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Universal Orlando Weekly Preview — Week of December 16

by on December 15, 2017
Filed under: Universal Orlando Resort

Hear that distant drum beat? It’s the sign the holidays are approaching (or are occurring, Happy Hanukkah) and with it comes cooler weather, increased prices, and terrifying crowds. This week we take a photo tour of the holidays at Universal Orlando, start a new segment “Small Universe”, and preview the week to come.

Weekly Crowd Levels

We’re entering Christmas season at Universal Orlando and the crowd calendar shows to expect long lines and crowded pathways. Make sure to pack your patience.

Detailed crowd level information can be found here.

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Disneyland Weekly Preview — Week of December 16

by on December 15, 2017
Filed under: Disney California Adventure, Disneyland (CA), Disneyland Park, Park Hours, Trip Planning, Weather, Weekly Preview

Heading to Disneyland this week? Read on to find out what to expect in this week’s Disneyland preview!

Special Events and Notes

The Festival of Holidays continues this week at California Adventure, featuring food and drink kiosks sprinkled throughout the park.  Also, Princess Elena of Avalor has a special show, and Disney ¡Viva Navidad! (celebrating Latino holiday traditions) will be taking place throughout the Festival. During the Festival, Annual Passholders are eligible to pick up a Sip & Savor Pass for $45 that is good for eight Festival food and beverage offerings (excluding alcohol). In addition to potentially saving you some money, you’ll also get a lanyard and a special AP button at each kiosk where you redeem a coupon.  Passholders can stop by the AP Corner at Sonoma Terrace for exclusive photo opportunities and a complimentary commemorative collectible art button.

At Disneyland Park, A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Believe… In Holiday Magic are being shown in lieu of the regular daytime parade and evening fireworks, respectively.  Over at Disney’s California Adventure, World of Color has been replaced by World of Color — Season of Light. All of these special shows are included with your normal park admission, so make sure you check them out. Read the rest of this entry »

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of December 15, 2017

by on December 15, 2017
Filed under: Uncategorized

In Case You Missed ItIt’s time!  Have you already caught Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Will you be seeing it this weekend? No spoilers! Remember, not everyone can see the movie opening day or even opening weekend. Especially during this busy time of year! (Don’t these other obligations know there’s a massive movie opening this weekend?! If you did catch the film this weekend, I hope you thoroughly enjoyed it!

This week, we look at the latest Disney trend (rose gold ears were so last month), look at where you can dine with Marvel characters (hint, it’s not where you’d expect) and more.

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

I think there may have been some big news about Disney and Fox this week……what do you think about this massively large news?

Yum! Looking for the best cocktails in the Disney Parks and Resorts? Travel Channel has some suggestions. And they sound incredible. Which one do you want to try?

Oh my goodness! Look at the adorableness of the two new baby tiger cubs! You can now see them on the Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. (Darn it! I was week too early when I went over there last week!)

Looking for something fun to do with the kiddos this holiday break? Fill out the Coco Family Tree and have them learn about this heritage.

Coco was just nominated for two Golden Globes for Best Animated Feature & Best Original Song (“Remember Me”). See what other Disney related shows and movies were nominated.

Coco has hit the $400 million dollar mark globally this week.

Speaking of hitting the $400 million dollar mark, it’s expected that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will hit that and more during its opening weekend. Crazy!!!

Did BB8 bow to the Princes at the London premiere?! How awesome!

In Case We Missed It

What did we miss? Attach your ideas to a Dooney & Bourke Peter Pan Wristlet Bag and send it to with the words “In Case You Missed It” in the subject line.

Disney Cruise Line Weekly Preview — Week of December 16

by on December 15, 2017
Filed under: Disney Cruise Line, Weekly Preview

The Disney Cruise Line Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.

Ahoy, mateys! I’m Heather, and I’ll be bringing you the up and coming on all things Disney Cruise Line. Welcome back again this week. Let’s see what’s new in the DCL world.

Ports of Call 


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Walt Disney World Preview — Week of December 16

by on December 14, 2017
Filed under: Walt Disney World (FL), Weekly Preview

This week brings you beautiful weather and Star Wars fun. Keep reading for more!

Special Events

  • Star Wars: Galactic Nights is Saturday, December 16 from 7:00 pm – midnight. If you’re attending, bring your ticket stub from Star Wars: The Last Jedi for a commemorative holiday ornament! (Valid for movie tickets used Dec. 14-17.)
  • Neil Patrick Harris is narrating the Candlelight Processional this week! You can see him from December 18–21.
  • Flights of Wonder, a bird show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, will be ending on December 31. Catch this show before it’s gone forever!

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Monthly Merchandise Spotlight, December 2017

by on December 13, 2017
Filed under: Disney Springs, Merchandise

Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? If not, we’ve got some great last-minute ideas to sneak under the Christmas tree. This month, we’re in Disney Springs, the ultimate shopping area at Walt Disney World.

I think I already shared this photo in a Best Week Ever article, but I just had to mention it again. These hats at Chapel Hats are some of my favorite items in the store…(hint hint). But now on to other things.

The Arribas Brothers store has a variety of unique gifts for when you just don’t know what to get anyone. Some of the items there are very reasonably priced. Others, well, you might need a really special someone to splurge. This Maleficient piece, for instance, will set you back a little over $2,000.

At the other side of the store, with the Swarvoski merchandise, they had a stunning Darth Vader sculpture. I opted not to try and get a close look of it, however. The price tag was $29,500. Makes that Maleficient piece seem like a bargain, doesn’t it? 😉

Moving on to the Marketplace Co-Op. Truth told, that’s the store I spend more of my time in than World of Disney. They have such adorable stuff–clothing, artwork, home goods, and more. For the holidays, they have a full display of the Bambi-themed table service items. What’s interesting is that some of these items have been spotted in the Outlets, but here they are again (and at full price). Still, who wouldn’t love something like a Bambi milk creamer or a Thumper gravy boat?

Even though I’m not a dress person, I could do an entire post about the dress shop in the Marketplace Co-Op. I was very tempted by the Orange Bird dress (shown here), though.


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New Details About Terralina Crafted Italian Restaurant at Disney Springs

by on December 13, 2017
Filed under: Dining, Disney Springs, Recent News

Well, it looks like the opening date for Terralina Crafted Italian which will be located in The Landing section of Disney Springs has been pushed back. Originally slated to open in the fall of this year, the Italian restaurant will now open in early 2018.

The backstory behind the newly refurbished restaurant (Terralina is replacing Portobello) is that a first-generation Italian family, from the Lake District, who built a home in Disney Springs, has been expanding their home over the years to welcome more friends and neighbors to enjoy their hospitality, and food.

Terralina Crafted Italian will feature an open rotunda that will welcome guests with a rustic stone fireplace. There will also be a new outdoor patio with a veranda bar that spills out into the Disney Springs promenade, and a two-story glass conservatory that showcases stunning views of Lake Buena Vista. Out front, there will be a herb garden just outside the doors.

Terralina Crafted Italian is being brought to life courtesy of James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano and will be open for lunch and dinner. Dishes will include artisanal pizzas and fresh vegetable items fired up in a wood-burning oven. Two new signatures items will be added, mussels and a grilled pork chop, along with favorites from Portobello included too, such as the antipasti platter and signature pastas.

Stay tuned for more details about this upcoming dining experience.

The Edison Will Open at Disney Springs With a Dazzling New Year’s Eve Event

by on December 13, 2017
Filed under: Disney Springs, Recent News

The Edison

©The Edison

It’s the date you’ve all been waiting for! The Edison, located in The Landing at Disney Springs has an opening date and they are going to celebrate the opening in style with a Grand Opening party on New Year’s Eve!

The event will showcasing The Edison’s lavish Industrial Gothic-style, crave-worthy food and exceptional cocktails. In addition, there will be a spectacular lineup of world-class entertainment for Guests to enjoy.  The Edison will be a fully immersive gastronomic experience and will feature multiple themed areas to exploreand also includes a waterfront patio that overlooks Lake Buena Vista.

The Edison will be an awe-inspiring place for families to come throughout the day for delicious contemporary American fare and drinks. At night, The Edison truly comes alive for the adult crowd and provides a sensory overload of entertainment that will include live musicians, dancers and aerialists – all of which will be on display during the New Year’s Eve Grand Opening.

Doors for the New Year’s Eve Grand Opening evening will open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 and are available to the first 350 guests to purchase. The evening will include tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, live-action food stations and a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits from 8:00 p.m until midnight. In addition, there will be a selection of coffee, desserts and a celebratory midnight toast to ring in the new year.

Guests attending this event must be at least 21 years of age. Also, keep in mind that there will be a dress code, as men may wear slacks, jeans or dress shorts. No ball caps, sleeveless shirts or flip-flops are permitted.

Looks like this party will be a fun way to say welcome to the neighborhood to The Edison!

Ask It: Best Fireworks, NYE or July 4?

by on December 13, 2017
Filed under: Holidays, Just For Fun 3 Comments

There’s nothing like a Disney fireworks show. For certain holidays, Disney pulls out all the stops. You know that scene in Mary Poppins where the Banks family has to get to their posts to hold things in place as Admiral Boom sounds a charge from next door? It’s like that for the locals some nights as the sound like a wave of thunder rattles the windows and doors. (It’s a glorious time of year — we all love it!)

At Disney parks, there are two nights when the fireworks are their best: New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July. But which one does it better? This week we’re asking you:

Which holiday has the best fireworks shows at Walt Disney World?

View Results

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Voting is live here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your results next week. In the meantime, feel free to tell us in the comments what’s your favorite park or favorite place in the park to catch those holiday fireworks shows?

Ask It Results: Universal Orlando Holiday

by on December 13, 2017
Filed under: Holidays, Just For Fun

Theme parks and the holidays go together like peanut butter and jelly, coffee and cream, computers and technical issues. But we’re ready to go for this week’s Ask It results. Although Disney in years past has the sentimental vote for best holiday theme park from out-of-town guests, losing things like Lights of Winter at Epcot or the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios does put a bit of Grinch into that holiday spirit. This year, Universal Orlando has added Celebrate Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to their previous offerings, and that has driven more buzz about whether Universal Orlando should be a destination for the holidays, either in addition or instead of a trip to Walt Disney World.

Last week, we asked you:

Does the increase in holiday experiences at Universal Orlando make you more likely to take a trip there for the holidays?


Here’s your results:

Yes, this year (102 votes, 12%)

Although many people would find it hard to book a last-minute trip for the holidays, you can never underestimate the power of fandom. Take, for example, the number of people who booked a single-day trip to Walt Disney World to ride The Great Movie Ride before it closed. So it isn’t surprising that there’s a small percentage of people who said “Harry Potter and Christmas? Book me a flight!” The benefit of coming for experiencing something like holiday overlays is that you don’t have to do a lot of advance planning–your main focus is just to do the holiday experiences and not worry about anything else. Now getting cheap flights or hotel availability…that could be challenging. Some people love a challenge, though!

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