Shermanstravel Blog

Disney

bronson gate 1From Superman stopping the Earth’s rotation, to locals fending off a twenty-foot great white shark, Hollywood has given us plenty of moments where we scratch our heads and wonder, “How’d they do that?” Most of the time, that on-screen magic is simply the result of hard-working studio technicians, cameramen, and a well-equipped sound stage. And for movie lovers vacationing in California’s entertainment capital, it’s possible to take a spin around the studios where the magic happens. Here are five tours that’ll take you backstage on Tinseltown’s most famous sets: Read more

Grand Floridian, Orlando, FloridaIf you’ve ever stayed at one of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels, or even just researched them, you know that the 20-plus properties are all different. Each has its own theme, dining options, recreation, and level of service. Plus, the properties are broken down into four categories (Deluxe, Villas, Moderate, Value, and Campgrounds) to accommodate guests’ different budgets, needs, and preferences.

If you’re on the fence about which Disney hotel to choose, we’re here to help. Just match yourself up with the type of traveler you identify with most to find your ideal hotel.

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Epcot Center, Walt Disney WorldIf you’re visiting the “Most Magical Place on Earth” anytime soon, you might have to dig a little deeper into your pockets to pay for park tickets: Walt Disney World recently raised the price of admission for all four of its theme parks.

Now it’ll cost you $99 for a one-day ticket to enter the Magic Kingdom and $94 for a single ticket that gets you into Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

But don’t fret! We have some ways you can save on admission.

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620x400_Flickrkathika_DisneyWorldchristmasDuring the major holidays, Walt Disney World doesn’t exactly toss up a few decorations and call it a day. Instead, look for over-the-top celebrations that only Disney can deliver.

Whether you’re planning a visit the resort for Easter, the Fourth of July or Christmas (holidays that often coincide with kids’ school vacations), we’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick guide to what you can expect during the holidays at Walt Disney World.

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620x400_Flickrchuckwaters83_DisneyToysPrice of a Walt Disney World sweatshirt: $59.95.

Price of a Sorcerer Mickey mug: $14.95.

Price of a Disney iPhone case: $34.95.

We’ll give you a second to get over the sticker shock, but yes, those are the real prices of some Walt Disney World souvenirs.

You should know, though, that it is possible to score some freebies in this famous Orlando theme park. You just have to know where to look. Here are some to seek out on your next visit to the House of Mouse…

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620x400_Flickrhyku_DisneyWorldCastleToss aside the notion that Walt Disney World is just for kids. The Orlando resort is a popular vacation destination for adult singles and couples alike; it’s even become a hotspot for weddings and honeymoons. But even without kids, the price of accommodation, park tickets, and dining adds up fast in the House of Mouse. Fortunately, Walt Disney World actually offers plenty of activities that are free or reasonably inexpensive, and fully geared toward adults. Here are just a few…

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Money-Saving CruisesThere is generally one main factor at play when it comes to cruise prices during the holiday season: the strength of the cruise industry. If it’s been a gangbuster year, don’t expect the cruise lines to wave you aboard for a pittance. Conversely, if sales have been lagging over the past ten months, they’re more likely to roll out holiday deals in a bid to shore up fourth quarter revenues. Value offers will vary by line, so consumers will benefit from some comparison shopping.

Though 2013 brought some challenges to the cruise market – remember the Carnival Triumph power loss in February? – deals seem to be on the  scarce side this season. Nevertheless, we found a few decent ones floating around: Read more

Florida Bargain Season StartsSummer is winding down and kids are heading back to school, which means that prime beach destinations like Florida are quickly clearing out and entering their low season. Normally, a destination’s slow-down time signals less-than-prime weather conditions, but Florida in the fall is ideal. While it’s technically still hurricane season, in many spots, you’ll still find warm waters and beautiful days with weather that can soar up into the 90s. Add to that the fact that many hotels offer discounts of 40 to 50 percent off their peak season rates, and you’ve got a recipe for a perfect fall getaway. Here are some of the reasons you should visit during Florida’s bargain season. Read more

Behind-the-Scenes Theme Park ToursFor those intrepid travelers who aren’t satisfied by simply riding the rides at their favorite theme parks, there’s a whole new way to experience Disney, SeaWorld, and more. While these behind-the-scene tours have been around for some time, they’re always changing and revealing new secrets (but never quite giving away all the magic, of course). Here are four theme parks that give you behind-the-scenes access. Read more

Disney World Ticket Prices RiseIt just got a little more expensive to visit the Happiest Place on Earth. Recently, Disney World and Disneyland increased their 1-Day ticket prices (Disney World: $95 for adults/$89 for kids ages 3-9; Disneyland: $92 for adults/$86 for kids ages 3-9). If you’re adding up the cost of a family – say two kids, mom, dad, and maybe even grandparents – you could be looking at upwards of $500, without taxes…or food…or souvenirs! If that number scares you, think of it this way: There are plenty of other ways to save big on your trip to Disney. Read more

BahamasBelieve it or not, summer is right around the corner. You may be sniffling from spring allergies now, but Memorial Day will be here before you know it, bringing warm temperatures, shortened work days, and summer vacations. Don’t let the season sneak up on you; take advantage of the many early bird specials out there and book your summer travel now. Read more

Top 10 Family HotelsIf you haven’t heard, TripAdvisor came out with it’s top 10 list of family-friendly hotels! Voted on by you, the website reports on some of the year’s best hotels for various things like romance, beaches, and families. See the results below. Read more

Being a kid can be rough, but being the adults traveling with tykes can be difficult as well. Coordinating activities for youngsters of varying ages is a challenge (little Tommy wants to visit the petting zoo, while teen Tammy would rather go shopping), as is attempting to stay on a budget. For parents planning a trip for the whole clan, we have good news (and bad news).

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Kids Menus Get Healthier

February 27th, 2013 by

Healthy Kids MenusOffering healthier items on children’s menus will be a priority this year for restaurants nationwide, according to the National Restaurant Association, which begs the question, why now? Why are restaurants suddenly waking up to the nutritional needs of kids?

The answer, quite simply, is that enough parents are finally demanding it, suggests syndicated family travel columnist and TakingtheKids.com creator, Eileen Ogintz. Read more

After the holidays, we tend to get stuck in winter slumps. For many of us, as the temperatures drop and the sun goes down earlier, we’re left counting down the days until spring. But instead of hiding inside all winter, use the post-holiday months as a time to travel somewhere new, whether it’s to a relaxing beach, a ski resort out West, or Walt Disney World. All of the deals below are valid for travel throughout January – just in time to nip those winter blues in the bud.

January is one of the best months to visit Orlando, especially later in the month, when crowds at the theme parks are down after the holidays, and temperatures are in the perfect mid-70s. Hotels follow suit and dip down in pricing, like the 4-star Melia Orlando Suite Hotel, which starts at just $125 per night in January – a 45 percent savings on high season rates. The Melia is the closest all-suite hotel to the Disney Parks, and includes a full kitchen in each unit, plus a 360 -egree infinity pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and complimentary breakfast. Dozens more 4-star Orlando hotels are available for low rates in January, like the Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orlando – Orange Lake Resort from $80 per night, the Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa from $97 per night, and the Mystic Dunes Resort and Golf Club from $105 per night. Read more

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