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From Expanded Cruise Itineraries and Limited Time Magic, To Splashy Water Thrills and Rejuvenating Retreats, Summer 2013 Turns Up the Heat with Vacation Fun at Walt Disney World Resort
Lake Buena Vista, Fla. –Summer 2013 sizzles with exciting new attractions and events at Walt Disney World Resort. Disney Cruise Line returns to Europe with an expanded portfolio of Mediterranean cruises, while Saratoga Springs Resort reopens the doors to a luxurious new spa. Disney's "Limited Time Magic" hits full-stride this summer. Plus, Star Wars Weekends let guests release their inner Jedi, and there's water park fun for the whole family. Here's what's in store.
Limited Time Magic Continues This Summer at Walt Disney World Resort
Magical experiences in all shapes and sizes that appear and disappear as the next special surprise debuts will continue with a weeklong Independence Day celebration highlighting the summer season — all part of Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks.
Independence Week: It's red, white and blue as Disney Parks salutes America with a 4th of July Fireworks Party — for an entire week, with patriotic lighting bathing the Disney castles on both coasts. Mickey Mouse appears in his patriotic finest and guests will find special USA shirts, Ear Hats and other limited-edition souvenirs.
Guests will enjoy an extra dash of pixie dust each week in 2013 when they visit Walt Disney World whether it's a meet and greet with rarely seen Disney characters, A Chalk Art Festival or a special salute to Father's Day — the element of surprise enhances the experience.
Limited Time Magic was inspired by the reality that many of life's most cherished memories are made during those special, but fleeting moments when families spend time together with shared experiences.
Disney dream makers are crafting more surprises and magical offers that will be rolled out weekly during the magical year. The experience of the week will be announced in a variety of ways including in-park, Disneyworld.com, Disneyland.com, Facebook, Twitter, the Disney Parks Blog – adding to the element of surprise.
For more information about Limited Time Magic, guests should visit www.disneyparks.com.
Relaxing Retreat Reopens this Summer as Senses, A Disney Spa At Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
For centuries, the healing properties of natural springs has drawn people to Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. Beginning late this summer, Walt Disney World guests can reflect on the experience at the completely redesigned Senses, A Disney Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort.
Just as Saratoga Springs in New York was developed around the discovery of the healing mineral waters of the springs, Senses will incorporate the springs, nature and the storyline of health in its design and theming. It recalls a step back in time before the Victorian age flourished here, when land and nature was untouched.
Design materials and textures, including stone, will connect with the earth and speak to the serenity and tranquility associated with nature.
The new facility will include 10 treatment rooms offering an array of services including water therapy, massage and facials. An open and bright manicure and pedicure room depicts a playful design scheme with bold lighting and textured fabrics.
A few steps down a cave-like grotto leads to the Jacuzzi room where a handmade mosaic adorns the wall. There are heated lounges, and a whirlpool and steam room will provide rejuvenation and renewal. The opening of Senses, A Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort follows the opening of its sister spa Senses, A Disney Spa at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort that opened in December, 2012 featuring 15 treatment rooms. For bookings call 407-WDW- Spas.
'Star Wars' Weekends Returns to the Disney's Hollywood Studios Galaxy in May and June
Star Wars Weekends, the Force-filled, fun-fest that takes place annually at Disney's Hollywood Studios, returns to the Walt Disney World Resort galaxy every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 17-June 9, 2013.
A celebration of all-things-Star Wars, the special event is included in regular park admission to Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Among the features: a special Star Wars-themed parade, appearances by Star Wars celebrities, special additions to Jedi Training Academy, a Star Wars-themed talk show, behind-the-scenes presentations, limited-edition merchandise, a nightly celebration and more. The centerpiece of the celebration is Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, the immersive 3-D attraction that speeds guests through worlds featured in the Star Wars saga.
Also showcased at the event: the largest collection of official Star Wars characters gathered at any theme park in the world, roaming the areas and posing for meet-and-greet opportunities in front of themed scenery.
For more information about Star Wars Weekends and the latest event updates, guests may check the Disney Parks Blog (disneyparksblog.com — Keyword: "Star Wars"), the official Star Wars website (StarWars.com — Keyword: "Disney") and the official Walt Disney World Resort website (disneyworld.com — Keyword: "Star Wars Weekends").
Disney's Water Parks Add Fun To a Walt Disney World Vacation
Guests of Walt Disney World Resort have the opportunity to cool off in a tropical getaway or in a ski resort-themed water park.
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon treats guests to a tropical paradise left behind by a storm. Surfboards, fishing gear, boats, including the iconic shrimp boat, Ms. Tilly, once strewn about by a typhoon, adds to the ambiance. Guests can snorkel with sharks, stingrays and tropical fish in a coral reef, plunge down rushing rapids, sunbathe on the sandy beach and glide down a lazy river.
Disney's Blizzard Beach is a melting wonderland where a freak snowstorm hit Florida. Icicles, ski gear and steep slopes grace the ski resort landscape, home to some of the most thrilling water rides in the United States. Here, guests can also float down a tranquil river and sunbathe on the beach.
For the most up-to-date park hours, please visit disneyworld.com/waterparks.
Disney Cruise Line Returns to Europe, Alaska for a Summer Season; New European Destinations Provide More Options for Guests
This summer, Disney Cruise Line returns to Europe with an expanded menu of Mediterranean cruises including new destinations such as Venice, Italy, and the Greek Isles. In addition, Disney Cruise Line will once again sail to Alaska, inviting families to explore the grandeur of America's 49th state with a wide variety of Port Adventures.
Departing from Barcelona, Spain, the Disney Magic will sail four-, seven- and 12-night Mediterranean itineraries, taking guests on an exciting journey of richly diverse cities, cultures and people. At every port of call, Disney Cruise Line offers one-of-a-kind excursions featuring authentic cultural experiences coupled with distinctly Disney storytelling. For example, Disney cruisers will receive royal treatment in Venice at the majestic Doge's Palace during a private, after-hours tour followed by a special reception with Disney princesses. Other unique Port Adventures in Europe include Venetian mask-making, a fun archaeology scavenger hunt in exotic Turkey and a Greek culinary journey in a historical neighborhood just outside Athens.
The Disney Wonder will sail seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, providing guests a hassle-free and fun-filled way to experience Alaska's breathtaking vistas, native wildlife and the history and customs of native cultures. Disney Cruise Line worked closely with Alaskan tour operators to create exclusive-to-Disney family-friendly Port Adventures that allow guests to best experience Alaska's natural beauty and rich history. On an excursion to the Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp, not only will guests enjoy a lively scavenger hunt, gold-panning expedition, marshmallow roast and outdoor feast of wild Alaskan salmon, they will also be treated to visits from some of their favorite Disney friends.
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit http://www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.
Drew Brees Passing Academy and AAU National Championship Return to ESPN Wide World of Sports
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will host the Drew Brees Passing Academy and Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The prestigious four-day football academy is open to all skill levels, but is expected to attract some of the most highly-ranked high school players in America from June 27-30. It will involve elite-level instruction from Brees and other marquee NFL players and coaches. The athletes also will have the unique opportunity to immediately put what they have learned to the test by taking part in three days of intensely-competitive 7-on-7 competition. Teams can sign up for the academy at www.ksaevents.net/drewbreesacademy.
The nation's top high school basketball, baseball, volleyball and track and field athletes will compete in Amateur Athletic Union's National Championships at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex throughout the summer. Known as a breeding ground for future star athletes (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Maya Moore, Florence Griffith-Joyner, etc.), the event attracts NCAA coaches from top athletic programs, making it the premier collegiate recruiting event in the nation. Competition begins June 17 with AAU Summer Baseball and continues through August. For more information on AAU events, visit www.espnwwos.disney.go.com/events/more/aau-national-events/landing.