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John's Weekly Travel Update May 6, 2022

New EPCOT Changes Announced

Guiding a theme park through a pandemic is a job I personally would NEVER want - so it is probably no big surprise that the planned changes originally announced years ago were going to change at EPCOT.

It's going to take some time - but "Future World" is no longer the correct terminology for the part of the park that houses classic attractions like "Spaceship Earth", "Test Track" and "Soarin'". This area is now known as "World Nature", "World Celebration" and "World Discovery".

World Celebration

This area will offer a beautiful hub divided into several different gardens, with a central planter based on the five-ring EPCOT logo. Filled with ample seating and shade, you’ll be invited to connect with one another and the nature around you in this lush new area.

Each of these gardens will have their own identities, and they’ll change along with the festivals throughout the year. Personally, I think this will be a great place to let your kids hang if they get a little burned out with all the "magic".

At night, the gardens will take on a whole new life, as you can see here in these images. They’re designed to be enjoyed in the round, where lighting immerses you in the nighttime experience that will evolve through the seasons.

This all surrounds CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza, a multi-use facility and outdoor event space, respectively, that bring the park’s international festivals to the center of EPCOT. It's basically an amphitheater for concerts and events - which will be a great addition to this part of the park!

CommuniCore Hall will be a flexible exhibition and gallery space, offering a wide variety of experiences that highlight art, live music, food – complete with a demonstration kitchen – and more. In addition, adjacent to CommuniCore Hall will be a new Mickey & Friends location where you can meet some of your favorite Disney pals.

MagicBand+ News

If you've gone to Walt Disney World in the past 10 years - you've probably purchased a MagicBand. You wear it like a watch (although it doesn't tell time) and it houses your tickets, Lightning Lane return times and can even be used to make purchases.

The MagicBand+ is Disney's newest upgrade - it's interactive throughout the parks!

You may have heard about the golden character sculptures throughout the four Walt Disney World theme parks during the 50th anniversary celebration. Soon, you’ll be able to use MagicBand+ to bring the sculptures to life and interact with them on the “Disney Fab 50 Quest.” You can also dive deeper into the experience using the Play Disney Parks mobile app to keep track of which sculptures you’ve found. The more you find, the more features you can unlock with digital achievements and an augmented reality feature that will give you a glimpse into your favorite characters’ worlds.

Over in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, MagicBand+ invites you to join the “Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters” experience, where you’ll use your band to find numerous virtual bounties hidden throughout Black Spire Outpost. MagicBand+ will be your guide, vibrating and lighting up to show if you’re on the right path. You can then use the augmented reality thermal viewer in the Play Disney Parks app – which reveals what’s behind locked doors in Black Spire Outpost – to uncover your virtual bounty**. Once your mission is complete, the local guild master will reward you with galactic credits.

You can also experience nighttime spectaculars in a new way as you’ll see your MagicBand+ light up and complement the magic in the skies! It’s a dazzling way to join in the celebration and create unforgettable memories at the theme parks.

MagicBand+ will be available later this summer and will be offered at a pre-arrival discount when you book a Walt Disney World Resort package!

Fall Savings At Aulani!

Disney Visa Cardmembers can enjoy special savings on stays this fall at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, valid most nights through Aug. 23 to Nov. 18 and Nov. 26 to Dec. 22. This includes savings up to 35% on select rooms for stays of 5 or more nights or 30% on stays of 4 nights! Cardmembers staying 4 or more nights will also receive a $150 resort credit.

This is a fantastic offer to visit Aulani this fall! CLICK HERE to get a free quote!

Travel & Tourism Week

Did you know this week was National Travel & Tourism Week?

Apparently, it is! It's always a great reminder how travel advisors, like myself, work hard to ensure that our clients have safe and magical vacations!

Also: I don't just help with Disney Destinations (although it probably doesn't feel like it sometimes!). In fact - I'm currently helping clients plan amazing trips to Alaska, Europe, Hawaii and the Caribbean (to name a few).

Need Some Travel Inspo?

Seeing a summer full of adventure in your future! Check out these 3 unique spots you should travel to this summer. Ready to plan? Let me help guide you to the ultimate summer vacation!

All of these destinations have so many amazing things to see! Check them out below and contact me today if you want to find out HOW to get there!

Happy Mother's Day!

Finally - I want to wish all the Moms and Grandmothers (or if you play that "role" at home no matter the title) a very Happy Mother's Day.

This holiday is always a bittersweet one, since my own Mother passed away nearly 15 years ago. I think maybe that's why I love being a travel advisor so much. Helping families plan memories that last a lifetime might not seem important to some folks - but I take that responsibility very seriously.

Here's my advice (and I know you didn't ask): Take The Trip. Make those memories. You deserve it! Your family deserves it!

That's it! Have a safe and fantastic weekend and I'll see you next week for another update!

CLICK HERE to get your no-obligation quote!

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