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Written by Rob Bloom, Creative Director of Discover Universal Blog
It’s 1990. I’m standing with my family (and my glorious mullet) in the middle of Universal Studios Florida. For a kid growing up on a steady diet of movies and TV, there was no place else in the world I’d rather be.
The backlot sets. Nickelodeon Studios. All of it.
If I could go back in time and tell little Robbie Bloom one thing, it’d be, “lose the mullet.” Oh, I’d also tell him, “One day, you’re going to be working here.”
Working here has been a dream come true. Not only do I get to film in the theme parks but I get to play there too. As a fan. Just like I’ve been since 1990. OK, enough with the sappy stuff, let’s do this.
[clears throat, taps on mic]
He-lloooooo there! I’m Rob and I’ll be your o-fficial Universal Studios Florida tour guide for the next, say, three to five minutes. Now, [chuckles], I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to this theme park so, today, I’m going to be taking you on a little tour, dropping some knowledge and even a few pro tips. So please, place your personal belongings in one of our lockers, take small children by the hand, and let’s explore Universal Studios Florida!
I like to get in early and stay late. So when those gates open, friends, I’m walking with a purpose.
All right, so the first place I head is Revenge of the Mummy— hands down my favorite ride in the park. I’m taking my time going through the queue because:
a) The queue is awesome.
b) See a.
To me,Revenge of the Mummy is as close to a classic theme park attraction as you can get. The ride combines great storytelling, animatronics, pyro, and a pretty great indoor coaster — all while immersing you in the film.
With that attraction under my belt, it’s time for a breakfast stop. It’s a quick walk over to the TODAY Cafe where I grab a breakfast sandwich and cup of coffee. I spend a few minutes at a table outside, enjoying the food and the view of Hollywood Blvd.
After breakfast it’s time to join Gru and the gang on Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. This ride is a blast for all family members and a must-do for anybody who loves a little mischief.
The entrance to Diagon Alley is truly magical. As many times as I’ve stood here, the experience of walking in and seeing that view still gives me goosebumps. With the Leaky Cauldron on the left, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes on the right, and a fire-breathing dragon perched on top of Gringotts just ahead — there is so much to explore in Diagon Alley.
We’ll explore plenty in a few moments though. First, and I’m going to say this as dramatically as possible, first, we ride.
Time for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, also known as one of the best queues of any attraction anywhere. You’re literally walking through Gringotts, past goblin bank tellers, and right through the inner workings of the bank itself before you go underground to begin the adventure.
From a ride perspective, this one’s pretty spectacular. Lots of action, speed, and I don’t want to throw in any spoilers here but let’s just say that you might encounter a certain someone who must not be named along the journey.
OK, all this escaping has made me thirsty. Butterbeer time! Today, I’m having cold Butterbeer but you can also try hot and frozen. Not to mention Butterbeer ice cream, fudge, and potted cream. If the opportunity to try each of these isn’t a great enough reason to spend more than one day at Universal Studios Florida, I don’t know what is.
PRO TIP: Enjoy your Butterbeer on the move and do some exploring. Be sure to go to Ollivanders and watch the wand choose the wizard, check out a performance from Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, and explore the dark corners of Knockturn Alley.
Right outside of Diagon Alley is an unsung culinary hero at Universal Studios Florida: the London Taxi Cart. This is a perfect spot to fuel up before you hit more attractions; I recommend the Shepherd’s Pie Jacket Potato and grabbing a nice spot to eat right there along the waterway.
Next up is MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack, a must-do for any day spent in Universal Studios Florida. I won’t post my score from the ride because, honestly, I don’t want to be trolled in the comments below. Look, I know I’m bad at this, OK? Let’s drop it. Anyway, this is another classic attraction with animatronics, awesome sets, and a fun storyline.
PRO TIP: Be sure to ask a Team Member to tour the space. It’s fun, free, and you’ll experience this attraction in a whole new way. *This experience is not always available. Saving the galaxy can be quite time-consuming.*
After defending the galaxy, I love making my way over to Springfield, U.S.A. With all of the unique details, it really feels like the home of The Simpsons!
While there, I check out The Simpsons Ride, joining Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa and Maggie on a fun-filled adventure.
My day continues as I make my way to the Duff Brewery Beer Garden where I like to stop in for an ice-cold Duff Beer.
I always make it a point to stop by the Animal Actors on Location!show. In a world of high-tech “how’d they do that?” attractions, I love the charm of this classic show. Hey, it’s cute animals doing cool tricks. Win, win.
And while you’re in this area, check out DreamWorks Destination. This all-new interactive experience features the chance to interact with multiple characters from DreamWorks Animation’s hit film franchises Trolls, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and more. If you’ve got kids (or not), this is a fun stop.
Now, of course, no visit to Universal Studios Florida is complete without a trip to the Green Planet. You can read my detailed thoughts on this classic attraction here so I’ll keep things moving. Basically, E.T. Adventure is a classic dark ride, it’s the only opening day attraction still operating, and it’s every bit as delightful now as it was when it opened in 1990.
After experiencing the oldest Universal Studios attraction, head on over to one of its newest: The Bourne Stuntacular!This live-action stunt show thrills guests on a daily basis and, for my money, it’s the best stunt show in Florida.
And now for one of the biggest thrills in the park: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockitor, as I affectionately refer to it, “I can do this…I can do this.”
I love the experience of being on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. And by “on” I mean “being at a 90 degree angle while rocking out to disco.” This ride is awesome and a must-see for any coaster fans.
PRO TIP: There’s actually a hidden menu of songs you can unlock. When you board the vehicle, check out the touch screen in front of you. Press and hold the attraction logo for ten seconds, let go, and, well, you can take it from there…
After dinner, it’s time for the Superstar Parade(be sure to check the official Universal Orlando Resort app to check its availability!).. Nothing gets me and my family hyped quite like a dance party with some of our favorite characters. Be sure to prioritize the parade for a chance to see SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora and Diego, the Minions crew, and even some friends from The Secret Life of the Pets. All on the streets of Universal Studios, this is a boost of energy and fun as we hit the home stretch of our day.
And now we’re off to Transformers: The Ride-3D!You’ve been recruited to save Earth from Megatron and those Decepticons. C’mon, where else can you do this but at Universal?
The sights and sounds of your favorite movies — against the backdrop of the theme park — is the perfect way to end the day. Standing here, watching this show, in the theme park I’ve loved for more than three decades, I feel the same awe I felt when I visited in 1990. And it’s even better now without the mullet.
Back in 1981, we opened our flagship resort, Sandals Montego Bay, our company’s home base for love, luxury, and lust for life. We’ve shared the last forty years with you, our valued guests who’ve come to consider Sandals Resorts a home away from home. Forty years of love and romance, forty years of wedding bells and engagements, forty years of reunions and rekindling love in the Caribbean Sea — that’s why we’re celebrating.
Cheers to 40 years!
One night of celebrating just isn’t enough for this anniversary. Instead, we’re implementing a wide range of forty-inspired offerings and festivities throughout the year at all Sandals Resorts. What’s more, we’re rewinding the clock with all five senses.
Hear 40 years of Sandals
We need no excuse to celebrate, but this anniversary calls for something extra. Let’s groove eighties style. Cyndi, Prince, Journey – our talented DJs will keep the party spinning at every resort, every week, with live 80’s inspired music. As the inventors of the swim-up pool bar, we know how to throw a poolside party. Throw on your vintage apparel and get ready for this Sandals Rewind Experience.
Feel 40 years of Sandals
As we embrace our blast to the past, we’re launching a limited edition 1981-inspired vintage retail collection available in all resort shops. Choose from ten exclusive designs and show your Sandals love, trading in your 2021 trends for our nostalgic styles. Whether you’re celebrating a full forty years as a loyal Sandals guest or marking your very first stay with us, we’re happy to have you. This limited-edition apparel will be available beginning in November.
Taste & smell 40 years of Sandals
While the DJs are spinning, you’ll find our bartenders serving up classic hand-crafted cocktails from our “Then and Now” drink menu, featuring side-by-side 1981 vs. 2021 specials. At this party, we’re sippin like it’s 81’. Go round for round, decade by decade, tasting the original flavors made famous by Sandals Resorts. Dark rum, Blue Curaçao, sweet pineapple juice, freshly squeezed lime, crème de cocoa—all the flavors that have served us so well for four decades aren’t going anywhere.
See 40 years of Sandals
This anniversary is about you, and the special moments we’ve been so lucky to share
We’re inviting you, our most-loved Sandals guests, to venture on home to island life and celebrate the years we’ve spent together and the trips that have yet to be planned. At participating on-resort social gatherings, you’ll find a 360° photo booth waiting to capture the spirit of love at Sandals. Just step onto the elevated platform, and watch as an automatic camera circles the booth, sending you off with a slow-motion, high-definition video of the party at its peak. Take home this video memorabilia of a trip you’ll never forget and the oasis that will always be waiting to embrace you with open arms.
Here at Sandals, we believe there are actually six senses: touch, sound, taste, smell, sight, and love. It’s always been here and always will be. For 40 years, we’ve been celebrating love; the love we see in our couples, the love we share with each other, and the love we have for our home in the Caribbean.
To show that latter LOVE, we’re going 40 for 40 and focusing on forty projects selected by our valued team members that best reflect our philanthropy, showcasing the power of tourism to transform communities and lives. We’re rolling up our sleeves and getting to work to continue bettering our environment, ensuring a brighter 40 years to come.
From ecological conservation efforts at UNESCO World Heritage sites to assisting local farmers in increasing their sustainable food production practices, we’re committed to forging stronger bonds, off-site and on
Whether you visit us in celebration of our anniversary or book a stay for an anniversary of your own, we will remain dedicated to romance and love in all forms, steadfast and true.
Maybe you’re one-half of a lucky couple celebrating a milestone. Maybe you once married the love of your life in a Sandals chapel years ago, perhaps one of the first-ever couples to do so. Maybe your parents once honeymooned in the Caribbean Sea, and you’re looking to walk in their (vintage) shoes. We invite you to share your favorite Sandals memories with us from the past or near future on Instagram at #TheOneYouLove.
Whatever it is that brings you to our luxury all-inclusive resorts, we welcome you back to the future with open arms as we celebrate 40 years of love and trust and look ahead to 40 more.
By Katie Schmidt, Managing Editor of the Universal Orlando Resort Blog.
With its incredibly immersive themed lands, insanely thrilling roller coasters, and top-notch restaurants, Universal’s Islands of Adventure has a lot to offer. Some of my favorite days have been spent morning to evening exploring the theme park and enjoying all the sights, rides, and tasty treats throughout Islands of Adventure.
But with so much to see and do, it can be tricky to plan how to map out your day. Well worry not my weary traveler, I’m here to help with this complete guide to a day in Islands of Adventure.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
I recommend staying at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel. First off, they’re phenomenal hotels with unique theming, comfy beds, and their own fun activities (Cabana Bay literally has a bowling alley!). But staying on property keeps you close to the action, provides convenient transportation to the theme parks, and has plenty of perks. If you stay at any Universal hotel, you get Early Park Admission to the theme parks and if you want another bonus, stay at one of our premier hotels and your keycard will also be a Universal Express Pass to participating attractions in Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure!
I am what many have referred to as a “morning person”. I wake up with pep in my step and that is even more true when I’ve got a day in the theme parks ahead of me.
It’s super close to the entrance of Islands of Adventure, so it’s a quick jaunt.
It’s The Incredible Hulk Coaster! C’mon folks, it’s a revered roller coaster that is impeccably themed. That launch first thing in the morning? Just the right jolt to set the stage for a day of thrill.
If you’re anything like me, a hulk out can work up quite an appetite. It might seem counterintuitive to go counter clockwise, but trust me on this one. It’s time to head back toward Port of Entry and grab some grub from Croissant Moon Bakery. You’re going to want some sustenance for your full day, so whether it’s one of the breakfast croissants or the “On the Run” Continental Breakfast, you really can’t go wrong here.
Next up is Seuss Landing! I absolutely love this area of Islands of Adventure; it’s whimsical, it’s got a total of four rides, and it’s the home to one of my favorite theme-park snacks, the Buffalo Chicken Tots at Green Eggs and Ham Cafe. OK, yes, I know, we just ate breakfast. I was just saying if anyone wants some post-breakfast tots, I’m not gonna judge.
Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a sitdown meal at a restaurant, The Lost Continent can meet your needs next! Mythos Restaurant is home to some of the best dining selections in all of Universal Orlando Resort (I dream of the Pad Thai) and is a great spot to sit and stay a while. If you’re in a hurry, though, and just need a quick bite, Doc Segrue’s Desert Kebab Houseis a great option. Enjoy a chicken kebab en route to your next adventure.
PRO TIP: Even if you’re not hungry when walking through The Lost Continent, be sure to explore the back of the Mythos for some stunning views and envy-worthy photo-ops.
PRO TIP: Download the official Universal Orlando Resort app before you arrive and use the Wait Time Alert feature throughout your day. This will help you set an alert for when your must-ride attractions are at a lower wait time so you can plan your day accordingly.
Now we’re off to Jurassic Park for some face-to-face encounters with dinosaurs! With rides and attractions highlighting both the Jurassic Park and the Jurassic World franchises, this area of the park is packed with must-do’s.
Tucked away right near the entrance to Jurassic Park is The Watering Hole. This spot is a little known sanctuary of deliciousness. Order the loaded nachos and one of their signature tropical cocktails and thank me later.
Listen, I’d never tell you to eat nachos and then get on a roller coaster, so after you’ve eaten, head over to Raptor Encounter. Here you’ll get to experience one of the coolest and most interactive photo-ops in the parks! Whether it’s Blue herself or one of the baby Raptors, Sierra, Bravo or Tango, you’ll have the chance to say you met a dinosaur on your vacation.
OK, OK, now we can ride a roller coaster. And not just any roller coaster, I’m talking about the new species of roller coaster that upped the bar for all future themed roller coasters —Jurassic World VelociCoaster. This ride is literally nonstop fun and when I say literally I mean it because there are no brakes on the ride until it’s over. Check out our ultimate guide to the attraction here to learn everything that makes this ride worthy of all of its praise.
Something about a ride on VelociCoaster always puts me in the mood for a churro. Good news is that there are delicious churro options (and other Costa-Rican inspired flavors) at the food cart located in Jurassic Park, Natural Selections. I say we grab a snack and start making our way to Toon Lagoon.
Toon Lagoon has one of my favorite rides in all of existence and it’s just not a trip to Islands of Adventure without getting positively soaked on Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges. I go in depth into my love of this ride in this blog, but here’s the gist: You will get wet and you will laugh a lot. Both of which are ideal scenarios when you’re on a Florida vacation, so it’s really win win here.
It’s time to head back to where we started — Marvel Super Hero Island. My Marvel-loving heart soars in this area of the park and I’m not afraid to admit it. The entire area is a comic-book-lovers dream (plus, there’s a spot that sells comic books!) and you can even meet some of your favorite heroes and villains in the multiple meet-and-greet spots.
And no visit to Marvel Super Hero Island is complete without a stop by The Daily Bugle and a ride on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. Join the world’s most famous web slinger as he saves the Statue of Liberty from the villains of the Sinister Syndicate.
PRO TIP: If you’re visiting during a season where the theme parks are still open after sunset, I highly recommend riding any/all of the three outside roller coasters (The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, and Jurassic World VelociCoaster) again in the dark. It will blow your mind how different of an experience it will be!
If you’re looking to grab dinner in Islands of Adventure, hop over to the little-known gem, Confisco Grille. The ribs are out of this world.
And for anyone who still has some steps in them, head back over to Hogsmeade and catch The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle. It’s a spectacular show and, bonus, it’s dark outside so when you get a little verklempt at the music swells, no one will even see you wipe that tear.
Heading out of Islands of Adventure at the end of a day well spent is a bittersweet feeling! Whether you choose to cope by enjoying the nightlife over in Universal CityWalk or by turning in early at your hotel, make sure to get some rest. There’s still plenty to do tomorrow at Universal Orlando Resort!
Whether your holiday traditions include choirs singing, chestnuts roasting, kitchens cooking, cookies baking or gifts unwrapping, EPCOT is the place to be from Nov. 26 through Dec. 30.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth features cherished cultural traditions, savory seasonal flavors and costumed storytellers from the 11 nations around World Showcase. And, during “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” the 18-month celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort, guests will discover incredible EARidescence and countless ways to make new memories with family and friends, making this holiday season extra special.
We’re excited to welcome back the beloved “Candlelight Processional”, a Disney Parks tradition dating back to 1958 at Disneyland park. This heartwarming production at America Gardens Theatre features the Voices of Liberty and a choir of Disney cast members, a live orchestra, and celebrity narrators retelling the traditional Christmas story.
This year’s celebrity narrators will include Chita Rivera, Jodi Benson, Alton Fitzgerald White, Lisa Ling, Steven Curtis Chapman, Blair Underwood and Pat Sajak with more names being added over the next few weeks. Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are also returning, and can be booked online beginning Oct. 26.
During the festival, holiday traditions of the world come to life around World Showcase, such as:
Las Posadas at the Mexico pavilion
Canadian Holiday Voyageurs in the Canada pavilion
Chinese Lion Dance celebrating the new year in the China pavilion
A Hanukkah storyteller along the promenade and delightful holiday storytellers in France, Italy, Japan, Norway and the United Kingdom.
And outside The American Adventure, you can wave hello to Santa Claus as he gets ready for the big day.
Holiday Kitchens will cook up treasured recipes from around the globe – from slow-roasted turkey and holiday pot pie to pumpkin gingerbread cheesecake and peppermint sundaes. A new offering, Chestnuts & Good Cheer Holiday Kitchen, will dish out fire-roasted chestnuts and cinnamon-glazed almonds and cashews, filling the air with delightful aromas.
Guests of all ages will enjoy sweet treats during the popular Holiday Cookie Stroll. Purchase any five cookies – such as the delicious SNICKERS®-Doodle Cookie made with SNICKERS® Bars or the tasty Chocolate Crinkle Cookie made with DOVE® Dark Chocolate – from any of the official Cookie Stroll locations featured in the Festival Passport and collect a matching stamp. Once guests have collected all five stamps, they can bring their passport to Holiday Sweets & Treats to receive a specialty cookie!
Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt is another fun family activity for guests of all ages. Search for holiday traditions Olaf has gathered from around the world – and lost along the way! Guests can purchase the map and stickers from select festival merchandise locations while supplies last.
And, what’s a holiday season without gifts? From designer fragrances to handmade confectionary treats to festive holiday wines and teas from around the world, it’s easy to find gifts for everyone on the list – including commemorative festival merchandise featuring Olaf!
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth is available with valid theme park admission and a park reservation for the same date. Stay tuned for more details in the weeks ahead.
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For more information, contact your Wishes Family Travel Agent! email@example.com 864-649-1016
If you’re coming to vacation at Universal Orlando Resort you’re most likely going to find yourself passing through Universal CityWalk. Whether you’re staying at one of our resort hotels and riding a water taxi over or parking in our massive parking garages, you’ll find yourself walking through CityWalk on your way to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. CityWalk is the perfect place to grab lunch, dinner, or a quick snack, and there is a lot of fun entertainment to check out after you wrap up a day in the theme parks.
You may be a little daunted when you see how many dining and entertainment options you can do in CityWalk. Have no worries! We’re here to help you get started with 10 of our favorites.
If you went to Universal and didn’t get a Toothsome milkshake, did you even go? These milkshakes are the must-get treat during your vacation for not only the deliciousness, but also the photo that will have everyone wishing they were in your shoes.
Is it sushi? Is it a burger? It’s both! Burgushi combines the best of both worlds into unique dishes you can only find at The Cowfish. While you’re there, I recommend trying one of their exotic cocktails or spiked milkshakes.
Voodoo Doll. Grape Ape. Portland Cream. No, these aren’t band names, they’re doughnuts from Voodoo Doughnut. Choose from traditional or whimsical flavors and make sure to ask if they have any specialty doughnuts. They also have vegan options like the ODB, which is so good, like borderline flawless, absolutely delicious.
You don’t have to miss the game just because you’re on vacation. Catch any league game here while enjoying good food (like a giant soft pretzel) and a cold one from a selection of over 100 beers. There are also foosball tables. Literally, a table where you can eat and also play foosball!
6. Sing Your Heart Out at Rising Star with a Live Karaoke Band
If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a singer, Rising Star makes that dream reality. Take the stage with backup singers and a live band (on select nights) and belt out your favorite songs in this rockin’ karaoke experience.
7. End Your Day Roasting S’mores and Savoring Smoky Spirits at Bigfire
Open fire cooking? Check. S’mores tableside? Check. An extensive list of whiskey and bourbon? Check. Bigfire is where you go to have summer vacation vibes year round with smoky flavors reminiscent of camping and backyard barbeques.
Dang, this is some good pizza. These made-to-order pies are baked in a stone-lined oven with a variety of both blanco and rosso pizzas. Grab one to go and sit by the CityWalk lagoon for a great view or enjoy outside seating at the restaurant while getting some great people watching in.
10. Spend the Evening Listening to Your Choice of Live Music
End your busy day at the theme parks by unwinding with live music from one CityWalk’s many venues. From reggae jams to full-blown rock concerts, here are a few of my favorite spots.
Yesterday, we shared new details about the character-filled fun in store for young children aboard the Disney Wish, and today we want to give Guests a closer look at what our newest ship has on deck for the coolest cruisers on the high seas – tweens and teens!
Older kids ages 11 to 17 will chill and play in their own way aboard the Disney Wish, with trendy hangouts and counselor-led programming created just for them. Featuring all-new looks that combine sophisticated design with youthful Disney touches, these clubs will be bursting with creative design details, comfortable lounge space and high-tech entertainment. Let’s take a look…
At Edge, tweens ages 11 to 14 will have fun, make friends and play games in a bright, colorful hangout inspired by a chic New York City loft. The club will include cozy furnishings, comfortable niches for solo gaming and movie watching, and a soda bar.
One of our favorite details is the indoor solarium area, which will feature a sunny overhead skylight effect, carpet patterned with fresh grass and daisies, a back wall mural of a bright blue sky, and games inspired by a colorful outdoor city park.
Throughout Edge, graphic art displays known as “photo walls” will provide ample opportunities for tweens to capture cool, shareable vacation pics that will surely be the envy of their friends back home.
At Vibe, teens ages 14 to 17 will meet new friends, watch movies, play games and participate in entertaining activities created just for them. Inspired by a Parisian artists’ loft, this stylish space will feature classic architectural elements like regal French columns and paneled walls covered with whimsical pop art murals and colorful graffiti, as well as a traditional French Morris column plastered with Disney-inspired travel posters.
The décor will feature an electric retro twist, with vibrant neon signs and funky pop art throughout, accentuated by a larger-than-life, brightly painted Mickey Mouse statue. Combine all of that with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean, and every angle in Vibe will offer a selfie-worthy backdrop for the trendiest teens on the high seas.
For the first time on a Disney ship, the Disney Wish will feature a third retreat for tweens and teens: The Hideaway. This hip new hangout will offer older kids and young adults another place to relax, sip a smoothie, listen to music and more in a posh setting complete with a dance floor and DJ booth – perfect for karaoke contests and dance competitions.
The Hideaway will be adorned in a vibrant color palette, retro-inspired design details, a stylized “Hiya, pal” mural and disco ball lights. Adjacent to Vibe, this flexible venue can be opened to the teen club, closed off for tween activities and even reserved especially for guests ages 18 to 20.
No matter where they choose to be, tweens and teens are in for a whole “llama” fun during customized, counselor-led programming designed to engage their unique interests, such as a hilarious new competition themed to the fan-favorite Walt Disney Animation Studios’ film, “The Emperor’s New Groove.” (Boom, baby!) And the fun doesn’t stop there: They’ll also enjoy dedicated activities throughout the ship during special events hosted in Hero Zone, Luna and more.
We’re not done unveiling the Disney Wish yet… There are even more surprises and reveals on the horizon. Keep your eye out for the next update!
What a week! “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” at Walt Disney World Resort is in full swing, as we kicked off the 50th anniversary festivities on Oct. 1 with all-new experiences and countless magical moments.
Now, we’re gearing up for yet another milestone: We’re excited to share that the previously announced Disney Genie service will launch on Oct. 19 at Walt Disney World Resort!
Available for all of our guests right in the My Disney Experience app, the complimentary Disney Genie service offers new features that let guests create their best Disney day. These features include a personalized itinerary creator that effortlessly and smartly maps out an entire day inspired by the things guests tell us they love – helping them make the most of their park time so they can have more fun.
Similar to a navigation app on a phone, Disney Genie continues to update the guest’s itinerary from morning to night as the day changes, so they can stay spontaneous and go with the flow – whether guests need a nap, encounter an unexpected rain shower or want to take a detour for a Mickey ice cream bar.
Many of you have asked about how this cool new technology works. Behind the scenes, the app is capable of magically evaluating thousands of possible itineraries in seconds – so guests don’t even have to think about it! Disney Genie puts guests at the center of the experience by prioritizing ways to:
Reduce time in lines while keeping in mind guest’s top picks
Pace the day with experiences guests will enjoy – and haven’t already done yet
Build around existing plans like dining reservations and Park Hopper® preferences
Disney Genie uses our 50+ years of knowledge and expertise in how guests visit our parks to make the experience better for everyone.
With this launch, we’ll also be introducing the Lightning Lane entrance. Available for purchase through our Disney Genie+ add-on at more than 40 attractions – or individually, “a la carte” at some of our most highly demanded attractions – the Lightning Lane entrance can save guests time waiting in line.
As a reminder, attractions continue to offer a traditional standby queue or from time to time, a virtual queue may instead be used at select attractions, like right now at Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
Universal Orlando Resort Celebrates The Holiday Season With Nonstop Awesome Featuring The Return Of Christmas In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, Grinchmas And Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s From November 13 – January 2
Get a First Look at This Year’s Holidays Celebration
Universal Orlando Resort’s epic holiday traditions and characters are back, bigger and louder than ever before for 51 days and nights of one-of-a-kind festive experiences during this year’s Holidays celebration beginning November 13 through January 2. Guests can rip open a holiday gift of nonstop awesome where they can join the celebration of Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, meet the maven of mischief himself, The Grinch, during Grinchmas, and experience the larger-than-life return of Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s – and it’s all included with theme park admission.
Here are more details about the incredible experiences guests of all ages can enjoy this holiday season:
Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
The streets of Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley and London will become beautifully adorned with themed decorations, garlands and lights as the sounds of special holiday-themed performances fill the air. Guests can sip on hot Butterbeer while they listen to Christmas carols from the Frog Choir comprised of Hogwarts students and their giant croaking frogs, as well as the unique holiday hits of one of the wizarding world’s most popular singing sensations, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees.
Guests can cap off their evening in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure to enjoy “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” – a spectacular transformation of Hogwarts castle with a stunning projection of holiday spirit and Christmas moments inspired by beloved Harry Potter films.
Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
See the maven of mischief himself during Grinchmas at Universal Orlando where guests can enjoy the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular” – a hilarious live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” starring The Grinch with special appearances by the merry Whos from Whoville.
And the celebration continues in Seuss Landing, which is completely transformed into a holiday wonderland filled with yuletide décor, including oversized candy canes, Christmas trees, wreaths and beautiful tinsel ornamenting the land. And guests can keep an eye out for resident Whos spreading Who-liday joy as they prepare for their favorite holiday.
Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s at Universal Studios Florida
With the return of Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, guests can experience the excitement as more than 30 larger-than-life balloons take the streets of Universal Studios Florida, along with appearances by the Minions from Illumination’s Despicable Me and other fan-favorite characters from DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek and Madagascar. This parade also features beautifully decorated floats and hundreds of festive performers that fill the streets with holiday cheer. And guests won’t want to miss the spectacular finale led by the one and only Santa Claus as he passes by and lights the breathtaking 80-foot Christmas Tree that has become a holiday icon at Universal Studios Florida.
In addition to these spectacular experiences, there are even more holiday festivities in store around every corner, including delicious food and beverage options and themed merchandise perfect for gifting that will have guests feeling the holiday spirit throughout their visit.
It’s an exciting time to be at Walt Disney World Resort! We just launched The World’s Most Magical Celebration, with dazzling new EARidescent experiences in every corner of our world. Of course, our Cast is at the heart of everything, and since the reopening of our theme parks, Walt Disney World Resort is proud to have returned more than 50,000 Cast Members to work. Now, more than 65,000 are working across the resort, and we are hiring hundreds more each week as we continue to open more resorts and guest locations. Today, we’re thrilled to tell you we’re bringing back more Entertainment Cast Members this fall, as we relaunch some favorite live entertainment experiences at all four theme parks and beyond!
Some of our atmosphere entertainment resumed October 1 with the start of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration. Early birds at Magic Kingdom Park are now starting their day with “Let the Magic Begin” on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage, and we’ve welcomed back the ragtime piano player at Casey’s Corner on Main Street, U.S.A. Over at EPCOT, World Showcase travelers are dancing to the Canadian rhythms of Alberta Bound, laughing at the antics of Sergio in Italy, and experiencing the majestic percussion of the Taiko drummers of Matsuriza in Japan.
Next week at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, guests visiting Asia can once again enjoy the music of Chakranad, and Kora Tinga Tinga returns to the streets of Harambe in Africa. And guests can look for the Tam Tam Drummers to come back to Africa in early November. Performers will also soon be captivating guests strolling along the waterfront at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, and the inimitable Yeehaw Bob will have his audience in stitches of fun starting October 14 in the River Roost Lounge at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.
Over the past year, beloved Disney Characters have been popping up in cavalcades, motorcades, flotillas, and surprise sightings, much to the delight of our guests, and we’re pleased to tell you many of those experiences will be continuing. Although the environment is not right just yet for hugs and autographs, guests will soon be able to have individualized time with some of their favorite characters, getting to visit with them in a themed location and snap a photo or two. Look for the Disney Princesses to return to Princess Fairytale Hall in Magic Kingdom Park. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will soon find Minnie Mouse at Red Carpet Dreams and the stars of Disney Junior in Animation Courtyard. And when guests stop in to see Mickey Mouse backstage at Town Square Theater on Main Street, U.S.A., he’ll be sporting his all-new EARidescent look designed just for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration! Each of these locations is planned to start welcoming guests in November.
Nov. 7 also marks the return of “Disney Movie Magic,” the cinematic nighttime experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios celebrating Disney’s live-action film legacy, and when this projection show resumes, it will feature a new sequence from Disney’s epic adventure, “Mulan.” And guests can mark their calendars for December 19, when the cast and crew of “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular” bring back all the comedy and thrills of that action-packed show.
Live entertainment experiences such as these are among the reasons Walt Disney World Resort truly is The Most Magical Place on Earth. We are incredibly grateful to our cast and guests for the patience they’ve demonstrated as we presented modified forms of some entertainment while continuing to work through the details required to resume others. We’re delighted to be welcoming back so much live entertainment – and so many of our favorite entertainers – this fall and look forward to sharing news about even more additions very soon. Stay tuned for news and updates throughout the 18 months of The World’s Most Magical Celebration!
Tiffini is amazing and it was such a pleasure to plan our trip with her. She is definitely a hard...
2016 WDW Vacation
Wishes Family Travel
2016 WDW Vacation
Tiffini is amazing and it was such a pleasure to plan our trip with her. She is definitely a hard worker and a expert on all things Disney. She truly made all of our Disney dreams come true. We loved our trip so much we started planning the next trip as soon as we got home. I cannot say enough kind words about Tiffini and I will recommend her highly to all my family and friends.
She was very helpful…booked in a short time period.
Allison was awesome!!!! She was very helpful in getting my vacation planned and booked in a short time period. She...
2016 WDW Vacation
Wishes Family Travel
2016 WDW Vacation
Allison was awesome!!!! She was very helpful in getting my vacation planned and booked in a short time period. She kept up with everything for me and let me know what to expect and when. I would definitely recommend her services and use her in the future!
I was extremely happy with the service I received from Annette!
I was extremely happy with the service I received from Annette. She did a wonderful job and I have already...
2016 WDW Vacation
Wishes Family Travel
2016 WDW Vacation
I was extremely happy with the service I received from Annette. She did a wonderful job and I have already booked another trip through her. In my opinion she's the best and I will recommend her and Wishes Travel in the future.
…we decided on the Harry Potter package. It was everything we could ask for!
My family's trip to Universal Studios was amazing due to all of the advice and planning from Missy. She knew...
2017 Universal Orlando Vacation
Wishes Family Travel
2017 Universal Orlando Vacation
My family's trip to Universal Studios was amazing due to all of the advice and planning from Missy. She knew what our family would like after asking what we wanted from our vacation. After discussing, we decided on the Harry Potter package. It was everything we could ask for! She gave us tips to help us enjoy our time more wisely and economically. It was a pleasure having Missy as our agent and I will use her again when we are able to plan another trip! She goes over and beyond and so happy to be her client!
I asked a million questions, and Kelly always seemed happy to answer all of them.
Kelly made planning our first family Disney vacation so easy! I asked a million questions, and Kelly always seemed happy to...
2016 WDW Vacation
Wishes Family Travel
2016 WDW Vacation
Kelly made planning our first family Disney vacation so easy! I asked a million questions, and Kelly always seemed happy to answer all of them. She was very knowledgeable, and I really appreciated all of her input. We had such an amazing trip to Disney World and I know Kelly had a lot to do with it:)
Tiffini knows Disney better than Disney! ;) It is obvious that she enjoys her career and making her clients happy!...
2015 WDW Vacation
Wishes Family Travel
2015 WDW Vacation
Tiffini knows Disney better than Disney! ;) It is obvious that she enjoys her career and making her clients happy! She is very organized and knowledgeable and efficient! Would recommend her in a heartbeat!
Sarah even took the time to send a birthday email to me and my children.
Sarah was very helpful and friendly throughout and after our trip. It made preparing for the trip much less stressful. Sarah...
2014 Disney Cruise Line Vacation
Wishes Family Travel
2014 Disney Cruise Line Vacation
Sarah was very helpful and friendly throughout and after our trip. It made preparing for the trip much less stressful. Sarah even took the time to send a birthday email to me and my children. I appreciate all her time and help. I have already started to talking to friends about using Sarah to help plan their Disney trip.
I can't thank Sari enough. She handled all of my questions no matter how crazy they where. She set up...
Wishes Family Travel
I can't thank Sari enough. She handled all of my questions no matter how crazy they where. She set up the most amazing meal plan. I had nothing to worry about. Our first family vacation was perfect all thanks to Sari. We are already talking to her about booking another trip next year!