Tag Archives: Disneyland

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 impresive 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.

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.

What’s New Around the Mouse

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.



Storytelling at the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire

By Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland’s new Fantasy Faire will officially open on March 12!

Storytelling at the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire, Opening March 12 at Disneyland Park

One of the highlights of Fantasy Faire will be the Royal Theatre, where you’ll be treated to two unique shows relating the tales of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Tangled,” as told by a pair of Renaissance Storytellers, Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones.

Messieurs Smythe and Jones are men of the theatre and lovers of legend and lore. The storytellers present the tale as old as time and the hair-raising tale of Rapunzel, with the assistance of some fellow villagers, all to the musical accompaniment of Sir Samuel of Morocco. Even Belle, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider appear onstage to help tell their own stories.

“We’re using our imaginations to create these stories,” said Show Director Chris Utley. “The storytellers will play a variety of roles, filling in as the other characters. They may put on a costume accessory to pretend to be Beast, or Gaston or Mother Gothel. ”

Storytelling at the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire, Opening March 12 at Disneyland Park

“The stories are told in a fast-paced, whimsical kind of way – very fun and theatrical,” said Chris. “It’s kind of a Renaissance vaudeville style, and the two guys are reminiscent of the old comedy duos of Gallagher & Shean, Abbott & Costello and Laurel & Hardy. They tell their stories with a lot of humor and heart.”

The storytellers will take to the stage of the Royal Theatre when Fantasy Faire opens on March 12.

I can’t wait to see this!  Contact Diana today at diana@beyondcastles.com or at 740-953-0373 to plan your trip to Disneyland and check out the new Fantasy Faire!


New 10K Race at Disneyland Park

The Happiest Race on Earth just got happier!  RunDisney has announced the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is expanding with the addition of the Disneyland 10K at Disneyland Resort.

The new 10K will be a timed event and take runners through Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and on the streets of Anaheim. As with all runDisney races, participants will receive a newly designed finishers medal.

Runners looking for a bigger challenge can register for the Dumbo Double Dare. A limited number of runners will have the opportunity to take the dare and run the Disneyland 10K on Saturday and the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday – 19.3 miles total. Finishers will receive a special finisher medal to help celebrate their accomplishments, in addition to the half marathon and 10K medals.

The 10K is one of the most popular race distances for runners, next to the 5K and half marathon. With race weekends featuring kids races, 5K, 10K, 10-Miler, half marathons and a marathon, runDisney offers runners at every level a chance to experience a runDisney event, run through Disney theme parks and earn coveted Disney medals.

Registration for all Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend races opens on January 22, 2013. Last year, the popular half marathon sold out in little more than a month, so I encourage interested runners to act quickly.

I love running and hope to get to one of these races some day!  Can I help you get there and be your cheerleader?

Get more information on Disneyland’s race weekend, August 30- September 1, 2013 by contacting Diana at diana@beyondcastles.com or 740-953-0373.



Kid’s Meals get Mickey Checks at Disney Resorts

From an udon noodle bowl at Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure park to turkey pot pie at Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom Park, the new Mickey Check is now featured on kids’ menus in both quick-service and table-service restaurants across Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.
Mickey Check for Kids’ Meals Debuts at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Following the introduction earlier this month at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, the expansion of the Mickey Check helps families easily find nutritious choices, part of an ongoing program that launched in 2006 with nutrition guidelines. The Mickey Check makes it even easier to identify healthier food options in all of the Disney theme parks and resorts.

Choices that receive the Mickey Check must meet Disney Nutrition Guidelines that limit calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar. For the Disney chefs, it’s been a fun challenge to tweak menus. For example, Blue Bayou in Disneyland park now offers seared salmon, spaghetti, broccolini and fresh fruit for kids. At Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot, there’s grilled sirloin with green beans and brown rice. (Kids’ Complete Meals must be ordered without substitutions and include at least three of the following food groups: fruits and vegetables; low-fat dairy; whole grains or lean protein, beans, eggs and nuts.)
Mickey Check for Kids’ Meals Debuts at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

While new to table-service restaurants, the Mickey Check also appears on some Disney-licensed food products sold at retail locations, on qualifying recipes at Disney.com and Family.com, and on menus at quick-service restaurants at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

To check out Disney’s new Mickey Check and try some of Disney’s amazing food, contact Diana at diana@beyondcastles.com or call/text her at 740-953-0373.


Fantasy Faire at Disneyland Park

By Disney Parks Blog

We’re rapidly approaching the opening of the all-new Fantasy Faire at Disneyland Park, and if you’ve taken a walk by Sleeping Beauty Castle lately, you know that work is progressing nicely on this beautiful expansion of the park’s Fantasyland.

One of the main attractions in this quaint, storybook village will be the Royal Hall, where beloved Disney royalty eagerly await your visit. The Royal Hall promises to be a truly special place, filled with rich layers of detail.

“After walking into our main entrance, you will first go through a garden-like setting before entering the reception hall,” said Michel Den Dulk, Creative Director of Fantasy Faire for Walt Disney Imagineering. “Once inside the Royal Hall, guests will discover a beautiful gothic interior with nice wallpaper, wall cresting, wood finishes and chandeliers.”

Passing through a series of spaces, including the Grand Hall, you’ll have the opportunity to meet as many as three Disney princesses, from classic stories such as “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

Let Beyond Castles Travel plan your trip to Disneyland to see the Disney Princesses and much, much more.  Contact Diana at diana@beyondcastles.com or at 740-953-0373.



S’mores Bake Anyone?


Give everyone a spoon and dig in!

This gooey, often ordered wow of a dessert is a collaborative effort at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue at Disneyland Park, on the menu for just a few months. Chef Craig Orrell created the recipe with Chef Toby Hollis and the Disneyland Resort Central Bakery team.


S‘mores Bake
Serves 8
1 (10.5-ounce) box fudge brownie mix
1 (1-pound) bag large marshmallows
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce, warmed
8 graham crackers

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×13 cake pan with cooking spray. Prepare brownie batter per package directions and pour into prepared cake pan. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it.
  2. Turn oven to broil.
  3. Place marshmallows over brownies. Leaving oven door ajar, place marshmallow-topped brownies under broiler 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown, watching very closely to avoid burning.
  4. Drizzle hot fudge sauce over top of toasted marshmallows.
  5. Take half of the graham crackers and break them into planks; crush other half of graham crackers into crumbs.
  6. Sprinkle crushed graham crackers over top of toasted marshmallows, and place graham cracker planks randomly into toasted marshmallows. Serve immediately.

Ready to head to Disneyland or Disney World to try this or any of Disney’s other amazing desserts?  Contact Diana at diana@beyondcastles.com or 740-953-0373 today!


From Disney Food Blog

Experience Limited Time Magic at Disney World!


Giant Ice Castle in Times Square Kicks Off ‘Limited Time Magic’ at Disney Parks

It’s a busy year at Disney World with the opening of the newly expanded Fantasyland and now Disney has introduced “Limited Time Magic” which will feature experiences with an extra sprinkle of Pixie Dust at both Disneyland and Disney World.  Here is some of the coming magic!

  • True Love: Celebrate romance and enchantment throughout Valentine’s Week with special moments and entertainment geared to lovebirds. Disney Princes join their Princesses to meet park guests in special settings, prix fixe menus turn up at select restaurants and Valentine’s collectibles will be offered for the week.
  • Independence Week: It’s red, white and blue as Disney Parks salutes America with a 4th of July Fireworks Party — for an entire week, with patriotic lighting bathing the Disney castles on both coasts. Mickey Mouse appears in his patriotic finest and guests will find special USA shirts, Ear Hats and other limited-edition souvenirs.
  • Long Lost Friends Week: Lesser-known Disney characters will move from the shadows to the spotlight meet-and-greets on both coasts. Photo opps with characters that could include Flik, Clarabelle Cow, Remy, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum will surprise and delight guests. And Disney guests even have the chance to vote online for which characters they want to see.
  • Pirate Week: Why talk like a pirate one day when you could celebrate these scalawags all week long? The adventures of Jack Sparrow come to life like never before during a bicoastal buccaneer bash in which Disneyland and Walt Disney World become pirate-palooza: pirate bands, pirate meet-and-greets and more.
  • Dapper Dans Sing Boy Bands: The Dapper Dans, the iconic quartet fromMain Street, U.S.A., will add a special finale to their show, claiming the title of the “Original Boy Band” and delivering a medley of hits from One Direction, *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.
  • Unleash the Villains: Friday the 13th in September 2013 is a special day, so Disneyland park andDisney’s Hollywood Studios are staying open until the 13th hour (1 a.m.). Maleficent, Captain Hook, Jafar and other Disney Villains host a dance party, complete with limited-edition collectibles and other nighttime mischief.
  • Golden Horseshoe Revue: The fabled Frontierland show returns to Disneyland park for one month only, bringing back the corny jokes and enduring songs that were often enjoyed by Walt Disney himself.

This is just a sampling of the extra special magic in store for 2013.  I think I’m ready for Long Lost Friends Week…and Pirate Week!  Are you ready to plan your Disney World or Disneyland vacation?  Email Diana at diana@beyondcastles.com or call/text her at 740-953-0373.


Run the Happiest Place on Earth

On your mark, get set, go!  Ok, maybe it’s because I just finished a 5K today and am going to start training for my next half marathon but I am in the mood to run!!  The ultimate place to run, in my opinion, would be Walt Disney World.  To have the chance to run through the parks before or after hours with Disney’s world-class entertainment energizing me, is just the best thing I can imagine.

Book your Disney Race weekend package with us and you’ll receive $10 off your race entry fee.  Refer friends and family who book their race weekend package with us and you will receive $5 off your race entry fee per person you refer!  We will also prepare your weekend itinerary for you, so all you need to worry about is which race to run!

I’m pretty new to the running scene, having run my first half marathon in May but I am totally psyched about doing a half or my first full marathon at Walt Disney World.  So I’ve been doing a little research on all the options out there for running the most magical races out there.  (And I’ll share with you the event I’m currently dreaming about!)

The first event coming up is actually the Disneyland half marathon, September 2-4.  They are no longer taking registrations for this race as it is full but I wanted to toss it out there since it would be an amazing run.  I will be keeping track of this event for next year and will post when the registration opens.  You start in Disneyland, run through the park, continue on into Disney’s California Adventure Park and then onto the streets of Anaheim, finishing by the Disneyland hotel.

The next event coming up, and it is still open for registrations, is Disney World’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon, September 30-October 1.  This race corresponds with Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, what could be better than that?  The half marathon will take you through three theme parks….at night!  And of course Disney’s world-class entertainment will be along the route.  And if that wasn’t enough motivation, at the finish will be the afterhours party inside Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival!  To add to the fun of the weekend, they also have a half marathon relay, kids’ races and Disney’s Halloween 5K.

The ultimate race weekend at Disney World is the Disney Full Marathon weekend, January 5-8, 2012.  This weekend consists of a half marathon, a full marathon, a full marathon relay, the Family Fun Run 5K, Kids’ Races, and my personal favorite, Goofy’s Race and a Half.  For the full marathon, you will run the most magical 26.2 miles on Earth, through ALL four theme parks— I can hardly contain my excitement!  You will start in Epcot, run through the Magic Kingdom, then to the Animal Kingdom, the Hollywood Studios and then back to Epcot to finish.  Registration is still open for this event but you must register by November 1 to get your personalized bib.  For the piece de resistance, and my ultimate goal, Goofy’s Race and a Half!  Run the Disney Half Marathon on Saturday.  Then run the Disney Full Marathon on Sunday!  A 39.3 mile adventure!  You will receive the Donald Duck medal for finsihing the half, the Mickey Mouse medal for finishing the full, and for being goofy enough to do both….you’ll also receive the Goofy medal!

January 27-29, 2012 is Disneyland’s Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  Run through Disneyland and the streets of Anaheim for your Tinkerbell-inspired finisher’s medal.

The weekend of February 24-26, 2012 is Disney’s Princess Half Marathon.  Registration for this event will open July 5, 2011.  This weekend consists of the half marathon, the Beauty and the Beast Royal Family 5K and the Royal Family Kids’ Run.

And if you complete and a half (or full) marathon at both Disney World and Disneyland in the same calendar year, you’ll recieve a very special medal for completing the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge.

There are so many options for running through the parks it’s hard to decide which to do!  Personally, I’d love to do them all but if I can’t, I’ll try for the Goofy medal!  If you are interested in these events and would like email updates and information, please email Diana at diana@beyondcastles.com and let me know what races you are interested in.

And remember to book your race weekend package with us and receive $10 off your race entry fee.  Also, receive $5 off per referral who books a race weekend package with us.