Tag Archives: Disney news

Updates and News from Disney World and Universal Orlando

There are new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. Join us every week to read about “What’s New” in Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando! This week features a new Star Wars Weekend special offering, new mobile phone charging lockers, new sweet treats at Disney and several special events at Universal Orlando!

What’s New This Week?

hs fireworks

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

New! Feel The Force Premium Package at Star Wars Weekends: Just announced today, a new VIP package experience will be available to guests at Star Wars Weekends this year (every Friday-Saturday-Sunday, May 16 through June 15, 2014). This new experience provides Guests with reserved VIP viewing for two of the most popular Star Wars Weekends event spectaculars: the daytime Legends of the Force Celebrity Motorcade and the nighttime Symphony in the Stars fireworks show. In addition to premium viewing  soft drinks, water and snacks will be served for the motorcade and a dessert party will accompany the fireworks show. Guests will also receive a souvenir digital photo card that captures images of the Star Wars characters and events from that day as well as a series of complimentary Star Wars photos. Price: adults $54, children $32 (per day, tax and gratuity included). Discounts do not apply. 

New! Guest Mobile Phone Charging Lockers Open April 25: Starting Friday, April 25, a test will take place at Magic Kingdom Park, allowing Guests to charge the batteries on their mobile phones at a limited number of secure lockers located in Tomorrowland. Charging lockers are located inside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café (near the Fantasyland entrance) and the Tomorrowland Light & Power Company (Space Mountain shop, near the D-Tech offerings). This is a free service. This offering is a test and will continue through mid summer. Guests will use their credit card like a key. They will not be charged.

New! Walk-around Dinosaur Entertainment at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: A new atmosphere entertainment offering is currently being tested at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Per Cast Member notes, several times a day, Guests visiting DinoLand U.S.A. may encounter Professor Parker Woodson from the Dino Institute, along with his velociraptor, affectionately named “V,” as they embark on a “Jurassic jaunt” through the land. Guests interacting with Professor Woodson will learn that he has hand raised “V” from birth and is looking forward to Guests getting to meet his dinosaur. When we saw this entertainment offering on April 20, the human was referred to as Dr. Woodson (and it was a woman, not a man as the description indicates) and the dino was referred to as “Val.” “Val” walked through DinoLand U.S.A. and made loud velociraptor sounds when prompted by Dr. Woodson.

dr woodson and val

New! Seven Dwarfs Mine Train News: On April 22, 2014, vehicles were spotted on the tracks in test runs of The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. We have seen the vehicles testing several times previously and shared videos before, but this time something was different! There were guests riding in them now! Well, not exactly guests, but actors. A commercial was being filmed for the new attraction. We hope this means it will be open to the public soon, but there is still no opening date scheduled. The official dedication of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is scheduled for May 2. We hope to see soft openings very soon!

mine train almost open

New! 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Registration Open: On April 22, registration opened to the public for the 2015 WDW Marathon Weekend events, which include a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon. In addition, there is the “Goofy’s Race and Half Challenge,” which is comprised of running the Half and Full Marathons and the “Dopey Challenge,” which consists of running all 4 races. At the time of this writing, all events are sold out except for the Full Marathon and the “Goofy.”

New! Celebrate Earth Day with a Special Cupcake: The Earth Day cupcake has arrived at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Indulge in awfully delicious gummy worms and chocolate dirt for just $5.19 at select quick service locations: FairFax Fare, Pizza Planet, Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary, Studio Catering Co., Rosie’s All American Café. This treat is part of the Disney Dining Plan and will be available through May 15.

worms in dirt cupcake

New! La Boulange pastries coming soon to Walt Disney World Resort Starbucks: Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom Park and Fountain View at Epcot will soon add several delicious La Boulange pastries to their menus. Starbucks recently partnered with La Boulange, a San Francisco bakery and café, to roll out their baked goods in Starbucks nationwide. La Boulange items are served warm, making them an extra special treat for Guests to enjoy.

New! Frozen-themed Pastries Available in Epcot Norway: Frozen-themed cookies and rice krispy treats can now be found in Norway. They have previously been available in MouseGear in Epcot and the Main Street Confectionery at Magic Kingdom.

New! Wine on Tap at Disney’s Contemporary: The Wave…of American Flavors is now featuring a variety of wines served on tap. The Wine on tap concept is an environmental initiative that the restaurant opted as a unique way to serve well known quality wines. Wines served on tap are fresher than any other method of serving wines because the wines kept in kegs don’t come in contact with air. The restaurant is currently serving Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon from Central Coast California, Acrobat Pinot Noir by King Estate from Oregon, J Vineyards Pinot Gris from Russian River Valley and NxNW Riesling from Oregon. These will be changing on a regular basis.

New! Pete’s Silly Side Show Character Greet Hours Change: Starting April 20, Pete’s Silly Sideshow will be adjusting its operating hours to close with Wishes nighttime spectacular. The only exceptions are on evenings without Wishes, Pete’s Silly Sideshow will stay open through regular park close. This includes during hard ticket event nights, and on evenings when Wishes occurs two or more hours prior to park close, Pete’s Silly Sideshow will remain open two hours before park close.

Reminder! Anna and Elsa from ‘Frozen’ Now Meeting Guests at Magic Kingdom Park: Anna and Elsa, from Disney’s Academy Award-winning film “Frozen,” have moved from Epcot to Magic Kingdom Park as of April 20. They join some of their fellow Disney Royals at Princess Fairytale Hall, where Disney FastPass+ service will be available for this character greeting experience. As part of this new arrangement, Snow White will appear in Town Square Courtyard at the beginning of the day, returning to Princess Fairytale Hall in the evenings.

Reminder! “Maleficent” Sneak Peek Showing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: As of April 18, a special extended sneak peek of “Maleficent” is playing continuously every 30 minutes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the ABC Sound Studio through mid-June. A two minute legacy featurette precedes a 9-min extended trailer. Both are in 3-D. Guests are given 3-D glasses to use during the show and a set of paper/cardstock Maleficent horns to keep. Many horned villains can be seen walking around Disney’s Hollywood Studios now!

maleficent hat

Reminder! Grand Floridian Rooms Under Refurbishment: Guest rooms and buildings throughout Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa have been under refurbishment since early January and the project is scheduled to complete in August. Guest buildings will be taken out of inventory and will not be occupied by Guests while work is being performed. Next building to start refurb is Sago Cay – April 27.

Reminder! Epcot After Hours Wind Down Events: You are invited to relax, unwind and enjoy exclusive access to one of four favorite lounges around World Showcase during the new Epcot After Hours Wind Down, beginning April 17 through Sept. 15. This celebration takes place Thursday through Sunday evenings beginning after IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and continuing until 11 p.m. Following IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, take your pick from four select locations and enjoy cuisine created from award-winning Epcot Chefs and Sommeliers. Tickets can be reserved for the Epcot After Hours Wind Down in advance for one of the following locations around World Showcase: La Cava del Tequila – Mexico, Rose & Crown Pub – United Kingdom, Spice Road Table – Morocco, and Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar – Italy.

Reminder:  Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Continues: This fantastic and colorful festival continues. Here are some of the highlights this week: Flower Power Concert Series performances by Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone – April 25-27 at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 pm.; Designers’ Stage – weekdays, noon and 3 pm will host Steve Aitken, How to Buy Mail Order Plants (12 p.m.) 10 Ways to Mess Up Your Garden (3 p.m.) – April 22-24; and Designers’ Stage – Presented by HGTV – Friday-Sunday, noon and 3 pm will host David Bromstad, Color Splash – April 25-27. Numerous additional presentations take place daily through the day during the entire festival which runs through May 18.

New! Merchandise Events:

  • Now – May 18: Representatives from Rinse Bath and Body Co. will be on hand throughout the day to help you select the product that is right for your skin. Check them out, they’re amazing!
  • Now – May 4: Meet representatives from Kumquat Growers and Tropical Blossom Honey Co. who will be on hand from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., each day on the promenade around World Showcase in Epcot.

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.


Universal Orlando Resort

harbor nights

New! Universal Vacation Discount: For a limited time, Universal Orlando Resort has offered a new discount vacation offer called the “2 Park, 3 Night Getaway.” From only $315 per adult, you can experience an unforgettable journey through Universal’s Islands of Adventure, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! And, right next door, at Universal Studios, you go behind the scenes, beyond the screen, and right into the action of your favorite movies! You can experience it all in one, unique discount vacation package! With this amazing offer, you can choose from free airport transportation or a free $50 gift card. Plus, receive a 3rd day ticket for free if you book by May 9th.  Act fast as there is a very limited booking window! 

Reminder: Two Sold Out Concerts at Universal Hard Rock Live: On Monday, April 28, Lana Del Rey will be performing. Both shows are already sold out.

Reminder! Impact Wrestling Taping Select Dates March through May: Guests can watch Impact Wrestling live events and tapings at Universal Orlando April 27 – 28, and May 7 – 10. Impact Wresting events are first-come, first-served. Please note: Taping times are subject to change, so for the most up-to-date information please call 407-224-6000. Numbered tickets will be distributed starting at 10 AM at the CityWalk Blue Man Group walkway. These tickets are your spot in line, therefore the earlier you pick them up, the closer you will be to the front of the audience line. You will then be able to enjoy your day in the park or CityWalk and come back at the time the attendant tells you. Numbered tickets are limited to 10 per person.

Closures and Refurbishments

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

  • None scheduled

Universal Studios

  • None scheduled

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida. She would love to help you plan your next vacation at no cost to you. Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email siera@destinationsinflorida.com for more information. 

What’s New in Disney and Universal News This Week

“What’s New” for Week of Nov 20, 2013

Walt Disney World, Disneyland & Universal News

There are new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Universal Orlando Resort.  Join us every week to read about “What’s New” in Disney news and at Universal Orlando!

glow with show mk
Walt Disney World

New! Limited Time Magic -­ It’s the most wonderful time of the year to visit Magic Kingdom Park. Join the young citizens of Main Street, U.S.A., as they jingle down the street in the Holly Jolly Trolley show, just for the holiday season. And be sure to wear your “Glow with the Show” Ears during nighttime performances of Wishes and “Celebrate the Magic,” featuring a special holiday finale and a new sequence inspired by Disney’s newest comedy adventure, “Frozen,” debuting November 17! It’s all part of Limited Time Magic, through January 4.

New! Cancellation Policy for all Table­ Service Restaurants: Beginning November 20, when booking a reservation at any table ­service restaurant, Guests will be required to provide a credit card to hold the reservation. A charge of $10 per person will be applied if the cancellation isn’t made at least one day in advance.

New! Check Your Quick Service Receipts: Guests who visit certain quick­ service dining locations in Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort theme parks Nov. 19 through Jan. 6 will receive a coupon attached to their receipt. The coupon offers 20 percent off purchase at participating merchandise locations during store opening and 1 p.m. between Nov. 19 and Jan. 7.

New! FastPass+ and MagicBand Update: As part of the test­and­adjust process for MyMagic+, Guests staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort arriving on and after Nov. 14 will be issued only a MagicBand for use throughout their stay at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Starting Sunday, Nov. 17, handheld devices will be used to identify Walt Disney World Resort hotel Guests
for Extra Magic Hours at all Walt Disney World theme parks. Magicbands will be scanned in advance of
entering the theme parks to verify guests are entitled to Extra Magic Hours.

Also beginning Nov. 17, an alternateFastPass+ selection process will be tested at Disney’s Hollywood
Studios. This approach is designed to enable more Guests to secure their most preferred experience.
Guests will choose from two groups of experiences (groups may change throughout the test).

  • Guests will select one experience from the first group.Currently, the first group includes Toy Story Midway Mania!, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Fantasmic! and Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage.
  • Guests will select two experiences from the second group. Currently, the second group includes The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, The Great Movie Ride, Muppet*Vision 3D, Disney Junior – Live on Stage!, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.

Guests who already have made FastPass+ selections will be able to keep their selections, as long as they
do not cancel their entire selection set; changes can be made to individual experiences. In­park Guests with questions should be directed to a FastPass+ kiosk or service center.

New! Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques Celebrate Disney’s ‘Frozen’ and the Holidays at Disney Parks:  New packages were recently introduced that celebrate the upcoming release of Disney’s “Frozen” and the holidays at Disney Parks. The “Frozen” package includes your choice of the Anna or Elsa wigs, plus shimmering makeup, face gems, nail polish, a Princess sash and a Princess cinch
bag. For an additional fee, you can add the Anna or Elsa costume and crown plus the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique imaging package to the “Frozen” package.  The Holiday Minnie Package includes shimmering makeup, face gem, nail polish, a Princess sash, a Princess cinch bag, and choice of hairstyle. The package also includes a festive a Holiday Minnie Mouse costume complete with a coordinating Minnie
Mouse headband. Both offering will end on January 3, 2014, or when supplies run out.  Guests in California will find these packages at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Fantasyland inside Disneyland park. Guests in Florida, will find these packages at the World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney Marketplace or inside Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park. You can also find more information at Disneyland.com/Style or DisneyWorld.com/Style.

Magic Kingdom News

New! Disney Vacation Club kiosk opens in New Fantasyland: On November 18, 2013, a new Disney Vacation Club kiosk opened in New Fantasyland, directly across from Under the Sea ­ Journey of the Little Mermaid. Set in Prince Eric’s Village, the new location is designed to look like a mapmaker’s studio and a woodcarver’s shop and features fun details for Guests and Members who can stop by and learn more about Disney Vacation Club.

Epcot News

spice road table
New! Spice Road Table Coming to Morocco Pavilion at Epcot: While not open yet, the new Spice Road Table was recently announced as a future addition to World Showcase eateries. The new restaurant will offer a variety of Moroccan small plates and specialty drinks. Regional flavors from the Mediterranean are highlighted, along with a scenic view of the World Showcase lagoon in front of the Morocco pavilion.

New! Epcot Main Entrance Touch Point Conversion Completed: On November 13th, Epcot cast celebrated the completion of the Epcot Main Entrance project. Epcot was the first to test the Touch to Enter concept in spring of 2011. There are now 68 touch points, an increase from 28 turnstiles.

Animal Kingdom News

New! Tamu Tamu Refreshments Menu Changes on Nov. 24: Tamu Tamu Refreshments is changing a few of their lunch/dinner menu items starting Nov. 24. Adding: Slow cooked chicken curry Roasted vegetable and tofu curry Roasted chicken salad. Removing: Slow cooked pulled beef sandwich Fruit Salad Quinoa salad.

Downtown Disney News

New! Beautifully Disney’s Fantasy in Flight Debuting at Disney Parks: Dazzle those around you this holiday season with a shimmering new collection from Beautifully Disney titled Fantasy in Flight! Granting your wish for a party perfect color palette, this collection sparkles with imagination. Look for lip glosses, nail polishes, a mini nail polish set, eye shadow palette and more beginning November 23! Join us November 23 as we launch the new Fantasy in Flight collection at Disney Vault 28 in the Downtown Disney District.
Beautifully Disney is working on a few special opportunities at Disney Vault 28 between 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.  A special Beautifully Disney launch event will take place the same day at Tren­D in Downtown Disney Marketplace at the Walt Disney World Resort from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. with a special meet and greet opportunity with fashionista Isabella as well as mini­makeover stations.

New! Downtown Disney Construction Updates:  Entrance 3 is now completely closed to inbound and
outbound vehicular traffic. Pedestrians, including Cast Members traveling from the Hess lot, can continue to
use the crosswalk, passing through Entrance 3. Ring Road will be closed to all vehicular traffic from Planet
Hollywood to DisneyQuest, as work on the West Garage project continues. Guests traveling in vehicles that
wish to move between the east and west parking lots will need to use Buena Vista Drive. Pleasure Island
Taxi Service Relocation Taxi service, formerly in front of Planet Hollywood, has been relocated to the Bridge
2 area in front of Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant.

 New! Pedestrian Walkway Opens at Downtown Disney: A new pedestrian walkway connects the West Side and Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney. This temporary addition will help with guest traffic flow and should make it easier to move from one district to the other.  The beautiful boardwalk meanders alongVillage Lake, offering guests a spectacular waterfront view.

Holidays Arrive at Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom

mk christmas

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Began November 8, 2013 at Magic Kingdom Park: Enjoy live entertainment, festive fireworks and a jolly holiday parade at this winter celebration in Magic Kingdom Park— on select nights from 7:00 PM to midnight, November 8 to December 20, 2013! Party highlights include: Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle, Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, Holiday Wishes Fireworks: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, Meet-­and­greet opportunities throughout Magic Kingdom park with some of your favorite Disney Characters, Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa and a magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A!

Downtown Disney

New! Meet Santa Claus at Downtown Disney Marketplace: The Downtown Disney Area is be decked in yuletide cheer, with twinkling lights, holiday carolers and storytellers for Festival of the Seasons Nov. 15­ Dec. 29. Santa Claus will visit and take photos with Guests at his chalet in the Downtown Disney Marketplace during the following times: Nov. 15 – ­28 5 – ­10 p.m. and Nov. 29­ – Dec. 24 noon – ­10 p.m.  After Santa heads north, Santa Goofy steps in to take his place: Dec. 25 – ­29 3­10 p.m.

New! Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney: During Festival of the Seasons Guests will be immersed in a holiday scene throughout the Downtown Disney area. Larger­than­life Toy Soldiers and drifting Snowflake stilt walkers will set the scenes. Captivating storytellers will entertain and educate with tales of Hanukkah at Keith’s Park, Nov. 27 – ­Dec. 4, and Kwanzaa on the Waterside stage, Dec. 26 – ­27.

Holiday display installations are beginning at Walt Disney World Resort hotels too! Most will be complete this week or next.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is celebrating its 15th year of their famous life­sized gingerbread house. It officially opened November 16th. The Grand Floridian Christmas tree is being installed Nov 20.

At Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, a replica of a New Jersey shore boardwalk concession stand is sweet enough to entice the grumpiest of Scrooges. Don’t forget: The talented pastry chef that designed the famous gingerbread creation will meet guests November 29.  Pastry chef Matt Avery will be meeting with Guests from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Disney’s Boardwalk.

At Disney’s Beach Club Resort, chocolate and fondant ponies prance on a life­size, edible spinning carousel complemented by a miniature gingerbread replica of Cinderella Castle.

At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, a 17-­foot-­tall gingerbread holiday tree, inspired by the art of Disney legend Mary Blair, has 15 hidden Mickeys to find.

At Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, an adorable holiday village, complete with a miniature train, is surrounded
with sugar­rock mountains.

At Epcot, Mrs. Claus’ Bake Shop at the Promenade at the American Adventure Pavilion will sell freshly baked holiday items beginning Nov. 29. On Dec. 2, The Land Pavilion will be showcasing the work of Disney pastry chefs who have created gingerbread icons from Disney parks and resorts around the world.

At Magic Kingdom Park, a miniature gingerbread replica of the 1776 Independence Hall in Philadelphia will delight history buffs who pass through Liberty Square.

Renovations and Closures at Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom

  • “it’s a small world” 12/02/13 -­ 12/12/13
  • Casey’s Corner 01/06/14 -­ 02/15/14
  • Tomorrowland Speedway 01/06/14 -­ 01/12/14
  • Splash Mountain 01/06/14 -­ 03/21/14
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin 01/13/14 -­ 01/16/14
  • Liberty Square Riverboat 01/21/14 ­- 01/30/14

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Lights, Motors, Action  11/18/13 -­ 11/22/13

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Kali River Rapids 12/02/13 ­- 12/13/2013

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

  • Closed for annual refurbishment 10/27/13 -­ 12/21/13

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

  • Closed for annual refurbishment 01/06/14 -­ 03/17/14

Disney’s All Star Sports Resort

  • End Zone Food Court  Closed 08/05/13 -­ 12/20/13
  • Arcade  closed during this time frame as it will be used as a temporary Food Court with “Grab & Go” items 07/29/13 -­ 12/20/13
  • Surf’s Up Pool 01/06/14 -­ 01/24/14

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

  • Quiet Pool 12/02/13 -­ 12/03/13

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

  • Pool slides ­ pools remain open 01/27/14 -­ 02/07/14

Disney’s Polynesian Resort  

  • Beach & Sunset Point  Access to the east portion of the beach, near the Transportation and Ticket Center, and Sunset Point will be unavailable due to a scheduled refurbishment. However, all other amenities will not be affected. Some rooms in certain room categories in impacted buildings have been taken off the market during the renovation period.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

  • Hippy Dippy Pool 12/09/13 -­ 12/11/13

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort ­ French Quarter

  • Doubloon Lagoon Pool ­ transportation will be provided for Guests to swim at Ol’ Man Island Pool at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort ­ Riverside 01/13/14 ­- 02/28/14

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Villas Hidden Springs Pool & Spa  10/14/13 -­ 11/15/13

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

  • Congress Park Pool 01/22/14 -­ 01/23/14

Downtown Disney® Area

  • Cap’n Jack’s Marina ­ Closed
  • Parking Lots H,I,J,K Closed
  • Fuego ­ closed
  • Wetzels Pretzels ­ closed 10/20/13
  • House of Blues -­ Starting on November 14, The House of Blues at Downtown Disney West Side is expanding its patio, building a new stage and adding a barbecue smokehouse. The House of Blues ticket sales window has moved inside the House of Blues retail shop. The expansion is expected to be complete in mid­January 2014.  During this time, there will be no live entertainment on the Front Porch stage.

Disney Golf Courses

  • Disney’s Palm Golf Course  Closed 06/12/13 -­ 12/15/13


Disneyland Resort in California

  • New! Limited Time Magic Get ready to glow at Disney California Adventure Park: As part of Limited Time Magic, make your way to a special viewing area for performances of “World of Color – Winter Dreams”! This wondrous nighttime experience brings to life the spirit of the season with beloved Disney characters, heartwarming holiday music and dazzling special effects. And when you wear your Glow with the Show Ears, you can even gain access to a special viewing area—available to Guests with valid “World of Color” FASTPASS® tickets! This viewing area has a limited capacity, and entry will only be offered for a limited time, on a first­come first­serve basis. Don’t miss out on this glowing opportunity!
  • New! Meet Stephen Twining from Twinings of London: This month, Stephen Twining, a tenth­generation member of the famous tea family, will be meeting with guests during special events held in Florida and California. Stephen, who joined Twinings in 1985, now serves as Director of Corporate Relations for Twinings of London. At the upcoming appearances, he will be meeting with guests and signing tea boxes. There will also be demonstrations on how to make both cold and hot teas. Guests in Florida met Stephen at the Tea Caddy location on November 15­16 from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day. Guests at Disneyland Resort can meet him on November 22. He will be at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe located inside Disneyland park from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. that day.
  • New! Check Quick Service Receipts: Guests who visit certain quick­service (QSR) locations in Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort theme parks Nov. 19 through Jan. 6 will receive a coupon attached to their receipt. The coupon offers 20 percent off purchase at participating merchandise locations during store opening and 1 p.m. between Nov. 19 and Jan. 7.
  • Downtown Disney Winter Village at the Disneyland Resort Opened Nov 14: If you feel that the holidays are incomplete without ice skating – either doing it yourself or comfortably watching others do it – the Downtown Disney District will be the place for you this holiday season. An entire Downtown Disney Winter Village will spring up around ESPN Zone and AMC Theatres on Thursday, November 14, adding extra cheer to the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort. You’ll be able to visit quaint holiday cottages, browse for gifts in the “shopping chalets” and admire a 30-­foot Christmas tree, the centerpiece of Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink, inspired by the lovable snowman in the latest Walt Disney Pictures animated feature “Frozen.”  Operating hours are 3 – 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 3 – 11:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Other activities in the Downtown Disney District are scheduled for various dates and times during the holiday season.
  • New Surprises in Store for ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday at Disneyland Park: Holidays at Disneyland Resort just got merrier… and they’re about to get a little brighter, too! Evenings beginning November 12, the smiling clock at the front of “it’s a small world” Holiday will mark every quarter hour in a surprising new way. Using advanced 3D projection technology, the façade of the entire attraction will be transformed into an enormous, clockwork mechanism.
  • Renovations– Click on this pdf to download the latest renovations and closures at Disneyland.

Universal Orlando Resort

despicable me rooms at portofino

New Despicable Me­Inspired Kids’ Suites Debut at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel: The world’s first and only Despicable Me­inspired hotel suites are making their debut at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort. The suites bring to life the excitement and playfulness of Gru’s house, featuring missile beds and Minions, who rappel from the ceiling and surround guests with their unpredictable antics.

November 21 – ­23: TNA Returns To Universal Studios in Orlando: TNA IMPACT Wrestling returns to Universal Orlando for tapings on November 21, 22 & 23 on Sound Stage 19. Each show starts at 7:00pm and the park guest line opens at 6:00pm.

Hard Rock Live: Upcoming shows at Hard Rock Live include Craig Ferguson on Wednesday, Nov 20 at 8:00pm and Janelle Monae on Friday, Nov 22 at 8:00pm. Info: http://www.hardrock.com/live/locations/orlando/calendar.aspx

Harbor Nights Wine Tasting & Jazz ­ Friday, November 29, 2013 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM: Join us for a wine tasting and jazz event designed to capture the ambiance of the Mediterranean, featuring select wines and
sparkling wines, gourmet food samples, live music and more! Harbor Nights takes place under the twinkling lights of the Harbor Piazza at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. Plus, don’t miss the grand illumination of Portofino’s Christmas tree under the twinkling lights of the majestic Harbor Piazza.  Tickets: General admission: $45 in advance/$55 at the door VIP/reserved tickets: $75 online only (VIP/reserved includes ticket, seating in private section, private wine station and passed hors d’oeuvres).

Hogwarts Express Arrives at UOR -­ The Hogwarts Express has arrived at Universal Orlando Resort.
Universal Orlando placed the iconic locomotive and train tender on the tracks between the two theme parks.
Just like in the books and films – guests will be able to board the Hogwarts Express and travel between The
Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, which opened in June 2010 at Islands of Adventure, and
‘London’ when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opens at Universal Studios Florida next

Leaky Cauldron Restaurant will be part of new Diagon Alley: Representatives from Universal Orlando held a press conference at the World Travel Market in London. As part of the meeting it was announced that the
Leaky Cauldron will be part of the new Diagon Alley opening next year.

Jurassic Park Midway Games -­ New Midway style games have opened in the Jurassic park area at Islands of Adventure.

Closures and Refurbishments

  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!™: Closed 11/3 ­ 11/23
  • Dragon Challenge™: Closed 11/4 ­ 11/22, the Chinese Fireball side will be closed for seasonal maintenance. However, the Hungarian Horntail side will operate as usual.

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida. She would love to help you plan your next vacation at no cost to you. Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email spreadingmagic@gmail.com for more information.