inline imageEpcot at Walt Disney World Resort celebrates the arts, flowers, food, music, holidays and non-stop family fun throughout the year with signature theme-park festivals beginning 18 Jan 2019.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts: Jan. 18-Feb. 25

This annual celebration of visual, culinary and performing arts presents 39 fun-packed days showcasing art in many forms for everyone in the family. Food and drinks are created with artistic flair at more than 15 park destinations. The festival's creative menus feature everything from red wine-braised short ribs with parsnip puree at Cuisine Classique to vanilla, rose water and pistachio panna cotta at Masterpiece Kitchen. Kids of all ages will want to try the Pop’t Art modern-design sugar cookie and other delectable treats.

In 2019, the festival's popular Disney on Broadway Concert Series will offer performances every day of the festival. The series presents musical performances from Disney on Broadway shows like "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast," and special dining packages guarantee concert seats.

Interactive fun is around every corner. Guests can help paint a mural, pose for a memorable photo in the frame of an iconic piece of art, participate in a workshop, or take a break to watch performance artists in action.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: March 6-June 3

Millions of spring blossoms will transform Epcot into a wonderful world of brilliant color during this 90-day celebration of flowers, topiaries, themed food, libations and music. Now in its 26th year, the festival continues to offer fresh experiences. A new Bo Peep and her Sheep topiary from Disney Pixar's upcoming "Toy Story 4" will greet guests at the festival's new Family Play Zone. Featured gardens will focus on butterflies, bamboo and Shakespeare's metaphoric plants, while more than 70 Disney-themed topiaries – from Snow White to Daisy Duck – dot the landscape.

New Outdoor Kitchens with their own herb and veggie gardens will debut this year with creative bites and beverages. The Garden Rocks Concert Series expands this year to every day of the festival, offering new and returning acts spanning multiple genres. With three performances daily, that’s 270 concerts over the course of the festival – more than ever before! Returning favorites like The Spinners and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone will be joined by artists new to the festival like TobyMac, Steven Curtis Chapman and Colin Hay of Men at Work.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Late Summer/Fall

Disney guests can get their gourmet groove on during this iconic culinary dine-around that will run late summer to November in 2019. More than 30 Festival Marketplaces will offer tempting tastes and sips throughout Epcot. During the festival, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series presents a diverse collection of hitmakers from pop to country to R&B and more. Concert seating is guaranteed for guests who book Eat to the Beat Dining Packages. Guests can also discover new savory and sweet treats by making reservations for the festival’s beverage seminars and specialty dining and pairing events.

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays: Fall/Winter

The annual yuletide extravaganza at Epcot celebrates holiday traditions of World Showcase cultures with live musical productions, spirited storytellers, seasonal lights and décor, delicious holiday treats and more. The beloved, long-running Candlelight Processional invites guests to experience the story of Christmas narrated by a celebrity host to the cherished Christmas music performed by a professional orchestra and full choir. Dining packages offer guaranteed Candlelight seating.

Disney chefs create treasured seasonal dishes to keep palates merry at Holiday Kitchen kiosks surrounding the World Showcase Lagoon. From savories to sweets, from children’s drinks to adult libations, there’s something on the holiday menu for everyone.

©Disney

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inline imageDisney are now selling the MNSSHP tickets for this year.

The dates and prices are as follows...

AUGUST 2019


16th August 2019 (Ages 10+) - $90.53 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $85.20
20th August 2019 (Ages 10+) - $84.14 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $78.81
23rd August 2019 (Ages 10+) - $90.53 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $85.20
27th August 2019 (Ages 10+) - $84.14 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $78.81
30th August 2019 (Ages 10+) - $90.53 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $85.20

SEPTEMBER 2019


2nd September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $84.14 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $78.81
6th September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $90.53 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $85.20
8th September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $84.14 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $78.81
10th September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $84.14 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $78.81
13th September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $90.53 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $85.20
15th September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $84.14 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $78.81
17th September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $84.14 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $78.81
20th September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $90.53 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $85.20
22nd September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $84.14 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $78.81
24th September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $90.53 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $85.20
27th September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $90.53 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $85.20
29th September 2019 (Ages 10+) - $90.53 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $85.20

OCTOBER 2019


1st October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $90.53 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $85.20
3rd October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $111.83 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $106.50
4th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $122.48 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $117.15
6th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $111.83 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $106.50
8th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $111.83 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $106.50
10th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $111.83 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $106.50
11th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $122.48 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $117.15
14th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $111.83 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $106.50
15th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $111.83 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $106.50
17th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $111.83 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $106.50
18th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $122.48 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $117.15
20th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $111.83 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $106.50
21st October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $111.83 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $106.50
24th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $111.83 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $106.50
25th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $122.48 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $117.15
27th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $122.48 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $117.15
29th October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $122.48 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $117.15
31st October 2019 (Ages 10+) - $143.78 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $138.45

NOVEMBER 2019


1st November 2019 (Ages 10+) - $122.48 ~ (Ages 3-9) - $117.15

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ev...arty/purchase/

inline imageGet ready for Universal's Mardi Gras. This year's event returns Feb. 9 – April 4 to Universal Studios Florida with nightly parades, live concerts on select nights, Cajun food and drinks and beads, beads and more beads!

The star-studded concert lineup with new and returning fan-favorites. Catch these live performances on select nights at the Music Plaza Stage.

Concert Lineup

  • February 9 – BUSH
  • February 16 – Gavin DeGraw
  • February 17 – Dan + Shay
  • February 23 – Macklemore
  • March 2 – To be announced
  • March 9 – Becky G
  • March 10 – Sean Paul
  • March 16 – Steve Miller Band
  • March 17 – Ziggy Marley
  • March 23 – NF
  • March 24 – Pitbull
  • March 30 – To be announced
  • March 31 – To be announced

New Nighttime Parade Theme

The nightly parade returns with 12 floats, beads, colorful dancers and stilt performers. This year’s new theme is one of my all-time favorites – Party Animals! You’ll see floats and performers dressed as their spirit animals from all over the world like the arctic, jungle, ocean, swamp and more.








French Quarter Food and Drinks

The French Quarter Courtyard is getting a new culinary twist this year. All food and drinks will be served in tasting sizes. You’ll now be able to enjoy a variety of the New Orleans dishes during your visit.

French Quarter Entertainment Lineup

You can’t have the French Quarter Courtyard without the beats of the Big Easy. Catch these authentic New Orleans bands performing daily in the French Quarter.
  • February 9 – 17: Dirty Bourbon River Show
  • February 18 – 27: Naughty Professor Brass Band
  • February 28 – March 18: Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister
  • March 19 – April 4: New Breed Brass Band

© Universal Studios

inline imageFlorida's Biggest Party to Feature New Mouthwatering Cajun Cuisine, a Nightly Mardi Gras Parade and Entertainment; Plus Live concerts on Select Nights from 9th Feb – 4th April.

Laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll)! Universal Orlando Resort today announced the concert headliners performing at the 2019 Mardi Gras celebration – a family-friendly version of the renowned Big Easy bash that features authentic Cajun-style cuisine, an incredible nightly parade and – on select nights – live concerts from some of the biggest names in music.

Universal’s Mardi Gras 2019 will run daily from 9th Feb. through 4th April. For 13 select nights during the event, guests can enjoy performances by some of the biggest names in music, including GRAMMY award-winning rapper, Macklemore, globally renowned superstar, Pitbull, chart-topping country music duo Dan + Shay and Latin superstar Becky G. For the complete line-up and performance schedule, see below.



But the jamboree won’t stop there as a party animal-themed Mardi Gras parade will run nightly throughout the streets of Universal Studios Florida featuring intricately detailed floats, vivacious dancers and stilt performers, and countless beads. This year, the party animal-themed parade will debut six new floats featuring animals from the arctic, jungle, ocean and more – rounding out the lineup of 12 hand-crafted floats engineered by Kern Studios, the same company that has created floats for the iconic New Orleans celebration since 1947.

Plus, guests can also enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine at The French Quarter Courtyard and performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street. New to this year’s event, all food and beverage items will be served as a tasting size, allowing guests to experience a variety of classic New Orleans dishes throughout their visit including gumbo, jambalaya, po boys and more. In addition the event will feature new menu items including, frog legs, crab etouffee and craft beer flights featuring regional brews from Louisiana.

The excitement of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is also included with admission to Universal Studios Florida.

inline imageSeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has launched an early-bird booking deal for 2020 Discovery Cove Ultimate Swim packages.

Customers who book a Discovery Cove Ultimate Swim package with Attraction Tickets Direct, up until February 28th 2019, can save up to 20% off the previously published prices. For a family of four this equates to a saving of up to £200.

Due to increased demand to book Orlando attraction tickets and experiences, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has launched this Discovery Cove special early-bird offer for British holiday-makers travelling to Orlando, Florida.

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort where visitors are transported into an undiscovered tropical island where they can explore a lush landscape of rocky lagoons, waterfalls and pristine sandy beaches. Guests can Snorkel through The Grand Reef - a vast underwater world teeming with thousands of fish and rays, let colourful birds land on their shoulders in the Explorer’s Aviary or for a dream come true, step into Dolphin Lagoon to be greeted by a beautiful bottlenose. Guests can move at their own pace through this sun-soaked oasis, where the only choices to make are whether to snorkel, snooze, or swim!

With daily admittance limited to just 1300 guests per day – book early to save money and avoid disappointment!



The Discovery Cove Ultimate Swim package, includes a single-day reservation at Discovery Cove (with 30-minute dolphin swim experience, all meals, snacks and beverages included) plus 14-days unlimited entry to SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Aquatica Orlando, with free parking included at all parks.

Customers booked to travel to Discovery Cove in 2019 can also enjoy great savings with up to 40% off a ticket to Sea Venture, Discovery Coves’ innovative diving experience which brings you face- to-face with schools of fish, rays and even sharks. Savings available for a limited time only. Book by 28th February 2019.

The Discovery Cove Ultimate Swim package can be booked with Attraction Tickets Direct and is priced from £153 per person. To book visit www.attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk

inline imageJose Andres' ThinkFoodGroup, in collaboration with renowned Spanish design firm Capella Garcia Arquitectura, revealed details of the striking design of the beloved Jaleo brand’s newest location at Disney Springs. Opening this winter, the 22 thousand square foot restaurant will be Andrés’ largest to date and will bring the spirit and flavors of Spain to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Based on the colourful iconography of Spain, the architectural form of the building is inspired by an artichoke, a vegetable native to Jose's homeland. The artichoke structure opens up, inviting guests to enter and experience the very best of Spanish cuisine. The petals themselves form pergolas, which extend toward the outdoors. The freestanding, two-story building lacks solid walls and is completely open to the outside, with large windows offering views of the lake while protecting diners from the sun. "There are no cubic forms, no opaque walls, no straight lines: here reigns a plant-like organic structure with its dynamic forms. An avant-garde, expressionist and welcoming architecture," remarks Juli Capella, principal at Capella Garcia Arquitectura, on Jaleo's design.

The interior features a double height central courtyard that visually connects the restaurant’s two floors. The idea of Jaleo, the Spanish word for "revelry," inspires the large, family-style gathering space, inviting guests to share tapas and sangria, gather with family at the foosball tables, or enjoy the more elegant central seating for paellas and grilled meats, anchored by the restaurant’s open kitchen and wood fire grill. Private dining options include two terraces, one overlooking the Disney Springs promenade and another overlooking the lake.

Typical Spanish colors of citrus, namely orange and lemon, offer a welcoming ambience alongside predominant touches of wood and ceramic materials. Stunning artwork includes the "Suit of Lights," an iconic photo of a bullfighter's suit from Spanish photographer Rafael Vargas, as well a collage of San Sebastian's popular Concha beach by photographer Ciuco Gutiérrez, bringing the Spanish landscape closer to Walt Disney World Resort.

Occupying the front-corner of Jaleo and overlooking the main promenade of Disney Springs will be a quick-service concept serving Spanish street-food-inspired sandwiches and salads. The design of the casual restaurant features natural materials and a luminous, open feel, inviting visitors into the friendly space, which is centered around a large mural from Marc Jesús, a famous painter from Menorca. With dynamic visual elements drawn from the culinary delights and landscapes of Spain, Andres and Capella aim to surround visitors in the culture of their native country and all its creativity.

inline imageToday, Aquatica Orlando, in conjunction with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), announced the completion of a staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training as well as an onsite review of the park property and guest experience. The completion designates Aquatica Orlando as a Certified Autism Center (CAC) as distinguished by IBCCES — the first water park in the world to receive such a distinction.

This accreditation follows sister park Sesame Place, which became the world’s first certified autism centre theme park last April.

Working closely with IBCCES, the staff at Aquatica will be continually trained to assist guests with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families, to help ensure a positive experience during their visit. Guests will also be provided with specific information about attractions and experiences along with in-park accommodations to help them plan their day and make informed choices best suited to their individual needs.

For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism training for licensed healthcare professionals and educators around the globe. IBCCES recognised that many families with children who have special needs have limited travel options, and in response, created training and certification programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry.

As a Certified Autism Center, Aquatica Orlando is required to provide ongoing training to ensure that team members have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament and expertise to interact with all families and children with special needs, specifically on the autism spectrum. Training takes place in the areas of sensory awareness, environment, communication, motor and social skills, program development, and emotional awareness as well as a comprehensive autism competency exam. The autism training must be taken every two years in order to maintain the certification.

“As the first water park in the world to complete the training and become a Certified Autism Center, Aquatica Orlando is proud to provide fun and memorable experiences through exceptional service,” said David Heaton, Vice President of Aquatica Orlando. “We continually strive to create safe and meaningful experiences for all of our guests, and we are committed in our efforts to offer families inclusive activities for children with autism and other special needs.”

Robust pre-visit planning resources will be added to the park’s website including a sensory guide developed by IBCCES. This sensory guide will make it easier for parents to plan activities that satisfy their child’s specific needs and accommodations by providing insight on how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense for each attraction. The park will also have a quiet room inside the park with adjustable lighting and a comfortable seating area for guests to take a break.

"We know that training and certification is the best way for organisations to ensure they can accommodate all families,” explained Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “IBCCES is proud to work with Aquatica Orlando and other leaders in the industry to increase the availability of certified options and help individuals have a safe and enriching experience when travelling or visiting a new place. With the rise in diagnosis rates of cognitive disorders, there is a huge need for these options and for organisations to make a long-lasting commitment to their guests."
Aquatica Orlando has been voted the nation’s top water park, and this certification comes as the park readies for the opening of its newest attraction - KareKare Curl - this spring.

To learn more about the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, please visit: https://ibcces.org/

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Park Hours - Thursday 17/01/2019

WDW & Other Florida Park Hours
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Epcot
Epcot
9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
9:00pm
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
Closed
~to~
Closed
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure
9:00am
~to~
7:00pm
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
9:00am
~to~
7:00pm
Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
SeaWorld
SeaWorld
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Aquatica
Aquatica
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
Legoland
Legoland
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
Legoland Water Park
Legoland Water Park
Closed
~to~
Closed
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Extra Evening Hours Extra Late Hours for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of Florida Park Hours

Disneyland Resort Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
8:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosCalifornia Adventure 9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of West Coast Park Hours

Disneyland Paris Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
10:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
6:30pm
Walt Disney StudiosDisney Studios 10:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
6:30pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of DLP Park Hours

US Dollar Rates
ASDA  $1.2601
CaxtonFX  $1.2595
Covent Garden FX  $1.2704
FAIRFX  $1.2590
John Lewis  $1.2631
M&S  $1.2379
Post Office  $1.2465
Sainsburys  $1.2566
TESCO  $1.2602
Travelex  $1.2533
Updated: 11:03 17/01/2019

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Euro Rates
ASDA  €1.1069
CaxtonFX  €1.1044
Covent Garden FX  €1.1133
FAIRFX  €1.1050
John Lewis  €1.1077
M&S  €1.0853
Post Office  €1.0952
Sainsburys  €1.1043
TESCO  €1.1077
Travelex  €1.1015
Updated: 11:03 17/01/2019