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Soar over Orlando on MAUIVA

August 26th, 2010

MAUIVA flight over Disney World

Last week I had the chance to soar over Orlando as part of the MAUIVA sightseeing flight. “Sightseeing from the clouds” is a great marketing line, but my favorite part is how personal the experience is. In a way you get to see what it’s like to be a pilot. You are at an airport with no security at all – head to the hanger and then step onto a plane with the pilot. Put the headset one, hear the air traffic controllers and other pilots calling each other in the lingo I don’t understand.

When you are up in the air over the parks and celebrity houses you get the pilots full attention (except for his focus on actually flying the plane). You can ask him what is that? What are they building there? And he points out Harry Potter or the tree of life.

I actually flew the plane which was pretty crazy – I think I stared so hard at the controls to ensure “the line was between this number and that number” that I didn’t even look out the windshield the entire time I was flying the plane.

The landing is my favorite – soooo smooth. And the runway is so close you feel like you can reach out and touch it as you are landing. I can definitely recommend that you check out MAUIVA for your next trip to Orlando.

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Pets on your Disney Vacation? Sure!

June 25th, 2010

Disney Pet Resort

Can’t bear to leave your pet at home while you travel to Central Florida with your family? Don’t worry. A new luxury pet resort to open at Walt Disney World Resort will provide the best care while you’re enjoying the local theme parks.

Reservations are being accepted for pet boarding stays beginning Aug. 27, 2010, for the new Best Friends Pet Care Resort. After it opens, it will be the new central location for all pet boarding at the Walt Disney World Resort.

The one-of-a-kind resort comprises more than 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including 17,000 square feet of air-conditioned indoor space, 10,000 square feet of covered outdoor runs and play areas, and an expansive private dog park exclusively for the use of pet resort clients and their dogs.

Read more…

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2010 International Pow Wow Kicks off in Orlando

May 17th, 2010

Mickey and Minnie welcome Pow Wow participants to the Magic Kingdom
Mickey and Minnie welcome International Pow Wow participants to the Magic Kingdom

The International Pow Wow is a trade show for travel professionals from around the world. Generally deals are made between buyers and suppliers, and everyone gets a chance to see what’s coming over the next year with a special emphasis on the host city.

Disney rolled out the Royalty for the event
Disney rolled out the Royalty for the event. Cinderella and her coach made an appearance.

This year the host city is Orlando, FL, which means I got a chance to attend the huge kick-off party last night at Walt Disney World resort’s Magic Kingdom. Disney certainly knows how to throw a party, and Pow Wow participants certainly know how to enjoy one.

Disney Imagineers previewed the coming Fantasyland changes
Disney Imagineers previewed the coming Fantasyland changes.

Despite a few sprinkles, I’d have to say the event was a big success. Attendees were treated to fabulous food and drink and stations around Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Thirteen attractions were open to ride and enjoy. Plus, Disney had six Imagineers (theme park designers) stationed in Fantasyland to showcase the 2012 expansion of Fantasyland.

Food stations kept everyone satisfied.
Food stations kept everyone satisfied.

Fantasyland will add a new major attraction, The Journey of the Little Mermaid, a groundbreaking Beauty & The Beast restaurant, a half dozen or so new character experiences (where you can spend actual time with a Princess instead of just a quick photo), and an expansion of the popular Dumbo attraction.

Tomorrowland became a space disco.
Tomorrowland became a space disco.

Dumbo will also get one of Disney’s newest inventions - the waitless queue. Instead of standing in a roped off switchback queue, guests will be handed a special feather and ushered into a giant play area themed to the circus from Dumbo. Once one’s feather color is called out, guests then report to the loading station for boarding of the next flight. This concept had a positive test result this spring at the Rock-n-Rollercoaster.

Ice Sculpture provided freshly chilled beverages.
Giant ice sculptures provided freshly chilled beverages.

The night ended with special showing of “Wishes” fireworks spectacular. Pow Wow guests were issued special ‘Mickey Vision’ glasses that turned every explosion into a shower of Mickey Mouse shapes. It was quite a unique way to view the show.

Ice Sculpture Pool Table.
The Ice Pool Tables were popular.

As the crowd filtered out, Disney had yet one more surprise — a preview of the Main Street Electrical Parade, which is returning to the Magic Kingdom beginning June 6th as part of the Summer Nightastic! promotion. Summer Nightastic! will also include a new fireworks show, dance parties, concerts, and other surprises. So stay tuned.

Disney's Electrical Parade
Popular Pixie Tinker Bell leads the Disney’s Electrical Parade in a new float.

If this has you excited, like it does me, make sure to visit Last Minute Travel’s special section on travel to Walt Disney World.

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