Ron Jon Surf Shop Now Open In Disney Springs

If you have ventured outside the Disney bubble on one of your Walt Disney World vacations, you may have checked out one of my all-time favorite destinations…Cocoa Beach. And one of the landmarks of this surfers’ paradise is, of course, the massive Ron Jon Surf Shop on North Atlantic Avenue. If you love this shop and all of its fantastic merchandise as much as I do, you will be excited hear that you no longer need to make the drive to the coast. A brand new 10,000 square-foot Ron Jon is now open in Disney Springs! Here’s the scoop, courtesy of Disney:


The 10,000-square-foot store, which marks Ron Jon Surf Shop’s 12th location in the U.S., is situated in the Town Center at Disney Springs, the shopping, dining and entertainment district at Walt Disney World Resort.

According to Debbie Harvey, president and COO of Ron Jon Surf Shop, the company selected Disney Springs as a location for its new store because of the shopping destination’s immense popularity with visitors as well as locals in the Orlando market, many of whom are familiar with the Ron Jon brand.

“We are thrilled about the new Ron Jon store located at Disney Springs,” Harvey said. “This is an extremely popular shopping destination for local residents and the millions of visitors coming to the Orlando area, and we feel it’s the perfect location for a new Ron Jon Surf Shop.”

Ron Jon Surf Shop was founded in 1959 on the New Jersey shore out of an appreciation for the sport of surfing. Two years later, “The Original” Ron Jon Surf Shop opened in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The lifestyle-apparel and board-sports-equipment retailer has since opened stores in Cocoa Beach, Fort Myers, Key West, Panama City Beach, Clearwater Beach, and Pensacola Beach, Florida. The flagship store in Cocoa Beach is the world’s largest surf shop.  It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


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Christmas

Festive Fun Facts About Walt Disney World

No place does Christmas quite like Walt Disney World, and this year the resort has plenty of festive fun in store for resort guests. I am eagerly counting the days until my visits in anticipation of all of the seasonal experiences and decorations. Here’s a brief run down of some festive fun facts to get you in the holiday spirit, courtesy of Disney:

Magical holiday experiences and beloved traditions await Walt Disney World Resort guests during the most wonderful time of the year. Starting today, theme parks, resort hotels and Disney Springs come to life with holiday charm and excitement as dazzling décor and a flurry of fun immerse guests in a festive fantasy.

Check out these holiday fun facts and discover how Walt Disney World Resort becomes a winter wonderland!

Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration TV SpecialWalt Disney World Resort

  • The Walt Disney World Holiday Services team provides décor for 780 locations within 41 different properties, including Disney theme parks, resorts, Disney Springs and recreation and shopping areas. The team also decorates Disney Cruise Line ships and Disney Vacation Club resorts in Florida and South Carolina.
  • 41 cast members work year-round to make the holiday transformation a reality, with an additional 119 cast members added during the installation period.
  • Décor installation begins Halloween night and is finished by Thanksgiving.

Magic Kingdom Park           

  • During the holidays, Magic Kingdom is home to 40 trees, 147 wreaths and 590 garlands that measure a total of 5,188 feet.
  • Guests can celebrate the season at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on 23 select nights from November 8 to December 22. This year’s celebration welcomes the dazzling new nighttime spectacular, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks.”
  • Tomorrowland Speedway joins in the merriment of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the first time this year with a new holiday overlay that glimmers with thousands of lights and stylized décor. It’s one of Magic Kingdom attractions to feature holiday overlays.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate the holidays in full for the first time in its history, with enchanting entertainment and décor in new locations.
  • 148 animal-inspired luminaries will cast a warm and festive glow throughout Discovery Island as a merry menagerie of 10 artisan-sculpted puppets resembling winter animals roam and interact with guests throughout the land.
  • 2,600 light bulbs will adorn the DinoLand U.S.A. water tower, giving the land a festive new look for the holidays.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • The Christmas tree on Echo Lake is 65 feet tall, with a 25-foot-wide base.
  • Sunset Seasons Greetings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios includes 12 high-definition projectors used to visually transform the façade of the Hollywood Tower Hotel with holiday scenes.
  • 21 palm trees along Sunset Boulevard illuminate with programmable, color-changing LED fixtures.
  • Dinosaur Gertie is dressed in her finest holiday attire. Her hat is so big, four people could stand inside it!

Epcot

  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays takes place November 29 through December 30 and celebrates holiday traditions from around the world through storytelling and music presented throughout World Showcase.
  • Holiday treats are also part of the festival, which includes 13 Holiday Kitchens serving more than 50 bites from around the world and 60-plus specialty
  • The Candlelight Processional will be performed 96 times at Epcot this holiday season with a 50-piece orchestra, mass choir and 12 different celebrity narrators.
  • The Candlelight Processional stage at America Gardens Theatre features Christmas trees that are each 18 feet tall.

Resorts

  • Guests will find a life-size holiday gingerbread house in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This elaborate 10-foot-wide,15-foot-long and 14-foot-tall structure is covered with more than 10,000 pieces of gingerbread and is the perfect place to pick up holiday sweets and treats.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its iconic gingerbread Cinderella Castle. This 18-foot-tall display is crafted from more than 5,000 gingerbread shingles, 47 pounds of rolled fondant, 38 pounds of modeling chocolate and much more!
  • This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Holiday Carousel gingerbread display at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. This life-size spinning carousel features 20 “Hidden Mickeys,” Peter Pan-themed horses and handcrafted gingerbread shingles.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort is home to the tallest Christmas tree at Walt Disney World. This 70-foot-tall tree is adorned with 16,000 lights and more than 200 custom ornaments.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to a 45-foot-tall tree featuring authentic African décor and reproductions of traditional African masks.

Disney Springs

  • Disney Springs is the epicenter of holiday shopping at Walt Disney World. It’s also the largest of all of the decorated Disney locations, with more than 2,000 pieces of individual décor, including a 45-foot-tall tree.
  • Each piece of décor was custom designed to fit the classic Florida town theme that carries throughout the entirety of Disney Springs.
  • Disney Springs is also home to the Christmas Tree Trail, a walk through wonderland featuring 23 unique Disney-themed trees.

Merry Christmas, and I hope to see you there!

501 WaysHeading to Disney World this holiday season?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Will you be visiting Walt Disney World this holiday season?
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2019 Fall Fun At Walt Disney World

If you are looking for some place to take one last fall vacation before winter sets in again, look no further than Walt Disney World. With so much for the entire family to enjoy, there’s no better time to go than 2019! Here’s everything you need to know to experience a fun-filled time with your friends and family at Walt Disney World this fall courtesy of Disney:


As the calendar turns the page into fall later this year, the curtain will lift on an exciting time for Walt Disney World Resort. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be brand new at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, while Magic Kingdom Park will unveil a new fireworks show as part of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will run for a record number of days, and the park will wave a fond farewell to “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” before ushering in a new nighttime spectacular, “Epcot Forever.” These enticing options and more are all part of a season of fun where guests are invited to “fall into magic.”

New Fireworks Show for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park

A new Halloween-themed fireworks show debuts this year during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This new show will feature state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, lighting and dazzling fireworks that come together to tell a not-so-scary story about how anything can happen on Halloween night. The show will take guests along for a trick-or-treating adventure, where four friends – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy – find themselves drawn into a mysterious haunted house.

Held for a record 36 select nights from August 16 – November 1, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a specially ticketed event that captures the spirit of the season with spooky décor, lighting and music parkwide, along with returning favorites such as “Mickey’s Boo to You Parade,” the “Hocus Pocus Villains Spelltacular” castle stage show and trick-or-treating throughout the park. Also returning for this year’s party will be special attraction experiences for Mad Tea Party, Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain. Children are encouraged to dress in costume and enjoy the spirit of Halloween with their families. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a ticketed, after-hours special event. Tickets start at $79. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

DID YOU KNOW … The Headless Horseman will appear prior to “Mickey’s Boo to You Parade.”

Record Number of Days Set for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The Epcot celebration of cuisine, music and more takes place August 29 – November 23 – a record 87 days. During this foodie festival, the park will brim with marketplaces, culinary demonstrations, beverage seminars, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, specialty merchandise and much more. In some fun for the whole family, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak will send guests on an adventure searching for Remy in a savory scavenger hunt around the festival. Eat to the Beat concerts will bring a lineup of pop, rock, R&B, country, Christian, swing and Latin artists, with three shows every night of the festival through November 19. Families will find a play area for kids and an international flair – including kid-approved menu items – at many of the 30-plus Global Marketplaces.

DID YOU KNOW … This year’s festival will offer 249 Eat to the Beat concerts.

Last Call for “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” as “Epcot Forever” Debuts October 1

For nearly 20 years, the nighttime spectacular “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” has brought each day at Epcot to a thrilling close. Guests have marveled as World Showcase lagoon came to life with fireworks, fountains and lasers paying homage to the joyful story of humanity and the remarkable achievements of our time. The show’s final night will be September 30, to make way for an all-new, limited-time spectacular, “Epcot Forever,” debuting October 1. This new show will be a celebration of the past, present and future of Epcot, built around the magical soundtrack guests have come to know and love at the park. The new show will feature fireworks, lasers and choreographed special-effect kites accompanied by a stirring collection of songs celebrating Epcot.

DID YOU KNOW … “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” has entertained millions of guests since it debuted in October 1999.

Bounce into Fall at Disney Springs with NBA Experience and Special Seasonal Offerings

Basketball is officially “in season” this fall, after NBA Experience holds a championship-worthy grand opening August 12 at Disney Springs. When guests step into this re-creation of a modern NBA arena, they’ll feel what it’s like to be a basketball superstar. The one-of-a-kind destination features 13 unique interactive and hands-on experiences where Disney magic merges with the thrills of the NBA and WNBA.

NBA Experience is part of the ever-evolving Disney Springs area. Also new is Jaleo, offering the very best of Spanish cuisine and design seen through the creative lens of renowned Chef José Andrés. Jaleo (which means “revelry” in Spanish) treats diners to an extensive tapas menu, reflecting the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine, complemented by sangrias and a premier selection of Spanish wines. Just off the main entrance is Pepe by José Andrés, the first brick-and-mortar location of the chef’s wildly popular Spanish food truck.

Jaleo is one of six restaurants at Disney Springs featuring James Beard Award-winning chefs, and dining venues throughout the district will offer sample-sized fall food and drinks. With the help of a printed guide, guests can make their way through Disney Springs and sample all the flavors of the season from select locations.

The fall season is also a great time to enjoy entertainment and shopping at Disney Springs. Colorful backdrops will make great seasonal photos for the entire family, while new fall looks will be available in shops throughout the shopping district, including Halloween costumes for kids and clothing for adults featuring their favorite Disney characters.

DID YOU KNOW … NBA Experience will span 44,000 square feet of basketball action and fun.

Make the Jump to Lightspeed in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

On the heels of its August 29 opening, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge offers Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests the chance this fall to live their own Star Wars stories. The action takes place on Batuu, a far-flung planet populated by scoundrels and adventurers. While visiting the land, guests can stop for a drink at Oga’s Cantina or discover rare artifacts at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, among other immersive Star Wars experiences. The groundbreaking attraction Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run gives guests control of the iconic spacecraft as the ship hurtles through space on a smuggling mission. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, a second attraction opening later in 2019, will put guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

DID YOU KNOW … Guests will play one of three unique and critical roles in Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – pilots, gunners or flight engineers – providing multiple ways to experience the attraction.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity.

Disney Skyliner Takes Flight this Fall

A new mode of transportation will float through the air around Walt Disney World this fall when Disney Skyliner, a state-of-the-art gondola system, begins gliding guests across the sky in custom cabins. Disney Skyliner will conveniently connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, as well as the 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney’s Riviera Resort (planned to open in mid-December). Select gondolas will have iconic Disney characters incorporated into their exterior designs to give the appearance that a Disney pal is riding along with guests. Disney Skyliner will offer a new way to experience Walt Disney World with amazing views only available from the sky.

DID YOU KNOW … Several Disney Skyliner gondolas will be adorned with graphics based on Disney films, attractions or characters.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park Lights Up at Night

As the sun sets earlier and earlier this fall, these nighttime experiences will come to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

  • “Rivers of Light: We Are One” is the next chapter for this nighttime show on Discovery River. Updates include dramatic new imagery and familiar animal characters from Disneynature films along with a colorful tapestry of unforgettable moments from Disney animated films.
  • Pandora – The World of Avatar continues to come to life each night with bioluminescent fauna and flora as guests hike amid floating mountains, fly on their own mountain banshee, take a mystical river ride and more.

DID YOU KNOW … On May 1, 2019, a baby western lowland gorilla was born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Named Grace, the gorilla and her parents can now be seen at the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail inside the park.

Disney Resort Hotels News

To welcome fall travelers, there’s always something new at Disney resort hotels. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will greet guests with its new 15-story Gran Destino tower (opening this summer), adding 500-plus guestrooms, including suites and concierge-level services. New waterfront dining and a retail shopping area have come to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, while a mid-December opening is planned for Disney’s Riviera Resort, a Disney Vacation Club property inspired by the grandeur and enchantment of the European Riviera.

DID YOU KNOW … Sitting atop the new Gran Destino tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will be Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, a new table-service restaurant featuring dishes and small plates inspired by the flavors of Spain.

2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Marks 10-Year Milestone

Wine and Dine Half MarathonThis fall’s runDisney race season is a delectable celebration 10 years in the making as the 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend takes place October 31 – November 3. Filled with a delicious slate of events and Disney magic along every mile, this year’s event includes a 5K, 10K, half marathon and kids’ races. During this year’s Disney Fall Feast 5K, guests can run, jog or walk their way around Epcot for the first time during this fall event. At the November 3 post-race party, guests enjoy after-hours access to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, including marketplaces and select Epcot attractions. For all race-season details, please click here. Guests can also register via the celebrated charity for this year’s event, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

DID YOU KNOW … runDisney is one of the most popular race organizers in the United States, with more than 188,000 runners participating in events throughout the year.


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Will you be visiting Walt Disney World this fall?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!