Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Is Upon Us-Here's This Week's Disney & Orlando DIgest

Disney & Orlando Digest – Week of March 31, 2014 Discounts with Destinations in Florida Travel

Islands of Adventure

Disney Discounts 

Walt Disney World® Resort
      Free Tickets & Great Prices on Memorial Weekend:  Are you ready to spend 24 hours at the Magic Kingdom Park?  Take advantage of special group prices, making our rates the lowest you will find over this popular holiday weekend.  Plus, book at least a 2 Day ticket and you get a free ticket to visit the Disney Water Parks or DisneyQuest.  You can only book this deal with Destinations in Florida.
      Affordable Package with Room & Dining:  One of the most expensive parts of a Disney vacation are the tickets!  Save money and enjoy all of the other fun at the Disney with a Ticketless Package.  Book this new package with your hotel and one of the Disney Dining Plans, without the addition of tickets.
      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.  Hurry, these discounts will sell out quickly!
      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 31, 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.  

Disneyland® Resort
      New!  Save Up to 20% Off Your Hotel:  Visit Sunday through Thursday nights from April 20-June 8, 2014 and save up to 20% off your hotel.  Hurry, this discount ends by May 8, 2014.

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 this spring.
   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.

Universal Orlando Resort Discounts
      Cabana Bay Beach Resort Florida Resident Deal:  Are you ready to experience the spectacular new Cabana Bay Beach Resort?  It is opening this week!  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
      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! 
      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.

Book your family memories today with Destinations in Florida!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Disneyland's Best Kept Secrets!

Tips From A Disneyland Insider

When our friends over at Theme Parks Done the Grown Up Way asked if I had any special insider tips I could share I of course jumped at the chance.  There are so many little things to at Disneyland®  that will make you feel like a VIP for sure and all you have to do is ask.  Over the next few weeks I'll be helping you to become an insider too, making your next visit to the Happiest Place on Earth even more magical. First up on the list, how to have the best seat on the boat-all aboard the Mark Twain!

No trip to Disneyland®  is complete without a ride aboard the Mark Twain, one of the remaining original Disneyland attractions from 1955.  Located in Frontierland nothing is better than going back in time and cruising along the scenic Rivers of America-unless you’re doing it from the top of the boat.

Disneyland insiders all know that you too can be the Captain of the Mark Twain merely by asking but warning, once you’ve been the pilot of this magnificent vessel, you’ll never want to travel any other way. So just how does one pilot the Mark Twain for this half-mile excursion? Upon arriving at the dock, which also houses the Sailing Ship Columbia, locate a Cast Member before you board to inquire about availability for this once in a lifetime experience.  Depending on the time of day and crowds, you may be able to do it immediately but don’t worry if there’s a bit of a wait as it will be worth it. When your time comes, you will be boarding the boat and directed to the second floor where you will find a door marked “Private” but today that door will be opening for you. Upon knocking, the Captain will be there to greet you and take you on the rest of the way. You will need to climb a steep staircase, emphasis on the steep, as in reality it is more like a ladder. Once reaching the top you will find yourself in the Wheel House itself. 

Part of the honor of steering this magnificent vessel is the signing of the guest book. Be sure to take a moment and look through the list of celebrities that have stood in the same place as you have. One of the most magical parts of being in Disneyland is the history that goes with it and knowing that you are standing in the exact spot where Walt Disney himself once stood.  As part of your command duties, the Captain will tell you to ring the bell and blow the horn at certain points along with steering the Mark Twain itself.  Be sure to take a moment to take it all in and enjoy one of the best views in the Park. 

Along the way you’ll be transported back to in time for a glimpse of frontier life of days gone by, a Native American village and of course  Pirate's Lair . Don’t forget to wave to everyone as they all look up, wave back and wonder who you are and how you got to steer the boat.  All too soon your voyage will come to an end but not before the Captain presents you with a commemorative certificate suitable for framing to always remind you of the day you were the Captain of the Mark Twain Riverboat, located in Frontierland on the Rivers of America Next up-riding on the Lilly Belle Presidential Train Car on the Disneyland Railroad.

Gayle is a lifelong educator by day and avid blogger by night and is the owner and cofounder of the Disney Gals, one of the most popular Disney blogs around! Proud mommy to 5, Grammy to 4 she is blessed to share her life with amazing family and friends who encourage her to chase her dreams no matter where they may lead.  When not in the classroom, she can be found following her son as he dances his way through life, or working with young performers in free nationally recognized after school children’s theater program that she founded 13 years ago. On any given day you will find Gayle skipping her way through life with a giggle and a smile knowing that today is meant to be lived and enjoyed. To learn more about Gayle, click here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Save the Date- Destination D: Attraction Rewind is Coming!



Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward—opening up new doors and doing new things—because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” It’s in that spirit that guests this fall will have the opportunity to visit—or revisit—some of the most beloved Disney attractions of yesteryear. D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewindpresented by H2O Plus will take place November 22 and 23 at Walt Disney World Resort. D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will bring Disney archivists, Imagineers, Legends, and luminaries together to celebrate fan favorites such as Adventure Thru Inner Space, If You Had Wings, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with rarely seen concept art and images; vintage video clips; and hours of revealing stories. In addition, there will be a full day of presentations dedicated to the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair, which debuted beloved attractions like it’s a small world and Carousel of Progress.

Presenters and panelists include Disney Legends Marty Sklar, Bob Gurr, and Alice Davis; Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline; Disney and World’s Fair historians Bill Cotter, Stacia Martin, and Michael Kelley—and more to be announced.

During the weekend, guests will be able to explore a special exhibit designed by the Walt Disney Archives in honor of the event.

The weekend will end with an exciting evening event—Pleasure Island: Rewind. This celebration of the Downtown Disney nightlife district will include areas dedicated to the Adventurers Club, Comedy Warehouse, Mannequins, and 8 Trax. And of course there will be a “New Year’s Eve” celebration to cap the night.

Plus, for the first time, Mickey’s of Glendale, the famed Walt Disney Imagineering store, will set up a pop-up shop at the event for attendees, featuring a selection of exclusive Imagineering merchandise as well as limited-edition pins, T-shirts, and collectibles themed to the event. The shop will also carry a special line from H2O Plus, whose products are featured at Disney Resort Hotels. 

Highlights of D23 DESTINATION D: ATTRACTION REWIND presented by H2O Plus will include*:
  • Disney Goes to the World’s Fair: A look at how Disney became a part of the landmark event
  • Lost on the Way to the Fair: Pavilion concepts for the World’s Fair that never came to be
  • Retro Rewind References: Nods to favorites of the past in current Disney Parks attractions
  • That Was Entertainment: Revisiting beloved theme park parades, shows, and spectacles

The weekend event will take place in the convention center at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Tickets, available Wednesday, April 16, are $190 each and available exclusively to D23 Gold and Silver Members for a limited time. Any remaining tickets will be made available to D23 Free Members on May 28 for $250 per ticket. All guests will receive a special gift in honor of Disney’s contributions to the 50th anniversary of the 1964–65 World’s Fair in New York City. A limited number of “Top of the World” tickets will be available featuring reserved seating, early shopping on November 21, an exclusive dinner reception, special collectibles, gifts from H2O Plus and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, and more.

More details about the program and tickets for D23 DESTINATION D: ATTRACTION REWIND presented by H2O Plus, as well as a special offer just for members of D23, can be found at Additional schedule announcements will be made in the coming months.

About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

About H2O Plus, LLC
H2O Plus, LLC is a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of prestige, marine-based skincare products for the face and body. Their parent company, Pola Orbis, is the fourth-leading beauty care company in Japan. Celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, H2O Plus continues to develop innovative products based on their heritage of water-based formulas powered by exclusive marine blends and state-of-the-art technology. H2O Plus has a large and expanding global presence in more than 9,000 points of distribution, worldwide. For more information on H2O Plus, please visit

Fans can join D23 at Gold, Silver, and Free Membership levels at and at keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow us @DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.