Category Archives: Florida

Three Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2018 at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

With 2018 fading quickly in the rearview mirror, it’s time to consider where you want to be when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve 2018.

Across Universal Orlando Resort, there will be some amazing celebrations. From midnight toasts to confetti showers, the festivities across our parks and hotels will make this a night you won’t forget.

Here are three ways you can ring in the new year at Universal Orlando:

1. Party It Up at Universal Studios Florida

Make your way to Universal Studios Florida as the Music Plaza Stage and Central Park areas transform into rockin’ party zones. You’ll enjoy live music, appearances by some of your favorite Universal Orlando characters and – of course – essential New Year’s Eve party favors. Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration will light up the night just before amazing pyrotechnic displays and showers of confetti mark the start of a new year. The best part is New Year’s Eve celebrations at Universal Studios Florida are included with your theme park admission or Annual Pass, which are now available with up to six months free.

2. Experience EVE at Universal CityWalk

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Looking for an upscale New Year’s Eve party? Check out EVE at Universal CityWalk. Designed for guests 21 and up, this separately-ticketed event includes unlimited gourmet cuisine, live bands and DJs – including a performance by DJ M-Squared – access to six CityWalk clubs, plus Orlando’s largest outdoor dance floor. The only time you won’t be dancing is at midnight, when we’ll pause for a champagne toast and a breathtaking pyrotechnic display. Tickets for EVE are now on sale – learn more and purchase your tickets before December 15 for $30 off!

3. Celebrate at Our On-Site Hotels

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Some of Universal’s on-site hotels also join in the fun, providing a mix of unique dining options, live entertainment, midnight toasts and even balloon drops. Highlights include Hard Rock Hotel’s “Rock-In 2018!” event (where we’ll tune in via satellite to watch the Times Square Ball Drop) and Jake’s “Best of 2018” Beer Dinner at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Click here for details on hotel events and special ticket offers.

Whether you prefer to dance the night away or mark the occasion with a fine dining experience, your ideal New Year’s countdown celebration is bound to be at Universal Orlando.

2018 Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Begins November 9

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

The 2018 Holidays at the Disneyland Resort begins Nov. 9, transforming the Happiest Place on Earth into the merriest! From tasting tidings to spirited entertainment, here is what we are most excited to experience:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

“A Christmas Fantasy” Parade at Disneyland park: “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade is a Disneyland holiday tradition! Whether it’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse offering yuletide greetings, Santa Claus with his prancing reindeer or Disney Princesses dancing at the Candlelight Ball, everyone has a favorite part of this classic parade. As we get ready to welcome back “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, the last day to experience “Pixar Play Parade” will be Nov. 4.

Festive Food Marketplaces at Disney California Adventure park: As part of the Festival of Holidays, the delicious mix of holiday dishes and beverages found at the Festive Food Marketplacescelebrate diverse cuisines, cultures and traditions. Come hungry! To make way for Festival of Holidays, “Paint the Night” parade will conclude its limited run on Nov. 7.

“Believe…in Holiday Magic” fireworks at Disneyland park: In the evening, spirits will soar during the awe-inspiring “Believe…in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular. This returning favorite culminates with a magical snowfall finale—a truly special wintry treat!

Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party at Disney California Adventure park: As part of the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! holiday celebration, a colorful street party comes to life with musicians, dancers and giant mojiganga puppets. The Three Caballeros—Donald Duck, Panchito and José Carioca—lead a jolly, joyous celebration!

Seasonal Decor at the Disneyland Resort: Where ever you look, the sights, sounds and tastes of holidays will put you right into the spirit! The halls will certainly be decked—from the glistening Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle at Disneyland park to the gussied up sparkle along Route 66 in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park.

Which experiences are you most looking forward to this year during the 2018 Holidays at the Disneyland Resort? Tell us in the comments!

Sebastian’s Bistro Opening October 8 at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Life under the sea is pretty great, so Disney is bringing it to the surface and inviting you to be part of the Caribbean world with Sebastian’s Bistro at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort! This casual, family-friendly table service restaurant features a menu that blends Latin and Caribbean flavors with market-fresh ingredients served up with warm island hospitality and waterfront views.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

With a diverse variety of items that range from seafood and steak to salads, sandwiches, and burgers, the menu balances classic spices with tropical flavors to create bright, fresh tastes. Start off your meal with a tasty appetizer such as the Caribbean Pull-Apart Rolls (served with guava butter, mango chutney, and Jamaican jerk oil), Jamaican Meat Pies with Guajillo chili sauce, or the Arepa with slow-cooked pork and chili-mango barbecue sauce.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Signature entrées include Skirt Steak “Chimichurri” with crispy yuca, Citrus-Stuffed Sustainable Whole Fish with turmeric brown rice and cilantro-lime vinaigrette, and Sautéed Shrimp and Tamales with sautéed peppers and salsa verde. You can also try the Crab Cake-topped Burger with lettuce, tomato, and horseradish mayonnaise or the Crispy Avocado Bacon Burger with chimichurri and pico de gallo.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

The menu also includes several vegan options such as the Island Curry “Eggless” Sandwich served on multigrain bread and the Plant-Based Bahn Mi Sandwich with cucumbers, pickled vegetables, and Miso-Sriracha mayonnaise.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

For dessert, tropical fruit flavors elevate these decadent dishes. Mile Marker Zero, inspired by the culture of Key West, features Iced Key Lime Pops with sea salt and tropical sauce. Then there’s the Banoffee Pie with banana custard and chocolate ganache served in a graham cracker tart with caramel sauce as well as the Floating Island Sundae with fresh Caribbean fruit, meringue, guava, and Guanabana sorbet. YUM!

The kid’s menu features unique but familiar fare with entrees like Whole Grain Penne with zucchini and roasted tomato sauce, Jerk Grilled Chicken, Grilled Shrimp Skewer with Cilantro-Lime Cream, and a Jamaican Meat Pie. Sides include items such as sautéed green beans, mac and cheese, pizza biscuits, cauli-fries with carrot ketchup, and more!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Looking for a refreshing drink to pair with your meal? There’s tropical island-inspired beverages for everyone in the family! From refreshing non-alcoholic fruity and frozen mocktails to island-inspired cocktails with Caribbean rums, you won’t have to look far for that perfect pairing. Customize your own rum flight or browse a selection of Caribbean and domestic craft beers, or sit back and relish wines that complement the Latin flavors of the menu.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

When you step into the dining room, you’ll see how Sebastian’s Bistro celebrates the natural beauty of the Caribbean, from coral patterns and kelp filigree to lure-inspired art and nautical designs. All around the restaurant, you’ll enjoy abstract artwork and underwater landscapes, and you might even see a familiar crustacean floating about! Located in the Old Port Royale area, the restaurant blends perfectly with the lush landscapes and vibrant colors that can be found throughout Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, which transports guests to a paradise full of fun and relaxation.

So are you ready to try out this menu for yourself? Then I have good news! Reservations are now available for Sebastian’s Bistro for bookings starting on October 8 and can be made by visiting the Walt Disney World Resort website or by calling (407) WDW-DINE (407 939-3463).

21 New Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort You Can’t Miss

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

If you haven’t noticed, Universal Orlando Resort has gone through a lot of changes. Whether it’s ride upgrades, new attractions, or even an entirely new theme park, there’s a lot that’s waiting for you. As you plan your trip, here are 21 new experiences at Universal you MUST experience during your next visit.

1. Catch the Ragtime Gals at Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon in Universal Studios Florida

Insider Tip: There are two different Ragtime Gals performances you can experience.

2. Chill with the Carnictis at the Skull Island: Reign of Kong Queue in Universal’s Islands of Adventure

I’m pretty sure it doesn’t bite.

3. Sink Your Toes into the Sand of Waturi Beach at Universal’s Volcano Bay

BYOS: Bring Your Own Sunscreen

4. Get Your Rum on with Over 70 Different Rums at Strong Water Tavern at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Insider Tip: There’s an official Strong Water Tavern rum that’s low-key legit.

5. Gear Up for a High-Octane Experience at Fast & Furious – Supercharged in Universal Studios

Gotta live life a quarter mile at a time.

6. (Attempt to) Finish a Shake at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen in Universal CityWalk

It’s more of a feat of will than anything.

7. Explore the Interactive Desks While You Wait to Race Jimmy Fallon

The games are pretty addicting tbh.

8. Two Words: Butterbeer Fudge at Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Yep. It really does exist.

9. Get Hulk-a-fied on the Newly Renovated The Incredible Hulk Coaster in Islands of Adventure

It’s legit amazing.

10. Find All of the Tapu-Tapu Activations Throughout Volcano Bay

I’d give you a hint but where’s the fun in that?

11. Relax at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort’s 16,000-Square-Foot Pool.

They’ve got poolside activities, hot tubs, a waterslide and more.

12. Brunch it up at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen

You can thank me later.

13. Compare Your Strength with the All-New Marquee at The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Hulk’s probably got you beat.

14. Meet Hashtag the Panda at Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

You can almost feel the rhythm standing next to him.

15. Look Out for the Locals Within Skull Island: Reign of Kong

They’re not too welcoming to tourists.

16. Check Out the Unique Merchandise and Treats at the Hello Kitty Store

Insider Tip: Some of their merchandise has cute nods to Universal characters.

17. Quench Your Thirst with Volcano Bay’s Exclusive Drinks

Try. The. POG.

18. Meet Professor Doctor Penelope Tibeaux-Tinker Toothsome – The Woman Behind the Restaurant

Don’t forget about her robot friend, Jacques.

19. Experience the wonder of The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

My jaw seriously dropped when I saw this.

20. Take a Musical Journey into the Caribbean with Caribbean Carnival at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Get ready to limbo.

21. Amp Up Your Style with Some Fast & Furious – Supercharged Merchandise.

Game of cards, anyone?

You can check out ALL there is to do here.

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, Universal Studios Travel Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, & 2012. She would love to help you plan your next Universal Orlando 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.

Centertown Market and Banana Cabana to Open Late Fall 2018 at Caribbean Beach

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney has recently shared some exciting (and tasty) new details about the expansion of Centertown Market as well as a festive, pool-side bar called Banana Cabana at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort!

First up is Centertown Market – this quick-service restaurant has been expanded and reimagined as an indoor street market. The new and inviting space includes open shutters, wooden light posts, awnings, and most importantly, delicious new eats. The new menu at Centertown Market will include a combination of family-friendly fast casual offerings mixed with customizable Latin and Caribbean-inspired dishes. One of the highlights of the menu is the new Island Bowl available for breakfast and dinner.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

These bowls can be customized with your choice of base, protein, sauce, and if you’re ordering a breakfast bowl, you can even choose what kind of egg you want on top (scrambled, poached, or tofu scramble). Bases include red beans and rice (offered all day), home fries (for breakfast), and greens (for dinner). For proteins, choose between rotisserie beef, bacon, chorizo, or plant-based sausage for breakfast and rotisserie beef, pork shoulder, banana leaf-wrapped fish, jerk chicken thighs, or vegan chipotle seitan for dinner! Breakfast sauce options include salsa verde or pico de gallo, while the dinner sauces include chimichurri, garlic ranch, or spicy pink sauce. With all of these options, there are over 30 different combinations to choose from for both breakfast and dinner!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

On the breakfast menu are classic dishes like Eggs Benedict or the All American Breakfast Platter with eggs, home fries, sausage, bacon, and toast as well as island-inspired creations like Coconut Waffles with fresh fruit or the Banana Pancakes topped with granola and pineapple chunks and served with sausage and maple syrup.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Fresh salads, Sicilian-style pizza, pasta dishes, and a variety of sandwiches and burgers round out the dinner menu to provide a little something for everyone in the family!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

If you’re craving something sweet, try the Tropical Tart with key lime, mango, and passion fruit curd with Chantilly or the Chocolate Crème Tart with chocolate cake, coffee Chantilly, and caramel crispies.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

There’s also a wonderful array of options for kids! They’ll enjoy some familiar favorites like Pirate Mickey Waffles and French Toast for breakfast and Chicken Breast Nuggets, Tacos, and Grilled Cheese for dinner. For the adventurous little sailors, our chefs created some unique new offerings like the Egg Popper for breakfast (a hard-boiled egg pop with green pirate juice, roasted pineapple, and bacon) and the Beef and Mushroom-blended Cheeseburger for dinner (with “cauli” fries, orange sauce, and a mini “build-your-own” Island Bowl).

The expansive beverage island will offer fountain beverages featuring Coca-Cola® Freestyle, freshly-brewed coffee, and a variety of teas as well as draft beer and single-serve wine and cocktails. Or you can step inside the Grab ‘n Go Market, where you’ll find delightful specialty coffees and quick bites to-go.

Now – let’s talk about the Banana Cabana! This pool-side bar will feature an outdoor lounge where your family can gather for some yummy food and refreshing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The lounge is inspired by the festive culture found in the Caribbean, mixing a relaxed sitting area with a lively bar. Cabana-style drapes flank the seating groups and re-purposed steel drums will illuminate a central communal table made from a wooden boat.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

It’s always “island time” at Banana Cabana, and what better way to immerse yourself in those tropical vibes than with exclusive cocktails made with premium spirits and Caribbean seafood and mainland dishes. Delightfully-flavored libations include the Pink Guava Colada featuring rum, guava puree, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut and the Kraken Punch with spiced rum, blood orange sour, and pomegranate and orange juices. Caribbean beers will also be available for islanders along with a variety of craft and traditional beers and premium white and red wines on tap.

For non-alcoholic options, adventures await you with drinks made with fruit juices and tropical flavors. One of these drinks is the Tropical Paradise, a fruity blend of pineapple coconut, cinnamon, and lime dusted with nutmeg.

Centertown Market and Banana Cabana are set to open in late Fall of 2018 and are part of the greater reimagining of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

Start Planning your 2018 Holiday Vacation at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

There’s no better way to beat the heat of summer than to dream of cooler weather and start planning a 2018 holiday vacation. Here are 6 reasons why it’s never too early to plan for the Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort, November 17-January 6.

1. Christmas Cheer and Hot Butterbeer

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

During the summer, nothing beats a cold or frozen Butterbeer. But during the holidays, hot Butterbeer is a seasonal favorite for witches, wizards and Muggles alike. Grab a cup and cozy up as you watch special holiday-themed shows from the Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. Admire the festive window dressings as you stroll through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. When the sun sets, witness The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle – a wonderous nighttime projection light show in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.

2. Balloons That Make Anyone Feel Merry

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s brings out the child in all of us. Gaze upon larger-than-life balloons and incredibly detailed floats as more than 100 choreographed performers take part in this family-favorite parade. Minions from Illumination’s Despicable Me, fairytale characters from Shrek, and wild animals of Madagascar come together for this celebration of epic proportions.

3. Steal Christmas and Your Family’s Heart

Who-liday joy is all around during Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The centerpiece of the celebration is the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular” – a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” You can even meet some of the Whos and snap a photo with the Grinch himself. For breakfast with a side of malarkey, make reservations to attend a character breakfast with The Grinch at Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous.

4. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock

What’s Christmastime without music? Performing on select nights, Mannheim Steamroller takes over the Music Plaza Stage at Universal Studios Florida to fill the air with the sounds of the season. With their modern take on classic holiday hits, you’ll get into the holiday spirit in no time.

5. Home Away from Home for the Holidays

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The on-site resort hotels at Universal Orlando pull out all the stops for the holidays with festive décor, tree lightings, yummy treats and holiday activities. From cookie decorating and carolers to visits with Santa, there is seasonal fun for the entire family to enjoy.

6. The Best Party of this Year—and Next

The celebration continues into the new year. Dance the night away on Orlando’s biggest outdoor dance floor with a live DJ as you party your way into 2019 during EVE at Universal CityWalk. Enjoy signature cocktails and unlimited cuisine as you rock out to live music at some of Universal CityWalk’s six party zones and lively clubs. The evening culminates with dazzling fireworks and a champagne toast at midnight. Note that this is a separately ticketed event for guests ages 21 and older.

Planning to spend the holidays with us? Be sure to check out the Holiday Stay and Play Package, which includes $100 savings on travel from November 17-January 6, plus:

  • 5-Night Hotel Accommodations
  • 3-Park, 5-Day Base Ticket to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure AND Universal’s Volcano Bay
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay one hour before the park opens (valid theme park admission required)
  • Access to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk

Click here for full details and restrictions.

Come celebrate the holidays with your favorite characters and create special memories that will last a lifetime. Start planning now for a #HolidayLikeThis to give your family the gift of holiday magic.

Top 5 Tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Fall arrived early at Magic Kingdom Park this year so it’s time for one of my favorite events of the year, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween PartyMagic Kingdom Park is transformed with glowing jack o lanterns, family-friendly frights and grinning ghosts. But when you combine unlimited candy, lively parades, dazzling fireworks, and characters galore it could be a bit overwhelming for preschoolers. My advice for a spooktacular, stress-free night is to plan, pace and embrace the wicked festivities. Here are a few tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party:

1. Get a game plan. What are the must dos? Is the goal to score candy, watch Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Parade, ride the attractions, or all of the above? Be aware of times for fireworks, shows, character meet and greets and the parade. Arrive early to get prime viewing for the earlier parade. (To avoid any meltdowns, prep your little one about the haunting headless horseman who leads the parade down Main Street, U.S.A., or just skip that part.)

2. Check the weather. If temperatures are soaring, be prepared to shift gears from that fancy princess gown and heels, to a lightweight costume or Halloween-themed t-shirt paired with a themed light-up necklace instead. The kids may put up a fight, but in the end, they will be comfy and happy!

3. Get a head start. Although 7 p.m. is the official start time for the party, you can actually arrive as early as 4 p.m. with your special event ticket. Venture to favorite attractions, indulge in a yummy candy corn milkshake or ice cream cone, and be among the first inside the party to partake in Halloween fun.

4. Dance the night away. The new Storybook Circus Junior Jam dance party features Disney Junior stars like Vampirina and Doc McStuffins. Kids will love to rock out with their pals and burn off some energy!

5. Indulge in the treats. With more than a dozen trick or treat locations scattered throughout the park it’s tough to monitor the sugar intake. Note that there are healthy treats to behold as well as a dedicated allergy-friendly stop, just in case. (But if you are looking to score a big haul of candy bring your own sack or bucket.)

Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party in advance, as space each night is limited. (There is a savings of $10 per ticket when you purchase in advance for most nights!) For more information, visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/magic-kingdom/mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party/ or call (407) WDISNEY (934-7639).

19 Magical New Experiences at Disney World in 2019

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Now, more than ever it’s time to start planning your 2019 Walt Disney World Resort vacation, because there will be more to see, do, taste and experience here next year than ever before! Whatever your passion for Disney, there’s a big dose of pixie dust waiting for you at all four parks.

Love Mickey and Minnie Mouse? Want to get wild with “The Lion King”? Feel like playing with your Pixar pals? Or maybe live music is your thing? All this and more will be waiting for you next year. Here’s a glance at 19 limited-time and new experiences at Disney World in 2019 to look forward to!

Starting January 18, 2019…

1. In honor of the true originals, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebrationwill bring new music, dancing and all sorts of other fun to Magic Kingdom Park.

2. For starters, the new “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party” at Magic Kingdom Park will invite you to dance with Mickey, Minnie and their pals in front of Cinderella Castle. Shake it along with live singers belting out new arrangements of classic “Mickey Mouse Club” songs.

3. The Dapper Dans and other entertainers on Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park will sing songs in honor of Mickey and Minnie.

4. Look for special Mickey- and Minnie-themed merchandise and food at Magic Kingdom Park to make this party complete.

5. And this is a Surprise Celebration, after all, so you can expect more Limited-Time Magicentertainment and other experiences to pop up periodically around Magic Kingdom Park.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

6. The Incredibles are coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as Pixar Place will transform into a Metroville city block.

7. At the end of the block, a party will be held in honor of Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible and Frozone to celebrate their Super deeds.

8. Meet the one and only Edna Mode – the greatest super suit designer! She will set up a special location on Pixar Place showcasing some of her best creations (no capes!).

9. Also on Pixar Place, look for clues to the whereabouts of the youngest Incredible, the mischievous and multi-powered Jack-Jack.

10. Elsewhere at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a door to the monster world will open inside Walt Disney Presents, where you’ll have a chance to meet Mike and Sulley from Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

11. Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Lion King” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom along with Timon and Rafiki in the “Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party” on Discovery Island. Let your inner animal roam free on the dance floor in this raucous party!

12. Also at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, have fun posing in front of special three-dimensional photo opportunities re-creating scenes from the animated classic.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

13. The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is back! This year’s special event takes place Jan. 18 – Feb.25, allowing you to indulge in world-class culinary, visual and performing arts.

14. The Disney on Broadway Concert Series is expanding to seven days a week during the Festival of the Arts, so you’ll have even more opportunities to experience some Disney musical magic live on stage.

And later in the year…

15. Welcome spring’s arrival with the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, returning March 6 – June 3 with its wide selection of delectable bites at outdoor kitchens and dozens of Disney-themed topiaries blooming around the park.

16. Even better, this year’s Garden Rocks Concert Series expands, as well, to seven days a week during the Flower & Garden Festival, which means a total of 270 concerts over the course of the 90-day event.

17. Ka-Chow! Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy rolls into Disney’s Hollywood Studios in spring 2019. In this new show experience, you’ll come face to face with Lightning and learn from his years of experience on the track.

18. Outside the Racing Academy, you’ll get to meet Lightning McQueen’s speedy pal, Cruz Ramirez.

And finally…

19. If you haven’t visited Walt Disney World Resort recently, then there’s even more for you to explore and experience. Become an honorary toy at Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, travel to the bioluminescent planet of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or wish a fond farewell to “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” – the nighttime spectacular at Epcot– before its conclusion scheduled for the second half of 2019.

Whew…that’s a lot! Now, more than ever you’ll want to be here for it all. Don’t wait to book your 2019 Disney World vacation! Be sure to tell us in the comments which one of these experiences at Disney World in 2019 that you are most looking forward to!

15 Halloween Horror Nights Tips So You Experience It Like a Pro

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights will probably be unlike anything you have ever experienced. It’s so fun and terrifying at the same time. Since this limited time event goes so quickly, we hope these 15 Halloween Horror Nights tips will help you make the most of your time in the park.

BEFORE YOU GO…

1. Have a Game Plan

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

There’s a lot to see and do at Halloween Horror Nights, so it helps to plan ahead. What are the haunted houses you really want to experience? Which scare zones must you hit? Which attractions do you want to ride to take a break from the screams? Check out the event map, talk it out with your friends and come up with a list of the must-dos.

2. Make Sure You’re Well Rested

Halloween Horror Nights kicks off at 6:30p on event nights and closes in the wee hours of the morning. You don’t want your fatigue to be the reason you head home early! Take a nice afternoon nap, grab a coffee, or whatever it takes to help you feel rejuvenated for the event.

3. Dress Comfortably (And Check Your Footwear)

I can’t stress this enough. Remember, Halloween Horror Nights is a very intense event, and we all react differently to being scared (some run, some crouch, some freeze and some flail). Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for whatever your coping mechanism may be.

And wear comfortable shoes. The only thing worse than being stalked by a horrifying chainsaw clown is trying to escape them in a pair of shoes you regret wearing.

4. Be Mindful of Your Hair Style

This may seem kind of random, but this ties to tip #3. You’re going to be pretty active during your visit, so make sure you’re rocking a hair style that works for you in the horror environment. Sometimes, I wear my hair away from my face so I can see everything that’s happening (and it keeps me cooler).

5. Try to Carry as Little as Possible

If you can, try to carry only the essentials with you during your visit, like your car keys, wallets, diaper (if you’re really that scared). You won’t want to lug a huge bag around all night. This will also help you move a little quicker through the Security line.

WHILE YOU’RE HERE…

6. Take a Picture of Where You Parked

Because your memory is going to be jam-packed with all of the frights you experienced—and it’s really important to find your car at the end of the night.

7. Visit the Park During the Day

If you visit Universal Studios Florida during the day and have an admission ticket for Halloween Horror Nights that evening, you’ll have a huge advantage over guests who are only attending the event. When the park closes for daytime operation and begins the switchover to Halloween Horror Nights, you’ll actually be held in a designated area in park until the event opens. Then, once it starts, you’ll be released into the event – so you’re already in park while others are just starting to enter the front gate. This will help you get to those haunted houses a little bit quicker.

8. Arrive Early

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

If you choose not to visit the park during the day, I highly recommend you arrive early. Give yourself time to park, go through Security and venture through Universal CityWalk to Universal Studios. You can knock out some of the haunted houses pretty quickly if you’re one of the first inside the event.

9. Go Against the Grain

Halloween Horror Nights is sensory overload and often times, guests stop at the first haunted house or scare zone they see. Don’t be afraid to do the opposite. Once you get into the park, consider going straight to the back and to the furthest house. There’s a good chance that the wait times are going to be shorter.

10. Enjoy the Scare Zones

A lot of people rush through the scare zones – and I get it. You’re being stalked by scareactors and you’re just trying to make it to the other side. But try to find a spot where you can just watch the action in the streets. Sometimes, there are special show moments in the scare zones that you may miss if you just rush through. Plus, it’s SO entertaining to watch other folks get scared.

11. Take Time to Ride the Rides

People come to Halloween Horror Nights for the scares…but make sure you take a moment to experience some of the attractions as well. The wait times are often shorter during the event than they are during the day. Plus, the rides will provide you a nice break from the screams.

12. Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Remember the coping mechanisms mentioned earlier? Well, one we see pretty often is people covering their eyes. If you can, try not to do this. There are a ton of details and easter eggs you’ll miss if you aren’t looking. Trust me – no matter how scared you are, try (your best) to keep your eyes open. Besides, who wouldn’t WANT to get a good look at the scareactors that are preying upon them? Okay, maybe not…

13. Stay Hydrated and Grab Food

You’re going to scream…a lot! And screaming takes a ton of energy. Make sure you drink water (or whatever your beverage of choice is…I won’t judge!) throughout the night to stay hydrated. And grab food—you don’t want to be hangry. You can either grab dinner prior to your visit or take advantage of all of the eateries in the park. To really amp up your night, consider a Scareactor Dining experience.

14. Play a Game While You’re Waiting in the Queues

One way to make time go by a little faster while you’re waiting in a queue is to play a mobile game. Check out the new TERROR TRIVIA game in The Official Universal Orlando Resort App. You can test your knowledge on this year’s haunted houses and all things Halloween Horror Nights.

15. Take Photos

If you didn’t post about it, did it really happen? Make sure to capture the moments and take selfies and photos throughout the event. The visuals help when you’re recounting your experience with your friends. And they make great profile pics. Make sure you tag us with #HHN28!

There you have it, fifteen Halloween Horror Nights tips to get the most out of your Halloween Horror Nights visit. Any tips you would add? Let me know in the comments below.

If you haven’t already, choose an event night now through Nov. 3.

Celebrate Autumn with WonderFall Flavors at Disney Springs

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

As autumn draws near, get ready for a whole new host of seasonally-inspired eats with WonderFall Flavors at Disney Springs! Celebrate your favorite fall flavors with everything from harvest tacos and pumpkin desserts to hard ciders and autumn-inspired cocktails.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

This seasonal celebration includes over 14 restaurants and quick service locations throughout Disney Springs. This foodie guide will help you find all the flavors of fall!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

YeSake

  • Harvest Fresh Bowl – a customizable bowl featuring sliced chicken breast, spinach, kale, carrot, dried cranberries, and sliced almonds tossed in a sweet Vidalia onion dressing. Also available as a wrap
  • Apple Cinnamon Sangria – complex flavors abound in this unique sangria featuring Japanese plum wine, orange, and lemon chilled down with frozen apples and finished with a sprinkle of sweet cinnamon

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Enzos Hideaway

  • Fall Harvest Soup – roasted apple and winter squash soup with spiced mascarpone cream and spiced candied nuts
  • Pumpkin White Russian – Hangar 1 Vodka, Monin Pumpkin Spice, heavy cream, with a sprinkled sugar rim glass

STK Orlando

  • WonderFall Promo Small Plate – pomegranate chili-glazed shrimp with butternut squash ginger purée and cranberry agrodolce
  • Pinot Grigio, Gabbiano, Delle Venezie, Italy – a light-bodied wine with a long finish that reveals hints of citrus and almonds

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Maria & Enzo’s

  • Fabulous Fall Butternut Squash Gnocchi – handmade ricotta gnocchi, roasted butternut squash, parmesan cream sauce, and pumpkin seed pesto
  • Medici Punch – Tuaca, Bulleit Bourbon, with charred cinnamon cider

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Morimoto Asia

  • Cantonese Style Crispy Berkshire Pork Belly – autumn 5-spice rub, maple bourbon koshu gastrique, and lychee cranberry chutney
  • Fall All Over – a smooth, decadent blend of Rémy Martin, Averna Amaro, lemon, apricot preserves, and a spritz of cinnamon

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

  • Bavarian Roasted Pork Shanks – tender, bite-sized “pig wings” tossed in an Oktoberfest beer sauce and served with fried spatzle mac and cheese
  • Air Pirate’s Pretzels – Oktoberfest-themed flight of pretzels with spicy German mustard and beer cheese fondue
  • Autumn Smash – fall into the season with Captain Morgan Rum, lemon juice, peach nectar, simple syrup, and a touch of cinnamon

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

The Boathouse

  • Lucky Dux Oysters – half shell by the piece with green apple Champagne mignonette sauce
  • Bronzed Maple Coffee – whiskey, muddled candy, coffee, and maple whip cream garnished with a dusting of maple powder and candy

Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

  • Pumpkin Crème Brûlée Trart – pumpkin crème brûlée baked in a pastry shell with fried cheesecake bites, caramel toile, and chocolate ganache
  • Pumpkin Baileys Irish Coffee – Baileys pumpkin spice with fresh espresso topped with whipped cream

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Paddlefish

  • Braised Pork Shoulder – apple cider reduction with autumn spices and cauliflower purée
  • Paddlefish Hard Apple – apple cider, bourbon, and ginger beer, garnished with a cinnamon stick

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co.

  • Smoked Sausage – with beer cheese sauce, bacon, and apple braised red cabbage on a Tuscan roll
  • Stella Artois Apple Cider – clean, crisp, and perfectly balanced with a little peach taste. Delicate apricot notes complement its fresh apple flavor

The Daily Poutine

  • Oktoberfest Poutine – stout gravy, bratwurst sausage, cheese curds, and cilantro
  • Ace Pineapple Cider – a balanced, crisp, natural offering made with fresh pineapple offering a sweet taste and tart finish. This pineapple cider was the first developed in the world

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Amorette’s Patisserie

  • Caramel Apricot Cobbler – Verrine with apricot topped with sugared almonds and buttermilk panna cotta
  • Fall Harvest Petit Cake – cinnamon and nutmeg chiffon cake, layered with Calvados salted caramel mousse, cranberry cherry pate de fruit, and roasted hazelnuts
  • Apple Cider Riesling Wine Slushie

The Polite Pig

  • Fall Harvest Taco – apple cranberry-glazed smoked pork belly, soft corn tortilla, pumpkin-apple slaw, pepitas, and picked onions
  • Apple Cider Whiskey Sour – straight rye whiskey, apple cider, lemon, brown sugar, and cinnamon

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

D-Luxe Burger

  • Apple Whisky Jam and Smoked Sausage Burger – smoked gouda, lettuce tomato, and caramelized onions
  • Pumpkin Shake – Pumpkin, caramel, and graham crackers swirled together for a tasty fall treat

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Additional Delights

  • 4R Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck – Pumpkin Spice Churro Balls
  • AristoCrepes – Brie Cheese and Bosc Pear Crepe with Orange Blossom Honey
  • Chicken Guy! – Cinnamon Apple Milkshake
  • Disney’s Candy Cauldron and Goofy’s Candy Co. – Fall-Inspired Treats and Specialty Apples
  • Outdoor Vending Carts – Salted Caramel Pretzels and Pumpkin Churros (select carts only)
  • Sprinkles – Pumpkin Cupcake (Sept 1-30), Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcake (Sept 10-23), Candy Apple Cupcake (Sept 24-Oct 7)

Fall-Inspired Hard Ciders at Dockside Margaritas and Select Outdoor Vending Carts

  • Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider: This crisp and refreshing cider mixes the sweetness of the apples with a subtle dryness for a balanced cider taste. The fresh apple aroma and slightly sweet, ripe apple flavor make this cider hard to resist.
  • Angry Orchard Rosé Cider: Made with rare, red flesh apples from France. Each apple is crisp, juicy and red to the core, adding an irresistible rosy blush and apple-forward taste with a refreshing dry finish.
  • Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen: Rich, amber-golden color. Deep, inviting, malty nose and bready, wonderful flavor that’s an ode to barley. Medium to big body, with a touch of warming alcohol on the finish.
  • Margarita Cider by 3 Daughters Brewing: Hard cider blended with lime juice and sea salt then aged in tequila barrels for a festive and unique flavor. This semi-sweet apple cider is tart and refreshing and perfect for Florida.
  • Pumpking Imperial Ale by Southern Tier Brewing Co.: This beer gives off hints of pumpkin pie and spice aromas on the nose. Huge flavors of genuine pumpkin pie, nutmeg, and cinnamon come through with a rich and creamy, yet crisp taste.
  • Samuel Adams OctoberFest: The first thing you notice when pouring this seasonal beer is the color. It has a deep golden amber hue which itself is reflective of the fall season. A malt lover’s dream, this beer offers a delicious harmony of flavors.

WonderFall Flavors at Disney Springs starts September 7 and runs through November 6. If you’re looking to get you fix of fall flavors, then this is definitely the place to be! Be sure to stop by the Disney Springs Welcome Center or any participating location to get your WonderFall Flavors booklet. This pocket-sized guide will help you chart your course and keep track of your tastings!

For more info, visit the Disney Springs website. To make reservations, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website or call (407) WDW-DINE (407 939-3463)