Disney Genie+ to Replace FastPass at Disney Theme Parks

Disney Genie Service is set to Reimagine the Guest Experience at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort!

Disney Genie by Disney Destinations Travel News

Goodbye FastPass+… Hello Disney Genie! Earlier today, Disney Parks announced more details about what promises to be an amazing new tool to help increase guest experiences and make the most of precious time in the theme parks. This new three-tiered approach will be know as Disney Genie and will be coming this Fall. Here are some details:

Disney Genie, Courtesy of Disney Travel News

* Disney Genie is a complimentary service that will be available to all guests through the free My Disney Experience and Disneyland Apps. It will allow guests to select favorite attractions and experiences, including restaurants, then sit back and relax while ‘Genie’ conjures up the ultimate itinerary for fun-filled day. If plans change, no worries! The App also allows for changes on the fly as well!

It will also include tip boards based on guests favorites they’ve selected, show future wait time forecasts, offer a virtual assistant, mobile ordering and the ability to join a mobile walk-up waitlist for restaurants as well!

Again, Disney Genie is free for all guests.

Disney Genie+, Courtesy of Disney Travel News

* Disney Genie+ is similar to the old FastPass+ system that was discontinued, however, it will now be a paid enhancement that will allow guests to to choose return times (for 1 select ride at a time) for any of the included attractions throughout the day. Once Guests tap in for their arrival, they can make another selection and this service can be used in all four parks with a park hopper ticket as well.

The attractions included in  DisneyGenie+ have not been officially announced, but we’ve heard they will be available for more than 15 attractions at Disneyland Resort, and over 40 attractions at Disney World and attractions like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Haunted Mansion should be included.

Disney Genie+ also includes special audio experiences and a special photo lense overlay experience for guests of Walt Disney World, while guests of Disneyland guests will receive the audio experiences as well as unlimited photo downloads from their day at Disneyland plus the special photo lense overlay experiences. (Walt Disney World guests would still need to purchase Memory Maker if they would like to enjoy unlimited photo downloads, magic shots, super zoom shots, and more. )

The additional cost for Disney Genie+ is $15.00 per ticket/per day at Walt Disney World and $20.00 per ticket/per day at Disneyland.

* Lightening Lane is also a new paid enhancement that will allow guests to skip the standby line at some of the most popular attractions and the attractions offered through this individual purchase option will be different than those offered through Disney Genie+. Rides to be included in this individual attraction selection option may include: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure Park, Rise of the Resistance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Web Slingers in Disney California Adventure park, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in EPCOT. Disney will release the rest of the attractions in this group later this year.

Guests will be able to schedule a time to ride up to 2 high-demand attractions each day and use the Lightning Lane entrance during their scheduled time to ride. These two attractions can be at different parks if you have a park hopper ticket. $ Pricing for this Individual Attraction Purchase option will vary by date, attraction, and park.

Individual Attraction Purchases can be made on the same day of your visit and used across multiple parks.

ADDITIONAL TIPS:

1. The use of Disney Genie is not needed to experience any attraction or experience at any Disney theme park. All Guests may use this service as much or as little as they wish or not at all. Standby lines will still be available as usual as well as Disney’s virtual queue experience for select attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

2. The purchase of Disney Genie+ is not needed to use the Individual Attraction Selection Service (Lightening Lane). For example, if you ONLY wish to ride Rise of the Resistance and you don’t care about anything else, you DO NOT need to purchase Disney Genie+ to ride it. You only have to pay the individual cost for the purchase of that attraction.

3. ONSITE GUEST PERK ALERT! Guests staying at a Disney owned and operated hotel at Walt Disney World, or the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, or the Shades of Green Hotels, and who purchase an  enhancement will be able to make their first individual attraction selection at 7AM. All other guests will have to make their selections when they enter their first park of the day.

Here’s a great little video that explains it all perfectly!

Follow us on Facebook for news and updates as they occur on this and all things Disney! And if you’d like more information or a free, no-obligation quote proposal, please reach out to your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista or request a quote on our website at: https://vacationswithcharacter.net

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New Cirque du Soleil Show Opening at Disney Springs!

The Show Goes On! Cirque du Soleil & Disney Announce Opening Date for Drawn to Life at Disney Springs!

Drawn to Life By: Disney Destinations Travel News

Calling all Cirque du Soleil fans! The iconic white tent theater at Disney Springs that has been sitting empty since is buzzing with activity once again as Cirque du Soleil artists are returning to the stage to train and rehearse for a spectacular new show.

Drawn to Life is a thrilling collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering. At its core, the show is about the love between a father and a daughter with a story drawing inspiration from Disney’s 100-year heritage of animation. The family-friendly show brings timeless Disney stories and characters to life in an unforgettable way through the use of innovative design, acrobatic performances, dazzling choreography, musical scores, brand-new animation lovingly created by Disney Animation artists, and some extra touches of Disney magic. Here’s a sneak Peek:

Originally scheduled to debut in spring 2020, Drawn to Life was in its final rehearsals when the pandemic brought live theater performances to a halt. While waiting to return to the stage, artists stayed in shape by training at home or at local facilities. Now, the intermission is over and being back in the theater together is a dream come true for the cast and crew — and soon to be for fans alike!

Drawn to Life presented by Cirque du Soleil & Disney is scheduled to open on Nov. 18, 2021. Tickets will go on sale Aug. 20 to the general public.

For more information about Drawn to Life, visit DisneySprings.com/Cirque. And be sure to keep an an eye out for some behind-the-scenes stories coming in the weeks ahead on our Facebook page as well: https://www.facebook.com/VacationsWithCharacter.

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Christmastime Parade, Fireworks Coming to Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, Fireworks and More Coming to Disney Very Merriest After Hours at Magic Kingdom!

By Disney Destination Travel News

Twinkling lights, festive décor, and magical celebrations will fill Magic Kingdom Park when “Disney Very Merriest After Hours” begins. The event will take place on 24 select nights Nov. 8 through Dec. 21 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. This year’s holiday celebration coincides with the Walt Disney World 50th anniversary – “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.”

Event dates are as follows:

November: 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 28, 30

December: 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21

We are so excited to let you know that “Disney Very Merriest After Hours” will include the nighttime spectacular “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks” and the special holiday-themed parade “Once Upon a Christmastime Parade”. That’s right, a parade! Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be joined by pals from Disney’s “Frozen” and many other favorite Disney characters including the very popular Toy Soldiers. This festive parade will, of course, also feature Santa Claus.

By Disney Destinations Travel News

Tickets for the festive 4-hour “Disney Very Merriest After Hours” will grant admission to Magic Kingdom Park as early as 7 p.m., giving Guests more time to enjoy some of their favorite Magic Kingdom attractions. They can also take in some of the EARidescent magic that will be part of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” from the brand-new fireworks spectacular “Disney Enchantment” to the transformation of Cinderella Castle into a “Beacon of Magic,” all in honor of the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. And, yes! That means Guests could be able to experience two different and unique fireworks shows in one night!

By Disney Destinations Travel News

That’s not all that it’s in store. Here are additional details of what Guests can experience during this limited-capacity, separately ticketed event:

  • Holiday attraction overlays are also making a comeback! The Jungle Cruise transforms into the Jingle Cruise, and Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor will get new jokes perfect for this joyful season.
  • After the park closes to day Guests, event Guests can enjoy less time waiting in line for more than 20 attractions including favorites like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, The Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain and more.
  • Sightings of Disney characters throughout the park all dressed in their holiday best.
  • While Guests are walking down Main Street, U.S.A. they should be sure to look up to the sky, they might catch some magical snowfall!
  • Guests can dance and boogie the night away at themed Club Tinsel dance party in Tomorrowland.
  • Guests can enjoy complimentary snacks like ice cream novelties and popcorn, seasonal treats and select bottled beverages.
  • Specialty holiday food and drinks will be also be available for purchase.
  • Disney PhotoPass will offer holiday magic shots throughout the night.

Tickets will go on sale Aug. 20, 2021 and range from $169 to $229 plus tax for select November/December nights, and $249, plus tax on December 19 & 21. These dated event tickets do not require an additional day theme park ticket or Disney Park Pass theme park reservation.

NOTE: In order to book tickets during the early purchase window, a valid reservation at a Disney Resort hotel is required!

Please check our Know Before You Go page for the most up-to-date information regarding our health and safety measures.

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

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Disney Fireworks Return

Things are ever changing at Disney theme parks as more of our beloved park experiences return. Today, we are tickled with a pink “Minnie” bow, to announce Fireworks are back!

Look to the Skies as more magic returns beginning July 2021 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

A Disney tradition since 1957, fireworks shows are what Walt Disney called the perfect “kiss goodnight” at the close of a magical day, and this summer the skies above Disney theme parks will sparkle with color once more. Beginning in July, just in time for the nation’s Independence Day celebrations, the incredibly popular nighttime fireworks spectaculars are returning to Disney parks!

Look to the Skies Sneak Peek

At Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, July 1 marks the start of nightly fireworks performances at Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT. “Happily Ever After” will transform Cinderella Castle with lights, projections and pyrotechnics, as moments from favorite Disney stories encourage Guests to grab hold of their dreams and make them come true. And as part of the ongoing transformation of EPCOT, “EPCOT Forever” will produce a spectacle of fireworks, music and lighting effects over World Showcase Lagoon, highlighting the themes of innovation, exploration, imagination and celebration at the core of the park’s past, present and future.

As Disneyland Park in California welcomes back all guests, the fun starts July 4 with “Mickey’s Mix Magic” presented nightly throughout the summer. State-of-the-art projections, show lighting and lasers will transform Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle and the façade of “it’s a small world” into a dazzling, family fun dance party that goes sky high with fireworks to celebrate the leader of the club, Mickey Mouse.

If you simply can’t wait until their next visit to see some Disney fireworks, they can enjoy a virtual viewing of “Happily Ever After” right now with #DisneyMagicMoments at home.

As a reminder, valid park admission and a park reservation are still required for park entry. For more information or to book, reach out to one of our Vacationistas today; there’s never been a better time to visit:
Request a Quote

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Disney’s Boo Bash Details Revealed

Fantasy reigns at Magic Kingdom Park as we patiently wait for Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary in October and “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.” One such new fantastical addition is “Disney After Hours Boo Bash” on 23 select nights later this year!

DIsney’s All New After Hours Boo Bash Coming Fall of 2021

Starting on Aug. 10 and continuing through Oct. 31 from 9 p.m. to midnight, this new attraction is sure to delight and are thrilled to share some more frightfully fun details on what to expect during this limited-capacity separately ticketed event:

  • Special cavalcades will pop up throughout the night including “Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade,” with Mickey Mouse and friends dressed up for the occasion. In the “Disney Villains Halloween Cavalcade,” villains will take to the street and celebrate their favorite time of the year. “Jack’s Nightmare Cavalcade” will feature Jack Skellington, Sally and Oogie Boogie riding down the parade path to “This is Halloween,” and last, but definitely not least (we would never say that about her!), Maleficent will also make an appearance in the form of a fire-breathing dragon.
  • Some favorite friends will be lurking about – from the lovely Miss Carlotta at the Haunted Mansion to Goofy and Chip ‘n’ Dale in their Halloween best, with other surprise characters popping up across the park, too. Guests can even stop and listen to the Cadaver Dans during their special comeback (from the dead) performance.
  • Select complimentary snacks like ice cream novelties and popcorn, along with select beverages, are included in the cost of the event.
  • After the park closes to day guests, enjoy less time waiting in line for more than 20 attractions including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Haunted Mansion attraction, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain and more.
  • A variety of specialty food and drinks will be available for purchase including an Apple Ginger Dale frozen drink (frozen apple cider mixed with ginger ale and topped with whipped cream) and a Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake.)**
  • Disney PhotoPass will also be available to take magical and spooky shots throughout the night.
  • “Disney After Hours Boo Bash” tickets will grant admission to Magic Kingdom park as early as 7 p.m., giving Guests time to enjoy even more of their favorite Magic Kingdom haunts before the event begins. These dated event tickets do not require an additional day theme park ticket or Disney Park Pass theme park reservation.All foolish mortals can dress in costume for the event and Guests can get their fill of Halloween candy while trick-or-treating around the park. Unfortunately, costume masks are not permitted for adults; they can only be worn by children under 14.
  • Tickets for this hauntingly fun-filled three-hour event will go on sale June 15 and Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels can book their tickets as early as June 8 through their travel agent or by calling in.Pricing starts at $129 – $139 USD, plus tax for August/September nights; $159 – $169, plus tax for October nights; $199, plus tax for Halloween. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can take advantage of a $10 discount for event nights in August and September. A limited number of tickets are available.

Here are the dates for “Disney After Hours Boo Bash”:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021
  • Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021
  • Friday, Aug. 20, 2021
  • Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021
  • Friday, Aug. 27, 2021
  • Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021
  • Friday, Sept. 3, 2021
  • Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021
  • Friday, Sept. 10, 2021
  • Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021
  • Friday, Sept. 17, 2021
  • Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021
  • Friday, Sept. 24, 2021
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021
  • Friday, Oct. 8, 2021
  • Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021
  • Friday, Oct. 15, 2021
  • Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021
  • Friday, Oct. 22, 2021
  • Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021
  • Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021
  • Friday, Oct. 29, 2021
  • Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021

This fall, the decorations on Main Street, U.S.A., will receive a magical transformation for the event nights in October as “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” begins. Walt Disney Imagineering, in partnership with the Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Services team, will blend a fall look with the enchanting story of Cinderella by creating special pumpkin coach decorations that will add to the park’s sparkling EARidescence during this magical time. Cast Members will receive a special Earidescent name tag for the Anniversary Celebration as well!

Please contact your favorite Vacations with Character Vacationista to book a most magical Fall getaway to include the all NEW Boo-Bash by requesting a free, no-obligation quote today:  https://fs29.formsite.com/ST9lsf/form7/index.html

We can’t wait to help you celebrate Disney’s 50th Anniversary this Fall and beyond!

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*Some event nights in August and September will be from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

**This item will be on sale outside event hours Oct. 1 to Nov. 1.

 

Park Hopping Coming to Walt Disney World in 2021

Park Hopping is Coming in 2021!

The moment we’ve all been patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for is finally coming as the Park Hopper Option Returns to Walt Disney World Resort on Jan. 1, 2021!! BUT HOLD ONTO YOUR EARS…there’s a lot you’ll need to know before you race out of your resort and into a park! Read on for details.

Guests who purchased a ticket, package or annual pass with Park Hopper benefits will be able to visit more than one park per day, with some new modifications as part of Disney’s ongoing focus on health and safety. These modifications are designed to help manage attendance responsibly to continue to foster physical distancing. Additionally, other enhanced health and safety measures remain in effect, including face coverings required for all guests ages two and up.

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

With the updated Park Hopper® experience, Guests must make a Disney Park Pass reservation for the first park they plan to visit (reservation requirements are subject to change) AND enter that first park prior to visiting another. Additionally, we will set specific Park Hopper® hours during which this option will be available. Park Hopper® hours will start at 2 p.m. each day and end at the park’s scheduled close time.

Park Hopper Infographic

Guests with a ticket, package or pass that includes Park Hopper® benefits will get the chance to see and do more during their visit, which could mean a morning on the savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and an evening stroll by Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park or starting the day living your Star Wars adventure at Disney’s Hollywood Studios before an afternoon traveling around the world at EPCOT. Please note that the ability to visit another park will be subject to the park’s capacity limitations.

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

VERY IMPORTANT TIP: To help manage attendance, upon the return of the Park Hopper option in January, only guests with a Disney Park Pass reservation for Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be able to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Guests visiting from another theme park will not be able to request to join the virtual queue.

In light of these updates, if you have a ticket or package that includes the ability to visit more than one park per day and you wish to modify or cancel this ticket, please contact your Vacations with Character® Travel Agent for options, including the ability to downgrade your ticket. Didn’t book with an agent? No problem! Reach out to us anyway and we’ll see if we can help!

Disney Bus Transportation

TIP: Park-to-park transportation is also planned to resume in 2021, with operations beginning each day shortly prior to the start of Park Hopper® hours.

We look forward to starting the new year with the return of this guest favorite! Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista for more details or to book: vacationswithcharacter.com

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Where to Eat Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as they say! Read on for some delicious ways to start your vacation days at Universal Orlando Resort:

Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Today Cafe in Universal Studios serves up the perfect cup of coffee, fresh pastries or healthier options like delicious breakfast sandwiches or an acai bowl.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando - Leaky Cauldron
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Leaky Cauldron in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley, features a hot breakfast with authentic British fare from traditional breakfast items to an egg, leak and mushroom pasty. TIP: We recommend this as a “go-to” for guests who have Early Park Admission access.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando - Three Broomsticks
Photo: Denielle Ricci. Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade is a fan favorite! Here you can enjoy a a plate of pancakes with pumpkin juice!

Breakfast at Universal Orlando - Green Eggs and Ham Cafe
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Make ‘Sam I Am’ proud and pick up a plate of green eggs and ham tots over at Green Eggs and Ham Cafe in Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure (don’t try to say that with your a mouthful!) Other quick bites include Croissant Moon, Cinnabon, and Starbucks.

Breakfast at Universl Orlando - Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club at Volcano Bay Water Park
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

You’ll need to to fuel your body when conquering Volcano Bay and we know just the place! Fill up on breakfast pizza, sandwiches and wraps at Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club. You can even enjoy a refreshing continental breakfast with fresh pastries and fruits as well.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resorts - Pier 8 Market @ Dockside Inn and Suites
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Looking for breakfast at your resort? There are plenty of options like Pier 8 Market in Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites. Wake up with a refreshing glass of orange juice and enjoy offerings such as chicken and waffles or even vegan avocado toast! There’s also a Starbucks.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort - Beach Break Cafe - Surfside Inn and Suites
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Beach Break Cafe at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, offers hearty breakfast items that get you ready for a day in the parks. From breakfast pizzas, burritos, egg muffins, or even a crispy chicken sandwich your pallet and your tummy will be pleased. There’s also a Starbucks here as well.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort - Urban Pantry - Aventura Hotel
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Over at Universal’s Aventura Hotel, Urban Pantry serves up quite the selection with their Hash Station in Urban Pantry. Choose from a bowl or wrap with your choice of protein, eggs, cheese, and fresh ingredients. You can also request traditional breakfast favorites as well.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort - Bayliner Diner - Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Bayliner Diner at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort has it going on with a perfect mix of quick picks and breakfast platters. Starbucks is also served here too.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort - Amatista Cookhouse - Loews Sapphire falls Resort
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Amatista Cookhouse in Loews Sapphire Falls Resort does not disappoint! Order off the menu and find Carribean inspired dishes along with traditional offerings. In a hurry? Grab and Go from New Dutch Trading Co.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort - Islands Dining Room - Loews Royal Pacific Resort
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Ahhhh….you can get a taste of the island life in Islands Dining Room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort! Savor Hawaiian pancakes, Tahitian French Toast a L’orange, smoked salmon, and more! Tuk Tuk Market is also a great place to pick up more than just Grab and Go items and they serve a limited selection of Starbucks offerings as well.

Breaktfast at Universal Orlando Resort - The Kitchen - Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Two Words: The Kitchen! This place has some of the best french toast and waffles around as well as a lot of other great offerings. In a hurry? Grab a breakfast sandwich, fresh fruit, or a bagel from Emack and Bollio’s Marketplace!

Breakfast at Tratoria del Porto - Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Take me away to Portofino Bay! Enjoy a beautiful morning on the piazza at Trattoria del Porto at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Here you’ll find breakfast menu items your whole family will love. For some quick bites try Gelateria or Starbucks.

Breakfast at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen - CityWalk
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Did you know Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen serves up breakfast? It’s a best-kept secret! From hearty options to sweet and creamy, they have it all.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando with Grinch and Friends (seasonal)
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Treat yourself to a fun  morning with some of your most favorite characters while enjoying a delicious breakfast with The Grinch and Friends. This seasonal event is a dining experience that’s not to be missed! Note: Reservations are required. This event may be postponed until next year due to Covid-19. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates!

In closing, we always suggest checking the Universal Parks App for times and availability as everything is subject to change.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our tour and can’t wait to help you learn more about about booking a getaway to Universal Orlando. Simply visit your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista at: https://universalvacationplanners.com. We have a few special offers to share with you and are experts at creating exciting adventures to this amazing destination!

Walt Disney World Holiday Magic Starts November 6

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

We are super excited to share an update on some of the festive experiences coming to Walt Disney World Resort for the holidays!

We know how much Guests love the holidays, and from Nov. 6-Dec. 30, you’ll will be able to enjoy festive décor, themed merchandise, seasonal food & beverage offerings and entertainment all across Walt Disney World Resort. Holiday magic will be in full force at the four theme parks and Disney Springs, and Santa Claus will even make time for special pop-up appearances at each location, waving and exclaiming holiday wishes to all.

Enjoy the sight of festive flotillas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, holiday promenades at EPCOT and merry motorcades at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Plus, character cavalcades at Magic Kingdom Park will take on a special holiday twist, with Christmas friends on festive floats in their holiday finest. Gingerbread Men? Check! Elves and Reindeer? Check, check! And the Toy Soldiers will join the Main Street Philharmonic as they march through Magic Kingdom Park, bringing musical holiday cheer for all to hear.

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

When night falls, special projection effects will give a festive look to Cinderella Castle this year, providing a colorful backdrop for photo ops. The appearance of the iconic castle will be transformed with a rotating series of designs including a whimsical Christmas sweater and a regal overlay of red, green and gold ornamentation.

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Of course, the holidays wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a meal among friends and family. Minnie Mouse will be hosting a yuletide gathering for all her friends at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting Nov. 6. Santa Goofy will be there, along with Minnie and more in their holiday best. 

Shifting gears to Disney Springs, You will discover Christmas around every corner as they come across a collection of elaborately-decorated Disney Christmas trees spread throughout this retail, dining and entertainment destination. In the evening, encounter a magical snowfall in areas within Town Center, West Side and The Landing, adding an extra touch of wonder to your holiday shopping. And to top it off, Jock Lindsey will once again be turning his hangar bar into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar complete with delightful holiday décor and a delicious limited-time menu filled with festive favorites.

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Disney Resort hotels will also be decked out for the holidays too, with their lobbies featuring iconic trees and other festive flourishes.

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Starting a bit later in the season, on Nov. 27, holiday kitchens will return around World Showcase promenade with favorites like American Holiday Table featuring Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing and Bavaria Holiday Kitchen with dishes like Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl.

Step inside World ShowPlace to enjoy the returning group, JOYFUL! as they present a journey through R&B, Gospel, contemporary and traditional Christmas and holiday music. Also, the Voices of Liberty will bring their incredible 8-part harmonies to the America Gardens Theatre stage for a special concert of favorite carols and songs of the season.

We’re looking forward to helping you create new traditions this year with unique ways to enjoy the season together. There’s a lot of holiday fun to see and do at Walt Disney World Resort! To learn more about about booking a getaway with seasonal experiences, ask your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista for a free, no-obligation quote at: https://vacationswithcharacter.net/ We may even have a few special offers to share with you too!

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Halloween Experiences Invade Universal Orlando this Fall

Halloween is Coming to Universal Orlando Resort this Fall!

HHN Fall 2020 – Courtesy of the Universal Travel Agent Partner Community

Halloween seasonal experiences are set to invade Universal Orlando for an extended time and will include trick-or-treating for little ones, plus the official debut of 2 all-new horrifying haunted houses, sure to please any #HalloweenHorrorNights fans, and more!

AND it’s all included as part of your daytime theme park admission beginning the weekend of September 26th and 27th and then daily from October 3rd through November 1st!

Universal Orlando Fall 2020 – Courtesy of the Universal Travel Agent Partner Community

Here are all the spooktacular details:

DRESS UP IN COSTUMES WHILE VISITING THE THEME PARKS
Guests can share their Halloween spirit and don family-friendly costumes while visiting Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

SCARECROW STALK IN UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA
Participate in the Universal Orlando Scarecrow Stalk, a NEW scavenger hunt that sends guests to find unique scarecrows and collect stamps at 13 retail locations throughout the park. A Halloween treat awaits those who successfully complete the stalk!

TRICK-OR-TREAT IN ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE
While venturing through Islands of Adventure, guests 12 and under can trick-or-treat to collect Halloween candy at retail locations marked by pumpkin signage.

 

Universal Orlando Fall 2020 – Courtesy of the Universal Travel Agent Partner Community

BRAVE TWO HAUNTED HOUSES IN UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA
Developed by the twisted minds of Universal Orlando, guests will scream their way through two all-new haunted houses where terrifying creatures await to haunt their every move. In “Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives,” one of Universal Pictures’ most notorious monsters will step out of the shadows as she stops at nothing to revive Frankenstein’s Monster at any cost. In “Revenge of the Tooth Fairy,” guests will be immersed in an original story that uncovers a dark ritual behind the innocent childhood tradition.  

Access to the two haunted houses is included with theme park admission. There may be times when the Virtual Line experience is available for the haunted houses. Guests can use the Official Universal Orlando Resort App to select a Virtual Line time to visit. NOTE: Haunted houses may be too intense for young children and are not recommended for guests under 13.

HHN Fall 2020 – Courtesy of the Universal Travel Agent Partner Community

For additional Halloween treats this fall, you can also:

  • Stop by the popular Halloween Horror Nights Tribute store, an immersive retail location dedicated to the legacy of the world’s premier Halloween event, to purchase limited-time “throwback” merchandise and to get a taste of the horror with an assortment of nearly 20 sweet and savory items. TIP: The Halloween Cake is delicious!
  • Enjoy additional limited-time, crave-worthy food & beverage options to celebrate the season. In Universal Studios, this includes a variety of Halloween-themed drinks like the Frozen Candy Corn beverage at the all-new Skeleton Bar at Café La Bamba, the iconic staple, Pizza Fries, at Louie’s Italian Restaurant, and all-new food trucks near the haunted houses that feature uniquely themed items such as “Franken Fried Chicken & Funnel Brains.” In Universal CityWalk, guests can pick up the “Jack the Clown” and “Pumpkin Spice” specialty doughnuts at Voodoo Doughnut. Plus, guests can sip on specialty drinks themed after icons from Halloween Horror Nights history at Universal Orlando’s hotels, including “The Director” and “The Chance.”
  • Horror movie buffs can catch a classic horror flick at Universal Cinemark in CityWalk now through October 31.
  • Lastly, you can have a hauntingly good time at Hollywood Drive-In Golf, where you’ll encounter a choice of two family friendly courses: “The Haunting of Ghostly Greens” and “Invaders From Planet Putt.” Experience cutting-edge interactive elements and special immersive features that can’t be found elsewhere. Encounter a haunted house, flying saucer, 30-foot robot, and more in quirky capers filled with ghoulish gags and interplanetary puns. Special effects and lighting make it easy to play day, evening, and even late night. And since it’s located in Universal CityWalk™, it’s just steps away from the rest of the action.  This is one family favorite you won’t want to miss!
    Courtesy of Robin Gantek, Vacations with Character®

    To learn more about about booking a getaway to Universal Orlando’s Halloween seasonal experiences, visit your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista at: https://universalvacationplanners.com. We have a few special offers to share with you too and are experts at creating exciting adventures to this amazing destination!


Safety Note: Universal Orlando continues to implement its enhanced health and safety procedures and guidelines focused on “screening, spacing and sanitization,” and those practices will be applied to all experiences taking place this fall. Key measures include screening guests and team members, enforcing social distancing, requiring face coverings, limiting capacity at the parks, attractions and hotels, and increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures and more. Specific health and safety protocols for the haunted houses include:

  • Face coverings worn by team members – including scareactors – and guests.
  • Everyone following social distancing guidelines in the queue and inside the haunted houses. Plexi-glass will be installed in various areas to help keep separation between scareactors and guests.
  • The required use of hand sanitizer before entering each haunted house. It will also be available for guests to use immediately after they exit.
  • Managing the guest flow inside the haunted houses by pulsing travel parties and limiting capacity.

 

Five Universal Orlando Resorts Ranked 2020s Top 10 Best Amusement Park Hotels!

USA Today has released it’s top 10 Best Amusement Park Hotels and guess what? Universal Orlando Resorts claims FIVE of them. It’s no surprise, as these are among our top favorites too!

Advertising Resorts Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando Resort CBBR, UOR Pool Exteriors kids having fun in pool, children in pool, couples by pool, water slide, lounging by pool
One of 2 Pools at Cabana Bay Beach Resort – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

1) Cabana Bay Beach Resort

This resort features a fun retro theme that takes you back to the iconic beach resorts of the 1950s and 60s. This property features two massive pools including a water slide and a lazy river, 10-lane bowling alley, arcade, fitness center, delicious food court, fire pit, outdoor activities, and there’s even a even a Starbucks®.  Great for families on a budget, this resort is the perfect place to call your “home away from home” for a week…or two. It’s truly a little getaway all to its own.

2) Universal’s Aventura Hotel

Courtesy of: LB McLeod, Universal’s Aventura Hotel, Prime Value, Universal Orlando Resort, Double Queen Standard Room

You’ll say “Ahhhh” at Universal’s Aventura Hotel as you relax and experience a fresh and fun way to vacation. It’s modern and smart, yet vibrant and sleek. At this landmark within Universal Orlando Resort™, you’ll find yourself at home with open areas designed for sharing and gathering. The pool and amazing rooftop views at Bar 17 Bistro are relaxing sweet spots that will be calling your name after time in the parks.

Aventura Hotel Lobby – Courtesy of Vacations with Character®

Dining options are plentiful. Choose from Bar 17 Bistro to Bar Sol to Urban Pantry, the food hall where unique, high-quality restaurants come together offering a multitude of cuisines for your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. (TIP: try the salmon, it’s delicious!) And, for those who need their coffee fix, there’s even a Starbucks®. Great for families with tweens or for a friends/couples getaway, this resort will fill the need quite nicely – and without breaking your piggy bank.

3) Lowes Sapphire Falls Resort

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

What can we say about Sapphire Falls except we ♥ this resort! This hidden gem has a Caribbean-inspired theme that transports you to a paradise…and the invitation for relaxation is everywhere.

Every comfort has been built in including a luxuriously landscaped 16,000 square foot, resort-style pool surrounded by cascading waterfalls as its centerpiece. From the beautiful stone turret work in the lobby to the inviting island charm of the 1,000 guest rooms and suites, you’re surrounded by old-world chic, yet modern and timeless style…and you’re only steps away from the theme parks! TIP: the suites are amazing!

You can almost reach out and touch the theme parks from here as well! Look closely at the top left and you’ll see Hogwart’s Castle!

Aerial View of Lowes Sapphire Falls from Bar 17 Bistro at Universal’s Aventura Hotel – Courtesy of Vacations with Character®

Culinary options abound from Amatista Cookhouse, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to Strong Water Tavern, to the grab-and-go offerings at New Dutch Trading Co. You can also enjoy a menu of fresh seafood along with tropical drinks poolside. For those needing some pampering, there’s even 24-hour room service! From families to friends to couples, we recommend this resort for anyone. And believe it or not, it too is budget friendly!

4) Lowes Royal Pacific Resort

Lowes Royal Pacific Resort – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

Explore the island of comfort and sophistication at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Experience touches of paradises such as Fiji, Bali and Hawaii. From lush landscaping to the white sandy beach of the lagoon-style swimming pool, you’ll be surrounded by an exotic feel!

Feast in the Island’s Dining Room or Jake’s American Bar or savor sushi at Orchid Court. Bula means “welcome” in Fijian, and you will love Bula Bar & Grille, a casual poolside eatery featuring tropical drinks, sandwiches, and classic American items.  Tuk Tuk Market, the all-new lobby marketplace, offers coffee, breakfast items, pastries, and exclusive Tuk Tarts, plus hot and cold sandwiches, wok bowls, sushi to go, ice cream and gelato. At Royal Pacific, 24-hour room service is also available as well. We recommend this resort for anyone seeking a luxury vacation in a beautiful surrounding.

Royal Pacific Resort – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

5) Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal Orlando Resort – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

Take a trip to the stunning seaside village of Portofino, Italy without leaving the country at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. The stunning and luxurious rooms, authentic Italian specialties, and warm hospitality make your stay here a taste of what the Italians call la dolce vita – the sweet life. From the cobblestone streets to the outdoor cafes, you just may forget what country you’re in. Kids are not overlooked here as well. The kid’s suites are amazingly fun!

Portofino Bay Hotel, Despicable Me Suite – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

We recommend this resort for anyone seeking an upscale luxury resort vacation but you’ll have to wait to enjoy a stay here as it is currently closed.

Speaking of the sweet life, did you know by staying on property you’ll also receive exclusive theme park benefits? What can be sweeter than that?

Guests staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Lowes Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel or Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites enjoy  Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ one hour before the theme parks open along with complimentary shuttle service (or water taxi for Sapphire Falls guests) to and from the Universal Orlando® theme parks and Universal CityWalk® the dining and entertainment complex.

Guests staying at Lowes Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel® or Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel enjoy exclusive benefits including FREE Universal Express Unlimited™, which provides access to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida™ and Universal’s Islands of Adventure™. Plus, they receive Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Universal’s Volcano Bay™ one hour before the theme parks open. Staying at these resorts also means you’re within walking distance-or a short, complimentary water taxi ride-from the theme parks and Universal CityWalk™!

Questions? We’ve got answers…and tickets…and special offers available for your next amazing vacation to Universal Orlando Resort.  You can also read our blogs about the reopening and all of the safety features in place to keep you safe by starting here:

RELATED: 10 Tips To Experience Universal Orlando Resort

Ready to visit? There’s never a better time to plan your trip! Contact a Vacations with Character® Vacationista for a free quote for tickets or packages today, and let’s get you back to enjoying life and creating amazing memories with your family and friends!  Just visit us at: https://universalvacationplanners.com/

We look forward to hearing from you!

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.