All posts by Michelle Beck

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Swimming Pools Closed Today, Jan 18

All Walt Disney World Resort hotel pools will be closed today Thursday, January 18 due to cold weather in the area.  The pools are expected to reopen tomorrow, January 19, 2018.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach will be closed through January 19 due to the cold temps while Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon will remain closed for its annual refurbishment.

For a complete list of current and upcoming refurbishments at Walt Disney World Resort, please visit our refurbishment page.

Adventures by Disney Announces Expanded Cruise Vacation Options for 2019

Adventures by Disney, a leader in guided group travel worldwide, revealed today new cruise vacations for 2019, offering more European river cruise sailings than ever before, including all-new sailings down France’s Seine River. New Southern California land packages were also announced, which can be added on to 2018 Disney Cruise Line vacations setting sail from San Diego.

© Disney

All-New European River Cruises on France’s Seine River

In 2019, Adventures by Disney guests will set sail on a record breaking 21 river cruise departures on three European rivers – the Danube, Rhine and, new for this year, the Seine River in France.

The new 10-day, 9-night Seine river cruise vacation combines two days exploring Paris on land, followed by eight days of cruising to picturesque French destinations such as Conflans, Vernon and more. Sailing with AmaWaterways, a premier luxury river cruise line, the popular Adventures by Disney river cruises allow families to explore the heart of Europe in a way that’s active, immersive and easy.

Highlights of this new Seine River vacation include:

  • Interactive culinary experiences, including a gourmet food tasting tour, regional wine and cheese sampling and hands-on macaron making demonstration.
  • Guided tours of Paris icons, including Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.
  • Active excursion options for the whole family, including biking, canoeing, horseback riding, a ropes course and hiking on the stunning cliffs of Etretat.
  • Immersive local experiences, including a visit to Monet’s House and Gardens in Giverny, a hands-on painting workshop, an apple orchard visit with Calvados tastings and more.
  • Enriching visit to the Normandy American Cemetery.
  • Engaging castle tours and rich historical storytelling at Chateau de Bizy, Chateau Malmaison and Chateau Gaillard.

Adventures by Disney guests can also add on an extension package at Disneyland Paris Resort to complete their vacation.

This new Seine itinerary will include two Summer 2019 departures, offering enchanting activities for families, as well as two Fall 2019 epicurean sailings, which will be held exclusively for adults. The latter will offer a wide range of special food and wine themed experiences both on and off the ship.

“Adventures by Disney river cruising continues to be an immensely popular vacation option for families, as well as adults looking for an exhilarating and immeasurably charming way to experience the rich culture of Europe,” said Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Adventures by Disney. “In 2019, we’re thinking bigger, expanding our river cruise offerings to include more departures than ever before. With the addition of new sailings along the Seine River, our guests now have a wealth of new destinations and experiences to enjoy in one of the most beautiful and romantic places in the world, France.”

Each Adventures by Disney river cruise sailing focuses on variety and flexibility, allowing travelers to customize their trip by choosing from a wealth of carefully curated activity options. 

Popular Rhine and Danube River Cruises Return

Adventures by Disney will also offer a mix of family and adult-only departures of their popular Danube and Rhine river cruises in 2019.

Adventures by Disney Rhine river cruises give travelers the opportunity to delight in the beauty of four countries – France, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. From riding a toboggan in the Black Forest to exploring the storybook Heidelberg Castle, these eight-day, seven-night vacations pair unforgettable adventures in port with luxurious river cruise accommodations and amenities onboard.

Eight summer departures in 2019 offer experiences designed with families in mind, while two adult-exclusive epicurean sailings will take place during the Fall, serving up extraordinary food and beverage experiences both on and off the ship.

Also in 2019, Adventures by Disney will offer seven departures of their Danube river cruise, including five family departures during the summer, a family holiday themed sailing in December and an adult-exclusive Oktoberfest-themed sailing in September. These eight-day, seven-night vacations will visit iconic locations and hidden gems in Germany, Austria and Hungary. Climb above the German treetops, try your hand at Austrian strudel making, stroll charming towns and villages, and more on these scenic adventures.

New 4-Day, 3-Night Southern California Adventure Offered in Conjunction with
Disney Cruise Line Sailings from San Diego

Adventures by Disney also launched a new four-day, three-night Southern California land tour that can be booked as a stand-alone vacation, or in conjunction with Disney Cruise Line sailings departing from the port of San Diego. This guided group vacation allows travelers to revel in a behind-the-scenes look at places where Disney magic is made, including rare private tours of The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering, VIP experiences at Disneyland Resort, an exclusive visit to Walt Disney’s Disneyland apartment, a sneak peek at props and costumes from beloved Disney films at the Disney Archives, and more.

This new Southern California Short Escape package is available on select dates in Spring and Fall 2018, making it an ideal pre-cruise option for Disney Cruise Line guests sailing during this time period.

Bookings for all of these new vacations open on Jan. 25, 2018. To book, call 1-800-543-0865 or contact a travel agent.

First ‘Disney After Hours’ Event at Magic Kingdom Sold Out

The first ‘Disney After Hours’ event at Magic Kingdom for January 19, 2018 is now sold out.

This popular event allows guests to purchase a special ticket to experience the park from as early as 7pm to 11pm (some nights until midnight) with a limited number of guests.

Attendees can enjoy more than 25 attractions and character greetings with little or no wait.  In addition, you can also take in the park’s nightly “Happily Ever After” fireworks.

Dates are currently set for:

  • January 26 and 30
  • February 8 and 15
  • March 1 and 8

Attractions include:

  • Astro Orbiter
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Disney Princess Greetings at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mickey’s PhilHarmagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • And much, much more!

Ice Cream, Popcorn & Select Beverages Included!
In the midst of the laughs and thrills, be sure to chill out with ice cream novelties and select bottled beverages—included in the cost of admission—available at carts stationed throughout the park. In addition, you can also purchase select menu items at Main Street Bakery and select locations throughout the park.

Cost is $119 plus tax and can be purchased by calling 407-827-7185 or at WaltDisneyWorld.com.

‘Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger’ Panel and Live Performances Announced for ‘Freeform Summit’

Freeform, Disney’s young adult television network, announced today the latest additions to the “Freeform Summit,” a first-time event for the network, featuring a series of panel discussions addressing activism, social change, representation in television and various other important issues defining modern youth culture today. Joining the lineup is the highly anticipated television series “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger,” in the panel “From Comics to Screen – Creating ‘Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger.’” Summit attendees will screen an extended, never-before-seen, first look clip from the premiere episode of the series. The network also announced live musical performances by Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records artists, and stars of breakout hit “grown-ish,” Chloe x Halle, Gold-certified RCA rapper and record producer Kid Ink, and a DJ set by DJ Gabriel Diggs to close out the event.

FROM COMICS TO SCREEN – CREATING “MARVEL’S CLOAK & DAGGER”
It used to be that you would read a comic book and transport yourself to a place that you fantasized being a part of.  Today’s television viewing has created long-lasting opportunities for those fantasies to become real, with fan-favorite comic book properties that we grew up with becoming mainstream, appointment entertainment. Stories that we know and love are now brought to our many screens, but how do you ensure that the monumental characters are accurately portrayed? How do you take those characters that were created over 20 years ago and translate their intimate journeys for today’s viewer, when those characters were created in a different social landscape?  And are those journeys necessarily so different now than they were then? Join the producing team behind “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” and series stars for a discussion about creating “Cloak” aka “Tandy Bowen” and “Dagger” aka “Tyrone Johnson” – a pair of young adults navigating a world of complexity, separating from parents, creating relationships and forming their own identities. While many of these challenges sound familiar, our young heroes have newly discovered superpowers that only make their journeys more complicated…

“Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” is a coming-of-age series based on the beloved comic characters and is co-produced by Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios.

Moderated by Alicia Lutes, Managing Editor, @Nerdist and Host, #Fangirling
Panel participants will include:
Jeph Loeb (EP, Marvel’s Head of Television)
Gina Prince-Bythewood (Director, “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger”)
Olivia Holt (“Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger”)
Aubrey Joseph (“Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger”)
Joe Pokaski (EP, “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger”)

The “Freeform Summit,” taking place THURSDAY, JAN. 18 at NeueHouse Hollywood, includes talent, executives, showrunners and directors across multiple series spotlighting the brand new 2018 programming lineup including, but not limited to, “grown-ish,” “Siren” and “Alone Together,” as well as fan-favorite shows including “The Bold Type,” “The Fosters” and more. The summit will also feature key influencers, tastemakers and pop culture titans who are embracing and effecting cultural change through storytelling, mentorship and engagement. The format of the summit is guided by Freeform’s identity, which continues to set itself apart from other content platforms by delivering stories that celebrate the power, possibility and inclusivity of youth culture – stories that are bold, sophisticated, inspirational, culturally significant and most importantly, on the pulse of young adult life.

Previously announced panels include:

MILLENNIALS ARE DESTROYING ALL THE INDUSTRIES
Every day, millennials are blamed for the end of times. They’ve been accused of singlehandedly killing entire industries with their bare hands. First, they came after music. Then, they ruined dating. Then, they did away with face-to-face interaction and now they’re coming after our TVs. “Experts” have called them everything from self-centered and lazy to spoiled and entitled – but the truth is, they’re saving the world. Today’s young adult is leveraging technology to disrupt fundraising, demanding transparency from our government, challenging gender stereotypes, modernizing the retail segment and breaking down traditional organizational norms. Join the “everyday changemakers” of today for a discussion about effecting change and making a difference through storytelling, social connection and creativity.

Moderated by Ariana Romero, Entertainment Writer @Refinery29
Panel participants will include:
Kenya Barris (Executive Producer, Freeform’s “grown-ish”)
Yara Shahidi (Actress and Activist; Star of Freeform’s “grown-ish”)
Karlie Kloss (Model, Coder and Entrepreneur; Star of Freeform’s “Movie Night with Karlie Kloss”)
Katie Stevens (Star of Freeform’s “The Bold Type”)
Karey Burke (Executive Vice President, Programming & Development, Freeform)
Elaine Welteroth (Former Editor in Chief, teenVOGUE)
Katherine Power (Co-Founder and CEO of Clique)
Luvvie Ajayi (Author of New York Times Best Seller “I’m Judging You,” Speaker and Digital Strategist)
Rhonesha Byng (Award-winning Journalist and Founder of Her Agenda)

UNDERSTANDING AND CULTIVATING LOVE ON AND OFF SCREEN
Thirty years ago, Murphy Brown disrupted the social and political norms, giving voice to a baby boomer generation of women who saw themselves in her character – as pioneers in their fields, but still having to conform to domestic responsibilities. A decade later, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte didn’t just date, sip cosmos and talk about men… They were examples of the powerful women in the workforce who were no longer settling on marriage and no longer being boxed into the “sad fate” of single, female characters on television. Here we are in 2018 where everything is instantaneous – we can get a cab, groceries, take out, a date and even sex by the swipe of our fingertips. But love isn’t instant. It’s not a simple “like” or “tap” and doesn’t always look perfect. How do our current and future television heroes and heroines provide a real-life portrayal of what it’s like to grow in life and love in today’s hyper-connected world? How do you correctly create and showcase the complexity of merging career, love and sex without sacrificing one over the other? And how can our male counterparts contribute to the rise of the empowered female?

Moderated by Kirbie Johnson, Host and Producer @POPSUGAR
Panel participants will include:
Joanna Coles (Chief Content Officer, Hearst; Author of “Love Rules;” Executive Producer, Freeform’s “The Bold Type”)
Melora Hardin (Star of Freeform’s “The Bold Type”)
Esther Povitsky (Actor and Comedian; Co-Creator and Star, Freeform’s “Alone Together”)
Benji Aflalo (Actor and Comedian; Co-Creator and Star of Freeform’s “Alone Together”)
Marlene King (Executive Producer, Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars,” “Famous in Love,” “The Perfectionists”)
Joanna Johnson (Executive Producer, Freeform’s “The Fosters”)
Meghann Fahy (Star of Freeform’s “The Bold Type”)
Trevor Jackson (Musician and Star of Freeform’s “grown-ish”)
Sophia Rivka Rossi (Co-Founder of HelloGiggles)

EXPLORING THE NARRATIVE WITHOUT EXPLOITING IT
In the last few years, television and film have aimed to include members across the LGBTQ alphabet. From first kiss to first marriage, from reality to scripted, narratives of gay, lesbian, bi, trans and non-binary gender are popping up in some very unexpected places. From Asia Kate Dillon’s non-binary character on “Billions” to Elliot Fletcher’s ground breaking trans sex scene on “The Fosters,” television is continuing to push the boundaries and open a dialogue with their audience. Not only are actors portraying an often overlooked community, but viewers are seeing them in situations never seen on television before. But to what point are we exploiting a narrative for buzz? How do you create a holistic depiction of a character’s path for the average viewer to understand without discounting the authentic journey of the individual? Does the rise of online platforms where members of all communities are able to create powerful voices for themselves and others help hold the entertainment industry accountable?

Moderated by Phillip Picardi, Chief Content Officer @teenVOGUE and Chief Content Officer @them.
Panel participants will include:
Amanda Lasher (Executive Producer, Freeform’s “The Bold Type”)
Peter Paige (Co-Creator and Executive Producer, Freeform’s “The Fosters”)
Bradley Bredeweg (Co-Creator and Executive Producer, Freeform’s “The Fosters”)
Aisha Dee (Star of Freeform’s “The Bold Type”)
Nikohl Boosheri (Star of Freeform’s “The Bold Type”)
Eline Powell (Star of Freeform’s upcoming drama, “Siren”)
Elliot Fletcher (Star of Freeform’s “The Fosters”)
Shan Boodram (Sexologist and Author)
Patrick Starrr (Beauty Business Expert & Global Beauty Influencer)

*All panels and panelists subject to change

New Posters Revealed for Disney’s ‘Wrinkle in Time’

Meet the Mrs.’s and the Murrys in these brand new posters from Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time which hits theaters March 9, 2018.

© Disney
© Disney
© Disney