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Happy Fourth of July from Disney Parks

Bird’s-Eye View In a Rustic Retreat at Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Michelle Baumann, Walt Disney World Public Relations


As part of our new “Room with A View” series, we’re heading into the woods for a special look at our “over the treetop” accommodations at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. Perched 10 feet off the ground in a lush landscape, sit the beloved Treehouse Villas, part of the Disney Vacation Club. I treasure the peaceful stillness of the landscape and the tranquil views of the Sassagoula River. It takes you to a quiet place and makes you feel like you are a hundred miles from the theme parks, when you are actually just a boat ride away from Downtown Disney. There are 60 rustic, home away-from-homes with lots of privacy and extra space ideal if you’re traveling with a large family, or have an extended stay. And who doesn’t love the idea of sleeping in a treehouse? I was so psyched when they opened in 2009, I took my family there for a weekend getaway. Imagine staying at a lakeside cabin in an upstate New York state park – albeit a fancy cabin with four TVs and granite counters. The experience is a nice pause from the hectic pace of daily life.

Inside the three-bedroom villas (photos and video from villa 7026), earth-tone colors, wood accents and natural light streaming in through floor-to-ceiling windows complement the rustic retreat. Nature is woven in the artwork and furniture in creative ways — like a tree branch as the base for a lamp, leafy pillows and a family-size wooden kitchen table, bench and chairs. A Hidden Mickey can be spotted in an end table created by three tree stumps. All the treehouses have two guestrooms with two queen-size beds each, and a room for the kids with bunk beds. There’s also a full kitchen in case you want to cook, contemporary amenities and a nice-size living area, which really makes it feel like home. The oversized porch is another gem and the ideal place to kick back, watch the sunset and take in the amazing view.

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Disney Parks After Dark: View of the Electrical Water Pageant from New Bora Bora Bungalows at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


We’re less than one week away from the grand opening of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World Resort.

When completed, the resort will feature 360 Deluxe Studios, as well as 20 over-the-water Bora Bora Bungalows offering private decks complete with personal plunge pools and views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom Park area. Guests staying the Bungalows will be able to watch Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from their back decks (complete with the fireworks soundtrack pumped in for their listening pleasure), as well as the Electrical Water Pageant. Check out the view!

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This photo, shot last week, truly captures the beauty of this timeless nighttime parade combined with the classic South Pacific styling of our newest resort addition.

To read more about the Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, visit the stories below:

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A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

posted on March 24th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


When talking about the soon-to-open Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World Resort, it’s hard not to gush on and on. These 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom over-the-water accommodations offer sleeping room for eight, a private deck complete with an individual plunge pool, a full kitchen, gorgeous décor, views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom Park area, in-mirror television in the master bath, a washer and dryer in each unit, gated boardwalk access and other fun features. I really could go on and on (and on).

But they say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and this is certainly one time I have to agree. And, thankfully, I don’t have just one picture to share with you today, I have many.

Let’s start with the boardwalk and front porch leading into a Bungalow. Notice the handcrafted wind chime.

A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Once inside, you’ll find two bedrooms, both offering Mary Blair-inspired bed throws. The second bedroom also offers a sleek surfboard headboard and a fun window seat that’s perfect for relaxing.

A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

The master bedroom offers a door to the deck, where you’ll find these (oh so comfy) chairs. Plus, not only is the master bathroom gorgeous, it features an in-mirror television!

A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

The living room offers furnishings with a mid-century modern flair. And the full kitchen comes complete with a table seating eight.

A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Oh yeah, and did I mention the plunge pool? You’ll be able to watch (and listen to the soundtrack thanks to the piped-in music) the Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from here.

A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows A Look Inside the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

I don’t want to give everything away, but I will leave you with a few more images highlighting just some of the fun touches that will be found throughout the Bungalows when they open next week.

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What’s your favorite feature of the new Bora Bora Bungalows?

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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: ‘Alohi Point

posted on March 23rd, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


As an adult vacationing at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, I recommend watching at least one Hawaiian sunset at the spas at ‘Alohi Point. These two oceanfront, infinity-edge whirlpool spas are the most romantic and idyllic spots in the resort as they appear to cascade into the Pacific Ocean. Today, the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series continues on the Disney Parks Blog with a look at this peaceful paradise at Aulani.

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According to Aulani Cultural Advisor Kahulu De Santos, ‘alohi means “to sparkle and shimmer.” As the sun sets each day, the surface of the whirlpool spas shimmer with gold. If you are a guest looking up at these two pools from beachside, you’ll see the walls of water sparkling and shimmering, thanks to the elegant glass tiles of sea greens and blues.

As always with this series, Aulani guests are encouraged to look for a few hidden details around the resort. See if you can spot a fish embedded in the rockwork near the railing wall at ‘Alohi Point, and an octopus stretching it’s long tentacles across the outer perimeter of the upper level whirlpool spa!

Where are you looking forward to watching the sun set while visiting Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Tell us in the comments below!

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Giant Sand Castle in the Snow Announces 24-Hour Party, ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 11th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As you may have seen on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” we shared some true Disney magic in winter-weary Boston by creating a warm summer scene, inspired by Olaf’s “In Summer” dream, to officially announce that the “Coolest Summer Ever” is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort. And it all begins with a Disney Parks Blog reader favorite – a 24-hour event at Magic Kingdom Park – during Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff to summer.

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Olaf, who is the official host of our “Coolest Summer Ever,” surprised Bostonians near historic Faneuil Hall with a 20-foot wide beach that included a Cinderella Castle made of sand, beach chairs, beach balls and other reminders of summer fun at Walt Disney World Resort. Check out how it all came together in the video below.

We’re kicking off the summer with an all-night party at the Walt Disney World Resort. Magic Kingdom Park will be open to guests for 24 hours of nonstop fun from 6 a.m.-6 a.m. May 22-23. Guests are invited to dress to show their Disney Side while a selection of favorite attractions, entertainment, merchandise, food and beverages will be on tap all night long to celebrate the start of the “Coolest Summer Ever” at Walt Disney World Resort.

For the “Coolest Summer Ever,” we’re already planning experiences you won’t want to miss. Here’s an early look at some of the highlights:

There’s more to come, so keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog or visit Disneyworld.com/CoolestSummerEver for future details and information.

Also, later this morning, Erin will be sharing a special announcement from Disneyland Resort right here on the blog.

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An Overwater Retreat at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

posted on March 10th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


I recently took you inside the soon-to-open Disney Vacation Club Deluxe Studio accommodations at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and showed you rooms brimming with space, comfort and a little South Seas flair. But for those looking for the ultimate Polynesian-style getaway nothing beats the resort’s new Bora Bora Bungalows, scheduled to open April 1.

Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

These 20 freestanding 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom Bungalows are the first of their kind at Walt Disney World Resort. They’re actually located over top of the Seven Seas Lagoon and feature sleeping space for up to 8 guests. Luxurious touches throughout the private Bungalows are paired with pops of playful color, exposed wood ceiling beams, distressed hard wood flooring and other stylish design choices. Mid-century style furniture in the living room serves a practical purpose – the sofa folds out into a bed for two. And, the Bungalows feature not just one, but two hidden pull-down beds – one in the living room and another in one of the bedrooms! (To remind yourself how fabulous the pull-down bed concept is check out my previous post.)

Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

They also offer a laundry room (not that you WANT to do laundry on vacation, but it’s there for those times when you must), a full kitchen and large glass doors throughout that take you to your private deck space, complete with fun furniture and remarkable views of the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Opening in 2015

Artist Rendering-Proposed

And did I mention that the Bungalows will each have their own personal plunge pool? They’ll be the perfect place for a little midday cool down and offer a relaxing place to view the nightly fireworks.

Because they are perched over the water there will be a private, gated boardwalk leading to these accommodations that’s only accessible to Disney Vacation Club Members and guests who are staying in the Bungalows.

Right now Walt Disney Imagineering is putting a few final touches on these unique accommodations, but I’ll be back with more photos once they’re complete!


To read more about the Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, visit the stories below:

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This Spring, Explore O‘ahu While on Vacation at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on March 2nd, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


I’m a huge fan of Disney Animation’s blockbuster hit “Frozen” and especially the ice queen, Elsa. However, we disagree on this: the cold does bother me. Anyway, with average temperatures of 78 degrees in Hawai‘i, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is the perfect place to thaw out this spring. While vacationing in a tropical paradise, be sure to explore the 112 miles of shoreline along O‘ahu. This beautiful island features world-class shopping, dining, sightseeing and cultural activities. One of my favorite days during my first trip to Aulani was driving along the North Shore and then hiking to the spectacular Waimea Falls! Learn more about the amazing O’ahu adventures you can do with your family while vacation at Aulani here.

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And to ensure you have plenty of time to explore everything O‘ahu has to offer, the longer you stay in paradise on most nights from April 6 through June 15, 2015, the more you and your ‘ohana will save!

  • Save 10% on 3 consecutive nights
  • Save 20% on 4 consecutive nights
  • Save 30% on 5 or more consecutive nights

What are you most excited to do on your next Hawaiian vacation?

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Wildlife Wednesday: Celebrate Animals and Nature throughout the Year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Allyson Atkins, Education Manager, Disney's Animals, Science and Environment


In addition to celebrating with us as at our Spring Forward event, don’t forget to mark your calendars for more fun wildlife and nature inspired events heading your way!

Earth Day/Party for the Planet: April 22
Back by popular demand – it’s a “Party for the Planet” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends where we will be hosting an Earth Day celebration. Discover how you can help animals by creating wildlife-friendly spaces in your backyard. Explore ways to protect and care for marine life through engaging activities. Learn more about sustainable living and how to make great choices every day to benefit both your family and our planet! Join us and don’t forget to grab your exclusive Earth Day 2015 merchandise.
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International Migratory Bird Day: May 9
Spring is all about the birds as we celebrate our winged friends on International Migratory Bird Day. Become an “honorary bird” and discover how you measure up in size and color to nearly 350 species of wild birds while also learning about the great care we provide for our birds at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Discover what the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is doing to ensure our skies stay filled with the many colored feathers of these amazing animals. From what they eat, to where they fly, you’ll learn all you care to know about birds—and that’s nothing to squawk at!

World Turtle Day: May 21
While visiting Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in turtle life as you try on a replica turtle shell or get up-close with some of our turtles and tortoises including seeing our veterinarians in action with these unique animals. At The Seas with Nemo & Friends, discover how to help turtles overcome threats they face in the wild while taking part in hands-on activities that let you experience life as a turtle–all while turtles swim gracefully in the background throughout our 5.7-million-gallon aquatic habitat!
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Tour de Turtles: August 1
Hundreds of sea turtles lay their nests on the beaches of Florida every year and on this special day we invite you to join us at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort for the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s annual “Tour de Turtles” event. Two turtles who have made their nests at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort will be equipped with satellite transmitters which allow sea turtle fans to follow the marathon migration of these turtles from their nesting beaches to their foraging grounds. The turtles had been fitted with satellite transmitters to help with conservation efforts as they swim to raise awareness about the threats that sea turtles face. Join us for the race to the ocean where you can participate in beachside activities while learning ways you can help sea turtles!
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Keep an eye out for these events and more! Here are a few more dates to look forward to:

  • World Oceans Day: June 3
  • Pollinator Day: June 11
  • Big Cat Day: July 30
  • Primate Day: August 20
  • Elephant and Rhino Day: September 24
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Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows are Designed with Your Needs in Mind

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


So far I’ve offered you a look at the pull-down bed feature, as well as the spacious interior, of the Deluxe Studio villas at the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, which is currently under construction. Now I’ll show you some ways in which these accommodations will go beyond simply sleeping your family comfortably, but also make getting ready a relative breeze (depending on just how much time your loved ones spend in front of the mirror) thanks to their ingenious split bath design.

Those of you who have sailed with Disney Cruise Line, or had the pleasure of staying at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, are no doubt familiar with the concept of split bathrooms. At Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the Deluxe Studios will offer a bathroom separated into two areas, each offering a sink and a shower (one with a walk-in shower, and the other with a tub/shower combo). And yes, of course the bathroom will offer a toilet (singular) as well.

Split Bathrooms in the Deluxe Studios at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Split Bathrooms in the Deluxe Studios at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

The split bath design will allow multiple members of your party to get ready at one time, leaving you more time to enjoy the theme parks, delight in a Dole Whip from the resort’s Pineapple Lanai or a drink from (the still under construction) Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, or relax in the resort’s revamped Lava pool (scheduled to open this Spring).

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Artist rendering

Oh, and while you’re enjoying the comforts of your Deluxe Studio you’ll also be able to make coffee and prepare snacks using the kitchenette.

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For a more detailed look at the resort’s Deluxe Studios you’ll just have to stay there yourself. But don’t worry, I do still have a few more “sneak peeks” in store for you, so stay tuned for more photos from Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows!

To read more about the Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, visit the stories below:

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Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Offers Up Comfort and Extra Space

posted on February 13th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


I recently shared with you photos of the hidden pull-down bed that will be found in the accommodations at the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, which is currently under construction. This nifty pull-down bed feature, along with the pullout couch, means the Deluxe Studio rooms at this resort will comfortably sleep up to five guests. And I stress the word “comfortably” here because, once completed, these 360 Deluxe Studios will be the largest at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Model rooms shown. Floor plans and furnishings subject to change.

The rooms are designed to be flexible, allowing for lounging during the day – indoors and out on your private balcony or patio – and cozy sleeping at night (or during that mid-day naptime, which is always a must in my book).

Adding to the “comfy” factor of these accommodations are the convenient storage options. In addition to serving up plenty of closet space, guests will be delighted to find that the coffee table opens to reveal storage inside and the bed is designed to accommodate luggage underneath (fun surprise: you’ll even find a storage drawer tucked under there as well).

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Of course it wouldn’t be a Disney resort without all those playful design touches that truly make you feel as if you’re vacationing in a Polynesian paradise.

Playful Design Touches in the New Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Deluxe Studio at Walt Disney World Resort Playful Design Touches in the New Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Deluxe Studio at Walt Disney World Resort

Plus, these Deluxe Studio villas will offer a really great feature that will allow families tons of comfort while they’re getting ready to hit the theme parks, or the resort’s soon-to-be-completed revamped feature pool, each morning. But I’ll save that reveal for my next post.

Stay tuned for more details and photos from Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows!

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