop you…you have until December 30th to present your completed passport for the Cooke Stroll.

Candlelight Processional

Candlelight Processional is the heart of Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays, and is a retelling of the story of Christmas by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a full choir and a 50-piece orchestra in a performance that inspires joy and fills you with the holiday spirit.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018

This elegant showcase is performed three times nightly at 5:00 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:15 PM through December 30th at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot’s World Showcase.

Here’s a list of this year’s remaining celebrity narrators:

  • NEW! Alfonso Ribeiro – November 27, 2018
  • Robby Benson – November 28 to 30, 2018
  • John Stamos – December 1 to 2, 2018
  • Neil Patrick Harris – December 3 to 6, 2018
  • Whoopi Goldberg – December 7 to 9, 2018
  • NEW! Bart Millard – December 10 to 12, 2018
  • Blair Underwood – December 13 to 14, 2018
  • Gary Sinise – December 15 to 17, 2018
  • Pat Sajak – December 18 to 20, 2018
  • NEW! Auli’i Cravalho – December 21 to 23, 2018
  • Edward James Olmos – December 24 to 25, 2018
  • Jodi Benson – December 26 to 27, 2018
  • Cal Ripken Jr. – December 28 to 30, 2018
Tip -Seating for Candlelight Processional can get quite packed, so if there is a celebrity narrator that you MUST see consider taking advantage of a Candlelight Processional Dining Package. You can choose to enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner at some of the tastiest restaurants in Epcot and the adjacent Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts followed by reserved seating at a performance of the Candlelight Processional. To reserve Candlelight Dining Packages, call (407) WDW-DINE.

Storytellers and Holiday Entertainment

Another MUST DO for the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is to stroll the World Showcase stopping to see costumed performers bring the traditions of their home countries to Epcot with holiday stories and music, along with a variety of other international festive entertainment.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018
The new Hanukkah Storyteller (located between Morocco and France)

Tip – As soon as you get into the park pick up a times guide (or two) for the week, because this is the only way to find out what times performances are happening in each pavilion.

Chip ’n Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree

Chip & Dale are on a scavenger hunt, collecting ornaments for their Christmas tree—and they need your help!

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018
Here’s a look at this year’s map!

To get started, simply purchase a map and stickers ($6.99 plus tax) from select merchandise locations including Pin Central, Disney Traders, and World Traveler at International Gateway.

As you travel around World Showcase, be on the lookout for Chip & Dale in each World Showcase pavilion.

Once you spot them, add the corresponding ornament sticker to your map.

Then, take your completed map to Disney Traders or World Traveler and exchange it for a festive surprise, courtesy of Chip & Dale!

Tip – Look carefully for Chip & Dale on wreaths on the Holiday Kitchen buildings…some are hard to find, so be patient!!!

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

The Illuminations: Reflections of Earth nighttime spectacular of fireworks, special effects, flame torches and more includes a special holiday finale nightly until December 30, 2018.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018
This is the view from the area between France and the United Kingdom pavilions.

This will be the final holiday season for IllumiNations, as the show is currently scheduled to conclude at the end of summer 2019, with new thrills on World Showcase Lagoon set to debut immediately afterward (more on this soon).

Tip – While most of the fireworks and special effects take place in the air, I still like to arrive 30 minutes before Illuminations: Reflections of Earth begins (make sure to check your times guide) to find a spot close to the water so I can see all of the magic!

Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus

If you are looking to take an iconic Holiday photo, head to The American Adventure pavilion where you can pose for a photo and share their holiday wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Tip – The lines to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus can get quite long, so if you are visiting with little ones try to have one adult wait in line while the other adult keeps the little elves busy with the Kidcot Fun Spot at the pavilion or by grabbing a snack from the nearby Holiday Kitchen.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Top 10 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tips

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a really fun way to ring in the holiday season, and since attending the party is a splurge for most families here are some of my best tips for making the most of your time at the celebration:

Top 10 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tips

Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party vary by date, so make sure you pick the best date for your schedule and wallet. Also, on select nights there are discounts for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members. Also remember that while the party officially starts at 7 pm, you can enter the park with your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket starting at 4 pm.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Ticket Prices

When you are entering the Magic Kingdom, make sure to grab a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party event map…in fact grab more than one since you will be referencing it often during the celebration.

A lot of the entertainment happens around the hub in front of Cinderella Castle, so if catching as many of those as you can is a priority consider grabbing a spot that allows you to see several of the offerings at once.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018

Little ones getting restless? Head over to Club Tinsel, inside of Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, where they can dance with holiday friends and get out some energy.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

There are several attractions opens throughout the park during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but if rides aren’t your priority I still recommend taking a spin on the Jingle Cruise.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018

There are several party exclusive treats this year that are only available after the party begins at 7pm, however if you use the My Disney Experience app to mobile order you’ll find them before the party starts. (I 10 out of 10 recommend the Feliz Navidad Nachos at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe!)

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018
I **promise** there are nachos under all these toppings!!!

If you see merchandise you really want to purchase or a party exclusive photopass picture you want to take…do it right away! As the night goes on, lines can get longer and/or you may find yourself on the other side of the park.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Don’t forget to pick up your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card from the Firehouse on Main Street U.S.A.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018

After the fireworks, a sizable portion of the attendees at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will leave the park, so it is always a good idea to watch the second parade. BUT keep in mind that A Frozen Holiday Wish and Holiday Wishes fireworks only happen once during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Wordless Wednesday Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Skipping the first parade also means shorter wait times for treats and attractions during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Yes, you are seeing at 5 minute wait for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 Also, don’t forget to check out my Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Guide before you go to help plan your night!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram