What’s your favorite Disney Thrill? Whether it’s giving a beloved character a big hug, showing off the perfect pair of Minnie ears or giggling your way through an exciting adventure with your entire family, everyone can enjoy all kinds of thrills at Walt Disney World Resort.
Today, we’re excited to share all the new experiences coming to Walt Disney World over the next few months!
New Character Greetings Debuting Soon
Let’s start with one of the most magical moments: meeting Disney favorites face to face. We recently saw the return of fan-favorite character experiences including Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariel’s Grotto and Pete’s Silly Sideshow at Magic Kingdom Park. New friends will make their debut soon. Just in time for the 25th Anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Moana will greet fellow voyagers on Discovery Island for the first time, starting April 22.
Later this summer, Guests will get the chance to hug long-time EPCOT icon Figment at the Imagination! pavilion. And this fall, Mirabel from the Walt Disney Animation Studios hit film “Encanto” will greet Guests in the Fairytale Garden at Magic Kingdom, which will be transformed with whimsical décor inspired by La Familia Madrigal.
EPCOT Transformation Comes to a Crescendo Later This Year
If you’ve been to EPCOT recently, you’ve likely seen the amazing progress happening around World Celebration and World Nature as part of the park’s multi-year transformation. Well, get ready because it will all be completed later this year!
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will debut this fall in World Nature. This self-guided exploration trail will take you through the natural water cycle – from the skies to oceans and all the way back again. Just like Moana, Guests are encouraged to become a protector and friend to our natural resources.
When CommuniCore Hall opens in World Celebration later this year, it will be the center of festival programming throughout the park. In new renderings released today, Guests can see this will be home to a new character greeting location called Mickey & Friends. Guests will be able to meet Mickey Mouse and some of his best pals in this colorful space.
CommuniCore Hall will also be the home of a dynamic exhibition space that will transform with each festival throughout the year, as Guests can see here in one possibility imagined for EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. Playing with light, shapes and reflections, the architecture of this building was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering to celebrate the legacy of EPCOT and the original CommuniCore buildings.
Commemorating Disney100 at Walt Disney World
EPCOT will host the Disney100 celebration at Walt Disney World Resort to commemorate this monumental milestone later this year. As well as all the new attractions and experiences I've mentioned, there will be even more magic.
As we honor the legacy of Disney storytelling and unforgettable characters that have entertained and inspired people of all ages for a century, now is the time to relive those beloved Disney memories and delight in making new memories with friends and family in our theme parks. Enjoy all-new experiences as we celebrate this momentous anniversary and the culmination of the EPCOT transformation – from meeting Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their platinum attire to snapping a selfie with a platinum sculpture of the one who started it all and watching Spaceship Earth illuminate the evenings with a special lighting design.
Plus, a new nighttime spectacular will debut at EPCOT later this year, inviting everyone to gather around World Showcase Lagoon for a show that will unite us through commonalities of the heart in a dazzling display of fireworks, lasers, music and light. Featuring an original composition along with select songs from the Disney songbook, this new spectacular will remind us that we’re more alike than different, connecting our hearts together as one.
Celebrating 25 Years of Innovation & Conservation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
We can’t wait to celebrate 25 years of magic at Disney’s Animal Kingdom next month on Earth Day! Since it opened on April 22, 1998, this one-of-a-kind theme park has offered awe-inspiring animal encounters, thrilling attractions and larger-than-life musical stage shows. Since 1995, with support from The Walt Disney Company and guests, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed $120 million to support nonprofit organizations working with communities to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet. Additionally, the Disney Conservation team leads best-in-class scientific programs to conserve wildlife in Disney’s backyard and beyond, connects people to build a network for nature, and cares for the planet through everyday actions.
In April, there will be new ways to join in the celebration for Earth Day and this milestone, including new sweet and savory treats, specialty merchandise and limited-time character sightings in the park. There will be more surprises on April 22, when the park officially turns 25.
Summer House on the Lake Opens Later This Year at Disney Springs
A stunning new restaurant will open at Disney Springs in late 2023. Summer House on the Lake embodies a breezy, beach house vibe that will pair perfectly with the sweeping views of Lake Buena Vista.
Guests will be able to enjoy a California-inspired menu featuring simple, sustainable ingredients – from pizza and pasta to fresh salads and sandwiches. Plus, Guests can savor the restaurant’s exclusive Summer House Rosé along with a selection of wine, beer, handcrafted cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. Just imagine sipping a favorite drink on one of three expansive outdoor patios with a lake view. Those of us with a sweet tooth will be delighted to hear about The Cookie Jar, a dessert-focused market within this space serving up freshly baked cookies and house-made pastries.
Corkcicle Opening First-Ever Retail Location at Disney Springs
Just announced today, Corkcicle is coming to Disney Springs! A local Orlando business, Corkcicle creates innovative, obsession-worthy, high-performing insulated drinkware, coolers and accessories in a variety of gorgeous colors that elevate every sip and bring delight to everyday moments. This kiosk will be Corkcicle’s first-ever retail location and will open later this spring.
Tiara-topped Water Tower Coming Soon to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom
Construction on Tiana's Bayou Adventure continues to take shape, and later this summer, a tiara-topped water tower emblazoned with the Tiana’s Foods logo will make its way to Magic Kingdom.
Disney Parks guests will get to experience Princess Tiana’s story like never before following the attraction’s debut at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort in 2024, and what a party it will be! The story will pick up where the film left off as guests join Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure down the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration during Mardi Gras season where everyone is welcome. Along the way, Guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends and travel through the bayou to original music inspired by songs from the film. Lots of memorable fun in store!
TRON Lightcycle / Run Launches April 4, 2023
You may have heard that one of the fastest coasters at any Disney park is launching soon in Magic Kingdom. Starting April 4, Guests will be able to race across the Grid in TRON Lightcycle / Run presented by Enterprise. As members of Team Blue, this will be the chance to board a high-speed Lightcycle and compete against a fierce group of Programs known as Team Orange
Merchandise fans can gear up for the Grid with racing-inspired apparel, collectible pins, must-have toys and light-up accessories inspired by the TRON films and the attraction itself.
For more information on booking your next trip to Walt Disney World, reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner today!
3/13/2023 0 Comments
What Is There To Do In Costa Rica?
The best that Costa Rica has to offer…
You want to visit Costa Rica! Awesome, we can help get you there. But one of the questions we’ll ask in helping you do so is what you’d like to see and do there. Relax? Explore nature? Seek adventure? All the above and more? Probably. There is just so much available, we’ll need to have a serious discussion on what your priorities are. To help we’ve put together a list of eight of the best activities to do during your visit. After reading let us know what’s on the top of yours!
The 8 Best Activities Costa Rica Has To Offer
1. Hiking – An activity that likely is top of mind when you think of Costa Rica and there certainly is no shortage of places to do so. Volcanoes, beaches, cloud forests – the choice is yours. Once that’s settled, think about the level of difficulty you’re comfortable with. These two things will help in the best recommendation. Additionally, it is suggested you consider guided hikes. Your expert leader will be able to provide general assistance and a trained eye to spot wildlife.
2. Surfing – Surfers from around the world frequent Costa Rica year-round because of its warm waters and waves. Choose your coast – Pacific or Caribbean, select your level of experience – beginner, intermediate, or advanced. We can even make some recommendations. If you’re in need of a lesson, they’re typically easy to find, even just by stepping foot on some beaches!
3. Snorkeling and Scuba – Wildlife sightings aren’t limited to land. There are 7,000+ marine species that can be found in Costa Rica’s surrounding waters. So, it is no surprise that it is on the top of the list for water activities. If you’re a snorkeler, think about if you’d like to do so by boat or shore. If a diver, we can help recommend dive sites. Just let us know your level of experience.
4. Whitewater Rafting – Costa Rica provides a stunning background for this adventure. There are a few areas that would be recommended if this is something you’d like to do. Beginner or advanced, let us know what intensity of rapids you’re comfortable with, and we can point you in the right direction. If the kiddos are up for the challenge, there are some options that are suitable for them too. It’s a great family activity!
5. Visit Waterfalls – Some of the most picturesque sights in Costa Rica can be found at its numerous waterfalls. After all, there’s something so magical about water cascading over a cliff to the pools below. There are plenty of options to choose from, just keep in mind a few things. Some falls will require a hike to access, entrance fees will vary, and some allow swimming while others do not. Also consider a guided tour if you won’t have access to a rental car during your stay.
6. Zip Lining – If you’ve Googled “excursions in Costa Rica” you’ve likely seen a picture of someone effortlessly flying over green canopy, rivers, and cliffs. It’s a very popular activity that can be found all over the country. You should expect a safety demo and a short hike. Then you’ll glide line by line, each getting a little longer than the one before. If you’re an adrenaline seeker this is a must do! If not, we wouldn’t recommend it. Do not invest money in something if you’re not 100% comfortable with.
7. Bird Watching – It isn’t unusual for people to travel to Costa Rica for this very reason. Some enthusiasts even build a whole itinerary around this activity. There are 900+ species and most often seen will likely be toucans, macaws, and hummingbirds. Because the country is so eco-diverse, make a couple of watching stops. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera!
8. Yoga – Yes, you read that right! Costa Rica is indeed a haven for yoga lovers. You could see or take a class quite literally anywhere – a resort, beach, volcano, or rainforest. If you’re a beginner, give it a try at least once. If you’re a wellness enthusiast and it’s your reason for travel, it belongs on your list. Think wellness retreat, group trip for your studio, location for instructor training or continuing education.
There you have it, some of the best that Costa Rica has to offer! Of course, there’s a ton more that isn’t listed, so if you have any questions let us know. If you’re ready to explore all that Costa Rica has to offer, reach out!
Wellness travel, voluntourism, sustainable travel. Especially in a post-pandemic world, we are hearing these kinds of buzzwords more and more as we were forced to slow down, connect in different ways, and shift our focus.
But what really is wellness travel?
According to the Wellness Tourism Association, wellness travel is travel that allows a traveler to maintain, enhance, or begin a healthy lifestyle. It supports or increases your sense of well-being, both mentally and physically. This is achieved through the experiences you have while traveling. The goal and benefit are to feel energized and rejuvenated.
Some of the most common wellness travel styles include spa retreats or spa enhancements, fitness trends like certain hotel brands adding Peloton spin bikes to their gyms and adding physical activities to a vacation that support a healthy lifestyle.
People are often described as primary or secondary wellness tourists. The primary wellness tourist is a person that creates a trip around the idea of wellness while a secondary wellness tourist includes wellness activities while traveling.
There is no one size fits all in wellness travel. But to feel energized, relaxed, and have a sense of joy in your travels, consider some of these activities for your next vacation.
• Surfing or Paddleboarding
• Tai chi
• Massage therapy
• Spa experiences at mineral baths or saunas
• Voluntourism – book activities that support a local community
Many travelers that try these activities while vacationing tend to disconnect from technology more, feel reduced stress, and notice improved moods. What does wellness mean to you? Do you have a favorite activity to do while on vacation to relax and recharge?
For more information on booking your own wellness adventure, reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner today!
1. Four Seasons Resort Lanai
In season two of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the group heads to Lanai to celebrate the birthday of Kyle’s husband Mauricio, who may be one of the best househusbands across the entire franchise. They shack up at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, and it is gorgeous. Lanai itself is a true treasure with only 3,100 residents and only one town: Lanai City. The five-diamond resort has botanical gardens, lagoon-style pools, a beautiful spa and three great on-site restaurants, including Nobu Lanai, a name most familiar to the ladies of Beverly Hills.
2. Fairmont Orchid
Reality TV lovers should not sleep on Bravo’s Married to Medicine and luxury lovers should not sleep on Fairmont Orchid. In season four, arguably one of the best groups of women on TV take the long journey from Atlanta to Big Island for Dr. Simone and Cecil’s 20th anniversary celebration. The resort is located in Kamuela’s historic district and is within ten miles of Hapuna Beach State Park and Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site. But you don’t really need to leave the resort to experience Hawaii’s natural beauty. The award-winning Spa Without Walls integrates the island’s natural sounds and scents into treatments and the seasonally inspired menus at the onsite restaurants celebrate the island’s cuisine.
3. The Four Seasons Maui
Another great group of women from Atlanta, the ladies of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, go on what was supposed to be a girls trip (but ends up otherwise) to Maui in season nine, staying at the luxurious Four Seasons Maui. Cynthia and Peter’s relationship is a little rocky at the time, but luckily the sprawling resort offers many opportunities for them to avoid each other, like rooms with private lanais and balconies, one of the largest golden sand beaches on the island and plenty of poolside cabanas. There are lots of beautiful places to visit off the resort too, as it’s nearby Wailea Beach, Makena State Park Beach and Keawakapu Beach.
4. The Modern Honolulu
Season nine of The Real Housewives of Orange County starts off on Oahu with Vicki, Tamra and Heather staying at the super chic The Modern Honolulu. They’re on a fun girls trip while Heather films for a TV show (a show other than the reality show). Things get a bit wacky so let’s focus on the hotel. The Modern Honolulu is sleek and contemporary and overlooks the iconic Waikiki Beach. Room views include city view, marina view and of course ocean view, and room types vary from double rooms to spacious two-bathroom suites. A garden-set restaurant, two bars, two pools, a fitness center, on-site yoga and an overall focus on sustainability make The Modern Honolulu a great pick for a chic housewife like Heather Dubrow.
5. Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
The ladies of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills really love Hawaii. In season nine, the gang lands on the Big Island and this time they’re visiting to attend the wedding of a former castmate (the pernicious Camille Grammar) and staying at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. This 290-room resort has many accommodation options, from a classic hotel room to a suite with a fully equipped kitchen. Two golf courses, a white-sand beach, sunset luaus and three outdoor pools make this resort a true gem on the island. Sure, Camille Grammar’s Hawaiian home is beautiful, but it’s got nothing on this amazing resort.
Hawaii isn’t the only destination reality TV stars choose for their vacations. Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and even the U.S. have seen some over-the-top yet attainable reality TV star escapades. To book your next vacation and feel like a true VIP, reach out to one of our Starstuff Travel Planners today!
Article Credit to Andrea Sedlacek, editor of The Compass
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