Summer Just Got a Whole Lot Cooler

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Guests go for a ride in a Captain-guided tour aboard an amphibious auto, known as an Amphicar, on Lake Buena Vista at Downtown Disney, as part of the waterfront adventures offered at The BOATHOUSE restaurant. The BOATHOUSE: Great Food, Waterfront Dining, Dream Boats, is a new upscale, waterfront dining experience in the heart of Downtown Disney with a gourmet menu featuring steaks, chops, fresh seafood and a raw bar. The BOATHOUSE from Schussler Creative is one of the new venues in The Landing, the first of four planned neighborhoods as Downtown Disney transitions to Disney Springs. Completion of Disney Springs is set for 2016. Downtown Disney is located at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Matt Stroshane)
Amphicars at Downtown Disney next to The BOATHOUSE restaurant.

Walt Disney World Resort is celebrating summertime with its Coolest Summer Ever festivities, and they’ve got the coolest host “ever”—Olaf, from “Frozen,” of course.

Last month, the media got a bite of the some of the goodies on the menu of this summertime feast—and for the icing on the cake, we got to hang with Olaf and sing along to “Frozen” tunes.

The new Harambe Marketplace at Animal Kingdom, Teen Beach 2: Beach Party at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, and hanging with Anna and Elsa—and of course, Olaf—are only a sprinkling of delights that you can offer clients during this summer-long party. And don’t forget…Star Wars fans can encounter Star Wars celebrities during the annual Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios.

Here are some of the summertime fun that piqued our interest as well as the new must-do’s clients need to know about:

  • It’s summertime, so let’s start this off with a dive into Disney’s water parks. Through July 5, Typhoon Lagoon will have an interactive DJ party, the aforementioned Teen Beach 2: Beach Party that will feature a DJ spinning retro tunes, beach-y themed games, and hula hoop contests. Let clients know that there’s a new deal at Disney’s water parks: When guests purchase a 1-day water park ticket, they can park-hop between the two water parks in the same day that both are open.
  • At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, “Frozen” Summer Fun LIVE kicks off June 17 and continues daily through Sept. 7. The top brass in “Frozen”—Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf (don’t even think of inviting Prince Hans) are welcomed to the theme park twice each day to take part in the Frozen Royal Welcome, a fun parade of sorts that will include the Royal Arendelle Flag Corps, skaters, skiers, and ice cutters. Of course, Anna is in a horse-drawn sleigh and guests get to sing along to “Let it Go!”
  • Also in Hollywood Studios, during Olaf’s Summer Cool Down at the Event Stage, this popular Disney character shares a burst from his personal snow cloud. And then once the sun sets, there’s a DJ party with Disney characters during the “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party.
  • Nighttime fireworks? Why, of course, this is Disney after all. The “Frozen” Fireworks are the grand finale to the day’s festivities—all set to the music of “Frozen” and with a flurry of snow.
  • Little ones, especially, will love the For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration that takes place in the Hyperion Theater, located in the very center of Hollywood Studios. It’s fun, sweet and grown-ups will get some laughs out of it, too.
  • At Animal Kingdom, the new Harambe Marketplace opened this month, offering street-inspired dishes from walk-up windows.
  • The new interactive queues at Peter Pan’s Flight and Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom, among others, make waiting in line a bit more entertaining. At Peter Pan’s Flight, not only is much of the queue now in fully enclosed indoor space, it also features a walk-through of the Darling children’s home and into their nursery. Guests even get a sprinkling of pixie dust before leaving the new queue to board the ride, but before they jump on the ride, they’ll have a chance to play with virtual objects with their own shadow.
Inside the new interactive queue at Peter Pan's Flight, Magic Kingdom guests are immersed in the storyline of 'Peter Pan' as they await their journey to Neverland. Accompanied by the mischief-causing Tinker Bell, guests can enter the home of the Darling family and tour the children's nursery as the room comes to life.  Magic Kingdom is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort located near Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mariah Wild, photographer)
Inside the new interactive queue at Peter Pan’s Flight, Magic Kingdom guests are immersed in the storyline of ‘Peter Pan’ as they await their journey to Neverland. (Mariah Wild, photographer)
  • The new Haunted Mansion shop, Memento Mori, is open at Magic Kingdom and it’s definitely one to recommend clients—here, special effects take place throughout the store, with a number of the fixtures, mirrors and artworks taking on a ghostly form. Tell clients to experience the shop and walk through it with patience.
  • Magic Kingdom now has Plaza Gardens with great views of the castle, and for FastPass holders, views of the parade. It’s a great place to have a picnic lunch and people-watch.
Park plazas at Magic Kingdom.
Plaza gardens at Magic Kingdom.
  • Donald’s Safari Dinner at Animal Kingdom offers guests the opportunity to meet Donald and Daisy, while dining on all-you-can-eat spit-roasted carved meats, salads, vegetarian offerings, stews, and desserts.
  • The Backstage Tales, which debuted in March, is a 3 hour and 45 minute tour that takes guests backstage at Animal Kingdom for a look at animal housing, the nutrition center, and the veterinarian facilities. For guests 12 and up.
  • In Downtown Disney, soon to be re-named Disney Springs, there’s a great new waterfront dining venue that we got to try out, The BOATHOUSE—you’ve never seen a Baked Alaska like this! The upscale restaurant offers a raw bar, steaks, delicious salads, crab cakes that melt in your mouth, mac & cheese —we could’ve sat there all day. But a ride on the Amphicars was calling—guests can take a guided tour aboard a rare Amphicar that drives on land and floats in the water. It’s a 20-minute tour of Downtown Disney from the water.
Baked Alaska at The BOATHOUSE in Downtown Disney.
Baked Alaska at The BOATHOUSE in Downtown Disney.
  • Downtown Disney, in case you didn’t have your ear to the ground, is undergoing the largest expansion in its history. It’s set to be completed, with a new waterfront district for shopping, dining and entertainment, by 2016, when it will be renamed. One of the main things they had in mind when recreating the entertainment area, was what guests had been requesting: more shaded areas and more eating establishments.
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant breakfast service is taking place in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom through July 18. It’s a a prix fixe menu from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. that has a decidedly French taste, with entree options including assorted cured meat and cheese, eggs Florentine served in a puff pastry shell and an open-face bacon-and-poached-egg sandwich with brie.
  • Guests can save up to 30 percent on stays at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels this summer. For example, guests can book a 5-night stay at select Disney Moderate Resort hotels and it’s like getting the fifth night for free.
  • Wow! Those overwater bungalows at the newly re-imagined Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are fabulous! Plunge pools, cool decor and those views!
The Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. Reminiscent of the South Pacific, the Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows showcase a modern tropical style, sleep up to eight guests in a two-bedroom, home-like setting and feature private decks where guests can enjoy views of the playful nighttime water parade, the Electrical Water Pageant, and fireworks over Magic Kingdom Park. The Bungalows also have a plunge pool on the private deck, two full bathrooms, a kitchen, washer and dryer, and dining and living room spaces for gatherings. The newest Disney Vacation Club Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows features 20 Bungalows on Seven Seas Lagoon, the first of this type of accommodation for Disney, and when complete this summer, 360 Deluxe Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The expansion is part of an overall re-imagination of Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. (David Roark, photographer)
The Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
(David Roark, photographer)

FastPass+
Did you know: Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels may make FastPass+ selections up to 60 days in advance of their visit. Disney Passholders and day guests with valid park admission (those not staying in a Walt Disney World

Resort hotel) can make FastPass+ selections 30 days in advance of their trip. After guests have redeemed their first three selections or the redemption windows have passed, they will be able to make another FastPass+ selection at an in-park kiosk. Once they’ve used the fourth, they can select another, and so on. Guests with valid park-hopping privileges will be able to make their additional selection(s) at another park. Those selections must be made at a kiosk inside the park where the desired experience is located. Access to FastPass+ is included in theme park admission for all Walt Disney World guests.

For more information on all the new happenings during the summer and beyond, visit disneytravelagents.com.