Explore Walt Disney World® and More, Virtually!

There’s still a bit of magic in the air! See the BEST of Walt Disney World® and Orlando, virtually, from the comfort of your own couch.

COVID-19 has thrown a curveball at the entire world, leaving many of our favorite happy places at a standstill. As the days continue and the answers to many of our questions seem to be out of reach, we’re all beginning to discover ways to create our own joy in the comfort of our homes.

As avid park goers and Orlando lovers ourselves, missing out on the best of Orlando has caused all of us to be homesick in our own city. And with the thought that many travelers had to put a pause on their magical getaways, we wanted to find ways to create a bit of magic for locals and visitors alike, until we’re all able to return to the “most magical place on earth”.

Virtual Walkthroughs

We can bet that everyone is longing for the days where we can walk down Main Street U.S.A. with a Mickey Bar in one hand and a bucket of popcorn in the other. That feeling of utter childhood joy radiates throughout the parks with every visit and the magic of entering a new land sparks glee as you awe at the sights and sounds around you.

So what if I told you that you could still experience this from home? YouTube has been such a gift these days with virtual walkthroughs, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Magic Kingdom® Park

Marvel at the Cinderella Castle with a backdrop of endless blue skies in this full walkthrough tour of the Magic Kingdom® Park.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

Embrace the sights of Pandora – The World of Avatar, Africa, Asia and more with this immersive walkthrough of Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

Epcot®

Transport yourself to the future or see the world at the World Showcase with an amazing walkthrough tour of Epcot®.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

Experience the Hollywood Glam, the land of Batuu, or even find yourself caught in “the twilight zone” as you watch this walkthrough of the ever-growing Disney’s Hollywood Studios®.

A Little Bonus; Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® in 360!

Haven’t been to Batuu, yet? Now’s your time to visit! This amazing 360 tour of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge provides you a daytime walkthrough of the newest land on all of Disney Parks’ property. Pop on your VR headsets or enjoy on your screen, the choice is up to you!

Virtual Attractions

Look out for that drop! It’s time to virtually ride your favorite attractions at Walt Disney World®. Check out the compilation of fan-favorite rides an attractions below that span across all four magical parks.

Magic Kingdom® Park

Splash Mountain®

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Peter Pan’s Flight®

 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

Expedition Everest–Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®

Kali River Rapids®

Na’vi River Journey

 

Epcot®

Frozen Ever After

Test Track® Presented by Chevrolet®

Spaceship Earth

 

Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™

Slinky Dog Dash

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

 

Special Bonus: Virtual Orlando

International Drive Area Virtual Tours from Visit Orlando

Take yourself beyond the parks and walk through all of the Greater Orlando area’s most popular sights. With Visit Orlando‘s newest feature, Orlando Virtual Tour, online visitors can experience the city from their phone, computer or tablet. Stroll through I–Drive or visit Downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola Park. With over 10 locations to choose from, you’ll enjoy endless viewing of our “city beautiful”.

 

As COVID-19 continues to bring uncertainty to everyone, we hope that these bits of happiness help you get through the hard times we’re all facing. Check out YouTube for more of your favorite rides, experiences, walkthroughs, and anything else that sparks joy for you. As always, we continue to wish you and your families the best health and safety during these hard times, and we look forward to the days of exciting travel and making the magic happen.

 

Late afternoon post-sunset photo of couple kissing on The Wheel at ICON Park

Valentine’s Day In Orlando: Date Ideas For the 2020 Holiday

Love is in the air here in Orlando, The City Beautiful, and Valentine’s Day events are no stranger to the area. From Kissimmee to Downtown and from the thrill-seekers to the romantics, there’s an endless variety of date ideas for the 2020 holiday.

Valentine’s Day is only a day away and we know that there are a few (or a lot) of you who are still trying to choose the perfect place, reserve the best dinner, or book that out-of-this-world Valentine’s event that will wow your other half. Not to worry! We’ve compiled a lovely list of date ideas that are guaranteed to make your partner swoon and, hopefully, love you forever (because we’re striving for true love this new decade).

A Valentine’s Dinner at Eleven

“Elevate your love to Eleven” at Eleven inside of Reunion® Resort. On Friday, February 14th, dine from 5:30 – 10:00 p.m. with your partner and feast on a delectable four-course prix fixe dinner (view the menu here) prepared by Chef Sabrina Green with wine pairings chosen by Joel Vodola.

Interior of Eleven at Reunion Resort with view of the evening fireworks

Credit: Eleven at Reunion® Resort

Your dinner will be complemented with breathtaking rooftop views of the entire resort grounds, making for an intimate evening surrounded by the beauty of Orlando. Prices range from $59 to $75 per person, depending on entree choice. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made online or by phone at (407) 396-5397.

Wine Bar George

Situated in Disney Springs®, Wine Bar George is celebrating a weekend full of Valentine’s dishes (view the menu here) for those who can’t make it on Valentine’s Day. Enter this urban-style bar and restaurant’s warm and inviting dim-lit atmosphere and enjoy anything from small plates to fan-favorite charcuterie boards.

Photo of indoor bar at Wine Bar George

Credit: Condé Nast Traveler

Choose from an assortment of over 20 different cocktails, beer, ciders, and frozen alcoholic beverages, or branch off of the Valentine’s Weekend menu by trying a wine from Wine Bar George’s award-winning list.

Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made online, the My Disney Experience App, or by phone at (407) 490-1800.

Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar

Join Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar in the “Tunnel of Love” this Valentine’s Day with a delectable dinner and dessert pairing inside of this intimate Italian restaurant.

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Credit: Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar

Located in Disney Springs®, share a meal for two of a Stuffed Baked Maine Lobster complete with Lumache Pasta and finished off with a Torta Setteveli for dessert. Your date will be amazed by the collection of flavors in this one-of-a-kind Valentine’s dinner.

Those who like to dine with a glass of fine wine, Enzo’s extensive beverage menu is sure to satisfy all guests that enter.

Reservations can be made online, the My Disney Experience App, or by phone at (407) 560- 3696.

Love Month at ICON Park

Share your love high above the city of Orlando during Love Month at ICON Park. Until February 29th, 2020, surprise your love with one of two romantic Valentine’s packages.

Late afternoon post-sunset photo of couple kissing on The Wheel at ICON Park

Credit: ICON Park

The “I’m Sweet On You” Package (starting at $110) lets your special someone know that you’re “sweet on them” with its delightful touches of a private capsule for two, a rose, two glasses of champagne, wine or soft drinks, and a box of chocolate truffles to give or share. If you’re on a group date, reserve for extra guests in the same capsule for only $25 per person (includes ride and beverage). Want to share a full bottle of wine or champagne? You can do so starting at as low as $30.

Upgrade your night with the Romance Capsule Package (starting at $185) and have your capsule romantically themed with your full bottle of wine or champagne and box of chocolate truffles included with your package. Additional riders can be added as well for $25 including the beverage.

Reserve your romantic capsule online anytime before the end of February to secure your romantic evening with your significant other.

2020 Epcot® International Festival of the Arts

If you’re going to visit any theme park during Valentine’s Day, you’ll have to stop by Epcot® for the 2020 Epcot® International Festival of the Arts.

Woman, left, and man, right, walking and laughing at Epcot® International Festival of the Arts. Man is carrying wrapped painting.

©Disney

From now until February 24th, 2020, walk from country to country with your special someone as you try a variety of festival booths with small plates designed for the art enthusiasts of the world. You may even discover a piece of art too beautiful to pass up, making for a memorable and unique gift for your loved one.

Capture the moments with fun and exciting photo-op spots, visit stunning art galleries and so much more at the 2020 Epcot® International Festival of the Arts! Get your tickets with us here and add color to your heart this Valentine’s Day.

Cinderella at the Orlando Ballet

Enchant your date with the timeless tale of triumphant love at Cinderella, the ballet performance being held by Orlando Ballet at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. With live music by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, this magical evening will take you back to your childhood while adding a sophisticated twist to the story.

Promotional poster of Cinderella ballet at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Credit: Orlando Ballet

Watch the art of ballet come to life with your partner from February 14th to February 16th, 2020. Times may vary, so please check the website for more details. Tickets start at $24 per person. Book in advance online or by calling (407) 426-1733.

Valentine’s Day at Island H2O Live!

While some look forward to a romantic evening, others plan for a day of thrills. Island H2O Live!, Kissimmee’s newest Water Park is offering a 2-for-1 special this Valentine’s Day.

Woman piggybacking on man in wave pool in front of Island H2O Live! wave pool tc screen

Credit: Island H2O Live!

Purchase a single-day ticket to the park by February 14th and receive one for your date for free! It’s a great way to enjoy the sun, relax down the lazy river or zoom down the slides together. Add some spark to your romance by spending your Valentine’s Day at Island H2O Live!

With these special places to visit and more beyond words, your Orlando Valentine’s Day, weekend, or month is sure to bring the magic of love to the two of you.

Looking to book a long-weekend getaway for your partner as your Valentine’s Day present? Make sure to swing by our website and see all of the Magical Vacation Homes we offer for your much-needed romantic vacation.

Until the next blog post, have a magical week and an enchanting 2020 Valentine’s Day!

New Disney Theme Park Attractions You’ll Want to Visit in 2020

New Disney Theme Park attractions you’ll want to visit in 2020? You know we prepared that list just in time for your next Orlando getaway.

With the dawn of a new decade and the welcome of a shiny new year, it’s no surprise that Walt Disney World® Resort is working on plenty of exciting theme park magic! It’s almost as if every time we log onto the internet we’re greeted with new rides, restaurants, and even stage shows. With all of the information to take in, it can be quite daunting when getting down to the nitty-gritty of vacation planning.

In particular, we’ve seen an endless list of “coming soon”‘s from both Disney’s Hollywood Studios® and Epcot®! The two of the four lands are planned to introduce added experiences throughout the year which gives guests all the more reason to purchase their multi-day park tickets.

So without further ado, we’ve put together some of our picks for YOU to visit this year and every year after (because visiting once is never enough)!

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Alllll aboard! We bet you didn’t expect to see Mickey & Minnie star in their very own attraction, especially one like this! Hop aboard Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the wackiest train trip any Disney Theme Park has ever seen. This first-of-its-kind adventure welcomes you with unanticipated twists at every turn with no telling as to where your train may be heading, and we think that’s the most exciting part!

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©Disney

Find yourself zooming through a world of waterfalls (yes, waterfalls), carnivals and more on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, opening March 4th, 2020 (Mouse rules apply).

Space 220

Unwind and dine in a space station situated 220 miles above planet Earth at Space 220. Set to open this winter, get ready for a journey like no other where you’ll feast on mouth-watering American dishes with a collection of fine wines and craft beer.

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©Disney

Visit Space 220 when it opens this winter at Epcot®!

New Epcot Films

January at Epcot® has been a whirlwind as it’s introduced FOUR spectacular shows to its guests.

Awesome Planet, which can be found in The Land pavilion, guides you through planet Earth with breathtaking visuals of the land and sea. It’s a wonderful show for children as it gives them the chance to embrace the remarkable beauty of the world around us (and it’s truly amazing for adults, as well).

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©Disney

The Canada pavilion’s classic 360 film that we’ve all come to know and love was an adventure, but it’s time to be greeted with new and improved cinematography. With the dazzling addition of Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360, you’ll have the chance to explore Canada like never before. Take in the scenic views that surround you during this breathtaking presentation.

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©Disney

Warm-up your vocals, head over to the France pavilion, and get ready to sing along some of your favorite songs! Nestled in a cozy French cinema, enjoy a 15-minute film featuring songs from one of our favorite animated classic’s, Beauty and the Beast.

beauty_and_the_beast

©Disney

Before you leave the World Showcase, make sure to stop by the China pavilion to witness Wonderous China, the new movie that will also feature a 360-degree format with immersive music and eye-catching scenes of China’s natural beauty.

Wondrous_china

©Disney

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Speaking of the World Showcase, you may want to hang around there a little longer because along with the sing-along, you’ll have the opportunity to shrink to the size of Chef Remy and take on a WILD adventure.

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©Disney

Race through Gusteau’s restaurant with everyone’s tiny chef in the thrilling new attraction, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure! We still have a little bit to go until this one opens in the summer, but for those of you waiting for school to finish for the kids, it’ll be the perfect time to experience the all-new ride! Get ready for France’s first ride attraction coming in summer, 2020.

Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant

The magic of shrinking down to the size of a toy is about to get a touch more magical. Coming this year, Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® will be home to Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant. Get ready for a rootin’ tootin’ good time at this table-service rodeo surrounded by some of Andy’s favorite toys, games, and playsets.

Roundup_Rodeo_BBQ_Restaurant

©Disney

With all of these much-anticipated additions, there’s no doubt that this is the perfect year for a visit to the Walt Disney World® Resort theme parks!

So, what are you waiting for? Get that Magical Vacation Home booked, choose the perfect theme park tickets for your family, and pack those bags for the getaway of a lifetime!

Until the next blog, have a magical (and theme park-filled) day!

Halloween 2019 at the Theme Parks

Autumn in Central Florida comes with plenty of Halloween excitement at the theme parks. From friendly boo’s to frightful scares, people of all ages can find something to enjoy from September to November. We conjured up a list of EVERY Halloween-filled theme park festivity you can attend this Halloween season, so hold on to your headless horseman as we dive into what’s in store for Halloween 2019!

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

©Disney

One of the most popular events you CANNOT miss has to be Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party hosted inside of Magic Kingdom® Park. On select nights from August 16 to November 1, 2019, get dressed up in your best costume as you trick-or-treat your way down Main Street U.S.A®. Perfect for children and adults alike, this spooktacular event features Halloween-ified attractions, a Halloween parade, spell-binding fireworks, and more! Set your sights on the friendliest frights with the little ones this year and learn more about this exciting evening in our previous blog here!

Universal Studios® Halloween Horror Nights

Publicity, HHN Team Member Preview, HHN29, Universal Studios Florida, USF

With the hype around the 1980’s nostalgia, Universal Studios® Halloween Horror Nights is perfect for your classic 80’s scare. On select nights from September 6 to November 2, 2019, face your fears through Orlando’s most intense nighttime event. Experience 10 TERRIFYING haunted houses, 5 hair-raising scare zones, and thrilling entertainment throughout the night. This event is suited for those 13 and over as it may frighten the little ones. Ready to walk through the Upside Down, fight ghosts with the Ghostbusters, and take on some Killer Klowns from Outer Space? Then head over to #HHN29.

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream 2019

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Inc.

Get ready for Tampa’s premier Halloween event at Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream! On select nights from September 20 to November 2, 2019, prepare yourself for the endless haunts and thrills throughout your visit. Make your way through 6 haunted houses and 9 chilling scare zones as you are faced with murderous mutants, haunted asylums, and your worst nightmares. It’s also the perfect time to hop on one of your favorite roller coaster attractions! This event is suitable for adults as it may be frightening for children. Put on your brave face for the most horrifying attraction in the Tampa-area as it celebrates 20 years in the scare industry.

SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular®

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.

Get the kids ready for exciting dance parties, trick-or-treating, and more with their favorite friends from Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular®. On weekends from September 21 to October 27, 2019, this kid-friendly Halloween daytime event will be sure to bring joy and plenty of candy to everyone! Enjoy the all-new Sesame Street Halloween Parade with Elmo, Big Bird, The Count, and others as they dress up for the Halloween festivities. There’s so much to do and even more to see. So, what are you waiting for? Experience the autumn fun today!

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort Brick-or-Treat

© 2017 LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

On select nights from October 5 to 27, 2019, celebrate the spookiest time of the year with LEGOLAND® Florida Resort Brick-or-Treat! Collect piles of candy in your own Brick-or-Treat candy bag as you trail through the park. Take part in the exciting scavenger hunts, meet exclusive LEGO characters, and even watch the sky light up in fireworks at the end of the night with the tale of Pirate Cove. This event is ideal for children as they can dress up and enjoy all of the Halloween festivities, catered specifically to them.

There’s so much to do with so little time in Central Florida, so plan out your trip in advance to make the most of every Halloween festivity! Needing a place to stay while you prepare for scares? Check out some of our available Magical Vacation Homes to complete your ideal Halloween vacation.

 

Until next time, have a (frightfully) Magical day!

Where to Find Characters at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

BRIGHT SUNS! Welcome to blog three of our countdown to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opening August 29th at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®! During our visit to the preview event on August 17th, we were lucky enough to find characters throughout our journey through Batuu.

Today, we’re going to show you WHO we saw and WHERE you may spot some of your favorite’s from the movies, here in real life!

(Haven’t read our last blog yet? Make sure you check that out here! Hint: Blue and Green Milk and a galactic bar, anyone?)

The Stormtroopers

Characters-SWGE-4.jpg

Credit: Magical Vacation Homes

Roaming around Batuu, you may bump into a Stormtrooper, or two, or five. During our visit, we noticed them throughout the land both walking and on rooftops. You have to make sure to look everywhere because they pop up from every nook and cranny.

And don’t be alarmed if they question you about your allegiance, just, make sure you have an answer for them.

Chewbacca

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©Disney

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Credit: Magical Vacation Homes

Well, it DEFINITELY wouldn’t be Batuu if you didn’t see Chewbacca around, and we saw a lot of him. Keep an eye out when you enter Batuu because you may find him most often at the entrance area. We noticed him around the Rebel Outpost interacting with travelers while checking on his landed ship.

Kylo Ren

Characters-SWGE-5

Credit: Magical Vacation Homes

Kylo Ren has arrived in Batuu in search of the Resistance. He’s entirely intimidating but we were in awe watching him walk with the Stormtroopers. When we spotted him, he was walking through the Black Spire Outpost just past Savi’s Workshop.

Rey

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©Disney

Famous for being in Episodes VII through IX, Rey makes many appearances throughout Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. One of our Magical members noticed her roaming around just as you enter Batuu, probably planning her recruitment efforts for the Resistance.

Vi Moradi

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Credit: Polygon

Now we didn’t spot this character until the sun was set, but Vi Moradi is one you’ll want to keep an eye out for. A newer character to most, Vi Moradi was introduced to us in 2017 in the novel, Star Wars: Phasma, and can now be found in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

We were caught by surprise as she found us instead of the other way around. Usually, when wanting to meet characters you will go to them. This time around, we were unexpectedly approached, which was a one-of-a-kind experience.

When Vi Moradi found us, she was debating if we were those she could trust as she hid from the Stormtroopers, just before darting off. By the looks of it, you may bump into her just about anywhere as she keeps her guard up and presence hidden (or if you have our experience, she may just bump into you).

Til The Spire!

Ready to spot these characters? Get your Disney Theme Park tickets and get ready for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! With exactly one week away until the grand opening, we’re thrilled for you all to experience what we witnessed in Batuu.

There’s still time to book your stay with Magical Vacation Homes. We have plenty of villas that are perfect for any party on your future galactic getaway.

We’ll be back tomorrow with our exciting experience on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

 

Until next time, Til the Spire, and have a Magical day!

 

 

*As to Disney artwork, logos, and properties: ©Disney*

Let’s Boo This! Get Ready for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2019

 

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©Disney

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is less than 90 days away, but for those of you who CANNOT wait any longer, the Magic Kingdom® Park is here to help. On select nights from August 16 – November 1, 2019, get ready to boo your way through Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

Set your sights on the friendliest frights this Halloween season with spells from the Sanderson Sisters, lurking pirates, and an all-new fireworks display from your favorite skeleton. The yearly tradition is bringing back its fan favorites, however, you will be in for some new boo’s around the park. Trick or treating is a must, and getting decorated in your favorite costume is essential. But, what other fun things will be happening on these all-hallows-nights?

Keep reading to find out what you’re in for at this exciting nighttime spectacular.

SPOOK-tacular Shows

Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

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©Disney

The Sanderson Sisters are BACK, and they are ready to put a spell on you at their Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show! Meet the three witches and plenty of other villains, like Dr. Faciliar, Maleficent, and Oogie Boogie, just to name a few. Fall under the spell of the on-stage entertainment.

And we promise, you didn’t drink a potion, this show is just THAT alluring.

Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular

Get ready for the NEW fireworks spectacular, exclusive to the event! Watch the sky light up as your friendly skeleton, Jack Skellington, hosts the show.

Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy have been spirited away to a mysterious haunted house. What they may encounter is a mystery,  but expect a sinister gathering of familiar villains during the performance.

Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade

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©Disney

There are spirits, villains, and other frightening spooks haunting Main Street U.S.A® at Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade. This spellbinding parade will include a visit from the spectral Bride, the haunting Hitchhiking Ghosts, and many other frightful friends. You do not want to miss this exclusive parade, we promise you that!

Halloween-Themed Rides

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor®

Cackle your way into Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor® this year with the all-new attraction segment! Gather around and interact with your favorite monsters as they learn about the traditions of Halloween. It will surely be a ghoulish time.

Mad Tea Party

“We’re all mad here”, especially during Halloween! Hop into your teacup for the Mad Tea Party, and you’ll be in for exciting spin through special lighting and music effects, exclusively designed for the nighttime event.

Space Mountain®

Zoom through complete darkness as a new, “hard-rockin'” soundtrack blasts at this wild indoor coaster! Space Mountain® will also be themed for the select-night events, giving thrill-seekers an eerie adventure of a star-less galaxy.

Pirates of the Caribbean®

Beware of what may be lurking around the corner, you may bump into a pirate, or two. These live pirates will be searching for their treasure as you cruise through in your boat. Look out for some possible scares and some skeletons here and there, you’re in for quite the adventure!

 

Trick-Or-TREAT Your Tummy!

Of course, your night isn’t complete without a treat bucket full of your favorite goodies! Travel around the different lands throughout the park and build your own yummy collection.

However, if you’re ready to feast your fangs into more than just the candy, try out one of the exciting, themed dessert parties! There are two to choose from that offer stunning views of Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular (which can be found here and here).

If you’re looking to dine with a certain villain, the infamous Cruella De Vil has ghoulish dishes and mouth-watering desserts that will enhance your evening of scares and sweets! It’s a dinner party that will be a must-visit for guests!

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©Disney

The Spooky Evenings Are Quickly Approaching…..

And we promise that they will be worth attending. Admission for this separately-ticketed event is available now, so get yours while you can! Space for each select night is limited, so we suggest planning out your trip in advance!

If you’re needing a place to stay for your next spooky visit, check out our Magical Vacation Homes and book your perfect vacation villa today!

Until next time, have a magical day (and a frightful night)!

 

 

*As to Disney artwork, logos, and properties: ©Disney*

Universal Orlando Reveals NEW “Universal’s Epic Universe” Theme Park Plans

The fourth gate is here, and it’s expected to be the most EPIC expansion in Universal Parks & Resorts HISTORY!

 

 

The news was announced this morning at Universal Orlando’s press conference, introducing Universal’s Epic Universe to the media. The new addition will include the theme park as well as shops, an entertainment district, and a hotel. According to Universal Orlando, it will be “the most immersive and innovative park we’ve ever created”.

What We Know So Far

Orlando has not seen a new full-fledged theme park since 1999 when Universal’s Island’s of Adventure made its debut. Theme parks take YEARS to create, and that is almost a given considering how long it takes to build a single ride. However, we may not have to wait as long as normal. Land for the expansion has already been cleared as of 2018, which means we are that much closer to construction.

We’re still unsure of land details, but we have our guesses for what may make the cut. Nintendo, Fantastic Beasts, and How to Train Your Dragon are all fan-favorite contenders. We have our hearts set on Nintendo and we have faith that the final lands will be fantastic.

Tom Williams, chairman, and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts also noted that “a Universe is bigger than a World”, hinting toward competing parks. This leaves us with HIGH expectations for something grand.

We studied the map layout of the current parks and the new park plans. By the looks of it, the new area should be larger than all of the Universal Orlando® Resort.

In other words, this may actually live up to the “Universe” references just from size alone!

Location Details

The 750-acre site will be located just 12 minutes away from the current Universal Orlando theme parks and hotels. Traveling between the current theme parks to the new park area will be improved with the current Kirkman Road extension. There are also plans for train construction aimed to have train travel from the Orange County Convention Center-area to South Florida. This will offer an easier way to visit the park.

Due to the expansion, Orlando will be able to create 14 thousand new jobs in this central location. This is a great economy booster for the area and, once completed, will offer a base rate of $15 an hour to employees. It is aimed to also boost tourism in the “theme park capital of the world”.

The Best is Yet to Come…

We cannot wait to see what this expansion has in store and when it will open. We will keep you updated on all of the latest news from Universal Orlando® Resort! You can view this morning’s full press conference here.

Until then, if you’re looking to book a vacation for any of the area’s current theme parks, make sure to check out some of our Magical Vacation Homes!

We’ll see you in the next blog post. Have a MAGICAL day!