Category Archives: United States

Enjoy Fall Treats at Disney World in October and November

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Down in Orlando, the trees are still green and the summer heat is still lingering, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fall season at Walt Disney World Resort! Throughout October and November, you’ll be able to find your favorite autumn flavors throughout the resort with these fall treats at Disney World.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

At Magic Kingdom Park, you’ll LOVE all of the spooky sweets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, such as the Candy Corn Milkshake (available daily at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies). This shake is my FAVORITE treat right now. It’s made with candy corn ice cream and topped with cotton candy and the cutest Mickey-shaped marshmallow! If you want to know about all of the fun offerings for this event, I recently put out a foodie guide giving you all the spooky details.

Outside of Magic Kingdom Park, though, there are fall-inspired eats around every corner!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Rosie’s All-American Café, ABC Commissary (all items available through Oct. 31)

  • Peanut Butter and Chocolate Coffin Cake
  • Chocolate and Orange Cream Parfait

Trolley Car Café (all items available through Oct. 31)

  • Chocolate and Caramel Apple
  • Chocolate Cake – topped with chocolate mousse and chocolate Mickey ears

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM

Isle of Java

  • Apple Cider Donut Holes

Creature Comforts, Pizzafari, Restaurantosaurus

  • Halloween Cupcake (available through Nov. 1) – yellow cupcake filled with pumpkin mousse and topped with cinnamon buttercream, an edible Mickey ghost, and a fondant pumpkin

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

EPCOT

Fountain View

  • Halloween Cupcake (available through Oct 31) – chocolate cupcake filled with chocolate mousse and topped with green and purple buttercream, a chocolate bat, and orange sprinkles

Le Cellier Steakhouse (all items available through Nov. 18)

  • Autumn Poulet Rouge Roulade – cornbread stuffing with cranberries, golden raisins, pecans, sweet potato espuma, rainbow chard, and pecan vinaigrette
  • Brown Butter-Basted George’s Bank Scallops – pumpkin risotto, Brussels sprouts, fig and pomegranate slaw, red wine syrup, and pumpkin seed brittle

Sunshine Seasons

  • Pumpkin Bundt Cake (available through Dec. 25)
  • Monster’s Inc. Cupcake (available on Oct. 31 only) – chocolate cupcake with salted pretzel mousse filling and topped with buttercream and a chocolate cake ball decorated with fondant

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT HOTELS

Visiting one of our Walt Disney World Resort Hotels? You can find some tasty treats at nearly all of our resorts! From pumpkin and candy corn cupcakes to Mickey Pumpkin Spice Beignets, there’s a whole hay-ride full of snacks that you won’t want to miss out on.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Gasparilla Island Grill

  • Harvest Pumpkin Cupcake (available through Oct. 31) – cinnamon sponge cupcake with pumpkin cream filling topped with maple buttercream, a candy pumpkin, and fall leaves
  • Frozen or Hot Pumpkin Latte (available through Nov. 30) – with whipped cream, nutmeg, and caramel sauce
  • Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin (available Nov. 15 – Dec. 31)

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Roaring Fork

  • Going Batty Cupcake (available Oct. 30-31) – chocolate cupcake topped with buttercream icing, ganache icing, and a sugar cookie bat
  • Poison Apple Cupcake (available through Oct. 31) – apple-flavored cupcake with caramel filling and topped with chocolate ganache

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – Trail’s End To-Go, Chuckwagon

  • Candy Corn Cupcake (available through Oct. 31) – vanilla cupcake with candy corn buttercream

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Contempo Café

  • Minnie’s Not-So-Scary Berry Cupcake (available Oct. 28-31) – vanilla cupcake with raspberry jam filling and topped with vanilla buttercream icing and a white chocolate witch hat filled with blackberry marshmallow and garnished with a fondant bow and dark chocolate spider web
  • Apple Cupcake (available through Nov. 3) – apple-flavored cupcake with apple filling and topped with cinnamon buttercream icing and apple compote
  • Pumpkin Cupcake (available Nov. 4 – Dec. 1) – pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese filling and caramel buttercream icing

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Capt. Cook’s, Kona Coffee Bar

  • Mickey’s Haunted Chocolate Cupcake (available through Nov. 2) – dark chocolate cupcake filled with red velvet cheesecake and topped with buttercream

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts – The Market at Ale & Compass, Beach Club Marketplace

  • Caramel Candy Apple Cupcake (available through Oct. 31) – cinnamon-apple cupcake topped with chocolate caramel mousse
  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin (available Oct. 20 – Dec. 1) – spiced pumpkin muffin with cream cheese filling
  • Pumpkin Whoopie Pie (available Oct. 20 – Dec. 1) – pumpkin cake with brown butter cream cheese filling
  • Pumpkin Cupcake (available Nov. 1-30) – topped with buttercream

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s BoardWalk – BoardWalk Bakery

  • Candy Corn Cupcake (available through Oct. 31) – vanilla cupcake with orange marshmallow filling, whipped cream frosting, chocolate Mickey ears, and orange crispy pearls
  • Pumpkin Swirl Cookie (available Nov. 11-24)

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside Mill Food Court, Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

  • Black Forest Mummy Cake (available through Nov. 1) – chocolate cupcake with cherry filling and topped with vanilla buttercream
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcake (available through Nov. 1) – vanilla cupcake filled with pumpkin cheesecake and topped with cream cheese icing
  • Mickey Pumpkin Spice Beignets (Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory only, available through Nov. 1) – house-made beignets dusted in pumpkin spice powdered sugar

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – The Mara

  • Witch’s Finger Cupcake (available Oct. 26-31) – vanilla cupcake with crispy peanut butter candy filling and topped with a chocolate witch hat

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s All-Star Resorts – Intermission Food Court, End Zone Food Court, and World Premier Food Court

  • Spider Cupcake (available through Oct. 31) – vanilla cupcake filled with cookies and cream marshmallow filling and topped with orange cookie buttercream and green marshmallow webs
  • Chocolate Indulgence Cake (available through Nov. 30) – Devil’s Food cake and dark ganache topped with pumpkin made of white chocolate mousse
  • Day of the Dead Cupcake (available through Nov. 1) – chocolate cupcake filled with spiced ganache and topped with spiced ganache buttercream, a sugar skull, and chocolate ears
  • Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake (available through Nov. 30) – vanilla cheesecake topped with pumpkin spice cream and dark ganache

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

DISNEY SPRINGS

It’s the most wonderFALL time of the year! Now through November 7, you can experience autumn with WonderFall Flavors at Disney Spring. You’ll find seasonally-inspired dishes at over 14 restaurants and quick service locations throughout the area (and be sure to pick up an event guide at the Disney Springs Welcome Center or at participating locations). I’ve even put together the ultimate foodie guide to this limited-time experience, and my fellow author, Darcy Clark, has also shared a few ways to “scare up some fun” at Disney Springs in a recent blog post.

In addition to WonderFall Flavors, there are a few other items that have materialized this season!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar (all items available through Nov. 7)

  • The Forbidden Apple – spiced rum, sour apple pucker, cinnamon whiskey, cranberry juice, lime juice, and grenadine
  • Poison-Less Apple (Non-Alcoholic) – Sprite with caramel and Granny Smith apple

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

The Ganachery

  • Minnie Witch Piñata (available through Oct. 31) – chocolate sphere filled with house-made marshmallows and crispy pearls and decorated with chocolate pieces
  • Jack Skellington Piñata (available through Oct. 31) – white chocolate sphere filled with house-made marshmallows and crispy pearls and decorated with chocolate pieces
  • Large and Small Chocolate Skulls (available through Oct. 31)
  • Cranberry Orange Ganache Squares (available through Nov. 8) – flavors of cranberry and orange blended with dark chocolate
    Pumpkin Spice Latte Ganache Squares (available through Nov. 8)

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Amorette’s Patisserie

  • Pumpkin Mickey Macaron (available through Oct. 31) – white chocolate ganache flavored with pumpkin purée and pumpkin spices

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Sprinkles

  • Special Cupcakes topped with Halloween Candy (available through Oct. 25)
  • Strawberry Champagne Cupcake (available through Oct. 31) – vanilla Champagne cake finished with an infusion of buttercream frosting and sweet ripe strawberries simmered in sparkling rosé
  • Black Velvet Cupcake (available Oct. 26-31) – dark chocolate cupcake topped with whipped chocolate ganache
  • Pumpkin Cupcake (available through Oct. 31) – pumpkin cake laced with ginger, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon and topped with sweet cinnamon cream cheese frosting
  • Halloween BOO Box (available through Oct. 31) – vanilla milk chocolate, red velvet, black and white, and pumpkin cupcakes adorned with Sprinkles ghosts and BOO sugar decorations

HALLOWEEN CANDY

And of course, it just wouldn’t be the Halloween season without Halloween CANDY! You’ll find these sweet treats at various candy shops across all of our parks and resort hotels such as The Confectionery in Magic Kingdom Park or Goofy’s Candy Co. and Disney’s Candy Cauldron at Disney Springs. From candy apples to cake pops, we’ve got it all!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Various Candy Locations Across Walt Disney World Resort

  • Pumpkin and “Poison” Specialty Apples
  • Mummy and Pumpkin Cake Pops
  • Themed Crispy Treats
  • Fall Cookies and Cupcakes

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Fall is HERE at Walt Disney World Resort and it tastes GREAT if I do say so myself. For more information on each of these locations, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website! Happy snacking!

Top Three Reasons Your Teenager Will Love Volcano Bay at Universal

Top Three Reasons Your Teenager Will Love Volcano Bay at Universal

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Top Three Reasons Your Teenager Will Love Volcano Bay at Universal

Grab your swimsuit and suntan lotion! Universal Orlando’s new water theme park, Volcano Bay, has an abundance of thrills and spills. From relaxing and roaring rivers to the heart-pounding Krakatau Aqua Coaster, there’s something for every teenager.

Get cozy, grab a snack, and keep reading for the top three reasons your teenager will love Volcano Bay, including the attractions, food and atmosphere.

 Attractions

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

There are 18 fun-filled attractions to cross off your bucket list. When you first walk into Volcano Bay, you’ll be greeted by Krakatau: a spectacular, 200-foot-tall volcano at the center of the park. The volcano not only showcases fantastical views of Orlando, but also offers four different rides that travel through the volcano. These include Krakatau Aqua Coaster, Ko’okiri Body Plunge, and Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides.

One ride you can’t miss is Honu, one of the two waterslides at the Honu Ika Moanaattraction. Honu is a multi-passenger waterslide on the more exciting side and is perfect for experiencing alongside friends or family members.

Even if your teens love stomach-dropping thrills, sometimes it’s nice to sit back and de-stress when you’re on vacation. Kopiko Wai Winding River is the perfect break from the fun, intense waterslides and aqua coaster. The river leads you on a scenic float through River Village and will give your family a much-needed rest from the exhilarating plunges and splashes at Volcano Bay.

If you’re looking for something a little more thrilling, TeAwa the Fearless River might be a better match for you. With periodic choppy waves flowing through the not-so-lazy river, it adds a little adventure to the relaxing float.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

 

Food

When it comes to dining, there’s no shortage of options. There’s everything from food carts and quick-service stands for when you’re in a hurry, to fast and casual restaurants for when you have a little extra time to sit back and enjoy your meal with leisure.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Universal’s executive chef, Steve Jayson, recommends the Jerked Mahi Sandwich for seafood aficionados, “If you’re a fish lover, you can’t go wrong with that.” Chef Jayson also recommended the Coconut Crusted Fried Chicken and said it was one of his personal favorites. As for beverages, Jayson said that POG is obligatory. “If you come to Volcano Bay, you’ve got to try POG,” he says. “Passion fruit, orange, and guava – all together in a frozen drink. It’s very refreshing!” It is the perfect cool-down on a sunny Orlando day.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

And of course, you can’t forget dessert! Get ready to indulge yourself… after all, calories don’t count on vacation! Waturi Fusion, or “the rainbow ice cream”, will probably be the most colorful, creative dessert you’ve ever had!

Atmosphere

You’re transported into a tropical paradise as soon as you enter the park! We recommend starting off your day at Waturi Beach, a lush oasis in front of the famous volcano. As you sit with your feet in the sand, listening to the dancing waterfalls, you’ll probably feel like you could spend days at Volcano Bay. There’s a perfect balance between relaxation and adventure.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The atmosphere was also enhanced by the Volcano Bay staff. Every single Team Member is friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Your kids will be greeted at the entrance of every ride and whenever they have a question or need directions, the team members are enthusiastic to help.

Staying on-property in a Universal Orlando on-site hotel will make your experience at Volcano Bay even better. Hotel guests are able to enter the park one hour earlier than the general public, which definitely helps beat the crowds. For teens with an ambitious agenda for the day, having the early access will be super helpful.

When you stay at a Universal Orlando on-site hotel, another way you can save time is by taking Universal’s transportation to and from Volcano Bay.

Pro tipUniversal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is located right next to Volcano Bay. There is a walking path dedicated to Cabana Bay guests. If you’re debating on which hotel to stay at, this might help you with your decision!

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

When it comes to theme parks, long lines always seem to be the culprit of fun. At Volcano Bay, TapuTapu comes to the rescue! TapuTapu is a waterproof, wearable device that has a plethora of features, such as exclusive photo ops, cash-free purchases (simply connect a credit card online), and most importantly: lines. Instead of standing hours in a long line, you can choose which attractions you would like to ride for the day.

You simply check-in to the attraction you wish to go on, and the TapuTapu wristband will notify you when it’s your ride time.

Are you convinced by these reasons your teenager will love Volcano Bay?

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. 

Disney Tails, Lovepop and More Opening at Disney Springs This Fall

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

With over 100 stores already open at Disney Springs, it’s hard to imagine we have room for any more. But great news for shoppers like me – we do! Soon, three new venues, including Disney Tails and Lovepop, will be added to the property’s eclectic mix of niche boutiques and brand-name anchor locations, just in time for holiday shopping.

Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney Tails: Opening October 12, 2018 at Marketplace Co-Op, this is THE must-visit destination for pet owners who want to bring a bit of Disney flair home to their four-legged friends. With two existing character collections (Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse) and two new character collections (Haunted Mansion and Star Wars) set to debut when the store opens, you may want to wait to finalize Fido’s Halloween costume until you’ve had a chance to visit – the themed comfort harnesses are just too cute! While most of the items were designed with dogs in mind, there are a few items that are “purr”fect for cats, too! In addition to leashes, collars, and bandanas, you’ll also discover squeaky toys inspired by some of your favorite iconic Disney foods, because really, it’s not fair that only humans should get to indulge in Mickey waffles, Mickey ice cream bars and Mickey pretzels, right?

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Lovepop: Steps away, in the center of Marketplace Co-Op, a new kind of greeting card will be arriving in mid-October. Lovepop is “more than a card” – it’s an intricate 3D paper sculpture designed on cutting-edge software, then hand-assembled with impeccable craftsmanship. I fell in love with the brand during a recent trip to New York City and was overjoyed when I found out they’d be coming to Disney Springs. Each piece is a gorgeous keepsake and with options for nearly every occasion imaginable, you’re bound to find something just right for the ones you love most.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

The Art of Disney Presents Greg McCullough: Slated to open on November 3, 2018 in the space formerly occupied by Little Miss Matched, an art gallery featuring works by Greg McCullough – a fan-favorite when it comes to paintings of Disney characters and stories – will open for a limited-time engagement through January 1, 2019. Greg McCullough will appear every day, except Mondays, from 1:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and guests will have a chance to interact with the artist, have artwork signed, and possibly even catch him painting live. Original works of art, limited-editions, and prints will be available, alongside some unique pieces from his Disney Remnants and Abstract Remnants Collections – mosaic collections created by recycling unused oil pant.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, Basin, one of the most beloved brands at Disney Springs, is putting the finishing touches on a refurbishment of their store. With a mid-October completion date, the location will feel familiar but with lighter, brighter, fresh touches that will open up the space in a more modern way.

With so much newness on the horizon, who’s ready to get a head start on holiday gift purchases and join me on a shopping trip to Disney Springs?

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.

Five Ways to Enjoy Halloween Time at the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Five Ways to Enjoy Halloween Time at the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

Spooky fun and full of delight, the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort have terrifyingly tasty treats, amazing displays and ghostly entertainment, all sure-fire ways to extend the Halloween Time experience, before, during or after a great day at the parks.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Enjoy the Spook-tacular Seasonal Decor: In the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is a “spook-tacular” edible display of Halloween pumpkins. These pumpkins take a ghoulish form with Oogie Boogie, and are built from cereal treats, icing, chocolate, and fondant. Our talented pastry chefs used over 200 pounds of icing, 100 pounds of chocolate, and 300 pounds of fondant to create these incredible pumpkins. See if you can find the 13 Hidden Mickeys throughout the display!

Also during Halloween Time, experience ghoulish décor surrounding the Disneyland Hotel and discover the swashbuckler in you at the pirate-themed Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. The pirates have hoisted the Jolly Roger flag in the lobby, calling all buccaneers for fun at “Pirates Pier”!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Exclusive Trick-or-Treating for Hotel Guests: On select afternoons from October 2 through October 31, overnight guests of the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort are invited to drop in for a howling good time and exclusive, complimentary trick-or-treat festivities. Together, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will have a treat map of locations, so little ghosts and goblins (and their parents) can visit all three hotels. The hotels are offering activities such as coloring pages, bat mask decorating and create-your-own pirate hat. Cookie decorating kits are also available for a fee. Hotel guests are encouraged to sign up at the Guest Services desk.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Surprise Your Family With an In-Room Pumpkin Bucket: Plan a Halloween-themed surprise with goodies delivered right to your Disneyland Resort hotel room. These Halloween Treats Pumpkin Buckets can be specially arranged with the magic-makers from Disney Floral & Gifts for your favorite ghost or goblin. The amenity delivery starts with a light-up Mickey pumpkin bucket filled with ghostly treats with a one-of-a-kind Halloween-themed keepsake with a Mickey Mouse pumpkin light-up lanyard. For more details, please call 714-781-4438 or visit www.DisneyFloralandGifts.com.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Taste (and Photograph!) Yummy Halloween Treats: At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, you’ll find a holiday cart in the lobby serving up some scary and sweet Mickey-shaped cookies featuring iconic Halloween-inspired decorations. This cart is also serving up Halloween whoopie pies, jumbo cake pops, pretzel rods, a cookie box with Witch Finger cookies, and pumpkin pound cake. At The Coffee House at the Disneyland Hotel, you can find a chocolate Bat Cookie. Across all three hotels, the Red Poison Apple Glow Cube can be found at restaurant or quick service locations. The flavors of fall have arrived as well, with Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Surfside Lounge at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and Pumpkin Muffins at The Coffee House at the Disneyland Hotel.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Check out Eerie Musical Entertainment: Ghostly a capella performers, the Skeletones and the Cryptix, stroll and perform throughout the hotels of the Disneyland Resort, as well the Scareolers in Downtown Disney. Enjoy harmonizing tunes such as “I Put a Spell on You” and “Grim Grinning Ghosts.”