Three years after first opening its doors, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London—The Making of Harry Potter will reveal a new 20,000 square foot expansion featuring the original Hogwarts Express steam engine train.
The new expansion, set to be unveiled on March 19, 2015, will also include a recreation of Platform 9 3/4, made famous by the Harry Potter film series.
The 78-year-old steam engine will be displayed on a realistic set of tracks with steam emerging as visitors step onto the platform.
“We can’t wait to open our first expansion, Platform 9 3/4, just before the Studio Tour’s third anniversary in March. The Hogwarts Express had a starring role in the films so we’re excited that it will be taking centre stage in the new area. It’s the piece that visitors have most requested to see and we’re expecting a fantastic response,” said vice president of Warner Bros. Studio Tour London Sarah Roots in a statement.
Entrance to the platform will be included in a guest’s standard ticket price.
“The Hogwarts Express was the setting for many iconic scenes, from Harry, Hermione and Ron’s first meeting in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to the moment the trio’s children embark on their first journey to school 26 years later,” said Stuart Craig, the production designer on all eight Harry Potter films.
“The wizarding world doesn’t have a need for modern technology so we knew a traditional steam engine would make the perfect school train. Before we began filming in 2000, we scoured the country and found ‘Olton Hall’ at a preservation centre in Lancashire; realising pretty quickly that it was exactly what we had been looking for,” he added.
Visitors are sure to enjoy an authentic experience as they “walk along the train’s adjoining carriage and sit in the interior carriage set that was used during filming.”
What’s more, a “selection of prop luggage will be on show and visitors can find out which character owned which items by turning an interactive dial.”
The new expansion will be complete with a train-themed souvenir shop featuring a wide range of items inspired by the Harry Potter films. Read more travel news at www.TravelPulse.com
Seven Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels Offering ‘Escape From The Cold’ Rates In February and MarchJanuary 26, 2015 on 12:33 pm | In Florida, Orlando, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off
In The Walt Disney World® Resort In Florida
Offering Enticing “Escape From The Cold” Rates
. . . Special Rates Provide A Great Way To Escape To The Sunshine State
And To Take In Events Such As
The Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – Looking for a cure for the winter blues? You should consider taking advantage of the special “Escape From The Cold” rates that are being offered by the seven Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels in Central Florida. Available February 1-March 31, 2015, the special rates are a great way to escape to the Sunshine State, experience such special events as the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival, and to take in the many new offerings in the Walt Disney World® Resort including the recently expanded New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom® Park. In addition to the hotels having an ideal location with an easy walk to more than 75 themed and immersive shopping, dining and entertainment venues at the Downtown Disney® area, these seven Official Walt Disney World® Hotels also provide complimentary shuttle transportation every 30 minutes to all four Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, two Water Parks, and to the Downtown Disney® area. As a bonus, guests at these hotels also receive the “Downtown Disney Deals” booklet that features exclusive discounts and specials from over 30 merchants on Downtown Disney® area dining, entertainment and shopping.
· B Resort & Spa – rates from $149 per room, per night
· Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel – rates from $89 per room, per night
· Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa – rates from $93 per room, per night
· DoubleTree Suites by Hilton – rates from $159 per suite, per night
· Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – rates from $89 per room, per night
· Holiday Inn Orlando – Lake Buena Vista – rates from $99 per room, per night
· Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort – rates from $97 per room, per night.
Among the many coupons featured in the “Downtown Disney Deals” booklet are discounts at Rainforest Café®, T-Rex CaféTM, Wolfgang Puck® Express, Steve Baker Caricatures, The LEGO® Store, Planet Hollywood®, House of Blues® Restaurant, La NoubaTM by Cirque du Soleil®, Splitsville Luxury LanesTM, Bongo’s Cuban CaféTM, and Ghirardelli® Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop.
Taking advantage of the special rates also will enable you to enjoy such other benefits of staying at one of the seven Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels as:
· Disney tickets available to purchase at each hotel
· Advance tee times and discounts at all Walt Disney World® golf courses
· Disney Merchandise store located in each hotel
For more information on the “Escape From The Cold” rates or to make a reservation, visit DowntownDisneyHotels.com , specifically downtowndisneyhotels.com/escape-the-cold (or bit.ly/1yEMnc7 ). Rates are based on availability and some blackout dates may apply. The rates do not include the Resort Services Fee or daily parking fee (if applicable), taxes or gratuities. The offer is not valid with any other special offers, promotions, existing reservations, or for groups.
Special events at the Walt Disney World® Resort include:
· The Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic – February 1-March 1, 2015 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
· 22nd Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival – March 4-May 17, 2015 at Epcot®
· Garden Rocks Concert Series – select nights from March 6-May 17, 2015 at Epcot®
· Atlanta Braves Spring Training – March 4-April 4, 2015 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
In addition you also could take in such new offerings in the Walt Disney World® Resort as New Fantasyland, which is the largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom® Park. It offers more immersive enchantment and interactive experiences, and features two new themed areas: Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus. Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences include Under The Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid; Be Our Guest Restaurant; Enchanted Tales with Belle; Ariel’s Grotto; Gaston’s Tavern; and the crowning jewel of New Fantasyland Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Storybook Circus attractions include: The Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini; Dumbo The Flying Elephant®; Casey Jr Splash ‘N’ Soak Station; Pete’s Silly Sideshow; and Fantasyland Station.
Other new offerings in the Walt Disney World® Resort include: the new Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party at Magic Kingdom® Park, with new music, new characters, and more audience interaction; a new Canadian Lumberjack Show at the Canada pavilion at Epcot®; For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®; the display of the original golden coach from Disney’s new live-action feature “Cinderella,” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® (from February 1-April 11, 2015); the opening of Exposition Park at Downtown Disney® West Side, the permanent home of four Disney-owned food trucks; and the opening in November 2014 of a new five-level parking garage with 4,000 spaces at the Downtown Disney® area.
What’s more, in 2015 the Downtown Disney® area will evolve in to Disney Springs® – adding new shopping, dining and entertainment venues for your enjoyment. This one-of-a-kind destination will overflow with sights, sounds and flavors that come together in a beautiful outdoor environment with a charming waterfront setting. An experience only made possible by the imagination of Disney, this vibrant destination will offer a mix of unique (non-Disney) retail, distinct Disney shopping and incomparable dining offerings. Set amid beautiful open-air promenades and meandering springs, Disney Springs will double the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues, and will be complete in 2016.
Additionally, guests purchasing tickets to the Walt Disney World® Theme Parks in advance are now able to reserve access to some of your favorite Walt Disney World® experiences before you even leave home, with the Disney FastPass+ service – at no extra charge. With valid park admission and online registration, you will be able to choose from more than double the previous number of experiences and skip the standby queue at the attractions that you selected in advance, and – for the first time ever – Fastpass+ service includes select Character Greetings, shows, parades and fireworks. You also have the ability to make changes anytime so that you can lock-in some of your must-do attractions and entertainment experiences, and relax and enjoy the moment with your family.
“The weather is absolutely beautiful, and the special events at the Walt Disney World® Resort are outstanding, which makes it a wonderful time to visit,” said Doug Smith, chairperson of the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels’ marketing committee.
Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels (DowntownDisneyHotels.com) is a consortium of seven Official Walt Disney World® Hotels that includes: the stylish B Resort & Spa, opened in June 2014 with 394 newly renovated guest rooms and suites, the full-service B Indulged® by AVEDA Spa, and American Q signature restaurant; the 18-story, 325-room Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, overlooking Lake Buena Vista and the Walt Disney World® Resort, and offering two restaurants, lounge, and wireless internet; Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa, offering 1,014 guest rooms and suites, three pools, tennis, basketball and sand volleyball courts, five restaurants/lounges and a full-service spa; the luxurious and spacious 229-suite Doubletree Suites by Hilton, the only all-suite resort hotel in the Downtown Disney® Resort Area; Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, walking distance to Downtown Disney® and the only Downtown Disney® Area Resort offering Extended Theme Park Hours; the Holiday Inn Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, the only Holiday Inn located in the Walt Disney World® Resort Area and featuring elegant rooms with modern Florida décor; and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, featuring 626 guest rooms (which each feature a refrigerator), the Oasis Aquatic Playground with two pools and interactive water features, and six dining options.
With nearly 30 food and beverage outlets and restaurants, more than 3,600 rooms and an array of amenities, the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels offer a rate, space and menu to please every guest. Located in the heart of the Downtown Disney® area, these properties are within walking distance of exceptional shopping, dining and entertainment venues. For reservations, or more information, visit DowntownDisneyHotels.com
Joya, the new Cirque du Soleil show that opened in Mexico’s Riviera Maya in November, is meeting with rave reviews, with seats virtually sold out for each performance, said Karen Collado, a Joya spokeswoman.
The show, which represents Cirque du Soleil’s first permanent production outside of Las Vegas and Orlando, is also the most intimate show ever produced by the company, featuring just 600 seats in a theater-in-the-round setting. “There’s no bad seat in the house,” said Collado.
In still another first, Joya is the first Cirque du Soleil show to offer dining experiences. “Clients who buy tickets with dining options will have dinners with dishes made with amazing Cirque-style presentations one hour prior to the show,” said Collado.
As for the 70-minute show itself, the performance proffers up an artistically rendered tale about a defiant girl named Joya who is transported into a mystical Mayan jungle by her grandfather. “The creators of the show actually traveled all over Mexico to capture different kinds of natural and cultural elements that show a different side of the country,” said Collado. Somehow, the show manages to weave monarch butterflies, the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, mariachis, masked wrestlers and pirates into the story.
To date, Collado said the show has been attracting virtually all types of visitors, from singles to couples to families. “We have a lot of families traveling to the Riviera Maya and Cancun area who were looking for an activity where they could spend time together at night,” she said.
Guests can choose between four packages, including two that include dinner and champagne, one with champagne, and another for just the show.
Cirque du Soleil’s partner in the Joya project is Grupo Vidanta, a resort developer.
In 2018, the two companies will open a Cirque du Soleil theme park in Nuevo Vallarta, the details of which have yet to be released.
Read more travel news at www.TravelPulse.com
Save Up to 20% on an Orlando Getaway With More Is Less Package at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld®January 8, 2015 on 11:12 am | In Florida, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off
ORLANDO, FL – An Orlando vacation doesn’t need to break the bank in 2015. The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld® is now offering a “More Is Less” package where travelers can enjoy the amazing facilities and services of this four-star hotel for less!
With rates starting at $142 per room, per night, the More Is Less offer features savings of 15% off regular rack rates when staying two nights or 20% off when staying three nights or more. To be eligible for the savings, rooms must be booked between now and March 5th, and guests can stay any time through March 31, 2015. Certain restrictions and blackout dates will apply. Rates quoted are per room, per night, and tax is additional.Travelers should use online booking code “D3Q” when making a reservation here.
An official partner hotel of SeaWorld Orlando, the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld is great for a visit to the aquatic themed park which is a short walk across the parking lot. The hotel features a popular breakfast with Shamu on Saturdays for children. It is also a wonderful choice for those who want a modern hotel as their home base to discover all of the fun and excitement which Orlando offers. Additionally, the property functions wonderfully as its own self-contained retreat where guests simply check in and spend their time on property enjoying the pool, spa, and more.
The 4-star Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld® combines the enchantment of America’s favorite playground with imaginative style. From a breathtaking 10-story sun-bathed lobby to modern, residential suites and luxurious guest rooms — among the largest in the Orlando area — a truly distinctive experience awaits. Travelers can break a sweat in the state-of-the-art gym or retreat to the quiet nèu lotus spa, indulge in exceptional dining in one of six outstanding restaurants and eateries, or catch a wave of family adventure at the R Aqua Zone water park. For more information, visit www.renaissanceseaworld.com or call 407-351-5555.
Renaissance Hotels represents a diverse collection of 155 hotels in 35 countries worldwide. Each property is unique, offering passionate travelers a one-of-kind experience and memories they will be sure to take with them long after they depart. Within every hotel, guests are greeted by an exceptional array of amenities and an inspiring world of local discoveries. For travelers looking to experience something new, innovative and locally driven programs including the industry leading entertainment platform RLife LIVE as well R Navigator, ensure that every trip is transformed into an eye-opening, unforgettable journey. Renaissance Hotels. Live Life To Discover. To discover more visit www.renhotels.com.
Friend us on Facebook www.facebook.com/RenaissanceHotels.
Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/RenHotels.
The High Line at the Rail Yards
Meatpacking District, Manhattan
On September 21, 2014, the third and final section of the High Line was unveiled. The final section of the elevated railway, called the High Line at the Rail Yards, now extends to West 34th Street and connects the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea with the future 7 line subway station, the Javits Center, and the future Hudson Yards neighborhood (thehighline.org).
One World Trade Center
The new One World Trade Center—also 1 World Trade Center or 1 WTC—tower is scheduled to open in late 2014. Soaring above the city at 1,776 feet, One World Trade Center is America’s tallest building – and an indelible New York landmark. Designed by David M. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the 3-million-square-foot building includes office space, an observation deck and world-class restaurants. The 104-story building will feature a grand lobby and observation deck with unparalleled views (wtc.com).
One World Observatory
The One World Observatory is a three-story observation deck atop what will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Slated to open in spring 2015, the new observatory will occupy levels 100 to 102 at One World Trade Center. At the top, guests will experience a movie celebrating New York in the “See Forever” theater, enjoy a bevy of dining choices and can explore the observatory, enhanced by interactive exhibits and hosted by friendly tour ambassadors who will interpret and point out the sights (OneWorldObservatory.com).
Battery Park, Manhattan
Expected to open in spring of 2015, the SeaGlass Carousel is Battery Park’s new aquatic-themed ride, aimed to entertain, inspire and educate visitors. The stainless-steel and glass structure is shaped like a shell, and will feature an installation of 30 multicolored fiberglass fish in which visitors will ride, imitating an underwater experience on the rotating pavilion (thebattery.org).
Trump Golf Links
Ferry Point Park, Bronx
Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park will be unveiled in 2015, as New York City’s only tournament-quality golf course. The public Jack Nicklaus Signature Design 18-hole course will offer views of the Manhattan skyline, East River, and the Whitestone and Throgs Neck Bridges, and will also include amenities such as a clubhouse, snack bar, and driving range (trumpferrypoint.com).
New York Wheel
St. George, Staten Island
Located on the northeastern side of Staten Island (St. George), the 630-foot, or roughly 60-story New York Wheel will be the tallest observation wheel in the world and the only one in New York City. The wheel will accommodate up to 1,440 people per ride, welcoming as many as 30,000 visitors per day and an anticipated 4 million visitors per year. The wheel is expected to open in 2017 (newyorkwheel.com).
Fordham Manor, Bronx
Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, which has been vacant since 1996 and occupies a full city block, will be redeveloped into the world’s largest indoor ice arena, a 750,000-square-foot ice sports facility to be known as Kingsbridge National Ice Center. Kingsbridge National Ice Center will feature nine year-round indoor ice rinks, including a 5,000-seat feature rink for major ice hockey and skating events. It is anticipated that site preparation and construction for the project will commence in late 2014 and the first full year of operation is expected to be 2018 (nycedc.com/project/kingsbridge-armory).
The USS Hornet Museum, which offers educational programs focusing on naval history, science and space technology, now provides visitors onboard the ship with the option of using a self-guided audio tour to learn the history of the famous WWII aircraft carrier-turned-museum. The new one-hour, 36-stop audio tour is available in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. The Museum is introducing the self-guided tours in order to better serve its ever-growing population of diverse and multicultural visitors.
The self-guided tour features stories told by 10 men who served on the aircraft carrier, which provides a deeply personal, and at times entertaining, perspective about life onboard the ship. Along with serving in World War II, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet CVS-12 also recovered the first two NASA missions that landed humans on the moon, Apollo 11 and Apollo 12. The carrier is the largest surviving artifact from these space exploration events, which are acknowledged to be among the most important in human history. The USS Hornet opened to the public as a museum in 1998.
A registered state and national historic landmark, the ship is open to the public daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is permanently berthed at 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3 in Alameda, CA. For information, including group tours and event planning, visit www.uss-hornet.org or call 510.521.8448.
If you’re a fan of theme parks, immense anticipation for what’s to come in 2015.
America’s theme park capital, Orlando, was host to this week’s International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo, the industry’s most celebrated trade show comprising roughly 27,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors.
Although the event showcases new technologies and coming attractions to various theme parks across the globe, there were plenty of highlights for American enthusiasts.
Here are the five most thrilling announcements from this year’s IAAPA trade show.
1. Fall Head Over Heels for “Batman: The Ride”
Few things sound more futuristic than a “4D free-fly coaster train.” And in the summer of 2015 at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, park guests will experience the revolutionary machine for the first time thanks to S&S Sansei Technologies.
Riders on “‘Batman: The Ride’ will face a 120-foot elevator-type lift before plunging downward,” according to the Associated Press.
But that’s not all. Park marketing director Jeffrey Siebert says riders will “tumble head over heels six times” on their way down.
Read more travel news at www.TravelPulse.com
Disney’s family tour operator Adventures by Disney added new programs in Tuscany and Spain designed in the Adventures by Disney model of escorted tours that feature storytelling in a family setting, with activities for children, parents and grandparents, sometimes together, sometimes separately.
The Tuscany program, entitled Tuscany Culinary Adventure, targets foodie families. The schedule includes hands-on cooking lessons for learning how to prepare Italian pizza and bruschetta; special dining experiences; observing how cheese is made and visiting a winery, with adults learning about wine blending, while the G-rated participants learning about olive oil infusion in biscotti making.
In Spain, Adventures by Disney focuses on adventure, culture, art and history. Participants will learn about the making of paella; get a Flamenco dancing lesson in Seville; see a Rumba performance in Barcelona; spend two nights at a Mediterranean beach resort; learn about mixing sangria; and visit major historical and cultural sites such as the Gaudi-designed church in Barcelona, the Prado museum and Royal Palace in Madrid and the Grand Mosque of Cordoba.
Adventures by Disney was launched in 2005. The brand now offers more than 30 itineraries in Asia, Africa, Australia, Latin America, Europe and North America.
For more travel news visit www.travelpulse.com
Christmas is a time for eating, drinking and making merry – unless you are at the London Dungeon that is. This year, from Friday, December 5 2014 to Sunday, January 4 2015 guests will experience a very ‘Dungeon Christmas’ as the famous scary fun attraction brings to life preparations for a Tudor festive banquet that’s frankly more festering than flavoursome. Forget plump turkeys and plum puddings this feast is revolting and rancid, prepared by coughing cooks with putrefying ingredients from a rat riddled pantry – indigestion is guaranteed.
Don’t be deceived by the mistletoe and holly, the decadent displays of game and the delicious smells of roasting meat and spiced mulled wine. These welcoming scents and sights soon fade away to reveal the fly infested, mould-encrusted kitchen where preparations for the feast are in full swing. No meat is too decayed, no pan is too dirty and, well, what’s a sneeze in the sauce or cough in the cream between friends? A hands-on impromptu cookery lesson with a cook, foul in every sense of the word, reveals some very surprising culinary secrets and a Christmas menu that will turn the strongest of stomachs. All this before a truly hair-raising main course is revealed!
Those with their senses intact will journey on to the rat infested pantry, where the rodent residents have gnawed their way through a mountain of decaying delicacies, for a close encounter with the scabby Pot Scrubber, who despite being employed to clean hasn’t grasped the concept of hygiene.
Then it’s down into the depths of the Dungeon to meet a host of history’s most horrible characters as they celebrate Christmas. Over 1000 years of London’s dark past is brought to life in 18 shows, featuring a cast including Guy Fawkes, Jack the Ripper, Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett and one of the most prolific torturers of all time. PLUS expect plenty of edge of the seat surprises and TWO great rides.
Tickets from £15.95 (child) and £17.50 (adult) and MUST be booked in advance online – see www.thedungeons.com/London
Opening times: Monday – Friday 10am-5pm EXCEPT Thursday when the attraction opens at 11am with last entry at 5pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-6pm.
For specific Christmas opening times please check the website.
Guests are advised to check website to confirm opening times and MUST pre book tickets before visiting
Best prices online at www.thedungeons.com/london
Prices from £17.50 (adult), £15.95 (children)
Enjoy a whole London day out and save 25% with combination tickets for The London Dungeon, EDF Energy London Eye, SEA LIFE London Aquarium and Madame Tussauds
Nearest tube: Waterloo/ Westminster
Every year millions of people from around the world choose to take a vacation to the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida. Club Resort Intervals knows that a large portion of travelers head to the parks around the Christmas season to enjoy the beautiful Christmas decorations that the parks’ staff has painstakingly setup. Between the four parks, there is something for everyone around the holidays at Walt Disney World.
1. Hollywood Studios- Club Resort Intervals is aware that one of the parks’ most popular holiday attractions is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights which is on display at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park. With nearly a fifth of the park covered in millions of Christmas lights, this is one holiday display that children and their parents will not soon forget. To top it all off, all the Christmas lights are synchronized to the Christmas music which is playing throughout the nightly event.
2. Epcot- At the Epcot theme park, Club Resort Intervals notes that it takes advantage of the fact that it features countries from around the world, and incorporates how each country celebrates the season into their daily events. From holiday snacks, to storytelling for kids, a holiday trip to Epcot is a great way to learn a little bit about how other cultures celebrate the holiday. The Candlelight Processional is a holiday musical event that takes place select nights at Epcot, and always features a celebrity speaker, narrating the holiday readings.
3. Magic Kingdom- Club Resort Intervals knows that most kids who are heading to Disney World for Christmas will want to catch Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. As a separate event from day-time admission, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party typically sees smaller crowds than what is typically seen throughout the day. The smaller crowds allow families to enjoy shorter attraction lines, not to mention the exclusive holiday events that take place only during the Christmas Party.
Whether planning a vacation for the holidays or getting a jump start on fantastic 2015 getaway options, Club Resort Intervals members will always be in for a treat when they start planning their dream vacations. Visit https://www.crivacation.com/ to learn more about planning an upcoming vacation with the help of Club Resort Intervals.
Club Resort Intervals
Next Page »