If you’re looking for a cool family-friendly event to ring in the new year, you might want to check out the cyber celebration at DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney. The event was very popular last year so they brought it back for another go-around. From 8 p.m.-1 a.m. kids are entertained with a DJ and dance party, plus unlimited access to all the games and DisneyQuest attractions including Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters, Virtual Jungle Cruise and CyberSpace Mountain. For those who can stay awake till the clock strikes midnight, there’s a confetti drop and festive party favors. Partygoers also get a coupon for a pizza, hot dog, chicken casesar wrap or hamburger, plus chips and soda. If you purchase tickets ahead of time you can save $10 – $45 advance purchase – or day of $55, including tax. Call 407-934-7639 to reserve tickets.
Here’s a look back at past New Year’s celebrations around Disney Parks:
One of my fondest holiday traditions at Downtown Disney Marketplace is taking my girls to see Santa at his chalet. We have always avoided the chaos of the traditional malls and instead made a more enjoyable visit to Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort. I think it’s one of the best kept secrets because the lines are never very long and it is so much more relaxing. My daughters are getting older, one a teenager already. I hope I can coerce them to make our trek to see Santa – even if it’s just for mom. The years are fleeting, but I am hoping to restore the childlike faith of the season during our outing and ultimate shopping spree. Santa’s Chalet is open now through Dec. 24, from noon to 10 p.m. Santa Goofy will do meet and greets Dec. 25 to Jan. 1 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Makaloa Garden was completely transformed into a stylish and elegant wedding venue complete with a draped floral wedding arch, dazzling chandeliers and chic furnishings. We even sprinkled in a little Disney magic with custom made Mickey-shaped pink pillows and flower petals forming the shape of Mickey’s head carefully placed down the aisle. Mickey and Minnie themselves even joined in on the enchanting celebration sporting their Hawaiian wedding attire.
One thing is for sure – Aulani had me saying “ahh-loha”!
I don’t know about you, but yo-yos bring back happy childhood memories for me. I can still remember my dad teaching me how to “walk the dog,” do “around the world” or “sleep.” I guess I’m just a nostalgic baby boomer reflecting on days gone by. But geez, it was innocent, simple and so fun to master new tricks.
I found out that two amazing Duncan Yo-Yo experts have been at Downtown Disney the past few weeks performing tricks and teaching wannabes how to, well, yo-yo. From what I hear, yo-yo masters Takeshi Kamisato and Drew Tetz have been putting on some pretty high-energy shows for guests. Click on the video below to get a glimpse of what you have been missing.
There is one weekend left to see them perform, September 1-5, 2011 at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. at the Waterside State at Downtown Disney Marketplace. They are also doing demos at Once Upon a Toy from 3 – 10:30 p.m. daily. Come check it out and maybe you will learn a trick or two from the super heroes of the yo-yo world.
Fashionistas of all ages will have a hot new shopping spot at Downtown Disney as Apricot Lane Boutique opens its doors today. The stylish store will offer one-of-a-kind gifts, trendy accessories and all the latest fashions for moms and daughters. My soon to be 13-year-old already has it on her radar for a birthday shopping spree. Good thing the collections are affordable.
Apricot Lane carries a nice mix of celebrity-inspired brands – the kind you would usually find at upscale department stores or fancy shops – including Miss Me, Lucky Brand, Vintage Havana and Chaser. It will be the go to place for fun and unusual trinkets and gifts, while also offering punk rock t-shirts, contemporary sportswear, chic dresses, plus handbags and jewelry for the perfect night out.
The boutique recently opened a location at Downtown Disney in Disneyland Resort in Anaheim with huge fanfare. It will be great for visitors to Orlando and for locals who want to avoid the mall.
Take a look at more of the changes happening at Downtown Disney:
The long-awaited themed pool at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa opened just in time for folks to take a dip over the Fourth of July weekend. I predict that the completely transformed Paddock Pool is going to be very popular with guests because it’s zero entry, it has an awesome slide and it gives hotel guests a second feature pool option.
Little ones can splash around in the wet deck play area with a fun pint-size water slide, while the older crowd can take in a refreshing drink and relax in the horseshoe-shaped hot tub. The nearby Paddock Grill serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner with sandwiches, salads and kid-friendly bites.
These images were shot pre-opening and I bet this is THE ONLY time the pool will be empty.
It has been a banner year at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort as far as sea-turtle nesting goes. The nesting season begins in March and this is the first time in the resort’s history that we have had 380 loggerhead sea turtles nests by June along our 7-km stretch of beach that includes Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.
Families can get in on the fun and learn more about the amazing creatures during the Animal Programs’ Meet-a-Turtle-Expert event that happens at 7 a.m. daily down on the beach.
A turtle researcher takes guests on a fun-filled adventure as they look for clues about sea turtle activity, mark nests and collect data. Kids can join Turtle Troop, a fun and educational experience that combines crafts and a walk on the beach to see a sea turtle nest up close. There’s also evening presentations for resort guests that explain Disney’s overall commitment to sea turtle conservation. Aren’t they too cute?!
It’s no wonder The Spa at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort took home a special ARDY Award for “Amenities” during the 2011 ARDA Conference in Orlando. (The various awards honor the best of the best in the timeshare industry.) For one thing, you couldn’t get me out of the place when it opened in September. With its organic and eco-friendly products and services, it truly melts away stress and makes you feel like a princess.
The 1,500-square-foot relaxing retreat is a nice complement to the laid back 211-room resort on Florida’s Treasure coast. Its signature body treatment that includes a Vichy shower, plus toxin free and vegan nail treatments, couple’s massages and kids’ treatments (plus delicious light fare) are all on the menu to restore the mind and body.
Easter festivities for the whole family are on tap at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort on April 24. In addition to the popular Easter egg hunt (7 a.m and 9 a.m.) the resort is once again offering its amazing Easter buffet at Shutters from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. for both locals and resort guests.
Fresh breads and rolls, spring pea bisque, chilled seafood, salad and pasta stations, cold buffet, carving station, plus an omelette station (available until 3 p.m.) are on the menu. The chef will also prepare Beef Wellington and seared filet of Sole, plus an array of desserts fit for a king. Kids’ offerings include mac and cheese, mini corn dogs and chicken fingers. Price is $28.99 for 10 years old and older; $16.99 for ages 9 and under.
And the White Rabbit from “Alice in Wonderland” will greet guests at various times throughout the day in the hotel lobby. Reservations required. Please call 772-234-2180.
Being an Irish gal, one of my favorite days is just around the corner – St. Patty’s Day. So I was psyched to see that Raglan Road is hosting a pre-party to St. Patrick’s Day.
On Sunday, March 13, Raglan Road will host a ceili, which is a fancy way to say a big Irish party with music and dance. It is actually one of Ireland’s oldest traditions and will showcase a variety of step dances like the popular Riverdance, the Walls of Limerick, the Waves of Troy and more. The ceili dances are typically danced to Irish instruments such as the Irish hand drum or harp. The fun starts at 2 p.m. at Downtown Disney and families are welcome.