17 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World in 2017

With an amazing land set to debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park in 2017, a new festival, a multitude of dining locations and popular returning events, 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year at the Walt Disney World Resort!

Check out these 17 reasons for your family to visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2017, then email me today to start planning your trip, Diana@destinationsinflorida.com.

1)    “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” Fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This “out of this world” fireworks spectacular, which returned a few weeks ago to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, uses the latest projections effects, lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics to light up the sky, Star Wars style.

 

2)    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Inspired additions to Star Wars Launch Bay

Your Clients can celebrate the newest cinematic addition to Star Wars, courtesy of an assortment of props from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

3)    MagicBand 2 Rolls Out

MagicBand 2, the next iteration of bands that offer the same helpful functions as the original bands, have just made their way to select Disney Parks merchandise locations and the Shop Disney Parks app. Stay tuned for more updates!

 

4)    Exclusive New Star Wars Tour Now Available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This seven-hour experience, led by a Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide, allows your Clients to experience Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; get an insider’s tour and meet characters at Star Wars Launch Bay; screen “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi” and enjoy Star Wars-themed menu items at Backlot Express. The tour wraps at the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which includes reserved viewing for the show.  Younglings ages 4-12 on the Guided Tour package can also train in the way of The Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. The price is $129 per Guest. Book your Clients today by calling 407-939-7529.

5)    Disney After Hours Events Return January-March

Disney After Hours returns to Magic Kingdom® Park on Jan. 20, 27, Feb. 2, 9, 16, March 2 and 9, 2017. This 3-hour event takes place after the park closes and is only open to a limited number of Guests, which means much shorter lines at 25 attractions, character greetings and more. The cost is $119 per adult or child (tax not included). Book your Clients today by calling 407-827-7185, or online at Disneyworld.com. Tickets are commissionable. Please visit Training & Benefits > Commissions > Walt Disney World Resort Commission Policy for more information.

6)    More Dining to Debut at Disney Springs

Dozens of shopping and dining locations made their debut at Disney Springs  in 2016 – and even more are set to open in 2017! Stay tuned for news and opening dates for Planet Hollywood Observatory, Paddlefish, The Polite Pig, The Edison and Wine Bar George.

7)    Milestone Races for runDisney

It’s the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. And to celebrate, they’ve made Donald Duck their mascot. Also, in anticipation of the release of “Beauty & The Beast” this spring, runDisney has themed this year’s Princess Half Marathon after the film.

8)    First-Ever Epcot® International Festival of the Arts Begins January 13

Epcot will start 2017 off with a bang, offering a brand new art festival for your Clients to experience. This new offering will run weekends between Jan 13-Feb. 20, 2017 and will showcase visual, culinary and performing arts.

9)    Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Begins March 1

This year’s spring festival will run March 1-May 29, 2017. Festival “firsts” include brand-new topiaries of Belle and Figment, two new outdoor kitchens (bringing the total to 15), and a “Cars” interactive play garden for kids in honor of the upcoming Disney Pixar film, “Cars 3.”

10) New Garden Rocks Dining Packages to debut at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

During the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, dining packages will be available on select days at a number of Epcot restaurants, combining dinner and reserved seating for performances of the Garden Rocks Concert Series. Stay tuned for more details!

11) New Family Raft Ride at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Coming this spring, your Clients can enjoy a new family-style raft attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Planned to be one of the longest Disney water park attractions, this experience will immerse your Clients in the story of treasure hunter, Captain Mary Oceaneer. Guests will gently ascend in treasure rafts, only to plunge into a whitewater adventure where they may encounter some of Mary’s legendary treasure.

12) Boulder Ridge Cove, Geyser Point Bar & Grill Opening Summer 2017

Scheduled to open at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in summer 2017, Boulder Ridge Cove pool will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool in what appears to have been an abandoned rock quarry. Geyser Point Bar & Grill, a new quick-service eatery, will be located in the heart of the feature pool area of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

13) Pandora – The World of AVATAR Opening Summer 2017

This new land will open its doors at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in summer 2017 with exciting new offerings – including AVATAR Flight of Passage, the Na’vi River Journey, the Satu’li Canteen Restaurant, Pongu Pongu drink location and Windtraders merchandise shop.

14) Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Returns for a Record 75 Days

This year’s festival will kick off on August 31 and run through November 13 – for a record 75 days!

15) 35th Anniversary of Epcot

The second theme park to be built at the Walt Disney World Resort will mark its 35th anniversary on Oct. 1, 2017.

16) More Updates to Star Wars-Inspired Land

As we’ve previously shared, a Star Wars-inspired land is currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Measuring 14-acres, this new land will transport your Clients to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

 
17) Return of Holiday Favorites

Stay tuned for updates on next year’s Candlelight Processional narrators, the return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park, “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and more!

Which is your favorite reason to head to Disney World this year?  Email me today at Diana@destinationsinflorida.com to start planning.

Top 5 Experience with Adventures by Disney

Imagine traveling around the world and vacationing like a VIP in some of the world’s most incredible destinations. With Adventures by Disney you can do just that! An Adventures by Disney vacation includes admission and private access to popular attractions, behind-the-scenes tours, and front-of-the-line access, all with world-class Disney hospitality.

Adventures by Disney trips offer front-of-the-line access to locations and opportunities that would often be difficult to experience without Disney. Here are some of my favorite VIP experiences.

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Wyoming
Enjoy a rustic but luxurious stay at the historic Brooks Lake Lodge, which is reserved exclusively for Adventures by Disney Wyoming vacation guests during your stay. As awe-inspiring as the day it was founded, this historic lodge offers incredible views of Wyoming’s mountainous landscape, as well as access to activities such as horseback riding, fly-fishing, hiking, canoeing and archery.

Italy
The sights, the tastes and the history of Italy make this popular destination a must visit. But imagine having the Sistine Chapel all to yourself? When you travel to Italy with Adventures to Disney you can explore some of Michelangelo’s magnificent achievements as your Adventure Guides take you on a private, after-hours visit to the Vatican City Museum and Sistine Chapel with a local expert.

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Australia
Take a trip “down under” to Australia to see the largest coral reef system in the world, the Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Natural Wonders on Earth. And with Adventures by Disney Australia vacation you’ll enjoy the knowledge provided by a private marine biologist who joins your journey and can answer any questions as you snorkel around the reef, or view it from 3 feet below the surface on a semi-submersible vessel.

France
What could be better than visiting the Louvre museum in Paris? How about dining just steps away from the Mona Lisa in a room with a seriously impressive view? On the Adventures by Disney France itinerary you can enjoy an exquisite farewell dinner in a private room at the Louvre overlooking its famed glass pyramid entrance in the Cour Napoléon.

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Southern California
Combine a behind-the-magic private tour of the Walt Disney World Studios, exclusive access at Walt Disney Imagineering and the Jim Henson Company Studios, a unique visit to Walt Disney’s apartment inside Disneyland park, a 2-day VIP experience at Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park with special Disney’s Fastpass service and reserved parade seating, and you’ve just begun to scratch the surface of all the special, behind-the-scenes treats in store for you on an Adventures by Disney vacation to Southern California.

From a private catamaran excursion in Costa Rica to dance lessons in a Broadway theater in New York City, you can enjoy an array of other VIP experiences with Adventures by Disney. Let me start your adventure planning, diana@destinationsinflorida.com.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Experience

My family has stayed at a lot of Disney resorts in our time but Disney’s Art of Animation Resort really brought the Disney magic to us 24 hours a day.

The rooms have been themed amazingly well, as is the lobby, outside areas and pool- complete with music playing while you are under water!

Enjoy this video to give you a glimpse of the fun your family is in for–

 

 

Then email me at diana@destinationsinflorida.com to book your Disney vacation to at this or any other amazing Disney resort.

Head to Nashville with Adventures by Disney

Looking for a vacation but don’t have a lot of time?  Adventure by Disney has the perfect solution- Adventures by Disney Long Weekend trips!  They already have a trip to New York City and San Francisco, now they have added a Long Weekend trip to Nashville, Tenessee!

This 4-day/3-night getaway explores the home of country music, which serves as the backdrop for the critically acclaimed show Nashville on ABC.

From a backstage tour at the Grand Ole Opry and a visit to the famed Bluebird Cafe to a stop at The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson and a chance to record a song in the historic RCA Studio B, your family will enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience that includes the best of Nashville.

Plus, with two Disney-trained Adventure Guides Adventures by Disney taking care of the details, you can focus on having fun together as a family.

 

 

Contact Diana today at diana@destinationsinflorida.com or 740-953-0373 to start planning this or any other Adventure by Disney vacation today!

What’s New Around the Mouse?

 

The Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom Park

Disney World in Florida

New! Tour with a Disney Imagineer ­ Take advantage of a rare opportunity when Limited Time Magic presents a tour of Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, as seen through the eyes of Walt Disney Imagineering! Come along for the ride as you venture inside the Tibetan­style stone structure, all while hearing tales from Imagineers who helped bring this exciting attraction to life. From the ideas that inspired the Royal Anandapur Tea Company to the fearsome story of the legendary Yeti—the mysterious snow monster said to inhabit the Himalayas, you won’t want to miss this chance to explore the magic at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival ­ Disney recently kicked off the super popular Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. This event is free with your paid admission into Epcot. You can enjoy food and beverages around the World Showcase, cooking sessions, and so much more.

Sofia the 1st at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique ­ If you have a little princess that is a fan of Sofia the 1st, you can now get a makeover at Downtown Disney inspired by her. Be sure to make reservations for this experience.

Transportation from Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney ­ Disney is testing through October 31. They are providing bus transportation (round trip) from Animal Kingdom Theme Park to Downtown Disney. You can then take a bus from Downtown Disney back to your resort or back to the Animal Kingdom parking lot.

Disney MagicBands ­ Disney is still testing the MagicBands at select resorts.

Princess Fairytale Hall ­ This new location for our favorite Princesses at Magic Kingdom Park opened last week. This is a perfect spot to see Cinderella, Rapunzel, and other Disney Princesses.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ­ This popular special events for families is running throughout September and October at Magic Kingdom Park. This event runs from 7 PM­midnight.

Renovations ­ Learn about the latest renovations at Disney World, before you plan your trip or before you head down for your vacation.

Magic Kingdom

Peter Pan ­ Closed 09/30/13 ­ 11/13/13

Walt Disney World Railroad ­ Closed 09/30/13 ­ 10/20/13

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground ­ 09/03/13 ­ 11/19/13

Disney’s All Star Sports Resort

End Zone Food Court ­ Closed 08/05/13 ­ 12/20/13

Arcade ­ Closed 07/29/13 ­ 12/20/13

Downtown Disney® Area

Capt’n Jacks ­ Closed 08/18/13 ­ TBD

Disney Golf Courses

Disney’s Palm Golf Course ­ Closed 06/12/13 ­ mid­November

Universal Orlando Resort

Halloween Horror Nights ­ If you love zombies, Halloween Horror Night is the special event for you! This event runs select evenings through October. For this special event, separate admission is required. You can enjoy themed haunted houses, scare zones, your favorite Universal Studios rides, and much more.

Despicable Me ­ Do your kids love the Minions? You can now book one of 18 themed rooms at Portofino Bay Hotel (opening on October 1) with the Despicable Me theme.

Disneyland in California

New! Extra Haunted Mansion Holiday Magic ­ Celebrate the 13th season of Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park as the denizens of Halloween town add a sprinkling of

Limited Time Magic to their fiendish festivities! For a limited time, the Haunted Mansion has been gifted with a ghoulish bounty of frightfully fun delights. The Pumpkin King himself—a.k.a. Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas—has placed 13 surprise objects inside each area, from the foyer and the attic to the ghostly graveyard below. Climb aboard your Doom Buggy and keep your eyes peeled as each turn reveals yet another treat. Can you spy them all? Visit Haunted Mansion Holiday to find out for yourself. And don’t forget to scream with glee when you do!

Renovations ­ Click on this pdf to download the latest renovations at Disneyland.

 Ready to book your next vacation to Disney World or anywhere else in the world?  Contact Diana, your vacation specialist, today at diana@beyondcastles.com or diana@destinationsinflorida.com.

 

 

What’s New Around the Mouse

‘Limited Time Magic’ Brings 3-D Chalk Art to Downtown Disney

New! Chalk Art at Downtown Disney ­ Add a dash of color to your weekend when Limited Time Magic presents the Downtown Disney Chalk Art Festival! Watch in wonder as talented artists intricately transform flat concrete walkways into canvases for their dazzling works. This is your chance to marvel at the eye ­catching creations as they carefully come together, crafted entirely from chalk and other materials. And while visiting Downtown Disney area, stop by the Art of Disney Gallery and celebrate with artist Greg McCullough as he appears for signings—from 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM, October 2 to October 6, 2013. Meet the mind behind the art as Walt Disney World Resort showcases the release of new pieces in his collection. It’s all happening for a limited time, courtesy of Limited Time Magic!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival ­ Disney recently kicked off the super popular Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. This event is free with your paid admission into Epcot. You can enjoy food and beverages around the World Showcase, cooking sessions, and so much more.

Sofia the 1st at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique ­ If you have a little princess that is a fan of Sofia the 1st, you can now get a makeover at Downtown Disney inspired by her. Be sure to make reservations for this experience.

Transportation from Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney ­ Disney is testing through October 31. They are providing bus transportation (round trip) from Animal Kingdom Theme Park to Downtown Disney. You can then take a bus from Downtown Disney back to your resort or back to the Animal Kingdom parking lot.

Disney MagicBands ­ Disney is still testing the MagicBands at select resorts.

Princess Fairytale Hall ­ This new location for our favorite Princesses at Magic Kingdom Park opened last week. This is a perfect spot to see Cinderella, Rapunzel, and other Disney Princesses.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ­ This popular special events for families is running throughout September and October at Magic Kingdom Park. This event runs from 7 PM – ­midnight.

Renovations ­ Learn about the latest renovations at Disney World, before you plan your trip or before you head down for your vacation.

Magic Kingdom

Peter Pan ­ Closed 09/30/13 ­ 11/13/13

Walt Disney World Railroad ­ Closed 09/30/13 ­ 10/20/13

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground ­ 09/03/13 ­ 11/19/13

Disney’s All Star Sports Resort

End Zone Food Court ­ Closed 08/05/13 ­ 12/20/13

Arcade ­ Closed 07/29/13 ­ 12/20/13

Downtown Disney® Area

Capt’n Jacks ­ Closed 08/18/13 ­ TBD

Disney Golf Courses

Disney’s Palm Golf Course ­ Closed 06/12/13 ­ mid­November

Universal Orlando Resort

Halloween Horror Nights ­ If you love zombies, Halloween Horror Night is the special event for you! This event runs select evenings through October. For this special event, separate admission is required. You can enjoy themed haunted houses, scare zones, your favorite Universal Studios rides, and much more. Call Destinations in Florida for more information about booking Halloween Horror Nights or a VIP Package.

Despicable Me ­ Do your kids love the Minions? You can now book one of 18 themed rooms at Portofino Bay Hotel (opening on October 1) with the Despicable Me theme.

Disneyland in California

New! Chalk Art at Disneyland ­ Add a dash of color to your weekend when Limited Time Magic presents the Downtown Disney Chalk Art Festival! Watch in wonder as talented artists intricately transform concrete walkways into a series of canvases for their works. This is your chance to marvel at each eye ­catching creation as they’re carefully crafted together from chalk, paint and other materials. Plus, you can even meet popular artist Miss Mindy—from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM, October 4-5, 2013—as the Disneyland Resort celebrates the release of some new pieces in her collection at WonderGround Gallery, in addition to a special artist showcase by Haunted Memories—from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, October 5­-6, 2013. It’s all happening for a limited time, only at Downtown Disney District!

Renovations ­ Click on this pdf to download the latest renovations at Disneyland.

To book your next trip to Disney World, Universal, Disneyland or anywhere else in the world, contact Diana today at diana@beyondcastles.com or diana@destinationsinflorida.com.

 

 

What Do You Know about Disney’s Polynesian Resort?

Aloha! Disney’s Polynesian Resort opened in 1971 as one of the first on-site hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort. The South Pacific paradise is a favorite among Disney guests with its famous Polynesian luau – it is definitely one of my favorite Disney resorts.
Here’s a look at the top ten things you might not know about Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

 

 

Want to stay at this tropical paradise?  Contact Diana today at diana@beyondcastles.com or diana@destinationsinflorida.com today!

 

 

 

Video from Disney Parks Blog

Recipe for Disney Cruise Line’s De La Costa Cream Cheese Flan

When the transformed Disney Magic sets sail this October, guests will be treated to a brand-new dining experience at Carioca’s, a restaurant named after Donald Duck’s parrot pal in “The Three Caballeros,” Jose Carioca. Latin influences will be apparent not only in the design of the room, which is inspired by the vibrancy of Rio de Janeiro, but also in many of the new menu items.

We have the recipe of one of the delicious desserts in Carioca’s, De La Costa Cream Cheese Flan. Made with cream cheese, caramel and a sweet reduction sauce, and garnished with bananas and raspberries, there’s no doubt this dessert will be a guest favorite.

Give it a try yourself at home, and then be sure to taste this sweet indulgence when you sail on the re-imagined Disney Magic!
Disney Cruise Line’s De La Costa Cream Cheese Flan

De La Costa Cream Cheese Flan with Pedro Ximenez Reduction Sauce

Caramel Base
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water

Cream Cheese Flan
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup whole milk at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
Pinch coarse salt
Boiling water, for water bath

Pedro Ximenez Reduction
1/2 cup Pedro Ximenez wine (sweet wine)
1/2 cup sugar

Garnish
Sliced bananas
Raspberries

For caramel base:

  1. Place a 10-inch round cake pan on top of a folded dishtowel set inside a medium roasting pan. Set aside.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Brush sugar crystals from sides of pan with a wet pastry brush.
  3. Boil, swirling pan and occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, until mixture is golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and pour caramel into the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Cool to room temperature.

For cream cheese flan:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat cream cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk until smooth. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk until smooth, scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Slowly add in eggs and the egg yolks, beating until completely combined. Stir in salt and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour mixture over caramel in prepared cake pan set inside the roasting pan. Open oven and place the roasting pan on the center oven rack. Carefully pour boiling water into roasting pan until water reaches halfway up the cake pan.
  4. Bake until a knife inserted into the center of the flan comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in water bath; when cool enough to handle, remove cake pan and cool completely. Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours before serving.

For Pedro Ximenez reduction:

  1. Combine sugar and Pedro Ximenez in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until mixture is reduced by one-third, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before serving.

Assembly:

  1. Run a thin knife around the inside edge of the cake pan to loosen flan. Shake pan gently from side to side until flan moves freely in pan. Invert a large plate over cake pan; holding pan and plate securely together, quickly invert and turn out flan onto plate. (Caramel will pour out over and around flan.)
  2. Cut flan into rectangles and top with sliced bananas and raspberries. Drizzle with Pedro Ximenez reduction.

Ready to set sail on the Disney Magic and try this fabulous dessert for yourself?  Contact Diana at diana@beyondcastles.com today to start planning!