The Orlando Business Journal has confirmed that Walt Disney World will be removing the iconic Sorcerer Mickey Hat in early 2015.
The Sorcerer's Hat "opened" September 2001 as part of the 100 Years of Magic Celebration at Walt Disney World.
No word on what, if anything, will replace the hat.
Are you sorry to see the Sorcerer Hat go away?
New to Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival this year are the Eat to the Beat Dinner packages. Available on select nights, for a set price you dine at a select Epcot restaurant and get a guaranteed seat in a reserved area for the concert.
When you book this package, you will choose your restaurant, dining time and concert time from what is available. For your meal you will received an appetizer, entree, dessert, non-alcoholic non-specialty beverage, or a full buffet. At the conclusion of your meal you receive your "ticket" to the reserved seating area at the American Gardens theater.
For those who have done the Candlelight Processional package, it is very similar. You do NOT have to book a package to see the show. You are still able to line up for a seat, to the right of the theater as you face it.
Dining Plans: While the Magic Your Way Quick Service package is not eligible, the other dining plans can be used as follow:
-- Magic Your Way Plus Dining: 2 Table Service entitlements
-- Magic Your Way Plus Deluxe Dining: 2 Table Service entitlements
-- Magic Your Way Premium Package
-- Magic Your Way Platinum Package
You can book either a lunch or dinner. Lunch is less expensive. The price includes tax but not gratuity.
Lunch prices for adults range from $34.99 (Biergarten) to $59.99 for Les Chefs de France, Tokyo Dining, and Teppan Edo. Children's meals are considerably less and range from $12.99 to $15.99.
Dinner prices for adults range from $49.99 at Nine Dragons and Restaurant Marakesh to $74.99 at Les Chefs de France. Again, children's meals are much less ranging for dinnerfrom $16.75 to $28.99.
We have all the prices listed on our Eat to the Beat Page.
I'm not usually a dinner package person, but since this is it new in 2014, I wanted to give it a try. The reason I typically don't do the packages is because it is way too much food for me and so I don't feel as though they are a good buy, again, for me.
Even though I booked the package on the first day of reservations, Via Napoli was not available as a dining location for the first night of the Pointer Sisters. So, we opted for Tutto Italia.
There was a special check-in kiosk right next to the regular check-in desk at Tutto Italia. We were told to return to the kiosk after our meal with our paid receipt and we would receive our "tickets" for the reserved seating. You get a sticker to put on your shirt to identify you for your concert time.
The price for this location is $66.99 per person including tax but NOT gratuity.
The food was very good except for the Sole. Linda felt while the flavors were very good, the fish itself was undercooked. We both agreed the winner of the evening was the Tortino di Zucchine. In fact, we would go back just for that! Our server was very good and the manager that assisted with my food allergy went over the top. All in all a very good dining experience.
My meal came to: $55.00
Appetizer: Fiori di Latte Calda - House-made whole milk mozzarella served with warm roasted pomodorini, extra virgin olive oil and focaccia $18.00
Entree: Pollo al Forno - Roasted chicken, rosemary, lemon, farro risotto, Pancetta $26.00
Dessert: Mocha Tiramisu - Mascarpone, Espresso, Savoiardi biscuits, chocolate $11.00
Linda's meal totaled: $52.00
Appetizer: Tortino di Zucchine - Baked zucchini, pomodoro, mozzarella, Parmesan $13.00
Entree: Filetto di Sogliola - Filet of sole, cream sauce, white asparagus, lemons, capers $30.00
Dessert: Cannoli - Crisp pastry filled with sweet Ricotta, chocolate, candied orange $9.00
For two persons our bill was $142.69 before gratuity. Our server was quite good so we tipped $25 bringing our total to $167.79 or $83 and change each.
The food at Tutto Italia was very good however we wouldn't have had the same items were we paying with cash. We would have never ordered dessert and probably would have just ordered one salad appetizer to share. In fact, given that it is Food and Wine time, we would have just noshed at a couple of the marketplaces for dinner. Or perhaps eaten lighter at a quick service location. It was too hot out for such a heavy meal.
The reserved seating in the American Gardens theater was REALLY nice. We were in a great location, about 5 rows back, left of center stage. We were under cover, also very nice since it had been pouring rain off and on most of the evening.
Folks were in line for the package seating a good 45 minutes or more prior to the concert. For us, it was very nice to arrive about 20 minutes before show time, the line for reserved seating had already emptied into the theater and we still had good seats.
Also, if you are a Disney Chase Visa holder, stop by the lounge. Sometimes there are reserved concert seating tickets you can get for the day of on the weekends. Those seats are the last 2 rows of the front section.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Just like everything else, it is all about what is of value to you and what are your priorities.
Once you purchase the package you are locked in. There are no refunds. If we didn't have the package we may have skipped going to the show we did and probably would have tried the following night. As I said, it was raining, at times quite hard.
So the question is, how much are you willing to pay for a reserved seating area that is under cover.
If there is an act you have been longing to see and don't want to miss them, then this package may work for you.
If you are concerned about the weather (rain), then perhaps this package is for you.
If you don't want to wait in the standby line for a fair amount of time, then perhaps this package is for you.
However, for the first week of concerts, the standby lines have not been bad. The only thing has been the unpredictable rain storms.
Let us know what you think about the package. Worth it or not?!
If you are a huge Frozen fan, you may be rejoicing at recent announcement by Tom Staggs to bring more of Frozen into Walt Disney World. To briefly recap:
** Epcot's Maelstrom is closing (last day of operation is October 5, 2014) and will be replaced by a new Frozen "attraction" (sometime in 2016).
** Elsa will transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace each evening during the holiday season.
** Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf will be part of “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”
** Parts of Frozen Summer Fun at Disney's Hollywood Studios will be extended through the holiday season - the Frozen Singalong and Wandering Oaken's Funland with a larger play area for "building a snowman". Frozen Summer Fun has been hugely successful and very well done. It is a great addition to the Studios.
Most of these components have been rumored for a few months now.
From a pure business standpoint, I understand the Disney Company wanting to maximize all things Frozen in the parks. The question is, at what cost? What is the appropriate balance of integrating an animated movie into Disney's theme parks.
While everyone may not be a fan of Frozen, have you seen how folks react to Frozen in the parks?
Just last week at the Hoop Dee Doo, 2 small Frozen quotes brought several young girls sitting nearby immediately to their feet with laughter and excitement. I'm sure they were expecting a sing-a-long next.
Have you gone to the "For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-along Celebration Show"? It is a great show, well written and performed. Look around you during the sing along portions to watch the audience. The enthusiasm keeps growing until the huge finale of Let It Go!
Stand on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom when songs from Frozen are part of the Castle show and fireworks. I couldn't believe how many people I saw that stopped walking, turned around and sang. And I'm not just talking about kids!
The announcement of Queen Elsa turning the Magic Kingdom Castle to the ice palace is a great idea, nice integration with the existing holiday castle "icing".
Likewise, the Frozen characters becoming part of Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, is also a good fit. Parts of the Christmas Parade have been part of Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome Parade at the Studios.
Doubling on the Meet and Greets (one in Magic Kingdom and one in Epcot) should finally ease the long wait times.
However, the one thing about the announcement that saddens me is the closing of Maelstrom.
For me, World Showcase is all about learning and experiencing the individual countries, their art, architecture, and culture. It is about seeing and understanding more about countries one may never get to visit in person. Even with a movie that desperately needed and should have been updated years ago, the Norway experience in Epcot provided a glimpse into the history and culture of the people and their country. Time will tell how much of the history and culture of Norway will remain in Epcot.
We went to the very first party of the year on September 1, 2014. What a blessing! This party was definitely NOT crowded and was reminiscent of the old E-Ticket nights (circa 2000) with low lines and manageable crowds. The only downside, if there was one, was the heat and humidity and continual "sauna" feel the entire night.
The Cast Members were dressed in their regular party outfits. We had purchased tickets on-line and therefore had a printed ticket with bar code. When we used it to enter the event after 4pm, the Cast Member took our copy and gave us a wrist band. I didn't really think anything of it until near the end of the night, when this caused issues getting my special Halloween Sorcerers Card.
Jack and Sally's Meet and Greet was first on my list. Everyone was excited about meeting them and their line stayed long most of the evening until well after the fireworks.
After this we split up and some held spots for Mickey's Boo to You Parade and myself and others went to the Castle for the Villains Mix and Mingle show (without the Mingle) . It was cute but oh so short!!! I felt like it had just started and it ended.
TIP: See the Villains Castle show after dark! It was still light out during the first show and I missed most of the castle projections.
After the show it was back down Main Street to wait for the 8:15pm parade. Again, I must say how nice it was not to be crammed in with people given the heat.
Here's the first ride of the Headless Horseman for the 2014 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party season:
There were changes to this year's Mickey's Boo to You Parade. Most notably is the addition of Vanellope and Wreck-it Ralph (Wreck-it Ralph movie).
It is one of my favorite parades in the Magic Kingdom and it is lots of fun to watch!
We decided to not wander down Main Street with everyone to see the Fireworks so we walked around the park to see who was out Meeting and Greeting. Imagine my surprise when I stopped in Adventureland to see not only Terk and Jane, but also Tarzan! Wait was about 10 minutes or so, I got in line. Unfortunately, Tarzan had to leave before it was my turn, but it was neat to see him interact with folks, especially the kids.
We continued over to the Diamond Horseshoe, known on party nights as Club Villain. From 7:00pm to midnight various villains dance with guests - mostly kids but a few adults were also dancing.
GOOD TO KNOW: Be aware it is dark and foggy with lots of neon lights in the dance party.
Soon it was Fireworks time! Standing in Liberty Square between the Liberty Bell and Liberty Tree Tavern but on the water side, was a nice place to watch. Not crowded and a decent view of everything except the Castle projections. Music was loud and clear.
TIP: There are good fireworks viewing areas in Liberty Square and New Fantasyland if you want to avoid the huge crowds on Main Street. Just remember no Castle projections.
Off to the Haunted Mansion to see if Madame Carlotta was wandering the grounds. She was and even summoned Judy Garland!
As we walked through Fantasyland, we noticed most rides had small wait times, even Peter Pan. The Seven Dwarfs were all out meeting guests and even that line was only about 30 minutes, How cool to get your photo with all 7 of them.
Checked out Tomorrowland, again barely a 10 minute wait for attractions. Just past the Buzz Lightyear entrance, Buzz and Lotso the Bear were having Meet and Greets. I wanted to see Lotso! As you'll see in the video, he indicated to me he was sorry he was such a bad guy in Toy Story 3.
By this time it was getting late and the heat and humidity were getting to us. As we got to Main Street we realized it would soon be time for the 2nd performance of Mickey's Boo to You Parade. The area near Town Square and City Hall had lots of front row room to watch the parade and so we stopped to enjoy it again.
While waiting for the Parade I went over the the Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom area to obtain my special Halloween Card. I'll spare you the long details but several Cast Members and 10+ minutes later I still didn't have my card. The main issue had to do with not having my ticket (remember they Cast Member took it when we entered the park) or my Magic Band, even though I had my party wrist band. I didn't wear my Magic Band because of the heat. Eventually I did get my card.. but it shouldn't have been so hard.
We did not do any candy Trick or Treating but saw numerous stations set up. Check your guide map for locations.
TIP: The nice thing was there were signs to say what type of candy was being distributed at that location, like Crasins or Werthers, etc.
It was nice to see Cast Members being very diligent about making sure guests had their party Wrist Bands on before allowing them in many areas/attractions.
All in all we got our monies worth for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. The huge thing for us was the low crowds.
We opted not to do the $99 Villains Soiree. While I was disappointed to not be able to see Maleficent or the Queen, I didn't feel the cost was worth it for us. Plus, since we were going to the first party we were hoping it wouldn't be too crowded. It is all about priorities and what is most important to you. I am interested to hear from those of you who have!
I am sure as it gets closer to Halloween, the party will get progressively more crowded. Keep in mind, at this time, Halloween Night is SOLD OUT.
Halloween decorations, snacks and souvenirs have arrived at the Magic Kingdom. Why so early? The first Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is September 1st!
The large size pumpkin scarecrows are back, with carved pumpkins and fall colors.
Have some "Find the Pumpkin" fun on Main Street. Click on the above and below pumpkin collages for a larger size, print them out and located them on Main Street.
Tour the Magic Kingdom's Main Street to see all the decorations and fun!
Did you know we now have a weekly video show? AllEarsNet TV brings you Disney from around the "World". Visit http://youtube.com/allearsnet and Subscribe Today. You won't want to miss an episode!
In case you don't read social media or have been offline recently, please allow me to report about Walt Disney World's latest hard-ticket event called Villains Unleashed!, which was held on Saturday night.
Those of you who follow me know I am a huge Disney theme park fan. While I try my best to be objective and fair, sometimes I follow the "if you don't have something nice to say, then don't say it" line of thinking. Therefore, this blog may come as a surprise when you read the good, the bad and the ugly. I will share my experiences, some photos and video and comments and suggestions about how this could have been better.
I was actually quite excited and thought the event would be really fun. More than 50 villains, some never seen before, were going to appear. How could one not have high expectations? Announced in early June, this separate-ticket event would cost adults $67 plus tax and kids 3-9 $62 plus tax. There was even an early ticket purchase opportunity for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members, but no discount. The event was from 8 p.m. - 1 a.m.
The evening started off on a positive note when a terrible thunderstorm rolled through the area about 4:30 p.m. After it passed, temperatures dropped a good 10 degrees and for a while, the humidity was low as well. Perfect, I thought!
We arrived just before 7 p.m. at Disney's Hollywood Studios and once we were through the turnstile, we were given cool event "credentials" courtesy of PhotoPass. But then we looked for a map and couldn't find one anywhere. We asked several cast members and were told they all were gone. HUH? The event start time was still one hour away!
We were trying to hook up with friends, but that was tough given the crowds on Hollywood Boulevard. We expected this would be the case, though, and figured once the opening show was over, the crowds would disperse all over the park.
The show was fun, perhaps the second-best part of the whole evening. Hades and Meg were the hosts and introduced the 50 villains who would be in the park. Most made a short appearance when they were called, but not everyone was on stage.
Once the show was over, everyone started to move. The line to get into "Club Evil" at the Brown Derby, which had special food and beverages, was long so we decided to bypass it and get in line for the 9:30 p.m. "Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show" at the Theater of the Stars.
Actually, the pre-show entertainer there was much, much better than what followed.
Wow, and not a good wow! If this show had been anywhere else except Disney, it might have been acceptable, but it was not. In my opinion, this was not family friendly, though it did live up to its billing as "freaky"! I talked to several families I know, and they all were extremely disappointed and left shaking their heads. Take a look below at some of the tamer acts. I've spared you several of the more risque photos.
As we left there, we ran into friends who managed to see Constantine (from "Muppets Most Wanted") because they got in his line before 7 p.m. and were in the second grouping. The meet-and-greet line to see Kermit the Frog's alter ego was the first to close because it was so popular. However, there was a string of closures well before the event ended. (Twitter was very helpful in trying to figure out what was happening around the park.)
Next, there was a showing of Fantasmic at 10 p.m. A special pre-show had been announced, and some guests were told that villains would appear. From those I spoke with afterwards, the pre-show did not feature villains and they felt like they wasted precious time at a show they could see any other day.
So it's now almost 10:30 p.m., and I am not feeling like I have even come close to getting my money's worth. We decided to head to the "Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Tape Dance Party." Amazingly, it wasn't too crowded. There was a DJ on stage playing tunes and there was air conditioning, which we fully appreciated! We quickly realized no one was dancing, though, and instead they were at the rope trying to get photos with Star Lord and Gamora. I never did get close enough to them but managed some video (see below).
Afterward, I considered going to check out the merchandise, but reports were that lines were long -- no surprise -- and many event-only items already had sold out.
Next, I headed over to the other side of the park in hopes of finding some characters to meet. The lines for the dedicated meet-and-greets were very long or long-closed due to capacity. I wasn't about to wait two hours of my five party hours to see a character, but many guests did just that. Instead, I spent time roaming around and checking out the happenings. I watched Frollo quickly walk to and fro on the Streets of America, and he barely stopped for a photo. Stromboli seemed to be doing the same thing -- only faster.
My must-see list, if there was such a thing, prior to the event included Constantine, Shenzi, Banzi and Ed, Captain Gantu, Shan Yu and a few other rarely seen characters. By the time I got to these character locations, the lines were long closed. I did see a couple of characters on my list from the sidelines, but there were no special character meet-and-greets or photo-ops for me this night.
Villains Unleashed Character Appearances:
At 11:30 p.m., I was hot, tired and frustrated, so I headed out of the park. Part of me wanted to see the fireworks, but I wasn't going to wait another 75 minutes for that. I had a fleeting thought to stop at Guest Relations and complain, but I saw a huge line, shrugged and kept walking.
The final kicker as I was leaving: No one was passing out Villains goody bags. I didn't even realize there was a goody bag until I got back to the Boardwalk Inn. It wasn't that I needed one, but it was the principle of the thing. I do like the pre-autographed cards from the event and wished I had gotten them.
Overall, I did enjoy the opening show, and I now wish I had stayed for the fireworks. From what we saw from the Boardwalk area, they looked awesome.
So, why did this event fail?
Let's start with the price. I don't mind paying for quality, but this was far from a quality event. At $70 a ticket, I had expectations. And I don't think they were unrealistic expectations considering the price is similar to tickets for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which also features many character meet-and-greets, and is much better planned and executed.
Most importantly, the event seem to be oversold, yet I was told it never sold out. How then do you run out of maps before the event even begins? Cast members were handing out lanyards, so why wasn't another group handing out maps? Don't blame guests for taking multiples! If you've ever tried using one map to actually see what you want to do during an event, it's a mess by the end of the night. I usually take an extra one for a souvenir.
Clearly someone should have done the math and realized there were way too many guests for the 50 villains. Plus, some villains were in small groups, so there weren't 50 separate lines or areas.
This event was about the characters, not about the rides. Why would anyone spend $70 to ride attractions that can be enjoyed during any regular park visit? Walt Disney World seems to have underestimated the huge draw of the special characters. That seems impossible when the same chaos happened at last year's villains event that was not a hard-ticket event.
My suggestion: Allow one FastPass+ per person for one character meet-and-greet during the event. Stagger the release of the FP+ to attempt fairness. Guaranteeing only one character meet might be frustrating, but isn't it better to arrive with realistic expectations than to be continually disappointed as the night goes on?
Disney easily could have sold more food, beverages and merchandise -- if they had been properly stocked. Special drinks and some of the food were gone long before the event was over. And the merchandise ... It is rare that a special Disney event has sufficient amounts of special merchandise and enough cast members to check folks out, so it's not another 30-minute wait.
My suggestion: Have a pre-order form for T-Shirts and other items, paid at the time of order and then have a package pick-up area. That, at least, would have helped with the merchandise shortage.
I also would recommend that these types of events be held in cooler seasons. Hot weather, crowds, families with young kids, serving alcohol and long lines don't make for a pleasant experience for anyone. I love the Disney Parks and I love special events. Sometimes things are done well, like Frozen Summer Fun, and other special events have frustrated and disappointed me. Sadly, none have disappointed me as much as the Villains Unleashed!
Was your experience different? Tell us what you though of Villains Unleashed! in the comments.
Since I announced my 2015 Adventures by Disney trip to Italy there was been lots of response from everyone! Also, there are lots of questions.... of course.
We recently filmed an AllEarsNet TV show about this trip. Learn more about What an Adventures by Disney trip is all about. Plus DETAILS about this adult only trip AllEars is hosting in September 2015.
Learn more about the AllEars© Adventures by Disney Italy trip in 2015 and how you can be a part of this amazing experience by watching this video.
Feel free to post your questions in the comment section!
Ask Questions about the Adventure by Disney:
Special thanks to Adventures by Disney!
On August 1st, the Four Seasons Orlando held an official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to help celebrate Opening Weekend. Tom Wolber, Senior Vice President, Walt Disney World; Thomas Steinhauer, General Manager/Regional Vice President Four Seasons Resort Orlando, and Christopher Hunsberger, President, The Americas, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; along with Mickey Mouse were on hand for the festivities.
The resort officially opens on August 3rd, 2014 and brings a new level of luxurious accommodations to the Walt Disney World Resort. Located inside the grounds of Golden Oak, it is just minutes away from Disney's theme parks.
There are many outstanding features of the Four Seasons Orlando. All Ears was invited to the media preview held last week. We were able to sample some of the new cuisine, tour parts of the resort and speak to the various managers as well as Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi!
Join AllEarsNet TV hosts Deb Wills and Linda Eckwerth as they share their preview experience with you:
Here are just a few of the highlights of the resort:
Rooms with a view - many rooms at the Four Seasons offer a Park View which allows you to see the Magic Kingdom fireworks from your balcony (from the 6th floor on up). Standard rooms at the resort, some of which do have a park view, are 500 square feet and can accommodate 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.
Enjoy a tour of the standard room with a park view:
And if you really want to be spoiled here's a tour of a Deluxe Suite:
World Class Culinary Experiences - the resort offers 4 restaurants and two lounges. All Ears was able to sample dishes from both Ravello and PB&G.
Ravello is an Italian restaurant offering breakfast (and twice a week Character Meals with Goofy and his Pals), as well as dinner. The dishes we sampled, one pasta, one fish, were outstanding.. with the right balance of flavors complimenting the ingredients.
Housemade Veal Ravioli - spinach, wild mushroom, truffle essence
Ahi Tuna - eggplant caponata, basil oil, saba
PB&G is the Pool Bar and Grill offering Southern BBQ and rotisserie dining during the day. Again, foods we tasted are some of the best Pool Bar Grill food we have ever had!
In September the signature restaurant, Capa, will open as a Spanish Steakhouse on the 17th floor of the resort. In addition to tapas and great steaks, there is an outdoor viewing area for the Magic Kingdom fireworks.
Explorer Island is a five acre playground offering something for everyone. There is a 7,590 square foot family pool with a lazy river, a climbing wall, watersides, outdoor movie nights, a video game center and an entire area just for adults!
All this and we haven't even mentioned the Spa at the Four Seasons with a special Magical Moments offering for both boys and girls (think Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique), the golf course and Planca Restaurant, the fitness center, Lickity Split, a gourmet coffee bar and much more.
We'll continue to bring your coverage of this resort so check back!
Thanks to everyone who participated in our Adventures by Disney Destination Poll this spring. The winning destination is ITALY!
Thanks to our friends at MouseFanTravel.com we have an exclusive adults-only Adventure planned for September 3, 2015!
Join Linda Eckwerth and me for an 8-night, 9-day journey through Italy!
We begin our adventure in Rome.
Check into our hotel -- Gran Melia Rome Luxury Urban Resort
Welcome reception and dinner
VIP Experience at The Colosseum
Tour some historic sites in Rome including the Spanish Steps, the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain.
VIP Private Tour of St. Peter's Basilica.
Private Tour of Castel Sant' Angelo
Private After-Hours Tour of the Vatican City Museum, including the Sistine Chapel.
After breakfast on Day 4 we travel by motor coach to the Umbrian and Tuscan countryside. On the way we visit Orvieto.
Check into our next hotel Borgo di Cortefreda
While in Tuscany we make pasta, experience a wine-tasting and dine in the 13th century Certaldo Monastery with a Medieval-themed banquet from the time of Boccaccio.
We depart after breakfast for Florence via motor coach.
We have reserved entry and access to Michelangelo's David and a tour of the Duomo.
That afternoon, we have a private VIP tour of Palazzo Vecchio.
Breakfast and then we take an ITALO high-speed bullet train to Venice.
We will enjoy a private gondola tour of the city.
Private tour of the Piazza San Marco and Basilica
Check into our final hotel, the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice hotel
Guided Tour of the Doges Palace, Venetian Carnevale Mask-Making, and our Farewell Dinner is aboard the Jolly Roger schooner.
After breakfast it's time to depart :(
Whew! What an itinerary!
Our home in Rome is the Gran Melia Rome Luxury Urban Resort! Experience Old World elegance at this stunning hotel that is enveloped in the scenic beauty of ancient Rome, offering spectacular views of St. Peter's Basilica and Castel Sant' Angelo. Located on the banks of the River Tiber, you'll find yourself in the heart of the cultural and entertainment attractions of the bustling city, just a short walk from the Vatican. With modern amenities, a magnificent pool and lush gardens, your stay at this urban resort will be truly unforgettable. 3 Nights
In Tuscany we stay at the Borgo di Cortefreda. One of the most exclusive hotels in Tuscany, it combines elegance and style with the true philosophy of wellness. All the comforts of a 4-star hotel: satellite TV, air conditioning, wi-fi and ADSL in room, minibar, hair dryer and telephone. 3 Nights
Our Venice home is the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice hotel. This hotel in Venice was once a flourishing flour mill Beautifully restored, it now houses a hotel unlike any other, offering a different view of Venice. A short, five-minute boat ride from the heart of Venice it offers breathtaking views over the city. 2 Nights
The Adventure includes 8 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 4 Dinners. The guides will assist you by providing recommendations for the "meals on your own."
Arrive: Rome FCO
Depart: Venice VCE
WHY ADVENTURES BY DISNEY
I absolutely love the Adventures by Disney product and each of my experiences on my three trips were equally wonderful. Every little detail is taken care of for you. Your pre-trip planning consists of learning the rich history about the areas you will visit, not trying to determine where to stay and exactly what to do!
Before my first AbD, I found the offerings intriguing, but so expensive. Everyone I spoke with who had done an Adventure raved about it and said it was worth every penny. I had never done an organized tour before, wasn't sure what I'd think of it. I now stand with those folks and can only sing the praises about the incredible experience.
Here are some of the reasons I love Adventures by Disney:
A Disney representative meets you at the airport and a driver takes you to your hotel!
Every place we went, our rooms were ready and our luggage was already in them! No check-in lines, our guides had us all pre-registered and handed out the keys as we entered the lobby of each hotel.
Our guides were like the Energizer bunnies. No matter what time of day, where we were, or what the situation, they consistently went over and above. They made the Disney Difference.
We were treated like VIPs at almost every place we went. The Disney name goes a long way! We only had to mention at any of the hotels we were with the "Disney" group and folks couldn't do enough to make us happy.
Not every single moment is planned -- free time is built in for your own explorations.
At each stop we had local guides on the tour sharing their knowledge and expertise. They were able to answer just about any question asked and knew the special things to point out to us, things you wouldn't necessarily find in a printed guide.
It was wonderful to be able to look out the bus windows and see the scenery along the way. Since we weren't driving, one person wasn't missing the highlights.
All gratuities are included except for the Disney Guides.
Want to join the fun?
Download this PDF file and contact Adventures@MouseFanTravel.com
Here is a 2012 Adventures by Disney Video of this trip. It provides a brief overview, but since it is a couple years old, things could very well have changed.
FIRST-HAND REPORTS ABOUT ADVENTURES BY DISNEY
Read all about my Southwest Splendors Adventure by Disney!
Here's my trip report from the Backstage Magic Adventure!
Beci shared her Adventure by Disney to Ireland!
Colleen went to South Africa!
Erin enjoyed the Costa Rica Adventures with her family!
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