The Walt Disney World Resort is introducing the interactive iTV at the Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort that allows guests to have a more connected stay!
Choose from interactive TV schedules, Disney on Demand Content, connect your device to watch streaming content, view your PhotoPass pictures & MDX plans (including dining and FP+ Reservations), see an interactive guide to the resort, and view park information!
The Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World serves as the new main entrance point for guests visiting the resort adding a total of 545 new guest rooms (including 50 suites) to the resort, as well as feature a gorgeous two-story lobby.
An oasis set on the shore of Lago Dorado, the reimagined Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort celebrates the daring spirit of the great Spanish explorers, artists, writers and architects.
Throughout the resort, guests will discover a blend of classic Spanish influences, imaginative Disney touches and modern comforts both inside and out.
The resort’s more than 1,800 existing rooms have also been fully updated with new fixtures, furnishings, lighting, and a fresh color palette will tie the entire resort experience together, blending the new and the newly reimagined.
Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for even more Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs content!
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!
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.
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.
3. For Villain Devotees: Disney Villains After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 @ 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 @ 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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
This summer you can experience the Flavors of Florida on a ‘Foodie Adventure’ across Disney Springs with a selection of perfectly paired Floridian-inspired plates, cocktails, and brews at 20 different locations throughout the the shopping and entertainment district.
Let’s take a look at what you can find at each location around Disney Springs!
Flavors of Florida Foodie Guide 2019
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
Fountain of Youth Chicken Wings – Chicken wings served with St Augustine Datil Pepper Sauce
Florida Rain – Orange vodka, gin, coconut rum, blue curaçao, and sour mix
Southern Burger – Signature beef blend patty topped with a fried green tomato, pimento cheese, lettuce, grilled onion, and bacon
Orange Crème Milkshake – Vanilla gelato blended with zesty orange flavors and topped with whipped cream
Blood Orange Mousse – Lemon chiffon cake with grapefruit gelée
Disney Springs Dark Chocolate Bar – Dark chocolate bar with orange
Florida Orange Ganache Square – Dark chocolate blended with Florida orange juice and orange zest
Key Lime Ganache Pop – White chocolate blended with Key lime juice and fresh lime zest covered with dark chocolate
Conch Fritters – Conch fritters served on a bed of tropical slaw with Key lime tartar sauce
Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen
Wine Bar George and The Basket at Wine Bar George
Frozcato Cookie Sandwich – Frozen pineapple frozcato sandwiched between two house-made sugar cookies
Frozcato – Moscato, vodka, and Dole Whip Pineapple
Smoked Prime Rib Slider – Prime rib served with a citrus aïoli and a green papaya horseradish slaw
Key Lime Pie – Key lime pie with graham cracker crust and toasted coconut
Sandbar Sunday Islamorada Beer Company American Pale Wheat Ale
Tuna Poke Tower – Seared ahi tuna, spicy crab mix, diced Florida avocado, and Asian slaw stacked and served with crispy wonton chips
Strawberry Sake Spritzer – Local strawberries, lemon juice, elderflower liqueur, and rosé-infused sake garnished with a whole strawberry and mint
Fresh Tuna Tekka Don – Fresh, customizable poke bowl featuring sushi-grade tuna on a bed steamed rice topped with avocado, cucumber, seaweed salad, tempura crunch, and a zesty house-made yuzu aïoli
Violet Sake Slushie – Japanese sake, prickly pear, and lime topped with konpeito candy
Frozen Beer Shandy – Kirin draft beer with fresh-squeezed orange juice topped with frozen Kirin foam
Boom Boom Alligator Tacos – Flour tortillas, fried alligator, and tropical fruit slaw topped with micro cilantro and spicy garlic sauce
Sailfish Brewing Co. Tag & Release Amber
The Ice Age – Rum, blue curaçao, piña colada purée, and orange juice
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
Key West Shrimp Cocktail – Seasoned shrimp hand tossed with avocado, mango, cucumber, and house-made cocktail sauce and served with buttermilk crackers
Blood Orange Madras – Blood orange moonshine, freshly muddled strawberries, pineapple purée, and cranberry juice
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
Local Buratta – Buratta made in Pompeo Beach, Florida served with prosciutto, arugula, fresh peaches, and basil pesto
Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
Crab Ceviche – Blue crab, avocado, bell pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime served with tortilla chips
Key Lime Wheat Ale
Steamed Peel and Eat Florida Shrimp – Florida shrimp dusted with Boathouse seasoning and served with drawn butter
Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat Ale
A Zesty Slice of Florida – Pizza bianca with Florida lemon, ricotta cheese, arugula, and black pepper
Guyebera Citra Pale Ale
Market or Fresh Catch Ceviche – Ceviche with passion fruit, lime, and chilis
La Playita Lager
Paradiso 37, Taste of The Americas
Florida Scorpion Shrimp Paella – Colossal gulf shrimp, mussels, pancetta, peas, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, and savory Key lime butter tossed with Calasparra rice and broiled to perfection
Sunset Margarita – Tequila, cointreau, and fresh-squeezed Florida orange juice
Citrus Kale Salad – Superfood blend of kale, julienned broccoli, slivered Brussels sprouts and cabbage, feta, fresh grapefruit and oranges, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and agave dressing
Key Lime Martini – Vodka, ice cream, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup with a graham cracker crumbs rim
Orange Gator & Waffle Cone – Tempura alligator wok-tossed with a sweet Florida orange sauce and served in a house-made waffle cone
Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA
The Flavors of Florida event runs daily through September 2, 2019, and to keep track of your progress there is an event guide, available at any participating location as well as the Disney Springs Welcome Center!
This summer the theme parks of Central Florida are debuting new offerings, and we are breaking them all down for you!
Walt Disney World Resort
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
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
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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 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.
Join us for a look at some of the amazing Walt Disney World Resort Easter Egg Displays expertly modeled out of chocolate & other edible treats!
This annual traditions is one of my absolute favorites at Walt Disney World!!!
In this video we take you (in order of appearance) to the Easter Egg Displays at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, & finally Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A stroll down the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs
This holiday season Disney has added a few new entertainment options to Disney Springs. One of them, the Christmas Tree Trail, debuted this past weekend. When the Disney Parks Blog first made the announcement, I was definitely looking forward to it. The description reminded me of the trees that used decorate the Camp Minnie Mickey area of Animal Kingdom before it was closed to make way for Avatar.
The new Christmas Tree Trail is located at the old Marketplace bus depot and you enter in between Once Upon a Toy and Earl of Sandwich. There’s a DJ set up in the area, along with the large Christmas tree that they light every evening at 6:00PM.
We decided to walk the trail twice, before and after it got dark. During the day, it is much less crowded and easier to see some of the details on the trees. The snow machines run at night and of course the twinkle lights make it a bit more festive. My photos came out much better during the day too so that’s what you’ll mostly see here.
There are 15 trees and each one has a different Disney theme. The decorations went beyond just covering the tree in the characters. Some of them you even had to think about a little bit (like a spoonful of sugar on the Mary Poppins tree). It really reminded me of a hometown festival of trees.
Mickey & Minnie
Beauty and the Beast
The Little Mermaid
The Princess and the Frog
The Jungle Book
Alice in Wonderland
The trail a nice holiday addition that fits with the hometown feel of Disney Springs. I hope they keep the tree trail for future years and even improve upon it. The area has a lot of space to add even more Christmas lights and decorations. Maybe even add some more activities. Have you visited the tree trail? Which tree is your favorite?Follow us for more updates:
On Friday, November 27, Epcot began their holiday festivities with their annual Holidays Around the World line up. This post will be extra picture heavy as I think they tell the story better than I could.
My family and I like to make a day of the special events each year. We always make reservations for the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package and spend the day going around World Showcase listening to the different storytellers. I love looking at all the decorations that are country-specific too. We also make sure to sample some of the special holiday treats that are available – make sure to pick up a passport!
All of the countries feature a special holiday performer or storyteller (or two). We can never fit in all the storytellers in one day, but I have seen all of them at least once before. There are descriptions posted at each country that are worth a read even if you don’t catch the performer. Here is a description of all of them with pictures of the ones we caught over the weekend, plus some of the decorations in the countries.
Canada – The Holiday Voyageurs perform on the Mill Stage singing songs and describing holiday traditions of different regions in Canada.
United Kingdom – Father Christmas tell us what the holiday season is like in the United Kingdom and explains the mistletoe custom. There’s also a short sing-a-long of Deck the Halls, a song that comes from Wales.
France – Père Noël tells us the story of Babette and her Christmas wish. Through the story we learn about french customs.
Morocco – Hear about holidays and festivals in Morocco, focusing on celebrating the harvests with dances and feasts.
Japan – Listen to the story of the Daruma doll and New Year’s celebrations in Japan.
American Adventure – Hear about the traditions of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and the histories behind them. Santa and Mrs. Claus also meet and Voices of Liberty wear Dickens style clothes and sing songs of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. This year there is a gingerbread Capitol building and Washington Monument inside the rotunda.
Italy – La Befana is a witch who brings presents to children in Italy on the Eve of the Epiphany. She tells a story of searching for the Christ child.
Germany – Helga tells us all about the Christmas traditions in Germany, many of which we have adopted here in the United States like the Christmas tree and the nutcracker.
China – The Lion Dancers perform and bestow good luck wishes for the New Year.
Norway – Sigrid explains the holiday traditions of Norway while Julenissen tries to make her believe in the Christmas gnome, with a lot of help from the audience.
Mexico – Mariachi Cobre and dancers perform traditional songs and dances. Musicians and dancers are fantastic in this and there’s even a piñata for the kids.
The headliner of Epcot’s Holidays Around the World is the Candlelight Processional. A celebrity narrator reads scripture from the Christmas story surrounded by a choir and an amazing orchestra. Our narrator was Gary Sinise. It’s definitely a must-see. We like getting the dinner package at least once so we get seats without waiting in a long line. Other times we’ve stood in the back and still enjoyed it.
Of course, we have to end the day with Illuminations, which features a special holiday ending at this time of year with the countries wishing for Peace on Earth.
Spending the day at Epcot during the holiday season will definitely get you into the spirit.
If you are going to be in Walt Disney World for Easter, there are some fun offerings at the parks and resorts to enjoy this spring holiday. Guests looking for religious services can attend Protestant service at the Contemporary in the Fantasia ballroom on Easter Sunday at 9am. Catholic services will be held at 8am and 10:15am. For other holiday services, resorts can assist guests in directing them to off property sites for Hindu, Muslim, Judaism and other religious services.
Table service restaurants across property have Easter meals for booking if you are looking for a special meal. Breakfast with a character buffet is offered at Disney’s Beach Club Resort at Cape May Cafe. A special Easter dinner is also occurring at Cape May with the addition of a Roasted Lamb to the carving station at the buffet. Next door at the Yacht Club, Captain’s Grille is hosting a brunch with Roasted Strip Loin and Baked Ham with assorted sauces with the buffet. Another character meal offered is Chef Mickey’s Fun Time Easter Brunch at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Also at the Contemporary at the Wave there is a brunch with a carving station featuring New York Strip Loin and Bone-In Ham. The Walt Disney World Swan offers a character dinner buffet at Garden Grove. Kouzzina at the Boardwalk and Olivia’s at Old Key West are also providing special dinner menus in addition to their regular dinner menus.
Cupcakes for Easter will be offered in locations at the Boardwalk Bakery, in the food court at Caribbean Beach, and at Roaring Fork at the Wilderness Lodge.
Special Easter merchandise will be available for purchase at gift shops at Coronado Springs and the Yacht and Beach Club. Other resorts will have Easter baskets for purchase in addition to these at the Boardwalk, Caribbean Beach, Contemporary, Fort Wilderness, Grand Floridian, Old Key West, Polynesian and Wilderness Lodge. Some will be pre-made and others will have the opportunity to create your own Easter basket. Consult the resort directly for further questions.
At Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, guests will have the ability to vote for winners of the Recycled Craft Contest in the dining room.
There will also be a chocolate Easter Egg display in the lobby of the Grand Floridian from April 5 – 22nd.
Stay tuned for more resort and theme park recreation activities to be updated in a future post in April as we get closer to Easter!Follow us for more updates:
If you are at all a college basketball fan, like I am, your brackets for the NCAA basketball tournaments are already filled out and ready to go. This year there is a new offering at the ESPN Club at Disney’s Boardwalk for VIP seating during March Madness. Beginning March 20th guests have the ability to book reserved seating area. Prices vary based on the portion of the tournament they are attending. For the elimination rounds (March 20 – 23) adult prices are $50 and children are $25. The Sweet 16 Round is $65 and Final Four is $75 for adults and both are $25 for children. During the basketball tournament there will be two sets of seating times, one from 12 – 4:30pm and the other from 5 – 11pm. ESPN Club’s hours of regular operation are from 11:30am – 1am, but are subject to change during March Madness.
From the ESPN Club website: “ESPN Club VIP Premium Club Seats are available for $50 per adult and $25 per child, and include all food and beverage orders up to those amounts; additional charges will apply for orders exceeding the cost of each individual Guest’s admission. Tax and gratuity are not included.”
If playing is more your style, Walt Disney World has several locations on property where you can shoot hoops. At the Walt Disney World Dolphin you can find an outdoor court near the lap pool. Equipment can be checked out at either the Swan or Dolphin health clubs. The court and equipment rental are exclusive to guests staying at the Swan or Dolphin. The Campgrounds at Fort Wilderness also have six quarter quarts located in different loops throughout the resort. Balls are typically available in a box located adjacent to each court. In addition to these, a few deluxe villas properties have courts at Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Balls are usually available at Community Hall. When it opens in August, the new Four Seasons Orlando will also offer a basketball court in their recreation area Explorer Island.
For those looking to be completely immersed in a basketball theme, you may want to check out Disney’s All Star Sports Resort and check in to the Hoops Hotel section. This value resort is one where you can surround yourself in all things basketball with larger than life icons outside the buildings and the theme carries over to the room decor. Pennants decorate the outside of the building featuring college basketball teams from around the country. Basketballs also adorn the exterior of the resort buildings that are more than five feet in diameter and number more than 70. The megaphone giant icon is 45 feet tall and the whistles are 60 feet long and 20 feet tall. If you, or any family members, are fans of basketball, this is a fun resort to enjoy great sports theming in the rooms and throughout the lobby area.
Are you all geared up for March Madness or are you just a basketball fan in general? If so, I hope you’ll check out these resorts to live, eat, sleep and breathe basketball at Walt Disney World. Shout out to your favorite teams you’re routing for in the NCAA tournament in the comments. Go Vols!
This year’s Spring Training game lineup will showcase some of Major League Baseball’s marquee teams, including the reigning World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
This year’s roster retains many of the players on the 2013 National League East champion squad, including a core of strong young players, first baseman Freddie Freeman, right fielder Jason Heyward, left fielder Justin Upton and shortstop Andrelton Simmons. The Braves’ pitching staff remains mostly unchanged (excluding the loss of Tim Hudson) from the league-leading ERA lineup of last year. The projected rotation includes Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood, with Craig Kimbrel, Jordan Walden and Luis Avilan in the bullpen.
Information on the Braves’ Spring Training season tickets, suite/hospitality, group tickets and mini-plans is available by calling our Premium Sales team at 407/939-GAME (4263) and online at www.espnwwos.com/atlantabraves. The popular mini-packs are now on sale, featuring four separate three-game options in 2014 and giving fans their first opportunity to purchase tickets to specific games on the Braves’ 2014 spring training schedule.
Throughout the year Animal Kingdom and Epcot will be hosting Connecting Families With Nature Series of special events designed to bring attention to animals, their habitats, and what we humans can do to help them not only thrive but survive!
The events take place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot. The goal of each is to provide kids and families with a special opportunity to connect with nature, talk to our animal experts, and learn more about some of the fantastic creatures with whom we share our planet. Here’s the list of our 2014 events. Watch the Disney Parks Blog for more detailed posts shortly before each one. We hope to see you at one or more of them!
We ventured to Rafiki’s Planet Watch for the first event in the year long series on March 4th to celebrate ‘Springing Forward’ a few days early by celebrating frogs, toads and other amphibians.
Once we arrived, we were greeted by Cast Members and found all sorts of great games, activities, and special examinations we could watch.
The first thing we did, as we listened to Guitar Dan, was to make our very own Toad Abode for the frogs and toads in our yard to be comfy as Cast Members told us about frogs that were native to Florida. You know that I HAD to have a few Mickey’s on there!
Once inside we were able to try our hand at several games (who knew I could standing jump 7 ft!), watched an examination of a frog, and learned ways that we could do our part to help frogs.
Did you know that, according to some estimates, as many as one-third of the known amphibian species are threatened by extinction because of loss of habitat, climate change, pollution and disease? To find out more about Disney conservation efforts, visit www.disney.com/conservation
These Connecting Families With Nature Special Events are a great way to make your trip to the park extra special, and I know that we will definitely be going to more throughout the year. We had so much fun!
If you want to join in the fun with us, here are the upcoming 2014 events for Connecting Families with Nature! You always want to keep in mind that dates subject to change:
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
March 4: Spring Forward for Amphibians Day — Just a few days before we adjust our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time, we’re “springing forward” to celebrate frogs, toads and other amphibians.
April 22: Party for the Planet in celebration of Earth Day — Every day is a Party for the Planet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as guests and cast members join together to celebrate the wonders of nature, but, on Earth Day, there will be even more natural magic. Included is a celebration of the release of Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure “Bears,” in theaters April 18, which showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons.
May 6: International Migratory Bird Day — Time to celebrate of one the wonders of nature – bird migration – and the ways we can help protect birds on their journeys.
May 20: World Turtle Day — Turtles are fascinating creatures, and really cool dudes, too – just ask Crush! Both Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends celebrate turtles with special activities.
June 10: Pollinator Day — butterflies, bees and other pollinators are the stars of this celebration.
July 29: Big Cat Day — It’s all about the largest cats, like lions and tigers – cats to whom you wouldn’t want to say, “here, kitty, kitty.”
August 5: Primate Day — The perfect place to find out what a 400-pound gorilla and a one-pound cotton-top tamarin have in common.
September 23: Elephant and Rhino Day — Learn fun facts and important conservation information about magnificent and endangered elephants and rhinos.
At The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot:
April 22: Earth Day Celebration — It’s an ocean of fun at The Seas on Earth Day as this Earth Day celebration focuses on marine animals.
May 20: World Turtle Day — See the magnificent sea turtles swim by in the main aquarium and find out what each of us can do to keep turtles safe in the wild.
June 4: World Oceans Day — Join Nemo, Dory, Crush and the rest of the gang in celebrating the wonders of the oceans.