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Looking Forward 2020 – #travelvirtually Disney Destinations

 

I’ve just got in from the Clap for the NHS and it was monumental. Made me feel really special to be part of that event. Disney Destinations have a real way of making you feel special too. Every Disney holiday we’ve ever taken has been filled with special moments.

I want to help you start planning your dream destination holiday. Disney hosts sparkly celebrations, fun for all the family, world-class attractions, shows and parades. Plus some of the world’s best dining experiences. And of course the legendary Disney service. This week we’re going to help you experience all the magic that awaits from your armchair!

Start Here

Disney and I go way back.

Over the last 24 years I’ve been 8 times to Disneyland Paris, Disneyland California and Walt Disney World.
I choose to spend time there again and again. The magic of the place draws me back again and again. I went as a kid, as a colleague, as a couple and now as a family with our own kids. I’ve written a little journal about my different experiences which you can read here – Journal through Disney Destinations

This page will be updated daily over the week – a curation of content designed to immerse you in the culture, the beauty, the sights, the sounds and the tastes of Disney Destinations. Have you been on a Disney holiday? Please send us your Disney tips and any content you want to share!

How to get there?

  • Disneyland Paris 
    By train with Eurostar | By car | By Plane – Scheduled flights from UK regional airports. With Air France. British Airways and easyJet.
  • Walt Disney World, Orlando
    By Plane – Scheduled flights from UK regional airports. With British Airways, TUI and Virgin Atlantic.
  • Disneyland, California
    By Plane – Scheduled flights from UK regional airports. With British Airways, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic to name a few.
  • Disney Cruise Line
    There are summer itineraries sailing straight from the UK. Fly cruise options include scheduled flights from UK regional airports.

Highlights – Disneyland Paris

  • A range of Disney Hotels and Disney Nature Resorts to suit every taste and budget. Disney room packages (at certain times of year) are superb value compared to the partner hotels nearby. All hotel packages include tickets for both parks from day of check in to day of check out. Free hotel parking, and other exclusive benefits. Including Magic Hours (Exclusive hotel guest only time in the parks)
  • Disney Characters, find out on the app where your fave characters will be at any given time!
  • Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show with Mickey and Friends. A unique dinner show only available in Disneyland Paris.
  • Excursions to Paris – direct trains into Paris take as little as 30 minutes. We travelled from Marnee Ville just outside the parks to the Eiffel Tower in 35 minutes and for less than £15 for all three of us. Check out the Stawberry Holidays Paris vlog
  • Spectacular Seasons – There’s festivals throughout every season. From Legends of the Force: A celebration of Star Wars in Jan – Mar to The Lion King & Jungle Festival which is June to September. Special events, parades and shows happen throughout the park – unique to Disneyland Paris. We went during Marvel Season of Super Heroes. Check out the Strawberry Holidays Disneyland Paris vlog.
  • Spellbinding Events – You have the Run Weekends which many have heard of. But did you know there’s Magical Pride in June, Electroland in July, Disney’s Magical Fireworks and Bonfire in November?

Highlights – Walt Disney World

  • Jump Into New Star Wars Experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – From the newly opened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to the new destination that was just added into Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is overflowing with offerings for Star Wars fans of all ages.
  • Enjoy Disney After Hours Events at Magic Kingdom Park & Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Disney After Hours events allow guests to explore a theme park at night with little wait times for many favorite attractions and character greetings. (Select snacks are also included). Tickets to 2020 Disney After Hours event nights are already on sale.
  • Grab Barbecue at Regal Eagle Smokehouse at Epcot – One of the first restaurants set to open in 2020 is Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue a fast-casual barbecue experience at The American Adventure. Expect sliced Texas beef brisket sandwiches, Kansas City smoked chicken, Memphis dry-rub pork ribs, North Carolina chopped smoked pork butt, power green salads and more.
  • Hop Aboard Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, set to open March 4 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, will be the first Disney ride-through attraction featuring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Here, you will travel inside a Mickey cartoon for a fun-filled adventure where “Mouse rules apply” and anything can happen!
  • Embark on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot – Set to open in Summer 2020 in the France Pavilion at Epcot, the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction will invite you to join Chef Remy on a super-sized journey through Gusteau’s kitchen.
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Will Spice Up Fall –The aromas and flavors of global marketplaces will welcome you to the 25th anniversary of this fan-favorite festival. You’ll have a chance to meet celebrity chefs, try new food and wine pairings, and listen to great music during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.
  • Gather for ‘Harmonious’ at Epcot – In 2020, Epcot is on track to debut the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over, carrying you away harmoniously on a stream of familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. The show will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.

Highlights – Disneyland California

  • Cars Land. I can’t begin to describe the feeling of stepping into this part of the park. It was like stepping into the movie. We went at sunset and enjoyed it late afternoon and then when the fluorescent lighting came on at night, it was even more awesome!
  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which is the biggest addition to Disneyland in decades. While there are “only” two attractions in Star Wars Land, these are two blockbuster rides. Both of them are among the most ambitious and expensive that Imagineering has ever created, and will leave a lasting impression.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean is a boat-ride back in time to the days when pirates ruled the Caribbean. The attractions features Audio Animatronics pirates engaging in swashbuckling mayhem. This is one of our favorite attractions at Disneyland.
  •  the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage takes guests aboard actual submarines to find Nemo. It’s a relatively long attraction with some awesome sets and detail.
  • Rope Drop. I love the Rope Drop because you can see and experience the lesser seen characters. Abi danced with the Mad Hatter and Alice on our trip. Others have seen Mary Poppins and Burt, and Peter Pan and Wendy!

Highlights – Disney Cruise Line

  • Castaway Cay 5K. A few years ago I would definitely have left this off. But I know so many people who love running and often an interesting route or Parkrun is part of their destination requirements. On embarkation you can sign up to this for your day on Disney’s private island.
  • Rainforest Room at the Senses Spa. The best kept secret on Disney Cruise Line’s fleet of ships. Book a Rainforest pass at the Senses Spa either for a day or the length of cruise and prepare to be pampered with aromatherapy showers, saunas, steam room, and heated stone loungers.
  • When you sail on a Disney Cruise, it’s almost like you are sailing with family. Everyone on a Disney Cruise has something in common: a love of Disney. Second, all your favorite Disney characters are on board, which makes it comforting, especially when you are far away from home. It’s like sailing with old friends.
  • Entertainment including live Broadway-style productions at the Walt Disney Theatre as well as Disney movie classics and current first-run films at the Buena Vista Theatre

Articles – Disneyland Paris

5 essentials to pack for Disneyland Paris – Mummies Waiting

First timers day in Disneyland Paris – Mummies Waiting

Planning your Disneyland Paris holiday into 2020 and beyond! English Mum

Why you’re never too old for Disneyland Paris – St Christophers

Videos – Disneyland Paris

 

 

 

Videos – Walt Disney World

 

 

 

Videos – Disneyland California

Videos – Disney Cruise Line

 

 

 

Spotify Playlist – #TravelVirtually – Disney Destinations

Top Tips for Disney Holidays

My favourite tip is to follow bloggers and vloggers. There is so much Disney content out there, so I always migrate towards people like me. That’s why I love the following ladies. We share values and like similar parts of Disney Destinations. 

A Clairey Tale – A UK blogger, freshly married, Claire is based in Manchester, UK. She’s sharing content at the moment all about Tokyo Disney Resort. 

English Mum – Becky writes for many travel magazines and online. The exclusive Disney experiences she’s enjoyed over the last couple of years are epic. You should check them out!

Ellie Steadman – Ellie was the first Disney Vlogger I followed. And I had the pleasure of taking my Global training with her. She travels with friends and solo. She’s just finished her 4th tour with Disney Cruise Line.

Disney Kinda Day – Jade is a mummy blogger and her planning blogs are my go to. 

A Clairey Tale, English Mum, Ellie Steadman, Disney Kinda Day

 

Disneyland Paris

1) The best thing you can do is plan ahead! Book dining and shows in advance, arrive early for parades and spectaculars. Download the Disneyland Paris app before you travel to check all available times.

2) If you want to have more time in the Disney Parks, and only have limited shopping time, I recommend you head straight to the World of Disney. Use it as a one-stop shop for your gift buying. 

3) It’s worth checking the price for an upgrade to a Club room at the Resort hotels. You get so many time and money-saving plus VIP extras. 

4) Consider the Meal Plans. Being able to pre-budget, knowing how much your food will cost, without worrying about exchange rates or what’s being spent on other things.

5) Disney Hotel guests travelling direct by Eurostar, Disney Express is a must. The whole party can head straight to the Disney Parks as soon as you arrive, while your luggage gets delivered directly to your Hotel.

Walt Disney World

1) Book early for Dining and Disney Fastpass+. Waiter service restaurants slots fill up quickly. Make a note 180 days before your holiday for dining reservations. And 60 days ahead for Disney Fastpass+. You’ll be ready to bag the best places as soon as they’re available to avoid being disappointed.

2) Staying at a Resort Hotel you’ll get Extra Magic Hours, giving you more time in the Parks either before or after normal opening hours. Some days, Magic Kingdom Park stays open until 2am just for Resort guests. 

3) Be smart with Disney Fastpass+. You can only book up to 3 Fastpass+ slots per day to start with, so book them for early in the day. Then once they’re used you can make other reservations. I know someone who made 9 in one day!

4) Memory Maker is a digital photo package worth $199 when bought at the gate. Bit it’s included in the 2020 Ultimate Ticket. There’s no limit to how many memories you can capture throughout the holiday. Share your memories on the go, and download them when you get home!

5) At the water parks, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park & Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, you can hire towels and lockers. Perfect so you don’t have to carry around wet towels. And you can keep belongings safe in the locker.

6) If you’ve got a Disney Dining Plan, it can be used at the Water Parks too! 

7) You can also get pizza delivered right to your room at certain Disney Resort Hotels! Don’t forget the breadsticks!

8) Book a preferred room at a Resort Hotel and you guarantee being close to the Resort facilities.

9) Disney Dining Plans are so flexible you can exchange one waiter service meal for Character dining experience. Or two waiter-service meals for a dinner show, or a Signature treat! 

10) One of the best Character dining experiences you can have at Walt Disney World Resort is Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast at Cape May Cafe in Disney’s Beach Club Resort. It’s a beautiful selection of food, with Minnie and her friends dressed in summer beachwear.

Disney Cruise Line

1) Some people think a Disney Cruise is expensive, but look in detail at what’s included in the price you’ll see what fantastic value it actually is.

2) Head over to the Disney Cruise Line Instagram account to get a taste of what it’s really like on a Disney ship. The most amazing content is created by guests, so your photos could get featured! 

3) On Disney Castaway Cay there’s no need for you to take towels or cash on the island. Towels are provided and you use your Key to the World to charge purchases on the island. You can also even hire snorkel gear, kayaks, paddleboats, aqua trikes and more. 

4) Disney Deck Parties are insanely popular. Guests go all out and dress up. So make sure you check your theme on your cruise and have your dressing up gear packed!

5) While onboard make sure you dine at Animator’s Palate – it’s so unique. Enjoy your meal, drawings on the walls slowly turn from black and white sketches to the full colour versions we see in the movies. Eventually you’re surrounded by a blaze of colour, all during one meal!

About the Author
I've worked in travel for 13 years. As a marketer I've worked for Thomas Cook, Going Places, Direct Holidays, Gill's Cruises, Virgin Holidays and cruise brands, Cruise118.com, sixstarcruises.co.uk and rivervoyages.com. Strawberry Holidays was born because I LOVE TRAVEL. In the last 5 years my family and I have been to 39 places and 17 countries.