The Force is Strong at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2015

You can feel the power of the force when Star Wars Weekends returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios® at the Walt Disney World® Resort every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 15-June 14, 2015. This galactic event is filled with special … Continue reading

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin announces $125million redesign

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Oct. 23, 2014 – The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is getting the largest makeover in its history. The hotel has launched a multi-phase, multi-year, $125 million redesign project that will transform every … Continue reading

Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels offer “Fall Family Fun Rates”

Are you ready to take advantage of the special “Fall Family Fun Rates” that are being offered by the seven Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels from November 1-December 23, 2014? This is a great way to experience the exceptional special events … Continue reading

Tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

One of my personal favorite ticketed events at Walt Disney World is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This event is held every year from September through October on select nights in the Magic Kingdom. The party does require a … Continue reading

Goodbye to Malestrom, how I will miss you trolls and viking ships

The day we have all dreaded has come, Frozen is officially taking over Norway at Epcot and Malestrom will be no more. If there was a way I could get to Epcot in the next 3 weeks to ride it over and over again I would.

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Frozen Attraction Coming to Epcot and New Frozen Experiences at Walt Disney World Resort

You will now have even more ways to enjoy and experience the world of “Frozen,” Disney’s instant classic film, across Walt Disney World® Resort! “Frozen” has been a part of the Guest experience in a number of ways already and guests have loved them and asked for more.

Disney will be starting construction on a brand new “Frozen” attraction at the Norway Pavilion at Epcot®. The new attraction, which replaces Maelstrom, will take you to Arendelle and immerse you in many of your favorite moments and music from the film. The pavilion will also include a royal greeting location with Anna and Elsa. These “Frozen” elements are great additions to the Norway Pavilion, which showcases the country and region that inspired the film. 

In order for work to begin on the attraction and character greeting area, the last day Guests can enjoy the Maelstrom attraction is Oct. 5, 2014. The project is anticipated to be complete by early 2016, and the Norway pavilion will remain open through construction.

The wintry wonder and magic of “Frozen” will also enchant Magic Kingdom® Park this holiday season. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf join the festive holiday procession, “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” along with a flurry of skaters, skiiers, and ice cutters from the Kingdom of Arendelle. This parade is offered during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, select nights Nov. 7-Dec. 19, 2014. The parade will also be presented daily Dec. 20-31, 2014.

Each evening beginning Nov. 5, 2014, Anna and Elsa will appear in a new show on the Castle Forecourt Stage at the heart of Magic Kingdom Park, as Queen Elsa uses her incredible powers to transform Cinderella Castle into a glimmering ice palace for the holidays.

And, if you haven’t experienced “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® yet, then you are in for a special treat. Due to its popularity, two elements of this special event are now set to continue. You can enjoy “For the First Time in Forever: A ‘Frozen’ Sing-Along Celebration,” a hilarious and interactive presentation of the “Frozen” story – extended indefinitely! The show is presented up to 10 times per day in the park’s Premiere Theater on Streets of America, and Disney Fastpass+ service is now available. Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Frozen Funland will be moving on Sept. 28, 2014 from Soundstage One to a new space, in Streets of America near the exit of the Studio Backlot Tour. The new Wandering Oaken’s, expected to operate through the holiday season, will feature a larger-than-ever play area with real snow, plenty of “Frozen” merchandise, character cupcakes, and other treats.

So how do you feel about the classic ride Malestrom being replaced by a Frozen Wonderland?

My Journey to Princess Half Marathon

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I’m not a runner! With that said I have signed myself up for the Princess Half Marathon in February at Walt Disney World. WHAT! You aren’t a runner though, how could you possibly run/walk/crawl 13.1 miles? I tell ya how, motivation! Last year I became affiliated with 2 runner blogs, and booked lots and lots of rooms thanks to my friends Patty and Julie. Because I had so many clients going I felt that I needed to be there for that weekend last year to cheer them on. I figured I was at a Run Disney weekend I should do something, so I signed up for the 5k. Guess what I didn’t die! And it was tons of fun.

Me Not Dead with my 5k Medal

Me Not Dead with my 5k Medal

I left Princess Weekend last year with a challenge for myself, to come back in 2015 and run the Half. It’s a real girl power weekend. Lots of girlfriends and fun in Disney Parks and of course races. How could I not want to do it? Running is mind over matter. There are days I completely doubt my ability to finish 13.1 miles and other days I feel like a rock star. In 2 weeks I will run my 10k so I can submit my qualifier time for Princess Half, I really don’t want to start in the last Corral like not at all. I want to start far far away from anyone with balloons or on bikes.

In 2015 I will be surrounded by many of my “best running friends” cheering me on and I can’t wait. So here we go my first step to Princess Half a 10k in 2 weeks. Lord let me at least get to 12-13 minutes a mile!

Walt Disney World Resort brings us more Magic Band Upgrades

You can now show your Disney Side with retail MagicBands and accessories available for purchase at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Show your Disney Side with seven different colored MagicBands, special graphic MagicBands at special events, and fun accessories. You can personalize your MagicBands before or during your visit with “Magic Bandits” – small characters or icons that attach to the side of a MagicBand – or “Magic Sliders” and “CoverBands” – decorative elements that slide over a MagicBand.

The seven solid-color retail MagicBands are $12.95 each plus tax. Retail costs for other MagicBand accessories vary.

At the time of purchase, you must present one of the following for retail MagicBands to be linked: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or an active MagicBand. If the item linked to is already connected with the Client’s My Disney Experience account, all existing plans – such as tickets, dining reservations, Disney PhotoPass Service, and FastPass+ selections – will seamlessly link and automatically be accessible via the new MagicBand. It is important to note that the touch to pay option will only work for guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort owned-and-operated hotels who have established charging privileges on their resort accounts.

Retail MagicBands and accessories are available in several merchandise locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort. The Disney Parks online store also carries select MagicBand accessories.

Coming soon, Disney will be providing details of opportunities to develop MagicBand accessories using a Disney approved vendor. Please look out for more information coming later this year.

What do you think of more accessories for Magic Bands and non on-site guests being able to purchase them?

Look No Further For Central Orlando Discounts on Family Travel

Who the heck can keep up with the discounts that come through your in-box everyday from some of your favorite vacation destinations? I know I can’t, and I see them everyday! Here is the most current list of all the discounts around Central FL for Fall/Winter 2014!

Disney Discounts

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Walt Disney World® Resort
● Save up to 30% off Disney Resort Hotels: Do you want to bring the kids to Disney World for a getaway through fall? You still have time to save up to 30% off Disney Resort Hotels through November 25, 2014.
● Active/Retired Military Rates: For US active and retired military, save money on tickets and resort accommodations through October 2015.
● Florida Resident & Annual Passholder Rates: Florida Residents and Annual Passholders can take advantage of great rates on rooms at select Disney Resort Hotels up to 35% off through September 24, 2014.
● RunDisney Group Rates: Are you a runner? Do you want to run a race with Mickey Mouse? Join our VIP runners at Destinations in Florida for some of the favorite races including Tower of Terror, Disney Marathon, and Disney Princess Run. These exclusive rates are only with our agency.

Disneyland® Resort
● Save up to 20% off Disneyland® Resorts: For a limited time, you can save up to 20% off your hotel accommodations through September 27, 2014.
● Retired Military Rates: For US active and retired military, save money on tickets and resort accommodations through October 2015.
● Book a Package for as Little as $89 Per Person/Per Day: Stay right down the road from the Disney Magic at a Good Neighbor Hotel from now through November 21 for as little as $89 per person/per day.
● 3rd, 4th or 5th Night Free at Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels: Visit Anaheim during select nights through December 2014. Stay at a select Disney Good Neighbor Hotels and enjoy a 3rd night, 4th night or 5th night free. Contact your favorite Destinations in Florida/Destinations to Explore agent for details.

Disney Cruise Line®

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● New! Canadian Residents Save up to 20% Off: From November 2014-January 2015, Canadian Residents can save up to 20% off Disney Cruise prices on select cruises.
● Special Rates for Florida Residents and US Military: Take advantage of special deals for Florida Residents and active/retired United States Military.

Universal Orlando Resort Discounts

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● Florida Resident Halloween Horror Nights Package: Are you ready to scream? You can now book a HHN Package at special savings, just for Florida Residents.
● Halloween Horror Nights Packages: For non-Florida Residents, you can still save money with a special HHN Package from $459 per adult at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort most Sun-Thurs September 19-November 1, 2014.
● Halloween Horror Nights Tickets: Pre-order your HHN tickets to save money and lock in your favorite date. These are now available as stand alone tickets or they can be added to any Universal Orlando package.
● Cabana Bay Beach Resort Florida Resident Deal: Florida Residents can experience this new hotel from just $79 per night plus tax.
● Universal 1-Day or 2-Day Pass with Shuttle Transportation for 2014: Take a day away from the Disney World Parks to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Book a 1-Day or 2-Day Pass to Universal Studios with shuttle transportation included in the ticket.
● “Take 2” Transfer: If you do not want to rent a car during your Orlando vacation, take advantage of the new “Take 2” Transfer ticket for only $39 per person. This transfer includes transportation from a Disney Resort hotel to Universal Orlando Resort for a Universal Studios vacation. After your Universal vacation, the transportation takes you back to the Orlando International Airport.

Sea World Discounts
● Eat for Free During Your Vacation: Book a Sea World Package at one of the partner hotels and get the All Day Dining Deal for FREE!
● Kids Free at Sea World: Book your Sea World Package and kids play for free. You will receive one free child ticket (ages 3-9) for every paid adult.

Other Orlando Discounts
● Air Tour Over Orlando: The air tour over Orlando’s theme parks is a great way to get amazing aerial views of Orlando’s most famous attractions. Piloted by an FAA-certified pilot, the flight offers you perfect views of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot, the Wide World of Sports Complex and more from 1,100 feet. This tour starts from $64!
● See Oldest City in the United States with a St. Augustine Day Trip: Enjoy a day in America’s oldest town, Saint Augustine. On this day trip from Orlando, head east to the picturesque Atlantic-coast town, where you can wander the cobbled streets and enjoy a meal in one of the many promenade cafes. St Augustine is a unique city filled with colonial Spanish neighborhoods, magnificent buildings and a wonderful, old-time charm. Prices from $64!

And don’t forget to contact your favorite travel agent (ahem) when you are ready for a FREE no obligation quote. I can be reached at 443-424-0181 or just shoot me an email at jenniferg@destinationsinflorida.com

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Add a little bling to your Magic Band with Cover Bands

Tired of those plain Magic Bands when you go to Disney World? Wouldn’t you love to add a little something extra to dress it up? My friend Morgan over at DVC Central makes a product called Cover Bands. Cover Bands are vinyl decals for your theme park and fitness (Flex only) wristbands! They’re removable (not reusable) and waterproof. Cover Bands are really reasonably priced anywhere from $6.00 and up, depending on what you would like. And they ship for a flat $1 fee to anywhere in the world and can be delivered to your resort if you leave your name, name of your hotel, and check-in date in the COMMENTS section of your order. From the Classic Disney Characters, to Princesses and more Cover Bands well have you covered.

When you get your Cover Bands they will come on a sheet just like the one below. Since we had a yellow Magic Band laying around we decided to try the Mickey Cover Band.

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Just peel the Cover Band off the adhesive paper and apply to your Magic Band. Yes it really is that easy!

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Then just put on your Magic Band and Rock Your Band in the parks of Walt Disney World Resort!

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Morgan was nice enough to offer me a FREE Cover Band for an honest review, and honestly I love them! If you would like to order one just visit DVC Central. Also, give Morgan a Follow on twitter @centralmorgan and Like her on facebook to keep up with the newest bands!

But wait there is more!! Morgan was AWESOME enough to donate a Cover Band for me to giveaway to 1 lucky reader! All you have to do is comment on this blog post the band you would most like for your next trip and you will be entered to WIN a Frozen themed Cover Band courtesy of DCV Central.

Enter to Win!

Enter to Win!

What’s new Around the Mouse this week?

There are exciting new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida! Join us every week to read about what’s new “Around the Mouse.” This week’s Walt Disney World news update features: new Frozen MagicBands, other new merchandise, special events and much more!

What’s New This Week?

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Walt Disney World Theme Parks

New! Limited Edition Olaf from Frozen Magic Band Available: A new, limited edition retail MagicBand, featuring Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen” is now available at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This limited edition MagicBand will have an edition size of 5,000, and will have a retail of $29.95 (plus tax). This new MagicBand will join three open edition MagicBands inspired by Disney’s “Frozen,” which are currently offered in Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post.

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Reminder: New F.O.N.E.s to Stop Doofenshmirtz: On June 27, Agent P World Showcase Adventure replaced its classic flip phones with sleek new secret communicators. Traveling around the world and saving the day from the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz takes the best technology out there and now guests have it! The new screen is three times bigger than the previous version, and the colors are more vivid. Cast Members also give Guests their communicators in a protective pouch, which one can attach to a lanyard, making it harder for the evil doer to reach the top-secret, crime-fighting information.

Reminder! Haunted Mansion-Themed Merchandise Shop Opening This Fall in Magic Kingdom Park: The new merchandise shop will be located in the current Yankee Trader shop, which will have its last day of operation on July 27, 2014. Inspired by Madame Leota, the new location will carry select items from the upcoming Haunted Mansion Authentic program including apparel, home goods, souvenirs, and more.

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Reminder! New Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Late Nights – LIVE!: Epcot Food & Wine Festival – Late Nights LIVE! street party will run from 9:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday during the festival between the United Kingdom Pavilion and World Showcase Plaza. The event includes six tastes (food and beverages) from select marketplaces, live music, entertainment, and a DJ. Cost is $79, plus tax. Admission to Epcot is not required after 9 p.m. for guests who have purchased credentials to the event.

Reminder! Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package: From noon-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday during a select festival period (September 22-November 6), the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package is an opportunity for guests staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel (or the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels) to sip and savor in style. The package includes an in-room gift with wine for guests 21 and older, a festival wine glass, truffles and credential for the Premium Package Areas at the festival – plus an Epcot International Food & Wine Festival MagicBand and a $50 Disney Gift Card to start the fun. The credential gives access to 10 VIP “Premium Package Areas” around World Showcase Promenade where you can order items from Marketplaces and have them delivered to you – no waiting in line. You can also bring your favorite marketplace treats into the Premium Package Areas and just relax. The package also includes one admission to Epcot Food & Wine Festival – Late Nights LIVE!, which you can attend on Tuesday or Thursday night. Cost is $199 per guest, plus tax, plus Epcot admission.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

New! Sassagoula Rivercruise Reopening Soon: The Downtown Disney Marketplace Watercraft dock is scheduled to reopen Aug. 15. It has been closed since February, as part of the overall enhancements at the property. When the dock reopens, the following service changes to the Sassagoula Rivercruise will take effect:
◾The Downtown Disney Water Taxi, currently servicing the West Side and Pleasure Island, will once again include the Marketplace
◾Service to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, which is currently located at the Pleasure Island dock, will return to the Marketplace dock.
◾Service to Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort will remain at the West Side dock.

Walt Disney World Resort – General

New! Beautifully Disney “Tangled Web” Collection: This delightfully dark seventh collection from Beautifully Disney arrives at Disney Parks on August 9. Paying homage to those vivacious villains who have a flair for the dark side, you’ll be sure to find Tangled Web simply sinister.Beautifully Disney

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Reminder! Inaugural ESPN Fantasy Football Conventions Coming to Walt Disney World: On August 22-23, you can officially kick-off sport’s greatest season of the year with ESPN‘s inaugural Fantasy Football Convention, taking place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The first-of-its-kind event features unprecedented access to ESPN talent including Matthew Berry, Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, Sara Walsh, Mark Schlereth, Stephania Bell, Tim Hasselbeck and more! The event includes an epic Tailgate Party, where you can mix and mingle with ESPN talent and be a judge in the first-ever ESPN Chili Bowl by taste testing creations from decorated Disney Chefs from around the world, and breakfast with some of your favorite characters decked out for the gridiron. The Convention includes a live broadcast of Fantasy Football Now. The event finale features the opportunity to take part in a live fantasy football draft with the help of ESPN Fantasy Experts roaming the floor. And best yet, season winners of leagues created during the Convention will receive a customized trophy. Talk about bragging rights! Price is $349 per person.

Reminder! WonderGround Gallery Joins Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney: A small assortment of WonderGround Gallery items was recently added to the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. WonderGround Gallery opened in June 2012 at Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort in California. It is a distinctive and eclectic contemporary art collection which showcases unique art by some incredibly talented artists. Now a small sample of their work is available at Walt Disney World too.

Merchandise Events
◾August 7: Meet Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue” director/co-writer Bobs Gannaway from 3 – 4 p.m. at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace, as he signs some of the new “Planes: Fire & Rescue” merchandise available at Disney Parks.
◾August 7 – 11: Find the latest releases from Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace.
◾August 14 – 17: Keep an eye out! Renowned artist David E. Doss will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection!
◾August 14 – 17: It’s time for you to check out the latest releases from international artist Larry Dotson, who will be appearing throughout the day at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park.
◾August 23: Keep an eye out for spellbinding commemorative T-shirts and more as part of the “Villains Unleashed” event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Remember, a separate ticket is required to attend this event. If you are thinking of going, purchase tickets now at http://www.DisneyVillainsParty.com or by calling 407.939.1933.
◾August 29: Be sure to pick up a copy of Tinker Bell: An Evolution, a full biography about everyone’s favorite fiery fairy by author Mindy Johnson. Mindy will appear at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace from 3 – 4 p.m., alongside special guest and Disney Legend, Alice Davis. Tip: Also being released during the event is Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man.

Stay tuned every week for updates and new events Around the Mouse!