Looking for Florida travel deals? No need to clip coupons with these year-round entertainment bargains in the Sunshine State.
- The Weekend: Explore Fantasyland at Walt Disney World. In December 2012, Walt Disney World opened a revitalized Fantasyland designed to draw die-hard Disney fans, princesses and pirates back to the Magic Kingdom to explore new towering castles, enchanted mermaid attractions and a refreshed Dumbo ride.
Start Here: The Royal Guest Rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort were created with Cinderella in mind. Ornate details, from fancy gold faucets to tapestry draperies, complement beds that feature fiber-optic castle scenes in the headboards. Youngsters will love to push the headboard button and watch the light show.
Weekend To Dos:
1. Start at the Enchanted Forest and put yourself into scenes from Beauty and the Beast as you stroll through Belle’s French village, around waterfalls and over stone bridges. You can’t miss the medieval Beast’s Castle perched high on a hill, created by Imagineers for princess Belle and her Beast, or a stop at the Enchanted Tales with Belle for interactive storytelling in Maurice’s workshop and the Beast’s library.
2. The Little Mermaid’s Princess Ariel has a new space as well. Enter the Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction through Prince Eric’s castle. The high-tech ride takes you below the ocean’s surface for a musical encounter with all the film’s characters.
3. You’ll need to reserve your tables three weeks in advance to dine at Be Our Guest restaurant. Located inside the Beast’s Castle and styled after Beauty and the Beast’s gilded ballroom (stained-glass windows depicti scenes from the movie), the French restaurant serves dishes like mussels Provençal and Cornish hens with fingerling potatoes. Kids will love the dessert trolley’s triple chocolate cupcakes, while adults will be happily surprised when the waiter presents them with wine and beer lists.
- What did divers find in the Gladstone bag recovered from the Titanic, some 75 years after history’s most famous ocean liner sank? Find out with a visit to Orlando’s Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.
- Castles, circuses, mermaids and surprises galore — Walt Disney World has unveiled its newest attraction, Fantasyland, and it certainly is fantastical. While the official opening is scheduled for December 6, 2012, there's more Disney surprises to come to this Orlando theme park (including a castle devoted to all the Disney princesses), making it a great addition to the Magic Kingdom. So what can you expect in Fantasyland now? Take a peek at the photos below.
- Golfers, get ready to rejoice: The Omni Orlando Resort & Villas at Championsgate is offering a getaway deal to play, practice & relax.
- Take a visual stroll through the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival from Sept. 28 to Nov. 12.
- Looking for a new spot to enjoy some great food and fine wine? Here are six new offerings from around the state with flavors from Mexico to the Mediterranean.
- A lovely street where culture, shopping and dining blend impeccably well.
- An island oasis hidden in the heart of Central Florida. It's a great way to spend the day outdoors — kayaking, canoeing and swimming around the Wekiva River.
- Walt Disney World unveils cool attractions and accommodations. You’ll be wishing you could stay the whole summer.
by Patricia Letakis