What’s on your list?
Mary Beth ºoº
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As travel agents we get to travel a lot but it seems we are always going to Disney. I asked our team to put together a list of 3 bucket list destinations anywhere in the world to share with you.
What’s on your list?
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"Fantasmic!" at Disney's Hollywood Studios® is just one of the nighttime spectaculars you can enjoy at the Walt Disney World® Resort. This breathtaking 30-minute fireworks and water extravaganza, featuring favorite Disney heroes and villains, takes Guests on a journey into the colorful imagination of Mickey Mouse as the Sorceror's Apprentice. But when the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs gathers Ursula, Cruella de Vil, Scar and a larger-than-life Maleficent to turn Mickey's dreams into a nightmare, leave it to Mickey and the power of imagination to save the day.
On Feb. 2, 2016 at 6:50 p.m. EST, the Disney Parks blog will live stream "Fantasmic!" from Disney's Hollywood Studios. If you've never had the chance to see "Fantasmic!" in person, this is a great opportunity to watch it!
The live stream will start promptly at 6:50 p.m. EST, but you can join the stream early at 6:45 p.m. for a behind-the-scenes look at the show. To watch, simply visit the Disney Parks Blog around 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 2.
And, if you are interested in seeing “Fantasmic!” on your next visit, you can catch the show on select nights at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Check the Times Guide upon arrival for schedule and show times.
Please note since "Fantasmic!" is an outdoor show, it is also subject to cancellation due to inclement weather. Show times are subject to change.
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In addition to meeting Mickey and his friends at the Character Spot in Epcot, you can now meet Joy and Sadness from Inside Out as well as Baymax from Big Hero 6.
Starting in February 2016 Kylo Ren will be meeting guests in the Star Wars Launch Bay in Disney Hollywood Studios. Kylo will be replacing Darth Vader who, along with Chewbacca, has been meeting guests since the Launch Bay opened. Though he’s leaving the Launch Bay, Darth Vader will still be seen battling young padawans at Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple in Hollywood Studios.
Lastly, it looks likely that Disney may also be bringing a Star Wars Rebels meet and greet to Hollywood Studios. A post on disneyauditions.com states that Disney is looking for actors to play the parts of Ezra and Sabine from the popular Star Wars Rebels show. The post says that the auditions are being held on 1/27/16 and that actors are expected to begin working 3-4 weeks after auditions.
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We had such a fun time at The Boathouse on our last visit, I wanted to share some of the highlights, tips and food recommendations!
We had booked an 11am lunch reservation and arrived around 10:30 and chatted with the Cast Members at the Amphicar Launch. We learned about the 3 different tours available.
The ‘Splash In’ which is a 20 minute guided tour of the landmarks of Disney Springs in one of the rare Amphicars that runs on both land and water. Each Amphicar seats up to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 small children. This experience is $125.
There is also The Venezia – Italian River Cruise which is the 40-foot Italian Water Taxi. Take this guided romantic tour around Lake Buena Vista and enjoy chocolate covered strawberries and a champagne toast. A 30 minute tour costs $75 per adult and $50 per child under age 13. 60 minutes - $115 per adult/$75 per child under 13. Private Event $1700 for up to 16 guests.
Lastly, The Lady Rose – Intimate Lake Cruise. This private guided tour for 2 on an Antique Steamboat from the 1880’s – The Lady Rose - also offers chocolate covered strawberries and a champagne toast. Great for special occasions or even a proposal! This option is $150 per couple.
After our quick lesson, we were ready for our lunch! We were the first at the podium which allowed us to get first pick of tables…By the water, inside or in the Boat Table! Yes, please!! There is one table in a boat in the restaurant and were had the privilege of dining in it! My son thought it was the coolest thing ever! Such a fun experience – be sure to arrive early and request it! There is no guarantee for later reservations but early lunch reservations worked out perfectly!
The portions are HUGE at The Boathouse. While we each ordered our own meal using the Disney Dining Plan (This location takes 2 Dining credits) – we could have easily shared the appetizer, entrée and dessert it would have been enough for lunch. Everything was fabulous but we HIGHLY recommend the Shrimp & Andouille Mac N' Cheese and the Key Lime Pie in a Mason Jar. We also had the Crab Cakes, Firecracker Shrimp, Calamari, New York Strip Steak, Lobster Roll, Kid’s Sticks and Stones (nuggets and fries served in a cute little boat) and Chocolate Bundt Cake.
We will definitely be dining at The Boathouse again on our next visit J
I would love to help you plan your next visit – I recommend trying at least one (if not more) Signature Dining location on each trip! Walt Disney World has the most amazing restaurants and food! I’ll help you choose the best one for your family based on everyone’s favorite foods!
Starting this February you can meet your favorite characters from Disney's Inside Out-Joy and Sadness.
They will be appearing in Epcot at the Character Spot near Innoventions West, next to Baymax.
Be sure to get a fastpass for the Character Spot as the lines will be long!
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I originally found Roatan while I was on a cruise with my husband and it was one of the port stops. I did not know what to expect since it was a newer port and I didn't know many people that had traveled there previously. I was going in with an open mind but honestly I wasn't expecting much. We decided to do a beach day excursion so once the ship docked we headed out towards West Bay Beach. To my surprise, it was the most magnificent beach and coastline that I had ever seen to date. I was in awe of the crystal clear water, the mountains overflowing into the ocean, and the all around beauty of West Bay.
Once I took in all of the scenery it was time to go snorkeling. I have snorkeled on numerous islands so I had a lot to compare Roatan with. Within 25 feet of walking into the water off the beach I saw people snorkeling and I am thinking that this must be kids or people learning how to snorkel since they were so close to the beach. Out of curiosity, I put my gear on and joined them. It was the beginning of the most beautiful reef I have ever experienced. Again, I was in awe! I had seen several species of fish that I had never seen on previous snorkel trips. The reef itself was amazing and such natural beauty. I snorkeled for the rest of the day and was so disappointed when it was time to head back to the ship. We continued on the cruise and had a great time but Roatan was definitely the highlight of the entire vacation.
Once back home we booked another cruise to go back to Roatan within the year. As you can tell, we just couldn't wait to go back! This time we took the entire family and they were as impressed as we were. After being on the island another full day yet again we were not ready to get back on the ship. That is when I decided one day is not enough here! Since then we have been back to the island twice for a week each time. We have brought family and friends with us each trip and the island has yet to disappoint any newcomers we bring.
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Mickey's Dream Vacations
Several things happened this week in Disney news, some news was good, some made Disney fans a little upset.
Hollywood studios has shut the doors on many attractions in the past year, this week they confirmed the biggest list of closures to date. These closures will take place in the Streets of America area of the park. The entire area may be walled off by the first of April.
Some of the closures I expected to happen but was very surprised they were going to remove yet another park icon.
1. The Earful Tower
Closure date: unknown
When the Sorrcer's Hat was constructed in the park, this was the first iconic landmark that Disney's Hollywood Studios had. When it the hat was brought down, this tower was back in the "lime light" but it was short lived.
Disney hasn't confirmed when it will come down, they just stated earlier this year.
2. Light's Motors Action Stunt Show
I knew this attraction would be closing but I have to say I am sad to see it go. Disney officially released this week that they will end the 11 year run of this show on April 2nd.
3. Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set
This has been a fixture to Hollywood Studios for 25 years, although it wasn't one that drew a huge crowd, it was a great place to take your little ones a let them run off some of their extra energy and a place for parents to sit down and relax a bit. This will close it's doors forever on April 2nd.
4. Watto's Grotto
This was your go to place for Star Wars merchandise. I don't think it will be the end of this shop, just closing the doors on April 2nd to possible open back up when the new part of the park is finished.
5. Youse Guys Moychindice
This little gem was hidden in the Streets of America, it may not have been your favorite place to go for your favorite Disney merchandise but it fit in with the theme of the area.
6. Studio Catering Company
This was located in the back area of the park, closing with the rest of the Streets of America locations. I enjoyed many quick service meals here, it was a nice place to grab something yummy to eat and rest a bit.
7. Monster's Meet and Greet
This closing makes me extremely sad, I love Sully and Mike. There is a rumor that Disney may be building a new character hub in the middle of the park, I am hoping they will bring back these adorable monsters.
Looks like April 2nd is the end of these attractions, and I wonder how it will affect the crowds there during the peak times in the parks, but I know the outcome will be amazing. I can't wait to see the new Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land. There hasn't been an opening date released for these new additions but they will be a welcome addition to the park.
BIG news for Star Wars Fans
Every day at Disney Parks, you can step into exciting Star Wars experiences such as Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple and Star Wars Launch Bay, where they can come face to face with some of the greatest heroes and villains of the saga. Soon, a visit to Star Wars Launch Bay at either Disneyland® Park or Disney’s Hollywood Studios® will transport you to the Star Wars galaxy for an encounter with Kylo Ren on the bridge of his First Order Star Destroyer.
As seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is a dark warrior with a mysterious past. Ren is strong with the Force and serves as a leader of the First Order, seeking to destroy the New Republic, the Resistance and the legacy of the Jedi.
Star Wars Launch Bay was designed to showcase a variety of Star Wars characters over time. In addition to Kylo Ren, youmay also come across a garrison of First Order Stormtroopers or the heroic Wookiee, Chewbacca, holed up in a secret Resistance base.
The portal from Star Wars Launch Bay to Kylo Ren’s Star Destroyer opens in February atDisneyland Park and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
So many changes, but it will be worth it when it is all finished! We stay on top of all Disney news, make sure you follow us to stay on top of all things Disney.
Have you ever looked around your resort at all the fun extra things you can do on your Disney Vacation? There are fun activities, pool games or even extra-curricular activities your family can enjoy while hanging out at the resort! On our last family trip to Disney World we planned for our last day to be our "resort day". I like to explore my resort throughout my trip for fun things to do on our last day. We decided to rent out a boat at the Polynesian. Reservations weren’t necessary as it is first-come, first-served.
We walked up and signed a waiver. We got our life vests and walked over with the Cast Member to the boat. The Cast Member gave directions about where we could go and the safety on the boat. Then we were on our way! It was one of the most incredible hours during our trip. We cruised passed the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort and out to Fort Wilderness resort. This is one memory from the trip that the kids still talk about!
One thing I've learned while vacationing with my littles is that they need these quiet, relaxing moments just as much as you do. It was a Magical Memory we'll always have. Ask your Travel Agent for some ideas for your next day you plan to spend at your resort!
What do you like to do when you're not having fun in the Parks?
Kylo Ren, one of the most intriguing new characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is coming soon to Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios! This February, you'll be able to come face to face with Kylo Ren at Star Wars Launch Bay for an encounter on the bridge of his First Order Star Destroyer.
Star Wars fans can already meet some of their favorites with the new Launch Bay like Chewbacca and Darth Vader, but now Disney is adding another meet and greet. Disney will showcase a variety of Star Wars characters over time. We can't wait to see who they bring to Launch Bay next!!
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