Let the Good Times Roll at Universal Mardi Gras 2024

Mardi Gras 2024: International Flavors of Carnaval, returns to Universal Studios Orlando!
Universal Mardi Gras 2024 – Courtesy of Derek Funk

Universal Mardi Gras 2024: International Flavors of Carnaval, runs daily through Sunday, April 7 at Universal Studios, Florida.

Don’t miss this A.W.E.S.O.M.E.  party inspired by Carnaval celebrations around the world. Catch live concerts on select nights, savor amazing international cuisine along with sizzling New Orleans favorites including authentic Cajun specialties (food available for purchase), and an amazing parade plus beads by the handful! Best of all, the Mardi Gras festivities are included with your theme park admission or Annual Pass. Seasonal Passholders can also experience the event on select nights.

Click Here to See an Overview of this Year’s Celebration and take a look at all the details below:

Universal Mardi Gras 2024 – Courtesy of Derek Funk

While last year’s parade theme was based on The Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras, this year’s parade theme will be centered around the elements, with floats inspired by earth, wind, fire, water, the sun and the moon, Universal said in a news release. The six new floats will join the lineup of traditional New Orleans-inspired floats, and, of course, there will be beads.

Universal Mardi Gras 2024 - Courtesy of Derek Funk
Mardi Gras Parade Float

Taste the International Flavors of Carnaval

The celebration will also feature a menu of more than food and beverage items served at kiosks around the park. The dishes will be inspired by flavors from around the world and include classic items such as beignets and fried green tomato po’boys.

Guests and clients can also take their Mardi Gras party to the next level with the Mardi Gras Float Ride and Dine Experience, which provides an exclusive opportunity to be a part of the festivities by reserving a spot to toss beads from a Mardi Gras float during the event’s vibrant parade. The experience also includes a three-course meal at one of four participating restaurants—The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, NBC Sports Grill & Brew, Finnegan’s Bar & Grill or Lombard’s Seafood Grille. The Mardi Gras Float Ride and Dine Experience includes one appetizer, one entrée, one dessert and one non-alcoholic beverage starting at $90.51 (tax inclusive) per person, as well as one Mardi Gras parade float rider reservation on the same day.

Incredible Ticket Offers with Free Days to Get the Mardi Gras Party Started

Guests looking to experience Universal Mardi Gras and all that Universal Orlando has to offer can take advantage of a variety of incredible offers to plan their visit. Right now, U.S., Canada and Latin America residents can enjoy two free days of admission with the purchase of a 2-Park, 2-Day ticket. Guests can also take advantage of the Save 25% on a 3-Park, 5-Night Vacation Package, which includes 5-night hotel accommodations at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel or Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in addition to a 3-Park, 5-Day Park-to-Park ticket to visit Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure and Universal Volcano Bay.

Universal Concert Series for Mardi Gras 2024 – Courtesy of Derek Funk

Star-Studded Mardi Gras Concert Lineup

This year’s concert series, included with admission, will be held at the park’s Music Plaza Stage after the Mardi Gras parade.  The full Mardi Gras lineup is below:

  • Feb. 3: Walker Hayes
  • Feb. 10: The All-American Rejects
  • Feb. 17: Nessa Barrett
  • Feb. 18: KC and the Sunshine Band
  • Feb. 24: Barenaked Ladies
  • March 2: DJ Khaled
  • March 9: Ava Max
  • March 10: Queen Latifah
  • March 16: Luis Fonsi
  • March 17: Zedd

It’s Springtime fun for everyone! For more information or to book your adventure, contact your favorite Vacationista today! https://universalvacationplanners.com/

 

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts 2024 Foodie Guide

The Epcot Foodie Guide is here! The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is kicking off in just a couple weeks! Starting Jan. 12 through Feb. 19, EPCOT will embrace the arts in all forms, from music to cuisines, and fill the park with plenty of dazzling experiences to enjoy. With nearly 18 Food Studios filled with expertly crafted bites and delights from our talented teams of chefs and mixologists, guests’ taste buds are about to be brought to life with the culinary arts! Take a peek:

Epcot Foodie Guide Photos
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News – Figment’s Inspiration Station at the Odyssey: Art, Food, and Little Sparks of Magic

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Blueberry-filled Pastry Tart with purple icing (The Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine Item)
  • Rainbow Cake with freeze dried SKITTLES bite sized candies
  • Figment Premium Popcorn Bucket with Rainbow Popcorn (Limit two per person, per transaction; available while supplies last.)

Beverages:

  • Grape Smoothie with freeze dried SKITTLES bite sized candies (Non-alcoholic beverage)
  • 3 Daughters Brewing Black Cherry Hard Cider
  • 3 Daughters Brewing Blood Orange Hard Cider
  • 3 Daughters Brewing Passion Fruit Hard Cider
  • Rainbow Hard Cider Flight
  • 81Bay Brewing Co. Green with Envy Blonde Ale
  • 81Bay Brewing Co. Blue Butterfly Lager
  • Urban Artifact The Gadget Raspberry & Blackberry Midwest Fruit Tart
  • Rainbow Beer Flight
Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –Refreshment Port

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Gnocchi Poutine with red wine-braised beef, cheese curds, basil, and burrata
  • Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie

Beverages:

  • Blood Orange Cosmo: Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka with blood orange, cranberry, and lime
  • Boulevard Brewing Co. Quirk Blueberry Lemon & Lavender Hard Seltzer
Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –The Artist’s Table

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Duck and Dumplings: Smoked duck breast, ricotta dumplings, baby vegetables, and duck jus
  • Hummingbird Cake: Banana and pecan cake dipped in cream cheese icing with caramel sauce and warm pineapple compote

Beverages:

  • Wicked Weed Pineapple Daydream IPA (New)
  • Brew Hub Jazzberry Wheat Jam Ale (New)
  • Lost Coast Brewery Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout (New)
  • Migration Pinot Noir (New)
  • Beer Flight also available
Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –The Painted Panda

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • General Tso’s Chicken Shumai
  • Char Siu Pork Bun
  • Sesame Balls with red bean paste

Beverages:

  • Black and White Bubble Tea with black tea, milk, chocolate, and black & white boba pearls (Non-alcoholic beverage)
  • Lucky Foo Pale Ale
  • Silk River Hard Lemonade with vodka, lavender-coconut syrup, and lemonade
  • Butterfly Blue: Butterfly pea flower-infused cocktail with vodka, light rum, lychee syrup, and magic boba pearls
Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News – Pop Eats

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese
  • Tomato Soup with pimento cheese, bacon, and fried green tomato grilled cheese
  • Rock the Dots White Chocolate and Orange Mousse with vanilla bean chiffon cake (New)

Beverages:

  • Brooklyn Brewery Pulp Art Hazy IPA
  • Blanc de Bleu Cuvée Mousseux with boba pearls

Refreshment Station

  • Frozen Slushy: Coca-Cola, dragon fruit, or watermelon

Connections Eatery

Beverage: 

  • Orange-Lemonade Cocktail: Three Olives Blueberry Vodka, lemonade, and orange juice with cotton candy 

 

Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –Cuisine Classique

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Beef Wellington: Mushroom duxelles, prosciutto, and puff pastry with red wine demi-glace
  • Cast Iron-roasted P.E.I. mussels with sautéed tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs

Beverages:  

  • Gulf Stream Brewing Company Sum of All Colors IPA (New)
  • Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir (New)
Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –Funnel Cake 
  • Crazy Chocolate Funnel Cake Sandwich: Mini funnel cake sandwich with vanilla ice cream, rainbow whipped cream, strawberry sauce, powdered sugar, and sprinkles (New)
Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News-The Craftsman’s Courtyard

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Grilled Pork Belly with salsa verde, broccoli rabe, pickled peppers, and raclette cheese on grilled sourdough (New)
  • Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak with caramelized onions and mushrooms, blue cheese fondue, and arugula on a grilled French roll (New)

Beverages: 

  • BrewDog Jet Black Heart Nitro Oatmeal Stout
  • Coffee Old Fashioned Cocktail
Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –Deco Delights

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Neapolitan Dessert Trio: Chocolate tart, vanilla bean cheesecake, and strawberry mousse (New) (The Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine Item)

Beverages:

  • 3 Daughters Brewing Strawberry Blonde Nitro
  • 81Bay Brewing Co. Vanilla Porter
  • Playalinda Brewing Co. Milk Stout
  • Espresso Martini featuring Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka
  • Beer Flight
Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –Vibrante & Vívido: Encanto Cocina

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Chorizo and Potato Empanada with turmeric aïoli and annatto aïoli (The Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine Item)
  • Passion Fruit-filled Mango Cheesecake with coconut-pineapple cake, dragon fruit gelée, and dragon fruit-strawberry sauce (New)

Beverages: 

  • Coconut and Passion Fruit Smoothie (Non-alcoholic beverage)
  • Frozen Piña Colada
  • Passion Fruit Daiquiri
Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –The Deconstructed Dish

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:
 

  • Deconstructed BLT: Pork belly, onion bread pudding, watercress espuma, and tomato jam
  • Deconstructed Key Lime Pie: Flexible Key Lime Curd, “Key Lime” Mousse, Graham Cracker Cake, and Meringues (The Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine Item)

Beverages: 

  • Deconstructed Strawberry Mint Julep (Non-alcoholic beverage)
  • Wicked Weed Brewing Blank Canvas Belgian Blonde Witbier
  • Deconstructed Strawberry Mint Julep with bourbon
Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –Pastoral Palate

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib with parsnip purée, broccolini, baby tomatoes, and balsamic glaze
  • Black Forest Cake: Chocolate mousse with morello cherries and chantilly cream 

Beverages:

  • 3 Daughters Brewing Rosé Hard Cider
  • 81Bay Brewing Co. Rosé Blonde Ale
  • Frozen Rosé
  • A Play on Rosé Flight
  • Marietta Old Vine Rosé
Epcot Foodie Guide
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –L’Arte di Mangiare  

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Mozzarella Fritta: Flash-fried breaded fresh mozzarella with artist palette condiments
  • Conchiglie Ripiene: Baked stuffed conchiglie pasta with beef, ricotta, peas, pomodoro, and creamy sauce
  • Torta Ricotta di Cioccolata: Chocolate cheesecake and whipped cream

Beverages:

  • Peroni Pilsner
  • Langhe Nebbiolo
  • Prosecco
  • Italian Sangria (Red or White)
  • Italian Margarita with tequila and limoncello
  • Elderflower Sparkling Cocktail: Mint-infused elderflower liqueur, prosecco, and sparkling blood orange
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company 

World Discovery (Near Mission: SPACE)

  • Pistachio Palette Cold Brew: A flavorful masterpiece featuring Joffrey’s Shakin’ Jamaican Cold Brew, pistachio syrup, and milk topped with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles

Near Canada

  • Realism Roseberry Cold Brew:  A lively swirl of flavors featuring Joffrey’s Shakin’ Jamaican Cold Brew, strawberry rose syrup, and milk topped with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles (Alcoholic version available with Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur)

Showcase Plaza (Near Disney Traders)  

  • Brushstroke Berry Bliss: A vibrant combination of frozen lemon, Minute Maid Lemonade, raspberry syrup, and iced tea garnished with lemon (Alcoholic version available with Grey Goose Vodka) 

The American Adventure  

  • Pastel Pineberry Frost: A pastel work of art featuring frozen lemon, Minute Maid Lemonade, and pineberry syrup garnished with lemon (Alcoholic version available with Grey Goose Vodka)
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –Goshiki

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Wagyu Bun: Steamed bun filled with American wagyu beef served with green shiso sauce
  • Sushi Donut: Donut-shaped Sushi featuring salmon, tuna, shrimp, cucumber, and sesame seed over a decorated plate of wasabi aïoli, sriracha aïoli, and eel sauce
  • Ichigo Mochi – Daifuku: Daifuku mochi filled with fresh strawberry, sweet azuki bean paste, and white chocolate served with strawberry cream

Beverages:

  • Murasaki Blueberry Drink: Sweet blueberry and cream (Non-alcoholic beverage)
  • Mikan Orange IPA
  • Masu Sake in a traditional personalized wooden cup
  • Blueberry Cocktail: Nigori sake with sweet blueberry, cream, and yuzu
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –El Artista Hambriento

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Carne Asada: Chipotle-marinated beef sirloin, grilled queso fresco, Nopales salad with queso fresco foam and chicharron dust

Beverages:

  • Mexican Craft Beer
  • Rubí Delicioso Margarita: Tromba Blanco Tequila, Lejay Blackcurrant Liqueur, citrus, mint, spicy agave, and beet juice
  • Smokey Banana Bliss Margarita: Ten to One Rum, Ilegal Mezcal Joven, banana purée, and lime juice
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –L’Art de la Cuisine Française

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Crème de Brie en Petit Pain: Warm creamy brie in a house-made bread bowl
  • Saumon Fumé Mousse et Aspic, Blini et Fromage de Chevre: Salmon mousse, smoked salmon, dill, and flaxseed biscuit, served cold (New)
  • Vol-au-Vent de Saumon et Epinards, Sauce Chardonnay: Puff pastry with salmon and spinach and a chardonnay-shallot sauce, served warm (New)
  • Duo de Saumon Hot and Cold: Enjoy both of the salmon offerings (New)
  • Moelleux aux Noisettes, Croustillant Noisettes, Coulis Framboise et Mangue: Molten Valrhona chocolate cake, hazelnut crunch, and mango-raspberry coulis (New)

Beverages:

  • Frozen French Martini: Grey Goose Vodka, Chambord liqueur, pineapple, orange, and grape juices with lemon-lime foam
  • Elderflower Liqueur Cocktail: St. Germain Liqueur, sparkling wine, and mint (New)
  • Charles Lafite, Brut Rosé Prestige, Méthode Traditionnel Champenoise French Rosé Sparkling Wine
  • Pinot Noir J. de Villebois (New)
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Grilled Kebabs with carrot-chickpea salad and garlic aïoli
    • Chermoula Chicken
    • Moroccan-spiced Lamb
  • Stone-baked Moroccan Bread with hummus, chermoula, and zhoug dips (Plant-based Item)
  • Chocolate Cake with pomegranate mousse and pomegranate whipped cream (New)

Beverages:

  • Twinings Chai Tea with Sprite and mint (Non-alcoholic beverage)
  • Blake’s Hard Cider Co. Grizzly Pear Hard Cider (New)
  • Rekorderlig Strawberry-Lime Hard Cider (New)
  • Keel Farms Blueberry Lavender Hard Cider (New)
  • Chai Tea Mint Mimosa: Twinings Chai Tea with Key lime sparkling wine and mint (New)
  • Hard Cider Flight
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations Travel News –Gourmet Landscapes

Epcot Foodie Guide Food Items:

  • Verjus-roasted Beets with goat cheese, petite lettuce, blackberry gastrique, and spiced pecans (New) (The Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine Item)
  • Roasted Bone Marrow with onion marmalade, pickled mushrooms, and petite lettuce
  • Wild Mushroom Risotto with truffle shavings and zinfandel reduction (Plant-based Item)

Beverages: 

  • Whole Hog Brewery Raspberry Chéret Double Radler
  • Schlumberger Cuvée Klimt Brut
  • The Meeker Vineyard Winemaker’s Handprint Merlot
  • Frozen Scotch Cocktail: Scotch and herbal tea garnished with a chocolate nail

Another exciting and delicious year for the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts lies ahead! I can’t wait to experience the festival this year and taste all of these delicious dishes and sips.

The tasty adventures are truly endless when you visit Disney Parks, especially during a festival! Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista for more information!

Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Logo
Vacations with Character® has earned the distinction of being an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

 

Black Friday Cruise Offers

Go big this Black Friday and lock in an exciting cruise vacation at an incredible price. If one of these limited-time offers piques your interest, contact us for details!
Black Friday Vacation Deals - Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Black Friday Deals

30% Off Every Guest+ Kids Sail Free + Up to $750 Off*

Royal Caribbean®’s biggest sale of the year is here, and we’ve got early access to monumental savings! Black Friday cruise offers are now unlocked, with bold offers of 30% off every guest, kids sail free and more.  From Caribbean getaways  to longer journeys into Alaska, the Mediterranean, and beyond, this is your chance to lock in your next cruise adventure on the most innovative ships at sea!

Wherever you venture to with Royal Caribbean, the moments you have on board will rival those on shore. Spend your days catching waves on the FlowRider® surf simulator, speeding down the boldest slides at sea, racing around in bumper cars, solving puzzle rooms and dining on inspiring cuisine that takes you from Tuscany to Japan to Wonderland and everywhere in between. You’ll find more exclusive experiences on their newest ship, Icon of the SeasSM, where you can have a blast at Category 6, the largest waterpark at sea, and raise a glass at Swim & Tonic, the first swim-up bar at sea.

Black Friday Cruise Deals - Princess Cruise Line
Princess Cruise Line Black Friday Deals

50% Off Cruise Fares + 50% Off Deposits + 3rd & 4th Guests Sail Free. Plus, our agency exclusive of $900 in Onboard Savings + Up to $85 Onboard Credit!*

Feel the freedom of “do-anything” days, the joy of exploring legendary places and the connection the crew makes with everyone who sails with Princess. Immerse yourself in the region on board through unique programs like North to Alaska and ashore through award-winning Discovery™ and Animal Planet™ excursions. Watch original production shows or go stargazing on the top deck. Spend more time connecting with each other and doing what you love on a Princess MedallionClass® vacation. There’s nothing like a personalized vacation with fast Wi-Fi and intuitive technology for whatever you need delivered wherever you are, easy dining reservations and more of what you love. And if you want more value out of your vacation, it Pays to Plus®. Get Wi-Fi, drinks, premium desserts and more included when you purchase Princess Plus®.

Now’s a great time to lock in your vacation with Princess Cruises. Our Black Friday cruise offers include and exclusive surprise only when you book through our agency by December 2, 2023 as you’ll receive a coupon booklet with over $900 in onboard savings. Plus, enjoy up to $85 in onboard spending per stateroom on select sailings.

Black Friday Cruise Deals - Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Black Friday Deals are here!

Our Black Friday cruise offer with Norwegian Cruise Line includes 50% off all cruises, $250 free with CruiseFirst until November 26th and enjoy Norwegian’s Free At Sea all-inclusive offers, including Free Unlimited Open Bar, Free Specialty Dining, Free Excursions, Free Wi-Fi and Free 3rd & 4th Guests! Plus, receive up to $400 Onboard Credit on select sailings, only when you book through our travel agency. This offer ends November 30th, book today!*

From action-packed wilderness adventures and extraordinary sightseeing to an extended sailing season and exclusive onboard credits only available through our travel agency, we can’t wait to plan your cruise vacation with Norwegian Cruise Line.

Black Friday Cruise Deals - Celebrity Cruises
Seeing the World on a Celebrity Cruise is More than Just a Vacation!

When you board a Celebrity ship, you can take your chances at the onboard casinos, explore flavors from around the world without leaving your table or even sign up for archery tournaments to take a shot at the bull’s-eye.

In December 2023, Celebrity Cruises will launch its newest ship — Celebrity AscentSM — which will invite you to retreat into a vast selection of staterooms and suites. And for the first time ever in 2024, Celebrity Cruises is taking you to one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive destinations, Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s award-winning private island destination. Step ashore and experience the best of beachside bliss and sun-soaked excitement. From taking on the tallest waterslide in North America to unwinding in your own Overwater Cabana or retreating to the newly added Hideaway BeachSM, an adults-only beachfront paradise.

Book your Black Friday cruise offer now to take advantage of this great savings: Drinks, Wi-Fi and Tips — All Included + Receive $50 Onboard Credit per Stateroom, only through our agency.*

Black Friday Cruise Deals- MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises Black Friday Deals

Drinks & Wi-Fi Included + Up To $500 Onboard Credit + Kids Sail Free*

Take advantage of MSC Cruises’ Black Friday cruise offer and book your vacation with Drinks & Wi-Fi included up to $500 Onboard Credit to spend on a variety of experiences like specialty dining, spa treatments, shore excursions and more. Plus, Kids Sail Free! Discover must-see destinations, including the Caribbean, the Bahamas, the Mediterranean and more, in 2023, 2024 and beyond. Hurry, don’t miss the opportunity to get this limited-time offer.

Disney Cruise Line – The Sea is Calling!

Aboard any Disney cruise, you can experience fun and relaxation, imaginative dining, Broadway-style shows and exclusive spaces for adults and kids alike. If you’re ready to set sail for breezy Bahamian shores, please visit our Disney Cruise Line blog post for more information on magical featured sailings!

Vacations with Character® is a Family-Owned, Full-Service, Authorized Travel Agency. Making your Vacations Dreams Come True in the Happiest Places on Earth is our Specialty!
Connect with one of our Cruise Line specialists today!

*Restrictions apply.  Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista for full terms and conditions and for this exclusive offers.

Disney Cruise Line Magical Offers

More Disney Cruise Line Magic is Coming to Florida and We’ve got a Few Featured Sailings to Share!

Disney Cruise Line – The Sea is Calling!

Aboard any Disney cruise, you can experience fun and relaxation, imaginative dining, Broadway-style shows and exclusive spaces for adults and kids alike. Disney Cruise Line is truly a Vacation with Character!

We’re excited to share not only is Fort Lauderdale now a year-round home port for Disney Cruise Line, it’s also a gateway to both of their island escapes in the Bahamas, Disney Castaway Cay and brand-new Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point. This latest island addition will be located on the southernmost tip of the island of Eleuthera, nestled in a one-of-a-kind location where the deep blue Atlantic Ocean meets the turquoise waters of the Bahamas. Guests will be immersed in the natural beauty and tranquility of the Bahamas, inspired by its rich culture, traditions and stories, all interwoven by the amazing storytelling of Disney Imagineers. Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point debuts summer 2024.

We’ve compiled a list of a few of our favorites just for you that include these amazing destinations and more:

We’ve also prepared a special e-brochure just for you to learn more about all of the amazing experiences a Disney Cruise Line provides, as well as to share a complete list of our special offers. You’ll find all of the magical details here: Handle with Care — Dreams Enclosed! 

Dreams really do come true on a Disney Cruise and if you’re ready to set sail for breezy shores, it’s as easy as Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo to contact us to book a magical escape you’ll never forget with Disney Cruise Line!

Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Logo
Vacations with Character® has earned the distinction of being an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

 

 

Minions Land: Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort shares details about all the ways to eat, laugh and make mischief in Minion Land!
Minions Land Opening Summer 2023 at Universal Orlando Resort

Minion Land on Illumination Ave expands upon the wildly popular Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction. Said to debut this summer,  this new experience will be fun for guests of all ages. Read on to learn about all the mayhem that awaits!

Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast
ILLUMINATION’S VILLAIN-CON MINION BLAST

First, put your villainous skills to the test in Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast. This new attraction will have guests competing against each other in an interactive gaming experience that’s so much fun, it’s a crime!

ILLUMINATION’S MINION CAFE

Next, Minions in the kitchen = mischief in the dining room. Hungry Guests will find tons of tasty food at the new Illumination’s Minion Cafe. This immersive new eatery offers something for every palate. Additionally, it will feature three themed areas designed after beloved Minions Kevin, Stuart, Bob and Otto:

The Kitchen – where guests will get a glimpse of the equipment and gear the Minions have used to whip up the cafe’s menu.

The Breakroom – where guests can dine in the Minions’ break space. This section includes everything from “Office Safety Tips” to a vending machine stocked with mischievous items.

The Dining Room – a vibrant space adorned with colorful artwork courtesy of the Minions and more. Guests can also enjoy their meal on an outdoor patio that overlooks the fun of Minion Land.

Undoubtedly, Guests will enjoy Minion Cafe’s incredible surroundings, but hungry tummies will also enjoy a delicious menu. Try an eclectic “despica-bowls” such as Otto’s Noodle Bowl. There’s also Agnes’s Honeymoon Soup and Carl’s Crispy Cauliflower (vegan offering). For those who like handhelds maybe the Steak & “Cheese Ray” Sandwich will fit the bill? Of course, “mini Minions” will enjoy their own menu too. Lastly, everyone everyone will fall in love with adorable desserts such as Bob’s Teddy Bear Chocolate Cream Puff.

Alternately, Minion Cafe will also feature an express window with a limited menu. This is perfect for those looking to quickly satisfy their mischievous cravings!

Bake My Day at Universal Orlando Resort
BAKE MY DAY

You won’t miss this venue as it’s topped with a massive pink cupcake. For this reason, it’s visible from anywhere in the land! Bake My Day is a whimsical retail location and bakery featuring a selection of Minion-themed sweet treats.  Delectable offerings will include cupcakes, macarons, s’mores and more. Of course, fans can also find exclusive Minion-inspired merchandise here as well.

POP-A-NANA

Banana-flavored popcorn, anyone? Yes please! This walk-up location will feature sweet and savory popcorn inspired by the Minions’ love for bananas. Additionally, guests may also find an assortment of cute popcorn buckets, including the Minion Selfie bucket.

FREEZE RAY POPS

Cool off with a visit to Freeze Ray Pops, showcasing a variety of colorful popsicles and beverages inspired by Gru, the Minions and Vector.

ILLUMINATION THEATER

No land would be complete without a meet and greet. At Illumination Theater you can interact with beloved characters like the Minions, Gru, Margo, Edith and Agnes. In fact, new additions from the hit film “Sing”  – Rosita, Gunter and Johnny – ­will debut at this outdoor location as well.

And that’s not all! Guests can also discover murals, photo ops and more throughout Minion Land that celebrate additional characters from popular Illumination films.

Minion Land is yet another example of how Universal Destinations & Experiences is raising the bar on immersive storytelling for the entire family.

In addition to this exciting news, earlier in the year the company announced plans to build a one-of-kind, original theme park for families  in Frisco, Texas. Stay tuned for more details to come.

Vacations with Character is proud to earn the distinction of being a Universal U-Preferred Travel Agency.

We can’t wait to experience the all-new, adorable Minion Land! If you would like more information, please reach out to your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista! https://universalvacationplanners.com/

 

Universal’s Mardi Gras International Flavors of Carnival

Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras 2023 Celebration Returns

Mardi Gras Parade at Universal Orlando Resort
Mardi Gras Parade at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort invites guests to go beyond the bayou and let the good times roll from February 4 through April 16, 2023 with the return of Universal’s Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval – featuring a dazzling Mardi Gras parade, mouthwatering cuisine inspired by global Carnaval celebrations and, on select nights, live concerts by top names in music – all included with regular theme park admission to Universal Studios Florida.

Click Here to See an Overview of this Year’s Celebration and take a look at all the details below:

Star-Studded Mardi Gras Concert Lineup

This year’s concert series will feature eight live performances by popular names in music like GRAMMY-nominated band Goo Goo Dolls, GRAMMY-winning Platinum superstar Maren Morris and GRAMMY-winning artist Sean Paul, and at the Music Plaza stage – an outdoor concert venue set against the backdrop of the towering Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster.

Complete Concert Line-Up for Universal 2023 Mardi Gras Celebration
Complete Concert Line-Up for Universal 2023 Mardi Gras Celebration
New “Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras” Parade Theme

Guests of all ages can dance along with high-energy performers and catch beads by the handful during this year’s spectacular parade, which will showcase a new “Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras” theme inspired by fantastical creatures like dragons, phoenixes, unicorns and more – with a Mardi Gras twist. This year’s imaginative theme will be brought to life within six incredibly detailed and festive parade floats that will join Universal’s traditional lineup of New Orleans-inspired floats – such as the iconic, two-story Riverboat and nearly 50-foot-long King Gator.

Taste the International Flavors of Carnaval

The mouthwatering flavors of global Carnaval celebrations from New Orleans to Brazil to Belgium and beyond will come to life as part of an expansive menu featuring more than 50 tasting-sized items for guests to enjoy at this year’s event. While venturing throughout the parkwide celebration, guests will find kiosks featuring delectable food and beverage inspired by iconic fare from around the world – including the classic Crawfish Boil and deliciously fluffy Beignets from New Orleans, Shrimp Ceviche Tostada from Mexico, a Mofongo Flight inspired by the Carnaval Ponceño in Puerto Rico, Indonesian Black Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango and so much more.

Plus, for the first time ever, Universal Orlando’s other theme parks are joining the fun by featuring a limited selection of Mardi Gras items, including Gumbo, Jambalaya, King Cake and more at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and the Muffuletta Long Board Pizza at Universal’s Volcano Bay.

All-New Mardi Gras Tribute Store and Merchandise

Located within an all-new space in the Hollywood area of Universal Studios Florida, this year’s Mardi Gras Tribute Store invites guests to an international jazz celebration that leads to the traditional alleyways of New Orleans and ultimately into a speakeasy where the Mardi Gras celebration continues. Within the new store, guests can shop a new selection of Mardi Gras merchandise that ranges from apparel to accessories and collectibles such as keychains, pins, themed glasses and even some personalized options – allowing them to take a piece of Florida’s Biggest Party home with them. Guests can also devour tasty treats inspired by this year’s celebration within the new retail location.

The Party Continues at Universal CityWalk and Universal Orlando’s Hotels

Guests can keep the party going at Universal CityWalk with special Mardi Gras festivities at select venues along with food kiosks featuring delicious menu items that offer a taste of the Mediterranean, the Islands and popular Mardi Gras fare. Pat O’Brien’s will host a Mardi Gras After Party on select nights from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. that includes live entertainment and exclusive food and drink offerings; as well as a special Fat Tuesday celebration on February 21 from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. featuring a dueling piano and more. Reservations for the festivities at Pat O’Brien’s can be made by calling 407-224-3663. Plus, the Red Coconut Club will transform for the Mardi Gras season into the Cursed Coconut Club – more details and dates of operation will be shared soon.

The best way to experience Universal’s Mardi Gras is with a stay at one of Universal’s eight incredible hotels. Each hotel will have exclusive Mardi Gras offerings such as Cajun Jambalaya Pasta at Trattoria del Porto in Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, N’awlins Po’ Boy Sliders at Velvet Bar at Hard Rock Hotel, Crawfish Etouffee at Bar 17 Bistro in Universal’s Aventura Hotel and more. Universal Orlando hotel guests can also enjoy exclusive benefits including Early Park Admission and complimentary transportation to the theme parks.

Incredible Offers to Get the Celebration Started

Access to Universal’s Mardi Gras is included with theme park admission. Guests wanting to join the festivities can save 25% on a 5-Day/5-Night Vacation Package to visit Universal Orlando this spring and experience Mardi Gras (blockout dates apply).

Florida Residents can also take advantage of a new offer to partake in the festivities that gives them two days of free admission to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure with the purchase of a 2-Park, 2-Day ticket (valid for use through June 29, 2023; blockout dates apply).

For more information or to book your adventure, contact your favorite Vacationista today! https://universalvacationplanners.com/

Vacations with Character® is proud to be recognized as a Universal Orlando Preferred Travel Agency. This distinction is only offered to top sellers for Universal Orlando Parks and Resorts.

 

 

Four Ways to Save on a Walt Disney World Vacation!

Four Ways to Save, Save, Save on Select Walt Disney World Vacations!

Goffy and Pluto holding hands and celebrating..
@Disney

Want to stay in the magic with a special offer—and join in the fun before the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration ends? There’s so much to love when you stay at a Disney Resort!

Family enjoying their stay at a Walt Disney World Resort.
@Disney

1) Save Up to $400 on a 4-Night, 4-Day Room-and-Ticket Package at Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

A most magical stay awaits at a Disney Resort! Save up to $400 on a 4-night, 4-day Walt Disney Travel Company room-and-ticket package at select Disney Resort hotels, valid for the following stays:

Save up to $400 at a WDW Resort Details

2) Disney+ Subscribers: Save Up to 20% on Rooms This Holiday Season

Disney+ subscribers can stay in the magic and save up to 20% on rooms at select resorts for stays most nights December 11 through December 25, 2022! Eligible resorts are listed here:

Disney+ Special Offer Details for WDW

Check out ways to save:

Disney Visa Card Savings for 2023 at Walt Disney World

4) Florida Residents: Save Up to 20% on Rooms at Select Disney Resort Hotels in Early 2023

The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration comes to an end on March 31, 2023 but the savings continue through April for Florida Residents at select Disney Resort hotels.

This offer is valid for the Disney Resort hotels listed below:

Florida Resident Offer Details for 2023 Stays

Extra Perks for Onsite Guests:

As a Disney Resort hotel Guest, you’ll receive:

  • Early entry to the theme parks 30 minutes before opening for select attractions.
  • Early access to purchase individual Lightning Lane entry for up to 2 attractions each day. (Note: this is a paid enhancement of Disney Genie+.)
  • Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort Guests can experience even more attractions with extended evening theme park hours!
Couple taking a selfie in front of Cinderellas Castle in Magic Kingom
@Disney

Know Before You Go!

Take advantage of these offers and be surrounded by The World’s Most Magical Celebration, a once-in-a-lifetime event brimming with EARidescent excitement—taking place now through March 31, 2023.

Important Details

  • Length of stay requirements may apply and advanced reservations are required.
  • Additional per-adult charges will be added if more than 2 adults occupy a room.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.
  • These offers excludes: 3-bedroom villas, The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Little Mermaid Standard Rooms.
  • Theme park tickets are valid for admission beginning on date of check-in and must be used within a limited number of days, depending on length of stay and ticket.
  • The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited.
  • Proof of Disney+ subscription will be required for this particular offer. Also, Guests must be 18+ to subscribe to Disney+ and the Disney+ subscriber must stay in the room.

Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista for more exciting details or a free quote!

 

EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is Here!

Take a First Look: EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE

Epcot Food and Wine Sign
By Disney Destinations – July 14, 2022

For the next 128 delicious days, guests can sip, savor, shop and repeat across six continents at the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE! The festival kicked off yesterday and continues through Nov. 19, offering new experiences for foodies and fun-loving
families.

Friends enjoying various drinks at Epcot Food and Wine Festival
By Disney Destinations

A passport for the palate, this iconic festival is a magical taste tour – one that whisks guests off on a fun and flavorful journey. It’s a delicious celebration of the best in global food and drink along with live entertainment, family activities and more. This year, the creative Disney culinarily teams have dreamed up unique dishes as nearly one third of the menu offerings are NEW!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Passport
Festival Passport by Disney Destinations

Guests can grab a Festival Passport to use as their handy guide to discover all the new sips and fresh bites available at the more than 25 Global Marketplaces throughout the park. These special food and beverage locations celebrate the best in global cuisine.

The Fry Basket by Disney Destinations

Debuting this year is The Fry Basket showcasing French fries presented with unique savory and sweet toppings – like the Fry Flight, featuring three different flavors!

Family enjoying morning treats at Epcot Food and Wine Festival
By Disney Destinations

For those who like to get an early start enjoying the festival and all that EPCOT has to offer, the Belgium marketplace will open at 8:30 a.m. daily to serve up delicious Belgian Waffles topped with either Warm Chocolate Ganache or Berry Compote and Whipped Cream, as well as Chilled Mocha Coffee.

Various Booths at Epcot Food and Wine
By Disney Destinations

All other marketplaces – including The Swanky Saucy Swine, Coastal Eats, Hops & Barley, The Alps, Germany, Spain, Canada, Australia, Greece, Brazil and Flavors from Fire to name just a few – will open at 11:00am daily to entice guests with exciting new options and returning fan-favorites. Be sure to check out the full Festival Foodie Guide for photos of many delectable offerings.

Don’t miss the Eat to the Beat Concert Series presented by Florida Blue Medicare as well! Be sure to check out this incredible list of performances and make plans for which guests want to see. And don’t forget about Eat to the Beat Dining Packages (for Friday through Monday concerts), which include a leisurely meal at a select EPCOT restaurant and guaranteed seating at a performance later that same day. To see the full lineup of artists, performance dates and pricing, and to make a dining package reservation, visit TasteEpcot.com.

New Merchandise for Epcot Food and Wine Festival
By Disney Destinations

It’s time to sip, savor…and shop! Five new merchandise collections offer up fun and whimsical kitchenware, tabletop items, apparel, novelties and unique collectibles featuring favorite Disney characters such as Chef Minnie Mouse, Chef Mickey Mouse, Princess Tiana, Chef Figment and Chef Remy. Merchandise can be found at festival retail locations across EPCOT, with additional pieces debuting throughout the festival. Select items are also available on shopDisney.com.

Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Savenger Hunt and Sweet Treat
By Disney Destinations

But that’s not all! There are other ways to have even more fun exploring the festival. Cheese lovers will love Emile’s Fromage Montage and take a walk on the tasty side to sample dishes featuring cheese served in inventive ways.

Guests of all ages can enjoy Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure where they’ll join Chef Remy on a daring culinary journey and zip, dash and scurry through Gusteau’s bustling Paris restaurant. And kids will want to embark on a Ratatouille-inspired scavenger hunt that’s très magnifique in Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak as well.

At the end of the day, Guests will want add to the magical memories made by watching “Harmonious” – one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney Park.

To experience the 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista for all the details!

Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Logo
Vacations with Character® has earned the distinction of being an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

 

 

Disney Cruise Line Latest Updates

Disney Cruise Line Introduces Pixar Day at Sea and Announces Return of Marvel Day at Sea in 2023!

Toy Story, Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and Inside Out Friends to Join DCL in 2023 on Select Sailings.

Disney Cruise Line Guests will be immersed in the ever-unfolding stories of their favorite toys, monsters and heroes during the all-new Pixar Day at Sea aboard the Disney Fantasy  and  Marvel Day at Sea on Disney Dream for select sailings in early 2023.

Visit our website for more information on Disney Cruise Line including special offers!

On Disney Fantasy, this day-long celebration featuring one-of-a-kind experiences on select seven-night voyages will bring to life the beloved Pixar tales of “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and more exclusively for Disney Cruise Line Guests.  Other details and highlights include:

Character Encounters

  • From morning until night, Guests will dance, play and interact with their favorite Pixar pals, including Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Bo Peep from “Toy Story”; Mike, Sulley and Boo from “Monsters, Inc.”; Joy and Sadness from “Inside Out”; Dug and Russell from “Up”; and everyone’s favorite supers – Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone from “The Incredibles.”

Immersive Entertainment

  • A new nighttime spectacular will call upon Disney Cruise Line Guests to help the Incredibles save the day.
  • A first-of-its-kind theatrical experience will bring to life the beloved story of Miguel and his family from “Coco” through live music and puppetry.
  • Families will be able to join their favorite characters from the beloved Pixar films for a dance party bash.

Dining Filled with Character

  • A new, interactive character dining experience hosted by Sheriff Woody, Jesse and Bullseye will kick-start the day with sing-a-longs, cowboy serenades and all the country breakfast fixins.
  • Families will enjoy a Pixar-themed dinner with dishes inspired by the Pixar Animation Studios’ California locale.
  • Guests will immerse themselves in undersea magic while dining in Animator’s Palate with visits from some of their favorite “Finding Nemo” friends, including interactive conversations with Crush.

Pixar Day at Sea will be included on nine select Disney Fantasy cruises from January through March 2023. Departing from Port Canaveral, Florida, the Disney Fantasy will sail to several Guest-favorite destinations in the eastern and western Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean itineraries feature stops in ports such as Tortola, St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico, while western Caribbean sailings visit Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica. Every cruise includes a visit to Disney’s private island oasis, Castaway Cay.

Join Thor, Captain America, Spider Man and more on Disney Dream in 2023 for Marvel Day at Sea select sailings!

Marvel Day at Sea on Disney Dream is not only returning next year, but for the first time ever, the largest assembly of Marvel Super Heroes and Villains on one ship will be sailing epic voyages from Miami, now on the Disney Dream!

Marvel Day at Sea combines the thrills of renowned Marvel comics, films and animated series with the excitement of a Disney cruise during an unforgettable day at sea.

Immersive Entertainment

This day-long celebration on select five-night Caribbean cruises features encounters with some of Guests’ favorite Marvel Super Heroes, action-packed entertainment and Marvel-themed activities designed for the whole family to enjoy.

Along with visiting fan-favorite destinations in the Western Caribbean like Cozumel, Mexico, Grand Cayman and Disney Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, Guests will be able to experience all that the Disney Dream has to offer while on a Marvel Day at Sea sailing. Broadway-style shows like Beauty and the Beast, themed dining, activities for every member of the family and Disney’s classic service and attention to detail are just a few things that await Guests on board.

We can’t wait to help you create a vacation filled with character! Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista for all the details and a free quote today: www.vacationswithcharacter.net. 

Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Logo
Vacations with Character® has earned the distinction of being an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

Live Entertainment Returning to Disney World!

Several major live entertainment experiences will be returning to Walt Disney World Resort during The World’s Most Magical Celebration, some with new additions and enhancements!
Just announced as part of the Destination D23 event, several major live entertainment experiences will be returning to Walt Disney World Resort during The World’s Most Magical Celebration, and some of them are coming back with new additions and enhancements!

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, we’re thrilled to share some additional details about this newly updated show, which is being called “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!” The new show is set in the timeline of the movie “Finding Dory.” We’re told the team is hard at work getting “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!” ready to open in 2022, and we look forward to sharing more soon.

Photo: Courtesy of Disney Travel News

As Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, announced earlier today, “Fantasmic!” will also be returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2022. When this incredible spectacular reopens next year, it will incorporate an all-new sequence featuring live performers, stunts, special effects and more!

Just announced as part of the Destination D23 event, several major live entertainment experiences will be returning to Walt Disney World Resort during The World’s Most Magical Celebration, and some of them are coming back with new additions and enhancements!

At Magic Kingdom Park, live entertainment is returning to the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage early next year, with a show newly enhanced for the 50th Anniversary celebration. “Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” will incorporate favorite scenes from the previous version of the show – with sequences inspired by “Frozen,” “Tangled,” and “The Princess and the Frog” – plus a new opening and a new finale with Mickey Mouse and all his friends in their sparkling, EARidescent fashions. The show will also include an all-new, original song entitled “Where the Magic Feels Like Home.” “Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” will be a wonderful addition to the live entertainment lineup for the 50th Anniversary celebration.

Photo: Courtesy of Vacations with Character®

Since parks  reopened last year, Disney has been presenting favorite characters in new ways, such as the cavalcades that travel the parade route at Magic Kingdom Park. These cavalcades have been very popular and will continue to be part of the park entertainment experience into the future. Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade debuted Oct. 1 as part of the 50th anniversary, and later this winter, a new one will be introduced, the Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade, with an exciting lineup of characters all embarking on a great journey through the park. The Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade will feature the most characters of any cavalcade to date, including Nick and Judy from “Zootopia,” Baloo and King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” José Carioca and Panchito from “The Three Caballeros,” Miguel from “Coco,” plus Merida, Moana, The Incredibles, and so many more!

Photo: Courtesy of Disney Travel News

And best of all, in early 2022, these cavalcades will be joined by the return of the Disney “Festival of Fantasy” Parade. This vibrant and joyous celebration of Fantasyland brings to the streets of Magic Kingdom Park dozens of beloved Disney characters and stories, from the Disney Princess Garden to a carnival of color presided over by none other than Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

Photo: Courtesy of Vacations with Character®

All of this (and more!) is on the way, adding to new experiences that debuted with the launch of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration, including “Disney KiteTails,” “Harmonious,” and “Disney Enchantment,” as well as other returning favorites like “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.”

Stay tuned for more news coming soon. We can’t wait to help you create a magical vacation to all that fun! Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista if you are interested in booking a vacation package and tickets at www.vacationswithcharacter.net. 

Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Logo
Vacations with Character® has earned the distinction of being an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner