AAA Inspectors Rank Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge as Top Family Hotel

In honor of the summer slowly crawling towards an end, the Automobile Association of America (AAA) is honoring those families looking for one more family vacation fling by posting the results of a survey they put to their lodging and restaurant inspectors in search of the ideal family hotel.

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Disney’s Aulani Resort to Open August 29, 2011; Reservations Start August 2

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai’i, will begin accepting reservations for hotel rooms and vacation packages August 2, 2010, through the Walt Disney Travel Company.

Aulani is scheduled to welcome its first guests on August 29, 2011.

“Aulani will represent a new way for every member of the family to enjoy a vacation in Hawaii,” said Djuan Rivers, Vice President of Aulani. “It is designed so that parents, children and guests of any age can find their own kind of fun and relaxation. Families will experience the island in ways they might never have discovered before.”

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Disney Vacation Club’s Aulani Resort Accepting Sales Beginning Today

Epic Mickey Graphic Novel Disney Vacation Club began selling real estate interests for the company’s first family-friendly destination resort in Hawai`i today. Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, is scheduled to open its first phase in fall 2011 and will mark the eleventh resort for Disney Vacation Club.

“We are thrilled to give families joining Disney Vacation Club a new resort option in one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world,” said Disney Vacation Club President Jim Lewis. “Once Aulani opens, families will be able to immerse themselves in the culture of Hawai`i while knowing that they will get the quality vacation experience only Disney can deliver.”

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Downtown Disney Area Hotels Offer ‘Summer Nightastic’ Specials Through August 14

Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels are giving vacationers another reason to enjoy Summer Nightastic! at the Walt Disney World Resort with special discounts up to 25 percent off regular rates good from now through August 14, 2010 or later.

Summer nights at Walt Disney World Resort enchant theme park guests when the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot present special events designed to add summertime energy to the after-dark theme-park experience. Summer Nightastic! — which runs from June 6, 2010 through August 14, 2010 — lights up the entertainment experience at the Vacation Kingdom with the return of the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade, a fireworks extravaganza, a rockin? dance party, concerts and more.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror adds new effects — and a summer-only drop sequence — to the mix for guests daring to step into the attraction?s infamous service elevator. On nearby Hollywood Boulevard, guests are invited to the Rock n? Glow Dance Party, where a DJ and live rock band keep popular tunes coming five nights a week. And at Epcot, live Sounds Like Summer tribute-band concerts rock guests each evening from June 12 to July 31 with familiar tunes ranging from Hotel California to Stayin’ Alive.

Visitors planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort for Summer Nightastic! will find special savings at Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels. The Royal Plaza is featuring Hot Summer Night values with rates starting at $69 per night, with a free upgrade to deluxe tower rooms. Guests also receive the Royal Savings Passport at check-in, which features up to $275 in additional savings throughout the hotel. Passport offers include: 25 percent off a dinner check at the hotel?s restaurant (up to a $50 value), buy one movie and get one free, buy one 16-inch pizza and get one of equal or lesser value for free, and 50 percent off the second night of a subsequent stay at the property. Guests must reserve a room by June 30, 2010 and travel between now and Sept 30, 2010.

(more…)

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Former Disney Cast Member to Serve Time for Stealing Credit Card Info from DVC Guests

Next month, former Walt Disney World cast member Ana Rosa will begin serving out a two year+ prison sentence as part of a plea bargain for identity theft according to a report from WFTV in Orlando. Although Rosa insists she never used the stolen credit card information, she does admit to purchasing and using a skimming device (using theme park tickets as part of payment) and to selling the information to an outside source who was known to use the information.

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Waking Pop Century: Walt Disney World Announces New Art of Animation Resort, Opening 2012

Imagineer Joni Van Buren sculpts a model of King Triton from the 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid. In its final form, the sculpture will be 35 feet tall and tower over guests at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a new Disney World hotel that will open in 2012. Photo courtesy Disney via Orlando SentinelFor those wondering whatever will become of Disney’s Pop Century: The Legendary Years — the proposed second phase of the popular value resort —  wonder no more. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the site is now the future home of a brand new resort, Disney’s Art of Animation.

Construction on the second half of the Pop Century resort halted after 9/11 as the travel industry took a huge hit and appeared to keep the resort in limbo since. Some rumors of the structures’ integrity being violated by weather (as well as YouTube videos showing the buildings in disarray) had the buildings eventually being torn-down and re-built should the development go forward while others said construction was simply on hold. One speculation that proved to be true is that the resort will be composed mostly of family suites, following up their roll-out at All Star Music.

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‘Flying’ Under the Radar, ‘Dining with an Imagineer’ Dinner Option Returns

Thanks to the Disney Food Blog, we have learned that the fabulous and exclusive ‘Dining with an Imagineer’  program is once again offering the dinner option, this time at the Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. Although the program has always offered a lunch option at Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s, Hollywood Brown Derby, the dinner has been touch-and-go, last offered at Artist Point, but some time ago.

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Southwest Officially Boards Disney’s Magical Express’ ‘Resort Airline Check-in’ Program

Disney's Magical ExpressSouthwest Airlines, the busiest carrier at Orlando International Airport, is now officially a part of Resort Airline Check-In at Walt Disney World Resort.

Resort Airline Check-In is the popular service that allows guests the convenience of checking their bags through to their final destination before leaving their hotel. With the addition of Southwest Airlines to the service, more than 90% of domestic passengers who depart Central Florida for Orlando International Airport will have Resort Airline Check-In service available to them at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels.

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WDW Refurb Update: Stormalong Bay Slide Closure in May

The pool slide at Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht Club and Beach Club will close on May 2 for refurbishment. At this time we do not have an exact re-opening date other than ‘late May’ so we are assuming May 31 for the time being.

Although the pool and play areas other than the slide will remain open during this time, guests are invited to use the pool and slide at the Boardwalk Inn if desired.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch!

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Child Hit and Killed by Bus at Walt Disney World Near Fort Wilderness

WESH and Orlando Sentinel are reporting on a 10 year old boy who was tragically struck and killed by a bus earlier today shortly before 2 pm near Fort Wilderness at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Not too many details are currently available but WESH indicates that the accident occurred at Fort Wilderness Trail and Big Pine Trail.

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