Why Waiting for Epic Universe to Open is a Bad Idea

Epic Universe, debuting at Universal Orlando in 2025, will be amazing but here’s why waiting to visit Universal Orlando until then is a bad idea!
Epic Universe Entrance – Artist Rendering, compliments of Universal Orlando Parks and Resorts

With 5 NEW and exciting lands, Universal Orlando’s 4th theme park is sure to be beyond Epic. In fact, that may be an understatement! However, if you are considering a future visit, here are some things to think about.

Let’s go back in time to the excitement and hype when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter first opened. While it was a dream come true for Potter Fans, those days, weeks, and months after the grand opening were honestly not as magical for Muggles and little Wizards alike. Crowd levels were at capacity, attractions lines were hours looooong, and it was actually impossible to see and do much.

A quick Google search will produce tons of articles like this one showing how thousands of Guests waited in lines that stretched back to the entrance of CityWalk just to get into the parks:

Copyright: Atlanta Journal-Constitution article on opening day for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

Fast forward to 2025 and it’s easy to predict the popularity for Epic Universe will surely soar again. After all, we are not only talking about the addition of a new Wizarding World. Joining the land of the Ministry of Magic are 3 other new lands: Super Nintendo World, Dark Universe, and How to Train Your Dragon: Isle of Berk.

This is going to be a mind-blowing, game-changing enhancement to all that Universal Orlando has to offer and you can bet crowd levels are going to soar until the hype and newness wears off a bit.

Lucky for you, Dear Friends, there are choices to be made! If you count yourself among those who are too excited to wait or just want bragging rights to be among the first to visit Epic Universe, your wish is our command! Packages and tickets for 2025 haven’t been released yet but you won’t have to wait too long and we’ll be here to assist you!

However, if you haven’t crossed off a most magical visit to Universal Orlando’s current theme parks from your bucket list or if you wish to return to create more memories, you may want to do so this year while crowd levels are still manageable because once Epic Universe opens, we have it on good authority Guests will still be directed to ALL of the theme parks, which translates into higher crowd levels everywhere on property.

Here’s a few more compelling reasons to visit now vs. later:

1) Vacations with Character® LLC has SO many great deals to offer in 2024, including exclusive savings* of up to $1300.00 on a 3-park/5 night vacation package as well as special ticket offers to get you to the magic sooner! There’s never been a better time to SAVE! $$$

2) There are SO many fun and new things to see this year:

    • The adorable DreamWorks Land is officially open
    • CineSational: Symphonic Spectacular the all-new lagoon show has made it’s debut and it’s FANTASTIC!
    • Hogwarts Forever is not to be missed! This new nighttime projection on Hogwarts Castle tells the story of a student going through their first year at Hogwarts and plays nightly (it even has a few different endings)

3) Beginning July 3, the New Mega Movie Parade debuts. This spectacular new addition will feature 13 brand new floats, nearly 100 performers (dancers, skaters, stilt walkers, performers, and more), not to mention special effects.

4) If scary movies are your jam, don’t forget Halloween Horror Nights, the world’s premier event is also coming this Fall and it’s never too early to plan for this as well. In fact, private tours, which are the best way to experience this event, and tickets do sell out!

Last but not least…

5) There’s nothing like a visit to Universal during the holidays to put you in the spirit. Join the celebration of Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ all decked out in it’s finest; Enjoy huge balloons at Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s and it even snows — in Florida!;  Laugh along to the Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Holiday Decorations, courtesy of Robin Gantek and Vacations with Character® LLC

So, as you can see, there’s never been a better time to experience all that Universal Orlando has to offer! Epic Universe isn’t going anywhere and in the meantime, you can still enjoy THREE amazing theme parks at an incredible price!

*For more information, be sure to contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista and we’d be  happy to provide you with the best price possible for your vacation as well as all the details for special offers available to you for your dates of travel. We ♥ Universal and can’t wait to help you book a most magical adventure. Please visit us at: www.vacationswithcharacter.net or or www.universalvacationplanners.com

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

 

 

5 Holiday Offerings Coming To Walt Disney World

We are halfway to the most wonderful time of the year, and there really is no better place to celebrate the holidays than at The Most Magical Place On Earth! Check out 5 new and returning Holiday Offerings coming to Walt Disney World this year!

1. Disney Jollywood Nights is back!

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Get your holiday glam ready, because Disney Jollywood Nights is once again rolling out the red carpet! On select nights November 9 through December 21, guests can get holly and jolly for five festive hours from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. during this limited capacity, separately ticketed event.

* Get ready to gather on Hollywood Boulevard for a new dazzling skating spectacular set to favorite holiday tunes. Several times each evening, take in the grace and skill of international champion skaters in an awe-inspiring twist on the traditional ice show.

* This year’s event includes over 20 unique character experiences featuring both new and returning favorites. Reunite with beloved characters like Phineas and Ferb, Santa Duffy and Santa Stitch, and look forward to fresh new faces such as Bo Peep, Lotso, Baloo, and King Louie from TaleSpin. Don’t forget, Disney PhotoPass digital downloads are included in your event ticket!

* Returning culinary favorites – including that iconic Gertie cookie! – will be available alongside new treats. Upon exit, each guest will also receive one sweet treat created by Wondermade!

* What’s This? Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-Along, Disney Holidays in Hollywood, and Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

* The Holiday Fiesta en la Calle will move to Animation Courtyard, and there guests will be able to spot Jose Carioca and Panchito from The Three Caballeros! Meanwhile, The Twilight Soirée at the Tip Top Club located in the Tower Courtyard will have guests dancing throughout the night! Jazzy Holidays at the Hollywood Brown Derby will return – we recommend getting a reservation due to limited space. Stay tuned for more information on how to book in September.

Guests of select Disney Resorts hotels, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels and Shades of Green can purchase tickets starting on July 2. For all other guests, tickets will go on sale July 10. The dates for 2024 are:

  • November 9, 13, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30
  • December 2, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21

With more Saturday dates added, there are plenty of opportunities to join in the holiday fun. Don’t miss out on this swanky holiday celebration at Disney Jollywood Nights!

2. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Makes a Festive Return

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is just one of the holiday highlights that guests can experience during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The separately ticketed event also features dazzling stage shows, fireworks, complimentary sweet treats and so much more. It takes place on 25 select nights Nov. 9-Dec. 22. Now in its 40th year, the event has become a holiday tradition for families and kids of all ages. (Harrison Cooney, Photographer)

Nothing beats experiencing the joy and holiday spirit Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party brings to Magic Kingdom Park!

* Those delicious complimentary cookies and cocoa will be available throughout the party once again, making the evening even sweeter. Every night will be filled with festive cheer, from the beautifully decorated Main Street, U.S.A. to the enchanting holiday-themed attractions.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a limited capacity five-hour holiday event, kicking off November 8 and running on select nights through December 20 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Guests of select Disney Resorts hotels, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels and Shades of Green can purchase tickets starting on July 2. For all other guests, tickets will go on sale July 10.

The dates for 2024 are:

  • November 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29
  • December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20

Mark your calendars to experience the wonder and delight of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. There’s no better way to get into a magical holiday spirit!

3. EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

Holidays are a global tradition – and we can’t get enough of the sights, the sounds, and the sensational flavors at the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays starting on November 29 through December 30! Enjoy festive traditions from around the world with amazing holiday storytellers, delicious dishes, merchandise, entertainment and more, each celebrating unique cultural traditions.

* Get ready to satisfy the festive cravings at Holiday Kitchens. Located throughout the park and serving up a mouth-watering array of seasonal foods and drinks, there are delicious treats waiting for guests from around the globe.

* Fan-favorite, the Candlelight Processional, is returning. Listening to a celebrity narrator tell the Christmas story, accompanied by a full orchestra and mass choir, is such a moving experience—it truly captures the magic of the holidays. Keep an eye out on Disney Travel News for this year’s lineup of narrators.

4. More Festive Offerings Across Walt Disney World Resort

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

We’re thrilled to share that many favorite holiday offerings are returning to our parks and Disney Springs this season!

* At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, the enchanting Merry Menagerie of artisan-sculpted winter animal puppets will be back amidst the beautiful holiday décor. And don’t forget to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy in their festive attires!

* Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the yuletide projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel is making a comeback, and guests can catch Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear in their festive attire in Toy Story Land.

Debuting in 2023 at Magic Kingdom Park, “Frozen” friends from Arendelle are conjuring up something remarkable for the holidays. The new Frozen Holiday Surprise brings together Olaf and more than 100 of his Snowgie siblings who attempt to add festive decor to Cinderella Castle. With Anna and Kristoff at her side, Queen Elsa adds sparkling finishing touches, transforming the castle into a shimmering crystallized palace – a look that will remain each evening throughout the holidays. (Mariah Wild, Photographer)

* Magic Kingdom will once again host the “Frozen Holiday Surprise” in front of Cinderella Castle, featuring Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and the adorable Snowgies.

* Meanwhile, Disney Springs is the perfect spot for holiday shopping, with dazzling decorations and the popular Christmas Tree Stroll. And don’t miss the magical snowfall in Town Center—yes, snow in Central Florida!

* To put the bow on top, Santa Claus will be making appearances across all four parks, Disney Springs, and Disney Water Parks, where he’ll be donning his tropical holiday beachwear. Get ready to snap the perfect family portrait!

* Meanwhile, Disney Springs is the perfect spot for holiday shopping, with dazzling decorations and the popular Christmas Tree Stroll. And don’t miss the magical snowfall in Town Center—yes, snow in Central Florida!

5. Gingerbread Houses and Décor Galore

Staying at a Disney Resort hotel is an experience like no other, immersing guests in the same legendary detail, service, and storytelling found in the parks. Now picture that with Christmas trees, joyful decorations and the oh-so-delicious smell of gingerbread displays crafted by our world-class culinary teams!

To make it all even sweeter, starting on June 27 guests can save up to 30% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights from November 24 to December 25, plus, other savings for stays most Sunday to Thursday nights between October 6 to November 21. Guests can also get free Park Hopper option added to their tickets when they upgrade to a Walt Disney Travel Company package that includes a non-discounted 4-day or longer date-based ticket.

Whew – we can’t wait for the merriest time of the year at Walt Disney World. For more information, be sure to contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista for more information or to book a most magical holiday adventure: www.vacationswithcharacter.net

We’ll be sharing even more details as we get closer to the most wonderful time of the year!

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*All entertainment and offerings are subject to change.

For Resort Offer:  **Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Theme Park tickets and options valid for admission beginning on the date of check-in and must be used within a limited number of days, depending on ticket length. Visit Disneyworld.com/usage for more details.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Returns With Surprises

It’s Halfway to Halloween and Disney is sharing some spooktacular details for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in 2024!

Mickey’s not-So-Scary Halloween Party Parade – Courtesy of Disney Destinations

This year’s event kicks off Aug. 9 and will take place on select nights through Oct. 31 at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort. Tickets go on sale for guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels, and Shades of Green on May 8. For all other guests, tickets will go on sale May 15.

The dates announced for 2024 are:

  • August 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30
  • September 2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29
  • October 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31

It’s never too early to start planning for Halloween! Here’s what’s in store for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in 2024:

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

New costumes for Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse

Get ready to strike a scary pose! Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will greet guests during the Party in their brand-new neon spiderweb attire.

Courtesy of Disney Travel News

More Villains Sightings

From the moment this Halloween Party begins  guests will be able to spot their favorite sinister villains and ghoulish foes—and they might even get to take a selfie with them!

Guests can also ‘bust a move’ during the DescenDANCE Party and Talk about Bruno from “Encanto” as he joins Mirabel in the fun for the first time during the party at their Casita in Fairytale Garden.

New earlier start time for “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade”!

Gone are the days of Boo Bash! This year, the fan-favorite parade will take place a full hour earlier, at 8:15pm to be exact – perfect for those guests attending with little ones who want to enjoy the fun before it’s bedtime.

Fall is here and there is plenty of festive fun for guests to enjoy at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. From Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE to eerie-sistible merchandise, food and beverage delights and boo-tiful fall décor, there is so much to experience this autumn at the Most Magical Place on Earth. (Courtesy Disney Travel News: Courtney Kiefer, Photographer)

That’s everything that’s brand new, but what about what’s back for more tricks (and treats) this year?

Returning favorites include “Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular” fireworks show, hosted by Jack Skellington, the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” stage show, and trick-or-treating throughout the park. In addition, dance the night away and enjoy popular attractions with special Halloween twists, including Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Space Mountain, and Mad Tea Party. Fill a Halloween basket with M&M’S, Skittles, Snickers and more available at various trick-or-treating locations. And don’t forget to stock up on marvelous event-exclusive merchandise!

For those with a frightening sweet tooth, take a bite out of Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular Dessert Party, which includes fireworks viewing from Plaza Garden or Tomorrowland Terrace. Reservations for this experience open on June 7.

This is just the beginning of spooky season at Walt Disney World, so stay tuned for even more updates! And in the meantime, contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Travel Professional as it’s never too early to make plans for a stay at Walt Disney World to join in the fun! Tickets ALWAYS sell out early as well: REQUEST MORE INFORMATION

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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/

 

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.

 

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