Category: Travel

Carnival’s ‘Merry Grinchmas’ Celebrations Bring Holiday Cheer To Kids At Medical University Of South Carolina Children’s Hospital In Charleston And Baltimore’s Ronald McDonald House

By M and M Travel and Tours on in Travel

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Carnival Cruise Line, in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, brought some holiday cheer to kids at the Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital in Charleston and The Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore, hosting fun-filled “Merry Grinchmas” celebrations with appearances from The Grinch and more.

Carnival also presented each facility with a $10,000 donation during the festivities.

In addition to a reading of the classic Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, entertainment and youth staff from the Charleston-based Carnival Fantasy and Baltimore-based Carnival Pride cruise ships recreated the line’s popular holiday show with the ships’ singers and dancers performing for kids in each facility’s respective play areas.

The shows were highlighted by a visit from The Grinch as the cantankerous curmudgeon did his best to “stop Christmas from coming” by stealing the cruise directors’ favorite holiday ornament. After being transformed by the real meaning of Christmas, the legendary green character returned the item in a heartwarming end-of-show celebration. The Grinch is entertaining guests throughout the Carnival fleet in December as part of the line’s exclusive Seuss at Sea program in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Dr. Seuss characters and the shipboard team members also distributed Dr. Seuss-themed gift bags to each child. Kids were also given their own Grinch Good Deed Tracker with a list of good deed suggestions to allow them to, just like The Grinch, grow their heart “three times its size.”

“As a proud member of the Charleston and Baltimore communities, we’re delighted to support these two outstanding organizations and create memorable moments for these wonderful kids at this special time of year,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival president.

“Carnival’s Grinchmas, specially coordinated for the children and families in the MUSC Children’s Hospital, brought much color, music and excitement to their hospital stay! The opportunity to meet the Dr. Seuss characters and watch the cruise line performers created fun-filled positive memories for our patients in what can be a stressful environment,” said Betsy McMillian, child life manager at MUSC Children’s Hospital. “Additionally, their generous donation will help make our new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Women’s Pavilion a reality!”

Added Sandy Pagnotti, president of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore,

“The Carnival entertainment team not only spread smiles and holiday cheer to the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore, but delivered a very generous and much appreciated gift that will go toward providing care to those who use our services in the coming year.”

Carnival Cruise Line operates year-round departures from both Charleston and Baltimore carrying more than 100,000 guests annually from those ports.

For additional information and reservations on Carnival’s holiday sailings and other cruises throughout the year, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

By M and M Travel and Tours on in Travel

This week, we continued sharing some great holiday stories from Disney Parks, including another behind the scenes look at one of your favorite attractions. The Disneyland Resort Entertainment team has turned the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland park into the Jingle Cruise and we took a special tour to see how they did it.

It takes about two weeks of work to change the Jungle Cruise into the Jingle Cruise for the holidays. For more information, check out Shannon’s original story.

And we also featured 16 new products that will make 2016 an Unforgettable year at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts in our exclusive Disney Parks Blog “unboxed” series. The items shown in the video will be released throughout 2016 (we don’t have exact dates at this time).

Once released at Disney Parks, you may find select items using the Shop Disney Parks mobile app. This free app gives you access to thousands of products we carry at Disney Parks which you can have shipped directly to your home. To download, please visit DisneyWorld.com/Shop.

Let us know which item is your favorite in the comments.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

Discover Holidays at the Disneyland Resort with Santa Claus – Recently I had the chance to sit down with the big man in red himself, Santa Claus. We chatted about all there is to see and do during the holidays during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

#DisneyFamilia: Get Festive at Walt Disney World Resort With Gifts, Events and More! – The holiday season is in full swing at Walt Disney World Resort! Here are a few ideas on things to do and gifts for your familia!

Take a Look at These Chocolates From New Ganachery at Disney Springs – The Ganachery chocolate boutique at Disney Springs opens December 15, where delectable chocolate is the star of the show. An extraordinary custom-blended dark chocolate is blended with cream, then covered in a “chocolate waterfall” to create 16 fabulous flavors, from coffee to cinnamon and curry. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!

Enjoy the Holidays at the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort – This year, the holiday season sparkles even brighter during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. It’s one of the best times to not only visit our parks, but also stay at one of our three hotels.

The Walt Disney Archives Brings Walt’s Office Back to the Disney Studios Lot – Today Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger presided over a special ceremony to dedicate the newly restored office of Walt Disney in the Animation Building at the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank.

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap by Thomas Smith: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

This Week in Disney Park Photos: ‘Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season’

By M and M Travel and Tours on in Travel

When I first saw the collection of pictures Jennifer Fickley-Baker shared of this fireworks display, I thought they were paintings. The burst of colors and festive images projected onto Cinderella Castle are so vivid. Here’s another look in case you missed it:

‘Holiday Wishes’ Fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park

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11 Photos Of ‘Holiday Wishes’ Fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park

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One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is seeing light displays of all kinds. And this one – combining lights, projections and fireworks – is a pretty spectacular gift for our guests visiting during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park.

What’s your favorite holiday display at Disney Parks?

This Week in Disney Park Photos: ‘Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season’ by Victoria Lim: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland Diamond Days Winner of Cinderella Crystal Slipper Honored at Disneyland Park

By M and M Travel and Tours on in Travel

Earlier this week, we awarded the first Disney icon prize from the Disneyland Diamond Days sweepstakes to Eric Freeman from Glendora, Calif. Eric won the beautiful diamond and topaz-adorned, “Cinderella”-inspired crystal slipper that was revealed when Disneyland Diamond Days began in May. He and his family also enjoyed a three day, two night Disneyland Resort vacation package. Take a look at the special ceremony held in his honor in the video below!

The next Disney icon – the bejeweled crown inspired by the Disney film, “Sleeping Beauty” – will be awarded soon. Don’t miss out on your chance to win an exclusive Disney icon, theme park experiences and even diamonds! For details, Official Rules and to learn more about Disneyland Diamond Days, visit Disneyland.com/DiamondDays.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S., D.C., Mexico and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are age of majority as of date of entry. Sweepstakes ends 6:59 AM PT on 2/5/16. Each weekly drawing starts Friday at 7:00AM PT and ends at 6:59 AM PT the following Friday. Each eligible weekly entry automatically entered into final drawing but not into any daily drawings. Limit one (1) entry per person per day, regardless of method of entry. Disney Memories, 500 S. Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521, U.S.A.

Disneyland Diamond Days Winner of Cinderella Crystal Slipper Honored at Disneyland Park by Erin Glover: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

Reservations Now Open for Countdown to Midnight: NYE 2016 at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club

By M and M Travel and Tours on in Travel

Ring in 2016 in style! The convention center at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort will play host to a progressive 3-in-1 New Year’s extravaganza. With something for everyone, Countdown to Midnight: NYE 2016 is the perfect finale to the holiday season.

Enjoy an interactive comedy reunion at Adventurer’s Club, then head over to Club Live to rock out with a 9-piece dance band. At Club Vinyl, a 7-piece band is remixing today’s hits with steamy jazz. Don’t forget to grab your New Year’s hats and tiaras for the countdown to midnight—complete with a balloon drop and confetti cannons—to toast to the New Year in a keepsake champagne glass.

Reservations Now Open for Countdown to Midnight: NYE 2016 at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club

Of course, no party is complete without delicious bites, and Countdown to Midnight: NYE 2016 has something to suit every taste. Sample a variety of appetizers including antipasto and charcuterie, artisanal cheeses and more. Enjoy big flavor in small bites at the gourmet slider bar or indulge with coriander-crusted pan-seared scallops with horseradish cream corn and caviar. Be sure to visit the Mac-n-Noodles action station, where you’ll find mac-n-cheese pasta shells with assorted toppings including smoked bacon, fried onions, toasted breadcrumbs, poached lobster meat and more. For a sweet ending, look for chocolate and coconut cake with salted caramel ganache, assorted French macaroons, and warm chocolate chip cookies. Beer, wine, and mixed drinks are also included for guests over 21.

For more information, click here. Reservations are now open to Walt Disney World Resort guests, and can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

Reservations Now Open for Countdown to Midnight: NYE 2016 at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club by Rachel Bshero: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

PHOTO GALLERY: Special Images of Tiana from ‘The Princess & The Frog’

By M and M Travel and Tours on in Travel

We first met Princess Tiana in the 2009 release, “The Princess & The Frog”. First an ambitious and hardworking waitress who dreams of opening her own restaurant, Tiana’s dream is detoured when her kind heart leads her to help a Frog Prince (Prince Naveen) turn back into a human by kissing him – only to have her kiss turn her into a frog also. Tiana and Prince Naveen then go on a journey to find someone who can help them become human again, and along the way, she finds the strength to resist Dr. Facilier’s “deal” and also learns what’s most important in life – love.

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Special Images of Tiana from ‘The Princess & The Frog’

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Thanks to Kent Phillips for the images. To check out more in our series, see the list below.

PHOTO GALLERY: Special Images of Tiana from ‘The Princess & The Frog’ by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: December 2014

By M and M Travel and Tours on in Travel

One year ago this month, we were … of course … celebrating the holiday season at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts! We also explored our history as we marked momentous milestones. Take a look back at some of the stories we shared with you in December 2014.

Today in Disney History: Walt Disney Was Born in 1901
In honor of Walt Disney’s birthday, Jennifer shared this look back at the official announcement of Walt Disney World Resort.

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Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Main Street Station
Part of his “Building the Dream” series, commemorating the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, George showed us these images from the construction of the Main Street Station at Disneyland park.

Watch Holiday Services Install & Unveil The Magic Kingdom Park Christmas Tree
Jennifer showed us this amazing video, in which the Holiday Services department installs the massive Magic Kingdom Park Christmas tree overnight.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Disney Carolers
Nate shared this fun image of Disney Afternoon characters celebrating the holidays way back in 1990.

Kermit Gets into the Holiday Spirit at Disneyland Park
Even the Muppets were getting into the holiday spirit! Check out this video of Kermit the Frog at Disneyland park.

Christmas Trees at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Christmas Trees at the Resorts of Walt Disney World
Thomas commemorated Christmas day with this beautiful look at the Christmas trees of the Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: December 2014 by Erin Glover: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

Create a Disney Magical Memory for Family and Friends From Disney Floral & Gifts

By M and M Travel and Tours on in Travel

I love celebrating holidays and special occasions because it gives me an opportunity to let family and friends know how special they are. Sometimes it’s the coveted gift that lights up loved ones. For others, it’s articulating what makes them so special through a note or card. Here are two ways to share your heartfelt sentiments at home and at Disney Parks.

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For the next holiday meal you host, consider sharing your sentiments through the place card above. On one side of this “gift”, write your guest’s name, on the other side, note what makes them special to you. Once all are seated at the table, let them know of your surprise message. For some, this “gift” will become a treasure … one they may keep to read again in the future. To help you get started, just print the card and you’re off to create a special memory.

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For family coming to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, your family and friends can help you create a similar surprise for your loved ones through our new Disney Magical Memories program. Here’s how it works:

Let’s say your family is coming to Disney for a holiday visit or special occasion and you want to create an over-the-top Disney surprise for them. Begin by ordering some holiday gifts from our website for delivery to your resort room. At the end of your order, you’ll be asked if you’d like to invite family and friends to create a surprise for your loved one(s) through a free note that will be included in an exclusive Disney card and delivered to your resort room along with your gift. They will receive one card, but it can include numerous notes from grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. surprising them with a free special message.

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Oh and by the way, the card is an exclusive piece illustrated by Disney artist Charles Wissig.

To learn more about this offer at Walt Disney World, visit our Disney Floral and Gifts website or call a friendly Dream Maker at 407-WDW-GIFT (939-4438)! For Disneyland, you can visit this Disney Floral and Gifts link or call 714-781-GIFT (4438).

Create a Disney Magical Memory for Family and Friends From Disney Floral & Gifts by Jean Volante: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

#DisneyKids: Meet Disney Superfan Giselle from Giselle’s Garden

By M and M Travel and Tours on in Travel

Today, for our continuing #DisneyKids series, I want you to meet an adorable little princess named Giselle. Giselle loves coming to Walt Disney World Resort, especially if it means she can wear one of her Disney Princess dresses or even other costumes like Tinker Bell from “Peter Pan,” or Russell from “Up.”

Giselle’s magical Disney Parks experiences began last year when she made her first visit at the age of 4, wearing a dress that her mom, Kristina, made for the occasion. According to Kristina, Giselle, who has Down Syndrome, comes alive with happiness when interacting with Disney characters – creating moments that Kristina loves capturing on camera. Each time they plan a return visit to Walt Disney World Resort, Kristina creates new costumes for photos and fun.

Kristina eventually posted a few photos online and the popularity of the images grew so much that Giselle’s Walt Disney World Resort photos became an internet sensation. These days, you can Giselle’s latest magical adventure on Facebook at “Giselle’s Garden.”

Here’s a video from Giselle’s most recent visit when the family visited some favorite characters, including Merida from Disney•Pixar’sBrave,” Anna and Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen,” and, of course, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

#DisneyKids: Meet Disney Superfan Giselle from Giselle’s Garden by Michelle Baumann: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

Disney Parks Blog Readers Join Special Celebration of ‘Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular’ at Disney California Adventure Park

By M and M Travel and Tours on in Travel

Last night, hundreds of Disney Parks Blog readers gathered at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure park to celebrate “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular”. The evening began with a private performance of the show, followed by a panel discussion with performers and those who work behind the scenes.

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Fans were excited to celebrate the show and its cast!

Disney Parks Blog Readers Join Special Celebration of ‘Disney’s Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular’ at Disney California Adventure ParkDisney Parks Blog Readers Join Special Celebration of ‘Disney’s Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular’ at Disney California Adventure Park

The panel discussion included Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony, creative executive with Walt Disney Imagineering, who oversaw the creation of the show; David Carriero, stage manager; and performers Jim Gruessing (Genie), Billy Kametz (Aladdin) and Cassie Murphy (Jasmine). The panel shared personal memories from their roles in the show and expressed gratitude to the show’s loyal fans.

Don’t miss your chance to see “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” now through January 10, 2016, at Disney California Adventure park. And stay tuned to Disney Parks Blog for updates and information on the all-new theatrical production coming to the Hyperion Theater, which will immerse guests in the world of Disney’s award-winning blockbuster, “Frozen”.

Disney Parks Blog Readers Join Special Celebration of ‘Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular’ at Disney California Adventure Park by Erin Glover: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog