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Moms Panel Monday: Visiting Walt Disney World Resort with Kids of All Ages

posted on May 4th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Today, we’re kicking off a new weekly series “Moms Panel Monday” with one of our most popular questions – what are some great things to do at the Walt Disney World Resort when visiting with children?

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As many of you know, the Disney Parks Moms Panel is an online forum where you can find tips and insights for a Disney vacation from real moms, dads and grandparents who have mastered the art of planning Disney vacations. And on the site, you can ask questions to the panelists in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, as well as gain access to other vacation-planning tools for booking a Disney vacation.

For our first question, the panelists are offering their own take on what will keep children of all ages entertained:

Check back next week for our next Moms Panel Monday story. And if you have a question, feel free to ask the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

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Top Ten: Tips for Summer Vacation Planning at Disney Parks

posted on May 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you planning a Disney Parks vacation this summer? Jeanette Kaplun, editor and founder of Hispana Global, recently stopped by Walt Disney World Resort to share her favorite tips on summer vacation planning. Check out some of what Jeanette had to say below.

For more of Jeanette’s travel advice, be sure to check out her Top-Ten Summer Vacation Planning Tips here.

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Book Fall Walt Disney World Resort Vacations Now for Free Dine Offer

posted on April 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation? Then we may have just made your day by announcing that our Free Dine offer is back!

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You may now get a free dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted 6-night/7-day Magic Your Way package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and tickets with Park Hopper or Water Park Fun & More option. The offer is valid for arrival dates between August 28-October 2; October 25-31; November 8-19; or December 15-21, 2015.

If you’re not familiar with our dining plans, the Disney Dining Plan is offered with vacation packages at select Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts and is honored at more than 100 select Walt Disney World Resort restaurants. The Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan,offered with vacation packages at our Value Resorts, includes meals and snacks at more than 50 dining locations.

For full details, visit this link.

You also may be interested in learning how you can save up to 30% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for vacations taking place between August 15-October 3, 2015. This offer must be booked by August 7, 2015, and additional info can be found here.

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What’s Included on Your Vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on April 20th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Whenever anyone asks about favorite part of visiting Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, my first response is always the incredible amount of activities included with your stay. What kind of activities, you might ask? Well, today I’m happy to share with you some of the complementary experiences – along with some helpful tips – designed for the entire ‘ohana during your Hawaiian vacation.

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  • Aunty’s Beach House - This magical, interactive kids club is designed for keiki ages 3 to 12 and offers a variety of complimentary activities that explore Hawaiian culture, art and music. I always recommend parents and their toddlers visit Aunty’s Beach House during the Open House hours between 8 – 9:30 a.m. daily to explore this amazing activity center together. Be sure to save time and pre-register your little ones online here.

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  • Starlit Hui - Uncle hosts this evening celebration on the Halawai Lawn and leads guests on a journey into Hawaiian culture and traditions — you’ll watch the stories unfold through spirited song and dance. Your entire ‘ohana will not want to miss this Disney-exclusive entertainment experience, so be sure to check The Daily ‘Iwa for the weekly performance schedule, and for even more fun, arrive about 30 minutes prior to show time! There’s all sorts of pre-show fun and activities for everyone.

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  • Pau Hana Room - For families and friends looking to connect over board games, arts and crafts, books or movies, the Pau Hana Room is the place to be! Most of your favorite Disney classic films are available to rent here. Or, embark on the Menehune Adventure Trail, a high-tech scavenger hunt, from the Pau Hana Room! Some of the activities that take place in the Pau Hana Room can be quite popular, so be sure to check in early!

These are just three of the activities that make a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, an unforgettable experience for everyone. Plus, they are included in the price of your room! To explore more, click here.

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Five Reasons to Visit the Disneyland Resort this Spring

posted on April 20th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Spring is in full swing at the Disneyland Resort, and it’s brought unique experiences you will only find this time of year! Here are our top five reasons to visit right now:

  1. “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park — There’s still a lot of “Frozen Fun” to be had at Disney California Adventure park! Anna and Elsa are receiving visitors in their elegant greeting location, “Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome.” Guests can sing along with Anna, Elsa and Kristoff at “For the First Time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.” Everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf, is ready to give a warm hug to guests of all ages at “Olaf’s Snow Fest,” which includes a giant play area with real snow.
  2. Limited-time offer for Southern California residents — Now through May 14, 2015, Southern California residents may purchase two or three days of magic and adventure at special prices, to experience attractions and entertainment throughout the Disneyland Resort. The special tickets are exclusive to Southern California residents and expire on May 21, 2015. *The offer has four purchase options: a 2-day ticket with choice of one park per day for $139; a 2-day Park Hopper ticket for $178; a 3-day ticket with choice of one park per day for $169, or a 3-day Park Hopper for $208.

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel at a Disneyland Resort

  1. Special savings at Disneyland Resort hotels — Experience the luxurious Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa or the magical Disneyland Hotel, or have a “day at the beach” at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with special limited-time savings at Disneyland Resort hotels. Make reservations at any Disneyland Resort hotel from now until May 7 May 21, 2015, to save 20 percent on premium rooms and 15 percent on standard rooms Sunday through Thursday nights from April 5 to June 16, 2015. **
  2. Special “Frozen Fever”-inspired treats — Inspired by the new “Frozen Fever” short, Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake, Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day and an individual ice cream cake inspired by Princess Anna’s birthday cake are available for a limited time at select locations throughout the Disneyland Resort.

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  1. Springtime Roundup at Disneyland park — Celebrate spring with some favorite Disney bunnies, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their springtime attire, fun crafts, tasty treats and more at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Disneyland park. Springtime Roundup is available on the weekends through June 7, 2015.

*So Cal Resident Ticket: Valid only for Southern California residents within ZIP codes 90000-93599 and Northern Baja California residents within ZIP codes 21000-22999; proof of residency is required for purchase and admission. 2-Day, 1-Park Per Day ticket is valid for admission for two (2) days to either Disneyland® or Disney California Adventure® park, but not to both parks on the same day. 2-Day Disneyland® Resort Park Hopper® ticket is valid for admission for two (2) days to both Disneyland® and Disney California Adventure® park on the same day. 3-Day, 1-Park Per Day ticket is valid for admission for three (3) days to either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure park, but not to both parks on the same day. 3-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper ticket is valid for admission for three (3) days to both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park on the same day. Each day of use constitutes one full day of use. Tickets expire May 21, 2015. Blockout days of 3/20/15-4/4/15 apply. May purchase up to 5 tickets per person per day with valid ID. Tickets may not be sold or transferred for commercial use. Offer may not be combined with other ticket discounts or promotions. Tickets not valid before 1/7/15. Subject to capacity, restrictions and change without notice.

**Disneyland Resort Hotel Offer: Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room at the same hotel. Travel must be completed by 06/17/15. Ask about savings in other room types. Not valid on previously booked rooms. Advance reservations required. Subject to availability as the number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Excludes applicable fees and taxes. Limit two (2) rooms per reservation and five (5) people maximum per room. Not valid in combination with any other hotel discounts or offers. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Separate Theme Park admission required to enjoy “Frozen Fun” and the Parks.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District, Hotels & Resorts, Vacation Planning

Disney Vacation Account Helps You Plan, Save for Future Disney Vacations

posted on April 6th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re one of our many readers who can’t wait for their next Disney trip, you’ll want to check out our newest program – Disney Vacation Account. It simplifies saving for your next dream vacation – a little at a time – and includes some great online tools to help you do it.

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Disney Vacation Account was created after hearing your feedback. You let us know that you wanted more tools to help plan a Disney experience and we’ve created a program that’ll let you save for magical vacations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, or Adventures by Disney.

Disney Vacation Account helps you manage your vacation savings at your own pace, in a way that fits your budget. And it’s easy to get started.

First, our Account Budget Estimator will help you estimate the cost of your vacation based on current prices. Please remember prices change from time to time.

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Next, calculate your savings contribution on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Then sit back and track your savings with a personalized account page and fun emails that help you plan your vacation along the way.

Accounts can be updated at any time—like changing your savings contribution amounts and frequency or stopping your contributions—at no cost.

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When you’re ready to book your dream vacation, you can use your Disney Vacation Account to pay for your vacation. To use your Disney Vacation Account funds toward paying for your vacation, you must book it either directly with Disney or through a participating travel agency booking directly with Disney. Please ask your travel agent whether your booking will be eligible to be paid for with your Disney Vacation Account.

There are no fees to create or maintain a Disney Vacation Account. And all of your contributions are fully refundable.

Also, if you use your Disney Vacation Account to pay for your vacation before December 31, 2017, (date subject to extension) you’ll be eligible for a $20 Disney Gift Card for every $1,000 spent on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account. Certain limitations apply.*

To sign up and get started, visit our Disney Vacation Account site. And let us know how it helped you with your next Disney vacation.

*Maximum of a total of $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household. Your Disney Vacation Account must be active for a minimum of 120 days at the time of spending in order to receive this bonus. Request your Disney Gift Card(s) 4-6 weeks in advance of your vacation date to allow time for delivery to your mailing address. Visit DisneyVacationAccount.com\FAQ\Bonus for complete details.

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Filed: Adventures by Disney, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

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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#DisneyKids: Experience the Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Carpe diem. Seize the day.

That’s exactly what you can do on an Ultimate VIP Tour. Imagine experiencing cherished attractions at three theme parks with fast-tracked access, private transportation and a Table-Service lunch in one of the parks, all in one day — accompanied by a cast member with detailed knowledge of Disney lore.

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I recently got the opportunity to go on The Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour, one of two new offerings from VIP Tour Services (The Ultimate Day of Thrills being the other), so I of course jumped at the chance.

Tomorrowland Terrace at Magic Kingdom Park is the starting point for the tour. Tracy, our Tour Guide, handed out bottles of water to keep everyone hydrated and took lunch orders. From there, we headed to Magic Carpets of Aladdin to begin our journey. We hit some classics, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan’s Flight, and newer highpoints like Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid. Then it was off to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (yay Toy Story Midway Mania!), via private van, that included a yummy sit-down lunch at a reserved table. The tour ended on a high note at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with front row seats at Festival of the Lion King, about as close as you can get to this beloved Broadway-style show without being in it.

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Entering via the FastPass+ lines made for minimal waiting. Tracy was also in constant contact with Brian, our coordinator, who stayed ahead to ensure everything went smoothly. Patient, personable and well versed in all things Disney, Tracy shared trivia, helpful hints and background information along the way, like giving Toy Story Midway Mania! point-scoring tips and pointing out a hidden Mickey in the flamingo pool on Kilimanjaro Safaris. What a fascinating window into the magic.

In all, we enjoyed 11 attractions in three parks — with plenty of sunshine left at the end to go exploring on our own — accomplishing a lot but never feeling rushed. A steady pace kept us on schedule. It’s a unique, specialized way to splurge on yourself and loved ones, especially if you’re pressed for time.

And though designed with mild thrills for families with children under 10 years old, don’t let the name fool you. The Ultimate Day for Young Families is not just for the little ones. In fact, Tracy said adults frequently enjoy the tour sans kids. In other words, everyone’s the right age. Because fun never goes out of style.

This unforgettable guided adventure (that feels intimate since there is one Tour Guide per every 10 people) through some of your kids’ (and your) favorites while spending less time in line is worth the memories. Heck, maybe you’ll discover something new in the process. I did. Okay, I admit it: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin was a first for me. What a blast (pun intended)! No wonder it’s so popular.

The tour is offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays and lasts six to seven hours. Attractions and entertainment offerings subject to change. The cost is $299 per person, plus tax (theme park admission not included). Call 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687) for reservations. You can also access the online VIP Tour Services brochure here for more info

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Fifteen Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2015

posted on January 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


It’s a new year – do you have a Disney Parks vacation on your bucket list for 2015?

Whether it’s new dining experiences, sports milestones, holiday celebrations or the return of annual theme park festivals, there’s a lot to look forward to at Walt Disney World Resort in 2015. Here are 15 reasons you should consider planning a trip this year.

Trattoria al Forno Brings the Italian Countryside to Disney's BoardWalk

1. Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk – The newest Disney restaurant just opened its doors a few days ago. The menu features authentic Italian cuisine and wines – and is now an option on the Disney Dining Plan. Yum!

Exposition Park Opens for Disney Food Trucks at Downtown Disney

2. Exposition Park Food Trucks – While we’re on the topic of food, 2015 will give you time to check out the recently opened food trucks at Downtown Disney. This dedicated outdoor area also has live entertainment at night (subject to change, of course).

3. 2015 runDisney Races Are Off & Running - Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will take place January 7-11. (Check out a sneak peek at the merchandise that will be sold at this year’s event here). Space is still available in the Kids Races!

4. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – This nightspot is based on the popular themed lounge at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, and is set to open here in spring. Trader Sam’s will offer tiki cocktails served in souvenir mugs, as well as smaller food offerings. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more on this fun new location.

5. Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic – Soccer fans can get their kicks at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic February 1-March 1 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In it, eight pro teams, including six Major League Soccer squads, will compete in 16 games.

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6. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Returns – This princess-themed weekend of running events returns to Walt Disney World February 19-22.

7. Starbucks to Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A new Starbucks location will open at the park in February, 2015. The new location, dubbed The Trolley Car Café, will be themed to a classic trolley car along Hollywood Boulevard and offer a unique experience for coffee lovers visiting the park.

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8. The Atlanta Braves Return For Spring Training – The Braves will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for their 18th consecutive year of spring training. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 or visiting ticketmaster.com, as well as at the sports complex box office.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

9. The 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: A Spring Tradition Returns March 4-May 17 – Character topiaries, home gardening seminars, floral displays and much more will return to the park’s festival in 2015.

10. Star Wars Weekends Returns – This annual event will return to delight fans of the Force and the Empire May 15 – June 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

11. “Tomorrowland” Debuts In Theaters May 22 – While it isn’t a theme park offering, how could any Disney Parks fan possibly miss out on seeing this one? AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Downtown Disney may be the perfect location. The trailer looks amazing!

12. Annual Events – 2015 means the return of our favorite annual events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and more. Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for news and dates on our 2015 special events.

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13. New Eats at Downtown Disney – The area continues to evolve into Disney Springs, and in 2015, The Landing, the first of four interconnected neighborhoods will open to guests. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more dates and details on the openings of Morimoto Asia, THE BOATHOUSE and STK Orlando, three restaurants planned for the area, as they come available.

14. Another Year of #DisneySide Fun - Guests loved showing their Disney Side – that side each one of us has that isn’t afraid to have fun and show our silly sides – at our parks in 2014. This year we’ll continue the fun by encouraging all of you to show your Disney Side at our parks (and at home) throughout 2015.

15. Your Family Vacation – If this is the year for your family’s vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, then there’s nothing to look forward to more than your family’s special time together. If you visit our parks in 2015, we hope you have a wonderful time.

Which event or new offering are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the “comments” section below.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

31 Disney Dream Vacations, Nights in Cinderella Castle to be Awarded in Disney ‘Flip’ Side Sweepstakes

posted on January 1st, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2015 in a big way by “flipping” Disney Side around and giving away a Walt Disney World Resort vacation that includes a night in Cinderella Castle Suite everyday in January!

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Disney Parks Blog readers know that everyone has a Disney Side – that side of you that comes out to play the moment you step through the gates at any of our parks. Well, this month, we’re “flipping” it and exploring how your favorite Disney characters show their Disney Side in fun and unexpected ways.

It’s already begun.  From now until January 31, visit DisneyFlipSide.com to check-out videos and photos from Sam, the Disney Parks Insider, as he goes behind the scenes with all-Parks access, an arsenal of cameras and crafty disguises to show you never-before-seen Disney Sides of some of your favorite Disney Park personalities. While visiting, be sure to enter the Disney “Flip” Side Sweepstakes. There is a new winner selected everyday in January. That’s 31 winners who will receive a 5-day/4-night dream vacation at Walt Disney World Resort for four that includes:

  • 1-Night stay at the Cinderella Castle Suite in the Magic Kingdom Park
  • 3 Nights at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel
  • 5-Day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun & More Options
  • $500 Disney Gift Card
  • Personalized “Disney Side” Welcome Basket
  • Glass Slipper Gift inspired by the new live-action film “Cinderella,” in theaters March 13
  • Round-trip coach airfare (If the winner resides more than 250 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort)

Visit DisneyFlipsSide.com and enter everyday for a chance to win. It’s Disney Side fun, flipped around just for you.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to individuals, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not minors. Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (PT) on 1/1/15 and ends 11:59 PM (PT) on 1/31/15. The Sweepstakes is made up of 31 daily sweepstakes each beginning at 12:01 AM (PT) and ending at 11:59 PM (PT) each day. Limit one (1) Entry per daily sweepstakes. Click here for full Official Rules.

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