More ways to vacation with your favorite mouse
By Suzanne Rowan Kelleher
Looking for new ways to vacation with Mickey and the gang? Here are four of the most highly-anticipated new Disney vacation experiences on the horizon:
Reboot the Magic
Disney Cruise Line’s very first ship, the Magic, is slated to undergo an extreme makeover this fall and emerge with stem-to-stern upgrades, a va-va-voom Art Deco atrium lobby, renovated staterooms and restaurants, and revamped kid spaces that bring the Marvel superheroes into the mix. Older kids will make a beeline for the AquaDunk, a three-story body waterslide that begins with a near-vertical drop through a trap door before shooting 20 feet over the edge of the ship in a translucent tube. Coming: Fall 2013; sailings from Miami to the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
Swing and Sway with the Seven Dwarfs
Last year’s massive expansion of Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom unveiled a magnificent new area themed to “Beauty and the Beast,” doubled the classic fun of Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and introduced a girl-pleasing, animatronic-populated “Little Mermaid” ride. Now Disneyphiles are eagerly awaiting the final phase of the expansion: the family-style Seven Dwarfs Mine Train indoor coaster featuring cutting-edge effects and cooler-than-cool cars that independently sway and swing around the track. Coming: Spring 2014.
(MORE: Find a parent-approved, kid-friendly hotel in Disney World.)
Take a VIP Tour of Central Europe
Disney’s line of premium guided tours brings families to destinations both exotic (China, Peru, Cambodia) and homespun (Grand Canyon, Gettysburg, Wyoming). The wow factor? Immersive experiences that come with exclusive access to amazing venues. A new nine-day itinerary to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic will offer marionette-making in Prague, a private dinner in the Emperor’s Pavilion at the Vienna Zoo, and a visit to the famous Spanish Riding School in Hofburg Castle, including a private tour of the stables and resident Lipizzaner stallions. Also new: Special teen-focused departures to Peru, Costa Rica, as well as Arizona and Utah. Coming: Summer 2014.
(MORE: Browse real parents’ trip itineraries and create your own.)
See a New World of Color
Disney’s California Adventure park in Anaheim, looking glamorous following a $1.1 billion revamp last year, will debut a brand new holiday version of its wildly popular “World of Color” nighttime spectacular. Hosted by Olaf the snowman, a character from the upcoming Disney animated film “Frozen,” the show will feature beloved winter scenes from “Bambi,” “Toy Story,” and “Fantasia,” and include an array of new special effects. Coming: November 15, 2013.