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Thinking about cruising in 2015? Then say hello to our new cruise specialist, MaidenVoyage. As a travel agent who spends day in and day out booking cruises for curious travelers, she knows cruise lines and ships like the back of a muster drill script. Got a question about cruises? Even a stupid one? MaidenVoyage has heard and seen it all, so don't be shy. Send your cruise question to her!
The one question that newbie cruisers and fellow members of the travel community ask me frequently is, "What's your favorite cruise line?" When I say that Disney Cruise Line is one on my list, I am most often met with the "But all of those kids...ugh." Then when I mention that I don't have kids, I get the "...are you crazy?!” No I am not, but thanks for asking. And since you wanted my opinion, I'm going to tell it like it is.
There are four ships in the fleet-- Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. And all are great for families. Obviously. But, Disney Cruise Line is equally as great for ADULTS without children, and here are some reasons why:
Theme Parks / Disney / Disneyland Tokyo / Tokyo DisneySea / Amusement Parks / Japan Travel / → All Tags
In the wild world of theme parks the offerings by Disney over in Japan are often considered to be the best of the best. Sure Disneyland and Walt Disney World here at home are great spots to visit, but it seems like over in Japan they have all the best rides, newest attractions, and the biggest budgets—they spare no expense.
Now things are going to get even better, as it sounds like the folks behind the parks in partnership with Disney are spending around $4.6 billion to upgrade, improve, and expand the parks in Tokyo. Both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are set to receive the influx of cash and construction, as the renovations are expected to take place over the next ten years.
Travel Tech / Apple Pay / Disney / Disneyland / Disney World / Apple / iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus / Family Travel / → All Tags
Blah blah blah Apple Pay. Although it seems like the new mode of payment is all anyone can talk about this week, the attention is for good reason. Apple Pay is hopefully the first step towards a future we've always envisioned for travelers, a future served by universal payment.
Granted, Apple Pay has a long long way to go before we can hold up our phone to pay for bus fare in Hong Kong one day, and do the same to pay the bill at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Denmark the next, but the growing ubiquity of iPhones and iPads means this native Apple app has serious potential, not to mention that many other countries have already eclipsed the US in contactless payment technology.
Even if you’re not too familiar with the movies that Disney has been releasing into theatres there’s a pretty good chance you know about Frozen. That’s especially the case if you have turned on the radio at all this year, as that Let It Go tune has been pretty much everywhere.
Of course there’s plenty of money to be had in the marketing and promotion surround the movie, and now Disney is bringing its cash cow even further into the theme parks.
Disney / Disney Travel / Theme Parks / Amusement Parks / Disneyland / Walt Disney World / Drones / → All Tags
It sounds like Disney is hard at work thinking of the latest and greatest in theme park technology, but this time things aren’t exactly related to new rides, attractions, or roller coasters.
Disney recently filed a few patent applications for some of their new ideas, and they have a lot to do with drones. Specifically, the plans sound like the theme parks are planning to put unmanned flying devices to work in the name of sharing a little more entertainment with visitors.
Movie Travel / Disney / Flight Sim / OSH / OSH14 / → All Tags
Disney fans and wannabe firefighting pilots will all be able to experience what it's like to put out wildfires in the extreme wilderness, just like Dusty and his friends do in Planes: Fire & Rescue.
Flight simulator manufacturer Redbird has created a simulator in support of the movie that provides an authentic and challenging flight experience. As pilots are put in the air with water tanker Dusty, they are tasked with putting out a fire near "Piston Peak" National Park.
Disney / Theme Parks / Amusement Parks / France Travel / Disney Travel / Disneyland Paris / → All Tags
The parks over at Disneyland Paris don’t seem to get the new rides and attractions as often as we do here in the states, but that’s not the case this week as a fresh bit of Disney magic is headed overseas.
The new attraction is showing off a little fun from the movie Ratatouille, and it's scheduled to debut July 10. It’s the very first ride based on this film, and of course it only makes sense for Ratatouille to make a first amusement park showing in Paris, seeing as how the animated film was based there.
It seems like we were just talking about Disney and their plans to increase admission to some of their theme parks, and now just weeks later they’re doing it again—this time over in California.
The parks that make up Disneyland Resort are rising once again, and this is certainly going to take away from your oversized turkey leg and churro budget. Things have been bumped up by roughly four percent, as Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park will now set you back $96. Parking is also going up by a buck, and that’s now going to cost $17 for each and every vehicle heading into the lots.
Theme Parks / Amusement Parks / Disney / Walt Disney World / Disney World / Florida Travel / → All Tags
There’s more spots to spend those Disney dollars this season, as the theme parks in Florida are adding a couple new nighttime additions to the menu. That’s assuming that the usual opening hours aren’t enough for you, and that you haven’t returned to your hotel exhausted from the lines, the crowds, the children, and the fanny packs.
Over at Epcot they’re introducing something called Epcot After Hours Wind Down where visitors can enjoy a little extra fun after the park closes at around 9pm. Those willing to pay up $35 per person can enjoy wine pairings and tapas tastings across one of four of the different themed restaurants. This is in addition to your usual theme park admission, but it’s still not a bad idea—especially considering that booze is included.
Movie Travel / The Muppets / Disney / Aulani / → All Tags
Disney isn't afraid of a little shameless self-promotion, so it's no surprise it found a way to market The Muppets Most Wanted with everything from Lipton Tea to Subway. But Disney's biggest marketing stretch might be associating the new Muppets’ movie to its own Hawaii Resort, Aulani, which they say is the Muppets' "most wanted vacation destination."
Disney / Disney World / Walt Disney World / Disneyland / Theme Parks / Amusement Parks / Florida Travel / California Travel / → All Tags
They’re at it again this year, but after the news from last month it’s going to cost you a little bit more to party all night long. Disney parks in California and Florida are doing the 24-hour thing once again, and this year’s events are set to go down this May.
Things were kicked off in a unique way, as they used a message on Twitter featuring 140 characters—Disney characters to be specific. Memorial Day Weekend is when things will be open all day long, as the “Rock Your Disney Side Party” takes place at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort.
Mickey Mouse must have a boat payment due or something, as he’s looking to raise a little more cash at his theme parks down in Florida. Walt Disney World just announced that they’re upping the admission cost to its theme parks, and the price increase is effective pretty much immediately. So if you’re been saving up for that trip to visit the Magic Kingdom—you might need to save a little bit more.
It’s pretty much an annual expectation at this point, but it always seems to sneak up on those with Disney plans on the horizon. This time all four parks are going up in cost by $4 per day, and it’s the Magic Kingdom leading them all. It will now set back one visitor $99 to check things out for the day, and when tax is added onto things that’s $105.44. Of course Disney wants you to stay longer than one-day, and the tickets for multi-day visits work out to be a better value. However, it’s a little scary that the cost of doing business with Mickey has now gone over that $100 mark.