Celebrate Summer Aboard Disney Cruise Line’s Newest Ship, Afloat at Water Parks, Sky High with Dumbo, Amidst Enchanting Tales at Disney’s Newest Family Resort…or in a Galaxy far, far away.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Just in time for summer, Disney guests can dive into the magical worlds of Disney animation at a brand-new resort, make a splash aboard the first summer sailings of the Disney Fantasy, fly with Dumbo in the new Fantasyland, “hang 10″ at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and plunge into some water park fun.

Summer happenings at Walt Disney World Resort also include the opening of a resort food court, the AAU Basketball National Championships, Star Wars Weekends and more theme park fun—all while guests can rack up rewards with the new Disney’s Premier Visa Card from Chase.

Here’s a look at what’s in store…

Dumbo Flies Again as First Phases of the New Fantasyland Stir to Life

New fun is in store with the first stirrings to life of the new Fantasyland, representing the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history. When the multiyear project is complete, Fantasyland will nearly double in size and immerse guests in Disney stories as never before. Fantasyland will deliver a new home for Ariel, new ways to interact with favorite Disney princesses, offer an exciting new family coaster, a double dose of Dumbo, “be our guest” at the Beast’s Castle and much more.

Greeting guests now will be some of the first attractions to come on line.

  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant. A real Fantasyland icon, everybody’s favorite pachyderm is aloft again in Fantasyland, bringing the fun of the midway to Storybook Circus. This first-ever Dumbo flying clockwise will be joined later this year by a second Dumbo, flying counterclockwise, in an expanded attraction that doubles the fun for Fantasyland guests.
  • Next door in Storybook Circus, the classic Barnstormer now featuring Goofy as the Great Goofini takes families on a rollicking coaster “flight” above the circus fun.
  • Fantasyland Train Station follows a “country cottage” style with a thatched roof, and wood beam and plaster walls. It makes Fantasyland once again a stop for the nostalgic Walt Disney World Railroad, encircling the Magic Kingdom on 20-minute journeys.

 


Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Puts Guests in the Middle of the Story with Enchanting Tales

To kick off the summer vacation season, Walt Disney World Resort will open the doors to its newest resort hotel with Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a value property consisting primarily of family suites that immerse guests into the magical worlds of classic Disney and Disney•Pixar films.

Opening in phases, each of the four wings celebrates rich storytelling, spirited characters and playfulness with colorful icons and whimsical theming inspired by each beloved film depicted.  Three family suite wings will showcase Finding Nemo, Cars and The Lion King, with elaborate storytelling both inside and out. Standard guest rooms make up The Little Mermaid wing, the final phase to open.

The three-story resort will immediately put guests into the worlds of favorite Disney characters and animated films beginning at check-in as pixilated patterns and wavy ribbons of color decorate the resort’s exterior. Pencil drawings of Ariel, Lightning McQueen, Nemo and Simba adorn the entryway, and a cleverly created chandelier composed of animation storyboards enhances the lively and modern lobby.

Giant sketchbooks filled with favorite characters seem to come to life as they pave the way to each storyline revealed.

Scenic settings, icons—including a brightly-colored coral landscape, a 35-foot-tall model of King Triton, a towering Mufasa and more—immerse guests into the playful world of animation.

At the Cars wing, a freshly paved road leads to the Cozy Cone Motel complete with a Cozy Cone pool and cone-shaped cabanas. It’s a journey through an African landscape in The Lion King complete with an elephant graveyard play area that invites youngsters to seek hakuna matata time. Treasures from the human world fill Ariel’s grotto in an under the sea kingdom in Little Mermaid courtyard.

From linens and carpeting to fixtures and furniture, all details of the guestroom tie to the storyline. In Finding Nemo, there’s coral-shaped chairs and bubble ceiling lights; Zazu takes center stage on the headboards in The Lion King, while Pumbaa and Timon decorate the shower curtain.

Kids of all ages can make a splash at the “Big Blue” pool, the largest resort swimming pool at Walt Disney World Resort measuring 11,859 square feet. Guests enter scenes from the animated world and can explore the colorful reef with a giant-sized Mr. Ray whose wings span 27 feet, pose for a picture with Crush or frolic with Squirt in the Righteous Reef, a children’s play area. An arcade and two additional pools round out the fun.

The whimsical property, situated adjacent to Disney’s Pop Century Resort, will open in phases beginning May 31, 2012 with rates from $248 per night. The 1,120 family suites include two bathrooms, a kitchenette and three separate sleeping areas that can sleep up to six.

The Cars wing will now open June 18 instead of earlier-announced July 31; The Lion King will open August 10 instead of September 30. Value rooms at The Little Mermaid wing open on September 15 instead of at the end of this year.

The 864 conventional rooms in the Little Mermaid wing sleep up to four. Rates as low as $94 include complimentary transportation, Extra Magic Hours and other benefits available to a Disney Resort guest.

For reservations, guests can call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or contact their travel agent.


Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Features Customized Dining Options

“Better-for-you” options at five mini shops serving breakfast, lunch and dinner is the theme of the Landscape of Flavors food court at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The new restaurant will be adjacent to the lobby.

“The idea is that you customize your choices,” says Chef Ed Wronski, Director, Food & Beverage Concept Development, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “From burgers to pasta, salads, ethnic flavors, omelets, even parfaits and gelatos, everything is made fresh as you order.”

There’s a big focus on beverages, too. Fresh fruit smoothies are made to order, as well as lemonade and pomegranate limeade. Organic teas, beer (including gluten free), wine, coffee and juices also will be stocked.  Half bottles of wine are paired with cuisine from the food shops.

Menu highlights:

  • Create a salad at the Soup-Salad-Sandwich Shop, including a caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes on focaccia, or a Buffalo-style turkey sandwich with arugula and a blue cheese-Buffalo sauce-mayo spread. Both served with house-made potato chips.
  • The World Flavors Shop adds Indian-African flair to breakfast, with scrambled eggs, tandoor potatoes, Portuguese sausage, slab bacon and a mini-naan; or a veggie flatbread sandwich on naan with cauliflower, spinach and paneer. Lunch and dinner is a choice of tandoori chicken or shrimp, Mongolian beef with vegetables, mahi mahi, Portuguese sausage or roasted acorn squash served with sides and naan bread.
  • The Pizza Shop features make-your-own pasta, cheese and pepperoni pizzas and meatballs on ciabatta bread. Room delivery is an option, too.
  • The Burger Shop includes a breakfast burger with chicken breakfast sausage, cheese and scrambled eggs on a multi-grain bun, and a steak-and-eggs breakfast burger with a burger topped with fried eggs, cheese and bacon.  Besides the traditional burgers, lunch and dinner includes a surf and surf burger with crab cake and fried popcorn shrimp, and a pastrami cheeseburger topped with pepper jack cheese and a slice of fried green tomato.
  • The “grab ‘n go” Market Shop offers drinks, yogurt, bagels, pastries, gourmet cupcakes, cookies and gelato.

The food court is part of the Disney Dining Plan.


Disney Phineas & Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure Coming this Summer to Epcot

Debuting in June at Epcot, Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure is based on the wily secret-agent alter-ego of Perry the Platypus – faithful pet to the title characters from Disney’ Channel’s animated series “Phineas & Ferb.” Transforming into secret agents, Epcot guests will use a “high-tech secret agent device” to scour World Showcase for clues, evil “Inators” and – with a little bit of luck – help Agent P defeat his nemesis Dr. Doofenshmirtz.


Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Weaves a Special Spell for Guests

This is the first summer of fun for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort, featuring a brand-new interactive experience enabling guests to defeat the Disney Villains. Armed with magic spells in the form of special cards, players must search for the symbols that lead them to the animated villains’ hiding places. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is included as part of park admission.


Wookiees, Jedi and Droids, Oh My! Star Wars Weekends Returns to the Walt Disney World Galaxy in May-June 2012 

Star Wars Weekends returns to the Walt Disney World Resort during May and June 2012, as Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park celebrates the Star Wars film saga and the hit animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

The annual special event, included in regular theme park admission, will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 18-June 10, 2012.

The power of the Force and magic of Disney combine as more than 60 Star Wars characters – including Wookiees, droids, Rodians, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Jedi – roam the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios for meet-and-greet opportunities with guests.

Star Wars celebrities highlight the event, appearing in themed parades, talk shows, star conversations, behind-the-scenes presentations and autograph sessions.


Disney Fantasy Takes Fun to High-Water Mark on 7-Night Caribbean Cruises

As the Disney Fantasy, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet launches into service, it achieves the high-water mark for family cruise vacations. This ship, Disney’s fourth, offers entertainment, activities and dining experiences purpose-planned for seven-night cruises.

The Fantasy fun includes:

  • Two new Broadway-style musical stage shows - “Wishes” and “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” in the lavish Walt Disney Theatre
  • Magical princess makeovers at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and during pirate nights, swashbuckling transformations at The Pirates League
  • The Muppets are coming to the Disney Fantasy in an interactive detective adventure game using the ship’s Enchanted Art
  • “Animation Magic” – a new dinner show in Animator’s Palate restaurant that brings guests’ cartoon drawings to life
  • Europa - a nighttime entertainment district for adults featuring sophisticated bars and trendy lounges inspired by the very best in European travel

 To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.


Everybody’s Gone Surfin’… at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

At Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park, adventurous guests this summer can catch a wave and master the rush of shooting the curls as part of Craig Carroll’s Cocoa Beach Surf School.

Guests are invited to learn from professional surfers how to cut, carve and “hang 10″ in the water park’s 2.75-million-gallon wave pool. Every 90 seconds, the world’s largest wave machine blasts out walls of surf that can tower up to six feet high.

The 2.5-hour program is available by reservation for $150 per person on select mornings prior to regular park hours. Guests (ages 8 and older) can call 407/WDW-PLAY for more information.

And for those guests just looking to plunge into some water park fun, they can spend the day among the tropical oasis at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon or the mountain ski retreat at Disney’s Blizzard Beach. The two popular water parks feature thrill rides, family-style raft rides, play areas for little ones and cool lounging for grownups. For more information about Disney’s water parks, guests can call 407/824-4321 or visit disneyworld.com.


AAU Basketball National Championships

The AAU Boys and Girls National Championships are in full swing at Walt Disney World from July 3 through Aug. 4, 2012. The hoops action at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex involves competitors ranging from third through 12th graders, featuring some of the top high school-age players from across the country. Known as a breeding ground for future NBA stars (LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade), the event attracts NCAA coaches from the top basketball programs, making it the premier collegiate recruiting event in the nation.

As part of the National Championship, the AAU U-17 Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion anchors the ESPN HS Games, a multi-sport festival featuring several elite high school sports events. The invitation-only tournament features marquee 17-and-under club teams from across the country.

The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer sports organizations in the U.S. The AAU partnered with the Walt Disney World Company in 1995 and serves as one of the anchor tenants to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.


Fans of “All Things Disney” Make Memories, Rack up Rewards with New Disney’s Premier Visa Card

Making summer memories at Disney was never so easy – or rewarding – thanks to Disney’s Premier Visa Card from Chase.

The card offers Disney fans more ways to earn rewards twice as fast, plus the opportunity to redeem for airline travel making summer vacations all the more accessible, in addition to most everything Disney.

There’s more, including special Cardmember-only perks when visiting Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort and when shopping at more than 200 Disney Store locations in the U.S.

With Disney’s Premier Visa Card, Cardmembers earn 2% in Disney Dream Reward Dollars on card purchases at restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and at most Disney locations at Walt Disney World Resort, the Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line and Disney Store.  Cardmembers earn 1% on all other purchases made with the card.

In addition to being able to redeem Disney Dream Reward Dollars for Disney hotel stays, Disney Theme Park tickets, Disney merchandise and cruise vacations aboard the ships of Disney Cruise Line, Disney’s Premier Visa Cardmembers also can redeem toward airline travel on any airline to any destination with no block-out dates. Cardmembers simply buy airline tickets with their card and then pay themselves back by redeeming reward dollars for a credit on their monthly statement.

Disney’s Premier Visa Cardmembers also enjoy year-round perks when visiting Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort, including a Disney Character Meet ‘N’ Greet at a private Cardmember location and special savings at Disney’s U.S. Theme Parks, Disney Store retail locations and at DisneyStore.com.  See www.DisneyVisaPerks.com for more details.

Cardmembers enjoy benefits galore with the new Disney’s Premier Visa Card, all for a low $49 annual fee.

New Cardmembers can apply at disneyrewards.com. Existing Disney Rewards Visa Card members can apply for an upgrade to Disney’s Premier Visa Card at disneyrewards.com or by calling the number on the back of their card.

For more information or to apply for a new card, please visit disneyrewards.com or call  (888) 752-3788.

 

Which of the summer events are YOU most excited about?  Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!!

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