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Forget plastic hotel key cards and paper tickets. The Walt Disney World Resort has forged full speed ahead into the 21st century with a snazzy new tech-based system called MyMagic+. The star feature of the program is a customizable plastic bracelet, dubbed MagicBand, with which you can seamlessly access every aspect of your next Disney vacation. Here, a look at how it works and what it means for your wallet.
Whether it’s your first trip or your twentieth, a trip to Walt Disney World should always feel exciting. You’ve researched the rides and shows, picked out where you’re going to eat, and know the hotels like the back of your hand. Once you get there, though, it’s easy to hit a wall.
Here are 10 ways you can avoid Disney burnout – so that you won’t have to take another vacation just to recover from this one.
For Harry Potter fans, this summer’s most anticipated event is the opening of the Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express expansion at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The latest news is that opening day is going to be late June, so fans had better start planning their trips now.
Helping to keep costs down, the upscale, resort-style Hilton Orlando (a 10-minute drive for the park) is offering reduced nightly rates to coincide with the big expansion. The hotel is offering $99 rates on select dates from June 13 to August 31. Note that the lowest rate of $99 is only available on Saturdays and Sundays, but that’s quite a savings on regular June rates, which start at $219. Weekday rates start at $149.
You can book through the website or by calling. Note that these rates are based on availability, and that blackout dates apply. There’s also a daily resort fee of $20.
OK, you’re shouting it from the rooftops: you’re going to Disney World. But the decision to go may be the easiest one of the trip. From booking your perfect hotel, to choosing your park tickets, there’s a lot to think about.
And you can’t forget about food. First-time guests and even seasoned visitors have to ask themselves whether they should purchase a Disney Dining Plan. These pre-set meal plans don’t come cheap, but can save you lots of headache and even money – if you choose the right one.
If 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.
If 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.
But don’t fret! We have some ways you can save on admission.
During 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.
Price 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…
Across the globe, bookstores, beauty salons, and even laundromats are incorporating full bars into their ethos. And we’re not talking about attractions with a drink menu, or themed bars. These brilliant watering holes are true hybrids that patrons hit up for quality beverages and an additional service, whether it’s groceries or manicures. Bottoms up!
Toss 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…
No matter where you’re traveling, there’s nothing like a long line to put a damper on your vacation. Which is why we were happy to learn about SecurXpress, a reservation system for security lines that’s being tested at Montréal, Canada’s international airport. After passengers submit their flight and contact info online, they receive a text with an arrival time. Then, when they get to the airport, they can head straight to security and skip the line. Not bad. This free service is available for all domestic and select international routes, and each reservation covers up to five travelers.
While it’ll take some time for other airports to adopt the system – clearance rules make it especially tricky for flights in and out of the U.S. – ticketed reservations aimed at slashing wait times aren’t new. Here’s a quick look at similar systems that are helping travelers avoid the wait…
This year, Europe’s third largest low-cost carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle began a new transatlantic service with non-stop flights from New York City to Oslo and Stockholm, and they’re set to add services from Fort Lauderdale to the two Scandinavian capitals in late November, too.
Early 2014 will see an even bigger expansion for the airline, with flights from New York to Copenhagen launching in February; Los Angeles to Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen in March; Orlando to Oslo in May; and Oakland to Oslo and Stockholm, also in May. The airline will also offer connecting fares to dozens of other European cities –and even beyond Europe, to Bangkok.
We’re pretty excited about these new flights, which will offer the first non-stop service by a low-cost carrier on the Boeing Dreamliner 787, and even more excited by their fares! We did a little digging around on Norwegian’s website, and here’s what we found: Read more
Well, it’s officially September. While some cities are still seeing warm temperatures, we’re already skipping ahead in our minds to fall…and worse, winter. But, rather than let the changing seasons get us down, we’ve decided to just plan our next vacation. From Boston to Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach, JetBlue’s Book Smart Sale (one-way fares; book by tomorrow at midnight; travel dates September 17 to December 18) is offering some great fares on key destinations: Read more
We know it’s hard to think about autumn travel as the summer winds down. But booking now will definitely pay off when you see the fare sale that JetBlue is advertising for their Leave-With-the-Changing-Leaves Sale. Travel is valid on one-way flights September 3 – December 18, and you must book by August 21 at midnight (blackout dates apply). Check out a selection of our favorite fares below. Read more
Thinking of throwing together one last Great American Road Trip before the summer draws to an end? Though it’s always an option to depart from your own driveway, an affordable rental car allows you to cruise around highways and byways that are far from home. Toss in the fact that you won’t be adding miles and wear to your own vehicle, and the burden of responsibility is further lifted.
Of course, scoring a deal is what makes it all worthwhile, and not all cities price rentals similarly. Here’s a look at the best airports to fly into for a cheap ride – and some of the gorgeous roads that lead to them. Read more
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