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‘Disney After Hours’ returns to Walt Disney World® Resort

Walt Disney World® Resort has announced the extension of events giving guests after-hours access to some of the resort’s favorite attractions and character experiences.

On select nights, Magic Kingdom®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios® and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Parks will remain open 3 extra hours for those with special event tickets for Disney After Hours. Admission, which begins early at 7p, includes select attractions and character meet & greets as well as food and beverage offerings like ice cream novelties, popcorn, and select bottled beverages. A limited number of tickets will be sold for each night of the event.

Here’s more details on the event:







Contact your Magic Maker® for more details and to secure your tickets!

Parks will officially close to Guests who haven’t purchased Disney After Hours tickets. Number of tickets available is limited. All tickets are non-refundable, non-transferrable and are only valid for admission during the special event date and hours. All attractions, entertainment and experiences are subject to change without notice.

Top 3 Reasons to Stay Club-Level at Walt Disney World® Resort Hotels

When it comes to vacationing at the Walt Disney World® Resort, it’s hard to top the experience, convenience and Magical Extras you’ll receive by staying at a Disney Resort hotel. And with over 25 Disney owned and operated Resorts to choose from, there’s accommodations available to fit every family’s needs and budget!

The Walt Disney World® Resort offers Club-level accommodations at each of their eight Disney Deluxe Resorts. While there are many added benefits available for guests staying in these special Club-level rooms, a few of them shine above the rest to our Magic Makers®!

Top 3 Reasons to Stay Club-Level at Walt Disney World® Resort Hotels

1 Exclusive Club Concierge Lounges- Each resort offers a Club Concierge Lounge that is available exclusively to their guests staying in Club-level accommodations. Inside each lounge which typically operates 7a-10p daily, you’ll fine plenty of seating in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. One key offering that our guests fall in love with is the food and beverage options they find in the lounges! Here’s an example of typical lounge offerings at various times throughout the day:

  • Breakfast – Pastries, fruit, cereal & beverages
  • Snacks – Chips, cookies & beverages
  • Evening – Hot item samples, cheese tray, beverages, wine & beer
  • Cordials & Desserts – Assorted desserts and cordials
    Items may not be available at all lounges. Variations will occur on daily offerings at each lounge. Information is subject to change without notice.

We can’t emphasize enough the convenience these Club Level Lounges provide. Whether providing a quick breakfast to jump-start your day in the Magic, snacks during your afternoon Park break by the pool, or a quick bedtime snack after a long day of fun, we’re sure you’ll fall in love with the lounge as well!

2 Exclusive Signature Offerings and Services- Let’s face it, at some point during the booking and planning process you’ve probably felt a bit “spoiled” by the level of attention and services your Magic Maker® has provided you! Well, that same attention to detail can continue at your Resort while you are on vacation! First, each Club-level guest has access to special Concierge Cast Members to help with any last minute changes or requests. Also, during the planning process Club-level guests can choose from a list of Enchanting Extras to make their upcoming stay even more magical! One of the most exciting extras is a recently-announced exclusive FastPass+ add-on option!

3 Location, Location, Location- With over 40-square miles of vacation kingdom at the Walt Disney World® Resort, location is key! All of the Disney Deluxe Resorts are located closest to one (or more) of the four Theme Parks! This close proximity to the Park often means additional transportation – via boat or even sometimes monorail. Also, the Club-level rooms are typically located at the most desired spots within the Resort Hotel offering great views and easy access to amenities you’re likely to use the most! And at a few of the resorts, their prime location allow their Club Concierge Lounge to provide special viewing locations for Happily Ever After and IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth nighttime spectaculars!

Ask your Magic Maker® how a Club-level stay can enhance your Walt Disney World® Resort vacation!

Hidden Mickeys

By: Christie Howley, Magic Maker®

If you are taking a trip to Walt Disney World® Resort, you probably expect to see Mickey Mouse and his friends just about everywhere you look. But did you know that Mickey Mouse may be hiding in places you wouldn’t think to look? There’s a phenomenon called “Hidden Mickeys”, and they’re bound to make your trip even more exciting!

What is a Hidden Mickey you ask? Disney Imagineers and most creative artists have put their heads together to sneak partial or full images of Mickey Mouse (and sometimes even other characters) into areas of the Walt Disney World® Resort property that you may not expect to find him, and some may not be so easy to see! The history of Hidden Mickeys (explained by a cast member during a back stage tour) began when Epcot® was in creation in 1981. The Imagineers did not want to display Mickey Mouse in the Epcot®. They believed that he should remain a fixture at the Magic Kingdom® Park, while Epcot® was intended to transport guests into a futuristic world- sans Mickey Mouse. Some cast members felt differently, however, and during the opening of the park, snuck Mickey Mouse’s trademark three-circled head and ears into the background of certain attractions and rides. Guests and other cast members noticed, and began to look for them and the movement took off!

Now, Mickey Mouse’s iconic head and ears are not the only Hidden Mickey to be on the lookout for, though they do remain the “Classic” Hidden Mickey. Hidden Mickeys come in all shapes, sizes, characters and forms, some being as difficult to see as the full body Hidden Mickey laying on his side in the clouds, in one of the final scenes in Splash Mountain® Attraction. Or if you happen to stop by the Disney’s Polynesian Resort, head upstairs to Kona Island, coffee shop by day, sushi bar by night. The counter is made up of colored tiles…see if you can find the one shaped like Mickey!

An example of a non-Mickey Mouse Hidden Mickey can be found on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. While in Owl’s house, search for a picture frame of Mr. Toad, who used to have his very own ride in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’s location many years ago.

There are some Hidden Mickeys that can only be found while waiting on line for the rides, so if you happen to have a FastPass+ you may miss one or two. But don’t worry, there are more Hidden Mickeys buried throughout all 4 parks (and the water parks!), the resorts, and even some restaurants! If you need help finding some, most cast members have a pretty good idea of where you can spot them. But don’t forget that they’re hidden­-intentionally placed Mickeys (such as a cookie shaped like Mickey Mouse in the bakery) do not count. Use your imagination, get the kids to join in, and celebrate that now there’s one more reason to go to Walt Disney World® Resort- to go hunting Hidden Mickeys!

With some fabulous specials available at Walt Disney World® Resort, our Magic Makers® are ready to send you hunting!

Video Mashup: Walt Disney World® Resort – “It’s Magical”

Whether you realize it or not, chances are that you’ve seen some of DJ Steve Porter’s work. As one of the top DJs in the country, Porter recently expanded into video mixing in which he makes videos by combining sound bites and musical scores to create new songs. Some of his prior work includes a Tim Tebow-themed remix called “All He Does Is Win” that he created for ESPN and a Muhammad Ali mix that was shown in London.

Enjoy this amazing video created for the Walt Disney World® Resort called “It’s Magical.” After the first few beats, you’ll realize why he was named one of “The 100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company magazine.

What’s Next at Walt Disney World® Resort – Jan. / Feb. 2013

Walt Disney World MarathonAt the Walt Disney World® Resort, there is always something going on! Let’s take a quick look at what’s in store for our guests with upcoming visits this winter to the Walt Disney World® Resort!

Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend

This weekend, a record field of more than 65,000 runners will participate in the various races that make up the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. To celebrate the 20th annivesary, enchanced entertainment will be awaiting runners along Mile 20 of the marathon. More details here.

Limited Time Magic

2013 is the year of “Limited Time Magic” at the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resorts! 52 weeks of magical experiences will await guests on both coasts. The experiences are only available for a limited time though, appearing and then disappearing as the next special surprise debuts. The first week provided some fun experiences and the opportunity to purchase some exclusive Disney Couture Ear Hats. Additional information on Limited Time Magic can be found here.

Atlanta Braves Spring Training

Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves  will return in February 2013 to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for their 16th season of spring training at the Walt Disney World® Resort. Some opponents playing the Braves this year at Champion Stadium include the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals.

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend is one of the largest women-specific running events in the U.S. and focuses on healthy active lifestyles for women and young girls. Taking place Feb. 22 – 24, 2013, the weekend will consist of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Royal Family 5K, runDisney Kids’ Races, the Half Marathon, and an expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Don’t have your trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort planned yet? It’s not too late! Contact your Magic Maker® today!

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What’s Next at Walt Disney World® Resort

Labor Day is traditionally seen as the “last day of Summer.” With that behind us, lets take a quick look at what’s in store for our guests with upcoming visits this fall to the Walt Disney World® Resort!

Enchanted Forest Opening

New Fantasyland ModelConstruction of the New Fantasyland® Area of the Magic Kingdom® Park is moving quickly! With the Storybook Circus section already opened to guests, the next opening is planned for Dec. 6, 2012.

The grand opening of the Enchanted Forest section will bring to life the following attractions and dining options:

A limited preview of select attractions will being Nov. 19.

Splitsville: Bowling Re-Imagined

Guests will experience a whole new “spin” on one of America’s favorite past-times when Splitsville opens in the Downtown Disney® West Side this fall. More Details

Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival

Named one of the “Best Food and Wine Festivals” by the Travel Channel, this 46-day culinary event takes place Sep. 28 – Nov. 12, 2012. Taste international cuisine and beverages, take part in culinary demonstrations, meet some of your favorite HGTV stars, and enjoy Eat to the Beat musical acts. More Details

The New Test Track presented by Chevrolet

Guests are anxiously awaiting the reopening of Epcot’s®  popular Future World attraction, Test Track®, which has been closed since April for a refurbishment. The re-imagined attraction will feature an interactive queue area that allows guests to design a ride vehicle which they will later test on the road course. The New Test Track® is scheduled to reopen in late Fall 2012. More Details

Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality

Phineas and Ferb just launched a brand new interactive experience in the Downtown Disney® West Side area. Fans of the show will want to make sure this is on their “to do” list! The experience takes place Sep. 1 – Dec. 1, 2012.  More Details

Capt Jack SparrowSwashbucklin’ Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow debuts this fall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, giving Walt Disney World Resort guests a chance to become immersed in the world of the four Pirates of the Caribbean films. Do you have what it takes to join Captain Jack’s crew? More Details

Kilimanjaro Safaris® Expedition: Zebra Addition

A reconstructed savannah space featuring a new watering hole for live animals will offer an additional viewing opportunity at the end of guests’ expedition through Africa. More Details

Soulful Sounds

Now in its 30th year, Night of Joy returns to Magic Kingdom® Park with a contemporary Christian music festival Sept. 7-8. More Details

Spook-tacular treats

A family-friendly fright-fest in Magic Kingdom® Park featuring a children’s parade, trick-or-treating throughout the park, face painting, and more, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a Halloween-themed special event held on 23 select evenings Sept. 11-Nov. 2. More details

 

Don’t have your trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort planned yet? It’s not too late to take advantage of some great promotional discounts. Contact your Magic Maker® today!

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Sporting Fun at Walt Disney World® Resort

With the London 2012 Summer Olympics quickly coming to a close, you may be wondering how you are going to fill that competitive sports ‘withdrawal’ that you are facing when NBC goes off the air for the last of their London 2012 Summer Olympic coverage following the closing ceremonies on August 12th.

Thankfully, Walt Disney World® Resort has plenty of sporty options to give you the sports fix you may be looking for!

One of the easiest ways to completely immerse yourself in sports during your visit to Walt Disney World® Resort is to stay at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort. This larger than life resort surrounds in you with an exciting atmosphere celebrating the sports we all love including baseball, basketball, football, surfing and tennis. From the End Zone Food Court to the oversized icons and Grand Slam pool, you will absolutely love taking in the sports-themed atmosphere of Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort!

If sleeping immersed in sports theming isn’t enough, you can eat sports around Walt Disney World® Resort too! In Magic Kingdom® Theme Park you’ll find Casey’s Corner on Main Street, U.S.A® Area serving up some of your favorite ballpark fare in a fun, old-timey atmosphere. Then there is ESPN Club at Disney’s BoardWalk Entertainment District where you can dine completely surrounded in sports action as they run 100 screens with different sports feeds. With that many screens, you’ll never miss the ‘big play’, even in the bathroom!

If you are wanting to take a ‘swing’ at sports yourself while you are at Walt Disney World® Resort, why not tee off at one of the FOUR championship golf courses located on property, some of which have hosted PGA Tour Events! Don’t have your clubs with you? That is okay because rental equipment is available at the clubhouse!  For the younger club swingers, or families looking to have fun, you can also play miniature golf at one of Walt Disney World® Resorts two 36-hole miniature golf courses!

And no sports fanatic should overlook ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, home to Walt Disney World® Resort’s state-of-the-art sports facility hosting a huge range of sports events and programs.  ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex plays host to tournaments, sports camps, academies and even Atlanta Braves Spring Training!

From driving a real racecar to countless watersports including skiing, wakeboarding, tubing and parasailing; there is practically something for every sports lover in your family!

So while the London 2012 Summer Olympics are coming to a close, your sports adventure at Walt Disney World® Resort is just beginning!

Behind-the-Scenes at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Construction crews and Imagineers are working hard to meet the May 31st, 2012 opening date for “Finding Nemo” wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Take a behind the scenes look at the current progress.

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Located near Disney’s Pop Century Resort, the new resort will offer 1,120 family suites (including a bedroom and living room) themed after “The Lion King,” “Cars” and “Finding Nemo” animated films.  The design of the family suites comfortably accommodate up to six guests.  Each suite includes two separate bathrooms, a master bedroom, and three separate sleeping areas within the living space.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will also host 864 standard guest rooms inspired by “The Little Mermaid.” The current opening timetable for the other phases of the resort is the “Cars” wing in late July, and “The Lion King” wing in late September. The final wing, themed after “The Little Mermaid,” is scheduled to debut in December 2012.

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*Some Images are Walt Disney Imagineering Concept Art, actual construction may vary