Introducing The New Disney Skyliner

Very soon another big Walt Disney World construction project will be complete and available for guests to enjoy – the Disney Skyliner. This may be “just transportation” to some visitors, but I am so excited for the Disney Skyliner to open and to be able to take my first ride next month. It reminds me of the Skyway in Magic Kingdom that I loved so much as a child and of home here in our Colorado ski resorts.  It’s truly the best of both worlds for me. If you are still having your doubts about what the Disney Skyliner is all about, be sure to check out my earlier post Fact vs. Fiction: Disney Skyliner At Walt Disney World to help answer some of your questions, plus here’s all the latest information about the opening of the new Disney Skyliner courtesy of Disney:

There will soon be magic gliding above the treetops of Walt Disney World Resort when the new Disney Skyliner takes flight September 29, 2019. As much a magic carpet as a complimentary transportation system, Disney Skyliner will soar above waterways and wooded areas alike on its way to theme parks and Disney resort hotels, while wide-eyed guests will be treated to views never before seen.

This “most magical flight on Earth” connects Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort, a Disney Vacation Club resort that will open December 16, 2019. With approximately 300 vacation homes, including various accommodation types, Disney’s Riviera Resort will be available for traditional hotel reservations as well as membership sales.

Nearly half of the approximately 300 Disney Skyliner cabins will be wrapped in whimsical Disney scenes – with beloved characters, fan-favorite movies, attractions and more – giving the appearance that Disney pals are riding along with guests. The cabins will be easy to spot overhead, because each gondola will shimmer in one of eight vibrant colors and feature sleek curved lines.

Disney Skyliner guests will discover bird’s-eye views of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, including the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Approaches to Epcot are equally eye-catching, as the countries around World Showcase Lagoon come into view with iconic Spaceship Earth in the distance.

In addition to convenient theme park access, guests staying at Disney resort hotels accessible by Disney Skyliner will have quick-and-easy transportation to a world of other dining and entertainment options. These include all the fun of Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment district, access to Epcot through the International Gateway station, and restaurants and recreation found at the resort hotels serviced by Disney Skyliner.

Disney Skyliner Stations Are Artful Connection Points

The artful stations along the Disney Skyliner route will feature uniquely Disney designs that reflect their surroundings:

  • The Epcot International Gateway station is inspired by the nearby European pavilions in the park. Covered metal and glass canopies, hand-painted murals themed to flight and ornate metal detailing are all in the Art Nouveau style.
  • The Disney’s Riviera Resort station incorporates influences from the Mediterranean coast to produce an elegant portal for guests.
  • The station at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort connects all three routes and extends the architectural details and bright island colors associated with the Caribbean.
  • The Disney’s Hollywood Studios station reflects the Art Decostyle of the park’s main entrance area. Guests arriving on Disney Skyliner will be awestruck as a panoramic view of the park unfolds.
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort share a Disney Skyliner station at Hourglass Lake. Colorful structural forms create a space that feels whimsical and contextual with both resorts. Departing the station, guests will glide above Hourglass Lake and ascend to thrilling views of both resort hotels.

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.®, the official specialty coffee of Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disney Vacation Club, will welcome guests with a quick-service location adjacent to the station at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. The menu of coffees, pastries and specialty items will include the new “Toffee Flight Latte” found initially only at the station. The latte blends sea salt caramel toffee and dark chocolate, topped with toffee and chocolate crumbles and a cloud of whipped cream.

Cast Costuming Takes Flight

Disney Skyliner cast members will sport stylish costumes that reflect the sleek, contemporary lines of the transportation system. Costume designers created a mid-century design that recalls 1960s airline travel marking a new era of flight. Clean, streamlined designs of the gondolas are incorporated into the costumes as style elements.

The Newest Way for Guests to Travel Around Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Skyliner joins the network of complimentary Walt Disney World transportation benefits for resort hotel guests allowing them to travel effortlessly around Walt Disney World with a touch of Disney magic. The gondolas join other favorite options such as the world-famous Walt Disney World monorail system along with ferry boats and water taxis, and one-of-a-kind motor coaches.

Fun Facts: Disney Skyliner

  • Project Announced: July 2017
  • Launch Date: September 29, 2019
  • Miles of Cable: 6
  • Number of Lines: 3
  • Loading Stations: 5
  • Number of Gondolas: Nearly 300
  • Maximum Seating Capacity per Gondola: 10
  • Resort Hotels Connected: 4
  • Theme Parks Connected: 2

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The New Gran Destino Tower At Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

I just returned from a stay at the new Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Walt Disney World. If you have been following along, you have probably heard mixed reviews from fellow Disney bloggers, vloggers, and fans that either love it or hate it. Personally, I loved it! Gran Destino has the deluxe Walt Disney World resort hotel feel for a moderate resort hotel price. The most common complaints that I have heard is that the Gran Destino Tower isn’t “Disney” enough. Yes, it’s true, Gran Destino isn’t overly “Disney” in fact, it isn’t overly themed at all. It reminds me a bit like staying at Bay Lake Tower, the Disney Dream cruise ship, the Bellagio in Vegas, or a high end Marriott anywhere in the world. So while Gran Destino Tower might not have the detail and theming that guests come to expect at Walt Disney World from resorts like Art of Animation, it definitely has its place in the line up of hotels. The Gran Destino is a great fit for solo travelers and couples looking for quiet elegance, subtle theming, luxurious rooms, and upscale dining. If you’re considering a stay at the Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resorts, check out these details courtesy of Disney:

Celebrating the rich cultures and vibrant landscapes of Spain, Mexico and the American Southwest through contemporary design and Old World traditions, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort shines with renewed luster. Recently, the resort completed a multiyear re-imagining focused on today’s travelers, marking the official debut of a new tower, new restaurants and a new arrival experience.

The new Gran Destino Tower rises dramatically on the southeastern shores of Lago Dorado (“Golden Lake”), the resort’s 22-acre lake. The tower offers 545 modern guest rooms (including 50 suites and club-level services), a grand two-story lobby, new meeting venues, and a rooftop restaurant and lounge with spectacular views. The distinctive tower becomes the stylish new gateway to the 2,385-room resort.

Gran Destino Tower takes its name from the classic Disney film “Destino.” Drawing inspiration from the surrealist animated short, the tower is a whimsical, magnificent visual feast, diverse in its design and execution. The tower’s outdoor Destino Plaza are also ideal for weddings, business receptions or other special events.

Past its grand entrance and signature ribbon-patterned design that climbs up the side of Gran Destino Tower, guests step into a stunning lobby – an homage to the Catalan Modernism style. On their way to check in, new arrivals pass intricate wooden screens with rows of beautiful Moorish hanging lanterns, while decorative bronze screens inspired by Spanish tile patterns accent the rear wall of the lobby.

The warm colors and patterns of Barcelona inspire the sun-filled Barcelona Lounge on the lobby’s lower level, offering plenty of casual seating and lake views. Beneath a magnificent chandelier framed by sculpted plaster columns, guests can enjoy coffee in the morning and cocktails as the day progresses.

The Catalan theme extends to the tower’s stylish new guest rooms and suites. A wall covering in each room is inspired by Spanish tile medallions, adding an Old World touch to a contemporary design. The new tower also offers club-access rooms for guests who want to enjoy the benefits of the Chronos Club. The club boasts commanding views of Walt Disney World Resort and cast members who can assist with vacation planning. Light refreshments are available throughout the day.

Each tower guest room also offers a new interactive television system that provides a more customized and Disney differentiated in-room experience. This new television system will enhance the guest experience with Disney-quality services, content and personalization. For example, guests can view their Disney PhotoPass images on the large screen and stream their entertainment services from their personal devices to the in-room television.

Gran Destino Tower is crowned by dramatic rooftop dining locations, Tolédo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood and Dahlia Lounge, offering breathtaking views of Walt Disney World from the tower’s 16th floor. Named for the storied Spanish city home to avant-garde writers and artists of the 1920s and ’30s, Tolédo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood is a table-service dining experience. The Spanish-inspired menu features entrees like chuletón, a 32-ounce, Spanish-style ribeye for two, as well as sustainable seafood and classic Spanish sides. It’s all served in a setting that features live olive trees, vibrant colors and an intricate vaulted ceiling with stained-glass accents. There’s also an onstage tapas kitchen inspired by the flavors of Spain, specializing in small plates, charcuteríá and cheeses.

The adjacent Dahlia Lounge takes its mesmerizing shapes and swirling patterns from Spanish Modernism, inviting guests into an intimate, artful space where they can enjoy signature cocktails and panoramic views.

As part of the broader re-imagining of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, three new pedestrian bridges now extend across Lago Dorado, allowing for quick and convenient passage to and from all parts of the resort. In the middle of the lake at the nexus of these new pathways is Villa del Lago (“Lake Villa”), home to a new outdoor restaurant, Three Bridges Bar & Grill. The open-air, waterfront dining location offers delicious entrees and shareables, along with refreshing cocktails and signature sangria pitchers. Three Bridges Bar & Grill features a rustic, Old World charm anchored by a large stone hearth behind the central bar.

These new experiences complement the wide array of amenities and experiences at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, including floating gardens, scenic nature trails and palm-shaped courtyards. Throughout the resort, guests can enjoy a diverse collection of dining options, including:

  • Maya Grill – A grand Mexican dining room featuring ancient-modern styling and Nuevo Latino cuisines.
  • Rix Sports Bar & Grill – A stylish establishment with a unique spin on classic bar food.
  • El Mercado de Coronado – A food court filled with kitchens serving made-to-order breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a wide array of options so there’s something for everyone.
  • Café Rix – A charming grab-and-go location offering pastries, coffee and tasty snacks.
  • Laguna Bar – A breezy lakeside lounge boasting signature cocktails.
  • Siestas Cantina – A poolside hideaway to unwind with refreshing beverages and snacks.

Shoppers can delight in an updated Panchito’s merchandise location. Named after one of the main characters from the Disney film “The Three Caballeros,” Panchito’s resembles an open-air Mexican market.

The Dig Site – a sprawling pool complex with a Mayan-ruins theme – is fed by water cascading dramatically down a Mayan pyramid and features a water slide that evokes the spirit animal of a jaguar. The Dig Site can be accessed via the new bridges over Lago Dorado.

All existing guest rooms at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort were updated with new fixtures, furnishings and lighting. Guest feedback helped shape the room remodel that introduced an expansive desk space, hard-surface floors, platform beds and more. In addition, a fresh, sophisticated new color palette ties together the entire resort experience.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is now a celebration of Spanish, Mexican and American Southwest cultures, infused with a profound respect for the natural world – most notably water. These design motifs span centuries to form a common thread that connects the new with the newly re-imagined.

For more information or to book a room at the Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, please call 407-W-DISNEY or click here.

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Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Coming To Walt Disney World

If you were watching the coverage of D23 this weekend, you probably heard some of the details that were released about the new resort currently being built near Disney’s Hollywood Studios….Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. There are so many things to be excited about here…the immersive experience, the design and detailing that only Disney can do, the one-of-a-kind experience, just to name a few. While no official opening date or pricing has been released, rumors are that we are looking at well over a thousand dollars per person per night. Here are the first details and photos courtesy of Disney:

A Star Wars vacation experience unlike anything Disney has ever created before will fully immerse guests in a galaxy far, far away when Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser debuts at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will offer a two-night itinerary where all guests arrive and depart at the same time, similar to Disney Cruise Line. Unlike any typical cruise, though, guests can become the heroes of their own Star Wars stories in a new type of immersive experience that only Disney could create.

Guests will cruise the galaxy in style aboard the Halcyon, a starcruiser known throughout the galaxy for its impeccable service and exotic destinations. Onboard, they will stay in well-appointed cabins, experience onboard dining, make a planet-side excursion to Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, and much more. Throughout the journey, guests will be invited to delve deeper into their personal adventures by participating in onboard activities, interacting with characters, crew, other passengers they meet, and becoming part of the action and the broader Star Wars saga:

    • The adventure begins when guests arrive at the Galactic Starcruiser Terminal at Walt Disney World and check in for their two-night experience.
    • Guests will be invited to enter a Launch Pod for transport into space. Through windows above, they’ll see themselves leave the real world behind as they jump to hyperspace and draw closer and closer to the Halcyon.
    • When the Launch Pod docks with the Halcyon and the airlock opens, guests will step into the ship’s main deck Atrium to begin their journey through a galaxy far, far away.
    • A visit aboard the Halcyon becomes a multi-day story that interweaves with members of the crew, other passengers, familiar Star Wars characters, and an excursion to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
    • The all-immersive experience also features entertaining activities, such as:
      • Wielding a lightsaber while facing off against a training remote, where guests just may discover their own connection with the Force.
      • Visiting the starcruiser’s Bridge to learn about ship systems and how to operate them, including navigation and defense – skills that may just come in handy during a journey through this adventure-filled galaxy.

Fun Facts – Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

    • Every window in the Halcyon– including those in each cabin – has a view of the galaxy beyond, with ever-changing vistas as the ship progresses from place to place.
    • Guests will be able to explore the Halcyon and perhaps discover hidden spaces deep in the mechanics of the ship – perfect for uncovering secrets … or holding secret meetings.
    • Choices guests make during their adventure will help determine how their Star Wars stories progress.

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What are your thoughts on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser?
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