New Pirate & Mermaid Experiences, Plus Other New Offerings at Walt Disney World®!

Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew at Disney’s Beach Club

ARRGH! Ahoy, there Mateys! Reservations are now open for a new group experience that invites guests ages 4-12 into the world of pirate feasting and treasure seeking, high-energy sailin’ and swashbucklin’ fun. Located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew teaches youngsters the pirate ways and then lets them follow clues that will lead to hidden treasure and being named to Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew. Once armed with clues, young buccaneers will search through the resort and set sail on a pontoon boat around Crescent Lake. Once the treasure is uncovered, everyone will join in a Pirate feast that includes selections such as Cannon Meatballs with marinara or macaroni and “gold” sauce for entrees, along with a treasure chest treat or fruit for dessert. Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew is priced at $55 per child (plus tax); the adventures begin April 28.

Mermaid School

Guests can become part of Ariel’s world at the new Mermaid School at select Walt Disney World resort hotels. In this experience, guests ages 4 and older can enjoy an hour-long class where they’ll be fitted with a swimmable “tail” and led through activities teaching them how to swim in a pool like a mermaid. Mermaid School will be offered on select dates at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Classes are $50/person (plus tax). Bookings will open mid-March.

Cabanas at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts

Reservations are open for rentals of the new poolside cabanas at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. These private hideaways exclusive to Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts provide guests with a bevy of services, including:

  • Padded furniture (chairs and couch)

  • Dedicated Disney cast member service

  • Cocktail service

  • Mounted television with cable access

  • Complimentary sunscreen and other skincare products

  • Mini-refrigerator stocked with complimentary soda and water

  • Complimentary fruit tray

  • Plush towels

  • Lockable cabinet

  • Charging outlets for mobile devices

Exclusively for guests staying at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, reservations for half and full day rentals are now open for dates beginning March 17.

New Art Programs

All-new master classes led by professional artists at select Walt Disney World resort hotels will have guests creating their own masterpieces. Classes range from $35 (plus tax) to $50 (plus tax) per person, offered to ages 12 and older for most experiences.

The lineup will include:

  • Win, Paint, Show at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

  • Wild About Painting, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Painting on de’ Bayou (adults), Painting by the Lagoon (kids), Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort.
    NOTE: children’s painting class is $30 per person (plus tax); designed for ages 6 and older; accompanying parent required.

  • Painting in the Vineyard, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts

  • Canvas and Wine Glass Painting on the Boards, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Fishing Excursions

Whether a seasoned sportsman or amateur angler, guided excursions or dockside fishing in the waterways of Walt Disney World Resort are great fun for guests of all ages. Aboard a 21-foot SunTracker pontoon (up to five guests) or a tournament-style NITRO bass-fishing boat (for one or two participants), teeming Disney waters are an angler’s dream. Outings (two or four hours) are catch-and-release. The fleet has been joined by a new NITRO ZV21, operating out of the Magic Kingdom marinas.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is Expanding at Walt Disney World Resort!

Big Bibbidi Bobbidi News!!

We have exciting news to share today with fans of Disney royalty!

A new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique location is set to open at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa this summer in order to provide more royal transformations than ever before. The new boutique – the third of its kind at Walt Disney World® Resort – will be located inside what’s currently the Ivy Trellis Salon, which will relocate into Senses – A Disney Spa.

Also based on the popularity of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Magic Kingdom® Park, work will begin this spring to expand the location, adding more chairs, a very special magic mirror, and a transformation experience that will help Guests choose the perfect outfits and accessories. The Magic Kingdom Park location will remain open during these enhancements and existing reservations will not be affected.

In case you aren’t familiar, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations currently exist at Magic Kingdom Park and Disney Springs®, and pair up young guests age 3-12 with Fairy Godmothers-in-Training, who give them magical makeovers beyond their wildest Disney dreams, turning them into princesses or gallant knights. A variety of royal transformations are available and may include hairstyling, nail polish, accessories, gowns and more, depending on the package guests choose.

Your Upon A Star Travel expert will be happy to book your Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique reservation!

Ready to book a Magical Walt Disney World Vacation? Contact us HERE today!

The the Story of ‘Coco’ comes to Epcot This Spring!

We are so excited for this new addition at Epcot®! At Epcot®, you can explore World Showcase and discovering more about each of the countries represented. And now more than ever, it’s a place where you can experience the culture of those countries, as well as the wonderful stories they’ve inspired.

Beginning March 6, 2019, the tender story and vibrant music of Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” comes to the Mexico pavilion, courtesy of the incomparable Mariachi Cobre.

The immensely talented musicians of Mariachi Cobre are joined by a pair of Folklórico dancers to tell the tale of Miguel Rivera, his love of music, and his journey to find what matters most – his familia. The dancers perform to the music of the film, pulling everyone into the celebration, and Miguel himself appears in the form of a whimsical, hand-crafted puppet.

This new “Coco”-inspired show expands the repertoire of Mariachi Cobre, who will also continue enchanting guests at the Mexico pavilion with performances of traditional mariachi music.

This spring, you can gather your familia as Mariachi Cobre presents the story and music of “Coco,” beginning March 6, 2019, during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Make sure to stop and see this while in Epcot®! Don’t have a trip planned currently? Contact our travel experts for assistance today at no cost to you!! Click HERE to find an agent to work with!

Meet Ralph and Vanellope at Epcot!

Ralph and Vanellope from Disney’s animated adventure “Ralph Breaks the Internet” have been meeting their fans at Disney Parks since last fall, when their movie debuted in theaters. Starting this week, you can find these best friends in an all-new location at Epcot®.

The staff of the Imagination Institute is now conducting a new experiment, creating a portal into other dimensions. That portal has opened a window on the internet for Ralph and Vanellope to step through, right into the ImageWorks area of the Imagination! pavilion, where you can meet with them every day.

The hit film “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is now available on Digital and comes to Blu-ray on Feb. 26, 2019. Available for the first time on 4K Ultra HD!

Want to add this fun meet and greet to your Disney itinerary? Contact your Upon A Star Travel Expert today!

Don’t have a travel expert yet? Click HERE now to find one or email us at and we will get you matched up with one of our travel experts today!

‘IllumiNations’ Dining Package Coming to Epcot

Starting Jan. 19, 2019, you can enjoy a delicious meal and specially-reserved viewing for the farewell season of "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" with the new dining package!

The “IllumiNations” Dining Package, allows you to sit back and relax on the patio of the Rose & Crown Dining Room, located in the United Kingdom Pavilion, while eating classic British fare and enjoying sweeping views of World Showcase Lagoon. The Rose & Crown patio has a fabulous view of the nighttime spectacular!

The package includes a prix fixe menu that features a selection of Rose & Crown favorites, as well as unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

You will start your meal off with a Scotch Egg or the United Kingdom Cheese Platter, and follow up with popular entrées such as Rose & Crown’s signature Fish and Chips, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Pan-roasted Scottish Salmon, or Bangers and Mash. And for dessert, you will love the Pudding Platter Trio featuring Sticky Toffee Pudding, English Trifle, and Chocolate Nougat Bar. Kids can enjoy a soup or salad with their choice of Cheese and Turkey Flatbread, Turkey Meatball Pasta, Cheesy Pasta, or Fish and Chips as well as either Fruit Salad or Trifle for dessert.

The “IllumiNations” Dining Package is a great new way to experience “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” before the show takes its final bow at the end of summer 2019. Reservations are available starting Jan. 17, 2019 for reservations starting on Jan. 18, 2019. Pricing is $85 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $35 per child (ages 3 to 9), with tax and gratuity included. The experience, showtimes, and menu items are all subject to change without notice, and alcoholic beverages will only be served to guests 21 and up with valid ID. 

What a great way to say goodbye to Illuminations!

Want to add this great experience to your reservation? Contact our travel experts HERE today!

Aloha Aulani!

Aloha e komo mai! Why am I speaking Hawaiian? Well, I recently returned from an amazing trip to the island of Oahu! Specifically, I stayed at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, in the beautiful little town of Ko’Olina.

Talk about bucket list! My 6 nights there was simply too short though — I loved everything about Hawai’i and about this resort!

First of all, the theming was simply gorgeous! The Imagineers really tried to stay true to the Hawaiian culture, and since they were headed up by Joe Rhode, who grew up in Hawai’i, they did a fabulous job. It was a lovely blend of traditional and Hawaiian culture!

If I tried to write down everything about this resort, the post would be incredibly long, so I’ll try to highlight as best I can its amazing features!

You can’t talk Hawai’i without mentioning the BEACH. Just…. wow! The beach is a lovely private cove area. Rocks break the worst of the waves. and you can easily swim, boogie board, or snorkel in GORGEOUS blue water!

Seriously though — look at that beach!! That water!! Totally not edited. No filter. Make you want to exit the snow and cold immediately, doesn’t it??

There is also a beautiful pool area for families, an adult pool area, and even a pool that overlooks the ocean! There’s also a lazy river, and “Rainbow Reef”, which is a small enclosed snorkeling lagoon where you are guaranteed to see beautiful fish.

What about accommodations, though? Well, they were very comfortable! There are regular hotel rooms as well as Deluxe Studios, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom villas. There’s even an amazing 3-bedroom grand villa!

Below are some shots from the larger 2 and 3 bedroom villas.

Dining was also a treat! Makahiki serves a wonderful character buffet for breakfast with entertainment by Aunty (and the character aspect is available select nights for dinner as well). I also enjoyed the signature, open air dining of ‘Ama ‘Ama!

There are some great quick service locations too! There is the Ulu Cafe, featuring daily sandwiches, pizza, Poke Bowls, and more! There is also Mama’s Snack Stop (the coconut shrimp picture), and Paipalua Shave Ice (get the sweetened condensed milk on top)! There are several other quick serve locations throughout the resort as well.

In the evenings, you can enjoy apps, drinks, and live entertainment at the ‘Ōlelo room — featuring native Hawaiian speakers who will even teach you how to speak the language!

But what about the kids? Oh no worries there! Aunty’s Beach House has you totally covered! It’s a kid’s paradise in there!

Kids are occupied, so… why not hit the spa? The Laniwai Spa is a beautiful, relaxing spot complete with outdoor hydrotherapy!

There is also a Hawaiian version of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Painted Sky! This place was simply adorable!

The great thing about Aulani is that it’s located just across the street from a great little shopping center! There’s a small ABC/Grocery, several great eateries, and adorable boutiques! I bought my new favorite dress there, actually! There is also an Alamo car rental right on-site, making it super easy to drive the island for the day. We took a trip up to the North Shore via the quaint little town of Wahiawa (shout out to Surfer’s Coffee… BEST CHAI LATTE around!!). We also hit up Leonard’s Malasadas truck, Giovanni’s Shrimp truck (I’m drooling remembering this place), and Waimea Botanical Gardens! We got caught in a random rainstorm there, but we were awarded with a gorgeous full rainbow as a result!

What’s Hawai’i without a luau? Aulani had a beautiful show, which I was privileged to attend. I loved that in addition to the dancers, fire twirlers, and of course, storytellers, there were plenty of Hawaiian activities ahead of time! You could make a flower wreath, play the ukelele, get a stamp tattoo, stamp/paint a card, have photo ops, and more!

Of course, there are other touches of Disney magic throughout the resort, all of which only enhanced the magical storytelling of Hawai’i. We simply cannot wait to go back!!

Ready to get away to paradise? We would love to help! Ask your Upon A Star Travel expert for information!

Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs Resort

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has an exciting expansion that’s currently underway! Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled more about the reimagining, including the name of the new 15-story centerpiece of the resort, the Gran Destino Tower!

The tower, which will be completed in July 2019, will serve as the new main entrance point for Guests visiting the resort, and will add a total of 545 new Guest rooms (including 50 suites) to the resort, as well as feature a gorgeous two-story lobby. A themed table-service restaurant is also planned for the top of Gran Destino Tower, which will serve up delicious food and incredible views of the Walt Disney World® Resort.

An oasis set on the shore of Lago Dorado, the reimagined Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort celebrates the daring spirit of the great Spanish explorers, artists, writers and architects. Throughout the resort, Guests will discover a blend of classic Spanish influences, imaginative Disney touches and modern comforts both inside and out. The resort’s more than 1,800 existing rooms have also been fully updated with new fixtures, furnishings and lighting. A second new restaurant is planned to open on an island in the middle of the resort’s 14-acre lake, Lago Dorado, with new walkways stretching across the water, making it convenient no matter where guests stay at the resort. And a fresh color palette will tie the entire resort experience together, blending the new and the newly reimagined.

If this sounds great to you, we will soon be able to book guests here for stays starting July 2019!

Contact our travel experts HERE today for more info about booking your next Walt Disney Vacation!