Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort

Plans for a Re-Imagined Disney’s Polynesian Resort Include a Nostalgic Name Change

posted on May 2nd, 2014 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


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Earlier today, Walt Disney World Resort President George A. Kalogridis announced some news about one of our most iconic resort hotels – Disney’s Polynesian Resort. As part of a complete re-imagining, Disney’s Polynesian Resort is returning to its original, 1971 opening day name: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

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The sweeping renovation, happening now, also includes a new food and beverage experience opening for guests next year, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto — based on the popular themed lounge at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. There’s going to be lots more updates on this beachside family favorite, so stay tuned.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

posted on March 31st, 2014 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


In its second year of operation, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort continues to surprise and delight guests with its animation-inspired design, whimsical amenities and spacious suites ideal for families. As part of our ongoing resort series, here’s the inside scoop on this highly popular Walt Disney World Resort hotel that immerses guests into classic Disney and Disney•Pixar films, in a big way! John Graham will share 10 things you might not know about this magical Disney resort.

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Ten Things You May Not Know About Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

posted on January 8th, 2014 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


The beauty of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is that it is truly timeless. Inspired by the Victorian-era beach resorts built along Florida’s east coast during the turn of the century, the Grand remains the crown jewel at Walt Disney World Resort. The luxury resort opened in 1988, but like a fine wine it improves over time. It magically blends the new – like the Disney Vacation Club Villas, and Senses, a Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort – while remaining true to its opulent theming and heritage we all know and love. I am sure there are plenty of things you already know about this magical and memorable resort. As part of our resort series, here’s a look at the top 10 things you may not know about Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Here’s to making new memories in 2014!

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Ring in the New Year With Delectable Treatments at Disney Spas

posted on December 31st, 2013 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Recharge, Reenergize and Reconnect
The flavors of the season – Champagne, strawberries and chocolate mousse — are just a few of decadent ingredients in the new spa offerings at Senses – a Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. From January 1- February 28, these tasty treatments debut just in time for the new year at both Senses spa locations. I guess I have always reserved Champagne for New Year’s Eve, but it’s time to indulge. These fabulous treatments will really tantalize your taste buds and all your senses. There’s Chocolate and Strawberry Facial to tone, tighten and detoxify, a Mimosa Champagne Scrub and Body Wrap that hydrates and refines and a Mimosa Champagne and Chocolate Pedicure to give your tootsies some pampering. My mouth is watering over the Chocolate Truffle Body Wrap, created to reduce wrinkles and hydrate with rich chocolate. Yummy. It’s a perfect refresh for the new year after the stress and tension of the busy holiday season. I can see a radiant, revitalized and sweeter “new me” as I am wrapped in chocolate from head to toe. What a treat! Check out the site for a menu of offerings.

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Ten Things You May Not Know About Disney’s Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 19th, 2013 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Aloha! Disney’s Polynesian Resort opened in 1971 as one of the first on-site hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort. The South Pacific paradise is a favorite among Disney guests with its famous Polynesian luau – and it was actually the first Disney resort I ever stayed at. I just loved the warmth of the Polynesian as it truly reflects the spirit of the islands.

As part of our resort series, here’s a look at the top ten things you might not know about Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

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Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Opens Today

posted on July 25th, 2013 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Today is a big day for Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa as the resort’s brand-new Senses – A Disney Spa opens its doors after several months of remodel.

Senses-A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Opens Today

As I have mentioned in past posts, the new spa’s nature-inspired theme harmonizes nicely with Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. As an Aquarius, the tranquil water elements of this rustic sanctuary really draw me in. I also like the sweet hummingbirds that are woven throughout the design, almost like Hidden Mickeys. According to the spa’s storyline, the hummingbird symbolizes peace, love and happiness, which I believe the spa will deliver with its host of rejuvenating and relaxing treatments. So come on in, or take a look at the newest images of Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.

Guests may call 407-WDW-SPAS to book an appointment or visit Disneyworld.com/spas for more information.

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Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Celebrates 25 Years at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 1st, 2013 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


I have always loved how Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa captures the essence of seaside resorts of the Victorian era – a playful blend of nostalgia and modernism. I reflect back when the “Grand” first opened its doors 25 years ago today. I was lucky enough to be invited to the media VIP preview June 26, 1988, as a young journalist. The opulent resort made a dramatic first impression — a black tie gala with VIPs like Burt Reynolds, Governor Bob Martinez, the late Frank Wells and several of NASA’s original Mercury 7 astronauts in attendance. It was a night I will always remember. With its snow white towers and red shingled roofs, Disney’s five-story Grand Floridian remains the crown jewel of Walt Disney World Resort.

Walt Disney World Celebrates 25 Grand Years at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Nestled along the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the 900 room flagship resort is a throwback to the splendor of an era long gone — like the resorts built by Henry Flagler at the end of the 19th century. While the resort has been enhanced through the years with a convention center, a spa and health club, Citricos, Victoria & Albert’s, a themed pool, suites and so much more, it never lost its elegance. A perfect snapshot of Florida’s past.

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Inside Look at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 21st, 2013 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


When you live in Florida it feels like summer every day. But today – June 21 – officially marks the first day of the summer season. Nothing says summer more to me than the seaside and summer trips to the shore. Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts are a great tribute to those 19th century New England resorts. So to kick off this monstrous summer, here’s a look at the top ten things you didn’t know about two of my favorite resorts – Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts.

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Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort is Now Taking Reservations

posted on June 18th, 2013 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Although it’s still under construction, Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort is accepting reservations as of today for treatments beginning July 25.

Senses, A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

I recently toured the spa – albeit in a hard hat – and I fell in love with the warmth of the design. It’s a perfect blend of elegance and nature. I think it is the mindful mix of textures like natural stone, pebbles and reed-like wall coverings, plus the wood plank floors, and wood-beamed ceilings that make you feel like you are outdoors.

The theme of this spa is clearly the serenity of nature and it is evident at every turn. Branch-like fixtures and soft amber lighting along with a trickling waterfall built into a rock wall create a tranquil mood and inviting welcome. Native American artwork will adorn the walls of the two-story spa featuring 10 treatment rooms, a co-ed relaxation room and two lounges. A gorgeous mosaic tile mural imbedded with hummingbirds and trees is the centerpiece of the whirlpool and steam rooms. The heated loungers are pretty fabulous too!

This Senses spa carries on the theme of sister spa Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort that opened in December, with relax, renew or imagine – each of which will create a custom experience. And don’t worry this spa will offer the delicious elixirs and memorable miniature cupcakes as well.

So what are you waiting for, book your indulging journey. I know I will.

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Famous Race Car Driver Goes Full Throttle with Guests at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

posted on February 21st, 2013 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Thankfully, both my dad and husband are huge NASCAR fans, which served me well when I met race car driver Kurt Busch earlier this week at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Kurt Busch stepped out of the driver’s seat to take part in a different kind of race – a remote control car race – at the “Cars”-themed wing of the resort. Young NASCAR fans staying at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort were over the moon as Busch offered the kids some racing tips, as his girlfriend Patricia Driscoll and her son Houston joined in the fun.

Kurt was a good sport during his stay at the resort, and even joked, when he saw Tow Mater from “Cars,” that he was no stranger to tow trucks following the weekend’s series of practice sessions and races in Daytona Beach, Fla., in which he was involved in some wrecks. He seem to feel right at home in the setting and posed for pictures with some of the high-octane pals like Lightning McQueen, parked throughout Radiator Springs. The “Cars”-themed wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort features 480 family suites, while the other wings at the new resort are devoted to “The Lion King,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Finding Nemo.”

Here are a few photos and a funny video that reveal Kurt’s competitive spirit as he takes on some guests off the track at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. So now you know who I will be cheering for at this weekend’s Daytona 500; Busch and his #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, of course.

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