Walt Disney World's iconic landmarks are getting a "royal makeover" in honor of the upcoming "World's Most Magical Celebration," kicking off Oct. 1 to mark the Florida resort's 50th anniversary.
On Friday, Disney Parks unveiled artists' renderings of the four Florida parks' centerpieces: Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, the Hollywood Tower Hotel at Hollywood Studios, Spaceship Earth at EPCOT and the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom.
"As part of the celebration, Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park will add to its royal makeover from last year," a post on the official Disney Parks blog explains. "As you can see in this new artist rendering, the castle will feature golden bunting and a 50th-anniversary crest as part of its festive new look."
When night falls, the castle and the landmarks of the other three parks will transform into "Beacons of Magic," adding a shimmering optical element to each, like "pixie dust on Cinderella Castle" and "magical fireflies inhabiting the Tree of Life."
EPCOT's Spaceship Earth will get new lights on the reflective panels over the iconic sphere's surface "resembling stars in a nighttime sky." That addition will be permanent, lasting beyond the event's 18-month timeframe.
Also on the lineup for sparkling new looks? Mickey and Minnie Mouse, who will sport new coordinating fashions featuring "EARidescent fabric with gold highlights."
Disney Parks went on to share a video featuring guests and cast members at the resort, opening up about their love for Walt Disney World and their anticipation for "The World's Most Magical Celebration."
"[In the] 50 years since Walt Disney World opened, we're still going with the ideal that Walt [Disney] wanted people to be with family and to celebrate each other," one said while another mused, "To me, celebration literally is Walt Disney World."
Disney Parks' unveiling of their landmarks' new looks comes seven months after Magic Kingdom Park saw another update to Cinderella Castle, ahead of the park's reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The update was first announced earlier in 2020 as a way to honor the 70th anniversary of the release of the animated movie Cinderella.
On top of a fresh coat of blush-pink paint to its upper exterior walls, the royal blue rooftops and turrets also looked much bolder courtesy of added gold ornamentation decorating the spires, ramparts and entrance archway of the castle's façade.
"We are excited to share that her story has inspired a bold, shimmering and royal makeover of her namesake castle at the heart of Walt Disney World Resort," Jason Kirk, then-vice president of Magic Kingdom Park, wrote in a blog post last February. "When you visit, be sure to share your excitement with our cast members — they can't wait to see the shimmering towers shining down on the kingdom each and every morning."
After closing down amid the escalating Covid-19 pandemic in mid-March, Walt Disney World gradually reopened in July with new health and safety regulations including mandatory face coverings, social distancing, limited capacity and enhanced sanitation throughout the resort. If you are planning a trip to Orlando, never has it made more sense than now to consider renting a vacation home rather than staying in a hotel room. When you stay at our vacation home, you have your own private pool, hot tube spa, theater room and game room to entertain the whole family. No need to worry about the common hallways and stairs - your family has the whole home to yourself! Our property management team is committed to the highest level of cleaning and sanitizing. If you are interested in a Florida vacation and would like to discuss booking our home, we would be happy to send you a quote or answer any of your questions.
Just a fun meme my daughter forwarded to me off of Instagram. We are definitely due for a trip to Disney! If a trip to Orlando and Walt Disney World are on your radar, feel free to contact us for more details.
Have you ever looked for the master list of all of the restaurants at Walt Disney World? Thanks to Redditor austoncbell9, we now have this resource! Here is his/her link to an awesome spreadsheet that provides all of Walt Disney World's restaurants names, service provided, price range, cuisine, location in the park and even sublocation in the part (for example, Le Cellier Steakhouse is in Epcot - sublocation Canada). There is also a handy checkbox to let you know that you have visited, as well as a spot for notes and rating. I know my family will be using this as a great guide; not only to record where we have been, but also where we haven't been to yet.
As can be seen from this list, Walt Disney World is more than just rides, shows and parades. Guests can enjoy attending the parks or Disney Springs just to walk around, take in the architecture and scenery, and enjoy a great meal. This is one of the best advantages of staying at our Encore Resort at Reunion vacation home. You can spend the day around the pool or enjoying the free waterpark and, because the community is so close to Walt Disney World, your family can slip out for a few hours and take in the sites, sounds and tastes of Disney. If you would like to learn more about our home's availability, please send us a quick email and we will happily answer any of your questions.
Encore Resort at Reunion - the premier vacation home community near Walt Disney World - is now welcoming guests back. In order to do so, they have implemented strict health and safety measures to provide peace of mind to its guests. Below is the resort's reopening statement:
"As the resort welcomes guests back, strict protocols have been implemented to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff. The resort has also made adjustments to policies and operations in order to meet the needs of guests, owners, and visitors during this time aligning the already stringent cleaning procedures. The resort is following the latest guidance from the CDC to include increased sanitation and implementing new social distancing protocols throughout the entire destination, which has been carefully outlined with each member of the resort team. In addition, all staff will be provided appropriate personal protective equipment as needed for their job including masks and gloves.
Everyone at Encore Resort at Reunion is excited to welcome guests back to the property and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Encore Resort at Reunion Reopening FAQ’s
What is being done at the resort to encourage social distancing?
At Encore Resort at Reunion, dining room seating has been reduced to 25% and bars will not have seating available. Hand sanitizer stations will be available for all employees and guests throughout the property. The resort is implementing a minimum of 6 feet between groups and others in all public areas. Plexiglass partitions have been installed at the front desk for guest and employee safety.
What are employees doing to ensure they are healthy and safe to work at the resort?
The resort’s team is conducting temperature checks for all employees before their shifts. Any person with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be directed to the appropriate medical facility. Every employee is required to wear a face mask and gloves. Any employee with flu-like symptoms must remain at home. Employees will be responsible for following handwashing procedures, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), and following social distancing guidelines.
COVID-19 Training and Equipment
All employees will receive comprehensive training on COVID-19 safety and sanitation protocols. Appropriate PPE will be worn by all employees based on their roles and responsibilities and in adherence to state or local regulations and guidance. Training on how to properly use and dispose of all PPE will be mandatory. Every employee entering the resort will be provided a mask and required to wear that mask while on property.
Employee Hand Washing Procedures
Employees are instructed to wash hands every 60 minutes and after any of the following activities: using the restroom, sneezing, touching the face, blowing the nose, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, smoking, eating, drinking, before and after a break and each shift.
What sanitation procedures have been implemented when dining at resort restaurants?
Increased sanitation protocols, personal protective equipment (masks and gloves), single-use menus and utensils, table separation by 6 feet, the hostess will manage the number of guests arriving and seat according to social distancing.
What is being done to ensure cleanliness and safety for housekeeping and room service?
At Encore Resort at Reunion, cleaning supplies will be available at the front desk for pick up. Full housekeeping services will be completed after a 3-night stay. All homes will be deep cleaned between guests with expanded sanitation procedures.
Water Park Updates
Pool chairs, tables, and umbrellas will be sprayed and sanitized between each use and at the end of the day. Each chair will be folded down after it is cleaned to communicate that it has been sanitized for the next person. Pool seating will be limited and separated by 6 feet. In a situation where the number of guests increases beyond state and CDC guidelines, staff will manage safe social distancing protocols. All pool recreational equipment and supplies are also being sanitized before and after each use. Double Tubes are being removed from the pool area until further notice.
Shark Lounge, Bis Bar & Grill, Hang Ten Hideaway Kids’ Club, and Fitness Center:
Will the resort shuttle be available?
Yes, the shuttle will be available for internal transportation at the resort. Shuttles will be wiped down after each use and drivers will wear masks at all times."
While many people's travel plans have been altered this year, it is good to know that resorts like Encore Resort at Reunion are taking all the right steps to help set holiday goer's minds at ease. If you are interested in a vacation to Encore Resort at Reunion, please contact us for more details about our vacation home.
Walt Disney World is less than one week away from reopening. The first of the Walt Disney World parks, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, will reopen to the public on Saturday, July 11. Then the other two parks, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, will reopen on Wednesday, July 15. Until such time as a vaccine is readily available for Covid-19, new protocols and safety precautions will be in place at the parks. Some of the new safety measures that will be in place at the parks include:
May the Fourth Be With You!!! While we can’t attend in person today at Star Wars-Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World‘s Hollywood Studios, that doesn’t mean we cannot get in the spirit of the day. Use your favourite social media platform and fill the internet with your Star Wars and Disney memories. We are also looking forward to accepting guests at our Encore Resort at Reunion home in the very near future. Demand for vacation homes near Disney World will soon be heating up, so don’t delay!
Great news for Canadian residents visiting Walt Disney World in 2019 or 2020 - just announced, the (hopefully) annual 20% discount for Canadians on tickets to Walt Disney World is back. The offer is for visits of 4 days or longer and must be used within 7 days of using the first day pass. Please note that previous year's offers had to be used within 14 days of first use, so this marks a change. The first date of use has to be on or before December 31, 2020, so if you are planning to visit Orlando and attend Walt Disney World in the next 15 months, this is a great deal. You also avoid the risk of an increase in ticket prices which, unfortunately, has also become an annual tradition.
So if you are a Canadian resident and a Star Wars fan who has been waiting for Galaxy's Edge (Star Wars Land) to open, here is your motivation to book your next Orlando Florida vacation now. If you love Star Wars, you'll love the Star War themed game room at our 6 bedroom Canadian owned vacation rental villa at the Encore Resort at Reunion. Check out our website and see the game room, Disney themed bedrooms and theatre room. Don't delay - buy your tickets to Walt Disney World and then go to our website to book our vacation rental home. Walt Disney World and the Encore Resort's 3 acre waterpark - so much fun!!
Bonkerz Comedy Productions, a comedy production company with comedy clubs in 6 states, now has a weekly show within the clubhouse of the Encore Resort at Reunion every Saturday night. What a great addition for our guests staying at our Encore Resort at Reunion vacation home villa. In addition to being the best and most fun vacation home community near Disney World with a shuttle and waterpark, Encore Resort is now also the funniest! Check out the show every Saturday at 7:00 for only $10.00 per person. Doors open at 6:00, so head over early and enjoy a meal at Finn's Restaurant or grab a drink at the Shark Lounge. https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/encore-resort/
I tell everybody the same thing - "If you are flying into Orlando International Airport or Stanford Orlando Airport and heading to our Encore Resort at Orlando vacation home near Walt Disney World, make sure you have a pocket full of American quarters for the toll booths." The easiest way to get to the theme park areas of Orlando from the airports is to travel on State Highway 417, which happens to be a toll road. The toll from the airport to I4 is around $4.00 to $6.00. The 417 is the easiest and quickest way to get to your vacation destination and the toll isn't all that bad, but what can be a real pain at the beginning of your holiday is the long line you have to get into to pay your toll. If you are paying the toll you have to stop and either pay the toll booth attendant directly or through your quarters into a bin. This can add 30 minutes to your ride time from the airport. Also, not all toll booths have attendants, so if you don't have exact change, you can't exit the highway!! There is, however, a simple solution - pick up a Florida Visitors Toll Pass at the airport.
Florida Visitors Toll Pass is a pilot program now offered at the Orlando International Airport. Visitor Toll Pass is the smart alternative to costly rental car toll programs. Use Visitor Toll Pass to pay tolls electronically while traveling on any toll road throughout Florida. Visitor Toll Pass is accepted at all electronic toll collection points, allowing you to travel nonstop without fumbling for cash. Plus, you will pay a reduced toll rate - with no additional fees or charges. Almost every toll both has a "fastpass" lane for those with the electronic pass - so you don't even have to stop - just drive on through. At the end of your vacation, drop it off at the airport and your credit card gets billed for the charges. It is a simple way to avoid the lines and drive the highways quickly and easily. If you aren't travelling through Orlando International Airport, you can still pick up a Sunpass at most Publix grocery stores.
People wear some very creative shirts at Walt Disney World. Some wear matching shirts for family reunions. Others wear shirts with designs of classic Walt Disney World rides. A pair of shirts I recently saw a couple wearing had the wife's shirt saying "Best Day Ever" and the husbands shirt saying "Most Expensive Day Ever". Yes - a trip to Walt Disney World is expensive. When you consider the cost of transportation, lodging, theme park tickets and food, it certainly can add up quickly. There are, however, ways to control a lot of the costs. Here are a few:
Stay Off Site:
Staying at one of Walt Disney World's resorts is great - but it comes at a price. The best value is to stay off property, either at a value hotel or at a vacation home like our Encore Resort at Reunion villa. If you are staying at our home during a non-peak season, you can book for as under $25.00 per person per night! This is an exceptional saving and you have your own hot tub, pool and unlimited access to an amazing water park.
Avoid Peak Season:
If you want to save money and increase your enjoyment at the parks, avoid the busiest times of the year. Don't even consider Christmas or Easter - the parks are packed and, due to increased demand, prices are higher. Generally, if the kids are out of school, the prices will be higher and the lines will be longer. The best times to go are January through to mid-February, in the fall and early December.
Drive Instead of Flying:
If your distant isn't too far, consider making it a road trip and drive to Florida. This alone can save your family thousands of dollars in airline tickets and rental car expenses. We travel from Ontario to Florida and it generally costs under $300.00 in fuel. Having the car is also super convenient when it comes to going to the grocery stores or coming and going to the parks at our convenience rather than the convenience of the park shuttles.
Discounted Theme Park Tickets:
Check ahead to see if there are any discounted theme park tickets. Universal Orlando will often have a "Buy 2 days, get the 3rd free" promotions. Walt Disney World generally has a deal for Florida residents, Canadians or guest from the United Kingdom. You may also check out CAA, AAA, retirement associations or see if there is a military discount.
Avoid the Park Hopper:
The park hopper at Walt Disney World seems like a great idea. With this optional ticket you can "hop" between Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and/or Hollywood Studios as often as you would like during your ticket period. The park hopper option for a four day ticket will cost you an additional $84 per person. For a family of 5, that $420.00! The reality is, most people are very happy to visit one park per day during a stay in Orlando. Trying to pack in 2 or more parks per day is likely too ambitious for you average Disney exploring family. Save the money and avoid the park hopper.
Eat Breakfast at Home and Bring Your Lunch:
It a little know fact that you are allowed to bring your own food and drinks into Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. If you are staying at our Encore Resort at Reunion vacation home, wake up and enjoy a coffee and bagel in the morning before heading to the park. Grab the sandwiches and snacks that you packed the night before and head out knowing that you will save hundreds of dollars on your vacation. Also, bring along a refillable bottle and keep hydrated through the day by filling it up at the water fountains. Forgot your bottle? Go to any quick serve restaurant and ask for a glass of water with ice - no charge!
Free Character Meet and Greet:
One of the fun activities at Walt Disney World is to go to a character dinner that has a number of Disney characters visit the diners during their meals. It's a great time, but generally comes at a cost of about $60 per person for the meal! Want to meet Chip and Dale for free? Head over to Chip 'n Dale's Fireside Singalong at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort. Every night they have a campfire and a movie and, best of all, it's free!
Plan an Off Day by the Pool:
Remember - you are on holiday. Trying to fit in a theme park for every day of your vacation will be exhausting and you will return home more tired than when you left. Set aside a few days to either relax by the pool (and if you are staying at our Orlando vacation home, by your private pool!) or spend the day at a water park (or if you are a guest at our vacation home, spend a day at the 3 acre water park at no additional charge!)
Our whole family will be contributing to this Blog. We write about our experiences and news related to Walt Disney World as well as post our Encore Resort Blog and Reunion Resort Blog