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John's Travel Update February 11, 2022

My Week At Walt Disney World!

Normally, I would share some news and updates from the "world of travel" and I'll toss a few things in at the end - but I wanted to share my experience this week at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.


On occasion, Walt Disney World Resort will invite select travel agents to visit their resorts and parks so we can check out all the "latest and greatest" - and although it sounds like it would be nonstop fun (well, we did laugh alot), it was also three VERY long days of meetings, resort inspections and park visits.


Our first evening we spent meeting and discussing all the latest changes around the Walt Disney World Resort. If you've ever been to EPCOT, you of course know of "The Living Seas" - but your children will know it as the "Nemo Ride". However, inside this giant aquarium is a private conference room! It's quite large with large windows that peer into the aquarium and was a wonderful spot for our first get together.


After meeting for several hours, we headed over to watch "Harmonius" - which is the new nighttime presentation at World Showcase Lagoon. I LOVE this new show - with nods to some of our favorite animated characters. What I love best is the reimagining of the songs into native languages. It really does bring a new level of awe to already amazing music.


Our next day was full of meetings (Disney Genie+ was a hot topic) and then resort tours. We toured Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Art of Animation Resort, Disney's POP Century Resort, Disney's Gran Destino Tower/Coronado Springs Resort, Disney's Riviera Resort and Disney's Yacht Club. That day was over 30,000 steps!


My FAVORITE resort, hands-down, is Disney's Riviera Resort. This resort is a tribute to Walt's vacations to Europe - and the Imagineers have done a WONDERFUL job bringing that vision to life. The rooms are roomy and modern but somehow have a very "old world" feel. The dining options are fantastic and you're a quick Skyliner hop to EPCOT or Disney's Hollywood Studios.


Our third day was spent TWO hours before park opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios. We learned about Star Wars: Galactic Cruiser (but weren't allowed in quite yet!) and were able to take advantage of a few attractions before the park opened! We had free time during the day and I made it a quest to visit ALL four parks in one day (it's known as the "Four Park Challenge") and I did it! After spending the early part of the day at Disney's Hollywood Studios, I headed to EPCOT and the International Festival of the Arts! After that: over to Disney's Animal Kingdom where we all met up for a late dinner and a quick ride on "Flight Of Passage" in Pandora. But wait - didn't I say I went to FOUR parks?



I sure did! After closing, our group headed over to Magic Kingdom Park. Guests staying at Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villa Resorts can take advantage of TWO extra hours after park closing at select parks. This past week it was EPCOT on Monday night and Magic Kingdom Park on Wednesday.


This is probably the BEST perk of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort: it was like being in the park with a handful of friends. I was able to hop on "7 Dwarfs Mine Train" in less than 15 minutes. All other attractions were "walk on" (which is what it sounds like). The investment of a few more dollars is WELL WORTH the ease of very few crowds and the ease of seeing so many rides!


I'm exhausted! But I have learned some fantastic new tips and tricks for my clients when they travel to Walt Disney World Resort!


Capture Your Moment Coming Soon to All Walt Disney World Theme Parks!

Disney PhotoPass Service is the best way to capture photos of a Disney experience. In fact, one of the most popular experiences is growing: Capture Your Moment.


This personalized 20-minute private photo session was so popular at Magic Kingdom Park and Disney's Animal Kingdom, Capture Your Moment is now expanding to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios!


EPCOT – Available beginning Feb. 24


Whether it's a proposal, first visit, graduation, anniversary or family portraits, EPCOT’s World Showcase is the perfect photo backdrop! You can choose one of the following pavilions for their photoshoot: Germany, Italy, The American Adventure, Japan or Morocco.


Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Available beginning March 21


Head down to the Hollywood Tower Hotel to take photos around its eerie grounds, capture playful photos with Gertie (Echo Lake’s resident dinosaur), get up close with the incredible details of the Chinese Theatre’s façade, or use the colorful neon signs and art deco architecture of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard to evoke the golden age of Tinseltown.


At all four theme parks, each Capture Your Moment session is $79 and can include up to eight guests. While prints and digital downloads are not included, those with a Disney PhotoPass entitlement such as Memory Maker or Memory Maker One Day, as well as qualifying Annual Passholders with a Disney PhotoPass download benefit, can download the photos at no extra cost.*


2022 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Updates

Many of California’s communities and regions are highlighted in the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival’s smorgasbord of dishes. A dozen Festival Marketplaces will serve irresistible small bites and beverages, and dining locations across Disney California Adventure park – including Pym Tasting Lab and Terran Treats at Avengers Campus – will also feature special festival menu items. You can even purchase a Sip and Savor Pass* for eight coupons redeemable for select food and nonalcoholic beverages at participating locations.

The Hollywood Backlot in Hollywood Land will be home to an appetizing assortment of entertainment and presentations for all ages. The all-new animated series, “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery,” which debuted on Disney Junior yesterday, is the inspiration behind a new, limited-time festival experience for junior chefs at the Hollywood Backlot Stage. During “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party,” kids ages 3 through 11 will have the opportunity to express their creativity through hands-on cupcake decorating. Space is limited, and participant sign-ups begin 45 minutes before each show time. At the Hollywood Backlot, You may also encounter Chef Goofy or dance along with Chip ‘n’ Dale as the Jammin’ Chefs serve up tasty new rhythms using pots and pans.


And here’s the cherry (or “citrus”?) on top: Soarin’ Over California will return to Disney California Adventure park for a limited time during the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, beginning March 4! Once again, you can relish the unforgettable sights, sounds and scents of the Golden State aboard this high-flying attraction.



Valentine's Day Sale You Can't Miss

Celebrate this Valentines Day by giving the gift of a getaway with this Sweetheart Sale!


With plenty of elegant adults-only resorts to choose from, you can enjoy the beauty and breeze of the islands while spending time with the one you love most! Whether you're looking for a modern escape to Cancun, a Jamaican oasis or a secluded Saint Lucia hideaway, these exclusive deals make it easy to find the alone time you and your partner been looking for! Contact me today for details!


OK - well this was a LONG post! Are you ready for YOUR adventure? Drop me a line at john@travelprojohn.com or call me at 312-380-1619 and let's get started!




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