Recent News

Photo Gallery: First look at Universal Orlando’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

by on April 1, 2014

Welcome to 1962! The first phase of Cabana Bay Beach Resort opened on March 31, and we are bringing you a photographic peek at Universal Orlando Resort’s first moderately priced hotel. As you can see, the new resort is inspired by the mid-century modern motor lodges from Wildwood, New Jersey, to Miami Beach, which once defined the American family vacation. We’ll be back in the near future with a fully detailed review of the resort, but for now enjoy this pictorial guide to the newly launched property.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Exterior

 

Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort photos

Photos by Seth Kubersky

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Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Returns to Epcot

by on March 31, 2014

Sounds Like Summer Concert SeriesThe Sounds Like Summer concert series is returning, yet again, starting this June. These fun concerts take place at Epcot’s America Gardens Theatre, which is found at the American Adventure Pavilion. These concerts feature tribute band performers that are extremely talented, singing classic songs you know and love.

Seven acts will light up the stage this year. Each band will perform for a week at a time. This year’s concert line up includes:

  • June 8-14: Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles
  • June 15-21: Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey Tribute Band
  • June 22-28: Good Vibrations – A Tribute to The Beach Boys
  • June 29-July 5: Don’t Look Back – Boston Tribute Band
  • July 6-12: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 13-19: Slippery When Wet – The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
  • July 20-26: 2U – A Tribute to U2

Show times are at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8:00 p.m., with the exception of July 4, when show times are at 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m., and 9 p.m. Do keep in mind that shows are subject to change.

Best of all, the Sounds Like Summer concerts are included with Epcot admission.

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2014 Night of Joy Tickets to go on Sale Soon

by on March 30, 2014

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©Disney

Tickets for this year’s Night of Joy event will go on sale tomorrow (March 31).

Single day tickets will cost $59, plus tax, if purchased ahead of time. They will be $69, plus tax, at the door. There will also be a two night ticket option available that will cost $108 for both nights, plus tax, and it will include one day admission to Blizzard BeachTyphoon Lagoon, or DisneyQuest. The two day ticket must be purchased by August 5.

The artists for the event include:

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Parking Fees Increase at Walt Disney World

by on March 30, 2014

2014-02-18 09.11Parking fees at the four Walt Disney World theme parks have increased across the board. In addition, valet fees at the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels have also seen a price increase.

At the theme parks, parking has increased by $2. Here is the new breakdown:

  • Automobile, taxi, limo, or motorcycle: $17 (up from $15)
  • Camper, trailer or RV: $18 (up from $16)
  • Bus or tractor trailer: $21 (up from $19)

Do keep in mind that once you pay that rate for the day, you may utilize any of parking lots at any of the four theme parks (just show your receipt). Also, keep in mind that if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, your parking is complimentary for the length of your stay and valid resort identification is required for the privilege. Annual Passholders also have complimentary parking.

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Off-site Guests Will Have Access to FastPass+ Starting March 31

by on March 28, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Beginning March 31, guests who are not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort will be able to make FastPass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance. Day guests will be able to accomplish this by logging in to their My Disney Experience account via the app or via the website.

In order to have the ability to schedule advance FastPass+ reservations, off-site guests must first link their single or multi-day tickets into their My Disney Experience account.  Off-site guests will no longer be forced to make reservations on the day of their visit via the in-park kiosks.

If off-site guests would like, they will eventually be able to purchase MagicBands. The cost is said to be $12.95, plus tax, per band. Keep in mind that MagicBands are not required; day guests will still have the ability to use their RFID-enabled ticket media, if they prefer.

Those guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will still be able to make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days out. This means that guests staying on-site will still have a bit of an advantage. Annual Passholders will also be able to make FastPass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance.

FastPass+ kiosks will still be available in the parks for guests who wish to use them.

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Walt Disney World Resorts Newsworthy Notes – 3/27/14

by on March 27, 2014

There are a few small newsworthy items occurring at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels that I thought you should know:

  • A brand new experience will be testing at the Atlantic Dance Hall found on the boardwalk area at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. Guests are invited to rock out at the “Tom Casey’s Let’s Get Rockin’” interactive band experience. The party gets started every Thursday night, starting at 9:00 p.m. Here, guests will have the opportunity to get up on stage and sing karaoke style or play an instrument, both with a live band. It’s like The American Idol Experience on steroids! Guests can choose from over 400 songs to play or sing, from all genres. There is a $5 cover charge per person. For more information, visit their website.
  • Over at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, guests are invited to enjoy the 3rd annual Easter egg display in the lobby of the hotel. These eggs are gorgeous works of art. Best of all, they are all edible. These enormous eggs are all created with modeling chocolate, fondant, sculpted sugar and royal icing. Each egg will depict a different Disney story, like Tangled or The Little Mermaid. Guests will be able to view all 18 eggs from April 4-22.

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Star Wars Character Meals to Take Place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios During Star Wars Weekends

by on March 26, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Are you a fan of Star Wars and character meals? Well, if you are, for the first time ever, select Star Wars characters will take part in not one, but two, different character meal opportunities at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from May 4 to June 15.

Guests will be able to partake in either a breakfast option that will be available at Sci-Fi Dine In Theater or a dinner option that will be available at Hollywood & Vine.

The best news is that these character meals won’t just take place during Star Wars Weekends. Instead, they are scheduled to occur throughout the whole week!

Here’s a look at your options:

The Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine

Takes place at Hollywood and Vine for dinner. This meal will have guests meeting Disney characters dressed as their favorite Star Wars character. Guests will get to meet Jedi Mickey, Princess Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, Stormtrooper Donald, and Ewoks Chip & Dale. Dinner starts at 4:15pm and lasts until park close. The prices are $55.99 for adults ages 10 and up (or $59.99 with Fantasmic! Dinner Package), and $33.99 for children ages 3-9 (or $36.99 with Fantasmic! Dinner Package). Guests will receive a digital download copy of their photograph with Chip and Dale.

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Kouzzina at Disney’s BoardWalk to Close in September

by on March 24, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Kouzzina by Cat Cora will be closing its doors at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort permanently in September. Its last day of operation is September 30.

This celebrity chef-run, Greek-inspired restaurant serves delicious and unique items including Spanakopita (spinach pie), cinnamon-stewed chicken, fisherman’s stew, and traditional whole fish. There is also a great breakfast menu, featuring turkey/sweet potato hash, Greek yogurt with fresh berries, and spinach, tomato, and feta scrambled eggs.

A new restaurant will open in its place sometime in late 2014.

If you would like to make a reservation before it officially closes, you may do so by visiting the Disney dining website or calling (407) WDW-DINE.

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Join The Egg-Stravaganza Egg Hunt at Epcot from April 10-20

by on March 22, 2014

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©Disney

Last year during Limited Time Magic, Disney introduced the Egg-stravganza Egg Hunt. As Guy has already mentioned, it will be returning to Disneyland, but what we didn’t know was that is was also coming back to Epcot.

From April 10-20, guests will be able to search for hidden eggs that are themed after Disney characters all around the park in World Showcase.

Here’s how it works. Guests can purchase a map for $4.95, plus tax, then take to the park to search for hidden eggs. You’ll then be able to record the finds by placing the right character sticker in the matching location on the map. Once you do that, you’ll be able to return the map at the redemption spot, Disney Traders, and will be able to pick up a special surprise.

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A Few Walt Disney World Downtown Disney News Notes

by on March 21, 2014

If you’ve visited Downtown Disney lately, you know it’s a sea of construction. You’ve got it in the parking lots, you’ve got it taking place throughout the shopping district: it’s just everywhere. Granted, it’s all to make for a better experience when Disney Springs officially unveils. And I have to admit that it’s still a fun atmosphere to visit, shop, and dine in even while everything is taking place!

Today, I thought I’d bring you a couple of news notes about things that are taking place at Downtown Disney:

  • For those who may have missed my earlier announcement, the mega dining complex that was Pollo Campero, Bodie’s All-American, and BabyCakes NYC has now closed to guests. Guests looking for BabyCakes treats can still get them in many resort food courts and at the Gardens Kiosk at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  • The parking lot is still quite a mess at Downtown Disney. If you are staying on property, try taking the bus. It may be the easiest way to get around. However, if you are driving, be aware that certain lots are closed. Those include parking lots E, F, G, H, I, J, and K. Your best bet is to park over by Cirque du Soleil.
  • A brand new shop/outdoor kiosk has opened up on the Marketplace side! Called Happy Hound, this kiosk sells accessories for your pets, including leashes, glamour collars, food bowls, outfits, jackets, and squeaky toys!
  • It appears that a brand new Food Truck Park is being built at Downtown Disney. This new permanent home for the four food trucks introduced last year s being built on the West Side near Bongos Cuban Cafe. It is expected to be unveiled sometime in the summer. Currently, the Food Trucks can be found Wednesday through Sunday near Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues.

That’s gonna do it for this edition of News Notes! Thoughts?

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