Recently, travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet released its lists of top destinations for the upcoming year. It’s hard to believe 2014 is right around the corner, but it is the time of year where lists start finding their way into the news. Today, we noticed their top ten family destinations for 2014, and there’s a lot of great calls in our opinion.
If I’d said it once, I must have said it a dozen times during my first short stay at Walt Disney World. This is a whole different culture than I was expecting. I’ve traveled a lot of different places, experienced a lot of different things – but the culture shock in the Magic Kingdom was intense! I don’t think that I’ve ever been in a place before where everyone just seemed so happy before.
Victorian style digs and the antique cars in front of the lobby transport you to the gilded age at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort. This Deluxe resort rests just moments away from the Magic Kingdom, along the Monorail and is designed to evoke the roaring 20’s, and provide a Great Gatsby feel to a Disney vacation.
Mickey Mouse Ears. A ubiquitous sight at any Disney Park, but Disney has even found a way to innovate Mouse Ears at Disney’s California Adventure. The new “Glow with the Show” ears light up… and although that isn’t terribly common, its not particularly new or innovative. But once you go see the World of Color show with these hats on, the innovation is clear. The lights are syncopated to the show, and that’s no easy feat to accomplish!
What if there was a way to take a vacation without ever reaching for your wallet, or even a room key? What if you could visit a theme park and never have to get tickets, or wait in line for a ride? What if you could plan your day with just a smartphone handy? Fewer lines, less fumbling. Seems like a pipe dream for most, but at Walt Disney World, they’ve found a way to make that happen with the new “My Magic+” program.
Walt Disney World is not known for standing still. Since the park and its original resort, the Contemporary opened 42 years, the park complex has been continually innovating and growing. Parks open beyond the Magic Kingdom – like Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Resort after resort, each with its own identity popped up within the Walt Disney World grounds. Their newest resort, Art of Animation opened last year, and its quickly become one of our favorites.
Walt Disney World and innovation go hand in hand. The complex of parks and resorts in Orlando have revolutionized the way people travel and the way people experience theme parks, and coming this year Disney is taking the experience one step further with the My Magic+ program. This is part of an 800 million dollar initiative to modernize and improve the time people spend in their parks and resorts.
We’re big fans of the Walt Disney Travel Company. I guess, as an Authorized Disney Travel Planner, that sort of speaks for itself. However, we wanted to share some information about one of Disney’s newest travel destinations, Hawaii. Last year, Disney opened an incredible family-focused resort on the North Shore of Oahu, Aulani. And Aulani really works to create an authentic Hawaiian experience for its guests while still maintaining the excellent standards that Disney hotels and resorts have come to be known for. Take a look at this great video that shares a bit about this resort!
As the Magic Kingdom starts opening more and more of the New Fantasyland portion of the park, one huge standout is the “Be Our Guest” restaurant which offers both quick service and table dining service in a setting modeled after the Beast’s castle from the movie “Beauty and the Beast.”