Shermanstravel Blog

Orlando

Flickr/Anna Fox - Epcot Flower Festival

Any trip to Disney World usually feels like a special event, but did you know that the resort hosts unique parties and festivals all year long? Here’s what you can expect from six of the most popular celebrations.

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Disney World ClockVacation time is precious, and that’s especially true if you’re going to Walt Disney World — a destination that guarantees you’ll spend a lot of time waiting in line.

Here are five things that you can do before you leave home to save time on your Disney vacation.

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Sandito Mojito, Cuba Libre OrlandoWe’re game to celebrate nearly every food- or drink-focused holiday (National Margarita Day, anyone?), so we’re excited that August is Rum Month. Rum is the elixir of both swash-buckling pirates and bleary-eyed Caribbean travelers alike. But some folks have rum misconceptions: They think only of umbrella-topped super-sweet frozen drinks or unimaginative soda mixes from their young-adult years. We’re here to open your eyes to a brave new world of this sugar cane-based liquid miracle. Beyond plain Bacardi, there are hundreds of varieties of rum — some as premium as any top-shelf cognac.

These 21 bars from coast-to-coast (and points in between) are serving up choice cocktails this month using rums you may not have heard of before. And don’t forget that Saturday, August 16 is officially National Rum Day. So raise a glass and say, “Aaar!”

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Disney World Wait Times/Anna Elsa FrozenSeveral things are synonymous with Walt Disney World: iconic characters, turkey legs, Space Mountain, and long lines. Attractions without long lines are the anomaly, and not the rule, at the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” but that doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole vacation waiting.

Read on for nine tips to reduce your ride wait times.

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While the 36 Disney-owned hotels at Walt Disney World Resort undoubtedly enhance your Magical Kingdom experience, they’re not the only way to go. On the resort are also other major hotel brands that have partnered with Disney to bring you official benefits and complimentary transportation to the key attractions. But prices are dramatically less expensive, so you can stay kind to the budget as you stick close to the magic. (Plus, for the points fanatics among us, you’ll be able to rack up or cash in those loyalty rewards.) Here are five such hotels, comparable to Disney’s “moderate” range, that present better deals than Disney’s own starting rates of $170 this month and next:

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Flickr/Michael Gray - Fountain at Epcot CenterSummer’s here. In Orlando, that means high temperatures and even higher humidity. Here are ten spots throughout the Disney World parks where you can get some relief.

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Disney World Monorail, Contemporary Resort, OrlandoClearly, Disney World offers a travel experience that you can’t exactly replicate anywhere else. From its signature rides to its extravagant parades and fireworks, no other amusement park does it quite like Disney. Its unique offerings go well beyond that, however. Here are some unique things that you never thought you’d find at an amusement park.

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Disney's Frozen-Themed Parade in OrlandoUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Disney’s animated film Frozen has become a global sensation since its release last year. It’s currently the highest-grossing animated film of all time, and the demand for film merchandise at Disney Stores led to the implementation of a limit of two items per guest. Guests hoping to meet the film’s animated stars, Anna and Elsa, in the Magic Kingdom have reported wait times of three to five hours.

Cashing in on the movie’s success, Disney is bringing more Frozen offerings to its parks this year, and even to its Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney vacation company in 2015. Here’s what’s brewing…

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620x400_FlickrJeffrey Zeldan_DisneyPresidentsDisney World clearly covers all the bases when it comes to creating a whimsical atmosphere, from naming the rides, to piping the scent of freshly baked cookies out onto Main Street, USA.

So it’s no surprise that the Disney Imagineers have come up with some Disney-specific terms for even the most basic concepts, such as what they call their park employees and extended hours.

Here are 10 of the most common Disney terms to remember.

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Southwest Southwest Airlines have been a major player in the U.S. market over the past few decades, but today it takes its first step into the big, wide world. As of July 1, Southwest has begun service to Aruba and Montego Bay, Jamaica, from Atlanta, Baltimore, and Orlando. In the coming months flights to the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic from other gateways will follow.

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Universal Orlando ResortGet ready to apparate over to Universal Orlando this summer as the theme park resort officially opens its highly-anticipated Harry Potter addition, Diagon Alley.The new section is an expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which first opened in 2010 with the Hogsmeade section.

Now Muggles, wizards, and witches of all ages can walk the streets of London, pick up Hogwarts supplies, and do some banking at Gringotts. Before it officially opens to the public on July 8, here’s a list of five fun things you’ll be able to do in Diagon Alley.

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Disney's Blizzard BeachLike most visitors to Walt Disney World in Orlando, you’ve probably spent a lot of time planning your vacation. Your full days are booked with park-hopping, but your arrival and departure dates can leave you with awkward amounts of time to fill. This can get especially tricky if you’re tired from a flight, or feeling overwhelmed from a week of non-stop theme parks.

Many guests opt to spend these first and last days in the park, soaking up every precious minute with rides and attractions, but here are some other options:

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road trip 1

With Memorial Weekend approaching, we decided to tackle a classic debate holiday travel debate: For your next getaway, should you drive or fly?

The convenience of flying outweighs the stress of driving for some travelers, especially if they have to spend more than an hour or two on the road. Then again, we all know how pricey flying can be, and that’s before you even consider the hassle of security lines and getting to the airport. Beyond this, it’s also important to consider whether you’ll need (or want) to use a car when you reach your destination.

Here, we take a few of the most popular vacation routes and weigh the pros and cons of driving or flying.

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Disneyland/It's a Small WorldThere is often confusion when it comes to Walt Disney World and Disneyland. If you’ve ever been to one of these two Disney resorts in the U.S., you might think the other is exactly the same, but that’s definitely not true. Disneyland on the West Coast and Walt Disney World in the Orlando have plenty in common, but have just as many differences.

Read on to learn about out 10 major differences between these two famous theme parks.

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620x400_FlickrBrian Hart_DisneyRulesIf you’re headed to Disney World, it’s easy to get caught up in a frenzy of booking hotels, buying park tickets, making dining reservations, and picking your FastPass+ ride selections. So we understand if you’re overlooking a few details. In fact, we’re pretty sure park policies are far from your mind during the booking process. Here are a few things you should know before you sprint through the park gates.

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