Archives for March 2014

A Peek at Disney Cruise Line’s Magic

Are you considering a Disney Cruise with your family? Wondering what a cruise is like and what it looks like? Our wonderful friend, Jennifer Greene, from Destinations in Florida, has shared with us photos from the newly renovated and redesigned Magic cruise ship. Enjoy this visual walk through a Disney cruise!

Disney Port at Port Canaveral


Disney’s Magic

Magic6 Magic3 Magic2

MickeyStatue Inside1 Inside2

Room with a veranda

RoomBed1 Cabin Room2

Bath2 Bath1

The  View off a Veranda


Oceaneer’s Club and other kids clubs

OceaneerClub KidsClub6 KidsClub5 KidsClub4 KidsClub3 KidsClub2 KidsCLub1 AvengersSign AnimatorStudioSign SmallWorld


Lounge2 Lounge1

Dining on the Magic

Lumieres1 Lumieres2 PaloDressCode Palo Pinocchios FrozoneTreats DiningMenu1 Dining1 Dining2


Water Fun on the Magic

Aquaduck Slide1 Screen1

Castaway Cay

Umbrellas Rocks Beach2 PelicanPoint

CastawayCaySlideIceCream CastawayRays CastawayCaySign CastawayCayDrinks BikeShop Beach2 Beach1 BBQMenuRentals SerenityBay Sign1Food Island1

Bahamas & Nassau

Beach Atlantis NassauSign BahamasSign TaxiSignBahamaStreet Bahama2

Fun Souvenirs

Shirt2 OlafShirt

Fighting Germs on a Disney Cruise


As always, if you would like a quote for a Disney Cruise for your family, the Disney experts at Destinations in Florida can help you out!

Disney Deals 2014


Here are the latest deals for the Disney travel, but space is limited for all, so book quickly! Contact Destinations in Florida for a free quote!

Walt Disney World

New!  Save up to 35% off Disney Resorts:  Planning a summer vacation to Disney World?  Now is the time to book your trip with savings up to 35% off the Disney Resort hotels.  These discounts run June 15-August 28.  This promotion is currently for guests with a Disney Visa Card, but will be released to the general public on March 17.

Free Day to Play at the Disney Theme Parks:  Buy 6 or more tickets for your family or friends with the 4-Day, 5-Day, 6-Day, 7-Day, 8-Day, or 9-Day tickets and you will get an extra day free. Imagine another day to ride Splash Mountain or another day to get pictures with Mickey Mouse!  If you are visiting together, order your tickets together to save money!  Must book by June 14.

Free Memory Maker to Cherish Your Disney World Moments:  Imagine capturing your favorite pictures from your Disney World vacation!  You can do that with Disney’s Memory Maker.  Book a package from August 15-September 30 for at least 3 nights with 2-Day tickets and get the new Memory Maker free.  Prices start from just $899 plus tax for a family of 3 at a Disney Value Resort.

Save up to 30% on Rooms at Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels:  Savings apply for stays most nights March 14, 2014 – April 12, 2014 and April 20, 2014 – June 15, 2014.  Upgrade to a room and ticket package with a minimum 4-day Magic Your Way Ticket and get one more ticket day FREE!  Visit Destinations in Florida for more details.

Florida Resident Rates:  Florida Residents can take advantage of great rates on rooms at select Disney Resorts hotels for stays through May 29, 2014.  Plan a winter getaway to Disney or a Spring Break trip to the Disney Water Parks.  Book today with this incredible deal, just for Florida Residents.

Military Discount:  Active duty and retired members of the US military can get specially discounted rooms at Disney Resort most nights through September 27th, 2014.  Thank you for serving our country.

Special Event Deals (Through Destinations in Florida ONLY)*

May 22-27, 2014 24HR Event and Star Wars Weekends rooms starting at $117 per night plus tax
Pop Century
Port Orleans Riverside

October 1-6, 2014 Tower of Terror 10-Miler rooms starting at $84 per night plus tax
All Star Music
Port Orleans Riverside
Wilderness Lodge

October 11-18, 2014 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween rooms starting at $104 per night plus tax
Pop Century
Port Orleans Riverside

November 3-10, 2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon rooms starting at $104 per night plus tax
Pop Century
Port Orleans Riverside
Wilderness Lodge

November 20-24, 2014 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas rooms starting at $104 per night plus tax
Pop Century
Coronado Springs
Animal Kingdom Lodge

*Special Event pricing has limited space and availability. These deals are only available through Destinations in Florida through Jennifer Greene.

Great Perks for your Walt Disney World Vacation at Destinations in Florida

Disney Cruise Line

Special Rates for Florida Residents and US Military:  Take advantage of special deals from $135 per person per night plus tax/port charges for Florida Residents and active/retired United States Military.  Special cruises are available for select dates in February

Last Minute Restricted Deals:  If you are flexible about the location of your stateroom and willing to book last minute you may be able to save BIG! Disney offers Restricted Guarantee rooms 15-60 days before departure dates, sometimes just a few days before departure. These are very restricted and with many rules, but if you are not picky you can save up 40%.

Canadian Resident Deal:  If you are a Canadian Resident, you can enjoy 20% off select rates on the May 24, 2014 Alaska sailing departing from Vancouver, Canada.  Take advantage of this special deal, just for you!

Aulani Hawaii

Get up to a $500 Room Credit to Spend During Your Visit:  Book a 1 or 2-Bedroom Villa from April 23-June 16, 2014 and receive up to a $500 resort credit for a 4-Night vacation.  Book a Deluxe Studio or regular room for 4 nights and receive a $400 resort credit.

Other Orlando Deals

Universal Orlando Resort Discounts

New!  Cabana Bay Beach Resort Florida Resident Deal:  Are you ready to experience the spectacular new Cabana Bay Beach Resort?  It is opening next month.  Florida Residents can be the 1st to experience this new hotel at special prices, just for you.  Rates start from just $94 per night plus tax.  This deal is good from April 25-June 5.

4th Night and 3rd Day Free:  Book a Universal Partner hotel for 3 nights with a 2 Day Base ticket and receive your 4th night and 3rd day at the parks for FREE!

Save up to $500 on your Universal Package:  Stay at one of the Universal Hotels including Cabana Bay Hotel, Royal Pacific Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel or Portofino Bay Hotel with tickets and save up to $500 on your package.  Now is the time to visit the movies at the Universal Orlando Resort.

Universal 1-Day or 2-Day Pass with Shuttle Transportation for 2014:  Take a day away from the Disney World Parks to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  Book a 1-Day or 2-Day Pass to Universal Studios with shuttle transportation included in the ticket.  This special ticket is only available with select companies including Destinations in Florida.

“Take 2” Transfer:  If you do not want to rent a car during your Orlando vacation, take advantage of the new “Take 2” Transfer ticket for only $39 per person.  This transfer includes transportation from a Disney Resort hotel to Universal Orlando Resort for a Universal Studios vacation.  After your Universal vacation, the transportation takes you back to the Orlando International Airport.

Sea World Discounts

New!  Eat for Free During Your Vacation:  Book a Sea World Package at one of the partner hotels and get the All Day Dining Deal for FREE!  

New!  Kids Free at Sea World:  Book your Sea World Package and kids play for free.  You will receive one free child ticket (ages 3-9) for every paid adult.

Orlando Attraction Ticket Discounts

Kids Eat Free Card:  Save money on over 100 different restaurants in Orlando from the quick serve restaurants like McDonald’s to sit down restaurants like Nascar Cafe at Universal CityWalk. Purchase the Kids Eat Free Card and receive a free child’s meal with any adult meal at select restaurants.  Click here for more details and to purchase this special card.

Kennedy Space Center Tickets:  Pre-order your tickets to Kennedy Space Center and save money with special prices.  Experience the Space Shuttle Atlantis, US Astronaut Hall of Fame, and more; just an hour from Orlando.  Click here to more details and to purchase tickets.

For a free quote and the best deals on Disney vacations, visit Destinations in Florida, and authorized Disney and Orlando vacation planner.

Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Opens Today!


It’s the wildest ride in the wilderness! And it is FINALLY opening back up today after a very, very long renovation and refurbishment. I can only imagine what the line will be like today! Here is the official press release from Disneyland on this special day which includes some fun Big Thunder Mountain trivia:

Hold onto your hats and glasses! The wildest ride in the wilderness reopens March 17 with an upgraded track, restoration of the historic Rainbow Ridge Mining Town, new paint on portions of the mountain and updates to the train vehicles. Guests taking a ride on this runaway mine train will discover some new surprises, too.

  • Along with the new track, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopens in 2014 with an enhanced audio system that sharpens the sounds heard by guests on the trains and in the caverns and buildings. Even the wildlife at Big Thunder can be heard more distinctly.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad celebrated its grand opening in September 1979, becoming the third peak in the Disneyland Park “mountain range of thrill rides.” It was preceded by Matterhorn Bobsleds (1959) and Space Mountain (1977) and followed by Splash Mountain (1989).
  • The attraction’s setting evokes 19th century gold-mining territory, with rugged bedrock and desert cactus. Guests board a mine train for a thrilling, high-speed adventure past the spires and buttes of the old West and into the tunnels and shafts of a dark and mysterious mine.
  • Since its opening in 1979, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland has carried more than 225 million guests who are warned to “hold onto your hats and glasses” as they prepare to dip and drop into the canyons and caves of the Big Thunder ghost town.
  • The unusual rock spires of Big Thunder Mountain were inspired by the “hoodoos” of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. The tallest spire on Big Thunder Mountain reaches 104 feet.
  • Objects that may be spotted by guests in and around Big Thunder Mountain include a century-old stamp mill, hand-driven drill, press gears, picks shovels and other artifacts acquired from abandoned mines in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota and Wyoming, as well as museums and swap meets.
  • Subsequent versions of the attraction appeared in Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World, Florida in 1980; Tokyo Disneyland Park in 1987 and Disneyland Paris in 1992.
  • The miniature town of Big Thunder, seen at the end of the attraction, first appeared in 1956 as part of the Rainbow Cavern Mine Train and Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland attractions. Many Disneyland fans still call it by its original name: Rainbow Ridge. The town is said to have been a favorite of Walt Disney, who built miniatures himself as a hobby.
  • Other items from the Nature’s Wonderland days include the caves of Rainbow Caverns, the rockwork buttes at the entry to Balancing Rock Canyon, and some of the animals – the dynamite-devouring goat, coyotes, possums, snakes, turtles, vultures – who appear among the rocky cliffs surrounding the mine tunnels.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was the first major design project for Walt Disney Imagineer and Disney Legend Tony Baxter, whose subsequent projects at Disneyland included the new Fantasyland of 1983, Splash Mountain and the Indiana Jones Adventure.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade


Disney World just introduced their newest daytime parade at Magic Kingdom, the Festival of Fantasy Parade. It is one of the most spectacular parades, with bright colors and amazing new music. Here is the latest press release from Walt Disney World as well as some amazing photos of this awesome parade!

Enchanting stories and characters from Fantasyland come to life for Magic Kingdom guests in a new, daily spectacular – Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

The fanciful tribute to Fantasyland highlights several new and classic Disney and Pixar stories on a grand scale. There’s nearly 100 performers – on stilts, swings and flying rigs – donning vibrant costumes in this lively mini-Broadway cavalcade soaring to new heights on Main Street, U.S.A.

The parade, which began Sunday, March 9, is already thrilling park guests with eye-filling scenes: a fire-breathing dragon, a pirate ship with smoking cannons, a music box that’s a seashell, sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy hair, a mega-sized bagpipe, and more.

Disney Festival of Fantasy parade is the first of a new generation of parades for Disney Parks featuring never-beforeused technology on eye-popping floats adorned with Disney characters from more than a dozen fairytales. Set to an all-new musical score, the dazzling parade floats will soar up to three stories tall with spirited performers donning dramatic costumes crafted at ten different design houses across the country.

“The parade celebrates and pays homage to what the Magic Kingdom is all about,” said Randy Wojcik, senior show director Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Creative Entertainment. “It has the most beautiful floats, enchanting characters, vibrant costumes that come to life; and the choreography is just glorious. Yet, it is also very kinetic, relevant and powerful on a scale never seen before at Walt Disney World.”

Seven unique units comprised of nine spectacular floats will march down Main Street, U.S.A to the beat of an original soundtrack inspired by favorite Disney films, composed by Mark Hammond, known for his work on World of Color at Disney California Adventure and the Flights of Fantasy parade at Hong Kong Disneyland. The parade has its own voice with a theme song customized for each float followed by a medley of songs woven throughout the cavalcade.

“It’s visually stunning, like mini Broadway shows rolling down the street,” said Wojcik.

Here’s the float-by-float lineup:

The Princess Garden – This pageantry of princesses celebrates Disney royalty. Cinderella, Tiana and Belle accompanied by their respective princes, ride in a garden of topiaries with woodland creatures, birds and more. Cinderella’s dress playfully twirls like a turntable, while Swan Court couples lead the 50-foot-long majestic float, capped off with a special appearance by Anna and Elsa from Disney’s hit animated feature, “Frozen.”




Tangled – A massive long ship on the high seas showcases Flynn Rider and Rapunzel in search of adventure and another Best. Day. Ever! Rapunzel’s iconic tresses weave throughout this 36-foot-long float decked out with swaying pendulums carrying dastardly thugs.


The Little Mermaid – Ariel and her friends sit atop a colorfully kinetic seashell music box that boasts an enchanting musical jubilee. There’s no shortage of whimsy on this Under the Sea float with conga dancing fish kicking up their fins and bubbles galore. Shimmering fabrics and intricately designed costumes for the Lion Fish, Coral Fish, Seashell and Sea Horse performers are runway-inspired.



Peter Pan – Straight from Never Land come Peter Pan and Wendy soaring high aboard the famous Jolly Roger pirate ship complete with smoke effects and special surprises. A rainbow arch shines over Skull Rock and Tinker Bell nestled among giant flowers, while Captain Hook takes center stage on a swinging anchor. “Newsies-inspired” Lost Boys kick up their heels to high-energy choreography.





Brave – Celtic couples and a vessel shaped like an enormous bagpipe announce the arrival of Merida perched high on her majestic crown. Scottish dancers step to melodies of the Great Highlands in celebration of the popular Disney*Pixar film, “Brave.”


Sleeping Beauty – The heroic Prince Phillip battles a Steampunk-inspired Dragon as the wicked Maleficent. This float stretches 53 feet in length and 26 feet tall with a prickly spinning wheel dead center of the float. With fiery eyes and glowing effects the spectacular dragon was built on an articulating chassis allowing the float to bend and flex as it moves along the parade route – a first for Disney parades. This float was designed in a partnership with Tony Award-winner Michael Curry. There’s Prince Phillip, thorn-inspired stilt performers, dramatic raven dancers, plus the three good fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather glide along the parade route.



Finale and Mickey’s Airship – The parade culminates with a 90-foot-long magical caravan of characters featuring Pinocchio, Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Mad Hatter, Pluto and more in a splashy carnival of color. There’s Pegasus horses, dancing hippos and sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy-like hair celebrating Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland. Sporting zany new costumes Mickey and Minnie Mouse sit sky high in Mickey’s Airship — a giant hot air balloon that rounds out Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.






If you are heading to Disney World this year, make sure to get a chance to see the latest daytime parade at Magic Kingdom – it truly is spectacular! While times are subject to change and you should check the daily Times Guide each day at the park, right now it is scheduled each day at 3:00 pm down Frontierland, Liberty Square and Main Street, USA.

**All photos and press content courtesy of Walt Disney World News**

Calling all Young Chefs!


Let’s Move announced last week the second annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge! If your child age 8-12 loves to cook and come up with new, healthy creations, consider having them enter this nationwide contest. First Lady Michelle Obama is working with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Epicurious to host the contest. Parents and their children are asked to submit an original lunch recipe that is healthy, affordable and delicious with a chance to be invited to the Kids “State Dinner” at the White House where some of the winning recipes with be served. Recipes should incorporate the healthy standards on ChooseMyPlate.

For all the information including how to submit your child’s recipe, visit the Let’s Move website or Epicurious. Maybe your family’s favorite lunch recipe will be served at the White House! Entries must be received by April 5th, 2014.

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