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  • TRAVEL TALK

    Where to stay in Orlando Based on Customer Ratings: Disney Owned Hotels vs Non Disney Hotels

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    This duo is immortalized in a small bronze statue in the center of the park, on the circle at the end of Main Street U.S.A. directly in front of Cinderella Castle. © Disney, All Rights Reserved, Disney Parks & Travel Are you trying to decide where to stay for your next Disney World vacation? As you probably already know you have a lot of different options, there are literally thousands of hotels, vacation homes, and timeshare resorts to choose from. I recently did a study on guest satisfaction...
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    Disney Cruise Line Returning to Hawaii, West Coast and Galveston in 2015

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    Popular destinations and home ports return for limited-time engagements CELEBRATION, Fla. (May 19, 2014) – In the fall of 2015, Disney Cruise Line is returning to popular destinations and home ports for limited-time engagements. Two Hawaii cruises, a return to the West Coast with departures from San Diego and a Galveston, Texas homecoming make up a season of special sailings. Bookings open to the public on May 21, 2014. More details on 2015 itineraries can be found on the Itineraries and Ports...
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    New Castaway Cay Challenge Added To 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

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    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 14, 2014) - Runners taking part in the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend can add the ultimate finish to their experience - the new Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, a joint venture by run Disney and Disney Cruise Line. After competing in the 5K, 10K, half marathon and/or full marathon during the Disney Marathon Weekend (January 7-11), runners can compete Jan. 14 in the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, a special 5K race on Disney Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line's...
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    Disney Cruise Line Charts a New Course for Norway in 2015

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    Adventure Awaits During the Northern Europe Summer Season with First-Ever Cruises to Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and the Faroe Islands CELEBRATION, Fla. (March 25, 2014) - In summer 2015, Disney Cruise Line is charting a magical new course for northern Europe - exploring for the first time the Norwegian fjords, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Plus, Disney Cruise Line is returning to the Baltic for all-new itineraries, including sailings from Copenhagen, Denmark to St. Petersburg, Russia. Cruises to...
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    Children Unleash Their Inner Super Hero, Become Iron Man and Meet Captain America Aboard the Disney Magic

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    CELEBRATION, Fla. – Marvel’s Avengers Academy is now accepting new recruits for training onboard the Disney Magic for a multi-day experience that transports kids to an elite facility for super hero training. Calling Disney’s Oceaneer Club its new seaward home, Marvel’s The Avengers make their presence known in an epic way. Young heroes are transported to a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division)—a technologically...
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    The Travel Tipster: Helpful Hints for Choosing Your Home Away from Home in Orlando

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    What's the best way to go when vacationing in Orlando? Staying onsite at Disney, offsite along I-Drive & 192 or by renting a vacation home? 42 years ago this week, Walt Disney World opened with just two hotels and a campground near the Magic Kingdom. Nowadays there are over 15 Disney-owned hotels scattered around this 43 square mile property that are quite popular with visitors to Central Florida. Largely because of several advantages that people who stay at these WDW resorts have over those...
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    SeaWorld Orlando really comes out of its shell with TurtleTrek

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    Can it really be three years since Manta -- Central Florida's first-ever flying coaster -- initially came on the scene at SeaWorld Orlando? Copyright SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. All rights reserved Yep. To be exact, this Bolliger & Mabillard-designed roller coaster officially opened to the public on May 22, 2009. And ever since then, millions of thrill seekers have made special trips to this zoological theme park just so they could then experience what it was like to dive, twist and...
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    Le Rêve - The Dream begins its seventh year of performances at the Wynn Las Vegas next month

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    This Saturday, it's Lucky No. 7 for the Wynn. Seven years ago on April 28, 2005, this $2.7 billion dollar mega-resort opened at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sands Avenue. And the town has never really been the same. Copyright Wynn Resort Holdings, LLC. All rights reserved Of course, there are some old timers who still miss the Desert Inn, that hotel & casino which previously occupied this spot along the Strip. But when you consider the state-of-the-art facility Steve Wynn built in...
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    From Las Vegas to "Celebrity Apprentice," there's just no stopping Penn Jillette

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    Most men in their late 50s start to slow down a little bit. But -- then again -- most men aren't Penn Jillette. Best known as the taller, louder half of that eccentric pair of performers (who -- now through September -- will regularly be presenting their acclaimed magic act in the appropriately named Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas ), Jillette has been a very busy guy these past few months. How so? Well, just in the past year, this 57 year-old has: starred...
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    New hi-def graphics and 3D sound make IOA's Spider-Man ride even more amazing

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    There's an old saying that you don't fix what ain't broke. And in the case of "The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man," this Islands of Adventure attraction had received consistently high marks with Universal Orlando Guests since it first opened back in May of 1999. With some folks calling this ambitious 3D / simulator hybrid the best theme park ride that had ever been built. Which should have made Thierry Coup, the Vice President of Development at Universal Creative, happy. After...
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    Proper advance prep makes for a great day at the Daytona International Speedway

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    "Gentlemen, start your engines!" This weekend's Rolex 24 kicks off a full four weeks of high-speed fun over at the Daytona International Speedway. After the 50 th anniversary running of this international sportscar competition, this 480-acre complex then becomes home to such highly anticipated racing events as the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200, the Budweiser Shootout, the Gatorade Duel, the NextEra Energy Resources 250, the Drive4CPOD 300 and - of course, the big daddy of them all - the...
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    Miss America pageant helps to make Las Vegas the special events capital of the world

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    Did you catch the Miss America Pageant on ABC this past Saturday night? 8 million viewers tuned in for this live telecast, which ended with 23 year-old Laura Kaeppeler of Wisconsin being awarded the tiara and that $50,000 scholarship. Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011, transfers her crown to Laura Kaeppler That was a fun two-hour-long block of television, don't you think? But had you been out in Las Vegas over the past 10 days or so, you would have seen that the Miss America pageant isn't...
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    Between that huge fireworks display and those exclusive nightclub parties, New Year's Eve in Las Vegas is sure to be a blast

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    So have you made any special plans for New Year's Eve yet? Oh, I suppose you could go the traditional route. Schlep on down to New York City and then crowd into Times Square. Be one of the half million people who go there every year, stand in the cold and watch the ball drop. Or - if you want to do something different this year - you can ditch the crowds & the cold and head for Las Vegas. Where Sin City officials are planning on ending 2011 with a bang. Literally. In the 8-minutes and 36...
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    Universal Orlando gives you a choice between having a traditional holiday or a whimsical Wholiday

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    Okay. We're T-minus country now when it comes to the holidays. And with just a handful of days between now and you-know-when, it always helps to have a list. So that you don't wind up forgetting anything when you next head out for the Mall. "And what's on your list, Leslie?," you ask. Oh, you know. The usual stuff. I need a couple of cans of Who Pudding. And it'd be nice I had a few tringlers & dafflers & fuzzles & wuzzles to place under the tree. And then -...
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    Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour & Fan Fest makes for one Thriller of a holiday season this year in Las Vegas

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    Here's a fun factoid for all of you Michael Jackson fans out there: Following the success of "Captain EO," Michael Jackson and the Imagineers actually spent about six months in the late 1980s developing a follow-up attraction. One that would have reimagined the King of Pop as a three-armed outer-space impresario called P.T. Quantum. The "crash-landed" version of the retooled exterior of Carousel of Progress theater-go- round show building. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc...
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    Having trouble transitioning from Halloween to the holiday season? Let Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party set you right

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    Twas the week before Thanksgiving and all through the house, Would-be Scrooges were starting to grouse. "What's with these ads that are on my TV Hyping Christmas crud that I'm s'posed to see? Am I really the only one here who remembers That this holiday isn't 'til the 25 th of December?" Are you someone who has difficulty when it comes to holiday transitions? Do you get genuinely upset when you see all of the stores pulling down their Halloween decorations on November...
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    Ghoulish nights or magical delights? It's your call when vacationing in Vegas around Halloween

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    Let's be honest here. Every night in Las Vegas is kind of like Halloween. Don't believe me? Then take a stroll up the Strip some evening. And I guarantee you that you'll encounter some interesting-looking characters who are then dressed in some pretty far-out-looking outfits. But if you're headed to Vegas over the next week or so, you'll undoubtedly be looking for a little Las Vegas Halloween fun. The only question then is ... Well, how ghoulish do you want to go? Anthony Crivello...
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    Poe & projections put the 2011 edition of Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights over the top

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    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary ... Copyright Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved If you experience this year's edition of Halloween Horror Nights at the Universal Orlando Resort, you'll definitely feel a bit weak and weary as you wander towards the exits around the stroke of midnight. Not because you'll have been pouring over some "... quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore." But rather because you'll have just spent an evening...
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    Disney's tweaks mean that this year's edition of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has far more treats than tricks

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    You wouldn't think that - given that Walt Disney World has been staging Halloween events at the Magic Kingdom for nearly 40 years now - that Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party would be still a work-in-progress. But given that Disney World's most popular theme park is right now in the middle of its biggest expansion in three decades (Look for Phase One of the Fantasyland Forest project to come online in the last Spring / early summer of 2012), the Mouse has taken this opportunity to...
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    Picking Las Vegas' best magic show can sometimes get a bit tricky

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    When you think of it in fairytale terms, a trip to Las Vegas can really like something straight out of "A Thousand and One Arabian Nights." I mean, think about it: You do cross the burning sands (Especially if you're driving in from LA. Which means that you're taking I-15 straight across Death Valley.) And then - in the middle of the desert - you can find this fabled city which is filled with castles & turrets & magic. And when I say "magic," I'm not talking...
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    Scare zones add interactive edge to Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 21

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    We're just two weeks out now from the frights that can be found at the 2011 edition of Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights . And while other sites may go on & on about all the scares that await you inside of those eight great new haunted houses that are being built as we speak for this year's event, I'd like to focus instead on the six scare zones that will be featured at HHN 21. To my way of thinking, those scare zones are the real reason that Universal Orlando's...
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    TAO's all-access passes will take all of the labor out of visiting Las Vegas over the Labor Day Weekend

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    When you're in Las Vegas, access is always an issue. The Venetian Las Vegas Whether it's trying to decide which end of the Strip you should stay on (so that you can then have easy access to your favorite resorts & casinos) or what type of room you should book for your stay (Staying at the concierge level is admittedly a bit pricier. But on the other hand, it will then make it that much easier for you to score reservations & seats for some of Las Vegas' hottest restaurants and...
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    Busch Gardens Tampa Bay & SeaWorld Orlando offer extra entertainment opportunities during their Summer Nights promotions

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    So what's your favorite aspect of summer? Me personally, I enjoy those extra hours of daylight that you usually get in June, July and August. Which then makes it that much easier to cram an extra hour or two of fun into a summer night. And speaking of fun summer nights, both SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay have recently rolled out special Summer Nights promotions. Which - through extended operating hours, brand-new shows & extra entertainment opportunities - now allow Guests...
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    Trade the lights of Vegas for the natural delights of Southern Nevada & Arizona

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    For most people, a trip to Las Vegas is a chance to step away from their everyday lives for a little while. A chance to go someplace exciting. Where the lights are bright and the music's loud and there's lots & lots of people. Where you just feed off of all of that energy & excitement. But the downside of this scenario is - if you're spending an entire week in Vegas - by around Day 3, you start to get sensory overload. Which is why it sometimes makes sense to step away from the...
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    Give your Father the gift of entertainment this year by taking him to see a Las Vegas show

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    Here in the States, it's kind of a tradition that - whenever Father's Day rolls around - we invariably gift Dad with a tie. Which - as far as Father's Day presents go - is nice & safe & boring. This year, why don't you try giving Dad a different sort of tie? Not the fabric kind, mind you. But the sort of tie where things are just too close to call. Where it'll then be difficult for your Father to make his final choice. And if you're looking for a city which offers...
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