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All Agents are College of Disney Knowledge graduates, with some also holding additional specialties like:   Accredited Cruise Counselor, Universal Specialist, Sandals & Beaches Specialist, as well as other destination specialties.   Our Agents are experienced travelers.  If your specific agent hasn’t experienced “it”, there is someone in the Agency that has; so you have access to first-hand, experienced advice.  That’s how we can provide you this experiential based travel planning service!  We are an entire Team working together!

Our Agents will ALWAYS, without fail, no exceptions – tell you the truth and do what they say.

Trained. Traveled. Trusted.  It’s Who We Are.

 

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Breaking News: ‘Fantasmic!’ Celebrates 30 Years Today and Gears up for Spectacular Return to Disneyland Park on May 28

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Breaking News: ‘Fantasmic!’ Celebrates 30 Years Today and Gears up for Spectacular Return to Disneyland Park on May 28

By: Disney Destinations May 13, 2022

Imagine this – “Fantasmic!,” Disney’s longest-running nighttime spectacular, is celebrating its 30th anniversary today! That’s right – on this day thirty years ago – May 13, 1992 – “Fantasmic!” premiered to Guests at Disneyland Park.

“Fantasmic!” is an emotional extravaganza of colorful Disney-animated story scenes, choreographed to an exciting musical score. The waters of the Rivers of America come alive as Mickey Mouse dreams he is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and faces dastardly villains, using the power of his imagination to save the day. Along the way, fantastic events and images as seen in stories like “Fantasia,” “The Jungle Book,” and more come to life with live performers, character appearances, enhanced special effects and pyrotechnics.

Some updates have been made to “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland Park through the years. An enhanced version of the original “Fantasmic!” presentation premiered in 2009, featuring digital projections and the spectacular 45-foot-tall fire-breathing Maleficent dragon. The show then added even more new magic in 2017, including new scenes and featured songs such as “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World” from the Walt Disney Animation Studios classic, “Aladdin.”

Since its debut in 1992, “Fantasmic!” has performed nearly 11,000 shows at Disneyland Park! And we just can’t wait for this “journey beyond your wildest imagination” to return to the Rivers of America soon, on May 28.

We are thrilled “Fantasmic!” will be joining the other nighttime spectaculars – “World of Color” at Disney California Adventure Park, plus the “Main Street Electrical Parade” and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular at Disneyland Park – upon its return. Just one more way Guests will be able to “ignite the night” at Disneyland Resort!

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Disney World Attractions that may Cause Motion Sickness

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Disney World Attractions that may Cause Motion Sickness

05/12/2022

Anna Trosper

Do you get motion sickness? Are you in the “sensitive stomach club”? Well, you’re not alone – I also have this issue! Here’s what I’ve learned over the years ways to help with the problem so I don’t miss out on all the fun rides Walt Disney World has to offer.

The first thing I want to say is don’t add to your misery! Make sure you stay hydrated, get a good night’s rest, and try not to eat too much junk food. Easier said than done on vacation at Disney, right? Dehydration, not eating well, and not getting enough sleep are 3 things that frequently happen when on vacation, and all 3 are things that can make anybody (even those that don’t normally get motion sick) feel gross when riding attractions.

There are a lot of over-the counter medications that can help people with motion sickness – some come with side effects, so it is best to talk with your doctor first. I have tried almost every over-the-counter medicine and I just don’t like the side effects I get with most of them. For context, I’m also a diver and need to have something that won’t make me sleepy or blur my vision when diving. What works for me is Motioneaze, an all-natural topical liquid. One dab of Motioneaze behind the ear every morning and I am good to go! While this works for me, it may not work for you. Again, it’s always best to speak with your doctor first.

Start taking your medication the day before you are headed to the parks – this helps a lot! 

It’s also good to know what personally triggers your motion sickness. Some common triggers are:

  • Sitting facing forward OR backward
  • Eating before a ride
  • Ride Simulators
  • Spinning
  • Drops
  • Tight Turns
  • Inversions
  • Moving backward

Even with medication and avoiding certain triggers, there are times where nothing seems to help! If you find yourself having one of those days, below is a list of rides you might want to avoid if you have a “sensitive stomach”. This list is just some of the most frequent culprits and should be used as a general guide.

Magic Kingdom:

  • Mad Tea Party
  • Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel
  • Dumbo
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Space Mountain

Epcot:

  • Mission: Space (I can’t even do this one with medication!)
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Soarin’
  • Test Track
  • Finding Nemo

Hollywood Studios:

  • Star Tours
  • Rock n’ Roller Coaster
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Tower of Terror
  • Slinky Dog Dash

Animal Kingdom:

  • Expedition Everest
  • Flight of Passage

I hope this helps you know a little more about what rides might get to your “sensitive stomach”. If you would like more help in planning a Walt Disney World trip or any destination, I would be happy to set up a time where we can talk.

Feel free to email me at: annat@wishesfamilytravel.com and follow me on Facebook. Happy Adventures!

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Breaking News: Aunty’s Beach House to Reopen at Aulani Resort May 25

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Breaking News: Aunty’s Beach House to Reopen at Aulani Resort May 25

By: Disney Destinations May 10, 2022

Aunty’s Beach House at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, will reopen May 25, treating keiki (kids) ages 5-12 to fun and adventure and – for the first time – offering evening activities the whole family can enjoy.

Designed as a typical hale or house where kids might visit their “aunty,” the rollicking kids club puts the focus on fun. Each of the six colorful rooms is dedicated to different activities – from a movie room to computer lab, arts and crafts studio to a game room.

Parents can reserve a playtime in Aunty’s Beach House between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily for secured children’s programming. During these hours, parents may select 1.5 hours of playtime for complimentary themed activities on “Uncle’s Side” of the house or 2 hours on “Aunty’s Side” of the house for premium activities. Reservations are required, please see below for details.

Complimentary activities include interactive games and arts and crafts based on the theme of the day. Premium activities include Surf’s Up, A Surfin’, Fishin’ and Dancin’ Party with Disney friends. Children will learn about the ocean, catch a wave on carpet surfboards with Max and get the somewhat wacky lowdown on fishing Hawai‘i waters with Goofy.

And now, the whole family can get in on the fun with “after hours” activities from 4-9 p.m. when Aunty’s Beach House turns into an evening entertainment venue. Families can choose from an assortment of complimentary and premium activities where they can learn to play the ‘ukulele, get together for a lesson in animation, or make lasting memories with photo opportunities in front of surfing scenes and other colorful backdrops.

Aunty’s Beach House reopens with new operations, safety and health protocols in place. Among them: face covering requirements, capacity limits, physical distancing, spacing between craft benches and play areas and temperature checks.

Reservations for Aunty’s Beach House are required and will begin on May 11 at 10 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (1 p.m. PDT) for reservations on May 25. Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance by calling (808) 674-6943 from 7 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. daily. Programs are subject to change.

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Scarlet’s PJ Party Under the Stars

Posted by on 7:00 am in Cruises, Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

Scarlet’s PJ Party Under the Stars

05/10/2022

Christina Szewczuk

On Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady, there are several fabulous parties to attend. My favorite was the PJ party. On the first night of the cruise, the Sailing Away Party set things off on a good note. (Seriously, the music was perfect!) But after dinner, the PJ Party was where things got crazy! …not a weird, uncomfortable crazy, but a fun crazy.  

Virgin’s whole “come as you are, anything goes” philosophy was evident as people filed on to the upper deck of the boat. People wore everything from regular clothes, to PJ’s, to onesies, to matching sets and silk robes. I opted for a fun animal print robe over a tank top and comfy shorts. I’m walking around in a tiger print robe with “Wild Nights” written across the back in sequins and no one bats an eye. Awesome.  

The party takes place on Deck 16 in the aft by the Athletic Bar and the Net. The Net is a really cool feature you should definitely check out at some point in your cruise. It is an amazing catamaran style net that you can lay on and watch the wake of the boat or look up into the stars! (Don’t fear falling through! It’s a triple net, so there is a backup for the backup.) I loved all the music at the party. Some of the new hits were played, as well as some old school hits reminding you of the parties of your younger years, providing an all-around good feeling. Meanwhile, people are lounging around at one of the ample places to chill, enjoying the vibe, while others are dancing.   

The bar is open, so drinks are plentiful, and the Happenings Crew is, of course, in attendance. They make sure everyone is having fun and they really keep the positive energy flowing. They dance with everyone, mingle and you may even experience a “dance-off” or two! The story that correlates to the theme of the party is that we are all at a PJ party and we “accidentally” woke up the Hostess who comes out to see what all the raucous is about. She sings a song, entertaining her guests and then sticks around to mingle a little before retiring back to her cabin for the evening.  

At the end of the party, the Happenings crew makes sure we all know about the after party occurring at the Manor. There is also a DJ there with a fantastic atmosphere that reminds me of some of the city clubs I once enjoyed on a regular basis. It’s a nice way of continuing the evening. Although, the choice is definitely yours! You can stay there on the deck if you want some peace and quiet or if you would like to lie there and stargaze. No one will tell you to leave. Mi boat es su boat.  

I highly recommend catching this party. It was the highlight of my cruise evenings for sure. Have fun with it and get in the spirit with some funny PJs or just wear whatever. It’s totally up to you. Either way, don’t miss it! 

I was hosted by Virgin Voyages on this trip. However, all of the opinions expressed in this blog are my own thoughts based on my experience. 

For more helpful tips and travel information, follow me on my social media accounts! 

 Facebook  

 Instagram  

 Pinterest 

You can also email me at Christina@wishesfamilytravel.com

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30% Off Every Guest + Kids Sail Free, Book By 5/31/2022

Posted by on 7:00 am in Cruise Specials, Cruises, WFT Specials | 0 comments

30% Off Every Guest + Kids Sail Free, Book By 5/31/2022

May 9, 2022

Set your summer free with extraordinary experiences and awe-inspiring
adventures. Catch epic waves off the coast of Baja, dig into the finest foods the Mediterranean has to offer, or bask in the rugged natural beauty of Alaska’s unparalleled wilderness. Not to mention next-level thrills onboard our wow-worthy fleet. And take advantage of epic deals, like up to 30% off for your whole travel crew. Plus, for a limited time — kids sail free! Come Seek the Royal Caribbean®.

For reservations and information, contact us today.
Hurry, offer valid May 3 – 31, 2022!

For more information, contact your Wishes Family Travel Agent!
info@wishesfamilytravel.com
864-649-1016

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A Newbie’s Guide to Run Disney

Posted by on 7:00 am in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

A Newbie’s Guide to Run Disney

05/05/2022

Caitlin White, Concierge Travel Planner

Have you always wanted to participate in a runDisney event but weren’t sure where to start? I participated my first runDisney event during the Princess Half-Marathon Weekend. Here’s what runDisney newbies need to know to get started.  

  1. Register early. Races are announced and registration opens up MONTHS before the actual event. Races sell out within days, sometimes even hours. It might even help to set a reminder or an alarm to be sure you don’t miss out. We had to register for the February Princess races in August.  
  1. Start training early. The good part about needing to register early is that it gives you plenty of time to start preparing for your race. This was my first in-person 10K and I needed that time to figure out a comfortable pace for me. runDisney offers a great training program for new runners on their website. 
  1. You don’t have run. I’ll admit to being a slow runner. Like really slow. I can pretty much walk as fast as I run. You need to be able to keep a 16 minute pace overall throughout the race. As long as you can do that, you can walk or run – may people do a combo of both. 
  1. Plan your outfit. This was my favorite part of getting ready for the race weekend. You will see runners in very elaborate costumes and others in regular running gear. Most are wearing something Disney or race themed. Just be sure whatever you are going to wear is comfortable enough to make it to the finish line. 
  1. Go to the Expo early. If purchasing race themed merchandise is important to you, you’ll want to “rope drop” the Expo. We arrived two hours before opening time and there was already quite a line. Besides buying fun running goodies, you’ll also pick up your bib and race shirt while there.  

Ready to try your own “run-cation”? Contact me at caitlin@wishesfamilytravel.com or on Facebook or Instagram to start planning. 

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Everything You Need to Know About Disney’s Genie+ Service

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Everything You Need to Know About Disney’s Genie+ Service

5/3/2022
Dana Munoz

I recently visited Walt Disney World with my family in mid-November 2021. We had such an amazing trip, and it was incredible to be back in our “happy place!” One of the best things about this trip was that I got to experience Disney’s new service, Genie+, and utilize their new Lightning Lane feature. Genie+ is a paid service that you can add onto your resort hotel package. This allows you access to a platform in the My Disney Experience App where you can select “lightning lane” return times that allow you to skip the regular standby line for each ride. It has replaced the former Fastpass+ system at Disney.

            On our trip, we had a tremendous amount of luck with Lightning Lane, and really enjoyed using it. I traveled with myself, my husband, and my 2 year old son. We visited the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios parks, and we were able to get a Lightning Lane return time for each attraction that we wanted! It was incredibly helpful to have this as part of my package when traveling with a toddler – as being able to skip standby lines for toddler friendly rides such as It’s A Small World, Dumbo, Jungle Cruise, and Peter Pan’s flight was a really important part of our experience, as keeping a 2 year old calm and occupied while in line for a ride is a challenge in itself! For all of the attractions, we waited a maximum of 10 minutes after scanning in for our Lightning Lane return time, and it was such an amazing benefit to have. We visited the parks during a peak crowd time, where standby lines for most rides were 45 minutes or more. We were only in the parks for 3 short days, and I am so grateful for the short wait times we experienced, allowing us to have more fun and make more memories as a family.

            While Genie+ is a useful tool, it does take some time to learn how to navigate and is a learning experience for how to make more than one Lightning Lane selection at a time. Your Wishes travel advisors, such as myself, are trained, traveled, and trusted to help you with this experience. We are learning firsthand how to use the program, and are here to help you understand how to use it, and build Lightning Lane selections into your magical vacation!

Please follow me on Facebook for more content! www.Facebook.com/dmunozwft or send me an email at dana@wishesfamilytravel.com to plan your magical vacation!

In the trip discussed, I was traveling on a commercial rate.

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Experience Great Lakes Itineraries With the Ocean Navigator

Posted by on 7:00 am in Cruises, Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

Experience Great Lakes Itineraries With the Ocean Navigator

May 2, 2022
By: American Queen Voyages

American Queen Voyages, Ocean Navigator, cruise ship
American Queen Voyages’ Ocean Navigator. (photo via American Queen Voyages)

American Queen Voyages’ last Lakes & Oceans vessel to return to service after the pandemic paused operations is the Ocean Navigator. Sister ship to the Ocean Voyager, it returned to service on April 11 of this year in Savannah, Georgia, departing on a 17-day voyage north to Charleston, Norfolk, Baltimore, Newport and Nantucket before ending in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

After the itinerary is ended, the ship will return to its port in Toronto with the Ocean Voyager in early May, from where they will both sail Great Lakes itineraries. The Ocean Navigator will make its first stop at Chicago’s Navy Pier on May 18 during its first Great Lakes itinerary of the season.

The Ocean Navigator offers five different itineraries in the Great Lakes region.

The Splendor of the Great Lakes itinerary can be enjoyed May through September in 2022 and 2023, as well as from June to August in 2024. It’s eleven days long and can be begin in either Toronto or Chicago. Stops include Mackinac Island, Sault Ste. Marie and Detroit in Michigan; Little Current/Manitoulin Island and Port Colborne/Niagara Falls in Ontario as well as Cleveland, Ohio.

The Great Lakes Grand Discovery itinerary is a 15-day itinerary departing from either Montreal or Chicago; it’s available August and September of 2022 and 2023, as well as September in 2024. Stops along this voyage include Toronto, Port Colborne/Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Detroit, Little Current, Sault Ste. Marie and two days on Mackinac Island.

The Lakeside Treasures itinerary is a 16-day voyage departing roundtrip from Chicago in June of 2022 and 2023. Destinations include Mackinac Island, Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie, Muskegon and Houghton in Michigan; Duluth in Minnesota; Thunder Bay in Ontario and two days in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

In October of 2022, the ship will sail one round-trip itinerary from Montreal. The 12-day Scenic St. Lawrence itinerary includes two days in Quebec City as well as stops in Clayton in New York, Port Weller, two days in Toronto and one day in Gananoque before heading back to Montreal.

Lastly, in September of 2023, the Ocean Navigator will sail a series of sailings between Montreal and Detroit. The eleven-day sailing includes stops in Quebec City, Gananoque in Ontario, Toronto, Port Colborne/Niagara Falls and Cleveland.

Originally posted April 29, 2022 by American Queen Voyages Blog on Travel Pulse

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Breaking News: Disney Cruise Line Introduces Spellbinding New Experiences for Halloween on the High Seas

Posted by on 11:46 am in Disney Destinations, News | 0 comments

Breaking News: Disney Cruise Line Introduces Spellbinding New Experiences for Halloween on the High Seas

By: Disney Destinations April 28, 2022

It’s all just a bunch of Hocus Pocus! At least, it will be this fall when a first-of-its-kind character meet and greet inspired by Halloween’s favorite sisters and other new experiences debut on Disney Cruise Line’s Halloween on the High Seas sailings!

This September and October, Guests will run amuck (amuck! amuck!) on Halloween-themed cruises with special entertainment and activities, including trick-or-treating, spooky parties, elaborate décor and limited-time food and beverage items.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! These voyages will also debut an all-new character meet and greet opportunity exclusively for Disney Cruise Line Guests. While all characters on board will adorn Halloween costumes as part of the festivities, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Clarabelle Cow will debut a never-before-seen look as they dress up as the iconic Halloween sisters, the Sandersons from the movie “Hocus Pocus.”

During its inaugural season of Halloween cruises this fall, the Disney Wish, the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, will also introduce a unique twist on a Halloween on the High Seas hallmark.

The centerpiece of every ship during Halloween sailings is the signature magical Pumpkin Tree towering over the atrium lobby, each with sprouting Jack-O-Lanterns and flickering lights.
Aboard the Disney Wish, guests will witness the debut of an all-new tree in the “Cinderella”-inspired Grand Hall.

Featuring lighter bark, graceful branches and a mystical face, legend has it that this enchanted tree (named Boo) grew beautiful gourds with the help of a wishing star. The best pumpkin of them all was destined to grant a very special wish … and that moment came when a carriage was needed to send a fair maiden to a royal soiree. In a flash of bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, that perfect pumpkin became the coach that carried Cinderella to the prince’s ball!

In addition to spooky character encounters and enchanted pumpkin trees, other frighteningly fun experiences aboard Halloween on the High Seas sailings include Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, a fun-filled costume party for families (and fan-favorite Disney characters); villainous takeovers in the adult-exclusive venues; Halloween-themed movies on Funnel Vision; and even a ghostly take on ship announcements.

Halloween on the High Seas voyages will be offered aboard select sailings in September and October. Departing from ports in Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida, San Diego and New York City, each cruise will take families to fascinating destinations including the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada and Mexico. All sailings from Port Canaveral and Miami will include a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise outfitted for family fun and relaxation and brimming with special Disney touches!

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Breaking News from the Disneyland Resort: Upcoming Pixar Plans, Big Foodie News and More!

Posted by on 11:42 am in Disney Destinations, News | 0 comments

Breaking News from the Disneyland Resort: Upcoming Pixar Plans, Big Foodie News and More!

By: Disney Destinations April 28, 2022

Yesterday, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock met with community leaders about upcoming plans for magical new experiences coming to the Disneyland Resort. Here’s a peek behind the curtain of what’s on the horizon for our Guests, starting with some news from the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort!

Hotels of the Disneyland Resort News

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will soon begin a transformation, with an all-new theme! The reimagining of the hotel will weave the artistry of Pixar into its comfortable, contemporary setting. Guests will gain a new perspective on some of their favorite Pixar worlds and characters through carefully curated artwork, and décor that reveals the creative journey of the artists who helped bring these stories to life.

Guests will be welcomed into whimsical character moments, like the iconic, playful Pixar Lamp balancing atop its ball in the lobby (as pictured in this artist concept rendering). Stay tuned, as we will share much more about this project soon!

Not only do we have new and reimagined experiences coming for hotel Guests, but more benefits as well! 

Beginning later this summer, Guests staying at one of the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort will be able to enjoy several new and returning uniquely Disney benefits to staying with us on property. As you may know, our Guests already enjoy access to Disney California Adventure Park directly through Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa entrance, and convenient Monorail access for Disneyland Hotel Guests.

Today, we’re excited to share that a walkway is currently under construction which will soon give Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel Guests a convenient entrance to Disney California Adventure Park!

Guests can also look forward to “Hey Disney!” – a new kind of voice assistant which works alongside Alexa on Amazon Echo devices in Disneyland Resort hotel rooms that can make your stay more convenient, engaging, and enjoyable – later this year.

Later this summer, Guests of the Disneyland Resort hotels can look forward to the ability to send select theme park purchases back to their resort hotel.

Last but certainly not least, we’re getting ready to offer early entry access, where Guests staying at one of our Disneyland Resort hotels can be among the first to enter and begin enjoying select theme park attractions and experiences beginning later this summer.

Downtown Disney District News

We also are happy to share another new look at the exciting shopping and dining coming to the west side of the Downtown Disney District. While the evolution of Downtown Disney began in 2018, we recently began work on the latest transformation to introduce more innovative shopping, dining and entertainment experiences. Drawing inspiration from Southern California mid-century modern architecture, the west-end area will be a beautiful blend of vibrant color palettes, design elements and patterns influenced by the region, and will include an open lawn for relaxation and future events, and an even broader and diverse collection of dining and shopping.

We are investing significantly in Downtown Disney District to continue growing a dynamic, exciting destination with something for everyone. We also are intentionally diversifying our offerings to meet the needs of today’s Guests, and have an exciting example of that to share today.

The world-renowned restaurant Din Tai Fung will join the district to offer guests their soup dumplings hand crafted right on site! This family-run restaurant will bring flavorful Chinese cuisine to Downtown Disney, where Guests can enjoy dishes served family style in a creative space off of our new lawn pavilion.

Michelin-starred chef Carlos Gaytan will bring his inclusive vision of Mexican cuisine to Paseo and Centrico in the locations currently occupied by Catal & Uva Bar, brought to life with a distinctive design from Gracia Studio. The restaurant and central courtyard bar and dining area will offer Guests a multi-sensory journey to the heart of Chef Gaytan’s homeland.

We are also working with Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen to finalize an evolution that incorporates vibrant California energy and a fresh approach to the menu, while staying true to the heart of New Orleans for this guest-favorite location.

Even more exciting news – fan favorite Earl of Sandwich will also pop into the district in a special sandwich walk-up location, offering Guests the classics they know and love for a limited time beginning later this year.

Mickey’s Toontown News

As we shared previously, Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park is undergoing a reimagining of its own, and will debut with new experiences and more play for guests, with a focus on families and young children, in early 2023.

Today we are sharing a photo of our teams breaking ground on the land, coming together to celebrate this milestone and the work underway to bring this transformation to life.

We can’t wait to debut all of these offerings – and more – coming to the Disneyland Resort!

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