2011 will be a year of “Disney dream vacations,” both figuratively and literally. Guests will be making memories over the horizon in Egypt, Hawaii and Alaska, on the aqua waters of the Bahamas, under the sea, over croc and rhino gullies and beyond the solar system.
During 2011, premieres will include an Adventures by Disney itinerary to the land of the pyramids, a Disney Parks virtual itinerary in stunning 3-D to the galaxy of Star Wars, a Disney’s Animal Kingdom ‘Wild Africa Trek’ into the domain of fearsome and fascinating critters, and an experience at Disney California Adventure that plunges guests into the realm of “The Little Mermaid.” Meanwhile, Disney Vacation Club will celebrate the opening of its first property away from the U.S. mainland, in romantic Hawaii, and Disney Cruise Line will launch the Disney Dream and expand the horizons for its existing ships.
Here are some of the details of what’s in store:
Launch of Disney Dream (January 2011) – A first-of-its kind water coaster that sends guests racing above the upper decks of the ship. An animated turtle that engages children in conversation about life in the ocean. A sophisticated lounge where the sun sets over the skyline of a different world-famous city each night. The Disney Dream, newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, will bring to life these innovations and more, offering a cruise experience from stem to stern that caters to preferences of the whole family.
The Disney Dream, slated to set sail on Jan. 26, 2011, from Port Canaveral, Fla., will have three-to-five-night Bahamian itineraries. The ship has a capacity of 4,000 passengers. For a “boatload” of information about the new ship, go to http://www.disneycruise.com/, click on the Ships & Activities tab and choose Disney Dream.
New horizons for Disney Cruise Line (beginning January 2011) – The Disney Wonder cruise ship will “go west” in early 2011. New West Coast itineraries for Disney Cruise Line will include, for the first time, Alaska cruises sailing from Vancouver. The Alaska cruises will combine the natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled guest experience provided by Disney Cruise Line. The Disney Wonder also is scheduled for cruises out of the Port of Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera, before and after the summer Alaska cruises. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit http://www.disneycruise.com/, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.
An African trek … in Florida (beginning January 2011) – A ravine of menacing-looking crocs, pools of hippos, bushwalks along untracked terrain and other thrills await guests on Wild Africa Trek, a unique wildlife experience launching Jan. 16, 2011, into the deepest, most-remote reaches of Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. The three-hour, expert-led adventure will immerse small groups in an “up-close-and-personal” experience with African wildlife species that make their home in Pangani Forest as well as other areas of the park’s Harambe Wildlife Reserve. Reservations can be arranged at 407/WDW-TOUR (939-8687).
Egyptian wonders ahead for Adventures by Disney (beginning April 2011) – Once upon a time, there were “seven wonders of the ancient world.” Today, one remains: the Great Pyramid of Egypt. Adventures by Disney guests will step off of planes, cruise ships and camels into living chapters of history during seven- and nine-night Egypt itineraries. The pyramids and Great Sphinx in Giza, a Nile River cruise and days and nights in Cairo are all part of the experience. In 2011, Adventures by Disney will offer 25 itineraries, six to 13 days in duration, on six continents – experiences unique in the luxury tour market for their attention to the family in every aspect of the adventure. Guests can learn more at http://www.adventuresbydisney.com/.
New Star Tours adventure out of this world (2011) – Bridging that “long time ago” between the two Star Wars trilogies, new Star Tours adventures debuting in 2011 will take voyagers at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland Park in California – for the first time – to Coruscant and other destinations in the Stars Wars galaxy. The power of the Force and the magic of Disney will combine with the breathtaking immersion of 3-D – for the first time.
Disney Vacation Club says ‘Aloha’ (scheduled to open Aug. 29, 2011) – Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai′i that includes traditional hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas, is being built on 21 acres of oceanfront property in Ko Olina, approximately 30 minutes from Waikiki. Aulani draws its inspiration from the traditions and heritage of the people of Hawaii. Walt Disney Imagineers, with the help of local architects, artisans and historians, are weaving Hawaiian stories into the buildings, interiors, art and gardens of the resort. Upon completion, Aulani will include 359 traditional hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas with views of the ocean, mountains and the lush grounds. More information about Aulani is available by visiting http://www.disneyaulani.com/.
Coming attraction gives new meaning to “immersive experience” (2011) – With the premiere of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Disney California Adventure will take guests “under the sea” to experience magnificent scenes and magical songs from the popular motion picture. The attraction represents the next big milestone in the ongoing expansion of the park. For information on new attractions and vacations at Disneyland Resort, visit http://www.disneyland.com/, call 866/60-DISNEY or contact local travel agents.
Peeking over the “boards” to a reimagined Fantasyland – The largest expansion project in Magic Kingdom history is underway at Walt Disney World Resort, featuring attractions and experiences in an area that will nearly double the size of Fantasyland. The Walt Disney World project began in early 2010 and will be completed in phases with most new experiences open by 2013.