Welcome Back to the Magic!

written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist

UPDATE:  August 24, 2021, face coverings are optional outdoors but are required for all indoor locations including transportation.  

UPDATE: Effective June 15, 2021, face coverings are optional for fully vaccinated Guests in most areas, outside and inside, as well as when experiencing attractions and shows.

Since Walt Disney World in Florida reopened its properties on June 22, 2020, I have been back to the magic several times already!

I have experienced all resort hotels currently reopened as well as all 4 parks and, while some things are different, so much is still the same and Disney magic is still there! One of the biggest and most noticeable differences, due to capacity limits, is crowd levels – the resort hotels and parks are empty in comparison to “normal” and, while this is amazing for those “doing Disney” right now, it is a bit eerie and the vibe just doesn’t feel as magical at times but I didn’t realize just how much I missed the magic until I was back on property because the magic is definitely still there!!

Staying on property will offer the most healthy and safe experience as Disney has implemented many new touchless features, such as online check-in that allows you to skip the front desk on arrival, and enhanced cleaning protocols.

All Guests that I have had contact with have been great with wearing face coverings properly and maintaining physical distancing and Cast Members are attentive with reminding Guests to replace or adjust their face coverings when needed.

Disney has always been exemplary with sanitation and cleanliness and even more now! Cast Members are constantly working to keep touch points clean. There are sanitizer stations throughout the parks and resort hotels and rides are closed at various times throughout the day for additional cleaning. Even at resort hotel pools you are asked to fold your lounge chairs closed or tip your chairs towards the table when done so that Cast Members and other Guests know that these areas have been used and need sanitized.

To maintain physical distancing protocols, there are markers throughout the parks and resort hotels, at every ride and store – anyplace where a line could potentially form – and Cast Members are often on the side of the lines at certain spots to ensure everyone is maintaining physical distancing. In addition, there are now plexiglass partitions between many spaces where you could come into direct contact with other Guests, even for complimentary transportation.

Something you will notice that has changed is character experiences… There are characters still in the parks and all 4 parks have “Character Cavalcades” or, as I like to call them, “pop up parades”! These character experiences are not announced in advance to ensure that crowds do not gather but here’s a #wishtip – when you hear the music get louder that is your signal that a character cavalcade is on its way and at Animal Kingdom Park these “pop up parades” are on the river, which runs through the park, and you can wave to the characters as they pass under the bridges on the walkways.

While there are no traditional character meet & greets right now there are still plenty of character interactions!

In Epcot you can take a selfie with Mary Poppins or Alice in Wonderland in England or find Joy or Pooh playing in the fenced grassy areas.

In Hollywood Studios you will find Stormtroopers, Chewbacca and Rey in Batuu where you can also take a selfie with each.

At Magic Kingdom you can snap a selfie with Captain Jack Sparrow in Adventureland.

At Animal Kingdom, however, I didn’t see any opportunities for character interactions other than the “pop up parades” when I was there.

And, if you purchase Memory Maker, there are also new and fun “magic shots” in all 4 parks and the PhotoPass Photographers have all been super fun and are working to offer some great photo opportunities.

Each park offers at least 2 Relaxation Stations where you can sit for a bit and remove your face covering. Some are air conditioned but all offer some type of shade.

Each park offers at least 2 Relaxation Stations where you can sit for a bit and remove your face covering. Some are air conditioned but all offer some type of shade.

Even with lower capacity levels I still suggest planning to arrive just before the scheduled park opening time, especially for Hollywood Studios if you want a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and head back to your resort late afternoon to enjoy the amazing pools on property. Currently, most parks and other experiences are closing earlier than normal but most pools will remain open until 9 – 11 pm.

For dining, it is very important right now, due to limited capacity requirements, to secure advance dining reservations for sit-down dining experiences. I saw many Guests turned away, even at locations that would sometimes previously accept walk-up’s (I always recommend advance dining reservations for my Guests to insure no disappointments!). You can use the QR Code at the host stand to check in or you can also use your MDE Mobile App to check-in for your dining experience 15 minutes in advance and restaurants are offering digital menus that you scan by QR code to insure a more touchless experience.

And, there are also 2 Character Dining experiences available, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort [Breakfast à la Art with Mickey & Friends] and Garden Grill at Epcot [Chip ‘n’ Dale with their Disney pals], modified for your health and safety but still so magical!!

For Quick Service dining experiences, be sure to always use your MDE Mobile App to place your order by either logging in to your account or scanning the QR code at the dining location. You will then be notified when your food is ready and that is when you will be allowed into the dining venue, again, due to current limited capacity requirements.

If you have questions about anything when in the parks or at the resort hotels just ask any Cast Member. They have all been great with answering questions about anything and everything that is new and different and, if they do not know, they will find out for you.

My final piece of advice or tip – now is a GREAT time to “do Disney”!

Limited capacity provides – Shorter wait times and ride cars all to yourself – Common areas at resort hotels and parks are less crowded – Pixie Dust (i.e.: magical surprises) is still there

Even though some experiences have changed there is still so much that hasn’t changed (park maps are still available!) and the [necessary] changes implemented to help insure that we can all continue to experience the magic in a healthy and safe way are still just as magical!!

Remember to check the Walt Disney World Know Before You Go web page for the most up to date information regarding health and safety protocols to insure the best experience possible!

Come experience the magic for yourself, contact your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent today to book your Disney vacation!

Travel – FACTS not Rumors…

written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist

First, we hope you and your family, friends, and co-workers are staying home [unless you are an essential employee, then THANK YOU!] and staying healthy during this crazy time we are living in.

As a Travel Agency specializing in Disney and Universal vacations, our agents have been working to take care of our Guests directly affected by resort and park closures as well as cruise itinerary cancellations for Disney Cruise Line.

While working with our Guests we have received many questions related to rumors posted on other blogs and social media pages. This blog was created to explain the current situation with information direct from Disney and Universal – this information is not rumor, this is FACT!

Walt Disney World
UPDATE – MAY 27, 2020Plans Unveiled for the Phased Reopening of Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks, Resort Hotels and Disney Stores
Pending Orange County and state approval, the Walt Disney World Resort proposal plans for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to begin a phased reopening to the general public on July 11, 2020, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15, 2020.
This phased reopening will demonstrate a deliberate approach, with limits on attendance and controlled Guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing. That means certain experiences that are known to draw large group gatherings – such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will return at a later date. In addition, “high-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable, but characters will still be in the parks to entertain and delight Guests.
Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited as Guests are welcomed back to the magic, attendance will be managed through a new theme park reservation system that will require all Guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.
Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent can help you book now.

Disneyland
UPDATE – April 2, 2021Disneyland Resort Reopening on April 30, 2021
Magic is finally returning to the Disneyland Resort theme parks as Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park plan to officially reopen to the public on April 30,2021 with limited capacity. Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent can help you book now.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
UPDATE – September 24, 2020Aulani Resort will plan to begin a phased reopening on November 1, 2020
Given Hawaii’s recent announcement of a pre-arrival testing program for those traveling from out-of-state, we are working toward a phased reopening of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa beginning on Sunday, November 1, 2020. Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent can help you book now.

Disney Cruise Line:
Update: July 23, 2021Disney Cruise Line Resumes Sailings on the Disney Dream
Disney Cruise Line announced plans for a return to service, beginning with the Disney Dream, which will depart Port Canaveral starting August 9, 2021. New health & safety updates will be in effect for all sailings. Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent can help answer any questions you may have or assist you with booking your next cruise now.

Update: June 8, 2021Disney Cruise Line Extends Suspension of Sailings
As Disney Cruise Line continues to refine protocols for an eventual return to service, they have announced the cancellation of additional 2021 sailings.

  • Disney Dream departures through 8/6/21
  • Disney Fantasy departures through 8/28/21
  • Disney Wonder departures through 9/19/21
  • Disney Magic departures in the U.S. through 11/4/21
  • Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent will be reaching out to discuss your options for rebooking or refund.

    Update: May 14, 2021Disney Cruise Line Extends Suspension of Sailings Departing Through July 2021
    As Disney Cruise Line continues to refine protocols for an eventual return to service, they have announced the cancellation of additional 2021 sailings for all Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy sailings through July 2021, and all Disney Wonder sailings through July 12, 2021. Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent will be reaching out to discuss your options for rebooking or refund.

    Update: April 15, 2021Disney Cruise Line Extends Suspension of Sailings Departing Through October 9, 2021 for the Disney Magic ONLY
    As Disney Cruise Line continues to refine protocols for an eventual return to service, they have announced the cancellation of additional 2021 sailings. Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent will be reaching out to discuss your options for rebooking or refund.

    Update: April 6, 2021Disney Cruise Line Extends Suspension of All Departures through June 2021, and Disney Magic European sailings through Sept. 19, 2021
    As Disney Cruise Line continues to refine protocols for an eventual return to service, they have announced the cancellation of additional 2021 sailings. Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent will be reaching out to discuss your options for rebooking or refund.

    Update: February 24, 2021Disney Cruise Line Suspends All Departures through May 2021 and Disney Magic sailings through August 10, 2021
    As Disney Cruise Line continues to refine protocols for an eventual return to service, they have announced the cancellation of additional 2021 sailings. Sailings are cancelled aboard the Disney Fantasy, Dream and Wonder through May 2021; and Disney Magic through August 10, 2021. Additionally, based on the conditional sail order provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Disney Cruise Line must cancel sailings longer than 7 nights. Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent will be reaching out to discuss your options for rebooking or refund.

    Update: January 27, 2021Disney Cruise Line Suspends All Departures through April 2021 and Select Disney Magic and Disney Wonder Sailings in May 2021
    As Disney Cruise Line continues to refine protocols for an eventual return to service, they have announced the cancellation of additional 2021 sailings. Sailings are cancelled aboard the Disney Fantasy through April 24; the Disney Dream through April 30; the Disney Magic through May 6 and Disney Wonder through May 12. Additionally, based on the conditional sail order provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Disney Cruise Line must cancel sailings longer than 7 nights. Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent will be reaching out to discuss your options for rebooking or refund.

    Update: January 12, 2021Disney Cruise Line Sailings Suspended Through March 2021
    As Disney Cruise Line continues to refine protocols for an eventual return to service, they have announced the cancellation of all sailings through March 2021. Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent will be reaching out to discuss your options for rebooking or refund.

    Adventures by Disney:
    UPDATE – April 1, 2021Adventures by Disney Departures Suspended Through March
    With the well-being of our Guests and Guides as our top priority and in line with direction from health experts and government officials, Adventures by Disney has decided to suspend most of our adventures through the end of April. Your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent will be reaching out to discuss your options for rebooking or refund.

    Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations (Florida & California):
    Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations in Florida have reopened with limited capacity.

    Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations in California will reopen to California residents only on April 16, 2021

    Other Cruise and Land Vacation Destinations:
    While our agency does specialize in Disney and Universal vacations, we also help book and plan other cruise and land vacation destinations and we have been keeping our clients that have been directly affected by closures and cancellations updated about their options.

    Cruise Lines:
    UPDATE: April 6, 2021 – Currently, many cruise lines have suspended all sailings. Be sure to check with your Travel Agent or whoever you booked thru for specific details about your specific reservations.

    Land Destinations:
    As for land vacation destinations, it depends on the destination, please check with your Travel Agent or whoever you booked thru for specific details about your specific reservations.

    Airlines:
    Airlines are still operating but on a limited schedule and are adjusting travel dates and times based on occupancy of certain itineraries. Please check with your Travel Agent or whoever you booked thru for specific details about your specific reservations.

    For all travelers, if you booked your travel plans thru a Travel Agent and they have not yet reached out to you this is likely because your travel dates are not yet directly affected and they are working to take care of their clients with travel plans that are currently directly affected by closures and cancellations, April and some May travel dates. Please be patient, in this type of situation, it is typically in your best interest to wait until your trip is cancelled by the supplier before making any decisions about cancelling or rebooking your future travel plans.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent with any questions or if you would like more information about anything. We will share as much as we know and can share. We will also post updates as they become available on social media platforms.
    (i.e.: If you are not our client we cannot legally or professionally advise you about your current travel plans, you will need to reach out to whoever you booked thru. But, if you are not yet booked for future travel and wish to discuss future travel plans, we can assist and advise to the best of our ability with the information we have available).

    While the White House has issued an April 30 social distancing guideline, please follow this or the guidelines set by your state or county. If you are not an essential employee, please stay home. This is being implemented for the safety and well-being of everyone and the more of us that follow this guideline the better off we will all be in 14 – 30 days and we will then [hopefully] be able to get back to a more normal way of life again very soon!

    Stay healthy, stay home and practice social distancing!
    CDC / WHO

    Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood

    written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist

    During the holidays I had the opportunity to experience the newest dining experience on property – Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood at Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.


    Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood opened July 2019 and has been a hit from opening day! The new Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is quite amazing, feeling more like a Deluxe Disney property than a Moderate resort.

    This unique rooftop dining experience is just one of three new options at Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort offering both food and beverage, with Toledo and Dahlia Lounge offering spectacular views as well!

    The menu choices are inspired by the flavors of Spain and include tapas, steaks and seafood created in the on-stage tapas kitchen.

    The atmosphere and experience was amazing and the service top notch! The food presentation was impeccable and everything was prepared to perfection!


    We started our meal with an order of Tronchón Cheese Gratinado from the Cazuelas (Spanish for cooking pot) menu. This was essentially a cheese bread with tupelo honey and lavender, it was very flavorful and you could smell and taste the lavender.

    Our entrées included Scallops (fava hummus, olives, harissa vinaigrette, roasted carrots, yogurt powder), Manhattan Filet (olive oil-potato purée, grilled onions, dates, sherry vinaigrette) and the Red Wine-braised Chicken (grapes, sherry vinegar, roasted tomato ‘bomba’ rice). In addition, we ordered the Roasted Cauliflower and Olive Oil-Potato Purée as sides to share.
    My only critique was regarding the descriptions and recommendations from our server – – – my husband and I ended up switching plates once our food arrived because our server was not accurate with his information.


    I would definitely recommend the Manhattan Filet (which is what I ended up eating) and feel that the Red Wine-braised Chicken is a heavier meal (which my husband ended up eating). And, definitely order the Roasted Cauliflower side dish – I am not a fan of cauliflower but this dish was amazing!

    If you aren’t looking for a table service dining experience, but have the time, I highly recommend simply going to this new resort on property to check it out – the new lobby, Barcelona Lounge, Dahlia Lounge and Three Bridges Bar & Grill all offer amazing experiences and the feel of a Deluxe resort. And, yes, I have experienced and enjoyed it all!!

    I am in LOVE with the lobby area – the lighted panels randomly change colors and the tables all have charging ports!

    Barcelona Lounge

    Three Bridges Bar & Grill

    Let your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent know that you would like to experience Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort during your next Walt Disney World vacation!

    The NEW Disney Skyliner

    written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist

    The newest transportation option is the Disney Skyliner – magic in the sky!

    Check out this video of my ride from Disney’s Pop Century Resort to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

    Magic is in the air at Walt Disney World® Resort with the new Disney Skyliner transportation system.

    Disney Skyliner connects Epcot® and Disney’s Hollywood Studios® to four Disney resort hotels – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the forthcoming Disney’s Riviera Resort, set to open December 16, 2019. The system serves as a magic carpet, floating Guests through the air aboard approximately 300 gondolas, nearly half of which are wrapped in whimsical Disney scenes of beloved characters, fan-favorite movies, theme park attractions and more. 

    While riding Disney Skyliner, you will be treated to never-before-seen views of Walt Disney World Resort as you float along the treetops and waterways alike. The system provides bird’s-eye vantage points of Disney icons such as the Hollywood Tower Hotel and Spaceship Earth. 

    Come experience the magic for yourself, contact your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent today!

    Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White

    Snow White

    written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist

    I recently experienced the new Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, which opened December 16, 2018.

    If you have eaten at Artist Point previously, you will notice a few changes… First, the check-in host is now located at the bottom of the ramp before you get to Territory Lounge.

    And, while the layout of the restaurant has not changed much, there are new “rustic” features, inspired by the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, creating an Enchanted Forest.


    If you have dined at Artist Point in the past, the menu cover will be familiar but the menu selections and experience have changed.

    This is now a prix fixe dinner and Snow White, along with Dopey and Grumpy and the Wicked Queen, make appearances for meet & greets as well as song and dance performances.

    For this prix fixe dining experience, you will have shared appetizers for the table. However, they bring enough for each Guest to have their own “small plate”. My favorite was the Wicked Shrimp Cocktail (center photo).

    For your entrée, you will choose individually from the menu selections. With our group of 6 we ordered Magic Mirror Slow-braised Veal Shank, Royal Prime Rib Roast and Brother’s Grimm Roasted Chicken. Of these, I had the veal, which was DELICIOUS – I requested the Roasted Brussels Sprouts instead of the Wilted Winter Greens and they went very well with my veal and Celery Root Mashed – a great side to steak or chicken, tastier than mashed potatoes with half the carbs – it tasted a lot like mashed cauliflower and was delicious and light, perfect with my veal. As with all Disney dining experiences, there are also children’s selections on the menu.

    And, for dessert, you have a shared experience again with plenty for everyone at the table. I love dessert but the “Poison” Apple was my favorite – I might have eaten two!

    At the end of your meal your server will deliver a very special treat…
    The Hunter’s Gift to the Queen – Crackled Maple Popcorn with Ganache Hearts – presented with white gloves in a royal treasure chest!

    Even the adult beverages are themed! Our group enjoyed the Enchanted Apple (vodka martini) and Evil to the Core (berry margarita).

    And, there is a PhotoPass Photographer on hand at the end of your meal to capture you with the Wicked Queen so be sure to purchase Memory Maker with your resort package! It’s a fun but challenging Photo opp – you want to smile for a photo but you also want to follow character with the Queen…

    This is a fun character dining experience. If you are a Snow White or Wicked Queen fan, or you just love those cute Dwarfs, be sure to make a reservation for your next Disney vacation! Advance reservations are a must (they were turning Guests away when we checked in for our reservation) and are currently available via your My Disney Experience account and some Dining Plans are accepted.

    Please note: Disney Characters join guests for dinner only. Character appearances are subject to change. Menu items are subject to change.

    Shared Photo and Video Credit with William Coleman

    Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno

    written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist

    The Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk debuted April 2, 2017 but this character dining experience is very popular and books up quickly, so I was just able to experience it for the first time!

    I have eaten at Trattoria al Forno for breakfast and dinner many times under previous restaurant names, as well as dinner at the current Trattoria al Forno, but this Bon Voyage Breakfast is the best experience of them all for food, service and character interaction and is a fun experience for everyone – including your servers who were all having a great time!!

    This dining experience offers a pastry service and fruit bowls for everyone with several entrées to choose from and, of course, a kids menu too. This is a prix fixe menu and adult and specialty beverages are an additional charge.

    I shared this experience with my husband and we ordered the King Triton’s Shipwreck al Forno (Calzone with Scrambled Eggs, Bell Peppers, Salumi, Bacon, Sausage, Blend of Cheeses, and Sunday Gravy – the Sunday Gravy is an Italian tomato sauce) and the Royale Breakfast (Oak-grilled Steak, Cheesy-Egg Torte, and Fonduta with Breakfast Potatoes and crispy Onions). Both options were delicious!

    During our meal the Royal Couples were announced and came around to the tables separately. Interaction with each was very personal and fun, especially with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. However, they were quick to move about when together, so it was a challenge to get a good photo of either Royal Couple – but I managed to get a great shot of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider having a little fun together!

    Once all four were announced Ariel and Prince Eric dance around the room with anyone that wants to join in.

    And, no worries if you forgot anything for your little Prince or Princess, there is a kiosk set up just across from the host stand to purchase whatever your Prince or Princess needs.

    Of my many character dining experiences, this was one of the best on property and I highly recommend it – especially if you want fun interaction with these Royal Couples! Advance reservations are a must and are currently available via your My Disney Experience account and some Dining Plans are accepted.
    Please note: Disney Characters join guests for breakfast only. Character appearances are subject to change. Menu items are subject to change.

    Sebastian’s Bistro at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

    Old Port Royale - Disney

    written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist

    Sebastian’s Bistro at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort recently opened, replacing the former Shutters dining location. Located along the Old Port Royale promenade, this family-friendly spot offers signature dishes for lunch and dinner.

    When looking at the menu for this table service dining experience I was not very excited. However, don’t let the menu deter you, the descriptions do not do the food justice and our server was super helpful with recommendations and she was spot on! I highly recommend Sebastian’s Bistro and would say that is it now one of my favorite dining experiences on property!

    I dined with friends and, first, we enjoyed island inspired appetizers – Grilled Jerk Chicken Wings, Arepa and Caribbean Pull-apart Rolls – before our dinner.

    For dinner we chose the Slow-cooked Pork Shoulder, Sautéed Shrimp and Tamales, Grilled Skirt Steak “Chimichurri” and the Sustainable Fish which was Mahi Mahi. Everything was delicious and prepared exactly as ordered and the presentation was perfect.

    And, of course, dessert is always a must.

    We shared the Warm Chocolate Pudding and Banoffee Tart, which was the recommendation of our server. And, because it sounded fun, I also ordered the Message in the Bottle – stick with what your server recommends, this tasted like raw eggs to me… And, I do apologize, I didn’t get a chance to take a photo before we dug in to the Banoffee Tart – but it was DELICIOUS!!

    When planning your dining experience at Sebastian’s Bistro, be sure to allow time before or after dinner to enjoy the outdoor bar, Banana Cabana. It’s a fun and relaxing spot with island music and friendly bartenders.

    Be sure to add this dining experience to your “must do’s” for your next visit to Walt Disney World Resort! Walk-up Guests can sometimes be accommodated, however, reservations are accepted and recommended. Reservations are currently available via your My Disney Experience account and some Dining Plans are accepted.

    Maya Grill at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

    written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist

    Maya Grill at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is not new to Disney or to me but it has been several years since I have experienced this dining location and it was much too long to wait…

    From the time we arrived at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort we experienced a lively atmosphere – a warm welcome from the attendant at the entrance, open hospitality at the indoor bar, Las Ventanas, and a friendly greeting from the hostess, manager and staff at Maya Grill – our experience before any food was served was exceptional.

    We shared our experience with local friends celebrating their birthday and, on arriving at Maya Grill for our dinner reservation, we were met by a Hostess and the manager as well as a seater – all were very friendly and welcoming making our experience fun from the start.

    On being seated, our server was quick to greet us and offered suggestions for beverages and food choices from the menu. The atmosphere of the restaurant is a casual Tex-Mex Mayan feel and you could comfortably enjoy a dinner here after coming straight from a day at the parks.

    After our server brought our beverages he delivered a bread service to start, along with our appetizers – Queso Fundido and House Guacamole – everything was delicious and prepared well.

    Our entrées consisted of Maya Grill’s Signature Fajita Skillet, Seafood Grill Platter (which was enough for two!), Beef Short Ribs and a Classic Caesar salad with a side of steak (for me) at the recommendation of our server – it was delicious, and I loved how it was prepared and served.

    For dessert we shared the Ancho Chili Creme Brûlée and Chocolate Abuelita Panna Cotta – both were amazing – the Creme Brûlée was very light and I love everything chocolate!

    And you can’t dine at Maya Grill without experiencing the Margarita Flight, which includes 5 shot glasses of specialty handcrafted Margaritas – Mango Blueberry Basil, Classic, Horchata, Pineapple and Jalapeño!

    While Disney’s Coronado Springs is undergoing extensive construction, be sure to add this dining experience to your “must do’s” for your next visit to Walt Disney World Resort! Walk-up Guests can be accommodated, however, reservations are accepted and recommended. Reservations are currently available via your My Disney Experience account or Open Table and some Dining Plans are accepted.

    Disney’s Polynesian Resort changes

    One of the most iconic Walt Disney World® Resort hotels, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, is undergoing a complete re-imagining!  If you are visiting in the next year, you will see lots of changes! This renovation will include a new food & beverage experience, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.  In the Great Ceremonial House, several areas will be revamped including the lobby.  The Nanea Volcano Pool and Slide will close for enhancements beginning July 26 through early 2015 for big changes. However if you are staying at Disney’s Polynesian Resort while the main pool is closed you will receive one complimentary ticket for each member of your family to visit Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park during your vacation. You will also be provided direct transportation to the Water Park, getting to enter through a dedicated check-in point where your family will receive their complimentary tickets and towels.

    This is all a “work in progress,” so please know that Disney will make every effort to ensure your visit to the resort is comfortable and magical.

    Also note that the resort hotel is returning to its original 1971 opening day name, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Exciting things to come!  We will have pictures available when the changes are complete, but for now, you can view the current pictures of this beautiful resort here.
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    Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

    written by Colette Gill, Travel Specialist

    Disney’s Fort Wilderness – The Happiest Campground on Earth!

    Does your family enjoy camping?  How does the ability to get away from it all while still having a whole ‘World’ of fun nearby sound?  The Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground at Walt Disney World may be the ideal place for your family vacation.  Whether you like to head for the woods and set up the tent or you enjoy all the comforts of home in your 45 foot RV, there’s a perfect site for you at Fort Wilderness.  Each site has a charcoal grill, picnic table, water supply and electricity.  The upgraded sites also come with cable hookup for your TV.  WIFI is available at all the sites.  And some pet friendly sites will even accommodate little Fido or Fifi!  They’ll have a great time visiting their own park, Waggin’ Trails Dog Park.  The campground is divided into loops, and each loop has an air-conditioned comfort station equipped with rest room facilities, showers, a coin operated Laundromat, an in-house and public phone and an ice machine.  If you run out of supplies or just need a special souvenir for someone, head to one of the two general stores on the property, the Settlement Trading Post or the Meadows Trading Post.

    There are several playgrounds located throughout the campground for the little ones to enjoy.  You can spend the day hiking or biking; you can rent a canoe or a Sea Racer; go for a trail ride on horseback, or just pay a visit to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch where the horses are stabled that pull the streetcars down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.  Spend a relaxing afternoon lounging by the quiet pool, or let the kids enjoy the corkscrew waterslide and the fort-themed kiddie area at the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool.  In the evening, you can see the fireworks from the lake at the Magic Kingdom on select nights – they even pipe in the music.  There’s also a nightly water-pageant presented on Bay Lake, right by the dock where you can catch the water taxi over to the Magic Kingdom.

    Each evening, Chip and Dale pay a visit to the campground for a campfire sing-a-long complete with marshmallow roasting, special activities for the kids, and a Disney movie ‘under the stars’.  Because the crowd is generally small, the kids get plenty of one-on-one time with the comical chipmunks so have your cameras ready!

    The campground has several choices for dining.  The Hoop-dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ are both located at this resort.  The Trail’s End Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet-style and also has take-out available.  There’s a snack bar located by the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool and if you’d like an adult beverage – head over to Crockett’s Tavern.

    Want to stay in the campground, but don’t have your own equipment?  No problem – Fort Wilderness provides fully equipped Wilderness Cabins for you to enjoy.  Each is complete with a deck that holds a picnic table and a charcoal grill; a kitchen/living room combination complete with stove, fridge, coffee maker, dishwasher and all the dishes and utensils you’ll need; a full bath; and a bedroom with a double bed and a bunk bed.  There’s also a Murphy bed in the living room section that folds up out of the way during the day – so the cabins can accommodate up to six people.  Full maid service is provided on a daily basis.

    Every campsite and cabin in Fort Wilderness has full access to all areas of Walt Disney World.  There are internal buses that run continually throughout the campground, external buses that go to all other areas and Theme Parks, and a water taxi that goes to the Magic Kingdom, The Contemporary Resort Hotel and The Wilderness Lodge.  If you bring your own vehicle, it’s parked right at your ‘door’ – there’s no long walk to the parking lot if you need to drive anywhere.  If you choose to drive to the Theme Parks, because you’re a Disney resort guest, the parking is complimentary.

    There truly is something for everyone at Fort Wilderness.  From fishing excursions to wildlife watching, you’re sure to please everyone’s tastes.  So what are you waiting for?  Let us help you plan your perfect camping experience at ‘The Happiest Campground on Earth’.

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