Halloween Horror Nights Returns Earlier Than Ever

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT’S HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS RETURNS EARLIER THAN EVER THIS FALL – RUNNING FOR 48 SELECT NIGHTS BEGINNING AUGUST 30 THROUGH NOVEMBER 3, 2024

Halloween Horror Nights 33 Returns in late August 2024
Exciting News!

The horror begins earlier than ever before,  at every corner of Universal Studios Florida. Beginning today, you can secure your spot for the screams! Select tickets and packages are now on sale for the ultimate fall getaway with adrenaline-pumping thrills of Universal’s theme parks by day and the terrifying chills of Halloween Horror Nights at night.

What is Halloween Horror Nights?

Every fall, guests from all around the globe brave their worst nightmares coming to life at Halloween Horror Nights – consistently named the world’s premier Halloween event.

Are There Family Friendly Options?

Due to the intensity of this event, it is not recommended for children under the age of 13. However, daytime events have been incorporated in years past. Read about past offerings in our blog!

What’s New This Year?

A chilling new collection of 10 all-new movie-quality haunted houses, inspired by cinematic greats and created by the twisted minds of Universal’s Entertainment team. Plus, five scare zones will also be filled with hundreds of menacing creatures who will reign the streets of Universal Studios Florida.

And in between the screams, you can enjoy an energetic live show, fuel up for the next round of scares with sinfully delicious food and beverage inspired by the event’s haunts. You’ll also want to shop the latest merchandise at the highly-themed Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store as well as enjoy some of Universal Studios Florida’s most exciting attractions.

Scare Zone at Halloween Horror Nights
Ticket and Package Information:

Single-night event tickets and Express Passes for Halloween Horror Nights are available for purchase now. You can also stay, scream and save up with a special vacation package that includes one-night admission to the event and accommodations at a Universal hotel located just minutes from the haunts.  Savings vary based on length of stay and this package is available for purchase now through November 2 for use from August 30 to November 3, 2024.

It’s worth noting Universal Orlando hotel guests receive exclusive benefits including access to a dedicated Halloween Horror Nights gate for faster entry into the event. Early Park Admission to the theme parks during the day plus complimentary resort transportation are also amazing perks.

10 Movie-Quality Haunted Houses Created by the twisted minds of Universal’s Entertainment Team Will Terrify Guests at HHN 33

Halloween Horror Nights upgrades are also available for purchase now, including the guided, nighttime R.I.P. Tour experience where you’ll receive priority V.I.P. access to the haunted houses. There’s also a tour called Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror that offers a glimpse into how the scares are brought to life via a daytime, lights-on journey through select haunted houses. For guests who can’t wait to peek at what’s in-store this year, there’s also a limited, three-house Behind The Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour available for purchase for select days starting Aug. 11.

Photo property of Vacations with Character® LLC

Don’t hit a dead end!  For more information about this event, request a free, no-obligation quote from Vacations with Character® LLC, a Universal Orlando Preferred Travel Agency: Halloween Horror Nights 2024 and Beyond

Additional details about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood will be revealed soon. Event dates include: August 30-31; September 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29; October 2-6, 9-13, 16-20, 23-27, 30-31; November 1-3.

Never go alone.

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.

DreamWorks Land Details Revealed

This summer, Universal Orlando Resort will debut DreamWorks Land – a vibrant new themed environment inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s beloved characters Shrek, Trolls and Kung Fu Panda.

As soon as guests step into the spectacular new land, the vivid world and imagination of DreamWorks Animation will surround them as they embark on exciting adventures like exploring Shrek’s Swamp just outside of his 35-foot-tall cottage, taking a ride on a dazzling Trollercoaster, interacting with Po in the Panda Village and meeting favorite characters like Gabby from Gabby’s Dollhouse. Guests will also discover unique treats, photo-op-worthy murals, interactive play areas, splash pads and entertainment offerings themed to popular DreamWorks stories and characters. 

Here’s the full run down about the enchanting and playful new experiences coming to DreamWorks Land:

SHREK
Like ogres and onions, guests can peel back layers of fun in Shrek’s oasis to discover “ogre-the-top” adventures at every turn.


Shrek’s Swamp Meet: Guests can visit Shrek’s Swamp Meet to interact with beloved characters Shrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey, the noble steed eager to joke around and converse with guests, just outside of Shrek’s cottage.

Shrek’s Swamp for Little Ogres: This ogre-sized play area features four fun slides, wet play areas and a playground where guests can climb, bounce and splash around as well as venture into Shrek’s outhouse.

Mama Luna Feline Fiesta: The blockbuster film, Puss in Boots 2: The Last Wish, comes to life with this new interactive experience that takes place in Mama Luna’s retirement home for cats. Here, guests get to play with Mama Luna’s many cats on vivid interactive screens activated by buttons, bells, maracas and levers. They might even spot the one and only Puss in Boots himself.

King Harold’s Swamp Symphony: Guests can create their own melodious masterpiece as they trigger a choir of ever-changing frog ribbits by continually stomping on an array of interactive lily pads.

Swamp Snacks: Families can feast like an ogre at this new kiosk, which will serve scrumptious snacks inspired by Shrek, including Shrekzel, Far Far A Waffle, Frozen Ogre and more.

TROLLS
A magnificent fountain featuring favorite Trolls characters Poppy and Branch sits at the center of the Trolls Village where “fantastamazing” energy flows and guests can relax and “find their happy place.”


Trolls Trollercoaster: After strolling through a dazzling marquee starring cherished Trolls characters Poppy, Viva, Tiny Diamond, Satin and Chenille, guests of all ages can take a ride on the iconic Caterbus escaping evil spiders as they speed along a bright orange and yellow track aboard this family-friendly rollercoaster.

Poppy’s Playground: Nestled under a giant, 20-foot mushroom is Poppy’s Playground – a shaded play area featuring colorful flowers and bugs with a bountiful array of fun bouncing and climbing structures for the youngest of trolls.

Trolls Treats: Poppy’s boombox from Trolls Band Together has been transformed into a playful kiosk that offers up brightly colored Trolls ice cream treats inspired by Poppy and Branch like the pink lemonade-flavored Poppy-licious Pink and huckleberry-flavored BroZone Berry.

High Five Hideaway: Cloud Guy hosts this all-new retail location featuring the latest merchandise including apparel, plush and accessories from Shrek, Trolls, Kung Fu Panda, Gabby’s Dollhouse and more.


KUNG FU PANDA
Guests embark on thrilling and fun adventures alongside the lovable panda Po from the action-packed world of the Kung Fu Panda movies.

Po’s Kung Fu Training Camp: Inspired by the hit Kung Fu Panda films, this all-new play area brings the Panda Village to life like never before. Within both wet and dry play areas, guests have the opportunity to help the pandas wash and dry their laundry with enormous water cannons, dump buckets, giant fans and more. Guests will also encounter fun elements throughout the experience, including an interactive gong, mischievous, giggling baby pandas, and oversized merry-go-round noodle bowls from Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop.

Po Live!: This digital, interactive meet and greet experience gives guests the opportunity to interact with the famous Dragon Warrior himself as he teaches them cool Kung Fu moves, cooks some delicious stir fry and babysits his little cousin, Ling Ling…all at the same time.

DreamWorks Land will also feature additional opportunities for guests to meet and interact with beloved characters through extraordinary live entertainment, including:

DreamWorks Imagination Celebration: Popular DreamWorks Animation stories leap off the screen and come to life in DreamWorks Imagination Celebration. The multisensory adventure combines hit pop songs, high-energy dancing, advanced technology, and more to create an imaginative party atmosphere that will transport guests to the worlds of their favorite characters within the all-new DreamWorks Theater.

DreamWorks Character Zone: At DreamWorks Character Zone, guests can meet, greet and interact with their favorite DreamWorks characters like Gabby from Gabby’s Dollhouse and more.

There are so many fun events, like the family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration, to wonderful updates such as the addition of Minions Land at Universal Orlando Resort! For more information or to book your adventure, contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista today! https://universalvacationplanners.com/

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

 

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/

 

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!

 

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. 

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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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