Category Archives: Orlando

Top 5 Best Disney World Pools at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Many families plan a day off from the parks during a Disney World vacation to let the kids rest and relax. There are lots of great activities that you can enjoy like shopping at Disney Springs, horseback riding at Fort Wilderness, carriage rides through Port Orleans, and swimming at your hotel’s pool. With so many resorts to choose from, you may be wondering which Walt Disney World Resorts offer the best pools. Here is our list of our five favorite Disney World pools.

  1. Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club Resorts: Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort have the best pool at the Walt Disney World Resort. They share Stormalong Bay, a three acre “water wonderland.” Stormalong Bay features a lazy river, a pirate ship water slide (one of the tallest water slides at Disney, by the way), a sand-bottomed pool, beach area for the kids to build sand castles, and so much more. The whole family will love splashing and playing at Stormalong Bay.
  2. The Lava Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: The Lava Pool will let you feel like you’ve traveled to Hawaii for the day. Relax under the waterfall while the kids slide down the volcano themed water slide or play on the new tiki-themed water playscape that was built just for them. Plus, the Lava Pool offers a great view of Magic Kingdom’s nighttime fireworks spectacular, Happily Ever After!
  3. The Big Blue Pool at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort features the largest non-waterpark pool at Disney World, the Big Blue Pool! Your kids will love the Finding Nemo theme of the Big Blue Pool, complete with its own underwater soundtrack with voices of their favorite characters from the movie. There’s also a splash pad and zero depth entry in the main pool, making it a great choice for families with little ones on a budget.
  4. Fuentes del Morro Pool at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: The Fuentes del Morro pool at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is a pirate’s paradise centered around an old Spanish fortress. Swashbucklers of all ages will love the two water slides, water cannons, and zero depth entry pool while the littlest pirates can splash and play at the shipwreck themed water play area full of mini water slides, crow’s nest, and tipping bucket.
  5. The Dig Site at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort: The Dig Site at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is home to The Lost City of Cibola Pool and waterslide. The complex is centered around a 50 foot pyramid, resembling ancient Mayan ruins, with water rushing down the steps. You’ll also find the largest outdoor hot tub at Disney World here, with room for up to 22 guests!
The Lava Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

What are your favorite Disney World pools? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Thinking about a Disney World vacation? Call Siera at 734-771-1290 or email her at siera@destinationsinflorida.com today for help planning your Disney World vacation at no cost to you!

Top 12 Best Thrill Rides at Universal Orlando Resort

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Thrill seekers, it’s time to seize the day on your next vacation. Below are the top thrill rides at Universal that will make your heart rate spike during your visit to Universal Orlando Resort.

1. The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Let’s start this list with a Hulk Smash. The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’sIslands of Adventure has an intense launch and multiple exhilarating loops. This is a thrill seeker’s dream roller coaster and a cannot miss.

2. Krakatau Aqua Coaster

Krakatau Aqua Coaster at Universal’s Volcano Bay is an incredible technological achievement. This 4 person canoe slides through mists and will take you through Krakatau, the mighty fire and water Volcano.

3. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Yes, you can choose your favorite song. However, it’s all about the 90-degree climb into the sky on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. I rode this ride at Universal Studios Floridamultiple times to write this list, you know, for research purposes.

4. Jurassic Park River Adventure

“Hold on to your butts” because Jurassic Park River Adventure at Islands of Adventure has a T-rex, raptors, and an 85 ft evacuation drop.

5. Ko’okiri Body Plunge

Have you ever dropped straight down from a Volcano? This is your chance. Ko’okiri Body Plunge at Volcano Bay features a 70-degree angle descent via trap door. This is a real test of courage.

6. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall

One enormous drop for man, one giant launch to the sky for mankind. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall at Islands of Adventure is a glorious treasure. Not only is it fun, but the view from the top—185ft high, to be exact—is enough to make any thrill seeker’s must do list.

7. Ohno of Ohyah & Ohno Body Drop Slides

This drop slide at Volcano Bay does not disappoint when you are an adrenaline junkie. I recommend you don’t miss Ohno (purple) which is a higher drop then Ohyah.

8. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Now, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Florida has a tilt drop that will test your ability to not yell in fear, so this ride makes the list.

9. Honu of the Honu Ika Moana

Honu means Sea Turtle (blue slide) but don’t let that fool you—this ride at Volcano Bay is a rush. This is a multi-person raft so get a few of your friends and get terrified together.

10. Revenge of the Mummy

Revenge of the Mummy is an indoor coaster at Universal Studios Florida and is a fan favorite for a reason. You’ll encounter mummies, beetles, fire, and a curse (which, of course, is real)

11. Tai Nui of Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides

This body slide at Volcano Bay is the definition of a rush. This drop slide seats atop of the volcano sending you down fast before reaching the bottom for a glorious splash. Just remember Tai Nui (green) is my recommendation for anyone seeking extra excitement. The anticipation before you drop is what thrills are made of.

12. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

I know what you’re thinking, is Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls in Islands of Adventure thrilling? Well, one: “danger, dynamite.” Two: you WILL wet your pants.

So now it’s time for you to live your most thrilling life at Universal Orlando Resort.

Are you still reading? What are you waiting for? Let’s go!

Top Seven Places to Order Sushi at Disney World

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Sushi is a very popular food among guests of all backgrounds so if you’re a sushi lover, you may not want to go your entire vacation without any. There are a number of places where you can order sushi at Disney World, but today we’re going to share with you the top seven spots. It’s that small ball of vinegar-flavored cooked rice with fish (usually raw) or vegetables that makes sushi, well, sushi. Rolls count too.

  • Female sushi chefs are onstage at Tokyo Dining at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot, rolling out favorites such as the Fire Cracker Roll with tempura shrimp, a touch of jalapeño and Sriracha drizzle, or the Tropical Roll with salmon and avocado topped with fried plantain and mango-sweet chili coulis. You can be more straightforward with nigiri (raw salmon, scallops, sea bream and other fish) on a small ball of rice with a dab of wasabi. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
  • (Quick Tip- If you are just looking for a quick snack of sushi at Disney World, stop by the kiosk just outside of the Japan pavilion or even Katsura Grill!)

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

  • California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort counts sushi as one of its top appetizers (or we can make a meal of it). From a California Combo Roll with jumbo lump crab, avocado, cucumber and shrimp tempura to a snazzy Truffle-Scented Tofu Roll with avocado, jicama, quinoa, crispy fingerling potatoes, silken tofu and truffle emulsion, there are six inventive rolls on the menu. Dinner daily.
  • At Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Kona Island offers sushi for lunch and dinner in a casual setting in the upstairs lobby. We like the vegetable nigiri, six pieces of seasonal veggies on vinegar-flavored rice. Or try the Hamachi Tuna-Cilantro roll or classic California Roll with lump crab, citrus mayo, cucumber and avocado. Lunch and dinner daily.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

  • Disney Springs has two spots for sushi: Morimoto Asia and Splitsville. The chefs put on a dazzling show at the sushi bar at Morimoto Asia with favorites like the Spider Roll with tempura soft shell crab, spicy mayo, and asparagus; Eel and Avocado Roll, and the Spicy Salmon Roll. But the pièce de résistance is the Sushi and Sashimi Platter for four to six guests that includes chilled whole lobster, Alaskan king crab, oysters, shrimp, nine pieces of nigiri and 14 pieces of sashimi. Splitsville Luxury Lanes (yes, the luxury bowling lanes) has two sushi bars and offers 10 rolls – try the Ninja Crunch with fried salmon, krab, tempura crunch and salmon drizzled with spicy mayo and eel sauce. Both locations are open for lunch and dinner daily.
  • Kimonos at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel offers one of the largest selections of sushi at Walt Disney World Resort, with seven cooked sushi rolls and 10 raw sushi rolls. From tempura asparagus to a Cajun Roll with spicy crawfish, there’s something for every palate. Open daily for dinner (nightly karaoke too!).

Where is your favorite place to get sushi at Disney World? Let us know in the comments below.

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. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Interactive Wand Guide

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

So, you’re planning your trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

You have your robe…

Butterbeer…

and your interactive wand…

Wait, what do you mean you don’t have a wand? You don’t know where to get them? You know what they do though? What?! Okay, come with me and I will guide you along your journey.

What do the interactive wands look like?

Let’s start off simple, there are 22 interactive wands in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter inspired by the wands of your favorite characters from the Harry Potter film series.

Pretty awesome, right? And (in case you needed even more options) there are also interactive wands that are not based on a character and are instead unique to the witch or wizard’s personality.

Now that you are torn between 2 or 3 different wands, let me show you where you can find them in our parks.

Where do you go to find the wands?

In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, you can find interactive wands at Ollivanders

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

as well as Wands by Gregorovitch.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, you can find interactive wands at Ollivanders

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

as well as the wand cart on the path to Hogwarts castle.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

If you have the time, we recommend visiting the wand keeper in Ollivanders so you can witness the magic of a wand choosing its witch or wizard.

Wands can also be found at the Universal Store in front of Universal Studios Floridaand at CityWalk.

What do the wands even do?

Now that you have your interactive wand, you are now ready to cast spells all along your journey!

In total, there are 16 spells you can cast in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and 9 in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.

Inside your interactive wand box is a double-sided map that comes with the details of all the spell casting locations.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

At the location, a gold medallion shows wizards and witches where to stand as well as the correct wand movement for the spell.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

With some practice, you’ll be creating magic in no time. Here’s a quick glimpse of Reparo, one of the many spells you can cast. This charm fixes something that has been broken.

Now you’re all set! You’ve got your robe, Butterbeer, and an interactive wand! Which wand is YOUR favorite all throughout #WizardingWorldOrlando? Tell us on TwitterInstagramFacebook or in the comments below!

Four Dining Options, Five Stores, and More Planned for Batuu at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Disney has finally announced the dates that we’ve all been waiting for! Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland Park on May 31 and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 29, 2019!

Batuu is the home of Black Spire Outpost, the location you will visit when you arrive at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which has become a haven for the galaxy’s most colorful — and notorious — characters.

There will be several locations in Black Spire Outpost to satisfy the appetites of most rogue adventurers:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo – A multi-purpose transport shuttle docked on top of the large hangar will beckon guests into this fast-casual restaurant, a designated location for traveling food shuttles. Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs is in much demand for his culinary skills, so he moves from site to site in a modified Sienar-Chall Utilipede-Transport that becomes a mobile kitchen and restaurant – like an intergalactic “food truck.” His travels across the galaxy allow him to fill his pantry with exotic ingredients he uses to make new and unusual dishes inspired by the fare he created during his time working for Maz Kanata in her castle on Takodana. Now, “Cookie” is proud to share his cuisine with visitors at Tuggs’ Grub, a “traveling diner for diners traveling.”

Cookie’s food shuttle, now docked on the roof of the hangar bay, has lowered a series of pods into the hangar, carrying precious cargo – Chef Tuggs’ finest ingredients gathered from across the galaxy. Situated inside Docking Bay 7, other pods from Black Spire Outpost provide other produce, provisions, and equipment for all incoming freighters to the hangar. Guests may choose to dine indoors in the hangar bay or outside in a shaded courtyard.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will feature innovative and creative food and beverage offerings that enhance the immersive storytelling of the various dining establishments located in Black Spire Outpost. Throughout the outpost, guests will encounter familiar flavors but sometimes with unexpected and surprising colors and textures. The unique presentation takes Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo to the next galaxy.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

One of the new dishes that you’ll be able to try at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is the Ithorian Garden Loaf, a plant-based “meatloaf” that comes served with roasted vegetable mash, seasonal vegetables, and mushroom sauce.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Another hearty option at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is the Smoked Kaadu Ribs. These country sticky pork ribs come with a unique blueberry corn muffin and cabbage slaw.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Ronto Roasters – A recycled podracing engine fires up a spit of exotic meats, meticulously turned by a former smelter droid, 8D-J8. Guests can even sample some of the tasty Ronto fare.

Milk Stand – The place to go to get your farm-fresh blue milk or green milk, direct from Bubo Wamba Family Farms.

Kat Saka’s Kettle – One of the many street market stalls, this grain vendor sells the ever-popular Outpost Mix (sweet and salty popcorn snack with a hint of spice).

For those looking to purchase in-story Star Wars merchandise and rare finds from across the galaxy, you need to look no further than our many different Outpost stores and market stalls.

Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities – For those in the know, Dok-Ondar is the Ithorian you seek for selling and buying rare and uniquely-valued items from across the galaxy and spanning all eras.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers – Guests come to the workshop to meet with the Gatherers – a secretive group of people who have dedicated their lives to restoring balance in the galaxy by passing on their knowledge of Jedi lore and the Force. The workshop Master guides guests to customize and build their own unique lightsabers, and instructs them on the ways of the Jedi.

Droid Depot – Visitors to Mubo’s workshop can choose parts and construct their own individual astromech droids to accompany them on their journey, and then take them home with them.

First Order Cargo – A spaceport hangar bay serves as the temporary base and landing spot for the First Order. First Order officers have brought in crates of gear, uniforms and other supplies to win the hearts and minds of locals and visitors to Black Spire Outpost.

Resistance Supply – Resistance members and local sympathizers oversee a makeshift stall that supplies Resistance uniforms, pins, badges, hats, helmets, jackets, maps, tools, training supplies, food rations and other items.

There are also several market stalls which sell a variety of merchandise such as:

  • Toydarian Toymaker (toys)
  • Creature Stall (interesting critters that you can take home with you)
  • Black Spire Outfitters (clothing)
  • The Jewels of Bith (accessories and other trinkets to treasure)

What are you most excited to experience in Batuu?

Thanks Disney Parks Blog for sharing so many exciting new details about Batuu and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!

Complete List of the 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Menus

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Spring is upon us and that means the 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is about to begin! Starting March 6, join us for fun, flowers, and most importantly, FOOD! This year’s festival features 17 Outdoor Kitchens and several other locations through the park that will be offering delectable festival bites and libations.

Special dining packages are also available for the Garden Rocks Concert Series. This concert series runs for 90 nights and features over 270 performances by tons of popular artists. This dining package allows you to have either breakfast, lunch, or dinner at nearly any table-service restaurant in the park and grants you guaranteed seating at one of three concert performances that day. Be sure to reserve these early to savor every single minute! For more information and to make your reservations, visit the Garden Rocks Dining Packages web page.

I have to say, this year’s menus are incredible and you won’t want to miss out on any of these delicious bites! In addition to the returning Outdoor Kitchens like The Honey Bee-stro, the festival has four new Outdoor Kitchens this year: Arbor, The Citrus Blossom, Trowel & Trellis, and Flavor Full Kitchen! Fried green tomatoes, tuna tataki, blood orange aqua fresca, and grilled street corn on the cob are just a few of the new mouthwatering items featured on the menus. Check out these and all of the offerings on the 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival menus! The festival runs March 6–June 3, 2019.

(GF) Gluten/Wheat Friendly Menu Selections
(V) Vegetarian Menu Selections

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

ARBOR (Located at The Gardeners Terrace in The Odyssey Center)
Food:

  • Fried Green Tomatoes with Blue Crab-Fennel Salad, Remoulade, and Smoked Paprika Oil
  • Smoked Salmon Stack with Avocados, Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Caviar, and Focaccia Crostino
  • Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake with Apple Cider Sorbet (GF, V)

Beverages:

  • Original Sin Brewery Black Widow Hard Cider, New York, NY
  • Florida Beer Company Caribé Strawberry Rose Hard Cider, Cape Canaveral, FL
  • 3 Daughters Brewing Key Lime Apple Hard Cider, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Karbach Brewing Lemon and Ginger Radler Houston, TX
  • Seadog Brewing Company Sunfish Ale, Clearwater, FL
  • Shipyard Brewing Company Grind the Rind Watermelon IPA, Portland, ME
  • Cider Flight
  • Beer Flight
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

LA ISLA FRESCA (Located in Showcase Plaza East)
Food:

  • Jamaican-braised Beef with Pigeon Pea Rice and Micro Cilantro
  • Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut-Lime Sauce
  • Tropical Mousse Cake: Layers of Passion Fruit Cake, Coconut Mousse, and a Tropical Fruit Glaze with Fresh Pineapple

Beverages:

  • Simply Tropical Freeze (non-alcoholic)
  • Golden Road Brewing Tart Mango Cart Wheat Ale, Los Angeles, CA
  • Simply Tropical Freeze with Mango Rum
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

THE CITRUS BLOSSOM (Located near Refreshment Port)
Food:

  • Lobster Tail with Meyer Lemon Emulsion and Grilled Lemon (GF)
  • Tuna Tataki with Spicy Yuzu Glaze, Mango, Avocado, and Pappadam Crisp
  • Crispy Citrus Chicken with Orange Aïoli and Baby Greens (GF)
  • Citrus Shortcake: Orange Chiffon Cake, Lemon Curd, Mandarins, Whipped Cream, and Citrus Crumble (V)

Beverages:

  • Orange Cream Slushy in a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper (sipper only available while supplies last) (non-alcoholic)
  • Islamorada Beer Company Coconut Key Lime Ale, Fort Pierce, FL
  • First Magnitude Brewing Lemon Hefeweizen, Gainesville, FL
  • Heavy Seas Brewery TropiCannon Citrus IPA, Halethorpe, MD
  • Orange Sunshine Wine Slushy
  • Beer Flight
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

PINEAPPLE PROMENADE (Located near Refreshment Port)
Food:

  • Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Plantain Chips
  • Pineapple Soft-serve Ice Cream (V)

Beverages:

  • Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade (non-alcoholic)
  • Pineapple Soft-serve Ice Cream with Fanta (non-alcoholic)
  • Coastal Empire Beer Co. Coco Piña Gose, Savannah, GA
  • Maui Brewing Co. Pineapple Mana Wheat, Kihei, HI
  • SweetWater Brewing Company Goin’ Coastal IPA with Pineapple, Atlanta, GA
  • Playalinda Brewing Company Violet Lemonade Ale, Titusville, FL
  • Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Pineapple Wine, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Pineapple Soft-serve Ice Cream with Coconut Rum
  • Pineapple Beer Flight
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

THE HONEY BEE-STRO Hosted by National Honey Board (Located near Refreshment Port)
Food:

  • Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Purée, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey-blistered Grapes, Sunflower Brittle, and Coriander Flowers (GF, V)
  • Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, Charred Vegetables, Clover Honey Sour Cream, and Micro Citrus Greens
  • Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses and Petite Lavender Shoots (V)

Beverages:

  • Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze (non-alcoholic)
  • Goodwood Brewing Company Brandy Barrel Honey Ale, Louisville, KY
  • Florida Orange Groves Winery Orange Blossom Honey Wine, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze with Blueberry Vodka
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

FLAVOR FULL KITCHEN Hosted by AdventHealth (Located near the Honey Bee-stro Garden)
Food:

  • Citrus-poached Salmon with Ancient Grain Salad, Roasted Vegetables, and Citrus Greens (GF)
  • From the Garden: Roasted Beets, Cashew Cheese, and Micro Herbs with Lemon-Oil Dressing (GF, V)
  • Mickey Tart Peanut Butter Mousse with Strawberry Jam and Boba Pearls (V)

Beverages:

  • Blood Orange Aqua Fresca (non-alcoholic)
  • Cookie Butter Worms and Dirt (non-alcoholic)
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

REFRESHMENT PORT (Located near the Canada Pavilion)

  • Coffee-rubbed Pork Poutine with Barbecue Demi-Glace, Fire-roasted Corn Relish, and Cheese Curds
  • Stow Away Mary: Classic Bloody Mary with Vodka garnished with Pimento-stuffed Olives, Cherry Tomato, Celery, Jumbo Shrimp, and Smokehouse Jerky
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

NORTHERN BLOOM (Located in the Canada Pavilion)
Food:

  • Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette, and Apple-wood Smoked Bacon (GF)
  • Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, and Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables
  • Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato featuring Burton’s Maple Syrup

Beverages:

  • Maple Popcorn Shake (non-alcoholic)
  • Unibroue Éphémère Apple Wheat Ale, Chambly, Québec
  • Unibroue Blanche de Chambly Belgian White Ale, Chambly, Québec
  • Unibroue Lune de Miel Amber Ale, Chambly, Québec
  • Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky
  • Beer Flight
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

FLEUR DE LYS (Located in the France Pavilion)
Food:

  • Vichyssoise aux Concombres: Chilled Cucumber Vichyssoise Soup (GF, V)
  • Tarte au Chévre: Goat Cheese Tart with Caramelized Onions on a Flaky Pastry Crust (V)
  • Canard Confit à la Provençal: Braised Duck Confit with Tomatoes and Olives on Polenta
  • Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop (GF)

Beverages:

  • La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush: Vodka, Orange Vodka, Elderflower Liqueur, and White and Red Cranberry Juice
  • Kir Framboise: Sparkling Wine and Monin Raspberry Syrup
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Maison de France
  • Kronenbourg Blanc 1664
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

FLORIDA FRESH (Located between the France and Morocco Pavilions)
Food:

  • Carne Guisada with Black Bean Cake and Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream
  • Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish
  • Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue

Beverages:

  • Watermelon Cucumber Slushy (non-alcoholic)
  • Tampa Bay Brewing Company Twisted Strawberry Fest Fruit Ale, Tampa, FL
  • Big Top Brewing Company Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat, Sarasota, FL
  • First Magnitude Brewing Monarch Milk Stout, Gainesville, FL
  • Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Key Lime Wine, St Petersburg, FL
  • Watermelon Cucumber Slushy with Gin
  • Beer Flight
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

TASTE OF MARRAKESH (Located in the Morocco Pavilion)
Food:

  • Harissa Chicken Kebab with Dried Fruit Couscous Salad
  • Fried Cauliflower with Capers, Garlic Parsley, and Chili-Ranch Sauce
  • Walnut Honey Baklava

Beverages:

  • Casa Beer
  • Larroque Chardonnay, Meknes
  • White Sangria
  • Desert Rose: Sparkling Wine topped with Pomegranate Liqueur
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

HANAMI (Located in the Japan Pavilion)
Food:

  • Frushi: Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry, and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut, Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side (V)
  • Chilled Soba Noodle Salad with Pan-seared Tuna and Wasabi Dressing
  • Chicken Karaage with Nanban Sauce: Japanese-style Fried Chicken served on a bed of Shredded Cabbage and topped with a Soy and Vinegar-based Dressing

Beverages:

  • Kirin Draft Beer
  • Sayuri “Little Lilly” Nigori Sake
  • “Ichigo Sun” Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail with Sake, Strawberry Purée, and Lemonade

FUNNEL CAKES (Located in The American Adventure)

  • Key Lime Funnel Cake topped with Crumbled Graham Cracker and Whipped Cream
  • Lexington Brewing Company Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale, Lexington, KY
  • Short’s Brewing Company Local’s Light Lager, Bellaire, MI
  • Dogfish Head Brewery American Beauty Pale Ale, Milton, DE
  • Brooklyn Brewery Defender IPA, Brooklyn, NY
  • Golden Road Brewing Pineapple Cart Wheat Ale, Los Angeles, CA
  • 3 Daughters Brewing Hard Rosé Cider, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Beer Flight
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

THE SMOKEHOUSE: BARBECUE AND BREWS (Located in The American Adventure)
Food:

  • Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw
  • Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue, and House-made Pickle
  • Shredded Beef Brisket with Smoked Potato, Chorizo Fondue, and Green Tomato Relish
  • Warm Chocolate Cake with Bourbon-salted Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans (V)

Beverages:

  • Frozen Simply Lemonade (non-alcoholic)
  • Central 28 Brewing Company Sunshine Greetings Orange Hibiscus Wheat Ale, DeBary, FL
  • 3 Daughters Brewing Phantasmas Spicy Double IPA, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Shipyard Maple Bacon Stout, Clearwater, FL
  • Boneshaker Zinfandel, Lodi, CA
  • Frozen Simply Lemonade with Blackberry Moonshine
  • Beer Flight

FIFE & DRUM (Located in The American Adventure)

  • Short’s Brewing Company Soft Parade Shandy, Bellaire, MI
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

PRIMAVERA KITCHEN (Located in the Italy Pavilion)
Food:

  • Pizza Toscana: Rustic Italian Flatbread with Sweet Sausage, Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella, Asiago, and Parmesan Cheeses
  • Pomodori Verdi e Mozzarella: Fried Green Tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese, and Balsamic Reduction
  • Tri-colored Cheese Tortellini, Sage Butter, and Chicken Veloute
  • Zeppole: Ricotta Cheese Fritters, Powdered Sugar, Raspberry Sauce, and Chocolate-Hazelnut Drizzle

Beverages:

  • Peroni Nastro Azzurro Pilsner
  • Placido Pinot Grigio
  • Placido Chianti
  • Villa Sandi Prosecco
  • Montegrande Corbinello
  • Fior d’Arancio Montegrande Moscato
  • Bellini: Sparkling Wine and Peach Purée
  • Frozen Italian Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

BAUERNMARKT: FARMER’S MARKET (Located in the Germany Pavilion)
Food:

  • Potato Pancakes with House-made Apple Sauce (V)
  • Potato Pancake with Caramelized Ham, Onions, and Herb Sour Cream
  • Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese
  • Warm Cheese Strudel with Mixed Berries

Beverages:

  • Stiegl Brewery Radler Zitrone, Salzburg, Austria
  • Paulaner Original Munich Lager, Munich, Germany
  • Köstritzer Schwarzbier Black Lager, Bad Köstritz, Germany
  • Hugo Cocktail with Sparkling Wine, Elderflower, and Mint
  • Beer Flight
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

LOTUS HOUSE (Located in the China Pavilion)
Food:

  • Szechuan Spicy Red-braised Beef Shank over Rice
  • House-made Crab and Cheese Wontons
  • Vegetable Spring Rolls (V)

Beverages:

  • “Panda” Bubble Tea: Classic Milk Tea with Black and White Bobas (non-alcoholic)
  • Jasmine Draft Beer
  • Pirates of the China Sea: Dark Rum, Peach Syrup and Piña Colada Mix
  • Kung Fu Punch: Vodka, Triple Sec, Mango Syrup, and Orange Juice
  • Plum Wine Cooler
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

JARDIN DE FIESTAS (Located in the Mexico Pavilion)
Food:

  • Tlacoyo: Blue Corn Masa topped with Black Bean Spread, Ground Chorizo, Queso Fresco, and Mexican Cream
  • Beef Torta: Braised Beef served on a Crispy Sourdough Roll with Queso Oaxaca, Avocado, Pickled Onions, and Jalapeños in a Spicy Habanero Sauce
  • Tres Leches: Milk-soaked Sponge Cake topped with Cajeta Whipped Cream and Almond Powder

Beverages:

  • Cerveza: Allende Golden Ale Craft Beer served with a Liqueur Floater
  • Damiana Flower Margarita: Damiana Flower Liqueur, Blanco Tequila, Agave Nectar, and Citrus Juices served on the rocks with a Black Ant Salt Rim
  • Oaxacan Gin & Tonic: Smokey Gin, Black Currant Liqueur, Vermouth, Lime Juice, and Tonic Water
  • Rosé Sangria: Withers Rosé Wine, Tequila Blanco, Elderflower and Ginger Liqueur, Pineapple, Cactus Pear, and Ginger Juices
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

TROWEL & TRELLIS Hosted by IMPOSSIBLE Foods (Located near the Mexico Pavilion)
Food:

  • Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread (GF, V)
  • Farmhouse Meatball with Lentil Bread, Spinach, Marinated Vegetables, and Creamy Herb Dressing (V)
  • Chocolate Pudding Terrarium with Avocado Cream, Matcha Crumb, Pomegranate, and Baby Herbs (GF, V)

Beverages:

  • suja Organic Cold Pressed Juice: Noon Greens (non-alcoholic)
  • suja Organic Cold Pressed Juice: Vibrant Probiotic (non-alcoholic)
  • Bloomin’ Blueberry Lemon and Ginger Tea featuring Twinings of London (non-alcoholic)
  • Playalinda Brewing Company Tropical Wonderland Wheat Ale, Titusville, FL
  • Bloomin’ Blueberry Lemon and Ginger Tea featuring Twinings of London with Vodka served in a Mason Jar
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

TASTE TRACK (Located in Future World East)

  • Violet Blueberry Vanilla Croissant Doughnut
  • Berry Tea Mint Julep (non-alcoholic)
  • Berry Tea Mint Julep with Bourbon
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Sunshine Seasons (Located in The Land Pavilion)

  • Earl Grey Tea Cake with Orange-Honey Filling topped with Honeybell Tangelo Buttercream, Honeycomb, and Bee Pollen

JOFFREY’S COFFEE & TEA (Located throughout the park)

  • Future World East – Pedal to the Meadow: Frozen Cappuccino topped with Vodka and Kahlúa Liqueur
  • Near Canada – Cold Clover: Cold Brew Coffee with Irish Cream Syrup and topped with Irish Cream Liqueur
  • Near Disney Traders – Goose on the Loose: Frozen Passion Fruit and Vodka topped with Iced Tea
  • The American Adventure – Bee’s Buzz: Frozen Lemon and Coconut Syrup topped with Pineapple Rum

For more information, check out the 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival website.

Your Complete Guide to Meeting All of the Characters at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Advertising b-roll shoot. Despicable Me Interiors/Exteriors with characters.

One of the best parts of a Universal Orlando Resort vacation is never knowing who you might run into while roaming the streets. This complete guide to all of the characters at Universal Orlando Resort will help you know exactly where to find your favorite friends. Just think about how great your Instagram will look with all of these famous faces!

Discover the comprehensive guide to character meet-and-greets at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure below, plus some bonus character dining opportunities!

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Minions

The most mischievous guests you’ll find in Universal Studios Florida come to us straight from Illumination’s blockbuster Despicable Me franchise.

Pro tip: Minions love dance parties as much as they love mayhem!

Location: The exit of Despicable Me Minion Mayhem inside the Super Silly Stuff store

Welcome to Despicable Me Family!

Don’t miss out! Gru and his adorable three girls –Margo, Edith and Agnes—are here to join you for the most despicably delightful photo of your visit.

Location: Superstar Parade

Meet Vector

Gru’s archnemesis Vector wants to meet you (well, that and take his place as the world’s greatest super-villain…)

Location: Superstar Parade

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

The Simpson Family: Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa and Maggie 

We KNOW you’re ready for a run-in with America’s favorite family from the longest-running primetime scripted show in television history.

Location: Springfield, U.S.A. near The Simpsons Ride

Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob

Meet the mischievious clown and his sidekick… straight from The Simpsons television show, one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world.

Location: Springfield, U.S.A. near The Simpsons Ride

Knight Bus Conductor

Next to the Knight Bus, which stranded witches and wizards use for emergency transport, you can chat with the bus conductor and the talkative shrunken head hanging over the steering wheel.

Location: Next to the Knight Bus in London near The Wizarding World of Harry Potter –Diagon Alley

Gringotts Goblin

Before trading in your cash for Gringotts bank notes, ask him a question and see what he has to say.

Location: Diagon Alley inside Gringotts Money Exchange

Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron

One at a time, these stars of the Transformers movies will come out and actually talk to you.

Location: Production Central near the exit of TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D

Hashtag the Panda

Jimmy Fallon’s pal is here and ready to mingle.

Location: Inside Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, and Squidward Tentacles

They live under the sea, but they’re here to celebrate with you.

Location: SpongeBob StorePants in Woody Woodpecker’s Kid Zone; Superstar Parade

Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, and the Gang

Come find this crew whenever you need a mystery solved or a bad guy unmasked.

Location: Hollywood Blvd. near Brown Derby Hat Shop

Doc Brown

It’s time to go Back to the Future with this eccentric inventor.

Location: The entrance of Springfield, U.S.A. near the DeLorean, and Hollywood Blvd.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey

SomeBODY once told me this was the best place to say hi to Duloc’s finest.

Location: Production Central near Shrek 4-D

Lucille Ball

Tell Lucy just how much you love her.

Location: Hollywood Blvd.

Marilyn

Snap a photo with this starlet in her iconic white dress.

Location: Hollywood Blvd.; New York after the Marilyn and Diamond Bellas show

Beetlejuice

You don’t have to say his name three times, this guy just loves hanging out here anyway.

Location: Hollywood Blvd.near Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show

Betty Boop

You might also spot this classic cartoon bombshell.

Location: Hollywood Blvd.

Hello Kitty

You can never have too many friends! And she cant wait to meet all of you!

Location: Hollywood Blvd. near Hello Kitty Store

Mummy Guards

These tall performers serve up serious looks all day long.

Location: New York near Revenge of the Mummy

Penguins of Madagascar

These schemers are ready for their close up.

Location: Hollywood Blvd. near Garden of Allah

Dora, Diego, Boots, and Baby Jaguar

This crew from the popular kids’ show Dora the Explorer is always up for adventure.

Location: Superstar Parade

Barney and Friends

Come meet and sing-along with your favorite purple dinosaur.

Location: Woody Woodpecker’s Kid Zone near A Day in the Park with Barney

Cabby

There to welcome you into the park, this guy also takes photos in front of his bright yellow taxi.

Location: Universal Studios Florida entrance

Bonus: Universal’s Superstar Parade

One of the easiest ways to catch a ton of Universal characters is at Universal Studios Florida’s Superstar Parade. Every day, the streets of the park are transformed into a giant stage for interactive experiences with all of your favorites: SpongeBob SquarePants, Max and Duke from The Secret Life of Pets, Gru and the Minions, Dora and Diego, and more! Check your park map for times.

ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE

Hogwarts Express Conductor

The amiable conductor of Hogwarts’ famous train is here to greet you.

Location: Next to the Hogwarts Express right inside the entrance to Hogsmeade

Students of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang

The Triwizard Spirit Rally gives you a chance to meet these visitors from other wizarding schools.

Location: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade near Flight of the Hippogriff

Marvel Super Heroes: Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, and Rogue

Who doesn’t want to hang out with these heroes?

Location: Marvel Super Hero Island

Marvel Super Villains: Green Goblin, Dr. Doom

When the heroes are away, the villains come out to play.

Location: Marvel Super Hero Island

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Jurassic Park Raptors 

Experience Raptor Encounter! But be careful… these beauties bite.

Location: Jurassic Park

Po

Kung Fu Panda’s affable title character will show you some kung fu moves.

Location: Port of Entry

Puss in Boots

A friend of Shrek and Donkey’s, this swash-buckling kitten is ready for his close-up.

Location: Port of Entry

Alex the Lion

From the Madagascar films, Alex is a showman who will most certainly pose with you.

Location: Port of Entry

Betty Boop

You can also find this classic cartoon bombshell on this side of the Universe.

Location: Toon Lagoon near The Betty Boop Store

Popeye and Olive Oyl

Bring on the spinach. The sailor man and his sweetheart can pack a punch.

Location: Toon Lagoon

Dr. Seuss Characters: The Grinch, Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Sam I Am, and The Lorax

Spend some time with Dr. Seuss’s most beloved characters.

Location: Seuss Landing, after the Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear show

CHARACTER DINING

Want to do some extra schmoozing with your favorites? Or maybe you just want to ensure you get to meet the character of your dreams. Share a meal with Universal characters at one of the following dining events.

In-Park and Seasonal Character Dining require reservations.

In-Park Character Dining:

  • Marvel Character Dining
    Characters: Captain America. Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm and Rogue
    Dinner Thursdays – Sundays (5:00 – 7:00pm)
    Location: Cafe 4 in Islands of Adventure

Hotel Character Dining:

Put a little mayhem in your meal! No reservations required, but dining tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance.

  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort
    Characters from Despicable Me 
    Saturday Seating at 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am
    Location:The Tahitian room

Seasonal Character Dining:

And please note: appearance of characters listed is subject to change without notice, and not all characters listed are guaranteed to appear at the same time, or on the same day.

That’s it! All you need to know about the endearing cast of characters at Universal Orlando Resort. Who are you most looking forward to meeting on your next trip?

Top 14 Wizarding World of Harry Potter Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

There are too many must-do experiences at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that simply can’t be covered in a brief blog post. It’s one of those things in life that you truly have to immerse yourself in and experience for yourself.

There is so much to see and do that we have highlighted the top 14 must-do Harry Potter experiences for you to enjoy on your next visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.

And trust me, if you’re anything like me, you’ve been dreaming of these must-do experiences since you first read the book!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

1. Entering Diagon Alley.

There is something about that moment you first step foot into Diagon Alley and stand there in awe at something that can only truly be described as out of this world. When this moment happens, take your time, soak it in, and get your camera ready when you hear the Dragon on top of Gringotts Bank begin to rumble!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

2. Have a wand choose you at Ollivanders

Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC. The wand that chose me was a 11″ holly, phoenix feather core, relatively supple.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

3. Get fitted with house robes at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions.

Change out of those Muggle clothes and into some authentic wizardwear.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

4. Find a furry—or non furry—creature companion at Magical Menagerie.

Toad, owl, or cat? You can choose whichever you fancy.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

5. Stop by Quality Quidditch Supplies to pick up some house gear.

Whether on the field or in the stands, Quality Quidditch Supplies has everything you are looking for including brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, house sweaters, and more!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

6. Stock up on pranks at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.

Do you have a mischevious sibling that pranks you every chance they get? Well, you can pick up some pretty great pranks at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes to help even the score.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

7 .Exchange your Muggle money for wizarding currency at the Gringotts Money Exchange.

A REAL exchange with a goblin for some Gringotts™ bank notes. Easy enough, right?

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

8. You know at some point you’ll need to visit the vaults in Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts…

…but be careful, I’ve heard escaping is impossible.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

9. Pass through the brick wall to Platform 9 3/4 and board the Hogwarts Express.

Get ready to journey to Hogwarts on the Hogwarts Express! Certainly the ideal way to transport yourself from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade and back again.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

10. Honeydukes is a surefire way to cure your sweet tooth!

Honeydukes is an ideal first stop in Hogsmeade. Not sure which colorful sweet to try first? I highly suggest you try the delicious Chocolate Frogs, each box also includes a special card celebrating a famous witch or wizard.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

11. Pick up some letter writing supplies at the Owl Post.

Don’t forget to pen your friend back home – they’re sure to appreciate a letter, especially one with a special Hogsmeade postmark!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

12. Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts castle as you enter and experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Wander around the halls of the castle like a true Hogwarts student. Look carefully, there may be some hidden gems only a true fan would notice!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

13. Missing anything? Head to Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods.

Filch is always sticking his nose in Hogwarts students’ business. But hey, by raiding his confiscated goods you can find some really great items.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

14. My ideal way to end a magical day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter—Butterbeer at Three Broomsticks.

Personally, I love a mug of cold Butterbeer at the end of a long day. Did you know there are 6 Butterbeer treats in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

Make sure to share your The Wizarding World of Harry Potter must-do’s on TwitterFacebook or Instagram with #WizardingWorldOrlando.

Top 7 Reasons to Visit Mardi Gras 2019 at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

If you love catching countless beads from vibrant parade floats, eating delicious authentic N’awlins style food and listening to some of the biggest names in music then Mardi Gras 2019 at Universal Orlando is the place for you.

The best part Florida Residents? You don’t have to fly to New Orleans to have that authentic Mardi Gras celebration because it’s right in your backyard.

1. Live Concerts with Some Of The Biggest Names In Music

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

First and foremost, on select nights, you can watch some of the biggest names in music take to the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios Florida for unforgettable performances including…

  • February 9 – BUSH
  • February 16 – Gavin DeGraw
  • February 17 – Dan + Shay
  • February 23 – Macklemore
  • March 2 – Sabrina Carpenter
  • March 9 – Becky G
  • March 10 – Sean Paul
  • March 16 – Steve Miller Band
  • March 17 – Ziggy Marley
  • March 23 – NF
  • March 24 – Pitbull
  • March 30 – Bazzi
  • March 31 – To be announced

*Blockout dates apply for Seasonal Passholders on all concert event nights at Universal Studios Florida. You will still receive access to Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Insider TipHead over to the Music Plaza stage early to get up close and find a nice spot in the grass for the nightly concert. Visiting with a group? Take turns grabbing your fill of N’awlins inspired food & spirits for the best picnic ever.

2. Universal Mardi Gras Parade

Get ready to unleash your wild side with this year’s parade theme –– Party Animals! You will experience returning fan-favorites and new vibrant floats with lively characters decorated in animals from around the world including the jungle, arctic, swamp and more.

Passholders can also enjoy the parade from a special viewing area in front of Mel’s Drive-In™. Don’t worry! No matter where you’re viewing the parade from, be prepared to catch beads by the handful.

Interested in riding and tossing beads from the Mardi Gras parade floats? Passholders can sign up for a chance to be a Mardi Gras float rider with up to five guests! Visit the sign-up page here

Insider Tip: Love catching and collecting Mardi Gras beads from the parade floats? Make your way towards the Horror Makeup Show to catch both the beginning and the end of the parade.

3. Dig Into N’awlins Style Delicious Food

Make your way to the French Quarter Courtyard located in the New York area, loosen up your belt and get ready to try a wide variety of mouthwatering bite-sized Cajun favorites including jambalaya, shrimp gumbo, Andouille sausage, sugary-sweet beignets, and more!

Visit the Mardi Gras Food Guide for more mouthwatering details.

4. Refreshing Mardi Gras Drinks

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Quench your thirst with our refreshing Mardi Gras themed specialty beverages, featuring slushies, a wide variety of craft beer selections and delicious cocktails including the Ragin Rumbalaya, Carnival Cocktail and Vicious VooDoo. 

Stay tuned for more mouthwatering details.

Must be 21 years and older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages.

5. Live Entertainment and Performers

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Visit the French Quarter Courtyard and join in the Mardi Gras celebration as you encounter stilt walkers, dancers, colorful parade characters and more wandering the streets.

Don’t forget, not only do the Mardi Gras characters carry extra beads, they love to interact with you and take photos. So make sure your camera is handy and don’t be shy to ask for a photo.

6. Big Easy Tunes in the French Quarter

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Now that you have a full stomach and a drink in hand, stick around the French Quarter to hear the signature sounds of these authentic Big Easy bands.

  • February 9 – 17: Dirty Bourbon River Show
  • February 18 – 27: Naughty Professor Brass Band
  • February 28 – March 18: Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister
  • March 19 – April 4: New Breed Brass Band

7. Have The Time Of Your Life!

Whether you’re coming for a day of family-friendly fun, or to wild out with friends, start the countdown now and for a limited time, take advantage of great Universal Orlando Annual Pass Deals to help throw the party and get up to 6 months FREE.

Get ready to find your inner party-animal with us at Mardi Gras!

Tell us about some of your favorite experiences at Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2019 in the comments below. And make sure to share your Mardi Gras 2019 moments on TwitterFacebook or Instagram with #UniversalMardiGras.

Reservations Now Available for Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Gran Destino Tower opens this summer, and sitting atop this grand new expansion to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood. The unique restaurant will offer a menu featuring dishes and small plates inspired by the flavors of Spain. Guests of Toledo will enjoy a surrealistic rooftop dining experience along with classic tapas, steaks, seafood, and delightful desserts.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

An on-stage tapas kitchen will serve charcuteríá and cheeses as well as pintxos (small plates) and cazuelas (soups). House boards include a cured meat selection, an artisanal manchego cheese selection, and a grand platter of signature artisanal meats and mixed cheeses.

The pintxos selections feature an array of items like Salt Cod-stuffed Piquillo Peppers with goat cheese and toast, Olive Oil-poached Tuna, and Tortilla de Día wrapped in jamón serrano. Cazuelas include options such as Shrimp Pil Pil, Charred Octopus with romesco and chimichurri, and Rioja-braised Chorizo with field onions..

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

If you’re looking for larger appetizers, you can enjoy several selections including Heirloom Tomatoes with stone fruit and farmer cheese, Jamón Serrano with compressed melon, and Savory Churros.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

For the entrées, guests can enjoy Wine-braised Chicken and steak lovers can savor the Hanger Steak with crushed new potatoes or the Manhattan Filet. There’s also the Rib-Eye For Two – an aged, hand-cut 32-ounce Spanish chuletón for two.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The restaurant will serve 100% sustainable seafood with options such as Scallops with hummus, olives, and roasted carrots and Golden Tile Fish with petite potatoes and cauliflower. There’s also a creative plant-based take on a seafood platter that includes mushroom scallops, calamari, and ceviche as well as hearts of palm crab cake.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

For a sweet ending to your meal, try one of several unique signature desserts created by Disney’s Master Pastry Chef: Classic Crema Catalana with Valencia oranges and chocolate tuile, “Café con Leche” Choux with dark chocolate mousse and vanilla “nata montada,” and “The Toledo Tapas Bar” – a progressive bite-sized sweet tasting, tapas style, featuring a crunchy chocolate bar with bite-sized flavors of Spanish coffee mousse, chocolate cake, “frambuesa” raspberry mousse, and lemon curd. Kids can also enjoy Mickey-shaped raspberry mousse topped with yummy strawberries.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

There’s even a plant-based dessert option on the menu. The Chocolate Avocado Mousse with strawberry-basil sorbet and coconut crumble is a decadent option that you definitely won’t want to miss out on.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The beverage menu shines the spotlight on Spanish and California wines with over 75 selections hand-selected by our Master Sommelier. Other drinks include handcrafted cocktails such as the “Gin Tonic” with house-made saffron tonic and sangria as well as beers and ciders from Spanish and American Craft Breweries, a selection of non-alcoholic artisanal cocktails, and dinner beverages showcasing Spanish coffees, brandies, and dessert wines.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Reservations are now open for Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood for bookings starting in July, when Gran Destino Tower opens at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. For more information and to book reservations, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website or call 407 WDW-DINE (407 939-3463).

For more information and to book hotel reservations for Gran Destino Tower, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website or call 407-W-Disney (407 934-7639) or your travel agent.