Top 5 Reasons to Love Disney Cruise Line Vacations

You can visit some amazing destinations all over the world while only having to unpack once with Disney Cruise Line. Whether you are looking for a tropical getaway, an adventure to the scenic glaciers of Alaska, or a way to take in the history and culture of Europe, Disney Cruise Line can take you there. Outside of the incredible places that you can visit during your cruise, there are some unique features exclusive to Disney Cruise Line that make it a great vacation for the whole family.

Here are the top five things that we love about Disney Cruise Line:

  1. Castaway Cay: Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island paradise in the Bahamas. You get to stop here on all of Disney’s Bahamian and Caribbean cruises out of Florida. This island offers a family beach, adults only beach, kids club, two play areas, Disney characters, and so much more. Plus, most of the food and drinks are included with your cruise fare so you can enjoy the day without added expense.
  2. Food (and drinks): All of your meals, including room service, are included with your cruise fare. We’re not talking about basic theme park food, either. You can choose simple options like burgers or pizza for lunch, but your dinners are fine dining experiences. And who wouldn’t love the unlimited ice cream onboard?!
  3. Kids clubs: With special programming available all day and one-of-a-kind spaces designed just for them, chances are that your kids your kids won’t want to leave Disney’s Oceaneer Club or Lab! Your kids can pilot the Millenium Falcon on the Disney Dream, partake in the MARVEL Super Hero Academy on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, and Disney Fantasy, or join Anna, Elsa, and Olaf for Frozen fun on the Disney Wonder.
  4. Pirate Night: Exclusive to Disney Cruise Line, Pirate Night offers a themed dinner menu, unique programming, and the only fireworks at sea! With the whole family encouraged to dress up to partake in this special evening, it is a one-of-a-kind experience that only Disney can offer.
  5. Onboard Entertainment: There are special activities from morning until night on a Disney cruise and most require no additional cost. From character meet and greets (without the crazy lines in the theme parks), movies, Broadway-style evening shows, and more, you’ll never find yourself without anything to do on a Disney cruise.

There are so many things to love about Disney Cruise Line! What is your favorite part of a Disney cruise?

Seven Reasons to Stay at Universal’s New Endless Summer Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Surf. Sand. Endless Summer. That’s what we’re all about at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort. This resort consists of two totally free-spirited hotels, Surfside Inn and Suites & Dockside Inn and Suites, which make for the perfect theme park retreat.

Staying at either Surfside Inn and Suites or Dockside Inn and Suites will give you a seamless Universal Orlando vacation – complete with exclusive theme park benefits, including Early Park Admission – at our most affordable price point ever. Bring the entire family because these new 2-Bedroom Suites can sleep up to six people. Let’s dive in and see how these hotels will keep your summer fun going all year round.

Surfside Inn and Suites will surround you by the surf

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

You’ll feel like you’re one with the ocean at Surfside Inn and Suites, Universal Orlando’s seventh hotel in partnership with Loews Hotels & Co, opening June 27. As you make your way toward the check-in desk, vibrant surf and wave-like features will be everywhere you look. You’ll step across sand-colored flooring that transports you just below the surf. You can chill on the sea glass-inspired couches and gaze up at the light fixtures designed to resemble bubbles forming from the crash of the blue wave overhead.

You’ll find a shortboard surfboard in your suite

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

The moment you walk into your 2-Bedroom Suite at Surfside Inn and Suites, you’ll be greeted by a shortboard surfboard in a room filled with everything from colorful artwork to vibrant tie-dyed curtains, and details that give you that bright, open and serene feeling you get at the beach.

And, just like you would find at the beach, the 2-Bedroom Suites at both hotels also feature a charming picnic table for the whole family to gather around before heading out to one of our three theme parks. The best thing about these suites is that there is plenty of room to spread out! Up to six people will fit super comfortably in these rooms.

You can soak up the sun in a surfboard-shaped pool

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

You’ll be able to hang loose and chill at both resorts’ pools, but what’s extra cool about the pool at Surfside Inn and Suites is that it’s shaped like a surfboard. With a drink in hand, you’ll find this pool is the perfect place to keep your Universal Orlando vacation going.

Enjoy a beach break under the swell   

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

When you’re ready for some grub, head inside the hotel to refuel. Look up and you’ll find surfers trying to catch the perfect swell above the surface.

Dockside Inn and Suites will bring you back to the shore   

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Across the street at Dockside Inn and Suites – opening Spring 2020 – you’ll be surrounded by natural woods and colors that make you feel as though you’re hanging out on a pier. This hotel has a relaxed, calm and carefree vibe. The lobby’s driftwood features evoke the feeling of gathering around a sunset beach bonfire.

Suite decor includes a longboard surfboard

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

In the rooms at Dockside Inn and Suites, you’ll feel at ease lounging in the coastal aesthetic that includes wood finishings and sunset artwork. Inside the 2-Bedroom Suites, you’ll find an actual longboard surfboard. These rooms will definitely put you in relaxation mode as the sun begins to set – and forget having to pay for two connecting rooms because your entire family can stay together in these suites.

You’ll feel like you’re dining on a dock

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

At Dockside Inn and Suites, you can wind down with your crew in a dining area that stays true to the hotel’s laid back vibe, which will have you feeling like you’re sharing a meal along the shore.

These first-ever Value category hotels at Universal Orlando will have you riding the perfect vacation wave without stretching your wallet.

But staying at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort isn’t only about affordability. With exclusive theme park benefits, you’ll find your vacation bliss throughout your entire visit. You’ll wake up where the action is and enjoy theme park benefits like getting into the parks one hour before everyone else with Early Park Admission, convenient transportation to and from your hotel, the theme parks, Universal CityWalk, and more.

The casual sea-and-sand attitude of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort will be felt throughout both hotels.

Enjoy Behind-the-Scenes Access to “Rivers of Light” During Backstage Magic Tour

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

There is so much to see and do at Walt Disney World Resort, from exhilarating rides and attractions to spectacular shows and parades and more. But have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes to bring all that magic to life?

During the Adventures by Disney Backstage Magic Tour, Disney fans can get an up-close look at the artistry, technology and wizardry behind Disney’s world-famous theme park entertainment. And beginning in June, Adventures by Disney will offer a brand-new experience as part of this tour: behind-the-scenes access at Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s nighttime spectacular, “Rivers of Light“! 

This exclusive daytime visit takes guests backstage to visit a hidden marina where the animal and lotus barges are prepared for the evening performance. These Backstage Magic guests will be among the first to see the inner workings — and learn the mechanical and technological secrets — behind this incredible attraction! 

Guests will also enjoy a new private lunch at Tiffins Restaurant, featuring a special menu and fascinating insider stories about the creation of the park, starting in June. If you’re a fan of Animal Kingdom, then this is officially a “must-do” for you!

But what is the Backstage Magic Tour?

Expertly led by knowledgeable tour facilitators, this immersive Adventures by Disney experience allows guests to witness first-hand the magic and hard work that goes on behind-the-scenes at the theme parks. Highlights include backstage visits to…

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Epcot: Explore the inner workings of The American Adventure attraction as your tour facilitators reveal the feats of engineering and attention to detail behind this inspiring Audio-Animatronics stage show. (I don’t want to give anything away, but the only way to describe the technology here is “WOW!”)

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Creative Costuming: Observe the talented professionals who design costumes for character, show and parade performers at Walt Disney World Resort. Spoiler alert: It’s not all needles and thread! 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Central Shops: Explore the facility where engineers, mechanics and artisans develop and maintain all of your favorite attractions, including Audio-Animatronics, ride vehicles and elaborate stage sets. Not even the tiniest details go unnoticed here!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Magic Kingdom: Become immersed in the story that started with Walt himself as you navigate the “utilidor” tunnels, a network of underground passageways constructed beneath the theme park so Disney Cast Members can move around undetected – right beneath guests’ feet!

On the Adventures by Disney Backstage Magic Tour, guests visit Walt Disney World Resort Textile Services to unfold the secrets behind one of the world’s largest laundry facilities. (Disney)

Textile Services: “Unfold” an experience like no other within one of the world’s largest laundry facilities. Yes – at Disney, even the laundry is pixie-dusted! Don’t miss your opportunity to see this fascinating facility in action, an experience only available during the Backstage Magic Tour through the end of May.  

Ready to get your own VIP pass to see the magic backstage? Call 407-939-8687 or contact your travel agent to book the Backstage Magic Tour!

Top 5 Reasons to Add a Day at Universal to a Disney World Vacation

There are so many exciting things to see and do in Orlando that it can be hard find to do them all during one vacation! Although you may not need to spend a week exploring Universal Orlando Resort, it’s a great add on to a Disney World vacation! You can add a day at Universal to your Disney vacation to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, minions, Transformers, and more!

Here are the top five reasons why you should add a day at Universal Orlando Resort (or maybe a few) to your Disney World vacation:

  1. Harry Potter: The biggest draw for most families to visit Universal Orlando Resort is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It is the ultimate experience for any Harry Potter fan. You can walk the streets of London, ride Hogwarts Express, drink butterbeer at Three Broomsticks, fly with Harry, and so much more.
  2. Super Heroes, Dinosaurs, Minions, and More: Visit with all of your favorite super heroes at Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure, try the new Marvel Character Dinner, and feel the gamma rush on the Incredible Hulk coaster. You can explore Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure to get up close and personal with Blue at Raptor Encounter, watch a dinosaur egg hatch, and embark on a daring raft ride. You can become a minion on Despicable Me Minion Mayhem or enjoy breakfast with Gru, the girls, and minions. The Simpsons and SpongeBob Squarepants can also be found at Universal Orlando Resort!
  3. Volcano Bay: Universal’s new water theme park is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. From a relaxing beach to adventurous water rides, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and somewhere for everyone to cool off. The TapuTapu wearable allows you to even enjoy other attractions and activities in the park while you wait for your turn to ride!
  4. Thrill Rides: Universal Orlando Resort is full of thrill rides in all three of their parks! You can feel the rush of adrenaline on The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Revenge of the Mummy, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Krakatau Aqua Coaster, and more.
  5. Seasonal Events: Universal Orlando Resort hosts a number of seasonal events throughout the year, many of which are included with general park admission. You can celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal, Florida’s biggest party every February and March. Or, Rock the Universe with contemporary Christian artists in early February. Universal also hosts the nation’s premier Halloween event, Halloween Horror Nights. And, the whole family will love the holidays at Universal featuring Grinchmas, Universal’s Holiday Parade featuing Macy’s, Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and more.

We can help you add a day at Universal Orlando Resort to your Disney World vacation without the hassle of renting a car. You can learn more about our exclusive shuttle to Universal from any of the Disney World hotels here.

Top 5 Hidden Gems at Universal’s Aventura Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

18-33114 – AVH18 Preopening Still/Video Shoot – Architecture Resorts Pre-Opening Aventura

There are so many things to love about Universal’s Aventura Hotel, from the views 17 floors up at Bar 17 Bistro to all the convenient features of the in-room tablet.

Here are 5 hidden gems at Universal’s Aventura Hotel to discover that make it just plain cool.

  1. Walking Path to Volcano Bay
17-27295 VB17 Volcano Bay Assets 092617 Lifestyle, Cabana, Couples relaxing Universals Volcano Bay VB

Silence your smart watch’s notifications to keep moving and get in a few extra steps by taking the walking path from Universal’s Aventura Hotel to Volcano Bay. It’s less than a five-minute walk and with the added benefit of Early Park Admission one hour before the theme park opens, you’ll be able to pack even more fun into your day.

2. Sweet Treats

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

After a day of theme park hopping, treat yourself to a scoop of creamy gelato from Urban Pantry or better yet, take dessert up a notch with a gelato panini. Simply put, this decadent creation is a pressed warm sweet roll with a gelato center, served on a plate drizzled with chocolate sauce and topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Choose from a variety of delectable gelato flavors and satisfy your sweet tooth with this refreshingly different (and Instagram-worthy) treat!

3. VR Game Room

18-24850 AVH18 Aventura Hotel Lifestyle Still/Video Shoot 111318

Get your game face on in Aventura Hotel’s Virtual Reality game room, located on the second floor next to the fitness center. Enjoy another one of the hotel’s high-tech features while testing your skills at popular VR games like Fruit Ninja, Merry Snowballs or Space Pirate Trainer. Games can change, so be sure to stop by on your next visit to see what’s new!

4. In-Room Tablet

17-26071 AVT17 Adentura Model Room Shoot – Model Room LB McLeod, Universal’s Aventura Hotel, UAH, Hotels, Accommodations, Project 927, Resort, RES, Prime Value, Universal Orlando Resort, UOR, UO Double Queen

One of my favorite features at Universal’s Aventura Hotel is the in-room tablet. It allows you to do everything from adjusting the room temperature to ordering room service without getting out from under the covers. Need to wind down after a long day in the parks? Sign into your Netflix or Hulu account to stream your favorite shows on the room’s TV and don’t worry about signing out – your tablet will do it for you when you check out.

5. DJ at Bar 17 Bistro

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

When you’re done at the pool, head up to Bar 17 Bistro to take in the breathtaking sunset views of the Orlando skyline at Universal Orlando Resort’s first ever rooftop bar and grill. If the views and internationally-inspired menu aren’t enough to get you up to Bar 17 Bistro, the music definitely will. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, a DJ gets the party started with a mix of current and classic hits. After a Dew Point Hooligan (or two), you’ll be ready to bust out your best dance moves.

Discover all of these great features and more hidden gems at Universal’s Aventura Hotel and share some of your favorites below!

Disney Villains After Hours Event Held at Magic Kingdom Park This Summer

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Disney After Hours has been a huge success with guests looking for the opportunity to experience the magic at Magic Kingdom Park after the sun goes down. You now have a new reason to delve into the delights of Disney After Hours this summer – Disney Villains will add a wicked twist to Disney After Hours event nights June 6-August 8!

In case you aren’t familiar, Disney After Hours is a special event that’s open to a limited number of guests and offers low wait times at more than 20 attractions and experiences after the park closes to day guests, from classics like the Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain, to newer favorites like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, plus many more. Event tickets also allow entry as early as 7 p.m., which gives you time to enjoy fireworks before heading off to the attractions. Ice cream novelties, popcorn and select bottled beverages are also included in the cost of admission.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

This summer, Disney Villains After Hours will take on a wickedly fun villains theme, with exclusive entertainment, food & beverage, merchandise and more.

Here’s a taste of what new elements to expect:

  • A Brand-New Disney Villains Stage Show – Hades and Meg from “Hercules” will set the castle stage ablaze in this all-new stage show, Villains Unite the Night, which will also feature appearances by Jafar, The Queen, Dr. Facilier and Maleficent.
  • Spot Maleficent the Dragon – Maleficent the Dragon, with her Steampunk style and signature wicked grin, will be let loose for the first time at night – breathing fire as she creeps through the park as a one-of-a-kind experience for party guests.
  • Villanous Enhancements: Discover surprising, villain-inspired additions at Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain.
  • Wickedly Good Food & Beverage -A variety of special food & beverage offerings will also be available for purchase, including tasty desserts, drinks and dishes inspired by The Queen, Cruella de Vil, Maleficent, Hades, Dr. Facilier and even Emperor Zurg.
  • Event Merchandise – Event attendees can also purchase new logo merchandise, as well as items from a curated collection of the best Disney Villains merchandise available.
  • One Notorious Item to Note: Ever driven to stand out in their unpredictable and audacious fashion, while the Villains will be entertaining guests in the new stage show, they will not be participating in character greetings during the event.

If you really wanna get in on the action, feel free to show off your sinister side by dressing in attire inspired by your favorite baddie.

Disney Villains After Hours tickets cost $139 plus tax in advance, $144 plus tax on the event night. Annual Passholder and Disney Vacation ClubMembers can take advantage of a $30 discount and purchase tickets for $109. Tickets for these specific Disney Villains After Hours event nights will go on sale April 29.

Here are the event dates for Disney Villains After Hours:

  • Thursday, June 6, 2019
  • Thursday, June 13, 2019
  • Thursday, June 20, 2019
  • Thursday, June 27, 2019
  • Monday, July 1, 2019
  • Thursday, July 11, 2019
  • Thursday, July 18, 2019
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019
  • Thursday, August 1, 2019
  • Thursday, August 8, 2019

Heading to this year’s event? Be sure to share your experience with us using #VillainsAfterHours.

8 Things to Do at the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is one of my favorite annual events at Epcot! This beautiful annual event is included with your regular theme park admission so you can enjoy much of it without any added expense.

Here are 8 things you won’t want to miss at the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival:

  1. Character Topiaries: The “star of the show” is always the incredible character topiaries throughout the park. This year, you can find topiaries featuring Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Bambi and friends, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story pals, Captain Hook and Peter Pan, Mickey and the gang, and so many more!
  2. Outdoor Kitchens: You can try some unique food and drinks at seventeen outdoor kitchens scattered throughout the World Showcase. These snack sized samples are perfect for an afternoon treat or you can easily make a meal out of a few of them! Many feature fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden and there’s even a new spot this year offering food and beverages infused with honey. We highly recommend the frushi at Hanami!
  3. Garden Rocks concert series: This popular concert series brings 36 different artists to the park over 90 nights to perform three concerts nightly at 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8 pm. You can see a variety of genres covered by artists including Air Supply, Simple Plan, Steven Curtis Chapman, Lonestar, and more.
  4. Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration: This springtime scavenger hunt features Spike the honey bee and will take your family all over the World Showcase searching for him. You can purchase a map for $6.99 and then return it for a surprise which makes for a fun and inexpensive souvenir.
  5. Interactive Play Areas: Epcot has two new interactive play areas for the festival that your kids will love and can be a great break for them to burn some energy. Your kids can choose from Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Grounds or the Play Full Garden.
  6. The Goodness Garden Butterfly House: You can see and learn about butterflies up close in the butterfly house which is home to several different species. If you’re really lucky, you might even get to watch one emerge from a chrysalis.
  7. The Story of Coco: You can watch this new Coco-inspired show several times day in the Mexico pavilion. Folklorico dancers join the musicians of Mariachi Cobre to bring the story of Disney-Pixar’s Coco to life, with Miguel even appearing as a puppet.
  8. Guided Tours: There are four tours available in Epcot this spring- Gardens of the World, English Tea Garden, Royal Tea Garden, and Behind the Seeds. Gardens of the World is unique three hour tour to the Flower and Garden Festival that will help you see how these incredible character topiaries are brought to life.

The 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is happening now through June 3, 2019.

PS- Dates have now been confirmed for the other Epcot festivals happening later this year. The 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival officially returns August 29- November 23, 2019 and the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays will run from November 29 through December 30, 2019.

When is your next visit to Epcot?

Top 15 Moments You Must Experience at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

I personally think you should see it all when you come to Universal Orlando Resort. But knowing there’s so much to do, these are 15 moments you just have to experience at Universal when you come to the parks.

  1. That moment when you realize you’re going to Hogwarts castle

When I first stepped into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, my heart skipped a beat. The land is absolutely beautiful. When I turned the corner and Hogwarts castle was revealed, I definitely shed a tear. It’s truly amazing.

2. That moment when Optimus Prime says hello

What’s cooler than seeing your favorite Transformer give you a warm welcome as you step up to pose for a photo. Next to TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D is a photo opportunity to meet Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron.

3. That moment when you fly up in the air 185 feet

Doctor Doom’s Fearfall will have you screaming way more words than you even knew you had in your vocabulary. No fear of heights (or maybe a deathly fear of heights)? This attraction was built for you. The launch uses more thrust than a 747 jet.

4. That moment when you plunge down to escape a large T. rex

Jurassic Park River Adventure takes you on a lovely scenic water cruise where you come across some nice herbivore dinosaurs. All of a sudden, you’re taken off course and end up face to face with a HUGE T.rex before plunging 85 feet! It’s so awesome.

5. That moment when you finally meet Blue

Speaking of dinosaurs, did you know you can now meet Blue? At Raptor Encounter you’ll get to learn some interesting raptor facts about this clever girl. And if you’re brave enough, you can even grab a quick photo with her. Fun fact, kids can even sleep in their very own gyrosphere bed in our new Jurassic World Kids’ Suites.

6. That moment when you wake up and see a volcano through your window

Picture this… You walk into your room at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort for the first time and open the blinds to discover one of the most breathtaking views on property. Our Volcano Side rooms give a bird’s eye view into Universal’s Volcano Bay. Let me tell you, these views are absolutely out of this world. Plus, being a hotel guest gives you access to Volcano Bay an hour before the park opens for the day with Early Park Admission.

7. That moment when you come face to face with Kong

Are you brave enough to step foot into this mysterious island at Skull Island: Reign of Kong? Inside, you’ll encounter a few frightening creatures and prehistoric predators. But at the end of your journey, you’ll come face to face with Kong himself. This moment is definitely worth the trek.

8. That moment when you see a fire dancer at the Wantilan Luau   

You can’t miss this classic Hawaiian luau at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. The Wantilan Luau will have you dancing along with hula dancers and will have your jaw dropping at these fire twirlers. Shows are every Saturday evening starting at 6pm.

9. That moment when you step inside the tube at Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides

These body slides, at Universal’s Volcano Bay are sure to make your jaw drop when the floor disappears, sending you plummeting down intertwining tubes through the Krakatau Volcano.

10. That moment when you climb 90 degrees straight up on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

In my opinion, the most intense part of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is the moment you’re 90 degrees looking straight up at the sky, your stomach turning from anticipation. At least you have some music playing to ease your nerves.

Fun Fact: this coaster is 17 stories high, making it one of the tallest roller coasters at Universal Orlando Resort.

11. That moment when you take a bite of a donut as big as your head

This. Donut. Is. Amazing. It’s also the size of your head! You can find this giant pink-iced sprinkled donut in Springfield at Lard Lad Donuts. Calories don’t count on vacation… right?

12. That moment when you eat a sushi roll that’s actually a burger…

Two of my favorite meals are sushi and a good burger. At The Cowfish, my two favorite meals collide. You can literally eat what they call Burgushi. It’s either a burger made with sushi or sushi that’s actually a burger. It is all SO good.

13. That moment when you Hulk out

Shooting out of the tunnel and racing up to 67 miles per hour on The Incredible Hulk Coaster is INTENSE. And so much fun. This roller coaster has a total of seven inversions and will make you want to come back for more.

14. That moment when you see the Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon breathe fire

Sitting on top of Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, at the far end of Diagon Alley, is a massive fire-breathing dragon. One of my favorite moments is stepping foot into Diagon Alley and catching the dragon growl and blast fire out of its mouth.

Fun Fact: the fire out of the dragon’s mouth reaches temperatures of 3,560°F!

15. That moment when you take in the view from a rooftop bar

Universal’s newest resort hotel, Universal’s Aventura Hotel, just opened—and you’ll definitely want to check out Bar 17 Bistro, the hotel’s rooftop bar. This is the first rooftop bar at Universal Orlando Resort, and these views are absolutely incredible.

What’s your favorite experience at Universal Orlando Resort? Tell us in the comments.

Top 5 Things to Know About Memory Maker at Disney World

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

When planning your Walt Disney World Resort vacation, you’re probably focused on selecting your accommodations, adding your park tickets, and then determining which experiences you absolutely have to fit in during your visit. But one other important aspect of your vacation you’ll want to consider before arriving is how you’ll capture and preserve the memories you’ll make at Walt Disney World Resort. For many, Memory Maker is a great option. There are usually a lot of questions about Memory Maker and how it works so here are the top five things you’ll need to know about Memory Maker so you can decide if you need it during your Disney World vacation.

How is Memory Maker related to Disney PhotoPass Service? 
Disney PhotoPass Service has photographers stationed throughout Walt Disney World Resort ready to get your entire family in the photo and cameras ready to capture your experience at select attractions.

Memory Maker is a product offered by Disney PhotoPass Service. PhotoPass photos can be purchased individually, but when you purchase Memory Maker, you receive unlimited digital downloads of all your PhotoPass photos taken during your Memory Maker window for one price. So the more photos you take, the more value you receive!

Which Disney PhotoPass photos are included with Memory Maker? 
Anywhere Disney PhotoPass captures your photo during your Memory Maker window, you’re entitled to download that image as part of your active Memory Maker entitlement.

This includes PhotoPass photos taken at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Character Experiences, either Disney PhotoPass Studio, iconic locations such as in front of Cinderella Castle, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and all attraction and dining locations with PhotoPass capture.

Magic Shots, which add Disney Characters and other fun surprises to your photos after they’re taken, are also included with Memory Maker!

Does Memory Maker offer any exclusive photo opportunities?
While all guests can view attraction videos from Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror as well as Animated Magic Shots in their account, an active Memory Maker entitlement is required to download, save and share them. (And, remember that a MagicBand linked to your account is required for you to collect and view attraction videos)

Can my Memory Maker entitlement include my travel party’s photos? 
Absolutely! If you’re linked to others in your party through My Disney Experience Family & Friends and they choose to share their photos taken during your Memory Maker window with you, you’ll have the ability to download them. So, if you’re traveling with friends and family, only one party needs to purchase Memory Maker and then you can all share it!

When should I purchase Memory Maker?
Memory Maker can be purchased before, during or after your Walt Disney World Resort vacation. But when you buy early, you save: When you purchase three or more days prior to the start of your vacation, the price is $169. If you purchase during or after your vacation, the price is $199.

If you think Memory Maker is right for you, I would encourage you to purchase it prior to your vacation, as the less time you spend figuring out which photos you’re going to buy, the more time you have to make the memories, take another ride on Space Mountain, or enjoy a Dole Whip! Plus, that $30 discount leaves you a little extra spending money!

Have other questions? Let me know in the comments, or give the Disney PhotoPass Guest Support Team a call at 407-560-4300!

Memory Maker is subject to the applicable terms and policies available here. Includes photos taken during the applicable Memory Maker Window as defined in such terms (generally, photos taken (i) within one day for the One Day product or (ii) within 30 days from the date of first activation for standard Memory Maker). A MagicBand is required to receive certain attraction photos and other digital content. Online registration required. Disney PhotoPass Photos in your account will expire pursuant to the expiration policy available here. Downloads are restricted to personal use only. Not responsible for missing, lost or damaged photos. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Valid theme park admission required for certain photo locations.

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. She would love to help you plan your next vacation at no cost to you. Call her at 734-771-1290 or email her at siera@destinationsinflorida.com for your free, no obligation quote. 

Top 5 Best Character Dining Experiences at Disney World

There are so many great places to eat at Disney World! Whether you are a picky eater or a foodie aficionado, you will love most of the restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resort. Character dining is a great option for families with kids who want to see the characters without having to use a FastPass or wait in long lines in the theme parks.

Here are the five best character dining experiences at Disney World:

  1. Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort: We love just about everything about Chef Mickey’s! Chef Mickey’s has a HUGE buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with such a variety that everyone in the family is sure to leave stuffed! Plus, you get to eat with all of the fab five classic Disney characters- Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. This is also a great place to celebrate a birthday or special occasion!
  2. Garden Grill at Epcot: Situated in the Land pavilion in Future World, Garden Grill offers a relatively intimate character dining experience. With a smaller restaurant, characters tend to spend more time with families here and even make it back around to your table more than once. We also love the all you can eat meals served family style right to your table. With gooey cinnamon rolls for breakfast or a platter of meats for lunch and dinner, everyone in the family is sure to find something they love!
  3. 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: This is a great meal for the whole family, but especially little princesses. You can choose from breakfast with Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger or dinner with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drizella. The stepsisters are so funny and offer some really fun and funny interactions. (Tip: Be sure to try the strawberry soup!)
  4. Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: You can enjoy an expansive breakfast, lunch, or dinner buffet with Donald, Daisy, Mickey, and Goofy in their safari gear. Although breakfast is your standard fare, lunch and dinner offer some more unique, African-inspired options. (Tip: Book a late breakfast so you can try a bit from both the breakfast and lunch menu)
  5. Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Breakfast at Hollywood & Vine is one of the best meals for toddlers and preschoolers because you get to eat with the Disney Junior characters! This upbeat and exciting meal plays some of your little ones’ favorite Disney Junior songs while they meet Sofa the First, Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, and Roadster Racer Goofy.

What has your best character dining experience been?