Shermanstravel Blog



The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, one of Walt Disney World’s most popular annual events, is kicking off on September 25. Just as exciting, to coincide with the festival, the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels are offering special fall rates as low as $69 per night.

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Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Waldorf Astoria Orlando

During the Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s Enchanted Evenings celebration, champagne at check-in and bagpipes at sunset are just a few of the luxury perks you can indulge in — starting from just $179 per night this summer.

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Fort Lauderdale Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa pool

Fort Lauderdale Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

What’s one of the best ways to nab hotel savings in Florida? Go during the summer. If you can stand the heat and humidity of the Sunshine State during the next few months, you’ll be rewarded with ultra-cool savings. Try one of these seven deals, from as low as $73 per night.

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Deal Alert: Disney World Offers Free Dining Plan for Select Fall Stays

Flickr/Anthony Quintano

When it comes to planning a trip to Walt Disney World, there are three important things you have to worry about: the hotel stay, park tickets, and food. Fortunately if you’re thinking of vacationing at the resort later this year, you might be able to cross food off your list of expenses.

Disney World is offering its immensely popular free dining plan promotion for stays on select dates between August 28 and December 21 – essentially giving you free food for your entire stay. That’s a savings of at least a $42 per person, per night, depending on which dining plan you choose.

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Deal Alert: $84+ Rates at Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels in May and June

Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista

In just a little over a month, the resorts at Walt Disney World will get into the full swing of high summer rates. Luckily, there’s one way you can stay in the thick of the magic without having to fork over too much dough: Book a stay at the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels. Conveniently located at the resort’s shopping and dining district, these hotels provide complimentary shuttle service to each of the Disney theme parks and water parks, on-site Disney tickets for purchase, the ability to book dining reservations at Disney restaurants, and a booklet filled with discounts on dining, entertainment, and shopping.

What’s more, for stays between May 1 and June 21, the hotels are offering reduced rates with a Spring into the Magic promotion, starting at just $84 per night. But hurry — two of the seven hotels no longer have availability foor the special rates. Here’s a sample of the best that are still bookable that we’ve come across.

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sunrise on boggy creek airboats in kissimmee, florida

Experience Kissimmee

We’ve all been there: feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation. This can be especially true when you’re faced with days the crowds, the frenetic pace, and the barrage of merchandising in Orlando’s theme parks. Luckily, a natural escape awaits just outside of the popular sunny city, packed with both real-life thrills as well as peaceful solitude to recharge and relax.

Kissimmee showcases everything there is to love about Florida’s natural wonders and temperate climate. And, just a half hour from the magical worlds of Disney and Universal, its convenient location make it an easy, quick escape. Whether for a mid-afternoon break, or a day or two of rejuvenation before heading home, these adventures show off a different side of central Florida.

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stuffed animals souvenirs at disney world


What’s the best way to take home a piece of the magic when you visit Walt Disney World? A souvenir, naturally. With more than 200 retail locations to browse — from brick and mortar stores to carts selling clothes, designer bags, artisan soaps, and unique knickknacks — Disney World is a shopper’s paradise. Here, we offer pro tips that’ll help make souvenir shopping a lot easier.

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Walt Disney World ticket increase 2015

Flickr/Phil Whitehouse

It’s getting more expensive to get into the four parks at Walt Disney World. One-day tickets for the Magic Kingdom are now going for $105 each, before taxes, for ages 10 and up — about six percent more than the $99 entrance fee before the hikes. One-day passes for the resort’s three other parks  — Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom — are going for $97, plus tax (a more modest increase from $94).

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Stephan Rosger

Creative Commons/StephanRosger

Mixology is all the rage, but often comes with steep prices to match the boozy libations. Jump on the trend and save some cash by indulging in the latest craze at resorts around the world — designer hot chocolate. While the weather is chilly, indulge in these cozy, chocolatey creations at affordable prices.

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orlando - ice at gaylord palms - kimberly button

Want to be somewhere warm this season without giving up the holiday cheer? We introduced some surprising destinations for getting into the spirit of things earlier this week, including some sunny locales, but we wanted to give Orlando — the third most popular holiday travel destination in America — a special spotlight today. Yes, it’s a balmy 70-plus degrees here this time of the year, but you’ll still find plenty of Christmas classics here. You can still throw a snowball or pretend you’re in a snow flurry — with palm trees and a swimming pool never too far away.

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1Hershey Park

Shorts and sunscreen have been replaced with jackets and scarves, and theme parks across the country have suited up to take the winter weather in stride. The gates are open for one last hurrah of the year as these parks offer the best of the holiday season. Warm up with the festive glittering lights, re-themed rides, seasonal treats, and, of course, the treasured opportunity to meet Santa. Though some of the bigger rides of these parks are closed for the winter, exploring the all-encompassing holiday worlds built in these parks is the main attraction.

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cakes - mickey - © Disney

One of the biggest assets that set Disney World apart from its competitors is the level of service the company delivers to guests. It’s no secret that the iconic resorts offers exclusive hours and transportation, but here are 10 lesser known services offered by the House of Mouse.

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Disney Land and Sea Packages

Flickr Joe Turco2

Want the ultimate Disney vacation? There’s a way you can enjoy Mickey and friends on both land and sea: by combining a stay at a Walt Disney World hotel with a trip aboard Disney Cruise Line that embarks from Port Canaveral.

The easiest way to do this is to first book the cruise, then make your stay at Disney World an add-on with a Land and Sea Vacation package. But there are some caveats with this method of booking — here’s the dish on what you should know.

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Disney World is for guests of all ages, despite what some folks might say. Little ones and kids-at-heart can both have a great time at the Orlando resort. Of course, for older guests, it might take a little tweaking, since a trip to the House of Mouse isn’t the senior’s textbook vacation. Here, 10 tips for making it work.

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Flickr Aaron Fulkerson copy

Free breakfast, iPod docking stations, and coffee makers are nothing compared to some of the whacky hotel amenities we found. From vintage record players to pet psychologists, here are five quirky — and dare we say somewhat outrageous — amenities that can be found at hotel chains across the country.

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