inline imageSeaWorld Rescue has seen its biggest year for manatee rescues ever, with 69 manatees rescued in 2018 to date and 23 returned to the wild, many after successful rehabilitation.

Over the last five decades, SeaWorld has rescued more than 33,000 wild animals in need including those that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, which equates to over two animals rescued per day, every day. SeaWorld’s goal for every rescued animal is to rehabilitate and return them to their natural environment as soon as possible.



Members of the SeaWorld Rescue team traveled to South Carolina recently, where – in collaboration with multiple organisations – they assisted in the rescue and relocation of a large male manatee. The rescued animal was transported to the Jacksonville Zoo and is being treated for cold stress.

Following close coordination with the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) staff authorized the rescue operation that included SeaWorld Orlando’s rescue team.



Support for the rescue came from a broad range of agencies and organisations, including: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff from Jacksonville, Charleston, Ernest F. Hollings - ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), and Cape Romain NWR, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Sea to Shore Alliance, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), Clearwater (FL) Marine Aquarium, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, the University of Florida Aquatic Animal Health Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - National Ocean Services - Charleston, and the National Marine Mammal Foundation. WestRock Company (Charleston) provided logistic support for the rescue.

Similar rescue operations took place in the Cooper River in 2015, 2016, and 2017. All of those animals were successfully relocated to Florida, some after brief stays in manatee critical care facilities. As autumn arrives, some manatees attracted to the lush feeding grounds in the upper reaches of the Cooper River seem reluctant to leave the area, even as water temperatures fall. Instead, they locate warm water sources and subsequently delay their migration south. Solutions are being put in place to address these sources in an effort to reduce their attraction to manatees and encourage them to move south earlier.



As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), SeaWorld Orlando is an acute care rehabilitation facility that provides life-saving medical care to rescued manatees.

The MRP is a cooperative group of non-profit, private, state, and federal entities who work together to monitor the health and survival of rehabilitated and released manatees. The Florida manatee is at risk from both natural and man-made causes of injury and mortality. Exposure to red tide, cold stress, and disease are natural problems that can affect manatees. Human-caused threats include boat strikes, crushing by flood gates or locks, and entanglement in or ingestion of fishing gear.

“SeaWorld Rescue is on call 365 days a year, 24 hours a day,” said Jon Peterson, manager of rescue operations at SeaWorld Orlando. “Any time there is an animal in need, we are there to help them. That is the goal here at SeaWorld: to rescue, rehabilitate and return as soon as possible.”

Guests at SeaWorld Orlando can learn more about the vital work SeaWorld does for wildlife at the park’s behind the scenes Rescue Center, used for rehabilitating wildlife that has been ill, injured or orphaned – including manatees, sea turtles, birds and other marine animals.

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inline imageWide-eyed wonderment will wash over Disney guests this holiday season when they see gingerbread displays at select Disney theme parks and Disney resort hotels, as well as the ships of Disney Cruise Line.

So magical is the aroma of gingerbread at holiday-time that National Gingerbread Day is celebrated Wednesday, Nov. 21. In the spirit of the season, Disney chefs decked the halls (roofs, doorways and windows, too) to create life-sized, gingerbread houses yummy enough to eat.

Here’s a look at storybook houses, carousels and other confections baked with love by Disney chefs, with savory sweets for sale in most locations:

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – This year marks the 20th anniversary of this resort hotel’s gingerbread house. A classic recipe from Austria inspires the ornaments, cookies and a house standing 14 feet tall in the lobby. Home to The Bake Shop, the gingerbread house is the perfect place to pick up holiday treats. Gingerbread house decorating demonstrations occur daily Dec. 1-25.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Cinderella Castle is re-created with an “it’s a small world” backdrop depicting Cinderella and Prince Charming greeting guests in the castle forecourt. The 18-foot display is crafted from thousands of gingerbread blocks. A life-sized spinning carousel highlights the display.
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort – Donald Duck- and Daisy Duck-themed horses are decorated with chocolate, sugar and fondant in this scrumptious classic carousel.
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Resort – A delightful gingerbread version of the resort’s BoardWalk features iconic locales such as BoardWalk Bakery, Flying Fish, Trattoria al Forno and more.
  • The American Adventure – Patriotic flair meets pastry magic at Epcot, where gingerbread renditions of the U.S. Capitol, Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument (topped with golden Mickey ears!) are on display
  • Amorette’s Patisserie – This sophisticated pastry shop at Disney Springs dresses up its front window with a miniature gingerbread replica of itself – right down to the gingerbread trees!
  • The Haunted Mansion – Disneyland Resort turns to Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” to create a wonderfully spooky gingerbread display inside this classic attraction. A giant spider with glowing eyes hangs over the Grand Hall Table, attempting to pry the edible gingerbread mansion from its foundation as gingerbread zombies watch in amazement.
  • Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa – Disney artists, engineers and bakers teamed up on a gingerbread house that adds to the resort hotel’s festive lobby. With over 600 pounds of gingerbread and adorned with Hidden Mickeys, this grandly Californian gingerbread house is on display all season long.
  • Disney Cruise Line – Aboard the four Disney Cruise Line ships, the chef competition is on! Bakery teams are challenged to create their own individual gingerbread houses for display throughout the holiday season in the atrium lobby of each ship. Taking weeks to conceptualize and construct, each features more than 600 pounds of gingerbread dough, 200-plus pounds of sugar and 5,000 gingerbread bricks.
  • Aulani – A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii gets its gingerbread on with “A Kakamora Holiday.” This festive display includes a chocolate tree, a Moana-inspired gingerbread hut, chocolate sleigh and merrymaking Kakamoras celebrating with a tropical twist.

©Disney

inline imageWorld renowned chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck has expanded his popular namesake restaurant to Central Florida, opening Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at Disney Springs. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill modernises the traditional "bar and grill" concept with approachable dining in a dynamic setting inspired by traditional farmhouses and a touch of California elegance.

The restaurant captures the essence of the laid-back Californian dining experience, made popular by Puck himself. The Disney Springs location will be Puck's fourth Bar & Grill behind LA Live, MGM in Las Vegas and most recently, Summerlin.

"We are very excited to be returning to Disney Springs with Bar & Grill concept,” said Wolfgang. “The restaurant is a perfect fit for the area and we look forward to bringing our cuisine to locals and all of the visitors to this area as well. My team and our partners all have something fresh to introduce and we cannot wait to see it flourish."



The restaurant's approachable, casual lunch and dinner menus are led by Executive Chef Michael Tiva alongside Executive Sous Chef, Jeff Thornsberry, and feature some of Puck’s signature dishes. Chef Michael currently heads up Lupo by Wolfgang Puck in Las Vegas and has been with the company for 20 years. The menus are designed to accommodate a variety of occasions from leisurely meals or the perfect celebratory gathering, as well as welcoming visitors from around the world.

Both the lunch and dinner menus offer a variety of Puck's signature dishes such as pizzas from a wood-burning oven, handmade pastas, steak and seafood – with menu items often featuring local and organic ingredients. Lunch menu items include Local Burrata with baby carrots, romesco and grilled ciabatta; Heirloom Baby Beet Salad with winter citrus, pistachio ricotta salsa cheese; Fennel Sausage Pizza with pickled peppers and rapini; and the WP Burger with white cheddar cheese, red onion marmalade, garlic aioli on a brioche bun. Dinner menu items include BBQ Shrimp Pizza with toasted padron pepper and red onion; My Grandmother’s Lasagna with traditional meat sauce and bechamel; Olive Oil Seared Red Snapper with mussels, clams and fennel, in a spicy tomato broth; and a 32oz Porterhouse Steak for two with roasted elephant garlic and fries. To complement the dining experience, the restaurant features a full-service bar with an extensive selection of classic and artisanal cocktails, craft beers and wines.

The 250-seat restaurant provides a warm and casual environment in the heart of Disney Springs with a beautiful setting designed by tonychi. The design is reminiscent of a grand barn house; it features natural materials and a working fireplace, providing a sense of tranquility, refinement and warmth. The restaurant also has a 24-person seated patio as well as a pizza bar and a walk-up window where guests can order a selection of gelato and homemade pastries. The team offers personalized service and attention to deliver an unforgettable dining experience.

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at Disney Springs is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 am to 11 pm and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 12 am.



For reservations or additional information, please call (407) 815.2100 or visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/di...bar-and-grill/

©Disney

An all-new cinematic nighttime experience,"Wonderful World of Animation," will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in May 2019, as part of the park’s 30th anniversary celebration.



The show will use state-of-the-art projection technology to take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey himself.

inline imageNew events and expanded favourites will give guests something special to experience every week of 2019 at SeaWorld Orlando.

Next year’s lineup includes the following exciting, tasty and family-friendly events, all included with theme park admission:

Three Kings Day Celebration: Daily, 1 – 6 January
Families are invited to help commemorate the arrival of the Three Wise Men during SeaWorld’s Three Kings Day celebration. This festive event brings SeaWorld’s Christmas season to an incredible close with specialty cuisine and celebratory experiences that honour the cherished traditions of Latin cultures.

NEW - Inside Look: Weekends, 12 – 27 January and weekends, 11-19 May
Taking place twice in 2019, guests can go behind the scenes and visit areas never opened to the public during this new event. SeaWorld’s renowned veterinarians and animal experts will offer an intimate look at the day-to-day care they provide for animals large and small. Visitors will also get to meet the SeaWorld Rescue Team and learn more about their life-saving work.



NEW - Elmo’s Birthday Weekend: 2-3 February
SeaWorld is the place to be for Elmo’s Birthday Celebration, featuring an interactive DJ dance party, fun party games and surprise visitors. Don’t miss this weekend-long party for Elmo as we prepare to welcome the brand-new Sesame Street at SeaWorld in spring 2019!

Seven Seas Food Festival: Weekends, 9 February to 5 May
The popular Seven Seas Food Festival is returning to SeaWorld in the spring with more to love. As guests sip and sample their way through the park, they will discover globally-inspired flavors while enjoying local craft beers and beverages from around the world. The fun goes beyond the food with live performances at Bayside Stadium featuring top artists.



Electric Ocean: Select evenings, 24 May – 1 September
As the sun goes down, the park comes alive with the glow of Electric Ocean at SeaWorld, returning next year for another summer of fun. With exciting nighttime shows and electrifying music, guests are immersed in a sea of wonder that ends in “Ignite”, a spectacular finale with fireworks, lasers and fountains.

Craft Beer Festival: Weekends, 7-29 September
The SeaWorld Craft Beer Festival extends to four weekends in 2019, featuring 100+ brews on draft at locations around the park. Guests will enjoy unique food items designed to perfectly pair with the festival’s brew selection.



SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular: Weekends, 21 September to 27 October
New surprises await at Orlando’s biggest family-friendly Halloween event. Guests of all ages can celebrate with the all-new Sesame Street Halloween Parade, featuring fantastic floats, crowd-pleasing performances and everyone’s favorite furry friends. Families will also enjoy a Halloween Dance Party, trick-or-treating around the park and the opportunity to meet whimsical characters inspired by the sea.



Praise Wave: Weekends, 2-17 November
With the return of Praise Wave, guests can enjoy live concerts from the hottest names in Christian music, lighting up the stage at SeaWorld.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration: 23 November to 31 December
The joys of the holiday season come to life at SeaWorld. More than 3 million lights blanket the park in holiday cheer as guests immerse themselves in the sight, sounds and tastes of the season. The event features stunning live shows, scrumptious festive treats and opportunities to visit Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

inline imageBob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, announced that Disney Skyliner will be ready to begin transporting guests at the Walt Disney World Resort beginning fall of 2019.

The new state of the art gondola system will conveniently connect Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels, Disney's Art of Animation Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort and Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort as well as the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney's Riviera Resort.

Disney Skyliner will offer a whole new way to experience Walt Disney World with amazing views only available from the sky.

There will be some great photo opportunities! For example, guests arriving at the International Gateway station will travel through the trees and be welcomed into Epcot with remarkable, never before seen views across World Showcase.

The innovative transportation system is quickly coming to life! Workers just installed the last support tower at the Resort and are beginning to thread the series of reinforced cables to carry guests in stylish themed gondolas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgwa65BSmJM

©Disney

inline image1928 - 2018, Mickey Mouse is celebrating his 90th anniversary. Guests can join in the fun 16-18 November at the Magic Kingdom with limited-time entertainment, specialty food and beverage options, new merchandise items and more.

Entertainment includes special show enhancements and musical moments in celebration of Mickey's big day, as well as a Tomorrowland Birthday Celebration Dance Party (only offered on November 17 & 18). You’ll also be able to stop by Town Square Theatre to sign Mickey Mouse’s birthday card and to wish him a happy birthday!

A delicious new array of food items can be found through the park like a Birthday Bash Push Pop – filled with birthday cake pastry cream and layered with cake crumbles, buttercream, and glitter sprinkles! Other delectable delights will include a savory burger with a Mickey bun, a Confetti Mickey Pretzel and last but not least, a Minnie Kitchen Sink Sundae!

To commemorate the occasion, you can get one or all of the limited merchandise items that will be available including new product in celebration of Mickey’s 90th anniversary as well as a brand new collection in Celebration of the Mouse where Disney artists pay tribute to Mickey Mouse with deluxe prints, limited edition gallery wraps, note cards, and a tote. Speaking of Disney artists, special artist signings will be taking place from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Also, there will be a special pop-up merchandise event at Magic Kingdom Park just for Annual Passholders at 7:30 a.m. on November 16.

©Disney

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Park Hours - Saturday 15/12/2018

WDW & Other Florida Park Hours
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
8:00am
~to~
12:00am
Epcot
Epcot
9:00am
~to~
9:30pm
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
8:00pm
Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach
Closed
~to~
Closed
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
SeaWorld
SeaWorld
9:00am
~to~
10:00pm
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
10:00am
~to~
10:00pm
Aquatica
Aquatica
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
Legoland
Legoland
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
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
8:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
12:00am
Walt Disney StudiosCalifornia Adventure 8:00am
~to~
10:00pm
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
9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
10:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosDisney Studios 9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
8:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of DLP Park Hours

US Dollar Rates
ASDA  $1.2364
CaxtonFX  $1.2291
Covent Garden FX  $1.2412
FAIRFX  $1.2275
John Lewis  $1.2445
M&S  $1.2129
Post Office  $1.2207
Sainsburys  $1.2269
TESCO  $1.2297
Travelex  $1.2300
Updated: 00:03 15/12/2018

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Euro Rates
ASDA  €1.0891
CaxtonFX  €1.0879
Covent Garden FX  €1.0969
FAIRFX  €1.0875
John Lewis  €1.0964
M&S  €1.0667
Post Office  €1.0756
Sainsburys  €1.0869
TESCO  €1.0900
Travelex  €1.0837
Updated: 00:03 15/12/2018