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When the Four Seasons Orlando at Disney World opened last August, we found all sorts of non-Disney reasons to get excited by the new hotel, such as the adults-only pool, the neighboring wildlife sanctuary, the Tom Fazio-designed golf course, the 18 spa treatment rooms as well as the luxe decor and attentive service that we've come to expect from Four Seasons hotels.
Now, we understand that all these reasons may not appeal to the extreme Disney fanatics out there. Indeed, because the resort is not technically owned by Disney, there aren't many Mickey touches at all.
The only place where you will find "official" Mickey Mouse ears is at the Disney Planning Desk in the lobby. Here you can buy tickets and Magic Bands as well as make reservations, arrange services and quiz the Disney cast members on what to do and where to go at the parks. And if you do the Character Breakfast at the hotel's Ravello restaurant on Thursdays and Sundays (and some select Tuesdays), you'll be able to see Mickey Mouse in person.
But, there are quite a few unofficial Mickey Mouse ears throughout the property.
Here's where we found hidden or accidental Mickey Mouse ears at the Four Seasons Orlando.
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Fresh off the March opening of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Hotels of Universal Studios in Orlando has just announced they will open their fifth hotel at the theme park. (No, it is not a Harry Potter-themed hotel. Go back to your working on that spell.)
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will open in the summer of 2016 with a "colorful Carribean atmosphere" featuring a tropical lagoon with waterfalls and 1,000 guest rooms, including 77 suites. The hotel will be located between Cabana Bay and the Loews Royal Pacific Resort. There will also be an air-conditioned covered bridge which will connect the Loews Sapphire hotel to the Loews Royal Pacific. Wahoo!
When the hotel is completed, there will be a total of 5,200 hotel rooms from Loews at Universal Studios. Surely, some of those could be transformed into Gryffindor rooms? Pretty please?
Keep reading to see a rendering of the property!
The B resort has also just announced their restaurant concept, American Q, which is being developed by restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow and China Grill Management. The restaurant, as you might guess from its name, will do a "a modern take on classic barbecue" dishes from all different regions in the U.S. and Latin America. But this being Disney World, the restaurant will embrace the BBQ theme wholeheartedly. Here's what's in store:
· An “industrial farmhouse” setting with a wood-clad bar and a mason jar chandelier.
· An “all-you-can-eat” parade of BBQ meats, seafood and poultry
· "Cowboy/cowgirl” carvers
· An appetizer and salad buffet served from the bed of a ’50 cherry red Ford F1 pickup truck
· Spontaneous line dances
Ok, NOW you're talking.
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Disney World can be a life-altering experience for every wide-eyed kid who steps in to Magic Kingdom. But there are plenty of big kids (adults) also in need of mind-blowing entertainment and decadent amenities.
When The Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort finally opens its doors on August 3, it is sure to impress frequent Disney-goers but it will also reset the luxury hotel standard in Orlando, with its over the top accommodations and amenities. We've already told you 5 reasons why you should get excited about this new hotel but here are a few other amenities you ought to know about as well.
Complimentary transportation is provided from the resort to Disney's main theme parks. The best way to beat the crowds at Mickey’s house is to start off by avoiding them. The easy entrance via an air-conditioned town car is a great kick-off to a day of Disney.
And even though we'd normally stay away from the humidity of Orlando in August, we find ourselves practically crossing the days off on the calendar. Here are five reasons why we're hoping the Four Seasons Orlando will make all our dreams come true.
1. The Adult Pool. The adult pool (separated from the family pool) will have cabanas, cocktail servers and specialty services like "sunglass cleanings." We hope massages are on that list too. #serenitynow
2. Firework Chandeliers in the Lobby. Night time is ruled by fireworks at Disney World but we're loving this cool chandelier of "fireworks" above the lobby's grand staircase.
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As we told you last fall, the Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Studios would be opening on March 31st and today, the property lived up to its promise as the resort's first guests began checking in.
You can learn more about what the guest rooms have to offer here but for now, check out this dive tower water slide that drops you out into the 10,000-sq.ft. zero entry pool in the Cabana Courtyard ("Castaway" is the name of one of the guest room towers.)
The hotel will also unveil a lazy river experience, a first for the Universal Orlando Resort hotels, on June 16th (along with Hideaway Bar and Grill, the Tower family suites and standard rooms.)
Right now the hotel is offering a special opening offer for a family suite at a standard room rate. Rooms were sold-out this weekend but we did find a family suite for $239 a night next weekend. That room can sleep up to six people (it is kind of cramped, you've been warned) and it gives the family early access to Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, along with a few other benefits.
[Photo: Cabana Bay Beach Resort]
While we're crazy excited for the Four Seasons Resort at Disney World to open this summer, we're having a tough time swallowing the $645 opening rate. Fortunately, there's a new and more affordable alternative opening this summer as well--The B Resort.
Much like its sister property in Fort Lauderdale, the B will offer stylish and playful guest rooms (with free WiFi!) along with several B Signature services like B Active (fitness center), B Nourished (dining concepts including one by Jeffrey Chodorow) and B Adventurous (excursions outside the hotel.) This resort will also have the very first B full-service spa called B Indulged. Rounding out the services and amenities are a zero-entry saltwater pool, a kids zone, an ice cream shop and courtesy loaner iPads.
The hotel will open its doors on June 1 with a special introductory offer of $159 a night for a chic room which are located near the pool area with a king or two queen beds. There is a $20 resort fee plus tax but the introductory offer is including that as well as self-parking. Blackout dates do apply and reservations are nonrefundable and final. But still, that saves you nearly $500 a night compared to the Four Seasons.
[Photo: B Resort Disney World/Facebook]
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Orlando's newest hotel, The Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Studios, is in the midst of putting the finishing touches on its sprawling 1,800 room resort. Just last week, the hotel's 52-foot tall retro sign went up, signaling not only that the hotel is close to opening but also giving passerby's a hint of what to expect--a themed resort inspired by the beach resorts of the 1950s and 60s. Notice the promise of "color TV" and "cold air."
You'll get a feel for that theme mostly in the guest rooms which feature mid-century furniture and decor. But don't worry, there will be flat-screens and free WiFi in the rooms too. On-site there will also be two outdoor pool complexes, including a lazy river; a retro bowling alley, game room and several dining options. There's even a Starbucks too! But despite the name, there's no actual beach at this beach resort.
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Starting on August 3, two adults and two children can spend the night in a Golden Oak View room for *just* $645 a night. You also have the option of choosing one king bed or two double beds. There's also a queen-size sofa bed in the room and a crib can be placed in the room as well.
Lake and park view rooms cost a little bit more at $695 and $795 a night, respectively. If 500-sq.ft. isn't enough space, the Golden Oak suite can be booked for $1,050 a night which has a separate sitting area. (Most rooms, if not all, have their own furnished balconies from which you can gaze out at the Disney World and other parks.)
That price might sound a little steep for a family vacay but the hotel is running a "Stay Longer" offer which will give you a third night free if you book two consecutive nights. While we're not quite ready to brave Orlando in the August heat, that's quite a tempting offer for a new Four Seasons in Disney World.
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Way back in 2010, It was announced that the world would be getting more Planet Hollywood Hotels (the first and only being the one in Vegas of course.) The expansion would be helped along by Wyndham Hotels.
Then the following year it was announced that actually China, Panama and Qatar would get the new PH Hotels first. Well, here we are on the edge of 2014, and no new Planet Hollywood hotels exist anywhere. But it looks like one is very close to opening and close to home too.
We stumbled across some new Planet Hollywood trademarks the other day--one for Phabulous and another for Phamous, two PH-branding concepts that are loosely used by the Vegas resort (mostly in promotions and on social media.) The owner of the trademark is listed as Planet Hollywood in Orlando and not Caesars Entertainment (which owns the property in Vegas.) The trademarks are both listed as for "hotel and resort hotel services." Sounds promising! But does this mean there's an actual hotel site in Orlando laying around for the Planet Hollywood brand? Yes, actually there is.
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While Four Seasons is readying their biggest resort to date near the Magic Kingdom, Universal Parks & Resorts and Loews Hotels & Resorts are working on their own massive new resort, adjacent to Universal Studios Orlando, and which is being built specifically with families in mind.
The Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the fourth hotel within the Universal Orlando Resort, will open 600 of its planned 1,800 rooms on March 31st. The first rooms to open will be in the North Courtyard, which consists of three separate buildings. These rooms will also be all family suites which start at 430-sq.ft. and can sleep six people with two queen beds and a queen pull-out sofa bed. There's even a small kitchenette and a bathroom area that partitions the toilet from the sink and the sink from the shower. Especially helpful when all six of you are trying to get ready for you day at the park.
Another 300 family suites and 900 standard rooms (slightly smaller square footage but still with two queen beds) will open later in the year in two other towers. All rooms and suites will feature a retro 1950s and 1960s design, meant to invoke the family resorts and motels of yesteryear.
We toured the hotel site yesterday and it was crazy cool to see something that looks so old school but is totally new from the ground-up. Don't worry, the amenities and services at the hotel will be brand-new with the most modern technology including WiFi and flat-screen TVs.
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Ok, so technically, Mickey didn’t make an appearance in this video of the under-construction Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World, but we would have appreciated the reference (if slightly on-the-nose) had the iconic character popped up.
Rather, it is Thomas Steinhauer, Regional Vice President and General Manager of the hotel, who dons his hard hat and walks you through the 434-room resort – the largest Four Seasons resort in the world – as it progresses towards a summer 2014 opening.