Beginning in Fall 2022 and continuing through Spring 2023, the Disney Wonder will offer Disney Cruise Line guests 3-, 4-, 5- and 7-day cruises to Baja, Mexico and the Mexican Riviera from San Diego, California. In fact, it will be Disney Cruise Line’s longest season yet from this popular southern California homeport!
Home to 11 decks overflowing with restaurants, pools, recreation, imaginative kid’s clubs, adult-exclusive hotspots, special encounters with Disney characters, a spa and Broadway-caliber shows, the Disney Wonder is filled with adventure and plenty of Disney magic. And that’s not all! Your family can dine with Princess Tiana herself at Tiana’s Place, a restaurant inspired by “The Princess and the Frog.” While you might enjoy the live jazz music, this restaurant is always a guest favorite because of the southern cuisine. We highly recommend the beignets for dessert!
In case that wasn’t enough, your family can also choose itineraries that include limited-time Halloween and holiday activities. Imagine experiencing the magic of the seasons at sea, including Halloween on the High Seas voyages and – for the first time from San Diego – Very Merrytime holiday cruises! Or, if you’re looking to escape winter back home to soak up magical fun, sun and relaxation while taking in the natural splendor of sun-kissed seaside towns, you can opt for one of the early 2023 sailings.
San Diego, Disney Wonder’s homeport for this extended season, is a picture-perfect urban gem worthy of a stay before or after your cruise. Balboa Park and Old Town speak to the city’s Spanish colonial heritage, while the world-famous San Diego Zoo is home to more than 12,000 animals of more than 650 species.
From San Diego, the Disney Wonder will set sail to popular destinations, alive with color and culture. Ports include:
Mazatlan, the renowned “Pearl of the Pacific” and the perfect beachside escape with breathtaking natural wonders, thriving culture and colorful history.
Cabo San Lucas, a favored destination with dramatic rock formations and white-sand beaches.
Puerto Vallarta, a beautiful seaside resort wrapped around romantic Banderas Bay and bordered by the stunning Sierra Madre Mountains, where outdoor adventures abound.
Ensenada, known for its turquoise blue water and rugged mountainous terrain.
Catalina Island. Fabled in song and legend, Catalina abounds in wildlife, outdoor adventures and seaside charm. No visit is complete without stopping at the vast Wrigley Memorial Botanical Gardens or the gilded splendor of the Catalina Island Casino, a showplace that was beautifully restored to its 1930s Art Deco magnificence as a reminder of the island’s glorious past.
Unforgettable awaits! Cruises from California aboard the Disney Wonder will open for booking on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.
National Plan for Vacation Day (NPVD), celebrated on the last Tuesday in January, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the whole year at the start of the year— and inspire them to use those days to travel to and within the United States. Since 2015, when the travel industry and partners began tracking American vacation usage, survey findings have continuously shown that vacation days are not being used, negatively affecting mental health, personal relationships and job performance. National Plan for Vacation Day helps highlight the importance of taking time off to travel—both for our personal health and wellbeing and for the overall economic prosperity of our nation. This year’s National Plan for Vacation Day is on January 25, 2022. Together, using #PlanForVacation, we are reminding Americans to commit—and take—their days off. How will you celebrate National Plan for Vacation Day 2022?
After two years of living through the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are feeling burned out and ready for a change of scenery. However, COVID-19 related health and safety concerns and increased workloads have prevented many American workers from using their hard earned time off. Americans are STILL not using all of their vacation days.
American workers left an average of more than four days or 29% of their paid time off on the table last year, but the majority of Americans (64%) say they desperately need a vacation.
Planning Vacations Reduces Burnout
More than two-thirds (68%) of American workers feel at least moderately burned out and 13% are extremely burned out
More than half (53%) of remote workers are working MORE hours now than they were in the office and 61% now find it more difficult to unplug from work
COVID-19 related concerns followed by work related barriers such as heavy workloads and lack of coverage are top reasons preventing Americans from using their paid time off
Just one-quarter of Americans used ALL of their earned time off in 2021
Nearly eight in 10 (79%) believe vacations are important to their overall health and well-being
Avoiding burnout was the top-rated motivator to book a trip in the next six months—ranked even higher than travel discounts/deals
Travel Remains a Top Priority
More than nine in 10 (91%) Americans say it is important to use their paid time off to travel
Nearly eight in 10 (79%) believe vacations are important to their overall health and well-being
Nearly six in 10 (59%) agree that travel is more important than ever and 61% plan to make travel a top budget priority in 2022
Vacation Planning WORKS!
The three-quarters of Americans who planned out their paid time off for the year were more likely to use their paid time off to travel in 2021
53% of planners anticipate traveling more in 2022 versus 27% of non-planners
More than nine in ten (91%) Americans say it is important to use their paid time off to travel
Close to eight in ten (79%) of Americans believe vacations are important to their overall health and well-being
The Impact of Planning
Americans who plan out their time off take more time off to travel—but one-quarter (24%) of American households don’t do this simple step. As a result, they lose or have to forfeit these days
Planners prioritize traveling with their paid time off, a trend that is expected to continue to rise in 2022 where 53% of planners anticipate traveling more than previous years versus 27% of non-planners
And planners actually do travel more than non-planners. More than half (56%) of Americans who typically planned their time off took an overnight vacation in 2021 compared to 33% of non-planners
Anticipating and planning travel makes Americans happy. Close to three-quarters (74%) of planners reported being extremely or very happy anticipating and planning vacations in the next year versus just four in 10 of non-planners
Avoiding burnout is an even greater motivator to book a trip for non-planners than planners—62% of non-planners rated avoiding burnout as a top motivator compared to 53% of planners
Planning: A Key to Happiness
Those who plan for vacations are happier in general—with everything from their personal relationships to their work/life balance, health and well-being and even their job.
Extremely or Very Happy
Personal Relationships with Family and Friends
Anticipating and Planning Vacations
Physical Health and Well-Being
Company Where You Work
Source: Destination Analysts, 2021 & U.S. Travel Association
Ready to start planning your next vacation? Here are a few ideas to help get you started…
Walt Disney World Resort
It’s always a magical time to plan a visit to the most magical place on earth, but 2022 is extra special with the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort. We recently shared 22 reasons why you should plan to visit Disney World in 2022! Plus, you may be able to take advantage of a special offer for additional savings when you travel March 6- July 7, 2022.
Universal Orlando Resort
There’s never been a better time to start planning your epic trip to Universal Orlando Resort. Universal Orlando Resort features incredible theme park adventures that allow you to let go and live in the moment with those you care about most. There’s plenty to explore at Universal Orlando Resort – home to three theme parks featuring more than 60 world-class attractions combined, eight magnificently-themed resort hotels, destination-wide entertainment and Universal CityWalk.
This isn’t vacation days spent. This is bragging rights earned. You can conquer the tallest waterslide in North America and snap a shot from 450 feet up in a helium balloon. Grab a drink at the swim-up bar and soak up the scene in the largest freshwater pool in the Bahamas. Or get a taste of Bora Bora with their own floating cabana. This is Perfect Day at CocoCay — only on Royal Caribbean®
Ready to just unplug and recharge? Don’t want to have to worry about cooking or anything while you’re on vacation? Maybe an all inclusive getaway is the best fit for you. There are resorts available for for couples and families. You can find some of our favorite all inclusive resorts for families here.
Special thanks to the U.S. Travel Association for sharing these statistics with us!
It’s always an exciting time to plan a visit to the most magical place on Earth! But, 2022 is looking like an extra magical year at the Walt Disney World Resort! Today, we are sharing 22 reasons why you should plan to visit Disney World in 2022!
1. The World’s Most Magical Celebration
The World’s Most Magical Celebration, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort, began October 1, 2021 and will continue for 18 months so you can enjoy this celebration throughout all of 2022!
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are hosting “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” while decked out in sparkling new EARidescent fashions. Donald Duck and Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale are also sporting their own custom-made EARidescent looks. You can see them when they travel through Magic Kingdom Park several times daily in the new “Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade.”
These eight friends are even featured in special golden character sculptures at Magic Kingdom Park. There are 50 characters total in this series of sculptures that are displayed across all four theme parks.
“The World’s Most Magical Celebration” features icons at each of the four parks transforming into Beacons of Magic at night, exclusive merchandise, new food and beverage offerings and even an update look for the iconic Cinderella Castle.
2. Typhoon Lagoon is Now Open
Surf’s up! Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is open once again for guests to experience their favorite thrilling water attractions and tropical family fun. You can build your own tropical flavor DOLE Whip combinations at Snack Shack, body surf in America’s largest outdoor wave pool, plunge down Humunga Kowabunga, relax in Castaway Creek, and take a journey with friends and family down Miss Adventure Falls.
Whether it’s the topsy-turvy architecture, storm-strewn treasures scattered around the park, or the stranded ship, Missy Tilly’s, perched upon the summit of Mount Mayday, each detail immerses guests into the magical legend of Typhoon Lagoon every time they visit the park.
3. New Nighttime Spectaculars at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT
“Disney Enchantment,” the new nighttime spectacular at Magic Kingdom Park, will take you on a journey filled with adventure, wonder and empowerment. Inspiring everyone to believe in magic, “Disney Enchantment” features music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks and, for the first time, immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.
“Harmonious,” at EPCOT, is one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park. This new show brings the globe together at World Showcase Lagoon in a celebration of Disney music that inspires people worldwide. It’s a grand, powerful tribute to the stories and songs that unite us, embracing new technical magic that incorporates pyrotechnics, choreographed moving fountains, lighting and media in new ways. “Harmonious” will invite you to travel the globe through new interpretations of classic Disney songs as you’ve never heard them before, reimagined in more than a dozen languages by a diverse group of 240 artists from around the world.
4. Character Meet and Greets Are BACK!
You can once again have individualized time with some of your favorite Disney characters, by getting to visit with them in a themed location and snap a photo or two. You will find the Disney Princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall in Magic Kingdom Park, Minnie Mouse at Red Carpet Dreams and the stars of Disney Junior in Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And, when you stop in to see Mickey Mouse backstage at Town Square Theater on Main Street, U.S.A., he’ll be sporting his all-new EARidescent look designed just for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration!
5. Select Behind the Scenes Tours Returning February 6, 2022
For those of you with a love of animals, adventure and the outdoors – and those seeking to discover how Walt Disney’s vision, innovation and creativity brought Magic Kingdom Park to life – things are about to get a lot more exciting with the return of some fan-favorite tours from the Enchanting Extras Collection!
Guests who want to get even closer to the magic of nature and Disney now can book one of the following tours returning beginning Feb. 6, 2022:
Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom
Caring for Giants
Wild Africa Trek
Up Close with Rhinos
Savor the Savanna
6. Disney Genie Service
Available for all guests right in the My Disney Experience app, the new complimentary Disney Genie service offers new features that let you create your best Disney day. These features include a personalized itinerary creator that effortlessly and smartly maps out an entire day inspired by the things you love – helping you make the most of your park time so you can have more fun.
Disney Genie puts guests at the center of the experience by prioritizing ways to:
Reduce time in lines while keeping in mind your top picks
Pace your day with experiences you’ll enjoy – and haven’t already done yet
Build around your existing plans like dining reservations and Park Hopper preferences
7. Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
This annual festival, running January 14 through February 21, 2022, invites you to explore an expansive collection of visual, performance and culinary arts throughout the park. The DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series is also returning for this year’s festival, where you can see some of your favorite entertainers perform Disney songs live at America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase.
During the festival, art lovers of all ages can enjoy inspirational experiences, such as:
Culinary delights from Food Studios around World Showcase
The Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine – a fun food stroll featuring five delicious sweet and savory treats
Chalk artists turning walkways into stunning landscapes and portraits
Photo ops where you can step into famous artwork
A paint-by-number mural
Figment’s Brush with the Masters scavenger hunt
Performance and visual artists
Special festival merchandise
8. Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser to Welcome Guests Beginning March 1, 2022
The inaugural voyage of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World Resort will depart March, 1, 2022! General bookings for this immersive adventure in a galaxy far, far away are now available.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a first-of-its-kind vacation experience that goes beyond anything Disney has created before. You’ll become the hero of your own Star Wars story during this two-night adventure, traveling the galaxy in style aboard the Halcyon starcruiser and eventually making your way to the Outer Rim for a planetside excursion to Batuu. You choose how to make your way in the galaxy – maybe as a member of the Resistance, or by learning the ancient ways of the Jedi lightsaber. Maybe you prefer loyalty to the First Order or the excitement of living life like a smuggler? The decisions are up to you.
Gardeners will marvel at thousands of blooms forming colorful, living panoramas all around EPCOT, and the entire family can experience the Health Full Trail presented by AdventHealth along the Imagination walkway to learn tips for staying well.
Fresh flavors are on the menu at the festival’s 18 Outdoor Kitchens as well as other food and beverage locations around EPCOT, offering a fresh selection of springtime fruits, vegetables, desserts and more.
The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series is planned to return, featuring favorite tunes at the America Gardens Theatre.
You’ll also find blooming keepsakes including vibrant apparel, drinkware, accessories and more with new merchandise collections launching just in time for the event.
10. Disney’s All Star Sports Resort Reopens March 31, 2022
Put them in, coach! Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort will welcome Guests back beginning March 31, 2022. The whole family can get in the game at this Walt Disney World Resort hotel that salutes the world of competitive sports, including baseball, basketball, football, surfing and tennis. Go the distance and don’t be afraid to celebrate your inner fan amid sporty décor starring some of your favorite Disney characters.
11. Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyondto Premiere at Animal Kingdom
A reimagined version of “Finding Nemo: The Musical”, based on the same beloved characters, will debut at Theater in the Wild in 2022.
The musical retelling of this underwater tale of family, friendship and kindness will feature new story material, as well as fan favorite songs such as “In the Big Blue World” and “Go with the Flow.” This new show is set in the timeline of the movie “Finding Dory.” When you take a seat in the theater, you’ll find yourself at the Marine Life Institute.
12. Festival of Fantasy Parade Returns to Magic Kingdom
This year will welcome the return of the Disney “Festival of Fantasy” Parade at Magic Kingdom Park. This vibrant and joyous celebration of Fantasyland brings to the streets of Magic Kingdom Park dozens of beloved Disney characters and stories, from the Disney Princess Garden to a carnival of color presided over by none other than Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
13. Adventure Friends Cavalcade
2022 will also introduce a new character cavalcade, the Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade, with an exciting lineup of characters all embarking on a great journey through the park. The Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade will feature the most characters of any cavalcade to date, including Nick and Judy from “Zootopia,” Baloo and King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” José Carioca and Panchito from “The Three Caballeros,” Miguel from “Coco,” plus Merida, Moana, The Incredibles, and so many more!
14. Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire
Live entertainment is returning to the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage with a show newly enhanced for the 50th Anniversary celebration. “Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” will incorporate favorite scenes from the previous version of the show – with sequences inspired by “Frozen,” “Tangled,” and “The Princess and the Frog” – plus a new opening and a new finale with Mickey Mouse and all his friends in their sparkling, EARidescent fashions. The show will also include an all-new, original song entitled “Where the Magic Feels Like Home.”
15. MagicBand+ to Debut
MagicBand+ will retain popular features of the original MagicBand and add functionality that unlocks new moments of magic for you. After you enter a theme park, MagicBand+ will come alive at various times with color-changing lights, haptic vibrations and gesture recognition. The wearable will allow you to engage with favorite Disney moments in new ways, including:
Play like a bounty hunter in a galaxy far, far away and find virtual bounties throughout Black Spire Outpost in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Experience nighttime spectaculars in a new way as you see your band light up and complement the magic in the skies, including the new “Harmonious” at EPCOT and “Disney Enchantment” at Magic Kingdom Park.
16. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to Open at EPCOT This Summer
Cue up your mixtape and prepare for something awesome … because it’s about to be save the galaxy time! Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will open at EPCOT this summer. This thrilling new family-friendly coaster matches the “grandosity” and fun of the blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy” films in what will be one of the longest fully enclosed coasters in the world.
17. 40th Anniversary of EPCOT
EPCOT will celebrate its 40th anniversary on October 1, 2022! The park has been undergoing an historic transformation and we hope to see more new openings here in 2022, like Journey of Water, inspired by “Moana” where guests will have the opportunity to meet and play with magical, living water. You can also enjoy new dining options like Space 220 and the Creperie while awaiting the opening of a new quick service dining option, Connections Cafe, near the new Creations shop.
18. Fantasmic! Will Return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
“Fantasmic!” will be returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2022. When this incredible spectacular reopens, it will incorporate an all-new sequence featuring more than 50 live performers, massive sets, stunts, stunning special effects, dazzling pyrotechnics, rousing music and more!
19. Disney KiteTails at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
This new show happens several times daily at the Discovery River Theater, near DinoLand U.S.A. As you make your way into the space, you’ll be joined by a team of performers bringing with them a colorful collection of oversized props and kites adorned with Disney animal friends from “The Little Mermaid,” “a bug’s life” and “Finding Nemo.” Original arrangements of favorite Disney tunes fill the air, and the excitement builds toward the launch of an impressive show of kites over the lagoon.
Watercraft zoom into view, pulling with them dynamic kite trains and enormous, three-dimensional kites depicting familiar characters from “The Lion King” or “The Jungle Book.” From one performance to another, you may see Baloo the bear dancing in the sky or Zazu the red-billed hornbill chasing after Simba. These remarkable kites, some as large as 30 feet in length, are inflated by moving through the air, allowing characters like King Louie or Timon and Pumbaa to soar like never before!
20. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT is Now Open
You can see everyone’s favorite “Little Chef” when you ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the newest attraction at EPCOT! In this delicious new attraction, you’ll feel like you’ve shrunk to the size of Chef Remy as you scurry through Gusteau’s famous restaurant on a wild adventure for the whole family (no height requirement!).
21. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is Back at Hollywood Studios
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular has recently restarted daily shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This live show, featuring Indy and Marion, allows you to watch as the daring duo dodges deadly traps, battles bad guys, leaps from tall buildings and makes thrilling escapes straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The edge-of-your-seat suspense ends with a dynamite finale!
Along the way, you’ll also get an inside look at how stunts are done in movies with demonstrations that reveal how to safely throw and take punches, fall from tall buildings, and even wield whips in the midst of complex action sequences.
22. Celebrate Animation with Cirque du Soleil’s New Show, Drawn to Life
Drawn to Life presented by Cirque du Soleil and Disney, is a new show inside the iconic white theatre at Disney Springs. Drawn to Life is the first theatrical collaboration between three creative icons: Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering.
Drawn to Life celebrates Disney’s extraordinary legacy in the art of animation, from the earliest pencil sketches to the feature films of today. The classic characters and moments from Disney Animation are reinterpreted through Cirque du Soleil’s innovative design, acrobatic performances, dazzling choreography and creative costuming alongside an original score inspired by timeless Disney music.
If you are looking for picturesque views, phenomenal dining options, pools that will transport you and your family to full vacation mode, and oh yeah some Universal Orlando Resort theme park perks, too? Well, you’re in luck because half the fun of a Universal Orlando vacation can be found at the eight unique and impeccably-themed Universal Orlando Resort hotels. So, today, we are sharing ten unique experiences at Universal Orlando Resort hotels you won’t want to miss!
This experience at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is an educational blast — you’ll be paired with a Rum Captain (coolest job title ever) who will host a tasting of several different rums and teach you about their flavor nuances. Even if you’re not a rum-fan, I recommend trying this out or just sitting at the bar and enjoying one of the other great signature cocktails.
Well, at least try to bowl a strike. How many hotels have a literal bowling alley in them? Let alone one as cool as you’ll find at Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Whether you’re staying at this hotel or not you should definitely plan a bowling excursion during your Universal trip.
3. Make a splash at your hotel pool.
What’s a vacation to Florida without a day spent at the pool? Each of the hotels deliver their own great pool experience (Cabana Bay Beach Resort even has a lazy river)! Be sure to check out our guide to the pools here and don’t forget your sunscreen.
Sushi with a view is the most succinct way I can articulate the magic that is this restaurant in Loews Royal Pacific Resort. The sushi menu is vibrant and inventive, the cocktail offerings are one-of-a-kind, and you’ll be enjoying it all with a view worthy of the word “paradise” as the restaurant overlooks the lush and tropical vibes at Royal Pacific..
5. Attempt the Kitchen Sink Challenge at The Kitchen in Hard Rock Hotel.
Think you have what it takes to eat a burger, side of fries, one fried pickle, and a giant slice of The Kitchen Sink Cake in thirty minutes? Even if you can’t, I can bet it’ll be a delicious experience trying.
6. Enjoy gelato on the harbor.
Get yourself a cup of gelato from the Gelateria and soak in the relaxing ambience of the harbor at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. You may even end up having to pinch yourself to come back to reality and remind yourself you’re not actually in Italy.
Take in one of the best views throughout all of Universal Orlando Resort at Bar 17 Bistro, located at the top of Aventura Hotel. Sipping on a Volcano View with a view of Volcano Bay is an unmatched experience.
8. Level up your vacation with one of our themed kids’ suites.
Whether the kids in your group are into dinosaurs, Minions, or music, there’s a kids-suite for them! The different kids’ suites throughout Universal hotels will really have you sleeping where the action is with the Future Rock Star Suites at Hard Rock Hotel, Despicable Me Kids Suites at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, and Jurassic World Kids Suites at Royal Pacific Resort.
9. Sample all of the exclusive drinks the hotels have to offer.
If you’re at Universal Orlando Resort’s newest hotel, Dockside Inn and Suites, grab some of the Wet n’ Wild-inspired specialty cocktails by the pool. More of a beer drinker? Enjoy the specialty craft beers at Sunset Lounge in Dockside or head to Jake’s American Bar at Royal Pacific Resort to try out their menu of specialty beers. Pro-tip for your time at Jake’s — all of the Team Members have made-up names there! Be sure to ask your server why they picked theirs.
You deserve it! This spa at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel has a ton of options for you to relax and bring your vacation to another level of pure joy and bliss. Besides, after all that roller coaster riding you’ve been doing in the theme parks, you’ve earned yourself a massage.
If you’re coming to vacation at Universal Orlando Resort, you’re most likely going to find yourself passing through Universal CityWalk. Whether you’re staying at one of the fabulous Universal Orlando resort hotels and riding a water taxi over or parking in one of the massive parking garages, you’ll find yourself walking through CityWalk on your way to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. CityWalk is the perfect place to grab lunch, dinner, or a quick snack, and there is a lot of fun entertainment to check out after you wrap up a day in the theme parks. Here are the top 10 things to do at Universal CityWalk during your next Universal Orlando Resort vacation!
If you went to Universal and didn’t get a Toothsome milkshake, did you even go? These milkshakes are the must-get treat during your vacation for not only the deliciousness, but also the photo that will have everyone wishing they were in your shoes.
Is it sushi? Is it a burger? It’s both! Burgushi combines the best of both worlds into unique dishes you can only find at The Cowfish. While you’re there, I recommend trying one of their exotic cocktails or spiked milkshakes.
Voodoo Doll. Grape Ape. Portland Cream. No, these aren’t band names, they’re doughnuts from Voodoo Doughnut. Choose from traditional or whimsical flavors and make sure to ask if they have any specialty doughnuts. They also have vegan options like the ODB, which is so good, like borderline flawless, absolutely delicious.
You don’t have to miss the game just because you’re on vacation. Catch any league game here while enjoying good food (like a giant soft pretzel) and a cold one from a selection of over 100 beers. There are also foosball tables. Literally, a table where you can eat and also play foosball!
6. Sing Your Heart Out at Rising Star with a Live Karaoke Band
If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a singer, Rising Star makes that dream reality. Take the stage with backup singers and a live band (on select nights) and belt out your favorite songs in this rockin’ karaoke experience.
7. End Your Day Roasting S’mores and Savoring Smoky Spirits at Bigfire
Open fire cooking? Check. S’mores tableside? Check. An extensive list of whiskey and bourbon? Check. Bigfire is where you go to have summer vacation vibes year round with smoky flavors reminiscent of camping and backyard barbeques.
Dang, this is some good pizza. These made-to-order pies are baked in a stone-lined oven with a variety of both blanco and rosso pizzas. Grab one to go and sit by the CityWalk lagoon for a great view or enjoy outside seating at the restaurant while getting some great people watching in.
10. Spend the Evening Listening to Your Choice of Live Music
End your busy day at the theme parks by unwinding with live music from one CityWalk’s many venues. From reggae jams to full-blown rock concerts, here are a few of my favorite spots.
There are several reasons why TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D in Universal Studios Florida is one of the best rides at Universal Orlando Resort. The action is non-stop from the moment the ride begins, which is then only elevated by the special effects and 3-D elements. Because of the constant action and story turns, the ride feels like it lasts a long time! Lastly, for fans of the franchise who grew up watching the 1980’s animated television series or the more recent live-action movies, this ride gives you the chance to become a part of the long-lasting war between the Autobots and Decepticons — your classic good versus evil scenario.
Not only did TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D bring a new hit attraction to the parks, it introduced one of the coolest character meet-and-greets. And just check out that giant Optimus Prime statue at the ride entrance! Here’s everything you need to know about one of the must-do rides in Universal Studios.
The battle between the Autobots and Decepticons (two factions of an alien robot species called Transformers) has come to Earth, and you’ve been recruited by the Non-biological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty (N.E.S.T.) to help defend mankind. Your objective: keep the AllSpark — a powerful object capable of creating new life — out of the Decepticon’s possession. Of course, the mission goes haywire as Decepticons descend on the N.E.S.T. base and an explosive battle begins…
As you enter the ride building, you’re entering N.E.S.T. headquarters, where you’ll receive debriefing on your mission from N.E.S.T. and the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime. Throughout the queue, you’ll encounter the AllSpark fragment that you’re tasked with protecting, as well as other Transformer artifacts and weaponry.
Immediately after boarding your ride vehicle, which happens to be your Autobot partner Evac, you encounter your first Decepticon stealing the AllSpark until Bumblebee intervenes… but you’re not in the clear yet. Decepticons surround you at every turn as Evac attempts to evade the onslaught from Bonecrusher, Starscream, and more. During the struggle, you find yourself in the middle of Optimus Prime battling the evil Megatron. Do you and the Autobots defeat the Decepticons? I’ll leave that for you to discover.
The ride experience is motion simulation based with a ride vehicle that moves along a track (NOT a roller coaster) and combines 3-D visual and 4-D physical effects. The Transformers will appear larger-than-life with your 3-D glasses on, and you’ll feel the raging effects of battle around you like strong winds and heat.
Ride Details: – Minimum height requirement of 40″ (101.6 cm) to ride – Universal Express Pass is accepted – You can take your bags on this ride (woot!) – Child Swap is available upon request
MEET THE TRANSFORMERS
Whenever my friends or family come to the parks for vacation, one of my favorite things I tell them they have to do is meet the TRANSFORMERS characters. I remember the first time I stood next to them — I was in awe (and still am to this day)of how big and incredibly detailed they were, a feeling which only grew when next thing I knew they spoke to me!
You can meet three TRANSFORMERS daily right next to the ride building, kiddy-corner from the Supply Vault store. Optimus Prime (leader of the Autobots), Bumblebee (spunky Autobot lieutenant), and Megatron (leader of the Decepticons).
Are you ready for the most magical time of the year during the 2021 holiday season at Disney World? The 2021 holiday season marks the return of Candlelight Processional at EPCOT and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Magic Kingdom Park. Learn all about the 2021 holiday season at Disney World below.
Magic Kingdom Park
Main Street, U.S.A. is decked for the holidays with holly jolly seasonal décor and themed menu items at select locations.
On select evenings, special holiday projections will beam onto Cinderella Castle, alternating periodically throughout the night with the Castle transforming into a Beacon of Magic as part of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.”
Wave hello to Jolly Old St. Nick during special appearances through December 24
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade returns daily from December 22-31
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel twinkles anew at the end of Sunset Boulevard during Sunset Seasons Greetings. Projection effects magically transform the park icon into snowy Arendelle, a Muppets gingerbread masterpiece, a Toy Story toy hotel, and a Dickensian village inspired by “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” This holiday show also alternates with the tower’s nightly transformation into a Beacon of Magic.
“For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” features a festive finale starring Olaf.
Santa Claus brings some North Pole cheer to a Merry Motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard through Dec. 24 of this year.
Minnie Mouse hosts a meal at Hollywood & Vine, joined by her pals in their holiday finest – and Santa, too!
Cheerful holiday décor throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios honors the spirit of the season.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Discovery Island springs to life with a Merry Menagerie of winter animals in the form of playful, life-sized artisan-sculpted puppets interacting with guests.
The park’s centerpiece – The Tree of Life – becomes another Beacon of Magic most nights as a part of the 50th anniversary celebration. During the holiday season, there will be even more magic inspired by nature as the holiday edition of Tree of Life Awakenings also takes place most nights.
Accompanied by joyful songs of the season, Disney characters set sail down Discovery River, including limited-time voyages featuring Santa Claus through Dec. 24 of this year.
The Walt Disney World shopping, dining and entertainment district transforms into a winter wonderland, full of sparkling lights, enchanting décor and holiday surprises, offering a wide array of Disney holiday merchandise, including ornaments, matching family pajamas, Spirit Jerseys and more.
The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth features 20 elaborately decorated themed trees, including some inspired by “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.”
In the evening, guests visiting Town Center experience a magical snowfall, bringing the spirit of the North Pole to Central Florida.
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar becomes Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar with delightful décor and a delicious limited-time menu filled with festive favorites.
Santa Claus will visit Disney Springs, where guests have the opportunity to wave hello and pose for a photo through December 24 of this year.
Disney Resort Hotels
Iconic trees and other seasonal touches turn Disney Resort hotels into holiday hideaways.
Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels, like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, feature incredible gingerbread displays perfect for holiday photographs … and inspiration for holiday treats.
Select resorts offer holiday menus at restaurants, as well as other specialty food and drinks.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth will return November 26 through December 30 with special live entertainment, Holiday Kitchens throughout the World Showcase, a Holiday Cookie Stroll and more.
Candlelight Processional at EPCOT, a beloved holiday performance and Disney Parks tradition dating back to 1958 at Disneyland park, returns with a lineup of celebrity narrators telling the Christmas story, a choir of Disney Cast Members and a live orchestra.
Guests of all ages can take part in Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt to search for holiday traditions Olaf has gathered from around the world – and lost along the way!
A stirring and uplifting performance of music in celebration of Christmas and Kwanzaa, “JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season” returns to the Showcase Plaza Stage.
Holiday traditions of the world come to life once again around World Showcase with unique presentations such as Las Posadasat the Mexico pavilion, the CanadianHoliday Voyageurs in the Canada pavilion, a Chinese Lion Dance celebrating the new year in the China pavilion, a Hanukkah storyteller along the promenade and delightful holiday storytellers in France, Italy, Japan, Norway and the United Kingdom.
Santa Claus will appear at EPCOT through December 24 of this year, giving guests the opportunity to wave hello and pose for a photo.
The 2021 holiday season at Disney World is an extra magical time of the year. Are you planning a visit to Disney World for the holidays?
And the suites are pretty sweet, if I do say so myself. If you hear “value” and start picturing anything less than a spacious room with very, VERY comfy beds, a picnic table for meals, storage space, immaculately clean areas, and a surfboard coat-hanger — welp, you’re just not thinking about Surfside!
2. The hotel pool is in the shape of a surfboard.
Of course the pool at Surfside Inn and Suites is shaped like a surfboard; I told you that the theming at this place has left nothing untouched! This surfboard-shaped pool would take more than 1,191 regular surfboards to fill the total square footage. So, yeah, the pool is huge, there are plenty of spots to sit by it, and the Sand Bar (which is, if it isn’t obvious, a bar) is right by the pool so you’re never too far from your next drink.
3.Speaking of drinks, all food and drink options throughout the hotel are below $12.
That means whether you’re craving a Breakfast Pizza in the morning or a Pipeline Burger with Bacon Jam in the evening — or if you’re craving both right now just from reading this — you’re eating real good and saving money while you do so.
4.The Shuttle Bus from the hotel to Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and Universal CityWalk takes less than ten minutes.
Ten minutes away from Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium milkshakes, and all the other incredible thrills at Universal Orlando Resort? OK, I’m in. Staying with Universal at Surfside Inn and Suites means you don’t have to pay for transportation to the parks and you get to ride in style with your fellow vacationers racing for the first row on all the coasters. PLUS! You get into the park before regular park guests with your access to Early Park Admission. That is a full hour before the parks officially open for you to experience.
5.There are more than 1,435 surfboards around the hotel.
Each of these surfboards were made special by Quiet Flight and fit perfectly with the beachy vibes and tones throughout the hotel. Can you find all 1,435?
What are your favorite facts about Universal’s Endless Summer Resort? How many did you know?
Book your Universal Orlando Resort vacation today to check out Surfside Inn and Suites for yourself and let us know in the comments what you’re most excited about during your vacation!
This year’s festival runs November 26 through December 30, 2021, and celebrates cherished holiday traditions from around the globe, with a variety of yuletide decorations, family-friendly activities, and the return of the beloved long-standing tradition of “Candlelight Processional.”
And what makes this festival even more magical is the added EARidescent shimmer of The World’s Most Magical Celebration, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort found throughout the park. Be sure to check out the named neighborhoods as part of the EPCOT transformation, including World Discovery, World Nature, World Celebration, and World Showcase.
Of course, what are holidays without delicious food and drink? The 14 Holiday Kitchens are scattered throughout all 11 World Showcase pavilions and beyond offering returning fan-favorites and delicious classic holiday dishes and festive beverages.
The fun Holiday Cookie Stroll is back this year with a sweet cookie scavenger hunt. The Festival Passport lists the five official Holiday Cookie Stroll locations, and each stop will offer a delicious cookie for purchase and a stamp for your Festival Passport. Once you’ve collected all five stamps, bring your Festival Passport to the Holiday Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen to receive a 50th anniversary celebration cookie! Complete your Holiday Cookie Stroll at your leisure – you can even bring back your stamped Festival Passport to EPCOT at any time during the festival to complete your stroll.
And don’t forget to stop by The American Adventure rotunda, where the EPCOT pastry chefs have recreated the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The American Adventure building in miniature gingerbread versions.
So, without any further delay, here is the Foodie Guide to the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth. Happy Holidays!
Mele Kalikimaka (Near Port of Entry)
Kālua Pork with Okinawa Purple Sweet Potatoes and Mango Salad
Lomi Lomi Salmon with Tomatoes, Onions, Salmon Roe, Yuzu-Mayonnaise, and Yucca Chips (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
Haupia: Hawaiian Coconut Pudding with Candied Macadamia Nuts and Coconut
Hawaiian Pale Wheat Ale (New Item)
Sparkling Pineapple Wine, St. Petersburg, FL
Melon Breeze with Spiced Rum
Select Dishes featuring Melissa’s Produce.
Chestnuts & Good Cheer Holiday Kitchen (Near Disney Traders)
Cinnamon-glazed Almonds (Gluten/Wheat Friendly; (New Item)
Cinnamon-glazed Cashews (Gluten/Wheat Friendly; New Item)
Cinnamon-glazed Pecans (Gluten/Wheat Friendly; New Item)
Fire-roasted Chestnuts (Gluten/Wheat Friendly; New Item)
AMERICAN HERITAGE Gourmet Hot Cocoa (Non-alcoholic; New Item)
T.G. Lee Eggnog (nonalcoholic)
Sweet Nutty Stout, Orlando (New Item)
AMERICAN HERITAGE Gourmet Hot Cocoa with Peanut Butter Whiskey, Whipped Cream, and Candied Nuts (New Item)
T.G. Lee Eggnog with Peanut Butter Whiskey (New Item)
Black and White Cookie (Plant-based; Holiday Cookie Stroll)
Blue Cosmo Cocktail
Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina
Grilled Kebabs with Carrot-Chickpea Salad and Garlic Aïoli (New Item)
Lamb Kefta (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
Harissa Chicken (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
Stone-baked Moroccan Bread with Hummus, Fig Tapenade, and Zhoug Dip
Almond-spiced Cake with Ginger Mousse, Orange Ganache, and Sesame Tuile (New Item)
Lavender Apple Hard Cider (New Item)
Ginger Tumeric Hard Cider
Spicy Nutmeg Hard Cider
Fig Cocktail with Sparkling Wine, Fig Vodka, and Cranberry Juice (New Item)
American Holiday Table
Slow-roasted Turkey with BEN’S ORIGINAL Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Cranberry Sauce
Holiday Pot Pie with Jackfruit, Mushrooms, Carrots, Peas, Onions, and Puff Pastry (Plant-based)
Pumpkin Gingerbread Cheesecake with Cranberry Whipped Cream and Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Chocolate Crinkle Cookie made with DOVE Dark Chocolate (Holiday Cookie Stroll)
Bright White Ale
Eggnog White Porter
Peppermint Chocolate Stout
Regional White Wine
Regional Red Wine
Select Dishes featuring Melissa’s Produce
Bavaria Holiday Kitchen (Germany)
Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce, Spätzle, and Braised Red Cabbage
Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl with Steamed Baby Vegetables and Marble Potatoes
Linzer Cookie (Holiday Cookie Stroll)
Hard Apple Cider
German-style Gold Lager (New Item)
Glühwein: House-made hot spiced wine
Select Dishes featuring Melissa’s Produce
Coconut-Pineapple Cake with DOLE Whip (New Item)
Midnight Lager (New Item)
Nairobi Coffee Dark Beer (New Item)
The Donut Box (Near Test Track presented by Chevrolet)
Pumpkin Cake Donut with Pumpkin Spice Icing (New Item)
Holiday Donut with Coconut and Crisp Pearls (New Item)
Chocolate Peppermint Donut (New Item)
Eggnog-Cream-filled Donut with Cinnamon Icing and Crumbled Gingersnap Cookies (New Item)
Gingerbread Milkshake (nonalcoholic)
Gingerbread Stout (New Item)
Gingerbread Milkshake with Whipped Cream Vodka
Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen (France)
Napoleon de Saumon Fumé en Brioche: Smoked salmon napoleon with layers of smoked salmon, dill mousse, and crème fraîche mousse served in brioche (New Item)
Dinde Forestière, Patates Douces Rôties: Turkey with bacon, mushrooms, and onions in a mustard cream sauce served with roasted sweet potatoes (New Item)
Bûche de Noël Chocolat Blanc, Framboise: Chocolate Christmas log with chocolate biscuit, white chocolate mousse, raspberry cream, and chocolate fudge coating (New Item)
Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini: Vanilla vodka, vodka, chocolate milk, and whipped cream
Rosé Sparkling Wine
Cranberry Mimosa: Sparkling wine with orange juice and cranberry syrup
Tuscany Holiday Kitchen (Italy)
Mezzelune Croccanti: Crispy half-moon breaded mozzarella-filled ravioli with pomodoro sauce (New Item)
Ravioli: Shrimp ravioli in scampi sauce with white wine, garlic, lemon zest, and parsley (New Item)
Bomboloni alla Cioccolato-Nocciola: Chocolate-filled Italian doughnut with chocolate-hazelnut spread and powdered sugar (New Item)
Sparkling Red Wine
Italian White Sangria with Prosecco
Italian Red Sangria with Cabernet Sauvignon
Italian Margarita with Tequila and Limoncello
Lotus Blossom Café (China) Food Items:
House-made Cheesy Crab Wontons
Fireworks: Tequila gold, vodka, orange juice, and mango syrup
Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen (Japan)
Chirashi Sushi Tree: Sashimi-grade tuna, salmon, ikura, and yellowtail with vegetables decorated on an artistic bed of rice to celebrate the holidays
New Year Celebration Soba: Buckwheat soba noodle in a hot dashi soup with shrimp tempura, fish cake, shiitake mushrooms, and chopped green onion
Mont Blanc Tart: Matcha mousse tart with a sweet red bean center sprinkled with konpeito sugar candy
Chocolate Banana Boba: Cocoa, Japanese milky drink, banana syrup, and strawberry popping boba pearls (nonalcoholic; New Item)
Sparkling Plum Wine (New Item)
Chocolate Tokyo Banana: Cocoa, Japanese milky drink, banana syrup, and vodka (New Item)
Pomegranate Draft Lager: Rice lager with hints of pomegranate and lemon (New Item)
Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen (Mexico)
Giant Tostada de Chorizo: Chorizo served on a giant tostada with chipotle black bean purée, salsa verde, queso cotija, crema mexicana, and pickled onion
Tamal de Barbacoa: Shredded barbacoa beef in a corn masa topped with ranchera salsa, queso cotija, and crema Mexicana (Gluten/Wheat Friendly; New Item)
Dulce de Leche Churros sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar
Cranberry-Cinnamon Margarita: Apple-cinnamon infused mezcal, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and lime juice with a cinnamon-sugar rim (New Item)
Horchata Margarita: Tequila blanco, corn whiskey, horchata, and cinnamon horchata rum
Mistletoe Cerveza: Lager with blackcurrant liqueur (New Item)
Mini Pumpkin Pie Funnel Cake: Pumpkin funnel cake topped with ice cream, whipped cream, and graham cracker crumbles (New Item)
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Carolers’ Cold Brew – Joffrey’s French Roast Cold Brew with brown butter toffee, swiss chocolate syrup, and sweet cream topped with whipped cream and TWIX bar pieces (New Item)
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth is available with valid theme park admission and a park reservation for the same date. For more information, visit EPCOTHolidays.com. Don’t forget to share your favorite festival dishes on social media using #EPCOTHoliday or #DisneyWorld50
Thanksgiving Sage & Thyme Oven-Roasted Turkey – Cornbread and sausage stuffing, sour cream-mashed Yukon gold potatoes, green beans and rainbow carrots with herb butter, cranberry citrus compote, pan gravy, and Parker House Rolls (available Nov. 25)
Apple Crostata – Vanilla bean gelato, candied pecans, and caramel sauce (available Nov. 25)
Mickey Eggs-in-a-Basket – Egg-filled butter brioche and classic pastrami hash with choice of ham, bacon, or sausage (available Dec. 19-31)
Pumpkin Cheesecake – Pumpkin cheesecake resting on a spiced chiffon cake topped with cassis mousse and a pumpkin seed-ginger crumble with caramel sauce (available Nov. 27)
Gasparilla Island Grill
Pumpkin Pie Cake Pop – Pumpkin spice jumbo cake pop enrobed in white chocolate to resemble an autumn pumpkin (available Nov. 1-Dec. 1)
Fall Flavors Cupcake – Cinnamon-spiced cupcake with apple filling topped with a sugar pumpkin and maple buttercream in festive fall colors (available Nov. 1-Dec. 1)
Happy Holidays Cake Pop – Triple chocolate cake pop enrobed in white chocolate with festive winter décor (available Dec. 1-Jan. 1)
Very Merry Minnie Mouse Cupcake – Chocolate cupcake filled with cookies and cream mousse and topped with ganache-dipped buttercream with cookie ears and chocolate a holiday bow (available Dec. 1-Jan. 1)
Red Velvet Wreath Cupcake – Red velvet cupcake filled with cream cheese mousse and topped with a vanilla buttercream wreath and a chocolate bow (available Dec. 1-Jan. 1)
S’more Cookie – Graham chocolate chip cookie piled with toasted marshmallows and M&M’S (available Dec. -Jan. 1)
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake – Pumpkin cake filled with white chocolate cream cheese mousse with brown sugar glaze and orange marmalade sauce (available Nov. 27)
In addition to all the sweet holiday treats, our Disney pastry chefs have been busy creating gingerbread masterpieces to get us all in the holiday spirit! Check out all the locations to see these edible marvels!
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Lobby
This stunning life-size storybook gingerbread house with “cinnamon clouds” puffing from the chimney is beautifully decorated with white chocolate candy canes, edible snowflakes, and sugar poinsettias. Treats for sale include house-made Gingerbread Houses and Gingerbread Ornaments. (Nov. 10-Jan. 1)
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
This life-size spinning carousel is a holiday tradition at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. The Little Mermaid is the theme with hand-painted holiday characters, handcrafted gingerbread shingles, and fondant snowflakes. And don’t forget to pop over to the Yacht Club lobby and see the adorable holiday village with a miniature train. (Nov.1-Jan. 2)
EPCOT – The American Adventure Rotunda
The American Adventure Gingerbread Display – The EPCOT pastry chefs have recreated the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The American Adventure building in miniature edible versions. (Nov. 26-Dec. 30)
(Please Note: All offerings are subject to change.)