Archive for the Resorts Category

New Details about the Disney Skyliner Transportation System

December 9, 2017

 

Disney Skyliner Gondola Concept Art

 

The new Disney Skyliner transportation system will give Disney Resort Guests an unforgettable journey and a picturesque view of Walt Disney World® Resort as they take to the sky to travel from select DisneyResorts to Epcot® and Disney’s Hollywood Studios®.  Today, we have a new details on what you can expect from the Disney Skyliner system.

 

Select Disney Skyliner cabins will have iconic Disney characters incorporated into their exterior design to give the appearance that a Disney pal is riding along with guests, such as characters from the ‘Fab Five,’ figures from Disney attractions, fan favorites from movies, and more.

 

Disney Skyliner Epcot Station Concept Art

 

The design of the Disney Skyliner station at International Gateway at Epcot will be inspired by the park’s nearby European Pavilions, and will be covered with metal and glass canopies, hand-painted murals and ornamental steel structures that harken back to the early 18th century Art Nouveau style. Guests traveling to Epcot via the Disney Skyliner will be welcomed to the park with a rare birds-eye view of World Showcase.

 

Disney Skyliner Caribbean Beach Station Concept Art

 

The Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station will be the hub of activity for Disney Skyliner. This station is inspired by the open air village marketplaces of the Caribbean and will showcase the nearby resort’s architectural detailing and color schemes. At this station, passengers will be able to transfer gondola routes to reach their destination, or are invited to sit and admire the waterfront resort setting.

 

Disney Skyliner Hollywood Studios Station Concept Art

 

The design style of the station at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will fit with that of the park’s main entrance and bus stations. Passengers traveling here from the Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station can expect a new aerial perspective of the park’s iconic attractions, like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

 

Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will share a Disney Skyliner station that feels whimsical and contextual with both resorts. Upon departing the gondola station, Skyliner passengers will ascend over Hourglass Lake and enjoy a panoramic view of these two colorful resorts.

 

Finally, cabins will slow down at the Disney Skyliner turn-station along Buena Vista Drive, where guests can see the mechanical and aerial components that make up the Disney Skyliner.

 

Stay tuned for future updates, including an opening date on this incredible new option!

To book your Walt Disney World Vacation, call 855-434-9397 or request a quote online!

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Updates!

December 7, 2017

Caribbean Beach Concept Art

 

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World® Resort celebrates the spirit of tropical locales — from the legacy of colonial forts & architecture to lively markets, exotic brids, and relaxing strolls on the sand.  Each island complex — representing Barbados, Martinique, Aruba, Trinidad, and Jamaica — is bright, airy, and colorful with access to a 45-acre lake and sandy beaches.  Earlier this year, Disney announced that Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort would undergo some transformations. Today we’ve got some new colorful details about those enhancements debuting late next summer!

 

Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be reimagined as the port of entry where you will check in before embarking on your “island” vacation. This centralized location will offer resort Guests more convenient access to services, amenities and dining, including an all-new Centertown Market for casual eats, an all-new Shutters restaurant offering waterfront dining adjacent to the new Banana Cabana outdoor bar and lounge, and Calypso Trading Post for shopping.

 

Centertown Market will be expanded and enclosed, creating a quick-service restaurant with an indoor street market vibe. You will enter the space under a large palapa-like structure, accented with glowing colored light pendants made from glass bottles. The market will feature open shutters, wooden light posts, awnings, ornamentation and unique seating areas. Guests will also have access to the Grab n’ Go market for a specialty coffee and quick bites.

 

Caribbean Beach Concept Art 2

 

Shutters, a Caribbean-inspired table-service restaurant, will be located on the waterfront of Old Port Royale, transporting you to a beachfront home in the tropical islands. Large open shutters will allow the sun to cast a warm light into the space adorned with handmade items that appear as they’ve been found on the islands. Leaves and floral design motifs will fill the space, celebrating the natural beauty of the Caribbean.

 

A festive poolside bar, Banana Cabana will be a great place to gather for food and drinks, immersing you into the fun and relaxation of island life. Cabana-style drapes will flank seating areas and re-purposed steel drums will illuminate a central communal table made from a wooden boat.

 

With its history of being the port’s import and export facility, Calypso Trading Post will offer shoppers Disney merchandise and other vacation essentials.

Want to experience these changes for yourself?

Call us at 855-434-9397 to book your Walt Disney World Vacation

or request a quote online!

New Experiences & Dining Options Coming to Disney Moderate Resorts!

February 17, 2017

Coronada Tower

 

There are some great changes on the horizon at two of Disney’s Moderate Resorts over the next two years.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will be expanded to include a new 15-story tower that will add 500 rooms, featuring suites and concierge level services. The resort will also refurbish its current resort rooms and transform its landscape with floating gardens and an island oasis that connects the resort through a series of bridges.

The new tower overlooking Lago Dorado, the resort’s centerpiece lake, will allow you to experience something truly unique at a Moderate Resort — rooftop dining with panoramic views of popular nighttime fireworks from nearby Disney theme parks.

Also during this exciting time, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be reimagined with new additions to the resort’s current marketplace, Centertown, including new waterfront dining and retail shopping areas. This centralized location will offer the resort’s guests more convenient access to services, amenities and dining.

To book your Walt Disney World Vacation, call 855-434-9397

or request a quote online!

 

New Character Breakfast at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk!

February 2, 2017

Rapunzel Character Dining

 

An all-new character dining experience will debut this spring at Disney’s BoardWalk, with appearances by adventurous royal couples from beloved Disney films! A delicious breakfast awaits you at Trattoria al Forno, as you get ready to set out for a day of endless magic at Walt Disney World® Resort. It’s a hearty “bon voyage” celebration, featuring popular characters from favorite Disney stories like “Tangled” or “The Little Mermaid.”

 

This unique, new character breakfast is slated to begin in late spring. Stay tuned for more details, including the opening date, when you can make reservations, and menu offerings!

 

This is an interesting development.  I always thought Trattoria Al Forno was an odd place for breakfast.  I’m partially of Italian descent, and I never thought breakfast was a strong point in the Italian dining repertoire.  Lunch?  Great.  Dinner?  The best!  But breakfast??  No.  An Italian restaurant does not inspire my confidence when breakfast is concerned.  But bringing character dining to Trattoria Al Forno makes breakfast there seem a lot more attractive.  (Particularly if it is Rapunzel character dining. You know how I love Rapunzel!)

 

Even more interesting to me is that the characters slated for this location are “royal couples,” which makes things a whole lot more interesting.  I like the dynamics involved when you’ve got pairs of characters together.  For example, meeting Cinderella’s step-sisters is perhaps my favorite meet & greet opportunity.  (And if you throw Lady Tremaine into that mix, it’s even better!)  So having royal pairs interacting at your table is a lot more appealing to me than the usual Princess Dining experience.

 

So I’m willing to see how this new Character Dining experience pans out, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Disney does with the menu.

 

Call us at 855-434-9397 to book your next Disney Vacation

or request a quote online!

 

Gasparilla Island Grill has Reopened with a New Menu!

January 17, 2017

Gasparilla Island Grill New Menu

 

After a recent refurbishment, Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has reopened with a new menu. Elevated flavors, artisanal ingredients and great attention to detail can be found through each station – hot sandwiches and pizzas, the sandwich and salad bar and coffee and dessert.

At the Sandwich Bar, each sandwich is assembled per order, keeping the bread – which is baked fresh in house daily – perfectly crusty. You can enjoy fresh, high-quality ingredients including Tillamook Cheddar on the smoked ham sandwich, Florida orange vinaigrette on the roasted turkey, thick slices of Mozzarella on the grilled vegetable sandwich and roast beef with horseradish. And, each sandwich is served with house-made chips.

You can also create your own salad at the salad bar, topping it off with flank steak or marinated chicken. At breakfast, the salad bar becomes a yogurt bar allows you to build parfaits with toppings such as fresh fruits, granola and bananas in a decadent caramel sauce.

Pizzas are served on dough made in-house daily. You can choose from sausage and Mozzarella, fire-roasted tomatoes with basil pesto and a three-cheese blend, or the chicken and mushroom. For hot sandwiches you can indulge in the artisanal burger, featuring 7 ounces of a signature beef blend, bacon and Cheddar cheese on a freshly-baked Brioche bun. Other options include a Mahi Mahi “Ruben,” featuring house-made cabbage slaw on marble Rye bread, or the chicken and Brie, a delicious twist on Cordon Bleu – with ham, spinach, raspberry mustard on a Brioche bun.

Finally, you can enjoy specialty coffees and delicious baked goods, pastries and sweets including Coconut Pot de Crème, Almond Fruit Tart, Chocolate Mousse Pie, Mickey Brownie, Minnie Mouse Cupcake and assorted cookies and other sweet treats.

 

To book your next Walt Disney World Vacation, call 855-434-9397

or request a quote online!

Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory re-opens with a great new menu!

November 25, 2016

sassagoula floatworks food

 

Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory, located at my favorite of the Disney Moderate Resorts, Port Orleans — French Quarter, recently reopened after being reimagined. And now, this hidden gem features even more flavors inspired by New Orleans, including jambalya, po’ boys, gumbo and more.

 

Home-style favorites such as create-your-own pasta, salads and pizza are still available for lunch and dinner, in addition to new flavors inspired by New Orleans. Specialty burgers include a Cajun King Burger with Andouille sausage, Cheddar Cheese and Creole mustard aioli and a Crawfish Mac & Cheese Burger. You can also enjoy Jambalaya or a create-your-own rice bowl with pulled pork, catfish or shrimp, red or black beans, and Cajun, dirty or white rice.

 

New breakfast items have also been added to the menu, and include Crispy-Fried Chicken on a Biscuit with maple-bacon jam, Molasses-Cream Cheese Cinnamon Roll and a Jumbo Sweet Potato Belgian Waffle topped with toasted pecans, whipped cream and apple-cranberry compote.

 

Of course, everyone’s favorite signature made-to-order beignets are now available with new dipping sauces, including raspberry, caramel and chicory-coffee ganache. And no visit to “The Big Easy” would be complete without a Louisiana-style King Cake, perfect for celebrating Mardi Gras anytime.

To book your next Disney Vacation, call us at 855-434-9397

or request a quote online!

Flying Fish and the AbracadaBar at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort

May 19, 2016

Flying Fish Concept Art

 

Opening is set for late summer for Flying Fish Restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort at Walt Disney World® Resort. The “Cafe” goes away as part of the name, and you will be welcomed to a sophisticated interior that still pays homage to the golden era of seaside boardwalks.

 

A new menu will feature sustainable fish, as well as a new Fruits of the Sea appetizer with rock shrimp and clams from Florida, grouper cheek, mussels, a splash of Brandy and a rich lobster stock.

 

Inside, Flying Fish Restaurant will feature an all-new kitchen and dining room (with expanded space for private dining events), sparkling architectural accents, like golden-winged room panels and an impressive chandelier that mimics a school of flying fish overhead. Next door, the new AbracadaBar lounge will open, taking the spot formerly occupied by Seashore Sweets candy and ice cream shop.

 

This new “curious cocktail lounge” combines the Golden Age of Magic with the magic of Disney storytelling. From enchanted magic show posters and mystifying mirrors to vintage props and tricks, AbracadaBar promises to be just as surprising and magical as its name suggests.

 

I’m most intrigued about the AbracadaBar.  “Enchanted Magic Show Posters” brings to my mind images of the enchanted artwork on board Disney Cruise Line ships.  (For those of you unfamiliar with them, enchanted artwork looks like a normal painting or poster until you stand and look at it for long enough.  Then it magically animates in a unique way for each piece of art, and sometimes even interacts with nearby enchanted artwork.)

 

I’m also wondering if they’ll use any elements from dearly-missed Adventurers Club in the AbracadaBar.  I can think of a few things from there that would fit in with the “golden age of magic.”   I suppose I’ll find out soon enough, but I really can’t wait for this place to open!

Polynesian DVC Villas Deluxe Studio Room

January 26, 2015

Polynesian DVC Villas

Ah!  Disney Vacation Club… Disney’s “best kept secret.”  Or, as I like to call it, “Disney’s Most Insidious Marketing Ploy.”  Here you are, in the middle of enjoying a dream Disney Vacation, and there they are, telling you how much money you’ll save on your next Disney Vacation by purchasing a timeshare.  You’re already thinking about how much you want to come back next year, but worried about how much it cost you.

 

But wait!  You can come back soon, and stay at a Deluxe Resort for the cost of a Value Resort!  All you have to do is make a long term financial commitment and the dream of yearly Disney vacations can be yours!  With all the money you’re saving, you won’t need those discounts and offers Disney regularly makes to the masses.  Who needs 35% off the price on your rooms, discounts on theme park tickets, and Free Dining when you can be saving money by locking yourself in to paying thousands of dollars at full price AND constantly increasing annual maintenance fees?

 

Now I’m sure you came here to look at pictures of the new Polynesian DVC Villas Deluxe Studio Room, and not read my long-winded opinion on whether or not purchasing a DVC membership timeshare can really be considered  “saving money.”  So I’ll get back to the topic at hand.

 

Polynesian DVC Villas Deluxe Studio

 

The new Polynesian DVC Villas Deluxe Studio Rooms sleep up to five guests each and feature a kitchenette, “enhanced” storage space for convenience and comfort, and two separate bathroom areas.  One is a full bathroom with a tub/shower…

 

Polynesian DVC Villas Deluxe Studio Room Full Bathroom

 

and the other one has a shower and sink…

 

Polynesian DVC Villas Deluxe Studio Room 2nd Bathroom

 

Of course, both have toilets.  The two bathrooms is a big plus, especially if you’ve got 5 people sharing the room.

But where does that 5th person sleep? A pull-down armoire bed complete with painted artwork from Lilo & Stitch. Because you have to have Lilo & Stitch if it’s Disney and related to Hawaii.

 

Polynesian DVC Villas Deluxe Studio Room Pull Down Bed

 

 

Overall, these rooms do look great, and I’m sure that DVC members will be excited to stay in them. As for me, I’ll stick with a heavily discounted theme park view room at the normal Polynesian Village Resort.

Want to see more of the Polynesian DVC Villas Deluxe Studio Room?  Check out the video below.

 

New Details About Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

December 11, 2014

Polynesian Bungalows concept art

 

Construction on the new Disney Vacation Club Villas and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is progressing nicely.  Today Disney announced some news about them.  The resort will include the largest Deluxe Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. Each of the 360 Deluxe Studios will sleep up to five Guests and have the ability to connect to another Deluxe Studio. Plus, the new Disney Vacation Club bungalows are the first of their kind on any Disney property. The 20 bungalows will sleep up to eight Guests each in a home-like setting reminiscent of the South Pacific.  Each bungalow will have a balcony with plunge pool, outdoor shower, and speakers that will pipe in the music from the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom!

Similar to Disney Cruise Line ships and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the rooms will each have a bathroom separated into two areas, one with a shower and sink and the other with a sink and tub/shower. Plus, they also will have kitchenettes and enhanced storage for convenience and comfort.

 

Poly Villas Room Concept

 

And, like all Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts, rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows are available to anyone when not in use by Disney Vacation Club Members. Of course, with only 20 bungalows, availability is going to be extremely limited.

 

Polyesian Front Desk

 

The additions are part of an overall renovation of the iconic resort hotel. A re-imagined Great Ceremonial House will welcome you to a tropical destination where Disney magic meets South Seas hospitality. When complete, the resort will also include an enhanced feature pool, new food and beverage offerings, including Pineapple Lanai where you can get a Dole Whip, and a new Trader Sam’s Tiki lounge that will feature exotic cocktails and Polynesian-themed small plates.

 

Trader Sams Concept Art

 

The first phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows is scheduled to open in 2015.

Do you want to visit Walt Disney World?  Click here to request a free quote!

 

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

October 28, 2014

Doubloon Lagoon at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter

 

Out of all of Disney’s Moderate Resorts, my personal favorite is Port Orleans – French Quarter.  You probably don’t notice, but I have to fight the habit of just calling it “Port Orleans Resort.”  That was the original name of the resort back when it opened in 1991.  It’s sister resort, Disney’s Dixie Landings opened early in 1992.

About ten years later, for some (probably ridiculous) reason unknown to the public, the name of the resorts were changed.  Dixie Landings became Port Orleans – Riverside, and Port Orleans became Port Orleans – French Quarter.  As someone who still clandestinely refers to Epcot as EPCOT Center, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios as MGM-Studios, I obviously have trouble letting go of the original (and often better) names and concepts on Disney property.

 

The Lobby at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter

The Lobby at Port Orleans – French Quarter

 

So what makes me love Port Orleans – French Quarter over Port Orleans – Riverside?  I will admit that, as a Disney Vacation Planner, I give Riverside very high marks for it’s Ol’ Man Island swimming pool & water play area.  And some people lament the lack of a table service restaurant at French Quarter.  But unless you’ve got a family of five, I think that French Quarter is the best place to stay.  Why?  Here are five reasons:

1. Port Orleans – French Quarter only has about 1,000 rooms, which makes it half the size of Port Orleans – Riverside, and much easier to navigate.  There are no long walks to the lobby.  And even when it’s full, it’s still not as crowded as Riverside.

2. There is only one bus stop.  Even on the rare occasion when only one bus is servicing both resorts, French Quarter gets picked up first AND dropped off first.

3. The Doubloon Lagoon pool is still pretty nice, even if Ol’ Man River wins in an arm wresting contest.

4. The boat to Disney Springs is the last stop on the way out and the first stop on the way back, which means it takes less time to get there.

5. You can still share all the pools and activities at Riverside if you want to.  If you really need a table service restaurant, you can walk over to Boatwright’s.  (Then stop by the River Roost Lounge to see YeHaa Bob!)

 

Exterior of rooms at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter

Exterior of rooms at Port Orleans – French Quarter

Exterior of rooms at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter

Queen beds FTW at French Quarter!

 

With some beautiful theming and elegant rooms, I can’t help but love Disney’s Port Orleans Resort.  (Sorry. Old habits die hard.)

Oh, alright… Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

 

Doorman at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter

Did I mention the fun and friendly doorman?

 

Want to stay at Port Orleans – French Quarter

on your next visit to Disney World?

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